State Department Is Broken
Among the many stories of internecine battles within the Trump administration is the supposed discord between the White House and the State Department. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is reportedly frustrated with White House vetoes of his staff picks, the encroachment of Trump aides and family in the traditional business of diplomacy, and resents Trump’s unprofessional attacks on colleagues. Critics both inside and outside the State Department have questioned his leadership style and judgment, and some foreign policy watchers have speculated that Tillerson may be “the weakest secretary of state ever.” Others have written about growing State Department dysfunction, as well as Tillerson’s brusqueness and incompetence.
The State Department may be broken but, even if Tillerson’s tenure has highlighted its problems, the dysfunction in the State Department is deep-seated and extends well before Trump’s antics and Tillerson’s questionable management style.
Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief-of-staff Lawrence Wilkerson, for example, was a conspiracy theorist who has peddled in anti-Semitic dog whistles and has since found himself on the Academic Board of the Ron Paul Institute. In hindsight, while Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage proved himself a serial leaker in efforts to win bureaucratic battles against the Pentagon, the sustenance for many of the more outlandish conspiracies appears to have come from Wilkerson.
A whiff of corruption surrounds Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department because of the Clinton Foundation and the diplomatic favors which foreign states apparently believed they could receive if they made a donation. But, beyond that, Clinton appeared to base her decisions about when and where to travel on personal vanity rather than strategic necessity.
National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is thwarting President Donald Trump’s foreign policy prescriptions, two former senior NSC officials told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes,” a former senior official said in a wide-ranging interview. “Trump wants to get us out of Afghanistan — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to get us out of Syria — McMaster wants to go in. Trump wants to deal with the China issue — McMaster doesn’t. Trump wants to deal with the Islam issue — McMaster doesn’t. You know, across the board, we want to get rid of the Iran deal — McMaster doesn’t. It is incredible to watch it happening right in front of your face. Absolutely stunning.”
One former official characterized McMaster as a “sycophant” of retired Army Gen. David Petraeus.
“I know that the president isn’t a big fan of what McMaster’s doing,” the former official declared. “I don’t understand why he’s allowing a guy who is subverting his foreign policy at every turn to remain in place.” he added.
The official continued that he expects a purge of “campaign Trump” loyalists to continue with particular intensity within the next two weeks.
Long-simmering tensions within the White House burst into public view this week after the firings of three National Security Council officials, resulting in National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster becoming Public Enemy No. 1 of the pro-Trump online brigades.
McMaster has cleaned house at the NSC over the past few weeks. Via his deputy Ricky Waddell, he fired director of strategic planning Rich Higgins last month over a memo Higgins wrote alleging a deep-state conspiracy against President Trump. McMaster then dismissed two top officials brought on by the previous national-security adviser, Michael Flynn: the NSC’s senior director for the Middle East, Derek Harvey, who was fired last week; and the senior director for intelligence programs, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who was let go on Wednesday.
“I’m watching the elephants trample the grass as they fight each other,” said one senior White House official. “There is some collateral damage when the elephants fight.”
The dismissals have shaken up the NSC during a period of tumult in the White House. Press secretary Sean Spicer recently quit in protest of Anthony Scaramucci’s installation as communications director. Scaramucci was himself fired because of a profane rant he delivered to a reporter about White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus, who was also let go. Priebus’s replacement, former Department of Homeland Security chief John Kelly, has begun to formalize the chaotic Trump White House, limiting staff members’ direct access to the president. His entrance also gives McMaster—who has been at odds with Trump and has battled in particular with Bannon—a powerful new ally.
US President Donald Trump has come to the defense of his embattled national security adviser, currently facing an onslaught of attacks from nationalist forces in the White House seeking his ouster.
Right-wing media targeted Gen. (ret.) H.R. McMaster in recent days by citing leaked anecdotes of him referring to Israel as “illegitimate” and an occupying power. McMaster is also dovish on Iran, according to these combative sources, who spoke largely with conservative journalists and commentators such as Breitbart and Conservative Review.
