French Jewish Dhimmis
Incredibly, the French Jewish defense organization LICRA (International League against Racism and anti-Semitism) has joined the Islamist CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia) in a lawsuit against well-known Jewish historian Georges Bensoussan, an expert on the history of Jews in Arab countries. They’ve been joined in the suit by other so-called “anti-racist” organizations including the venerable French Human Rights League.
The absurd grounds for Bensoussan’s prosecution? In a radio debate he praised an Algerian sociologist, Smain Laacher, for his courage in saying in a documentary on France’s Channel 3 that, while no one was willing to say it openly, among Arab families in France anti-Semitism “is sucked with mother’s milk.” It turned out this was actually a paraphrase of what Laacher had said—he had spoken of the way Muslim children from a very young age were taught by their parents to despise Jews. The phrase “sucked with mother’s milk” was clearly another way of saying the same thing but the “anti-racist” fraternity chose to interpret it, as French journalist Yves Mamou reports, not as “a metaphor for cultural anti-Semitism transmitted through education” but as a “genetic” accusation, i.e. Muslims literally inherit anti-Semitism. Ergo Bensoussan is tried for “racism.”
What a difference a year makes. Mamou points out that in 2016 Alain Jakubowitz, president of LICRA, had denounced the phony anti-racist wars, saying: “Today, CCIF is the leading anti-racist organization. This is terrifying. [They are] not against anti-Semitism, because they do not care. This is not the question for them.”
Unbelievably, a year later a dhimmified LICRA was sitting in court side by side with CCIF for this nonsensical show trial. Mamou reports that philosopher Alain Finkielkraut has resigned from LICRA in protest. Appearing in court in defense of Bensoussan Finkielkraut declared: “A rogue anti-racism makes you criminalize a concern instead of fighting the cause of this concern. If the court [finds against the defendant] it will be a moral and an intellectual catastrophe.” Judgment will be rendered March 7.
“I Am a Muslim Too”
There are an abundance of Jews in the United States who manifest an equally boundless stupidity. Some of them showed up for an “I Am a Muslim Too” demonstration at Times Square on Feb. 19 protesting President Trump’s effort to ban temporarily Muslims from seven failed states (except Iran, we should be so lucky). It was under the auspices of something called Foundation for Ethnic Understanding headed by Rabbi Marc Schneier, whose mission is apparently to outdo his father Rabbi Arthur Schneier in feel-good interfaith pursuits. Schneier proclaimed to those assembled: “We must join together at the most famous crossroads in the world to make a collective statement that wherever my Muslim brothers and sisters are vilified, discriminated against or victimized by hate crimes and violence ‘Today I am a Muslim too.’”
The title may turn out to be prophetic. Bring enough Muslims to this country and the only way Jews will survive here is if they in fact become “Muslims too.”
London’s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan is so virtuously indignant over President Trump’s travel ban that he demanded the government rescind Prime Minister Theresa May’s invitation to him. Mere hours after making this demand he welcomed dignitaries from 11 Muslim countries to a reception at City Hall, despite the fact that all of them refuse admission to holders of Israeli passports. It took the outspoken Nigel Farage to tell Khan off: “You want Trump banned from UK but are happy with anti-Israeli discrimination. You are a hypocrite.”
A Good Use for Security Council Resolution 2334
Kenneth Levin points out that the appalling Security Council Resolution that the U.S. permitted to pass in Obama’s final onslaught against Israel has a lever that Israel could use to its benefit. Pretending to uphold “balance” Secretary of State Kerry had insisted that the resolution also call for refraining from “incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.”
Levin notes that what was intended as a fig leaf can be put to good purpose. Under terms of the resolution the Secretary General is to report to the Council every three months on progress in its implementation. The intent of course was just to focus on Israeli settlements. But, as Levin writes, “the quarterly reports called for in 2334 can be used by America’s newly appointed United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and her staff to important effect. They can insist on the reports’ inclusion of a comprehensive catalogue of Palestinian incitement, provocation and promotion of and support for terror—a catalogue that can be measured against information gleaned from monitoring sources such as Palestinian Media Watch. They can in this way use their UN platform to bring into focus, finally teachable truths that for far too long have been ignored and gone unlearned, thereby potentially helping address the major obstacle to genuine peace.”
