Most Democrats consider Israel is ‘a burden’ on US, has too much influence on policy, poll claims
Most Democrats consider Israel to be a burden to the United States, according to the published findings of a poll released by the Brookings Institution on Friday.
The survey found a clear majority of Americans (76%) said Israel was “a strategic asset” to the US, its authors said. At the same time, they said, “a majority of Democrats, 55%, say that Israel is also a burden”; among Republicans, 24% consider Israel a burden. Fifty-two percent of Independents do not consider Israel a burden and 41% think it is.
The findings were among the results of twin surveys conducted by the think tank’s Shibley Telhami before and after the November 8 presidential elections.
Overall, “slightly more than half of Americans (54%) disagree with the concept of Israel being a burden to the US as Israel’s actions in the region generate hostility toward the United States in Arab and Muslim-majority countries whereas 40% of Americans feel this way,” the survey’s authors said. It was not clear from the published findings whether this was the specific wording of the question that was put to respondents, and whether the consequent results were impacted by such wording, with its reference to “hostility toward the United States” in the Arab world.
The surveys also showed 55% of Democrats believe Israel has too much influence on American politics and policies, while 54% of Republicans think Israel has the “right level” of influence.
Jewish billionaire megadonor Haim Saban lashed out at Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison Friday, calling him “clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual.”
At the Brooking Institution’s annual Saban Forum, which is hosted and funded by the media mogul, Saban chimed in from his seat in the audience during a question-and-answer session between CNN’s Jake Tapper and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Tapper had earlier in the session asked the Israeli minister about Ellison’s controversial bid to chair the Democratic National Committee.
While he prefaced his remarks by saying Ellison’s Muslim faith was a “non-issue” and that some of his statements now have been more Zionist than that of Zionism visionary Theodore Herzl, Saban designated Ellison as fundamentally hostile to Jews and the Jewish State.
“If you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted, he is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual,” he said. “Words matter and actions matter more. Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.”
Dovish pro-peace advocacy group J Street on Friday said that a current barrage of criticism leveled at US Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison’s record on Israel should immediately cease, claiming such tactics only serves to silence open debate on Israeli government policy.
“The recent spate of attacks on Rep. Keith Ellison’s record of support for Israel and the Jewish community need to come to an end,” a statement from the organization begins. “It is time to retire the playbook that aims to silence any American official seeking high office who has dared to criticize certain Israeli government policies.”
“J Street believes that this recurrent process undermines our ability to have open, honest and productive conversations about Israel and the Middle East in our national politics, and that it does deep and lasting damage to the American Jewish community.”
The statement continues by adding, “J Street has always stood for open debate, and we welcome and respect disagreements over policy questions. But responsible leaders in the American Jewish community must take care not to charge that those who are critical of certain Israeli government policies are ‘anti-Israel,’ or worse, and thus not ‘qualified’ to hold high national office.”
“It is time to put away the old playbook,” J Street concluded.
Meanwhile, the National Jewish Democratic Council on Friday called the attacks “false, reprehensible and shameful.”
A recent focus in the Palestinian press has been the power struggle between Palestinian Authority (PA) President and Fatah chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas and former Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Dahlan, who was expelled from the movement in 2011 and is currently attempting to influence the Palestinian agenda and to empower his supporters in the face of ‘Abbas’s steps to exclude him from the Palestinian political scene.
Dahlan has been demonstrating his strength in a number of ways: in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through conferences and protests organized by his supporters there, and also through efforts to strengthen ties between Egypt and the Gaza Strip; and in the Palestinian diaspora with conferences organized by his supporters in Lebanese refugee camps and in Europe. At the same time, ‘Abbas is trying with all his might to completely exclude Dahlan and his supporters from Fatah, and to end the ongoing internal conflict in the movement with an institutional resolution to be approved at the Seventh Fatah Conference, which is set for November 29, 2016.
The escalation in the power struggle between ‘Abbas and Dahlan is linked to the debate on the future of the Palestinian leadership, particularly the question of who ‘Abbas’s successor will be. This latter issue goes beyond the Palestinian discourse, in light of efforts by the Arab Quartet (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE), and especially by Egypt, to influence the composition of the Palestinian leadership by including Dahlan in it and by grooming him to succeed ‘Abbas as Fatah chairman and Palestinian president. On October 6, 2016, the debate over ‘Abbas’s successor became more urgent after the 82-year-old ‘Abbas was rushed to the hospital for a cardiac catheterization.