The Jerusalem Post could not independently verify these accounts. But a review of his statements on Iran turns up little evidence of support for rapprochement with the Islamic Republic. Israeli defense officials balked on Saturday at the suggestion that McMaster is somehow hostile to the Jewish state.
And a White House official notes that McMaster’s National Security Council has been a critical part of the interagency Middle East peace process currently led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser.
“General McMaster and I are working very well together,” the president said in a statement. “He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country.”
McMaster has visited Israel at least four times, according to his own accounting, including during Trump’s visit in May.
Israeli officials responded to mounting allegations that US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is anti-Israel, saying that these were blatantly false and he was a staunch supporter of the Jewish state.
“Anyone who meets McMaster among us and is in contact with him is constantly impressed by how pro-Israeli he is,” an unnamed Israeli security official told the Haaretz daily on Saturday. “The connection with him is excellent.”
The officials also noted that during US President Donald Trump’s recent trip to Israel, McMaster’s held a lengthy meeting with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, and highlighted his regular contacts with Defense Ministry officials.
On Friday, Trump pushed back against pressure to oust McMaster, stressing their solid working relationship.
In a volley of attacks from right-wing media, McMaster has been accused of being anti-Israel, having a short temper and collaborating with Obama-era officials.
According to some experts, the push for recognizing a Palestinian state within Australia’s Labor Party mirrors efforts by left-wing activists in other English-speaking countries to take a harder line against Israel.
The New South Wales (NSW) branch of Australia’s Labor party voted on July 30 to recognize the state of “Palestine.” The move was led by former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who called the effort a “historic shift,” and urged the broader Australian Labor party to adopt the position.
“As the oldest, the greatest, the biggest state branch we can’t afford to be stranded in history,” Carr said. “It is time now for another historic shift in Labor Party foreign policy. We must balance our just recognition of Israel with the equally just recognition of Palestine.”
The Israeli government has long opposed unilateral or third-party moves to recognize a Palestinian state, preferring to leave the matter to direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The NSW Labor vote in Australia comes amid similar opposition to Israeli interests among far-left elements in America’s Democratic party and the UK’s Labour party. The Labour Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has battled accusations of antisemitism.
Last year, Australia’s Pacific island neighbor, New Zealand, co-sponsored a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlement policy, and described eastern Jerusalem’s Jewish holy sites as “occupied Palestinian territory.”
The motion passed by Australia’s NSW Labor branch included a clause about the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in states with “secure and recognized” boundaries.
Jeremy Jones, director of international affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), said that while international affairs are the purview of the broader Australian Labor party rather than the NSW branch, grassroots supporters of the Palestinian statehood motion are hoping to gain momentum on the issue ahead of the Labor Party’s national conference next year.
A municipal council in a suburb of Australia’s largest city said it was not to blame for a decision to ban the construction of a synagogue because it could become the target of a terrorist attack.
In a statement Friday, the Waverley Council asserted that the decision to reject the synagogue was made by a local land use court, which said the congregation had not addressed the security concerns raised by the congregation in its development application.
“Waverley Council did not refuse this development application,” the council said. “It was a decision of the Land and Environment Court and confirms that a synagogue is a permitted use at this location.”
The Chabad congregation, known as Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, or FREE, sought to build a synagogue near the popular Bondi Beach in suburban Sydney. It called the application’s rejection, on the grounds that it posed a “potential risk to users and other members of the general public,” a reward for terrorism.
According to the council, FREE submitted a risk analysis report prepared by a counterterrorism consultant as part of its development application. The report described a number of potential risks and threats to the synagogue. The council noted that FREE sought a ruling from the Land and Environment Court, which ruled that the potential risks were not sufficiently addressed.
Terror and Memory
In place of intellectual and moral clarity, an anti-Zionist discourse began to take hold in the Federal Republic that turned reality on its head, discrediting Israel as fascistic and glorifying the terrorists as upright resistance fighters against colonial oppression and imperial domination. What made this anti-Zionist discourse and the participation of German left- and right-wing terrorists in the war against Israel possible was the superficiality of postwar Germany’s confrontation with its National Socialist past. In contrast to the way this is explained in current German history writing, that encounter with the Nazi past had not struck root as deeply or as broadly as had been hoped.
