Archive for the ‘Israel and human rights’ category

Fact-free Israel-bashing comes to Capitol Hill

July 21, 2017

Fact-free Israel-bashing comes to Capitol Hill, Washington ExaminerMaurice Hirsch, July 21, 2017

Last month, Capitol Hill became the site of an Israel-bashing event masquerading as a forum for children’s rights. The anticipated content was problematic enough that the sponsoring congressman, Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., attempted to keep his involvement hidden. After being outed by an investigative journalist, he did not attend the event.

One of the event organizers was the non-governmental organization (NGO) Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P). NGO Monitor, where I serve as a senior military justice consultant, has found that DCI-P has alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated a terrorist organization by the USEUCanada, and Israel.

At the event, DCI-P’s International Advocacy Officer Brad Parker gave a presentation based on a number of blatant distortions and outright lies regarding the Israeli military justice system.

For example, Parker declared that 2016 was the deadliest year for Palestinian minors, and that these deaths were solely the result of a change in Israel’s rules of engagement. Aside from the fact that this is just wrong with respect to new rules of engagement, this allegation omits some vital context.

From October 2015 to mid-2016, Palestinian minors engaged in hundreds of violent terror attacks. At least 45 minors – some as young as 13 – took part in 35 attempted and actual murders that killed 4 and injured 25. So yes, more minors were killed, but it was not due to a change in the rules of engagement. It was due to an increase in terrorist attacks by minors. When faced with a knife, gun, or explosive-wielding minor, what does Parker suggest that bystanders or security forces do?

This context notwithstanding, Parker also ignored an April 2016 International Committee of the Red Cross statement that “there are no shoot-to-kill orders of suspects by [the Israeli Defense Force], as some political elements tried to convince us…Rules of engagement have not changed, and became even stricter.”

Parker also distorted how criminal law is applied to Palestinian minors. He argued, for instance, that the criminal offense of stone throwing was specifically designed to permit the arrest of more Palestinian children. But in reality, stone-throwing is a deadly crime. It has killed Americans. This law applies in all territories under Israeli control, and it is likewise reflected in Israeli domestic law.

Similarly, Parker complains that minors have been arrested and convicted for membership in certain organizations. In his effort to make it seem like legitimate political activity is being criminalized, he avoided saying which organizations — Hamas, PFLP, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Unfortunately, minors are recruited into these illegal terrorist organizations.

Another brazen Parker distortion is his claim that Palestinian minors are being subjected to solitary confinement more frequently. The allegation appears to stem from Israel’s abiding by international standards and Israeli law in not placing minor and adult offenders in the same cells. When Israel separates minors from adult detainees, it becomes an excuse to claim an increase in solitary confinement.

DCI-P’s representative showed further legal ignorance when he alleged that 96 percent of minors interrogated are denied access to an attorney and that evidence gathered in breach of the rights of the children is still admissible in court. As an attorney, Parker must know that the Military Court applies the same rules of evidence that are applied in Israeli Civilian Courts. If a suspect, whether Palestinian or Israeli, is denied the right to consult a lawyer or is the subject of threats of physical violence, then any confession he gives can be declared inadmissible in court.

As the Israeli military’s Director of Prosecution in Judea and Samaria, I attempted to respond to claims by groups such as DCI-P that minors were not able to consult with a lawyer prior to their interrogation. I requested contact details so that I could provide information about cases of child offenders who had supposedly gone unrepresented. The groups refused.

The real question, then, is whether Parker and his DCI-P colleagues are truly looking out for children’s welfare, or whether they are simply members of another NGO operating under the guise of human rights in order to promote a political agenda.

Parker’s half-truths and blatant lies say much more about his organization and its agenda than they do about the Israeli military justice system.

Lt. Col. (res) Maurice Hirsch is Senior Military Justice Consultant at NGO Monitor. He served for 19 years in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps, including as Director of the Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria. Hirsch also led Israel’s talks with UNICEF on the subject of juvenile justice.

UNRWA recycles image of Syrian girl, now claims she is Gazan victim of Israel in fundraising campaign

June 3, 2017

UNRWA recycles image of Syrian girl, now claims she is Gazan victim of Israel in fundraising campaign, Jihad Watch, June 2, 2017

(The UN Rocket Warehousing Agency strikes again. Please see also, Gaza on the Brink. — DM)

Notice also that not only do they cynically reuse the photo, but they make up a whole tear-jerking story about little “Aya,” victim of Israeli oppression. Three years ago they used the identical picture as a girl standing in bombed-out Damascus.

Two primary lessons:

  1. The UNRWA is a viciously corrupt and dishonest organization, bent on enabling the jihad against Israel and willing to lie brazenly in the process.
  2. There is so little actual oppression of the “Palestinians” that images from elsewhere have to be used to demonize the Israelis.

Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, said that the U.S. would fight against the demonization of Israel at the UN. Why is the UN receiving even a penny of U.S. funding at this point?

“UNRWA fakes Gaza girl campaign with image of bombed-out Damascus,” UN Watch, June 2, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

GENEVA, June 2, 2017 – UN Watch today demanded that UNRWA chief Pierre Krahenbuhl apologize for using fake images of a girl in a bombed-out Syria building in a major global campaign to raise money for the organization by pretending the girl is a Gaza victim of Israeli actions.

UNRWA is now running the above photo on Facebook and Twitter ads. It is also now UNRWA’s cover image.

Imagine being cut off from the world – for your whole life. That’s reality for children like Aya. The blockade of Gaza began when she was a baby, the occupation in the West Bank before her parents were born. Now she is eleven, and the blockade goes on.

Aya’s childhood memories are of conflict and hardship, walls she cannot escape, and the fear that the only home she knows, however tiny, could be gone when she returns from school.

This Ramadan, please help support children like Aya who have known nothing but conflict and hardship. Donate here: http://buff.ly/2qgsP0Y#forPalestinerefugees

Yet neither the girl nor the bombed-out building are in Gaza; it’s an old photo from Syria, dating apparently to 2014.

Here is UNRWA tweeting the original image in a January 2015 story on Syria:

The photo also appeared on other UNRWA Syria pages, here, here, and here, an UNRWA report in which the caption reads:

A young girl stands in the rubble of Qabr Essit, near Damascus. In 2014, UNRWA was able begin rebuilding facilities within the neighbourhood, including a school and community centre © 2014 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad

Towards the pending Abbas visit to Washington D.C.

April 19, 2017

Towards the pending Abbas visit to Washington D.C., Israel National News, David Bedein, April 17, 2017

(Please see also, UNRWA Won’t Be Changing School Textbooks and Curriculum. — DM)

With President Donald Trump set to greet Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, at the White House on May 3rd, the time has come to examine how the US allowed the PLO to  trample upon ten US government PLO policy guidelines, and to examine what the current US administration can do to see to it that the PLO does not trample on Trump.

The US recognized the PLO during  the final month of the Reagan administration December 1988, on the condition that the PLO would recognize UN resolution 242, which required the PLO to  recognize the right of every nation to secure boundaries  – especially Israel . The PLO immediately ignored this requirements for US recognition.

