The heavy rains in Israel were exacerbated this week by a decision by the Hamas government in Gaza to open the dams on the borders of the Gaza Strip. By opening these dams, Israeli towns and roads were submerged in water disrupting traffic and putting many Israeli lives at risk.
“I don’t understand why this happened to us. The last time, the municipality told us that [there was flooding] because there was more rain than normal, and therefore the drainage system couldn’t handle it. But what happened this time? There was a normal amount of rain, and here we are, again with flooding, even worse than the last time.”
Clearly this shop owner was unaware of the nefarious actions taken by Hamas and its intentions to flood Israel. While Hamas has denied these actions, citing the fact that there is similar flooding in Gaza and that no dams exist for it to open even if it wanted to, Israel stuck to its assertion of Hamas culpability.
The Israeli government also reported that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has opened barrages leading to flooding in central and southern Israel. These claims were also denied.
The above is obviously nonsense. Israel is flooding today due to heavy rains and not because of any dams Hamas opened. Hearing the story reported this way sounds completely ridiculous and immediately outs anyone parroting it a propagandist not a journalist.
However, year after year, this same narrative is churned out by the Palestinian media and picked up by news affiliates all over the world.
These news sources, hungry for a story that easily paints Israel as evil and Palestinians as victims jump on this without bothering to do the most basic research that would tell them:
“I don’t see a possibility at the moment of implementing the two-state solution. I want to yearn for it, I want to move toward it, I want negotiations, I sign on to it and I am obligated to it, but I don’t see the possibility of doing it right now.”
We would like to welcome Mr. Herzog to the reality that the rest of us have accepted for some time now. However, our realities are not quite the same just yet. That is because while Netanyahu and the Right have recognized this fact for years, unlike Herzog, when Bibi says this out loud, he is roundly condemned for being “anti-peace.”
“I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the state of Israel.”
While Herzog left the door open to more idealism and hope, waxing poetic about “yearning,” “moving” and “negotiating,” the message is exactly the same: under current conditions, it is impossible to create a Palestinian state and neither will allow it to happen.
So, why is one condemned while the other supported? Because the world today is wedded to the idea that Left = good and Right = bad in the same way that Palestinians = good/victim and Israel = evil/oppressor. This narrative must be guarded at all costs.
The media has been making a lot of noise recently about Mahmoud Abbas’s “condemnation” of the brutal murder of Dafna Meir in front of her daughter. Speaking on Palestinian TV broadcast from the Church of the Nativity, the Palestinian dictator said, “We are concerned over every drop of blood from any person.”
How wonderfully heartfelt and specific. You can really feel his concern for Dafna’s husband, four children and two foster children who are now mourning their mother and wife who was stabbed to death in her own home.
It is very difficult to coax any Palestinian leader to condemn violence against Jews. But in this case, Abbas has not actually condemned anything. But this is worse than the standard “we condemn all violence” line from the Palestinian leadership. That is because if we look at Abbas’s previous statements, this is actually a dressed up version of his previous calls to violence!
“We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”
Yes, Abbas is concerned about “every drop of blood,” but he is concerned that not enough is being spilled!
He even makes this clear in the rest of his speech that is ignored or downplayed by the media. Abbas continues, saying, “the resistance will continue through peaceful means, and we will not call for anything else… We will stand firm on our land, and we will stay the course.”
Abbas is not condemning the attack in Otniel, he is reiterating his call for bloodshed, while at the same time claiming that Palestinian stabbing attacks on Jews are peaceful!
This is of course nothing new for the Palestinian leadership, but at least the PA is usually the one who says one thing in English and the exact opposite in Arabic. In this case, the media is doing Abbas’s job for him and ascribing false meaning to his words in their vain attempt to paint this extremist terrorist as a moderate peace partner.
###Share this poster to let the world know you’re not fooled by Abbas’s and the media’s deception:
Today, the one year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cache attacks, a Jihadist armed with a butcher’s knife and fake suicide vest (according to initial reports), was shot dead while shouting “Allahu Akabar” and attempting to kill French police officers in Paris. After he was neutralized, the police found two pieces of paper on him, one with an image of the ISIS flag and another with a handwritten note in Arabic claiming responsibility for the attack.
This is a scene all too familiar to Israelis, however the international reaction to it, sadly, is not.
There have been no calls on the French government to exercise “restraint” in its reactions to this terror attack. Nor have there been calls for France to negotiate with ISIS or establish a radical Islamist state on French soil. There also have been no foreign government officials condemning the Paris police for excessive force or carrying out an extrajudicial killing.
The same is true of the reactions to the Islamist hatchet attack in Queens, NY in 2014, the car ramming attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec in the same year or of the car ramming and stabbing death of British Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013 or any of the other numerous “low-level” terror attacks around the world recently.
So what is different between these attacks and those carried out daily in Israel today?
The attackers in all cases have been radical Islamists. They all used low-tech weapons to carry out or attempt to carry out murders. Some have openly pledged allegiance to terrorist groups and others appear only to have been inspired by them.
There are only three real differences:
The location: Israel
The target: Jews
The frequency: Daily
There are numerous excuses for the double standards:
“But Israel is bombing the Palestinians!” Is France not bombing ISIS?
“But they’re attacking soldiers!” Lee Rigby was a soldier and the victims in France today were police officers (not to mention that the vast majority of Israeli victims are civilians, not soldiers).
“But Palestinians don’t have a state of their own!” So we should give ISIS the Caliphate it wants? Would that stop the terror?
These are excuses that lack any moral clarity or understanding of the threat of radical Jihad.
The fact of the matter is that if you see two attacks, both carried out by radical Islamists, both attempts to stab someone to death but only consider it terrorism when the intended victim is not Jewish, well there’s a word for that kind of hypocrisy.
AJ+, Al Jazeera’s hip younger sister digital network, recently released a short video exploring the Balata “refugee” camp in Samaria. It was clearly set up to make the viewer incredibly sympathetic to the residents there but it actually showed just how ridiculous the Palestinian refugees’ claims to that status is.
"God willing, we will return."
Meet Ahmad, an 18-year-old Palestinian living in the largest West Bank refugee camp:
Dena Takruri, who has made a career out of demonizing Israel and mythologizing Palestinian victimhood, reprises her role in her interview with Balata “refugee” Ahmad Khader. He appears to be in his early twenties and is well dressed in a button down over a sweater and jeans (which is also my go to outfit) and he is by no means starving.
Perhaps unwittingly, Ms. Takruri begins by highlighting the most contradictory aspect of all Palestinian “refugee” camps: their permanence.
“The crazy thing is you would think that a refugee camp would be a temporary type of thing, but as you’re seeing, these generations are growing up here born and raised. So his family was exiled, they became refugees from Jaffa in 1948. They came here in 1950 and they’ve been here ever since. So it’s become a permanent thing.”
(Another permanent refugee wearing Armani)
This camp, which is essentially a permanent town in the heart of Palestinian controlled territory, has been running for roughly 65 years. Mr. Khader and his father (it seems) were both born there and yet they are still called refugees. His grandfather moved 53 kilometers from Jaffa to this area just outside of Nablus. This is roughly the same distance between Washington DC and Baltimore, not exactly a long journey. By any definition other than the one cynically used by UNRWA, Mr. Khader and his family are not refugees. They were not forced from their homes, they have citizenship in the Palestinian Authority and even his grandfather, who remained within the boundaries of Mandatory Palestine, would not be considered a refugee. But here is his grandson giving a tour of his pre-packaged misery for gullible Westerners to consume online.
Ms. Takruri simply says the Khaders were “exiled from Jaffa,” but this is not the case at all. Mr. Khader later in the interview says, “They [his grandparents] told me that they were hoping to come back. They just turned off the stove and left.” Not that they were forced out of their home or that soldiers loaded them on a truck and drove them out of the city. They took some belongings and left.
What’s more, Jaffa is probably the worst example an anti-Israel activist could cite as an example of “Israeli brutality.” There are several important aspects of the battle for Jaffa that must be taken into consideration.
First, Jaffa was slated to remain as part of the Arab State under the UN Partition Plan. This means that had the Arabs accepted peace from the beginning, Mr. Khader’s grandfather would never have left his home, there would never have been any refugees - from Jaffa or elsewhere - and this video never would have been made.
Second, much of the disaster was precipitated by the Arab leadership and foreign militias. Whether by spreading rumors about false atrocities committed by the Zionists or by the foreign fighters, mainly Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood men, acting more like conquerors than saviors with Nimr al Khatib writing, “The inhabitants were more afraid of their defenders-saviours than of the Jews their enemies,” In fact, the leader of the Arab irregular forces, Abdul Wahab ‘Ali Shihaini, famously stated, “I do not mind [the] destruction [of] Jaffa if we secure [the] destruction [of] Tel Aviv.” It’s hard to find a better example of the Arab objective in 1948 than that. (p.114, Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited)
Third, many “Jaffans” were nothing of the kind. There were many fellahin who had recently moved to the city for work and simply returned to their original homes as Morris recounts, saying, “Country folk who earlier had migrated to the town were now moving back to their villages. By the end of December [four months before Jaffa’s conquest], [Haganah Intelligence] reported that some ‘60 per cent’ of Jaffa’s Christians had left.” (p. 110) These made up part of the 15-25,000 “Jaffans” who abandoned the city by the end of 1947. (p. 111)
Fourth, this was not a one-sided conflict; over 7,000 Jews fled from Jaffa by mid-January 1948. (p. 110) Clearly this was not one side expelling the other but civilians on both sides leaving a war zone.
Now that the history is settled, we can get back to the present where Mr. Khader, completely unprompted, drops this bombshell:
“We can live outside the refugee camp.”
What’s that? He openly admits he doesn’t have to live there, that he actively chooses to live in the camp? That’s a bit of information you usually need to pry out with unrelenting patience and probing questions. So why is he so open about this?
“But if we give up the camp that means we give up our principles, the right of return. We always hope not to leave the camp and live somewhere else. We hope to go back to Jaffa, to our land, where my grandfather was born.”
That’s right, because if he were to live somewhere else in the PA, that would mean admitting he will never actually move to Jaffa. This of course is obvious to anyone with eyes but making peace with reality has never been easy for the Palestinians. However, even this explanation does not really hold any water. There are millions of Palestinians around the world who are citizens of other countries, who don’t live in refugee camps and yet they also loudly insist on their “right of return,” so why couldn’t Mr. Khader move to, say, Rawabi, get a job, build himself a nice house, start a family and then should the conditions present themselves insist on moving to Jaffa?
Mr. Khader could certainly do all this, but were he to leave the camp, he would also have to leave behind all the benefits he gets from UNRWA - housing, health care, education… - all provided free of charge. So he remains a “refugee” in the town he and his father were born in, in a territory of which he is a full citizen and yet Ms. Takruri dutifully accepts his romantic explanation without the slightest hint of journalistic inquisitiveness.
What he says next is actually incredibly important, which is why the AJ+ interviewer completely ignores it:
“Because our sense of belonging at the end of the day is to our original cities. To Jaffa, and Haifa and Acre and our land from 1948.”
Back in the 1940s, Palestinian nationalism was almost entirely confined to a few urban elites while the mass of the Arab population had many different, often competing identities. While pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism were gaining many followers, they were often added on top of a more localized identity focused around an individual’s specific town or city, clan, tribe and family. It appears that this localized identity has been passed down to generations who have never even lived in those towns. So, for all the pageantry and pomp and circumstance of Abbas’s flag ceremonies and statehood recognition, many of these “refugees” don’t seem to care about Palestine as a whole at all. While they fly the Palestinian colors and sing Palestinian songs, this nationalism is shallow and fragmented.
Mr. Khader seems to realize his mistake in revealing this when he says,
“The Palestinian people are all one, sure, but why would I leave Balata camp and go live somewhere else when if I go settle somewhere else, I’ll be from there. I’ll give up my right of return. We don’t want to give that up… that’s our dream. That’s what we were raised on. There’s no alternative to the right of return. I’m from Jaffa, which means I have to go back to Jaffa. If I don’t go back, maybe my son will. Maybe my grandchild. But someone from our lineage will return. That’s the idea.”
For Mr. Khader, gaining a Palestinian state where he can build a life for himself and his family is of no importance. The only thing that matters to him, because he was “raised on” it, is “returning” to Jaffa.
Takruri then asks about Mr. Khader’s grandfather and he says, “I’m sure you never expected that one day someone would take you out of our home put you in a refugee camp and say, “Now live.””
Of course no one expects this to happen and that would certainly be a horrible thing. However, none of this happened to the elder Khader at all! Ahmad admits that his grandfather was not kicked out of his home but rather left on his own. He also freely admits that he is not forced to live in the refugee camp and can leave any time he wants but chooses to stay of his own volition. The only part of this bogus story that Khader doesn’t tell is that it wasn’t Israel that built Balata but rather Jordan! While all the Arabs who stayed in Israel were given citizenship and never put in any camps, Jordan forced these “refugees” into camps despite offering them citizenship!
(The Khader family home covered in “martyr” posters)
This farce of a video ends with Khader saying, “We’re certain that we’ll return and God willing, we will return.”
How sweet. How hopeful. How ridiculous.
Just as the militia leaders of 1948 were happy to see Jaffa burn if it meant also destroying Tel Aviv, and Abbas is happy to see thousands of Palestinians die in Syria if it means others will still remain to destroy the Jewish State, people like Ahmad Khader are perfectly happy to see their families suffer for generations as long as it means eventually being able to destroy Israel.
The Judean People’s Front is proud to report that the latest BDS attempt to silence pro-Israel voices on college campuses has failed miserably!
On November 19 - the same day that Palestinian terror attacks killed 2 Israelis, 1 Palestinian and an American Jew - Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), an anti-Israel group at the University of Michigan, erected a mock checkpoint on campus. While walking to class sophomore and Central Student Government representative, Jesse Arm, challeneged the protesters.
The protest included students dressed as Israeli soldiers and two large walls with a dove in a sniper’s cross-hairs, a poorly drawn version of the map that lies and “TO EXIST IS TO RESIST” written in large red letters. Mr. Arm confronted the protesters about their provocative message questioning both the taste and timing of the event.
After watching the video, Mr. Arm was unanimously vindicated as it showed he did not engage in any form of intimidation, hate speech or aggression and despite the fact that it happened on the same day as a fellow American Jewish student was murdered by Palestinian jihadists, Mr. Arm conducted himself respectfully though forcefully.
The response from the Ethics Committee was unanimous, unambiguous and precedent-setting given that this was the first time an ethics probe had ever been initiated at the University.
###Below are the highlights from the investigative report (all emphasis added):
After reviewing video evidence and hearing testimonies from involved parties, the Central Student Government Ethics Committee has unanimously decided to recommend that the Assembly take no action against Representative Jesse Arm for his involvement in the incident on the Diag. Representative Arm did not engage in unethical behavior or engage in conduct unbecoming of a representative. Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Student Body of the Ann Arbor Campus of the University of Michigan states that “no authority, academic or civil, shall infringe on a student’s freedom of speech, freedom to peacefully assemble, or freedom to demonstrate grievances.” Just as the SAFE had the right to peacefully assemble in the Diag, Representative Jesse Arm had the right to voice his opinion.
Members of our community and Representatives of the Assembly may question whether a minor warning, formal warning, or formal reprimand may have been appropriate in this situation. The Constitution of the Student Body states that the Constitution has supremacy over any provision of another student code, including Central Student Government’s Operating Procedure. Article VIII, Section 3 of the Constitution states that “students shall be free from all rules and regulations not uniform in nature or not fully and clearly formulated.” Without clear definitions or standards, the Committee believes that we cannot issue a warning.
The Ethics Committee took up this investigation and went through this process with no precedent. We were informed that this is the first Ethics Committee investigation ever.
Representatives should be held to a higher standard than the average student. However, while Representatives of the Assembly do represent all of their constituents, we do not shed our own personal opinions and beliefs when we decide to run for office. Representative Arm has the right to engage in discourse. Representative Arm avoided physical violence, and members of SAFE testified that they did not believe Representative Arm incurred any emotional violence or any hateful speech on those present. His language could be interpreted as hurtful just as SAFE’s demonstration could be interpreted as hurtful. We as an Assembly cannot let hurtful words stop us from having important dialogue and from making difficult decisions. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan II wrote in his opinion for the 1971 Cohen v. California case, “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.”
Representative Arm undoubtedly spoke with heavy emotion when he discussed the demonstration with representatives of SAFE in the Diag. He spoke passionately, but he remained well inside his First Amendment rights. His choice to speak his opinion and demonstrate grievances is not unbecoming of a representative. Representative Arm asked for all students present to take a moment of silence. Representative Arm never identified himself as a representative of Central Student Government. He never attempted speak on behalf of Central Student Government or even mentioned the governing body. He asked SAFE to continue the dialogue at a later point and offered to share his contact information. He did not curse, nor did he use hateful language. He should not be penalized because he is passionate and cares deeply about this issue. The Ethics Committee encourages students and representatives to continue to passionately and respectfully advocate on behalf of the causes they believe in.
At a time when BDS bullies seem to feel more emboldened to disrupt academic events they disagree with and Jewish and pro-Israel students feel intimidated, this is an incredibly important event. Anti-Israel haters who sought to stifle free speech and expel a pro-Israel student from the student government were resoundingly shut down in the name of academic freedom.
While it is still troubling that the one and only Ethics Probe ever at the University of Michigan was against a Jewish student standing up for Jewish rights, it is heartening to see that not every campus has allowed the radical anti-free speech, anti-Zionist agenda take over.
At the recent conference on climate change in Paris, Prime Minister Netanyahu invited Prince Charles to visit Israel. However, according to a British government source, it will never happen, saying, “Until there is a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Royal family can’t really go there… In Israel so much politics is caught up in the land itself that it’s best to avoid those complications altogether by not going there.”
Apparently the sight of a member of the royal family setting foot in Israel would be just too “complicated.” However, Prince Charles and the Queen are very well traveled and don’t seem to have issues overcoming “complications” when it comes to pretty much any other country, so the Judean People’s Front has put together a list of just a few of the countries the British Royals have been able to visit without any difficulty.
Bahrain (1986, 1989, 1997, 2007. sorry Shiite majority living under Sunni rule…)
Cyprus (1986, shhh, no one tell the North)
Egypt (1981, 1995, 2006)
Falkland Islands (1999, lo siento la Argentina)
India (8 times between 1975-2013, sorry Kashmir)
Ivory Coast (1977)
Jordan (1993, 1999, 2004, 2013)
Kuwait (1989, 1993, 1997, 2006, 2007, 2011. FYI, Kuwaiti women gained suffrage in 2005…)
Morocco (1995, 1996, 1999, 2010)
Nigeria (1990, 1999, 2006)
Oman (1985, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2013)
Qatar (1986, 1997, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)
Russia (1994, 2003)
Saudi Arabia (1986, 1990, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2013, 2014. Why visit a human rights disaster of a country only once when twelve times will do?)
Sri Lanka (1998, 2005, 2013)
Swaziland (1987, 1997)
Turkey (1989, 1993, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2007)
UAE (1989, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2007)
Venezuela (1978, 1989, 1992)
The Prince did come to Israel in 1995 to represent the Queen at Rabin’s funeral (which was also the only time Hosni Mubarak visited as well). I guess the only time it’s ok to come to Israel is when Jews fulfill their true role in the eyes of the West: pitiable corpses. It seems Prince Charles simply does not have time to visit the world’s only Jewish State and the only democracy in the Middle East given his busy schedule meeting with dictators and human rights abusers.
Charles also got into some trouble a few years ago when his staff was invited to visit the Knesset. His aids got into hot water after accidentally CC’ing the Israeli ambassador on internal emails making plain they would never come to Israel because Israel would only want to use the opportunity to bring in His Royal Highness to “burnish its international image,” something the Prince only likes to do for paragons of human rights like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.
Today was a good day for Israeli justice as the police finally announced the arrest of several Jewish terrorists who officials say carried out the attack on the Dawabshe family in Duma back in July that killed four month old Ali and his two parents.
However, not everyone in Israel welcomed this news. No, it wasn’t the “right-wing extremist settlers” of the Yesha Council who condemned “the heinous crime,” saying, “The acts committed were immoral and harmed the values of the state of Israel and the settlements.”
Rather the anger came from the Left who are convinced that, despite not having any information yet due to the continuing gag order, clearly Israel is racist since it foften arrests Arab terrorists quickly but it took longer to arrest these Jewish terrorists. Apparently, according to the Left, arresting someone in the middle of a stabbing attack is just as easy as arresting a secret group of people who attacked a house in the middle of the night leaving almost no clues as to who they were or where they came from. They are also forgetting that the police arrested the Jewish terrorists behind the murder of Muhammad Abu Khedir within a matter of days. No matter, according to them Israel is racist against Arabs so they have to force the facts to fit their preconceived worldview.
Did Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-on, who said it was”very bad that it took so long” to make the arrests had access to evidence the Israel Police and Shin Bet did not? If so she should be investigated and if not she should not get in the way of police investigations.
Zouheir Bahloul, the Zionist Union’s token Arab MK from their “minority slot,” apparently thinks that if police can’t make the arrests on the same day, then they shouldn’t even bother since he said the arrests were “too little, too late.” I think we can all be grateful that Bahloul is not in charge of anyone’s security.
But perhaps the most “interesting” response to the arrests came from Join Arab List, Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen.
Rather than thanking the police for their persistent investigation that has finally born fruit, he decided to exploit the deaths of Baby Ali and his parents to make a political message about the “Occupation.” But his description of the “Occupation” is very telling:
the main [thing] responsible for the murder is the occupation that has persisted for nearly 10 decades, under whose auspices crimes like this are committed.
Nearly 10 decades? Israel retook Judea and Samaria nearly 5 decades ago. Israel was reestablished nearly 7 decades ago. But 10 decades ago there was no Israel and no settlements. 10 decades ago there were only Jews living under Ottoman occupation. However, according to Jabareen’s Joint List, the mere presence of Jews is “illegal occupation” and must end. This is all the more shocking given that he is a member of Hadash, the joint Jewish-Arab communist party. If even high ranking Arab members of the party that prides itself on being “the Champion of Jewish-Arab coexistence” conflate even a minor Jewish presence in a Muslim state to be “occupation” then we need to stop being surprised when our peace offers are rejected and our very existence as a Jewish State is denied by others even more extreme.
Moreover, if Israeli Arabs do not agree with the extremism of Jabareen and the rest of the Joint List, it is about time they formed a party that better represents them.
The movement split two decades ago. The more moderate southern branch began fielding candidates for Israel’s Knesset in 1996 and is now part of the Joint List, an alliance of several Arab-Israeli political parties. Three of the Joint List’s 13 current Knesset members are part of the movement. The more hardline northern branch rejects any legitimization of Israel’s government and has called on its adherents to boycott elections.
That’s right, the Islamic Movement in Israel split between the “hardliners” in the north who hold the radical Islamist beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood while boycotting Israeli elections and the “moderates” in the south who hold the radical Islamist beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood while participating in Israeli elections.
Did you spot the difference? It is the same difference frequently cited by the media for why ISIS is radical and Hamas is moderate, namely that while they both hold fundamentalist Islamist views that are inherently anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic and expansionist, Hamas has changed its tactics and agreed to participate in elections it knows it can win.
It’s hard to find any difference between the substance of the remarks made by the southern faction [of the Islamic Movement] when compared with those made by the northern faction. (p. 72)
In retrospect, there are not two factions but only one Islamic Movement, and that is the movement of Sheikh Salah. (p. 70)
A careful examination of the newspapers al-Mithaq of the southern faction and Sawt al-Haq wa-al-Horiya of the northern faction shows that there is no ideological difference between the two Israeli factions of the Muslim Brotherhood [emphasis JPF]. However, Ra’ed Salah… expressed his anti-Israel stance more strongly. It is no surprise that all Ra’ed Salah’s speeches appear on the different Hamas websites. (p. 73)
Even the Southern Branch’s “moderate” decision to participate in elections does not stem from a difference in ideology but is merely a tactical decision.
There is mutual reciprocity between all of the Muslim Brotherhood factions as all of them are a part of the Islamic Movement and take sustenance from the same sources. Thus, for example, both factions of the Islamic Movement in Israel donate funds to the families of Hamas martyrs under the category of charity to orphans and widows. If one judges their declarations, no one disagrees that all the factions are dedicated to the same goal of jihad against Israel and the destruction of the Jewish entity that exists in Palestine.
Jihad can take many different forms - economic, social, legal, through propaganda and also military. All of these means are acceptable in the eyes of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to carry out their goal to establish an Islamic Palestine at the expense of all the territory of the State of Israel. (p. 74-75)
One of the two founders of Hemmah [The Jersualem Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction and Expulsion Plan], Abd al-Basit Abu al-Mufalfel… in his words, there is no difference between the Muslim Brotherhood, as the mother organization, and Hamas and the Islamic Movement, except from the point of view of the distribution of tasks. (p. 71-72)
Now that we have established that careful study of the ideology of both factions of the Islamic Movement shows no difference between the two (or Hamas for that matter), let’s examine the words and actions of the Southern Branch’s leading members.
###Hamed Abu Daa’bas - Leader of the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel
Despite the “split” in the Islamic movement, Hamed Abu Daa’bas joined Raed Salah on the “Freedom Floatilla” back in 2010 (along with his political partner, the “honorable” Hanin Zoabi).
Daa’bas has also been in talks with Salah to officially reunite the two branches since 2011 and said he’d be willing to leave the Knesset to accomplish this goal. Perhaps this will be fulfilled by simply having Salah join the Southern Branch. Time will tell.
“ISIS raises reasonable demands like the establishment of an Islamic state, but their methods for reaching their objective raise concern in many nations across the world… [however] ISIS was hurting their cause by filming their cruel and disgusting acts. I am against the murders, but it is important to note that the killing methods of Israel and the US are not better than the crimes of the Islamic State. If it were not for the shocking ways in which they kill, it would be possible to see ISIS like any other Jihadi organization.”
You read that correctly, according to the leader of the “moderate” branch of the Islamic Movement, it isn’t ISIS’s cruel and disgusting acts themselves that are wrong, but rather the fact that they film them! However, given that Daa’bas and the rest of the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel recognize the importance of tactics and differentiation of their roles in Jihad, this should not be surprising. He does not object to what ISIS does or to its “reasonable” goal of establishing a caliphate, he just wishes they would follow his lead and not always be so open about the violent way they want to accomplish it.
###Ibrahim Sarsur - Former head of the Southern Branch, former MK and Chairman of the United Arab List
“there is strength and strategic insight and presence locally and regionally for Hizbullah… They are thinking how to return this fear to Israel and how to destroy Israel’s deterrence, which is the pillar of Israel’s continuation. And if this happens, this means that the line will begin to point extremely downwards for Israel’s deterrence.”
In Arabic he characterizes Israel as a tool of Western Imperialism to destroy the unity of the Ummah:
“[The West] planted this foreign object [Israel] which does not fit in an eastern Islamic environment, planted it in its heart as to remain as a thorn in their side and a thorn in their throat in order to prevent their [Muslim] unity so as to stop this Islamic giant to take its [historic] position.”
But don’t worry, in Hebrew and English he knows the “right” things to say, that is, the exact opposite of what he believes and says in Arabic:
“They [Israeli Jews] should be thinking about me not as a fifth column, but as an integral part of the country who might contribute a lot for the building of this state and might contribute a certain bridge between Israeli Jews and the Arab and Muslim world.”
He has also made numerous disparaging comments about Gays and Lesbians while simultaneously asserting there are none in the Muslim community.
###Masud Ghnaim - Chairman of the United Arab List, Number 2 in the Joint Arab List
“an Islamic caliphate should be established and it should include Israel… I believe there is an urgent need to return to the Islamic caliphate. I believe this is the most fitting solution to the state of weakness, deterioration and erosion the Arabs and Muslims are suffering from,”
He also has nothing but praise for Hezbollah, Iran and Syria in their fight against Israel:
“I am against any aggression and any alliance that does not serve the Arab interest. I support the righteous party. The Iran-Hezbollah-Syria axis represents the line of resistance and intractability, and naturally, I support this axis. Hezbollah is the security valve of the residents of Lebanon. Hassan Nasrallah has properly combined the political and religious plan.”
###Talab Abu Arar - Number 9 in the Joint Arab List
“Crazy criminals, you’re all Kahanists, fascists, racists, get out of here, you hurt Muslims. This is my home. You need to get out of my house. You put crazies in here. You have no god.”
Back in July, he visited the Temple Mount with Ghnaim and Abu Arar to protest what the “warlike” atmosphere caused by “extremist warmongering settlers who are trying to change the status quo in every way.”
Given the Islamic Movement’s open rejection of the Jewish and democratic characters of the State of Israel and its leaders support for terrorist groups and enemy states against the country in whose parliament they serve, it is beyond surprising that the Southern Branch is legal at all. The State would not need to prove its connections to Hamas (which are just as strong as that of the Northern Branch), just that it is in violation of Basic Law: The Knesset Section 7A “Prevention of participation of candidates list.” This actually happened back in 2006, but the Supreme Court overturned the decision.
Can you imagine what would happen if a Jewish political party openly spoke about replacing Israel with a rabbinic state, advocated expelling Arabs and supported banned Jewish terrorist organizations? Is there any chance such a party would be called moderate and allowed to run? You don’t have to imagine because the Kach and Kahane Chai parties did just that and were subsequently banned from running for Knesset and outlawed as terrorist organizations themselves.
Israel did the right thing by banning these extremist Jewish parties and it is about time it did the same by applying the law equally to their Arab extremist cousins in the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement.
We just wanted to announce that the Judean People’s Front has been invited to join the great team over at IsraellyCool. The JPF will continue to post here but we encourage you to head over to IsraellyCool as well to check out our posts and the many other great pro-Israel articles there.
With the rise of the BDS Movement on college campuses, pro-Israel students are confronted with a major problem: how does one counteract a movement that uses tactics that we ourselves will not use for moral reasons? While BDS has proven itself perfectly comfortable lying, disrupting academic lectures and intimidating anyone who disagrees with them into silence, supporters of Israel are, unsurprisingly, unwilling to use these same anti-academic bully tactics.
So before we discuss what we will do, let us be clear about what we refuse to do:
We will not lie to win allies.
We will not disrupt academics or events we disagree with.
We will not become bullies, forcing others into silence, even if they disagree with us.
However, there is one BDS tactic that we can and must adopt if we are to properly stem the anti-Israel tide on campuses: we must make full use of student governments by writing and passing resolutions of our own.
The disruptive tactics of BDS thugs, like the ones recently put on display at UT Austin, must be recognized as the anti-academic bullying that they are and those who employ them must know there will be serious consequences for using them. If students knew that they would be fined, suspended and/or expelled for preventing other students from learning, far fewer of them would do so and eventually the real troublemakers who refuse to change would no longer be on campus.
Before this is misinterpreted, let us clarify: We do not seek to ban pro-Palestinian events on campuses. Pro-Palestinian students, as much as we disagree with them, have just as much a right to express their opinions as we do and they should not be prevented from doing so. What they do not have a right to do is prevent others from speaking, disrupt university sanctioned events or bully others into silence. That is not them expressing their freedom of speech but rather preventing others from expressing theirs.
In these “Academic Freedom Initiatives,” the right to protest peacefully alongside an event must be enshrined. However, it will make clear that protests at events or lectures that impede the free exchange of ideas will result in severe disciplinary action.
It should also be made clear that Academic Freedom Initiatives, as their name suggests, are not just pro-Israel resolutions but rather pro-academic freedom. When university events are prevented from taking place, we all lose. When professors are unable to teach their students because BDS bullies are shouting and chanting, we all lose. When academics self-censor their lectures and work to avoid becoming targets of BDS thugs, we all lose.
Today these radicals are targeting Jewish and pro-Israel events, but the same tactics are starting to be used against others. The rise of the “safe space” movement has led to the intimidation of professors and administrators who have not pledged sufficient fealty to the cause of political correctness, leading to a number of high profile resignations. We have natural allies to work with on this as it is becoming clear yet again that it starts with the Jews but never ends with the Jews.
BDS has made these disruptions the new reality on far too many campuses and it is time those of us who care about Israel and Academic Freedom fought back.
The second article in the BDS Handbook is “The Moral Imperative and Strategic Potential of Divestment” by Fayyad Sbaihat (p.9-10). The key part of the title is “Strategic Potential.”
In what is likely the biggest “win” for BDS, the EU has decided to begin to label products from Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, indicating they are from “occupied territory.” This is being done in order to make it easier for such products to be identified and boycotted by consumers.
Before we tear this apart, let’s examine where this idea started by looking at Mr. Sbaihat’s instructions to BDS activists who follow his lead:
Divestment, which itself is one form of boycott against Israel and its apartheid regime, had been introduced in North America as [a] stepping stone towards a broad, comprehensive boycott of Israel. As the Palestinian cause was severely mischaracterized in the US, and in the post 9-11 world of anti Arab and Muslim sentiment, a limited demand of boycott was the necessary approach to create a debate around the merits of boycott and Israel’s apartheid policies, and lay the foundation for the future comprehensive BDS call. (p. 9)
You read that correctly. The BDS movement admits to its activists that calls for a “targeted boycott of settlement products” is merely a strategic move that was necessary to “lay the foundation for the future comprehensive BDS call” against all of Israel! They don’t often say this to outsiders because this would mean they are actually advocating a boycott of the Jewish State and is not just against settlements.
####But this is exactly what the BDS movement is all about. It isn’t about settlements or occupied territory, it is about Israel itself.
If BDS-holes cared about occupied territory or major border disputes, they would be condemning and calling for boycotts of Morocco in Western Sahara, Turkey in Northern Cyprus, Russia in Ukraine, China in Tibet, Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh, India in Kashmir or many others. But that is not the case. BDS supporters have even been found to openly support settlements in occupied territories, as long as those settlers were not Jews and even the government of France and major French companies like Orange](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/06/11/exposed-orange-telecom-involved-in-war-crimes-in-occupied-territories-according-to-french-official/), which recently pulled out of Israel entirely “because of the occupation,” conducts business in other occupied territories without the slightest hint of recognizing the hypocrisy.
That is what this is: hypocrisy. And when blatant hypocrisy is employed against Jews, that is called anti-Semitism. Calling into question Israeli policy in Judea and Samaria is not in and of itself anti-Semitic. However, if someone claims they are against occupation or settlements but never says a single word about this when it is done by non-Jews, or, as is often the case, is supportive of such actions by non-Jews in other places, then their problem clearly isn’t occupation or settlement, but rather Jews and that is the textbook definition of anti-Semitism.
While we believe boycotts and labeling of Israeli products from Judea and Samaria is wrong and counterproductive, if it was simultaneously done to products from all or most other occupied territories then the reasoning behind it would be clear and it would not be anti-Semitic. But if International Law is only applied to the Jewish State and no other, then it is not International nor is it Law.
###Is this really Anti-Semitism?
Some skeptical readers will look at this reasoning and think, “ok, that makes sense, but just because they only focus on Israel could also mean they just have a special interest in Palestinians, not Jews.” However, while this might be a somewhat acceptable answer for a failure to discuss other instances of occupation and settlement, this would not explain how BDS-holes openly justify occupation and settlements in other areas. It would also not explain a complete lack on the part of BDS to speak up for Palestinian rights that are violated daily in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the rest of the Middle East.
What’s more, Sbaihat’s personal associations show that he is not merely anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian. He is a supporter of full blown anti-Semitism.
Let’s take a look.
Here is a nice smiling picture of Fayyad Sbaihat from LinkedIn:
And here is he with Ashahed Muhammad, Nation of Islam member and author of “The Synagogue of Satan,” (condemned by the ADL for rabid anti-Semitism) and Malik “Zulu” Shabazz, currently the National President of Black Lawyers for Justice and the former National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party who wrote the book’s forward.
Sbaihat can’t claim he didn’t know who these people were or that they wrote this anti-Semitic tome that rivals Mein Kampf in its Jew-hatred because he’s holding it in the picture! There’s even a demonic Jewish star right on the cover!
Let’s look at some of the things Sbaihat’s friend Shabazz has said:
While at a 1994 rally at Howard University, Shabazz revved up the crowd with this Jew-baiting call and response:
“Who is it that caught and killed Nat Turner?”
“Who is it that controls the Federal Reserve?”
“Who is it that controls the media and Hollywood?”
“Who is it that has our entertainers… and our athletes in a vise grip?”
Then, in 2002, while protesting B’nai B’rith International in Washington D.C., Shabazz yelled, “Kill every goddamn Zionist in Israel! Goddamn little babies, goddamn old ladies! Blow up Zionist supermarkets!” At least that time he was “smart enough” to say Zionist instead of Jew, but no one with an ounce of intellectual honesty can say he wasn’t talking about Jews. Since hatred of Jews never ends with Jews, no one should be surprised that Shabazz also has a violently racist attitude against white people and routinely engages in homophobia.
BDS Leader Fayyad Sbaihat, who literally wrote the book on BDS, not only admits that boycotts of settlements is just a strategy to warm people up to full blown boycotts of Israel, but he openly associates with unabashed Jew-haters like Shabazz and Muhammad.
##Share these images along with this post so the world can learn the truth behind BDS and it’s deceptive, anti-Semitic practices.
One of the biggest problems supporters of Israel are encountering today is not just ideological - Zionism vs. radical Islam - but rather linguistic. We know that while Israel haters have no compunction about lying, most normal people do. So when promoting their radical agenda the BDS-holes have a major problem:
####How can people committed to ethnically cleansing Israel of Jews through terrorism, people who support violently misogynistic and homophobic organizations, gain the support of good-hearted, progressive westerners?
Sure, getting the media to promote lies like “attacks on the Temple Mount” or framing a Palestinian stabber as a victim rather than terrorist help, but that can only go so far.
In order to win over the West, the Palestinians have simply decided to redefine the English language in a way that casts them in a positive light. That is why when talking to Palestinians and their supporters one cannot just consult an Concise Oxford English Dictionary, rather one must consult the Concise Palestinian Dictionary to understand their true goals.
Below, you’ll find many important words with their Western definition and its Palestinian counterpart. You’ll notice the common factor among Palestinian definitions is that they are almost invariably the exact opposite of the true meaning. (If you have a word you think should be added, please tweet us at @JudeanPF).
[uh-pahrt-hahyt, -heyt, uh-pahr-tahyt, -teyt]
Noun. or Adjective.
A form of government in which an ethnic minority dominates over the ethnic majority through a system of laws and violence that enforce segregation and discrimination in all aspects of life.
1- Any action - either large or small - taken by Israel that can be spun to sound racist in any way.
A law preventing Israeli citizens from selling land to non-citizens for a certain period of time is labeled an “apartheid law” despite the fact that it applies to all non-Israelis (Jews included). Palestinians also label the security barrier an “apartheid wall” despite the fact that it was built to counter Palestinian suicide bombers (and worked).
2- Any action - even if it is exactly the same as what Israel is accused of doing - is no longer Apartheid when done by Palestinians or other Arabs.
The fact that marriages in Israel are only conducted via religious ceremonies thus preventing intermarriages (though those performed abroad are recognized) is apartheid, but when the Palestinian Authority adopts the exact same arrangement, it is not. Though Palestinian law punishes those who sell land to Jews with death or life in prison with hard labor since this isn’t Israeli law, it cannot be considered an apartheid law.
[eth-nik klenz ing]
The elimination of an unwanted ethnic group or groups from a society, as by genocide or forced emigration. As a result, the population of a group that undergoes ethnic cleansing is invariably smaller afterwards.
1- Any act taken by Israel against a Palestinian individual, family or home, regardless of the act’s legality.
If a Palestinian illegally builds a home on land he does not own and is removed from it by Israel, that is ethnic cleansing.
2- Ethnic cleansing need not significantly diminish the numbers of Palestinians in a given area.
3- Any military act undertaken by Israel, regardless of intent, action or result.
1- To inflict capital punishment on; put to death according to law.
2- To murder; assassinate.
1- For an Israeli to attack or shoot a Palestinian, regardless of whether or not this results in death.
After Ahmed Manasra stabbed a 13 year old Israeli on a bicycle, Mahmoud Abbas said he was executed even though he is alive and well.
2- When Israel kills a Palestinian who is attacking a civilian or soldier.
The PA has complained that when Palestinian terrorists are killed while attacking Israelis, they are actually being “executed in cold-blood.”
[free-duh m fahy-ter]
One who forcefully but peacefully struggles against tyranny in the pursuit of freedom for an oppressed people.
Note:Given the Western axiom that “justice can only be pursued through just means,” a Freedom Fighter must only target the system that is engaging in oppression and not innocents.
Notable Examples of Western Freedom Fighters:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Freedom Riders
Partisans of WWII
Anyone who fights against Israel regardless of their actions. It doesn’t matter if they attack soldiers, children or people on an airplane, anyone engaged in the “fight for Palestine” is automatically a Freedom Fighter.
Notable Examples of Palestinian Freedom Fighters:
Children who stab Jews
Murderers of Olympic Athletes
1- The systematic elimination of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious, cultural or national group.
2- A massive reduction in the number of the people belonging to a specific group by means of killing or expulsion.
1- Any military act taken by Israel regardless of intent, action or result.
2- The mere presence of Israel in the West Bank and Gaza. This despite the fact that its presence has lead to a marked increase in population.
1- One of a scattered group of people that traces its descent from the Biblical Hebrews or from postexilic adherents of Judaism; Israelite.
2- A person whose religion is Judaism.
3- Catchall term for members of the Jewish faith, Israelite nation and Hebrew ethnicities.
1- Solely a religious group with no national character.
