Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer
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Online now: Jabotinsky Part 3: Revisionism or log in at www.zionism101.org
In “Jabotinsky Part 3: Revisionism” Jabotinsky founds the Revisionist party to press the World Zionist Organization to fight harder for Jewish claims in Palestine. After a long, fruitless struggle within the Zionist establishment, Jabotinsky decides to go his own way. He creates the New Zionist Organization.There are already 43 free videos on the site, covering everything from Zionism’s early years to Christian Zionism to Israel’s War of Independence.
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Israeli reactions to Donald Trump’s stunning presidential election victory have ranged from the apotheotic to the apocalyptic, the outer limits of a broad base of opinion grounded in shaded optimism.
Aryeh Deri’s optimism was forged in another place. The Interior Minister and chairman of “Shas,” Sephardic (predominantly Moroccan) ultra-Orthodoxy’s parliamentary face, says he sees in the election of the New York real estate magnate and reality TV star a “herald of the coming of the Messiah.” A decidedly political messianic herald to be sure, for unbeknownst to the President-elect, he is the hammer who has been chosen to break Reform and Conservative Judaism’s hold on the U.S. government. “There is no doubt,” Deri avers, “that one can give thanks to God that all those who have damned the Covenant, thinking they could take control over the Land of Israel, have received their blow. If such a miracle can happen,” he adds, “we are really in the era of the birth pangs of the Messiah when everything has been flipped to the good of the Jewish people.”
Projecting a somewhat more earthly grounded version of Deri’s thesis, Moshe Gafni, senior Knesset representative of the mainly Ashkenazic (eastern European) United Torah Judaism party, told Haredi news website Kikar Hashabbat that the Reform and Conservative movements had done themselves irreparable damage with their near uniform identification with a tattered Democratic party. “The Right has risen,” he declared, and Trump is well aware of who worked against his election.
At the opposite pole, visions of impending calamity were being evoked by the “climate change” wing of the Israeli environmental fraternity over Trump’s threat to cancel America’s contribution under the recently concluded “Paris Agreement” toward keeping the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees C for the foreseeable future. Trump considers the agreement “bad for American business” and has called global warming a “hoax.” The threat has Israeli climate changers in eschatological mode, with solar engineer Yosef Abramowitz, whose Energyia Global Capital finances solar construction in Israel and Africa, predicting that a loss of American leadership on climate will doom the West to a hellish combination of “increased fires, extreme drought, rising sea levels and supercharged hurricanes.” “Our children and grandchildren,” he further prophesied, “will suffer from greater air pollution, food scarcity and political turmoil around the globe.”
Wrestling with angels and demons of his own, the Prime Minister was pictured by Jerusalem Post chief political correspondent Gil Hoffman as having a “hard time hiding his joy over the change in power in Washington…He talks and acts like a Republican,” Hoffman observed, “and was obviously overjoyed when Pennsylvania, the state in which he spent his formative years, gave the presidency to Trump.” Never having shared a single day with a Republican president in his 10-plus years at Israel’s helm, the prime minister was quoted by staffers as having remarked ”I want to know what it’s like to serve with a president that has my back.” With Trump, Bibi will be more than getting his wish. Mutual admiration thoroughly informs this relationship. Hoffman described Netanyahu as appearing “downright giddy” in a video congratulating Trump on his victory, declaring him a “great friend of Israel.” Netanyahu accompanied it with a Facebook posting of a video Trump released prior to the 2013 Israeli election praising him as a “great prime minister” and “a winner.”
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A New Muslim?
(Jewish?) Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt has declared he will register as a Muslim if there is reinstatement of a national registry of immigrants and visitors from countries where Islamic extremist groups are active. Now there’s a terrific idea. Perhaps Greenblatt will then be eligible to head CAIR or the Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Given how far ADL has moved from its ostensible mission of promoting Jewish interests (in practical terms it functions as a wing of the far left of the Democratic Party), Greenblatt’s departure from his current post would be cause for celebration for those who care for Israel and the welfare of American Jews.
Sitting Political Shiva
There has been much coverage of elite campuses where professors suspended classes and students retreated to safe spaces with Play Doh and even therapy dogs to recuperate from the staggering blow of an election in which the deplorables deplorably won. Less remarked, dozens of synagogues have been equally idiotic, organizing gatherings for their flock “to grieve together.” Rolando Matalon, rabbi at Congregation Bnai Jeshurun on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where one such gathering occurred, told Haaretz: “People feel heartbroken and in disbelief…we need to give people space to hold each other or pray and sing.”
