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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Arabs condemn approval of 2,200 new Arab houses in Jerusalem

JPost reports:
Amid fierce opposition from right-wing leaders, preliminary plans for the construction of 2,200 new Arab housing units in east Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood were approved by the Interior Ministry’s District Planning and Building Committee on Monday.

The committee also retroactively approved 300 illegally-built Arab homes in the area.

On Tuesday, Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at the pro-Palestinian NGO Ir Amim, who attended the meeting, described the plan as unprecedented.

Indeed, according to Tatasky the approval serves as a major victory for Arab residents of Jabel Mukaber who have long sought building permits, or feared imminent home demolitions for illegal construction.

“I think this is a very unusual and very good development,” he said. “The housing shortage in east Jerusalem is enormous, and this is the first time that a plan of this extent has been approved for a Palestinian neighborhood.”
But the Secretary General of the Islamic-Christian Committee to Support Occupied Jerusalem and holy sites, Dr. Hanna Issa, condemned the move, saying that the move was illegal, violating the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions.

The anti-Israel IMEMC also says that the new Arab homes are illegal:
The Israeli “Planning and Construction Committee” in occupied Jerusalem has approved, Tuesday, the construction of 2200 illegal settlement units in ‘Arab as-Sawahra neighborhood, in the Sawahra area, between Jabal al-Mokabber and Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem.

The Israeli Radio said the new plans aims at “legalizing” homes that were built without permits, and to construct what it called “public facilities.”
Just remember, boys and girls: it isn't about loving Arabs. It's about hating Jews.

03/31 Links Pt2: Hamas sued for BG Airport attack; New Daily Show host's vile tweets on Jews, women

From Ian:

Daniel Mael: The notorious anti-Israel writer is using a lie to drag Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s name through the mud.
The notorious anti-Israel writer is using a lie to drag Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s name through the mud. In a recent article that has been widely circulated online by an unholy alliance of Islamists and extreme Leftists, the notorious anti-Israel propagandist Max Blumenthal has accused women’s-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali of “deception.” Unfortunately for Blumenthal, it is his own latest deception that has now come to light.
Blumenthal claimed that a statement by Hirsi Ali — that “at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims” — was “suspect.” His evidence was an email from a spokesperson for the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, whose Armed Conflict Database is the basis for Hirsi Ali’s calculation. Triumphantly, Blumenthal tweeted that the IISS had “totally disowned her abuse of its data.”
However, it turns out that the IISS did nothing of the kind. Reached for comment on Friday, Nicholas Redman, the IISS’s director of editorial, said:
At no point did Max Blumenthal request an official quotation or statement from the IISS. Therefore, none was provided. Some of the remarks made were then reported out of context. Any information was provided on the understanding on our part that it was a research request. We have asked him to remove it from the article.
The IISS does not subdivide its conflict data according to the religions of combatants. It is, however, unambiguously clear from the Armed Conflict Database that fatalities from armed conflict last year were disproportionately caused by wars involving Muslims. If anything, Hirsi Ali’s 70% figure is too low.
Past tweets of 'Daily Show' successor on Israel, Jews cause social media uproar
What a difference a day makes. Just 24 hours after being named the new host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, has found himself in hot water for tweets he posted over five years ago.
The Internet was abuzz with criticism on Tuesday after tweets about Jews and the Jewish State, dating as far back as 2010, surfaced online, sparking a maelstrom of angry comments.
“South Africans know how to recycle like Israel knows how to be peaceful,” read a 2010 tweet dug up by social media users.
The online backlash follows Comedy Central’s announcement that Noah, who made his Daily Show debut late last year, would take over the satirical talk show after longtime host Jon Stewart hangs up his hat.
In 2009, the up-and-coming star shared this tweet on his account: “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road.
He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!” Just last May, Noah played on a quintessential Jewish stereotype, posting, “Behind every successful Rap billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man” – a reference to Apple buying American rapper-turned-producer Dr. Dre’s Beats company for $3 billion.
Buzzfeed: People Are Mad About Trevor Noah’s Old Tweets About Women And Jews
On Monday, Comedy Central confirmed Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart as The Daily Show host.
But after some digging, Twitter users grew more acquainted with Noah…and found some of his old tweets about Israel and Jews.
And some other tweets about women…
As his old tweets made the rounds, some were no longer impressed with Stewart’s replacement.
People immediately started tweeting at Comedy Central about their new hire.
Even Roseanne chimed in.
26 Americans to sue Hamas for rocket fire at Ben Gurion Airport
Twenty-six American citizens who were present at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport when it was targeted by Hamas missile fire during last summer’s war will file a lawsuit against the terror group in a US court, it was announced Tuesday.
The litigation, which was inspired and organized by Israeli legal group Shurat HaDin, seeks to have various top Hamas commanders tried on war crimes charges.
Under US law, targeting or committing acts of violence against American citizens in an international airport can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
War crimes suits will be filed against Hamas leaders and rocket fire cells, specifically, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, senior spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, and officials Hamdan Awad, Hudeiffe Samir, Abdullah Al’halut, Ahmed Jandoor, Ra’ad Sa’ad, Marwan Abed-el, Karim Issa and Salah Amer Daloul. (h/t Yenta Press)

