How the Quakers Became Champions of BDS by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander Joffe

Editor’s Note: Starting in 1970 the AFSC became a pioneer in advocating for the PLO, then still all but universally recognized in the West as a terror group. For those interested in an in-depth view of the process by which the Quakers moved from genuine advocacy of human rights to defaming Israel while flying the false flag of human rights, far and away the best study was published by AFSI in 1979. The 72 page pamphlet, by former Quaker H. David Kirk, was entitled “The Friendly Perversion: Quakers as Reconcilers: Good People and Dirty Work.” It is available in full on the AFSI website. The AFSC is now among the official promoters of an outrageous bill introduced by ten Democrats that would prevent U.S. tax dollars supporting Israeli “detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children” (i.e. terrorists under 18 years of age.) There have been 79 terror attacks by such “children”, including the brutal murders of mothers and their innocent small children, in the last two years. The bill (like the AFSC) does not condemn the incitement to such acts by the PA media (specifically cited by one of the “child” murderers as the reason for his action) or the rewards it bestows on families of the murderers.

In a not-so-earth-shattering move, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) has appointed a Palestinian-American, Joyce Ajlouny, as its new Secretary General. Ajlouny is a native of Ramallah and formerly the head of the Quaker school there, a “passionate” advocate for Palestinians and for “evenhandedness.”

Ajlouny may be the perfect candidate to run the AFSC, the leading American Quaker organization, which over the years has cultivated its image as peaceful and supremely benign. Few suspect, much less know, that one of their central missions these days is promoting the BDS movement that opposes Israel’s existence.

How did a century-old religiously based pacifist organization transform itself into one of the leading engines for the Palestinian cause? Part of the answer lies in the AFSC’s evolution, which has gone from trying to save Jews to vilifying them. Its Quaker theology has similarly gone from emphasis on the “Inner Light” that guides individual conscience to something like old-fashioned Christian supersessionism, where Jews deserve to be hated. The result is that the organization is now effectively captive to progressive Israel-hatred.

Founded during World War I to provide alternative forms of “service” to pacifist Quakers, the AFSC quickly became one of the foremost refugee relief organizations of the early 20th century, with operations around the world. A favorite of Eleanor Roosevelt’s, the AFSC was also active within the U.S. during the Depression, teaching skills across Appalachia and the South.

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Media Bias? Nothing New Here Ruth King

Many years ago an Arab in Jerusalem stabbed an elderly Orthodox Jew whose companions gave chase, captured the assailant and beat him until the police came. Peter Jennings, who was the anchor of ABC News from 1984 until his death in 2005, described it thus: “Today an Orthodox mob chased and beat a Palestinian Arab.” That was artful bias–reporting an incident factually with no exculpatory explanation.

The other networks were no better. NBC reported outright lies during their coverage of the Lebanon War.

In 1984 Americans for a Safe Israel produced a documentary entitled NBC in Lebanon- A Study in Media Misrepresentation. In The New York Times, the television critic John Corry reviewed it as flawed (naturally) but admitted “[I]t attempts to prove, and to a large extent does prove, that coverage by the NBC Nightly News of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 1982 was faulty.” He continued “One may argue, of course, that journalism ought not to reflect any viewpoint, and that to accuse NBC of not reflecting the ‘Israeli viewpoint’ is only to accuse it of not taking sides. On the other hand, the documentary, judiciously using NBC’s own film, suggests that NBC was indeed taking sides and pressing the viewpoint of the P.L.O.“

Of Tom Brokaw, the “star” of the AFSI documentary, Dan Rather who ‘resigned’ in disgrace from CBS after he orchestrated a false report on the National Guard Service of then President George Bush, and Peter Jennings, journalist Sarah Pentz had this to say: “Each of these men leaves a shameful legacy on the face of American journalism. They led their networks into a shocking wave of politically biased reporting and did absolutely nothing to rebuke those who indulged in it––because, it was their agenda, too. They knew exactly what they were doing. Each is responsible for the blackening tarnish that covers all journalists today because of their partisan politics.”

These biased network journalists paved the way for the clowns who dominate network as well as print media today. At least those three had credentials as journalists, however badly they misused them. The present lot reports on world events, and especially Israel without a clue. They pretend that the history of Israel started in 1967 when Jews, without provocation or legitimate rights, invaded the peaceful and productive lands of the “West Bank.”

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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)

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Hell’s Union : William Mehlman

If the proposed shotgun marriage (aka the “reconciliation agreement”) between a Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority famed for its largesse to murderers of Israelis and a Gaza City-ensconced Hamas terror organization pledged to Israel’s extinction is ever consummated, Rosemary’s Baby is likely to be the only fruit its loins are capable of producing. The Jewish State will, of course, be charged with its breast-feeding.

The union is still pretty much a 50-50 bet at this writing as the partners prepare for a November 21st meeting in Cairo to put the “finishing touches” on a deal that would purportedly clear the way for the PA to set up shop again in a Gaza peninsula from which it was driven in 2007. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, his token prime minister Rami Hamdallah and Hamas’ strongmen Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar will be tasked with formally establishing the new Palestinian unity government and setting a date for general elections.

The devil, of course lurks in those “final touches.” The touchiest of them is Abbas’ warning that there will be no reconciliation unless and until Hamas’ 27,000 man Izzedin al-Qassam Brigade is disbanded and every last gun and rocket in its arsenal surrendered to the new central authority. Abbas says he will not tolerate anything like Hezbollah’s gun-slinging arrangement with a castrated Lebanon. “Is my Arabic clear on this?” he declared in an interview with Egypt’s CBC TV news service. “One state, one government , one gun.”

That’s not all Abbas is demanding of Hamas in down payment for this Egyptian-brokered deal he’s demonstrably less than enthusiastic about. Inter alia, he wants unfettered control over the border crossings into Egypt and Israel, the firing of 43,000 Hamas-appointed government employees and their replacement by 10,000 PA loyalists ousted in the 2007 coup. Already in his pocket is the termination of the short life of Hamas’ quasi-governmental “Administrative Committee.” It was this attempt at the creation of a shadow government that sparked the PA’s cutoff of further payments to Israel of Hamas’ electricity bills, its slashing of unemployment compensation to the peninsula’s municipal workers, the reduction of payments to Hamas prisoners residing in Israeli jails and the reduction of medical supply shipments.

