Wednesday, September 11, 2019

It Is Absurd To Blame The West For Muslim "Honor" Crimes

On Thursday, August 29, Israa Ghrayeb was murdered by her family.

They were angered by a video she posted on social media of herself with the man she was soon to be engaged to. Her brother claimed she dishonored the family by showing the two of them together before they were married. The father called on the brother to beat Israa, and while trying to escape, Israa Ghrayeb fell from the second floor of their home, suffering serious spinal injuries. Then, while she was at the hospital, Ghrayeb was apparently attacked a second time and died.

The family claimed she died of a heart attack.

Another honor killing.
But this one was different.

Israel Did Nothing To Create Hezbollah -- But Arafat Did

With its recent clash with Israel, Hezbollah is again in the news. But for all of the attention Hezbollah gets, there are still elements of its history that remain ignored -- or just misrepresented.

Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has written extensively about Hezbollah as well as Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Recently, Iran announced sanctions against the think tank itself.

In his article, The Secret History of Hezbollah, Badran writes that while the Hezbollah mythology claims that the group was founded in 1982, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, as a resistance group to the Israeli invasion that year -- the truth is:
Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran have been joined at the hip from the very beginning, even before the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Monday, September 02, 2019

The Levels of Hypocrisy in BDS - And Will You Have Fries With That?

In a recent post, Elder of Ziyon pointed out an ignored truth about the campaign to boycott Israel: BDS isn't about boycotts. It is about turning Israel into a pariah state.
Even BDSers admit that they choose their targets of boycott for maximum leverage and publicity, even as they use Israeli products themselves. The boycotts are indeed a sideshow to their real aim - to have average people associate Israel with racism and apartheid.

By repeating the lies that Zionism is racism, Israel is an apartheid state, Israel must be boycotted for human rights abuses, and so on - over and over again - it makes an impression on college students and people who don't follow Israel closely.

When an artist boycotts Israel, it makes a huge impression on people who want to identify as supporting social justice.

When an academic group calls to boycott Israel, it puts an aura of respectability on hating Israel.
BDS is a tactic, it is not a movement whose goal is to remake Israel as the previous boycott movement was capable of forcing change on the level it did with South Africa.

And the strategy behind that tactic is publicity.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Is There Anyone From J Street Who ISN'T A Co-Founder of If Not Now?

Just asking.

It seems there are various former members of J Street, some who served in leadership positions, who are now involved in If Not Now -- and some of them are apparently founding members.

For example:

Max Berger

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

IfNotNow Plans To "Bird Dog" US Presidential Candidates

This post originally appeared on Elder of Ziyon on July 10, 2019

With the presidential campaign heating up and Democratic support for Israel apparently ebbing, the radical left-wing group IfNotNow has now reformed itself as a 501(c)(4) and is out raising money.

More importantly, IfNotNow has a new goal:
“Our focus is going to be trying to push the candidates past giving lip-service to a two-state solution,” said IfNotNow co-founder Emily Mayer, “without recognizing the underlying dynamics and explicit moves by the Israel government that are creating a one-state reality where Palestinians are denied basic rights.”

The organization is also taking a page out of the playbook of groups such as Black Lives Matter and the American Civil Liberties Union: It plans to “bird-dog” presidential candidates at public events to create viral moments and prod the Democratic Party leftward on the issue of Israel.
In a MoveOn.org PDF on how to do bird-dogging, MoveOn.org describes it as

Monday, August 26, 2019

Its Another Round of Omar-Tlaib vs Trump -- And Jews Are Caught In The Middle

We've seen that Trump is determined to paint the Democratic party as the party of AOC, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

With the latest blowup over Israel banning Omar and Tlaib from entering the country -- Trump, Omar and Tlaib are at it again, but this time with not only Israel, but also the American Jewish community itself caught in the middle.

Yet some of the themes and some of the accusations being cast back and forth seemed oddly familiar, with a certain double standard being applied.

This is especially apparent on Twitter.

What You Need To Know About J-Street's "Birthright" Style Trip

This post originally appeared on Elder of Ziyon on July 4, 2019


The Birthright program is often in the news, mainly because of the tremendous work it does to strengthen the Jewish sense of identity of young Jews by creating the opportunity for them to visit Israel for free.

