Archive for the ‘Jewish occupation of Israel’ category

Israel intercepts Palestinian boats trying to break siege

May 29, 2018

By Hind Khoudary Tuesday 29 May 2018 10:30 UTC Mideast Eye

Source Link:
Israel intercepts Palestinian boats trying to break siege

{A bit biased, but worth mentioning because it shows the multifaceted extent of the provocations being waged against Israel. – LS}

Aboard a boat off the Gaza City shore – Two vessels carrying 17 student activists and Palestinians injured during the recent Great March of Return protests attempted to break Israel’s siege on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, before the Israeli military intervened.

Israeli security forces arrested the passengers from one of the two boats running the blockade and escorted the vessel 12 miles away from the Gaza coast to the Israeli side. It was not immediately clear what happened to the second boat.

The attempt to break the siege comes as tensions run especially high in the Gaza Strip, with Israeli warplanes pounding targets in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory in response to mortar fire.

Rockets have also been fired from the strip towards Israel, in the most intense exchange of fire since the 2014 Gaza war.

The vessels set off from Gaza on Tuesday morning accompanied by dozens of smaller boats which came out in a show of support.

The smaller boats peeled off gradually as the two leading ships attempted to reach the six-mile fishing limit imposed by the Israeli authorities on Gaza.

But Israeli warships began to intercept the two leading ships as they approached the de facto maritime border.

A’laa el Batta, who heads the International Committee to Break the Siege on Gaza, told Middle East Eye that three Israeli ships had surrounded the boats attempting to leave Gaza.

The captain onboard one of the Palestinian boats told Batta that the flotilla was six to seven miles off the coast of Gaza. “The people on the boat are in high spirits and insist on continuing to break the siege. The majority of the people on the boat are sick and injured,” Batta told MEE from his base of operations in Gaza City, where he is tracking the flotilla’s progress.

“We hold a message of freedom and peace, and this is our call to the world to hear our voice, that we cannot any more accept this siege. We hope to achieve the goal of breaking the siege and freeing our people, ourselves, from this inhuman siege,” he added.

“And we ask the world to give us safe passage through their ports.”

Activists say the blockade-breaking boats are part of the ongoing Great March of Return protest campaign that began at the end of March.

“Al-Hurriyeh is part of the events of the Great March of Return,” Adham Abu Selmeyeh, a spokesman for the committee for breaking the siege, told Middle East Eye.

“The boats will carry a group of patients, people with injuries, and others with humanitarian cases who need to leave Gaza as soon as possible.”

This latest act of protest, dubbed al-Hurriyeh (Liberty), comes as Israel plans to build a physical maritime border with Gaza.

It also coincides with the eighth anniversary of a deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla that attempted to bring supplies into Palestinian territory in 2010.

Nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli soldiers who commandeered the boat. Israel apologised to Turkey in 2013.

The al-Hurriyeh boats are set to depart Gaza as a flotilla from Denmark makes its way towards the strip to break the Israeli blockade.

Air strikes on Gaza

In other developments, the Israeli military and Palestinian fighters exchanged fire on Tuesday in a significant flare-up.

Israeli jets pounded central Gaza in response to mortar bombing from the strip on Tuesday morning and said it targeted 30 Gaza ‘military targets’.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “respond with great force” after nearly 30 rounds were fired into Israel.

One mortar bomb exploded near a kindergarten building, an Israeli military spokesman said, causing damage to the structure.

Following the Israeli air strikes, rockets were fired into Israel.

The mortar attack was the largest projectile barrage from Gaza targeting Israel since the 2014 war, according to Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the mortar bombing, which Israeli media claimed was fired by militant group Islamic Jihad.

For the past 11 years, Israel has imposed a siege on Gaza, severely restricting the flow of goods into the enclave, including food and medical supplies.

Boats in Gaza are limited to six nautical miles offshore; the Israeli naval forces regularly fire at Palestinian fishermen who sail within the permitted area.

Additional reporting by AFP and Reuters. 

 

 

Panelists Prove Jewish Voice for Peace is Neither

April 2, 2017

Panelists Prove Jewish Voice for Peace is Neither, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, April 1, 2017

There’s a simple way to end global oppression, racism and immediately create a world overflowing with “equality, dignity and human rights,” panelists agreed Saturday morning during a Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Conference in Chicago.

Simply eliminate Zionism from the planet.

“Arguing for a softer, less harsh, nicer version of capitalism, colonialism and racism won’t do it,” said Black Lives Matter leader Rachel Gilmer. “Many liberal Zionists believe that the problem with Israeli apartheid is simply a few bad policies, or Netanyahu, or the wall, but the problem is with the ideological foundation of the state itself: Zionism. Zionism at its core is white supremacy.”

While JVP claims its mission is to “end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians,” the conference so far has failed to mention any plan that keeps Israel intact. That’s not a surprise. JVP prides itself for playing a key role in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that pressures corporations, churches, and colleges and to drop investments in Israel.

“A world without Zionism is a world without oppression” and create “equality, dignity and human rights,” said panelist Lubnah Shomali of the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights. It also would mean Shomali’s claim ignores human rights violations by Palestinian leaders against inside the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas and the Palestinian Authority use intimidation to silence journalists who dare to engage in peaceful criticism, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in 2016. Journalists face arrest and detention for exposing corruption. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas flout international law by issuing death penalties, using torture and extrajudicial killings.

While speakers during Saturday’s “Let’s Talk About Zionism” panel tossed around “apartheid” accusations, they ignored the rights enjoyed by Israeli Arabs, including representation in Knesset and prominently in Israel’s judiciary.

No one on the JVP panel mentioned this. Neither did anyone advocate a peaceful resolution to the conflict that leaves Israel intact.

Jewish Voice for Peace, therefore, let an entire panel push the message that Zionism, the belief in a national homeland and refuge for Jews, should not exist.

Ethiopian Jewish activist Efrat Yerday, an Israeli citizen, also claimed that Israel engaged in racism by forcing Ethiopian Jews to convert to rabbinical Judaism.

Ethiopian Judaism contains numerous elements that predate modern rabbinical Judaism and has similarities with Ethiopian Christianity. This caused Israel’s rabbinate to mandate that the Ethiopians convert first.

“Zionism does not only dispossess Palestinians, but it also dispossesses in a very sophisticated way, non-white Jews. Being Jewish is highly identified with being white because of Zionism,” Yerday said. “This early fantasy that was shaped by the visionaries was to be a small Europe in the heart of the barbarian Middle East.”

Ironically, Yerday noted that Ethiopian Jews were able to peacefully demonstrate and protest against what they perceive as injustices against them. Such a display would not be allowed in neighboring Arab countries or in areas ruled by Palestinians.

And she didn’t try to reconcile the “Israel is racist” line with the history of how thousands of black Ethiopians became citizens. In 1984, Israel rescued 16,000 Ethiopian Jews in a secret airlift. That was followed by “Operation Solomon” in 1991, in which 14,000 Ethiopians were flown out in just 36 hours. And the country named an Ethiopian immigrant, Yityish “Titi” Aynaw, as Miss Israel in 2013. Like any other country, there is racism in Israel, she said. But “it’s something that Israel is trying to fix and it’s actually improving,” she said.

Israel’s enemies have tried connecting Zionism with racism for decades in an effort to delegitimize Israel.

During her remarks, Shomali lamented the fact that a 1975 United Nations resolution condemning Zionism as a form of racism was repealed in 1991. Her case for labeling Zionism as a form of racism relies on a cherry picked one-sided history dating back to Israel’s 1948 independence. Zionism developed as a purely secular movement that hijacked Judaism, she said. The two were not intertwined.

“There had to be a link made between secular colonialism, secular Zionism and religious Judaism,” Shomali said. “Members of the Zionist movement went to religious Jews around the world and told them that … God is telling you to come to Palestine. You are the chosen people. This is the promised land. A land without people for a people without a land, knowing full well that Palestine was not a land without people.”

Zionists used the forcible transfer of populations to cleanse Palestine of Arab natives, she said.

The role Arab governments and militias played in creating the so-called Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, appears nowhere in her analysis. She never mentioned the rejected 1947 U.N. resolution offering the Arabs a state. Nor does she mention that Arabs started the 1947-1948 war in Palestine.

