Dr. Mordechai Kedar: A rude awakening for the Palestinian dream
When something is built on an unstable foundation, it is only natural for its long term survival to be at risk. It is also natural for it to be in need of constant support just to keep from falling. The belief that it will eventually be able to stand on its own two feet causes people to lend their support, but only egregious fools continue to do so if there is no hope of its ever being independent, because in that case, everythiing those supporters have invested is doomed to be irretrievably lost.
The Palestinian Authority is in exactly that position today and this article will expound on the reasons it has no hope of every being able to become a viable and independent entity.
The prime reason for this situation is the very reason the PA was founded. In 1993, the Israeli government tried to find someone who would accept responsibility for eliminating the terror network created by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, someone willing to be rewarded for anti-terrorist activity by being granted the authority to rule the area and administer the lives of the Arabs living there. This was the “deal” concocted by the Israelis, and the “contractor” who accepted the challenge was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) headed by arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat. The Israeli government actually believed that Arafat was serious about eliminating terror and establishing an autonomous administrative system for running those territories.
Of course, this deal was doomed to failure from the start due to the residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza and also the government of Israel. The Arab residents considered the Palestinian Authority (PA), the governing arm of the PLO, to be the operative arm of Israeli policy, an organization collaorating with Israel by means of the coordinated security system that exists up until this very day.
“Security coordination” to the Palestinian Arab mind is a laundered word for cooperation, meaning PA security forces attempt to apprehend the terrorists that belong to organizations other than their own and hand them over to Israel. Many of the Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza see this as no less than treason.
In order to cover up that perceived betrayal and silence its critics, the PA employs thousands in both real and artificial jobs (the kind where the worker does not have to do anything in order to be paid) . For the sake of earning a livng, people are willing to shut their mouths and utter not a word about what they really think of the PA and the reasons for its existence. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Tablet Editorial Voter Education
Eight candidates who have expressed blatantly anti-Semitic views, or who openly associate with anti-Semites
If nothing else, the Pittsburgh massacre should underline for all American Jews that our ongoing struggle against hate is not a narrow sectarian interest or a partisan political tool. It is a matter of life or death—for your neighbors, your synagogue, your family, your children, your parents and grandparents, for our community.
In that spirit, we want to emphasize, as Nathan Rubin does today in our pages, just how important it is to have friends and allies in the ongoing struggle against hate.
We also want to make clear that open and blatant anti-Semitism—as well as validating and associating with open and blatant anti-Semites who spread their poison in our country or call for the elimination or destruction of Jewish communities anywhere else in the world—is not acceptable, ever. Licensing hate means death for Jews.
Anti-Semitism is a bright red line in our politics that no one in our public life can be permitted to cross and expect to receive the support of our community, whether we are proud Democrats or proud Republicans.
Support for Israel is not an excuse for calling for the elimination of Jews or the Jewish religion. Support for immigrants or other marginalized groups is also not an excuse. Past histories of individual or group oppression at the hands of anyone, anywhere is not an excuse. Being Jewish, or having a Jewish parent or grandparent, is not an excuse. There are no more excuses.
In that spirit, here is a list of candidates in Tuesday’s hotly contested congressional elections who have expressed blatantly anti-Semitic views or endorsed or refused to condemn individuals or ideas that are blatantly anti-Semitic.
I just want to take a moment to note how deeply stupid and toxic is this line of thinking–which we see every time Farrakhan says something anti-Semitic. pic.twitter.com/gLWh8e9caF
— John-Paul Pagano (@johnpaulpagano) November 3, 2018
There is an uncontrollable intellectual urge to connect a lot of processes and show that Bowers is the inevitable result of those processes. Blaming Trump and Netanyahu, the usual suspects, as various people on Twitter and various writers have done, only serves to prevent Jews from grappling with the fear the massacre has instilled in their communities head-on.
Stephens never does succeed in calling the problem by its name. This is an anti-Semitic attack of the first degree, and that is exactly what so many commentators are trying to conceal. When someone like Bennett says that explicitly to the mourners in Pittsburgh, they get angry at him.
