August 13, 2022

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12/28 Links Pt2: What if the Six-Day War never took place?; What Bret Stephens Missed About Trump and Israel; Pallywood Rears Its Ugly Head Again

From Ian:

Dr. Martin Sherman: Palestine: What if the Six-Day War never took place?
If the “West Bank” was part of the “Hashemite Kingdom” up to 1967, how did it suddenly become the Palestinian Arabs’ long-yearned-for homeland which, up until then, they were submissively willing to cede to an alien potentate?

Not since the time of Dr. Goebels [Head of the Nazi Propaganda Machine] has there ever been a case in which continual repetition of a lie has born such great fruits…Of all the Palestinian lies, there is no lie greater or more crushing than that which calls for the establishment of a separate Palestinian Arab state in the ‘West Bank’… – From “Palestinian Lies” in Ha’aretz, 30-7-76, by former far-Left Meretz Education Minister, Prof. Amnon Rubinstein.

As the new elections approach, the “Palestinian problem” is once again likely to dominate much of the inter-(and intra-) party debate. In many ways this debate is entirely superfluous. After all, a simple mental experiment will suffice to strip away the veil of mendacity shrouding the Palestinian Arab grievances against Israel.

Imagine for a moment…

To demonstrate this, imagine for a moment that the 1967 Six Day War, in which several Arab armies marshalled their forces with the undisguised intention to annihilate Israel, never took place. Imagine that Israel had not been compelled to launch a preemptive strike in self-defense to thwart the Arabs’ openly proclaimed aim of total genocide that resulted in it taking over Judea-Samaria (a.k.a. the “West Bank”)—which the Palestinian Arabs now contend is their long-yearned for homeland.

Then ask yourself: If that war had not occurred, where would “Palestine” be?

What Bret Stephens Missed About Trump and Israel

Trump, Stephens complains, “shows no interest in pushing Russia out of Syria. He has neither articulated nor pursued any coherent strategy for pushing Iran out of Syria. He has all but invited Turkey to interfere in Syria. He has done nothing to prevent Iran from continuing to arm Hezbollah. He shows no regard for the Kurds. His fatuous response to Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi is that we’re getting a lot of money from the Saudis.”

Then Stephens asks, “Is any of this good for Israel?” And answers, “if you think that the ultimate long-term threat to Israel is the resurgence of isolationism in the U.S. and a return to the geopolitics of every nation for itself, the answer is more emphatically no.”

Stephens could be right that Trump’s limited pullback, if not full retreat, from the liberal internationalism or “Democratic realism” of some prior administration could be bad for Israel. But there’s a counterargument that Stephens doesn’t mention, let alone rebut, and that is worth considering.

That counterargument is two-pronged.

First, one of the original, profound, and inspiring ideas of Zionism had to do with Jewish self-reliance. The Jewish state would defend itself with its own foreign policy and armed forces, rather than existing at the mercy of, or under the protection of, some foreign colonial power. This is better for the Jews, in part because no matter how closely allied or powerful some foreign country, even America, may seem, in the end those powers have other interests that rank higher than the survival of the Jews. Better for Israel to realize that and act accordingly than to operate under some illusion — a delusion, really — of an American security umbrella. Those of us who have opposed the idea, raised from time to time, of American troops on the Golan Heights or in the Jordan Valley should be similarly skeptical of deploying American troops in Syria for the sake of Israel’s security.

Caroline Glick: Why should Israelis vote if their vote is meaningless?

If, as widely anticipated, Netanyahu and the Likud win in April, he will need to form a coalition with several smaller parties. Although Likud’s natural coalition partners in the right-wing and religious parties have stated that they will join a coalition with Likud even if Netanyahu is indicted, those parties together are polling fewer than 61 mandates out of a total of 120.

If this remains the case after the elections, then to form a government, Netanyahu will need to bring in populist or left-leaning parties. And the leaders of populist parties and center-left parties have signaled or stated outright that they will not join a coalition with Netanyahu if he is indicted.

