‘My existence is a provocation’
Hen Mazzig on how campus culture has become hostile to Jews.
Mazzig says this ugly climate is not unique to university campuses. It is part of a wider problem whereby Jews outside of Israel are forced to pick a side on the Israel-Palestine conflict. ‘A few years ago, a Jew could just be a Jew. Today, they do not have the luxury of being a Jew without deciding where they stand on Israel. A Muslim doesn’t need to decide where he stands on Muslim countries in the Middle East. But it seems like, for Jews, it is always a challenge.’
After the protest, UCLU posted a statement on its website, explaining that police were called ‘due to the controversial nature of the event’. According to UCLU, the 30-odd police officers were called to campus to protect everyone from controversy. It’s as if UCLU sits in a parallel universe. Clearly, when it comes to Israel, only one view is accepted on campus, and you oppose that view at your peril. As Mazzig puts it, ‘my existence is a provocation’.
Anti-Israel activists are keen advocates of this through-the-looking-glass approach. They talk up their right to protest and express their opinions. And yet they deny the same right to pro-Israel students by banging on windows and making as much noise as possible at these so-called peaceful protests. This is a clear attempt to deny pro-Israel speakers the right to speak, and the right of students to hear them. If the protesters have so much to say about Israel, why not go inside and have the debate? As Mazzig puts it, it’s an opportunity to ‘grill an Israeli’.
Mazzig is adamant he will return to the UK and give more talks. ‘The only way to fight hate speech is with good speech’, he says. He is right, but it takes some courage to do it.
Israel student societies face more opprobrium on campus, and require more security for their events, than any other kind. Israeli students are held personally accountable for their government’s actions. The singling out of Israel in campus politics is producing ugly results. So much so that the sight of a room of mostly Jewish students being surrounded by an angry, jeering mob has become all-too familiar. The National Union of Students refuses to comment on the UCL incident, and UCLU seems uninterested. What more has to happen before that looking glass is smashed?
Arutz Sheva spoke with Tuvia Tenenbom, author of the new book, The Lies They Tell. Tenenbom’s book has been released in Hebrew recently, will be released in German this week and is set to be released in English in January.
Tenenbom is the best-selling author of Catch the Jew, which humorously, but pointedly, delves into the world of left-wing anti-Israel activism, including that of NGOs and leftists within the State of Israel.
The publishers of The Lies They Tell explained that the book deals with USA, the world’s empire understanding that what America does will affect our lives and the lives of our children.
“Who are the Americans? What are their dreams? What are their fears?”, ask the publishers of the Hebrew version, “They say that they believe in multiculturalism. They say that hey love all: black, white, Jew, and Arab. They say that they are free. They say that they are brave. They say that they would love to see you, that they love you like a brother, and that their food is amazing. Their politicians compete with each other over who cares more about Israel”.
After defining what values Americans “say” they follow, Tenenbom asks “Is any of this true?”
Elliott Abrams: Understanding the Human Rights Assaults on Israel
Rabbi Sacks’s explanation is in fact doubly powerful. Not only does he explain why Israel’s enemies choose the language of human rights, he also reminds us that the central motivation of those critics is, quite simply, anti-Semitism. As he explained,
Antisemitism means denying the right of Jews to exist collectively as Jews with the same rights as everyone else. It takes different forms in different ages. In the Middle Ages, Jews were hated because of their religion. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century they were hated because of their race. Today they are hated because of their nation state, the state of Israel. It takes different forms but it remains the same thing: the view that Jews have no right to exist as free and equal human beings.
His conclusion is stark:
It was Jews not Israelis who were murdered in terrorist attacks in Toulouse, Paris, Brussels and Copenhagen. Anti-Zionism is the antisemitism of our time.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed cabinet ministers to refrain from commenting on the upcoming US presidential elections, or from giving an opinion as to which of the candidates they would prefer to see in the White House.
Netanyahu made it clear that Israel must not be seen as taking sides, Channel 10 reported Sunday.
“It is sensitive, I will lead the position,” he said, two days before the US elections were to be held.
“Whoever wins this week’s election in the US — I am sure that the strong and stable relations with Israel will not only remain as such, but will be strengthened,” Netanyahu said before the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. “The alliance with the US is the most important alliance we have in all of our international relations. That is how it has been, and that is how it will remain.”
Netanyahu also said ties would remain strong no matter who won Tuesday’s vote.
I don’t get it. You Americans can’t seem to leave well enough alone. You had an election back in 2004, and again in 2008. You even had one in 2012, as if the two previous ones weren’t good enough. During that time, I haven’t had to hold another round of presidential voting – the one time I was elected in 2005 was more than sufficient. What kind of idiot country needs to vote on this thing again and again?