If Haley follows through on this excellent advice—and she has had an outstanding debut in denouncing the UN’s anti-Israel obsessions—the Arabs may soon decide to bury Resolution 2234 along with innumerable other forgotten UN resolutions.
That’s the term a New York Sun editorial uses to describe U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s first dazzling press briefing. Emerging from her first regular monthly Security Council meeting on Middle East issues she described it as “a bit strange.” The meeting did not discuss Hezbollah’s illegal buildup of rockets in Lebanon, it was not about Iran’s providing money and weapons to terrorists, it was not concerned with defeating ISIS, it was not about holding Bashar al-Assad accountable for massive civilian deaths. “No,” said Haley, “instead the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated month after month for decades. I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore.” “The double standards,” declared Ambassador Haley, “are breathtaking.”
Swedish Policeman Erupts on Facebook
It’s so unthinkable it’s being called the “Swedish spring,” a wave of support for a cop who blew the whistle on the devastating effects mass immigration has had on Sweden. So writes Paul Joseph Watson on a British website. On his Facebook page veteran Swedish police officer Peter Springare warned “Our pensioners are on their knees, schools are in chaos, health care is an inferno, police have been completely destroyed.” Acknowledging his post was not politically correct, Springare used a crude expression to say he could not care less. The crimes he was processing, rape, assault, violence against police, drug trafficking and murder, were almost exclusively committed by someone named “Mohammed” or a variant of that name.
Watson reports Springare is backed up by another courageous cop, Gothenburg police officer Tomas Asenlov, who revealed that cops are told to implement Code 291 rules to hide “all information about the immigration-related crime.”
Not surprisingly, when his Facebook posting received media attention (after it won 130,000 “likes” in the space of a week) Springare was hit with an internal police investigation for “racial agitation.”
The groundswell of support for Springare suggests the mood in Sweden may be changing. On Tucker Carlson’s program on Fox News, filmmaker Ami Horowitz (who barely escaped with his life after being assaulted by a gang of Muslim men while filming in Stockholm) declared that the majority of Swedes still backed the government’s policy of welcoming Muslim immigrants and bestowing upon them generous benefits.
The ultimate comment on Sweden today (reported by Watson) is that some Somali immigrants are considering returning home, saying that areas of some Swedish cities are more dangerous than their notorious homeland!
Michael Ordman on Amazing Israel
Israeli biotech company ARTSaVIT is developing a treatment based on the research of Dr. Sarit Larisch of Haifa University who discovered a protein missing in tumors that regulate cell death.
In the latest trials the NeuroAD cranical device from Israel’s Neuronix slowed the progression of Alzheimers in 85% of patients in the early stages of the disease. The treatment is now being used commercially in Britain.
Former British police officer Nicki Donnelly, paralyzed in 2009, can walk again thanks to a ReWalk exoskeleton.
Scientists at the Hebrew University have discovered some surprising characteristics of bacteria. When phage-resistant bacteria are in close contact with phage-sensitive bacteria the resistant bacteria lose their resistance. This discovery can help research into antibiotic resistance.
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Editor’s Note: What is it that makes today’s pretenders to being the most virtuous among the nations—Sweden dubs itself a humanitarian superpower—in reality moral monsters? As the King was wont to say in Anna and the King of Siam “It’s a puzzlement.” The gap between pretension and reality goes beyond Israel. Bruce Bawer in “Sweden’s Fatuous Feminists” points out that Sweden’s current government, with a cabinet equally divided between men and women, has proclaimed itself “the world’s first feminist government.” Yet on a recent trip to Teheran to ink a trade deal, photos show the eleven women in the Swedish delegation, led by Trade Minister Ann Linde, wearing hijabs, dark pants and long shapeless coats for modesty. Linde herself is shown bowing to an Iranian official. The “world’s first feminist government”, Bawer writes, “effectively communicated to Iran—and the entire Muslim world—a message of submission that could hardly have been improved upon.” Bawer notes that the biggest victims of Sweden’s pretensions are its own elderly citizens who “are now being forced to live in re-purposed shipping containers while newly arrived Muslim families are handed the keys to sprawling houses.” Geriatric Swedes, according to the moral lunacy of the country’s elites, must do their bit to help change the world.
