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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘activists’

So Progressive: anti-Israel Activists Find Common Ground with the Alt-Right

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

In the aftermath of the US election, proudly progressive Israel-haters have been happy to tell everyone who’d listen that they have been right all along – alt-right, to be precise. About a week after the election, Ali Abunimah informed his Electronic Intifada readers that Trump might be “bringing ‘white Zionism’ to the White House.” He explained what “white Zionism” is supposed to be by citing the – in my view well-deserved – criticism of Steve Bannon’s leadership role at Breitbart News, which “regularly published materials designed to stoke fears about African Americans, Latinos, Muslims and other groups, and to explicitly normalize white nationalist and white supremacist beliefs.” Abunimah then declared triumphantly: “This so-called alt-right ideology has been described by one of its key promoters as a form of ‘white Zionism.’”

Well, to Ali Abunimah it must have seemed like a golden opportunity: when half of America was in shock about Trump’s unexpected election victory and appalled by the prospect of an empowered alt-right, why not seize the moment and come up with a spin that might convince all these people that Zionism was just as bad and despicable???

But Abunimah was by no means the only one to demonize Zionism as the Jewish version of white supremacism:  at the hate site Mondoweiss, Phillip Weiss accused renowned Holocaust scholar Deborah E. Lipstadt of “advocating a double standard” if she was denouncing “white nationalism as a white supremacist ideology” without condemning “Jewish nationalism” in the same terms.

A more recent post at Mondoweiss gloats about the widely reported failure of Hillel rabbi Matt Rosenberg at Texas A&M University to respond to alt-right leader Richard Spencer’s claim that Jews refused to assimilate and thus remained “a coherent people with a history and a culture and a future,” and that he just wants the same for whites. As Mondoweiss contributor Jonathan Ofir concludes, “Spencer masterfully put Rosenberg in a checkmate” by exposing “how Zionism and white-supremacy in fact dovetail.”

It’s good to know that alt-left anti-Israel activists would feel so elated to have their demonization of Zionism validated by the ‘masterful’ leader of the alt-right… The intellectual depth displayed here reminds me of Rania Khalek’s excuse when she was caught linking to a Holocaust denial site and then claimed it had just been “an error,” insisting at the same time that the book she had recommended from the site was “completely factual.” As I wrote at the time, Khalek was apparently convinced that a site devoted to minimizing Nazi crimes and defending people “not believing in the existence of gas chambers” can be trusted to feature a “completely factual” book that presents Zionist Jews as Nazi collaborators – which is obviously an idea that deserves as much ridicule and contempt as the notion that a white supremacist site would be a good place to find a “completely factual” book on blacks.

What anti-Israel activists who feel that the alt-right’s supposed affinity for Zionism validates their own “anti-Zionism” really tell us is that their view of Zionism has little to do with realities in the world’s only Jewish state.

Let’s look first at what Spencer means by “White Zionism”. This is how he put it at an alt-right gathering in 2013:

“For us ‘immigration’ is a proxy for race. In that way, immigration can be good or bad: it can be a conquest (as it seems now) . . . or a European in-gathering, something like White Zionism.  It all depends on the immigrants. And we should open our minds to the positive possibilities of mass immigration from the White world.”

More recently, Spencer told the notorious alt-right gathering in Washington D.C. something very similar as he told Hillel rabbi Matt Rosenberg at Texas A&M University:

“The Jews exist precisely because they were apart, precisely because they had, maybe you could say, a bit of paranoia about trying to stay away — please don’t quote paranoia,” Spencer said.”

Right, let’s not quote “paranoia” – it’s perhaps not the best word to describe the results of more than a thousand years of antisemitism…

But in any case, others at the gathering agreed that the Jews provided an excellent example for white nationalists. As one participant put it: “The opposition to intermarriage. The creation of their own state. The recreation of their language. This is the greatest triumph of racial idealism in history.”

So let’s start with intermarriage (and leave aside that I’m writing this as a naturalized non-Jewish Israeli citizen who “intermarried” with a Jew). While the alt-right hopes to be able to mainstream their ideas under President Trump, they presumably know that Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism and married a Jew. So if white nationalists want to emulate Jews, they’ve surely developed some ideas about how non-Whites can convert to being white?  And another interesting question: what language do white nationalists plan to recreate?

Anyway, to clarify things a bit more, I thought white nationalists might find it useful to contemplate this image before praising Israel for any supposed “greatest triumph of racial idealism in history”…

Mhm, you think this is how white nationalists would want their army to look? And, incidentally, how do you think white nationalists would feel if they knew the story of former Israeli president Moshe Katsav, who was found guilty of sexual offenses and sentenced to a lengthy prison term by a well-respected Christian Arab judge? If white nationalists see Israel as their example, maybe we should expect that they’ll have well-respected Black Muslim judges in their state?