Haaretz columnist calls Israeli flag a "fascistic symbol"

What's wrong with this picture?


According to Haaretz' clown Rogel Alpher, it is the tiny Israeli flag in the bottom left.

Channel 20 is the only television station in Israel which proudly waves a political flag. It is blatantly right wing. Sharon Gal was one of its presenters, until he joined Avigdor Lieberman's party and started to issue blood-chilling warnings to Arab Knesset members; the stomach churns just to hear the language that Gal used. Ar'el Segal, Zvi Yehezkeli, Kalman Liebskind and Avri Gilad – card-carrying members of right-leaning stream of the mainstream media – are the channel's stars. The channel itself is part of the inevitable trend of increasingly rightist content in Israeli news broadcasts.

In the corner of the screen Channel 20 has a strategically placed Israeli flag. It has been designed to look as if it's blowing gently in the breeze. The same flag that we salute and we drape over the coffins of fallen soldiers. What on earth is it doing in the corner of Channel 20's screen?

Even Israel Hayom does not print the Israeli flag on all of its pages. Army radio does not begin each day's broadcasts with a rendition of the national anthem. Is it considered unpatriotic to watch a television station that does not have the national flag on the screen every minute of every day? Is there some law that obligates Israeli TV channels to display the flag? Every time I see that flag on my screen, I want to cover it up or tear it down. Ironically, it reminds me of state-run television channels in some dictatorial Arab country.

This is just another fascistic symbol that is permeating our lives.

A new flotilla to Gaza planned "soon"

From Ma'an:
Former Tunisian President Muncef al-Marzouki will take part in the third "Freedom Flotilla" attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition said in a statement Monday.

Marzouki reportedly gave the movement his full support at a World Social Forum in Tunis last week, and confirmed that he would be on board of one of the "Freedom Flotilla III" ships.

FFC hopes the flotilla will sail "within the first half of 2015, with at least three ships.
One of the people behind this is Dror Feiler, a Swedish musician who renounced his Israeli citizenship in 1973.

This should be fun.

03/31 Links Pt1: Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable’; Obama’s Pax Persarum

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas Wants Arabs to Bomb Gaza Strip
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is calling on Arab countries to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip -- even as the PA plans to bring "war crimes" charges against Israel for doing exactly the same thing in the summer of 2014.
The Arabs are allowed to attack the Gaza strip to remove Hamas from power, while Israel is not even allowed to launch airstrikes at those who are firing rockets at its cities.
The PA's call should be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court if and when Abbas proceeds with his plan to file "war crimes" charges against Israel for its war against Hamas.
This call should also be brought to the attention of Western governments and international human rights organizations that condemned Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
They also need to ask Abbas whether he also plans to file "war crimes" charges against his Arab brethren once they start bombing the Gaza Strip.
John Bolton: Obama Toys With Cutting Israel Adrift in the Security Council
Immediately after Israel’s March 17 election, Obama administration officials threatened to allow (or even encourage) the U.N. Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state and confine Israel to its pre-1967 borders. Within days, the president himself joined in, publicly criticizing not just Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Obama has had notoriously bad relations, but sectors of Israeli opinion and even Israel itself.
The administration leaks suggesting that Israel be cut adrift in the Security Council in effect threatened “collective punishment” as a weapon in U.S.-Israel relations. This is especially ironic coming from “progressives” who have repeatedly accused Israel of “collective punishment” by forcefully retaliating against terrorist attacks. But more important, exposing Israel to the tender mercies of its Security Council opponents harms not only Israel’s interests, but America’s in equal measure. Roughly half of Washington’s Security Council vetoes have been cast against draft resolutions contrary to our Middle East interests.
America’s consistent view since Council Resolution 242 concluded the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is that only the parties themselves can structure a lasting peace. Deviating from that formula would be a radical departure by Obama from a bipartisan Middle East policy nearly half a century old.
In fact, Israel’s “1967 borders” are basically only the 1949 cease-fire lines, but its critics shrink from admitting this tedious reality. The indeterminate status of Israel’s borders from its 1948 creation is in fact a powerful argument why only negotiation with relevant Arab parties can ultimately fix the lines with certainty.
Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable’
The commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that “erasing Israel off the map” is “nonnegotiable,” according to an Israel Radio report Tuesday.
Militia chief Mohammad Reza Naqdi also threatened Saudi Arabia, saying that the offensive it is leading in Yemen “will have a fate like the fate of Saddam Hussein.”
Naqdi’s comments were made public as Iran and six world powers prepared Tuesday to issue a general statement agreeing to continue nuclear negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June.
In 2014, Naqdi said Iran was stepping up efforts to arm West Bank Palestinians for battle against Israel, adding the move would lead to Israel’s annihilation, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
“Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” Naqdi said. (h/t Bob Knot)

