Wednesday, August 23, 2017

If you were a parent contemplating where to send your child in Israel after high school for a solid Jewish experience, would you send your child to Achvat Amim? The name sounds good, from the little Hebrew you might remember—sounds like the name of a Jewish congregation, a temple. But even if you can’t quite remember what the words mean, the website tells you: Solidarity of the Nations.

Intrigued, you look around the Achvat Amim website and see that one of Achvat Amim’s partners is Masa. Now that’s a name you’ve heard. You go to Google and you find Masa’s about page which states:

“Masa Israel, a public-service organization founded by the Prime Minister’s Office of the Government of Israel, together with The Jewish Agency for Israel, is the leading organization in the long term Israel experience space, and it sets the industry standard.”

Well, you think to yourself, if the Israeli government co-founded Achvat Amim, it must be a good, hearty, Zionist program. You’re pretty much sold, just right on the basis of that. Because you know that everything comes down to money, and you’re pretty sure this means Achvat Amim is receiving funds from the Israeli government. What better endorsement could there be, right?

Hashomer Hatzair

You might not even bother to look into the other Achvat Amim partners, whose names you’ve never heard of. Because once you see it’s got Israeli funding, you’re just not worried enough to dig further. That means you wouldn’t find out, for instance, that the group receives funding from the Marxist socialist Hashomer Hatzair movement with which Achvat Amim founder, Daniel Roth, is associated. Hashomer Hatzair receives funding from, for instance, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, affiliated with the Social DemocraticParty (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands - SPD). This foundation, according to a report by NGO Monitor, “cooperates closely with local partner organizations to jointly develop projects in the spirit of democracy, gender equality and peaceful co-existence.”                               

Which is why in December 2011, the director of FES’ Jerusalem office, Michael Broning, co-wrote an article with Ghassan Khatib, director of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Government Media Center, entitled, “What about Israeli Rejection,” a rebuttal to an op-ed by two Israeli government oficials: “The Problem is Palestinian Rejectionism.” The rebuttal argued there is no Arab rejection of peace and that Israel is the intransigent party standing in the way of peace. Certainly a problematic position for a foundation funded by the German government, if you see what I mean.

Rabbis for Human Rights

And since you’re not looking further into Achvat Amim’s credentials, you also wouldn’t bother looking into Rabbis for Human Rights, which receives oodles of funding from all the wrong places, including the George Soros-funded New Israel Fund. RHR, while some of us are fighting for Jewish rights in Israel, fights for Arab rights, always at the expense of Jewish rights, and sees the Arabs as supreme. While numerous examples of this ethos exist, here’s one that is particularly vile, culled from an NGO Monitor report:

“Following the March 2011 Itamar massacre, RHR condemned the murders saying, ‘They were of course a violation of the most basic human right, the right to life,’ but quickly went on to demand that the defense office fulfill its ‘obligation to protect Palestinians.’ The Hebrew website contained a one-sentence condemnation followed by four paragraphs detailing the need to defend Palestinians from ‘settler attacks.’”

Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish Arab Education

Another one of Achvat Amim’s partners is Hand in Hand. NGO Monitor mentions this organization in regard to a past lack of transparency over US funding for Israeli and Arab NGO’s. Hand in Hand schools, attended by Jewish and Arab children, received $1.08m from the US government for the 2012-2015 period, using the money to hold such annual events as “Nakba Day” which translates to “Disaster Day” and is celebrated by Arabs the day after Israel's Independence Day (which means they're mourning Israel's independence/existence/that we whupped their butts). NGO Monitor’s report states that “a flyer for a May 14, 2014 event at the Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem, ‘Families Talk about the Nakba,’ features the USAID logo.”

Now imagine little Israeli children being indoctrinated with this sort of false and ugly narrative about their own people. This is an organization partnering with Achvat Amim. Are your older children contemplating this five-month program more or less susceptible to this smear on their own kind, their own nation?

Givat Haviva

Givat Haviva is another partner of Achvat Amim that received hefty US government funding for a two-year joint project Keshev called “Communicating Peace.” NGO Monitor speaks of a USAID-funded Keshev report accusing the Israeli media of, “ignoring the wider context of the story and Israel’s responsibility for the continuation of the conflict.” In a different USAID-sponsored report on the “Free Gaza Flotilla’s” confrontation with the Israeli Navy, Keshev alleged that “the message that the activists tried to present against the policy of blockade [of Gaza]…remained outside the public discourse in Israel.”

Before we delve further into Achvat Amim, it should be noted that Masa has withdrawn funding from Achvat Amim. Of course, you’d never know this from looking at the Achvat Amim website.

If you were a parent wanting to send your child on a trip to Israel, you might still think it a perfectly viable option, based on what appears to be Masa’s imprimatur.

Why did the Jewish Agency/Masa/the Israeli government decide to withdraw funding from Achvat Amim? Because Israel’s Channel 2 did a huge exposé of the program’s illegal activities, which include, oh, entering a closed Israeli military zone and clashing with IDF soldiers. The closed military zone was the site of an illegal Arab outpost that left-wing orgs keep helping the Arabs rebuild and which the IDF keeps dismantling. Like four times. It’s called Sumud. 

You can see the whole story of Achvat Amim and the kids fighting with Israeli soldiers here:

Channel 2’s source for the story was Ad Kan, an organization working hard to spread the truth about Israel. 

Now losing Masa funding would have to be a big blow to Achvat Amim, since this lost revenue represents $3000 per participant. I wrote to Daniel Roth, director of Achvat Amim to ask him how the withdrawal of funding will affect his program:

Hi Daniel,
I'm writing a piece about Achvat Amim. Can you explain the reason the Israeli government withdrew its funding from your program? How will this affect your program going forward?

