Mr. Happy’s Past Weekly Column

You have a choice Be proud of being Jewish – I am a Jew;

The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make.

Rabbi Meir Kahane speaks about “Making Jews a PRIORITY” in NY, 1971



Midwest Apocalypse: Satellite Data Show “At Least 1 Million Acres Of US Farmland” Devastated By Floods

Tyler Durden 30March2019

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

We have never seen anything like this before. According to satellite data that was just released by Reuters, “at least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland” were covered by water for at least seven days this month. That is an agricultural disaster without equal in modern American history, and yet the mainstream media is treating this like it is some sort of second class story. It isn’t. This is the biggest news story of 2019 so far, and people want to know what is going on. A few days ago, I posted a story entitled ‘“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months’, and it has already been shared on social media more than 145,000 times. Farming communities all over the central part of the nation now look like war zones as a result of all this flooding, but the media elites on the east and west coasts don’t want to write about it. And with more flooding on the way for the next two months, this crisis is only going to get worse.


This is the time of year when farmers are gearing up to plant wheat, corn and soybeans, and now a substantial portion of our farmland will not be able to be used at all this year. According to Reuters, at least a million acres of farmland were covered by floodwaters for at least seven days this month, and that “will likely reduce corn, wheat and soy production this year”…

At least 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of U.S. farmland were flooded after the “bomb cyclone” storm left wide swaths of nine major grain producing states under water this month, satellite data analyzed by Gro Intelligence for Reuters showed.


Farms from the Dakotas to Missouri and beyond have been under water for a week or more, possibly impeding planting and damaging soil. The floods, which came just weeks before planting season starts in the Midwest, will likely reduce corn, wheat and soy production this year.

And with “as many as a million calves” lost to the flooding, a lot less food than anticipated is going to be produced in the United States for the foreseeable future.


Between March 8th and March 21st, almost 1.1 million acres of cropland and over 84,000 acres of pastureland were covered by water for at least a week. With more rain on the way, it is essentially going to be impossible for most of those acres to be usable this year.


In Iowa, 474,271 acres were covered by floodwaters for at least seven days in March, and Iowa farmers are facing some very tough deadlines. Corn must be planted by May 31st and soybeans must be planted by June 15th in order to qualify for flood insurance. For most Iowa farms that were covered by floodwaters, that is going to be impossible.


Overall, the recent flooding caused “at least $3 billion” in economic damage according to authorities, but many believe that the final number will be far higher.


Thousands upon thousands of farms have been completely destroyed, and thousands upon thousands of farmers will not plant any crops at all this year.


In addition to the vast agricultural devastation that we have witnessed, thousands upon thousands of homes have been destroyed as well, and now the National Ground Water Association is warning that “the safety of more than a million private water wells” could be compromised…

Record flooding in the Midwest is now threatening the safety of more than a million private water wells. The National Ground Water Association estimates that people living in more than 300 counties across 10 states have their groundwater threatened from bacterial and industrial contamination carried by flood waters.

If you live in the middle of the country and there is a chance that your well may have been compromised, please don’t take any unnecessary chances. Contaminated water can be really, really bad news.


Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. According to the NOAA, we are entering an “unprecedented flood season” that could potentially “impact an even bigger area of cropland”

Spring floods could yet impact an even bigger area of cropland. The U.S. government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned of what could be an “unprecedented flood season” as it forecasts heavy spring rains. Rivers may swell further as a deep snow pack in northern growing areas melts.

In my previous article entitled ‘”200 Million People At Risk: National Weather Service Warns Apocalyptic Midwest Floods Are “A Preview Of What We Expect Throughout The Rest Of The Spring”’, I included a map from the NOAA which shows which areas of the central part of the country are projected to receive unusually high levels of rainfall over the next few months.


Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of overlap with areas that have already been devastated by flooding.


On Friday and Saturday, there will be “more heavy rains” in the Midwest, and Nebraska is in “the direct path” of the center of the storm…

From the Central Plains to the Midwest, it has been a disastrous spring for river flooding. A weather system slated to bring more heavy rains Friday into Saturday could aggravate the situation along and near the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.


It’s a one-two punch that combines additional rainwater with fresh runoff from snowmelt. Perhaps worst off is Nebraska, in the direct path of Friday’s quick burst of moisture. Barely a week has passed since Gov. Pete Ricketts estimated the cost of ongoing flooding in that state at more than $1 billion.

This is it. America is being hammered by one storm after another, and I very much encourage you to get prepared for a very rough ride ahead.


There is going to be a lot more flooding. Prices for beef, dairy, wheat, corn and soy products are going to rise significantly, and just when you think they are way too high they are going to keep on rising.


This is already the worst agricultural disaster in modern American history, and federal authorities are telling us that we should expect things to continue to get worse for at least two more months.


Perhaps the mainstream media will eventually decide to take this story seriously, but until they do those of us in the alternative media will do our best to keep you updated.



Here’s how to tell when civil unrest is about to unfold in your city

(Natural News) As more and more political protests turn violent, the likelihood of civil unrest or even urban warfare breaking out seems increasingly high. A lot of people are showing a particularly vicious edge to their disagreement with President Trump and his policies that was not seen in the past, and it’s precisely the type of anger that can grow into violence if the fires are stoked enough. That is to say nothing of the type of rioting that can be spurred by a controversial police shooting, which is something that could occur at any moment in any city across the country. This isn’t the mere opinion of a bunch of bored “preppers;” the military and law enforcement agencies have been ramping up preparations for such situations in a series of drills.


How can you tell when a riot is about to break out near you? Ready Nutrition’s Joshua Krause was in Berkeley just before the massive protests surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner turned into violence, and he has identified a few signs that things were about to get ugly – although he didn’t realize it at the time.

Lots of clues… if you know where to look

The first clue something was amiss was a massive police presence that was far greater than anything he had ever seen in the city. It wasn’t just the volume of police officers that were stationed there – it was the equipment they saw fit to bring along.


For example, there were several plain-looking big buses parked near where protests were expected. This is a clear indication that the police were preparing to detain a vast number of people. Moreover, helicopters could be heard buzzing overhead, which is not something the police normally put forth the effort and expense to put in place if they’re not expecting serious problems.


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However, it was a much smaller sign that Krause feels was even more significant, and only someone who is really alert would have noticed it. He said that even though Berkeley police normally tend to leave homeless people alone in the city, on that day, he witnessed two cops politely telling a homeless man that he should leave the area. Their lack of aggression indicated that the man had not been acting unruly. Instead, Krause believes they were telling the man to leave the area for his own safety.


He also noticed lots of area businesses closing early. Rather than simply locking up and going home, however, they were boarding up their windows and doors much the same way they would in Florida before a hurricane strikes. In hindsight, it was clear that they were expecting major riots, and Krause believes the police must have issued advance warnings because protests are not uncommon in Berkeley and stores never take such extreme measures.


Sometimes you’ll find postings on social media by organizers of protests, but other times you’re dealing with flash mob riots that are really hard to predict. Look out for sudden groups, especially if they are loud, and head in the opposite direction if you see them.


Be vigilant

One of the biggest takeaways from this is that it pays to always be looking out for warning signs, particularly when you’re walking through a city – which is an everyday occurrence for many people. If you see police and locals alike taking precautions that seem extreme, your best bet is to get out of there as fast as you can and ask questions later. It’s normal to be curious in these situations, but civil unrest can spring up so quickly that you might not have a minute to spare, so flee first and ask questions later. If you can reach somewhere with a stockpile of survival food and other supplies, even better. Perhaps it’s overkill and things won’t get out of hand, but today’s protesters are growing increasingly bold and angry, and the economic climate means many of them feel they have very little to lose – a perfect recipe for true disaster.



Terra Incognita: Zuckerberg’s shameful whitewash of Holocaust denial

There’s an elephant in the room at Facebook – and it’s called a whitewashing of antisemitism.
By Seth J. Frantzman / July 19, 2018


They call it “Holohoax” and post memes that mock photos of starving, dying Jews who had just been liberated. They start by claiming that the Holocaust was invented by the Rothschilds and then claim a global Jewish conspiracy exists. They post racist photos depicting Jewish men crushing Europeans, minorities. Then they claim that Israel “controls ISIS” and that Jewish people are “evil.”


Holocaust denial is part of a systematic far-right racist hatred of Jews and dovetails with genocidal views, such that the same people who deny the Holocaust often simultaneously support there having been a Holocaust.


But for Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as he said recently in a shocking interview, these are just people unintentionally getting some facts wrong. In an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, he was asked why Facebook continues to accept postings of articles that present wrong information, such as claims that the Sandy Hook massacre didn’t happen.


Zuckerberg could have hidden behind freedom of expression as a reason. But instead he referenced being Jewish. “There’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day I don’t believe that our platform should take that down.” Ok. Well, that’s enough Mark – one can accept that logic; question answered.


But Zuckerberg wasn’t done. “I think there are things that different people get wrong; I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting [them] wrong.” What? So it’s not about freedom of expression, or even that you just think it’s offensive but shouldn’t be censored: You actually think that the Holocaust deniers are just unintentionally denying?


The interviewer was also incredulous. Zuckerberg dug in. “It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent. I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly – I’m sure you do.”


Oh, so it’s just a slip of the tongue, the Holocaust denial, we all just get things wrong from time to time. Like sometimes I buy low fat milk by mistake, and sometimes people just deny the Shoah by mistake? Zuckerberg went on to claim that the redline was if someone was organizing harm or attacking others and he said that Facebook would not widely distribute that bad content through its algorithm.


THE RIDICULOUS claim that Holocaust deniers are just getting some things wrong unintentionally is in stark contrast to Zuckerberg’s outspoken solidarity with other groups victimized on Facebook. In 2015 after the Paris attacks by Islamic State, he reassured Muslims that “we will fight to protect your rights and create a peaceful and safe environment for you.” He claimed in testimony to Congress that “we do not allow hate groups on Facebook.” He also told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that “hate speech has no place on Facebook and in our community.”


But Holocaust denial does have a place on Facebook. That’s because it isn’t seen as hate speech; it isn’t seen as hate. And it isn’t seen as hate because the message to tolerate it comes directly from the top. It is portrayed as just “unintentional.”


Zuckerberg’s inability to understand Holocaust denial as a systematic part of hatred against Jews and part of attacks on Jews is not because he is out of touch with his own Jewishness. He speaks about how important being Jewish is to him. When he fought against hate speech against Muslims in 2015 he wrote “as a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities.” The reality is that “as a Jew” he doesn’t take Holocaust denial as seriously. He sees it as “deeply offensive” but not “hate.”


It’s hard to understand his intentions here. Is it because he is worried that taking it more seriously will lead to charges he is censoring content because he is Jewish? Is it because he never experienced antisemitism – and finds Holocaust denial to beg naïve and foolish, and not part of a systematic hatred that leads to synagogues being vandalized, men attacked for wearing a kippah or swastikas being sprayed?