Article 20 of the Palestine National Charter describes this by saying: “The claim of historical or religious ties between Jews and Palestine does not tally with historical realities, nor with the constituents of statehood in their true sense. Judaism, in its character as a religion, is not a nationality with an independent existence.”
2- A minority who lived happily and in perfect harmony under Muslim rule before the arrival of Zionists.
[joo-dee-ahyz, -dey-, -duh-]
1- To make something Jewish.
2- To convert to Judaism.
Note: In order for something to be Judaized, by definition it cannot already be or have previously been Jewish.
1- To have Jews move into an area.
Jews moving to Jerusalem, despite there already being a Jewish majority and a 3000 year old connection to the city, constitutes Judaization.
2- To have Jews discuss the Jewish history of or religious connection to any site.
Any discussion of Jewish history on, Jewish connection to or rights for freedom of worship, on the Temple Mount, constitutes an attempt to Judaize the site.
Note: While most hate groups around the world code their language when complaining about “too many Jews moving into their neighborhood,” the Palestinians openly lament an increase in Jewish neighbors. Though they will often say they are only complaining about Israelis, they only seem to be bothered when those Israelis are Jewish.
1- The quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moralrightness.
2- The moral principle determining just conduct.
Note: Given the Western axiom that “justice can only be pursued through just means,” true Justice cannot be done by way of injustice.
1- The right to flood Israel with a Palestinian majority.
2- Replacing Israel with an Islamic and kleptocratic state with an Arab majority.
Note: The Palestinian insistence on peace and justice is designed to prevent an end of the conflict that does not include the “right” of the “refugees” to move to Israel. One can compromise for the sake of peace, but cannot compromise for justice, which is why the Palestinians put so much emphasis on “justice.”
1- The normal, non-warring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
2- An agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations, groups, etc., to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism.
3- A state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations.
1- A Jew’s normal, sub-citizen condition in an Arab state.
2- An agreement or treaty to end hostilities that can only be discussed or negotiated after Israel has agreed to any and all Palestinian demands.
3- A state of mutual harmony between people or groups provided none of them are Jewish.
1- Hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
2- The belief that one or multiple races are inherently superior or inferior to others.
3- Any actions taken on the bases of racial hatred.
1- Any military or defensive act taken by Israel regardless of intent, action or result.
2- Any law enacted in Israel that promotes or establishes Jewish values, culture or history.
3- Any law enacted in Israel that makes it difficult for terrorists carry out attacks.
4- Any law or action - even if it is exactly the same as what Israel is accused of doing - is no longer racist when done by Palestinians or other Arabs.
The Law of Return is racist as it only applies to Jews but the “Right of Return” is not. Calling Israel a Jewish State is racist but calling “Palestine” an Arab and Islamic State, as is done in the Draft Palestinian Constitution, is not.
1- A person who flees for refuge or safety, especially to a foreign country, as in time of political upheaval, war, etc.
2- The 1951 Refugee Convention - Someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”
Note: Once a refugee gains citizenship, either in their own state or another, they are no longer considered a refugee.
1- Any Palestinian who claims descent from an Arab refugee of Mandatory Palestine regardless of their current area of residence or citizenship.
2- The UNRWA Criteria - Anyone “whose normal place of residence was Mandatory Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict,” along with their patrilineal descendants.
1- An Arab man moved to Haifa from Beirut in in 1946 and then moved back in 1948 during the war, he and his descendants are perpetually known as refugees.
2- An Arab family that moved from one part of Mandatory Palestine to another.
3- The grandchild of an Arab who fled to Jordan. Even though they have citizenship in Jordan and have never set foot in nor seen their “home” they are still a refugee.
1- The act or power of resisting, opposing, or withstanding.
2- An underground organization composed of groups of private individuals working as an opposition force in a conquered country to overthrow the occupying power, usually by acts of sabotage, guerrilla warfare, etc.
1- Stabbing Jews
2- Stoning Jews
3- Shooting Jews
4- Running over Jews
5- Bombing Jews
6- Rocketing Jews
7- Hijacking planes with Jews on them
8- Any other means of killing or wounding Jews
The act of defending one’s person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant.
1- Stabbing Jews
2- Stoning Jews
3- Shooting Jews
4- Running over Jews
5- Bombing Jews
6- Rocketing Jews
7- Hijacking planes with Jews on them
8- Any other means of killing or wounding Jews
1- One who settles.
2- One who settles in a new country or area.
1- Any Israeli living in Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem provided they are Jewish.
2- Any Israeli who visits Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem provided they are Jewish.
3- Any Jew, both Israeli and non-Israeli, who sets foot on the Temple Mount.
Example: Palestinians often claim they are only against Israelis, not Jews, however, they only complain about Israelis living or visiting Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria when the Israelis in question are Jewish. When Israeli Arabs visit or live in these areas they are welcomed without question.
1- The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2- The state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
1- Cannot include any actions taken by Palestinian individuals or organizations.
2- Any military or police act take by Israel regardless of intent, action or result.
1- When an Israeli soldier shoots a Palestinian who is attacking him, the Israeli soldier has committed terrorism.
2- When Israel accidentally kills a Palestinian in a strike targeting Hamas cells embedded in civilian areas, Israel has committed an act of terrorism.
3- When Israel attacks a weapons depot in Gaza even when that does not result in any Palestinian casualties, Israel has committed an act of terrorism.
1- A violation of the International Laws of War
2- Normally used in reference to the most egregious violations (genocide, massacring civilians, maltreatment of prisoners…) but also includes other, “minor” offenses including wearing the uniform of the enemy or mistreatment of the dead.
1- Cannot include any actions taken by Palestinian individuals or organizations.
2- Any military or police act take by Israel regardless of intent, action, result or actual legality.
1- The national liberation movement of the Jewish people centered in the Land of Israel.
2- The belief that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination like all peoples
5- A movement completely disconnected from Judaism and the Jewish people.
On 21 October 2015, Jewschool.com published “A letter to #JewishLivesMatter/#IsraeliLivesMatter” by Gaydol Hador. In this offensive, anti-Zionist letter, Jews and Israelis are lambasted for co-opting, denigrating and delegitimizing the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The Judean People’s Front was shocked and insulted by this letter and would like to set the record straight:
Hador’s letter first expresses outrage at a blog post on the Times of Israel written by Dan Shlufman, a board member of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. In this blog post, Shlufman describes #BlackLivesMatter as a “protest against unintentional, albeit some times improper actions by the police against people killed while accused of committing a crime.” Hador rightly calls Shlufman out for mischaracterizing BLM in such a way. However, Hador does not seem to understand it himself.
.#BlackLivesMatter came about (from the view of this Hebrew outsider) because of a feeling in the African-American community that greater American society did not view their lives as having equal value. Given that this is based on an emotional response (as many movements are) it is entirely irrelevant whether one believes Michael Brown had his hands up (like BLM) or down (like Shlufman) when he was shot. It is entirely irrelevant if one believes the high numbers of black men killed by the police and their disproportionate presence in prison is a statistical anomaly. This is because the fact remains that not only have these actions continued, but the media also does not report on crimes committed by African-Americans in the same way it reports on those committed by others all leading to a feeling in the black community that this is intentional.
By rallying and tweeting around #BlackLivesMatter, discontented African-Americans are giving voice to their frustrations at being invisible victims. To them, their lives are devalued by the police and government while the media runs interference calling them rioters and looters.
What #WhiteLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter got wrong was their inability to recognize the unspoken “also” in Black Lives (also) Matter. There is no real reason for either of those other hashtags because no one questions them. #BlackLivesMatter arose precisely because they perceive society around them as saying ONLY white lives matter or recognizing the value of African-Americans only when they are adequately obscured and placed among a faceless “all.”
This is exactly the same reason why some Jews and Israelis have been tweeting #IsraeliLivesMatter. Israelis see themselves under constant attack from terrorists mingling among civilians and journalists while the media spins the stories to paint the Palestinian attackers as victims of Israeli “excessive force” or “cold-blooded executions” and the Israeli victims as deserving of their fate.
And now Jewschool.com has allowed itself to become a forum for a one-sided, hypocritical and hateful message against the Jewish State.
In order to present the other side, let’s examine exactly what Hador said:
.#BlackLivesMatter is not analogous to your hashtag movements. But it is not the incommensurability of translation from one language to another, from English to Hebrew, that has rendered your comparison false. In fact, you left the hashtag in its native tongue.
This faux-outrage at using a hashtag in English, is emblematic of Hador’s willful misunderstanding of the issue at hand. Perhaps Hador would like to condemn #BringBackOurGirls for not having their hashtag in Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba, as well.
Since the very idea of the X Lives Matter movements is to gain the most visibility and shout loudly, “We matter too!” to people who would otherwise ignore you, it is perfectly reasonable and expected that this would be done in English. What good would it do to have such a hashtag that would only be accessible to members of the in-group? Such a hashtag would have no value, just like Israeli lives in the view of Hador.
You are not counter-hegemonic movements. You are the incarnation, par excellence, of hegemony.
With this statement Hador advocates the image long propagandized in the Arab media of an Israeli Goliath versus a Palestinian David. Israeli defense against terrorism is presented as illegitimate in any form and an expression of hegemony… and yet he wonders why we feel the need to remind him and the world that Israeli Lives Matter.
You have, in the most racist of ways, co-opted the language of a real counter-hegemonic movement entrenched in battle with the American state. You have transported a slogan to contextualize the situation of another people, another place, another state, and diluted it of all meaning.
The level of misplaced anger and vitriol in this statement is striking. Where was this anger when Palestinians started chanting “Ferguson to Palestine?” Where was this anger when Palestinians took over the Occupy Wall Street movement with signs reading “Occupy Wall Street Not Palestine?” Where was this anger when the Palestinians and Arab states turned the Durban conference against racism into an anti-Semitic hate-fest? Where was this anger when the Palestinians robbed “apartheid” of all meaning, dishonoring those who actually suffered under that regime? Where was this anger when one of the most homophobic peoples on Earth inserted itself as a cause célèbre for the LGBT community? The fact of the matter is that the Palestinians have a long history of co-opting nearly every “progressive” movement in the West in order to turn the focus on themselves.
For Hador and other anti-Israel activists, all movements are fair game for manipulation and domination by the Palestinian Cause, but if a small group of Israelis or Jews (though not many and hardly a movement, this is the first time the JPF has used it) use the language of another cause in a similar way (not trying to replace the movement itself or change its course in any way), apparently this is the worst thing in the world. With his focus on “counter-hegemonic movements,” Hador has bought into the premise of Christian Liberation Theology where righteousness is determined not by one’s actions, but by one’s status as oppressed. This non-Jewish ideology is not only dangerous but immoral in that it can justify any action in the name of “fighting oppression” and absolves individuals of any responsibility for their own actions.
Worse yet, through comparison, you’ve enacted violence upon lives and bodies that never authorized you to draw the comparison in the first place.
Apparently Jews can only assert their right to life when non-Jews ask them. It’s hard to think of a statement that more clearly shows why #IsraeliLivesMatter is important.
Yet again, Hador does not accuse the Palestinians of “enacting violence upon the lives and bodies” of the supporters of the manifold causes they have hijacked over the years. Since they are “oppressed,” such actions are to be forgiven or celebrated.
The Israeli government, its police, and its carceral state protect the lives of its Jewish citizens. The same cannot be said of the American government, its police, and its carceral state as it murders black bodies.
As shocking as the horrific descriptions of the United States and Israel as carceral states are, the point Hador makes here is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. The Black Lives Matter movement came about not just because of a failure - real or perceived - by the government to protect its black citizens, but because it was felt that this was happening while the rest of the country looked away or noticed only long enough to tell them they had it coming. Sure the IDF and Israel police are out trying to protect Israeli citizens but it is doing so at a time that the rest of the world sees Jews being stabbed to death and is more outraged that the stabber gets shot because “Israel made them do it in the first place.”
Jewish lives do matter. And so do Palestinian lives. And so does the vibrant matter, the water, the orchards, the dirt and stones under which houses and settlements lie, that the Israeli state extracts from Palestinians to steal for its own.
As the state steals, you smuggle in the language of the oppressed.
Before we jump into the numerous outrageous aspects of this proposal, let us make one thing clear: Regardless of whether Muhammad’s “Night Journey” actually happened or whether it involved Jerusalem, Muslims clearly believe this to be the case and have acted in such a manner for hundreds of years. Therefore, recognizing a Muslim connection to these sites and the history behind them is not in and of itself a problem as long as other appropriate historical and religious connections (cough Jewish cough) are highlighted as well. Israel itself recognizes and explains to visitors the Muslim connection to these places, protects it and invests in archaeology to uncover the history of the Land of Israel regardless of whether that history is Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Pagan.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s examine just how absurd this proposal actually is:
First, the idea that anyone could submit a proposal to anything, let alone UNESCO, about the Western Wall and Temple Mount and fail to mention any connection to Judaism and Jewish history is disgusting. This is like having a discussion about the Vatican without mentioning Catholicism. It would have been incredibly easy for this proposal to include both the Hebrew and Arabic terms for these places and explain the importance they hold for both religions (any Christianity). Had it done so, this proposal would deserve support. However, the goal of the Palestinian proposal is not to recognize Muslim history but rather only to rewrite history in a way that removes any reference to Jews, Judaism and Israel.
Second, the proposal itself actually complains about archaeological digs being done by Israel near the site. This is duplicitous for two reasons:
Any UNESCO resolution should welcome archaeological digs that seek to uncover and preserve history. But as we’ve already established, this is anathema to the Palestinian bid.
The main archaeological digs being condemned here include The Temple Mount Sifting Project that goes through mounds of destroyed archaeological debris that was illegally removed from the Temple Mount by the Waqf! The Waqf and Palestinian Authority have been carrying out unauthorized destruction of irreplaceable artifacts on the Temple Mount for years and instead of stopping it and provoking a violent reaction (clearly this is working!) Israel has allowed this to continue and makes the best of a horrible situation by sifting through the destruction. If this wasn’t enough, the Palestinians are openly complaining that Israel is trying to undo their illegal destruction of history!
Third, the Palestinians condemn Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s call for “citizens to bear arms in light of recent terror wave.” You read that correctly. The proposal does not condemn the wave or terror itself or the incitement causing it, but rather attempts by Israelis to defend themselves against it!
Fourth, it condemns Israel for “illegal measures taken against the freedom of worship and access of Muslims to Al-Aqsa Mosque.” While asserting that Jews have no rights whatsoever on the Temple Mount, the Palestinians, without a trace of irony, complain that their freedom of worship is being impinged. Given that over 4 million Muslims visited the Temple Mount last year while only 12,500 Jews did the same, this claim would be laughable if it wasn’t being taken seriously.
The Palestinians are complaining that Israel has periodically instituted restrictions on who can enter the compound as a result of Palestinian violence at the site, while ignoring the violence that prompted the restrictions in the first place! Cause and effect is apparently a concept the Palestinians either cannot or refuse to understand.
Fifth, the Palestinians complain of “Israel’s attempts to break the status quo since 1967.” The JPF has already debunked the “1967 Status Quo” fallacy. But what is important to recognize here is that since the Palestinians insist that only Muslims be allowed to pray at al-Aqsa, now that they are demanding the Western Wall be recognized as part of al-Aqsa, they are essentially saying they want all Jewish prayer there to stop as well!
Sixth, this proposal again calls for an end to the “attacks on al-Aqsa” by “right-wing extremists.” Who cares if no such attacks have ever happened, Abbas has been pushing this lie for too long to stop now. He already repeated it at the UNGA in front of heads of state from around the world, so why not repeat it to UNESCO. Who cares that this lie was what prompted the Manasra boys to try to stab and kill Jews? Clearly not the Palestinians.
Given the Arab-Muslim majority, there is every indication that this resolution will pass… along with any remaining doubts about UNESCO’s impartiality.
After a bit of outrage from UNESCO’s Director-General and some Western countries, the resolution dropped its call to reclassify the Western Wall as a Muslim site. Also removed were references to Jerusalem as the “occupied capital of Palestine” and condemnations of calls for Israeli citizens to bear arms to defend themselves against Palestinian terror. The other major outrages remain without any mention in the press of course.
However, the new resolution did recognize Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as Muslim holy sites (something that wasn’t widely reported as journalists focused solely on the Western Wall drama). Recognizing the Tomb of the Patriarchs as holy to Muslims in addition to Jews would be fine and appropriate but that is not what happened. There is no recognition of Jewish attachment to this, the Second Holiest site in Judaism. But given that the Temple Mount (the First Holiest) isn’t recognized either, this should be no surprise. (UNESCO did recognize both claims in 2010, but did not upload that in this new resolution).
The Elder of Ziyon has a great post regarding Rachel’s Tomb, which was not treated as a Muslim holy site until very recently (they started in the ’90s and only changed to the new name in official textbooks in 2001) and is claimed to be a mosque honoring someone without any connection to the biblical Rachel.
Given that this new claim has no historical basis, was not a firmly held belief among Muslims and only arose when Israel asserted its claim over the site, it is not appropriate to treat this site as the others and recognize both claims as though they are equal. An ancient and long sustained claim and presence is superior to a new, politically motivated claim that has no historical basis.
But, given that the entire Palestinian national project is based upon the exact opposite being true, we shouldn’t be surprised that they continue to invent new claims. Sadly, the world continues to uncritically accept them.
So how is it that Palestinians continue to believe Israel is planning to attack al-Aqsa? Has The Boy Who Cried Wolf never been translated into Arabic? Are the Palestinians really just the most gullible people on the face of the Earth? Even if they are being fed propaganda on a daily basis, they would have to eventually see that year after year, no attacks take place, Muslims still enter to worship in massive numbers (4 million last year alone!), the mosques still stand and no Temple is being built.
###Enter the Torching of Joseph’s Tomb
This is not the first time a Jewish holy site has been destroyed by Arabs. Hell, it isn’t even the first time Joseph’s Tomb has been attacked and set on fire by the Palestinians! It was one of the first major attacks perpetrated in the Second Intifada, taking place almost immediately after the PA was given control over the site. By attacking it again now, the Palestinians are trying to ensure the current wave of terror and violence escalates into a full-fledged Intifada.
Jewish holy sites under Arab control historically do not last long. Jordan razed innumerable and irreplaceable Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem after it conquered and occupied the eastern part of the city in 1948 (without any major world reaction or condemnation we might add). What’s more, all Jews were ethnically cleansed from the Old City and the rest of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
This was not an aberration, but merely how the Arabs have traditionally waged war. They fight to win with not regard for what tactics they use and when they do win, Jews are killed or expelled and their holy sites are destroyed.
This is in direct contrast to the way Israel fights: careful about its tactics to avoid civilian casualties, expulsions are rare (not seen since 1949) and Arabs who remain in Israel are given full citizenship rights and their holy sites are protected.
The Arabs cannot understand how it is possible that the Jews would not act the same way they would in that situation. If there was a Synagogue built over the Kaba’a, there is no way it would remain standing and open only to Jewish worshipers after it was reconquered by Muslims. It just would never happen.
The Palestinians are convinced that since they would destroy al-Aqsa and rebuild the Temple if they were in the Jews’ position, therefore, the Jews must be planning to do the same. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t done it yet and have publicly acted against it for decades because there has to be a secret plot to destroy al-Aqsa since there is no other way for them to explain why the Jews are acting differently (read: better) than they would in that situation.
Even Israeli Arabs who, while suffering from mild unofficial discrimination, have much better lives in Israel than any of their counterparts, have come out in the tens of thousands to protest “Israel’s al-Aqsa policy.” Israeli Arabs should know better than anyone that Israel will not “attack al-Aqsa” but the pull of the Palestinian propaganda machine along with the inability to recognize that Jews will act differently than they would, convinces them to disbelieve what they see with their own eyes.
When concrete evidence and first person experiences hold no sway, there is very little else that can be done to change perceptions. Therefore Israel must remain strong, stay the course, defend itself and wait until this current wave of terror runs out of steam.
We just pray not to many Jews are murdered and not too many Palestinians get themselves killed over a lie in the meantime.
Yesterday, Mahmoud Abbas was in Moscow for meetings with Putin amid Russia’s buildup of military forces in Syria and the reopening of the Central Mosque of Moscow. While there he had some very interesting things to say.
How nice! All he wants is freedom of worship… except that before 1967, not only could Jews not worship freely in eastern Jerusalem, they couldn’t set a single “filthy” foot there. While under Jordanian occupation, which Abbas has now used as his ideal model, no Jews were allowed to visit the city. It didn’t matter if they were Israeli or not or even if they were anti-Zionist Neturei Karta. What’s more, Jordan also barred Israeli Muslims and Christians from visiting and praying in the city as well.
###Abbas is effectively calling for Jews to be barred from the city!
The only time a local authority truly guarded freedom of worship for all is when Jerusalem has been under Israeli control. In fact, the only restrictions Israel has ever enforced have been enacted not because of Israeli aggression, but in response to or as preventative measures against Muslim anger and rioting. Palestinian news sources describe Jewish visitors “under heavy police escort” but fail to mention the harassment and intimidation by radical Muslims that makes this necessary. They don’t mention that Israeli restrictions on Muslim worshipers is solely in response to the violence many have been engaging in and is an attempt to prevent those most likely to engage in attacks.
But probably the biggest casualty in this whole saga surrounding “attacks on the Temple Mount” (aside from, you know, their complete fabrication) is the global acceptance of the idea that, even according to Israeli outlets, “Under regulations instituted by Israel since 1967, Jews are allowed to visit but not to pray, to avoid provoking tensions.”
This is nonsense. The restrictions on Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount only began during the Second Intifada as a response to Palestinian rioting. Before that, Jews regularly visited the site, were able to tour not just the compound but the inside the mosques and were even allowed to pray quietly, which they did without any problems. I know this not just from reports but because I remember visiting the Mount myself back in the 90s with no need for any police protection, not being harassed when I closed my eyes to pray and I remember going inside both mosques (without shoes, despite my “filthy feet”).
None of this is possible today nor was it even a dream between 1948 and 1967. Anyone who has any doubt about what a Palestinian controlled Jerusalem would look like need only actually listen to Abbas to see what signs he’ll put up:
After last week’s botched attempt to arrest 11 year old Muhammad Tamimi for throwing stones at soldiers and the subsequent video and images that went viral around the world, the Israeli government is scrambling for a solution. Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated that he will adopt a “zero tolerance policy” toward stone throwing and terrorism” even discussing the possibility of changing the rules of engagement to allow the use of live fire on stone throwers. This of course after the Knesset passed a new bill allowing imprisonment of up to 20 years for stone throwers.
No one has to remind the JPF that stones can and do kill and maim people. It is characteristic of Jew-haters to downplay the threats we face and this is no different. However, any attempt to deal with this lower-level threat by ratcheting up our response with more violence is bound to backfire. That is because the phenomenon of stone-throwing, while dangerous and intolerable, is not a normal manifestation of terrorism.
It is a manifestation of glorified child abuse on a massive scale.
In the same way that suicide bombings cannot be stopped just by arresting those attempting to carry out the attacks, stone throwing cannot be stopped by only arresting the children doing it. This doesn’t mean soldiers should just sit around and let people throw stones at them, it means that we need to recognize that the majority of stone throwing is done by youths and small children who are encouraged to confront armed soldiers both by their parents and by terrorist organizations.
We don’t know about you, but when we see parents like the Tamimis exploiting their children, putting them in danger by attacking armed soldiers, we are disgusted. Can we see a situation in which we would put ourselves in danger by confronting soldiers or armed terrorists? Absolutely. Can we think of time in which we would ever allow, let alone encourage or facilitate, our children doing so? Absolutely not!
Last year it was reported that the government was considering fining the parents of stone throwers. This was a positive step, however if it is happening, it isn’t being reported. While this creates a financial disincentive for parents to allow their kids to throw stones, not only is such a fine an insufficient response, it ignores the true crime that is taking place.
What we have here is a concerted effort to put children in harms way in the hopes that they will be shot - either by cameras or by bullets, it doesn’t matter which - so that the incident can then be used to blacken Israel’s name in world opinion.
any act or series of acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that results in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.
If a parent used their child as a drug runner, exposing them to dangerous underworld elements and possible harm at the hands of police responding to a legitimate threat, we would not be having this discussion. Those parents would be labeled as abusers, they would be arrested and sent to jail while their children would get slaps on the wrist and placed in protective custody. Images of police forcefully arresting the child would be accompanied by mugshots of the parents and while some on the far left would complain about “police overreactions,” the majority would recognize that the true villains in that situation are the abusive parents.
If Israel is to properly deal with this rising problem, it must recognize it for what it is or else none of its security measures will be lasting. In order to counter this, stone throwing must be redefined from a “heroic right of passage” to a form a child abuse by parents:
Cultural norms about what constitutes abuse vary widely… Some professionals claim that cultural norms that sanction physical punishment are one of the causes of child abuse, and have undertaken campaigns to redefine such norms.
In the end, stone throwing is just another manifestation of the Palestinian struggle with reality. It is a society that celebrates death over life, that endangers children rather than protecting them, that seeks to destroy a state rather than build one. It is a society that lionizes parents who abuse and endanger their children rather than condemning and arresting them.
Israel cannot make this change for the Palestinians, but that does not mean it has to support their delusional perception of reality and perversion of human values. In the same way that the Israeli government recognizes that Abbas’s inciting language of “Jewish contamination” of and attempted destruction of al-Aqsa is the root cause of lone wolf terror attacks, Israel must recognize that much of the stone throwing is a result of parental abuse, not a “spontaneous reaction Israeli crimes.” Parents of children who throw stones should not just be fined, but they must be brought to family court, have their abusive actions explained to them (because they don’t see their actions as wrong) and jailed if necessary. Increasing punishments for abused children and easing live-fire restrictions against them will only exacerbate the problem and provide more opportunities for Israel-haters to tarnish her image.
The only way to stem this tide is to go to the source of this child abuse: the parents.
Iran Bans Berlin Orchestra Performance led by Palestinian Conductor. This could easily have been the title of the numerousarticles that were published about Iran’s cancellation of the formerly upcoming performance of the Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra in Tehran. But of course this was not the way the story was told, instead reporters were more than happy to play up the fact that both the Iranian and Israeli governments were opposed to the concert.
#Iran says the concert planned to be conducted by @DBarenboim is now canceled because of his Israeli citizenship that is 'illegitimate'.
Barenboim received Palestinian citizenship after conducting a concert in Ramallah in 2008 but this fact was treated as a side note, an unimportant detail or something to be left out of the report altogether. If you were to take the Iranian’s at their word (a dangerous choice that is being made by too many these days) you would believe that this was due solely to his Israeli nationality, as they said, “Iran does not recognize the Zionist regime and will not co-operate with artists of this regime.”
But this argument does not hold water. Back in July, the Iran-backed International Union of Unified Ummah held a public Iftar for Muslims on the Temple Mount. If Iran was really worried only about not having relations with Israelis and not Jews, then it would have asked the worshipers to show their ID cards. Given that over 1.5 million Israelis are Arab, that the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel actually pays Israeli Muslims to go to al-Aqsa and harass Jews and that more and more Arabs in Jerusalem are accepting Israeli citizenship, it is almost guaranteed that some of those partaking in the Iranian Iftar were Israeli citizens.
Not only does this show that Iran’s alleged anti-Israel activities are really anti-Semitic, but it also lays bare the intellectual bankruptcy of the far-left. When Barenboim received Palestinian citizenship he said, “The fact that an Israeli citizen can be awarded a Palestinian passport, can be a sign that [peace] is actually possible.” But this is utter nonsense. Israel has been awarding citizenship to Palestinians since its first days of statehood (though back then they were not officially Palestinian citizens since such a state or authority did not exist). While Israel has granted citizenship to well over a quarter of a million Arabs since 1967 the Palestinian Authority has granted citizenship to just three Jews: Daniel Barenboim, radical anti-Israel Activist Ilan Halevi and ex-Jew Uri Davis. Clearly Jews gaining Palestinian citizenship are the exception, not the rule. (Note: it is possible there are a few more anti-Zionist “Palestinian” Jews that are not as famous and were overlooked, but the point stands.)
Moreover, Abbas has said that “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands,” but since there has never been an issue with Israeli Arabs living in PA territory, it is clear he is only talking about Israeli Jews. Abbas’s lackey Hanan Ashrawi tried to explain this by saying that Palestinians would not agree to “ex-territorial Jewish enclaves,” where residents would keep their Israeli citizenship. This is nothing more than verbal trickery and highlight’s Palestinian hypocrisy. Ashrawi and Saeb Erekat have emphasized that Jews can “apply for Palestinian citizenship,” but this can only happen after all the Jews who are already there are forced out first. When Avigdor Lieberman first suggested ceding Israeli Arab towns to a future Palestinian state, it was international news with condemnations of his “anti-democratic, racist” proposal coming in from all sides despite the fact that it was not official Israeli policy or part of any Israeli peace offers. However, when the same thing is explicitly endorsed by the Palestinians, there is nothing but crickets.
As is the case with most allegedly anti-Israel events, all one needs to do is scratch the surface just a bit to find that it isn’t about Israel, it isn’t about the “occupation” or the “settlements.”
Hurriyet Daily News reported yesterday on Turkish-Israeli plans to “discuss establishing a new industrial zone for Palestinians in the West Bank.” Sounds good right? So what does this have to do with “Apartheid?”
Well, Israel haters will stop at nothing to link Israel with horrible crimes no matter how tenuous the connection. The main focus of the BDS movement centers around convincing the world - in the face of all evidence - that Israel is not the Liberal Democracy that it is, but rather an Apartheid State.
We have previously taken this charge apart law by law proving that this libel is without any merit. However, in doing so we acknowledge that there are some laws in Israel that do bare a superficial, though completely non-substantive, similarity to certain apartheid laws. One such law is “The Bantu Investment Corporation Act, Act No 34 of 1959.” This law was designed to provide for “the creation of financial, commercial, and industrial schemes in areas designated for black people.” It doesn’t matter that there are no areas in Israel only for Jews or only for Arabs, anti-Zionists seize on this law, look at Israeli created “Industrial Zones” in the West Bank and then scream “Apartheid!”
Nevermind that these Industrial Zones employ both Jews and Arabs under the same conditions. Forget that Palestinian Arabs working there can make roughly three times what their West Bank counterparts make. Ignore the fact that Israeli and non-Israeli employees gain access to Israeli health care and savings plans by working in these zones. All that matters is that this bares a shallow similarity to a law in South Africa and who cares that it isn’t in any way actually similar? It can be used to demonize Israel and that’s all that matters.
But what happens when the “greatest defender of the Palestinians” supports such apartheid? Surely this would be cause for concern. One would think this would lead to protests or at least denunciations especially since, according to Hurriyet, Turkey is behind the entire idea of these “industrial zones”:
Turkey transferred its organized industrial zone model to Palestine in the 2000s, providing assistance for the establishment of the Erez Industrial Estate in the border area between Gaza and Israel.
Not only is there no denunciation or name-calling, this project is instead praised (as it should) for helping to grow a stagnant Palestinian economy. No one cares when it is Turkey establishing these zones, or when Israel works with Egypt or Jordan to establish joint Qualifying Industrial Zones.
We can already hear the BDSers retorting: But the Turkish Industrial Zones are in no way similar to those in the Bantustans of South Africa!
True. But the same is true of the ones established by Israel in Judea and Samaria and yet this never stopped the BDS-holes from using them to make the same accusations.
They will the respond: But there have been complaints and condemnations about the way the QIZs in Jordan and Egypt are run!
Also true. However, when condemning certain practices in these zones, critics have never resorted to false accusations of apartheid or used infractions in there to demonize and delegitimize the entire state they are located in. This is only the case when such zones are located in Israel or the territories.
The only time BDS activists care about these actions are when the only party involved is the Jewish State. Can someone please remind us what that term is for singling out one group for condemnation while ignoring or praising others for doing exactly the same thing just because that first group is Jewish?
This rests largely on on Choler-Esses’s description of his talks with Iranian officials:
During the course of my conversations with several senior ayatollahs and prominent political and government officials, it became clear that there is high-placed dissent to the official line against Israel. No one had anything warm to say about the Jewish state. But pressed as to whether it was Israel’s policies or its very existence to which they objected, several were adamant: It’s Israel’s policies. Others, notwithstanding their ideological objection to a Jewish state, made it clear they would accept a two-state solution to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians if the Palestinians were to negotiate one and approve it in a referendum.
However, despite this “positive” report, when discussing his meeting with Grand Ayatollah Abdolkarim Mousavi Ardebili of Qom, not only did his son say that he has no understanding of the two state solution, but said that “This is an idea much discussed in the West, but not much here.” Ardebili was very clear in his opposition to the existence of Israel:
“We believe that the State of Israel must be changed, corrected and improved. And if that is not possible, and if the nature of the state does not allow for improvement, then the state must be destroyed.”
And while he may dress it up as opposition to policies, the specific policy he and the Iranian regime oppose is the ancient anti-Semitic canard of Jewish-infanticide:
The only way to achieve peace, he explained, was for the Israelis “to stop their cruelty against Palestinians.” Israel, he said, “kills children and proudly defends killing them.”
So how exactly is it that Cohler-Esses was able to report that so many Iranian officials and ayatollahs were willing to support a two-state solution? This seems like a very moderate, mainstream position that we would expect from any Western country. That is because this solution that is presented as moderate and reasonable means one thing to us and quite another to the Iranians. Remember where Cohler-Esses said that such an agreement would need the Palestinians to “approve it in a referendum?”
The “reformist” Grand Ayatollah Yousef Saanei, who is often called “the spiritual father” of Iran’s Green Movement also spoke of a “referendum.”
“The idea that Israel should be destroyed is Ahmadinejad’s… What Israel should do is change its policies…. It’s impossible to destroy a country… There should be a referendum about this. All human beings should look for mutual humanitarian understandings.”
Mohammad Hassan Asafari of the IRGC and chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, also spoke of the need for a referendum, but he was more clear about what such a referendum would be:
“I absolutely disagree with a two-state solution.” Like many, he instead advocated the right of return of all Palestinian refugees to their former homes and elections by “all the people living there now — Jew, Muslim and members of other religions” — to decide the country’s future.”
This is the same type of referendum Ayatollah Khamenei champions (in Farsi and English) and what Iranian officials are referring to:
Here is a closer look at the relevant two sections:
The Iranians are not talking about the Israelis and Palestinians sitting down to vote on a two state solution. The only referendum that is supported by the regime would be one in which only Palestinians get to vote. Once the Palestinians, both in Israel, the territories and around the world vote, they can then decide what to do with the Jews they have been trying to kill for the past 100 years.
But even if by some miracle the Jews aren’t all killed, Khamenei makes it clear that this new government would have the authority to ethnically cleanse the area of any Jews it wishes. Not only that, but until Israel agrees to this system for its own dismantlement and expulsion, Ayatollah Khamenei says, “we believe the West Bank, too, should be armed just like Gaza and those who are interested in the fate of the Palestinians must work in this respect.”
It is certainly encouraging to hear many ordinary Iranians talk positively about Jews and, to an extent, Israel (with many even talking about ancient ties between Iran, Israel and Cyrus), but none of this was really ever in question. No one is making the case that all Iranians are evil or that all Iranians hate Jews or want to destroy Israel.
What we are pointing out is that those in Iran who hold power and make policy are clear about their views and plans for Israel. It’s about time we stopped lying to ourselves and started listening.
The JPF is usually pretty good at spotting anti-Israel biases in the media. Hell, it isn’t really that hard nowadays is it? But today we noticed an anti-Israel phrase that has become so common that we didn’t even realize its implications until now.
The Associated Press reported that after six months of stalling, Indonesia has finally agreed to grant a visa for Israeli Badminton player MIsha Zilberman. Why was this an issue in the first place? They tell us:
Israel does not have formal diplomatic relations with Indonesia and many other Muslim-majority countries,
How many times have you seen this exact sentence repeated in a story relating to Israel and its Muslim neighbors? Countless. This is the standard way in which reporters discuss the non-relations between the world’s many Muslim states and its one Jewish state.
Is this statement technically true? Yes.
Does it tell the true story? No.
The fact of the matter is that Israel would love to have formal diplomatic relations with the world’s many Arab and Muslim countries. The lack of relations isn’t an oversight or a lack of resources. It is a direct consequence of the refusal by the vast majority of those countries to come to terms with Israel’s existence.
Yet the Associated Press, its affiliates and others in the media continue to discuss a mere “lack of relations” as though it were a naturally occurring event with no cause and no solution.
Not only is this a distortion of the facts, but it removes any pressure on these countries to moderate their behavior and recognize reality. When discussing US-Cuban relations, reporters didn’t say there was a “lack of relations” but rather an American embargo in response to threats during the Cold War and Cuba’s horrendous human rights record. Reporting the rupture in relations this way ultimately played a role in forcing both sides to reconsider their actions resulting this year in America beginning to end the embargo (though, sadly, without any reciprocal action by the Cuban government in regards to human rights).
However, since the media merely reports on a “lack of relations” rather than an Arab and Muslim refusal, there is no reason why those states should rethink their policy of rejectionism. But since this rejection has been going on so long it has gained legitimacy as though it were normal.
Until the media changes its tune and tells the world the truth about this aberration of international relations, nothing will change and Israel will continue pay the price.
As the vote on the Iran Deal in Congress grows nearer, the administration and its allies are pulling out all stops to ensure its opponents can’t muster the two thirds majority it needs to block a presidential veto. They’re busy trotting out all the big names and having J Street spin the facts to make it seem as though the deal is air tight. The JPF would like nothing better than for this deal to succeed and stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, however as of yet we remain unconvinced and unimpressed. Here’s why:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Still, another issue; the International Atomic Energy Agency has said for a long time that it wants Iran to disclose past military-related nuclear activities. Iran is increasingly looking like it’s not going to do this. Is the U.S. prepared to accept that?
JOHN KERRY: No. They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal; it will be done.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Because it’s not there now.
JOHN KERRY: It will be done.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So that information will be released before June 30th, will be available.
JOHN KERRY: It will be part of a final agreement. It has to be.
After years of saying answers about the PMDs “has to be” part of the agreement, Kerry and the Western negotiating team collapsed when it became clear Iran wouldn’t say yes. Instead of insisting Iran answer the IAEA’s questions before the deal is signed, it would merely have to agree to “parameters” to address them… “eventually.” This is a major problem that has not been explained away by the administration or its apologists in anyway close to an adequate manner.
The entire deal with Iran is predicated on its ability to keep Iran at least one year away from developing a bomb, however, without understanding all of the progress Iran has already made toward building a bomb, there is no way to know how much longer it will take! This isn’t a matter of ideology, it is a simple matter of logic.
Now we’re told that despite the fact that Iran refused to answer these questions when it was under crippling sanctions, now that its economy is unshackled and it has access to $150 billion it will slowly fess up to how it cheated past agreements and secretly worked towards a nuclear weapon. Even if Iran were to comply with this bizarrely unrealistic scenario it still would not be sufficient. What happens if Iran finally comes clean and it turns out that because of the work they’ve done Iran is less than a year away from a bomb? Doesn’t that throw off the entire premise of the deal? If that is the case, would more sanctions or safeguards prop up in an attempt to push Iran back from the brink? Not in this deal.
Another aspect of the PMD issue is that had the US stuck to its guns and insisted that Iran come clean at the beginning of negotiations rather than at the conclusion (which they didn’t even have to do in the end!) this would not have been a discussion between equals. This would have been a negotiation between the major world powers and serial deal-breaker seeking to throw itself on the mercy of the court. Forcing Iran to answer the IAEA’s very reasonable questions (of which they have still only answered part of a single question) would set the basis for a much better deal.
The other big problem is the issue of verification. It is true that the safeguards in place at Iran’s declared nuclear sites are robust. No one is seriously questioning that. The problem rests with verification at military sites where suspected illegal nuclear work occurred in the past. Under the current agreement, not only would such inspections take place no sooner than 24 days after asking Iran politely to comply and more realistically after at least 3 months as the world powers debate and talk about whether a violation actually occurred that was great enough to force inspectors in, all of this giving Iran plenty of time to hide or move any illicit activities. But even this is the most optimistic scenario.
Ayatollah Khamenei and Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps’s aerospace arm, as well as other leaders of the IRGC have made it clear that no inspectors will be allowed into military sites at all! Since any cheating by Iran would likely take place at covert sites like these and not at the declared nuclear sites, this is where verification is the most important.
Even worse, the IAEA has begun to legitimize this position by agreeing that soil samples from places like Parchin, where work on PMDs has been done in the past and subsequently covered up, could be provided by the Iranians themselves not taken by IAEA inspectors. Would a police officer ever let a known drug user provide their own urine sample unsupervised? Of course not but here the stakes are far higher with that exact arrangement!
This deal does not address the minimum requirements that President Obama himself laid out at the beginning of negotiations. If this administration wants to convince its critics that this is in fact a good deal, it will have to address these issues… but don’t hold your breath.
Ever since Prime Minister Netanyahu made his opposition to the Iran Deal clear, the Obama Administration has sought to portray any and all critics of the deal as warmongers. Worse, many have focused in on the Israeli opposition and tried to make it seem like Israel was trying to force America to wage a war on its behalf.
It isn’t just anonymous anti-Semites on Twitter who have been accusing Israel of preferring war over a good deal. Officials from the Obama White House have said that Israel and Netanyahu would never accept any deal, no matter how robust.
[Iran] will fight this asymmetrically [if war comes]. That means more support for terrorism, more Hezbollah rockets falling on Tel Aviv. I can assure that Israel will bear the brunt of the asymmetrical response that Iran will have to a military strike on its nuclear facilities.”
