Humanitarian Concessions Will Not Reduce Hamas Violence. Here is the Evidence

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman appears to be accepting the argument that humanitarian gestures towards Hamas will buy quiet. The evidence provided by UN agencies in an effort to advocate for humanitarian gestures ironically proves that there is in fact no correlation between such gestures and a reduction in Hamas violence.

Politicians, commentators, diplomats, citizens, international fora, the Knesset, EU institutions, and – above all – Israel’s major media sites endlessly debate Gaza’s alleged humanitarian plight and the virtue of humanitarian gestures as a means to mitigate it.

Even Israel’s hardline Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, appears to be buying into this argument. The Kerem Shalom border crossing is to be reopened after having been closed in reaction to the launching by Hamas of nearly 200 missiles over the space of two days. The fishing rights of Gaza fishermen will be widened to 12 kilometers in the hope that Hamas will stop the launches. Hamas will be free to continue sending off incendiary balloon bombs and to violently challenge Israeli troops at the security fence every Friday. Needless to say, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar told the Egyptians brokering the deal that Hamas cannot possibly desist from these forms of “resistance.”

The hope to buy off Hamas with humanitarian gestures is in vain.

There is overwhelming evidence that humanitarian gestures do not reduce Hamas-orchestrated violence. Ironically, the best evidence of the futility of the humanitarian argument is to be found in figures and graphs compiled by UN agencies and other pro-Palestinian fora that strenuously champion the humanitarian argument.

The exercise is simple. If humanitarian gestures had in fact led in the past 11 years to a reduction of violence, there should be a visible correlation between 1) a high number of trucks full of produce moving into Gaza, 2) a high number of trucks full of Gazan exports moving out, and 3) a high number of Gazans allowed to travel to Israel for business and health care to Israel and beyond with low levels of missile launchings. (Missile launchings are by far the most important index of Hamas violence. The lethality and destructive capacity of missiles dwarfs the effect of Hamas’s relatively infrequent attempts to penetrate Israel through tunnels and the small number of shootings at Israeli troops.)

Let us begin with a long-term analysis of the relationship between humanitarian gestures and violence. According to the humanitarian argument, one should see a reduction of, for example, trucks moving into Gaza in the month or two immediately preceding these bouts.

Take a good look at the following two graphs. The first shows the monthly rate of trucks into Gaza; the second shows missile launchings. There is no correlation between the two. In fact, the number of trucks dramatically increased in 2010 as Israel announced that it would considerably loosen restrictions on incoming produce (it lived up to its word). The number of trucks remained steady up to November 2012.

Table 1: Number of Trucks into Gaza Mid-2009 to end of July 2018

Source: Gisha, http://gisha.org/reports-and-data/graphs

Table 2: Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits

Yom Kippur War: IDF chief ignored pre-warning about Egyptian artillery

“Everyone one of the forts on the [Suez] Canal, as far as potential from the enemy, could be hit easily with 5,000 shells per hour.”

Then-prime minister Golda Meir (R) accompanied by then-defense minister Moshe Dayan, meets with Israeli soldiers at a base on the Golan Heights after intense fighting during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Former IDF chief of staff Haim Bar-Lev ignored warnings in 1972 that forts along the Sinai defense-line with Egypt could have been easily hit with 5,000 shells per hour. That’s according to classified material disclosed by the Defense Ministry on the eve of the 45th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. Those forts were later named after him.

The warnings came on May 29, 1972, from IDF Operations Command Maj.-Gen. Yisrael Tal, who said that, “every one of the forts on the [Suez] Canal, as far as potential from the enemy, could be hit easily with 5,000 shells per hour” by Egyptian forces.

He continued to say that, “it is not just a question about a given fort being destroyed. Rather, even if the fort is not destroyed, the people [soldiers] there will never fight again – because of the shock, the gas” and other harm from the attack.

“We have not risked exploring this [scenario], and we cannot wait until the first test and only afterward evacuate the forts… my point of reference for nixing the forts is that it is an awful trap… And it can happen in one hour. And if it happens in one day to four or five forts, it would be a national disaster,” he added.
Tal’s opposition and that of then-Maj.-Gen. Ariel Sharon to the Bar Lev line, which served as the heart of Israel’s defense strategy against Egypt, had been known before the latest disclosures. At the time, both men were overruled anyway.

This is the first time that the Defense Ministry publicized portions of the May 29, 1972 and October 5, 1973 classified IDF High Command meetings. It is also the first commentary on Tal’s alternative strategy document and critique of the Bar Lev line from 1970.

Tal and Sharon’s warnings were eventually far more accurate than Bar Lev and the majority IDF High Command’s estimate that the defense line would hold long enough for them to have 24 to 48 hours to reinforce the line with reserves.

Investing so much faith in the Bar Lev defense line has been retrospectively uniformly judged a devastating intelligence failure, which led to the Egyptian rout of Israeli forces in the early days of the war.

He continued to say that, “it is not just a question about a given fort being destroyed. Rather, even if the fort is not destroyed, the people [soldiers] there will never fight again – because of the shock, the gas” and other harm from the attack.

