Archive for the ‘General’ Category

FresnoZionism’s last post

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

AbuYehuda450

FresnoZionism will no longer be updated. It will be replaced by a new blog called Abu Yehuda.

I thought that it would be appropriate to make the change now, as I prepare to move to Israel. I suspect the perspective of the blog will change at that point!

If you are subscribing to FresnoZionism by email via Feedblitz, then you shouldn’t have to do anything. The next post you get will come from Abu Yehuda — unless you subscribed anonymously. Anonymous means that I don’t know your email address, so I couldn’t transfer it!

Everyone who has registered to comment should also have their user IDs and passwords functional on the new site. If not, please email me at info [at] abuYehuda [dot] com.

I have kept my Twitter account, @fresnozionism, and Abu Yehuda posts will go there. If you are following me, you don’t need to do anything.

If you are using an RSS reader, the feed is http://abuYehuda.com/feed.

The new site is still under construction. But I like the new look and I hope you will too.

– Vic Rosenthal

 

The appalling ignorance of our ‘educators’

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Alleged photo of "British football team at Auschwitz" from Australian Holocaust denial site used as source for Rialto school writing assignment

Alleged photo of “British football team at Auschwitz” from Australian Holocaust denial site used as source for Rialto school writing assignment

Rialto, California is a town of about 100,000, located east of Los Angeles. Until now its main claims to fame have been bad drinking water and being the site of a chunk of freeway 210 that appeared in the movie “Transformers” and the TV show “Drive.”

Now they are known for something else: they have some of the the stone-ass stupidest personnel in history in their school district.

Rialto’s eighth-graders recently got this assignment:

When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain. Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.

More:

The 18-page assignment instructions included three sources that students were told to use, including one that stated gassings in concentration camps were a “hoax” and that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers.

“With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded,” states the source, which is a attributed to a webpage on biblebelievers.org.au. “In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.”

Just in case one of the teachers or administrators responsible is reading this, let me spell out the problem: this is not a legitimate controversy that can be debated. It is like asking the students to debate, pro and con, the proposition that the President is in the habit of having intercourse with sheep. It is like asking them to debate whether black people really are inherently dishonest and Mexicans lazy. The best “rebuttal” to this is either a punch in the nose or a lawsuit, depending on your social class.

Even in this day of Donald Sterling (non-US readers can satisfy their curiosity here if they care) some still don’t seem to get it:

“One of the most important responsibilities for educators is to develop critical thinking skills in students,” [school board member Joe] Martinez wrote in an email Friday morning. “This will allow a person to come to their own conclusion. Current events are part of the basis for measuring IQ. The Middle East, Israel, Palestine and the Holocaust are on newscasts discussing current events. Teaching how to come to your own conclusion based on the facts, test your position, be able to articulate that position, then defend your belief with a lucid argument is essential to good citizenship. This thought process creates the foundation for a good education. The progression is within district board policy and also supports the district’s student inspired motto: ‘Today’s Scholars, Tomorrow’s Leaders.’”

And district spokeswoman Sayeda Jafri said this:

“There is no doubt the Holocaust was one of the most horrific, traumatic time-pieces in our history,” she wrote in an emailed response Friday afternoon. “We want our students to engage in developing critical thinking skills and have an in-depth perspective on the importance of the Holocaust. Although I received one email last week in reference to this subject, the district has not received any concerns about this writing prompt from any teachers, administrators or parents. However, due to its sensitive nature, we are always open to go back and examine the prompt.”

But by Monday, the school authorities seemed to understand that it was time to change course:

In a statement released Monday, [Jafri] said an academic team was meeting to revise the assignment.

Interim [since March] Superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam was set to talk with administrators to “assure that any references to the holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken on any current or future Argumentative Research assignments.”

“The holocaust should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” Jafri said.

Jafri also said that the superintendent had not known about the assignment until he was contacted by the ADL on Friday. Apparently she did not pass on the email that she had received.

No, I do not believe that there was a Muslim conspiracy to teach Holocaust denial, despite the superintendent’s and spokeswoman’s names (they are of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin). I do think that there is a real problem with the mainstreaming of outrageous lies, and an incredible lack of judgment displayed by the under- or mis-educated people to whom we entrust our children.

This is actually more appalling.

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The ignorance, arrogance and bias of Obama’s negotiators

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

I have seen these people, the LORD said to Moses, and they are a stiff-necked people. — Exodus 32:9

Two unnamed members of the Obama/Kerry negotiating team — probably former Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk and academic David Makovsky — gave an interview to Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea, published yesterday, in which they displayed the ignorance, arrogance and bias that characterizes this administration and its clumsy attempt to force Israel into a disastrous deal with the PLO.

The interview is here. The officials’ account is riddled with inconsistencies — for example, they claim that the last straw, the final blow that caused Abbas to abandon negotiations was the announcement that Israel intended to build in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem:

And then came the Housing and Construction Ministry’s announcement of building tenders for more than 700 housing units in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.

