Saturday, February 27, 2016

Iran uses Syrian truce to deploy hundreds of Palestinian terrorists on Golan border - debkaFile

by debkaFile

It is clear that the prime minister and defense minister Moshe Ya’alon were too slow to pick up on the new terrorist menace Iran had parked on Israel’s border. Now their hands are tied.

Under cover of the Syrian ceasefire that went into effect Saturday, Feb. 27, and the Russian air umbrella, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps finally managed to secretly install hundreds of armed Palestinian terrorists on the Syrian-Israeli border face-to-face with the IDF’s Golan positions.

This is reported exclusively by debkafile’s military and intelligence sources.

These Palestinians belong to Al-Sabirin, a new terrorist organization the Iranian Guards and Hizballah are building in the refugee camps of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Their agents clandestinely recruited the new terrorists from among young Palestinians who fled the Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus and sought refuge in Lebanon. Hizballah organized their return to Syria through south Lebanon – but not before training and arming them for penetration deep inside Israel to carry out mass-casualty assaults on IDF positions, highways and civilians.

So Iran and Hizballah have finally been able to achieve one of the most cherished goals of their integration in the Syria civil war, namely, to bring a loyal terrorist force right up to Israel’s border.

Israel’s military planners went to extreme lengths to prevent this happening. Last December, Samir Quntar, after being assigned by Tehran and Hizballah to establish a Palestinian-Druze terror network on the Golan, was assassinated in Damascus.

Twelve months before that, on Jan. 18, an Israeli air strike hit an Iranian-Syrian military party surveying the Golan in search of jumping-off locations for Hizballah terror squads to strike across the border against Israeli targets. The two senior officers in the party, Iranian General Allah-Dadi and Hizballah’s Jihad Mughniyeh, were killed.

The hubbub in the run-up to the Syrian truce, coupled with Russia’s protective military presence, finally gave the Islamic Republic and its Lebanese proxy the chance to outfox Israeli intelligence and secretly bring forward a terrorist force to striking range against Israel

This discovery was one of the causes of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s urgent phone call to President Vladimir Putin Wednesday, Feb. 24, two days before the ceasefire went into effect. He reminded the Russian leader of the understandings they had reached regarding the deployment of pro-Iranian terrorists on the Syrian-Israeli border. He also sent emissaries to Moscow to intercede with Russian officials.

Putin’s answers to Israel’s demarches were vague and evasive, on the lines of a promise to look into their complaints.

He also tried to fob Netanyahu off by inviting President Reuven Rivlin for a state visit to Russia. Putin promised to use that occasion for a solemn Russian pledge of commitment to upholding Israel’s security in a tone that would leave Tehran in no doubt of Moscow support for the Jewish state.

The Rivlin visit has been scheduled for March 16.

But it is clear that the prime minister and defense minister Moshe Ya’alon were too slow to pick up on the new terrorist menace Iran had parked on Israel’s border. Now their hands are tied, say debkafile’s sources. An IDF operation to evict the pro-Iranian Palestinian Al-Sabirin network from the Syrian Golan, before it digs in, would lay Israel open to the charge of jeopardizing, or even sabotaging, the inherently fragile Syrian ceasefire initiated jointly by the US and Russia.   



Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Teaching Antisemitism at Vassar -- and Beyond - Rael Jean Isaac

by Rael Jean Isaac

From New York to California -- and in Canada as well -- the situation is growing worse, with Jewish students, especially those who stand up for Israel, bullied, threatened, intimidated, sometimes physically attacked.

The anti-Semitic hysteria on many elite American campuses (the veil of anti-Zionism now thrown off) is belatedly becoming the subject of major concern in the Jewish community. As well it should. The young people of this community, in what should be idyllic years, are being exposed, often for the first time in their lives, to unreasoning hatred. Moreover, what starts on campus does not stay there. Those whose opinions are shaped in our colleges and universities move on to become the opinion shapers of the broader culture: the journalists, the academics, the professionals, the entertainers, the politicians. 

While their children may not be subject to the intimidation and bullying Jews encounter, non-Jews should also be deeply worried. Most would be horrified to see our colleges descend into what Victor Davis Hanson calls places “as foreign to American traditions of tolerance and free expression as what followed the Weimar Republic.” Parents hope their children will be introduced to what Matthew Arnold called the best that has been thought and said, not mired in impenetrable thickets of verbiage, behind which lie ignorance, falsehoods, and malice.

Take the lecture on Feb. 3 by Rutgers Associate Professor Jasbir Puar at Vassar College. Under the title “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters,” the invitation declared: “This lecture theorizes oscillating relations between disciplinary, pre-emptive and increasingly prehensive forms of power that shape human and non-human materialities in Palestine… If Gaza, for example, is indeed the world’s largest ‘open air prison’ and experimental lab for Israeli military apparatuses, infrastructural chaos and metric manipulation, what kinds of fantasies (about power, about bodies, about resistance, about politics) are driving this project?”

Ignoring for the moment the verbal sludge, what are Puar’s credentials to hold forth on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs? She teaches Women’s and Gender Studies and “has written widely” (so says the invitation) on such subjects as gay and lesbian tourism, bio and necropolitics, queer theory disability and debilitation, theories of intersectionality, affect and assemblage; homonationalism etc. etc.  Equally mysterious, why should American Studies, the Vassar department which invited Puar, find the Middle East a topic that fits into its bailiwick?  The answer lies in a word the reader probably didn’t even notice in the mind-blowing flood of jargon: intersectionality. Richard L. Cravatts, author of Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel and Jews, explains that intersectionality conflates seemingly unrelated instances of oppression so that to know one victim group is to know any victim group. As a result, says Cravatts, “someone who is a gender studies professor, or queer theorist, or American studies expert can, with no actual knowledge or expertise about the Middle East, readily pontificate on the many social pathologies of Israel, based on its perceived role as a racist, colonial oppressor of an innocent indigenous population of Arab victims.”

