The Arch of Titus and Saeb Erekat
Recently, my wife and I visited Yeshiva University’s museum on 16th St in NYC to see the Arch of Titus exhibit. We saw the museum’s full-size 3-D computer recreation of the famous scene of the Jewish prisoners of war carrying the Temple relics (menorah, shulchan [table], trumpets) to Rome. We also saw the displayed collection of 20-30 coins of the Second Temple period, minted in Palestine, some by the Jews and some by the Romans.
In one small corner of a display case, I saw the “complete collection” of coins minted by non-Jewish Palestinian governments from 1917 back through the Byzantine period, the Arab (invaders from the Arabian Peninsula and the east) Period, the Roman period, the Greek period, the Persian period, the Jewish monarchy and before that.
The complete set of these coins minted by non-Jewish Palestinian authorities fits comfortably in one small corner of a display case because these coins do not exist and have never existed. There are no such coins. Zilch, zippo, nada, cero, efes, null, gornicht, nuttin. The empty set. There was never an identifiable, Arab Palestinian people, or a Palestinian ethnic identity until the mid-20th century when some Arab hate merchants realized that such a peoplehood and ethnic identity would be useful in opposing the national aspirations of the Jews.
Until the 20th century, “Palestine” was understood by Arabs to be a province in Greater Syria. From 1948 until 1967, Arabs in the part of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) living under Jordanian control were comfortable with Jordanian nationality and ethnicity. There was no problem in the Arab mind with Jordanian sovereignty on the West Bank of the Jordan River because everyone, Arab and non-Arab, knows that Jordan is Arab Palestine. The post World War I formation by the British of the country of Transjordan resulted in the first example of Palestinian Arabs holding sovereignty in any part of Palestine. During the previous several centuries, the Turks held sovereignty in Palestine.
Advocacy groups are urging action against a United Nations official who headlined an event organized by an anti-Israel group at the University of Toronto (UT) last month.
Michael Lynk — special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory — was the featured lecturer at a November 29th event cosponsored by Canadian Friends of Sabeel and Emmanuel College, UT’s theological school.
According to the Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada, “attendees at the event were required to pay for tickets, with the proceeds earmarked for Sabeel’s operations.”
Sabeel is a leading proponent of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, with its work largely focused on Christian congregations in North America and Europe. The group peddles a Palestinian variation of “liberation theology,” which rejects a Zionist interpretation of the Christian Bible, and has accused Israel of operating a “crucifixion system” against Palestinians.
Lynk in turn is charged by the UN with investigating “Israel’s violations of the principles and bases of international law” — a mandate criticized for both presupposing Israeli guilt and failing to address potential abuses committed by Palestinian factions. A law professor at Western University in London, Lynk has previously endorsed boycotts of Israel and was described before his appointment as “an ardent anti-Israeli activist” who “plays a leadership role in groups that advocate against Israel” by the monitoring group UN Watch.
“By headlining a fundraiser for an extremist group that seeks to boycott Israel, Rapporteur Lynk breached the UN Code of Conduct,” charged UN Watch chief Hillel Neuer. “He promoted a group that targets the same state he is investigating, thereby violating his duty of impartiality, as well as the prohibition against using his office for third party gain.”
In the UK the Daily Express has been running a vigorous campaign exposing the lunacy of the country’s £13billion annual overseas aid budget. Every day they publicise a new example of some inappropriate spending. Yet, by far and away the worse example of all – the ‘Palestinian’ pay-to-slay budget – is never mentioned. This should be an open goal for the Board of Deputies. The British public is sick of the overseas aid budget. If the Board – instead of spending its money fighting ‘Islamophobia’ – paid for a few ads to expose the pay-to-slay scandal – the Government would come under real pressure to stop these payments once and for all. And that would be a real contribution to the fight against terrorism.
Am I The Enemy?
Growing up in a Muslim, Palestinian-refugee home in Kuwait, how could he have ever known that one single conversation would turn his world upside down? Experience Mark Halawa’s incredible story in this Israel Collective film.