Abbas lost interest. He turned to the reconciliation talks with Hamas and to the question of who would inherit his mantle. According to the Americans, this is the reason for his recently launched public front against Mohammed Dahlan.

The Americans understood from their Israeli counterparts that the Gilo tenders announcement was an intentional act of sabotage, one of many, by Housing Minister Uri Ariel, an extremist who opposes any agreement with the Palestinians.

But earlier they said that Abbas agreed to the Clinton parameters regarding Jerusalem: Jewish neighborhoods would be in Israel, Arab neighborhoods would become part of Palestine (never mind that this might be a terrible idea). What is Gilo if not a Jewish neighborhood? And they fail to mention that prior to this announcement, Abbas violated his commitment not to seek statehood through the UN, and applied to join various UN treaties and conventions. So how could this have been the ‘last straw’?

Throughout the interview, they blame Israel for the failure of the talks, in particular for settlements. They completely fail to understand the significance of the recognition issue, or the degree of importance attached by Israel to security:

We couldn’t understand why [recognizing Israel as a Jewish state] bothered [Abbas] so much. For us, the Americans, the Jewish identity of Israel is obvious. We wanted to believe that for the Palestinians this was a tactical move – they wanted to get something (in return) and that’s why they were saying ‘no.’

“The more Israel hardened its demands, the more the Palestinian refusal deepened. Israel made this into a huge deal – a position that wouldn’t change under any circumstances. The Palestinians came to the conclusion that Israel was pulling a nasty trick on them. They suspected there was an effort to get from them approval of the Zionist narrative.

If the “Zionist narrative” means that there can be a Jewish state in the Middle East, then Netanyahu is guilty as charged! If US negotiators were too obtuse to understand why Israel demanded this and why the Palestinians would not agree, then they understood nothing.

“At the end of a war [referring to 1991, the Gulf War] there is a sense of urgency,” they said. And then one of them added bitterly: “I guess we need another intifada to create the circumstances that would allow progress.”

“20 years after the Oslo Accords, new game rules and facts on the ground were created that are deeply entrenched. This reality is very difficult for the Palestinians and very convenient for Israel.”

Another intifada? The reality of 1400 dead Jews since Oslo was “convenient?”

What I found the most distressing was the insulting, demeaning tone — the lack of respect for the sovereign state of Israel, mixed with threats. Here are some examples:

“As of now, nothing is stopping the Palestinians from turning to the international community. The Palestinians are tired of the status quo. They will get their state in the end – whether through violence or by turning to international organizations.

The Jewish people are supposed to be smart; it is true that they’re also considered a stubborn nation [traditional anti-Jewish themes]. You’re supposed to know how to read the map: In the 21st century, the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel’s status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state.

Israel is not China. It was founded by a UN resolution. Its prosperity depends on the way it is viewed by the international community.

This is a remarkably ignorant statement. The Jewish nation is actually a lot like China, going back thousands of years, always with a presence in and a connection to the land of Israel. Created by a UN resolution? Do they mean the non-binding and never implemented 181? The modern state of Israel was created by the struggle and blood of the Jewish people who threw out the British colonialists and defended themselves against the genocidal Arabs, who quite literally subscribed to Nazi doctrine.

Excuse me, these are the diplomats who represent the US? Or just a pair of idiots?

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Trend of US Israel policy is negative

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Kerryspeak

Yesterday I tried to explain why John Kerry’s use of the concept of ‘apartheid’ in connection with Israel was so outrageous.

For a top official of the US, supposedly Israel’s ally, to employ language more usually found in the sewers of Jew-hatred — sorry, I have to be accurate — is shocking, but indicative of the level to which US-Israel relations have fallen in the Age of Obama.

But there is also a practical significance. Kerry’s remarks constitute a threat. If Israel doesn’t roll over on command, suggests Kerry, it will get the South Africa treatment, boycotted and divested from by the so-moral ‘international community’ until its Zionist regime is forced to resign from the human race, like the National Party of apartheid South Africa. This isn’t the first threat from Kerry, who promised (and thus encouraged) a ‘third intifada’ if Israel didn’t hurry up and make a deal.

Kerry continued by blaming Israel for the failure of negotiations, even though the PLO leadership refused to commit to end the conflict, maintained their demand for a right of return to Israel, and never stopped the vicious incitement to murder in their media.

What has happened is that the center of discourse about Israel in the US has shifted. Administration and media people, educated in our ‘great’ universities — universities richly endowed with Arab petrodollars — have consumed a diet of extremist anti-Israel propaganda from teachers like David Klein, Lawrence Davidson, James Petras, Joseph Levine (three out of four Jewish!), and many others. Like the education for hate carried out by the Palestinian Authority, it has been effective. The students, including the President and his Secretary of State, learned their lessons and are applying them in their daily work.

