Monday, December 18, 2017

From Ian:

Obama said to have derailed campaign against Hezbollah to clinch Iran nuke deal
In order to help solidify the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, the Obama administration covertly derailed a campaign by the US Drug Enforcement Administration that targeted the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group, according to an investigative report by Politico.

The specific campaign, called Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 to monitor Hezbollah’s weapons and drug trafficking practices, which included funneling cocaine into the United States.

Along with drug-trafficking, the Lebanon-based terrorist group was also engaging in money laundering and other criminal activities — from which it made some $1 billion annually.

When investigators — after amassing substantial evidence — sought approval for prosecution from the US Department of Justice and US Department of Treasury, those two agencies were unresponsive, the Politico report said.

“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” said David Asher, an analyst for the US Department of Defense specializing in illicit finance who helped set up and run Project Cassandra. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”

Asher added that Obama officials obstructed efforts to apprehend top Hezbollah operatives, including one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s foremost weapons suppliers.
Daily Freier: Iran Names its Newest Ballistic Missile in Honor of Ben Rhodes (satire)
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps was giddy with anticipation today as they waited for Iran’s Supreme Leader to unveil their newest weapon system to the public. As crowds waited at the bi-weekly “Death to America/Death to Israel Military Parade and Children’s Puppet Show”, the Ayatollah Khameini removed a giant tarp to reveal Iran’s newest missile: the “Ben Rhodes”. Named in honor of the most clever former aspiring novelist to ever serve as a National Security Advisor to Barack Obama, the “Ben Rhodes” is an impressive weapon indeed. The Ayatollah Khameini explained the reasoning behind the name to the press.

“In our culture, it is important to show gratitude. So it only seemed fair to name this great missile after the man who helped make it all possible. Of course, he had some help. So honestly, coming up with just one name was a bit tough.” Khameini then shared a fascinating tidbit of inside information. “You know, at first we voted to name the missile after John Kerry, but then we voted against it.”

The Ayatollah then went on to explain the rigorous testing that the missile went through, to include tests in a specially constructed Echo Chamber. “This missile took a lot of work. But it’s funny how everything worked out in the end: the Iran Deal, our unfrozen assets, America “Leading from Behind”. Yes it is all quite funny. But not as funny as Ben Rhodes being named to the Board of the Holocaust Museum in Washington.”
Trump Doctrine: 'Israel is not the cause of problems in the Middle East'
U.S. President Trump poised to unveil "America First" national security strategy Monday • Strategy argues the threats from radical terrorists and Iran are proving that Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the "prime irritant" preventing regional peace.
Prioritizing national sovereignty over alliances, U.S. President Donald Trump is poised to outline a new national security strategy that envisions nations in a perpetual state of competition, reverses Obama-era warnings on climate change, and de-emphasizes multinational agreements that have dominated U.S. foreign policy since the Cold War.

The Republican president, who ran on a platform of "America First," will detail his plan Monday, one that, if fully implemented, could sharply alter the United States' relationships with the rest of the world.

The plan, according to senior administration officials who offered a preview Sunday, is to focus on four main themes: protecting the homeland and way of life; promoting American prosperity; demonstrating peace through strength; and advancing American influence in an ever-competitive world.

Trump's doctrine holds that nation states are in perpetual competition and that the U.S. must fight on all fronts to protect and defend its sovereignty from friend and foe alike. While the administration often says that "America First" does not mean "America Alone," the national security strategy to be presented by Trump will make clear that the United States will stand up for itself even if that means acting unilaterally or alienating others on issues like trade, climate change and immigration, according to people familiar with the strategy.
PreOccupiedTerritory: US Declares Palestinians No Longer Have Role In Mideast Peace (satire)
Trump administration officials voiced their frustration with the continued refusal of Palestinians representatives to play a constructive role in negotiations with Israel over a final status agreement Monday, and announced they no longer see a role Palestinians can play in fostering a peaceful resolution to the century-old conflict.

White House spokesman Hugh Gottabee-Kidding used the daily press briefing to inform reporters that the administration is now considering alternatives to the Palestinians in the role they have performed hitherto, and have assembled a list of what Gottabee-Kidding called seven “strong” candidates.

“Unfortunately, over the last quarter-century since Israelis and Palestinians started negotiations, we’ve been consistently let down by the credibility of the Palestinian role in the process,” he stated. “As such, we no longer see Palestinian participation as a positive element in the dynamic of the talks. We sat down this past week to hammer out possible others who could step in to play the role in a constructive fashion, and we have already conducted preliminary inquiries with each of those parties.”

