Monday, January 23, 2017

Before going on hiatus, I published an extended essay called Like Romans that looks at the fight against BDS (and pro-Israel activism generally) through the lens of warfare.

The starting point for that work was not academic analysis based on abstract principles.  Rather, I tried to connect dots between the results of work done by heroic on-the-ground activists who have been experimenting with different ways to defeat the propaganda campaign traveling under the banner of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.  And few experiments have been as successful (and thus as informative) as the recent defeat of academic boycott resolutions at the Modern Language Association (MLA).

As most readers probably know, academic associations have become a battleground for BDS activity, ever since the American Studies Association (ASA) became the largest academic group to pass a resolution calling for a boycott of their Israeli counterparts.  Some very tiny associations (including those representing Asian-American, Women’s and Native American studies) have passed similar resolutions before and since.  But their victory with ASA gave BDS activists the belief that it was just a matter of time before their program swept through large swaths of the academy.

Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for us – as well as for academia in general) all efforts to drag fields like history, anthropology, and even Middle East studies into the BDS swamp have failed.  But the large (25,000-member) Modern Language Association, professional home to professors of language and literature, has been the boycotter’s coveted prize for years.

The strategy the BDSers pursue within academic associations is a variation on what they do everywhere else (a playbook outlined in Chapter 9 of Like Romans): take over the decision-making machinery of an association, propose anti-Israel resolutions before the wider membership knows what’s going on, restrict communication so that only supporters of a boycott get access to members, and do everything possible to rig a vote so that the barest majority of a minority can pass something that can then be passed off as the will of the organization (if not the entire discipline). 

And if the boycotters fail, then it’s try try again as the same resolutions (possibly with superficial variations) are proposed year after year until members finally do what they’re told.

While there are a number of strategies and tactics one can choose when dealing with an enemy that outnumbers your own forces (as was the case at MLA), it is generally impossible to defeat a foe if you’ve got nothing on the ground.  Fortunately, years of battling BDS within MLA (and academic associations generally) provided a small but highly skilled force (which travels under the banner MLA Members for Scholar’s Rights) which managed to not just defeat this year’s proto-boycott resolutions, but get an anti-boycott resolution passed in its place.

The number of things this group did right began with the nature of the group itself.  Members were internal to the organization (which gave them credibility and deep understanding of MLA’s culture), and having battled the BDS plague within academia for many years, they were skilled veterans able to leverage previous experience and contacts.

Their background knowledge included understanding their own strengths (the aforementioned credibility and experience) and weaknesses (like limited influence over the administrative machinery of MLA), as well as those of their enemies (such as fanaticism, predictability and a tendency towards overreach).   Most importantly, they understood the field of battle: an academic association where the majority of members don’t have strong opinions about the Middle East (even if the general zeitgeist of the academy might go against Israel), but who do care about scholarship and the reputation of the humanities in the wider culture.

With this understanding in place, their communication strategy focused on the appalling lack of scholarship represented by pro-BDS “research,” and the impact an academic boycott vote would have not on Israel, but on MLA, the fields of humanities, and the academy as a whole.  Thus they were able to avoid getting dragged into a debate on the Middle East (the BDSers preferred terrain), and make the vote a referendum on MLA’s own scholarly reputation.

Clever tactics also allowed the group to use their minority position to advantage, finding alternative mechanisms to communicate with MLA members that avoided going through leaders who had already proven themselves to be dishonest brokers.  They were then able to use their need to find these alternative communication channels to illustrate those leaders’ lack of integrity, while fitting themselves into a storyline of rebels speaking truth to power.

Finally, the choice to propose both an anti-boycott resolution and a second resolution condemning Palestinians for violating academic rights meant that voting against boycotts generally became the middle-of-the-road (usually preferred) position.  While there were some complaints when the proposal condemning the Palestinian Authority and Hamas was withdrawn after the anti-boycott measure won, in terms of tactics that second proposal was serving as a feint, withdrawal of which positioned anti-boycott activists as both moderate and magnanimous.

Not every anti-BDS effort has the fortune (and misfortune) of fighting a fight you know is coming years in advance against a foe whose tactics (and personnel) are well known and understood.  But any individual or group can learn lessons from the experience of other civic organizations fighting the same fight against the BDS propaganda war against Israel.  Like names, faces and personalities; strategies and tactics will be different from situation to situation.  But there are common elements to fighting a war, the first of which is to recognize you are in one.