Anti-Semitism and racism, even if in a somewhat transmuted form, had real influence in Germany during the 1970s. Today, while left-wing terrorism may no longer exist, an anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist discourse is still supported in parts of society. And what has emerged even stronger than in the 1970s is a broadly supported right-wing populism and right-wing terrorist offshoots. There have been more than 1800 assaults on refugees and their accommodations in 2016 alone, while the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) gained up to 24 per cent in some federal states.
And today, how widespread and dangerous are the terrorist structures linked to political Islam? The question is controversial, as is the question of their influence among immigrants and refugees from Arab countries who have either recently arrived in the Federal Republic or are already long-standing German residents. These are matters of controversy not least because some of the warnings issued against the dangers of Islamism and terrorist networks drawing on political Islam have themselves become part of racist propaganda against Muslims in Europe. Nonetheless, the attacks in Paris, Brussels, Würzburg, Nice, Berlin, Manchester, and London, as well as the attacks in Israel, demonstrate the serious threat to the entire democratic world that is posed by Islamist terror. As in the 1970s, today ISIS, the state of Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas leave no doubt that their goal is the destruction of Israel and the democracies of the West. The federal government should learn from, and not repeat the mistakes of the 1970s: intellectual incuriosity, an appeasing spirit, and a rationalist naiveté that combined to ensure a failure to grasp the nature of the threat.
While the degree of support for radical anti-Zionism in South Africa is often wildly exaggerated – the government remains committed to the two state solution and a 2007 poll indicated that 28 per cent of South Africans side with Israel in the conflict as opposed to 19 per cent with the Palestinians – it does have many supporters among South Africa’s Muslim minority, the militants of the African National Congress (ANC), hostile to every form of ethnic politics, and in parts of the white progressive intelligentsia who claim to see in Israel an ‘apartheid state’. In this essay, Milton Shain maps the history and the contemporary dynamics of anti-Zionism in South Africa.
It should not have come as a surprise to South Africans when a few months after the UN General Assembly endorsed the Goldstone Report in 2009, African National Congress (ANC) stalwart Kadar Asmal called on the world to deny legitimacy to Israel. To be sure, for the chattering and intellectual classes in South Africa, both black and white, the word ‘Zionism’ has become synonymous with evil. While a small Muslim minority, less than 2 per cent of the total population, drives the anti-Zionist agenda, hostility is widespread and deeply rooted in the largely black ANC and among the white progressive intelligentsia.
HISTORY OF ANTI-ZIONISM
Muslim hostility goes back decades. As early as 1925, a local newspaper, Muslim Outlook, criticised ‘Jewish capitalists’ in Palestine for allegedly forcing Arab peasants off the land, and the Israeli War of Independence (1947-48) was described in the Muslim press as a catastrophe (Nakba). Further Israeli victories against Arab forces that culminated in the Six-Day War, exacerbated anger as South African Muslims shared in the humiliation of their Muslim ‘brothers and sisters’. Yet for the most part hostility was low key, below the radar and largely removed from ‘white’ awareness in what was a hermetically sealed apartheid society. From the 1970s, however, hostility moved more into the open as a new generation of Muslims challenged the relative conservatism of their elders. The Muslim Youth Movement established in 1970 and the Muslim Students Association established four years later presented a more radical message and rejected the more accommodating behaviour of the Muslim establishment.
A gallery of dictators and war criminals joined representatives from Western democracies — including the EU’s top foreign policy representative, Federica Mogherini — in Tehran on Friday, as Iran inaugurated President Hassan Rouhani for a second term in office.
At the top of the list of arrivals was Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe — whose serial human rights abuses led the European Union to place a travel ban on him in 2002. Several of Mugabe’s key aides have been named as Specially Designated Nationals by the US State Department.
A vocal supporter of Iran’s global ambitions, Mugabe’s crimes — which include torture, deliberately inflicting mass starvation, and genocidal campaigns against ethnic groups deemed insufficiently loyal to his regime — have been carefully documented by human rights groups for nearly forty years.
