Posted tagged ‘Anti Semitism’

And more on Antisemitism on the British Left

February 8, 2018

And more on Antisemitism on the British Left | Anne’s Opinions, 8th February 2018

I apologize if I seem to be banging on about this subject of the antisemitism that has taken over the British Labour Party, but every time I think they have hit bottom, they dig some more.

Here are a few articles worth reading, and what makes a couple of them stand out is that they were written by non-Jews. The antisemitism has reached such levels that even the Gentiles are protesting.

Labour MP John Mann (who has a respectable record fighting antisemitism in his party and is the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism) writes “I’m not Jewish but whatever I talk about I receive antisemitic abuse“:

Labour MP John Mann

I made my Question Time debut last week as a Labour MP. I was asked about Theresa May, about Brexit, about allegations of rape and how to deal with them and about statues of Margaret Thatcher. I talked about my work as a constituency MP, and as the longest-serving member of the Treasury Select Committee. I discussed my work against child sexual exploitation and abuse and spoke about the economy and immigration. And yet, when I looked at my phone, I found I had received anti-Jewish abuse and an antisemitic death threat on social media. I am not Jewish, I didn’t talk about Jews and I didn’t discuss the Middle East.

This isn’t the first time. I can speak out about knife crime and drugs and the tweets come in – “who is paying you to do your work” “Why don’t you admit you’re in the pay of the Israeli government” and the like. It is not just tweets though. One Labour party member called me a “CIA *******” for dealing with the “antisemitism nonsense” following an appearance I made on the Daily Politics at Labour party conference talking about the Brexit. Not all, but the vast majority of these attacks have come from self-identified “left-wing” activists or Labour party supporters.

Anti-Jewish hate and invective is becoming so obsessive, so fervent that irrespective of what an anti-racist activist is discussing, antisemitism is the online reaction. Last week, Phillip Collins, in the Times, highlighted the problem of Left wing antisemitism and the obsessive hate of Israel. He pointed out that most of the statements people make are not actionable. The death threat I received will be, but much of the abuse fell into the other category. As he said: the “tone of voice, the severity, the passion, the elevation of an issue that should be one among many to a defining idea of political identity.” ”It connects to a loathing of America and of capitalism and of alleged western interference in the Middle East. For the uncomplicated racist, hatred of the undesirable people is the starting point. For the complicated, confused leftist, the denigration of a people is their conclusion.”

But now it’s one step further. There’s a group-focussed enmity. Anyone who calls out racism, or seeks to address anti-Jewish hatred is a target. It’s even now the case that allegations of antisemitism are being inferred or created and attributed to Jews in order to try and diminish the charge when one has not been made. This of course, undermines victims of antisemitism and their right to define such abuse and call out the abusers.

I expect Labour to call out the anti-Semites. When someone with a public platform in the party tweets a racist slur or alleges antisemitism is fabricated, they must be called out. Each and every Labour MP has a duty to speak. We cannot ask other party’s to deal with issues of antisemitism in their parties if we don’t call it out in our own.

We all have a responsibility to call out antisemitism. Any MP should be able to appear on a public show about the key policy issues of our time without being subjected to racist abuse. If we can’t defeat racism, then it’s not the politicians we need to be questioning but rather our future as a civilised society.

Philip Collins in the London Times, quoted above in John Mann’s article, writes that Labour’s Antisemitism is worse than it looks (£): (h/t Benji P). He begins his piece with a reflection on Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question, and continues (emphases are added):

The political left in Britain has a serious problem with the Finkler question and it erupted again this week. A dispute has broken out which has the unlikely cast of the renowned cat-impersonator George Galloway, the comedian and writer David Baddiel and the founder of Momentum and member of the Labour Party governing body, Jon Lansman. Mr Galloway started it by calling Baddiel “a vile Israel-fanatic” which accusation he later refined to suggest that Baddiel was prone to using the label of “antisemite” as a slander. Mr Lansman waded in to declare his solidarity with Baddiel who, as a “non-Zionist” is neither vile nor a fanatic.

Mr Galloway responded to Mr Lansman’s implication that he was antisemitic with a threat to sue for defamation. If this unseemly case ever wastes the time of British justice I will root without equivocation for Mr Lansman. That said, this brief exchange was by no means a contest between a knight and a knave and, if Mr Lansman is to become a power in the land, we need to understand the full implications of his position.