In other words, by dangling the Netanyahu probes over the heads of politicians like a sword of Damocles, Mandelblit is effectively threatening to nullify the results of the elections if the public doesn’t vote as he and his fellow attorneys wish.

And so we return to the European ambassador’s dim assessment of the European parliament. It works out that European voters agree with him. Since 1999, voter turnout has never reached 50% and it has dwindled from election to election. A mere 42% of voters showed up in 2014.

The Europeans are right. Why vote if your vote is meaningless?

In April, Israelis will choose which party to vote for based on any number of considerations. But in the end, only one central question will be decided on April 9.

Do we want for our votes to matter, or are we prepared to have all aspects of governance dictated to us by unelected bureaucrats governed by unelected lawyers?

Peter Lerner: Election season brings out the anti-Israel trolls

This week the Knesset convened and decided to disperse. It was a decision based on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s understanding that his government would be a lame duck and the looming societal and security challenges requires to restart the system and regain faith in government.

Since the announcement, anti-Israel supporters have come out and claimed that as Israel once again heads for elections, millions of Palestinians ruled by it cannot vote.

This is a claim that is false.

It is a frequent talking point by the supporters of BDS and is raised by anti-Israel online activists as they dub Israel a masquerading democracy. This is a simplistic, populist way of framing the reality on the ground and it is used mostly by those who desire a one-state solution.

Looking carefully at the narrative they are trying to envisage it is important to realize the facts on the ground contradict their own premise. The claim of “occupation,” is not enough to discount the actual Palestinian institutions, functions and representatives, even though their internal Palestinian legitimacy is undoubtedly disputed. Those activists love to ignore the achievements and foundations already laid down for the future Palestinian state.

The Palestinians, as a result of the Oslo Accords, have a self-rule system. They have a Palestinian Legislative Council with 132 elected officials. The legislative council is the Palestinian equivalent to the Knesset. The PLC was established as a provisional parliament with the responsibility of enacting legislations, and oversight over the executive authority. This is the body the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are supposed to vote for, not for the Knesset. The last election took place in 2006, with Hamas winning the election that caused the violent rift between the leadership, peoples and territories, which remains unbridgeable until today.

In the PLC they receive foreign lawmakers and the Palestinian Legislative Council is a member, observer, or partner in different international parliamentary organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and many others. These platforms serve as staging grounds to bash Israel by the Palestinian representatives.

Are we going to allow the Jewish people to be divided and conquered from within?

The year 2018 has provided a series of reminders that antisemitism, the world’s oldest hatred, is alive and well in our country.

In October, 11 Jews were massacred in Pittsburgh as they prayed on the Sabbath. It is just the latest in a series of violent attacks that have targeted the Jewish community in recent times, which come not only from the radical right but also from the radical left, and from radical Muslims.

The enemies of the Jewish people don’t only physically attack us from the outside. They have also long worked to divide the Jewish people by turning our own against us. For example, a number of Jewish individuals and organizations have become leaders within the BDS movement, which seeks to destroy the Jewish state.

Jewish self-hatred did not begin with the BDS movement. Isaiah 49:17 says, “Your destroyers and devastators will depart from you.” History is replete with examples of Jews who hated the Jewish people so vehemently that they dedicated their entire lives to its destruction.

Take the new Jewish group IfNotNow, which together with their collaborators Jewish Voice for Peace set its sights on demonizing Birthright Israel – an organization that has helped over 600,000 young Jews from 67 countries connect with their Jewish heritage and with the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people.

Last summer, IfNotNow launched a campaign to harass Birthright participants at JFK and Heathrow airports, and planted saboteurs to infiltrate and disrupt Birthright trips, using these stunts to secure slanted media that demonizes Birthright and its Jewish supporters. In doing so, they sought to erode support for a program that made a transformative impact for hundreds of thousands of young Jews – and to discourage participants from accepting this tremendous life changing gift.