The landmark arrests and indictments issued in Argentina on Thursday — following a federal inquiry into the cover-up of Iran’s responsibility for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires — offer decisive proof that it was the Tehran regime which committed the crime, the president of AMIA said on Friday.
The arrests “confirm that Iran is the main party responsible” for the bombing of the AMIA building in downtown Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, in which 85 people died and hundreds more were wounded, AMIA president Agustin Zbar told the Argentine Jewish newspaper Iton Gadol. Iran has always dismissed the charge of responsibility, despite the issuing of “Red Notices” for six Iranian and Hezbollah operatives wanted in connection with the bombing by Interpol, the global law enforcement agency.
In the first move of a possible treason trial that carries a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment, Argentine federal judge Claudio Bonadio on Thursday requested the country’s Senate to strip former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of her immunity from prosecution.
Former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman is also under house arrest, while several other Kirchner lieutenants have been detained by police or prevented by the authorities from leaving the country.
One morning last week, Argentines woke up to a political earthquake: A judge had charged a former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, with “treason against the homeland,” punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Her crime? Nothing less than covering up Iran’s role in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the Americas before Sept. 11.
On July 18, 1994, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, an operative of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, drove a van filled with 606 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil into the Buenos Aires Jewish community center, known as AMIA. More than 300 Argentines were wounded; 85 were murdered. It remains the bloodiest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history.
From 2004 until 2015, our friend, the prosecutor Alberto Nisman, tirelessly pursued the truth behind this crime. He knew from his investigation that the attack was an Iranian-planned operation. And he determined that Ms. Kirchner was behind a cover-up designed to whitewash Iran’s role.
What drove Ms. Kirchner? Argentina faced deep economic problems at the time, and the financial benefits of closer relations with Iran might have tempted her. Her government also had populist ties to Iran and the Bolivarian bloc of nations led by Venezuela. Whatever the reason, never has Ms. Kirchner been formally charged in the crime. Until now.
When the federal judge Claudio Bonadio handed down the 491-page indictment against Ms. Kirchner; her foreign minister, Hector Timerman; her handpicked intelligence chief; her top legal adviser; two pro-Iran activists; and 10 others, he didn’t mince words. He called the attack on the Jewish community center an “act of war” by Iran and accused Ms. Kirchner of covering up the role of senior Iranian leaders and their Hezbollah proxies in exchange for a trade deal.
If only Alberto Nisman were alive to see justice finally being pursued.
Sohrab Ahmari: Making Saudi Great Again
Writing in these pages last month, I described Muhammad bin Salman’s reform agenda in Saudi Arabia as “the real Arab Spring.” The 32-year-old Saudi crown prince, widely known as MBS, seeks to dramatically transform the ultra-conservative kingdom, I argued. But he is pursuing change in a top-down, authoritarian manner that is better-attuned to the character and needs of his people. His methods are less likely to yield the chaos and state failure that resulted from the popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa in 2010 through 2012.
Now comes more evidence that MBS is serious about liberalization. On Monday, Saudi authorities lifted the 35-year ban on commercial movie theaters in the kingdom. Americans encountering the news might be tempted to laugh it off: “Saudi Arabia takes a bold step into 1905!” But for Saudis with few outlets for fun, dating, and socialization, the return of movie night is no small matter. The announcement follows MBS’s decision to give women the right to drive and attend soccer games. No longer will being young and female in Saudi be synonymous with suffocating boredom.
There are other benefits associated with these changes. First, by empowering young people, MBS is rewriting the Saudi social contract. For decades, the kingdom buffeted its people with generous lifetime entitlements, in exchange for which Saudis traded in most of their citizenship rights. That arrangement worked for a time, but it is increasingly unsustainable, especially with oil prices hovering at $50 a barrel and unlikely to climb anytime soon.
It was this looming economic crisis that spurred MBS to act. Granting young Saudis greater personal freedoms, the thinking goes, will encourage them to see themselves as citizens rather than subjects and welfare-state dependents. In parallel to this social opening, the kingdom under MBS aims to expand the private share of gross domestic product, boost women’s participation in the labor market, and scrap a number of subsidies and benefits. These are politically challenging economic reforms. MBS is wisely adding spoonfuls of sugar to make the medicine go down.
