Thursday, October 08, 2015

10/08 Links Pt2: PLO Attacks Howard Stern for Defending Israel; Obama’s Syria debacle

From Ian:

Stern: ‘Stand Up for What You Believe and F*** Those Who Can’t Get with You’
Radio host Howard Stern offered up another vociferous defense of Israel during Wednesday morning’s broadcast, just a day after he condemned Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters for backing economic boycotts of the Jewish state.
Stern, responding to media attention over his comments about Waters, called Israel a “necessity” and urged other supporters of the Jewish state to “stand up for what you believe and f*** those who can’t get with you.”
Waters penned a letter to rocker Bon Jovi, criticizing him for performing in Israel. Waters accused Israel of being an apartheid state and lent his support to the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“Don’t be so f***ing afraid,” Stern said to those who silently support Israel. “You know what happens when you’re afraid … Stand up for what you believe and f*** those who can’t get with you.”
“Don’t stand silently by when others will sit there and condemn and throw out words like apartheid and all that bullshit,” Stern told his audience. “Fight the power. You hear me?”
Stern admitted that he got a flurry of supportive emails from fellow celebrities and other “prominent people,” thanking him for his defense of Israel and fierce cut down of Waters.
Stern Defends Israel (NSFW of course)

PLO Attacks Howard Stern for Defending Israel
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) verbally attacked Howard Stern today and demanded an apology from the radio host for defending the Jewish state against rocker Roger Waters, a prominent celebrity supporter of the BDS movement against Israel, reports the Washington Free Beacon.
Waters had written an open letter to another rock star, Bon Jovi, in which he criticized Jovi for playing a concert in Israel recently. Waters put forth his support of economic warfare against Israel. Stern's response to Waters was, well, stern:
“Where do you want the Jews to go Roger?” he exclaimed. “Where do you want them to go? You want them to just go back to the concentration camp? What is it you want, f*ckhead?”
The PLO took umbrage at the popular radio host's remarks. It accused him of supporting genocide against the so-called Palestinians. That's right: genocide. According to the statement,
“The General Delegation of the PLO to the United States strongly condemns the recent inflammatory statements against Palestinians made by radio host, Howard Stern, as well as his shameful attack of human rights activist, Roger Waters.
“Mr. Stern’s contention that Palestinians ‘did not live there [Palestine]’ is a claim grounded in racist assumptions that the indigenous Palestinian population does not exist. Such baseless allegations only serve to foment violence and hatred, and do little to promote the interests of peace and reconciliation.”

Speaking of fomenting violence and hatred, the PLO is a terrorist organization bent on eradicating Israel and all Jews. Somehow the PLO's statement neglected to mention this. (h/t Yenta Press)
Confirmed – Third Grade event meant to create pro-Palestinian activists
Tamimi is best known for using children, including his own, to confront Israeli soldiers to create viral video and photo opportunities. He also is an advocate of children taking part in resistance activities, including stone throwing. To pro-Palestinian activists, however, he is a symbol of Israeli repression.
The third-grade presentation was skewed and biased against Israel, according to a statement issued by the Ithaca City School District Superintendent, after an investigation. Among other things, after seeing videos and hearings stories of how Palestinian children suffer at the hands of Israelis, the third graders were urged to become “freedom fighters for Palestine.”
Nonetheless, Jewish Voice for Peace defends the event, and has launched a campaign claiming that Palestinian voices have been stifled and suppressed in Ithaca and elsewhere in upstate NY. It was the leader of the local chapter of JVP and the coordinator of Tamimi’s national speaking tour, Ariel Gold, who appears to have arranged the third grade event.
The event and the call to become “freedom fighters for Palestine, are being portrayed by those who arranged and participated in the event as being blown out of context, that the third grade students merely were urged to become freedom fighters for peace and justice, like Martin Luther King, Jr.
Alex Dunbar of the Syracuse NBC affiliate, reports (the video is cut off at the end):
Palestinian Activist Gives Presentation To Ithaca 3rd Graders

Egyptian sheikh floats Jewish soccer conspiracy, says Jews would flee if enough Muslims would scream "Allahu Akbar"

From Egypt's Vetogate:

Muhammad Hassan: If the Jews would hear the scream of the Umma (i.e. the Islamic Nation) like it is in football (stadiums), they would flee from Palestine

Sheikh Muhammad Hassan, the Salafi preacher, condemned the attacks of the Zionist entity against the Palestinians and the defilement of Al-Aqsa, calling upon the Islamic and the Arabic umma to unite in order to repel this tyrannical aggression against the Palestinian people.