American historian Jeffry Herf has been the only one to define with some degree of accuracy Trump’s role in the attack: Trump is not an anti-Semite, but he also doesn’t understand how anti-Semitism works. Trump must understand that anti-Semitism is one of the most effective strategic weapons for fragmenting society. The greatest enemies of the United States in particular and the West in general have specialized in inciting anti-Semitism for their own ends. It is enough to see the results of the anti-Israel engines of hate operating inside Israel and the U.S., the divide between Israelis and American Jews. What we have here then, Mr. Stephens, our dear friend, is a case of anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism that would very much prefer not to be recognized for what it is. You and former Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman, however, can afford to call it by its explicit name.
As it happens, Trump has done more than any other president to prevent attacks on Jews, including by cutting funds to the Palestinian Authority. This courageous decision thwarts its pay-to-slay policy of issuing financial reward to terrorist murderers of Jews. But no matter. The Jewish social-justice chorale serves at the altar of liberalism and Trump is their Antichrist (just as, lest we forget, George W. Bush was before him).
Degrading Judaism to advance their petty politics, as the Jewish social justice movement has always done, is insulting enough. Using Pittsburgh’s dead to do so is altogether grotesque.
But if these critics really want to talk about betrayal of the Jewish people, consider who supported the nuclear deal with Iran, which enriched the world’s most heinous terror state and which legitimized the pursuit of the bomb by an Islamo-fascist regime bent on annihilating over 6 million Jews.
And consider who for decades paid lip service to the justice of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State and moving the American embassy but then, when it actually happened, opposed it or gave it only half-hearted support — solely because it was implemented by a president whom they detest.
Following the shooting, a number of American Jewish newspaper editors came together and authored a joint editorial sounding the alarm on rising anti-Semitism in the US, and declaring #WeAreAllJews. This is a fitting retort to those who have tried to claim that some of their co-religionists are not.
Such expressions of solidarity within the Jewish community are welcome and must be encouraged. That, and not partisanship, is what will make the memory of those who lost their lives in Pittsburgh a blessing.
Ari Mahler, the Jewish nurse and member of the medical staff who saved the life of Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, shared his experience in an emotional Facebook post on Saturday night.
“I am The Jewish Nurse,” Mahler began, “The trauma nurse in the ER that cared for Robert Bowers who yelled, ‘Death to all Jews,’ as he was wheeled into the hospital. The Jewish nurse who ran into a room to save his life.”
As was widely reported last week, three of the hospital staff who cared for Bowers after he was taken to Allegheny General Hospital for wounds suffered in a gunfight with police, were Jewish.
In his lengthy post, which has been shared over 17,000 times on Facebook, Mahler not only revealed his identity, but also his conflicted feelings as he treated Bowers, an avowed antisemite who killed 11 Jews in a Shabbat morning rampage at the Tree of Life Congregation, the worst antisemitic attack in American history.
“I experienced antisemitism a lot as a kid,” Mahler, a rabbi’s son, wrote. “I found drawings on desks of my family being marched into gas chambers, swastikas drawn on my locker, and notes shoved inside of it saying, ‘Die Jew. Love, Hitler.’”
However, despite being a victim of antisemitism in the past and his statement that he feels “antisemitism is thriving,” Mahler described treating Bowers with no malice or hatred.
The New York City Police Department arrested a Democratic activist on Friday night for allegedly vandalizing a synagogue in New York City with vile anti-Semitic messages. This comes just days after 11 people were murdered at a Pittsburgh synagogue in what was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.
Authorities arrested 26-year-old James Polite, a former volunteer on Obama’s first presidential campaign, for allegedly vandalizing Brooklyn’s Union Temple on Thursday with anti-Semitic messages that included “die Jew rats we are here,” “Jews better be ready,” and “Hitler.”
Polite interned with Christine C. Quinn, the former Democratic Speaker of the New York City Council, for several years and worked “on initiatives to combat hate crime[s],” The New York Times reported in 2017.
The DCNF reviewed Polite’s Facebook and determined that it was the same James Polite profiled by The New York Times.
According to the DCNF, Polite wrote a post this week that stated: “A dream with eyes wide open. civil war is here. Nobody gotta die. Mexico, latin America, carribean vs. Jew n***er pigs. One person touch me this whole shit a smoking.”