Not only that, the Zionists called on Arab inhabitants of the then proposed state of Israel to remain and work for “peace and progress as sovereign equals” in October 1947. The day after the U.N. partition vote, the Jewish agency called for “fruitful cooperation” with the Arabs. In August 1948, John Bagot Glubb, commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion, told the London Daily Mail, “Villages were frequently abandoned even before they were threatened by the progress of war.”

JVP’s rabid hatred of Israel comes into even clearer focus Sunday, when it gives the stage to Rasmieh Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group convicted for leading two 1969 bombing attacks in Jerusalem. One of those bombings targeted a grocery store and killed two college students.

This conference and the choice of speakers is just another reminder that Jewish Voice for Peace opposes the Jewish State and its prescriptions will lead to anything but peace.

The Self-Contradictory Liberals

April 23, 2016

The Self-Contradictory Liberals, Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, April 23, 2016

♦ Many liberals — not least the large numbers of students involved in campus demonizations of Israel, Jews, white people and other supposed public enemies — are morally and politically confused, not to say profoundly selective and bigoted, often in direct contradiction to their own expressed principles of peace, tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism.

♦ These liberals repeatedly contradict their own ideals, not least when it comes to free speech, Israel, the Middle East, Islam, and the rights of Muslim women. Many self-declared liberals behave much as did the Nazis of the early years of the Third Reich.

♦ It would appear that, whatever Israelis and their government do may be dismissed as mere “whitewashing” to cover Israel’s original “sin” of being Jewish.

♦ Using an abusive form of political correctness and insisting on an absolutist version of multiculturalism, many devotees of liberalism often betray the ideals for which earlier human rights activists, feminists, anti-racists, and freedom fighters fought and even gave their lives.

♦ Amnesty International, a left-wing non-governmental organization (NGO) put its pro-Muslim politics above women’s rights — a remarkable step for the world’s best-known human rights agency.

It is no secret that politicians on both the “right” and “left” lie, dissemble, equivocate, misrepresent, misinform, falsify, whitewash and cover up. Not even the noble and honest Cicero was immune to fudging and shifting sides. It is the nature of politics. For much of the time we put up with it until it grows so far-fetched, we can no longer shut our eyes and let ourselves be lulled into further acquiescence. We all put up with this, do our best to spot the lies, or rely on investigative journalists to dig beneath the surface of what governments claim or their opponents hide.

But something strange has been happening to people calling themselves liberals. (Note: The term “liberal” differs enormously between the U.S. and the UK. Americans use it to describe anyone from the Democratic Party through to those even farther to the left. But the British use it for people from the political centre towards the right, and it has no connotations of far left extremism. It is used here in the American sense.) The far left — the Marxists, Trotskyites etc. — the campus extremists, even the new leadership of Britain’s Labour Party have started to contradicting their own ideals, not least when it comes to free speech, Israel, the Middle East, Islam, and the rights of Muslim women.

All sides of the political spectrum share many ideals in their original form: advocacy of human rights, equal justice under the law; the rights of racial and religious minorities, homosexuals, workers, women. They also share an opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, fascism, and religious fundamentalism. These are ideals in any democratic nation — views demonstrated by modern legislation across a host of democratic parliaments.

But many liberals appear to distort all this. They take extreme positions, guided by three linked but often confused issues: political correctness, cultural relativism and moral relativism. There seems to be a deep-seated belief, not only that all cultures possess and practice different values (the original premise of neutral cultural relativism in anthropology); or that, God forbid!, Western values are better than non-Western ones. Many liberals appear, instead, to think, that non-Western values are better or certainly no worse, than Western ones.

The idea that Western states, heirs to imperialism and still practitioners of indirect colonialism, have imposed their values on the rest of the world, makes the values of the “victim” — the “oppressed” and the “occupied” — superior to those of the West. But it is precisely Western values and laws that have been responsible for the very concept of human rights, for efforts to free former colonies, to bring aid to Third World countries, to grant rights to minorities, to introduce high-quality education, to advocate for women’s rights, and more.

No other former imperialists, not least those of the many Muslim empires throughout history, have acted in this way towards the subjects of their former colonies. Unfortunately, many self-proclaimed liberals have responded to this commitment to human rights by charging the West with some form of original sin requiring Europeans and Americans to carry a heavy weight of guilt (as documented so well by the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner in books such as The Tyranny of Guilt).

One of the greatest examples of the excessive focus on the West is universal condemnation of the transatlantic slave trade, supposedly divorced from the Muslim/Arab slave trades, which continues without protest from these liberals in some places to this day. This, even though the Islamic trade was larger and longer-lasting than the Western one. Mauritania today holds anti-slavery protestors in prison, despite slavery there having been outlawed since 1981.

It is not hard to see why so many liberals– not least the large numbers of students involved in campus demonizations of Israel, Jews, whites and other supposed public enemies — are morally and politically confused, not to say profoundly selective and bigoted, in direct contradiction to their own expressed principles of peace, toleration, diversity, and multiculturalism.

If this sounds a little abstract, here are some examples to show this confusion at its worst.

As a telling example of hypocritical behaviour, for many years now, a range of LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) organizations have campaigned against the state of Israel. They have marched, carrying rainbow banners, alongside far-left extremists and far-right Muslims, shouting abuse against Israel and calling for an end to the “occupation” of the West Bank.

The annual National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change, is an event held by the US National LGBTQ Task Force, based in Washington D.C., one of the most important bodies in the struggle for gay rights. The 2016 Creating Change conference was held in the Hilton Chicago between 20 and 24 of January.

Writing about this event, leading human rights and pro-LGBT activist and lawyer Melanie Nathan declared that, “This week will go down in history as one of the saddest and most destructive, ever, in the lives of LGBTQ Jews. We became the target of antisemitism disguised as protesting alleged ‘Israeli oppression.’ Anyone who truly understands the history, the context and milieu will clearly access the bottom line and that came in the form of the chant that served to helm the onslaught by LGBTQ protesters at the Creating Change 2016 Conference, who yelled: ‘Palestine will be free from the river to the sea’.” As is well known, the river is the Jordan and the sea is the Mediterranean, meaning that Israel will be replaced by a large Palestinian state from which Jews will have been ethnically cleansed.

A pro-Israel LGBT organization, A Wider Bridge, had planned to host an all-inclusive Shabbat reception on Friday 22nd, with the aim of introducing delegates to visiting Israeli LGBT guests. On the 18th, however, conference organizers caved in to anti-Israel demands and banned the reception. Many people strongly objected to this divisive move; on the following day the banning decision was reversed. Clearly, trouble lay ahead, and, true to form, an enormous band of Anti-Israel demonstrators from the LGBT community disrupted the reception, chanting the rhyming slogan above while carrying printed and home-made posters saying “Zionism sucks,” “No Pride in Apartheid”.

That Palestinians sometimes beat and kill gay men is irrelevant to their way of thinking, as is the moral inconvenience that homosexuality is illegal in all Muslim states, and punished there by imprisonment, execution, or mob violence. These facts are of no apparent interest to those determined to slander Israel at all costs.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East — and most of Africa and Asia — where gay rights are guaranteed by law, where Gay Pride parades are held, and where gay tourism is encouraged. Yet, surprisingly, LGBT groups in the West never march or demonstrate to condemn countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others where gay men are hanged from cranes, beheaded, stoned or thrown from high buildings.

LGBT attacks on Israel and the distortion of gay rights as “pinkwashing” — claiming that the state of Israel uses its freedoms for all its gay inhabitants in order to whitewash its supposedly evil persecution of the Palestinian people — represent something psychologically troubling. Israel should be a major source of pride and admiration for LGBT people. Yet the very idea of rights for the LGBT community is simply cast aside in favour of deeply distasteful, profoundly misguided, and frequently anti-Semitic agitation that calls for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state. Liberal politics, post-colonialism, and a staggering inverted moral relativism work together to cancel out all the good that Israel does and all the safety it offers to all its citizens.

