Monday, December 11, 2017

By Petra Marquardt-Bigman

A few weeks ago, the NYT published a widely criticized article by Thomas L. Friedman, who excitedly reported that the “most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today is in Saudi Arabia.”

I think it would be really wonderful if things turned out as glowingly rosy as Friedman presented them. But as countless critics have pointed out, that’s not very likely.

One of the most widely noted critiques came from Abdullah Al-Arian, who is not only an assistant professor of History at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, but also a regular Al Jazeera contributor – which is to say that he’s not exactly unbiased. 

Take for example a column from last June, where Al-Arian complained bitterly: “For its perceived role in promoting the Muslim Brotherhood, hosting members of Hamas' political bureau, and taking a softer line on Iran, Qatar became a central target of the Saudi-Emirati-Israeli joint lobbying efforts.”

Another truly sickening example is a column Al-Arian penned just a few days after the murderous terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo’s staff in January 2015, where he blames the West for “Islamophobia” and a long list of other evils that all but explain Islamist terrorism.

And unsurprisingly, when it comes to Israel, it can’t be biased enough for Al-Arian: veteran Israel-haters and Hamas fans like Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal deliver the kind of news the Georgetown professor and Al Jazeera columnist wants everyone to read.

So while there’s no reason to trust Al-Arian, his response to Friedman’s NYT column is still worthwhile noting because he provided screenshots to support his claim that for almost 70 years, the NYT has been “describing #Saudi royals in the language of #reform.” Or, to put it differently: for about seven decades, the NYT has been getting the Saudis wrong.

The thread is long and a bit difficult to read because it also includes some responses to Al-Arian. He starts out quoting an article from 1953 that “describes King Saud as ‘more progressive and international-minded than his autocratic father.’” An article in 1960 asserted that “King Saud has increasingly assumed the role of liberal champion of constitutional reform.” In December 1963, the NYT reported on “Crown Prince Faisal’s ‘burst of social reform and economic development.’” A year later, the NYT described Faisal as “a man who has gained nearly absolute power without really wanting it.” Another article from the same year is entitled “Saudi Arabia: Major Changes Due;” Faisal was “described as ‘ascetic, with only one wife, who lives on grilled meat and boiled vegetables and makes a fetish of moderation.’” An obituary from 1975 presented Faisal as having “Led Saudis Into 20th Century,“ and a subsequent article described Faisal’s successor, King Khalid, as a “moderating force.”

After all this reform and moderation, NYT readers learned in 1982 that the new Saudi King Fahd “has been depicted as the leading figure in a progressive, modernizing faction within the tradition-minded monarchy.” A decade later, NYT readers were told that “King Fahd is following previous generations of Saudi rulers who had also moved toward modernization since King Abdelaziz united a vast territory populated by feuding tribal leaders into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 60 years ago.”

In 2000, the NYT described Crown Prince Abdullah as “an advocate of domestic reform;” five years later, the NYT  wrote: “For Abdullah, who has fashioned himself as a reformer in a land where conforming to tradition is a virtue, the challenge now is to make good on longstanding promises for change.” In 2007, there was a piece entitled “Saudi King Tries to Grow Modern Ideas in Desert;” two years later, a NYT editorial saw “A Promise of Reform in Saudi Arabia.” Maureen Dowd opined in 2010 that “by the Saudi’s premodern standards, the 85 year-old King Abdullah, with a harem of wives, is a social revolutionary.”

In November 2013 – i.e. exactly four years before his recent column on Saudi reforms – Thomas Friedman asserted that Saudi King Abdullah was “in Gulf Arab terms … a real progressive;” Abdullah’s 2015 obituary describes him as “a cautious reformer amid great changes in the Middle East,” and by April 2016 the NYT editorial board saw “A Promising New Path for Saudi Arabia.”

At the end of his thread, Al-Arian denounced Friedman’s recent column as “a hagiographic ode to royal reform that represents seven decades of strategic policy objectives barely concealed beneath recycled cultural tropes.”

That’s of course rich coming from a regular contributor to a media company funded by the government of Qatar, but perhaps Al-Arian has never heard the proverbial warning that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Yet, while his quotes are obviously cherry-picked from articles that, in their entirety, may give a more nuanced picture, it is still unsettling to see that the NYT has felt for some seven decades that reform, moderation and modernization were somehow in the hot Saudi air.

It is interesting to note in this context that Friedman acknowledges in his column that “this virus of an antipluralistic, misogynistic Islam … came out of Saudi Arabia in 1979,” prompted by “the three big events of that year: the takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by Saudi puritanical extremists — who denounced the Saudi ruling family as corrupt, impious sellouts to Western values; the Iranian Islamic revolution; and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.” The result was according to Friedman “a worldwide competition” between the Saudis and Iran’s ayatollahs “over who could export more fundamentalist Islam.”