What is the cost per participant? Why should a parent send his/her child to your program over others?

I see on your Facebook page a mission statement: Solidarity of Nations - Achvat Amim is a 5 month volunteer experience in Jerusalem that directly engages with the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the core value of self-determination for all peoples.

Question: where, in the opinion of Achvat Amim, are Jews within their rights to have self-determination, meaning in which territory?
Varda Epstein

In response, I received an out of office email telling me he’d be in on Monday (Nov 21st). Google told me that Nov 21st was a Monday in 2016.

I sent a private message to the Facebook page and was told that Daniel would respond to me by email. Which he did, with the text of the lie-filled statement put out by Hashomer Hatzair which I had already seen:
 Statement from Hashomer Hatzair on the Solidarity of Nations - Achvat Amim program  Participants of the Solidarity of Nations - Achvat Amim program who took part in activities which have been portrayed in a misleading manner, did so independently, during time which was not part of the organized program. 

It is important to emphasize that none of them took part in any illegal activity, or any instance of civil disobedience or non-compliance with authorities.   Any attempt to assert otherwise is simply incorrect and defamatory. 

The safety and security of our participants is our top priority and we take that very seriously. 

In light of this situation, we are in active conversation and full cooperation with all of the relevant bodies. 

The Achvat Amim program makes a large contribution to Israeli society – the program includes five months of meaningful volunteer work and successfully connects diaspora Jews to Israel.

Why is this statement a lie? Because the Achvat Amim kids entered a closed military zone, which is definitely illegal, and impeded the ability of Israeli soldiers to perform their duties, also illegal. There's footage, documentation, so the statement is silly. Furthermore, the statement didn’t really answer my questions, for instance, how the loss of Masa funding will impact Achvat Amim. Which is what I told him. 

He wrote:

Hi Varda,
At this time that statement is all we are putting out. 

Thanks sincerely,

Meantime, there was something nagging at me, something awfully familiar about the Achvat Amim clash with IDF soldiers in the South Hebron Hills. A quick search confirmed suspicions that the site of the clash was the same as the site of Rabbi David Basior’s confrontation with the IDF, an event my friend Mike Behar had written up HERE. Michael had been incensed that a man serving as the rabbi of the Kadima Reconstructionist Community in Seattle had attacked Israeli soldiers. What kind of rabbi is that? What kind of Jew??

I thought I spotted Basior wearing a white watch cap at around 2:05 in the Channel 2 footage of the clash in Sumud with IDF soldiers. It didn’t surprise me that he might be involved with Achvat Amim. I sent him a private message to confirm, but I already know him: if he doesn’t like a question, he won’t answer it. I know because I initiated a discussion with him after reading Mike’s piece about him.

Basior had come to Israel not only to beat up on Jewish soldiers, but also to protest the treatment of Arabs who were striking for better jail conditions. It’s difficult to wrap one’s mind about a rabbi making all that effort to defend the jail conditions of Arab terrorists. These are men who murdered innocent Jews in the most callous ways possible. How could he want to help them?
What’s WRONG with him?

So I thought I’d see what would happen if I wrote him something sensible that included actual facts about the treatment of these prisoners and what kind of people they are. I wrote:

“I'm told you're a reasonable man. These are not political prisoners. They're terrorists. Their conditions are not terrible:

Basior responded (May 22):

“Hi Varda. I have different information than you and do believe that prisoners demanding humane treatment while in prison is a reasonable request no matter their crimes. And, I do not argue that they are innocent nor should be released. I have not read a list...I am simply commenting, especially while I happened to be in the West Bank at this very moment, how powerful and important the prisoner strike is to millions of Palestinian people who resist everyday occupation. I am glad I have a reputation of being reasonable. Like every Jew, I deplore violence, think it is sometimes called for, and wish for the safety and peacefulness of my people and all those living among us. I do believe ending the occupation is key toward that goal. Happy to talk more and wish you a great day.”

I thought, “Great! I’m going to draw him out and reason with him. Show him the facts.”

I wrote:

“It would be a reasonable request if their conditions were unreasonable. But their conditions are good.

“Certainly better than in any Arab country.

“Did you go to the link I supplied above?

“After we address the prison conditions, I would like to address the issue of occupation with you.”

But he never responded. Did he watch the clip at the link I sent him, showing the glam conditions of Arabs in Israeli prisons? I will never know, I suppose. If he did, what could he have said to that? “I was wrong—I repent”?

Trick photography??? (Those sneaky Israelis, doctoring Arab media.)

And anyway: how can a rabbi see his own people as “occupying” Israel?? Has he not read the bible? How did he manage to receive ordination??

But I digress. I’m supposed to be writing about Achvat Amim. But somehow, if you write about one of these vile organizations that are attempting to wipe out the State of Israel through Jew-washed antisemitism, you end up finding the tentacles of all of the others crawling all over it.

So gross.  

Here’s the thing: there’s a reason I wrote this piece. I didn’t come to it on my own. I wrote it because people kept asking me to do so. People like Forest Rain, who has a wonderful column at Elder of Ziyon but doesn’t do this sort of writing. She was appalled that parents might send their kids to Achvat Amim thinking it harmless Jewish fun with a soupçon of social justice thrown in for good measure. She wanted me to get the message out, in English, to American parents who might open their wallets to send young Britney or Ben to Israel, not having a clue that Achvat Amim is a subversive organization that eats its own.

So, if you know any Jewish parents out there with kids of a certain age, please send this along to them. Better yet, tweet and share it on Facebook. We need to get the word out. For the sake of our children.

And the sake of our people.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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handshakeJerusalem, August 22 - New research has given a scientific basis to a venerable assumption in politics, according to which your efforts to further your political goals through contacts and discussions with elected officials are perfectly legitimate, whereas your political adversaries, or other advocates of causes for which you feel no affinity, can be dismissed as "special interest groups."