Mr Galloway signed off with a threat that revealed his confidence that his view is widely shared on the left. He suggested that he would call Jeremy Corbyn as a witness in his defence. Indeed, Mr Galloway is right to suppose that Mr Corbyn shares a less vehemently expressed version of his own confused certainty. Mr Galloway is never overtly antisemitic — he is far too canny for that. Instead, he alleges that Israel is a country born of colonial conquest which means that the Zionists are the racists. To this historical fiction, the Galloway leftists usually add a critique of acquisitive capitalism which elides neatly with the perennial tropes of antisemitism: the usurious, monied, wandering Jew. You can get a glimpse of a whole pathology without anyone ever actually spelling it out.

This is a familiar and dismal story yet perhaps it was Mr Lansman’s contribution that was the more intriguing, and not just because he is now a central figure in Labour’s command structure. Mr Lansman leapt to support Baddiel on the stated proviso that the latter was not a Zionist. The implied logic here is that, if Baddiel were vocal about the right of Israel to exist, then solidarity with him might be withdrawn. He merits support, in other words, not because calling someone a vile Israel-fanatic is diabolical but because he is on the right side of the imperial argument.

Zionism, which in fact originated as a liberation movement and the search for a place of safety, is recast, by Mr Lansman’s implication, as an ideology of oppression rooted in an act of conquest in 1967. The two thousand years of migration, the sense of the return as a spiritual as well as a geographical exercise, are ignored. This looks like power politics pure and simple. Baddiel has shown himself not to be complicit and has therefore proved his credentials as someone worthy of solidarity. Not as a Jew but as a “non-Zionist”. As Howard Jacobson has said, “those who say they are against Zionism but not Jews are speaking in riddles”. It seems to me that Mr Lansman reveals as much with his defence as Mr Galloway does with his attack.

The Labour Party is led, indeed, by a man who only ever talked to one side, who called himself a friend of Hamas, a body which seeks the destruction of the Jewish state; a man who happily took money from Press TV, a channel owned and controlled by the Iranian government which denies the truth of the Holocaust. The home affairs select committee concluded that institutional antisemitism thrived in the Labour Party. Mr Corbyn did commission a report into the issue but it proved to be a lot better at getting Shami Chakrabarti into the Labour Party than getting antisemites out.

This is not the sort of prejudice that can be settled in court. Only the true cranks voice straightforwardly actionable statements of hatred.

Here are the key words which were quoted by John Mann:

The left’s antisemitism is in the tone of voice, the severity, the passion, the elevation of an issue that should be one among many to a defining idea of political identity.

It connects to a loathing of America and of capitalism and of alleged western interference in the Middle East. For the uncomplicated racist, hatred of the undesirable people is the starting point. For the complicated, confused leftist, the denigration of a people is their conclusion. The ingenious ones among them even sound as though they arrive at their argument with great reluctance. This is the mindset that might one day inform British foreign policy and, if that is a realistic prospect, then it is the errors hidden in Mr Lansman’s world view that will matter more than the errors evident in Mr Galloway’s.

Since Mr. Collins cites Howard Jacobson’s book, it is only fitting to quote Howard Jacobson in his own New Statesman article on modern antisemitism: To truly remember the Holocaust, we must stay alert to prejudice”:

Modern antisemitism – same as the old

The modern anti-Semite is more subtle than his great-grandparents. He doesn’t smash our windows or our bones. He insinuates himself into consciences that are already troubled and works on spirits that are already half-broken. And we are too responsive to his serpent insinuations. When the history of Jew-hating in our time comes to be written, Jewish collusion in it will feature heavily.

To the question I don’t have – but is something like, “How do any of us, as Jews, fulfil the great task imposed on us?” – here is my part-answer: stop apologising and resist the sirens who would lure you on to the rocks of guilt and self-dislike, singing of Jewish materialism, Jewish legalism, Jewish exclusivism, Jewish supremacism, Jewish imperialism, Zionism…

Decisive in Corbyn’s emergence as a folk hero is the triumphant amnesia of the young. Of the history of socialism in the 20th century, of the dogmas that still exert a hold on ideologues such as Corbyn, causing him to turn his face away whenever words such as Jew, Israel or anti-Semitism are spoken – some boast of knowing nothing. What does it matter? We weren’t there. “What you don’t understand about my generation,” one young journalist wrote after last year’s election, “is that we don’t know or remember who Gerry Adams or Hezbollah were – so when you tell us that Jeremy Corbyn was their friend, we don’t care.”

