Ben-Dror Yemini: Kushner is repeating the same mistake
John Kerry, who served as US Secretary of State under former US President Barack Obama, claimed more than once that poverty leads to terror. We’ll give the poor economic prosperity, he thought, and the level of terror will drop. If anyone thought that the Trump administration had changed direction – the “deal of the century” proves that nothing has changed.
The economic workshop, to be held this week in Bahrain, is proof. We’ll give the “Palestinians” economic prosperity, says Jared Kushner, who leads the Trump administration’s peace deal staff, and the level of enmity will drop.
Both Kerry and Kushner, along with many others, should know that this is an illusion. The poor in Africa do not choose terror. There are millions of poor people in Nigeria. They don’t choose terror. And among the “Palestinians” as well, those who choose violence are not necessarily poor.
The city of Shechem (Nablus) has enjoyed relative prosperity in recent years, thanks to the buying power of Israeli Arabs. Has it changed anything for Zakaria Zubeidi? After all, in recent years he has enjoyed status and is well-to-do financially. But he went back to terror. Because the brainwashing and incitement are a lot stronger than the options of money and prosperity. All the mass terror attacks in the US were carried out by successful, middle-class Muslim youth. Did any of that prevent them from choosing terror? (h/t IsaacStorm)
President Trump should not allow the euphoria that swept the world following the 27 November 2007 Annapolis Conference to infect the Manama Conference being jointly hosted by himself and Bahrain on 25-26 June.
Yet his just released 40 page document “Peace to Prosperity” threatens to do just this – offering US$6.5 billion in Grant and Equity Funding and Concessional Funding to carry out a variety of programs in Judea and Samarai (aka ‘West Bank’) and Gaza including:
– Starting Equity-Matching and Lending Facilities
– Border Crossing Points Upgrade
– Power Plant Upgrades
– Tourism Lending Facility and Site Rehabilitation
– New Palestinian University
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s closing remarks at Annapolis were brimming with hope:
“The conference began with the joint announcement by Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas that they will begin negotiations to establish a Palestinian state and to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace with the goal of concluding an agreement by the end of the year 2008”
Under their Joint Understanding Olmert and Abbas committed:
“…to immediately implement their respective obligations under the Performance-Based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, issued by the Quartet on 30 April 2003 (hereinafter, “the Roadmap”) and agree to form an American, Palestinian and Israeli mechanism, led by the United States, to follow up on the implementation of the Roadmap”
Palestinian officials on Sunday stepped up their attacks on the economic portion of the US administration’s Middle East peace plan, calling it “Balfour Declaration No. 2” – referencing the 1917 public statement by the British government announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
Meanwhile, Palestinian factions called for launching three days of protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip against the US-led Bahrain economic conference, which is expected to be launched in Manama on Tuesday. The factions and Palestinian officials in Ramallah expressed disappointment over Jordan’s and Egypt’s decision to participate in the conference despite Palestinian calls to boycotting it.
“Day after day, the reality of the American intentions and attitudes against the Palestinian people and their rights are exposed,” the PA Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Referring to the unveiling of the economic plan by the White House on Saturday, the ministry said it was US President Donald Trump’s “ominous declaration, or Balfour Declaration No. 2.”
The PA ministry accused the US administration of denying the existence of the Palestinian people and dealing with them as a “group of people.”
It said that the US economic plan, called “Peace to Prosperity,” was an extension of the US administration’s political bias in favor of Israel. “This plan does not mention the economy of the Palestinian state and its components, but is trying to whitewash the occupation and settlements,” the ministry added.
Tensions Rise Over US-Led Bahrain Peace Workshop
GUESTS: IDF LT. COL. (RES) Alon Eviatar – Palestinian Affairs Expert, FMR. COGAT Advisor and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti – Leader of Palestinian National Initiative discuss the Israeli Palestinian tensions amid the upcoming Bahrain US-lef Bahrain conference.
The EU again in June donated 15 million Euro to the Palestinian Authority (PA). As Palestinian Media Watch has exposed, this is the second such donation.
The announcement of the donation, exposes both the EU’s open bias against Israel and its immoral support of the PA’s “Pay for Slay” policy.
