David Collier: Thomas Suarez, an academic charlatan. State of Terror is hateful fiction
Alongside Jonathan Hoffman, I spent part of the summer inside the National Archives at Kew, checking some of the sources that Thomas Suarez had used to build his argument for the book ‘State of Terror’. The findings were inexcusable. Suarez distorted the documents to such a degree that history was unrecognisable.
At times Suarez had simply inverted the meaning of a document. At others, I felt we were looking at entirely different files. From the perspective of someone who respects historicity and spends much time sewing together the complex tapestry of historical context, Thomas Suarez is an academic charlatan.
Recently, Thomas Suarez has been spreading his hate-filled mythical tale in the United States. He also found time to respond to the report. What an empty response it was.
The Thomas Suarez response
Given that what was found in our analysis was so overwhelming, his recent response is a clear attempt to create a deflective dialogue. To suggest that we are engaged in an argument over opinion.
It will not work. I will not be drawn down a rabbit-hole by anyone, least of all by Thomas Suarez. Our argument was that his work is deceptive. That he has misused, misquoted, misrepresented and even inverted the meaning of, what he found in the archives. Our underlying position was that this occurred too often to be just down to Suarez being an awfully bad historian.
Time after time, quote after quote, file after file. ON EVERY SINGLE OCCASION we uncovered an error, we found the error supported an anti-Zionist stance. Each one dehumanised Jews or created a devious intent surrounding their actions. None of the many, many mistakes we found, favoured the Zionists. Not one. How on earth can that be deemed anything but deliberate?
I am reminded of part of the judgement following the David Irving trial:
‘the correct and inevitable inference must be that for the most part the falsification of the historical record was deliberate and that Irving was motivated by a desire to present events in a manner consistent with his own ideological beliefs even if that involved distortion and manipulation of historical evidence.’
“Everything you say is well and good, but we have no boat!” IDF Lt. Col. Naval Intelligence Counter-terror chief Yaron* exclaimed in frustration to his deputy, IDF Maj. Gal*.
Gal* (full names kept secret to prevent identification) had just updated him on the first intelligence breakthrough in the Karine A Affair, which would eventually change history.
In the affair, the IDF navy and air force units captured a large Palestinian Authority owned freighter in the predawn hours of January 3, 2002. The freighter was loaded with 50 tons of weapons, including long range rockets, from Iran with assistance from Hezbollah.
Had the weapons gotten through to PA President Yasser Arafat, he could have targeted larger cities like Ashkelon and possibly even Ben Gurion Airport with rockets, changing the entire balance of war and peace in the region.
The full riveting intelligence backstory about uncovering the well-concealed plot and finding (just barely) the phantom boat, included work between Israeli intelligence and the CIA. The story is being told now for the first time after its declassification by Israeli intelligence for a Hebrew book, also sponsored by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, about to come out called Drama in the Red Sea by retired IDF Brig. Gen. Amos Gilboa.
The Jerusalem Post recently interviewed Gilboa and received a copy of the book prior to its full release next month.
Israeli naval intelligence officers Yaron and Gal were speaking sometime between October 3-8, 2001 after having worked since August 15, 2001 on trying to put together a puzzle of some sort of major PA-related arms smuggling development.
Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub exploited his entry to Israel around two weeks ago in order to visit the family of terrorist murderer Karim Younes.
Karim Younes is an Israeli Arab who, together with his cousin Maher Younes, kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980. He was sentenced to life in prison. (His sentence was commuted to 40 years by Israeli President Shimon Peres in 2012.)
In a post on his Facebook page, Rajoub took pride in having visited the murderer’s family in the village of ‘Ara, and he posted pictures of himself with the family members.
Palestinian Media Watch checked and found that the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories had not approved Rajoub’s visit to the murderer’s family.
In the 2015 terror wave, Rajoub explicitly incited for terror attacks and acts of murder, and he called the terrorist murderers “heroes… a crown on the head of every Palestinian.”
This year the Fatah Movement appointed murderer Karim Younes to be a member of Fatah’s central committee.
MEMRI: Egyptian-Canadian Writer Said Shoaib: ‘Our Conflict With Israel Is Mostly Religious’ – Otherwise We’d Be Treating Iran Like We Treat Israel; Only Muslims Take Pride In ‘Their Colonialist Crimes’; ‘The Reforms In The Jewish Religion Improved It’
In a June 29 interview with the Arab-Christian channel Al-Hayat TV, Egyptian-Canadian journalist Said Shoaib called Al-Andalus a “colonialist occupation” and added that it is very sad that the Muslims “take pride in their colonialist crimes.” Muslims, he said, have no choice but to reform their religion, rather than continuing to be “a burden on civilization.” He pointed out that “our conflict with Israel is mostly religious, otherwise we would be treating Iran the same way we treat Israel,” and added that “the reforms in the Jewish religion improved it.” He also criticized Egyptian media and public for refusing to admit that the kidnapping and slaughter of Copts by jihadi terrorists is based on religion.