JPost Editorial: Changing times
Doomsayers warned that US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of the State of Israel would be a setback for relations with Arab nations in the region.
Their argument goes something like this: Because Jerusalem is seen as a holy city to Islam, and because the Jewish state is viewed as an interloper on Muslim land, official American recognition of Israel’s connection to the city would anger the Arab and Muslim world. Even autocratic rulers of countries like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, who want to cooperate with Israel in confronting Iran and Islamic State, are unable to ignore the opinion on the street, which is decidedly pro-Palestinian and antagonistic toward Israel.
Yet this week, after Trump’s historic speech, a 24-member delegation from Bahrain arrived in Israel. The visitors were an interfaith delegation affiliated with the NGO “This is Bahrain.” About half the group is native Bahraini while the other half is comprised of expatriates who became Bahraini citizens.
The visit seemed to indicate that the diplomatic freeze forecast by pessimists might not materialize, or at least not in so serious a fashion as expected.
Admittedly, the delegation did not represent the Kingdom of Bahrain or any official state body. Bahrain does not have official diplomatic ties with Israel. But the fact that high-profile citizens of Bahrain decided to visit Israel despite Trump’s declaration is an encouraging sign.
Comparing Iran to an octopus sending out terrorist tentacles to attack Israel, Education Minister Naftali Bennett this week said Jerusalem should start holding the Islamic Republic responsible for the aggression of its proxies in Lebanon and Syria.
In an interview with The Times of Israel’s Persian edition, Bennett — an influential member of the security cabinet with an eye on the top spot — argued that for too long Israel has been focusing on fighting Hezbollah on its northern border while giving a free pass to the terrorist group’s patrons in Tehran.
The Jewish state is not interested in any military confrontation and has great respect for the Iranian people, he said. At the same time, he reiterated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declared intention to do everything necessary to prevent Tehran from establishing itself militarily in Syria.
“My approach is to gradually hold Iran itself more and more accountable for its own actions. And to view a rocket being sent from southern Lebanon to Haifa as an Iranian rocket, as opposed to a Hezbollah rocket,” Bennett said.
The Iranian modus operandi is to create proxy armies made up of non-Iranians, the minister said. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “will fight Israel until the last drop of Lebanese blood,” he said, adding that the Iranians have Lebanese but also Pakistani and Afghani militias spreading terror across the Middle East.
Bennett said he commanded a search-and-destroy mission for rocket launchers during the 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The security who was nearly killed in a stabbing attack Sunday afternoon is no longer in any immediate danger, officials at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital reported Tuesday morning.
Asher Elmaliach, the 46-year-old security guard who was stabbed Sunday at the entrance to the central bus station in Jerusalem, showed signs of improvement Tuesday, though he remains in serious condition.
Hospital officials say Elmaliach, who is still being treated in the intensive care ward, remains sedated.
As closed-circuit television footage of the incident reveals, the terrorist approached the central bus station’s main entrance, removed his jacket, then quickly drew a knife, stabbed Elmaliach, then fled the scene.
Police quickly apprehended the perpetrator with the assistance of another central bus station guard, who subdued the terrorist.
Authorities identified the terrorist as Yassin Abu Al-Keraa, a 24-year-old Palestinian Authority resident illegally residing in Jerusalem.
A Jewish extremist convicted of carrying out a July 2015 arson attack at the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in northern Israel was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday.
In addition to the jail time Yinon Reuveni received, the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court ordered the 22-year-old to pay NIS 50,000 ($14,00) in compensation to the church. He was also handed an additional two years’ probation for the attack.
The court ruled that Reuveni’s sentence would be counted from his original arrest in July 2015.
Speaking with The Times of Israel following the ruling, Reuveni’s attorney, Itamar Ben Gvir, said his client intended to appeal.
“Arabs who set a synagogue on fire received two years in prison,” he said, referring to a sentence handed down to arsonists responsible for an April 2014 attack on a synagogue in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Balad leader Jamal Zahalka mocked Israeli symbols on Tuesday in an interview with the Anashim (People) program on Channel 12.