Hassan said, in a statement: “If the Jews would hear the umma’s scream like it is (heard) in football stadiums, and if the umma would yell “Allah Akbar” on Jerusalem’s soil with these excited throats, like it yells (to cheer) a player and a stupid, miserable piece of leather (football) then by Allah, the Jews would flee from the land of Palestine.

The Salafi preacher added that the Jews made football into the peak of seriousness and heroism in order to distract the Muslims and the Arabs from Palestine.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

Learning from Putin (Vic Rosenthal)

Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:

I’ve been thinking about status quos (stati quo?) lately.

There’s the one on the Temple Mount, the absurd one that says that Jews may visit but may not pray. Lately Muslims have been trying to prevent Jews from visiting altogether. When you consider that this is and always has been the holiest site in Judaism, that Muslim colonialists built their triumphal mosque on top of the ruins of the Jewish Temple – which those Muslims now say wasn’t really there anyway – the absurdity is even more manifest.

I went up to the Mount around 1981, together with my cousin and her husband. Nobody asked if they were Jewish, and they even entered the Dome of the Rock. Nobody paid attention to whether any of us moved our lips, and needless to say nobody screamed curses at us from close range. Little by little, threats and violence have changed the status quo unfavorably for us.

Another status quo is the one the Left keeps calling “unsustainable,” the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. There’s no time left, they say, we’d better hurry up and surrender to our enemies who want to kill us before the European Union boycotts our products. It should be instructive that the EU is already working up its boycott of at least some of our products.

Here too, the balance is changing unfavorably for us as the Arabs build wherever they want (often with EU support) while Obama gives us ultimatums to freeze Jewish construction.

Finally, there is the status quo in which Israel’s government continues to support the Palestinian Authority financially and militarily, even though it incites murderous terrorism against Jews, operates a terrorist militia that kills Jews, runs a diplomatic and legal war against our state, and pays salaries to both Fatah and Hamas terrorists in Israel’s prisons. Our government even encourages the donation of billions of dollars by the US and European countries to the PA and to UNRWA, on the grounds that a Palestinian collapse would be worse than the present situation.

The PA runs an educational and media system originally set up by Yasser Arafat whose function is to indoctrinate young people to hate Jews and Israel and to prepare themselves to fight us. UNRWA, which operates schools in refugee camps both in Gaza and Judea/Samaria, does the same, often with teachers who are members of Hamas.

Today’s wave of terrorism and murder, especially the so-called “individual operations” in which a jihadist just gets up and kills Jews with knives or cars without any organizational support, can be traced directly to the incitement by the PA and UNRWA. But we prop this structure up because we are afraid of the alternative.

The Prime Minister’s reaction to the escalating terrorism of the last few months is an example. On the one hand, he wants to get tough with the stone- and firebomb-throwers. But on the other, he rejects the idea of changing the status quo with the PA, either by increased building or cutting off subsides. This is an attempt to treat the symptoms while feeding and stimulating the disease.

In all of these situations Israel is being forced to give up its sovereignty bit by bit. In each case, the government chooses to give in to blackmail. Our ‘strategy’, if you can call it that, is to walk between the raindrops. Unfortunately, as time goes on it rains harder and there is less and less room. We may have reached the point in all three of these cases that the old non-strategy no longer works.

We have allowed our fear of international reactions to keep us from exercising our rights in Judea and Samaria, and our fear of terrorism to limit actions against the PA. But at the same time, the US and EU keep increasing the pressure, and the PA keeps inciting and financing terror. So what have we gained?

As America abandons the Middle East, the various players – Iran, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia – all maneuver to improve their own positions and damage those of their enemies. All wish to change the situation in their favor. Only Israel continues to stand pat without challenging any of the status quos that are becoming less and less acceptable.

I’m not going to try to provide a detailed prescription for solving these difficult problems. But in all of them we are moving in the wrong direction, from strength to weakness, from more to less independence and sovereignty.

There is a reason for this: it is because we haven’t articulated a clear picture of the desired end result. Lacking clear objectives, we are passive. Everything we do is a reaction to our enemies’ actions. No wonder we get boxed in – they are writing the screenplay and we are performing our role in it.