“Our Conflict With Israel Is Mostly Religious”
Said Shoaib: “The Islamists and the Muslims are held captive by history. Our conflict with Israel is mostly religious.”
Said Shoaib: “Otherwise, we would be treating Iran the same way we treat Israel. Iran is occupying the Arab region of Ahwaz and oppressing the Sunnis, and it is occupying the UAE islands. Turkey is occupying the Alexandretta province. Is there one occupation that is halal and another that is haram?”
Interviewer: “In Morocco, we also have two cities that we consider to be occupied by Spain.”
“We Consider Al-Andalus To Be A Source Of Pride For The Muslims” – But It Was “A Colonial Occupation”
Said Shoaib: “But nobody cares. They only care about Israel, because the Prophet Muhammad engaged in a political armed and unarmed conflict [with the Jews] 1,400 years ago, and we act as if it happened today. There is another upsetting paradox. We consider Al-Andalus to be a source of pride for the Muslims, although it was, in fact, a colonialist occupation.”
An Iraqi cleric recently praised the Jewish people for having emerged from the Holocaust following World War II and managed to win the “respect of the world through science,” while Muslims are seen as having become “the world’s headache.”
In a sermon posted to YouTube last month titled “Don’t Be Mad. Strong Words. Imitate the Jews in This,” and translated this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Shiite cleric Salam Al-Askari said that after suffering in Europe during the Holocaust, where “Nazis killed and burned them” and they were “killed in droves,” the Jews, he said, “put their greatest minds into science” and “made the entire world kneel before them, and accept and respect the Jewish nation.”
In a departure from much of the content translated from Arabic by MEMRI, rife with statements from religious officials and others attacking Jews and Israel, and accusing them of being behind a host of disasters, the sermon shows the cleric listing what he describes as Jewish achievements, including the invention of acetone and nuclear power, and describing how the Jews “won over” Europe.
“The Jews suffered,” he said. “The Nazis killed and burned them. They were brought in groups to special places, where they were gassed and they suffocated and died. The Jews were killed in droves. They wanted to emigrate but some European countries banned the Jews from entering. ‘We will not accept them,’ they said. They were tormented in Germany… Today, when our countries suffer, the youth emigrate to Europe. But back then, Europe shut its doors to the Jews.”
During interviews in the early to mid 2000s, Buttu claimed (on several media outlets) that “between the period of 1997 until the year 2000 there wasn’t a single Israeli who died of a suicide bombing inside Israel”. However, as CAMERA revealed at the time, 24 Israeli civilians were killed in six separate Palestinian suicide attacks during that period.
During the 2009-09 Israeli war with Hamas, Buttu bizarrely alleged, during interviews on CNN and Fox News, that rockets fired from Gaza “do not have explosive heads.” In fact, Palestinian rockets carried between 9-18 kilograms of explosives.
At a Harvard conference in 2012, she repeated the lie about ‘rockets without explosive heads’ and added another one, claiming that “there weren’t any grad rockets fired in 2008 and 2009.” Actually, as CAMERA revealed, dozens were fired.
More recently, CAMERA caught Buttu in another lie, complaining to journalist David Remnick (in a Sept. New Yorker article) that the Israeli hit show Fauda never mentions the word “occupation”, and that the series doesn’t show “a single checkpoint”. However, contrary to Buttu’s claim, the word “occupation” is heard in “Fauda” and checkpoints do appear.
Her latest smear against Israel was published in the Guardian.
Her op-ed (Issa Amro is merely the latest casualty of Palestine’s war on free speech, Sept. 20th) primarily focuses on the arrest of a Palestinian named Issa Amro for the ‘crime’ of using Facebook to call for the release of a journalist detained by the PA for criticising Mahmoud Abbas. The arrest was based on a new law which allows for imprisonment of Palestinians who use social media to criticize Abbas or other PA officials. Buttu pivots to Israel by suggesting that Jerusalem has similarly enacted laws to “quash dissent”.
Here’s the sentence in question: As part of Israel’s tactics to quash dissent, it has arrested Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel, for writing poems, for criticising Israel on Facebook and for broadcasting stories critical of Israel, its occupation or leadership.
Once again, Buttu is being dishonest.
AMIA Jewish center bombing special prosecutor Alberto Nisman was assassinated by two individuals who drugged and beat him, then manipulated the crime scene to make it look like a suicide.
