Tuesday, May 23, 2017

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Iconoclast in the Promised Land
Israelis are greeting US President Donald Trump with cautious optimism. Their optimism stems from President Trump’s iconoclasm. Trump won the US presidential election based on a campaign of rejecting the prevailing narratives on US domestic and foreign policy that have long held sway among the elites. These narratives dictate and limit the boundaries of acceptable discourse in the US. Unfortunately, their relationship with facts and truth was never more than incidental. Indeed, in recent years that incidental link has vanished altogether along a wide swath of policy areas. On the domestic front, the most obvious examples of this disconnect between the prevailing narratives that dictate policies and the facts that guarantee the failure of those policies relate to US immigration policy and US healthcare policy.
American voters elected Trump because whether or not they supported his specific immigration and healthcare policies, they appreciated his willingness to state openly that the policies now in effect are having devastating impacts on American society.
As far as foreign policy is concerned, Trump’s willingness to buck conventional wisdom was most in evidence in his full-throated rejection of the foreign policy establishment’s refusal to acknowledge the obvious link between Islam and Islamic terrorism. Likewise, his rejection of president Barack Obama’s nuclear and financial appeasement of the Iranian regime worked to his electoral advantage. The elite media, and much of the foreign policy community, along with Democratic lawmakers, willingly joined Obama’s echo chamber and peddled the narrative that the nuclear deal would empower so-called “moderates” in the Iranian regime against so-called “hardliners.”
In stark contrast, the majority of the American public recognized that empowering your enemy both financially and militarily is a recipe for disaster.
PMW: What should the world believe?
PA Chairman Abbas and other PA leaders often reiterate to foreign audiences that they desire peace with Israel and that they support and want to implement the two-state solution. Today Mahmoud Abbas told US President Donald Trump:
"Once again, we reassert to you our positions of accepting the two-state solution along the borders of 1967, the state of Palestine with its capital as East Jerusalem living alongside Israel in peace and security." [The New York Times, May 23, 2017]
However this is contradicted by numerous statements by PA leaders to their own people and even to Palestinian children. PA religious leaders have even taught recognizing Israel is prohibited by Islam.
Most recently Khaled Mismar, member of the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the PLO, stated that "everyone knows" that despite agreeing to less, the real Palestinian goal is to eventually take all of Israel:
Palestinian National Council member Khaled Mismar: "The revolution broke out in 1965 (i.e., first Fatah terror attack) in order to liberate all of the land of Palestine (i.e., all of Israel), but circumstances didn't permit it... We have fought, and we have withstood everything, all the plots, but we will realize our goal. True, we agreed to receive only 20 or 22 percent of Palestine (i.e., West Bank and Gaza Strip), but a right is never lost as long as someone demands it. Every one of us knows what our goal is (i.e., to 'liberate all of Palestine')."
[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, May 15, 2017]


The Manchester Arena and the Western Wall
As long as the Jews cannot enforce their claim to Jerusalem and to the site of the ancient Temple, much of the Muslim world believes, their presence can be regarded as temporary, and the humiliation as tolerable--a punishment from Allah for insufficient devotion to Mohammed's revelation. Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem is not compatible with the prejudice that Israel has been replaced as God's people. That is why Jerusalem has been the wedge issue in Mideast diplomacy for the past several years, and why President Trump's presence at the Kotel represents such a dramatic change.
If the Manchester atrocity responded to Trump's actions in Jerusalem as well as Riyadh, why attack England rather than the United States? An attack on America in response to a well-received and popular intervention by an American president would galvanize American opinion behind Trump. But the British are squishy. Britain voted for Resolution 2334 while America abstained, to appease its large Muslim population and to foster its residual influence in the Muslim world. France and Russia also voted for 2334, and all of Western Europe supported it.
Postmodern Europe has long since abandoned religion; to profess faith in a personal God is prima facie evidence of mental defect among the European elite. Europe thinks the Muslims are crazy, to be sure, but there are a lot of them, and the path of least resistance is to mollify them. Why should we suffer for the religious delusions of the Jews?, the Europeans ask themselves. The Manchester bombing, I surmise, is an attack on the soft underbelly of the West, whereas a frontal attack on the United States would elicit a decisive response. The Europeans, who want to manage their long, sickening decline without too much trouble, tend to blame Israeli intransigence for their problems. If only Israel were more like Denmark or Luxembourg, the Europeans tell themselves, none of these terrible things would be happening. The appeaser hopes the crocodile will eat him last.
Postmodern America--the America of Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, of campus speech codes and safe spaces and progressive virtue-signalling--agrees with the Europeans. So does the shrinking, isolated Israeli left. But most of America senses an existential bond with the State of Israel; in contrast to Europe, where Israel ranks next to Iran as the world's least-regarded country, Americans support Israel against the Arabs by a margin of more than 4:1. America's sense of identity is imprinted with the image of Israel.
Barack Obama appeased the terrorists, most abjectly Iran. Donald Trump declared war on them and came in person in an unprecedented action to stand by Israel. We should not forget that this is a war, and we are in its early stages.



The Palestine Orchestra (later changed to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) was founded in 1936, and was envisioned not only as contribution to the cultural life, but also as a rescue operation for musicians persecuted by the Nazis. Arturo Toscanini conducted the first concerts -- and established the orchestra's international stature:


Time Magazine reported on the Palestine Symphony Orchestra's first performance in its January 4, 1937 issue:
As a full Palestine moon rode one evening last week over Tel Aviv, exclusively Jewish city, the Hebrew Sabbath ended and thousands of Jews began to move toward the Levant Fair Grounds. There they packed the Italian Pavilion to capacity to hear great Arturo Toscanini lead Palestine's first civic orchestra through its first performance. Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope, the British High Commissioner, brought with him a party of notables. Open-shirted German immigrants gathered in rowboats on the adjacent Yarkon River. A few Arab fishermen paddled quietly toward shore, listened respectfully outside the pavilion walls which are still pitted by Arab bullets.

