Monday, March 19, 2018

From Ian:

French consular employee charged in Gaza gun-running scheme
An employee at the French consulate in Jerusalem was indicted on Monday for using a diplomatic vehicle to smuggle dozens of guns from Gaza to the West Bank.

In addition to Romain Franck, five residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem were also charged. A total of nine suspects have been arrested in the case.

According to the indictment, Franck, 24, was aware of the reduced security checks for vehicles with diplomatic license plates, which he allegedly used to illegally transport weapons out of Gaza and into the West Bank.

Franck, who worked as a driver at the consulate, spoke through an interpreter to confirm his identity during the brief court appearance. Two French diplomats were at the court to monitor the proceedings.

He allegedly made five smuggling runs, bringing 70 pistols and two assault rifles to the West Bank from a Palestinian employee at the French Cultural Center in Gaza, Zuheir Abed Abdeen. A contact in the West Bank then sold the weapons to other arms dealers, investigators say.

Franck was already transporting various valuables in his car on behalf of Abdeen when in September 2017 the Palestinian propositioned him to join a gun-running ring run by Gaza resident Mahmad Jamil al-Haladi, the indictment said.

Franck later brought Mahmad Siad, an Israeli citizen employed at the French consulate in Jerusalem, into the operation and the two would allegedly travel together to deliver the weapons in the West Bank.

Prosecutors say Franck would usually take delivery of the guns from Aabdin and then place them in the trunk of his vehicle. At the border checks he would then falsely declare that all of the bags belonged to him or his passengers and that he was not carrying any weapons.
PreOccupiedTerritory: French Consulate Employee Caught Smuggling Votes To Meretz (satire)
A volunteer with the consulate of France in Israel’s capital was arrested today and charged with smuggling votes to a political party desperate to head off disappearance from the Knesset in the next elections.

Romain Franck, 23, a French national serving as a driver for consular staff, was taken into custody Monday morning after a police investigation showed him handling the contraband. A spokesman for the French consulate confirmed the arrest and stated they cooperated with the police on the investigation.

Meretz, which currently holds five seats in the parliament, has suffered consistent electoral frustration over the last several contests in 2009, 2012, and 2015, falling far short of its 12-seat representation in the late 1990’s and early part of last decade. Widespread disillusionment with the party’s hard-left stances following the disastrous long-term outcome of the Oslo Accords have kept it perilously close to elimination. While the threat of early elections was removed last week as warring coalition parties walked back their threats to bolt the government, Meretz faces a bleak outcome whether the next elections take place in late 2019 as scheduled or earlier. Under current electoral threshold rules, a party must earn at least 3.25% of the vote, which translates to about four parliamentary seats, if it is to appear in the Knesset. Surveys see the party garnering at best retaining its five-seat delegation, with some polls finding it falling below the representation threshold.

To forestall this nightmare scenario, allege police, party operatives arranged for votes from Palestinian-controlled areas, where they are not being used, to be smuggled into Israel. According to police, Mr. Franck made numerous trips into the Gaza Strip and Areas A and B of Judea end Samaria, with the consular vehicle he operated, exploiting his diplomatic immunity to avoid inspection and detection of the illegal cargo. Police claim they were able to document more than six hundred votes that Franck then sold to dealers hired by Meretz to procure the votes.
PMW: Palestinian terrorist prisoners continue academic studies, despite prohibition by Israel’s government
After the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the Government of Israel decided to prevent terrorist prisoners from receiving academic degrees while in prison

Responding to a PMW report exposing that such studies are taking place, the Israeli Prison Service rejected the claim that terrorist prisoners are undertaking academic studies

Despite the decision of the Israeli government and the response of the Prison Service, the PA announced that there are currently 1,000 terrorist prisoner students

In April 2017, Palestinian Media Watch exposed that the Palestinian Authority is actively undermining a decision the Israeli government adopted in response to the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, to prohibit Palestinian terrorist prisoners from receiving academic degrees while serving their sentences.

