Melanie Phillips: Puncturing the big lie of Palestinian identity
Nazmi al Jubeh, an associate professor of history and archaeology at Birzeit University outside Ramallah, told a UN conference last June that there was no evidence linking the Jews to Jerusalem.
Thus far, so predictably mendacious. But thanks to the Elder of Zion website, a piece has now surfaced written by al Jubeh in 2006 in which he demolished the myth of Palestinian identity and made plain that it was invented solely to destroy Zionism and Israel.
Not that he acknowledged the Jews’ own history in the land. He made correct but passing reference to the Romans renaming Judea as “Palestina” in order “to challenge the memory of the Jews” after the Romans put down “the Jewish rebellion.”
Yet he didn’t provide the context for this by explaining that the Romans had crushed the Jewish kingdom, which had existed for centuries before being conquered in turn by successive waves of colonial invaders.
Instead, he claimed that the “Palestinian Jews, an essential component of the Palestinian people, started at the beginning of the twentieth century to identify themselves with the Zionist movement, thus separating themselves from the rest of their own people … ”
Despite this egregious and absurd falsification of Jewish history, the striking element of al Jubeh’s account is his admission of what we know to be objectively true – that, from the earliest times, there was no Palestinian identity.
For many centuries, Palestine was a sparsely populated, poorly cultivated, and widely neglected expanse of eroded hills, sandy deserts, and malarial marshes. This was Mark Twain’s description when he visited in 1867:
A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds—a silent mournful expanse.
A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action?.?.?.?We never saw a human being on the whole route.
There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country (Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (London, 1881).
As late as 1880, the American consul in Jerusalem reported the area was continuing its historic decline. “The population and wealth of Palestine has not increased during the last forty years,” he said (Melvin Urofsky, American Zionism from Herzl to the Holocaust (Bison Books: 1995), p. 29).
Take a look at some of the photos from the late 19th and early 20th century to see the desolation Twain talked about:
The Oslo Accords were based on the illusion that the PLO could totally change and suddenly become a “partner for peace”… It soon became clear that the Palestinian Authority was still the PLO: terrorist attacks quickly multiplied. The money received by the Palestinian Authority was used to continue incitement to murder and payments to incentivize it.
In 1967, a change of strategy took place. No one, the PLO decided, would speak of a “war for the destruction of Israel”. Instead, they would call it a “war of national liberation”. From then on, the PLO was presented as a “liberation movement”.
Arabs who had left Israel in 1948-49, many of whom remained in refugee camps, were defined as the “Palestinian people”; in this way were the Palestinian people invented. As PLO Executive Council member Zuheir Mohsen said in 1977: “The Palestinian people does not exist… Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people…”
The leaders of the Palestinian Authority have, in fact, never stopped resorting to “armed struggle”, the name they give to terrorism and murdering Jews. To “frustrate all the schemes of Zionism”, they invented the Palestinian people; their “struggle for national liberation” gave them international recognition. By renaming terrorism and murdering Jews “armed struggle”, they made their use of terrorism and murder acceptable. By signing the Oslo Accords, they could appear interested in peace without having to renounce terrorism. They could even demonize Israel and give it the image of a barbaric and cruel country while continuing to murder Jews.
“If you look at history… what ends conflicts is one side giving up…. and then it’s over…. in World War II, [the Germans] were forced to give up… and note how much they benefited by giving up.” — Daniel Pipes, historian, November 19, 2017.
No U.S. president had ever told Palestinian leaders that they were lying, or had required them to stop inciting murder and financing terrorism, and no U.S. president had ever decided to cut funding for the Palestinian Authority as long as it continued to incentivize terrorism. President Donald J. Trump did.
You’ve all heard the story: A Haredi Jew violently assaulted in broad daylight somewhere in New York City. It happens so often now, with what is almost a chilling regularity, it’s virtually impossible to miss. According to the NYPD, anti-Semitic hate crimes have skyrocketed in the past year; the 145 complaints so far in 2019 alone are sharply up from 88 in that same time frame a year earlier — a year which itself saw a 22% increase from 2017.
As Tablet Magazine’s Armin Rosen put it so pithily, “Everyone Knows.” And yet, as Forward Life editor Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt pointed out yesterday, nobody cares.