Since Iran is still developing its ICMBs that could reach the US (something that will continue unencumbered under this deal) the US will not be the main target of Iranian retaliation (though it would most definitely have American assets in the Middle East and Europe attacked, if not on the mainland, by terrorists).
Israel would bare the brunt of any Iranian response. Far from Americans dying for Israel, Israelis would be dying for America. Israelis would be living in bomb shelters as Hezbollah fires rockets from the north and Hamas and Islamic Jihad fire rockets from the south. Israel’s economy will grind to a halt as tourism dries up and half the country is called up to the reserves to deal with the threat.
This is not a situation any country would welcome and anyone telling you that Israel prefers this scenario to a deal that would prevent it and a nuclear Iran is lying to you. However since President Obama has invested so much energy in this deal and the idea that all opponents want war, even though he recognizes that this characterization is not just faulty but upside-down, he will not change his tune. Expect this rhetoric to ramp up as the Congressional vote draws nearer, just don’t let them fool you.
Israel has never wanted war, but that doesn’t mean it will commit suicide to avoid one.
I have been struggling with how to respond to the horrific terror attacks that rocked Israel last week. I speak of course not about the 60 attacks on Jews by Palestinian terrorists that continues to be the norm, but of the attacks that took the lives of 16-year-old Shira Banki at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade and 18-month-old Baby Ali Dawabsha who burnt to death in his home in an apparent attack Jewish terrorists. It is easy to respond to these horrors when they are committed by your enemies, but incredibly difficult to come to terms with when they are committed by members of your own community. So forgive me if this post feels a little disjointed.
Before I get into the attacks themselves, I want to remind Israelis, Jews and our supporters that when it comes to condemning terrorism there is no room for “buts.” “This is horrible but…” or “this was tragic but…” are not acceptable responses to terror attacks regardless of the attackers or victims. Sure the way the international media picked up these stories while ignoring the dozens of attacks on Jews each week is hypocritically offensive to the victims who were ignored but that doesn’t change what happened. A family lost their little girl last week. Another family was destroyed as their baby boy went up in flames while they continue to sit in the hospital with burns covering most of their bodies. One of those families is Jewish and the other is Arab but they were both the victims of Jewish terrorism. (Yes, we haven’t yet caught those who burnt the Dawabsha’s home, but I’m uninterested in conspiracy theories saying this was a Palestinian false flag. Sadly I have little doubt as the investigation continues, it will turn out this was in fact done by radical Jews.)
There can be no “buts” when condemning terrorism.
As news of the attack on the Gay Pride Parade got more detailed and it became clear the attacker had done the exact same thing 10 years ago and that he was released from prison just 3 weeks earlier, fear and shock turned into anger. Was there no way to keep him in jail for an additional 3 weeks? Failing that, why was he not barred from Jerusalem? Given that he was completely unrepentant for his first attack, why was his sentence commuted from 12 to 10 years at all? Someone needs to be held accountable for such horrible failures to protect its citizens from a known security threat. Yes, someone needs to be fired, but such actions will give little solace to the Banki family or the five other families with kids in the hospital, but maybe it can save other families from a future calamity.
Before we even had time to begin to reflect on this tragedy, Israel was struck by yet another attack, this one also allegedly by extremist Jews. My first thought on hearing about the attack and Baby Ali was for my own son of nearly the same age, just as I did when Chaya Zissel Braun was murdered last October. I pray that I never truly understand the pain these families have suffered. The murder of Baby Ali has rightly been the impetus behind much soul-searching in Israel. Many of those who previously made excuses for “price-tag” attacks saying they were merely vandalism have now seen where tolerance of hatred leads. Moreover, it might even turn out that this attack was not the result of “mainstream price-tag” supporters but of an even more radical, anarchist anti-Zionist religious fringe that seeks to overthrow the government and replace it with a Jewish Kingdom and wants to start by getting rid of all the non-Jews. A Jewish Hamas may have just made its first strike.
This brings me to another very important point: By and large, Israelis and Jews have refrained from the typical response we hear from many in the Muslim community following such attacks that “since this attack contravenes Jewish/Muslim values, therefore the attacker was not a Jew/Muslim so the larger Jewish/Muslim community has no special responsibility to condemn the attack or investigate how one if its members carried it out.” Such excuses are made by people who don’t want to confront the reality that their community has a problem with extremism. But it is also an incredibly tempting thing to do. The normally thoughtful and deliberate Avi Mayer saw himself fall into this thinking shortly after news of Shira’s death surfaced:
@AviMayer doesn't work that way. He is a Jew and the evil he has done must be rooted out by us.
As much as we would like to be able to say “this action contradicts my Judaism, therefore the attacker isn’t Jewish,” doing so is wrong for many reasons. It isn’t our place to decide who is Jewish and who isn’t (at least in regards to people who were born Jewish and practice Judaism, not interested into getting into a debate about conversion) based on their actions. If that were the case, then the Gay Pride attacker could also say that the marchers weren’t Jews since their actions contradict his understanding of Judaism. But if we allow ourselves to simply write this murderer off as a non-Jew, we are essentially saying his extremism is not our problem; we are denying that his form of Judaism exists and has followers and, worst of all, this lets us off the hook at a time when we must redouble our efforts to show other Jews who think like he does that his Judaism is wrong, goes against Torah-values and cannot be an acceptable expression of Judaism no matter how long his peyos are.
Thankfully, most of Israel gets this and, given his history, I think Mayer does as well but was merely caught up in grief. It is up to us to make sure this soul-searching yields results and a change in policy. We must do this first and foremost for ourselves, as Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Arther Lenk stated:
That's OK, @RidwaanR. We are not doing it for you but for ourselves.
It is in times of crisis that character is tested and we must ensure Israel passes this test; not because of how it will look to the rest of the world should we fail, but because we need to be able to look our children in the eyes and tell them we succeeded. Israel was built on a dream and, like any dream, it has fallen short in an imperfect world, but we must not allow the nitty gritty of reality prevent us from forever striving to achieve our dream. If we fail to pursue our just cause through just means, then it will all be for naught.
I am not worried. Israelis and Jews have never allowed extremists to go mainstream and have always shown that even in the most difficult of times, we are unwilling to overlook injustice. I am reminded of “the March of 400,000,” the largest public demonstration in Israeli history in which roughly 400,000 Israelis gathered in what would later become Rabin Square to demand the government investigate Israel’s role in the Sabra and Shatilla massacre. This unprecedented event took place just 9 days after the massacre began and within a week of it coming to public attention. While it was organized by the left-wing Peace Now, it brought together Israelis of all stripes, from Labor, Likud, NRP and more, eventually bringing out a full 10% of the country’s population. Israeli anger and revulsion at violence in our name has not changed since, with the vast majority vocally opposing the few deadly acts of terror committed by Israeli Jews.
Our leaders, Left Right and Center, have all been consistent and clear in condemning these terror attacks. Here are some from last week:
I am shocked by the murder of Ali Dawabshe. This is a reprehensible and horrific act of terrorism in every respect. pic.twitter.com/m9JXsk7YHg
“We intend to fight Jewish terror with determination and without compromises… [Israel will] hit back at the Jewish terrorists, bring them to justice and protect Israeli democracy and Israeli citizens.”
“After we have condemned and condemned again, we cannot — again – return to daily events as though nothing happened. [We must take action] that meets the threat to Israel’s security posed by Jewish terrorists, who endanger us exactly like their brothers – Islamist terrorists.”
“We are not talking about hatred, and not about a ‘price tag.’ This is murder. Arson against a house in Duma and the murder of a baby is a disgusting act of terror that we cannot permit. I urge the security forces to act with determination in order to punish the murderers to the full extent of the law.”
“The person that committed this sinful act is a criminal in every way, and his intention to kill Jews is something that is terrifying. Differences of opinion and dispute are legitimate and will continue, but raising one’s hand against one’s fellow is forbidden,”
I am sticking to my no “buts” rule. All of these reactions are justified and as they should have been. Since this is the type of reaction that is required, let’s just look at how the Palestinian leadership reacted to the murder of 3 month-old Chaya Zissel Braun:
“The heroic Martyr (Shahid) Abd Al-Rahman Idris Al-Shaloudi (23)… The picture below [shows] the final moments before his death as a Martyr, after he was shot at point-blank range. He was murdered in cold blood.”
During the funeral, Shaludi’s mother said she was proud of her son who gave honor to the family when he became a “shahid” (martyr), adding repeatedly “praise to Allah.”
This image adorned the Fatah Facebook Page:
“The Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) - Silwan branch accompanies to his wedding the heroic martyr Abdelrahman Shaludi, who carried out the Jerusalem operation, in which settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem were run over,”
There was no condemnation of the attack by President Mahmoud Abbas and Erekat’s expression of “regret” is very instructive. First he refuses to condemn this incident specifically in which a 3 month-old baby was murdered. Then he says that Israel is to blame since Palestinians can’t be held responsible for their own actions due to the occupation. How convenient.
“We condemn the incident that took place at a synagogue in Jerusalem and which resulted in the killing of a number of Israelis. And while we condemn this act, we also condemn the assault on the Noble Sanctuary [Temple Mount] and all holy sites and the torching of mosques and churches.”
How nice of him to condemn that “incident” where “a number” of faceless and nameless Israelis died before switching the story back to his imagined assaults on al-Aqsa. Never mind that many of these terrorists cite these “assaults” as the reason for their attacks and that these “assaults” occur only in the mind and statements of Abbas, really Israel is to blame for it all.
There were dozens of pro-peace and anti-violence rallies across Israel this weekend. Not only have Palestinians never held similar rallies for dead Jewish victims of terror or against terrorism in general, but even when Israelis invite them to join ours, barely any are willing to show up. Instead Palestinian leaders encourage attacks by making up stories about Jewish attacks on al-Aqsa and then paying those who attack Jews as a result.
Let’s be clear, none of this justifies the horrible attacks of last week or let’s Israel off the hook for doing its part in bringing those responsible to justice and preventing future attacks. No ifs ands or buts.
It is just important to remember that as much as Israel does, it cannot end this scourge by itself. As long as the Palestinian leadership and society continues to only condemn terrorism when the perpetrators are Jewish peace will continue to be impossible.
More Palestinians, albeit in small numbers, have also been moving into predominantly Jewish neighborhoods and even settlements on occupied land.
While it is heartening to see a major news outlet finally admit that there are no “Jewish-only” areas in Jerusalem (or anywhere in Israel for that matter) it is unfortunate they still do so in such a stilted and anti-Israel way. It labels all of eastern Jerusalem occupied land and calls any Jewish neighborhood there a settlement despite the fact that it has previously been agreed that many if not all would remain as part of Israel under a two-state solution. Yet it does not label the newly Israeli Palestinians who live there as “settlers” nor the Israeli-Arabs who move there as such either. For Reuters, the only time an Israeli moving to eastern Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria is a problem is when that Israeli is also Jewish.
This fact was clearly visible earlier this year when Mohammed Said Ismail Musallam, an Israeli Arab, was killed by ISIS after traveling to its territory to join the group. ISIS accused him of being an Israeli spy and the reports about his execution all highlighted the fact that he was Israeli, Arab and lived in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. This neighborhood has a Jewish majority but many Arab residents as well. Had Musallam been a Jew, the media would have been quick to point out that he was an “illegal settler,” but since he was Arab, this was completely ignored.
Arabs can and do live in any area of Jerusalem. Not only has there never been a law restricting where Arabs can settle but it is expressly illegal to prevent someone from moving somewhere based on their religion or ethnicity.
The core argument of the BDS movement rests on the idea that Israel is an “apartheid State.” But more than simply being a derogatory term, “apartheid” has a specific meaning. The Apartheid System of the Republic of South Africa was based a series of laws mandating segregation of the races and unequal treatment in order to maintain minority white-rule. If Israel is truly an apartheid state, it would have to have similar laws with the same intent.
The way BDS makes its case is by highlighting Apartheid Laws that have superficial similarities to Israeli law and then saying this means Israel practices apartheid. In doing so they not only distort the meaning of those apartheid laws and how they functioned but they completely ignore the many other apartheid laws that not only aren’t in place in Israel, but that are actually illegal.
As we examine both sets of laws, it is clear that not only is Israel not an apartheid state, but if apartheid was judged by the standards of BDS, most states would be considered to be apartheid.
What’s more, if there is are entities that support any of these laws, it is the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Resistance Movement’s Gaza Strip!
##Apartheid Laws that are Explicitly Illegal in Israel
Immorality Amendment Act, Act No 21 of 1950; amended in 1957 (Act 23) - Prohibited adultery, attempted adultery or related immoral acts (extra-marital sex) between white and black people.
Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty - All citizens are equal before the law. In regards to universal concepts of human dignity and liberty, religious and ethnic groups are not referenced at all, only people. There are no laws governing sexual activity within or without the bounds of marriage between consenting adults.
Below: South Africa
Group Areas Act, Act No 41 of 1950 - Forced physical separation between races by creating different residential areas for different races. Led to forced removals of people living in “wrong” areas, for example Coloureds living in District Six in Cape Town.
It is illegal to discriminate against potential home-buyers based on race, religion or other factors in Israel. - There are no laws designating where Jews and non-Jews can or can not live. The Israel National Planning Council does designate new towns or cities as being developed for a specific community, but this is only designed to meet the needs of that community and has no bearing on who can actually live there. As such, the INPC may plan a new “haredi city,” but all Israeli citizens are free to move there, it just happens that because the plans will include special designations to meet the needs of the haredi community (additional space for synagogues, yeshivas, mikvahs…) making it more attractive to haredi citizens. INPC designations are merely guidelines and do not prevent citizens of any religion or ethnicity from living in any area.
Below: South Africa
Suppression of Communism Act, Act No 44 of 1950 - Outlawed communism and the Communist Party in South Africa. Communism was defined so broadly that it covered any call for radical change. Communists could be banned from participating in a political organisation and restricted to a particular area.
Basic Law: The Knesset, Section 7A “Prevention of participation of candidates list - The only way a candidate list can be prevented from running for Knesset is if they reject Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incite racism, or violence against the state by an enemy state or terror organization. Despite the fact that no Arab party currently in the Knesset recognizes Israel as a Jewish State, they have never been prevented from running in elections or serving in the Knesset. While there have been legal attempts to disqualify Arab parties for violating this law, each attempt was blocked by the Supreme Court. The only parties ever successfully banned from running for the Knesset were Kach and Kahane Chai and they were subsequently banned outright after being reclassified as terrorist organizations.
As for the law relating specifically to Communists, the Israeli Communist Party is currently in the Knesset as a faction of the Hadash Party which is part of the Joint Arab List.
Above: Prime Minister Netanyahu shaking hands with Ayman Oudeh, Head of the Joint Arab List, in the Knesset.
Above: A strike by Israeli workers (if you can tell which are Arabs and which are Jews, be sure to let us know because we can’t tell the difference).
Reservation of Separate Amenities Act, Act No 49 of 1953 - Forced segregation in all public amenities, public buildings, and public transport with the aim of eliminating contact between whites and other races. “Europeans Only” and “Non-Europeans Only” signs were put up. The act stated that facilities provided for different races need not be equal.
Discrimination based on religion or ethnicity is illegal in Israel - Jews and Arabs use the same public amenities, buildings and transport and it is illegal for a business not to serve a customer because they are an Arab or a Jew. The fact that occasionally the news will report about people or businesses discriminating (as happens at times in every country) is proof that they are law-breakers not policy makers.
Below: South Africa
Group Areas Development Act, Act No 69 of 1955 - Helped to effect the purpose of the Group Areas Act of 1950, namely to exclude non-Whites from living in the most developed areas, which were restricted to Whites. It was later replaced by the Community Development Act of 1966.
There are no restrictions on where a citizen can live regardless of religion or ethnicity.
Any citizen can appeal an eviction notice before the courts. Even non-Israeli Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria can sue in the Israeli Supreme Court (and win) if they believe they are being deprived of their land unjustly. Arabs, both citizens and non-citizens, have the right to appeal to the court system for any reason.
There are no areas designated as only for Arabs (or Jews only) in Israel and no “financial, commercial or industrial schemes” specifically for those non-existent areas. The Industrial Parks or Zones in Israel and Judea and Samaria make no distinction between Jew or Arab or Israeli or Palestinian (Israel and Egypt have 15 “Qualifying Industrial Zones” of a similar nature which have run without incident or protest).
There are no restrictions on university admission based on religion or ethnicity. On the contrary, there are affirmative action programs designed to aid disadvantaged students - Arab, women, the disabled… - in gaining admission.
Above: An Arab student at Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Arabs (like Jews) do fall into many categories in Israel - Muslim, Christian, Bedouin, Druze - but they are all equal before the law. There are no Bantu areas in Israel and no Israeli citizen can be deprived of their citizenship.
City councils are elected by the citizens of the municipality without regard to religion or ethnicity.
Bantu Homelands Citizens Act of 1970 - Compelled all black people to become a citizen of the homeland that responded to their ethnic group, regardless of whether they’d ever lived there or not, and removed their South African citizenship.
Arab citizens of Israel cannot be stripped of their citizenship without their consent. While critics of Israel frequently label the Palestinian Authority as a “Bantustan” this is for propaganda purposes and does not fit the comparison at all. Rather than creating the Palestinian Authority to deprive Arab Israelis of their citizenship, Israel was essentially forced into establishing it as part of the Oslo Accords. The creation of the PA had no effect on Arab citizens of Israel and while some Knesset Members have floated the idea of ceding some Israeli Arab towns to the PA as part of a peace treaty, such suggestions were never part of Israel’s past peace offers.
Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear that under any final peace deal, he would not allow a single Jew to remain in the Palestinian State. This means that all Jews living in Judea and Samaria outside of areas annexed by Israel would not even get the option of Palestinian citizenship. Just like Blacks in South Africa, they would be unable to get citizenship where they live and instead would have to look toward their ethnic homeland for citizenship before being expelled.
Above: Arab voting in Israeli an election
The Natives (Urban Areas) Act of 1923 - Laid the foundations for residential segregation in urban areas. This led to all Black South Africans being required to carry a Pass or ID card at all times.
There is no segregation - residential or otherwise - in urban or other areas. Segregation based on religion or ethnicity is illegal. All Israelis, regardless of religion or ethnicity, are required to carry their National ID Card at all times.
Above: Israeli bus
Below: South African racial discrimination sign
##Israeli Laws with Superficial Similarities to Apartheid Laws
Religious Marriage and Recognition of All Foreign Marriages - In regards to marriage, Israel maintains the law established by the Ottomans and continued by the British Mandate in which all marriages are conducted by separate religious establishments. All people are free to change their religious status for marriage or personal choice. All foreign civil marriages are recognized by the state without regard to religion, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
The PA also has no Civil Marriage and all marriages are carried out through separate religious establishments. There is no recognition or protection for same-sex couples.
Above: A staged gay-wedding in Israel.
Population Registration Act, Act No 30 of 1950 - Led to the creation of a national register in which every person’s race was recorded. A Race Classification Board took the final decision on what a person’s race was in disputed cases.
Registration of Inhabitants Ordinance No. 50 OF 5709-1949 and Population Registry Law, 5725-1965 - The State of Israel’s registration authority does collect data on citizen’s religion and ethnicity under the these laws, but this is merely for statistical purposes, as stated in Section 3 of the Registration of Inhabitants Ordinance and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2004. Many if not most countries around the world do the same. The laws list “religion” and “ethnicity” but makes no distinction between them and does not call for members of a certain group to be treated differently. Israeli ID cards have not shown the barer’s religion/ethnicity/nationality since 2005.
Above: An example of an Israeli ID card (note the **** under the nationality section so the barer’s ethnicity/nationality is not shown.)
Bantu Education Act, Act No 47 of 1953 - Established a Black Education Department in the Department of Native Affairs which would compile a curriculum that suited the “nature and requirements of the black people”. The author of the legislation, Dr Hendrik Verwoerd (then Minister of Native Affairs, later Prime Minister), stated that its aim was to prevent Africans receiving an education that would lead them to aspire to positions they wouldn’t be allowed to hold in society. Instead Africans were to receive an education designed to provide them with skills to serve their own people in the homelands or to work in labouring jobs under whites.
In order to address gaps between the level and quality of education between Jewish and Arab students, the Israeli government has initiated numerous affirmative action campaigns and increased budgets for the Arab community. This has had mixed results. Despite the problems Israel faces with ensuring students in minority and poor student get a proper education (something every country has difficulty with) Christian Arabs have flourished in Israel in terms of education. Far from intending to prevent Arabs “from receiving an education that would lead them to aspire to positions they wouldn’t be allowed to hold in society” (none such positions exist in Israel), the Arab Education system of the Ministry of Education is designed to incread the educational standards in Arab schools while celebrating and teaching Arab culture and history.
Above: Arab students in Israel
Natives Resettlement Act, Act No 19 of 1954 - Permitted the removal of blacks from any area within and next to the magisterial district of Johannesburg by the South African government. This act was designed to remove of blacks from Sophiatown to Soweto.
It is illegal to remove anyone, regardless of religious or ethnic background, from their legally owned homes. - If a citizen does not own their home or property or built their home without a legal permit, only then can they be evicted, but these evictions can be fought in court. The most common occurrences deal with Bedouin squatting on State Land and Jews who establish outposts in Judea and Samaria on property they have not legally acquired. In both cases, the residents may appeal their evictions to the Supreme Court. The only example of Israeli citizens being forced from their legally owned homes is of Jews who were forcibly removed from Sinai, Gaza and Samaria as part of the peace treaty with Egypt and the 2005 Disengagement Plan.
Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear that under any final peace deal, he would not allow a single Jew to remain in the Palestinian State. This means that any Jews living in the area designated for a Palestinian State would be expelled in the same way Jews were previously expelled from Sinai, Gaza and Northern Samaria.
Above: An Israeli Jew being forcibly removed from his home in Gaza.
Terrorism Act of 1967 - Allowed for indefinite detention without trial and established BOSS, the Bureau of State Security, which was responsible for the internal security of South Africa.
British Mandate 1945 Law on Authority in States of Emergency as amended in 1979, or Administrative Detention - (From Wikipedia)
>Within Israel, the Defense Minister has the authority to issue Administrative Detention orders for up to 6 months in cases where there is a reasonable chance that the person harms the security of the state. The same Minister has the authority to renew such orders. Likewise, the Chief of the General Staff can issue such orders, but valid for only 48 hours. Law enforcement authorities have to show cause within 48 hours (in a hearing behind closed doors). Administrative Detention orders can be appealed to the District Court and, if denied there, to the Supreme Court of Israel. The District Court can annul such orders if it finds the administrative detention occurred for reasons other than security (e.g., common crimes, or the exercise of freedom of expression). Overall supervisory authority on the application of the relevant law rests with the Minister of Justice.
More importantly, this law applies to all terrorism suspects. Suspected Jewish terrorists are subjected to the strictures of the law exactly as are Arab terrorists. It just happens that there are fewer Jewish terrorists (Thank God!) and therefore fewer Jews placed in administrative detention. Importantly, it is only very rarely used against Israeli citizens, Arab or Jew.
The Natives Land Act, No 27 of 1913 - Made it illegal for blacks to purchase or lease land from whites except in reserves; this restricted black occupancy to less than eight per cent of South Africa’s land.
Arabs can and do purchase and lease land from Jews and there are no restrictions on them doing so. It is illegal to discriminate between buyers based on religion or race.
When confronted with this fact, many people then point to the Jewish National Fund, which only allows Jews to buy, mortgage or lease its land. There are two important things to take into consideration in regards to the JNF:
In 2005, Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz ruled that the Israel Lands Administration could not comply with the JNF’s Jews-only policy as it directly contravened Israel’s anti-discrimination laws. Therefore, the JNF would be required to sell, lease or rent land to anyone regardless of religion or ethnicity.
The Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 in order to help Jews settle in the land of Israel at a time of growing global anti-Semitism. It was an NGO dedicated to aiding Jews regain territory in their ancestral homeland. This was akin to establishing Indian Reservations in the US or Aboriginal land rights in Australia however it was established and funded by the Jews themselves rather than the ruling government. It is understandable that such areas are run by and in many cases, restricted to, members of the native tribes who were kicked off their land so many years ago and that need these areas to maintain their cultural traditions. There are many laws in the United States, like the Dawes Act and the Indian Reorganization Act that deal specifically with setting aside land only for members of the tribes while Australia has the Indigenous Land Corporation whose sole purpose is to aid Aboriginal Australians gain and manage their land. If Australia were to elect an Aborigines Prime Minister, it would still be necessary and just to have land set aside specifically for Aboriginal use and settlement. The same is true for Israel and the Jewish National Fund.
It is illegal to sell land to Jews - Any Palestinians who sells land to Jews is not only subject to intense social pressure leading to most claiming they were misled as to the real buyers, but the PLO’s Revolutionary Penal Code (1979) applies the death penalty to anyone “transferring positions to the enemy.” While this was strictly enforced in the 1990s, Abbas has not authorized executions for land sales since 2004. Instead, Palestinians convicted of selling land to Jews are now sentenced to hard labor for life.
Technically these laws refer either to “enemy states” or “Israelis,” however in practice, this is only ever applied to land deals with Jews. There has never been a case where Palestinians were prosecuted for selling land to Israeli Arabs, despite the fact that many buy homes in the PA. Additionally, since all Jews were ethnically cleansed from Judea and Samaria by Jordan and Gaza by Egypt in 1948, there are no Jewish citizens of the Palestinian Authority (other than token citizenship for famous Israeli “peaceniks” like Daniel Barenboim who don’t actually live there) who could buy land or property without being members of an “enemy state.” The effect is that it is illegal to sell or rent land to Jews in the Palestinian Authority.
Clearly anyone who accuses Israel being an apartheid state either does not know what apartheid is, what Israel is or is a liar.
Avi Issacharoff of the Times of Israel’s latest article paints an incredibly disturbing picture of the current state of controls at the Gaza-Israel border. According to this report, Hamas is not only smuggling weapon and tunnel building materials through tunnels from Sinai, but is actually doing so direct through the Israeli Kerem Shalom Crossing.
This is incredibly disturbing in its own right and calls into question Israel’s current policy of sending hundreds of trucks of aid across the border on a daily basis while the Palestinians lie to the world and claim nothing gets through.
However, there was another aspect of this report that caught our eye:
They [members of Hamas] have received only a few hundred shekels instead of their full salaries for the past four months because of Hamas’s financial hardship. Full salaries are supposed to be paid out this month due to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s decision to resume transferring grants from Iran in light of his agreement with the P5+1.
Last week, National Security Adviser Susan Rice admitted that Iran “may be able to send money” to terror groups and that while Iran is already funding these groups, “they will have more money” do so once sanctions are fully lifted. Yeah, about $150 billion more.
Some will say that the Iran Deal does not allow the Islamic Republic to transfer unfrozen funds to terrorist groups. These people lack a basic understanding of economics and the core principle that money is fungible: Iran might not transfer the exact dollars that are unfrozen, but that money will free up other funds from the Iranian budget that can and will be transferred to terrorist organizations like Hamas.
As we see here, Iran isn’t wasting any time before sending additional money to Hamas and, from its perspective, why should it?
Now that the West has finally capitulated to Iran and agreed to it’s nuclearization through this historically bad deal those of us seeking to actually prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb have been debating the proper way to counter the deal.
Many are now focusing their efforts on getting Congress to block the deal. While this is certainly something we should work for, Obama is already not only lobbying hard to ensure there is no veto-proof majority against the deal, but has had the deal approved by the UN Security Council before Congress was given the chance to vote. This means that if Congress exercises its legitimate authority over the ratification of treaties contrary to what the President wants, it will put the United States in violation of a UNSC resolution and the US would be at fault for breaching the deal.
While the JPF doesn’t care so much if the US flouts the UN’s authority, what is far more concerning is that a rejection by Congress will almost certainly not derail the deal and, at least on its own, will not prevent a nuclear Iran. The Europeans, Russia and China are not going to just sit back and say, “Oh, well Congress says no, let’s start over.” American sanctions might stay in place (might) but others will not and the unfrozen money delivered to Iran will not be returned. What’s more, it will allow Iran to accuse the US of breaching the deal (which it will have done) allowing it to flout the very few restrictions it agreed to. Yes, Iran is going to cheat on the deal, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Additionally, statements like Presidential Candidate Scott Walker that he would scrap the nuclear deal once in office, while refreshing, are also incredibly problematic. Once the United States signs a deal, it must keep its word. If Iran agreed to a deal that actually stopped its nuclear program and then after the next elections the new Iranian President said he was scrapping the deal, we would justifiably cry foul. There are extreme cases where the President of the United States could justifiably disregard treaties he believes are dangerous to American national security, and this would almost certainly fall into that category, but it is nothing to be flippant about and should be avoided whenever possible. If the world is ever going to trust American leadership again, it must know that the US will keep its word.
So what can be done?
First, call us pessimistic, but with regards to much of the deal, there is very little that can be done at this point. The crippling sanctions that brought Iran to the table cannot be reimposed. The money transferred to Iran (which will be subsequently transferred to Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis and Iraqi Shiite militias) can’t be taken back. This means the world we live in just got a lot more dangerous and while we don’t have to like it, we should first recognize the limitations of our response.
Second, even if it cannot be blocked, it is still important to make it clear that the United States is not united in the false belief that this will prevent a nuclear Iran. Congress may not be able to override Obama’s veto but it still needs to make it clear that it is not on board and will be watching every move with incredible scrutiny. Therefore, all efforts should be made to ensure Congress votes no.
Third and most importantly, we must catch Iran as it cheats its way to a bomb. With this deal, Iran could even follow the rules and just wait until the main aspects expire but that isn’t Iran’s style. Especially after this experience of taking the US to the cleaners, Iran’s leaders are only going to get bolder and more aggressive. Our one hope is that this will breed overconfidence and cause Iran to overreach in its capabilities. This makes Iran much more likely to attempt to cheat on the deal, which is exactly what we need to catch them doing. The problem is, as outlined by Yuval Steinitz, that this deal actually makes it much harder to catch Iran with its hand in the cookie jar:
Worse yet, before the deal, Western or Israeli intelligence documenting illicit nuclear activity by Iran “might serve as a smoking gun,” Steinitz said. “But after the agreement, the Iranians will come to the world powers [if confronted with evidence of violations and say], ‘You have to go through the procedure, you can’t just make claims.’”
This is why the US needs to push for inspections as soon as possible of suspected nuclear work at military sites. Since Iran has a month to sterilize any site of illicit materials and actions means it’s unlikely those inspections will ever find anything. This means that we must find proof of Iranian cheating beforehand and then show the world that Iran is abusing the verification process and breaching the deal. However, given that a “top Iranian Aide” has said Iran will not agree with inspections of its military sites the US might not even need to prove that Iran is using such sites illegally. All it will have to do is show that Iran is preventing the inspections it agreed to, breaching the deal and allowing the US to pull out while blaming Iran. Proof that Iran is preventing inspections would also put an potential Israeli strike in a more favorable light.
But even in this “best case scenario” Iran will already have been emboldened and enriched with hundreds of billions of dollars and terror groups the world over will get major boosts in funding and weaponry. Ideally, President Obama would immediately push for inspections of military sites to test Iranian compliance, however given how invested he is in the deal, it is unlikely he will push the envelope and risk it collapsing.
If the next Commander-in-Chief really wants to end the disastrous Iran Deal and work towards something more comprehensive that will actually prevent a nuclear Iran and end Iran’s massive support of terrorism, this is the best and most realistic approach available.
Let’s pray that in the time it takes to carry this out game changing amounts of money and weaponry aren’t transferred to Iranian terror agents.
One day after America’s 239th Independence Day, a new poll was released announcing that Israel is losing major support among Democrats and therefore “can’t claim bipartisan US support.” According to the Times of Israel report, “three quarters of highly educated, high income, publicly active US Democrats — the so-called “opinion elites” — believe Israel has too much influence on US foreign policy, almost half of them consider Israel to be a racist country, and fewer than half of them believe that Israel wants peace with its neighbors.” Since Israel’s founding over 67 years ago, it has enjoyed broad support from across the American political spectrum and though in Europe support for Israel from the Left has been consistently dropping for years, this was not the case in America.
This is incredibly disturbing to say the least. The main reason why Israel and America share such a close relationship is because the two countries share the same values leading to a majority of Americans supporting Israel. This new poll reaffirms that most Americans continue to support Israel (68% say the US should support Israel v. Palestinians), but the stark decline in support from Democrats and the Left indicates that unless something is done, this majority will continue to decline. Then Israel will become a partisan issue of Right v. Left as it is in Europe.
The main reason for this is that the more time goes on without a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians, the more time the Palestinians have had to convince the Left to accept its narrative and reject Israel’s.
This is not a new endeavor as Israel’s enemies have attempted to smear Israel and the Zionist movement with charges of racism well before Israel declared independence. The “greatest success” this slanderous movement had was UNGA 3379, the infamous 1975 “Zionism equals Racism” resolution.
What most people forget about this resolution was that it not only resolved that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination,” but that it reached this conclusion by linking Zionism with Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia. The reason why the anti-Israel movement has been so persistent in pushing the lie that “Zionism = Racism” and that the BDS movement has been so forceful with its “Israel is an apartheid state” slander is they know that once a symbol is associated with racism, whether justifiably or not, that symbol is beyond saving.
###The Case of the Confederate Battle Flag
After the terrorist attack at the historic African-American AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, there was a rush to ban the Confederate Battle Flag, remove it from public buildings and stores. The Apple App Store even went so far as to remove apps that used the flag not as a symbol of hate or pride but simply as an appropriate identifying marker in Civil War related apps. Many Southerners were upset by this rush to condemn a symbol that, for them, had nothing to do with hatred or racial supremacy but rather was a reminder of their heritage. To be clear, there is nothing wrong in people feeling pride in their history and culture. However, when that pride focuses on a treasonous flag that fought to preserve the institution of human slavery and then made its resurgence as a symbol of the fight against desegregation and the civil rights movement, that cultural pride is completely overshadowed and becomes linked to ideas its supporters reject.
It doesn’t matter that most American Southerners who venerate the flag don’t believe in white supremacy, slavery or segregation. Since the flag has such strong historical connections to the evils or slavery & segregation, it cannot be rehabilitated. Southern Pride must find a new symbol not only free of these sins, but one that southerners of all ethnicities can rally behind.
Similarly, there is no reason why Germans cannot be proud of their country and their heritage. However, using the Nazi flag would be an unacceptable way to show that pride because it is inextricably linked with the worst chapter of German history. If a German flew the Swastika and said he only identified with the German nationalism it represents but not the anti-Semitism, no one would accept such an argument and rightly so. It is impossible to separate the Nazi Swastika from the Holocaust and attempts to do so are done with the specific intent of whitewashing Nazi war crimes and diminishing the horrors of the Holocaust.
Building on these examples, the anti-Israel movement has sought for years to link Zionism and the Israeli flag with racism. The BDS-holes have attempted to make it so that whenever someone hears the word “Israel” they then hear the word “apartheid.” This is in keeping with Nazi Master Propagandist Joseph Goebbels’ mantra of The Big Lie, where he said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” It is in this area that the BDS movement is having its greatest success among its left-wing audience.
When examining the use of the term “Zionism” with audiences on the Left, pollster Frank Luntz points out, “you can’t make the case [for Israel] if you use that word [Zionism]. If you are at Berkeley or Brown and start outlining a Zionist vision, you don’t get to make a case for Israel because they’ve already switched off.” When these left-wing students hear the word “Zionism,” they don’t think of the Jewish National Liberation Movement, they don’t think about the only country in the Middle East where women, gays and minorities have equal rights and protection under the law, they don’t think about the only true safe haven for persecuted Jews. They hear Zionism and immediately think Apartheid.
History shows us that once this stigma of racism is attached to a symbol, it is unshakable, so does this mean that the term Zionism itself is lost?
In short, no. At least not yet.
It is important to remember that unlike the Confederate Battle Flag and the Nazi Swastika, Zionism is innocent of the outlandish charges leveled against it. This is one of the reasons why Israel’s enemies not only lie about crimes they say Israel commits, but why they try to link it to real crimes committed by others.
In this respect, the BDS-holes still have an uphill battler (at least in America) because they need to convince a majority of the people that their lie is the truth and that the truth is a lie. As long as a solid majority of Americans reject BDS’s lies, Israel’s supporters need not abandon the name of our nationalist movement, but unless something changes, a growing number of Americans will continue to fall under the sway of the anti-Israel misinformation brigade.
The main problem is that the best way to counter this anti-Israel movement is to make peace with the Palestinians. However, the more BDS isolates Israel, the more obstinate the Palestinians become and the less likely they are to finally confront their sacred cows - refusing to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, dividing Jerusalem, the “Right of Return” and supporting terrorism - not that they’ve ever shown the slightest interest in doing so. BDS gives the Palestinians the false impression that they never have to compromise on these anti-peace ideas because eventually Israel will become so isolated it will be forced to give in on each one.
In this way, BDS makes peace less likely, not more and that is exactly its point. BDS needs to make peace more difficult because if Israel actually makes peace, it loses 99% of its Western support. For this reason, it is imperative that BDS link Israel with the modern evil-incarnate that is apartheid so it can maintain and grow its support from people who would otherwise reject its extremism and hatred.
###What can be done?
Unfortunately, the only way to counter this is by repeatedly making the just case for Israel. Reminding the world and the Left of Israel’s liberal values, of its respect for human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, protection of religious minorities, and spurned peace overtures, all the causes the West believes in. Zionists face an uphill battle not only because we can’t even call ourselves by this name in some circles any more, but also because BDS-holes use tactics that we won’t. No matter how much we love Israel and want to defend her, most of us are loathe to spread lies, even about our enemies. We respect freedom of speech and won’t shout down and prevent those we disagree with from speaking. We refuse to engage in macabre street theater as they do with “die ins” and mock checkpoints that present a false reality.
We must fight with one hand tied behind our back because that is what our morality requires of us.
But is that any different from how Jews have had to defend ourselves in every generation?
The Israeli Channel 2 has released footage of the raid on the Marianne of Gothenburg:
In the footage you can plainly see and hear that the Naval Commandos have no interest in violence or confrontation. First they engage in a dialogue with MK Basel Ghattas of the Joint List who was on the ship. He asked them to send one soldier, unarmed, to negotiate. Then, a commando says, “If you want no damage to be made, stop the ship and let us board peacefully because this is our intention.”
After the ship refuses to follow these orders, the video cuts to the commandos boarding the ship and tazing one passenger (it isn’t clear who). They didn’t board with guns blazing or lobbing grenades in every direction. They calmly entered the ship and used non-lethal crowd-control measures that are employed by police departments the world over.
The commandos go out of their way to be courteous to MK Ghattas even as he refuses to cooperate with them. A commando tells him, “You are our Member of Knesset. I respect you as an MK.” But Ghattas cuts off the soldier saying “you are attacking a ship in International Waters.”
The soldier then puts his hand on his back, he doesn’t push, the motion looks more like someone putting his arm around a friend. Then another soldier says, “Respected MK, we request that you listen to the Officer, please Respected MK.” The first soldier then tells him “We have prepared a place for you, as needed for a Member of Knesset, you don’t… we don’t want to hurt you, please move backwards.”
While watching this footage of Israeli soldiers confronting, in such a respectful and measured way, a member of their government that is acting on behalf of their enemy, I wonder how the soldiers of another country would act in a similar situation.
We know there are no pro-Israel members of the Palestinian governments (either PA or Hamas) that support Israel, but we have seen the brutal repression against anyone speaking out against the party line. This means jail and torture under Abbas in Judea and Samaria or jail, torture and public execution by Hamas in Gaza.
Imagine if an Egyptian MP decided he was going to help “end the blockade of Sinai” and was stopping by Egyptian soldiers on his way. Would they have called him “Respected Member of Parliament” and calmly put a hand on his back? No, they would arrest him, whisk him off to jail and then sentence him to life in prison for supporting terrorist organizations. But such an incident would probably never make it to Western news since Israel isn’t involved.
This scene, of an Israeli Arab MK betraying his country in support of Hamas and Israeli soldiers stopping him in the most respectful and restrained way possible, is what should define this incident. Unfortunately, the media once again tells the exact opposite of what really happens.
Despite the best efforts of anti-Israel activists, the latest “Freedom Flotilla” accomplished none of its goals: It did not bring world attention to the legal Israeli naval blockade of Gaza for more than a few minutes, it did not reach Gaza, and it didn’t get any “aid” to Gaza (which actually wasn’t even one of its goals to begin with).
But this incident does prove something incredibly important: Israel was roundly condemned when its naval commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara back in 2010 and ended up killing 9 passengers. What went completely unnoticed was the fact that there were almost no injuries on any of the other five ships attempting reach Hamas-run Gaza and that passengers on the two ships that didn’t even offer passive resistance were not even handcuffed. Instead of asking the logical question, “why did the Israeli commandos only use force on one ship?” the media decided to do what it does best: condemn Israel without doing any research.
The BBC actually produced a pretty balanced documentary investigating the incident (well after most of the damage to Israel’s reputation was done), and we encourage you to watch it:
As is very clear from the documentary, the commandos were responding to violent actions by those on board the Marmara that were completely absent from the other ships. Meaning, that although those on board the other Hamas supporting ships were still attempting to break a legal blockade and help establish a sea route to bring in weapons for Gaza terrorists, they weren’t willing to engage in violence themselves and (mostly) surrendered when stopped.
The same is true the Marianne of Gothenburg ship. While these useful idiots are full of hatred for Israel and were working specifically to open up the sea to a Hamas-run weapons importing facility, they did not engage in violence themselves. When Israel boarded the ship they went limp and forced the commandos to carry them off, but they didn’t try to hurt of kill anyone (directly).