I could go on, but I agree with Gilead Ini’s recent remark on Twitter: taking the alt-right’s professed admiration for the world’s only Jewish state seriously, and trying to show how insincere and uninformed it is, may not make more sense than countering other libels, like “arguing that Zionism isn’t Nazism or that Jews don’t drink blood.”

But the alt-left’s eagerness to embrace the alt-right’s fantasy of Israel as a validation of campaigns aimed at eliminating the world’s only Jewish state shows how alike both fringes are: the alt-right wants a white state without Jews, the alt-left wants a world without a Jewish state – and if their respective visions were to come true, the alt-right couldn’t care less about the fate of Jews in the diaspora, while the alt-left couldn’t care less about the fate of Jews in Israel.

Petra Marquardt-Bigman

Liberal Zionist Rabbis Support ‘Mixed’ Kotel Section While Reform Kotel Activists Attack Zionism [video]

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

For the first time in more than 25 years, three Israeli National-Religious Orthodox Rabbis: Shlomo Riskin, Benny Lau and Ronen Lubitsch, have called on the Netanyahu government to implement its decision to establish a special section of the Western Wall where Reform and Conservative Jews would be allowed to practice “mixed prayer” of men and women together, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, a large group of non-Orthodox Jews marched carrying Torah scrolls to protest restrictions on non-Orthodox prayer at the Western Wall. Members of the Israeli Reform Movement, Progressive Judaism and the Women of the Wall, they held prayers marking the start of the month of Cheshvan. They also protested the Netanyahu government’s delay in implementing its decision to create an egalitarian prayer section at the Wall.

The Liba organization, which is dedicated to fighting intermarriage in Israel, pointed out that many of the leaders of the Reform struggle to gain access to the Kotel as a movement are also extreme left-wing activists, such as Reform Rabbi Idit Lev, who led the “egalitarian prayer” at the Kotel on Wednesday, and is a senior official of Rabbis for Human Rights, which provided testimonies for the Goldstone report.

Against this very busy background, Rabbi Riskin has stated that Judaism as a whole and the Western Wall in particular are too important and precious to be left in the sole possession of Orthodox Jews. A video of his and his two colleagues’ statements was produced by Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, a religious Zionist movement whose stated mission is “to forge a more open and tolerant discourse in Religious Zionism, one that integrates a halakhic lifestyle with active engagement in Israeli society, in order to strengthen tolerance, equality, and social responsibility on the national level.”

Rabbi Lau added, on the same video, that “we must give everyone a feeling of being at home [at the Kotel].” The Kotel is not sectarian, it is the heart of the Jewish people, he argued, and so every single individual from the Jewish diaspora must find a home there.

Rabbi Lubitsch, leader of Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, also supports a solution to the needs of non-Orthodox Jews at the Kotel, even though, as he puts it, “It would have been better had they recognized everybody from the start.”

The movement’s campaign will be launched next week, on the 7th of the month of Cheshvan, which marks a unique point of cooperation between the Jews of Israel and diaspora. Even though the Jewish rainy season began on the holiday of Shmini Atzeret, at the end of Sukkot, the rabbis ruled that prayers for rain be suspended for two weeks, to allow the pilgrims who celebrated the holidays in Jerusalem time to return to their homes in Babylon.

Reform Rabbi Gilad Kariv, CEO of the Israeli Reform Movement congratulated the rabbis on their courage and sense of responsibility, and told Ynet that he has no doubt that “a large religious Zionist majority supports their approach, rather than the severe and separatist approach of the Haredi establishment.”

JNi.Media

Fighting Anti-Israel NGOs And BDS Activists: An Interview with Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

In just a few years, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has shot to political stardom in Israel. A computer engineer turned politician, Shaked, 40, has been a member of Knesset for the Jewish Home party since 2013 and was appointed justice minister by Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2015.

Shaked, a forceful champion of Israel’s rights both at home and abroad, is an outspoken supporter of Jewish settlements and was the driving force behind Israel’s 2016 NGO transparency law.

 

The Jewish Press: Can you describe your background and what influenced your political views and your decision to join the Jewish Home party?

Shaked: I was right wing since I was a child, after having watched a debate between Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres. I served in the army in the Golani Brigade and that also influenced my ideology, since most of the soldiers were from the Religious Zionist movement.

For a few years I was a Likud member, working with Benjamin Netanyahu after the Gaza Disengagement. I decided to leave the Likud and join the Jewish Home party because I thought that it’s very important to have a party that has secular and Orthodox working together on the basis of Religious Zionist values.

