Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Arabs' Real Grievance against the Jews - Fred Maroun

by Fred Maroun

The Arab world still does not today accept the concept of a Jewish state of any size or any shape. Even Egypt and Jordan, who signed peace agreements with Israel, do not accept that Israel is a Jewish state, and they continue to promote anti-Semitic hatred against Israel.

  • During Israel's War of Independence, Jews were ethnically cleansed from Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and in the years that followed, they were ethnically cleansed from the rest of the Arab world.
  • Jews demand the right to exist, and to exist as equals, on the land where they have existed and belonged continuously for more than three thousand years.
  • We would rather claim that the conflict is about "occupation" and "settlements." The Jews see what radical Islamists are now doing to Christians and other minorities, who were also in the Middle East for thousands of years before the Muslim Prophet Mohammed was even born.
  • The real Arab grievance against the Jews is that they exist.

As Arabs, we are very adept at demanding that our human rights be respected, at least when we live in liberal democracies such as in North America, Europe, and Israel. But what about when it comes to our respecting the human rights of others, particularly Jews?

When we examine our attitude towards Jews, both historically and at present, we realize that it is centered on denying Jews the most fundamental human right, the right without which no other human right is relevant: the right to exist.

The right to exist in the Middle East before 1948

Anti-Zionists often repeat the claim that before modern Israel, Jews were able to live in peace in the Middle East, and that it is the establishment of the State of Israel that created Arab hostility towards Jews. That is a lie.

Before modern Israel, as the historian Martin Gilbert wrote, "Jews held the inferior status of dhimmi, which, despite giving them protection to worship according to their own faith, subjected them to many vexatious and humiliating restrictions in their daily lives." As another historian, G.E. von Grunebaum, wrote, Jews in the Middle East faced "a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms."

The right to exist as an independent state

Zionism stemmed from the need for Jews to be masters of their own fate; no longer to be the victims of discrimination or massacres simply for being Jews. This project was accepted and formally recognized by the British, who had been granted a mandate over Palestine by the League of Nations. The Arab world, however, never accepted the recognition formulated by Britain in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and it never accepted the partition plan approved by the United Nations in 1947, which recognized the right of the Jews to their own state.

The Arab refusal to accept the Jewish state's right to exist, a right that carries more international legal weight than almost any other country's right to exist, resulted in several wars, starting with the war of independence in 1948-1949. The Arab world still does not today accept the concept of a Jewish state of any size or any shape. Even Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace agreements with Israel, do not accept that Israel is a Jewish state, and they continue to promote anti-Semitic hatred against Israel.

The right to exist in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem

In 2005, Israel evacuated all its troops and all Jewish inhabitants from Gaza, in the hope that this would bring peace at least on that front, and to allow the Gaza Strip, vacated by Jews, to be a flourishing Arab Riviera, or a second Singapore, and perhaps to serve as a model for the West Bank. The experiment failed miserably. This is a case where Jews willingly gave up their right to exist on a piece of land, but sadly the Palestinians of Gaza took it not as opportunity for peace, but as a sign that if you keep on shooting at Jews, they leave -- so let's keep on shooting.

There are many opinions among Zionists as to what to do about the West Bank. These opinions range from a total unilateral withdrawal as in Gaza, to a full annexation, with many options in between. At the moment, the status quo prevails, with no specific plans for the future.

Everyone, however, despite the treacherous UNESCO's rewriting of history, knows that before that piece of land was called the West Bank, it was called Judea and Samaria for more than two thousand years.

Everyone knows that Hebron contains the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs, within the Cave of the Patriarchs, and it is considered the second-holiest site in Judaism. Every reasonable person knows that Jews should unquestionably have the right to exist on that land, even if it is under Arab or Muslim jurisdiction. Yet everyone also knows that no Arab regime is capable or even willing to protect the safety of Jews living under its jurisdiction from the anti-Semitic hatred that emanates from the Arab world.

East Jerusalem, which was carved away by the Kingdom of Jordan from the rest of Jerusalem during the war of independence, is part of Jerusalem, and contains the Temple Mount, the Jews' holiest site. The Old City in East Jerusalem was inhabited by Jews up until they were ethnically cleansed by Jordan in the war of 1948-1949.

In May 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion expelled all of the approximately 2000 Jews who lived in the Old City of Jerusalem, and then turned the Jewish Quarter into rubble.

Although Israel has twice in the past, first under Prime Minister Ehud Barak then under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, offered East Jerusalem as part of a Palestinian state, that offer is not likely to be made again. Jews know that it would mean a new wave of ethnic cleansing, which would deny the Jewish right to exist on the piece of land where that right is more important than anywhere else.

The right to exist in the Middle East now

During Israel's War of Independence, Jews were ethnically cleansed from Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and in the years that followed, they were ethnically cleansed from the rest of the Arab world.

Today, Israel's enemies, many of them Arab, are challenging its right to exist, and therefore the right of Jews to exist, on two fronts: threats of nuclear annihilation and annihilation through demographic suffocation.

Iran's Islamist regime has repeated several times its intention to destroy Israel using nuclear weapons. Just in case Iran is not "successful," the so-called "pro-Palestinian" movement, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has a different plan to destroy the Jewish state: a single state with the "return" of all the descendants of Palestinian refugees. The refusal of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessor Yasser Arafat to accept any two-state solution presented to them is part of that plan.

The right to exist elsewhere

Anti-Zionists claim that Jews are imperialists in the Middle East, as were the British and the French, and like them, they should leave and go back to where they belong. This analogy is of course not true: Jews have an even longer history in the Middle East than do Muslims or Arabs.