Despite the ban, the PA claimed 484 terrorist prisoners were studying for degrees in a program initiated by the PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs. The program is run in cooperation with Al-Quds Open University and the PA Ministry of Education.

Regardless of the substantial alleged number of terrorist prisoner students, the Israeli Prison Service rejected the claim and responded to PMW that in accordance with the decision of the government "security prisoners are not allowed to undertake academic studies."

Notwithstanding this response, Director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake stated that "a thousand Palestinian prisoners who are in the prisons have joined the Palestinian universities." Karake added that "an academic revolution is taking place in the prisons." [Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, Feb. 22, 2018]
Palestinian Authority pays terrorists who murder Israelis

  • Monday, March 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Arab media quotes Al Quds Al Arabi reporting that Israel, together with an unnamed Arab country, rescued some 400 Yemen Jews - which is probably all the Jews who were left - in a clandestine operation last month.

The special operation was carried out by Israeli commando forces who smuggled the Jews by helicopter.

The article says the Israeli Ministry of Absorption and Immigration confirmed the report, although I cannot find any Hebrew reports about this as of this writing.  The newspaper quoted an Arab officer working in the Israeli army who participated in the operation ass saying that an Israeli commando unit carried out the operation in cooperation with an unnamed Arab country. The Jews were transferred by civilian aircraft to Ben Gurion airport. It isn't clear if this was a direct flight from the Arab country that helped out.

The report quoted an officer in the IDF saying that Yemeni Jews arrived at an agreed place outside their residential centers, and were in a difficult state of health, especially women and children.

The report quoted  the spokesperson of the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption, "Alla Garteson," who said her ministry was happy with the result but could not give details.

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.
  • Monday, March 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Palestine Today admits that the anti-Trump protests and "days of rage" that followed the announcement of the US move of the Israel embassy to Jerusalem never reached any serious levels.

But you'll never guess who they say is to blame for that.

The article on the negative effect that NGOs have on Palestinian society that I've noted in the past couple of days, written for an Islamic Jihad newspaper, adds a very Palestinian twist:

The role of the Palestinian Authority in the field of security coordination and economic policies, as well as harsh Israeli measures, are usually used to understand the low frequency of confrontations in the occupied West Bank. However, the issue of foreign-funded institutions (NGOs), which have been deployed in the Palestinian areas since the beginning of the 1990s is no less a dangerous fasctor. Although it represents a source of income for thousands of Palestinians, in light of unemployment and poor economic conditions, these NGOs are subject to the conditions of the foreign financier, including the signing of a "document of renunciation of resistance and non-incitement" or rejection of "anti-Israel" activities.

...Little by little, a large number [of our young people] found themselves involved in these institutions controlled by the foreigner through the terms of funding, which provided the Israeli enemy with great services, which is to neutralize large numbers of young people from the arena of conflict with him, and their preoccupation with these projects. As a result, there is... a great void and a rift between the factions and the Palestinian society.

This is one of the reasons for the weak participation of the youth in the confrontations following the declaration of US President Donald Trump, the decision of the end of last year, despite the state of boiling anger in the street, the confrontations were fairly major for the first two weeks after the announcement, and then gradually began to fade.... According to statistics we obtained, the largest number of "contact points" with the enemy were recorded the first Friday following the decision of Trump, was 78 points of confrontation, and the level of confrontation gradually decreased and never went past 33 points of contact in the best cases since the beginning of this year.
They are saying that NGOs, many of whom force their employees to sign an anti-terror and anti-incitement pledge, are the ones who are killing the anti-Israel and anti-US protests!

There actually may be something to this.

Fatah has never been able to mobilize the kinds of mass rallies that Islamic Jihad and Hamas have, mostly because Fatah doesn't excite people so much to action, and Palestinian Arabs tend to be more energetic towards explicitly pro-violence messages.

