Does anti-Israel mean anti-Semitism?

I received this comment in response to another blog post:

“Seriously, if you can’t make a distinction between having a negative opinion of Israel (the state and their policies) and having an anti-Semitic opinion, how do you expect to be taken seriously?”

Let me give you three quick points.

1. Israel, a liberal democracy, is always found at the top of the most negatively viewed countries in the world. In a BBC survey of 22 countries, only Iran and Pakistan are viewed worse than Israel, with North Korea tying Israel in 3rd place.

2. Journalists and politicans often justify this view by saying that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the world’s most dangerous conflict. However, when you rank the number of fatalities since 1950 (the modern State of Israel was established in 1948), the Arab-Israeli conflict is found in 49th place.

3. Moreover, at the UN, 40% of the Human Rights Council resolutions are against one country: Israel. That must mean Israel is the most evil country in the world, right? Well, if you compare the number of condemnations to the number of deaths caused by a country; Israel gets several thousand percent more condemnations than she should. For example, North Korea has killed 2.25 million people, but has only received 10 condemnations. Israel has caused 46,000 deaths, but has received 223 condemnations. Go to 1:10 in the video below to see more examples.

What is the common thread? Why is Israel judged so unfairly? You guessed it, anti-Semitism.

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In Europe, the penny still hasn’t dropped

By Ben-Dror Yemini for Yediot Aharonot:

Ben-Dror Yemini contends that the penny still has not dropped in Europe. The author notes the frenzy that rocked the continent this past week, following the terror attacks in Paris and intelligence information that Islamic State members are planning to carry out further attacks against France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Sweden, but points out that “the same Europe, in complete chaos, is busy helping moves initiated by the anti-Israel boycott campaign, which has turned into Hamas’ propaganda wing.”

The author argues that “years of accusing the Jews – in other words, Israel – of treating the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews, years of total blindness towards the Palestinians’ rejection of any peace proposal, years of a self-brainwash, have led to intellectual disability among Europe’s elites in general, and Germany’s in particular,” and adds: “Terror isn’t opening the elites’ eyes, but is rather pushing them more and more towards self-deception.”

Click here for full article.

In order to handle terror, France must end its denial

Op-ed: As long as Europe fails to understand that there should be no distinction between the ‘legitimate terror’ striking Israel and the ‘barbaric terror’ striking Europe, it will fail to find the appropriate way to deal with this horrible phenomenon.

66373500100084640360noYnet — … When Jews were murdered in Paris and in Toulouse, most French people saw it as a random and slightly troublesome spillover of a distant Middle Eastern conflict into their lives – but not as a cause for concern and for general mobilization. When journalists were murdered in the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices, people explained that the reason was the fact that religious Muslim sentiments had been hurt. And even now, after terror attacks which have clarified that all of France is being targeted, many are refusing to acknowledge a simple fact: Terror is terror is terror.

The political-media discourse in France is now similar to the one which took place in Britain and Spain after the mass terror attacks in those countries a decade ago: There is no connection between the terror attacks in Europe and the terror attacks striking Israel.

The French are insisting on hanging on to their refusal to recognize the existence of a joint Israeli-French battle against a religious ideology of destruction. Commentators and politicians filling up the television and radio studios are refusing to mention Israel’s name as a country from which France can learn how to deal with a daily reality of terror, as the perception that Palestinian terror is the product of a legitimate national struggle – in other words, justified and understandable – has struck roots there.

Those creating distinctions between “legitimate terror” against Israel and “barbaric terror” against the West are singlehandedly sowing the atrocious bloody violence which is striking again and again in Paris and in all of Europe.

Islamic terror with its different names – PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, the al-Quds Brigades, ISIS, the al-Nusra Front, the Muslim Brothers – is one and has one goal: To impose Islam on the world – forcibly or through negotiations, by beheading people or through democratic elections, in the Middle East, in Europe, in Africa, in America and in Asia.

This is not a racist and paranoid conclusion. This is a quote of comments made by the spiritual leaders of the different Islamist factions. Racism is reflected in the Europeans’ chronic unwillingness to listen to what comes out of the Islamists’ mouth and accept their words literally.

When after the Paris attacks, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini tweets from the talks for an agreement in Syria that most of the countries present in the meeting suffer from terror – and willingly avoids stating that the talks are attended by many countries which uphold, fund and back Islamic terror – she is paving the way for the next terror attacks on European soil.

As long as Europe fails to understand that there is no difference between the terror striking Israel and the terror striking Europe, it will fail to find the appropriate way to deal with this horrible phenomenon.

Click here for full article.

Radical Islam – the invisible enemy

“Every day the US and its allies maintain their refusal to acknowledge that radical Islam exists.”

By Caroline B. Glick, senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post.

The Jerusalem Post (Nov 17) — As the cleaning crews were mopping the dried blood from the stage and the seats of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, a depressing act appeared on stage in distant Iowa.

Saturday night the three contenders for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination took to the stage in Iowa for a debate. The moderator asked them whether they would be willing to use the term “radical Islam” to describe the ideology motivating Islamic terrorists to massacre innocents. All refused…

But of course, it is easy to understand what motivates Islamic terrorists. They tell us all the time.

They want the world to be run by an Islamic empire.

When they are in charge, they will kill, subjugate, convert or enslave all non-Muslims, except Jews.

The Jews will be obliterated.

The attacks they carry out in the Western world are viewed both as battles for the soul of Muslims worldwide and as a means to terrorize non-Muslims into accepting subjugation.

… The radical Islamic goal of destroying America – and the rest of the world – is the same regardless of who ends up winning the intramural jihad contest.

And as we have seen repeatedly in recent years, the sides are happy to come together to achieve their common goal of killing us and destroying our societies.

The Americans’ avoidance of reality is not unique.

The Europeans also refuse to see it.

Following the jihadist massacres at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher in Paris in January, French President Francois Hollande insisted that the attackers who killed in the name of Islam had nothing to do with Islam.

After jihadists in London beheaded British soldier Lee Rigby outside his barracks in 2013, British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that the attack, carried out in the name of Islam, had nothing to do with Islam.

The operational consequences of the West’s refusal to acknowledge the nature of the forces waging war against it have been disastrous.

Radical Islam is an ideology that serves both as an organizing principle for civil societies and a military doctrine. By ignoring it, the US and the rest of the free nations of the world have made it impossible to conceptualize or implement a strategy for either discrediting it or defeating its adherents.

Rather than develop comprehensive plans for dealing with this enemy, the Americans, the Europeans and others have opted for a mix of policies running the spectrum from appeasement to whack-a-mole operations.

Abroad, appeasement has taken its most significant form in the US-led nuclear deal with Iran. As the largest state sponsor of terrorism and the most active radical Islamic imperialist force in the Middle East, Iran is the ground zero of radical Islam. It not only oversees and directs the operations of its puppets, like Syrian President Bashar Assad, and its foreign legions, like Hezbollah. The Iranian regime has also played a key role in developing Muslim Brotherhood offshoots like al-Qaida, which received, and likely continues to receive training and direction from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. As for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, if Iran had been interested in preventing its rise, IS would never have taken over any territory in either country.

