July 23, 2024

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11/02 Links Pt1: Jews Die, Turks Celebrate; The rise and fall of Ari Shavit; Hamas bids to join PLO


From Ian:

PMW: Fatah glorifies PA Police officer-turned-terrorist: “Heroic Martyr”
Emphasizing his position with the Palestinian Authority Police, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Movement glorified the perpetrator of yesterday’s terror attack as a “heroic Martyr” and “the Martyr police officer”. Terrorist Muhammad Turkeman shot and wounded 3 Israeli soldiers.
In two posts on Facebook, Fatah specifically stressed that terrorist Turkeman was an “officer in the [PA] Palestinian police special forces”, using several hashtags to underscore this point:
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Oct. 31, 2016]
Fatah included photos of terrorist Turkeman in posts that praised him for carrying out the “shooting operation”. In one he poses with an assault rifle, and in another he is shown wearing his PA Police uniform with a Kalashnikov assault rifle next to him.

MEMRI: Palestinian Social Media Reacts To Shooting Attack At Beit El Carried Out By Palestinian Policeman: Praise For Attacker, Calls For Other Palestinian Security Personnel To Carry Out Further Attacks

On October 31, 2016, Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Khaleq Turkman, a 25-year-old Palestinian policeman, carried out a shooting attack at a checkpoint in Beit El, wounding three Israeli soldiers, one of them seriously. Turkman’s brother Rabi’a, who was killed in 2011, was an official in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and the Popular Resistance Committees, and was active in confrontations with Israel during the Al-Aqsa Intifada.[1]
Following the attack, Palestinian social media users posted images and banners praising Turkman and his attack. Such posts also appeared on the Facebook pages of Fatah offices in the West Bank, and even on Fatah’s official Facebook page, which referred to Turkman as “the hero martyr.”
Facebook pages associated with Hamas featured calls for Palestinian security forces personnel to carry out similar attacks as part of the current Al-Quds Intifada that began in October 2015. Social networks also saw use of the hashtags “The Resisting Policeman” and “The Martyr Policeman.”

JCPA: Have Some of the Palestinian Security Forces Gone Rogue?

On October 31, 2016, another attack was carried out by a Palestinian Security Services officer at an IDF checkpoint. Three IDF soldiers were wounded; the Palestinian officer Muhammed Turkman was killed.
Previous attacks occurred at the Hizma checkpoint adjacent to Jerusalem. The latest attack took place at the Ramallah District Coordination Office (DCO) checkpoint, a passage that oversees a road that is the Palestinian Authority’s Muqata (headquarters) lifeline. This checkpoint is the only one that serves senior PA officials and foreign diplomats as a gateway to and from Ramallah. The other checkpoints in the area (such as Qalandia and Beitunia) suffer from congestion and are off limits to PA officials. Practically, this means that the DCO checkpoint’s closure will amount to the disconnecting of the Muqata from the outside world, which may be the specific intention of those who perpetrated the attack.
The Palestinian Authority encourages incitement against cooperation with Israel while simultaneously stating that it is interested in continuing security cooperation. The PA cannot have its cake and eat it too.
Palestinian Security forces officers are portrayed in Palestinian Authority’s social media and by Fatah as traitors. It is only natural that these uniformed men try to regain their lost honor through terrorist attacks.

Jews Die, Turks Celebrate

Many verbal and physical attacks on Jews have played a significant role in Jewish emigration from Turkey. These included the “Citizen Speak Turkish” Campaign of 1930s, the 1934 anti-Jewish pogrom in eastern Thrace, the 1941-1942 conscription of the “twenty classes” (an attempt to conscript all male non-Muslim populations, including the elderly and mentally ill during World War II), and the 1942-1944 Wealth Tax. Today, under the current Islamist government, life for Jews in Turkey is no easier than before.
Meanwhile, militants linked to the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula recently released a new video that contains more threats against the Jews and Israel. “Oh Jews, wait for us,” the narrator in the video threatens. “The punishment is severe and soon you will pay a high price.”
This history and narrative leads one to ask: What is a radical Muslim and what is a moderate Muslim? Is “being radical” only about being an armed militant? Can Muslims who do not engage in violent action but who have extremely hate-filled and murderous speech be considered “moderate”? Or should their supremacist or even genocidal speech be reason enough to think of them as “radical?”
What then is the difference between armed Islamic State terrorists who threaten Jews with massacre and unarmed Turkish Twitter users who celebrate Jewish deaths and call for massacring more Jews?

