Saturday, September 17, 2016

Why Bibi was quite right...and dangerously wrong - Dr. Martin Sherman

by Dr. Martin Sherman

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

Netanyahu is right to excoriate Palestinians demand to purge Jews as ethnic cleansing, but what are the perils entailed in them dropping that demand?

...the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one precondition: no Jews! There’s a phrase for that. It’s called ethnic cleansing. And this demand is outrageous.  What is even more outrageous is that the world doesn’t find this outrageous. Some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage.

   - Benjamin Netanyahu, September 9, 2016

Late last Friday, the Prime Minister’s office—for no immediately obvious reason—released a video, in which Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the frequently raised demand by the Palestinians, that any future state of theirs must be devoid of Jews, as “Ethnic Cleansing”.

Incandescent response

The video produced an incandescent response from the Obama administration. Thus, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau berated Netanyahu in a Washington press conference last Friday. Disapprovingly, she proclaimed: "We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank," She added tartly: "We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful."

“Strongly disagree”, “inappropriate”, “unhelpful” is about as barbed and caustic as formal niceties of protocol allow diplomatic rebukes to get—especially when the target of the censure is, allegedly, a close ally.

Trudeau then went on to catalogue a long list of so-called Israeli “transgressions”, denouncing “ongoing settlement activity [a]s an obstacle to peace”—as if that had any bearing on Netanyahu’s decrying Palestinian demands to purge Jews from existing settlements.  Calling “on both sides to demonstrate with actions and policies a genuine commitment to the two-state solution” she lamented: “We have repeatedly expressed our strong concerns that trends on the ground continue to move in the opposite direction”...

Then, reading from an obviously pre-prepared document, she launched into a tirade, castigating Israel for building “thousands of [housing]units for Israelis in the West Bank”; seizing “West bank land for exclusive Israeli use;  a dramatic escalation of  demolitions  of…Palestinian structures, displacing more than 1000 Palestinians”—conveniently omitting that the bulk of these demolitions were of structures initiated and funded by the EU, with the express purpose of flaunting Israeli authority and provoking Israeli response.

Alluding to nefarious Israeli intent, Trudeau added darkly: “…this does raise real questions about Israel’s long-term intentions in the West Bank.”

Outrageous and outlandish

But the US wrath was not only outrageous; it was equally outlandish. Indeed, it did not even address the point that Netanyahu raised—and for which he was being so severely admonished.

After all, whatever one might believe regarding the legality of the Jewish communities in Judea-Samaria (pejoratively, known as “settlements”), or the prudence of their ongoing expansion, this is a totally separate issue from the admissibility of the presence of Jews within the frontiers of any future Arab Palestinian entity.

This is particularly true because not only is the legality of the Jewish communities a matter hotly debated by an array of prominent jurists and legal experts, but Trudeau herself states: “Settlements are a final status issue that must be resolved in negotiations between the parties.”

And it is here that Netanyahu has put his finger precisely on the point: For it is the Palestinians’ clearly stated position on this “final status issue” that the presence of Jews is so odious and objectionable that any future peace agreement is feasible only if Palestinian-controlled territory is totally purged of them.

Purposely conflating & obfuscating two separate issues

Thus, in its wrathful response to Netanyahu’s video, the Administration is purposely conflating—and obfuscating—two entirely separate issues:

(a) Undisguised and un-denied Palestinian demands for Judeophobic ethnic cleansing; and

(b) The legal status and political significance of existing Jewish communities.. 

Accordingly, Netanyahu was being bitterly rebuked for what he didn’t refer to (i.e. the status of the “settlements”), while what he did refer to (i.e. Palestinian Judeophobic demands) was not even addressed!

This was hardly an inadvertent oversight on the part of the State Department—as Anne Bayefsky deftly points out in her  “All Jews out of Palestine is not a peace plan”, (September 14, 2016). She argues that the reason for the “sudden [US] histrionics” is that “the charge of ethnic cleansing directed against Palestinians is the quintessential inconvenient truth.”

And indeed it is! 

For to acknowledge the blatant Judeophobic—indeed, Judeocidal—impulses that characterize Palestinian society, and reflect themselves in their pervasive presence throughout all walks of Palestinian life, is to critically undermine the rationale of the two-state doctrine.  After all, this is a doctrine that aims at creating a reality of two-states, living harmoniously side-by-side in peace and prosperity.   Clearly, it makes little sense to strive for such a reality if the enmity of one side is so profound and abiding that it cannot tolerate the presence of the other side’s citizens within its frontiers.

From the silly to the surreal

Thus, by raising the issue of Palestinian Judeophobic bigotry, Netanyahu’s video has induced public scrutiny of Palestinian society—something two-state advocates are understandably reluctant to do.  For, indeed, the spectacle is not an encouraging one—hardly conducive to their vision of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.  Hence the anger it has aroused.

The vehement responses the video elicited ranged from the silly, through the surreal, to the sinister. The mainstream media quickly rallied around the Bibi-bashing banner.

Thus, the LA Times headline blazoned: “U.S. slams Netanyahu after he equates opposition to Israeli settlements with 'ethnic cleansing'”—which of course he didn’t. What he did was to equate the demand to remove all Jews from any prospective Palestinian state with ethnic cleansing – which of course it is.