At home, appeasement of radical Islamic forces has involved embracing Muslim Brotherhood front groups and insisting that radical Islamic clerics are moderates because they aren’t pulling any triggers.

The West’s whack-a-mole war against radical Islam at home and abroad has meant that even as one group – like core al-Qaida – is cut down, it is swiftly replaced by other groups, like Islamic State. And if IS is eventually cut down, it too will be replaced by another group, and then reconstitute itself as IS when the West’s attention is taken up by the next major group.

Obama has enabled this state of affairs by defining the enemy as narrowly as possible, reducing the whole sphere of radical Islam to a few discrete groups – like al-Qaeda and IS – that he seeks to defeat or contain.

It is not simply that the whack-a-mole strategy doesn’t work. It is self-defeating. Since the radical Islamic trigger pullers in the West are usually no more than a few people who get together to murder people, insisting that someone has to be a card carrying member of a recognized terrorist group before authorities will go after him makes it almost impossible to find operatives and prevent attacks.

The murderers Friday may well never have received formal orders to commit their attacks from a central jihadist headquarters. They may have met at a mosque in Paris or Brussels and decided to do it.

Certainly they needed no advanced training to mow down people eating dinner or watching a rock concert. They didn’t even really need to know how to shoot straight.

As for their explosives vests, all they needed was a guy with a working knowledge of explosives to set them up with the means to turn themselves into human bombs. Maybe he trained in Syria. Maybe he has a degree in chemistry from the Sorbonne.

Maybe he is just good at following YouTube videos.

The most important component of Friday night’s massacre was the terrorists’ radical Islamic motivation.

Their belief in their ideology motivated them to die killing innocent people. Everything else was secondary. They may have been inspired and loosely directed by the heads of IS. But if Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed six months ago, they would have found another source of inspiration.

And that’s the main point. While Friday’s killers may have given their allegiance to IS, they were operationally and ideologically all but indistinguishable from their predecessors in the London subways in 2005 and the Madrid commuter rails in 2004 who hailed from al-Qaida. Likewise, while the US may have seriously degraded core al-Qaida in the Middle East over the past seven years, IS in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya is an organic extension of al-Qaida.

To defeat these groups, the US and its allies need to adopt a strategy that is rooted in an acknowledgment of the nature of our true enemy: radical Islam.

Armed with this recognition, the nations of the free world can determine operational guidelines for combating not only specific, discrete groupings of adherents to this ideology, they can develop overall strategies for combating it at home and in the Middle East.

At home, such strategies require Western governments to penetrate, disrupt and destroy radical Islamic networks on the ground in a sustained, concentrated manner. In the Middle East, they require the free world to stop seeking to appease leaders, regimes and militias that support and ascribe to radical Islam.

… Every day the US and its allies maintain their refusal to acknowledge that radical Islam exists and that the regime in Tehran, al-Qaida, IS, Hamas and all the rest are mere expressions of this larger ideology, the danger radical Islam poses to the survival of free societies will continue to mount and grow. Saturday night’s Democratic debate was a depressing reminder how low we have fallen.

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Why the Paris Massacre Will Have Limited Impact

urlBy Daniel Pipes for National Review Online (Nov 15) — The murder of some 127 innocents in Paris by a jihadi gang on Friday has again shocked the French and led to another round of solidarity, soul searching, and anger. In the end, however, Islamist violence against Westerners boils down to two questions: How much will this latest atrocity turn public opinion? And how much will it further spur the Establishment to deny reality?

As these questions suggest, the people and the professionals are moving in opposite directions, the former to the right, the latter to the left. In the end, this clash much reduces the impact of such events on policy.

Public opinion moves against Islamists specifically and Islam more generally when the number of deaths is large enough. America’s three thousand dead on 9/11 stands out as by far the largest mortality but many other countries have had their equivalent – the Bali bombings for Australia, the railroad bombing for Spain, the Beslan school massacre for Russia, the transportation bombings for Britain.

Sheer numbers are not the only consideration. Other factors can multiply the impact of an assault, making it almost the political equivalent of mass carnage: (1) The renown of those attacked, such as Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands and the Charlie Hebdo office in France. (2) The professional status of the victim, such as soldiers or police. (3) High-profile circumstances, such as the Boston Marathon bombing.

In addition to the over 27,000 attacks globally connected to Islam since 9/11, or more than 5 per day (as counted by TheReligionOfPeace.com), a huge increase in illegal immigration from the Middle East recently exacerbated feelings of vulnerability and fear. It’s a one-way street, with not a single soul ever heard to announce, “I used to worry about Islamism but I don’t any more.”

These cases make more Westerners worried about Islam and related topics from the building of minarets to female infibulation. Overall, a relentless march rightwards is underway. Surveys of European attitudes show 60 to 70 percent of voters expressing these concerns. Populist individuals like Geert Wilders of the Netherlands and parties like the Sweden Democrats are surging in the polls.

But when it comes to the Establishment – politicians, the police, the press, and the professors – the unrelenting violence has a contrary effect. Those charged with interpreting the attacks live in a bubble of public denial (what they say privately is another matter) in which they feel compelled to pretend that Islam has no role in the violence, out of concern that to recognize it would cause even more problems.

These 4-P professionals bald-facedly feign belief in a mysterious “violent extremist” virus that seems to afflict only Muslims, prompting them to engage in random acts of barbaric violence. Of the many preposterous statements by politicians, my all-time favorite is what Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, said about the Charlie Hebdo jihadis: “They’re about as Muslim as I am.”

This defiance of common sense has survived each atrocity and I predict that it will also outlast the Paris massacre. Only a truly massive loss of life, perhaps in the hundreds of thousands, will force the professionals to back off their deeply ingrained pattern of denying an Islamic component in the spate of attacks.

That pattern has the very consequential effect of shutting out the fears of ordinary voters, whose views thereby have negligible impact on policy. Worries about Shari’a, rape gangs, exotic diseases, and bloodbaths are dismissed with charges of “racism” and “Islamophobia,” as though name-calling addresses these real issues.

More surprising yet, the professionals respond to the public’s move to the right by themselves moving to the left, encouraging more immigration from the Middle East, instituting more “hate speech” codes to suppress criticism of Islam, and providing more patronage to Islamists. This pattern affects not just Establishment figures of the Left but more strikingly also of the Right (such as Angela Merkel of Germany); only Eastern European leaders such as Hungary’s Viktor Orbán permit themselves to speak honestly about the real problems.

Eventually, to be sure, voters’ views will make themselves heard, but decades later and more weakly than democratically should have been the case.

Placing the murderous rampage in Paris into this context: it will likely move public sentiments substantially in one direction and Establishment policies in quite the opposite way, therefore ultimately having only a limited impact.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum.

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Israelis are being stabbed to death in the streets of Jerusalem − why doesn’t anyone care?

He is writing about the media in the UK, but it is just as applicable to the mainstream media throughout Europe.

By Yiftah Curiel, spokesperson for the Israel Embassy in London.