OVERALL IN America there is a decline in knowledge about the Holocaust. A Claims Conference survey published in April found shocking levels of ignorance. Eleven percent of US adults and 22% of Millennials hadn’t heard of the Holocaust. Forty-one percent of Millennials thought less than 2 million Jews had been murdered and many could not name a concentration camp.


Yet, at the same time, Holocaust imagery is common in the US. When the Trump administration began separating immigrant families there were numerous comparisons to Auschwitz and the Shoah. So Americans seem to downplay or lack knowledge about the Holocaust while at the same time often seeing analogies to the Holocaust in modern times.


Holocaust denial leeches onto this process, denying that Jews died and then claiming that the Shoah was part of a conspiracy to create Israel or enrich the Rothschilds, or something along those lines. Unfortunately, as social media becomes the primary source of news, sites like Facebook have an extraordinary power to decide what people see and learn. It appears that the one group that can be routinely attacked on Facebook is the Jews, whereas similar hatred directed against other groups is seen as more hateful.


The Facebook founder talked about “unintentional”– but Facebook allowed intentional ads targeting “Jew haters.” And Scientific American found in September that ads could be directed at those interested in “how to burn Jews” or about the “history of ‘why Jews ruin the world.’” That’s not unintentional; that is intentional hatred of Jews. And it’s not just hatred on the site, it’s targeting hate through advertising that the company profits from.


There’s an elephant in the room at Facebook – and it’s called a whitewashing of antisemitism. It is part of a generational change in the US and the West in which hatred of Jews is not being taken seriously and is being relegated to a different category than other types of racism and hatred. It is part of a larger struggle over intersectionality, where Jews are too often excluded as a category of people who suffer from hatred. Instead, hatred of other groups is better understood.


If Facebook wants to allow Holocaust denial, it has many reasons why it could, such as freedom of expression or because it views it as not an immediate actual threat. But to whitewash it as unintentional or to treat it as different than other types of hatred is unacceptable. Hatred is intentional. Holocaust denial is intentional. No one denies the Holocaust out of naivety. They deny it out of a carefully chosen reason to hate Jews. You can see that because it’s part of a larger worldview. It never stops as Holocaust denial – it always is part of a larger system of hatred and bigotry.

Comment: This is why Natan Sharansky said: Many in Israel think Reform Judaism is some kind of hostile sect. Mark Zuckerberg was raised a reform Jew and is married to a Shiksa (non Jew).

JerusalemCats Comments: Yes a hostel cult such as the NAZI AZOV BATTALION of Ukraine See:



Top EU Court Wants Global Removal of ‘Hateful’ Content on Facebook

Posted by October 5, 2019

Ruling comes as EU mulls bloc-wide hate speech rules based on German laws

Top EU Court Wants Global Removal of Hateful Content on Facebook

Top EU Court Wants Global Removal of Hateful Content on Facebook


The European Union’s top court ruled on Thursday that its member states can order Facebook to remove ‘illegal’ or ‘defamatory’ posts and comments worldwide. Any content found objectionable by a national court belonging to the 28-member bloc can be deleted from the world’s largest social network, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg said.


The measure will not be restricted to specific statements deemed undesirable by a European court but will also apply to similar content elsewhere on Facebook. The social media platform will be obliged to “remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal,” the ECJ said in a statement. “In addition, EU law does not preclude such an injunction from producing effects worldwide, within the framework of the relevant international law,” the court added.


The court’s judgement was in response to the case filed by Austria’s Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, after she was called a ‘lousy traitor’ and a member of a ‘fascist party’ in response to her demands for welfare payments to asylum seekers, Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported. Glawischnig-Piesczek was offended by these and similar comments attacking her views on immigration and sought legal recourse after Facebook initially refused to delete them.


Facebook plans to appeal the court’s ruling. “This is something I expect us and other companies will be litigating.” company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in response to the verdict.


Reuters reported the top EU court’s judgment:

Facebook can be ordered to police and remove illegal content worldwide, Europe’s top court said on Thursday, in a landmark ruling that rights activists say raises concerns some countries could use it to silence critics.


The judgment means social platforms can be forced to seek out hateful content deemed illegal by a national court in the 28-country bloc rather than wait for requests to remove posts as it currently does under EU rules.


Facebook and other platforms can also be made to comply with requests to take down content globally, even in countries where it is not illegal, the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled.


“EU law does not preclude a host provider like Facebook from being ordered to remove identical and, in certain circumstances, equivalent comments previously declared to be illegal,” the Court said in a statement.


“In addition, EU law does not preclude such an injunction from producing effects worldwide, within the framework of the relevant international law.”

European mainstream media cheered the verdict and demanded tougher action against ‘hate speech.’ “Facebook must search and delete,” German State broadcaster ARD demanded.


“Ugly posts, tweets and comments manage to bypass judicial orders and find their way into the veins of digital communication,” Germany newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung complained. “Now the European Court of Justice has ruled that the legal protection needs to be water tight, at least a bit.”


Facebook “makes it difficult for the affected persons to defend themselves against insults. The European Court of Justice has now strengthened the rights of the users,” German weekly Der Spiegel declared.


The ruling “extends the reach of the region’s internet-related laws beyond its own borders,” The New York Times noted.


Thursday’s ruling is part of the EU’s efforts to suppress dissent on social media, particularly criticism of its open border immigration policy. The new EU-wide legal framework will be based on the German online ‘anti-hate speech’ laws approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government in two year ago. “EU officials have been mulling new bloc-wide rules, building on existing legislation in Germany, that could hit big tech firms with possible fines if they fail to remove illegal hate speech quickly enough,” Bloomberg confirmed.


According to Germany’s Network Enforcement Law, popularly known by its sinister sounding acronym NetzDG, social media platforms can be force to delete “potentially illegal content.” Facebook, Twitter, and Google can face fines up to €50 million, or $60 million, for failing to remove content within the prescribed time. Germany has launched hundreds of probes this year, targeting Facebook users for posting supposedly hateful comments about immigrants.



Holocaust Denial Not Protected by Human-Rights Law, Court Says

  • Man’s conviction for hate speech, defamation of Jews was fair

  • Freedom of expression, right to fair trial not violated: ECHR

October 3, 2019,

 Photographs of holocaust victims at the Auscwitz-Birkenau concentration camp museum in Poland. Photographer: Piotr Malecki/Bloomberg

Visitors at the exhibition of belongings left after gassed prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp museum.
(Photo by Piotr Malecki / Bloomberg)


Udo Pastoers, a German who suggested in a 2010 speech that the Holocaust never occurred, was fairly convicted under the country’s laws against the intentional defamation of Jewish people, the European Court of Human Rights ruled while rejecting his complaints.


Pastoers’ argument that his statements were protected by Article 10, which protects freedom of expression, was “manifestly ill-founded,” given that he “had intentionally stated untruths in order to defame the Jews and the persecution that they had suffered,” the Strasbourg, France-based court ruled on Thursday. His complaint that he was denied a fair trial in Germany was also rejected by the ECHR.


Pastoers had given a speech a day after Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2010, saying that the “the so-called Holocaust is being used for political and commercial purposes” and also referring to a “barrage of criticism and propagandistic lies” and “Auschwitz projections.” He was first convicted in 2012 by a German district court, and then a regional court rejected his appeal of the verdict less than a year later.


Anti-semitism has again been on the rise in Europe, statistics show, with France reporting a rise of 74% last year in acts motivated by such religious hatred. In Germany where some of the strongest rules against hate speech were designed to discourage such behavior, anti-semitic offenses climbed by 10% in 2018 with violent acts climbing by 60%.


The ECHR noted in its Thursday ruling that the German court had been thorough in its examination of Pastoer’s comments and hadn’t taken his remarks out of context. The tribunal said the German had deliberately obscured some of his remarks to try to get his message across more subtly.


“The impugned part had been inserted into the speech like ‘poison into a glass of water, hoping that it would not be detected immediately,’” the court said.

JerusalemCats Comment: If Holocaust Denial Not Protected by Human-Rights Law then nether is BDS

The True Origins of BDS





Trump signs executive order to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses

Jennifer Kabbany – Fix Editor 11December2019

‘My administration will never tolerate the suppression, persecution or silencing of the Jewish people’

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order that aims to fight anti-Semitism — particularly on college campuses — by clarifying that federal laws protect against discrimination against Jewish people and warning public institutions could lose funding if they ignore “the vile, hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism.”


“This action makes clear that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits the federal funding of universities and other institutions that engage in discrimination, applies to institutions that traffic in anti-Semitic hate,” Trump said in a ceremony right before signing the order.


“This is our message to universities,” Trump said. “If you want to accept the tremendous amount of federal dollars that you get every year, you must reject anti-Semitism. It’s very simple.”


The White House 45 Archived-tweet-11December2019-Hanukkah Reception

The White House 45 Archived-tweet-11December2019-Hanukkah Reception

According to the White House, the order also directs federal agencies “to identify other ways the government can use nondiscrimination authorities to address anti-Semitism.” And it tells federal agencies to consider the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism during enforcement.


“The Remembrance Alliance definition makes clear what our administration has stated publicly and on the record: Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. The inclusion of this language with contemporary examples gives critical guidance to agencies enforcing Title VI provisions,” writes Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, in an op-ed in The New York Times.


“With Wednesday’s executive order, the president takes crucial action to support and defend Jewish students in the United States,” Kushner added. “For the first time, a president is making clear that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on race, color or national origin covers discrimination against Jews.”


The White House, in a statement, said it is responding to a rise in anti-Semitic incidents since 2013, especially in schools and on college campuses.


According to an “anti-Semitism tracker” database maintained by the AMCHA Initiative, there have been 3,084 incidents of anti-Semitic activity on college and university campuses since 2015.


“My administration will never tolerate the suppression, persecution or silencing of the Jewish people,” Trump said during the ceremony. “We have also taken a firm stance against the so-called divestment and sanctions movement, or BDS.”


Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz also spoke during the event, saying “for 65 of my 81 years I have spent at universities … there is no more important event in those 65 years to turn universities away from being bastions of hatred and discrimination than this executive order being signed today. It is a game changer.”


Even prior to the order’s signing it seems to have been having an effect. Recently the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pledged to expand protections for its Jewish students to resolve a civil rights probe by the U.S. Education Department looking into complaints of campus anti-Semitism.


While the order is being hailed by Jewish rights groups, not everyone’s on board.


The American Association of University Professors tweeted in response that it’s “shameful this is being done in the name of protecting higher education. This helps no one, not the faculty, not the students, not the institutions, not higher education, and not academic freedom.”


And a statement put out by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education noted the order “is couched in language intended to paper over the readily evident threat to expressive rights, its ambiguous directive and fundamental reliance on the IHRA definition and its examples will cause institutions to investigate and censor protected speech on their campuses.”


“Having spent 20 years defending speakers from across the political spectrum, FIRE knows all too well that colleges and universities will rush to punish student and faculty speakers in an attempt to avoid federal investigation and enforcement.investigation and enforcement.”