“I am a Palestinian with an Israeli identity card, but I have no Israeli identity,” Zahalka said.
When asked if he sings “Hatikva,” he said, “I would rather die than sing the Israeli national anthem,” and he complained about “Israel continuing its occupation.”
Asked about the Israeli flag, Zahalka said, “Any flag for me is a rag. It’s a piece of cloth. It’s a lot worse than a rag.”
Zahalka is a member of the Joint List that combined four Arab parties ahead of the last election. He succeeded as Balad chairman Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel in 2007 while under investigation for passing information to Hezbollah during the previous year’s Second Lebanon War. Bishara currently resides in Doha, where he is the director of a think tank and is reportedly close to Qatar’s royal family, a major sponsor of Hamas.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday launched a fiery tirade against Arab Israeli lawmakers, branding them “war criminals” and saying they were sitting in Israel’s parliament “by mistake” and will soon “go back to Gaza, with Hamas, or Ramallah.”
The comments came a day after the defense minister urged a boycott of Arab Israeli businesses in an area that saw riots over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Addressing the Knesset plenum, Liberman rattled off a list of Arab lawmakers who have been accused or convicted of crimes against Israel, including Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel after allegations of handing over information to the Hezbollah terrorist group, and Basel Ghattas, who is serving time for smuggling cellphones to Palestinian terror prisoners.
The Joint (Arab) List leader Ayman Odeh skipped former president Shimon Peres’s funeral, calling him a “murderer,” continued Liberman, but went to Ramallah that week for an event commemorating former Fatah leader Yasser Arafat, considered a terrorist by Israel.
The Joint List lawmakers are “war criminals,” charged Liberman.
“You’re sitting here by mistake,” he told the Arab MKs in the plenum, adding that they’ll inevitably “go back to Gaza, with Hamas, or Ramallah.”
He accused the MKs of “taking advantage” of Israel’s civil liberties to “destroy us from the inside.”
The day will soon come, he added, when “you won’t be here.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Joint List Misses Deadline To Renew Status As Fifth Column (satire)
The alliance of four mostly-Arab parties in Israel’s parliament faces bureaucratic and procedural difficulties in the months ahead after the group failed to submit its renewal of Fifth Column status in time.
The Joint List, which numbers thirteen lawmakers, notified its constituents this afternoon (Thursday) that an office mix-up had resulted in the alliance missing the November 30 deadline to roll over Fifth Column registration with the national registrar. Consequently, they reported, the List will not be permitted to avail itself of Fifth Column privileges for the next two years, but will be eligible to reapply at the end of 2019.
“Unfortunately, a clerical mishap adversely affected our handling of the renewal documents,” read an e-mail sent to Joint List activists. “Financial, legal, and other benefits accruing to parties with registered Fifth Column status will, it appears, be suspended until at least January 2020. In the meantime, however, we are pursuing legal redress, including a petition to the High Court alleging the process and regulations discriminate against those who seek the downfall of Israel as a Jewish State, and seeking a ruling that orders the State to dismantle itself in favor of a Palestinian one to rectify the situation.”
The Joint List faces embarrassment over the snafu, as this error marks at least the third time it has committed a bureaucratic foul-up regarding Fifth Column status. To deflect attention to its failings, a spokesman for the List announced, it would launch another set of tirades against Jewish supremacism, Israeli war crimes, human rights abuses against Arabs, and other forces that can be blamed for self-inflicted Arab misfortunes, in keeping with standard operating procedure in “post-colonial” cultures.
An IDF investigation into the Nov. 30 incident in which Israeli hikers were attacked by stone throwers in Samaria and a Palestinian was shot dead has found security forces on the ground acted appropriately and the actions of the Samaria Brigade helped prevent the incident from deteriorating further.
According to the investigation’s findings, submitted to GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa on Monday, a parental escort on the hike fired at the Palestinian in response to the attack and the main factor that led to the incident was the Palestinians’ attempt to harm the hikers, which put their lives in danger.
