Mideast

APRIL 2017 MIDEAST OUTPOST

Outpost

Editor: Rael Jean Isaac

Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer

Outpost is distributed free to Members of Americans for a Safe Israel

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Mideast

The Gun on the Table by William Mehlman

The elections to Israel’s Supreme Court of Jerusalem District Court of Judge (and rabbi) David Mintz, resident of Dolev, deep in the heart of Samaria, and Haifa District Court Judge and self-professed “religious Zionist” Yael Willner, offer dramatic evidence of what Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has wrought in her penetration of the most guarded bastion of post-Zionist theocracy in the Jewish state. Indeed, what might have been considered a “breakthrough” on its own just a short time past, the election of center-right Haifa District Court President Yosef Elron to the third of the four High Court posts being vacated under mandatory retirement, was being regarded as a “thrown-in” favor to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, his champion on the nine-member judicial nominating committee. No. 4, Christian Arab George Kara, a Tel Aviv district court judge, rounds out the quartet that will be replacing High Court President Miriam Naor, Elyakim Rubinstein, Salam Joubran and Zvi Zilbertal, solid liberals to a robe.

The political charge set off by Shaked’s breach of the unbreachable had a “Bastille Day” quality unseen in Israel since Menachem Begin’s 1977 termination of 30 years of socialist hegemony. Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s tabloid Yisrael Hayom, the country’s most widely read Hebrew daily, called it nothing short of a “revolution,” while “Israeli Right Wins Historic Fight over Supreme Court Justices” topped the lead story in the Jerusalem Post. “Shaked Has Her Day in Court,” declared The Times of Israel even as a contrapuntive Yediot Aharonot headlined its story “Now You Don’t Need a D9,” referencing newly anointed Supremo David Mintz’s Dolev neighbor’s call for a bulldozer to level the High Court over its decisions to raze “illegally-built” Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

“The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel” unsurprisingly hailed the Court’s new profile as a “great victory,” echoing Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel’s (Bayit Yehudi) view that the face-lift “will better reflect Israeli society and the public’s trust in the legal system.” What is likely to be the justice minister’s most cherished kudo, however, came from out of deepest left field in Meretz Party chairwoman Zehava Golan’s prediction that “Shaked will be responsible for this shameful situation for years to come.”

More low-keyed than her admirers but ready to tell it like it is to her detractors, the lady in question portrayed her successful challenge of a quarter century of judicial inbreeding as an “historic day,” in an interview with Army radio. “The flagship boat of our judicial system changed direction tonight, and yes, we can put it on the table and say openly that it will strengthen the trust of the Right in the Supreme Court.” Putting it “on the table,” something nobody has successfully dared in the 26 years since Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak declared the High Court the unchallengeable arbiter of “justiciability” in an Israeli universe in which all things had become “justiciable,” informs the impact of Shaked’s victory. What she “put on the table,” in Miriam Naor’s own words was a “gun” – the threat to legislatively undo the veto power granted the three sitting justices on the nine-member nominating committee over the selection of new justices. The remaining six include a four-member Knesset contingent and two representatives of the Israel Bar Association. The election of new justices requires a 7 to 2 majority, thereby affording the three sitting justices, voting as a bloc, an automatic veto of any nominee of whom they disapprove.

Shaked’s threat to push a bill in the Knesset allowing the future election of Supreme Court nominees by a simple majority – the “gun on the table” – triggered a Naor breakoff in negotiations in November. She was back at the table in January “convinced,” as the Jerusalem Post’s Yonah Jeremy Bob put it, “that Shaked was ready to follow through on the threat and that the Court no longer had a real champion in the government coalition that would fight for it.” So Naor cut a deal, at least theoretically preserving the Court’s veto prerogative at the cost of standing aside as conservative justices were added to the mix.