Arab Summit all but ignores Palestinians

As usual, the 26th Arab League Summit ended with a flurry of declarations.

Yet while Palestinian issues usually dominate the discussions and declarations, this time there was very little that was stated beyond the boilerplate condemnations of Israel.

The real story was the idea of a joint Arab rapid strike force, but there were plenty of others listed before they even mentioned Palestinian Arabs in the territories.

The only declaration concerning them that was slightly concrete was a new pledge of $100 million in monthly financial aid to the PA and to increase the capital of the Al-Aqsa Fund and Jerusalem Fund by 50 percent, or $500 million.

Both those pledges will almost certainly be ignored, as nearly all Arab pledges of financial help to the PA are.

Yes, there was a declaration, as there is every time, that Israel should give the Golan to Syria. (There was no condemnation of Syria for killing tens of thousands of Arab civilians, of course.) There was a declaration that the Shebaa Farms belongs to Lebanon, not Israel. They said "the continued Israeli occupation of the region poses a serious threat to peace and security in the Middle East and the world."

But everyone knows that those declarations are just for show. Even Arab media widely ignored the condemnations of Israel and concentrated on the real issues, Iran and Yemen and Libya. A 14-paragraph summary of the declarations at Al Riyadh doesn't mention Palestinians once.

The difference between this summit and earlier ones is quite instructive. Here's what happened in the 1969 summit:


If there is one thing that Palestinian leadership hates, it is being ignored. After this summit, they must be seething.


Did University of Southampton cancel anti-Israel hatefest?

There is news this morning about the University of Southampton planned anti-Israel conference.

The conference was meant to discuss "the legality, validity and legitimacy” is Israel, as well as the "problems associated with the creation and nature of the Jewish state itself and the status of Jerusalem.”

The organizers claim that the conference was canceled:.

It is with extreme astonishment and sadness that we have to inform you that the University of Southampton has told us earlier yesterday (Monday 30 March 2015) that it intends to withdraw its permission to hold the academic conference on International Law and the State of Israel. We were told that the decision was taken on the grounds of health and safety: a number of groups may be demonstrating for or against the conference which could present risks to the safety of the participants, students and staff. The University claims that it does not have enough resources to mitigate the risks, despite a clear statement from the Police confirming that they are able to deal with the protest and ensure the security of the event.

...Such an action by Southampton University will severely undermine the public’s confidence in the Police’s and the in the University’s ability to protect freedom of speech. Indeed it will have wider implications to all Universities and organisations. We feel that the manner the university communicated with the police and conducted the risk assessment shows that the security argument was used to rationalise a decision to cancel the conference that has been taken under public pressure of the Israeli Lobby. It is quite simply unbelievable that the University cannot ask the Police to handle the risk of demonstrations.
And, of course, next comes threats:
We will explore legal emergency measures to prevent the University from cancelling the conference, to reverse its decision and to properly collaborate with the police so that the demonstrations can be managed. In addition we call for the widest and most intense public campaign possible that would urgently encourage the university to reverse its decision and which would allow the conference to go ahead.
But they don't seem to be telling the entire truth.

The Jewish Chronicle was not yet able to verify the news:
Conference organisers have claimed that the university is planning to withdraw its permission to host the conference in April due to health and safety concerns over planned demonstrations.