Then, there was the particularly disturbing and disappointing op-ed by the national-director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Jonathan Greenblatt, who took Netanyahu to task for invoking the term “ethnic cleansing”. He conceded that “Israel has many legitimate concerns about Palestinian policies and behavior, not the least of which is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s rash accusations that Israel commits acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

However” he complained, “the charge that the Palestinians seek ‘ethnic cleansing’ of settlers is just not one of them.” But of course it is—unless you can think of another term for the coercive purge of a group of people because of their collective identity…   
Haaretz unhinged

The Netanyahu video unleased a maelstrom of almost apoplectic radical Left-wing ire. This expressed itself in an unsurprising kneejerk display of “groupthink” in Haaretz, which, ironically, once advertised itself as the “paper for people who think”. It ran a frenzied anti-Bibi spate of largely similar and repetitive news reports and opinion pieces in rapid succession. The list of titles is instructive in itself:  

“U.S. Slams Netanyahu's 'Ethnic Cleansing' Video, Calling It 'Inappropriate and Unhelpful'” (Barak Ravid, Sept. 10); “Netanyahu Accused of Twisting History in 'Ethnic Cleansing' Video (Jack Khoury and Barak Ravid, Sept. 10); “ Netanyahu’s Claim of 'Ethnic Cleansing' Sets a Guinness Record for Chutzpah” (Chemi Shalev Sept. 10);  “Yes, Netanyahu, Let's Talk About Ethnic Cleansing (Gideon Levy, Sept. 11); “Netanyahu's 'Ethnic Cleansing' Video Pushes Obama Closer to UN Security Council (Barak Ravid,  Sept.11); “The Real Message Behind Netanyahu's 'Ethnic Cleansing' Speech” (Yitzhak Laor ,Sept. 13); Where's the outrage over Trump campaign's shocking statement on 'ethnic cleansing'? (Asher Schechter , Sept. 13); “Trump Would Be Proud of Netanyahu's anti-Palestinian Ethnic Cleansing Canard” (Peter Beinart, Sep 14); “Netanyahu's 'Ethnic Cleansing' Video Is Leading Us Down the Road to Masada Redux” (Nehemia Shtrasler Sept. 13).

All these portend the gloom and doom that will befall Israel because Netanyahu had the temerity to designate the demand to expel the members of a community from their homes because of their group affiliation, as “bigotry”—which it undeniably is!  

Caveat: Them ain’t Us

But not all the criticism against Netanyahu is without merit. Several critics took him to task for drawing a potential parallel between Israel’s Arab minority within pre-1967 lines and the Jewish communities located in Judea-Samaria.  He raised the possibility that this could serve as a model for a peaceful future.

While this might be an enticing scenario to entertain in some parallel universe, where the Palestinian-Arabs are very different to those in this one, in the realities of today, and those likely to prevail in any policy-relevant future, it is a recipe for gory disaster.

Little imagination is required to envision the gruesome fate of any Jewish enclave inside Palestinian-Arab territory and subject to Palestinian-Arab authority—especially if there was no territorial contiguity with sovereign Israel.  Indeed, according to far-left Peter Beinart, even the ultra-concessionary Tzipi Livni balked at the idea of abandoning Jews inside areas controlled by the Palestinians.

Now, although Beinart is not my preferred source of reference, he does raise a valid point in his previously cited Haaretz piece. He recalls talks that took place in 2008, in which the theoretical possibility of leaving Jewish communities within Palestinian territory was raised. Beinart notes that although these “discussions were speculative…the clear implication [was] that Israeli negotiators had a bigger problem with Jews remaining in a Palestinian state than did their Palestinian counterparts.”

And therein lies the perilous pitfall entailed in Israel disapprovingly brandishing the issue of allegedly implacable Palestinian demands for ethnic cleansing of Jews from any territory transferred to their control.

For, quite apart from the fact that transferring/abandoning Jews living under Jewish authority to live under alien sovereignty is the very antithesis of the Zionist ethos, there is another more immediate impediment: While non-Jewish minorities may well flourish in Israel, Jewish minorities in “Palestine” are very likely to be massacred. For the bitter truth is: Them ain’t us.

The limits of gimmicks

Regrettably, for anyone who nominally endorses the Palestinian-Arabs claim to statehood, flaunting their ostensible demand for the “ethnic cleansing” is a gimmick of limited efficacy—for at least two reasons:

(a) If the Palestinians are indeed seen as an authentic national entity, then their demand to national independence cannot be conditioned on the form of government they choose to institute.   It certainly cannot be made dependent on it having a tolerant, open society –just as this is not invoked to negate the sovereignty of an array of brutal tyrannies across the globe—whether Iran, Saudi Arabia or North Korea to name but a few.  Strangely enough, I find myself in agreement with Beinart, when he states that “potential future misdeeds do not justify holding a people as non-citizens under foreign control”.

(b) It is far from certain that the Palestinians will continue insisting on purging all the Jewish residents in the territories to be transferred to their control. Indeed, they may well agree to it, even as a temporary tactic. Thus, corroborating Beinart’s  earlier remark, Elias Zananiri, vice-chairman of the PLO Committee for Interaction with the Israeli Society, writes in his “Netanyahu’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ gimmick” (Sept. 13): “In the Annapolis peace conference in November 2007, the Palestinian side expressed readiness in principle to host those settlers who would choose to stay where they live in the West Bank. Of course, these settlers would live under Palestinian sovereignty and law.”

Clearly, if the Palestinian-Arabs were to drop their demand for having a Judenrein state but demanded that any non-Palestinian resident accept these conditions, with expulsion now no longer a demand, Israel would have with little reason to object.

Gimmicks are not policy

Thus, raising the issue of Palestinian Judeophobic bigotry is an effective measure only if it is invoked to permanently deny, not temporarily delay, Palestinian statehood.  While gimmicks may well be effective in promoting policy, they are not a substitute for policy.

For Israel, such policy must be the total dis-creditation, de-construction and  de-legitimization of the Palestinian narrative and the resultant claim for statehood. In so far as the exposure of the scope and scale of the Palestinian Judeophobic bigotry can be used to promote this policy, it should be utilized.