Polite also “posted a cell-phone picture of a burning American flag, with the caption ‘Sometimes things take a lil heat to grow,'” the DCNF’s report added. “Police suspect him of setting fires at ‘seven shuls and yeshivas in Williamsburg’ that same night, before the temple vandalism. Security footage captured that, too.”
Coming as it does, on the heels of the deadly attack in Pittsburgh, Polite’s case merits a moment of consideration. After the shooting in the Tree of Life synagogue left 11 dead, some pundits pointed out that President Trump bore some measure of responsibility for the attack, if only for fomenting the sort of chaotic atmosphere that empowered and invigorated the alt-right.
It’s a serious accusation, and one well worth considering carefully and at length (Benjamin Kerstein does an excellent job promoting this very argument here). But in Polite we have an equally terrifying counterargument, one that suggests that in today’s America, no one side has a monopoly on hate and chaos. When the Democratic Party’s leaders, including a former president and a former attorney general, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Louis Farrakhan on the stage at Aretha Franklin’s funeral, is it any wonder that some are prone to listen when Farrakhan refers to Jews as termites? And listen they do: Earlier this week, a rabbi, Avram Mlotek, was harassed on the subway in Manhattan by a Farrakhan supporter who blamed the Jews for all the violence directed against them everywhere in the world.
And now, we’ve Polite. If the left is honest, it will spend the coming days and weeks asking how someone educated at a fine liberal university, on a scholarship from a fine liberal newspaper, could graduate from a job with a fine liberal politician—helping curb hate crimes, no less—to trying to intimidate and incinerate Jews. It’s a question worth lingering on: Polite wasn’t a disgruntled loner with a loose social network and no systems of support. Throughout his troubled life, he received one opportunity after another to rise above his hard beginnings. He enjoyed all aspects of the liberal American dream, from a warm foster family to an all-expenses-paid scholarship to a fine university to a position working alongside a prominent progressive politician. He ought to have been, as the Times wrote when it reported about his success just a year ago, one to “defy the statistics.” Instead, he tried to burn down the Jews.
Those of us not beholden to blinding partisan commitments are saddened but not surprised. Anti-Semitism is so pernicious precisely because it eats through ideological convictions, afflicting left and right alike. And no matter what you think of the president’s comportment, cases like Polite’s make it impossible to deny that the left has just as much of a Jew-hatred problem on its hand, if not a much bigger one: If the second-most-powerful progressive politician in the city with the largest Jewish population in America couldn’t detect, let alone curb, the arsonist on her staff, the problem is much graver than many might care to admit. Before more troubled maniacs attempt more violence, it’s time for real soul-searching to begin.
BREAKING: NYPD are looking for the individuals pictured below, they drew multiple swastikas on the steps and garage doors of multiple residential homes on Garden Place, between Joralemon Street and State Street. pic.twitter.com/tUhUmnKQVY
— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) November 4, 2018
Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum spoke at an event hosted by an anti-Israel organization the day after the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.
Gillum and his running mate, Chris King, spoke at a “Muslims for Gillum” rally Sunday at Apna Bazar in Orlando, Florida. The event was co-hosted by Emgage, an American Muslim lobbying organization. Only a day earlier on the Jewish Sabbath, 11 people perished in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after an individual carried out a mass shooting while reportedly shouting, “All Jews must die.”
Emgage has been a vocal supporter of Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, and repeatedly endorsed his candidacy for governor of Florida.
The co-chair of Emgage, Khurrum Wahid, has an extensive history of defending individuals that the United States government has tied to Islamic terrorism. Walid was the defense attorney for Rafiq Sabir, who was sentenced to a 25-year prison term for conspiring with al-Qaeda by providing material support and medical care to injured militants. Hafiz Kahn, who was found guilty of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists by sending $50,000 to the Taliban in order to kill American troops overseas, was also represented by Wahid. And most notably, Wahid defended Ahmed Omar Abu Ali who received a life sentence for joining al-Qaeda and plotting to assassinate former President George W. Bush.
— The Mossad (@TheMossadIL) November 4, 2018
In an apparent break from its previous stance, the Fatah party which dominates the Palestinian Authority has reportedly given Egyptian negotiators the go-ahead to mediate an agreement to quell violence between Israel and Hamas-led factions in the Gaza Strip. But Palestinian officials continue to insist that any formal ceasefire with Israel can only be inked after rival Palestinian factions achieve a reconciliation deal.
