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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

From Ian:

Sohrab Ahmari: Why Postmodern Intersectionality Imperils Israel and Jews
Precisely because it is a theory of generalized victimhood, intersectionality targets the Jews–the 20th century’s ultimate victims. Acknowledging the Jews’ profound claims to victimhood would force the intersectional left to admit the existential necessity of the State of Israel. But the intersectional left is not prepared to do so because, under intersectionality’s rules, all the outcomes are predetermined. Israel has been prejudged an outpost of Western colonialism. Therefore, the Jews cannot possibly be allowed to “win” the intersectional victimhood Olympics.

Intersectionality, moreover, allows its proponents to apply hideous double standards when judging between Israel and its enemies. Judged against a fair and universal standard, the Jewish state comes out looking very good indeed, especially when one takes into consideration the fact that it has been at war since its founding. But the intersectional left dreams of perfect justice without a standard of justice. It can, therefore, condemn the sole democracy in the Middle East while ignoring or whitewashing the far worse crimes of her enemies. And even the most progressive aspects of Israeli society count against it in the victimhood Olympics.

Finally, Jewish victimhood, whether at the hands of the Nazis or the Soviets, requires the intersectional left to admit that, by contrast, and for all their faults, the Western democracies (including Israel) are pretty decent, even admirable. But again, the intersectional left is committed to the opposite idea–that everywhere in the West, there are hidden “structures of oppression” that trap minorities along the lines of race, gender and sexuality. Thus, again, the Jews will lose the intersectional victimhood Olympics.

Whenever such relativism reigns–and the very possibility of objective truth is denied–Jews are imperiled. Israelis and their friends, including fair-minded liberals, would be wise to abjure intersectionality altogether, rather than try to make their case on intersectional terms.

This column was adapted from an address at the 6th Global Forum for Combatting Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem.
PA: US Ambassador Friedman 'an anti-Semite'
The Palestinian Authority has doubled down in its attacks on US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, now accusing Friedman of “anti-Semitism” against Arabs - ignoring the fact that anti-Semitism has always referred to hatred of Jews in particular, to the exclusion of others claiming to be “Semites.”

Watchdog Palestinian Media Watch cited PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, which today, Wednesday, carried an article bearing the headline, "[PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates: Friedman's positions are anti-Semitic and racist and disqualify him."

The article quoted “The [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates” as saying in a statement “that US Ambassador [to Israel] David Friedman's statements, positions, and hostile behavior towards the Palestinian people and its national rights and human rights constitute a blatant deviation from diplomacy and its conventions, the ugliest kind of anti-Semitism, and a scandalous violation of international law.

The quoted statement also accused Friedman of being “an ambassador of the settlers.”

“'From day to day Friedman proves that he is an ambassador of the settlers and their gangs. He holds the ideology and positions of the extremist right-wing in Israel, which are based on perpetuating the occupation and the settlement enterprise, on enmity towards the Palestinian people, and on negating its national and human existence.'"

The verbal attacks on the ambassador come days after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called Friedman the “son of a dog.”
Swedish FM seems to support PA’s payments to terrorists’ families
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström appeared to display sympathy for the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying “salaries” to the families of Palestinian terrorists.

In an interview with a local Jewish journal published this week, Wallström was asked about her opinion of the fact that Ramallah provides financial aid to the families of Palestinians who are in prison for attacking Israelis.

“I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to in this case, but we have to review how we spend our money. But are people supposed to starve to death or what? What are these families supposed to do if they don’t receive money?” she replied, according to a translation of the interview by a Swedish-born journalist.

A spokesperson for Wallström later told the local journal, Judisk Krönika, that Stockholm’s financial aid to the Palestinian Authority is not being used to pay for needy families. According to Swedish and European Union directives, no aid money is allowed to be used to fund Palestinians in Israeli prisons, the spokesperson said.

Israeli officials have long condemned what they call the PA’s “pay-to-slay” policy.
'What if I paid millions to have your father shot in the head?'
An Israeli-American man whose father was shot and stabbed to death in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem two-and-a-half years ago confronted the United Nations Human Rights Council over its failure to confront Palestinian Authority support for terrorism.

In October 2015, Arab terrorists wounded some 20 Israelis in a combination shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

The attack left 78-year-old Haim Habib and 51-year-old Alon Guvberg dead.

About two weeks later, 76-year-old American-born Richard Lakin succumbed to his wounds.

A former activist who had marched for civil rights in the US in the 1960s, Lakin’s murder inspired his son, Micah, a CEO for an Israeli financial firm, to launch an NGO aimed at combating anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in the Palestinian Authority.

On Monday, Micah Avni Lakin addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council, criticizing the body and its envoy, Michael Lynk, for their refusal to challenge the PA’s policy of funding Arab terrorists jailed by Israel.

“My father, Richard Lakin, was brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the age of 76, Lakin told the council. “Shot in the head and butchered with a knife after he fell to the ground.”

“President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority rewarded his killers and their families with $3 million.”

De-Assimilation, the New Jewish Fear
In the David Mamet movie Homicide, a Jewish cop grumbles about being made to investigate the murder of a Jewish pensioner. “They’re not my people, baby,” he quips to his partner. “So much anti-Semitism in the last 4,000 years, we must be doing something to bring it about!” Yet as he starts to uncover the most extreme form of organized anti-Semitism, he realizes that his secular choices count for nothing. He rushes to embrace his Jewish identity—only to find that it has been drawn to the surface by a skillfully constructed echo chamber. A movie that appeared to be about anti-Semitism turns out to be about confirmation bias. More fundamentally, it is about the pitfall of allowing Jewish identity to be defined by anti-Semitism.

Both issues are at the heart of a major study recently undertaken in the United Kingdom. It draws a distinction between conscious, ongoing anti-Semitism—rated at about 5 percent of the population—and anti-Semitic tropes more widely present in society; one or more of which are held by up to 30 percent of people. It cautions that because people often hold one such sentiment in isolation—or even alongside positive sentiments—a single expression alone does not necessarily make an anti-Semite. Yet lack of context means that such isolated sentiments “have an important bearing on how Jews perceive anti-Semitism.” The report did, however, find that anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views are much more closely correlated when they become extreme—while both are much more pronounced among certain other religious subgroups present in British society, namely Muslims. The acceptance of open anti-Semites and anti-Semitism at the highest levels of the British Labour party highlights the growing danger of anti-Semites gaining mainstream acceptance in Britain.

The report nonetheless counsels Britain’s Jewish community to keep calm and carry on. It is a remarkably level-headed conclusion—minimizing grievance at a time when other minority groups typically amplify it. Doing so implicitly rejects two norms underpinning the wider moral panic about hate crime. The first is that victims are best—indeed uniquely—qualified to identify prejudice. This is a view recently confirmed by U.K. sentencing guidelines, which define hate crime as anything “which the victim—or anyone else—thinks is based on someone’s prejudice toward them.” The second is that someone can be judged on an individual comment—as testified by the ease with which an apology or resignation can now be extracted in academia and public life.

Yet up to a third of British Jews who usually wear visible symbols of their faith are reportedly now removing them. A differing but equally strong reaction—of embracing Jewish identity more closely, albeit privately—can be found among secular Jews. This journey has been undertaken in particular by British left-wingers processing the rise of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Distorting the Holocaust in Hungary
As a Hungarian Holocaust survivor, I was horrified to discover a recent book by a right-wing journalist called Paul Bogdanor, titled Kasztner’s Crime, in which he accuses the Labor Zionist leader of collaborating with the SS. I’m not a journalist or politician, but I was there! It also happens that Otto Komoly, president of the Budapest Jewish Rescue Committee (JRC), was my uncle, and I have access to his wartime diary, and through it a well-grounded understanding of the heroic work of the JRC. I wish to correct the falsification of history that I lived through before it spreads any further.

The cornerstone of Bogdanor’s argument is the assumption that, had it not been for Rudolf Kasztner’s feigned acceptance of Adolf Eichmann’s proposed Blood for Goods deal, in which the Nazis promised to exchange a million Jews for 10,000 trucks and various supplies needed by the German army, an entirely different situation could have materialized, and hundreds of thousands of Jews could, in fact, have been saved. He says outright in places, and implies often between the lines, that there could have been a mass exodus or armed Hungarian Jewish resistance to the oppressors, on the model of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. But latter-day sophistry will not turn a Hungarian Jewish revolt into reality.

