Friday, May 6, 2016

More than is absolutely necessary - by Caroline Glick

...The other reason that Labor’s longstanding Jew-hatred is suddenly headline news is that the old British definition of an anti-Semite still holds. As far as the British polite classes are concerned, an anti-Semite remains someone who hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary. Shah crossed the line when she called for the mass expulsion of Israelis to America. Livingstone revealed that he hates Jews more than is absolutely necessary when, rushing to Shah’s defense, he insisted that Hitler was a Zionist.

The new leader of Britain's opposition Labor
Party Jeremy Corbyn. (photo credit:REUTERS)
Caroline Glick..
Column One/JPost..
05 May '16..

The strangest aspect of the current hullabaloo in Britain about anti-Semitism in the Labor Party is that it is happening at all. Since when has Jew-hatred been something that Labor feels it necessary to abhor? For more than a decade, the party, like the British Left from whence it emanates, has provided a warm home for Jew-haters.

Naz Shah, the Labor MP who set off the alarms with her call to deport the more than six million Jews of Israel to America, has a rich history of Jew-hating. Shah entered parliament by unseating George Galloway.

Galloway was expelled from the Labor Party in 2003 after he called for British soldiers to refuse to follow orders in Iraq and sided with Saddam Hussein against his own country.

But Galloway’s hatred for Britain pales in comparison to his hatred for Jews. During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Galloway banned Israelis from entering his electoral district in Bradford.

He routinely makes explicit calls for the annihilation of Israel. And for several years now, Galloway refuses to share a stage with Israelis or with Jews who do not reject Israel’s right to exist.

Shah didn’t defeat Galloway by condemning his bigotry. She defeated him by embracing it.

As Nick Cohen wrote this week in The Guardian, a politician cannot be elected in electoral districts with large Muslim populations unless he is an anti-Semite.

Cohen recalled the case of former Liberal Democrat MP David Ward who posted anti-Semitic tweets on Twitter to prove his anti-Jewish bona fides.

Among other things, after the jihadist assaults last January in Paris, Ward wrote, “Je Suis Palestinian” on his Twitter account, while failing to condemn the massacre of Jews at the Hyper Cacher market in Paris.

Anti-Semitism in Labor is not a new or fringe phenomenon. In the 2005 parliamentary elections, when then-prime minister Tony Blair was running for a third term, the party was caught twice using anti-Semitic imagery in its campaign literature.

In the first instance, Conservative leaders Michael Howard and Oliver Letwin – both Jews – were portrayed as fat flying pigs.

In the second, Howard was portrayed as Fagin, Charles Dickens’s anti-Semitic caricature of a Jew in Oliver Twist.

In other words, more than a decade ago, when Labor was led by a man widely considered bereft of anti-Semitic sentiments and sympathetically disposed to Israel, the party used anti-Semitism to reach out to anti-Semitic Muslim voters, signaling them that they had a welcoming home in Labor.

Actually it's in their name that Hamas digs and plots the murder of Jews

...But if you aren’t willing to state clearly that you support the right of Israel to exist and to defend itself inside some borders or to oppose the launching of rockets and the digging of terror tunnels, then what these anti-occupation activists are really telling us is that they agree with Hamas about the definition of occupation. That would mean they can’t deny that it is in their name that Hamas digs and plots the murder of Jews. If so, then they should stop pretending to be acting in the name of human rights and state openly that their only real goal is to eliminate Israel. Doing so would expose them as unabashed anti-Semites, but at least it would be honest.

Israeli drills search for terror tunnels on the
Gaza border. (AP Photo / Tsafrir Abayov)
Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
05 May '16..

In the last year, Israel’s foes and critics have redoubled their efforts to pressure it to end the “occupation.” Most observers assume that to mean that Israel should withdraw from the West Bank and/or much of Jerusalem. But do these people actually care what would happen if Israel did just that? The current standoff on the border between southern Israel and Gaza gives us a pretty good idea of the answer to the question.

