Saturday, November 23, 2019

Pompeo, AIPAC and American Jewish Priorities - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

The group led most notably by J Street and the Union of Reform Judaism viciously condemned Pompeo’s statement.


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made two brief, basic points in his declaration Monday on Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. He said that those communities are not illegal. And he said that far from facilitating peace, delegitimization of those communities has harmed prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israelis were all but unanimous in their praise for Pompeo for speaking these simple truths. From Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to opposition leader Benny Gantz there was an immediate consensus supporting the Trump administration’s bold move to reject Barack Obama’s truth-impaired, hostile position on those communities and the EU’s concomitant absurd and bigoted legal double standard for the Jewish state and its citizens.

Although the Palestinians responded with predictable fury to Pompeo’s statement, theirs wasn’t the angriest reaction. The angriest responses came from the two parties – the EU and the Democrats — whose anti-Israel and factually baseless positions Pompeo’s statement repudiated.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a condemnatory press release. She and her French, Belgian and German colleagues tried to get a consensual condemnation from all EU member states, but pro-Israel Hungary blocked them.

Democratic presidential candidates lined up to condemn Pompeo’s remarks, together with their radical counterparts in Congress. Elizabeth Warren promised to revoke Pompeo’s position if elected president.

The reason they were angry is because with his simple, brief statement, Pompeo took away their favorite fig leaf for hiding their hatred for Israel.

For the Europeans and the American Left, the term “settlement” does not connote an Israeli town on the map. For them, “settlement” is a password that opens Pandora’s Box of anti-Semitism. When they say “settlement,” they mean, “Zionism is racism,” or “Israel is an Apartheid state,” or “BDS.”

The term “settlement” serves for them as a green light for rejecting Israel’s right to exist, for denying self-determination to the Jewish people, for embracing anti-Semitism.

With his statement on Monday, Pompeo took their buzzword away.

Now they can’t say that they aren’t anti-Israel, they simply believe in the importance of upholding international law because the position of the U.S. government is that “settlements” do not violate international law.

They can no longer say that they aren’t anti-Israel, they are pro-peace and the “settlements” are an obstacle to peace. The U.S. position is the opposite – opposition to “settlements” is an obstacle to peace.

In short, those most directly harmed by Pompeo’s statement are those that use the term “settlements” as the key justification for their anti-Semitic campaigns in the West, and particularly in America.

In light of this, the people most harmed by these anti-Semitic forces, that, is, American Jews, could have been expected to be the greatest supporters of Pompeo’s statement.

But that isn’t what happened. While Israelis across the political spectrum cheered Pompeo for his declaration, the American Jewish community – as represented by its major organizations – had three main responses to what Pompeo said.

The first came from the anti-Zionist or post-Zionist Jewish left. This group is led most notably J Street and the Union of Reform Judaism. Both viciously condemned Pompeo’s statement.

The Reform movement stunned Israelis when its leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs called on President Donald Trump to rescind Pompeo’s statement and reinstate the Obama administration’s policy of viewing Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria as the great obstacle to peace.

On the other side of the spectrum, groups with traditional Zionist positions were deeply supportive of Pompeo’s statement. The Zionist Organization of America, (ZOA) was ecstatic. It specifically noted the that the Trump administration’s move, “strikes a blow at the hateful, anti-Israel BDS, (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, which relies on false claims that Jews are ‘illegal occupiers’ of the Jewish homeland.”

The ZOA also condemned the Reform movement for calling for the administration to rescind the policy.

The Orthodox Union and several smaller groups also greeted Pompeo’s remarks with gratitude and support.

Likewise, Christians United for Israel, (CUFI) and other leading Christian Zionist groups and national leaders were thrilled by Pompeo’s statement. One evangelical leader enthused that with the move, Trump secured “100 percent” of his evangelical Christian base.

Between the post-Zionists and the Zionists are the bulk of what are normally viewed as mainstream Jewish American groups. These include the American Jewish Committee, (AJC), the Anti-Defamation League, (ADL), the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, (AIPAC), the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America. Until a decade or so ago, all of these groups could have been expected to respond as the ZOA and CUFI did. But alas, much has changed in the past ten years.

The reactions of these organizations were disappointing, to say the least. The Conference of Presidents refused to release any statement in response to Pompeo’s declaration. The Jewish Federations of North America were similarly silent.

Statements by the AJC and the ADL ignored the substance of Pompeo’s declaration. They failed to mention fact that he repudiated the Obama administration’s obsessive and false claim that Israeli communities are an obstacle to peace, despite the fact that this claim has fueled the work of anti-Semites as they spread their hatred of Jews on college campuses across America. The AJC and ADL also didn’t thank Pompeo for saying what he said.

Instead, their statements effectively embraced Obama’s discriminatory and false position on these Israeli communities. The ADL said (irrelevantly) that it supports the establishment of a Palestinian state. The AJC said it opposes construction in settlements located beyond the large settlement blocs – as if this were at all relevant to Pompeo’s statement.

In other words, both groups pretended that what he was saying was directed at Israeli policy, rather than the campaigns by the EU and the American left to demonize and delegitimize Israel and its Jewish supporters in the West.

AIPAC’s response to Pompeo’s statement was arguably even more shocking. Pompeo’s statement rejected fifty years of anti-Israel rhetoric that cultivated and accelerated the rise of anti-Semitism on the American left and gave the EU a fig leaf to excuse its anti-Semitic policies. As the pro-Israel lobby in Washington, AIPAC should have been the first to thank Pompeo, particularly in light of the wall to wall support his statement elicited in Israel.

