Pierre Rehov: The U.S., Churchill and the Middle East
In addition, a new strand of American foreign policy is now opening up. Recently, Israel celebrated the 69th anniversary of its independence, and this week Israel will mark 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, liberated in 1967 from its illegal capture by Jordan in 1948, followed by Jordan’s ethnic cleaning of Jews and the illegal confiscation of their property. The White House announced the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, provided that it ceases to finance and incite terrorism by making its child-killers national heroes and wage-earners funded by the West
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will no longer be able to continue to pretend to prepare his people for peace while at the same time calling for murder. About 10% of the Palestinian budget is spent on the salaries of terrorists imprisoned in Israel, and the prisoners’ families.
Abbas evidently omitted this “detail” in his statements to the press during his recent visit to the White House.
Trump has apparently decided that on his visit to Israel this week, he will not announce the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem — a move that will only make him look less strong to Arab leaders. They may not like all promises that are kept, but they do deeply respect and trust those who keep them. If promises are not kept to a friend, the thinking goes, why would they be kept to us? They will therefore be less happy with any promises to counter Shiite threats — considerably more important to them than the location of an embassy. As Plato, Churchill and even Osama bin Laden understood, people respect only a strong horse, especially when one’s adversaries can only survive by creating conflicts to distract their citizens from unaccountable governance. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu observed:
“Israel has clearly stated its position to the US and to the world multiple times. Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem won’t harm the peace process. The opposite is true. It will correct a historic injustice by advancing the [peace process] and shattering a Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem isn’t Israel’s capital.”
By recognizing the rights of Jerusalem’s historical occupants of 3,000 years — despite the lies of UNESCO and other UN organizations engulfed by the Arabs’ automatic majority — Trump could well demonstrate a new force that would elevate him to the same stature as Churchill, who said he regarded Islamism as the “greatest retrograde force of all time.” No wonder Obama did not want his bust.
Michael Lumish: UC Berkeley Pits Liberalism Against ‘Islamophobia’
When one asks if terrorism and Islamic supremacism inspire Western anti-Muslim bigotry, the response is to accuse the questioner of “Islamophobia.” The problem, we are to believe, is not terrorism or the spread of Islamic supremacism into Europe. On the contrary, according to the general attitude of the conference, these are merely the natural responses of a people oppressed under the weight of voracious white, Western, racist, colonialist, imperialist aggression.
In other words, the real problem is not Osama Bin Laden, but George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
What is perhaps most disconcerting about the conference was the tendency to embrace anti-Semitic anti-Zionism while claiming to oppose ethnic prejudice. A perfect example of this was the use of anti-Semitic cartoonist Carlos Latuff to promote the event. Latuff specializes in demonizing Israeli Jews as violently inhumane creatures in much the same way the Nazis did with European Jews in the early to mid-twentieth-century. This is akin to promoting racist caricatures of African-Americans while professing to fight racism. It is inconceivable that Bazian and other conference organizers would use Latuff’s vile work unknowingly. Their actions reveal their intent to legitimize anti-Semitism by using it at a UC Berkeley event ostensibly dedicated to fighting racism.
Ultimately, UC Berkeley’s “Islamophobia” conference contradicted itself in at least two ways. Foremost was the morally reprehensible act of espousing anti-Semitism in order to combat anti-Muslim bigotry. The other was its insistence that the larger Muslim world, comprised of 1.6 billion people, about one-quarter of the world’s population, are fundamentally victims of aggressive Europeans imperial excess. Centuries of Muslim empire-building aside, playing the victim card simply allows Bazian and his colleagues to continue their aggressions against the West under the guise of moral purity.
Ben-Dror Yemini: An American president in the service of BDS
As times goes by, the chance increases that Israel will eventually miss former US President Barack Obama, despite his conduct on the Iranian nuclear issue. While he made quite a few mistakes, he was a friend. He strengthened the Israeli-American security cooperation and approved multi-year aid which no other president before him had approved.