You’ll note that none of these events has anything to do with Israel, which has been blamed so often for Muslim extremism and fanaticism.

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From Ian:

Explosion Rocks Major Manhattan Transport Hub, One Suspect in Custody
An explosion rocked New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal, one of the city’s busiest commuter hubs, on Monday morning and police said one suspect was injured and in custody, with three other injuries reported.

Police were not yet identifying the device used. Local television channel WABC cited police sources as saying a possible pipe bomb detonated in a passageway below ground and WPIX cited sources as saying a man with a “possible second device” has been detained in the subway tunnel.

The fire department tweeted there were four injuries, all non-life threatening. One of the injured was a Port Authority police officer.

The bus terminal was temporarily closed, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a Twitter statement.

A large swathe of midtown Manhattan was closed to traffic, between 45th Street to 40th Street and 7th Avenue to 9th Avenue, police said. Subway trains were bypassing the Times Square station, the city’s busiest.

“There was a stampede up the stairs to get out,” said Diego Fernandez, one of the commuters at Port Authority. “Everybody was scared and running and shouting.”
Douglas Murray: President Trump: The Courage to Act
President Trump's announcement on the status of Jerusalem last week was both historic and commendable. Historic because it is the first time that an American president has not just acknowledged that the Israeli capital is Jerusalem but decided to act on that acknowledgement. Commendable for breaking a deceitful trend and accepting what will remain the reality on the ground in every imaginable future scenario. As many people have pointed out in recent days, there is not one prospective peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians in which Tel Aviv becomes the capital of the Jewish state.

Yet, the Palestinian leadership, much of the mainstream media, academia and the global diplomatic community take another view. They believe that the American president should have continued with the fairy tale and should never have said "That the United States recognises Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and that the United States Embassy to Israel will be relocated to Jerusalem as soon as practicable." They claim that this is not a simple recognition of reality and not simply the American President granting the State of Israel the same right every other nation on the planet has -- which is to have their capital where they like. Such forces claim that this is a "provocative" move. Amply demonstrating the illogic of this position, the first thing the Turkish Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan did after the American president made his announcement was to threaten a suspension of Turkish relations with Israel.

The reaction around the world in recent days has been a reminder of the one central truth of the whole conflict. Those who cannot accept that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel tend to be exactly the same as those who cannot accept the State of Israel. Consider the expert whom the BBC's flagship current affairs programme Newsnight chose to bring on to receive soft-ball questions on this issue. Dr. Ghada Karmi, from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, a notorious opponent of Israel, was inevitably given the sort of respectful interview style that Newsnight presenters generally reserve for when they are interviewing Madonna or some other mega-star they cannot believe their luck at having gotten to speak with.
Firebombing Jewish Children in Sweden
It is not just European Jewish leaders who, in such cases, feel driven to draw a sharp distinction between European Jews and the Jewish state. In an interview with Expressen, Jonas Ransgård, a member of the Gothenburg city council, lamented the fact that "Jews in Sweden are held responsible for what Israel thinks is right or wrong." Such remarks, of course, imply:
1. that Swedish Jews, being Swedes, are surely too sensible and humane to agree in any large numbers with Israeli (or pro-Israeli) policies or actions, and
2. that Israel, by virtue of its supposedly provocative behavior, is at least indirectly responsible for anti-Jewish attacks in Europe.

If the firebombing of the Gothenburg synagogue was motivated by Trump's decision on Jerusalem, it was not the only notable response to that decision in Sweden this weekend. On Friday night, an anti-Trump rally in Malmö drew about 200 people, many of whom shouted anti-Jewish remarks and threatened to "shoot the Jews." On Saturday, anti-Trump protesters marched in Stockholm and set fire to the Israeli flag. A search through the major Swedish online media did not yield any details about the ethnic or religious backgrounds of the participants in any of these incidents.

What, sadly, is hardly ever acknowledged by Europe's establishment media is that Jews -- and Israel, the only openly pluralistic country in the Middle East -- are under constant assault by Western European leaders, citizens, and (especially) so-called "new Europeans," as well as by the governments of no fewer than 21 Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East.

The attack on the Gothenburg synagogue may have been immediately triggered by Trump's recognition of Israel's capital, but it is part of a pattern of persecution and savagery that has been in place, and that has been systematically ignored, denied or played down by the news media and public officials, ever since the Islamization of Western Europe began.
Red Crescent drives Arab rioters

The pantograph (shown above) is a centuries old mechanical device used to create enlarged images.  When an artist uses a pen attached to one end of the pantograph to draw a sketch or illustration, the device automatically draws a larger version of the same image on another piece of paper.