Mideast

From the Editor by Rael Jean Isaac

Bensoussan: The Verdict

Last month we reported on the trial of Georges Bensoussan, the Jewish Moroccan born historian brought to trial in a French court on the charge of “incitement of racial hatred” for having paraphrased the words of Smain Laacher, an Algerian Moslem sociologist. The sociologist had said that Moslems were taught by their parents from a very young age to despise Jews; Bensoussan, in a TV debate, quoted Laacher as saying they sucked in anti-Jewish prejudice “with mother’s milk.”

That a Moslem outfit would bring suit on the grounds Benoussan was claiming anti-Israel hatred was genetic in Moslems, while absurd, goes with the territory. What made us draw attention to the case was that all France’s avowed “anti-racist” organizations joined in the lawsuit against Bensoussan, including—and this is worthy of being included in Ripley’s Believe It or Not– the Jewish International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA). (Incidentally, the fact that Bensoussan is a leftist, a member of J Call, a movement promoting “creation of a viable Palestinian state” did not protect him from the “anti-racist” pack.)

On March 7 the court ruled to acquit Bensoussan. Although the wording differed, the judges said, “the idea expressed by Smain Laacher is almost the same, or even identical to that expressed by Georges Bensoussan.” It’s a mark of the ridiculous lengths to which protection of Moslem sensitivities have gone that the ruling is considered a key moment for freedom of speech in France.

The Islamist Collective Against Islamaphobia (CCIF) has vowed to appeal. It remains to be seen if LICRA will sink to yet more shameful depths by joining that appeal.

Et Tu, Canada

The same insanity pervading France is apparent in our northern neighbor.

On the website TruthRevolt M.J. Randolph reports that a group of Canadians took signs and banners to a mosque in downtown Toronto to protest what the imam within was preaching: namely the desire that Jews be killed one by one. The police reaction? To announce they were investigating the protestors. Constable Allyson Douglas-Cook explained to the Canadian Broadcasting Company Toronto that the police wondered if the protesters had perpetrated a hate crime.

This venture into the other side of the looking glass fell flat when it turned out someone inside the mosque had filmed the proceedings including the injunction: “Spare not one of them.” The police decided not to pursue the protesters. No word, Randolph notes, about investigating the people inside the mosque (although advocating genocide is a criminal code offense in Canada).

A Soft Boycott

In this space we often provide examples of Israeli medical achievements from Michael Ordman’s blog Amazing Israel. A revolutionary treatment for prostate cancer called Tookad (activated by light), the result of over fifteen years of research by Avigdor Scherz and Yoram Salomon at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovoth, has now made news around the world. It uses lasers and a drug made from deep sea bacteria to eliminate tumors without causing severe side effects. Trials on 413 men, published in The Lancet Oncology, showed nearly half had no remaining trace of cancer.

Scherz and Salomon

But as Stephen Pollard reports in The Jewish Chronicle, while the BBC made much of the discovery, there was something missing in the story—where the research was done. He calls it “the soft-boycott strategy.” It’s a step below the BDS movement, with its nakedly anti-Semitic singling out the Jewish homeland alone in the world for boycott; instead it ignores anything remotely positive about Israel. Writes Pollard: “So the huge and entirely disproportionate number of Israeli scientific breakthroughs are reported as if they have simply happened by magic, with their Israeli origins ignored.” The Weizmann Institute only managed an understated complaint to The Jewish Chronicle. “We were naturally disappointed that the media coverage of game-changing treatment for prostate cancer managed to avoid any reference to Israeli scientists’ fundamental role in this breakthrough treatment.”

A Christian Voice from Nazareth

The only Middle Eastern state in which the Christian population is growing is Israel. You’d never guess this from the loudest Christian voices coming from the Middle East, which are venomously anti-Israel. That includes the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, which plays a central theological role for pro-Palestinian campaigns in churches worldwide and the Bethlehem Bible College, whose biennial conferences “Christ at the Checkpoint” are devoted to demonizing Israel.