The study, detailed in the upcoming issue of the journal of the Society Of Letters In Politics, Sociology, Ideology, and Scientific Modalities (SOLIPSISM), examined the nature and effects of when you convey your wishes and goals to political officials versus when people who do not share your goals do so, and concluded that the data support a qualitative distinction between the two phenomena: when you engage in such activity, it represents democratic accountability to the electorate, whereas when others perform functionally identical activities, they represent special interest groups who exploit or harm democratic systems for their own narrow ends.

"It is uncanny," wrote lead author Dr. Sol Arbiter, "how closely our findings match previously untested assumptions. In most cases, researchers expect longtime conventional wisdom, widely-held beliefs, and what we call 'common knowledge' not to stand up to scientific scrutiny, but what we found actually bolsters everyday thinking. It came to us as a quite a surprise."

Arbiter observed that the distinction between your political efforts and those of parties not allied with you obtains no matter what field of endeavor the researchers examined. "There was no statistically significant difference among religious, economic, criminal, legal, commercial, or other issues," he noted. "If you are lobbying - and of course it could never be called lobbying if YOU do it, since that smacks of manipulation and exploitation of the system - for tax breaks for your demographic, that constitutes a fulfillment of the democratic vision of the country's founders. But if someone from another demographic - say, you're secular and they're religious, for example - and they lobby for much the same thing on behalf of their constituency, that constitutes a subversion of the will of the majority and a danger to democracy. This holds true across the spectrum of government activity and regulation."

As a follow-up study, Dr. Arbiter hopes to test the assumption that your level of religious or ideological commitment is just right, whereas those who hold more strongly to the faith or ideology are extremists, and those whose commitment is looser than yours are lacking.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Taking Journalists Hostage
Palestinian journalists have once again fallen victim to the continuing power struggle between the Palestinian Authority (PA), which has jurisdiction over parts of the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamist movement that is in control of the entire Gaza Strip.
Neither the PA nor Hamas is any champion of human rights, especially freedom of the media. The two parties regularly crack down on their critics, including journalists who do not toe the line or dare to report on issues that are deemed as reflecting negatively on the PA or Hamas.
The past few weeks have been particularly tough for Palestinian journalists. In this period, several journalists found themselves behind bars in PA and Hamas prisons, while others were summoned for interrogation and had to spend hours in interrogation rooms facing and detention centers.
To make matters even worse, a new Cyber Crime Law passed by the PA paves the way for legal measures against Facebook and Twitter users who post critical or unflattering comments about President Abbas and his senior officials. Critics say the law is a grave assault on freedom of expression and it will be used as a tool in the hands of Abbas and his henchmen to silence their critics or throw them into prison. In addition, the PA has blocked more than 20 news websites that are affiliated with Hamas and Mohammed Dahlan, an ousted Fatah leader who has long openly challenged Abbas.
The PA-Hamas war is hardly a secret. The two entities use every available method to bring each other down. Abbas's PA has not hesitated to take extreme measures against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. These measures include depriving the Gaza Strip of medical supplies, electricity and fuel, as well as forcing thousands of PA civil servants into early retirement and cutting off salaries to thousands of others.
Hamas's retaliatory capacity towards the PA for these punitive steps is limited -- by Israel. Fortunately for Abbas and the PA, Israel is sitting in the middle between the West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Chloe Valdary: Why I Refuse to Avoid White People
In the days since the white supremacists marched into Charlottesville, Va., my Twitter feed has lit up with advice from black pundits, activists and even friends:
“It’s time to stop talking about racism with white people.”
“Whiteness is always protected, even at its worst.”
“Non-racist white people simply don’t exist.”
Lines like these advise black Americans like me to respond to racism largely by avoiding white people. The assumption is that they are racist, even evil, unless they explicitly state and repeatedly prove otherwise.
I found myself thinking about this advice as I walked down Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn this past weekend. I noticed a white person walking her dog. Another listening to his music. And a third having dinner with her friends.
Do all of these people harbor a thinly veiled hatred for me, I wondered? Is there a secret white conspiracy scheming against me? How do I escape all this toxic whiteness I keep hearing about?
I didn’t grow up asking such questions. I was raised in a community in New Orleans where my parents taught me that the beauty of our people’s historical struggle for freedom and equality was that it ultimately spoke to the oneness of all human beings. Sounds of Blackness’s “Africa to America”; Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”: These were the albums I was raised on. These are what taught me to develop an identity that was secure in itself and which did not require prejudging others.
Though I never heard the words “white privilege” until I got to college, I encountered racism. A college anthropology professor assumed I shouldn’t be held to the same standard as my white peers. I’ve been called a “house slave” for standing up against anti-Semitism. I’ve been called the N-word.
But by and large the violent hatred on display in Virginia couldn’t be further from my personal experiences with white people. Every school I attended in New Orleans was either predominately black or multicultural. So I grew up around black kids and white kids and Hispanic kids and Jewish kids and Muslim kids and Asian kids. I was and still am able to navigate diverse cultural spaces with ease as a black woman — not because I assume that these people aren’t prejudiced toward me, but because if they are, I was raised not to respond in kind.
Netanyahu to Putin: Iran’s Growing Military Presence in Syria Threatens Israel, Middle East and Entire World
At a sit-down in Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a growing risk to international security posed by Iran.
“Iran is increasing its efforts to establish its military foothold in Syria,” Netanyahu said at the meeting, his sixth with the Russian leader in the past two years. “That is dangerous for Israel, the Middle East and, I believe, the whole world. Iran is already in advanced stages of taking over Iraq and Yemen, and in effect it also controls Lebanon.”
The Israeli prime minister continued, “We are all defeating ISIS in a concerted international effort, and that is welcome. What is not welcome is Iran moving in everywhere ISIS moves out. We do not forget for one minute that Iran continues to threaten Israel’s destruction every day; it is arming terrorist organizations and is itself instigating terrorism; and it is developing intercontinental missiles with the goal of arming them with nuclear warheads.”
“For all these reasons, Israel continues to oppose Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, Netanyahu concluded. “We will defend ourselves in any way against this threat and any threat.”