The independent Palestinian state in-all-but-name run by Hamas terrorists that exists in Gaza has lobbed thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and cities and has dug tunnels in order to facilitate cross-border kidnapping and murder raids. The discovery of yet another such elaborate tunnel by the Israel Defense Forces and the skirmishing with Hamas as it seeks to prevent the army from destroying that and other such facilities illustrates what the government of Gaza does with the aid that is funneled into the strip ostensibly to help the poor and rebuild homes destroyed in the last war. That raises the question for those activists determined to help isolate Israel or to disassociate Americans and Jews from its measures of self-defense, why the silence about Gaza terror? In whose name does Hamas dig?
Few of those who seem most outraged by the presence of Jews in these places where Jewish history began seem to think they have any sort of obligation to also pressure the Palestinians to make peace with Israel in exchange for such a gesture. Of course, given the continued Palestinian refusal to negotiate with Israel or to indicate that any sort of gesture from the Netanyahu government would incline them to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders would be drawn, such calls would not be heeded.

But those who are most vocal about about the occupation — a term that most Palestinians, including their supposedly moderate leader Mahmoud Abbas, thinks refers to all of Israel, including the lands under its control before June 1967 — seem to be curiously silent about what happened when Israel did end their presence in part of the territories. The occupation of Gaza ended in 2005 when then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled out every Israeli soldier, settler, and settlement from the strip. Sharon was no peacenik but by that point he agreed with the notion that Israel needed to separate from the Palestinians.

Yet the withdrawal from Gaza — the exact thing that Israel’s critics have said they wanted — led to two interesting developments.

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Jewish novelist rails against fictional ‘occupation’ - by Stephen Flatow

Michael Chabon is a talented novelist. Unfortunately, it seems that when the subject is Israel, he has trouble separating fiction from reality.

Michael Chabon at a book signing.
Photo: Charlie Reiman
via Wikimedia Commons.
Stephen M. Flatow..
04 May '16.. - As a novelist, Michael Chabon has a vivid imagination. One of his novels centers around a world in which there is no state of Israel, only a large Jewish refuge in Alaska. Chabon’s imagination was on full display last week, when he toured Israel and denounced an “occupation” that exists only in his mind.

Together with other American Jewish critics of Israel, Chabon visited Hebron. Afterwards, he told The Forward that “the occupation [is] the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life.” Now keep in mind that 80 percent of Hebron is occupied by the Palestinian Authority. But for some reason, Chabon is concerned only about the 20 percent controlled by Israel.

The Israeli military presence in that small part of the city is necessary for one simple reason: Hebron’s Arabs have a long history of massacring their Jewish neighbors. Evidently, that reality does not trouble the visiting novelist. No, somehow the fact that Israeli soldiers protect the city’s handful of Jewish residents is—to quote Chabon—“the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life.” That tells me only that Chabon, like many pampered prize-winning novelists, has not seen many injustices.

Chabon’s knowledge of Middle East history is likewise brimming with fiction. He explained to The Forward that he first began criticizing Israel during the 1982 Lebanon War, when he was “reading about the massacres in the refugee camps. I was like, wait, Israel? Is that what they are doing?”

Well, no, Michael, that was not what “they” were doing. It was what the Lebanese Christians were doing. No sane person ever accused Israel of perpetrating massacres in Lebanon; the most Israel was accused of was failing to foresee that the Christians might wreak vengeance on their enemies. Of course, it’s all too easy for a novelist sitting in the comfort and safety of the United States to demand that Israel adhere to absurdly unrealistic standards of behavior.

Interpal and the BBC's non-coverage of British link to incitement of Palestinian children

...Despite that Panorama report, Interpal continued to function and apparently very little has changed in the last decade – apart the BBC’s level of interest in the story, which it has not covered to date.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
05 May '16..

A month ago the annual ‘Palestine Festival for Childhood and Education’ was held in the Gaza Strip. As the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported, the five-day festival’s opening event was attended by a representative from the Gaza office of a British charity.

