Saturday, January 19, 2019

Palestinians' Anti-Semitic Stereotyping of Jews - Bassam Tawil

by Bassam Tawil

Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are clearly trying to drag Israel into a religious conflict with all Muslims, not only Palestinians.

  • Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are clearly trying to drag Israel into a religious conflict with all Muslims, not only Palestinians. The Temple Mount has become their favorite platform for disseminating blood libels....
  • If anyone is defiling the sanctity of the holy site, it is Abbas and his representatives in the West Bank.
  • Were Israel to stop a Palestinian from entering a holy site because of his clothing, the foreign reporters based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv would have rushed to the scene to interview the man and tell the world that Israel is violating freedom of worship. This is yet another example of how the media gives the Palestinians a pass and allows them to continue their vicious incitement against Israel.
Palestinians are continuing to use the Temple Mount, in Arabic known as the Haram al-Sharif, in Jerusalem, as a platform for incitement against Israel in general and Jews in particular.

This incitement, which began after Jewish tourists were permitted to resume their visits to the holy site in 2014, has since taken various forms. The Jewish visits to the holy site had been suspended for several years during the Second Intifada uprising, which erupted in September 2000.

Since 2014, the Palestinian Authority leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas, have been waging an unprecedented wave of incitement against Israel and Jews to protest visits to the Temple Mount.

In 2015, Abbas announced that the Palestinians "won't allow Jews with their filthy feet to defile our Al-Aqsa Mosque."

He went on to praise Palestinians who were ready to sacrifice their lives in order to stop Jews from visiting the holy site: "We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Allah and Jerusalem. Every martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah."

Palestinian incitement and the cynical exploitation of a holy site to spread lies and blood libels is barely noticed by the mainstream media in the West. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Abbas, his senior officials and media outlets have since been lying to their people and the rest of the world by claiming that "extremist Jewish settlers were forcibly and violently invading the Al-Aqsa Mosque." Of course, no Jewish extremist or settler has "invaded" any mosque on the Temple Mount, certainly not the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Most of the visitors happen to be religious Jews. The Palestinians, however, regularly label all religious Jews "extremists" or "settlers." It seems to be their way of stereotyping Jews as aggressors, colonialists and extremists.

The Jewish visits to the Temple Mount are conducted in coordination with the Israel Police and consist of a brief tour of the Temple Mount compound. The Jewish visitors do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the nearby Dome of the Rock. Yet this prohibition has not stopped Abbas and the Palestinian leadership, careful not to let facts get in their way, from continuing to peddle the lie that Jews are "storming" the two mosques.

What is dangerous about the Palestinian lies and incitement is that many Palestinians appear to believe them. The Jewish visitors are often greeted by angry Palestinian worshippers who hurl abuses at their police escorts and them

Early this week, the Palestinians provided yet another example of how they are using a holy site to spread lies and blood libels against Israel and Jews. The Palestinians also showed that their real goal is apparently to instigate a violent confrontation with Jews at the Temple Mount. That way, the Palestinians would be able to run and tell the world that Israel is trying to wage a religious war on Muslims.

The latest Palestinian provocation occurred when an Israeli policeman on a routine security check tried to enter the Dome of the Rock -- a daily practice on the part of the Israel Police and mainly aimed at ensuring the safety of Palestinian worshippers. There was, however, was one small "problem" with this specific policeman: he happened to be a religious Jew who was wearing a skullcap.

In keeping with their stereotyping of Jews, the Palestinians claimed that this policeman was an extremist Jewish settler, so they tried to prevent him from carrying out his task. Chanting, "Allahu Akbar!" ("Allah is Great!"), guards belonging to the Wakf Department, the Islamic religious body that manages the mosques at the Temple Mount, immediately closed the gates of the Dome of the Rock. The guards and dozens of Muslim worshippers barricaded themselves inside the mosque and began calling on other Palestinians to converge on the holy site to "protect" it from the Jews.

Hours later, thanks to negotiations between senior police officers and heads of the Palestinian religious authorities, an ensuing standoff between the protesters and the police ended peacefully. The Palestinian Authority, nevertheless, chose to take advantage of the incident to continue its campaign of incitement against Israel and Jews. A number of senior Palestinian officials, including Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and his Minister for Religious Affairs, Yusef Edais, issued separate statements in which they condemned Israel for its "ongoing assaults and violations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Islamic and Christian holy sites" in Jerusalem.

These statements are total falsehoods that appear in the context of the Palestinian leaders' daily incitement against Israel and Jews. The policeman was not part of any Jewish group touring the holy site. He had no intention of praying or "assaulting" any Islamic religious site. He was on a routine security patrol to ensure the safety of all visitors to the Temple Mount -- Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

The Palestinian uproar over the scene of a religious Jewish policeman can, in short, best be described as a display of anti-Semitism. Otherwise, how do the Palestinians explain their non-objection to a non-religious Jewish policeman patrolling the holy site? Why is it all right for a policeman without a skullcap to enter the Dome of the Rock, but not all right for one wearing a skullcap to visit the site?

