Tuesday, December 12, 2017

‘Embassy would move without recognition of sovereignty’

Investigative journalist David Bedein, the head of the Center for Near East Policy Research,warned that the law requiring the US embassy to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over its capital, and that it would be better for Israel if US President Donald Trump signed the Security Waiver delaying the implementation of the law in order to provide time for Congress to fix the problems with the legislation.

“I was in Washington, in the capital, when the law was passed. I watched the negotiation go on, when Faisal Husseini, representing the PLO, and Yossi Beilin, representing the Israeli government, watered down the law. Instead of a law which would recognize the sovereignty over Jerusalem by Israel, but instead just moves the embassy without sovereignty,” Bedein said.

“It goes according to the American law which, number one, doesn’t recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel, and number two, makes [Jerusalem] into a Corpus separatum, separate from Israel. If Trump delays the move of the embassy, that is very good, because it allows for a change in the law,” he said.

He warned that the law “is phrased in such a way that it can allow another embassy to come in here, another capital to come in here, and it does not recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel.”

He called on US citizens to contact their representatives in Congress to amend the law in the coming months to add recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem to the legislation.

Ask US Ambassador: With violence on the horizon, Reconsider support for US funded schools of indoctrination.

At this point in time, the US ​funds PA and UNRWA education​ with no restrictions.

If you did ​not ​know about  PA/UNRWA school books and the orientation of their teachers, you would instinctively think that aid to education is a good thing.

​However, this year, the Center for Near East Policy Research, with partial funding from the Simon Wie​sennthal Center, hired journ​alists with Phd’s in Islamic Studies to translate all  PA schoolbooks taught to 492,000 children in the schools of the UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, funded with a $640 million education budget from  68 nations.

Biggest donor is the US, which contributed $300 million this year to UNRWA, with  54% of the UNRWA budget allocated to education​.​ ​Results: The 205 school books examined in the PA/UNRWA curriculum​ indoctrinate children to make war against the Jews.

New PA school books openly discuss the fate of  six  million Jews who live in the country after its “liberation” of Palestine: Expulsion of the usurper (code name for Israel) and extermination of the foreigners’ defeated and scattered remnants.

This element in PA schoolbooks used by UNRWA sounds the alarm:

“Let us sing and learn by heart: The Nobles’ Land [Ard al-Kurama’]
I have sworn! I shall sacrifice my blood
To water the nobles’ land
And I shall remove the usurper [ghaseb] from my country
And shall exterminate [ubid] the foreigners’ scattered remnants [fulul al-ghuraba’]
O land of Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and the sacred place [haram],
O cradle of pride and nobility
Patience, patience, for victory is ours
And dawn will peep out from darkness”

Taken from “Our Beautiful Language”, Grade 3, Part 2 (2016) p. 64
​​

This year, the Center for Near East Policy Research commissioned a new investigation to determine the extent to which  terrorist organizations ​continue to  ​dominate the faculty and administration of UNRWA schools.​

The results of the study: Terrorist organizations rule the roost in Gaza UNRWA schools, with the US as the primary funder. ​

​Now is the time for  US citizens to give feedback to the US ambassador to Israel, and to the US Congressional Committees that oversee US Middle East policy, about US funded schools.

How to communicate Middle East policy concerns to the US Congress

Individualized letters to public officials from concerned citizens are taken seriously.

What follows is a suggested communication  to the US ambassador to Israel, which could be used as a model letter to members of Congress to stop US funding of war indoctrination.

​The Hon. David Friedman

​US Ambassador to ​Israel

​Dear Ambassador Friedman,

​As a​ US ​ citizen, I wish to bring ​a ​concern​​ to your attention, since UNRWA & Gaza ​ ​come within areas of your jurisdiction.​

​The US allocates funds to Palestinian Authority schools in the UNRWA system. A ​new study ​of Palestinian Authority textbooks conducted by the Center for Near East Policy Research, underwritten by ​the Simon Wiesenthal center​,​​ reveals that Palestinian Authority text books used by UNRWA reflect a system of war indoctrination.

Full study of school books now used by UNRWA & the Palestinian Authority

A new study of UNRWA schools in Gaza,  conducted by the Center for Near East Policy Research​,​​ reveals that Hamas, designated by the US, UN, EU, Canada, the UK and Australia as   terror organization, dominates UNRWA schools in Gaza, since Hamas maintains tight control over the UNRWA workers union in Gaza and the UNRWA teachers union in Gaza.