When he visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority in March 2013, he presented a political vision which most Israelis would embrace. In Ramallah, in front of the Palestinian political echelon, he said: “We seek an independent, a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people, alongside the Jewish state of Israel.” Who needs the “nationality law” when we have Obama?
Two draft agreements were presented as part of former Secretary of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy. The first, which was presented in January 2014, received quite a lot of support from Israel’s decision makers. Then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman gave his full backing to Tzipi Livni, who led the negotiations, and even stated: “Kerry’s proposals are the best Israel could hope for.” It wasn’t much different from the Clinton Parameters.
Peter Beinart, the guru of the Jewish Left in the United States, wrote at the time that “Kerry’s peace mission should worry liberal Zionists,” as it was not generous enough towards the Palestinians. That was foolish. Three days after the article was published, on March 17, 2014, Obama presented a peace plan to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It had everything in it, including Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital. It didn’t do any good. Abbas said no.
And US President Donald Trump? His understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely no different from his understanding of other international issues, which isn’t much. His diplomatic vision is: “Do whatever you like, one state, two states.” Never before has an American president given equal importance to a solution presented by the BDS movement, which is in fact the solution of Israel’s radical right as well—one state.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas will present a plan by which the Arabs renounce 6.5 percent of the lands under their political control to Israel, three times as much as previously offered, during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel tomorrow (Tuesday), Middle East Eye reported.
The MEE quoted a PA official close to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as saying that the proposal excludes Jerusalem and appears to cement the vision of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.
“The Palestinian side will be presenting, during the meeting with Trump, a new vision which is quite detached from that of the majority of the Palestinian people. This vision is based on exchanging a lot of Palestinian lands,” the source told the MEE.
“Previous discussions about a Palestinian-Israeli settlement revolved around the exchange of only 1.9 percent of the lands, but now we are talking about more than triple that amount,” the source added.
Abbas had rejected an offer from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during the failed 2008 peace talks for a near-total withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, proposing that Israel retain 6.3 percent of the territory in order to keep control of major Jewish areas, reported the Times of Israel in 2015. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Ben-Dror Yemini Saudi Arabia, kingdom of hatred, fighting radicalization?
The map of interests of the past few years creates an odd situation, in which the Sunni states, led by Saudi Arabia, stand in the same front with Israel and the American administration. It’s not the result of love. It’s happening primarily because of the shared enemy—Iran. Even Dr. Gold, who understands the problem much better than others, and who has no illusions about Saudi Arabia, was one of the architects of the renewed ties—mainly secret ties—between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Yes, there are shared interests.
The problem is that interests have a blinding power. The Obama administration suffered from blindness when it signed the nuclear agreement, completely ignoring Iran’s long reach. In his speech Sunday, Trump rightfully spoke about Iran’s support and funding of terror, but there is only one country which does it more than Iran—Saudi Arabia.
And now Trump is repeating the same mistake. He is arming the kingdom of hatred, thereby continuing his predecessors’ policy. For nearly a decade now, Saudi Arabia has been at the top of the arms import list. From 2008 to 2015, the kingdom purchased weapons for $93.5 billion (compared to $30.1 billion purchased by Egypt and $14.3 billion by Israel). There are no accurate estimates of the parallel expenses in the area of Wahhabism exports, as they involve both governmental capital and private capital, but different estimates point to a fortune. Saudi Arabia is far from the glory days as a rich oil country, but when it comes to weapons and radicalization it seems to have no limitations.
Trump did not forget to praise Saudi Arabia for advancing the status of women. That is as true as saying that Saudi Arabia is fighting radicalization. The Saudi king, on his part, claimed that Iran was the big exporter of terror. No one was allowed to mention, of course, that most of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were Saudis. Have I already mentioned that the gaps between words and reality has never been wider? Well, I must say it again. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
A leading American Jewish advocacy organization praised Donald Trump’s speech to Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, saying the president had demonstrated “refreshing honesty…in describing the Islamist extremist threat that developed in the Middle East years ago.”
“We agree that the fight against Islamist extremism is a battle between the forces of good and decency, on the one hand, and evil and a death cult, on the other, and that victory depends, above all, on what Arab and Muslim nations do to counter and defeat this violent, deadly scourge,” said David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), in a statement.