...The Palestine Symphony Orchestra now numbers 72. Germans make up about half the number, the rest are Poles and Russians. Six are natives of Palestine which has several competent music schools but welcomes the new orchestra as its only permanent symphony. So many first-desk musicians are playing in it that critics expect the Palestine Symphony to rank soon among the first four orchestras in the world...
The word "Palestinian" was as much a designation of Jews as Arabs, and so there was no reason to use the word to distinguish one group from the other.

But neither was happy with the word either.

Bernard Lewis notes that neither the Jews nor the Arabs in Palestine wanted to be associated with it:
With the British conquest in 1917-18 and the subsequent establishment of a mandated territory in the conquered areas, Palestine became the official name of a definite territory for the first time since the Middle Ages. To begin with, this designation was acceptable neither to Jews nor to Arabs. From the Jewish point of view it restored a name associated in the Jewish historic memory with the largely successful Roman attempt to destroy and obliterate the Jewish identity of the land of Israel. It was a name which had never been used in Jewish history or literature, and the very associations of which were hateful. From the outset, Jews living under the Mandate refused to use this name in Hebrew but instead used what had become the common Jewish designation of the county勇retz Yisrael, the land of Israel. After a long battle it was agreed that the official designation of the country in Hebrew on postage stamps, coins, etc., would be Palestina, transcribed into Hebrew letters but followed by the abbreviation aleph yod. For Jews, this was a common abbreviation for Eretz Yisrael. To Arabs it could be presented as standing for Eretz Ishmael, the land of Ishmael.
That explains the Hebrew on this coin from the British Mandate:


photo


Below the name "Palestine" in Arabic and in English, there is the word Palestine in Hebrew, followed by the abbreviation in Hebrew for Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. It was used on both coins and stamps.

The Jews were not the only ones who felt that way about the name Palestine:
For Arabs, too, the term Palestine was unacceptable, though for other reasons. For Muslims it was alien and irrelevant but not abhorrent in the same way as it was to Jews. The main objection for them was that it seemed to assert a separate entity which politically conscious Arabs in Palestine and elsewhere denied. For them there was no such thing as a country called Palestine. The region which the British called Palestine was merely a separated part of a larger whole. For a long time organized and articulate Arab political opinion was virtually unanimous on this point.
That larger whole was Syria.

That is why Arab historian George Antonius wrote:
Except where otherwise specified, the term Syria will be used to denote the whole of the country of that name which is now split up into the mandated territories of (French) Syria and the Lebanon and the (British) Palestine and Transjordan.
So what changed? Why do the Palestinian Arabs now call themselves Palestinians?

Again, Bernard Lewis:
With the rise and spread of pan-Arab ideologies it was as Arabs, not as south Syrians, that the Palestinians began to assert themselves. For the rest of the period of the British Mandate, and for many years after that, their organizations described themselves as Arab and expressed their national identity in Arab rather than in Palestinian or even in Syrian terms.

The emergence of a distinctive Palestinian entity is thus a product of the last decades and may be seen as the joint creation of Israel and the Arab states葉he one by extruding the Arabs of Palestine, the others by refusing to accept them. According to pan-Arab or even pan-Syrian ideologies, Palestinian Arabs moving to Lebanon, Syria, or Jordan should still have been men in their own country, moving from one province to another. The bitter experience of the past twenty-seven years has shown that this is not so and, as so often before, deprivation has created a new sense of identity based on shared experience, desperation, and aspiration.
And that is born out by the following graphs:

The first graph shows the usage of the words "" and "" in books published in English from 1800 to 2008.


While the phrase "Palestinian Jew" was common from about 1825, back then the phrase "Palestinian Arab was practically unknown. That began to change around 1915 -- during WWI and increased during the British Mandate and spiked following the 1967 Six Day War.

The next graph illustrates that as the phrase "Palestinian Arab" became more common, so too did the word "Palestinian" which we know today is associated with the Palestinian Arabs in particular.



The Arab world may have failed in their plan to destroy Israel, but they were uniquely successful in creating a Palestinian people.








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  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

President Trump, in his statement following his meeting with PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, said a very important thing that the Arab media ignored:
Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded.  We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice. 
Unfortunately, Trump extemporized a comment about the Manchester bombing immediately beforehand, so the Palestinians can pretend that this statement was not directed towards them and their policy of tolerating, funding and rewarding terror. And indeed, in the official report on the meeting, the official Wafa news agency did not mention a word about this key paragraph meant to be a direct rebuke to the Palestinians.

Abbas was not so subtle in his speech.
Dear friend President Donald Trump , I am delighted to welcome you in Palestine, the cradle of Christ, which set off the message of love, peace and tolerance to the world.
Abbas attempts to co-opt Netanyahu's constant referring to Trump as a friend.
Let me condemn the heinous terrorist act in the British city of Manchester, which claimed the lives of dozens of dead and wounded. I extend warm condolences to the Prime Minister of Britain and the families of the victims and the British people .
Even though I pay millions of dollars to families of people who perform the exact same kind of attacks.

The meeting with you in the White House earlier this month, giving us the Palestinian people and sent a lot of hope and ambition in the possibility of achieving a long-awaited dream in a long-awaited peace based on justice.
"Justice" is a code word for no compromise - Palestinians believe that they deserve everything they demand. And only they can decide when they have received "justice," something they do not accept until Israel is ultimately erased.

The achievement by the Palestinian people 's freedom and independence is the key to peace and stability in our region and the world... We reaffirm our commitment to cooperation for peace - making a historic peace between us and the Israelis, as we reiterate our readiness to continue to work with you as partners in the fight against terrorism in our region and the world .
Abbas is subtly threatening that if there is no peace deal acceptable to him, then Palestinians will continue to kill and try to kill, and they will be happy to be the excuse that ISIS and Al Qaeda use for their own terror attacks.

Manchester would have happened if there was a Palestinian state or not. It is time to call out the liars who pretend otherwise.