But a press spokesperson for the university could neither confirm nor deny the claim early on Tuesday morning.

Gavin Costigan, director of the vice-chancellor’s office, declined to comment.
Sussex Friends of Israel did get a quote:

BREAKING...
From Southampton University spokesperson:
"The University of Southampton is in discussion with the organisers of the conference ‘International Law and the State of Israel’ about the possibility of withdrawing permission for the event to be held on campus. However, this review process is still ongoing. Any decision will be judged purely on considerations around the health and safety of our staff, students and for the general public.”

It appears that the haters who organized the conference heard from the university that security was a potential issue and decided to do what they do best - lie - in order to help their case. (And they enlisted Electronic Intifada to act as their megaphone.)

By announcing that the conference was canceled, and coupling that with a threat of legal action, they can force the university to either deny the news outright or to worry about the threats in case they were leaning towards cancellation. It also  gives the haters a chance to pressure the university.

The upshot is that we have seen, yet again, that the Israel haters rely on lies not only for their arguments but also to enable their lies to have a platform.

The proper response is to contact the university and redouble the pressure that caused them to waver (after all, the security argument is just an excuse to save face from being associated with such haters and liars.)

HRW deferential towards Saudi airstrikes that kill civilians

Here is how Human Rights Watch reported on the beginning of Israel's airstrikes in Gaza last summer:

Israel/Palestine: Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians
Bombings of Civilian Structures Suggest Illegal Policy

Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war. Israel should end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property. Deliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
Prosecutor, judge and jury. Without any relevant information as to what Israel's targets were, HRW flatly said that Israel was violating international law and said that Israel was targeting homes simply to kill Gazan civilians, apparently for kicks.

Now compare that with how HRW reports on Saudi airstrikes in urban areas that are killing scores of civilians:

Yemen: Saudi-Led Airstrikes Take Civilian Toll

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab countries that conducted airstrikes in Yemen on March 26 and 27, 2015, killed at least 11 and possibly as many as 34 civilians during the first day of bombings in Sanaa, the capital, Human Rights Watch said today. The 11 dead included 2 children and 2 women. Saudi and other warplanes also carried out strikes on apparent targets in the cities of Saada, Hodaida, Taiz, and Aden.

The airstrikes targeted Ansar Allah, the armed wing of the Zaidi Shia group known as the Houthis, that has controlled much of northern Yemen since September 2014.

...“Both the Saudi-led forces and the Houthis need to do everything they can to protect civilians from attack,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “Reports of air strikes and anti-aircraft weapons in heavily populated areas raise serious concerns that not enough is being done to ensure their safety.”

...Human Rights Watch has not been able to determine whether specific attacks complied with the laws of war, which apply to the armed conflict in Yemen. The laws of war prohibit attacks that target civilians or civilian property, or that do not or cannot discriminate between civilians and fighters.
Look at that! The mind-reading skills that HRW "researchers" have in Gaza are suddenly malfunctioning in Yemen! They know that Saudi Arabia is targeting terrorists, and they are simply not sure if the bombs that killed 34 civilians were simple mistakes, or maybe there was a legitimate target there.

All that certainty that HRW has in declaring Israel to be criminal is nowhere to be found when Saudis are dropping their bombs on houses and children.

I can't wait to see how HRW reports on yesterday's news:
An air strike killed dozens of people at a camp for displaced people in northwest Yemen on Monday, aid workers said, as Arab warplanes bombard rebels around the country.

The International Organization for Migration said at least 40 people had been killed and 200 wounded at the Al-Mazrak camp in Hajja province where it has staff on the ground, revising an initial toll of 45 dead.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said 25 of the wounded were in severe condition.

"It was an air strike," said Pablo Marco of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has a presence at the hospital.
Another thing: I haven't yet found a scorecard showing how many Yemenis have been killed compared with how many Saudis.The score is probably about 250-0 at this point, which in other contexts would be considered by ignorant pundits as proof of "disporportionate force."

Scorecards are particular to cases when the winning side's name begins with ISR and ends in AEL.

