Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer

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Twilight Zone William: Mehlman

The parameters of Mahmoud Abbas’ desperation are tellingly defined by the dangerous game he has embarked on. It reads like a manual on diplomatic self-immolation.
Not content with pushing the UN Security Council to within a single vote of compelling a U.S. veto of a resolution mandating an Israeli retreat to the 1949 armistice lines and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of “Palestine,” the Palestinian Authority president is vowing to reintroduce the resolution. The addition of pro-Palestinian Malaysia and Venezuela to the 15-member body is almost certain to provide him with a “victory,” plus the certainty of an American veto. His naked repudiation of bilateral negotiations as the prescribed route to a peace settlement, Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin asserts, “leaves President Obama, who has sought at every turn to blame Israel for the breakdown of the ‘peace process,’ with egg on his face.” Confronted now with Abbas’ acceptance as a member of the International Criminal Court—of which neither Israel nor the United States is a member — and the ICC’s decision to launch an “inquiry” into alleged Israeli “war crimes” during and prior to the 50-day Gaza conflict, Mr. Obama seems badly in need of a towel.

For one thing, Abbas’ trashing of the Obama-Kerry “negotiated peace” enterprise makes a cutoff of $400 million in annual U.S. aid to the PA a near slam-dunk. That money was already in bipartisan Congressional trouble due to the PA’s merger with Hamas, an organization still solidly ensconced on the State Department’s terrorist list. For another, it violates an absolute condition tied to the funding – that the PA must under no circumstances initiate any action against Israel in The Hague.

With a fury normally reserved for Jerusalem apartment builders, a wounded State Department has questioned the legitimacy of the ICC’s decision to institute a “war crimes” investigation of Israel on the grounds that the litigant, “Palestine,” is without legal standing. “We do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore…that it is eligible to join the International Criminal Court.” “It is a tragic irony,” the State Department memo adds, “that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC…The place to resolve the differences between the parties is through negotiations, not unilateral actions by either side.” Bibi Netanyahu couldn’t have said it better


From the Editor: Rael Jean Isaac

Joan Peters dies
AFSI mourns the death of our member and friend Joan Peters Caro. In her 1984 book From Time Immemorial she challenged the Arab narrative that Jewish immigrants to Palestine dispossessed an ancient and indigenous Arab population. She was also one of the early writers to describe the painful lot of Jews living as “dhimmis” in Arab nations. Her e-mails or phone calls followed virtually every issue of Outpost–always with sound commentary.

Another Two-State Solution?
Writer/farmer Bernie Quigley, writing in The Hill, notes that while France (as well as Europe and the U.S.) has “found the two-state solution to be the practical alternative for Israel,” the day may not be far off when that will be advocated for France.
Quigley notes the no-go zones (which it is suddenly fashionable to deny exist) in which French authorities have already ceded control to Islamists. He cites the French militant Muslims who talk openly of ruling the country one day and instituting sharia law. (Rowan Williams, then Archbishop of Canterbury, a few years back argued that adopting some aspects of shariah law in England seemed “unavoidable.”)
Writes Quigley: “Should Sharia law come to France, Britain, Germany or anywhere else in Europe, it would amount to an occupation. It would create new internal states within the older (dying) states.
We have been told by the Europeans for decades that the only alternative to all-out war, the only way to appease and accommodate Arab terrorism in Israel, is a two state solution. Says Quigley: “Not now, but in time and perhaps soon, the terrorists throughout Europe, possibly in allegiance with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or al Qaeda, will bring a case to the UN for autonomous state status in post-Christian Europe—with some credibility, citing Europe’s and America’s long term plans for Israel as precedent.”

Political Opera
What is it these days with the opera, which normally is confined to cultural news? First there was the debacle of the Klinghoffer opera, transforming villain into victim. Now there’s the spectacle of the Israel Opera denying the request of French-Jewish conductor Frederic Chaslin to say a few words and play the Hatikva in honor of those murdered in Paris.
To his credit, Chaslin, the son of Holocaust survivors, refused to appear for the performance, writing on Facebook: “It was refused to me. ‘It would upset our audience.’ ‘It is against the management’s policies.’ What management? What policy? Where am I? In a country supposed to be the sanctuary for all Jews in the world? Has the ‘audience’ of this country lost their souls?”
In response, the Israeli opera produced a statement setting forth its “policy:” “This is the way of the opera—not to allow terror to win and disturb the routine of our lives.” Playing the Israeli national anthem in honor of the Jewish victims of Islamic terror (who were brought to Israel for burial) would mean that terror “won”? This is not borderline insanity. It’s the real thing.