It is not too late for the US to ask the PLO, under the aegis of the Palestinian Authority, to recognize UN resolution 242, which it has yet to do.

The US acted as  a witness and guarantor of the PLO/Israel Oslo Accords, signed on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993. Known as the DOP, “The Declaration of Principles”, it spelled out mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO, and the formal denunciation of violence and terror. The DOP was premised on its ratification by the Israeli Knesset and by the central committee of the PLO. The Israeli Knesset ratified the DOP on Sept, 26, 1993, by a vote of 61 to 50, with nine abstentions. The PLO central committee was set to meet in Tunis to ratify the DOP on October 6, 1993. However, the one Israeli correspondent dispatched to Tunis to witness the PLO ratification, Pinhas Inbari, on the staff of the left wing newspaper Al HaMishmar, reported from Tunis that the PLO chairman announced that he could not get a quorum of the PLO to attend, so the PLO Central Committee did not convene to ratify the DOP.

It is not too late for the US, as witness and guarantor of the Oslo Accord, to insist the PLO, through the aegis of the PA, ratify the DOP.  Otherwise, the agreement between Israel and the PLO does not hold water.

US law allowed the PLO, all of whose components were designated by the US law as FTOs, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, to open an embassy in D.C. and allowed the PLO to dispatch representatives to the USA, but only if PLO would cancel the PLO Covenant, the document which defined the purpose of the PLO:  To replace and destroy the State of Israel. The PNC, the PLO National Council, met in special session on April 24, 1996, with the stated purpose that this session would renounce and cancel the PLO Covenant. The PLO, at that session, filmed by the Institute for Peace Education Ltd, only announced the formation of a committee to consider changes in the PLO Covenant.

A video and protocol of the session was sent to the US embassy in Tel Aviv, and to the US Congress. Prof. Yehoshua Porat, expert on the PLO and a candidate of  the left wing Meretz party for the Knesset, reviewed the video and protocols of the PNC session, and affirmed that the PLO had not cancelled the PLO Covenant.  The US embassy in Tel Aviv, however, ignored what had actually transpired at the PNC, and instead reported to the White House and to the US Congress that the PLO had fulfilled the requirements of US law with the cancellation of the PLO Covenant, allowing the US to roll out a red carpet to welcome PLO chairman Yassir Arafat as a dignitary in Washington one week later. The PLO was allowed to open an official embassy , which has functioned ever since, conditional on the US President signing a waiver every six months which extends the non- terror status of the PLO.

It is not too late for the US to insist the head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority call the PNC into a special session to cancel the PLO covenant, as required by US law, before Abbas enters the White House on May 3rd, 2017.  Otherwise, the entry of Abbas to the US represents a challenge to US law.

As an integral part of the US Aid package to the Palestinian Authority, the US funds PA schools which instituted a war education curriculum, despite US objections. That PA curriculum does not prepare Palestinian Arab children to live in state alongside Israel. That curriculum indoctrinates all Palestinian Arab children to conduct a Jihad to liberate Palestine, all of what they considere Palestine, with no attempt to train the next generation for peace with Israel.

It is not too late for the US to demand an overhaul of PA education to prepare the next generation for peace.

US law forbids any agency that receives funds from the US from placing members of a designate FTO  – a foreign terrorist organization — on the payroll of  a US government funded entity. Yet the US funded UNRWA schools, which openly employ members and even leaders of HAMAS, putting them on the payroll. UNRWA, which now receives $400 million of its 1.2 billion dollar budget from the US, has ignored US directives to remove Hamas from the UNRWA  payroll.  And when UNRWA has removed some Hamas leaders from the UNRWA payroll, they simple return as senior employees  of UNRWA.

It is not too late for the US, as the leading donor of UNRWA, to insist that UNRWA fire members and leaders of Hamas who receive salaries from UNWRA – especially Hamas teachers, who dominate the Gaza UNRWA teachers union. Elections are imminent.

It is not too late for the US to reverse its decision to force Hamas into the PA electoral process.

The US helped to create the  PSF, the Palestinian Security Force of the Palestinian Authority. However, the US embassy and US State department have ignored all inquiries challenging the PSF inclusion of Palestinian terror organizations which have never demonstrated any peaceful intentions, to say the least.

It is not too late for the US to ask the PSF to remove  Palestinian terror groups from its ranks.

The US enacted the  Koby Mandell act which requires the US to pursue and prosecute thoe who maim or kill US citizens abroad. Until the inauguration of President Trump, the US would not enforce the act concerning American citizens attacked  in Israel by terrorists. The new Trump administration has begun to file indictments of terrorists who murdered US citizens in Israel.

It is not too late, Trump has demonstrated, for the US government to enforce the Koby Mandell act.

The US established an office in the US State Department to monitor anti Semitism in 2008. However, that office has  refused to examine PA anti-Semitism. While there are rumors that Trump will not renew funding for the US office that tracks anti-Semitism, it is not too late for the US to examine the tentacles of official Palestinian Authority ant-Semitism which can be tracked world- wide.

The US created a special commission to form a Palestinian Authority constitution. However, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi , the late Vatican official who examined the draft of the proposed PA constitution, and reported to the US, wrote  that the current PA constitution, which would form the basis of PA law in a Palestinian Arab state, does not allow for any  juridical status of  any religion other than Islam. Futhermore,  the Papal Nuncio  warned that the proposed US-funded PA constitution was  based on the strict Sharia law used in Saudi Arabia, and not on a more tolerant Sharia law that Archbishop Sambi had witnessed in  his earlier postings in Indonesia and Bangladesh.

It is not too late for the US government to reconsider the nature of jurisprudence that would exist in any kind of future Palestinian Arab entity.

UN Watch Fires Back at Countries Accusing Israel of Abuses, ‘Where are your Jews?

March 24, 2017

UN Watch Fires Back at Countries Accusing Israel of Abuses, ‘Where are your Jews? Washington Free Beacon, March 24, 2017

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer shot back at countries accusing Israel of apartheid and violence against Palestinians, asking them where the Jewish populations in their countries have gone.

During a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, several Middle Eastern countries took turns bashing Israel, saying that it has imposed apartheid and violence against Palestinians. A Palestinian representative was joined by Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in criticizing Israel.

Neuer was then recognized to respond to the accusations from the representatives, as well as those from a UN report.

“Everything we just heard, from the world’s worst abusers of human rights, of women’s rights, of freedom of religion, of the press, of assembly, of speech, is absolutely false and indeed Orwellian,” Neuer said.

As Neuer went to defend Israel, the Palestinian representative attempted to make a point of order as he tried to silence Neuer’s rebuttal. Egypt and Pakistan joined the protest by the Palestinians. Neuer was allowed to continue.

“Israel’s 1.5 million Arabs, whatever challenges they face, enjoy full rights to vote and to be elected in the Knesset, they work as doctors and lawyers, they serve on the Supreme Court,” Neuer said.

Neuer then went directly after Israel’s accusers.

