Editor: Rael Jean Isaac Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer
Outpost is distributed free to Members of Americans for a Safe Israel Annual membership: $100.
Americans for a Safe Israel
1751 Second Ave. (at 91st Street)
New York, NY 10128
Tel (212) 828-2424 / fax (212) 828-1717
Zionism101.org Online now: Ben-Gurion Part 3: A Gordian Knot
“Ben-Gurion Part 3: A Gordian Knot” describes Ben-Gurion’s dilemma as he seeks to confront Britain over its restrictive immigration laws even as he must help Britain fight the war against Hitler. Ultimately, it will not be until the end of the war that the knot is untied .There are already 41 videos on the site, covering everything from Zionism’s early years to Christian Zionism to Israel’s War of Independence. Zionism101.org is free. You need only register to see the videos and to be informed when the next video is available.
Full Story »
Irving Moskowitz held nothing more lovingly to his bosom than the charge of enemies ranging from Time Magazine to the Cana’anist Gush Shalom that he was the mover and shaker, beyond compare, in the “judaization” of eastern Jerusalem. Unflaggingly determined to bolster that accusation, Moskowitz, through the foundation bearing his name, spent millions of the dollars he’d earned in California real estate realizing his dream of a re-empowered Jewish people living anywhere in their glorious capital and its eastern environs they chose.
Thousands of Jewish families in the Old City, David’s City, the Yemenite village of Shiloach, the neighborhoods of Shimon Hatzadik, Kidmat Zion, Abu Tor, Beit Orot and Ma’aleh Hzeitim bear witness to his success. In audaciously creating “facts on the ground,” Moskowitz bought the palatial eastern Jerusalem quarters of arch pogromist and Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin el Huseini, turning it into a yeshiva, and pried open the Western Wall tunnels to millions of tourists over the hysterical objections of the Wakf.
Cherna, Moskowitz’s dedicated wife and partner, will continue to carry the torch he lit, but Irving will be missed. He was a rare gift.
Full Story »
Angela Merkel, by any measure, is Israel’s nearest thing to an identifiable defender in a European Union increasingly defined by hectorism in most matters concerning the Jewish state. The breadth of what’s become known as Jerusalem’s “special relationship” with the German chancellor, however, its restraining power against a coalition partner eager to be relieved of the Israel “burden” and Merkel’s personal vulnerability to a tide of resentment precipitated by her open door to 800,000 Muslim immigrants over the past two years, is still to be tested.A less than comforting prognosis has most recently been underscored by a piece in Der Spiegel, Germany’s most influential news magazine, referencing an alleged belief among members of Berlin’s defense and foreign ministry establishments that a reassessment of the Federal Republic’s “unconditional” commitment to Israel’s security might be in order in light of the latter’s “instrumentalization” by Prime Minister Netanyahu to cover Israeli behavior in the “West Bank” inimical to a two-state solution of the Palestinian problem.
. Given that Germany is second only to the United States as a supplier of major Israeli war materiel, a “reassessment“ would be no laughing matter. Its ramifications were reflected in Germany’s provision and assumption of a third of the cost of four Corvette “Saar 6” class warships to Israel, the largest and most powerful in the IDF’s fleet, to serve as guardians over the Jewish state’s Mediterranean Sea natural gas rigs. This was preceded by the integration into its fleet of the Israel Navy’s fifth “Dolphin” class “INS Tanin” submarine out of Germany’s shipyards, with a sixth, the “INS Rahav,” scheduled to be delivered sometime next year. These top-of-the-line vessels, with evasive and missile- delivering capabilities previously undreamt of, go for $500 million a copy. Germany is assuming a chunk of the cost.
Quick to respond to the Spiegel story, Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold, in Berlin for talks with Christoph Huesgen, his German opposite number, said he could find no evidence to support the magazine’s claim of a brewing reassessment. Huesgen, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, appeared to back him up but a certain degree of uneasiness remains. Most of the chatter circulates around Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister and head of the Social Democratic Party — the SPD — Merkel’s chief coalition partner. He has referred to Netanyahu’s criticism of the Iran nuclear deal as “very coarse” and in contrast to Merkel, has welcomed the EU labeling of Israeli products emanating from beyond the Green Line. Steinmeier appeared morally unconstrained in meeting in Tehran with either Holocaust denier Ali Larinjani, Iran’s parliamentary president, or with former Iranian president Hasten Rafsanji, who speaks casually about dropping an atomic bomb on Tel Aviv. A still unlikely but possible Steinmeier-led SPD victory in next year’s German national elections could amount to a whole other ballgame for Israel.