Using it for other short term, tactical purposes, is liable to be a dangerous double-edged sword.

Dr. Martin Sherman served for seven years in operational capacities in the Israeli Defense establishment, was ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir's government and lectured for 20 years at Tel Aviv University in Political Science, International Relations and Strategic Studies. He has a B.Sc. (Physics and Geology), MBA (Finance), and PhD in political science and international relations


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The "Virtuous" New Nazis - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

Instead of worrying about Islamist terrorism and Molenbeek, Brussels' nest of jihadists, there are racists in Europe who want to crush Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

  • They all falsely claim to be a "peaceful", using "economic means" to correct "wrongs" in the Palestinian territories. However, they never seem to try to correct any of the wrongs of the corrupt, repressive governments of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza, or even to advocate there for a free press, for the rule of law or for building a stable economy. Their true, racist motives are unmasked.
  • The pre- or post-1967 lines are only an alibi for these new Nazis. Many consider Israel in its entirety illegal, immoral, or both -- even though Jews have lived on that land for 3,000 years -- part of it is even called Judea. Their appetite for accusing Jews of having the audacity to "occupy" their own historical, Biblical land only reveals their collusion the darkest lies of Islamic extremists, who are trying to destroy the indigenous Christian Copts in their native land of Egypt, and the indigenous Assyrian Christians whom we see being slaughtered throughout the Middle East. Should the French be accused of "occupying" Gaul? Just look at any map of "Palestine," which blankets the entire state of Israel: to many Palestinians, all of Israel is a single giant settlement that has to be dismantled.

Meet the packs of new Nazis, posing as Righteousness and Virtue, pursuing new exterminationist policies against Israel and, right after that, the Jews.

"In Nazi Germany," noted Brendan O'Neill in the Wall Street Journal, "it was all the rage to make one's town Judenfrei."
"Now a new fashion is sweeping Europe: to make one's town or city what we might call 'Zionistfrei' -- free of the products and culture of the Jewish state. Across the Continent, cities and towns are declaring themselves 'Israel-free zones,' insulating their citizens from Israeli produce and culture. It has ugly echoes of what happened 70 years ago."
The Nazis said "kauft nicht bei Juden": do not buy from Jews. The slogan of these new racists is "kauft nicht beim Judenstaat": do not buy from the Jewish State. The Nazis repeated "Geh nach Palästina, du Jud": Go to Palestine, you Jew. Racists in Europe shout "Jews out of Palestine!"

Let us take a look at who they are. The city council of Leicester, for one, recently approved banning products "made in Israel." Think of that: a city without Israeli products. This is not Nazi Germany in 1933; this is a British city under Labour leadership in 2016. Two Welsh councils, Swansea and Gwynedd, blocked commercial partnerships with Israeli companies. In Dublin, a well-known restaurant, Exchequer, decided not to use the Israeli products. The Irish town of Kinvara became "Israel-free". In Spain, the town of Villanueva de Duero no longer distributes Israeli water in its public buildings. The French city of Lille froze an agreement with the Israeli town of Safed.

Boycotting products made by Jews, now, and then.

Under racist pressure, Brussels Airlines, a Belgian airline partially owned by Lufthansa, decided that it will not serve anymore the Israeli Achva brand halva dessert. An activist of the Palestine Solidarity Movement flying from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport to Brussels found himself eating the dessert produced in Israel. This Nazi-lite complained to the airline, which quickly removed the sweet (after an outcry, the airline reversed the decision). Instead of worrying about Islamist terrorism and Molenbeek, Brussels' nest of jihadists, there are racists in Europe who want to crush Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.

An early case of trying to destroy Israel through economic means occurred in 1980, when L'Oreal had bought the Helena Rubinstein cosmetics company. Arab regimes had threatened to truncate the lucrative relationships with the multinational companies if they did not cut ties with Israel. Instead of rejecting the blackmail, L'Oreal bowed to the blackmail. Today, this antisemitism is not led by either Arab states or Western states. France, for example, recently outlawed calls to single out Israel for boycotts. Today's hate campaign and these Nazi policies are now largely led by universities, trade unions, businesses, and hypocritical so-called "human rights" groups, as well as other NGOs.

And, shamefully, churches. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), on August 11, 2016 called on the U.S. government to end all aid to Israel and embrace tactics to destroy the country by economic means. Last winter, the US Methodist Church also unchristianly divested from five Israeli banks.

They all falsely claim to be a "peaceful", using "economic means" to correct "wrongs" in the Palestinian territories. However, they never seem to try to correct any of the wrongs of the corrupt, repressive governments of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza, or even to advocate there for a free press, for the rule of law or for building a stable economy. Their true, racist motives are unmasked. They are simply coordinating with the violent strategy of Palestinians and Muslim fundamentalists in the West -- those who have repeatedly refused to make peace with Israel for seven decades and have chosen terrorism instead.

This asymmetrical war, for the first time since the Holocaust and the wholesale slaughter of six million Jews, also recently shattered a German taboo. Apparently, for some Germans, the old bloodlust never went away -- it merely slept. The teachers' union in the city of Oldenburg just published an article in its September magazine calling for "a complete boycott of the Jewish State," according to the Jerusalem Post, "the first call to boycott Israel or Jews from a German organized labor group since the Holocaust." To its belated credit, on September 5, the Oldenburg teachers' union apologized, labeling the boycott "a big mistake" and "anti-Semitic."