“How many Jews live in your countries? How many Jews lived in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco?” Neuer pointed out. “Once upon a time, the Middle East was full of Jews.”

Neuer went through a list of those countries asking, “Where are your Jews?” after stating how many Jews used to live there.

“Where is the apartheid, Mr. President?” Neuer asked.

“Why are we meeting today on an agenda item singling out only one state, the Jewish state, for targeting? Where is the apartheid, Mr. President?” Neuer said.

For a substantial amount of time following Neuer’s remarks, the council was silent.

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel

January 13, 2017

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel, Gatestone InstituteGuy Millière, January 13, 2017

(Please see also, Israel is the legal occupant of the West Bank, says the Court of Appeal of Versailles. — DM)

President Obama’s decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council and to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem — home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount — the most sacred place in Judaism — “occupied Palestinian territory,” and is a declaration of war against Israel.

Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing — not even an insincere promise of peace.

The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

In this new “Dreyfus trial,” the accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the OIC and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict has been decided before it even starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available.

The declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines — thereby instituting apartheid. It also praises the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for returning of millions of so-called “refugees” to Israel, thus transforming Israel into an Arab Muslim state where a massacre of Jews could conveniently be organized.

The declaration is most likely meant serve as the basis for a new Security Council resolution on January 17 that would recognize a Palestinian state inside the “1967 borders,” and be adopted, thanks to a second US abstention, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

The US Congress is already discussing bills to defund the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans think that the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

Khaled Abu Toameh noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more murders and violence.

Daniel Pipes recently wrote that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a “peace process” that is really a war process. He stresses that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated.

Resolution 2334 and the Paris conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye’or wrote, simply a victory for jihad.

The Middle East is in chaos. More than half a million people have been killed in the Syrian war and the number is rising. Bashar al-Assad’s army used chemical weapons and barrel bombs against civilians; Russia has bombed schools and hospitals.

Syrians, Christians, Yazidis, Libyans, Yemenis and Egyptians all face lethal treats. Iranian leaders still shout “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” while buying nuclear equipment with money from lifted sanctions. Turkey is sliding toward an Islamist dictatorship, and unable to stem attacks against it.

The only democratic and stable country in the region is Israel, and that is the country U.S. President Barack Obama, in the final weeks of his term, chooses to incriminate. His decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council, to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution also declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount — the most sacred place in Judaism — “occupied Palestinian territory,” and is a declaration of war against Israel.

UNSC Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations, by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing — not even an insincere promise of peace. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech five days later confirmed Obama’s support for the resolution. Kerry, like US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, used the existence of Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria as a pretext to endorse the position of Palestinian leaders, who want to ethnically cleanse Jews from these areas. But this was just a prelude.

The next act is the Orwellian-named “peace conference,” to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

Organized by François Hollande, a failed French President who will leave power in four months, it was supported from the start by the Obama administration. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called it “the new Dreyfus trial.” The accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict is known before it starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned to what its accusers hope will be the beginning of its end.

2208Is Barack Obama planning another betrayal of Israel at next week’s Paris “peace conference,” organized by French President François Hollande? Pictured: Obama and Hollande in Washington, May 18, 2012. (Image source: White House)

Some commentators have compared what will happen in Paris to the 1942 Wannsee Conference in Nazi Germany, because the aim seems clearly to be the “final solution” of the “Jewish problem” in the Middle East. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available. It affirms unreserved support for the “Palestinian Statehood strategy” and the principle of intangibility (that the borders cannot be modified) of the “1967 borders,” including East Jerusalem, the Old City and the Western Wall.

The draft declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond these borders — thereby instituting apartheid — and praises the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for returning millions of so-called “refugees” to Israel, and thus the transforming of Israel into an Arab Muslim state — where a massacre of the Jews could conveniently be organized.

The declaration is most likely meant to be the basis for a new UN Security Council resolution that would endorse the recognition of a Palestinian state in the “1967 borders” as defined in the declaration. The new resolution could be adopted by a second US abstention at the Security Council on January 17, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

On January 20, however, Donald J. Trump is to take office as President of the United States. Trump sent a message on December 23: “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” He added explicitly that the U.S. “cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.”

On January 5, the US House of Representatives approved a text harshly criticizing Resolution 2334. Congress is already discussing defunding the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans and members of UN think the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens recently wondered if the creation of a Palestinian state would alleviate the current Middle East chaos. His answer was that it would not, and that the creation of a Palestinian state would be seen as a victory for jihadists. He also noted that the Palestinian Authority still behaves like a terrorist entity; that an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would encourage Hamas and lead to the creation of another terrorist Islamic state in the West Bank, and that an Israeli withdrawal is something that most Palestinians do not even want:

“[A] telling figure came in a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state.”

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab journalist who has never yet been wrong, noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more violence, murders and confrontation. He added that if presidential elections by the PA were held today, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would win by a comfortable margin.

In another important article, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes writes that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a “peace process” that is really a war process. He stressed that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated. He predicts that for peace to come, Israel must win unambiguously, and the Palestinians pass through “the bitter crucible of defeat, with all its deprivation, destruction, and despair.”

Jihadi indoctrination, as well as the financial aid given to Palestinian terrorists, have been paid for by the United States, France, and other Western European nations. That too should stop.

Resolution 2334 and the Paris peace conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye’or wrote, simply victories for jihad.

The IDF’s New Social Contract

January 6, 2017

The IDF’s New Social Contract, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, January 6, 2016

flickr_-_israel_defense_forces_-_karakal_winter_training_1

Azaria is the first victim of a General Staff that has decided to cease serving as the people’s army and serve instead as B’Tselem’s army. The call now spreading through the Knesset for Azaria to receive a presidential pardon, while certainly reasonable and desirable, will likely fail to bring about his freedom. For a pardon request to reach President Reuven Rivlin’s desk, it first needs to be stamped by Eisenkot.

A pardon for Azaria would go some way toward repairing the damage the General Staff has done to its relationship with the public. But from Eisenkot’s behavior this week, it is apparent that he feels no need and has no interest in repairing that damage.

******************************

Sgt. Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter Wednesday for shooting a terrorist in Hebron last March, is a symptom of what may be the most dangerous threat to Israeli society today.

Azaria, a combat medic from the Kfir Brigade, arrived at the scene of an attack where two terrorists had just stabbed his comrades. One of the terrorists was killed, the other was wounded and lying on the ground, his knife less than a meter away from him.

A cameraman from the foreign-funded, Israeli- registered anti-Israel pressure group B’Tselem filmed Azaria removing his helmet and shooting the wounded terrorist. According to the military judges, the film was the centerpiece of the case against him.

The day of the incident, the General Staff reacted to the B’Tselem film with utter hysteria. Led by Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s generals competed to see who could condemn Azaria most harshly.

For the public, though, the issue wasn’t so cut and dry. Certainly Azaria didn’t act like a model soldier. It was clear, for instance, that he acted without proper authority and that his action was not permitted under the rules of engagement then in effect in Hebron.