Hamas continues to operate freely in UNRWA schools in GAZA

The more feedback that Ambassador Friedman gets in reasonable, individualized letters, the better.

The key question to ask: Why the US ​does not ​condition funds to UNRWA and the PA ​on the removal of inciteful text​s and removal of ​​terrorists ​fr​om US-funded UNRWA schools?

DeNazification Can Bring Results

One of the tragedies of Middle East peace negotiations launched between the government of Israel and the PLO in the 1991 Madrid conference and in the 1993 Oslo summit, was that there was no demand ever made to deNazify the PLO, whose genocidal purpose has never changed, as reflected in current PLO education, whose focus remains the extermination of the Jews. That oversight dooms any prospect for peace in the forseeable future.

Over the past year, the Center for Near East Policy Research, with partial funding from the Simon Wisenthal Center, hired journalists with Phd’s in Islamic Studies to translate all  PA schoolbooks taught to 492,000 children in the schools of the UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, funded with a $640 million education budget from  68 nations and…allowed by Israel.

Largest donor is the US,  giving  $150 million each year to UNRWA education.

For the first time, the new PA curriculum explicitly mentions the fate of  six  million Jews who live in the country after its “liberation”:

“Expulsion of the usurper (code name for Israel) and extermination of the foreigners’ defeated and scattered remnants”.

This element in PA schoolbooks used by UNRWA sounds the imperative for denazification:

“Let us sing and learn by heart: The Nobles’ Land [Ard al-Kurama’]
[Photograph used of the Old City of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock]
I have sworn! I shall sacrifice my blood
To water the nobles’ land
And I shall remove the usurper [ghaseb] from my country
And shall exterminate [ubid] the foreigners’ scattered remnants [fulul al-ghuraba’]
O land of Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and the sacred place [haram],
O cradle of pride and nobility
Patience, patience, for victory is ours
And dawn will peep out from darkness”

Taken from “Our Beautiful Language”, Grade 3, Part 2 (2016) p. 64

Was DeNazification successfully applied?

Apply the experience With Germany & Japan after World War 2.

Peruse results in Japan, as depicted in the following animated video
https://www.facebook.com/actdottv/videos/712971998893369

Review in Middle East Forum of GENESIS OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

Genesis of the Palestinian Authority collects articles and policy papers by Bedein, director of The Center for Near East Policy Research and founder of the Israel Resource News Agency. The author has covered the Palestinian Authority (PA) from its inception in 1994 and documents how the United Nations and Western countries working with organizations such as the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) have artificially created and sustained the Palestinian Authority using revisionist history and lies.

For years, Bedein’s main focus has been exposing UNRWA, established as a relief agency for Palestinian refugees. He demonstrates how UNRWA has exacerbated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and created new generations of “refugees” who demand the “right of return” and advocate for the destruction of Israel.

One section of the book is devoted to portraits of terrorists who were educated in UNRWA schools where a toxic curriculum of anti-Semitic and pro-jihad incitement is taught daily. UNRWA textbooks incite students to violence and are condoned by the Palestinian Authority and, not astonishingly, by the United Nations itself. In a list of questions, which Bedein suggests the media put to PA officials, he includes, “Will you remove from all Palestinian Authority schools and libraries the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as well as the doctoral thesis written by Abbas that asserts that Zionists worked with the Nazis to conduct mass murder of Jews in World War II?”

Bedein explains how both the Oslo accords (1993-95) and the dismantling of Jewish communities in Gaza in 2005 were disastrous blunders that emboldened the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to continue their jihad for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. He warns that the “peace process” is merely the continuation of the war against Israel by political means. A case in point is the training of Palestinian Authority policemen that took place in conjunction with the Philadelphia Police Department in 1995. Despite the good intentions of those who envisioned this program, it in fact helped create an armed militia for the Palestinian Authority that ultimately was responsible for the deaths of more than a thousand Israelis.

The book is a treasure trove of documentation exposing how the Palestinian Authority has morphed into a terrorist entity while successfully presenting a façade of reason and moderation to Western governments that continue to fund its deadly activities.

