Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tzippy and the Iceberg - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

US Jewish organizations have repeatedly asked university officials to use the State Department’s definition of antisemitism as a basis for judging allegations of antisemitic attacks and harassment against Jewish students. Most universities have refused.


Princeton University Hillel’s last minute decision on Monday to cancel Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipy Hotovely’s scheduled address was the tip of a very dangerous iceberg.

The iceberg itself was revealed the next day on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2016. The bill is intended to facilitate the fight against antisemitism on campuses by requiring university authorities to refer to the State Department’s definition of antisemitism when they consider whether harassing acts were “motivated by antisemitic intent.”

Nine witnesses appeared before the committee. Five supported the legislation. Four opposed it.

The State Department’s 2010 definition of antisemitism was formulated to fight what is referred to as “the new antisemitism.” Unlike the antisemitism of the first half of the 20th century which was directed against Jews as individuals, antisemitism today is increasingly expressed as hatred of Jews for their support for Israel – the collective Jew.

The State Department’s definition of Jew-hatred includes the delegitimization of Israel’s right to exist, demonization of the State of Israel, including by likening it to Nazi Germany, and the use of double standards to judge Israel’s actions. It also defines as an expression of Jew-hatred the allegation that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to their countries of citizenship.

US Jewish organizations have repeatedly asked university officials to use the State Department’s definition of antisemitism as a basis for judging allegations of antisemitic attacks and harassment against Jewish students. Most universities have refused.

Passing the bill into law is urgent. As ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt noted in his congressional testimony, attacks against American Jewish students rose 59% in the first nine months of 2017 in comparison to the same period in 2016.

Despite the increase in antisemitism, four witnesses on Tuesday – all Jewish – insisted the bill is unnecessary. Two of the bill’s opponents are Jewish studies professors.

Pamela Nadell, director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University and the president of the Jewish Studies Association, argued that while there are acts of antisemitic harassment on campuses, these acts have not “created a climate of fear that impinges upon Jewish students’ ability to learn and experience college life to the fullest.”

Barry Trachtenberg, holder of the Presidential Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University, took things a few steps farther. Trachtenberg not only disputed that there is a problem with antisemitism on college campuses. He rejected the State Department’s definition of antisemitism.

Trachtenberg said that it is legitimate to compare Israel to Nazi Germany. He said that it is legitimate to reject Israel’s right to exist. And he claimed erroneously that a central tenet of Zionism is that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to their countries of citizenship.

The two other witnesses who opposed the law, Kenneth Stern from the Rosenberg Foundation and Suzanne Nossel, executive director of the non-Jewish PEN America Center, both couched their opposition to the civil rights bill as support for freedom of speech.

Stern, Trachtenberg and Nadell cited a Stanford study of campus antisemitism to support their claim that antisemitism on campuses is not significant enough to warrant the proposed legislation.

The study, published in September by a team led by Prof. Ari Kelman, an associate professor of education and Jewish studies at Stanford, concludes that US Jewish students do not feel threatened by antisemitism on their campuses. The study also claimed that insofar as discussions of Israel are concerned, Jewish students are equally offended by Israel advocates and Palestinian supporters. In the study’s words, “They are turned off by the tone of that debate on both sides.”

As Kelman admitted and Nadell acknowledged, Kelman’s study has no scientific value whatsoever.

Its data are based on a statistically insignificant, deliberately non-representative sample of non-affiliated Jews on five California campuses. That Nadell, Trachtenberg and Stern all used a worthless study to justify their opposition to the antisemitism bill indicates they deliberately distorted the nature of the problem of antisemitism on campuses to block passage of the bill.

Kelman’s and Trachtenberg’s work to belittle the bigotry plaguing Jewish students on campuses is in line with their political activism. Kelman is a member of the Academic Council for Open Hillel.

Open Hillel is a pressure group that demands that Hillel permit activities supportive of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement to be carried out under its aegis.

Trachtenberg signed a petition advocating an academic boycott against the Hebrew University. He has signed petitions vilifying Israel organized by the antisemitic Jewish Voices for Peace BDS group.

As the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who testified in favor of the bill, said having Trachtenberg testify is “like inviting people from the Flat Earth Society to a hearing about NASA.”

This brings us back to Princeton and Rabbi Julie Roth, the Hillel director who disinvited Hotovely.

Like Kelman and Trachtenberg, Roth also has a public record. As Yisrael Medad reported in The Times of Israel, Roth is a member of the New Israel Fund, which supports BDS.

Her husband, Rabbi Justus Baird, is an active member of J Street and Rabbis Without Borders. The couple has donated to the BDS group T’ruah.

As David Bedein reported at Arutz 7, Roth has a record of canceling pro-Israel events. In 2009 she canceled a talk by Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim Israel advocate.

In an open apology to Hotovely published on Wednesday in The Jerusalem Post, Hillel International’s President Eric Fingerhut and Roth insisted that her treatment was “an isolated incident.”

But a similar incident occurred just weeks ago at Stanford Hillel.

Stanford’s Hillel canceled a scheduled event with Reservists on Duty, an Israeli anti-BDS group that brings IDF reservists to US campuses. Last month’s event was supposed to feature non-Jewish IDF reservists, who came to Stanford to share their military experiences.

Like Hotovely’s speech at Princeton, the Reservists on Duty event at Stanford was held at Chabad House after Hillel boycotted it at the last minute.