Anyone who has not lived through those days must tread very, very carefully if he wants to venture an opinion or criticism. If you were not there, you cannot imagine the fears, the uncertainty, the illusory desire to find some magic solution to our predicament. Feigning acceptance of the Blood for Goods deal was a desperate attempt to salvage something, or gain time for survival, however small the chance. Some of us were lucky that the time ran out for the murderers and we slipped through the net. Most did not.
‘7 Days in Entebbe’ Is a Film That Can’t Be Rescued
The 1977 film “Raid on Entebbe” is full of tension, has a soul and makes you care. If the movie needed to be made again, it should have been written and directed by Paul Greengrass, who brought us “United 93.”

The pathetic truth of “7 Days of Entebbe” is that the only real hostages were the actors and audience members. The story has been hijacked to show it as a simple cycle of violence — and almost glorifies the terrorists. There is not a single moment of tension, nor a second where you care what happens to any character.

There’s another gem in the film, where Kuhlmann is planning the hijacking; she says: “Germans killing Jews, have you thought about that?” This is to make us think that she feels some guilt. But seconds later, she’s making out with a guy. She also declares: “I only fear a life without meaning.” It’s too bad that the creators of “7 Days in Entebbe” didn’t fear making a movie without one.
The Silencing of Pro-Israel Students on Campus
A vice cannot be engaged. Evil cannot partake in a scholarly debate. You must under no circumstances “normalize” your relations with it. Anti-Israelists don’t want to hear what the other side says at all, nor let anyone else hear it, because to them there simply is no other side: they seek not to study or understand the lone Jewish state in the world (as scholars might do) but to destroy it. Painting it as an abomination is a crucial part of that strategy. They exchange the mantle of scholarship for activism, or use the mantle of scholarship as a cover for activism. As thinking-class activists they sacrifice the appropriate norms of scholarship and freedom of speech (including fairness and respect for truth), they violate basic community standards of civility and respectful discourse, and they downright harass and bully Israel-friendly individuals—as our forthcoming book documents.

As such, campus anti-Israelism isn’t merely an attack on Israel, or on Israel-friendly members of the campus community, or even Jews in general. It is an attack on the very norms and values of the university—and with it, on the norms and values at the heart of Western civilization. It corrodes scholarship, limiting the questions scholars ask and leading scholars to violate the most basic academic norms. It corrodes teaching and the classroom, turning what should be neutral spaces welcoming of diverse points of view into political advocacy forums that intimidate divergent voices. It corrodes entire departments and disciplines, diverting them from their subject matters. It corrodes academic organizations, which abandon their professional missions and disciplinary focus. It corrodes student governments, which year after year divert time and resources to a foreign policy matter concerning a complicated conflict half a world away rather than address students’ local concerns. It corrodes civility—indeed, its proponents often explicitly reject civility as a tool of oppression while at the same time use civility codes (such as charges of “hate speech”) to stifle dissent. With the deterioration of civility comes the corrosion of community. Anti-Israel hate campaigns on campus are stunningly divisive. They bring out animosity inconsistent with the efficient functioning of the institution. After such campaigns people stop speaking to colleagues, stop working together. How could you act collegially, after all, when anti-Israelists inform you unconditionally that your colleagues who support Jewish self-determination in their ancestral homeland are racist, genocidal, baby-killing ethnic cleansers?

Campus anti-Israelism does not operate like a genuinely academic movement governed by ordinary intellectual norms (such as objectivity, rigor, and the pursuit of truth) and moral or social norms (such as civility and respect). A movement governed by those norms would favor freedom of speech and welcome the diversity of views. But campus anti-Israelists refuse even to consider the possibility that Israel is not entirely evil and that Israeli Jews, being not entirely demonic, have their own legitimate claim to self-determination. No, anti-Israelism—in its many corrosive effects on all aspects of the academy, and particularly in its invasions, disruptions, and personal attacks—is about something much darker. Not dialogue, debate, and free exchange of ideas; not openness, pluralism and diversity, and the pursuit of knowledge that (ought to) characterize the Western university, as well as the civilization of which the university is the heart—but rather: Silencing.

Words, Jewish history teaches us, have consequences.

As does silence.
New York Times Editor Says His Book Will Be ‘Very, Very Unpopular’ With Jews. So Far, He’s Right
A New York Times editor’s op-ed piece criticizing Jewish organizations for supposedly failing to speak out against antisemitism is being harshly criticized by Jewish leaders and journalists.

The article is by Jonathan Weisman, the deputy Washington editor of The New York Times and the author of the book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish In America In The Age Of Trump. It appeared under the online headline “Anti-Semitism Is Rising. Why Aren’t American Jews Speaking Up?”

“Inane” is how the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, Jeremy Burton, described the Times article.

“You’re kidding, right?” was the response to the Times article by the editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Andrew Silow-Carroll, who called the Times article “odd.”

“It’s just weird to conclude that Jewish organizations are ignoring or downplaying anti-Semitism,” Silow-Carroll wrote.

The editor-in-chief of JNS — the Jewish News Syndicate, Jonathan Tobin, faulted Weisman’s article for focusing on right-wing antisemitism while ignoring Louis Farrakhan, “left-wing anti-Semitism,” and the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel.
IsraellyCool: Israel’s PR Sucks!
I know I’m not part of your tribe per se. I know and am aware of my limitations. But I need to tell you, Israel’s PR sucks and unless we change that, we can’t win.

I say we because I’m on your side. I’m with you. And this is why I’m harsh. Because there are these incredible voices and organizations out there, and yet the message gets lost somewhere, or the well-crafted and well-intended content lands in front of the same people who are already with us.

But perhaps the issue really starts here: what is a pro-Israel voice?

Along with Zionism, feminism, or nationalism, being a pro-Israel voice is so perversely twisted that soon we should start apologizing for it as well. In the USA, when I say I’m pro-Israel, it awakes the automatic assumptions that I’m pro-Netanyahu, pro-settlement, often even part of the “baby-killer IDF machinery”; I’m racist, I’m against Palestinians, I’m against a two-state solution, I’m against peace.

And this is as twisted as it gets. Being pro-Israel means nothing more and nothing less than standing up for the simple fact: Jews have the right to have their own country. It’s really that easy. Stop thinking more into it. I’m pro-Israel in a global framework where Israel’s legitimate right to exist is still challenged each and every day. But taking a step further – I also believe – that if I’m pro-Israel, I am pro-Palestinian and pro-Peace with a capital P.

I’m trying to be open-minded.

You know so that people can’t accuse me of being brainwashed. I went to the event of Noam Chomsky with 700 Palestinian supporters. I interviewed people at BDS rallies. I engaged with Palestinians at the UN. And frankly, my conclusion is: if you want peace, you are pro-Israel.
Mindless Antisemitism at Syracuse University
Last month, I was passing through the lobby of my dorm when a jarring poster, prominently placed on the wall, stopped me in my tracks.

Emblazoned for all to see was an all too familiar image: the Star of David being crossed out. I suddenly recalled stories of how my great grandfather had to walk by very similar posters in Poland, as the Nazi movement swept across Europe during World War II.

My initial impulse was to figure out why something so blatantly antisemitic would randomly show up on our dormitory wall. And I thought that a residence staff member could help me.

To my surprise, this “adult” was the person who taped up the poster.

When I confronted the staff member, they explained that they posted it, along with other signs to honor Black History Month — noting that it had been placed next to a photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I questioned the staff member about this poster, and asked how on earth it could be connected to Black History Month. After all, as I pointed out, Martin Luther King was a strong advocate of Israel — and an outspoken voice against antisemitism.
MILLER: Anti-Semitism: Today’s Left Stays True to Yesterday’s Left
Are you shocked that the Left has a Jew-hating problem? You shouldn’t be. Anti-Semitism has a long-standing tradition among those who declare themselves socialists.

The Soviet revolution officially abolished the institutionalized anti-Semitism of the Tsarist regime, but as early as August 1919, the new Soviet government instituted a campaign of destroying synagogues, seizing Jewish artifacts, and telling rabbis they could no longer minister to their congregants.

Neo-Nazi websites will tell you that Jews made the Russian Revolution, but the Jews were primarily in the Menshevik faction, the group that supported Kerensky and the democratic provisional government. With noteworthy exceptions, the Bolshevik faction was made up of Russian Christians.

