Sunday, December 04, 2016


The Ohio State University Jihad attack a few days ago did not really happen.

Or, to be more precise, for many Americans it did not really happen because they simply don't care about Islamic theological violence against their fellow Americans. The reason that many Americans, particularly of the progressive variety, tend not to care about this kind of violence is because to do so is considered "racist" by president Obama, the leadership of the Democratic Party, and the elite media.

Koranically-based attacks on innocent Americans are, therefore, perceived like the weather. A typhoon or a flood or an earthquake may happen now and again, but what can you do? You cannot dwell on such things. They are simply "acts of God" and there is very little to be done or said, for most of us, beyond, "Gee, how unlucky."

The truth is that the Ohio State attack will, with the obvious exception of 9/11, slide down the memory hole along with all the others. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, apparently inspired by the Palestinian-Arab "car ramming intifada" put eleven people in the hospital for reasons of Muslim religious intolerance while Democrats cannot even bring themselves to utter the words "radical Islamic terrorism."

We know, however, that the attack was done for religious reasons - and was thereby a Jihadi attack - because Abdul told us so on a recent Facebook posting where he wrote, "By Allah, I am willing to kill a billion infidels." It should also be noted, shamefully enough, that ONLY conservative outlets are covering this angle of the story.

The problem is that after eight years of Obama administration, and Democratic Party, obfuscation concerning the rise of political Islam people are terrified to so much as discuss the matter lest they get smeared as racist... which is part of the reason that we just saw the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. Progressive-left Democrats are not afraid that if they speak out against the most fascistic and widespread political movement in the world today that some crazed Shaheed will leap from the bushes with a scimitar, but something far worse. They are afraid that their own friends will look down upon them as Neanderthal racist pig farmers.

So, people won't discuss the Jihad because there is too much at stake. Friendships and reputations and, even, employment can be at risk. In Europe one can literally go on trial for questioning immigration policy in manners too blunt. Alternatively, in the United States we tend to apply social and economic pressure, rather than the direct threat of imprisonment, for crimes of political incorrectness.

Furthermore, in the US we all understand that the good people favor open immigration, because the US is a country of immigrants. It's only the bad people - the rat-bastard racist Trumpeteers - who want to significantly screen Arab-Muslim immigrants for ties to political Islam. Those who prefer open borders, however, insist that just as our ancestors came to this country with no intention other than to build better lives for themselves and their families, so people throughout the Middle East and North Africa are likewise seeking better lives. 

And, needless to say, no one should be more cognizant of this than American Jews, such as myself.

{My parents had me rather late in life, but my father came through Ellis Island as a baby in the arms of my grandmother early in the twentieth-century from the Ukraine via Argentina. They fled the Ukraine and the town of Medzhybizh which, as it happens, was the birthplace of the Chasidic movement. The Nazis also paid a visit to my paternal ancestral hometown in Operation Barbarossa during World War II. Were it not for my family's earlier departure, not a one of them would have survived, chances are.}

But, the point is that there is intense social pressure within the United States to avoid discussing either the Jihad or the potential problems with large-scale Arab-Muslim immigration. Consequently, we rarely even think about these questions, because as human beings we tend not to fret about things which have no real place within out cultural-political frameworks. So, because we don't discuss it, we don't think about it, and because we don't think about it we don't pursue vital questions around such issues.

It is for this reason that the great majority of Americans have not the slightest clue what is happening in Europe, particularly in Germany and Sweden, under the burden of mass Arab-Muslim immigration. They don't know about the Rape Game called "taharrush" or rising rates of immigrant crime or the never-ending violent conflicts with the cops and the indigenous population. To the extent that Americans have even heard of such figures as Geert Wilders or Robbie Thompson, they are vaguely dismissed as the irrational and hate-filled vestiges of hard-right White Supremacy in Europe.

Thus most Americans, like most Europeans before them, are simply tuning out the Jihad when it arrives in their own neighborhoods.

The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge it, the major media barely discusses it, and virtually no one in the Democratic Party does so beyond smearing the reputations of those of us who would like to open a national discussion on the question.

The truth, of course, is that there is nothing the least little bit "racist" about opposing Koranically-based violence in the United States, or anywhere else, for that matter. Opposing Islamic terrorism is no more racist than opposing German National Socialism or Soviet Communism. It has nothing to do with skin color or ethnicity and everything to do with a political-theocratic ideology that demands the submission or death of the infidel, the violent elimination of Gay people, the conquest of Jerusalem, and the complete domination of women.