On January 12, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten published an article about Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and his senior adviser: “The Jew Kushner reportedly pushed for David M. Friedman as the new ambassador to Israel”, Aftenposten wrote. The newspaper had later to apologize for calling Kushner “the Jew”.
A few weeks earlier, the city council of Trondheim, Norway’s third-largest city, passed a motion calling on its residents to boycott Israeli goods — a city aspiring to be “Israel-free”. Then it was the turn of another Norwegian city, Tromso, population 72,000, whose city council approved a similar motion. More than 40% of Norwegians are already boycotting Israeli products or are in favor of doing so, according to a poll.
What hell is happening in Scandinavia, whose countries, Norway and Sweden, are bastions of political correctness, champions of multiculturalism and, according to the Global Peace Index, the most “peaceful” countries in the world? “The most successful society the world has ever known”, however, as The Guardian labelled Sweden, has a dark side: Israel-slandering and anti-Semitism.
Sweden and Norway are manipulating public opinion in the way immortalized by George Orwell in his novel 1984 as the “Two Minutes Hate”. These countries have seen the creation of a public opinion according to which Israel is a merciless enemy of humanity that ought to be dismantled forthwith.
A year ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented at the Knesset an updated map of Israel’s friends and enemies. Only five countries are openly at war with the Jewish State: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea. Then there are the friendly countries, including many non-Muslim African countries that once had no diplomatic relations with Jerusalem. But the map also included a European country that for the first time moved into the “non-friends” camp: Sweden.
Hate for Israel has become a real obsession in Scandinavia, which revived the glorious partnership between the liberal “useful idiots” — the ones concerned about equality and minorities — and Islamists, the ones concerned about submission and killing “infidels”.
Despite the fact that Jews in Norway are only 0.003 percent of the total population, Oslo is now world’s capital of European anti-Semitism. Recently, the Norwegian National Theater opened its Festival in Oslo with a dramatic video clip. The video urged a boycott of the National Theater of Israel, Habima, in Tel Aviv. Funded by the government and aired at the festival, the clip shows an actress posing as a spokesman for the National Theater and calling for a boycott of the Israeli theater. Pia Maria Roll labelled Israel a state “based on ethnic cleansing, racism, occupation and apartheid”. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded saying that the seven-minute video recalls “the Norwegian collaborationist Vidkun Quisling and Knut Hamson” (a Nobel laureate for Literature who sympathized with Hitler).
It is not the first time. A festival in Oslo also rejected a documentary, The Other Dreamers, about the lives of disabled children, simply because it was Israeli. “We support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel,” wrote Ketil Magnussen, the founder of the festival.
Norway is the European country most engaged in the campaigns against Israel. All Norwegian universities refused to host Alan Dershowitz for a speaking tour about the Middle East. A proposal for an official academic boycott against Israel was promoted by Norway’s University of Trondheim. If approved, the boycott would have been the first of its kind in a European university since the Nazi boycott of Jewish professors.
The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has excluded Israeli companies, such as Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus, from its Global Pension Fund, a fund that invests the national wealth in foreign stocks and bonds, and which holds more than one percent of all global stocks. The Norwegian trade union EL & IT, which represents workers from the energy and telecommunications sectors, has boycotted the Histadrut, Israel’s national labor union.
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Editor’s note: With President Trump apparently confident that he can broker a “deal” between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs (and seeing this as the ultimate feather-in-the-cap for his art of the deal skills) the subject of guarantees—which would presumably be part of any deal–warrants a closer look once again. It needs sober assessment all the more because Prime Minister Netanyahu is wobbly on the crucial issue of statehood—he has not abandoned his formal allegiance to “the two state solution.” In his press conference with President Trump Netanyahu focused on the supposed “substance” of maintaining Israel’s security responsibility in the area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean as against the lesser importance to be attached to the “label” of statehood. But as Aaron Lerner points out, in this case the label is all important because sovereignty trumps whatever “terms” might be agreed upon. To quote Lerner: “The day that a sovereign Palestinian state manipulates and/or exploits local, regional and international conditions to end Israeli security control, Israel security control will end. And the sovereign Palestinian state will continue to be a sovereign Palestinian state. That’s not a ‘label,’ that’s an entity with all kinds of rights and abilities to pursue the destruction of Israel in ways that an autonomy simply can’t.” Of course there’s also the awkward matter of Hamas-controlled Gaza which is simply ignored in all the two-state solution blather.