The leaders of IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace, who are Jewish themselves, sympathize with Hamas and other terrorist organizations. They present their movement as an anti-occupation group but have never recognized Israel right to exist or the Jewish people right for self-determination.

Along the same lines, some media outlets within the Jewish community are now actively working with explicitly anti-Israel – and in some cases antisemitic – networks, such as Electronic Intifada and Al Jazeera, to attack and demonize pro-Israel leaders and organizations.

It was recently revealed by pro-Israel activist and journalist Noah Pollak that a Forward reporter was using Al Jazeera as a source for a story to smear pro-Israel entities.

Birthright CEO addresses alienation from Israel by Diaspora youth

SPEAKING WITH The Jerusalem Post before the current winter season of Birthright trips began, Birthright director Gidi Mark talks about how more than 100,000 Israelis have participated in the tours alongside the participants from the Diaspora, and emphasizes the importance of creating this mass of Israelis who have friends and direct connections to Jews and Jewish communities abroad.

He also addresses the walkout demonstrations that gained significant media coverage and were seen as a symptom of alienation from Israel among liberal-minded Diaspora Jewish youth.

Several Birthright groups during the course of this summer were, to all intents and purposes, infiltrated by activists from the IfNotNow organization, who during the course of their trip declared that they were dissatisfied with how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was discussed and demonstrably walked out.

They were filmed by co-activists and the event was live-streamed on social media for maximum effect, after which they went to participate in activities relating to Palestinian life in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

And there was a similar incident earlier this week in which IfNotNow activists were removed from a tour while trying to discuss the security barrier with their tour guide and filming him during the discussion.

IfNotNow has described the trip as “a bribe” to Jewish youth by Birthright’s benefactors, especially Sheldon Adelson, a patron of the Israeli and American right-wings, whereby they are given a free trip to Israel to bolster their Jewish identity and connection to Israel but are shielded from the realities of Palestinian life, and thus they ignore a critical issue that the Jewish state is caught up in.

First and foremost, Mark insists, Birthright is an educational organization dedicated to providing an educational experience to its participants, and is not designed to deal with political issues.

“We refuse to turn Israel into something which is 99% political and 1% Jewish life,” he says.

World-Renowned Israeli Literary Figure Amos Oz Dies at Age 79

Israeli author Amos Oz, respected worldwide as one of his country’s leading intellectuals, passed away on Friday at the age of 79 from cancer.

Born as Amos Klausner to a right-wing Revisionist family in Jerusalem during the British Mandate era, Oz was drawn to Labor Zionism as a teenager and moved to Kibbutz Hulda in central Israel.

Oz’s illustrious writing career began with articles he penned for his kibbutz’s newsletter and the left-wing newspaper Davar. He would go on to publish 40 books — which have been translated into 45 languages — and hundreds of essays.

His literary prowess earned Oz numerous prominent awards both at home and abroad, including the Israel Prize in 1998 and the French Legion of Honor the previous year.

Oz’s most famous works include the autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness (which was made into a film starring Natalie Portman in 2015), as well as In the Land of Israel, My Michael, Black Box and Judas, among others. His final book, which came out last year, was Dear Zealots: Letters from a Divided Land.

As a young man, Oz did his mandatory IDF service in the Nahal Brigade, and he later fought as a reservist in the Six-Day War in 1967 and Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Following the 1967 conflict, Oz became an early proponent of a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, and he was involved in peace activism throughout the rest of his life.

Texas’ Anti-BDS Law Should Be Upheld

With the help of an anti-Israel legal group, an admitted boycotter of Israel named Bahia Amawi sued a Texas school district and the Texas attorney general this week to try to overturn the state’s anti-BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) contracting law (Texas Gov. Code § 2270.001, et. seq.).

Briefly, Ms. Amawi wants a renewed contract to provide speech-pathology services to Texas public schools, but is refusing to sign a non-discrimination legal certification agreeing not to boycott Israel and companies that do business with Israel (including American companies that are targeted by the BDS movement) during the term of her contract. Her lawsuit deserves to be summarily dismissed by the courts.

