Monday, November 07, 2022

Iran Beginning To “Crack”

 


Iran's Hard-Liners Are Starting to Crack - Reuel Marc Gerecht & Ray Takeyh

This time is different. The Iranian people have been protesting in the streets for more than a month. Now even Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's allies are distancing themselves from the government, putting unprecedented stress on the regime. For four decades, regime loyalists have united in times of crisis. It's telling that today many influential conservatives display little compunction about criticizing Mr. Khamenei and his henchmen.

The security services have been hesitant to use lethal force. That conservatives are now critiquing Mr. Khamenei shows that the regime is losing its core strength. They seem to realize that Tehran can't kill its way to success. These men either don't have the stomach to murder thousands of women, or they believe - rightly - that doing so would only lead to mass confrontation with hundreds of thousands of angry men.

The demonstrators aren't interested in compromise. Conservatives now face a choice between joining the protest or being left behind. The Islamic Republic's rulers, like the shahs before them, know that their regime ultimately rests on the awe of unchallengeable power. That neither teenage girls throughout Iran nor foundational figures of the theocracy see this majesty any longer suggests that Mr. Khamenei's time is running out.

Mr. Gerecht, a former Iranian-targets officer in the CIA, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. 

(Wall Street Journal)

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Saturday, October 08, 2022

“Hocus-Pocus Political History”



Phantom Fantasia in the Middle East
 -Thane Rosenbaum

Decades of impeccable PR and global gullibility have enabled many to bizarrely believe there once was an Arab nation called Palestine, with the people in it known as Palestinians. Yet there never has been an Arab nation-state called Palestine. At the time of Israel's founding, in 1948, the word Palestinian did not describe a distinct Arab people. In fact, the word, created by the ancient Romans, referred to Jews. Jews have been living continuously in what is today Israel since the time of the Jewish patriarchs of the Old Testament.
    
Palestine is more an idea than an actual place, the magical thinking of a country that never existed. Hocus-pocus political history. Palestinian inclusion within the vortex of intersectional grievances is laughable given how Sharia-observant Palestinians, especially in Gaza, feel about women, gays, the transgender, cultural and academic freedom, religious diversity, free speech, and the rule of law. Palestinian rejection of five separate offers of statehood since 1947 is never mentioned.
    
Nothing was stolen from the Palestinians. They are stateless because they never had a state - not because they were denied one, or had one taken away. Indeed, it's not at all clear whether they actually want one. For a people with no national currency, political history, sustained leadership, defined borders, or even a gross national product aside from terrorism, Palestinians have nonetheless created the illusion of a homeland lost to Jewish land-grabbers. 

But hate does not a nation make.
The writer is a law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro College. 
(White Rose)
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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Misunderstanding The MidEast

Daniel Pipes, PhD


Why is Muslim society lagging? - Daniel Pipes, PhD 

barrage of statistics makes clear that contemporary Muslims have fallen behind other peoples, whether the topic be health, corruption, longevity, literacy, human rights, personal security, income, or power. But why? 

[T]he global Left and Islamists blame Western imperialism. For them, today's tribulations follow inevitably on the two centuries after 1760 when nearly all Muslims fell under the control of 16 majority-Christian states.  

But this accusation ignores two key facts. First, Muslims lagged behind much of the rest of the world in those indices long before 1760 – which helps explain why they came under Western control in the first place. Second, Western control ended about seven decades ago, affording plenty of time to blossom and succeed, as so many non-Muslim peoples have; compare Singapore/Malaysia, India/Pakistan, Israel/Palestinians, or North/South Cyprus.

[The Washington Times] 

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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Ben & Jerry’s Gets Creamed!

 

Ben & Jerry’s factory in Be’er Tuvia in southern Israel

Ben and Jerry's Forced to End Israel Boycott - Hannah Boland

Consumer giant Unilever has blocked Ben & Jerry's from boycotting Israel by selling the ice cream brand's operations in the country to its local manufacturer, Avi Zinger, who has been making and selling the ice cream under license for the past 34 years. Unilever slapped down efforts by Ben & Jerry's to take a political stance, saying it "rejects completely and repudiates unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance."

Last summer, Ben & Jerry's said that it would not be renewing its license agreement with its franchise partner. However, owner Unilever said it had overruled its subsidiary and sold the ice cream maker's local operations, following consultation with the Israeli government. 