[Let us assume that] Israel is urged to concede the historically and militarily most critical mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria in return for a U.S., or a multinational peacekeeping force, as well as U.S. security guarantees or a defense pact.
In order to be effective, defense pacts, and security guarantees – including peacekeeping monitoring or combat forces – must be reliable, durable, specific and politically/militarily sustainable. It must serve the interests of the foreign entity which dispatches the force, lest it be ignored or summarily withdrawn.
However, the litany of U.S. commitments, guarantees and defense pacts are characterized by four critical attributes – escape routes – designed to shield U.S. interests in a way which undermines the effectiveness of the commitments: 1. non-specificity, vagueness and ambiguity, facilitating non-implementation 2. Non-automaticity, facilitating delay, suspension and non-implementation 3. Non-implementation if it is deemed harmful to U.S. interests 4. Subordination to the U.S. Constitution, including the limits of presidential power.
For example, the NATO treaty–the tightest U.S. defense pact–as ratified by the U.S. Senate, commits the U.S. to consider steps on behalf of an attacked NATO member, “as it deems necessary.” Moreover, in 1954, President Eisenhower signed a defense treaty with Taiwan, but in 1979, President Carter annulled the treaty unilaterally, with the support of Congress and the Supreme Court.
The May 25, 1950 Tripartite Declaration, by the U.S., Britain and France, included a commitment to maintain a military balance between Israel and the Arab states. However, on October 18, 1955, Secretary of State Dulles refused Israel’s request to buy military systems – to offset Soviet Bloc arm shipments to Egypt – insisting that the facts were still obscure. In 1957, President Eisenhower issued an executive agreement – to compensate for Israel’s full withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula – committing U.S. troops should Egypt violate the ceasefire and Sinai’s demilitarization. But in 1967 President Johnson claimed that “[the commitment] ain’t worth a solitary dime,” while the UN peacekeepers fled upon the Egyptian invasion of the Sinai, the blockade of Israel’s port of Eilat, and the establishment of intra-Arab military force to annihilate Israel. In 1975, President Ford sent a letter to Prime Minister Rabin, stating that the U.S. “will give great weight to Israel’s position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.” But, in 1979, President Carter contended that Ford’s letter hardly committed Ford and certainly none of the succeeding presidents.
In an April 1975 AIPAC Conference speech, the late Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson dismissed security guarantees as harmful delusion: “Detente did not save Cambodia and it will not save Vietnam, despite the fact that we and the Soviets are co-guarantors of the Paris Accords. And that is something to keep in mind when one hears that we and the Soviets should play the international guarantee game in the Middle East.”
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Germany will need to take in 300,000 migrants annually for the next 40 years to stop population decline, according to a leaked government report.
The document, parts of which were published by the Rheinische Post on February 1, reveals that the German government is counting on permanent mass migration — presumably from Africa, Asia and the Middle East — to keep the current size of the German population (82.8 million) stable through 2060.
The report implies that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow into the country some 1.5 million mostly Muslim migrants between 2015 and 2016 was not primarily a humanitarian gesture, but a calculated effort to stave off Germany’s demographic decline and to preserve the future viability of the German welfare state.
If most of the new migrants arriving in Germany for the next four decades are from the Islamic world, the Muslim population of Germany could jump to well over 20 million and account for more than 25% of the overall German population by 2060.
Mass migration is fast-tracking the rise of Islam in Germany, as evidenced by the proliferation of no-go zones, Sharia courts, polygamy, child marriages and honor violence. Mass migration has also been responsible for social chaos, including jihadist attacks, a migrant rape epidemic, a public health crisis, rising crime and a rush by German citizens to purchase weapons for self-defense — and even to abandon Germany altogether.