After every attack, the same playbook repeats itself: The perfunctory condemnations from elected officials roll in and out, barely stopping for a moment to take a breath. It’s better than nothing, I suppose, but not much better.
Why does no one care? Because the past few decades have seen a steady increase in the otherization of Orthodox Jews, to the point where we are being attacked with bricks and no one cares.
The replies to Chizhik-Goldschmidt’s article on Twitter were instructive. So many were filled with people — other Jews — blaming Orthodox Jews for what has been happening to us. A friend — not Orthodox — texted me in shock at the replies. I was not shocked. I got some of that same treatment last night when I shared an utterly offensive video the Republican Party of Rockland County posted to their Facebook page, which portrayed Orthodox Jews as an invading host that is threatening the good white folks of Rockland. It’s your fault that people hate you.
No other minority group in this country would be subjected to this sort of rhetorical abuse — to say nothing of the violent attacks — and see the same sort of wholesale hand-waving we see when Orthodox Jews are abused.
But it doesn’t start with physical violence. It starts when people deliberately otherize Haredi Jews in pursuit of whatever their agenda happens to be. The Rockland County issue is perhaps most overt, but similar situations are playing out further upstate, in Kiryas Joel and Chester, and in New Jersey towns bordering Lakewood where I live. In each of these instances, Jews are portrayed as greedy developers, outsiders who want to “invade” these towns, with misinformation about their supposedly nefarious plans spread via Facebook pages which do more than just dabble in overt anti-Semitism.
Violent antisemitism has reached an unbearable limit in NYC. We need our @NYCMayor to take charge and address not only the symptoms, but the root causes!
Enough is enough of Jews living in fear anywhere in America, let alone New York City! pic.twitter.com/4imO53hxKb
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) August 30, 2019
Take 3 minutes of your time to watch @chrislhayes tonight on the anti-Semitism in America that doesn’t make headlines, but often persists in polite company, particularly towards Orthodox Jews: https://t.co/PvQHC7VHFa
— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) August 30, 2019
Police officers in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn pledged to “step up” their patrols on Friday following the second violent attack on a visibly Orthodox Jewish man this week.
Brooklyn North Police Chief Jeffrey Maddrey told Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council (CHJCC) that he will be sending extra patrols to the neighborhood in response to the recent uptick in crime, local Jewish website COL Live reported.
The website also quoted Inspector John Buttacavoli — commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s 77th Precinct — saying the NYPD will increase patrols in the area, as the spate of assaults on Orthodox Jews over the last year has shown few signs of abating.
The latest attack occurred on Thursday afternoon. A delivery truck driven by an Orthodox Jewish man was being held up in traffic when a group of African American youths approached the vehicle and threw a stone through the glass of the driver-side window. The rock hit the Jewish man in the eye, and he sustained cuts to his face. He later filed a report with the NYPD.
The incident is now being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Unit. It followed Tuesday’s assault by a lone African American male on 63-year-old Rabbi Abraham Gopin, who fought off his brick-wielding assailant and sustained several injuries in the process.
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) August 30, 2019
In an August 29 Washington Post op-ed, the journalist Eve Fairbanks goes after the arguments of a group she calls “reasonable right.” By reasonable, she means unreasonable. And by right, she means closet racists.
Neither Fairbanks nor the Post’s fact-checkers can be bothered even to verify that the objects of her smear are, you know, conservatives. For example, she gives us Jonathan Haidt, co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind. Haidt is a self-identified, and seemingly actual, centrist. Then there’s Sam Harris, the militant, and by no means conservative, atheist. But that doesn’t matter because Fairbanks is simply using the term “conservative” to apply to anyone with the gall to criticize left-wing intolerance. The individuals she names—from Haidt to Harris to Bari Weiss of the New York Times—have nothing in common apart from the opinion that freedoms of speech and thought should be defended against efforts to curtail them.
That’s the problem for Fairbanks, you see, because one of the arguments that Southern slaveholders made was that the North was infringing on their freedom of speech and thought. Advocates for slavery, she explains, “anointed themselves the defenders of ‘reason,’ ‘free speech’ and ‘civility.’” Get it? By her bizarre logic, while advocates of free speech and thought aren’t slaveholders, per se, they sure are slaveholderish.