A Jewish hiker shot and killed a Palestinian in a grave incident last month, as the shooter accompanied a group of children on a hike in Samaria marking one of the hikers’ bar mitzvah celebration.
A large number of Palestinians surrounded the group of hikers, approaching them and throwing rocks. Three boys sustained minor injuries in the altercation.
A parent of one of the hikers, who accompanied the group and was carrying a weapon for safety reasons, felt threatened and fired. One of the Palestinian assailants was critically wounded in the incident and was ultimately declared dead after failed resuscitation efforts.
The hikers had submitted a request to coordinate their hike in advance, as required. But when they did not receive a response from the Samaria Brigade in time, they decided to head out on the hike anyway.
Inside the IDF: November 2017
Border Police officers on Tuesday arrested a Palestinian teenager who tried to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron with a knife.
At a security checkpoint at the entrance to the holy site, a box cutter was discovered hidden on the teenager’s person, according to police.
The 17-year-old Hebron resident was detained and taken in for questioning.
Last month, two 17-year-old Palestinians were also detained after attempting to smuggle a knife into the site, in two separate incidents a day apart.
On December 11th Israel announced that it had discovered and destroyed a terror tunnel stretching from east of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip into Israel.
Two kilometers west from the entrance to the tunnel, Palestinian families are enjoying their new apartments in a residential city built by Qatar. There are basketball courts and a small public park with water fountains. A mosque and administrative buildings are surrounded by 1,060 apartments. It could be a residential development in the Gulf populated by expats relaxing by the water. But it is in Gaza, thanks to a half billion dollar investment by Doha.
A document obtained by The Jerusalem Post reveals the extent of Qatar’s reconstruction efforts.
In October 2014 in the aftermath of the Gaza war UNRWA estimated that more than 100,000 homes had been damaged or destroyed in the fighting, affecting 600,000 people. $5.4 billion was pledged toward reconstruction efforts at an international conference in Egypt. Two years later only 51% of the pledged money had been disbursed.
According to research by Brookings, Qatar was one of the biggest spenders investing in Gaza, with $216 million sent to the strip by December 2016, part of a budget of $1.4 billion it has pledged and spent in the last five years on Palestinians.
Qatar’s support for Gaza goes back more than a decade. It has hosted Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal since 2012 and had a relationship with him since he first briefly moved there in 1999. In 2012 Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani visited the Strip, becoming the first Arab leader to go to Gaza since Hamas took power in 2007. He pledged $400 million at the time. Hamad abdicated in 2013 and his son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani became emir. Tamim has advanced the reconstruction projects through the Gaza Reconstruction Committee (GRC), established in September 2012.
Two Palestinian Islamic Jihad members riding on a motorcycle in the Gaza Strip were killed in an explosion on Tuesday, health officials said. Israel’s military denied accounts by local residents that they were killed in an air strike.
Violence along the Israel-Gaza border has flared since US President Donald Trump’s recognition last week of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the IDF’s demolition on Sunday of a cross-border tunnel it said was dug by Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group that controls the small coastal enclave.
On Monday, Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted a rocket fired by terrorists in Gaza. Shortly afterward, Israel responded with tank fire and air strikes targeting positions of Hamas.
After the explosion on Tuesday that killed the two Islamic Jihad members, an Israeli military statement said: “Contrary to Palestinian reports … the IDF did not attack in the northern Gaza Strip.”
IsraellyCool: Hamas Gets Into Spat with Parody Mossad Account
Remember the fake Mossad Twitter account that DouchebloggerTMRichard Silverstein could not work out was a clear parody? Well, he is not alone – his heroes over at Hamas have demonstrated that when it comes to intelligence, they also are sorely lacking.
I wonder when they’ll clue in to the obvious.
In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the fact our enemies are so dumb.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Monday it would refer Jordan to the U.N. Security Council for failing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he visited Amman in March.
The court issued arrest warrants for Bashir in 2009 and 2010 over his alleged role in war crimes including genocide in Sudan’s Darfur province. Jordan, as a member of the ICC, is obliged to carry out its arrest warrants.