These Hamas concessions notwithstanding, “after years of failed attempts at reconciliation,” Avi Issacharov observes in the Times of Israel, “Abbas appears profoundly skeptical about the possibility of true national unity.” His Cairo TV interview is suffused with ambivalence. “It’s not certain there will be elections,” he told his interrogator, “or that even the establishment of a state will be soon. We don’t deceive each other or sell illusions to anyone. The issue is difficult.“ Issacharov characterized that as a “surprising remark for the leader who tells the Palestinians at every opportunity that the establishment of a state of their own is imminent.” It may reflect what Hillel Frisch, Senior Fellow at the new conservative-oriented Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies calls Abbas’ awakening to “the bitter zero sum game” into which he’s ventured. “Only a showdown can decide between Hamas and Fatah [the PA’s political arm],” Frisch submits, “with one side totally victorious and the other totally defeated and it’s doubtful Fatah can muster the strength to make a bid for true power in Gaza.”

Nor will either side “be able to bridge the ideological divide or be able to forget their blood-soaked history anytime soon,” avers Grant Rumley in an Atlantic piece headlined “The Doomed Palestinian Reconciliation Plan.” “The reality is that Hamas is unlikely ever to give up its military control over Gaza. The faction wants Abbas to pay for the cost of governing. Abbas wants acquiescence and disarmament. Ultimately, there’s no middle ground…”

In fact, the only thing Fatah and Hamas have in common is their mutual interest in the disappearance of Israel. It is only on the path to that holy grail that they differ. Hamas’ choice remains, as always, military confrontation aided and abetted by its Iranian and Hezbollah allies. But the exorbitant expenditures on weapons, tunnel construction and the care and feeding of a 27,000-man fighting force in pursuit of that objective has put Gaza’s economy in meltdown. Unemployment is running at 40 percent, electricity, supplied by Israel and currently being paid for by Egypt, is limited to five hours a day, overpumped aquifers, seeping salt, have created a dire shortage of drinkable water, sanitation and health services are at marginal levels and much of the housing and infrastructure damage incurred in a 2014 rocket war against Israel remains untouched. Nothing less than the threat of civil insurrection, combined with pressure from Egypt, persuaded Haniyah and Sinwar to concede administrative control of the peninsula to its PA rival under the rubric of “national unity.” Their concept of that phrase, however appears limited to sticking the PA with 2.4 million bitter, largely impoverished and unhoused Arabs – “keeping the books and picking up the garbage,” as one observer put it – while Hamas gears up for another round with Israel.

Under Abbas the PA has been plying the diplomatic route toward a hoped-for unraveling of Israel in “stages.” Without raising an eyebrow over its distribution to terrorists and their families of $345 million of the $693 million in foreign aid it has received thus far in 2017, this stateless wonder has established embassies in dozens of countries and been admitted to membership in the International Criminal Court and Interpol. If it can find any justification for wading into the Gazan quagmire, it is in creating the façade of a “unified” Palestinian leadership prepared, however grudgingly, to nod acceptance of a Jewish state in its midst as precursor to the revival of two-state discussions. Hamas may be ready to swallow even that if it can get the administration of Gaza off its back.

The target of all this activity isn’t Benjamin Netanyahu, but Donald Trump. “The American administration backs this attempt at unity,” avers Ma’ariv’s Ben Caspit, “because it views reconciliation as a significant tailwind behind Trump’s efforts to exhaust diplomatic negotiations.” Indeed, a united Palestinian bow to Israel’s right to a mark on the map of the Middle East demanded by the Quartet – the U.S, EU, UN and Russian working group on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – could put Israel in a tight spot in regard to any such negotiations – totally isolated. Netanyahu’s virtual silence on the issue until recent weeks comes as no surprise. When the prime minister spoke against the Iran nuclear agreement before a joint session of Congress in 2015, he was challenging Barak Obama, an adversary. His “great friend” Donald Trump, hell-bent on making the “deal of the century” is another matter. “It is difficult for Netanyahu to come out against initiatives backed by Trump,” Caspit asserts. “Not impossible, but difficult.”

Amplified by Hamas’ appointment of Salah al-Arouri, mastermind of the shocking 2014 murder of three Israeli yeshiva teenagers, as its “reconciliation coordinator,” the prime minister has found his voice. Addressing a Likud faction meeting in Ma’ale Adumim, Netanyahu said that as part of any Palestinian “reconciliation” acceptable to Israel, Hamas would not only have to dismantle its Izzedin al-Qassam Brigade but dissolve all of its ties, military and political, with Iran. “We additionally expect anyone who talks about a ‘peace process’ to recognize the State of Israel and, of course, the Jewish State. We cannot accept fake reconciliation on the Palestinian side that comes at the expense of our existence.”

Figures both within and outside the prime minister’s inner circle were less inclined toward moderation. Even Donald Trump was not spared as former Likud education minister and prospective Netanyahu rival Gideon Sa’ar informed 26 parliamentarians from 15 countries assembled in Jerusalem for the Israel Allies Foundation’s Chairman’s Conference that “when it’s clear to them [Hamas and the PA] that we are here forever, then we can achieve the ‘ultimate deal.’“ As for Trump’s assertion that he wants a final shot at bringing Israel and the Palestinians together before moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, Sa’ar declared, “he didn’t promise it to us, he promised it to his voters.”

A somewhat less nuanced Security Cabinet minister, Ze’ev Elkin, berated the U.S. president for his reported opposition to the announced expansion of Jewish housing construction in Hebron, Israel’s second holiest city. “This administration feels comfortable changing the commitments of the Obama government on issues like climate change,” Elkin told Yediot Aharonot, “but for some reason on issues related to us they continue the same outlook that construction over the Green Line is a negative Israeli step.”

Is the White House-Jerusalem honeymoon on the wane? We won’t really know until Donald Trump’s “final shot” at an Israeli-Palestinian peace pact is discharged. The result of that effort will be inextricably linked to the fate of a Fatah-Hamas union whose overwhelming absence of affection can probably be counted on to undermine even its most compelling political convenience. To borrow a signature Trumpian phrase, “we shall have to see.”

