Sunday, February 01, 2015

02/01 Links: Rabbi Sacks: The Return of Anti-Semitism; HC: World better without Balfour

From Ian:

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: The Return of Anti-Semitism
Last Tuesday, a group of Holocaust survivors, by now gaunt and frail, made their way back to Auschwitz, the West’s symbol of evil—back to the slave-labor side of the vast complex, with its mocking inscription Arbeit Macht Frei (“Work makes you free”), and back to the death camp, where a million and a quarter human beings, most of them Jews, were gassed, burned and turned to ash. They were there to commemorate the day, 70 years ago, when Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz and saw, for the first time, the true dimensions of the greatest crime since human beings first set foot on Earth.
The moment would have been emotional at the best of times, but this year brought an especially disturbing undercurrent. The Book of Genesis says that, when God told Abraham what would happen to his descendants, a “fear of great darkness” fell over him. Something of that fear haunted the survivors this week, who have witnessed the return of anti-Semitism to Europe after 70 years of political leaders constant avowals of “Never again.” As they finished saying Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for mourners, one man cried out, “I don’t want to come here again.” Everyone knew what he meant. For once, the fear was not only about the past but also about the future.
The murder of Jewish shoppers at a Parisian kosher supermarket three weeks ago, after the killing of 12 people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, sent shivers down the spines of many Jews, not because it was the first such event but because it has become part of a pattern. In 2014, four were killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. In 2012, a rabbi and three young children were murdered at a Jewish school in Toulouse. In 2008 in Mumbai, four terrorists separated themselves from a larger group killing people in the city’s cafes and hotels and made their way to a small Orthodox Jewish center, where they murdered its young rabbi and his pregnant wife after torturing and mutilating them. As the Sunday Times of London reported about the attack, “the terrorists would be told by their handlers in Pakistan that the lives of Jews were worth 50 times those of non-Jews.”
IsraellyCool: History Channel Knows How To Have A Lot Fewer Problems And Jews
Well, yes, if by “problems” you mean Jews (and Christians) then yes, I’m sure there would be fewer Jews in the middle east today were it not for the existence of little Israel, the only oasis of sanity in the Middle East today.
Here’s where that line was taken from: a trailer for a forthcoming History Channel look at WW1.
Aside from the nonsense about Britain and France breaking up the Arab states: what Arab states? Britain and France CREATED the Arab states. As Anjem Choudry said in his interview a couple of weeks ago with Voice of Israel, modern nation states are an anathema to Islam. The Ottoman empire was a loosely governed amalgam of tribal areas.
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that the only recognisable nation today that should have been created is Israel! If anything created a lot of problems, it was the overlaying of Arab nationalism onto an Islamic base: perhaps they should have left the Arabs as highly fractured, waring fiefdoms and not encouraged to band together in nations at all. Because the only thing Arab nations have ever agreed on is hating Israel (and the Jews who run it).
Trailer about WW1: world better without Balfour

The Hypocrisy of Iran's Holocaust Cartoon Contest
The purpose of the contest, according to the organizers, is to highlight Western hypocrisy over the value of free speech. Following the attack on Charlie Hebdo, people around the world expressed solidarity through the ubiquitous "Je Suis Charlie" slogan, indicating a defense of the newspaper's right to satirize religious piety. Critics of the newspaper, though, pointed out that Muslims weren't offended by Charlie Hebdo's irreverent speech. They were instead insulted that white Parisians mocked religious values held by France's immigrant population, a group that has long been marginalized within French society. And according to Massoud Shojai Tabatabai, one of the organizers of the 2006 conference, the Western commitment to free speech doesn't always include denying the Holocaust, which remains a criminal offense in countries like Austria.
"Why is it acceptable in Western countries to draw any caricature of the Prophet Mohammed, yet as soon as there are any questions or doubts raised about the Holocaust, fines and jail sentences are handed down?" Tabatabai told the Observer that year.
But there's a difference between drawing an offensive caricature and participating in the negation of an established historical fact. And while Holocaust denial didn't begin with Iran, Tehran's contribution to the practice has been especially shameful. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president from 2005 to 2013, claimed that the Holocaust was a "myth" designed to protect the existence of Israel. In 2006, the year of the first cartoon contest, Tehran sponsored an international conference to "review the global vision of the Holocaust." Ahmadenijad's successor Hassan Rouhani acknowledged and condemned the Holocaust upon taking office in 2013, but neither he nor his suave, U.S.-educated Foreign Minister Mohammed Javaid Zarif have expressed regret for their country's role in its denial. Ayatollah Khameini, Iran's Supreme Leader and the man who controls the country's foreign policy, has called the Holocaust a "distorted historical event."