Palestinian students cover their faces and hold up axes as a fellow protester waves a national flag during an anti-Israel protest in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah Said Khatib/ AFP

Palestinian students cover their faces and hold up axes as a fellow protester waves a national flag during an anti-Israel protest in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah
Said Khatib/ AFP

International Business Times (Oct 30) — October was a bloody month in Israel, with over 50 terror attacks, mostly involving stabbings, but also using firearms and vehicles. Over 100 Israelis were injured, 14 in a serious condition, and 11 were murdered. Many of the Palestinian perpetrators died in the attacks, some were teens, motivated by religious incitement and lies concerning the site known as al-Aqsa to Muslims and Temple Mount to Jews.

Here in London, the past few weeks have felt like a veil was lifted over political-correctness and a veneer of journalistic practice with regards to Israel. This was no Gaza operation, not a drone war, nor an exchange of unequal firepower. The facts were clear and simple: Israelis, from children to the elderly, were being murdered in broad daylight in towns across the country.

Yet the media does not seem to get it right even under these circumstances. Headlines still run as “Israeli police shoot Palestinian”, then change to “Palestinian shot in knife attack”, and again to “Woman who planned knife attack shot dead” (she didn’t just plan it, she actually carried it out). An Israeli whose car is stoned with rocks steps out and “pays with his life for attacking Palestinian trucks”, while a terrorist “becomes seventh Palestinian killed by security forces after Jerusalem stabbing”.

All of the above headlines are real, and all were subsequently corrected; some of them undergoing three or four different versions, reflecting the clear fact that editors understood that they did not make sense, simply did not reflect reality on the ground. Yet these corrections ensued, week after week, as if media outlets were unwilling to accept reality and forgo their automatic mode of reporting on the region, in which Palestinians must play the role of victims, and Israelis the aggressors.

Anti-Israel groups also seemed confused by the situation, and so they did the only thing they know how to do − call for a protest outside the Israeli Embassy. Under the vague banner of “Protest for Palestine”, last week we saw the familiar scenes of Hamas and Hezbollah flags, and of people telling an Israeli journalist that “all Zionists should be killed”. Thankfully, his equipment wasn’t trashed this time, as it was in last month’s “peaceful protest”.

Countless headlines were corrected this month, nearly one for every deadly terror attack in Israel. Meanwhile, Palestinian incitement was dismissed by some as “an Israeli line”, a “distraction”.

Radical clerics brandishing knives and holding up explosive belts, Hamas spokesmen acting as cheerleaders for terror attacks, and Palestinian radio playing songs of praise to the “martyrs”, were of little interest to a media focused only on Israeli actions.

The willingness to disregard reality, to display this level of animosity toward Israel at a time when its civilians were facing a wave of rampant terror, sends a clear message: “Your lives are of no interest to us”.

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t conform to the attitude of the media, as we’ve seen in Syria, where civilians continue to die regardless of scant media coverage, or Gaza, whose population continues to suffer under Hamas even today.

When we read headlines focusing on Israel’s in-the-moment response to murderous Palestinian terrorism, rather than on the terrorist stabbings and shootings themselves, I wonder precisely what such people expect from Israelis? When a television presenter asks Jerusalem’s mayor if carrying a gun to protect oneself from a stabbing wasn’t “excessive”? Do they wish for Israelis to passively accept the terrorist’s knife in their chest, and not defend themselves lest this provokes another negative headline or protest abroad?

Solidarity and sympathy with Palestinians aside, what we have witnessed these past weeks has looked like solidarity with murderous Palestinian knife-wielders, mixed with callousness towards innocent Israelis’ lives.

Click here for original source.

In European coverage of Israel, confusion over who is attacking whom

Some news outlets have shown skewed footage of stabbing incidents, misrepresented facts in articles

Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a terror attack in Ra'anana on October 13, 2015. (FLASH90)

Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a terror attack in Ra’anana on October 13, 2015. (FLASH90)

The Times of Israel — At an Israeli bus station, several uniformed officers surround an Arab woman before opening fire on her, dropping her to the ground. Standing over her motionless body, a Border Police officer toting an automatic rifle speaks into a radio while another officer chases away a bystander documenting the scene on his cellphone.

That’s how the Dutch public broadcaster NOS presented an October 9 incident in the northern city of Afula, in which Israeli officers shot and arrested Asraa Zidan Tawfik Abed, an Arab Israeli woman from Nazareth who the police said had tried to stab a soldier at the city’s main bus station.

NOS used only 13 seconds of the 52-second cellphone video, dispensing with footage that showed Abed holding the knife aloft and making stabbing motions while officers shouted at her to drop the weapon. The full video also showed Abed alive despite being shot.

Marcel Gelauff, the chief editor at NOS News, defended his network’s coverage of the incident, telling JTA that it was not aiming to provide “a clear and detailed picture” of what transpired, but rather “an impression of a few events.” Gelauff added that NOS regularly receives complaints of perceived bias from both sides and noted that the title of the segment, “Violence in Israel is expanding,” demonstrates that “we are dealing with growing violence from both sides.”

But critics of European media coverage of Israel say the choice not to show the full video is emblematic of how missing or misleading context distorts public perceptions of the recent upsurge in violence in the region — mostly to Israel’s disadvantage.

“No media in Europe have recognized who’s attacking whom, to my knowledge,” said Simon Plosker, the Israel-based managing editor of HonestReporting.com, which monitors international news coverage of Israel. “Palestinians who are carrying out the attacks are being portrayed as victims who are presumably being driven to desperate measures by Israeli policies.”

On the website of London’s Daily Mail, a right-leaning tabloid, the Afula footage was presented under the headline “Amateur footage shows Palestinian woman executed in Afula,” though “executed” was later changed to “shot.” The paper posted 39 seconds of the video — enough to show the standoff with Abed, but not enough to see that Abed was still alive after being shot.

The BBC also changed a headline in its coverage of the recent violence. The story was about a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli security forces after stabbing two Israelis to death. Initially the headline read “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” Following complaints, the BBC changed it to “Jerusalem: Palestinian kills two Israelis in Old City.”

… In Norway, the online edition of the country’s second-largest newspaper, Verdens Gang, informed its readers on October 10 that “a Palestinian was killed in East Jerusalem” in the headline of an article that also noted that the Palestinian died while stabbing a Jew.

Other recent headlines in leading Norwegian media included “2 teenagers killed by Israeli forces,” “20 Palestinians died in October” and “2 knife attacks committed on Friday.”

To Eric Argaman, a pro-Israel activist from Oslo, the trend in coverage shows that some European media outlets will “do anything” to fit the facts to an enshrined narrative of Israeli aggression.

“I don’t blame Norwegians for being one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe,” Argaman said. “The right to the truth has been robbed from the public.”

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“Palestine:” The Psychotic Stage

The truth about why Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust.

how-to-stab-a-jewBret Stephens for the Wall Street Journal (Oct 13) — If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed As Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”

Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. Or: “Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say,” according to another.

Such was the media’s way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults that began when Hamas killed a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, and also slashed a woman and a 2-year-old boy. Hours later, another knife-wielding Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police after he slashed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the chest and back…

Regarding the causes of this Palestinian blood fetish, Western news organizations have resorted to familiar tropes. Palestinians have despaired at the results of the peace process—never mind that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just declared the Oslo Accords null and void. Israeli politicians want to allow Jews to pray atop the Temple Mount—never mind that Benjamin Netanyahudenies it and has barred Israeli politicians from visiting the site. There’s always the hoary “cycle of violence” formula that holds nobody and everybody accountable at one and the same time.