Do Jews belong in Europe, which tried only a few decades ago to kill every Jew, man, woman, or child? Do Jews belong in North America where until a few hundred years ago, there were no Europeans, only Indians?

Saying that Jews "belong" in such places is not reality; it is just a convenient claim for anti-Zionists to make.

The Jews will not give up

As Arabs, we complain because Palestinians feel humiliated going through Israeli checkpoints. We complain because Israel is building in the West Bank without Palestinian permission, and we complain because Israel dares to defend itself against Palestinian terrorists. But how many of us have stopped to consider how this situation came to be? How many of us have the courage to admit that waging war after war against the Jews in order to deny them the right to exist, and refusing every reasonable solution to the conflict, has led to the current situation?

Our message to Jews, throughout history and particularly when they had the temerity to want to govern themselves, has been clear: we cannot tolerate your very existence.

Yet the Jews demand the right to exist and to exist as equals on the land where they have existed and belonged continuously for more than three thousand years.

In addition, denying a people the right to exist is a crime of unimaginable proportions. We Arabs pretend that our lack of respect for the right of Jews to exist is not the cause of the conflict between the Jews and us. We would rather claim that the conflict is about "occupation" and "settlements". They see what radical Islamists are now doing to Christians and other minorities, who were also in the Middle East for thousands of years before the Muslim Prophet Mohammed was even born: Yazidis, Kurds, Christians, Copts, Assyrians, Arameans, and many others. Where are these indigenous people of Iraq, Syria and Egypt now? Are they living freely or are they being persecuted, run out of their own historical land, slaughtered by Islamists? Jews know that this is what would have happened to them if they did not have their own state.

The real Arab grievance against the Jews is that they exist. We want the Jews either to disappear or be subservient to our whims, but the Jews refuse to bend to our bigotry, and they refuse to be swayed by our threats and our slander.

Who in his right mind can blame them?

Fred Maroun, a left-leaning Arab based in Canada, has authored op-eds for New Canadian Media, among other outlets. From 1961-1984, he lived in Lebanon.


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

Importing Terror - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Obama's plan to accelerate vetting of Syrian "refugees” for U.S. entry.

President Obama is willing to gamble with the lives of American citizens. He is intent on emptying Guantanamo of as many of the detainees as possible, even as some of the released jihadists have returned to the battlefield to fight against our soldiers. Now the Obama administration is reportedly planning to accelerate the screening process for Syrians claiming refugee status, so that they can be rapidly resettled in communities across the United States.

The Washington Free Beacon has reported that, according to its sources, “The Obama administration has committed to bring at least 10,000 Syrian refugees onto American soil in fiscal year 2016 by accelerating security screening procedures from 18-24 months to around three months.”

The current resettlement vetting process for self-proclaimed refugees begins with an initial screening by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  The applications of some who make it through this preliminary UN screen are referred to United States authorities for further consideration and possible resettlement. UNCHR’s role in the front end of the vetting process should be reason enough for alarm.

The United Nations has called for more open borders to accommodate the millions of “refugees” and other migrants whom have left the Middle East and North Africa. To this end, UNCHR is said to be looking for alternative avenues to admit Syrian refugees that are faster than the current refugee “resettlement” vetting process. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi suggested a number of such alternatives last March, at a high-level meeting held in Geneva to discuss “global responsibility sharing through pathways for admission of Syrian refugees."

Among the alternative “pathways” listed by the UNCHR High Commissioner for Refugees were “labour mobility schemes, student visa and scholarships, as well as visa for medical reasons.” He added, “Resettlement needs vastly outstrip the places that have been made available so far... But humanitarian and student visa, job permits and family reunification would represent safe avenues of admission for many other refugees as well.”

The net effect of expanding the grounds for admitting Syrian refugees to include job and student related visas could be to bump American citizens from jobs and scholarships that are given to the refugees instead.

Apparently, the Obama administration is onboard with looking for alternatives to the current refugee resettlement system that depends on cooperation with the states. Perhaps it is reacting to the fact that numerous states have recently elected to opt out of refugee resettlement programs, including New Jersey.

 “The United States joins UNHCR in calling for new ways nations, civil society, the private sector, and individuals can together address the global refugee challenge,” the State Department wrote in a Media Note following the Geneva conference. The State Department added that it has “created a program to allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to file refugee applications for their Syrian family members.”

Who are such “family members?” Would they include siblings and cousins of fighting age? Do we really want to add more loopholes to the existing visa system, which was already breached by the female jihadist who took part in the San Bernardino massacre after being admitted to the United States on a “fiancĂ©” visa? Apparently so, if the Obama administration gets its way. Speeding up the “refugee” admission process and avoiding state roadblocks in the current refugee resettlement pathway appear to have become its top priority.

Meanwhile, Obama administration officials tell us not to worry. They assure us they have a “robust” screening process in place to vet Syrians claiming to be refugees. Don’t believe them. They are deliberately turning a blind eye to the warnings of experts such as FBI Director James Comey, who said last year, during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing, that the federal government lacked the data to adequately vet “refugees” seeking entry to the U.S.

“We can only query against that which we have collected,” Comey told the committee. “So if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned earlier this year that he considered ISIS and its branches to be the number 1 terrorist threat. Clapper pointed to ISIS’s success in "taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow."

Even those “refugees” who enter the United States without pre-existing ties to ISIS are vulnerable to indoctrination by jihadists already in this country. Somali “refugees” are a prime example. As Andrew Liepman, who was serving as deputy director for intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center until he retired from government service in 2012, said during the first year of Obama’s presidency: "Despite significant efforts to facilitate their settlement into American communities, many Somali immigrants face isolation."