While excoriating the supposed anti-Semitism of Trump, his entourage and his appointments on trivial to non-existent evidence (most of them, including the much maligned Stephen Bannon, have a strong record of support for Israel), these same people show not a shred of concern that, at this writing, the strongly anti-Israel convert to Islam Keith Ellison is favored to become the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Charles Schumer, the incoming Democratic minority leaders, says “I’m not worried about the Israel stuff.” Neither of course are the likes of Rabbi Matalon, an avowed supporter of the Soros-funded anti-Israel J Street. But the synagogue members who care about Israel and are currently foolishly “grieving together” should be very worried about Ellison.
As ZOA chairman Mort Klein has pointed out, Ellison “was a devotee and worked for anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan for many years.” In 2014 he was one of only 8 members of Congress who voted against a bi-partisan bill to provide $225 million to Israel’s Iron dome missile defense system. In 2010 Ellison spearheaded the “Gaza 54” letter to President Obama, false accusing Israel of wreaking “collective punishment” on Gaza residents and demanding that Obama pressure Israel to lift the Gaza blockade. Ellison sought to insert anti-Israel provisions into the 2016 Democratic platform and has ties to radical Moslem anti-Israel groups. Why no political shivas at the prospect of an Ellison at the helm of the DNC?
The shiva-sitters might pause to ponder why, in Israel, the vote was as lopsided for Trump as it was against him within U.S. Jewry. In Arutz Sheva, Larry Gordon reports that of the more than 100,000 American citizens who live in Israel and cast absentee ballots the overwhelming number voted for Trump. The answer is easy: eight years of a hostile Obama administration was enough. For them U.S. policy toward Israel, i.e. the future of the Jewish people, was the decisive issue.
Not that there isn’t cause for concern: Trump keeps coming back to the fantasy that he can solve the Arab-Israel conflict, most recently by sending his son-in-law to do the job!
Keep Your Eye on the Corpses
Writing in the Australian journal Quadrant David Pryce Jones describes the cultural traits within the Arab world that fuel its brutal wars and inability to function as nation-states. He observes that in the post-1945 world, Arabs have been free to build their own societies in accordance with their numbers and hopes. “Instead,” he writes, “they have thrown away such prospects in self-perpetuating and interminable wars and civil wars. Never take your eyes off the corpses is the sole comment outsiders can make about these people who are failing to do justice to themselves, destroying, not creating, in a continuous human tragedy.”
Israel, says Pryce Jones, “is the one exception in the region. Zionism is the national liberation of the Jewish people, and it has enabled them to create a First World nation-state, a centre of excellence in the sciences and the arts. Its democratic institutions incorporate a variety of ethnicities, religious faiths and sects. To give just one example of its inclusiveness, the judge who condemned a President of Israel to prison for sexual misdemeanor is an Arab. Traditionally Muslims have been accustomed to see Jews as second-class people, by nature shameful, and it is intolerable for them and their honour that a Jewish liberation movement should succeed in their midst. Ranging from boycotts and sanctions to outright war, attempts to attack Israel are so many triumphs of ignorance and irrationality, incitements to pile up more corpses, and altogether a standing insult to civilization.”
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On Nov. 2 we entered the centenary year of the Balfour Declaration. This document, signed on November 2, 1917 by the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, was the first recognition by one of the world’s great powers—in fact at the time the greatest power in the world—of the right of the Jewish people to their national homeland in Palestine.
It was the single most significant step taken in restoring Jewish self-determination in their historic territories. Under the San Remo Resolution three years later, the Balfour Declaration was enshrined in international law, leading inexorably to the 1947 UN partition plan and ultimately to the proclamation of the State of Israel by David Ben Gurion on May 14, 1948.
As Britain, Israel and the free world begin to mark this monumental anniversary, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demands an apology from the UK.
The man whose constitutional tenure as Palestinian leader expired seven years ago, yet remains in place. The man who raised funds for the 1972 massacre in Munich of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes. The man who misused millions of dollars of international aid intended for the welfare of his people. The man who dismissed as a “fantastic lie” the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
This man demands an apology. Of course he does. And in demanding that Britain apologise for a 99-year-old statement supporting a national home for the Jewish people, he exposes his true position, and the true position of all factions of the Palestinian leadership: that the Jewish people have no right to a national home; the Jewish State has no right to exist. According to Abbas, Palestine, from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, belongs to the Arabs and only to the Arabs.