But the danger of losing one's job for participating in these protests with rocks and firebombs is definitely something that will dissuade the employees of American and European NGOs. Remember that when I and UN Watch publicized UNRWA workers' pro-terror Facebook postings, UNRWA threatened the jobs of anyone who embarrassed them this way - and the postings have all but ended.

The NGOs employ tens of thousands, which is only a small percentage of the workforce, but part of the article is showing that youths would rather work for these NGOs - with relatively high salaries in a scarce job market - than join terror organizations like Islamic Jihad. In that narrow sense, these NGOs helping to move the anti-Israel protests from the violent to the political, because these NGOs are invariably anti-Israel and nearly their entire output is anti-Israel reports, some of which make it into the mainstream media and official UN and EU reports.

Palestinian Arabs would be far better served with jobs that actually contributed something to their society. NGO jobs do not give the same sense of pride that one gets from manufacturing or computer programming.

But in the medium term, the desire to make money is a huge incentive in how Palestinians act.

Which is the major reason why the PLO pays salaries to terrorists and their families.

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.
  • Monday, March 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
This was some trip!

Most of the attendees of #Digitell18 with the Minister of Strategic Affairs

The main focus of the trip was the first Digitell conference, where I was honored to be invited with some 60 other influential Israel advocates worldwide to discuss how we can work together to support Israel. It was sponsored by Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs and they actually did it right; not trying to dictate the message but coming up with ways for bloggers, Facebookers, tweeters and other Israel advocates to work together and get resources when necessary from each other.

Other bloggers and I have often discussed how come we can't have a unified message the way the Israel haters usually do. I think the answer is - because we think, and they parrot.

How many times have you seen a video for a BDS group where one person shouts out a phrase in a megaphone and dozens of people mindlessly repeat what the leader says? It only happens because they attract human drones who cannot think for themselves. Pro-Israel advocates, on the other hand, often disagree with each other - because we are thinkers, not followers.

So the challenge is to get us to work together in a way that preserves our independence. I think the conference did a great job going towards that goal.

I also hosted two events of my own in Israel, both put together very quickly (perhaps too quickly.) One was the "Donald Trump: Good for the Jews?" symposium in Jerusalem last Sunday, which I have already posted the videos of, and the other was the live Hasby Awards last Thursday.

The Hasbys were fun. I was hoping for a bigger crowd, but a Thursday night a couple of weeks before Passover in Ramat Gan is perhaps not the ideal time and place for such an event.

The Hasbys have a number of facets. They are an awards show to highlight the best Israel advocates. They are a mini-symposium on the topic of Israel advocacy. They are a means to tell the world about advocates and videos that many might not have heard of otherwise. They are an excuse to get like-minded people who love Israel, from the left and the right, to meet each other. And, this year, Lex Markus also turned them into a small expo of Hasbara organizations, getting a couple of them to set up booths outside the awards themselves.

It will take a little time to edit the Hasby video footage (there are some sound problems, unfortunately.)

Because these events took up almost all of my time, I didn't get the chance to do what I normally do when we come to Israel, which is interviews and exclusive video tours.

I wish I could have stayed longer!

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.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

They came one by one, sometimes in pairs. Quietly they entered the auditorium. Unassuming people, you might not notice if you passed in the street. No external factors could alert you to the fact that these are elite warriors of the mind.

The Hasby Awards, under the auspices of famous blogger Elder of Ziyon, honor and recognize some of Israel’s greatest activists who work tirelessly to defend Israel. Israel has IDF warriors and secret service, security forces taking care of the physical battle. The warriors of the mind are those who have stepped forward to take on the battle of thoughts and emotions which has, in many ways, become more significant than the physical fight.

No member of this group had to take on the task of Israel defense. Sometimes the battle is so difficult, I’m sure many would, at times, like to quit, but we cannot. It is a compulsion.

It is necessary to defend the Land of Israel in order to preserve the Nation of Israel and if we do not do it, who will?