Alongside Mugabe was the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, Kim Yong-nam — a key lieutenant of dictator Kim Jong-Un. Among the events which Kim attended in Tehran was a dedication ceremony for North Korea’s new embassy in the Iranian capital.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour also attended the embassy ceremony, where he stressed the importance of expanding bilateral ties between Iran and North Korea and thanked his North Korean guest for his country’s support during the 1980-88 war with Iraq. North Korea and Iran continue to work together closely on ballistic missile development, regularly conducting tests using jointly developed technology.
The highest-ranking Democrat in Congress endorsed a bill on Friday that would cut off US funding for the Palestinian Authority over its compensation program for the families of convicted terrorists, virtually assuring the legislation’s passage through the Senate.
The bill is facing fierce opposition from PA leadership, which says that relations would deteriorate sharply should it become law. But Israel has lobbied in its favor, and the Trump administration has tacitly given its approval, with one White House official telling The Jerusalem Post that President Donald Trump supports the legislation in principle.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the bill, named the Taylor Force Act after a US Army veteran murdered in Tel Aviv last year, sends a message to the PA that the practice of funding the families of convicted terrorists must end.
“[Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas must be held accountable for the Palestinian Authority’s record of incitement and must stop subsidizing terror. It’s abhorrent that the Palestinian Authority provides payments to terrorists and families of those who have committed terrorist violence against Israelis and Americans and others,” said Schumer.
“I am a proud cosponsor of the Taylor Force Act because it aims to put an end to this disturbing practice, which only perpetuates the cycle of violence and undercuts the drive to peace,” he added.
Schumer’s endorsement virtually locks in support from his caucus, which began pouring in after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted affirmatively on a compromise version of the bill on Thursday. The latest version gives the PA time to change its “martyr” compensation scheme before funds are cut off. Several Democrats joined in support of the bill for the first time upon that vote.
So what’s going on here? Nothing good. As Seth Mandel, an editor with The New York Post, noted on Twitter the other day, these recent developments should be particularly worrisome to Jews because Booker isn’t an ideologue but a weathervane adept at determining which way the political winds are blowing. And for the Democrats, they’re blowing away from the Jews.
You can hardly blame the senators for thinking this way. When the largest progressive grassroots movement in years is led by a proud anti-Jewish bigot; when marches waving the flags of civil rights and equality ban the Star of David; when the media, academia, and human rights organizations are quick to single out Israel for opprobrium—in short, when the whole political bloc drifts leftward, a politician would have to be either very courageous or very foolish not to follow it.
Especially when so many Jewish institutions, lamentably, drift right along. AIPAC, for example, having failed miserably to stop the Iran deal, invests millions of dollars in reaching out to progressives, thereby violating the first principle of effective lobbying, namely the edict to always embrace your friends and fight your enemies. The ADL, which is busy churning out warnings against members of the alt-right, the alt-light and others right-wing operators, bothered commenting on the Taylor Force Act in passing, the organization’s first public mention of the legislation. And the Forward, until some years ago a respectable mainstream Jewish publication, just published a list of people who are a threat to the Jews, which includes, side by side, President Trump and the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah.
This is what ideological madness looks like, and, sadly, its infecting even politicians who used to be reliable and reasonable representatives of American Jewish interests. Given the way things are going, it’s hard to see the Democratic party being the natural political home of American Jews for much longer.
A new report by the UN’s counter-terrorism office claims that terrorists who travel to Syria and join the Islamic State are doing so out of “idealism” and to escape “stress” at home, but are not motivated by religion. “Enhancing the Understanding of the Foreign Terrorist Fighters Phenomenon in Syria,” the report released by the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism on July 27, 2017, attempts to rationalize the decision to become a terrorist and instead blames Western countries for radicalizing foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) who return from Syria.
Lowlights of the report include the following:
– The report claims that terrorists who join the Islamic State and fight on behalf of an Islamic caliphate are not motivated by religion: “Religious belief seems to have played a minimal role in the motivation of this FTF sample.”