A joke at the time, often repeated by Stalin, was that since the Mensheviks had a considerable Jewish following and the Bolsheviks did not, the Bolsheviks should consider launching an anti-Jewish pogrom against the Mensheviks. This passed for humor in a country where Tsarist administrators repeatedly used their offices to organize pogroms for the mass slaughter of helpless Jews.
California Students Promote Palestinian Terrorism
This is Leila Khaled. A member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the US classifies as a terrorist group, Khaled was the first woman to hijack a plane and she also just happens to have some fans at the University of California, Santa Barbara, whose Students for Justice in Palestine chapter published a photo of Khaled with the caption “Solidarity is the weapon and armed resistance is the catalyst. Support all women taking arms against imperialism,” reported The Algemeiner. Armed resistance…sounds a lot like Antifa, right? And just like Antifa, they’re not too prepared to actually defend their convictions with logic and reason. Santa Barbara SJP deleted the picture of Khaled and other armed women.

Now, I think I’ve already made the case that these guys are wack, but let’s have a look at their Facebook page just to see how pro-Palestinian students are by no means immune to the cancer known as intersectionality. This virus has caused them to advocate for the abolition of all prisons and the destruction of capitalism. It’s even impaired these poor kids’ ability to spell words like “human” and “woman”…I’m pretty sure“x”s and “y”s don’t belong there.

Oh and speaking of prisons, SJP Santa Barbara also wants Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi to be freed. You remember Tamimi, the teenager detained after slapping, punching and kicking Israeli soldiers on multiple occasions. Well, these students believe she’s a “political prisoner,” a term used by many who attempt to whitewash crimes prisoners have committed by just saying “oh, he was just arrested because the government decided he had the wrong politics.” No, I’m sorry, but assault is not a political opinion. There are other ways to protest.
California Students Promote Palestinian Terrorism

Neo-Nazis On Campus
The David Horowitz Freedom Center’s bold new campaign to expose the rampant anti-Semitism and dangerous, genocidal rhetoric of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and their student supporters across the nation is officially underway.

The campuses of four California universities –UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, UCLA, and USC— have already been blanketed with hard-hitting, fact-based posters that detail the virulent Jew-hatred of these activists and the neo-Nazi-sympathizing professors who try to grant them moral authority.

The posters are coming soon to many more college and university campuses across the country.

To bolster the campaign, the Freedom Center will be debuting a powerful new pamphlet by Sara Dogan titled SJP: Neo-Nazis on Campus, as well as publicizing the effort at its Stop University Support for Terrorists website.

This groundbreaking investigative report examines how anti-Israel activists affiliated with SJP, MSA, and likeminded groups are using social media to praise Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, urge an intifada-style uprising in the U.S., and call for a second Holocaust to exterminate the Jews. The same people also smear Israel, describing Jews as “colonial-settler” occupiers of a nonexistent state called “Palestine,” while calling Israel an “apartheid state” even though it is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and a staunch U.S. ally.
Carnival of hatred
Today begins the official “Israel Apartheid Week,” to be held at universities across the US and Canada. The name of course references South Africa, the country where actual apartheid policies were instituted several decades ago.

“Apartheid Week” has never been more than more than a smokescreen for an antisemitic hate fest, cynically marketed as a human rights campaign. Hundreds of academics, amazingly including Israelis and Jews, will be partners in this hateful annual project.

It will be a carnival including “art exhibits” throughout campuses. It will be a week in which sanctimonious but actually clueless people – people with no idea who they are attacking and who they are protecting – will shout empty slogans and blame Israel for all the evil in the world.

It will be a week where anyone who dares to speak up and anyone who decides to expose these lies will be shouted down, just like what we saw happen last week at the University of Virginia, and the week before that at the University of Georgia.

Let’s be clear: we need to fight for human rights, especially in the human catastrophe known as Syria. And there are countless other atrocities happening all around the world. However, this is not what happens during “Apartheid Week.”
After Anti-Israel Referendums, University Leaders Defend Academic Freedom, Reject BDS Campaign
The leaders of universities where anti-Israel referendums were considered this month recently spoke out in defense of academic freedom and against the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign.

After students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) rejected a divestment referendum targeting companies that do business with Israel, the president of the University of Illinois system, Tim Killeen, affirmed his administration’s “strong opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement’s call for a boycott of Israel.”

“While we acknowledge and affirm the rights of faculty and students to express their own viewpoints, we believe that actions such as those espoused by BDS would damage academic freedom and may have an intended or unintended anti-Semitic effect which we utterly condemn,” he wrote.

Killeen warned that the university system’s efforts “to better the human condition through our world-class research, scholarship and service … can only be diminished by targeted restrictions on academic freedom and global engagement.”

He committed to “continue to strenuously oppose actions that go beyond protected speech and that seek to harass, delegitimize, alienate and spread fear within our student communities on the basis of religion.”

Before the referendum’s defeat, Jeffrey Brown — dean of UIUC’s College of Business — likewise asserted that “whatever the stated motivation” for BDS, its effect is “antithetical to the core values of a great public university.”
IsraellyCool: Israel Has Friends in One of the Most Politically Challenging Countries
They sat next to the fire, the whole family, in a dark cave, trying to get warm. “Dad”, asked the younger son. “How did we get into this situation?” he asked. “Well”, replied the father, “at the beginning, someone suggested we’d boycott Israel…”.

This may sound cynical, but for the city of Cape Town in South Africa, this scenario is actually starting to take shape, as the date is getting closer to “Day Zero” – they day in which the water reservoirs across the city will be so little that the taps will be turned off, and severe rationing will begin.

This terrifying scenario could have been avoided if South Africa would have taken a different approach to its policy towards Israel. But why does the South African government act this way? The reasons are complicated and connected to it’s not-so-distant past, and to the political climate that holds South Africa captive to its own misconception about Israel.

This week the BDS movement mentions its annual (aspiring-to-be) worldwide “Israeli Apartheid Week”. During this week, educational institutions and campuses all over South Africa are filled with the best version of 21st century psychological-diplomatic terrorism: hate speeches, antisemitism, anti-Zionism, verbal abuse and vulgarity, fierce and furious demonstrations, and blunt and angry anti-Israel slogans shouted by a rabble of brainwashed young students, usually from the radical sides of the political map. On several campuses in South Africa one could see graffiti express “Fuck Zionism” and “Israel is anti-Black”. All of these brutal onslaughts are directed towards Israel supporters, Zionists, Jewish students, and most importantly – those who encourage dialogue and understanding between the conflicting sides.
AP Terms Hamas Attack Tunnels 'Smuggling Routes'
In an article earlier this week, the Associated Press inaccurately characterized Hamas' cross-border attack tunnels, leading from Gaza into Israel, as "smuggling routes." AP's Matthew Lee and Josh Lederman wrote ("Heather Nauert on the rise as a voice in US diplomatic corps," March 19):
The moment that Trump canned Tillerson by tweet, Nauert was in a Hamas-built tunnel on the border near the Gaza Strip, on a tour organized by the Israeli military to show U.S. officials the smuggling routes used by militants.

The army is clear that the tunnels are meant for attack, not smuggling. Indeed, in the past, Hamas used these tunnels to smuggle combatants into Israel and kill five soldiers. AP previously referred to the "attack tunnels," correctly reporting (Jan. 18, 2018):
Los Angeles Times Dubs Convicted Terrorists 'Political Prisoners'
Rise above the noise! Go below the surface! Enjoy top-quality reporting, enjoins a recent Los Angeles Times ad campaign.

Instead, though, a recent movie review provides readers with noise instead of top-quality reporting, erroneously stating about the 1976 hijacking of Air France Flight 139:

In June 1976, two German and two Palestinian revolutionaries -- the nomenclature varies from "freedom fighter" to "terrorist" depending on which side you're on -- hijacked an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris and directed it to Entebbel, Uganda, to demand the release of 52 political prisoners. ("Negotiations, maneuvers in a fine political thriller," page E5, and online here.)

The term "political prisoner" has a very distinct and well understood definition, and applies to those imprisoned for their political views. This definition does not apply to the 53 convicted terrorists, 40 held in Israel, six in West Germany, five in Kenya, and one each in Switzerland and France, whose release the hijackers demanded.
CAMERA Op-Ed:The Washington Post’s Skewed Coverage of Antisemitism
The Post's decision to selectively cover antisemitism is troubling. So is the paper's decision to publish an Op-Ed entitled “How Benjamin Netanyahu Enables Antisemitism (Feb. 26, 2018).” The commentary, by Joshua Shanes, an associate professor at the College of Charleston, alleges that the democratically elected leader of the Jewish state is “increasingly allying with anti-Semites and promoting anti-Semitism, even as they cynically claim to be its chief victim.”

Blaming a Jewish leader and “his supporters” for spreading antisemitism is a serious charge. In more than 1200-words, Shanes is unable to substantiate it. He fails to point to a single remark by the Israeli Prime Minister, who himself has frequently condemned antisemitism. Instead he asserts that Netanyahu's criticisms of the myriad of anti-Israel NGOs—many of which are funded by George Soros, a Hungarian-American Jewish billionaire—is evidence of antisemitism. It's not.