A friend once noted how this ancient gadget reminded him of Israel’s relationship to the rest of the world.  A curious observation, I thought, which he fleshed out by noticing that many of the tragedies we are dealing with today, including the mass murder of civilians across the Middle East, or the killing of Europeans for the crime of walking the streets or taking the subway, were first enacted (albeit on a slightly smaller scale) within the Jewish state.

This export of innovative methods of cruelty such as the suicide bomber from Israel to the rest of the planet is no accident.  For tyrants or tyrannical wannabees have a habit of singling out the Jew (or, in today’s world, the Jewish State) in order to determine just how far humanity can be pushed to abandon its humane principles.

The threat of Europe’s fascists WAS ignored when their repression was limited to “merely” putting the full force of the state behind the suppression and eventual murder of its Jewish minority.  It was only after the Nazis had sharpened their claws on the Jews that the world realized a nation steeped in such brutality was a threat to the entire planet and dealt with the problem at a cost of fifty million lives.

Today’s dictators have similarly used Israel as a staging area to determine just how far they can push a brutal agenda, hoping that the non-Jewish powers (i.e., the other 6+ billion people in the world) will avert their gaze until it is too late.

The suicide bomber, whether in London, Tel Aviv or Thailand, needs more than explosives to do his or her job.  He or she also needs a culture that glorifies death (so long as it accompanies mass murder) to create the people willing to strap on the belt and push the button.

Most importantly, they need the intricate web of explanation, toleration and apologia that always manage to justify mass murder with that critical “but” (“Of course subway bombings in London were a crime, BUT shouldn’t they be expected given British actions in Iraq?”  “9/11 was certainly awful, BUT didn’t America’s support for Israel make it a target?” “I condemn the ninety-ninth blowing up of an Israeli bus, BUT what else can the Palestinians do to ‘defend’ themselves in the face of Israeli might?).

Such apologetics have only ramped up as the bombs started (and continue) to go off in the streets and subways far from the Levant (and as of today, show no signs of ending), trying to find “root causes” for turning worshipers, commuters and other “non-combatants” into ash.  Yet if the leaders of nations now facing plagues of terror contributed anything to their own situations, it was in trying to put as much distance as they could between Israel’s plague of terror and the terror that afflicts the rest of the world.  Not only are the two linked, but the former is the proving ground for the latter, the small pen on the pantograph.

The BDS movement is founded on the hope that they can twist the language of human rights and confuse the uninformed enough to get principled outsiders (preferably from respected institutions) to condemn the Jewish state for the “crime” of defending itself against murderous attack.  Yet in trying to get others to join in condemning a victim for not allowing himself to meekly be killed, they are trying to justify the notion that no person, no group, no nation has the right to defend itself against indiscriminate terror.  If that is the new rule written on tiny Israel by the small end of the pantograph, one does need to think hard to guess to whom the magnified version of such a rule will apply.

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  • Monday, December 11, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
When things get stirred up in the Middle East, the (sometimes) latent antisemitism shows its ugly head.

Three examples, all prompted by the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Egypt's Al Masry al Youm has an article that pretends to argue that Israel isn't a state to begin with, but is akin to Al Qaeda - a "base" [Al-Qaeda's literal meaning] that exists only from US support but has no long term chances. But until that happens, the author says, "we can only boycott the political base of the American base Israel and its Jewish inhabitants."

No boycotting Israeli products, but only Israeli Jews.

An article in the pro-Erdogan Yeni Safak Turkish newspaper includes this section:
Zionism is a pathology that emerged from the special historical conditions of the relationship between Judaism and the West. This is what the social psychoanalysis of Judaism shows us. Here, political Judaism turns, along with a distorted Jewish faith, into a cursed organization, a utopia, a goal and ties. Efforts are made to solve the problem of pariahdom with domination formed around the awareness of supremacy. The historical and sociological grief, massacres, deprivations and grudges that come with pariahdom are tried to be overcome with the response of supremacy. This is the fantasy to turn Jews into masters who command the whole world. The ideology of eliminating enslavement through the enslavement of others. The obsession of solving enslavement by producing slavery. This is what Zionism is in the complete sense. 
Of course, the intelligentsia would call this merely "anti-Zionism."

Finally, a bar association in Egypt decided to protest the Trump decision with a protest:

The lawyers who participated in the protest rejected the American decision and chanted,  "Khyber Khyber, oh Jews .. Mohammed's army will come back."

A threat to eradicate the Jewish presence in the Middle East.

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  • Monday, December 11, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Times of Israel:
A delegation of religious figures from the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain arrived in Israel this week “in order to send a message of peace,” in an extremely rare instance of representatives from an Arab country without diplomatic relations visiting the Jewish state.

The trip seemed to signal a further warming of ties between Israel and Bahrain, which a report earlier this year said are on a path to normalizing diplomatic relations.