The report stresses the need quickly to integrate migrants into the workforce so that they can begin paying into the social welfare system. “According to past experience, this will not be easy and will take longer than initially often hoped,” the report concedes. “Successes will only be visible in the medium to long term.”
A recent survey by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung found that the 30 biggest German companies have employed only 54 refugees, including 50 who have been hired as couriers by Deutsche Post, the logistics provider. Company executives said the main problem is that migrants lack professional qualifications and German language skills.
For now, the vast majority of migrants who entered Germany in 2015 and 2016 are wards of the German state. German taxpayers payed around €21.7 billion ($23.4 billion) on aid for refugees and asylum seekers in 2016, and will pay a similar amount in 2017.
Mass migration has also increased the demand for housing and has pushed up rental costs for ordinary Germans. Some 350,000 new apartments are required each year to meet demand, but only 245,000 apartments were built in 2014, and another 248,000 in 2015, according to the Rheinische Post.
Meanwhile, migrants committed 208,344 crimes in 2015, according to a police report. This figure represented an 80% increase over 2014 and worked out to around 570 crimes committed by migrants every day, or 23 crimes each hour, between January and December 2015.
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There was a time, in the years immediately after 9/11, when I was reasonably (though not entirely) confident that we Americans would be too savvy to let ourselves be led down the primrose path of Islamization. I assumed that the alarming example of Europe – where the destructive nature of Islam’s impact was there for all to see – would be effective enough to persuade us to pull up the welcome mat and double-lock the door. What I didn’t count on was that so many of our politicians and media would do such a splendid job of covering up the facts about the European situation and whitewashing the Religion of Peace. Nor could I have imagined that the post-9/11 generation of Americans would grow up to be so thoroughly drenched in political correctness that many of them would, in fact, come to see Islam not as a violent existential threat but as the most vulnerable of victim groups.
Yes, Americans elected Trump. Red-state Americans, anyway. But coastal elites went ballistic over his executive order that sought to put a temporary halt to immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. Hollywood, the bubble-headed brain trust of blue-state America, set the tone of the backlash: Judd Apatow denounced Trump’s “ignorance and cruelty”; Patricia Arquette suggested returning the Statue of Liberty to France; John Leguizamo reminded his Twitter followers that “The pilgrims came here on the #mayflower as refugees!” Several celebrity tweets implied that Europeans would never support such a monstrous act. Yet a new poll tells otherwise. Most EU citizens, it shows, would be happy to see a total and permanent end to immigration from the Islamic world. To be specific: 71% of Poles, 65% of Austrians, 53% of Germans, 51% of Italians, 64% of Belgians, 58% of Greeks, 61% of Frenchmen, and 64% of Hungarians want Muslim immigration to stop. For good. Only in two of the ten European countries surveyed did a Muslim immigration ban not win the support of a clear majority, and even in those cases a plurality approved of a ban: in Britain, the numbers were 47% for, 23% against; in Spain, 41% to 32%.
Chatham House, the London-based think tank that conducted the survey, plainly found these results distasteful. Calling them “sobering” and attributing them (at least in part) to the influence of the so-called “radical right,” the pollsters sought to discount opposition to Muslim immigration by emphasizing that it was stronger among pensioners, the undereducated, rural types, and those “who are dissatisfied with their life” – in other words, not the right sort of people. Of course, what self-respecting think tank would be willing to admit that Europeans – having had enough of doling out welfare to immigrants who, in return, rape women and children, torment Jews and gays, commit violent crimes on an unprecedented scale, and express contempt for democracy and their infidel neighbors while tacitly supporting terrorism and sharia – are finally waking up?