Fingerhut and Roth pointed to Hotovely’s speeches at New York University and Columbia University this week as proof that they are not discriminating against her. Yet according to a senior Foreign Ministry source, ministry staffers had to fight to get those events scheduled. And once they were scheduled, Hillel refused to widely publicize Hotovely’s speeches.

Only 10 students were invited to attend her lecture at Columbia. And only 40 students attended her unpublicized event at NYU.

Hillel’s desire to make light of its discrimination against center-right Israelis is eminently sensible.

The vast majority of American Jews support Israel. It wouldn’t do for pro-BDS Hillel directors to parade their hostility to the Jewish state in public.

It makes much more sense to simply block pro-Israel speakers from appearing on campuses.
Likewise, Jewish radicals who oppose civil rights protections for Jewish students beset by antisemites who express their Jew-hatred as anti-Zionism are reasonable to pretend that they are simply freedom of speech champions.

After all, professors like Trachtenberg who call for the boycott of Israeli universities while claiming that Zionists are inherently disloyal to their countries of citizenship wouldn’t want to be accused of trucking in antisemitism.

The fact that Hillel directors like Roth and radical professors like Trachtenberg, Kelman and Nadell do not reflect the views of the wider Jewish community or even of the Jewish students on their campuses does not mean that they do not pose a grave threat both the American Jewish community and to Israel.

These radical Jews who have attained positions of power in the Jewish community harm the American Jewish community and Israel is significant ways.

First, by pretending that it is legitimate to block senior Israeli officials from addressing students, they block US Jewish students from basic knowledge about Israel and the views of the majority of Israelis who democratically elect their representatives.

Second, by permitting the slander of the likes of Hotovely and Reservists on Duty, these campus Jewish leaders and professors cultivate ignorance among Jewish students while emptying the term pro-Israel of all meaning. In in their zeal to promote anti-Zionist libels and activism, they empower ignorant students to blithely and falsely slander Hotovely and other senior officials as “racists.” By extension, they libel the entire nation of Israel whose citizens democratically elected their Knesset representatives and government.

If these actions continue, a significant diminishment in levels of support for Israel among American Jews can be expected in the years to come.

Most perniciously, in pursuit of their agenda, these radical Jewish leaders and academics seek to deny adequate civil rights protections for American Jews. By claiming that the most significant form of antisemitism on college campuses – antisemitism rooted in hatred of Israel and its supporters – is not antisemitism, and by lobbying to prevent the Antisemitism Awareness Act from being passed into law, they are working to undermine the civil rights protections of American Jewry.

As these events unfold, these radical forces in the community are also seeding their ranks in leadership positions in the community.

For instance, in September, backed by deep-pocketed donors, BDS activist David Myers was appointed head of the Center for Jewish History in New York.

Myers is a member of several BDS groups including Jewish Voices for Peace, J Street, the New Israel Fund, and If Not Now. Kelman and other anti-Zionist Jewish academics applauded his appointment.

Myers’ animosity toward Israel is reflected in his scholarship. Justifying anti-Zionism is a major focus of his work. He has authored sympathetic articles about the anti-Zionist Satmar Hassidic sect.

When considering how to stem the growing power of anti-Israel and antisemitism-enabling Jews in the American Jewish community, it is worth considering the response to Myers’s appointment.

When the Center for Jewish History announced his hiring, a small coalition of pro-Israel activists organized protests against it. True, the demonstrations failed to cancel his appointment. But the instinct that informed them was correct.

Israel advocates – supported by the Israeli government – should oppose the hiring and advocate the firing of anti-Israel activists in major Jewish groups. For instance, following her discriminatory treatment of Hotovely, Israel should demand that Hillel International fire Roth and replace her with a pro-Israel Jewish professional.

So, too, Trachtenberg and professors like him who truck in antisemitic propaganda masquerading as academic research should not be given a free pass.

Pro-Israel activists should file complaints with his university for his advocacy of antisemitic positions is sworn congressional testimony.

The abuse Hotovely endured this week was a symptom of a much larger problem. A small but powerful minority of American Jews seeks to silence Israeli voices, as part of a larger movement to deny civil rights protections to pro-Israel American Jews. To defeat these efforts both the symptom and the disease must be fought relentlessly.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 

Caroline Glick


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Video: Students for Genocide in Houston -


"Students for Justice in Palestine" reveals its thirst for Jewish blood.


FrontPageMag Editor's note. Below is a video recording of the opening of David Horowitz's speech and the disruption that followed at the University of Houston on November 2, 2017. It is a sad commentary on the state of intellectual discourse at institutions like this.


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Lebanon’s PM Saad Hariri Steps Down - Joseph Puder

by Joseph Puder

The impact on Lebanon and the region.

A Lebanese friend called this reporter over the weekend with the question, “What do you think of the resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri?”  The short response to the friend was “check out where he made his announcement – in Saudi Arabia.”  It is clear that Riyadh had something to do with Hariri’s decision to resign as Prime Minister, and it comes only a year into his current post.  Qatari based Al-Jazeera-TV reported (November 5th, 2017) that “The snap resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri over the weekend reflects a push by Saudi Arabia to openly confront Iran, its long-time regional adversary, and Iran’s Lebanese ally, Hezbollah.”