Senior Palestinian sources told the Al-Hayat newspaper Sunday that Fatah officials gave their approval to the Egyptians in Cairo during a meeting with Hamas leaders. The meeting was attended by Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad and Hussein al-Sheikh, another committee member and close confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The sources noted that the current Egyptian efforts, reportedly nearing a conclusion, are aimed only at achieving “calm” between Gaza and Israel and are not considered a formal agreement or ceasefire, which they said can only be formulated after Palestinian reconciliation.
According to the report, the Fatah delegation gave its approval in order to “restore normalcy” to Hamas-ruled Gaza and prevent another war between the terror rulers of the coastal enclave and Israel.
Arabic media reports have said that if achieved, a ceasefire would include at least a partial lifting of Israel’s restrictions on the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza.
Israel holds that its restrictions on movement serve security purposes, including preventing the entry of weapons into the Strip.
The parents of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, killed during the 2014 Gaza War, slammed the government on Sunday for working to achieve a ceasefire deal with Hamas but not including the return of the missing soldiers as part of the deal.
On Saturday night, the family claimed that IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot told them last week that, if the government wanted, it could secure the return of their son’s body from Hamas within a week. This could be done, the family said, by stopping all projects in Gaza except for water, food and sewage.
Goldin was killed at the end of the war and his body was taken by Hamas terrorists. Hamas has refused to return the body as well as the remains of IDF soldier Oron Shaul — also killed during the 2014 war — unless Israel agrees to release jailed Palestinian terrorists.
“From the tough meeting, we concluded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want to return the soldiers to Israel,” the Goldin family said in a statement.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office refuted the statement and said that Eisenkot met the Leah and Simcha Goldin last Friday but that the statements attributed to him were “partial and did not accurately reflect what was said in the meeting.”
Two other Israeli civilians — Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed – are also being held by Hamas in Gaza. Both crossed into Gaza voluntarily.
High school students from villages and towns near the Gaza border began a protest march toward Jerusalem on Sunday to call attention to the rocket-battered region’s woes.
Over 100 students from grades 10-12 at Shaar Hanegev High School were taking part in the march, which began at the Sapir College campus in Sderot and is slated to last five days and stretch some 90 kilometers, part of it uphill, to Israel’s capital.
The marchers expect to reach Kibbutz Ruhama, some 15 kilometers northeast of Sderot, by Sunday evening. They plan on concluding the march at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Thursday.
“We’re youth from the Gaza border region that decided to act,” 17-year-old Alon Levy, one of the march organizers, told the Haaretz daily. “We want to make our voices heard because we want to see a change. We want our younger siblings to be able to sleep quietly at night.”
Marchers will wear shirts that read “Let us grow up in peace.”
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Sunday affirmed that “the peace agreement with Israel is stable and permanent” and said most Egyptians support the nearly 40-year-old treaty.
Speaking at the World Youth Forum 2018 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Sissi added that when former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat “raised his idea of peace, no one thought that this idea would one day be acceptable in the general opinion,” according to a translation of his remarks published in Hebrew media.
Sadat risked everything to make peace with Israel at the US presidential retreat Camp David on September 17, 1978.
The accords, cemented by a peace treaty in 1979, saw regional powerhouse Egypt temporarily shunned by the rest of the Arab world.
Sadat was assassinated on October 6, 1981.
Sissi’s comments came as Khaled Azmi, the new Egyptian ambassador to Israel, arrived in the country on Sunday, according to an Egyptian diplomat. He is to present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday.
A month has passed since the deadly terrorist attack at the Barkan Industrial Zone in October, but despite the time that has passed and an intensive manhunt by Israel, security forces have yet to arrest the terrorist.
Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, 23, from the Palestinian village of Shuweika near the West Bank city of Tulkarm, shot and killed two of his fellow employees on October 7 at the Alon Group factory in the industrial park.
Na’alwa had a permit to work at Barkan and had been employed as an electrician at the factory. He entered the factory at around 7 a.m. with a semi-automatic Carl Gustav rifle hidden in his bag, which he left on the ground floor. He then fixed an electrical problem on the second floor, where he saw Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi already at work.