The Palestinians who protested against the policeman wearing the skullcap were following the words of their president, Abbas, when he stated that the Palestinians won't allow Jews with their filthy feet to defile the Al-Aqsa Mosque." In this instance, though, the Palestinians were disturbed not by the policeman's "filthy feet", but by the fact that he was a religious Jew. Perhaps Abbas should modify his statement from 2015 so that it would include, in addition to "Jews with their filthy feet," also: "Religious Jews wearing a skullcap."

Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are clearly trying to drag Israel into a religious conflict with all Muslims, not only Palestinians. The Temple Mount has become their favorite platform for disseminating blood libels and fabrications against Israel and Jews. If anyone is defiling the sanctity of the holy site, it is Abbas and his representatives in the West Bank. Abbas's ruling Fatah faction played a major role in the protests that erupted over the latest incident at the Dome of the Rock (involving the policeman with the skullcap. The police later detained Awad Salaymeh, a senior Fatah official in east Jerusalem, for his role in the incident involving the policeman. He and other Fatah activists were at the scene as part of their leadership's ongoing effort to instigate tensions between Jews and Muslims at the Temple Mount.

Other forms of Palestinian incitement against Israel and Jews at the Temple Mount include weekly sermons delivered by leading Islamic figures. Almost every Friday, another senior Islamic cleric uses the podium to deliver inflammatory sermons against Israel and Jews. One of these clerics is Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the former Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, who last week told his followers that Jerusalem will never be a Jewish city. Sabri and other senior clerics have also used the podium to warn Palestinians against selling their properties to Jews.

This Palestinian incitement and cynical exploitation of a holy site to spread lies and blood libels and stereotype Jews is barely noticed by the mainstream media in the West. Were Israel to stop a Palestinian from entering a holy site because of his clothing, the foreign reporters based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv would have rushed to the scene to interview the man and tell the world that Israel is violating freedom of worship. This is yet another example of how the media gives the Palestinians a pass and allows them to continue their vicious incitement against Israel. The next time a Palestinian grabs a knife and goes out to stab a Jew, foreign journalists might consider the last time they failed to report on the Palestinian leaders, especially their incitement.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.


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Watch: Tamika Mallory won’t explicitly say Israel should exist - Ron Kampeas, JTA,

by Ron Kampeas, JTA

Women's March leader refuses to affirm Israel's right to exist in PBS interview.

The Women’s March takes place this weekend, and the mainstream media has noticed the anti-Semitism problem afflicting the national group’s leadership.

The latest high-profile journalist to have at Women’s March leaders is Margaret Hoover, who hosts the venerable PBS Sunday morning interview show “Firing Line.”

On Friday, Hoover teased two minutes of her sit-down with Tamika Mallory, who has said she disagrees with some of the statements by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whom she has lionized, but will not disavow him or specifically his anti-Semitism.

Hoover took it in another direction, asking Mallory if she thought Israel should exist. Mallory would not be pinned down.

“I have said many times that I feel everyone has a right to exist, I just don’t feel anyone has a right to exist at the disposal of another group,” she said, adding that “Jewish scholars” shared this view.

Hoover stayed on the theme, however, and things became tense.

“Does that include Israel and Israelis?” she asked.

“I’m done talking about this,” Mallory responded.

“I just don’t think it requires scholarly knowledge to say that Israel has the right to exist,” Hoover said.

Hoover was unsettled by the encounter. After CNN’s Jake Tapper posted the clip on Twitter, she replied to her colleague, “If you are vigorously defending allegations of anti-Semitism, seems like affirming Israel’s right to exist would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.”

Ron Kampeas, JTA


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The Blue, the Black and UC Davis - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Student commission disses murdered police officer Natalie Corona.

Convicted criminal Kevin Limbaugh, 48, known for violence toward co-workers, thought the Davis, California, police department was attacking him with “ultrasonic waves.” On Thursday January 10, the unhinged criminal gunned down Davis police officer Natalie Corona, 22, a rising star in the Davis police department. The community hailed Corona as a hero who had dedicated herself to law enforcement and paid the ultimate price. The Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission (ECAC) at UC Davis didn’t see it that way.

A photo of Corona, clad in an elegant blue dress and holding the “thin blue line” flag, went viral on social media. The Commission’s Facebook post, now deleted, said, “this flag represents an attempt by law enforcement to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement.” And Blue Lives Matter was “an effort to evade accountability and critical awareness of police treatment of communities of color.”

The Commission’s post drew criticism from UC Davis student body president Michael Gofman, the economics and political science major who last year drew attention to anti-Semitic fliers on campus. Students for Justice in Palestine opposed a campus seminar on anti-Semitism to be held by the Anti-Defamation League.

Last year, Gofman also opposed a mandate to remove the American flag from meetings of the school senate. After the flag flap over Natalie Corona, Gofman said in a post, “I am ashamed that some of these same people, protected by the very officers that they are condemning, have the audacity to politicize the loss of a young officer. Her only crime was being a police officer.” Gofman urged the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs to take down their “disgusting post,” and issue an apology.

The Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission is “responsible for investigating and recommending policies and programs concerning under-represented communities at UC Davis.” The student group’s goal is “to represent historically marginalized groups who face barriers in terms of institutionalized, internalized, and systemic oppression. We are here to propose legislation and support events that honor different ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds.” And the Commission seeks to “empower cross-cultural interaction in order to represent and bring awareness within our communities, student body, and the University of California, Davis.”

Last October, the UC Davis newspaper The California Aggie reported, Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Rina Singh and Senator Ko Ser Lu Htoo refused to work with Michael Gofman, charging that he “did not hold the commission’s values of inclusion and equity.” According to Singh, who chairs the Commission,  “There’s so much stuff happening: racism, assault is all taking place, but we don’t even know about it.” 

Htoo charged that Gofman is “disrespectful to members of the LGBTQIA community.” Thoo also said Gofman “is racist and refuses to use gender-inclusive language". He had conducted interviews with "unfairness and injustice.” As it happens, UC Davis has a record in that department.

UC Davis medical school reserved slots for blacks and Hispanics, but in 1973 and 1974, the school twice rejected Vietnam War veteran Allan Bakke, a person of no color. His academic qualifications were outstanding, and he had never discriminated against anyone, but school officials rejected his admittance because of race. In 1978, Bakke sued and won, but the University of California continued to discriminate.

In 1996, voters passed the California Civil Rights Initiative—Proposition 209—which barred racial and ethnic preferences in state education, employment and contracting. Despite furious opposition from the quota lobby, the measure passed by a vote of 54.6 percent vs. 45.4 percent and the disaster that opponents predicted never occurred.

As Thomas Sowell noted in his 2013 book, “Intellectuals and Race,” the number of African Americans and Hispanics graduating from the UC system increased and the number graduating in four years with a GPA of 3.5 or higher rose 55 percent. Even so, UC Davis remained a citadel of political correctness and diversity dogma.

Jennifer Beeman, head of the UC Davis Campus Violence Prevention Program, falsified sexual assault statistics to draw down federal money. In 2011 Beeman was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to five years of felony probation.

Meanwhile, after the murder of Natalie Corona, Trina Allen of the local Black Lives Matter posted that the phrase blue lives matter “is simply a racist, reactionary clapback to the very real human rights struggle of the Black Lives Matter movement.” The blue lives matter movement “is simply repackaged Nazi propaganda. They are not trying to protect officers from those who would harm them (namely white nationalists), they are spewing anti-Black, ultra-authoritarian, toxic-masculine, and fascist ideologies.”

The post charged that “white Supremacy and toxic masculinity are the pillars of both are current criminal justice system and the violent crime they claim to contest.” The post showed a photo of the shooter Kevin Limbaugh but not fallen officer Natalie Corona.

In similar style, the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission referred only to “the police officer.” At this writing, the Commission has yet to issue an official apology for the post on the Natalie Corona photo with the thin blue line flag.

The Davis Police Department has established a memorial fund for Corona and plans to create a scholarship in her memory.

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation, recently updated, and Hollywood Party: Stalinist Adventures in the American Movie IndustryBill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield, is a collection of his journalism.


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Valley Ranch Islamic Center's Lesser Known Side - Anne Christine Hoff

by Anne Christine Hoff

Is a "modernist" "liberal" Muslim center in Texas actually a front for the Muslim Brotherhood?

On the surface, Valley Ranch Islamic Center appears to be a liberal, modern Islamic center in Irving, Texas. Their website has a slick minimalist design. Their logo is an elegant series of colorful rounded squares meant “to capture the essence of a dignified and unified resource for Muslims in the Valley Ranch area.” On the home page, a photograph of their masjid members shows a smiling, prosperous-looking community, male members posing in the front, covered female members positioned in the back.

Their resident scholar Omar Suleiman bills himself on his Twitter page as a “Muslim for Humanity. Lover of Justice. Bridge Builder. Scholar. Activist.” In December 2018, he and 32 others were arrested at the Tijuana -- San Diego Border as part of the “Love Knows No Borders” movement in support of immigrants and asylum seekers. On February 1, 2017, D Magazine wrote a glowing profile of Imam Suleiman titled, “Omar Suleiman is the Religious Leader Dallas Needs Right Now.” 

But is he really?

While popular in the press, particularly while working to promote progressive causes, there is a lesser known side to the popular shaykh. For example, Suleiman has posted without any explanation an image of the Rabia, a four-finger hand gesture used to demonstrate support for the Muslim Brotherhood. And while it was covered by the online publication The Algemeiner, there was little media coverage on Suleiman when he repeatedly called for another Palestinian “intifada.”

For example, on July 24, 2014, Suleiman posted the following message on Twitter and Facebook:
How befitting that the third Intifada starts on the 27th night of Ramadan as worshippers are denied prayer in Masjid Al Aqsa… May Allah help us overcome this monster, protect the innocent of the world, and accept the murdered as martyrs. ameen
As Algemeiner author Petra Marquadt Bigman notes, Suleiman support of the Third Intifada is quite disturbing when one thinks that the Second Intifada in 2004 resulted not only in 138 suicide attacks on Israelis but also in more than 1,000 dead.

