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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Top Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Violates International Travel Ban

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Exactly as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned, Iranian leaders are ignoring the “red lines” drawn around the JCPOA nuclear deal with the six world leaders, signed in Vienna in July 2015.

The latest violation involves a travel ban imposed on top Iranian Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who was photographed while touring Aleppo in Syria this past weekend.

He’s the general who leads Iranian operatives around the world, and according to the Washington Free Beacon, is also “directly responsible for the deaths of … many hundreds of Americans.”

Soleimani heads the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which has provided major military guidance, backup and support to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in addition to directly intervening in Iraq — and in Yemen.

Congressional and foreign policy sources told the Free Beacon that Obama Administration officials are working the back channels to prevent any new sanctions against Iran, “because they know that would force them to take action against Iran, and then Iran would walk away from the [nuclear] deal.

“Now they’re ignoring even old sanctions against the Iranians. They’ll do anything to keep the Iranians in the deal for just a couple more weeks, so they can blame the inevitable collapse on Trump,” the Free Beacon was told, according to a report posted Monday, Dec. 19.

At a briefing with journalists also Monday, State Department spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged Soleimani’s visit to Syria was a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution that governs the nuclear deal. But he took refuge in simply reflecting the question, and thereby ducking the need to give any answer.

“We do intend to consult with our partners on the Security Council about how to address our concerns with this,” he said.

“We’ve long said that Iran needs to choose whether it’s going to play a positive role in helping peacefully resolve conflicts, such as in Syria, or whether it will choose to prolong them.

“And you’re absolutely right, his travel was a violation.”

Hana Levi Julian

Why the Oldest Hatred Flourishes on US Campuses

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Jewish Americans who have been paying attention know there is a serious anti-Israel problem on U.S. campuses, and they have some idea of where it is happening. What most still don’t know is how or why it happened.

In Richard L. Cravatts’ new book,”Dispatches from the Campus War Against Israel & Jews,” (2016) he lays it all out.

“Dispatches” starts with the evolution of the “cognitive war against Israel.” Dr. Cravatts traces the modern trajectory of the oldest hatred. In its latest incarnation, the “new anti-Semitism” has morphed into a more widely acceptable, but just as hate-filled and irrational, version which hides behind the fig leaf of “criticism of Israeli policies.”

The intense contortions of those whose anti-Semitism was not acceptable forged a more acceptable conduit for the irrational hatred, which then flowed into the most-favored blame receptacle, now represented by the Jewish State.

Cravatts names the leading players behind this movement to recast and legitimize anti-Semitism, such as the University of Michigan’s Juan Cole, and Columbia University’s Joseph Massad and Edward Said. “Dispatches” also reveals how various cultural currents, such as multiculturalism, moral relativism and the grotesquely misnamed social justice warrior movement buttress this new lethal narrative.

American campuses are the petri dishes in which the latest version of the oldest hatred festers. Tuition and tax dollars feed the disease, while the fecklessness of campus administrations and even most Jewish organizations ensures its continued growth.

Today’s version of the Big Lie – that Israel is responsible for nearly every “pathology and failure” not only in the Middle East but for many even where Israelis have no footprint – is meticulously catalogued by Cravatts through his series of articles which make up “Dispatches.”

Luckily, moral detectives were able to recognize and categorize this new version of the old disease which lurks behind the moral narcissists’ claim of mere Israeli criticism. The villains are not the only ones whom Cravatts names.

Contemporary maccabees such as Martin Kramer, Ruth Wisse, Phyllis Chesler, and Canada’s Irwin Cotler, whose heroic efforts to name and shame those spreading the disease in the hopes of controlling the contagion are saluted. But the numbers and the ferocity of those seeking to extirpate the Jewish State are, sadly, far greater in number.

The effort to cast Israel – and therefore its Jewish citizens and supporters – as the ultimate evil in the world includes fevered references to Israelis as the new Nazis. It is a form of ex post facto exculpation, and also lets off the hook the youthful initiates who might otherwise feel uneasy spewing hatred. The linkage between Zionism and Nazism is frequently displayed in the signs held aloft at many campus demonstrations, as “Dispatches” reveals.

But the professoriat and their acolytes also delve into more recent history to stigmatize Jews and the Jewish State. Apartheid South Africa is a favored comparison to Israel, which reveals how little concern for facts plays a role in this academic game. Israel is one of the most diverse nations on Earth, one that has absorbed people of every imaginable color and religion. A quick peek at the Israeli legislature or the Israel Defense Forces puts the lie to the claim of Israeli apartheid, but as Cravatts repeatedly points out in his book, “facts are irrelevant” because Jew-hatred blinds the hater.