For example, is the desired end result in Judea and Samaria a peaceful Arab state – something which is geopolitically impossible – or is it Jewish sovereignty? If the latter, the government should say so and work toward achieving it, even if it is a long-term project.

Do we think that all faiths should be able to worship on the Temple Mount, including Jews? If so, we should insist on it. Rav Shlomo Goren wanted to build a synagogue on the Mount (not a third Temple, a synagogue). Why should this be an impossible goal?

And isn’t it past time that the PLO, the organization that has murdered more Jews because they are Jews than any other since the Nazis, joined their Nazi role models in oblivion?

I am not a fan of Vladimir Putin, but we could learn from him. The chaos of recent times is also an opportunity.

10/08 Links Pt1: Fatah officials: Killing “settlers” is legal and "national duty"; Israeli Lives Matter

From Ian:

PMW: Fatah officials: Killing “settlers” is legal and "national duty"
“The settlers’ presence is illegal, and therefore every measure taken against them is legitimate and legal,” according to Fatah Central Committee Member Jamal Muhaisen. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 7, 2015] This attitude which has often been expressed by PA and Fatah officials, explains the great support being expressed by Palestinian officials for the recent murders of Israeli civilians.
Another Palestinian official, PLO Executive Committee member Mahmoud Ismail, said that the killing of Naama and Eitam Henkin in their car in front of their four children was not merely legal but was fulfilling Palestinian “national duty.” [Official PA TV, Oct. 6, 2015]
As Israel continues to experience daily terror all over the country, including four stabbings yesterday and three more today, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah continue to express support for what they are quick to call a “popular uprising”. While telling the world that it does not want an intifada and that it is against terror, the PA is telling its people to continue its attacks on Israelis calling it a "popular uprising":
PLO official: Killing Israeli parents of 4 children is "national duty"

The Palestinians' New Intifada
Yesterday, a friend, Josh Hasten [Voice of Israel radio], was set upon by a crowd of rock-wielding Palestinians, while he was driving to Jerusalem. "I saw a mob of 40 to 50 masked Palestinians on the side of the road. They were holding rocks and cinder blocks," Hasten said. "As they approached my car, I took out my gun and fired one round in the air. The shot obviously scared them and they ran up the hill away from the road. I have no doubt that I would be dead now if I hadn't used my gun. They were going to kill me."
In Europe and the West, acts of terrorist violence are relatively rare; in Israel, they occur several times a day -- on a regular basis.
Last week, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the United Nations, highlighting Israeli "crimes," but without specifying any. He is, apparently, aware of losing control of the Palestinian "street," which now seems to feel closer to radical elements within Palestinian society -- especially since Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad take credit for recent murders in Israel.
Palestinians who commit terrorist attacks are not, as in Europe, radicalized primarily by social media or clerics. They are, rather, radicalized primarily by their own Palestinian Authority or Hamas leadership. Arab children watch other Arab children on television throwing rocks and firebombs, and speaking of knifing and shooting Jews, and they want a part of the action.
Palestinians joyous by sharing pictures of dead Israelis
Palestinians have been celebrating the murder of Israelis by distributing the pictures of the killed Israelis and the terror scenes on Twitter and Facebook, according to the official PA daily. The “most significant” picture is that of the dead young Israeli couple Naama and Eitam Henkin who were murdered in front of their four children last week. According to the PA daily, the killing of the couple brings “joy” to Palestinians who see the killing as “heroic”.
“Palestinian users of the social networks Facebook and Twitter posted pictures from the scene of the settlement Itamar operation (i.e., terror attack murder of Naama and Eitam Henkin in front of their four children) south of Nablus, the most significant being the picture of the killed woman settler and her husband, alongside expressions of joy over the operation which they described as “heroic.” [Palestinian] citizens expressed their joy over this event.”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 2015]
Culture of Hate - the Palestinian Incitement Kills
The recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements, calling Palestinian youth to murder Jews. The culture of hate in the Palestinian media, schools and social networks, together with the statements of Palestinian leaders, has reached new and gruesome heights.

As Abbas claims not to want escalation, his media says otherwise

Yesterday I quoted The Guardian on how Mahmoud Abbas' government was talking out of both sides of its mouth when it said it didn't want an escalation of violence:
“We don’t want a military and security escalation with Israel,” Abbas said at a meeting of Palestinian officials, according to the official news agency Wafa. “We are telling our security forces, our political movements, that we do not want an escalation, but that we want to protect ourselves.”