At a dinner held by the Zionist Federation in London on April 12, 1931, Sir Herbert Samuel, British High Commissioner in Palestine from 1920 to 1925 and the first Jew to govern the historic land of Israel in 2,000 years, said: “In time the Arabs will come to appreciate and respect the Jewish [standpoint]”.
Unfortunately, as Abbas’s demands demonstrate only too clearly, he could not have been more wrong. It is sometimes claimed that Arab violence towards the Jews began with the Balfour Declaration which created in their minds a feeling of betrayal by the British and an apprehension of Arab subjugation under Jewish governance.
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Editor’s note: The West’s conviction that poverty and/or discrimination drive young people into terrorism is second only to its belief in the “two state solution.” Both are rooted in fantasy and so far, at least, impervious to facts.
“There is a stereotype that young people from Europe who leave for Syria are victims of a society that does not accept them and does not offer them sufficient opportunities… Another common stereotype in the debate in Belgium is that, despite research which refutes this, radicalization is still far too often misunderstood as a process resulting from failed integration… I therefore dare say that the better young people are integrated, the greater the chance is that they radicalize. This hypothesis is supported by a lot of evidence.”
That was the result of extremely important Dutch research, led by a group of academics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Terrorists seem to be models of successful integration: for instance, Mohammed Bouyeri, the Moroccan-Dutch terrorist who shot the filmmaker Theo van Gogh to death, then stabbed him and slit his throat in 2004. “He [Bouyeri] was a well-educated guy with good prospects,” said Job Cohen, the Labor Party mayor of Amsterdam.
The Dutch research was followed by research from France, adding more evidence to the thesis that goes against the liberal belief that to defeat terrorism, Europe must invest in economic opportunities and social integration. Dounia Bouzar, director of the Center for Prevention, Deradicalization and Individual Monitoring (CPDSI), a French organization dealing with Islamic radicalism, studied the cases of 160 families whose children had left France to fight in Syria. Two-thirds were members of the middle class.
These findings dismantle the myth of the proletariat of terror. According to a new World Bank report, “Islamic State’s recruits are better educated than their fellow countrymen”.
Poverty and deprivation are not, as John Kerry said, “the root cause of terrorism.” Studying the profiles of 331 recruits from an Islamic State database, the World Bank found that 69% have at least a high school education, while a quarter of them graduated from college. The vast majority of these terrorists had a job or profession before joining the Islamist organization. “The proportions of administrators but also of suicide fighters increase with education,” according to the World Bank report. “Moreover, those offering to become suicide bombers ranked on average in the more educated group.”
Despite the evidence, a progressive mantra repeats that Islamic terrorism is the result of injustice, poverty, economic depression and social unrest. The thesis that poverty breeds terrorism is pervasive today in the West, from French economist Thomas Piketty to Pope Francis. It is probably so popular because it plays on Western collective guilt, seeking to rationalize what the West seems to have trouble accepting: that terrorists are not driven by inequality, but by hatred for Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian values of the West. For Israel, this means: What are Jews doing on land that—even though for 3,000 years it has been called Judea—we think should be given to Palestinian terrorists? And these terrorists most likely wonder why they should negotiate, if instead they can be handed everything they want.
It is anti-Semitism, not poverty, that led the Palestinian Authority to name a school after Abu Daoud, mastermind of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
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Europe is currently seeing the reintroduction of blasphemy laws through both the front and back doors.
In Britain, the gymnast Louis Smith has just been suspended for two months by British Gymnastics. This 27-year old sportsman’s career has been put on hold, and potentially ruined, not because of anything to do with athletics but because of something to do with Islam.
Last month a video emerged online of the four-time Olympic medal-winner and a friend getting up to drunken antics after a wedding. The video—taken on Smith’s phone in the early hours of the morning—showed a friend taking a rug off a wall and doing an imitation of Islamic prayer rituals. When the video from Smith’s phone ended up in the hands of a newspaper, there was an immediate investigation, press castigation and public humiliation for the young athlete. Smith—who is himself of mixed race—was forced to parade on daytime television in Britain and deny that he is a racist, bigot or xenophobe. Notoriously liberal figures from the UK media queued up to berate him for getting drunk or for even thinking of taking part in any mockery of religion. This in a country in which Monty Python’s Life of Brian is regularly voted the nation’s favourite comic movie.