But unlike the IDF’s senior leadership, the public believed that the fact that it was B’Tselem that produced the film meant that it had to be viewed with a grain of salt.

The name “B’Tselem” was seared into the public’s consciousness as an organization hostile to Israel and dedicated to causing it harm with the publication of the UN’s Goldstone Commission Report in 2009. Among the Israeli-registered groups that provided materials to the biased UN commission charged with finding Israel guilty of war crimes during the course of Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in late 2008 and early 2009, B’Tselem made the greatest contribution.

The Goldstone Report cited B’Tselem as the source for its slanderous “findings” 56 times.

After the UN published the Goldstone Report, Michael Posner, the US assistant secretary of state for human rights, visited Israel and met with Jessica Montell, B’Tselem’s executive director at the time.

The US Embassy’s official report of their meeting was published by WikiLeaks.

During their meeting, Montell told Posner that her group’s goal in providing the Goldstone Commission with materials was to force the government to pay a heavy price for its decision to fight Hamas, by criminalizing Israel in the court of world opinion.

As B’Tselem saw it, Israel needed to come to the point where it would consider whether it could “afford another operation like this.”

Montell explained that from B’Tselem’s perspective the root of the problem with Israel is the Israeli public. The public is the source of Israel’s bad behavior, according to B’Tselem, because it “had zero tolerance for IDF killed.” As far as the public is concerned, she said, harm to Palestinian civilians is preferable to harm to IDF soldiers.

Since, in B’Tselem’s view, the public’s commitment to the lives of its soldiers meant that it would not constitute a “moral check on war,” and check the bellicosity of IDF commanders, it fell to B’Tselem to make the IDF brass and the government care more about world opinion than they care about what the public thinks.

The public’s condemnation of B’Tselem after its role in compiling the Goldstone Commission’s libelous accusations against the IDF was made public made no impression whatsoever on the group.

Following Operation Protective Edge in 2014, B’Tselem’s materials were cited 67 times by the report of the biased UN commission put together to slander Israel.

In 2007, B’Tselem launched its “Camera Program.”

The camera initiative involved providing video cameras to B’Tselem employees and volunteers in Judea and Samaria in order to document the actions of Israeli security forces and civilians in the areas.

In many cases, the videos B’Tselem produced distorted reality for the purpose of criminalizing both groups.

For instance, in 2011, B’Tselem gave a film to Ynet’s Elior Cohen that purported to show Israeli police brutally arresting a young Palestinian boy and preventing his mother from coming to the police station with him.

But as CAMERA showed at the time, B’Tselem’s portrayal of events was fanciful at best. In all likelihood, the event was staged by the B’Tselem photographer.

At the outset of the film the boy is unseen as he throws rocks at a police van. The boy is first seen as he runs toward the B’Tselem camerawoman. For her part, the camerawoman screams at the police and identifies herself as from B’Tselem.

The police are shown asking the boy’s mother repeatedly to join them in the car. As she stands poised to enter the vehicle, a Palestinian man is shown telling her in Arabic not to go.

In July 2016, B’Tselem released a film taken in Hebron during an attempted stabbing attack by a female Palestinian terrorist against Israel police at a security checkpoint outside the Cave of the Patriarchs.

The police reported that the terrorist tried to stab a policewoman who was checking her in an inspection room. Another policewoman shot and killed her.

B’Tselem claimed that its film proved that the female terrorist was shot for no reason. But the fact is that it does no such thing. As NGO Monitor noted, the B’Tselem film neither contradicts nor proves the police’s version of events.

Over the years, the public’s growing awareness of B’Tselem’s unwavering hostility went hand in hand with its growing distress over what was perceived as the IDF’s willingness to sacrifice the safety of troops to prevent it from receiving bad press.

For instance, in 2012, a film went viral on social media that showed a platoon of combat engineers fleeing from a mob of Palestinians attacking with rocks, Molotov cocktails and slingshots.

When questioned by reporters, the soldiers said that they had repeatedly asked their battalion commander for permission to use force to disperse the crowd and they were repeatedly denied permission.

Retreat was their only option.

In 2015, another film went viral showing a group of Palestinian women hitting and screaming at a soldier trying to arrest one of them for throwing rocks at his platoon. He did nothing as he absorbed the blows. And no harm came to the women who assaulted him.

Along with the films, came stories that soldiers on leave told their friends and family about the IDF’s rules of engagement. The tales were always the same. The rules of engagement are so restrictive that all initiative is placed in the hands of the enemy. Not only can terrorists attack at will. They can flee afterward and expect that no harm will come to them, because what is most important, the soldiers explain, is to ensure that IDF maintains its reputation as the most moral army in the world.

This was the context in which Azaria killed the wounded terrorist.

Although the headlines relate to Azaria, and his family members have become familiar faces on the news, the fact is the reason the Azaria affair was the biggest story of the year is that it really has very little to do with him.

There are three forces driving the story.

First of course, there is B’Tselem.

B’Tselem’s produced the film to advance its goal of obliging Israel’s national leadership, including the IDF brass, to care more about “world opinion” than about the opinion of Israeli citizens.

Second then, is the pubic that cares more about the lives of IDF soldiers than about what the world thinks of it.

Finally, there is the IDF General Staff that is being forced to pick which side it stands with.

Since Israel was established nearly 70 years ago, the relationship between the IDF and the public has been based on an often unstated social contract.

From the public’s side, Israel’s citizens agree to serve in the IDF and risk their lives in its service.

Moreover, they agree to allow their children to serve in the military and to be placed in harm’s way.

From the IDF’s side, the commanders agree to view the lives of their soldiers as sacrosanct, and certainly as more precious than the lives of the enemy and the enemies’ society.

The third side is the General Staff. In the years leading up to the Azaria affair the generals were already showing disturbing signs of forgetting their contract with the public.

The films of fleeing soldiers and the rules of engagement weren’t the only signs of our military leadership’s estrangement.

There were also the promotions given to radical lawyers to serve in key positions in the Military Advocate-General’s unit, and the red carpet treatment given to radical leftist groups like B’Tselem that were dedicated to criminalizing soldiers and commanders.

Since the shooting in Hebron, the General Staff’s treatment of the public has become even more disdainful.

Ya’alon and Eisenkot and his generals have repeatedly offended the public with comparisons of “IDF values” with alleged processes of barbarization, Nazification and ISIS-ization of the public by the likes of Azaria and his supporters.

If there was a specific moment where the military brass abandoned its compact with society once and for all, it came on Tuesday, the day before the military court convicted Azaria of manslaughter. In a speech that day, Eisenkot insisted that IDF soldiers are not “our children.” They are grownups and they are required to obey the orders they receive.

By making this statement the day before the verdict in a case that pitted society against the General Staff, which sided with B’Tselem, Eisenkot told us that the General Staff no longer feels itself obligated by a sacred compact with the people of Israel.

Azaria is the first victim of a General Staff that has decided to cease serving as the people’s army and serve instead as B’Tselem’s army. The call now spreading through the Knesset for Azaria to receive a presidential pardon, while certainly reasonable and desirable, will likely fail to bring about his freedom. For a pardon request to reach President Reuven Rivlin’s desk, it first needs to be stamped by Eisenkot.