Referring to the donation, deputy EU Representative Tomas Niklasson explained, “We understand the financial crisis that the Palestinians are experiencing … The EU has been in contact with both sides and … expressed our clear expectations that the governmental economic and financial agreements between the Israeli and Palestinian sides must continue to be fully implemented, including the Israeli obligations according to the Paris Protocol.”
When Niklasson says that the EU understands “the financial crisis that the Palestinians are experiencing” Niklasson, in the name of the EU, is ignoring the fact that the PA “financial crisis” is actually self-imposed, because the PA is refusing to accept nearly 165 million Euros a month that Israel has been transferring to the PA. This refusal is a direct result of the PA decision to prioritize paying salaries to terrorists at the expense of its law-abiding employees and the health of the Palestinians, including a 7 year-old undergoing cancer treatment in Israel.
Furthermore, it is shameful that Niklasson focuses solely on the implementation of the “Israeli obligations,” but ignores the fact that the PA is breaching its express commitments in the agreements that form the basis for the economic agreements.
The question thus quickly becomes: What does the administration do next?
Armed with this vision of a better Palestinian future, and assisted by some of its wealthier regional allies, does the US seek to bypass the rejectionist PA and nurture an alternative Palestinian leadership? At this stage, that path seems highly implausible; credible Palestinians ready, willing and able to defy the PA are in short supply.
Does the administration have a backup strategy, therefore — a path forward that it has wisely developed in the certain knowledge that Abbas would not prove a willing partner? One would like to assume that the answer to this is yes, except it is devilishly hard to imagine what that path would look like.
Alternatively, then, will we sooner or later see the president lambaste the Abbas leadership, make a dramatic show of throwing up his hands, and allow Netanyahu to move ahead with his promised gradual annexation of settlements — already semi-endorsed by Ambassador David Friedman and Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt?
If the latter, then the administration would not merely be eschewing the “two-state” formula. It could be setting a course for a one-state disaster in which Israel and the Palestinians are at once deeply at odds and inextricably intertwined, and Israel’s essential Jewish-democratic nature is imperiled.
The plan notably steers clear of terms such as Palestine, statehood, two-state solution, Jewish state, settlements, occupation or annexation. It mentions Israel only six times, and only in the context of countries neighboring the “West Bank and Gaza”; the text avoids using the term “the Palestinian territories” and also does not mention Areas A, B, and C in which the West Bank is currently divided, in accordance with the Oslo Accords.
The second part of the plan, which will deal with the conflict’s core issues such as borders and security, is supposed to be revealed at a later stage (presumably toward the end of the year, after a new Israeli government has been formed).
Still, the Peace to Prosperity plan, the details of which will be discussed in great detail at the coming week’s economic workshop in Bahrain, does include some implicit criticism of Israel, and hints at policy recommendations that may not please everyone in Jerusalem.
For instance, Kushner’s plan supports “steps to improve Palestinian cooperation with Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, with the goal of reducing regulatory barriers to the movement of Palestinian goods and people.”
That could mean policies that necessitate the removal of Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza, and getting rid of roadblocks and other constraints on freedom of movement.
“The Palestinian people routinely encounter logistical challenges in the West Bank and Gaza, impeding travel, stagnating economic growth, reducing exports, and stunting foreign direct investment,” the document states.
According to Blue and White co-leader Yair Lapid, this part of the plan is a “direct message to the Israeli government that it will also have to make some serious concessions.” Lapid wrote on Facebook: “We need to make clear in advance that any concessions are conditional upon the freedom of action of the IDF in the West Bank remaining intact.”
(A 96-page document providing more details about the plan’s various projects can be found here (pdf).)
The economic plan’s 40 pages enthusiastically endorse expressions of Palestinian identity, from Palestinian desserts to universities, and hint at political outcomes that could upset Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to forge a coalition with parties to the right of his Likud Party. Not mentioned, however, is Palestinian statehood.
In addition to the Gaza-West Bank link, which would inevitably cross Israeli territory, there are proposals to register Palestinian ownership of land and to allow Palestinian farmers greater access to water and arable land.
These outcomes would put Netanyahu in a tough squeeze: He has been unremitting in his embrace of Trump, who has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, pulled out of an Iran nuclear deal Netanyahu loathes, defunded the Palestinians and effectively campaigned for Netanyahu in April’s election.
Kushner’s plan envisions $50 billion, to be disbursed on building infrastructure and capacity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as to promote trade and tourism partnerships with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, with portions of the funding to go to these countries.