The propaganda machines geared to delegitimizing and ultimately destroying the only Jewish State on earth are enormous. The army of eager Israel haters seems like the number of stars in heaven or the grains of sand on the beach. The ‘useful idiots’ happily going along for the hate-ride, enhanced by the apathetic masses who enable the hatred to grow by not doing anything to stop it, combine to create a formidable force.

On the other hand, stand a small number of people, fighting a ferocious battle. Individuals, driven only by their willpower, talents and … truth.

Will it be enough?

All logic, all reason says – no. Statistics say no. The few against the many, no resources against plentiful, seemingly never-ending resources? It’s impossible.

But this is Israel. WE are Israel and, in this land, in our story, ‘impossible’ is to be read as ‘I’m possible’.

It’s what we do best. And we have thousands of years of proof to back that up.

In one room were gathered people who, each in his or her own way, reflects the light that is Israel. There were those that make the haters quake in their boots, like the grotesque guru himself, Hen Mazzig and the [Unofficial] Mossad Chief. There were people like Richard Landes, the historian who coined the term “Pallywood,” who bring with them the weight of research and academia. There were writers like Varda Epstein, Arnold Roth and Brian of London who combine facts and a love of this land and her people to illuminate the dark corners where hatred lurks with the light of truth. There were those of the younger generation, like Rachel Lester, already making strides in presenting Israel as she really is. (No disrespect meant to the other talented people I have not mentioned!)

Israel Forever booth outside Hasby Awards
I was proud to take part in this special evening as an Elder of Ziyon columnist, the voice of Inspiration from Zion and a representative of the Israel Forever Foundation alongside two up-and-coming fresh talents: artist Lilia Gaufberg and writer Carmel Kaufman. Both made Aliyah and are each doing their part to bring the beauty that is Israel to the world.

The Hasby Awards are awards like any other, for a group of people that are unlike any other. It is not the awards so much that matter, it is the people.

This meeting of the minds, seeing the people behind the talents is a breath of fresh air that enables us to draw strength from each other, go out and continue the battle.

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:

IDF Blog: IDF Thwarts Hamas Attempt to Renew Old Terror Tunnel
Last night, March 17, the IDF thwarted an attempt by Hamas to renew an old terror tunnel directed towards the Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Israel. The IDF has been monitoring the situation and was able to neutralize the tunnel without any casualties whatsoever. All activity took place within Israeli territory. Currently, there’s no immediate threat towards the Kerem Shalom crossing and nearby areas.

This is one of the first times Hamas tried to reuse an old terror tunnel. Hamas attempted to reuse an old tunnel that was discovered in 2014 by building a new one nearby, with the intention to link them together and thereby render the old one usable again. The IDF was able to thwart the attempts to link up with the old terror tunnel before the new one was able to penetrate into Israeli territory.

The tunnel was discovered as part of the operational, intelligence, and technological efforts to locate and neutralize terror tunnels, which has been ongoing since Operation 'Protective Edge,' and has been intensified in the past six months.

In response, the IDF has targeted military complexes in the Gaza Strip belonging to Hamas. This was in response to last night’s discovery in addition to the IED that exploded yesterday adjacent to the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip.

The IDF is not looking for any escalation. All efforts made last night on behalf of the IDF, like always, are done so in order to defend Israel’s sovereignty and keep innocent civilians safe. On the other hand, Hamas invests significant amounts of money, resources, and people in building terror tunnels, and is now attempting to turn the security fence into a new area of friction, instead of using funds and efforts to contribute to the well-being of Gazan civilians.

Netanyahu warns donors Gaza their aid money is being ‘buried’ in tunnels
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the international community that its aid money to the Gaza Strip was being used by terror groups to build tunnels for attacking Israel, hours after the military said it had destroyed two such passages.

“It is time for the international community to recognize that the Gaza aid money is being buried underground,” he added, addressing recent attempts at the UN to raise funds for Gaza, which is facing a severe humanitarian crisis.

