Thursday, February 11, 2016

Is Bernie Sanders proud, or ashamed, to be a Jew?

Last June, after announcing his candidacy, Bernie Sanders asserted that he was proud to be Jewish:
“I’m proud to be Jewish,” the Independent from Vermont – and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination – responded Thursday at a press breakfast hosted by the [Christian Science] Monitor. Though, he added, “I’m not particularly religious.”

In November, he opened up more about his Jewish upbringing in an interview with JTA.

The only time I can find that Sanders mentioned his religion on the campaign trail was to respond to a Muslim woman who complained about anti-Muslim rhetoric. Sanders answered:
“This is what I think. Let me be very personal here if I might. I’m Jewish. My father’s family died in concentration camps. I will do everything that I can to rid this country of the ugly stain of racism which has existed for far too many years.
In all three cases, Sanders used his religion to gain political points. But how does he really think about his Jewish roots?

His longtime friend Richard Sugarman, a religious Jew, says “It’s not like he’s embarrassed or ashamed of [his faith].” But I'm not so sure.

The impression I get is that Sanders is ashamed of his Jewishness but he has to claim some sort of connection because he knows Americans prefer a president to show a spiritual side.

In his autobiography/polemic written in 1998, he describes his father as having "dropped out of high school in Poland." The only time he even implies he might be Jewish was in saying that he lived in a Jewish neighborhood.

Isn't that a strange thing for a "proud Jew" to not mention in his autobiography? He is not only distancing himself from the religion but also from his ethnic Jewishness.

In his victory speech in New Hampshire, Sanders said something else that was peculiar. He again described his father as a Polish immigrant who spoke little English and never made much money.

Not Jewish.

I am certain that his father would have identified himself as a Jew way before calling himself Polish.

Sanders essentially never spoke about his religion before the presidential campaign. How proud could he really be?

His concept of Judaism is essentially the same as Barack Obama's - it is a word that is devoid of any religious meaning but instead it is a synonym for "progressive" politics, when it must be invoked at all.

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'Apartheid" poster 2016: Jamal Hakrush

From Israel Hayom:
Security Minister Gilad Erdan plans to establish new division within the Israel police force that will be tasked with promoting law enforcement in Israel's Arab sector and recruiting Arab Israelis to serve in the police force.

Assistant Commissioner Jamal Hakroush is set to head the new division and will become the first Muslim Arab in the history of Israel to rise to the rank of deputy commissioner.

Hakroush currently serves as the Deputy Chief Officer of the Coastal Police District. He was the first Arab-Muslim to receive the rank of assistant commissioner, and also the first to serve as a deputy chief officer.

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02/11 Links Pt1: How Palestinians hurt the Palestinians; ‘Hares Boys’ Palestinian Rock Stars

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Israel's Arabs: A Tale of Betrayal
During the past two decades, some of the Israeli Arab community's elected representatives and leaders have worked harder for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip than for their own Israeli constituents.
These parliamentarians ran in elections on the promise of working to improve the living conditions of Israeli Arabs and achieving full equality in all fields. However, they devote precious time and energy on Palestinians who are not citizens of Israel. They vie for the distinction of being the most vitriolic provocateur against their country.
Such provocations make it more difficult for Arab university graduates to find jobs in both the Israeli private and public sectors.
The big losers are the Arab citizens of Israel, who have once again been reminded that their elected representatives care far more about non-Israeli Palestinians than they care about them.
How Palestinians hurt the Palestinians
Ban Ki-moon in his article asks Israeli authorities “to unequivocally support the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian institutions” and make “significant shifts in policies toward the West Bank and Gaza.” True, he also tells the Palestinians that change will require of them “consistently and firmly denouncing terrorism and taking preventive action to end attacks on Israelis, including an immediate stop to Gaza tunnel construction.” But there is no real denunciation by him of the intense incitement by the PA authorities at the highest level and the Hamas government in support of the violence in the West Bank.
Interestingly, Hamas — its nefarious terrorism and violence and its dedication to Israel’s destruction — is not mentioned by name even once in the Secretary-General’s statements.
It is time the UN and the international community recognize the Palestinians’ key role in their present predicament but also “the weight of a half century” of Israeli people’s frustration and lack of confidence in the Palestinians’ and their representatives’ acceptance of a historic compromise for a two state solution.
The Mottle Wolfe Show PodCast: Palestinian Rock Stars
The so-called ‘Hares Boys’ are the cause of the day among Palestinians and their Western supporters including the government of the UK. After all boys will be boys and what did they do that was so bad? They stoned the car of a Jewish woman driving her three young daughters home, resulting in the death of a toddler. Mottle discusses the latest Gush Etzion terror attack with Josh Hasten, a New Hampshire recap, and a new Hamas hit sweeping the charts.