And this is part of the reason why Trump took the White House.

Perhaps things will change when liberals rediscover their liberalism.


Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.







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  • Sunday, December 04, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon


The nomination of Keith Ellison to be the head of the Democratic National Committee has resulted in two remarkable stories over the past couple of weeks.

The first one was the Anti Defamation League's initial statement of support for him, discounting Ellison's history of anti-Israel and antisemitic statements, especially when he was involved in the Nation of Islam group.



A few days after a firestorm of criticism, the ADL released a more nuanced statement about Ellison (and pretended that they issued that statement simultaneously with the initial praise of him:)




While he has stated his support for Israel and a two-state solution, Rep. Ellison has taken the other side at critical moments. He voted against the US providing supplemental funding for Israel’s anti-missile Iron Dome program at the very time that Hamas missiles were raining down on Israeli civilians. He has criticized Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, ignoring Israel’s legitimate security concerns. He supported the JCPOA despite strong Israeli resistance to the deal. And it is unclear that he would oppose efforts by the Palestinian Authority to undertake unilateral measures to achieve statehood in the short-term, a surefire recipe for disaster in the long-term.
These positions alone raise questions about where Rep. Ellison would take the party. As chairman, would he ensure that the Democratic party prioritize its historic support for the Jewish state? In the event of a future conflict, would he ignore Israel’s legitimate security considerations? We do not know the answers to these questions, but their intersection with other trending issues raise even more concerns.
Then, the Investigative Project unearthed a much more recent speech that Ellison made, after he was already a member of Congress, which was unabashedly antisemitic as he claimed that US policy was entirely driven by Israeli Jews:

The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of seven million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of seven million. Does that make sense? [A male says "no"]. Is that logic? Right? When the people who, when the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. 
And that wasn't all that he said as a member of Congress:
A year earlier, as conflict raged between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Ellison told Al Jazeera that "the people who have a strong sympathy for the Israeli position dominate the conversation. It is really not politically safe to say there have been two sides to this."
A month later, Ellison told the BBC that outreach to Hamas was not feasible for a member of Congress – not because it is a terrorist organization with an anti-Semitic charter demanding Israel's destruction – but because it is too politically risky.
"What I can tell you now is that the constellation of political forces in the United States at this moment would make a member of Congress who has reached out directly to Hamas spend all their time defending that decision and would not be able to deal with other critical issues that need to be focused on. So for example if I were to make a move like that I wouldn't be able to focus my attention on the humanitarian issue. I'd have to defend myself to my colleagues why I reached out to a terrorist organization. It would absorb all of my time. I would spend a lot of time fighting off personal attack and would not be able to achieve goals that I have."
Just after the 2009 Gaza war, Ellison was among 22 House members to vote "present" rather than take a stand on a nonbinding House resolution "recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Ellison claimed he was "torn" on the issue because it "barely mentions the human suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza."
And, of course, Ellison was one of a handful of members of Congress to vote against funding for Israel's Iron Dome, a purely defensive weapon against Hamas rockets.

After these latest revelations came out, the ADL finally woke up, however reluctantly:
Rep. Ellison’s remarks are both deeply disturbing and disqualifying.  His words imply that U.S. foreign policy is based on religiously or national origin-based special interests rather than simply on America’s best interests. Additionally, whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives, but that has no place in open societies like the U.S. 
That was December 1.

On December 2, J-Street released a statement that not only supports Ellison, but it accuses his critics - including the ADL - of being anti-Muslim!

Rep. Ellison is and has long been a friend of Israel, a champion of pro-Israel, pro-peace policies and an admirable elected official whose thoughtful and considered leadership has shown deep respect for Jewish values and the Jewish people.

Attempts to paint Rep. Ellison as anti-Israel or anti-Semitic aid a concerted and transparent smear campaign driven by those whose true objections may be to the Congressman’s religion, strong support for the two-state solution and/or concern for Palestinian rights. These opponents seek to unearth the slightest inartful statements from decades in public life, take them out of context and use them as a weapon to silence responsible and important voices like Rep. Ellison’s.
J-Street refers to Ellison's antisemitism as "the slightest inartful statements." His unwavering criticism of Israel is simply "concern for Palestinian rights."

J-Street claims to be pro-Israel, yet it cannot find a single example in Keith Ellison's long history of supporting antisemites and terrorists that gives the group the slightest pause. Not one.

J-Street's hypocrisy doesn't end there. In their statement they claim that pro-Israel groups are trying to "silence" critics of Israel. So J-Street calls for them to be silenced!