The US Congress has been less affected, because of pressure from pro-Israel constituents — mostly evangelical Protestants and older or more observant Jews. But there is strong pressure on the evangelicals (especially younger ones) to move them away from their support of Israel, and as the older Jews (who tend to be Zionists) die off, the liberal Jewish community becomes less and less committed to defending Israel. Congress will follow the lead of its constituents.

I don’t see any reason for these trends to reverse, and the more that opinions formerly considered extreme become mainstream, the more they will inform policy.

On a personal note, I will be moving back to Israel in a couple of months. The US has been good to me, and I’ll miss my friends and a lot more about this wonderful country. But I can’t help but admit to a feeling of relief that Kerry, Obama and others like them will no longer represent me.

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John Kerry exposes his anti-Israel bias

Monday, April 28th, 2014
Apartheid -- the real thing

Apartheid — the real thing

News item:

If there’s no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict soon, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state,” Secretary of State John Kerry told a room of influential world leaders in a closed-door meeting Friday.

Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel, and President Obama has previously rejected the idea that the word should apply to Jewish State. Kerry’s use of the loaded term is already rankling Jewish leaders in America—and it could attract unwanted attention in Israel, as well. …

The application of the concept of ‘apartheid’ to Israel, a theme that began with the notorious Durban Conference in 2001, is one of the most offensive propaganda techniques used by Israel’s enemies to demonize it, matched only by the “Israelis are the new Nazis” one.

Apartheid, as everyone knows, is a set of laws designed to create ‘separation’ between races that existed in South Africa between 1949 and 1994. It was much more than mere racial segregation, being a complete system to ensure that blacks (and ‘coloreds’) would have inferior status in every sphere and be unable to obtain political influence. Nothing remotely like it exists in Israel (on either side of the Green Line) nor is it contemplated, even by the most right-wing members of the Knesset.

To be completely fair, apartheid is much closer to Islamic Shari’a, under which non-Muslims’ rights are severely limited. And racism more appropriately characterizes Mahmoud Abbas’ demand for a Jew-free ‘Palestine’ than Israel in any sense. But never mind, this isn’t a contest.

Kerry is alluding to the argument that if Israel annexes all of Judea and Samaria (and Gaza?), demographic considerations would lead to a loss of Israel’s Jewish majority. At that point, it’s argued that Israel would be forced to limit Arab suffrage in order to keep its character as a Jewish state.

This line has been shown over and over to be unsound. The demographic predictions are false, being based on phony Palestinian numbers and wrong assumptions about Jewish and Arab birthrates, and there are other alternatives. This has been covered in detail in numerous places, including Caroline Glick’s book The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.

But even if this is all that he had in mind, it is beyond inappropriate and offensive that the American Secretary of State would echo the most vicious anti-Zionists by using the word ‘apartheid’ in connection with Israel. Indeed, his use of it indicates that behind his ‘balanced’ rhetoric — he likes to blame ‘both sides’ — he is strongly biased against Israel.

Kerry needs to apologize (the lame attempt to minimize the damage by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki doesn’t cut it). Or, as the Emergency Committee for Israel suggests, quit.

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US Reform Jews following same path as in 1940s

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom haShoah. Although I agree with those who say that preservation of the historical record is a necessary part of preventing its repetition, I am very uncomfortable with its use to produce an emotional catharsis, which often stands in the way of facing the real threats against the Jewish people today. The same people who cry over the dead Jews of the 1940s often have no problem taking anti-Zionist positions today — or supporting politicians like Barack Obama, whose policies are inimical to the continued existence of the Jewish state, and therefore the Jewish people.

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) as seems not to have noticed Yom haShoah this year — at least, I can’t find anything on its website. Individual congregations, like the one in our town, are holding commemorative events. Possibly they have decided to deemphasize the observance.

But the URJ’s drift in the direction of anti-Zionist politics hasn’t stopped. Under the leadership of its President Rabbi Richard ‘Rick’ Jacobs, we find the URJ supporting the phony ‘pro-Israel’ organization J Street in its bid to joint the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. J Street — which called for a cease-fire on the first day of Operation Cast Lead in 2009, which supported an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security council (which the US vetoed), which consistently opposed sanctions on Iran, which supported the conclusions of the Goldstone Report (later repudiated by its author) that accused the IDF of war crimes in Gaza and introduced Goldstone to members of Congress, which has invited viciously anti-Zionist and pro-BDS speakers like Mustafa Barghouti, Rebecca Vilkomerson and James Zogby to its annual conference, but refused to allow liberal Zionist Alan Dershowitz to speak — is anything but pro-Israel. It is, however, very pro-Obama.

It is ironic, then that the liberal wing of the Jewish establishment in the US is following the same path as it did in the 1940s, when, out of loyalty to a liberal president and his party, it worked against the true interests of the Jewish people. The danger is not as immediate today as it was in the dark days of WWII, although the Iranian nuclear project, which is being facilitated by the policy of the Obama Administration, could very quickly change this.