Palestinian privilege: The "right" to free hospitalization, forever

We've previously reported on Palestinian protests in Lebanon against UNRWA for its new rule that says that Palestinians must pay 5 percent of their bill at hospitals run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and 15 percent at Lebanese government hospitals.

The protests have continued and escalated over the past month. Yesterday, protesters blocked the entrance to the Beirut UNRWA office so no one could get any UNRWA services.

An Arabic article about the protests yesterday says:
The battle with UNRWA and donor countries continue over the right of comprehensive hospitalization which is the natural right of the Palestinian refugees and it is forbidden to reduce it or barter it away.

In response to the UNRWA decision Palestinians protested the lack of giving Palestinian refugees their right to full and comprehensive hospitalization. National and Islamic Palestinian factions and popular committees closed the main office of UNRWA in Beirut and the parking areas to prevent the entry of staff to the offices to work or the use of their cars except for doctors...

Everyone emphasized that the steps of escalation will grow against UNRWA for unfairness to the Palestinian refugees. Also Palestinian political forces denounced the silence of the international community towards this crisis.
As the fake "refugee" population grows ever larger and international funding gets spread thinner, there will be more and more of these issues coming up. Palestinians don't think about how to become self sufficient, or how to demand their rights under an apartheid Lebanese regime that limits where they can live and what jobs they can have. Instead, they demand free healthcare as a "right" and they demand that the international community helps them by giving them welfare forever.

By a strange twist of logic, the idea of being on charity forever is considered "honor." The reason, which we have mentioned before, is because Western payments to Palestinians isn't considered aid, but a jizya tax - something to which they are entitled.

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"Protocols of Elders of Zion" (new edition!) at Cairo Book Fair

Here is a scene of an author signing books at the Cairo Book Fair last week

Let's look closer at that book on the lower right:

It is a new 8th edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, issued by the publishing house that hosted this author.

The same publisher published a different cover for the previous 2013 edition:

Apparently that older cover didn't quite capture the pure evil of Jews well enough, so it had to be re-drawn.

The publisher is Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, and the person signing his books, Mansour Abdelhakim, whose website is linked to for the Protocols edition just above, is apparently an antisemitic conspiracy theorist as well.

I have previously reported that the Cairo Book Fair had a session dedicated to bashing Jews.

Interestingly, Egyptian authorities have removed books they deemed distasteful from the Book Fair in previous years, including books that boosted the Muslim Brotherhood.

(h/t Shwarama News)

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UK apparently buys into the Palestinian "no normalization with Jews" theme

We have noted a number of times that part of any real peace between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs would necessarily mean that they work together in joint projects.

It just so happens that Palestinians call such any co-existence projects "normalization with the Zionist enemy" and consider it practically a crime.

Yet there are idealistic Jews who keep trying to build programs for real peace - the Peres Center in particular works hard on this.

USAID tries to fund programs that encourage conflict resolution between the sides as well:
Today [November 10 2015] USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission and U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv announced 15 new grants to the Conflict Management and Mitigation Program [three managed by U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv and 12 managed by USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission]. The new grants bring together Israelis and Palestinians and provide opportunities to address issues, reconcile differences, and promote greater understanding and mutual trust by working on common goals such as economic development, environment, health, education, sports, music, and information technology.

USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission Director Dave Harden noted “These grants represent our investment in support of partners who strive for peace and a better, more hopeful Middle East”

The CMM Program is part of a worldwide effort to bring together individuals of different backgrounds from areas of conflicts in people to people reconciliation activities. Since the program’s start, USAID WBG and U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv have invested in 99 CMM grants.

So programs that encourage grassroots cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians do exist, even if practically all of them are initiated from the Israeli side and the PA fights tooth and nail against them.

Which makes this answer to a question in the UK Parliament so interesting:

Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
Asked on: 05 February 2016
Department for International Development
Israel: Palestinians
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department has provided to projects fostering co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians in each of the last five years.
Answered by: Mr Desmond Swayne
Answered on: 10 February 2016
DFID does not directly fund joint Israeli-Palestinian programmes. However, through the Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), the UK provides support for the ‘Youth Creating Peace On/Line’ project which encourages educational cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis. The project, run by NGO ‘Kids Creating Peace’, uses dialogue and leadership workshops to train participants to become peace advocates in their communities and beyond. The UK is providing £40,000 to ‘Youth Creating Peace On/Line’ for 2016/17.
DFID provided £349 million in support of Palestinian development from 2011-15 and will provide a further £72 million in 2015-16. For a breakdown on how financial assistance in the Palestinian Territories is spent, information is published on DFID’s Development Tracker website (https://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk).
I couldn't find any specific mention of "Youth Creating Peace On/Line" project within the Kids Creating Peace website, but from its name it sounds like it might be is an Internet-only initiative and not one of KCP's projects that bring Israeli and Arab youth together. I could be wrong.