He then went downstairs to get handcuffs and his bag, and returned, fatally shooting his two fellow employees. Footage from security cameras captured Na’alwa running from the scene with the gun in his hand.
The IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have been hunting for Na’alwa since the attack, so far fruitlessly.
Israeli security forces raided the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem Governorate headquarters and Jerusalem Affairs Ministry on Sunday, the official PA news site Wafa reported.
Spokespersons for the IDF and Israel Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Pictures shared on Twitter showed Israeli security forces at the entrance to the PA Jerusalem Governorate headquarters and Jerusalem Affairs Ministry, which share a building in al-Ram, a town on the northern outskirts of Jerusalem.
“Occupation forces…raided [the building] in a barbaric manner in an attempt to confiscate its contents,” the Wafa report said.
Other pictures posted on Twitter showed PA Jerusalem Affairs Minister Adnan Husseini standing next to desktop computers which appeared to be missing some parts.
Here is something Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would have preferred to keep hidden: one of his close bodyguards is not a security man, but a doctor. When the PA leader is in the Mukataa presidential compound in Ramallah, the doctor comes and goes, hidden from the eyes of visitors. When traveling abroad, he goes unnoticed within the Palestinian delegation, maintaining a low profile, and only those close to him know his real role.
They also know his presence can become critical at any moment. Abbas is almost 83 years old and he is not a healthy person. He is a very heavy smoker, and some say he also suffers from heart problems, prostate cancer, and from a number of illnesses that in recent months have required undisclosed and public hospitalization in a medical center in Ramallah.
During his most recent public appearance at the United Nations, he coughed constantly and looked abnormally overweight, his face swollen, probably due to the use of steroids. His close aides would always say that he is “100 percent” and “in excellent condition,” but the Israelis don’t buy this and monitor him nonstop. They’re not the only ones—the Americans, the Jordanians, and the Egyptians are all closely watching Abbas.
But even if everyone is fully aware of Abbas’s condition, nobody knows when he will actually retire. It could be in another week, another month or two. He himself has already announced that he will not run in the next elections, if and when they are held.
On the other hand, Abbas does not appear to be planning to resign from his positions as the president of the Palestinian Authority and of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He prefers to keep his cards close to his chest; as far as he is concerned, an announcement on a successor means the end of his career, and he will delay such a step as long as he can.
The Palestinian Information Center has posted this timeline of the history of Jerusalem.
For some strange, inexplicable reason, it only begins in the year 638, despite Jerusalem being around for over 4,000 years.
Obviously, it won’t go back before the Islamic conquest, because it would show some really inconvenient (Jewish) history that would destroy the entire premise of this infographic.
But what is telling is the fact they don’t go back regardless, given palestinian claims of being descended from the Canaanites/Jebusties/Philistines (or perhaps the Flintstones).
I guess even the Palestinian Information Center doesn’t believe that sh*t.
Following Tuesday’s municipal elections in Israel, Abbas’ Fatah Movement thanked Arabs in Jerusalem who gave in to the PA’s threats, including the PA’s religious ruling (fatwa) which – in the name of Islam – prohibited participation in the Jerusalem elections. Only 1.5% of the Arabs exercised their right to vote, following the PA’s orders not to endorse the rule of “the occupation.”
The complete boycott by Arabs is in all likelihood the results of the threats and pressure by the PA and not the result of Jerusalem’s Arabs wishing to protest Israeli rule. A poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion found in 2015 that 52% of Jerusalem’s Arabs said they “would prefer to be citizens of Israel,” as opposed to 42% who wished to be “citizens of a Palestinian state.” With more than half of Jerusalem Arabs desiring to be citizens of Israel, in all likelihood the 98.5% boycott of the recent elections was a result of fear due to the PA’s repeated threats.
Fatah, however, ignoring the actual wishes of the Arab residents as shown in the poll’s findings, is turning the boycott into a statement against Israeli sovereignty. Fatah’s spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said that the boycott of the elections shows that Palestinians are even prepared to “defend it at all costs,” a common Palestinian euphemism for violence and terror. He also anticipates “victory” for “Muslims and Christians” in “liberating” the city:
“Jerusalem – with everything in it – was and will remain the capital of the State of Palestine, and we will defend it at all costs. All of us, Muslims and Christians alike, will say the victory prayer in Jerusalem, the liberated capital, Allah willing.'” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 31, 2018]
Maintaining one’s ideological principles is important. Me, I adhere to my people’s official position that participating in the holy city’s municipal elections normalizes occupation, and therefore all Palestinians must refrain from voting. But that will not stop me from criticizing the city government for disregarding the desires or expectations I thus refused to express.
