Media ignores Palestinian racism but labels Israelis as racist

To anti-Zionists, Ben Gvir is not a problem, he is an opportunity

Fred Maroun
Reprinted from Times of Israel, November 12, 2022


The same Israel critics who minimize the crimes of Palestinian terrorists welcome Ben Gvir’s rise — it helps them demonize the Jewish state

There is widespread criticism among Zionists of the Israeli far-right leader Itamar Ben Gvir, and rightly so. Yossi Klein Halevi, an Israeli journalist and author, wrote, “Ben Gvir’s “Jewish Power” party (which is running jointly with the “Religious Zionism” party) would destroy the intactness of Israeli society, replacing the fragile coexistence between Israel’s Arabs and Jews with nothing less than civil war”. Mercaz Olami, the Zionist umbrella arm of Conservative-Masorti Judaism, wrote, “We have always been proud of Israel and plan to continue to be so forever (every day, every moment, every hour). This very eternal pride causes us to firmly turn to the next prime minister of Israel with a request not to appoint Itamar Ben Gvir to a ministerial position in the new government.”

The criticism sounds very different, however, when it comes from anti-Zionist groups. Those groups routinely minimize or even support the crimes of Palestinian terrorists who are so extreme in their ideology that they make Ben Gvir look like a liberal. As an example, the Electronic Intifada openly supports Hamas and supports violence against Israel but accuses Ben Gvir of racism! And if anyone thought that the anti-Zionists were truly concerned about democracy, the Electronic Intifada disabuses them by openly stating that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s alliance with Itamar Ben Gvir “should be welcomed” because it helps the anti-Zionists’ goal of demonizing Israel.

While Ben Gvir calls for Palestinian terrorists to be expelled from Israel, we know that Arab entities (including the Jordan-occupied West Bank and the Egypt-occupied Gaza) indiscriminately expelled all Jewish residents decades ago. We also know that Israel’s enemies are “bent on wiping the Jewish state and its inhabitants off the map” (as Canadian National Post columnist John Robson put it). As racist and as anti-democratic as Israel’s far right is, it is nothing compared to Israel’s enemies. That is of course cold comfort to those who are genuinely concerned about Ben Gvir and his ilk, but it points to a double standard.

Criticizing Ben Gvir and the Israeli extreme right while giving a pass to far worse Palestinian groups is a double standard. It sets high expectations of Jews while setting much lower expectations of others. It is obviously a form of antisemitism.

Using Ben Gvir to demonize Israel is not a new concept. Before Ben Gvir and the Israeli extreme right became popular, it was Netanyahu and his Likud party who were the favorite target of anti-Zionists. Anti-Zionism was not born with Ben Gvir’s entry into Israeli politics, nor was it born with Netanyahu’s entry into Israeli politics. It has existed ever since Israel exists. Anti-Zionism was just as strong, and perhaps even stronger, when Israel was governed by socialists like David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir.

In essence, there are two types of criticisms of Ben Gvir. There is the criticism that aims to make Israel better (or at least not worse). This criticism comes from Zionists in Israel and abroad. And there is the criticism that uses Ben Gvir as a new and more convenient way to demonize Israel. This criticism comes from anyone who hates Israel and does not give a fig about Israeli Arabs but looks on with glee as Ben Gvir weakens the fabric of Israeli society.

To Zionists, Ben Gvir is dangerous for several reasons. He is likely to weaken Western support for Israel, he is likely to weaken Israeli democracy, and he is likely to increase Israel’s investment in West Bank settlements which make a one-state bi-national solution increasingly likely. To Zionists, Ben Gvir is a problem. But to anti-Zionists, these are all reasons to celebrate. To them, Ben Gvir isn’t a problem, he’s an opportunity.

Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports the Palestinians’ right to self-determination in their own state. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.

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New Israeli government not extremist

Making Israel Great Again

By Ron Jager, November 8, 2022

“Voters reiterated their love of Zion, their attachment to the mission of the Jewish People in their Land, and their great enthusiasm for the ongoing narrative of the State of Israel that remains unashamed of our exceptionalism while at the same time serving as a light unto the nations of the world.”

Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election this past week, is seen by many of his over one million supporters who voted for the Likud Party as a sign from above. His triumphant return symbolizes for many an awakening, to the unsuccessful efforts of the previous government led by Yair Lapid, to weaken and dilute the national identity of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

The people have arisen in response to the past year and a half and responded by voting out the unnatural alliance of progressive Israeli political parties and anti-Zionist Arab parties supported by a biased progressive media and a politicized judicial system. Instead the Israeli public voted in for the first time in Israel’s history, an exclusively nationalist and religious governing coalition. By showing up in mass, the Israeli public seemed to have wanted to send a message not only to our allies throughout the world, but also to our enemies. The Israeli public’s message was powerful, clear, and unequivocal.