I am therefore taking this occasion to republish the following, which I wrote several years ago. It is even more timely today.

—————————————————————

The failure of the liberal Jewish establishment, then and now

by Vic Rosenthal, 8/7/2011

400 mostly Orthodox rabbis march to the White House on October 6, 1943. Roosevelt avoided meeting with them.

It’s well-known that the Roosevelt Administration did little to help European Jews during the Holocaust. Unfortunately, part of the blame falls on American Jewry, which was sharply divided about how to respond — a fact which caused good men in the government to hesitate, while it gave antisemites an excuse to resist taking action.

The NY Times has published a piece by Isabel Kershner that may bring more attention to the shameful stupidity of the Jewish establishment during that period:

The Bergson group formed in 1940 when about 10 young Jews from Palestine and Europe came to the United States to open a fund-raising and propaganda operation for the Irgun, the right-wing Zionist militia. The group was organized by Hillel Kook, a charismatic Irgun leader who adopted the pseudonym Peter H. Bergson. [Samuel] Merlin was his right-hand man.

The group began by raising money for illegal Jewish immigration to what was then the British Mandate of Palestine and promoting the idea of an army composed of stateless and Palestinian Jews. But the mission abruptly changed in November 1942 after reports of the Nazi annihilation of two million European Jews emerged. Like earlier reports of the mass killing of Jews, the news barely made the inside pages of major American newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post.

The Bergsonites were appalled by what they saw as the indifference of the Roosevelt administration and the passivity of the Jewish establishment, which staunchly supported the administration and largely accepted its argument that the primary American military objective was to win the war, not to save European Jews. The group embarked on a provocative campaign to publicize the genocide and to lobby Congress to support the rescue of Jews, roaming the hallways of Capitol Hill and knocking on doors, displaying a degree of chutzpah that made the traditional, pro-Roosevelt Jewish establishment uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable?

The establishment, led by Reform Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, fought Kook’s group tooth and nail. Writer Ben Hecht, recruited by Kook to stage a huge pageant in Madison Square Garden in March 1943 (“We will never die”) to raise awareness and embarrass the government into action, described one encounter:

I first became aware that there was annoyance with me among the Jews when Rabbi Stephen Wise, head of the Jews of New York, head of the Zionists and, as I knew from reading the papers, head of almost everything noble in American Jewry, telephoned me at the Algonquin Hotel where I had pitched my Hebrew tent.

Rabbi Wise said he would like to see me immediately in his rectory. His voice, which was sonorous and impressive, irritated me. I had never known a man with a sonorous and impressive voice who wasn’t either a con man or a bad actor. I explained I was very busy and unable to step out of my hotel.

“Then I shall tell you now, over the telephone, what I had hoped to tell you in my study,” said Rabbi Wise. “I have read your pageant script and I disapprove of it. I must ask you to cancel this pageant and discontinue all your further activities in behalf of the Jews. If you wish hereafter to work for the Jewish Cause, you will please consult me and let me advise you.”

Wise was a confidant of Roosevelt, and tried to use his influence to get the British to allow European Jews to enter Palestine, with no success. He was even unable to get Roosevelt to publicly speak out on the subject. According to Hecht, Kook told him that

The United States has a secret pact with Great Britain concerning the future of Palestine. It is intended to belong to the British. President Roosevelt will do nothing to violate that pact. He will not speak of Jews being massacred because that might excite popular opinion to rescue them–and result in their being sent to Palestine as a haven, which would be a violation of this pact [in December 1942, Roosevelt and allied governments did finally issue a declaration denouncing Hitler's murderous project, but no concrete actions were taken -- ed.].

When Kook organized a march of 400 mostly Orthodox Rabbis (but including Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, z”l, who had been ordained as a Conservative rabbi some months before) to the White House, Roosevelt left before they arrived, on the advice of Wise and others.

In Louis Rappaport’s words (“Shake Heaven and Earth: Peter Bergson and the struggle to rescue the Jews of Europe,” p. xi),

During the era, Zionist leaders like Rabbi Wise and Nahum Goldmann told the State Department that Kook/Bergson was as big a threat as Hitler to the well-being of American Jewry.

Wise did his best, in the tradition of the medieval ghetto community leader who protects his people by virtue of his relationship with the goyische prince, but he failed utterly. And then he did his best to sabotage the more aggressive, public efforts of Kook. His publicly stated reason was that he feared that Kook’s actions (which included criticism of Christians who did not intervene) would stimulate an antisemitic reaction in the US.

But there was another motive, too. Rabbi David Ellenson, president of the Reform Movement’s Hebrew Union College (in part founded by Wise), explained it in a September, 2008, talk:

“In the 1930s, it was Wise who led the rallies against Hitler, so why did he fail so horribly in the 1940s?” Ellenson asked at a Holocaust conference organized by the Washington-based David S. Wyman Institute …

He said part of the explanation lies in Wise’s “absolute and complete love” for president Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as his antipathy toward the Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and toward the Bergson Group, whose leaders were followers of Jabotinsky, something that “helped blind him” to the need for more activism.