Left out of most of these stories is some sense of what Palestinian leaders have to say. As in these nuggets from a speech Mr. Abbas gave last month: “Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” And: “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”

Then there is the goading of the Muslim clergy. “Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews,” one Gaza imam said Friday in a recorded address, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, or Memri. “Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats.”

Then, brandishing a six-inch knife, he added: “My brother in the West Bank: Stab!”

Imagine if a white minister in, say, South Carolina preached this way about African-Americans, knife and all: Would the news media be supine in reporting it? Would we get “both sides” journalism of the kind that is pro forma when it comes to Israelis and Palestinians, with lengthy pieces explaining—and implicitly justifying—the minister’s sundry grievances, his sense that his country has been stolen from him?

And would this be supplemented by the usual fake math of moral opprobrium, which is the stock-in-trade of reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? In the Middle East version, a higher Palestinian death toll suggests greater Israeli culpability. (Perhaps Israeli paramedics should stop treating stabbing victims to help even the score.) In a U.S. version, should the higher incidence of black-on-white crime be cited to “balance” stories about white supremacists?

Didn’t think so.

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.

Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

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Why is the world ignoring a wave of terror in Israel?

Attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum. Such acts of pitiless slaughter are the direct result of a pervasive Palestinian infrastructure

 Palestinian men throw stones at Israeli soldiers during riots at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah Photo: EPA/ OLIVER WEIKEN

Palestinian men throw stones at Israeli soldiers during riots at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah Photo: EPA/ OLIVER WEIKEN

The Telegraph UK (Oct 11) — In the last week, my country, Israel, including our capital, the Holy City of Jerusalem, have come under an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terror.

A week ago, Eitam and Na’ama Henkin were brutally executed by Palestinian terrorists point-blank in their car. Their four children, Matan, 9, Nitzan, 7, Neta, 4, and Itamar, 9 months old, who are now orphaned, were still in the back seat and miraculously unharmed. Their lives are now irreparably altered.

Days later, two more Israelis were stabbed to death in Jerusalem. One of the men killed was holding his two year old child at the time. More lives and families torn apart.

Two weeks ago, Alexander Levlovitz, who was on his way home after Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) dinner, was murdered when Palestinian youths threw rocks at his car and he lost control.

Over the past 48 hours in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and virtually all parts of Israel, we have had over 150 terror attacks, including stabbings, shootings, stones thrown and vehicular rammings.

Yet somehow the international community is silent in the face of this terror onslaught against my people. Is our blood cheaper? Do Jewish lives not matter?

Let there be no mistakes, ifs, buts or maybes. We are being targeted for one reason and one reason only: we are Jews.

I understand Europe has a number of pressing concerns, including Islamic State and the wave of Syrian refugees, but what about us? Do we not count?

Many leaders, especially in Europe, are quick to condemn Israeli settlements, yet sure take their time to utter a muddied, equivocal word of condemnation against these terror attacks. Likewise human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty.

Then I look at some of the media reporting on these attacks, such as that from the BBC, and ask myself how on earth they can twist the facts and logic beyond a semblance of recognition to actually place the blame on Israel.

Even more exasperating are those international leaders who, after only noticing the situation when Israel has the audacity to defend itself, then predictably call for us to exercise “restraint”. Excuse me? Restraint?

Imagine for a moment if people were being mown down with cars, guns or knives by Islamic terrorists on the streets of central London, Paris, Washington or Moscow. How would leaders of those countries react?

Where are all those so-called enlightened liberals, who continue to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish State, but are silent in the face of Palestinian terror against Jews?

Israelis, like all people, have the right to live in safety and security, free from terror. And our government and security forces have an obligation to take whatever action necessary to ensure this.

The tension across Israel, especially Jerusalem, is increasingly palpable. Somehow this wave of terror feels different to last summer’s rocket barrage from Hamas. At least then we had the Iron Dome and time (albeit only 15 seconds) to find shelter. But it is something much more intimate and personal when a terrorist singles you out to kill you in cold-blood.

Many commentators and pundits are calling these “lone wolf” attacks. But how many lone wolf attacks does it take to constitute a co-ordinated wave of terror?

The bottom line is that attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum. Such acts of pitiless slaughter are the direct result of a pervasive Palestinian infrastructure headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, indoctrinating hate, inciting violence and instilling a worldview justifying such gruesome acts.

Barely a week ago, Abbas gave an incendiary speech before the plenary of the United Nations General Assembly, all but giving a green light to this wave of terror.

In a speech on Palestinian TV on September 16th, Abbas proudly stated “we bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem. With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven.” He then added “Al-Aksa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They [Jews] have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.”

And people still wonder where these terrorists get their motivation.

Not only has the Palestinian Authority failed to condemn these barbaric terror attacks, they have now, incredibly, sought to condemn Israel for defending ourselves. Abbas is surely giving new meaning to the term “chutzpah”. Is this really a sign of a leader who yearns for peace?

Only when the Palestinian leadership unequivocally renounces terrorism and roots out and condemns all those who preach violence against Israel and hatred of the Jewish people, can there be hope for real peace.

As the PA continues to insist that the world recognize a Palestinian state, one must ask exactly what type of state it wants: one that teaches the virtues of peace, or incites and glorifies terror?

In a groundbreaking speech on Islamic extremism this July, the British Prime Minister David Cameron made clear, if you say “violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter” – then you too are part of the problem.”

To all those people who fail to condemn this Palestinian terror, or find ways to excuse, equivocate or minimize it, I say the same – “then you too are part of the problem.”

Arsen Ostrovsky is an international human rights lawyer living in Israel

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Mahmoud Abbas’s Trap: The Big Bluff

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.

Gatestone Institute (Oct 4):

  • Those who rushed to declare the death of the Oslo Accords fell into Abbas’s trap.
  • Abbas’s threats are mainly designed to scare the international community into pressuring Israel to offer Abbas more concessions. He is hoping that inaccurate headlines concerning the purported abrogation of the Oslo Accords will cause panic in Washington and European capitals, prompting world leaders to demand that Israel give Abbas everything he asks for.
  • Abbas knows that cancelling the agreements with Israel would mean dissolving his Palestinian Authority, and the end of his political career.
  • The tens of thousands of Arab refugees now seeking asylum in Europe could not care less about the “occupation” and settlements.
  • Ironically, Abbas declared that, “We are working on spreading the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and in our region.” But his harsh words against Israel, in addition to continued anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media, prove that he is moving in the opposite direction. This form of incitement destroys any chance of peace.

After weeks of threatening to drop a bombshell during his speech before the UN General Assembly, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on September 30 proved once again that he is an expert in the art of bluffing.

In the end, the bombshell he and his aides promised to detonate at the UN turned out to be a collection of old threats to abrogate signed agreements and a smear campaign against Israel.

There was nothing dramatic or new in Abbas’s speech. During the past few years, he and some of his aides have been openly talking about the possibility of cancelling the Oslo Accords if Israel does not fulfill its obligations towards the peace process.

In his speech, Abbas repeated the same threat, although some Western political analysts and journalists misinterpreted it as an announcement that he was abrogating signed agreements with Israel.