As NGO Monitor, a non-profit watchdog organization, has documented, Soros' Open Society Foundation engages in political campaigns that often single out the world's sole Jewish state for opprobrium, “including BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and legal attacks (‘lawfare').” Numerous governments and organizations, including the ADL, have highlighted the discriminatory nature of BDS, a movement whose founders have called for Israel's destruction.

As NGO-Monitor has documented, officials at Soros funded organizations, such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), have been recorded making antisemitic statements and jokes—a fact that Shanes omitted. Defending Israel from entities that seek its delegitimization and destruction is hardly antisemitic.

The Post's decision to publish an Op-Ed blaming an Israeli Prime Minister for propagating antisemitism is remarkable when one considers that it perpetually underreports Palestinian antisemitism. In a Dec. 13, 2017 speech in Istanbul, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said that Jews “are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history.”The Post did notcover Abbas' remarks, and the paper frequently ignores the PA's efforts to promote anti-Jewish violence, including through indoctrinating Palestinian youth with antisemitic motifs approved by the authority's education ministry.

Antisemitism is a rising threat that demands serious reporting. In key ways, The Washington Post is failing to provide it.
Veteran Holocaust Denier David Irving’s Tour of Nazi Extermination Sites May Run Foul of Controversial Polish Legislation
Poland’s widely-criticized new legislation regulating the commemoration of the Nazi Holocaust is facing an unexpected challenge with an impending tour of death camp sites that is being led by a veteran Holocaust denier.

National newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported on Tuesday that British convicted Holocaust denier David Irving intends to lead a tour of World War II landmarks in September 2018 which includes extensive stops at Holocaust sites in Poland.

Irving has conducted these and similar tours for his followers and admirers for nearly a decade — the forthcoming visit, however, would be his first since Poland passed a controversial amendment to its existing Holocaust commemoration legislation on Feb 6. Public discussion of wartime antisemitism and collusion with the Nazis among Poles is now a criminal risk, which carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.

Irving told Rzeczpospolita reporter Wiktor Ferfecki in an email on Monday that he had every intention of conducting the tour this year, which includes visits to the sites of Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka — Nazi extermination camps where nearly two million Jews who were trapped in German-occupied Poland were murdered.

Describing Irving as the “guru” of Holocaust deniers, Ferfecki pointed out that his presence in Poland might well further damage the country’s image in the eyes of international critics of its Holocaust legislation.
Polish PM's father: Jews gladly moved to ghettos to get away from Poles
A former Polish politician who is the father of the country’s prime minister said that Jews during the Holocaust moved to ghettos of their own accord to get away from non-Jewish Poles.

Kornel Morawiecki, a former senator whose son, Mateusz, became prime minister last year, made the remark in an interview published Tuesday by the online magazine Kulturą Liberalną.

“Do you know who chased the Jews away to the Warsaw Ghetto? The Germans, you think? No. The Jews themselves went because they were told that there would be an enclave, that they would not have to deal with those nasty Poles,” said Kornel Morawiecki.

His remarks come amid a diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel, which protested the passing last month of legislation in Poland that criminalizes blaming Poles for Nazi crimes. Jewish groups said the law limits debate and research on the actions of thousands of Poles who betrayed Jews to the Nazis or killed Jews.

The crisis escalated last month when the prime minister said that the Holocaust had not only German, Ukrainian and Polish perpetrators, but Jewish ones as well. His Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, called the remark “outrageous.”
Austria summons diplomat back from Israel for wearing ‘Nazi’ shirt
Austria’s foreign ministry has summoned an attache from its embassy in Israel after he posted a picture of himself on social media wearing a T-shirt bearing the name of a Nazi tank division.

A screenshot of the post on Juergen-Michael Kleppich’s Facebook page showed him in the green shirt with the words “Stand your ground” and “Frundsberg,” the Falter weekly reported.

The last name of Georg von Frundsberg, who was a mercenary in the 15th century, was used by the Nazis during World War II for its 10th SS Panzer division.

The garment is sold by Phalanx Europa, an online shop that sells “patriotic” clothing for followers of the nativist Identitarian movement.

The episode is the latest embarrassment for a member of the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) since it came to power in December in a coalition with the center-right People’s Party.

Kleppich, who is also an FPOe local councilor in a district of Vienna, had previously posted a photo of his grandfather in a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika, according to Falter.
Republican Jewish Leader Joins Condemnation of GOP Illinois Candidate, ‘Nazi Bigot’ Arthur Jones
A prominent Republican Jewish leader warned on Wednesday that “there is no place for Nazis and white supremacists” in the GOP after a neo-Nazi won an unopposed primary to become the party’s candidate in the Third Congressional District of Illinois.

Norm Coleman, the chairman of the Republican Jewish Committee, declared in a statement that the candidacy of Arthur Jones — a 70-year-old insurance salesman and neo-Nazi activist who tried unsuccessfully to win the nomination on five previous occasions — was a “disgrace.”

Coleman underlined at the same time that Jones had already been denounced and rejected by both the Republican National Committee and the Illinois Republican Party.

“Arthur Jones is a Nazi, not a Republican,” Coleman said. “Jones does not represent Republican values, and he doesn’t deserve to have an “R” after his name on the ballot.” The former Minnesota senator added that the “GOP didn’t invite Jones into the party, the only mistake was not running a candidate in an uncompetitive, safe-Democrat district.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Tim Schneider, the Illinois Republican Party chairman, said in a statement that the the party was urging “to skip over (Jones’) name when they go to the polls,” pledging to continue “vehemently opposing Jones with real campaign dollars.”

“Jones is a Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse,” Schneider said.
Technion Analysts: Cats Could Help in Development of Anti-HIV Drugs for Humans
Researchers at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have uncovered the mechanism that enables Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or FIV, proteins to become drug-resistant — a phenomenon not yet observed in the AIDS-causing HIV-1 virus, which affects millions of people worldwide.

While FIV does not infect humans, it is widely researched to benefit cats. More important are its parallels with the AIDS virus.

The virus is transmitted between male street cats, primarily via saliva. Like in humans, the virus involves immune impairment and the inability to fight off infections, diseases and cancer. Because highly similar viruses cause FIV and HIV, researchers hope that the findings could lead to the development of anti-HIV drugs that could preempt future strains of drug-resistant AIDS viruses.

This phenomenon of FIV-protein drug resistance, which inhibits the same protein in HIV-1, puzzled scientists until now.

According to an American Technion Society press release, Assistant Professor Akram Alian and Dr. Meytal Galilee from the Technion biology faculty have shown the 3D structure of this protein in the FIV and used it to uncover the mechanistic basis of viral resistance to anti-reverse transcriptase drugs.

Their findings, published recently in PLOS Pathogens, show that the FIV protein forms a closed pocket that blocks the drugs from effective binding.
Mayim Bialik: I am happy to take public bullet for Israel
TV star Mayim Bialik said she is “happy to take a public bullet for this state,” while talking about her experiences of antisemitism at the Global Conference on Antisemitism in Jerusalem on Tuesday night.

Bialik was delivering the keynote address entitled “Web hatred and the public person” at the events’ gala dinner, and provided a window of experience of the life of a Jew in the public eye.

The actress, famous for her role in The Big Bang Theory, and former child starring role Blossom, is a proudly Zionist and Jewish activist, for which she regularly faces backlash online. She has 633,000 followers on Twitter, two million on Facebook and 2.6 million on Instagram.

“The decision that I make on a daily basis about what to talk about, what to share, what to feel about Israel – these with come with a heavy price,” she told the audience. “The price for me has not yet, that I know of, impacted my acting career but it has impacted the way that I’m seen and that does impact my career in terms of speaking engagements and endorsements, in terms of my writing.”

“Because I am outspoken and I chose to be outspoken about Israel,” she added.

But she said, “I will not and would not distance myself from my statements on the state of Israel and my belief that the state of Israel has the right to exist in safety.”
Thank you! From all of us at HonestReporting.

Israeli happiness defies media ‘doom and gloom’ narrative.
In 1928, a seminal article was published by a promising Jewish academic called Salo Baron. He was a budding scholar of Jewish history, and he argued that until his time, historians of the Jewish people were focusing on specific elements of Jewish history, and presenting it exclusively as a story of doom and gloom. Baron argued against this “lachrymose” (teary) approach – there was more to Jewish history than ghettos, pogroms and antisemitism; there was flourishing community life, intellectual and religious achievements, as well as many extended periods of good relations between Jews and non-Jews. This “anti-lachrymose” view has been very influential in the study of Jewish history.