So for all those in the media saying, “surprisingly, no one was hurt in the raid” this week it is important to remember that this isn’t surprising at all. Israel was never looking to use force on any of these ships and even stops its commandos from taking their usual weapons with them to prevent accidents. The only reason why violence occurred on the Mavi Marmara was because its passengers decided to attack soldiers after ignoring repeated warnings and running a legal naval blockade.
The biggest weapon in the arsenal of BDS is the “Israel = Apartheid” charge. This has completely overtaken the “anti-occupation” trope that previously characterized much of the “pro-Palestinian” movement.
In his book One State, Two States, renowned Israeli historian Benny Morris notes:
Over the past few years, against the backdrop of the Second Intifada and Israel’s efforts to suppress Arab terrorism, Palestinian spokespeople have stepped up their designation of Israel’s policies as “apartheid.” Without doubt, the definition “sells” well in the West and serves the Palestinian goal of delegitimizing Israel much as South Africa’s apartheid regime was delegitimized in the West before it’s collapse. But Israeli journalist Sever Plutzker (in “Who Favors a Partition Plan?” Y-Net, 3 January 2008) had pointed out that these years have also witnessed a gradual replacement, among Palestinian spokesmen, of “the discourse of occupation” with the “discourse of apartheid” because the focus on berating the “occupation” leads, or should lead, to Israeli withdrawal from the territories, opening the way for a two-state solution, whereas the talk of “apartheid” with its stress on human rights and their absence, should lead, eventually, to ameliorating the situation of the oppressed within the geopolitical framework. Plutzker points out that this shift of emphasis corresponds to the shift among Palestinians from advocacy of a two-state solution to advocacy of one-statism; talking of ‘apartheid serves the “one state” purpose. (n1 p. 203-4.)
Plutzker was probably the first to recognize the reasoning behind shift to the apartheid analogy: the only remedy for an apartheid state is its complete dissolution and destruction, which has been the goal of the majority of the pro-Palestinian movement from the beginning. Whereas an anti-occupation movement could technically resign itself to a peaceful two state solution, an anti-apartheid movement never can because an apartheid state has no right to exist, or the rights to peace and defense that go with it.
Still there are others who take the view of Canadian MP (and staunch friend of Israel) Irwin Cotler, who said that accusations of apartheid are “within the boundaries of argument.” However, while most anti-Zionists who make this argument stop here, Cotler clarified by saying “It’s where you say, because it’s an apartheid state, it has to be dismantled - then you crossed the line into a racist argument, or an anti-Jewish argument. You’re not just criticizing, you’re not only criticizing Israeli policy or practice; you’re not only saying it has apartheid policies; you’re saying it’s a criminal apartheid state that must be dismantled. Then in my view, you’ve crossed the line.” MP Cotler failed to recognize (or at least he did back in 2011) that the very accusation of apartheid itself implies that the accused must be dismantled and this is the crux of the BDS movement.
Another thing to remember, which is often overlooked, is that apartheid was a real thing. The oppressive system it created destroyed real lives and real people struggled against it. So not only is the apartheid libel grossly offensive to Israel, it is incredibly disrespectful to those who actually suffered under the real thing in South Africa. When the group “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” wanted to march in Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade in 2012, the City Council condemned the use of the “odious” term slamming “the term for undermining the values of Pride and diminishing “the suffering experienced by individuals during the apartheid regime in South Africa.””
More recently, Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last president of South Africa under apartheid, recently gave an interview to Israeli radio. In it he said, “I think comparisons [of Israel to Apartheid South Africa] are odious and wouldn’t like to draw direct comparisons.” This from the man who oversaw the dissolution of the South African “Republic” and shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela. While the BDS movement claims sanctions on Israel will help the Palestinians, de Klerk cautions that “In the case of South Africa our experience has been that sanctions sometimes delayed the reforms,” and usually hurt the Black population much more than the ruling White government. This has long been the position of Palestinian Human Rights Advocate Bassam Eid who asserts that
The “pro-Palestinian” activists have therefore entirely completed the switch from supposedly being pro-Palestinian to being fully anti-Palestinian. While they claim to defend the interests of Palestinians, they in fact thrive on the deaths and unemployment of Palestinians… Whenever they are told that their actions hurt the Palestinians far more than they hurt Israel, “pro-Palestinian” activists plug their ears and start shouting “la la la la, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you”, then they go back to their mantra about the Israelis having stolen land and needing to be punished and being all-around evil people and so on. It would be funny if it were not real.
What Eid is clear on is that BDS-holes are not “pro-Palestinian” in any sense of the word. They are anti-Israel extremists who seek the destruction of Israel over any other goal. The replacement of the “anti-occupation” meme with that of an “anti-apartheid” one only serves to highlight that these Israel haters are only interested in one thing :
###The destruction of the world’s only Jewish State.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the US and current Kulanu Knesset Member Michael Oren recently wrote a scathing rebuke of President Obama’s actions vis a vis Israel. While he does so politely and goes out of his way to say “Mr. Obama was never anti-Israel” and reminds his readers that “to his credit, he significantly strengthened security cooperation with the Jewish state,” Oren carefully lists how a pattern of actions taken by the US President intentionally created a series of crises between the two countries.
Dr. Oren carefully explained how President Obama held Israel and the Palestinians to completely different standards and by doing so he sabotaged the chance for peace he supposedly championed:
Consequently, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas boycotted negotiations, reconciled with Hamas and sought statehood in the U.N.—all in violation of his commitments to the U.S.—but he never paid a price. By contrast, the White House routinely condemned Mr. Netanyahu for building in areas that even Palestinian negotiators had agreed would remain part of Israel.
While Obama and his administration will sometimes pay lip-service to demands for Palestinian accountability, it is never followed through with actual consequences. What’s more, while Israel is often singled out in specific statements and with specific demands, the similar statements and demands of the Palestinians are only given in reference to Israeli ones, never on their own (if someone has a link to an article where Obama only makes demands of Palestinians, please send it our way).
The gulf between President Obama’s statements and actions is immense. In the President’s last interview with Jeffery Goldberg, he seemed to understand the necessity of recognizing Israel as the Jewish State:
Do you think that Israel has a right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people, and are you aware of the particular circumstances of Jewish history that might prompt that need and desire? And if your answer is no, if your notion is somehow that that history doesn’t matter, then that’s a problem, in my mind.
And yet, despite acknowledging the necessity (which we fully explain here) he has not only refused to make Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish State a condition for peace, but he has never condemned Mahmoud Abbas or his staff for publicly stating - over and over again! - that they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State regardless of its borders.
The “Jewish state.” What is a “Jewish state?” We call it the “State of Israel.” You can call yourselves whatever you want. But I will not accept it. And I say this on a live broadcast… It’s not my job to define it, to provide a definition for the state and what it contains. You can call yourselves the Zionist Republic, the Hebrew, the National, the Socialist [Republic] call it whatever you like. I don’t care.
Here we have Abbas stating unequivocally that he will never accept Israel as a Jewish State. He was never rebuked in public or private, for this or his many other similar statements. In fact, a few months after this, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the first settlement freeze since 1967 in the hopes that “this decision will help launch meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” But Obama did not use this as an excuse to pressure Abbas to negotiate. Instead Abbas boycotted the negotiations until the 9th month of the 10 month freeze and insisted Israel extend it for the negotiations to continue. When Netanyahu conditioned an extended freeze on Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish State Abbas refused and the talks collapsed. But instead of blaming Abbas for refusing to compromise or hailing Netanyahu for making significant and unprecedented concessions, President Obama and other world leaders blamed the end of negotiations on Bibi.
President Obama continued in his interview to explain why recognizing the Jewish State is important, especially in regards to persistent anti-Semitism:
If… you acknowledge the justness of the Jewish homeland, you acknowledge the active presence of anti-Semitism—that it’s not just something in the past, but it is current—if you acknowledge that there are people and nations that, if convenient, would do the Jewish people harm because of a warped ideology. If you acknowledge those things, then you should be able to align yourself with Israel where its security is at stake, you should be able to align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not held to a double standard in international fora, you should align yourself with Israel when it comes to making sure that it is not isolated.”
He says these words but does the opposite. He holds Israel to a double standard and the Palestinians to no standards at all. He makes demands of Israel and none of the Palestinians. He equates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism but never makes a Palestinian rejection of the two a demand.
Jeffery Goldberg summed up his view of the President in this way:
this is my interpretation of his worldview—he holds Israel to a higher standard than he does other countries because of the respect he has for Jewish values and Jewish teachings, and for the role Jewish mentors and teachers have played in his life.
DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ISRAEL: Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
Whether President Obama is holding Israel to a double standard “out of the goodness of his heart,” “out of ‘respect’ for Jewish values” or out of sheer ignorance is irrelevant. This is anti-Semitism pure and simple and it is having disastrous consequences.
Last week, Spain approved a law granting an eased pathway to citizenship for the descendants of Sephardic Jews who were expelled from the country in 1492 after the completion of the Catholic Reconquitsa of the Iberian Peninsula.
The blogger Elder of Ziyon reported that news of such a law was greeted with anger by many Muslims, especially those in Morocco, due to what they view as a double standard: Muslims as well as Jews also faced the choice of conversion or expulsion, with many New-Christian, crypto-Muslims (known as Moriscos) facing torture and death alongside Anusim during the Inquisition. Why then should Sephardic Jews get a law helping them return to Spain, while Muslims do not? Isn’t this Islamophobic discrimination?
When we pointed out one notable difference between the two communities:
The real difference is that Jews lived in Iberia before Muslim occupation. They were locals who were expelled not invaders @elderofziyon
we were quickly attacked for daring to say there was a clear difference between the two communities and therefore an acceptable distinction for how the modern state of Spain relates to them. This is not to say that we would oppose a similar law for the descendants of Muslims who were expelled from Spain, only that the law in question now is not discriminatory for only dealing with Sephardim.
Unfortunately, the JPF sustained this onslaught on Erev Shabbat and was forced to retreat into the pre-modern world where Twitter and blogs are unusable. We did however promise to emerge from our rest with responses to each of the “points” addressed to us and since we are Jews of our Word, rather than attempt to fit them into 140 characters, we will take them on one by one here.
###Questions of Indigeneity - Visigoths v. Moors
Our opponents quickly pointed out that at the time of the Muslim invasion of the Eighth Century, the Iberian Peninsula was ruled by the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania. They argued that since the Visigoths were “Germanic invaders,” they were had no greater claim to Spain than the Moors.
This is incredibly disingenuous to say the least. While this was technically a Visigothic Kingdom, by the time of the Muslim invasion the Iberian Visigoths had so completely assimilated with the native HIspano-Roman population that they were virtually indistinguishable. Even the Gothic language had been lost centuries earlier. Rather than dominating as an outside force, the Visigoths mixed into the indigenous population in a process that saw them become one in the same, losing their own distinct identity, ethnicity, culture and language over the centuries. It is only in this extremely rare model that a colonial people can become indigenous.
The Moorish Invasion and domination was the polar opposite. While the Visigoths assimilated into local Spanish culture at the expense of their own identity, the Moors maintained their colonial identities and encouraged the local Spaniards to assimilate into Muslim al-Andalus. As they accepted the new Muladi identity, these former Spaniards rejected their indigenous heritage in favor of that of the colonial power, so even though the Muladies became the majority population by 1100 CE, they ceased being a part of the indigenous community. They had a new religion, language, and culture, and, as Ryan Bellerose makes clear, “Blood quantum alone is insufficient to transmit indigenous status.” Had the Moors acted like the Visigoths in every way but religion, then perhaps they could have merged with the indigenous population as well, but that was not what happened. Instead of the Moors abandoning their foreign identity in favor of the indigenous Iberian, Iberians abandoned their identities in favor of the colonial Moors, thereby forfeiting their indigenous status.
As we said, it was not only a change in religion. Native Americans are almost 100% Christian today. However, these communities maintain their ancestral lands (or at least their ties to lands currently out of their control), their culture, history and languages (though these are sadly dying out as time passes). By retaining these characteristics and their distinct identity, they were able to remain true to themselves while adopting a new religion. The same was not the case with the Muladies.
We now return to our original point that Jews were the descendants of immigrants and local converts, while Muslims were the descendants of colonists and locals who joined them. Not only were the Sephardic Jews migrants as opposed to invaders, they remained a distinct community even after the Muslim invasion and their subsequent expulsion. Many Sephardic Jews even appended ס”ט to their names, an abbreviation for “ספרדי טהור,” or “Pure Sephardic” indicating that regardless of who was ruling Spain or where the Sephardic Jews were living, they and their community traced their lineage back to Spain (though ultimately back to Israel).
###Golden Age of Spanish Jewry
We were then reminded that the Jews of al-Andalus were treated much better than they were under Christian rule and that had it not been for the Reconquista, Sephardic Jewry would never have been ethnically cleansed from the area.
This is as true as it is irrelevant. First, we never claimed Jews had it better off in Christian Europe than under Muslim rule. Given that the first act of the Christian Monarchs was to expel all the Jews and then persecute the Conversos, clearly this was not the case (most of the time).
Second, it is possible to recognize a just cause while admitting it was carried out with unjust means. We can recognize that it was just for the Spanish to retake their homeland from the colonial Moors while still asserting that many actions that accompanied it were unjust - jus ad bellum does not equal jus in bello. The law in question itself was drafted to make amends for the historic injustice of the Order of Expulsion.
A Spanish Muslim then chimed in and we would want him to feel left out let’s examine his arguments as well (English is clearly his second language, all spelling errors are in the original):
As for my views on the [EoZ] “article” is just absolutely disgusting bringing Israel-Palestinian conflict on every Muslim/Jewish issue. This has nothing to with that.
Given that pro-Palestinians hijack any cause or event for their own ends, no matter how disconnected, for their own ends, this comment is beyond hypocritical. Also, had our friend bothered to actually read the article in question, he would have noticed the only time Israel is brought up is in reference to another article explaining that just as many leading Muslims see all of Israel as an Islamic Waqf that can never be renounced, so too is Spain.
In Islamic terms, waqf refers to a religious endowment i.e a voluntary an irrevocable dedication of one’s wealth or a portion of it – in cash or kind (such as a house or a garden) and it’s disbursement for shariah compliant projects (such as mosques or religious schools…) In Ottoman Turkish law, and later under the British Mandate of Palestine, the waqf was defined as usufruct State land (or property) of which the State revenues are assured to pious foundations. [this is a quote from Wikipedia] Nothing about Spain.
This is all true. However, any land that has come under Islamic control is often referred to as Waqf as well. Whether this is true to the original meaning of the word or not is irrelevant as it regularly used and thought of in this way both by Muslim leaders and laity. By this definition, both Iberia and Israel would qualify as Waqf making it haram for believing Muslims to surrender their claims to said territories.
Has been told many times: Muslims , following the teachings of the Koran , believed that Christians and Jews as a “ people of the Book “ , not to be forcibly converted to Islam nor killed.
This is also irrelevant to the discussion at hand and not entirely accurate either. First, despite the injunction not to kill or forcibly convert Jews and Christians, this still happened many times in Islamic history. Second, this did not prevent Muslims from killing Christians or Jews in battle.
Our friend then reminds us that Jihad actually means “effort” or “striving,” as one would make toward being a better and more righteous Muslim. He admits that it also means “holy war,” but quickly counters “that kind of war requires to be applied under certain conditions and rules, as happens with waqf.” This is also true, however, he dismisses the fact that those conditions and rules are said to be met by extremists like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. But given that he says “As many know, Al-Qaeda was made by U.S.A.” it’s clear he isn’t able to recognize this from under his tinfoil hat.
Muslims are not planning to take over any party of Spain, because those who claim that aren’t.
“The Muslims” are certainly not planning this. However, specific Muslims, like those that carried out the 2004 Madrid terror attacks, clearly are. It is unfair and wrong to ascribe collective guilt to all Muslims for such acts. It is just as wrong to say that because most Muslims didn’t support the attacks, those who carried them out were therefore not Muslims.
Stating the arriving of Muslims to the Peninsula as occupation comming from a “Jew” is ,in fact, ridiculous. Actually, Jews were liberated from the persecution they suffered from Catholics and Visigoths.
Occupation is a legal term and the fact that it was mostly beneficial for the local Jews who were already living there is irrelevant.
Not need to say that law has to be applied for all and equally as Jews are not better than Muslims or Muslims better than Jews. Same rights for all.
We have already shown that there is a difference between the Jewish and Muslim Spanish communities, so saying that they must be treated the same way would ignore that history. The two communities are also marked by a very important difference today as well: numbers. There are said to be roughly 1.7 million Muslims in Spain or 3-4% of the population while the highest estimates put Jews at 50,000 or as low as 12,000 (well below 1% of the population). So while Islam is the second largest (and growing) religion in Spain, Judaism is continuing to decline. Given its history of expulsion and persecution, it is understandable that the Spanish government would single out the Jews for special reparative treatment.
Yes, Jews lived before Muslims here. What he [the JPF] calls occupation in Spanish History books it’s taught as Muslim Conquest and sometimes invasion. So for over 800 years Muslims lived in the Peninsula what makes them locals too.
As indigenous expert Ryan Bellerose explains, “no group can become indigenous through subsuming indigenous peoples.” While Muslims in Spain may have had “rights of longstanding presence” that is not the same as being indigenous or local and it is offensive to say otherwise.
Finally, I would like to add that there’s a privileged procedure for the acquisition of the Spanish nationality for countries that once belonged to Spain or where under it’s rule…[but] Saharawi people are not granted with this special condition, despite they have the same rights or even more.
We are actually impressed that the Saharawi people are brought up at all. This is actually a very good point. The Saharawi people have been under occupation for the past 40 years, but since that occupation is done by Morocco and not Israel, it is completely ignored by the rest of the world. This was highlighted recently by Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador to the US. After asserting (wrongly) that any commercial activity in occupied territory is illegal, he was completely caught off guard when Eugene Kontorovich, an expert in International law and a professor at Northwestern University School of Law, pointed out that French oil companies were working in Western Sahara. He was forced to admit his double standard by saying, “I speak of one occupied territory. I am answered on other territories,” meaning of course that he only cares about his interpretation of International Law when it comes to Israel, making it neither international or law.
###Zionists are Invading Settlers
Of course no discussion about indigeneity would be complete without an anti-Israel activist saying Jews are foreign colonial settlers:
@JudeanPF@elderofziyon And supporter of Zionist colonialism is saying this - Zionists who are actually invading settlers!
I would urge this “activist” to read Ryan Bellerose’s article explaining how and why the Jews are indigenous to Israel. He explains the fault in this argument better than we ever could. If our friend bothers to read it (which he should), he will either have an open-mind and recognize the merits of the arguments or accuse me of “red-washing.” Given his passionate and self-righteous nature, we’re not expecting any miracles.
One of the most absurd claims the BDS crowd makes is the allegation of a “Palestinian Genocide.” Any action that Israel takes in self-defense is automatically labelled genocide today, along with the baseless allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Operation Protective Edge was labeled a genocide before it even got its name and this was no different than Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense. BDS-holes use this inflammatory rhetoric not because it is accurate, but because it creates such a visceral reaction among those who hear it. Most people don’t follow the news from Israel as closely as we do, but if they hear the world “genocide” they’ll take notice and have an automatic disdain for whoever is being accused of it.
The Holocaust, the genocide of the Jews of Europe, resulted in the death of 63% or nearly 2/3 of all European Jews.
It is also important to remember that the only reason this number was not higher was because of the Nazi defeat and was not due to a lack of trying or intent.
Since BDS-holes love to defile the memories of the victims of the Holocaust (just as they disrespect the victims of apartheid) by comparing it to the “Nakba,” let’s examine that first:
Back in 1947 there were 1,237,334 Arabs living in the Land of Israel](http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000636#chart3). Roughly 21% of Arabs or 256,000, fled or were expelled to the surrounding Arab states while the rest of the Arabs either stayed where they were or moved internally within the borders of what has been Mandatory Palestine. When it comes to every other population on the planet, such “internally displaced” peoples are not considered refugees as they are still within the area of their original “state.”
By 1950, after the war was finally over, there were 1,164,100 Arabs living in the area formerly known as Mandatory Palestine](http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000636#chart5). There were 159,100 in Israel, 765,000 in the Jordanian annexed West Bank (Judea and Samaria), and 240,000 in the Egyptian occupied Gaza Strip.
Due to the war there was 6% decrease in the Arab population of the Land of Israel, the vast majority of which were either emigrants or combatant deaths. More importantly, unlike the local Arabs and the Arabs states who openly flaunted their “intent to destroy” the Jewish population, there was no reciprocal intent to destroy on the Israeli side.
At this point in the discussion, the BDS-holes will inevitably bring up Plan D or Dalet and say this was the Israeli plan to displace and disposes the Palestinians. Those who bring up Plan D in such situations either have not read the plan themselves or are willfully lying. Dalet was a military plan drawn up during the Civil War stage of the fighting in March 1948 in anticipation of the pending invasion by the Arab states. Its main goal, which did not include expulsion, was clearly stated at the beginning:
The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlement and concentration which are located outside the borders [of the Hebrew state as delineated by the unimplemented Partition Plan] against regular, semi-regular, and small forces operating from bases outside or inside the state.
The essence of the plan was the clearing of hostile and potentially hostile forces out of the interior of the territory of the prospective Jewish State, establishing territorial continuity between the major concentrations of Jewish population and securing the future State’s borders before, and in anticipation of, the invasion [by Arab states]. The Haganah regarded almost all the villages as actively or potentially hostile.
The plan was neither understood nor used by the senior field officers as a blanket instruction for the expulsion of ‘the Arabs’. But, in providing for the expulsion or destruction of villages that had resisted or might threaten the Yishuv, it constituted a strategic-doctrinal and carte blanche for expulsions by front, brigade, district and battalion commanders (who in each case argued military necessity) and it gave commanders, post facto, formal, persuasive cover for their actions. However, during April–June , relatively few commanders faced the moral dilemma of having to carry out the expulsion clauses. Townspeople and villagers usually left their homes before or during battle, and Haganah rarely had to decide about, or issue, expulsion orders….”
Not only was there no intent by the Israelis to expel the Arabs, during the time Plan D was in place, expulsion orders to violently resisting Arab towns were almost never given since most areas were taken after the Arabs had already fled. Moreover, in terms of casualties, there were between 3,000 and 13,000 on the Arab side and 6,373 dead on the Israeli side. The casualties of both the Jewish and Arab sides (if we accept the highest estimate of Arabs) equal roughly one percent of the respective populations, more characteristic of a civil war than a genocide.
##”Occupation of the West Bank”
The genocide libel is all the more laughable when brought against the Israeli “occupation of the West Bank.”
The first article in the BDS Handbook is “ISRAELI APARTHEID” by Noura Erakat (p.7-8). Ms. Erakat’s article is first because while this is put together by the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,” like most anti-Israel groups, this group and Erakat have switched from advocating an end to the occupation (which westerners usually think means the one started in 1967, but really refers to the one from 1948, i.e. all of Israel) to an end to the “Apartheid State of Israel.” No one would have asked black South Africans to simply make peace with the Apartheid government if it just made a few changes because an apartheid system is beyond remedy. The only solution to an apartheid state is its total dissolution and replacement with a completely different system of government.
Erakat begins by asserting that Jewish statehood in a democratic system is impossible due to demographics that she claims will make Israel Jewish-minority state by 2025, though she of course does not provide any source for such unsupported statements. In order to deal with this impossibility, Erakat asserts that Israel has established an apartheid system in order to control the non-Jewish population an ensure Jewish rule continues.
This is of course nonsense, but we shall take on each of Ms. Erakat’s arguments one at a time to prove each and every one of them to be the lies they are.
today [Israel] has made its aversion to secular coexistence explicit in its demand for recognition of itself as a Jewish state from Palestinian leadership.
Ms. Erakat really must read our article explaining the need for Israel to be recognized as the Jewish State. Unless the Palestinian leadership recognizes the right of the Jewish People to a state of our own - without simultaneously renouncing their own right to a state of their own of course - any peace treaty will be meaningless. Unless the Palestinians teach their children that peace with Israel means accepting that the Jews have just as much a right to be here as they do, they will continue to grow up wanting to kill us and will throw out that treaty whenever they are strong enough to do so.
Despite what Erakat would like you to believe, Israel is the most secular state in the Middle East and derives its authority from Basic Law (Israel’s de facto constitution) and the will of the people, not from religious law (though that is one of many sources for some legislation.) If Ms. Erakat actually cared about separation of church and state, literally any other state in the Middle East would be a far more appropriate target. She of course doesn’t care - or mention - that the draft Palestinian Constitution lists “Palestine” as “part of the Arab homeland,” (Article 2) Islam as its official religion (Article 5) and the principles of shari’a as “a main source for legislation” (Article 7). Which only goes to show that this isn’t about religion and state, it is about a specific religion (Judaism) and a specific state (Israel).
Consider that within the Israeli legal system, there are twenty discriminatory laws—seventeen of which are discriminatory on their face in that they only relate to the rights of Jews in Israel or alternatively abridge the rights of Palestinian-Israelis.
Of course Ms. Erakat does not list or link to these “twenty discriminatory laws,” but one can assume she is referring to Adalah’s list of Discriminatory Laws. This New Israel Fund funded organization spends its resources blackening Israel’s name all over the world including at the infamous “Anti-Racism” conference in Durban back in 2001, helping to jump-start the BDS movement at a conference roundly criticized as peddling classic anti-Semitism. But even this list (which is actually more the 20 listed by Erakat) includes bills that are not even laws and many that are not racist at all. According to Adalah, making limited restrictions on convicted terrorists’ access to their lawyers is racist, despite the fact that numerous such prisoners have used these meetings to communicate with terrorist groups (something that of course Adalah fails to mention). Another “discriminatory” law sets a time period before owners are able to sell or rent to foreigners, but foreigner is defined as a non-Israeli, not a non-Jew, so there is nothing racist about this at all. How dare Israel make it more difficult for convicted terrorists to communicate with their comrades or set minor limitations on selling property to non-citizens?! The horror!
A complex web of 1,500 military laws define the fate of Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem
Given that the West Bank is run by military administration, this is to be expected, not condemned as shocking or racist. A military administration, just like the one the United States established in Germany following World War II, would have to have thousands of laws in place governing how the administrating power and the locals must behave.
However, Gaza hasn’t been occupied by Israel since 2005 and the only Israeli laws that are relevant to the territory relate to borders and airspace, something every sovereign state has the right to dictate. Eastern Jerusalem is governed by the same laws as the rest of the State of Israel and the only reason to include it here is not to highlight separate laws, but to continue the fiction that it exists as a separate entity at all.
More broadly, apartheid refers to any social system that separates and discriminates against people based on race or ethnicity when that system is institutionalized by laws or decrees.
Of course when painting Israel as an apartheid state, Erakat her ilk must resort to “broad” characterizations that pervert the term and rob it of all significance. Whereas South Africa was run by a system of countless laws regulating what non-whites could or could not do, where they could go or live, which hospitals they could use, which doors they could enter through and which doctors could treat them, that prevented them from voting, holding office or citizenship, restricted their professions and much more, Israel has no such laws at all. All of Israel’s citizens have equal rights before the law, though it does, like all other countries, at times have difficulties translating these rights into reality.
Not only does Israel not have a South African-style quota system for the number of Arabs allowed to be employed in certain professions or departments, Israel has actually engaged in affirmative action campaigns for university admission and state workers with great success in some areas (universities) and minor but growing success in others (employment).
All countries would be deemed apartheid states if they were held to the Israel standard, but of course no other country needs to worry about this because the issue at hand is not apartheid, but Israel itself.
Whereas in South Africa, apartheid distinguished between whites and non-whites, in Israel the parallel categories are Jews and non-Jews.
This is pure fantasy. Does Israel maintain demographic records of its citizens and residents including their religion and ethnicity? Sure it does. Many if not most countries do. One’s status as a non-Jew, however, does not prevent one from using any state service (unless it is explicitly a religious service, in which case they would use the one for their religion), any job (government or private), or attending any school (although, one would imagine it would be difficult for a non-Jew to gain entry to a religious Jewish school just as it would be difficult for a Jew to gain entry to a religious Muslim school). If anything, recognizing Israel’s minority populations allows for the communities to run their own affairs and schools in a way that would not be possible otherwise. There is a legitimate case to be made for a more equitable distribution of state-funds, but that is a matter for the Knesset to fix, not the UN.
The US government has a hard enough time balancing its own budget, it is hard to see how it would be easier with an international organization sticking its proverbial cook in the Washington kitchen.
In application, the main difference between the two case studies is that in South Africa, the system was created primarily to exploit non-white labor, while in Israel it is implemented in order to control as much land as possible for exclusive Jewish use, however in both cases the purpose and effects of apartheid policies are the exploitation of both land and labor.
Here, Ms. Erakat stumbles over one of the biggest problems: colonial and apartheid systems have traditionally be based on the idea of exploiting the locals for cheap, if not slave, labor. However, in Israel, early Zionist pioneers specifically set out to do the labor themselves, to redeem themselves and the land through work and attempting to turn the anti-Semitic canard of the exploitative Jew on its head.
Therefore, after consciously ignoring Israel’s history of Jews working the land themselves, she tries to paint Palestinians working in Israel as tools in a colonial enterprise. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics over 100,000 Palestinians currently work in Israel with roughly 70% doing so legally and the rest working without the required permits. It is important to remember that none of these Palestinians are forced to work in Israel at all. These Palestinians choose to do so because they can make often make at least three times the pay they would receive for the same job in Judea and Samaria, while also getting health insurance and other job benefits. Those working illegally also make more money than they would at home, but are often subject to worse working conditions, lower pay and an obvious lack of job security. This should come as no surprise given that the US and all other Western countries have the exact same problem with illegal immigrant workers. Israel has taken steps to curb illegal hiring with mixed success, much like other countries grappling with the same issue.
The idea that Israel should be condemned as an apartheid state because it is struggling with the same exact illegal labor issues as most other democracies is hypocritical at best and anti-Semitic at worst.
The pillars of Israeli apartheid are the The Law of Return (1950) and The Citizenship Law (1952), which allow Jews to freely immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship, but simultaneously deny Palestinians [sic] refugees that same right as guaranteed by United Nations Resolution 194.
There are five main issues that make this entire statement a lie:
There is a big difference between a law giving preferential or different treatment for one group of people than a law that specifically targets another group for exclusion or harm. If any law giving preferential treatment was illegal, then affirmative action programs in Israel and other countries would be illegal as well.
The Law of Return and the Citizenship Law does not prevent non-Jews from applying for or receiving Israeli citizenship. Anyone can apply to move to Israel, but Israel is under no obligation to simply open its borders to anyone and everyone any more than other countries are.
There are many countries that give preferential treatment to ex-patriot non-citizens for immigration purposes without being charged with racism or apartheid. Additionally, Germany, Portugal and Spain have laws easing the path towards citizenship for Jews. Not only are these laws systematically ignored by the BDS Movement, the only time they are referenced is when they demand the same exact laws for Palestinians to Israel or Muslims to Iberia. The hypocrisy inherent in this contradiction shows that BDS-holes don’t actually care about these laws and instead only use them as an excuse to demonize Israel.
Between 1967 and 2001, over 250,000 Palestinians have gained Israeli citizenship through the Laws of Family Reunification (LFR). So over the course of 34 years, Israel took in 1/3 the number of the original Palestinian “refugees” that Erakat claims Israel bars from “returning.” She would likely retort that Israel has since altered the laws of family reunification substantially reducing the number of Palestinians gaining citizenship. However, this law was only amended (to exclude members of enemy states) during the Second Intifada when a significant number of Palestinians who received citizenship under LFR engaged in terrorism (40% of all attacks). If a significant number of North Korean spouses of Americans were engaging in espionage or terrorism, one would expect the US government to pass similar restrictions, without any international outcry.
United Nations Resolution 194 does not guarantee the right of Palestinians to immigrate to and gain citizenship in Israel. Rather, it states (in a non-binding General Assembly Resolution):
refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.
While Israel rejects the idea of the “Right of Return” for Palestinian “refugees,” it has many times offered to allow a significant number to immigrate to Israel (on top of allowing over a quarter of a million to do so under existing law between 1967 and 2001). The part of UNGA 194 that is never addressed is the part that says those who wish to “return” must also “live in peace with their neighbors.” Such a scenario is impossible without a larger peace treaty in place. This was the Israeli position at the 1949 Lausanne Conference when it offered to take in 100,000 Palestinians (really an additional 80,000 since it had already unilaterally allowed in 20,000). Had the Arab states agreed to this proposition or negotiated under the premise that additional Arab immigration could only happen as part of peaceful relations - as UNGA 194 states! - those 80,000 Palestinians (or more under negotiations) and their descendants would not be in refugee camps but equal citizens of Israel. Israel has offered to take in varying numbers of Palestinians in each subsequent peace offer and has also offered compensation as stipulated by Resolution 194, only to be rebuffed each time.
If “pro-Palestinian” advocates like Noura Erakat actually want to help the Palestinians and see at least some of them “return” to Israel (or get compensation), the most effective way to do so would be to encourage their leaders and people to make peace. However, “activists” like Ms. Erakat are more interested in using the Palestinians as a tool to destroy Israel than helping them realize their “rights.”
According to Azmi Bishara, exiled Palestinian-Israeli politician and scholar, this constitutes a meta-form of apartheid wherein the forcible separation upheld by decree is that which prohibits the return of Palestinians to their lands.
The real “meta” aspect of this accusation is a former Israeli Knesset member asserting that Israel is an apartheid state. Of course there were no black parliamentarians in South Africa and a very limited number of “coloreds” and “Asians,” but all Israeli citizens regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation can both vote and be elected to the Knesset.
What’s more, Bishara isn’t “exiled,” he had to flee Israel after the police opened a criminal investigation based on his “alleged” transferring of sensitive material to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War. He then has the audacity to say that “forcible separation [is] upheld by decree” when this is merely Israel maintaining control of its borders. Is America practicing a “meta-form of apartheid” by forcibly separating Mexican families by not just opening its southern border completely?
Today, nearly 5.5 million Palestinians constitute a global diaspora who have the right to return to their home as enshrined by international law but lack the international political will necessary to do so.
The precipitous climb in Palestinian “refugee” numbers is due to the fact that the criteria for a Palestinian refugee is different than for any other refugee in the world. Under normal circumstances, when a refugee gains citizenship in another country, they lose their refugee status and this is precisely why Palestinians were forced into camps and denied citizenship (except for Jordan which gave both camps and citizenship). If this were the case, then the millions of Palestinian citizens Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and countries around the world may be a “diaspora” community, but they are not refugees under the standard definition of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees… which is why they keep using their own UN agency (UNRWA) that plays by its own rules and lets them keep their refugee moniker regardless.
But again, the best way to ensure any Palestinian “return” would be to encourage the Palestinians to agree to a peace treaty with Israel, something Erakat is manifestly against.
the Absentee Property Law cynically conditions expropriation of land on its abandonment while systematically prohibiting the entry of the land’s Palestinian owners thereby enforcing abandonment.
If anyone is cynically manipulating the situation here, it is Erakat. In her twisted mind, Palestinians who left are not responsible for abandoning their property, but rather Israel is responsible because it refuses to let them return after their attempt to destroy Israel through war failed. What’s more, Erakat makes it seem as though there was no war at all or any security concerns that Israel would have to take into consideration in regards to a hostile population that had just taken part in a violent attempt at genocide. The fact that many the Absentee Property Laws are based on older Ottoman and British laws is also conveniently omitted.
In effect, between 1948 and 1953, Israel established 370 new settlements for Jews only, 350 of which were located on land confiscated as “absentee” property.
There are two important points to remember here:
The population of Israel more than doubled in the years cited by Erakat as the Arab and Muslim world forced out over 850,000 Jews and more Holocaust survivors were able to reach Israel’s shores. The idea that Israel would need to house these people is certainly understandable and the fact that this was often done on land that recently appropriated by the state from former residents who had just engaged in a war against the state is reasonable as well.
While Arabs in Israel were granted citizenship and voting rights after the War of Independence, they remained under military administration until 1966. While this isn’t pretty, it was not done on the basis of racism (otherwise it would not have been temporary) but rather based on security concerns. No one in Israel knew exactly what was going to happen with regards to its new Arab citizens who had just attempted to destroy the nascent Jewish State. Would they be law-abiding citizens or would they be a fifth-column? Would they be loyal to Israel or the Arab states? It was only once Israel found that any threat to its security by its Arab citizens was marginal or could be easily dealt with by the security services, that the military administration was lifted. It is certainly justified to call this decision and other decisions by the Israeli government into question for their wisdom, but given the instability and very real dangers at the time, such actions were within the realm of acceptable actions and were not based on racism.
Since 1978, settlement policies inside the State have focused on settling Jewish populations in the areas outside greater Tel Aviv, especially the Galilee in order to manipulate the local demography.
Given that Israel’s reason for being is for it to be the nation-state of the Jewish people, it is completely reasonable that it would attempt to shore up the Jewish presence in certain areas. This is especially true given the international community’s focus on dividing Israel again and if certain areas of Israel have a non-Jewish majority, it is possible those areas might be earmarked by foreign powers to be taken away from the state. What’s more, Israel encouraging Jews to move to certain areas does nothing to prevent non-Jews from moving to or living in those areas as well.
Land expropriation began in the Occupied Palestinian Territories after Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War.
Yes, state land in Judea and Samaria was subsequently administered to by the State of Israel after Jordan was forced to withdraw. That is the normal state of affairs.
Since 1967, Israel has systematically confiscated Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank for settlement expansion.
This is a lie. While there have been situations where Israelis have taken land owned by individual Palestinians, there are also a myriad of examples of Israeli courts forcing these lands returned or compensation paid to the owners. While there are also situations where this has not yet occurred, this is not state-guided and hardly “systematic.”
More importantly, after nearly 50 years, the built up areas of the settlements in Judea and Samaria only take up 1.1% of the land there. At that rate it would take Israel 5000 years to settle the entire territory, hardly systematic confiscation.
The situation is especially harsh in Jerusalem where Israel has embarked on a “Judaization” campaign by disproportionately serving its Jewish residents.
Using the term “Judaization” or “to make Jewish” in regards to Jerusalem or any part of Israel is a disgusting attempt to re-write history. No one would ever characterize renovations in the Vatican as an attempt at “Catholicizing” the city or building in Mecca as “Islamization,” so why is it acceptable to talk about “Judaizing” Jerusalem?
Erakat does however have a legitimate point to make regarding the fact that the municipality disproportionately serves Jewish areas. While there is no such thing as a “Jewish-only” section of Jerusalem, areas with Jewish majorities do have better access to services than those with Arab majorities. The city government has taken steps to address this problem with some success, but much more can and should be done to address this inequity.
That being said, Jerusalem is hardly the first city to have issues properly servicing its poorer and minority areas. While this is a legitimate issue to raise, if someone claims to care about the proper allocation of urban resources to minority populations but only seems to care when those are Israeli cities, then their motives are questionable to say the least. If Jerusalem is brought up as one of many examples around the world, that is certainly acceptable and could even be positive if it yields the desired results.
This is to say nothing of the complex system of Jewish-only roads, checkpoints, settlements, and the Separation Barrier, also known as the Apartheid Wall, in the OPTs which explicitly demonstrate the nature of Israeli apartheid.
This in fact does say nothing about the complex system in Judea and Samaria since none of these things actually exist. Let’s talk about each one of these false allegations individually:
This is the type of lie that is repeated over and over despite the fact that it has been completely and thoroughly debunked and forced major newspaper to issue retractions. Yishai Goldflam, Director of Presspectiva, tackled this in Haaretz (one of the prime offenders who make use of the inaccurate term), saying:
Here are the facts: the state did, indeed, impose restrictions on certain roads in Judea and Samaria several years ago and did not allow Palestinians to travel on them, especially after the eruption of the second intifada. But most of the restrictions were already removed in 2009. Today, most West Bank roads are open to the majority of the Palestinian population. And even at the time those roads were restricted for Israeli use, they were never restricted to Israeli Jews alone. The roads were open to all Israeli citizens – Muslims, Christians, Druze and Circassians. There was never a religious or ethnic-based separation on the roads of Judea and Samaria.
Any restrictions that once were in place were based on security considerations, not racial ones, and were along national lines, not ethnic ones.
There are no “Jewish-only” roads and never were! The same cannot be said for Saudi Arabia, but since the issue for Erakat is Israel and not Israel’s actions, she doesn’t care in the least.
The first clue that the checkpoints have nothing to do with race and everything to do with security is the fact that they were first introduced during the First Intifada as violence flared. Had Israel been interested in segregating Judea and Samaria, it would have erected those checkpoints right after the Six Day War, not 20 years later.
More importantly, there is a direct correlation between the level of terrorism and the number of checkpoints. According to the IDF between July 2008 and February 2014 the number of checkpoints decreased from 40 to 13. This proves that as the terror threat decreases, so does the number of checkpoints, so if you want to see the checkpoints removed, the best course of action is to work to dissuade Palestinians from engaging in terrorism.
Anyone who has ever had to go through an airport or deal with the TSA knows that security checks are annoying, take some time and are occasionally accompanied by people in uniforms abusing their positions of power. Unfortunately, this is also the case at the checkpoints, but just like security checks at the airport, they are required to ensure everyone’s safety and were created in response to real terror threats.
While imperfect, checkpoints do save lives and are often indistinguishable from other border crossings or security checks at airports or train stations.