A pardon for Azaria would go some way toward repairing the damage the General Staff has done to its relationship with the public. But from Eisenkot’s behavior this week, it is apparent that he feels no need and has no interest in repairing that damage.

As a result, it is likely that Azaria will spend years behind bars for killing the enemy.

Moreover, if nothing forces Eisenkot and his generals to their senses, Azaria will neither be the last nor the greatest victim of their betrayal of the public’s trust.

Why the Anti-Israeli Sentiment?

January 5, 2017

Why the Anti-Israeli Sentiment? Town HallVictor Davis Hanson, January  5, 2017

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Secretary of State John Kerry, echoing other policymakers in the Obama administration, blasted Israel last week in a 70-minute rant about its supposedly self-destructive policies.

Why does the world — including now the U.S. — single out liberal and lawful Israel but refrain from chastising truly illiberal countries?

Kerry has never sermonized for so long about his plan to solve the Syrian crisis that has led to some 500,000 deaths or the vast migrant crisis that has nearly wrecked the European Union.

No one in this administration has shown as much anger about the many thousands who have been killed and jailed in the Castro brothers’ Cuba, much less about the current Stone Age conditions in Venezuela or the nightmarish government of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, an ally nation.

President Obama did not champion the cause of the oppressed during the Green Revolution of 2009 in Iran. Did Kerry and Obama become so outraged after Russia occupied South Ossetia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine?

Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was never so impassioned over the borders of Chinese-occupied Tibet, or over Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

In terms of harkening back to the Palestinian “refugee” crisis that started in the late 1940s, no one talks today in similar fashion about the Jews who survived the Holocaust and walked home, only to find that their houses in Eastern Europe were gone or occupied by others. Much less do we recall the 11 million German civilians who were ethnically cleansed from Eastern Europe in 1945 by the Soviets and their imposed Communist governments. Certainly, there are not still “refugee” camps outside Dresden for those persons displaced from East Prussia 70 years ago.

More recently, few nations at the U.N. faulted the Kuwaiti government for the expulsion of 200,000 Palestinians after the liberation of Kuwait by coalition forces in 1991.

Yet on nearly every issue — from “settlements” to human rights to the status of women — U.N. members that routinely violate human rights target a liberal Israel.

When President Obama entered office, among his first acts were to give an interview with the Saudi-owned news outlet Al Arabiya championing his outreach to the mostly non-democratic Islamic world and to blast democratic Israel on “settlements.”

Partly, the reason for such inordinate criticism of Israel is sheer cowardice. If Israel had 100 million people and was geographically large, the world would not so readily play the bully.

Instead, the United Nations and Europe would likely leave it alone — just as they give a pass to human rights offenders such as Pakistan and Indonesia. If Israel were as big as Iran, and Iran as small as Israel, then the Obama administration would have not reached out to Iran, and would have left Israel alone.

Israel’s supposed Western friends sort out Israel’s enemies by their relative natural resources, geography and population — and conclude that supporting Israel is a bad deal in cost/benefit terms.

Partly, the criticism of Israel is explained by oil — an issue that is changing daily as both the U.S. and Israel cease to be oil importers.

Still, about 40 percent of the world’s oil is sold by Persian Gulf nations. Influential nations in Europe and China continue to count on oil imports from the Middle East — and make political adjustments accordingly.

Partly, anti-Israel rhetoric is due to herd politics.

The Palestinians — illiberal and reactionary on cherished Western issues like gender equality, homosexuality, religious tolerance and diversity — have grafted their cause to the popular campus agendas of race/class/gender victimization.

Western nations in general do not worry much about assorted non-Western crimes such as genocides, mass cleansings or politically induced famines. Instead, they prefer sermons to other Westerners as a sort of virtue-signaling, without any worries over offending politically correct groups.

Partly, the piling on Israel is due to American leverage over Israel as a recipient of U.S. aid. As a benefactor, the Obama administration expects that Israel must match U.S. generosity with obeisance. Yet the U.S. rarely gives similar “how dare you” lectures to less liberal recipients of American aid, such as the Palestinians for their lack of free elections.

Partly, the cause of global hostility toward Israel is jealousy. If Israel were mired in Venezuela-like chaos, few nations would care. Instead, the image of a proud, successful, Westernized nation as an atoll in a sea of self-inflicted misery is grating to many. And the astounding success of Israel bothers so many failed states that the entire world takes notice.

But partly, the source of anti-Israelism is ancient anti-Semitism.

If Israelis were Egyptians administering Gaza or Jordanians running the West Bank (as during the 1960s), no one would care. The world’s problem is that Israelis are Jews. Thus, Israel earns negative scrutiny that is never extended commensurately to others.

Obama and his diplomatic team should have known all this. Perhaps they do, but they simply do not care.

The golden double standard

November 23, 2016

The golden double standard, Israel Hayom, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, November 23, 2016

Benjamin Netanyahu, red-faced and happy, sits next to Donald Trump in a gold Roman-style litter. The ancient vehicle is being carried by big-nosed Orthodox Jews, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, a voluptuous woman and a few Israeli soldiers — marked with large Israeli flags on their chests. A speech bubble comes out of Netanyahu’s mouth, saying “Finally!”

The image I just described was published in Sweden’s largest-circulation daily paper, Dagens Nyheter, as a political cartoon, commenting on Trump’s victory in the American presidential election. It’s a bizarre mishmash of people and symbols, where IDF soldiers and a robed clansman are celebrating Trump side by side, and wildly stereotypical Orthodox Jews are hanging out with a pinup girl next to Israel’s security barrier. But the logical fail not withstanding, it reeks of anti-Semitic imagery and messaging, and it is the next step in normalizing something that has been underground for quite some time. One would assume the paper would realize this and issue a thorough apology. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the paper doubled down and defended the cartoon, saying that it was merited by the fact that Netanyahu celebrated Trump’s victory, despite Trump being supported by anti-democratic forces and white power movements. No mention of the fact that Netanyahu’s support of Trump extended only to the courtesy shown to a president-elect by any and every national leader or that Jews rarely stand shoulder to shoulder with the Klan, but just that Netanyahu “celebrated” Trump — as if the Israeli prime minister had thrown Trump an opulent party.

Dagens Nyheter calls itself an independent, liberal publication, and in the past year, it has taken a clear stand against Trump, saying he has made the world more extreme and xenophobic. Editor-in-Chief Peter Wolodarski has used his editorials to ride a very high moral horse, and his decision to run that particular cartoon is a fascinating portrait of the division between the right and wrong kinds of racism and bigotry.

What the cartoonist, known as “Bard,” is saying by this crude drawing is not only that the Jews and Israel orchestrated and celebrated the Trump win but also that the evil hook-noses side with anyone to get their way, including organizations known for wanting their annihilation.

Now, for the sake of entertainment and folly, let’s imagine another drawing: a cartoonish Barack Obama sitting in a golden carriage with a sweaty Mahmoud Abbas, being carried by big-nosed ISIS terrorists, voluptuous virgin brides and members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Imagine that it was published by a country’s most popular publication and that the editor-in-chief defended it by saying that Obama had been supportive of Abbas and therefore, the imagery was fair game.