Trump issued an urgent plea to the leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries to join a “coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.”
Trump pointed out to his hosts that “in sheer numbers, the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations. They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence.”
Trump pointedly included organizations other than ISIS on his list of terrorist organizations.
On Sunday, President Trump gave a well-received speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The speech was praised by both the right and left: by the right for its focus on the problem of terrorism, by the left for its restraint.
Now, here is my admittedly unpopular take: the speech was a break from Obama’s nasty habit of ripping America publicly and blaming America for the problems of the Muslim world. But other than that, it was empty and largely pointless, and actually hinted more at American isolationism in the region than in involvement in helping to fight terrorism.
In essence, the speech offered nothing new.
Trump did mention “Islamic extremism.” He stated that fighting terrorism would mean “honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds.”
But then Trump walked it back. Trump reiterated that he did not believe there was a clash of civilizations. Instead, he said that Islamic extremism isn’t truly Islamic, or even related to Islam – it’s just evil that angers God, perpetrated by people who believe not in God but in death. That’s an old Obama chestnut.
Daniel Pipes: Trump’s Saudi Speech: Pretty Good
In Riyadh, on the first stop of his tri-monotheism tour that will take him to Jerusalem and Rome (sorry, Mecca was not available), Donald Trump gave a major speech on a wide range of topics – the Middle East, jihadi violence, Iran, an “Arab NATO,” and Islam. It’s a mixed performance, but overall positive.
First, what’s wrong with the 34-minute speech: It’s incoherent, jumping from topic to topic and then back again. It’s neither eloquent nor insightful (as in, “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death”). In places, it consists of Obama-like euphemisms, such as the statement that history’s great test stands before us, one goal that transcends every other consideration: “to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”
And it’s farcical to announce the opening in Riyadh, the headquarters of Wahhabism, of a “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.” I bristled at Trump calling Saudi Arabia “sacred land.” I gagged on the warm praise for King Salman, someone implicated in contributing tens of millions of U.S. dollars during the 1990s to finance jihadi violence in Bosnia and Pakistan.
The context of the speech is acutely worrisome: U.S.-Saudi agreements totaling over $380 billion grants a tyrannical regime added influence over Americans. The $110 billion Saudi purchase of U.S. arms makes a vast arsenal available to a government whose goals differ profoundly from those of most Americans.
These not inconsiderable reservations aside, it’s a good speech that signals a major shift in the right direction from the Obama years, particularly concerning Iran and Islam.
When it came to the core of his speech — the fight against terrorism — the president’s choice in words really mattered. He avoided phrases like “Islamic extremism,” but repeatedly made it clear that the U.S. would focus on the threats posed by “terrorists and extremists.” He carefully avoided the financial aspects of burden sharing — something all too necessary in a Saudi Arabia spending something like three times the percent of its GDP on defense as the U.S. and nearly six times the percentage of the average NATO ally.
But, he was perfectly clear about what he expected from the countries present when he said, “There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it … America is prepared to stand with you in pursuit of shared interests and common security … But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.”
He went on and said, “A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive them out. Drive them of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land. And drive them out of this earth … That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires … It means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians … . Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear … And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea: heroes don’t kill innocents. They save them.”
These are strong messages, but they are also ones that resonate throughout the Islamic world, and for the reasons the president also stated in his speech, “The deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations. They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence … Some estimates hold that more than 95 percent of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.”
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Sunday continued her first overseas trip since taking her current position with a visit to Za’atari camp, one of the largest Syrian refugee camps in Jordan.
Haley’s appearance, covered by CBS News and concurrent with President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia, reinforced her boss’s message of cooperation and friendship to Sunni Muslim states.
Haley’s visit to Jordan is part of her first major international trip as U.N. Ambassador. She will be visiting Turkey in addition to Jordan.
“At Za’atari camp in Jordan we enjoyed talking to Syrian refugee children about school, their favorite classes & their hopes for the future,” tweeted Haley, along with a picture from the camp.