We the people of Israel are unashamed to embrace Zionism, unashamed to embrace Jewish tradition and our belief in God. We will not refrain from asserting our uniqueness as a Jewish nation and we reject the illusion and false promises of Progressivism, reject the “wokeness” of post-Zionism, and reject the political policies of the past year and a half that have attempted to erase Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State. Above all, voters reiterated their love of Zion, their attachment to the mission of the Jewish People in their Land, and their great enthusiasm for the ongoing narrative of the State of Israel that remains unashamed of our exceptionalism while at the same time serving as a light unto the nations of the world.

The people of Israel have shown the world that the common folk are more than capable of rising above the subliminal messaging and progressive bias of the media and influential publicists. The voters of Israel have expressed themselves boldly, independently, and unambiguously. Israel has shown in its own democratic way that other Western nations that see themselves afflicted with similar political dilemmas that have created feelings of alienation, distrust of political leaders and helplessness can and should be faithful to their own common sense and understanding of conventional wisdom.

Despite Netanyahu’s affirmation that his newly elected government will continue to share the values of an open, democratic society, including tolerance and respect for all in civil society, particularly minority groups; his longstanding priorities to maintain law and order within Israel by not compromising enforcement within the Arab Israeli community and Palestinian society is not only expected to continue, but will be at the forefront of the new government’s agenda. During the previous government’s watch, Arab-Israeli Knesset members have gotten away with hailing Palestinian terrorists who murdered IDF soldiers as heroic martyrs will no longer by tolerated. Over the past year and a half of the national unity government there has been a dramatic uptick in Israeli-Arab violence and Palestinian terror that took place in all of Israel including Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

The Israeli public witnessed a dramatic upsurge in violence; stabbings, shootings, criminal gang warfare by Israeli Arabs against other Israeli Arabs, and against Israeli Jews. In addition, Netanyahu’s uncompromising stance against Iran and his determination that the Iranian’s will not acquire nuclear weapons will continue unabated by outside pressure from the Biden administration and European leaders.

To get a close up sense of the meaning of what the elections really mean for many here in Israel, the response by a Haredi parliamentarian who spoke from his heart tells it all in a nutshell. MK Yitzhak Pindrus of the Haredi United Torah Judaism party told his progressive political opponents “we’re not animals like you” in a message apparently meant to assuage the opposing bloc. Pindrus spoke as polls and early vote counts predicted a victory for Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc, which included Pindrus’s UTJ party. “We won’t treat you cruelly like you treated us,” Pindrus stated in a message to his political opponents. “We’re civilized people, not animals like you. In the government you stole, you treated us, you walked all over us. You thought we were just rags. We’re human beings,” he says. “We will treat you well, we won’t persecute you, we won’t harass you,” he says. “We’ll take care of our rights, but we won’t look for where we can harass you a little bit, where we can do you harm. We’re not like you. You have problems? Look in the mirror, not at us.”

In the coming days as the Prime Minister elect, Benjamin Netanyahu goes through the arduous effort of building a governing coalition, much will be said and reported to hinder his efforts. Names like Ben-Gvir and Smotrich will be paraded by the media as right-wing extremists who endanger Israel’s democracy. The losing side of Israel’s election will shriek their message that violence, hatred, and incitement is detrimental to democracy without taking any responsibility or accountably for the incitement that they themselves invoked and expressed without caring for the consequences. I like many others remain optimistic for the coming period for I have no doubt that the new government will respond with a spirit of goodwill and mutual respect, diffusing the poisonous discourse of the past year and a half.

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British discover Palestinian hatred