  • Wednesday, August 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Mehr News:

TEHRAN, Aug. 23 (MNA) – Iranian Presidential Office’s Committee of Support for the Islamic Revolution of Palestine issued a statement on Tuesday marking the 48th anniversary of arson attack on al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Forty-eight years ago, on August 21, al-Aqsa Mosque, the first Qibla of Muslims and the third holiest shrine in the Islamic world, was set on the fire of anger and historic humiliation of Zionists by an extremist Zionist and many valuable Islamic antiques of the place were destroyed,” reads the opening of a communique released on Tuesday by the Iranian Presidential Office’s Committee of Support for the Islamic Revolution of Palestine, “Since then on, the Zionists’ and extremist Jews’ aggressions and on and off attacks have targeted the first Qibla of Muslims, however, no cry of support for the place is heard.”

“Since 1969 till now, numerous military attacks have been staged against al-Aqsa Mosque by the Zionist regime,” asserted another line of the document, “setting on fire, blocking the entrance gates, hindering the prayers ceremonies of Muslims, holding Jewish rituals at the site, breaking the lock of the main door of the holy place, and so many aggressions are among the desecrating behaviors against the respect of the divine place.”

“The Zionists have used different excuses under the heading of digging operation, conducting destruction operations, and widening or deepening the buildings in the environs of the city, have always sought to impose a Judaized identity upon the holy shrine so far as they have managed so far to divide the Abrahamic venue and convert a big share of the place to synagogue,” underlines the communiqué.
Hey, if Iran already thinks there is a synagogue there, then there is no downside to building one!

(Of course, they are referring to the Western Wall, showing how tolerant these Iranians are of Jews.)

“What is clear is that the Zionist regime has always been seeking to erase the image of al-Aqsa Mosque from the mind of the public and that is why whenever local or international media refer to al-Aqsa Mosque, photos of the Dome of the Rock are shown to obfuscate the recognition of the mosque from the dome and reach their goal,” asserts the document.

As I noted last month,  about half of the Google Image searches for "Al Aqsa Mosque" show the Dome of the rock. I didn't realize that the Zionists had so thoroughly infiltrated the Arabic speaking world!

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Wednesday, August 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Jeff Halper, the head of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions, writes an op-ed that ends up with perhaps the most antisemitic message ever in that newspaper.

Most of the article is railing against Europe learning lessons on how to protect its citizens from terror attacks - because the expertise they need comes from the evil Israelis. Yes, really, that's his argument:
[Europeans] understand that Netanyahu’s government is peddling something far more insidious than mere precautions – even more than the weapons, surveillance and security systems and models of population control that is the bread-and-butter of Israeli exports. What Israel is urging onto the Europeans – and Americans, Canadians, Indians, Mexicans, Australians and anyone else who will listen – is nothing less than an entirely new concept of a state, the Security State.
What is a Security State? Essentially, it is a state that places security above all else, certainly above democracy, due process of law and human rights, all of which it considers “liberal luxuries” in a world awash in terrorism. Israel presents itself, no less, than the model for countries of the future. 
I suppose that Halper is happy that Barcelona officials refused to put up barriers that would have saved lives because it would be a symbol of the terrible Israelization of their security. And the barriers that Italy just installed, along with metal detectors at airports and major venues, are more examples of how terribly Israel treats Palestinians.

But it is his conclusion that shows how truly hateful Halper is:

It would seem that the Security State can be reconciled with democracy – after all, Israel markets itself as “the only democracy in the Middle East.” But only the world’s privileged few will enjoy the democratic protections of the Security State, as do Israeli Jews. The masses, those who resist repression and exclusion from the capitalist system, those who struggle for genuine democracy, are doomed to be global Palestinians. The Israelization of governments, militaries and security forces means the Palestinianization of most of the rest of us. 
Halper here explicitly divides the world into the privileged few who get protection from the state - meaning, Israeli Jews - and everyone else who struggles for freedom and democracy - the Palestinians.

The fact that his analogy doesn't work at all (aren't the governments trying to protect all of their citizens and tourists?) isn't the point. The fact that Halper is arguing against protecting civilians from jihadist terror is still not the most offensive part of this article.

Here we see how the Left regards Israeli Jews: as symbols of oppression of the entire world. Which is exactly how the fr Right regards Jews as well.

(h/t Seth Frantzman)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Wednesday, August 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Swissinfo:

A Libyan Imam has received CHF600,000 ($620,000) in state welfare payments while preaching messages of hatred against other religions from a mosque in Biel, Swiss public television has discovered.

The Rundschau news programme obtained a recording of Abu Ramadan preaching: “Oh Allah, I beg you to destroy the enemies of our religion. Destroy the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Russians and the Shia.” The sermon was delivered at the Ar’Rahman mosque in canton Bern.

"He who befriends a disbeliever is cursed until the Day of Judgment,” the Imam preached. He also suggested that Muslims should not be subject to local laws. "If you tell me that a Muslim has stolen or raped…that does not matter to you, and you should not talk about it,” he has been recorded as saying.