Haley also visited a Jordanian school and the Ramtha border crossing, the site of U.N. aid delivery to war-torn Syria’s populace.
While Haley made her appearance at Za’atari camp, President Trump delivered a speech to the leaders of more than 50 Muslim-majority nations in Saudi Arabia. Although notably more conciliatory in its tone than many of Trump’s speeches on the campaign trail, Trump still made clear to the attendant leaders that they must “drive out” Islamic extremists and radical terrorists.
The Islamist Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip on Sunday rejected US President Donald Trump’s linking it to terrorism and said his description of the group showed his “complete bias” towards Israel.
Trump addressed the leaders of 55 Muslim countries in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and said they must take the lead in combating radicalization.
“The true toll of ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams,” the American president said in his speech.
“The statement describing Hamas as a terror group is rejected and is a distortion of our image and shows a complete bias to the Zionist occupation (Israel),” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.
On March 8, 2016, U.S. Army Veteran Taylor Force, a Texas native, was stabbed to death by an Arab terrorist while on a visit to Israel. The reaction to the murder of someone who risked his life for his own country by joining the U.S. military and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan should have been met with much more anger than it was.
Yet the U.S. still funds the Palestinian Authority (PA), while the PA refuses to denounce terrorism, funds terrorism and names schools and town squares after terrorists, whom they refer to as “martyrs” and “heroes.”
This begs the question: Why do we still fund this evil organization, which is nothing more than an offshoot of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which identified as a terrorist group led by Yasser Arafat? To solve this problem, both the House and Senate, led by Reps. Doug Lamborn and Lee Zeldin and Sen. Lindsey Graham, introduced legislation, appropriately called the Taylor Force Act, to stop taxpayer money from funding the PA until it stops funding terrorism and stops paying surviving family members of suicide bombers. These three men were joined by Senators Ted Cruz, Roy Blunt, Tom Cotton, and the act was cosponsored by Sens. Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, John Boozman, Richard Burr and John Thune.
Americans should not be subsidizing terror, especially when it directly affects Americans who risked their lives to protect us. Subsidizing a government that itself subsidizes terror is a slap in the face to Israel and in this case, an affront to our own servicemen.
The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 16, 2017.
We should pass the Taylor Force Act.
Earlier this month, at the Jerusalem Post’s annual conference in New York, columnist Caroline Glick defended presidential adviser Sebastian Gorka from defamation and shone a spotlight on the hypocrisy of the left.
Gorka, a former Breitbart editor, has been targeted by false allegations of antisemitism by left-wing critics.
Glick delivered the conference’s final address, and was met with roaring applause several times during her talk.
“We have to challenge and confront and oppose our enemies here in the United States and throughout the world,” Glick said, adding, “and I fear that today, in the Jewish community in the United States, there is an alarming unwillingness to do both of those things.”
Glick went through a history of “Jews by birth playing very destructive roles for the Jewish community. We saw it throughout the Middle Ages, certainly in Europe,” and said, “[T]oday we have a situation in the Democratic Party where, to the side of extraordinary friends of the Jewish people like Congresswoman Grace Meng, we have a rising star by the name of Linda Sarsour.”
Caroline Glick at the 2017 Jerusalem Post Annual Conference
The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned this morning’s election of Sudan as Vice-Chair of the U.N. committee that accredits and oversees the work of non-governmental human rights groups at the world body, noting that the Khartoum regime persecutes human rights activists, while its leader, Omar al-Bashir, remains wanted for genocide at the International Criminal Court.
“Electing Sudan to oversee the work of human rights activists at the U.N. is like picking the fox to guard the henhouse, as he is still wiping the feathers off his mouth from his last meal,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
“This election is absurd, and casts a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole,” said Neuer.
The diplomat elected to represent Sudan on the committee was Mr. Hassan Idriss Ahmed Salih.
“It underscores the degree to which this vital committee—which has the power to suspend the U.N. credentials of human rights groups—has been hijacked by the world’s worst dictatorships.”