Arutz Sheva

Why was Jewish family kicked off American Airlines flight?

Orthodox Jewish family forced off of flight home, left without their luggage – all allegedly because of ‘body odor’.

David Rosenberg, 25January2019

Yossi Adler, 36, and his family were seated on their Miami-to-Detroit flight when ground crew asked them to step off the plane. American Airlines says they were booted over complaints of body odor. But the Adlers says they were singled out because they are Jewish.

Passenger Kicked Off Flight For Odor: ‘I Shower Every Day!’ | NBC News

An Orthodox Jewish family was ordered off of an American Airlines flight earlier this week, leaving them stranded without their luggage, baby stroller, or child car seat.


Yossi Adler, 36, his wife Jennie, and their 19-month old daughter had been vacationing in Miami, Florida this past week, and were scheduled to fly back to Detroit Wednesday night on an American Airlines flight.


After being seated on the plane, the family was suddenly ordered off and escorted back to the gate, with no explanation offered.


Once they had been taken back to the gate, ABC’s Local 10 News in Miami reports, American Airlines staff closed the gate and informed the Adlers that they would not be permitted back on the plane.


At this point, the Adlers were finally given an explanation for their removal from the flight – fellow passengers had apparently complained of a foul smell from the family.


“All of a sudden, as soon as they took us off, they closed the gate and then they said, ‘Sorry, sir, some people complained you had body odor and we’re not letting you back on,'” Yossi Adler said.


“There’s no body odor that we have. There’s nothing wrong with us.”


To add insult to injury, the family was left in Miami without their luggage, baby stroller, or child safety seat – despite promises from the airline that their luggage and other items would be removed from the plane before takeoff.


“They have our car seat, stroller, everything,” Jennie Adler said.


A spokesperson for American Airlines confirmed to Local 10 that the Adlers had been ejected from the flight over their “body odor”.


“Mr. Adler and his wife were removed from the flight when several passengers complained about their body odor. They have been booked into a hotel for the night and given meal vouchers. They have been rebooked on a flight Thursday.”


But the Adlers aren’t buying the airline’s story.


“I want them to own up to what really happened and to tell me the truth,” Yossi Adler said. “What was it?”


On Thursday, the couple boarded a second flight, and returned to Detroit without incident.


The Adlers say that after their arrival in Detroit, they were reunited with their luggage, stroller, and child safety seat which had been left on the first flight.


Corbyn Supporters Launch Purge of Pro-Israel MPs From UK Labour Party

Ben Cohen September 7, 2018

A long-feared purge of pro-Israel parliamentarians from the British Labour Party began in earnest on Thursday, with one party meeting even broadcast live over the internet by PressTV — the official English-language mouthpiece of the Iranian regime.


Pro-Israel MPs Joan Ryan and Gavin Shuker both lost no-confidence votes at packed constituency meetings on Thursday night.


Ryan’s defeat in the parliamentary constituency of Enfield North is particularly significant — the chair of Labour Friends of Israel since 2015, she has been a key Labour voice supporting the UK’s Jewish community, as the successive antisemitism scandals that have engulfed the party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership show no signs of abating.


“This was about antisemitism in the Labour party and those of us who have stood by the Jewish community and said, ‘Enough is enough,’” Ryan declared in statement following the vote. “I made no apologies last night for that and I make no apologies now.”


Ryan continued: “I will continue to speak out against antisemitism, against the campaign to demonize and delegitimize the world’s only Jewish state, and for a Labour party which is true to its values of anti-racism, respect and decency.”


After losing the vote by a 94-92 margin, Ryan blamed the outcome on “Trots, Stalinists, Communists and assorted hard-left” activists. In the period immediately before and then following Corbyn’s election as Labour leader in September 2015, the party’s membership virtually doubled through an influx of pro-Corbyn activists.


Those MPs who adopt an adversarial stance towards the leader are therefore a vulnerable target for Labour’s far-left, who are grouped around an organization called “Momentum” that aims to cement Corbyn’s hold over the party. Other sitting MPs affiliated with Labour Friends of Israel — including some of Corbyn’s most outspoken opponents on antisemitism, such as Jewish parliamentarians Luciana Berger, Ruth Smeeth and Louise Ellman — could find themselves next in line for no-confidence votes.


The only media organization present for the proceedings against Ryan was Iran’s PressTV, whose license to broadcast in the UK was revoked in 2012 after regulators determined that its output is controlled by the Tehran regime. PressTV footage viewed by the regulators at the time included a series of forced confessions that were obtained through the torture of prisoners.


The Iranian channel carried the meeting on its Twitter feed, referring to Ryan as a “pro-Israel MP” and carrying the hashtag, #WeAreAllEnfieldNorth.


Among the Labour Party figures who condemned the presence of the banned Iranian broadcaster was Deputy Leader Tom Watson, who said on Twitter that it had turned the proceedings against Ryan into a “farce.”

Labour purge of Jew

Labour purge of Jew

Labour purge of Jew

Labour purge of Jew


Prior to becoming party leader, Corbyn appeared several times on PressTV as a presenter, for which he received payments totaling $27,000, according to the official parliamentary register of members’ interests.


In one PressTV appearance in 2012, Corbyn opined that Israel had likely been involved in the massacre in August that year of 16 Egyptian police officers by Islamist terrorists in northern Sinai. “In whose interest is it to kill Egyptians, other than Israel, concerned at the growing closeness of relationship between Palestine and the new Egyptian government?” asked Corbyn during the interview, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood regime that was ousted in 2013. He then added, “I suspect the hand of Israel in this whole process of destabilization.”


Gavin Shuker — the second pro-Israel MP to be defeated in a no-confidence vote by pro-Corbyn activists on Thursday — was defiant afterward. “It’s not part of any formal procedure, so it changes nothing about my role as Labour MP for Luton South,” Shuker said on Twitter.


While the no-confidence votes were not binding, they constituted further evidence of the party’s dramatic transformation under Corbyn’s leadership. In her statement, Ryan argued that Labour now had a stark choice.


“It’s either an aspiring party of government, focused laser-like on the priorities of the British people: Brexit, an economy which works for everyone, and rebuilding our austerity-starved public services,” Ryan said. “Or it’s a party fighting with itself about ideological purity, arguing with the Jewish community about what constitutes antisemitism, and going down a rabbit warren of deselection, purges and harassment.”


Ryan then counseled: “It can’t be both.”


JerusalemCats Comments: History is repeating itself

Anti-Jewish legislation in prewar Nazi Germany

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was named chancellor

The Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses is the model for the current EU guidelines for boycotting Israeli products. Leftist policies are, by their very nature, totalitarian in impulse and execution

The Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses is the model for the current EU guidelines for boycotting Israeli products. Leftist policies are, by their very nature, totalitarian in impulse and execution

  • March 24: The Enabling Act was passed. This act brought an end to democracy in Germany. It gave the government the power to govern legislation by decree. It gave them the legal right to make discriminatory policies in the future. Hitler was allowed to make laws that violated the Weimar constitution without the approval of the parliament or Reich President with this act.[27]
  • March 31: A decree in the city of Berlin said that Jewish doctors were suspended from the city’s charity services.
  • April 7: There was a law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service. This law removed all Jews from government service. Also, a law on the Admission to the Legal Profession forbade the Jews from taking the bar exam, which is a test needed to become a lawyer.
  • April 25: A law about over-crowded Schools and Universities limited the number of Jewish students allowed in public schools. The number of Jewish students in one school was limited to no more than 5% of the total population. The schools helped to spread Hitler’s ideas. They taught students to love Hitler and to obey the authorities.[28]
  • July 14: The Jewish people lost citizenship because of a De-Naturalization Law. This took citizenship away from all Jews, including naturalized Jews and “undesirables”.
  • October 4: The Jews were banned from editorial posts by a law on editors.



If Corbyn became PM, almost 40% of UK Jews would ‘seriously consider’ leaving

Poll finds massive increase of Jews planning to emigrate, up from 11% in 2015; ex-chief rabbi has warned of existential threat from Labour leader

By TOI staff 5 September 2018

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives to face the media at the Edinburgh Television Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 23, 2018. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives to face the media at the Edinburgh Television Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 23, 2018. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)

Almost 40 percent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, according to a poll conducted for The Jewish Chronicle published Wednesday.


The crisis over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party — including its failure to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‘s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism until Tuesday — has caused a major schism within its ranks and led Jews to express fears over their future in the country.


Corbyn says anti-Semitism has no place in the Labour Party, but he has been roundly criticized over reports of rampant anti-Jewish prejudice, for his own allegedly anti-Semitic statements and activities, and for not backing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

The poll found that 38.53% of Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Corbyn became prime minister. He leads the main opposition party, and it is considered a realistic possibility that Labour could unseat Theresa May’s governing Conservative Party in a future general election.


In January 2015, months before Corbyn became party leader, a similar poll — which was conducted following Paris’s January 7 Charlie Hebdo massacre and subsequent January 9 Jewish HyperCacher supermarket murders — found that only 11% of British Jews were considering leaving the UK, the Chronicle said.


In the new poll, women were more likely to consider emigrating than men — 44% compared to 32.7%. And over half (50.83%) of Jews aged 35-54 would seriously considering leaving the country if Corbyn became premier.


The poll gave weight to comments earlier this week by Britain’s former chief rabbi Lord (Jonathan) Sacks, who said in an interview that with the rise of Corbyn, Jews were currently facing an “existential threat” in Britain, and many were considering leaving the country.

Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in an interview with BBC on September 2, 2018. (Screenshot: Twitter)

Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in an interview with BBC on September 2, 2018. (Screenshot: Twitter)

“When people hear the kind of language that has been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat,” Sacks told the BBC in an interview broadcast Sunday.


“Jews have been in Britain since 1656, I know of no other occasion in these 362 years when Jews – the majority of our community – are asking ‘is this country safe to bring up our children?’” he added. “Now, this is very, very worrying.”


In an interview a week before, Sacks branded Corbyn a dangerous anti-Semite. Labour rejected that allegation as absurd and offensive.


The poll of 710 Jews was carried out by Survation from August 13 and September 4, a period when several past speeches hostile to Israel and Zionism by the Labour leader were revealed, as was the fact that he laid a wreath at a Tunisia cemetery where Palestinian terrorists involved in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre are buried.

Jeremy Corbyn (second from left) holding a wreath during a visit to the Martyrs of Palestine, in Tunisia, in October 2014. (Facebook page of the Palestinian embassy in Tunisia)

Jeremy Corbyn (second from left) holding a wreath during a visit to the Martyrs of Palestine, in Tunisia, in October 2014. (Facebook page of the Palestinian embassy in Tunisia)

On Tuesday Corbyn tried in vain to get his party to declare that it should not be considered anti-Semitic to describe Israel and/or the circumstances of Israel’s establishment as racist.