But AIPAC did not thank Pompeo.

AIPAC’s only response to the most significant shift in U.S. Israel policy in since the Six Day War was a post on its twitter feed which read, “AIPAC does not take a position on settlements. We believe settlements should be an issue for direct negotiations between the parties, not something determined by international bodies. The Palestinians must stop their boycott of US and Israeli officials and return to direct talks.”

Aside from ignoring Pompeo’s statement, and so erasing the context of its remark, the most bizarre aspect of AIPAC’s tweet is the position it expressed.

The war against “settlements” is the means through which Israel’s detractors seek to delegitimize Israel’s very existence and demonize AIPAC and its members as disloyal to America for their “crime” of caring about Israel.

And AIPAC doesn’t have a position on the issue? Can it really not choose a side in the battle between the Israeli consensus and IfNotNow?

What purpose does no-position-on-settlements-AIPAC serve today? What is it there to do?
How are we to understand the tepid-to-non-existent responses of these major Jewish groups to the most supportive statement made by a sitting Secretary of State in history? What stands behind their refusal to respond positively to a statement that undermines the basis for the most politically powerful and fastest growing form of anti-Jewish bigotry in America?

It would seem that there is one explanation. It is called the Democratic Party, circa 2019.

Like most of their members, the leaders of these Jewish organizations groups lean Democrat. Their decision to remain in a party that becomes more hostile to Israel and Jewish interests with every passing week carries certain obligations. Quite simply, there is little room in the Democratic party today for fulsome support for Israel and rejection of leftist anti-Semitism. The party they won’t leave would in all likelihood leave them if these Jewish groups were to thank Pompeo for rejecting the delegitimization of “settlements” – again, the buzzword used by the likes of John Kerry, Rashida Tlaib, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Alexandra Ocasio Cortez to attack Israel and its supporters.

Then there is the issue of the identity of the man who made the statement on Monday.

Pompeo is not merely a Republican. He is President Trump’s Secretary of State. And President Trump happens to be the most pro-Israel president in U.S. history. But in today’s poisonous political climate, no Democrat can say anything positive about Trump and his administration.

And so, AIPAC’s statement never mentioned his name. The AJC and ADL wouldn’t say anything positive about Pompeo or his extraordinary statement. And all three of them – together with the silent Conference of Presidents and Jewish Federations of North America – ignored the fact that that the consensus view of Israelis is that Pompeo’s statement was a great act of friendship towards Israel and the Jewish people.

For Israel, the lesson from all of this is a sad one. Mainstream American Jewish groups and their leaders are no longer dependable allies and partners. Until ten years ago, these groups and leaders recognized that their freedom and civil rights as Jewish Americans was tied to American support for Israel. Now, as that support for Israel in their political home is collapsing, they won’t stand up for their rights in opposition to their party and so they are unable to stand up for Israel or respect the consensus opinion of Israelis.

To date, regardless of the party in power, Israel’s governments have gone out of their way to support for these major Jewish organizations. Prime ministers and cabinet ministers have made a point of flying to Washington to participate in the annual AIPAC conference, for instance.

The time has come to end this tradition.

Rather than support groups that are unwilling to stick their necks out to defend either Israel or their own community, the government should support the groups that are willing to do so. Israel should support the Jewish and non-Jewish groups that support Israel in meaningful ways. Those that are willing to stand up to the forces using the term “settlements” to demonize Israel and its American supporters are the ones who Israel should focus its energies on supporting.

Israel should help smaller Zionist groups grow and help larger organizations expand their reach. To this end, Israel would be better served if the Prime Minister skips the AIPAC conference in favor of the CUFI conference in the coming years.

Old habits die hard. But the cold responses these major Jewish groups issued in the face of the most significant pro-Israel position the Trump administration has adopted to date show that they have already changed their old habits. Israel needs to recognize what they have done and act accordingly.

Originally published in Israel Hayom.

Caroline Glick


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Trump's Declaration on Israeli Communities in Judea and Samaria - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

The U.S. president shakes up the swamp yet again.

The Trump administration shook the swamp to its core on Monday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on the legal status of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, also known as West Bank settlements. Pompeo stated that the United States does not consider West Bank settlements illegal under international law. This was the explicit position taken by Ronald Reagan. George W. Bush provided implicit recognition of the legitimacy of settlements when he noted that, “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949…” The usual suspects, including Russia, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey, rushed to condemn the historic and politically significant United States policy shift.

In his twilight months in office, Barack Obama and his obsequious secretary of state, John Kerry, conspired with hostile and despotic nations like Venezuela, Egypt and Malaysia to pass United Nations Security Council resolution 2334. Under resolution 2334, settlements are deemed to be a “flagrant violation of international law.” The Obama-orchestrated UNSC resolution 2334 when taken to its logical extreme prohibits Israel from reconstructing Jerusalem synagogues and other religious institutions dynamited by the Arab Legion during their 19-year occupation of the Old City.

But the Trump administration put an end to Obama’s UNSC 2334 abomination. Trump has upended the status quo and reversed anachronistic Foggy Bottom notions of what Israel must concede to a genocidal entity that denies Jewish history and bases its entire ideology on antisemitism.

The instant policy shift follows a series of positive steps initiated by the Trump administration to acknowledge truth and facts on the ground. In December 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move was in compliance with a 1995 bipartisan congressional law requiring the president to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Since that law was passed, every president, including Obama, promised to move the embassy but only one, Donald J. Trump, kept his word.