After an “investigation,” the British sports authority has now deemed Smith’s behaviour to warrant a removal of funding and a two-month ban from sport. This is the re-entry of blasphemy laws through the back door, where newspapers, daytime chat-shows and sports authorities decide between them that one religion is worthy of particular protection. They do so because they take the religion of Islam uniquely on its own estimation and believe, as well as fear, the warnings of the Islamic blasphemy-police worldwide.
The front-door reintroduction of blasphemy laws, meantime, is being initiated in a country which once prided itself on being among the first in the world to throw off clerical intrusion into politics. The Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been put on trial before. In 2010 he was tried in the courts for the contents of his film Fitna as well as a number of articles. The trial collapsed after one of the expert witnesses—the late, great Dutch scholar of Islam, Hans Jansen—revealed that a judge in the case had tried in private to influence him to change his testimony. The trial was transparently rigged and made Dutch justice look like that of a tin-pot dictatorship rather than one of the world’s most developed democracies. The trial was rescheduled and, after considerable legal wrangling, Wilders was eventually found “not guilty” of a non-crime in 2011.
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A little over two years ago, I wrote:
“The Middle Eastern see-saw is leaning heavily towards the Saudi-Egyptian axis, but it is not at all clear whether that coalition will continue to direct the Middle East in another year or two. Israel must not be tempted to align its security and future with a temporary constellation, no matter how good it appears to be. Israel must always base its policy on long term planning that gives priority to Israel and its territorial possessions and not to agreements resting on the shifting sands of the Middle East.”
Unfortunately, for the last two years Israelis and many others have been talking about the importance of a treaty between Israel and the so-called “coalition of moderate Sunni nations” – to wit, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, The United Arab Emirates, and the Palestinian Authority — all of them united against the Iranian threat and ISIS.
The foundation of the “moderate Sunni coalition” was the close cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, that began when King Abdullah, all heart and outspread hands, supported General Sisi, who in July 2013 ousted elected president Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood–this in opposition to the will of the US government and Europe. The Saudi billions saved Egypt from bankruptcy, and the cooperation between the two countries reached the point where Egyptian soldiers came to the aid of the Saudis in their struggle against the Iranian and Houthi forces in Yemen.
Except that since then, the sand dunes have shifted. Egypt is now in close cahoots with Saudi Arabia’s enemies, headed by Iran.
How did the turnabout happen?
The answer is to be found in the situation in Syria over the past two years. The Assad issue polarizes all the countries involved in Syria: Russia, Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah support Assad actively, not only politically, and are taking part in the fighting. Assad would be long gone without this involvement. On the other side of the court, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and some of the Emirates are undermining Assad politically and financially, arming and training those rebelling against his regime.
The scales of war tipped towards Assad during the past year once Russian military involvement began to increase in strength. One can say with certainty that Russia has become the Syrian Army’s main source of power, mainly from the air, and that a good part of the Russian navy is concentrated opposite Syria’s shores. The air defense systems that Russia has spread along the Syrian coast threaten the activities of the US, Israeli and Turkish warplanes in the area.
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The story of Taiwan’s expulsion from the UN is a cautionary tale for Israel. In 1971, after Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger implemented a rapprochement with the despots of Communist China, pro-American Taiwan was expelled by the United Nations to accommodate Peking (now Beijing).
In 1979 the American embassy in Taipei was downgraded to a consulate, the embassy to China relocated to Beijing.
Although Taiwan gave up all claims to the mainland, it didn’t help at the UN which systematically reduced Taiwan’s role, banning it not only from the Security Council but from the General Assembly. It has hung on to a peripheral place on a few subcommittees, where it is routinely harassed by other members. Taiwan continues to apply for UN membership but its applications have been denied, shamefully with American support for the continuing ban. Nonetheless Taiwan remains a thriving democracy now governed by a woman, Tsai Ing-wen.
The American embassy today is in Tel-Aviv not in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. The United Nations edges closer and closer to recognition of a “Palestinian” state. Israel can meet the fate of Taiwan should a “Greater Arab Palestine” be formally endorsed by the representatives of the “HateIsraelstans”– those post-colonial nations that won independence in the 1950s, increasing the number of UN member states to 193, most of them oppressive tyrannies.