There’s not much more to Fairbanks’s disgraceful argument than that, and in truth, it all goes the other way around. As Nadine Strossen has observed, the claim that certain speech should be suppressed because it inflicts “emotional injury” was made by slavery defender John C. Calhoun. Free speech advocates often point out that abolitionists like Frederick Douglass were on their side of the argument, whereas the proslavery crowd, where it could, made anti-slavery speech a crime.
Strossen is right. Once you adopt, in the hope of suppressing speech you consider unjust, the argument that emotional hurt can be grounds for suppressing speech, you’ve got nothing to say when the same argument is made to suppress speech you consider just. The resemblance between Calhoun’s argument and arguments made by some of today’s speech restrictionists is more than an interesting echo. Unlike Fairbanks’s claim.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair has called on Germany to immediately stop its “outrageous” policy of providing funds to radical Israeli and Palestinian NGOs that are bent on bringing an “end to the Jewish state” and making Israelis feel as if Germany sees the Jewish state as its “colony.”
“For some reason the German government, the ministry of foreign affairs and especially the German ministry of economic cooperation (BMZ) are funding hundreds of radical NGOs and foundations in Israel that work tirelessly to destabilize the country,” the younger Netanyahu said at a speech to a Christian audience in Stuttgart, Germany earlier this month (video above).
“These organizations are openly anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anarchists and pro-Palestinian,” he added.
He noted that Germany was also funding radical organizations tied to the Palestinian Authority that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Netanyahu told his pro-Israel audience that the number one way they can help the Jewish state is to put pressure on the German government to stop using public money to fund these NGOs.
For several years, numerous newspaper and magazine articles and even entire books have been devoted to the theme of a growing divide between Israel and American Jewry. Yet U.S. Jews overwhelmingly tell pollsters that they support the Jewish state. Frank Newport takes a close look at the results of several different surveys:
My recent review of the available data shows that about nine in ten American Jews are more sympathetic to Israel than to the Palestinians, compared with about six in ten of all Americans. Additionally, 95 percent of Jews have favorable views of Israel, while 10 percent have favorable views of the Palestinian Authority—[making Jews] significantly more pro-Israel than the overall national averages of 71 percent having favorable views of Israel and 21 percent views of the Palestinian Authority.
Research conducted in 2013 by the Pew Research Center showed that 76 percent of Jews (identified by religion) said they were at least somewhat emotionally attached to Israel. In addition, almost half said that caring about Israel is an essential part of being Jewish, with most of the rest saying it is important although not essential, and nearly half reporting that they had personally traveled to Israel.
Nonetheless, Jews’ longstanding loyalty to the Democratic party remains unchanged:
The clear majority of Jewish Americans identify with or lean toward the Democratic party, and we find no evidence that this has changed significantly during the Trump administration so far. Donald Trump took office in January 2017, and Gallup’s aggregated surveys conducted from February through December of that year show that 68 percent of Jews identified as Democratic or as independents who leaned toward the Democratic party, while 28 percent identified as or leaned Republican.The clear majority of Jewish Americans identify with or lean toward the Democratic party, and we find no evidence that this has changed significantly during the Trump administration so far. Donald Trump took office in January 2017, and Gallup’s aggregated surveys conducted from February through December of that year show that 68 percent of Jews identified as Democratic or as independents who leaned toward the Democratic party, while 28 percent identified as or leaned Republican.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) August 29, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle campaigned Wednesday for North Carolina State Sen. Dan Bishop, RealClear Politics reported.
Bishop is the Republican nominee for the Ninth Congressional District special election, scheduled for September 10.
At the event, Trump. Jr. Said: “We need guys like Dan in Congress, people who are willing to stand up to that, not people like he’s running against who are getting support from what I call ‘the Hamas wing of Congress.’ And the Squad.”
The Squad is a group of freshmen Democratic congresswomen, who are all considered to be “women of color.”
“People like he’s running against who are getting support from what I call ‘the Hamas wing of Congress,” WFAE 90.7 quoted him as saying. “And the Squad. No, no… think about it…[they are] perpetuating socialist values and policies.”