It is notable that in interviews, Dahlan has repeatedly stated that he is not seeking the Palestinian presidency and that he supports the candidacy of Fatah official Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for attacks he orchestrated during the second Intifada. However, Dahlan’s political activity, as set out below, indicates that he does aspire to attain a very influential position in the Palestinian leadership, even if not necessarily that of president.
What precisely would happen were Israel tomorrow morning to withdraw from what the UN calls “the Syrian Golan?” Would Islamic State try to overrun it and slaughter Druze living there? Would Iranian-backed militias take part of it? More likely, would the butcher Bashar al-Assad’s Iranian-backed army try to seize it? Or, most likely of all, would Hezbollah forces seize it?
How would that affect the people living there? Or the people living in northern Israel? Or the people living across the border from the Golan in Jordan?
It seems that neither “Bolivia (Plurinational State of)” nor “Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)” cares much. But who voted against this mindless resolution? According to the UN, there was “a recorded vote of 103 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 56 abstentions.”
Amazing, isn’t it? The United States and Canada joined Israel–and got the support of three tiny Pacific island nations. That means the nations of the EU abstained; not one single European country could bring itself to acknowledge the truth about this resolution.
According to UN Watch, this resolution used only Islamic terms for labelling the Temple Mount, completely ignoring the site’s biblical role in Judaism and Christianity.
Israel rightfully condemned the six resolutions that were voted against them on Wednesday. Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said, “Today’s resolutions are yet another example of the daily bias Israel faces in the UN.”
“At the same time that Israel is celebrating the historic decision to reestablish the Jewish state in our homeland, the UN continues to fund organizations and pass resolutions that do nothing to better the lives of the Palestinians.”
We at CUFI UK are shocked and saddened that the United Kingdom has supported such an anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations. We must continue to pray for our nation, lobby our MPs and leaders and educate the public on Israel.
The Geneva-based UN Watch saluted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his government’s principled stand at the United Nations on Wednesday in voting against each of six Arab-sponsored resolutions singling out Israel, part of a total of 20 unbalanced and inflammatory texts adopted each year in the ritual scapegoating of the Jewish state. See chart below listing all 6 resolutions.
“Prime Minister Trudeau is showing moral leadership by continuing Canada’s exemplary UN tradition over the past decade in joining a small handful of principled nations who are unafraid to defy the intimidation of dictatorships who use the demonization of Israel to distract attention from their horrific human rights record and failed governance,” said Hillel Neuer, the Canadian-born executive director of UN Watch, an independent non-governmental organization.
“Canada’s voting record is entirely unchanged from last year, and once again upholds the UN Charter’s principle of equal treatment of all nations,” added Neuer.
One resolution effectively calls on Israel to transfer control of the Golan Heights to Syria, oblivious to the mass killings now being perpetrated by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Another resolution condemns Israel for actions in Jerusalem, and uses only the Islamic term for the Temple Mount, ignoring the site’s biblical role in Judaism and Christianity.
“The UN’s assault on Israel this week with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal,” said Neuer.
As speculation continues regarding President-elect Donald Trump’s much-anticipated choice of Secretary of State, regardless of who he picks, says attorney Marc Zell, the next Secretary of State will have to ‘clean house’ in order to implement Trump’s policies.
Zell, Chairman of the Republican Party in Israel, spoke with Arutz Sheva on Thursday regarding the US State Department and the importance of Trump’s choice for top diplomat in fulfilling his campaign promises vis-à-vis Israel.
“Currently there are three [likely] candidates for the position,” said Zell, “Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and John Bolton.”
“Most of the attention has been directed towards Romney, who lost in the 2012 presidential election. He’s an unlikely candidate, given the fact that he attacked Trump throughout this year’s election.”
Romney, associated with the GOP’s establishment wing, would have difficulty fundamentally changing the culture within the State Department and letting go of veteran bureaucrats, a step Zell says will be essential for fulfilling Trump’s stated policy goals.
“[Trump] needs a Secretary of State who can clean house in the Department in Washington, which is currently filled with Arab supporters. In order to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, you need to neutralize these people – which means firing them. Only people like Giuliani and Bolton are able to do that.”
On Wednesday, the Islamic State organization published another picture of a Palestinian militant who died in battle in a further bid to embarrass Hamas.
According to IS, Abu Albaraa Almaqdesi (“the Jerusalemite”), a native of Gaza, carried out a suicide attack against Iraqi forces near the Iraqi town of Hit in the Alanbar region. The attack allegedly left 10 Iraqi soldiers dead and four military vehicles destroyed.