– The report claims that terrorists who traveled to war-stricken Syria did not intend to become terrorists: “The respondents of this survey claimed they did not go to Syria with the intention of becoming a terrorist…”
– The report claims that terrorists are motivated by “idealism”: “FTFs are motivated by a diverse range of factors both in deciding to go to Syria and in deciding to return. Idealism and the hope for self-betterment take different forms…”
The condition of Niv Nehemiah — the 42-year-old Israeli man who was critically wounded by a Palestinian terrorist in a stabbing attack at a Yavne supermarket on Wednesday — has stabilized, but his life remains in danger.
Nehemiah is hospitalized at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
On Friday morning, Nehemiah’s family thanked the hospital staff and asked the public for continued prayers.
The terrorist — a 19-year-old Palestinian man from a village near Hebron who had entered Israel illegally — was arrested by police near the scene of the attack.
Three years after Operation Protective Edge, Hamas is readying itself for another round of violence with Israel, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Friday.
The Gaza Strip-ruling Islamist terrorist group is digging tunnels, conducting rocket tests and providing its fighters with extensive military training, the report said.
However, at the same time, according to Shin Bet data cited by nrg, the past year has been the quietest on the Israel-Gaza border in recent memory.
Israel, nrg said, believes that Hamas is not interested in an escalation at the moment, preferring to focus on building its strength. But, the report went on to say, the ongoing dire economic situation in Gaza could spark a new military conflict.
The goal of Israel, the report noted, is to keep Hamas weak and deterred.
Meanwhile, a delegation of senior Hamas officials arrived in Tehran on Friday to attend re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s inauguration.
A bill proposed in Israel’s Knesset to allow death sentences for terrorists won’t deter the Palestinians and resistance will continue, Palestinian officials have said in conversations with Breitbart Jerusalem.
A recent survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University showed that nearly 70 percent of the Israeli public supports death sentences for Palestinian terrorists. At the same time, Knesset member Nava Boker (Likud) presented a bill to apply the death penalty to Palestinians who have murdered more than one Israeli.
Representatives of Palestinian terrorist organizations said that the prospect of being sentenced to death won’t prevent Palestinians from carrying out attacks targeting Israelis.
Hamas official Husam Badran said, “All the laws of the Zionists are rooted in clear racism toward the Palestinians who are groaning under the yoke of the occupation and its laws. These laws, and especially this bill, show that this is an occupation that is devoid of moral codes.”
While preaching morality, Badran’s Hamas has carried out deadly suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks and advocates the destruction of Israel. Hamas has also been widely accused of using civilians as human shields.
According to Badran, “This bill, like other laws and bills, represents an admission from the occupation of its failure to handle the attacks carried out by young Palestinians and members of the resistance against the ongoing aggression against our people.”
A member of the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip drowned on Saturday.
According to Army Radio, the Palestinian was a 23-year-old from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.
Pictures said to be from the funeral were posted on Twitter.
Although no details of how the man drowned were given, the terror group has a naval commando unit, which it has sought to further develop since deploying it in the 2014 Gaza war.
In April, the Defense Ministry said it thwarted an attempt by Hamas to smuggle into Gaza wet suits for its naval commando unit.
The student parliament at the Goethe University in Frankfurt on Thursday condemned the BDS campaign for duplicating the Nazi-era movement’s boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses.
“The call by the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] campaign to boycott products from the parts designated ‘occupied territories’ of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Golan Heights stands clearly in the tradition of the national socialist Jewish boycott and the slogan ‘Don’t buy from Jews!”’ the student council wrote in its resolution.
The Left List (LiLi) and the Democratic List (DL) introduced the anti-BDS resolution at the university named after the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the state of Hesse. The university’s student enrollment is roughly 46,000.
“The call for an academic boycott is a severe attack on academic freedom. Therefore the BDS campaign has no business here,” said Johannes Fechner, the deputy chairman of students committee.
The resolution calls for “the end of cooperation with the BDS campaign, including advertisements, events or stands at the university and at other locations.”