“It’s a winning track record that we need to perpetuate. It’s why we need more people who are willing to fight. It’s why we need you out there fighting for Dan.”
The Commerce Department on Thursday terminated its just-announced planned partnership with the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, after Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” asked about the arrangement — given CAIR’s reported ties to the terrorist group Hamas, and its repeated attacks on the president.
“Based on further review, the Census Bureau is no longer partnering with CAIR,” the Commerce Department said in a statement to “Tucker.”
The plan, according to the group, was to enhance outreach efforts to Muslims using CAIR’s network of local offices. The census, conducted once a decade, has been used not only to determine congressional apportionment, but also as a critical planning tool for state, local and federal agencies.
However, CAIR and the Trump administration would have been strange bedfellows — and tension in the relationship was evident earlier Thursday. Reached by Fox News prior to the Census Bureau’s decision, CAIR openly derided the Trump administration as “white supremacist” despite the partnership.
“The Census Bureau, like CAIR, is nonpartisan,” the organization said. “CAIR is not receiving any government funding as part of this project to promote Muslim participation in the U.S. census. We continue to believe that President Trump and his administration promote a white supremacist, anti-immigrant and Islamophobic agenda.”
Jeffrey Dye, the president of the Passaic’s chapter of the NAACP, blamed the “Jewish media” for getting him fired from his job at the New Jersey Labor Department after it was revealed he had a history of controversial comments on his Facebook page.
“Ok To Everyone Looking At This Racist Bullshit I Want You To Be Clear, The Statement ( ‘I Don’t Talk To F–king Jews’ ) Is Simply A Lie By David Wallstien Who Is A Jewish Reporter For The New Jersey Globe,” Dye said in a Facebook post Wednesday. Dye also blamed another Jewish Assemblyman, Gary Schaer, of trying to get the “Jewish Media” to fire him.
Schaer, a political ally of Gov. Phil Murphy, said Murphy had made a mistake in hiring Dye in the first place. “His election was at best unfortunate. He is divisive,” Schaer said. “He has not bordered but well-surpassed anti-Semitism. He has also made comments that were anti-Latino and anti-White.”
Dye was fired last week from his job at the labor department after anti-Semitic and racist statements on Facebook were exposed by the New Jersey Globe. When confronted by a reporter about his posts, Dye responded “I don’t talk to f—ing Jews.” “Get the f–k out of here,” he added in a brief phone interview.
If one were to look at the 2008 Democratic Platform, it would be hard to see much of a difference from the Republican Platform regarding Israel. Both parties considered Israel a strong ally and backed Israeli positions.
But Obama made a strategic pivot away from Israel running as an incumbent in 2012. With the blessing of left-wing groups like J Street, the Democratic Party officially changed courseon several key issues:
– Refugees. Until 2012, the Democrats agreed with Republicans that Palestinian refugees would find a home in a new state of Palestine, not Israel.
– Hamas. Until 2012, Democrats agreed that Hamas should be isolated until it renounced terror and recognized Israel’s basic right to exist.
– Borders. Until Obama, Democrats agreed with Republicans that a new Palestinian state would NOT be established along the 1949 Armistice Lines, but reflect current realities and need to ensure Israel’s security.
– Jerusalem. Until Obama, the Democrats and Republicans agreed that Jerusalem would remain a united city and the capital of Israel.
Those points – with the exception of Jerusalem which was bitterly contested on the convention floor – would disappear from the 2012 Democratic platform.
Years before Donald Trump considered running for president and the rise of the alt-left, the Democratic Party pulled back from supporting Israel’s position regarding establishing peace with the Arab world.
.@RashidaTlaib @IlhanMN We are the leading voices for the Uighur Muslims at the UNHRC. The State of Palestine just used its UN status to praise China for locking up 1 million Muslims. Can you please use your influence with Ramallah to demand they stop aiding & abetting racism? https://t.co/xwv651HhTW
— UN Watch (@UNWatch) August 29, 2019
With the BDS drama and the Al-Quds Day charade, the Left aligning themselves with the Islamists have made a platform of nothing but antisemitism, and the two Congresswomen are key players in this regard. Their remarks about the Jewish community as a whole are offensive, inflammatory and hateful.