Neither the 40-page plan nor the accompanying 96-page breakdown of how the money will be spent mention statehood. Kushner has said he doesn’t find the term useful, and David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, has said that the political portion of the plan will relinquish to Israel security control of the West Bank, suggesting that full Palestinian sovereignty was not on the table. Netanyahu has retreated from favoring a two-state outcome and has said he plans on extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Authority, which is boycotting the workshop this week in Bahrain, has rejected the plan unseen in part because it seems clear it will stop short of statehood and of a Palestinian claim to a portion of Jerusalem. The plan and its annex, which breaks down in detail where funds should go, do not mention Jerusalem at all.
In an implicit criticism of the Palestinian Authority, the plan says that funds will be administered by a multilateral development bank to prevent corruption and ensure transparency.
In line with US and IMF thinking, the plan advocates a free market including greater protection of property rights and a “pro-growth tax structure.”
With some $30 million in grants, the plan calls for the creation of a modern database to register land ownership.
The plan deliberately does not address a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, an outcome that has eluded diplomats for decades.
The Trump administration says the political component will be unveiled later this year, potentially in November after Israel holds elections and forms a government.
The Palestinians are deeply distrustful of Trump, who has taken a series of landmark decisions to back Israel including recognizing Jerusalem as its capital.
A cabinet minister and ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday questioned a key component of the Trump administration’s new Mideast peace plan.
Tzachi Hanegbi, minister for regional cooperation, said Sunday that the US proposal for a land link between the West Bank and Gaza Strip is “irrelevant” as long as the Hamas terror group controls Gaza.
The $50 billion economic plan, unveiled Saturday, calls for a travel corridor between the two Palestinian areas through Israel. It envisions the construction of a modern road and potentially a rail line to link the West Bank and Gaza Strip — touching on longstanding Palestinian concerns that the two territories, currently ruled by different factions, are not connected.
Israel, however, fears such infrastructure would be used by the Hamas terror group to funnel military materials into the territory to use against the Jewish state.
“It will be relevant when Gaza will stop being a pro-Iranian terror kingdom, meaning it’s irrelevant today and in the foreseeable future,” Hanegbi told Israel Radio.
Thousands protested Sunday in Morocco against a planned conference in Bahrain where the economic component of a US-led plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians is set to be unveiled.
Demonstrators gathered in the capital Rabat burned an Israeli flag near Morocco’s parliament and shouted “Death to Israel!” and “Death to the United States!”
The economic aspects of the US plan — dubbed the Peace to Prosperity workshop — are set to be discussed by attendees at a meeting in Manama on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Other slogans decried “Arab traitor regimes” for planning to attend the conference, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The US said on June 12 that Morocco would be one of several countries to attend the peace summit. Rabat has remained mum on the issue.
Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Sunday criticized the Trump administration’s $50 billion investment proposal, part of its Middle East peace plan, saying Beirut will not be “tempted” by money at the expense of Palestinians’ rights.
State-run National News Agency quoted Berri as saying that those who believe Beirut will be lured by billions of dollars at a time when Lebanon is passing through an economic crisis are “mistaken.”
The Trump administration on Saturday unveiled a $50 billion Palestinian investment and infrastructure proposal intended to be the economic engine to power its much-anticipated but still unreleased Middle East peace plan.
The 10-year plan calls for projects worth $6.3 billion for Palestinians in Lebanon, as well as $27.5 billion in the West Bank and Gaza, $9.1 billion in Egypt and $7.4 billion in Jordan. The projects envisioned are in the health care, education, power, water, high-tech, tourism and agriculture sectors, and the large sums for Jordan and Lebanon, countries with substantial Palestinian populations, are an apparent attempt to absorb refugees in these nations.
The scheme, which calls for a mix of public and private financing and intends to create at least a million new jobs for Palestinians, was posted to the White House website ahead of a two-day conference in Bahrain that is to be held amid heavy skepticism about its viability and outright opposition from the Palestinians.
On the eve of the US-led “Peace to Prosperity” conference in Bahrain, Arab finance ministers who met in Cairo on Sunday pledged a monthly financial security net of $100 million to support the Palestinian Authority.
However, the Arab ministers did not say when the funds would be transferred to the Palestinians.