The anti-BDS document said a boycott of Israeli educational institutions will lead to “a massive restriction of research and teaching of the Shoah and national socialism.”
An activist suspended by Britain’s Labour Party for, among other things, saying Jews led the slave trade, has accused the country’s top Jewish governing body of trying to shut down her one-woman show.
Jackie Walker, whose show “The Lynching” is to open Friday night as part of the Edinburgh Festival, accused the Board of Deputies of British Jews of attempting to have her show canceled, London’s Jewish Chronicle reported.
“The Board of Deputies attempts to have ‘The Lynching’ shut down,” Lynch wrote on her Facebook page Friday morning. “[I] thought traditionally Jews were against book burning.”
In an accompanying video she says: “This morning we were told that the British Board of Deputies have written to our venue to ask that they should close down the show.
“What I don’t get about these people is, if they are concerned, why don’t they just come and see the show? Why do they have to stop everyone else coming? You always have to ask why do organizations want people to be silenced?”
Board officials told the Jewish Chronicle that they had contacted the Edinburgh Council, which owns the venue where the performance will be held, to express its concern that “this performance [is] being held on publicly owned and funded premises.”
Notice the author (march organizer Bob Bland) isn’t rebutting anything Weiss claimed to be true, she’s just saying the attack hurts the narrative and divides progressives. After some more progressive unity blather, the author concludes by saying Weiss is an apologist for the “white nationalist patriarchy.”
For now, critics like Ms. Weiss are just critics from their seats. Until they get up, listen and do the work to understand those whose feelings have been shaped by injustices, they will remain apologists for the status quo, racist ideology and the white nationalist patriarchy.
Bari Weiss could really point to this response as exhibit A in her own defense. She used facts to accuse the march’s organizers of extremism. Their response is to call America a “dystopia” and accuse Weiss of siding with the “alt-right,” “racist ideology,” and the “patriarchy.” In fact, looking back, it’s clear that Weiss predicted this would be the response from the organizers:
I can already hear the pushback. What’s a few impolitic tweets and photos compared to the horror show of this administration?…Maybe I’ll be accused of siding with the alt-right or tarred as Islamophobic.
I’d say that pretty much nails it. When the march organizers couldn’t defend themselves on the facts, they went on the attack. Anyone who disagrees with their extreme views, including CNN’s Jake Tapper and the NY Times opinion editor, is instantly labeled alt-right. Hopefully, other women are waking up to the fact that the organizers really are extremists and their critics aren’t all racists in league with the patriarchy.
There were two elements of the paragraph that Carlstrom could have highlighted: the fact that many Israeli officials wished Erekat well and asked if they could help, or the fact that some “messages” aired on Israeli news sites “wished him a speedy death.” Carlstrom, of course, chose the latter.
However, if you open the link embedded in the Times article, you’ll see that the “messages” at “Israeli news sites” refers to the talk back section of Yedioth Ahronot — which is found beneath one article about Erekat’s health problems.
At the time of writing, there were 15 messages below the line. Our colleagues at Presspectiva (CAMERA’s Hebrew department) read all the comments, and it turns out that only one (number 6, שייתפגר כבר) wishes death to Erekat.
Of course, as anyone familiar with our work at UK Media Watch already knows, talk back sections at UK sites like the Guardian are often cesspools of hatred — in fact, there is often hate directed toward Jews beneath articles focusing on Israel. Whilst in the early years of this blog, we often criticzed Guardian comment editors for not removing antisemitic comments (some threatening violence) sooner, we never contextualized the ubiquity of such vitriol and incitement as a commentary on the views of the British people as a whole.
Carlstrom’s egregiously misleading tweet, reinforcing the dominant far-left view that Israeli society is lurching dangerously “right,” is a perfect example of the bias and advocacy journalism that informs British media coverage of Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The Times‘ true game, and that of its critic, is disclosed in full in the review’s concluding paragraph, which claims that Eichmann’s glass-enclosed courtroom cage “serves as a quiet commendation of the troubled institution built to prosecute the Eichmanns of our own age. That is the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which the United States — and Israel too — refuse to join.”