William Mehlman represents AFSI in Israel.

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From the Editor : Rael Jean Isaac

A Europe We Can Believe In

That’s the title of what’s being called “The Paris Statement” signed by British philosopher Roger Scruton and nine other intellectuals, none of them household names here, from a variety of European countries. For this writer there is an overemphasis on Christianity (rather than Judeo-Christianity) as the underpinning of European civilization—you’d never guess there were Old Testament roots to Western civilization from this document. But what these writers are doing is important. As U.S. Catholic theologian James Schall points out, what the Statement offers is not only an analysis of Europe’s dire political situation, but a call to action.

The Statement consists of a lengthy 36 articles, and can be read in its entirety at The following are brief excerpts drawn from it.

“Europe belongs to us, and we belong to Europe. These lands are our home; we have no other. Our beloved home will not be fulfilled with the European Union. The real Europe is, and always will be, a community of nations at once insular, sometimes fiercely so, and yet united by a spiritual legacy that, together, we debate, develop, share—and love.

“The true Europe is in jeopardy. As the patrons of the false Europe construct their faux Christendom of universal human rights, we are losing our home.

“The false Europe boasts of an unprecedented commitment to human liberty. At the same time that we hear boasts of unprecedented liberty, European life is more and more comprehensively regulated. And Europe now seeks to tighten existing regulations on freedom of speech, an aboriginal European freedom—freedom of conscience made manifest. Political leaders who give voice to inconvenient truths about Islam and immigration are hauled before judges. Political correctness enforces strong taboos that deem challenges to the status quo beyond the pale.

“Over the past generation, Europe has pursued a grand project of multiculturalism. To demand or even promote the assimilation of Muslim newcomers to our manners and mores, much less to our religion, has been thought a gross injustice. A commitment to equality, we have been told, demands that we abjure any hint that we believe our culture superior. Paradoxically, Europe’s multicultural enterprise, which denies the Christian roots of Europe, trade on the Christian ideal of universal charity in an exaggerated and unsustainable form.

“Europe’s intellectual classes are, alas, among the chief ideological partisans of the conceits of the false Europe.

“There is an alternative. We must restore a true liberalism. After World War II Western Europe cultivated vital democracies. After the collapse of the Soviet Empire, Central European nations restored their civic vitality. These are among Europe’s most precious achievements.

“Many wrongly think Europe is being convulsed only by controversies over immigration. In truth, this is but one dimension of a more general social unraveling that must be reversed.

“In this moment, we ask all Europeans to join us in rejecting the utopian fantasy of a multicultural world without borders. We rightly love our homeland, and we seek to hand on to our children every noble thing that we have ourselves received as our patrimony.”

The Way of Zimbabwe

The Jewish population of South Africa dropped from 125,000 in the 1980s to 74,000 in 2014. It is likely to soon drop considerably more as South Africa heads further down the disastrous path of Zimbabwe, (a human rights and economic hellhole). And virtually no one in the West is paying a scrap of attention. To learn of what is happening you have to read media outliers like Breitbart or Israel’s Arutz Sheva.

Afrikaners on a food line

Mugabe began the process of turning Zimbabwe, then Africa’s breadbasket, into Africa’s basket case almost twenty years ago when he encouraged the seizing of white-owned farms without compensation by marauding blacks. Arutz Sheva reports that in March of this year President Jacob Zuma similarly called on parliament to change South Africa’s constitution to allow the expropriation of white owned land without compensation. Zuma doubtless sees this as a way to head off the political challenge to his rule from firebrand “Economic Freedom Fighter” Julius Malema who has travelled the country urging Black South Africans to take back land from white invaders: “People of South Africa, where you see a beautiful land, take it, it belongs to you.”

And to virtually zero international notice they’ve been taking it via town and city councils that harrass, intimidate and evict small scale Afrikaner farmers. The result is that, as an Arutz Sheva article reports, “vast, sprawling squatter camps which lack water or sanitation are home to hundreds of thousands of destitute Boer Afrikaners.” South African-Dutch journalist Adriana Stuijt writes that it’s conservatively estimated at least one million of the 3.4 million Afrikaner population now live in dire poverty, many in these camps and in backyard shanties.

The death toll of white farmers, often horribly slaughtered and mutilated, grows by the month, to the point, Breitbart notes, that farming in South Africa has become the most deadly occupation in the world. According to Breitbart, 1,187 farmers, 490 family members, 147 farm employees and 24 farm visitors are known to have been murdered since 1998 and the true figure is probably much larger. In the meantime President Zuma defended the singing of the song “Kill the farmer, kill the Boer” and one of his MPs crying out “Bury them alive!” during a recent parliamentary debate.

But if the narrative is not politically correct, it can’t be told by a media that obsesses over every Trump tweet.

Center for (Anti)Jewish History?

Last month we reported on the appointment of anti-Israel activist David N. Myers as president of the Center for Jewish History, which acts as an umbrella for five formerly respected Jewish organizations. And we noted that the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS), one of the five, was coordinating with the viciously anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace for a meeting (presumably of lamentation) on the occasion of this year’s 70th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Under overwhelming pressure, the AJHS backed out. But now, Stephen M. Flatow (writing for the Jewish News Service) reports that the Leo Baeck Institute, another of the five, whose stated mission is to “promote the study and understanding of German-Jewish history” invited outspoken anti-Israel New York Times columnist Roger Cohen to deliver this year’s Leo Baeck Memorial lecture.

Flatow did not attend the lecture but read Cohen’s pre-lecture interview published in the Baeck Institute’s newsletter. Predictably Cohen lashed out violently at Israel, declaring the Jews “subject the Palestinian people to much of what we once suffered.” Flatow explodes: “Gas chambers? Pogroms? Ghettoes? Inquisitions? Which of these, exactly, does Cohen think Israel has used against the Palestinians?”