Are you able to tell which image is from a checkpoint and which is from a train station?
In fact, just this year Mohammed Said Ismail Musallam, an Israeli Arab, was killed by ISIS after traveling to its territory to join the group. ISIS accused him of being an Israeli spy and the reports about his execution all highlight the fact that he was Israeli, Arab, and lived in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. This neighborhood has a Jewish majority but many Arab residents as well. Had Musallam been a Jew, the media would have been quick to point out that he was an “illegal settler,” but since he was Arab, this was completely ignored.
It is honestly surprising that Erakat even mentions the term “Separation Barrier” at all before throwing around the libelous epithet “Apartheid Wall.” Israel uses the term “Security Fence,” for two reasons. First, it was built as a security measure during the height of the Second Intifada and was successful in stopping attacks: from 2000 to July 2003 there were 73 suicide bombings originating from Judea and Samaria, but after that initial phase of fence building, the following three years only yielded 12 successful attacks. Islamic Jihad and Hamas leaders) have openly complained that the Security Fence makes it difficult for them to conduct suicide bombing operations.
Second, while the media likes to show eye-grabbing images of the concrete wall sections of the barrier, these parts account for just 4% of the whole (6% if it’s ever finished). Hardly the defining characteristic.
If you build a castle at the beach and then use a seashell as a door, is that a sandcastle or a seashell-castle?
These concrete sections were only built because there were so many shooting attacks in those areas that a simple fence would not have protected Israel’s citizens from danger. The main fence section can be moved if necessary, as would happen if a peace treaty were ever reached with the Palestinian Authority. In fact, some sections of the fence have already been moved when the Israeli Supreme Court sided with Palestinians who brought lawsuits against the state over the route it took.
Another thing propagandists like Erakat leave out is that the improved security situation brought about by fence has led to a reduction in the number of checkpoints as well.
So while Erakat would like her readers to believe that the imaginary “Jewish-only roads,” checkpoints, settlements, and Security Fence, “explicitly demonstrate the nature of Israeli apartheid,” in fact they do nothing of the kind. Her accusations are based on lies in an attempt to ascribe racist motivations for Israel’s legitimate security measures.
Israeli apartheid characterizes Israeli policies both within Israel proper as well as the OPT: in both contexts a racial hierarchy is firmly established with the primary aim of maintaining a Jewish majority within nation-state borders.
The reason why Erakat says this is because the main characteristic of apartheid is the way in which a racial hierarchy is firmly established by law and enforced through violence. Unfortunately for her, as we have shown, there are no racial laws in Israel. Jews and non-Jews live in the same towns, eat in the same restaurants, go to the same hospitals and schools, vote in the same elections, serve in the same governments and more. Whereas every aspect of life in Apartheid South Africa was governed by laws designed to prevent the mixing of races and maintain domination by the minority ethnic group over the majority, nothing remotely similar exists in Israel.
Since no such race laws exist in Israel, Erakat resorts to lies, distortions and omissions in order to force an analogy that just does not fit.
The apartheid paradigm has a profound impact on the movement, because it simply and brilliantly draws on a historical example of apartheid and calls upon the tactics used in that struggle to fight apartheid in its newest form—boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). The apartheid paradigm allows peace and justice activists to challenge Israel’s “moral authority” and for the first time to set the terms of the debate.
This last part is key because everything before it is a complete lie. As we discussed at the beginning, while an anti-occupation movement is clearly working towards an end to said occupation (usually ambiguous to confuse the masses and make it seem as though they are referring to the one from 1967 not 1948) and would ostensibly be satisfied with a two state solution, an anti-apartheid movement can only be satisfied with an end to a state that is based at its core in racist principles (and who could be against that?). By discussing this as an anti-apartheid movement, BDS supporters are indeed “setting the terms of debate” and doing so in a way that leads to only one logical conclusion: the dissolution and destruction of the Jewish State.
If anyone ever tells you BDS isn’t about destroying the State of Israel, now you know how to call them on it.
This is the first post in our new series Calling BS on BDS. In this series the JPF will not only debunk the major theories driving the BDS movement, but also go through the BDS Divestment Handbook used by anti-Israel “activists” all over the world and show how to counter their lies.
The forward of the BDS handbook sets the stage with two important points that must be properly understood:
The use of an anti-apartheid framework can be instrumental for student BDS activists, because some schools already have policies prohibiting investment in apartheid. (page 4)
Here they are admitting that their use of the “anti-apartheid framework” is tactical rather than substantive! BDS supporters are attempting to hijack a cause that is not their own in order to manipulate the system for their own benefit. The article this quote is referencing attempts to make the charge fit and is very effective if the reader knows nothing about the conflict, which is precisely why this debunking is so important
Showing reverence for the concept of self-determination is key when struggling in solidarity, and this call should be the basis for international BDS campaigns to challenge Israel’s occupation and apartheid. (page 5)
Anyone hearing a BDSer make this charge should immediately ask, “What about Jewish self-determination?! Why should the Jews be the only people denied the right to self-determination? If BDS cares so much about the right of self-determination, why are they trying to take this right away from one of the most persecuted groups in history?” Most supporters of Israel are not against the idea of Palestinian self-determination, but they do not support the idea of establishing a Palestinian state without it making peace with Israel.
Since this Handbook says the “concept of self-determination… should be the basis for international BDS campaigns” it is all the more important to point out the hypocrisy of doing so while denying that right to the Jewish People and by showing that Israel supports this right for the Palestinians, but in the context of peace.
Always highlight that Israel isn’t against Palestinian self-determination - every government since Oslo has supported it. Israel offered statehood to the Palestinians in 2000, 2001 and 2008 and negotiated on that basis in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Each peace offer was rejected without a counteroffer from the Palestinians and each peace negotiation was torpedoed by the Palestinians.
Israel even sought to “end the occupation” on its own, completely withdrawing from Gaza and four towns in northern Samaria (West Bank) in 2005. Then in 2006, Israelis then voted in a new government headed by Kadima, a political party based solely on the idea of pulling out of the rest of the West Bank. But before this new government could act on this platform, the Palestinians went to the polls and instead of voting for peace, they voted for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). This created a power struggle with the ruling Fatah party and eventually to the violent takeover of Gaza by Hamas.
So not only does Israel agree with the concept of Palestinian self-determination, but it has taken concrete steps to help bring this about. The only reason why more has not yet been done is because of Palestinian rejectionism and support for terrorism over peace.
On 28 May 2015, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin awarded Israel’s highest civilian award, the Medal of Distinction to Yosef Chaim Ben David. Ben David was apprehended last summer for orchestrating and carrying out the terrorist attack that took Muhammad Abu Khdeir’s life. On Israel’s Channel Two, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented the award to Ben David reading aloud the Presidential order:
Decree for 2015. The President of the State of Israel; by the authority vested in us, and for the public good; we decree the following:
Paragraph 1: Fighter Yosef Chaim Ben David - the most recent prisoner of the revolution of modern Israel - is granted the Award of Medal of Distinction.
Paragraph 2: In appreciation for his pioneering role in the struggle, his sacrifice for his homeland and his people, and its revolution, and his willingness to give all of himself to the cause of Zionism..
Did you miss this story? Of course you did because it never happened! Israel did not celebrate Ben David’s terrorism but rather condemned it at every level both political and civilian. He was quickly tracked down by the Israeli police who arrested him and he was then put on trial for his brutal crime.
So why is the JPF reporting this? Because the exact same thing happened in the Palestinian Authority!
Last week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas awarded terrorist Fatima Barnawi with the “Military Star of Honor.” Barnawi placed a bomb in a movie theater in Jerusalem in 1967 in an attempt to murder civilians. The bomb was discovered and Barnawi spent 10 years in Israeli prison.
Official PA TV News reported on the ceremony at which Abbas himself presented terrorist Barnawi with the honor. Tayeb Abdel Rahim, Secretary General of the Presidency, read aloud the Abbas’ Presidential Decree in honor of the terrorist:
“Decree for 2015. The President of the State of Palestine and acting Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee; by the authority vested in us, and for the public good; we decree the following:
Paragraph 1: Fighter Fatima Barnawi - the first female prisoner of the revolution of modern Palestine - is granted the Award of Military Star of Honor.
Paragraph 2: In appreciation for her pioneering role in the struggle,her sacrifice for her homeland and her people, and its revolution, and her willingness to give from the beginning until now…” [Official PA TV, May 28, 2015]
You can watch the video here:
In case you were to think that Barnawi is at least a “repentant” terrorist who realizes the error of her ways and now renounces violence, she was very clear in her 9 May 2015 interview:
All my life I had dreamed about it… We were supposed to place the explosives in the restroom or under one of the seats. I put them where we sat, near the middle [of the theater]… While we were leaving, the bomb was discovered. An American sitting behind us said: “The ladies forgot their bag.” The usher came to take the bag and found a ticking clock… They moved the people away and blew it up at the entrance…This is not a failure, because it generated fear throughout the world. Every woman who carries a bag needs to be checked before she enters the supermarket, any place, cinemas and pharmacies.
This story was not picked up by any mainstream press because, hey, why would it? It is easy to see how the above Israelified story would quickly make headlines around the world. It makes us think of the controversy surrounding the book The King’s Torah, which elicited condemnations both in Israel and around the world. The book is certainly controversial and prominent rabbis should have taken a little more time reading it before offering their support, but in the end, this was just a book dealing with how Halakha (Jewish Law) approaches war.
Apparently an abstract discussion of a theoretical occurrence within the bounds of religious law is more newsworthy than the President of an aspiring state, roundly celebrated as a moderate and a peace activist, publicly celebrating an unrepentant terrorist.
Don’t worry, the JPF has updated Barnawi’s Wikipedia entry (closely following their balance guidelines) so the whole world will know how much Abbas appreciates her peaceful activities.
We already touched upon President Obama’s apparent lack of understanding of how anti-Semitism affects one’s rationality in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg. His inability to recognize how anti-Semitism shapes people’s thinking when they truly by into the Jew-hating lies is shameful, but not terribly surprising given the modern liberal tendency to believe that everyone, deep down, thinks just like they do. This is misguided and dangerous, but we would be hard pressed to ascribe this attitude to any nefarious ideas on the President’s part.
The same cannot be said of Obama’s view of how Israel relates to Palestinian children:
I think it is true to Israel’s traditions and its values — its founding principles — that it has to care about those Palestinian kids. And when I was in Jerusalem and I spoke, the biggest applause that I got was when I spoke about those kids I had visited in Ramallah, and I said to a Israeli audience that it is profoundly Jewish, it is profoundly consistent with Israel’s traditions to care about them. And they agreed. So if that’s not translated into policy — if we’re not willing to take risks on behalf of those values — then those principles become empty words, and in fact, in my mind, it makes it more difficult for us to continue to promote those values when it comes to protecting Israel internationally.
This statement is utterly shocking, disgusting and offensive. The President of the country that is supposed to be Israel’s greatest ally, is saying to a Jewish audience that he believes Israel doesn’t care about Palestinian children and if it doesn’t change this alleged callousness, if it doesn’t take the “risks” that Obama outlines, then he threatens that the US will abandon Israel in the international community.
Or perhaps the fact that, according to this administration, an “imminent threat… does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.” shows the Drone President cares nothing for the lives of the people caught in the crossfire of his lax rules of engagement.
I suppose that although, according to NBC News analyst Michael Leiter, a former Obama administration counter-terrorism official, “the nature of intelligence is such that it really is unreasonable to expect that the US will always have specific evidence about a plot” before it attacks and such a ridiculous situation is entirely acceptable, but when Israel does have such evidence and acts, it only does so because “Israel doesn’t care about Palestinian kids.”
Apparently it is acceptable that “the CIA often counts able-bodied males, military-age males who are killed in strikes as militants, unless they have concrete evidence to sort of prove them innocent,” (according to Scott Shane) but Israel relying on similar but more reliable methods is a reflection of its heartlessness.
Does Obama not care about Pakistani children like Zubair Rehman, who testified before Congress that “I no longer love blue skies, in fact I now prefer grey skies, the drones do not fly when the skies are grey and for a short period of time the mental tension and fear eases.”?
Of course this is all rhetorical. Just because President Obama is authorizing drone strikes, does not mean he “doesn’t care about kids.” In fact, it shows that he is willing - in some circumstances at least - to take action to protect American children from terror attacks. But it does reveal a shocking level of hypocrisy that is rooted in anti-Semitism.
Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
When the Drone President holds Israel to a higher standard than he even holds himself to, when he creates a standard that is impossible to live up to and only holds Israel to that standard, and then condemns Israel as “not caring about Palestinian kids,” when it fails this impossible standard, that is anti-Semitism.
When the Israel-Obsessed President condemns Israel for “not caring about Palestinian kids” but says nothing about the Islamic Resistance Movement’s child soldiers, or Abbas’s Palestinian Authority teaching children to love violence and anti-Semitism or the use of children as suicide bombers and human shields, what does that say about how much Obama himself cares about Palestinian kids?
When the President condemns Israel for “not caring about Palestinian kids” despite the fact that it does more to limit civilian casualties than he does and ignores those actively putting Palestinian children in harm’s way, well, my people have a word for that:
Today, Haaretz reported on a 1948 letter from Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion to Secretary-General of Haifa’s Workers’ Council, Abba Khoushy. Here is the controversial section of the letter that is getting so much attention:
I hear that Mr. Marriot (Cyril Marriot, the British Consul in Haifa) is working to return the Arabs to Haifa. I don’t know how it is his business, but until the war is over we don’t want a return of the enemy. And all institutions should act accordingly.
Haaretz then goes on to allege that this contradicts the account written by Golda Meir in her book My Life:
Ben-Gurion called me and said: ‘I want you to immediately go to Haifa and see to it that the Arabs who remain in Haifa are treated appropriately. I also want you to try and persuade the Arabs who are already on the beach to return home. You have to get it into their heads that they have nothing to fear,’ he said. And so, I went immediately. I sat on the beach there and begged them to return home… I pleaded with them until I was exhausted but it didn’t work.
Unfortunately for Haaretz, this is not the contradiction they would like it to be.
The letter in question was written a month and a half after tens of thousands of Arabs abandoned Haifa, while Meir received her instructions while Arabs were still in the process of leaving. Meir clearly states she was instructed to go to Haifa “immediately” and describes interacting with Arabs “on the beach” meaning at the port. She was there while the Arabs were still in the city and was tasked with getting them to reconsider and stay. However, when Ben-Gurion sent this letter, all the Arabs had already abandoned the city and allowing them back it would entail allowing a hostile population to cross the border. There is a very big difference between asking someone to stay while they are in the process of leaving and letting someone back in after they have already left, especially in war-time.
What’s more, Ben-Gurion clearly states he was opposed to their return specifically “until the war is over,” at which point the issue could be revisited. Ben-Gurion did revisit this issue at the Lausanne Conference in 1949, after the war was over. Israel offered to allow back 100,000 Palestinians if the Arabs would make peace with Israel. We all know how that went.
Haaretz then tries to make it seem as though Ben-Gurion’s policy towards the Arabs was inconsistent by pointing out that in some areas, like Nazareth, he explicitly ordered forces not to expel the residents, while in other places, like Lod, he is said to have supported expulsion. However, given that Ben-Gurion was motivated by the security necessities of the emerging Jewish State, this makes perfect sense. Lod stood on the strategic Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road, had a history of violent resistance and support from Transjordan. It also had the critically important international airport. While Nazareth offered minimal resistance despite repeated attempts by the Arab Liberation Army and given its holy status to Christianity, Ben-Gurion feared an out-sized reaction from Europe following its conquest. He therefore sought to limit any criticism by specifically ordering the forces carrying out Operation Ya’ar not to expel any residents and to take particular care not to harm any churches or monasteries.
The idea that the same orders should be given for all situations with not consideration to the different circumstances and security concerns is ridiculous and bad military policy.
The worst allegation though, came from Meron Aran, one of the Kedem auction house’s directors, who posits - without any evidence or questions from Haaretz, mind you - that Ben-Gurion gave these instructions so he could use the abandoned houses for new immigrants. While some abandoned homes were later used by Jewish immigrants, the idea that this was the main consideration, especially when historical precedent shows us this was a security-minded order, is outrageous. At the very least, Haaretz’ should have pointed out there was no evidence for such an allegation, but when it comes to unjustifiably dragging Israel’s founder through the mud, Haaretz has no shame.
Unfortunately, Haaretz’s grasp of its own country’s history is as shallow as its understanding of politics or the reality that Israel finds itself in today. Sadly, the Times of Israel, in reporting the same story parrots Haaretz’s false narrative that Golda Meir was a liar and Ben-Gurion was an expulsionist. I guess critical thinking is in short supply these days.
There are many disturbing revelations about President Obama’s thinking in his latest interview with Jeffrey Goldberg. The most glaring of these was that the President does not seem to understand how anti-Semitism and racism affect the actions of those with such views. Goldberg does, but does not pursue this very important issue after Obama explains his indefensible position:
It’s been my [Goldberg’s] belief that it is difficult to negotiate with parties that are captive to a conspiratorial anti-Semitic worldview not because they hold offensive views, but because they hold ridiculous views. As Walter Russell Mead and others have explained, anti-Semites have difficulty understanding the world as it actually works, and don’t comprehend cause-and-effect in politics and economics. Though I would like to see a solid nuclear deal (it is preferable to the alternatives) I don’t believe that the regime with which Obama is negotiating can be counted on to be entirely rational.
Obama responded to this theory by saying the following: “Well the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival. It doesn’t preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn’t preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations. You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism, Jeff, there were a whole lot of European leaders—and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country—”
I interjected by suggesting that anti-Semitic European leaders made irrational decisions, to which Obama responded, “They may make irrational decisions with respect to discrimination, with respect to trying to use anti-Semitic rhetoric as an organizing tool. At the margins, where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest… And so I think it is not at all contradictory to say that there are deep strains of anti-Semitism in the core regime, but that they also are interested in maintaining power, having some semblance of legitimacy inside their own country, which requires that they get themselves out of what is a deep economic rut that we’ve put them in, and on that basis they are then willing and prepared potentially to strike an agreement on their nuclear program.”
This is where Obama’s fatal flaw in understanding anti-Semitism lies and where Goldberg fails to educate him because he completely downplayed how virulent anti-Semitism affects those in power. It wasn’t just that some anti-Semitic European leaders made irrational decisions “at the margins where costs are low.” Towards the end of the Second World War, as it became clear to the Nazi leadership they were going to lose the war, the rational choice for self-preservation would have been to divert all their resources to the war effort. Instead of wasting men, money, trains and time on exterminating Jews, it would have been rational and certainly not marginal, to divert most if not all of this toward stopping or slowing the allied advance.
But, from the perspective of a Nazi who believes in anti-Semitism with all his heart, maintaining the death camps and trains was absolutely a rational decision. In the mind of Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany was not only engaged in a war with the Allies, but with world Jewry that, according their their perverted ideology, was the cause of all of Germany’s ills. In their mind, even if they couldn’t win the war against the Allies, at least they could try to win the war against the Jews and make sure that post-war Germany would still be Judenrein. In this mindset, it was still rational to weaken their military forces if it meant they could kill more Jews because in this way, even if the Third Reich fell, Germany would still have its victory over the Jews.
While President Obama says the Iranian leadership suffers from venomous anti-Semitism, he fails to draw the necessary conclusions from this and Goldberg fails to stand up to him.
What many fail to recognize about anti-Semites and other racists is not that they are irrational, but that they are in fact very rational within the context of their own hateful ideologies. So being anti-Semitic doesn’t “preclude” you from being interested in self-preservation, but it does preclude you from understanding self-preservation according to the same rationale we do. If you believe there is a secret cabal of Jews out to destroy the Muslim world through their domination of world governments, the media and banks, you might justifiably (in the eyes of an anti-Semite, that is) decide it is better to suffer economically and even militarily, in order to stop that nefarious plot by nuking the state behind it all. If you do, you’ll be a hero who suffered temporary loses but in fact saved the world from the evil Jews.
Goldberg makes a feeble attempt to point this out, but in the end the President is so set on reaching this deal and so convinced that deep down even anti-Semites are rational just like we are that he refuses to see what is right in front of him. And once again it is the Jews that will pay the price.
Thousands of your fans were beyond disappointed yesterday when you chose to cancel your upcoming concert in Israel. I say beyond disappointed because the fact of the matter is that despite your stated desire not to be a “source of alienation to either my Israeli or my Palestinian fans,” by cancelling your performance, you are in effect joining the hypocritical and anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Dear Friends and Fans in Israel,When deciding to play the region, my intention was to perform in both Tel Aviv and...
Ms. Hill, you have stepped into a charged conflict, with a complex history, and many players with competing agendas. By agreeing to cancel your Israel concert, even if only done officially because you were unable to also stage one in Ramallah, you have lent your name, voice, and prestige to a movement dedicated to the destruction of the world’s only Jewish State.
While it is too late for you to correct this mistake in time for Thursday, we would like to give you the opportunity to make a more informed decision the next time you are considering performing in Israel by taking this opportunity to fill in the gaps of your, shall we say, miseducation.
It is understandable that you may have made this mistake. The leaders of the BDS movement have deceptively told outsiders they are only targeting the “occupation,” while making it clear to their own activists this is a mere tactic aimed at gaining support. From the handbook created by the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation
Divestment, which itself is one form of boycott against Israel and its apartheid regime, had been introduced in North America as stepping stone towards a broad, comprehensive boycott of Israel… a limited demand of boycott was the necessary approach to create a debate around the merits of boycott and Israel’s apartheid policies, and lay the foundation for the future comprehensive BDS call.
The letter addressed to you also makes it plain that it is not seeking a change to Israeli policies in the post-67 territories when it talks about Palestinians “resisting” Israel “for over 64 years.” Given that 1967 was only 48 years ago and Israel was founded 67 years ago, the PACBI (the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) is discussing all of Israel as an illegitimate entity. In fact, they clearly recycled a letter they sent to another celebrity 3 years ago and didn’t even bother to update it for you!
###2. It’s not about “Peace”
Nowhere in their letter to you does PACBI make any mention of peace or a Two State Solution. This is no accident. These extremists are not asking you to boycott Israel until the Palestinians have a state of their own. They are asking you to boycott Israel until the Jews stop having a state of their own.
The PACBI’s Boycott Call only references 1948 without ever mentioning 1967. Their first demand is “Ending [Israel’s] occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall.” Given that they make no distinction between the West Bank and Israel, this is a call for the dissolution and destruction of the State of Israel.
The leader of the global BDS movement, Omar Bargouti, (who studies at Tel Aviv University while telling other to boycott Israeli universities, mind you) made his views clear, saying (at 5:50) “Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
Ahmed Moor, another pro-BDS activist openly says, “Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish state itself…BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state.”
Or just listen to As’ad AbuKhalil, “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel….That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”
Such views can never be confused as being peaceful.
###3. It’s not about “Apartheid”
The libel that Israel is an Apartheid state is not only demonstrably false, but offensive to all those who actually suffered under and struggled against real Apartheid in South Africa. I urge you to listen to Kenneth Meshoe, a South African MP and anti-Apartheid activist, who completely rejects such a comparison:
Israel has been linked to Apartheid not because of any real connections, but because the only acceptable response such a system of government is to boycott it until the state itself is no more.
I applaud your stated desire to also perform in front of an audience in Palestinian territory, however, by stating that you will not perform in Israel unless you are able to also perform in the PA, you are reducing all of Israel to its conflict with the Palestinians. Would you refuse to perform in Greece if you could not also perform in Turkey, or refuse to sing in India without also being able to do so in Pakistan?
In fact, by cancelling your Israeli concert, you also prevented thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel from attending your concert. These Israeli Arabs would enter using the same doors as Israeli Jews, sit next to their Jewish neighbors, and passionately sing along to your songs together with their Jewish friends. Such a scene would have been legally impossible under Apartheid.
Israel does have its problems, but given the protests against racism currently overtaking American cities, it hardly seems consistent to cancel an Israeli concert, while continuing performances back home.
###4. It’s not about “Justice”
The anti-Israel activists who called on you to cancel your performance did so in the name of the Palestinian people. They insist on a so-called “Right of Return,” that we have already debunked as historically unprecedented and a prelude to war and ignores the fact that not only did Israel offer to take in 100,000 Palestinian in 1949 (only to be rejected by the Arab states since it was tied to making peace with Israel), but since 1967, Israel has taken in over 250,000 Palestinians and offered to take in even more in 2000, 2001, and 2008 as part of peace offers that were rejected without even a counter-proposal by the Palestinian leadership.
What’s more, these tireless campaigners for Palestinian rights seem to only have the time to discuss said rights in relation to Israel. There are no protests over the Palestinian internment camps in Lebanon that restrict their residents from both owning land and working in dozens of professions or any real condemnation of the brutal Hamas rule in Gaza. There is no outcry over a Palestinian majority in Jordan living under minority Hashemite rule, and while a few articles have been written about the devastation in Yarmouk in Syria, the masses that protested Israel’s defensive actions in Gaza apparently don’t mind when Palestinians are being massacred by Assad and the Islamic State.
###5. It’s not about building a Palestinian State
Not only do these activists never even mention the plight of Palestinians at the hands of other Arabs, but they do absolutely nothing to help build up the foundations of a future Palestinian state. The BDS movement focuses entirely on demonizing and isolating Israel, but if the main goal was to actually help Palestinians, one would imagine there would be a sister movement for Encouraging, Investing, and Promoting (EIP) of Palestinian activities, products, and state-building.
Such a movement would also have to tackle the systematic corruption of the Palestinian Authority that is being run by “President” Abbas who is currently in his 11th year of a 4 year presidential term, who routinely arrests students, journalists, and artists for speaking out against him, and who has amassed a personal fortune in the hundreds of millions of dollars, while forcing his people to remain in camps. An EIP movement would also need to challenge the tyrannical Islamist regime of Hamas that has plunged the Gaza Strip into war with Israel almost every other year after violently seizing control in 2007.
But then again, doing so would require introspection and hard work, whereas BDS only necessitates libel and puts the entire onus for solving the current situation on Israel.
#####Now let’s examine what the BDS movement is about:
###1. It’s about Destruction
As stated above, BDS is not about building a Palestinian state, but about destroying the world’s only Jewish one. This is very clear to those who have studied Middle Eastern history, but those who have not can easily be swayed by their message. How could you know that when they mention “occupied Arab land” they are actually talking about the entire state of Israel? How could you know that when they reference “64 years [sic] of resistance” they are not talking about the West Bank, but are denying the right of Israel to exist in any borders at all?
###2. It’s about Genocide
What the activists campaigning for a One State Solution always fail to mention is what has historically happened to Jews when they have come under Palestinian and Arab rule. While hundreds of thousands of Arabs who came under Israeli rule in 1948 were allowed to stay and become citizens of Israel, every single Jewish community that was overrun by Arab forces was either expelled or massacred, and all Jewish holy and archaeological sites were desecrated or destroyed, in addition to over 850,000 Jews who were expelled or coerced to leave their homes in the Muslim world.
This is not mere history, but the hoped for future of both major Palestinian factions. Fatah’s President Abbas declared, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands.” Since he has no problem with the many Israeli Arabs who already have homes in Palestinian towns, he is clearly only talking about Jews.
Hamas is even clearer in its Charter, with Article 7 stating:
The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree.
Whoever is killed by a Jew receives the reward of two martyrs, because the very thing that the Jews did to the prophets was done to him. The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth, because they have displayed hostility to Allah. Allah will kill the Jews in the hell of the world to come, just like they killed the believers in the hell of this world.
Anyone who tells you that Jews would be safe or welcome under Palestinian rule must contend with this reality as Jews are not willing to gamble with the lives of their children.
###3. It’s about Anti-Semitism
While some in the BDS movement periodically claim to reject the open anti-Semitism of Hamas, we have yet to hear a single condemnation of Abbas’s many anti-Semitic statements or his continued denial of the Holocaust. What’s more, one needs only look at the actions of BDS advocates on University campuses to see the underlying anti-Semitism. In the US, Jewish students are questioned about how their “Jewishness” will impact their ability to serve on student councils. Over in South Africa, one University’s Student Representative Council actually voted to expel its Jewish students, anti-Israel protesters sang “shoot the Jew” at another, while the President of the Student Body of yet another university has refused to apologize for his public statements of support and “love” for Adolf Hitler (not an Afrikaner, but a Black South African, mind you). Down Under in Australia, pro-BDS professors have supported the “right to express anti-Semitism on campus” by student supporters of the Islamic State.
If BDS is merely anti-Israel or anti-Zionist as its proponents routinely insist, why do their actions consistently encourage and result in blatant anti-Semitism?
###4. It’s about Hypocrisy
Not only are do the above events show the anti-Semitic direction the BDS movement is going toward, but the movement itself is inherently anti-Semitic by virtue of the fact that it focuses solely on the world’s only Jewish State. Racism and human rights abuses should be fought wherever they occur and Israel, like every country, is not blameless. But does it really make sense to have an international movement focused only on the alleged or imagined wrongs of Israel, while ignoring far worse and real abuses carried out by both Israel’s neighbors and governments the world over?
When Israel does something wrong, it should absolutely be discussed and condemned, but the idea that minor infractions by Israel should be the focus of the world, while institutionalized sexism in Saudi Arabia, executions of gays in Iran, untold human rights abuses in China, are all virtually ignored makes no sense. Why should a traffic ticket in Tel Aviv gain more attention than genocide in Syria?
The activists who wrote to you to cancel your performance in Israel because of “Israel’s mistreatment of African migrants” haven’t said a word of protest to the many artists performing in Europe while thousands drown in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel certainly does need to fix its broken system of dealing with migrants, but so does the entire western world. The idea that one should boycott Israel and only Israel over an issue no country has a solution to, can only be described as anti-Semitism-fueled hypocrisy.
###5. It’s about Manipulation
It isn’t enough for these haters of Israel to create a movement based on hypocrisy and anti-Semitism with the goal of destroying Israel and committing genocide on its people. In order for such an organization to thrive, it must gain the support of those who would reject such ideas under normal circumstances.
That is where you come in, Ms. Hill. BDS activists prey on good-hearted people, people who when confronted with words like “apartheid,” “racism,” and “justice,” instinctively think, “I want to help these people.” That is a very natural reaction, which is why BDS seeks to manipulate the emotions surrounding these words to their own benefit.
#####Ms. Hill, don’t let BDS play you.
In your powerful song “To Zion” you proclaim:
Now the joy of my world
Is in Zion! (Zion, Zion!)
The Joy of the Jewish world is in Zion as well. Hopefully next time you have the opportunity to perform in Israel, you will reject the manipulative and anti-Semitic calls of boycott, and sing to your fans, both Jewish and Arab, about your own Zion in our Zion.
In the grand tradition of hijacking other people’s causes for their own ends, we predicted that Palestinians and their supporters would quickly find a way to dishonor the life and death of legendary singer Ben E. King.
The countdown for Palestinians to hijack the death of Ben E. King for their own purposes begins now!
###Myth Number 4: Jerusalem Must Be Divided for Peace
Followers of this series will remember that “East Jerusalem” is a completely modern construct with no basis in history. However, regardless of this fact, many of you may still be thinking: ok, it might be a new idea, but Jerusalem is holy to the Muslims, so it would have to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Leaving aside the fact that the Palestinians have consistently rejected every offer of statehood, consistent refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State, and given Abbas’s current strategy of engaging in lawfare instead negotiations and paying terrorists instead stopping them, let us make one thing incredibly clear:
##Holy cities are not and never have been used as political capitals in Islamic history!
Ever since Caliph Ali moved the seat of the Caliphate from Medina to Kufa in 656, holy cities have never been used a capitals in Islamic history. That is why neither Mecca nor Medina is the capital of Saudi Arabia, Karbala is not the capital of Iraq, and none of the dozens of Shiite holy cities in Iran are its capital. This is in stark contrast to the central religious and national role Jerusalem has played for Jews and the State of Israel.
Many Israelis and Jews love to say “Jerusalem isn’t holy to the Muslims.” This is ridiculous. It’s none of our business to determine what is or isn’t holy to another religion, just like it is no one else’s right to tell us what is holy to Jews. Yes, Jerusalem isn’t mentioned once in the Qur’an and it certainly is interesting that Muslims the world over seemed to virtually ignore Jerusalem during the 19 years of Jordanian occupation, but that’s for another post.
So the proper response when someone says Jerusalem needs to be divided so Muslims can have half of the Holy City for their capital isn’t “they don’t really think it’s holy,” but rather, “Its holy status is completely irrelevant to its political status. Even though Jerusalem may hold religious value to Muslims, this should have no bearing on its political definition because it never has throughout Islamic history.”
But what about the holy sites? Shouldn’t those be divided accordingly?
In an ideal world, with no other factors, one could possibly make such an argument… but we do not live in such a world. In the real world, what is most important is that holy sites be protected and that members of all religions have free access to them. Given that Israel has been the only local authority to actively guard the holy sites of all religions and make them available to all, while the Palestinians (and Jordanians before them) have consistently destroyed Jewish holy sites and prevented access to any remaining, proves that only Israel can be trusted in this area.
Instead of building up Jerusalem, from 1948 to 1967, Jordan engaged in a campaign of de-Judaization, destroying ancient synagogues, mosaics, relics, tombstones, and anything that looked remotely Jewish. All Jews were expelled, even the non-Zionist, ultra-Orthodox Jews who had been living there for centuries, and no Jews were allowed to visit our holiest sites in the city. Israeli Christians and Muslims were also barred from the city while non-Israeli Christian pilgrims were forced to bring Baptismal Certificates to prove they weren’t Jewish before gaining entry.
You read that correctly, less than 5 years after the Holocaust, Jordan required visitors to present papers proving they weren’t Jewish.
What’s more, the Palestinian leadership not only continues to deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, it actually destroys Jewish archaeology on the Mount itself! The idea that authority over holy sites should be transferred from the one government that has a history of protecting them to another that has both a history and current policy of desecration and destruction goes against all logic.
Not only is “East” Jerusalem a modern, ahistorical construct, its status as a holy city completely irrelevant to its political future, and its holy sites only safe under Israeli control, but dividing the city would be disastrous for the economy of “East” Jerusalem and its inhabitants.
Additionally, “East” Jerusalem would come under the control of the Palestinian government, so not only would the Palestinians there have no jobs, but they’d be ruled by a corrupt, non-oil producing Arab kleptocracy. Within a very short period of time there would be wealthy and prosperous Jewish West Jerusalem and literally across the street would be poor and corrupt Arab East Jerusalem. How long could that situation last before the poor Arab side erupted in anger and violence at the terrible conditions the peace process brought them? (And who could blame them for being angry with that?)
Finally, we must recognize that largest practical impediment to the division of Jerusalem (and the rest of the land). Abbas’s Palestinian Authority is unable to maintain its grip on power without security cooperation with Israel. Last summer, the Shin Bet uncovered a plot by Hamas to stage a coup in Judea and Samaria much as it had done in Gaza in 2007. Despite the fact (or maybe because of) that Abbas was in a unity government with the Islamic Resistance Movement at the time, Fatah was completely unaware of the plot and was only save by Israeli intelligence and action.
Were Israel to withdraw from eastern Jerusalem (and the rest of Judea and Samaria), it would only be a matter of time before Hamas made a second attempt at seizing control leading to Hamas control of the territories or at least a civil war that would quickly spread to the streets of Jerusalem. Mortars would be fired over whatever barriers were erected in Jerusalem starting yet another war that would end up with Israel in control of the entire city again.
This is not pure conjecture, this is exactly what history shows us happens in such situations. After the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah stepped into the power vacuum and built up its capabilities before starting another war in 2006. After Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Hamas ousted the PA and has plunged the territory into war with Israel almost every other year. After the United States withdrew from Iraq in 2011, ISIS emerged to take power and large swaths of territory.
There is no reason to think that events would be any different with a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. In fact, they would only differ in that the consequences would be more dire as terrorists would have control of territory just across the street from Israel’s main population centers instead of its peripheral towns.
Far from bringing peace, any division of Jerusalem (or the rest of the land) would inevitably bring war.
Today, Bloomberg released a new poll that many are using to say that Israel is now a partisan issue in the United States. If this conclusion is justified, it would be a terrible development in the long tradition of strong bipartisan support for Israel. Like in Europe, support for Israel would be coming solely from the conservative side of the aisle.
This interpretation is based on two questions that we at the Judean People’s Front are troubled were even asked:
When it comes to relations between the U.S. and Israel, which of the following do you agree with more?
Israel is an important ally, the only democracy in the region, and we should support it even if our interests diverge.
Israel is an ally but we should pursue America’s interests when we disagree with them.
Recently there have been clashes between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama. Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?
It should be stated - though it isn’t in the Bloomberg article discussing the Israel questions - that this was not a poll just about Israel. This was a poll about the 2016 Presidential Election. It contained questions about voter perceptions about potential candidates and Republican leaders (where Netanyahu was the only non-American listed, and polled better than all Republicans other than President George W. Bush), questions about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, and about the Iran deal. This means that those polled were coming at these questions specifically thinking about the election, not necessarily about US-Israel ties in general.
When it comes to relations between the U.S. and Israel, which of the following do you agree with more?
Israel is an important ally, the only democracy in the region, and we should support it even if our interests diverge.
Israel is an ally but we should pursue America’s interests when we disagree with them.
The above question is incredibly problematic, should never have been asked, and, absent a specific situation in which it would come into play, completely impossible to answer.
The idea that American voters should decide whether or not they should support Israel even when it isn’t in America’s best interest smacks of the ancient anti-Semitic claim of Jewish dual-loyalty. “Jews are more loyal to Israel and other Jews than they are to our country,” is a common refrain among Islamists and neo-Nazis alike. Yes, this poll wasn’t only of Jewish voters, but this question hearkens back to this antiquated notion.
Is it actually possible that 45% of Americans believe they should support Israel even when doing so would go against American interests? Such an astonishing and troubling number should be investigated, not accepted blindly. Upon closer examination of the question it becomes clear: Voters were presented with only two options, one very pro-Israel and another less so and 45% chose the very pro-Israel choice. There was no outright anti-Israel option, meaning that Israel-supporters on the fence over the phrasing would be more inclined to choose the more pro-Israel sounding option, regardless of their reservations about it.
Bloomberg included the following that supports our understanding of the poll:
Robert Veenstra, 31, a Catholic Republican and self-described conservative from North Port, Florida, who participated in the poll, said he doesn’t yet have a strong preference among Republican presidential hopefuls—but that support of Israel is crucial. “I believe Israel needs the support,” he said… At the same time, he offered a caveat to his own view that the U.S. should support Israel’s interests even when they diverge, saying he’s comfortable taking that stance because Israel isn’t asking for anything that truly imperils the U.S. [emphasis JPF]
“While I care about the relationships we have with other countries, and other people’s suffering, at the end of the day my country is most important to me,” he said. [emphasis JPF]
While Veenstra chose the more pro-Israel option, he makes it clear that he still supports the United States in major disagreements. The reason he felt comfortable choosing that option was not only because of his strong affinity for Israel, but because Israel is not and has never made dangerous requests that might imperil the US. Sure a very small minority would support such a situation in which the US makes its own interests subservient to those of Israel, but such a small, fringe group doesn’t deserve to have their views legitimized in such a way. Polls also show 45% of Americans believe in ghosts and 22% of Americans either don’t believe al-Qaeda was behind 9/11 or aren’t sure. Should such views also be brought up for legitimate discussion in presidential polls?
Moreover, without specific scenarios, the question is too vague to draw any substantive conclusions. For example, more Americans would likely support backing Israel at the UN even though it would make US-Arab relations more difficult. On the flip side, far fewer would be willing to back an Israeli attack on Iran during US-led negotiations. Without a hypothetical, it is impossible to gauge to what extent American support for Israel truly trumps support for US interests. Therefore, even without all the accompanying anti-Semitic baggage, this question is completely worthless.
###Obama v. Netanyahu: The Showdown
Recently there have been clashes between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama. Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?
This question is equally useless.
People like Peter Beinart would like us to see this as proof that Conservatives in the US support a foreign leader over the President of the United States, tweeting:
NEWSFLASH: Conservatives in the US don’t support President Obama!
Is anyone surprised by this? Should anyone be?
This question was a referendum on President Obama and his handling of the negotiations with Iran, with only slightly more Republicans supporting Netanyahu (67%) than are pessimistic about the Iran deal (62%) and Independents more pessimistic of the deal (48%) than supportive of Netanyahu (37%).
Beinart should also recognize that the question didn’t ask which politician they liked more, who they felt beholden to, or who they “prefer,” as he alleges. The question asked “Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or to Obama [in the recent clashes between the two]?” Apparently in Beinart’s America, citizens are required to support their president and his policies regardless of their own personal beliefs and should be shamed for stepping out of line, even if they only do so in an independent, anonymous survey. The idea that Americans would agree with a foreign leader over their own President is too shocking for him to contain himself… but only as long as that President is a Democrat.
Before signing off, we’d like to give a special shoutout to political dilettante Jeremy Fischer. This 26-year-old self-identified Jewish Democrat has absolutely nothing to add to the discourse other than an embarrassing declaration of his
political indecision. He claims he’d be open to voting for a “moderate” over the Democratic nominee (read: Hillary Clinton) but insists Israel and Iran wouldn’t be deciding factors, nor is he expecting to have to make that choice. He then offers his borderline offensive view of Jewish voters, saying, “my guess is people closer to my age would skew one way and people closer to my parents’ age or grandparents would skew another. The closer you are in age to the Holocaust the more likely you are to believe Israel is right all the time.” Today (Yom Hashoah) might be a good day for Fischer to bridge the time gap between him and the Holocaust and maybe remind himself that to support a country is not defined by blind support for every single action of its government.