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  • Monday, January 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
We have seen many times Islamic memes that resemble this:

I came across a variant poster:

I had never seen the caveat "unless it be for murder or spreading mischief in the land" before. And it is an accurate translation of the actual Quranic verse.

It turns out that this is a hell of a loophole.

The actual quote is in Quran 5:32. And the very next verse, 5:33, explains a little bit more what the penalty for "mischief" (or "corruption") is:

5:33 Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] mischief is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
Wikipedia explains that this is the crime of Fasad:

Fasad (Arabic: فساد‎‎ /fasād/) is an Islamic concept which means spreading mischief in a Muslim land, moral corruption against God, and any form of expression or activity by non-Muslims or apostates of Islam that creates disorder in the Muslim community.
In recent years, the law has been included in the legal code of the Islamic Republics of Pakistan and Iran. In Iran it has been used to prosecute or threaten political opposition figures. 
The definition of Fasad is so expansive that it can be used to justify murder in nearly any circumstance that an Islamic cleric or Islamic government wants.

From the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, "fasad fi al-ard" is the act of disobedience to God.
In his Tafsir, As-Suddi states that disbelief in Islam, disobeying sharia and acts of disobedience of authority is committing mischief on the earth.
 Sunan Abu Dawud, in 38.4359, confirms that the punishment for fasad under Islam applies to Muslim and non-Muslims.
 The exact same verse that Muslims use to "prove" the morality of Islam happens to also contain the justification for murdering innocent people - in the name of Islam.

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  • Monday, January 23, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last year, the trailer for a documentary named "My Home"  was released showing that Arab Israelis have a wide range of opinions about their state, with many of them being very patriotic.

(I don't know if the film was ever released.)

In the wake of the violence over Umm al Hiran in the Negev (background here), the filmmaker released a section of the film showing how Israeli Arab members of Knesset, in 2015, were inciting villagers to literally kill themselves rather than be relocated from their illegally built village to a new community where they would be given free land, an infrastructure, schools and everything else needed to grow.

All of the Arab MKs from the Arab Joint List (visiting the town with terror supporter and inciter Sheikh Raed Salah) disingenuously refer to the people who they are telling to sacrifice themselves as "we."

MK Jamal Zahalka said, "If blood is spilled, let it be this way....We, the sons of the Palestinian people, will die rather than be deported [sic]."

Invoking the honor/shame dynamics that are so important to Arab society, MK Ayman Odeh said "We are going with this issue until the end [with no compromise]...The demolition of the village is a humiliation to each one of us."

These members of Knesset are literally encouraging bloodshed over compromise - while they return to their comfortable homes that evening.

(h/t Yoel)

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

  • Sunday, January 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
National Geographic has a project where they identify the true origin of "native" populations using DNA. I don't know the exact methodology but the results are interesting.

For example, and not surprisingly, most of Tunisia's collective DNA comes from north Africa and only 4% from Arabia.

Egypt is a bit more Arab, but not that much. And it has a small but significant number of Jewish genes (which, if I'm reading this correctly, means Ashkenazic, but I'm not sure.)

Lebanon is much more of a mix, with less than half from Arabia and 14% from Jews:

Ashkanazic Jews themselves are mostly Jewish, not surprisingly, with some admixture from Eastern Europe and Arab countries.

Not surprisingly, Jewish blood is also seen in Spanish communities in the New World.

I have no idea if Sephardic Jews are in any of these samples or at what date in history they judge genes to come from the "Jewish diaspora."

National Geographic offers to do a DNA test on anyone to determine their origins, with the results being added to the database (if you choose.)

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  • Sunday, January 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The first three paragraphs of HRW's annual report on "Israel/Palestine" reveals all you need to know about their anti-Israel bias.

Israel continued in 2016 to enforce severe and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians’ human rights, to facilitate the transfer of Israeli civilians to the occupied West Bank, and to severely restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli actions are all illegal and everything that happens is because if Israeli actions, according to HRW.

"Facilitating transfer" is not a crime according to Geneva. "Transfer" is.

Israel has every legal and moral right to limit people and goods into enemy territory.