“We have not risked exploring this [scenario], and we cannot wait until the first test and only afterward evacuate the forts… my point of reference for nixing the forts is that it is an awful trap… And it can happen in one hour. And if it happens in one day to four or five forts, it would be a national disaster,” he added.

That failure was later salvaged by a hugely successful Israeli counter-attack, but the lessons learned are what continue to pressure the IDF and Israeli intelligence through to the present day.

Regarding Tal’s 1970 alternative strategy document, he said that the Suez Canal should be patrolled day and night by two brigades of troop carriers and tanks in regular movement.

However, he rejected leaving command centers or extensive defense positions that would be stagnant in any area that might be within the range of Egypt’s artillery. Tal also held that the defense line of immovable forts should be defended more modestly.

IDF intelligence chief Eli Zeira was quoted talking about suspicious USSR troop movements during an October 5, 1973 IDF High Command meeting. In addition to updating the IDF High Command on aggressive military drills and troop movements by Egypt and Syria since September 5, 1973, he said that “the Russians have sent 11 transport aircrafts to Egypt and Syria.”

Elaborating, he said that it was unclear what the purpose of these transport planes were, but that it seemed to be an effort “to remove Russian personnel from those states. If so, the question is why and we have no clear explanation as to why.”

He added that, “most of the Soviet naval vessels have left Alexandria. This is also a very very rare thing.”

But at the end of the day, Zeira said that “all of these things do not change IDF intelligence’s basic estimate that the chances of Egypt and Syria initiating a war is still very low…even lower than low.”

Zeira has been criticized for ignoring troop movement signs (Russian evacuations could have signaled that they wanted their forces out of the area before an impending war) and other possible warnings of war.

Finally, IDF Logistics Command Maj. Gen. Nehemiah Kayin warned the meeting that there were insufficient food provisions for IDF forces in the event of a war.

Then-IDF chief-of-staff David Elazar (who had replaced Bar-Lev) responded, “If there are not enough war rations, then they will fast. At the end of the day, it is Yom Kippur. We fast.”

Also on Monday, the National Archives disclosed an actual Mossad cable from the then-Mossad Director Zvi Zamir to then Prime Minister Golda Meir suggesting that she weigh leaking to the media that Israel knew Egypt was about to start a war.

Zamir’s idea was that possibly leaking this to the media before the war started might give Egypt pause and avert the impending war that he had been told about by top secret Israeli spy Ashraf Marwan – the son-in-law of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

New Kavanaugh allegations NEW ALLEGATIONS DOES NOT change the fact that it’s all about politics


Brett Kavanaugh, Douglas Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas (Photos: Scott Applewhite/AP, Terry Ashe/LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images, Lee Corkran/Sygma via Getty Images)

In the day since Christine Blasey Ford stepped out of anonymity with her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers, two other names have also come back into the news: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his former subordinate Anita Hill, who accused him of sexual harassment in testimony at his confirmation hearing in 1991.

The similarities are many — both women reluctantly came forward late in the confirmation process, accusing a powerful man of sexual misconduct in lurid detail. Both men denied the charges. Both women (both, coincidentally, professors) were met with vehement pushback from Republican supporters of the nominees.

But there is another name, cited less often, whose nomination brought accusation and furor, and whose story is just as relevant, but in different ways — Douglas H. Ginsburg, nominated to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan in 1987. Like Kavanaugh, he was accused of breaking the law decades earlier: As a college student during the ’60s and ’70s, he had smoked marijuana.

Past is always a prologue, and, taken together, the outcomes of both the Ginsburg and Thomas nominations tell us a lot about where we stand now. The questions asked and not completely answered back then reflect how we have changed as a society, and how we have not.

The first question in all three cases is “did he do it?” Learning that National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg was about to break the story, Ginsburg quickly admitted that he had smoked pot, then withdrew his name nine days after he was nominated.

Thomas vehemently insisted on his innocence, calling the hearings “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.” ?And Kavanaugh, similarly, has denied the accusations, issuing an early-morning statement: “This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone.”

Is that the predictive takeaway? The guy who confesses doesn’t get to be a Supreme Court justice, whereas the ones who assert innocence are confirmed?

Things have changed since the Thomas hearings, starting with the very fact of those hearings. The way the Senate Judiciary Committee treated Hill — grilling her as though she were on trial, refusing to allow the testimony of a second woman with a similar story to tell — resulted in a voter backlash in the 1992 election that tripled the number of women in the Senate and sent a record number of women to the House.

Critics said that the entirely male committee was not trying to find the truth, but rather trying to protect the nominee, a charge that Ford’s lawyer is echoing now. Debra Katz told ABC News that although Ford is “willing to cooperate,” she is not willing “to be part of this bloodletting that happens in Washington.

Debra Katz, the attorney for Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, says her client is willing to speak out publicly. (Photo: Reuters Video)

Republicans in Congress have been “saying that they’re going to fight this tooth and nail, that they’re going to grill her,” Katz said. “That’s hardly an effort to get into a fair and thorough investigation of what has occurred. If we’re really trying to get at the truth, the hearings should not be used to weaponize against those who accuse powerful men.”