Ellenson said concerns of provoking an anti-Semitic backlash should not have thwarted the American Jewish leadership from actively working to prevent the extermination of six million Jews. “Jewish leaders have an obligation to be sufficiently flexible and imaginative to deal with unprecedented situations,” he said. He said he hoped that today’s leaders would respond more effectively to contemporary dangers facing the Jewish people, such as the Iranian nuclear threat.

“Stephen Wise spent too much time trying to protect FDR from criticism, and not enough time focusing on how to convince Roosevelt to help rescue Jews from Europe,” said Wyman Institute director Dr. Rafael Medoff. “Rabbi David Ellenson is to be commended for acknowledging the mistakes of his predecessor and trying to ensure that the failures of the 1940s will not be repeated.”

It seems to me that this is almost exactly what is happening today, with the liberal Jewish establishment in America cleaving to its President, Barack Obama, while the latter pursues policies inimical to Jewish survival. It is ironic that Rabbi Ellenson criticized Rabbi Wise in this way, and then three years later viciously attacked opponents of the nomination of J Street and New Israel Fund activist Rabbi Richard Jacobs as head of the Union for Reform Judaism!

Kook and Merlin, by the way, both sailed to Israel in 1948 on the ill-fated Irgun arms ship Altalena, which was fired on by IDF forces on the orders of David Ben-Gurion (Merlin was wounded, as the Times article notes). Interestingly, later in life, Ben-Gurion said that he regretted the decision, which he would not have made had he known Irgun leader Menachem Begin as well as he had since come to know him.

I don’t know if Wise regretted his actions in regard to Kook, although he apparently understood that he had failed in his responsibility toward the Jews of Europe. Toward the end of his life, he wrote,

I have seen and shared deep and terrible sorrow. The tale might be less tragic if the help of men had been less scant and fitful.

Today’s establishment still has time to choose the right path.

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First victory, then peace

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Emily Amrousi’s piece about rape as an act of terror should be required reading for everyone who thinks that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is about borders and Palestinian statehood.

There is one passage that stood out, about the 2006 rape and murder of 9-year old Lipaz Himi:

Anwar Ahdush, a resident of the village of Tzurif and a member of Fatah’s Tanzim who had entered Israel illegally, confessed to the crime. Two days before raping and murdering Himi, Ahdush killed another Jew, David Ben-Hamo, with an axe. When police questioned him for the first time, he said he had committed both acts as “revenge for the suffering of Palestinian mothers,” and added that he had also planned to murder a female soldier and kidnap a bus carrying schoolchildren and steer it down a ravine.

When Judge Dalia Ganot of the Tel Aviv District Court asked Ahdush why he had committed the act, he answered: “Because tomorrow this girl will grow up, be in the army and murder our children.”

When he was asked why he trained at shooting, he answered, “Because we are in a state of war.”

“A war against a 9-year-old girl?” the judge pressed.

“For us, there is no 9 years old or 10 years old,” he answered. The fact that since Ahdush’s arrest his family has been receiving a stipend of NIS 4,000 ($1,100) per month from Fatah is further evidence that the crime was nationalistically motivated.

Some random thoughts that came to mind:

Israel has no death penalty, and lately a history of releasing murderers either to ransom kidnapped Israelis (even dead ones) or to “strengthen Palestinian moderates.” Fatah, the organization headed by Mahmoud Abbas to which Anwar Ahdush belonged, is counted as ‘moderate’. When prisoners are released, especially those that have murdered Jewish civilians, they are welcomed as heroes.

When Yasser Arafat returned from exile after the Oslo Accord created the Palestinian Authority (PA), he instituted a wide-ranging campaign to deepen the hatred of Jews and Israel in the Palestinian Arabs. The Palestinian educational and religious systems and all Palestinian media were focused on this objective. The Palestinian Media Watch organization provides hundreds of examples, which include crude Jew-hatred, denial of Jewish history, distortions of recent events, sheer invention of ‘war crimes’, blood libels, religious conspiracy theories, adulation of terrorists and exhortation to martyrdom.

The Palestinian Cause, as it is taught, takes various forms, but what is common to all of them is the end of the Jewish state. The campaign has been continued, even strengthened, under ‘moderate’ Mahmoud Abbas.

In the US today there is a controversy about laws restricting certain breeds of dogs, which some consider inherently dangerous. Others say that the dogs, which are often adopted by drug dealers as guards or set to fight one another, are only aggressive when trained to be. In the case of the Palestinian Arabs, we have the result of deliberately training a population of humans for hate and violence. Unsurprisingly, it works. The various Palestinian factions have all adopted versions of this strategy. It is a kind of warfare, an adjunct to the kinetic kind.