The delegation, which is made up of 24 members of the “This is Bahrain” group — which on its website heralds a commitment to a vision of “religious freedom and peaceful co-existence where we all live together in harmony in the spirit of mutual respect and love” — is in Israel for a four-day visit meant to send a message of religious tolerance and coexistence.

“The king sent us with a message of peace to the whole world,” a Shiite cleric on the trip told Hadashot TV news, which aired a report on Saturday about the group.
That's a big story in itself.

But just as big is that the Palestinian Authority is so anti-peace that they are arranging protests against the Bahrainis.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education announced its "absolute refusal to receive the Bahraini delegation coming from the Zionist entity in any of its schools and institutions of higher education affiliated with it" and instructed all schools under its control as well as UNRWA schools to snub any attempts by the Bahraini group to meet with them.

Palestinians gathered at the Erez crossing into Gaza, prepared to throw shoes and eggs at the delegation after rumors that they were going to visit there.

This was all reported approvingly at the Fatah Facebook page.

Reports also indicate that the delegation was blocked from visiting the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by its guards.

This is how Palestinians treat fellow Arabs who make it clear that that they simply want peace.

This is about as clear an indication as you can find as to which side actually wants peace and which side wants to use the word "peace" as a synonym for never ending conflict.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Perhaps Donald Trump gave the Arab-Israel conflict the nudge that it needs.

It is fascinating to see the various objections that many pro-Israel Jews have for United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Some people oppose the move primarily out of disdain for Trump or because they consider Trump so toxic that he will inevitably poison what otherwise might be a good move. Many Israelis, needless to say, find the whole thing insulting. They know where their own capital is, for chrissake, and they don't need anyone else to affirm it. And everyone, of course, is concerned about violence and one Palestinian-Arab has been killed as I write during this first "Day of Rage."

One of my favorite arguments, however, represented only by a deranged minority, actually considers Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as antisemitic. Imagine that. The idea is that Trump only made this move as a cynical gesture to the Christian Evangelical base. American Evangelicals - or so goes the story - merely appreciate Israel as a vehicle for some crazed eschatological, End-of-Days scenario wherein Jesus will return and show Adolph Hitler and the Catholic Church just how best to deal with the Jews.

It is pure nonsense, of course, but interesting to ponder in a warped kind of way.

And, finally, there is the prominent idea among the politicians and intelligentsia - and the EU and the PA and the UN and the Department of State and, say, Swedish people - that this will kill the "peace process." I do not know about you, but I increasingly have come to suspect that the purpose of the "peace process" is not so much about peace as it is about the "peace process."

We are coming on twenty-five years since Yitzhak Rabin foolishly shook the hand of that rotten old bastard, Yassir Arafat, and somehow it did not fall off.

In any case, the Arabs are going bonkers, as we are seeing in the streets of eastern Jerusalem and elsewhere, and people will be killed out of Koranically-based religious mania.

{And make no mistake, the entire conflict is grounded in Koranically-based religious mania. Does anyone believe for a single second that if somehow Israel was an Islamic country that the rest of the Islamic world would be so perpetually vexed at its existence? Of course, not.}

But, so long as the Arabs believe that they have a reasonable claim to the City of David they will never stop pushing and they will not stop sending their children into the streets with knives. So long as they believe that Jerusalem is up-for-grabs then they will consider the whole shebang up-for-grabs.

Two of the biggest mistakes that Israel made, historically, were giving up control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf and inviting Arafat back from Tunis for that insidious handshake. The stupidity on both counts was monumental.

Most Democrats and progressives now believe that the Arabs are fighting for "social justice."

They are not.

Jews lived as second and third-class non-citizens under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule for thirteen centuries. It was never better than Jim crow was at its worst, but lasted far longer. And when Jewish people finally gained their freedom, the Arab world waged bloody war against Israel, in various forms, from 1948 to the present.

The Arabs are not fighting for social justice. They are not fighting for a Palestinian-Arab state.

They are seeking to repair the historical continuance of theocratic-imperial domination over the despised Jewish minority, who many believe murdered their prophet.

This is about religious bigotry, not land.

This is about the crudest form of Koranically-based race hatred imaginable and it has been ongoing since the time of Muhammad.

Arab-Muslim kids in the Middle East far too often receive fear and loathing toward Jews with their mother's milk.

Anti-Defamation League statistics on antisemitism in the Middle East show that the most liberal countries are hateful toward Jews into the 70th percentile, while in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority that number rises into the 90th percentile.

And what this means - as the Palestinian-Arabs never cease to remind us - is that we are facing an implacable foe with the very worst intentions and with what they believe is a divine calling to wrench Jewish control from historically Jewish land... and to do so even within living memory of the Holocaust.

Now, that is quite some brew.