We assure you once again to our adoption of a two-state solution on the 1967 borders, with the State of Palestine and its capital in East Jerusalem, living side by side with Israel in security, safety and good-neighborliness, and resolving the permanent status issues on the basis of international law and international legitimacy, respect for the signed agreements, paving the way for the application the Arab peace initiative, as has been re-emphasized in the recent Arab summit in Jordan.
Abbas can't directly call for "right of return" in this statement, but his reference to the Arab peace initiative is meant to include that demand.

As seen Yesterday during the historic visit of the holy places in the occupied East Jerusalem and today in Bethlehem, the conflict is not between religions, Respect for religions and the Apostles is an integral part of our beliefs and we are keen to open the door to dialogue with our neighbors, the Israelis, in order to promote confidence and create a real opportunity for peace .
Abbas is seizing on Trump's visit to the Old City without any Israeli officials to emphasize that it is "occupied."

Note that he does not refer to Bethlehem as "occupied" even though Palestinians insist it is.

And he has no respect for Judaism.
Our real problem is with the occupation and the settlements and Israel's failure to recognize the State of Palestine, as we recognized them, which undermines the achievement of a two-state solution.
Israel offered peace which would include recognition. Many times. Abbas rejected it. but he is demanding Israel recognize "Palestine" before negotiations, not afterwards.

On the issue of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for more than a month, a few meters away from here next to the Church of the Nativity and everywhere in Palestine, suffering mothers and families of prisoners are not able to visit their children, in a humane and fair way, and I call upon the Israeli government to respond to these legitimate humanitarian demands.
The prisoners aren't demanding family visits. They are demanding more family visits, family visits from distant relatives,  and photos being allowed to be taken, These demands have nothing to do with humanitarianism.

Achieving peace, Mr. President, will open the horizon and wide to the advancement of our economy and the completion of our national institutions, on the basis of the rule of law in the spirit of tolerance and coexistence, and spreading the culture of peace and non-violence and incitement, and build bridges instead of fences inside our territory.
Here, Abbas says that he won't accept co-existence with Jews until he gets all his demands, There are lots of European projects on co-existence that have floundered since Abbas rejects any talks with Jews outside of accepting his demands as "normalization," a curse word to the Arabs.

That's why there is no peace.
Once again I greet you best greetings, His Excellency accompanying you and the delegation of President, I welcome you in Palestine, the Holy Land, wishing you success in the importance of your tour which you will meet with His Holiness Pope Francis, who we appreciate for his dedicated efforts for peace, wishing you success of the American people, friendly good health.
Here is where Abbas insists that every Jewish holy site is Palestinian.

This was not a speech of peace, but one of demands and threats and lies.

Even so, Palestinian media is saying that Abbas' speech was notable for what he didn't say: no insistence on a settlement freeze or prisoner release before talks with Israel.

They also note the absence of the prime minister of the PA., Rami Hamdallah.  That is something that may be worth watching.




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  • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
There was a buzz in pro-Israel circles yesterday when the graphic displayed by the White House media before remarks by Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu noted that the event was to be in "Jerusalem, Israel:"



Adam Kredo in the Free Beacon called this a "major policy shift:"

The Trump administration declared the president is in "Jerusalem, Israel," on Monday for a series of meetings with Israeli officials, a proclamation that breaks with years of American policy refraining from stating that the city of Jerusalem is part of Israel.

Senior Trump administration officials had ignited a wave of controversy over the past several weeks when discussing Jerusalem, with some top officials refusing to say that the ancient city is part of Israel.

Decades of U.S. policy has refrained from formally labeling Jerusalem as part of Israel due to concerns this could negatively impact the Middle East peace process, in which Palestinian leaders have staked a claim to the city as their future capital.
The White House under the Obama administration famously erased any mention of "Jerusalem, Israel" from its website. But this wasn't a decades-long policy. It happened quite specifically in 2011.



Before that, the White House routinely referred to Jerusalem as being in Israel, in every administration, Democrat and Republican.

So while this normalizing of language is welcome, it is hardly a tectonic shift in position for informal White House communications. The Obama administration was the anomaly, not the Trump administration.

Far more important was the fact that Trump's visit to the Old City specifically barred any Israeli official from accompanying him.

In a bid to keep the tour free of political undertones, US officials reportedly rejected a request for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to join the visit, saying it would be “a private visit” by the president and that he would go on his own.
Last week, the White House confirmed that Trump would not be accompanied by any Israeli officials when he visits the holy site.

Israel was good enough to provide unprecedented security for the President in the Old City, but not good enough to be seen with him at the most iconic symbol of Judaism.

In this case, actions from the President speak louder than the posted words from an anonymous, low-level graphic designer.

And Trump's refusal to clearly say that Jerusalem is in Israel while he is there shows that he has swallowed the advice of his cabinet that it is too controversial to mention.

The US policy towards Jerusalem has always been schizophrenic, and nothing has changed.

UPDATE: The same White House graphic designer didn't put a national designation to Bethlehem:






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Monday, May 22, 2017

From Ian:

Pierre Rehov: The U.S., Churchill and the Middle East
In addition, a new strand of American foreign policy is now opening up. Recently, Israel celebrated the 69th anniversary of its independence, and this week Israel will mark 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, liberated in 1967 from its illegal capture by Jordan in 1948, followed by Jordan's ethnic cleaning of Jews and the illegal confiscation of their property. The White House announced the resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, provided that it ceases to finance and incite terrorism by making its child-killers national heroes and wage-earners funded by the West
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will no longer be able to continue to pretend to prepare his people for peace while at the same time calling for murder. About 10% of the Palestinian budget is spent on the salaries of terrorists imprisoned in Israel, and the prisoners' families.
Abbas evidently omitted this "detail" in his statements to the press during his recent visit to the White House.
Trump has apparently decided that on his visit to Israel this week, he will not announce the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem -- a move that will only make him look less strong to Arab leaders. They may not like all promises that are kept, but they do deeply respect and trust those who keep them. If promises are not kept to a friend, the thinking goes, why would they be kept to us? They will therefore be less happy with any promises to counter Shiite threats -- considerably more important to them than the location of an embassy. As Plato, Churchill and even Osama bin Laden understood, people respect only a strong horse, especially when one's adversaries can only survive by creating conflicts to distract their citizens from unaccountable governance. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu observed:
"Israel has clearly stated its position to the US and to the world multiple times. Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem won't harm the peace process. The opposite is true. It will correct a historic injustice by advancing the [peace process] and shattering a Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem isn't Israel's capital."
By recognizing the rights of Jerusalem's historical occupants of 3,000 years -- despite the lies of UNESCO and other UN organizations engulfed by the Arabs' automatic majority -- Trump could well demonstrate a new force that would elevate him to the same stature as Churchill, who said he regarded Islamism as the "greatest retrograde force of all time." No wonder Obama did not want his bust.
Michael Lumish: UC Berkeley Pits Liberalism Against ‘Islamophobia’
When one asks if terrorism and Islamic supremacism inspire Western anti-Muslim bigotry, the response is to accuse the questioner of “Islamophobia.” The problem, we are to believe, is not terrorism or the spread of Islamic supremacism into Europe. On the contrary, according to the general attitude of the conference, these are merely the natural responses of a people oppressed under the weight of voracious white, Western, racist, colonialist, imperialist aggression.
In other words, the real problem is not Osama Bin Laden, but George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
What is perhaps most disconcerting about the conference was the tendency to embrace anti-Semitic anti-Zionism while claiming to oppose ethnic prejudice. A perfect example of this was the use of anti-Semitic cartoonist Carlos Latuff to promote the event. Latuff specializes in demonizing Israeli Jews as violently inhumane creatures in much the same way the Nazis did with European Jews in the early to mid-twentieth-century. This is akin to promoting racist caricatures of African-Americans while professing to fight racism. It is inconceivable that Bazian and other conference organizers would use Latuff’s vile work unknowingly. Their actions reveal their intent to legitimize anti-Semitism by using it at a UC Berkeley event ostensibly dedicated to fighting racism.
Ultimately, UC Berkeley’s “Islamophobia” conference contradicted itself in at least two ways. Foremost was the morally reprehensible act of espousing anti-Semitism in order to combat anti-Muslim bigotry. The other was its insistence that the larger Muslim world, comprised of 1.6 billion people, about one-quarter of the world’s population, are fundamentally victims of aggressive Europeans imperial excess. Centuries of Muslim empire-building aside, playing the victim card simply allows Bazian and his colleagues to continue their aggressions against the West under the guise of moral purity.
Ben-Dror Yemini: An American president in the service of BDS
As times goes by, the chance increases that Israel will eventually miss former US President Barack Obama, despite his conduct on the Iranian nuclear issue. While he made quite a few mistakes, he was a friend. He strengthened the Israeli-American security cooperation and approved multi-year aid which no other president before him had approved.
When he visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority in March 2013, he presented a political vision which most Israelis would embrace. In Ramallah, in front of the Palestinian political echelon, he said: “We seek an independent, a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people, alongside the Jewish state of Israel.” Who needs the “nationality law” when we have Obama?
Two draft agreements were presented as part of former Secretary of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy. The first, which was presented in January 2014, received quite a lot of support from Israel’s decision makers. Then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman gave his full backing to Tzipi Livni, who led the negotiations, and even stated: “Kerry’s proposals are the best Israel could hope for.” It wasn’t much different from the Clinton Parameters.
Peter Beinart, the guru of the Jewish Left in the United States, wrote at the time that “Kerry’s peace mission should worry liberal Zionists,” as it was not generous enough towards the Palestinians. That was foolish. Three days after the article was published, on March 17, 2014, Obama presented a peace plan to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It had everything in it, including Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital. It didn’t do any good. Abbas said no.
And US President Donald Trump? His understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is likely no different from his understanding of other international issues, which isn’t much. His diplomatic vision is: “Do whatever you like, one state, two states.” Never before has an American president given equal importance to a solution presented by the BDS movement, which is in fact the solution of Israel’s radical right as well—one state.

  • Monday, May 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From YNet:
Hours before US President Donald Trump lands in Israel, his close associate Mike Huckabee visited Joseph's Tomb late Sunday night.

The former Arkansas governor, who ran against Trump in the Republican presidential race but was quick to throw his support behind the president, was accompanied by Samaria Regional Council leader Yossi Dagan.

Some 5,000 people visited the Joseph's Tomb complex, which is under Palestinian Authority control. Huckabee and Dagan were joined by Dagan's deputy Davidi Ben-Zion, Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich, GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa, Samaria Division Commander Col. Gilad Amit, and the Israel Police's Judea and Samaria District Commander Moshe Bareket.

"It's an amazing experience to have to come to this type of difficulty just to be able to come to a holy site for Jews and frankly even for Christians, who pay tribute to Joseph," Huckabee said.

"To have to do it in the dead of night, under armed guard, with the smell of tear gas in the air, burning tires along the route, it's a stark reminder (to how different) it is in the heart of Israel, where the Israeli government protects every Muslim that accesses their holy site," he added.

"In Judea and Samaria Jewish people do not have unhindered access to holy sites without having to go to extraordinary lengths in order to be able to access these places for prayer," Huckabee bemoaned.
This is one of the most under-reported stories in the region. And it is not only relevant to Joseph's Tomb but to every Jewish holy site that would come under Muslim control in any "peace plan."

Remember, Jordan ignored its signed agreement to allow free access to holy sites in 1949. Jews can only visit Joseph's Tomb when being protected by the Israeli army, something that would be impossible in a "Palestinian state." And anyone foolhardy enough to try to visit the site without armed escort in the middle of the night risks getting murdered.

The world pretends that any peace plan would take care of this. As we have see nit only in Jordan but in other Arab countries like Egypt and Algeria, Jews are barred from visiting holy sites even though the governments officially say they allow Jews to visit, Even in Jordan today, the ability for religious Jews to visit holy sites is severely limited to day trips.

Joseph's Tomb isn't a small story. It shows exactly what the most optimistic peace plan would mean for the Tomb of the Patriarchs, for Rachel's Tomb, and for the Temple Mount. All of those Jewish holy sites, usurped by Muslims over the centuries, would become forbidden to Jews.