The Birthright trips have expanded over the years and now you can choose your own theme/itinerary:
  • Active: Dive-in to the ultimate outdoor adventure and get ready to hike, bike, and climb your way through Israel
  • Professional: Delve deeper into your professional industry by experiencing the best of Israel through an occupational lens
  • Culinary: Savor the flavor of Mediterranean cuisine and develop your palate and culinary skills alongside some of Israel's finest chefs
  • Spiritual: Embark on a meaningful quest through mystical Israel. Connect with the land, the people and yourself
  • Cultural: Get lost in Israel's thriving city centers and explore music, theatre and award-winning film
  • LGBTQ: Join like-minded peers on a curated tour of Israel's thriving LGBTQ culture
  • Study Abroad: Make the country your classroom and travel Israel for 12-14 days. You will experience all the best parts of our Classic trip and master a topic of your choosing earning 3 credits in the process
The goal of Birthright is

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

What Do Ordinary Palestinians Think About The Bahrain Economic Vision?

Inon Dan Kehati leads a group known as The Home, a grassroots organization promoting peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, working on the inside, with the people who are directly and personally affected. They see the problems blocking efforts towards peace created by outside interference of self-appointed peace envoys and promises of money coming from the United States and the European Union -- money that ends up lining the pockets of the Palestinian Authority.

And now they see Jared Kushner's peace plan, or at least the economic part of it: Peace To Prosperity
Kushner claims that the Palestinian Arabs have no reason not to trust Trump.

But is that true?

Monday, June 24, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Doing Her Part For Holocaust Education

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez certainly isn't the only one jumping at the chance to make absurd comparisons to the Holocaust:


But then again, this is not the first time Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has done this.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Sure, Joe Biden Is Friendly, But Is He A Friend of Israel?

How do we judge if someone -- especially a politician -- is a friend of Israel?

Putting aside the political exclamations, a key component is the actual support for Israel, beyond just words. After all, Nixon -- who is recognized as having been an antisemite -- nevertheless came to Israel's aid during the Yom Kippur War. He is arguably the US president who first articulated the policy of seeing Israel as a key ally in the Middle East, a policy that continues till today.

Nixon wasn't particularly friendly to Jews, but he was a friend of Israel.
Compare him with Donald Trump, whom Democrats accuse of trafficking in antisemitic tropes.

Better yet, compare Nixon to Joe Biden.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Who won the weekend mini-war in Gaza?

When wars -- and even battles -- are over, we naturally ask: who won?
Normally, victory brings with it the acquisition of advantages like increased power and land, while losing brings not only a certain degree of humiliation, but also surrendering land and control.
And stalemates -- those often bring recriminations and political headaches, especially when you are more powerful and are expected to win.

Over the years, wars between Israel and Hamas have brought a series of ceasefires with each side claiming victory:
  • Operation Summer Rains / Operation Autumn Clouds (2006)
  • Operation Cast Lead (2008–2009)
  • Operation Pillar of Defense (2012)
  • Operation Protective Edge (2014)
And now, another clash -- one that wasn't even given a name.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

The ADL Opposes Racism, But Meets With a Racist

On Sunday, The ADL's Jonathan Greenblatt joined in the furor over The New York Times' antisemitic cartoon -- and Greenblatt didn't hold back.

Greenblatt warned against normalizing vile antisemitism

Greenblatt went further, calling out The New York Times for "a moral failing of major proportions" -- and the need for accountability and action

Monday, March 18, 2019

Bernie Sanders: A Jewish Progressive Without A Lock On Either The Jewish Or The Progressive Vote

The 2020 Presidential elections are still well over a year away, but the field of candidates on the Democratic side rivals the size of the field of Republican candidates running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

And one of the leading candidates is Bernie Sanders.

photo
Bernie Sanders. (Public Domain)

He has the name recognition.
He has the war chest.
He has the experience that comes from campaigning in 2016.

For our purposes, the question is where does Sanders stand on the issue of Israel?