Although Abbas’s comments were initially interpreted as an indication he was moving to calm the situation, a Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) statement issued later seemed to undermine those hopes.

Saluting the masses of Palestinians who are confronting the occupation,” the statement said, before calling on Palestinians to “unite for an act of national defence”.
Of course, Abbas' media knows which one is the real message.

Here is a cartoon from the official PA daily Al Ayyam telling everyone to prepare their stones to hurl at Jews:
"Total Preparedness"
"A signal from you, and all the stones of Palestine (will be) at your service..."

And the official Fatah EU website Fatehmedia.eu refers to the many recent stabbing and shooting attacks as "heroic operations."

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

.@UNRWA employee posts cartoon showing Palestinians hanging a religious Jew (update)

UNRWA employee Musallem Salem posted this cartoon promoting Palestinian unity - by showing two Palestinians representing Gaza and the West Bank working together to kill a Jew:

"The gun unites us"

Yesterday, he shared this video on Facebook showing an old woman taking stones that were being distributed and throwing them towards an unseen target, presumably soldiers.

Other ways that he violates UNRWA's published standards of neutrality include this poster lionizing all major Palestinian terror groups, also posted yesterday:

(H/t Ibn Boutros)

UPDATE: The page was taken down. The Whack a Mole game continues - I find stuff, they make it disappear without admitting anything is wrong.

Time magazine's problematic new Middle East bureau chief

Jared Malsin has just been named Time magazine's Middle East bureau chief.

Malsin used to be editor at Ma'an, and he was denied entry to Israel after a vacation in 2010. The reasons given were, according to Ma'an:
1) Refusal to cooperate
2) Lying to border officials
3) Reasons for arriving unclear
4) Violated visa terms
5) Entered Israel by means of lies
Journalist organizations all assumed that this was a cover for Israeli attempts to stifle free speech.

Malsin is clearly biased against Israel. For example, this 2007 Ma'an article "Grief for the victims of September 11th, and all those that followed" equates Palestinians with 9/11 victims.
Although the Palestinian Authority condemned the September 11th attacks, with elderly Palestinian President Yasser Arafat donating blood to help the victims in New York and Washington, the years since the attacks have seen conditions in the Occupied Territories worsen significantly, in part due to the ideological thrust of the United States' "war on terrorism," which saw terrorism not as the product of historical and political forces, but rather some kind of cultural dysfunction, a racial defect most often described as "Islamic extremism."

"Terrorism knows no geographical boundaries," said former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in a speech on September 11th, 2002: "Bin Laden's suicide terror, the terrorism of Hamas, Tanzim and Hizbullah, the terrorism engineered by the Palestinian Authority, Saddam Hussein's involvement in and support for Palestinian terrorism, and the terrorist networks directed by Iran are all inseparable components of that same axis of evil which threatens peace and stability everywhere in the world."

With the political cover provided by the doctrine of the "war on terrorism," Palestinians have endured an intensification of Israel's policies: raids and incursions, assassinations, house demolitions, the construction of settlements, and the erection of the illegal separation barrier.
Yes, according to Malsin, there was never a violent Palestinian intifada, no suicide bombings on pizza shops and discos and buses. Israel just used 9/11 as an excuse to attack Arabs for no reason.

After Ma'an, Malsin has written for The Guardian, VICE and Electronic Intifada with pieces in the NYT and Columbia Journalism Review. One EI piece praises terrorists:
Few other words shut down critical thought as completely as the word “terrorist.” Few other labels are so morally loaded, so totalizing, so antithetical to reasoned, measured debate. Almost no other term evokes such facile, muddled thinking.

Thus, when a local leader of Islamic Jihad and three other Palestinian “terrorists” were killed by Israeli special forces in Bethlehem on Wednesday night, 12 March, few outside of Palestine will mourn their deaths.

In the eyes of many in Israel, Europe and North America, another menace has been eliminated. Mohammad Shehadah, Issa Marzouq, Imad al-Kamel, and Ahmad Balboul will likely be remembered as murderous scum.

In Palestine, however, and in Bethlehem in particular, these men, and the event of their deaths, will be remembered differently.