Do any of you, dear readers, think this would happen? Does anyone think that if it did, it would be go largely unnoticed and accepted? No, me neither, and I know this because we have an example of this very thing. When Charlie Hebdo was attacked and journalists were murdered in cold blood over their criticism of Islam, people still said that the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad was inexcusable and unacceptable, and remained on the fence after the very heart of freedom had been ripped to bits. Famous writers such as Joyce Carol Oates, Junot Díaz and Michael Ondaatje protested Charlie Hebdo receiving the PEN award, and were supported by a wide array of liberals all across the globe who called the French satirical magazine racist.

So what is really fair game — what racism is allowed and celebrated in today’s society? We know that portraying Israel as the leader of a Zionist conspiracy that elects presidents is fine, as is literally painting anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews side by side with white supremacists in a dog whistle loud enough to give you tinnitus. That elicits a few angry and summarily ignored letters from Jews, whereas similar imagery and messaging about any other group might close down the publication, if it were to survive the inevitable terrorist attacks.

Some of my friends filed a complaint against Dagens Nyheter, but I didn’t bother, as it is the activist equivalent of drawing a picture of a sandwich to feed the starving. Our voices mean little when others stay silent, and it is because of this silence that the largest paper in the land can go full Der Sturmer and no one even bats an eye.

Israel in Wonderland

October 7, 2016

Israel in Wonderland, Algemeiner, Martin Sherman, October 7, 2016

obamaatfunderalUS President Barack Obama speaking at the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres on September 30. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

The demise of Shimon Peres unleashed a tidal wave of mendacity and hypocrisy that underscores the dominance the delusional dictates of political correctness have over political discourse in (and on) Israel…On Friday, the world proved that what it really wants is to embrace Israel. Oslo, the disengagement and Peres were enough for the world to carry Israel aloft…But Israel repeatedly bites the outstretched hand, pushes the world to detest it… — Gideon Levy, “Shimon Peres’ funeral proved that anti-Semitism is dead,” Haaretz, October 2, 2016.

…No Israeli government has made any efforts in the past decade to move the peace process forward… — Lior Ackerman, former division head of the Shin Bet, “Wanted: Two courageous leaders,” Jerusalem Post, October 3, 2016.

Alice in “Alice in Wonderland”

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It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change.

In the past two and half decades — almost a quarter-century — truth has always been, at best, incidental to much of the manner in which the political discourse in, and on, Israel has been conducted. More often than not, political truth was surrendered as sacrificial offerings on the altar of the omnipotent deity of political correctness — regardless of how far the precepts of the latter diverged from those of factual correctness.

Appeasement as a yardstick for statesmanship

However, in the past 10 days, since the sad demise of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, it seems the floodgates of falsehood and fabrication have been opened even wider than usual, resulting in a veritable deluge of drivel that distorts the nation’s past, disregards present perils it faces and dismisses its future prospects with prophesies of impending doom.

Every endeavor at appeasing Palestinian-Arab demands, no matter how gruesome the results it precipitated, was applauded as far-sighted statesmanship. Any show of resistance to such demands was disparaged as short-sighted political partisanship; any skepticism as to the consequences of complying with them was denigrated as narrow-minded nationalism; any warning that caution should be exercised before accepting them was disparaged as radical right-wing rejectionism; any suggestion that the risks entailed in acceding to them should be thoroughly assessed was dismissed as extremist scare-mongering.

On the one hand, the discourse has been dominated by an approach that insists on making future Israeli concessions — no matter how fruitless (indeed, counter-productive) past concessions have proven. Moreover, it persists in trivializing all past concessions — no matter how far-reaching these have been, and no matter how calamitous the consequences in which they have culminated. On the other hand, the intransigence of the Palestinian Arabs, and their naked Judeocidal bloodlust, whose lethal consequences have hitherto been constrained only by the physical limitation on their practical capacity to murder and maim Jews, have been met with expansive understanding — even empathy — and are seldom, if ever, mentioned as the cause of conflict.

Indeed, in the dominant political discourse in/on Israel, it would appear that abject appeasement has become the sole yardstick for statesmanship — at least, where Israel is concerned.

Eulogizing the imaginary

Much of this mindset — the need for Israeli consideration for its enemies’ positions, coupled with total disregard for their incandescent anti-Israel hated — was reflected in the eulogies at Peres’ funeral last Friday.

Thus, Barack Obama claimed, “I don’t believe he [Peres] was naïve,” when it is clear that “naïve” is the most charitable characterization of the policies Peres forged in the last quarter-century of his life that proved so disastrously detached from reality.

Obama continued to say that Peres “understood from hard-earned experience that true security comes through making peace with your neighbors” — seemingly oblivious to the reality that nearly all previous land-for-peace endeavors have left Israel in a more precarious position than before, and its civilian population commensurately more exposed to attack, despite the fact that the prospect of a conventional military threat has receded significantly.

The president went on to cite a prime example of latter-day “Peresian” pathos, recalling Peres’ remark regarding Israel’s wars: “We won them all…But we did not win the greatest victory that we aspired to: release from the need to win victories.”

Indeed, this is such an illusionary, rather than visionary, pipe dream that even Peres’ protégé and devoted acolyte, former MK Einat Wilf (a dedicated two-state adherent herself) recognized that Israeli victory, or at least Palestinian defeat, is a precondition for peace.

Illusion not vision

In a recent Haaretz op-ed, “When Palestinians acknowledge defeat to Zionism, peace will follow,” published just days prior to Peres’ passing, Wilf wrote, somewhat remarkably:

The Zionist left wants to see the defeat of the Palestinian national movement just as badly as the right wing does. Only when it admits that, will the Left be able to lead the state of Israel to a peace deal, if and when that becomes feasable. That is because a peace agreement based on dividing the land will be possible only when the Palestinian nationalist movement acknowledges its defeat to the Jewish nationalist movement – Zionism.

Sadly, however, it seems the iron grip of political correctness can obfuscate the perspective even of the most sober pundits. Thus, in a piece written on the day of Peres’ demise, Wilf, after crediting Peres for helping ensure “that the Jews fighting a war of annihilation…had the weapons they needed to ultimately prevail,” went on to claim, “When decades later he recognized that the region might be turning somewhat less hostile, he grabbed the opportunity and brokered careful understandings between former sworn enemies.”

Really??

The region was “turning somewhat less hostile”?  With the Sunni Islamic State, on the one hand, and the Shia Islamic Republic, on the other? True, the conventional threat from several Sunni state actors had diminished, for the time being, only to be replaced by the arguably even more menacing specter of fanatical non-state actors, with quasi-state capabilities and global reach, as well as the Obama-facilitated threat of a nuclear Iran.

Peres “brokered careful understandings between former sworn enemies”? Hmm, one wonders what “careful understandings” those would be. The Oslo Accords? And which “former sworn enemies”? Hamas? Hezbollah? Arafat?