This is not a free speech issue, as Ms. Amawi and her friends in anti-Israel circles wrongly claim. The Texas anti-BDS law has nothing to do with free speech. Ms. Amawi can continue to say whatever lies about Israel that she chooses — on her Facebook page, in the public square, at demonstrations, and in private all she wants — without violating the Texas anti-BDS law. She just can’t engage in discriminatory boycotts, discriminatory economic activity.

Under settled law, secondary and tertiary boycotts such as BDS boycotts are not free speech.

Citing human rights, HSBC bank to divest from Israeli arms developer Elbit

London-based international banking giant HSBC has decided to divest from Israeli defense contractor Elbit, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The move was hailed by pro-BDS groups as “proof positive” of “collective campaigning” against Israel.

The decision, seen as a victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign, comes one month after the global vacation rental website Airbnb decided to delist sites in West Bank settlements.

HSBC sources confirmed to the Post that the bank, said to be the seventh largest financial institution in the world, had divested from Elbit, one of Israel’s largest defense companies and developers of some of the IAF’s most advanced drones.
The bank framed its decision to divest from Elbit as a human rights issue, claiming that it “strongly supports observance of international human rights principles as they apply to business.” In addition, it said HSBC does “not take positions on political issues”, seeming to insinuate that it was not connected to the BDS movement.

Bank sources would not reveal when the divestment would occur, or what percentage of investments were to be divested.

In a statement posted on its website, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), an pro-BDS organization in Britain, claimed “banking giant HSBC divests from Israeli arms manufacturer following pressure from human rights campaigners,” writing “HSBC confirmed to campaigners that it has fully divested from Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit Systems, which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians.”

The group claims that more than 24,000 petitioners emailed HSBC with “concern over its investments in Elbit Systems,” which they say is, “one of Israel’s largest arms manufacturers, notorious for its deadly drones used in attacks on Palestinian civilians, and marketed abroad as ‘combat proven.’”

HSBC: Scandal ridden world bank that proves banks are beyond the law

DRUG cartels, mafia, celebrities and the European aristocracy: when it comes to laundering “dirty money” world giant HSBC is king and proof it may actually be impossible to regulate banks.

An ABC-TV Four Corners program about HSBC — the Hong Kong and Shanghai’s Banking Corporation’s reveals the scope of the global financial institution’s scandal-ridden operations.

The French-TV made “Banksters” claims HSBC was the go-to bank for “a raft of illegal activities, from money laundering for the mafia, to enabling tax evasion and currency manipulation”.

The program screened on Monday night, following recent bombshell revelations in Australia’s banking industry at the Haynes Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industries.

HSBC is one of the world’s largest and most powerful financial institutions, with offices on five continents, including in Australia.

The Hong Kong-based bank, which has branches around Australia, “likes to spruik its financial might and global reach”.

But behind the corporate gloss, it has been at the centre of several of the biggest financial scandals uncovered this century.

Dutch Jews Urge Ban on ‘Antisemitic’ Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations at Amsterdam’s World War II Monument

Leaders of the Jewish community in the Netherlands are pressing the mayor of Amsterdam to enact an outright ban on the provocative anti-Israel rallies that are held regularly next to the city’s National Monument to World War II.

“These demonstrations draw antisemites,” Eddo Verdoner — president of the Centraal Joods Overleg (CJO), which serves the 30,000-strong Jewish community in the Netherlands — told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

The most recent demonstration on Dec. 15, Verdoner reported, had prominently featured strident antisemitic rhetoric and signs on display.

Such scenes “dishonor our monument to the Second World War,” Verdoner declared.

According to the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, the Jewish community’s demand is being supported by the center-right CDA and the right-wing VVD parties, who control seven seats on Amsterdam’s 45-seat city council. The paper on Thursday quoted CDA faction leader Diederik Boomsma describing the pro-Palestinian demonstrations — which frequently feature openly antisemitic and strident anti-Zionist rhetoric and signs — as “inciting hatred.”