Labour’s National Executive Committee adopted the provisions of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, together with a vague and controversial caveat declaring that the commitment to the IHRA definition “will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians.”


Corbyn, however, sought to further dilute the significance of adopting the IHRA definition, by having the meeting also approve a statement declaring that it should not “be regarded as anti-Semitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist.” His proposal found no support and was not voted on.


France: Made in Irael - NO Made by islam - Yes

France: Made in Irael – NO Made by islam – Yes


“War In Paris” – ISIS Claims Responsibility For Deadly Attacks Killing 127: The Full Summary

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/14/2015

The morning after a truly tragic Friday the 13th, France wakes up to the following front pages, among which one which best captures the atmosphere in Paris at this moment: “war in Paris“:



France wakes up to the following front pages

France wakes up to the following front pages


Here is the latest summary of the aftermath from last night’s six distinct attacks across Paris, compiled from numerous media outlets:

  • At least 127 people are feared to have been killed according to French president Hollande in a series of devastating attacks across Paris.
  • Among the dead are at least two Belgians, two Romanians and a Swedish citizen, with UK prime minister David Cameron warning British casualties are likely.
  • Eight attackers also died, police say, seven of them by detonating explosive suicide belts.
  • Police continue to search for accomplices who might still be at large.
  • Two hundred people were injured, 80 of them seriously.
  • Shootings and explosions were reported in six locations across the city, including the Stade de France in northern Paris, where two suicide attacks and a bombing took place as the national team played Germany in a friendly football match.
  • The majority of victims died after a mass shooting inside the Bataclan concert venue.
  • Shootings also took place in restaurants and other sites in the centre of the city.
  • President François Hollande, who was at the Stade de France at the time of the assaults, said: “We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless. Because when terrorists are capable of committing such atrocities they must be certain that they are facing a determined France, a united France, a France that is together and does not let itself be moved, even if today we express infinite sorrow.”
  • A state of emergency has been declared across France and security at the country’s borders has been tightened.
  • Paris residents have been told to stay in their homes and authorities say “all of the city’s amenities”, including schools, universities, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools and markets, will close on Saturday.
  • US president Barack Obama described the atrocities as “an attack on all of humanity”. Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said the attack “appears to have all the hallmarks of a Daesh [Islamic State] exercise”.
  • Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, has cancelled his official visit to France, due to take place next week, in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned “the despicable terrorist attacks carried out in various locations in and around Paris” and demanded “the immediate release of the numerous individuals reportedly being held hostage in the Bataclan theater”;
  • The Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, has urged his citizens to avoid going to Paris unless “strictly necessary”. He added that security will be stepped up at public events in Belgium.
  • Paris Deputy Mayor said it is a “terrible, terrible situation … a tragedy we are facing.”
  • Syrian president al-Assad also condemned the attack: “What France suffered from savage terror is what the Syrian people have been enduring for over five years.”
  • Police have raided a Brussels neighbourhood where three of the attackers are believed to have lived, and made a number of arrests.
    One of the attackers at the Bataclan is understood to be a 30-year-old French national, who was known to French police because of links to Islamic radicals.
  • A Syrian and an Egyptian passport were found on the bodies of the two suicide bombers who targeted the Stade de France.
  • The Syrian passport belonged to a refugee who passed through Greece, according to a Greek minister.
  • German authorities say they have ‘reasonable grounds to believe’ a man arrested in Bavaria earlier this month, in a car loaded with explosives, may be linked to the Paris attacks.

Where the attacks took place:

The attacks were launched in six separate locations across the city – five in the 10th and 11th arrondissements, and one close to the Stade de France, in the north of the city, where president François Hollande was attending a football match between the French and German teams. The map below highlights the most prominent ones:


The map highlights the most prominent attacks

The map highlights the most prominent attacks


* * *

How the attacks unfolded:

  • Stade de France – Bombings

Blasts were heard near the stadium in the north of Paris around 9.30pm local time on Friday. Police later confirmed there were three simultaneous bombings, including two suicide attacks, near the stadium as France played Germany in a friendly match.


French President Francois Hollande, who was at the game, left immediately. A prosecutor said people there had been fatalities, but did not confirm the number. A police union official said three people had died.


The blasts occurred near two of the stadium entrances and at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant.

  • Restaurant And Bar – Shooting

Around 10:30pm, there were reports of a shooting at a restaurant on Rue Alibert in the 10th arrondissement, about five miles away from the Stade de France.


At least 14 people were later confirmed dead in the rampage at Le Carillon, a bar-cafe, and the nearby Cambodian restaurant Le Petit Cambodge.


Witnesses said gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles fired at victims through the plate-glass windows.

  • Bataclan Concert Hall – Bombings And Shooting

By 11pm reports emerged that the popular music venue on Boulevard Voltaire in the nearby 11th arrondissement was under attack.


Early reports suggested 15 people had been shot dead in the concert hall, where American band Eagles of Death Metal was due to play. Dozens of hostages were taken inside the venue.


A short time later, security forces launched an assault on the theatre. The two attackers were killed after detonating explosive belts. It now appears more than 80 concert-goers were killed in the venue. Initial reports suggested 120 people were killed.


According to Guardian, the attackers first sprayed cafes outside the concert hall with machine gunfire, then went inside and opened fire on the panicked audience, according to the Paris police chief. As police closed in, three of them detonated suicide vests, killing themselves and setting off explosions.


Several people inside the venue survived the massacre. The band was also confirmed as safe.

One person was also killed on Boulevard Voltaire, not far from the venue

  • Cafe – Shooting

Less than a mile from the concert hall, at least 18 diners sitting on outdoor terraces at La Belle Equipe in the popular Charonne area were shot dead. Emergency workers covered bodies on the pavement outside the traditional Parisian cafe.


Le Carillon, a bar-cafe, and the nearby Cambodian restaurant Le Petit Cambodge were apparently both targeted with gunfire, killing around 14 people and leaving several gravely injured, according to the prosecutor. They are at the junction of Rue Bichat and Rue Alibert.


Witnesses described sounds like fireworks, before they realised the gravity of the situation and tried to find a place to hide, or flee.

  • Pizzeria – Shooting

Five people were killed in La Casa Nostra pizzeria on Rue de la Fontaine au Roi in the 11th arrondissement.


Witnesses reported seeing a man firing a machine gun.

* * *

The latest death toll

Latest information says that at least 120 people are believed to have been killed in six separate attacks across the city. Two hundred people are injured, 80 seriously.

  • At the Bataclan concert venue, 87 people have been reported dead.
  • At the Stade de France, the Paris prosecutor François Molins said “some” were killed, possibly three. (It is not clear whether this include the attackers thought to have died here.)
  • At the shootings at the Rue de Charonne, 18 are dead.
  • At Boulevard Voltaire, one person is dead.
  • At Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, five are dead.
  • At Rue Alibert, 14 are dead and “many seriously injured”.

Police say they continue to hunt for any possible accomplices to the attacks. No one has yet claimed responsibility.


* * *

Attackers Killed

Eight extremists involved in the attacks have been killed, the prosecutor said. Seven died in suicide bombings, while the other was killed in the concert hall. Some witnesses in the hall said they heard the gunmen shout Islamic chants and slogans condemning France’s role in Syria.


* * *

Attackers still not identified

We sill do not know the identities or nationalities of the attackers involved in the Friday night attacks, though authorities say eight died, seven of them detonating suicide bombs and the final perpetrator shot by police.


Prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre has told AP police have not ruled out the possibility that accomplices may still be at large and that is the focus of the investigation now.


Britain is hold its own emergency meeting of the COBRA intelligence committee, called by prime minster David Cameron.


* * *

Hollande Blames Attack on Islamic State

The French president has made an impassioned statement after the emergency security meeting this morning, where he blamed the attack on Islamic State.


Hollande said 127 people were killed in the attacks, which he described as an “act of war”. He said the attacks were co-ordinated, planned and organised from abroad with assistance from inside France.


“I pay homage to the country’s defenders who fought the terrorists yesterday,” he said. “Everyone has given their utmost and will be putting in their best efforts in the day to come.”


He called the attack “cowardly’ and said every measure would be taken to fight “the terrorist menace.”


“In this most serious and uncertain time, I call for unity and courage,” he said, adding that he would address the French parliament on Monday.


“Even if France is wounded, she will rise,” he said. The country will observe three days of mourning.


Hollande’s full remarks from his address to the nation earlier from the Élysée Palace.

What happened yesterday in Paris and in Saint Denis is an act of war and this country needs to make the right decisions to fight this war. This act committed by the terrorist army, Islamic State, is against who we are, against a free country that speaks to the whole world.


It is an act of war prepared and planned outside, with outside involvement which this investigation will seek to establish. It is an act of absolute barbarism. France will be ruthless in its response to Islamic State.


At this painful and serious time, which is such a decisive one for our country, I call for unity, for a collective spirit and for cool heads. I will address Parliament at Versailles on Monday.


France is strong, and even if she is wounded, she will rise once again. Even if we are in grief, nothing will destroy her.


France is strong, valiant and will defeat this barbarism. History reminds us of this and the strength we today bear to come together convinces us of this.


My compatriots, what we defend is our homeland and much more than that, it is our own values of humanity and France will bear its responsibilities.

* * *

Islamic State takes responsibility for Paris attacks

Shortly after Hollande’s announcement blaming the Islamic State, in an official statement by ISIS, the group said France is the “top target” of the group.


It says it carefully studied the locations for the attacks, which were carried out by fighters wearing suicide belts and carrying machine guns.

Here’s the statement in French.


Islamic State takes responsibility for Paris attacks

Islamic State takes responsibility for Paris attacks


In the statement Islamic State said “soldiers of Caliphate has targeted the capital of abomination and perversion.”

Eight brothers carrying explosive belts and guns targeted areas in the heart of the French capital that were specifically chosen in advance: the Stade de France during a match against Germany which that imbecile Francois Hollande was attending; the Bataclan where hundreds of idolaters were together in a party of perversity as well as other targets in the 10th, 11th and 18th arrondissement


France and those who follow its path must know that they remain the principle targets of the Islamic State.

The statement from Islamic State goes on to call the attacks a response to insults directed at the Prophet Mohammed, as well as airstrikes by France on Islamic State-held territory.


The militant group says France is the Islamic State’s key target:

…having dared insult our Prophet, having bragged about fighting Islam in France and striking Muslims in the Caliphate with their planes which have not helped them in any way in the ill-smelling streets of Paris.


This attack is just the start of a storm and a warning for those who wish to draw lessons.


* * *

Global Consequences of Attacks

According to FT, the immediate policy and political questions concern French involvement in the Middle East – as well as the impact of the attack on next month’s regional elections.

The terrorists are reported to have shouted comments about the war in Syria. France launched its first airstrikes on ISIS in Syria in September and has been involved in bombing raids on ISIS in Iraq for many months.


It is highly unlikely that President Francois Hollande will respond to the terror attacks by calling off French involvement in the war on ISIS. Indeed, in the short term, an intensification of military involvement is more likely.