Why All French Jews Should Leave For: Israel David Hornik

In 2014, the year before the murder rampages at the Charlie Hebdo offices and the kosher supermarket in Paris, about seven thousand French Jews (out of a community of about half a million) emigrated to Israel.

With Muslim and other anti-Semitic harassment and violence constantly intensifying in France, that was twice the number of the previous year, and a record high.
Even before this month’s terror attacks, a higher number of French Jewish immigrants to Israel was expected for 2015. Now, after the attacks, a higher number yet is expected, possibly fifteen thousand. There is even talk of the Jews leaving France—mainly for Israel—altogether.

Meanwhile it’s reported that:
An unprecedented 15,000 soldiers and police officers have been mobilized in France to protect potential sites from terrorist attacks, of whom one third have been stationed at Jewish schools and synagogues for 24-hour-a-day supervision.
Five thousand police officers will guard 717 Jewish institutions, in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks that killed 17 people, including four Jews at a Paris kosher supermarket.
And in a speech after the attacks, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said:
“How is it possible to accept that France…how can it be accepted that we hear on our streets “Death to the Jews”?… How can one accept that French people be murdered simply because they are Jewish?….We must say to the world: without the Jews of France, France would no longer be France. And that message is one that we all have to deliver strongly and loudly. We did not say it in the past. We did not show our indignation in the past.”

On the one hand, one can ask whether sending one’s children to a school that has to be guarded round-the-clock by seven or eight soldiers and police officers is much of a way to live. On the other hand, one could ask, in light of the protective measures and Valls’s words: should France be given another chance, before Jews give up on it?
A brief and, of course, partial survey of France’s behavior toward Jews and the Jewish state in modern times warrants pessimism. If France would indeed no longer be France without its Jews, that should not be the Jews’ concern.


When I Am Not For Myself: Marilyn Penn

For answers to why so many young Jews are disaffected about Judaism and uninformed and hostile towards Israel, consult The Jewish Week of Jan 23rd. The cover story addresses the meeting organized by Repair the World at a Martin Luther King Shabbat in Crown Heights where three community activists spoke about race, privilege and partnership. The panel included a black woman, Tynesha McHarris, director of community leadership at the Brooklyn Community Foundation; a black man, Mark Winston Griffith, executive director of the Brooklyn Movement Center, and a white Jewish woman, Amy Ellenbogen, director of Crown Heights Community Mediation Center.

A questioner asked how the largely white audience could become effective allies in pursuing racial justice. McHarris responded that people of color needed to be the leaders while white people could follow and support. Griffith disagreed and said that his agency offered leadership roles to everybody. Ellenbogen stated that whites needed to “shut up and listen, and when you’re done with that, shut up and listen some more.” When a question arose concerning the selective filtering of history in the movie “Selma,” Professor James Goodman (History, Rutgers) felt that it was perfectly legitimate to airbrush Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel from the film despite his enormous contribution to the Civil Rights Movement, his prominent position at the march (the iconic photo shows him in the front line) and his close personal friendship with Dr. King.

In another article, we learn that an organization funded partly by U.S. Jewish institutions and federations and supported by the Israeli government has sent four Israelis to Sierra Leone to deal with the Ebola epidemic. In yet another article, Rabbi Sid Schwarz discusses his participation in the Israeli relief disaster team for Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 and how this materialized into the Adat Shalom Haiti Project. Adat Shalom is the rabbi’s congregation in Bethesda, Maryland and for the last five years, it has sent money and young volunteers to Haiti to build homes for 120 families.