On the other hand, Israeli media, for the most part, tries to humanize the Palestinians. If there is an Israeli ‘Cause’, it is presented as peace. This is a mistake. Israel doesn’t need to — shouldn’t — adopt a philosophy of hate, like the Palestinian Arabs. But it’s essential to understand that the Jewish nation is at war with the Palestinian Arabs, and has been for almost 100 years. If the survival of the state and consequently the Jewish people is important, then our primary objective has to be victory. Peace will follow.

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Is it good for the Jews? Maybe a little.

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Nu, my grandmother would have asked, is it good for the Jews?

I am talking about the latest episode in the Fatah-Hamas ‘reconciliation’ soap opera. Let’s look at some of the arguments pro and con.

First, on the left, we have this: “it is good for the Jews because a unified Palestinian entity can sign a peace agreement that binds all their factions.” This is probably the weakest argument. As I wrote yesterday, the idea that the PLO, even without Hamas, would in good faith make and keep an agreement to end the conflict is at best wishful thinking. This has been proven on multiple occasions since the days of Arafat. Add the rejectionist Hamas, and the tiny probability becomes even tinier.

Turning right, we hear that it is bad for the Jews because it will strengthen Hamas. There is some truth to this. Hamas has been suffering economically since its patron, the Muslim Brotherhood, lost power in Egypt. General Sisi’s forces are continuing to destroy the tunnels that provide a path for weapons and terrorists to pass into and out of the strip, and whose operation is heavily taxed by Hamas. If Hamas gets access to the European and American funds sloshing around in the Palestinian Authority (PA), that will offset the loss.

Some object that Europe and the US will not continue to fund a PA that includes the terrorist Hamas. But practically speaking, the powers are not prepared to give up the control that they buy with their aid. US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki reiterated yesterday that Hamas would be an acceptable partner in a unity-governed PA only if it met the three “quartet conditions” of renouncing violence, recognizing Israel and accepting prior agreements (the Oslo Accords, in particular). While this appears to be a rejection of Hamas, which has often insisted that it would never agree to these conditions, it is also a door that Hamas can pass through. If it really wants to join the PA, I suspect a formula could be found that both Hamas and State would accept. Of course, in practice nothing about Hamas would change.

All this is true and on the ‘bad’ side of the ledger. But others suggest that there may be an unexpected benefit as well, which is that union with Hamas would expose the PLO for what it is — an organization with genocidal aims no less sinister than Hamas. After all, what distinguishes the PLO from Hamas? Three things:

Strategy — The Hamas approach is more directly confrontational, while the PLO prefers to alternate terrorism with diplomatic warfare. In both cases, the objective — the replacement of the Jewish state with an Arab state and the expulsion or murder of the Jews of Israel — is the same.

Ideology — Hamas would like to create an Islamic state following Shari’a. The PLO is mostly secular, with Marxist, Pan-Arab and nationalist elements. From our point of view, the kind of state they would create after eliminating the Jews is irrelevant.

Personalities — Hamas leaders would like to be the dictators of their new state, and so would those of the PLO. They would like to settle their scores and become the Arab tyrants they believe they deserve to be.

The idea of exposure is attractive: everyone would see the truth about the PA, and stop pressuring Israel to make concessions to forces that want to destroy it. But of course that is not what would happen. Would the US State Department suddenly reverse the course it has steered since 1967, to get Israel out of the territories? Would the Europeans suddenly decide that it’s acceptable for the Jews to have a sovereign state?

None of these things would happen, because the world’s priorities do not fall on the side of Jewish survival. They never have, and even our friends have more important concerns.

What might happen, though, is a short pause in the international pressure, along with a further disillusionment with the ‘process’ in Israel (even Tzipi Livni said that there could not be “business as usual” with a Hamas-ified PA). This could be an opportunity for Israel to act decisively to end the charade started at Oslo and the pretense that the PLO is anything other than the genocidal terrorist gang that it has always been.

Oslo, specifically the recognition of the PLO as the “legitimate representative of the ‘Palestinian people’,” is one of the greatest mistakes — if not the greatest — made by any Israeli government since 1948. While much of the damage can’t be undone — the roughly 1500 Jews murdered as a result of it can’t be brought back to life — at least the pernicious ‘process’ can be finally ended.

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Lessons from the latest tragedy

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Mizrachi Family

Baruch Mizrachi, z”l and family

Funeral of Baruch Mizrachi, z'l

Funeral of Baruch Mizrachi

It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are.  They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not “meet halfway” those who do not want to meet you. — Ze’ev Jabotinsky

It is too painful to write these stories, so I will let you read the details here.

It still isn’t clear whether Baruch Mizrachi, a man who had devoted his life to protecting the Jewish people in their land, was targeted because of his job, or simply murdered because he was a Jew. It doesn’t matter. The question is, when is enough enough? When does the State of Israel decide that the Palestinian Arabs are a hostile enemy and start treating them as such (my guess is that the people of Israel already understand this)?