How concerned are you that the UN will try to impose a unilateral solution on Israel?

The UN is a very political and biased organization and I don’t believe in truth coming from it. It’s just a body of political interests. The fact that the UN has failed to deal with Syria while hundreds of thousands of women and children are being slaughtered there proves that it does nothing. The UN tries to hit Israel whenever it can in a very biased approach without even mentioning the ongoing incitement by the Palestinian Authority. Just the other day Mahmoud Abbas paid a condolence call to families of terrorists who tried to kill Jews.

The UN also ignores the fact that there are terror attacks conducted in the U.S. for the same reason – radical Islam against the West. In dealing with the UN, Israel should stick to its own beliefs.

Establishing a Palestinian state right now is a very dangerous thing. It’s also not realistic at all. The majority of the people in Israel, including those from the left and center, don’t think we have a partner right now. So Ban Ki-moon can talk, but it’s just wishful thinking. In reality we will do what we think is good for us.

How would you advise America to combat the scourge of Islamist terrorism that both America and Israel face?

You just need to face reality. In Europe they are already facing reality and identifying it as radical Islamic terrorism. We are not at war with Islam. In Israel, 20 percent of the population is Muslim. And we have a very good relationship with them. But we need to distinguish between Islam and radical Islamic terror, which threatens the Western world.

This is actually a war between two civilizations; between the Western world and radical Islamic terror. It’s in the U.S., in Europe, in Israel; it’s all over the Middle East. And radical Islam is mainly aimed at hurting other Muslims. There are hundreds of thousands of Muslims all over the Middle East who have been slaughtered because of this extreme ideology. We need to face this reality.

What is your position on Israel’s claim to Judea and Samaria?

After the Oslo Accords, Judea and Samaria were assigned to areas A, B, and C. Areas A and B are under the Palestinian Authority and area C is under Israeli authority. If you ask me what will be in the end, how will we finish the conflict, I believe we should annex area C. There are 425,000 Jews and 90,000 Arabs who are living there. The Arabs should be full citizens of Israel and get all the according rights. Areas A and B should be a strong autonomy or in conjunction with Jordan.

Under international law, those territories are not occupied territories; they are territories under dispute. There is a lot of land in area C that belongs to the state and we should expand building on those lands. There’s nothing we need to apologize for. It’s legally state land and we should continue to build there.

You initiated and then advanced Israel’s NGO bill through the Knesset. What do you hope it will achieve in terms of deterring agitators from working within Israel?

It’s a transparency bill. In Israel, there are a few NGOs that get the majority of their money from abroad from different countries. Those countries actually try to interfere in a diplomatic way in Israeli policy and are trying to do it through NGOs.

We are not forbidding that, but we want the public to be aware of it. That’s why we passed a transparency bill that any NGO that gets more than 50 percent of its budget from a foreign country should declare it when approaching a Knesset member and in their official publications.

What more can be done about many of these NGOs who are aligned with the BDS movement and their allies, such as the Black Lives Matter delegation that recently visited Israel and accused it of “genocide”?

There are definitely NGOs in Israel that cooperate with BDS groups, mainly in the United States. They actually lay the groundwork for the lies and they distort the facts the BDS groups end up using.

We need to determine what falls under freedom of speech, but we are fighting against the threat of delegitimization the NGOs are pursuing. This is something we are dealing with on a regular basis because it’s based on lies and it hurts Israel.

Unfortunately, many agitators against Israel in these various groups are Jewish. What would you say to them as Jews?

They are confused. I talked about it in the lecture that I gave to the JNF, in which I said there are extreme liberal Jews who just swallow the lies and the propaganda the BDS movement is selling. They are confusing liberal and human rights values with the new anti-Semitism. BDS is perpetrating a fraud and unfortunately there are people who are buying into it.

Sara Lehmann

Israeli Envoy: Anti-Israel UN Seminar Was Led by BDS Activists

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

The UN Dept. of Public Information held a three-day media seminar in Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this month, on peace in the Middle East, with the stated goal of bringing together “politicians, academics and other experts exploring new ways to narrate the complex and evolving story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” relates a press release from Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon, but “no official Israeli representatives were invited to participate.” Instead, “the current Palestinian representative to the UN and their former representative to the European Union both took part in the seminar,” the Danon statement said.

“Moreover, most of the speakers at the event are known for their anti-Israel views including Professor Steven Friedman from the University of Johannesburg who attacked Israel and defended the BDS movement,” Danon complained, adding that “other officials affiliated with the BDS movement took part in the seminar and were quoted on the official UN website.”