Sudan is not a member of the Hague-based permanent international war crimes court, and the ICC therefore does not have automatic jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes there.
However, the U.N. Security Council referred the case to the international court in March 2005.
The Security Council has the power to impose sanctions for a failure to cooperate with the ICC, but has so far not acted on court referrals.
New York officials on Tuesday said they charged a Bangladeshi man with terrorism, accusing him of setting off a pipe bomb a day earlier in a crowded Manhattan commuter hub, as investigators in his home country questioned his wife.
Akayed Ullah, 27, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, supporting an act of terrorism, and making a terroristic threat under New York state law, the New York Police Department said, adding US authorities may also bring federal charges.
Investigators in Bangladesh were questioning Ullah’s wife, according to two officials who declined to be identified as they were not permitted to discuss the matter publicly. They did not provide details on the questioning, but said the couple have a six-month-old baby boy.
“We have found his wife and in-laws in Dhaka. We are interviewing them,” one of the police officials told Reuters.
New York police say Ullah set off a pipe bomb in an underground corridor of the subway system that connects Times Square to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at rush hour on Monday morning, injuring himself and three others.
What were the motives of Ayaked Ullah, the Port Authority bomber in yesterday’s attack? There are many news headlines that address the issue, and they advance differing theories, each of them presented as fact.
Thus, Haaretz’s English print edition page-one headline states as fact: “N.Y. bomb suspect sought revenge for Israel’s Gaza actions.”
The accompanying article, however, is more cautious about determining the motive. It qualifies:
The suspect in a failed suicide bombing in New York City on Monday told police he was motivated by Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, others are equally certain that it’s Jerusalem that motivated Ullah to strap a bomb to his body in hopes of killing as many commuters as possible. Thus, for example, The Times of London proclaims as fact:
The article itself, however, is much less certain that Jerusalem was a factor. It reports:
Akayed Ullah, 27, is thought to have been inspired by Islamic State, but without having been in direct contact with the jihadist group. According to some reports he shouted that he was acting in the name of Isis. Others said he shouted the word “Jerusalem” — a reference to President Trump’s decision last week to recognise it as the Israeli capital.
Still a third theory — again depicted as fact in headlines — is that the ISIS-inspired terrorist was angered by the Christmas decorations in Port Authority. Business Insiderposits: “The ISIS-inspired NYC bomber chose to attack Port Authority because of its Christmas posters.”
Is it possible that a combination of the above factors could have motivated Ullah? Yes, but until the facts are established, media outlets would do well to present theories as just that. (h/t Yenta Press)
Virgins across paradise are praying that Akayed Ullah, who set off a pipe bomb strapped to his chest Monday near New York City’s Times Square, survives his wounds and does not become a martyr after his attack failed to kill any infidels.
Since Sharia law dictates that anyone who dies fighting for Islam is awarded 72 virgins, Ullah, who pledged allegiance to ISIS, will be entitled his allotment should he succumb to his wounds. Following the pathetic attack, in which his pipe-bomb suicide vest exploded prematurely and caused only minor injuries to bystanders, ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi clarified that all martyrs will receive their virgins regardless of how sad and inept they may be.
“Listen, I’m not so happy that an idiot who can’t even hold his jihadi load long enough to kill a single Jew or Crusader is dropping our name,” Baghdadi told The Mideast Beast. “But rules are rules.”
This did not sit well with the virgins interviewed by The Mideast Beast.
CAA calls for Wales Green Party’s Deputy Leader, Pippa Bartolotti, to be expelled after claiming Israel “only interested in the final solution” and has trapped Palestinians in “open air concentration camp”
The Deputy Leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, has claimed in a Facebook post that Palestinians are “effectively trapped in an open air concentration camp” and that “the government of Israel is only interested in the final solution”. The comments followed a previous post in which she claimed that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would “appease the wealthy Zionist backers who paid for Trump’s election campaign”.