Of course the Leo Baeck Institute knew exactly what it was getting in inviting Cohen. Just as the Center for Jewish Studies, composed of Baeck and the other organizations, knew exactly what it was getting with Myers. It is the boards of these outfits that are responsible. What are they aiming for? Is it Soros money? It might well be attractive for Soros to scoop up five hitherto reputable Jewish organizations for what is to him mere pocket change to promote his anti-Israel agenda.

Swiss Jihad

England, Belgium, France, Sweden and Germany take up most of the attention when it comes to Islamic terror in Europe. Bruce Bawer reminds us that in Switzerland too “the hills are alive with the sound of Jihad.”

As in the rest of Europe, elites wring their hands over the perils of “Islamophobia.” At a September 11 conference Switzerland’s Federal Commission against Racism issued an alert: “Hostility toward Muslims” was rising “fed by facts that have nothing to do with Muslims themselves.” Really? What about the fact that just before the conference, the media had reported on Abu Ramadan, a popular imam who, in his sermons, asked Allah “to destroy the enemies of Islam–Jews, Christians, Hindus, Russians and Shiites” and warned that Muslims who made friends with infidels were “cursed until the Day of Judgment.” Bawer observes that Abu Ramadan had come to Switzerland from Libya as an asylum seeker in 1998; his repeated visits to Libya subsequently should have been enough to negate his right to asylum. But instead the Swiss state has over the years showered Abu Ramadan with the equivalent of $620,000 in welfare payments.

It takes a fellow Muslim to dare to speak sense. Bawer reports that Saida Keller-Messahli, the Swiss Muslim author of Switzerland: An Islamist Hub, has been investigating institutional Islam in Switzerland for years, probing prisons as well as mosques. In prison libraries she found hundreds of copies of jihadist works. Messahli took part in the design and implementation of a course that warned prison employees about the dangers of Islamic radicalization. It was, she said, “a huge success”—but an order by a Zurich court put an end to it. “Right and center,” says Messahli, “politicians prefer to stay in their comfort zone and close their eyes.”

Bawer sees hopeful if so far rare signs of a pushback against especially outrageous behavior, e.g. federal prosecutors have brought charges against the president and two members of the board of the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland, the country’s largest Islamic organization, on grounds of making videos in Syria featuring a top Al-Qaeda member and posting them on YouTube and elsewhere.

Lincolnshire Rebels

Meanwhile, Bawer reports that English officialdom follows the same behavioral pattern. Lincolnshire is a rural county in the British Midlands, heavily Conservative, that voted for Brexit by almost two to one. After British soldier Lee Rigby was beheaded by terrorists on a London street, a Lincolnshire man was arrested. No, it wasn’t for being involved in Rigby’s murder. It was for mentioning online that the killers were Muslim.

Bawer reports that the Lincolnshire police has now produced a thirteen-minute video as part of “Hate Crime Awareness week” directed to the county’s children. The video portrays a handful of supposedly noble, patriotic, caring Muslims (the kids have no way of knowing one of them is a leader of an outfit with Hamas fingerprints all over it). Bawer writes: “In its pretty, sanitized portrait of British Islam, there are no terrorists, no friends of terrorists, no supporters of terrorists, nobody who ever so much as met a terrorist. These Muslims are all do-gooders.”

The good news is that online comments from Lincolnshire residents have been scathing. Bawer reports that asked about public reactions to the video, Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor said he was “really disappointed.” The police have taken their disappointment a step further. Writes Bawer: “They’ve made it clear that they’ll also police criticism of their own policing….Naylor cautioned that members of the public who are worked up about it [the video] had better keep their thoughts to themselves: the Lincolnshire Police he warned, ‘will look into any online abuse aimed at the police.’ In short: clam up, mate. Big Brother is watching!”

U.S. to Aid Most Needy Refugees—Finally

A longtime criticism of U.S. refugee policy in the Middle East has been that it depends upon the selection processes of the United Nations—which systematically ignores Christians and other minorities, the very people most in need of refuge. That will be changing, according to Vice President Mike Pence who told Christian leaders from the Middle East gathered in Washington for the In Defense of Christians Summit that “America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID….The United States will work hand in hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith.” (To be sure, when it comes to Israel, USAID’s record is anything but encouraging.)

Pence further promised that on his December trip to the Middle East “one of the messages that I will bring on the president’s behalf to leaders across the region is that now is the time to bring an end to the persecution of Christians and all religious minorities.”

Good luck with that. But to change refugee policy is in U.S. power and long overdue.

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The Russia-Iran Axis: An Existential Threat To Israel’s Security – A Wakeup Call Yigal Carmon

The Iranian forces and Iran-supported militias are expanding in Syria and approaching the Israeli border. This is happening with the full support and facilitation of Russia, even though Russia knows very well that Iran’s aim is to fight the State of Israel and eradicate it, and that its expansion in Syria will significantly advance that aim. While Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov calls Israel’s demand that the Iranians maintain a distance of 40 km from its border “not realistic” – after Iran has come 2,000 km to reach this point – Russian Defense Minister Shoygu has the temerity to come to Israel and entreat it to refrain from defending itself.

The Russians believe that they can mislead Jerusalem. But so far, Israel has elected to act according to facts, rather than being taken in by Russian duplicity, and is striking Syrian targets that endanger Israel. While Syria and Iran enjoy full Russian support, Israel lacks U.S. backing against the Russia-Iran threat. The U.S. does not even stand for itself in Syria – just a few days ago, Russia, like a rogue state, violated the deconfliction zone agreement that it itself had signed with the U.S. Therefore, Iran’s expansion into all of Syria up to the Israeli border will soon be completed, with the full support of Russia, and with an eventual withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Syria.

Senior Iranian officials and military commanders have already clarified that after Syria, Israel is next.

Israel will have to fight its war against the Iran-Russia-Syria axis alone. It will need America’s diplomatic backing, military equipment, and economic assistance, but never American troops. But as matters stand, the actual U.S. strategy vis-à-vis Iran’s expansion in the region is contrary to its rhetoric, which opposes this expansion (the U.S. agreed, both in the Astana talks and in the deconfliction zones agreement with Russia, to legitimize Iran’s presence in Syria). This means that American support for Israel against the Iran-Russia axis is not assured. The U.S.’s Russia policy also does not guarantee that the U.S. will stand with Israel against the Iranian threat that is enabled by Russia.