Gottabee-Kidding stressed that until a firm agreement is reached with the Palestinians’ replacement, he cannot divulge the identities of the candidates. “I will say that, obviously, functioning nations with peace agreements in place with Israel have already demonstrated the capacity to play a constructive role, and it would be remiss of us not to include them in the roster.” Egypt and Jordan concluded peace agreements with Israel in 1978 and 1994, respectively.

Analysts warn that rushing into the replacement process could jeopardize the talks, which have been on hold since 2014. “We wouldn’t want to disturb the status quo,” explained Bob Zyerunkel of Scholars and Humanists Analyzing the Middle East (SHAME), a think tank. There’s been a sort of stability in things for more than three years at this point, and it might be dangerous to upset that. Any replacement candidate would have to commit to a certain way of doing things. There’s an entire industry built around these negotiations, and it wouldn’t do to compromise that.”

When we joined our first temple a decade ago, my wife and I were primarily looking to give our kids the Jewish education we never had. But it was clear during new-member orientation that the community we were entering offered many ways to explore being a Jewish adult, with strongly hinted encouragement that those who get the most out of the place are on some sort of spiritual journey.
Given how, up until then, my Jewish identity was so bound up in pro-Israel politics, it was a gift to be able to explore my relationship with God through study, discussion and argument that still had much to say about the Zionism I still so strongly identify with.
Not that Israel and politics are ignored within the Temple. While they must compete with other events and activities, a steady flow of diverse Israeli and Israel-related speakers make pilgrimages to our halls each year, many invited by the temple’s Israel Action Committee (which I led for a while).
Our Chief Rabbi’s own journey has included yearly participation in summer programming at Israel’s Shalom Hartman Institute (including the summer of ‘14 when he had to dodge Hamas rocket fire to get to class). Lessons from those experiences have made their way into more than one service, and Hartman’s iEngage programming – introduced a few years ago (co-sponsored by our town’s Reform and Conservative temples) – recently made a return with a series of lunchtime discussions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict.
At a kickoff event, we began by exploring the different arguments regarding what might make Zionism unique among different forms of nationalism. But by the end of the session (which could have gone on for weeks), I sensed one of those potentially fruitful areas of discomfort regarding how much Jewish nationalism might represent a form of particularism that stands in contrast (possibly even in conflict) with more universal values.
Notions of the universal vs. the particular have been of particular interest since reading the works of that gay, conservative, philosopher/iconoclast Lee Harris, especially his second book The Suicide of Reason.
The subtitle of that book “Radical Islam’s Threat to the West” – along with earlier writing that established him as the philosopher king of 9/11 – put Harris squarely one on side of the culture war that has emerged over the last two decades. But Suicide of Reason is much more about our own Western culture vs. contemporary events related to Islam.
At the heart of his argument is a rejection of the dichotomy between universalism and particularism, whether related to Jews or anyone else. To take one example, Christianity could be seen as a “universal” faith since it, unlike “particularist” Judaism, has a mission to create a universal culture. But the nature of the individual who will inhabit that universal culture (i.e., a Christian) is highly particular.
Perhaps this confusion arises from mixing together two different interpretations of the word “universal” that should be kept separate. One of them would include things that are truly universal for all members of the human race such as our mortality or need to interact with others to survive (at least as a species). But “universalism” also implies the desire to see all people live in a particular way, with candidates for that particular culture being both religious (Christianity, Islam) and secular (Communism or plain old modernity).
That last example: the modern identity that arose from Europe’s Enlightenment, is what Harris dwells on in Suicide of Reason. For those of us who live in this age and this world (including everyone participating at our Temple’s iEngage session) are so surrounded by the modern world view that it takes on the air of the universal truth, just as “Christendom” was the world for those who lived in Medieval Europe.
But, as Harris points out, the notion that all people are (or can become) rational actors (the heart of the Enlightenment’s appeal to reason as a ruling virtue) was the product of unique cultural evolution, no different (and no less iconoclastic) than other man-made creations such as the culture of ancient Greeks or Chinese.
One way to deal with this issue is to eliminate terms like “universal” and “universalist” from our vocabularies and say, rather, that all cultures (including modernity) are particularlist through and through, but that some of these particular cultures are more expansive (like Christianity or Enlightenment modernity) than others (like Judaism).
Discussing the role of Jews and Zionism in the context of expansive vs. non-expansive particularist cultures certainly changes the nature of the debate regarding Israel and the world, but might do so in a way that increases insight – even as it increases discomfort among those of us (including me) who would prefer a world made up of rational actors ready to solve our problems via discussion and debate vs. appeals to God and the sword

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  • Monday, December 18, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Bloomberg:
The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote on an Egyptian draft resolution Monday that “calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions” in Jerusalem, after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital.

