Anti-Zionism is is a form of hatred

Anti-Zionism discriminates against Jews

Zionism is the right of Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. This right of self-determination, that many in the anti-Zionist camp want for Palestinians or would want for other peoples, they would deny to Jewish people.

Reprinted from Daily Alert, May 12, 2022

  • Time for Tough Measures Against Anti-Semitism – Amb. David Friedman
    Incidents of anti-Semitism in the U.S. have risen to record highs. America is a great nation because of the Judeo-Christian values upon which it was founded. An American nation that is inhospitable to Jews is no longer a great nation. Anti-Semitism thus poses an existential risk to our country.
    We must step up our efforts to confront and defeat anti-Semites rather than trying to win their “hearts and minds.” Anti-Semites don’t have “hearts and minds” and certainly not both.
    Virtually every American university is hostile to Israel and no pro-Israel professor has a chance for tenure. At the highest levels of American education, our “best and brightest” are taught to hate Israel.
    Those combatting anti-Semitism are mostly engaged in defensive tactics that betray fear and insecurity. But we will not defeat anti-Semitism by only playing defense. It’s time to go on offense.
    1) Demand that anti-Semites be held accountable. Step up law enforcement. Insist on a robust, well-publicized presence of undercover officers to patrol the streets dressed in traditional Jewish garb. Let every violent thug wonder when he attacks a Jew whether he might be attacking a cop.
    2) Demand equal rights for Jews. Jews remain a minority, subject to oppression and discrimination, and unchecked anti-Semitism ultimately affects everyone.
    3) Stand with Israel. Zionism is an integral component of the Jewish faith. All three major streams of Judaism – Orthodox, Conservative and Reform – contain prayers for God to restore the Jewish people to Zion (a synonym for Jerusalem) and the Land of Israel. While 42% of the nations of the world have an official or preferred religion, only Israel – the one Jewish state – is singled out for attack, even though it meticulously strives to ensure access of all faiths to their holy sites.
    The writer served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel. (Fox News)
  • Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism? – ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt interviewed by Isaac Chotiner
    Zionism is the right of Jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland. This right of self-determination, that many in the anti-Zionist camp want for Palestinians or would want for other peoples, they would deny to Jewish people. Unless you support denying the legitimacy of any national project from France to Ukraine, if you hold the idea that Zionism is the only form of nationalism that’s wrong, that’s discriminating against Jewish people. That’s anti-Semitism.
    Anti-Zionism is a new hue of a very old color. Jews have been delegitimized for centuries. For thousands of years, we have heard that Judaism isn’t a real religion. The Jews aren’t a real people. The Jews don’t really deserve rights. Today, the subject of derision is the Jewish state, not the Jewish people. But it is an old practice.
    There’s nothing wrong with having a passion for your homeland. Italian Americans have that, Irish Americans have that, Chinese American people have that. Zionism isn’t something that David Ben-Gurion or Theodor Herzl came up with. It has been embedded in the faith and the traditions of Judaism for thousands of years. If you peel back the layers in anti-Zionism, it is a historic form of delegitimization targeting Jews. It’s the same architecture of intolerance that’s been there for centuries. (New Yorker)
Observations:

The Only Response to Anti-Zionism Is Zionism – Dr. Einat Wilf (Tablet)

  • I now hear from parents in the American Jewish community of the ever-growing demands placed on young Jews to join the ranks of anti-Israel organizations. The demand on young Jews to be less visibly and confidently Jewish as the price of social acceptance and toleration is an ancient one. Today it includes demands to disavow support for Israel or declare support for Palestinian political movements.
  • I confronted this demand myself 25 years ago, when I was a member of Israel’s Labor Party and a proud member of the country’s political left. I also remained a committed Zionist, a set of values and principles that in no way contradicted any of my other political beliefs. Yet several encounters with peers and colleagues abroad led to the eventual realization that the fact that I was an unapologetic Zionist banished me from the good graces of the global left.
  • I never changed my opinion about Zionism. I simply gave up my status as a “good Jew” in the opinions of others. At present, a Jewish student who does not show herself to be an ally of Students for Justice in Palestine, or does not agree that “Zionism equals racism,” or that Zionism is a form of apartheid and whatever other supreme evil will be identified next, cannot be considered a good Jew.
  • Over the last several months, as a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, I taught a course called “Zionism and Anti-Zionism.” In the many hours I spent discussing student life with students and faculty, it became apparent that the anti-Zionist activism on campus was not primarily a form of social protest or political expression, but a form of bullying. The only effective response to the bullies is to resist them with confidence.
  • It’s hard to bully a proud people; it’s impossible to bully a people who know they have nothing to be ashamed of, and who don’t need or seek anyone else’s approval in the first place. The only response to anti-Zionism, in other words, is Zionism.

    The writer, a former IDF intelligence officer and Knesset member, is the co-author of The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace (2020).