The comment came as donor countries and others have worked to raise money for the beleaguered Strip, which UN officials say is facing a crippling shortage of clean water among other ills.

Sunday’s tunnel demolitions took place as tensions between Israel and terror groups in the Palestinian enclave have risen in recent weeks after a number of bombs exploded near IDF patrols along the border, sparking reprisal attacks.

“Our policy is to take determined action against any attempt to harm us and to systematically eliminate the terror tunnel infrastructure, and we shall continue to do so,” Netanyahu said.

JPost Editorial: Stop the race
Of all the flaws of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, perhaps the most glaring was the danger it would set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Proponents of the nuclear deal, such as former US president Barack Obama, insisted that it would not weaken nonproliferation efforts in the region. But none of them was able to answer a simple question: If Iran can enrich uranium now and go even farther in the next decade, why can’t other countries in the Middle East? What makes Iran so special? This is a country responsible for the deaths of US soldiers in Iraq, a supporter of terrorist organizations in Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip, an aggressor that has vowed to “wipe Israel off the map” and that is now entrenching itself in Syria.

By awarding Iran, instead of punishing it, the nuclear deal encourages Iranian aggression. And Iran’s enemies will not stand idly by while it prepares for nuclear capability.

Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman raised the specter of a nuclear arms race breaking out in the Middle East in a rare interview with a US news outlet. Asked by CBS’s Norah O’Donnell whether Saudi Arabia needs nuclear weapons to counter Iran, Muhammad said that if Iran were to develop nuclear bombs, “we would follow suit immediately.”

The prince also compared Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Hitler. “Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening the Middle East.”

The full interview is scheduled to air Sunday on 60 Minutes.

  • Sunday, March 18, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

I find the Jewish Indigeneity Question fascinating.

I recently published an article thanking native American thinker and activist, Ryan Bellerose for advancing the importance of Israel to the Jewish people from an indigenous rights perspective.

Sarah Tuttle-Singer is the New Media editor for the Times of Israel (TOI) and is no fan of Bellerose and Bellerose is no fan of Tuttle-Singer.

That much is certain.

{When these two cross paths they circle one another like a cat facing a pit bull.}

I happen to be - for the moment at least - friendly with both.

Tuttle-Singer recently made Aliyah from Los Angeles and is now raising two children in the Old City. She has taken some pretty terrific photographs from around Jerusalem and seems to have thrown herself into the wilds of Israel with great joyousness.

This last Sunday, March 11, Tuttle-Singer, in a Facebook post, linked to her recent piece entitled, On Passover, I’ll pour out wine for Mahmoud, too

It is an interesting piece.

She describes a dinner that she enjoyed with Muslim friends in the Arab Quarter of the Old City and notes:
Leila doesn’t speak any Hebrew, but Fadi can but he won’t.

“My Hebrew is actually good,” he told me that night we met. “But it’s the principle of the thing.”
The principle of the thing.

What troubles me is that this does not trouble Tuttle-Singer.

She writes:
“I won’t shake your hand,” he tells me when Fadi introduces us. “It isn’t because you’re a Jew or an Israeli, so don’t be offended. I won’t shake your hand because you are a woman – because I am a Muslim man, and we do not shake hands with women that are not our closest relatives or our wives. You know this custom, no? You have it in your own religion.”

We do. And over the years of living here in Israel, I’ve learned when it’s ok to shake hands and when it isn’t.
As a New Yorker and a Californian, I am happy to say that I have never learned any such thing.

As a liberal, I do not condescend to such prejudices.

This insult came from the owner of the restaurant, presumably knowing that he was speaking with a Jewish media person, who also told her with great earnestness:
We are not killers, we are not thieves. We don’t want to hurt you. But we do have a story and that story is our truth, and that story and that truth is we were here first, and you took our land and you kicked us out of our houses and we are yearning to return. (My emphasis.)
In the Facebook thread beneath her link to that post I wrote:
Well, thankfully, history as a field of knowledge does not deal in personal truths. There is no "our truth" or "it is true for me."
Sarah responded with an elegant, "Really?"