The charge of “pinkwashing” carries an even broader message. It would appear that, whateverIsraelis and their government do may be dismissed as mere “whitewashing” to cover Israel’s original “sin” of being Jewish — whether it be the remarkable international aid it provides in disaster-stricken regions or even the work of Israeli volunteers rescuing and feeding refugees in the enemy state of Syria, the 17 field hospitals and surgical centres Israel runs to help Syrians, its many advances in life-saving medical treatment, or the protection it affords to many persecuted minority religious communities from Christians to Baha’is. This blanket condemnation of Israel also carries another message: that whatever crimes other nations commit — from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Sudan, or whatever acts of terror Muslim groups or Palestinians carry out — these may be passed over in silence or even supported. And they are. There is even another clear message: that even the most positive side of the people we hate is really just a cover for sinister conspiracies. This view falls in line with the conspiracy theories familiar from Tsarist Russia, the Third Reich, Soviet Russia, the Baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq. Those are never healthy models to follow, above all for those who think of themselves as moral or enlightened.

Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Palestinians, members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, member states of the UN, and hundreds of other anti-Israel and anti-Zionist campaigners, supposed intellectuals, and politicians repeatedly argue that Israel is an illegal colonial entity, and that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is illegal under international law. In fact, Israel’s presence in the West Bank is perfectly legal.[1]

If there are allegations that Israel has taken land by force and claimed sovereignty contrary to international law, it has not. All Israel’s wars have so far been defensive. Either Israel was attacked first or has responded to a legitimate casus belli (legal cause for war) such as the closure by Egypt of the Strait of Tiran in 1967). There are allegations that Israel carries out “ethnic cleansing;” it does not — and much more.[2]

But when Israel’s supporters point out that its opponents are referring to lies that have no relevance to Israel — and when these supporters list UN resolutions (notably resolutions 181, 242, and 338), League of Nations rulings establishing the Palestine Mandate, and a host of other documents designed to enforce international law — Israel’s opponents shout and declare all these legal instruments to be invalid — for no apparent legal reason, but presumably that they demonstrate the falsity of their own claims. In other words, they show themselves to be not in the least respectful of international law. International law seems respected by them only if it can be distorted to be used as a weapon against Israel.

On the face of it, liberals often claim to share values that the rest of us hold, too. They declare themselves to be anti-racist, they call for rights for women, for sexually anomalous people, for the restoration of rights for people living in former colonies, for the rights of formerly oppressed people to self-determination, and much else that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But they seem never satisfied by the straightforward promotion of these rights through democratic processes. They appear to prefer angry demonstrations, occasional rioting, and even sometimes terrorism.[3] Using an abusive form of political correctness and insisting on an absolutist version of multiculturalism, many devotees of liberalism often betray the ideals for which earlier human rights activists, feminists, anti-racists, and freedom fighters fought.

Take racism: Liberals rightly work against discriminating against people of colour. But when it comes to the Jewish people, history’s most abused and persecuted ethnic and religious community, the pretence of being anti-racist is dropped and hardline liberals explode into racist fury, adopting all the techniques of far-right anti-Semites. In Europe, large numbers of liberal activists have joined forces with ultra-conservative Muslims to march through the streets of Britain, the Netherlands and elsewhere chanting “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas,” or listening as their terror-supporting Muslim allies sing “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahud: Jaysh Muhammad sa ya-ud” (which loosely translates as “Remember the Battle of Khaybar, O you Jews: the army of Muhammad is coming back.” Khaybar refers to the 629 A.D. assault led by Muhammad against the last Jewish tribe in Arabia.

697July 2014: Demonstrators in The Hague, Netherlands chant “Death to the Jews”, while flying the black flag of jihad. (Image source: Twitter/@SamRaalte)

Were these left-wing demonstrators to chant and march and threaten to exterminate any other race, they would be known for the racist thugs they really are. But Jews are apparently fair game. Many self-declared liberals behave much as did the Nazis of the early years of the Third Reich.

This clear anti-Semitism by the liberal-Islamist alliance is given another ironic twist that seeks to cover its racism by placing the argument on what appears to be a purely political footing. Although the UN Charter and other mainstream instruments call for the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination, as in Ireland, Turkey, South Africa, India, Pakistan and elsewhere liberal support for self-determination is betrayed by an almost total refusal to recognize the rights of one ethnic (and ultimately indigenous) people: the Jews. Of the post-imperialist states, one alone is singled out for opprobrium: Israel. Rhetoric about Israelis being imperialists, colonizers or fascists, leads one to think that Israel’s enemies know nothing about the vast Ottoman empire that was the last legitimate regime to control the territories from which Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the disputed territories all spring. The “Palestine will be free” marchers evidently know nothing much about history. Israelis — just like citizens in their neighbouring states — are a people freed from the tyranny of the Muslim Ottomans and awarded a new destiny precisely because Europe’s imperial powers, the League of Nations, and the United Nations, relinquished their right to rule in favour of Jewish sovereignty.

Today’s new anti-Semites ignore or are wholly ignorant of the long and unprecedented history of the Jewish diaspora.[4] No other people has longed for self-determination for so long or with such sustained intensity.

To leave Israel for a moment, we can find an important anomaly among liberal feminists who actively support the wearing of the Muslim veil and even choose to turn a blind eye to the misogyny of Islamic law, forced marriages, child marriages, female genital mutilation, honour killings and the stoning of women accused of adultery. This is, perhaps, the most hideous example of hypocrisy and double standards — finding fault with even the most trivial of Western attitudes to women while doing nothing to protect Muslim women simply because it supposedly is “racist” to condemn Muslims. It appears that the fear of being called racist is more important to many than a genuine concern for the human rights of a group that is clearly oppressed. A Western man calling women “chicks” may expect the full force of feminist wrath, but a Muslim man who beats his wife because the Qur’an advises him to, is exonerated because wife-beating is part of his different and purportedly inviolable culture.

Writing in Tablet magazine last year, Heather Rogers relates how she at first dismissed criticism of misogyny within Muslims communities because “Westerners have no right to tell Muslims how to live” and downplayed arguments about the rate of Islamic honour killings. It was only on later reflection, she said, that she began to pose questions such as, “Why aren’t more non-Muslim feminists speaking up about violence against women in Muslim-majority countries?” She then gives an example of how liberal feminists distort matters. “In searching the Internet,” she writes, “I begin to find the vestiges of a discussion of the subject among Leftists, which suggests some reasons why many non-Muslim feminists choose to stay silent. One controversy is to do with an essay Adele Wilde-Blavatsky wrote in 2012 for The Feminist Wire, an online women’s studies journal. Her piece says the hijab is a symbol of male oppression. A storm ensued. One response, signed by 77 academics, writers, and activists, said the essay was an assertion of Wilde-Blavatsky’s “white feminist privilege and power.” Instead of facilitating a discussion, however, The Feminist Wire editorial collective took down the comments, pulling the essay along with them.”

Rogers then cites the 2010 case when Amnesty International fired the head of its Gender Unit, Gita Sahgal, who had protested the charity’s alliance with a former Taliban fighter and misogynist, Moazzem Begg, an extremist who still refuses to condemn the stoning to death of women. Sahgal’s credentials as a secular Asian woman defending the rights of Muslim women in general were and are undeniable. But Amnesty International, a left-wing non-governmental organization (NGO) put its pro-Muslim politics above women’s rights — a remarkable step for the world’s best-known human rights agency.

It is surprising, yet all too predictable, to find pro-peace organizations and political leaders supporting violent and intolerant opinions and groups. The simplest example is the current leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn regards war as a last resort and has been active in a number of anti-war movements, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the hyper-pacifist Stop the War Coalition, which informs his current position in parliament. He continues to oppose renewing Trident, Britain’s nuclear missile capacity. We have to assume that Corbyn is, in principle, opposed to the use of violence except in extreme circumstances. How, then, is it that he has described the brutal terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah — the latter declared on 11 March to be a terrorist state by the Arab League — both of which have an open agenda of committing genocide against Jews, as “my friends”? He explains this as “diplomatic language in the context of dialogue.” Dialogue? This answer confirms that Corbyn has read neither the Hamas Covenant nor Hezbollah’s Risala maftuha (Open Letter). How does a man of peace enter into dialogue with Hamas? Here are two sentences from its Covenant/Charter:

“Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” [Author’s emphasis]

I have an Arabic copy of the Covenant in front of me: the translation is perfectly correct.