Miami Herald Endorses State Senate Candidate Who Befriended Former Palestinian Terrorist

The Miami Herald, one of Florida’s most influential newspapers, endorsed Dwight Bullard for the 40th State District of the Florida senate. Bullard faced considerable criticism for meeting with Mahmoud Jiddah, a former terrorist associated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), when visiting Jerusalem earlier this year. When confronted with his association with Jiddah, Bullard compared him to Nelson Mandela. Following weeks of negative publicity, Bullard took to Facebook saying that he “never supported terrorism” while refusing to acknowledge that Jiddah engaged in it.
According to the Miami Herald, Bullard “has been an effective advocate for the issues he supports and has the support of a variety of elected municipal officials in his district.” The endorsement cited his progressivism and his belief in an increased minimum wage and Medicaid expansion. The Herald made no comment about his latest controversies surrounding Jiddah and his implicit apologetics to Palestinian-Arab terrorism.
Some members of Florida’s Jewish community found The Miami Herald’s endorsement of Bullard to be in poor taste, especially after President Barack Obama declined to endorse Bullard a few weeks ago. Bullard’s Republican opponent Frank Artiles posted one rabbi’s disappointment on his official Facebook page, saying “How could your endorsement completely ignore the deeply disturbing controversy surrounding Bullard, namely, his positions on Israel?! Though he publicly stated, “I have never nor will I ever support terrorism of any kind,” Bullard’s actions show otherwise.”

Frustrated Europe hopes Clinton win can spur elusive Iran deals

After a year of disappointment, European businesses are hoping a victory for Hillary Clinton in the US election next week may help break the logjam that has prevented large-scale Western investments in Iran since the opening of its economy.
While no one in Europe is predicting a flurry of new deals should Clinton defeat her Republican rival Donald Trump on Nov. 8, a win for the Democrat would remove some of the political clouds hanging over last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
Business groups say this could help fuel a more aggressive push into the Iranian market in 2017, especially in the second half of the year, if a Clinton victory is followed by the re-election of moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani next May.
“If Clinton and Rouhani win, then we will have a political window of opportunity that is much bigger than we have now,” said Matthieu Etourneau, who advises French firms on the Iranian market for MEDEF International, the French employers group.
“This is what the European banks and companies are waiting for,” he said.
Back in January, when the United States and Europe lifted sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, the excitement in Europe’s business community was palpable.

Wall Street Journal: ‘Does Obama Want to Be Remembered as the President Who Criminalized Israeli Citizenship?’

The White House has instructed the State Department to prepare an “options menu” detailing potential diplomatic steps that could be taken as part of an end-of-term Israeli-Palestinian peace push, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
In an editorial — titled “Obama’s Israel Surprise?” — the WSJ said a UN Security Council resolution that condemns Israeli settlement construction or formally recognizes a Palestinian state would be “a boon to the bullies in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, while also subjecting Israeli citizens and supporters abroad to new and more aggressive forms of legal harassment…Does Mr. Obama want to be remembered as the President who criminalized Israeli citizenship?”
Moreover, asserted the editorial, a Security Council resolution setting parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would be an even graver “blunder.”
“President Obama may be the last man on earth to get the memo, but after decades of fruitless efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it might be wiser for the U.S. to step back until the Palestinians recognize that peace cannot be imposed from the outside,” it concluded. “If Mr. Obama is still seeking a Middle East legacy at this late stage in his presidency, his best move is do nothing to make it worse.”
In Politico on Monday, State Department veterans Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky advised whomever the next president is not to “chase after Israeli-Palestinian peace without clear indications that the locals themselves and the Arabs, too, are prepared to act.”

Netanyahu to Abbas: If settlements didn’t exist, would you recognize a Jewish state?

The Palestinians must exorcise the “demon” of wanting to destroy the Jewish state Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella when the two met in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.
“I [have] turned not only to Hamas, but to President Abbas, and I said, ‘Would you recognize a Jewish state, assuming we solve the settlement problem?’” Netanyahu said.
“And they won’t, because the real settlement issues are the settlements of Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, Akko,” Netanyahu said.
He understood he added, that Mattarella had met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas just the day before.