The police will be looking very seriously for the murderers, at least the ones that waited by the side of the road and pulled the trigger. When they find them, will they be hanged as justice demands? Or will they be jailed for a few years where they can take college courses and receive generous pensions from the Palestinian Authority, until they are released either as part of a ransom agreement or because of pressure from the anti-Jewish administration of Barack Obama?

When will the State of Israel begin to act on the fact, which everyone knows to be true, that the Palestinian Arab leadership as well as the average Palestinian in the street, is dedicated to the Palestinian Cause of removing the Jewish presence from ‘their’ land, which includes everything from the river to the sea?

When will Israelis understand that the Land of Israel, all of it, belongs to the Jewish people, both by historical right and international law? When will they take concrete steps to realize this? When will they stop internalizing the lies of the Arabs and the Jew-hating Europeans and allowing the inappropriate and neurotic guilt of the Left to paralyze them?

Ze’ev Jabotinsky explained it 90 years ago. Menachem Begin always understood it.

How many families will suffer like the Mizrachis until we finally get it?

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Europe’s chutzpah can’t hide decline

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Thanks to the perspicacious David F. for bringing this to my attention:

European Union officials alleged on Friday that Israel demolished EU-funded housing shelters outside of Ma’aleh Adumim earlier in the week, AFP reported.

Eighteen tin huts built to house Palestinians during the unusually severe winter weather this year were “partially funded by EU member states,” according to the report.

EU officials demanded financial compensation from Israel to Brussels in response to the demolition of three of the structures, Belgian news service EurActiv reported.

“We should ask for compensation from Israel whenever EU-funded humanitarian aid projects are destroyed,” EurActiv quoted an anonymous EU diplomat as saying.

The thought processes of the “EU officials” are remarkable. They finance illegal construction, and then expect to be compensated for their losses when the authorities intervene. If I pay someone to steal a car for me and he is arrested, can I sue the police to get my money back? Probably I would get arrested too! What should happen here is that the EU should pay any relevant fines plus the cost of demolishing the illegal structures.

But there is more. The EU gives large amounts of money to the Palestinian authority, much of which is used to pay the salaries of jailed terrorists — in other words, to reward them for every manner of crime, including murder. How about the EU paying Israel compensation for the actions of its, well, employees?

The EU is not acting from humanitarian motives (the Arabs of Judea and Samaria are better off than in any other Middle Eastern nation). It is financing subversion, sabotage and terrorism against the Jewish state.

The European demand for compensation makes sense in the context of their historic superiority complex, particularly with regard to the Jews, whom they do not believe have a right to sovereignty. How else can they justify their interference with the laws of someone else’s country?

The Arabs and others have a point when they complain about the colonialist arrogance that still characterizes Europe, long after its empires are gone and its vitality is trickling away in inexorable economic and demographic decline.

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Why EU doesn’t care if its aid helps Palestinians

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
If antisemitic aliens from space were to attack Israel, would the EU support them?

If antisemitic aliens from space were to attack Israel, would the EU support them?

Michael Theurer is chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control. Here is an excerpt from a piece he published in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

In its report, issued in December, the European Court of Auditors revealed major dysfunctions in the management of EU financial support to the Palestinian Authority, and called for a serious overhaul of the funding mechanism.

Among other things, the court criticized the absence of any conditions for EU aid to the Palestinian Authority, an approach that reduces the potential leverage of the EU to push for more reforms from the Palestinian Authority. This is a surprising exception to the EU’s famous “more-for-more” principle, according to which the EU offers stronger partnership and more incentives to countries that make more progress toward democratic reforms. This principle applies to every other recipient of EU aid in the world. In other words, the Palestinian Authority is the only body that receives EU funds regardless of its human-rights record or economic performance.

The court also revealed that, since 2007, “a considerable number” of Palestinian Authority civil servants in Gaza have received their salaries partly funded through EU aid—even though they “were not going to work due to the political situation in Gaza.” How exactly does this contribute to peace-building? And how can the EU preserve its credibility back home when it pays salaries to people who don’t work, while millions of European citizens are unemployed?

The court also found that the EU paid insufficient attention to the fungibility of the funds it provided to the Palestinian Authority. There is reason to believe that EU financial assistance has allowed the Palestinian Authority to use its own general budget to support terrorist or criminal activities.

The Palestinian Authority, for example, allocates a significant portion of its budget to paying salaries to Palestinian prisoners convicted of terrorism offenses. These salaries are up to five times higher than the average salary in the West Bank. Prisoners also receive large grants from the Palestinian Authority. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2012 the Palestinian Authority’s payments to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons and to the families of deceased terrorists (including suicide bombers) together accounted for more than 16% of the annual foreign donations and grants to the budget of the Palestinian Authority. In February this year the Palestinian minister for prisoners’ affairs announced that €30 million will be allocated to current or former prisoners in 2014. [my emphasis]

At a time when many European economies are struggling, it might seem strange that the EU would flush away so much money in support of a corrupt dictatorship which is moving in the opposite direction from being a viable country, and which behaves in a way that is contrary to the ideals of peace and freedom that the EU purports to espouse.