Human rights groups and the UN who pay lip service to freedom of worship don't give a damn about the religions rights of Jews. Their silence over Joseph's Tomb shows how they would treat every other holy Jewish site.



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  • Monday, May 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon


Skeptic has a hilarious article about a new hoax paper successfully published in a peer-reviewed journal. The article is named “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct.

Our paper “argues” that “The penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a gender-performative, highly fluid social construct.”

Assuming the pen names “Jamie Lindsay” and “Peter Boyle,” and writing for the fictitious “Southeast Independent Social Research Group,” we wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the style of post-structuralist discursive gender theory. The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn’t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions. We made no attempt to find out what “post-structuralist discursive gender theory” actually means. We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal.

We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like “discursive” and “isomorphism”), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like “pre-post-patriarchal society”), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being “unable to coerce a mate”), and allusions to rape (we stated that “manspreading,” a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is “akin to raping the empty space around him”). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.
They point out that they chose to lampoon "gender studies" because "we suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding almost-religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil. On the evidence, our suspicion was justified."

I have noted in the past that the academics who support Israel and oppose boycotting the Jewish state tend to be concentrated in fields where truth matters: law, physics, medicine, engineering.

On the other hand, anti-Israel pseudo-academics are heavily involved in social sciences, gender studies. art history and other fields where the truth is what you pretend it is.

An extreme example was when the National Women's Studies Association supported BDS, with the same sort of nonsensical verbiage that "The Conceptual Penis" lampooned:

As feminist scholars, activists, teachers, and public intellectuals we recognize the interconnectedness of systemic forms of oppression. In the spirit of this intersectional perspective, we cannot overlook the injustice and violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, perpetrated against Palestinians and other Arabs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, within Israel and in the Golan Heights, as well as the colonial displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba. 
Who needs facts when you can have assertions and back them up with specious, overreached concepts like "intersectionaliuty"?

Judith Butler, the Goddez* of gender studies (*I just made up that word between god and goddess so as not to appear to be sexist by ascribing a gender to her godlike status) who is in the forefront of anti-Israel academics, writes things that are nearly as incomprehensible.  In this paragraph from "Undoing Gender", Butler seems to embrace her unintelligible writing as a wonderful thing.


Maybe there is a universe where this nonsense is regarded as insight.

However, when I analyzed Butler's analysis of something I know a little about - her attempt to justify her hatred of Israel in Jewish sources - I showed that the emperez* (ditto) has no clothes, lacking even basic knowledge of history and Judaism (she claimed that ancient Egyptians are Arab, for example.)

The people who hate Israel build an edifice of lies and add scaffolding onto the edifice - and then claim that the scaffolding proves their theory since it doesn't collapse in their self-defined and quite fictional universe.

In short, the morons who fell for "The Conceptual Penis" are the type of morons who pretend Islam is progressive and the type of morons who tend to hate the most progressive state in the Middle East - in the name of progressivism.




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From Ian:

Netanyahu ahead of Trump visit: Israel didn’t occupy Jerusalem, we liberated it
Israel “didn’t occupy Jerusalem fifty years ago, it liberated it,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on the eve of US President Donald Trump’s historic two-day visit to Israel.
“I want to the tell the world in a loud and clear voice: Jerusalem has always been and always will be the capital of Israel,” Netanyahu said at a celebratory event marking the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Israel’s capital city after the Six Day War.
“The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will always remain under Israeli sovereignty,” the prime minister added.
Netanyahu’s words were seen as a direct message to Trump, following Israel’s disappointment that the president appears to have no plans to announce the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during his two-day trip.
Instead, the subject of Jerusalem has become a divisive issue between Israel and the US, ahead of a visit designed to showcase the close ties between the steadfast allies.
Trump is the first US president to arrive in Israel so quickly after his inauguration, and he will be the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall.
JPost Editorial: Trump in Jerusalem
Never before in human history has Jerusalem been so full of life and free. Unshackled from oppressive Jordanian and Ottoman rule, Jews, Muslims, Christians and other faiths have access to the holy sites. Wandering the streets of downtown Jerusalem one is struck by the incredible diversity. Jews and non-Jews, locals and tourists rub shoulders. A Babel of languages can be heard. Sufi Muslims live with hassidic Jews; Greek Orthodox priests are neighbors to religious Zionist rabbis; religious zealots of all stripes walk the same streets as avowed secularists.
Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, makes all this possible while offering economic possibilities undreamed of in any neighboring Arab country. Women of all religions are free and literate; higher education is open to all regardless of faith, race or gender; the best medicine in the world provided by doctors, technicians and nurses of all backgrounds is accessible to all.
Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish state, is united as it has never been before in human history. This fact is obvious to anyone with the integrity to acknowledge it.
Is everything perfect? Of course not. Law enforcement, municipal services, the number of classroom in relation to students and other parameters are not equal in Jerusalem’s Jewish and Arab neighborhoods. But judging from the situation in other countries in the region, where the regular flow of clean water and electricity is the exception, equality is greater in Israel’s capital and the chances for further improvement are better in a unified Jerusalem than in a split Jerusalem.
Moving the US Embassy to Israel’s capital would be a symbolic recognition of Jerusalem’s miraculous transformation over the past 50 years. Perhaps during his visit, when he sees firsthand the real Jerusalem, Trump will follow through on his campaign promise, which would be a reflection not only of his own admiration for Israel but also of the reality on the ground and in the streets and neighborhoods of the capital.
PMW: As Trump meets Abbas in Bethlehem, the PA names squares after murderers
In the weeks leading up to his meeting tomorrow with US President Trump, PA Chairman Abbas has done his best to convince Trump and the world that the PA desires peace with Israel.
But words are one thing, and actions are another. While Abbas has been talking about peace, the PA has named two squares after terrorist murderers, behind Trump's back:
The Karim Younes Square in Jenin
The Maher Younes Square in Tulkarem
Karim and Maher Younes are two Israeli Arab cousins who kidnapped and murdered Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980. They are each serving a 40-year sentence for this crime.
In this way Abbas' deception continues. Regardless of Trump's visit, the PA carries on its policy of honoring terrorist murderers by naming streets, squares, and schools after them.
While Abbas assures Trump in Bethlehem that there is a genuine Palestinian desire for peace, Palestinians in Jenin and Tulkarem will gather in squares newly named after terrorist murderers.
The naming of the square in Jenin was held under the auspices of District Governor of Jenin Ibrahim Ramadan, the Fatah Movement, and the Jenin Municipality. At the ceremony, greetings from Abbas and the PA leadership expressing "honor and pride" were conveyed to the imprisoned terrorists and murderers:


It’s often useful to try to pry out premises behind the things we believe, especially in situations where reasons exist for considering those beliefs irrational.