“On April 3, 2016, a ceremony was held at the University College of Applied Sciences in Gaza to announce the beginning of the Annual Palestine Festival for Childhood and Education. The opening ceremony was attended by college’s rector, Dr. Refaat Rustom, members of the faculty, Ahmed Hawajri, director of guidance and special education in the department of education in the Gaza Strip, Imad al-Ghalayini, representing the Bank of Palestine, Mahmoud Lubbad, Interpal representative in Gaza, and representatives of children’s organizations throughout the Gaza Strip. The festival began on April 3 and ran until April 7, 2016, and organized various activities for children throughout the Gaza Strip.” [emphasis added]

Lubbad’s participation is explained by the fact that the British charity Interpal co-sponsored the festival.

“The high point of the festival during Palestinian Children’s Day on April 5. One of the events was held in Khan Yunis, and was attended by many children and their teachers. Children came on stage in groups and put on shows they had prepared for the audience. There were dances and songs as well as displays with themes of hatred and violence against Israel, evidence of the indoctrination received by the younger Palestinian generation. The displays were accompanied by songs with themes of hatred and violence.

Three of the plays put on by the children were the following:

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Hatred, as the passion behind anti-Zionism is unmistakable - by Jonathan Tobin

...So Western and even Jewish figures who fill the airwaves with their sorrow over the fate of the Six Million — whether on January 27th or in the next 24 hours — should spare us their crocodile tears if they are not also prepared to stand up against the anti-Zionist engine of anti-Semitism in our own day. It must be understood that the only proper memorials to the Holocaust are not made of bricks and mortar or measured in condemnations of Hitler but to be found in a willingness to oppose the current war on the Jews. Anything else is an exercise in hypocrisy. Those who wish to demonstrate they truly remember the Holocaust and understand its meaning must redouble their efforts to oppose the anti-Zionists and the BDS crowd as well as the terror movements that continue to seek Jewish bloodshed every day of the year.

Holocaust survivor Robert Tomashof and his daughter
 Rutti Tomashof light a torch during the opening Yom HaShoah
 ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
04 May '16..

This week the ritual of question time in Britain’s House of Commons revolved around anti-Semitism. Prime Minister David Cameron hammered Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the way the loyal opposition in the mother of parliaments has become tainted by its members’ indiscreet comments and actions as well as their embrace of terrorist movements that are advocates of violent Jew hatred. But while the Labour Party has become the main focus of worries about the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe, it is just the tip of the iceberg. In recent years, violence against Jews in France and the marginalization of Jewish communities throughout Western Europe and Scandinavia has become a routine story. When placed beside the growing virus of anti-Semitism emanating from the Middle East as Islamist movements gain traction, what is happening in Europe illustrates a historical trend. It demonstrates that the memory of what happens when Jew hatred is allowed to run amuck has faded.

That’s a sobering thought for any day, but as Israel and the Jewish world prepares to commemorate Yom Hashoah — Holocaust Memorial Day — it is especially troubling to realize that Europe and the world have failed to draw the right conclusions from that tragedy.
It’s not an accident that Israel and the Jews remember the Holocaust on a different date from the rest of the world. In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly voted to designate January 27 — the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz as International Holocaust Remembrance Day and that is the date used by the international community for such commemorations. But in Israel and in most Jewish communities, the Jewish state’s decision in 1953 to mark the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan as Yom HaShoah is respected.

The timing of that date places this memorial in the context of a cycle of days in which Israel remembers its fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism and the country’s independence day. This is crucial because it anchors the Holocaust in modern Jewish history. What happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s demonstrated the consequences both of the growth of Jew hatred and the danger of Jewish powerlessness. The subsequent rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in the ancient homeland of the Jews was not so much a specific response to the Shoah as it was to a pattern of history in which Jews were perpetual victims.

That’s why the juxtaposition of all the platitudes about remembering the Holocaust that emanate from the United Nations and most of the West with Europe’s inability to free itself of that virus is so significant.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Palestinian Martyr (Terrorist) of World Press Freedom Day - by Pesach Benson

...If you work for newspapers, web sites, or TV or radio stations affiliated with terror groups, you’re practicing propaganda, not journalism.

Pesach Benson..
Honest Reporting..
04 May '16..