In 2016, a new escalation of violence that began in October 2015 continued, characterized by demonstrations, some violent, in the West Bank and at the Gaza border with Israel that Israeli forces have suppressed, often using live fire. 
HRW doesn't even identify Palestinian Arabs in this sentence as being behind the continuation of violence, but it sure mentions "Israeli forces."
There was a wave of stabbings and attempted stabbings by Palestinians against Israeli passersby and security forces, both in the West Bank and Israel, mostly by people acting without the sponsorship of any armed group.
Passive voice in referring to Palestinian stabbings - and no mention of car rammings and shootings and firebombs.

Israeli security forces used lethal force against suspected attackers in more than 150 cases, including in circumstances that suggest excessive force and at times extrajudicial executions.
Here we have active voice: "used lethal force" and supposedly often for no reason.

Overall, between January 1 and October 31, 2016, Palestinians killed at least 11 Israelis, including 2 security officers, and injured 131 Israelis, including 46 security officers, in the West Bank and Israel. Israeli security forces killed at least 94 Palestinians and injured at least 3,203 Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel as of October 31, including suspected assailants, protesters, and bystanders, according to the United Nations.
HRW wants to minimize any mention of direct Palestinian terror, so it doesn't mention the Israelis killed by Israeli Arabs (January 1) or the non-Israeli, Taylor Force, killed March 9 in a stabbing spree.

Here's another example:
Israel maintained severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza, exacerbated by Egypt’s closure of its own border with Gaza most of the time, 
Israel, which lets tens of thousands of Palestinians travel via Erez and tens of thousands of trucks filled with goods through Kerem Shalom, is characterized as maintaining "severe restrictions." Egypt's nearly complete closure of Rafah merely "exacerbates" the problem that is mainly caused by Israel.

This is deliberate - emphasize and exaggerate Israeli actions while minimizing and downplaying Palestinian terror and any other Arab culpability.

Also, HRW, by leading the article with blaming Israel, makes it appear that Palestinian terror is a response to Israeli actions, and not the other way around..

This has been the pattern for years, but HRW needs to be called out on this bias every time.

(h/t Irene)

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From Ian:

Tuvia Tenenbom: A trip across America
In “The Lies They Tell,” Tuvia has turned the guided missile that is himself onto America, the country that has sheltered, housed, fed, and welcomed him, a native Israeli, for nearly four decades.
He expected to like what he found.
He didn’t.
Here’s what happened — and as you read, keep in mind that politically, Tuvia is not easy to pin down. Some of what he says could come from the mouth of someone to the political right; some of what he says could come from a leftist. He would say — he does say — that truth transcends that, and that he looks for truth. Through his own lens, of course.
“I liked the idea of doing a book about America,” Tuvia said. “I wrote a book about Germany that was very critical about Germany. I wrote a book about Israel and I found a lot of anti-Semitism. I needed a change. I came here, to this country, to the goldene medina, with $400 to my name, and I got the chance to form myself from nothing.
“I wanted to say thank you to America. I wanted the chance to travel around America, and write a praise-and-glory book about it. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
JPost Editorial: Hired killers
These salaries finance terrorism. When perpetrators and their families are rewarded, additional Palestinians contemplating an attack of their own can mark one concern off their list – no matter what happens to them, their family will be cared for. This ensures a steady supply of killers for hire.
When Abbas glorifies terrorists who murder innocent Israelis by referring to them as “holy martyrs” and names streets and public institutions after them, it is no wonder that Palestinian culture reflects this – and that so many young Palestinians are incited to commit acts of terrorism.
This is where Trump can help. America is one of the leading donor nations to the Palestinians. While it is important to help the Palestinians establish institutions and infrastructure needed to one day serve an independent state, the world should require of the Palestinians to first stop these payments.
Stopping these payments will help start a much-needed cultural revolution within Palestinian society. The Palestinian people will finally be told that terrorism does not (literally) pay. This is the first step toward real peace and it is one that Trump can help the Palestinians take.
Women’s March Organizer Recently Met Ex-Hamas Operative, Has Family Ties To Terror Group
Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers behind Saturday’s Women’s March, being held in Washington, D.C., was recently spotted at a large Muslim convention in Chicago posing for pictures with an accused financier for Hamas, the terrorist group.
Sarsour, the head of the Arab American Association of New York and an Obama White House “Champion of Change,” was speaking at last month’s 15th annual convention of the Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America.
While there, she posed for a picture with Salah Sarsour, a member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and former Hamas operative who was jailed in Israel in the 1990s because of his alleged work for the terrorist group.
Salah Sarsour, who is also a board member of American Muslims for Palestine, served as a bodyguard of sorts at the convention for Sumeyye Erdogan Bayraktar, the daughter of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Traditional labels are becoming increasingly meaningless as people realize that the battle is no longer Democrat versus Republican, nor is it 'us' versus 'them.' The battle lines are now those who are truly for freedom versus those who would stifle it in the name of tolerance or in the name of security." - Dave Rubin
This is, without question, the single most interesting and horrendous political moment in my lifetime. It is fun. It is frightening. It is painful.