As a Muslim woman who has been to Israel a dozen times, let me tell them how it’s done. I fully support Israel’s right to exist with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of the Jewish people to be free from orchestrated antisemitic attacks.
In my travels to Israel, I go with an open mind and no pre-conceived notions. I’m well aware of the problems, and I’ve met and spoken to people from both sides of the equation. I’ve met policy-makers, activists and ordinary citizens and heard their stories. It always amazes me how critical Israelis can sometimes be about their own government, but this is what a democracy is all about.
So I invite Omar and Tlaib to come with me. I will show them what Israel stands for and the beauty of the Israeli people.
Please feel free to contact me any time.
Those lines had no real legitimacy and now for the EU to retroactively demand that the territory gained in the 1967 Six-Day War should not have the same status as territory gained in the 1948 War of Independence (that is, by demanding, as it were, Israel go back to those lines without peace or other final status arrangements), is not only unfair and wrong but quite prejudicially discriminatory.
Jordan, invading Israel in June 1967, effectively put an end to the legitimacy of those lines. To sanctify, as it were, the “pre-1967 borders” is an act of nonsense.
Now, between you and me, everyone knows that Israel has extended its administrative rule to those regions of the Land of Israel that were under British Mandate rule until 1948, a rule quite legal and internationally recognized. That is the meaning of “belligerent occupation,” that is, as the result of military engagement. Israel, in an act of self-defense, thwarted the intentions of the invaders and assumed administration over Judea and Samaria, as well as Gaza. Judea and Samaria are the heartland of the homeland.
Those regions were geographically part of the area of “historic Palestine” that the League of Nations awarded to the Jewish people to, among other purposes, “encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish Agency, referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews, on the land, including state lands and wastelands.”
From 1922 until 1967, no recognized country or state legally ruled those areas except the Mandate. Jordan was an illegal occupier. In Hebrew, Mandatory Palestine was translated as “Land of Israel.”
All this leaves us with a simple solution for the requirement of the EU to note the origin of the product: the Land of Israel.
Gov. Matt Bevin signed Senate Bill 143, a law which will allow the Commonwealth to refuse to do business with companies that boycott other countries with which Kentucky has open trade, into law Tuesday.
The bill was supported by local Jewish leaders who say it will prevent openly antisemitic businesses from operating in the state.
Bevin was joined by Congressman Andy Barr, Rabbi Shlomo Litvin of Chabad of the Bluegrass and Kentucky State Senate President Robert Stivers as he signed SB143. The bill was born from an executive order aimed at companies engaged in the Boycott-Divest-Sanctions movement.
The BDS movement is a Palestinian led boycott of companies that support Israel.
The bill was sponsored by Stivers and senate majority whip Mike Wilson. The legislation does not specifically mention Israel, but rather states that Kentucky can terminate a contract if the company boycotts a person or entity with whom the state has open trade.
Members of the Jewish communities across the state gathered to participate.
A Jewish socialist philosopher who met with the leader of Hamas is running for president.
On Wednesday, Jerome Segal announced that he would run as the nominee of the Bread and Roses Party he founded last year. The party supports wealth redistribution, as well as guaranteed employment and income.
Segal, 75, is cleared to appear on the 2020 ballot in Maryland, where he lives, and is hoping to qualify in other states.
He told the Washington Post that he does not “have any fantasies about actually being president” but wants to add “something to the current political discourse that is lacking.”
Segal is an outspoken critic of Israel’s right-wing government and has met with leaders of various Palestinian groups, including the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas.
The PLO even took a significant portion of its 1988 declaration of independence from an op-ed he penned in the eastern Jerusalem daily Al-Kuds.
In 1989, Segal founded the Jewish Peace Lobby as a dovish alternative to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
The broadcasting regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), has published their sanction decision in relation to Starz, a UK satellite TV channel, for broadcasting an antisemitic caricature.
After an investigation, Ofcom concluded that this is a serious breach of the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising and has issued a sanction.