Israel is well equipped to answer existential threats if it must – even if they are either directly or indirectly Russian. At the same time, Russia’s military power may prove to be overestimated. Russia acts as if it is a world power, but its advanced weaponry may fail against Israeli-American technological superiority. This may be why Russia is in no hurry to launch its missiles when Israel strikes in Syria. President Obama even called Russia a regional power.

This is not to say that there is no existential threat to Israel. Clearly, the Iran-Russia-Syria-Hizbullah axis does pose such a threat, but Israel can overcome it, if it must. However, its ability to face the threat depends on early recognition that Russia is part of the enemy axis.

The inability of many in Israel and the West to perceive Russia as the enemy stems from the belief that Russia has no reason in the world to be Israel’s enemy. Therefore, they ignore what they see happening in Syria, and instead provide complicated explanations about an inherent conflict of interests between Russia and Iran. This is a psychological failing from which Israel suffered bitterly in its history, as have other nations.

So why would Russia align itself politically and strategically with Iran? Russia views itself as a superpower fighting to reclaim its former status. Indeed, for Russia the enemy is not Israel. Russia’s true adversary is the U.S., and Israel is an historic ally of that adversary. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, an increasingly embittered Russia has escalated its attempts to regain its past glory. The Russian regime hates the U.S. (to understand this, it is sufficient to read Putin’s address a few days ago at the annual Valdai Club conference; see MEMRI Russian Media Project report). But Russia cannot fight the U.S. directly. America is in the North Sea, and the best Russia can do is dispatch planes to buzz the U.S. Navy there. NATO is expanding eastwards and Russia’s forces are no match for it – as attested to by General Staff Col. (ret.) Mikhail Khoradenok on Russian television, to the dismay of his audience: “We have 200 warplanes, while NATO has 3,800. We have 1,600 armored vehicles and APCs, while NATO has more than 20,000… Thus, anyone who talks about our capability to wage a conventional war against NATO is clearly too hotheaded” (see MEMRI Russian Media Project Clip #5902, February 14, 2017). Russia’s single antiquated smoke-belching aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is no match for the U.S. Navy, with its 10 advanced carriers.

Russia cannot take on America directly, and it is using Iran as its proxy to humiliate America, undermine its status, and expel it from the region. At the same time, Russia can use Iran as a bargaining chip to obtain what it needs the most: a lifting of the sanctions that were imposed after Russia annexed Crimea and dismembered Ukraine. Russian regime-affiliated think tanks and media explicitly stated in early 2017 that Russia’s alliance with Iran could be a bargaining chip.

Unless and until Russia and the West strike a deal on lifting these sanctions in exchange for Russia’s abandoning its alliance with Iran – which is completely unrealistic – Russia will cling to this alliance. This is because Iran reinforces Russia’s superpower aspirations and pretensions, and shares, and serves, Russia’s drive to humiliate and undermine the U.S. Any harm done to Israel in the process does not figure in Russia’s strategic considerations vis-à-vis the U.S. Worse, even if Russia were to change direction at any time in the future, Iran’s Russia-enabled expansion in Syria, and its proximity to Israel, will remain, and will serve as the Islamic Republic’s launching pad for its war against Israel.

Yigal Carmon is President of MEMRI and served as advisor to two Israeli prime ministers for countering terrorism. This appeared on on October 23.

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Our Taxpayer Funded Palestinian Saddam Daniel Greenfield

A tree may grow in Brooklyn, but a Saddam Hussein memorial has grown in Qalqilya.

Qalqilya is one of those ancient, historic “Palestinian” cities. So it dates back all the way to 1893. The population of Qalqilya more than quadrupled under Israeli rule. That’s typical of Zionist genocide which somehow vastly increases the number of Arab Muslims and their shrill accusations of genocide.

In the ancient 19th century Palestinian city of Qalqilya, dating back all the way to the days of President Grover Cleveland and the invention of the jukebox, Hamas is popular. It even elected its own mayor before he was removed from office and the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah was put back in charge. Politics in Qalqilya remains a pitched battle between Hamas and Fatah over who hates the Jews more and has the best plan for destroying them.

There isn’t much to do in Qalqilya except visit its zoo. The Qalqilya Zoo is the worst zoo in the world and embodies everything wrong with “Palestine”. Israelis helped set up the zoo as a gesture of peace. It was supposed to be a “jewel in the crown of Palestinian national institutions.”

And it just might be.

Recently, a bear ate a 9-year-old boy’s arm at the zoo. The zebras and the giraffes allegedly died as a result of Muslim attacks on Israelis near the zoo. The self-taught taxidermist who runs the zoo has an exhibition of dead animals he has stuffed and mounted, and whose deaths he blames on Israel.

Like everything else about “Palestine”, Israeli goodwill ended in death and anti-Israel propaganda.

But Qalqilyans or Qalqilyites now have something else to do. They can stop by the Saddam Hussein Memorial.

One side of the memorial has Saddam Hussein in a beret saluting himself. The other shows an older Saddam waving his rifle in the air. If the city fathers of Qalqilya had been more on the ball, they could have acquired the Ruger M77 bolt-action rifle in question for under $50K after it was taken from the rubble of his presidential palace in Mosul and sold at auction by a senior CIA officer in Baghdad.

The Saddam Hussein Memorial bears such cheerful welcoming messages as “Saddam Hussein – The Master of the Martyrs in Our Age,” and “Arab Palestine from the River to the Sea.”

Governor Rafi Rawajba compared Saddam, Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.“Saddam was an emblem of heroism, honor, originality and defiance, as was the martyr Yasser Arafat. President Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) makes sure to follow in the footsteps of these two great leaders.”

Qalqilya Mayor Othman Daoud, also of Fatah, had previously paid tribute to Saddam for sticking to “his principles and the Palestinian cause until his death as a Martyr.”

The governor of Qalqiliya was appointed by Abbas. While the Palestinian Authority president doesn’t have Saddam’s arsenal or snazzy berets, he has the same affinity for democracy as Saddam.

President Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005. It’s been the longest four years ever.