Another difference since Hill stepped forward is the #MeToo movement, with its message that for too long, powerful men have been allowed to use that power against women, and that women should and would be believed. That altered landscape would suggest that these latest charges would have far more traction than Hill’s did in 1991.

Yes and no. Dozens of high-profile men have lost their jobs, campaigns and reputations after being accused of varying levels of sexual misconduct in the past year. One stark and telling exception, however, is the president of the United States, who has been accused of similar behavior by at least 13 women.

Perhaps, then, the common denominator for those who pay a price is proof: the existence of recordings, a parade of accusers, contemporaneous accounts and payments in exchange for silence. In most of the cases where high-level CEOs, entertainers and politicians have faced consequences, there has been at least one of the above. (Not so, again, in the case of the president, for whom all those elements of proof exist.)

Is there such proof in the Kavanaugh case? — clearly not the kind we have begun to demand in this technological age where we assume that all encounters must have left some electronic trail. But in her intended-to-be confidential letter to the FBI, Ford names a potential witness — another teenager she says was in the room when Kavanaugh allegedly pinned her down and attempted to remove her clothing.

That man has identified himself as Mark Judge, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Preparatory School who told the Weekly Standard: “It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way.”? Mother Jones, in turn, has pointed to two separate memoirs written by Judge, both of which describe his high school days as filled with blackout drinking, suggesting, writer Stephanie Mencimer says, “that his memory of those days may not be entirely reliable.”

Will this count as “proof,” one way or another, particularly with #MeToo as a backdrop? To answer that question requires first tackling another: Even if proven, should it matter? What weight should be given to a misdeed, even a crime, from 36 years ago?

That’s where Ginsburg comes in. At the time, his defenders called his marijuana use “a youthful indiscretion,” stressing that it happened decades earlier. But against the message of the times — a president who gave speeches condemning the culture for its “flippant and irresponsible attitude toward drug use” and a first lady whose slogan was “Just Say No,” it was enough to derail Ginsburg. Even the idea that everybody does it didn’t help Ginsburg;?two presidential candidates at the time, then-Sen. Al Gore, D-Tenn., and former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, made similar confessions, as did Newt Gingrich, then a Georgia Republican, and none of them paid a political price.

Anita Hill, a University of Oklahoma law professor, who testified that she was sexually harassed by Clarence Thomas. (Photo: AP)

Ah, so the message of the Ginsburg derailment is that as a nation, we have decided that the child is the measure of the man, and some jobs, Supreme Court justice, for instance, require such unimpeachable proof of character that even decades-old missteps still matter? And as such, Ginsburg’s inability to advance to the court is the best answer to the argument that no one should be punished for behavior, however appalling or illegal, that happened so long ago.

Of course not. That would imply philosophical underpinnings that lead to consistency, and the Ginsburg nomination, along with the Thomas hearings and the current Kavanaugh standoff, illustrate exactly the opposite of that.

As?a society, we have not yet resolved the question of how responsible any one of us is for our past. It is a question raised not only by Supreme Court hearings but also by the role and purpose of prisons, the rights of former felons (including the right to vote) and whether minors can be sentenced to life without parole. Rather than a broad social consensus on where the line might be — at the statute of limitations? the age of majority at 18? the time the brain reaches full maturity, at around age 26? evidence that a person has changed? suspicion that they haven’t? — we should, as a society, decide all these things. They are, however, tough questions, and require both thought and compromise, meaning we are further from answers than we been in generations.

In the absences of moral lessons learned, our politicians, therefore, look to political ones.

Supreme Court Justice nominee, Douglas Ginsburg, at home. (Photo: Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Ginsburg withdrew not because his long-ago drug use made him unfit for the court, but because it made his nomination untenable for the sitting president. Thomas was approved in part because some senators feared being accused of racism by rejecting a black man more than the consequences of being accused of sexism by disbelieving a woman’s allegations of harassment.

And Kavanaugh? Whether he is confirmed to the court will probably have little to do with what he did or didn’t do in high school. It will not depend on whether senators believe him or his accuser, or whether they agree that an individual’s youthful behavior should or should not be held against him or her. It will be about each senator’s calculations — most particularly those of Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine — of the political cost of believing either of those things.

Which is more important, getting this conservative seat on the court or risking voter reprisal in November? Which lights up the switchboard more, the #MeToo message that women should be believed, or one that Politico attributed to an unidentified White House adviser:?“If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried. We can all be accused of something.”

It will be politics, not truth or bedrock questions of right and wrong, that will be the deciding factor. And the Senate will kick the philosophical can down the road so some form of the same questions can be asked of the next

US District Judge grants 1993 World Trade Center bomber’s demand for halal meals

“The lawsuit said Ajaj considered vegetarian and Kosher meals inadequate.”

But the Qur’an says that “the food of the People of the Book is lawful for you and your food is lawful for them” (5:5), which means that Muslims can eat kosher foods and food prepared by Christians. That makes clear that Ahmad Ajaj’s lawsuit is just another exercise in Islamic supremacism, attempting to gain special privileges and accommodation for Muslims, in accord with their privileged status in Islamic law.