    • Europeans must realize Palestinian hatred and intolerance

    • Reprinted from Daily Alert, Thursday, October, 13, 2022
    • The Palestinians’ New Enemy: British Prime Minister Liz Truss – Khaled
    • Abu Toameh
      British Prime Minister Liz Truss is facing a smear campaign by the Palestinians because she dared to publicly state her support for Israel and talked about the possibility of moving the British Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
      “Is Liz Truss an agent of the Israeli Mossad who was implanted in the Conservative Party?” asked veteran Palestinian journalist Nasser Lahham, who is closely associated with the Palestinian Authority leadership. “Is she infected with the Zionism virus?” Lahham urged the Palestinian leadership to declare Truss as persona non grata.
      The defamation campaign against the British PM is yet another sign of the ongoing radicalization of Palestinians against anyone who dares to say a good word about Israel. It is this campaign of hate that is the real obstacle to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. For many years, the Western countries that fund the Palestinians have utterly ignored Palestinian incitement against Israel. Now, Western leaders are themselves becoming victims of the Palestinians’ smear campaigns. (Gatestone Institute)
    • A Cruel Death in Hebron – Bret Stephens
      it’s worth pausing to consider the grisly murder of Ahmad Abu Murkhiyeh in the West Bank city of Hebron. Murkhiyeh, 25, was a gay Palestinian man who had been living for two years in Israel and had filed papers for resettlement in Canada. Last Wednesday, he was found beheaded in Hebron. A suspect filmed the beheading and uploaded it to Palestinian social media. Murkhiyeh was one of scores of gay Palestinians finding refuge in Israel.
      Those who claim to champion the cause of Palestinian liberation should care equally about the cause of Palestinian liberties, as a basis for decent governance. (New York Times)
    • The Palestinians Must Lay Down Their Weapons to Achieve Peace – Editorial
      There is a clear way to end the cycle of Israeli-Palestinian violence, and that is for the Palestinians to stop their campaign of terror and incitement against Israel and the Jewish people. It really is that simple.
      What has been going on in the West Bank in recent weeks is an example of what happens when the Palestinian Authority neglects its responsibility and decides to allow terrorist groups to thrive, accumulate illegal arms, and operate with impunity. Israel prefers not to have to enter places like Jenin or Nablus but they will continue to do so as long as intelligence shows brewing threats.
      Israel might in the end need to launch a large-scale military offensive similar to 2002’s Operation Defensive Shield, which resulted in the deaths of dozens of gunmen in Jenin and Nablus. If Abbas wants to prevent that, he will need to take more aggressive steps within the cities he controls to stop the violence. (Jerusalem Post)
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Palestinians incite hatred and hostility

Palestinian Arabs are responsible for their misfortunes

  • Abbas ignored the “one condition” Prime Minister Yair Lapid set on Thursday for the implementation of a two-state solution: “That a future Palestinian state will be a peaceful one. That it will not become another terror base from which to threaten the well-being and the very existence of Israel.”

Reprinted from Daily Alert, Thursday, September 29, 2022

  • PA President Mahmoud Abbas asked the UN General Assembly on Friday why the Palestinians do not yet have a state. I found the answers to Abbas’ questions were in his speech as well.
  • He claimed to genuinely want peace with Israel, but made clear that he rejects Israel’s very legitimacy. He described Israel as a colonizing power for 75 years – that is, since its historic rebirth in 1948. He airbrushed Judaism out of his “eternal” Jerusalem, in which there are only Muslim and Christian holy sites.
  • There was no mention that Israel dismantled its settlements and withdrew all its soldiers from Gaza in 2005. No hint that Hamas took over, and has provoked conflict with Israel ever since with indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel, teaching Israel that relinquishing adjacent territory merely empowers the forces that seek our destruction.
  • Abbas devoted some of his speech to Nasser Abu Hamid, whom he described as a heroic martyr who was now dying in jail of cancer, failing to note that Abu Hamid is serving multiple life terms for the murders of seven Israelis and the attempted murders of 12 more. Abbas championed the killers of Israelis – to whom his Palestinian Authority insists on paying salaries, thus nurturing the next generations of murderers.
  • Abbas ignored the “one condition” Prime Minister Yair Lapid set on Thursday for the implementation of a two-state solution: “That a future Palestinian state will be a peaceful one. That it will not become another terror base from which to threaten the well-being and the very existence of Israel.”
  • Lapid offered Abbas a one-sentence formula for Palestinian independence: “Put down your weapons, and there will be peace.”

    See also Israeli Defense Minister: Agreement with Palestinians Not Likely in Foreseeable Future
    Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Israel’s Channel 11 on Saturday: “With regard to the Palestinians, we believe we should reach an accord, but one has to confront reality with clear eyes, and to my understanding there is no way of reaching an agreement in the foreseeable future.” He clarified that “We are for two separate entities, but not in a way that endangers Israel.”  (Ha’aretz)

  • Israel: PA President Abbas Incited Hate and Glorified Terrorism at UN – Tovah Lazaroff
    Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas incited hatred and glorified terrorism when he addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday, said Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan. “In a lie-filled rant completely detached from reality, he further proved his absolute irrelevance. Abbas uses the UN as a platform to incite hatred against Israel while glorifying the terrorists that he himself funds.”
    “The U.S. and members of the Security Council are well aware that the Palestinians rejected every peace plan ever presented, that they fund terrorists, and that the Palestinian Authority doesn’t even have sovereignty over their own territories, which are controlled by terror groups.”
    In his speech, Abbas launched a scathing attack on Israel, accusing it of committing “massacres” against the Palestinians and “assaults” on Islamic and Christian holy sites. He also called on Israel, the U.S. and Britain to apologize to the Palestinians and offer them compensation because of their responsibility for the Balfour Declaration. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel’s “Peace Partner” behind Terrorist Attacks Against Israel – Khaled Abu Toameh
    In the past few months, there has been a rise in the number of terrorist attacks against Israelis carried out by gunmen belonging to, or associated with, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its ruling faction, Fatah, both headed by Mahmoud Abbas. He encourages the murder and wounding of Israelis and pays generously for it – with money from Europe and the U.S.
    The PA has been described as Israel’s Palestinian peace partner. It is largely dominated by members and activists belonging to Fatah, which has proven over the years that its actions and rhetoric are actually no different from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, that openly call for the elimination of Israel.
    This year, Fatah has once again increased its terrorist attacks against Israel. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and other armed groups belonging to Fatah boast about the attacks and threaten to continue the fight against Israel, while Mahmoud Abbas continues to incite against Israel and glorify those involved in terrorism.
    This is the “peace partner” that the Biden administration is hoping to assist in establishing a Palestinian state next to Israel. Meanwhile, Israel’s “peace partner” is doing everything in its power to confirm the fears of Israelis about the presence of a Palestinian state just a few kilometers from their homes. (Gatestone Institute)
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Lies about Israel are thriving