A more accurate word than “commendation” here would be “condemnation,” which means the opposite. Israel and America refuse to join that court because it was set up by their enemies as a trap to try to put Israelis and American government officials on trial for totally non-criminal actions they took to defend the security of their countries.
The Times is essentially claiming that the people that the International Criminal Court’s advocates would want to put on trial — Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Ariel Sharon, Richard Perle — are the Eichmanns of our age. Grotesque, false accusations of war crimes made against those who were actually defending the Jews and other innocents in Israel and America against terrorism demonstrate why justice is better left to free and democratic nation states like Israel and America rather than to unaccountable and unelected newly invented institutions such as The Hague. The Eichmann example, in other words, proves precisely the opposite of what the Times says it does.
The exhibit the Times reviews is at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan through December 22; feel free to use the money you save by canceling your Times subscription to go buy a ticket and see it. The Times review itself is a fine reminder of why such a museum, and such exhibits, sadly remain necessary. Perhaps the article could be clipped and added to the museum as an example of the kind of mindset that makes the Jewish state necessary to defend the Jewish people.
This USA Today piece has to be seen to be believed. It claims that palestinians have learned from their “non-violent” protests on the Temple Mount – which are non-violent if you ignore all that pesky violence.
Since the creation of the Jewish state seven decades ago, disputes between Israelis and Palestinians seem to begin and end with physical force and violence.
Let me stop here for a second. Note the passive construction of the first sentence – disputes between the two side entail violence. No mention of which side invariably starts the violence. Oh, and no mention of the fact the same side has started the violence well before the establishment of Israel seven decades ago.
Yet a recent confrontation over Israel’s security checkpoints at a Muslim holy site in East Jerusalem came to a resolution following a largely peaceful protest by thousands of Palestinians — and that outcome has not been lost to them.
I’ll interject here again. The journalist here is describing all the protesters as “palestinians”, even though they were also Israeli Arabs.
It was “the beauty of non-violence,” proclaimed Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the moderate Palestinian National Initiative party.
Note here the word “moderate” being deliberately used to describe the PNI, even though it supports the palestinian “Right of Return” to flood Israel, as well as the “right to resist occupation.”
You can say a lot of things about Louise Mensch, everyone’s favorite conspiracy theorist and unhinged internet troll, but you can’t accuse her of not knowing how to spin a good yarn. The author of novels like Venus Envy and A Kept Woman—the titles give you a pretty good idea of what’s inside—is a natural storyteller, a gift she’s been using lately on Twitter to convince her hundreds of thousands of followers that she is, as my friend Jamie Kirchick wrote, “perpetually on the cusp of exposing a massive conspiracy on the part of Russia, dating back decades, to make Donald Trump president of the United States.” Yesterday, Mensch introduced an unexpected plot twist to her Twitter potboiler: America wasn’t hacked by the Russians alone; the Jews helped.
One Jew in particular: Bibi Netanyahu, dark lord and, apparently, apprentice to puppet-master Putin.
Because the pleasure of indulging in lunacy lies in the minute details, here goes. The saga began last night, when Mike Cernovich, himself a fan of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, tweeted to protest the firing of Derek Harvey, a National Security Council official sacked by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, suggesting that Harvey was let go because of his allegiance to Israel. Another Twitter user responded and accused Cernovich of being an agent of a Russian-sponsored coup d’etat. It was precisely the kind of language that summoned Mensch into the fray.
“Love you sir” she tweeted back, with all the subtlety of an oversexed British boarding school adolescent. And then, having warmed up to her subject, she continued: Obama, she tweeted, was right to despise Netanyahu. Oh, and Netanyahu was colluding with Russia to help Trump take an ax to the beating heart of American democracy.
The Israeli prime minister, she tweeted “helped @putinrf hac America. Israel always; @netanyahu however is not Israel.”
A court in the city of Hanover in the state of Lower Saxony affirmed in June the German armed forces’ decision to dismiss a soldier because of his rejection of Israel’s right to exist and support for the US and EU-classified terrorist organization Hamas.