According to Al-Jazeera, Hariri, who made his announcement in a televised speech on Al-Arabiya Satellite TV, also said that he believed he faced threats to his life (his father Rafic Hariri was assassinated by Syrian and Hezbollah agents).  Saad Hariri denounced Iran for “sowing disorder and destruction in Lebanon,” and criticized Hezbollah for “building a state within a state in Lebanon.”  He went on to say that “Iran and its allies - you have lost in your efforts to meddle in the affairs of the Arab world,” and added that “the region will rise again and the hands that you have wickedly extended into it will be cut off.” Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reacted on Saturday to Hariri’s resignation.  Netanyahu tweeted from London that “The resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hariri and his remarks on Iran are a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression, which is turning Syria into a second Lebanon.”

Amin Gemayel, former Maronite-Christian President of Lebanon, following his meeting with President Aoun in the context of Hariri’s resignation, slammed regional victory claims by Iran and its allies, and noted that “Lebanon did not have to pay a price for things that it had nothing to do with.” He added, “It is important to preserve Lebanon’s neutrality and independence.” It was meant to be a clear reference to Iran and Saudi machinations in Lebanon.

Fouad Siniora, the former Sunni Prime Minister and a close advisor to the Hariris, warned of the necessity to be aware of the dangers that Lebanon is facing and find a solution to the problems Lebanon is witnessing.  He stated that “Lebanon has always been keen on its neutrality and non-alignment, but it is now clear that it is heading toward an axis that does not serve its interests.  We must adjust the compass, respect the Taif Agreement and the constitution, restore the strong state that is responsible for its entire territory and reinstate a respect for Arab legitimacy that serves the region’s interest.  We should also respect the international resolutions to which Lebanon is committed and remain under the umbrella of the Baabda Declaration.”

Lebanese Forces MP, Antoine Zahara, said that he hopes Hariri’s resignation leads to “an uprising of dignity in the face of all political obstacles facing the government.” He added that the recent comments by Iranian advisor for International Affairs, Ali Akbar Welayati, may have prompted Hariri’s resignation.  Waleyati claimed that the Syrian-Lebanese-Iraqi victory against the terrorists (a reference primarily to the anti-Assad opposition) constitutes a victory for the “axis of resistance.” Zahra pointed out that “including Lebanon in the Iranian axis without consulting the Lebanese counterpart is a serious offense.”

Hariri’s resignation will most assuredly disrupt the delicate balance that existed in the Lebanese polity.  The three most powerful confessional groups in Lebanon:  the Shiite-Muslims dominated by Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, the Sunni-Muslims led by Saad Hariri, and the Maronite-Christians personified by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, co-existed for a year despite deep hatred and animosity between these groups. 

As long as Lebanon was led by strong individuals such as Aoun, Hariri and the Hezbollah organization, Lebanon enjoyed a relative equilibrium.  It enabled the state to overcome several occurring crisis situations.  The absence of a national president due to over two years of political stalemate was resolved by the unlikely alliance of Aoun’s Maronites, Hariri’s Sunnis, and Hezbollah.  It elected Aoun as President of Lebanon, and Hariri as Prime Minister.  It also ended the garbage crisis, and it settled on a date for the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in May, 2018.

Saudi Arabia has been the Hariri family financial patron throughout most of Lebanon’s post-civil war history.  Now, with Iran’s gains in Syria, and Hezbollah’s control in Lebanon, Riyadh is readjusting its policy in Lebanon, aiming to weaken Hezbollah.  The killing of Rafic Hariri in 2005 marked the rising dominance of Hezbollah and its patrons, Iran and the Assad regime.

The new Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has assumed a much more assertive posture toward Iran and Hezbollah.  Riyadh is also encouraged by the Trump administration’s more aggressive stance toward Iran’s nefarious activities across the region. 

The imminent defeat of ISIS in Syria is enabling Hezbollah to transfer its fighters from Syria to Southern Lebanon, where they aim to provoke Israel into a war.  Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, is simply waiting for a green light from Tehran to open hostilities.  The Saudis would like nothing better than for Israel to engage Hezbollah militarily.  For its part, the Hezbollah leaders are well aware of the fact that provoking a war with Israel might cost them their dominance in Lebanon.

With Hariri out, the legitimacy of the Lebanese government is questionable. It makes it easier for the U.S. and Israel to target Hezbollah, already considered by both countries as a terrorist organization.  Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, seemed to bemoan Hariri’s departure since it takes away the legitimacy of the Hezbollah dominated government, and it also breaks the Sunni-Shia consensus that appeared to exist.

To understand Hariri’s decision to resign, one must consider the larger context that goes beyond Lebanese politics.  Lebanese parties are simply proxies of the two leading Muslim powers in the region…Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, whose rivalry is at a focal point in Lebanon.  The Saudis, and for that matter, the U.S. and Israel, seek to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from building a bridge to the Mediterranean Sea through the control of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.  That may very well be one explanation as to why Hariri announced his resignation from Riyadh rather than Beirut.

Another reason is Hariri’s attempt to strengthen his political base in the upcoming parliamentary elections next year.  Hariri’s forged alliance with Hezbollah and Aoun carried a heavy burden.  His Sunni constituents in Lebanon resent the fact that Hezbollah is killing their fellow Sunnis in Syria.  As a result, many Sunnis have found an outlet in joining Islamist groups.  The Sunni electorate is frustrated with its leadership, including Hariri, in its inability to challenge Hezbollah.  That may very well be the other reason for Hariri’s leaving his post. Finally, Hariri believes that he might be able to repeat the success he had in 2005, when he formed an anti-Syrian bloc and led it to victory in the legislative elections that year.

Joseph Puder


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The ruinous results of “conflict management” - Martin Sherman

by Dr. Martin Sherman

"Conflict management has not countered successful Palestinian efforts…to change crucial strategic facts on the ground with deleterious long-term implications on Israel’s security."