The Pathos of Jewish anti-Zionism (Mike Lumish)

despair gill kayeI must admit, there is often something very touching about heartfelt expressions of Jewish anti-Zionism.

On Daily Kos (a significant left-leaning political blog) we recently saw another soulful "diary" calling for the dissolution of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.  As is sometimes the case, this one came from a fellow Jew... a very sad fellow Jew.

Jewish anti-Zionism often has a pathos to it.

It tends to have a kind of self-indulgent, guilt-ridden, weepy quality.

It enacts or portrays the supposed torment of a Jewish soul before a non-Jewish audience comfortable with Jewish weakness and entirely uncomfortable with Jewish strength.

My suspicion is that such portrayals are sincere and that there is a definite throwing oneself upon the mercy of the court quality to it all.  The saintly David Harris-Gershon fairly ooozed this sort-of righteous self-flagellation as he fretted about what gift he should purchase for the children of the terrorist who murdered two of his friends and who almost murdered his wife in the cafeteria of Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

You know how this goes.  When your typical Jewish anti-Zionist was young he was allegedly filled with the heroic spirit of Moshe Dayan and David ben Gurion.  But now the Arabs, and their western allies, have shown him the error of his ways and he is willing to publicly rend his shirt and acknowledge his immoral mistake.

We have one such example up at Daily Kos written by Burtfrombrooklyn entitled, Israel and the paradox of theocracy.

After much soul-searching over many decades, he tells the world:
I've come around to a belief in a one-state solution.  But that new state could no longer be a Jewish state...
Burt, a middle aged Jew who has never set foot in Israel has decided, on moral grounds - no less - that Israel should no longer exist as the national homeland of the Jewish people.


He writes:
In maintaining its status as a Jewish state, how can it also stay true to its founding vision of a society that offers equal rights and protections to all citizens, not just Jews?
Asking how Israel can maintain "equal rights and protections," which is to say democracy, while being a Jewish state is no different from asking how France can maintain democracy as a state of the French or Britain as the state of the Brits or Ireland as the state of the Irish.

What makes the Jews so special that there is something inherently inconsistent about Jewish democracy, but not, say, Mexican democracy?

There are two issues of primary importance around this discussion that distinguishes Israel from all other countries.  The first is that Israel is held to an anti-Semitic double-standard, which is why it is the only country on the planet wherein millions of people around the world - despite the Holocaust - think that Jews need to return to statelessness and, thus, helplessness.

The second is that the word "Jewish" also refers to the religion, which allows the less well-read to sometimes accuse Israel of being a theocracy.

This is precisely what Burt, from my dear old dad's town of Brooklyn does:

The paradox:  how can a government simultaneously be theocratic and humanistic -- committed to being a Jewish state, and committed to being a social democracy that values human and civil rights? 
Israel is actually the least religious country in the entire region and was set up quite specifically not to be a theocracy, which is why its legal statutes are not Torah-based.  Religious questions sometimes arise in legal proceedings, as they do in the United States, as well, but the last thing that Israel is is a theocracy.

Unlike in Tehran, there is no rule by an authoritarian religious elite.

Therefore, the entire premise of this particular call for robbing Jewish people of even a chance at safety and sovereignty is grounded in dangerous nonsense.

Below are a few comments from beneath the article that will give you a sense of how many of Burt's associates feel:

Thank you for a thoughtful and thought-provoking diary.