The recent spate of attacks on Rep. Keith Ellison’s record of support for Israel and the Jewish community need to come to an end. It is time to retire the playbook that aims to silence any American official seeking high office who has dared to criticize certain Israeli government policies.

J Street believes that this recurrent process undermines our ability to have open, honest and productive conversations about Israel and the Middle East in our national politics, and that it does deep and lasting damage to the American Jewish community.
In other words, J-Street - knowing it has no possibility of winning the debate on Ellison based on his actual statements - calls for his critics to stop criticizing him. Because they are the ones who should be silenced, not anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric.

This episode crystallizes J-Street perfectly: it isn't interested in open debate, but in silencing anyone who supports Israel.

One thing is clear: J-Street is exactly as pro-Israel as Ellison is.



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  • Sunday, December 04, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The New York Daily News wrote about an anti-Muslim attack on a subway:

Straphangers stood by and watched as three drunk white men repeatedly screamed “Donald Trump!” and hurled anti-Islam slurs Thursday at a Muslim Baruch College student before trying to rip her hijab off of her head on an East Side subway, the woman told the Daily News.
The paper details the woman's accusations  for over 20 paragraphs, and then quotes a Muslim official about the increase of bias attacks since Donald Trump's election:

The incident is another in a growing list of bias crimes across the city since Trump’s election. Cops said that from Nov. 8 through Nov. 27, there were 34 reported incidents compared to 13 in the same period in 2015. 
American Muslims, and particularly men and women who wear religious attire, are being increasingly targeted by hate nationwide in the wake of the Nov. 8 election,” said Afaf Nasher, executive director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The very last paragraph of the article gives details on these 34 incidents:
 Of the 34 incidents between Election Day and Nov. 27, 18 have been anti-Semitic in nature, compared to five in the same period last year. Five of the incidents have been anti-gay, and five others, anti-white. Two targeted Muslims and one was anti-black. 
18 antisemitic incidents. More than every other bias incident combined.

2 anti-Muslim incidents.

25 paragraphs on Islamophobia.

Not one about Jew-hatred.

(h/t Paul R)



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Saturday, December 03, 2016

  • Saturday, December 03, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,
The United Nations Development Programme has released its Arab Human Development Report 2016.

This paragraph is all the evidence you need that this agency is more interested in anti-Israel propaganda than truth.

The conflict in Palestine has even deeper roots than those in the other conflict-affected countries in the region. The Israeli occupation has been constant for more than six decades, and there are periodic outbreaks of large-scale violence, particularly in Gaza. The 1990s were relatively calm in Palestine in terms of widespread violence, but armed conflict escalated again during the 2000s with the second Intifada in 2000–2001, the ensuing Israeli intervention, the blockade of Gaza after Hamas gained control in 2007 and Israeli assaults on Gaza.
If the Israeli "occupation" is more than six decades old, that means that according to the UNDP, it started in 1948, not 1967.

And this isn't a typo. In another section, the UNDP says:
The Israeli occupation of Palestine is one of the longest lasting territorial occupations in modern history. It is also one of the most prolonged denials of self-determination to a people that has formulated its own nationhood against all odds. The freedom to live in dignity is palpably absent. Seven decades of occupation have exposed people in Palestine to deep insecurity, loss of  opportunities, desperation and profound political frustration.
Seven decades? Since before modern Israel was established!

This means that this UN agency is saying that all of Israel is occupied Palestinian territory, and Israel is illegitimate.

There are plenty of other lies you can see in just those two paragraphs (such as the idea that the second intfada was less than 2 years long.) And there's lots more, like a sidebar on that same page that says how awful things are for Gaza children, for example, if you are less than six years old, there is a "10 percent chance that you have stunted growth due to prolonged exposure to malnutrition." Yet elsewhere in the same report it shows that this is one of the best rates in the entire region, with many Arab countries suffering from 20%, 30% or (in the case of Yemen) 57% stunting!

The UNDP's hate for Israel destroys the credibility it has in trying to actually help human development. It shows that bias and hate is part and parcel of the entire UN system, as we have demonstrated before. 

And no one in Europe or the US gives a damn.