Governor Rafi Rawajba was appointed by Abbas, not elected. He’s a member of Fatah, which is the political movement that dominates the PLO, and the PLO runs the Palestinian Authority. Also present was an official from the Arab Liberation Front which is also part of the PLO. The ALF was a project of Saddam Hussein and he used it to hand out cash to the families of Islamic terrorists in Israel.

Before the latest Iraq War, the ALF promised to hand out a million dollars to terrorist families. The Bush administration used that as evidence that Saddam Hussein supported terrorists and had to be removed.

The ALF claimed that Saddam had handed out $35 million to terror families in 3 years. The Palestinian Authority pays out over $300 million a year. It’s currently at $355 million. The PA spends 10 times more on terror payments in 1 year than Saddam did over 3 years.

And the best part is that most of the money comes from us. The Palestinian Authority doesn’t have much of an economy. It relies on foreign aid. Some of that money comes from Europe, Japan and the Saudis. A whole lot of it comes from Americans.

The Taylor Force Act, named after an American veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq murdered by a Fatah-supported terrorist, is slowly wending its way through Congress. If it isn’t neutered, it will cut off some of our aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops funding terrorism.

Taylor Force was murdered by Bashar Masalha.

Palestinian Authority television reported that, “In Qalqilya, hundreds of citizens accompanied the body of Martyr Bashar Masalha.” It described the burial of a terrorist who had murdered an American as a “national wedding” in which he was “embraced by the soil of his homeland as a Martyr.”

Qalqilya is not the only Muslim settlement in Palestinian-occupied Israel to have its own Saddam Hussein memorial. There’s one in Beit Rima, a town square in the Palestinian Authority’s capital of Ramallah and in a UN refugee center in Jenin.

And, if business goes on as usual, the PA will be funded by hundreds of millions in taxpayer money.

Maybe it’s time we finally stopped funding the Palestinian Authority, its terrorists and the aspirations of its dictator to follow in Saddam Hussein’s footsteps.

American taxpayers are paying Muslim terrorists to murder Americans. We’ve poured money into the Qalqilya Governate which has benefited from numerous USAID projects. And, in return, the locals are erecting monuments to Saddam Hussein. And a Fatah thug appointed by President Abbas, the dictator we subsidize with hundreds of millions a year, claims that Abbas is following in the footsteps of Saddam.

After spending thousands of lives in Iraq, we’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars funding a Palestinian Saddam.

Making the Taylor Force Act into law is the only decent thing to do. But Secretary of State Tillerson also needs to end the doubletalk about the Palestinian Authority’s funding of terrorism. And Abbas’ enablers, in the media and the Jewish world, have to be held accountable for the lies and the terrorism.

The Palestinian Authority’s terror boss has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want peace. The latest reconciliation effort with Hamas is another reminder of it. He isn’t interested in democracy either. Not unless the elections are rigged. What does Abbas want? If you believe his crony in Qalqilya, he wants to be Saddam Hussein. If he wants to follow in Saddam’s footsteps, he can do it without our cash.

Or the next Saddam Hussein memorial can be on us.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. This appeared on on October 24.

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Why Europe’s New Nationalists Love Israel David P. Goldman

“If ponies rode men and grass ate cows,” goes the text of “The World Turned Upside Down,” the tune piped by the Continental Army band at Cornwallis’ surrender of Yorktown. Europeans might consider adopting it as their anthem to replace the present European Community hymn, the overused Ode to Joy. The resurgent nationalists who made the Alternative fur Deutschland into Germany’s third-largest party and the Austrian Freedom Party into that country’s second-largest (and a likely member of a new governing coalition) have an extreme-right reputation, but they are now the most pro-Israel parties in Europe. The world has indeed turned upside-down, and we might as well sing about it.

Most remarkable is the success of the Austrian Freedom Party (German initials FPO) in the recent Austrian elections. It came in second with 26% of the vote, ahead of the governing Social Democrats. Its chairman, Heinz-Christian Strache, rubbed shoulders with neo-Nazis during his early political career, and four years ago posted an anti-Semitic cartoon on his Facebook page, “showing a banker with a large hooked nose and Star of David cuff links profiting from Europe’s financial crisis,” as the Times of Israel reported. Since then Strache has undergone a Damascus road conversion from Saul to Paul (or perhaps the other way round). He has visited Israel several times, defended Israeli settlers in Judea and Samaria, and demanded that Austria move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Strache brings to mind the canonical definition of a philo-Semite, that is, an anti-Semite who likes Jews. It is widely alleged that he is looking for respectability after emerging from the extreme right swamp into the mainstream of Austrian politics, and hoping to burnish his credentials through gestures of reconciliation with the Jewish State. It is also widely believed that the FPO as well as the AfD support Israel as the enemy of their enemy, that is, the flood of Muslim migrants that provoked the surge in their support among voters.

I do not know Herr Strache and have no knowledge of his true motives. But I have had the opportunity to speak at length with a leader of the Alternative for Germany. Both motives–the desire to shed the stigma of neo-Nazi associations and common cause with Israel against radical Islam–are relevant, but something far more interesting is at work.

There are neo-Nazis and other swamp creatures lurking in the new nationalist right. Earlier this year I stated that, deplorably, I would vote for Angela Merkel rather than the AfD in the German elections, in part because the AfD’s Vice-Chairman Alexander Gauland defended a regional AfD leader who proposed to dismantle Holocaust monuments, in part because Gauland is insultingly anti-American, and in part because Gauland is too friendly with the mystical nationalists around Vladimir Putin. But that is not the whole of the AfD, and it is possible that the AfD will go in quite a different direction.

There are European nationalists who support Israel out of conviction rather than expediency. They admire the accomplishments of the Jewish State, moral as well as military or commercial. They observe that Israeli women bear on average 3 children compared to just 1.3 in Germany. They wish that Europeans could show the same love of country and culture that the Jews evince in Israel, and the same willingness to defend themselves.