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Dead Sea provides evidence of climate change phases

jpost.com

Dead Sea sediment analyses show 15,000-year-old climate phase periods

In highly sensitive regions such as the Eastern Mediterranean, where water availability is an important factor for socioeconomic and political development, it is crucial to understand how the water cycle is changing. Geologists can achieve this by assessing strong hydroclimatic changes that occurred several millennia ago.

By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

While blessed rains since December have filled the Kinneret almost to the top, anyone who has viewed the Dead Sea over recent decades has noticed how it has shrunk, with dangerous sinkholes developing around its circumference.

The level of the Dead Sea is currently dropping by more than a meter every year. But this is not new, according to German and Israeli researchers who maintain that the level of the salty lake also dropped millennia ago. At the end of the last ice age, for example, the water level dropped by 250 meters within a few thousand years.

A study just published under the title “Phases of stability during major hydroclimate change ending the Last Glacial in the Levant” in the journal Scientific Reports provides new insights into this process. Due to its pivotal location as the cradle of ancient cultural developments, climatic reconstructions using Dead Sea sediments explain causes for human migration as well as cultural rises and declines.

Dr. Daniela Müller and Prof. Achim Brauer from the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam, together with Dr. Yoav Ben Dor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studied 15,000-year-old sediments from the Dead Sea and the surrounding area using newly developed methods. With unprecedented accuracy, they showed that the long period of drought was interrupted by wet periods lasting 10 to 100 years. This also offers new insights into the settlement history of this region, which enables better assessments of current and future developments driven by climate change, they wrote.

In highly sensitive regions such as the Eastern Mediterranean, where water availability is an important factor for socioeconomic and political development, it is crucial to understand how the water cycle is changing. Geologists can achieve this by assessing strong hydroclimatic changes that occurred several millennia ago, they said. For example, during the transition from the last ice age to the Holocene, the water level of Lake Lisan dropped by about 240 meters in the period from 24,000 to 11,000 years ago, eventually leading to its transition into today’s Dead Sea.

 A VIEW OF the Dead Sea. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)

A VIEW OF the Dead Sea. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)

The sediments at the edge of Lake Lisan near the archaeological site of Masada and from the bottom of the Dead Sea are unique witnesses to this development, the authors continued. New, high-resolution analytical methods including x-ray fluorescence scanners, were developed for the study at the GFZ to collect precise information from the stratification of the sediments and their geochemical composition.

To prepare the sediments for analysis, the moisture had to be removed by freeze-drying, a complicated task given the Dead Sea’s high salt content and its affinity for water. The sediments are then impregnated in synthetic resin and thin sections were made from them without changing their microstructure.

The researchers found out that the dramatic, long-term drop in the lake level due to increasing dryness was interrupted several times by wetter phases when climate change took breaks. “We were able for the first time to precisely determine the duration of these phases with several decades and in one case up to centuries by counting annual layers in the sediment,” said lead author Müller. The exact reason for these pauses in the climate change of this region still remain elusive, but the team suspected possible links to the climate in the north Atlantic Ocean.

“What was particularly surprising was that during these wetter phases, in some cases over several decades, we did not even find any traces of extreme floods, which are typical for this region even today and during wetter times in the past,” Müller explained.

These results are of further interest for archaeological considerations, they wrote, because they coincide with the time when the Natufian culture settled in this region 11,500 to 15,000 years ago. “Climatically stable phases could have favored the cultural developments,” they said.

“The study shows that strong climatic changes in the past have been very dynamic and included phases of relative stability,” Brauer concluded. “We learn from this that climate change is not linear, but that phases of strong changes alternate with calm phases.”

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Evolutionary Theory raises questions

theepochtimes.com

As Science Develops, More Holes Show up in Evolutionary Theory

More than 1,100 scientists and researchers in chemistry, biology, medicine, physics, geology, anthropology, paleontology, statistics, and other fields have signed a scientific dissenting statement against Darwinism. The statement says, “We are skeptical that ‘random variation’ and ‘natural selection’ can explain the complexity of life. A serious review of the evidence for Darwinism should be encouraged.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Scientific_Dissent_from_Darwinism

BY Health 1+1 and Dr. Yuhong Dong, April 25, 2022

Reprinted from Epoch Times
Dr. Yuhong Dong, medical doctor and Ph.D in infectious diseases, is the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of a Swiss biotech company and former Senior Medical Scientific Expert for Antiviral Drug Development in Novartis Pharma in Switzerland.

Even though evolution has long been included in science textbooks, it is still a controversial topic.

First, evolution is a hypothesis, not an axiom.

Biologist Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution in 1859. At that time, Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” to explain biodiversity on earth and the origin of life. He said that “evolution theory is only a hypothesis, it is not an axiom, it needs to be further verified by future generations.”