Many career civil servants within the state department opposed the move and Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was rumored to have opposed the move as well. They claimed that the action would make it harder to achieve peace and averred that it would pose a danger to U.S. personnel. But Trump, who was simply adhering to congressional wishes, correctly argued that acknowledging truth would make peace easier rather than harder to achieve. Moreover, despite dire predictions, not a single American was hurt as a result of the recognition. Trump had proved the swamp wrong.

Then In March 2019, Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. This was a move that was long overdue yet no American president had the fortitude to take such decisive political action. Indeed, far from recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan, prior administrations, including the Obama and Carter administrations, condemned the building of Israeli communities there.

Prior to 1967, the Golan was used by the Syrians as a platform to incessantly shell Israeli communities in Galilee. Moreover, the Syrians attempted to divert water resources, originating in the Golan, from reaching Israel. In June 1967, Israel liberated the Golan and transformed this barren rocky plateau into productive land where all its residents, Jews and Druse, live in peace and tranquility.

In 2011, civil war broke out in Syria. Bashar Assad then resorted to using poison gas against his people. No one knows for certain how many Syrians were killed in that brutal war (which is still ongoing) but some have estimated the figure to be at just over 500,000. Millions more have been displaced and entire areas have been ethnically cleansed. Iran has ethnically cleansed Sunni areas while the Turks have ethnically cleansed Kurdish areas. Yet absurdly as it may sound, the Obama-Kerry duo attempted to coerce Israel into ceding the Golan to the Syrian butcher and serial killer.

Moreover, Trump’s actions are not transient actions that can simply be reversed by another administration. No future president will be able to relocate the embassy back to Tel Aviv and withdraw Golan recognition, for to do so would be tantamount to political suicide.

Unlike Obama, who maintained a visceral dislike for America’s closest and most important Mideast ally, Trump has demonstrated by both word and deed that he has Israel’s back. At the U.N., Trump’s former ambassador Nikki Haley and her successor Kelly Craft, have tirelessly acted to prevent nefarious actors from incessantly vilifying the Jewish State and have thwarted countless pernicious resolutions aimed at causing Israel political and economic harm. Trump’s latest action with regard to Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are a reflection of Trump’s view that friends should be treated as friends, not enemies.

Ari Lieberman


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The Biochemistry Challenge to Darwin - John Dale Dunn, MD, JD

by John Dale Dunn, MD, JD

Self-assembled cellular life is an irrational idea that is the basis for an atheistic explanation for life's origin, but which cannot overcome the circular causation problem.

The AT commenters responses to my book review of Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose, by Physical Chemist, Spectrometrist Researcher Dr. Marcos Eberlin were, in many cases, well informed and insightful, but one extraordinary commentary was provided by Dr. Ronald Cherry of East Tennessee, who is board certified in four specialties of medicine and an energetic researcher in matters of biochemical cellular physiology and micro anatomy and physiology. 

Dr. Cherry provided me with a commentary titled “Zero Probability for Self-Generated Life” that I found compelling and worth summarizing and discussing for the many who are interested in the debate on the origination of life and the appearances of species of life, the question—does the Darwin Theory of Origin of Species hold up to modern scientific analysis that includes the microanatomy and microphysiology as well as the active complex biochemistry of the magic that is a living cell?

The life functions of a single human cell, as described by Dr. Cherry, are far more complex than the world's most capable supercomputer, and impossible for man to duplicate using non-living materials due to the complexity and the sub-microscopic size and fragility of biochemical and cellular elements that are critical to the development of more complicated functional living things, but also that provide for maintaining the survival of the “lesser” forms of cellular life. The complexity and rapidity of life-requiring DNA transcription into messenger RNA, and then ribosomal translation into enzymes and proteins of structure and function challenges human understanding.

Image credit: Pixabay

The living cell is enclosed in a protective membrane that is a perfect place for all the proteins and the other biochemically active molecules to perform chemical reactions to achieve important functions. For example, the DNA genetic code can direct and control, orchestrate, if you will, a cellular symphony where the 37 trillion cells of our human bodies produce a hundred thousand trillion enzymes and other proteins per second. Get your head around that one and consider whether such a symphony can result from random banging around of brainless chemicals.

Dr. Cherry asks the obvious question: where did the essential DNA code to run the cells come from, and how would the first strand of DNA, devoid of its cellular environment, initially run the cell -- big if -- the cellular environment had to be present to protect the DNA so it could run the factory. Dr. Cherry provides a lot of questions about the chicken/egg mystery, and points out the inadequacy of the self-creation theory, but there is no answer to this chicken/egg question, since there is no way to explain the circular puzzle. Cellular research has no explanation for how the first strand of DNA could perform its essential life generating work without the essential enzymes, ribosomes, energy production, and complex biochemical membrane functions that give DNA a place and an environment to work. DNA cannot work unless the conditions are right.

Nucleotides (the molecular building blocks of DNA, composed of phosphoric acid, deoxyribose and one of four nucleic acid bases) do not self-assemble in lifeless inorganic nature into the self-regulating, self-reproducing, mega-information containing polymers that we call genes. Even if there were an ocean full of these essential building blocks of DNA, there is no enzyme (call it DNA synthetase) that exists that can assemble DNA from scratch. Here we go again, circular causation questions: no enzyme to create the first strand of DNA, because DNA creates the enzymes and all enzyme assembly is based on DNA coding. The only DNA “assembly” enzyme in existence is DNA polymerase that cannot assemble DNA from the aforementioned nucleotides in the absence of DNA since it requires the presence of a pre-existing DNA template and coding to produce the polymerase. All enzymes are built on a DNA coded blueprint of messenger RNA, so the conundrum is clear; the cell’s first strand of self-generated DNA would require the pre-existence of DNA, and perfectly coded RNA. That’s a non-starter with a probability of zero.