Given the ugly truth above, I increasingly lean in the direction of Daniel Pipes on this question.

I believe it is necessary for Israel to decisively defeat their Palestinian-Arab enemies. And what that means is making it very clear to them that continued efforts to ruin Jewish lives will be met with very sincere consequences.

As for just what those consequences should be, I can only leave to the Israelis.

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  • Sunday, December 10, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Egypt's el Fagr reports that an Alexandria lawyer and coordinator of the Revolutionary Lawyers Movement, Sherif Jadallah, has filed a complaint with the Attar District Court demanding the banning of any Jew from entering the Great Synagogue in Alexandria and allowing Muslims to perform the five daily prayers inside the synagogue.

Jadallah says this has nothing to do with the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Instead, he claims it is a response to Israel banning Muslims from the Al aqsa Mosque for a few days earlier this year after three terrorists used it as a base to murder Jews.

"The Jewish religious intransigence and persecution of Muslims must be met with a clear popular legal response to the prohibition of Jewish religious rituals and to allow us to perform Islamic religious rites within their Jewish temples," Jadallah said, in accordance with what he laughably called a principle in international law called "reciprocity."

The lawyer is targeting December 29th to ban Jewish worship in the synagogue and allow Muslims to take it over.

Now that there are nearly no Jews in Egypt, the country has been spending money to restore their old synagogues - for tourists, but not for prayer.

I'm sure that Muslims who claim that they have nothing against Jews will write irate articles about this in the Arabic press.

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Incredulous, the France 24 commentator asked their Israel correspondent: “Don’t the Israelis care that the whole world is against the Jerusalem declaration?!”

His wide-eyed expression and astonished tone were so ridiculous, I burst out laughing.

On December 6th, 2017, US President Donald J. Trump declared that the United States officially recognizes the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and is preparing to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Most Israelis applauded President Trump for recognizing the ancient truth that Jerusalem is the heart of Zion, the capital of Israel. In my house we also cheered.

Like the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago, the statement Trump made does not grant the Jewish people right to what was always ours–it reaffirms the international understanding of the historic bond between the Nation of Israel and Jerusalem and the natural right of the Jewish people for self-determination in our ancestral homeland.

This statement sets the standard for all other nations on earth. It is up to each of them to choose sides. Either they recognize historical truth, current reality and assist in preparing for a peaceful future or they continue to prop up genocidal delusions based on the lies of Jew-hatred.  

It really is that simple.

Those who object to Jerusalem being recognized as the capital of Israel do so because they actually have a problem with Jewish sovereignty anywhere in Israel.

Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people, the heart of Zion for 3000 years, not just the last 70.

The bond between the Nation of Israel and Jerusalem is unbreakable. It cannot be changed by any external force. This is the oldest love story ever documented. All others are fleeting.

Hamas / Fatah declared that, should Trump recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the gates of hell would open up. So far, we’ve seen some temper tantrums but, as far as I know, the gates of hell remain safely shut.

Personally, I am glad the current President of the United States does not change his policy according to the threats of terrorists.

After Trump’s declaration, Hamas / Fatah announced three days of rage. The thing is that they are so often enraged, it’s rather difficult to determine how these days differ from all other days.

It was no big surprise to see so many nations of the world rush to denounce America’s policy and declare that Trump’s statement would destabilize the Middle East and threaten the non-existent peace process. How dare the United States recognize Jewish right to determine where the capital of their own country is?! What a reckless thing to do!  

That’s why I had to laugh at the commentator. “Don’t Israelis care that the whole world is against the Jerusalem declaration?!”  

No. Absolutely not. Why should we?

If we lived according to the attitude the “whole world” has towards Jews and Israel in particular, we would have done them a favor and drowned ourselves in the sea long ago.

A different people might give up but we’re stubborn. That’s the thing our enemies don’t seem to be able to comprehend. Terrorism makes us stronger. Attack us and we unify and THAT is when miracles happen.

The day after Trump’s declaration a man yelling “Allahu akbar” attacked a Jewish restaurant, smashing the windows with a hammer.

The owner’s response was: “For what Trump did, he [the terrorist] can comes smash windows 10 more times.” When asked if he was afraid of further attacks, he laughed and said: “I grew up in neighborhood D in Be’ersheva [known for being a tough neighborhood]. I’m not afraid of anything. Jerusalem is our capital and that’s that.”

Hearing this, I laughed. This is what “Jerusalem, above all joys” means. Priorities.

When telling this story to American Jewish friends, I was startled by the difference in their reaction. I realize now that living in Israel has changed me.