Israel’s present conflict management approach, which has succeeded in reducing Palestinian terrorism to manageable proportions, is an insufficient response to the dangers of Palestinian territorial expansionism…[M]anaging the conflict alone has also resulted in considerable costs not directly linked to acts of terrorism… Prof Hillel Frisch – of the newly established Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, October 31, 2017

For many the notion of “managing the conflict” has long been a seductive illusion and one I have warned repeatedly against submitting to – see for example: here;  here;  here; here & here. 

Conflict management as (allegedly) the “least worst option” 

Thus, in “‘Conflict management’: The collapse of a concept” I wrote: For several years now I have been warning against clear and present dangers inherent in conflict management—cautioning that it is little more than ‘kicking the can down the road’ into a even more risk-fraught future.  I expressed growing concern that by adopting a policy of avoiding confrontations, which Israel could win, the government  may well back the nation  into a confrontation so severe that it may not—or only do so at devastating cost.”

For several years, the staunchest support for the conflict management paradigm came from Bar Ilan Universty’s BESA Center for Strategic Studies. Indeed, just over a year ago, David Weinstein, the BESA director of public affairs published a synopsis of months of discussions that took place in the center’s seminar rooms and on its website regarding what Israel’s “West Bank” policy should be. 

The essence of the consensus that emerged from these deliberations was succinctly conveyed in the sub-heading of Weinstein’s piece: “Conflict management is currently the least-worst option”. Weinstein sums up the rationale of the conflict management school of thought as: “It is wiser for Israel to defer action than to take steps that threaten to make a bad situation worse”.

Conflict management as kicking the can down the road

However, deferring action can, in itself, be a formula for making a bad situation worse—and indeed it has, on virtually every front.

Arguably, one of the most outspoken advocates for the idea of conflict management is Prof. Efraim Inbar, formerly BESA’s longstanding director, and currently the President of the newly established Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies (JISS).

According to Inbar: “Israel’s recent governments are left, willy-nilly, with a de facto conflict-management approach, without foreclosing any options.” 

Although he conceded that: “there are costs to this wait-and- see approach”, he observed reassuringly “…this was the approach favored by David Ben-Gurion. He believed in buying time to build a stronger state and in hanging on until opponents yield their radical goals …” Elsewhere, in a 2014-paper, which he coauthored with another BESA scholar, Dr. Eitan Shamir, he set out the essence of this conflict management approach as it pertained to Hamas in Gaza: “…Israel is acting to severely punish Hamas for its aggressive behavior, and degrading its military capabilities…The use of force…is not intended to attain impossible political goals, but rather is a long-term strategy of attrition designed primarily to debilitate the enemy capabilities”.

Conflict management as a failed policy prescription

Clearly, this prescription has failed dismally both with regard to Gaza and the northern border. After all, neither Hamas nor Hezbollah, have had their capabilities “debilitated”, nor have they forgone their “radical goals”. Indeed, if anything, quite the opposite is true.

Now, a recently published paper, significantly from a declared supporter of the conflict management approach, Prof. Hillel Frisch, casts doubt on the efficacy of conflict management regarding the “West Bank” as well. 

Frisch, formerly a senior BESA research associate, and now with the nascent JISS, claims that while “Israel’s present conflict management approach, has succeeded in reducing Palestinian terrorism to manageable proportions” he admits that it “is an insufficient response to the dangers of Palestinian territorial expansionism…”

He goes on to recount the dismaying significance of “Palestinian territorial expansion”.

While Israel has been busy “managing the conflict” and eschewing the attainment of “impossible political goals”, the Palestinians, with EU complicity, have been feverishly working to implant facts on the ground—by establishing sprawling Arab settlements both within the Jerusalem municipal borders (ostensibly under Israeli sovereignty) and within Area C (ostensibly under full Israeli civilian and military control).

Similar EU-supported illicit initiatives are ongoing along the Jerusalem-Jericho highway and in the southern Hebron Hills, on the approaches to the city of Beer Sheva.

Strategic impact of illicit Palestinian construction

According to Frisch, the Palestinian Authority (PA) “…(with the help of the European Union), has succeeded in housing 120,000 Palestinians in a space no larger than nine square kilometers [adjacent to Jerusalem]”.

Ominously, he points out: “This number is triple the number of inhabitants of Maaleh Adumim and the other Israeli localities in the area extending to Jericho…[W]hereas, it took Israel over thirty years to settle 40,000 inhabitants, the PA with European support, have managed to settle triple that number in the course of one decade alone”.

Frisch goes on to describe both the appalling conditions in these illicit, EU-abetted settlements and the strategic threat they comprise for Israel.   

In the “urban nightmare” that has sprung up in the environs of Jerusalem, access for emergency vehicles (such as fire-engines and ambulances) in case of disaster are impossible because of the congested, unplanned construction; while the burning of untreated garbage creates “devastating health effects on the inhabitants, and probably on the inhabitants of French Hill”, a nearby Jewish residential suburb of Jerusalem.

The unauthorized make-shift squatter sites along the Jerusalem-Jericho highway and in the Hebron Hills are “bereft of sewage systems and organized garbage disposal”.

But beyond the inevitable human “time-bomb” these untenable conditions comprise, and to which the EU seems callously indifferent in its obsessive fervor to undermine Israeli authority, there are far-reaching and sinister strategic implications.

Strategic impact (cont.) 