Yes, my friend, really.

A Historiographical Snippet

History as a field of knowledge resides at the crux of the Humanities and the Social Sciences and is, thus by necessity, interpretive.

This is why there is always a significant element of subjectivity within even the most scrupulously professional historical narratives. Nonetheless, for a narrative to be a historical narrative it must be grounded in something that closely resembles the truth of the past.

We do not simply get to make up our own "narratives" as the Palestinian-Arab leadership has done, and then insist that ahistorical nonsense be taken seriously.

No field of knowledge works in such a manner because the lights would not go on and the aeroplanes would never fly.

For example, I cannot claim that Richard Nixon was the President of the United States during World War II and then demand that people respect my narrative.

It is for this very same reason that Mahmoud Abbas should not stand up before the UN Security Council, and be taken seriously, as he did on February 20, 2018, and claim that Palestinian-Arabs “are the descendants of the Canaanites that lived in Palestine 5,000 years ago.”

People can say whatever they want, but we are under no obligation to take poisonous nonsense seriously and we shouldn't.

The Discussion

In response, Tuttle-Singer claimed, "narrative can determine whether there is peace or whether there isn't."

I get her point, I suppose, but I must wonder what kind of stable and lasting peace can the Jewish people hope for if that peace is grounded in falsehoods that erase Jewish history?

Furthermore, the notion that the Jewish people stole the land from the "indigenous" Arab population is so obviously false as to hardly need refutation.

Part of what made this online exchange interesting, however, was that a gentleman with significant historical credentials took the lead on Tuttle-Singer's side of the discussion. He reminded me that the winners write the history books - which, by the way, is no longer the case in the West - and that all history is told from personal perspectives and ideological perspectives and that "Jewish history is a perfect example for a mix of historical fact - and religious-infused fiction."

I then asked this gentleman:
Does any group of people have a greater claim to indigeneity to the land between the River and the Sea than do the Jewish people?
His response is worth quoting in full:
I never participated in the silly game of "who was here first?" and "who was here longer?" Because - independent of who plays it - at its core, it is never an attempt to prove one's own roots in this soil. It is always an attempt to prove that the "other" has less rights, less roots, should be ignored, needs to leave - or at least accept the rule of his adversary. The same applies to the even sillier game of "whose side can claim to be a real people and whose side is an invented people."

What is the desired end-result of these debates? That Mohammed, whose family has been living here for 500 or 1000 years, gets the idea that Jews had a temple around 2000 years ago - and another one before that - and that he and his fellow Palestinians agree that they are not really Palestinians, hand you the keys to the Temple Mount and proceed to pack their bags and leave these parts?  
What is it for the other side? That David, whose family has been dreaming of returning to the Holy Land for 2000 years will agree that he is not really Jewish, but a colonizing occupier, that his rights here have expired long ago - and then proceed to move back wherever his parents of grandparents came from?

Honestly, it is depressingly sad to see so many intelligent minds, who could spend their time improving this country that has so many other problems - wasting it on these decade-old silly debates and attempts to win an argument.

The simple fact is that both sides feel a deep connection to this land and both sides have a right to feel it. So all those intelligent minds should get busy and develop concepts for peaceful coexistence. Those who do - and there are people here who have worked on that for decades despite all the frustrations - have my respect. The others - well - I (and I think Sarah does the same) am trying to convince them to stop being part of the problem - and become part of the solution.
Indigeneity, of course, is not about "the silly game of 'who was here first?'"

Indigeneity refers to the roots of a culture and the people who comprise that culture in all of its branches... even including New York Jews who live in California.

The Jewish people are the indigenous people to the Land of Israel because that is the place where our ancestors forged the beginnings of a multivariant culture and cultivated the Hebrew language and the Jewish religion and those other aspects that bring us together as one.

From a practical standpoint, however, this scholar asked an important question:
What is the desired end-result of these debates?
The desired result cannot be to convince Arabs that they should respect Israel as the indigenous homeland of the Jewish people.