There is a centuries old guideline for Jews living in the diaspora that basically means: “Don’t annoy the non-Jews.” The idea is to not stand out too much, to obey the laws of the land, be loyal to that country so that the non-Jews won’t decide to turn on their Jewish neighbors and slaughter them. Often this policy served Jews well. In other cases, Jews were slaughtered anyway. This is a policy for a people living at the mercy of others, a people with no one to turn to for protection, a people with no state in which they can claim sanctuary.

Israeli Jews are different.

The diaspora mentality is deeply ingrained and difficult to shake but life in Israel is enough to change most Jews. While we don’t enjoy being under attack, being denounced by the nations of the world, having to fight just to live another day but our stubbornness is stronger than the fear tactics of our enemies.

Israelis have a spirit of wild defiance that is incomprehensible to our enemies (and sadly also to many of our brothers and sisters still living in the diaspora). This is the defiance of freedom, of a people free to determine our own destiny.

The idea that Israelis would cringe at the disapproval of other nations is laughable. The idea that Israelis will be swayed by terrorism is just as ridiculous.

The consistent condemnation of Jews exercising sovereign rights in our ancestral homeland is proof enough of the desire that Jews simply disappear. Trump’s declaration did not “spark” Arab rage, it is the return of Jews to Zion and the miracle of the re-birth of Israel that caused their rage. 

Admittedly, terrorism can be an effective tactic to drive colonialists out of occupied land. It doesn’t work when applied to people living in the only home they have. That’s why terrorism makes us stronger – being attacked for “occupying” our own home proves how imperative it is to defend ourselves and protect the land of Israel for the future of the Nation of Israel.

The nations of the world can shake their heads in disapproval. Fatah and Hamas can rage all they want.  

I laugh at their rage. Israel has given me that power.

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:

Eugene Kontorovich: Unsettled: A Global Study Of Settlements In Occupied Territories
Legal discussions of Article 49(6), however, are almost invariably centered on the Israeli case,1 and do not examine its potential applicability elsewhere.2 For example, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) (2016, VI–VII) influential Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law lists 107 instances of national and UN practice applying or interpreting the prohibition, and all but two relate to Israel.3

As a result, our understanding of Article 49(6) remains thin and lacking; the interpretation of it comes from a single case, rather than from systematic evidence of state practice. One can draw an infinite number of lines through a point. Studying all the available data however—i.e., all settlement practices elsewhere—can provide greater meaning and definition to the rule, or at least address some of the many questions about its meaning.

This article examines every occupation since the adoption of the Geneva Conventions that involve the movement of civilian population into belligerently occupied territory. Eight such situations were identified. No previous work has examined them together. Indeed, for several of the situations, there has been no prior academic work on the relevant settlement policy. Thus, one of the additional contributions of this article is the first scholarly examination of Russian and Armenian occupation practices in light of international law.

The state practice of the occupying powers in these other situations, as well as the international reaction to them, forms a remarkably consistent pattern. This pattern is contrary to, or at least in substantial tension with, hypotheses about Article 49(6) generated solely based on the Arab–Israeli situation. Thus, since the conventional understanding of Article 49(6) has been based almost entirely on the Israeli example,4 this article shows that it requires a fundamental reexamination.

While the study of state practice cannot precisely define the scope of Article 49(6) liability, it does show that standard discussions of the norm define the prohibited conduct far too broadly. In particular, there is no support in state practice for the notion that mere facilitation or accommodation of settlement activity violates the norm, or that there is any duty to prevent, obstruct, or discourage settlement activity.

Douglas Murray: Are racist chants now acceptable on the British left?
On Friday the Guardian columnist and Corbyn-supporter Owen Jones sent out this Tweet to his followers:
Owen Jones @OwenJones84
Palestinians urgently need our solidarity. Join me protesting Trump’s Jerusalem speech outside London’s US Embassy *tonight* >> 12:22 AM - Dec 9, 2017
As a video of the resulting demonstration shows, the crowd outside the embassy loudly chanted (among other things) ‘Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud’. This is a famous Islamic battle-cry which might be translated, ‘Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.’

The battle of Khaybar relates to a 7th century attack on a Jewish community by the armies of Mohammed.

Now two obvious questions arise. Why might this battle cry have been used on Friday night outside the American embassy in London? And are racist chants of this kind now acceptable on the British left?

  • Sunday, December 10, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Those on the left side of American politics who were aghast at the idea of a US President moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem might be surprised to know that the idea that the US has the absolute right to do so was enunciated under the Carter administration.

UNSC 478 (1980) , along with condemning Israel for annexing Jerusalem, called upon "Those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City." 

Even though the US shamefully abstained from vetoing that anti-Israel resolution, US Secretary of State Edmund Muskie forcefully rejected the dictate from the UN:

[T]he Council calls upon those States that have established  diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw them from the Holy City. In our judgement this provision is not binding. It is without force. And we reject it as a disruptive attempt to dictate to other nations. it does nothing to promote a resolution of the difficult problems facing Israel and its neighbours. It does nothing to advance the cause of peace. 
So the US maintained the right, if it should ever want, to establish the US embassy in Jerusalem.