(Telegraph-UK)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

TikTok Features Arab Burning Mezuzah Scroll

Arab setting fire to mezuzah scroll

Double Standards: Video of Palestinian Who Destroyed a Mezuzah Went Viral - Foreign Minister Yair Lapid

A video that went viral on TikTok shows a young Palestinian who destroyed a mezuzah - which contains Hebrew verses from the Torah and is affixed to the doorpost of Jewish homes. When you watch this video, think about what would happen if there was a similar video of a young Israeli who did exactly the same thing to a Koran or to a picture of the Prophet Muhammad. 

(Twitter)


Footage of Palestinian Burning Mezuzah Sparks Social Media Firestorm - Hanan Greenwood

A Palestinian sparked a social media firestorm on March 21 when he posted footage of himself setting a mezuzah parchment on fire on TikTok. The man is shown tearing the mezuzah off the doorframe, removing the parchment inside and setting it on fire - all with a big smile on his face. 

(Israel Hayom)

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Sunday, April 03, 2022

Biden Tries to Crush Abraham Accords

 

Blinkin [center] is doing his best to neutralize The Abraham Accords in order for Biden [left] to realign the US toward Iran

The Negev two-state summit

The so-called two-state solution has a hundred-year history of uninterrupted failure. In 1920, the League of Nations gave Britain the mandate for Palestine, which they were legally required to administer as the future homeland of the Jewish people. In 1922, the British carved out the majority of the land set aside for the Jews and established the Arab state of Transjordan—now known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Britain’s initial two-state solution was supposed to end the Arab conflict with Israel. But of course, it didn’t. The Arabs pocketed Transjordan and expanded their war, as they have with every subsequent attempt to implement the two-state solution.

Many Israelis and friends of Israel assumed the so-called two-state solution had finally been exhausted in 2000, when PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat rejected the Palestinian state that Israel offered him at the Camp David Summit and launched a terror war against the Jewish state. Israel won Arafat’s terror war by the skin of its teeth in 2004. 

Like the establishment of Transjordan and the failed Oslo peace process before it, Israel’s surrender of Gaza and establishment of what became Hamastan in Gaza did not placate the Arabs of the land of Israel—or even in Gaza. They pocketed the concession and used the territory they had received to escalate their war against Israel. Since the failed Gaza withdrawal, we have seen dozens more plans, peace conferences and envoys all committed to advancing the two-state solution.

There was a sense that the long nightmare with the failed policy paradigm had finally and permanently died during Donald Trump’s presidency and Benjamin Netanyahu’s premiership. But now that Trump has been replaced with Biden and Netanyahu with the Bennett-Lapid-Gantz-Abbas government, last week it came roaring back.

Blinken’s visit to Israel last week was a challenging moment for him. Like his Biden administration colleagues, Blinken is committed to implementing the Obama administration’s plan to realign the United States away from Israel and the Sunni Arab states and towards Iran. 

To block criticism of the nuclear deal the United States is now [colluding] with the Iranians, Blinken’s challenge last week was to neutralize the Israeli-Arab anti-Iran strategic alliance. And he used the two-state solution to achieve this goal.

Before Blinken arrived at the Negev Summit on Monday night, he held another summit in Ramallah with PLO chief and P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas. When he arrived in Sde Boker, Blinken used his meeting in Ramallah to make the Palestinians the main subject of conversation. 

Blinken’s two-state solution offensive enabled him to ignore whatever protests Lapid and the Arab foreign ministers expressed at the Negev Summit. It also allowed him to change the subject. In their final statements at the end of the summit on Tuesday, the Arab foreign ministers ignored Iran and joined Blinken in voicing their support for the two-state solution.

[The Jerusalem Post]

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Negev Summit: Groundbreaking & Underreported






The foreign ministers of Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco, and Egypt landed on Sunday evening in Israel ahead of a landmark regional summit in the southern Negev Desert, where they were joined by their Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid.

The UAE’s Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahrain’s Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Morocco’s Nasser Bourita, and Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry all landed at the Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel.

Shoukry, whose country was the first country to sign a peace agreement with Israel in 1979, joins the three Arab countries that signed the US-brokered normalization agreements known as the Abraham Accords in 2020.

From the airbase, the senior diplomats headed to the Isrotel Kedma Hotel in Sde Boker, where Lapid — who is hosting the two-day event — greeted them.

An official close to Lapid told journalists that the Israeli top diplomat and the Arab dignitaries were discussing “advancing a regional security architecture.”

The official added that the meetings so far have been “very warm, including embraces and friendly conversation.”

The focus of the summit, according to officials, will be on regional threats, challenges, and opportunities. Among the issues expected to be at the center of the meetings are the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, and the Russia-Ukraine war.

The summit is also seen as a display of diplomatic unity intended for Tehran.