That is the conclusion of an official report submitted on Friday to Federal Judge Julián Ercolini and Prosecutor Eduardo Taiano, who are investigating the death of the Argentinean prosecutor. If Nisman’s death now is investigated as a murder, not a suicide, IT specialist Diego Lagomarsino would be the main suspect.
On January 2015, Lagomarsino said that he went to Nisman’s apartment to give him a gun to protect himself, which he called the loan of a “very old” .22 caliber pistol. Hours later Nisman was found dead by a bullet that struck him from point-blank range above the right ear from that very gun. So far, Lagomarsino has been charged just for lending the pistol to Nisman.
The report was made by the forensic investigators of the country’s border patrol guard, or Gendarmerie, which coordinated an interdisciplinary team of forensic investigators and also representatives of the Nisman family and of Lagomarsino.
The new toxicology analysis of Nisman’s body discovered the drug ketamine, an anesthetic mostly used on animals. The analysis also found that he had been beaten on his body and that another person tried to subdue and control him.
Supporters of Hassan Diab, a Canadian professor suspected in a deadly 1980 attack on a Paris synagogue, asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday to encourage French authorities to release him.
“We urge you to intervene and bring Hassan home,” said a letter to Trudeau signed by more than 600 people and organizations.
A petition delivered to the Canadian parliament calling for his release was also signed by thousands more.
Diab, 63, has been in pre-trial detention in France since being extradited from Canada in November 2014 and charged with the attack.
The bombing outside the Copernic Street synagogue was the first major attack on a Jewish site in France since World War II.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was blamed for the blast that left four dead and some 40 injured.
The Palestinian march to gain admission as a full member-state in international organizations continues with the International Police Organization taking up the issue in Beijing at its annual meeting this week.
A Palestinian bid to join Interpol, which represents police forces from some 190 countries, failed last year at the annual meeting in Indonesia, along with bids by Kosovo and Solomon Islands. All three bids were considered on the same ballot, with 62 countries voting to suspend the bid until this year, 56 voting to deal with the issue and 37 abstaining.
At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the vote as a reflection of the change in Israel’s standing in the international community. Netanyahu has joined the Foreign Ministry in efforts this year, as well, to block the move.
A closer reading of last year’s vote, however, showed that Israel benefited from the fact that Kosovo also applied for membership – something actively opposed by Russia. Kosovo is on the ballot this time, as well.
Interpol’s board of directors is scheduled to meet on Sunday and decide what resolution to bring to the General Assembly meeting that begins on Tuesday. If the board decides to again suspend the admittance of new members, that, too, must go to a vote. If it decides to hold a vote on whether to accept the candidates, it will need two-thirds of the 190 members to pass.
Diplomatic sources said that, this time, it appears the Palestinians could muster the necessary support if the matter is brought to a vote.
Ahead of the UN General Assembly and the meeting between United States President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Israel Project (TIP) organized a conference call with Elliott Abrams on September 14 discussed some of the issues that would dominate the agenda.
Abrams, who served as deputy national security advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush, told the audience that he did not expect any movement on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
“I do not see a basis for optimism in 2017,” he said. “They [the Trump administration] are now fully familiar with the details and with the reasons that previous efforts — by everyone from Bill Clinton on — have failed.”
Abrams felt people in the administration “were quite unhappy with the behavior of Mahmoud Abbas during the Temple Mount incident, where he could have spoken in ways that would have ended the crisis. Instead his rhetoric was hot,” he said. He also added that Abbas “made it worse rather than better” and his behavior “really changed their [the Trump administration’s] opinion of him.”
Abrams also noted, however, that there are things that could be done to revive the peace process, especially through “economic and security cooperation.” But he also said he cannot see “how to go beyond that to the fundamentals of the conflict” like the status of Jerusalem. He praised Prime Minister Netanyahu’s efforts over the years to make concessions for peace, for which Mr. Abrams said “he doesn’t get much credit for,” such as permits for Palestinians from the West Bank to work in Israel.
A group of 45 national security experts signed a letter released Tuesday that calls on President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
The letter, released by the Center for Security Policy, calls on Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, using a plan proposed by former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. It also asks Trump not to certify that Iran has been in compliance with the agreement.
Trump has in recent weeks renewed his criticism of the deal, which he attacked vehemently on the campaign trail. Amid speculation that he might refuse to certify compliance at the upcoming Oct. 15 deadline, Trump slammed the JCPOA in front of the United Nations on Tuesday.
“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” Trump said in his speech. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.”