How depressing that while more and more Europeans are snapping out of their self-delusions, all too many North Americans remain first-class dupes. According to the results of a Rasmussen poll that were released just the other day, 56% of Democrats actually believe that Muslims undergo serious persecution in the U.S, while only 46% think that Christians are persecuted in the Islamic world. What could be more delusional? Meanwhile, a CBS survey showed that only one in seven Democrats consider Islam to be more dangerous than any other religion and that nearly seven out of ten Democrats think Islam encourages violence to approximately the same extent as other faiths. Insane. Not to leave Canadians out, on February 16 the Parliament in Ottawa will actually consider a motion, known as M-103, that would criminalize Islamophobia. It’s a move that should elicit mass protests in the streets; but most Canadians appear to be far more worked up about Trump than about the prospect of their own government severely curtailing their free-speech rights.
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Many years ago, when I graduated from college, a friend and classmate got her first job in the visitor’s service of the United Nations. There were two perks. One was a free parking space and the other privileges to the debates in the General Assembly. Thanks to this I attended many sessions in the gallery as her guest. The “distinguished” members most often started their disquisitions by telling a humorous anecdote from their respective nations. They suffered greatly in translation but I can offer the punch line to a real UN joke–namely The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
After the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, UNRWA was established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 to carry out relief and works programs for Palestine refugees. The Agency began operations on 1 May 1950. In June 2017, its mandate and funding come up for review. It deserves to be shut down.
First of all, it is a numbers racket. According to its own statement: “When the Agency began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, some 5 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services.”
Even if we accept the questionable number of 750,000 Arabs who left Israel, how is it that sixty-seven years later–again from the home page, we read: “UNRWA is unique in terms of its long-standing commitment to one group of refugees. It has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees, defined as ‘persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.’ The descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are also eligible for registration.“
Again, in its words: “UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty.”
Since World War Two, hundreds of millions of displaced persons from every continent have been relocated. They have had to learn new languages, new alphabets and adapt to new cultural mores. They have become participants in the politics of their adopted countries. How is it then that only Palestinian Arabs merit assistance? Furthermore, why has the status of “refugee” become a heritable entitlement, bequeathed from generation to generation?
When members of the media traipse through the camps, they are seldom shown nearby housing with facilities and running water. Instead local Arabs stage themselves near running sewers, cynically using children as props. As soon as the journalists move on to the next stop in their bash-Israel “fact finding” tour, the cast moves back to their updated lodgings.
Today the world is confronted and affronted by a tsunami of refugees from the Middle East. They flee jihad and tribal and civil warfare. The demand for haven and social services is enormous and yet UNRWA services only Palestinian Arabs in camps in Gaza (why Gaza, which is now ruled by Arabs?), Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
In the midst of the mayhem in Syria, on Feb. 1, 2017 Mohammed Abdi Adar, a Somali national, assumed his duties as Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Syrian Arab Republic. He describes his mandate thus: “It is an important opportunity to serve Palestine refugees in Syria,” said Mr. Abdi Adar. “I look forward to working with the Syrian Government and other partners to help alleviate the suffering of Palestine refugees, who like the Syrians have experienced the dire consequences of the crisis over the last six years.” Why only the “Palestinians?” This is a form of “profiling” that raises no hackles among Western hypocrites.
And UNWRA’s so called relief is a canard since in its own words, conditions have worsened: “Over the years, these camps have transformed from temporary ‘tent cities’ into hyper-congested masses of multi-story buildings with narrow alleys, characterized by high concentrations of poverty and extreme overcrowding. The camps are considered to be among the densest urban environments in the world, but because camp structures were built for temporary use, over the decades the buildings have become overcrowded, critically substandard and in many cases life-threatening.”
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Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer
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“Chaim Weizmann Part 1: The Balfour Declaration” describes Chaim Weizmann’s first decades. Born into a small town in the Pale of Settlement, as a young man Weizmann moves to Britain where he becomes a famous scientist and Zionist leader. He is the crucial figure in obtaining the Balfour Declaration, a British promise to establish a national home for the Jews in Palestine.
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With much of the West’s political elite, including its Greater Tel Aviv branch, on extended angst duty over the prospect of President Donald Trump relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, major swaths of world Judaism’s signature city and its surrounding areas are illegally and virtually unopposedly being swallowed in an Arab vortex of stone and cement. The past few years have borne witness to the construction of more than 15,000 unlicensed, unregistered housing units in east Jerusalem and its tributaries by “thugs” and “criminal gangs posing as contractors,” as described by Bassam Tawil in a recent report for the Gatestone Institute.