As for what Puar actually said, we are indebted to members of Fairness to Israel, a group of alumnae and parents that monitor the routine bashing of Israel at Vassar, which recorded and transcribed the talk. While a lot of it was unintelligible, what could be understood was vile, defamatory and false. To Cravatts the most alarming part of Puar’s talk was her “explicit support for terrorism against Israeli citizens as a corollary aspect of the BDS movement.” Of Israel delaying the return of the bodies of 17 knife-wielding intifada attackers, Puar said “Some speculate that the bodies were mined for organs for scientific research.” She described legitimate assertions of self-defense against those in the act of murdering Jews as “field assassinations.” Some of Israel’s invented sins only someone with a mind as ingenious as Puar could dream up (her next book is on “the relations between biopolitics, disability and forms of active debilitation pivotal to the operations of war machines and racial capitalism.”) One of Israel’s most nefarious deeds, in Puar’s account, is to let Palestinians live. According to Puar “They need the Palestinians alive in order to keep the kind of rationalization for their victimhood and their militarized economy.” Cravatts notes that “In her [Puar’s] speech the central, repellant theme was that Israel is also intent on ‘targeting youth, not for death but for stunting’ as a ‘tactic that seeks to render impotent any further resistance.’” Apparently when Israeli soldiers wound rather than kill attackers, they are engaged in “maiming masquerades” and this is “part of a sadistic, imperialistic militancy on the part of Israel.”

It bears emphasizing that Puar was not invited by Students for Justice in Palestine or any other of the assortment of student hate groups ostensibly fighting “oppression”. Her talk was sponsored by academic departments -- American Studies in the first instance, but also -- as co-sponsors -- by Africana Studies, English, International Studies, Political Science, Religion, Women’s Studies and yes, Jewish Studies. The last named, given the nature of that department at Vassar, is not as astonishing as it seems. Retired English professor Edward Alexander (whose most recent book is Jews Against Themselves) in an unpublished letter to the Wall Street Journal observes: “Jewish Studies faculty includes such luminaries as Joshua Schreier, who is a tribune of the BDS movement to expel Israel from the family of nations, and who boasts that his course on the Arab-Israeli Conflict presents only the Arab ‘narrative.’ There is also Andrew Bush, who in 2003 defined Intifada II, in which Palestinian pogromists and lynch mobs slaughtered a thousand people and maimed 10,000 more, as a ‘critique of Zionism.' There is, to be sure, a technical problem in having Prof. Puar lecture at Vassar: if her spoken English resembles her stupefyingly opaque writing, Vassar students must have thought she was speaking in tongues. Not to worry, however: another late arrival among the co-sponsors of her lecture was Vassar’s English Department.”

No one spoke up at the lecture to challenge the speaker. If no one objected to the vicious assault on Israel, a member of one of those eight sponsoring academic departments might at least have risen to protest Puar’s massacre of the English language, as for example in her description of her project “How Palestine Matters.” “How Palestine Matters situates the geopolitical that has been obliviated in the resurrection of the ecological and the geographical in emergent fields of new materialisms and anthropocene studies.”

In Anti-Education, his sharp criticism of the German educational system, Nietzsche wrote: “The one place where true education begins [is] the mother tongue.” What he would say of the ghastly hash Puar makes of it defies imagination. And even if their standards are not as high as his, what parents want to pay $63,280 a year, the current cost of a Vassar education, for their child to be exposed to this assault on language, truth, reason and intelligibility.

In the aftermath of Puar’s lecture, the silence on campus continued. Two faculty members voiced disquiet on a Facebook page called Vasser4Israel set up after an article on the debacle, “Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar,” was published in the Wall Street Journal. But there were no open letters, no TV or radio appearances, no public protests. The reaction of Vassar’s President Catherine Hill was pallid to say the least. She posted a defensive letter in the alumni magazine saying some may have found the talk “objectionable.” She followed up with the promise of an hour online audio discussion about “issues and tensions on campus related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

If Puar’s lecture was an outlier, it could be dismissed as one more instance of campus follies and academic gobbledygook. But this is far from the case. From New York to California -- and in Canada as well -- the situation is growing worse, with Jewish students, especially those who stand up for Israel, bullied, threatened, intimidated, sometimes physically attacked.  The absurd lengths to which the hate-Israel cult has gone was apparent on Feb. 18 at the University of Chicago where Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid spoke. As the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick notes, Eid was a darling of the far left when he was co-director of B’Tselem and focused his criticism on Israel. But he provoked outrage in Chicago by speaking of human rights abuses by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. From the audience came yells: “You must never again speak about the Palestinians” -- this at the man who had spent his life pursuing their rights. In her account for the Jewish Press, Lori Lowenthal Marchus reports that the shrieks grew so loud no one could hear anything and the event had to be shut down in the middle of the question and answer session.  Eid himself had to be escorted from the room by campus police after one of the students threatened him with physical harm.

While students have thus far borne the brunt of outright intimidation, anti-Israel activists are beginning to target faculty. The Jewish Week reports that at Brooklyn College, which, despite its large Jewish student body has long been the scene of anti-Israel demonstrations, a group of students shouting slogans including “Zionists off campus” broke up the meeting of the Faculty Council, which is headed by an Orthodox Jew. One professor said she left the meeting “trembling.” At least in this case Brooklyn College President Karen Gould was quick to condemn the protest as “unacceptable” and the “hateful anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish comments” as “especially abhorrent.”  But that the students responsible will be punished -- the only way to deter repeat performances -- is doubtful. 

What can be done? The Zionist Organization of America has sent a letter to CUNY’s chancellor and board of trustees demanding that the chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, the culprit in the campus attacks, be shut down on all 23 CUNY campuses. As Caroline Glick points out, this is no ordinary student group. One of its tactics, laid out in an internal document obtained from the SUNY Binghamton chapter by the Amcha Initiative, which documents anti-Jewish campaigns on U.S. campuses, is to disrupt and shut down pro-Israel (or insufficiently anti-Israel, as in the Bassem Eid case) events on campus through, in the words of the document, “political theater to protest the events” as well as acts of “disruption.” An outfit whose purpose is to shut down free expression does not belong on American campuses.