It seems that in 2018 in the field of journalism, this debate should be revived in the context of the lachrymose presentation of Israel. In publications such as the Guardian, the Economist and the Independent, a very narrow portion of Israel’s existence is presented, and one that is almost exclusively negative.

The Israel-Palestinian conflict, rising tensions with Iran, corruption allegations against the Prime Minister, treatments of minorities within Israel (Arabs, Ethiopians, Sudanese) are almost the exclusive Israel stories one reads on those pages. If one looks at the Guardian articles tagged “Israel” there are barely any stories that break out of this mold of conflict-centric and negative stories. (As a case in point, the current “other” Israel story receiving a lot of coverage in the Guardian is that of a sex-offender Australia is fighting to extradite from Israel.) Israel is portrayed as country perpetually heading off the edge of the abyss, one Knesset vote away from pariah status, one spark away from burning up in a conflagration.

What newsworthy stories are is going on in Israel, that should be reported outside of this lachrymose focus? Actually, an incredible amount. In 2017, tourism to Israel increased by fully 25%, a simply massive year on year increase; tourism to Israel brought in over £4 billion to Israel last year. Israel’s economy is continuing to grow and thrive. In 2017, GDP growth was 3%, the unemployment rate was 3.7%, and GDP per capita was $37,000, between that of South Korea and Italy. Last year, Israeli start-ups raised $5 billion, business exits were worth $23 billion. In January of this year it was reported that Arab enrollment at Israeli universities has increased 78% in the past 7 years, and Israel is involved in humanitarian efforts in Syria, Ethiopia, Mexico and more.

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Jews Don't Control the Weather? What Do You Call The Ten Plagues?

by Trayon White, Washington, DC Council member

Trayon WhiteListen, I know it was bad form to engage in antisemitic tropes and portray the Jews as a monolithic, sinister, all-powerful group. I apologized - of course I apologized; it would be wrong not to. But between you and me, there's no shortage of evidence the Jews have been doing this sort of thing for thousands of years. just look at a bunch of the Ten Plagues.

Just look at the documented accounts, in the Jews' own works. The Nile turning to blood - well, I don't know about you, but if that's not the sort of environmental engineering consistent with weather modification, I'll eat my hat. Having the same Nile then produce frogs fits right in, as well.

You can argue about lice, wild beasts - or swarms of insects, if that's your preferred translation - and livestock pestilence, but there's no question the boils relied on wind patterns to spread the magic ash all over. Then, of course, there was hail, and it was special hail with fire inside the ice. Making it snow in DC is small potatoes compared to that.

Locusts might seem like a biological, not meteorological phenomenon, but look at the way the swarm was brought in: the east wind. The evidence accumulates. And this is the time of year the Jews are getting ready to mark these events, on Passover. You don't need a blood libel to showcase Jewish brutality here.

Darkness - well, how else are you going to blot out the sun if not with some atmospheric interference?

But it didn't end there. After the death of the Egyptian firstborns - that could also have been environmental; you never know - the Jews followed a pillar of cloud into the wilderness. Clouds are weather, as I need not remind you. Then they used the east wind again to dry up a portion of the Sea of Reeds and march through. Then when the Jews emerged on the other side, they stopped the wind blowing and the water came crashing down on the pursuing Egyptian cavalry.

The daily manna came with the morning dew, and that's how they lived for forty years. Oh, and somewhere in there the wind also brought huge flocks of quail for them to feast on when they desired meat.
And don't even get me started on Joshua making the sun and moon stand still.

But sure, make me apologize. Everyone knows I'm only doing it because I don't want the Potomac to turn to blood.

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From Ian:

IDF Blog: The Secret Operation Revealed a Decade Later
During the night of September 5th and 6th, 2007, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a nuclear facility in its last stages of construction in the Deir ez-Zor region in Syria, 280 miles north-east of Damascus. Four F-16 jets eliminated a nuclear threat not only to Israel, but to the entire region.

Background and Preparations for the Operation
For two years, officials in the Military Intelligence Directorate had been monitoring the Syrian nuclear project. Their intelligence suggested that the facility would become active toward the end of 2007, which prompted the IDF to initiate an attack on the facility.

The Israeli Air Force had very little time to prepare the attack and account for possible contingencies, such as retaliation by the Syrian forces. Once the attack plan was ready, however, it was possible to execute it within 12 hours from the moment the order was to be given.

The Attack
Shortly after midnight, the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief of the General Staff, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Head of the Military Intelligence Directorate and Head of the Operations Directorate assembled in the aerial war room.

From there, they attentively followed all aircraft’s aerial locations and the communication systems. Two fighter jets, F-16I and F-15I left the base at 10:30 pm and flew low to stay undetected. The whole operation took four hours.
Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot speaks on the Syrian nuclear facility attack
The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot tells us his point of view of the attack on the Syrian nuclear facility in 2007, when he was the GOC of the Northern Command

Inside Israel's Secret Raid on Syria's Nuclear Reactor
Eleven years after Israeli air force jets bombed the clandestine nuclear reactor in next-door Syria being built with the help of North Korea, Israel's military censor is finally lifting the veil of secrecy on the operation. The Sept. 6, 2007, raid was conducted near the remote desert city of Deir ez-Zur. Before today, Israel has never officially acknowledged its existence.

Former Mossad director Tamir Pardo asked in an interview with us: "Where were the Americans? North Korea is a highly important target for them. And it still isn't clear whether Assad was running the nuclear project, or was it the North Koreans?" He added that he has doubts that Syria was going to keep the plutonium, or perhaps it was going to be shipped to North Korea as a supply of which the West would be unaware. Pardo's questions raise another: What else might the CIA be missing in North Korea, in Iran, or almost anywhere on Earth?

The Israeli air force attacked deep in enemy territory, enjoying protection by sophisticated electronic jamming that blinded Syria's air defenses. The Syrian facility was almost identical to the Yongbyon nuclear complex in North Korea that produced plutonium for nuclear bombs, according to Israeli intelligence officials, and it was only weeks away from beginning to produce highly radioactive materials.

Deir ez-Zur was captured in 2014 by ISIS forces and held for more than three years. Just imagine if ISIS had gotten its hands on the plutonium.

After the revelation in 2003 that Gaddafi's Libya was dangerously advanced in its nuclear work, Israel's military intelligence chiefs increased their efforts to look for a nuclear project in Syria. Mossad operatives broke into an apartment maintained in Vienna by Ibrahim Othman, director of Syria's Atomic Energy Commission, and found a digital device, which they copied. Photos were found showing Othman in the company of some North Korean scientists that were shot inside the structure in Deir ez-Zur, and which clearly revealed that it was a nuclear reactor to produce plutonium.

Netanyahu: Israel has consistent policy - prevent enemies from obtaining nuclear weapons
Israel has a consistent policy of preventing its enemies from acquiring nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, 12 hours after the military censor allowed the publication of details of Israel's 2007 attack on a nuclear reactor in northeastern Syria.

“The Israeli government, IDF and Mossad prevented Syria from developing nuclear capabilities,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “For this they are deserving of all praise. Israel's policy has been and remains consistent – to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu was the head of the opposition at the time of the attack, and was interviewed soon after it happened on what was then Channel 1. When interviewer Haim Yavin said to Netanyahu that he had not yet heard him praise then-prime minister Ehud Olmert for the operation, which was at the time shrouded in mystery, Netanyahu replied, “When the prime minister does things that in my eyes are important for Israel's security, I give my backing. Here too, I was involved in this matter from the very beginning and gave my backing, but it is too early to discuss this issue, and there will be plenty of time to give out all the congratulations...”

Asked if he called Olmert to congratulate him, Netanyahu replied: “yes.”
Israel officially acknowledges striking Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007
The decision to order the strike was 'one of the most important taken here in the last 70 years'

Grainy black and white video footage, filmed from an aircraft, displays a barren hilly landscape. The camera zooms in on a nondescript square building, a crosshair focusing on the structure as the picture rotates counter-clockwise.

Voices, speaking in Hebrew, crackle over the radio: "Cobra is clear, I'm on target", one says. "Alright" another replies. Several dark dots are seen floating towards the building, then – impact. A string of massive explosions is captured on camera.

The footage described here was released Wednesday by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and displays a series of airstrikes on a Syrian nuclear reactor, destroyed more than 10 years ago.