But beyond the questionable politics of their resident scholar, an equally unsettling aspect of Valley Ranch Islamic Center is its ownership by North America Islamic Trust (NAIT).

Based in Plainville, Indiana, NAIT was founded in 1973 in by members of the Muslim Student Association of the United States and Canada. Evidence submitted into the record during the Holy Land Foundation trial in the early 2000s showed that NAIT shared a bank account with the Holy Land Foundation, deposited checks made payable to “the Palestinian Mujahedeen”, and provided funds to Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook. This led Federal Judge Jorge Jolis to write that the U.S. government provided “ample evidence” to associate NAIT with Hamas.

Despite its role in the Holy Land Foundation case, NAIT was never charged and remains a tax-exempt non-profit endowment that subsidizes the construction of new mosques in the United States. This financial control allows it to exercise authority over the teachings and activities at the various Islamic institutions that it owns.

According to The Investigative Project on Terrorism, a recently declassified FBI memo from 1988 “advised that the IIIT, NAIT (North American Islamic Trust) and all the subsidiary and sponsoring Muslim organizations under the control of the IIIT and the SAAR Foundation are in fact IKHWAN organizations,” “Ikhwan” being another name for the Muslim Brotherhood. NAIT was also named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document, called “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood. That document was entered into evidence during the Holy Land Foundation Trial as “Elbarasse Search-3”.

Other organizations named in that memo as affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood include Muslim Student Association (MAS), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). Omar Suleiman’s connections to these three organizations are also easy to find. Suleiman is a member of ICNA’s Shura Council. He is a confirmed speaker at this year’s ICNA-MAS Convention in Washington D.C. on April 19-21, 2019, Easter weekend. He was a speaker at the 40th annual ICNA-MAS Convention along with CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad and known-Islamist Siraj Wahhaj. Omar Suleiman also studied under two Salafist clerics who now head the radical Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, Salah As-Sawy and Dr. Hatem Al Haj. That organization has called on Muslims in America not to participate in America’s legal system and to “hate it in their hearts.”

Its ownership by NAIT, its Islamist resident scholar, and its tight connections to other Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations such as MAS and ISNA make the Valley Ranch Islamic Center more than just a Potemkin Village, for a Potemkin Village has nothing behind it, but Valley Ranch has its global and national connections, its Salafi-Muslim Brotherhood ideology, and its title deed, which makes it the property of North American Islamic Trust. Despite the facade of peace, brotherhood and justice, Valley Ranch Islamic Center cannot properly cover up what it truly is.

Anne Christine Hoff


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The Persistence of European Anti-Semitism - Monika Schwarz-Friesel

by Monika Schwarz-Friesel

The fight against anti-Semitism on the international level continues to be characterized by restraint combined with ignorance

Germans smile outside destroyed Jewish business the day after Kristallnacht, 
Magdeburg, Germany, November 1938, photo via Wikipedia

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,067, January 18, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The fight against anti-Semitism on the international level continues to be characterized by restraint combined with ignorance – a potentially deadly combination. European hand-wringing and the spouting of clichés will never suffice; the extent of the rot must be acknowledged if it is to be effectively confronted.

Almost every day in Europe there is a statement, a workshop, or a symposium on anti-Semitism. An international conference on the problem recently took place in Vienna, for example, under the auspices of Austrian PM Sebastian Kurz. Do such activities have any effect on European anti-Semitism, which grows by the day? Do they create any obstacle to the enormous diffusion and radicalization of online anti-Semitism – Jew-hatred 2.0?

Judging from the past ten years, little will change. Eloquent speeches are given, appeals are published, clichés are uttered about confronting Jew-hatred with a “resolute fight” and “with all the severity of the law” – and after some head-shaking and hand-wringing, everybody returns to business as usual.

For years, the main problem of the diverse European authorities responsible for the fight against anti-Semitism has been that they reside in a culture of clichés. True, there is a greater awareness of the need to confront the spread of Jew-hatred. But to do so, it is essential to act knowledgeably and avoid double standards.

Researchers have been warning for years about the expansion, radicalization, and increasing normalization of Jew-hatred. This is occurring throughout European society and is especially worrying in terms of its focus on Israel. All the stereotypes of classical Judeophobia are projected onto the Jewish state. Its Jewish population is demonized and its right to exist contested. Little is done to reject this newly dominant pattern, and Israel-related hate is becoming a politically correct form of anti-Semitism.

Although this Israel-directed form of Judeophobia is exacerbated by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it is rooted, as has been shown empirically by recent research, in the age-old hostility against Jews and Judaism. Consequently, the struggle against anti-Semitism must keep its focus on the origin of the phenomenon: the darker side of the roots of European culture in which the confrontation between Judaism and earlier Christianity laid the foundations of Western Judeophobia.

The present-day struggle against anti-Semitism is not an easy task. It is painful, and indeed must be painful, if European society is to grasp the full significance of the phenomenon and the dangers it contains.

Today’s public debates on anti-Semitism are frequently dominated by people who, while eager to express their personal opinions, are clearly ill-informed about the long history and chameleon-like character of Judeophobia. They are blissfully ignorant of the way Jew-hatred over the centuries has kept the same semantics but modified its forms and expressions according to changing circumstances.