The reaction of French voters will be watched closely. Next month, they go to the polls in regional elections. There were already opinion surveys that suggested that Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, will win in the Nord-Pas de Calais region – while her niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen has also topped some polls in the Provence region in the South.


The National Front – which has a long history of hostility to Muslim immigration and which has also argued for the restoration of frontier controls – may well benefit in the aftermath of the attacks. Some of its arguments were, in any case, already seeping into the discourse of the traditional centre-right parties.


The terror attacks in Paris also come at a time when Europe is in the midst of a “migrant crisis”. With Germany set to receive over 1m refugees this year – most of them from the war-torn Middle East – the domestic pressure on Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to close her country’s borders to new migrants was already mounting. Even before the Paris attacks Sweden – which has taken more migrants per head than any other EU country – had announced a closure of its borders to new refugees, albeit as a temporary measure. In the aftermath of Paris, the German chancellor, will surely be tempted to take a similar measure, so easing the political and social pressure on her government. But Mrs Merkel will also be aware of the dangerous knock-on effects, such an action could have on Balkan countries further down the migrant route.


One possible consequence would be for Western policy to focus even more tightly on the defeat of the jihadists of Islamic State – while playing down subsidiary goals, such as the removal of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. But France has been in the forefront of those countries arguing that Assad is at the centre of the problem of Syria. A complete reversal of the anti-Assad policy seems unlikely in the coming weeks. What is more likely is that policy will evolve in the coming months, as the impact, lessons and sheer shock of the Paris terror attacks is absorbed.


* * *

Le Monde journalist Daniel Psenny, whose apartment overlooks the emergency exit of the Bataclan has posted an extraordinary video, of people clambering out of windows to escape from the theatre – a scene he said reminded him of 9/11.


The video is graphic and includes images of what appear to be dead bodies.


Psenny himself was shot in the arm as he attempted to help people shelter in his apartment, and is being treated at the Georges-Pompidou hospital.


Here’s a translation of his piece from Le Monde.

I was trying to do some work at home. The TV was on, playing a cop film starring Jean-Hugues Anglade. I heard a noise which sounded like firecrackers and initially I was convinced that it was in the film. But the noise was so loud, I went to the window. I live on the second floor and my apartment overlooks the emergency exit of the Bataclan.


Sometimes there are evacuations [in the past], but everyone was running out from all directions. I saw people on the floor, and blood… I understood then that it was something serious. I asked passersby what was happening. Everyone was running toward the Rue Amelot or the boulevard Voltaire.


A woman was clinging to the window of the Bataclan, on the second floor. I thought of those images from September 11.


So, I told myself I was going to open up to people, so they could come and take refuge. Therefore, I opened the door to my apartment. There was a man lying on the pavement and an another man whom I did not see again, he was shot as he was trying to take shelter in the lobby.


That’s the moment I took a bullet. I don’t remember much after that, I have a blank, but I remember feeling like a firecracker had exploded in my left arm and I saw that it was pissing blood. I think the shooter was at the window of the Bataclan. I went up to some neighbours on the fourth floor.


The guy we did get in [to the apartment] was shot in the leg. He was an American. He vomited, he was cold and we thought he was going to die. We called the emergency services but they couldn’t get us out. I called a friend who is a doctor and she explained how to make a tourniquet with my shirt. We were stuck in the apartment until the police raid occurred and they came to find us.


* * *

Below are some of the most dramatic scene from yesterday’s tragedy captured by Bloomberg:

Forensic police search for evidences inside the Comptoir Voltaire cafe at the site of an attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, after a series of gun attacks occurred across the city. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Forensic police search for evidences inside the Comptoir Voltaire cafe at the site of an attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, after a series of gun attacks occurred across the city. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

in Paris, after a series of gun attacks occurred across the city. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)


Forensic police search for evidences inside the La Belle Equipe cafe, rue de Charonne, at the site of an attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, after a series of gun attacks occurred across the city. More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON (Photo credit should read JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

Forensic police search for evidences inside the La Belle Equipe cafe, rue de Charonne, at the site of an attack on November 14, 2015 in Paris, after a series of gun attacks occurred across the city. More than 100 people were killed in a mass hostage-taking at a Paris concert hall and many more were feared dead in a series of bombings and shootings, as France declared a national state of emergency. AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON (Photo credit should read JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)


Personnel of the French Police armed response unit arrive at the site of an attack on Paris on November 14, 2015 after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris on Friday, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO /KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Personnel of the French Police armed response unit arrive at the site of an attack on Paris on November 14, 2015 after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. A number of people were killed and others injured in a series of gun attacks across Paris on Friday, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. AFP PHOTO /KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)


French President Francois Hollande (C), flanked by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (L) and French Prime Minister manuel Valls (R) addresses reporters near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. A number of people were killed in an "unprecedented" series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13, and the death toll looked likely to rise as sources said dozens had been killed at the Bataclan popular music venue. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

French President Francois Hollande (C), flanked by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (L) and French Prime Minister manuel Valls (R) addresses reporters near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, early on November 14, 2015. A number of people were killed in an “unprecedented” series of bombings and shootings across Paris and at the Stade de France stadium on November 13, and the death toll looked likely to rise as sources said dozens had been killed at the Bataclan popular music venue. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)




Police forces, firefighters and rescue workers secure the area near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris in the early morning of Saturday, Nov. 14.

Police forces, firefighters and rescue workers secure the area near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris in the early morning of Saturday, Nov. 14.


Police forces, firefighters and rescue workers secure the area near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris in the early morning of Saturday, Nov. 14.


Investigating police officers work outside the Stade de France stadium, in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday Nov. 13.

Investigating police officers work outside the Stade de France stadium, in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday Nov. 13.


Investigating police officers work outside the Stade de France stadium, in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday Nov. 13.



French security moves people in the area of Rue Bichat of the 10th arrondissement in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13.

French security moves people in the area of Rue Bichat of the 10th arrondissement in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13.


French security moves people in the area of Rue Bichat of the 10th arrondissement in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13.



Victims lay on the pavement outside a restaurant in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13.

Victims lay on the pavement outside a restaurant in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13.

Victims lay on the pavement outside a restaurant in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13.

Spectators gather on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people had been killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Spectators gather on the pitch of the Stade de France stadium following the friendly football match between France and Germany in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on November 13, 2015, after a series of gun attacks occurred across Paris as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 15 people had been killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)


Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs logo

Nazi Propaganda returns in Palestinian incitement

Published on Dec 28, 2015 by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Based on anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda techniques, Palestinian incitement achieves its goal of encouraging vicious terror attacks.

MFA Video Nazi Propaganda returns in Palestinian incitement

MFA Video Nazi Propaganda returns in Palestinian incitement

Palestinian incitement uses the very same anti-Semitic motives used by Nazi propaganda in the dark 1930’s. This incitement is translated into actual terror attacks against Jews. 24 people have been slaughtered in terror attacks against Israelis in the current wave of Palestinian violence.


Migrant Attacks In Germany


Thousands Flood The Streets In Germany As Fury Over Refugee Sex Assaults Reaches Boiling Point

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09January2016 [Pictures have been censored]

Over the last several days, more information has come to light with regard to the wave of sexual assaults that occurred across Europe on New Year’s Eve.

What some observers initially assumed was an set of isolated attacks in Cologne’s city center now appears to have been a bloc-wide phenomenon as women from Austria, to Switzerland, to Finland come forward to report being accosted by what some police say were gangs of drunken Mid-East asylum seekers.

“In Sweden, police said at least 15 young women reported being groped by groups of men on New Year’s Eve in the city of Kalmar,” AP reports, adding that “in Finland, police said they received tipoffs on New Year’s Eve that about 1,000 predominantly Iraqi asylum seekers were intending to gather near the main railway station in Helsinki and harass passing women.”

Map of wave of sexual assaults that occurred across Europe on New Year’s Eve.

Map of wave of sexual assaults that occurred across Europe on New Year’s Eve.


“Women with or without accompaniment went through a literally ‘gauntlet’ by the heavily intoxicated men masses, as one can not describe it,” a clumsy translation of a report by the German Federal Police reads. Some have suggested that the string of attacks was initially played down by the media and by German authorities in an effort to avoid triggering an anti-migrant backlash. Indeed, the mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, got herself in a bit of hot water for comments which seemed to suggest it is German women’s responsibility to keep would-be attackers at “arm’s length” and to not send the wrong message to “people from other cultures” by acting too “jolly and frisky.”

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is attempting to salvage the “yes we can” narrative vis-a-vis Berlin’s refugee open-door policy while simultaneously condemning the attacks.

On Friday, Cologne’s police chief Wolfgang Albers was dismissed in connection with his department’s mishandling of the ordeal.

According to a draft document seen by Reuters, Germany may now change its policy with regard to the deportation of refugees. “The paper says refugees and asylum seekers who have been sentenced to prison or probation should be barred from eligibility for asylum,’ Reuters writes. “Why should German taxpayers pay to imprison foreign criminals,” Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel asked. “The threat of having to spend time behind bars in their home country is far more of a deterrent than a prison sentence in Germany.”

“Women’s groups and many politicians have long been arguing that Germany’s sexual assault law is archaic, with loopholes that mean groping and surprise attacks are not necessarily prosecutable unless the woman tries to fight off the attack – which police often advise against,” Deutsche Welle notes. “There have been very many cases that you and I would probably unequivocally describe as rape or sexual assault that haven’t come to a conviction, because the women allegedly didn’t defend themselves enough,” Elke Ferner of the Social Democratic Party’s women’s group told the broadcaster.


That law is about to be changed thanks in part to the attention the New Year’s attacks have brought to the issue.


And speaking of drawing attention to the attacks, protesters are once again massing in Cologne where “thousands” of demonstrators took the streets on Saturday. “The protesters included the Islamophobic Pegida movement and the right-wing extremist Pro Cologne party” USA Today says.


Protests of Cologne rape

Protests of Cologne rape


Protests of Cologne rape

Protests of Cologne rape

Cologne police are gearing up for a day of highly charged demonstrations, with 1000 far-right protesters expected to hit the streets in response to the mass sex assaults and thefts targeting women on New Year’s Eve.


Hundred-strong teams of police were deployed on Saturday to locations across the western German city, totalling 1700 officers, a spokesman said.


The Islamophobic Pegida movement and the right-wing extremist Pro Cologne party were to stage a rally on the square in front of the main train station, where about 1000 intoxicated men are thought to have robbed, sexually assaulted and, in some cases, raped women during turn-of-the-year celebrations.


Of the 32 suspects identified by police in Cologne, 22 are asylum seekers, the German Interior Ministry said.


One suspect was carrying a document with Arabic-German translations of sexist phrases and threats, which mass-circulation tabloid Bild published on Saturday.


Several pro-migration counter-protests have also been planned for Saturday, underscoring the division in German society over the government’s open-door migration policy, which allowed more than one million people to enter the country last year.