Considering how easy the Internet has made it to find out about the past, such ignorance is surprising. But every promise of enlightenment the Internet has made, social media has broken. It revels in the selfish minutiae of the now; having neither eyes nor ears, its stock in trade is malicious rumour. People retweet what they will not take the time to confirm – a slander; a conspiracy theory, of which the Holohoax is just one; or a malevolent meme such as that posted by a Labour politician three years ago – “I have often said the Holocaust victims who died with dignity must be turning in their graves at the horrors done in the name of Judaism.”

How are we to describe the obscenity of that? Can the tweeter truly be so ignorant of what went on in the camps that she can speak, nostalgically, of Jews dying in them with dignity? Or is there method in the ignorance, truth playing second fiddle to propaganda – Jews dying with dignity in the horrorless Holocaust only to show up how little dignity Jews of our age grant those they kill in horror-filled Israel?

Thus the moral seesaw on which Holocaust relativists love to frolic – the contestable atrocity that was the Holocaust now rising, now falling, but always ultimately outweighed by the incontestable outrage that is Zionism. It was played upon again in a fringe meeting at last year’s Labour Party Conference where that prize catch, an Israeli anti-Zionist, argued for the necessity for the party to discuss everything openly, including the Holocaust. “Holocaust yes or no?” he posited, as though the truth of Auschwitz waited on a thumbs up/thumbs down decision. Holocaust: like or dislike? It was a line of enquiry that was given a definitive thumbs up later in the day when a distinguished British film director and member of the Labour Party appeared on the BBC to defend it.

And one more item to finish up (for now – this appears to be an unending subject): it emerges that during the debate in the British Parliament about whether to ban Hezbollah in its entirety or “only” its “military wing“, the Shadow Home Secretary, Labour’s Diane Abbot, ordered Labour MPs to oppose a total ban of Hezbollah!

Jeremy Corbyn famously called Hezbollah “friends” during a meeting in Parliament in 2009.

Ahead of the debate the Shadow Home Secretary sent a briefing note to Labour MPs urging them to not to back the motion because it would hinder peace talks in the Middle East.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

 

The document – obtained by the Jewish Chronicle – read: “There is a balance between making absolutely clear our abhorrence of using violence to achieve political ends and at the same time encouraging organisations down an effective democratic path.

“Full proscription could be a move against dialogue and meaningful peace negotiations in the Middle East.”

Jennifer Gerber, head of Labour Friends of Israel, slammed the Labour frontbench for actively ordering its MPs to block the banning of Hezbollah.

She said: “It is sadly unsurprising that the Labour frontbench would issue a statement on Hezbollah which fails to support banning the terror group in its entirety, and which makes no reference to its virulent antisemitism, its desire to annihilate Israel and its appalling role in propping up Assad’s murderous regime in Syria.

“It is, moreover, utterly delusional to think that, having wreaked death and destruction throughout the region, Hezbollah can play any role in promoting peace. We would urge Labour’s leadership to listen to this afternoon’s debate and reconsider its position.”

Reading the stories above, wading through pages of antisemitic tweets, comments and facebook posts from people who are “only anti-Zionist, I have nothing against Jews”, I don’t know whether to boggle at their ignorance, their stupidity or their malice.

New York students instructed to debate exterminating Jews

March 31, 2017

Forcing children to argue for genocide and annihilation depraved and the very definition of evil.

It’s child abuse.    343314161-Final-Solution-homework-assignment

The evil is compounded by the fact that there is no real diversity of opinion of thought. Can you point to anywhere in academia – where opposition to jihad and sharia is debated and/or encouraged.

There is no discussion, no instruction, no education about the gravest threat to our freedom and Western civilization but exterminating the Jews – yes, let’s talk about hat.

By – on March 31, 2017

Source: New York students instructed to debate exterminating Jews – Geller Report

New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said she sees how an assignment asking students to argue in support of the Holocaust could prompt critical thinking.