The letter’s signatories criticized the JCPOA as allowing Iran to continue to pursue the development of nuclear weapons, having weak verification provisions to ensure Iran’s compliance, and ignoring Iran’s “increasingly destabilizing behavior.”
France’s President Emmanuel Macron declared Wednesday that the Iran nuclear deal is no longer a sufficient safeguard against the growing power that Tehran wields in its region.
“We need the 2015 accord,” he said of the agreement. “Is this accord enough? It is not, given the growing pressure that Iran is applying in the region.”
Macron was speaking in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, while ministers from Iran the six world powers that signed the accord met to discuss it.
US President Donald Trump, who was elected after the deal was signed, has threatened to pull out if Iran does not face greater controls on its missile and nuclear programs.
The other deal signatories, including France, insist it remains the best way to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb — but Macron has said it could be improved.
Abed al-Rahman Sudais, the president and chief imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, considered the holiest mosque in Islam, has stirred up controversy on social media after an interview in which he praised U.S. President Donald Trump, saying, “Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz are leading the world to peace.”
Sudais added: “Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are two anchors of influence in the world and they, under the leadership of King Salman and President Trump, are leading the world to security, peace, stability and prosperity.”
Sudais’ comments were met with significant anger on Arabic-language social media, with criticism focusing on the praise for Trump.
The Twitter account “Issues” wrote, “Sudais says that America is leading the world to peace and on the same day their air force killed seven members of one family, most of them women and children, in a massacre in the Syrian city Al Bukamal.”
Author Ahmad Jaber wrote, “The government of the Saudi family and the U.S. government are really two anchors in the world of corruption and tyranny so why are we surprised by these comments from Sudais who supports them and has stood behind them for decades?
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will visit the Jewish state in October and meet with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman, Russian and Israeli media outlets reported on Sunday.
According to the reports, the two are expected to discuss Russian-Israeli military coordination vis-à-vis Syria, Iran’s effort to establish a permanent presence in that war-torn country and the Tehran regime’s attempts to transfer advanced weaponry to Hezbollah via Damascus.
This will be Shoigu’s first trip to Israel since becoming defense minister in 2012.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Sochi for a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the meeting, Netanyahu stated, “Iran is increasing its efforts to establish its military foothold in Syria. That is dangerous for Israel, the Middle East and, I believe, the whole world. Iran is already in advanced stages of taking over Iraq and Yemen, and in effect it also controls Lebanon.”
“We are all defeating ISIS in a concerted international effort, and that is welcome,” the Israeli prime minister — who has met with Putin six times since Russia’s military intervention in Syria began two years ago — continued. “What is not welcome is Iran moving in everywhere ISIS moves out. We do not forget for one minute that Iran continues to threaten Israel’s destruction every day; it is arming terrorist organizations and is itself instigating terrorism; and it is developing intercontinental missiles with the goal of arming them with nuclear warheads.”
The German federal election on Sunday has tremendous significance for Israel, largely because the Federal Republic is one of Israel’s most important allies within the European Union.
A German government that shows solidarity with Israel can continue to supply it with advanced submarines and intelligence data, help blunt anti-Israel measures at the UN, and stymie misguided – and at times antisemitic – EU sanctions against the Jewish state. Add mushrooming trade and tourist relations, and an objective observer can fathom why German elections matter for Israel.
While Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union is slated to secure the most votes (34%, according to the most recent poll), the anti-immigrant and far-right Alternative for Germany is projected to win an eye-popping 13% of the vote. German election law requires a party to cross a 5% hurdle to enter the Bundestag.
The AfD has triggered anxiety among Germany’s relatively small Jewish community because of its alleged xenophobia and antisemitism, as well as its recent glorification of Germany’s soldiers during the Holocaust.
The AfD’s top candidate, Alexander Gauland, said earlier this month: “If the French are rightly proud of their emperor and the Britons of Nelson and Churchill, we have the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars.”
The AfD’s 76-page party program make no mention of fighting antisemitism or of support for Israel. All of this helps to explain why the AfD likely endangers Israel’s security.
Merkel’s CDU party program pledges a “special responsibility of Germany toward Israel.”
The chairman of the German-Israel parliament group on Thursday attacked Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for meeting primarily with NGOs critical of Israel, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post.
Green Party MP Volker Beck said that “The balance of the discussion partners speaks not only for a special passion—the so-called Israel criticism attitude—but also for the false estimation and lack of knowledge of the situation on the ground.” He insisted that “A dialogue should also consist of talks with positions that one does not share. Otherwise it is a monologue rather than a duet.”