New Israeli bill seeks to hold EU liable for illegal Palestinian building

A new Knesset bill designed to halt European Union support for illegal Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank was filed on Wednesday by MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu).
If passed by the Knesset, it would strip diplomats of immunity in activities relating to terror, human trafficking and illegal construction, and would make European Union diplomats legally liable for helping Palestinians build illegally in Area C of the West Bank.
“Diplomatic immunity was not granted to allow for activities that undermine the state’s sovereignty,” said Forer.
His actions are part of a larger campaign by right-wing politicians and non-governmental groups to halt such building, particularly in the area of Route 1, as it runs from Jerusalem past the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement in the direction of the Dead Sea.
Right-wing politicians and activists have noted that the temporary structures, with bright blue EU logos pasted onto their walls, are located very close to Route 1. They have warned that such construction would allow for Palestinians to attack vehicles on that road.
Immunity for foreign diplomats is important, Forer said, but it cannot be used to “legitimize activities that at the end of the day harm the state and the citizens of Israel.”
This particular activity, he said, could seriously harm the state of Israel.

While the EU continues to fund hate, let’s not kid about the peace process

I’m director of a pro-Israel advocacy group here in Brussels, and I’ve been saying what I’m about to tell you so often to members of the European Parliament and their advisers that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. But I promise you I will never stop saying it: what hope of peace is there when your supposed partners are incited to such a degree that they will send eight-year-old children to kill indiscriminately? What hope of peace when the Palestinian population is constantly fed a narrative that Jews, Israelis, are scum, pigs, dogs, apes, rapists, cockroaches that must be killed and constantly resisted? Whose “filthy feet” are a desecration? That every drop of Palestinian blood spilled in Jerusalem is “pure”? The worst part is that us, the population of Europe, we the taxpayers, are paying for this murder-provoking rhetoric.
That’s not an exaggeration. The EU is the largest supporter of the Palestinian Authority in the world. Over the years PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his hate-preaching acolytes have received millions and millions in direct EU aid.
Is this aid conditional on a rejection of incitement to violence? Does the EU say we will only fund you if you stop supporting violent acts, stop praising them and embracing the perpetrators as martyrs? Did it turn the funding tap down significantly when Mr Abbas made his ‘filthy feet’ comment, like the US Congress did? That would be a big, fat, and in our opinion, utterly shameful “no.”
The PA knows that whatever it does and says, it will get its millions in pocket money regardless. And that can’t be right, can it? That’s why I have made it my organization’s priority, through the establishment of a European Parliamentary Working Group, to look at the whole issue of how EU funding can and should be made conditional on a commitment – to borrow from the Northern Ireland Peace process playbook – to exclusively peaceful and democratic means.
That means no incitement. That means laying the ground with your population and preparing them for peace. That means an end to language that dehumanizes.
And above all it means that sending two eight-year-old kids with knives to murder indiscriminately should result in a heavy political price being paid.
Until that happens, let’s not kid ourselves that there can be a meaningful peace process.

Palestinians want Crimea-style solution in soccer dispute with Israel

The head of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) wants FIFA to adopt what he called a Crimea-style solution to prevent Israeli league clubs from being based in settlements in the West Bank, he said on Tuesday.
After Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, European soccer body UEFA banned Crimean clubs from moving to the Russian league and instead authorized them to set up their own competition.
PFA president Jibril Rajoub, speaking after a meeting of FIFA’s Israel-Palestine Monitoring Committee, said a similar solution – whereby Israeli clubs based in settlements would be prevented from playing in the Israeli league but have their own competition – could work.
“Crimea is a good model and we believe that UEFA can play a good role,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Israel is a member of UEFA, which was an observer at the meeting, while the Palestinians play in the Asian Football Confederation.
At present, five Israeli clubs based in West Bank settlements play in the lower divisions of the Israeli league.

Putin Praises Israel as Positive Example of Relentlessness in Face of Terrorism

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Israel’s response to terrorism during panel discussion held on October 27 at an event organized by the Valdai International Discussion Club. The event was labeled an exchange of ideas regarding strategy and foreign policy, and was attended by leaders—former and current—as well as by experts from 35 different countries, including the US.
While defending his country’s record of military action in comparison to that of the United States, Putin referenced Israel as a positive example of relentlessness in the face of terror attacks.
“Learn from Israel. it never lets go. They fight untill the end. That’s why it exists at all… There is no other option. We have to fight,” Putting said, “If we let things slide, we will always lose.”
Putin defended his administration’s actions in the Middle East—specifically its interventions in Syria—by comparing them to actions taken by the US administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
The Russian president emphasized the importance of adhering to UN decisions, which he said had been violated by the Americans on multiple occasions. “We must return to what is written in the UN charter,” he urged before providing examples of US military interventions in foreign countries, which he said flew in the face of UN authority.