The cognitive war against Israel reveals humanity’s broken moral compass

“more than 100 [university] departments, programs, and faculty groups have issued condemnations of Israel, typically accusing it of ‘genocide,’ ‘ethnic cleansing,’ being a ‘settler-colonial state,’ [and] endorsing the ‘Palestinian right to return’ . . . .” To be clear, this is nothing less than a call to abolish Israel and replace it with a Palestinian-Arab majority state – which by all indications would be led by individuals indoctrinated in a radical ideology of genocidal Jew hatred, who repeatedly deny any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and historic Palestine.

For anyone seeking to appreciate the cataclysms of the 20th century – in particular, World War I, World War II, and the Holocaust – one could do a lot worse than spend a day at London’s Imperial War Museum.

There, one can walk through a re-created trench from WWI’s Western front, amid the deafening sounds of exploding shells; retrace in painstaking detail the rise and rapaciousness of fascist dictatorships that launched the horrors of WWII; and witness the last shreds of hope disappear for millions of terrorized Jews, as Hitler’s brutal minions stormed their towns and villages.

Hence, as my son and I began our tour of this magnificent museum last month, it was all the more dismaying to see, strategically placed in the most heavily trafficked spot in the vast complex, a shell-blasted Reuters news jeep described by the museum’s curators as follows: “In 2006 . . . it was struck by an Israeli air-launched rocket,” injuring two Arab journalists.

The damaged jeep was positioned alongside the entrance to the museum’s café, in the same corner as the museum’s restrooms — in other words, the single most “can’t miss” location for visitors.

The curators chose to omit any explanatory context for the prominently displayed jeep: no mention of the prior rocket barrages from Gaza terrorizing Israeli civilians; no mention of Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza the year before, leaving behind millions worth of infrastructure for the Palestinians’ use; and no mention that the battle near the jeep was launched by Gaza terrorists who ambushed an Israeli border station and kidnapped a young Israeli border guard. The curators also neglected to note that the Reuters jeep was driving at night past Israeli armed forces, which had been unable to identify it as a press vehicle.

No, the only narrative conveyed here – in one of the world’s most prestigious museums of modern warfare – was that Israelis, and only Israelis, are the kinds of people who recklessly target and harm innocent journalists with lethal force. Viewing this item, one would never know that since 1995, over 1,800 journalists have been killed in dozens of countries while carrying out their dangerous work – which number, thankfully, does not include the two Arab journalists injured in this 2006 incident.

One might be tempted to ask, Why harp on this one-off incident? Especially in England, the land of “Keep calm and carry on”? In sum: Because it is not a one-off. Quite the contrary: such misleading, de-contextualized displays of purported Israeli perfidy are now the norm across the liberal democracies, especially among institutions run by, catering to, and shaping the opinions of the governing classes – in museums, universities, public schools, the arts, and the legacy media.

This has long been true across Europe. But now, these false defamations of Israel also are being mainstreamed across the Anglo-American countries.

For instance, as of June 2021, in the United States, “more than 100 [university] departments, programs, and faculty groups have issued condemnations of Israel, typically accusing it of ‘genocide,’ ‘ethnic cleansing,’ being a ‘settler-colonial state,’ [and] endorsing the ‘Palestinian right to return’ . . . .” To be clear, this is nothing less than a call to abolish Israel and replace it with a Palestinian-Arab majority state – which by all indications would be led by individuals indoctrinated in a radical ideology of genocidal Jew hatred, who repeatedly deny any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and historic Palestine.

Leaders of this “abolish Israel” campaign include the entire association of American college faculty who control how Middle East history and politics are taught, namely, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). In December 2021, MESA formally endorsed the BDS movement, directing its members to boycott, divest, and sanction all Israeli universities and academics. MESA’s president justified this move with the blatantly false claim that Palestinian “researchers . . . lives and livelihoods are being attacked by the Israeli government . . . .”