Israel ordered the four-month administrative detention of Omar Nazzal. Until recently, he headed Palestine Today, an Islamic Jihad-affiliated TV station (more on that), and also had ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The Shin Bet said Nazzal was detained because of “his involvement in terror group activities.”

You wouldn’t know the extent of Nazzal’s terror ties from AFP coverage though. The names Islamic Jihad and PFLP appear nowhere.

Why the omission?

The pesky details, I’m guessing, would have spoiled AFP’s sexier angle that the administrative detention was ordered on the eve of World Press Freedom Day.


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The only way to ensure that “Never Again” will mean never again - by Caroline Glick

In the end, the Holocaust raged until the Allied powers won the war. It didn’t have to be that way.

Caroline Glick
Our World/JPost
First Published 02 May '11

In the end, the Holocaust raged until the Allied powers won the war. It didn’t have to be that way. If the Jews had been permitted to leave Europe, the Holocaust could have been averted. But the only place that wanted us wasn’t allowed to take us. The nations of the world closed their gates. Only the Jews in the Land of Israel wanted the Jews of Europe. But the British barred their arrival.

Britain was required by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine to facilitate Jewish immigration to the Jewish national homeland in order to advance the cause of Jewish sovereignty. But legal obligations couldn’t compete with Britain’s belief that its national interests lay with the Arabs. So from 1939 on, the British closed the doors of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. In so doing, they effectively sealed the fate of six million Jews.

Both the US and Britain were aware of what the Nazis were up to almost from the beginning, but refused to take any effective action to save the Jews. They refused to bomb the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz, or the crematoria at the death camp. They refused to bomb Auschwitz even though Allied pilots were sent on bombing missions five miles away. Likewise, they refused to bomb any of the scores of death camps dotting the landscape of Nazi-occupied Europe.

There were two main reasons that the Allies behaved as they did. First, they were none too fond of Jews. It is not that the Americans or British supported their annihilation, but they weren’t bothered by it sufficiently to do anything to stop it.

Anti-Semitism is not the main reason the Allies did nothing. The main reason was because, love us or hate us, the allies couldn’t figure out why they should care. Dead or alive, Jews weren’t a part of their war plans.

For Britain, the goal of the war was to survive.

For the Americans it was to defend the cause of freedom and pave the way for America’s emergence as leader of the free world. Jewish survival was not considered relevant to achieving these goals, so the Allies stood by as the ghettos were liquidated and the gas chambers began operating at full capacity.

AFTER THE war, world Jewry adopted “Never Again,” as our rallying cry. But “Never Again,” is just a slogan. It fell to the leaders of the Jewish people to conceive the means to prevent a recurrence of the Holocaust.

These leaders came up with two very different strategies for protecting Jews from genocide, and their followers formed separate camps. Whereas in the early years, the separate positions appeared to complement each other, since the 1970s the gulf between them has grown ever wider. Indeed, many of the divisions in world Jewry today originate in this post-Holocaust policy divide.

The UN, Reversing the Laws of Thermodynamics, and Israel on the Golan Heights

...One could not do better to make Israel’s case than to cite Moshe Arens -- retired Israeli diplomat, Defense Minister, and aeronautical engineer. “According to the second law of thermodynamics there are no reversible processes in nature. Nothing can return exactly to its original state. This law may not hold in international relations, but the exceptions are few and far between.” Syria is unlikely to return to its “original state” which, in fact, was only its state determined by colonials and held for a few decades in the middle of the 20th Century. The UN, however, may believe it has a better chance of reversing the laws of thermodynamics than of bringing the war of Syrians and others parties to an end.

Shoshana Bryen..
American Thinker..
03 May '16..

Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who held the April UN Security Council presidency, announced last week that the status of the Golan Heights “remains unchanged.” That is, of course, true -- like the old "Saturday Night Live" running gag, “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.”

He meant it belongs to Syria, and he was responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told a meeting of the Israeli Cabinet on the Golan, “The Golan Heights have been an integral part of the land of Israel since ancient times; the dozens of ancient synagogues in the area around us attest to that. And the Golan is an integral part of the state of Israel in the new era. I told [Secretary of State John Kerry] that I doubt that Syria will ever return to what it was.”