Update: Study Shows Deterioration in New School Books ​used by the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA

This paper updates a report titled “UNRWA’s Problematic Educational Role in the Middle East Conflict”. The said report, issued in September 2017, reviewed UNRWA’s role in perpetuating the Middle East conflict, having used for decades textbooks that delegitimize the State of Israel and the very presence of its Jewish citizens in the country, demonize both Israel and Jews in various contexts and advocate a violent struggle against it instead of peace and coexistence. The said report covered the last four years of UNRWA activity and relied on some 150 textbooks published between 2013 and 2017. In the meantime, the PA has started in 2016 a new project of textbook publishing (and some of the 2016 books were republished with some changes in 2017). UNRWA spokespersons then claimed that the said report was “inaccurate and misleading”, having included old books that were not in use in UNRWA schools at the time of its appearance. The problem with this claim is that it ignores UNRWA’s active cooperation with the PA’s war indoctrination throughout the years before the latter’s initiation of the current textbook publishing operation. Nevertheless, just to meet the challenge, this updated paper includes only textbooks currently in use in UNRWA schools. Some of these books are scheduled to be replaced in January 2018, which will necessitate further updating of this paper in due course.

UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the refugees of the 1948 Palestine war – began its operations in 1950 and since then it has been present in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the territories of the West Bank (including Israeli East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. Unlike its parallel UNHCR organization that aims at resettling all other world refugees, UNRWA has extended the refugee status of the original refugees to include their descendants of four generations so far, while keeping them in makeshift camps under poor conditions and nourishing within them the false hope of their eventual return to their former places of residence in pre-1967 Israel. Thus, from a 700 thousand-strong population in 1948, the number of these socalled Palestinian refugees has by now exceeded 5 million.

תחקיר חדש מצביע על התדרדרות קיצונית בספרי הלימוד של אונר”א והרשות הפלסתינאית

הקדמה נייר זה מעדכן דו”ח קודם בכותרת “התפקיד החינוכי הבעייתי של אונר”א בסכסוך המזרח-תיכוני”. – , סקר את תרומתה של אונר”א להנצחת הסכסוך המזרח 2017הדו”ח האמור, שיצא לאור בספטמבר תיכוני ע”י השימוש במשך עשרות שנים בספרי לימוד שמציגים כבלתי לגיטימי הן את קיומה של מדינת ישראל והן את עצם הימצאות אזרחיה היהודים בארץ, עושים דמוניזציה לישראל וליהודים בהקשרים שונים ומטיפים למאבק אלים נגדם במקום לשלום ולדו-קיום. הדו”ח הנ”ל כיסה את ארבע השנים .2017 – 2013 ספרי לימוד שהוצאו לאור בין השנים 150-האחרונות של פעילות אונר”א והסתמך על כ 2016 בפרוייקט חדש של הדפסת ספרי לימוד (וחלק מהספרים של 2016-בינתיים, החלה הרש”פ ב ). דוברי אונר”א טענו אז שהדו”ח הוא “בלתי מדוייק ומטעה” מאחר 2017-הודפסו מחדש עם שינויים ב שהוא כולל ספרי לימוד ישנים שכבר לא היו בשימוש בבתיה”ס של אונר”א בזמן שיצא לאור. הבעיה בטיעון הזה היא התעלמותו משיתוף הפעולה הפעיל של אונר”א עם האינדוקטרינציה המלחמתית של הרש”פ במשך השנים שקדמו ליוזמתה של האחרונה להדפיס את ספרי הלימוד מחדש. על כל פנים, וכדי לעמוד באתגר, הנייר הנוכחי כולל אך ורק ספרי לימוד הנמצאים בשימוש עכשווי בבתיה”ס של אונר”א. , דבר שיחייב עידכון נוסף של נייר זה 2018חלק מספרים אלה עתידים להיות מוחלפים בחדשים בינואר בקרוב.