In fact, Israeli Arabs study and teach alongside Israeli Jews throughout the country’s university sector. Occasionally, Israel has had to intervene in West Bank and Gaza campuses, but only because of “the Hamas terrorist organization’s control over Palestinian academia in the Gaza Strip,” as well as Hamas’s growing influence in West Bank colleges. Hamas uses Gaza campuses to research and manufacture weapons for its terror brigades, and for use as missile launch pads targeting Israeli cities.

Such facts are rarely if ever recognized across American campuses in the metastasizing campaign to demonize and abolish Israel. The collateral damage of this campaign is evidenced in recent ADL polling, which found that “32 percent of Jewish [college] students were targeted in anti-Semitic incidents,” among which “79% said that it happened to them more than once.” Such damage is also evidenced in the dismaying fact that, amid an explosion of identity politics across American campuses, the militancy of anti-Israel activists has pressured many Jewish students to conceal their Jewish identity.

This same abolish Israel campaign has now been incorporated into the entire California public high school system, through the state’s new mandatory ethnic studies curriculum. Although the state – under pressure – removed from its model curriculum the most offensive Israel slanders, many public school districts are putting those lessons right back in, by adopting a radically Marxist version of ethnic studies known as the “Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.”

The LESMC explicitly promotes the same false propaganda broadcast by the Palestinian Authority, namely: Jews are not indigenous to the Middle East; Israel is a “colonialist” state founded through “genocide,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid”; and the yearning to return to the ancestral land has nothing to do with Judaism (so much for “Next year in Jerusalem”), but rather is a late 19th century invention.

And far from being limited to California, the Liberated Ethnic Studies Curriculum is the subject of extensive campaigns for adoption by other US states’ school systems. Adding fuel to this dumpster fire, America’s two public school teachers’ unions, which together include virtually every public school teacher in the country, have both formally voted to promote and support all such ethnic studies curricula.

America’s legacy media are hardly better. The country’s most prestigious newspaper, The New York Times, regularly publishes biased and de-contextualized accounts of alleged Israeli perfidy. In May 2021, its front page featured photos of more than 60 Gazan children, all portrayed as innocent victims of reckless Israeli military fire. Analysts noted several significant contextual omissions in the story, such as Hamas’s deliberately placing anti-Israel missile batteries in Gaza’s dense civilian population centers. But apparently, for The New York Times, the one narrative that counts is this: Jewish baby-killers.

Prior to that, in April 2019, the Times’s international edition featured a front-page cartoon caricature of then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a Magen David-sporting dog, leading a blind, kippah-clad President Trump — yet another incendiary caricature of malevolent Jewish power, front and center in one of the most-read newspapers of America’s governing elite.

In sum, the utterly false campaign to demonize Israel that was launched in the 1960s by the PLO, with support and financing from the Soviet bloc, has now been massively magnified into a full-blown call for the destruction of Israel across the Western democracies’ central institutions of educational and cultural transmission. And ever fewer graduates from the West’s elite universities — from among whom most future leaders will be selected — have any concept of how profoundly false are the claims of the abolish Israel campaign.

The metastatic pattern of this campaign makes clear that inaction is simply not an option. Israel’s right to exist, and to defend itself against genocidal enemies, are the targets of a global cognitive war of ideas and narratives. Exhausting and redundant though it may be, robust action is needed to communicate and restore public understanding of the fundamental facts that expose and entirely negate the foundations of this genocidally abolitionist campaign. This includes such facts as these:

  • Israel and the pre-state yishuv have endorsed at least seven efforts intended to produce two states for two peoples living in peace: 1936 (Peel plan); 1948 (UN); 1967 (post-war); 1993 (Oslo); 2000 (Camp David); 2001 (revised Camp David); and 2007 (Olmert). All were rejected by Palestinian leaders, with most followed by a Palestinian-launched terror war.
  • Israel’s leaders in 1948 invited all Palestinian Arabs to remain as citizens with equal rights guaranteed; the Palestinian leadership responded by pledging to drive every last Jew into the sea.
  • Palestinian leaders in 1948 urged all Arabs in the Israeli-designated lands to abandon their homes, to clear the field of battle for the planned slaughter of the Jews.
  • The Arab towns forcibly cleared by Israeli troops during the 1948 war were those that had been taken over by Arab militias, who: (a) launched a civil war inside Israel against its Jewish citizens, simultaneous with Israel’s needing to defend against five neighboring countries’ invading armies; (b) blockaded the sole supply road to Jerusalem, seeking to starve out its 100,000 Jews; and (c) would have required and hence diverted far too many Israeli troops desperately needed to guard Israel’s borders and defend against the five invading armies.
  • Israel’s defense forces have been evaluated by one of Britain’s top military officers, who found them to be “the most moral army in the world” – more so than America’s or Britain’s armies, despite Israel’s having faced from its birth to the present, vastly greater military threats and dangers than either the U.S. or Britain.
  • Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel today have equal rights with Jewish Israelis, and serve on the Supreme Court, in the armed services, and as doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, and in all other professional roles. Whereas, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the sale of land to a Jew is a capital offense meriting the death penalty.
  • Since 1960, the Palestinian territories’ population has grown almost 500%, from 1.1 million to 5.1 million – a curious pattern for a population whose leaders insist are victims of an ongoing Israeli genocide.
  • The Palestinian Authority is so corrupt and incompetent that more than 50% of East Jerusalem’s Arabs repeatedly say in polls that they would prefer to be citizens of Israel rather than Palestine.