I am sorry for the howls of rage that will no doubt fall on your head for having the courage to question whether an Israeli theocracy can be sustained.
by officebss on Wed Jan 28, 2015 at 09:52:17 AM PST
But there is no Israeli theocracy.

theocrats usually believe they are humanists (1+ / 0-)

In fact they believe that only theocrats can be humanists.  Their argument is that God desires the good of humanity, therefore to follow God is automatically to do good for humanity.

by Visceral on Wed Jan 28, 2015 at 10:05:38 AM PST
But there is no Israeli theocracy.
Excellent and thought-provoking diary. (3+ / 0-)

I, too am an American-born Jew, 64 years old.  You and I share much of the same experience.

Israel as a nation was never a matter of faith, but cultural identity. 
I find your solutions very compelling.

by 57andFemale on Wed Jan 28, 2015 at 10:11:07 AM PST
His solutions mean total war.

If one is interested in seeing very many dead people then definitely advance BDS, because if it is successful that will be the outcome.

Furthermore, of course, if Israel is grounded in cultural identity rather than faith, then how could it possibly be a theocracy and, thus, just what does this person find compelling?

What I find compelling is the shear idiocy of any such Solution to the Jewish Problem that requires war against us, which is precisely what anti-Zionism / BDS will need if it is to succeed.

Expulsion of the local Arabs has been part of the Zionist toolbox since Day One, back in the 19th C.

Current Israeli policy is not to evict them all or kill them all outright,  but to severely restrict the Arabs' collective airway in hopes that they'll move.

by oblomov on Wed Jan 28, 2015 at 10:45:41 AM PST
oblomov's view is in no way reflective of Israeli history or the history of the Jewish people in the region.

If transference of the Arabs were a general Jewish policy than just why did the Jews beg the Arabs in Haifa to stay during the War for Independence?  As David Margolick wrote in a 2008 New York Times book review of historian Benny Morris' 1948: The First Arab-Israel War:
Transfer — or expulsion or ethnic cleansing — was never an explicit part of the Zionist program, even among its more extreme elements, Morris observes. The first Arabs who left their homes did so on their own, expecting to return once the Jews lost or the fighting stopped. The Jewish mayor of Haifa begged Arab residents to stay; Golda Meir, then head of the Jewish Agency Political Department, called the exodus “dreadful” and even likened it to what had befallen the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe.
When someone like oblomov makes unjust and malicious accusations against Israel he is, essentially, calling for violence against a long persecuted minority.  He is, for all intents and purposes, acting in the fashion of a Nazi in the sense that he, like the Nazis did, is spreading hatred toward the Jews in preparation for whatever violence is to come.

The truth is, one cannot despise Israel without despising the Jewish people and wishing us harm.

One cannot stand for social justice while simultaneously pointing the trembling finger of blame at the Jewish people.

Perhaps this is something that needs to be clarified.

Some people, it should be noted, stood up and told this "diarist" that his musings were nonsense, but they represent the distinct minority within most left-leaning venues.

The bottom line is that those who call for the dissolution of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people or who, in their consideration of the long war against the Jews, either take the Arab side or constantly denigrate the Israeli side, are playing a very sick and dangerous game with the future of your children.

Self-righteous Jews like David Harris-Gershon, who wear the hair shirt and give public testimony to false allegations of Jewish malice, are spreading hatred toward their own people and this certainly goes for someone like the Daily Kos diarist who believes that Israel needs, somehow, to be dismantled.

The elimination of Israel as the Jewish state can only happen through full-on war.

Ultimately, this is what anti-Zionism points toward.

If you think that Israel should not exist as the nation state of the Jewish people... or if you favor the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the lone, sole Jewish state... or if you think that Israel is a racist, militaristic, imperialist, theocratic, apartheid, colonialist entity... then you are pushing for lots and lots of blood.

But, don't worry, unless you happen to be Jewish - or live in or near Israel - chances are the blood will not be yours.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.

British Consul-General in J'lem defends retweeting bogus "settlers kidnap toddler" story

McPhail, desecrating Al Aqsa
while discussing how to keep it
Last week I blogged aboutbogus story in Ma'an of how a female "settler" supposedly tried to kidnap an Arab toddler - a story whose only "witnesses" happened to be relatives of and supporters of a murderer?