Rogues’ Gallery Includes Iran, China, Russia, Turkey…
Neuer noted that a majority of the 19 member states are regimes that are hostile to human rights activists, including Iran, Burundi, China, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela.
Shortly after the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967, Ronny Naftaniel was soliciting donations on the street and putting a lot of money into a box emblazoned with the words “for Israel.”
An Amsterdam Jew who was 19 that year, Naftaniel was one of many pro-Israel activists across Western Europe who collected the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars from individuals supportive of Israel in its fight against Arab neighbors who were widely perceived as the more powerful aggressors.
In Holland especially, the war triggered a popular mobilization by ordinary citizens that featured massive blood drives, group prayers at churches, solidarity rallies and a bumper sticker campaign that was so successful that for a time it rendered ubiquitous the slogan “I stand behind Israel.” Dutch corporations and trade unions mobilized their members to raise millions for Israel.
“There was a genuine anxiety in society for Israel’s fate and relief when it prevailed,” recalled Naftaniel, the longtime head of the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel until his retirement in 2012. “Both led to extraordinary affection and goodwill, also in the media. It was universal and unifying.”
Today, however, Israel is a divisive issue in the Netherlands and across Western Europe, where the mainstream media occasionally question Israel’s very right to exist amid criticism over its perceived occupation of Palestinian land captured in 1967. On the street, expressions of solidarity with Israel often invite attacks by pro-Palestinian Muslims and the left, and are dwarfed by mass demonstrations against Israel that regularly feature anti-Semitic chants.
The Los Angeles Master Chorale, the city’s most prestigious classical music organization after the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra with which LAMC regularly performs, on March 26, 2017 commemorated composer John Adams’ 70th birthday at Walt Disney Concert Hall with selections from his works including the “Chorus of Exiled Palestinians” and “Chorus of Exiled Jews” that open Adams’ “The Death of Klinghoffer” opera.
The creation of Adams and librettist Alice Goodman (pictured above), the opera premiered in 1991. Additional stagings have been few in number due in part to its controversial nature. The plot of the opera is based on an actual event – the 1985 murder of a 69-year-old disabled American Jew, Leon Klinghoffer, a passenger, with his wife Marilyn, celebrating their 36th wedding anniversary, on the Achille Lauro Italian cruise ship. Klinghoffer, confined to a wheelchair, was shot in the head and dumped into the Mediterranean Sea by Palestinian Arab terrorists who had hijacked the ship. The opera persists due in part to homage paid by some to composer Adams, a Los Angeles luminary.
The opera’s story line can be characterized fairly as “Understandably aggrieved Palestinian Arabs wreak vengeance on Jew standing in for all his perfidious co-religionists.” This is the opera’s obscene inversion of the reality that was a cruise ship hijacking and subsequent murder of an American Jew by Arab terrorists.
The words of the opera’s opening choruses set the tone for the opera. The opera begins with the “Chorus of Exiled Palestinians.” The words describe the Palestinian Arabs as righteously angry, helpless victims of the Jews who steal their land and wreak death and destruction upon them. They declare that ultimately their faith (Islamic) will help them to punish and defeat the Jews.
Members of Berlin’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) passed a resolution on Saturday in support of Israel, condemning the boycott,divestment,sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting the Jewish state.
The SPD’s 17,500 member organization declared at their convention that “they oppose the antisemitic BDS campaign” and “condemn sharply widespread anti-Zionist antisemitism.”
The resolution said the SPD Berlin “stands in solidarity with Israel, and the recognition of Israel’s right to exist and self-defense are for us non-negotiable.”
The pro-Israel document was introduced by the youth organization of the SPD Berlin–Jusos–and stated they will “fight against every form of antisemitism.” The SPD members committed themselves to stop every form of cooperation with associations and supporters of the BDS campaign. The vote to support the anti-BDS resolution was unanimous.
“We call on SPD members to not participate in BDS campaigns or in events, exhibits and demonstrations that support BDS,” wrote the SPD Berlin. The social democrats added that in the future they will address BDS campaigns in different states and regions.