Monday, March 30, 2015

03/30 Links Pt2: The Gideon Levy Travelling Hate Show; Sabeel and Desmond Tutu; LATMA Ep8

From Ian:

Ryan Bellerose: The Gideon Levy Travelling Hate Show
Then he showed anyone with critical thinking ability he is clueless, when he stated that 5 weeks would be enough to create a peace, if only Israel was committed to it, that Israel wouldn’t be able to create it in 5 years because Israel is racist and antidemocratic. He said “For people like me, nothing is as important as ending the occupation.” Then he named groups such as Breaking the Silence, B’tselem, and Anarchists Against the Wall as “brave Israeli organisations.” He used the phase “people like me” several times, but I hope to the creator that there are not many “people like him” because frankly, he was ridiculous. He continuously referred to peace groups being delegitimized in the Israeli media. Then he said that Israelis don’t see Palestinians as human beings, that he chooses his words carefully, that the Jews believe as “chosen people” that they do not have to respect anyone else’s human rights, which seems odd to me given the involvement of Jews in EVERY SINGLE SIGNIFICANT HUMAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THE WORLD. I could go on – I could tell you about how he said he doesn’t care if Israel is a Jewish state, and that the Jews who are frightened should blame themselves for not supporting a 2-state solution. I could tell you that he said “Do you ever hear Israelis talking about palestinians’ security” as though Jews were randomly sneaking into Arab villages and beheading babies. But the crowning moment was when he said he looked at South Africa as an example – that the change in South Africa happened without bloodshed. I wonder if he really is in another world.
I believe that the only reason people like Levy are dangerous is because a majority of people are ignorant and prefer that blissful ignorance to actually learning. His entire raison d’etre is to travel around attacking Israel. Let me be clear, he is not a self hater. He clearly is in love with himself, to the point where he tries to glorify himself at the cost of his people. It’s all about Gideon and his moral clarity. I have no doubt he thinks the money he is given to sell out his people is his just due as “speaking the truth,” even when his truth is obviously not anything of the sort.
Levy appeals to the Jews who want to believe that they should sell out their people for security. I have no doubt he would be welcome at any JVP or JStreet meeting. But to anyone who is even slightly knowledgeable, he is laughable. The issue is making sure people hear the ridiculousness of what he spreads. After all, groups like CJPME and SPHR do not want peace for two peoples – they are all about the destruction of Israel, and if they brought him here, why do you think that is? (h/t Yenta Press)
Christian Icons of Propaganda - Sabeel and Desmond Tutu
The troublesome truth is that there is no apartheid in Israel. Israel allows Arabs and Muslims full human and civil rights in all areas of life, including as full members of Israel's Parliament, the Knesset.
To brand Israel as an apartheid state when none of these restrictions exist is not only defamatory propaganda but, according to the black South African Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, trivializes the real suffering of blacks under apartheid.
While Tutu et al discuss Israel the "oppressor," Israel's surrounding enemies seek to obliterate it in accordance with their genocidal charter. Given the silence of Tutu et al on that subject, apparently an agenda of genocide is not seen by them as an injustice.
Tutu also disregards the countless Christians being slaughtered in Muslim states; that black slaves are still being held in Muslim states such as Mauritania; the forcible taking of "infidel" slaves by Boko Haram and ISIS; the racist genocide in Darfur and the 10 million Muslims slaughtered by other Muslims since 1948.
Critics of Sabeel suggest that it actually seems to be a political organization promoting anti-Israel propaganda while driving Church policy toward destroying Israel through BDS.
Why are Desmond Tutu, Sabeel and the anti-Semitic Churches that support BDS so tolerant of the persecution of Christians, global Islamist terrorism, the perpetual threat of Israel's obliteration and the fact that Muslims have driven Christians out of Bethlehem, the very place of Jesus's birth?
These calumnies and misrepresentations have nothing to do with peace and even less to do with justice. They are even more unacceptable coming from church groups or a man of the cloth.
LATMA: We'll be the Judge, episode 8
The Eight episode of the Israeli satire program "We'll be the Judge," from the creators of Latma's Tribal Update, Israel Channel 1, March 26, 2015.


Pssst: The PA still plans to destroy Israel. Don't tell anyone.