And from Reuters:

Migrants who commit crimes should lose their right to asylum, German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, toughening her tone as crowds gathered in Cologne angered by mass assaults on women on New Year’s Eve.


Nearly two dozen asylum seekers were among those suspected of carrying out the attacks, police said this week, heightening tensions over immigration and fuelling criticism of Merkel’s refusal to place a limit on the numbers of migrants entering the country.


“The right to asylum can be lost if someone is convicted on probation or jailed,” Merkel said after a meeting of the leadership of her Christian Democrats (CDU) party.


“Serial offenders who repeatedly rob or repeatedly affront women must feel the full force of the law,” Merkel told journalists in Mainz, promising a reduction over the longer term in the flow of migrants to Germany.


Under German law, asylum seekers are typically only deported if they have been sentenced to at least three years in prison, and providing their lives are not at risk at home.


About 1,700 police officers were on the streets of Cologne as protesters, including members of the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement, waited for official permission to march through the city.


At a separate left-wing protest, more than 2,000 mostly women gathered close to the train station where many of the attacks, including muggings and sexual assaults, happened.


So once again, we see a deeply divided society, with right-wing demonstrators staging a kind of “we told you so” rally and pro-refugee Germans staging counter protests even as they decry the wave of assaults.


Meanwhile, the flow of asylum seekers continues unabated. “We had an average influx of 3,200 refugees per day arriving in Germany, and the numbers are not declining in the last days,” Ole Schroeder, the deputy German minister, told a briefing in Brussels. “Our problem at the moment in Europe is that we do not have a functioning border control system, especially at the Greece-Turkey border,” he added.

Where things from here is an open question but it appears many Germans are at their breaking point. How TIME’s person of the year responds may ultimately determine how the world remembers one of the most indelible and revered politicians in European history.



Taharrush – the Arab rape ‘game’ that’s been exported to Europe An example of what women have to deal with

What happened in Cologne and other cities in Europe on New Year’s Eve is known in the Arab world as Taharrush. It’s a rape ‘game’ and it’s particularly unpleasant for the women caught up in it (Hat Tip: Ellen S).


The “rape game” Taharrush is about a large group of Arab men surrounding their victim, usually a Western woman or a woman wearing Western-style clothing, and then the women are subjected to sexual abuse.


They surround the victim in circles. The men in the inner circle are the ones who physically abuse the woman, the next circle are the spectators, while the mission of the third circle is to distract and divert attention to what’s going on.


If there is enough men, the woman is dragged along by the mob, while the men take turns ripping her clothes off, grope her, and inserting fingers in her various body orifices.

I have a mercifully short video of it to show you (safe for work, but parental discretion advised – I did not turn on this video with my kids in the room).


Let’s go to the videotape. More after the video.


Sounds like what happened to CBS reporter Lara Logan in Cairo’s Tahrir Square five years ago, doesn’t it? More reading here.


And now thanks to Frau Merkel, it’s been exported to Europe. Will the US be next?


Arutz Sheva

Heartwarming: Overcoming disabilities to defend

Lotan has struggled with cerebral palsy her whole life – now thanks to a special program, she is realizing her dream as an IDF soldier.

Arutz Sheva Staff, 18/03/16 10:04 |

לוטן ארוך מתגייסת לצה”ל – תכנית גדולים במדים

Lotan was born four months premature – her family spent six months in the intensive care unit with her, and after two months she suffered oxygen deprivation, leaving her with cerebral palsy and a lifelong battle for normalcy.


“All along, they warned us that she wouldn’t walk, wouldn’t dance,” relates her mother. “But all along I insisted, ‘Yes, you will!’”


Not only did Lotan succeed in walking – now through the Special in Uniform program she has fulfilled her dream of enlisting in the IDF like her peers and doing her part to defend the Jewish state.


Lotan’s dream of joining the army began in her senior year in high school when IDF officials visited her school to speak to the students.


Parents, teachers and friends gently tried to dissuade her from her dream so she wouldn’t get hurt, and her parents even went with her to army registration where a doctor determined that she was exempt from army service.


But Lotan’s heart was set, and she said, “I want to serve in army. I want to wear a uniform!”


Her strength of will led her to meet the directors of Special in Uniform, which was developed ten years ago by Maj. Col. (res.) Ariel Almog, former commander of the HFC base in Ramleh.


“‘We’re with you, Lotan. We’ll escort you through this,’ they promised my daughter. It was then that I really began to believe that one day she would serve in the army,” recalls her mother.

With Special in Uniform’s help, Lotan was able to achieve her dream. “It was such a moving experience to see her in uniform. I’m so proud of her. It was a major victory!,” said her mother.


Joining the army, joining society

The groundbreaking initiative of the IDF incorporates young people with disabilities into the army, emphasizes their abilities and skills and helps them in the long-term to integrate into society and the workforce.


Several years ago, Special in Uniform joined forces with Israel’s Lend a Hand to the Special Child Foundation, a grassroots organization established in 2005 by parents of children with disabilities that operates in partnership with the Jewish National Fund (JNF).


They work together to spread awareness of the program so that the thousands of youth eligible for the program can learn of its existence.


“The Special in Uniform program starts in the army, but doesn’t end there. We clearly see how it afterwards effects better integration into society, community and the workforce,” explained Executive Director of Lend a Hand Rabbi Mendy Belinitzki.


Currently Special in Uniform incorporates over 200 special needs youth in the army, in an initiative contributing to the IDF and Israeli society by fostering acceptance and diversity.


An evaluation and assessment by a professional team kicks off the Special in Uniform program, followed by a three-month course on life skills and occupational skills training.


Participants then go through a ten-day basic training program to launch their military service, and then are integrated into a number of functions including preparing protective kits, manning emergency depots, a military store, printing shop, kitchen, shredding mill and more.


“The(se children) were in special education schools…suddenly they reach the age when everyone else joins the army, but the gates are closed. They can’t join. This program allows them to join the army, contribute, and give from themselves. Just like everyone else,” said Lt. Col. (res.) Tiran Attia, director of the program.


With 230 participants and a long waiting list, Special in Uniform’s vision is to quickly expand the program to encompass 1,000 enrolled participants.


Arutz Sheva

Article 80 of the UN Charter

Setting the record clear.

Wallace Edward Brand, JD, 11/12/16

The Jewish Agency that was named in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine had a good grasp of the history of that Mandate and its purpose. It wrote it down for the UN Charter drafting Committee and submitted it in April 1945. The UN Charter is dated June 24, 1945. The document it submitted was entitled MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION , SAN FRANCISCO , CALIFORNIA , BY THE JEWISH AGENCY FOR PALESTINE APRIL, 1945. You can find it on-line at: It is part of the legislative history for Article 80 of the UN Charter. Chaim Weizmann signed it.


The Agency is named in the Mandate as the official advisor to those administering the Mandate. The Agency describes the intent of this legal instrument as follows:


“The underlying intent and purpose of this international covenant is clear and was authoritatively reaffirmed by the British Royal Commission on Palestine (1937). The declarations, as quoted by the Commission, of leading statesmen responsible for the undertaking leave no doubt that what was intended was to afford the Jewish people the right and opportunity by immigration and settlement to transform Palestine into a Jewish State. Mr. Lloyd George, Prime Minister at the time of the Declaration, was explicit to this effect and other members of the British Government at that time, including Lord Robert Cecil in 1917, Sir Herbert Samuel in 1919, and Mr. Winston Churchill in 1920, “spoke or wrote in terms that could mean only that they contemplated the eventual establishment of a Jewish State.” General Smuts too, who had been a member of the Imperial War Cabinet when the Balfour Declaration was published, speaking in November, 1919 foretold an increasing stream of Jewish immigration into Palestine and “in generations to come a great Jewish State rising there once more.”


“That this was also the understanding of the American Delegation at the Peace Conference appears from the Outline of Tentative Report and Recommendations prepared by the Intelligence Section of that Delegation, in accordance with instructions, for the President and

Plenipotentiaries at the Peace Conference, dated January 21, 1919,which recommended:

“1. That there be established a separate state of Palestine.

“2. That this state be placed under Great Britain as a

Mandatory of the League of Nations.

“3. That the Jews be invited to return to Palestine and

settle there, being assured by the Conference of all proper assistance in so doing that may be consistent with the protection of the personal (especially the religious) and property rights of the non-Jewish population, and being further assured that it will be the policy of the League of Nations to recognize Palestine


as a Jewish State as soon as it is a Jewish State in fact.”


In line with this President Wilson on March 3, 1919 declared: “I am persuaded that the Allied Nations with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth.”


“4. The undertaking contained in the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate for Palestine was thus unique and its objective is without parallel in any of the other League of Nations Mandates. It was an undertaking for the benefit of the Jewish people as a whole; and specific recognition was accorded by the Mandate to a Jewish Agency to speak and act on behalf of the Jewish people in matters affecting the establishment of the Jewish National Home. Thus under Article 4 of the Mandate the Jewish Agency is recognized” as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish National Home and the interests of the Jewish population of Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.” Under Article 6 the Jewish Agency is entitled further to cooperate with the Administration in promoting clo sesettlement by Jews on the land; and by Article 11 it is given a preferred status in respect to the construction and operation of public works and the development of the natural resources of the country.”


“5. The Jewish people responded to this opportunity with eagerness and devotion. The hope that after two thousand years of dispersion and persecution they would once again be restored as a nationin their own land released creative forces which have manifested themselves in a colonizing achievement unique in the history of migrations and settlement. In the course of twenty-five years the Jewish population of Palestine has grown from 60,000 to nearly 600,000. Two hundred and sixty agricultural colonies with a total population of 150,000 have been established; new cities have come into being; 2,000 factories and 4,000 small workshops employing over 60,000 workers have been set up; the Jordan has become a source of electrical power, and the development of the chemical resources of the Dead Sea has constituted a major contribution to the present war effort. Funds running into hundreds of millions of dollars have been provided, through the medium of the Jewish Agency as well as privately, by Jews in all parts of the world for Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine and for the economic development of the country.”


“6. The achievements of the Jewish people in Palestine have accordingly amply justified the wisdom and statesmanship of the representatives of the Allied Powers in the last war in their historic decision to reconstitute the Jewish National Home. At the same time the full opportunity envisaged in the Mandate to rebuild the National Home was not granted to the Jews in practice. In disregard of the express purpose of that document and its explicit provisions favoring Jewish settlement in Palestine, Jewish rights were continuously whittled down on grounds of administrative and political expediency until with the promulgation of the British White Paper on Palestine of May 1939, (Cmd. 6019), the solemn promise made to the Jewish people was virtually nullified and the last hope of millions of homeless Jews was threatened with extinction. The White Paper seeks in effect to terminate all further Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine and to ensure that the Jews shall remain a permanent minority of the population. Already today, apart from an insignificant number of immigration certificates still unused under the White Paper, no further Jewish immigration is possible in terms of the White Paper, and Jewish land acquisition and settlement have been prohibited throughout 95% of Palestine. The Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations has held the White Paper repugnant to the obligations imposed by the Mandate. Reporting to the Council of the League the majority of the Commission held that on no interpretation of the Mandate could the White Paper be deemed to be in conformity therewith, “any contrary conclusion appearing to them to be ruled out by the very terms of the Mandate and by the fundamental intention of its authors״) PMC XXXVI, p. 275). Britain’s own great Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, has characterized the White Paper as constituting “a breach and a repudiation” of Britain’s obligations under the Mandate.