Here, from the Hizbullah Open Letter, is much the same thing:

Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated.

We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negotiation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Therefore we oppose and reject the Camp David Agreements, the proposals of King Fahd, the Fez and Reagan plan, Brezhnev’s and the French-Egyptian proposals, and all other programs that include the recognition (even the implied recognition) of the Zionist entity. [Author’s emphases]

Dialogue, anyone? In his obsession with dialogue, Corbyn has gone further. In a notorious interview with Stephen Nolan on Radio Ulster last year, Corbyn was asked six times, “Are you prepared to condemn what the IRA did?” — referring to their use of terrorist violence. Each time he refused to give a straight answer. As Nolan himself put it at the beginning of the interview, quoting from a Daily Telegraph article in June: “This is a man who sympathised with violent Irish republicanism in the 80s, invited IRA representatives to the Commons a fortnight after the Brighton bombing in 1984 and at a Troops Out meeting in 1987 he stood for a moment’s silence for eight IRA terrorists killed in an SAS ambush.” He is also a man who invited Hamas and Hezbollah representatives into the UK parliament. Even The Guardian, regarded by many as anti-Israeli, has castigated Corbyn for this and his other associations with terrorists and anti-Semites.

It does not stop there. During an interview with one of Britain’s most eminent political journalists, Andrew Marr, Corbyn called for dialogue with Islamic State. A week later, in The Spectator, Toby Young wrote an article entitled, “Jeremy Corbyn and the hard left are wilfully blind to the evils of Islamist Nazis.” Of course, Corbyn himself did not volunteer to fly out to Raqqa to have a cosy chat with Islamic State’s self-proclaimed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a spirit of dialogue.

What is the reason for this staggering naïveté? You can find some of the answer by looking at again at the Hamas Covenant and Hizbullah’s Open Letter. Here are some sentences from the former:

The Islamic Resistance Movement [i.e. Hamas] found itself at a time when Islam has disappeared from life. Thus rules shook, concepts were upset, values changed and evil people took control, oppression and darkness prevailed, cowards became like tigers: homelands were usurped, people were scattered and were caused to wander all over the world, the state of justice disappeared and the state of falsehood replaced it. Nothing remained in its right place.

Here is a single statement from the latter:

As for our friends, they are all the world’s oppressed peoples.

In other words, both Hamas and Hizbullah supposedly exist to fight for the rights of the oppressed, Franz Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth,” the victims of Western imperialism and colonialism, of American arrogance, of a worldwide Jewish/Zionist/Masonic conspiracy. What socialist would not reach out to condemn his own people and his own culture, would not repudiate his own history, merely to reach out to these victims? If Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic State, al-Qa’ida, the Iranian regime, and all the other promoters of violence proclaim themselves to be the champions of the downtrodden masses, are they then to be applauded, rewarded and financed?

It is not just the “hard left” that does this. The broad liberal press, newspapers — such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, Haaretz — together with a broad consensus of politicians and church leaders, are always happy to tell us that when terrorist groups maim and kill innocent civilians it is not their fault, for the conditions of oppression under which they live have purportedly given them no choice other than to fight back; that the Palestinians have given up hope, that they and their children have no other choice but to shoot and stab their way to yet more years of failure, despair and security measures.

Most of us in the West have much to thank many real liberals for: the abolition of slavery, the cause of civil rights and anti-racism, recognition of the rights of homosexuals, empathy for the disabled, free education, the campaign against religious intolerance, and much more. Liberals share these achievements with many others from the “right” and centre, with Jewish and Christian ethical standards, with a growing sense of a shared humanity as set out in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But many pseudo-liberals have betrayed these same values and proven themselves unworthy of the work of their own ancestors — men and women who would never have sat side by side with terrorists, lied about Israel, fostered anti-Semitism or tolerated the abuse of women and children.[5] In all likelihood they would never have denounced the values of Western civilization, or valued the monstrous over the humane.

Dr. Denis MacEoin is an academic and journalist specializing in Islam and the Middle East.


[1] The occupation is perfectly legal in international law under UN Resolution 242 (1967), and was reaffirmed in the Oslo II Accord, Article XI. See Alan Baker, “The Legal Basis of Israel’s Rights in the Disputed Territories,” Jan. 2013.

[2] For a very full and wholly tendentious list of these “violations” see here.

[3] Liberal support for terrorism has recently been demonstrated by the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who has famously described Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends.”

[4] For a broad discussion of this, see Kenneth Marcus, The Definition of Anti-Semitism, Oxford U.P., 2015, chapter 6

[5] For a detailed and eloquent account of how the political left lost its way through the twentieth century and the early twenty-first, see Nick Cohen, What’s Left? London, 2007.

An American Fascism

November 13, 2015

An American Fascism, Front Page MagazineDavid Horowitz, November 12, 2015

(Many of those who oppose freedom of speech also oppose Israel and maintain that “Palestinians” must be helped to eliminate her. Please see also, Selective Outrage on Campus. Their momentum appears to be increasing and the ability of those who oppose them appears to be diminishing. When will it be too late to oppose them effectively?– DM)

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The racist, McCarthyite, totalitarian movement rearing its ugly head on college campuses as diverse as Missouri, Yale and Vanderbilt is being treated by conservatives as a case of kids too fragile to handle views with which they disagree. This may work as a debating tactic but it misunderstands both the malignancy of the politics behind the campaign and the ferocity of its radical leaders. Now they are calling for the heads of liberals (and getting them). But quaint American prejudices like the First Amendment still stand in their way. But for how long? If this movement, which includes large contingents of the Democratic Party – including the president, achieves critical mass and succeeds in its agendas and acquires the necessary power, who can doubt that they will be putting dissenters in prison and worse? These are people intoxicated with their own virtue, and determined to purge non-believers in their path. They are a perfect analogue to the Islamic fanatics who want to purify the planet. While the Islamic fanatics behead, the American fanatics suppress and burn. At bottom, they see the world in parallel terms: Slay the infidels wherever you find them.

The current eruptions on college campuses, which will be escalating through this year, are the product of four decades of capitulations to leftwing racism and political correctness, which is a totalitarian party line whose inventor Mao Zedong murdered 70 million Chinese in its name. America still has strong traditions of intellectual pluralism and individual rights, which are obstacles in the way of the progressive storm troopers, but for how long? How many capitulations by so-called liberals, how many unconstitutional executive orders, how many coercions by Democrat-controlled government agencies before there are no obstacles left?

We saw these lynch mobs first hand in Ferguson, but only an inaudible few were willing to name them for what they were. In Ferguson, the president of the United States supported the lynchers, along with the Democratic Party and the leftwing chorus. And so it spread to New York and Baltimore and now Missouri and Yale. The time has come to call this for what it is, an American fascism.  But the time is also getting late to reverse the tide.

Satire | Three cheers for Terroristine

October 1, 2015

Three cheers for Terroristine, Sultan Knish Blog, Daniel Greenfield, October 1, 2015

(He refers, of course, to “Palestine.” — DM)

We need a terrorist state. Where the politicians are terrorists, the police are terrorists and even the men sitting at the desk when you come in to drop off a form are terrorists.

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There are states that support terrorists, and give safe harbor to them, but that’s not good enough. We don’t want another Pakistan or Iran. We’re not half-assing it this time. What we want is the genuine article. Terrorists from the top down. Terrorists everywhere. A state where every branch of government and the entire country is nothing but terrorists.

Terroristine has been an ancient dream since 1973 or was it 1967. A generation of keffiyah draped thugs, KGB operatives and human rights activists have looked out into the darkness and called it into being. It is a vision of a country where everyone is a murderer and children are taught from a very young age that their purpose in life is to die killing people who don’t share their religion.

And now after decades of negotiations, treaties, suicide bombings, mutilations, billions of dollars in vanishing into Swiss bank accounts and the death of its Egyptian born leader of AIDS– Terroristine is closer than ever to coming into being.

