Archive for June, 2013

Israeli stamps in US passport get student deported from UK

Sunday, June 30th, 2013
Chip Cantor, persona non grata in the UK

Chip Cantor, persona non grata in the UK

I’ve recently written that Israel’s greatest enemy in the future will not be Iran — which I predict will soon have its fangs pulled — but Western Europe.

I’ve also noted a recent sharp increase in anti-Jewish expression in the UK (see also here).

The incident reported below in a Kansas City Jewish newspaper (h/t Caroline Glick) may represent a new low in British behavior, unless there is something very significant that is left out.

Chip Cantor told his story to two local television stations last week. On Tuesday, June 4, the 23-year-old student told KMBC he was traveling to the U.K. to visit and gain summer work experience and to participate in a fundraiser for a child who has cancer. He left Kansas City on Wednesday, May 29, on an early-morning flight and waited in line to go through customs after landing in the country after 10 p.m. London time. When he got to the front of the line, a female customs agent began looking at his passport and treated him courteously. The routine exercise ended when she noticed the two pages in his passport with Israeli visas.

“I spent my freshman year studying abroad in Israel,” he said. …

Chip’s father Chuck Cantor said his son told him the female customs agent — who for some reason was not dressed in a customs uniform — was very pleasant toward him until she saw the Israel stamps in his passport. Then she simply walked away with his passport without speaking a word to him. Chip told his father he estimates she was gone 45 minutes to an hour. He never saw her again.

“He has a lot of Israel stamps,” Chuck said. Chip has been to Israel several times including two programs sponsored by Young Judaea — the six-week Machon program and a gap-year program. Chip Cantor graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School in 2009 and will be a senior in the fall at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Finally, according to Chuck, a different, uniformed customs agent came to see him. Chip was told they were taking his bags and detaining him for questioning. He was not told why.

Once in the interview room Chip told his father that he was told if he changed any of his answers to any questions, he was going to go to prison.

“He said, ‘Why would I change my answers? I told you the truth,’ ” Chuck said.

Chip wasn’t allowed to be in sight of his luggage and eventually was put into what he described to his father as a detention cell.

“At some point a woman who was wearing a burka came to the cell to photograph him,” Chuck said. At that point he was fingerprinted as well.

As she’s doing this, she said to him, “We’re putting your name and fingerprints and photos into a database. From now on it is going to be very difficult for you to ever travel in the United Kingdom or anywhere in the E.U. It will be up to each individual country to decide if they want to admit you,” Chuck said his son was told.

Chuck said Chip kept telling the customs agents he had not committed any crimes or done anything wrong. Eventually another agent came to tell Chip he was being deported. Now several hours after he was detained, Chip was given the opportunity to call his father.

Chuck said he advised his son to ask to speak to someone from the American consulate or the U.S. embassy. Those requests were denied. …

In the morning, Chip was escorted to the plane by another customs agent for a flight back to the United States. At this time Chip asked the agent for his passport and was refused.

“The guy walks him onto the plane and in front of everyone, like a prisoner, he says here is this man’s passport. Do not give him his passport until you land in the United States,” Chuck said he was told. The American Airlines purser told Chip that, in 17 years flying internationally, he had never seen anything like it.

Less than 36 hours after leaving Kansas City, Chip was back in town.

There are more details in the story, and some are pretty ugly.  Naturally, UK officials denied that anything improper occurred, and claimed that Cantor’s visa was not in order. Cantor said that he had appropriate documentation, and his family has contacted their congressman to demand an explanation.

It used to be the case — probably it still is — that if you wanted to visit an Arab country you needed a passport without any entry stamps from Israel. So is the UK now the same?

Friends that live in the UK tell me that anti-Jewish feeling always existed under the service, but they do not recall a time when it was so often publicly expressed.

As I speculated in my previous post, Europeans — and apparently that includes Brits — may find it disturbing to compare Israel’s cultural and economic vitality with their own malaise and fear of submersion in an alien Muslim culture. So perhaps they are striking out in frustration at the usual scapegoats?

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European and American ideas can be dangerous

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

In a YNet op-ed, Hagai Segal writes,

Our Declaration of Independence includes 650 words. The word “Jewish,” in its different forms, appears 20 times, while the word “democracy” doesn’t even appear once.

The people who drafted the declaration and signed it had the highest regard for democratic values, but first and foremost they wanted to stress its Jewish side. Perhaps they said to themselves that there are many democracies in the world, but only one Jewish country. It’s important to protect it.

These days it’s even more important. From the outside and from within attempts are being made to undermine the Jewish character of the Jewish state. The dark forces rely on the fatigue of the Zionist material in order to internationalize Israel and declare it a state of all its citizens. They are taking advantage of the fact that over the years the fashion here has changed, and democracy has been emphasized at the expense of Judaism.