The rise and fall of Ari Shavit

The real tragedy of the public man formerly known as Ari Shavit is his deep betrayal of thousands of American Jewish college students looking for answers regarding the infinitely perplexing Israel-Palestine conflict.
Shavit was held up as a major role model by the American Jewish establishment — by Hillel International, AIPAC, J Street, the Federations, and others — and he turned out to be a true cad.
What does that say?
Last week, Shavit admitted he was the creepy, unnamed Israel journalist who, in the words of American Jewish journalist Danielle Berrin, “lurched at me like a barnyard animal, grabbing the back of my head, pulling me toward him.” After the story broke, both Hillel International and AIPAC suspended their highly paid speaking tours with Shavit for which he had already pocketed arguably more than $1 million.
Unlike a certain presidential candidate, Shavit didn’t deny the episode or call his accuser a liar. After having lost his journalistic integrity and trashing his public moral standing, he resigned Sunday from his posts as a senior columnist at Ha’aretz and a commentator on an Israeli TV station. Best known for his ersatz New York Times best seller, “My Promised Land,” Shavit announced he would take “full responsibility” for his actions. By then, another woman, a 26-year-old employee of J Street, had come forward with a similar claim. At that time, we also learned J Street had been aware of Shavit’s predatory practices since 2014 and callously remained silent, adding that organization’s failure to this debacle.
The rise and fall of the once-little-known Israeli journalist is as much a story about a deeply flawed man as it is about the American Jewish establishment’s flawed need to construct a savior following the release of the disheartening Pew Report on American Judaism. Along came Shavit’s little book and, voila, up rose a new prophet who could spin a good story when a good story was needed. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

HBO mum on status of Ari Shavit book documentary

HBO is not discussing the status of a documentary project based on a book by Ari Shavit, the Israeli journalist who in the past two weeks has been accused twice of sexual harassment.
Asked by Variety whether the documentary project will go forward in the wake of the accusations, HBO declined to clarify. A representative for the cable network’s chairman, Richard Plepler, told Variety in an email that “there is nothing more to say at this time except that this project is in the post-production/editing stage.”
HBO announced in 2014 that it was developing “My Promised Land,” a 2013 best-seller, as a documentary.
The book, which carries a full title of “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel,” is part memoir and part a tracing of the history of Israel and the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

After Palestinian Attack, Haaretz Fixes ‘Lost in Translation’

In response to communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, Haaretz editors today fixed the latest instance of “Haaretz, Lost in Translation,” the phenomenon in which the paper’s English edition downplays or omits Palestinian violence and wrongdoing and/or inserts misinformation about Israel which did not appear in the original Hebrew article. Globes, Israel’s leading business journal, featured CAMERA’s “Lost in Translation” work this past July.
In today’s example, a page-one article (also available online) about yesterday’s shooting attack in which Mohammad Turkamen, a security guard for a Palestinian government office, injured three Israeli soldiers, originally stated that a possible motive might have been “revenge after security agents searched his house Monday.”
Unlike the Hebrew edition, nowhere did the English edition state that it was Palestinian security agents who searched Turkamen’s home, not Israeli. Moreover, the English edition refers to a possible motive for the attack against Israeli soldiers as “revenge,” further reinforcing the false impression that it was Israeli security agents who carried out the home search.
The page-one story in the Hebrew edition print explicitly states that it was Palestinian security agents who carried out the search in Turkamen’s home:

PreOccupiedTerritory: Labor Accuses God Of Monopolizing Bible With Pro-God Voices (satire)