The same circular problem exists with enzymes, large proteins that function to make cellular life. DNA codes the making of those enzymes that make things work. For example protein receptors, second messenger biochemicals directed back to the interior DNA, and enzymatic protein electrolyte channels that all work in a sequence that is regulated and highly choreographed and ordered by, guess what: DNA. But they have to be present for DNA to survive and function; whoops, circular causation strikes again.

All the regulation of cell activities coordinated by DNA ensures the proper pH and electrolyte concentration required for cell survival and DNA function. No DNA-assembly enzyme could exist prior to the existence of DNA so there could be no protective enzymatic membrane proteins prior to the existence of DNA, and no friendly environment in the cell. For all those reasons the first random self-assembled strand of DNA is an impossibility, doomed. Circular causality strikes.

Taking it a biochemical step further no DNA-assembly enzyme could exist prior to the existence of DNA because DNA codes all the proteins for the cell. There could be no RNA polymerase prior to the existence of DNA, an enzyme required for transcription of DNA into messenger RNA, that is the mechanism for creating essential proteins and enzymes. The immediate survival of the first self-generated strand of DNA would require the pre-existence of DNA-dependent RNA polymerase -- not possible under the Darwinist incrementalist scientific theory.

Dr. Cherry points out that the DNA of the first living self-generated prokaryotic (single cell) entities, such as bacteria, would not have survived because these cells have a very short life span. The circular causation argument returns with a vengeance, the important role of DNA in creating survival and the urgent reproduction mechanisms for those simple cells. 

Cells require energy produced in the form of discrete energy biochemicals called Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP), but such energy would be absent under pre-life inorganic conditions because enzyme-containing mitochondria, essential for energy use, and their membranous prokaryotic equivalent, require DNA-encoded information as a pre-requisite for their existence -- again, not possible because functional DNA is required to produce mitochondria and the enzymes necessary for energy production. Thus the first self-assembled strand of DNA, if it miraculously self-assembled, would lack ATP energy and be dead in the water.

The only rational, i.e. scientific, alternative explanation for cellular life is that cells were created intact. That DNA genes appeared at the same time as all the biochemical entities required to make the cell that the DNA was controlling. All the proteins, enzymes, organelles of the cell, membranes and all the energy that drives the activities of the cell -- the interdependence of DNA and the components of the cells and the cellular activities makes the circular causation problem the insurmountable problem.

The DNA code is primary, but the structures and functions for which it codes must appear ahead of time for its initial self-assembly and subsequent survival, an impossibility, because that would require the pre-existence of DNA ahead of the first strand of DNA.

What we know about cellular anatomy and physiology makes a theory of self-assembly irrational, because it is impossible genetically and biochemically. Self-assembled cellular life is an irrational idea that is the basis for an atheistic explanation for life's origin, but which cannot overcome the circular causation problem. The science leads Dr. Cherry to the conclusion that living things must be the product of undiscovered magic, or by rational design which was not random or accidental. Dr. Cherry asserts Atheistic claims for self-generated life require a magical or religious-like faith that contradicts the scientific evidence, observations revealing a design and arguing for a designer, a Creator, belief compatible with science.

I don’t know the nature or identity of the designer, but I must posit design when I see it. Dr. Cherry makes a strong case for design.

John Dale Dunn, MD, JD is a physician and inactive attorney in Brownwood, Texas


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Israel's European 'Friends' - Caroline Gick

by Caroline Gick

It's high time for the Jewish state to abandon its delusions about Europe.

Tuesday morning, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) released an anti-Semitic bombshell. It decreed that all EU member states must affix special labels to Jewish-made Israeli “foodstuffs” produced beyond Israel’s 1949 armistice and exported to EU member states. The ruling was made in response to a lawsuit brought before a French court by Psagot winery, located north of Jerusalem.

Psagot’s manager Yaakov Berg was represented by a consortium of attorneys led by Brooke Goldstein, the founder and executive director of the Lawfare Project in New York. The focus of the Lawfare Project’s work is defending Israel and Jews from discrimination.

Israeli political leaders and American Jewish leaders roundly and rightly condemned the court ruling as anti-Israel, biased and anti-Semitic.

Psagot brought suit before a French administrative court to appeal a 2016 French regulation requiring the special labeling of Jewish-made Israeli foods produced beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Psagot and its attorneys argued before the French court that the French regulation contradicted European law by imposing illegal trade barriers. The French court referred the issue to the ECJ in the form of two questions: does EU law require EU states to impose discriminatory labeling requirements on Jewish-made products from the disputed territories, and, if it doesn’t, does EU law still permit member states to adopt such labeling requirements on their own.

In the background of the case was a 2015 “interpretive notice” issued by the European Commission that had instructed all EU member states to apply the special discriminatory labels to all Jewish-made Israeli goods produced beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Senior jurists in and out of government explain that the interpretive notice was a blow to Israel, but it did not legally require EU states to do anything. The notice could only have become legally binding if it had been unanimously adopted by EU states in the European Council.

Israeli lawyers noted at the time that the European demand for discriminatory labels violated international trade law, but this made no impression on European decisionmakers.