The Israeli Left takes its cues from Western Europe and the US. From Europe it gets the ideas of multiculturalism, postnationalism, hedonism and hatred of religion. Together these are a recipe for a low native birthrate and a rapidly increasing, non-assimilating Muslim population. Europe is rapidly moving toward a point of no return, in which, paradoxically, the very features of its Enlightenment culture that support openness and egalitarianism will lead to its replacement by a distinctly non-democratic, authoritarian Islamic one.

America is another source of ideas, in this case the absolute maximum of freedom of expression. Where else would the outrageous Westboro Baptist Church be tolerated? American freedom of expression is remarkable in the world, and that may be in part because the US is a large nation both physically and by population, with friendly neighbors, separated by oceans from its enemies. It is also composed of diverse groups that more or less buy into the general narrative of the nation. That doesn’t mean that nothing can bring it down, but it can absorb a great deal of internal and external pressure without breaking.

Israel, on the other hand, is small and surrounded by enemies. One out of every five Israelis is an Arab, the same ethnicity of most of its enemies, who — while he may be loyal to the state — almost certainly believes in a historical narrative in which the state is not only illegitimate, but his oppressor, responsible for the dispossession of his relatives in the great ‘disaster’ of 1948. There are also Jewish Israelis who believe, for religious reasons, that Jewish sovereignty is an abomination.

There are also great external pressures opposed to emphasizing the Jewishness of the state. To a large extent they come from Europe, which is jealous of Israel’s cultural and economic vitality, angered that is succeeding on a path so divergent from Europe’s, and suffused with guilt about the recent genocide of its own Jewish population. Europe is acting on its beliefs, both by explicit pro-Arab diplomacy, and by covertly expending millions of Euros to support NGOs in Israel that promote its anti-nationalist (and even anti-state) line.

Another force is the American Jewish Left, as represented by the New Israel Fund (NIF) and to some extent by the Union for Reform Judaism. The NIF is particularly dangerous, supporting Israeli Arab groups that would like to redefine the state as binational.

A state that requires sacrifice from its people to survive, will only get it if there is a compelling ideological motivation driving its citizens to make the requisite sacrifices. This is how Israel has survived until now. But there is no compelling ideology for maintaining a “state of its citizens” next door to Hizballah, Hamas, the Muslim Brothers and whatever vicious regime will rule Syria.

Jews yearned for Jerusalem for 2000 years, and Zionists have struggled for more than 100 — and are continuing to struggle — to restore and now preserve Jewish sovereignty in Land of Israel, which I believe has become a necessary condition for the survival of the Jews as a people. I can’t see today’s Judaism surviving another diaspora. A great deal is at stake here.

The Europeans and anti-Zionist leftists who are working to de-Zionize Israel know exactly what they want. Perhaps liberal American Jews only think they know, but it doesn’t matter.

We mustn’t allow the blood and struggle that has been expended by the Jewish people to be thrown away.

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A ‘Dear John’ letter

Thursday, June 27th, 2013
Could this be you?

Could this be you?

Dear John,

I know that you won’t be happy to hear this, but as someone who cares, I just had to write this letter.

Don’t do it. Or rather, stop doing it before you look even dumber than you already look.

You are using up valuable time, money and most of all, the reputation of the United States by following your obsession.

You’re not the first, but I have to say that it’s often impossible for me to understand some people’s weird obsessions. Like Anthony Weiner, for example. What could he have been thinking?

But I digress. I’m talking about the so-called ‘peace process’ of course, although I devoutly wish it were just another sex scandal. At least sometimes the sex scandals make sense.

Look, you have two groups of Palestinian Arabs, both of which have written charters calling for the violent destruction of Israel, and one of which even wants to murder all the Jews in the world. Members of these groups hate and kill each other, and the only thing they seem to be able to agree on is hating Israel. They both believe that their lands, livelihoods and honor were stolen from them by the Jews in 1948 and they are prepared to struggle and sacrifice for as long as necessary to get them back.

The last thing that either of these groups want is to live peacefully alongside Israel. If there once were any grass-roots Palestinians that did want that, the two main groups have been ‘educating’ their followers with the vilest anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda for decades. And if a leader were to arise that wanted to change that, he would be dead meat, since the nationalist and religious ideologies of these groups are, above all, violent. There is always an aspiring martyr waiting for his virgins.

So when you come along and say to the nationalistic ones “give up your plan to eliminate Israel and we’ll give you money to set up a state alongside it,” they think you must be nuts.