The second part of “Dispatches” explains the current malevolent phenomena of the BDS (Boycotts against, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement. This section focuses on recent efforts by academic associations to attack Israel using the BDS form of warfare. Why American academic associations such as the Modern Language Association, the American Studies Association and others believe themselves justified in attacking Israel (and only Israel) is examined in-depth. What’s revealed in that examination is shameful. That academics fail to recognize the moral failure of attacking Israel says volumes about the state of the American academy. It is not only a moral failure but an intellectual failure for a profession of those whose sole job is education.

The final section of “Dispatches” consists of nearly two dozen campus case studies. The role of the virulently anti-Israel organization “Students for Justice in Palestine” gets a lot of play, and deservedly so. Cravatts catalogues a plethora of outrages set on university campuses throughout the country.

Although Israel and Jews are the primary targets of the latest version of anti-Semitism, Cravatts does a masterful job of revealing one of its collateral victims: free speech. The chapters dealing with the abandonment by the left of a bulwark of freedom, that of speech, demand attention. Further, the co-existence of “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings” and hate speech codes, with calls for Israel’s extermination and the justification of murdering Jews because of the mythical “occupation” should boggle the mind. And yet it hasn’t. Not yet.

The author of “Dispatches” told the JewishPress.com he wrote the book with the hope that “by understanding the toxic tactics of pro-Palestinians, readers can begin to see the danger of teaching a whole generation of students a false and damaging narrative about the Jewish state.

“If we understand the tactical strategy and know its weaknesses, we can begin to combat the lies and degrade the odious campaign to vilify Israel.”

Cravatts lectures around the country on higher education, anti-Semitism and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. He has published hundreds of articles on these topics and is the immediate past-president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Currently Cravatts sits on the board of the AMCHA Initiative, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, and the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism. Read his book.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Liberman: Assad the Butcher Should Be Removed

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said at the opening of the Limmud FSU conference in Eilat Thursday that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is a “butcher” who “should be removed from power.”

Asked about the massacre of more than 500,000 people in the Syrian civil war and the recent siege on Aleppo, Liberman said: “Assad is a butcher, who has slaughtered and murdered hundreds of thousands of people, including by using chemical weapons. In my opinion, he should be removed from power – and we should block Iranian involvement in Syria.”

When asked if Israel should get involved in Syria, Liberman said: “Where is the international community? It’s a shame that instead of focusing on the very unfortunate fact that 500 people are killed in the Middle East every day, the international community would rather criticize Israel for every new balcony built on a settlement.”

Liberman also addressed the peace process, saying: “Any peace agreement should be based on populated-area exchange, which should also include Israeli Arabs who consider themselves to be Palestinian.”

“Territory transfers have worked successfully throughout history, and the principle conforms with international law,” he added.

Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) marked a decade of educational work with young Russian-speaking Jews at a festival of learning, which opened today in Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat. The ninth Limmud FSU Israel conference is a three-day event featuring hundreds of lectures, workshops, presentations and discussions by leading figures.

“We have made a huge impact in Russian-Jewish communities around the world,” said Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler. “We are so excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary – with leaders of the Russian-speaking community, such as the minister of defense – at one of the world’s most beautiful resort cities.”

Over the past decade, Limmud FSU has gathered more than 45,000 Russian-speaking Jews, most of whom were aged between 24 and 40, for educational and cultural festivals, conferences and other events in nine countries around the world.

“Year after year, Limmud FSU succeeds in igniting the spark of being Jewish, and this is the ninth time we’ll be doing so in Israel,” said Limmud FSU Co-Founder Sandra F. Cahn.

JNi.Media

UN Ambassador Danny Danon Welcomes Colleagues to Israel, Ancient and New

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon welcomed a delegation of 14 of his ambassadorial colleagues from the UN to Israel this week.

The UN ambassadors arrived for a tour organized by Project Interchange, of the American Jewish Committee and led by AJC Director of Diplomatic Affairs Ambassador Aaron Jacob.

The ambassadors, from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America toured the Jerusalem suburb of Ma’ale Adumim, and spent considerable time in the Western Wall tunnels. They also were taken on a detailed tour of the Old City of Jerusalem, during which time Danon seized the opportunity to talk about the UN Human Rights Council and its bias against Israel.

He spoke about the resolutions erasing the ancient historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and he spoke about the UNHRC’s efforts to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement, as well as the UN’s blacklist against businesses linked to Israel.

“Ambassadors to the UN represent their countries in the world’s most important international forum,” said Ambassador Danon. “Their visit to Israel provides them the opportunity to view up close the challenges, and opportunities, facing the Jewish state during a tumultuous time in our region. Additionally, this delegation is sure to strengthen our ties with these important countries.”