One other thing. During the debate on Friday, a number of ambassadors stressed that all countries withdrew their embassies from Jerusalem after the 1980 UNSC resolution, emphasizing how the US would now be breaking an international consensus.

But the language of UNSC 478 was not about embassies, but about any diplomatic missions.

 Belgium, in East Jerusalem
 France in West Jerusalem
 Greece in West Jerusalem
 Holy See (Apostolic Delegation to Jerusalem and Palestine) in East Jerusalem
 Italy, with seats in both East and West Jerusalem
 Spain, in East Jerusalem
 Sweden in East Jerusalem
 Turkey in East Jerusalem. 
 United Kingdom in East Jerusalem
 United States, in West Jerusalem

Many of these provide services for Palestinians, but UNSC 478 doesn't have an exception for those cases. It calls on any nation with diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw them. Period.

So when France, Sweden, the UK and others spoke at the Security Council on Friday and invoked UNSC 478 as a UN resolution that the US was breaking....they are breaking it, too. Every day.

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  • Sunday, December 10, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

The extraordinary UN debate over The US recognition of Jerusalem was indeed extraordinary. Never has this council been convened over the actions of one state recognizing the capital of another, something which is, in every other example in history, a pretty benign decision.

But some of the speeches made at the debate indicate that the UN is still schizophrenic as to the actual legal status of Jerusalem.

When it comes to the areas to the east of the Green Line, it is considered "occupied Palestinian territory."

But when it comes to the west of the same line, it is still not considered Israeli. In that case it is "corpus separatum" - a completely separate territory that was envisioned as an international city under UNGA 181, which was never implemented.

So we saw the representative from Uruguay say "Yesterday a communiqué was issued by my government affirming our support to resolution 181 establishing a Jewish state with Jerusalem as corpus separatum."

And Sweden, which was one of the countries behind the special session, said "We requested this meeting, along with 7 others due to the repurcussions of the statement made by US president. We clearly disagree with the capital of Israel as Jerusalem and the move of the embassy. It contradicts international law; Jerusalem is a final status issue. Already in 1947, the UN attributed to Jerusalem a special legal and political status as corpus separatum.."

The representative from France said "France recognizes no sovereignty over Jerusalem."

And Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, invoked UNGA 181 in his speech as well.

However, the other UNSC resolutions invoked over Jerusalem during the debate - especially 252, 478 and 2334 - do not refer to UNGA 181, and are more concerned over territories liberated by Israel in 1967. No one seems to be considering those territories to be part of the "corpus separatum" that appears to animate the UN's insistence that even the western part of the city not be under Israeli sovereignty.

If all of Jerusalem was a corpus separatum, then Bethlehem and many other towns considered "Palestinian" would no longer be considered Palestinian at all, but all part of the international city envisioned by UNGA 181.Yet no one claims that Bethlehem is anything but "Palestinian," which itself is a peculiar legal status given that no one can point to any date when the land was legally recognized to be transferred from Jordanian control to Palestinian control.

We see here that even within the context of a single debate, the hypocrisy and latent antisemitism of the world community is exposed. If "east Jerusalem" is Palestinian than "west Jerusalem"is Israeli; if "west Jerusalem"is an international city than so is all of the area up through Bethlehem. But the UN and its members use literal doubletalk to avoid these contradictions.

There is only a single thread of consistency within these two definitions. One is designed to wrest control of the western side of the city from Jews, and the other designed to wrest control of the eastern part of the city from Jews.

After all, otherwise why would an embassy on the west side of the Green Line be cause for an extraordinary debate to begin with?

And once you understand that, everything else makes sense. Legal definitions and UN resolutions are simply fig leaves for the UN's and its member states' antisemitism.

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.
  • Sunday, December 10, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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.
  • Sunday, December 10, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
There was an anti-Trump rally in Kuwait on Saturday organized by the Palestinian embassy there.

The speeches all had a similar theme.

The "Ambassador of the State of Palestine," Rami Tahboub, said that Jerusalem will remain an "Arab Christian Islamic" city and the capital of the eternal state of Palestine, and it is a red line.

The Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Saqr Abu Shattal  expressed Jordanian-Palestinian unity and their common interest  in protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.

The Secretary General of the Kuwaiti Democratic Forum, Bandar Al-Khairan, stressed the support of the Kuwaiti people to Palestine, and that Jerusalem is an Islamic Christian Arab city.

Spokeswoman Lulwa Mulla condemned the American decision, considered it null and void, and stressed that Jerusalem will remain a Muslim Arab Christian city.