The European Union signed an agreement with Morocco, which has a territorial dispute with Algeria, but nevertheless enshrined its right to exploit the resources of Western Sahara; no campaign was launched to protest it. And we have not heard any protests against Turkey for its occupation of Northern Cyprus or its wholesale imprisonment of dissidents, journalists or academics. No, the boycott policy is solely against the Jewish State, which boasts one of the highest levels of academic freedom, press freedom and equality under the law on the planet. They do this in the "3-D" ways noted by the true advocate of human rights, the Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky, in his The Case For Democracy:
  • Double standard: targeting only Israel from among the 200 territorial disputes, from Tibet to Ukraine.
  • Demonization: comparing Israel's actions to Nazis when it is really the people doing the comparing who should be compared to Nazis.
  • Delegitimization: denying the right of Israel to exist.
The racist hypocrisy is as transparent as it is perfidious.

They are also subjecting Israel's academia to a "silent" neo-Nazi campaign from unprincipled universities: extend fewer invitations, reject more articles, and use the standards of the Third Reich Nuremberg Laws to exclude participation by Jews. Syracuse University just disinvited from a conference Simon Dotan, a Jewish professor from New York University and award-winning filmmaker, who was born in Romania, raised in Israel and is living in the US. Commentator Caroline Glick noted:
"Hamner's decision had nothing to do with the quality of Dotan's work. She admitted as much... Dotan was disinvited because he is Israeli and because the title of his film, The Settlers, does not make it immediately apparent whether he reviles the half million Israeli Jews who live in Judea and Samaria sufficiently."
Others in the world of academia who have approved these neo-Nazi measures include the British historian Catherine Hall and, disgracefully, the severely disabled Stephen Hawking, who is able to speak thanks only to an Israeli voice device.

This academic boycott campaign began when Oren Yiftachel, a scholar at the Ben Gurion University, had an academic a paper rejected by the journal Political Geography. The rejection came with a note informing him that the magazine could not accept a submission from "Israel," and his paper was returned unopened. The publishing house St. Jerome Manchester, specializing in translations, refused to send academic volumes to the Bar Ilan University in Israel. The British magazine, Dance Europe, refused to publish an article about the Israeli choreographer Sally Anne Friedland; Richard Seaford declined to review a book for the Israeli magazine, Antiquity Scripta Classica Israelica. A professor of pathology at Oxford University, Andrew Wilkie, rejected an application by Amit Duvshani, a doctoral student at Tel Aviv University. Wilkie wrote in his rejection: "no way would I take on somebody who had served in the Israeli army."

These neo-Nazis spread their message at universities, churches, businesses and municipalities. They adopt measures such as teachers' petitions, public stalkings, threats of legal action (lawfare), demonstrations in front of shops, and often just violent shouting, intimidation, threats and sit-ins.

They are, of course, are unable to dent the flourishing Israeli economy, but they are clearly trying to fuel a racist climate of suspicion and hostility towards Israel and Jews everywhere. The Swedish Coop has stopped selling carbonation machines made by Israel's SodaStream, while the largest Dutch pension fund, PGGM, withdrew investments from five Israeli financial institutions. Vitens, the largest supplier of drinking water in the Netherlands, cut ties with its Israeli counterpart, Mekorot. The Berlin department store KaDeWe, the largest in Europe, halted sales of Israeli wine (then reversed the decision). The largest cooperative in Europe, the Co-operative Group in the UK, has introduced a discriminatory policy towards the Israeli products. McDonald's has refused to open a restaurant in the Israeli city of Ariel, in Samaria. The University of Johannesburg severed ties with Ben-Gurion University in Israel. Academic unions in the UK and Canada, from doctors to architects, have also supported the new Nuremberg Laws against of Israel. Dozens of artists -- especially musicians and filmmakers -- have, like the original Nazis before them, refused to perform in Israel or have canceled their performances. Many pension funds have divested from Israel. Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest bank, raising questionable "ethical issues", included Israel's Bank Hapoalim in a blacklist of companies.

The pre- or post-1967 lines are only an alibi for these new Nazis. Many consider Israel in its entirety illegal, immoral, or both -- even though Jews have lived on that land for 3,000 years -- part of it is even called Judea. Their appetite for accusing Jews of having the audacity to "occupy" their own historical, Biblical land only reveals their collusion the darkest lies of Islamic extremists, who are trying to destroy the indigenous Christian Copts in their native land of Egypt, and the indigenous Assyrian Christians whom we see being slaughtered throughout the Middle East. Should the French be accused of "occupying" Gaul? Just look at any map of "Palestine," which blankets the entire state of Israel: to many Palestinians, all of Israel is a single giant settlement that has to be dismantled.

Instead of Israel, they would facilitate the creation of another Arab-Islamic state that will suppress freedom of expression for artists, journalists and writers; that will drive away Christians from their homes; that will stone to death homosexuals; that will torture inmates in prisons, that will be put to death innocents simply for wishing to convert to Christianity; that will sentence anyone to flogging, prison or death who is even alleged to have said something someone might have found offensive to Islam; that will be oblige women to wear veils and live apart; that will glorify terrorists; that will ban alcohol; that will arrest people for expressing unpopular opinions; that will encourage a new category of Muslim refugees: those who would gladly escape an oppressive and murderous regime.

These new Nazis serve up, instead of an argument, untrue and deceptive slogans such as "apartheid state", "occupation", "repressive", "violator of international law" (which Israel meticulously is not). Their goal, like that of the original Nazis, is to manipulate people, and instill in them bias and hate against Israel, and just behind this subterfuge, against the Jews.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


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Twilight Of American Jewry - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

The end of an era in American political history and the uncertain implications of its demise.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

This week marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on America. Most of us didn’t realize it at the time, but those attacks also marked the beginning of the end of the golden age of American Jewry – on both sides of the ideological divide.

Most American Jews make their home on the political Left, and together with black Americans they comprise the most loyal Democratic voting bloc. American Jews have clung to the Democratic Party despite the fact that over the past decade and a half, their position in the party has become increasingly precarious.