##Why does Israel insist on recognition as a Jewish State?
Many critics of Israel assert that Israel’s insistence on Palestinians or Iranian recognition of the Jewish State is designed to scuttle any serious peace talks. They say it is unnecessary, needlessly provocative, and was never brought up in peace deals in the past.
It is true that Israel did not bring this up during past peace talks, however, this was not because it is unnecessary or provocative, but rather because of conflicting Zionist ideologies and misunderstandings about the necessity of such a recognition.
As the late Yehuda Avner documents in his masterpiece, The Prime Ministers, Menachem Begin was the first to reject any sort of recognition of the State of Israel (not just as a Jewish State) as either a favor or condition for peace:
The national security adviser [Brzezinski] had brought with him a draft for the prime minister’s approval, and after analyzing each phrase with his eagle eye, Begin said, “Totally acceptable but for two sentences.”
“And what are they?”
“Please delete ‘The United States affirms Israel’s inherent right to exist.’”
“Because the United States’ affirmation of Israel’s right to exist is not a favor, nor is it a negotiable concession. I shall not negotiate my existence with anybody, and I need nobody’s affirmation of it.”
Brzezinski’s expression was one of surprise. “But to the best of my knowledge every Israeli prime minister has asked for such a pledge.”
“I sincerely appreciate the president’s sentiment,” said Begin, “but our Hebrew Bible made that pledge and established our right over our land millennia ago. Never, throughout the centuries, did we ever abandon or forfeit that right. Therefore, it would be incompatible with my responsibilities as prime minister of Israel were I not to ask you to erase this sentence.” And then without pause, “Please delete, too, the language regarding the U.S. commitment to Israel’s survival.”
“And in what sense do you find that objectionable?”
“In the sense that we, the Jewish people alone, are responsible for our country’s survival, no one else.”
Menachem Begin was 100% right: Israel’s existence and the recognition thereof is not a negotiable factor nor is it a favor to bestowed. If this was the only factor surrounding calls to recognize the Jewish State, that would be the end of it.
###So why does Israel insist on others recognize its Jewish character?
The way critics talk about the recognition issue, you would think Israel was incredibly insecure, constantly looking outward for affirmation of its identity. This is what Mahmoud Abbas would like us to think when he said in 2009:
The “Jewish state.” What is a “Jewish state?” We call it the “State of Israel.” You can call yourselves whatever you want. But I will not accept it. And I say this on a live broadcast… It’s not my job to define it, to provide a definition for the state and what it contains. You can call yourselves the Zionist Republic, the Hebrew, the National, the Socialist [Republic] call it whatever you like. I don’t care.
The fact of the matter is that Israel doesn’t need the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish State as such in order for it to legitimately be one. As Begin said, Israel exists and will continue to exist as the Jewish State by right and not because anyone else agrees that it is so.
When Israel insists that the Palestinians and enemy states recognize its right to exist, it isn’t asking for a mere formal declaration. Such a declaration is meaningless. What Israel is actually asking for is a change in the way enemy societies interact with and talk about Israel because without this, any peace treaty that is signed would just be a piece a paper. That is why Abbas’s above declaration is so significant especially since he made that statement at the PA Youth Parliament! If there is ever to be peace between Israelis and Arabs, the Arabs will need to accept and teach their children that Israel exists by right and is not, as they have been told for a century, an imperialist outpost of colonialism forced on them by a secret cabal of Jews in order to destroy the unity of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t just reject Israel as a Jewish State, his Palestinian Authority (not to mention his partners in Hamas) continues to teach its children that Israel is an Apartheid, Crusader state. Why are these terms, in additional to imperial and colonial, used? Because such states lack any and all legitimacy and must be completely dismantled and destroyed. One does not make peace with an Apartheid state, one forces it to disband. One does not negotiate with religious crusaders, one defeats them. One does not make peace with colonial masters, one forces them back their countries of origin.
This is why it is so important that Israel’s enemies recognize its right to exist as a Jewish State because without such recognition, and the reeducation and reframing of the discussion of Israel that would have to come with it, then nothing has actually changed. One need only look at Egypt and Jordan to see that signed treaties alone do not create full peace. The treaties there have created peaceful reltations between governments but done nothing to create peace between the people. Egypt continues to hold war games in which Israel is the enemy, the anti-normalization (read: anti-peace) movement is incredibly powerful, preventing most Egyptians from publicly engaging with Israelis on any level, and the Egyptian media continues to use the most disgusting of anti-Semitic imagery.
Imagine for a second if you will, what would have been the world’s reaction had the Knesset held a moment of silence and prayer for the terrorists who murdered Muhammad Abu Khedir last summer? What would be the reaction if Israeli universities or organizations had by-laws refusing to admit or have relations with any Arabs? What would be the reaction had Israeli state TV financed, produced, and promoted a mini-series based on old anti-Arab and Islamophobic tropes?
These are rhetorical questions when it comes to Israel since no such things have ever happened nor are they likely ever to happen. But these are easily answerable when it comes to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians because the answer is that the international community will do absolutely nothing! The world ignores or downplays such incidents when Arabs are the perpetrators for a number of reasons:
No Jews, No News - When Jews can’t be blamed, stories about the Middle East are much less interesting (see Yarmouk)
Anti-Arab Racism - This is the so-called “racism of low expectations” whereby the Liberal West will overlook or explain away atrocities done by Arabs or Muslims with what amounts to “well, they’re Arab or Muslim, they don’t know any better” or “this is the best we can expect from them.”
Anti-Semitism - While this isn’t the only reason and many may not even be aware they are engaging in it, there is no way to ignore the shocking double-standards without recognizing that anti-Semitism plays a role.
Narrative - When it comes to the Middle East, the media has a narrative that portrays Israel as intransigent and aggressive and the Palestinians as passive victims incapable of making any decisions. Any facts that contradict this narrative must be buried.
###But why does it insist on recognition specifically as a “Jewish State?”
There are two main reasons for this:
First, it is important to remember that for the past 100 years, the Arabs have been acting as though the Jews are foreigners who walked in one day and stole the land from its rightful, indigenous inhabitants. If peace is to be sustainable, the Arabs need to recognize that the Jews are in fact the returning indigenous people of Israel with just as much a right to a state of our own here as the Arabs have in their own countries. They must recognize that Zionism is a native, national liberation movement with just as much legitimacy as Arab nationalism. This doesn’t mean they all need to become Likudniks or have to accept or agree with everything Israel does, but it does mean that constant discussion of destroying the illegitimate Zionist Entity must stop.
Second, Israel’s entire reason for being is to be a Jewish State. If Israel’s enemies recognize Israel, but not the kind of state that it is, then what have they done exactly?
Israel must stand firm in its insistence that its enemies recognize its right to exist as a Jewish State as part of its demands for realistic expectations from them. The idea that Israel should make peace with governments who will then continue to teach their people that Israel is the enemy is entirely unacceptable. Cease-fire? Sure. Peace Treaty? Absolutely not.
Imagine that Russia says it recognizes Ukraine and is willing to make peace with it, but it will never recognize it as a Ukrainian State. Imagine that under such a peace deal Russia insists on moving millions of ethnic Russians to Ukraine and allege that Ukraine was a colonial creation of NATO. Clearly such a peace treaty would be a mere cease-fire while Russia attempts to subvert Ukrainian territorial integrity, undermine its government, and attempt to replace it with a Russian satellite state. No one would accuse Poroshenko of trying to subvert peace if he were to condition it on Russian recognition of Ukraine as a Ukrainian state, but when it comes to Israel being recognized as a Jewish State, all of a sudden it is unacceptable.
###But doesn’t that ignore Israel’s non-Jewish citizens?
Israel is not the first or only country to be based around a majority population or religious group, but it is the only one that is continually condemned for it. This despite the fact that the safest place to be a minority of any stripe in the Middle East is in Israel. Yes there is unofficial discrimination in Israel and this must end, but this is in no way unique to Israel. More to the point, recent polls show Arabs in Israel affinity for the state despite its problems and reject the idea of either moving to a potential Palestinian state or having the border move around them so their homes would come under Palestinian control.
This also completely overlooks the fact that other minorities in Israel, Druze, Christian Arameans, Bedouin, Circassians, and others all identify strongly with the Jewish State and serve proudly in the IDF. If it is possible for some minorities, it is possible for them all.
Is the situation perfect? Of course not and there is much work to be done. But to say the only way problems of racism or discrimination can be solved is to completely dismantle the state is outrageous and only seems to be brought up as a solution for the Jewish State and not for any other.
However, if the enemies of Israel continue to teach their children that the Jewish State has no right to exist, there will be no peace, and that is why recognition is so important. Peace will only come when Abbas makes the following declaration before the PA Youth Parliament:
The “Jewish state.” What is a “Jewish state?” The State of Israel is the Jewish State but it must work to remove any discrimination against non-Jewish and Arab citizens. Israel is the Jewish State not only because it reflects the will of the majority of its citizens but because the Jews, like the Palestinian Arabs, have the right to a state of their own, and this state is the State of Israel.
Even those who are naive enough to believe Abbas might eventually come around to making a worthless declaration saying Israel is the Jewish State would never think he could make the above statement. That is because this “moderate, peace partner” is neither and will never accept peace with Israel as a Jewish State or otherwise.
There is no such thing as an Arab-Israel conflict. There is an Arab war against Israel. There is an Arab war against the Jewish people’s right to a state.
This is the what the entire conflict is about. It isn’t about occupation - there was war and terrorism before 1967. It isn’t about racism - there is racism in every country in the world. It isn’t about human rights - Israel has one of the best records on human rights in the world and the very best in the Middle East.
It is about the complete refusal of the Arab world to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have a state of their own within any borders. Unless this changes there can be no peace and that is why it is so important for Israel’s enemies to recognize it as the Jewish State.
Part Three of our multipart series on The Many Myths of Jerusalem
###Myth Number 3: Jerusalem Gives Citizenship or Residency Based on Religion/Ethnicity
When trying to make Israel look bad, for Israel-haters, there is no truth not worth twisting, or law not worth lying about. Nowhere is this more apparent than when discussing Israel’s policy towards granting citizenship and permanent residency in the city of Jerusalem.
Anti-Israel activists often trot out the line, “Israel grants citizenship to Israeli Jews but only residency to Palestinian Arabs.” Technically, this is a true statement, it just happens to be incomplete and entirely misleading, making it a lie.
Why do children born to Israeli Jews get citizenship? Because their parents are Israeli citizens! Not because they are Jewish. If a non-Israeli Jew gives birth in Jerusalem, their child isn’t automatically Israeli.
Why do children born to Palestinian Arabs not get citizenship? Because their parents are NOT Israeli citizens!
Israel grants citizenship to ANY Israeli born or living in Jerusalem, regardless of their religion or ethnicity and Palestinian Arabs are eligible to apply for citizenship as well. So children born to Israeli Arabs or Palestinians with Israeli citizenship living in Jerusalem get automatic Israeli citizenship just like Israeli Jews do.
But what about how Israel rescinds residency permits for Palestinians!
Well, that only happens after a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem hasn’t lived in the city for seven years, or in other words, when they’re no longer a resident! Taking away the residency of someone who is no longer a resident isn’t illegal, it’s just good bookkeeping.
In fact, Israel’s laws are far more lax than those of, say, the United States. A permanent resident of the US can lose their status if they move out of the country for a single year, while this can only happen to Jerusalemites after seven years. Is it so unreasonable for a state to revoke someone’s residency when they haven’t even lived in that state for years on end?
But permanent residents in the US chose to move there, while Palestinians didn’t choose to live under Israeli rule.
When Jordan (supported by the PLO) declared war on Israel in 1967, they set in motion the events leading to Israel’s retaking the entire city. This little fact is always omitted by anti-Zionists looking to paint Israel as the constant aggressor. Had Jordan (and the PLO) heeded Israel’s warnings and pleading to stay out of the war, Israel would not have taken the city and this situation would not have arisen at all.
But Israel is clearly doing this to reduce the number of Arabs in Jerusalem.
While 14,152 Arabs did lose their residency between 1967 and 2011, at the same time the Arab population of Jerusalem actually increased from 67,609 to a whopping 295,000 in 2011! Given these numbers, this sounds like the worst stop-gap measure ever implemented.
Moreover, according to B’Tselem since 1997, 95.5% of the revocations were due to moving abroad. That means that the vast majority of those who lost their residency weren’t even living in the West Bank, meaning they were not actually a “threat” to Jewish demographics anyway.
This also all overlooks the fact that any Palestinian Jerusalemite may apply for Israeli citizenship and then they wouldn’t have to worry about losing it even if they lived elsewhere for decades. It just happens that most Palestinians refuse to apply for citizenship, just like they refuse to participate in local elections (which only requires residency), because doing so would “normalize” relations with Israel and brand them as traitors. Given that Palestinians are at best shunned and at worst murdered for such a label, it is somewhat understandable that this fear gets results. However, a 2013 report from the International Crisis Group indicates that there is growing acceptance of Israeli citizenship among Arab Jerusalemites, with an increase in applications being submitted.
But even with all this, nearly 320 Palestinians are losing their residency rights every year!
Not exactly. Up until 1997, the first 30 years of Israeli rule, just over 3000 Palestinians had lost their residency permits. Since then, the numbers of have continued to go up and down, indicating that they actually correspond to yearly differences in who this may apply to. In 2011, just 101 Jerusalemites lost their residency, which is almost exactly the same number as in 1967 (105).
Also, in 1988, the first full year of the Intifadah, when one would expect a sharp rise in “politically motivated expulsions,” we actually see the exact opposite: just 2 residency revocations, the lowest annual number ever! (Complete data for 2 years of the Second Intifada is unavailable to make a similar comparison)
Additionally, even if a “resident” does not actually reside in Jerusalem, but visits the city once every three years, they can keep their residency. So in 2011, when 101 Jerusalemites lost their residency, another 31 regained theirs.
###So what have we learned today?
Citizenship and residency in Jerusalem is granted based on nationality, not religion
Israel’s revocation of residency is far more progressive than that of other democracies
Arab Jerusalemites can apply for full citizenship to avoid any residency related hassles
The current situation in Jerusalem is the result of a Jordanian and Palestinian initiated war
The numbers of revocations do not indicate political motivations
It is sad that such articles need to be written at all, but given the deception and manipulation of Israel’s enemies, it is important to remember that just because it is repeated, doesn’t mean it is true.
With all eyes on Lausanne and a potential nuclear agreement with Iran, the world’s attention has shifted away from another potential agreement that was making headlines just 3 weeks ago: a Hamas-proposed multi-year cease-fire with Israel.
Last summer, the Islamic Resistance Movement, also known as Hamas, not only engaged in a war with Israel (alongside Islamic Jihad and Fatah), but continued in its campaign to deceive and dupe the world in a way that was successful beyond their wildest dreams. News media from around the world unquestioningly reproduced the Islamic Resistance Movement’s lies about civilian casualties, disproportionate use of force by Israel, and refused to discuss the widespread use of human shields.
The main reason for this was spelled out clearly by Matti Friedman of Tablet who blew the lid off the AP and international news media’s obsessive and slanted focus on Israel. While explaining why in 2009 the media ignored Olmert’s peace overtures to the Palestinians, Friedman explained “[the media’s] narrative was that the Palestinians were moderate and the Israelis recalcitrant and increasingly extreme.” The media and international community have been so convinced that the Two-State Solution is the only possible and just answer, that anything that contradicts it must be either maligned or altered.
It is this preoccupation with forcing a Two-State Solution that has led members of the media to report the Islamic Resistance Movement’s “moderate overtures” without the slightest hint of journalistic questioning. Every few months a journalist will jump on a statement made anonymously (and only in English, of course) by a “senior Hamas official” indicating that the Islamic Resistance Movement has moderated and will accept a Two-State Solution. There is no skepticism offered because the journalists involved need it to be true.
That is why a letter from the Islamic Resistance Movement to Tony Blair, envoy of the so-called Quartet, was being trumpeted so loudly (despite denials from the group that such a letter even exists). In addition the letter (which I have reproduced with comment below) Hamas has outlined the three conditions of its tahidi’a or quieting (as outlined by The Times of Israel:
All forms of military conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will cease.
Israel will commit to removing the blockade on Gaza, including: opening all crossings around Gaza; permitting unfettered import and export from Gaza; allowing the construction of a sea and airport.
The tahidi’a will last between three and five years starting from the moment the agreement is signed, but the two sides will finalize the exact length of the ceasefire.
The media is excited by this “clear moderation” saying this proves the Islamic Resistance Movement has changed and is willing to live with Israel as long as the blockade is lifted.
This is utter nonsense as each of these three conditions are unacceptable to Israel as they would be to any country in Israel’s position. Behind the pretty language, this is what the conditions really are:
Israel cannot take action against any terrorist group in Gaza, even in self-defense.
Israel will allow the Islamic Resistance Movement to build a sea and airport with which it can then import more weapons and war materiel without oversight.
The Islamic Resistance Movement will then be able to resume hostilities against Israel after an agreed upon timeframe when it is even better equipped to do so.
###Deconstructing Hamas’s “Moderate” Letter
The letter itself is titled “The Current Crisis & Hamas Vision.” Let’s go line by line (this could take a while, but it’s necessary) and expose it for what it really is:
The situation in Palestine is obviously in its worst phase throughout the history of Palestinian struggle for freedom.
Really? We’re supposed to believe not only that this is the worst it’s ever been but that the Palestinians are actually struggling for freedom and not Israel’s destruction? We’re off to a great start!
As a national liberation movement,
Stop right there. Let us be clear, the Islamic Resistance Movement, known as Hamas, is by no means a “national liberation movement.” It is a “National Destruction Movement,” run by Islamist Jihadis. The Movement’s own charter makes any form of nationalism subservient to Islam.
Look at Article 12 of the the Islamic Resistance Movement’s Charter “Hamas in Palestine, Its Views on Homeland and Nationalism”:
Hamas regards Nationalism (Wataniyya) as part and parcel of the religious faith. Nothing is loftier or deeper in Nationalism than waging Jihad against the enemy and confronting him when he sets foot on the land of the Muslims… the nationality of Hamas also carries… the all important divine factors which lend to it its spirit and life; so much so that it connects with the origin of the spirit and the source of life and raises in the skies of the Homeland the Banner of the Lord, thus inexorably connecting earth with Heaven.
Or from Article 13:
the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith
Or from Article 25:
Hamas is a movement of Jihad
Nationalism is just a western word the Islamic Resistance Movement has appropriated and it is clear that nationalism is subservient to Islam. Hamas’s ultimate allegiance is to Islam (or their interpretation of it) and not to any separate nationalism.
The letter continues:
Hamas urges all parties concerned, particularly the Middle East Quartet to undertake their responsibilities towards the dangers generated by the unprecedented political deadlock on Palestinians. Theses dangers include the Israeli continuous Judaization of Jerusalem, attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque, settlements construction, ceaseless aggressions at, and suffocating blockade of, the Gaza Strip among others.
Noticeably absent from the list of parties with responsibilities is of course the Islamic Resistance Movement itself. Surely only Fatah is responsible for the intra-Palestinian deadlock. And they wouldn’t be Hamas if they didn’t add in a list of imaginary crimes Israel is committing.
The repercussions of the anger and despair in the Palestinian territories may lead to an explosion that might not only affect one party of the conflict but it may also extend to other parts of the region.
According to the Islamic Resistance Movement’s narrative that has been largely accepted by Western governments, if Palestinians don’t get their way, they are perfectly justified in engaging in violence. This view of Palestinians as children with no control over their own decisions is disgusting, patronizing, and racist.
But the really important part of this is the reference to “other parts of the region.” This is a veiled threat to Egypt, which has enacted a much stricter blockade of Gaza than Israel and is fighting Hamas-aligned ISIS terrorists in Sinai. Hamas wants to avoid more violence with Egypt and knows this is mutual, so it is offering Egypt a way to avoid it by calling on it to pressure Israel to accept this deal.
The letter continues:
We would like to stress the following points:
1- Hamas is a national liberation movement that conducts its activities only within Palestine’s borders.
We already showed that the Islamic Resistance Movement is not a national liberation organization, but this first point is meant to convince Egypt again that is is only interested in destroying Israel and will leave Sisi alone if he leaves them alone. This would be more convincing if there wasn’t concrete evidence of Hamas activity in Sinai as recently as last month. But I guess The Islamic Resistance Movement is hoping Egypt is just as gullible as the western audience of this letter.
2- Having an Islamic background and moderate ideology, Hamas believes in positive dialogue between difference civilizations with no recourse to violence or oppression.
Anyone with even a minimal knowledge of the Islamic Resistance Movement, its ideology, and its actions will know it is in no way moderate. The only cross-civilizational discourse it knows is violence.
3- Hamas has nothing to do with any sectarian, ethnic or political conflict in the region.
This is the same group that violently took control of Gaza and has persecuted, tortured, and jailed all its opponents there.
4- (unpictured)…Palestinian struggle is struggle against the Israeli occupation not against Judaism per se.
The first part of this line isn’t pictured, but the Islamic Resistance Movement is trying to distance itself from its anti-Semitic and genocidal charter. Sure, it isn’t against Judaism “per se” only against anyone who practices Judaism and wants to stay alive.
The Hamas Charter is clear about how it views the Jews. Starting in the Introduction:
For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave
From Article 7:
The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree (cited by Bukhari and Muslim).
From Article 13:
“And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah [himself] is the Guidance. And if you should follow their desires after the knowledge which has come unto thee, then you would have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper.” Sura 2 (the Cow), verse 120 There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad.
From Article 28:
Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.
From Article 32:
[Hamas] joins its efforts to all those who are active on the Palestinian scene, but more steps need to be taken by the Arab and Islamic peoples and Islamic associations throughout the Arab and Islamic world in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war.
If any other “national liberation movement” contained such anti-Semitism or racism against another people, it would be shunned completely. But since Hamas is talking nicer in English (though not Arabic, of course) people are willing to ignore it.
I wonder if the KKK would be accepted if they started talking nicer about black people while not denouncing their violent, racist past…
Ok, back to the letter:
5- We seek to restore unalienated rights of the Palestinian people, believing if the political way achieves such objective, it would be the best.
That’s interesting, especially since Article 13 of the Hamas Charter states “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.” This has not been updated, altered, or abrogated. You’d think that if the Islamic Resistance Movement was changing this policy they’d update their founding document and tell their people in Arabic. But these “changes” never show up in Arabic because they are for naive external consumption only.
6- Believing in democracy and peaceful transition of power, Hamas cherishes respect for human rights in general and rights of women in particular.
The Islamic Resistance Movement only believes in democracy (a word not mentioned once in their charter) as a means toward establishing their Caliphate. They weren’t so peaceful in 2007 when they broke their national unity government and violently seized control of Gaza. Gaza has one of the worst human and women’s rights records in the world, and was responsible not only for using children as human shields, but also the deaths of at least 160 children who died digging tunnels for Hamas. This is the type of respect Hamas has for human rights.
7- Over the last months, Hamas has taken all necessary measures and made concessions needed for reconciliation. It also did its best to help consensus government succeed as the movement accepted to have the government formed of professional ministers and Palestinian national competencies regardless of political affiliation. It also agreed to rule out any steps or personalities that may disrupt the Government’s work or being internationally unaccepted.
This is pure fantasy. The Islamic Resistance Movement agreed to a national unity government but never relinquished control of Gaza, forcing Palestinians wishing to enter or exit to go through 3 border crossings: 1 Israeli, 1 PA, and 1 Hamas (all Egyptian crossings are closed). What’s more, after signing an agreement with Abbas, Hamas began planning his overthrow and was only thwarted by Israel. Anyone thinking Hamas will keep its word need look no further than how it held up its agreement with the PA.
Being a major Palestinian faction, Hamas believes it’s necessary to act immediately in order to end the crisis. Consequently, Hamas’s vision is offered as follows:
1- Hamas will not oppose a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital and with keeping the right of return for the Palestinians.
Listen to that lukewarm approval. The Islamic Resistance Movement is so gracious not to oppose a Palestinian state in the 1949 armistice lines as long as it can also flood Israel with millions of Palestinians. That’s because once Israel has a Palestinian majority as well, both states can be merged and Israel will be no more (any Jews who haven’t emigrated at that point will likely be killed).
2- Hamas is eager to install and continue the calm and complete searching the remaining issue including the airport and seaport through indirect negotiations.
Israel is surely comforted that the Islamic Resistance Movement is willing to stop attacking long enough to open weapons importing facilities by air and sea.
3- Hamas is committed to the national reconciliation document signed by the Palestinian factions in 2006, which determined the common national position regarding all issues.
If this is the case, then the Islamic Resistance Movement would not have planned a coup in the West Bank and would have turned over Gaza to the PA.
4- Hamas is committed to the agreements of the Palestinian-Palestinian reconciliation.
5- Hamas is eager to have good relations with the international community as the movement is ready to talk to the international community over all the issues that may serve the international stability and peace.
This might be the only honest part of this letter. Of course the Islamic Resistance Movement wants good relations with the world! This whole letter is a propaganda ploy to make Hamas look moderate without actually having to moderate its positions on anything. Hamas is certainly willing to talk about how it will help “international stability and peace,” but in Arabic it will make it clear that peace and stability will only come once Israel is destroyed and all the Jews are dead.
6- Hamas demands to end the blockade on the Gaza Strip immediately.
All the Islamic Resistance Movement needs to do to make this happen is to disarm and hand Gaza back over to the PA. No Israeli government, left or right, will allow Hamas to import weapons at will and without proper oversight.
7- Hamas demands to open all Gaza crossings and speed up reconstruction and development.
So far, as a part of the reconstruction mechanism, over 62,000 tons of construction supplies have entered the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom Crossing. In addition, 43,000 Gaza residents have purchased materials for the reconstruction of their homes, a process which is ongoing. Furthermore, 50 trucks and 15 buses have been transferred into the Gaza Strip.
Despite the “safeguards” put in place to ensure concrete goes to Gazans rebuilding their homes and not to the Islamic Resistance Movement rebuilding terror tunnels, most concrete is being sold on the black market where it ends up being used by Hamas.
Israel sends in building materials and then Hamas takes it for use in terrorism. The Islamic Resistance Movement is the reason reconstruction and development in Gaza is nonexistent… other than the terror infrastructure that is, which is being rebuilt at lightning speed.
8- Hamas demands to work together with all parties concerned in order to bolster the national consensus government and help it succeed. This can take place through:
–A- Implementing all of what has been agreed upon in this regard.
–B- Adopting what Ziad Abu Amr and Ziad al-Zaza agreed upon relation to Gaza staff integration.
–C- Adopting what Ziad Abu Amri and Ziad al-Zaza agreed upon in relation to Gaza Crossings.
–D- Activating the issue of public freedoms and releasing political detainees.
–E- Activating the national consensus government to undertake responsibilities toward the Gaza Strip and Gaza chronic problems.
What the Islamic Resistance Movement is really demanding here is that the PA and other Palestinian groups accept its dictates. If Hamas were interested in actually advancing a “national consensus government” it wouldn’t be secretly planning coups, stealing reconstruction material, intimidating, imprisoning, and torturing political opponents, or preventing children from leaving Gaza on field trips.
The Islamic Resistance Movement is solely responsible for the current situation and if it wanted to change it peacefully for the better it could do so. However, it is clear from Hamas’s actions and it’s words in Arabic that it is completely uninterested.
The Islamic Resistance Movement - Hamas
Here is another thing that is often overlooked. Hamas (meaning “zeal” in Arabic and “violence” in Hebrew) is an acronym for “The Islamic Resistance Movement.” It isn’t “The Palestinian Resistance Movement,” or “The National Resistance Movement,” because neither of those ideas drives them. Hamas’s commitment to Israel’s destruction comes from its interpretation of Islam and from nowhere else. However, since it has a fun sounding acronym, people are able to pretend that it is something other than a radical Jihadi organization.
No one would ever say that Islamic Jihad or the Islamic State are just national organizations. Clearly they identify themselves as Islamists (despite the protestations of President Obama) and it would be folly to pretend they are anything else.
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of many global Islamist organizations and just happens to be based in Gaza. It would be much more difficult for Hamas to claim to be a “National Liberation Organization” if it was called by its real name.
That is why, wherever possible, the Judean People’s Front urges you to show the world they are Jihadi Islamists by using their true name:
As faithful, pro-Israel tweeters and bloggers, we at the Judean People’s Front are well aware of the massive support you show Israel on a daily basis all over the twittersphere. You are outspoken, unapologetic, and forceful with your message of support for the world’s only Jewish State and we thank you for that.
You recently took this battle off twitter with a special guest post on the pro-Israel blog Israellycool.com. In In Praise Of Israeli Democracy you write not only a vigorous defense of the State of Israel, but of Democracy in general and begin with:
Israel right now, in my opinion has the most vibrant democracy in the world, and feel free to correct me (minus hate speech) if you feel I am wrong.
The Judean People’s Front certainly doesn’t disagree with this statement, but there are a few misstatements you subsequently make, that should be addressed - respectfully, as co-defenders of Israel, of course.
Achoteinu Barr, you make a very common mistake regarding the founding and legitimacy of the State of Israel:
As we all know, Israel was made a state by the UN in 1948, with the partition of Palestine into a Jewish State and a Jordanian-Palestinian State, in an agreement/peace treaty which guaranteed that only a small portion of The British Empire’s Confiscated and Occupied Jewish Ancestral Homeland would be returned to the Jewish People, based on the writ, “The Balfour Declaration.”
This may be the common perception, but it is simply not the way things happened.
Israel was not made a state by the UN. In November 1947, the United Nations did vote in favor of the Partition of Palestine. This was accepted by the Jewish Agency (the pre-state government of the Yishuv) but it was completely rejected by both the local Arabs and the surrounding Arab states. As such, it never went into effect and was not responsible for establishing Israel.
The Jewish State was instead established on 14 May 1948 when, after months of intesnse fighting, and suffering over 2000 Jewish casualties, the State of Israel was declared in Tel Aviv (Jerusalem was still under heavy seige and too dangerous for such a massive gathering of Israel’s leaders). It was the Israelis themselves that established our state through the force of arms in defending their homes and the determination to declare a state upon the withdrawal of the British (this was still very controversial among the Zionist leadership of the time).
What’s more, there was no “agreement/peace treaty” with Jordan or any other Arab state that guaranteed Israel would be returned to the Jewish People. That was, of course, because all the Arab states refused to negotiate peace and rejected Israel’s existence in every way. Had they accepted peace or the Partition Plan, there would have been no war, no refugees, and an Arab state in Palestine would have been an established fact as well (at least until it was incorporated into Jordan).
You then continue with:
Many opine that without the grotesque and savage fascist state sanctioned murder of another third of The Jewish People, none of the lands might have ever been returned at all.
It is very dangerous to buy into or lend legitimacy the Arab narrative that Israel was simply established by the UN to assuage Western guilt over the Holocaust. It has been said before, but we’ll say it again:
##Israel was not established because of the Holocaust. Israel was established in spite of the Holocaust!
None of the lands were “returned” to us. We returned to the land ourselves, buying it legally, and defending it with our lives. The idea that the UN simply handed Israel over to the Jews in 1948 as blood-money for inaction over our genocide is one touted by anti-Israel and anti-Semitic voices the world over and we should reject this lie vociferously. It also overlooks the fact that prior to 1948, there already was a functioning Jewish State in all but name, and this became official when, mere minutes after the declaration was made, the United States and Soviet Union recognized the new/old state.
Had the Arab accepted the Peel Partition of 1937 (as the Yishuv did), millions of Jews would have had a safe haven in which to seek refugee from the Nazi genocide and an outright Jewish majority would have been secured for centuries. But this partition plan did not create the State of Israel any more than the UN Partition of 1947 did. It was only our own actions and determination that brought this about.
The only other misstep you make in your otherwise praiseworthy post comes when, while discussing the Israeli electorate, you refer to:
indigenous Mizrachi and Sephardic Jewish voters
Certainly Mizrachi and Sephardi Jews stayed closer to the Homeland than their Ashkenazi cousins, but they are no more indigenous than the rest of us. All Jews are indigenous to the Land of Israel. It is where our forefathers settled thousands of years ago, where we our multiple kingdoms were established, to whhere we returned to after our exiles in Egypt, Babylon and our 2,000-year exile scattered around the world. DNA evidence has rather consistently shown Jewish ancestry originating in the Levant even though the skin color of some of us may belie this underlying truth. It is important that we not forget our indigeneity, or, God-forbid, cede it to the idea that the Arabs are actually the indigenous population
Regardless of these few misstatements, the Judean People’s Front thanks you for your defense of Israeli democracy and your continued advocacy in the face of growing anti-Semitism.
The picture says “Another year and our President is doing great” (literally 1000x fine), which is the Arabic equivalent of “Happy Birthday.”
Of course it’s another year and “President” Abbas is doing great because this beacon of democracy hasn’t had to stand for election since his first one in 2005. Sure he was only elected for a 4 year term, but since Abbas is the moderate leader of Israel’s peace partner, the Palestinian Authority, the world can forgive this minor infraction.
While Israel’s democracy is questioned by the AP, and accusations of Apartheid are chanted after Israeli Arab Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran oversaw the elections, it is nice to know that Abbas is having another good year of dictatorship next door.
So from all of us here at the Judean People’s Front, to our benevolent, peaceful, and moderate partner - who completely accepts the two-state solution despite personally turning down offer after offer, and who continues to reject the idea of a Jewish State and insist on the “Right of Return” for millions of Palestinians who never lived here to Israel - on the occasion of your 80th birthday, we would like to wish you a very heartfelt:
One of the most frustrating things for a Jew to hear is for someone to say, “well, I’m a Semite (Arab or Muslim, when many of the later aren’t even Semites), therefore I can’t be anti-Semitic.” Or “Jews aren’t the only Semites; Palestinians are Semites too, so you’re actually the anti-Semite.”
There are two main problems with this line of thinking:
The first problem is that this fundamentally redefines what anti-Semitism means and has always meant.
##Anti-Semitism does not, and never has meant hatred of Semites. It has always, only meant hatred of Jews.
the term was in fact coined in Germany in 1873 as a scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (“Jew-hatred”)
It wasn’t enough to simply make do with the traditional anti-Judaism that Christian Europe had been peddling for millennia. The modern, racially pure German Aryan needed a scientific, race-based term for their hatred of the Hebrew people. Anti-Semitism fit this need perfectly.
However, since most people don’t know that anti-Semitism has always been used to refer solely to Jew-hatred, many Jew-haters are able to confuse them. After all, if you didn’t know this, it would make perfect sense that anti-Semitism would refer to all Semites and not just Jews.
The anti-Semites who hide behind claims of literalism, of course don’t accept the same reasoning when it doesn’t fit their worldview. If we are going to go by words’ strict literal definitions, then the term Islamophobia does no refer to “Hatred of Muslims,” but rather “Hatred of those who submit themselves to God’s will.” If this is the definition, than any religious person could assert they can’t be Islamophobic since they submit themselves to the will of God.
Even if one were to accept that Islamophobia only refers to hatred of Muslims, the Jews of Medina were considered by Muhammad to be part of the Umma, and prayed alongside other Muslims (at least at first). Since Muhammad himself considered Jews to be Muslims, then we can’t be Islamophobic either, right?
Try using these arguments with an anti-Semite in order to see their head explode. It is quite satisfying.
###Who can be an anti-Semite?
Of course anyone reading this can tell that we made the last two arguments purely for illustrative purposes. We would never use these as actual justifications for Islamophobia because, one, Islamophobia shouldn’t be defended, and two, they are intellectually dishonest. And that’s the whole point: anyone redefining anti-Semitism to prove they aren’t an anti-Semite is at best being dishonest and at worst is an anti-Semite themselves.
###Anyone can be an anti-Semite
The second problem with the opening statement is that anyone can be an anti-Semite, even Jews. The idea that someone cannot hold a certain point of view because of their ethnicity is itself a racist idea. Just as during slavery in America and Apartheid in South Africa there were Blacks who were led to believe that they were in fact inferior, and therefore held racist views against their own people, there are also today Jews who are themselves anti-Semites.
The most prominent anti-Semitic Jew today is probably Gilad Atzmon. He believes in classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories like the idea that the Jews are trying to control the world from behind the scenes, believes burning synagogues is an appropriate protest of Israel’s actions, condemns Jews for killing Jesus, and thinks there should be a real debate about The Protocols of the Elders of Zion just to name a few.
Prof. Robert Wistrich, head of the Hebrew University’s Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, in discussing self-hating Jews, says, “Self-hatred can be the Jewish version of anti-Semitism… Their self-hatred is an internalization of dominant stereotypes. This hatred is expressed in different ways – there are Jews who deny their Jewishness, who’ll conceal their identity and change their name. There’s a classic response, which was very common until recently, and that’s conversion – mainly to Christianity. In quite a few cases, the converts excel in their hatred toward Judaism and even lead anti-Jewish campaigns. It happened in the past and exists in modern times too.”
Today, however, Jewish anti-Semites need not conceal their identity when converting to the world’s fastest growing religion. That is because this religion is not Christianity or Islam, but rather the religion of anti-Zionism. In this religion, anti-Semitic Jews are given pride of place because their actions help blue-and-whitewash away accusations of anti-Semitism. Having “Jewish” organizations like J Street and Jewish Voice for Palestine is essential for anti-Zionist groups like CodePink and Students for Genocide in Palestine because they provide the proverbial “Jewish Friend” they can point to in order to say they aren’t anti-Semitic, just anti-Zionist.
It doesn’t matter that Jews are involved in these groups because Jews can be anti-Semites and hate Jews themselves. It doesn’t matter that Arabs are also a Semitic people because anti-Semitism refers specifically and only to Jews. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or was lied to by an anti-Semite trying to cover their tracks.
###The Oldest Hatred
So why don’t we just use the term Judeophobia like we say Islamophobia or Homophobia? Wouldn’t that solve the problem?
It would solve the problem until someone says, “well, I don’t fear Jews, I hate them, so I’m not a Judeophobe,” or the more likely, “I don’t hate Jews, just Zionists.”
Running from anti-Semites and ceding them ground is never the answer. By abandoning the historically rooted term of “anti-Semitism,” we would be party to an attempt to re-write history and erase the suffering of our people. Anti-Semitism has been called “the Oldest Hatred” because it has existed for as long as the Jewish people have. By redefining the term, anti-Semites are not only depriving us of our history, but they are attempting to appropriate it for their own purposes.
###Anti-Semitism at the UN (who’d’ve thought?)
We saw this earlier this year at the first UN Conference on anti-Semitism (anyone else shocked that there wasn’t one of these ever before??). There, the Saudi ambassador, Abdullah al-Mouallimi, speaking on behalf of the Islamic countries, began his speech by condemning “all discrimination, including [that] based on religion or religious beliefs,” which of course is all well and good, except this conference was convened to discuss a very specific hatred based on religion or religious beliefs. His concluding statements made it clear why he broadened his earlier “condemnation.” He said, “colonization and occupation fuels anti-Semitism… occupation is an act of anti-Semitism. It threatens human rights and humankind.” It didn’t matter that just a few minutes prior to this, Secretary-General Ban made it clear that “grievances about Israeli actions must never be used as an excuse to attack Jews.” According to anti-Semites, Israel/Jews are the root cause of anti-Semitism and in fact, anti-Semitism is actually a threat to non-Jews.
This perverted logic should be shunned and condemned, but in today’s world, it gets a forum at the United Nations.
The Saudis and their Jew-hating brothers need to redefine anti-Semitism to include discrimination against themselves because otherwise they would be the worst offenders. They also need to say that Israel causes anti-Semitism - as classic anti-Semites always blame Jews themselves for anti-Semitism - because then its destruction is part of the solution.
But instead of calling out this rank anti-Semitism - at the first UN Conference on anti-Semitism, no less! - the Saudis and other state purveyors of anti-Semitism are welcomed and allowed to speak as though they are part of the solution, not the part of the problem.
When such blatant anti-Semitism is welcome at the UN, is it any wonder that anti-Semitism is rising around the world?
###And only Hillary’s candidacy (though not election) can save the US-Israel relationship
Yesterday, John McLaughlin, a Republican pollster who was working for the Likud campaign this year, sat down with John Catsimatidis to discuss the election. Aside from mentioning that internal Likud polls showed their party ahead at a time when all external polls put them behind and allegations US taxpayer money funded the V15 campaign to defeat Netanyahu, McLaughlin said something that should get international attention but won’t:
The State Department people in the end of January, early February, expedited visas for [Israeli] Arab leaders to come to the United States to learn how to vote. They used to be in three different parties that had 11 members of Knesset… they moved up this time… There were people in the United States that were organizing them to vote in one party so they would help the left-of-center candidate, Herzog, that the Obama administration favored.
He doesn’t go into detail about which Israeli Arab leaders came to America, but it is clear they were members of the Joint Arab List. As we have pointed out, despite its neutral sounding name, the Joint List is an amalgam of Communists, anti-Zionists, Islamists, and Palestinian Nationalists. None of its leaders has come out in support of Israel as a Jewish State (at least not to our knowledge), with some (Masud Ghnaim, Ibrahim Sarsur) advocate replacing Israel with an Islamic Caliphate and support enemy regimes like Syria and Iran and terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.
Shouldn’t it be news that the Obama White House invited anti-Zionist and Islamist Arabs to Washington to support their goal of unseating the Israeli Prime Minister? Of course it should! But given the lack of attention invitations to the Muslim Brotherhood - Hamas’s parent organization - got in 2012 and this year, it certainly isn’t surprising this followed the same path to obscurity. It was even less likely to make waves since the media was so enamored of the idea of a single, unified Arab party in Israel that almost no Western news outlet discussed its radical Islamist and anti-Zionist ideology.