In light of these facts, the vast support for the false claims of the global campaign to abolish Israel reveals something deeply amiss within the Western democracies’ so-called educated classes. It evidences a profoundly broken moral compass among our leadership elites – and an equally profound need for fundamental repair across the West’s institutions of educational and cultural transmission.

And this includes such distinguished institutions as London’s Imperial War Museum. By simultaneously hosting, on the one hand, a brilliantly curated collection on World War II and the Holocaust, and on the other hand, an exhibit falsely portraying the Israel Defense Forces as brutal and lawless, the IWM strikingly manifests and exemplifies an all-too-common mentality now in vogue around the world.

That mentality is best summed up in the title of a recent book by the award-winning American author Dara Horn: “People Love Dead Jews.” That is, educators and cultural curators love to memorialize the all-too-many sites where Jews once flourished before they were massacred. It’s just the live ones – strong Jews who reject a victim mentality, who are now fully capable of lawfully defending themselves and their community – whom the world cannot abide.

And inconvenient though it may seem for the world, the Jewish people are not going back to being the world’s victims – literally, “Never Again.” If that means waging a cognitive counter-war across the Western world’s campuses and media platforms, well then, bring it on.

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Equal rights on Temple Mount

Antiquated rules for Temple Mount must be changed

  • Upholding and sustaining an antiquated, biased, second-class status for Jews, a remnant of the 18th-century Ottoman Empire, violates all accepted international human rights and nondiscrimination norms and should logically no longer be relevant or sustained in modern international society

Reprinted from Daily Alert, August 11, 2022

  • Basic norms and values of religion inherent in the various biblical or other scriptures and sources would assume that the aim of any religion is for humankind to live at peace and in dignity and harmony with God and with humanity, and not serve as a source of constant and unending conflict.
  • A status quo that perpetuates an ancient and outdated social structure that no longer exists, that practices religious discrimination and denies or restricts rights of worship, is blatantly incompatible with accepted international norms and concepts of equality, human rights, freedom of religion and worship, interreligious and intercultural dialogue, tolerance, understanding, and cooperation.
  • One of the most striking examples of such a historical and irreversible “status quo” causing endless incitement to hatred, strife, and violence between religious faiths, communities, and states is Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
  • Upholding and sustaining an antiquated, biased, second-class status for Jews, a remnant of the 18th-century Ottoman Empire, violates all accepted international human rights and nondiscrimination norms and should logically no longer be relevant or sustained in modern international society.
  • A new, remodeled status quo would need to guarantee reciprocal recognition of religious rights and observance of the components of the “culture of peace.”
  • Perhaps the first step needs to be acknowledgment and realization by all concerned, including the respective religious leaderships, that a vital prerequisite for any definitive resolution of the dispute between Arabs and Jews is a logical and respectful remodeling of the antiquated status quo to be based on present-day international values and standards of fairness, equity, equality, and mutual respect, while protecting basic religious sensitivities and procedures.

    The writer, who heads the international law program at the Jerusalem Center, is former legal counsel to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.

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United Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

So Pillsbury is pulling out of “East Jerusalem”

There’s no such city as “East Jerusalem,” Atarot is not located in the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem; it is north of Jerusalem, and it doesn’t even have any “settlers”—it’s an industrial zone.

Stephen M. Flatow, June 2, 2002

The announcement by General Mills that it’s shutting down the Pillsbury factory in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot is an outrageous capitulation to the Israel-haters of the BDS movement.

It’s also a fascinating illustration of the utter absurdity of one of the media’s favorite terms, “East Jerusalem.”

Media reports about General Mills’s surrender to the haters are referring to Atarot as an “East Jerusalem settlement.”

Every word in that phrase is false. There’s no such city as “East Jerusalem,” Atarot is not located in the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem; it is north of Jerusalem, and it doesn’t even have any “settlers”—it’s an industrial zone.