 

Upstate New York students debate exterminating Jews

By Susan D. Harris, American Thinker, March 30, 2017:

The New York education commissioner defended a local teacher’s assignment asking students to argue in favor of exterminating Jews.  It sounds incomprehensible, but MaryEllen Elia, speaking in Syracuse, N.Y. (Onondaga County) this past Thursday morning, did just that.  It seems especially hideous, contemporarily, since that city’s Jewish Community Center has been under lockdown three times this year: twice for bomb threats and most recently for a vaguely described “threat of violence.”

The education commissioner was addressing an assignment given by a teacher in neighboring Oswego County this past February.  The teacher, Michael DeNobile, gave the assignment as part of the Oswego County CiTi/BOCES New Vision program.  According to local reporter Julie McMahon, the students were asked to “put themselves in a Nazi leaders’ shoes and argue for or against the ‘Final Solution’ to exterminate Jewish people.”

It seems that only two students were disturbed by this request.  Jordan April and Archer Shurtliff (neither are Jewish) are both seniors at Oswego County high schools participating in the New Vision program.  The program allows students to take college-level classes on the SUNY Oswego campus.  April and Shurtliff brought their concerns directly to DeNobile, higher administrators, and even the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  The two girls’ goal was “to make sure no other student would be asked to argue in favor of killing Jews again.”  They also asked for the New Vision program to retract the assignment completely.  They were unsuccessful.  In exchange for their complaints, however, the entire class was given the opportunity to choose their own alternative project.  Only three students took advantage of that, including April and Shurtliff.

Education commissioner Elia held strong to her support of the assignment, citing critical thinking as the supposed learning tool, saying, “I think it’s certainly a question where you want students to think on both sides and analyze … which position a person is taking.”  Student Archer Shurtliff, in a separate interview, stated conversely that “it’s settled opinion[.] … [Y]ou can’t say that Jews deserve to die.  It should be a settled thing.”

Dogged local reporter McMahon posted the actual homework assignment on Syracuse’s online news website.  Eerily, it was stamped “Top Secret” in red at the top.  McMahon writes:

The assignment itself notes that the point is “not for you to be sympathetic to the Nazi point of view[.] … Ultimately, this is an exercise on expanding your point of view by going outside your comfort zone and training your brain to logistically [sic] find the evidence necessary to prove a point, even if it is existentially and philosophically against what you believe,” the assignment says.

(Ironically, Oswego County is home to “Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum,” which commemorates America’s only refugee camp for victims of WWII.  In 1944, nearly 1,000 refugees were housed in the army barracks there as “guests” of President Roosevelt.  According to previous newspaper reports, approximately 900 of them were Jewish.  Strangely, the words “Jew” and “Jewish” are apparently mentioned only once on the museum’s website.)

ADL education director Beth Martinez said the whole thing is “deeply troubling,” adding that students should never be given an assignment “that even hints at their [sic] being ‘two sides’ to the ‘Final Solution’ / Holocaust.”  Martinez said she was notified by Roseann Bayne, the assistant superintendent for the CiTi program, that the assignment was still being offered along with an alternative.

Martinez cited Common Core as a catalyst for pushing students to argue from a perspective from which they do not agree.  This sounds benign at first glance – until you see an example like this, where a student is asked to justify mass murder as part of a learning experience.  One can only hope such a thing would be outside most people’s “comfort zone” and remain there.

The fight is definitely not over for two 17-year-old girls who had the guts to take on a monumental task: teaching some seriously misguided adults that “critical thinking” does not mean abandoning all human decency at the schoolhouse door.

 

Palestinians: We Have the Right to Poison the Minds of our Children

March 29, 2017

by Bassam Tawil
March 29, 2017 at 5:00 am

Source: Palestinians: We Have the Right to Poison the Minds of our Children

 

  • The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas wish to continue teaching children that the conflict with Israel is not over a two-state solution, but the “liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” which means the annihilation of Israel. The goal is for the students to believe that Israel is one big settlement that has no place in the Middle East.
  • Along with Hamas, Abbas and his PA plan to continue inculcating Palestinian children with the idea that they should look to terrorists who kill Jews as their role models. It might be illuminating if the conversation between Trump and Abbas were to be informed by these uncomfortable facts.

In an ironic turnaround, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) is now the object of intimidation and threats made by many Palestinians.