Jihadists have been busy “recruiting and radicalizing young people,” Liepman added.

Nevertheless, seven years later, the Obama administration continues to send as many as 700 Somali “refugees” per month to cities across the United States, with the largest number settling in Minnesota where large concentrations of Somalis already live.

Barack Obama has said that it is wrong to “start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.” He refuses to associate Islam or jihad with acts of terrorism or with what he calls violent extremism. He rails against “negative stereotypes of Islam” and “those who slander the prophet of Islam.” But telling the truth about the violent and supremacist strains in Islamic ideology, rooted in the Koran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, is neither stereotyping nor slander. It is identifying the enemy we are fighting. And wanting to make sure that we have a foolproof vetting system in place before admitting more Muslims from the sectarian conflict-ravaged areas in the Middle East or North Africa is neither fear-mongering nor discrimination. It is common sense defense of the American people from undue risk of attacks in our homeland, which is the primary duty of every U.S. president as commander-in-chief including Barack Obama. 

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.


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

Ben Rhodes admits administration lied to sell Iran deal - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

Ben Rhodes helped the administration identify friendly reporters and nonprofits who could be counted on to carry a completely false and misleading "narrative" about the Iran deal.

Ben Rhodes is perhaps the weirdest foreign policy adviser in the history of the White House.  His path to his current position as deputy national security adviser for strategic communications was, as this New York Times profile informs us, "perhaps not strictly believable, even as fiction."

Forget his title.  Ben Rhodes is "the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from Potus himself," according to the Times.  What makes that so bizarre is that Rhodes has no background in foreign policy at all.  He was a failed short story writer who wandered into the orbit of Obama aides almost by accident and served as a speechwriter during the campaign.

But he helped the administration identify friendly reporters and nonprofits who could be counted on to carry a completely false and misleading "narrative" about the Iran deal.

And it worked.

John Podhoretz:
The storyline they peddled was that the Iran deal had been negotiated in a furious round of back-and-forthing in 2014 and 2015, with the United States getting far better terms out of Iran than it expected due to the flexibility of a newly moderate government in Tehran.
It was, Samuels says, a deliberately misleading narrative. The general terms were actually hammered out in 2012 by the State Department officials Jake Sullivan and William Burns, rooted on Obama’s deep desire from the beginning of the administration to strike a grand deal with the mullahs.
Why on earth was such conduct remotely acceptable? Because, Samuels makes clear, Rhodes and Obama believe they’re the only sensible thinkers in America and that there’s no way to get the right things done other than to spin them. “I mean, I’d prefer a sober, reasoned public debate, after which members of Congress reflect and take a vote,” he tells Samuels. “But that’s impossible.”
Impossible? There was a sober, reasoned public debate over the Iran deal. Its opponents were deadly serious. In the end, 58 senators voted against it on sober, reasoned grounds.
What the Samuels piece shows is that the Obama administration chose to attempt to get its way not by winning an argument but by bringing an almost fathomless cynicism to bear in manipulating its own clueless liberal fan club.
It's amazing how Rhodes sees himself and his role.  He refers to the foreign policy establishment as "the blob," and at bottom, he believes he and Obama are the only smart ones in the room.

Weekly Standard:
Samuels's profile is an amazing piece of writing about the Holden Caulfield of American foreign policy. He's a sentimental adolescent with literary talent (Rhodes published one short story before his mother's connections won him a job in the world of foreign policy), and high self regard, who thinks that everyone else is a phony. Those readers who found Jeffrey Goldberg's picture of Obama in his March Atlantic profile refreshing for the president's willingness to insult American allies publicly will be similarly cheered here by Rhodes's boast of deceiving American citizens, lawmakers, and allies over the Iran deal. Conversely, those who believe Obama risked American interests to take a cheap shot at allies from the pedestal of the Oval Office will be appalled to see Rhodes dancing in the end zone to celebrate the well-packaged misdirections and even lies—what Rhodes and others call a "narrative"—that won Obama his signature foreign policy initiative.
The creation of that narrative was, as Samuels points out, a tissue of lies and misdirection that made the Iran deal sound a lot better than it really was.  All you have to do to discover the extent of their flim-flamming is to look at the talking points about the agreement after the preliminary deal was agreed to in April and compare it with the final agreement in July.  The dishonesty in selling this deal to Congress was so profound that we still don't know yet how Iran is interpreting parts of it.

Samuels's profile is very long and, at times, strains credulity that such a creature could become a top adviser to the president.  But it also unintentionally reveals how easily the Washington press corps can be manipulated into doing the president's bidding.  There was very little objective analysis of the Iran deal, nor any attempt to reconcile what was in the deal with what the administration was claiming in public. 

If there had been, it's doubtful that the deal would have gone through Congress.

Rick Moran


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

More than is absolutely necessary - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Hat tip: Jean-Charles Bensoussan

The first reason for the uproar over Jew-hatred is that the party is led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who, at minimum, has a marked, longstanding affection for anti-Semites and respect for their bigotry.

Photo by: REUTERS

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.

Three years ago, Mehdi Hasan, a Muslim British writer, acknowledged that anti-Semitism is “rampant” in the British Muslim community. Writing in the New Statesman, Hasan said, “anti-Semitism isn’t just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it’s routine and commonplace.”

Hasan cited as an example the Jew baiting of Lord Nazir Ahmed, from the Labor Party. Ahmed is considered, apparently rightly, a sterling example of Britain’s success in integrating its Muslim citizens into its society. And yet, while he may speak Oxford English, Ahmed is a raving anti-Semite.

In 2012, Ahmed was convicted of reckless driving for running over and killing a pedestrian while sending text messages. He was sent to prison for three months for his crime. In an interview with a Pakistani television station, Ahmed blamed his indictment and conviction on the Jews.