Maybe after they stop being insulted or laughing at your naivete, they’ll string you along: take your money (and weapons if possible), and promise to talk to Israel — after you get Israel to release a few prisoners, stop building, etc. Why not? Whatever they can get for free, they’ll take. Yasser Arafat got billions of dollars for his Swiss bank accounts, plus fame, a private army and much territory by playing this game.

But for some reason, a deal will never get off the ground, no matter how clever. Because they simply are not interested in what you are selling. And even if the nationalist Arabs were, the religious ones wouldn’t go along with them, and would try to overthrow them.

One of the ironies is that the Israeli side — virtually every Israeli — understands this. If they didn’t understand it in 1993 when a few left-wingers maneuvered the government into signing the Oslo accords that even Yitzhak Rabin wasn’t comfortable with, they certainly did after the Second Intifada and the disastrous ‘disengagement’ from Gaza.

But most Israeli officials won’t tell you that (although there are more that would today than in the recent past). They know how important to you it is that there is ‘progress’, and they want your help dealing with the Iranian threat. They want you to sell them F-35’s. So they, too, will go along with the pretense, knowing that the Palestinians will never agree to anything serious. In the meantime, their job is to keep from giving away the store in ‘confidence-building’ concessions.

So here is how you look, John: you are sitting at a table with two sides, and they both think you are the fish, the sucker, the goat, whatever you want to call it.

Isn’t that embarrassing? Don’t you have real work to do?

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Why Israel should annex Area C

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Sometimes bold actions have undesirable outcomes. That’s why they are bold — they are risky. One example is probably the single worst mistake the Israeli government has made since 1948: recognizing the PLO as the representative of the “Palestinian people” and inviting it back from exile into the Jewish heartland (the second worst mistake was the 1967 decision to give control of the Temple Mount to the waqf).

So I hesitate to recommend another bold action, especially at this tremendously dangerous time. But a decision to do nothing also has consequences, and in this case we can already see the beginning of the results of the policy of doing nothing.

I am referring to doing nothing about maintaining control of the highly strategic (and spiritually important) lands of Judea and Samaria, while permitting the US to push Israel into yet another pointless round of negotiations with a PLO that will not be satisfied by anything other than an Arab state from the river to the sea, and which cannot possibly be trusted to carry out any agreement it might make with Israel.

Meanwhile, the Arabs — financed by the Europeans and the US — are simply taking the land. One day, after extended fruitless negotiations, after countless Israeli concessions to “strengthen Abbas” or to “establish good will,” after numerous incidents of terrorism which the PLO will deplore in English and celebrate in Arabic, Israelis will wake up to find that there is a de facto Arab state in all of Judea/Samaria.

Then all that will be left will be for the UN Security Council to recognize it, for the IDF to withdraw, and for Israel to deal with a vicious terror state snuggled up to the soft belly of its population centers, international airport, etc.

We will get, in other words, a “two-state solution” whether we want one or not. But it will not be ‘land for peace’ — it will be land given up for absolutely nothing, and a step on the way to the annihilation of the state.

There is something we can do now. Presently — although the Arabs and their European friends are doing their best to change it — most (I’ve seen figures over 95%) of the Arab population of the territories lives in Areas A and B, the areas ceded to PLO control by the Oslo process, while the great majority of Jews live in Area C, the part under complete Israeli control. In addition to Jewish towns, area C includes areas strategic to Israel’s defense.

Israel needs to annex Area C, or at least strategic parts of it, now. Then, in language familiar to Americans, it needs to secure its borders against infiltration and enforce land use regulations strictly. Otherwise it will lose control of the high ground overlooking its coastal plain, the Jordan Valley, roads connecting Jewish towns, and other essentials.

Area C becoming part of Israel would probably preclude the establishment of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state in the territories. But such a state would not be democratic, would not be economically viable, and would not provide a solution for the Arab refugee problem. It would be dedicated to perpetual war with Israel. There is no good reason to create such a state, except as a weapon against Israel. If Israel annexed Area C, areas A and B could continue to be administered by the Palestinian Authority as they are today.

Annexing Area C will not end the conflict or guarantee Israel’s security forever. But not doing it is a recipe for more war, terrorism and insecurity.

The Arab takeover of Area C is proceeding according to a plan that was developed by former Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, and financed, as I mentioned, by the Europeans and the US. Much of it is actually being carried out with the cooperation of Israel, apparently in the mistaken belief that the PLO’s thirst for conquest can be slaked by giving it the infrastructure of a state and encouraging economic development. But this misses the whole point of the PLO, which is not to have a state of its own, but to have our state.