After the September 11 attacks, the American anti-war movement rose as a force in the party. The movement was quick to conflate its anti-Americanism with hostility for Israel. Jewish anti-war activists were forced to choose between Zionism and pacifism. 

And the situation has only grown worse over time.

As Gary Gambill of the Middle East Forum wrote this week in The National Interest, since the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel was founded in 2005, its members have gone from one leftist group to another and demanded that their members embrace the cause of Israel’s destruction.

Group after group – from the feminists, to the gay rights activists, to Occupy Wall Street, to Black Lives Matter – bowed to the BDS demand. Members who refused to condemn Israel and join the call for its destruction have been booted out.

As Prof. Alan Dershowitz wrote last month, this state of affairs has brought about a situation where progressive American Jews who support Israel – that is, the majority of American Jews – are increasingly finding themselves isolated, rejected by their fellow leftists.

In his words, “Over the past several years, progressive Jews and supporters of Israel have had to come to terms with the reality that those who do not reject Israel and accept the... BDS movement’s unique brand of bigotry are no longer welcome in some progressive circles. And while both the Democratic and Republican parties have embraced the importance of the US alliance with Israel, that dynamic is under threat more so than at any point in my lifetime.”

The radicalization of the American Left has caused a radicalization of the Democratic Party. This was made clear throughout this year’s Democratic primary season and during the party’s national convention. Today, the anti-Israel Left makes up not just the Democratic grassroots but also the major donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The significance of this development for American Jews cannot be overstated. Even if Clinton herself doesn’t share the positions of the Bernie Sanders wing of her party, she cannot govern in defiance of its will. 

And if she is elected in November, she won’t.

On the Republican side of the aisle, the situation is very different.

But it is also bad.

It isn’t that anti-Semites have taken over the party of Lincoln. To be sure, white supremacists like David Duke have made clear that they are happy to support Donald Trump. But unlike Clinton and the progressives, Trump never sought nor accepted their support. Moreover, in sharp contrast to the situation on the Democrat side of the aisle, Republican support for Israel is all but unanimous.

All of the Republican primary candidates were pro-Israel to varying degrees. The GOP platform passed at the convention is the most pro-Israel document in its history.

The problem on the Republican side of the aisle then is not that the party has turned against the Jews. The problem is that a large contingent of prominent Jewish Republicans has decided to commit political suicide.

Back in the mid-1970s, disgusted by the radicalization of the Democratic Party, particularly in connection with its prosecution of the Cold War, a significant group of predominantly Jewish intellectuals led by the likes of Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz came to the conclusion that they could no longer maintain their loyalty to the Democratic Party – which had been their political home for decades. With the rise of Ronald Reagan on the Republican side of the aisle, these prominent Jews broke with the Democrats, called themselves neoconservatives, and cast their lot with the GOP.

Some members of this group received influential appointments in the Reagan administration. Others used their intellectual skills and their media outlets to set out the intellectual basis for much of Reagan’s foreign and economic policies.

These Jewish Republicans enjoyed a far less congenial relationship with Reagan’s successor George H.W. Bush. But all the same, by and large they remained loyal Republicans. For their efforts they were appointed to significant positions in the George W. Bush administration.

After the September 11 attacks, prominent Jewish Republicans like Bush’s deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz rose to national fame as they were widely credited – and often credited themselves – with shaping Bush’s counter-terrorism policies, including his decision to overthrow the Iraqi government and to make democratizing the Islamic world the goal of his counter-terrorism strategies worldwide.

Their star rose as quickly as it fell. As the public soured on Bush’s war policies, the first to be blamed for his failures were the Jewish Republicans who had been so outspoken about their roles in shaping his policies.

Some of the criticism was substantive and deserved. Much of it was bigoted.

The Republican establishment, for its part, remained staunchly loyal to Bush’s policies. Both John McCain and Mitt Romney supported them to varying degrees during their presidential bids.

That support was not shared by Republican voters, however. Over Obama’s eight years in office, the Republican base and as well as lawmakers became increasing hostile to the democratic interventionism championed by the Bush administration and disaffected with the war in Iraq.

Seemingly unaware of the shift, the same Jewish Republican policy-makers and writers most identified in the public mind with Bush’s failures went into the 2016 race assuming that as was the case in 2008 and 2012, the party would choose a candidate that largely supported their views.

Two prominent Republican candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Jeb Bush, met that expectation.

But contrary to their expectations, Rubio and Bush were flops. The voters rejected them. The two candidates that secured significant support – Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, were outspoken opponents of Bush’s policies.

Rather than repeat their practice from 1992 and accept the will of their fellow Republicans, this year the most prominent members of the Jewish Republican elite have opted to attack Trump and his voters.

That is, they have decided to commit political suicide.

Wolfowitz, along with Bush’s second term Treasury secretary Hank Paulson and several prominent lower level Jewish Republican policy-makers, announced they are voting for Clinton. Most members of the Jewish Republican elite have sufficed with refusing to endorse Trump. Some have become his most outspoken and vituperative critics.

Objectively, their behavior is irrational. With the radical takeover of the Democratic Party, these Republican rebels cannot hope to receive influential roles in a Clinton administration even if she throws some table scraps in their direction. And by attacking Trump and his voters, they are dooming themselves to political homelessness for at least a generation.

The prominence of Jewish Republicans in the Never Trump camp is liable to impact more than their personal career prospects. It is liable to adversely affect Republican attitudes toward Jews as Jews. And to their disgrace, the Jewish Republicans at the heart of the Never Trump camp are playing right into this unhealthy dynamic.

This week the Intelligence Squared debating society held a public debate in New York. The debate was posted on Real Clear Politics website.