Either way, that is a pretty poor track record on conflict resolution initiatives from the UK. £40,000 in five years is practically nothing, especially compared to "£349 million in support of Palestinian development" - 1/100 of 1%.

It looks like instead of fighting against the absurd Palestinian Authority's anti-peace stand, the UK has largely bought into it.

(h/t David F)

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Apartheid" Poster 2016: Dr. Jacob Hanna (update)

Entire series here.

UPDATE: In the comments Bob Knot note that Hanna accuses Israel of "pinkwashing" and calls himself a Palestinian. Yet he can still become an important member of Israeli society even with his noxious views about his country - and there are others in this series who are far more anti-Israel.

It all goes to prove even more how Israel is not an apartheid state.

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02/10 Links Pt2: Bully Deceive Smear: 10 Reasons Why BDS is Bad for Everyone; Blood Libeling at Vassar

From Ian:

South Africa and the Israel Apartheid hoax
“The problem is that you are a filthy Zionist Jew, and we do not talk to Zionists!” Is what a pro BDS activist shouted at Natan Pollack at the Witwatersrand University in South Africa. It was 2014 and Natan called a meeting between the Jewish organization he headed and the pro BDS group on campus. He wanted to see if they could have a dialogue. Guess not. So what is a Jewish boy to do? -Research and think: How do you talk to people who will not talk to you?
This was the catalyst to the establishment of the South African-Jewish Forum. A non profit organization, who’s mission is to take young South African leaders on a one week, all expenses paid, trip to Israel.
The anti-Israel, pro Boycott-Divestment -Sanctions movement has skillfully managed to insert itself into campus life, by promoting a narrative linking Israel to Apartheid. This is a very powerful manipulation of facts in South Africa, since black South Africans are intimately familiar with the hardship and suffering Apartheid entails. They feel compelled to help those who are oppressed in such a manner. Indeed, they feel it is their duty to help those who suffer under this yoke. Therefore, if you are pro human rights, you are inevitably pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel and, by extension, anti-Jew. This sentiment is further intensified by image displays of death and carnage, supposedly perpetrated by the Israelis, during Israel Apartheid week on campus. Can anyone blame students for being hostile to the Jews on campus?
Nathan Pollack and Dan Brotman of the South African-Israel Forum worked tirelessly to get funding, and then convince these mostly reticent anti-Israel student leaders, to join them on a free fact finding trip to Israel.
Their first group consisted of 18 such students.
Open letter to the anti-Israel Left.
This letter is addressed to that small fraction of the political Left which not only criticises Israeli government policies or practices, but also demonises and denigrates Israel at every opportunity and thus denies its legitimacy.
We see you, we hear you, day after day, making your ignorant, bigoted and malicious accusations against Jews and Israel. You claim to be speaking for human rights and for justice, but your words and actions betray you. You are haters, liars and bullies.
You presume to define our Jewish identity to suit your own sensibilities and convenience. You assert that Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism. You say we are only a religious group and deny our 3,500 year old history as both a national and a faith community. In short, you presume to tell us who we are – a liberty you would not dare to take with any other group – and you are wrong.
You say you have nothing against Jews. You say you are only against Zionists. You categorise us into “good Jews” who oppose Israel and “bad Jews” who support Israel. This is your cynical, sinister way of offering acceptance only to those Jews who are so lacking in knowledge or moral fibre that they are willing to embrace your hollow caricature of what it means to be Jewish. You are against the millions of Jews, the overwhelming majority, who are proudly Jewish and support Israel’s right to exist as the State of the Jewish people.
You are guilty of ignoring, minimising and obfuscating the antisemitism within your ranks. You claim to be anti-racists but will not condemn the all too obvious anti-Jewish racism which is manifested every day by adherents of the anti-Israel movement – on websites, on social media, at demonstrations, in public lectures, talks and speeches. When this antisemitism is exposed, you go into hysterical denial, accusing those who expose the ugly anti-Jewish racism you have helped to spawn of trying to stifle public criticism of Israel. As if there is any shortage of public criticism of Israel.
Alan Dershowitz Brilliantly Strikes down Anti-Israel Question at Conference