[The Times of Israel]



Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Israel & Ukraine: Lessons in History

 


The Ukrainians Are Learning a Lesson that Israel Has Already Learned 
- Dr. Dan Schueftan (Israel Hayom)

  • The Ukrainians are learning today what the Czechs learned in 1938, and what the Jews vowed never to forget: Western democracies cannot be relied upon in the face of a threat from an authoritarian regime willing to turn to military measures to enforce its will. A country that cannot defend itself will be left to its own devices at a time it needs support the most.
  • Israel's War of Independence victory was achieved only thanks to the mobilization of full human potential and the massive arms smuggling that took place despite the U.S. embargo. Amid the pan-Arab threat, shaped under Egyptian President Nasser's leadership, Israel was left to its fate for almost 20 years.
  • In the 1950s, Israel faced a critical threat when the USSR supplied Egypt (and later other Arab countries) with massive quantities of frontline weapons, while Washington refused to supply Jerusalem with defensive weapons. France, which had helped Israel deal with these dangers, betrayed Jerusalem after the Six-Day War and supported its enemies.
  • President Zelenskyy at Israel's Western Wall
    When Arab countries declared war on Israel again in 1973, the rest of Europe turned its back on Jerusalem by refusing to allow American planes that carried supplies for the IDF to refuel in its territories. Europe continues to support efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state in international organizations, and generously funds groups that undermine it.
  • Israel became a success story not only because of its freedom and innovation, but also because it chose to base its national security on self-defense. Its survival, progress, and prosperity were made possible by its strong military and determination to defend itself on its own.
  • Israel receives assistance due to its determination to survive without it. It prevents war through deterrence, for it has learned that what triggers the aggression of authoritarian regimes is democracies' hesitance to use their power even if the avenues of diplomacy and economic means have been exhausted.

    The writer is head of the International Graduate Program in National Security at the University of Haifa.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Palestinian Apartheid


There's Apartheid in the Holy Land, but Not in Israel 
- Prof. Eugene Kontorovich

There are reasons to be concerned about the emergence of apartheid in the Holy Land but not the ones Amnesty cites. The defining characteristic of apartheid - what distinguishes it from generic racial discrimination - is the rigid separation of groups in public spaces and positions of power. Thus, a sign of apartheid could be a government policy that bans real-estate sales or transactions to the disfavored group.
    
Apartheid is suggested by policies that carve out massive zones where the disfavored group cannot live or work, create ethnically homogenous zones, and restrict the disfavored group to ghettos. One might consider it apartheid if a government enforced a policy of extrajudicial execution of members of a disfavored group.
    
All these policies are practiced in the West Bank and Gaza by the Palestinian Authority government against Jews. The "Israel apartheid" meme is not just a lie, it is an inversion of the truth. In all areas controlled by Israel, Jews and Arabs mix openly. Yet all the areas under PA jurisdiction are Jew-free. Palestinian law makes selling land to Jews a crime punishable by death, often without trial. The South African government used death squads against blacks. The Palestinian government pays terrorists for killing Jews.
    
In all the territories controlled by the Palestinian government, Jews are prevented from worshipping at their holy sites, despite explicit provisions in the Oslo Accords requiring the Palestinian Authority to protect such worship.
The writer is a professor at George Mason University Law School and a scholar at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem. 
(Wall Street Journal)

Monday, January 17, 2022

Israel Cannot Be An “Occupier” Of Her Own Land


Succinct, clear, compelling and short video from PragerU debunking the notion that Israel is an “occupier” in the West Bank

Monday, November 15, 2021

Ben & Jerry’s: The Financial Consequences of Harming Israel


Ben and Jerry's Israel Boycott Is Harming Unilever Shares - Lydia Moynihan

Since Ben & Jerry's announced on July 19 it would stop selling ice cream in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, Unilever's stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange has fallen 13% and lost about $20 billion in market value as various funds have said they will pull money out of Unilever. 

(New York Post)

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Monday, October 11, 2021

Muslim Tourism Will Bring Peace to Israel

David Friedman: Muslim Tourism to Jerusalem Can End Conflict 

- Felice Friedson

Former U.S. envoy to Israel David Friedman is opening the Friedman Center for Peace through Strength at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem. Friedman said in an interview the big goal is to end the conflict. "I think it's endable. I think it's resolvable. I think what we've started is going to continue, the pace of which depends upon a lot of factors including support from the U.S. administration, but we are on a glide path, I believe, to end the Israeli-Arab conflict."

"My perspective on this is really to focus on Jerusalem. I think that making Jerusalem accessible to the Muslim world to see the care and respect that Israel gives to the Muslim holy sites, or the Christian holy sites, and of course, Jewish - I think seeing that firsthand will go a long way in removing the residual levels of mistrust that exist between the nations or the peoples."