Besides the story being literally unbelievable to begin with, Israellycool also showed discrepancies in different versions of the story by the same "witnesses."

As usual with Ma'an, no attempt was made to verify this story. No one questions why Ma'an cannot bother sending a reporter to do even a modicum of fact-checking, something that any legitimate newspaper in the world would do before publishing such allegations.

Just as with their long history of stories about wild boars that settlers allegedly raise in order to have them attack Palestinians, and other ludicrous allegations, this ridiculous story is believed by people who are already predisposed to believe anti-Israel libels.

Such as British Consul General in Jerusalem, Alastair McPhail, who uncritically retweeted the story.

McPhail defended his tweet after someone pointed him to my post:

I replied, and he responded; here's the thread:

McPhail is fixated on my writing that "That's why there are so many stories about thousands of olive trees being destroyed but the only photo accompanying the story is a generic, staged 'Arab woman wailing' photo. I wasn't saying that there is no crop destruction by Jews; I'm saying that it is vastly exaggerated and many of the specific stories have been proven false. (It is very, very hard to uproot an olive tree.) 

McPhail has courted controversy before, notably when he wore this keffiyeh that erased Israel and said "Free Palestine". The Islamic charity that published the photo sort-of apologized months later under severe pressure, but McPhail never did. 

By the way, Ma'an's comment system is heavily moderated; many of my comments never get posted. However, this antisemitic comment on that article made it through with no problem - and it has remained up many hours after I pointed it out.

Hey, its only an antisemitic blood libel. No need to moderate that!

This is the source that the British consul is trusting when he decides what to retweet. 

Tunisian politician, on TV, argues that "Protocols" are a myth

This is rare but welcome:

There have been a couple of other Arabs who have been vocal about the forgery of the "Protocols."

This recent article in Al Araby by Saqr Abu Fakhr goes through the history of the "Protocols" as well as making fun of the Arab conspiracy theories that sprung up around how printers of the "Protocols" were being assassinated by Jews, one of them supposedly by cancer cells introduced into his mucus by Jewish spies.

Another Arab thinker, Dr. Youssef Zeidan, gave a lecture last November also debunking the myth of the "Protocols."

So while the myth is widely accepted as fact in the Arab world, as the host of the Tunisian program proves, at least some Arabs are speaking up.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Moroccan magazine dresses Hollande as Hitler, says Muslims in France are like 1930s Jews

From Newsweek:

Moroccan Arab-language newspaper Al-Watan al-An has published images of French President François Hollande retouched to look like Adolf Hitler, sporting a swastika armband with the headline “the French are reopening Hitler’s concentration camps to exterminate Muslims”.

The controversial image was on the cover of Al-Watan al-An was dated yesterday, only two days after the 70th anniversary of Holocaust Day, which marks the allied liberation of the largest Nazi concentration camp in 1945 in Auschwitz, Poland, where over a million Jews, Poles and allied prisoners of war were exterminated by the Nazi regime.

Commenting on the images, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Abderrahim Ariri was not apologetic, and insisted the photomontage of the French head of state was meant to highlight the French government’s bias towards protecting its Jewish citizens and neglecting the security of French Muslims.

“This is a small part of what the French President deserves,” Ariri told Moroccan French-language weekly TelQuel.

“The government of France cannot ensure the security of Muslim citizens in France, in the same way that they do for the Jewish community,” he added.
Funny, I had no idea that the Jewish community was being so well protected. After all, only Jews have been killed in France for bias reasons, not Muslims.

And isn't it interesting that instead of demanding protection for Muslims, Abderrahim Ariri has to imply that there is too much protection of Jews, who are of course being threatened by people who come from the same part of the world that Ariri comes from?

France24 adds:
Contacted by FRANCE 24, the editor of the magazine said he did not regret the comparison between the two men nor the timing of the publication.

“I chose this photomontage myself and I fully assume responsibility for it,” Abderrahim Ariri said by telephone from Casablanca. “Since the Paris attacks I have received many emails from fellow Moroccan Muslims who live in France and who tell me they are living through hell.”

“They are in danger… I want to send a strong message to French authorities. I want François Hollande to step up security for Muslims, for their places of worship. If not, there could be abuses,” Ariri added.