The assassinations had resulted in a moment of terror, and then sadness. Shehadah and his comrades had visited my office hours before they were killed. Their cousins are my coworkers. After speaking to those who knew them, my impression is that they were decent people, activists who, their tactics aside, took extraordinary risks to fight for the ideal of freedom.
"Their tactics aside"? Malsin justified any and all terror attacks as long as they can be considered to be "fighting for the ideal of freedom."

Besides, Shehadeh has hardly only a "local leader" of Islamic Jihad. He had been a top terrorist since the beginning of the second intifada, involved in several terror attacks that killed Israelis, and he seems to have been an important conduit between Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad - his body was covered in a Hezbollah flag for his funeral.

On the plus side, Malsin does not suffer from the obsession with Israel that so many journalists have. His articles show that he is aware of the wider Middle East and he has written pieces about Libya, Bahrain, ISIS and many from his more recent stint in Egypt.

He may be biased against Israel but I do not see in him the Israel-derangement syndrome that others have, including Time's Karl Vick. Even when at Ma'an he had stories that were critical of the PA, which most journalists avoid.

So while Malsin will certainly not be a fair reporter concerning Israel, he might actually improve Time's Middle East coverage.

Faint praise, I know.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

EoZ available for speaking engagements

If you are in the New York City/New Jersey area and would like to have me speak to your group, drop me a line!

I have spoken on topics like New Media and the Gaza War, Hasbara 2.0, How to Counter Anti-Israel Arguments, What is Needed to Win the Information War, and more.

But I would also be happy to speak about the outrages done by UNRWA, HRW and/or Amnesty; media bias, Arab antisemitism, or any number of topics I have covered on the website.

(I also won't say no to those who want to use me as a scholar in residence at some kosher holiday resort in some exotic locale :)

The main ground rule is no photos or video allowed.

If you are interested, feel free to contact me via email at
elder -at- elderofziyon -dot com.

Hey, Captain Thring, Where’d You Learn That Thing? (Daphne Anson)

Alas, I fear he’s in no position to answer me! A clergymen’s son, Captain W.H.C Thring (1873-1949) was a clever and capable British naval officer who retired from the active list in 1911. The following year he joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as assistant to that force’s founder, Rear-Admiral (Sir) William Creswell. Given his expertise in gunnery and strategy combined with his foresight and industry, he did much to strengthen the RAN’s preparedness for the conflict that broke out in 1914. During the First World War he was pivotal in the administration of the RAN, moving back to Britain in 1920 as this country’s naval liaison officer with the Admiralty in London, a post he held until 1922.

The other day, being a naval history buff, I stumbled upon an article by Captain Thring published in February 1923 in the Naval Review, the highly respected and scholarly organ of the UK-based Naval Society. It was an article in an “Outlines of History” series he wrote on trade routes. On page 24 we read, inter alia: “England fought Spain in the 16th century, the Dutch in the 17th and the French in the 18th, emerging the sea carriers for the world. Under the Tudors England had developed into a nation with definite aims which were shared by her rulers; in this England was ahead of her rivals. The French suffered from oppression, monarchical wars and revolution; they did not shake off the personal rule of their monarchs until 1789, and then went to such excesses that they destroyed the best elements in the nation. Italy and Germany were divided; the Dutch suffered from corruption; Spain was torn by the Inquisition and by expelling the Jews and Moors lost their workers. The Jews formed the mercantile class in Spain and the Moors were the agricultural workers; the Spaniards themselves never succeeded in filling the vacant places. England's insular position gave her protection, she had a comparatively good political constitution and her merchants developed trade on broad lines. ….”

So far so good, I guess. But then we’re told, in a footnote on the same page: ‘These “Jews” were probably, like the commercial Jews of other parts of Europe, descendants of Phoenician and Carthaginian colonists who had adopted the Jewish religion, and had become known as Jews in order to escape from persecution by the Romans.’

So there we have it, a mirror image of the “Khazars” allegation that antisemites love to trot out in relation to the origins of Ashkenazi Jewry.

I don’t know enough about Thring to ascertain his attitude to Jews, or to hazard a guess concerning his receptivity, or otherwise, to the antisemitism that was swirling at the time he wrote that article, when Jews were widely seen as agents of Bolshevism. On the face of it, there appears to be nothing sinister in his straightforwardly-presented though unexpected remarks. He seems to have no agenda, and those remarks surely lack the malice inherent in, for example, John Harvey’s notorious claims about Jews in The Plantagenets (first published in 1948, reprinted 1972) which implicitly justify the medieval ritual murder charge. I doubt that Thring was trying to undermine Jewish claims on Eretz Israel. But I wonder where his assertions originated. Has anyone encountered such allegations before, and if so, in what source[s]? I’ve asked around, and nobody seems to have any idea.