Abbas, its unelected dictator, who has struggled long and hard so that one of his sons might have his own cigarette monopoly in Gaza, has come to the UN to promise that Terroristine will have “will actively contribute to the achievement of economic, cultural, and humanitarian progress of civilization.”

And who can doubt him? Certainly not Terroristinians who don’t have elections or a free press.

Terroristine, whose noble flag (that looks like nearly every other Arab flag) flies over the UN, has done wonders for civilization. Consider the airplane hijacking. The suicide bomber. Has there ever been a civilization that did as much for civilized living as the Terroristinians?

Every time you get groped at an airport, thank Terroristine. Without the Terroristinian contribution to civilization, you might actually be able to get on a plane in peace. Or visit the Twin Towers.

The Terroristinian contribution to human progress is unquestionable. But only one thing stands in the way of it unleashing its full Terroristinian potential for all mankind.

Them. Those pesky people who live in that country that is always in the way. You know the ones, with too many Nobel prizes, newly invented tomatoes and microchips. They stand in the way of the great cultural contributions of Terroristine. They must die so that Terroristine must live.

They must be thrown out of their homes, village by village and city by city, so that the noble Terroristinians can plant their rockets on the rubble of their houses, the charred remains of their fields, and point them at their cities.

Trying to end terrorism by creating a terrorist state makes is like trying to put out a fire with more fire. It can’t work, but we must try. So that we can say that we tried. Over and over again. We’ll keep trying until we run out of land to try with. And people to try with.

Until there’s nothing left but Terroristines everywhere. Until all the world is Terroristine. The question is can we make it happen? Yes, we can. Oh sweet Allah, yes we can.

Israel must return to the 1967 borders, which are really the 1948 borders. Why are the borders of the 1948 war, so much better than the borders of the Six Day War? Because the Terroristinians came closer to winning that war. Came closer to driving the Yahood into the sea and ululating over miles  of their corpses.

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But the dream failed. Farmers armed with outdated rifles. Volunteer pilots from America and Canada. Refitted cargo ships filled with half-dead men, women and children straight from the camps. Used Czech artillery. They held off the armies of seven Terroristinian nations. Farm by farm, they stood off tanks and infantry. In Jerusalem, they fought for every house. And so the Zionist entity survived.

Allah curse them. They survived.

But now it’s back to 1948 again. Every war undone. Every defeat turned to victory. Cut Jerusalem in two. Drive out the farmers. Burn their land. Dig up their graves. March the borders back to 1948. And fly the Terroristinian flag over dust and rubble. Had they won in 1948 or 1967 or 1973, there would be no Israel and no Terroristine. The land would have become part of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. And only when the mobs of the faithful would drive out the tyrants to replace them with Islamic states, would there finally be a Terroristine.

But despite what Abbas says, there is still hope for a two state solution. And we must do everything in our power to salvage the two state solution so that there will be a state of civilization on one side and a state of terrorists on the other. Hospitals here, launching pads there. Schools here, bomb factories there. Life here, death here. We all know the story. Olive trees and bomb belts. Rocks and dead families in burning cars by the side of the road. Children with their throats cut.

A dream. A nightmare. Who even knows anymore.

Why do we need Terroristine? Peace. There can be no peace without a terrorist state. Not a chance of it. The only way we’ll ever have peace is to give the terrorists a country of their own. A country dedicated to terrorism. Only then will the Terroristinians finally give up on all the killing, and dedicate themselves to medical research, quantum mechanics and the arts. It hasn’t happened yet to. But it’s bound to.

After decades as an autonomous territory, spreading death and destruction, it’s time for Terroristine to finally be recognized as an independent state. With contiguous borders cutting Israel in half. It is the only hope for peace in the region. Would Sunnis and Shiites be killing each other from Yemen to Iraq? Assuredly not. The moment the flag of Terroristine rises above the wounded hills, and its peaceful anthem, “Palestine is My Revenge” is heard in the land, then a great echoing sigh will rise up from the mouths of one billion Muslims. And the violence will cease.

The international community is impatient. They want Terroristine and they want it now. Whatever Israel has offered in the past, it isn’t enough. It must offer more and more. Whatever it takes. We know the Terroristinians want their own state. Every time they walk out of negotiations or end them with a round of terrorist attacks, it shows their deep and abiding passion for a state. They want it so badly they aren’t willing to make a single concession for it. Or even negotiate for it.

That’s how committed they are to realizing their great dream to Terroristine. And who can blame them? Have any people suffered the way the Terroristinians have? (Besides all the people the Terroristinians have killed over the last 1,400 years.) Have any other people been wholly subsidized by a UN agency dedicated only to them? Have any other people inspired such a stylish fashion statement? No more excuses. The world demands Terroristine. Middle East peace demands Terroristine.

How much longer can Israel expect to draw out the necessary concessions with weak justifications about terrorism. We know they’re terrorists. That’s why we’re giving them a state. If they weren’t terrorists, they could go to the back of the line with the Jews, Kurds and Armenians.

From one corner of the Muslim world to the other, a cry goes out. “We Are All Terroristinians.” They cry it it Cairo and Damascus, in Tehran and Islamabad, in Dubai and Paris. They mosques go up, the asses go up and the bombs go off. And off to the peace negotiations we go.

Islam will dominate the world

Everyone is impatient. Everyone is on fire. Especially the Terroristinians. Jewish store windows are smashed in London, Terroristinians butcher Rabbis in Jerusalem synagogues, fuming Terroristinians shoot up American recruiting centers. And the crowds cheer. “We Are All Terroristinians Now.”

It is a great day, I tell you. A great day for negotiating. ISIS impatiently beheads infidels to create its own Islamic Terroristine. In Afghanistan the word goes out, “We are the Taliban, we are the Afghan people, we are Terroristinians.” In Egypt and Turkey, they cry, “Khaybar Ya Yahood”. Churches burn. Soldiers die. The smoke rises to heaven. A man waits in line at the airport. His passport is Dutch, Welsh, German, American, it doesn’t matter. He is a Terroristinian. Yallah.

One day the borders of Terroristine will stretch from Spain to Pakistan. Or beyond Why settle for Jerusalem, when we can have London, Paris and Hamburg too. Why settle for anything at all? Allah is generous to the believers. Our people are in Africa. Even China. The Great Satan himself bows toward Mecca. The old governments are falling. The pawns of the Kufir are fleeing before our eyes.

We are all Terroristinians now. There is no other book on our shelves than the Koran. No law but Sharia in our hearts. And no nation but Terroristine. The ghost of Chamberlain stands outside No. 10 Downing Street promising peace. A Terroristinian refugee beheads him and holds up his spectral head to the cheers of the crowd. Rockets sail through the sky. The crowd cheers. Hip Hip Hooray. Hierosylma Est Perdita. Three cheers for Terroristine.

Obama Won’t Enforce Anti-BDS Provision Language in Trade Bill he just Signed

July 1, 2015

Obama Won’t Enforce Anti-BDS Provision Language in Trade Bill he just Signed, The Jewish PressLori Lowenthal Marcus, July 1, 2015

(To enforce the anti-BDS provisions of the legislation Obama just signed would be Islamophobic. Or something. — DM)

Obama (1)U.S. President Barack Obama Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.Gov screen capture

This week the United States officially put on notice its trade partners that it will not countenance boycotts or other economic warfare against Israel.

After signing the relevant trade legislation into law, however, the White House signaled to all its trade partners that they are still free to boycott goods made in the disputed territories, despite the clear language of the legislation the president signed.

This week the Trade Promotion Authority bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The TPA is primarily focused on international trade between the U.S. and Europe. It also included a section which addresses trade between the U.S. and Israel.

That part of the legislation, the U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, bans boycotts and other means of economic warfare against Israel or the “Israeli-controlled territories.” This amendment, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill-6) with bi-partisan co-sponsorship, was unanimously adopted into the PTA in April.

The passage of the TPA, including the anti-BDS section, should sound a death knell for the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement. It should.

However, as pro-Israel Americans and Israelis learned only a few weeks ago in the Jerusalem passport case (Zivotofsky v. Kerry), there are certain spheres of international decision making over which the president has exclusive, or at least primary and controlling, control. Obama claims that international trade is one of those areas, even though Article 1, Section 8, clause 3, expressly gives Congress the power to regulate foreign commerce.