Atarot is a town with Jewish roots that go back to biblical times. It was first mentioned in the Book of Joshua, chapter 16. Note that there were no “Palestinians” in the Land of Israel in those days. Arab “Palestinian” nationalism would not appear on the scene until several thousand years later. But there were plenty of Jews in the country, and there was a sovereign Jewish kingdom there for many centuries.

In modern times, Jews purchased land in Atarot in 1912, and young Zionist pioneers from Europe, including future prime minister Levi Eshkol, built homes and farms there. In 1931, the British government seized (“stole” would be the more accurate description) more than half of Atarot’s land in order to build a small airport there, destroying the homes and orchards of some of the Jewish residents. We’re still waiting for the British government to pay reparations for that.

The Jews hung on, despite difficult conditions and repeated Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks, especially in 1929 and during 1936-1939. During the 1948 War of Independence, the residents of Atarot bravely held out as long as they could, until they were driven out by the advancing Jordanian forces.

It wasn’t enough for the Jordanians to expel all the Jews. They also looted the Jews’ property and burned down their homes and farms. From 1948 until 1967, the Jordanian government imposed a strict apartheid policy of refusing to permit Jews to return to their homes in Atarot. To this day, the “moderate” Jordanians have refused to pay compensation for the property they stole or destroyed.

Israel liberated Atarot in the 1967 war and subsequently reunited it with Jerusalem as an official part of Israel’s capital. It has become one of Israel’s successful industrial zones and, incidentally, has employed quite a few Palestinian Arabs over the years. In a 2017 study it was estimated that 80% of the employees within the Atarot were Palestinian Arabs.

Apparently the folks at General Mills couldn’t care less how many Palestinian Arabs will lose their jobs as a result of the capitulation to BDS. The main thing, it seems, is to make a point.

And what is that point? That Israel has no right to Jerusalem.

Which is exactly why pro-Arab media outlets use the term “East Jerusalem.” It conveys an impression of a separate geographical area that belongs to the Arabs, not the Jews.

But the term is geographical nonsense. Atarot is not in eastern Jerusalem. It’s in northern Jerusalem. In fact, there are parts of Meah Shearim and other sections of downtown Jerusalem that are much further east than Atarot.

It’s an interesting coincidence that the controversy over Atarot is erupting just as President Joe Biden is preparing to visit Israel. Because we all remember Biden’s own involvement in a similar episode back when he was vice-president.

On a visit to Israel in 2010, Biden went out of his way to publicly condemn Israel for building apartments in what he falsely called “occupied East Jerusalem.” He was referring to Ramat Shlomo, a neighborhood that lies between existing Jerusalem neighborhoods (Sanhedria and Ramot Alon) and which is near Atarot—that is, it’s in northern, not eastern, Jerusalem.

Anybody who can read a map knows that Atarot and Ramat Shlomo are not in eastern Jerusalem. The use of false geography makes it seem as if the Israelis are illegally invading Arab territory. And the term “settlement” gives the impression that Atarot and Ramat Shlomo are alien implants on somebody else’s land.

The truth is that Israel is simply building Jewish homes and factories in its capital, in territory that has been Jewish since time immemorial.

It’s time for news editors to face the fact that “East Jerusalem” is not a valid journalistic phrase. It’s a political weapon. Serious media outlets should not be acquiescing in terminology whose purpose is to promote a political agenda, rather than accurately describe a place. No serious and objective media agency should be using the term “East Jerusalem.”

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is the author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terrorism.”

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Jerusalem celebrates 55 years of reunification

55 Years since the Reunification of Jerusalem

In 1967, Israelis rejoiced in the capture of the Old City, which brought a return to places central to Jewish history and heritage. The Eshkol government’s decision to extend Israeli jurisdiction over Jerusalem receiving almost wall-to-wall public support. In July 1980, the Knesset formally codified united Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s sovereign capital.