But again, anti-Semitism in Labor’s ranks is not a new phenomenon. So what explains the current outrage over it? Why is it suddenly of interest? There are two apparent reasons that everyone is currently professing shock about something they have known about for years. And these reasons make clear that the current uproar will lead to no real reckoning with the problem.

The first reason for the uproar over Jew-hatred is that the party is led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who, at a minimum, has a marked, longstanding affection for anti-Semites and respect for their bigotry.

Ahead of Corbyn’s landslide victory in Labor’s leadership race last September, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle detailed his long history of joining hands with leading Holocaust deniers, terrorists and anti-Jewish terrorism supporters. Corbyn referred to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists as his “friends.”

Corbyn is a leader of the Israel boycott campaign in Britain. A month before his election, he led a BDS demonstration outside a soccer stadium in Wales protesting the fact that Israel’s national team was playing in Cardiff.

This week, at a parliamentary face-off with Corbyn, Prime Minister David Cameron repeatedly demanded that Corbyn take back his characterization of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists as his “friends.”

Corbyn refused each time, sufficing with doublespeak and attempts to change the subject.

That confrontation took place as Thursday’s mayoral elections in London loomed near.

As he refused to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah, Corbyn demanded that Cameron denounce criticisms of Labor’s mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan sounded by his Conservative colleagues.

Rather than taking the bait, Cameron noted that Khan has longstanding ties with and sympathy for jihadists. Khan defended the ringleader of the July 7, 2005, jihadist massacres in London.

Khan has been an outspoken champion of jihadists imprisoned in Britain and Guantanamo. He wrote sympathetically of Islamic State murderers on his social media postings.

And Thursday he was poised to be elected mayor of London.

When Labor was led by David Miliband, Gordon Brown and of course, by Blair, every time complaints surfaced about anti-Semitism in the party, they easily swept them under the rug by bragging about their personal sympathy for Israel and close ties with Britain’s Jewish community.

With Corbyn at the helm, it is more difficult to wave off concerns with a smile and a visit to a synagogue.

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 two senior Labor politicians’ hateful remarks exposed the dirty secret of leftist Jew-haters in Britain and throughout the Western world.

They revealed that their hatred for the State of Israel is just a dressed-up version of age-old Jew-hatred. For more than a generation, we have been told that libeling IDF soldiers and Israeli political leaders as Nazis is legitimate criticism of Israel. Boycotting Jewish-made Israeli products, the Western Left insists, isn’t racist. It is simply a means to protest Israel’s ill treatment of Palestinians.

But here you have two leftist politicians who spoke like Nazis and defended Hitler. And that was just a bridge too far, even for the BBC that generally backs their libelous claims against Israel.

Disseminators of socially acceptable anti-Semitism are usually more careful. There’s Jew-hatred, which is calling for Jews to go to the gas chambers.

And there’s constructive criticism of Israel which involves calling for Zionists to be hounded out of the public square.

Apparently, in the general anti-Semitic glee over Corbyn’s rise to power, people started getting sloppy. As their leader, Corbyn knows he needs to teach them how to clean up their game.

This is where the committee he formed to investigate anti-Semitism in his “anti-racist” party comes into play.

Following heavy media pressure, Corbyn formed a committee to investigate anti-Semitism in his party. According to Labor’s press release, Corbyn instructed its members to draw up a “code of conduct” that will include guidance on “acceptable behavior and use of language.”

In other words, he wants to remind them to stick to the code – Zionists bad. Jews good.

If that wasn’t enough to tip his intentions, the people Corbyn appointed to serve on his committee give up the game.

The committee’s vice chairman is Prof. David Feldman. Feldman is a member of the anti-Zionist group Independent Jewish Voices.

That outfit, which operates outside Britain’s Jewish community, rushed to publish a statement rejecting the notion that Labor has an anti-Semitism problem and insisting that there is a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

Actually Corbyn’s appointment of Feldman serves another, more troubling, end as well.

His elevation of a man who has made a name for himself defaming Israel and the British Jewish community for supporting Israel is not a coincidence.

It follows a pattern of Labor members elevating radical Jews to marginalize British Jewry.

Consider the activities of Oxford University’s Labor Student Club.

This past February Alex Chalmers, co-chairman of the club, caused a stir when he resigned his position claiming that he couldn’t abide the anti-Semitism rampant in the party’s ranks.

Following Chalmers’s resignation, Aaron Simons, former leader of Oxford’s Jewish Society, published an article in The Guardian where he reported that one of the goals of the anti-Semitic Labor student club members is to force pro-Israel Jewish students out of campus life.

Simons told of one Labor member who “stated that all Jews should be expected to publicly denounce Zionism and the State of Israel and that we should not associate with any Jew that fails to do so.”

Simons reported that another party member allegedly “organized a group of students to harass a Jewish student and to shout ‘Filthy Zionist’ whenever they saw her.”

Corbyn’s moves to discipline Shah, Livingstone and an additional 50 party members for their expressions of anti-Jewish bigotry also indicate that he has no intention of fighting anti-Semitism.

Corbyn suspended their party membership. He didn’t expel them from the party. He didn’t bar them from serving in leadership positions in the future. The duration of their suspensions is undefined.

And there is little reason to believe that it will extend beyond the headlines. Once this story is forgotten, they will likely be reinstated.

When London residents set out to vote for their next mayor on Thursday morning, it worked out that polling places in north London, home to the largest concentration of Jews in the city, were sent the wrong voter lists. As a result, hundreds of people, including Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his wife, Valerie, were prohibited from voting.