According to France’s National Observatory of Islamophobia, 128 anti-Muslim acts were recorded across France in the two weeks that followed the massacre perpetrated by masked gunman at the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo – as many incidents recorded by the rights group all of last year.
From what I can tell, the National Observatory of Islamophobia counts self-reported acts, not incidents reported to police.

There are anti-Muslim incidents in France. But as I pointed out last week, in 2014, 61% of all violent racist attacks recorded in France by police, 241, were directed against Jews, who are less than 1% of France's population. By comparison, only 55 violent racist acts were anti-Muslim. This means that in France, a Jew is nearly 50 times as likely to be the victim of bias violence as a Muslim is.

Are Muslims in France feeling so endangered that the want to move out of Europe? I mean, if they are living through hell, surely some of them must have moved back to Algeria or Tunisia or Morocco or Libya by now, right?

The magazine cover accomplished three things: it falsely shows Muslims as the major victims of racism in France, and it trivializes the Holocaust, and it minimizes the very real threats that Jews in France have to deal with every day - mostly from Muslims - that dwarfs the danger that Muslims are in.

01/31 Links: Confronting European Anti-Semitism; The Real threat to Jews lies in Middle East

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Confronting European Anti-Semitism
These variations on the theme of anti-Semitism have several elements in common. First, they tend to engage in some form of Holocaust denial, minimization, glorification or comparative victimization. Second, they exaggerate Jewish power, money and influence. Third, they seek the delegitimation and demonization of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Fourth, they impose a double standard on all things Jewish.
Finally, they nearly all deny that they are anti-Semites who hate all Jews. They claim that their hatred is directed against Israel and Jews who support the nation state of the Jewish people.
This common form of the new anti-Semitism—we love the Jews, it's only their nation state that we hate—is pervasive among many European political, media, cultural and academic leaders. It was evident even among some who came to commemorate the liberation of the death camps. A recent poll among Germans showed a significant number of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Nazi supporters didn't want to hear about Nazi atrocities, but believed what Israel was doing to the Palestinians was comparable to what the Nazis had done to the Jews.
This then is the European problem of anti-Semitism that many European leaders are unwilling to confront because they have a built in excuse! It's Israel's fault—if only Israel would do the right thing with regard to the Palestinians, the problem would be solved.
Tragically, it won't be solved, because the reality is that hatred of Israel is not the cause of anti-Semitism. Rather, it is the reverse: anti-Semitism is a primary cause of hatred for the nation state of the Jewish people.
Charles Krauthammer: Real threat to Jews lies in Middle East
Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.
It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
The rise of European anti-Semitism is in reality just a return to the norm. For a millennium, virulent Jew-hatred — persecution, expulsions, massacres — was the norm in Europe until the shame of the Holocaust created a temporary anomaly wherein anti-Semitism became socially unacceptable.
The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!” Berlin, mind you.
European anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, however. It’s a European problem, a stain, a disease of which Europe is congenitally unable to rid itself.
From the Jewish point of view, European anti-Semitism is a sideshow. The story of European Jewry is over. It died at Auschwitz. Europe’s place as the center and fulcrum of the Jewish world has been inherited by Israel, now the largest Jewish community on earth.
CNN: French Terrorist Taped Rampage in Kosher Grocery Store with Chest-Mounted GoPro
Amedy Coulibaly, the main suspect for the killing of police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe and friend of Charlie Hebdo terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, attached a GoPro to his chest and filmed his raid into a Jewish market in Porte de Vincennes.
The world watched Coulibaly’s hostage crisis, in which he killed four hostages just two days after the Charlie Hebdo shootings. Now, the video of Coulibaly’s attack has made it to the Internet.
The French police have viewed the video and expressed concerns that it will appear in an Islamic State propaganda video. The footage has been called “gruesome” and “grisly.”
French investigators have not released the recipients of the video, but it is believed that Coulibaly spent time editing and emailing the video while in the market that he held many French Jews hostage.
A GoPro video was also found in the car of the Kouachi brothers though no video of their Charlie Hebdo attack has surfaced online.