Now, it is obvious that the talk about a bombshell was mainly intended to create tension and suspense ahead of Abbas’s speech. This is a practice that Abbas and his aides have become accustomed to using during the past few years in order to draw as much attention as possible.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the UN General Assembly, on September 26, 2014. (Image source: UN)

The threat to cancel the Oslo Accords with Israel is not different from other threats that Abbas and his aides have made over the past few years. How many times has Abbas threatened in the past to resign from his post or suspend security coordination with Israel? In the end, he did not carry out any of these threats.

Abbas is unlikely, also this time, to carry out his latest threat to cancel the agreements with Israel. He knows that such a move would mean dissolving his Palestinian Authority and the end of his political career. But Abbas would like the world to believe that he has already cancelled the Oslo Accords. Judging from the inaccurate headlines in the international media, he seems to have achieved his goal.

Now, many in the international community are falsely convinced that Abbas has annulled all signed agreements with Israel. Those who rushed to declare the death of the Oslo Accords fell into Abbas’s trap.

Abbas’s threats are mainly designed to scare the international community into pressuring Israel to offer Abbas more concessions. He is hoping that the inaccurate headlines concerning the purported abrogation of the Oslo Accords will cause panic in Washington and European capitals, prompting world leaders to demand that Israel give Abbas everything he is asking for.

Abbas is also hoping that his recurring threats will put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back at the world’s center stage. Abbas and the Palestinians feel that the world has lost interest in the conflict, largely due to the ongoing turmoil in the Arab world, the refugee crisis in Europe and the growing threat of the Islamic State terror group.

… Of course, there is no direct link between Israeli “occupation” and settlements and the growing threat of radical Islam or the turmoil in the Arab world. The Islamic State is not beheading Muslims and non-Muslims because of the settlements or “occupation.” The Islamic State is not committing all these atrocities because it wants to “liberate Palestine.” Its main objective is to conquer the world after killing all the “infidels” in order to establish a sharia-ruled caliphate. The Islamic State would kill Erekat and Abbas — and many other Muslims — on its way to achieve its goal. In the eyes of the Islamic State, folks like Erekat and Abbas are a fifth column and traitors.

But instead of supporting the world’s war against the Islamic State and radical Islam, Abbas and Erekat want the international community to look the other way and devote all its energies and attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The tens of thousands of Arab refugees who are now seeking asylum in several European countries could not care less about the “occupation” and settlements. These people have lost everything they used to possess and their only dream is to either return to their homes and lands safely or start a new life in Europe and the US.

Abbas wanted worldwide attention in wake of the international community’s preoccupation with the refugee crisis and the radical Islam threat. For now, he appears to have achieved his goal, largely thanks to the international community’s misreading of his speech at the United Nations.

But while everyone is busy talking about Abbas’s bombshell, only a few have noticed that his speech consisted mostly of anti-Israel rhetoric that is likely to aggravate tensions between the Palestinians and Israel. Abbas used the UN General Assembly podium to make grave charges against Israel concerning “apartheid,” settlements and tensions on the Temple Mount. His fiery rhetoric, which has been partially welcomed by Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups, is likely to exacerbate tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and encourage more Palestinians to engage in violence.

It is this form of incitement that destroys any chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is the kind of rhetoric that prompts Palestinian youths to take to the streets and throw rocks and firebombs at Israeli civilians and policemen. Still, the international media, by and large, chose to ignore this destructive part of Abbas’s speech.

Ironically, Abbas declared in his speech that, “We are working on spreading the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and in our region.” But his harsh words against Israel, in addition to continued anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media, prove that he is moving in the opposite direction. As Abbas was addressing the UN General Assembly, some of his loyalists in Ramallah threatened and expelled Israeli Jewish journalists who came to interview Palestinians. This is certainly not a way to spread a “culture of peace and coexistence.”

Click here for full article.

Palestinians: Turning Refugee Camps into Weapons Warehouses

By Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, who is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.

Smoke from explosions rises from Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, Aug. 25, 2015

Smoke from explosions rises from Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, Aug. 25, 2015

The Gatestone Institute (Sep 2):

  • Most of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria have long served as large weapons warehouses controlled by various militias belonging to different groups. This has been happening while the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is formally in charge of the refugee camps, continues to look the other way.
  • The 120,000 Palestinians living in Ain al-Hilweh are “unfortunate” because they are not being targeted by Israel. Otherwise, there would have been an international outcry and the UN Security Council would have held an emergency session to condemn Israel and call for an immediate cessation of hostilities. Instead, Ain al-Hilweh may soon fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists.
  • The Syrian Army has also been dropping barrel bombs on the camp almost on a weekly basis. But because Israel cannot be blamed, Palestinians killing Palestinians is not something that the international media and community are interested in.
  • Instead of admitting their responsibility for turning the camps into military bases, Palestinian leaders often prefer to blame others, preferably Israel, for the plight of their people.

Click here for full article.

The Secret Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians

By Khaled Abu Toameh for Gatestone Institute (Aug 10).

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.

Part of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, near Damascus, Syria, after being damaged by fighting. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

Part of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, near Damascus, Syria, after being damaged by fighting. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

  • According to the researcher, many Palestinians captured by Shiite militias in Iraq have been brutally tortured and forced to “confess” to their alleged involvement in terrorism. Since 2003, the number of Palestinians there has dropped from 25,000 to 6,000.
  • Most interesting is the complete indifference displayed by international human rights organizations, the media and the Palestinian Authority (PA) toward the mistreatment of Palestinians in Arab countries. International journalists do not care about the Palestinians in the Arab world because this is not a story that can be blamed on Israel.
  • The UN and other international bodies have obviously not heard of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Arab world. They too are so obsessed with Israel that they prefer not to hear about the suffering of Palestinians under Arab regimes.
  • PA leaders say they want to press “war crimes” charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court. However, when it comes to ethnic cleansing and torture of Palestinians in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, they choose to look the other way.
  • An Arab killing or torturing an Arab is not an item worth publishing in a major newspaper in the West. But when a Palestinian complains against the Israeli authorities or Jewish settlers, many Western journalists rush to cover this “major” development.
  • Not only do the Arab countries despise the Palestinians, they also want them to be the problem of Israel alone. Since 1948, Arab governments have refused to allow Palestinians permanently to settle in their countries and become equal citizens. Now these Arab countries are also killing and torturing them and subjecting them to ethnic cleansing, all while world leaders continue to bury their heads in the sand and point an accusing finger at Israel.

Click here for full article.