Eulogies (cont.): prattle on peace

Of course, in the labyrinth of contorted rhetoric and distorted polemics that comprise the political discourse in/on Israel, “peace” is no more than a code-word for Israeli capitulation to Arab demands, and the “peace process” an encrypted synonym for “Israeli withdrawal.”

Accordingly, when Obama lauded Peres in his eulogy, declaring, “He understood the practical necessity of peace. Shimon believed that Israel’s exceptionalism was rooted not only in fidelity to the Jewish people, but to…the precepts of his Jewish faith: ‘The Jewish people weren’t born to rule another people,’” the allusion is clear — to achieve peace, Israel must withdraw from the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. As if Arab or Muslim enmity began only in 1967, and the desire to annihilate the Jewish state was fueled only by the “occupation” of Judea-Samaria and not by an implacable Arab refusal to countenance any expression of Jewish sovereignty in any territorial configuration whatsoever.

Then, of course, there was famed author Amos Oz, the ever-eloquent “oracle” of the obsessive dovish Left, who in a 2000 Haaretz interview promised: “The minute we leave south Lebanon we will have to erase the word Hezbollah from our vocabulary, because the whole idea of the state of Israel versus Hezbollah was sheer folly from the outset. It most certainly will no longer be relevant when Israel returns to her internationally recognized northern border.”

Of course, the realities today, long after “Israel return[ed] to her internationally recognized northern border” and the bloody 2006 Second Lebanon War, demonstrate just how wildly inaccurate Oz’s prognosis was, proving he is far more adept in the world of fanciful fiction than that of cold political realities.

Amos Oz: “Peres, a banal hawk”

Past errors, of course, have never swayed Oz’s absolute belief in the infallibility of his political credo, no matter how often and how incontrovertibly it has been disproven in the past. This should be kept in mind when assessing Oz’s remembrance of Peres. Just prior to the funeral, Oz disparagingly dismissed earlier periods of Peres’ political life, saying, “In the early ’70s, he was, in my eyes, a banal hawk. Supporting settlers, a settler lover, a security man, the more land the better, the more power the better.” Having reduced Peres’ more impressive security successes as a hawk to the “banal,” Oz then enthusiastically gushed over Peres’ later failed fiascoes as a dove, saying, “He changed before my eyes…into an enthusiastic and stubborn believer in Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

In Oz’s graveside eulogy, he proclaimed that, despite naysayers who believe peace is impossible, “Peace is not only possible, it is imperative and inevitable.” But then he elaborated with a simplistic — the less charitable might say puerile — analogy, which revealed that what Oz envisaged was not really a harmonious peace, but (unsurprisingly) Israeli withdrawal and separation from the Palestinian Arabs. Relating to the Jewish homeland as innate real estate, he declared: “Since Israelis and Palestinians cannot suddenly become one happy family, there is no alternative to dividing this house [Israel] into two, and converting it into a duplex building.”

Of course, nowhere in this silly, shallow analogy is there any reference to the fact that the “their” apartment will abut a hostile Islamist neighborhood, whose belligerent inhabitants are very likely to turn it into a base from which to launch deadly attacks against “our” apartment and its vulnerable tenants.

But hey, why let pesky details impede a noble vision?

Where are Peres’ successors?

Convinced with cult-like conviction, despite all the evidence to the contrary, of the absolute truth of his ideological creed, Oz pontificated dogmatically: “In their heart of hearts, all sides know this simple truth. Where are the brave leaders who will stand up and make these things a reality? Where are Shimon Peres’ successors?” Indeed, one can only marvel with stunned amazement at this callous (or is that masochistic?) nostalgia for “successors,” who will lead us back into the horrors of charred buses, mutilated bodies and bombed cafes that were the hallmark of the Oslo-ian “peace process” that Oz perversely yearns for.

This call for “brave leaders” was echoed in a particularly inane and incoherent article by Lior Ackermam, titled “Wanted: Two courageous leaders” in the Jerusalem Post(see introductory excerpt), a publication that, since the departure of editor-in-chief Steve Linde, seems to have adopted a dramatically more leftist (and anti-Netanyahu) line.

In it, Ackerman bewails the continued dire conditions under which the Palestinian Arabs live under the regime of the Abbas-headed Palestinian Authority, suggesting that this has understandably precipitated the latest wave of so-called “lone-wolf” terror. He warns that the only thing preventing “total anarchy or a Hamas takeover” is the hard work of the Israeli security forces. But he raises the outrageous claim that “no Israeli government has made any efforts in the past decade to move the peace process forward.”

From the inane to the insane

I guess he must be unaware of Ehud Olmert’s wildly concessionary offer to Abbas in 2008, which the latter flatly rejected. Or the unreciprocated steps Netanyahu took, cutting sharply across the grain of his political base, to coax the Palestinians back to negotiations: the building freeze in Judea-Samaria; the implicit agreement to have the pre-1967 borders serve as a point of departure for negotiations; the release of convicted terrorists with “blood on their hands.”

I could go on and elaborate on the array of patently useless, self-contradictory, already-tried-and-failed “remedies’” that Ackerman proposes to ameliorate the situation until such adequately “courageous leaders” emerge, but that would take more than the remaining space in this essay…

Instead, allow me to conclude with the buffoonish comments of Haaretz’s Gideon Levy. In a delusional piece entitled “Shimon Peres’ funeral proved that anti-Semitism is dead” (see introductory excerpts), he wrote, “On Friday, the world proved that what it really wants is to embrace Israel. Oslo, the disengagement and Peres were enough for the world to carry Israel aloft…But Israel repeatedly bites the outstretched hand, pushes the world to detest it…” He added, “Every Israeli could be proud of being Israeli and not have to hide it out of fear and shame. How much Israel’s fate is in its own hands depends on its behavior. If it wants, it can be admired.”

The world according to Gideon Levy

So, dear Israelis, there you have it — the world according to Gideon Levy. All you have to do to be admired is to endorse fatally flawed and failed formulae that leave your streets strewn with dead bodies and the world will love you.

Simple, isn’t it?

As Alice in Wonderland sighed: “It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change.”

Israel’s Resilient Decency Despite Extreme Terrorism

October 5, 2016

Israel’s Resilient Decency Despite Extreme Terrorism, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Noah Beck, October 5, 2016

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[I]n 2015, Israelis suffered about 10 terrorist attacks every day.

Adjusted for population size, the violence would equate to a staggering 150,160 attacks in a year in the United States (roughly 411 per day).

[S]tories of Israeli decency and the relative prosperity of Israel’s Muslims rarely appear in the mainstream media or get acknowledged by the EU, the UN, or human rights organizations.

The next time Western politicians, human rights groups, and journalists feel tempted to critique Israeli conduct, or demand more restraint from Israelis, they should ask themselves: “How would we respond if there were 411 jihadi terrorist attacks per day here? Would we also provide medical treatment to terrorists and their relatives? Would our society be nearly as tolerant and kind towards Muslims? Would our laws similarly protect Muslim rights and allow Muslim political groups to support organizations that want to destroy our country? How often would our headlines and coverage present a neutralized terrorist as a victim?”