Writing on 7th December, Ms Bartolotti posted an aerial view of Jerusalem’s Old City, commenting: “I think it’s important to explain that Jerusalem is not a Jewish city – any more than Israel is a Jewish country. Israel is in fact a western state, taken by force in 1948, in bloodshed and massacres of the unarmed and innocent indigenous population.” In the post to her almost 5,000 followers, Ms Bartolotti peddled the conspiracy that Israel is a “Western puppet state” and that wealthy Arab oil states are “in cahoots” with the British and western governments to to legitimise Israel’s claims to the land.
Ms Bartolotti went on to explicitly level two accusations at Israel of behaving like Nazis against towards the Palestinians. She wrote: “Palestinians in Gaza are effectively trapped in an open air concentration camp from which there is only slim means of escape”. She then invokes the Nazi language of the Holocaust in her claim that “The government of Israel is only interested in the final solution”. The Final Solution (Die Endloesung) is the name given by the Nazis to their programme to exterminate six million Jews during the Holocaust. Ms Barolotti’s statements qualify as antisemitic discourse under the terms of the International Definition of Antisemitism by “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”. When confronted on Facebook with the notion that “Comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis is grotesquely offensive and antisemitic”, she responded: “The Roma and disabled were similarly targeted by the Nazi regime, but they have not gone around demanding a state of their own”.
The Vancouver School Board apologized to students and parents after a local elementary school blocked them from putting up Hanukkah decorations, Global News reports.
Sheila Sontz said her 11-year-old daughter Maya and friends were told Jewish symbols would not be allowed among the school’s holiday decorations because they are religious in nature.
The school principal made the decision despite the school’s decorations including things like Christmas trees, which were described as “cultural symbols” and not religious symbols, Sontz said.
Sontz also said she had asked the school’s principal to include some Hanukkah songs during the school’s Christmas concert, which will take place during Hanukkah.
“I was absolutely shocked to get a reply that there was to be no Hanukkah decorations in the school, no menorahs, because she considered them to be religious objects,” she said, according to CTV News.
“It was actually suggested that if we really were insistent, we could place a dreidel underneath the [Christmas] tree, or hang it off of the tree,” she added, noting she viewed Christmas trees and Santa Claus as just as representative of a religious holiday as a menorah.
CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of an online National Public Radio report which erroneously stated that United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 calls for a withdrawal from eastern Jerusalem. The Dec. 9 article (“To Some Zionist Christians And Jews, The Bible Says Jerusalem Is Israel’s Capital”) had erred, stating:
In fact, the resolution does not at all mention east Jerusalem in particular, or Jerusalem in general. Nor does it specify exactly from which and how much territory Israel must withdraw. The article itself links to the resolution, which calls for: “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”
In response to communication from CAMERA, NPR editors quickly and thoroughly addressed the inaccuracy. The amended text now states:
Like other Israeli leaders, Barkat rejects U.N Security Resolution 242, which calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied during the 1967 war. While those territories include East Jerusalem, the resolution does not list the territories or specifically say forces must be withdrawn from all of them.
In addition, editors commendably appended the following clarification to the bottom of the article alerting readers to the change:
A Conservative synagogue in Los Angeles was targeted with a spray painted swastika and gang symbols.
Temple Aliyah in the Woodland Hills neighborhood was vandalized on Monday. The Los Angeles Police Department told the Los Angeles Jewish Journal that it considers the attack a hate crime, but it has no suspects because the incident did not show up on the synagogue’s security camera footage.
The graffiti was painted at the entrance to the synagogue. The swastika was drawn backwards. A penis also was drawn on the sign bearing the synagogue’s name.
“We’re calling it a hate crime at this point. Even though it is a minor vandalism it is considered a hate crime by us. It is motivated by, in our opinion, hate, based on the type of graffiti that is there, that is present — the swastikas in general, if that makes sense,” LAPD Det. Nick Abbinanti told the Jewish Journal.
A synagogue located next to Temple Aliyah was not damaged.
“As always, we are concerned when any synagogue is vandalized. Although it appears that the swastika was drawn incorrectly, and that there was some other graffiti included with the swastika, we consider this an anti-Semitic incident since the target was a synagogue,” the Anti-Defamation League’s Pacific Southwest Region said in a statement.