All the relevant authorities insisted that it was simply a technical mistake. Two-and-a-half hours later, the proper voter rolls arrived and residents were permitted to vote.

Maybe they were telling the truth.

But with Britain’s second largest party, the largest party in London, embracing Jew-hatred and deliberately undermining the ability of British Jewry to freely defend its Zionist values, there is no reason to take their statements at face value.

Caroline Glick


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

Report: US planning to take tougher line against Israel - David Rosenberg

by David Rosenberg

Senior diplomats say upcoming report to 'put Israel on notice' that patience thinning in Obama administration.

The Middle East Quartet, made up of the US, EU, UN, and Russia, is scheduled to release a major policy report later in coming weeks, and senior diplomats involved in its drafting have indicated that the US is taking a far harder line on Israel than in the past.

The report, which is likely to be released in late May or early June, will focus heavily on Israeli construction in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, senior diplomats told AP. The Quartet’s report will also take Israel to task for the demolition of illegal Arab buildings – many of which were built with the support of the European Union.

While in the past the US worked to soften some of the criticism against Israel leveled by the EU, UN, and Russia, now, say officials working on the Quartet report, US diplomats are pushing for harsher language against the Jewish state.

One diplomat said the report was the Obama administration’s way of putting Israel “on notice” that its patience was wearing thin.

Other officials involved in the drafting of the document claimed the report will also criticize Israel for the legalization of some Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

News of the Quartet report comes amid leaks indicating the Obama administration is considering unprecedented moves to force Israel and the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating channel. One option reportedly on the table is a United Nations Security Council Resolution to layout the frame work for a final status agreement – and force both Israel and the Palestinian Authority into final talks.

David Rosenberg


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MK: Hamas 'frustrated' over exposed terror tunnels - Tova Dvorin

by Tova Dvorin

Hamas's tunnels the last real weapon it has after Protective Edge, head of Defense Committee says - and it's firing shells to protect them.

Frequent Hamas rocket fire on the Gaza Belt region over the past week stems from "frustration" over the IDF uncovering terror tunnels, a top Knesset official said Friday. 

"There's a reason everyone is on edge," Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman MK Tzachi HaNegbi stated in an Army Radio interview. "It's been two years since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which was successful and managed to almost decimate Hamas entirely. Over the two years we have seen a lull we haven't seen since Hamas came to power by force in 2007." 

"Over the past several days and even more in the last 48 hours, we see an irritability with Hamas," he continued. "This is probably a signal of Hamas's frustration over the fact that the terror tunnel system it's developed has lost its immunity." 

"We are celebrating 68 years of holding firm against terror, facing tragedy, and hoping nonetheless that some intelligence will flow through the problematic brains of our enemies, so we don't have to war with them again," he added. 

Gazan terrorists lobbed mortar shells at Engineering Corps troops Friday, one day after three separate Hamas mortar attacks were launched at roughly two hour intervals by Gazan terrorists on IDF soldiers near the security border in southern Gaza.  

At least six mortar attacks were launched in the two days before that, but the terrorists were unable to prevent Israel from unearthing a new Hamas terror tunnel on Thursday morning.

The mortar attacks have been frequent enough to prompt Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to call an emergency Cabinet meeting late Thursday night to discuss the situation.  The meeting was postponed to Friday morning.

'His wording was not good'

Hanegbi also referred to the disastrous speech by the IDF's Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Yair Golan, who stated on Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday night that there are comparisons between modern-day Israel – and Nazi Germany.

“If there is something that scares me about the memory of the Holocaust, it is the identification of horrifying processes that occurred in Europe in general and Germany in particular - 70, 80 and 90 years ago - and finding evidence of them here among us, today, in 2016,” he said.

"The wording of the deputy chief of staff was not good," Henegbi responded. "I was glad that he found it necessary to retract or clarify things, because the way he said them, they sounded very far from the truth." 

Golan's comments have already drawn sharp criticism from Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Bennett demanded Golan retract his statements, warning that they could empower Holocaust deniers and other anti-Semites.

Tova Dvorin


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Will the Next American President Be Friends with Saudi Arabia? - Michael Curtis

by Michael Curtis

There were and still remain mutual interests, but changes have occurred.

Just friends, but not like before just about sums up the present relationship between the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia.  It is not a divorce, but rather an estrangement or separation in a less than happy marriage.  In happier, days the two countries have been involved economically, politically, and militarily.  Now the former Saudi intelligence chief has called for a "recalibration" of relationships.  The next U.S. President must attend to the issue.
In 1938, Standard Oil of California (Chevron) found oil in eastern Saudi Arabia.  In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 14 met aboard a cruiser in the Suez Canal with Saudi king Abdul Aziz ibn Saud who brought eight sheep on board to cook for dinner. Military ties were enhanced in the common resistance against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979-1989, in the Gulf crisis in 1991, and in the war against Saddam Hussein in 2003.

There were and still remain mutual interests, but changes have occurred.  For the U.S., the oil of Saudi Arabia was once vital, but the U.S. is now less dependent on oil imports.  For the Saudis, the purchase of U.S. weaponry, now said to be at least $95 billion, has been and remains crucial, but the Saudis are less dependent on the U.S. for military security.  

Cooperation continues.  The Saudis have been involved in the U.S.-led air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria, thus symbolizing that the response to ISIS is international, not simply Western.  The U.S. has supplied intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.  The two countries cooperate in intelligence sharing against terrorist activity in the Middle East.

At the same time, differences have become more pronounced, leading President Barack Obama to refer to the Saudis as "our so-called allies."  Part of the reason is that Saudi Arabia, under the new king, Salman, has recognized that that the Obama administration is reluctant to become involved in a Middle East conflict, as was shown in the refusal to take military action regarding the crossing of the "red line" in Syria in August 2013, unless the security of the U.S. is threatened.  