I agree, that this is simply not going to happen... history or no history, because the "Palestinian narrative" will not permit.

However, we can stop equivocating in the face of the enemies of the Jewish people, and their congresses and parliaments and advocates, yes, even restauranteurs.

The truth, of course, is that the "Palestinian narrative" of pristine victimhood is nonsense.

The Jewish people are a people who remain under siege within the very home of our ancestry.

What we can do is bang that truth into the skulls of the European Union, the United Nations, the Democratic Party, and, at long last, the US Department of State.

Until we stand up for ourselves, no one else is going to do so.

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.
  • Sunday, March 18, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 2010, I reported on an actually useful UNRWA program to build houses out of bricks made with local materials. This way, houses (apparently only single story)  could be built without worries about importing materials that Israel restricts because they could also be used for terror tunnels.

I have no idea what happened to that program, because it sounded like one of the few things UNRWA does that was actually useful.

Now there are reports that a new commercial market is being built in Gaza out of the same kinds of materials. It is due to open in a few months.

These sorts of stories of good news from Gaza don't get mentioned in the media - because they show that Gazans can be their own agents of change, and that story contradicts the meme of Israel - and only Israel - being responsible for Gaza misery. The PA, Egypt, Hamas, and Gazans cannot be considered to have any responsibility for their own well-being.

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.
  • Sunday, March 18, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
A single phrase in an article on the thousands of NGOs in the territories, written for the Islamic Jihad mouthpiece Palestine Today, is pretty telling:

While Hamas in Gaza was closing down any institution with the titles "coexistence and peace" or forcing others to make a "detailed disclosure" of its financial accounts,...
I'd love to hear what the Hamas apologists throughout the years who have bent over backwards to pretend that the group was actually interested in peace have to say about this!

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, March 17, 2018

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Ellison ‘Has to Be Fired Immediately’ From DNC
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz on Friday said Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) should "be fired immediately" as Democratic National Committee deputy chairman for falsely claiming he had ended his relationship with Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Dershowitz joined "Fox & Friends" to discuss his new book, The Case Against BDS: Why Singling Out Israel for Boycott Is Anti-Semitic and Anti-Peace. Co-host Steve Doocy introduced the topic of Farrakhan's contraversial relationship with some members of the Democratic party, first playing a compilation of clips where the Nation of Islam leader slams Jews and white people as "satanic" and deserving to die.

"I hear the Jews don't like Farrakhan, so they call me [Adolf] Hitler. Well that's a good name. Hitler was a very great man…Your country has been taken from you by the synagogue of satan… The satanic Jews… Because you see white people deserve to die… White folks are going down," Farrakhan said.

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked Dershowitz, a lifelong Democrat and supporter of Hillary Clinton, whether he thought that more Democrats should speak out against Farrakhan and separate themselves from his views.

"I think Keith Ellison has to be fired immediately as the deputy chairman of the DNC. Not only has he become close to Farrakhan, but he's lied to the American public about ending his relationship with Farrakhan," Dershowitz said. "We know that he continued to meet with Farrakhan even after he said he longer met with him. This is the leadership of the Democratic Party. Farrakhan is a bigot. He is far worse than David Duke. Why? Because Farrakhan has a large following. David Duke is a joke.

Karl Marx’s Jew-Hating Conspiracy Theory
When God became sidelined as the source of ultimate meaning, “the people” became both the new deity and the new messianic force of the new order. In other words, instead of worshipping some unseen force residing in Heaven, people started worshipping themselves. This is what gave nationalism its spiritual power, as the volksgeist, people’s spirit, replaced the Holy Spirit. The tribal instinct to belong to a sacralized group took over. In this light, we can see how romantic nationalism and “globalist” Marxism are closely related. They are both “re-enchantment creeds,” as the philosopher-historian Ernest Gellner put it. They fill up the holes in our souls and give us a sense of belonging and meaning.