Consequently, we hear passionate affirmations, long since rejected by empirical research, that “rightist populism is responsible for contemporary anti-Semitism,” or that “the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the main cause,” or that “classical Jew-hatred is in retreat.” Completely misleading, too, is the assertion that “anti-Semitism and Muslim-hatred are closely related,” or that present-day Muslims suffer the same discrimination Jews once did.      

A misleading, albeit common allegation is that not enough research has yet been conducted on the problem of anti-Semitism. In this way, the copious results of existing research on the subject are swept under the rug and the real struggle against Jew-hatred is pushed into the future. Also, in recent times we hear and read frequently that “anti-Semitism has reached the middle of society.” “Reached”? Jew-hatred always came from the educated social center. There sit its most representative perpetrators. It has never been otherwise.

As in the past, present-day anti-Semitism reproduces and multiplies Jew-hating tendencies deeply rooted in Western consciousness. It follows the age-old pattern that attributes to the Jews all the miseries of the world. Anti-Semitic rancor is always directed against Jewish existence per se – and today, this means the most vital symbol of Jewish existence, the State of Israel. The opposition to Israel is now the meeting point of Jew-haters of diverse political and ideological colors, the common ground of present-day anti-Semitism. The old Judeophobia is projected onto the Jewish state.

Here lies the critical point where European official policy should intervene. Tirades of hate against the Jewish state are found not on the margins but in the center of Western society. Rancor against Israel feeds the dissemination of present-day anti-Semitism more than any other factor.

Consider the common cliché, long ago debunked as fiction and yet still repeated like a mantra: “Every critique of Israeli policy is equated with anti-Semitism.” This is an absurdity. There are clear criteria in the research on anti-Semitism distinguishing between “critique of Israel” and “Israel-directed Jew-hatred.” There are no grey zones in anti-Semitism.

Nevertheless, the anti-Semitic yardstick referring to the condemnation of Israel is still not clearly perceived as a new pattern of Jew-hatred. This must happen if Europeans are to confront the continent’s increasing level of Judeophobia. Anyone who denies the anti-Semitism of hashtags like #DeathtoIsrael or calls to boycott the Jewish state is blind.

When political spokespeople (rightly) criticize the new German right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland because of its refusal to confront the frequent anti-Semitic utterances of its supporters, but at the same time overlook (or even applaud) when Mahmoud Abbas spouts well-known Judeophobic stereotypes in the Parliament of the EU; or when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rages against Israel with surreal accusations; or when Jeremy Corbyn defames the Jewish state as an unjust colonial creation – then these officials have a serious credibility problem. It is not enough to criticize low-level neo-Nazis, Islamists, or BDS activists. Anyone who seriously wants to address the problem should look to the stage of international politics and step in forcefully.

Anyone who shrugs off anti-Semitic raging has not yet grasped that hate speech is a form of mental violence that contains the potential for physical violence. In the end, mental arson turns into physical arson.

The fight against anti-Semitism on the international level continues to be characterized by restraint combined with ignorance. Both are deadly – first for Jews, later for democracy.

Monika Schwarz-Friesel is a cognitive scientist and anti-Semitism researcher at the Technical University of Berlin. Together with Jehuda Reinharz she published Inside the Antisemitic Mind: The Language of Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Germany (2017).  A German version of this essay appeared recently in the Jewish-German weekly Jüdische Algemeine.


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Islamic Activist Advocates Using Public Schools to Convert Americans to Islam - Sara Dogan

by Sara Dogan

"We want to turn them into Muslim individuals.”

In a video clip that has recently gone viral, Islamic activist Sharifa Alkhateeb talks extensively about using U.S. public schools to proselytize Islam and convert America to an Islamic nation.

“We are in the process of developing Islamic education for our children. And yes, all of us have the hope and dream…of creating not only Islamic schools that cooperate with each other but Islamic schools systems that would span the country, that’s what our further objective is,” Alkhateeb explains. “So as we approach the public school system, we have to approach it with that credo, that we see ourselves as worshipping Allah in being involved with them in any way.”

“If we are Islamic individuals and we come to our relationship and our connection with the public school system as Islamic individuals then we will not be part of the great, what they call, American melting pot,” she asserts. “We do not want to melt into American society and disappear. We want to go into American society with Islamic ideals and revamp their thinking. We want to revamp them. We want to turn them into Muslim individuals.”

The recording is in fact not new, but was made during the "Muslim Americans Political Awareness Conference" in 1989.  Alkahateeb, now deceased, was the managing editor of the International Institute for Islamic Thought's American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. She was a prominent member of the Muslim Students Association, an organization tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and also served as president of the Hamas-linked North American Council for Muslim Women. She was also employed as a diversity consultant with the Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax, Virginia.