UNRWA is reportedly planning to introduce some changes to the curriculum in its schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the Palestinians are rather unhappy about it. They claim that UNRWA has “succumbed” to Israeli pressure to make the changes.

The proposed changes are based on leaks to Palestinians and have not been confirmed by UNRWA. Palestinians claim that they learned about the plans to introduce the changes during meetings with senior UNRWA officials.

According to the Palestinians, the changes are intended to “eradicate” their “national identity” and “history” and distort their “struggle” against Israel.

The Palestinians claim that the new textbooks have replaced the map of “historic Palestine” (including Israel) with pictures of a pumpkin and a bird. Palestinian textbooks often feature maps of “historic Palestine” without Israel. Cities inside Israel, such as Haifa, Jaffa, Tiberias and Ramle, are referred to as “Palestinian cities.” The Palestinian Authority (PA) media also refer to these cities as “Palestinian cities inside the 1948 Land.”

In one fourth-grade textbook, the Palestinians charge, UNRWA has replaced the map of Palestine with a picture of a traditional Palestinian woman’s dress.

The new textbooks make no reference to cities in Israel; they mention only cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, such as Nablus, Jenin, Gaza City, Jericho and Ramallah.

Unsurprisingly, an UNRWA revision of the Palestinian presumption of Jerusalem as the “capital of the State of Palestine” to Jerusalem as a “Holy city for the Abrahamic religions” did not go over well with Palestinians. In addition, they are angry because the UNRWA textbooks make no mention of the Jordan Valley along the border between Israel and Jordan.

The controversial textbooks have also removed photos of Israeli soldiers patrolling near schools and references to Palestinian prisoners held in Israel for terrorism. Moreover, the new textbooks are missing the previous references to “Palestinian Prisoners’ Day” — an annual event marked by Palestinians in solidarity with imprisoned terrorists.

Palestinians are also protesting the removal of words such as “occupation” and “checkpoints” from the new textbooks.

If true, the proposed changes to the Palestinian textbooks should be welcomed as a positive development towards ending anti-Israel incitement in Palestinian schools, including those belonging to UNRWA. In light of the widespread Palestinian protests and threats, however, it is doubtful whether UNRWA will succeed in making the proposed revisions.

A girls’ school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees. (Image source: UNRWA)

A recent study into schoolbooks used by UNRWA-run schools found that the texts consistently delegitimize and demonize Israel. The schools do not teach Palestinian children to recognize Israel. The research was conducted by Dr. Arnon Gross, who translated the books, and Dr. Roni Shaked, both from the Harry Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

In these currently-used books, Zionism is defined as a colonialist movement that was founded by European Jews in order to gather Jews from all around the world and bring them to Palestine. No mention is made of the religious or historical connection of Jews to the Land of Israel or to Jerusalem. Instead, the UNRWA textbooks teach that Jewish holy sites such as the Western Wall, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are Muslim holy sites.

Not surprisingly, vicious rivals though they are, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have joined forces to thwart UNRWA’s planned changes to the textbooks. This is an issue that these two corrupt regimes can agree on: inciting children against Israel and denying its existence.

Ahmed Bahr, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, warned that any changes to the curriculum would “harm the history and national rights of the Palestinian people, as well as their resistance” against Israel. By “resistance,” the Hamas official means terrorism against Israel, including suicide bombings and the launching of rockets at Israel.

According to the Hamas official, UNRWA and the international community need to understand that “the option of resistance is the only and shortest way for restoring Palestine and liberating our land.”

In other words, Bahr wants to go on teaching Palestinian children to continue perpetrating terror attacks, in order to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic empire. In fact, Hamas has long been teaching precisely this in its own schools in the Gaza Strip. Yet Hamas is making it manifest that UNRWA is to follow suit in its schools. Children studying in the UN agency’s schools are to continue learning that Israel is nothing more than a figment of the imagination.

The past few days have seen Palestinians in the Gaza Strip staging a series of protests against UNRWA. They warned the agency against making the changes, which are designed to “distort the minds of Palestinian children” and which “do not comply with the culture of Palestinian society.”

Hamas has refused to allow UNRWA to teach about the Holocaust in its schools. From Hamas’s point of view, the UN agency seeks to “poison the minds of our children by taking steps that only serve” Israel. “UNRWA is trying to justify Israeli crimes against the Palestinians by teaching the so-called Holocaust in the context of human rights in UNRWA-run schools,” Hamas said. This attitude is far from surprising: Holocaust denial has always been an integral part of Palestinian and Arab narratives.