Given Obama’s very public temper tantrum in the wake of Netanyahu’s victory, we must all take his threats to ‘reassess the US-Israel relationship’ including removing American support at the UN, seriously.
Of course, the growing list of Republican presidential candidates are going to hammer the President on his continued anti-Israel actions, but these can be brushed aside as partisan (even when they are legitimate, as is the case here). However, Obama will not have as easy a time shrugging off these attacks if they were to come from a fellow Democrat… and that is where Hillary comes in.
Let’s be clear: the Judean People’s Front is not convinced Clinton would be any better for Israel than Obama is; though it is certainly hard to imagine anyone being worse. In fact, it is pretty obvious that any of the Republican Candidates (with the exception of Rand Paul) would be better for Israel than Hillary. But Clinton’s candidacy will immediately change any discussion of the President’s anti-Israel actions from those actions themselves into a question of “Does Hillary Clinton support it?”
If Hillary wants to be president (we can all agree that she does, right?) she’ll need to toe the pro-Israel party line that she claims she believes in anyway. That means if Obama were to support anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, Clinton will be asked about it and have to speak out against it, making the attacks from the Republicans seem less partisan in the process. Moreover, most Democratic leaders are still unwilling to speak against Obama in favor of Israel out of loyalty to the president, however, when Hillary announces her candidacy and positions herself as the heir apparent to Obama’s throne, more Democrats will be able to speak their minds and doing so would also put them in line with their new leader.
Israel needs Hillary to announce her candidacy now. It is the only chance to reign in Obama’s anti-Israel threats and is Israel’s only option for avoiding a full rupture of relations.
That of course if Obama decides he doesn’t want to be the reason why the Democrats lose in 2016. If the President concludes that since he’s not up for reelection, he doesn’t care what happens next, he can throw caution to the wind and attack Israel as he sees fit. But at least his administration will have to do so amid relentless questions from journalists reminding him of Hillary Clinton’s rejection of his actions.
The Judean People’s Front never imagined we’d say it but:
Part two of our multipart series on The Many Myths of Jerusalem
#Myth Number 2: East Jerusalem
Stories reported from Israel’s capital are routinely described as being from East Jerusalem, Arab East Jerusalem, or Israeli Occupied Arab East Jerusalem (that’s our favorite one). This is taken for granted by most people who think, “why shouldn’t a report from East Jerusalem be labeled as such?”
The answer is simple: East Jerusalem is a modern myth with no basis in history.
###Where does the myth of “East” Jerusalem come from?
We already know that many of the areas in Jerusalem have never even been considered to be part of the city to begin with from Part 1, so let’s examine how the term “East” Jerusalem itself came into being.
###Birth of the term “East” Jerusalem
This one is actually pretty straightforward and relatively well-known: From 1948 to 1967 the city of Jerusalem was divided for the first time in its history. Not only was it divided, but the Arab conquest brought with it a destruction of Jewish lives and holy sites at a level unseen in the city since the Crusades. Previous riots in the city did lead to widespread death and injury of Jews, but Zionists put up resistance and eventually the British were able to quell the violence… it just happens that after doing so and recognizing the riots were merely Arab pogroms against Jews, the British chose to appease the Arabs and punish the victims by restricting Jewish rights and immigration quotas.
Under Jordanian Occupation, the city was not made the capital (it was the “Second Capital” in name only, no administrative offices were moved or created) and while Muslim pilgrims continued to visit - unlike Jews who were barred by law - most major Muslim religious and political leaders ignored the city.
Since Jerusalem was divided (if for only a very short period of time) it was necessary to differentiate between to two parts and the simplest way to do so was by the characterizing them as East and West. But this gave rise to the idea that they were actually two separate cities, which persisted after 1967. Under normal circumstances, once divided cities are reunited, people stop referring to the two halves as separate. But of course, since Jews are involved, the world can’t countenance that in Jerusalem.
###Division of Jerusalem was a Blip in History
The oldest section of Jerusalem, the City of David dates back to the Chalcolithic Period, roughly 6500 years ago, and while archaeology from that time is not really definitive in terms of political structure, it’s safe to assume such a small settlement was not divided in half.
So out of a history of 6500 years, the city of Jerusalem was only divided for 19 years. That’s less than .3% of its history! Even if you’re only counting from 3000 years ago, that’s barely .6% of its history. Such a small blip wouldn’t even register in the history books, but we’re supposed to accept that this is the way it should now be forever?
Anyone who says Jerusalem must be divided has to answer a simple question: why should a 19-year aberration be used as a guide for a permanent settlement?
###Russian East Berlin
When was the last time you heard a journalist refer to Russian East Berlin? I doubt you can find a reference after 1989 when the Wall fell. The unification of Berlin was celebrated throughout the world as the harbinger of the fall of the Soviet Union and the triumph of the West. No one questioned the city’s reunification despite the fact that it had been two cities for 41 years (more than twice as long as Jerusalem was divided).
As a newly resurgent Russia, led by Vladimir Putin, pushes through Eastern Europe, NATO, the EU, and the US seem unwilling to stand up to this international bully. But what would their reaction be if he said in any peace deal with the West, Russia needs to have East Berlin as its regional capital? Would anyone accept such a brazen and outlandish demand?
Of course not, but this is exactly what is happening in Jerusalem!
###”Arab” East Jerusalem
Journalists often add the qualifier “Arab” to the beginning when referring to “East Jerusalem.” This is not a descriptive term, but rather a political one. In the 1990s, there was a Jewish majority in eastern Jerusalem, but this didn’t stop the press from describing it as “Arab East Jerusalem.” Why? Because the press is fully committed to a redivision of the city. Since the 90’s the Jewish population has fallen a little below the 50% mark, but a truly descriptive term would be “Mixed eastern Jerusalem” or “Jewish-Arab eastern Jerusalem” since the populations nearly balanced.
Journalists usually refer to Haifa as a mixed Jewish-Arab city even though Arabs make up roughly 10% of the population, so why wouldn’t they refer to “East Jerusalem” as mixed when Jews make up nearly 50%? Because that would help strengthen Israel’s claim the eastern portion of its capital and that goes against the narrative of the Western Media.
It is clear that the use of the term “East Jerusalem” is politically motivated and designed to prevent the permanent reunification of the city. Unfortunately, the term has become so pervasive that even Israelis use it today. But that doesn’t mean that we should!
When discussing the eastern parts of the city, it is best to talk about “eastern Jerusalem” with a lowercase “e.” This makes it clear you are discussing a section of a city, not a separate city. Terminology is incredibly important as it is what frames the debate. If we accept the Palestinian names that were created to overshadow or erase the Jewish connection to Israel, we have already lost.
####More Myths Are Coming!
Check back soon for the next installment of our series on the Many Myths of Jerusalem.
Now that Netanyahu’s victory has been accepted (grudgingly) as fact by the media, there has been a rush to explain the how this possibly could have happened. Haviv Rettig Gur of the Times of Israel pointed out that despite its loss, the “Israeli left, to be sure, did better than it has done in almost a generation,” before explaining not only why it wasn’t enough, but what they could do differently. But the Israel haters over at Haaretz and the New York Times were interested in no such introspection.
I am ashamed to know that the prime minister of Israel is either a racist, which is a horrible thought, or that he incites racism in others for the sake of votes - which is worse.
Jeffrey Goldberg or the Atlantic joined the chorus with “Bibi Deploys the Southern Strategy,” who, after celebrating Israel’s diverse democracy, including the fact that the Supreme Court Justice in charge of elections is, in fact, an Israeli Arab, charges that Netanyahu is the Israeli Lee Atwater:
Netanyahu, of course, wasn’t dog-whistling here: He didn’t refer, say, to “people in Israel’s north who don’t have Jewish interests at heart,” or some other such variation (Paul Ryan’s “urban” voter formulation from 2012 comes to mind). Instead, he screamed, ‘The Arabs are coming!”
These are all serious allegations: If the Prime Minister is a racist and just won another victory by appealing to racism, surely Israel and most Israelis are racists as well!
The Judean People’s Front and its followers know this to be false, so let’s look at what Netanyahu actually said:
“The rule of the Right is in danger. The Arab voters are moving in droves toward the polling places. The NGOs of the Left are bringing them in buses.”
This sounds bad to Western ears who aren’t used to mainstream leaders referring to communities by their names. But in Israel this is par for the course. Talking about Arabs, not to mention seculars, Haredim, national-religious, settlers, Mizrahim, etc. is simply the way things are and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Multiculturalists love the idea of different cultures but hate talking about them, and always condemn someone who is part of the majority culture for expressing pride in their culture or discussing a different group in any terms that aren’t flattering or welcoming.
Some have asked, “what if Odeh complained that Jews were coming out to vote in droves?” Well, this analogy doesn’t really work because Israeli Jews are divided among various, sometimes-fluid groups. When Rabbi Auerbach effectively called for a boycott of the elections there was much discussion of how this would effect the Haredi vote… and the New York Times certainly didn’t label these discussions anti-Haredi or anti-Semitic. It was understandable and reasonable to discuss how the Haredi sector was going to vote. So why should it be any different when discussing the Arab vote? (Granted, the Arab sector is also sub-divided into many groups - Bedouin, Islamist, communist, Palestinian Nationalist, Christian - but the Joint List shows that most of these groups will abandon or suppress their differeneces in order to rally around anti-Zionism.)
Granted, Netanyahu is the Prime Minister and should know better. Even if this is what he meant and most people understand that, saying a minority population is going out in droves to vote, no matter the legitimate concerns, is irresponsible. Thankfully, he has since apologized and hopefully will be more careful in the future.
###Joint List Extremism
Another thing completely overlooked is the make-up of the Joint Arab List, which sounds all nice and cozy. Again from the NYTimes:
There were signs that Arab Israelis were turning out in somewhat higher numbers, apparently to vote for the Joint Arab List, a coalition of four small parties.
This is the only line devoted to Arab actions as opposed to the actions of Jews. The Arabs are again only the victims of a racist Israeli leadership and society. The Times Editorial Board was too busy to look into what the JAL stands for, but the Judean People’s Front found the time. So let’s do a quick recap of the leadership shall we?
###Number 1: Ayman Odeh
From the Communist, anti-Zionist Hadash party. He calls for Israel to cease being a Jewish State, while calling for a Palestinian Arab State to be created next to it (until they can be merged, one must assume).
###Number 2: Masud Ghnaim
From the Islamic Movement and Ra’am party. He calls for Israel to be replaced with a Caliphate and openly supports Iran and Hezbollah.
###Number 3: Jamal Zahalaka
From the Palestinian Nationalist Balad party. He travels the world calling Israel an apartheid state that should be replaced by a “state for all its citizens,” which is code for a Palestinian dominated state.
###Number 4: Ahmad Tibi
From the anti-Zionist Ta’al party. When he isn’t supporting dictators like the late Muammar Ghadafi, Bashar al-Assad, or Mahmoud Abbas, Tibi is promoting Fatah, being celebrated by Hamas for representing Palestinians and is calling for Israel to cease being Jewish.
Herein lies the problem: it isn’t that Arabs in Israel are voting for Arab parties; that is their right and given Israel’s fractious political system, it is to be expected. The problem is that the Arabs overwhelmingly are voting for a ticket that is diametrically opposed to the character of the state. Bradley Burston complains of the division between Zionists and the anti-Zionists, but he of course charges that only Bibi gets to decide who belongs in which group. Instead of actually looking at the fact that the Arab community in Israel actually does vote for proud and open anti-Zionists (not simply left wingers derogatorily labeled as such), Burston sticks to what he does best: ignoring the facts and calling his opponents racist.
##Martin Luther King vs. Malcolm X
During the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, there were two main groups fighting for leadership: the Integrationists, led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black Nationalists, led by Malcolm X.
Their differences were stark: Dr. King was working toward a realization of the civil rights promised all citizens under the US Constitution and a full integration of African American citizens into the state. Conversely, Malcolm X preached separation between Black and While people, black supremacy, and the creation of an independent black nation in the American South.
Imagine for a moment if the African American community had for generations referred to anyone who worked with the American political system not only as an Uncle Tom, but a traitor worthy of death (and often carried out such sentences). In such a scenario, it is unlikely Martin Luther King Jr. would have been able to found a movement, let alone gain followers in public. That would have ceded the stage to the separatist Black Nationalism of Malcolm X. The militant, separatist, and anti-American nature of this movement would have completely overshadowed the legitimate concerns about discrimination and segregation of the African American community. White Americans would not have felt comfortable supporting such a movement and such support would have been rejected anyway. The March on Washington would have been about destruction not dreams. There would have been no Civil Rights Amendment, no end to segregation, and instead there would have been a radical polarization in America, most likely leading to a race war as Black Nationalists attempted secession.
If African Americans were by a wide margin voting only for the Communist Workers Party or the Nation of Islam, would anyone blame the rest of the country for being wary of them?
Luckily for America, Dr. King’s message of civil rights, equality, and integration won the day, making him a true American leader and not only an African American leader. Unluckily for Israel’s Arabs (who face no such segregation or official discrimination) the ideology of Malcolm X has gone largely unchallenged. Instead of rallying around people like Bassem Eid or Khaled Abu Toameh, they rally around the Joint Arab List, a coalition of parties whose only unifying factor is their opposition to the State of Israel.
Pointing out the radical, anti-Zionist nature of the Joint Arab List is not racist and unless this fact is seriously discussed, the danger it poses to both Israel its Arab citizens will only grow.
###Room for Hope?
There is another aspect to this that deserves attention: recent polls show that not only has Arab identification with the Israeli flag (and possibly the state it represents?) jumped to 55% (from 37% last year), but Israeli Arab support for the Palestinian flag plummetted from 34% down to a mere 8%. Additionally, 87% of Israeli Arabs say they believe in “Jewish-Arab coexistence,” though that is conveniently left undefined.
It is also worth noting that Israeli Arabs turned out to vote in higher percentages than the national average (70% vs. 66%), clearly showing they believe the current system is a legitimate way to redress their grievances. 70% of Arabs in Israel say they care more about socio-economic issues within Israel than the conflict with the Palestinians, and 60% say they want the Joint List in the coalition.
This begs the question: If 81% of Israeli Arabs say that better integration can only come with Arabs in the coalition and 55% support the state, then why on Earth are they voting for the Arab List? Why aren’t new Israeli Arab parties being founded that are not anti-Zionist?
Well, periodically you will hear about such parties being formed, but nothing ever comes of them for a number of reasons:
It costs money to get elected
All parties must get at least 3.25% of the total vote and such parties would be campaigning mostly for the Arab votes which are only 20% of the country
Fear of being labeled a traitor
The first three reasons are all just excuses that are surmountable under the right circumstances. Pretty much every Israeli election these days has a new party crashing onto the scene. I don’t accept that if someone like an Amos Yarkoni established a pro-Israel party for Arabs he couldn’t get funding or challenge the established parties and pass the threshold.
The real question is, despite the growing identification with the state, are Arabs in Israel willing to make this public by going to a rally for such a party instead of just answering questions in a poll? So far the answer is no, although to be fair, none of the new parties have offered the kind of leadership or charisma (real or imagined) of a Lapid or Kahlon.
The polls showing greater Arab identification with Israel are certainly promising, but as long as threats continue to dictate public actions and anti-Zionists continue to win the votes, those feelings of affinity are meaningless.
###And why that isn’t likely to change any time soon.
In our post the other day, we dangerously waded into the current election and predicted that even though it is probable that Labor will win more seats than Likud, since the Right-wing/religious parties will have more seats overall, Netanyahu is more likely form the next government. (We still think this is most likely, but pollsters have had a difficult time getting the numbers for the small parties right recently, we could be in for a disappointment ourselves. Time will tell.)
One of the reasons we gave was that the Joint Arab list has said it will not join a coalition, with party leader Ayman Odeh even saying he wants to lead the opposition. “I believe that whether Herzog or Netanyahu are tasked with forming the government, they will both head to a national unity cabinet. That means we will lead the opposition, which is an extremely important podium.” he said.
The current polls give the Joint Arab list a strong chance to be the third-largest party in the Knesset (albeit with only 13 or so seats), which under normal circumstances would give that party a good opportunity to get the position Odeh desires. But this just simply is not going to happen.
The reason why Odeh will not lead the opposition is not because he is Arab, though that is certainly the reason given by many Arabs and the anti-Israel crowd. The real reason why Odeh or any other member of the Arab parties currently in the Joint List will never head the opposition is because they are not Zionist. It will come as no surprise to the followers of this blog that the Judean People’s Front is no fan of the Left-wing parties in Israel, but as much as we disagree with them, we recognize that they are still Zionist parties (however misguided they may be).
The problem has always been that while Arabs do often vote for and are elected as members of mainstream Zionist parties, parties catering specifically to the Arab sector have always been non or anti-Zionist, run by communists, Islamists, and/or traitors who openly side with the enemy.
Hadash defines itself as a non-Zionist party, originally in keeping with Marxist opposition to nationalism. It calls for recognition of Palestinian Arabs as a national minority within Israel. Hadash shifted to a more Arab nationalist appeal after running on a joint list with Ta’al in 2003. Avirama Golan of Haaretz wrote in 2007 that Hadash had “succumbed to the separatist-nationalist and populist stream…”
Balad is a political party whose stated purpose is the “struggle to transform the state of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, irrespective of national or ethnic identity”. It opposes the idea of Israel as a solely Jewish state, and supports its recasting as a binational state.
Its constituency consists mostly of religious or nationalist Israeli Arabs, and enjoys particular popularity among the Bedouin… The southern faction of the Islamic Movement is now the dominant force in the party, whilst other factions include the Arab National Party.
Tibi is an Anti-Zionist. He supports an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders and a two-state solution, with a Palestinian state established alongside Israel. He also opposes Israel’s character as a Jewish state, claiming that its self-definition as Jewish is racist, and favors Israel becoming a “state of all its citizens”. Accordingly, he supports removing icons that represent the special status of the Jewish majority, including theLaw of Return, the flag, and the national anthem. He opposes the recruitment of Israeli-Arabs into the IDF. Tibi also supports the Palestinian right of return, calling it a prerequisite for reconciliation, but has stated that he believes only a small percentage of Palestinian refugees would actually choose to move to Israel.
###The Arab Leaders
Now some more info about those running these parties:
Balad used to be run by Azmi Bishara, until he resigned in 2007 while under investigation for passing sensitive information to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War of 2006. While this was shocking, considering that he traveled to Syria in 2001 to give a speech in support of Assad and Hezbollah, it probably shouldn’t have. Since then, Balad has been run by Jamal Zahalaka who publicly calls Israel an apartheid state. Remember all those black members of the South African parliament who openly spoke against their government without fear? What? They didn’t exist because apartheid systems don’t allow for the disadvantaged group to serve or speak freely? Interesting. Zahalaka is of course joined by the famous Hanin Zoabi who participated in the IHH attempt to break through the legal naval blockade of Gaza and last summer publicly said the murderers of Naftali, Gil-ad, and Eyal were not terrorists.
Hadash used to be run by Mohammad Barakeh who in 2009 was “indicted on four counts for actions taken at political demonstrations.” It is now headed by Ayman Odeh who also heads the Joint List ticket. The most covered statement he has made during this campaign has centered around his alleged acceptance of Israel as the Jewish state:
I believe that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination, which the State of Israel has fulfilled. The Palestinian state is meant to realize the right to self-determination of the Arab Palestinian people, and here it ends. In other words, the fact that Jews in Israel enjoy the right to self-determination doesn’t mean they should discriminate against the Arabs. I certainly won’t agree that in my homeland — which is today a joint homeland for both our peoples — the state will be defined and effectively act as the state of only one nation. I want to see myself everywhere and be a full partner.
####There’s a lot in there, so let’s unpack it a little.
First he states that he believes Israel fulfilled the legitimate right to self-determination by the Jews. Sounds good to us. The he says that a future Palestinian state should do the same for the Palestinians. Again, makes sense (if a state were to ever exist peacefully). He continues that Jews in Israel shouldn’t discriminate against Arabs. No arguments here, though we would remind him that discrimination across the board is far worse in every single Arab country.
However, his acceptance of Jewish self-determination is then undone when he says that he is against the state being defined “as the state of only one nation.” He advocates establishing a Palestinian state in which Palestinian Arab nationalism will be the sole nationality, but insists that Israel become a binational state. He does not want to be a “full partner.” He wants to undermine the foundation of the State of Israel and fundamentally alter its makeup.
It is Odeh’s Hadash party that sent Raja Zaatra, a member of the party’s secretariat and a PR official, to a panel discussion at Bar Ilan University, where he said, “Where did ISIS (Islamic State) learn all these things? Look at what the Zionist movement did in 1948, the acts of rape, murder, plunder, and mass slaughter that were committed.” In response, the Joint List, instead of condemning the remarks and firing Zaatra, quickly issued an order to its members to refrain from controversial remarks that would hurt them at the polls. It also said, “The remarks were made in response to a provocation by one of the panel’s participants, who claimed that ISIS learned its actions from the Joint List.” Such “provocations,” if they indeed happened, might have been somewhat hyperbolic, but given that the Joint List includes Islamists like Ibrahim Sarsur and Masud Ghnaim of Ra’am - who have not only compared Israel to Nazi Germany and openly praised Hezbollah and Iran, but actually called for the establishment of a Caliphate in place of Israel - it isn’t totally off-base.
So let’s review the components of the Joint Arab List, shall we? It consists of communists who would replace democracy, anti-Zionists seeking to undo the Jewish character of the Jewish State, Islamists who want to replace Israel with a Caliphate, and supporters of terrorism and enemy dictatorships. Do these sound like people you would expect to be in an Israeli governing coalition? Do these sound like people who you would expect to even be allowed to serve in the Israeli parliament?
They aren’t being marginalized because they are Arab, they are being marginalized because they are extremists!
###Is this even legal?
This is even more astounding when we examine Basic Law: The Knesset. Most democracies have restrictions on what are and are not acceptable political parties, with strictures varying from country to country. Israel’s Basic Law discusses this in Section 7A “Prevention of participation of candidates list:”
A candidates list shall not participate in elections to the Knesset, and a person shall not be a candidate for election to the Knesset, if the goals or actions of the list or the actions of the person, expressly or by implication, include one of the following:
(1) negation of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state;
(2) incitement to racism;
(3) support for armed struggle by a hostile state or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel.
Are these unreasonable demands? Acceptance of democracy and the Jewish character of Israel, rejecting racism, not supporting violence against the state; I find it hard to believe anyone would say these are overly restrictive.
But these very lax guidelines have been violated by every single one of the parties making up the Joint Arab List!
The Supreme Court has overturned every single attempt to disqualify an Arab party or MK from running, ostensibly because the actions haven’t been proven sufficiently (a ridiculous excuse in most cases) but in truth because they don’t want to disqualify Arabs from running regardless of their offenses.
The only parties ever successfully banned from running for the Knesset were Kach and Kahane Chai and were subsequently banned outright after being reclassified as terrorist organizations. If you look at the actions and statements made by these groups, I trust you’re happy they were banned for their racism and threats to democracy. However, the statements and actions of many of the current members of the Arab parties are just as bad, if not worse and yet they are allowed to continue to run, serve, and gain parliamentary immunity.
Not only is this in itself racist, as it holds Jews and Arabs to different standards, but it is incredibly destructive to the Arab community in Israel. Currently, Israeli Arabs overwhelmingly vote for the Arab parties available, but if these extremists were banned, it might be possible for a party to form and gain votes that actually cares about the Arab citizens of Israel. Such a party could join a governing coalition (even if it asks for a clause exempting it from voting in favor of military operations). But instead, Arabs continue to vote for extremists who will never join a government or actually work to better their own communities and instead fan the flames of extremism, making it more difficult for Arabs to integrate into Israeli society.
###Freedom of Expression vs. Extremism
Still, the Judean People’s Front is conflicted about this law: should the government decide who can and can’t run in elections? Is it better to force extremists underground or allow them to stay public? In debates about citizens’ freedoms, we are inclined to lean towards more freedom and allow extremists the right to run and lose in elections.
But, if the law exists, it must be applied equally across the board. If Jewish extremists are going to be banned from running, so should Arab extremists. If the Supreme Court believes extremists should still be able to run, then it should rule Section 7 of Basic Law: Knesset to be unconstitutional. But until this is done, extremists of all stripes must be treated equally.
Until Israel’s Arabs get a party that is more interested in bettering the lives of its community than it is in extremism, there will never be an Arab party in the coalition. This is both detrimental to the Arabs themselves who will lack true leadership and to the rest of the State of Israel that will continue to lose the potential of 20% of its citizens.
We would be wise to remember the words of Ze’ev Jabotinsky who said, “in every cabinet where the prime minister is a Jew, the vice-premiership shall be offered to an Arab and vice versa.” But as long as the only Arabs in government are extremists, communists, and Islamists, this vision will go unrealized and we all shall suffer the consequences.
It is impossible to go on an Israeli news site today and not see the headlines touting a purported Labor, sorry, I mean Zionist Union, victory in the upcoming elections. You can hear the shouts of excitement coming from the bubbles of Tel Aviv, but these will soon be replaced with cries of disappointment.
That is not to say that Labor will not get more votes than Likud. It very well might and most polls now put it 3-4 seats ahead. But given Israel’s parliamentary system, this is almost entirely irrelevant. It isn’t enough for one party to merely get more seats because in the end they will need to build a coalition of 60 + 1 members in order to govern and the parties of the Left just don’t have the numbers.
65-66  Right-Religious-Kahlon (Parties that have not ruled out nominating Netanyahu in Phase 2)
55-54  Center-Left-Arab (Parties that have ruled out nominating Netanyahu in Phase 2)
It is possible that Kulanu could join a Leftist government (his socialist economic agenda is pretty leftist as it is, and he has made it clear he wants the Finance Ministry). But since the Joint Arab List has said it will not join a coalition, even with Kahlon, the Left is still 11-12 seats shy of a majority.
Let’s say the Left tries to bring in the Ultra-Orthodox parties (excluding Yachad with Baruch Marzel). This would force Meretz out of the coalition and only net a total of 57-60 seats. This would also pose a problem for Yesh Atid as it would also not want to be in such a coalition and Deri is unlikely to agree to join one with Lapid either. So while a few seats might swing a majority here, it’s still a longshot.
Moreover, it is unlikely the Ultra-Orthodox and Kulanu voters would even want to be part of a Leftist government (though at that point they would no longer have a say in the matter) since 68% of Kulanu voters identify as Right or Center-Right, as well as 69% of Shas voters, and 79% of UTJ voters.
Some have floated the idea of the Joint Arab List supporting a minority government from outside the coalition as the Arab parties did for Rabin during Oslo. But this fails to take into account the incredibly different times we live in over 20 years later. Back then much of Israel was willing to take the risk of supporting Rabin with Oslo, but today, the opposite is true:
a clear majority (63.5%) strongly or moderately agrees with the claim that “No matter which party forms the next government, the peace process with the Palestinians will not advance because there is no solution to the disagreements between the sides.”
The only thing surprising here is that this number isn’t higher. There is no viable solution to our problems with the Palestinians because they refuse any and all reasonable offers made to them, insist on the “Right of Return” which would destroy Israel’s Jewish character, and continue to finance terrorists who kill Jews. In short, their goal has been, and remains, the destruction of the Jewish State.
###Likud Has a Much Easier Path to a Coalition
But let’s say that the election is even closer, Labor gets more seats than Likud and is tapped to have the first shot at forming a coalition. Not only would this be incredibly difficult on its own, but Likud will also send out messages to its natural allies in the Right, Center-Right, and religious parties, indicating what a Likud-led government would look like. Netanyahu would likely be able to form a coalition even without the Ultra-Orthodox, or include them all, or play Yachad against Shas to get a solid majority without giving up too much. The point is Netanyahu has many roads to a coalition and all of them are more likely and easier to muster than anything Herzog-Livni can muster.
Upsets are always possible and roughly 7% of voters are still undecided (14% if you include those who are deciding between 2 parties on the same political spectrum), so I’ve always been wary of predictions. But it is hard to look at the data and the trends and not draw the clear conclusions.
Is it possible Labor will cobble together a weak coalition and eek out a victory? Sure. It just isn’t very likely
Now let’s just hope Netanyahu can easily and quickly put together a new coalition and get back to work. So remember to vote on Tuesday.
Given the penchant for myth-making in the Middle East, it is no surprise that many legends have popped up around the Holy City of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, given the pervasive nature of these myths, most people don’t even recognize them as such.
So we here at the Judean People’s Front, having long since abandoned our suicide squads have instead decided to fight back by exposing these myths for what they are: lies.
This begins our multipart series on The Many Myths of Jerusalem
###Myth Number 1: Jerusalem Must be Internationalized
Most people probably think the current borders of Jerusalem are a result of the Jordanian occupation of the eastern part of the city in 1948 that led to the city’s division for 19 years. However, this was only a partial cause. The true source of this actually stems from Jordan’s sponsor at the time: Great Britain.
After 27 years of unsuccessfully ruling its Mandate of Palestine, the British resolved to abandon the territory, recommending it be divided between the Jews and Arabs, with the Arab section to be joined with Jordan (then known as Transjordan or East Jordan in Arabic). In dividing the territory, it only made sense for areas with a Jewish majority to go to the Zionists, and areas with an Arab majority to go to the Arabs.
But this brought up a major problem: since Jerusalem was two-thirds Jewish (with over 100,000 Jews, 1/6th of Israel’s population at the time) that would require handing the holy city over to Israel. That simply would not work for the British, so they had to find a workaround.
After putting together all the heads in Perfidious Albion, the Brits finally came up with a solution:
If Jerusalem has a Jewish majority within its current borders, let’s just redraw the borders until “Jerusalem” has more Arabs than Jews!
The City of Jerusalem shall include the present municipality of Jerusalem plus the surrounding villages and towns, the most eastern of which shall be Abu Dis; the most southern, Bethlehem; the most western, Ein Karim (including also the built-up area of Motsa); and the most northern Shu’fat, as indicated on the attached sketch-map (annex B).
Guess what happens when a number of Arab towns, villages, and even a whole city, none of which have ever been considered part of Jerusalem, with a combined population of over 40,000, is added to the municipality? Surprise, surprise, Jerusalem all of a sudden has a slight Arab majority for the first time in over 100 years.
(The above map is from the “Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs.” It quotes Section A of Part III if UNGAR 181, but noticeably ignores Section B where the expansion of the city is discussed.)
Now that the British had manipulated the situation to make it seem as though Jerusalem had an Arab majority, they needed to make the disconnect between the city and Israel permanent. So they added Section D to Part III announcing that after ten years, should the Trusteeship Council agree, the “residents of the City” could vote in a referendum “their wishes as to possible modifications of the regime of the City” such as adding it to the Arab state. In this way, the British were hoping to make sure that Jerusalem would never fall under Jewish control since the new Jewish minority would be unable to vote for unification with Israel.
Since UNGAR 181 takes the expanded borders as a fait accompli, it refers to the Corpus Separatum simply as the “City of Jerusalem.” Unless you were to actually read this single paragraph of 53 words, you’d never know there was a change at all.
Had the Arabs accepted UNGAR 181 (as Israel did) Israel would have lost the entire city of Jerusalem from the start. However we all know the Arabs did not accept partition - the second in a long line of peace deals they have rejected - and their ensuing attack allowed Israel to retaliate and retain the western half of the city. Unfortunately, this also meant the eastern half was conquered by Jordan, which subsequently desecrated and destroyed anything that looked remotely Jewish.
###Renewed Calls for Internationalization
Today, there are once more calls from the radical fringes to internationalize Jerusalem. Of course, after 1950, there were no such entreaties (how interesting!), which would have entailed removing Jordanian and, therefore, Muslim control.
You might be thinking “sure, but this is only suggested by radicals,” and that is true… for now. But radical ideas can become mainstream when not properly understood or countered by rational and factual arguments. This radical idea also has the added advantage of still being the official position of the UN, EU, US, and Vatican.
In order to ensure the international community does not accept such an extreme position, it is important to recognize that just as the first drive for internationalization was attempted against the wishes of the majority population through tricks of demographics and border modifications, and the same is true today.
It also is interesting that although it is currently quite fashionable to rail against the colonial pasts of the British and French empires and their drawing of borders throughout the Middle East without regard for the wishes of the local populations, when it comes to Jerusalem, these same people wish to reestablish just such a border.
I guess colonialism is only ok when it is to the detriment of the Jews and not the Arabs. Go figure.
After Prime Minister Netanyahu’s masterful speech to Congress last week, in which he clearly laid out why the current deal being offered is so dangerous in light of continued Iranian aggression and terror around the world, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sat down with MSNBC’s Ann Curry to respond.
Since Zarif has had so much experience duping American nuclear negotiators, the fact that he is able to do so easily to a reporter should be of no surprise.
But still, Curry does of decent job holding Zarif’s feet to the fire, asking him specifically “Netanyahu strongly suggested that Iran has genocidal ambitions against the Jewish people, saying, “Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazis were a Jewish problem.” What is your response to that?”
In order to counter this question that deserves a real answer from the Iranian negotiating team, Zarif digs deep into history saying:
Well, it is unfortunate that Mr. Netanyahu now totally– distorts realities of today. He even distorts his own scripture. If you read the Book of Esther, you will see that it was the Iranian king who saved the Jews. If you read the Old Testament, you will see that it was an Iranian king who saved the Jews from Babylon. Esther has a town in Iran where– where our Jewish population, which is the largest in the Middle East– visit on a regular basis. It is– it is truly, truly regrettable that bigotry gets to the point of making allegations against an entire nation which has saved Jews three times in its history: Once during that time of a prime minister who was trying to kill the Jews, and the king saved the Jews, again during the time of Cyrus the Great, where he saved the Jews from Babylon, and during the Second World War, where Iran saved the Jews.
I applaud the Foreign Minister’s verbal and historical acrobatics, but it would have been nice if Curry challenged him on any of the many above inaccuracies.
###Ignoring Queen Esther
Vox.com called Zarif out for misrepresenting the story of Queen Esther. Yes it was King Achashverosh/Xerxes who “saved the Jews from a Prime Minister,” but it was the same king who had previously signed off on their annihilation and only countered the decree after the intervention of his Jewish bride.
###Did the Holocaust Happen or Not?
Zarif’s mention of Iranian efforts to save Jews during WWII was no doubt a reference to Abdol Hossein Sardari who did in fact issue hundreds of Iranian passports to Jews (both Iranian and non-Iranian) and is often called the “Schindler of Iran.” Given the Islamic Republic’s history of Holocaust Denial, it is interesting that Zarif would mention this at all. But of course he doesn’t talk about the fact that after the Islamic Revolution, instead of supporting such a worthy humanitarian, the new Islamist government rescinded his pension and confiscated his property. It must have been this “generous” policy towards those who worked to save Jews that convinced more than 90% of Iran’s Jews they would be better off emigrating.
He also says that Iran has the “largest [Jewish population] in the Middle East.” This is nonsense. Israel has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East, followed by Turkey. If Iran actually had 20,000 Jews, as Zarif claims, it would have more than Turkey’s 17,000, but a 2012 census at less than 9,000. But Iran’s Jews are routinely trotted out by the government to Blue-and-Whitewash away its anti-Semitism.
###Back to that Cyrus guy you mentioned…
But I think the most important question that should have been asked in response, was about Zarif’s characterization of the actions of Cyrus the Great, who he describes as “saving the Jews from Babylon.” This is certainly true. However, what Zarif fails to mention is that in freeing the Jews exiled to Babylon, he allowed them to return to Israel and ordered them to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.
Upon hearing Zarif talk about King Cyrus the Great, how is the next question not: Do you recognize the established history that states that Cyrus not only liberated the exiled Jews in Babylon, but instructed them to return to the Land of Israel and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem? Do you deny this undisputed fact of history, showing the Jewish connection and right to the Land of Israel that was also recognized by the great Iranian King Cyrus?
Cyrus’s role in reestablishing Jewish life in Israel and rebuilding the Temple is not questioned by any historian. In fact, in 1953, when visiting the Jewish Theological Seminary, President Truman’s Eddie Jacobson introduced him as “the man who helped create the state of Israel.” To which Truman responded, “What do you mean ‘helped to create’? I am Cyrus.”
Of course Zarif can’t discuss Cyrus the Great’s central role in allowing the Jews to return to Israel and certainly not his orders to rebuilt the Temple because this would prove Israel’s historical connection to the land and help justify its continued existence. It is this reason why Zarif also didn’t mention the short-lived, Sasanian-aided Jewish conquest of Jerusalem in 614 that was successful until Iran abandoned its Jewish allies to Byzantium, leading to massacres throughout the land.
###Which is it?
Iran can’t have its Jews and kill them too: either it recognizes that Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the Temple, thereby recognizing the right of the Jews to the land, or it does not. It cannot celebrate the King for liberating the Jews and ignore what this entailed.
It would just be nice if one of the many journalists interviewing him actually called him on it.
The centerpiece of President Obama’s speeches at last month’s “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” is the idea that the unnamed Islamic extremism is a result, not of radical ideology, but a reaction to “legitimate grievances” against America and the West.
Listening to his words, it at first seems that the President understands that terrorism is not causally related to poverty and other economic “grievances,”:
poverty alone does not cause a person to become a terrorist, any more than poverty alone causes someone to become a criminal. There are millions, billions of people who are poor and are law-abiding and peaceful and tolerant, and are trying to advance their lives and the opportunities for their families.
This is incredibly important because it is established fact that wealthy, highly-educated people have become terrorists and billions of poor people have not:
But when people – especially young people – feel entirely trapped in impoverished communities, where there is no order and no path for advancement, where there are no educational opportunities, where there are no ways to support families, and no escape from injustice and the humiliations of corruption – that feeds instability and disorder, and makes those communities ripe for extremist recruitment. And we have seen that across the Middle East and we’ve seen it across North Africa. So if we’re serious about countering violent extremism, we have to get serious about confronting these economic grievances.”
The idea that Islamic Extremism (I’ll use the term even though Obama won’t) can be properly countered by addressing alleged economic grievances is bunk.
However, the President did say something here that actually is true:
that feeds instability and disorder, and makes those communities ripe for extremist recruitment.
Of course someone who has nothing to lose and feels oppressed is more likely to buy into a radical ideology that tells him he isn’t at fault and that all his problems are caused by America or the Jews. We know this is true because it was exactly the environment in which the Nazis rose to power in Germany. A humiliated people, ravaged by war, economy in tatters, were offered a vision in which they could claim to be the victims. It wasn’t German warmongering that caused their dire predicament, it was the schemes of the Jews. In order to be the world superpower Germany was and should be, all you had to do was buy into an imagined past based on centuries of well-crafted anti-Semitism.
But it wasn’t economic distress alone that caused the rise of Nazism (many countries are ravaged by war and don’t end up turning to genocidal anti-Semitism). There were still plenty of wealthy, upper-class Germans who bought into Nazism - not because of the economic situation - but because it spoke to them as German Nationalists and fed on their history of anti-Semitism. It was these two factors that also provided the foundation for those more economically depressed Germans to see the Nazis as the answer to their problems.
This historical precedent also offers us a window into how we can achieve victory over radical Islam. When the Allies went to war against Nazi Germany, they didn’t seek to end the war and make peace, they sought nothing less than complete victory and submission from the vanquished. After this was achieved, a process of Denazification was enacted to undo the decades of brainwashing from Goebbels’s propaganda machine. This was largely successful, but it overlooked a problem we are dealing with today: Denazification was only enacted in Germany and Austria, ignoring the Islamic world that was so receptive to the Nazi’s supremacist and anti-Semitic ideology.
This message was widely accepted in the Muslim world with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, whose founder, Hassan al-Banna, allying themselves with the Nazis and taking this message as their own. Despite their active collaboration with the Nazis, the Muslim Brotherhood was not prosecuted after the war and many Nazi war criminals a found safe haven among them. Booksellers on the streets of Cairo still openly sell copies of Mein Kampf - though without the sections describing Arabs as one of the lowest races of humanity.
The links between Nazism and the roots of Islamic Terrorism are well documented but completely ignored by Leftists like Barack Obama. Once a radical ideology takes up residence in a community, it cannot be excised without being countered on its own terms. Nazism wasn’t defeated in Germany just by building up its economy and getting out of work Germans jobs, that would have just made Nazi Germany stronger. Nazism was only defeated when it was vanquished militarily and the population reeducated. This is exactly what needs to happen in the war against Radical Islam.
#####If this is so clearly the case, then why exactly is the view that President Obama is presenting - economic grievances against the West are the driving factor in breeding terrorism - so compelling for many, especially on the Left?
It is the same reason why anti-Israel, Blue-and-Whitewashing groups like J Street are gaining in popularity as well.
In promoting their “pro-peace” agenda, J Street lobbies for American pressure against Israel (and only against Israel) to make concessions and compromises for peace. This is because, in their view, the only reason there is no peace is because Israel refuses to end the occupation. Facts have no place in this discussion, so pointing out that Arab rejectionism and terrorism pre-dated the occupation or that the Palestinians have rejected four peace plans in the past 15 years and torpedoed numerous attempts at negotiation, does nothing to change the view of these groups. To them, everything is Israel’s fault.
#####But why would such an idea be so attractive to the Jews who join J Street?
It is surprisingly simple: if everything is Israel’s fault, if peace is absent only because of what Israel does, then Israel alone can change this. Jews can do very little to change the rejectionist, anti-Semitic, and pro-terror views of the Palestinians, but if all of those are really just a reaction to things Jews do (and not what Jews are) then there is an easy answer to the problem.