The MP secured information from the German Foreign Ministry about official government meetings in Israel, which show that, over a nearly three-and-a-half-year period, Merkel’s cabinet met almost exclusively with NGOs critical of Israel, with some even questioning the legitimacy of the Jewish state. The data revealed that from meetings with 27 NGOs, only one NGO was from the middle or center-right of the political spectrum.
The chairman cited a speech from German President Walter Steinmeier at the Hebrew University in May. “While we Germans know and admire the diversity of democracy in Israel, we also still want to speak with as many different groups in your country and learn as many different viewpoints,” Steinmeier said.
In a landmark referendum next Monday, Iraqi Kurdistan will vote on whether to declare independence. The outcome is not in question. Iraq’s Kurds have been largely self-governing for 25 years, but they yearn to be sovereign in a state of their own, just like the region’s other great ethnic and linguistic groups — Arabs, Turks, Persians, Jews.
The Kurdish campaign for statehood ought to have the robust backing of the United States. Iraqi Kurds are ardently pro-American, unabashed allies in a region where the US has few true friends. The Kurds make no secret of their deep gratitude to the United States for toppling Saddam Hussein, the tyrant who waged a war of genocide against Kurdistan in the 1980s, slaughtering at least 50,000 civilians with chemical weapons and aerial assaults.
Kurdistan isn’t just a grateful ally, it’s a capable and skillful one. Kurdish soldiers, known as Peshmerga, are widely acknowledged to be America’s most effective partners in the fight against the Islamic State. They played a central role in the recent liberation of Raqqa and of Mosul from ISIS. As waves of refugees have fled the violence unleashed by the Islamic State and the Syrian civil war, nearly 2 million have found a safe haven in Kurdistan. Among them are many thousands of Christians.
Yet instead of applauding the Kurds’ bid for independence, the United States keeps dousing it with cold water.
Analysts from a cadre of nations and entities monitoring the fluid, chaotic situation in the Middle East have concluded that establishing an independent, coherent state for Kurds where they already enjoy de facto autonomy and have demonstrated the capacity for proper self-governance and administration would introduce a destabilizing factor in the region, whereas a Palestinian state run by clannish, venal despots obsessed with suppressing dissent could only serve as a stabilizing factor.
The United States, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, the United Nations, Syria, and myriad others have registered their disfavor with the notion of sovereignty for the Kurds, a distinct ethnic group that has suffered under myriad outside regimes and seeks independence. At the same time, the same bodies and countries have worked for the founding of a sovereign state for Palestinians, a nation minted in the 1960’s who in more than two decades of self-rule have made little or no progress toward the establishment of good governance, democratic institutions, civil society, transparency, or other factors that would in some way demonstrate the wisdom of continuing down such a path. In explaining the divergent attitudes, experts note that the competent administration by the Kurds would undermine an emerging order in the region, whereas a corrupt, terrorism-promoting Palestinian state would reinforce it.
In explaining the difference, analysts point to several key factors. “First you have to understand that the Middle East isn’t used to competent administration,” insisted an academic who appeared to be trying hard not to resemble Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif with Groucho glasses, nose, and mustache. “It would be irresponsible to introduce such a thing. Just look at the havoc the Zionists have wrought by bringing in even a hint of real governance. The peoples of this region continue to resist such foreign colonial ideas.”
A boy and an adult were lightly injured in a terror attack on Route 443 near Modiin last night, when Arabs threw massive rocks at cars passing along the road, 0404 reported.
According to the report, 4 vehicles were also damaged from the rock attacks.
In another incident last night, terrorists hid an explosive device at the Amos Junction in eastern Gush Etzion.
0404 said, according to Hatzalah of Judea and Samaria, that the device exploded and, miraculously, no one was injured.
The explosive was comprised of a burning tire, in which a gas cannister was embedded.
The incident marks the third time in the past two weeks that terrorists have attempted to carry out an attack in that area by means of this type of explosive.
Israeli-Arab actor and film director Mohammad Bakri was featured on the cover of the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar on Saturday.
Bakri is known for his controversial 2002 film Jenin, Jenin, which dealt with the IDF’s activity in the city during Operation Defensive Shield.
Bakri was featured on the cover of the Lebanese paper after of his arrival in the country to take part in the annual festival Palestinian Days, where some of his films on the Palestinian issues will be screened.
The paper’s main headline boasted: “Mohammad Bakri, an optipessimistic in Beirut. The Dar El-Nimer Center for Arts and Culture, the Al Madina Theatre and Al Akhbar welcome the Palestinian actor.”
Bakri held a press conference at the Dar El-Nimer Center on Friday, taking advantage of the event to lash out against Israel.