Thus, Frisch warns that the eastward expansion of ongoing Palestinian urban development adjacent to Jerusalem will soon render the settlement of E1 (the area that would create continuous Jewish settlement from Maaleh Adumim to Jerusalem) impossible. Likewise, the unlawful building thrust towards the east and the south will choke the development of Maaleh Adumim—not only threatening its continuity with Jerusalem, but leaving its over 35,000 Jewish residents stranded in an isolated enclave, surrounded by an inimical Arab population. 

In the Hebron Hills, he alerts that, “Israel is caving in to EU-sponsored Palestinian building that is severing strategically placed settlements in the area from the Beersheba hinterland”, while the illegal encampments are encroaching dangerously close to the Jerusalem-Jericho-Jordan Valley highway, potentially threatening the security of any traffic moving along it.

Accordingly, there can be little doubt as to the validity—and gravity—of Frisch’s critical assessment of the “conflict management” endeavor, which he asserts “has not countered successful Palestinian efforts…to change crucial strategic facts on the ground with deleterious long-term implications on Israel’s security”.

However, as apt as his diagnosis of the failings of the conflict management paradigm is, his remedial prescription still falls regrettably short of being an adequate corrective. 

“Strategic building”: A chimera and red herring combined

According to Frisch: “The answer to the PA’s expansive building in strategic areas, its onslaught on Israel abroad, the inflammatory and inciting messages in the media sites and school system [it]controls, clearly lies in the renewal of Israeli strategic building of settlements.”  However, he limits this call for “strategic building” to “building in E1, the greater Jerusalem area, in the settlement blocs and in other areas in area C”.As a remedy to the revealed lack of effectiveness of the conflict management approach, this prescription is flawed on several levels—both in principle and in practice.

At root, the underlying problem in his proposal can be traced to Frisch’s enduring affinity for the seminal tenet of conflict resolution—despite his awareness of its inadequacy – i.e. the need to hold fast and contain the conflict until a sufficiently amenable and authoritative Palestinian-Arab interlocutor emerges with whom some acceptable and enduring peace accord can be concluded.  This is, of course, a misleading chimera and red herring rolled into one. 

After all, there is not a shred of evidence that the Palestinian-Arabs will morph into anything that they have not been for over a hundred years, nor that they are likely to do so within any foreseeable time horizon. Indeed as time progresses, such an outcome seems increasingly remote.

Accordingly, any policy paradigm based on the assumption that, somehow, they can be coaxed or coerced into doing just that, is just as fanciful and fraught with perils as any that it was designed to replace. 

“Strategic building” on its own is a fast lane to disaster

For while the call to bolster Jewish presence in disputed areas (i.e. strategic building) is in itself commendable, on its own it is unlikely to be effectual—and indeed, it is merely likely to exacerbate tensions. For without rolling back—i.e. by removing or radically reducing—the illegal Arab presence in these areas, this is only likely to increase the friction—and hence strife—between Jew and Arab.

In this regard “strategic building”, without a range of complementary measures to reduce existing Arab presence, is likely to be a fast lane to disaster.

Moreover, increased Jewish settlement should not be portrayed, as it is by Frisch, as a punitive measure in response to Palestinian malfeasance. For if this is so, what is to be their fate if and when such malfeasance is redressed?  

Instead, enhanced Jewish construction should be presented—in its own right—as a strategic imperative, a historic duty and a moral right.

Furthermore, as Areas A and B are made up of an array of disconnected enclaves and corridors, they clearly could never sustain a viable self-governing Palestinian-entity. It is, thus, inconceivable that any Palestinian leadership would consent to having the Palestinian entity limited to said enclaves and corridors.  

Consequently, even if such “strategic building” is confined to Area C, it can only be given any semblance of permanence if Israel intends to extend its sovereignty over the entire area of Judea-Samaria—since no alternative administration is likely to be found for Areas A and B.

Which of course leads us to the thorny question of what is to be the fate of the Arab residents of Judea-Samaria… 

“Strategic building”: One bladed scissors

In many ways, Frisch’s “strategic building” program is similar to a one-bladed scissors –for it focuses solely on bolstering the Jewish presence in contested strategic areas (albeit only in response to Palestinian misbehavior)—but not on the already massive Arab presence in them. 

True, he does attempt to portray his strategy as “twofold” by prescribing “more forceful… demolishing [of] illegal construction in area C around Jerusalem, next to important highways such as the roads from Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley, and in area C [and]   preventing the building of Palestinian infrastructure installations…near Israeli settlements”. However, this does nothing to address the issue of the Arab population within Judea-Samaria. 

So one is left to ponder what outcome Frisch envisages that his “strategic building” paradigm would lead to while waiting for some yet-to-be-identified pliant peace-partner to emerge—or even more to the point, if no such partner emerges at all.  

Indeed, it is difficult to know what yet has to happen until the nation’s political and intellectual leadership rallies the courage and integrity to acknowledge that in order to endure as the nation-state of the Jewish people Israel must address two imperatives simultaneously: The Geographic and Demographic Imperatives. The former mandates Israeli sovereign control over all the territory from the River to the Sea; the latter mandates the drastic reduction of the Arab presence within the Jewish state’s sovereign territory.

“Strategic building”: Far too little far too late

The only manner in which this can be achieved without resort to large-scale violence is via a comprehensive system of material inducements comprising highly attractive incentives for leaving and equally daunting disincentives for staying - accompanied by a well-funded strategic public diplomacy offensive to convey why this is the most humane policy if it succeeds - and least inhumane if it does not.