Al-Quds has been an Islamic city since its conquest in the early eight century CE, and control of it cannot be relinquished – which means control by a non-Islamic entity must never be granted legitimacy. My peers and I will on principle never dignify the Zionist occupation of even a centimeter of this holy ground by setting foot in a Zionist-run polling place. And I will also enlist NGOs, a pliant media, and international bodies in railing against the city’s elected government for neglecting the needs of the Arab residents who could have cast a vote for representatives to fight for them on the city council, but refused to do so.
It is a matter of integrity. I cannot in good conscience condone non-Islamic control of Jerusalem, and I cannot in good conscience abandon the Palestinian sense of entitlement that characterizes our behavior on the world stage. I might not engage in the political life of this city, but by thunder, am I going to lambaste those who do for failing to do the job I refuse to do.
Just before restoring U.S. sanctions on Iran, which had been lifted in 2015 under an international nuclear deal, the Trump administration carved out exemptions on Friday for eight countries that can still import oil from the Islamic republic without penalty.
The U.S. sanctions take effect Monday and cover Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. They comprise the second round of sanctions that the administration has reimposed since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord in May .
The 2015 deal gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, which many believed was geared toward developing atomic weapons. Trump repeatedly denounced the agreement as the “worst ever” negotiated by the United States and said it gave Iran too much in return for too little.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a staunch opponent of the nuclear agreement, praised the restoration of U.S. sanctions on Iran, saying that Trump had made a “historic” decision by restoring sanctions against “the murderous terror regime in Iran that is endangering the entire world.”
In a statement issued by his office, Netanyahu said “the effect of the initial sanctions is already felt,” referring to a financial crisis in Iran that has triggered sporadic protests.
No one knows how Tehran will respond to the sanctions being imposed on it this week. Throughout the Middle East coverage of the event is more muted than one would expect, perhaps because adversaries are concerned about too much gloating while friends are afraid to giving the US too much credit.
On Monday sanctions will hit 700 Iranian entities, according to reports. The US sanctions are opposed by many countries, including the EU which has said it regrets the imposition of sanctions, many of which were lifted as part of the 2015 Iran deal. But reactions in the Middle East are more complex. Saudi Arabia and its allies tend to support the US and oppose Iran’s actions in the region. A review of the region’s responses shows that the public response to the sanctions has been modest.
In the UAE, a close ally of Washington, The National notes that Abu Dhabi will increase oil production after discovering new large reserves. That should settle oil markets who are concerned about US sanctions targeting Iranian oil. The US had previously indicated in August it wanted Iran oil exports to go down to “zero.” But the UAE announcement says that production will increase to 5 million barrels per day by 2030, which is a long time in the future. Clearly the announcement is timed to coincide with the sanctions, but the articles about it don’t mention the sanctions. Instead another article looks at the US granting waivers to “8 buyers” of Iranian crude. Who they are is not clear. The UAE is one of the top importers of Iranian oil alongside Chine, India, South Korea, Turkey, and Italy, the article notes.
Kuwait’s Al-Jarida also carried the 5 million barrel increase story and has a more interesting story about Iran’s Guardian Council refusing to accept a law that would have tamped down on terror finance. Tehran had passed the law to align itself with UN guidelines and apparently this would help Iran’s banking links “with the world,” an important necessity for Tehran as sanctions kick in. But the council, “controlled by conservatives,” said the law is contrary to “Islamic legislation and the constitution.”
Thousands of Iranians rallied in Tehran on Sunday to mark the 39th anniversary of the US Embassy takeover, as Washington restored all sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal.
The crowd chanted “Down with US” and “Death to Israel” during the rally in the capital, and state TV said similar demonstrations were held in other cities and towns.
Iranian students stormed the embassy shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, taking 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. The US cut off diplomatic relations in response.
Iran’s clerically led government celebrates the embassy takeover every year as a decisive blow against the United States, which had supported the autocratic rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The embassy compound, widely known as the “den of spies,” is now a cultural center.