The IDF is now officially admitting, for the first time, that it carried out that strike – codenamed operation "Outside the Box", on the night between September 5th and 6th, 2007. The target was a reactor being built at al-Kibar, in the Deir ez-Zor region of eastern Syria.

"This was actually the most significant Israeli strike in Syrian territory since the Yom Kippur War" says the current Israeli Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who was head of Northern Command at the time.

The Israeli intelligence community had been monitoring the site for two years. Nearly complete at the time of attack, the nuclear reactor was set to become operational just 3 months later.
JCPA: Bashar Assad’s Deafening Silence
Syrian President Bashar Assad has never admitted that he tried to build a nuclear reactor in Syria in 2007. He built it not far from Damascus, in the desert region of Deir ez-Zor. He concealed the whole affair from Syria’s top brass, apart from a few individuals who were in on the secret.

When Israeli air force planes destroyed the nuclear reactor, President Assad confirmed that “an army building under construction” had been destroyed. He never said anything more than that, and he never admitted that he was involved in building a nuclear reactor.

This morning, the Arab world woke up to a barrage of detailed Israeli media reports in Israel, in which Israel confirmed that it had blown up the nuclear reactor in Deir ez-Zor in 2007.

In the meantime, the Arab media reposted quotes from Israeli reports. The Israeli admission of the attack took the Arab countries by surprise.

Syria is maintaining a resounding silence, and it is doubtful that it will react to any of these reports at all.

Even though the attack has been an open secret for the past ten years, Israel never took responsibility for destroying the nuclear reactor until now.

In 2007, Israel followed a vague policy of not humiliating President Bashar Assad or pushing him toward a military reaction. Assad used this Israeli “vagueness” to “keep his dignity,” and he indeed never responded militarily.
Key U.S. official: Bombing of Syria's reactor was 'A blessing for humanity'
James Jeffrey, a former senior American diplomat and Middle East expert, gave his recollections from the 2007 Israeli bombing of Syrian President Bashar Assad's nuclear reactor in an interview with Army Radio Wednesday morning.

In the interview, Jeffrey commented on the close cooperation between the US and Israel at the time, and on the supportive relationship between former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and former US president George W. Bush.

"The Israeli authorities had been working with the US government for months before the site was struck," he began. "We kept the information absolutely controlled within the US so there would be no leaks to the media."

"Very early it was clear to us that this was a North Korean enabled plutonium enrichment reactor that was clearly designed to advance a nuclear weapons program."

Jeffrey stated that president Bush was "very supportive" of the operation, and that had any threats against Israel arisen as a result of the military operation "We would stand with Israel."
Timing is everything
This week's confirmation by Israel that it indeed carried out the strike on the Syrian nuclear reactor in Deir Ez-Zor on the night of Sept. 6, 2007 raises questions about the intentions behind the disclosure.

Reports over the past decade have all but confirmed that the attack was Israeli, with the only thing missing being official confirmation by the Israeli government.

In a detailed investigative report titled "The Silent Strike" in the Sept. 17, 2012 issue of The New Yorker, Middle East scholar David Makovsky interpreted the reports on the Syria strike as a declaration of intent and a warning by Israel over Iran's nuclear complexes.

It can be assumed that, more than anything else, this is once again what Israel intended this week in its official confirmation that it was responsible for the 2007 strike.

It is interesting to contrast the details released now with those in Makovsky's report. Makovsky revealed that for Israel, the point of no return was in March 2007, when Mossad head Meir Dagan presented Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with a certain "piece of information."

"I knew from that moment, nothing would be the same again," Makovsky quotes Olmert as saying. "The weight of this thing, at the existential level, was of an unprecedented scale."
Between Syria then and Iran now
Israel was tipped off about the nuclear reactor being built in Syria by a foreign source.

The information provided by the source was unclear, but it implied that President Bashar Assad was building a reactor. This information was, for me and for the defense establishment alike, a complete and utter surprise. We could not believe this type of information could land on our desks so innocuously, from a foreign source, without us knowing anything beforehand. Israel's penetration into Syria was and is excellent; we know what is happening there, top to bottom, side to side. To discover in such a happenstance manner, due to the kindness of a stranger, that Assad was undertaking a complex project of this sort under our noses and without us receiving any indication was no less than stunning.

No one in Israel knew about this activity in Syria. In retrospect, we understood that the concealment ran very deep, to the point that the entire circle around Assad himself was kept completely in the dark about the project. It was an immense achievement for the Syrian dictator, who managed to create a small alternative system in which only those directly involved were even aware of its existence. Even his closest confidants and relatives did not know about the reactor. Thus, virtually no information could make its way out to us, including about the significant role the North Koreans were playing.

The moment the initial information came in, then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan quickly directed me and others to unequivocally ascertain whether Syria was indeed building a nuclear reactor or whether the intelligence was mistaken. We vigorously threw ourselves into the mission. It was a complex undertaking requiring the preparation of agents and intensive sifting for information. But the situation necessitated a clear-cut answer; anything vague was useless. After a year of work, we finally received the "golden intel" proving the structure in the Syrian desert was in fact a nuclear reactor. Israel was considerably caught off its strategic guard.
Arab leaders mum after Israel claims Syrian reactor strike
Hours after Israel admitted it had destroyed the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, officials in Syria and other Arab countries were staying mum Wednesday afternoon.

Arab news outlets sufficed with laconic reports and quoted the statement issued by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

However, Israel's decision to reveal its responsibility for the strike took many senior political pundits in the Arab world by complete surprise, particularly in light of Israel's years-long policy of ambiguity on matters of intelligence and military operations.

"The Arab silence is understandable, because any statement on the matter will harm the interests of the Arab leaders," a senior Egyptian official said.

The official stressed that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who is expected to be elected to another term in office later this month, has no interest in injecting the issue of the Israeli strike in Syria into the media discourse in his country, and has even instructed senior officials in his government to refrain from commenting on the matter altogether.

"Following reports in various news outlets that Israel has attacked Islamic State strongholds in Sinai in recent months with Egyptian approval and even helps the Egyptian army in its campaign to eradicate Islamic terror in Sinai, Sissi is interested in playing down such reports about security cooperation with Israel as much as possible," the Egyptian official said.

"There is no point speaking of the matter of the Israeli strike on the Syrian reactor on the eve of elections in Egypt."
Waltz with Bashar
A Syrian border guard took my (non-Israeli) passport and flipped through its pages several times. "Where's the visa?" he asked. "I don't have a visa," I said. "A friend told me you could get a visa to Syria at the border." This was the truth, but not the entire truth. There was no point in telling this sleepy Syrian policeman that the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul has refused to give me a visa and rejected me again and again. The secretary hinted to me that my Jewish name aroused the consul's suspicions. At the advice of a friend, a Turkish journalist, I decided to try my luck at one of the small border crosses between Turkey and Syria. Perhaps there my name wouldn't raise suspicions. (Published in Yedioth Ahronoth on September 28, 2007, some three weeks after the strike on the reactor)

Two weeks after the nuclear reactor was bombed, I entered Syria through a remote crossing in a place called Kilis, on the border between Turkey and Syria, not far from Aleppo. I was aided by a clothes merchant who hoped to smuggle through me some of his profits when I returned to Turkey. I introduced myself as an innocent South American tourist, and when I was questioned, I explained that I've been teaching geography my entire life, I worked in geography, and now I wanted to see the areas I was specializing in.

It was a late hour of the night and the soldiers at the border crossing called the officer on duty at the Foreign Ministry in Damascus, who authorized my entry. They checked how much money I had, and when they were satisfied I had enough to leave the country, they said "Welcome."

At the time, we knew very little about the military operation. We knew - even though we couldn't report it - that the Air Force bombed a nuclear facility, but we didn't know it was a reactor. As far as I knew, it could've also been an enrichment facility or a facility to reprocess nuclear fuel. However, I knew Deir ez-Zor, where I was going, is an area filled with phosphates that could be used in the production of uranium. Saddam Hussein, for example, produced uranium several dozens of kilometers south of that area for his own nuclear program. I believe the same applied to Assad.
Germany’s shameless power play against Israel
The Jewish state has never held a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. For the first 50 years of its existence, it was denied membership in any of the UN’s regional groups, which control candidacies for these rotating seats. Then it was finally admitted to the Western European and Others Group, which promptly agreed to wait another twenty years before approving Jerusalem for a Security Council candidacy. Now, Benny Avni notes, Germany is poised to block action:

As a good-faith gesture, the Western European and Others Group promised Israel that it and Belgium would run uncontested for the two open 2019-20 [Security Council] seats. Then, in 2016, Germany announced it would also run—even though it already served as a council member [multiple times, including] as recently as 2011-12. . . . [U]nless Belgium yields, Israel’s hopes for UN respect seem doomed for now—and maybe for the foreseeable future.