The French court’s referral to the ECJ was a big deal. It created a means for anti-Israel forces in the EU to render the interpretive notice from 2015 legally binding on all EU states without obtaining unanimous consent. ECJ judgments bind all EU states.

Once the matter was moved to the ECJ for a determination, senior international jurists and Israeli government officials began requesting that Psagot and the Lawfare Project pull their lawsuit. Writing at Arutz 7, former Justice Minister MK Ayelet Shaked, who dealt with the issue during her tenure, revealed Tuesday that she and a senior Justice Ministry official repeatedly urged, indeed “begged,” Psagot and its attorneys to withdraw their lawsuit. Speaking to the media Tuesday, Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said that Foreign Ministry officials submitted similar requests that Psagot withdraw its lawsuit.

Israel and Psagot never stood a chance of getting justice at the ECJ

In late June of this year, the urgency of the entreaties grew.

According to ECJ procedure, before the judges render their verdict, the court’s advocate general publishes his recommended verdict. It is rare for the court to rule in a manner that contradicts its advocate general’s recommendation. In late June, the advocate general recommended answering that it is obligatory for EU member states to affix discriminatory labels to Israeli Jewish imports from Israeli territory beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

Once his recommendation was published, any residual hope the ECJ would act in accordance with international trade law and reject the proposed discriminatory labelling policy was extinguished.

But then, with or without the advocate general’s recommendation, Israel and Psagot never stood a chance of getting justice at the ECJ. Before it is a judicial body, the ECJ is a political arm of the EU whose job it is to uphold EU policies and strengthen EU institutions.

The EU’s policy towards Israel has been clear for a very long time.

For decades, the EU has been waging a hostile campaign against Israel. The goals of its campaign are to call Israel’s right to exist into question, weaken Israel economically and politically, and strengthen Israel’s enemies at Israel’s expense. The EU wages its campaign through political, diplomatic and economic warfare.

Non-governmental organizations registered in Israel and financed and directed by the European Union and its member states are strategic weapons in this campaign

Non-governmental organizations registered in Israel and financed and directed by the European Union and its member states are strategic weapons in this campaign. These European-financed and directed Israeli registered and staffed NGOs routinely submit petitions to Israel’s High Court of Justice whose purpose is to stymie the government’s ability to implement duly promulgated policies and undermine the IDF’s ability to defend the country.

At the UN, EU member states vote against Israel and for its enemies as a general practice. They support UN bodies including the UN Human Rights Committee, UNRWA and UNESCO that routinely and maliciously target Israel.

The EU leverages its trade and scientific cooperation with Israel to normalize boycotts of Israeli companies, institutions and Jewish citizens who operate beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

As for Europe’s support for Israel’s enemies, led by Germany, the EU refuses to walk away from the nuclear deal with Iran, or reinstate economic sanctions against Iran in light of its open material breaches of the limitations the nuclear deal placed on its nuclear activities.

So too, led by Germany, the EU refuses to designate all arms of Hezbollah as a terror group. This pro-Hezbollah policy has the deadly result of enabling the Iranian-controlled terror group to operate and raise money openly in Europe.

Both of these policies, which pave Iran’s way to a nuclear arsenal and empower its foreign legion are hostile acts towards Israel.

Then there is the EU’s adulation of the Palestinians. EU institutions do not merely legitimize Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas and the PFLP. They enthusiastically embrace them. For instance, the European parliament has repeatedly hosted senior Palestinian terrorists. It has given standing ovations to senior Palestinian officials including Mahmoud Abbas as they revived medieval antisemitic blood libels. Abbas for instance, accused Israeli Jews of deliberately poisoning wells.

In the face of the EU’s implacable, long standing and steadily expanding efforts to harm Israel, the notion Israel can reasonably expect to ever receive a fair hearing from any EU body is ridiculous.

Stunningly, even after their defeat at the ECJ, the Psagot winery and its legal team refuse to accept this truth. In an interview Tuesday with JNS news service, Goldstein said that Europe itself is the verdict’s biggest loser.

In her words, “The ruling opens the floodgates where consumers in any EU country will be able to insist that any consideration important to them before they purchase a product – whether social, political, environmental or other – will have to be included on the labeling of any product being imported. Not just from Israel.”

This is untrue. The verdict – like the EU’s legally unsupported claim that Israeli “settlements” built beyond the 1949 armistice lines are illegal – is not general. It is very specific. It applies only to Israel. The ECJ’s ruling will not be applied on behalf of vegans and Tibetans. Everyone knows it was directed against Israel and its Jewish citizens alone. The verdict was political, not legal.

For all that, Justice Ministry and Foreign Ministry officials are wrong to attack the Psagot winery and its attorneys for their willful blindness. They themselves are afflicted by the same impairment.

In their contacts with the EU, its agencies and aligned organizations, government officials act on the basis of the mistaken belief that it is possible to convince the Europeans to abandon their hostile positions against Israel through reasoning and evidence. Perhaps the best example of this misguided Israeli practice is the respect Israel accords the prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

ICC investigators are currently preparing charges against Israelis for so-called war crimes on the basis of false accusations submitted by the Palestinians. The Palestinian complaints relate both to the IDF’s military activities and to settlement activities carried out by the Israeli government and Israeli citizens.

Government officials have to abandon their delusion that Europe is Israel’s enlightened ally with whom Israel can reason

According to government officials, the reason Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preventing the evacuation of the illegal Palestinian outpost Khan al-Ahmar despite the fact that the High Court of Justice ordered its dismantlement over a year ago is fear that implementing the court decision will subject Israel to war crimes charges at the ICC.