But that isn’t the end of it. The Europeans, as the EU, as individual governments and in the form of large Europe-based charitable organizations, also provide a large amount of funding — millions of Euros annually — to organizations run by Israelis. These are in general anti-Zionist groups, on the extreme left of the Israeli political spectrum, which would be extremely marginal if they had to depend on domestic contributions.

It is hard to see how either of these enterprises improves the life of the average Palestinian. The corrupt PLO and dole/graft based economy stifle domestic development and maintain the confrontation with Israel. Indeed, the EU is directly financing radical extremism in the PA.

The Israeli NGOs that are nourished by the Europeans also do not play a positive role. In general they act — by means of propaganda, civil (and not-so-civil) disobedience, and legal maneuvers — to limit Israel’s ability to defend itself against terrorism or even outright warfare. They also work abroad to reduce popular support for Israel (for example, the EU-funded ‘Breaking the Silence’ group tours American campuses with a message that the IDF commits war crimes). Again, rather than promote peace, they encourage the most radical elements among the Palestinian Arabs in their belief that Israel can be overcome by force.

I would be remiss if I ended this piece here, because there is another area in which even more millions of Euros are spent, supposedly on behalf of the Palestinians. This of course is UNRWA, the unique Palestinian welfare agency, to which the EU is the second largest contributor, after the US. UNRWA functions to subsidize large families of refugee descendents, while it does nothing to resettle them. It is no more or less than the enabler of the PLO demographic weapon against Israel, and is structured to maintain the people in its care as stateless and mostly jobless paupers, while they receive ‘education’ from teachers associated with various terrorist organizations.

With all this ‘help’ from their friends, the Palestinians are more angry and frustrated than ever. Is that surprising? Not really, because European policy is not really about helping Palestinians. It is not ‘about’ them at all. In reality, it is about the Jewish state, which is the target of all of this money and effort.

That, in a sentence, is why the EU does not care if the money it gives to the PA helps Palestinians. As long as it weakens Israel, it is achieving its objective.

Face it, if aliens from space were to attack Israel, the EU would probably give them a grant!

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Kerry’s ‘poof’ moment

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
...poof, that was sort of the moment

…poof, that was sort of the moment

Today this story appeared in my local newspaper:

Israeli settlement plans sank peace talks

By Paul Richter
Tribune Washington Bureau
[The Tribune Company owns The LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, and numerous other newspapers and media properties -- ed.]

Washington — Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Tuesday that Israel’s announcement last week of new housing for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem led to the breakdown of his eight-month effort to reach a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians. …

“Seven hundred settlement units were announced in Jerusalem and, poof, that was sort of the moment,” Kerry said. …

First, let me note that The Fresno Bee should have prefaced its headline with “Kerry says” or just “Kerry:” As it stands it is simply and egregiously false.

Now I’ll list a few things about this story that my neighbors probably aren’t aware of, and won’t be made aware of by their local paper or numerous other media that use content from the same source.

1. Israel had agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners, most guilty of murder, in four batches, in return for the Palestinians’ participating in direct negotiations. After the third round of releases in December, the Palestinians stopped meeting with the Israelis. The PA, not Israel, violated its commitment.

2. Released murderers were feted as heroes by the Palestinian Authority (PA) on their return, including murderers of old people, women and children. Incitement to murder continued unabated in PA media. The PA, not Israel, violated the spirit of ‘peace’ negotiations.

3. Israel delayed the release of the final batch of murderers because a) the Palestinians would not agree to extend negotiations further and b) the Palestinians were demanding that prisoners who were Israeli citizens also should be included, something Israel had not previously agreed to. The PA first broke its promise to sit at the table with Israel, and then made new demands.

4. Three days after the scheduled prisoner release, the Palestinians violated their written commitments to Israel and the US that they would seek statehood through bilateral negotiations rather than directly from the UN, by applying to join some 15 UN treaties and conventions. At this point, PM Netanyahu decided that Israel would not release the last batch of murderers. Can you blame him?

5. One of the sticking points during negotiations was the Palestinian refusal to agree to some formulation of the idea that an agreement would recognize that Israel — the part that would remain after a Palestinian state was created — belonged to the Jewish people (as opposed to the Palestinian Arabs). They refused to say that an agreement would end claims against Israel, negate their demand for a ‘right of return’, or end the conflict. In other words, the PA is ready to receive Israel’s terms of surrender, but not to compromise for peace.

6. Finally, the housing tenders that Kerry referred to were located in the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, in Jerusalem, one of the neighborhoods that — if it were agreed that Jerusalem would be divided — would certainly continue to be part of Israel. So they could have absolutely no effect on a peace agreement. And these were announced after the Palestinians made their move to the UN.

But this is what made the negotiations go ‘poof’, according to Mr. Kerry!

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