“We appreciate and thank each ambassador for taking the time to experience first-hand Israel’s dynamism and start-up economy, as well as the serious security challenges this small UN member state continues to confront in the tumultuous Middle East,” said Jacob. “The more one knows about Israel, the more one understands, and that is why this five-day visit is so important.”

To provide a deeper understanding of the geopolitical and security challenges Israel faces, the ambassadors traveled throughout Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the northern border and southern region. Visits to hi-tech and agricultural research facilities were expected to demonstrate Israel’s role as a world leader in innovations with global impact.

They met with Israeli officials and academic experts, as well as with Israelis from the general population. Meetings took place on topics specific to the United Nations 2030 Global Agenda, including special needs, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and food security.

The delegation also traveled to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority government officials and with Arab entrepreneurs, to discuss co-existence opportunities, including the new joint Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian Authority Industrial Zone.

Hana Levi Julian

Liberman: We’re Blocking Smuggled Weapons of Mass Destruction from Syria to Hezbollah

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Wednesday afternoon told the EU countries’ ambassadors to Israel that the Jewish State’s primary goal is to protect its citizens, defend its sovereignty and “prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from Syria to the Hezbollah.”

Liberman stressed that “we have no intention of intervening in the Syrian civil war, but when I’m asked, time after time, what would be the nature of a possible future order in Syria, I reiterate my position that it makes no difference what kind of order will win out – in any case the Iranians and Assad must leave Syria and must not be part of the new order.”

The defense minister told the ambassadors that in recent months he’s seen a growing cooperation between Hamas and ISIS in the Sinai. “In today’s world it is quite clear that we can’t count on the international community, and every country must count only on itself,” he said.

Liberman also told the ambassadors that it would be unrealistic and impossible to reach a permanent arrangement between Israel and the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, especially in light of the extremist positions of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“Therefore the idea of a permanent arrangement will be delayed for at least a few years, and meanwhile we must provide for normal life for Jews and Arabs alike in Judea and Samaria,” Liberman said, adding, “Today it’s clear the settlements are not an obstacle to peace, and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the focal point nor the cause of instability in the Middle East – and yet, European leaders continue to view the settlements as the biggest problem in the world.”

“At least 500 people are killed every day in the Middle East, from South Sudan to Iraq,” Liberman noted, “which is much more serious and important than hat’s happening in Amona – but you don’t see any mention of it in European media.”

“The fact that you keep talking only about the settlements is hypocritical,” Liberman concluded, telling the ambassadors, “I’m waiting for you to start talking bout North Korea and the Iranian ballistic missiles.”

David Israel

‘Peace Index’ Survey Reveals 48% of Israeli Jews Believe Left ‘Disloyal’

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The Monthly Peace Index, published on Monday by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University, found that a significant percentage of Israeli Jews consider the Left disloyal. 55% of the Jewish public agree that criticizing policy in times of security tension is illegitimate, and 48% of Israeli Jewish citizens think the political Left is not loyal to the country. 43% think the Left is loyal. In the Arab sector, 69% view the Israeli left as loyal to the country.

The monthly survey questions a representative sample of 600 Israelis, 500 Jews, 100 Arabs, from Nov. 29  to Dec. 1, 2016.

Trump is good for Israel? 48.5% of the Jewish public believe President-elect Trump is more sympathetic to Israel, while only 1% think he is more sympathetic to the Palestinians. 22% saw him as equally sympathetic to the two sides, and 7% did not see him as favoring either side. 22% were not sure. 60% of Arabs view the President-elect as more sympathetic to Israel.

A whopping 80.5% of the Jewish public agree with the recent statement by Ambassador Ron Dermer that “Israel has no doubt that President-elect Trump is a true friend of Israel.” In the Arab public a very similar rate expect US-Israel relations will flourish under Trump, although that does not necessarily make them happy.

55% of the Jewish public do not fear that the new president’s election will foster a rise in US anti-Semitism. Interestingly, the further to the left a respondent was, the more afraid they were of rising anti-Semitism under Trump. And, in a reversal of historic roles, 73% believe that the Israeli government should intervene on behalf of American Jews and use its ties with the Administration to get it to act against anti-Semitic phenomena.

On December 25, the Samaria settlement of Amona is expected to be demolished and evacuated following a Supreme Court ruling. The Netanyahu government is advancing the Regulations Act to prevent future demolitions and possibly the Amona destruction as well. The Jewish public is divided on this question, with 46% supporting the government’s pro-settlement position, and 43% supporting the attorney-general’s resistance to the proposed law. Among those defining themselves as rightwing, more than two-thirds identify more with the government’s position; among those defining themselves as leftwing, some 80% identify more with the attorney-general’s stance.