In an article in the same issue about the Jewish Film Festival in NYC, editor Gary Rosenblatt heralds two new documentaries. “Above And Beyond,” produced by Nancy Spielberg (sister of Stephen), tells the story of a small group of American Jewish pilots who volunteered to help create the Israeli Air Force in 1948. One of the pilots recounted how little interest there was in this remarkable story until some Christian evangelists in Minneapolis invited him to speak. Spielberg reports that she has had great difficulty in getting her film accepted to film festivals. Another film, “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front,” follows five young Israelis as they join the IDF and go through the difficult 8 months of basic training. The director of the Israel Film Center at the JCC in Manhattan (Isaac Zablocki), found both films too pro-Israel to attract audiences. He advised the filmmakers to create films that offer criticism as well as praise, stating, “A film that criticizes the IDF humanizes it.” There’s no doubt that he’s a man of his word as the JCC offers its annual Other Israel Film Festival in which we can see the complaints of Arabs and leftist Jews about Israel. Arab filmmakers typically boycott the Jewish festival but lack the freedom to criticize their own governments and societies and live to make another film.


Harold Wilson, True Friend of Israel: Robert Philpot

(Editor’s note: Israel has not had many champions within England’s political class which is all the more reason to remember and honor men like Harold Wilson. Given the rote comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa by her enemies, it is especially interesting that Wilson told his Foreign Secretary that he had a free hand except in two areas—Israel because of his respect for her and South Africa because of his detestation of apartheid.)

Harold Wilson was a mid-table prime minister, the Stoke or Southampton of the political world. Nonetheless, Wilson is the only occupant of Downing Street to have won four general elections – albeit three by the skin of his teeth. October 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the first of those victories.

Although of the television age, Wilson was the last monochrome prime minister. This perhaps helps explain why his two stretches in Downing Street–1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976–don’t rank higher in the national consciousness. To the extent they are remembered at all, it is as a time of sweeping liberalization and deep economic crisis.

What is now forgotten is Wilson’s staunch Zionism–an unfashionable trait today among the Labour left from whose ranks he originally hailed. And Wilson’s commitment to Israel was intimately connected to his socialism. As his political secretary, Baroness Falkender, later explained: “Wilson admired Israel’s determined development as a socialist state.” Alongside his hero, Aneurin Bevan, and perhaps his two closest political allies, Richard Crossman and Barbara Castle, the future prime minister formed close relationships during the 1950s with a number of young Israelis who were later to become leading politicians: Yigal Allon, Chaim Herzog, and Teddy Kollek. For Wilson, these young men were “social democrats who made the desert flower”.

Wilson’s view of Israel may, as Falkender believes, have been “in many ways a romantic one”, but there was nothing whimsical about it. His book, The Chariot of Israel: Britain, America and the State of Israel, was described by Wilson’s home secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Roy Jenkins, as “one of the most strongly Zionist tracts ever written by a non-Jew”. Its hero was Arthur Balfour, its villain Ernest Bevin, the foreign secretary alongside whom Wilson served in Attlee’s cabinet as the creation of the state of Israel was hotly debated.

As prime minister, Wilson was determined, says his biographer, Philip Ziegler, to “expiate Bevin’s sins”. On appointing him foreign secretary, Wilson told Jim Callaghan he would have a free hand “with the exception of two areas–Israel and South Africa,” the latter because of his detestation of apartheid. When the Egyptian president, Colonel Nasser, closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping in May 1967, Wilson pledged that Britain would “promote and secure free passage”.


Wiping Israel off The Map: Ruthie Blum

On Wednesday, the Jewish Agency and the Absorption Ministry released their Aliyah figures for 2014. The numbers show a 10-year high, with 26,500 new immigrants settling in Israel.
According to Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, the statistics also constitute “a historic shift: For the first time in Israel’s history, the number of immigrants who came to Israel from the Free World is greater than that of immigrants fleeing countries in distress.”

Indeed, of the 26,500 total new immigrants, 3,870 are from the United States and 8,640 from Western Europe, mostly from France.
What Sharansky and other optimists failed to point out, however, is the dark side of this otherwise shiny coin. While it is true that more Jews are opting to leave affluent societies in the West to settle in Israel, they are not simply cheerful pioneers, packing their bags to join their fellow Zionists in the Holy Land.