The one-page draft resolution reviewed by Bloomberg News “demands that all States comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.

The resolution is symbolic since the U.S. has a permanent veto on the 15-member security council and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, is expected to vote the measure down. By forcing the U.S. to use its veto, though, Egypt and other countries are attempting to isolate Trump on the world stage.

The Security Council condemned Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital and begin moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv by a vote of 14-1 on Dec. 8.

The Egyptian resolution does not mention the U.S. or Trump by name but expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”
I don't have the text of the resolution beyond what Bloomberg quotes, but it appears to be mostly a restatement of UNSC 478 from 1980 with an important distinction.

UNSC 478 does not call for all states to withdraw embassies from Jerusalem. It calls on "Those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City."

This draft resolution "calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions" - but it does not call on states that already have such missions to withdraw them, as UNSC 478 did.

Because the majority of diplomatic missions (mostly consulates) in Jerusalem primarily serve Palestinian Arabs.

So the member states of the UNSC are not being even-handed. They want to maintain the Swedish and Belgian and French and British and Italian and even American consulates in Jerusalem, even though those misions violate UNSC 478 explicitly - because they serve Palestinians. The draft resolution today pointedly ignores that part of 478 calling for withdrawal of all missions and restates it to only apply to the US plan to establish a "diplomatic mission"  that would serve Israel.

What the practical implementation of 478 and this draft resolution do is specifically to deny the rights of Israeli Jews to Jerusalem while affirming Palestinian rights to the city.

The UN is seeking to do exactly what it claims it is trying to avoid - prejudging the outcome of negotiations,.

The message from the UN is clear: Jerusalem is "Palestinian." All of it. Palestinians have veto power over Israel having any sovereignty over the holy city but Israel has no such similar power in terms of who can establish or maintain diplomatic missions for Palestinians in the holy city.

Language is very important in diplomacy. This resolution, which will gain a huge majority of the UNSC vote before the US vetoes it, shows that you only have to dig a tiny but under the surface to see that the UN happily will use bland, diplomatic language to isolate and demonize only Israeli Jews and those who show support for them.

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  • Monday, December 18, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
After the agreement brokered by Egypt to reconcile the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, PA workers in various government ministries were supposed to return to their jobs after years of enforce (and paid) vacation.

On Sunday morning, 18 PA employees of the Ministry of Culture showed up to work. But the Hamas workers there didn't want to give up their positions of leadership.

So they took out guns and threatened to kill the PA workers if they went to work.

The Ramallah-based Ministry of Culture deplored the actions of the Hamas-run Gaza-based Ministry of Culture for threatening its employees, after two months of negotiations to allow them to return to their jobs. The Ministry noted that bringing guns to the workplace to threaten coworkers is not professional.

This is an indication of how well the much heralded reconciliation has been going.

It is also a shame that Gaza will now have a little less culture. One of the planned "cultural" initiatives that are now in jeopardy is "cultural and literary events to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first Palestinian uprising."

Yes, the ministry that is planning to celebrate violence as part of Palestinian culture is upset that violence is interrupting the work of the ministry.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

  • Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
What a beautiful picture, Arabs walking near the Bethlehem Christmas tree with candles.

But wait - they are holding signs.

Anti-American signs.

Signs with photos of Vice President Mike Pence, U negotiator Jason Greenblatt and others.

And they are using the candles to burn the pictures of Americans.

Americans, meanwhile, give hundreds of millions of dollars a year to these people so they can be insulted.

But for some reason, no one seems to care about Palestinians insulting Americans and burning American officials in effigy.

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  • Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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  • Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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  • Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Speaking to the US-based Arabic network Al Hurra,  Abdul Hamid Hakim, Director of the Middle East Research Institute in Jeddah, said:

We as Arabs must understand the other party as it is, and we know what is needed to succeed in peace negotiations.

We have to recognize and realize that Jerusalem is a religious symbol of the Jews, as holy to them as the holiness of Mecca and Medina is for Muslims.

The Arab mind must be liberated from the Nasserite heritage and the legacy of political Islam, both Sunni and Shiite, which instilled a culture of hatred of Jews and denial of their historical right to the region.
Immediately, Hakim was pilloried on social media, with prominent Saudis calling him ignorant and denouncing him for "normalization."