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From Ian:

Most Democrats consider Israel is ‘a burden’ on US, has too much influence on policy, poll claims
Most Democrats consider Israel to be a burden to the United States, according to the published findings of a poll released by the Brookings Institution on Friday.
The survey found a clear majority of Americans (76%) said Israel was “a strategic asset” to the US, its authors said. At the same time, they said, “a majority of Democrats, 55%, say that Israel is also a burden”; among Republicans, 24% consider Israel a burden. Fifty-two percent of Independents do not consider Israel a burden and 41% think it is.
The findings were among the results of twin surveys conducted by the think tank’s Shibley Telhami before and after the November 8 presidential elections.
Overall, “slightly more than half of Americans (54%) disagree with the concept of Israel being a burden to the US as Israel’s actions in the region generate hostility toward the United States in Arab and Muslim-majority countries whereas 40% of Americans feel this way,” the survey’s authors said. It was not clear from the published findings whether this was the specific wording of the question that was put to respondents, and whether the consequent results were impacted by such wording, with its reference to “hostility toward the United States” in the Arab world.
The surveys also showed 55% of Democrats believe Israel has too much influence on American politics and policies, while 54% of Republicans think Israel has the “right level” of influence.
Haim Saban: Keith Ellison ‘an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual’
Jewish billionaire megadonor Haim Saban lashed out at Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison Friday, calling him “clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual.”
At the Brooking Institution’s annual Saban Forum, which is hosted and funded by the media mogul, Saban chimed in from his seat in the audience during a question-and-answer session between CNN’s Jake Tapper and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Tapper had earlier in the session asked the Israeli minister about Ellison’s controversial bid to chair the Democratic National Committee.
While he prefaced his remarks by saying Ellison’s Muslim faith was a “non-issue” and that some of his statements now have been more Zionist than that of Zionism visionary Theodore Herzl, Saban designated Ellison as fundamentally hostile to Jews and the Jewish State.
“If you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted, he is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual,” he said. “Words matter and actions matter more. Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.”
J Street defends Ellison, says attacks only serve to silence Israel debate
Dovish pro-peace advocacy group J Street on Friday said that a current barrage of criticism leveled at US Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison's record on Israel should immediately cease, claiming such tactics only serves to silence open debate on Israeli government policy.
"The recent spate of attacks on Rep. Keith Ellison’s record of support for Israel and the Jewish community need to come to an end," a statement from the organization begins. "It is time to retire the playbook that aims to silence any American official seeking high office who has dared to criticize certain Israeli government policies."
"J Street believes that this recurrent process undermines our ability to have open, honest and productive conversations about Israel and the Middle East in our national politics, and that it does deep and lasting damage to the American Jewish community."
The statement continues by adding, "J Street has always stood for open debate, and we welcome and respect disagreements over policy questions. But responsible leaders in the American Jewish community must take care not to charge that those who are critical of certain Israeli government policies are 'anti-Israel,' or worse, and thus not 'qualified' to hold high national office."
"It is time to put away the old playbook," J Street concluded.
Meanwhile, the National Jewish Democratic Council on Friday called the attacks "false, reprehensible and shameful."

  • Saturday, December 03, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The official Fatah Facebook page published an unintentionally hilarious post about the elections of the Fatah Central Committee held on Saturday:

After casting his ballot in the election of the Fatah movement, President Mahmoud Abbas said, "The electoral process is moving properly without problems, and it is a democracy by all standards and the world can see that the process is completely transparent."

I'm sure that the vote count will be reasonably accurate. After all, Abbas spent the weeks before the Fatah conference kicking out hundreds of members of Fatah who have been critical of him and banning them from the conference.

The only people left to vote are his loyalists.

That's Mahmoud Abbas' version of "democracy."

Here's a photo of the vote-counting headquarters in Ramallah:


And here is a detail of how they are counting the votes, in a post that Fatah ended up removing, possibly because it showed results that they did not want to publicize. (Or maybe because the fifth entry in the left side photo appears to show a "29" next to 27 hashes.)


Not a single computer is visible in the photo above.

People are tallying votes with pens and hash marks.






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Friday, December 02, 2016

From Ian:

The KGB's Middle East Files: The fight against Zionism and world Jewry
Break-ins, forgeries, creating front organizations and even planting bombs – all means were justified in the battle that the Soviet intelligence agency waged against the Zionist movement, the emigration of Jews from the USSR and the world’s major Jewish organizations. Classified documents now reveal that the agency’s leaders saw Zionism as a real threat to the Soviet empire, and did everything in their power against it.
In January 1972, Operation Simon entered its final stage. A team from Service A, a key department in the KGB’s First Chief Directorate (which was responsible for collecting intelligence and special operations outside the USSR) traveled to Paris to gathered intelligence ahead of the operation. Service A was responsible, among other things, for the operations against Zionist and Jewish organizations, an issue of utmost importance as far as the omnipotent KGB head, Yuri Andropov, was concerned.
In the Soviet intelligence’s glossary, Operation Simon meets the definition of “active measures.” Their practical meaning was “aimed at exerting useful influence on aspects of interest in the political life of a target country, including its foreign policy; the solution of international problems; misleading the adversary; undermining and weakening the adversary's positions.”
Operation Simon included secretly infiltrating the World Jewish Congress (WJC) offices in Paris and copying internal material—mostly documentation on the members of the large international organization— in order to map its ties to other key Jewish organization. The Russians’ surveillance of the headquarters, located in the heart of the City of Lights, revealed that the employees did not sense any danger. While the threat of global terrorism had already been raised at the time, no one in the WJC bothered to install an alarm system or have the offices guarded at night. A KGB team obtained a key to the front door from one of the employees and copied it. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Ruthie Blum: Note to Israelis: The US is not racist
Since Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election last month, Israelis have been engaged in a heated debate about how the victory of the billionaire businessman who gets into fights on Twitter will affect the Jewish state.
The Left, which has been fawning over Barack Obama for eight years, has been attributing all the ills of his country and the world during this period to a combination of piggish capitalism and racism ostensibly so indigenous to America that even the Great Black Hope was unable to stomp them out. Members of this very vocal sector of the Israeli media and academia are naturally appalled by Trump, but point to his success as evidence that their analysis of the character of the United States is accurate.
According to this position, it was not the failures of the Democratic Party that led to its defeat, but rather the very nature of the voting public. The holders of this view went as far as to claim that a country with such a number of yahoos and evangelical Christians was simply not ready for a woman president.
This is exactly how these same Israelis interpret the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just broken David Ben-Gurion's record for the length of tenure in the office of the premiership, though the primitive and religious voters whom they put down are Orthodox Jews and those of North African descent. Different culture, same snobbery. And a virtually identical -- delusional -- outlook on peacemaking in the Middle East.
In contrast, the Israeli Right has been celebrating Trump's win, highlighting two causes for optimism. One is the assumption that the president-elect is sympathetic to the settler enterprise -- since he does not consider it to be at fault for a lack of peace with the Palestinians -- and therefore will not respond to every additional Jewish apartment built in the West Bank with the apoplexy exhibited by the Obama administration.
Ken Livingstone's Aide Claims His Staff “Celebrated 9/11”
Atma Singh, an aide to Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor of London, has claimed he saw Ken’s staff “cheering” 9/11 as they watched events unfold in the mayoral press office:
Q: “You were in the Mayor’s Office during the actual attacks. What was your and others’ reaction inside the Mayor’s Office?”
Singh: “I watched the attacks unfolding while I was in my office as one officer had come into my office in the Mayoral corridor to inform me about them. Then, as the situation unfolded, I went into the Mayoral Press Officer’s room to watch the terrible events. I was disturbed to see a few people cheering the events. Others watched soberly and others talked matter-of-fact about the consequences for London.”
Q: “Celebrating the attacks?
Singh: “Yes.”

Quite an allegation from a former aide…

  • Friday, December 02, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Someone sent me this article written by Glenn Greenwald:


One gets the impression that Greenwald is far more concerned about the pro-Israel position of these movements than their anti-Muslim positions.

And indeed - he mentions Israel 55 times and Muslims or Islam only 16 times. Being pro-Israel is much more dangerous, to Greenwald, than being Islamophobic.

I will be the first to agree that Zionists should be careful about accepting support from people whose political positions have traditionally been associated with antisemitism, as well as from those whose positions towards Islam go beyond the political and into personal faith issues.Many of the groups being painted now with the broad brush of "Islamophobia" aren't, some are, and there is a lot of grey there.

But progressive Greenwald doesn't understand grey. He writes absurd sweeping idiotic statements like this:
But what is clear is that these far-right parties are embracing Israel and are often being embraced back. And that’s not hard to understand. Any party driven by antipathy toward Muslims will obviously find common cause with an Israeli government that has spent decades occupying, bombing, and denying basic political rights to Muslims. 
Yes, according to Greenwald, Israeli officials are all bigots, driven to bomb Muslims simply because of Islamophobia. It's a miracle there are any Muslims left in Israel. let alone the territories.

And their attraction to political parties who profess their love of Zionism and support of Israel is not driven by, um, their love of Zionism and support for Israel, but by their shared hate towards Muslims. His default position on Zionists is that they are haters.

Who's the bigot?