There are several central points in the theory of evolution:

1. Common ancestor theory: Organisms can evolve from one species to another. All organisms have a common ancestor, just as all branches of a tree grow from the same trunk. Single-celled organisms can evolve into multicellular organisms, and then into animals, plants, and fungi, and develop into various phyla, orders, families, genera, and species.

2. Gene mutations: Genes can mutate. It’s how organisms evolve.

3. Natural selection: The natural environment brings pressure to the species. The ones that can adapt to the environment can survive. The strong can survive, the weak are eliminated.

However, as of April 2020, more than 1,100 scientists and researchers in chemistry, biology, medicine, physics, geology, anthropology, paleontology, statistics, and other fields have signed a scientific dissenting statement against Darwinism. The statement says, “We are skeptical that ‘random variation’ and ‘natural selection’ can explain the complexity of life. A serious review of the evidence for Darwinism should be encouraged.”

Why do scientists question evolution?

Q1. Life originates from the “same ancestor”? What about the missing link in the evolution chain?

We often hear that “humans evolved from apes.” The theory of evolution suggests that humans and monkeys share a common ancestor —”apes” or “hominids”—and that humans first evolved from plants to animals, apes, and finally to modern humans—”Homo sapiens.” If this is the case, the evolutionary process must have created countless generations of intermediate species with minimal differences. But so far, no such intermediate species have been found in archaeology, and all creatures are of their own kind. No hypothetical “ape” ancestor has been found.

Epoch Times Photo
The missing link in evolution. (Health 1+1)

Some so-called “human ancestors” fossils are actually made up of bone fragments, which are not scientifically sound and do not provide complete proof that humans evolved from apes.

Epoch Times Photo

“Lucy,” discovered in East Africa in 1974, was considered the common ancestor of humans and apes—the “Ape Ancestor.”

Many scientists have studied Lucy’s skeleton and structure.

The main difference between apes and humans is the structure of the skeleton. In a paper in the American Journal of Anthropology, anatomists Jack Stern and Randall Sussman of the New York State University Health Sciences Center noted that Lucy’s hands and feet are not at all like those of humans, whose knees and hands and feet are straight, while Lucy’s knees and hands and feet are curved.

Dr. Charles Oxnard, professor of anatomy and human biology at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and professor at the University of Chicago and the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, wrote in his 1987 book published by the University of Washington Press “Fossils, Teeth, and Sex: New Perspectives on Human Evolution” that Lucy had nothing to do with the ancestors of humans, but was a type of extinct ape of the “southern archaeopteryx Alfalfa species,” which had the long, curved fingers and toes typical of arboreal primates.

Despite this, Lucy was made into a statue, with human hands and feet, and placed in the park.

Epoch Times Photo
(Health 1+1)

The Piltdown Ape was a fossil found in England between 1908 and 1915, and was described at the time as the “missing link” in the evolution of apes into homo sapiens. In November 1953, Time magazine published various evidence collected by Kenneth Page Oakley, Sir Wilfrid Edward Le Gros Clark, and Joseph S. Weiner, among others, that the fossil was made up of three different species: the skull of a medieval human, the jaws of a 500-year-old Sarawak orangutan, and the teeth of a chimpanzee. The skull was stained with rust and chromic acid; microscopic examination revealed filing marks on the teeth, which led to the conclusion that chimpanzee teeth had been modified to fit human teeth, thus uncovering the truth about the Piltdown apes, which a BBC article called “the biggest hoax in British history.”

The Java man discovered in 1891 was the combination of a skull, a femur, and three teeth. Later, scientists discovered that Java man was also made up of bones from different species.

Peking Man was an “upright man” discovered in Zhoukoudian, Beijing, China, between 1920 and 1930. It was considered strong proof of the existence of the ancestor of both humans and apes. However, it was merely a patchwork of skull fragments, teeth, and so on. Many scientists suspect that the brain of the Beijing man was so small that it was not like an ape’s and more like “an ape that was hunted and eaten by humans.”

Q2. Evolution of species relies on “gene mutation”? There’s not enough time in the universe!

Based on the theory of evolution, a certain gene mutation in the original species is required for the species to evolve. While most gene mutations are harmful, the probability of a beneficial mutation is only about 1 in 1000.

Then, the mutation must not only be compatible with other genes in the original species itself, but also survive natural competition and be able to reproduce. The chance for a mutated but beneficial gene to be stable and expanding in the population is almost zero.

Let’s assume that 10 beneficial mutations (in fact, more than 10 are needed) are required for a species to evolve into a new species, and the time needed is 10 to the power of 97 years. However, we now know that the age of the universe is only 20 billion years, which is 10 to the power of 10 years, so it is almost impossible to produce a new species by genetic mutation. The universe literally doesn’t have enough time for evolution.

Q3. Nature is always the “survival of the fittest”? 