This is the second time in a week that IS reported the death of a Palestinian member, apparently as part of a popularity contest with Hamas, which has cracked down on IS sympathizers in the Gaza Strip.
Earlier this week, IS published the picture of Abu Baker al Gazawi (“the Gazan”), who was killed in Sinai in an attack against Egyptian troops, followed by the picture of Abu Abdel Rahman Almaqdesi, a suicide bomber who died in Mosul.
A top Gaza jihadi told Breitbart Jerusalem that “the publication of the identity of Palestinian jihadists who died while fighting for the Islamic State is meant to send a message to young Palestinian militants that fewer and fewer of those still adhere to the traditional Palestinian organizations, especially the Islamic ones like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and have joined the ranks of Islamic State. Most young jihadists in Gaza were once Hamas and Islamic Jihad members.”
“Now is the time for retaliation,” a senior Iranian cleric told worshippers in Tehran on Friday, following the US Senate’s unanimous approval of a ten-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act.
Calling the move a violation of the nuclear deal reached by Iran and six world powers in July 2015, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani — according to the Tehran regime’s semi-official state news agency Fars — warned, “[The Americans] should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will certainly show serious reaction against it.”
Ali Akbar Salehi — the head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran — was quoted by Fars as saying that, if implemented, the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act — which was also passed by the House of Representatives last month and now awaits President Barack Obama’s signature — would “explicitly violate the nuclear deal.”
Iran, Salehi was quoted by the semi-official state news agency Mehr as saying on Friday, “sees no need to make its (subsequent measures) public, but we have made the necessary predictions and are well-prepared to react (against the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act)…Our decisions will for sure be based on tact and sagacity, and not on emotional responses. The key factor here is our national interests and national sovereignty.”
A woman in Saudi Arabia pictured without a hijab is facing calls for her to be killed.
Some social media users reacted with outrage after the emergence of the image taken in capital city Riyadh, with one man demanding: “Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs”.
The photo was allegedly first posted by an account under the name of Malak Al Shehri, which has since been deleted, reports the International Business Times.
An unnamed student who reposted the image told the website that Ms Al Shehri had announced she was going out to breakfast without either a hijab or abaya; a traditional Saudi body covering.
The student said she started receiving death threats after posting proof in response to followers who had asked to see a photo.
New York state’s highest elected official has created a blacklist of foreign companies that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement, according to the New York Post Friday.
The Office of General Services wrote the list after Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an order in June which barred the New York State Government from investing public funds in firms that back the BDS movement.
“New York stands in solidarity with Israel today and always,” Cuomo said when he signed the executive order. “This state will not stand for the politics of discrimination in any form, and we will continue to demonstrate our unwavering support for the people of Israel in the fight for freedom, liberty and democracy,” he added.
The businesses on the list are not American, state officials said Friday night. The institutions which the order prevents state agencies from investing include several European banks and businesses.
Jewish Students have urged their union to cut all ties to the National Union of Students (NUS) over the anti-Semitism displayed by its President, Malia Bouattia.
Jewish students, left “angry and frustrated” by Bouattia’s insults towards the Jewish community, have tabled a motion to be debated at the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) annual conference next week calling on the Union to formally cut ties with the NUS, the Huffington Post has reported.
They point to Bouattia’s use of anti-Semitic language, including her referring to Birmingham University earlier this year as “something of a Zionist outpost in British higher education”, a comment the Home Affairs Select Committee said “smacks of outright racism”.
She has also been widely criticised for saying, during a 2014 conference speech on ‘Gaza and the Palestine Revolution’, that “with mainstream Zionist-led media outlets… resistance is resented as an act of terrorism”.
And Jewish students have been forced to question why they, uniquely, are not allowed to define the terms of anti-Semitism, in stark contrast to other minority groups.
UJS President Josh Seitler said: “Like huge numbers of Jewish students I am appalled by Malia’s past rhetoric and ongoing behaviour.
It all reminds me of when I was on campus and the debates I would have with the anti-Israel students.
I used to love asking people, “Why it was that all three major political party leaders in Canada were not just simply supporters of Israel, but self-described Zionists?”
And the answer I always got was either, “well, it’s because the Jews control the media” or “because the Jews control the politicians.” That’s when the Jew-hatred comes up.
Obviously, not everyone who opposes the state of Israel is a Jew-hater. And obviously, not all Muslims at Ryerson are Jew-haters. Some of my fondest memories at Ryerson were working with student groups like the Ismaili Muslims, and for the record, the Armenians and Catholics as well.