A Dec. 18 joint letter to Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema signed by the CJO’s vice chairman, Ronny Naftaniel, and Hanna Luden, the director of the pro-Israel CIDI organization, quoted from antisemitic tirades delivered at the rally in Dam Square, where the National Monument is located. One speaker — identified on social media as Finidi Fares, a far-right activist — declared, “The Jews are the enemy of all people.”

Pallywood Rears Its Ugly Head Again

Aside from the atrocious grammar and spelling, the entire storyline seemed suspicious. If the incident had indeed occurred as reported by the Free Gaza Team, it would have been plastered in the front pages of the New York Times, the Guardian and Al-Jazeera as these publications are notoriously anti-Israel.

I then proceeded to perform a Google image search and Voilà, Noor’s image magically appeared. Unfortunately, this Noor wasn’t injured by Israeli rockets. In fact, she wasn’t even from Gaza. The girl advertised by the Free Gaza Team was in fact a Syrian child from Deir ez-Zor, injured as a result of airstrikes. The images of Noor had been circulating on social media for more than a year. When I pointed this out to the Free Gaza Team, they quite predictably unfollowed and blocked me. I immediately reported the scam to the Social Fund, which responded positively to my complaint and promptly terminated Free Gaza Team’s donation drive. Having been deprived of the Social Fund platform, the fraudsters of the Free Gaza Team opened another “charity drive” for “Noor,” this time on PayPal. I have since filed a complaint with PayPal as well.

The fraud perpetrated by The Free Gaza Team represents the essence of Pallywood and is reminiscent of similar schemes perpetrated by Palestinians and their allies throughout the years. The list is too numerous to outline but here are some of the more notable ones.

IsraellyCool: Code Pinker Ariel Gold’s Fundraiser to Iran Blows Up in Her Face

Yes, I bet you see what I did there..

But seriously, Ariel Gold, the Code Pinker who detests Israel (not that there is any other kind) and asks all and sundry to boycott us, wants desperately to visit the country threatening to wipe us off the map.

It was thanks to an on the ground delegation with Eyewitness Palestine that my passion for human rights turned into my life’s work for freedom and justice in Palestine. Now, having been banned by Israel from entering Palestine, I am looking to travel with CODEPINK to Iran, the country that both the U.S. and Israel are trying to go to war with.

The January 12-20 delegation to Iran will deepen my understanding of the country and help me to be part of helping the U.S. and Iran move from a place of hostility and military threats to a place of mutual respect and peace with one another.

Funds raised in excess of the $2,500 ($1,500 cost of the delegation, plus airfare) will go towards Iranian human rights organizations on the ground or a scholarship for a young person of color to join the delegation.

Look over the details of the delegation and sign up yourself!

As you can see, she has only raised $300 in two months – her fail here is priceless!

IsraellyCool: Terror-Supporting Bakery Reems Listed as One of Thrillist’s Best New Restaurants of 2018

Thrillist is an online media website covering food, drink, travel and entertainment. They seem to have a relatively large following.

Which means their inclusion of Reems Bakery in Oakland on its list of Best Chef Restaurants of 2018 is a really bad thing (hat tip: Jason)

What makes it even worse is how they go out of their way to portray owner Reem Assil so sympathetically, knowing how she has a mural of a terrorist who murdered two innocent people.

Hate crimes in New York, 2018: Jews targeted more than all other groups combined

New York saw more hate crimes against Jews in 2018 than all other targeted groups combined, according to police figures.

Anti-Semitic incidents rose by 22 percent from last year, NYPD figures show, according to a report Wednesday on Patch. Of the 352 hate crimes this year recorded as of Sunday, 183 were anti-Semitic incidents. Brooklyn has seen a spate of hate crimes against Jews in recent months, but the Patch report did not break down the figures by boroughs.

Overall, the tally of hate crimes in New York is up about 6 percent from 331 in the same time last year.