When speaking in English, the Arab critics of Trump's move are careful to talk about the importance of Jerusalem to all three major monotheistic religions, and how Muslims and Jews lived in harmony in Palestine for centuries before Zionism, and other soothing liberal-sounding phrases.

But listen to them in Arabic and the idea that Jews have any connection or right to live in Jerusalem is simply not acceptable. It is an Islamic and Christian, and always Arab, city. 

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

From Ian:

David Collier: Islamic war cries heard, as antisemitism runs free on the streets of London
The anti-Trump bandwagon
Everyone is also up in arms because the POTUS, Trump, was the one who made the declaration. Which creates a problem for the media outlets who see Trump as the devil incarnate. These people, who are convinced that everything Trump does is wrong, and about to cause World War 3, cannot support Trump even when he is right or tells the truth. An anti-Trump reflex came into play. Israel didn’t just suffer from those people who always hate Israel, it suffered because the only thing more hated by many European media outlets than Israel, is Donald Trump.

In effect, it left little motive in the media to try to act responsibly, or diffuse any anger, because a ‘spontaneous’ violent outburst would help ‘prove’ that Trump is a danger to world peace. Rather than run articles explaining that in effect, Trump had only pointed out that because everyone already acts as if Jerusalem is the capital, and because Israel has the right to name its own capital, surely it is better to recognise the reality, they chose to focus on and amplify the angry voices. Even some staunch Zionist outlets, failed to support the move, because it originated with Donald Trump.

The London demonstration
Across the world, over the last two days we have witnessed the usual mob gathering in cities to attack the ‘blatant provocation’. Absurdly pushing the idea that pointing out reality can somehow damage a peace process, that the Palestinians have been blowing up for decades. Last night, 8th December, there was one in London. It was called by groups like the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Stop the War Coalition, and friends of Al Aqsa. It was also supported by organisations such as War on Want, Socialist Worker, and Jewish Voice for Labour.
Religious incitement and hate

The event itself was full of religious incitement and anti-Jewish hatred. The crowds were chanting anti-Jewish (not anti-Zionist) statements in Arabic. Calling for a war to free Al Aqsa, and reciting the phrase ”Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud’ ( Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, The Army of Muhammad Will Return ) – in reference to the attack by Muslim soldiers on native Jews in Khaybar in 628ad. There were also cries of death to America and Israel. You can see a short clip of the footage here:

Melanie Phillips: The British and European perfidy
Twenty-four hours after President Trump’s watershed speech recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, there has been predictable Palestinian violence and equally predictable, almost unanimous condemnation from Western European leaders and the western left.

What needs to be understood is that the former is symbiotically connected to the latter. As I said in my blog post yesterday, the Palestinians use violence in order to get a reaction that advances their agenda.

Until now, the west has duly obliged. For a variety of reasons including fear, ideology and bigotry the west has bought into the lie that the “Palestinians” have a historic and religious right to the land. It therefore sees them (to a greater or lesser extent, depending on whether it thinks of itself as a “friend” to Israel) as a legitimate resistance movement being crushed by the Israelis. The more violence the Palestinians commit against Israel, the more they entrap it into responding with greater force. Then they can rely on the west putting pressure on Israel to make suicidal concessions to them.

This western response is crucial to their strategy. They know they alone can’t defeat Israel. So they need to get the west to do their dirty work for them: forcing Israel into concessions which will enable them to mount their final attempt to exterminate it from the IDF-vacated “West Bank” just down the road.

To get the west to do so, it’s vital that it believes and endorses the Palestinians’ mendacious claims about their own history and religion. Which the west has duly done for decades.
Jonah Goldberg: Trump Puts Fact Ahead of Fiction in Israel
The only reason recognizing Jerusalem as the Jewish State’s capital is controversial is that the world has been pretending it’s not for decades.

The most exhausting thing about the Middle East — except for the bloodshed, poverty, tyranny, etc. — is that it refuses to conform to how it’s described in the West.

It’s like journalists, diplomats, and politicians want to announce a football game, but the players keep insisting on playing rugby. The field looks similar. The scoring isn’t all that different. It’s just a different game. But don’t tell the gang in the booth. They get furious when you point out that the facts don’t line up with the commentary.

Consider President Trump’s momentous (though for now mostly symbolic) announcement that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Before you can debate whether this was a good move, you must acknowledge one glaring fact that the chatterers want to ignore or downplay: It’s true. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, convenes there. Israelis call it their capital for the same reason they claim two plus two equals four. It’s just true.

What makes the decision controversial is that everyone had agreed to pretend it wasn’t the capital in order to protect “the peace process.”

That’s another term that doesn’t quite correspond with reality. There is no peace process. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president finishing the twelfth year of his four-year term, has refused to meet with the Israelis to discuss anything since early in the Obama administration.

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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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