How Arafat Helped Establish Israel As The Major US Ally In The Middle East That It Is Today

Richard Nixon's antisemitism did not prevent him from coming to Israel's aid in 1973 and resupplying it with the weapons that enabled it to win the war.

But beyond that, Nixon may be responsible for the enduring US foreign policy that sees
  • The value of a strong Israel
  • Israel as solid US ally in Mideast
  • Israel as important for Mideast stability
photo
Richard Nixon. Source: National Archives. Public Domain


Ilhan Omar Has A History Of Breaking Rules On Donations of "Benjamins"

Ilhan Omar was at the center of the news last week, amidst her antisemitic tweets and her attack on Elliott Abrams.

Yet despite what her tweets condemning AIPAC and her false claim that it pays off government officials, Omar's own history of violating and abusing the rules governing receiving money -- and having to return it -- has received scant attention.

In July last year, The Daily Caller reported, Democratic Congressional Hopeful Forced To Return College Speaking Fees

Is 'Democratic Majority for Israel' Intended To Clean Up J Street's Mess?

Get the popcorn: J Street is getting some competition.

The Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) is a new group, presenting itself as "the pro-Israel voice of Democrats."
How new is DMFI?
So new, that when I did a search by name to find their website -- it showed up at the bottom of the first page of hits -- and that was a paid advertised link.

Here is their introductory video:

Friday, March 01, 2019

UNRWA Has No Basis For Creating Generations of Palestinian Arab Refugees

One of the most controversial issues surrounding how UNRWA does business is its fast-and-loose definition of refugees, which has kept expanding over the years.

When UN General Assembly Resolution 393 was passed on December 2, 1950, endorsing UNRWA's purpose, it clearly stated:
[T]he reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement, is essential in preparation for the time when international assistance is no longer available, and for the realization of conditions of peace and stability in the area
UNRWA's job was to either repatriate refugees, where possible -- or to resettle them elsewhere, with the realization and acknowledgment that the money was not going to last forever.

But that goal was only good for about 10 years.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Women's March Is Not The First To Be Hurt By Its Association With Farrakhan

It's common to think that Farrakhan's poisonous Antisemitic rhetoric carries no consequences with it.
  • There are no condemnations from African American leaders.
  • Politicians show no reluctance to appear with him
  • Community leaders in general do not condemn his Anti-Jewish attacks
  • Farrakhan is a popular leader among African Americans
That is why the backlash against Women's March is so surprising.

Apart from the Antisemitism of the Women's March leadership itself, as documented by Tablet Magazine and The New York Times, their ties to Louis Farrakhan and their refusal to condemn his ongoing Antisemitic attacks have been a stain on that movement.

But historically, the Women's March is not alone in bearing the consequences of the albatross that is Louis Farrakhan.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tell The Leaders of The Women's March: Jews Were Not Always Considered "White" In The US

Finally, the media has begun to take the issue of Antisemitism in The Women's March seriously.

A turning point was the article Is The Women's March Melting Down featured on Tablet. In one of the key passages, a conflict during a meeting of some of the leaders is described:
“Tamika [Mallory] told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika. But then I noticed the energy in the room changed. I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa [Wruble], who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’ I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.

Tamika Mallory Is A Disciple of Sharpton As Well As Farrakhan -- And It Shows

Since Tamika Mallory's connection to, and adoration of, Antisemite Louis Farrakhan is well known, her Antisemitic attacks on Jews and Israel -- and her recent refusal to address those concerns -- are not surprising.


But she is also a disciple of Al Sharpton. Mallory joined the staff of Sharpton's National Action Network when she was 15 and later became its youngest-ever executive director.

Abbasonomics: Terrorism Beats Drug Running Hands Down

In the book Freakonomics, one chapter deals with the question "Why do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms?" In providing an answer, the book touches on the sensitive relationship between drug gangs and the communities they live in. One particularly sensitive area is the murder of gang members and how it affects the expenses of drug gangs:
The miscellaneous expenses also include the costs associated with a gang member's murder. The gang not only paid for the funeral but often gave a stipend of up to three years' wages to the victim's family. Venkatesh had once asked why the gang was so generous in this regard. "That's a f****** stupid question," he was told, "'cause as long as you been with us, you still don't understand that their families is our families. We can't just leave 'em out. We been knowing these folks our whole lives, man so we grieve when they grieve. You got to respect the family." There was another reason for the death benefits: the gang reared community backlash (its enterprise was plainly a destructive one) and figured it could buy some goodwill for a few hundred dollars here and there. [pp 101-2]