Leftist video outlets have dismissed the clip as “old news” and mocked the right for giving credence to a video three decades old. But much of what Alkhateeb advocates for in the video is already taking place in contemporary America where public school indoctrination in Islam is commonplace.
To cite just a few examples:

*Public high school students in Newton, Massachusetts were provided with history lessons from the Arab World Studies Notebook, a textbook which is funded by a Saudi Arabian oil company which also funds the terrorist groups Hamas and Al-Qaeda. The textbook claims that there is a “Hollywood Jewish conspiracy” to portray Arabs negatively in film and that Jerusalem is “Palestine’s capital.”
*Students at Maryland's La Plata High School were ordered to copy the Islamic creed "Shahada" which states in part, "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." One worksheet distributed by the school stated, "Most Muslims' faith is stronger than the average Christian."
*Lessons for students at Mountain Ridge Middle School in West Virginia included lessons on Islam as part of a unit on world religions which encouraged students to study and identify with Islam’s key religious beliefs. Assignments given in class included writing the Islamic conversion creed, the Shahada, which states, "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" in Arabic, reading chapters from the Koran, and fasting for 24 hours while giving lunch money and food to a food bank, in order to empathize with Muslims observing Ramadan.
*The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an Islamist group with extensive ties to extremist Islamic organizations, has relationships with public school districts in at least three states including California, Washington, and Minnesota. CAIR accuses school districts of failing to prevent “Islamophobia,” thereby necessitating an “anti-Islamophobia bullying initiative” developed by CAIR.  The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) alleged in a legal suit that CAIR’s relationship with the San Diego Unified School District created a “subtle, discriminatory scheme that establishes Muslim students as the privileged religious group.” 
Numerous other instances of Islamic indoctrination in the classroom are detailed in Robert Spencer’s new pamphlet Readin’, Writin’, and Jihadin’: The Islamization of American Public SchoolsThis Islamic indoctrination has occurred despite several Supreme Court decisions over the past few decades mandating the constitutional separation of church and state as applying to prayer and religious teachings in public schools. Without exception, these cases were supported by the left in order to limit Christian speech and prayer in public schools. But when it comes to Islam, the same rules are not applied, and the left champions the inclusion of Islam in public school curricula in the interests of diversity and inclusion.

The future Alkhateeb envisioned in her speech is already coming to pass and Americans committed to ensuring that our nation’s classrooms be places of objective and unbiased learning would be wise to take notice.

To learn more about the Freedom Center's campaign to halt indoctrination in K-12 schools, please visit To read the K-12 Code of Ethics CLICK HERETo order the Freedom Center’s new pamphlet, “Leftist Indoctrination in Our K-12 Public Schools,” CLICK HERETo donate to the Stop K-12 Indoctrination campaign, CLICK HERE.

Sara Dogan


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Rep Ilhan Omar appointed to House Foreign Affairs Committee - Tal Polon

by Tal Polon

BDS-supporting rep who accused Israel of 'evil doings' announces excitement at appointment to cmte that 'oversees all foreign assistance.'

Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar                                                                                           Reuters

Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar was named last week to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

In a Tweet on Thursday, Omar announced her excitement at being appointed to the committee that “oversees all foreign assistance, national security affecting the country’s foreign policy, treaties, peacekeeping and war powers.”
In a subsequent Tweet, Omar asserted that she and the other members of the committee “have our work cut out for us.”

“We need to investigate how foreign governments and their lobbyists have violated our laws. And we need to reign in arms sales to human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia,” she asserted. 

Omar, who supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, in 2012 accused Israel of “hypnotizing the world” and of “evil doings.”

“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” she had tweeted in reaction to Israel’s November 2012 “Operation Pillar of Defense” in Gaza, in response to rockets launched by Hamas into Israel.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Omar appeared to defend the Tweet, saying “What is really important to me is that people recognize that there is a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacking to particular people of faith.”

“In that tweet and in any other conversation I’ve had, I only talk about the State of Israel,” Omar said. “And I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not associating the people with the country and its government.”

The next day in another CNN interview, Omar questioned “how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans,” asserting the 2012 tweet was “clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”

Tal Polon


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Pressed on Benny Gantz's party platform, campaign has no answers - Assaf Golan

by Assaf Golan

In phone call with Israel Resilience Party election campaign, Israel Hayom tries and fails to learn something, anything, about Gantz's political positions

Israel Resilience Party leader Benny Gantz
Photo: AP 

Since entering politics, former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has made sure to keep his political beliefs to himself, at least as far as his newly-formed Israel Resilience Party is concerned. Despite being something of an enigma, polls have predicted that Gantz will garner Knesset seats in the double digits in the upcoming April 9 elections.

In a conversation with one of the women answering the phones at Gantz's call center to recruit campaign volunteers, Israel Hayom tried to get an idea of Gantz's platform and when it would be made public.

Q: I studied at a hesder yeshiva, [which combines yeshiva study with shortened military service over five years.] I'm a religious person. And I voted once for the Likud and once for Habayit Hayehudi. I really want to see change on the Israeli political map, but I want to know, what is the party's platform?

"I can't explain the platform because it's something that hasn't been published yet. It exists, but it hasn't been released out of political considerations."

Q: Then how can I know what it is?

"You'll know very soon … "

Q: But I need to know what Benny's opinions are on Judea and Samaria, an agreement with the Palestinians, what kind of compromise he wants, the Golan Heights … He looks like a great guy, IDF chief of staff, a very serious person, but I don't know anything. Who will be in the party with him? Can you tell me?