From Palestinian Media Watch:

The Mufti of the Palestinian Authority Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, appointed in 2006 by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the position of most senior religious leader in the PA, told a conference of "Muslim scholars and delegations from over 46 countries" that Israel must be destroyed in the name of Islam:

"The land of Palestine is waqf (i.e., inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law). It must not be relinquished nor must any part of it be sold... It is the duty of the leaders of the [Islamic] nation and its peoples to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 23, 2015]

This statement - that according to Islamic law "Palestine is waqf... and must not be relinquished," but should be "liberated" - imposes prohibitions and obligations on all Muslims. First, according to the PA religious leader, all Muslims are prohibited from recognizing Israel's existence or signing a genuine and permanent peace treaty with Israel that "relinquishes any part" of "Palestine," meaning all of Israel. Second, he told the world's Muslim delegations that they and all Muslims have a religious obligation to "liberate Palestine" - meaning to destroy Israel.
Palestinian Media Watch recently reported that a similar statement was made by Mahmoud Abbas' Advisor on Religious and Islamic AffairsMahmoud Al-Habbash, the second most important religious leader in the PA:

"The entire land of Palestine (i.e., includes all of Israel) is waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and is blessed land... It is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014]

The PA is increasingly adopting Hamas' ideology prohibiting recognition of Israel and demanding its destruction, not only in the name of Palestinian nationalism, but in the name of Islam. The language used by both the Mufti and Abbas' advisor is almost 
identical to the language in Hamas' charter:

"The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up."
[Hamas Charter, Article Eleven]
The latest PCPSR poll of Palestinian Arabs buried these little nuggets in its findings, without giving a further breakdown:

. When asked about the long term aspiration of the PA and the PLO, 63% said that it is to recover all or parts of the land occupied in 1967 while 28% said it was to conquer the state of Israel or conquer the state of Israel and kill most of the Jews.

- A majority of 74% favors Hamas way of resisting occupation... Furthermore, 56% favor the transfer of Hamas’ armed approach to the West Bank.
So what's the difference between Hamas and Fatah again?

The silence of Jeremy Ben Ami

J-Street never tires of claiming to be supportive of a two-state solution, a position that it falsely claims is not the position of American Zionist organizations.

On Friday, I posted a video showing that a speaker at the recent J-Street conference, during a panel discussion on the future of liberal Zionism, advocated for the ending of the Jewish state and instead saying that Jews should be a "protected minority" in their homeland.



The speaker, former MK Marcia Freedman, is a member of J-Street's advisory panel.

The moderator of the panel, J Street co-founder Daniel Levy, did not challenge Freedman for advocating what is in complete opposition to what J-Street claims its position is. None of the other panelists showed any anger at the idea of the destruction of Israel that Freedman was pushing.

Since then, over 12,000 people have viewed the video - far more people than attended the conference itself. Despite repeated tweets to J-Street leaders or other panelists like Peter Beinart, not one has distanced themselves from Freedman's statements. (J-Street's synopsis of the panel skips Freedman's participation altogether.)

For every statement made by real Zionists to defend Israel - whether it is from terror or Iran - J-Street has forcefully come out in opposition. But J-Street's media machine does not seem to spend any time defending Israel's existence from attacks by people like Freedman or groups like "Jewish Voice for Peace."

Why not?

Perhaps it is because J-Street's commitment to Israel's existence is far more tenuous than they pretend when they do their fundraising and lobbying. After all, this same Daniel Levy who moderated the panel is on the record as saying that if Arab states refuse to accept Israel, "then Israel really ain't a very good idea." Which sounds a lot like Marcia Freedman.



J-Street complains loudly that it is not being accepted by mainstream Jewish and Zionist organizations. This episode is one good example of why that is. J-Street, despite claiming to be pro-Israel, has yet to defend Israel's position against those that want to see it destroyed - even within its own conference. I have shown that founder Jeremy Ben-Ami's Twitter timeline has not once defended Israel's existence against attacks from its left.

Which means that its "pro-Israel" stance is really a cover for its truly anti-Israel message.

Over the past couple of months, we've heard more praise of Israel from the EU than from J-Street. That ought to tell you something.

03/30 Links Pt1: Apocalyptic Betrayals; Obama’s Middle East policy is ‘willful ignorance’

From Ian:

Jeffrey Goldberg: What to Worry About in an Iran Nuclear Deal
Here are a few questions that have, helped by various news stories about the talks, repeatedly crossed my mind in recent days. I would prefer to see a nuclear deal struck, of course, but unsatisfactory answers to these issues would be cause for real worry:
1) What will Saudi Arabia do in response to a deal? If the Saudis—who are already battling the Iranians on several fronts—actually head down the path toward nuclearization, then these negotiations will not have served the underlying purpose President Obama ascribed to them. The president has warned, in interviews with me and others, that a nuclear Iran would trigger a nuclear arms race across the Middle East, the world’s most volatile region. One goal of these talks is to assure the rest of the Middle East that Iran cannot achieve nuclear status. If Saudi Arabia (and Egypt and Turkey and the U.A.E.) does not believe that a deal will achieve this, then it will move on its own to counter the Persian nuclear threat.
2) If the underground enrichment facility at Fordow—which had been hidden from Western view for several years, and which the U.S. and Europe have repeatedly said needs to be closed—is allowed to run centrifuges, even to spin germanium and other elements that cannot be used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, then doubt could legitimately be sown about the strength of this deal. Already-spinning centrifuges in a maintained, guarded, and fortified bunker can be retrofitted to handle uranium, should the Iranians choose to break their agreement. It would be better to see Fordow filled with cement, or otherwise crippled.