Leaders of Israel’s main opposition party today charged that the LORD was suppressing democratic dissent by filling the record of His revealed Word only with books and authors supportive of the divine agenda.
Opposition head, Labor Party, and Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog laced into God today, saying that the Creator’s transparent attempt to fill the ranks of the Hebrew Scriptures – known as the Tanakh – exclusively with works in keeping with His will for humanity flies in the face of freedom of expression. Herzog called on the Almighty to open the Tanakh to other authors and perspectives, especially those whose opinions and ideologies clash with the books already there.
“Disagreement is healthy for societal discourse,” insisted Herzog, who sees a restriction of free expression if the same stage and attention is not available for all views. “Let the people be the judge of whether a given set of writings belongs in the canon. It is downright totalitarian to have only one view given such prominence, and to deny such exposure to, say, Amalek, Pharaoh, or Nebuchadnezzar.”
Other figures on the Israeli Left echoed Herzog’s concerns. “No one is saying God has to change His mind,” explained Tzipi Livni, the head of HaTnua and second on the Zionist Union roster. “But a decent respect for diversity of opinion is to be expected in the central body of text that the Eternal One has transmitted in one form or another through his messengers and prophets through the ages. I, for one, can’t see God disagreeing with that idea. He really should open up His canon to a greater variety of voices and opinions. I mean, there is not a single work in all of Tanakh written by someone who doesn’t see monotheism as a value, or who believes bribery to be just the thing. Including those marginalized perspectives would do wonders to enrich the tapestry of our culture.”

In unprecedented move, Hamas bids to join PLO

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal made a rare plea on Wednesday for uniting his popular Palestinian Islamist movement with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), bringing it, for the first time, into the umbrella group recognized internationally and by Israel as the representative of the Palestinians.
A senior PLO member told The Times of Israel that the group wants to bring Hamas under its framework, while an expert on Palestinian politics said the move was likely to take place.
The call by Hamas — considered a terror group by Israel, the US and most of the international community — for inclusion in the PLO comes amid concerted efforts by the Palestinians to challenge the 1917 British Balfour Declaration, which promised the Jewish people a “homeland” in Palestine, and to establish an independent Palestinian state as soon as possible.
Wednesday is the 99th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
Mashaal called for a “united authority for inside and outside of Palestine under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.”

Hamas calls for more attacks by PA security personnel

Hamas “welcomed” an attack by a Palestinian police officer on Monday that injured three Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near Ramallah, and called on Palestinian security personnel to carry out more attacks.
“We welcome the heroic operation carried out by the martyr officer Muhammad Turkman,” the terror group said it a statement. “We consider [the attack] a strong message in the face of Israeli crimes.”
While Hamas usually praises attacks against Israelis — whether civilians or soldiers — the terror group went a step further on Monday by specifically calling for more members of the Palestinian security forces to “join the Palestinian intifada.”
The gunman was named as Muhammad Turkman, a police officer from Qabatiya, by both the official Palestinian Authority news outlet al-Hayat al-Jadida and Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Defense Ministry’s coordinator of government activities in the territories.
According to the PA outlet’s report, Turkman served in a “special forces unit.”

EXCLUSIVE – Fatah Militants Mull Resuming Terror Against Israel

The commanders of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s military wing, have been mulling the possibility of turning their guns against Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s “despots,” a top Brigade militant told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The militant said that since the end of the second intifada, and the amnesty agreement that was reached with Israel shortly after Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, “the occupation only deepened, and corruption in the PA only widened. The people are desperate for a game change that would turn the tables and bring the Palestinian question back to the top of the agenda.”
In the wake of the Arab Spring, he said, the community of nations lost interest in the Palestinians, “thereby allowing Israel to continue its mistreatment of the Palestinians, and allowing the corrupt PA leadership to gain wealth and property at the expense of the Palestinian people.”
The Ramallah-based militant, who spewed anti-Israel propaganda, denied the new development of debating a resumption of attacks had to do with infighting in the PA leadership. “It has nothing to do with power politics,” he said. “We’re neither Dahlan’s nor Abbas’ people. We are the ones who sacrificed our lives and friends during the intifada and find ourselves in a reality with no future, both personally and nationally. The claims that Dahlan is funding us are lies. We see him as equally to blame for the situation we’re in as Abbas.”
He was referring to Palestinian strongman Mahmoud Dahlan, a rival to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Turkey: Erdogan’s Galloping Despotism