“7. This policy was the more deplorable as it coincided with a catastrophic deterioration in the position of European Jewry. The conditions which made imperative the reestablishment of the Jewish National Home a quarter of a century ago were intensified beyond the darkest forebodings, and the great mass of Europe’s Jews finally fell victim to Nazi brutality. But the doors of Palestine remained closed to the vast majority of those who wished to escape to their National Home. No other haven was offered them and, unable to flee from Europe, some five millions were slaughtered during the years of Nazi occupation.”


“8. Liberation is now coming to the survivors of European Jewry, after millions of Jews have perished. But even today no adequate action is being taken to meet the crying needs of these survivors. Their physical and mental condition is in many cases beyond description. They have been uprooted and deprived of their means of livelihood. The positions which they once occupied have been filled by others, and despite the expulsion of the Nazis, the poison of anti-semitism has bitten too deep for any hope of an early restoration of their former status.In many places they are unwanted, and for the overwhelming majority Europe has become the graveyard of their families, of their fellow-Jews and of their hopes. They are clamoring to be admitted to the land internationally recognized as the Jewish National Home to begin life over again among their own people.


More than ever it is necessary to open Palestine for unrestricted Jewish immigration and without further delay to bring about its transformation into a Jewish State.”


“9. In this connection the Jewish Agency for Palestine wishes to emphasize the determination of the Jewish people to establish the Jewish State as a free and democratic Commonwealth fully integrated within the appropriate international arrangements for the betterment of mankind and a stable and peaceful world. On behalf of the Jewish people it gives solemn assurance that the Jewish State will have scrupulous regard for the preservation of the personal and property rights as well as of the religious, linguistic and cultural rights of the Arab and other non-Jewish population of Palestine, and it pledges further the civiland religious equality of all the inhabitants of Palestine before the law. The inviolability of the holy places of the various religions shall be guaranteed by appropriate international agreement.”

“10. Jewish colonization of Palestine has from a long range point of view already contributed greatly to the economic progress of the Middle East. Since the last war the standards of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, as a result primarily of Jewish immigration and development, have vastly improved. This development begins to reflect itself also in the neighboring Arab countries; and the establishment of the Jewish Commonwealth will further stimulate the process. The Arab countries of the Middle East are for the most part sparsely populated and greatly underdeveloped, and their peoples live in backwardness and poverty. They have before them a task of constructive growth and civilization which may well occupy themfor generations to come. There is no contradiction between the establishment of a strong and firmly rooted Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine and the political and economic development of the Arab countries. On the contrary, though less than one percent in area as compared with these Arab countries, a Jewish Palestine can serve asa creative influence for the whole of that region.”


“11. In line with the original intention of the Mandate and of present day needs the following steps must now be undertaken:


a. The immediate announcement of a determination by the responsible powers to reconstitute Palestine as a free and democratic Jewish Commonwealth, thus carrying out the underlying intent and purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate.


b. The abolition forthwith of all present restrictions and


limitations on free Jewish immigration into Palestine and on the right of Jews to purchase and settle on the land there.


c. The vesting of the Jewish Agency for Palestine with full authority over immigration into Palestine and with the necessary powers for upbuilding the country, including the development of its unoccupied and uncultivated lands.


d. The extension to the Jewish Agency for Palestine of such financial and technical facilities on an intergovernmental basis as may be required to make possible large scale Jewish immigration and settlement.


e. The grant to the Jewish Agency for Palestine of the right of consultation and representation in any international conferences or commissions which may be set up insofar as such conferences or commissions may have before them matters affecting the future status of Palestine and the rights of the Jewish people with respect thereto.


“12. We realize that no determination in this matter may be made at the San Francisco Conference in view of the exclusion of specific territorial questions from the agenda of that meeting. It is, however, imperative that effective safeguards be provided to assure and preserve Jewish rights pending action in fulfillment of the obligation to establish Jewish nationhood in Palestine. To that end we respectfully submit the following proposals for the consideration of the delegates to the San Francisco Conference:


a. In view of the unique character of the Palestine Mandate and the special rights of the Jewish people thereunder, no actionshould be taken at the San Francisco Conference which would be inconsistent with or prejudicial to the special rights of the Jewish people under the Balfour Declaration and the Palestine Mandate, and all such rights shall be expressly reserved andsafeguarded. [They had been under Article 80 of the Charter published June 24, 1945]


b. The Jewish Agency for Palestine as the internationally recognized spokesman of the Jewish people shall be consulted and given representation on any international bodies or commissions which may be set up insofar as they may have before them matters affecting the future status of Palestine and the rights of the Jewish people with respect thereto. The present offers a unique opportunity for righting an historic wrong and solving a pressing international problem. The Jewish people which has suffered as has no other at the hands of the common enemy, looks to Allied victory for a solution of the age-old problem of Jewish homelessness. It is imperative that the nations of the earth, meeting to establish stable foundations for a peaceful world, should complete the task left unfinished after the last war, and now ensure the reconstitution of Palestine as a Jewih Commonwealth.”

“Respectfully submitted,

CH. WEIZMANN, President


April 1945 ”

The foregoing supplements the evidence of intent that the path to Jewish statehood contemplated first building up a population minority in what was to be called a Jewish National Home until the Jews became the majority population in the territory of the National Home and were capable of exercising sovereignty as found by several respected jurists in Rifkind, et al., The Basic Equities of the Palestine Problem, and the excerpt of the US WWI settlement proposal of January 21, 1919.


Harry Sacher had recommended this path to Jewish statehood in his pamphlet “A Jewish Palestine, the Jewish case for a British trusteeship”.


By 1948 the Jews had such a majority in a part of the mandate area as a consequence of the war the Arabs in Palestine and in the surrounding Arab states based on victory in a defensive war. In 1967 in another defensive war, the Jews liberated the remainder of Palestine west of the Jordan River from the State of Jordan. It had won it with the help of the British in 1948. When this remainder vested in the Jewish people they had the right to annex it but were not required under international law, to do so. Some 52 States and the United States had tacitly recognized all of Palestine west of the Jordan River as a state when it met the conditions of the Mandate for Palestine. Article 4 of the contract between the Jews and the Arabs executed by Chaim Weizmann and Prince Feisal recognized the intent for rapid immigration into Palestine of immigrants from the diaspora.


Jewish Tardis

Jewish Tardis



Just an ordinary day for an 8th grader in Israel

Just an ordinary day for an 8th grader in Israel 8th Grade Hero-Liel Suissa

Just an ordinary day for an 8th grader in Israel 8th Grade Hero-Liel Suissa

January 22, 2015


8th Grade Hero: Liel Suissa:Liel Suissa, an 8th grader from Bat Yam, was on his way to his new high school Wendesday morning, when a Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife began to attack people on the number 40 bus in central Tel Aviv.


“The terrorist suddenly began stabbing,” the 13-year-old recalled.


“I was sitting on the bus and I heard people shouting. The terrorist had suddenly gone to the driver and stabbed him. He was shouting things, but I couldn’t hear clearly. I saw him stab the driver, and I ran to the back with the others to get away from him. He approached us, I broke the window and got out.


I threw my bag at the terrorist as he approached so he would not come closer. The driver hit the brakes when the terrorist approached us. The terrorist flew into the air and I used my elbow to break the window so that we could get out. The driver opened the door as well.


He chased us even after we left the bus, with the knife in his hand. I ran behind some cars, and when the security guards came to chase him, I pointed to where he had run.”


We are happy you are safe, Liel, and we thank you for you bravery in this terrifying situation.

— with Israel Jezhi Kadarko and Chun Hee.


Arutz Sheva

Tombstone: Woman was murdered by Hospital Covid Ward

Tombstone claims woman was ‘murdered by COVID ward’

Grave marker lists recently deceased elderly woman as ‘murder victim’ of COVID ward at hospital in central Israel.

Arutz Sheva Staff, 24October2021

A grave marker recently put in place for a woman who died last month has drawn attention across Israel, after images of it were uploaded to social media networks.


The unusual grave marker claims that the woman whose remains are interred beneath was “murdered” by the hospital staff at the COVID ward in Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva.

“Murdered by Beilinson Hospital in the coronavirus ward on the 20th of September 2021. May her blood be avenged.” the grave marker reads.

The woman in question was 71 at the time of her death, was rushed to the hospital after suffered a pulmonary embolism and a heart attack.


Hospital officials responded Sunday afternoon, condemning the claims made on the grave marker.


“Serious, incitement, and lacking any basis in fact,” officials said.


“The woman in question was elderly and unvaccinated when she was brought to the hospital after being treated at home for a significant period,” the hospital said in a statement. “She was admitted after suffering a heart attack and a pulmonary embolism, and passed away with a raging case of COVID.”


“The COVID ward staff at the hospital, who treated and continue to treat hundreds of patients with dedication and professionalism are working day and night to save lives.”

English Translation “Was murdered ”

Real-News-IL-tweet-24October2021-'Murdered by Beilinson Hospital in the coronavirus ward on the 20th of September 2021. May her blood be avenged” the grave marker reads.

Real-News-IL-tweet-24October2021-‘Murdered by Beilinson Hospital in the coronavirus ward on the 20th of September 2021. May her blood be avenged” the grave marker reads.

JerusalemCats Comments: She like many were vaxxed with 2 doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine.



What Does Putin Want?


Foreword by the Saker:

The analysis below is, by far, the best I have seen since the beginning of the conflict in the Ukraine. I have regularly posted analyses by Ishchenko on this blog before, because I considered him as one of the best analysts in Russia. This time, however, Ishchenko has truly produced a masterpiece: a comprehensive analysis of the geostrategic position of Russia and a clear and, I believe, absolutely accurate analysis of the entire “Putin strategy” for the Ukraine. I have always said that this conflict is not about the Ukraine but about the future of the planet and that there is no “Novorussian” or even “Ukrainian” solution, but that the only possible outcome is a strategic victory of either Russia or the USA which will affect the entire planet. Ishchenko does a superb overview of the risks and options for both sides and offers the first comprehensive “key” to the apparently incomprehensible behavior of Russia in this conflict. Finally, Ishchenko also fully understands the complex and subtle dynamics inside Russian society. When he writes “Russian power is authoritative, rather than authoritarian” he is spot on, and explains more in seven words than what you would get by reading the billions of useless words written by so-called “experts” trying to describe the Russian reality.