3) The Iranians have never answered most of the questions put to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency about the possible military dimensions—the so-called PMDs—of their nuclear program. These questions must be answered before sanctions are even partially lifted. Otherwise, the West will never get answers.
4) The proposed speed of sanctions relief is, of course, something to watch carefully. The Iranians want immediate sanctions relief, but the West should only agree to a stately pace of sanctions-removal, predicated on 100-percent Iranian compliance on intrusive inspections, among other issues.
5) The largest question in my mind concerns the matter of break-out time—how long it would take for Iran, once it made a decision to violate the terms of a deal and go for full nuclearization, to actually make a deliverable weapon. The goal of the Obama administration is to make sure that it would take Iran at least a year to cross the threshold. The assumption is that a year would give the West time to devise a response—including, if necessary, a military response. This will be among the issues of greatest controversy because this is an easily misunderstood and distorted matter, one that is both devilishly complicated and, in many ways, theoretical.
Elliott Abrams: President Carter and Israel -- again
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter writes about (that is to say, against) Israel once again in Friday's Washington Post, in a column titled "Rebuild Gaza, and avert the next war."‎
Why is Gaza not being rebuilt? Two reasons. First, Carter says, because Hamas and Fatah ‎are fighting and donors are not delivering: "The $5.4 billion pledged for rebuilding was ‎predicated on the Palestinian Authority asserting itself in Gaza. However, relations between ‎Hamas and its political rivals, Abbas' Fatah party, remain fraught. The authority has ‎proven unwilling or unable to govern in Gaza. As a result, the promised reconstruction ‎money has not been delivered." True enough. Unless and until donors pony up the cash ‎they promised, there will be little rebuilding. Carter's solution is international pressure "to ‎implement reconciliation agreements between Fatah and Hamas." (He does not seem to ‎realize that this "reconciliation" between the PA and a terrorist group would doom any ‎possible negotiations between Israel and the PA, but that's a different subject.)‎
Then Carter adds this second explanation for Gaza's troubles:‎ "The shortage of funds is the most immediate problem, but it is not the only one: Israel has ‎restricted access to Gaza."‎
So he calls for "sustained pressure ... to end Israel's closure of Gaza. It is incumbent on the ‎world to engage at the highest levels with the Palestinians, Egypt and Israel to push this ‎process forward."‎
That sentence is the sole reference to Egypt, and it shows what is wrong with Carter's ‎analysis. The fact is that Gaza has a border not only with Israel, but with Egypt, and that ‎border with Egypt has been closed by the government in Cairo -- for security reasons, as it ‎fights Hamas smuggling and terror in the Sinai.
Biden: American Jews Can Only Rely on Israel, Not US
Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg reveals in the April issue of The Atlantic how at a Rosh Hashana event in Biden's home last fall, the vice president told Jewish leaders and Jewish officials in US President Barack Obama's administration how he met former Prime Minister Golda Meir when he was a young Senator.
"I’ll never forget talking to her in her office with her assistant - a guy named (Yitzhak) Rabin - about the Six-Day War,” he recalled. “The end of the meeting, we get up and walk out, the doors are open, and...the press is taking photos. ...She looked straight ahead and said, ‘Senator, don’t look so sad...Don’t worry. We Jews have a secret weapon.'"
Biden states he asked Meir what the weapon was, noting "I thought she was going to tell me something about a nuclear program" - an ironic comment given the US's recent declassification of documents revealing Israel's nuclear program in a breach of understandings with the Jewish state.
But according to Biden, "she looked straight ahead and she said, ‘We have no place else to go.'" Addressing his guests at Rosh Hashana, Biden paused for effect and repeated, "we have no place else to go."
"Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones," Biden said. "You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States...there’s only one guarantee."
"There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the state of Israel," he stated.