But when you get into Jewish conspiracy theories, like the Holocaust didn’t happen or the Jews are secretly controlling everything behind the scenes, that’s when you lose legitimacy.
When I was at Ryerson I would ask members of the Palestinian student group what they thought Zionism meant, and all they could ever answer was “it means racism.” They have no idea what they are talking about.
Zionism has nothing to do with racism.
But organizing against hosting a Holocaust Education Week? That makes you the real bigot.
Ryerson University students oppose Holocaust Education Week
Only 4% of British Muslims believe Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist group was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, a new poll published on Friday found.
According to the poll results — which were based on a survey of 3,000 British Muslims conducted by ICM for the Policy Exchange think tank — 31% of respondents said the US government was behind the devastating September 2001 terrorist attacks — in which nearly 3,000 people were killed in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia — while 7% pointed a finger of blame at Jews.
A majority — 52% — said they did not know who carried out the attacks, while 6% chose “other.”
Asked what they would do if someone close to them was “getting involved with people who supported terrorism in Syria,” 52% replied, “Report it to the police.” 26% said they would “talk to them directly,” 20% said they would “look for help from family and friends” and 17% said they would “look for help from religious community leaders.”
More than a quarter of respondents — 26% — said extremist views do not exist within the British Muslim community.
43% expressed support for “the introduction of aspects of Sharia law into Britain,” whereas only 22% said they were opposed to this (23% said they neither supported nor opposed the idea, while 12% replied that they didn’t know).
The London Times of 25 July 1994 carried an article by the BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson entitled “When reporters act on their consciences”. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy in front of me now, but from memory the springboard for the article was a recent broadcast in which BBC television reporter (later newsreader) George Alagiah abandoned objectivity to advocate for a particular cause, so outraged was he at what he was seeing around him.
Simpson evidently understood and approved, and foreshadowed more instances of the kind.
Nowadays, of course, the intrusion of BBC reporters’ own sympathies and prejudices into their reportage has become, if not commonplace, then certainly a matter for concern, as indeed is the case regarding certain broadcasters on the ABC, Australia’s answer to the BBC, its Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill having before her controversial appointment made no secret of the fact that she considers herself an activist as well as a journalist.
The following 12-minute video dates to 2014. It features Jake Lynch, the BDS-happy associate professor who heads the so-called Peace and Conflict Centre at the University of Sydney. In his discussion of his background as a BBC presenter he refers to how “peace journalism” informed his broadcasts, how he steered interviews in order to incorporate it, how the BBC effectively allowed him to take the line he chose, and how useful a tool it is in shaping audience responses to international conflicts.
As the No. 2 most-harassed Jewish journalist on Twitter per the Anti-Defamation League, I’ve become intimately familiar with the colorful cast of anti-Jewish bigots that populate social media. There are those who will photoshop you into gas chambers and concentration camps. Others like pairing Nazi quotes with Taylor Swift pictures. Some just stick to spreading slurs and conspiracies theories. On a whole, they are a rather sad and pathetic bunch, and mostly, I just ignore or mock them.
But there is one particular type of anti-Semitic troll that I find particularly pernicious: the racists who use their accounts to impersonate Jews and defame them. The con goes like this: The troll finds a picture of a very Jewish-looking person online—typically a Hasidic Jew in full regalia—and makes it his avatar. He puts a bunch of very Jewish descriptors in his bio (“Orthodox,” “Zionist,” “enemy of the alt-right”). He then proceeds to insert himself into conversations with prominent Twitter users—conversations that will often be read by tens of thousands of followers—and say horrifically racist things. Thus, it appears to unsuspecting readers that Jews are outlandishly bigoted. The same has been done with other minorities, from Latinos to African-Americans to Muslims.
Now, it’s pretty easy to identify these trolls if one knows how to look. Their tweets are indistinguishable from alt-right racism. They regularly retweet the alt-right and other anti-Semites. And if one reverse image-searches the acount’s avatar, one can often find where it was stolen from.
The problem is, most casual social media users aren’t even aware that this sort of racist deception is being perpetrated, let alone trained to be vigilant for it. And Twitter isn’t really capable of the detective work to identify these accounts and take them down as they spring up.
S. 10, the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016”, a bipartisan bill to increase awareness of anti-Semitism has unanimously passed the Senate. The bill was cosponsored by Sen. Robert Casey, Jr [D-PA], Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR], Sen. Lindsay Graham, and Sen. Michael Bennet. [D-CO]
The goal of the bill was to propose definition of anti-Semitism for the enforcement of Federal anti discrimination laws concerning education programs or activities.