Parole hearing set for Robert Kennedy killer Sirhan Sirhan
For nearly 50 years, Sirhan Sirhan has been consistent: He says he doesn’t remember fatally shooting Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in a crowded kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Palestinian, a Jerusalem native, now 71, has given no inkling that he will change his version of events at his 15th parole hearing on Wednesday in San Diego. He is serving a life sentence that was commuted from death when the California Supreme Court briefly outlawed capital punishment in 1972.
During his previous parole hearing in 2011, Sirhan told officials about his regret but again said he could not remember the events of June 5, 1968. The parole board ruled that Sirhan hadn’t shown sufficient remorse and didn’t understand the enormity of the crime less than five years after the killing of President John F. Kennedy — the senator’s older brother — and two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
His memory will be tested this time in front of Paul Schrade, 91, a Kennedy confidante who was one of five people injured in the shooting. Schrade will appear for the first time at a Sirhan parole hearing.

Report: Qatar and Turkey to give $1B to Hamas to make up for Iranian shortfall

Palestine Press Agency quotes Egypt's Youm7 about a power struggle within and without Hamas as to who should lead the terror group over the next several years.

Khaled Meshal, the political head of Hamas, has led the group since 1996, although he only visited Gaza once in 2012. Hamas' Gaza leaders like Qassam Brigades head Mohammed Deif and Mahmoud al-Zahar have been critical of Meshal for his position against Iran in the Syrian civil war, which cost Hamas hundreds of millions of dollars in support from Iran.

Qatar and Turkey want Meshal to remain Hamas' leader for two reasons. One is in order to counteract Iran's influence in Gaza. But the other is because Meshal is also an important player with the global Muslim Brotherhood and they want to maintain his position of prestige there. He is apparently strategizing with Egypt's MB leaders to come up with a way to gain ascendance again after the effective coup by Sisi.

In fact, Qatar already has once given Hamas hundreds of millions to discourage Gaza's Ismail Haniyeh from running against Meshal in internal Hamas elections. Haniyeh became second in command.

Now, according to this article, representatives from Qatar and Turkey have been meeting with Hamas committee members in Gaza to lobby for them to continue to support Meshal - and they are offering $1 billion to offset the loss of Iranian support.

The article makes it clear that part of these funds are going towards rocket manufacturing and terrorist tunnels.

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BDS Supporters Strain Muscle Patting Selves On Back (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

wrapped bandageDavis, California, February 10 - A group of activists campaigning for the boycott of, divestiture from, and sanctions against Israel reported to the Health Services Unit at the University of California campus today complaining of shoulder, neck, and upper back pain after an unusually strenuous ritual of patting themselves on the back, a student publication said today. The three activists were diagnosed with strained muscles.

Jasmine Hadid, Anthony Carlisle, and Gretchen Devries, all sophomores in the Sociology department, spent Tuesday afternoon rallying against the inclusion of Jews in several organs of student government, lest their presence imply that the student body condones Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. Holding aloft placards, chanting slogans, threatening Jewish-looking passers-by, and disrupting the proceedings of various student functions, the trio broke for lunch and congratulated themselves on standing up for morality, humanity, openness, freedom, and progressive values. However, they immediately felt pain, and decided to repair to the infirmary.

Medical staff at Health Services asked each of the moral giants to perform simple movements, and determined which muscles were affected by gauging where those movements produced pain. The staff recommended refraining from strenuous activity for several days and suggested an over-the-counter analgesic, but further medical intervention or advice was refused, as such additional treatment ran the risk of benefiting from technology or pharmaceuticals developed in Israel.
"I'd rather suffer this pain than legitimize those Zionist colonizers," declared Hadid, 20, who otherwise seems not to have a problem with Zionist technology in the smartphone she never puts down. "This pain reliever isn't generic, is it? A lot of genetics are made by Zionists," she wondered, examining the label.

"It's really important to show solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians," added Carlisle, 19, wincing as he held his neck at an awkward angle. "That's why we did the right thing and harassed Jews, who are collectively responsible for Palestinian suffering, and for using collective punishment on them."
Devries refused to answer a reporter's questions without vetting him as to his acceptance or rejection of Israel's legitimacy as a state. "I won't talk to anyone who accepts the inherently racist premise that one ethnicity should exclude others in exercising sovereignty," she intoned as if to the room.  "Violating that condition would be a microaggression and a violation of my civil rights. Give Palestinians their own state already. OW! Goddamn it! You! Nurse! Give me some [expletive] medicine! I can't lift my arm to wag my finger self-righteously in this condition!"

At press time, the students were yelling at the clinic's clerical staff not to use their software to keep records of the treatment they provided, software that might have been developed in Israel.