The association of Jewish students in the German southern state of Bavaria urged the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich to cancel a slated Wednesday pro-boycott Israel event with a hardcore anti-Jewish state activist. The association, along with other groups that combat antisemitism, wrote that “it is to be expected that positions of the antisemitic BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] campaign will be uncritically propagated. We, therefore, call for the event to be canceled.”
The event is titled “Israel, Palestine and the limits of what is sayable.” Two days after the planned anti-Israel event, Germany will commemorate the wave of pogroms against German Jews that unfolded in Kristallnacht.
The German Jewish organizations and pro-Israel groups accused the speaker of the planned BDS event, left-wing journalist Andreas Zumach, of spreading a “Jewish conspiracy” in a previous lecture. Zumach, who writes for the leftist taz, a publication that has been engulfed in alleged antisemitic scandals over the years, said there is an “organized Israeli government lobby.”
Zumach has claimed the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor and head of the Munich Jewish community, Charlotte Knobloch, and “a Jerusalem Post correspondent who functions as a Mossad agent,” systematically suppresses “legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies,” as well as criticism of the settlements.
Zumach appears to have meant the Post reporter of this article whom he called “Bernhard Weintraub” in his talk.
Students for “Justice” in Palestine (SJP). The irony in the name is itself comical. I will never forget my first encounter with the anti-Israel club on my campus at York University in Toronto. In my first semester, I was on my way to class when I was stopped in the middle of the hallway and asked “Hi, are you Jewish? Show us your passport.”
So goes the story of SJP on North American campuses. Among other activities, like fund-raising for convicted terrorists, shutting down free speech and bringing active terrorists to speak to students, SJP’s modus operandi is casting the blame for the actions of the government of Israel, onto the Jewish students on campus – behavior that falls into the textbook definition of antisemitism.
As a first-year university student, I was shocked at being accosted for my Jewishness. I quickly learned that it was York University’s anti-Israel club staging a mock checkpoint to demonize Israeli security measures that protect Israeli civilians and visitors from Palestinian terrorist attacks.
That encounter was just the tip of the iceberg. During my time at York, that same group organized a number of staged “die-ins,” anti-Israel rallies, student government motions to boycott Israel and more. But more than any political or “human rights” group, they also harassed Jewish students, vandalized the Israeli flag and continuously made the Jewish community at York feel like we had to live through the conflict on our own campus. Why? For no other reason than we were Jewish or pro-Israel.
No Hate On Campus
Students at New York University introduced a resolution to support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel on Thursday.
The measure — brought to the Student Government Assembly (SGA) by students affiliated with the anti-Zionist clubs Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) — calls for the university to pressure General Electric, Caterpillar, and Lockheed Martin to cease their involvement “in the violation of Palestinian human rights and human rights globally,” and pursue divestment if the companies fail to comply.
It describes the Palestinian-led BDS campaign as “an inclusive, anti-racist, and non-violent set of tools to pursue the Palestinian human rights movement,” which opposes all forms of discrimination, “including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.”
Yet BDS has been strongly denounced by major Jewish communal bodies worldwide and in the United States, including for its leaders’ wholesale rejection of Zionism — a diverse movement that broadly supports the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination in their homeland. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) civil rights group has warned that the founding goals and “many of the strategies used by BDS campaigns are anti-Semitic.”
A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit earlier this week alleging that San Francisco State University had tolerated or encouraged antisemitism.
The lawsuit — whose defendants included SFSU, the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and several administrators and faculty — was filed by five current and former Jewish students and two Jewish community members in June 2017. It claimed that antisemitism had been problem at SFSU for decades, and centered on two recent events — a February 2017 incident when the Jewish campus group Hillel was blocked from taking part in a “Know Your Rights” information fair, and the disruption of a talk by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in April 2016 by anti-Israel activists.
The case was initially dismissed with leave to amend in March, after Judge William Orrick advised plaintiffs to “allege specific intent to discriminate.” A second amended complaint submitted later that month.
Yet Orrick said in a judgement filed on Monday that the second complaint failed to demonstrate a violation of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights, namely under the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause — even while recognizing that the “plaintiffs, and some other members of the Jewish or Israeli community in or around SFSU, feel deeply that SFSU has not done enough to curtail others’ anti-Semitic behaviors and to foster a better environment for Jewish and pro-Israeli students.”