Anyone who has ever taken a walk down the street in Israel knows that Israeli Muslims have less fear of being attacked or insulted than Muslims in just about any Western nation today. Unlike many liberal Western democracies,  Israel allows minarets and burqas, and the latest "Muezzin bill" being considered would allow ear-splitting calls to prayer four out of the five times a day. Right-wing Islamophobic Israeli Jews somehow allow tens of thousands of Muslims to go to Judaism's holiest place every day. Bigoted Israel is more tolerant of Muslims than most European nations. The idea of a "burqini ban" in Israel is laughable.

I noted last summer that I witnessed giggling Muslim girls wearing full hijab and clothing at an Israeli beach, not a tourist beach, showering themselves off next to Israeli men in bathing suits. No one blinked. No one was nervous or scared of even thought twice about it - besides me, who would not routinely see scenes like that in Florida nor in France. And, no, I didn't have a wild desire to murder the giggling girls, as Greenwald implies all right-wing Jewish Zionists do.  In fact, I have more in common with them than with self-righteous far left morons like Greenwald.

Now, if anti-Muslim violence is increasing in the US in concert with the rise of the far-right - which is a reasonable assumption - then if the Israeli government has spent "decades" attacking Muslims, then why are there still so few anti-Muslim attacks in Israel? (Of course there are some, but not as many as in Western nations led by supposedly enlightened liberal governments.)

By any measure, the Likud-run Israel is more tolerant of Muslims and Islam, and accord Muslims more rights, than most other Western nations.

Greenwald only proves one thing: he is the one who is consumed by irrational hate, not Israelis.

(h/t Ronald)



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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Israel’s constitutional identity crisis
The same flawed premise at the heart of Netanyahu’s claim that approving the bill will cause Israel to be prosecuted for war crimes stands at the heart of his claim that passing the law will increase the possibility that Obama will allow an anti-Israel resolution to pass in the UN Security Council.
The problem with this argument is that it ignores the basic fact that Obama’s desire to stick it to Israel at the UN Security Council has been a consistent feature of his presidency for eight years. Obama has wielded this threat against Israel without regard for its actual policies. He has threatened us when the government froze Jewish building rights. He has threatened us when the government respected Jewish building rights. If Obama decides to enable an anti-Israel resolution to pass through the UN Security Council during his remaining seven weeks in office, he will do so regardless of whether the Knesset passes or scuppers the settlement regulation bill.
The only thing likely to prevent Obama from harming Israel at the Security Council at this point is a clear message to the UN from the incoming Trump administration.
For instance, if President-elect Donald Trump announces directly or through an intermediary that Security Council action against Israel over the next seven weeks will induce the Trump administration to withhold US funding from the UN, UN officials will likely stuff draft resolutions to this effect into a drawer.
Netanyahu’s actions do more to harm his future relations with Trump than advance his current relations with Obama. If Netanyahu blocks passage of the settlement regulation bill, he is likely to enter the Trump era as the head of a government on the verge of collapse. Rather than be in a position to reshape and rebuild Israel’s alliance with the US after eight years of Obama’s hostility, Netanyahu may limp to his first meeting with the new president, the head of dysfunctional government beyond his control, and at the mercy of a legal fraternity and an international judicial lynch mob that he will have just empowered.
Analysis: Is the next 'Arab Spring' implosion around the corner?
After the deaths of tens of thousands of youths during the nearly sixyear- old Syrian civil war, it is difficult to know how much credence to give to attitude surveys in the region. After all, 15 Syria youths painted a slogan on a wall in the city of Deraa in 2011 declaring: “The People Want the Fall of the Regime.” The regime carted them off to torture cells. Are they preoccupied with the Israel-Palestinian conflict? As the report notes, “Young people’s awareness of their capabilities and rights collides with a reality that marginalizes them and blocks their pathways to express their opinions, actively participate or earn a living.”
The report omits any reference to the ubiquitous anti-Americanism and antisemitism in the region. The reliance on fundamentalist theology is approached indirectly: “Young people remain vulnerable to victimization by groups that misuse religion to benefit from its pivotal role in shaping identities,” notes the document.
Political Islamic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood are cited once. There are no warnings that mirror the comments of the distinguished Middle East historian Bernard Lewis who told the Post in 2011: “I don’t think it [the Muslim Brotherhood] is in any sense benign. I think it is a very dangerous, radical Islamic movement. If they obtain power, the consequences would be disastrous for Egypt.”
Writing in his book The Arabs: A History (2009), the Oxford University Middle East historian Eugene Rogan said, “If the Arab peoples are to enjoy human rights and accountable government, security and economic growth, they will have to seize the initiative themselves.”
On December 17, many Arabs will commemorate the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian fruit vendor who on that day in 2010 set himself ablaze to protest corruption in the now-defunct police state of former president Ben Ali, and set off the Arab Spring.
The UN report largely shifts the onus to the ruling class in the Arab world to bring about change.
There will be more Arab revolts and more self-protests along the lines of Bouazizi.
Burning the Land
Reflecting on the immense damage caused by the arsonists this month in Israel. We pray for a full recovery to all those injured and assistance for all those who were affected by the fires.