Gaza War 2014: The War Israel Did Not Want and the Disaster It Averted

Hirsh_Top_WEB-1024x719Report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Executive summary:

  • The Gaza War 2014: The War Israel Did Not Want and the Disaster It Averted is a researched and documented narrative that relates the truth as it happened. Israel was the target of thousands of rockets and mortar attacks against its civilian population, with some Israeli areas targeted that had three times the population density of Gaza. Israel clearly acted out of self-defense.
  • Though the images of the moment may have reflected massive damage in Gaza, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, announced on November 6, 2014, that Israel had gone to “extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and prevent civilian casualties in the Gaza conflict.” A team of senior U.S. officers was sent to learn from Israel’s tactics. An analysis of UN satellite photos taken during the war shows that 72 percent of all damaged areas in Gaza were “within two miles of the Israeli border.”
  • While this was a war Israel did not want, it was a war that inadvertently preempted a terrorist massacre inside Israel’s heartland, principally through a network of sophisticated tunnels built deep under the border, and intended to stream hundreds, if not thousands, of dedicated terrorists, many on suicide missions, in the quiet of night, to destinations where they could kill as many innocent people as possible and leave Israel mauled as never before. This was potentially Hamas’ terrorist version of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Egypt and Syria launched a joint surprise attack on Israeli forces in Sinai and the Golan Heights.
  • Israel suffered 74 dead in the war. Had the Iron Dome system not intercepted 735 rockets fired from Gaza, the Israeli casualty count would have been incalculably higher. Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal of July 15, as did Israel, Palestinian wartime fatalities would have numbered less than 200, as opposed to more than 2,100 who died by the time Hamas agreed to a final ceasefire on August 27. Thus, Hamas was fully responsible for more than 1,800 Palestinian deaths.
  • Moreover, while UN and Palestinian sources claimed that 72 to 84 percent of Palestinians in Gaza killed during the war were civilians, there are strong reasons to argue that the percentage of civilian casualties was less than 50 percent, a low one-to-one combatant-to-civilian ratio that is unprecedented in modern-day warfare. In addition, we don’t know how many Palestinians in Gaza died as human shields or of natural causes during the 50 days of war, or how many were casualties of the 875 Palestinian rockets known to have landed inside Gaza.
  • Yet many in the international community uncritically accepted the narrative about the war advanced by Hamas and its allies. A discerning look at the facts of what happened, however, would lead to the conclusion that it is Hamas, not Israel, which should be in the dock for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Click here to read the full report.

Getting the Islamic Republic Wrong

Read this if you want to understand the Iranian Regime and why the international elite (media and politicians) get it wrong.

IRAN/FrontPageMag (April 18) — Mainstream media outlets have been flooded with analysis and articles predominantly from Western scholars, professors and policy analysts discussing the reaction from Iran’s domestic political establishment and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to the recent nuclear deal.

Having lived in the Islamic Republic for over a decade under both the so-called “moderate”and “hardline” governments and having studied Iran for many years, I never cease to be surprised by the mainstream media and many of Western writers’ view of Iran’s politics.

The main narrative being circulated on the media involves the various responses from Iranian politicians: The moderates, hardliners, principlists and the Supreme Leader. The analyses and opinions center on the premise of  “this group vs. that group,” in other words, moderates versus hardliners, the Supreme Leader vs. moderates.

For many of Western writers and politicians, this is a natural way to view and interpret Iran’s political system. Because this is how the politics of Western democracies are often characterized: Democrats vs. Republicans, capitalists vs. socialists, etc.

Hence, it is very challenging for these writers, scholars, politicians and policy analysts to view things outside of this framework and prism.

Domestically speaking, I, like the majority of people who lived in the Islamic Republic, never noticed social, political, economic, or legal differences under either “moderate” or “hardline” governments. The political suppression was the same.

Human rights abuses, stripping people of their basic universal human rights (freedom of religion, speech, assembly, press) were the same under various political parties, and have deteriorated since the Islamic Republic came to power in 1979.

Whether under Rouhani’s rule, Ahmadinejad’s, Khatami’s, or Rafsanjani’s rule, discrimination against women, subjugation of women, suppression and killings of dissidents, persecuting religious minorities persisted and increased.

Similarly, when it comes to the actual implementation of the Islamic Republic’s regional and foreign policy, there exists no difference between the so-called “moderate,” “hardliners,” “principlists,” or different Supreme Leaders.

Instead of analyzing Iran’s nuclear dossier and its regional policy based on the aforementioned categorizations (which reflects a Western mindset rather than the reality on the ground in the Islamic Republic), I actually divide these groups into what I call the “real” face of Iranian politics and the “deceptive,” soft face that serves the political establishment and the theocratic regime.

The real face of the Islamic Republic (the Supreme Leader, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Quds Forces, Basij, etc.) are those whom the West calls “hardliners.” They are clear about their goals and objectives. They desire to pursue interventionist and aggressive foreign policy in the region. They are vocal about matters such as their anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Western sentiments.  They state that they would like to wipe Israel off of the map, that they would like to spread their version of Islam across the region and beyond.

On the other hand, the deceptive, soft face of the regime is represented by those who are depicted as the “moderates.” Many of the politicians in this camp, who have smiles on their faces, are Western- or US-educated (such as Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, who recovered his PhD from Josef Korbel School of International Studies in Denver), and they have learned  how to manipulate the West’s language and diplomacy in order to fool the US and other powers.

It is worth noting that the underlying objective of all these different camps is not undermining each group as the mainstream media depict. The main goal is to preserve the power of the Supreme Leader and the underlying foundations of the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian leaders learned a crucial lesson under the former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that if they employ their real aggressive face on international arenas and in nuclear talks, they will be hit by more sanctions that will endanger the hold-on-power of the Supreme Leader and the political establishment. As a result, the creation of “moderate” narratives was crucial to preserve the ruling clerics and the mullahs.  By creating this narrative, they became fully capable of preventing the West from understanding the reality of Iran’s political system.

There is no real binary such as moderate vs. hardliners, or the Supreme Leader vs. moderates. There is only the interests of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the underlying foundation of the Islamic Republic.

Click here for original source.

Holocaust remembrance

A powerful op-ed with an important conclusion.

Summary:

The Jerusalem Post reflects on the Holocaust, and finds that little has changed: “We are surrounded by enemies who bay for Jewish blood and teach their tots – a hairbreadth away from Israel – that Jews are descended from monkeys and pigs and should be wiped out.” Linking anti-Israel sentiment to anti-Semitism, the editor states: “The sad fact is that we are accused of being Nazis by Nazi-torchbearers who vilify us in Joseph Goebbels’s Big-Lie tradition,” and concludes: “Our struggle for survival is hardly over.”

Survivors of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz arrive to the former camp in Oswiecim.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Survivors of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz arrive to the former camp in Oswiecim.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Jerusalem Post (April 16) —  Even those who were tiny babies then – hidden from the Nazi extermination apparatus that hunted diligently for every last Jew – are elderly today, 70 years after the Third Reich was vanquished.

Soon no one who was alive then will be around to help counter the lies of Holocaust-deniers or the deliberate trivialization and kitschy universalization of the lessons the Holocaust ought to impart to our nation of survivors.

The inexorable march of time is already leaving its stamp even on attitudes here, in Israel, including on Holocaust Remembrance Day. This morning, as we stand in silent vigil for the 6,000,000, there will be those among us tempted to ascribe it all to a one-off regime from long ago, not particularly relevant to today and now.

But, all around us, the hate still thrives and that there are no bounds to the lengths that haters will go to rationalize and justify it.

The falsehoods disseminated by the Nazis and their avid collaborators have been adapted to mutating historical agendas, but the grotesque displays of hypocrisy are no different. The Jewish state is as defamed and demonized as the so-called “Jewish race” had been in order to pave the way for industrialized genocide.

Like their predecessors, the Jewish state’s would-be annihilators posture as morally upright members of the international community and blame the victim for a monstrously magnified set of “unforgivable” sins.