Another major point of evolution is “survival of the fittest,” that the more adaptable individuals will survive. However, do all organisms in nature really follow this rule?

The journal Nature published a study of drug resistance of bacteria by scientists at Boston University and Harvard University. They found that some strains of bacteria with strong drug resistance would sacrifice themselves to increase the overall drug resistance of the bacteria, thus improving its chances to survive. In other words, nature does not exactly follow the cruel competition law of “survival of the fittest;” even microscopic bacteria display self-sacrificing altruistic behavior.

People thought that atoms were indivisible until 1897 when British physicist Sir JJ Thomson discovered that atoms could be divided. The development of science requires constant updating of the old concepts. It is only natural that the theory of evolution, which was proposed in 1859, should be questioned today.

So, if evolution is not reliable, what else do we know about the origin of species?

Epoch Times Photo

Before the Cambrian period, there was a paucity of biological diversity.

However, in 1909, Walcott found fossils of a variety of marine animals in the Burgess Shale in Canada that suddenly appeared in large numbers during the Cambrian period (about 570 to 500 million years ago).

The “fossil group of Chengjiang, China” also indicates that 530 million years ago, many different kinds of animals suddenly appeared in Chengjiang area. The Cambrian fossils found around the world belong to a total of more than 50 families and tens of thousands of species. They leave no trace of evolution or changes, hence the name the “Great Explosion of Life.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Health 1+1)

According to the theory of evolution, life originated in the ocean, and the diversity of species is the result of evolution over a long period of time. That is to say, humans evolved from fish. However, the following study completely negated this view.

In 2018, Mark Stoeckle from Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler from the University of Basel in Switzerland published a joint study in the journal Human Evolution. Together with hundreds of researchers worldwide, they studied 100,000 animal species and 5 million DNA fragments.

As we know, like the way each item in the supermarket has its own barcode, each species on Earth has a corresponding DNA “barcode” in the mitochondrial gene. By analyzing the “genetic barcodes” of different species on Earth and comparing the variability among them, scientists have deduced that 90 percent of the species on Earth today, including humans, appeared at the same time 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

A number of physicists have suggested the possibility of the existence of civilizations higher than that of humans, and that the environment in which humans live may have been created by higher beings. In that case, is it possible that so many beings with sophisticated functions were also created by higher beings?

We expect that with the continuous development and improvement of science, human understanding of the phenomenon of life will become clearer and clearer, and these mysteries will be solved slowly.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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Palestinian violence against Jews

Palestinians justify violence against Jews

Palestinian terror against Israelis is intentional violence rooted in deep hatred. Until Western leaders connect Palestinian terror to the anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist propaganda that emanates from Palestinian society, peace and reconciliation will remain delusional pipe dreams.

Reprinted from Daily Alert, April 11, 2022

  • Violence Poses a Threat to Boosting Palestinian Quality of Life – Dov Lieber
    Terrorist attacks on civilians are testing Israel’s U.S.-backed policy of trying to improve Palestinian quality of life. Four attacks against civilians in different cities in central and southern Israel have left 14 victims dead. While Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have been moribund for almost a decade, Israel is seeking to manage the century-old conflict with the Palestinians through trust-building and economic measures.
    Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has warned Palestinians that the attacks threaten Israel’s efforts to improve their quality of life, especially over Ramadan. (Wall Street Journal)
    See also Al-Aqsa Worshippers Enjoy Peaceful Friday Prayer – Mohammed Najib
    About 50,000 Palestinians peacefully performed the first Friday prayer of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem following Thursday’s attack in Tel Aviv that left three Israelis killed. Four of the 15 people injured in the attack are in serious condition.
    A high-ranking Palestinian security officer told Arab News that the recent attacks in Israel constituted a “pivotal shift,” with attackers switching from knives to guns. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
  • What Set Off the Palestinian Terror Wave in Israel – Benjamin Kerstein
    The current wave of Palestinian violence may have been caused, ironically, by peace – the Abraham Accords and the growing acceptance of Israel by many Arab states. The Palestinians desire to somehow deal themselves back into the game, to avoid becoming irrelevant.
    A great deal of their situation is the Palestinians’ own fault. Had they accepted Ehud Barak’s peace offer in 2000, they would have already had a state for 22 years. Instead, they chose a campaign of terrorist atrocities that mortally wounded the peace process.
    After two decades of low-intensity conflict, missile fire and periodic mayhem by the Palestinians, Israelis today are even less likely to give up on what little strategic depth they have in hopes of peace with an enemy they do not trust. (New York Post)
  • Palestinian Terror Is Not “Senseless” – David Suissa
    After a Palestinian terrorist murdered three Israelis in Tel Aviv last week, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the U.S. “stands resolutely in the face of senseless terrorism and violence.” But is the violence really senseless?
    The terrorists think their terror has a purpose. If you despise Jews and think they don’t belong in the Middle East, killing them gives you purpose. And if you fall for the propaganda from your corrupt leaders that Jews will soon take over your holy Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, killing Jews is anything but senseless. Since the birth of Israel, virtually every act of violence against the Jewish state has been connected to an overarching belief among Palestinians that Jews don’t belong in this region, regardless of any legitimate claims of a Jewish connection to the land.
    Palestinian terror against Israelis is intentional violence rooted in deep hatred. Until Western leaders connect Palestinian terror to the anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist propaganda that emanates from Palestinian society, peace and reconciliation will remain delusional pipe dreams. It is treating intentional terror as senseless that is really senseless. (Los Angeles Jewish Journal)
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Jordan prospers from peace