Two sides debated the proposition that the American elites are to blame for Trump’s rise. Arguing in favor of the proposition were two Christian journalists – Tim Carney and Ben Domenech.

Arguing against it were two Jewish journalists – Bret Stephens (a former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief) and Jennifer Rubin.

Both Rubin and Stephens voiced their support for Clinton’s controversial assertion that half of Trump’s supporters are deplorable, unworthy of attention, un-American and irredeemable.

For their part, Domenech and Carney argued that Stephens and Rubin were ignoring the social and economic dislocation of the lower middle class. They argued that the suffering of members of this group has caused millions of Americans to feel betrayed by their political elites and turn to Trump to put a stop to a political game they believe is rigged against them.

Two-thirds of the way through the event, Carney brought up religion.

Carney allowed that many of Trump’s supporters are indeed bigoted. However, he said that “as a Christian,” he couldn’t accept that they are irredeemable because Christianity teaches that all men can be saved.

Rather than grant his point or simply ignore it, Rubin chose to respond in the name of Judaism. In so doing, she turned the debate into a contest between Christianity and Judaism.

Incorrectly arguing that Judaism does not believe in repentance as a road to redemption, Rubin pointed to herself and Stephens and said sardonically, “We Jews just believe in good and evil. We don’t believe that everyone is redeemable.”

The Christians won the debate in a knockout.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the Jewish Republicans’ behavior is that while attacking the anti-Semites at the margins of the Republican Party, they ignore the anti-Semites at the heart of the Democratic Party.

While Trump has disavowed the support of the GOP’s Jew-hating wing, some of Clinton’s closest advisers harbor virulent anti-Semitic beliefs.

Take Sidney Blumenthal for instance. Blumenthal has been a close adviser to the Clintons for decades. We learned from Clinton’s emails made public earlier this year by Judicial Watch that Blumenthal was one of Clinton’s most intimate advisers throughout her tenure as secretary of state.

Blumenthal’s son Max is a raving anti-Semite. He calls for the destruction of Israel. He compares Israel to Nazi Germany and IDF soldiers to the Nazi SS.

Blumenthal Sr. is a proud father. He regularly shared his son’s ravings with Clinton, and she shared his delight. In eight separate emails over the course of her tenure in office, Clinton enthusiastically praised his Jew-hating propaganda.

In one message email, Clinton wrote, “Your Max is a mitzva.”

On the one hand then, we have the Jewish Democrats who are faced with a party that is increasingly controlled by anti-Semitic forces. And on the other hand we are in the midst of the collective political suicide of the Jewish Republican establishment.

It is hard to know how Israel will be affected by the dramatic enfeeblement of the American Jewish community that we are now witnessing. The fact remains that the vast majority of American support for Israel comes from the evangelical Christian community.

What is clear enough though is that the political waning of the Jewish community across the political spectrum means that the golden era of American Jewry is not only over. It is gone.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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Palestinians: Jibril Rajoub and the "Merry Christmas Group" - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

This was the first time that a senior representative of the PA leadership had come out against the Christian community.

  • Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association and a top official of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, made the offensive remarks during a recent interview with an Egyptian television station.
  • Many Palestinian Christians said that Rajoub's derogatory remarks would further heighten tensions between them and Muslims. They pointed out that the top PA official was excluding them from being an integral part of the Palestinian people.
  • Christians see Rajoub's derogatory remarks as part of the widespread persecution of Christians in Arab and Islamic countries, which has claimed the lives of thousands of Christians over the past few years and prompted many of them to flee to the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.
  • In an open letter to Rajoub, who previously commanded the PA's notorious Preventive Security Force, and served 17 years in Israeli prison for terror-related charges, Bethlehem Pastor Danny Awad wrote: "We have been here for more than 2000 years... We are not strangers or guests or aliens who speak a foreign tongue."
  • Rajoub's disparagement of Palestinian Christians is indeed likely to encourage Christians to leave the Western-funded PA areas. Such comments are particularly unwelcome at a time when Christians in Syria, Iraq and Egypt face a campaign of terrorism and intimidation by Muslim extremists.
A senior Palestinian official has enraged Palestinian Christians by referring to them as the "Merry Christmas Group" and accusing them of supporting the Islamist movement, Hamas. Jibril Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Football Association and a top Fatah official who previously served as commander of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) notorious Preventive Security Force in the West Bank, made the offensive remarks during a recent interview with an Egyptian television station.

Referring to the Palestinian local elections, which were supposed to be held on October 8 but were suspended due to the continued power struggle between Fatah and Hamas, Rajoub said in the interview:
"Even some of our brothers, the 'Merry Christmas Group,' voted for Hamas [in the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary election]. Today, no one will vote for Hamas. What has Hamas given them? Hamas has brought nothing but destruction."
The interview was later broadcast on the PA's official Palestine TV -- a move that has been interpreted as an endorsement of the attack on Palestinian Christians. Critics argued that Palestine TV should have at least removed the parts where Rajoub hurls insults and accusations against the Christians.

Top Fatah official Jibril Rajoub during his interview with Egyptian television, when he insulted Palestinian Christians by saying: "Even some of our brothers, the 'Merry Christmas Group,' voted for Hamas."

Although Rajoub has since half-heartedly apologized for insulting the Palestinian Christian minority, his remarks continue to draw strong condemnations from many Christians and even some Muslims.

This was the first time that a senior representative of the PA leadership had come out against the Christian community. Many Christians said that Rajoub's derogatory remarks would further heighten tensions between them and the Muslims in the Palestinian territories. They pointed out that by referring to Christians as a "group," the top PA official was in fact excluding them from being an integral part of the Palestinian people.