I’m telling you, it’s just asking for trouble. I’d be out of power for years already if I allowed free and fair elections any time in the last five to ten years. Bush and Obama obviously didn’t get the memo that they’d be able to stay in power for life, like me, or they would simply not hold new elections like it’s some addictive habit.
Just look at the discord plaguing American society right now, in the shadow of Election Day. Not just in the shadow of – directly because of Election Day. You wouldn’t be seeing any of this social unrest and political upheaval – not to mention heated rhetoric unprecedented in recent political history in the US – if Obama, or Bush before him, had just carried on as president, and there wouldn’t be a campaign on right now. It shouldn’t be a big deal. My election in 2005 was all my people need to keep me in power until I choose to step down, and I fail to see why you Yankees can’t follow my example.
The president of Afghanistan has announced that he will be opening his country’s borders to American refugees should Trump become the President Elect on Tuesday.
The Afghan representative to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has assessed that at least three million Americans are planning to flee immediately following a Trump win. Preparations are being made to receive them by the end of the week, with each family receiving a modest six-month stipend, two goats, a Quran and a circumcision knife (fit for use for both males and females).
“We’ve pretty much forgiven them for killing our people just to get ahead in their little ’80s spat with the Soviets,” said one government official. “The tables have turned, now it’s their country that’s falling apart as the world watches in silence. Something must be done.”
Many Americans who’d previously expressed an interest in moving to Canada are expected to take up the offer. “It’s too cold in Canada,” explained a Seattle resident who’s already registered in Afghanistan. “Afghan summers are really nice, and in winter we can keep warm by running around dodging gunfire and IEDs.”
Barry Shaw: The Consequences of Inaction
The reality is that the actors who are replacing a once powerful and influential America are malevolently reshaping both the Middle East and Asia in their own image.
“I announce my separation from the United States… I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow, and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia.” — Philippines President Rodrigo Dutere, in a speech to China’s leaders in Beijing, Oct. 20, 2016.
Statements that relations were “steady and trusted” by US Assistant Secretary of State, David Russel did nothing to hide the fact that America’s self-imposed impotence is being felt in Asia.
Information may be “the oxygen of the modern age,” as Ronald Reagan famously said, but information technology is a mixed bag. Among other things, it has fueled the rise of global jihadism as we know it today.
It enabled a nest of tunnel-based terrorists in Afghanistan to coordinate the most deadly non-state terrorist attack in history 15 years ago. More recently, it has populated a new Islamic “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq with volunteers from around the world.
But there is a silver lining to the widespread use and abuse of social media in the Middle East: It can tell us a great deal about the individuals sitting behind the electronic screens.
Take Hashtag Palestine, the title of an insightful report by Hamleh, the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement. The Ramallah based-nongovernmental organization is dedicated to training individuals and community-based groups to engage in grassroots social media activism. Its recent report on Palestinian social media activity in 2015, a year that launched what is now called the Knife Intifada, is revealing.
Palestinians, like others in the world, have become active internet users. Nearly two-thirds report having a computer and half use a smartphone. Young people form the majority of users. With this level of penetration, the Internet is already playing a significant social role in their lives.
What has been trending in Palestine? The report analyses 18 campaigns that tell us something about the Palestinian mood.
Similarly partial portrayals of the Hussein-McMahon correspondence are found in additional material produced by the BBC – for example in an article from May 2016 by Jim Muir on the topic of the Sykes-Picot agreement and in an article by Kevin Connolly from July 2015. In May 2015 listeners to BBC World Service radio were told by historian-cum-political activist Avi Shlaim that:
“…Britain’s behavior during the First World War is a prime example of pure opportunism because in the course of fighting the First World War, Britain was desperate to gain allies and it made three major promises that were contradictory and couldn’t be reconciled and this should have been clear during the war. The first promise was to Hussein the Sharif of Mecca – to support an independent Arab kingdom under his rule in return for mounting an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks. The second promise […] is the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. This was a secret agreement between Britain and France to carve up the Middle East between themselves at the expense of the Arabs. And the third and most famous promise was the Balfour Declaration of 1917 in which Britain undertook to support the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. So Palestine was the twice-promised land – first it was promised to Hussein the Sharif of Mecca and then it was promised to the Zionists.”
In an ‘educational’ feature about the First World War produced in September 2014 and presented by BBC News diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall, BBC audiences are told (in section 5) that “British diplomats made a series of seemingly contradictory promises to potential allies” before being presented with portrayals of the Hussein-McMahon correspondence, the Sykes-Picot agreement and the Balfour Declaration.