It is easy to see why Hamas and other extremist Palestinian groups would be opposed to changing textbooks that delegitimize and demonize Israel. More difficult to understand is that the Palestinian Authority, whose president, Mahmoud Abbas, says he is opposed to anti-Israel incitement, also came out against UNRWA’s planned changes.

A statement issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Education in Ramallah warned that it would take “punitive measures” against anyone who tries to change or tamper with the curriculum. “Any attempt to change the Palestinian curriculum will be considered an assault on Palestine and an eradication and dilution of our national identity,” the ministry cautioned.

The language used by the PA is strikingly similar to that used by Hamas to threaten an organization that has for decades helped millions of Palestinians to survive. In this regard, the Palestinians are once again biting the hand that has fed them. Ask Kuwait and other Gulf countries that used to give Palestinians billions of dollars before the Palestinians supported Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.

In his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington in mid-April, Abbas is expected to renew his commitment to combating anti-Israel incitement, according to senior PA officials in Ramallah. One wonders how Abbas plans to account for the PA’s threats against UNRWA regarding the textbooks.

The PA, like Hamas, plans to continue indoctrinating their children through poisonous textbooks that depict Jews as evil occupiers and land-thieves who build “racist walls” and demolish houses for no reason. They also wish to continue teaching children that the conflict with Israel is not over a two-state solution, but the “liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” which means the annihilation of Israel. The goal is for the students to believe that Israel is one big “settlement” that has no place in the Middle East.

Moreover, along with Hamas, Abbas and his PA plan to continue inculcating Palestinian children with the idea that they should look to terrorists who kill Jews as their role models. It might be illuminating if the conversation between Trump and Abbas were to be informed by these uncomfortable facts.

Bassam Tawil is an Arab scholar based in the Middle East.

De Facto Settlement Freeze Only Result of US-Israel Four Day Discussion

March 25, 2017

De Facto Settlement Freeze Only Result of US-Israel Four Day Discussion

Source: De Facto Settlement Freeze Only Result of US-Israel Four Day DiscussionThe Jewish Press | David Israel | 27 Adar 5777 – March 24, 2017 | JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Jason Greenblatt, March 13, 2017.

After four days of talks between the US and Israel on the future of the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise, the two sides issued a joint statement saying the issues remain “exceptionally complicated” and that the talks have been serious and beneficial. In other words, if they had something new to announce they would have announced it.

The joint statement said that “A principal focus of the discussions was specific measures that could have a meaningful impact on the economic environment in the West Bank and Gaza, allowing the Palestinians to more fully realize their economic potential. The two delegations also discussed Israeli settlement construction.”

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President Trump’s negotiator Jason Greenblatt and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz led the talks, which came only a few days following Greenblatt’s visit to Israel and the PA. One thing the two sides have said they agreed on was that, for now, the Netanyahu government will be minding the Trump Administration’s concerns on settlements construction and expansion. Which probably means an unofficial settlement freeze for the foreseeable future – even though everybody connected to the talks is denying it.

In fact, a senior Trump administration official told the Wall Street Journal that “the notion that Israelis have rebuffed proposals…none of it is correct. […] Nobody is asking for a freeze here—the president has made clear he has some concerns in the context of how we can advance…toward a genuine and lasting peace for the Israelis and Palestinians.”

So, it’s a freeze.

The Real Hamas: Sorry, Folks!

March 16, 2017

What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts. Some

by Bassam Tawil

March 15, 2017 at 5:00 am

Source: The Real Hamas: Sorry, Folks!

  • What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts.
  • Some reports have suggested that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are the ones pushing for the changes in the movement’s charter. However, even if Mashaal and Haniyeh succeed in their mission, there is no guarantee that Hamas’s military wing would comply.
  • Hamas has also denied its intention to cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image of Hamas in the eyes of the world,” explained a top Hamas official. He also denied that Hamas was planning to abandon the armed struggle against Israel in favor of a peaceful popular “resistance.”

What does Hamas mean when it says that it “accepts” an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem without recognizing Israel’s right to exist?