In a process conspicuously devoid of subtlety, “they lay their hands on private Palestinian plots, preferably land whose owners are living abroad,” Tawil avers, and quickly move in to seize control. One east Jerusalem victim of this broad daylight hijacking related to the reporter that “they tell you if you don’t like it, you can go to court, knowing that by the time the legal procedures are over, they will have succeeded in completing another tall building and even selling some of the apartments. They tell us it is a national duty to build as much as they can on empty land, otherwise the Jews will be building there.”
The Gatestone correspondent’s disclosures are totally in sync with the facts uncovered by human rights lawyer and Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs scholar-in-residence Justus Reid Weiner in his new illustrated book Illegal Construction in Jerusalem: A Variation on an Alarming Global Phenomenon. Based on interviews across the political spectrum, it documents a pattern of politically motivated behavior and criminal profiteering that characterizes much of the construction in and around the Arab sector of Israel’s capital. “Illegal construction,” Weiner writes, “has reached epidemic proportions.” He recalls one senior Arab official boasting “they have built 6,000 homes without permits during the last four years, of which less than 200 were demolished by the city.”
Moreover, Weiner informs us, this frantic pace of unlawful construction continues unabated in the face of the city’s authorization of more than 3,600 permits for new housing in the Arab sector, ”more than enough to meet the needs of Arab residents through legal construction until 2020.”
The excuse offered by sympathetic Israeli NGOs that Arab Jerusalemites are forced to build illegally because of systemic municipal rejection of their permit applications is glaringly at odds with the facts. “Arab residents who wish to build legally,” Weiner submits, “are free to consult urban plans translated into Arabic and to receive individual assistance from Arab speaking employees.” Arab and Jewish applicants are subject to an indiscriminant wait of 4-6 weeks for approval, which includes the payment of an identical fee (about $3,600) for water and sewage connections.
The charge of attempting to further “Judaize” Jerusalem–directed at a municipal planning commission Arab leaders have boycotted over the last 35 years–does not hold water. Jerusalem’s Arab population share has risen from 27 percent to 32 percent since the city’s reunification and legitimate new Arab housing construction has outpaced Jewish construction. In contravention of these facts, Weiner declares, we have seen an Israeli Arab and Palestinian leadership spending hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize and encourage massive felonious construction in the conduct of a “demographic war” against the Jewish state and its capital.
The parameters of that war defy the imagination. From Ras Al-Amoud to Jabal Mukaber at the southern and eastern perimeters of the city, from Kalandrya to Anata in the north, unlicensed, unplanned, whole villages have been slapped together for the sole purpose of creating “irreversible facts on the ground.” They fail even the most minimal engineering and architectural standards with safety concerns thrown to the four winds. Virtually all of this wildcat invasion of stone and cement-block, moreover has been directed at “Area C,” the 59 percent of the “West Bank” supposedly under exclusive Israeli civil and military control per the Oslo Accords, in a city reunified under Jewish sovereignty 49 years ago. All of which makes it fair to ask, as Tawil does, whether “building a great collar of cement” north, east and south of Jerusalem, choking it off from all but westward Jewish expansion, was part of the Oslo Accords or simply in its unread footnotes?
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“Fake news” has suddenly emerged as a major issue. But no one has drawn attention to the fact that large scale dissemination of fake news by the mainstream media had its birth in Israel’s 1982 war in Lebanon. The situation was so bad that AFSI published a study by Edward Alexander “NBC’s War in Lebanon: the Distorting Mirror.” NBC was only chosen, Alexander wrote, “because the malpractices common to the three major networks were drawn out into extreme or radical form by NBC.”