thehill.com

‘Warmer’ peace with Israel offers Jordan better economic dividends

One “fruit of peace” with Israel, according to the Tony Blair Institute, “was the start of a process that led to a series of international trade agreements and placed Jordan on a path of accelerated, export-driven economic growth.”

Hussain Abdul-Hussain and Enia Krivine, opinion contributors

For the first time in seven years, the Jordanian royal court recently released a photo of King Abdullah II meeting with an Israeli official, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Jan. 5 in Amman. This gesture is a clear indication that relations between the two neighboring countries are warming up again. After a decade of sluggish growth and falling standards of living, Jordan likely wants to capture a bigger share of the growing pie of Arab economic cooperation with Israel.

U.S. legislators from both parties recently launched a bipartisan House-Senate caucus that would be a “cheerleading squad” for the Abraham Accords, signed last year between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

In the first year of peace between Israel and the UAE, bilateral trade reached $700 million. In 2020, bilateral trade between Israel and Jordan stood at $250 million, 27 years after they had signed a peace treaty. These numbers suggest that Jordan has much to gain by moving beyond the “cold peace” it has with Israel and embracing the accords.

In December, Israel and Jordan signed an agreement to facilitate Jordanian exports to the West Bank. The deal’s ambitious goal is to increase the total from $150 million to $700 million a year. In July, Israel agreed to increase its annual supply of fresh water to its eastern neighbor by 50 million cubic meters, doubling the previous figure. The UAE brokered a deal in which Jordan produces solar energy for the Israeli market, and Israel reciprocates by desalinating Mediterranean water for supply to Jordan.

Israel’s peace with Jordan remains colder than expected because some Jordanians see the agreement as a political necessity rather than a true opportunity. They argue that relations with Israel should remain a purely government-to-government affair, rather than a bond between two peoples. Some even argue that while peace is net positive for the Israeli economy, it is a net negative for Arab economies.

The data say otherwise. One “fruit of peace” with Israel, according to the Tony Blair Institute, “was the start of a process that led to a series of international trade agreements and placed Jordan on a path of accelerated, export-driven economic growth.”

The institute observed that during “the 2000s the Jordanian economy grew at an average real rate of 6 percent a year. Jordanian exports of goods increased fourfold, from $2 billion in 2000 to $8 billion in 2008. Jordan’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita more than doubled, and unemployment declined from 15 to 12 percent, despite an annual 5 percent growth in the Jordanian workforce.”

Because of its political stability and economic growth, Jordan attracted Iraqi immigrants, followed by waves of Syrian and Iraqi refugees starting in 2011. The population of Jordan has thus doubled over the past decade, putting pressure on the economy. The wars in Iraq and Syria have also interrupted regional trade and tourism, a further drag on the Jordanian economy. Over the past decade, the economy has grown by only a bit more than 2 percent per year, while per capita GDP has fallen significantly.

The road ahead for Jordan will be difficult, but the Abraham Accords offer Amman the opportunity to collect more dividends of peace. The bigger the volume of trade in goods and services between Israel and Arab countries, the bigger the regional economic pie and the bigger share Jordan can capture for its own economy.

One positive sign is that Israeli tourism in Jordan is on the rise as more Israelis choose to vacation in Aqaba — a Jordanian resort town on the Red Sea — over Israel’s Eilat. And since Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula — once a popular escape for Israeli vacationers — has become riskier due to a surge of Islamist terrorism, Jordan has become the best alternative.

Leaders in Egypt, until recently the only other Arab country with a peace treaty with Israel, have recognized the opportunity to forge deeper economic ties and have been trying to turn their country’s “cold peace” with Israel into a warmer one.

In September, Abdul-Fattah al-Sissi became the first Egyptian president to openly meet with an Israeli prime minister in a decade. In October, Egyptian airlines announced that it will fly its trips to and from Israel under its own name, 39 years after flying under the guise of the non-existent airliner Sinai Air. In November, Israeli generals visited Sinai for a rare public meeting with their Egyptian counterparts.