Rajoub's remarks reflect the arrogant and disrespectful attitude of many in the PA leadership towards Palestinian Christians. This stands in sharp contrast to the PA leadership's public policy, which demonstrates utmost respect for Palestinian Christians and considers them equal citizens and partners in the Palestinian "national project." Judging from the angry reactions of Palestinian Christians, this is not a case where they are prepared to turn the other cheek.

In an open letter to Rajoub, who previously served 17 years in Israeli prison for terror-related charges, Pastor Danny Awad of Baraka Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem wrote:
"We are an inseparable part of the Palestinian people and some of us have died defending the Palestinian cause. We are not a group that came from Mars. We have been here for more than 2000 years. We are not a group to be devalued by you. We are not strangers or guests or aliens who speak a foreign tongue."
Habib Efram, Syriac League President, condemned Rajoub's anti-Christian remarks as "harmful, strange and provocative." Referring to the situation of Christians of the Middle East, he said:
"We longer know from where to receive the blows. We reject and denounce the remarks of the member of the Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, and demand a public apology. We also call upon the Palestinian leadership to intervene to correct the situation."
In an earlier comment, Efram stated:
"Christians are the weakest link in the region -- to a point where Christian presence in cities and villages in Iraq and Syria is nearing extinction. If ISIS is finished, what assurances do we have that a new ISIS will not emerge to threaten Christians? We must resist with all available means. Christians must remain in the Middle East. We need to change our methods and we need to have a political program."
Efram's comments signal that Christians in general and those living in the Palestinian territories in particular see Rajoub's derogatory remarks as part of the widespread persecution of Christians in Arab and Islamic countries. It is a campaign that has claimed the lives of thousands of Christians over the past few years, prompting many of them to flee to the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Archbishop Theodosius (Hanna Atallah) of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said that Rajoub's statements were harmful not only to Christians, but to all Palestinians. "These remarks are alien to our national culture," he added.
"Palestinian Christians are not a group. Rather, we belong to the first Church in Palestine and we are proud to be Christians. We are not imposed merchandise from the West. The Christian presence in Palestine has a glorious and ancient history. Both Christians and Muslims are proud of this history. These offensive remarks will only make us more determined to stick to our national presence, message, identity and link to this holy land. The remarks do not represent our people or national heritage."
Rajoub's inflammatory remarks came at the peak of the local election campaign and were destined to wreak real damage to Fatah at the ballot boxes. The claim that some Christians had voted for Hamas in the 2006 election has never been verified. But had the Palestinian High Court not suspended the local elections, disgruntled Christians from Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities and villages likely would have voted for anyone but Fatah. Such aspersions cast by a senior PA official very close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are taken extremely seriously. Interestingly, Abbas himself has not repudiated Rajoub's remarks -- a fact that has added to the outrage among the Palestinian Christian community.

But while Abbas has remained silent on the controversy prompted by his top official, some Fatah officials have joined the calls for Rajoub to apologize.

Acutely aware of the damage that such remarks could cause Fatah, the faction's leaders in Bethlehem, where Christians have over the years become a minority, have taken matters into their hands and offered their own apology. "The Christians are entitled to an apology," said Mohamed al-Masri, Secretary-General of Fatah in Bethlehem. "In Bethlehem, we are one family and there was never a 'group' of people among us. The Christians were always owners of the land and partners in blood, unity and decision-making."

In a move that can only be described as ironic, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have come out against Rajoub's anti-Christian remarks. These groups never miss an opportunity to lash out at Fatah and its leaders, by depicting them as traitors acting against the interests of the Palestinians. Yet for these two Islamist groups to talk about the rights of Christians is laughable. Under their rule in the Gaza Strip, the number of Christians has declined over the two decades from 3500 to 1300.

Earlier this year, Palestinian Christians suffered another blow when Hamas destroyed the ruins of an ancient Byzantine church that was recently discovered in the Gaza Strip. The ruins of the 1800-year-old church were discovered in Palestine Square in the Al-Daraj neighborhood of Gaza City, where Hamas is planning to build a large shopping mall. Palestinian Christians expressed disappointment over the lack of interest that the international community, including the Vatican and Christian communities around the world, had shown in this case, which they regarded as an assault on their heritage and holy sites.

Similarly, the attack on the Palestinian Christians by a top representative of the Palestinian Authority leadership has also failed to draw the attention of the international community. It must be acceptable, from their point of view, for a Palestinian official to ridicule Palestinian Christians and accuse them of supporting Hamas. Had the comments come from an Israeli official, the coverage might have been a bit different.

Rajoub's incendiary words coincided with a warning about the waning Christian presence in the Middle East, issued by Dr. Hanna Issa, Secretary-General of the Islamic-Christian Commission for Supporting Jerusalem and Holy Sites.

"What is happening in the region, namely the decrease in the number of Christians, is a catastrophe not only for Christians, but also for Muslims," he cautioned. "This will lead to the disintegration of society and make it lack diversity and scientific, economic and cultural competencies because of the Christians who are leaving." After noting that while Christians make up nearly 20% of the Palestinian population around the world, they are less than 1% of the Palestinians living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, Issa concluded:
"It is in the interest of Muslims in the world in general and the Middle East in particular to preserve the Christian presence in the Arab world and to protect it with all their force. Christian emigration from the Middle East will impoverish the Arab culture and identity."
Rajoub's disparagement of Palestinian Christians is indeed likely to encourage Christians to leave the Western-funded Palestinian Authority areas. Such comments are particularly unwelcome at a time when Christians in Syria, Iraq and Egypt are facing a campaign of terrorism and intimidation by Muslim extremists. Unless the Westerners who are funding the PA raise their voices against such abuse of Palestinian Christians, Christians in Bethlehem may, irrespective of local elections, decide to vote with their feet.
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Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.