This source seems to agree, although I could not access the footnote 13 that it referenced - EoZ

10/07 Links Pt2: What If Israel Had Given Up the Golan Heights?; Howard Stern lashes Roger Waters

From Ian:

Aaron David Miller: What If Israel Had Given Up the Golan Heights? A Lesson for Syria’s Crisis
As Syria continues to be ravaged with no signs that the end of its crisis will produce a unified and stable (let alone pro-Western) Arab state, I wonder from time to time what would have happened had U.S. efforts succeeded in negotiating an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement in the 1990s.
For me, this is more than a remote thought experiment. For almost two decades, under Republican and Democratic administrations, I was part of a U.S. negotiating team that tried to reach such a deal. But had we succeeded, the results might have been catastrophic for Israel and for the U.S.
Interest in an Israeli-Syrian peace deal was bipartisan: U.S. presidents including Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush expressed varying degrees of interest. So did Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak, and Benjamin Netanyahu. Several U.S. presidents and Israeli leaders were fascinated with longtime Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and considered him a strategic thinker with whom one might do business. The collapse of the Soviet Union generated some interest from Mr. Assad in looking to the U.S. as a possible partner.
Rarely did we hear from Israeli leaders or focus ourselves on the prospect that an Israeli-Syrian accord might be at risk if instability in Syria led to a change in regime. This concern was prevalent generally as Israelis did peace deals with other Arab leaders. But fear of instability in the Arab world didn’t stop Menachem Begin from returning Sinai to Egypt; it didn’t stop Mr. Rabin from concluding a peace deal with Jordan’s King Hussein; nor did it prevent the Oslo accords with the Palestinians. And with Hafez Assad there was an assumption–warranted at the time–that his brutality in suppressing dissent and his track record–governing longer than all of Syria’s previous leaders combined since independence in 1946–would somehow guarantee stability. Rarely has a political judgment been more wrongheaded.
Will Obama Back a Palestinian State?
Indeed, there is little doubt about where Obama stands. Upon entering office, Obama made Israeli-Palestinian peace a priority but, by shredding previous White House commitments and insisting on a freeze on natural growth within disputed areas of Jerusalem, he gave Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas an excuse to walk away from talks. In effect, Obama acted more as Jerusalem’s municipal zoning commissioner than as leader of the free world. In the years since, he has become positively petulant if not unhinged toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There was the “hot-mic” incident and the over-the-top reaction to Netanyahu’s speech before Congress. (Democratic complaints that Netanyahu lobbied Congress hold little water, as the British, French, and German ambassadors did as well; complaints that Netanyahu should not have criticized White House policy while in the United States are hypocritical as well, given that Obama criticized the sitting Australian government’s climate policy while in Australia). New reports suggest Obama brushed off Senate Minority leader Harry Reid’s request that he give members of his own party assurances that he would support Israel at the United Nations, and Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Ambassador Samantha Power’s decision to miss Netanyahu’s UN speech was simply rude (as was their underlings’ refusal to applaud). If Obama acted so unpresidential and petulant before, how might he act when he no longer has to worry about how unilateral action might impact other agendas back home? Perhaps it’s time to recognize the real possibility that Obama will support any UN Security Council binding initiative to recognize a Palestinian state and impose borders. Power, after all, had once recommended doing just that and then utilizing U.S. troops to make it a reality.
The question now is less whether Obama might try to create such a state as a fait accompli and allow others to pick up the pieces, and more what the U.S. Congress might do to dissuade Obama from doing so. Rhetoric alone will not do the trick. It is clear that Obama does not respect Congress, nor care about its input. Frankly, the Congress has neither given the White House nor the State Department reason to respect it.
Now is the time for Congress to lay out consequences for any unilateral action: Freezing confirmations, slashing funding, forbidding any aid and assistance to any Palestinian entity until it reaffirms Oslo, and constraining the State Department’s worst instincts to relieve Palestinians of accountability, as it did with the PLO Commitments Compliance Act in the late 1980s. Diplomats might whine, but their recent performance as well as the disdain Kerry’s crew has shown for Congress suggests that the U.S. would suffer little from constraining State Department functions. The alternative is not only the creation of a new state that refuses to recognize its neighbor, but one which would quickly become a satellite of Iran, a sponsor of terrorism, and guarantee a devastating war rather than usher in any peace.
Inside Story - Is Israel Maintaining the Status Quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque?
Middle East Forum director Gregg Roman appeared on Al-Jazeera English on October 6, alongside Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada, and Ian Black, the Middle East editor of the Guardian newspaper, to discuss the recent tensions at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Abunimah: With all respect, I don't agree with Ian Black that these things are irreconcilable. If it were a matter of access for religious communities, as he said, that has been managed for centuries. Muslims, Christians, and Jews had access to Jerusalem. What is causing the problem is Israel's violent and aggressive colonization of Jerusalem ...
moderator: Ok, Gregg, I want to bring you in here ...
Abunimah (interrupting): ... and more broadly the West Bank. And it's claim that it alone should control everything.
moderator: If we could just let Gregg respond to your fears. Are they realistic? Is the destruction of Al-Aqsa mosque imminent with the arrival of these Jewish settler groups, these Jewish activist groups, coming onto the compound ...
Abunimah (interrupting): I didn't say imminent
moderator: Ok, but is it a possibility, then?
Roman: It's not a possibility, Mr. Abunimah sounds more like a spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad when he uses these vile accusations of the "judaization" of Jerusalem. The fact ...
Inside Story - Is Israel maintaining the status quo at al-Aqsa Mosque?