Anything else is both pointless and perilous.

In this regard, Frisch’s “strategic building” proposal is far too little far too late.

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, was the first academic director of the Herzliya Conference and is the author of two books and numerous articles and policy papers on a wide range of political, diplomatic and security issues. He is founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies ( Born in South Africa,he has lived in Israel since 1971.


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News Nanny: The Race to Censor Internet News - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

If we don’t fight now, conservatives will vanish from the internet.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

How can you tell that internet censorship is really taking off? Easy. It’s becoming a business model.

Steven Brill is raising $6 million to launch News Guard. This new service will rate news sites on their trustworthiness from green to red. Forget politically unbiased algorithms. The ratings will be conducted by "qualified, accountable human beings" from teams of “40 to 60 journalists.” Once upon a time, journalism meant original writing. Now it means deciding which original writing to censor.

"Can trust be monetized?" The Street’s article on News Guard asks. But it isn’t really trust that’s being monetized. It’s censorship. It’s doing the dirty work that Google and Facebook don’t want to do.

The Dems and their media allies have been pressuring Google and Facebook to do something about the “fake news” that they blame for Trump’s win. The big sites outsourced the censorship to media fact checkers. The message was, “Don’t blame us, now you’re in charge.”

Facebook made a deal with ABC News and the AP, along with Politifact, FactCheck and Snopes, to outsource the censoring for $100K. When two of these left-wing groups declare that an article is fake, Facebook marks it up and viewership drops by 80%.

Facebook is reportedly considering adding the Weekly Standard to its panel of fact checkers. Even if that were to happen, it would be the difference between putting the New York Times without David Brooks or the Times with David Brooks in charge of deciding what you can read on Facebook. Adding a token conservative who is acceptable to the left doesn’t change the inherent bias of the system.

Not only does the roster of fact checkers lean to the left, but so do its notions of what’s true and false. For example, Snopes and Politifact both insist that General Pershing’s forces never buried the bodies of Muslim terrorists with pigs. But General Pershing specifically stated in his autobiography, "These Juramentado attacks were materially reduced in number by a practice that the Mohamedans held in abhorrence. The bodies were publicly buried in the same grave with a dead pig.”

Both the New York Times and the Scientific American reported on it at the time. Despite that Snopes rated this widely accepted historical fact as “False” and Politifact marked it as “Pants on Fire”.

Snopes also recently marked a story that Christ Church in Virginia is removing a George Washington plaque as false even though the church publicly announced that it was doing so.

Politifact and Snopes are entitled to their incorrect opinions. The trouble is that they don’t extend the same privilege to those they disagree with. And Google and Facebook promote fake fact checks while burying sites that discuss actual historical facts. The big internet companies don’t want to get involved in all these arguments. But nor are they willing to let their users decide for themselves anymore.

And so Net Nanny for news has become an actual business model. Instead of protecting children from pornography, News Nanny protects adults from news. And from views outside the left’s bubble.

By adopting the News Nanny model, Google and Facebook are treating their users like children.

The News Guard model is in some ways even more insidious than biased fact checking because it sets up lists of approved and disapproved sites. Google is rolling out something similar with its “knowledge panels” for publishers. Search for the New York Times and the panels will tell you how many Pulitzers the paper has won. Search for Front Page Magazine and the panel note describes it as, “Political alignment: Right-wing politics”. No note listing a left-wing political alignment appears in the panel for the New York Times despite its recent laudatory series about the Soviet Union and Communism.

The media never has an official political orientation. Not even when it’s cheering Communism. But its opponents and critics always have one. Follow Google’s link for Front Page’s political alignment and the top entry states, “Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable”.

That’s a wholly inaccurate description of either Front Page Magazine or conservative politics in America. And it’s another example of how the fight against “fake news” by the left actually ends up producing it.

 And it isn’t meant to stop there.

The Google Blog casually mentions that the panels will also list, “claims the publisher has made that have been reviewed by third parties”. You get one guess as to who those “third parties” will be.

Fact checking has become a pipeline to censorship. The big social and search companies outsource fact checking to third parties and then demonetize, marginalize and outright ban views and publishers that those third parties disagree with. Fact checks are no longer an argument. They’re the prelude to a ban.

Google and Facebook respectively dominate search and social media. When they appoint official censors for their services, those left-wing fact checkers become the gatekeepers of the internet.

And the internet isn’t supposed to have gatekeepers.

Senator Al Franken, of all people, made that point at the Open Markets Institute. OMI’s people have emerged as the leading opponents of big tech monopolies on the left.

 “No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t,” Franken said. “And Facebook, Google and Amazon, like ISPs, should be neutral in their treatment of the flow of lawful information and commerce on their platform.”

There is no more obvious example of the lack of neutrality than Facebook and Google’s partnership with “fact checkers”.  If Net Neutrality means anything, it should strike down Google’s partnership with Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network and Facebook’s use of Snopes to silence conservatives.

When sites picked and chose content based on algorithms, they were deciding which content reached users based on what was likely to be popular. And, occasionally, based on their own agendas. Now they are picking and choosing which content reaches users based on political orientation. While the advocates for Net Neutrality rage against cable companies, Comcast and Charter aren’t engaging in political censorship. No matter how they disguise it, Google and Facebook’s news nannies are.

News Guard is an ominous warning that online censorship is becoming a viable business model as the big tech companies look around for someone else to do their dirty work for them. But subcontracted censorship is still censorship. And the only people impressed by the credentials of the “fact checkers” are those who share their politics. Unfortunately that covers the leadership of Google and Facebook.