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IDF: Hundreds of thousands of enemy missiles trained on Israel - Lilach Shoval

by Lilach Shoval

Military estimates Israel's enemies have some 230,000 missiles trained on its borders • IDF believes air defenses could successfully counter 95% of potential threat • Homefront Command to hold earthquake and civilian disaster response drill next week.

Some 1,500 missiles could be fired on Israel daily, IDF warns [Illustrative]
Photo credit: AP

Lilach Shoval


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Shame on the ADL - Isi Leibler

by Isi Leibler

Greenblatt - does not seem to appreciate that his current organization -- has a primary role to resist the growing tide of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism that is sweeping the United States, especially on college campuses.

Irrespective of one's personal opinion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's videotaped remarks on Palestinian "ethnic cleansing" of Jews from any future Palestinian state, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt's scornful public condemnation is simply beyond the pale.

On numerous occasions over the past few months, I have expressed incredulity and anger at Greenblatt's statements for determinedly tilting ADL policy away from its primary mandate of combating anti-Semitism and steering it toward partisan social action issues.

The latest example of this was his kumbaya remarks to a J Street audience when he effectively endorsed moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians, complained of our failure to recognize the legitimacy of the Palestinian narrative, questioned Israel's democratic structure, engaged in partisan electoral politics and condemned the Republican platform as "anti-Zionist" for omitting a two-state structure, and insisted that groups supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which he admittedly condemns, are "animated by a desire for justice." 

Greenblatt also continues to align the ADL with the Black Lives Matter movement, despite the fact that the movement has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and genocide and called on black institutions to support BDS. He refuses to disassociate from them and continues to promote Black Lives Matter in the ADL's educational and family discussion guides in schools and elsewhere. He believes that this organization, despite its anti-Semitism, is promoting "critical civil rights issues that merit attention" and that only "a small minority of the leaders" are responsible for the anti-Semitic campaigns. 

Greenblatt, formerly employed by the Obama administration, does not seem to appreciate that his current organization -- which has a charity budget in excess of $50 million -- has a primary role to resist the growing tide of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism that is sweeping the United States, especially on college campuses. Instead, in what is utterly unprecedented from a purportedly mainstream American Jewish organization, he has publicly excoriated the position adopted by the democratically elected head of the Israeli government. Netanyahu's video was, as expected, criticized within Israel by the traditional Left, but endorsed by the vast majority of Israelis.

Netanyahu simply stated facts. The Palestinians have made it eminently clear again and again that a Palestinian state would be Judenrein. One only has to review the ethnic-cleansing policy adopted by the Jordanians in 1948, when Jews were expelled from east Jerusalem and the Etzion Bloc. 

Despite the slick PR of Palestinian spokesmen denying that this is the case to naive Western audiences, there is no question in the mind of anyone who understands the situation that Jews would not be tolerated in any Palestinian hegemony -- and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly said so repeatedly.

The Palestinian Authority officially supports this approach and I can only express regret that, presumably out of sensitivities to liberal Americans who refuse to confront this reality, it took so long for Netanyahu to shine the spotlight on this despicable abomination. After all, this highlights the outrageous fact that the Palestinians seek to delegitimize a Jewish presence throughout the biblical homeland. Other than some Muslim countries, there is no place in the world today where Jews are prohibited from living.

Netanyahu is paving the way for Israel's response to a predictable United Nations assault on its policies later in the year. The reference to Israel's Arab citizens makes the valid point that, despite the inevitable upheavals during the 1948 war, when the nascent Jewish state was invaded by the combined armies of multiple Arab states, at no stage has Israel engaged in systematic ethnic cleansing of its Arab inhabitants. 

Not surprisingly, the U.S. State Department responded that "using this type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful" and reiterated that settlement construction was an obstacle to peace. In so doing, they failed to address the legitimate question raised by Netanyahu as to whether they accept that a Palestinian state should be Judenrein.

American Jews can agree or disagree with Netanyahu. But it is unprecedented and totally unacceptable for the head of the ADL, a major Jewish organization, to condemn Netanyahu in the Foreign Policy journal, and to accuse him of choosing "to raise an inappropriate straw man regarding Palestinian policy toward Israeli settlements." He stated further that "like the term 'genocide,' the term 'ethnic cleansing' should be restricted to actually describing the atrocity it suggests -- rather than distorted to suit political ends." Despite all the evidence to the contrary, he emphatically repudiated Netanyahu's charge that the Palestinians seek ethnic cleansing.

Under such circumstances, one would have expected that every major Jewish organization would dissociate itself from Greenblatt's statement, noting that it is not the role of an organization whose primary objective is combating anti-Semitism to engage in public condemnations of views expressed by the democratically elected leader of Israel. But aside from the Zionist Organization of America, a curtain of silence has again enveloped the major Jewish organizations.

It would seem that in the post Abe Foxman era, the ADL board has knowingly empowered an individual whose outlook is not only liberal, but effectively represents an echo chamber of left-wing Democratic politics. In fact, despite Greenblatt's protestations of love for Israel and reiteration that the U.S.-Israel nexus is strong, especially after finalization of the defense agreement, the ADL's approach to Israel is similar to that of J Street, having no hesitation to tell Israelis that it knows better than they do what is good for them.

This is a worrisome situation. American Jews should inform the ADL board that by enabling their CEO to make such partisan statements, they are causing enormous harm to Israel during this critical period when retaining U.S. public opinion is of crucial importance. 

If the ADL fails to act, American Jews should question whether they should continue supporting what was until recently a venerable mainstream Jewish organization, which has now been hijacked by a CEO whose outlook has more in common with J Street and less with combating anti-Semitism and supporting the embattled Jewish state. 

Isi Leibler's website can be viewed at He may be contacted at

Isi Leibler


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