Another UNRWA employee enamored of Hitler

We've seen quite a few of these - UNRWA employees who post (almost invariably fake) quotes from Adolf Hitler, whom they clearly believe is worth learning from.

This one comes from UNRWA employee Hamza al-Khalili:

The "quote" says ""If you tell someone a secret, you are giving him an arrow that he might shoot you with some day".

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

ICC Finds Stabbing Random Jews Legal Under International Law (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

The Hague, Netherlands, October 7 - The International Criminal Court formalized today what many analysts have long assumed to be accepted International Law, ruling that the stabbing of Jews is a legitimate and legal act when undertaken to express political, social, economic, philosophical, religious, ethnic, or personal grievances.

The ruling comes after months of investigation into what the United Nations Security Council called "the situation in Palestine" following last year's Israel-Hamas war that killed more than 1,500 people. While most experts took for granted that the Court would adopt the position of most UN members, namely that any form of killing Jews, especially Israelis, constitutes an acceptable form of protest, some analysts thought the ICC would only narrowly examine the 50-day conflict. Instead, the Court adopted a broad ruling to apply to all situations, deciding that states and non-state actors alike are within their legal rights to foment, implement, incite, or otherwise engage in attacks on Jews using sharp objects.

Implications of the ruling include a potentially lightened docket for the Court in coming years, according to legal scholar Eugene Kontorovich. "By opening this legal avenue of recourse for Palestinians, either as 'lone wolf' stabbers or as part of organized terrorist operations, the Court has essentially told them exactly what to do to attain their aspirations while remaining within the boundaries of international law and whatever Laws of Armed Conflict may apply," he explained. "In one fell swoop, the ICC has both made its own work easier and endorsed policies that Palestinian entities are already favorably-disposed to pursue, basically guaranteeing that those entities will elect to engage in stabbing activities rather than more legally questionable methods such as rocket fire on Israeli civilian communities that might hit non-Jews."

Other experts noted that the Court had already shown its willingness to tackle cases with far-reaching implications. In a landmark case earlier this year, the ICC overturned the Nuremberg convictions of several prominent Nazi war criminals. That ruling turned on the specific observation that it would constitute a double standard to hold Nazi officials responsible for ethnic cleansing in Europe, yet insist that Jews must be removed from areas they inhabit in the Middle East. However, the implications of that decision were not lost on the justices, says commentator Hugh Manreitswacz.

"The Nuremberg decision this past February may have focused on the posthumous exoneration of various German officials, but the judges well knew that they were also condoning the killing and persecution of Jews," he explained. "This subsequent ruling illustrates exactly that point. I think we can expect future cases to further expand on what the Court deems permissible methods for getting rid of Jews, and we should anticipate specific treatment of shooting at motorists, bombing buses, firing bullets or anti-tank missiles at school buses, vehicular homicide, and Molotov cocktails, just to name a few."