So even though the TPA is intended to act as a strong deterrent to European and other countries to pass and enforce boycotts of Israeli products, the White House has already signaled that it will not extend its protection to any goods produced in the disputed territories.

The anti boycott of Israel language in the TPA is: “actions by states, nonmember states of the United Nations, international organizations or affiliated agencies of international organizations that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.” [emphasis added.]

In a statement which Matt Lee of the Associated Press attributed to State Dept. spokesperson John Kirby, the administration made clear that despite signing the TPA, the position of the White House remains, as it has been, that the U.S. opposes boycotts of the State of Israel, but it also opposes the presence of Jews in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

In the statement the administration argues that by “conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories’ a provision of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation runs counter to longstanding U.S. policy towards the occupied territories, including with regard to settlement activity,” and says that every U.S. administration has opposed “settlement activity.”

It goes on to point out that the “U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them.”

The U.S. administration announced that it will not jeopardize the holy grail of the two-state solution by enforcing the U.S. law as written and which its leader signed. In the statement it claims that “both parties have long recognized that settlement activity and efforts to change facts on the ground undermine the goal of a two-state solution to the conflict and only make it harder to negotiate a sustainable and equitable peace deal in good faith.” It is on this basis, ostensibly to promote a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, that this administration

Professor Eugene Kontorovich of the Northwestern University School of Law analyzes several other provisions of the U.S-Israel trade aspect of the TPA which have been largely overlooked. In particular, Kontorovich points out, U.S. courts cannot recognize or enforce the judgment of any foreign court “that doing business in or being based in the West Bank or Golan Heights violates international law or particular European rules.”

The Palestinians’ Real Strategy

June 22, 2015

The Palestinians’ Real Strategy, The Gatestone InstituteKhaled Abu Toameh, June 22, 2015

  • Marzouk’s remarks refute claims by some in the Arab and Western media that Hamas is moving toward pragmatism and moderation, and that it is now willing, for the first time, to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Many in the West often fail to understand Hamas’s true position because they do not follow what Hamas says in Arabic — to its own people. In Arabic, Hamas makes no secret of its call for the destruction of Israel.
  • The current strategy of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is to negotiate with the international community, and not with Israel, about achieving peace in the Middle East. The ultimate goal of the PA is to force Israel to its knees. For the PA, rallying the international community and Europe is about punishing and weakening Israel, not making peace with it.
  • Their strategy is no longer about a two-state solution so much as it is about inflicting pain and suffering on Israel. It is more about seeking revenge on Israel than living in a state next to it.
  • Hamas’s terrorism also helps the PA’s anti-Israel campaign in the international community. Each terrorist attack provides the PA with an opportunity to point out the “urgent” need to force Israel to submit to Palestinian demands as a way of “containing the radicals.”

All signs indicate that the Palestinians are planning to step up their efforts to force Israel to comply with their demands. But as the Palestinians are not united, they are working on two fronts to achieve their goal.

One party, headed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), believes that, with the help of the international community, Israel will be forced to fully withdraw to the pre-1967 lines, including east Jerusalem, and accept the “right of return” for millions of refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel.

The second party, represented by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and several other terror groups, continues to reject any form of compromise, and insists that the only solution lies in the elimination of Israel. Unlike the first party, this one believes that direct or indirect negotiations with the “Zionist enemy” are a waste of time and that terrorism is the only means for the Palestinians to achieve their goal.

The two Palestinian parties, the PA and Hamas, have been at war with each other since 2007, when Hamas seized full control over the Gaza Strip and forced the Palestinian Authority to flee to the West Bank.

But while the two rival parties are fighting each other, they are also working separately to overpower Israel.

On June 19, a Hamas-affiliated group claimed responsibility for the shooting attack that killed Danny Gonen, a 25-year-old man who was visiting the West Bank.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian groups rushed to “welcome” the killing of the young Israeli man who, by the way, was not a “settler,” but a resident of the Israeli city of Lod, near Ben Gurion Airport.

In separate statements, these terror groups explained that the attack came in the context of Palestinian efforts to “preserve the resistance” against Israel in the West Bank. They said that such attacks were “legitimate means” to achieve Palestinian rights and aspirations.

These groups made it unavoidably clear that their real objective is not to “liberate” the West Bank, but to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. As one of them said, “We will continue to support any resistance action on the land of Palestine until it is liberated, from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river, and cleansed from all Zionist usurpers.”

Hours after the West Bank attack, a senior Hamas leader, Musa Abu Marzouk, repeated that his movement was seeking to replace Israel with an Islamist state: “Hamas wants a state not only in the Gaza Strip, but in all of Palestine; we won’t give up our weapons and will continue to fight in order to liberate our land.”

Marzouk’s remarks refute claims by some Arab and Western media that Hamas has been moving toward pragmatism and moderation, and that it is now willing, for the first time, to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Many in the West often fail to understand Hamas’s true position because they do not follow what Hamas says in Arabic — to its own people. In Arabic, Hamas makes no secret of its call for the destruction of Israel. To Hamas’s credit, this message is often repeated in English and other languages.

While Hamas and its allies work toward destroying Israel through terrorism, the Palestinian Authority seems more determined than ever to step up its worldwide campaign to delegitimize and isolate Israel with the help of various international parties, such as the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Some senior Palestinian officials like to describe this campaign as a “diplomatic war” against Israel. They argue that this war has thus far proven to be much more “effective” than rockets and suicide bombings. “When we launch rockets at Israel, we don’t get any sympathy,” explained one official. “But everyone in the international community is now supporting our diplomatic efforts. That’s why we believe that what Hamas is doing right now is harmful to Palestinian interests.”

Shortly before the Israeli man was fatally shot in the West Bank, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, revealed his plan to rally the world against Israel so that it would be forced to submit to the Palestinian Authority’s demands, above all a complete withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.

Erekat’s plan calls for working very closely with EU countries and members of the UN Security Council, to increase pressure on Israel to comply with the Palestinian demands. It also calls for recruiting international support for recognition of a Palestinian state and paving the way for it to join various international organizations and conventions.

In his plan, Erekat warns against endorsing any UN Security Council resolution that would include recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, or offer concessions on the “right of return” for refugees. He also repeats the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of the idea of land swaps between the future Palestinian state and Israel. In addition, Erekat emphasizes his opposition to the idea of creating a demilitarized Palestinian state or giving up any part of Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority’s current strategy is to negotiate with the international community, and not with Israel, about achieving peace in the Middle East. The PA knows that it is not going to get from Israel all that it is asking for. That is why the Palestinian leaders have chosen to negotiate with France, Britain, Sweden and the US. The Palestinians are hoping that these countries will give them what Israel cannot and is not prepared to offer at the negotiating table.

Even if Israel wanted to give one hundred percent of what it gained in 1967, the reality on he ground does not allow it. Since 1967, both Jews and Arabs have created irreversible “facts in the ground,” such as the construction of tens of thousands of houses for both Arabs and Jews. A full withdrawal would mean that tens of thousands of Jews and Arabs would lose their homes both in the West Bank and in Jerusalem.

The ultimate goal of the Palestinian Authority is, with the help of the international community, to force Israel to its knees. For the PA, rallying the international community and Europe is about punishing and weakening Israel, not making peace with it. The PA wants to see Israel degraded, isolated and turned into a rogue state. It wants to see Israelis brought before the International Criminal Court and expelled from as many international organizations as possible.

From talking to senior Palestinian Authority officials, one is left with the impression that their true goal is to see Israel in a state of surrender and defeat. Their strategy is no longer about a two-state solution so much as it is about inflicting pain and suffering on Israel. It is more about seeking revenge on Israel than living in a state next to it.

In many ways, the PA’s “diplomatic war” on Israel also helps Hamas. By constantly accusing Israel of “war crimes” and “atrocities,” the PA is helping Hamas justify its terror attacks against Israelis. The PA’s anti-Israel campaign also helps in creating sympathy and understanding for Hamas’s terror attacks.