When Arab countries launched their boycott of Israel in 1948, they reasoned that such policy would result in Israel dying off. But Israel survived. Enforcement of the boycott became inconsistent during the 1990s, when Israel seemed to be approaching peace with the Palestinians. Yet until the Abraham Accords, the notion of a true partnership with Israel still seemed out of bounds. The accords offer the Jordanian economy an opportunity for further integration into the regional economy of Arab countries that are living at peace with Israel, and therefore more growth.

America and its allies can do more to help Jordan economically. At $38 billion, or 90 percent of its GDP, Jordan’s national debt is surging, while debt service is consuming money that could be invested in productive sectors. A donor conference could offer Amman assistance and low interest loans that could help tame its debt. As the past three decades have shown, investing in Jordan does more to stabilize the region, both politically and economically, than trying to fix some of the country’s troubled neighbors.

Hussain Abdul-Hussain is a research fellow and Enia Krivine is the senior director of the Israel Program and National Security Network at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (@FDD), a nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy. Follow Hussain on Twitter @hahussain and Enia @EKrivine

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Hamas is a world threat

asianage.com

 Why Hamas is a threat to Israel, to the world and to Palestinians

Hamas staunchly opposes peace and coexistence, with its stated goal being the destruction of Israel. Instead of providing for the welfare of Gaza’s citizens, Hamas uses its resources to increase its military capabilities, benefit its own members, and pursue its goal of wiping the Jewish state off the map. 


Hamas is a radical Islamist terrorist organisation, the Palestinian equivalent of the Islamic State, or ISIS

Thirty-two-year-old Soumya Santosh from Idukki district in Kerala had been working in Israel for the last seven years. On May 10, 2021, tragedy struck when a Hamas rocket hit the house she had been working in as a caregiver in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon. She was on a video call with her husband in India when the initial Hamas rocket barrage began on the city. People ran for cover to the nearest rocket shelters. But some could not make it in time.

One such person was Soumya Santosh, who was killed immediately, while the elderly woman in her charge was hospitalised in serious condition. The nearest rocket shelter was at least a minute’s run away from their house and the pair were unable to reach it in time.

Soumya Santosh is survived by her husband and a nine-year-old son. There are many people like her, some foreigners, others Israelis, who would be alive today were it not for indiscriminate terror attacks by Hamas. There are many families and friends who have lost their loved ones because of Hamas operatives, who continue to take innocent lives in Israel.

Eli Kay, a young new immigrant from South Africa, wanted to live when he was shot down by a Hamas gunman on his way to the Western Wall. Khalil Awad and his 16-year-old daughter Nadin also wanted to live when a Hamas rocket fired from Gaza directly hit their home. Five-year-old Ido Abigail was killed by another Hamas rocket. Israeli teenagers Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali certainly wanted to live when they were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria.

We all believe in peace. We believe that even in the midst of the bitter animosities in the Middle East, conflicts can and should be resolved peacefully. Our shared values mean that we must fulfil the responsibility to build better lives for our children, and a better future for us all.

Hamas is a radical Islamist terrorist organisation, the Palestinian equivalent of the Islamic State, or ISIS. It aspires to take control and impose Sharia law throughout all areas of the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas staunchly opposes peace and coexistence, with its stated goal being the destruction of Israel. Instead of providing for the welfare of Gaza’s citizens, Hamas uses its resources to increase its military capabilities, benefit its own members, and pursue its goal of wiping the Jewish state off the map.  Earlier this month, the terrorist organisation had marked the 34th anniversary of its founding.

Hamas ruthlessly seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 in a violent and bloody coup, throwing their Palestinian political opponents off high-rises and publicly executing others in order to consolidate its own power. In the 14 years that have passed since, the Palestinians in Gaza have essentially had all of their democratic and human rights stripped away from them. Protests against the failing economy and electricity shortages that Hamas has brought about are responded to with beatings, arbitrary arrests and torture.

As its overtly antisemitic and anti-Western charter makes chillingly clear, Hamas’ primary goal is to “obliterate” Israel “through jihad” and extend its Islamic rule ‘from the river to the sea”. To achieve this end, Hamas has fired over 27,000 rockets and mortar bombs at Israeli civilians since 2001, including over 4,300 in the May of 2021 alone. Not only does Hamas deliberately target innocent Israelis, it also fires its rockets at Israel from residential areas in Gaza. Firing at civilians from within civilian areas is an outrageous double war crime, and Hamas does it for one reason — to maximise Palestinian deaths, simply in order to provoke misguided condemnations of the Jewish state and stoke anti-Israel sentiment across the world.

The harm that Hamas inflicts on its own people extends even beyond the borders of Gaza. According to media reports, weapons stored in the basement of a Hamas-controlled mosque in southern Lebanon exploded in a fire a few days ago, killing and injuring numerous people. By storing arms in a mosque in one of the poorest refugee camps in Lebanon, Hamas has yet again demonstrated its contempt for all human life, including that of the Palestinians.

Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace. Hamas, however, stands firmly against the values of peace and democracy, and remains committed to destroying the lives and futures of both sides instead. Thirty-four years after its establishment, and 14 years since it violently took over Gaza, Hamas still represents one of the most significant obstacles to achieving peace and regional security.

Whoever aspires towards peace must understand and recognise that Hamas is a disaster. It is an extremist terror organisation that poses a threat to the Palestinian Authority, a danger to any prospect of peace, and seeks to obliterate Israel. These facts have now been recognised by over a dozen states, including Britain and Australia, who both recently designated Hamas in its entirety as a terror organisation. We are calling on all our friends to do the same.

We simply cannot leave Gaza in the hands of Hamas. Rather, we must focus our efforts on the “economy in return for security” vision outlined by Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid. To create stability and the prospect for a better life for both Gaza and Israel, we must act towards increasing international investment in the Gaza Strip, rehabilitating its infrastructure, cultivating other economic projects, and strengthening the Palestinian Authority.

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Double standard on violence

Why the double standard on West Bank violence?

Claims of a spike in settler violence made headlines while “routine” terror attacks, including murder by Palestinian Arabs against Jews, are downplayed or treated as justified.

Jonathan S. Tobin  , December 19, 2021

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS – Jewish News Syndicate. Twitter @jonathans_tobin.

To the casual observer of news from the Middle East, it would appear that the biggest story coming out of Israel lately is what some outlets are describing as a surge in settler violence against Palestinians. According to B’Tselem, an anti-settler group that is nonetheless treated as if it is an impartial and objective source by Western publications, the number of attacks by Jews living in Judea and Samaria settlements on neighboring Arabs is allegedly up by nearly 50% in the previous year. In this telling, radical Jews – motivated by nationalism-inspired hatred for Arabs – are guilty of numerous instances of stone-throwing and even shootings, along with so-called “price tag” attacks in which Palestinian property is vandalized.

The question we should be asking about the hyping of the threat of settler violence is not whether it’s true that a small percentage of residents in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have engaged in confrontations with Palestinians or that some have broken the law by committing violence. It’s whether the decision on the part of activist groups and some in the media to treat these incidents as emblematic of why it is wrong for Jews to live in the territories is justified, as well as why the focus on settler violence is almost always bereft of the broader context of what is going on in the West Bank on a far more frequent basis: daily attacks on Jews by Arabs, including murder.

While Arab violence doesn’t justify gratuitous Jewish responses or reprisals, there is something wrong if a few Jews throwing stones is considered far more important than the fact that attacks on Jews in the same areas is more or less the national sport of Palestinians.

The double standard is what is outrageous. All of the several hundred thousand Israelis who live in what the international community considers to be “occupied territory” and, by extension, the entire Jewish population of the country are held somehow responsible for the crimes of a few. Yet at the same time exponentially greater volumes of Palestinian violence is considered either unremarkable or somehow justified. If so, then it’s clear that the subject here is not so much the conduct of the settlers as it is the delegitimization of Jews.

The picture painted of incidents of Jewish violence in the various accounts that have been circulated by groups like B’Tselem, J Street and anti-Zionist publications like The Intercept and +972 Magazine, and then recycled in mainstream media outlets like The New York Times, is an ugly one.

Most of the perpetrators are “hilltop youth” – unruly young people who are inhabitants of settlements not authorized by the Israeli government. Others are profiled as disturbed young people who have slipped through the cracks of social-service agencies and are now acting out their personal issues in ways that exacerbate and further embitter the century-long conflict over Zionism. The accounts depict them as swooping down on innocent Palestinian farmers’ attempt to harvest olives, merely going about their daily lives while being subjected to brutal assaults.

As such, the settler violence problem isn’t merely deplored as criminal or shameful; it is held up as the embodiment of everything that liberal Jews and critics of Zionism think is wrong with contemporary Israel. The allegedly thuggish settler population illustrates notions about how nationalism and intolerance for Arabs is subverting, if not altogether obliterating, Jewish values and ethics.

Seen from this perspective, it’s not surprising that the problem was recently denounced by leading members of the Israeli government such as Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Security Minister Omar Bar-Lev. And those who denounce Jewish attacks on innocent Palestinian victims are right to say that it is wrong and, like any other instance of illegal behavior, should be denounced and punished.

But why is it that relatively rare incidents of Jewish misbehavior – which number, if one includes vandalism and treats as credible every single report made by Palestinians or anti-settler groups, a few hundred over the course of a year – are considered more newsworthy or shocking than Palestinian attacks of all kinds on settlers, which are a daily occurrence and likely number more than a few hundred every month. That’s especially true when the toll of terrorist attacks – the latest one having happened on Thursday, when a car full of yeshivah students was fired at by Palestinians, killing one of the Jews in the car and wounding two others – are rarely considered all that newsworthy even when they result in murder.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s response to the statements from members of his cabinet was derided by some as an attempt to appease those who voted for his Yamina Party and who believe that he betrayed them by forming a coalition with left-wingers. But he spoke the truth when he tweeted that “the settlers in Judea and Samaria have been suffering from violence and terrorism every day for decades,” and that it was wrong to engage in generalizations about settlers because of the behavior of a few people.