That is, of course, also true and entirely unremarkable. But thus begins another round of UN condemnation of Israel resting on silly propositions. In this case:

That Syria -- ruled by a war criminal in the midst of a civil war with other groups that include war criminals -- has a valid claim to anything; andThat Israel is wrong because the UN is miffed.

A bit of relatively recent history is useful here.

An Israeli was raised in the Galilee sleeping every night in a bunker to avoid Syrian shelling from the Golan Heights -- Hamas and Hizb’allah are latecomers to the war crime of indiscriminately firing at civilians. As a child, he helped on the family farm. While riding the tractor, his father couldn’t hear the mortars fired by the Syrians down into the fields. The child’s job was to be within eyesight of the tractor along the edge of the field near some trees. When the mortars began, he would wave a large red flag to catch his father’s attention, at which his father would slip off the tractor and hasten for shelter. Not exactly milking the cow.

Things changed in June 1967 when, after intensified shelling by the Syrians, the IDF captured the Golan. Israeli soldiers stood on the Heights and looked down into Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Their new understanding of the dire circumstances at the bottom shocked them, and they left a marker that remains today. “From here,” it reads, “You look ten feet tall.”

At great cost in the lives of military personnel, Israel retained the Heights in 1973 after Syria launched an offensive on Yom Kippur.

Israel would have been within its rights to annex the Golan Heights -- in 1967 or in ’73. The UN line about “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force” (ever applied only to Israel) to rational observers means the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by offensive force; otherwise defense would have no meaning. Israel acquired the Golan in defense, and retained it in defense.

It was understanding that insecure boundaries could result in additional wars -- in the case of Israel, not least because the Arab countries were/are still working to overturn the 1948 independence of Israel by force -- that the 1967 UN Resolution 242 contained the security promise to Israel of “secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”

Begging for spare Arab change at UNRWA - by Arnold Roth

To help readers put this pathetic charade into perspective, and understand the decades of deep Arab cynicism about their beloved Palestinian brothers, see "19-Jun-13: We actually do understand why Arab states put almost no money in the Palestinian Arab "refugee" fund pot. We just don't get why the US does." Based on some numbers we published here four years ago, pretty much the same question should be asked of the European Union, Sweden, UK, Norway and a list of other Western countries.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
04 May '16..

In the Middle East, there are two fundamental, but different, realities that influence strongly the shape of the Arab/Israel conflict. One is the passion with which Arab states, especially the richest among them, pledge undying support for the "resistance" "struggle" of the Palestinian Arabs. The other is the financial resources they put behind that "support".

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Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.

How the BBC’s Knell censored a report on the Samaritan Passover festival - by Hadar Sela

...A reporter truly committed to enhancing audience understanding of why negotiations between Israel and the PLO have been non-existent for two years would of course give a story such as the one above at least as much prominence as the promotion of slogans such as ‘occupation’ and ‘illegal settlements’. Yolande Knell demonstrates once again that she is not that reporter.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
02 May '16..

The April 30th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ included a report (from 44:23 here) by the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell from the Samaritan Passover festival on Mount Gerizim in Samaria.Newshour 30 4

In among Knell’s commentary, listeners heard the following:

“During the Passover feast it’s an unusual sight. Samaritans carry both Israeli and Palestinian IDs and here Israeli soldiers and settlers mix – sometimes uncomfortably – with Palestinian firefighters and officials.”

However, Knell’s coy portrayal does not tell BBC audiences what actually happened at the Samaritan festival at which she was present. As Khaled Abu Toameh recounts:

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Updates throughout the day at If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.

Surprise? UK Shows Where Anti-Zionism Leads - by Jonathan Tobin

...The fervor of the anti-Zionists always winds up in anti-Semitic slanders because the source of the passion that drives this effort stems from traditional hatred of Jews. The problem isn’t just that a lot of British left-wing politicians have loose tongues and no self-control when it comes to venting on social media. Nor is it a matter of Jews misinterpreting criticism of Israel’s government as anti-Semitism, as many on the left disingenuously claim.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
03 May '16..