Friday, January 30, 2015

01/30 Links Pt2: The Islamophobia myth; HuffPo's Anti-Semitic Screed on Holocaust Remembrance Day

From Ian:

Sarah Honig: The wrong end of a municipal drain-pipe
The Charlie Hebdo massacre (as distinct from the subsequent slaughter at the Jewish supermarket) turned the spotlight on Muslim proclivities for righteous rage. Instantly the West’s elected headliners fell over themselves to declare that Islam is a peace-loving religion whose meek adherents only aspire to win a modicum of respect.
As part of our urgent re-education and re-immersion in the cult of multiculturalism, the mantra that the bloodshed “has nothing to do with Islam” was drilled into us nonstop. This, it was repeatedly chanted, is the correct way for us to think. Deviations from the prescribed diktat would be sternly denounced in the name of freedom.
Perhaps that’s why the dismal fate of Saudi citizen Raif Badawi didn’t much move the agenda-setters who so warily safeguard our inalienable right not to veer from their infallible guidelines.
Badawi, 31, fell victim to precisely the same Muslim muzzling as did the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, but he is geographically distant and, therefore perhaps, his pain is less in the enlightened faces of opinion-molders.
But the fact still remains that he suffers appallingly only because he dared take an independent stand.
That’s his one and only crime.
Must Watch: Baroness Deech Pulls No Punches In Opposing UK Recognition of “Palestine”
In the latest parliamentary debate in the House of Lords on UK recognition of palestinian statehood, Baroness Deech tells it like it is.

Britons loathe Israel more than Iran, survey finds
Britons feel more “unfavorable” to Israel than any other country worldwide except North Korea, a survey found.
The survey — taken in August and published Thursday by Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs — showed a massive surge in negative attitudes toward Israel since the previous such study, two years earlier. Thirty-five percent of Britons said they “feel especially unfavorable towards” Israel in the 2014 survey, compared to 17% in 2012.
That figure meant that Israel is regarded more unfavorably by Britons than Iran — 33% in the 2014 survey, compared to 45% in 2012. Only North Korea fares worse — regarded as especially unfavorable by 47% in 2014, compared to 40% in 2012.
Commenting on the dramatic rise in hostile attitudes to Israel, the compilers noted that, “The survey was conducted in August 2014 at a time when … Israel was engaged in a military operation in Gaza against Hamas that caused large numbers of civilian casualties.”

Why do people believe the media in a society that rewards lies?

Ma'an pretends to report some news:
An Israeli settler attempted to kidnap an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler in the Jabal al-Mukkabir neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Thursday, witnesses said.

The child was reportedly the son of Ghassan Abu Jamal, one of the attackers who killed five Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue last November.
Who were the witnesses to this terrible crime?

Abu Jamal's brother said the child, Muhammad, was walking with his uncles when he wandered some five meters ahead of the group.

A female settler then exited a car and grabbed him, running with the child for some 20 meters before relatives caught up and freed the boy.

She released the boy and fled the scene in her car.

Witnesses say she shouted: "Arabs, Arabs, they want to kill me" during the incident
So the family of a terrorist claims that some "settler" (amazing how they know that) tried tokidnap a toddler but they heroically managed to stop her before anything could happen.

Let's do a quick cost/benefit analysis.

Is there any incentive to lying to Palestinian Arab media about being victimized by Jews?

Sure! Lying about some "settler" gets your name in the paper. It makes you sound like a hero. It demonizes the enemy. It can act as a distraction from your own crimes. It can gain you supporters.

Is there any disincentive to lying?

Only if you live in a society where lying about Israelis is considered wrong. Only if your society's media would bother checking facts and call you out if it is found that there is no evidence for your lies. Only if people would be upset at someone having the audacity of lying.

None of those criteria apply to Palestinian Arab society.

Plenty of Arab media reported this fake incident as fact. Not one bothered to go beyond the statements of a family that explicitly supports murdering Jews as the sole source of the otherwise unverifiable story. And they don't want to, because the media itself is part of the fabric of a society that is founded and dependent on falsehoods.