Rachel Lefkowitz in an article entitled “Jewish Donors: Stop Funding Anti-Semitism -- Divest from Universities” zeroes in on an obvious way to obtain the attention of administrators. She points out that “staggering amounts of Jewish money” continue to be pumped into academic institutions “as they simultaneously explode with anti-Jew and anti-Israel hatred.” She reports, for example that at the height of “Jew hate tensions” at Canada’s York University between 2005 and 2010 “which included the hosting of Hamas-loving speakers, mini-riots against Jews, swarming of pro-Israel tabled events, storming events of pro-Israel speakers, physical violence, barricading of Jews and shouting profanities and anti-Semitic slurs, ‘Die Jew,’  ‘get the hell off campus,’ and ‘Zionist pigs’)” a well-known Jewish donor who was also a member of the school’s board of directors made a substantial donation. Lefkowitz points out the huge amount of Jewish money being poured into Columbia -- $250 million from one donor, $200 million from another, $100 million from a third -- despite its employing some of the most virulently anti-Semitic professors (like Rashid Khalidi) and the disgraceful number of anti-Israel events on campus. As Lefkowitz says “Why should universities acknowledge how horrifically antisemitic their campuses have become when Jewish supporters have ignored all of it and continue to give?”

Lefkowitz singles out as a hero Paul Bronfman, chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios, who recently gave York University 24 hours to take down an anti-Semitic mural or forfeit his support. York refused and Bronfman followed through, pulling money, production equipment, seminars, open houses with students, learning labs and training programs -- everything. A hundred faculty members signed an open letter criticizing Bronfman and defending the mural (contrast this with the silence at Vassar), but Bronfman stood firm.

If something is not done to stem the tide, many American campuses, including those most attractive to Jews, will become intolerable. A Jewish donor strike is a good place to start.  

Rael Jean Isaac’s most recent book is Roosters of the Apocalypse: How the Junk Science of Global Warming is Bankrupting the Western World.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Media's Lies About the Mullahs’ 'Elections' - Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

by Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

The truth about Iran's "reformers."

The mainstream liberal media seems to be deliberately misleading the public about the truth of the two upcoming major elections in the Islamic Republic. The media has called these elections "consequential," "significant," and "critical" in defining the next leadership of the Iranian regime and its domestic and foreign policies.

If one had no prior knowledge of Iran and read all the recent analysis about the Islamic Republic he or she could be forgiven is they believed Iran is governed by a democratic, open-minded, civilized and fair political system.

Either the mainstream media is guilty of extreme guile by pursuing an agenda to deliberately mislead the American public or sheer stupidity by failing to grasp the complexities and nuances of Iran’s politics. 

Here are the facts about Iran’s political system and the upcoming elections.

The first elections are linked to the Assembly of Experts that consists of 86 clerics. Before a candidate is permitted to run, they are vetted by the hardline organization, the Council of Guardians. The twelve members of the Guardian Council are appointed directly (six members) and also indirectly (6 are nominated by the head of Judiciary, which, in turn, is appointed by the Supreme Leader).

Simply put, the twelve members of the Guardian Council owe their positions to the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) and reject any candidate for the Assembly of Experts whose viewpoints do not align with Khamenei’s.

By law, the sole responsibility of the Assembly of Experts is to appoint Iran’s Supreme Leader. In other words, for the last 28 years this political body has been sitting idly by and getting high salaries while waiting for Khamenei to die.  But in practice do they really appoint the next Supreme Leader?

The only time that the Assembly of Experts appointed a Supreme Leader was in 1989 when Khomeini - the founder of the Islamic Republic - died. According to former President Rafsanjani’s writings, it took the 86 members only a couple of hours to appoint Khamenei.

Khamenei was groomed by IRGC leaders and the Ayatollah Khomeini to become the next Supreme Leader and in preparation for his appointment the IRGC even beforehand removed the article in the constitution which required the Supreme Leader to be Grand Ayatollah since Khamenei was not a Grand Ayatollah at the time.

In essence, the Assembly of Experts approved Khamenei because IRGC and Khomenei already picked him and when Khamenei dies, the next Supreme Leader will also be chosen in a similar manner and rubber stamped by the Assembly of Experts.

The second upcoming elections are the elections for the parliament. The mainstream media portrays Iran’s parliament as dynamic. But, in the last 35 years, Iran’s parliament has always sought the Supreme Leader’s approval or disapproval in order to pass or reject significant bills such as those linked to the nuclear deal.

As with the Assembly of Experts, candidates for the parliament must always be approved by the Guardian Council beforehand. But even when the Guardian Council made a “mistake” in the Khatami era and allowed reformists to gain seats in parliament the reformists were immediately constrained by IRGC forces; their newspapers were closed, some of their members were shot dead, and many of them were imprisoned when they showed that they might not align with the IRGC and Supreme Leader’s agenda.

Although the current parliament is controlled by the hardliners they did not create problems for the current Iranian President, Rouhani (the so-called moderate), regarding the nuclear deal. They passed it because that’s what the Supreme Leader and the IRGC leaders wanted in order to get economic relief.  In fact, even before Rouhani became President, Khamenei and IRGC leaders were preparing the political establishment to make a deal for the removal of economic sanctions. So, it was all orchestrated prior to bringing it to Rouhani.

It is crucial to look beyond the surface and realize that when it comes to major decisions - such as choosing the next leadership and the nuclear deal - Khamenei and the IRGC always have the final say. The IRGC that was created by Khomeini and empowered by Khamenei has indeed evolved to be a major decision-maker of the Islamic Republic.

Yet armchair experts hired by the mainstream media in the West - journalists, policy analysts and politicians - keep chattering on about how Iran’s elections are going to result in fundamental changes and breakthroughs in the country's policies. These talking heads provided the same simplistic and unsophisticated analysis before with the Arab Spring and viewers should judge them by their track record.