Which makes it all the more refreshing when someone rejects the miasma of self-destructive hatred to speak up simply and honestly. Father Gabriel Naddaf of Nazareth, speaking at the annual Proclaiming Justice to the Nations International Prayer and Dinner event for Israel at the World Center in Orlando, Florida, declared: “As one of the few surviving Christians in the Middle East, I praise God daily for the blessing of being able to call myself an Israeli.”

Mideast

Two Netanyahus Meet Two Trumps by Rael Jean Isaac

One of the most widely accepted misconceptions concerning the Arab-Israel conflict (a subject awash in misconceptions) is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a “hard-core right winger.” There is nothing in his behavior as Prime Minister during his first years in that role (1997-99) or in his more recent period in office, beginning in 2009, to support this belief. On the contrary, like his predecessors, he has made repeated dramatic territorial and other concessions, including acceptance of the so-called “two state solution.”

In Jan. 1997, still in the first year of his first term, he signed the Hebron Protocol with the Palestine Authority, turning over most of Hebron, after Jerusalem the most important city in Jewish history, to the PA. Netanyahu did so little to change Labor’s disastrous post-Oslo policy that erstwhile supporter Benny Begin (Menachem’s son) derided him at a Likud Party meeting in March of that year. “Arafat releases terrorists and so does Israel. Arafat smuggles in weapons and we give him assault rifles to round off his stores….We have government offices in Jerusalem [supposedly the unified capital of Israel] and so do they.” The following year, under President Clinton’s prodding, Netanyahu signed the Wye River Memorandum in which he promised to turn over 40% of Judea and Samaria to Arafat, a safe corridor between these areas and Gaza, even an airport in Gaza. It is true Wye was not implemented, but that’s only because (predictably) Arafat promptly reneged on his commitments under the agreement.

That same year Netanyahu embarked on secret negotiations with Syria in which he offered to return the Golan Heights. Was Netanyahu prepared to go back to the 1967 border (which Clinton and Dennis Ross assert in their respective memoirs) or did Netanyahu, according to other reports, hold out for several kilometers beyond the international border line? Although Assad backed out, according to widespread reports in the Israeli press, in 2010 Netanyahu tried again, this time with Bashar Assad, offering to return to the June 4, 1967 lines. Fortunately the negotiations collapsed with the onset of the rebellion against the Syrian ruler. (One shudders to think what “success” would have meant for Israel, with Hezbollah and/or ISIS embedded on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.)

That near miss with disaster has not prevented Netanyahu from continuing to offer major concessions. In the wake of Obama’s Cairo speech, Netanyahu agreed to adopt the “two state solution” as his government’s policy. Moreover, retired Brigadier General Michael Herzog (brother of Israeli Labor Party head Yitzhak Herzog), who has participated in almost all Israel’s peace negotiations since Oslo in 1993, writes in The American Interest that Netanyahu in the Obama years offered such large withdrawals that he could not admit their scale to the Israeli public or his coalition partners.

And contrary to the widespread perception, fostered by the media, that Netanyahu has peppered the landscape of Judea and Samaria with Jewish settlements, Israel has not built a new settlement in 25 years. The much publicized on and off settlement freezes to which Netanyahu has agreed applied to existing communities, the “freezes” meaning there was no building even to accommodate natural population growth within them.

Mideast

Why a “Regional Peace Process” Will Fail by Khaled Abu Toameh

Here is a fundamental misapprehension: Arab countries can help achieve peace in the Middle East by persuading, or rather pressuring, the Palestinians to make concessions to Israel.

This misapprehension is both misleading and baseless.

Recently, officials in Israel and Washington started talking about a “regional approach” to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this view, as many Arab countries as possible would be directly involved in the effort to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Advocates of the “regional approach” believe that Arab countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have enough leverage with the Palestinians to compel them to accept a peace agreement with Israel.