Ambassador Danon wrote a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon harshly criticizing the fact that the UN sponsored an anti-Israel event: “The UN has a moral obligation to act in accordance with the values and purposes of its charter, and events like this undermine the integrity and impartiality of the UN,” he wrote, saying “it is unfortunate that approximately 6.5 million dollars annually are diverted from those in dire need of humanitarian assistance to bodies whose only function is to serve as public relations departments for the Palestinian cause.”

Ambassador Danon also noted that “BDS is a notorious anti-Israel movement, which is conducting a global campaign of misinformation and outright slander against my country. Such activity against a member state ought not to be promoted by the UN.”

David Israel

Government to Expel BDS Activists. Bravo!

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Word From Jerusalem}

The decision by the Interior and Public Security ministers to form a special task force to expel foreigners engaged in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities is a long overdue but urgent call for remedial action against anti-Semites and renegade Jews who demonize and delegitimize us. In this context, I applaud the government for, albeit belatedly, taking action to expel or bar entry to foreigners who come into Israel in the guise of tourists in order to promote or assist BDS and provoke West Bank Palestinians against the IDF. There is also is a strong case to prosecute Israelis who engage in such seditious activities.

No doubt this will lead to a torrent of hysteria by the delusional left who will claim that this “denial of freedom of expression” is another move by the government towards implementing a “fascist” regime.

This legislation should have been introduced a long while ago and the timing coincides with impending actions by European governments, currently floundering in their efforts to provide security to their citizens under attack from crazed Islamic fundamentalist killers – both imported and homegrown. They will be seeking to impose legislation which will to some extent impose limits to unfettered civil liberties if they compromise security. If they fail to act they will be overwhelmed at the polls by radical right wing parties which have already mushroomed in response to the recent terrorist rampages.

The situation in Israel is infinitely more acute than in any other country. The Jewish state is the only country in the world whose right to exist is constantly challenged by neighboring states motivated by fanatical Islamic anti-Semitic dictatorships. Israel’s purported peace partner has made it clear that a Palestinian state is merely the first step towards the ultimate goal of eliminating Jewish sovereignty in the region. Ironically, even though much of the world refuses to recognize it, the reality is that today most Israelis are ready to separate from the Palestinians if this could be implemented in conjunction with long term security. It is the Palestinians, brainwashed by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, who only see an end of conflict with the destruction of Israel

In addition, unlike the situation in Europe, Israel is an oasis of relative tranquility in a continent of dictatorships and fanatical Islamic rogue states where the concept of human rights is simply nonexistent. Moreover over the past few years the region has become transformed into the most brutal killing fields in the world where hundreds of thousands have been cruelly massacred and millions displaced from their homes at levels of barbarism reminiscent of the Dark Ages.

It thus particularly galling for Israelis to witness governments and media listing terror attacks throughout the world and yet exclude Israel, the greatest victim. Their sickening justification for these omissions is that terror attacks in Israel differ from those in Europe because they are based on “resistance to occupation”. Never mind the fact that terror in Israel far predates 1967 when Israel repulsed the combined Arab armies which then sought to conquer it. The fact is that Israel has been the canary in the coal mine of terrorism and many Europeans are now likely to try to emulate our techniques and strategies in dealing with their own threats.

The government seems to have only now, belatedly, recognized that a crucial component in the effort of Israel’s enemies to destroy us is the war of ideas – and we are painfully losing this battle. Not to mention the vast sums of money foreign governments surreptitiously pour into NGOs, not for the promotion of human rights but in order to delegitimize the State of Israel.

Our government has been nonchalant and intimidated by the delusional left from taking steps to protect itself from internal and external enemies.

There is also a strong case to prosecute Israelis who engage in activities which subvert the state or seek to delegitimize it. When the extreme leftwing media, academics and activists broadcast self-evident lies demonizing their country and besmirching it by falsely accusing the Israel Defense Forces of engaging in war crimes, in the present climate this amounts to subversion. No other country confronting the threats to its existence would tolerate such behavior or enable taxpayers’ funds to be employed towards subsidizing “cultural” activities designed to demonize the nation.

Can one envisage how Churchill would have dealt with such behavior during the Second World War? A British parliamentarian expressing seditious remarks supporting those seeking the destruction of the nation – such as MK Haneen Zoabi has done – would face charges of high treason.

Bleeding hearts opposing the exclusion of foreign BDS activists should review US policy during the Cold War which denied entry to any foreigner who had been a member of the communist party. The dangers confronting Israel are infinitely greater than those the US then faced from the Soviet Union.