A senior PA official in Ramallah welcomed the announcement, but said he was skeptical whether the Arab states would fulfill their pledge.
The ministers announced their decision at the end of an emergency meeting of the Arab League in the Egyptian capital to discuss the PA’s request for urgent financial aid.
The ministers affirmed their full support for the Palestinians’ political, financial and economic rights, according to a statement issued at the end of the meeting.
They also condemned Israel’s decision to deduct money from the Palestinians’ tax revenues in response to payments made by the PA to families of security prisoners and “martyrs,” dubbing it an act of “piracy.” The ministers called on Arab states to contribute to the Arab financial security net to help the Palestinians.
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit told the ministers that providing the financial security net to the Palestinians has become an urgent necessity in light of the difficult conditions faced by the PA.
Voices in the Arab world sharply rejected the Trump administration plan unveiled Saturday that would see $50 billion in economic benefits for the Palestinians as part of a larger proposal for regional peace.
The “Peace to Prosperity” scheme, which calls for a mix of public and private financing and intends to create at least a million new jobs for Palestinians, was posted to the White House website ahead of a two-day conference in Bahrain that is to be held despite heavy skepticism about its viability and outright opposition from the Palestinians.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday reiterated his rejection of the proposal and the conference.
An already tough sell that has vexed US administrations for decades is made tougher not least because US President Donald Trump and his aides have refused to endorse a two-state solution to the conflict — long seen by much of the international community as the only viable path to lasting peace.
Neither Israeli officials nor Palestinians will be attending the Tuesday-Wednesdar confab. Palestinians have refused to participate, or engage at all with the Trump administration, since it moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. Israeli ministers and other officials were not invited, though a business delegation will be attending.
Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab countries with peace deals with Israel, are sending mid-ranking officials from their finance ministries and not cabinet members to Bahrain.
The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority is experiencing tension with other Palestinian power centers in east Jerusalem, Jenin, Nablus, and Hebron, as well as with other Arab countries.
The PA has stopped financing east Jerusalem hospitals including Makassed and Augusta Victoria. Al-Quds University in east Jerusalem has requested to join Israel’s Council for Higher Education, leading the PA to fire lecturers from east Jerusalem. Former university president Sari Nusseibeh, known for advocating the integration of east Jerusalem with Israel, was appointed by Abu Dhabi as the head of an economic fund for east Jerusalem that has no connection with Ramallah.
Arab youth in east Jerusalem are still connected to Ramallah by the Arab cultural events it offers and its good restaurants, but PA officials in Ramallah see the visiting Israeli Arabs and residents of east Jerusalem as “corrupting” the spirit of struggle that the PA wants to nurture among younger Palestinians.
The PA was particularly incensed by the fact that on the “global day of rage” marking the transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018, east Jerusalem and Israeli Arab youths partied with drinking and dancing in the new West Bank town of Rawabi instead of attacking IDF checkpoints.
Another cause of tension involves Palestinian and Jordanian fears regarding the intentions of Saudi Arabia toward the Temple Mount. When an emergency delegation from the Waqf in east Jerusalem visited the Gulf and claimed that the Al-Aqsa mosque was in danger, the Gulf leaders answered, “No problem. If the Al-Aqsa mosque collapses, we will build a new one that is much nicer.”
This answer demonstrates that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries perceive the Al-Aqsa mosque as a rival to the holy city of Mecca and do not support it. Saudi Arabia does not provide any assistance to Jerusalem, and the Saudis prevented the Arab League from carrying out a decision to transfer $500 million to east Jerusalem.
While Mideast peace may seem further away than ever, senior officials in the water and environment sector have recently been gushing with surprising optimism.
Just as Israel’s relations with the Palestinian Authority seem to be sinking lower and US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” is deepening the rift, it looks like the greatest sewage hazard between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, neglected for many years due to the conflict, is nearing a historic solution.
It is an ongoing, odious fiasco: In the year 2019, the homes of at least 150,000 Jerusalem residents are not connected to a modern sewage system. The sewage of many East Jerusalem neighborhoods and several Jewish neighborhoods — including the area around the Old City and near Safra Square — flows, as is, without any kind of treatment, to the Kidron Stream.