We didn’t have to wait for the results of the independent inquiry into charges of anti-Semitism promised by the head of Britain’s Labour Party to see the scale of the problem. On Monday, the Telegraph reported that what it describes as the party’s “compliance unit” had already been overwhelmed by the problem of dealing with charges of anti-Semitism because it lacked the resources to look into so many cases. Nevertheless, the paper reported that Labour had already suspended 50 party members for anti-Semitism and as many as 20 in the last two weeks. But the problem isn’t going to be solved by a bigger inquiry or the sort of meaningless mea culpas that we’ve heard from some Labour figures.

The answer to what lies behind the string of disgusting comments that Labour is trying to rationalize and/or punish is the straight line that runs from the anti-Zionist agitation that is mainstream opinion among European and British left-wing elites to anti-Semitism. The same can be said of similar efforts to demonize and isolate Israel in the United States. What starts with agitation on college campuses will, if left unchecked, ultimately lead to politicians engaging in anti-Semitic invective.

As Tom Wilson wrote here yesterday in a cogent summary of the events of the past week, part of the problem is Labour’s growing dependence on radicalized Muslim communities as key elements of its base. But the willingness to pander to groups that retain anti-Jewish attitudes brought with them from the Middle East only provides part of the explanation. The odd alliance between leftists and Islamists is rooted in the way many intellectuals link imperialism, colonialism (the original sins of modern Europe in the eyes of the elite), and Zionism. That fallacious analogy in which the national liberation movement of the Jewish people is damned as an offshoot of Western colonialism has created a slippery slope on which the left has found itself scrambling to avoid being seen as encouraging hate while embracing positions that lead inevitably to prejudice.

Nothing could have illustrated this more plainly than what happened the day before the news of the Labour suspensions broke. Though Corbyn denounced anti-Semitism in a May Day speech on Monday, on Sunday Labour’s spokesman insisted that the party head would not disavow his contacts with both the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups. The statement represented Corbyn’s connection to anti-Israel terrorists as merely meeting with people that he disagrees in the course of his advocacy for Palestinian rights; the truth is that he has done a lot more than that. Prior to being Labour’s leader he had embraced Hamas and encouraged dialogue with the group that runs Gaza as a terrorist state. He has also spoken of the equally radical and violent Hezbollah group as his “friends.”

To be fair to Corbyn, in this respect, he is hardly alone on the left. The willingness to treat the Jewish state’s terrorist foes as freedom fighters while demonizing Israelis is merely the logical conclusion for those who regard Israel’s creation as illegitimate and who oppose its right of self-defense.

Is it possible to hold such views while still treating Jews with respect and condemning religious prejudice? That’s what many anti-Israel activists claim, but they are all either deceiving themselves or lying.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Policy Gambles and Israel's Palestinian Dilemmas - by Prof. Efraim Inbar

Israel has gradually come to realize that the Palestinians are neither a partner for peace nor capable of establishing a viable state. Therefore, Israel's recent governments have adopted a de facto conflict-management approach, rather than a conflict-resolution strategy. This prompts several questions. Should Israel speak explicitly about the dim prospects of a two-state solution, or play along with the illusory preferences and pretensions of the international community? Should Israel apply more “stick” than “carrot” to the hostile Palestinian Authority? Would the collapse of the Palestinian Authority serve Israel's interests? And how diplomatically active should Israel be on the Palestinian issue?

Prof. Efraim Inbar..
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 341..
03 May '16..

Ever since the Palestinian terrorist wave began in September 2000, the Israeli body politic increasingly has resigned itself to the probability that there is no partner on the Palestinian side with which to reach a historic compromise with the Jewish national (Zionist) movement. The hopes for peace that were generated by the Oslo process in 1993 have been replaced by the stark realization that violent conflict will not end soon.

Moreover, the hostile messages about Israel purveyed in the Palestinian Authority (PA) educational system and official media leave little doubt about the rabid anti-Semitism prevalent in Palestinian society, which ensures that conflict with the Jews will continue. And thus, the central premise of the Oslo process seems exceedingly improbable. The premise was that partition of the Land of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian political entity (what is known as the two-state paradigm) would bring peace and stability. Alas, this paradigm has been deeply discredited.