In September 2018, the Trump administration announced that it was ending all cooperation with the ICC due to its political nature and its institutional hostility towards the United States and Israel.

Following this announcement, the US denied a visa to an ICC prosecutor scheduled to visit the US to investigate complaints submitted to the ICC against US soldiers for actions they allegedly perpetrated in Afghanistan.

Shortly after the policy was presented, the State Department announced it was ordering the closure of the PLO representative office in Washington, DC due to the PLO’s refusal to withdraw the complaints it submitted to the ICC against Israel.

Unlike the Americans, Israel continues its dialogue with the ICC prosecutor and permits the prosecutor’s representatives to enter Israel in the hopes of convincing the ICC of Israel’s innocence. But the fact the ICC is even giving a hearing, let along proceeding, with its investigations of false accusations against Israel is proof that it is a hostile body. It will never give a fair hearing to Israel.

Just as permitting the inherently hostile ECJ adjudicate issues related to Israeli Jewish exports from Israeli-controlled territory was a mistake that harmed Israel, so Israel’s legitimization of the ICC will come back to haunt it.

Berg, Goldstein and their associates insist that they were compelled to act because the Israeli government refused to lift a finger against the EU. Their allegation of government inaction is valid. The government has an obligation to aggressively respond to Europe’s hostile behavior.

To this end, the time has come to end the tax-exempt status of hostile European-funded and directed NGOs.

It is also time for Israel to act in the legal arena in jurisdictions that are not inherently hostile to the Jewish state. For instance, Israel should seek justice against the EU’s hostile and unfair trade practices at the World Trade Organization’s arbitration bodies and in US courts.

But before Israel can do any of these things, government officials have to abandon their delusion that Europe is Israel’s enlightened ally with whom Israel can reason.

Europe is not enlightened and it is not Israel’s ally. It is not susceptible to reason and evidence.
It is a hostile post-national governing structure that is conducting political, diplomatic and economic warfare against Israel to harm the Jewish state and assist its enemies.

So long as our leaders and our officials refuse to accept this basic truth, we will continue to experience defeat and discrimination as individuals and collectively at the hands of our European “friends.”

Caroline Gick


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Chick-fil-A Put an Obama and Hillary Supporter in Charge, but Dumped Christians - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Money for social justice and Muslim refugees, but not for the Salvation Army.

Chick-fil-A’s announcement that it was dumping the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which have come under attack by gay activist groups, caught Christian fans of the fast food chain by surprise. It shouldn’t have if they had been paying attention to CFA’s corporate structure.

The donations were coming out of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. The Executive Director of the CFA Foundation is Rodney D. Bullard, a former White House fellow and Assistant US Attorney. Some may have mistaken him for a conservative because he was a fellow in the Bush Administration, but he was an Obama donor, and, more recently, had donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign while at Chick-fil-A.

Like many corporations, Chick-fil-A branded its charitable giving as a form of social responsibility. Bullard became its Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. Unlike charity, corporate social responsibility is a leftist endeavor to transform corporations into the political arms of radical causes. Like other formerly conservative corporations, Chick-fil-A had made the fundamental error of adopting the language and the infrastructure of its leftist peers. And that made what happened entirely inevitable.

In an interview with Business Insider earlier this year, Bullard emphasized that the Chick-fil-A Foundation had a "higher calling than any political or cultural war." The foundation boss was preparing the way for the shakeup that was coming in the fall. Even while he claimed that the CFA Foundation had a higher calling than a political or cultural war, he was preparing to accommodate the Left’s cultural war.

Bullard would have been seen as a safe bet. The CFA Foundation and the Christian groups it supported were so entangled that Bullard serves on the Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board and was on the National Board of Trustees of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. But Bullard’s vision was not that of charity, but of corporate social responsibility. And the two things are fundamentally different.

Charity helps people. Corporate social responsibility is virtue signaling by capitalists to anti-capitalists. Unlike charity, corporate social responsibility isn’t about helping people, but ticking off ideological and identity politics boxes like diversity and the environment. If people accidentally get helped in the process of helping a corporation signal its membership in the politically correct creed, that can’t be helped.

The Chick-fil-A Foundation will go on funding leftist groups like Atlanta's Westside Future Fund. The Westside Future Fund is a project of the Atlanta Committee for Progress together with former Mayor Kasim Reed. It will just opt out of funding Christian groups whose views offend anyone on the Left.

The $1.7 million that the Westside Future Fund shoveled in last year from the CFA Foundation vastly outpaces the mere $115,000 that the Salvation Army got for its Angel Tree program to provide gifts for poor children during the holidays. But even that low end six figure donation was too much and the gifts had to be snatched away from the kids by leftist pressure groups and identity politics protesters.

Sorry kids, our politics are more important than your presents.

A less publicized donation of $100,000 went to Sustainable Atlanta. That could have bought a lot of gifts. There was also a $10,000 donation to Saris to Suits whose mission is to "advance women's empowerment, education, gender equality, and social justice."

There’s money for social justice, but not for the Salvation Army.

There was $25,000 for UNICEF and $75,000 for the Andrew Young Foundation. That last one isn’t a surprise. Carter’s radical UN ambassador sits on the CFA Foundation’s advisory board. $20,000 went to the Latino Leaders Network, another $20,000 to the Harvard Debate Diversity Network, $45,000 to the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and $5,000 was allotted to Friends of Refugees.

The latter boasts of resettling the sort of refugees who would demand that Chick-fil-A go Halal.

There’s money for Muslim refugees, but not for the Salvation Army.