The Kidron — which snakes its way eastward down the Jerusalem Hills in the West Bank, with many twists and turns, all the way to the Dead Sea — could have been a popular hiking site in a parallel universe. In the reality of the conflict, however, it features a cascade of feces spilling into the northern Dead Sea, near the West Bank settlement of Ovnat.
Residents of Ovnat have repeatedly complained about the black, foul-smelling stream. When I visited the area two years ago, the flow was so strong that a waterfall of sewage was formed. It is a spectacular sight until you understand what you are looking at.
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) June 23, 2019
Testimonies from Palestinians who suffered torture at the hands of the Palestinian Authority because they collaborated with or were suspected of collaborating with Israel are due to be presented to the International Criminal Court at The Hague on Monday.
Two years ago, Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori ruled that the PA was responsible for abuses against 52 Israeli and Palestinian citizens from Judea and Samaria that included murder, abduction, imprisonment, torture, and rape.
The ruling described horrific violations: the victims were subjected to electric shocks, being hanged upside down for long periods of time, having molten plastic being poured on their bodies, having their fingernails and teeth pulled out, forced sterilization, denial of sleep and food, and the murder and rape of their relatives. One account described how a premature baby related to one of the victims was intentionally removed from its incubator.
Following the ruling, the court ordered the PA to pay the plaintiffs compensation totaling 14 million shekels ($3.9 million) for denying them their liberty and an additional 1.5 million shekels ($410,000) in court costs.
The Jerusalem Institute for Justice and attorney Barak Kedem, who represented the plaintiffs in the Jerusalem District Court, joined forces in order to “show the world the brutality with which the Palestinian Authority treats its prisoners.”
On Monday, the filmed testimonies of the former prisoners are slated to be shown at the International Criminal Court. Attorney Uri Morad, head of the international law department at the JIJ, explained that “In February, we contacted the ICC at The Hague and asked for a criminal probe into PA President Mahmoud Abbas on suspicion of crimes he [allegedly] perpetrated against his own people, including an ongoing and extensive spree of murder, torture, and illegal imprisonments against the Palestinian population.
Some of these propagandists truly seem to come from the shallow end of the gene pool. https://t.co/jICDlhpK1A
— Ozraeli Dave (((דיויד לנג))) (@Israellycool) June 23, 2019
In his June 19, 2019, column in Turkey’s Yeni Safak daily, a mouthpiece of Turkey’s ruling AKP (Justice and Development) party, the paper’s editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Karagül, focused on the June 17, 2019 death of former Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi. The column was also published in translation on Yeni Safak’s English-language website.
Presenting Morsi’s death as an assassination, Karagül blamed it on a conspiracy by the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, calling them “hitmen” for the multinational forces behind them, primarily the U.S. and Israel. Linking this alleged conspiracy to the Jews, he added: “Those who crucified Christ and drove Prophet Muhammad from Mecca also martyred Morsi.”
Karagül went on to accuse Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed of, inter alia, launching a war against Turkey, involvement in the July 2016 attempted coup in Turkey, and attempting to assassinate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Implying that plots are now underway to assassinate President Erdogan, Karagül wrote: “We know that there are miscreants waiting in ambush to apply [the] Morsi scenario in Turkey!”
The column comes days ahead of a do-over of the March 2019 Istanbul mayoral election, after opposition CHP party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu defeated AKP candidate Binali Yildirim when it was first held on March 31. On May 6, the Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey decided to annul the election results for Istanbul but not for any other city, and set the date of the second election for June 23.
MB TV Host Moataz Matar at Turkey Rally: Morsi’s Fingerprint Has Been on Every Missile Launched by the Gaza Resistance pic.twitter.com/WkEAsfA5yM
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) June 23, 2019
US National Security Adviser John Bolton met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, amid ongoing tensions with Iran.
Netanyahu delivered his remarks, saying that the US has no better ally than Israel and vice-versa, adding that Bolton’s visit will only strengthen the relations between the countries to discuss ongoing threats in the Middle East.
“Those who believe that Iran’s aggression commenced just now is living in a different dimension; we have been countering Iran’s attempt to establish itself in Syria and assist Hezbollah,” Netanyahu claimed.
Bolton thanked Netanyahu for his leadership and friendship, and promised that the US sanctions on Iran will only grow, claiming that “Iran can never have nuclear weapons.”
Bolton also revealed that US President Donald Trump is looking forward to discussing the issues in the Middle East with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G20 summit.