The United Nations and its sub agencies bash, libel and condemn Israel in an unending barrage of hostile resolutions, while ignoring the depredations of the most oppressive regimes in the world.
In response Israel has adopted two opposing policies.
One–the less appealing–is making concessions, even though all previous concessions have had disastrous results. Israel then airbrushes the inevitable violent Arab/Moslem response.
The second–and more appealing—policy is one through which Israel garners respect for strength, determination and indifference to the howling of antagonists.
The incredible lightning victory of 1967 brought an outpouring of Western support. So did the epic rescue of hostages at Entebbe in 1976. So did the raid of 1981, launched from an air base in the Sinai, which destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Osirak.
Initially the last produced howls from the left. To its discredit, the United States abstained on a vote for UN resolution 487 which condemned Israel’s attack on an IAEA-approved nuclear site, entitled Iraq to sue for compensation, and urged Israel to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards.
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Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer
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Online now: Jabotinsky Part 2: The Jewish Legion
“Jabotinsky Part 2: The Jewish Legion” depicts Jabotinsky’s efforts to create a Jewish military unit to help conquer Palestine in World War I. Jabotinsky then struggles with a hostile British military administration in Palestine and founds the Haganah, which defends Jerusalem against Arab rioters in 1919 — and for which its members, Jabotinsky included, are imprisoned by the British.
There are already 42 free videos on the site, covering everything from Zionism’s early years to Christian Zionism to Israel’s War of Independence.
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Minister of Culture and Sports Miri (Miriam) Regev is redefining the boundaries of artistic license in Israel and the licensees are in full cry.
It is a reckoning that has been in the making for the more than 68 years of the Jewish State’s existence, pitting an Ashkenazi (European descendant), left-wing elite’s iron grip on the arts against an Israeli population that has grown progressively more politically conservative and religious. Whether it’s the “paradigm shift in Israeli society” cited by Bar Ilan law professor Yedidya Stern, the “core of the struggle over who are the legitimate heirs to the Zionist movement, “ declared by veteran columnist Nahum Barnea or the “revolution”– cultural, political and demographic– prophesied by others, it has found its “Danton” (its ”Robespierre,” some would insist) in the raven-haired 51 year- old daughter of Moroccan Jewish immigrants. The mother of three and possessor of an MBA degree rose from the mean streets of Kiryat Gat to the rank of Brigadier General and IDF spokesperson and from there to a coveted No. 5 on the Likud list in the 2009 Knesset election.
Regev’s take on her job is encapsulated in the still to be passed “Loyalty in Culture” amendment to Israel’s 2017 budget which would “for the first time, make government financial support for any cultural institution conditioned on its loyalty to the state of Israel.” Flag desecrators, “Nakba” sympathizers and those of similar mind can save their breath. “I have a responsibility for the public’s money,” she asserts. Regev invoked the power of her $120 million purse immediately on assuming her ministerial duties last year, freezing funding of a Haifa-based Midan Theatre production of Parallel Time, portraying in a rather understanding context the real life story of a Palestinian security prisoner who kidnapped, tortured and murdered an Israeli soldier in 1984.
At about the same time, she red-lined government financial support for a proposed “documentary “ on the wife of Yigal Amir, Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, and reduced funding for the Jewish-Arab Almina Children’s Theatre in Jaffa port because its director, Christian actor Norman Issa, refused for “reasons of conscience” to participate with other theatre groups in a performance in the “occupied” Jordan Valley. In a swipe at the Israeli allies of Nakba, the annual day of Arab mourning over the “catastrophic” creation of a Jewish state in their midst, she hit out at the Tel-Aviv Cinemateque for its promotion of the “48mm Festival,” a.k.a. the International Film Festival on Nakba.
Though she wasn’t in charge of the ministry in time to prevent its footing the bill for transporting the cast of radical leftist Motti Lerner’s “Return to Haifa” to the U.S., beginning with a performance in Washington, D.C., the lady from Kiryat Gat wouldn’t be above suing the producers for soliciting public money under false pretenses. Art it surely is not. The “play,” as reported on by Carol Greenwald of COPMA (Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art), charges Israel with forcefully evacuating thousands of Arabs from Haifa in 1948 and ghoulishly “equates the murder of 1.5 million Jewish children in the Holocaust with the fictional abduction of an Arab child.” What Congressional supporters of Israel in the audience might have thought of all that is too painful to contemplate.
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