For instance, just this months all 50 US governors denounced the BDS movement, a denunciation that has come at the end of a long string of sanctions votes in state houses against organizations participating in boycott, divestment or sanctions activity directed at Israel.

By any measure, this should be being celebrated far and wide as a great victory for our side, and a great defeat for Israel’s foes. In fact, given that the BDSniks would be celebrating with fireworks and torch-lit parades if even one governor took their phone calls, it’s even more phenomenal that our huge recent wins came from just a couple years of effort, vs. the trivialities BDSers have to show for themselves after nearly two decades of constant campaigning to inflict economic damage on the Jewish state. 

Despite this objective reality, our opponents still think of themselves as being on the cusp of tremendous victory, while we still feel vulnerable and besieged – ready to panic whenever some student government passes another toothless divestment resolution (vs. our opponents who let our wins roll right off them).  So why might this be the case?

One explanation is that both sides’ beliefs are actually reasonable since the goal of the BDS movement is not to see boycotts, divestment and sanctions actually implemented, but rather to create a climate in which Israel’s alleged “crimes” are taken for granted (with only the appropriate punishment open to discussion). 

Given this, the boycotters have made strides in making Israeli villainy an incessant talking point in key communities such as college campuses and Mainline progressive churches.  Under this interpretation, the problem is not the imminent success of BDS in achieving its claimed goals (seeing Israel suffer economic punishment a la Apartheid South Africa), but in achieving its real goals of colonizing the Left-end of the political spectrum and turning it permanently against the Jewish state.
I am sympathetic to this argument, although I’d be more comfortable if it rested on data that goes beyond the anecdotal. 

For instance, BDS has been infecting campuses for nearly twenty years, and even before it became the preferred tactic for anti-Israel activists, anti-Israel hostility has been cultivated on those same campuses for close to half a century.  No doubt any of us can point to a string of outrages that have taken place on numerous campuses during that period.  But how much has all that effort shifted public opinion towards Israel vs. her foes during this half century of alleged “indoctrination.”
A second interpretation of why we are so sheepish about our substantial wins while our opponents remain so buoyant about their trivial ones is the level of satisfaction each of us receives based on the nature of the blows we land on our opponents.   

For example, when the BDSers “win,” that usually means they just got to spend hours (if not days, weeks and months) raining insults and calumnies down on the object of their hatred; castigating Israel as racist, murderous, bloodthirsty, indeed guilty of every crime every right-thinking person should loath.  Yet when we get a dozen state house to promise punishment against companies participating in boycotts of Israel, all we tend to claim is that this implies general public agreement that boycotting Israel is unfair and BDS inappropriate (or, at best, immoral). 

But wouldn’t it be more satisfying to see Mondoweiss et al reeling day after day from accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia and reactionary politics – especially given that these are crimes Israel’s foes are actually guilty of?  Many allies have told me for years that we need to start our own version of BDS with the explicit purpose of giving Israel’s enemies a taste of their own medicine.  But (as I’ve talked about ad nauseam) in order to pull this off and genuinely act like our enemies, we would need to become our enemies.

This would involve dedicating not a few nights to postering but years and decades to the non-stop smearing of Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims (take your pick), a smearing that would continue unabated, regardless of how much damaged it causes various communities (including the communities we would have to recruit to condemn our political foes).

But given the current state of the Arab world (vs. the Jewish one) it’s not clear to me that acting more like Israel’s enemies is the greatest choice, even while I share the frustration of those driven to distraction at having to “play defense” against such immoral and hypocritical foes. 


Which brings me to a third and final possibility as to why the boycotters are perpetually giddy regardless of the scale or nature of wins and losses, while we go into kanipshins every time a BDS protest takes place, even in locales we previously never knew existed.  This has to do with the storylines into which we fit our accomplishments and failures, a subject I’ll dive into next time.  



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  • Monday, May 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ma'an says:
Palestinian factions in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah have called upon the Palestinian people to partake in a "Day of Rage" on Tuesday, during the planned visit by US President Donald Trump to the occupied Palestinian territory.

The following day, Trump will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, and then stop in occupied East Jerusalem, to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall -- reportedly to become the first sitting US president to visit the contested holy site that stands adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

In a statement released Saturday titled: "A call for unity and assimilation with our brave prisoners,” Ramallah-based Islamist and nationalist factions urged the public to join rallies to express their rejection to the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel under US sponsorship.

The statement called for a three-hour strike on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for a general strike on Monday in the occupied West Bank, the besieged Gaza Strip, and Israel, to coincide with Trump’s visit.

Members of the Higher Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel have affirmed their support for the strikes, initially called for by the Palestinian national committee set up to support a mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons that entered its 34th day on Saturday.

The hunger strike’s committee also called for activists in West Bank villages and rural areas to continue blocking off roads to traffic, particularly for Israeli settler vehicles, in an expression of solidarity for the hunger strike.
I think they had to postpone their scheduled "Day of Fury" for Palestinian prisoners to have veal every Thursday to make room for this "Day of Rage."

The last official "Day of Rage" was just last Friday.  And May 11.   And April 28. And....

What do these "days of rage" and general strikes accomplish? Well, there are Palestinians who get injured or killed while taking the day seriously enough to attack Jews and soldiers. There are the shopkeepers who are forced to shut their doors and lose money.