Also, imagine if Ahmad Ajaj were a Nazi, and had bombed the World Trade Center as a Nazi mission, and that Nazis had food laws. In that case, would U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson have been so quick to reinforce the ideology that landed Ajaj in prison in the first place?

“1993 World Trade Center bomber’s request for halal meals that conform to his Muslim beliefs is granted,” Dailymail.com, September 15, 2018 (thanks to the Geller Report):

A Muslim man serving a life sentence for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing has been granted access to halal meals after he sued the prison for not accommodating his religious beliefs.

US District Judge R Brooke Jackson issued an order Friday requiring prison officials to continue providing Ahmad Ajaj with halal meals.

However, the judge denied Ajaj’s request for officials to provide him access to an imam in line with his specific religious beliefs, saying officials should not be expected to put in extra efforts to make that happen.

Ajaj started getting halal meals on the eve of his trial last month after he was transferred from a prison in Colorado to Terre Haute, Indiana.

He objected to attending classes with the Indiana prison’s imam because he believes the cleric is an adherent of Sufism, Islam’s mystical strain.

Jackson said it doesn’t violate Ajaj’s religious rights to meet with someone with different views and that he still could have phone or email contact with another imam.

Ajaj was sentenced in 1999 to more than 114 years in prison for his role in the blast in an underground parking garage on February 26, 1993, that killed six people, one of whom was pregnant.

It injured more than 1,000 and forced an estimated 50,000 to flee the trade center’s twin towers in a scene of smoke, fear and confusion that would be mirrored and magnified on September 11, 2001.

In late August Ajaj filed a lawsuit accusing federal prison officials, particularly staff at the Administrative Maximum, or ADX, facility in Florence, of failing to provide food meeting Ajaj’s belief that all animals used for food must be fed, raised and slaughtered according to Islamic law.

The lawsuit said Ajaj considered vegetarian and Kosher meals inadequate….

Russia and Turkey to create buffer zone in Idlib, Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin said it would be 15km to 25km (9-15 miles) wide and come into force by 15 October.

Troops from Russia, an ally of Syria’s government, and Turkey, which backs the rebels, will patrol the zone.

The UN had warned of a humanitarian catastrophe if the Syrian army launched an all-out assault to retake Idlib.

But after Monday’s meeting between Mr Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the deal meant there would be no such operation in the region.

What is the deal and what did Putin and Erdogan say?

The Russian president said that under the deal, all heavy weaponry, including tanks, rocket launch systems and mortar launchers operated by rebel groups would need to be pulled out of the buffer zone by 10 October.

?

“Radically-minded rebels”, including members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – a jihadist alliance linked to al-Qaeda that was once known as al-Nusra Front – would have to leave the zone, Mr Putin said.

It was not immediately clear if the zone included Idlib city, which would require some rebels to withdraw from it.

Mr Erdogan said: “We will prevent a humanitarian tragedy which could happen as a result of military action.”

He had earlier called for a ceasefire in northern Syria to prevent what he said would be a “bloodbath” and another major refugee crisis on Turkey’s southern border.Image copyrightAFPImage captionMembers of the National Liberation Front, one of many rebel groups in Idlib

Analysis by BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus

Any diplomatic arrangement that postpones a full-scale onslaught against Idlib will be welcomed by the international community.

Such an attack by the Assad government – backed by its Russian and Iranian allies – risked not just a humanitarian catastrophe, but also a direct military confrontation with Turkey.

Turkey has deployed troops at a number of locations in Idlib and has been reinforcing these over recent days. President Assad wants to reassert control over Idlib – the last province in rebel hands.

Both he and the Russians want to destroy rebel groups they call “terrorists”. It is hard to see exactly how a buffer zone arrangement involving Russia and Turkey can address these long-term problems. But averting an offensive for now may give breathing space for additional diplomatic moves.

Presentational grey line

What is Idlib and why does it matter?

Idlib province is the last major stronghold of rebel and jihadist groups which have been trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad for the past seven years, in a civil war that has killed more than 350,000 people.

?

Idlib, and adjoining areas of Hama and Aleppo, are home to an estimated 2.9 million people, including one million children.

A sharp increase in hostilities since the start of September and fears of further escalation have led to the displacement of tens of thousands. Hundreds of thousands in Idlib live in dire, overcrowded conditions, with a lack of basic services.

Idlib is not controlled by a single group, but rather by a number of rival factions commanding up to an estimated 70,000 fighters. The dominant force is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist alliance linked to al-Qaeda.

Idlib is also strategically vital. It borders Turkey to the north and straddles major highways running south from Aleppo to Hama and the capital, Damascus, and west to the Mediterranean coastal city of Latakia.

If Idlib is taken by the government, it would leave the rebels with a few pockets of territory scattered across the country and effectively signal their final defeat.

Upsetting the narrative

Do you want to know what your enemies are thinking?

Listen to what they say. Usually they won’t tell you where and when the next terrorist attack will be but they will tell you their intentions and their strategy.