Full Story »
Can Brexit Save the EU?
The conventional wisdom is that in taking out England, Brexit does the EU a damaging blow. What is overlooked is the possibility that Brexit may provide the EU with a much needed wake-up call. The Brussel elites move confidently to their own drummer, paying no attention to the opinions of the broad publics in the (now) 27 individual component states. That may no longer be possible if Britain’s example energizes anti-EU movements on the continent. The most potent issue is immigration which is inextricably bound up with the issue of national identity. On the BBC one pundit mentioned that in the supermarket he asked a woman how she planned to vote. She responded “Leave” and when he asked why said “Why did we fight World War II?”
As far as the EU elites are concerned, the ultimate moral arbiters are the so-called human rights NGOs (the joke is that there is nothing more morally corrupt than those NGOs—witness their behavior toward and in Israel). For these NGOs it is a given that nothing can be done about the vast hordes of young Muslim men invading Europe but welcome them. On this premise, the EU’s only “solution” is imposed quotas on individual member states.
If it dawns on the EU’s leaders that they could be collectively out of a job if they fail to address the issue, it is at least possible that they might ignore the indignant shrieks of the NGOs to find a solution. A real solution, not the bizarre one Angela Merkel has come up with of holding out hope of speeded up accession to the EU to Turkey (with the potential of adding umpteen millions of Moslems to Europe) in exchange for stopping a certain number of other Moslems from coming. EU leaders might find that they themselves could actually close the EU’s external borders. From a human rights point of view such an action might even save lives. If migrants were promptly turned back at sea or on shore, far fewer would risk their lives on the journey.
Why are the European states obliged to accept millions of immigrants in search of a better life? (See the article by Daniel Greenfield in this issue which underlines the extent of the folly.) Yes, there is a human obligation to help those displaced by war, but this need not be in Europe. Thanks to Brexit, the EU might actually consider this simple proposition—and bolster its future in the process.
What “Even-Handed” Means
In Mosaic Edward Alexander excoriates Bernie Sanders for his call for greater “even-handedness” in American Middle East Policy, most recently exemplified by his appointing well-known Israel-haters to two of the five slots on the Democratic Party’s platform committee he was allowed to select. Sanders constantly repeats that all he desires in American Middle East policy is greater “even-handedness,” i.e., less “favoritism” on behalf of Israel. Alexander observes that what this really means is that Israel must be deprived of its single powerful ally in the UN and in world affairs generally.
Alexander writes: “On May 25, for example, the World Health Organization voted for a UN resolution to single out Israel as the only violator of ‘elemental, physical and environmental health’ in the world, and commissioned a WHO delegation to investigate and report on ‘the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory.’ The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, and other European Union states voted ‘Yes’ to singling out Israel as the world’s only violator of human decency in medical matters. The UN assembly did not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade; neither did it pass a resolution about Venezuelan citizens being starved by their (Sanders-style) ‘democratic socialist’ government. Out of 24 items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item No. 19 against Israel, focused on a specific country. For good measure a WHO delegation was commissioned to investigate health conditions in ‘the occupied Syrian Golan.’ No doubt these same nations would much prefer that ISIS take charge of the Golan inhabitants’ health and well-being.”
The Jewish Population of the “West Bank”
The annual statistics on the number of Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria, based on the Population Registry of Israel’s Interior Ministry, have been released. As of Dec. 31, 2015 there were 406,302 Jews living there, and this does not include the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem (Pisgat Zeev, Ramat Shlomo, Ramot, Gilo, Ramat Eshkol etc.) which are home to an additional 360,000 Jews. Could even a future radical peace-processing Israeli government contemplate removing over 760,000 Jews from their homes? And could Israel’s Palestinian Arab “peace partners” even pretend to settle for less?
Full Story »
Forget the Syrian Civil War for a moment. Even without the Sunnis and Shiites competing to give each other machete haircuts every sunny morning, there would still be a permanent Muslim refugee crisis.
The vast majority of civil wars over the last ten years have taken place in Muslim countries. Muslim countries are also some of the poorest in the world. And Muslim countries also have high birth rates.
Combine violence and poverty with a population boom and you get a permanent migration crisis.
No matter what happens in Syria or Libya next year, that permanent migration crisis isn’t going away.