Discussions about fake news often begin and end with “trust”. Major media outlets with Pulitzers are trustworthy. Major fact checking operations are also trustworthy. Even Snopes is somehow trustworthy despite its utter lack of professionalism, and its founders accusing each other of embezzlement,

But “trust” has more than one meaning. We trust those people and organizations we like. And sometimes those organizations form a trust. And anyone who isn’t in, is untrustworthy.

Trust in the mainstream media has never been lower. Yet the big tech companies insist that mainstream media sources are the only trustworthy ones. They want us to trust them, because they don’t trust us.

The internet was a revolutionary environment that liberated individuals to make their own choices. Bloggers could compete with big media. Leaked emails could bring down a government. But the internet is becoming less free. Access is controlled by a handful of tech companies that keep getting bigger and bigger. The survivors of the scale wars will combine cable, content and commerce in new ways. And in a politicized culture, they won’t just signal their political views, they will enforce them.

If we don’t fight now, ten years from now conservatives will be the rats in the walls of the internet.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.


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Name: "Sword of Allah"? Let Him In! - Douglas Murray

by Douglas Murray

Instead of looking warm and big-hearted, you begin to look as if you were just unforgivably lax with the security of your own citizens.

  • Even the craziest immigration systems dreamed up by European officials have not yet come up with something like America's "diversity visa" lottery, by which someone named "Sword of Allah" is promptly let into the country -- only then to mow people down in a New York bicycle lane.
  • Nearly 56,000 foreign nationals have disappeared from the radar of the British authorities after being told that they were required to leave the country.
  • Instead of looking warm and big-hearted, you begin to look as if you were just unforgivably lax with the security of your own citizens. So an entire political class has been.
It is only eight weeks since an 18-year old Iraqi-born man walked onto the London Underground and left a bomb on the District line. Fortunately for the rush-hour commuters and school children on that train, the detonating device went off without managing to set off the bomb itself. Had the device worked, the many passengers who suffered life-changing burns would instead have been among many other people taken away in body bags. Ahmed Hassan came to the UK illegally in 2015 and was subsequently provided with foster care by the British government. He has now been charged, and is awaiting trial, for causing an explosion and attempted murder.

London police outside Parsons Green Underground station, following the terrorist bombing there on September 15, 2017. (Image source: Edwardx/Wikimedia Commons)
As stories like that of Mr. Hassan emerge, there are varying reactions. Some people say that this act is not indicative of anything, and that we must accept that such things happen -- like the weather. Others suggest that anyone might leave a bomb on the District line in the morning, and that there is no more reason to alter your border policy because of it than there is to alter your meteorological policy because of it.

As poll after poll shows, however, the majority of the public in Britain -- as in every other European country -- think something else. They think that a country that has lost a grip on its immigration policy is very likely to lose control of its security policy, and that one may indeed follow the other.

So the British public were not at all reassured by the news this month that the country's Home Office has lost track of tens of thousands of foreign nationals who were due to be removed from the country. Nor that there is no evidence of any effort to find the people in question.

Figures revealed in two new reviews by the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration showed that nearly 56,000 foreign nationals have disappeared from the radar of the British authorities after being told that they were required to leave the country. This figure includes over 700 foreign national offenders (FNOs) who went missing after being released into the community from prison. It also revealed that around 80,000 foreign nationals are required to check in on a regular basis at police stations and immigration centres while authorities prepare for them to leave the country. By the end of 2016, just under 56,000 of them had failed to keep appointments and had become persons "whose whereabouts are unknown and all mandatory procedures to re-establish contact with the migrant have failed."

Nevertheless, with a straight face, Brandon Lewis, the immigration minister for the present Conservative government, declared that "People who have no right to live in this country should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them." Yet he still admitted that "Elements of these reports make for difficult reading."

For the British public, they will also make difficult living. We all have to live with the consequences of an immigration system which has been more than usually unfit for purpose since the Labour government of 1997. It is just the British version of a story that is playing all across Western Europe. Across the Western half of the continent, all governments have allowed immigration policy to slide for more than a generation. Having become lax about policing the borders, they have become lax about returning people who have no right to be inside those borders. And having become lax about returning people who should not be in the country, they end up putting at peril the citizens of the country.

When the post-1997 Labour government first decided that the return of people in the UK illegally was not an important priority, they did so in part because the then-immigration minister decided that it was too traumatic for everyone involved: traumatic for the illegal migrant and for the UK border officials who had to remove them. In just such a way, by thousands of small cuts, does a nation's territorial integrity and future security become shattered.

Although a person's name may be nothing more than an inauspicious start -- its owner, after all, did not choose it -- even the craziest immigration systems dreamed up by European officials have not yet come up with something like America's "diversity visa" lottery, by which someone pronounces themselves to be called "Sword of Allah" [terrorist Sayfullo Saipov] and is promptly let into the country -- only then to mow people down in a New York bicycle lane. But we are all suffering from variants of the same mania.

Nevertheless, even the most seriously ingrained manias can be snapped out of. In Britain, as in the rest of Western Europe and North America, there is only thought to be a political price to pay for being tough on immigration. For the time being, only people who believe in enforcing the law look heartless. Only those who insist on following -- or even tightening -- due process look like the ones who have done a wicked thing.