Research by Rundschau and the Tages Anzeiger newspaper revealed that the Imam has been receiving regular unemployment and other benefits for the last 13 years from the local authorities at his home town of Nidau. 
According to the media reports, Abu Ramadan does not speak German or French and only rudimentary English, which virtually excludes him from the job market.
He's lived in Switzerland for 13 years and couldn't be bothered to learn the local languages. Why should he? He's getting paid well without it!

Journalists have discovered that the Imam preaches both in Biel and Neuchâtel, along with appearances on the Libyan Islamic propaganda channel Tanasuh TV.

Abu Ramadan also escorts clients of the Geneva-based Muslim travel agency Arabian Excellence AETS on tours to Mecca. Rundschau found Facebook entries showing Abu Ramadan in luxury hotels in the Middle East, but the Imam claims that he only gets his daily living expenses covered on such tours.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is from the technical news site The Register:


Would you give up your comfy technical desk job to join a military raid into hostile territory? Would you jump at the chance to put your world-leading technical knowledge to use in the most extreme of circumstances, even if your own side was under orders to shoot you if you got captured?

This was the choice that Jack Nissenthall, a radar expert and RAF flight sergeant, faced 75 years ago. At the time, the Second World War in the West was at a relative stalemate. Nazi Germany had conquered most of the continent and, unable to overcome the RAF’s tenacious resistance and invade the British Isles, had turned its appetite for war and conquest east towards communist Russia.

The time had come for the Allies to strike back. Technology was playing an increasingly important role in the war; the RAF’s Chain Home radar networks were instrumental in defeating the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. Inspired by the RAF’s victory, and increasingly hurting from RAF and US bomber raids on its cities and military bases, the Germans started building a radar network of their own along France’s northern coast.

Aerial reconnaissance photos indicated that one of these new Freya radar sets had been installed at Pourville-sur-Mer, near Dieppe. A military raid on Dieppe, to test British and Canadian plans for an amphibious invasion, was already being planned. Senior officers immediately added a sub-plan to the Dieppe raid: a small force would be detached to attack the Pourville radar station. There, a radar expert would dismantle the station’s vital equipment and transport it back to the UK for analysis.

Nissenthall, a Jewish cockney who had a lifelong fascination with electronics and radio technology, had joined the Air Force as an apprentice in 1936. By the outbreak of the war in 1939 he was assigned to RAF radio direction finding stations (RDF, the short-lived original term for radar) and rapidly built up a reputation as a competent and technically skilled operator. Before the war he had also worked directly with Robert Watson-Watt, widely regarded today as the father of radar.

“... must under no circumstances fall into enemy hands”
Thanks to Nissenthall’s advanced knowledge of RAF radar systems, practices and weak spots, he was the ideal man to identify exactly what equipment should be taken from the Freya station at Pourville.

A self-taught technical expert with thorough knowledge of hands-on electronic engineering and system capabilities alike, Nissenthall’s young age (22), enthusiasm for military life (he had given up his leave voluntarily to undertake the gruelling Commando course in Scotland) and the fact he was unmarried made him the perfect candidate for the Dieppe raid.

Yet there was one snag. Precisely because of his advanced technical knowledge, the consequences for the Allied war effort if Nissenthall was captured would be disastrous. Hence it was ordered by Air Commodore Victor Tait, the RAF’s Director of Signals and Radar, that a special bodyguard would accompany Nissenthall. If it looked likely that he might be captured, Nissenthall was to be shot by his own side.

This was a carbon copy of an almost identical raid that took place six months previously against a different type of coastal radar station near the French village of Bruneval. There, the RAF radar expert, FS Charles Cox, also had a personal bodyguard under orders to ensure he was not captured. Commanders hoped they could repeat that operation's success.

More than 5,000 soldiers of the First Canadian Division set off from the south coast of England in the early hours of 19 August 1942. Embedded with A Company of the South Saskatchewan Regiment, Nissenthall’s 11-man bodyguard landed on French soil – but on the wrong side of the Scie River from the radar station.

After finding their way to their intended starting point, the team ran into stiff German resistance. Casualties soon mounted up as they probed the area, looking for a way into the radar station.

Thanks to the Bruneval raid six months previously, the Germans had beefed up their defences around coastal radar stations. This, combined with the naivete of the Allied planners back in Britain, had left the Canadians exposed and vulnerable. Though Nissenthall’s team had just about reached the radar station, there was no hope they would be able to get inside it, much less examine it, dismantle it and take away the most valuable parts of the Freya set inside.

While the team racked their brains to figure out a way into the station, Nissenthall observed the Freya’s antenna. As it moved in a 180-degree arc, he noted that it rotated and paused – revealing that it was a precision set capable of focusing on individual targets, such as formations of Allied bombers.

Then Nissenthall had a brainwave. As he ranged around the rear of the radar station he caught sight of a telegraph pole with cables leading into its buildings. In the very early stages of the war the RAF had been able to eavesdrop on German units across the Channel by listening in on their radio chatter. As time went on, the Germans got round to building permanent military telephone networks – and the airwaves fell silent, depriving British intelligence of their primary source.

If, reasoned Nissenthall, the telephone lines were cut, the station’s operators would be forced to switch to radio – once again allowing British signals intelligence experts to listen in and figure out the set’s range, precision and the number of contacts it could track at once.

So, with bullets cracking past in both directions, Nissenthall shimmied up the telegraph pole and cut each cable, one by one, expecting at any moment to get shot. Sure enough, once the phone lines were down, the Germans switched to radio for passing vital messages about the air battle raging far above them.

Nissenthall and just one of his original bodyguard made it back to England alive, aboard Royal Navy landing craft. This mirrored the wider tactical picture: around two thirds of the casualties were Canadians, either being killed, injured or taken prisoner.