In closing, either these commentators who write about Iran do not have any clue about Iran’s political establishments or they are purposefully attempting to mislead the public for their own agenda.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a former senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf Project at Columbia University. He can be reached at Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


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How do US and Canadian Jews relate to Israel - Dr. Mordechai Kedar

by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Impressions gained on a North American lecture tour.

Anyone with minimal perception can discern the slow but steady decline in American Jewry's support for Israel, not of economic support per se, but of the feeling of shared destiny with the Jewish State. This decline is what allowed the United States government to come out publicly against the policies of Israel's elected government without having to deal with any backlash to speak of from American Jews. The decline of American Jewish clout was most painfully obvious when US Jewry was unable to prevent the Iran Agreement, even though the State of Israel declared that the agreement endangers its survival. Some US Jews even supported it.

Just recently, the US government decided to label goods manufactured in Judea and Samaria. Meanwhile, J Street pulls more and more weight, presenting itself as a pro-Israel and pro-peace organization, but actually acting to force Israel to accept policies that are diametrically opposed to those espoused by the majority of Israel's population, who lean to the right.

On university and college campuses, multiple anti-Israel activities are on the increase, pro-Palestinian organizations manage to frighten Jewish student organizations such as "Hillel" – some of whose branches have become "Open Hillel" societies that invite anti-Israel organizations to appear without feeling any pangs of conscience.  An Israeli or Jew who does not support the Two-State-Solution will not be invited to speak at these Hillel Houses, taken over in toto by political correctness.

Jewish students who support Israel feel more and more threatened, keep silent, are afraid that if they express their ideas they and their grades will suffer, since a good part of the academics in America identify with anti-Israel activities and opinions. Jews are even joining BDS organization activities, despite knowing that these groups wish to boycott Israel, pull  investments out of the country and hit it with sanctions. Some universities hold "Israel apartheid week" annually, a week whose goal is the de-legitimization of Israel, and there are Jewish students who actually join the activities taking place that week.

The standard excuse that anti-Israel Jews give for their behavior is that they support Israel but are opposed to its policies and behavior towards the "unfortunate Palestinians," its "settlement enterprise", the awful things allegedly done by hilltop youth, the government's refusal to offer concessions for peace, Israel's non-recognition of Conservative and Reform streams of Jewry and of their conversion system, and Netanyahu's appearance before Congress against Obama's wishes. Of late, there is a new excuse for being anti-Israel: Israel doesn't accept Syrian refugees…

The question that worries those who are conscious of the decline in support for Israel is what the root cause is – is it because of Israel's policies, mainly "settlements," or are there deep lying reasons that have to do with North American Jewry itself?  The answer to that questions leads to another: what can be done to deal with this decline and perhaps even stop it?

In my opinion, the decline in support for Israel on the part of North American Jewry has several causes, one of them primary and others secondary.They will be described here in general terms, while keeping in mind that there are exceptions to every rule:

1. The main reason for the decline is the aging of the Jewish population: those in their seventies or older generally support Israel without qualification, even if they are liberals about religious identification – Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or completely unaffiliated. For the older generation, the Holocaust is very much a living memory that continues to influence the way they view the world, a world where Israel is an absolute necessity, an insurance policy just in case Jews need a place of refuge once again. It is true that this does not really seem a realistic scenario in today's US and Canada, but in Europe, it does not seem so far off anymore – and remember, the Jews of the Weimar Republic of Germany did not predict the Nazi phenomenon. 

The younger the US or Canadian Jew, the farther away he is from historic and conscious memories of the Holocaust. It becomes less and less a part of his thoughts and this affects his attitude towards the necessity of Israel's existence. Young Jews see themselves as Americans first and Jews second, they are sure that their American identity will always protect them. You can even hear young American Jews who say that they might be better off if there were no Israel because that would relieve them of the dilemma over whom to support, Israel or the Palestinians. This horrendous thought was expressed out loud at a J Street event in 2011 when one of the organization's founding leaders said “If we were wrong, and a collective Jewish presence in the Middle East can only survive by the sword, it cannot be accepted, it is not about what we do – sounds familiar? - they (the Arabs or Muslims - MK) hate us for who we are, not what we do, if that's true, then Israel really isn’t very good idea…”

2. Concerning the cultural-religious variable and the traditional-liberal axis, it is a fact that the religious and modern Orthodox Jews of the US and Canada are the most ardent supporters of Israel, because it seems that religion is a powerful common denominator uniting this sector with the Jews in Israel. The coming elections will see many of these Americans voting for a republican mainly due to Obama's negative attitude towards Israel  and their fear that the democratic candidate will continue to espouse Obama's views. Many of the hareidim do not support Israel because it is not a halakhic state, but the safety of the Jews in Israel is important to them.

Support for Israel is less common among Conservative Jews and even less so among Reform Jews. To unaffiliated Jews - the group where intermarriage is most prevalent - both Israel and Judaism are almost irrelevant and if Israel should disappear, so be it.

3. The Jews of America are declining demographically due to intermarriage and low birth rates (not including the Orthodox and Hareidim), causing many Jews to feel vulnerable and to want to feel more American than Jewish. The decline has had a negative influence on their ability to have political and electoral clout.

4. The growth of the Muslim population, especially on campus, gives that sector the confidence to openly attack Jews, who are all Zionists in their eyes.  Muslim organizations under the umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the Muslim Student  Association, are well aware of Jewish weakness and use it to push the Jewish student into a corner and make him fear for his safety. This leads students to hide their pro-Israel feelings and causes some to join anti-Israel activities in order to cleanse themselves of any suspicion that they are pro-Israel.

5.  A significant number of lecturers make anti American remarks and hint that most of the troubles besetting the world, especially those of the third world, are the fault of the USA.  Obviously, since America supports Israel, Israel - in their post-modern way of thinking - is a partner in the crimes perpetrated by the USA, especially in the Middle East. Any student worried about his grade will not dare take exception to remarks of this kind made by his instructor - and some students will even adopt them for lack of knowledge about the opposing point of view.