The Muslim world is expanding unsustainably. In the Middle East and Asia, Muslims tend to underperform their non-Muslim neighbors both educationally and economically. Oil is the only asset that gave Muslims any advantage and in the age of fracking, its value is a lot shakier than it used to be.
The Muslim world lost its old role as the intermediary between Asia and the West. And it has no economic function in the new world except to blackmail it by spreading violence and instability.
Muslim countries with lower literacy rates, especially for women, are never going to be economic winners at any trade that doesn’t come gushing out of the ground. Nor will unstable dictatorships ever be able to provide social mobility or access to the good life. At best they’ll hand out subsidies for bread.
The Muslim world has no prospects for getting any better. The Arab Spring was a Western delusion.
Growing populations divided along tribal and religious lines are competing for a limited amount of land, power and wealth. Countries without a future are set to double in size.
There are only two solutions; war or migration.
Either you fight and take what you want at home. Or you go abroad and take what you want there.
Full Story »
Tuvia Tenenbom’s forthcoming book is called Don’t Quote Me, but the reaction in the English speaking world has been “Don’t Tell Me.” Melanie Phillips in The Jerusalem Post reports on the difficulties Tenenbom is encountering—despite his record as a best-selling author—in finding an American publisher for what she describes as a “savage, disturbing, comical and important book about how Americans think.”
His new book, to be released in Germany in September, follows what has become Tenenbom’s modus operandi–he wanders the country for six months posing as a non-Jewish German. First it was Germany (I Sleep in Hitler’s Room), then Israel (Catch the Jew!), now the United States. One of the ugly truths Tenenbom unmasks in his new book (which he also laid bare in Catch the Jew!) is the role of Jewish leftists in spreading Jew-hatred (in the guise of “human rights”). Phillips is doubtless right in believing this is a major factor in his problem finding a publisher for Don’t Quote Me, given the large role Jews on the left have in the U.S. publishing world.
A taste of what English-language publishers don’t want readers to hear can be gleaned from a recent radio interview with Tenenbom by Ari Fleisher in Jerusalem. Tenenbom describes openly-voiced anti-Semitism, now familiar in Europe, coming to America, among the millennials especially and of course in the colleges. He even heard slogans of “Free Palestine” in Republican states like Montana. And as in Israel he found, except among the Orthodox, a substantial number of Jewish self-haters, harboring a passionate commitment “to point a finger at the rest of the Jews for how bad they are, occupiers, racists and whatever.…Look at a person. If everyone hates that person and wants to kill him and that person wants to kill himself, what’s going to happen?…If you want to die and I want to kill you and we meet in the same room, we’ll make a deal. Too many Jews are self-hating and in the outside world too many people hate the Jews and the only thing that’s changing is in America it’s happening now.”
It is not only Tenenbom’s findings that many Jews find uncomfortable to hear. They avoid recognizing that major Jewish organizations have collapsed just when they are most needed. The Anti-Defamation League, which one would expect to find in the forefront of the battle for Jews and Israel, is not merely missing in action, but in crucial areas ranged on the opposing side. There is no greater long term threat to the welfare of Jews in the United States than Muslim immigration. The threat is not only to Jews: as Kevin Williamson has pointed out “the plain conclusion to be drawn from the European experience is that if a Western country does not already have a large, poorly assimilated Muslim minority population, it would do well to not acquire one.” But Jews are the most severely and immediately threatened, for if there is one cultural trait Muslims—especially those from Syria– bring with them, it is hatred of Israel—and contempt for Jews. It does not take prophetic powers to realize that changing demographics mean a shift in the electoral landscape. The Democratic Party already shows dramatic signs of a shift against Israel. Universities, where Muslims combine with the left to demonize Israel, will become even more unwelcoming places for Jewish students. Yet eleven major Jewish organizations, the ADL in the forefront are urging acceptance of even more Syrian refugees than Obama proposed.
Full Story »
Every Iraqi Jew has a tale to tell about the Farhud, the two-day pogrom that befell the Jews of Baghdad 75 years ago in June 1941. In the case of my own family, it was a matter of heeding the advice of a Muslim business colleague of my grandfather, who told him that dark days were looming for the Jews, and that he would be wise to get his family out of the country as quickly as possible — which my grandfather did.
But my grandfather was part of a fortunate minority. When the Farhud — which means, in Arabic, “violent dispossession” — erupted, there were around 90,000 Jews still living in the Iraqi capital, the main component of a vibrant community descended from the sages who, 27 centuries earlier, had made the land once known as Babylon the intellectual and spiritual center of Judaism.