Meanwhile, Hamas’s terrorism also helps the Palestinian Authority’s anti-Israel campaign in the international community. Each terrorist attack provides the PA with an opportunity to point out the “urgent” need to force Israel to submit to Palestinian demands as a way of “containing the radicals.”

This is how Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, although remaining sworn enemies, complement each other’s role against Israel.

And many in the international community seem to be helping these two Palestinian camps in their effort to undermine and destroy Israel.

677Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (r) meets with the Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal in Qatar, July 20, 2014. (Image source: Handout from the PA President’s Office/Thaer Ghanem)

The wrong side of Z Street

June 20, 2015

The wrong side of Z Street, Power LineScott Johnson, June 19, 2015

[W]hile Z STREET’s application for tax exempt status was pending, the IRS did indeed create a special category of review for organizations seeking such status, if they were engaged in what the IRS called “occupied territory advocacy.”

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The pro-Israel group Z Street had its application for tax-exempt status held up at the IRS. When founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus asked why, she was told that IRS auditors had been instructed to give pro-Israel groups special attention and that Z Street’s application had been forwarded to a special IRS unit for additional review. Not to put too fine a point on the legal issues, this isn’t kosher. It’s illegal.

Z Street filed a lawsuit against the IRS in the rosy dawn of the Age of Obama; the lawsuit has failed to get beyond the IRS’s motion for dismissal. The Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman wrote about the lawsuit here last year when the DC District Court denied the IRS motion to dismiss the case. Z Street’s Lori Marcus wrote about it here. John wrote about it in 2013 in the post “The other IRS scandal.”

The legal positions asserted by the IRS are ludicrous. Indeed, they are a pretext to preclude discovery until President Obama and the malefactors serving his pleasure have moved on. The case is a sidebar to the political corruption of the IRS that remains one of the great untold stories of the Age of Obama.

The IRS appealed the denial of its motion to dismiss to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month a panel of three DC Circuit judges heard the IRS appeal. The hearing did not go well for the IRS. Indeed, it was an exercise in righteous humiliation of the Department of Justice. The Wall Street Journal took a look at the hearing in the reported editorial “The IRS goes to court” (accessible here via Google).

Working with unusual swiftness, the DC Circuit handed down its opinion today. The court unanimously rejected the arguments advanced by the IRS. The court’s opinion is accessible online here.

Z Street is now free to pursue its claim and conduct discovery. Z Street comments:

Z STREET looks forward to the discovery phase of litigation in which it will seek to learn the nature and origin of the “Israel Special Policy” which the IRS applied to Z STREET’s tax exemption application. Z STREET will seek to learn how such a policy was created, who created it, who approved it, to whom it was applied, as well as all other information regarding this policy.

A series of IRS documents called “Be On the LookOut” lists, which were released by Congress in June, 2013, pursuant to the TIGTA investigation, have already established that, as Z STREET alleges, while Z STREET’s application for tax exempt status was pending, the IRS did indeed create a special category of review for organizations seeking such status, if they were engaged in what the IRS called “occupied territory advocacy.”

Z STREET looks forward to using the discovery process to learn more about the precise nature, origin and effect of this policy, which the DC Circuit has now made clear is a violation of essential Constitutional rights.

Perhaps some day there will be a day of reckoning and perhaps some day someone will take note of the array of wrongs committed by the IRS on behalf of the Obama administration.

The U.S. President is Not Omnipotent

December 28, 2014

The U.S. President is Not Omnipotent, Algemeiner, December 28, 2014. This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

full-senate-300x200The United States Senate.

Will the 114th Congress follow in his footsteps, or will it abdicate its constitutional responsibilities?

Congress has often abdicated its constitutional power in the area of foreign policy, failing to fully leverage the power of the purse: funding, defunding and “fencing.”

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White House and State Department officials contend that, irrespective of Congress, President Barack Obama can apply effective diplomatic, commercial and national security pressure and coerce Israel to partition Jerusalem and retreat from Judea and Samaria to the 9-15 mile-wide pre-1967 sliver, surrounded by the violently turbulent and unpredictable Arab street.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro recently voiced this inaccurate underestimation of the power of Congress — which has traditionally opposed pressure on Israel, echoing the sentiments of most constituents — saying, “What is unmistakable about our foreign policy system is that the Constitution provides the president with the largest share of power.”

The assertion that U.S. foreign policy and national security are shaped by presidential omnipotence can be refuted by the U.S. Constitution as well as recent precedents. The Constitution was created by the Founding Fathers, who were determined to limit the power of government and preclude the possibility of executive dictatorship. They were apprehensive of potential presidential excesses and encroachment, and therefore assigned the formulation of foreign policy and national security to both Congress and the president. Obviously, the coalescing of policy between 535 legislators constitutes a severe disadvantage for the legislature.

According to the Congressional Quarterly, the U.S. Constitution rectified the mistakes of its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, upgrading the role of Congress to the primary branch of the U.S. government. “Hence, the first article of the Constitution is dedicated to Congress. The powers, structure, and procedures of the national legislature are outlined in considerable detail in the Constitution, unlike those of the presidency and the judiciary.”

Unlike all other Western democracies — where the executive branch of government dominates the legislature, especially in the area of international relations and defense — the U.S. Constitution laid the foundation for the world’s most powerful legislature, and for an inherent power struggle over the making of foreign policy between the legislature and the executive, two independent, co-equal and co-determining branches of government. Moreover, while the president is the commander in chief, presidential clout depends largely on congressional authorization and appropriation in a system of separation of powers and checks and balances, especially in the areas of sanctions, foreign aid, military assistance, trade agreements, treaty ratification, appointment confirmation and all spending.

Congressional power has been dramatically bolstered since the Vietnam War, Watergate, the Iran-Contra affair and globalization, which have enhanced the involvement of most legislators in international issues, upgraded the oversight capabilities of Congress, dramatically elevated the quality and quantity of some 15,000(!) Capitol Hill staffers and have restrained the presidency.

However, Congress has often abdicated its constitutional power in the area of foreign policy, failing to fully leverage the power of the purse: funding, defunding and “fencing.” Legislators prefer to focus on domestic issues, which represent their constituents’ primary concerns and therefore determine their re-electability. Hence, they usually allow the president to take the lead in the initiation and implementation of foreign and national security policies, unless the president abuses their trust, outrageously usurping power, violating the law, assuming an overly imperial posture, pursuing strikingly failed policies, or dramatically departing from national consensus (e.g., the deeply rooted, bipartisan commitment to the Jewish state). Then, Congress reveals impressive muscle as befits a legislature, which is the most authentic reflection of the American people, unrestrained by design, deriving its power from the constituent and not from party leadership or the president, true to the notion that “the president proposes, Congress disposes.”

For example:

  • On August 1, 2014, Democratic senators forced Obama to separate the $225 million funding of Iron Dome batteries from the highly controversial $2.7 billion immigration and border security bill.
  • Since 1982 the Senate has repeatedly refused to ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea, and since 1999 it has rejected ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
  • The January 2013 defense authorization bill tightened restrictions on the transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo to the U.S. In May 2009, Majority Leader Harry Reid foiled Obama’s attempt to close down the detention camp.
  • On February 17, 2011, Obama reluctantly vetoed a U.N. Security Council condemnation of Israel’s settlement policy, due to bipartisan congressional pressure.
  • In September 2012, a $450 million cash transfer to the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt was blocked by Congress.
  • The 2012 budget cut into Obama’s foreign aid spending request by more than $8 billion.
  • In 2009, bipartisan congressional opposition prevented the appointment of Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council.
  • In 1990-1992, Congress approved a series of amendments, expanding U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation to unprecedented levels despite presidential opposition.
  • In 1990, President George H. W. Bush failed in his attempt to cut Israel’s foreign aid by 5 percent due to congressional opposition.
  • In January 1975, the Jackson-Vanik Amendment was signed into law, in defiance of the president.
  • Congress ended U.S. military involvement in Vietnam (the 1973 Eagleton, Cooper and Church Amendments), Angola (the 1976 Clark Amendment) and Nicaragua (the 1982-1984 Boland Amendments).
  • In 1991, Senator Daniel Inouye fended off administration pressure to withdraw an amendment to upgrade the port of Haifa facilities for the Sixth Fleet: “According to the U.S. Constitution, the legislature supervises the executive, not vice versa.”