Yet it worked. The information Nissenthall was able to give intelligence officers based on a close-up look at the radar aerial (there were no precision satellite images in those days; photo reconnaissance was generally carried out by modified Spitfires making low-level passes with sideways-facing cameras) enabled them to, along with the radio traffic they had intercepted, form an accurate picture of the Freya set’s capabilities. This in turn informed RAF strategy for everything from massed night bomber raids to radar-jamming technology.

The Dieppe raid, formally known as Operation Jubilee, laid the foundations for the Allied invasion of Axis-occupied North Africa and later Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings. Field Marshal Lord Louis Mountbatten later commented that each Canadian who died on the beaches of Dieppe saved ten men’s lives during D-Day. Operational planners looked at the bloody, tactical disaster that had been Dieppe and remorselessly dissected it, hammering home each and every lesson that could be extracted.

Two years later the Allied invasion of occupied Europe went almost as smoothly as had been hoped for. A year after that, the Second World War in Europe came to an end.

In spite of his heroism, Nissenthall was never given any official recognition for his part in the raid. None of the Canadians knew who he really was until 25 years later, when he turned up at a regimental reunion out of the blue. As far as the RAF was concerned, Nissenthall (who later changed his surname to Nissen) was on a routine short-term posting. Even FS Cox, who had played a very similar part in the earlier Bruneval radar station raid, received the Military Medal.

But the heroism of one electronics genius contributed in a significant way to the neutralising of Nazi Germany’s technical superiority, and eventually to the destruction of that evil regime. Nissenthall himself acknowledged the risks of being identified as a Jew – and dismissed them, refusing offers from senior officers to have his identity discs re-issued to identify him as a Roman Catholic or some other faith that would draw less attention from his captors if he was caught. (Those officers had no idea about the secret orders to kill him rather than let him be captured.)

One techie helped change the course of the war that day, 75 years ago.

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From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Liberals have a special obligation to condemn bigotry of the Left
Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz said Sunday that liberals had a special obligation to condemn bigotry on the left side of the political spectrum, just as President Trump did for those on the right who claim to speak on his behalf.
"I don't want to make moral equivalence," Dershowitz told AM 970's John Catsimatidis, responding to a question about the Charlottesville violence and the ensuing national conversation around race relations and Confederate monuments. "But having said that, that doesn't give a pass to the people on the hard left, who are themselves engaged in violence and also some bigotry of their own."
He continued, saying Confederate statues needed to be put in context -- for example, in a museum -- rather than simply being destroyed.
Turning to the Russian probe, Dershowitz said that special counsel Robert Mueller was endangering democracy because the investigation could criminalize politics.
"The idea of trying to create crimes just because we disagree with (President Trump) politically and target him really endangers democracy," Dershowitz said. "We should only be using the criminal justice system against obvious crimes, crimes that are not stretched and manufactured to fit a particular person."
2016: Black Lives Matter blindsides Jewish supporters with anti-Israel platform
The Black Lives Matter movement blindsided its Jewish supporters with the recent unveiling of its social and political policy agenda, a far-left manifesto that strays well beyond police brutality and accuses Israel of “genocide” and “apartheid.”
“The U.S. justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people,” said the platform’s “Invest-Divest” policy brief.
Through foreign aid to Israel, which the platform describes as an “apartheid state,” Americans are made “complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government,” the brief says.
The strong anti-Israel language stunned liberal Jews, many of whom have expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement’s protests against shootings by police of unarmed black men.
“It is a real tragedy that Black Lives Matter — which has done so much good in raising awareness of police abuses — has now moved away from its central mission and has declared war against the nation state of the Jewish people,” said Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz in a Friday column in The Boston Globe.
He called on the Movement for Black Lives coalition to rescind the anti-Israel component of the platform, issued Aug. 1 and backed by 67 groups, including Color of Change, which is funded by top Democratic Party donors George Soros and the Center for American Progress.

Shmuley Boteach: President Trump, where is your ‘fire and fury’ when it comes to Nazis?
After withering and justified criticism for calling some of the protesters at a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville “some very fine people,” US President Donald Trump has a unique opportunity to re-establish his moral credibility as a leader through an eloquent condemnation of racism, neo-Nazism and white supremacy. He should devote an entire address to a complete and utter condemnation of racism and bigotry and reaffirm the American and biblical proclamation of all people being created equally in the image of God. It is in this spirit that I suggest the following:
My fellow Americans.
Last weekend we witnessed one of the truly shameful episodes in modern American history. A group of white nationalists and racists tried to emulate Hitler’s torchlight parade of January 1933 upon becoming chancellor of Germany, right here in America. The torchlight parade of Hitler’s followers and SS marked the beginning of the darkest period in the history of humankind.
That any American group would seek to copy that procession to make a political statement demonstrates that hatred and bigotry continue to flourish not just far away in Europe but here in the United States. But events only cascaded from there, with the demonstrations turning violent and an innocent and courageous woman, Heather Heyer, who had a reputation for fighting injustice, losing her life when a hate-filled racist assailant rammed his car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators.
I am the first American president to have Jewish children. My daughter Ivanka was not born Jewish. Rather, she chose to become a Jew. This was a decision that I supported fully and although I am not Jewish myself I put on a kosher Jewish wedding for her and her husband who is now my senior adviser in the White House. Since then, I have watched my Jewish grandchildren celebrating Hanukka and Passover and I have personally witnessed the richness of Jewish life. Millions of parents were robbed of the opportunity to watch children grow up and millions of children were denied the opportunity to be hugged and loved by parents because of the white supremacist cancer known as Nazism that was allowed to grow unchecked in Europe.
Let me be clear: I will never allow bigotry of any kind to flourish in the United States.

  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
During the Gulf war, the 400,000 Palestinian residents of Kuwait fled or were forced to leave because they were fans of Saddam Hussein.