And that’s the tip of the iceberg. “Diversity”, “equity”, and “social justice” are typical buzzwords associated with many of the organizations that the Chick-fil-A Foundation had been funding. And that’s typical of corporate social responsibility ventures which are all about pictures of smiling poor children cradling green plants accompanied by women in hijabs. There’s nothing unusual about that.

But most conservatives thought, without investigating, that Chick-fil-A was different. It wasn’t another corporate social behemoth. It didn’t answer to shareholders and stakeholders. It had a biblical vision. And, it was under fire for donating to Christian groups. But even when the CFA Foundation donated to Christian organizations, it was also pouring a lot of money into conventional social justice causes.

The controversy and arguments over the donations to organizations like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes conveniently distracted from where a lot of the money was going.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes had received a mere $25,000 last year. Far less than the funds that poured into Andrew Young’s non-profit empire. A fig leaf.

Now the fig leaf is gone and the reality is that the Chick-fil-A Foundation is just another corporate leftist charity that lavishes cash on organizations linked to local Democrats and assorted diversity causes.

Without the fig leaf, the Chick-fil-A Foundation is no different than the other corporate charities run by their own equivalents of Bullard, men and women who had spent enough time in government to get a  useless job in the corporate world, and its abandonment of Christian conservatives was an inevitability.

And the question is what will the Christians who made Chick-fil-A boom do now?

They can either fight to hold Chick-fil-A accountable or shrug and accept another loss. Most of the country’s major brands are pipelines of cash that lead directly to leftist causes. Hardly any of the money that conservatives spend on products and services every day ends up going to conservative causes.

Major brands hammer the air with ad campaigns that directly attack the values and rights of ordinary Americans. And, most Americans, including conservatives, keep on buying from the same huge conglomerates like Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Diageo (Johnny Walker), RBI (Burger King and Popeyes), General Mills, and from retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon, despite their leftist politics.

Chick-fil-A was supposed to be different. If there’s any company that conservatives can hold accountable, this is it. And if they can’t hold Chick-fil-A accountable, then what’s left?
Accountability doesn’t just begin with restoring donations to worthy charities like the Salvation Army, but a serious reevaluation of the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s leadership and its overall charitable priorities.

If Chick-fil-A wants to be in the business of corporate social responsibility, rather than charity, it will over time become increasingly hostile to the very customers who made it successful. Corporate social responsibility will take it down the same dark road of virtue signaling and political correctness.

Then, before you know it, there will be a Chick-fil-A ad campaign about toxic masculinity.

And then the legacy of its founder will be as thoroughly lost as the legacies of the founders of so many other great American companies whose modern incarnations slavishly serve anti-American causes.

That would be a tragedy. This is a test of whether that tragedy is truly inevitable.

It’s also a warning. If conservatives had paid closer attention to the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s leadership, Bullard’s $1,000 donation to Hillary Clinton in 2016 would have provided a warning of what was coming.

Organizations don’t trend rightward. They trend leftward. Any organization that isn’t closely watched will go the way of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. If this can happen at Chick-fil-A, it can happen anywhere.

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


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New Arab group says it’s time to stop boycotting Israel - Josefin Dolsten, JTA

by Josefin Dolsten, JTA

'Arabs are the boycott's first and only victims,' Egyptian-British lawyer says.

A new group of Arab thinkers is urging its countries to engage with Israel.

The Arab Council for Regional Integration group held its first conference in London this week, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Anwar Sadat, the nephew of the late Egyptian president of the same name, was among those who attended the private event, which also included journalists, artists, politicians, diplomats and Quranic scholars.

The participants say that bad ties with Israel have hurt Arab nations’ economically and Palestinian efforts to build infrastructure.

“Arabs are the boycott’s first — and only — victims,” said Egyptian-British lawyer Eglal Gheita, according to The Times.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair addressed the conference video message. The conference was funded by American donors, according to The Times.

Organizer Mustafa el-Dessouki, the Egyptian managing editor of the Saudi-owned journal Majalla, said that Arab media and political leaders were encouraging hostility toward Jews and Israel.

But many Arabs, including in Lebanon, which is an enemy state of Israel, “actually want to connect with Israelis,” he said, according to The Times.

Arab states have long shunned Israel and it is common for leaders and mainstream media outlets to promote anti-Semitic rhetoric.

A coalition of Arab countries attacked Israel after it established its independence in 1948, and then again in 1967 and 1973. However, in recent years, Israel has been growing closer with the Gulf States, which share a goal of countering Iranian influence in the Middle East, though those closer relations have not yet translated into formal ties.

But the Palestinian representative in London slammed the meeting.

“They are playing into the hands of Netanyahu,” said Husam Zomlot, who previously served as the envoy to Washington.

Josefin Dolsten, JTA


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Indictment fever, Trump to Netanyahu - Jack Engelhard

by Jack Engelhard

Prof. Alan Dershowitz wrote that the case against Netanyahu is spurious, so never mind the Leftist lawyerly talk. It is the same thing, with the same intention - to bring down a leader.

Excuse us if we think we are seeing double. 

Underway in the United States is the impeachment process against President Trump, and something quite like that, at the same moment, is happening in Israel, against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There it is called something else. But same idea. That’s right. We say impeachment; you say indictment. 

Never mind the lawyerly talk…it is the same thing…with the same intention…to bring down a leader…and why?

Well, there is always something. Dig deep enough, and something is sure to come up…against anyone.

How much juicier if it is a leader you do not like, either his tie, his cigars, or his politics. It does not matter that the leader is doing a terrific job for the country.