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U.S. citizens got a small taste of the Islamist terror threat that hounds Israelis on Sept. 17, with four bombings or bombing attempts in the New York metropolitan area and a Minnesota stabbing attack.

Israel, a country about the size of New Jersey, endured eight terrorist attacks in a four-day period overlapping the American incidents. Even that frightening frequency does not represent “the scale of the attacks during the previous wave” of terror, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli think tank.

Israel’s experience shows that the war against Islamist terror is a long and difficult one, but it can be managed while maintaining a democracy’s core values.

Whereas the U.S. experienced about a dozen attacks during the 21 months from the start of 2015 through last month, an Israeli government list of terror attacks covering 12 months from 2015-16 totaled 407 attacks, including 165 stabbings, 87 attempted stabbings, 107 shootings, 47 vehicular (ramming) attacks, and one bus bombing. Those attacks killed 40 people and injured 558 others.

The Israeli government statistics don’t include stone throwing, petrol bombs, riots, IEDs, arson, stun grenade attacks, rocket attacks, and other types of attacks. When those are included, Israelis endured 3,754 terrorist attacks (including 3,635 by Palestinians and 119 by Israeli Arabs) from Jan. 1, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016, according to a meticulously documented list compiled by analyst Nehemia Gershuni-Aylho.

Thus, in 2015, Israelis suffered about 10 terrorist attacks every day.

Adjusted for population size, the violence would equate to a staggering 150,160 attacks in a year in the United States (roughly 411 per day).

Of course, demographic, geographic and historic differences mean the U.S. is unlikely ever to experience that much Islamist terrorism.

Despite those differences, jihadi attacks in the United States during the last year have been enough to inject proposals like banning all Muslims from entering the country into the national political debate. No such proposals have ever been publicly discussed by any mainstream political parties in Israel.

By contrast, Israeli democracy is immensely tolerant of diverse opinions – to the point that the Arab party in the Knesset publicly supports terrorist organizations bent on destroying Israel. Last March, two Arab-Israeli political parties condemned Gulf Arab states for designating the Lebanese-based Iranian proxy Hizballah a terror organization. Hizballah openly seeks Israel’s destruction, and has more than 100,000 rockets and missiles aimed at the Jewish state. Could a parliamentary party in the EU or U.S. ever openly support an enemy terrorist group?

Remarkably, Israel spares no expense when providing medical help to the very terrorists attempting to murder Israelis.

Last December, at the height of the “Stabbing Intifida” – a series of seemingly spontaneous knife attacks by Palestinians on Israelis – the Israeli Medical Association issued a ruling requiring that the wounded be aided in order of injury severity, even if that means helping assailants before victims. Israeli medics treat Palestinian terrorists and murderers better than their Palestinian counterparts treat Israeli victims of Palestinian terror, such as the Palestinian medics who ignored an Israeli terror victim’s plea for help last November.

Another example of Israel’s incredible humanism despite extreme terrorism is the Israeli mother who was happy to donate the kidney of her son, who was murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber, to save the life of a Palestinian girl.

The Israeli non-profit “Heart for Peace” is staffed by Israeli and Arab cardiologists who have saved the lives of more than 610 Palestinian children since 2005. Outrageously, in 2014, a Gazan mother whose young son’s heart was saved by Israeli doctors said that she hoped he would grow up to be a suicide bomber.

Israel has even provided medical services to the relatives of those seeking its destruction. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh may encourage ordinary Palestinians to embrace martyrdom for the sake of killing Israelis, but his mother-in-law, daughter, and granddaughter have all been treated by Israeli hospitals. During the last war with Hamas in 2014, Israel reportedly provided medical treatment to two Hamas terrorists who had infiltrated the country through a tunnel. Every year, Israel treats thousands of Gazans.

Examples of public generosity and decency may be rare in conflict zones, but they abound in Israel. When an Arab Israeli was wrongly beaten by police in May, the Israeli public raised money for the victim’s college tuition and legal fees, a story that went totally unreported by the mainstream media. Last August, a Palestinian girl whose bicycle was taken and broken by Israeli border police received a new bicycle donated by an Israeli man.

The EU routinely criticizes Israel for its relations with Muslims, yet Europe is far less tolerant of Islam in many respects. Last summer, three French cities – Corsica,Cannes, and Villeneuve-Loubet – banned “burkinis” from the beach. Germany’s interior minister called for a partial ban on burkinis, and a German public swimming pool reportedly prohibited them. By contrast, Israel allows burkinis, a fact highlighted in a New York Times video that went viral.

Four European countries – France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and now Bulgaria – ban full face veils in most public places. Israel imposes no such restrictions on Muslims.

Last summer provided an even more positive testament to how Israeli Muslims are treated, when Israel’s smartest high-school student was an Arab named “Mohammed” and the captain of Israel’s goalball team at the Rio Paralympics was a 26-year-old, Muslim woman. (Goalball is a sport created for blind athletes.)

But stories of Israeli decency and the relative prosperity of Israel’s Muslims rarely appear in the mainstream media or get acknowledged by the EU, the UN, or human rights organizations. World leaders routinely call for Israeli restraint, as if Israelis weren’t already exercising extraordinary restraint, a fact demonstrated by this graph showing how each of Israel’s last three wars with Hamas (in 2008, 2012, and 2014) was preceded by hundreds, and more often thousands, of Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. What country would tolerate thousands of deadly projectiles being fired on its civilians before responding with enough force to stop the attacks?

Similarly, when it comes to stabbings, car rammings, bombings, and other forms of Palestinian terrorism, world opinion reflexively calls for Israeli restraint and/or attempts to justify the attacks.

Last October, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini called for Israeli restraint after four Israelis had been murdered in a total of 19 terrorist attacks during the first 12 days of the month.  Secretary of State John Kerry tried to blame that wave of Palestinian terrorism on Israeli settlements. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon tried to justify Palestinian terrorism as a rational response to “occupation. “Such reactions would be unthinkable in response to similar terrorist attacks in the EU or U.S. World leaders and the global media seem unaware that Arab Muslims have been killing Jews for more than a century – long before any occupation, settlements, or even a Jewish state.

Palestinian terror attacks don’t reflect some miserably unfair existence – they are the product of raw hatred and incitement. Dozens of Israeli Arab Muslims have committed terrorist attacks even though they are not under occupation and enjoy better freedoms and living standards than most of the Arab world has. Like so many Palestinian terrorists, they are driven by the same hateful incitement that rejects any state for the Jews.

The next time Western politicians, human rights groups, and journalists feel tempted to critique Israeli conduct, or demand more restraint from Israelis, they should ask themselves: “How would we respond if there were 411 jihadi terrorist attacks per day here? Would we also provide medical treatment to terrorists and their relatives? Would our society be nearly as tolerant and kind towards Muslims? Would our laws similarly protect Muslim rights and allow Muslim political groups to support organizations that want to destroy our country? How often would our headlines and coverage present a neutralized terrorist as a victim?”