The inevitability of a situation where there is historical distancing and a concomitant lack of identification with the Holocaust is a result of the fact that history moves on. Add to that the inability of preventing Muslim immigration to the US and Canada and the impossibility of changing the views of the instructors that lambast Israel, it becomes clear that the precipitous rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe since the arrival of large numbers of Islamic migrants may happen in North America as well.

What can be done? The answer lies in educating our youngsters to know the following central points:

1. During the Holocaust, the nations of the free world stood by and did nothing, although they knew full well through their intelligence services that a genocide of the Jews was taking place. Britain bears passive responsibility for the mass murder of European Jewry because it did not allow fleeing European Jews to enter the land of Israel, despite the terms of the Mandate that made it mandatory to allow the Jews into their declared homeland. Other nations, such as the USA, bear indirect responsibility, for refusing to accept Jewish refugees.

What happened in the 1940s could easily happen again. That is why Israel must exist as a place of refuge for Jews from any land they are forced to leave.

2. The State of Israel is the realization of the dream of a nation that remained faithful to its land while in exile for two thousand years, prayed facing Jerusalem, cited the holy city and the land in its prayers, in joy and in sorrow.

3. The Jewish people have the right to a land of their own, just like every other people on earth. Jew-hatred, even in North America, shows the need for a country where Jews can walk with their heads held high.

4. The Jewish State was established in the land of Israel. This land belongs to all the world's Jews, those who are its citizens and those who have not yet become citizens. This was decided by the international community at the San Remo Conference.     

5. The State of Israel is the state of all the Jews wherever they are even if they disagree with its policies. It is crucial for the continuation of the people of Israel, because it is the safe refuge for every Jewish community that feels the ground shaking under its feet – like France. And what happened in France can happen anywhere else, including North America.

6. The State of Israel is a true democracy, a peace loving state that protects its citizens and grants civil rights to minorities and ethnic groups of all kinds.

7. The State of Israel awaits the Jewish people with the patience of a loving mother. It suggests that young people come to home to their land, join the IDF and protect their fellow Jews, remain and build their lives in the country. Life in Israel is not easy, but there is something there that is to be found nowhere else: a chance to participate in the greatest project of the Jewish people since the destruction of the Second Temple, a people rebuilding itself, once again declaring its independence, sovereignty over its land and the re-establishment of its state.

The above concepts must become part of the Jewish educational system, for which system parents now pay up to 30,000 dollars annually per child from kindergarten to the end of high school and end up with a child who is not at all aware of these points. Their connection to the State of Israel is at least as important as physics, biology, literature, Talmud and halakha, and it should be a permanent, significant part of the curriculum with a set syllabus and available study units. The lecture I give once a year in several North American schools is the proverbial drop in the bucket.

My fear is that there are parents, even among the Orthodox, who are afraid of overly "Israeli" education which might persuade their children to make aliyah, join the army (dangerous), settle there, and leave their aging parents alone to deal with the difficulties of old age on their own.  This is a familiar scenario as every Orthodox congregation has at least one youngster who made aliya on his own and left his siblings in North America, with parents torn between their American and Israeli grandchildren.

Educating schoolchildren to absorb these concepts will strengthen them in the face of hostility on campus where they will be able to use the tools this study unit has given them. Still, this knowledge will not be able to prevent a hostile instructor from failing a Jewish student who defends Israel in the classroom. That problem can be solved by having pro-Israel adults, both Jews and non-Jews, attend the classes of teachers who take advantage of their classrooms to broadcast anti-Israel messages. Every retiree who is worried about what is going on in a classroom can register for the class given there (adult education is usually free or almost free in most universities) and deal with the instructor every time he uses the academic podium improperly. An adult does not need a degree and therefore is not afraid of his grades being lowered because of what he says in class and the challenge he poses for the instructor.

Those retirees who take on the important assignment of protecting Jewish youth from the open and subliminal propaganda against Jewish and Zionist Israel, will have to receive guidance so as to have the answers to questions they are asked. The internet has much helpful information  such as that found on this website.

To summarize briefly: Many developments are happening simultaneously:

a. The ageing of North American Jewry and the distancing from Holocaust awareness.
b. The decline in number and public clout of North American Jewry due to intermarriage
c. The rise of liberal and post modern views
d. The rise in the number and comparative weight of the Muslims in North America
e. The rise of anti-American and anti-Israel feelings (a form of anti-Semitism) on campus.

This explains the gradual but steady decline in North American Jewish support for Israel.  Israel's pubic and political situation in the US and Canada is faced by challenges that did not exists before, beginning with the BDS movement.

There is much to do, especially in the field of youth education, and it is incumbent on every organized community and the State of Israel to partner with American communities to save the next generations from sinking into the melting pot that has for years blurred their Jewish identity, and therefore, their support for Israel.

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from Hebrew by Arutz Sheva Op-ed and Judaism Editor, Rochel Sylvetsky.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar


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U.S., Europe Fund Torture by Palestinian Authority - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Palestinian Authority security forces are trained and funded by several Western countries, including the United States. This establishes a direct line between these Western donors and the arbitrary arrests, torture and human rights violations that have become the norm in Palestinian Authority-controlled prisons and detention centers.

  • A report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor documented 1,391 cases of Palestinians arbitrarily arrested by the two Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, in 2015.
  • Systematic torture in Palestinian prisons in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was documented in the report -- at least 179 cases of torture in Palestinian Authority (PA) prisons in 2015.
  • The PA security forces are trained and funded by several Western countries, including the US. This establishes a direct line between these Western donors and the arbitrary arrests, torture and human rights violations that have become the norm in PA-controlled prisons and detention centers.
  • The report also revealed that the Palestinian Authority regularly disobeys court orders by refusing to release detainees, showing contempt for its courts and judges.
  • Before our eyes, two police states are being built: one in the West Bank and a second in the Gaza Strip -- in the face of talk by international parties of establishing an independent Palestinian state. But the last thing the Palestinians need is another police state.