The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act was supported by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federations of North America, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Senator Scott Speaks on Senate Floor about Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
The investigation into how an iron gate stolen from the Nazis’ Dachau concentration camp in southern Germany ended up in western Norway may be complicated because “no usable evidence” has been found, police said Saturday.
Police spokeswoman Kari Bjoerkhaug Trones said the gate with the cynical slogan “Arbeit macht frei” — “Work sets you free” — was found Nov. 28 under a tarpaulin at a parking lot in Ytre Arna, a settlement north of Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city.
“It has been there for quite some time with some junk under a tarpaulin. Our forensic teams have found no usable evidence like DNA,” Bjoerkhaug Trones told The Associated Press. The gate was now in police care, she said, adding they have no suspects.
The concentration camp near Munich was established by the Nazis in 1933. The missing gate, measuring 190 by 95 centimeters (75 by 37 inches), originally was set into a larger gate at the camp’s entrance.
More than 200,000 people from across Europe were held at Dachau, and more than 40,000 prisoners died there.
The president of Kosovo has banned the sale and distribution of anti-Semitic literature following a complaint from experts on anti-Semitism, the Jewish Business News reported Wednesday.
According to the report, President Hashim Thaci issued the directive after his office was contacted by Ido Daniel, head of the Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism activism group.
The government of the small southeast European state and the European Cooperation Organization had invited Daniel and other experts in anti-Semitism and global terrorism to take part in a conference in the capital, Pristina, on combating racism and radicalization. To his shock, while walking through one of the capital’s main streets, Daniel noticed that local bookstores were displaying overtly anti-Semitic books, including translations of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in Albanian, one of Kosovo’s official languages.
“It turns out that there is a whole industry of anti-Semitic literature translated into Albanian and other languages in the region as part of an organized campaign of incitement against Jews in the Balkans,” Daniel said.
After their ancestors journeyed across an ocean from the edge of the Sahara to the center of the Amazon, their current numbers have dwindled in the wake of grim economic prospects and geographic isolation. Yet the pulse keeps beating for the Jewish community of Iquitos, Peru.
“We as a community in Iquitos are trying to create a Jewish life, which is not easy, because the conditions for it do not exist,” said community leader Rebeca Abramovitz in an interview in Spanish.
Located in Loreto, Peru’s northernmost region, Iquitos is the largest city in the world unreachable by road. Visitors must either fly in or arrive by boat along the Amazon River.
Jews constitute only a fraction of a percent of the city’s population, which numbered just under 440,000 last year. The Jewish community of Iquitos consists of about 70 individuals, led by president Jorge Abramovitz, Rebeca’s husband. (There is also a smaller population of under 40 Jews in the city of Pucallpa to the south.)
The Iquitos community does not have a rabbi, and meets for worship in the Abramovitz house. Its members represent a fraction of the hundreds of people who once practiced Judaism by the banks of the Amazon.
Some 25,000 people, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, participated in British Jewry’s largest-ever Mitzvah Day.
Organizers said the number of volunteers for the faith-based day of social action, which this year was held on Nov. 27, was the most since Mitzvah Day was first inaugurated in the United Kingdom in 2005.
Bringing together Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others, activities included hosting tea parties, making teddy bears, cooking meals, and collecting goods for immigrants and the poor.
Joining Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, as volunteers were Communities Minister Lord Bourne, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Imam Qari Asim, Bishop of Edmonton Robert Wickham and numerous lawmakers.
This year’s Mitzvah Day was focused on building bridges in British society following the polarizing effect of a referendum held in May in which a majority of voters supported a British exit, or Brexit, from the European Union. The campaign to leave highlighted issues connected to immigration and integration. Following the vote, British watchdog groups reported a spike in xenophobic hate crimes and incidents.
Please consider participating in this great initiative- truly a triple mitzvah- from StandwithUs:
JOIN US for IsrAction Day, December 18, 2016!
StandWithUs is partnering with North West Friends of Israel and Sussex Friends of Israel for the 3rd annual IsrAction Day 2016 in an effort to fight BDS and win BIG (Buy Israeli Goods).
Launching this year on December 18, IsrAction Day is an International grassroots campaign where people buy Israeli goods in local supermarkets and donate the purchases to the needy in their community. It accomplishes its three major goals: people are able to stand up for Israel, fight BDS and support local communities.
Purchases can be dropped off at local collection centers or to directly to the selected charity. Photos and videos can be uploaded to the IsrAction Day 2016 FaceBook group and website.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.