According to the decision published by Ofcom: “On 11 March 2018 at 14:30 Starz broadcasted an image submitted by a viewer alongside a music video. It depicted a cartoon caricature of a Jewish person which conformed to racist stereotypes. In Ofcom’s view, the image, which could be found on various neo-Nazi websites, was likely to have been interpreted by viewers as being highly offensive and antisemitic. Over the next 51 minutes, the image was repeatedly reshown in rotation with photographs submitted by other viewers.” The image was shown 22 times and in total for seven minutes and five seconds.
The image depicted a cartoon caricature of a man with a large hooked nose, wearing a Jewish skullcap or “kippah” and a prayer shawl or “tallit” bearing a blue Star of David. The caricature was set against a backdrop of gold coins, with the man smiling widely and his hands flat against his cheeks framing his open mouth. Antisemitic caricatures often portray Jews as having large noses and being obsessed with money.
After corresponding with CAMERA staff, the New York Times corrected a story that had falsely characterized the BDS campaign as seeking only an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
The Aug. 21 article had claimed BDS, an anti-Israel boycott, divest, and sanction campaign, “advocates cutting ties with Israel until it ends its occupation of the West Bank.”
BDS, which targets Israelis for boycott but has also taken aim at non-Israel Jews, seeks to impose a range of demands that, according both to proponents and opponents of the campaign, would lead to the destruction of Israel.
The New York Times correction, published in print on Aug. 29, removed the passage casting BDS as merely anti-occupation and replaced it with language that, though less precise, is more accurate:
An earlier version of this article referred incompletely to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It is an organization that promotes strong advocacy for Palestinian interests and hostility to the policies of the Israeli government.
The correction is an imperfect improvement. The paper has a long history of mischaracterizing BDS by downplaying its extreme goals and suggesting it seeks only to influence Israeli policy in the West Bank. For editors to now acknowledge BDS isn’t just an anti-occupation group is an important step, and will hopefully lead to more complete and informative descriptions of the campaign in the future. (That said, readers should have been informed that the campaign isn’t just hostile to the policies of this Israeli government, as the correction put it, but to the Jewish state’s very existence.)
In the video former IDF chief military prosecutor Maurice Hirsch clarified that the claims that teenagers had been asked to sign confessions “they couldn’t understand” is not true. That information was not communicated to listeners to this programme and as we see, Megha Mohan chose to repeat those unsubstantiated allegations anyway.
The BBC is clearly very keen to widely promote this report to its audiences even though it is based entirely on claims that the BBC has obviously not been able to independently verify made by a handful of teenagers convicted of acts of violence whom it is quite possible were put in contact with the BBC by the political NGO Addameer whose director was featured in the video.
But the BBC evidently has no intention of allowing facts to get in the way of the political narrative to which Yousef Eldin and Megha Mohan have self-conscripted.
Nearly every country in Europe has memorials to the Holocaust; its history is frequently evoked, or alluded to, by politicians and intellectuals. But while it is often taken as a given that commemoration of, and education about, the Shoah can inoculate against anti-Semitism, the continent’s recent experience suggests otherwise, as the Economist columnist writing under the name Charlemagne writes.
A poll by the European Union of 16,000 Jews in twelve member states found that 89 percent thought anti-Semitism had risen in the past five years, and that one in three had experienced harassment in the past year. Sometimes resurgent anti-Semitism is violent and proud, as with the beating with a belt of two men wearing skullcaps in Berlin last spring. Elsewhere it wears a mask of false innocence. . . . The leaders of Britain’s Labor party have for years tolerated anti-Semitism in the ranks. All this in a continent awash with memorials of what happens when one turns a blind eye to bigotry.
There are two possible conclusions to draw. One is that Europe’s commemorations of the Holocaust simply need to be bigger. But ten minutes by cab from the site of last year’s belt-beating in Berlin is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a sea of gravestone-like pillars taking up an entire city block. If prominence were the key, this should curb the attacks. The more awkward conclusion is that memorials are not enough—that, read wrongly, they can imply that anti-Semitism belongs only to the past, and engender complacency about the present.
Law enforcement must crack down systematically on anti-Semitic crimes. Leaders must shun politicians who blur the boundaries between mainstream politics and anti-Semitic filth. . . . [T]he past cannot merely be contained by designated places of memory. It seethes and writhes insistently, barely below the surface of everyday life. To learn the lessons, that surface must be broken.