Hakim had previously said such controversial things as "The time has come for a new Middle East based on love, peace, coexistence and rejection of hatred, violence and extremism."

It is encouraging that a few Saudis can actually say things that are relatively normal and honest. But the backlash to Hakim's statement, especially in Palestinian media, illuminate something about the reaction to Donald Trump's Jerusalem speech.

In both cases, someone says something that is obviously true. In both cases, the backlash is not against the truth of the statement - but against the implications. To the Palestinians, the truth must be avoided at all costs.

And the world looks at one side that says the truth, the other side that fights with all its might against the truth, and concludes that the real truth must be closer to the side that makes a bigger noise.

That is the genius of the Palestinian Big Lie.

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From Ian:

Matti Friedman: The ties that bind Jerusalem
Different religions have their own holy sites in Jerusalem, the city where I've spent my entire adult life. The place I believe to be among the most important, however, is a grubby swath of garages, welding shops and furniture stores known as the Talpiot industrial zone. The zone is sacred to no one and unknown to tourists or foreign correspondents. It's a short walk from my street, so I spend a lot of time there – the industrial zone is where you can find the best hardware store, the cheapest supermarkets, my barber and stores selling balloons for birthday parties, model airplanes or anything else you could ever need.

When President Donald Trump announced on Dec. 6 that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy here, Arab leaders called for "days of rage" and a chorus of Western observers predicted an explosion. The predictions were predictable; Jerusalem is always said to be on the brink of catastrophe, and headlines are always reporting "tensions."

The city is certainly volatile, considering: the proximity of sites holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews, all under Israeli control; the fact that more than one-third of the city's residents are Palestinians, mostly Muslims, who aren't Israeli citizens and tend to see Israeli rule as illegitimate; and the city's existence in a region engulfed in a religious war. But what is truly interesting about Jerusalem is not the proximity of the brink, but the way the city's residents often refuse to play their part in the script by stepping off.

After Mr. Trump's announcement, amid warnings of "explosive" repercussions, I got e-mails from friends abroad, wondering whether I was worried, or whether I was safe. That Friday, a crowd of reporters gathered at the Old City's Damascus Gate to document the violence that was supposed to erupt. But little happened; the protesters were outnumbered by journalists, and everyone went home. There weren't spontaneous mass celebrations on the Jewish side or mass disturbances on the Arab side. The past week has been fairly normal.
PMW: Fatah calls for violence: "Strap on your weapon"
Posts on Fatah's Facebook page call for violence following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (Dec. 17, 2017)

The picture above of a hand holding an automatic weapon is part of Abbas' Fatah Movement's answer to US President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The poster calls for Palestinians to use violence:

Posted text: "Strap on your weapon over your wound, and tomorrow you will awaken to a morning of freedom #Rage_for_Jerusalem #Rage_for_Al-Aqsa_Mosque #Jerusalem_our_capital #Jerusalem_the_capital_of_Palestine
Text on the image repeats the call to "strap on your weapon"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 14, 2017]

Other Fatah posts that appeared on Facebook called for riots and rock throwing, one example is this:
Posted text: "#Rage_for_Jerusalem #Rage_for_Al-Aqsa_Mosque #HandsOffAlQuds"
Text on image: "#Rage_for_Al-Aqsa_Mosque"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 14, 2017]

Palestinian Media Watch reported that Abbas' advisor in a televised sermon incited religious war following Trump's declaration:

Fatah called for rage in many similar posts.
US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump gave a speech formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and stating that he had instructed the State Department to begin preparations to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump concluded by stating that the US is still fully committed to the peace process in the Middle East. Following his speech, Trump signed the waiver to delay the transfer of the embassy, and apparently will continue to do so until preparations for the transfer have been completed.
Seth Frantzman: Could death of disabled activist mean new Palestinian icon?
Video of the disabled activist before his death show him with dozens of Palestinian protesters who set off on Friday toward the Israeli security fence that borders Gaza. He told an interviewer before the clashes that “this land is our land. We are not going to give up. America has to withdraw the declaration it has made.”

The IDF said that hundreds of Palestinians approached the border fence on Friday and threw stones. They were dispersed.

Photos showed Abu Thuraya being pushed on a wheelchair while advancing toward the border with the protesters, some of whom had slingshots and were throwing stones. Tear gas canisters landed around the rioters, and at some point he left his wheelchair behind, crawling through the grass. The footage, after he was shot, shows him being pushed while slumped in his wheelchair and then carried away.