There are a considerable number of differences between the Saudis and the U.S.: Saudi financing of terrorists and Islamist extremism, human rights abuses,  the Obama acceptance of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, Saudi actions in the war in Yemen, the Assad regime in Syria,  Iran, the Saudi help to 9/11 terrorists and to al-Qaeda, and Saudi funding of madrassas with their religious teaching of Wahhabism.  Above all, the Saudis area fearful of what they see as the Obama tilt to Iran and especially are critical of the Iran nuclear deal.

The Saudis are therefore playing a more assertive policy – one that includes the use of military force.  The kingdom is able and willing to play such a role.  It has an estimated 268 billion barrels of oil in reserves, 16 percent of world reserves, and $630 billion in financial reserves, though it is using about $60 billion a year.

However, the regime now faces a number of issues, among them the decline in oil prices from $115 a barrel in 2014 to $35 in 2015, the growth of world competition in oil production and the increase in fracking by other countries, the emphasis on reduction of fossil fuels, the disenchanted young, and the strength of ISIS.  Young people, under 30, make up two thirds of the population, and a considerable number have no jobs.  The unemployment rate is more than 11 percent.

The key to political and economic changes and plans by the Saudis is the role of the most influential and energetic member of the ruling family, the 30-year-old Prince Mohammed bin Salman, son of the 80-year-old King Salman, who became king in January 2015.  The prince is deputy crown prince, defense minister, controller of the economy, and chairman of the Supreme Council of Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil-producing company, with oil reserves estimated at 261 billion barrels.

In foreign policy, Saudi Arabia has taken steps independently of U.S. policy.  It had already broken diplomatic relations with Iran and now seeks militarily to counter Iranian intervention in Yemen and Syria.  It has also tried to create a 34-nation Islamic coalition against terrorism.  Prominent Saudis have met with Russian president Putin and China's leader, Xi Jinping.

The Saudis are interested in building a military-industrial complex and a government-owned military holding company.  They propose that at least 50 percent of military purchases go to local industry.  In 2015, defense spending was $87 billon, the third largest amount in the world by a country.

Proposed economic changes from the dependence on oil, which accounts for 40 percent of GDP and 80 percent of government revenue, may be more important.  The stated ambition of the prince is to change the economy from an oil-funded, government-dominated system to a more private business role, emphasizing privatization and private investment.  Stability depends on the outcome, since Saudi Aramco has played a dominant role in the domestic economy, in the workforce, in power and water utilities, in 139 government schools, in health care, and in approving loans and venture capital investments.

This will mean changes in Saudi social affairs, since oil accounts for more than three quarters of state income at about $162 billion.  They would include privatization in areas such as health care and education and investing in manufacturing and higher taxes on goods.  They would also entail accountability in public administration and the creation of better universities.

The next American president must decide whether Saudi Arabia can be considered an ally of the West or as the home and fountain of Wahhabism, the most extreme form of Islam.  The enigma for the West is whether the new assertion of power by the political leaders can limit, if not end, the impact of Wahhabism, with its control over education, judiciary, and the role of women and its support of terrorist groups.

Any decision for the U.S. must balance the contribution of the Saudis to the fight against terrorism with the reality of the continuance of an oppressive and authoritarian Saudi regime that defines criminal intent as anything that undermines public order or questions Wahhabism and is responsible for an increase in beheadings in 2015, as well as the execution of 47 men on terrorism charges.

Michael Curtis


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Anti-Israel BDS Movement In India Targets Iran, Hewlett-Packard, Group-4S, Modi Govt, CIA And Mossad For 'Jointly' Training ISIS - Tufail Ahmad


Although these campaigns are being organized in the name of human rights of Palestinians, the organizers do not organize similar events for human rights of the Baluchis who are brutalized, discriminated and murdered by the Pakistani military , or the Tibetan people who were forced by China to flee their homeland.

In recent years, an international BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign against Israel, supposedly as an expression of support for the Palestinians, has been gaining ground, and has recently also expanded to India. The Indian People in Solidarity with Palestine, an Indian BDS forum, held a two-day convention in New Delhi on August 22-23, 2015. The group also organized a convention on March 6, 2016 in New Delhi, whose prominent speakers included were Peggy Mohan, an author and linguistics professor, and several others who are cited in the paragraphs below. 

Nasser Barakat, a Palestinian-Indian, speaks at a BDS convention

Similar BDS conventions were also held in August, September, October and November of 2015 at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) near Delhi, at Chandigarh in Punjab state, at the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University, and at the Ghalib Institute in New Delhi.[1] The BDS convention at AMU on November 23, 2015, included noted Marxist historian Irfan Habib among its speakers. At the August 22-23, 2015 BDS convention at the Ghalib Institute, prominent speakers included Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Sukumar Murlidharan, a senior Marxist journalist who also spoke on the March 6, 2016 BDS event as well. Hindi poet Katyayani recited her poem "Gaza 2015" on the March 6, 2016 BDS convention.

Although these campaigns are being organized in the name of human rights of Palestinians, the organizers do not organize similar events for human rights of, for example, the Baluchis who are brutalized, discriminated and murdered by the Pakistani military every day in Baluchistan, or the Tibetan people who were forced by China to flee their homeland and now live in exile in India. As discussed below, the BDS conventions are organized to target Israel, but the speakers outline a range of issues, including plans to target U.S. computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard and British private security firm Group-4S, accuse Iran of being an ally of Israel, and target Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to Israel.