Palestinians who incite violence against Israel are called Palestinian leaders. Palestinians who beg to differ with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas or one of his friends are called criminals and can expect to be interrogated and/or imprisoned.

The PA leadership has always clamped down on its critics, including journalists, editors, academics, human rights activists and parliament members. In this regard, the PA and its president show a distinct similarity to the other dictators that run the Arab world.

Like the legendary Japanese monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, the international media regularly turns a blind eye to blatant Palestinian Authority abuses. But here's a newsflash for them: Say you don't like Abbas and you face arrest or interrogation on charges of "insulting His Excellency."

Take, for example, the case of Professor Abdul Sattar Qassem, who teaches Political Science at An-Najah University in Nablus.

Qassem, a long-time critic of President Abbas and the Oslo Accords, was arrested earlier this week by Palestinian security forces on charges of "incitement." Qassem was arrested on the heels of a television interview in which he stated that those who collaborate with Israel should receive the death penalty, according to the PLO's "Revolutionary Law." The Palestinian leadership considered this statement "incitement" against President Abbas and Palestinian security personnel.

Professor Abdul Sattar Qassem (left) stated in a TV interview that those who collaborate with Israel should receive the death penalty. The Palestinian Authority leadership considered this "incitement" against President Mahmoud Abbas (right), and arrested Qassem.

Qassem was released on bail after three days in detention, although a Palestinian court had ordered him remanded in custody for 15 days. It is still unclear whether he will be officially charged and put on trial.

No stranger to Palestinian prison, Qassem has been arrested at least three times in the past few years for publicly criticizing President Abbas and other senior Palestinian officials. His outspokenness has also exposed him to violence: his car was torched while parked in front of his home in Nablus, and he escaped an assassination attempt when unidentified gunmen shot several rounds at him outside this home.

The culprits have never been caught. Palestinian sources say the assailants are unlikely to ever be apprehended. Had the perpetrators posted critical comments about President Abbas on Facebook, however, these sources say that they would have been locked up long ago.

A recent report published by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor documented 1,391 cases where Palestinians were arbitrarily arrested by the two Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas, in 2015.

The report noted that the bulk of the arrests (1,274) had taken place in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Among those arrested were 35 Palestinian journalists and civil rights activists, and 476 students and academics.

Cameras and computers were confiscated from the detained journalists before they were interrogated about their work and activities on social media, the report said.

Now let us go to Gaza. How is Hamas doing on this score? Hamas authorities last year arrested "only" 23 journalists and civil rights workers, 24 university students and five teachers and academics.

Thus, the figures show, we might say, some arresting facts: Hamas has a better record than the Western-funded Palestinian Authority when it comes to assaults on public freedoms and human rights violations. The report also revealed that the Palestinian Authority regularly disobeys court orders by refusing to release detainees. In other words, the Palestinian Authority, which repeatedly boasts that it has managed to build an "independent and credible judiciary system" with the help of Western donors, shows contempt for its courts and judges.

Systematic torture -- scores of cases -- in Palestinian prisons in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was also documented in the report. In 2015, there were at least 179 cases of torture in Palestinian Authority prisons, as opposed to 39 cases in Hamas prisons during the same year.

The Palestinian Authority security forces are trained and funded by several Western countries, including the United States. This establishes a direct line between these Western donors and the arbitrary arrests, torture and human rights violations that have become the norm in Palestinian Authority-controlled prisons and detention centers.

Yet there is silence -- until the word "Israel" pops up. Then Western news outlets, including those based in Israel that are tasked with covering Palestinian affairs, go into high gear.

This criminal indifference -- one is tempted to say negligence -- on the part of the international community permits and even promotes Palestinian Authority and Hamas human rights abuses.

We are witnessing how the two Palestinian parties approach the task of building state institutions. Before our eyes, two police states are being built -- one in the West Bank and a second in the Gaza Strip. This is taking place in the face of talk by the same donors and other international parties (at least in relation to the PA) of establishing an independent Palestinian state. But the last thing the Palestinians need is another police state.

President Abbas, who has just entered the 11th year of his four-year term in office, has no cause to be concerned about the human rights violations committed by his security forces. In fact, he has every reason to continue clamping down on his critics. Why should he worry? The international community absolves him of the abuses perpetrated under his rule.

That is why this week Abbas instructed his security forces to launch an investigation into the behavior of a legislator, Dr. Najat Abu Baker. Dr. Abu Baker, it seems, had the temerity to demand an inquiry into the financial practices of a Palestinian cabinet minister.

Soon after she lodged charges of financial wrongdoing, Dr. Abu Baker, an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was summoned by the Palestinian prosecutor general for interrogation on charges of "slander" and "incitement." This is quite a way to respect Dr. Abu Baker's parliamentary immunity.

Dr. Abu Baker's case is yet a further example of the disregard that the Palestinian Authority shows not only for the judicial system, but also for the legislative body that is meant to serve as a watchdog over the executive branch. But even watchdogs know their owners. By summoning Dr. Abu Baker for interrogation and threatening to arrest her, Abbas is sending a message of deterrence to his detractors, namely that even a member of parliament cannot escape the long arm of the Palestinian security forces.

For now, the international community has some choices. It could continue to close its eyes to the police states being erected with its monies. Alternatively, it could choose a new path: to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for its actions, including the torture that takes place within its very core. But the West had better hurry up. The PA repression is far from lost on the Palestinians, who are being driven by it into the waiting arms of Hamas and other such groups.

Proper state institutions for the Palestinians is a laudatory goal; what the Palestinians have today are two banana republics.
Khaled Abu Toameh, an award winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.
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SFSU’s Deafening Silence on Partnership with Palestinian University - Cinnamon Stillwell

by Cinnamon Stillwell

A hotbed of terrorism and Jew hatred finds a friend at San Francisco State University.