One of the reasons for the obsessive focus on settler violence is that it is partly understandable that the Jewish world would be more interested in what some Jews do than in the conduct of others. Still, that introspection – which in many cases becomes not so much a case of soul-searching as it is a desire to denigrate and denounce those whom the Jewish left despises because of their politics – is far from being the complete answer.

It’s also a function of the lower standard by which Palestinian Arabs are always judged. Though those who are angered by attacks on them claim the moral high ground, the pass they give the Arabs for their far more frequent practice of terrorism speaks to a kind of racist condescension, rather than respect or concern for their well-being.

Also absent from this discussion is any context regarding some of the incidents involving alleged Jewish violence. Many of them occur in fracases over disputed property when Palestinians seek to cultivate land to which they have no legal title, often adjacent to Jewish communities. The assumption in many accounts of settler behavior that the Jews are always in the wrong in these disturbances is unjustified.

It’s also true that – in contrast to the left-wing groups and the Israeli intelligence services and military whose job it is to monitor settler violence because of the security implications – statistics from Israeli Police tell a slightly different story. As The Times of Israel reported in a story in which the police’s account is buried underneath that of the settlers’ accusers:

“The Israel Police says the number of incidents is decreasing by the year even as indictments go up. According to official police figures, from 2019 to 2021 there has been a 61.1% drop in so-called ‘price tag’ attacks, in which extremist settlers assault Palestinians or vandalize their property in response to Israeli authorities taking action against them. They also say that the number of indictments of Jewish extremists has doubled from 16 to 32 over the past year.”

If so, then not only is the problem not growing, but contrary to those who accuse Israeli authorities of turning a blind eye to settler violence if not condoning it, the government has been cracking down, as they should, on offenders.

Illegal behavior can’t be justified even if it comes after so many attacks on Jews. But the public breast-beating about the settlers and the so-called moral toll of the “occupation” is not merely disproportionate. It is also part of a narrative intended to whitewash, rationalize and even justify violence against Jews for having the temerity to live in parts of the Jewish homeland where Arabs don’t want them. Those who treat this as one more reason to demonize the settlers or Zionism aren’t merely exaggerating the problem; they are inflating it in order to support a cause whose aim isn’t adjusting Israel’s borders but to destroy the Jewish state.

Reprinted with permission from JNS.org.

 

 

 

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False narrative against Israel

NGOs  supposedly promote human rights while falsely condemning Israel

Human Rights Watch has been condemned for releasing reports that are based primarily on Palestinian eyewitnesses’ testimony. It has been accused of suspecting anyone wearing a uniform, of relying on poor research and receiving information from elements that are hostile to Israel, like themilitants of Hamas or Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) groups.

Reprinted from Daily Alert, December 16, 2021

  • How Objective Are Human Rights NGOs When It Comes to Israel? – Elizabeth Blade
    Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International frequently condemn Israel. In 2019, it was reported that the head of Amnesty devoted 70% of his tweets to the “illegal” acts of the Jewish state. Mitchell Bard, an American foreign policy analyst, says this “bias” has been “consistent for many years now. There is a desire to fight for the underdogs and the Palestinians are seen as victims of a stronger neighbor.” Also, “there is an element of anti-Semitism as Israel is singled out far more often than true human rights abusers.”
    Human Rights Watch has been condemned for releasing reports that are based primarily on Palestinian eyewitnesses’ testimony. It has been accused of suspecting anyone wearing a uniform, of relying on poor research and receiving information from elements that are hostile to Israel, like the militants of Hamas or Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) groups. These organizations “are very damaging to Israel because their reports are accepted by the media without any questions, so their views are parroted and amplified.”
    Israel cannot do much to change the situation. “Israel can disseminate the facts, but they are not always reported in the media. Frequently, [Israeli] government statements are deemed to have less credibility than the supposedly objective NGOs. Israel can expose their biases, but they have a halo effect of the false image of neutrality.”  (Sputnik-Russia)
  • Deconstructing Definitions of Apartheid that Delegitimize the Jewish State – Joshua Kern and Anne Herzberg
    Certain NGOs have alleged that Israel is guilty of the crime against humanity of apartheid. However, the definition of apartheid used by these NGOs is not legally substantiated. These groups promote artificial and manufactured definitions designed to demonize Israel.
    This report provides a full analysis grounded in international law of apartheid’s definition and concludes that the legal basis for the definition proposed by certain NGOs is doubtful. (NGO Monitor)
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