Even when they lie through their teeth, as Yasser Arafat was accustomed to do when speaking in English, the truth is discoverable. You just have to shut down the wishful thinking centers in your brain and listen to their words.

Mariam Barghouti is described as a “Palestinian American writer based in Ramallah.” In a recent article published in the Forward, she explained precisely how the concept of “Palestinian refugee” functions as an integral part of the Arab project to eliminate any Jewish sovereignty between the river and the sea and establish an Arab state in the place of Israel (h/t to Jim Wald):

Because of the Nakba, there is a part of Palestinian identity that is inherently linked with being a refugee. Those who fled the Nakba are banned from their cities of origin, their identities transformed and their past covered up under the signifiers of a new culture and language that is foreign, and hides what little remains of the past.

The Palestinian refugee story is the backbone of the Palestinian struggle. It is referenced in the poems we write and in the nostalgia that comes with exile, and it is the symbol of return to a life of dignity and belonging. [my emphasis]

There is much to learn from this. First, we see that although she mentions the pre-Zionist past, it’s clear that the specifically Palestinian part of her identity grows out of the Arab struggle against Jewish sovereignty that began about 100 years ago, and whose most poignant and definitional event was the nakba, the defeat in 1948, and the flight of many of the Arab residents from what would become Israel. The poems and nostalgia to which she refers are all connected to this defeat, in what contemporary Arab voices admitted would have been another Jewish bloodbath had they won.

The families of Arabs that fled before and during Israel’s War of Independence had lived in the land for various amounts of time. Some truly could trace their lineage back to the Arab conquest, others for several hundred years, and perhaps some were even descended from Jews that stayed in their ancestral home after the Roman destruction of Judea, and converted to Islam in the 7th century. But a large number were relatively recent immigrants from the surrounding countries, who migrated to Mandate Palestine because of economic opportunities offered by the British and Zionist development of the land.

Though defeated on the battlefield, the Arab nations were not prepared to end the struggle. In a stroke of strategic genius, they refused to agree to permit any solution for the Arab refugees other than return to the territory now occupied by the State of Israel. The strategy was then translated to a masterful tactical gambit: they convinced the Western nations that dominated the UN to create and place under Arab control an agency (UNRWA), paid for by a West guilt-ridden for its perceived crimes against both Jews and Arabs. UNRWA would not only feed, clothe, and house the refugees, but would guarantee the unlimited and open-ended growth of the refugee population and its indoctrination as a force to use against the Jewish state.

Unlike other UN agencies, UNRWA was designed to perpetuate the problem, not to solve it. To ensure the maximum number of refugees, UNRWA decided that anyone who could show that he or she had resided in the land for as little as two years prior to the war and left for any reason would be counted as a refugee; and to keep the population growing, that refugee status would be inherited in perpetuity.

Although in some cases children of non-Palestinian refugees can get “derivative” refugee status, it is not passed down further. And a non-Palestinian refugee who becomes a citizen of another country loses refugee status. But Palestinians in Judea and Samaria who had Jordanian citizenship were still considered refugees. When the Palestinian Authority was established, they remained refugees; and according to PA officials, even if a state of Palestine is established, they will still be stateless refugees (until they can “return to their homes” in Israel).

What Palestinian children learn in UNRWA schools is the narrative of expulsion and struggle, and that the only acceptable solution is “return” for the approximately 5.5 million people with Palestinian refugee status. As everyone knows, this is incompatible with the existence of a Jewish state.

This is why “the Palestinian refugee story is the backbone of the Palestinian struggle,” as Barghouti writes. The narrative that is taught to the descendants of the refugees blames the Jews for all Palestinian misfortunes, leaving out the fact that the Arab nations prevented the resettlement of the refugees after the war, as was done for the Jewish refugees from Arab nations, and continue to treat them like dirt. It focuses the resentment of the Palestinian Arabs on Israel, and defines the Palestinian identity in terms of opposition to Israel.

Importantly, the narrative does not allow for compromise. If the struggle to restore the refugees and their descendants to their “rightful” homes is essential to Palestinian identity, then denying them that return is denying them their identity. If you accept the narrative – and virtually all Palestinians do – then without complete victory, they are nothing, nobody.

I have argued and will continue to argue against those who insist that there is no Palestinian people, just a motley group of Arabs with no unique language, religion or culture. There is a Palestinian people, but it is not a remnant of ancient Canaanites. It is a group that has coalesced quite recently, perhaps as recently as the 1960s, when large numbers of Arabs began to self-identify as “Palestinians.” The Palestinian people was forged by the conflict with the Jews in the past 100 years, developing a unique culture different from that of Jordanians or Syrians, a culture in which – as Barghouti says – the story of the refugees is central.

What distinguishes Palestinian culture is its bottomless reservoir of resentment and hate for the Jews of Israel, a resentment so great and so pervasive that young children are encouraged to stone and stab Jews to death, and treated as heroes when they succeed in committing murder. It is a culture that doesn’t recognize any degree of responsibility for its problems, which are all attributed to others (Western colonialism, the Jews, Arab leaders, the US, and so on). This is not a healthy culture, and its narrative is anything but truthful.