That's why we see so many stories in Ma'an and elsewhere about unverifiable "settler" attacks - never with photos or video, even though everyone has a video camera in their pockets. That's why there are so many stories about thousands of olive trees being destroyed but the only photo accompanying the story is a generic, staged "Arab woman wailing" photo.

The fact that Arab "witnesses" and media routinely lie wouldn't be a problem if Western media and NGOs would add the skepticism that is missing from the Arab media. But they don't. Reporters will believe other reporters' stories without question unless there is something obviously wrong. NGOs make their money off of these lies. So, unfortunately, the institutions that should be acting as watchdogs instead act like lapdogs for the lies, or at best they simply ignore the obvious lies but believe the next batch of lies that sound a little more plausible.

What a system!

01/30 Links Pt1: Glick: Iran - Unafraid and undeterred; Toameh: Why Is Hamas Smiling?

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Iran - Unafraid and undeterred
From the Golan Heights to Gaza, from Yemen and Iraq to Latin America to Nantanz and Arak, Iran is boldly advancing its nuclear and imperialist agenda. As Charles Krauthammer noted last Friday, the nations of the Middle East allied with the US are sounding the alarm.
Earlier this week, during Obama’s visit with the new Saudi King Salman, he got an earful from the monarch regarding the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But it seemed to have no impact on his nuclear diplomacy with Teheran. The administration believes that Iran and Saudi Arabia will be able to kiss and make up and bury a thousand- year rivalry between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam because they both oppose the Islamic State. This too is utter fantasy.
Israel’s January 18 strike on Iranian and Hezbollah commanders in Syria showed Israel’s strategy wisdom and independent capacity.
Israel can and will take measures to defend its critical security interests. It has the intelligence gathering capacity to identify and strike at targets in real time.
But it also showed the constraints Israel is forced to operate under in its increasingly complex and dangerous strategic environment.
Due to the US administration’s commitment to turning a blind eye to Iran’s advances and the destabilizing role it plays everywhere it gains power, Israel can do little more than carry out precision attacks against high value targets. The flipside of the administration’s refusal to see the dangers, and so enable Iran’s territorial expansion and its nuclear progress, is its determination to ensure that Israel does nothing to prevent those dangers from growing – whether along its borders or at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Is Hamas Smiling?
In 2007, Abbas lost the Gaza Strip to Hamas. Now, he seems to be losing the Gaza Strip to his rivals in Fatah.
The violent events of the past few weeks are yet another sign of Fatah's failure to get its act together, especially in the aftermath of its defeat to Hamas in the January 2006 parliamentary elections.
Over the past few years, Abbas has repeatedly declared that there will never be a Palestinian state without the Gaza Strip.
However, the internecine strife among the Fatah leadership, as well as the continued power struggle between Abbas and Hamas, mean that the chances of creating a Palestinian state while he is still in power are non-existent. If in the past Abbas was unable to visit the Gaza Strip because of Hamas, now he knows that many of his former Fatah supporters have also turned against him.
Under the current circumstances, there is not much that Abbas could do other than remain in the West Bank, where he feels safer, largely thanks to the presence of the Israel Defense Forces there.
It is time for the international community to wake up and realize that the whole idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state is nothing but a joke. The last thing the Palestinians and the international community want is another Syria or Libya or Yemen in the Middle East.
Instead of working to help each other and rebuild the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians are busy fighting and threatening each other. This is not a fight over reforms, democracy or building a better future for Palestinians. Nor is it a fight between good guys and bad guys. Rather, this is a fight between bad guys and bad guys -- and it is all over money, ego and power.
JPost Editorial: Strength in restraint
This week’s cross-border attack by Hezbollah was its expected response to an alleged Israeli attack earlier this month in the Syrian Golan that killed one of its senior operatives and an Iranian general. The nearly symmetrical assault on IDF troops by the Iranian proxy terrorist organization was a clearly calibrated retaliation designed to uphold Hezbollah’s “honor” but without escalating into a wider confrontation that might once again demonstrate Iran’s commitment to global terrorism.
But while Hezbollah is committed on the ground in Syria, fighting to uphold the regime of Bashar Assad – and reportedly not willing to risk drawing Israel into a confrontation that might endanger the stability of the shaky Lebanese government – it also strives to maintain the credibility of its threat to Israel’s civilian population; namely its stockpile of some 100,000 missiles aimed southward.
It is significant to note that Wednesday’s attack was not perpetrated as a cover operation for the abduction of soldiers, as has happened before; nor was it another assault on a bus of schoolchildren or the rocketing of a border town. Any of these hostile acts might have sparked yet another Lebanon incursion or even war.