The proposed “muezzin law,” prohibiting the use of loudspeakers in Israeli mosques from 11 PM to 7 AM is supported by 56% of the Jewish public. 59% believes understandings can be reached on the problem of the disturbance created by the muezzins’ calls, and that the issue can be resolved in less official ways. 93% of Arab respondents believe that understandings and a satisfactory solution could be achieved in non-legislative ways.

On the idea of annexing all of Judea and Samaria, 49 years after Israel had liberated them, 44% of the Jews in Israel support annexation, 38% object. As for the assertion that “If the territories are annexed and one state is established under Israeli rule, there will be no choice but to give the Palestinians full and equal civil rights,” 48% disagree while 42% agree.

JNi.Media

Saban, ADL’s Greenblatt: Ellison Clearly an Anti-Semite

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

Movie mogul and major Democratic party donor Haim Saban on Friday night at a Brookings Institution dinner attacked Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a leading candidate in the race for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, calling him an anti-Semite.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean dropped out of the DNC race on Friday, urging Democrats to elect only a full-time chairman, implying Ellison would not make an effective party leader because of his Congressional commitments. Speaking on Friday to state party chairs in Denver, Ellison said that if he’s elected chairman, he’d consider leaving Congress to devote his attention to rebuilding the party.

The fact that Ellison may be the next Democratic party decision maker stirred up Saban’s harsh response.

Speaking from his table at the dinner, Saban said: “I would just like to clarify something about Keith Ellison and him running for head of the DNC. […] I think it’s important for this audience to know. First, The fact that Keith Ellison is a Muslim is a non-issue at all. That is not an issue. With that out of the way, if you listen to Keith Ellison today and you see his statements, he’s more of a Zionist than Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Begin combined. I mean, really, it’s amazing, it’s a beautiful thing.”

Then Saban delivered his punch line: “[But] if you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted – he is clearly an anti-Semite, an anti-Israel individual. Words matter, and actions matter more. Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party. Now I’ve said what I had to say.”

On Thursday, ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, not a rightwinger in anyone’s book, issued an almost identical statement, albeit in a less blunt style:

“When Rep. Ellison’s candidacy to be chair of the Democratic National Committee was first reported, ADL did not rush to judgment.  Instead, we took a hard look at the totality of his record on key issues on our agenda. We spoke to numerous leaders in the community and to Mr. Ellison himself. ADL’s subsequent statement on his candidacy appreciated his contrition on some matters, acknowledged areas of commonality but clearly expressed real concern where Rep. Ellison held divergent policy views, particularly related to Israel’s security.

“New information recently has come to light that raises serious concerns about whether Rep. Ellison faithfully could represent the Democratic Party’s traditional support for a strong and secure Israel. In a speech recorded in 2010 to a group of supporters, Rep. Ellison is heard suggesting that American foreign policy in the Middle East is driven by Israel, saying: “The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people. A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes.”

“Rep. Ellison’s remarks are both deeply disturbing and disqualifying.  His words imply that U.S. foreign policy is based on religiously or national origin-based special interests rather than simply on America’s best interests. Additionally, whether intentional or not, his words raise the specter of age-old stereotypes about Jewish control of our government, a poisonous myth that may persist in parts of the world where intolerance thrives, but that has no place in open societies like the U.S. These comments sharply contrast with the Democratic National Committee platform position, which states: “A strong and secure Israel is vital to the United States because we share overarching strategic interests and the common values of democracy, equality, tolerance, and pluralism.”

It appears that with or without Ellison at the Helm, rank and file Democrats are abandoning their party’s traditional relationship with the Jewish State. Israeli born Prof. Shibley Telhami, introduced a survey of “American attitudes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” at the at the Brookings Institute Saban Forum 2016, using 1,528 panelists with a 2.5% margin of error, that included the question: “Is Israel an ally or a burden to the United States?”

Most respondents, 76%, across party lines, agreed that Israel is a strategic asset to the U.S. But a majority of Democrats (55%), say that Israel is also a burden.

The breakdown by age of respondents across the lines regarding the notion that Israel is a burden: 61% of people 55 years of age or older disagree that Israel is a burden to the U.S., while 31% agree that it is a burden.

51% of 35 to 54 year olds disagree with the notion of Israel being a burden. But only 49% of 18 to 34 year olds disagree with it.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/saban-adls-greenblatt-ellison-clearly-an-anti-semite/2016/12/03/

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