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02/10 Links Pt1: Should we stand by knowing Hamas intends to attack?; Reconciliation, jihadi-style

From Ian:

Reconciliation, jihadi-style
Palestinian officials met in Doha on Sunday, as part of a Qatar-led initiative to cause rival factions Fatah and Hamas to bury the literal and figurative hatchet. Turkey was also in on the act, ostensibly interested in getting the leaders in Ramallah and Gaza to present a united front for the sake of an agreement with Israel.
This is amusing, to put it mildly, since the only thing on which Fatah and Hamas actually do agree is the ultimate goal of annihilating the Jewish state.
They are at odds about everything else, including the pace at which their shared aim should be carried out. But mainly, they -- like the rest of their Islamist brethren throughout the region and the world -- are engaged in a deadly power struggle.
So perpetual is this battle that the so-called unity deals the two groups signed in the past, most recently in April 2014, have unraveled before the ink on their contracts was dry. But the signatures did serve an unwitting purpose: to show those who still could not see that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a partner for jihad, not peace with Israel.
The Yasser Arafat school of Zionist history is poisoning the Zionism narrative
Like environmental sludge seeping into the groundwater, anti-Zionist toxins are poisoning standard discussions about Zionism. The latest example of how the campaign delegitimizing Israel insidiously undermines the Zionist narrative is a serious, non-polemical New York Times article quoting nine Zionists and no anti-Zionists. Steven Erlanger’s article “Who are the true heirs of Zionism” reflects the new (ab)normal: an inability to discuss Zionist history without wrapping it around the Palestinians’ self-serving, one-sided tale of national woe. Increasingly, consciously or unconsciously, many American elites, including Jewish intellectuals, are parroting the Yasser Arafat school of (anti-)Zionist history at worst, or the equally wrong, if less genocidal, post-Zionist school at best.
Just as environmental engineers construct clay barriers to prevent seepage into the soil to protect the groundwater, we need substantive Zionist education to detect and refute these distortions. Zionism has truth and fairness on its side. American history isn’t just about Native Americans or African Americans – and Zionism isn’t all about Palestinians.
The Times article begins by charging that “Zionism was never the gentlest of ideologies. The return of the Jewish people to their biblical homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty there have always carried within them the displacement of those already living on the land.” Erlanger then provides this bizarre, distorted perversion of Zionist history: “The earliest version of Zionism based the creation of a Jewish nation on the revived language of Hebrew, to unify the huge variety of dispersed Jews. Beginning in the 1920s and especially with the Holocaust, suggests Bernard Avishai ... came the idea of ‘political Zionism,’ which required a state and a military both to protect Jews against anti-Semitism and to transform them into a modern state, to defend themselves and, if necessary, to defy the world.”
Erlanger’s crackpot chronology is like starting the history of the American republic with Andrew Jackson in the 1820s, three decades after George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Israeli, French envoys face off online
It's its not everyday that two senior ambassadors debate on one of the world's most popular social networks. But that's exactly what happened this week when the French ambassador to Washington, Gerard Araud and his Israeli counterpart Ron Dermer, exchanged barbs in front of everyone on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It all started with tweets by the senior French ambassador, who was formerly French ambassador to Israel and the United Nations. Araud retweeted statements made by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in conversations on achieving peace in Syria, which stated that "there can't be a political negotiation when one side is murdering the other."
Israel's ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, responded in kind to Araud's tweets, implying hypocrisy on the part of the French ambassador. "hmmm. Wonder if that wisdom will one day be applied to when Jews are being murdered in Israel," read his sarcastic tweet.
Araud waited a day and chose not to respond directly to Dermer, but his indirect response was sufficient:"Israel/Palestine. So predictable that any pretext leads one side to declare that the other one is evil."
After users responded to his tweets, including some Israelis, Araud addressed the subject with another tweet: "A tweet on Syria. An unrelated reaction on Israel/Palestine and an outpouring of one-sided tweets without any link with the first tweet." Araud later posted a third tweet: "Israel/Palestine. Feeding the passion instead of analyzing the situation from both sides is a good way to escape the real issues."

UNRWA offices torched by grateful Palestinians

Dafaa News reports that an UNRWA office in Shuafat was torched on Monday night.

No details on why the Palestinians are so grateful to the agency that has given them billions of dollars for free.

This news of Arabs torching a UN agency has been silenced. UNRWA of course doesn't mention it (I emailed them for comment, no response.) I could not find this story anywhere else in Arab media.

How many other similar stories just disappear because no one has any interest in publicizing them?

(h/t Yenta)

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