But as the events on the Underground in London in September presage, all of this can change in a few instants. A few more bombs left by a few more illegal immigrants, or a few more trucks driven along a few more bicycle lanes -- let alone by illegal immigrants who have overstayed and not been deported -- and the whole thing can change. At that point, instead of looking warm and big-hearted, you begin to look as if you were just unforgivably lax with the security of your own citizens. So an entire political class has been. But it may take a lot of bloodshed yet for them to learn that there are not just political benefits to be accrued from such laxness, but one day a political price to pay. 

Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England. His latest book, an international best-seller, is "The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam."


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Israeli Attitudes toward Egypt 40 Years after Sadat's Visit - Efraim Karsh

by Efraim Karsh

How do Israelis view this momentous event from a 40-year vantage point?

Originally published under the title "Sadat's Visit."

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's November 20, 1977 visit to Jerusalem was the most important single political event in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Forty years ago this month, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat landed at Ben-Gurion airport for a two-day visit in Jerusalem at the official invitation of Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The entire world held its breath. Here was the leader of the largest and most populous Arab state, which had spearheaded repeated pan-Arab attempts to destroy Israel, visiting the contested capital of the Arab world's foremost nemesis in an apparent acquiescence to the legitimacy of the Jewish state's existence and its right to peaceful coexistence with its Arab neighbors.

So profound was the general disbelief that the Israeli chief of staff, Mordechai Gur, warned the government that the visit was an Egyptian deceptive ploy, on the heels of the Egyptian-Syrian surprise attack of October 1973.

As it turned out, the visit proved to be the most important single political event in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, culminating in the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of March 1979 and the attendant shattering of the Arab world's uniform rejection of Jewish statehood. And while Sadat's successor, Hosni Mubarak, held a far more restrictive view of the agreement, the Israeli-Egyptian peace has successfully weathered many regional crises (from the 1982 Lebanon war to the "al-Aksa Intifada" and the 2014 Gaza conflict), paving the road to the October 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty and the yet-to-be-completed Israeli-Palestinian peace process launched with the September 1993 Oslo accord.

But how do Israelis view this momentous event from a 40-year vantage point? Do they appreciate its full historic significance and the impact it has had on their lives? Do they consider the price of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty worth paying?

A recent survey held by Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA ) and the Foreign Ministry shows a rather mixed picture. While 81% of respondents viewed the agreement as conducive to Israel's national security, 51% deemed the concessions made for its attainment (notably the evacuation of the oil-rich Sinai Peninsula and the demolition of Yamit) to have been excessive, compared to 46% of respondents who considered them commensurate with the agreement's mammoth gains.

Peace with Israel was the price Cairo had to pay for US economic and military aid.

This apparent contradiction seems to be a corollary to Israelis' keen awareness of Mubarak's lukewarm perception of peace. While one can only speculate about Sadat's own ultimate intentions – he was assassinated in October 1981 by an Islamist zealot – for Mubarak, peace was of no value in and of itself but was rather the price Cairo had to pay for such substantial benefits as US economic and military aid. As a result, Mubarak reduced interaction with Israel to the lowest possible level, while simultaneously transforming the Egyptian army into a formidable modern force and fostering a culture of virulent antisemitism in Egypt, a culture whose premises he himself evidently shared.

Though President Abdel Fattah Sisi has taken a different route, bringing Israeli-Egyptian relations to unprecedented heights, most Israelis seem to acknowledge the instrumental nature of the Egyptian perception of peace. Consequently, only 14% of the BESA /FMA survey respondents regarded Egypt's attitude to Israel as friendly (of whom 37% thought Israel "overpaid" for the agreement), while 68% viewed it as lukewarm and another 18% as hostile (of whom 44% and 68% percent respectively deemed the concessions made for the agreement excessive).

Most Israelis seem to acknowledge the instrumental nature of the Egyptian perception of peace.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, support for the agreement was found to be strongest among center-left voters, though it was actually the right-wing Likud Party that made this historic breakthrough. Ninety-two percent of Zionist Union and Yesh Atid voters, as well as 88% of Meretz voters, believed the agreement to have enhanced Israel's national security as opposed to 82% of Likud voters, 82% of Bayit Yehudi's voters and 67% of Yisrael Beytenu voters. Support for the agreement within the ultra-Orthodox community was even lower, with a mere 64% of Shas voters and 68% of United Torah Judaism voters viewing the agreement as conducive to Israel's national security.

Likewise, the survey exposed the ambiguous attitude of Israel's Arab citizens to the agreement, or indeed to possible Israeli reconciliation with the neighboring Arab states. While only 68% of Israeli Arabs viewed the agreement as conducive to Israel's national security, compared to 83% of their Jewish compatriots, 17% of them deemed the price paid for its attainment to have been too low (compared to 1% of Israeli Jews). In other words, Israeli Arabs are more inclined than their Jewish counterparts (with the salient exception of Meretz voters) to have their state pay a higher price for a less favorable international agreement affecting its national security. This inclination is markedly higher among voters for the Joint Arab List (compared to those voting for Jewish parties) with 22% of them considering the price too low.

This gap between Israeli Arabs and Jews notwithstanding, both communities are equally skeptical about the prospects for a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement, with over 80% of respondents agreeing there are currently no leaders of Sadat's and Begin's stature on either side of the divide who are capable of effecting a similarly momentous breakthrough. Hardly a heart-warming prognosis after nearly four decades of Egyptian-Israeli peace.

Efraim Karsh is emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at Kings College London, a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, principal research fellow at the Middle East Forum, and editor of its flagship journal, Middle East Quarterly.


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