The Palestinians, however, were quick to dismiss the idea as yet another American-Israeli-Arab “conspiracy” to “liquidate” their cause and force them to make unacceptable concessions. Chief among these “unacceptable concessions” are recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and giving up the demand for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinian refugees into Israel.

What the recent Washington-Israeli notion misses is that Palestinians simply do not trust their Arab brothers. The Palestinians consider most of the Arab leaders and regimes as “puppets” in the hands of the U.S. and its “Zionist” allies. Worse, Many Palestinians sometimes refer to Arab leaders and regimes as the “real enemies” of the Palestinians. They would rather have France, Sweden, Norway and Belgium oversee a peace process with Israel than any of the Arab countries.

In general, Palestinians have more confidence in Western countries than they do in their Arab brothers. That is why the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by Mahmoud Abbas continues to insist on an international conference as its preferred method for achieving peace in the region and not a “regional approach” that would give Arab countries a major role in solving the conflict. Arab involvement in a peace process with Israel is, in fact, the last thing Abbas and other Palestinians want.

Hani al-Masri, a prominent Palestinian political analyst, echoed this skepticism concerning a potential role for Arab countries in the Middle East peace process. He, in fact, believes the Arabs want to help Israel “liquidate” the Palestinian cause.

Mideast

False Torah and History by Alex Grobman

What are American Jews thinking?

The American-Jewish response to the [temporary immigration ban against six Muslim countries] seems to be out of sync with both the facts and experience. According to Charles Jacobs, president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, virtually every prospective Syrian immigrant to the U.S. has been educated in institutions that portray “Jews as morally corrupt,” pit “all Muslims everywhere against non-Muslims anywhere,” and mandate violence against apostates “ as a religious duty.”

Nevertheless, American Jews who identify with the political left favor allowing as many Muslim immigrants into the country as possible, leading many other Americans, Jews and Gentiles, to wonder why the left-wing American Jews would want to admit individuals who are known to despise them and either want them killed or relegated to second-class status, dhimmitude, according to Shari’a law.

The left-wing Jews who favor mass Muslim immigration into the U.S. do not express moral outrage when Jewish Israelis are prohibited from entering most Muslim-dominated countries, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. They do not question if it is acceptable for six of the seven countries listed by President Trump in his original executive order to ban entry to holders of Israeli passports. The liberal-Jewish community has not responded as to why this double standard is tolerated.

Leaders of the Reform Movement in the U.S. justify their opposition to Mr. Trump’s executive order on immigration based on the conviction that Jews “know the impact that xenophobia and religious profiling have on all people whose lives are endangered by exclusionary laws.”

To bolster their argument, the Reform leaders cite a passage from Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:33: “We have not forgotten our charge: When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

First, this is a misstatement of the Scripture which refers to those “strangers” already residing in the midst of the Israelites. It does not refer to unknown prospective enemies. Furthermore, attempting to compare the “stranger” in the Torah to Muslims seeking refuge in the U.S. is simply an inexcusable distortion of the Biblical text. The “stranger” is a halachically converted Jew, living in the land of Israel, who has renounced idol worship and is now focused on Torah study. The Torah warns against disparaging converts in any way, but, rather, demands that they be embraced with love and treated as valued members of the Jewish community.

Mideast

France’s Death Spiral by Guy Millière

February 2, 2017: A “no-go zone” in the eastern suburbs of Paris. Police on patrol hear screams. They decide to check. While there, a young man insults them. They decide to arrest him. He hits them. A fight starts. He accuses a policeman of having raped him with a police baton. A police investigation quickly establishes that the young man was not raped. But it is too late; a toxic process has begun.

Riots continue for more than two weeks. They affect more than twenty cities throughout France. They spread to the heart of Paris. Dozens of cars are torched. Shops and restaurants are looted. Official buildings and police stations are attacked.

The police are ordered not to intervene. They do what they are told to do. Few arrests take place.

France is a country at the mercy of large-scale uprisings. They can explode anytime, anyplace. French leaders know it, and find refuge in cowardice.