"I think that the most important thing is to begin to show the Muslim world that the third holiest site is well taken care of by the Israeli government, and that Israel is the solution, if you will, to many of the problems in the Middle East; not the problem....We are going to use the opportunity of being in Jerusalem to meet with as many groups from the region as we can, whether from Egypt or Jordan, or from the Gulf, and to really emphasize the openness and respect that Israel has for the Muslim faith."

"It's all about changing the way Jewish people and Arabs, and Arab-Israelis and the entire region begins to look at each other in a way where they can coexist. And more than coexist."  

(Medialine)

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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Ben & Jerry’s Unites Jews & Their Allies





BDS and Jerry's - Editorial

We're not clear how exactly removing Ben & Jerry's ice cream from grocery stores in the West Bank will benefit the Palestinians. The move appears to be primarily an act of guerrilla theater and a demonstration of base prejudice. The most common expression of anti-Semitism is the application of double standards to Jews and the Jewish state.
    
There is no comparison between Israeli policy in the West Bank and the practices of the world's greatest human rights abusers. Unilever happily does business in Northern Cyprus, occupied Tibet, and Xinjiang, home to Uyghur concentration camps. We won't hold our breath for the ice cream boycott of China. But hey, there are no Jews in Xinjiang. We urge friends of Israel and the Jewish people to vote with their spoons. 
(Washington Free Beacon)


    
The Western righteousness industry seems to be deeply interested in democracy, freedom of speech, and human rights violations in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but is disinterested in the same issues within Palestinian society. Their magical exceptionalism turns appalling acts of violence by Palestinians from terrorism into resistance.
    
The Palestinian cause is waning among Arab nations, while ironically getting brighter in the West...
The writer, a Muslim Arab imprisoned by the Egyptian military for his activities to combat anti-Semitism, is a full time educator and speaker for StandWithUs. 
(Hussein Aboubakr)


FOOTNOTE

- Mor Altshuler

A recent article in Ha'aretz accused Zionists of "cultural and culinary appropriation" by presenting Palestinian foods as Israeli cuisine. Yet, as was proven by Prof. Menachem Felix and many others, there is almost no vegetable, fruit, spice or cooking method now ascribed to the Syrian-Palestinian kitchen that is not mentioned in the Bible or the Mishnah, and that didn't migrate with the Jews when they were exiled from their land.
    
For example, in southeastern Turkey, kubbeh, the glory of the Palestinian kitchen, is called "Jewish kofta" - that is, Jewish meatballs. Jews invented kubbeh because it was their custom to eat meat on Shabbat, but it is religiously prohibited for them to slaughter animals or cook on that day. Before the refrigerator was invented, the solution was to wrap ground meat in dough and fry or bake it on Friday, so it wouldn't spoil.
    
Similarly, eggplant and hummus, also ostensibly from the Palestinian kitchen, are mentioned in the records of the Spanish Inquisition as characteristic Jewish foods that could be used to identify people who formally converted to Christianity but secretly remained Jews. Moreover, olive oil, which has become a symbol of the Palestinian people, is one of the seven species the Bible cites as acceptable offerings in the Temple. It was used to anoint kings and priests and to light the menorah in the Temple.
    
It was the ancient Jewish cuisine of the Land of Israel that turned into one of the cuisines appropriated by Muslim nomads after they conquered the region in the seventh century. 
(Ha'aretz)
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Monday, July 26, 2021

Ross: "Give Israel Mountain Buster Bombs"

 

Dennis Ross

How the U.S. Could Empower Its Ally, Israel, to Deter Iran - Dennis Ross 

The U.S. must make the costs of pursuing a threshold capability far clearer. To do so, the Biden administration should consider providing Israel the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, a 30,000-pound mountain-buster, as well as leasing the B-2 bomber to deliver it. Such a weapon could be used to destroy Fordow, the underground Iranian enrichment facility, as well as other hardened nuclear sites.

This would send a powerful message. The Iranians may doubt whether the U.S. would follow through on its threats; they won't have any trouble believing the Israelis will.
(Bloomberg)
The writer, who served in senior national security positions for four presidents, is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
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Monday, May 24, 2021

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About the Recent Gaza Flareup

 

Hamas flags waved by Palestinian Arabs

How Hamas' Assault Serves as Iran's Testing Ground

-Jonathan Spyer

In recent years, the Palestinian Arab population west of the Jordan has become politically fragmented. Four identifiable populations exist: the Arab citizens of Israel, the inhabitants of Gaza, the Arab inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the population living under the administration of the West Bank Palestinian Authority.