Aside from and beyond the assessment that the PA has no intention of accepting a Jewish state in any borders, the fact remains that the two sides remain far apart on most of the concrete issues to be resolved. Palestinian demands for control of the Temple Mount and the so-called “right of return,” for example, are insurmountable obstacles. Any pragmatic impulse that might otherwise have emerged in Palestinian politics is consistently countered by Hamas, whose growing influence reflects the Islamist tide that is surging across the wider region.

To make matters worse, the assumption that the Palestinians are capable of establishing a state within the parameters of a two-state paradigm has not been validated. The PA was unable to get rid of multiple militias and lost Gaza to Hamas, mirroring the inability of other Arab societies in the region to sustain statist structures.

Finally, protracted ethno-religious conflicts end only when at least one of the sides becomes war-weary, and runs out of energy for sustaining the conflict. That is not true of either Israeli or Palestinian society.

As a result of these trends, Israel essentially, if not formally, has given up on conflict resolution in the short run, and instead effectively has adopted a strategy of patient conflict management. But such a strategy brings policy dilemmas of its own.

The first dilemma is whether or not to admit that Israel no longer believes that negotiations can lead to a durable agreement in the near term.

(Excellent) Israel, the West and how ideology empowers the jihad - by Vic Rosenthal

...Islam was always expansionist and confrontational. What has changed is us. In the past, the West didn’t hesitate to employ its vast military superiority when confronting a less-capable adversary. This was understood by everyone. The forces of jihad were deterred from attacking us. But now, like Israel, the West finds itself concerned that using our power would abrogate the essential human rights of its adversaries – defined as People of Color – while ‘white’ nations have no rights. We are allowed to protect individuals, but not nations or cultures. Defined as the ‘racist oppressor’, we have no right to object to their racism, while they are permitted to ‘resist oppression’ with violence. As a result, the jihad continues to press forward on multiple fronts and the West retreats, paralyzed by its ideology and unable to use its power.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
02 May '16..

The US military made news recently when it adopted the Israeli tactic of ‘roof knocking’ – detonating a small explosion above a building that is about to be bombed in order to give civilians that may be present a warning to evacuate – in its operations against the Islamic State.

Israel used the roof-knock technique to reduce civilian casualties in several recent wars, beginning with Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008-9.

One of the tactics that the radical Islamist enemies of the West have adopted as part of the paradigm of asymmetric warfare that they are waging is to use their own civilian populations as human shields. Hamas launches its rockets from school courtyards, and Hezbollah has constructed a massive, dispersed rocket-launching facility embedded in the Shiite villages of southern Lebanon. If Israel has to neutralize this, it’s likely that many Lebanese will be killed.

The human shield tactic is effective because Western military and political leaders are highly sensitive to the charge of unnecessarily hurting civilians in warfare.

There are both practical and ideological reasons for this. In Israel’s case there are possible economic and diplomatic consequences when it is accused of disproportionate response, including cutoff of essential supplies in wartime. But that isn’t true of the US. Nobody will boycott the US or force it to give Texas back to Mexico, and it manufactures its own munitions.

Western populations empathize strongly with “innocent victims.” The effect is even stronger when those who empathize are not threatened; so Europeans (or American presidents) who don’t have to face Hamas and Hezbollah rockets can be highly critical of Israel’s attempts to defend herself.

There are two important things to note: 1) this is a relatively recent development, historically speaking; and 2) this practical/moral/political pressure in the West to behave in a particular way actually enables its enemies to effectively wage asymmetric war against it.

The change in Western sensibility occurred sometime after WWII. Not only were both sides relatively insensitive to collateral damage, the Allies even pursued a policy of strategic bombing of non-military targets both to reduce the enemy’s economic capability but also to sap his “will to resist.” Dresden, Hamburg and other German cities were targets of firebombing that killed tens of thousands.

But one raid on Tokyo stands out, even compared to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On March 9-10, 1945, 1,665 tons of napalm-loaded bombs were dropped on the city, creating a massive conflagration that reduced about 16 square miles and 100,000 people to ashes.