No, what they are doing is fleeing countries of origin which are becoming increasingly hostile to Jews.

There is nothing wrong with this from an Israeli perspective. On the contrary, the point of the Law of Return was to allow anyone considered a Jew — and persecuted as such by anti-Semites — to seek refuge in the homeland and state of the Jewish people.

What is alarming is the rising need for that refuge, including from countries in which Jews had been safe for decades after the Holocaust.
But it was bound to happen, given the global climate.

The explosion of radical Islamism, coupled with leftist apology for Third World barbarism on the one hand and fear of Muslim accusations of discrimination on the other has enabled old-style anti-Semitism to re-emerge in “polite society.”


The Elusive “Moderate Muslim” :Peter Smith

It comes as no surprise that tolerant and pacific followers of the Prophet opt for the most part to stay mum. Knowing full well that their sacred texts extol violence, which leaves little room for doctrinal debate, they are also aware that the creed’s more ardent acolytes have knives at the ready.

Islam has five pillars. They are inwardly focused and innocuous taken in isolation. The problem lies elsewhere — in the Koran and Hadiths and in the widespread preaching of intolerance, domination and violence which are integral and endemic to that scripture.
Apologists for Muslims and Islam also have five pillars. These are not innocuous. They support a flaccid and vacillating response to a dire threat. In no strict order, these pillars are as follows.

1.Terrorism has nothing to do with true Islam.
2.The vast majority of Muslims are moderate.
3.Western wrong-doing and war-mongering inspires terrorism.
4.Alienation, disadvantage, and/or mental instability are often behind home-grown terrorism.
5.Muslims suffer most from Islamic terrorism.

On the first, a modern version of an old adage is apropos. There are none so blind as those useful idiots in the West who, having not read a word of Islamic scripture or any critiques of it, conclude in the face of carnage that Islam is a religion of peace. It is not clear what can be done about this astounding level of ignorance.
Certainly many thousands of imams can’t be blamed. They pray openly for Muslim domination and for the universal application of sharia law. They quote their scripture. They encourage jihad. I have seen numbers of them on television and, more starkly, on YouTube before they are taken down, and read accounts of many others.


Vichy Mon Amour…The More Things Change: Ruth King

In 1894 a Jewish military Captain, Alfred Dreyfus, was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment for passing French military secrets to the Germans. He spent five years on Devil’s Island in French Guiana. During his imprisonment the head of French counter espionage, George Picquart, identified the real traitor as Major Ferdinand Esterhazy, but French military officials suppressed the evidence, acquitted Esterhazy and accused Dreyfus of additional crimes. Eventually he was set free but had to wait until 1906 for full exoneration and reinstatement in the French military.

A young Viennese journalist attended the trial and was startled by the anti-Semitic ranting of crowds in France. While one may argue that the Dreyfus incident was not the only one that inspired his turn to Zionism–there were plenty of examples in his own adopted Austria–it certainly contributed to his conviction that Jews could never be safe anywhere but in their own land. His name was Theodore Herzl.

In 1895 he wrote “Der Judenstaat”- (The Jewish State). His words echo today:

“Palestine is our unforgettable historic homeland.”
“We have sincerely tried everywhere to merge with the national communities in which we live, seeking only to preserve the faith of our fathers. It is not permitted us. In vain are we loyal patriots, sometimes superloyal; in vain do we make the same sacrifices of life and property as our fellow citizens; in vain do we strive to enhance the fame of our native lands in the arts and sciences, or her wealth by trade and commerce. In our native lands where we have lived for centuries we are still decried as aliens, often by men whose ancestors had not yet come at a time when Jewish sighs had long been heard in the country.
“We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilized countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level.”

Herzl died in 1904. (learn more about him at: http://zionism101.org/FF_Herzl_timeline.aspx)

Dreyfus died in 1935 and only five years later, in 1940, following the military defeat of France, Marshal Philippe Petain created the Vichy regime known as “The French State” which collaborated with the Nazis to capture Jews, including thousands of children. The infamous Drancy camp, located on the outskirts of Paris, became the central transit station for those headed to the concentration and extermination camps in Germany controlled Eastern Europe.


Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

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January 2015
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