Will the 114th Congress follow in his footsteps, or will it abdicate its constitutional responsibilities?

Imperialism, Obama style

December 20, 2014

Imperialism, Obama style, Dan Miller’s Blog, December 20, 2014

Obama condemns “wicked” U.S. imperialism for supporting American values such as freedom and democracy abroad. Simultaneously, he tries to precipitate “regime change” in Israel so that she will support His values and those of Palestinians rather than American and Israeli values of freedom and democracy.

The Palestinians have placed before the United Nations Security Council a “peace proposal” intended to force Israel to agree to creation of a Palestinian state and “an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines” by the end of 2017. Secretary Kerry has argued that the matter should not be considered until after the Israeli Knesset elections in March. According to an article in Foreign Policy,

Speaking at an annual luncheon with the 28 European Union ambassadors, Kerry cautioned that any action by the U.N. Security Council would strengthen the hands of Israeli hardliners who oppose the peace process. . . . [Emphasis added.]

“Kerry has been very, very clear that for the United States it was not an option to discuss whatever text before the end of the Israeli election,” according to a European diplomat.

The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the luncheon was confidential, said that Kerry explained that Israel’s liberal political leaders, Shimon Peres and Tipzi Livni, had expressed concern that a Security Council move to pressure Israel on the eve of election would only strengthen the hands of Israeli hardliners, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Naftali Bennett, an implacable foe of a Palestinian state and leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party. Netanyahu is also fiercely opposed to the Palestinians effort to secure Security Council backing for its statehood drive. [Emphasis added.]

Kerry said Livni had “told him that such a text imposed by the international community would reinforce Benjamin Netanyahu and the hardliners in Israel,” as well as the hardliners in Palestine, according to the European diplomat.

The message, said another European diplomat, was that U.N. action would “give more impetus to more right-wing parties, that there was a risk this could further embolden the more right-wing forces along the Israeli political spectrum.” [Emphasis added.]

Kerry’s remarks highlight the Obama administration’s delicate balancing act when it comes to its tense relationship with the Israeli government. On the one hand, senior  administration officials make little attempt to hide the personal dislike between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama or their sharp disagreements on issues ranging from the peace process to Iran. On the other hand, Kerry and other top policymakers have tried to avoid saying or doing anything that could be seen as meddling in the Israeli election in an effort to oust Netanyahu and replace him with a more centrist prime minister. [Emphasis added.]

On an open microphone in March of 2012, Obama

told Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more flexibility after November’s election to deal with contentious issues such as missile defence. . . .

Obama’s candid remark was considered a gaffe because He made it assuming that the microphone had been turned off and that no one other than Medvedev would hear Him. Kerry, however, candidly but intentionally told twenty-eight European Union ambassadors that it is U.S. policy to encourage the Israeli left, to diminish the Israeli right and to make it more difficult for Prime Minister Netanyahu to remain in office. Aside from his incredible naivete, why did Kerry do that?

For Obama and European leaders, Israel is reducible to the peace process. And the Israeli left depends on the support of foreign governments for its network of foreign funded non-profit organizations. The Israeli left can’t let go of its exploding version of ObamaCare [Palestine] because the left is becoming a foreign organization with limited domestic support. Its electorate isn’t in Israel; it’s in Brussels. [Emphasis and bracketed insert added.]

. . . .

Escalating a crisis in relations has been the traditional way for US administrations to force Israeli governments out of office. Bill Clinton did it to Netanyahu and as Israeli elections appear on the horizon Obama would love to do it all over again.

There’s only one problem.

The United States is popular in Israel, but Obama isn’t. Obama’s spats with Netanyahu ended up making the Israeli leader more popular. The plan was for Obama to gaslight Israelis by maintaining a positive image in Israel while lashing out at the Jewish State so that the blame would fall on Netanyahu. [Emphasis added.]

Kerry’s remarks — covered by Israeli media — seem, contrary to his intentions, likely to enhance the chances of Israeli “hardliners” on the “right,” to hurt the chances of those on the left and hence to increase PM Netanyahu’s chances of remaining in office. Even leaving that aside, how will Kerry’s remarks favoring regime change be viewed by other increasingly reluctant U.S. allies in the Middle East?

Israeli “hardliners” have already yielded to the Palestinians as much as, if not more than, they can without greatly endangering the security of Israel because there is no Palestinian entity with which peace can be made other than through Israel’s suicide.

The remarks of the Islamic preacher at the mosque in Jerusalem reflect a general Palestinian view.

Interestingly, the speaker doesn’t mention the longing for Palestinian statehood or independence. Instead, he talks of the establishment of the “Islamic Caliphate.” “Oh Allah’” he states, “Hasten the establishment of the State of the Islamic Caliphate,” and further rants, “Oh Allah hasten the pledge of allegiance to the Muslim Caliph.” He spews forth the latter statement three times to chants of “Amen!” from the large, approving crowd congregating around him.

These comments, which would register horror and revulsion in the West (at least in some quarters) are almost banal among Palestinians. In fact, a similar video featuring a different speaker some days earlier at the same venue, conveyed identical sentiment, expressing admiration for the Islamic State and calling for murder of Jews and annihilation of America. [Emphasis added.]

Here’s the other video referenced in the article:

Guttural anti-Semitism is ingrained and interwoven in the fabric of Palestinian society. Despite their minuscule numbers, 78% of Palestinians believe that Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars while a whopping 88% believe that Jews control the global media and still more believe that Jews wield too much power in the business world. [Emphasis added.]

Much of the blame for this can be placed squarely on the doorstep of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, which subjects the Palestinian population to a steady diet of hate-filled, Judeophobic rhetoric through state-controlled media and educational institutions. It is so well entrenched that the process of deprogramming, if it were ever attempted, would take generations to reverse. [Emphasis added.]

As noted in the Wall Street Journal article linked in the quote immediately above,

To understand why peace in Palestine is years if not decades away, consider the Palestinian celebrations after Tuesday’s murder in a Jerusalem synagogue of five Israelis, including three with joint U.S. citizenship. Two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun attacked worshipers during morning prayers, and the response was jubilation in the streets.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility, while Hamas praised the murders as a “response to continued Israeli crimes.” The main obstacle to peace isn’t Jewish settlements in the multireligious city of Jerusalem. The barrier is the culture of hatred against Jews that is nurtured by Palestinian leaders. [Emphasis added.]

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killings, but not without calling for Israel to halt what he called “invasions” of the holy Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Mr. Abbas has previously said the Temple Mount was being “contaminated” by Jews, despite assurances by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque are for Muslim worship only. The Memri news service reports that the Oct. 29 issue of the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida was full of false accusations that Israel is damaging Jerusalem’s holy sites. [Emphasis added.]

Moreover,

An overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs support the recent spate of terrorist attacks against Israelis, an opinion poll released Tuesday finds, according to The Associated Press (AP).[Emphasis added.]

The poll also found that more than half of Palestinian Arabs support a new “intifada” (uprising) against Israel, and that Hamas would win presidential elections if they were held today. [Emphasis added.]

Palestinian Arab pollster Khalil Shikaki said the results reflected anger over Israeli statements about Jerusalem, as well as a loss of hope following the collapse of U.S.-brokered peace talks and Israel’s recent war with Hamas in Gaza.

Shikaki heads the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which interviewed 1,270 people in the Palestinian Authority-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria and Gaza last week. The poll had an error margin of 3 percentage points.

“There is an environment in which violence is becoming a dominant issue,” Shikaki told AP. “This seems to be one of the most important driving forces.”

Hamas is, if possible, even worse than Abbas’ Palestinian Authority.

Both Hamas and Abbas’ Palestinian Authority seek the death of Israeli Jews and the destruction of Israel, the only democratic and free nation in the Middle East. Kerry’s ill-conceived efforts to assist them at the expense of Israel, most recently by actively seeking to promote Israel’s left wing, to diminish its right wing and hence to empower Palestinians intent upon the death of Israel, may well fail. Succeed or fail, those efforts are consistent with Obama’s preference for Islamic dictators over democracy coupled with freedom.

Barack Mitsvah