Palestinians said he was shot in the head, and a Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza, Ashraf al-Kidra, claimed he was pronounced dead at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital as a result of his wounds.

On Saturday, photos showed his body carried on a stretcher through the streets after his death.

Comments on social media expressed outrage at his death.

He was “murdered” by the IDF, said social media users. He was unarmed, they pointed out, and did not pose a threat.

  • Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
This op-ed in Haaretz by Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, former head of the Union for Reform Judaism, should be required reading for every liberal who's knee jerk reaction to Trump's Jerusalem speech was to automatically disparage it.

Yoffie admits that he initially had the same reaction as all other liberal American Jews:

As a peace advocate and a strong supporter of a two-state solution, I responded to Trump’s pronouncement on Israel’s capital the same way that I respond to virtually everything that the President says: negatively and dismissively.

And the reason for this is that the President’s foreign policy statements have been inconsistent and muddled at best and isolationist and xenophobic at worst. Not surprisingly, my default position is to resist every word on foreign affairs that comes out of his mouth.

And this position was strengthened by the arguments of Tom Friedman and a host of other journalists, commentators, academics, and Middle East experts whose opinions I respect and who asserted that Trump had given away the store. 
 Yoffie initially believed the "if Trump does it it must be wrong" crowd. He, like most American liberal Jews, didn't think for himself, he didn't examine the facts for himself, he outsourced the research to "Middle East experts whose opinions" he respects.

And then he realized that the entire groupthink that animates so much of what passes for intelligent analysis was completely wrong.

For three reasons:
In the first place, I responded viscerally. I am a Jerusalem Jew. In my 75 or so visits to Israel, about 60% of my time has been spent in Jerusalem. I enjoy the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, and I love the stark majesty of the Negev. But still, warts and all, Jerusalem remains for me a city of unsurpassed beauty and palpable holiness. And I believe that Judaism and Jewish life will not be sustained without Jerusalem at its core.
Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel, whether the President of the United States says so or not. Nonetheless, it is comforting and gratifying when President Trump finally states what I know to be eternal and true.
And not only that. When Palestinians express their outrage and demand justice for Jerusalem, I can’t help wondering: Where was justice when Yasser Arafat and Mahmud Abbas were claiming at the UN that Jews have no historical connection to the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, and indeed to all of Jerusalem?
Last Thursday in Istanbul, Abbas repeated this ugly and absurd claim at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Having insisted that Jerusalem’s holy sites belong only to Muslims and Christians, how much sympathy do they have a right to expect now?
 Yoffie noticed the double standards of outrage between Jewish and Arab claims to Jerusalem. He knows that while even the most right wing of Israel's governments gives more respect to non-Jewish history in Jerusalem than even the most liberal of Arabs do towards Jewish history.

In the second place, I saw that not only Netanyahu and the right supported President Trump’s statement. So did the leaders of the Israeli center and center-left. Knesset opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog, Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid, Zionist Union chair Avi Gabbay, and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni all applauded the President’s words.
When I am looking for guidance from Israel’s political leaders, these are the people to whom I turn. They are all critics of Benjamin Netanyahu and the rightwing government now in power. They are all advocates of a Jewish and democratic Israel and a two-state solution. They all call for immediate negotiations with the Palestinians.
And the unanimity of their sentiments demonstrates that proclaiming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not a surrender to Netanyahu and the right. It is a reflection of a broad consensus in Israel that certain historical realities need to be recognized and that Palestinian rejectionists are not entitled to wish these realities away. 

Indeed, too many American Jewish liberals who pretend to be Zionist are utterly ignorant of the reality in Israel and Israel's liberal camp. They think Haaretz' Israeli columnists represents Israeli liberals, not realizing that they are fringe, and that Israel's liberal parties hold positions that are far more attuned to the reality on the ground in Israel than all of the "pro-Israel" European and American liberals combined.