For some reason this event isn't described as a "naqba" or by any other similar name.

Now, 25 years later, Kuwait is allowing a trickle to come back - because it needs teachers. And it is downplaying its human rights violations, just like Palestinians themselves have.

Palestinian teachers are returning to Kuwait, ending an absence that spanned over a quarter of a century, to join their counterparts from Kuwait and other nationalities to contribute to the development of education. The government of Kuwait agreed to re-hire Palestinian teachers, many of whom left the country during Iraq’s 1990-91 invasion and occupation of Kuwait, thus paving the way for the Ministry of Education to contact the Palestinian embassy to recruit the teachers.
MP Dr Mohammad Al-Huwailah, Chairman of the Education Committee at the National Assembly, said he was confident the Palestinian teachers would boost educational level in Kuwait. “We in the educational parliamentary committee are keen on recruiting excellent teachers from abroad, in addition to emphasizing on the special role of the Kuwaiti teachers,” he said in previous press remarks.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a statement earlier this month, rallied behind the teachers who are on their way to Kuwait, a nation that had heavily depended on Palestinian educators years ago.
Kuwait fondly recollects Palestinian contributions to pedagogy and the passion with which Palestinian instructors have imparted their knowledge to the people of Kuwait,” Abbas told the contingent of teachers. He noted that the success of the educators will “open the door for the triumphant return of Palestinian instructors to the Gulf region. “We trust you to carry on the legacy of the Palestinian teacher,” Abbas said. Palestinian teachers accounted for 49 percent of overall teachers in Kuwait between 1965 and 1975.
All is forgiven! I mean, you know, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to leave and there was no compensation or apology. But since it all came from fellow Arab, it's just one of those things.

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  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Once again, Palestinians are trying to incite the Muslim world to jihad against Israel.

The annual report of the "Al Quds International Foundation" released on Monday claims that Israel now is engaged in 64 separate excavations underneath the Temple Mount, "threatening the collapse" of the Al Aqsa mosque.

The report, which goes through the past year's event, notes that an Israeli government meeting in one of the tunnels for Yom Haatzmaut sends a clear message that these excavations are supported by the highest levels of the Israeli government "to promote fake Jewish history."

The incitement against Jews by falsely claiming that they are trying to take over the AL Aqsa Mosque is a lie that has never stopped since the Mufti of Jerusalem started it in the early 1920s. And it is just as potentially fatal now as it was then.

This is every day incitement that the West chooses to ignore.

Here is a photo of the Al Aqsa Mosque after the earthquake in 1927. 

The roof caved in and it took several years to repair.

Notice the rafters. They were examined with carbon dating and found to date from between 1500 and 2900 years ago. The authors of the paper determined that the later beams of cedar and cypress came from the Byzantine church that was erected on the Temple Mount. The older ones, from millennium before the mosque was built?  The authors conjecture that they probably come from a n earlier massive structure built in that time period, but don't venture a guess as to what it possibly could be.
[T]he existence of the cypress logs dated to the 9th–2nd centuries BCE in the Al-Aqsa Mosque raises many questions concerning their origin in constructions built more than 1500 years earlier.
Israel isn't trying to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque, but if it would be destroyed it would help to fix a historic tragedy.

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From Ian:

PMW: PA tries to increase hatred regarding Jerusalem
With Palestinian-Israeli tensions over Jerusalem's Old City and the Temple Mount still simmering, the Palestinian Authority has chosen to intensify Palestinian anger and hate by repeating one of its most dangerous libels - that "senior Jews of high position" planned the arson of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. In a documentary broadcast on PA TV, it was presented as fact that not only did Jews plan the arson of the Mosque but also that after the fire started Israel shut off the water supply, preventing fire fighters from efficiently putting out the fire.
The following is some of the narration from the documentary:
"From investigations conducted by the Islamic Council it became clear that there was more than one perpetrator [of the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson in 1969] and that the fire was planned by senior Jews of high position, especially since the roof can only be reached from a wooden spiral staircase located outside the Al-Aqsa building. This proves that careful, premeditated measures were taken to completely destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The proof is that the occupation authorities were slow to extinguish [the fire] and that the water supply to the Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount) had been cut off during those hours." [Official PA TV, Aug. 21, 2017]
The 1969 fire in the Mosque was started by a Christian Australian man, who was arrested immediately afterward and found to be mentally unstable.
PA TV's decision to broadcast this Al-Aqsa libel now, follows its ongoing attempts to keep Palestinian hatred of Israel simmering over the Temple Mount issue. Last month the Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs told Palestinian viewers on television that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque:

Trump Administration Urges UN Not to Publish Blacklist of Companies Trading With Israel
US President Donald Trump’s administration is urging the United Nations not to publish what it calls a “blacklist” of international firms that do business in Israeli settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, diplomats and others said, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
The UN Human Rights Council voted to approve the database of companies last year, over objections from the United States and Israel, which describe the list as a prelude to anti-Israel boycotts.
American companies on the list drawn up by the Geneva-based council include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor,, Airbnb and others, according to people familiar with it. It is not clear whether the list has been finalized.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has told US officials he plans to publish the list by the end of the year and has asked for comments by Sept. 1 from countries where affected firms are headquartered, diplomats said.
“The United States has been adamantly opposed to this … from the start” and has fought against it before several UN bodies, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “These types of resolutions are counterproductive and do nothing to advance Israeli-Palestinian issues.”
The United States joined Israel in unsuccessfully opposing UN funding for work related to the database, Nauert said.
Danon: UN Human Rights chief 'world’s most senior BDS activist'
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, reacted harshly to reports on the names of companies on a ‘blacklist’ of businesses being complied by the UN Human Rights Council. The full list of companies operating in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights is set to be published at the end of the year.
The UN General Assembly voted to fund the compilation of the blacklist in December, 2016.
“This shameful step is an expression of modern anti-Semitism and reminds us of dark periods in history. Instead of focusing on the terrible humanitarian problems plaguing the globe, the Human Rights Commissioner is seeking to harm Israel, and in doing so has become the world’s most senior BDS activist. I call on the UN, and the international community as a whole, to halt this dangerous policy and put an end to this anti-Israel initiative," Danon said.