Khamenei’s Defense Advisor Gen. Hossein Dehghan: If War Breaks Out, We will Erase Israel, Send America to the Garbage Bin of History pic.twitter.com/6DCugeXhFl
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) June 23, 2019
Remarks by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) last week, in which she compared Holocaust concentration camps to detention camps in which illegal immigrants are held by the United States Border Patrol, continue to spark outrage.
This weekend, the New York Times published an ad which read, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, stop desecrating the Holocaust.”
The ad features a picture of Jewish concentration camp prisoners next to a picture of the congresswoman, captioned: “Six million Jews were murdered in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. By comparing the United States to the Third Reich, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez disgraces their memory, our country and herself.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, has a strong socialist agenda and is the leader of an unofficial movement that targets President Donald Trump. She frequently attacks the US administration for its treatment of illegal immigrants, claiming that holding them in detention facilities near the US-Mexico border is “illegal.”
“Ocasio-Cortez’s trivialization of the greatest systematic murder in history is grotesque and repulsive,” read a statement from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and his organization, which claims to promote universal Jewish values.
AOC: Stop Politicizing the Holocaust
The Holocaust is not a partisan issue. It should not be used to score political points against any party or politician. Whether intentional or not, we must be sensitive to the connotations of the words we use.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is “insulting every victim of the Holocaust,” according to Holocaust survivors who spoke on camera in a Turning Point USA video released Saturday.
Two Holocaust survivors – David Tuck and Sami Steigmann – spoke on camera about their experiences in concentration camps.
“You have no concentration camps here,” Tuck, who endured four different concentration camps – Posen Stadium, Auschwitz, Mauthausen, and Gusen – said. He wondered why Ocasio-Cortez would dare make such a comparison.
“She’s looking out for herself. There must be a purpose, a reason. Why would she say it? She wants to be popular,” he said.
“For every ten Jews, nine were killed,” he continued. “I was lucky.”
The other survivor, Steigmann, survived labor camps and was “subjected to medical experiments.” He had a pointed message for Ocasio-Cortez.
“I went through it. How can you – looking at my face – tell me that the camps that they have in the south are concentration camps?” he asked.
“You are insulting every victim of the Holocaust,” he said. “Shame on you.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D., NJ) refused to rule out meeting with anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan during a faith breakfast in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday.
“I have met – I live in Newark so we have famous Mosque 25, we have Nation of Islam there,” the 2020 presidential candidate said. “As mayor I met with lots of folks talking to him. I have heard Minister Farrakhan’s speeches for a lot of my life, so I don’t feel like I need to do that, but I’m not one of these people that says I wouldn’t sit down with anybody to hear what they have to say. But, I live on a neighborhood where I’m getting guys on the streets offering and selling his works. I am very familiar with Minister Louis Farrakhan and his beliefs and his values.”
Farrakhan is a notorious anti-Semite.
In October 2018 he compared Jews to termites.
“I’m not mad at you because you’re so stupid,” Farrakhan continued. “So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you do what they do, call me an anti-Semite. Stop it, I’m anti-termite.”
In 1997, he argued Jewish influence in government repressed black Americans.
“I believe that for the small numbers of Jewish people in the United States, they exercise a tremendous amount of influence on the affairs of government,” Farrakhan said. “Yes, they exercise extraordinary control, and Black people will never be free in this country until they are free of that kind of control…”
He has also called Hitler a great man.
Join us this Sunday 11am, 8203 3rd av in Brooklyn to send that message loud and clear! pic.twitter.com/KIhdsRB4xk
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) June 21, 2019
Unless it’s a “retweets don’t = endorsement’ variety retweet, this raises serious questions about his objectivity pic.twitter.com/iDG7QhAaa0
— UK Media Watch (@UKMediaWatch) June 23, 2019
In December, we posted about an article at Sky News Arabia – a venture between UK-based Sky News and UAE-based Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp – which falsely claimed that the Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem never hired non-Jews “until recently”. In fact, as we demonstrated in our post, Beitar had at least one non-Jewish player in its ranks at any given time since the early 1990s, four of whom were Muslim. (Our previous post set the number on five. However one of them claimed to be Christian in a 2016 interview, even though he said to a local Jerusalem newspaper that he was of Muslim background about 15 years prior.)