Late last year, during the ongoing frenzy of violence directed at Israelis known as the “stabbing intifada,” 20-year-old Maram Hassoneh was killed in her second attempted knife attack on IDF soldiers manning a checkpoint. Hassoneh, a devout Muslim, was a top English student at An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus. Described by Hamas as “greenhouse for martyrs,” An-Najah may very well be San Francisco State University (SFSU)’s first academic partner in the Arab and Muslim world.

Under the leadership of Rabab Abdulhadi, director of SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative (AMED) and a founding member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, SFSU reportedly established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with An-Najah in 2014. Though there is no official corroboration of the relationship other than a recommendation in the All-University Committee on International Programs annual report (which Abdulhadi touted on Facebook), An-Najah claimed in a statement at its website last year that the MOU was signed on September 10, 2014, while a 2015 Xpress Magazine interview with Abdulhadi presented it as a fait accompli.

At a November, 2015 AMED panel discussion on “Palestine, Iran, and Syria” for which Campus Watch obtained a recording, Abdulhadi—in introducing notorious Israel-bashers Hatem Bazian of UC Berkeley and As’ad Abu Khalil of Cal State Stanislaus—spoke proudly of the partnership:

We . . . have the first agreement between San Francisco State and any Arab or Muslim communities . . . a memorandum of understanding with An-Najah University in Nablus, Palestine.  
She reiterated her longstanding intention to do the same with another West Bank university, the Hamas-dominated Bir Zeit, and to set up a student exchange program, before delivering this telling disclaimer:

We believe that we need to produce knowledge for justice. We do not want to produce knowledge and teach students how to grow up and build bombs and destroy other people.
Given the prevalence of Hamas and, to a lesser extent, Fatah, at both universities, the expressions of hatred towards Israelis and Jews that appear with depressing regularity, and the widespread glorification of terrorism, it’s little wonder Abdulhadi felt compelled to issue this qualification.

According to Matthew Levitt, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, An-Najah is known for “terrorist recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization of students,” particularly those associated with the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc. Likewise, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) notes that An-Najah’s student council “glorifies suicide bombings and propagandizes for jihad against Israel.” An-Najah put off its 2015 student elections indefinitely for fear of a Hamas victory.

An-Najah’s June 2014 graduation ceremony featured banners paying tribute to Hamas leaders and graduates posing for a picture, holding up three fingers to represent three Israeli teens kidnapped by Hamas, the terrorist act that ignited the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. An-Najah students are notorious for having constructed a gruesome replica of the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria Jerusalem suicide bombing.

While Abdulhadi’s allusion to steering these radical students away from violence and towards democratic activism may be admirable, the fact remains that a student exchange program with this university could pose a significant security risk. And Abdulhadi doesn’t plan to stop there. In a 2014 interview, she pledged to further such collaboration:

[I]t’s not going to be exclusive to two Palestinian universities; we plan to connect with other universities in Palestine and elsewhere in the Arab world as well as in Muslim majority countries.
When asked by email to confirm the MOU with An-Najah and to comment on potential security concerns, SFSU President Leslie Wong did not respond. Indeed, SFSU has remained remarkably quiet on the subject, other than defending Abdulhadi from allegations of improper use of university funds with a controversial 2014 “Academic and Labor Delegation to Palestine” for the purpose of meeting with An-Najah and Bir Zeit representatives to cultivate the MOU (and, in the process, individuals affiliated with U.S. State Department-designated terrorist organizations).

If, as Abdulhadi boasts, the alliance with An-Najah is such an impressive accomplishment, what accounts for SFSU’s reticence? Could it be that President Wong is less than eager to publicize SFSU’s relationship with a Palestinian university that is a hotbed of radicalization, particularly given SFSU’s own troubled history of anti-Israel extremism? In a matter of this gravity, silence from SFSU’s administration is not an option.

Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at


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Trump, the EU Crack-Up and Israel - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

How would a President Trump govern?

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post. 

After his smashing back-to-back victories in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries and the Nevada caucuses, going into next week’s Super Tuesday contests in 12 states, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump looks increasingly unbeatable.

What accounts for the billionaire populist’s success? And if Trump does become the next US president, what sort of leader will the former reality television star be? Trump is popular because he has a rare ability to channel the deep-seated frustrations that much of the American public harbors toward its political and cultural elites.

Trump’s presidential bid isn’t based on specific, defined economic or foreign policy platforms or plans. Indeed, it isn’t clear that he even has any.

Trump’s campaign is based on his capacity to resonate two deeply felt frustrations harbored by a large cross-section of American citizens.

As The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger explained recently, a very large group of Americans is frustrated – or enraged – by the intellectual and social terror exercised upon them by the commissars of political correctness.

Trump’s support levels rise each time he says something “politically incorrect.” His candidacy took off last summer when he promised to build a wall along the Mexican border. It rose again last November when, following the Islamic massacre in Paris, he said that if elected he will ban Muslim immigration to the US.

The many millions of Americans who are sick of being called racist, chauvinist, homophobic, privileged or extremist every time they breathe feel that in Trump they have found their voice.

Then there is that gnawing sense that under Obama, America has been transformed from history’s greatest winner into history’s biggest sucker.

Trump’s continuous exposition on his superhuman deal-making talents speaks to this fear.

Trump’s ability to viscerally connect to the deep-seated concerns of American voters and assuage them frees him from the normal campaign requirement of developing plans to accomplish his campaign promises.

Trump’s supporters don’t care that his economic policies contradict one another. They don’t care that his foreign policy declarations are a muddle of contradictions.

They hate the establishment and they want to believe him.

This then brings us to the question of how a president Donald Trump would govern.

Because he knows how to viscerally connect to the public, Trump will undoubtedly be a popular president. But since he has no clear philosophical or ideological underpinning, his policies will likely be inconsistent and opportunistic.

In this, a Trump presidency will be a stark contrast to Obama’s hyper-ideological tenure in office.

So, too, his presidency will be a marked contrast to a similarly ideologically driven Clinton or Sanders administration, since both will more or less continue to enact Obama’s domestic and foreign policies.