1950- החלה את פעולתה ב – בא”י 1948 סוכנות הסעד והתעסוקה של האו”ם לפליטי מלחמת –אונר”א ומאז היא מקיימת נוכחות בסוריה, לבנון, ירדן ושטחי יו”ש (כולל מזרח-ירושלים שבשלטון ישראל) אשר פועל – )UNHCR הנציבות העליונה של האו”ם לפליטים ( –ועזה. שלא כארגון המקביל לה אונר”א הרחיבה את מעמד הפליט של הפליטים – במטרה ליישב מחדש את כל יתר הפליטים בעולם המקוריים באופן שנכללו בו צאצאיהם מזה ארבעה דורות עד כה, בעודה מחזיקה אותם במחנות זמניים בתנאים ירודים ומטפחת בהם את תקוות השווא שבבוא היום ישובו למקומות מגוריהם הקודמים בישראל , עבר היום מספרם של אלה המכונים פליטים 1948- אלף ב 700-. כך, מאוכלוסיה של כ1967שמלפני פלסטינים את החמישה מיליון.

מתוך 49.35% – דולר של ארה”ב 363,076,000כמחצית מתקציבה הרגיל של אונר”א מוקדש לחינוך ( אונר”א מספקת גם שירותי בריאות וסעד. בשנת הלימודים 1.)2017- דולר של ארה”ב ב 735,748,000 – בתי”ס ביו”ש עם כ 96- ו 2 תלמידים, 271,216 בתי”ס ברצועת עזה ובהם 276 היא החזיקה 2017/18 כך שהיא אחראית על חינוכם של כרבע מתלמידי הרש”פ בכיתות א’ עד י’ (אונר”א 3 תלמידים, 50,000 אינה מפעילה בתי”ס תיכוניים בשטחי הרש”פ).

The disappointing Orthodox response to Hotovely

One of the most important and influential Modern Orthodox Jewish women in the world is under severe attack from Reform rabbis who want her to be denounced, humiliated, and fired from her job. So why aren’t the major U.S. Orthodox groups coming to her defense?

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely is the embodiment of everything that groups such as the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America stand for. She has risen to the senior leadership ranks of the Israeli government without compromising her Orthodox religious observance. She partakes in worldly affairs while remaining true to Jewish tradition. She proudly completed her national service (sherut leumi), obeying the Chief Rabbinate’s ban on women’s army service, and this even though religious girls are not required to serve. She is an alumnus of the Bnei Akiva religious Zionist youth movement, one of the jewels in the crown of modern Orthodoxy.

Hotovely is an exemplary role model for young modern Orthodox women. She completed both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law at Bar Ilan University, served as editor of Bar-Ilan’s Journal of Law, and practiced law with a major Tel Aviv firm before entering politics. And on top of all that, she’s a wife and mother of two young daughters. She is living proof to young Orthodox women that they truly can “have it all.”

Tzipi Hotovely is, in short, one of the most impressive and effective representatives that modern Orthodox Jewry has had in a long time.

Now, when she’s under vicious attack, Orthodox groups should be rallying to her side, not running for the hills.

In a television interview, Hotovely noted Jews in the United States do not face the same kind of dangers that Israeli Jews face. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, and some other voices on the left responded with hysteria. They said they were “insulted” and demanded that Hotovely be fired.

A number of prominent writers and thinkers have weighed in. Yossi Klein Halevi said the deputy foreign minister made “a simple statement of fact.” Daniel Gordis wrote: “On the facts, she is indeed correct. Most American Jews do not spend much time dodging rockets. Most American Jews do not have children serving in the American military. And on average, American Jews enjoy an enviable level of socioeconomic security.” And Gil Troy commented: “Many Israeli and American Jewish leaders seem to be suffering from an attack of the stupids.”

All three of these writers did take issue with some aspects of Hotovely’s tone, or her approach. They would have preferred if she had shown more empathy for American Jews. But anyone who listens to the full context of her remarks will see that, in fact, she was quite empathetic.

Among other things, she said: “This is the home of the Jewish people of all streams, all of whom are welcome here to come and to influence Israeli politics. Please, just come! I am even willing to not have a right-wing leadership, in order to have all Jews sharing in this beautiful, amazing place called the State of Israel.”

And in a subsequent clarifying statement, the deputy foreign minister added: “American Jewry is important to us; we are siblings, and siblings are allowed to have an argument within the family. Israel is home to all Jews from all denominations. I view the link between us and the American Jewry as essential. Let me make it clear: There is no argument about the loyalty of American Jews to their country. The use of partial quotes from a full interview only undermines the central message.”