This is evident in many ways, including in ways Israelis have grown accustomed to ignoring. Yet what we ignore and dismiss matters. Campaigns such as that orchestrated against the scheduled appearance in Israel next month of British megastar Robbie Williams are anything but trivial.

BDS groups pressuring Williams accuse Israel of “extreme, racist dehumanization of Palestinians in Israeli society, which has reached a fever pitch. In Israel, politicians and pundits in The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post have called openly for genocide of Palestinians and right-wing Israelis are adopting neo-Nazi insignia.” There is more, much more, in the same vein.

The lie matters because it facilitates the application of double standards against Israel.

Its ultimate logic is that of the ayatollahs who sponsor Holocaust-caricaturizing contests and who declare that their aim to obliterate Israel is “nonnegotiable.” The world’s presumed enlightened democracies not only fail to protest but they appease the Tehran regime and essentially allow it to underpin its intentions with nuclear weapons.

The battle against “the Zionist entity” called Israel was never limited to this country. More than two decades ago the Iranians carried it to far-off Argentina where they carbombed a Jewish community center and murdered scores of innocents for no other crime than being born to Jewish parents.

This scenario was reenacted over and over abroad – most recently at Toulouse’s Jewish school, Brussels’ Jewish museum, a kosher supermarket in Paris and a Copenhagen synagogue. No gripes against Israel can disguise the lethal Judeophobia.

We are surrounded by enemies who bay for Jewish blood and teach their tots – a hairbreadth away from Israel – that Jews are descended from monkeys and pigs and should be wiped out. Their Holocaust-era leader Haj Amin al-Husseini is still revered in their midst.

He was an avid Nazi collaborator who spent the war years as Adolf Hitler’s personal guest in Berlin, recruited Muslims to the SS, plotted the extension of the “final solution” to the Middle East, scuttled any plan even to rescue small Jewish children and at the war’s end sealed the fate of Hungarian Jewry.

He was declared a wanted war criminal but escaped back here to participate in the assault (merely three years post-Holocaust) on the newborn Jewish state (to which Husseini recruited Bosnian SS veterans). It is no accident that Nazis like Alois Brunner (Adolf Eichmann’s assistant) found refuge in Arab lands and that unrepentant Nazi scientists collaborated in outfitting the Arab world with weaponry against Israel’s Jews.

The sad fact is that we are accused of being Nazis by Nazi-torchbearers who vilify us in Joseph Goebbels’s Big-Lie tradition. Our struggle for survival is hardly over.

Click here for original source.

Yarmouk exposes callous double standards of ugly Israel bashers

Jewish News (UK) (April 14) — If there were an award for double standards, for getting crazily angry about some people’s behaviour while turning a blind eye to other people’s behaviour, anti-Israel activists would win it every year.

These are people who take to the streets to march and holler whenever an Israeli warplane leaves its hangar, yet who say next to nothing about the militarism of France, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and too many other states to mention.

They bang on endlessly about Israel being an apartheid state, yet through BDS they have created a system of cultural apartheid. In their eyes, culture created by us, or by China, or by Zimbabwe, is fine, but culture produced by them, those nasty Israelis, must be hounded out of theatres and galleries lest it infect us all with its contagious Zionism.

These are activists who cry “Censorship!” when a conference of theirs is pulled, as happened at Southampton University recently. Yet they spend the rest of their time agitating for the No Platforming of Israeli representatives on campus and for the shutting down of pro-Israel university societies. “Free speech! (For nice people like me, not for rotters like you)” — that’s their fantastically hypocritical motto.

And now we can see that their double standards extend even to the people they claim to care for: the Palestinians.

Even here, even on the question of Palestinian suffering, anti-Israel activists only care some of the time. If you’re a Palestinian whose life is made harder by Israeli forces, they’ll share pictures of you, march in the streets for you, write tear-drenched tweets about you. But if you’re a Palestinian under threat from a non-Israeli force, forget about it. You’re on your own.

This has become clear in recent days, following reports that the Islamic State’s deathly grip now reaches into the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Syria.

Yarmouk has suffered terribly since the start of the Syrian Civil War. It has been the scene of deadly fighting between the Western-backed Free Syrian Army and forces loyal to Assad. Thousands have fled: it is thought the camp’s population has fallen from 100,000 to just 20,000 since 2012. Now, making this bad situation hellishly worse, the Islamic State reportedly controls 90% of the camp and is thought to have massacred citizens.

Where is the Twitter outrage? The talk of holding public protests? The angry articles by Palestinian solidarity activists? The discussions about sending aid to Yarmouk, as those preening politicians, authors and others did in relation to Gaza in 2010?

All these things are conspicuous by their absence. The deprivations of the Yarmouk Palestinians don’t seem to have pricked Western radicals’ conscience, certainly not in the way the Gaza war did last year.

Scour the Twitter feed of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and you will find no mention of Yarmouk. There are stories about Israeli forces stopping a Palestinian school bus for two hours, but nothing about the reported shooting and even beheadings of Palestinians in Yarmouk. These guys should seriously consider a name change: how about ‘Solidarity For Some Palestinians’?

The implicit and ugly separation of Palestinians into worthy and unworthy camps, into groups we should be worried about (the ones impacted upon by Israel) and groups we shouldn’t be so worried about (those impacted upon by anyone other than Israel), is not new.

In Western radical circles, there’s long been a habit of getting angry about some attacks on Palestinians but not others. Few Palestine solidarity campaigners lose much sleep over the bloody expulsion of the PLO from Jordan in 1970 or the Tel al-Zaatar massacre in Lebanon in 1976, when around 2,000 Palestinians were killed by Lebanese forces. But they will talk endlessly about the history of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.

What explains this double standard? It’s because, today, what gets dressed up as “Palestinian solidarity” is nothing of the sort. This is no longer a movement devoted in any serious way to assisting the Palestinians; rather, it’s become all about demonising Israel, turning it into a whipping boy for the sins of history that right-minded Westerners can yell about and rage against and ostentatiously oppose.

For these campaigners, Palestinians are, in essence, political props, bit-part players in Western activists’ own narcissistic desire to find one evil entity that they can pin every global problem on. The driving force here isn’t concern for Palestinians — it’s the need of increasingly rootless, ideas-lite, post-Cold War leftists to find one allegedly black-and-white morality play in which they can be the good guys.

Palestinians are wheeled on, not as a real people capable of determining their own affairs, but as permanent victims whose suffering is cynically used by Westerners to boost their own sense of moral righteousness and their fury with Israel and what they think it represents: the excesses of colonialism, of modernity, of the West itself.

So for them, Palestinians who find themselves under attack from Israel are useful tools, nice additions to their invented moral drama, but Palestinians who are screwed over by the Islamic State, or by some other non-Israeli force, are not so useful. And thus those Palestinians suffer largely in silence.

The cynicism and callousness of modern-day Israel-bashers have been graphically exposed by Yarmouk.

Click here for original source.

Don’t trust the AP’s report on civilian deaths in Gaza

The APTN Building in London. Photo: Benjamin Holler.

The APTN Building in London. Photo: Benjamin Holler.