As has been previously noted here on several occasions, Sir Henry McMahon himself pointed out in a letter to the Times in 1937 that the claim according to which “Palestine was the twice-promised land” is incorrect.
What appeared to be a terrorist attack Friday by a Jordanian soldier on three US military advisers who were entering a Jordanian army base will not end intelligence cooperation between the two countries, but it does signal a heightened terrorist threats to Israel, Dr. Ely Karmon of the IDC’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism said on Sunday.
Details are still unclear from the incident with the tone of both US and Jordanian officials implying that the incident was a deliberate attack.
Officials also said that the investigation is still ongoing and that they are refraining from a formal public declaration about the motivation of the shooters or their identities.
The narrative provided by various Jordanian officials has also indicated the possibility of a spontaneous outbreak of tension between certain Jordanian and US military personnel of late, with several Jordanians also hurt in the incident.
Assuming the incident was a terrorist attack, Karmon, who has also advised the Defense Ministry and participated in NATO workshops on terrorism, said it still needed to be put into the greater picture of complex events impacting terrorism in Jordan, Israel and their neighbors.
He said that “US-Jordan cooperation is huge” and is a “key bridge to other states like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Israel.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s envoys on Monday rejected a French call that it attend an international peace conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will likely be held in December in Paris.
Only direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians will lead to a final agreement for a two-state solution, Netanyahu’s envoys, attorney Yitzhak Molcho and acting National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel said.
They conveyed this message in a meeting with France’s envoy for the initiative Pierre Vimont, who met with them in Jerusalem during his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories to secure support for the conference.
This initiative only distances rather than advances peace, they told Vimont.
Israel will not attend any conference that is convened without its consent and which touts an approach to the resolution of the conflict which it opposes, the envoys said in their conversation with Vimont.
Such a conference only allows for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to avoid engaging in direct talks without pre-conditions, they added.
“Israel expects France not to advance an initiative or a process that is against the official stance of the state of Israel,” the envoys said.
Israel will not participate in an international conference on the peace process hosted by France, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top aides declared Monday.
The French government’s special envoy to the Middle East peace process, Pierre Vimont, is visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority this week to push Paris’s plan to hold a conference in December.
He met Monday with acting National Security Adviser Yakov Nagel and Netanyahu confidant Isaac Molcho, who told him in “a unambiguous and unequivocal fashion” that real progress and a lasting peace agreement could only emerge through direct bilateral negotiations between Israel and the PA, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
“Any other initiatives only distance the region from such a process,” the statement continued. “It was explained to the French envoy that Israel will not participate in any international conference convened in opposition to its position.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: UN: Abraham Used Excessive Force In Pursuing 4 Armies With His 318 Men (satire)
The United Nations Human Rights Council issued a condemnation today of the Hebrew man Abraham for what they deemed his use of force out of proportion to the military objective, and in violation of the laws of armed combat. They also condemned him for despoiling the slain and captured soldiers and returning the goods to the Sodomites from whom the goods had been taken.
The Council voted unanimously – four members abstained – to uphold the resolution, and to establish a commission of inquiry that could lead to Abraham’s prosecution at the hands of the International Criminal Court.
Abraham, an inhabitant of Canaan originally from the Sumerian city of Ur, was seen coming to the aid of five kings who had fomented rebellion against four other kings to whom they owed tribute. His nephew, Lot, lived in one of the five city-states involved in the revolt, and Lot’s capture by the four kings’ armies spurred the Hebrew to counterattack with a force of 318 fighters. Abraham’s forces routed the four kings as they withdrew along the Fertile Crescent toward their capitals in Mesopotamia, calling off the counteroffensive north of Damascus. His campaign succeeded in seizing all the booty and prisoners taken by the four kings and their troops, at what the Human Rights Council has now called a disproportionate price.
“Abraham and his forces engaged in wanton aggression compounded by disregard for casualties,” read the resolution. “He failed to warn the enemy he was about to attack, he failed to warn the enemy before each charge, and he failed to warn the enemy before each blow of his force’s weapons, policies that we expect only of Abraham and a small part of his eventual descendants.” At press time, the elderly Abraham was still childless.
In frigid Oslo, Norway, a city and country known among Israelis largely for its role in the brokering the Oslo Accords, a subtle shift is taking place. Some in the Norwegian government and hi-tech sector are looking at Israel not through the traditional lens of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but as a potential partner in business, hi-tech and innovation.
At the 2016 Oslo Innovation week held in October, Anya Eldan, the general manager of early stage innovation at the Israel Innovation Authority (under the Economy Ministry), was a keynote speaker on a panel with Norway’s Innovation Chief Anita Krohn Traaseth.