In Israel, Orthodox American olim weighed in. Rabbi Berel Wein wrote: “Recently a government official here in Israel dared to say that the Emperor known as American Jewry has no clothes.” David Bedein titled his article “Save Tzipi from the jaws of Jewish organizations abroad” and former Hollywood screen writer Tzvi Fishman wrote: “She could have, and should have, spoken in far harsher terms.”

But in the USA, only the Coalition for Jewish Values, a newcomer on the American Orthodox scene, spoke up in Hotovely’s defense. A CJV spokesman said, correctly, that “She held up a mirror to much of American Jewry, and some of their self-appointed leaders do not like what they see. Instead of attacking the messenger, they should do some soul-searching, and bring their followers to the love and support of Israel that should be natural for every Jew.” Arutz Sheva published an article strongly defending Hotovely by CJV’s  Rabbi  Prof. Dov Fischer of the Young Israel of Orange County.

I am puzzled by the silence of the other U.S. Orthodox Jewish groups. Are they hesitant about being involved in controversies? Are they worried that their non-Orthodox associates will think badly of them? This is no time for such fears. This is a time to stand up, unabashedly, and speak out for a woman who is such a strong and proud representative of everything that modern Orthodox Judaism stands for.

Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

Dead man walking – terror survivor, David Ramati

David Ramati is a USMC Vietnam Veteran, served 25 years in the Israeli Army, retiring as a Captain and recently survived a Palestinian terrorist’s attempt to kill him. The US sends $700 million a year to the PA, they spend over $350 million of that paying for terrorists to kill Israelis. Tell your congressmen to STOP funding terrorism, and to pass and enforce the Taylor Force Act. #BounceTheSlaychecks

What a difference 70 years make

On that day the United Nations voted to re-establish Jewish sovereignty in a truncated and emasculated territory far removed from the original intentions of the Balfour Declaration and the legal obligations of the San Remo Agreement and the League of Nations Mandate. Thirty three nations voted in favour, thirteen voted against, ten abstained and one nation was absent. The Soviet Union and the United States although rivals in a developing cold war both miraculously voted in favour. Every Arab and Moslem representative voted against thus setting the stage for their future self-inflicted disasters.

Seventy years ago the UN had not yet morphed into the morally bankrupt body it is today. Even so the result of the UN vote in 1947 was far from a done deal. It took the energetic and dedicated efforts of Jewish Agency representatives and others to persuade some countries to vote in favour. Nobody knew how the Soviet Union and its satellite nations would vote given Stalin’s paranoid record on Zionism and Jews. South American nations were susceptible to pressure from various sources. The US State Department was renowned for its inbuilt hostility to the idea and fearful of upsetting the Arabs. The UK was not expected to vote in favour and the only question was whether it would vote against the resolution or abstain. The question remained as to how the ex colonies of the British Empire would vote and if they would be influenced by Ernest Bevin, the UK Labour Party’s rabidly anti-Zionist Foreign Minister.

All these imponderables contributed to an almost unbearable sense of dread and uncertainty amongst the destitute remnant of the Shoah still incarcerated in DP refugee camps in Europe and in Cyprus where the British authorities had exiled them after slamming shut the gates of Palestine. Jews in the USA a mere two years after the end of World War 2 were for the most part sympathetic to and supportive of the Zionist cause. Generally Jewish communities worldwide rallied around and there can hardly have been any who did not cluster around their radios that fateful day in November 1947.

History was made that day and nothing, not even the combined efforts of Arab nations to snuff out the reborn Jewish State proved able to thwart the fulfillment of a dream of millennia. Out of the ashes of two thousand years of exile, pogroms, crusades and genocide, an independent Jewish nation arose.

Looking back seventy years one has to marvel at how things have changed for the better and also for worse. Israel today is a country that those who voted at Lake Success for its recreation in 1947 would not recognise. What has been achieved in this space of time can only be described as miraculous especially when one takes into account the hostility encountered. We have outlived the Soviet Empire as we have all other empires who tried to destroy us. The Iron Curtain collapsed and over a million Russian Jews moved to the Jewish State.

Certain nations who originally voted in support of the 1947 resolution are now firmly in the anti-Israel camp and others overtly or covertly support boycotts and sanctions. Europe has in many cases reverted to its historical antipathy towards the Jewish nation and of course the UN and its associated bodies once the bastion of international morality has become cesspits of hypocrisy and double standards as far as Israel is concerned.