That really is the world turned upside-down. European nationalism from its inception drew inspiration from biblical Israel. Greece was not a nation but a collection of small, quarreling city-states. Rome was not a nation but an empire–as were the Egyptians, Hittites, Sumerians, and so forth. Israel is the only exemplar of a nation in the ancient world, and the Davidic kingdom the only instance of a national monarchy. As I explained in my 2011 book How Civilizations Die, the first national monarchies in Europe–the 7th-century Merovingian kingdom in France and the Visigoth kingdom in Spain–emulated the Davidic model under the tutelage, respectively, of St. Gregory of Tours and St. Isidore of Seville.

Isidore and Gregory, I remarked elsewhere, were the Bialystock and Bloom of the Low Middle Ages: They sold 100% of the deal to every investor. That is, they persuaded each national monarch that his line was the new Davidic dynasty and his people the New Israel. This form of supercessionism gave rise to anti-Semitism (how could the Merovingians or Visigoths be the new Israel if the old Israel was still wandering about asserting its claim to divine election?). It also gave rise to perpetual warfare among Europe’s national dynasties for the claim to chosenness. The Thirty Years’ War of 1618-1648, Europe’s most devastating conflict, was fought by fanatics in France and Spain respectively who believed in the divine election of their respective lands. National exclusivity and hatred had the same roots as anti-Semitism.

There is another path, taken by the United States, which allows that every nation can be “almost chosen,” in Lincoln’s memorable phrase. It can emulate Israel without seeking to supersede it. What distinguishes American culture is the radical Protestant belief that the City of God cannot be realized in the City of Man, that life is a pilgrimage whose goal is ever beyond the horizon. This concept defines and shapes American literary as well as popular culture, as I tried to show in this essay.

The existence and success of the State of Israel changes everything. It is not merely a promise, spiritualized by Christianity into a vision of another life beyond this one, but a living, breathing people that punches above its weight in every field of human endeavor. Europe’s new nationalists may attempt to emulate Israel not by superseding it or by asserting their claims for election against each other, but by seeking to identify its virtues.

Post-nationalist Europe bears an irrational hatred of Israel, I wrote in 2014.

The flowering of Jewish national life in Israel makes the Europeans crazy. It is not simply envy: it is a terrible reminder of the vanity of European national aspirations over the centuries, of the continent’s ultimate failure as a civilization. Just as the Europeans (most emphatically the Scandinavians) would prefer to dissolve into the post-national stew of European identity, they demand that Israel do the same. Never mind that Israel lacks the option to do so, and would be destroyed were it to try, for reasons that should be obvious to any casual consumer of news media.

It is too early to judge the direction of the new European nationalism, which has some elements that make me cringe, and some that make me release the safety-catch on my Browning. But it also has men and women who do not want to disappear into the dustbin of history and look to Israel for inspiration.

David Goldman is an economist, music critic and author best known for his essays in Asia Times under the pseudonym Spengler. This appeared in on October 17.

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Iraq’s Victory in Kirkuk a Harbinger of More Conflict by Marina Ottaway

After the September 25 referendum in which over 92 percent of participants voted in favor of Kurdistan’s independence, Baghdad moved swiftly to reassert control over the contested areas its troops had abandoned in the face of the ISIS onslaught in July 2014—areas which the Kurds had subsequently occupied.

The city of Kirkuk and surrounding oil fields are back in the hands of the Iraqi government. So is Sinjar, the Yezidi town northwest of Kirkuk that was controlled by an uneasy mixture of peshmerga forces and Syrian and Turkish Kurds, the latter belonging to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which both Turkey and the United States have designated a terrorist organization. It is likely that the Iraqi government will soon be in control of all the disputed territories that were occupied by the Kurds in 2014. The pre-ISIS territorial status quo is being restored in this area as it is everywhere else. So far, there has been no indication that Baghdad intends to go further and occupy the constitutionally recognized Kurdistan region. Instead, the Iraqi government appears determined to isolate and starve the region into submission by closing its border crossings with Turkey and Iran and stopping all flights except those coming from Baghdad.

Baghdad’s rapid success is based on politics rather than military strength because there has been little fighting. The Peshmerga units guarding Kirkuk, controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), were ordered to abandon their positions without fighting the advancing Iraqi troops and Shia militia units. The Iraqi Kurds were mostly defeated by their own political division—a recurring theme in the history of that troubled region. The rivalry of the dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and its off-on ally PUK is rooted in geographic, tribal affiliations and the conflicting personal ambitions of leaders. The two organizations fought against each other in the days of Saddam Hussein and their collaboration since the U.S. occupation has been uneasy at best. Complicating the matter, a fight for control is unfolding within the leadership of the PUK. Jalal Talabani, the PUK founder and the first post-Saddam president of Iraq until incapacitated by a stroke in 2012, died on October 3 and the succession is bitterly contested, as shown by a statement issued by Hero Talabani, Jalal’s widow and one of the contenders, declaring that neither she nor any other family member were behind the order to the PUK-aligned peshmerga not to fight. At a time when the Kurds are under the most intense pressure from Baghdad in decades, they are more divided than ever—there are many more splinters than this brief account can outline.

General Soleimani

Equally important to Baghdad’s swift victory is an international alignment solidly hostile to the Kurds. The United States and its allies in the anti-ISIS coalition opposed the referendum, warning of dire consequences; and while they are all now declaring neutrality in the conflict and preaching moderation, there is a “we told you so” undertone to the reaction. Iran and Turkey are backing Iraq unconditionally because they fear that any move toward independence by the Iraqi Kurds will encourage separatist demands in their own countries. Turkey’s support for Iraq is mostly verbal—Ankara has not stopped, so far, the flow of oil from Kurdistan to the Turkish port of Ceyhan—but Iran’s support is direct and concrete, revealing the extent to which Iran has infiltrated Iraq and is gaining influence in Kurdistan. The ties between the major Shia militias, supposedly integrated in the Iraqi military but in reality acting largely autonomously, are well documented. General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps that controls foreign operations, moves openly in and out of Iraq; an Iraqi military spokesman recently explained that this is because the general is a military advisor to Baghdad. And General Soleimani was in Kurdistan the day before the Iraqi military moved on Kirkuk, purportedly to visit Jalal Talabani’s gravesite and pay his respects. It seems highly probable that he also held talks with some PUK leaders, which resulted in the order to the PUK peshmerga not to fight.