The Hamas offensive which began with the launching of seven missiles at Jerusalem on May 10 is an effort to test the hypothesis that by mobilizing the symbol of al-Aqsa Mosque, and then initiating military action in the name of its defense, Hamas could reduce or remove these divisions.

Iran's strategic vision is of a long war conducted through the use of proxies and political client forces, and intended to result in Israel's hollowing out, weakening, isolation and eventual collapse.

Jerusalem, with Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr passed, has experienced only sporadic unrest. The riots in Israeli Arab towns have for the moment receded. The West Bank has seen large demonstrations but does not currently appear close to conflagration.

Gaza, though it will undoubtedly continue to fire rockets until the last moments, has suffered far greater damage than it has been able to inflict. If these situations hold, the fragmentation has not been comprehensively overturned.

Nevertheless, from the Iranian point of view, there are also considerable reasons for encouragement from the events of the last 10 days. Most importantly, the widespread rioting and attacks on Jews by Arab Israelis in Lod, Ramle, Haifa, Jaffa and elsewhere demonstrate the efficacy of al-Aqsa as a unifying symbol.

Even if this has not for now resulted in a generalized uprising, it is a strategic lesson that the Iranians will note carefully. For the first time since the establishment of Israel, Arab Israelis in large numbers mobilized, and on occasions used weaponry, to assist the war effort of an organization attacking Israel. This is a matter of deep significance, and represents a profound, if still partial, success for Hamas and its backers. The possession of considerable arsenals in the hands of elements of the Arab Israeli population and the potential this has for disruption will similarly have been carefully noted.

The initially slow and weak response of Israeli state authorities in responding to this will also be recorded. 

The large rallies in Europe and the Middle East demonstrate the continued resonance this issue has for broad sections of the Muslim public.

All these will be seen by Iran as encouraging signs of Israeli internal disarray and division, opening up new possibilities for future use.

As ever, Iran prefers to avoid direct involvement. But without its backing, support and expertise, the latest Hamas offensive against Israel would have been inconceivable. From this point of view, the events of the last 10 days may be seen as the latest episode in Tehran's long war against Israel.
[Middle East Forum/Jerusalem Post]

Monday, May 17, 2021

Palestinians Deceive on Jerusalem Evictions


Almost Nothing You've Heard about Evictions in Jerusalem Is True - Avi Bell and Eugene Kontorovich (Wall Street Journal)
  • The narrative of Israel's critics connects Hamas' current onslaught to eviction proceedings in Israeli courts concerning a few properties in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
  • The truth about Sheikh Jarrah is that it involves an ordinary property dispute between private parties. The Jewish claimants' ownership of the few plots of land has been confirmed repeatedly in court, following laws that apply equally regardless of ethnicity. Israeli courts have gone out of their way to avoid evicting the Palestinian residents who haven't paid rent for half a century.
  • In the case now before Israel's Supreme Court, the owner is an Israeli corporation with Jewish owners whose chain of title is documented back to an original purchase in 1875. Until 1948, the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood was home to both Jewish and Arab communities. Then Jordan invaded Israel and occupied half of Jerusalem, expelling every one of its Jewish inhabitants and seizing their property.
  • This case has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. The only discrimination in the legal treatment of Sheikh Jarrah property is historic, by Jordan, and against Jews to the benefit of Palestinians.
  • The plaintiffs have spent four decades in court seeking to recover possession of the properties. In the latest lawsuits, the courts ruled that four of the eight defendants were squatters with no legal rights to the land, and the remaining four were descendants of tenants who had never paid rent. Nevertheless, Israeli courts have treated the Palestinians as "protected tenants," and would shield them from eviction indefinitely if they paid rent. They have refused to do so.
  • Israeli courts adjudicate property disputes in Jerusalem between Arab parties, or by Arabs against Jews, with no protest. There is only one objection in this case: the owners are Jews. The manufactured controversy this time is an attempt to pressure Israel effectively to perpetuate Jordan's ethnic cleansing - in the name of human rights.

    Avi Bell is a professor at the University of San Diego Law School. Eugene Kontorovich is director of the Center for the Middle East and International Law at George Mason University School of Law. Both are scholars at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Iranians Protest Mullahs

 



Iranian Dissidents on Manhattan Billboard: Don’t Trust Ayatollahs’ Apologists in US Media
- David Israel

Members of the Iranian opposition commissioned a billboard in Midtown Manhattan, opposite the offices of The New York Times last Friday, calling on Americans to ignore the media warning Americans not to trust their media which serve as apologists for the Iranian regime and endorse a return to the nuclear agreement with Iran.
[Jewish Press]
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The Abraham Accords Dance