"I can't tell you that, unfortunately, but you'll know soon. I don't have a date yet. There are also things that are in the making, not everything is final yet."

Q: Look, I've fallen for political parties enough times that …

"And would you like to help out?"

Q: I would very much like to help out.  But I just need to know …

"And if you need to decide between helping out and not helping out? Nevertheless, now you need to decide, what would you …"

Q: Let's say I want to help out. I'm a resident of Lod, and I can influence people in my neighborhood. People will want to know: Where does he stand on social issues? A free market or not? Where does he stand on diplomatic issues?

"Are you familiar with Benny's site? The platform will also appear there down the road, but it's not there now. So in the meantime, I'm writing down that you aren't interested in helping out …"

Assaf Golan


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Hamas vs. Abbas on the southern front - Nadav Shragai

by Nadav Shragai

Despite the rhetoric about "occupation" and "return," the ebb and flow of the violence on the Gaza-Israel border has much more to do with intra-Palestinian power struggles between Hamas and PA President Mahmoud Abbas than it does with Israel.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas talks to former Hamas political 
leader Khaled Mashaal in 2011
Photo: Getty Images 

After a summer of constant fires, southern Israel is once again covered in a sea of anemones. But alongside the breathtaking landscapes, rocket "drizzle" is starting to reappear. There are Color Red sirens, rockets have fallen in Ashkelon and Sdot Negev. Even the "marches of return" along the border, which for several weeks were on a much smaller scale, are reverting to the same levels of violence that marked them a few months ago. Last Friday, the number of demonstrators at the fence jumped by some 5,500, and once again rioters threw grenades and homemade bombs at IDF soldiers.

Today marks the 43rd such protest since March of 2018. The IDF sees it as another test that will indicate which way the wind is blowing. But remarkably, the gradual collapse of the new "understandings" between Israel and Hamas, which led to a downturn in the scale and violence of the protests, has less to do with Hamas and Israel – who have a common interest in maintaining calm – and more to do with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. An intelligence official who gave cabinet ministers an overview of the motives behind Hamas' conduct on the southern front this week put it this way: "It's 80% Abbas and 20% us."

The ministers understood right away. Abbas is exerting heavy economic pressure on Hamas in Gaza to disarm and hand him control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is choosing to respond with supervised escalation against Israel. Both sides in the historic intra-Palestinian power struggle expect Israel to do their work for them. Hamas thinks that Israel, with help from Egypt, can pressure Abbas to reinstate the flow of PA money to Gaza. Abbas, on the other hand, would be happy if Israel would "do the work for him" and bring down the Hamas regime in Gaza. Both sides have decided to hold a tug-of-war precisely now, ahead of the Israeli Knesset election, and at a time when a new IDF chief of staff is taking up the reins of the country's military. Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi already knows, like his predecessors did, that the southern front – which Israel ranks last in terms of existential danger (after Iran, Hezbollah, and Judea and Samaria) – is the most volatile.

These past few days, masks have been cast off in the south, at least on the Palestinian side. Israel's acceptance of the Hamas regime in Gaza, including the renewed rocket "drizzle," is bad for Abbas. He explicitly said this to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, but was disappointed to discover that el-Sissi, who is fighting what is left of the Islamic State group in Sinai, "owes" Hamas for acceding to his request that it stop aiding ISIS. Abbas, disappointed, informed el-Sissi that soon the little money the PA still sends to Gaza, some $96 million a month, would also cease to arrive. "I do not intend to fund anyone who works to oust me in the West Bank," he told the Egyptian leader.

The $15 million question

In the face of the writ of divorce from Abbas, Hamas opted to renew occasional rocket fire on southern Israel and escalate incidents in Judea and Samaria. Hamas leaders are making it clear to Egypt that they expect Israel to take action against the influence of Abbas – whose continued tenure depends on Israel – in exchange for quiet. It's not sure how long that quiet would last.

Flanked by pressure from both sides, Israel is trying to toe a delicate line. The military response to Hamas' well-calculated provocations remains small-scale. However, Israel is putting off the third stage of the money transfer agreed upon as part of the recent understandings with Hamas. It is waiting with a transfer of $15 million in Qatari money earmarked to pay the salaries of Hamas functionaries. Last time, Israel allowed the Qatari funds to reach Hamas, which caused a public opinion backlash in Israel. Now, as the country heads into a general election, it is even harder for Israel to allow money into Gaza. Nevertheless, the government has not backtracked on its willingness, in principle, to allow Qatar to send money to Hamas, but it first wants to be sure the sporadic rocket fire stops and the border protests are scaled back and don't escalate, as Hamas has openly threatened.