Is this a sign of moderation and pragmatism on the part of the extremist Islamic terror movement? Or is it just another ploy intended to deceive everyone, especially gullible Westerners, into believing that Hamas has abandoned its strategy of destroying Israel in favor of a two-state solution?

Recent reports have suggested that Hamas is moving towards “declaring a Palestinian state over the 1967 borders.”

According to the reports, Hamas is also contemplating changing its charter so that it would no longer include anti-Semitic references. The charter, which was drafted in August 1988, contains anti-Semitic passages and characterizations of Israeli society as Nazi-like in its cruelty. The same reports also claimed that Hamas’s revised charter will also state that the terror movement is not part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some analysts in Israel and the West have interpreted these reports as a sign that Hamas is finally endorsing a policy of pragmatism toward Israel and Jews. They are particularly excited about Hamas’s purported intention to declare (in its revised charter) that its conflict is “only with Zionism and the occupation, and not with Jews around the world.”

Judging from the analyses published by some commentators and Palestinian affairs “experts” in the past few days, one might conclude that Hamas is on its way to making a dramatic change in its vicious ideology. Unfortunately, however, the facts suggest otherwise.

Changes or no changes, the movement has no intention whatsoever of abandoning its jihad to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

The purported shift in Hamas’s policy is illusory. What Hamas says, day and night, in Arabic, tells the real story. In fact, Hamas officials are very clear and straightforward when they address their people in Arabic. Yet some Western and Israeli analysts do not want to be bothered by the facts.

When Hamas talks about “accepting” a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 lines without recognizing Israel’s right to exist, it is actually saying, “Give us a state so that we can use it as a launching pad to destroy Israel.”

Indeed, senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan leaves no room for ambiguity when he explains this point. Hamas, he says, does not oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 “borders,” but this does not mean that “we will recognize the Zionist occupation and that the entire Palestinian land belongs to Palestinian and Islamic generations.” He also repeated Hamas’s opposition to any form of negotiations with Israel.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar was also quick to refute claims that his movement was headed toward accepting the two-state solution. Calling for stepping up the “intifada” against Israel, Zahar said that Hamas’s goal was to “liberate all of Palestine.”

Hamas has also denied its intention to cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. “The reports are aimed at tarnishing the image of Hamas in the eyes of the world,” explained a top Hamas official. He also denied that Hamas was planning to abandon the armed struggle against Israel in favor of a peaceful popular “resistance.”

Some reports have suggested that Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are the ones pushing for the changes in the movement’s charter. However, even if Mashaal and Haniyeh succeed in their mission, there is no guarantee that Hamas’s military wing would comply.

Hamas’s recent internal and secret election saw the rise of Yahya Sinwar as the top leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip. His election is seen as an indication of the growing influence of Hamas’s military wing. Sinwar, a convicted murderer, was released from Israeli prison a few years ago. The rise of Sinwar to power is also a sign that Hamas is headed toward more extremism and terrorism and preparing for the next war with Israel.

The Hamas military wing has a rather spotty history of following the directives of the movement’s political leaders. For example, recurring attempts by Mashaal and Haniyeh to end the dispute with Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA) have been repeatedly thwarted by the Hamas military wing and other leaders of the movement, first and foremost Zahar.

Let’s remember, for a moment, the annual rallies held by Hamas’s military wing in the Gaza Strip. At these rallies, masked Hamas terrorists remind the world that their true goal is to “liberate all of Palestine.”

Armed Hamas militiamen on parade with a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher in Gaza, in August 2016. (Image source: PressTV video screenshot)

At one such rally, Zahar announced that Hamas already has an army whose mission is to “liberate all of Palestine.” He continued: “By God’s will, this army will reach Jerusalem.”

Hamas continues to remain committed to all forms of terrorism against Israelis. There are no signs whatsoever that the movement is on its way to endorsing a peaceful and popular resistance against Israel. Quite the opposite is true: Hamas never misses an opportunity to clarify that it continues to encourage terrorism against Israel. The latest assertion from Hamas came this week when one of its spokesmen, Abdel Latif Al-Kanou, issued a statement praising a stabbing attack against two Israeli policemen in Jerusalem. Hailing the attack as a “heroic operation,” the spokesman stressed that the “intifada” against Israel would continue.

This is not the first time that Hamas has talked about “accepting” a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.