And we should be under no illusions. Since the creation of the State of Israel we have been and continue to live in a state of war. The vast majority of the Israeli public would doubtlessly agree that limited curtailment of civil liberties is highly justified if it inhibits those engaged in demonizing and delegitimizing us or even saves a single Israeli from becoming a terrorist casualty.

Isi Leibler

Israel Resolves to Track Down, Deport & Ban Entry of BDS Activists

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

A new joint ministerial task force has been formed to address the increasingly damaging phenomenon of Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement activists entering Israel and organizing activities to delegitimize and destroy the country from within.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Interior Minister Arye Deri announced in a joint statement Sunday that the news task force will be focused on tracking down the hundreds of BDS activities who already exist within Israel and who organize events calling for boycotts of the Jewish State.

The task force “is a necessary step in light of the malicious intentions of delegitimizing activists who work to spread lies and twist the truth about the reality in our region,” Erdan said.

“We have a responsibility to do everything possible to crush any boycott and to state clearly that we will not allow the State of Israel to be harmed,” added Deri. The Interior Minister is responsible for the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority as well.

Both were firm that it is time to put a stop to the boycotts against Israel, and each expressed determination to fight the phenomenon via the laws and agencies at his disposal.

The move comes as the realization sets in that Israel is increasingly being seen in the international arena as a pariah state — an existential threat that must be turned around if Israel is to survive.

Speaking to the Knesset Committee for the Transparency and Accessbility of Government Information, Sima Vaknin-Gil said the goal of the Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry is to replace that image with one that is more positive, hopefully within the decade.

Vaknin-Gil, director-general of the ministry, said that if all goes as planned and the current “narrative” is replaced, by 2025, no one will question whether the State of Israel has the right to exist.”

Meanwhile, as a start, the lawmakers will work to deport those involved in the BDS movement in the country, according to the statement released by the ministers. In addition, BDS activists will be barred from entering the country. Boycotting Israel, said Erdan, “must have a price.”

At least two dozen NGOs receive more than half of their funding from foreign government and other sources outside the State of Israel, and use the money to delegitimize and further isolate the Jewish State.

Erdan — who doubles as Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister — added that BDS activists make a point of traveling to Judea and Samaria to incite violence among citizens of the Palestinian Authority, and to block operations by the IDF and Border Guard Police.

A Swiss BDS activist was deported from Israel for the first time this month before she was able to enter the country after landing at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Rita Faye has visited Israel a number of times in the past and is well known to the IDF for her harassment of Israeli soldiers at checkpoint crossings into the Palestinian Authority around Jericho. When it became known that she was on her way to Israel, the IDF requested the Interior Ministry block her entry into the country.

Faye is a member of a pro-BDS Christian organization. She was put on a plane and sent back to where she came from, with a deportation order signed by the Interior Minister.

Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Activists Campaign at the DNC

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Pro-Palestinian Authority activists are out in full regalia at the Democratic National Convention, led — of course — by liberal American Jews sporting bold bright black and yellow logos on white tee shirts that proclaim “I support PALESTINIAN Human Rights” as if to assert that no other human rights exist.

Florida delegate Ahmed Bedier responded on Twitter to the activists with equal pride that his delegation had “just raised [the] Flag of Palestine at #DNCinPHL during platform vote #ProgressiveforPalestine” .

Remember, readers, it’s not really about America, or the Democratic Party, after all, or even about the United States Democratic presidential nominee.

It’s all about the “nth” generation millenials who still dream about their fantasy status as “refugees” or that of their friends — or who have romanticized “the Cause” on their behalf.

But these armchair liberals have yet to spend a gap year with their grandparents or those of their friends in the homes they say they miss so much. The ones that once were administered by the Jordanian authorities or the Egyptians, that is.

They’re in better condition today, but those villages were so badly maintained that in many of them there was sewage running in the streets. More than 90 percent of the homes were forced to provide their own electricity via personal diesel-run generators and their own water from village cisterns and tanks on their roofs.

So many of the village had basic infrastructure that was so badly maintained, in fact — the numbers are so overwhelming — and the population has remained so hostile, that it has taken this long for Israel to be able to do anything about it.

But many of the residents, particularly in the Palestinian Authority where four generations have been fed a steady diet of government-sponsored incitement via the media, the mosques and the school curriculum, that they prefer their misery and their PA citizenship to any improvements from Israel.

But hey, why should anyone complain about their nostalgia for the “good old days” if that’s what they prefer? After all, Jordan is right next door and just a hop over the Allenby Bridge, and Egypt is just south of the border — assuming that either of their loving Arab brethren will open their doors to let them in.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/palestinian-authority-activists-campaign-at-the-dnc/2016/07/27/

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