Palestinian-Indian Nasser Barakat At BDS Convention In New Delhi: "You [Iran] Are The Biggest Ally Of Israel"; "Iran Is A Big Fake That America Created"; "They Fabricated 9/11"; "There's No Proof That Al-Qaeda Did That"

Among the speakers at the August 22-23, 2015 BDS convention in New Delhi was Nasser Barakat, a Palestinian-Indian activist and former spokesman of the General Union of Palestinian Students in India. He said that Israel was created as a pretext, just like the "fabricated" 9/11 attacks.[2] Barakat added that he was not fooled by the Iranian nuclear project, because he said he knows that Iran is Israel's biggest ally, and that the Jews are not enemies because they are the Muslims' "key to Heaven."[3] Barakat stated: "Why have the (Western powers) really created Israel in Palestine? There's a very simple reason – because they want an excuse. Like they fabricated 9/11 – there is still no proof. There's no proof that Al-Qaeda did that."[4] 

Barakat, accusing Iran of being Israel's ally, added: "You are the biggest ally of Israel. I have no little doubt. You guys should know one thing: In Iran, we have 1.5 million Sunnis, but we don't have any [Sunni] mosques... In the Zionist military, which is so-called Israel, there are 200,000... There are 200,000 Jews, and they are all high authorized leaders, major generals, and all. In Iran, there are only 30,000 Jews, and they have 200 temples; and they practice their ceremonies very freely. Iran is a big fake that America created."[5] 
He continued: "As a Palestinian, I have many Jews - not Israeli - Jews as friends. One of them tells me: 'We are enemies, so how are you my friend?' I told him: 'You are mistaken. You have never been my enemy.' Allah informed me, I am called murabiteen. Because you occupied my land, I am a murabiteen. Murabitun are those who are forcibly living there. Those murabiteen are killed by you, and we will go to the higher grade in Heaven. Had Palestine been free, we would not have been murabiteen. So you are the key to Heaven for me. You have never been my enemy."[6] 

At another BDS convention on March 6, 2016 in New Delhi, Palestinian student Dina, who is enrolled at the Jamia Millia Islamia University of New Delhi, narrated her ordeal during the Israeli attacks in 2014 in Gaza in obtaining an Indian visa and her difficulties traveling.[7] 

Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy: "Let Us Be Very Clear: If We Are Going To Go After Modi On His Trip To Israel Where Modi Will Try To Be The Hindu Zionist..."; "We Will Have To Organize... Because Modi And Netanyahu Are Natural Allies; Both Are Equally Crazy"

The venue for the March 14, 2016 BDS convention was the Gandhi Peace Foundation, an NGO based in New Delhi. Speaking in Urdu, Professor Ajmal, who teaches at the Arabic and African Studies Centre of New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU – a university dominated by Marxists and Islamists), said: "The Palestinian dispute is an international issue. It is also certain that the Palestinian issue cannot be resolved by the Arab world."[8] 

Reminding the audience that former Indian prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter Indira Gandhi, and her son Rajiv Gandhi stood by the Palestinian issue, Ajmal said: "The attitude of the Modi government is very painful because the atrocities that were committed on Palestinians before the [Modi] government came to power were not allowed by him to be discussed in the parliament."[9] He said: "The prime minister is to visit [Israel] this very year; you [have to work] in a way, in some position that this visit does not take place."[10] 

Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy of JNU, speaking at the August 22, 2015 BDS convention, had also argued to oppose Modi's visit to Israel, stating: "In India also, let us be very clear: if we are going to go after Modi on his trip to Israel where Modi will try to be the Hindu Zionist, there will be repression. We should be prepared for it. This country [India] does not belong to any one political party..."[11] Accusing Israel of a wide range of human rights violations, he also stated: "We will have to organize more and more because Modi and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu are natural allies. Both are equally crazy..."[12] 

Professor Kamal Mitra Chinoy of Jawaharlal Nehru University 

Journalist Saurabh Kumar Shahi: "[We Must Convince Indians By Targeting Hewlett-Packard That If Data Is] Exchanged With Israel, Then It Is A Threat To Us"; "For Israel... It Is Their Reputation That Is A Big Thing; We Will Have To Target The Reputation First"

Another BDS convention was organized on March 6, 2016 in New Delhi. Speaking at the forum, journalist Saurabh Kumar Shahi, who was also introduced as a visiting faculty member at the Institute of International Relations at Warsaw University, began by saying that over the past 10-12 years, Israel had turned its focus on two countries – India and China – in order to derive future diplomatic benefits.[13] 
He went on to accuse Israel of sowing religious hatred in India, stating: "For them, India is a fertile ground; the type of communal [i.e. religious] environment that is found among general population here... the kind of widespread anti-Muslim sentiment exists in India, they have created it in a very good manner, they are using it in a very good manner."[14] He added: "For Israel, more than money, it is their reputation that is a big thing. We will have to target the reputation first. Why to target the reputation first – because this is the thing that harms them the most."[15] 

Outlining a BDS strategy for India, Shahi singled out two brands: U.S. computer firm Hewlett-Packard and British private security firm Group-4S. "If you want to convince the Indian audience, then you would have to first tell them why these things [Hewlett-Packard and Group-4S] are bad for the Palestinians, so are also bad for you."[16] He said that Indians need to be convinced that if security is given to private sector groups like Group-4S, it will lead to situations similar to that of Blackwater in Iraq.
"Similarly, if you target Hewlett-Packard, you will have to target how information control [works] because these are the companies that host data servers, these are the companies that do networking... whatever you do, that data is stored with them," Shahi stated.[17] 
Citing the examples of government-to-government intelligence sharing on terror groups and Aadhaar card data (similar to the U.S. Social Security Card) potentially being hosted by Hewlett-Packard and shared with Israel, Shahi said the BDS movement must create a narrative to convince Indians that if such data is "exchanged with Israel, then it is a threat to us, is a threat to Indians."[18] Shahi argued in favor of creating "nuisance" for Israelis everywhere, stating: "Every other day in Israel, an individual lawyer rises in Spain and files a court case against an Israeli general. It has a nuisance value. And that nuisance value is good enough for us."[19] 

Journalist Saurabh Kumar Shahi

Journalist Qamar Agha: "It Seems To Me That From Pakistan To Morocco, Most Of The Governments Are Failing And Will Collapse One After The Other; And In Most Countries, There Is A Situation Of Civil War..."