On the plus side, they accomplish....well, I'm sure they do something, or else there wouldn't have been hundreds of them over the past hundred years.

I'm reminded of this great graphic from a couple of years ago at Israellycool:






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  • Monday, May 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Quora is a popular website where people ask questions and other people answer them. It claims 100 million monthly users.

A week ago, someone asked: "How do I join the Hamas?"

"I’m Muslim and I wanna go Jihad. How do i join Hamas to fight against Zionist invaders?"

Such a simple question!

There are plenty of not-so-serious answers and a couple of people chiding the questioner for thinking that this was a smart idea.

Is the questioner serious or is this a practical joke?

Using the term "the Hamas" doesn't help us much. Although colloquially, almost no one uses the article "the" with Hamas, it is accurate: Hamas is an acronym for "Islamic Resistance Movement" ("Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia") but is also an Arabic word meaning "courage." The questioner, if he or she is serious, uses the article in the title but uses "Hamas" without the "the" in the question.

The question has been viewed 11,000 times.

Why Quora thinks that someone asking to join an official terror group is something that should be posted on its site is an open question.  Taken at face value, Quora is supporting potential - if incredibly stupid -  terrorists.

The query does dovetail nicely with Donald Trump listing Hamas as a terror organization along with Al Qaeda and ISIS yesterday, something that upset Hamas greatly as it has been on a PR push to pretend to be moderate within the Arab and Muslim worlds, since it is suffering a cash crunch. (I doubt that our curious wanna-be Hamasnik has the cash that they would prefer; they have lots of people willing to kill themselves already.)

(h/t @theadamsegal)





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Sunday, May 21, 2017

  • Sunday, May 21, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon


Here is the full text of President Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia.

The Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology sounds like a Saudi idea. They've created initiatives like this before. It is not at all certain what a country that adheres to Sharia law can contribute to fighting extremism while remaining faithful to basic Islamic texts. And I cannot see what America can contribute to this in any way - reform of Islam must come from Muslims themselves.

The massive weapons sale is problematic. Saudi Arabia already buys a huge amount of US weapons.but the concern is whether Israel can maintain its qualitative edge - a promise that the US has held to for decades.

Also, Saudi Arabia but it is only a coup away from becoming another ISIS or Al Qaeda. The thought of Muslim extreme-extremists  having access to these weapons is chilling.

There are some excellent parts of the speech, though. Trump put Hamas and Hezbollah in the same category as Al Qaeda and ISIS. This is a welcome accurate and long-overdue conflation. And to tell Arabs that there is no difference between the terrorists they tacitly support (in the case of Hamas) and their enemies is a gutsy move.

Telling the Arab world to have zero tolerance for terrorist ideologies is also a very welcome message.

Mentioning that Iran is responsible for terror from Hezbollah and in Syria is also welcome.

Altogether, this is a strong speech that played to its audience but pulled no punches towards a vision where Israel would be part of the region.