“The normalization with the Zionist enemy is treason. The discussion around this is shameful and unacceptable in any way,” he said. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev on Sunday asked the attorney-general to investigate Arab Israeli film producer Mohammad Bakri for reportedly declaring, while on a visit to Lebanon, that it is treason for the Arab state to have ties with Israel.
Regev wrote to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit asking him to probe Bakri for “visiting an enemy state and inciting against the state [of Israel].”
Bakri, a film actor and director, is in Lebanon to take part in the annual “Palestinian Days” film festival.
“Bakri, who is known for his confrontational position regarding Israel, dared to call Arab states that have ties with Israel ‘traitors’ — he claims that Israel is nothing more than a Zionist enemy [and] that any contact with it is considered treason,” Regev wrote.
In response, Bakri told Channel 2 that he was not in the least concerned by Regev.
“I don’t believe a single word that comes out of her mouth and I don’t take her seriously,” he said. “It is very simple. I fear only God — not Israelis, not the Israeli government, and certainly not Regev.”
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has traveled to Washington and is waiting for a lung transplant after his health deteriorated in recent months.
In an interview broadcast Thursday on Palestinian national television, Erekat, who is secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee, gave what was seen as a farewell message to the Palestinian public.
Erekat appeared weak and struggling to breathe with an oxygen tube in his nose as he spoke of the illness that he has struggled with for the past few years.
“I got pulmonary fibrosis five years ago… and five months ago my situation deteriorated. I need oxygen, walking is very difficult for me, and I’m waiting for a lung transplant any day now,” he said in the interview.
Erekat, 62, who has been a mainstay of the Palestinian leadership over the last two decades, spoke of his pride in his people. “God has blessed us by making us Palestinians. We are soldiers for Palestine,” he said.
“I want to tell everyone to be proud; I am proud of every year I spent as a soldier for Palestine. Know that Palestine’s independence is surely on its way. A Palestinian state in 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital; this is coming; it is a historical imperative,” Erekat said.
Pulmonary fibrosis causes scarring on the lungs that inhibits breathing and blocks the body’s ability to absorb oxygen.
True, Salaita and Finkelstein are now untouchable pariahs in academia but their rancid political opinions are not the cause of their ostracism. If that were the case, other academics harboring similar pernicious views (and there are many) would have been fired long ago. In fact, universities and colleges have gone to great lengths to protect the rights of professors who peddle in anti-Semitic venom.
At Oberlin College for example, college officials initially defended Joy Karega, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, after she posted blatantly anti-Semitic commentary on social media. She was ultimately fired but it took college officials eight months to terminate her despite the fact that the evidence was categorical.
It is more likely that Salaita and Finkelstein, who have garnered reputations as litigious troublemakers, are toxic because they are simply bad for business. Universities that hire them are cognizant of the fact that they run the demonstrable risk of potential lawsuits should employer-employee interests diverge at some point after hiring.
Nonetheless, the core problem existing within institutions of higher learning, chiefly the hijacking of the social science and humanities fields, persists and remains unaddressed. Universities should never engage in blacklisting simply because an academic maintains views that veer from the mainstream or are otherwise objectionable. Such a policy is an anathema to core principles of academic freedom and freedom of speech.
Nevertheless, under very narrow and limited circumstances, such a course of action is warranted in the interests of maintaining educational integrity.
Failed academics like Salaita and Finkelstein have a long and sordid history of abusive conduct and utilizing their teaching platforms to spread hate and propaganda. Both have exhibited Jew-hatred in the extreme and both have dabbled in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
They have shown no remorse for their misconduct. On the contrary, they continue to blame their misfortunes on Zio or Zionist conspirators. They are more suited to being editors for Der Sturmer and should be far removed from academia. Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of them.
The document portrays the struggle between Palestinians and Israelis as one between “good” (Christian, Palestinian) and “evil” (Jewish, Israeli), between those who lift up God’s name and those who profane it. Palestinians and Israelis are each assigned their roles in this carefully choreographed drama, which, regrettably, bears a striking resemblance to story lines used to demonize Jews in past eras.
The resulting narrative is far removed from the complex realities that actually shape the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. To pick one, Hamas, which rules Gaza, rejects peace with Israel on any terms. This is a political reality that Israelis cannot ignore. Yet polling data demonstrate that a majority of Jews in Israel support the establishment of a Palestinian state at peace with Israel. What they fear, with good reason, is that this state will come under the influence of extremists such as Hamas and become a safe haven for terrorists. The Kairos Palestine document ignores this and so much more.