Why? Diplomats have been telling me Israel violates too many Security Council resolutions to be a member—as in the one passed during the last weeks of Barack Obama’s presidency, which marked Jewish holy sites as occupied Palestinian territory. But is building a porch in [the West Bank town of] Ma’ale Adumim really such a huge threat to world peace?

How about, then, a report released last week by UN experts on the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions? It found Germany violated a council ban on sparkling wines, exporting $151,840 worth of bubbly and other luxury goods to Kim Jong Un’s cronies. Or how about, as the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal reports, German companies exporting to Iran banned materials that were later used in chemical attacks in Syria?

Never mind. Germany (and Belgium) will surely benefit from the UN’s habit of magnifying Israel’s violations beyond all proportion. Thus, Israel’s petition to join the most prestigious UN club will likely be rejected, thanks to a late entry by a shameless [and] cynical German power play against the Jewish state.
Arab League aims to stop Israel from gaining Security Council seat
Arab League nations will meet in Riyadh on April 15 to work to prevent Israel from gaining a seat on the U.N. Security Council, Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit said in a statement on Tuesday.

The summit was originally slated for the end of March, the usual date for the Arab League's annual meeting, but Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Egypt and league delegate Ahmed Qattan said the timing needed to change to accommodate Egypt's March 26-28 presidential elections.

The Security Council is considered the U.N.'s most powerful body, charged with maintaining international peace and security, as well as accepting new members to the United Nations.

The Security Council consists of 15 members, five of whom – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – are permanent members and have veto power over its resolutions. Ten rotating members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms based on regions: five from African and Asian countries; one from Eastern European countries; two from Latin American and Caribbean countries; and two from Western European and other countries – the bloc to which Israel belongs.

The Security Council presidency rotates monthly among its members.
Shaked: Online anti-Israel incitement rose following Trump embassy decision
Incitement against Israel reached new heights immediately after President Donald Trump’s December 6 announcement that he will move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked revealed at the sixth Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism on Tuesday.

Shaked spoke at a conference at the forum on online incitement alongside her counterparts from Italy, Greece and Malta and top Facebook officials.

“I want to thank President Trump for moving the embassy in another month and a half, which will be an honorable 70th birthday gift to Israel,” she said.

“But this decision, which was well covered internationally, led to Palestinian calls for violence and terror against Israelis.”

Shaked revealed the findings of a study indicating that there were 12,351 requests from her ministry’s cybersecurity department to remove online incitement over the past year, a massive increase over the previous year. Most were removed, but she said Twitter was the least compliant in removing hate content and warned that her ministry may have to take legal action.
Report: Israeli Bureaucracy Might Delay US Embassy May 14 Move
The US Embassy’s move to Jerusalem on May 14 is in question due to bureaucratic procedures on the ground, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday night. In recent days, a number of State Department officials visited Israel and made it clear to the Israeli officials that urgent security construction work was needed to modify the existing compound in the Jerusalem Arnona neighborhood and turn it from a consulate into an embassy on time.

The Americans demand, among other things, a sealed, 9 foot wall that will surround the entire embassy compound. They also want an escape route to be paved from the southern parking lot of the Diplomat Hotel along the western edge of the Arnona neighborhood. The American have submitted these demands, only to discover that the changes violate the local zoning plan for the building, which was sanctioned as a consulate and not an embassy.

In a letter sent by Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Rotem warned that it would not be possible to meet the May 14 deadline unless construction exemptions are granted immediately and the approval process is radically curtailed. Otherwise, the entire embassy move would be in jeopardy.

“The procedure to amend the existing zoning plan is expected to take a long time, which will not allow for the completion of the work on the site in time for the embassy’s opening, that is, May 14, 2018,” Rotem wrote, pointing out that “without these works being completed, the compound will not meet the prerequisite requirements of the State Department for the American Embassy.”
Anne Bayefsky in the Lion's Den, The UN "Human Rights" Council, 3/20/18

Why is India Financing Palestinian Terrorism?
Hundreds attended the funeral of Adiel Coleman, a 32-year-old married father of four children, who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday. He was laid to rest in Kochav Hashachar, north of Jerusalem. The attack came two days after a Palestinian terrorist killed two Israeli soldiers in a car-ramming attack.

Terrorist group Hamas hailed the killing of the father of four, saying it marked 100 days since the U.S. formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Both Hamas and PLO-Fatah have been inciting terror attacks against Jews and Israelis. They not only lure the potential terrorists with promises of rewards in the afterlife, but offer financial incentives to would-be ‘martyrs’ and their families.

According to a report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs last May, between 2013 and 2016, the PLO-led Palestinian Authority (PA) paid $1 billion to terrorists and their families. The otherwise bankrupt PA can afford to run this lavish pay-to-sly scheme thanks to generous international donors.

India, bearing the brunt of Islamist terrorism at home, has been a prominent contributor to the Palestinian Authority’s terrorist welfare scheme.
14 new Israeli orphans in one month
14 Israeli children have become orphans in just one month ....

In just one month in Israel, the same scene took place three times in three different locations: Har Bracha, Havat Gilad and Kochav Hachachar.

Hundreds of people crowded in a cemetery, sometimes an improvised one.
The victims, all young Israelis, civilians, fathers, husbands.
Killed by Palestinian Arab terrorists just because they were Jews.
Families in agony.
Young wives and mothers in mourning, small communities devastated by the violent death shattering the sense of security.
No condemnation by Palestinian “peace partners”.
Faint, inaudible voices from Europe.
Horrendous newspaper titles.

Western ears and eyes are full of images of Palestinian Arab youths, often impostors like Ahed Tamimi, the darling of the “popular Intifada”, but never of these 14 Israeli orphans. Double orphans. Their fathers killed twice. First by the terrorists. Then by Western indifference.

This is Israel: An attack in Jerusalem was taking place while two funeral services were being held for the two soldiers killed in Mevo Dotan, and the IDF was busy demolishing new tunnels in Gaza built by Hamas to strike the Israelis.

From morning to night, the Palestinian Arabs just think about how to kill the Israelis. They see that Europe is silent after the massacres, the media submit to their hallucinatory nightmarish ideas and the UN pays them. In short, it is one of the unique cases in history in which terrorism is a bonanza, especially if you are a terrorist who is lucky enough to survive the attack. Hot meals, cable tv, newspaper articles and 2,500 euros a month dropped by the puppet in Ramallah who lives on international aid.

What a bleak picture.
Terror victim's son to UN: You are complicit in my father's murder
Micah Lakin Avni, whose father was one of three Israelis murdered in a 2015 terrorist attack in Jerusalem's Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, accused the United Nations Human Rights Council of funding terrorism in an address to the world body on Tuesday.

Avni's address to the Human Rights Council followed five anti-Israel resolutions that appear in a report by the U.N. aid agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, and Special Rapporteur on Palestinian territories Michael Lynk, which were deliberated by the UNHRC that day.

Avni told the council how his father, Richard Lakin, "was brutally murdered at age 76 by Palestinian terrorists, shot in the head and butchered with a knife after he fell to the ground. President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority rewarded his killers and their families with $3 million. Yes, you heard right, $3 million.

"The Palestinian Authority actually has a pay-to-slay law. Palestinians systematically pay terrorists to kill Jews – more than $300 million a year. That's 10% of the PA's annual budget. The Palestinian Authority received hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the U.N., from the EU and countries like Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, [and] Ireland. They use this money to reward murderers."

Avni said Lynk's report "failed to mention the Palestinians' pay-to-slay law. It ignores Palestinian use of United Nations funds as blood money," he said.
More than 12,000 Jews visit Temple Mount since September
Jewish Temple Mount organizations published new data showing that more than 12,000 people made a pilgrimage to the holy site in the first half of the current Hebrew year—an increase of almost 50 percent compared to the same period last year.

In light of security tensions in Jerusalem and the fear of escalation as Passover, Israel's 70th Independence Day, the move of the American embassy to the capital and the month of Ramadan are all drawing near, the Yeraeh organizing published its half-yearly report on the matter.

The most prominent information gleaned from the report was that from the Hebrew months of Tishrei to Adar—comparable to the Gregorian months of September through March—during which at least 12,135 Jews visited the Temple Mount, compared to 8,229 last year—marking a 47 percent increase.

Yeraeh encourages ascent to the Temple Mount with "holiness and purity", and its people only assist Jews seeking to visit the place according to Halacha (Jewish law)—limiting themselves to permitted areas, following a ritual bath and under additional restrictions and conditions.