  • Friday, December 02, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
The New York Times has a long Sunday magazine piece about how terrible life is in the Shuafat neighborhood and camp, which is within Jerusalem's city limits but outside the separation barrier.

Writer Rachel Kushner spent a lot of time talking to prominent citizen Baha Nababta:
So few nonresidents enter Shuafat that my appearance there seemed to be a highly unusual event, met with warm greetings verging on hysteria, crowds of kids following along. “Hello, America!” they called excitedly. I was a novelty, but also, I was with Baha Nababta, a 29-year-old Palestinian community organizer beloved by the kids of Shuafat. Those who followed us wanted not just my attention but his. Baha had a rare kind of charisma. Camp-counselor charisma, you might call it. He was a natural leader of boys. Every kid we passed knew him and either waved or stopped to speak to him. Baha founded a community center so that older children would have a place to hang out, because there is no open space in Shuafat Refugee Camp, no park, not a single playground, nowhere for kids to go, not even a street, really, where they can play, because there are no sidewalks, most of the narrow roads barely fitting the cars that ramble down them. Younger kids tapped me on the arms and wanted to show me the mural they painted with Baha. The road they helped to pave with Baha, who supervised its completion. The plants they planted with Baha along a narrow strip. Baha, Baha, Baha.

It was like that with the adults too. They all wanted his attention. His phone was blowing up in his pocket as we walked. He finally answered. There was a dispute between a man whose baby died at a clinic and the doctor who treated the baby. The man whose baby died tried to burn the doctor alive, and now the doctor was in critical condition, in a hospital in Jerusalem. Throughout the two days I spent with Baha, I heard more stories like this that he was asked to help resolve. People relied on him. He had a vision for the Shuafat camp, where he was born and raised, that went beyond what could be imagined from within the very limited confines of the place.

....I got the impression Baha was something like an informal mayor, on whom people depended to resolve disputes, build roads, put together volunteer committees and try to make Shuafat safe for children.

Readers of EoZ would have known the emotional punchline of the story before the author, Rachel Kushner, got to it. Because this was one of the very few sites, in English or in Arabic, that highlighted the story of Baha Nababta's murder.

As I wrote then, Nababta was a true Palestinian hero. He worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his community. Yet his death was barely mentioned in Palestinian media, because he wasn't "martyred" trying to kill Jews.

Kushner mentioned that Nababta told her that he was threatened, and that she would never have written about the threats if he hadn't been killed:
Later I told myself and everyone else how wonderful it was in the Shuafat camp. How safe I felt. How positive Baha was. All of that still feels true to me. But I also insisted, to myself and everyone else, that Baha never expressed any fears for his own safety. In looking at my notes, I see now that my insistence on this point was sheer will. A fiction. It’s right there in the notes. He said he was nervous. He said he’d been threatened.

Also in my notes, this:

Baha says, two types

1. Those who want to help make a better life

2. Those who want to destroy everything


And in parentheses: (Arms trade. Drugs trade. Construction profits. No oversight wanted.)
I had guessed in my tribute to Baha that he might have been killed by people who were upset at his speaking to Israelis to help improve the camp, the crime of "normalization." Kushner indicates that Baha's enemies were less ideological - they were simply criminals and his efforts to clean up the town hurt their profits.

Two men were arrested in August for the murder, but I have not yet heard what their motives were.

Whatever the reason, though, the story that Kushner missed was how people like Baha Nababta are not the role models that Palestinian Arab youngsters are taught about in their schools. He is not the type of martyr that Mahmoud Abbas will extol in speeches. His very desire to improve people's lives is what made him a target and ultimately a victim.

This is the real story, a story that the New York Times and the other media, Western or Arab, will not normally mention.




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  • Friday, December 02, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon



Hany Elsadek is the head, and possibly the only member, of the "Moyen-Orient des droits et libertés" human rights group in Egypt.