By the time the violent mob stood down, at the end of the festival of Shavuot, nearly 200 Jews lay dead, with hundreds more wounded, raped, and beaten. Hundreds of homes and businesses were burned to the ground. As the smoke cleared over a scene more familiar in countries like Russia, Poland, and Germany, the Jewish community came to the realization that it had no future in Iraq. Within a decade, almost the entire community had been chased out, joining a total of 850,000 Jews from elsewhere in the Arab world summarily dispossessed from their homes and livelihoods.
That the Farhud is even remembered today is in large part due to a handful of scholars and activists who have committed themselves to publicizing this terrible episode. During the week of the Farhud’s 75th anniversary, some of them — like the American writer Edwin Black and Lyn Julius, the British historian of Middle Eastern Jewish origin — have been organizing memorial ceremonies in the US, the UK, and especially Israel, which absorbed the great majority of Iraqi-Jewish refugees. I myself was honored to address the memorial ceremony at New York City’s Safra Synagogue, where 27 candles — one for each century of the Jewish presence in Iraq — were lit and then promptly snuffed out, to symbolize the sudden extinction of Iraqi Jewry.
Commemorating the Farhud, and establishing its rightful place as an example of the persecution of the Jews during the Nazi era, has been a difficult task. For several decades after the Second World War, the importance of the Farhud was subsumed by the widely held notion that the Holocaust was something that consumed only European Jews. The truth was that the Nazis had both a direct presence and significant influence across the Arab world. So when, in 1941, the British had suffered a series of blows in southern Europe and North Africa, the time was right for a coup against the pro-British government in Baghdad. The strategic goal of the Nazis was to seize Iraq’s oil fields, thereby providing them with the fuel needed for the invasion of the Soviet Union.
In April, the month my grandfather and his family left Iraq, a local Nazi lackey, Rashid Ali al Ghailani, seized power, believing that an alliance with Hitler would create the conditions for Iraq’s national independence. Rashid Ali’s principal supporter was the pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, who arrived in Baghdad in 1939 having escaped British arrest. Until then, the mufti’s main role had involved inciting genocidal violence against the Jewish community in British Mandatory Palestine, which was especially pronounced during the Arab revolt of 1936-39. Once in Iraq, the mufti solidified his Nazi loyalties, meeting with Hitler in Berlin in November 1941 and later organizing Bosnian and Albanian Muslims into the “Handzar” division of the SS.
Full Story »
Dov Waxman, a professor of political science at Northeastern University, says he has written Trouble in the Tribe to investigate the “internecine battle” waged over Israel in the American Jewish community. What emerges instead is an apologia for radical anti-Israel Jewish organizations and a distorted image of organized American Jewry as intolerant, elitist, and intent on silencing those who dare criticize Israel.
The author’s failure to level with the reader is clear by the second chapter. It’s here that Waxman introduces us to his first example of how a dissenting group was “denounced” and “shunned” by organized American Jewry. That group was Breira, an organization established in 1973 following the Yom Kippur War. Breira means “alternative” in Hebrew, and the alternative it offered was a PLO-run state in the West Bank and Gaza. In Waxman’s telling, the group came from “the heart of the Jewish community” but was smeared by right-wing organizations after it came to light that two of Breira’s members had met with Palestinians with close ties to the PLO (in Israel meeting with the PLO was then illegal).
The trouble with Waxman’s narrative is that neither Breira’s position nor its members’ PLO meet-and-greet was the issue. What did Breira in was not dissent, but flying under a false flag. What was exposed, through a monograph put out by Americans for a Safe Israel—Waxman incorrectly names it American Friends for a Safe Israel—was who was in Breira’s leadership. The group’s first two paid staff members came from CONAME, as did 19 other members of Breira, many of whom held positions on its executive and advisory committees. CONAME originated as a front group for the Socialist Workers Party, and was described by Time as one of the Arab or pro-Arab organizations working in the United States. The group specialized in bringing anti-Israel speakers like Israel Shahak (who called the whole idea of a Jewish state “unjust and absurd”) to American campuses. During the 1973 war, it had joined with Arab and pro-Arab organizations in sending telegrams to Congress urging “no arms to Israel.” When this was exposed, the group claimed lamely that its name had been used without its consent.