The organization's report is therefore based on a headcount by its own volunteers and is considered more stringent, as it does not include Jews who have undertaken the pilgrimage independently.
JPost Editorial: Abbas’s end game
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s derogatory statements on Monday against US Ambassador David Friedman received extensive media coverage. It is not every day that the leader of the PA calls a high-ranking American official “a son of a dog.”

But what was noteworthy about Abbas’s speech to a meeting of the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership of the PA was not that he lashed out at the Trump administration. He has done that before. In December, for instance, after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and threatened to cut off funding to UNRWA and to the PA unless the Palestinian leadership cooperated with US efforts to negotiate a peace deal, Abbas declared, “May your [Trump’s] house be destroyed!” Rather, what was interesting about Abbas’s speech was that no one was spared Abbas’s rancor. Abbas lashed out at everyone – the US, Hamas, even Egypt was criticized.

Abbas blamed Hamas for the roadside bombing that targeted the PA’s Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and General Intelligence Service head Majid Faraj as they traveled in the northern Gaza Strip last week. He rejected continued cooperation with Hamas and vowed to institute sanctions against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip that would probably include halting PA payments for electricity and water to Gaza and freezing the payment of salaries to hundreds of staffers in the Strip.

Abbas more than hinted that the Egyptians had failed in their mission to end the dispute between the rival Palestinian parties. “We thank Egypt for its effort,” he said.

“But for me, what counts is the outcome. And what is the outcome? Zero.”

The speech was a reflection of Abbas’s near total isolation.
EU: There is no state of Palestine without Gaza
The Palestinian Authority must control the Gaza Strip and the area must be part of a future Palestinian state, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Tuesday.

“We see it very clearly: The West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza belong together. There is no State of Palestine without Gaza, nor with Gaza alone,” Mogherini said in advance of a Brussels meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee that handles donor funds to the Palestinians.

“This is why we expect all Palestinian factions to defy the spoilers and continue on the path of reconciliation, with courage and determination,” Mogherini said.

She noted the particularly tense and fragile state of relations between Fatah and Hamas.

In a televised address from Ramallah on Monday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas charged that Hamas had attempted to assassinate PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah by blowing up a vehicle in his convoy during a Gaza visit last week.

Abbas in turn has increasingly reduced funding to Gaza, in an attempt to force Hamas to end its decade long control of the Strip.
Palestinian Authority calls on Hamas to hand over Gaza ‘all at once’
The Palestinian Authority government on Tuesday called on Hamas to transfer full control of the Gaza Strip to it “all at once.”

Hamas has controlled Gaza since ousting the PA from the territory in 2007.

“[The government] called on Hamas to hand over the Gaza Strip all at once and affirmed its readiness to take full responsibility [for it],” the official PA news site Wafa reported.

The PA government made the statement a day after PA President Mahmoud Abbas suggested he would cut all budgets allocated to Gaza if the PA does not take full control of the coastal territory.

“If everything is in our hands, we will take full responsibility [for Gaza]. If everything is not in our hands, they will have to take full responsibility for everything [in Gaza],” Abbas said in a 20-minute speech at the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah.

He did not say when Hamas would have to take full responsibility for Gaza if it does not hand over control of the territory to the PA.

However, a senior PLO official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity on Tuesday, said any decision to cut PA budgets to Gaza “will take time to implement.”

The PA spends $100 million in Gaza monthly, according Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
'Peaceful' Palestinian protests
The Palestinians are busy planning mass processions toward Israel ahead of the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem in May, in an attempt to create a "third intifada" that copies the murderous First Intifada of 1987-1991, which they define as a success. The Second Intifada, of course, was defeated by the Israel Defense Forces with our resilient nation's backing.

Most Palestinians understand that these attempts will bring nothing but the loss of life.

This was also true of Sari Nusseibeh's plan. A partner to the 1973 Geneva Conference, he spearheaded the effort to form a human chain of protesters along the length of the 1967 borders. In early 2002, police found a screensaver on a computer belonging to this "man of peace" that showed a Palestinian human chain planned for June that year. It showed figures closing in on Israel from all sides, dividing the country in two, against the background of a bloody clock. Hand grenades were also shown being thrown at the "occupation." In the accompanying caption, Nusseibeh expressed confidence that Europe would support the Palestinian struggle.

This presentation is a reflection of the hateful mindset of the Palestinians.
PA may consider declaring Gaza ‘rebel district,’ cutting enclave off
The Palestinian Authority may study the possibility of declaring the Gaza Strip a rogue area, solidifying the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A senior Fatah official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday that he could not rule out the possibility of declaring the Gaza Strip as a “rebel district” if the crisis between Hamas and Fatah is not resolved in the near future.

In a speech before Palestinian leaders on Monday evening, Abbas threatened to take “national, legal, and financial measures” against Hamas. However, Abbas did not provide further details about his planned sanctions.

The Fatah official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said during an interview in his office in Ramallah that declaring the Gaza Strip a “rebel district” would exempt the PA government from all its responsibilities toward the coastal enclave.

“Declaring Gaza as a rebel district would mean that the Palestinian Authority will no longer be responsible for anything there,” the official said.
Donors raise $560 million for Gaza water treatment plant
The European Union said Tuesday that international donors have raised 456 million euros ($560 million) to build a desalination plant in the Gaza Strip, to provide around 2 million people with safe drinking water.

At a pledging conference in Brussels on Tuesday, the EU offered more than 77 million euros, which combined with other donations will meet around 80 percent of the plant’s costs.

People in the impoverished coastal strip rely on an underground aquifer for their water. But quality is poor and Gazans are drawing off around four times what the aquifer can sustain each year.

The Palestinians say water shortages are creating health problems and exacerbating political tensions.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said providing for the people of Gaza was a priority.

“As regards to the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, this is and will remain a priority for the European Union. We have provided substantial help in the past and we continue to do so.”
“Israel murdered Arafat with poison in 2004” – PA TV narrator repeats libel
Official PA TV narrator: "A series of operations (i.e., terror attacks) were carried out, and Israel dealt with them through intensive pursuit and nearly caught Yasser Arafat in Nablus. When they entered the room where he was, the bed was still warm and the tea kettle boiling. Israel continued to pursue him until it murdered him with poison in 2004 in his headquarters in Ramallah." [Official PA TV, The Philosophy of Patience, March 2, 2018]

Iran wants to form another Hezbollah in Yemen, says Saudi ambassador to US
Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the US, said on Monday that Iran wants to form another Hezbollah in Yemen through its support of Houthi militia.

He told CNN that Iran wants to destabilize Saudi Arabia, and that it poses a threat to the entire region and international security.
“Here’s what happening in Yemen: (Iran is trying to create) another Hezbollah in Yemen, which will not just threaten our security and Yemeni security, but also regional security.”

“We’ve been focusing on the weapon of mass destruction, the WMD. What we should really be focusing on is the MD, the mass destruction that Iran is committing in the region.”

He stressed to CNN that Tehran was stirring unrest, and said the so-called “nuclear deal” between Iran and Western powers needs “to be fixed.”

What the Saudi Prince's Visit Really Means
Perhaps the most dramatic Saudi reform is the one that has received virtually no attention in America. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has led an effort to sweep out the Muslim Brotherhood from teaching and leadership positions in elementary, middle and high schools as well as colleges and universities.

MBS is kicking a dragon and he knows it.

The stakes of his fight with the Brotherhood could not be higher. If MBS succeeds, Saudi Arabia returns to pre-1979 roots, with movie theaters, women in the workplace, and features of a modern developing country. If MBS fails, he will be killed by the Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia will become more repressive than ever.

The global stakes of MBS's internal fight with the Brotherhood are large, too. If the crown price wins, nearly all Saudi funding for violent Islamic radicals ends — and if he dies, it grows to new heights.

His "Vision 2030" is the biggest planned change in any country since Turkey's Ataturk or Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew. With America's encouragement, Saudi Arabia could lead a regional transformation that would be truly historic.
Don't tell a Muslim They Have Nasty Despicable Traits of the Jews...Even If It's True
Saudi cleric Abd Al-Aziz Fawzan Al-Fawzan said that even though a Muslim might possess "some of the despicable and nasty traits of the Jews," one must not taunt or curse them for this. Describing these traits, Al-Fawzan said that the Jews are "the most envious of people and the most likely to use sorcery" and are known "for arrogance and for sowing corruption upon the land." His statements aired on the Kuwaiti Al-Resala TV channel on February 23.

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

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