For Marx, the inevitable victory of Communism would arrive when the people, collectively, seized their rightful place on the Throne of History.11 The cult of unity found a new home in countless ideologies, each of which determined, in accord with their own dogma, to, in Voegelin’s words, “build the corpus mysticum of the collectivity and bind the members to form the oneness of the body.” Or, to borrow a phrase from Barack Obama, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

In practice, Marxist doctrine is more alienating and dehumanizing than capitalism will ever be. But in theory, it conforms to the way our minds wish to see the world. There’s a reason why so many populist movements have been so easily herded into Marxism. It’s not that the mobs in Venezuela or Cuba started reading The Eighteenth Brumaire and suddenly became Marxists. The peasants of North Vietnam did not need to read the Critique of the Gotha Program to become convinced that they were being exploited. The angry populace is always already convinced. The people have usually reached the conclusion long ago. They have the faith; what they need is the dogma. They need experts and authority figures—priests!—with ready-made theories about why the masses’ gut feelings were right all along. They don’t need Marx or anybody else to tell them they feel ripped off, disrespected, exploited. They know that already. The story Marxists tell doesn’t have to be true. It has to be affirming. And it has to have a villain. The villain, then and now, is the Jew.
'Jerusalem is not holy to Muslims, enough with this lie!'
Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein spoke on Thursday night at the National Council of Young Israel's annual dinner, debunking the myth that Jerusalem is holy to Muslims.

"Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, under King David, 3,000 years ago," Klein said. "It was never, ever, the capital of any other nation except Israel. When the Arabs conquered Palestine in 716, they made Ramla their capital, not Jerusalem."

"The Jewish holy books mention Jerusalem 700 times. it is never, ever mentioned in the Quran. Even about Mohammed allegedly going from Jerusalem to heaven, in the Quran...this is described as a dream. He simply has a dream, and it says he went 'from the farthest place to heaven.' ... And the nearest place, in the Quran, is Palestine. So clearly, it was not from Jerusalem."

Klein also noted that the Arabs, historically, have not cared enough to invest in Jerusalem.

"When the Arabs controlled Jerusalem from 1948-1967, when Jordan controlled it, they built everything of importance in Amman, not in Jerusalem," he said. "They allowed it to be a slum. There was no water, no electricity, no plumbing there. They destroyed the 58 synagogues in eastern Jerusalem."

Calling on his listeners to help debunk the lies, Klein said, "We must now tell everyone: It is not holy to Muslims, enough with this lie! Enough with the lie of occupation, there is no occupation, this is Jewish land, enough of the lie that settlements are the reason we have no peace. Settlements comprise 2% of all Judea and Samaria, there hasn't been a single new settlement built since 1993."

  • Saturday, March 17, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
As if language hasn't been cheapened enough, here is a translation of part of a press release by the Palestinian Ministry of Information:
The Ministry of Information considers the Israeli campaign to convince the world to transfer their embassies to occupied Jerusalem, in continuation of the violation of international law and in defiance of the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly on Jerusalem as an occupied territory.

"The contacts made by the the occupation about the lobbying of other countries besides the United States and Guatemala are in violation of international law prove that Israel is not only violating international law but also practicing political terrorism," the statement said.
Seriously. Asking governments to move an embassy to your capital is "political terrorism."

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  • Saturday, March 17, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Palestine Today has a long article complaining about the NGOs in the territories. There is a lot f information there, so I will be dividing this up into several posts in order to highlight the important topics that could get lost otherwise.

Palestine Today is a media arm of Islamic Jihad, and the article lists a number of complaints against the 4010 estimated NGOs that are working in the territories as of the end of 2016. They compete against each other. There is an entire market that popped up to help people get jobs and present proposals to the NGOs in order to get funding. The NGOs provide 41,000 jobs and bring in $1.5 billion annually.

I knew there were thousands of NGOs dominating the territories, but I didn't know it was this many.

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.

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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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