"What is Abbas thinking? Why is he pushing Hamas into a conflict with Israel?" one cabinet minister asked this week. Abbas' great rivalry with Hamas has forced him to say things that in any other situation could easily have come out of the mouths of right-wing Israeli politicians Avigdor Lieberman or Naftali Bennett. Abbas criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's soft approach toward Hamas, telling his associates: "Netanyahu is paying Hamas in Gaza, which is carrying out terrorist attacks in the West Bank." Associates of Abbas have defined his mindset on Hamas in these words: "It's all or nothing. Things have gotten so bad that Azzam al-Ahmad, the PA official responsible for handling the reconciliation between the PA and Hamas, stressed that given the situation in Gaza, the PA was considering declaring Gaza an insurgent district, which would lead to the all money for Hamas and its subsidiaries from Palestinian and Arab banks being stopped.

This week, Abbas' conduct sparked a sigh from a senior U.S. official. The official said that if the elderly PA leader, who in his final days is so worried about how his name will go down in history, would invest half the energy he puts into his battle against Hamas to trying to revive the peace process with Israel, the reality in the region might change. But Abbas is thinking differently. He is angry at Israel for indirectly recognizing Hamas, protecting its status, and giving it money. "You are setting up a state for Hamas in Gaza and leaving us autonomy in the West Bank," he has thundered again and again in talks with Israelis. In unofficial meetings, he says directly that he would be happy if Israel would contain the Hamas regime, and in his last visit to Egypt, he even told his hosts that the Hamas rule in Gaza must come to an end.

Abbas himself is in serious economic trouble because of his refusal to take part in U.S. President Donald Trump's "deal of the century." He rebuffs the American envoys when they try and talk with him. When a proposal was recently brought to him to agree to a Palestinian capital in the east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Abu Dis, Qalandiya, and Shuafat, he spat out, "They're laughing at us. Not Abu Dis or Qalandiya. Only occupied east Jerusalem, every last centimeter. No to a [Palestinian] state without all of east Jerusalem, and no to a state without Gaza…"

U.S. aid cuts to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) aren't making his life any easier. In response, Abbas keeps slamming the door in Hamas' face.

Effective leverage 

About a week ago, Abbas removed PA personnel from the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, the only exit from Gaza available to residents of the strip. PA functionaries had been stationed there as part of what was called, until recently, the "reconciliation" between Hamas and the PA. Hamas rushed to put its own people on duty, but because Egypt was unwilling to have Hamas staff the border crossing, traffic through Rafah now goes in only one direction: from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.

At the same time, the PA security establishment has launched an operation to arrest Hamas operatives in the West Bank, and the PA Supreme Court decided to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council, where Hamas holds a majority. Elections for the PLC were last held 13 years ago, and it hasn't been active for several years.

Hamas isn't sitting idly by. Its officials have arrested about 400 Fatah activists in Gaza, and this week unknown individuals vandalized the PA television station's offices in Gaza. Hamas leaders are characterizing the closure of the Rafah crossing, the organization's biggest coup after the violent marches of return on the Gaza-Israel border, as "the point of no return." They are making it clear it's a step backwards that will demand it step up the "popular" protests at the Israeli border.

In effect, Hamas is blackmailing Israel to create a counterbalance against Abbas. Israel's limited military responses – airstrikes on unmanned Hamas targets – haven't impressed Hamas. Middle East scholar Yoni Ben-Menachem of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, explained this week that the PA declaring Gaza an insurgent district, which Abbas' people are threatening to do, could have widespread ramifications.

"The PA declaring Gaza an insurgent district would bring all types of aid to the Gaza Strip to an end," Ben-Menachem explains.

According to Ben-Menachem, if the PA submitted a request to the Arab League and the U.N. to treat Hamas as an illegal organization, the movement's money in Palestinian and Arab banks would be frozen; the PA would demand that financial institutions and banks operating in the Gaza Strip pull out immediately; and salaries to government workers would be stopped, not to mention economic aid to Gaza for electricity and water. Hamas' institutions in the West Bank would be closed, and the PA would arrest Hamas operatives and confiscate [Hamas] property there.

If indeed the scenario Ben-Menachem describes comes to pass, we are talking about nothing less than a full-blown war – Abbas and the PA against Hamas.

Hamas responded to first steps in that direction by escalating the situation with Israel. If Abbas adheres to this path, more escalation could follow. Hamas has already proven that it won't hesitate to use Israel as leverage against Abbas.

The "march of return headquarters" has even called on Abbas to reverse his decision to staff the Rafah crossing and reopen it for the sake of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, and threatened that if he doesn't, it will reinstate the violent aspects of the protest and the situation will explode. Meanwhile, Hamas has presented Egypt with a proposal for a compromise: The Rafah crossing would be administered by a committee comprised of all the Palestinian factions. For now, Abbas is rejecting the idea and demanding that all government authority in the Gaza Strip be transferred to Ramallah.

Israel's upcoming election is also affecting the various players. Netanyahu and his government do not want a security escalation on the southern front, but are emphasizing that if there is no choice, they will not stand another humiliation as the 460 rockets fired at Israel last November. Hamas would prefer to rehabilitate itself, so it needs to maintain the calm. Abbas is trying to push both sides into another conflict to hoist himself into a position of strength. And Trump's contribution to keeping things quiet depends on his shelving his "deal of the century" until after the April 9 elections, so as not to harm Netanyahu and his chances of being reelected.

Nadav Shragai


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