Both fascism and communism exercised a large influence on the Arab “Baathist” ideology — “resurrection” in Arabic, and which started as a nationalist, Sunni Arab movement to combat Western colonial rule and to promote modernization. In Iraq, the despotic Baathist regime survived 35 years, largely under the leadership of Saddam Hussein. In Syria, it is still struggling under the tyranny of President Bashar al-Assad. These days a non-Arab, but Islamist version of the Baathist ideology is flourishing in an otherwise unlikely country: candidate for membership in the European Union (EU), Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing authoritarianism is killing Turkey’s already slim chances of finding itself a place in the world’s more civilized clubs and turning the country more and more into a “Baathist” regime.
In 2004 Erdogan’s government abolished the death penalty as part of his ambitions at the time to join the EU. Twelve years later, on Oct. 29, 2016, Erdogan addressed fans of his party, and said he would ratify a bill reinstating capital punishment once it passed in parliament despite objections it might spark in the West. He said: “Soon, our government will bring (the bill) to parliament … It’s what the people say that matters, not what the West thinks”.
EU officials had warned in July that such a move would kill Turkey’s accession process. If Turkey reintroduces the death penalty, said Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, it will not be joining the European Union. “Let me be very clear on one thing,” she said, “… No country can become an EU member state if it introduces [the] death penalty.”
On October 30, Europe once again warned Turkey. “Executing the death penalty is incompatible with membership of the Council of Europe,” the 47-member organization, which includes Turkey, tweeted.

An Anti-Israel Activist in Syria

If journalist-activist Rania Khalek did not exist, someone would have to invent her.
A prominent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, she has proven herself unable to maintain the distinction between the Zionists and Jews, which BDS supporters insist that they carefully make. In December 2013, in the Electronic Intifada, Khalek proposed that the left-wing journal The Nation has a “problem with Palestinians.” Why? It hosted a forum on the boycott movement that included “four Jews and one Palestinian.” Never mind that a majority of the panel favored the boycott. Jew-counting is the best way to determine a journal’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The BDS movement also wants to deny that it really singles out the Jewish state. True, BDS supporters say, not all the world’s suffering takes place on the West Bank. But, whether because Israel and the U.S. have a special relationship, or because better things are expected of Israel than an Iran or Syria, Israel should be subjected to special pressure. To put it another way, because Israel is not a pariah state, it should be treated more harshly than pariah states.
But Khalek is incapable of walking even this line. A week ago, reporting from Lebanon, she seemed shocked that people there seem more consumed with Syria and ISIS than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In other words, it is not only Americans who have a special relationship with Israel, or those otherwise inclined to think well of Israel, who should focus on Israel instead of on conflicts that have already taken hundreds of thousands of lives. Rather, everyone, including those who actually live in a region falling apart for reasons that have nothing to do with Israel, is expected to focus on BDS.
Khalek has perhaps now gone too far even for her allies. Although she insists that all right-thinking people must boycott conferences that take place in Israel, she is in Syria to attend a conference in Damascus on “The Ramifications of War in Syria.” It’s no mystery why the organizers of the conference invited Khalek–who thinks the “Western media narrative” is tilted against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad–to speak on the effects of sanctions on Syria. It is more of a mystery why a woman who thinks chefs should spurn an event in Tel Aviv for fear of legitimizing Israel agreed to speak at a conference that also has Assad regime officials on its roster.
It is a mystery, that is, if you buy the line of BDS activists that they are after Israel because they care so much about human rights.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Bloodshed Fans Hoping Syrian Civil War Goes Full Seven Games (satire)

Followers of the ongoing conflict between the regime of Syrian President Basher Assad and rebels fighting to retain control of areas they took in the last five years are excited to see the drama continue, and expect the series of clashes to extend to the full seven necessary to determine a victor.
Initial gains by the rebels in various parts of the country threatened to defeat the dictator, but the latter managed to recruit free agents from the Russian, Lebanese, and Iranian leagues and stem the losses. More recently, the tide has turned against the rebels, especially in the historic city of Aleppo, who are mounting a last-ditch counteroffensive to reopen a corridor to the city to relieve a months-long siege by Assad’s forces, Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon, and Shiite militia members recruited by Iran from its own soil, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The series has riveted fans since its dramatic beginnings, when the apparent underdog rebels managed to throw off Assad’s yoke from multiple areas of the country. But home-field advantage eventually became an important factor, and Assad and his allies have steadily leveraged it to reestablish control of the series.
“I’m rooting for the rebels, but it’s good for the sport to have an evenly-matched series that goes the distance,” gushed enthusiast Marshall Law. “So while I’m not happy right now about the way things are going in Aleppo, I do feel gratified that this series gave us fans a real show, instead of the blowouts we saw during the Arab Spring Training.”

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