Reprinted from Daily Alert, May 30, 2022

  • Why Jerusalem Day Is an Israeli National Holiday – Mark Regev
    It was the national unity government of Labor Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in May 1968 that first proclaimed the celebration of Jerusalem Day as an Israeli national holiday to mark the anniversary of Jerusalem’s unification. Israel’s War of Independence ended with Jordan’s Arab Legion occupying the Old City and eastern Jerusalem, leaving the city divided down the middle by barbed wire and concrete barriers. In violation of the signed armistice agreement, Jordan did not allow Jews to visit the Western Wall and the other Jewish holy sites in the areas it controlled, some of which were also desecrated.
    In 1967, Israelis rejoiced in the capture of the Old City, which brought a return to places central to Jewish history and heritage. The Eshkol government’s decision to extend Israeli jurisdiction over Jerusalem receiving almost wall-to-wall public support. In July 1980, the Knesset formally codified united Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s sovereign capital.
    The writer, formerly an adviser to the prime minister, is the incoming chair of the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Jerusalem Is the Embodiment of Jewish Justice – Nadav Shragai
    Jerusalem Day is a kind of Independence Day on which we were reborn. When Jerusalem was liberated, we felt a wrong had been corrected and that two parts of a whole had finally been reconnected. Having arguments to present to the world about our right to Jerusalem as well as our existential and security needs is important, but it is not enough. The focus of our story is our right and connection to Jerusalem and our commitment to the city as a result.
    On this holiday, we must speak of the 240,000 Jews residing in Jerusalem beyond the old checkpoints who do not represent an obstacle to peace but rather an obstacle to dangerous partition.
    If we do not go as far back as King David who purchased Mount Moriah from Araunah the Jebusite, and his son King Solomon, who built the temple there, we will not truly be able to explain our story here to ourselves.
    The sanctity of the city and the memory of its glory were woven into almost every holiday and religious ceremony held by Jews in the diaspora: In daily prayers, at circumcision ceremonies, at bar mitzvahs, in blessings over food, and even at weddings, Jerusalem was never forgotten. Israel’s national anthem mentions Jerusalem eight times.
    Islam, which now demands exclusivity and ownership of Jerusalem and its holy sites, only showed up 2,000 years after Israel became a nation, while the Palestinians began to define themselves as a people just 100 years ago. By contrast, since the 12th century BCE, the Jews controlled the Land of Israel for a thousand years and lived continuously in it for the last 3,300 years. In that time, Jerusalem was the Hebrew capital, but it was never the capital of any Arab or Islamic state. Even the Jordanians did not make Jerusalem their capital when they ruled the city.
    This is no foreign land that we have conquered. We have returned home, to Zion and Jerusalem, and those who return home are not occupiers. We liberated the city from a series of occupiers who abused us and our rights for generations.
    The writer, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a veteran Israeli journalist. (Israel Hayom)
  • Jerusalem Flag Parade Is Rooted in History
    The roots of the Jerusalem Day parade run quite deep in Jewish history, according to Jeffrey Woolf, a professor of Talmud from Bar-Ilan University. “There is a very long-standing tradition for hundreds of years, possibly for millennia, of walking around and encountering the various gates of Jerusalem and expressing one’s love for Jerusalem. People would come from all over the world on pilgrimage, walk and say prayers at every single gate, and then they would walk around the gates of the Temple Mount.”  (Media Line-Ynet News)
  • As Israelis, We Should Parade Proudly in Our Capital – Ariel Kahana
    Just like every other capital around the world, Jerusalem hosts parades. The Jerusalem Day parade is one of the oldest and most beautiful. Tens of thousands of youths, usually dressed in white, walk the streets of the eternal city with Israeli flags. There is nothing wrong with that.
    The only ones angered by the parade are remnants of the Arab nation who continue to dream of wiping out the Jewish state. That is why they depict a beautiful parade that represents the love of a people for their land as a provocation.
    Does it sound reasonable for a country to ask its neighbors for permission to hold a parade in its capital? Do Jordan, Egypt, or Qatar update Israel on parades in their territories? Does London, Paris, or Madrid receive authorization in advance from Washington for their parades and celebrations?
    No foreign entity has a right to intervene in what goes on in Israel’s capital. Threats of violence cannot determine where we go in our country. Fifty years after the unification of the city and the return of the Jewish people to its holy sites, now is the perfect time to remind everyone that we are still here. (Israel Hayom)

Jerusalem Day: Correcting a Historical Injustice – Ambassador Dore Gold (Israel Hayom)

  • During Israel’s War of Independence, Jerusalem was surrounded by a coalition of Arab armies and bombarded by their artillery. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City was ethnically cleansed. Its great synagogues, some dating back to the 13th century, were leveled. What the war had proven was that if Jerusalem would not be under Israel’s sovereignty and protection, the consequences would be catastrophic.
  • On Dec. 5, 1949, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, explained to the Knesset his decision to move Israel’s capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:
    • “Had we not been able to withstand the aggressors who rebelled against the UN, Jewish Jerusalem would have been wiped off the face of the earth, the Jewish population would have been eradicated and the State of Israel would not have arisen.”
    • “A nation which, for 2,500 years, has faithfully adhered to the vow made by the first exiles by the waters of Babylon not to forget Jerusalem, will never agree to be separated from Jerusalem.”
  • In the last decade, religious sites have been under assault across the Middle East. Only a free and democratic Israel will protect Jerusalem for all the great faiths.
  • From 1948 to 1967, the Jewish people were denied access to their historical capital city. Jerusalem Day is a day in which that wrong was corrected and Jerusalem was made whole once more.

    The writer, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former Israeli Ambassador to the UN and former director-general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Daily Alert is published every Monday and Thursday.

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