In the past, some Hamas officials were quoted as saying that they do not rule out the possibility that their movement would one day accept such an idea. But these statements always came in the context of Hamas’s effort to rid itself of its growing isolation in the Gaza Strip.

The latest reports concerning floated changes in Hamas’s charter, too, ought to be seen in the context of the movement’s ongoing effort to end its isolation. But it is nothing but a smokescreen to mislead the international community into believing that it is on its way to toning down its murderous intentions.

So, what is prompting this disingenuous “change of heart”?

Reports that the Trump Administration is considering the possibility of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. In all likelihood, Hamas is simply seeking to appear as if it is moving toward moderation. In other words, Hamas is prepared to lie — at least in English — about its independence from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Disturbingly, some Westerners are already marketing Hamas’s deception tactics as a “major shift” in the movement’s ideology and plans. Facts, however, are that Hamas remains a terrorist organization that has not and will not abandon its plans to eliminate Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. Here is a dose of deadly reality: Hamas seeks to extend its control to the West Bank as part of its plan to destroy Israel. It wants Israel to give the Palestinians more land so that it would be used as a launching pad to drive the Jews into the sea. This is Hamas, like it or not.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

US ‘Outraged’ by UN Report That Accuses Israel of Establishing ‘Apartheid Regime’ That ‘Dominates the Palestinian People’

March 16, 2017

The United States expressed outrage on Wednesday over a report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” that “dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

By – on March 16, 2017

Source: US ‘Outraged’ by UN Report That Accuses Israel of Establishing ‘Apartheid Regime’ That ‘Dominates the Palestinian People’ – Geller Report

This is just more of the same from the UN. It has demonized Israel relentlessly for years. At least now we have an administration that isn’t joining in, but instead is resolutely on the side of Israel.

“US ‘Outraged’ by UN Report That Accuses Israel of Establishing ‘Apartheid Regime’ That ‘Dominates the Palestinian People,’” Algemeiner, March 15, 2017:

The United States expressed outrage on Wednesday over a report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that accused Israel of establishing an “apartheid regime” that “dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

“That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” American UN Envoy Nikki Haley said in a statement. “That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising.”

“The United Nations Secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether,” Haley went on to say. “The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the UN system and around the world.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon stated, “The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie.”

Emmanuel Nahshon — spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry — compared the ESCWA report to Nazi propaganda.

“Friendly advice — don’t read it without anti-nausea pills,” he tweeted.

Reuters quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying that the publication of the report was not coordinated with the UN Secretariat.

“The report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general (Antonio Guterres),” Dujarric clarified.

The ESCWA is headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon and is comprised of 18 member states from the Middle East and North Africa….

Most Countries Targeted By Trump Have Discriminatory Visa Policies

January 29, 2017

Most Of The Muslim Countries Trump Targeted Have Discriminatory Visa Policies

Ryan Pickrell

6:15 PM 01/28/2017

Source: Most Countries Targeted By Trump Have Discriminatory Visa Policies | The Daily Caller

At least six out of the seven countries targeted by President Donald Trump’s latest executive order have visa policies that discriminate against Israel.

Trump signed an executive order Friday temporarily prohibiting citizens from seven majority Muslim countries — specifically Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen — from entering the U.S.

Of that group, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Sudan all refuse entry to foreign travelers holding passports or travel documents indicating that they have been to or are affiliated in some way with Israel.

Israeli nationals are not permitted to transit through Iraq, IranLibya, Yemen, Syria, or Sudan, even in situations where the traveler does not intend to leave the aircraft.

In Syria, individuals suspected of having affiliations with Israel have been detained for questioning.

These discriminatory visa policies are religiously motivated. Some have arrived at similar conclusions about Trump’s latest executive order, declaring the move a “Muslim ban,” but the order only restricts entry for travelers from a few predominantly-Muslim countries, not all of them.

For instance, the new policies do not apply to citizens of Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population.

The primary focus of Trump’s policies is combating Islamic terrorism.

“We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our countries the very threats that our soldiers are fighting overseas,” Trump said Friday. He stressed that his latest order is designed to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America” and “to protect the American people.”

The order aims to eliminate threats to the American populace. Temporarily restricting travel from certain terror-prone countries gives the administration time to establish an improved screening process, what Trump refers to as “extreme vetting.”

The order states that “the United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.”

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