“Where do you get the secret sauce? Because there are a lot of small countries out there who would really like to know?” the Oslo Innovation Week moderator asked Eldan. “The biggest success factor is kind of strange, but we are really not afraid to fail,” Eldan said to a receptive crowd that was evidently more interested in emulating Israel’s innovation techniques than discussing politics.
“We feel like a popular kid in the class,” said Dan Poraz, deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Norway, to group of journalists in October at the embassy. “At the most important event in Norway for the second year in a row we have very prominent Israeli speakers as keynote speakers,” he added.
Donations to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reportedly have more than tripled in the wake of a firestorm sparked when the organization’s director called on the UN to take action against Israel over its West Bank settlement policies.
The surge in private contributions to B’Tselem in the last month amounts to a 350 percent increase over funds raised by the left-wing organization over previous months this year, according to an Army Radio report Monday.
B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad sparked fury in Israel last month when he addressed the UN Security Council, denouncing the “invisible, bureaucratic daily violence” that dominates Palestinian life “from cradle to grave,” including Israeli control over entrance and exit from the territories, and farming rights.
His remarks drew fierce condemnation from Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and coalition chairman David Bitan, who called for El-Ad to be stripped of his citizenship for criticizing Israel at the UN.
A European Union panel of Middle East experts has reportedly recommended that Israel be made to pay for EU-funded buildings it demolishes in the part of the West Bank where Israel exercises administrative and military control.
The EU’s Maghreb-Mashreq (MaMa) committee, which oversees relations with North Africa and the Middle East, will recommend that the 28 member states seek reparations from Israel for destroying buildings that they financed, Haaretz reported Monday. Jerusalem’s Foreign Ministry was furious at the recommendation and lodged protests with the EU and with some of the individual member states, the report said.
The decision, reportedly reached two weeks ago in Brussels, is not binding on the EU, but may form the basis for further discussion and any future decisions of the organization.
Officials on the committee were quoted by Haaretz as saying the decision was reached due to frustration with Israel’s actions. The diplomats stressed, however, that Germany strongly opposed the decision and insisted that it be watered down to a mere recommendation. The decision gives individual countries the option to seek damage payments from Israel if they wish.
Israel is seen as an oasis of stability in a volatile region. That doesn’t mean we’re not affected by the chaos and unpredictability around our borders. We need to understand every threat in the region and the different terror groups on Israel’s borders in order to prepare for potential challenges. But when the situation next door is always changing, that’s easier said than done. We put together a primer to help make some sense out of our neighborhood.
ISIS in the Sinai
In 2011, a number of Salafi Islamist groups in the Sinai Peninsula banded together to establish Jama’at Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, or “Supporters of the Holy House [Jerusalem].” Positioned on our southern border, they carried out numerous terror attacks, many of them against Israeli civilian and military targets. In November 2015, they pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, rebranding themselves “Wilayat Sinai,” or “The Sinai Province” of ISIS.
The terror group clashes with the Egyptian military, and have carried out destructive attacks, including the downing of a plane full of tourists visiting Sharm-el-Sheikh. Despite their differing ideologies, they also cooperate with Hamas, who provides them with training, medical assistance, and equipment. The Caracal Battalion, a coed combat unit stationed on the Sinai border, is on our frontline against the ISIS threat.
Israelis who travel to Area B in Judea and Samaria in the hopes of saving money on routine errands often end up being mugged, the Israel Police said Sunday.
Area B, which contains about 440 Palestinian villages, has been under Palestinian civil control and shared Israeli-Palestinian security control since the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Israelis have been frequenting Palestinian villages in the area for years, as they contain dozens of auto repair shops, car wash facilities, nurseries and florists, where prices are considerably lower than in their Israeli counterparts.
While Israelis are barred from entering Area A, which is under full Palestinian control, there are no travel restrictions regarding Area B.
Still, both the military and police have repeatedly warned that Israelis traveling to Palestinian villages in the area may find themselves victims of crimes or terrorist attacks.
A Jerusalem court on Monday sentenced to 12 years in prison a Palestinian minor convicted in a 2015 terrorist attack during the peak of the recent wave of violence.
The defendant who was 13 at the time of the attack, was sentenced Monday in the Jerusalem District Court for carrying out a stabbing attack last October along with his teen cousin in the capital’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood.
Now 14, and legally able to serve time in Israeli jail, the attacker was also ordered to pay a NIS 180,000 fine in damages to the families of the victims whom the cousins had stabbed in the attack.
Both of the armed Palestinians critically stabbed the boy multiple times before a motorist rammed into the youth assailant, wounding and subduing him. Police shot and killed the other assailant who had also stabbed another Jewish man.