Is it necessary to deny Israel’s narrative to show sympathy and support for the Palestinians? Protestant denominations that have embraced Kairos Palestine appear to answer “yes.” In doing so, they have chosen to be partisans rather than peacemakers.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is built around a series of hard realities. Israelis live in a difficult neighborhood surrounded by many who wish them harm. Palestinians feel that they have been dispossessed, and many find it difficult to recognize, much less embrace, a state that they believe is not legitimate. A compromise that will protect Israelis and satisfy Palestinians may be hard to achieve, but celebrating extreme documents like Kairos Palestine makes the challenge all the more daunting.
Resolution of this conflict will require a readiness on each side to listen to and understand the views of the other. It will not come from strident, one-dimensional proclamations that fuel hatred and mistrust.
As revealed in recent congressional testimony, Students for Justice in Palestine is a campus front for Hamas terrorists. SJP’s propaganda activities are orchestrated and funded by a Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine, whose chairman is Hatem Bazian and whose principals are former officers of the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic “charities” previously convicted of funneling money to Hamas. The report and posters are part of a larger Freedom Center campaign titled Stop University Support for Terrorists. Images of the posters that appeared at UC-Berkeley may be viewed at www.stopuniversitysupportforterrorists.org.
University of California-Irvine
Over the past decade, the University of California Irvine has earned a well-deserved reputation as a base for supporters of anti-Israel terrorism and hostility towards Jews. At several events over the past few years, members of UCI SJP have entirely disrupted pro-Israel events, chanting slogans promoting terrorism such as “Intifada, Intifada/long live the Intifada” and “when people are occupied/resistance is justified,” forcing Jewish students to disperse under the watch of campus police. Irvine hosts an annual Israeli Apartheid Week which has been variously called “Anti-Zionism Week” and “Resisting Zionism Week.” A mock “apartheid wall” displayed during the week has glorified convicted hijacker Leila Khaled a member of the murderous terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and also depicted a map of Israel with the entire nation labeled as “occupied territory.” It has also contained incitements to terrorism such as the statement “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.”
Speakers invited to Irvine by the campus chapter of the Muslim Student Union include BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti and infamous terrorist-supporting anti-Semite, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, who has openly stated his allegiance to Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad. Irvine’s student senate was one of the first in the nation to pass a resolution in support of the Hamas-backed and funded BDS campaign against Israel. Irvine students even met with a prominent Hamas leader during a secret trip to the Middle East in 2009.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry condemned the vandalism of gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in the capital city of Sofia.
The vandalism occurred last week in the Jewish section of the Sofia Central Cemetery. It was first reported to the Shalom Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria, which posted photos of the damage on Facebook.
Photos show toppled gravestones, as well as one stone broken into three pieces.
Deputy Mayor Todor Chobanov, who is in charge of Sofia’s cemeteries, told Shalom Organization President Dr. Alek Oskar that all necessary measures will be taken to discover the perpetrators, as well as their motive, according to the group. Chobanov also expressed “sincere regret” over the vandalism, noting that it comes ahead of the Jewish High Holidays.
A Belgian ex-MP convicted for Holocaust denial was ordered by a Brussels court on Wednesday to visit former Nazi concentration camps and write about the experience as part of his sentence.
Controversial politician Laurent Louis was given a suspended six-month jail term and a $21,570 fine in 2015 for minimizing the slaughter of millions of Jews during World War II on his blog.
An appeals court upheld his conviction on Wednesday but suspended the sentence for five years on condition that Louis visits five Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz in Poland and Dachau in Germany.
After each visit he is required to “submit a text of at least 50 lines about what he saw in the camps and the feelings he experienced,” to judicial authorities monitoring his sentence, the Belga news agency said.
Louis, who served as a lawmaker from 2010 to 2014, also has to publish the texts on his Facebook page within a month of the visits.
His lawyer Sebastien Courtoy told AFP that Louis was “sincerely sorry” for what he had done and that they had come up with the idea of the visits.
You have probably heard of “Schindler’s List” — Steven Spielberg’s movie, which brought to life the story of a German member of the Nazi party who saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust, by employing them in his factories in occupied Poland.
You may have also heard of the heroic rescue of the Danish Jews: With the help of the Danish government, people and resistance movement, 7,220 out of the 7,800 Jews in that country escaped the Nazis, and found salvation in Sweden.
What’s lesser known is the story of the 50,00 Jews who were saved by Bulgaria.
In his book, Beyond Hitler’s Grasp, Michael Bar-Zohar states that, “For years, Bulgaria’s Communist regime had tried to suppress the real story about [this] rescue for a very simple reason. The Bulgarian rescue had been carried out mostly by Communism’s three worst enemies: the Church, the royal court, and the pro-Fascist politicians. The Communist regime couldn’t admit that, fact because it contradicted its basic beliefs.”