Baghdad’s response to the referendum has implications that go beyond Kurdistan. With the final defeat of the ISIS caliphate imminent in both Iraq and Syria, the two countries face the problem of how to re-establish effective government in the territories and regain support, or at least acceptance, among Sunnis who are not anxious to return to centralized control by a distant and Shia-controlled capital. The message sent by Baghdad is that decisions will be made by the central government, disregarding local and regional demands, and will be enforced by military action if necessary. In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad is certain to follow suit. With Iranian backing and Turkish acquiescence, they are likely to succeed in the short run, leaving the United States sidelined.

In the long run, both countries will see more conflict. Whatever the Kurds decide to do right now, they will not give up the fight for a state of their own—a fight that they have been waging in some form for generations. And a hardline policy at the center will do nothing to quell the grievances that led part of the Sunni population in Iraq to choose ISIS over Baghdad and many Syrians to turn against Damascus. Iraq’s victory in Kirkuk is unfortunately a harbinger of more conflict to come.

Marina Ottaway is a Former Senior Research Associate and head of the Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. This appeared at (viewpoints 118) in October.

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Fake History and Sustainable Anti-Israel Bias In the Academies : Ruth King

You know the old saw “ignorance is bliss.” When it comes to the history of the Middle East I prefer the blissfully ignorant to the “scholars” who teach fake history parroting the biased fiction that passes for Middle East studies to gullible students.

Take the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) that feeds faculty to the departments of Middle East history in most American Universities.

“The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a private, non-profit learned society that brings together scholars, educators and those interested in the study of the region from all over the world.” This is their claim, which sounds innocent enough.

In fact, students will “learn” that Jews usurped ancient Arab lands, colonized them, instituted harsh repression and liquidated basic rights in their illegal occupation. They will be taught that Arab wars and terrorism were a reaction to Jewish invasion of Arab lands. They will unlearn, if they ever knew, anything about the Jews’ historic ties to Palestine, the Balfour Declaration or the deception that deeded 80% of Palestine to the Hashemites who had absolutely no historic ties to the area.

The current president of MESA, Beth Baron, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the Graduate Center of City University (CUNY), is an outspoken supporter of the morally lopsided Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. She has published dozens of letters to the Israeli government condemning its actions and defending terrorists. She refers to the Israel Defense Forces as the “Israeli Occupation Authorities.” In August 2017 CUNY gave her a thirty thousand dollar raise and named her a “Distinguished Scholar.” Imagine what she teaches her students.

Judith Tucker, a professor of History at Georgetown University, is the President-elect of MESA, and (no surprise) a leader in the BDS movement. Back in 2014 she co-authored a resolution that defended scholarly associations’ right to endorse and participate in BDS. In January of 2016, Tucker sponsored a resolution titled “Protecting the Right to Education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” that was presented at the annual American Historical Association (AHA) convention. While that fortunately failed to pass, at the convention Tucker chaired a “Roundtable on Violations of Academic Freedom in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Lisa Hajjar, a professor of “Law and Society” at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is a member of the board of MESA whose term expires this month. As the late and greatly lamented Professor Steven Plaut wrote in Frontpage in June 2005: “Lisa Hajjar has made an entire academic career out of bashing the United States and Israel for their supposed use of ‘torture’ against Arabs. She spouts off these baseless accusations from her academic home at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), where she teaches in its ‘Law and Society’ program. In fact she has no credentials at all in law. (She also teaches “Middle East Studies” at UCSB, with even fewer qualifications in that field.) Instead she holds a PhD in sociology from American University. The one in Washington, not Cairo.“

At Columbia University, past president of MESA Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies. He is fiercely anti-Israel and in his latest screed bemoaned: “Israel advocates will ‘infest’ the Trump administration and impose a new ‘vision’ of the Middle East disproportionately favoring the Israeli government….. they have a vision whereby the occupied territories aren’t occupied, they have a vision whereby there is no such thing as the Palestinians, they have a vision whereby international law doesn’t exist, they have a vision whereby the United States can unilaterally cancel a decision in the United Nations.” His entire department of fake history shares his views.

When it comes to Islam, the MESA troops are also active in promoting fake history. In “A Brief MESA Nostra Taxonomy” Hugh Fitzgerald wrote: “A near-monopoly has been established among academic centers by the army of apologists for Islam. Then there are the largely, though not entirely, wacky or slightly off (in some cases) or simply career-minded play-it-very-safe Americans. Some of these are recipients of Arab money, at various academic centers bought-and-paid for by the Saudis and others, holders of Saudi-funded chairs who are not about to bite the hand that not only feeds them, but also holds a dagger. Others are people who simply want to get on with their work in medieval Islamic law, or the history of Islamic astronomy, but do not wish to cause themselves any unpleasantness as they seek tenure, or summer fellowships, or access to manuscripts.”

Dr. Mitchell Bard, author of books and columns on the Middle East and Israel, summed it up succinctly: “Middle East Studies departments were, with few exceptions, long ago taken over by radical leftists, disciples of Edward Said’s anti-intellectual ‘Orientalism,’ haters of Israel, and apologists for terror and radical Islam.”

“There’s been a lot of lamenting about the political correctness that’s taken over MESA,” Tristan Mabry, a visiting assistant professor of government at Georgetown University told The Wall Street Journal. “The A-No.1 issue that dominates MESA is always Israel, and even if you’re not interested in Israel [Mabry’s research focuses on Pakistan, India and Bangladesh], where you stand on Israel is always a litmus test.” Richard Bulliet, professor of Middle East history at Columbia, agreed: “You have a big chunk of the [Middle Eastern history] specialist community that starts every sentence with the word Palestine.” Martin Kramer, President of Shalem College, put it another way, “For MESAns, the Palestinians are the chosen people.”

What is still missing is a solid investigation of the funding that MESA receives from Arab nations.

I have grandchildren applying to college next year. After perusing the fake history curricula of the prestigious academies in their radar, I would prefer that they major in leather tooling rather than be exposed to courses that should be titled “Advanced and Sustainable Anti-Semitism and Hatred of Israel.”

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

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