Monday, January 21, 2019

Jewish Voice for Peace: Sloppy With Facts, But Adept With Fabrications

Controversy is the bread and butter of radical left-wing anti-Israel groups. The key is to grab the headlines, whether it is by preventing pro-Israel speakers from speaking, attacking groups like Hillel and Birthright for an alleged lack of balance, or saying Kaddish for terrorists.

So it is really not all that surprising that often facts they claim to give are full of sloppiness and outright fabrications.

Take for instance Jewish Voice for Peace and their Jews From The Middle East Fact Sheet, which adopts both anti-Israel and pro-Arab narratives.

Malaysia: Israeli Paraplegics Not Welcome - But Hamas Terrorists Hold Their Own "Event" There

Malaysia is making news - at least in the Jewish media - for its refusal to allow Israeli participants into the Paralympic Swimming event it is hosting this year from July 29 to August 4. This has broader implications for Israel since this is a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

This is not even the first time Malaysia has blocked Israel from participating in a sports event.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Why Are Jews Being Drawn To Europe's Right Wing Parties?

One of Netanyahu's undeniable successes as Prime Minister of Israel is his ability to increase the circle of Israel's friends. Part of his agenda to improve Israel's ties with other countries is his outreach to Eastern Europe. For example, he has extended Israel's friendship to Viktor Orban, the far right Prime Minister of Hungary. More than pursuing some vague, abstract goal, Netanyahu's actions can be seen as an attempt to weaken the EU's hostile strategy against Israel.

For example, last December, Hungary abstained when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly rejected the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Hungary also joined the Czech Republic and Romania to block an EU statement criticizing the US for moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

For their part, right-wing Eastern European leaders get a hechsher, "kosher certification" from Netanyahu that protects them from accusations of being Antisemitic racists.

Now it appears that this wooing of Israel manifests itself not only on a global level but on a local level as well.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Rashida Tlaib Swears In on Thomas Jefferson's Koran -- But Why Did He Have One?

This week, Rashida Tlaib will be one of our first 2 Muslim congresswomen. Ilhan Omar is the other. Tlaib's swearing-in will be noteworthy because she will be sworn in using Thomas Jefferson's own copy of the Koran.

Tlaib, of course, will not be the first to use Jefferson's Koran for the swearing-in -- Keith Ellison used it, amidst all kinds of discussion and debate back in 2007. At the time, Ellison said his use of Jefferson's Koran
demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Koran.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Just How Do You Measure The Level Of Democracy In A Terrorist State?

In my last post, I wrote about the Democracy Index for 2017, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Looking at its evaluation of Israel gave an opportunity to contrast 2 very different views of what the index revealed about Israel.

But the Democracy Index also evaluates "Palestine" and Iran, for example

Which raises the question: How do those two jive with this description of "democracy," from the report?

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Israeli Democracy Defies Being Pigeonholed

With the passing of its Nation-State Law this year, the issue of Israel as a democracy continues to be a topic of debate, and at times becomes even more pointed.

But last week we were reminded that for all the debate and the claims that Israel was revealing its fascist colors, Israeli democracy is alive and well:



Has UNIFIL Forgotten What Its Mandate Is?

Last month, UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti was interviewed on an i24NEWS program called The Rundown. At one point, starting at 3:33 and extending to 4:40, Tenenti described just what UNIFIL's mandate is:



So, according to Tenenti:

  • UNIFIL's job is limited to monitoring
  • UNIFIL has no mandate to disarm Hezbollah
  • UNIFIL is not allowed to search private property
video screengrab
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti. Video screengrab


At first glance, Tenenti seems to be right.

Ken Roth Is Not An Expert In International Law - But He Plays One On Twitter

Ken Roth is entitled to his opinion.

And Ken Roth thinks the Israeli settlements are illegal.

So far, so good.

But Ken Roth is also the executive director of Human Rights Watch