Speaking at the March 6, 2016 BDS convention in New Delhi, Qamar Agha, an Indian Muslim journalist and former faculty member at the Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), accused Israel of "having adopted a policy of apartheid" against Palestinians which he said "we call 'the policy of racism,'" and "ethnic cleansing is underway of the people living there."[20] Due to authoritarianism and lack of democracy in the Arab world, Agha stated, "Very powerful Islamic movements [like the one led by ISIS] has emerged which has been continuously getting support. This was not a natural movement there, very few individuals were there in it. These Islamic movements have emerged due to support from one or another country, and many countries are using them."[21] 

Agha continued: "In the Islamic countries, there is only one type of government: all are autocrats. Some autocrats are ruling in the name of Islam; some autocrats are/were secular. They [the West] used the Islamic militants to remove the secular autocrats... Whatever support Palestine used to get came from the secular Muslim countries, whether it be Algeria, Iraq, Syria... On the other hand, Islamic governments and organizations never had Palestine on their agenda... In India, whether it be the Jamaat-e-Islami, [Darul Uloom] Deoband... never organized a Palestine Day."[22] 

Arguing that Israel has "no intention" of withdrawing from the occupied territories, Qamar Agha said Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank and eyes other territories in the wider region such as the rest of the Golan Heights, and may re-occupy the Sinai Peninsula, which has and gas reserves, if Islamic militancy grows in the region.

He went on to state: "It seems to me that from Pakistan to Morocco, most of the governments are failing and will collapse one after the other; and in most countries, there is a situation of civil war... In these situations, it is better for Israel and they have been saying it before... 'Jordan is Palestine.' Their intention is to expel all Palestinians from there, dump them in Jordan and declare Jordan as Palestine. It is their plan; it is not new; it has been there for ages. And if [Donald] Trump becomes the president, it will not be difficult for them to fulfil it."

Anti-West Activist Feroze Mithiborwala: "Israel Is The International Brahmin, And The Brahminical Forces... In Our Country Have A Direct Alliance With Them"; "In Turkey's ISIS Camps... CIA And Mossad Jointly Train ISIS And Al-Qaeda"

The March 6, 2016 BDS convention also featured Feroze Mithiborwala from the Palestine Solidarity Committee, Mumbai. According to a 2011 interview with The Milli Gazette, Feroze Mithiborwala has been "involved in the Palestinian question since 1987 – even before the First Intifada."[23] In his address, Feroze Mithiborwala targeted Zionism, saying: "Zionism essentially is a supremist [supremacist] ideology. What does it mean in the Indian context? Zionism is essentially international Brahmanism. If you compare Talmud and Manusmriti [scripture mostly abandoned by Hindus], you will find the same things."[24] He added: "Israel is the international Brahmin, and the Brahminical forces... in our country have a direct alliance with them."[25] 

Feroze Mithiborwala was also sharply critical of Political Islam and its treatment of non-Muslims and Shia Muslims as infidels. Arguing that "Israel has found support in this country [India] due to the question of Islamic terror," he questioned how Muslims believe in the Ghazwa-e-Hind (the Battle of India) prophecy, as per which a group of Islamic fighters will rise from India and join the forces of Jesus, who will be reborn, in the present-day greater Israel region to establish the Islamic rule. He went on to accuse Israel of supporting jihadi groups, stating: "Israel has ties with Al-Qaeda in Golan Heights; Israel has ties with Muslim Brotherhood in Golan Heights...; Israel has ties in Turkey's ISIS camps where CIA and Mossad jointly train ISIS and Al-Qaeda."[26] 
Mumbai-based anti-West activist Feroze Mithiborwala

Mithiborwala added: "There is a 12-page United Nations document that shows and there is video evidence also which tells how Israel has aided Islamic militants in this entire Syrian crisis."[27] He argued that Israel has been defeated by Hamas in Gaza several times, adding for "Israel as a military power, the story ended in 2006" when it lost the fight to Hezbollah in Lebanon. He noted that Israel wants to settle Palestinians somewhere else. 

Mithiborwala also stressed that each religion has an element of extremism, which it must confront, and that extremism must also be confronted across religions. He said he was shocked to find that even a secular country like Syria has a constitution that says only a Muslim can be the head of the state. He concluded by saying: "Israel has lost the project of regime change in Syria... the entire Saudi game-plan on sectarian lines has failed in this region, and Yemen will prove to be the Vietnam for Saudi Arabia... The extremist hegemonic form of Islam is now facing a major challenge from within the Arab and Muslim world... The American project to re-draw the map of the region has failed."

* Tufail Ahmad is Director of MEMRI's South Asia Studies Project. He is the author of Jihadist 
Threat to India: The Case for Islamic Reformation among Indian Muslims.

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Tufail Ahmad is Director of MEMRI's South Asia Studies Project. He is the author of Jihadist Threat to India: The Case for Islamic Reformation among Indian Muslims.


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