The other day, the following tweet got me thinking:

Here is one of those favorites

Here is another:

It got me to thinking about how adults pass on their opinions, and sometimes their hate, on to their children.

But while it got me to thinking about how Palestinian Arabs in general, and Hamas in particular, do this, it also got me thinking closer to home.

I recall when I was teaching, I passed by a class learning Sefer Bamidbar (Numbers). They were learning about the quail mentioned in Chapter 11 and I could see one girl was confused. I went over and asked her what was puzzling her and she said she did not know what the Hebrew word "slav" meant. Rather than just tell her, I asked her "well, what is the name of the Vice-President?" With eyes wide, she turned to me and asked "it means idiot?"

Weeks later, at parent-teacher conferences, the parents assured me they had no idea where their daughter got the idea to say that, and insisted they did not talk that way at home. I had every reason to believe them. I was not concerned.

But I am concerned about something else I remember.

I remember a post on Michelle Malkin's blog years ago in 2005. She wrote about products that were then on sale online on CafePress.

Products such as this:

Anti-Tom Delay T-Shirt, suggesting he kill himself.
Credit: Mike's America

But also this:

“Kill Bush” magnet depicting the president holding a gun to his head
with the caption “End Terrorism Now” Credit: Michelle Malkin
And this:

Bright yellow “Kill Bush” t-shirt splattered with blood.
Credit: Michelle Malkin
And this:

“Kill Bush” messenger bag with a macho pic of John Kerry.
Credit: Michelle Malkin

And this:

Cartoon based on Hadith encouraging murder of Jews
Actually, the cartoon encourages the killing of Jews, not Bush -- but is the incitement really that much different?

On Saturday, columnist Charlie Brooker told the readers of the far-Left British newspaper Guardian:

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. - where are you now that we need you?
Brooker did "apologize" later to those who misunderstood his ironic humor :
The final sentence of a column in The Guide on Saturday caused offence to some readers. The Guardian associates itself with the following statement from the writer.

"Charlie Brooker apologises for any offence caused by his comments relating to President Bush in his TV column, Screen Burn. The views expressed in this column are not those of the Guardian. Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action - an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand. He deplores violence of any kind."

The article has now been removed from the Guardian Unlimited website.
Malkin goes on to note that in April 2005, Pat Buchanan suffered multiple assaults on campus. He was not the only one. The Washington Times reported back then about William Kristol and Patrick Buchanan at two separate campus events having pies and salad dressing tossed at them, while the media played it as a joke. The editorial concluded:
Violence, of course, should be intolerable no matter who is on the receiving end, and must be rejected by people of goodwill, whatever their political ideology. It is ironic that college campuses — which typically style themselves as bastions of free speech and tolerance — are increasingly the scene of intolerant, thuggish behavior. These days it is being directed at folks who don’t subscribe to the prevailing liberal orthodoxies.
This was over a decade ago. What we see happening now on college campuses around the country is nothing new. The cynic in me wonders if the media taking this seriously now might be because of whom this can be blamed on.

No, I am not claiming that this is a purely left wing phenomenon. I am not interested in pointing a finger in that regard.

My concern is that the kind of hate exhibited against President Bush may be likely to emerge against President Trump, especially considering how the media, both the old media and especially the newer social media, have early on indicated the lack of any line which they will not cross, or at least test.

And I wonder again how different this is from what we regularly read about Abbas and Hamas doing to demonize Israel and incite hatred -- and much worse -- against Israel. The government, laws and culture are very different, but we are still only into the first year of Trump's term, and the media onslaught shows no sign of abating. It continues to demonize, delegitimize and apply a double standard to Trump. If the worst that people say is that want to impeach Trump, I can live with that.

And no, I am not a fan of Donald Trump.

As a side note, in some cases, the cure being offered on those campuses is worse than the disease -- and in fact is nothing more than the disease claiming to be the cure in order to pursue its agenda.

Purdue University's Bill Mullen and Stanford University's David Palumbo-Liu have created what they are calling the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN), which they claim is dedicated to combating "fascists" who use "‘free speech' as a façade for attacking faculty who have stood in solidarity with [targeted] students."

But neither Palumbo-Liu nor Mullen are very particular about the kind of free speech they are willing to protect:
Meanwhile, both Palumbo-Liu and Mullen have been leading figures in the academic campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. In 2014, Mullen issued a call on anti-Israel site Electronic Intifada to "de-Zionize our campuses." Palumbo-Liu, in a 2016 piece titled, "9 things you need to know about the Israeli occupation of Palestine," recommended readers look to alternative news sources for their information on the region, including several sites accused of publishing anti-Semitic content. He later updated the article to remove If Americans Knew from the list, after receiving backlash for recommending an outlet that has repeatedly published conspiracy theories about Jews. IAK has been marginalized even by virulently anti-Israel groups, such as the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace.
So yes, while threats against Israel in the Middle East grow stronger, so too the threats against both Israel and Jews in the US and on college campuses grow stronger as well. But the heated language on campuses is spreading into society in general and into the media in particular.

The hate being exploited by Abbas and Hamas is one of the reasons for the dysfunctional leadership of the Palestinian Arabs.

We cannot afford for a similar language of hate to be exploited to undercut the US.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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