What’s even more astonishing is that these 50,000 Jews were saved while Bulgaria was actually an ally of Hitler.
SAP, the German multinational software corporation, has agreed to buy Israeli software startup Gigya for $350 million, The Marker financial website reported on Sunday, without saying where it got the information.
Gigya, founded in 2006 by Rooly Eliezerov, Eran Kutner and Eyal Magen, has created web identity software that businesses can use to identify customers, aggregate data and personalize campaigns. More than 700 of the world’s leading businesses, including Speedo, Bayer, Toyota, Forbes and Fox, use Gigya to build identity-driven relationships, according to Gigya’s website.
The Mountain View, California-based company, which has offices in Tel Aviv, London, New York, Paris and Hamburg, among others, has raised a total of $105.8 million in funds from 10 investors, including Intel Capital and Benchmark, according to data provider Crunchbase. The company leads the customer identity and access management market, according to reports by both Garner and KuppnegerCole.
The company employs some 320 workers, 100 of whom are in Israel, and has revenues of tens of millions of dollars a year, The Marker said.
Chrissie Hynde opened The Pretenders’ gig in Tel Aviv on Saturday night by marching out on stage waving a giant Israeli flag, and ended it by declaring the crowd to be “the best audience in the world.”
But Hynde, whose band played a terrific near-two-hour set at a well-filled Menora Mivtachim arena, had an even bigger compliment for Israel. A vegetarian and veteran animal rights activist, she pronounced the state to be one of the world’s leaders in animal rights.
Fully aware that not everything is perfect in Israel when it comes to animal rights, however, Hynde sported a T-shirt bearing a graphic with a cow’s face and Hebrew text declaring that it was time for “stopping the live shipments” — of animals brought from overseas for fattening and slaughter here.
The Akron, Ohio-born, Anglophile singer, songwriter and guitarist said she’d learned some Hebrew words in the last couple of days but forgotten them — she said she’d leave the Hebrew to Mick Jagger — and she’d also forgotten the name of “one of your holidays” that her friend Sandra Bernhard had told her she ought to dedicate a song to. But she did dedicate one song to the animal rights activists she said she’d met on this trip, and another to her cherished cows — possibly a first in Israel.
A team of ZAKA volunteers dispatched to Mexico following Tuesday’s devastating earthquake recovered the body of a Mexico City rabbi on the first night of Rosh Hashanah, and continue to work around the clock in the nation’s ongoing search and rescue mission amid aftershocks.
Working in coordination with the Mexican Jewish rescue and recovery organization Cadena, the volunteers located the corpse of Haim Ashkenazi Wednesday night from the rubble of the office building he was working in during the time of the powerful quake.
ZAKA International Rescue Unit chief officer Mati Goldstein, who announced the extrication on Sunday, said the team worked throughout Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat, and will remain at the scene until bodies are extricated from some 38 collapsed buildings.
“The ZAKA team, which was on the scene at the time the earthquake struck, will remain until we receive an update that there are no more missing people,” said Goldstein. “The team continued to work throughout Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat in accordance with a ruling by the Chief Rabbi of Mexico, Rabbi Shlomo Tawil.”
Ashkenazi, of the Kehillat Magen David community, was related by marriage Tawil, who approved the ongoing operation during the holiday and Shabbat.
ZAKA Mexico commander Marcus Cain said “it is impossible to describe the scope of the disaster.”
An Israeli rescue delegation was greeted with spontaneous applause in the streets of a Mexican town Friday, in a show of gratitude for the team’s efforts to aid in the search for survivors following a devastating earthquake Tuesday.
In a video published by Channel 2, dozens of individuals, some waving Mexican flags, can be seen cheering the Israeli rescue team as the delegation crosses their path in a town hit by the earthquake.
A 71-member Israeli delegation from the Home Front Command arrived in Mexico on Thursday, some 48 hours after the 7.1-magnitude quake hit. Two Israeli aid organizations — IsraAID and iAid — also sent delegations to help with the search and rescue efforts.
Anxiety was mounting on Friday as Mexico approached the crucial 72-hour mark after the powerful tremor, and exhausted rescuers raced to locate possible survivors trapped in the rubble.
Authorities put the death toll from Tuesday’s quake at 286 people, but it was expected to rise further with scores still missing in Mexico City.
The Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday that the 71-member delegation was made up of a small search and rescue team, with a majority being engineers who would help assess the structural integrity of buildings in Mexico City and other affected areas.
Locals rescuers said the Israeli teams came with equipment enabling them to detect cell phone signals in the rubble.
Israel did not set up a field hospital yet, but the army has said this could be added in the future.
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