A group of 74 Palestinian employees will be returning to work at SodaStream, after the government rescinded their work permits more than a year ago.
“SodaStream is our second home,” Ali Jafar, 42, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
“When you have the opportunity to return home, you return.”
After years of loyal work at the company – and hours of daily travel – Jafar and his Jerusalem-area Palestinians colleagues received notice in February 2016 that the government would no longer be renewing their entry permits. Last week, however, they learned that their permits were finally being renewed – and that they would likely be able to return to the company’s Negev Desert factory within just a few weeks.
“If you like someone, you have to go to him wherever he lives,” said Jafar, who worked for SodaStream for three years.
The Palestinian employees had originally worked at the company’s former headquarters in the West Bank industrial zone of Mishor Adumim, near Ma’aleh Adumim.
The interim president of the City College of New York (CCNY) has apologized to a top Israeli diplomat and announced the establishment of a committee to investigate a student disruption at a recent lecture by the official.
On Friday, Vincent Boudreau stated that he had reviewed footage from Israel’s Consul General in New York Dani Dayan’s May 11 lecture — during which Dayan was heckled by members of CCNY’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter and others, including the then-incoming student government president Safat Chowdhury — and that he had found Dayan “was not treated respectfully last week by our campus community.”
“In viewing these tapes, I believe that the campus community, and I as its representative, owe the Consul General an apology. He was an invited guest of the college and the representative of his nation and merits respect on both counts. He was not treated respectfully last week by our campus community, and I apologize for that,” wrote Boudreau. He also pledged to take the investigating committee’s findings “on what course of action to pursue, including disciplinary actions, very seriously.”
These comments marked a turn-around from Boudreau’s initial statement following the Dayan incident, in which he spoke in favor of academic freedom, but did not refer to the Consul General by name and described him only as “a well-known advocate of expanding Israeli settlements in the contested territories, a position that generates great opposition and anger among some in our community.”
What I did on my spring break.
Being a highly educated, very well-informed, open-minded millennial I am an expert in the horrors of the Israeli occupation of very Arab, non-Jewish places like Hebron, Bethlehem, Shiloh and Bet-El. So when I heard that the Center for Jewish Nonviolence was seeking volunteers to help the downtrodden, extremely indigenous, non-colonial, non-violent Palestinians shake off the brutal occupation, I knew I had to sign up. My boss at the organic seaweed reclamation project was very supportive as was my spirit guide at Lotus Yoga Studio.
My Yoga spirit guide (photo above) totally supported my trip to Palestine.
We arrived at Ben Gurion Airport this past Sunday in the dark heart of occupied Palestine, I engaged in a 1/2 hour hunger strike in solidarity with jailed Palestinian terrorists political prisoners. Soon after, I purchased a culturally appropriated Falafel and then our enlightened cohort were transported to Hebron, where about 500 Jews dare live (totally ruining the neighborhood).
Illegal Jewish settlers. Horrible people, horrible
We were informed upon our arrival that the occupation forces hate movies and movie theaters, with a special dislike for anything with Meryl Streep. Our first act of solidarity would be to build a movie theater for the entertainment deprived locals. This was confusing to me, as none of our group have any construction experience and there are gleaming multiplexes in Ramallah. But since there was not enough room in my baggage for both Matcha fair trade, powdered green tea and critical thinking, I decided to leave my critical thinking at home.
Our Palestinian hosts directed us just past a prominent notice that read Closed Military Zone, Entry Forbidden’. There we found a filthy abandoned warehouse with a hand written sign that said “Cinema Hebron Coming Soon”. Funny, I thought to myself, wasn’t this warehouse cleaned up by courageous, resilient American Jewish activists last summer? I guess it takes a long time to build a movie theater.
As our group of brave and not naïve American Jews toiled in the soon to be theatre, our Palestinian guides were so overjoyed I could hear them giggling just on the other side of the wall.