Germany will on Friday enforce two decrees to make it easier for people, mainly Jews, who fled the Nazi regime because of persecution as well as their descendents to have their citizenship restored, the interior ministry said.
The move follows a campaign by descendents of refugees from Nazi Germany who are angry that their applications for citizenship have been rejected despite constitutional guarantees.
Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum triggered a jump in applications from the descendents of people who fled there between 1933 and 1945.
“Germany must live up to its historical responsibilities,” said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in a statement, adding that he wanted to help people whose parents or grandparents had to flee.
“With the legal degrees which come into force tomorrow, we will create a swift ruling that is immediately valid for these people to get German citizenship,” he added.
Article 116 (2) of Germany’s Basic Law states that former German citizens who between 1933 and 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial or religious grounds and their descendents can have their citizenship restored.
However, the “Article 116 Exclusions Group” represents more than 100 people, mostly of Jewish descent, who have had applications rejected or been told they are not eligible to apply.
Sarah Zoabi, who says she’s a “proud Arab, Muslim, Zionist Israeli,” happens to also have a great sense of humor. When Boomerang Fighting for Israel asked her to comment on news and social media accusations of Israel being an “apartheid state,” she invited us to follow her around several Israeli locations where she was the only recognizable Muslim woman, complete with her modest burqa and her thick, Arab accent, and try to catch Israeli Jews treating her as anything less than an equal.
Sarah went into Jewish restaurants and stores, walked around on the streets, struck up conversations with complete strangers, and finally stopped her car on the side of the highway, lifted the hood and asked for help.
Wherever she went, she was treated with respect, even friendliness. At one point, after borrowing a Jewish shopkeeper’s phone, she told him not to be concerned if he gets a call from someone with an Arab accent – he’s family.
Naturally, Israeli motorists gladly stopped next to her car on the side of the highway to fill up her radiator with water.
We won’t lie to you, Sarah Zoabi, whose cousin is the vehemently anti-Semitic Haneen Zoabi, is not very popular in her Israeli Arab society. She has been shunned by family members, received death threats and even beatings. But she appears to be unafraid, and her son Mohammed, who is a young adult now, is as fierce as his mother in voicing his support for the state of Israel.
Television host Yaron London’s comments about Arab culture [earlier this week, the TV veteran referred to Arabs as “wild men” and called Arab culture “a failure”] spoke to a truth with which we are all familiar. It’s not just me saying it – Arabs say it all the time, all over the world. If you ask any one of them during a casual conversation, even the biggest hater of Israel will tell you honestly that they prefer a conflict with Jews to a conflict with other Arabs, which would naturally result in brutal, unchecked bloodshed. The Arab citizens of Israel will admit that they prefer the Israeli government to an Arab one, even if from their comfortable positions at Israeli universities they prefer to call it “the occupation.”
I’m not thrilled to agree with London – if only I could tear down his remarks. If only I could feel pride in and a connection to Arab culture without any hesitation. My “Arabness,” the language, the music, and the tradition, are an inseparable part of my identity, and I would like to be proud of and feel connected to them.
But I, and I’m saying this carefully, feel shame. The Arab world, starting with its governments that are tainted by corruption and tribal alliances and including the man in the street, who exists on a basis of ignorance and violence, does not attempt to keep any of this a secret. Anyone with eyes in their head can point out these flaws, which should be addressed by a fundamental reform in thinking. You don’t need to be an intellectual or a seasoned TV personality to understand that.
So I embrace my Israeli identity: I am an Israeli Arab because it’s important to me to distinguish myself from the wider Arab culture. It’s important to me to turn my back on what is happening in Syria and what happened in Lebanon and the story of Egypt’s tragic fall. Because when I’m Israeli – I can feel proud sometimes.
The famous Israel supporter and well-known social media account, Stand With Us posted a new photo on Twitter and shared the thoughts of Gene Simmons, who is an Israeli – American Rock music legend about the Middle-East.
Here are Gene’s words about it:
“Israel is an astonishing little place, even though there are very few people in it.
The Middle East needs Israel to exist.”
Yesterday, Paul Stanley posted a really tear-inducing photo with his long-time buddy and bandmate, Gene Simmons.
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) August 26, 2019
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