Algemeiner (Feb 15) — AP and other major media outlets (including the New York Times and Reuters) simply parroted the Hamas claim that most of the war dead were civilians. Sometimes they attributed it to the UN, which received its figures from Hamas. Why did this matter? Because every time a major media outlet reported that “a majority” or “a vast majority” or the “overwhelming number” of casualties were civilians, it reverberated around the globe like a missile—fueling anti-Israel and general anti-Semitic sentiment (and violence against Jews in Europe and elsewhere).

… 2. Last month, the highly-regarded Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center released its latest report on the subject of civilian casualties. Their experts are taking the time to go through the deaths, one by one, and their final tally won’t be available for months—if not years. Indeed, after Operation Cast Lead [2008-9], as I’d reported, “nearly two years passed before a Palestinian minister inadvertently let slip that the IDF figures then were correct,” according to Eado Hecht, an independent defense analyst who has taught military theory and history at the IDF Command and General Staff College. (Hecht currently works with the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, one of Israel’s leading think tanks.)

However, in the Meir Amit center’s January report, they announced that 1,600 of the 2,140 Gazans who were killed have been identified as such: 55% are combatants, and 45% non-combatants. For the other 540 people, they do not yet know which category to put them in. The center also says that Hamas is obfuscating the actual lists and affiliations, partly because of objective technical difficulties (poor paperwork and a lack of access to some of the bodies), and partly deliberately as part of its propaganda campaign against Israel.

The article in AP is focused on “a particular subset of the fatalities—those killed while inside houses ostensibly targeted by the Israelis,” defense analyst Hecht told me on Friday. “I write ‘ostensibly’ targeted by Israelis because something in the order of 2,600(+) Palestinian rockets and mortar bombs were fired deliberately (most of them) or by mistake into Palestinian residential areas. The deliberate fire being against Israeli soldiers in that area—but without warning local civilians to move out. So of the 247 houses struck, how many were clearly struck by Israel and how many by Palestinian fire.”

… 3. AP then credits “preliminary” UN figures that at least 66% of the total dead were civilians. Really? And where did the UN get that number? We know the answer [from Hamas]. And why didn’t AP do their readers a service by at least including the 45% figure from the Meir Amit center that contradicts the UN/Hamas?

… 5. One other thing I noted in my article last summer (which I’m delighted that more than 114,000 people felt worthy of viewing—thus supporting this kind of media criticism): A groundbreaking study ignored by my colleagues came out in June of 2014, a month before the Israel-Hamas war started. A prominent group of American public health experts found that civilian casualties constituted 85% to 90% of the 248 armed conflicts in the world since the end of World War II. While even one civilian casualty in Gaza is a tragedy, given the complexities and civilian-shielding in Gaza, what the IDF has accomplished there will be a model for future warfare. Might not AP consider such statistics when they write articles such as Friday’s? Given the rise in anti-Semitism around the world just since the summer’s war, such stats might give some historical context that might even lessen the Jew-hatred—or at least not expand it.

6. I’ll close with more from my communication today with defense expert Hecht. “UN figures are not really UN figures,” he says, which I also reported back in August. “They are Hamas-controlled figures passed on to the UN.”

Click here for full article.

Blaming Israel for anti-Semitism misses the point

A French soldier stands guard next to a jewish school in Nice January 23, 2015 as part of the highest level of "Vigipirate" security plan after the Islamist attacks in France. (Eric Gaillard / Reuters)

A French soldier stands guard next to a jewish school in Nice January 23, 2015 as part of the highest level of “Vigipirate” security plan after the Islamist attacks in France. (Eric Gaillard / Reuters)

The Washington Post (Feb 4) — The title of my recently published book is “Israel: Is It Good for the Jews?” When I started writing it, I did not know how I was going to answer that question. The more I delved into the subject, the more I read and did research, the more I concluded that the answer is yes. The recent events in Paris make me even surer.

In the long and blood-soaked history of Europe’s Jews, the death of four more in a Parisian kosher market is, at best, a footnote. But they were not the accidental victims of the terrorists’ wrath, not just merely in the way or in the line of fire. They were singled out for who they were and not for what they had done — like publish provocative cartoons. They were killed for being Jews.

Why? The conventional answer is Israel — or, to put it another way, the plight of the Palestinians. There is some truth to both of these, yet the Islamic world is not so concerned about Palestinians that it has accorded Palestinian refugees anything like equal rights in the countries where they have sought refuge or protested when whole Palestinian communities were uprooted from Kuwait and other Gulf states after the PLO supported Saddam Hussein — ethnic cleansing of a type. The Arab world weeps for the Palestinians — but only on cue and not too much.

So the supposed madness, the supposedly justifiable anger, that drives some Muslims into sharing core beliefs with Adolf Hitler, is not all that essential to the Islamic or Arab identity. Millions, maybe a billion, Muslims go about their daily business without giving Israel or the Palestinians a thought. They do give a thought, however, to their own helplessness, to the astonishingly high rates of unemployment both in the Arab world and in the minority neighborhoods of European cities. Here is where the Jew plays a role. He can be blamed.

Anti-Semitism is the most durable and pliable of all conspiracy theories. It supposedly accounts for the death of Christ and the Jewish dominance of the liberal media. It carefully noted the disproportionate number of Jews in the communist movement and in the capitalist movement. Anti-Semitism can account for the wealth of the Jews and their scientific and artistic achievements. They are — we are — a most nimble people. We’ve had to be.

Blaming Israel for anti-Semitism misses the point. For at least 1,948 years, anti-Semitism both existed and thrived when Israel did neither. The pogroms of Europe — and the occasional ones of the Muslim Middle East — took place with no Israel in sight. The Holocaust consumed 6 million Jews and not because Hitler was pro-Palestinian. Anti-Semitism infected ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, the subtle mind of T.S. Eliot and the tinkering brain of Henry Ford way before any future Israeli had pushed around any future Palestinian. Anti-Semitism does not need a reason. It needs only an excuse.

That excuse is present in contemporary Europe. Its Muslim minority is poor and inordinately unemployed. It loathes Israel for what it is allegedly doing to the Palestinians, and it hates Jews for being Jewish — supposedly rich, powerful, secretive, conspiratorial and manipulative.

The remedy — the cure — is education and assimilation. In the United States, high levels of anti-Semitism in the Hispanic population dissipate with assimilation. The Anti-Defamation League tells us that, while 12 percent of all Americans are anti-Semites, the figure for foreign-born Hispanics is an astounding 36 percent. But for Hispanics born in the United States, the figure is only 14 percent. America is adept at assimilation. Europe is lousy at it. Europe needs work.

But non-Muslim Europe needs work as well. Especially on the left, discussions and denunciations of Israel feel like a snowball with a rock in the center: Something aside from protest is being aired. Anti-Zionism may be legitimate, but it too often seems like a way of expressing anti-Semitism. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank has always troubled me, but it is governed benevolently compared with the way China oppresses Tibet — and where are those demonstrations?

In researching my book, I came away in awe of anti-Semitism. It may be more durable than most of our current religions — it is older than most — and it made me wonder when it would stage one of its periodic revivals. That now seems underway and, sadly, makes my book title almost irrelevant. The question is not whether Israel is good for the Jews but whether it is necessary. That answer, increasingly, is yes.

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