And it makes absolutely no sense.

For decades, since the rise of the New Left during the Vietnam War, the progressive-left has relentlessly banged the drums of race, gender, and class into the American political consciousness.

This is because the most important strides in American social well-being, from the abolition of slavery to the rise of feminism and the labor movement, resulted directly from competing political trends concerned with notions of the "common good" in conflict with notions of "individual liberty" as derived from European Enlightenment political principles going back to Magna Carta.

It is for this reason that they are embedded in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States as the imperative to "promote the general Welfare" while securing "the Blessings of Liberty." These twin western ideals, however, are in constant tension. The more government promotes the "general Welfare" the more it tends to infringe upon the rights of the individual, as we learned from the communist experiment in the twentieth-century. However, the more government emphasizes the freedom of the individual the more it tends to infringe upon the common good, as we learned from laissez-faire nineteenth-century industrial capitalism.

As I write this I am looking at a very old pamphlet that a dear friend gave me a number of years ago.

It is entitled, The Injustice and Impolicy of the Slave Trade, And of the Slavery of the Africans: Illustrated in a Sermon. It is an original edition of an address "Preached before the Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom, and for the Relief of Persons Unlawfully Holden in Bondage." 

It was delivered by Jonathan Edwards, Doctor of Divinity, in New Haven, Connecticut, on September 15, 1791 and published by Thomas and Samual Green in that year. Edwards was the son of the famous American theologian of the same name who published in 1741 "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", one of the very first great works of American letters.

I treasure this gift because it serves as a constant reminder of living history and the progress toward justice from Hebraic Scripture to the present.

Questions around justice for marginalized groups are at the very heart of the ongoing western conversation which is precisely why issues of race, gender, and class are stressed by the progressive-left. It is through addressing race, gender, and class that the intelligentsia hoped to moderate the social, political, and economic playing fields.

In recent decades, however, the drumbeat has grown steadily louder, wider in scope, and more unremitting throughout the Obama administration.

It was evident to me a number of years ago that left-leaning disgust with the United States increased in direct proportion to American gains in social justice. Also, for the first time ever, the United States has a First Family with Jewish people in it. Holy smoke! I never saw that before. 

Yet a Jewish friend of mine calls President Trump, Reichsführer Trump.

This amazing anger, coming from not only the hard-left but also the center-left, has less to do with Trump, himself, then it has to do with the fact that neo-progressivism has turned issues of genuine social concern into ham-fisted clubs with which to beat back political infidels. Having come to its greatest power under the Obama administration, the Left used the political weaponry at hand - charges of racism, sexism, and homophobia - as a means to kick anyone who failed to meet politically-correct imperatives.

Some people suggested that the malice would soften in the weeks and months coming into the inauguration and then the media (and the people) would simply judge this presidency in the normal illiberal and highly partisan manner that we judge all US presidencies.

This has turned out not to be the case.

Instead the pitch of screaming anti-Trump hysteria actually increased, which is why we have close to forty congressional Democrats outspokenly refusing to attend the ceremonies today and a movement for impeachment already underway. All of this obviously reflects the roiling social-political divisions within the United States at this crux in history.

There has been nothing like this moment since 1968 and some people will pay with their lives... that is, when they aren't being tortured for being the wrong skin color while live-streamed onto youtube.

Following the Vietnam War neo-progressivism made remarkable advances in this country. Despite robust challenges by the New Right (under Reagan) and the Evangelicals in the 1980s, American women, Gay people, and ethnic minorities fought for, and earned, far greater political acceptance and opportunities today than at anytime in the past. Not only has the United States overcome de jure racism but it has institutionalized a series of measures, such as Affirmative Action, which are designed to push in the opposite direction... an advantage that my grandparents did not have when they were chased out of Medzhybizh, Ukraine, in the early 1920s and came to the United States.

Yet this is also the moment of the greatest social unrest in the last fifty years.