Its Facebook page shows that it sometimes gives out human rights awards, or adds its name to sponsors of small conferences. For the most part, the organization seems to be a scam, with no webpage of its own and only Elsadek being seen on its Facebook page.

I really need to learn how to start a human rights NGO so I can get funding for doing nothing.

Anyway, this "human rights activist" also happens to be a big fan of Adolf Hitler. And not only because he got the trains to run on time.

In October, he said on video:
"In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is an instructive attempt to correct false notions. Why is the media hostile to someone whom they label an arch-killer - Hitler? Why Hitler, of all people? There have been many such criminals throughout history, so why was Hitler specifically labeled a killer, a murderer, a criminal, and so on?

"The problem is that Hitler was the only one who confronted two power hubs - the socialist Communists and the Jews. Hitler believed that they posed a great danger to his country, Germany. When Hitler killed or burned some 4,000-5,000 Jews, the Jews inflated the number and said that six million were burned - not 4,000 or 5,000. Secondly, Hitler attacked the greatest superpowers of that time, England and France, and started taking over their lands, posing a threat to the thrones of other countries. He became a bogeyman in their eyes.

"But what Hitler did is no worse than what France did in Algeria. It's no worse than what Begin did to the Palestinians, or what Moshe Dayan or Napoleon did. But Hitler became a specific target because he alone exposed the truth about the Jews. He wrote in his memoirs: 'They call themselves the Chosen People, while they spread prostitution in secret.' This is just a short presentation about this great man, Hitler, who loved his people and his country. We should all read Hitler's life story so that we will know the truth, and realize that the terrorism of the Jews, through their media, is distorting the image of Hitler. Thank you, and goodbye."

When MEMRI exposed his admiration, he doubled down and made another video about how great Hitler is for exposing how evil Jews are.



(h/t Yoel)




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  • Friday, December 02, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
US Consulate in East Talpiyot, Jerusalem

From Times of Israel:
 President Barack Obama on Thursday renewed a presidential waiver, again delaying plans to relocate the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for another six months.

In keeping with every other presidential administration over the last 20 years, a White House statement cited “national security interests” in waiving Congress’s 1995 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and transfer its embassy there.

Every president since Bill Clinton has cited national security in presidential waivers signed every six months that have postponed the embassy’s relocation.
What will Trump do on June 1, 2017, the next time the issue comes up?

On one level, all he has to do is to not do anything. If he doesn't sign the waiver, the embassy will be moved. This would seem on the surface to be the main argument that Trump will move the embassy - he doesn't actually have to do anything and it will happen pretty much automatically. Or, to be precise, a provision would be triggered where Congress would withhold specified funds from the State Department on how much it can spend on embassies and consulates worldwide until the embassy is officially moved.

But it is a little more complicated than that.

There are actually two reasons that presidents have consistently signed the waiver.

The first is a "national security" argument, which the Jerusalem Embassy Act allows: if the president fears that moving the embassy would upset Arabs enough initiate terror attacks against US interests, then it could be waived.

But the second argument is more fundamental: every president since Clinton has stated that the act infringes on the Presidential prerogative where he or she has exclusive authority to recognize foreign sovereignty over territory. In short, they argue that it is unconstitutional. And the Justice Department agrees, in this memo they wrote in 1995:

In general, because the venue at which diplomatic relations occur is itself often diplomatically significant, Congress may not impose on the President its own foreign policy judgments as to the particular sites at which the United States’ diplomatic relations are to take place. More specifically, Congress cannot trammel the President’s constitutional authority to conduct the Nation’s foreign affairs and to recognize foreign governments by directing the relocation of an embassy. This is particularly true where, as here, the location of the embassy is not only of great significance in establishing the United States’ relationship with a single country, but may well also determine our relations with an entire region of the world. Finally, to the extent that S. 770 is intended to affect recognition policy with respect to Jerusalem, it is inconsistent with the exclusivity of the President’s recognition power.

...It does not matter in this instance that Congress has sought to achieve its objectives through the exercise of its spending power, because the condition it would impose on obligating appropriations is unconstitutional.

...For the above reasons, we believe that the bill’s provisions conditioning appropriated funds on the building and opening of a United States Embassy in Jerusalem are unconstitutional.
So if Trump is serious about moving the embassy, and he wants to maintain the constitutional rights of the Presidency, he would need to pro-actively move the embassy and recognize at least part of Jerusalem as being in Israel, not merely avoid signing the waiver this coming May.

The big question is therefore - will he?




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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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