The near-lynching of a Jewish motorist on Route 60 Thursday, when Arabs converged on a trapped driver, was reported by the New York Times under the headline Israeli Fires on Palestinian Protesters in the West Bank, Killing One, drawing widespread condemnation and calls for the paper to issue an immediate, unequivocal retraction.
Rabbi Elchanan Poupko, Fellow at the Institution for Advanced Research in Jewish Law at Yeshiva University and is the founding editor of The YU Lamdan and family friend of the one who was attacked, issued the following demand:
“Dear Mr Baquet and Editorial Board of the New York Times,
“After hearing and seeing the video of my dear friend’s son nearly lynched to death by a Palestinian mob, I was shocked to see your article portraying him as a murderer and withholding information from your readers.
“The Israeli, (whose father lives here in NYC and is considering legal options against you…), was driving through Hawara in the West Bank, when he was surrounded by a mob for a premeditated attack (evident by all the press who were invited and present). Thankfully he had protective windows so the stones who were suddenly hurled at him didn’t kill him in the first minute.
“The Palestinians then used a Red Crescent ambulance to block his path of escape which is when he drew his weapon and fired.
“After dealing with this horrible trauma, he and his father needed to wake up the next day to this libelous headline: “Israeli Fires on Palestinian Protesters in the West Bank, Killing One”, portraying him as a murderer.
New York Times Downplays Clash as Demonstration
The New York Times downplays a Palestinian attack in an incident Thursday that ended with an Israeli settler shooting dead one of the Palestinians who bombarded his car with rocks. The Times’ online headline states that the Israeli fired on Palestinian protesters and ignores the Palestinian rock-throwing, as if the Israeli fired on demonstrators doing nothing more than waving flags:
Similarly, the print edition headline is “Protester Is Shot Dead By Settler in West Bank.”
The article’s first three paragraphs refers to “demonstration,” “protest,” “demonstrators” or “protesters” a total of six times to describe violent clashes in which Palestinians attacked soldiers and/or civilians with rocks:
An Israeli settler whose car was caught up in a pro-Palestinian street demonstration in the West Bank on Thursday opened fire on the protesters, killing a 23-year-old Palestinian man and wounding a news photographer.
The protest, held in support of Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike that has now lasted 32 days, was one of several marred by violence recently.
At a protest near the city of Ramallah on Thursday, Israeli soldiers fired on demonstrators, wounding one Palestinian. The day before, a settler fired a gun at protesters blocking roads near Ramallah and throwing stones; a 19-year-old Palestinian was injured in that episode.
Though the second paragraph does refer to “several [protests] marred by violence,” it fails to indicate that in the deadly incident Thursday Palestinians used violence, while the preceding paragraph did note the Israeli shooting, which was the result of the unmentioned Palestinian attack.
It’s a common error in the media that HonestReporting has got corrected on numerous occasions – the misconception that Jerusalem’s Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site.
In fact, the holiest site in the world for Jews is the Temple Mount, the location of the First and Second Jewish Temples.
For the last several hundred years, Jews have prayed at the Western Wall because it was the closest accessible place to Judaism’s holiest site and is the holiest site that Jews are allowed to pray. (It is forbidden for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount in order to maintain the delicate status quo on the site that is administered by the Muslim Waqf. This in addition to conflicting interpretations of Jewish law as to whether prayer is allowed there today.)
The error is important as it reinforces Palestinian efforts to delegitimize Jewish historical ties to the Temple Mount.
It’s disturbing then to see Peter Beaumont, an experienced journalist for The Guardian, make this error not once but three times (so far) in the space of two days.
Yolande Knell also produced an audio report on the same topic which was broadcast on the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ on the same date. In that report (from 17:50 here) she told listeners that:
“Behind this power crisis is an internal power struggle between the main Palestinian factions. […]
Most recently the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mr Abbas, said it will no longer pay for electricity supplied by Israel to Gaza while Hamas remains in charge.”
Listeners also heard a UN official say:
“We have warned all sides that a political solution needs to be found to this crisis and the only reasonable political solution is to in fact work on returning Gaza to the control of the legitimate Palestinian authorities – the government.”