Evan Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League’s New York Regional director, told Patch that those holding anti-Semitic beliefs are feeling emboldened. ADL believes that 12 to 14 percent of Americans hold such beliefs.

The Oct. 27 slaying of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue by a lone gunman unleashed a spate of incidents in New York and “opened up people even more to act out on these feelings,” Bernstein said. “I think for certain people it gave them (a) green light and that’s what is so concerning.”

The ADL has recorded a 60 percent increase in anti-Semitic assaults this year, according to Bernstein.

The Neo Nazi Who Became A Jew

I guess with all the rain here in Israel comes the dust. And it just got into my eyes.

Welcome to our people, Yonatan. It is great to have you with us!

An Ancient Persian Military Base Discovered in Northern Israel

The book of Esther describes the Persian king Ahasuerus as having reigned over an empire that stretched “from India to Ethiopia”—and thus, as a matter of simple geography, must have included Egypt. It was Cambyses II, the son and successor of Cyrus the Great, who added Egypt to the vast empire he inherited in the late 6th century BCE. Recently, archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a Persian military base near the Israeli city of Acre that Cambyses likely used in preparing for his campaign against the pharaoh, writes Philippe Bohstrom.

Among the findings at Tel Keisan, a hill rising 28 meters from the coastal plain . . . in northern Israel, were ruins dated to the Persian period by ceramic jars and cooking pots in the Greek and Phoenician styles typical of that time. The Phoenicians . . . and their fleet had been subjugated by the Assyrians and then by the Persians; and the ancient Greek historian Herodotus said that Greek mercenaries fought in the Persian emperor Cambyses’ army. The Greek and Phoenician ceramic finds in the Persian layer of Tel Keisan [thus] suggest that this area was part of the base camp of the great Achaemenid campaign.

It was on the Acre plain that Cambyses assembled his army that would sweep down to Egypt, in the 520s BCE. Why were the Persians so adamant about conquering Egypt, aside from the usual human weakness for building empires? One reason is because the various empires in the Levant and Middle East considered Egypt to be a major threat. That is just one more reason for their desire to control the land of Israel—a fertile land with a long coast, and a convenient [place from which to launch] attacks on Egypt. Or, at least, to contain Egypt’s influence over the Levant. . . .

‘Jeopardy’ Host Alex Trebek Visits Israel, Tours City of David in Jerusalem

Alex Trebek — the longtime host of the hit television show “Jeopardy” — was photographed touring the City of David archaeological site in Jerusalem on Thursday.

The photo was posted on social media by Yossi Raskas, the deputy director of the City of David.

During his stay in Israel, Trebek also visited Masada in southern Israel’s Judean Desert, where news anchor Jim Gardner, from the Philadelphia-based station 6 ABC, snapped a photo with him and then uploaded it onto Twitter.

Trebek also visited Israel in 2009, which resulted soon after in a “Journey Through Israel” category on “Jeopardy,” according to Haaretz.

Israeli Aerospace Industries Invents Wings to Make F-35 Jets Invisible to Radar

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has developed a component for the outer-wing set of the F-35 stealth fighter jet that will make it invisible to radar, according to an announcement by the company.

The company said it will develop a new production line for the next 20 years, which is anticipated to begin producing outer wing sets at the beginning of 2019 as a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin, and is expected to generate revenues of $2.5 billion in the next 10 to 15 years.

“The construction of the new production line significantly upgrades IAI’s technological capabilities, automation and robotics, and will enable the company to establish itself as a major player in the military and civilian aerostructures,” IAI said in a statement.

An estimated 811 pairs of F-35A wings are expected to be produced by 2034, and will include a unique Automatic Fiber Placement material that is woven of tiny threads. This gives planes the ability to evade radar detection.

The F-35 fighter jet contains parts from several Israeli defense companies, including Elbit System Cyclone, which made the center fuselage composite components, and Elbit Systems Ltd., which made the pilots’ helmets.

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