Labeled by Israel media as the “child terrorist,” the youth was charged with attempted murder, according to Channel 2.
The Palestinian Authority Constitutional Court ruled on Sunday that PA President Mahmoud Abbas can revoke the immunity of Palestinian parliamentarians, affording the PA president the authority to undermine his political opponents.
“PA President Mahmoud Abbas is not overstepping his authority in issuing legal decisions to revoke the immunity of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council while it is not in session,” read a copy of court’s decision published in Wafa, the official PA news site.
The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) has not convened since 2007 when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip.
The Constitutional Court also specified in its ruling that Abbas did not violate the law when he issued a decree revoking the immunity of PLC parliamentarian and top Abbas rival Muhammed Dahlan in 2012.
“The Constitutional Court views the decision (4)-(2012), which was issued on 1/3/2012 and related to the revocation of the PLC member Muhammed Yousif Shaker Dahlan’s parliamentary immunity…[to be] in accordance with the basic powers and authorities of the president,” the statement added.
Founded just after the 1979 revolution, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fields elite military and paramilitary units (now deployed throughout Iraq and Syria), engages in clandestine activities and support for terror abroad, and is responsible for the country’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs. It also exerts sizable political influence and controls a significant portion of the Islamic Republic’s economy. In a comprehensive study, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad, Annie Fixler, and Amir Toumaj explain the various avenues through which the nuclear agreement grants the IRGC new sources of funding, and what can be done to restrict these without violating the deal’s terms:
Neither the U.S. nor the EU has sanctioned the vast majority of IRGC-linked companies. We have identified at least 229 companies with significant IRGC influence, either through equity shares or positions on the board of directors. The U.S. Treasury, however, has only sanctioned 25 IRGC individuals, 25 companies, and two academic institutions as owned or controlled by the IRGC. . . .
[As the nuclear deal is implemented and] export and trade restrictions are lifted, previously prohibited Western technology will make its way back to Iran. The challenge of denying the IRGC access to banned technology—including dual-use technology and equipment for monitoring dissidents—will become even more arduous. The demise of sanctions may also facilitate the acquisition of advanced weaponry that will improve Tehran’s conventional military capabilities, including the capabilities of the IRGC, which in turn may trickle down and enhance its ability to support the Syrian regime, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hizballah in Lebanon, and Houthi rebels in Yemen, to name a few.
On November 15, following multiple delays, the Foreign Ministry’s appointments committee is scheduled to choose Israel’s new ambassador to Turkey. Among the main candidates for the job are Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, who previously served in Turkey; the chargé d’affaires of the embassy in Ankara, Amira Oron; Ambassador to Greece, Irit Ben Aba; and the political councilor at Israel’s London embassy, Eitan Naveh. However, nobody would be shocked if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as foreign minister, decides to appoint for the job somebody close to him, because of the importance he places on relations with Turkey.
As soon as Israel announces the appointment of the ambassador and sends the envoy to Ankara, Turkey will reciprocate. Turkish media has reported that that the leading candidate for the embassy in Tel Aviv is Kamel Okam, a diplomat who is a very close confidant of one of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s important advisors.
The decision to renew diplomatic ties with Turkey, to the level of exchanging ambassadors, was made more than four months ago as part of the reconciliation deal signed between the nations, which both recalled their envoys after the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in May 2010. Last Spring, during the stretch run of negotiations, it seemed that time was running out for both sides and that they were each interested in ending this bleak period in their relations and quickly turning a new page. However, now it seems that the issue is not urgent to anyone and both sides prefer to take things slowly.
“Due to deaths and emigration, there are now 450 fewer Jews [in Turkey] this year,” wrote Mois Gabay, a columnist for the Turkish-Jewish weekly, Salom.
This, he said, is not only because the community is aging and has a decreasing birthrate, but as a result of “the traumas that every Jewish generation has endured” in the country.
“Our community has got even more uneasy due to the terror attacks to which they are exposed every 10 years and has been suffering due to the rising antisemitism,” he wrote. “Add to that the economic circumstances that are getting even more difficult, and a considerable section of our community is looking to raise their children in a different country. Thus, most of this year’s emigrants have been young people.”
Polls back this up. For example, a survey conducted by Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University in April/May 2009 showed that 64 percent of Turks did not want Jewish neighbors. And, according to the 2015 Anti-Defamation League Global 100 poll, 71% of the Turkish adult population harbors antisemitic attitudes.
The rise of militant Islamist groups in the region is another factor. According to a Sky News report in March, ISIS terrorists were planning an attack on Turkish-Jewish kindergartens, schools and a synagogue that doubles as a community center.
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