The first question, obviously, is why now?

The answer taken for granted out of the Left is that the Trump campaign gave the symbolic go-ahead to the white, sexist, nationalist "alt-right"... that virtually none of us even heard of until suddenly Pepe the Frog dropped in for a chat.

{Just look at that sly evil smile.}

Left-leaning fear is that whatever gains, if any, that "marginalized groups" made during the Obama years will be drowned in a wave of backward-looking conservatism and the kind of neo-racism represented by figures as unlikely as Milo Yiannopoulos and his Breitbart partner-in-crime, Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon.

The second question is, how do we want to approach our politics going forward?

Anyone reading this is engaged in social media. 

Within social media there are new political seedlings poking up through the digital rubble.

Although I find him to my right on economic issues - because he classifies himself as a "classical liberal" - Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report is an exceedingly interesting guy who exemplifies what he calls "the new center." If so, it owes something to both Jon Stewart and the "New Atheism" of scholars and scientists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett, collectively known as the "Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse."

This "movement" - if it even warrants such a term at this point - is not centered on atheism, despite its atheistic influences.  Its primary values are rationality and liberalism in contrast to political emotionalism and authoritarianism, whether coming from the traditionalist right-wing or the politically-correct Left. For this reason it honors open discussion and freedom of speech over the kind of in-group / out-group political bullying that we have become so accustomed to and that Political Islam has taken to its ultimate expression.

Those of us who come out of the progressive-left and the Democratic Party, but who are no longer interested in either, might consider this emerging new American politics.

If you have read this far, you should take six minutes and give this guy a listen.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.

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  • Sunday, January 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
A liberal Orthodox rabbi, Shmuly Yanklowitz, writes that he cannot in good conscience say the traditional prayer for the welfare of the government ("HaNoten Teshua") in the Trump era.
Because of my commitment to the integrity of prayer, starting this week (January 16, 2017), I can no longer recite or say amen to the Shabbat prayer for the success of the U.S. President.
So I have drafted a new prayer that I will plan to recite each Shabbat morning. If you also feel it’s important to pray for the U.S. government but also feel you cannot pray for the success of this President, feel free to use this or adapt it as you please. I felt that it was not enough to simply avoid the U.S. President in the prayer for the government but to remind myself of the billions of vulnerable people who are at risk under his rule, and challenge myself each Shabbat to build up the strength for another week of spiritual resistance.
His prayer looks more like it was inspired more from the pages of liberal media than from Jewish tradition:
O God and God of our Ancestors, help us with our struggle. We yearn for the success of the American government, to fulfill its righteous mandate to protect its citizens from threats internal and foreign, to fortify the bonds between liberty and justice, to ordain fair treatment under the law, and to expand welfare to all those within its capacity.
We pray that the vision of the prophets—the redemptive power of justice; relief for the poor, welcome for the marginal, protection for the oppressed, care for the sick—and the vision of the Constitution of a more perfect union be brought about. Guide the incoming leader of this country away from his basest instincts, thwart his plans to target certain groups and strengthen white supremacy; for You know, God, that all were created in Your image.
With all due respect, Rabbi Yanklowitz is missing the boat.

The traditional prayer of HaNoten Teshua has been around, in one form or another, for over five hundred years. And it is based on much older traditions back to Jeremiah's exhortation to pray for the ruler of your city in the first years of the first diaspora:
And seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to the LORD in its behalf; for in its prosperity you shall prosper.

Jews offered sacrifices for the government in Second Temple times.

More explicitly, Pirke Avot (3:2) says, "Rabbi Chanina, the deputy Kohen Gadol says: ‘Pray for the welfare of the government, because if people did not fear it, a person would swallow his fellow alive.'"

He said this during the reign of Nero.

The earliest  modern form of the prayer can be seen in a Sephardic prayer book from 1490, blessing the Spanish rulers who were about to expel the Jews two years later:

“He who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternity may he strengthen, bless, and uplift higher and higher our Lord King Fernando.  May the King of Kings redeem his soul from death and in war from the sword.  And may He incline his heart to do good to Israel and to speak good of them wherever they are and let us say Amen.”
Is Donald Trump, before even taking office, worse than Nero? Worse than Isabella? Worse than the Czars who were also prayed for in this fashion?

The prayer itself is multifaceted, an important point that Rabbi Yanklowitz seems to miss. While on the surface it is a prayer for the success of the ruling government, the choice of verses being quoted reveal a much more complex prayer.