Now, Sky News Arabia has published an article (“Fans of an Israeli team demand to change the name of ‘player Muhammad’”, June 11th) peddling a related falsehood about the hiring practices of the club:
“The Muslim name [of a player named Ali Muhammad, a Christian Nigerien player who signed with the club the previous day] is not welcomed by the fans of Beitar Jerusalem. [The club] is considered the most racist in Israel, not having a single Arab or a Muslim playing in its ranks throughout its history.”
Though the article is correct in observing that there have been no Arab players on the team, their claim that Beitar hasn’t had a single Muslim player is – as we noted above – completely untrue.
Few European officials would be pleased to hear that, during their tenure, “anti-Semitism has exploded.”
Least of all Katharina von Schnurbein, the German-born EU official who in 2015 was appointed as the European Union’s first coordinator on combating anti-Semitism.
But when the chief rabbi of Rome said the phrase, he meant it as a compliment.
Von Schnurbein’s relentless efforts generated headlines that drew considerable attention to the problem that she was hired to fight, amplifying its footprint in the media and government.
“Because we are looking into it, it is more visible,” she said during an interview Monday with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in this capital city during the inaugural international meeting of special envoys and coordinators combating anti-Semitism.
Indeed, some of the most shocking headlines about anti-Semitism in Europe since 2015 came from work promoted by von Schnurbein, who began working at the European Union in 2002 as a press officer.
Susie Linfield is the author of The Lions’ Den. Zionism and the Left from Hannah Arendt to Noam Chomsky, published by Yale University Press. Fathom editor Alan Johnson spoke to Linfield on 17 May 2019.
Part 1: Introduction
Alan Johnson: The book is a study of the often-tortured engagement of eight intellectuals of the Left with Zionism and Israel. There are chapters on two Europeans, Hannah Arendt and Arthur Koestler who came of age with the rise of Nazism; four socialists, Maxime Rodinson, Isaac Deutscher, Albert Memmi, and Fred Halliday; and two Americans, I.F.Stone and Noam Chomsky. Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us how you came to write about Zionism and the Left.
Susie Linfield: My political evolution is not that different from other people of my generation. I was born in 1955 and grew up in New York in a very political Left-wing family. I went through my own crazy political commitments. I had a big poster of Mao in my dorm room in my freshman year in college, but I was only seventeen, so forgive me for that. I was very enamoured with the Cultural Revolution whilst my father was a traditional Marxist. We would have big arguments.
I was not thinking that much about Israel and the Middle East at university, and in the nineties my focus was on Rwanda and Bosnia. In 2010 I published a book called The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence, which focused on photographs of political violence, and was inspired in part by those events. There was a chapter in that book on Robert Capa, the greatest left-wing documentary photographer of the twentieth century. It struck me that Capa – a Jewish refugee from Hungary – was very pro-Israel. In 1948, when the state was founded, he exulted in it, as did many of his colleagues, including Martha Gellhorn, Chim, and I.F. Stone. I realised that the Left that had come of age during the struggle against Fascism was deeply pro-Israel, both emotionally and intellectually: It was very excited about the state that Israel was creating and about the revival of the Jewish people, and it regarded Great Britain and the feudal Arab monarchies as the imperialists and the reactionaries of the Middle East. Yet today much of the Left considers Israel to be the great imperialist power of the Middle East. I began thinking about that sea change.
I knew that the 1967 War and the resulting occupation were part of that change, of course, but I also knew that that couldn’t be the whole story. For one thing, I knew that there had been a Marxist critique of Zionism well before 1967. Two, I knew that while the Left is rightfully critical of the egregious denial of human rights of the Palestinians, it has been very uncritical of countries with far worse human rights records, including Israel’s neighbours. And three, I knew that part of the Left’s critique of Zionism is that it’s a nationalist movement, and yet the Left, especially the New Left, had supported, indeed exalted, other nationalisms – Vietnamese, Chinese, Mozambican or Cuban etc.
I had become very dismayed by what I felt (and still feel) is the very strident and reductionist tone of debates about Israel. I suspected (and this turned out to be true) that the writers of these previous generations had had a far deeper and less reductionist analysis and engagement with Zionism and the conflict. So I went back to these writers to find out what the political conversation around Zionism and the Arab-Israeli conflict had been, starting in the 1930s.
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