But by cutting funding to UNRWA, the intended instrument of ?Israel’s destruction, and by “stripping [the Palestinians] of their narrative,” as Barghouti says, Donald Trump is contributing to ending a historic injustice against both Israel and the Palestinian “refugees,” who have been denied the opportunity to create a real national identity by having the nakba narrative rammed down their throats.

If there will ever be a reconciliation between the Jews and Arabs in the region it can only happen with the replacement of the story of Palestinian victimization, along with the murderousness it engenders, with a true historical narrative.

Abu Yehuda is me, Vic Rosenthal.
After 26 years in California (and 8 years as the author of FresnoZionism.org), I returned to Israel in August, 2014. Time for a new blog.
The theme will be more or less the same: the Jewish State, and the struggle to keep it in a very unfriendly world.
Politically, I’ll just say that I’m a fan of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menahem Begin.

Anti-Semitic Barack Obama Accuses Trump Of Exploiting Religious Division

During his eight years in office, Barack Obama had a level of Antisemitism never before seen in the White House with the possible exceptions of FDR and Woodrow Wilson. But that doesn’t stop Obama from unabashedly using the term Nazi whenever he his criticizing President Trump.

During his anti-Trump speech on Sept. 7th (Thank God Former) President, Barack Obama said,

Even though your generation is the most diverse in history with a greater acceptance and celebration of our differences than ever before, those are the kinds of conditions that are ripe for exploitation by politicians who have no compunction and no shame about tapping into America’s dark history of racial and ethnic and religious division. Appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, telling people that order and security will be restored if it weren’t for those who don’t look like us or don’t sound like us or don’t pray like we do, that’s an old playbook.

Hypocritical words for a man who during his eight years in office, Barack Obama had a level of Antisemitism never before seen in the White House.

Beginning with his first campaign for president, Obama surrounded himself with anti-Semites like?General Merrel McPeak.??McPeak was the 2008 Obama for President Co-Chair who had an impressive resume of blaming our foreign policy on the “Jewish Lobby,”? Perhaps the best example of McPeak’s Antisemitism was when he was asked during an interview why there isn’t peace in the Middle East, and he said, “New York City. Miami. We have a large vote — vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it.” (in other words, those pesky Jews, who control America’s policy on the Middle East).

One of his first presidential appointments was the anti-Semitic?Chas Freeman?who blamed his resignation on the evil Israel lobby (a nicer way of saying Jewish lobby). Actually, Chas, it was a lot less than an evil Israel lobby, much of it was the work of a few Jewish bloggers — one of whom was named The Lid.

Obama denied Jewish ties to the Land of Israel in his 2009 Cairo speech, saying Israel was created only because people felt guilty about the Holocaust.

America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied. Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and Antisemitsm in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today.

Obama’s first Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees was Bishop Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson. The friendliest thing?Bishop Desmond Tutu?ever said about Jews was “People are scared in this country [the US], to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful.” He also?once said, that?“the Jews thought they had a monopoly on God.”

Tutu’s co-honoree Mary Robinson presided over the “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” that turned into a non-stop hate-fest against Jews and Israel. The conference was so anti-Semitic that Colin Powell, the Secretary of State at the time, walked out.

During his presidency, Obama has allied himself with Al Sharpton who was a leader of the anti-Semitic pogrom in?Crown Heights?and incited the anti-Semitic firebombing of?Freddy’s Fashion Mart?in Harlem. He sent his closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, to keynote an?anti-Semitic ISNA?conference whose discussions included: how key Obama aides are “Israeli,” proving Jews “have control of the world,” or how the Holocaust is the punishment of Jews for being “serially disobedient to Allah.”

For his second Secretary of Defense Obama appointed Chuck Hagel who believed in the nefarious “worldwide Jewish conspiracy.” Hagel was?once quoted as saying?“The political reality is that…the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.”

Of the anti-Semitic?Occupy Wall Street?movement the?President said,?“We are on their side.”

Radical?Islamists attacked the?Kosher supermarket Hyper-Cacher (French for Super Kosher) in Paris on a Friday afternoon. The attack happened just before the Jewish Sabbath when they knew it would be crowded with Jews. Obama?first insisted?it was a random act and not an anti-Semitic act. And when the world leaders came together to march in Paris as a protest against the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the anti-Semitic Hyper-Cacher attack Obama was conspicuous in his absence.

President Obama’s?July 31, 2015, phone call, organized?by the anti-Israel group J Street and other progressive Jewish groups, also exposed possible?Obama Antisemitism.

In the 20-minute phone call Obama said over, and over opponents of the Iran deal come from the same “array of forces that got us into the Iraq war,” he said a “bunch of billionaires who happily finance super PACs” are “putting the squeeze on members of Congress.”

The message was clear to the Jewish participants, William Daroff Senior Vice President for Public Policy and?Director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America tweeted during the meeting “Jews are leading?effort to kill #Irandeal. ‘Same people opposing the deal led us into Iraq war,’” and followed with “Canard: Jews got?us into Iraq War.”