It is true that the nuclear program of Iran and the thousands of Hizballah missiles are more dramatic than the relatively slow chipping away at the Land of Israel that I am describing. But Israel’s government and the IDF are taking steps to counter the immediate threats, while in many cases Israeli authorities are actually helping the PLO execute its more gradual plan.

The details of the plan and concrete examples are explained here. Read about it and you will understand that there is little time to waste.

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Why the world loves Palestinians

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, described the special situation of Palestinian refugees on the recent World Refugee Day:

Unlike other refugees, the Palestinians have their own set of rules, their own funding and even their own international agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency or UNRWA. To paraphrase George Orwell, all refugees are equal, but some refugees are more equal than others.

In 2012, the United Nations spent six times more on every Palestinian refugee as compared to all other refugees. Like a favored child, the Palestinians have been on the UN’s permanent payroll for over 60 years and are entitled to every service from healthcare to housing and from food rations to education. When it comes to refugees from Syria or Somalia, responsibility falls to the host country to provide basic assistance.

While UNHCR’s approach teaches independence, UNRWA’s approach prepares the Palestinians to be lifelong dependents. Under UNRWA’s framework, Palestinians can continue to be called refugees long after they acquire citizenship and find permanent housing.

UNRWA’s humanitarian mission is undoubtedly important. However, it is being marred by its unspoken political motto of “once a refugee, always a refugee.” By allowing refugee status to pass to Palestinian children and grandchildren, the number of Palestinian refugees has ballooned from a few hundred thousand in 1948 to over five million today. Left unchecked, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will continue to be added to the UN’s permanent payroll every year.

Let’s apply some simple arithmetic. If about 650,000 Arabs fled Palestine in 1948 (I’m ignoring the smaller number of 1967 refugees in the interest of simplicity) and there are 5 million today, that represents a truly remarkable growth rate of 3.2% per year (the population of India, by contrast, is growing at about 1.7% per year, and that of the US, including immigration, at about 1.1%). If the current trend continues, then, in ten years there will be 6.8 million. The 10 million mark will be reached in 2035, when a Palestinian child born today will be 22 years old. And in 100 years, there will be 116 million Palestinian refugees!

This is clearly unsustainable, but the only ‘solution’ acceptable to the Arabs, to supporters of BDS, to a majority of UN members, and even to our local “Peace Fresno” organization is that all of these Arabs will ‘return to their homes’ in what is today Israel. In the meantime, their ‘oppression’ qualifies them to engage in violent actions.

Prosor continued,

Instead of extending their hand in friendship, the Arab states employed the NIMBY strategy – Not In My Back Yard. Believing that the creation of UNRWA absolved them of any responsibility to their Palestinian brothers, the Arab states passed discriminatory laws. In Lebanon for example, Palestinian refugees are barred from working as doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers or accountants.

By making the Palestinians the poster children for international victimhood, the Arab states believe they hold a permanent trump card to defame and pressure Israel. While the Arab states are saturated in petrol dollars, the funds mysteriously dry up when it comes to assisting Palestinians and subsidizing UNRWA.

Scan the list of UNRWA’s top contributors and you’ll find it’s exclusively North American and West European countries.

To put it more bluntly: the US and the Europeans are contributing more than $650 million a year (2011 figure) to help the Arab nations build a weapon to use against the Jewish state. And the Arabs pay almost nothing! What a deal.

And it is more than simply a demographic weapon. UNRWA in Gaza supports Hamas in several important ways, particularly by way of its educational system. Teachers — who are all Gaza Palestinians — use books and materials supplied by the Hamas regime. Many Hamas leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh, are graduates of UNRWA schools, and teachers sometimes moonlight as terrorists.

The question of refugees is just one area in which the UN (and its budget) is grotesquely deformed in the direction of the Palestinians. Everyone knows about the imbalance in General Assembly resolutions, and the biased Human Rights Commission. But don’t forget the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), and the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People (SCIIHRP), not to mention the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR), which is responsible for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, held every year on November 29, the anniversary of the Partition Resolution of 1947.

This is strange since, at the time, the Arabs opposed the resolution, which would have created an Arab state. Of course it also called for a Jewish state, so maybe they are mourning a loss rather than celebrating an offer.

The unique outpouring of love and money for the Palestinians can’t be because the other Arab nations care for them. If they did, they wouldn’t treat them so badly whenever they come in contact with actual Palestinian Arabs. And it certainly can’t be because they are such exemplary world citizens: Palestinian Arabs popularized airline hijacking and suicide bombing (the main ingredients of the worst terrorist attack ever), and have been responsible for several wars in Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, etc., not to mention terrorism against Israel. How many people are dead that would be alive were it not for Palestinians and their Cause?

I think the explanation is simple: the world loves the Palestinians because of their choice of enemies!

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