The other major change is the worrying phenomenon of self loathing groups both in Israel and elsewhere who now feel it necessary to do everything to denigrate, pillory and defame Israel in every forum, academic institution and the media.

Opposition, especially by certain sectors of the American Jewish establishment, to the centrality of Israel and the consequential “spin offs” which this has had on Diaspora Jewry were evident already since the early 1950’s. As noted by a prominent historian, Jerold Auerbach, quoted recently in a piece written by Daniel Gordis:

The idea of a Jewish state, to say nothing of the reality of Israel, seldom inspired feelings of passionate attachment in the majority of American Jews.” In 1950, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s assertion that Israel was now the de-facto center of the Jewish world provoked an irate Jacob Blaustein, president of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and at the time perhaps the most important lay leader of American Judaism, to counter forcefully that “there can be no single spokesman for world Jewry no matter who that spokesman might try to be.” Ten years later, when prominent American Jews expressed repugnance at Israel’s kidnapping of the Nazi mass murderer Adolf Eichmann in order to bring him to trial in Jerusalem—by what right, these Jews demanded, did a state that had not even existed when Eichmann committed his crimes claim jurisdiction as if it were the acknowledged international address of the Jewish people?—Ben-Gurion reacted with rage: “[The] Judaism of Jews of the United States,” he declared, “is losing all meaning and only a blind man can fail to see the day of its extinction.”

 Since then the situation has seriously deteriorated. According to the 2013 Pew study:

Some 80 percent of US Jews sixty-five or older say that “Israel’s destruction would be a personal tragedy,” the number drops to 50 percent for those thirty-five and under.

40% of millenials are unafilliated; 57% of US Jews have never visited Israel; 44% have non-Jewish partners.

 These statistics help to explain why recently an op-ed entitled “I am a Jew with zero attachment to Israel” could be published in a prominent American Jewish publication. The writer proudly states:

“When I hear news related to the country, I feel no added resonance or relevance to my own life. I have never visited the country — even when I was presented with ample opportunity to do so, free of cost. I have no plans to ever explore this part of the world. You could not pay me enough to consider it. This viewpoint hardly qualifies as unique amongst Reform liberal Jews living in America today. And it is my belief that that’s a good thing. This is because my sense of Judaism is based on a collection of beliefs and values that have precisely nothing to do with geography.”

 Obviously not all are similarly detached from the real sources of their faith but enough are to cause disquiet. When Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister stated that American Jews have no idea of reality on the ground here she caused a storm. Although perhaps some of her observations could have been more elegantly phrased there is no doubt that unless one lives in Israel and experiences reality here it is impossible to appreciate real facts on the ground. Blaming Israelis and shooting the messengers who articulate uncomfortable facts is easy but will not solve current disagreements. This however is what we face.

A prominent American Rabbi told an Executive member of the Jewish Agency at the recent meeting of the US Jewish Federations:

“You’re (i.e. Israel) going to have to earn the allegiance of the next (US) generation. They don’t know from the Holocaust. They have no experience of anti-Semitism. They didn’t feel the elation of the 6 Day War.”

 While I agree that Israel has a major role to play in rescuing the next generation from Jewish oblivion it is the failure of present day lay and religious leadership which has contributed to this lamentable state of affairs.

We here in Israel certainly must strive to seriously engage Diaspora youth but our task is not made easier by the dilution and distortion of Judaism and its roots in the Land of Israel which seem to be so popular in certain quarters these days.

Seventy years ago there was a euphoric wave of solidarity at the prospect of renewed Jewish sovereignty. We need to recapture that feeling now that we are proudly sovereign in our own land.

 

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

A new anti-Semitism is growing in America and we must unite against it

Hatred of Jews is an ancient cancer of the soul that refuses to die. For thousands of years, successive generations of bigots have embraced it, each trying to sell anti-Semitism in a new and more attractive way, with new lies and slanders. One of the most prominent peddlers of this vile doctrine in America today is Palestinian-American Linda Sarsour.

And now, in a supreme irony, Sarsour has been invited to head a panel discussion Tuesday at the New School for Social Research in New York City on combating anti-Semitism. This makes as much sense as inviting a Ku Klux Klan leader to head a discussion on combating racism, or inviting disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein to head a discussion on combating sexual misconduct.