During the call, Lee Rosenberg of AIPAC?questioned the President’s?statement comparing people who object to the Iran deal with those who supported the invasion of Iraq. He pointed out that many anti-Semites falsely claim the Jews pushed Bush into invading Iraq. Obama explained that Netanyahu supported the Iraq invasion, which was true but Bibi wasn’t the premier at the time — he was a private citizen. The prime minister, Ariel Sharon, strongly urged?Bush #43 not to invade Iraq, arguing correctly that if Saddam were removed, “Iran, a far more dangerous player, will be rid of its principal enemy and free to pursue its ambitions of regional hegemony.”

Of course, that didn’t matter to President Obama, he needed to find a Jewish scapegoat, so he used private-citizen Netanyahu who was firmly for the war. Also for the war was his V.P., the SCHMOTUS Joe Biden, both of his secretaries of state Kerry and Clinton, and his biggest ally in the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid, voted to support the invasion of Iraq in Congress.

During an August 2015?speech at American University, Obama again tried to scapegoat the Jews, saying:

So this deal is not just the best choice among alternatives, this is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated, and because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support.”

Yes, Israel opposed the deal, but so did Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, UAE,?Bangladesh and most of the other Sunni Muslim states vehemently opposed the deal because of their fears that Shia Iran would use nukes to attack them. But Obama wanted to scapegoat the Jews, and the media was quiet.

During his last year as president, Obama’s?State Department condemned Israel for allowing people?to build houses on land on the western side of the Jordan River. The property was legally purchased in 2009 by Dr. Irving and?Cherna Moskowitz from a US Presbyterian Church. There were no complaints when the ?Presbyterian Church owned it. Team Obama wasn’t objecting to the fact that houses were being built on that land back then.?If the homes were intended for Christian or Muslim?families, there would have been no issue. As it is was with so many other cases during the Obama administration, the objection was based on the fact that?Jews?were going?to live in those buildings.

The list of Obama’s Antisemitism would be much longer if examples from the Obama administration’s own definition of how anti-Israel acts and statements could be considered anti-Semitic were added. Obama’s hatred of Jews met that definition also. But you get the idea.

It is hypocritical for an anti-Semite like Obama to censure President Trump for creating religious division and lazy of the press to ignore it.

UK: Muslims demand that Franklin Graham be banned from the country for criticizing Islam

Would anyone be calling for the banning of Graham from the UK if he had called Christianity “evil”?

The MCB said: “We would expect the government to apply its criteria here. If it does not, it will send a clear message that it is not consistent in challenging all forms of bigotry.”

The British government is already inconsistent: it bans foes of jihad terror and critics of Islam, while letting in jihadis. The Home Office recently banned Martin Sellner, Brittany Pettibone, Lauren Southern and Lutz Bachmann from entering, all for the crime of opposing jihad terror and Sharia oppression, and thereby made it clear that it is more authoritarian and unwilling to uphold the freedom of speech than ever – at least when it comes to criticism of Islam, Muslim rape gangs, and mass Muslim migration.

Even worse, the bannings of Sellner, Pettibone, Southern, and Bachmann were just part of a long pattern. Pamela Geller and I were banned from entering Britain in 2013, apparently for life, also for the crime of telling the truth about Islam and jihad. Just days after Geller and I were banned, the British government admitted Saudi Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe. Al-Arefe has said: “Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer. Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to fight.”

And Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri’s preaching of hatred and jihad violence was so hardline that he was banned from preaching in Pakistan, but the UK Home Office welcomed him into Britain.

The UK Home Office also admitted Shaykh Hamza Sodagar into the country, despite the fact that he has said: “If there’s homosexual men, the punishment is one of five things. One – the easiest one maybe – chop their head off, that’s the easiest. Second – burn them to death. Third – throw ’em off a cliff. Fourth – tear down a wall on them so they die under that. Fifth – a combination of the above.”

Theresa May’s relentlessly appeasement-minded government also admitted two jihad preachers who had praised the murderer of a foe of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. One of them was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Meanwhile, the UK banned three bishops from areas of Iraq and Syria where Christians are persecuted from entering the country.

So if the British government is consistent in this case, it will ban Graham and let in a few jihadis.

“U.K. Muslims Want Preacher Franklin Graham Banned for Spreading Anti-Islam Hate Speech,” by Tom Porter, Newsweek, September 9, 2018:

The leading Muslim organisation in the U.K. has urged authorities to ban preacher Franklin Graham, who is set to speak in the country later this month.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella organisation for hundreds of Muslim groups, has lent its support to calls from three members of parliament and thousands of members of the public to deny the preacher a visa for spreading hate speech.

Graham—son of the late Billy Graham—is scheduled to speak at an event in Blackpool, in the northwest of England, later in September.

Opponents say that he has incited hatred of Muslims and the LGBTQ community, and ought not to be allowed into the country.

The MCB in a statement to The Guardian said: “In the past the government has banned individuals whom they claim are ‘not conducive to the public good’. Mr Graham’s remarks are on record and clearly demonstrate a hatred for Muslims and other minorities.