Particularly noteworthy is the fact that in neither of these reports did Knell promote the lazy, inaccurate but previously much touted notion that Israeli security measures are to blame for the crisis.
While that adherence to accurate journalism without misleading distractions is clearly welcome, it does of course highlight the question of why promotion of that misinformation has been standard practice in so much previous BBC reporting on this topic.
A leader of Bulgarian Jews condemned his country’s deputy prime minister, who said jokingly that he may have behaved inappropriately when visiting a former Nazi concentration camp.
Valeri Simeonov, vice-president of the United Patriots and Bulgaria’s deputy prime minister, told the Sega newspaper on Tuesday he and some his friends may have taken spoof pictures of themselves in Buchenwald during the 1970s.
Simeonov, 62, said this in downplaying the significance of a political scandal that earlier this week forced a member of Simeonov’s party, Pavel Tenev, to resign from the position of deputy minister. Tenev had been photographed performing a Nazi salute at a Paris museum while standing next to mannequins dressed in Nazi uniform.
Dismissing Tenev’s actions as harmless buffoonery, Simeonov recalled traveling with his friends in the 1970s to Buchenwald, the former Nazi camp in Germany, where the Nazis killed more than 43,000 people, including dissidents, Soviet prisoners of war and many Jews — before almost all Jewish inmates were transferred to Auschwitz in Poland.
An enclave of former summer bungalows, where Nazi sympathizers once proudly marched near streets named for Adolf Hitler and other Third Reich figures, is being forced to end policies that limited ownership to people of German descent.
The German American Settlement League, which once welcomed tens of thousands in the 1930s to pro-Nazi marches at Camp Siegfried on eastern Long Island, has settled an anti-discrimination case brought by New York state. The settlement calls for a change in the league’s leadership and adherence to all state and federal housing laws.
Many residents in the tiny community of about 40 homes that is a small part of the rural hamlet of Yaphank declined to speak on the record, but those who did disputed their community is tainted by discrimination.
“There’s a mixed bag; it’s not like it was,” said Fred Stern, a member of the league’s board and a 40-year resident, who conceded the community was once primarily occupied by those of German descent. “It’s not like whatever they’re saying. If you went to every house and asked people’s nationality, it wouldn’t be any different than any other neighborhood.”
Fliers described as anti-Semitic were dropped in front of homes in Bozeman, Montana.
The incident Saturday morning is the second this month, though the actual fliers were different.
The Bozeman Police Department received several phone calls about the fliers, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. It is not clear whether the same person or group is responsible for the second distribution of fliers, which was not as extensive as those on May 6, Bozeman Police Department Sergeant Hal Richardson told the local newspaper.
“It’s not the same flier as before, but is anti-Semitic; the tone is the same,” Richardson said.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: World Premiere of Music Video “The Mount And I”
Move over boy band One Direction. There are some new men (and women) to get us swooning. In my new Temple Mount music video based on the One Direction song “You & I”, I once again feature the hot, brave “Students of the Temple Mount” who make the pilgrimage to the Temple Mount weekly to fight for religious freedom and Jewish prayer there, despite harassment and even violence they face from the Waqf jihadists who hold the key to the Temple Mount, courtesy of the Israeli government.
The video comes just in time for Jerusalem Day and President Trump’s visit to Israel. Now let’s hope Muslim band member Zayn Malik likes it, but he should know that as long as Jerusalem is united, with the East direction in Israel’s hands, little girls all over the world could continue to freely worship him and his bandmates. #LetJewsPray
The walls of the Old City of Jerusalem were bathed in the blue and white of the Israeli flag on Saturday night, as Israel entered a week of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city.
The eve of May 23 marks the beginning of Jerusalem Day, which commemorates that capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, reuniting the city and bringing the Temple Mount and Western Wall back under Jewish control.
During Saturday night’s event, a sound and light show was projected onto the walls of the Old City, including the Israeli flag and iconic images from the war.
It’s the start of a busy week for the city, which is also bedecked in American flags as the country gears up to host US President Donald Trump, who is due on Monday.
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