Sadly, Sarsour is just one of many enablers and inciters of a troubling new anti-Semitism growing in America today, especially on college campuses, where it is poisoning young minds.

Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, this new anti-Semitism seeks to disguise itself – often by posing as a progressive movement supporting human rights of Palestinians. But like the wolf that masquerades as a sheep, the modern-day Jew-haters are what they are, regardless of how they seek to cover it up.

Making Jews a minority in the land of Israel, which was created to be the only Jewish state on Earth, would turn the country into yet another Arab-majority Mideast nation.

Sarsour gained instant media celebrity status as co-chair of the National Women’s March protesting in Washington against President Trump the day after his inauguration. She was warmly embraced by many as a leader of the so-called “resistance” to our new president.

Speaking to the Islamic Society of North America in July, Sarsour said that Muslims are “struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world (she means Israel), but here in these United States of America where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House.”

And Sarsour is also a strong supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)movement against Israel. The movement compares Israel to South Africa under its former white minority government that discriminated against nonwhites. BDS seeks to isolate Israel from the world as an international pariah, calling for the end to investment, trade, cultural and academic ties with the Jewish State.

The BDS movement echoes the boycott of Jewish businesses ordered by Adolf Hitler after he became the dictator of Germany in 1933. The Star of David was painted on the doors and windows of businesses owned by Jews, along with anti-Semitic slogans and signs saying “Don’t Buy from Jews.”

And while Sarsour asserts she is not against the existence of Israel, her claim is absurd. She wants to replace Israel with a “one-state solution” in which the culture and identities of over 6 million Jewish citizens would be extinguished and subsumed under a nation combining Israel, the West Bank and Gaza that would quickly have an Arab majority.

Making Jews a minority in the land of Israel, which was created to be the only Jewish state on Earth, would turn the country into yet another Arab-majority Mideast nation. From Morocco to Iraq, those nations drove out most of their Jewish citizens decades ago and have a long record of discrimination against the few who remained. Israeli Jews would meet a similar fate, or worse.

Sarsour is a symptom of worsening anti-Semitism in America. In 2016, despite constituting under 2 percent of the U.S. population, Jews were the targets of 684 of the 1,273 anti-religion incidents tallied by the FBI – more than double all other anti-religious attacks combined.

Most of the incidents involved damage or vandalism against synagogues and cemeteries. But 238 involved ugly intimidation on our nation’s campuses. FBI findings are echoed by an Anti-Defamation League report that shows anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. surged by more than one-third in 2016, and by an astounding 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017. This includes a doubling of anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism at schools.

Fortunately, there is no indication that most Americans have embraced anti-Jewish attitudes. A 2017 Pew Poll shows that 67 percent of Americans have “warm” views about Jews.

However, there are troubling signs. For example:

  • Anti-Semitic incidents on America’s top college campuses from 2014 to 2015 are increasing. Most involve intimidation of Jewish students who support Israel, pressure to disinvite or silence pro-Israel speakers, and the de-legitimization of Israel by a double standard applied to no other nation.
  • The BDS movement is growing on college campuses, supporting by vicious lies alleging Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. Some professors support this movement and its lies.
  • Vandalism continues at synagogues and Jewish cemeteries. Jewish institutions are forced to spend large sums on security measures, fearing attacks like the recent murderous rampage at a church in Texas.
  • Jew-haters have taken a page from the ISIS online marketing strategy and are using social media to recruit young followers. Rabblerouser Andrew Anglin, who incited the anti-Semitic marchers at the recent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., wrote on his blog: “I have long thought that we needed to get pre-teens involved in the movement. At that age, you can really brainwash someone easily. Anyone who accepts Nazism at the age of 10 or 11 is going to be a Nazi for life.”
  • Self-styled “progressives” have joined right-wing extremists to campaign against the legitimacy of Israel and Zionists. In Britain, Jeremy Corbin’s Labour Party, once the political home of British Jewry, now is home to prominent anti-Semites. And last summer, a convention of the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed BDS.

At a time when Linda Sarsour and progressive “anti-Zionists” have joined racist and neo-Nazi groups working to end America’s long history as friendly territory for Jews, we would do well to heed the words of an American hero revered by all – President George Washington.

In 1790, our first president wrote of his good feelings for Jews in a letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport in Rhode Island, asserting that the U.S. government “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” He added: “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants – while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

Amen.