To take only a few examples: On August 2 a photograph seen round the world showed what was described as a severely burned baby girl with her arms amputated, allegedly wounded in an Israeli bombardment. NBC’s Fred Francis reported Secretary of State George Schultz’s endorsement of Ronald Reagan’s view that “the symbol of this war” was that “picture of a baby with its arms shot off.” It turned out the baby was a healthy boy (NBC even had the sex wrong) with a broken left arm in a cast. NBC never corrected the misrepresentation. NBC disseminated ludicrous numbers (invented by the PLO) of “600,000 homeless civilians” and 10,000 civilian deaths at the hands of Israel. It eluded NBC that “600,000” was more than the total population of southern Lebanon under Israeli control. It turned out the number who died was closer to 100 than 10,000. The bogus figures were cited by NBC time and time again and never retracted. NBC also repeatedly described Beirut as a city “slowly reduced to rubble” from which almost all civilians had fled when photographs showed the city essentially intact with people crowding into supermarkets.
Alas, the current uproar is likely to make matters worse as gatekeepers (especially in Europe) primarily go after critics of government action on politically sensitive issues (like Muslim immigration) in the name of stopping “fake news.”
Fake News from JTA?
The JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) is the mainstream news service for Jewish media around the globe. Daniel Greenfield has reported on the deceptive way in which JTA has provided” news” on supposed Jewish support for Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), at this writing a frontrunner for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. For many years Ellison, a convert to Islam, was affiliated with Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic Nation of Islam (at times acting as its spokesman). Moreover, writes Greenfield, Ellison “has lied about it and distorted his past.”
You wouldn’t know this from the JTA’s recent story. It is about 300 Jewish community leaders, including 100 rabbis, who have signed a letter in support of Ellison. The letter states that it is not an endorsement of Ellison for DNC chair but is “a call to reject the unfair and baseless accusations some have leveled at him.” Greenfield notes that the JTA story is essentially “a press release repeating most of the letter’s contents while making it seem like this was an independent initiative.” In fact, says Greenfield, minimal investigation would have shown that the source of the letter is “Keith for DNC”, a website prepared and paid for by the campaign to make Ellison the DNC’s next head. What’s more, the JTA provides no names of the “leaders” and 100 rabbis who signed on. (Subsequent to publication of the article, the JTA provided several names, most of them anti-Israel activists.) Greenfield sums up: “The story is blatantly dishonest and it’s another example of the extremists in the media promoting an extremist candidate using deceptive and dishonest tactics.”
Modern Language Association Shoots Down BDS
The boycott-Israel movement received a welcome setback as the 25,000 member Modern Language Association (MLA), at its annual convention in Philadelphia in January, rejected a motion to boycott Israeli universities.
It’s a welcome reminder that when opponents mobilize these outrageous resolutions can be defeated. Russell Berman, a former president of the MLA, reports that following the 2014 MLA convention in Chicago, which featured a pro-boycott session, opponents organized an MLA Members for Scholars Rights to counter the boycott movement. This led to the recent showdown in Philadelphia between rival resolutions, for and against BDS. The call to boycott was turned down and the resolution to refrain from boycotting endorsed (although by a narrower margin). The votes are the more welcome given that the MLA, under then president Louis Kampf, pioneered passing political resolutions that had nothing to do with the mission of academic associations.
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AFSI deeply mourns the loss, not only to his family but to Israel and the Jewish people, of Professor Steven Plaut.
Born in Philadelphia in 1951, Plaut emigrated to Israel at the age of 30, becoming a professor of economics at the Graduate School of Business of Haifa University. He almost died of cancer over a decade ago, recounting his brush with death in his book The Scout. He finally succumbed to the disease at the age of 65.
Plaut was a fierce champion of Israel who pulled no punches in his articles, many of which appeared as columns in The Jewish Press. He immediately recognized the folly of the 1993 Oslo accords; clearly setting forth the reasons they undermined the state. For over two decades he lashed out at Israeli leaders, whether on the left or (ostensibly) on the right, who persisted in pursuing the two state delusion. In one memorable column he declared the real name for the Oslo appeasement process and the subsequent “Road Map” was “the Cult of Moloch,” a Canaanite cult whose chief feature, according to the Bible, was the sacrifice of children.
At times, for Plaut, Israel’s misguided policies defied rational discourse and he resorted to satire and verse.
Plaut was also erudite, something that could be overshadowed by his biting rhetoric.
We reprint here a 2013 column that represents Plaut at his polemical and scholarly best– as topical now as the day it was written.
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