Elder gets results - but the amount of stupidity in BDS is infinite

On Tuesday I mocked an incredibly stupid BDS campaign whose backers honestly thought that Sabra hummus was named after the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

The people behind it must have gotten a lot of WTF messages, because they pulled the graphic and gave this hilarious explanation where they don't admit that they are clueless:

Ah, it was "misleading."

It turns out that there are plenty of other Israel haters who are just as stupid.. Here an angry, clueless tweet from 2013:

Here's another hater, quoting yet another, on Tumblr:

Can you feel how much they want to see a peaceful Middle East?

It is possible that this entire ridiculous meme was started by anti-Israel activist Helena Cobban, who blogged the idea in 2012:
I’m thinking that maybe this year in particular, the BDS folks might start calling the hummus brand “Sabra and Shatila hummus”, to make even clearer the connection between the hummus brand and the excesses/atrocities committed by, or under the close supervision of, the Israeli military….
But she adds a caveat:
What I would not want to do, however, is stigmatize the use of the term “Shatila” in a brand name. The Dearborn, Michigan-based Shatila Food Products bakery produces the very best baklava there is in the whole of North America…
What? American Arabs named food after a massacre???

The lesson is that the stupidity of the anti-Israel crowd is infinite. Lighting a candle might be enough to illuminate a room but it does nothing against an infinity of darkness

All we can do is point out their conscious decision to live in the blackness of their hate.

(h/t L)

"Jews are buying Libyan land, will transfer a million settlers"

The Libyan correspondent of Egypt's Albawabh reports that Jews are planning to take over Libyan land.

The article claims that Voice of Israel had a guest who was the head of the Jewish community in Libya. He made a secret trip to Triploi to start buying up large parcels of land in the Green Mountain area of eastern Libya.

The report says that the lands were originally owned by Jews and it was confiscated by Moammar Qaddafi after the Libyan revolution, taking their shops and farms and businesses.

A separate story, also supposedly from Voice of Israel, says that a Jewish businessman with investments in various countries around the world said that Libyan Jews Libyans are returning to their homeland Libya very soon, and we will see the Jewish return to Libya in 2015, along with the the resettlement of the Jews of the Arab Maghreb countries of Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.

The unnamed businessman says that the transfer of a million Jews to Libya wil occur with the help of the international community and the United Nations and human rights organizations around world, and with the help of America, Britain and France.

As always, Arab media is beyond parody.

You know how Arab claim that the blue bars of the Israeli flag represent the Nile and the Euphrates rivers? Clearly, they had it wrong. They stand for the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans!

In 2011, hundreds of Libyans protested a single Jew who returned to the country to try to re-open a synagogue that had been sealed in 1967, saying "There is no place for Jews in Libya."

German teacher suspended for saying Holocaust victims less important than cattle

Daniel Krause, a 34-year old school teacher from the town of Unna in Germany, called into a radio show on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

During the show, he said, "Personally, I'm not interested in Auschwitz at all... Even industrial livestock farming emotionally affects me more."

He was suspended from teaching, and officials are trying to get him fired. Dr. Gerd Bollermann said "I am appalled by the tasteless and dehumanizing utterances. The Arnsberg District will not tolerate anything that denigrates the memory of the murdered Jews during the Nazi era."

No doubt, Muslims will seize on this is evidence that free speech is suspended only for anti-Holocaust speech, and that anti-Muslim speech would be celebrated.

They would be wrong. Krause was suspended once before.

In 2012, during a rally for the far-right "Pro-NRW" group, Krause grabbed the microphone and declared, "As a practicing homosexual I have more fear of Islamists then, for example, [I would have at the time of] the Nazis."

Krause was suspended from teaching as a result of that little speech.

(h/t J_April)