This is exactly why President Obama desperately needs to believe that Islamic Terrorism is a result of American policy and not a rejection of American values by embracing an opposing ideology. If everything is really a result of “legitimate grievances” caused by the United States, then President Obama just needs to address those issues and the problem will go away. But, if Islamic terrorists and their supporters actually believe what they believe for reasons independent of the US, then only a massive program of Dejihadification can stop them, and that is a much more complicated and messy matter.
Not only is this difficult because it involves militarily defeating ISIS and replacing its ideology, but it is more complicated than Denazification because Nazism was only a political ideology and political ideologies can be changed and countered by rival ideologies and by outsiders. However, the Salafi Jihadism that is practiced by extremists in ISIS, Hamas, and Boko Haram, is believed by them to be the only authentic form of their religion. Non-Muslims cannot counter this ideology with an alternate form of Islam, only Muslims can do that. So even if ISIS is defeated militarily, unless the Muslim world creates an antidote for radical Jihadism in the form of a more moderate and modern Islam, another will just pop up.
And that is precisely why President Obama’s narrative is doomed to fail.
Bottom line: if we’re all wrong, and the collective Jewish presence in the Middle East can only survive by the sword, it cannot be accepted, it’s not about what we do - sound familiar? They hate us for what we are, not what we do - if that’s true, then Israel really ain’t a very good idea.
This disturbing idea, proudly stated by J Street’s leader, is exactly what President Obama was saying at the “Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.” You just have to switch out a few words:
Bottom Line: if we’re all wrong, and the Islamist ideology exists because its followers actually believe in its message and see it as authentic Islam, it’s not about what we do - sound familiar? They hate us for what we are, not what we do - if that’s true, then America really ain’t a very good idea.
The self-centered nature of Liberals will be our undoing if not actively countered. This idea that everything is really the fault of Israel and the West can be comforting because it imbues Westerners with an inflated sense of self-importance making them think they have the power to enact change on their own, can only lead to our own destruction.
You’ve heard it a million times: Israeli settlements are making a Two-State Solution impossible.
The Two-State Solution is the unquestionable, divinely ordained goal of the Left, and since we are told that settlements are making this not viable or have already made it impossible, this is a huge problem, worthy of global attention and condemnation.
This is accepted as fact by the average news consumer. But let’s take a few minutes and see if it actually holds up to the facts (hint, it doesn’t).
In order for the settlements to pose a threat to the Two-State Solution, they would need to take up a substantial amount of land. From a cursory view of the media and its obsessive, witch-hunt-like focus on the issue, one would certainly believe they do. So that begs the question:
###How much land do the settlements take up anyway?
Instead of going to the Israeli government or the settler groups themselves, which one might expect to downplay the size of the settlements, let’s ask B’Tselem, the leftist Israeli “human rights organization” that spends most of its time and resources demonizing Israel when its employees aren’t denying the Holocaust.
Now you’re probably thinking, that can’t be right! They must take up more land than that or else they wouldn’t make headlines like they do. Well, let’s now go to the Palestinians and see what they have to say.
According to Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian “peace” negotiator and Abbas confidant, said in 2011 that the built-up areas of the settlements take up… 1.1% of the West Bank!
This news is probably very jarring to you. Could it be that the settlements take up just over a single percent of the West Bank? Surely the municipal boundaries take up more land and that is the cause of the global outrage.
Well, let’s ask Yehezkel Lein of B’Tselem again. How much land do the settlements take up if you include their municipal boundaries? An astonishing, astronomical, asymmetrical, astounding… 5.1%!
But what about the additional land administered to by the local regional councils and military zones? Those end up taking roughly 40% of the West Bank. You’re trying to fool me with numbers!
Not at all.
You’re right, there is more land that is outside of the municipal boundaries that is controlled by Israel. This includes Area C and parts of Area B. But this was part of an arrangement the Palestinians themselves agreed to during Oslo. More to the point, since this is area is almost entirely uninhabited and only contains military outposts or bases, it can easily be evacuated and transferred to the Palestinians if by some miracle they ever agreed to peace and we were able to trust them.
Additionally, Israel has a history of withdrawing from territory and removing settlements and military bases in exchange for peace and in attempts to create conditions conducive for peace, but instead each time the territory has become a haven for terrorists:
1979 - Camp David Accords Israel agreed to a full withdrawal from the Sinai in exchange for peace. Stability reigned for years, but now ISIS affiliates have taken over wide swaths of territory and have attacked both Egypt and Israel.
2000 - Israel unilaterally withdrew from all of Southern Lebanon, which was subsequently taken over by Hezbollah who filled it with rockets aimed at Israeli cities.
2005 - Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and 4 settlements in Samaria only to have Gaza overrun by Hamas 2 years later.
2006 - Israeli voters elect Kadima, a party who’s sole platform was withdrawing from most of the West Bank, just as was done in Gaza a year prior. This was scrapped after the Palestinians voted in Hamas and it violently seized power in Gaza.
Israel also agreed to withdrawal at Camp David in 2000, The Clinton Parameters and Taba in 2001, and Olmert’s Proposal in 2008.
It is historical fact that Israel has committed itself to withdrawal and the removal of settlements when it believes doing so will help the cause of peace. It just happens that each time, abandoned territory has been used to make war instead. It isn’t the settlements that are preventing peace or even a division of the land, but rather Palestinian rejectionism and violence.
But even in the face of all this, Israeli building in Judea and Samaria has been limited to just over 1% of the territory.
So let’s be clear about this: after nearly 50 years of Israeli control of Judea and Samaria, Israel has built up a little more than 1% of the land, which is expanded to only 5% with the municipal boundaries.
The world is right. At this rate, Israel will settle the entire West Bank… in about 5000 years.
If any of you tuned in to the Daily Show last night, I’m sure you weren’t surprised by the singular focus on Netanyahu and the incredibly childish way in which Jon Stewart deals with his speech.
We at the Judean People’s Front - ever the optimists - were still shocked by the deranged views given by Acheinu Jon. We don’t countenance Splitters, so we’ve decided to take the episode apart point by point.
The way Stewart opens the show leaves no room for any doubt about what he is going to be discussing:
Shalom, my friends welcome to a very special night. Benyamin (sic) Netanyahu addressed Congress today in observance of the Jewish holiday of Suuk-on-it Mr. President. It was a Festival of Slights.
“Why didn’t Boehner consult with the White House?” Stewart asks incredulously, before spending over half a minute merely mocking the speaker instead of discussing whether or not there was actually a snub. Is Congress a co-equal branch of government with the Executive that has every right to invite a foreign leader to address it? It is, but not according to Jon Stewart.
He clearly knows better than the both the US and Israeli governments, even if he can’t even pronounce Bibi’s first name properly. We’re sure he is making his childhood Hebrew teacher proud.
Benjamin Netanyahu was on hand to explain to OUR Congress why OUR President should not be negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran.
Each time, Stewart accentuates the word “our” to show that this is our government and Israel has no right sticking its nose in our business. Of course the fact that it was OUR government that invited him in the first place is irrelevant because it was the Legislature doing the inviting instead of the Executive. But for liberals like Stewart, there aren’t three branches of the US government, only President Obama.
Then of course is the obligatory allusion to electioneering, because clearly the only reason Bibi would be speaking to Congress would be to boost his poll numbers and not because he genuinely believes in his message. Of course Stewart doesn’t mention that Netanyahu invited opposition leader Issac Herzog to join him in addressing Congress and was refused. He doesn’t mention that Kirk-Menendez is coming up for a vote soon and Netanyahu wouldn’t be able to go address Congress while trying to cobble together a new coalition, a process that can take weeks if not months. Stewart doesn’t mention any of this because his grasp of the situation is limited to only what Obama tells him he should be agreeing with.
Stewart then sets up the tape of Bibi explaining why he is going to Congress:
I feel I am representing all the citizens of Israel, even those who do not agree with me. A representative of the entire Jewish people. I feel a deep and sincere concern for the safety of all the citizens of Israel and the fate of our state and the fate of our people.
Stewart then gesticulates and shouts: “I speak for all Jews!… including the ones who don’t want me to… because those Jews are wrong,” before talking about the long Jewish tradition of arguing amongst ourselves as proof that Bibi does not in fact speak for all Jews.
A far more effective way to show that Bibi doesn’t speak for all Jews would be to play a video for the audience where Netanyahu says he is only “a” representative of the Jewish people, but not “the” representative of the Jewish people… What’s that? He did? I already quoted it but Stewart ignored the substance in favor of getting a laugh while misleading his audience? I can’t believe it!
But of course Jon Stewart isn’t the first leftist Jew to manipulate Bibi’s words to make it seem as though he is arrogantly acting as the voice of all Jews. Just two days ago Senator Dianne Feinstein made the same accusation, referencing Bibi’s insistence of going to Paris after Jews were murdered in a kosher supermarket. But then also, he was careful to say he was “a” representative, not “the” or “the only” representative of the Jewish people.
Feinstein and Stewart know they can’t say Bibi doesn’t represent some Jews, so instead they lie and claim he said he represents them all.
Stewart them makes some jokes about CNN hosting a debate between the anti-Israel leader of J Street, Jeremy Ben-Ami, and serial self-promoter, but outspoken defender of Israel Shmuley Boteach, asking, “When did CNN start hosting my family’s seders?” And mocks CNN for using a Jewish Star as their new star-wipe
He asks if they couldn’t get a Batman-style spinning yarmulke and jokes about CNN being shown in airports in this way:
Now that he has the audience even more on his side with low-hanging jokes, Stewart continues:
How will the Obama administration handle this unprecedented eye-poke?
He then cuts to video of Obama talking up his pro-Israel credentials. One would think it would also be helpful here to mention that instead of poking Obama’s eye, Netanyahu was even more effusive in his praise of the President during his speech to Congress.
But that isn’t the only thing Stewart intentionally leaves out. There is no discussion of the fact that Obama had National Security Adviser Susan Rice say Netanyahu’s speech was “destructive of the fabric of the [US-Israel] relationship.” Such threatening language was clearly chosen to warn Israel that the relationship is not as “unbreakable” as President Obama often claims. Of course even the most casual news reader knows that in the run-up to the speech, there was unprecedented anger from Obama towards Israel, but this uncontested fact doesn’t fit Stewart’s message so he just leaves it out.
Stewart is known to use his Jewish background for jokes and even feigning anti-Semitism at times to get laughs. But his next statement, I think, went further than he has ever gone:
That’s how powerful Israel is. Their prime minister comes here, publicly slaps Obama in the face and the President’s response is “wha-nah, it’s ok, in fact you should know I’m buying him gloves so when he hits me it doesn’t hurt his hand as much.”
Talking about a secret power that Israel has over the US government, at a time when there is a visual to back up the old anti-Semitic conspiracy theory is irresponsible to say the least. Are you telling me Stewart couldn’t come up with a joke without resorting to something like this? He should know better.
Stewart then attempts to “strike a balance” by joking about Joe Biden. Of course, they’re all softball jokes devoid of substance, but it lets him claim to treat both sides equally.
Next its time to cue the video of Obama asking what would have happened if Democrats had invited the French President to address Congress in the run up to the Iraq War. This is of course followed by the obligatory jokes about Freedom Fries.
What Obama and Stewart fail to mention is that despite the personal dislike (some have called it enmity) the two leaders had for one another, President Bush never let it get personal or stand in the way of diplomacy. As Elliott Abrams recently recounted Bush recognized the Franco-US relationship was more important than either of them and set up monthly meetings where both countries’ National Security Advisors met in Washington. This allowed Bush and Chirac to maintain professional and diplomatic relations with one another while maintaining the distance needed to make it workable and crisis-free. Abrams noted, “It was a serious time commitment for the American and French officials, but that is because we were determined to quarantine bad personal chemistry and prevent it from infecting the entire relationship—a goal set by President Bush himself.”
It is clear from this insider’s take that had the Democrats taken the step to invite President Chirac to address Congress under Bush, there would have been no flare up or personal mud-slinging, because President Bush refused to act in such a petty manner, even with leaders he couldn’t stand. It is also worth remembering that back in 2013 when Obama refused Netanyahu’s request to address the Knesset (unlike President Bush and Clinton), Bibi didn’t say a word, still met with Obama, and didn’t create a crisis over it. He acted like a statesman and swallowed the snub for the greater good.
But this is all above Stewart’s shallow understanding of international politics so instead he makes outlandish claims that Republicans would have demanded Democrats inviting Chirac “be arrested for sedition and treason.” The idea that someone with such a large and impressionable audience can make such blatantly ridiculous accusations and only be called on it by the Judean People’s Front is shocking.
At this point we were ready to turn off the episode but we powered through because we were still waiting for Stewart to, you know, actually discuss the speech itself (we’re almost 7 minutes into a 20 minute show where only the first 10 minutes are about the speech and still nothing). So finally Stewart says, “After all that build up I was pretty excited for the speech itself.”
But before he can actually talk about the speech, he has to make the obligatory jokes about the standing ovations and applause Bibi received. How dare people act like they actually want to hear what he has to say or show their support for America’s greatest ally in the Middle East?
Stewart, in his Old Jewish man voice says, “It was a miracle, a standing ovation that was supposed to last for just one minute, miraculously lasted eight.” Sure it’s kind of funny, but for someone insisting on using their Jewishness for both humor and a guard against accusations of anti-Semitism, it might be nice if he knew that tonight is Purim not Chanukah…
Finally we get to hear some of the speech itself, but of course only a few, select lines that Stewart can subsequently manipulate:
It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb… Iran’s break-out time would be very short – about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel’s.
And it’s time for a circumcision joke because Israel cut a little off at the tip of the assessment. Classy as always Jon. He then follows up with:
Holy sh*t, one year. Bibi, if Iran is that close, why didn’t you bring your urgent warning about Iran going nuclear sooner? Oh wait you did? (with a look of utter delight on his face) Apparently time was also running out 19 years ago.
Cut to Bibi’s address to Congress in 1996:
If this regime… were to acquire nuclear weapons this would presage catastrophic consequences. Only the United States can lead this vital international effort to stop the nuclearization of terrorist states. Time is running out, we have to act.
Stewart proceeds to joke about Bibi not aging because he doesn’t understand the difference between the two warnings and what a breakout period really is. Back in 1996, Netanyahu was warning about a possibility. Iran’s nuclear program was still in its infancy, with only minor facilities and lacking in major technical know-how. Had we heeded his warnings and worked towards a nuclear-free deal with Iran then, before its leaders had openly declared they would accept nothing short of being a nuclear power, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess today. Moreover, the one year break-out period Bibi talks about is the same one Obama says is acceptable. The current deal under discussion assumes that because of the oversight involved, if Iran violates the agreement, they’ll need a year before they can create a nuclear bomb. This isn’t crying wolf, that is the assessment of the US intelligence services. But Stewart either doesn’t understand the difference between the two scenarios or he is willfully creating a false equivalence to mislead his viewers. Either way, he has no credibility on this issue.
Is Stewart done manipulating old tapes of Netanyahu for his own purposes? Of course not, so now we get the second of only two video clips from the speech that ostensibly is the centerpiece of this episode:
In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, and Sana’a.
To which Stewart remarks:
We have to act, just look how Iran has expanded its power since the fall of Saddam Hussein and the destabilization in the region. I mean, what kind of idiot wouldn’t have seen that coming in 2002… oh shalom:
Bibi on Sept 12, 2002:
>If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you, that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region. The reverberations of what happens with the collapse of Saddam’s regime could very well create an implosion in a neighboring regime like Iran.
“Or the opposite” Stewart retorts as he happily jumps at his own setup.
So caught up in playing “gotcha” Stewart fails to recognize that it wasn’t removing Saddam that led to the instability in Iraq today, but rather the premature abandonment pushed through by President Obama, who insisted on pulling out all American troops from Iraq after the Surge (which Obama opposed) had finally brought stability, which he eventually admitted “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” It would also behoove Stewart to remember that the 2009 attempted Green Revolution in Iran and Arab Spring followed the fall of Saddam just as Netanyahu said they would. However it never occurred to Bibi that America would have a President who would abandon those striving for freedom, throw our allies to the wolves, and squander every opportunity for positive change in the Middle East. Netanyahu was absolutely correct in his discussion of “positive reverberations” he just couldn’t foresee an Obama presidency that would ruin it all.
Stewart then bemoans that “in the House Chamber, there was no such reflecting [on Bibi’s past record of “false predictions”].” It never occurs to him that this may be because they know the history much better than he does. But who needs history when Stewart can make more jokes about applause before his final mic-drop:
Whether or not Netanyahu accomplished his goal of sabotaging a deal with Iran or mistakenly opened up a rift in US-Israeli relations, one thing is certain, the in-chamber response to this speech was by far the longest blow job a Jewish man has ever received.
You sure know how to make your mother schep Jon.
Of course Netanyahu’s goal never was “sabatoging a deal with Iran” but preventing the signing of a bad deal with Iran that would allow it to continue to develop nuclear weapons. With the ten-year sunset clause, Iran doesn’t even have to violate the deal in order to get nukes, all it has to do is wait out the clock. Preventing this eventuality was Bibi’s goal, but Stewart didn’t have a whitty or low-brow rejoinder, so it fell to the cutting-room floor.
The next 4 minute long segment is completely devoid of any substance, doesn’t talk about the speech at all, and is just a way for Stewart to make some jokes about the media and photoshop Bibi, Obama, and Khamenei in compromising positions. This was followed by an interview with Sigourney Weaver which was completely unrelated.
So let’s do a quick recap: this 20 minute long episode - -allegedly all about Netanyahu’s speech - only spent half the time on a segment about the speech itself, and of those 10 minutes, only two lines were actually discussed. The rest of the time was spent on dick jokes and manipulating old clips to fit Stewart’s predetermined conclusions and mislead the audience on every point.
This entire episode was useless as any sort of political commentary, which sadly is how it is seen by the majority of The Daily Show viewers.
Yet again Israel was falsely flayed in the town square by Jon Stewart who uses his own Jewishness as a shield against critcisim.
####Bibi had barely finished speaking before the criticism came rolling in:
“He said nothing new!” Complain those who previously were going crazy at the prospect that Bibi might reveal classified information about the deal.
“He gave talking points but no alternative to the deal,” say others with blinders on. “The prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives,” Obama said after skipping the speech and not even turning on the TV to listen.
Nancy Pelosi said she was so insulted by the “condescension,” that she was near tears. I would like to take a second remind her of Bibi’s actual words:
Israel is grateful for the support of American — of America’s people and of America’s presidents, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama… We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel. Now, some of that is widely known. And some of what the president has done for Israel might never be known, because it touches on some of the most sensitive and strategic issues that arise between an American president and an Israeli prime minister. But I know it, and I will always be grateful to President Obama for that support.
That doesn’t sound condescending to me. It sounds incredibly respectful and appreciative. Later, as Bibi got into specifics, he was all policy, unlike his critics who leveled personal, ad hominem attacks against him (cough J Street cough).
But the most striking criticism was “he wants us to go to war,” or “he wants to stop the diplomatic processes.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. So what did he really say?
Now we’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.
Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do. And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.
While Obama sticks to his bizarre logic of offering concession after concession, Bibi understands #BazaarLogic.
He knows that whether you’re in a Persian Bazaar, Arab Souk, or Hebrew Shuk, your strongest weapon is the threat that you might walk away. The second the seller thinks you won’t leave his stall without the item in question, you’ve already lost. You also need to be careful not to overplay this card or you end up like Abbas, who threatens to dismantle the PA every few months so no one takes the threat seriously. But if you haggle and go back and forth but make little progress, that’s when you say you’re done and start to walk. Before you know it, the seller is chasing you with a much better price.
There are obviously limits. If you offer a dollar for an intricate, hand-woven Persian rug, it doesn’t matter if you walk away because the seller would never accept such a paltry sum for his work. This is exactly what the Obama administration has been saying, “we can’t get a deal with complete disarmament or one that includes curbs on the ballistic missile program because Iran will never agree to one.” But if such restrictions are considered to be “too much” (something Obama didn’t agree with when he promised a nuclear-free Iran during the 2012 campaign), then Iran was never interested in negotiating to begin with.
This is the opening of a bait and switch. You see a beautiful carpet hanging in a bazaar and the seller says he will only part with it in exchange for your first-born son, but if you’re interested, he has other carpets (lower quality, no doubt) in his shop if you’ll just step inside. Before you know it you’re caught up by the smells, vibrant colors, and fast talking merchant, remembering that you promised your wife you’d bring home a carpet no matter what, and instead of negotiating over the carpet you actually wanted, you’re haggling over one that you were never interested in to begin with.
The Iranians understand #BazaarLogic very well. It was their threats to walk away from negotiations that made the Obama administration run back to them with concession after concession. It was this threat that made Obama backtrack on his commitment to a nuclear-free Iran. It was this constantly looming threat to walk away, to leave Obama without his must-have deal, that excised any connection to the ballistic missile program and that caused Iranian hegemony to be spun as an asset rather than the greatest act of destabilization in the Middle East since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
Prime Minister Netanyahu was right on the money when he said:
My friends, for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.
It’s time we let the Iranians know we’re done negotiating a bad deal (not any deal, but a bad deal) and if they are interested in real negotiations, they should tell us.
But until then, the sanctions will increase and strengthen as we turn around and walk out of their Bazaar.
The BDS crowd has already had lots of success with “pink-washing,” - accusing Israel of treating LGBT citizens as human beings solely for propaganda purposes - and is working on getting “faith-washing” - the idea that Israel is trying to get Muslims to betray their faith by simply talking to Israelis - the same success.
Santis and Steinberg do wonderful work defending Israel from organizations hell-bent on demonizing, delegitimizing, and destroying the Jewish state. They are great scholars and attorneys, but PR execs they are not.
So, while Jew-washing may technically fit the mold, it really sounds like it belongs in a mikvah. (h/t/ @AnarchoZionist)
So we here at The Judean People’s Front decided to help them out and came up with a term that we feel works much better:
covering up or glossing over the anti-Semitism of a group or individual by citing support from a small group of Jews.
This is typically done by anti-Zionist organizations who point to their buddies at Jewish Voice for Peace, Mondoweiss, or the Neturei Karta to say, “We’re not anti-Semitic, just look at all the Jews who agree with us!”
So why is a term like this even necessary? In order to answer that, we need look no further than the creator of the term “pink-washing,” Sarah Schulman. A “Distinguished Professor” of the Humanities at the College of Staten Island (your bubbe would be proud, though as James Kirchick of Tablet and the Elder of Ziyon have pointed out, she only has a mail-order Bachelor’s Degree from Empire State College, hardly an academic resume for a Distinguished Professor), Schulman, a lesbian and Israel-hater (which are by no means normally connected), needed to find a way to combine her two passions.
But she ran into a problem: if she actually cares about gay rights, how can she hate the only country in the Middle East that actually protects the rights and freedoms of its LGBT community? How can she fight for the Palestinians when they routinely murder gays to the point that most Outed Palestinians must seek refuge in Israel?
Not to be undone by the facts, Schulman concluded that it wasn’t she who was wrong (shocker, I know) but Israel. Israel doesn’t actually care about gay rights, it only has pro-gay policies in order to distract the world from its horrible crimes against the Palestinians. Really, Israel exaggerates how open it is and in doing so, reduces its gay community to nothing more than pawns in its Hasbara machine. Sure there may be some “issues” with being gay in the Arab world, but really these are trending down and once Israel is destroyed, Arabs will surely embrace their gay brothers as they dance together on the graves of the Zionists.
If this sounds ridiculous to you, congratulations, you’re still able to distinguish fact from fiction and right from wrong, but then again, Blue-and-Whitewashers rarely use solid logic.
But she is also interested in promoting her ‘queer political agenda’. For Schulman, Palestinians are simply a means toward her sacred progressive end. “If people like me are going to turn our backs on [Israeli] queer events in support of the boycott [BDS], then we must be assured that the boycott both recognizes queer support and acknowledges Palestinian LGBT organizing,” she writes.
To Schulman, Palestinians are just “a means toward” an end. They are pawns that she uses for her own misguided “gay” agenda (I use quotes because she is not representative of the LGBT community and talking of some “Gay Agenda” makes me supremely uncomfortable). So in reality, Schulman is doing exactly what she is accusing the Israeli government of doing, except she is doing it for real! But I guess this won’t be the first or the last time the anti-Israel (cough anti-Semitic cough) crowd engages in hypocrisy. What is different here, is that some Palestinians, like academic Joseph Massad, have noticed and complain that she is imposing a ‘Western concept of sexuality on Palestinian men.’ This form of a cultural imperialism of the mind (never thought I’d write those words before) would surely be condemned by Schulman in any other context, but since it promotes her own agenda, it’s a-okay.
#####But she’s just one person, who made up one catchy phrase, why should I care about her?
You should care because she is on the advisory board of the ironically named Jewish Voice for Peace. She is the “Jewish” voice that is pushing for anything but peace. It is voices like Shulman’s who advocate support for terrorists like Rasmea Odeh and support the BDS movement to destroy Israel.
What’s more, she is the Faculty Advisor for Students for Justice in Palestine at the College of Staten Island. She provides the same hateful guidance to SJP as she does for JVP and that shouldn’t be a surprise. The only reason why JVP gets more support from the wider Jewish community (but thankfully, still mostly on the liberal fringes) is because it sounds tamer than SJP, but in reality they share the same goals and tactics: the destruction of the State of Israel through intimidation and terror.
In reality, it should really be called Jewish Voice for Palestine.
Despite the constant refrain from Arab anti-Zionists that Semites can’t be anti-Semites, we know this is not the case. Just ask Gilad “Jews control the world” Atzmon, who, as it turns out, wrote a mostly fawning review of one of her books. While Schulman is more careful not to specifically target Jews without using the dog-whistle of Zionism, you don’t have to dig very deep to see her hatred not just of Israel but of the Jewish people and her acceptance of classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Not only that, but she herself talks about her own transformation from a “Jewish, lesbian New Yorker” into a “Cosmopolitan queer and avid BDS advocate,” that is to say how she stopped being a closed-minded Jew and opened herself up to the idea of global solidarity with hatred of Israel at its core.
Her obsessive focus on demonizing Israel and her desire to destroy the world’s only Jewish State (not to mention the only safe haven for gays in the Middle East) while completely ignoring all other countries, especially ones right next door that routinely arrest, torture, and murder gays and other minorities, is only attributable to a deep-seated hatred of her own people. But more surprisingly (well, not really, considering all we know of her) is the way she buys into the classic anti-Semitic canard of a Jewish/Israeli cabal running world events. When confronted by Jayson Littman, the Gay Jewish Zionist behind MyHebro.com, Schulman absolutely loses it. According to Kirchick:
In a November 2012 interview with the British lesbian magazine Diva, Schulman said that “the more I work in this arena, the more aware I become of the involvement of the Israeli government in the US LGBT community.” She named Littman, among others, as “Israeli government operatives … who work for the Foreign Ministry, whose job it is to work our community along pinkwashing lines.” Among their tasks, she said, are to “plant stories in newspapers, co-opt our events … and flood websites with propaganda.”
You see? Littman is just a secret pinkwashing agent on a mission to dominate the media, control the actions of an entire community, and does so on orders from the Jews… sorry, I mean Israel. Isn’t it such an interesting coincidence that so many anti-Israel conspiracy theories fit so perfectly with ancient libels against the Jews with just one word changed?
But getting back to the original matter of pinkwashing, I’m sure there are some of you who are thinking: but aren’t some Blue-and-Whitewashers really just against the occupation and not against the State of Israel itself?
Well I suppose it is possible that some rank and file B&Wers believe this at first, but those at the top, especially Schulman, are 100% against the existence of the world’s only Jewish State in any borders (and use their positions to influence those beneath them). She is outspoken against the “crime of normalization,” that is treating Israel like a normal country by engaging with it in even the most mild of ways. The threat of normalization is what led PA officials to declare a soccer game between Israeli and Palestinian children a war crime.
According to Gilad “I support burning synagogues” Atzmon, “Schulman actually provides us with a unique and invaluable window into Jewish secular progressive thought.” So it should be no surprise then that Schulman’s disciples over at Jewish Voice for Palestine are also active in the premiere, more “mainstream” anti-Israel, anti-peace group for Jewish secular progressives, J Street.
At J Street’s 2011 Conference, Jewish Voice for Palestine’s Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson, was invited to speak at a panel discussion of the BDS movement. The idea that a group professing to be “pro-Israel” would host a discussion on whether or not Israel should exist is just astounding… unless of course you know anything about J Street. Most Blue-and-Whitewashing BDSers claim to merely be “against the occupation” and point to the fact that the BDS movement calls for “Ending [Israel’s] occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall.” But what they won’t tell you is that the movement’s original Mission Statement, drafted in 2005, calls for “Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall” and this has only been changed in English to make it sound more palatable to Western ears. But of course their third goal, “Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194,” which essentially calls for the end of the Jewish State, has neve been altered, amended, or abrogated. While the BDS movement and their Blue-and-Whitewashing pawns are getting better at PR, their goals are just as nefarious as ever.
However, when it comes to Schulman’s agenda, even Gilad “maybe the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real” Atzmon, doesn’t even fully believe her. Since Omar Barghouti - the Kuwaiti-born, Egyptian-raised, “Palestinian” PhD student at and graduate of Tel Aviv University who is leading the global BDS campaign (did that make your head hurt as much as mine?) - was initially opposed to welcoming Queer support for BDS (either because of his own or Palestinian society’s homophobia) Schulman beilieves she was able to win him over saying, “now I know that there is a significant Palestinian ‘civil society’ that supports a nonviolent strategy for change and is feminist and now pro-gay.”
This is too much for even Gilad “the Jews killed Jesus” Atzmon:
I am very impressed with this revelation about a leading Palestinian civil society becoming ‘pro-gay’ and ‘feminist. I guess that Soros and his institutions indeed have reason to be optimistic about their chance to change the face of the Arab society.
However, I would really like to know whether the Palestinians are aware of all this. For some reason I have a feeling that, as in the case of BDS surreptitiously changing its goals statement, the same Palestinian civil society now has become ‘pro-gay’ and ‘feminist’ without anyone in Palestine knowing about it.
While Gilad “the Holocaust is the new Jewish religion” Atzmon makes sure to get in his “Jews control the world” conspiracy theory by talking about “Soros and his institutions,” he just can’t accept that Palestinians are actually pro-gay. Even this hateful anti-Semite recognizes the rampant homophobia in Palestinian and Arab society and can’t believe that has change just because Schulman says so. It would be nice if he applied this critical thinking to, well, anything else, but hey, it’s a start.
The fact of the matter is that both feminists and the LGBT community deserve better leaders than the likes of Sarah Schulman, but since many of those leaders are in fact Israeli, they’ll merely be smeared as pinkwashing and never get their chance to lead and better their communities. That’s because Pinkwashers and Blue-and-Whitewashers like Schulman don’t actually care about gays or Palestinians, they are just consumed with a hatred of Israel and Jews that takes over their entire being.
Just because someone is named Sarah Miriam Schulman doesn’t mean we should sit back and take it while she uses her name to Blue-and-Whitewash anti-Semitism of the worst order. These Blue-and-Whitewashers should be named, shamed, and called what they really are:
##Should Israel let them “come back?”(hint: It already has!)
It is impossible to have a discussion about Israel today without someone bringing up the Palestinian “refugees.” This is due to two reasons that are important to understand:
Most people, being good and compassionate (he said not fully convinced) but not knowing much about the situation (he said more confidently), hear the word “refugee” and can be forgiven for automatically thinking, “hey, why can’t they just go home?”
The Arab leadership knows about number one and has decided to cynically exploit both those emotions and lack of knowledge while the Palestinians and Israel are left to pay the price.
So if we’re going to have a real discussion about these people, we need to get passed the emotion and look at the facts of history.
###How did the Palestinians come to be Refugees in the first place?
The Palestinian “refugees” were created after Israel accepted but the Palestinian and Arab leadership rejected two peaceful offers of partition: the Peel Partition in 1937 and the UN Partition of Palestine in 1947. Had either of these been accepted there would have been no refugees and no wars (and in the case of Peel, millions of Jews would have had a safe haven available to escape the Holocaust). Instead of accepting the peace proposals or offering their own alternatives (other than total domination and extermination), the Palestinians and Arabs responded with rejection, riots, and war.
This rejectionism, coupled with violence, was the cause that started the refugee crisis.
###Did Israel create the refugee crisis?
Contrary to what Palestinian propagandists claim, there was no organized or official plan by the Israeli government to expel the Palestinians. The general policy was the allow each military commander to make the decision whether to allow Palestinians who came under their control to stay or not. According to Benny Morris,
Most of Palestine’s 700,000 “refugees” fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops.
Additionally, there were situations like the one that arose in Haifa. Abandoned by their leadership, the remaining Haifa Arabs were unwilling to publicly state that they should stay in the Jewish state for fear of being labeled a traitor. So, leaderless and captive to the rabid anti-Semitism they had been fed for decades, 70,000 Arabs (nearly 1/10 of all Palestinian refugees) packed up and left, most after the military threat was gone (though admittedly still fresh in their minds) and against the active entreaties of the local Jewish population, including the Jewish Mayor of Haifa, to stay.
The result was generally that Arab towns that didn’t resist were allowed to stay, while those that served as bases of attack were often expelled. However there were cases where some villages were forced out without resisting due to their strategic positions on supply roads and there were also cases of towns that, once subdued, were allowed to stay despite their belligerent past. Because of this policy, over one hundred thousand Arabs remained in Israel at the end of the war and their descendants make up Israel’s 1.5 million-strong Israeli-Arab minority.
If you examine the above map, you’ll see that not only are half of the refugee destinations within the boundaries of Mandatory Palestine, but Morris notes two thirds of the “refugees” only moved from one area of “Palestine” to another, which goes against the standard definition of a refugee.
Remember, unlike every Arab neighbor, while Arab “refugees” did exist in Israel, the Jewish State didn’t didn’t build a single refugee camp for them, letting them get on with their lives.
This is all in stark contrast to the officially stated and practiced goals of the Arab armies and this fact contributed to the fear that compelled many Palestinians to leave. Every single time a Jewish town was overtaken by Arab armies (like Gush Etzion), the population was either expelled or massacred. Knowing that this was their own policy, many Palestinian villagers assumed the Jews would do the same to them and fled before the Haganah even reached their towns. Thankfully the Arabs were only able to conquer a few towns, so the numbers of Jewish refugees from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza was limited to a few thousand. These refugees included the non-Zionist population of eastern Jerusalem in keeping with Jordanian policy to ethnically cleanse the holy city of all Jews. From 1949-1967, no Jew (or, for that matter, Israeli Muslim or Christian) was allowed to visit the Old City and Jewish holy sites were destroyed and desecrated.
It is interesting that while people are constantly saying Palestinians need to return to their homes, when Jews move back to the West Bank there is international outcry and condemnation…
###Were the Palestinians the only Refugees?
In addition to the thousands of Jewish refugees from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, over 850,000 Jews from Muslim countries were forced out or compelled to leave at the same time. Unlike the Palestinians, these Jews were not recognized as refugees, were offered no international aid, and weren’t even in a war zone. The only reason why these people are not refugees today is because they were taken in by Israel and given citizenship.
###Why are Palestinians still refugees?
This gets to the real heart of the problem: the only reason Palestinians are refugees today is because the Arab states refused to resettle them and the United Nations went along with it. Only Jordan gave them citizenship, but still insisted they stay in refugee camps. This led to a situation in which many people were often only living a few miles from their previous homes, in a completely identical society, and yet were prevented from rebuilding their lives.
The refusal of the Arab states to resettle the Palestinians by forcing them to remain in refugee camps is only reason why Palestinian refugees exist today.
While Israel did not build refugee camps for the Palestinians, it did build refugee camps for the hundreds of thousands of Jews from Muslim countries who were expelled or fled to Israel. However, instead of forcing them to live in squalor until the international community forced those countries to take them back, Israel made sure these camps were temporary and they were all gone within a decade, its residents fully integrated into Israeli society. Unlike Palestinian Arabs who found themselves in nearly identical societies in terms of ethnicity, culture, and language, often only a few miles from their homes, these Arab Jews had to make incredibly difficult transitions into a modern society, learn a new language and do so thousands of miles from their homes.
Every single war in human history has created refugees, and yet the Israeli War of Independence is the only one that has created perpetual refugees. In 1923 Greece and Turkey exchanged 1.85 million refugees, all of which were resettled. During WWII, roughly 2 million Belgians became refugees but were resettled and after the war, 12-14 million Germans became refugees but were resettled (with some 500-600,000 dying en route). 1946 saw 200,000 Hungarians and an equal number of Slovaks cross borders as refugees before being resettled. Between 1944-1953 1.24 million Poles became refugees before settling in the new Poland.
In 1947, the same year that the First Arab-Israeli War started, India and Pakistan were also partitioned, creating 14.52 million refugees and roughly 1 million migration related deaths. At 7.23 million, the number of Muslim refugees created was almost exactly 10x the number of Palestinians created at the exact same time. Yet for some reason (cough no Jews to blame cough) there was no real outcry over this in the Muslim world, no refugee camps remain, and no international agencies needed to be established to care for them. The Palestinians - and only the Palestinians - are perpetual refugees who refuse and are refused permanent resettlement in direct defiance of the goals of the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, but perfectly in line with the rules and goals of their own personal UN aid agency, UNRWA.
What’s more, in 1949, at the Lausanne Conference, Israel did offer to allow 100,000 “refugee” to move to Israel and pay compensation for abandoned land and properties (it had already allowed in 20,000, so this was really for an additional 80,000). However, this and all other offers made by Israel were categorically rejected by the Arab states as they refused to take any action that would imply recognition of Israel and insisted that Israel accept the principle of complete and total return of all Arabs before any discussion of a peace treaty could be discussed. Israel, on the other hand, stuck to the UN position that all issues were interconnected and must be resolved through a comprehensive peace, something anathema to the Arab states.
###Would you let them into your country?
Now, let’s put all this aside and say refugees have traditionally always be allowed to return, even their great-grandchildren, which we’ve shown is not the case; would you accept into your country a population greater than your own that is not only openly committed to your destruction but has been actively working towards it for 100 years? Would any sane country accept this? If India and Pakistan go to war again and India insists on moving 200,000 Hindus into Pakistan as a condition for peace, would Pakistan accept that?
More to the point, if the goal is supposed to be Two States for Two Peoples (as we’re constantly told it is), then why do Palestinians insist on moving to Israel instead of a future Palestine? Shouldn’t the State of Palestine be where the refugees resettle? Years ago, when I first heard about this, being a good liberal Jewish youngster, I was convinced I was listening to extreme right-wing Israeli propaganda. The only reason it doesn’t surprise me anymore is because I now recognize that this is being advocated not to help “alleviate Palestinian suffering” or out of a sense of “justice” for refugees, but because such a move would destroy the Jewish State.
#####Let’s Flip the Equation:
What would the world’s reaction be if Israel said it would agree to a Two-State Solution but only if it could continue to build settlements in the Palestinian state to house millions of Jews?
Does that sound ridiculous? It should. But that is exactly what the Palestinians are insisting on.
###Who is responsible for the creating the Palestinian refugees?
The way I see it, the blame for creating the Palestinian refugees is shared by the Palestinians, the Arab states, and yes, by Israel. Many Israelis get upset when I mention that we are also responsible for the refugees, but the fact that we are partially responsible is undeniable. We were justified in establishing our state and we didn’t have a policy to simply “expel the Arabs” (in direct contrast to the Arabs’ policy of expelling or killing all Jews), but our actions still helped cause the refugee situation (and as I showed above, this was and is a constant by-product of war, not something unique to Israel).
Now that we recognize that Israel is responsible for 1/3 of the refugee situation, we should ask ourselves, is there something can Israel do about it?
When someone asks you this, you should tell them that Israel has actually already fulfilled any obligation it has towards the Palestinian refugees.
You read that correctly, Israel has already taken in more than 1/3 the number of original refugees. If Israel shares 1/3 of the responsibility for the Palestinian refugees and has already taken in more than 1/3 the number of refugees, what more should be expected of it?
###Why have you never heard about this before?
This isn’t so clear. But it is likely due to the fact that since the Palestinians insist on their “Right of Return,” which would overwhelm Israel with millions of hostile new citizens, Israel is wary of giving this claim any legitimacy. By saying Israel has already taken in hundreds of thousand of Palestinians, Israel worries this would allow the Palestinians to say “if you took in 250,000, why not more?” However, since the Palestinians are insisting on the full “Right of Return” anyway, I see no reason why this fact should stay hidden and why Israel’s supporters can’t champion the unprecedented steps Israel has already taken in this regard.
It is actually very ironic because, nowadays, the only time this is brought up is when anti-Israel activists smear Israel for not allowing the Palestinian spouses of Israelis move to Israel (the law was amended in 2001 after numerous Palestinian spouses engaged in terrorism after gaining Israeli citizenship). They are quick to denounce Israel for refusing to allow Palestinian wives and husbands to move to Israel but never say a word about the fact that over 250,000 already have. They also never mention that should a Palestinian state ever come into being, the Palestinians have already said that no Jews would be allowed to live there, whether they are spouses of Palestinians or not. But I doubt any of you are shocked by this hypocrisy.
So without even getting into the more controversial topics of where the Palestinians actually came from and how long they were even living in Mandatory Palestine to begin with, it is clear that they are unique only in their perpetual status as refugees (not caused by Israel) and Israel has already fulfilled any obligations it may have had for their resettlement.