Here is the text as translated in 1655 in a letter to Oliver Cromwell to convince him to let Jews return to England after their expulsion, which is essentially unchanged today:

He that giveth salvation unto Kings, and dominion unto Lords, He that delivered his servant David from the sword of the Enemy, He that made a way in the Sea, and a path in the stronge waters, blesse and keep, preserve and rescue, exalt and magnify, and lift up higher and higher, our Lord:
[And then he names, the Pope, the Emperour, King, Duke, or any other Prince under whom the Iews live, and add’s :]
The King of kings defend him in his mercy, making him joyfull, & free him from all dangers and distresse.
The King of kings, for his goodness sake, raise up and exalt his planetary star, & multiply his dayes over his Kingdome. (this line has been changed to remove the reference to astrology in the wake of fear of false messiahs)In his dayes and in our dayes, let Iudah be safe, and Israel dwell securely,
and let the Redeemer come to Israel, and so may it please God. Amen.
Here's the English version from the time of King George - the same King George who fought against the United States in the Revolutionary War:

As mentioned, this prayer has some depth behind it, and is not a simplistic prayer for the leader's success as it appears. The choice  of Biblical allusions in the prayer prove this.

The very beginning quotes a verse from Psalms 144: "To You who give victory to kings, who rescue His servant David from the deadly sword.." But the very next verse says: "Rescue me, save me from the hands of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies, and whose oaths are false."

This verse was chosen deliberately. The Jews who offered this prayer were under no illusions about their rulers.

Similarly, the allusion in the prayer to "He Who made a road through the sea And a path through mighty waters" is referring to the destruction of the armies of Pharaoh: "Who destroyed chariots and horses, And all the mighty host— They lay down to rise no more, They were extinguished, quenched like a wick:"

Jews who have said this prayer in one form or another over the millennia were no fools, as people like Rabbi Yanklowitz seem to think. They knew that the rulers could be good or evil, benevolent or vindictive, and they also knew that God is the ultimate Protector, not the current flesh-and-blood ruler. 

It is the height of hubris for Yanklowitz to believe that he is somehow more astute than the generations of far more brilliant rabbis who preceded him.

The prayer of HaNoten Teshua is not fawning - it is cautionary. It can be said wholeheartedly by both supporters and opponents of Donald Trump (anyone who thinks that Trump is worse than Ferdinand and Nero are too far gone to reason with.)  The prayer is a reminder for both the supporters of Trump and previous supporters of Obama that Jews should not put their faith in princes (Psalms 146:3) - but it is a good idea to pray that their leaders have the wisdom to do the right thing. 


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  • Sunday, January 22, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

On January 6, Hamas MP Marwan Abu Ras delivered a Friday sermon in Gaza, in which he cited the antisemitic hadith of the trees and the stones and said that the Jews were the "filthiest nation" with "the worst moral values known to Mankind." Abu Ras further said that they were recruiting prostitutes to the ranks of their army "in order to lure Arabs into their traps," that they send "AIDS-infected girls to fornicate with Muslim youths," and that they allow drugs and tobacco to be smuggled through the tunnels into Gaza, while preventing the entry of useful commodities. "Victory is coming soon," he vowed. "Their state is about to disappear." Abu Ras prayed to Allah to "destroy the criminal Jews and those who help and support them, as well as those who engage in security coordination with them!" The sermon was broadcast on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV.

Marwan Abu Ras: "Who are the [Jews]? They are the filthiest people, the filthiest nation. They have the worst moral values known to Mankind. Whenever a prophet told them something that appealed to them, they followed him. But if a prophet contradicted them, even regarding a most trivial matter, they either called him a liar or killed him. They have never acted in any other way, because their moral values are driven by treachery and betrayal. They do not care about moral values, honesty, or honor. They do not know the meaning of honor. Do you know who the Jews are recruiting to the ranks of their army, an army that will be defeated soon, Allah willing? They are recruiting prostitutes in order to lure Arabs into their traps, and the traps of their intelligence agencies. So if they are recruiting girls in order to trap people, what is left of their moral values?

"They were the first to spread usury, the first to spread filthy pornographic movies and websites. They lead the pack in the spreading of drugs and alcohol.