Newsweek has an unfortunate habit of publishing opinion pieces without even the most basic fact checking. A recent editorial by Michael Lynk, a UN Special Rapporteur, professor and rabid anti-Israel activist, is no exception.
Entitled, “Khan Al-Ahmar and Israel’s Creeping Annexation of the West Bank,” this article is so stuffed with untrue statements that it is closer to a work of fiction than a legitimate opinion-editorial.
NGO Monitor and UNWatch have thoroughly documented Lynk’s support for at least one notorious antisemite, unabashed anti-Israel bias, and a laundry list of other ethical violations.
In fact, in this video from 2017, Lynk unashamedly states that he is unaware that his role at the UN allows him to investigate abuse of Palestinians by the Palestinian government or by Hamas, thus confirming that he is not pro-Palestinian at all, but merely anti-Israel.
The political events surrounding the Arab settlement of Khan Al-Ahmar are the subject of legitimate debate within Israel, and Lynk is certainly entitled to his opinions. But op-eds must be based on accurate facts. And here, Lynk fails.
Even when it’s trying to stand up for Jews, The New York Times somehow manages to find a way to insult us.
Ginia Bellafante, a New York Times columnist last observed smearing observant Jews as ignorant welfare sponges, has a new piece out noticing that there’s lots of anti-Jewish hate out there and that not all of it comes from the far right. Her latest column appears under the provocative headline “Is It Safe To Be Jewish In New York?”
Her concern is welcome enough, I suppose, except that toward the end it veers off with this passage: “Sympathies are distributed unevenly. Few are extended toward religious fundamentalists, of any kind, who reach the radar of the urbane, ‘Pod Save America’ class only when stories appear confirming existing impressions of backwardness — the hordes of children delivered into the world whom families refuse to vaccinate and keep semiliterate.”
The yeshiva students to whom the Times columnist is apparently referring are highly literate, most of them, in biblical, mishnaic, and prayerbook Hebrew and in the Aramaic of the Talmud. Some of them also speak or read Yiddish. So on the basis that their English isn’t Oxford-level, the Times is going to insult them as semiliterate? By that standard, Bellafante herself is semiliterate if she can’t read Rashi.
Imagine the cries of “racism” and bias if a politician or Times columnist were to refer to the caravan of asylum-speakers approaching the US southern border, or even to some professional baseball infielders, as “semiliterate” merely because they are literate in Spanish but not in English.
Israel is set to host the D9 International Digital Forum for the first time. Held simultaneously in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from the 19-21 of November, each of the nine participating countries present notable national projects as well as their plans and hopes for a digital future.
The forum will be led by the Minister of Social Equality and Member of Knesset Gila Gamliel.
“[I am] overjoyed for the right to represent the State of Israel and the Israeli government as president of D9 Forum and host of the annual conference, shaping the course of tomorrow’s world,” Gamliel said. “Israel is located at the forefront of the digital power technology in the world. We are harnessing technology while also encouraging growth, improving government services and reducing social inequalities [in the process].”
At the forum, Gamliel will launch a new Israeli-founded platform for online education called “Campus” with the hopes of releasing it nationwide, as well as a national plan for digitizing Israel, simply named “Digital Israel.”
With a multicolored kimono, clucking sounds and chicken-like dance moves, Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won over audiences with a hit inspired by the #MeToo movement to claim the Eurovision Song Contest.
Now as she sets off on her first European tour the pop star has told AFP in an interview that she aims to pass on a message of empowerment after overcoming her own self doubts.
Her winning song “Toy” became an anthem for others who, like her, have been bullied or made to feel like an outcast.
She has said her childhood was marked by teasing over her body and bouts of bulimia.
“We’re made to feel small in all kinds of situations. I don’t want to feel small anymore,” the 25-year-old said Saturday at her publicist’s apartment in Tel Aviv.
“I want to empower and love, to be empowered and empower others. Because when we send out good energy, it comes back at us and makes the world a better place.”
Her upcoming tour, which begins on November 12, includes venues in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Britain, as well as a November 17 show at the Salle Wagram in Paris.
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