The soldier of Afghan background lashed out at Israel, Jews and the United States during questioning by Germany’s military counter-intelligence service (MAD) in 2016.
According to the legal decision obtained by The Jerusalem Post on Friday, the unnamed soldier said “F***… the Jews and the USA” and justified support for the Palestinian organizations Hamas and Fatah. The German military determined in March that the soldier’s comments violated Germany’s anti-hate law. MAD said the soldier also rejected Israel’s legitimacy as a state.
The court stated that the soldier’s pro-Hamas and anti-Israel assertions are incompatible with military conduct in Germany’s free, democratic social order.
In February, the soldier denied he is a supporter of Islamic groups and merely stated his position toward Israel. He added it does not matter to him what Israel does.
German police on Saturday arrested two Chinese tourists for making illegal “Heil Hitler” salutes in front of the historic Reichstag building that houses the German parliament.
Berlin police officers say they detained the two men, aged 36 and 49, after they were seen striking the Nazi-era pose and photographing each other with their mobile phones.
They face charges for “using symbols of illegal organizations,” the police said in a statement, and were released after posting bail of 500 euros each.
Germany has strict laws on hate speech and symbols linked to Hitler and the Nazis, who ruled between 1933 and 1945.
In the spring of 1944, exiled Dutch education minister Gerrit Bolkestein appealed on Dutch radio for people to keep a written record about life during the Nazi occupation. On hearing this, Anne decided to rewrite her original diary with the hope it would be published after the war.
But neither she or anyone else could have ever predicted the overnight success it would garner once translated into English, five years after the 1947 Dutch version. Starting with a modest edition of 5,000 books, it was followed quickly by runs of 15,000 and then 45,000 copies.
Jewish author and war correspondent Meyer Levin’s New York Times review on June 15, 1952, was a game changer. Levin, a war correspondent in Europe, had been witness to the camps as they were liberated. He was among the first Americans to go into Buchenwald, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt.
Levin, it was reported, had first come across the French translation of the diary in a Paris bookshop in 1951, identifying with the writings of the “born writer” immediately.
“Hers was probably one of the bodies seen in the mass grave at Bergen-Belsen, for in August, 1944, the knock came on that hidden door in Amsterdam,” he wrote in his review. “…Because the diary was not written in retrospect, it contains the trembling life of every moment — Anne Frank’s voice becomes the voice of 6 million vanished Jewish souls.”
Israel’s improved economic growth and efforts to rein in spending prompted Standard & Poor’s to raise the outlook on the country’s debt profile, the credit rating firm announced Friday.
While S&P held Israel’s debt rating stable at A+, it improved the outlook to “positive” from “stable,” which means it could raise the grade a notch in the next two years, the company said in a statement.
The agency praised the government for “measures that restrain future expenditure growth” which in turn “could enable the government to resist ongoing spending pressures,” even amid recent tax cuts.
“The rating action reflects our opinion that Israel’s improved fiscal framework and strong economic growth could enable further progress on fiscal consolidation over the next few years,” the agency said.
That progress would be even more likely if Israel sees stronger economic growth, S&P said, noting the country’s “remarkable” economic performance since the 2008 global financial crisis.
After three years of development, Israel Aerospace Industries has begun testing its Counter Improvised Explosive Device and Mine Suite mobile system.
The system can identify, locate and destroy improvised explosive devices and mines before troops even reach them.
According to project manager Reuven Y., the system, which is not yet operational, “is a new concept that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. It is a breakthrough technology against IEDs.”
Primarily intended for patrols during routine security missions on Israel’s borders, CIMS created by Elta, one of IAI’s subsidiaries, can detect both surface and underground IEDs, mines and roadside bombs.
“The CIMS suite was designed under the premise that no one sensor can provide the adequate probability of detection and low false-alarm rate required by today’s operational needs,” read a 2014 statement by IAI when the system was first unveiled.
With an above-surface detection system, and underground mine and IED detection system, CIMS can be installed on a number of tactical combat vehicles including tanks, APCs and even unmanned vehicles.
It can be operated day or night and in any weather condition and environment.
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