It is hard to imagine any Western nation in almost any circumstance today even contemplating such an operation.

What changed?

The answer is “a lot of things,” some of them obvious and others more subtle.

When Jews Join the War on Israel: Useful Idiots Serving the Cause of Hate - by Jonathan Tobin

...Those who call upon Israel to endanger itself while ignoring or tacitly justifying terror campaigns are not really neutral or seeking to promote peace. Those who seek to rupture ties between Israel and U.S. Jews in the name of a spurious notion of morality detached from reality are not promoting Jewish values. At best, they are useful idiots serving the cause of hate. At worst, they are an anti-Zionist fifth column assisting the war on the Jewish state that deserves to be vigorously opposed by all those who care about Israel and Jewish rights, whether on the right or the left.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
02 May '16..

Not everyone taking part in the war on Israel shoots rockets, tries to stab random Jews on Israeli streets, or even openly promotes anti-Semitic propaganda. Some do it in the name of Judaism and Jewish values and what they claim are high moral purposes. By that I don’t refer to the Neturei Karta, a tiny sect of ultra-Orthodox Jews who have always lurked on the margin of Jewish life, showing up at demonstrations as token supporters of Palestinian terror groups and doing so in the name of a perverted vision of Orthodoxy rejected even by those on the most extreme end of the religious spectrum.

Rather, I write of a relatively new group of liberal millenials that have taken to organizing sit-ins at the headquarters of American Jewish organizations in cities throughout the country before Passover. Calling themselves “If Not Now,” they say their purpose is ending “the occupation” and their demands are simple: that all American Jewish groups disavow the government of Israel. Though it is small and has little influence, it is nevertheless significant because its activities are indicative of the way demographic changes are causing American Jews to abandon Israel just at the moment when the siege of the Jewish state is once again heating up. Rather than ignore it or foolishly seek dialogue with it, American Jews should regard If Not Now as the thin edge of the wedge of a new Jewish front in the war against Israel.

To those who follow the American Jewish debate on Israel the basic demand for the end of the occupation sounds fairly familiar. But If Not Now is not to be confused with J Street or Americans for Peace Now, groups that also believe that Israel should withdraw from the West Bank and think the Netanyahu government is not doing enough to make peace with the Palestinians or that it should be pressured into further territorial withdrawals by the Untied States. The growth of If Not Now represents an insidious shift in Jewish opinion that makes even those groups — whose views are at odds with the overwhelming consensus of Israeli opinion and serve to enable and encourage anti-Israel activism — look tame. Peace Now and J Street may advocate views that are rejected by most Israelis as well as by the mainstream organized Jewish world and constitute a damaging irritant, but they are still explicitly Zionist and, at least in principle, are supposedly opposed to the BDS — boycott, divest, sanction — movement that seeks to wage economic warfare on Israel. That is not the case with If Not Now. It proclaims neutrality about Zionism. It is equally non-committal about BDS.

But the tactics of the group make clear the meaning of such supposed neutrality. The entire point of If Not Now’s activism seems aimed at undermining the entire structure of American Jewry. Their demands are simple: all those who will not renounce support of Israel are subjected to sit-ins and demonstrations aimed at hampering their ability to carry on their work. This means their principle targets are groups that are themselves explicitly neutral about Israeli politics while being generally supportive of Israel as well as those whose activities are mainly focused on promoting Jewish life in the United States. Such targets include Jewish federations or groups monitoring anti-Semitism, such as the Anti-Defamation League.

According to an article by Haaretz’s Debra Nussbaum Cohen, when faced by sit-ins by highly organized demonstrators who sometimes chain themselves in place in order to maximize the disruption, leaders of Jewish groups have been flummoxed. Their natural reaction to such activity is to call for dialogue and to seek common ground. But If Not Now seeks no common ground with other Jews and refuses offers of meetings. They demand surrender to their call for breaking ties with Israel and will not so much as sit down with liberal Jews who are laboring under the delusion that their activities are merely over-enthusiastic demonstrations of their own concerns about the conflict in the Middle East.