I want to thank King Salman for his extraordinary words, and the magnificent Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting today's summit. I am honored to be received by such gracious hosts. I have always heard about the splendor of your country and the kindness of your citizens, but words do not do justice to the grandeur of this remarkable place and the incredible hospitality you have shown us from the moment we arrived.
You also hosted me in the treasured home of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the Kingdom who united your great people. Working alongside another beloved leader -- American President Franklin Roosevelt -- King Abdulaziz began the enduring partnership between our two countries. King Salman: your father would be so proud to see that you are continuing his legacy -- and just as he opened the first chapter in our partnership, today we begin a new chapter that will bring lasting benefits to our citizens.
Let me now also extend my deep and heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of the distinguished heads of state who made this journey here today. You greatly honor us with your presence, and I send the warmest regards from my country to yours. I know that our time together will bring many blessings to both your people and mine.
I stand before you as a representative of the American People, to deliver a message of friendship and hope. That is why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world, to the nation that serves as custodian of the two holiest sites in the Islamic Faith.
In my inaugural address to the American People, I pledged to strengthen America's oldest friendships, and to build new partnerships in pursuit of peace. I also promised that America will not seek to impose our way of life on others, but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust.
Our vision is one of peace, security, and prosperity—in this region, and in the world.
Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.
And so this historic and unprecedented gathering of leaders—unique in the history of nations—is a symbol to the world of our shared resolve and our mutual respect. To the leaders and citizens of every country assembled here today, I want you to know that the United States is eager to form closer bonds of friendship, security, culture and commerce.
For Americans, this is an exciting time. A new spirit of optimism is sweeping our country: in just a few months, we have created almost a million new jobs, added over 3 trillion dollars of new value, lifted the burdens on American industry, and made record investments in our military that will protect the safety of our people and enhance the security of our wonderful friends and allies -- many of whom are here today.
Now, there is even more blessed news I am pleased to share with you. My meetings with King Salman, the Crown Prince, and the Deputy Crown Prince, have been filled with great warmth, good will, and tremendous cooperation. Yesterday, we signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.
This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase -- and we will be sure to help our Saudi friends to get a good deal from our great American defense companies. This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a greater role in security operations.
We have also started discussions with many of the countries present today on strengthening partnerships, and forming new ones, to advance security and stability across the Middle East and beyond.
Later today, we will make history again with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology -- located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World.
This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combating radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership.
I have had the pleasure of welcoming several of the leaders present today to the White House, and I look forward to working with all of you.
America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership -- based on shared interests and values -- to pursue a better future for us all.
Here at this summit we will discuss many interests we share together. But above all we must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history's great test—to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.
Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred. And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples.
With God's help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East -- and maybe, even all over the world.
But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.
Few nations have been spared its violent reach.
America has suffered repeated barbaric attacks -- from the atrocities of September 11th to the devastation of the Boston Bombing, to the horrible killings in San Bernardino and Orlando.
The nations of Europe have also endured unspeakable horror. So too have the nations of Africa and even South America. India, Russia, China and Australia have been victims.
But, in sheer numbers, the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations. They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence.
Some estimates hold that more than 95 percent of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.
We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure.
The true toll of ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.
The Middle East is rich with natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and massive amounts of historic treasures. It should increasingly become one of the great global centers of commerce and opportunity.
This region should not be a place from which refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock.
Saudi Arabia is home to the holiest sites in one of the world's great faiths. Each year millions of Muslims come from around the world to Saudi Arabia to take part in the Hajj. In addition to ancient wonders, this country is also home to modern ones—including soaring achievements in architecture.
Egypt was a thriving center of learning and achievement thousands of years before other parts of the world. The wonders of Giza, Luxor and Alexandria are proud monuments to that ancient heritage.
All over the world, people dream of walking through the ruins of Petra in Jordan. Iraq was the cradle of civilization and is a land of natural beauty. And the United Arab Emirates has reached incredible heights with glass and steel, and turned earth and water into spectacular works of art.
The entire region is at the center of the key shipping lanes of the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Straits of Hormuz. The potential of this region has never been greater. 65 percent of its population is under the age of 30. Like all young men and women, they seek great futures to build, great national projects to join, and a place for their families to call home.
But this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.
Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.
Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.
If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.
If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing—then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.
This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.
This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.
This is a battle between Good and Evil.
When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims -- we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy.
But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong -- and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden.
Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land.
America is prepared to stand with you -- in pursuit of shared interests and common security.
But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.
It is a choice between two futures -- and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.
A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and
DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.
For our part, America is committed to adjusting our strategies to meet evolving threats and new facts. We will discard those strategies that have not worked—and will apply new approaches informed by experience and judgment. We are adopting a Principled Realism, rooted in common values and shared interests.
Our friends will never question our support, and our enemies will never doubt our determination. Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption. We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes -- not inflexible ideology. We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking. And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms -- not sudden intervention.
We must seek partners, not perfection—and to make allies of all who share our goals.
Above all, America seeks peace -- not war.
Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion.
The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil. Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil.
Many are already making significant contributions to regional security: Jordanian pilots are crucial partners against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and a regional coalition have taken strong action against Houthi militants in Yemen. The Lebanese Army is hunting ISIS operatives who try to infiltrate their territory. Emirati troops are supporting our Afghan partners. In Mosul, American troops are supporting Kurds, Sunnis and Shias fighting together for their homeland. Qatar, which hosts the U.S. Central Command, is a crucial strategic partner. Our longstanding partnership with Kuwait and Bahrain continue to enhance security in the region. And courageous Afghan soldiers are making tremendous sacrifices in the fight against the Taliban, and others, in the fight for their country.
As we deny terrorist organizations control of territory and populations, we must also strip them of their access to funds. We must cut off the financial channels that let ISIS sell oil, let extremists pay their fighters, and help terrorists smuggle their reinforcements.
I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center -- co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is another historic step in a day that will be long remembered.
I also applaud the Gulf Cooperation Council for blocking funders from using their countries as a financial base for terror, and designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization last year. Saudi Arabia also joined us this week in placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hezbollah.
Of course, there is still much work to do.
That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.
Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory -- piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.
And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea: heroes don't kill innocents; they save them. Many nations here today have taken important steps to raise up that message. Saudi Arabia's Vision for 2030 is an important and encouraging statement of tolerance, respect, empowering women, and economic development.
The United Arab Emirates has also engaged in the battle for hearts and souls—and with the U.S., launched a center to counter the online spread of hate. Bahrain too is working to undermine recruitment and radicalism.
I also applaud Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees. The surge of migrants and refugees leaving the Middle East depletes the human capital needed to build stable societies and economies. Instead of depriving this region of so much human potential, Middle Eastern countries can give young people hope for a brighter future in their home nations and regions.
That means promoting the aspirations and dreams of all citizens who seek a better life -- including women, children, and followers of all faiths. Numerous Arab and Islamic scholars have eloquently argued that protecting equality strengthens Arab and Muslim communities.
For many centuries the Middle East has been home to Christians, Muslims and Jews living side-by-side. We must practice tolerance and respect for each other once again—and make this region a place where every man and woman, no matter their faith or ethnicity, can enjoy a life of dignity and hope.
In that spirit, after concluding my visit in Riyadh, I will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and then to the Vatican -- visiting many of the holiest places in the three Abrahamic Faiths. If these three faiths can join together in cooperation, then peace in this world is possible -- including peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I will be meeting with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Starving terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology, will be the basis for defeating them.
But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.
From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.
It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.
Among Iran's most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime -- launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.
Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime's longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders' reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.
Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.
The decisions we make will affect countless lives.
King Salman, I thank you for the creation of this great moment in history, and for your massive investment in America, its industry and its jobs. I also thank you for investing in the future of this part of the world.
This fertile region has all the ingredients for extraordinary success -- a rich history and culture, a young and vibrant people, a thriving spirit of enterprise. But you can only unlock this future if the citizens of the Middle East are freed from extremism, terror and violence.
We in this room are the leaders of our peoples. They look to us for answers, and for action. And when we look back at their faces, behind every pair of eyes is a soul that yearns for justice.
Today, billions of faces are now looking at us, waiting for us to act on the great question of our time.
Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil? Will we protect our citizens from its violent ideology? Will we let its venom spread through our societies? Will we let it destroy the most holy sites on earth? If we do not confront this deadly terror, we know what the future will bring—more suffering and despair. But if we act—if we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world—then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have.
The birthplace of civilization is waiting to begin a new renaissance. Just imagine what tomorrow could bring.
Glorious wonders of science, art, medicine and commerce to inspire humankind. Great cities built on the ruins of shattered towns. New jobs and industries that will lift up millions of people. Parents who no longer worry for their children, families who no longer mourn for their loved ones, and the faithful who finally worship without fear.
These are the blessings of prosperity and peace. These are the desires that burn with a righteous flame in every human heart. And these are the just demands of our beloved peoples.
I ask you to join me, to join together, to work together, and to FIGHT together— BECAUSE UNITED, WE WILL NOT FAIL.
Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless Your Countries. And God Bless the United States of America.




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