As we enter the Holiday Season, once again we are reminded of a truly shameful episode in history: the Celebration of Zionist violence and dispossession known as “Chanukah”.
Approximately 2200 years ago in Historic Palestine, the Jewish people were fortunate enough to fall under the wise leadership of Syria, a nation whose current leader I consider a friend and which I have visited in the spirit of bonhomie and brotherhood. Syria was then ruled by a most dynamic and motivated man, King Antiochus Epiphanes. Now Antiochus was a rather forward-thinking leader who encouraged the Jews to engage in physical exercise at the well-appointed leisure centres known locally as “Gymnasiums”. The tradition at the time was to exercise naked, which may strike some as unorthodox, but not anyone who has ever visited me in my Gardening Allotment during Mid-Summer. Additionally, Antiochus did his best to encourage the Jews to participate in group activities within the Syrian polity, but again and again he was rudely rebuffed. They even declined to take part in the Community Pig Roast and Pot-Luck that Antiochus sponsored at their Temple.
Just when Antiochus seemed to be making serious headway in terms of showing the Jewish Community a path toward peace, a gang of Likudniks known as the “Maccabees” began agitating and detracting from the shared sense of community in Palestine. The clique’s leader, one Judah Maccabee, felt compelled to attack his Syrian neighbors, a trend that sadly continues to this day. And in an incident that really should be brought to the attention of the RSPCA, the Maccabees engaged in wanton cruelty toward the Syrians’ pet elephants. Finally, despite the noble resistance of the Syrians, they were expelled from Palestine by the Maccabee war machine.
A leisurely afternoon hike in the North’s Beit She’an Valley turned into much more when a mother and daughter discovered an ancient clay candle holder dating to the Hellenistic period – when Judah Maccabee fought against the ruler of Antiochus 2,200 years ago.
While making their way through the mounds near the historic area by the Jordan River Valley one week ago, Hadas Goldberg-Kedar, 7, and her mother, Ayelet, first noticed the well-preserved pottery vessel near the entrance to a porcupine cave.
Assuming the relic was left by antiquities thieves, Ayelet contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority’s Robbery Prevention Unit to report the finding.
In short order, Nir Distelfeld, an inspector for the unit – which is dispersed throughout the country to prevent thieves from looting excavation sites – arrived in the area to examine the lamp.
Distelfeld determined that the porcupine uncovered the rare find while digging its enclosure for the winter.
According to Dr. Einat Ambar-Armon, education and community coordinator for the IAA’s northern region, the clay lamp is characteristic of the 2nd century BCE’s Hellenistic period, during the Maccabean revolt against Greece.
1. Here is Hanukkah’s historical context according to the Books of the Maccabees, The Scroll of Antiochus and The War of the Jews by Joseph Ben Mattityahu (Josephus Plavius):
In 175 BCE, the Seleucid Emperor Antiochus wished to exterminate Judaism and forcibly convert Jews to Hellenism. He suspected that the Jews were allies of his chief rival, Egypt. In 169 BCE, upon returning to Syria from a war against Egypt, he devastated Jerusalem, massacred Jews, forbade the practice of Judaism and desecrated the Temple.
The 167 BCE Jewish rebellion featured the Hasmonean (Maccabee) family: Mattityahu, a priest from Modi’in, and his five sons — Yochanan, Judah, Shimon, Yonatan and Elazar. The heroic, creative battle tactics of the Maccabees were consistent with the reputation of Jews as superb warriors, who were frequently hired as mercenaries by Egypt, Syria, Rome and other global and regional powers. The battles of the Maccabees inspired future Jewish rebellions against the Roman Empire: from the battle against Pompey in 63 BCE through the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Rebellion in 135 CE.
2. The name Maccabee (מכבי or מקבי) is a derivative of the Hebrew word Makevet (מקבת) — power hammer in Hebrew. It is also a derivative of the Hebrew verb Cabeh (כבה), to extinguish. Maccabee, מכבי, is also the Hebrew acronym of “Who could resemble you among gods, O Jehovah.”
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