"Do you know what commodity enters Gaza in large quantities, with the blessings of the enemy? It is drugs. Drugs only. The second commodity is tobacco. Those who want to smuggle drugs or tobacco into Gaza can do so freely, but to smuggle a useful commodity into Gaza? That is forbidden.


"Oh criminal Jews, Allah described your characteristics to us. You cannot remain on our land. We shall never relinquish a single inch of our land. My message to our Islamic nation is: Return to your senses! Know that this enemy is your enemy, just as it is our enemy. I do not understand what goes through the minds of these Arabs. The enemy openly declares that under the guise of tourism, it sends AIDS-infected girls to fornicate with Muslim youths, in order to spread fornication and AIDS among Muslim youth.


"My brothers, have patience. Victory is coming soon, Allah willing. Their state is about to disappear. We do not know exactly how this will happen, but we know what our Lord and our Prophet have told us. The time for miracles is almost upon us. Some miracles have already happened. We want to hear the stones and trees call the Muslims and say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him!' The only exception will be the gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews. My brothers, know that people, stones, and trees all hate [the Jews]. Everyone on Earth hates this filthy nation, a nation extrinsic to Mankind. This fact was elucidated by the Quran and the Sunna.


"Oh Allah, destroy the criminal Jews and those who help and support them, as well as those who engage in security coordination with them! Oh Allah, strike them with a resounding blow, for they are no match for You. Shake their entity and bring them down. Oh Allah, drive them out of our lands in submission and humiliation! Oh Allah, enable us to kill them!"

I noted how Amnesty consistently ignores this sort of thing in a tweet last week where they say that staying silent in the face of evil is cooperating with it.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

  • Saturday, January 21, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is interesting:

I plan to speak soon with President Trump about how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime which calls for Israel's destruction.
But it struck me recently that I've spoken a lot about the Iranian regime and not enough about the Iranian people, or for that matter, to the Iranian people.
So I hope this message reaches every Iranian—young and old, religious and secular, man and woman.
I know you'd prefer to live without fear. I know you'd want to be able to speak freely, to love who you want without the fear of being tortured or hung from a crane. I know you'd like to surf the Web freely and not have to see videos like this one using a virtual private network to circumvent censorship.
You have a proud history. You have a rich culture. Tragically, you are shackled by a theocratic tyranny.
In a free Iran you will once again be able to flourish without limit. But today, a cruel regime is trying to keep you down.
I'll never forget the images of brave young students hungry for change gunned down in the streets of Tehran in 2009; and I'll never forget beautiful Neda Sultan gasping for her last breath on that sidewalk.
This ruthless regime continues to deny you your freedom. It prevents thousands of candidates from competing in elections. It steals money from your poor to fund a mass murderer like Assad.
By calling daily for Israel's destruction, the regime hopes to instill hostility between us.
This is wrong. We are your friend, not your enemy. We've always distinguished between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime.
The regime is cruel – the people are not; the regime is aggressive – the people are warm.
I yearn for the day when Israelis and Iranians can once again visit each other freely in Tehran and Esfahan, in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The fanatics must not win. Their cruelty must not conquer our compassion.
Our two peoples can work together for a more peaceful and hopeful future for both of us. We must defeat terror and tyranny and we must ensure that freedom and friendship win the day.
The responses on YouTube - from people who say they are Iranians - are far more positive than negative. Here are some:

I am from Iran and I think Israel and Iran have the potential to be the best friend in Middle East. Unfortunately, the Islamic regime works against the mutual interests.

Thank you Mr Netanyahu!
Please help us Iranian people as much as you can to overthrow this tyrannical & despotic regime which through severe corruption, incompetence and mismanagement has brought us nothing but pain, sadness, misery and financial ruin.

I'm from iran and we are you'r friend

im iranian . and we are not your enemy

Long live friendship between  Iranian people and Israel.
We, Iranians,  are children of Cyrus the great,  have nothing against Jews and Israel.  We want peace for all.

i like you . i like israel. i,m iranian

A warm hello from Tehran!
We support peace, we say NO to war! Viva Iran, Viva Israel!