The heart wants what it wants, as people say, and so does the Left.

So it is official – right? Says here that this is so. Trump…I mean Netanyahu, is being impeached…excuse me…indicted, for bribery and other alleged misdeeds.

Forgive the confusion, but you do understand.

I ask, if only to be sure, because for years the Hebrew press…well, as our media have been dining for three years on “impeachment” whenever the word can be associated with Trump, the Hebrew media have for some 10 years been feasting on the word “indictment” if in any way it can be connected to Netanyahu. 

Only this, as we wrote last March in the column titled, “Fresh lipstick on old attempts at Indictment,” it was always murky, never a sure thing.

Now it is a done deal. Israel’s attorney general has spoken. He says it pains him to do this to Netanyahu. Adam Schiff, with a straight face, says it the same way about Trump.

He said it again, a moment ago at the Hearings, and as we were watching the Hearings, waiting for something delicious, the action shifted to Israel.

Back and forth, our two countries keep sharing internal crises, and the question remains, who is copying whom?

On this, your guys beat us to the punch. Your Leftists came up with “bribery” before ours did. Nancy Pelosi had to canvass the room to come up with that doozy.

Of course, Israel’s legal system will decide what gives, but the concern here is…the politics.
From America, we only know what’s in front of our eyes, and the falsehoods the media tell us, lies…lies…lies… and it ain’t pretty.

Because it is politics, and by hook or by crook, the Democrats are determined to bring our president down.

That is not to say it’s the same way in Israel. 

But, from what are learning from these cooked-up Schiff Hearings, we cannot be blamed if we assume the same business, a frame-up, is happening in Israel. The Left is the Left.

Which is a shame either way. 

If the world’s two great democracies are in such disarray, from within, what hope for the rest of the world, whose eyes are always upon us to lead the way? 

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

Jack Engelhard’s classic international bestselling novel Indecent Proposal, which later became a worldwide hit movie, has been republished to meet readers’ demands. His other major works include Compulsive: A Novel, his award-winning post-Holocaust Montreal memoir Escape from Mount Moriah, plus Slot Attendant: A Novel About A Novelist. His website:


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PM Netanyahu’s chances of survival are drowning under a concerted political, legal, media onslaught - debkaFile

by debkaFile

Since the attorney general announced the indictments last Thursday, one voice after another has candidly proposed circumventing the legal process if that is the only way to remove Netanyahu as prime minister before his day in court.

The shattering indictments for bribery and breach of faith brought against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,70, are only one stage in the relentless campaign to unseat him. His decision to fight for his innocence and win round the voters in Israel’s third election in a year, in early 2020, has brought down on his head the full weight of the legal, political and media establishments. They have no qualms about bending the immunity law to force him to quit office without waiting for an absolute court judgement of his guilt. 

If there was a concerted coup conspiracy to oust him, as he charges, it is far from over. Since the attorney general announced the indictments last Thursday, one voice after another has candidly proposed circumventing the legal process if that is the only way to remove Netanyahu as prime minister before his day in court. On Saturday, Nov. 22, a former high court justice, Eliahu Matza, joined the chorus of law enforcement voices when, in a radio interview, he pressed the Knesset to refer to the Supreme Court the decision on his competence to form a government. By law, this is the sole jurisdiction of parliament.

This was incidentally a sly attempt to exploit the crisis for promoting the court’s long machinations for asserting its authority over parliament.

On the political front, the opposition Kahol Lavan, whose leader Benny Gantz failed to form a new government, like Netanyahu before him, urged law enforcement authorities to force the prime minister to give up all his cabinet portfolios. 

In answer to this chorus, Netanyahu released a video statement on Saturday pledging to abide by any court ruling in his case. “A court of trial is the only framework [for determining guilt or innocence] from beginning to end,” he said. If this declaration was intended to counter the charge that by putting up a fight, he was inciting a civil mutiny, it may have been the right way to go, but is unlikely to work. The parties who managed to throw him under the political-legal bus are not about to stop until their work is done and Netanyahu’s remarkable decade in office is brought to an end.

It is worth noting that the charges brought against his accused accomplices, Arnon Mozes, of the mass daily Yediot Aharanot, and the Elovich couple, are more serious that the cases against the prime minister. Yet they have rated little media notice. PM Netanyahu is the sole accused. He has only the slimmest hope of surviving the political bone-crusher smashing into him at every turn. With each assault, his popular support will melt and his loyalists be scared off. Shouted down are the voices claiming that all three are presumed innocent until proven guilty and if an indictment can cause the removal of a prime minister, then the police and legal authorities have seized control of government.

Israel’s founding father the late David Ben Gurion could have warned Netanyahu what was coming from his own experience. At the end of an epic career, Ben Gurion was challenged by forces determined to oust him. He fought back by invoking the legal system, demanding that a commission of inquiry get to the bottom of a failed clandestine operation. Ben Gurion also called on the voting public to vindicate him. He called in vain. 

The late Yitzhak Rabin was ordered to resign as prime minister by the then Attorney General Aharon Barak, an act that signaled the historic downfall of the ruling Labor party. Yet another Israeli prime minister, the late Ariel Sharon, when he realized that law enforcement was about to close in on him, jumped the Likud ship. He established the Kadima party and switched his politics from right to moderate left, so saving his political life.

Netanyahu may or may not come up with an ingenious device for staying in office. But the way things look at present, he seems to have little choice but to quit politics and devote himself to clearing his name in court – a process that could drag on for years.



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