The US is far from the only country steeped in uncertainty and frustration today.

Today, the peoples of Western Europe are behaving much like the Americans in their increased rejection of the political and cultural elites. Like Trump’s growing band of supporters, Western Europeans are increasingly embracing populists.

Whether these leaders come from the Right or the Left, they all make a similar pledge to restore their nations to a previous glory.

These promises are based as well on a common rejection of the European Union. Like their voters, populist European politicians believe that the EU is a bureaucratic monstrosity that has pulverized and seeks to blot out their national characters while it seizes their national sovereignty.

Due to this growing popular opposition to the EU, establishment leaders throughout Western Europe find themselves fighting for their political survival. Whether their desire to exit the EU owes to its open borders policies in the face of massive Muslim immigration or to the euro debt crisis, with each passing month, the very concept of a unified Europe loses its appeal for more and more Europeans.

On June 23, this growing disenchantment is liable to bring about the beginning of the EU’s breakup. That day, British voters will determine whether or not the United Kingdom will remain in the EU.

Popular London Mayor and Conservative MP Boris Johnson is now leading the campaign calling for Britain to leave the EU against the will of Prime Minister David Cameron and the Conservative party establishment.

In recent days, several commentators have claimed that Johnson is Britain’s Donald Trump.

Like Trump, Johnson is able to tap into deep-seated public dissatisfaction with the political and cultural elites and serve as a voice for the disaffected.

If Johnson is able to convince a majority of British voters to support an exit from the EU, then several other EU member states are likely to follow in Britain’s wake.

The exit of states from the EU will cause a political and economic upheaval in Europe with repercussions far beyond its borders. Just as a Trump presidency will usher in an era of high turbulence and uncertainty in US economic and foreign policies, so a post-breakup EU and Western Europe will replace Brussels’ consistent policies with policies that are more varied, and unstable.

For Israel, instability is not necessarily a bad thing. For the past several years, we have consistently suffered under the stable, unswerving anti-Israel policies of both the EU and the Obama administration.

Our inability to influence these policies was brought home last week with the government’s announcement that it is renewing Israel’s diplomatic dialogue with the EU.

Following the EU’s announcement in November that it was implementing its bigoted, arguably unlawful labeling policy against Israeli goods produced beyond the 1949 armistice lines, the government announced that Israel was suspending its diplomatic dialogue with the EU. The government hoped that by forcing Europe to pay a diplomatic price for its hostility, Brussels would back down.

But as it turned out, the ban made no impact on the EU, whose only clear, consistent foreign policy is to oppose Israel. And so, last week, the government cried uncle and announced that it is reinstituting its diplomatic dialogue with the EU.

A senior official explained that Israel chose to end the dispute because it wished to avoid having the labeling policy used as an issue in the debate about the future of the EU. EU champions made it clear to Israeli officials that if the labeling issue wasn’t swept under the rug, then Israel would be liable to be blamed if EU member states opt to exit the union.

Clearly the government is right to seek to avoid having Israel used as an issue in the debates on the future of the EU. But then again, it is also clear that Israel’s foes – led by the likes of the Belgians – don’t need an excuse to attack us.

On the other hand, by backing down, Israel signaled to its European opponents that they can escalate their war against us with impunity.

Moreover, despite the threats of EU officials, it is fairly ridiculous to think that they future of the EU has anything to do with how Israel responds to its political war against us. The Europeans who wish to exit the EU, like those who wish to remain, feel the way they do because of issues that have little to do with Israel.

Beyond the narrow question of how to respond to the labeling assault, from Israel’s perspective, the rise of Trump like the rise of Johnson and the anti-EU forces in Europe indicates that in the coming years, both the US and Europe are likely to move in one of two directions – and Israel has to be prepared for both eventualities.

If the next US president is a Democrat, and if the EU remains intact, then Israel can expect for its relations with the US and the EU to remain in crisis mode for the foreseeable future.

If Trump is elected president and if Britain leads the charge of nations out of the EU, then Israel can expect its relations with both the US and Europe to be marked by turbulence and uncertainty that can lead in a positive direction or a negative direction, or even to both directions at the same time.

Just as Trump has stated both that he will support Israel and be neutral toward Israel, so we can expect for Trump to stand by Israel one day and to rebuke it angrily, even brutally, the next day.

So, too, under Trump, the US may send forces to confront Iran one day, only to announce that Trump is embarking on negotiations to get a sweetheart deal with the ayatollahs the next.

Or perhaps all of these things will happen simultaneously.

As for Europe, whereas the EU stalwarts will likely ratchet up their hostility toward Israel, and we may even see the likes of Sweden or Belgium cut off relations with us, states that leave the EU may be willing to vastly improve their bilateral relations with Israel diplomatically, economically and militarily.

Moreover, if the EU begins to break up, it is likely that the European economy will contract.

As Israel’s largest trading partner, a European recession will hurt Israel.

Whether Trump rises or falls, is defeated by a Republican rival or by a Democratic opponent, and whether or not the EU breaks apart or remains intact, Israel’s leaders need to prepare for the plausible scenarios of either prolonged crises in relations with the US, Europe or both, or turbulent relations that are unpredictable and subject to constant change with one or both of them.

Under these circumstances, the first conclusion that needs to be drawn is that now is not the time to expand our military dependence on the US. Consequently, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon should not conclude an agreement for expanded US security assistance to Israel for the next decade.

Beyond that, Israel needs to expand on the steps that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold are already taking to expand Israel’s network of alliances to Africa and Asia. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit this week marked just the latest achievement of this vital project. Israel’s diplomatic opening to Asia and Africa needs to be matched by similar military and economic openings and expansions of ties.

In the final analysis, Trump’s rise in America and the rise of the populists in Europe is yet another indication of the West’s growing identity crisis fueled by its economic, social, military and cultural weakness. Israel needs to read the writing on the wall and act appropriately lest we become a casualty of that identity crisis.

Caroline Glick


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.