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Would Jerusalem Embassy Spark Unrest?
Kerry told CBS News, that should Trump move the embassy, “You’d have an explosion – an absolute explosion in the region, not just in the West Bank and perhaps even in Israel itself, but throughout the region. The Arab world has enormous interest in the Haram al-Sharif, as it is called; the Temple Mount, the Dome [of the Rock], and it is a holy site for the Arab world.”
Let’s put aside that no one is suggesting moving the embassy to disputed portions of Jerusalem, but rather to West Jerusalem which is an undisputed part of Israel proper. And also forget for the moment that the peace process has hardly advanced since Palestinian chairman Mahmoud Abbas turned down Israel’s 2008 peace offer. Could Kerry be correct? And should the Arab diplomats warning behind-the-scenes of dire consequences be believed?
Here, history should inform. Prior to both 1991 Operation Desert Storm, and then again ahead of the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom, many diplomats and analysts—including some quoted in the most recent articles—suggested that U.S. forces entering the Arab world would spark protests and riots. But, in both cases, demonstrations largely fizzled. Those that did occur were often state-sponsored. What brought Arabs into the streets was not questions of war and peace in Israel but largely local issues—a vendor’s self-immolation in Tunisia and a blogger’s death under torture in Egypt.
Simply put, the threat that moving the embassy to Jerusalem will spark chaos in Jordan and Egypt is overblown, an excuse more manufactured than real.
Germany’s split personality: Courts favor antisemites, BDS takes hits
A regional court’s affirmation this month of a decision asserting that the arson at a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal in July 2014 was not motivated by antisemitism but was merely a plea by three Palestinians to criticize Israel catapulted the deficiencies of Germany’s judicial system into the spotlight.
While some mainstream political parties, such as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, have classified the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement as antisemitic, and German banks have pulled the plug on BDS accounts, judges in the Federal Republic have moved in a radically different direction.
A series of recent court cases has raised the profoundly disturbing impression that German justice is stacked in favor of alleged antisemites. Commenting on the Wuppertal case, the Israeli Embassy in Berlin told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday: “One of the facades of antisemitism is being anti-Israel. We recommend not to fall into this trap. Any attempt to link a sovereign state that wants to defend itself with religion is a double-edged sword that can become quickly dangerous as well for other groups of society.”
The Wuppertal lower court decision defended the reasoning of the three men – Muhammad E., 31, Ismail A., 26, and Muhammad A., 20 – who, according to the judiciary’s opinion, sought, via torching a synagogue, “to clearly draw attention to the blazing conflict between Israel and Palestinians” during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
CIA documents reveal immediate lead-up to Yom Kippur War
The morning of the coordinated attack on Israel, US assessments flipped from presuming war was not on the horizon to frantic attempts to prevent Syria and Egypt from attacking the Jewish state, which was warned off any preemptive strike.
Amongst the tens of thousands of CIA documents put online, one can find the American intelligence assessment regarding the possibility of a war between Israel and its neighbors in 1973 and how the then-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger acted when he received the information that Egypt and Syria were intending to begin the Yom Kippur War.
In the daily intelligence briefing submitted to the then-US President, Richard Nixon, on the day that the war broke out, it was reported, "Both the Israelis and the Arabs are becoming increasingly concerned about their adversaries' military activities, but neither side seems bent on starting hostilities."
A CIA document from October 6, the day the war broke out, reported that six Soviet military planes "flew to Damascus yesterday. In addition a Soviet jet transport normally used for VIPs made two round-trip flights to Cairo. The air-lift continues today. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

  • Saturday, January 21, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The top story in the Palestinian Authority's official news agency, Wafa, is that Sunday is a day of mourning for the anniversary of Israel's assassination of one of the more heinous terrorists of the 1970s.

Abu Hassan Salameh, leader of the Black September terror group that was part of Fatah, is mourned as a "beloved leader" and "martyr."

Black September was the group behind the Munich Olympics massacre.

Wafa doesn't mention Munich directly, it only praises him for being linked with many "quality operations."

Salameh, known as the "Red Prince" for his flaunting of his wealth, was not even a Palestinian according to the Wafa article. He was born in Iraq, raised in Egypt and joined the PLO in Kuwait in 1964. (Wikipedia, without citations, says he was born near Jaffa and educated in Germany.)

The terrorist also promised the CIA that he would protect Americans in Lebanon in exchange for contacts with US officials. The CIA was well aware of his terrorist history.

Salameh was assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut in 1979 likely planted by the Mossad.

The Fatah Facebook page also features Salameh, showing this photo of him with Arafat, praising him for "terrifying Tel Aviv" with his attacks.

The Palestinian love of terrorists is explicit and is flaunted every day.  The media simply ignores it.

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