What is happening is the result of a corrosive development initiated five decades ago. In the 1960s, after the war in Algeria, President Charles de Gaulle directed the country toward closer relations with Arab and Muslim states.

Migratory flows of “guest workers” from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, which had started a few years earlier, sharply increased. The economy was dynamic, with strong job creation. It seemed there would be no problems.

Twenty years later, serious difficulties became obvious. The immigrants now numbered millions. People from sub-Saharan Africa joined those coming from Arab nations. Neighborhoods made up of just Arabs and Africans were formed. The economy had slowed down and mass unemployment settled in. But the jobless immigrants did not go back home, instead relying on social benefits. Integration still did not exist. Although many of these new arrivals had become French citizens, they often sounded resentful of France and the West. Political agitators started teaching them to detest Western civilization. Violent gangs of young Arabs and Africans began to form. Clashes with police were common.

The situation grew difficult to control. But nothing was done to fix it; quite the opposite.

Mideast

The Curse of Repairing the World by Ruth King

Examples abound of the way seemingly noble ideals are perverted to promote bias, libel and hatred.

The Quakers come to mind. In 1917, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was founded on the Quaker principles of peace and justice and members of all faiths were invited to join its humanitarian efforts. In 1947 along with its companion British Friends Service Council, the AFSC won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of Quaker efforts to heal rifts and oppose war for 300 years. In 1947 the Quakers richly deserved that prize for they had been helping Jews throughout the Hitler years and in the war’s aftermath, survivors of the concentration camps.

But in recent decades, the Quakers, and most especially the AFSC, have strayed far from their original mandate. The AFSC was the pioneer in the onslaught on Israel and in promoting the terrorist PLO. As far back as 1979 AFSI published a monograph by David Kirk (who had become a Quaker and married a birthright Quaker) with a wonderful title that summed up what had transpired: “The Friendly Perversion, Quakers as Reconcilers: Good People and Dirty Work.”

Nothing has changed since as the AFSC has woven ever more tightly an alliance with hard-left Western agitators on a myriad of issues. As recently as March 2017 in Middle East Forum Asaf Romirowsky wrote: “The Quakers have cultivated their image as peaceful and supremely benign. Few suspect, much less know, that one of their central missions is promoting the BDS movement that opposes Israel’s existence.”

Environmentalism is another example of the effort to repair the world gone awry. Who could fault the desire to protect flora and fauna, mountains, and lakes and rivers from pollution or endangered species from extinction? But the carbon crazed anti-development, anti-industry and anti-capitalist fanatics have taken over, promulgating junk science to promote their agenda. With their crusades against insecticides which had eradicated malaria and their opposition to genetically modified food production, they have caused indescribable damage in Africa. In America, they have insisted on regulations which stall or cancel infrastructure creation and repairs, increase costs astronomically and kill jobs, all in the name of “healing the planet.”

The welcoming of massive numbers of Muslims to the United States is another example of a counterproductive effort to repair the world. Again, who could fault a desire to help refugees living in war torn areas where Arabs are killing, maiming and dislocating other Arabs? Instead of providing local shelters and safe zones or demanding that other Arab nations provide succor, “progressives” demand they be brought here. These “repairers of the world” refuse to learn from the plight of Western Europe where Germany, France and Sweden are overrun with Muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate and among whom are too many criminals and terrorists. Jews are especially prominent among those demanding unfettered immigration, promoting the false perverse argument that the situation of these immigrants is no different from that of Jews trapped in genocidal Europe during World War 11. It merits noting that Jewish refugees harbored no intention of imposing their religion and values on their host and have contributed to American science, industry, labor unions, and culture in outsize numbers.

Outpost

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

Outpost is distributed free to
Members of Americans For a Safe Israel
Annual membership: $50.

Americans For a Safe Israel
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New York, NY 10128
tel (212) 828-2424 / fax (212) 828-1717
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March 2017
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