In the third place, I read President Trump’s speech a second time and then a third time. And while it is difficult for me to say this, say it I must: It was a pretty good speech. Not wholly adequate to be sure, but nonetheless moderate, reasonable, and generally fair. And far better than I had feared and expected.
Those who saw it as a give-away to settlers and rightwing fanatics should look again. Netanyahu and the Israeli right call for a united Jerusalem; for the city to be the capital of the Jewish state, and the Jewish state alone; and for sovereignty of the city to be solely in Jewish hands. Yet Trump clearly rejected all of these positions, asserting instead that these matters are to be determined by negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
To be sure, the U.S. president made clear that any peace deal would result in Israel maintaining its capital in at least part of Jerusalem. But he said nothing to preclude negotiations that would result in a Palestinian state that would also have its capital in some part of the city.
It is a Chanukah miracle. One of the leading American Jewish liberals actually read Trump's speech. He had to do it several times to actually allow himself to believe that it was a good speech, but as much as every fiber of his being wanted to hate it because of the person saying the words - he had to admit that the speech did not hurt peace. It simply accepted reality.

It is Yoffie's liberal friends who pretend to be outraged who are the ones hurting peace by attacking the speaker and not bothering themselves to look at what he said.
 He has taken a generally responsible approach to Jerusalem, and for this I give him the credit that he is due. 
While I disagree with Yoffie about pretty much everything, I also want to give credit where credit is due. For once, he has looked beyond his own echo chamber and thought for himself.

I would love to see Thomas Friedman and the other reflexive critics of Trump's declaration  try to answer this column. They won't, because they don't want to admit that they, too, make their opinions first and only look for facts that support their opinions afterwards..

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  • Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The NYT editorial on Friday said:

[O]ut of the blue, President Donald Trump announced on Dec. 6 that he was formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, tossing aside 70 years of careful American neutrality and infuriating Palestinians, who also want their capital to be in Jerusalem. 
"Out of the blue"? Trump announced his position over a year ago.

"Careful American neutrality?"  Is that what ignoring the reality of Israel's capital is being called nowadays?

And note that avoiding infuriating Palestinians is considered a valid diplomatic objective while worrying about infuriating Israelis is not even a consideration. The reason is that Arabs tend to get violent when they don't get their way and Jews don't. So the obvious solution is to lean towards the position of the irrational crazies who might kill you for saying words that upset them.

That's diplomatic wisdom, in the opinion of the New York Times, and much of the world. Facts be damned.

Israel’s government has been in West Jerusalem since the state’s founding in 1948. In the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, Israel drove Jordan back from East Jerusalem and occupied the whole city. But the United States, like most of the world, had withheld formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital pending a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that would fairly resolve all major disputes. One might refer to such bargaining, to maximize leverage in pursuit of the best outcome, as the art of the deal.
 Yes, those 70 years of denying reality has really helped bring peace. Let's try it for 70 more years.

But that’s just not how this White House operates. In fact, it conceded another piece of leverage on Friday and again angered Palestinians for no apparent purpose. White House officials made clear their expectation that Jerusalem’s Western Wall, which lies outside Israel’s pre-1967 borders and abuts some of Islam’s most sacred sites, will eventually be declared part of Israel. This time, they were careful to say that the final borders of Israel and any Palestinian state must be settled in negotiations. But it seemed another case of America taking Israel’s side on an explosive issue.
Because, you know, it is always possible that Israel would give up on its desire to hold onto Jewish holy places because of world pressure.

The idea of keeping Jerusalem united is obviously a non-starter to the New York Times. The idea that Israel, which has been a state for nearly 70 years, has a better claim on how to define its capital than the fictional state of Palestine, is considered crazy. The idea that pressuring "Palestine" to compromise on Jerusalem is crazy - only the Jews must give away their heart and soul for peace, but Arabs are assumed to be the rightful owners of all the holy sites because 19 years of illegal Jordanian occupation is considered more legally important than 50 years of Jerusalem being open to all religions under Israeli rule.

Trump did nothing other than speak the truth and note that peace is impossible without recognizing reality. 70 years of make-believe has not brought peace, and in fact it has impeded it.

But the idea that carefully constructed lies is more important than obvious facts is not at all foreign to those who have been reading the New York Times over the decades.

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  • Sunday, December 17, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The official Fatah Facebook page shows a photo of a child with a sling, with a fire burning behind him, giving instructions for children like him on how best to attack Israelis. This screenshot shows the automatically translated part.

First field lesson:
To hit the target there are three conditions:
1. Stand firmly, and balance well between your feet and your hands and your body ..
2. Keep your eyes on the center of your target, do not turn away,
3. Keep the balance between your body and your weapon, you are the one who controls the weapon, not the other way round.
If you do not understand the lesson, read it again
This is the "non-violence" that the Palestinian Authority teaches its youngsters.

It is child abuse - but you will not find a single children's advocacy group saying a word against it. Not UNICEF, not Defense for Children International, nobody.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians Clark Kent conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

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