Breira had roped in a number of high-profile Jews who took at face value Breira’s claim to be pro-Israel. When they realized they had been duped, some—including Harvard sociology professor Nathan Glazer, scholar of Judaism Jacob Neusner, and Rabbi Robert Gordis, editor of Judaism—jumped ship. Internal dissent doomed the organization. None of this you would learn from Waxman.
Full Story »
Editor’s Note: Prior to the Brexit vote, a Jewish Chronicle survey found that while Jews were divided, the majority planned to vote “Remain.” The following is excerpted from an article by Michael Kuttner (a New Zealander now living in Israel) who thinks their “Remain” vote was a mistake.
By the time you read this, the results of the British referendum will be known. Whether the UK remains or exits the European Union the repercussions of its decision will be felt by Israel and Jews in Europe alike.
Europe has become a major trading region for Israel. However with the chaos caused by a weak Euro, severe economic recessions in many member countries, rampant unemployment especially amongst the young generation and a general malaise as evidenced in France, it is time to turn our trading efforts eastward. This is exactly what Israel has been doing in recent times. Not only is it unwise to put all our trading eggs in one basket, diversification also reduces the probability of boycotts and economic blackmail.
The idea of submerging national feelings of patriotism to some sort of universal attachment to European togetherness has manifestly failed. Today we are facing a virulent resurgence of age-old prejudices against Jews as well as other minorities, with political parties dedicated to ominous echoes from the recent past poised to take power in several countries. A union of countries in the future with an agenda hostile to Jews and prepared to ban circumcision and Shechita and Kosher food is far more dangerous than individual countries trying to go it alone.
The EU as it has evolved today believes that it has a divine mission to meddle endlessly in our affairs, assert its non-existent right to impose solutions on Israel which will in effect lead to our demise and to punish us with boycotts and labeling if we do not meekly acquiesce. In addition and far more galling the EU provides millions of Euros to the kleptomaniac Palestinian Arab Authority which only this week announced via its Prime Minister that stipends to terrorists who have murdered Israelis and their families will be increased. For good measure he described these terrorists as heroes. Has the EU cut off funding in the face of this? Of course they have not.
Full Story »
Generals renowned for strategy and bravery in war often make very poor national leaders. I speak here not of tin pot dictators and “generalisimos” whose chests are festooned with medals and ribbons, but of Israeli generals. As Martin Sherman, Israel’s superb commentator, wrote in The Jerusalem Post over a year ago in “Goofy Generals Galore”: “Virtually every time top military figures have departed from their field of expertise and ventured into one where they have none (politics), they have–almost invariably—been disastrously wrong.”
Moshe Dayan was commander of the Jerusalem front in Israel’s War of Independence and Chief of Staff during the 1956 Suez War. In 1967, while Minister of Defense, he became the symbol of the IDF. Probably the most famous photograph of the 1967 war, is that of Dayan praying at the just-liberated Western Wall. His downfall came when he was blamed for the intelligence failures prior to the 1973 war. Inexplicably in 1977 Menachem Begin restored him to public life by making him Foreign Minister. Dayan played a critical role in implementing the infamous Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. As lead negotiator, he held secret meetings with officials in India, Iran, England and Morocco and prodded a reluctant Begin to accept all Sadat’s demands. The resulting peace agreement gave Israel nothing but promises, which were flouted by Egypt before the ink was dry. In return Israel surrendered the entire Sinai and agreed to give ‘autonomy” to the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria. As Henry Kissinger later commented, “autonomy” was the embryo of partition and independence.
Yigal Allon was a respected general who served as Prime Minister for three weeks in 1969 when Levi Eshkol died suddenly. Shortly after the 1967 war his Allon Plan proposed the first post war surrender: it proposed partitioning the West Bank between Israel and Jordan, creating a Druze state in the Golan Heights, and returning most of the Sinai to Arab control. It was immediately rejected by King Hussein and ridiculed by the other Arab states, but it laid bare Israel’s willingness to divide the area, laying the ground for successive American sponsored “peace processes.”
The next general to become Prime Minister was Yitzhak Rabin who served twice, from 1974 to 1955 and again from July 1992 to November 1995 when he was assassinated. While during his first tenure he oversaw the hugely successful Entebbe rescue, during his second term he signed off on the Oslo agreement which was followed by a large and bloody siege of terrorism and continues to have catastrophic consequences for Israel. He shared a Nobel peace prize with Yasser Arafat for his disastrous actions.
Full Story »