“We would expect the government to apply its criteria here. If it does not, it will send a clear message that it is not consistent in challenging all forms of bigotry.”

A supporter of President Donald Trump, Graham has described Islam as “evil” and a “religion of war,” claimed that Barack Obama was “born a Muslim,” claimed that Satan is behind the movement for LGBTQ rights. He has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin for opposing the “homosexual agenda” in his country and his controversial “gay propaganda” ban….

TERROR in Paris: Seven STABBED in #Paris knife rampage by Muslim migrant

Seven people including two British tourists were wounded Sunday in Paris after they were attacked by a Muslim migrant armed with a knife and an iron bar, according to police and other sources.

“Investigators say no indication of a link to terrorism.” Nuts. It’s the very definition of terrorism. This is not terrorism, but everyone who opposes it is a ….. Nazi. Got it?

Afghan man arrested after knife attack in Paris wounds 7

India Today, September 9, 2018:

Police investigators work on the scene after seven people were wounded in knife attack downtown Paris, France, September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Seven people including two British tourists were wounded Sunday in Paris after they were attacked by a man armed with a knife and an iron bar, according to police and other sources.

A source close to the inquiry said the suspect has been arrested and is believed to be an Afghan national.

“Nothing at this stage shows signs of a terrorist nature in these assaults,” the sources said, adding that the attacker had targeted “strangers in the street”.

Of the seven wounded, four are in a critical condition, police said.

The incident took place just after 11:00 pm (2100 GMT) on the banks of a canal in the northeast of the capital.

A security guard at one of two cinemas on either side of the Canal de l’Ourcq said he saw a man who had already assaulted people being chased by two other men who tried to stop him.

“He had an iron bar in his hand which he threw at the men chasing him, then he took out a knife,” he said.

A police investigation has been launched for attempted murder, according to a judicial source.

UK: Muslims demand that Franklin Graham be banned from the country for criticizing Islam

Would anyone be calling for the banning of Graham from the UK if he had called Christianity “evil”?

The MCB said: “We would expect the government to apply its criteria here. If it does not, it will send a clear message that it is not consistent in challenging all forms of bigotry.”

The British government is already inconsistent: it bans foes of jihad terror and critics of Islam, while letting in jihadis. The Home Office recently banned Martin Sellner, Brittany Pettibone, Lauren Southern and Lutz Bachmann from entering, all for the crime of opposing jihad terror and Sharia oppression, and thereby made it clear that it is more authoritarian and unwilling to uphold the freedom of speech than ever – at least when it comes to criticism of Islam, Muslim rape gangs, and mass Muslim migration.

Even worse, the bannings of Sellner, Pettibone, Southern, and Bachmann were just part of a long pattern. Pamela Geller and I were banned from entering Britain in 2013, apparently for life, also for the crime of telling the truth about Islam and jihad. Just days after Geller and I were banned, the British government admitted Saudi Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe. Al-Arefe has said: “Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer. Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to fight.”

And Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri’s preaching of hatred and jihad violence was so hardline that he was banned from preaching in Pakistan, but the UK Home Office welcomed him into Britain.

The UK Home Office also admitted Shaykh Hamza Sodagar into the country, despite the fact that he has said: “If there’s homosexual men, the punishment is one of five things. One – the easiest one maybe – chop their head off, that’s the easiest. Second – burn them to death. Third – throw ’em off a cliff. Fourth – tear down a wall on them so they die under that. Fifth – a combination of the above.”

Theresa May’s relentlessly appeasement-minded government also admitted two jihad preachers who had praised the murderer of a foe of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. One of them was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Meanwhile, the UK banned three bishops from areas of Iraq and Syria where Christians are persecuted from entering the country.

So if the British government is consistent in this case, it will ban Graham and let in a few jihadis.

“U.K. Muslims Want Preacher Franklin Graham Banned for Spreading Anti-Islam Hate Speech,” by Tom Porter, Newsweek, September 9, 2018:

The leading Muslim organisation in the U.K. has urged authorities to ban preacher Franklin Graham, who is set to speak in the country later this month.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella organisation for hundreds of Muslim groups, has lent its support to calls from three members of parliament and thousands of members of the public to deny the preacher a visa for spreading hate speech.

Graham—son of the late Billy Graham—is scheduled to speak at an event in Blackpool, in the northwest of England, later in September.

Opponents say that he has incited hatred of Muslims and the LGBTQ community, and ought not to be allowed into the country.

The MCB in a statement to The Guardian said: “In the past the government has banned individuals whom they claim are ‘not conducive to the public good’. Mr Graham’s remarks are on record and clearly demonstrate a hatred for Muslims and other minorities.

“We would expect the government to apply its criteria here. If it does not, it will send a clear message that it is not consistent in challenging all forms of bigotry.”

A supporter of President Donald Trump, Graham has described Islam as “evil” and a “religion of war,” claimed that Barack Obama was “born a Muslim,” claimed that Satan is behind the movement for LGBTQ rights. He has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin for opposing the “homosexual agenda” in his country and his controversial “gay propaganda” ban….