We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Denis, Gideon and Robin for translating this seminal text, which was very difficult to translate. The only reason why we can read it in such a good English is because the innumerable hours spent by these volunteers to produce the high quality translation this analysis deserves.


I strongly recommend that you all read this text very carefully. Twice. It is well worth it.


The Saker

What does Putin want?

Rostislav Ishchenko


Translated from the Russian by Denis, Gideon, and Robin

It’s gratifying that “patriots” did not instantly blame Putin for the failure to achieve a full-scale rout of Ukrainian troops in Donbass in January and February, or for Moscow’s consultations with Merkel and Hollande.

Even so, they are still impatient for a victory. The most radical are convinced that Putin will “surrender Novorossiya” just the same. And the moderates are afraid that he will as soon as the next truce is signed (if that happens) out of the need to regroup and replenish Novorossiya’s army (which actually could have been done without disengagement from military operations), to come to terms with the new circumstances on the international front, and to get ready for new diplomatic battles.

In fact, despite all the attention that political and/or military dilettantes (the Talleyrands and the Bonapartes of the Internet) are paying to the situation in Donbass and the Ukraine in general, it is only one point on a global front: the outcome of the war is being decided not at the Donetsk airport or in the hills outside Debaltsevo, but at offices on Staraya Square and Smolenskaya Square, at offices in Paris, Brussels and Berlin. Because military action is only one of the many components of the political quarrel.

It is the harshest and the final component, which carries great risk, but the matter doesn’t start with war and it doesn’t end with war. War is only an intermediate step signifying the impossibility of compromise. Its purpose is to create new conditions whereby compromise is possible or to show that there is no longer any need for it, with the disappearance of one side of the conflict. When it is time for compromise, when the fighting is over and the troops go back to their barracks and the generals begin writing their memoirs and preparing for the next war, that is when the real outcome of the confrontation is determined by politicians and diplomats at the negotiating table.

Political decisions are not often understood by the general population or the military. For example, during the Austro-Prussian war of 1866, Prussian chancellor Otto Von Bismarck (later chancellor of the German Empire) disregarded the persistent requests of King Wilhelm I (the future German Emperor) and the demands of the Prussian generals to take Vienna, and he was absolutely correct to do so. In that way he accelerated peace on Prussia’s terms and also ensured that Austro-Hungary forever (well, until its dismemberment in 1918) became a junior partner for Prussia and later the German Empire.

To understand how, when and on what conditions military activity can end, we need to know what the politicians want and how they see the conditions of the postwar compromise. Then it will become clear why military action turned into a low-intensity civil war with occasional truces, not only in the Ukraine but also in Syria.

Obviously, the views of Kiev politicians are of no interest to us because they don’t decide anything. The fact that outsiders govern the Ukraine is no longer concealed. It doesn’t matter whether the cabinet ministers are Estonian or Georgian; they are Americans just the same. It would also be a big mistake to take an interest in how the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) see the future. The republics exist only with Russian support, and as long as Russia supports them, Russia’s interests have to be protected, even from independent decisions and initiatives. There is too much at stake to allow [Alexander] Zakharchenko or [Igor] Plotnitzky, or anyone else for that matter, to make independent decisions.

Nor are we interested in the European Union’s position. Much depended on the EU until the summer of last year, when the war could have been prevented or stopped at the outset. A tough, principled antiwar stance by the EU was needed. It could have blocked U.S. initiatives to start the war and would have turned the EU into a significant independent geopolitical player. The EU passed on that opportunity and instead behaved like a faithful vassal of the United States.

As a result, Europe stands on the brink of frightful internal upheaval. In the coming years, it has every chance of suffering the same fate as the Ukraine, only with a great roar, great bloodshed and less chance that in the near future things will settle down – in other words, that someone will show up and put things in order.

In fact, today the EU can choose whether to remain a tool of the United States or to move closer to Russia. Depending on its choice, Europe can get off with a slight scare, such as a breakup of parts of its periphery and possible fragmentation of some countries, or it could collapse completely. Judging by the European elites’ reluctance to break openly with the United States, collapse is almost inevitable.

What should interest us is the opinions of the two main players that determine the configuration of the geopolitical front and in fact are fighting for victory in the new generation of war – the network-centric Third World War. These players are the United States and Russia.

The U.S. position is clear and transparent. In the second half of the 1990s, Washington missed its only opportunity to reform the Cold War economy without any obstacles and thereby avoid the looming crisis in a system whose development is limited by the finite nature of planet Earth and its resources, including human ones, which conflicts with the need to endlessly print dollars.

After that, the United States could prolong the death throes of the system only by plundering the rest of the world. At first, it went after Third World countries. Then it went for potential competitors. Then for allies and even close friends. Such plundering could continue only as long as the United States remained the world’s undisputed hegemon.

Thus when Russia asserted its right to make independent political decisions – decisions of not global but regional import – , a clash with the United States became inevitable. This clash cannot end in a compromise peace.

For the United States, a compromise with Russia would mean a voluntary renunciation of its hegemony, leading to a quick, systemic catastrophe – not only a political and economic crisis but also a paralysis of state institutions and the inability of the government to function. In other words, its inevitable disintegration.

But if the United States wins, then it is Russia that will experience systemic catastrophe. After a certain type of “rebellion,” Russia’s ruling classes would be punished with asset liquidation and confiscation as well as imprisonment. The state would be fragmented, substantial territories would be annexed, and the country’s military might would be destroyed.

So the war will last until one side wins. Any interim agreement should be viewed only as a temporary truce – a needed respite to regroup, to mobilize new resources and to find (i.e., to poach) additional allies.

To complete the picture of the situation, we only need Russia’s position. It is essential to understand what the Russian leadership wants to achieve, particularly the president, Vladimir Putin. We are talking about the key role that Putin plays in the organization of the Russian power structure. This system is not authoritarian, as many assert, but rather authoritative – meaning it is based not on legislative consolidation of autocracy but on the authority of the person who created the system and, as the head of it, makes it work effectively.

During Putin’s 15 years in power, despite the difficult internal and external situation, he has tried to maximize the role of the government, the legislative assembly, and even the local authorities. These are entirely logical steps that should have given the system completeness, stability, and continuity. Because no politician can rule forever, political continuity, regardless of who comes to power, is the key to a stable system.

Unfortunately, fully autonomous control, namely the ability to function without the president’s oversight, hasn’t been achieved. Putin remains the key component of the system because the people put their trust in him personally. They have far less trust in the system, as represented by public authorities and individual agencies.

Thus Putin’s opinions and political plans become the decisive factor in areas such as Russia’s foreign policy. If the phrase “without Putin, there is no Russia” is an exaggeration, then the phrase “what Putin wants, Russia also wants” reflects the situation quite accurately in my opinion.

First, let’s note that the man who for 15 years has carefully guided Russia to its revival has done so in conditions of U.S. hegemony in world politics along with significant opportunities for Washington to influence Russia’s internal politics. He had to understand the nature of the fight and his opponent. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have lasted so long.

The level of confrontation that Russia allowed itself to get into with the United States grew very slowly and up to a certain point went unnoticed. For example, Russia did not react at all to the first attempt at a color revolution in the Ukraine in 2000-2002 (the Gongadze case, the Cassette Scandal, and the Ukraine without Kuchma protest).

Russia took an opposing position but did not actively intervene in the coups that took place from November 2003 to January 2004 in Georgia and from November 2004 to January 2005 in the Ukraine. In 2008, in Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia used its troops against Georgia, a U.S. ally. In 2012, in Syria, the Russian fleet demonstrated its readiness to confront the United States and its NATO allies.

In 2013, Russia began taking economic measures against [Victor] Yanukovych’s regime, which contributed to his realization of the harmfulness of signing an association agreement [with the EU].

Moscow could not have saved the Ukraine from the coup because of the baseness, cowardice, and stupidity of the Ukraine’s leaders – not only Yanukovych but all of them without exception. After the armed coup in Kiev in February 2014, Russia entered into open confrontation with Washington. Before that, the conflicts were interspersed with improved relations, but at the beginning of 2014 relations between Russia and the United States deteriorated swiftly and almost immediately reached the point where war would have been declared automatically in the prenuclear era.

Thus at any given time Putin engaged in precisely the level of confrontation with the United States that Russia could handle. If Russia isn’t limiting the level of confrontation now, it means Putin believes that, in the war of sanctions, the war of nerves, the information war, the civil war in the Ukraine, and the economic war, Russia can win.

This is the first important conclusion about what Putin wants and what he expects. He expects to win. And considering that he takes a meticulous approach and strives to anticipate any surprises, you can be sure that when the decision was made not to back down under pressure from the United States, but to respond, the Russian leadership had a double, if not a triple, guarantee of victory.

I would like to point out that the decision to enter into a conflict with Washington was not made in 2014, nor was it made in 2013. The war of August 8, 2008, was a challenge that the United States could not leave unpunished. After that, every further stage of the confrontation only raised the stakes. From 2008 to 2010, the United States’ capability – not just military or economic but its overall capability – has declined, whereas Russia’s has improved significantly. So the main objective was to raise the stakes slowly rather than in explosive fashion. In other words, an open confrontation in which all pretences are dropped and everyone understands that a war is going on had to be delayed as long as possible. But it would have been even better to avoid it altogether.

With every passing year, the United States became weaker while Russia became stronger. This process was natural and impossible to arrest, and we could have projected with a high degree of certainty that by 2020 to 2025, without any confrontation, the period of U.S. hegemony would have ended, and the United States would then be best advised to think about not how to rule the world, but how to stave off its own precipitous internal decline.

Thus Putin’s second desire is clear: to keep the peace or the appearance of peace as long as possible. Peace is advantageous for Russia because in conditions of peace, without enormous expense, it obtains the same political result but in a much better geopolitical situation. That is why Russia continually extends the olive branch. Just as the Kiev junta will collapse in conditions of peace in Donbass, in conditions of world peace, the military-industrial complex and the global financial system created by the United States are doomed to self-destruct. In this way, Russia’s actions are aptly described by Sun Tzu’s maxim “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

It is clear that Washington is not run by idiots, no matter what is said on Russian talk shows or written on blogs. The United States understands precisely the situation it is in. Moreover, they also understand that Russia has no plans to destroy them and is really prepared to cooperate as an equal. Even so, because of the political and socioeconomic situation in the United States, such cooperation is not acceptable to them. An economic collapse and a social explosion are likely to occur before Washington (even with the support of Moscow and Beijing) has time to introduce the necessary reforms, especially when we consider that the EU will have to undergo reform at the same time. Moreover, the political elite who have emerged in the United States in the past 25 years have become accustomed to their status as the owners of the world. They sincerely don’t understand how anyone can challenge them.

For the ruling elite in the United States (not so much the business class but the government bureaucracy), to go from being a country that decides of the fate of inferior peoples to one that negotiates with them on an equal footing is intolerable. It is probably tantamount to offering Gladstone or Disraeli the post of prime minister of the Zulu Kingdom under Cetshwayo kaMpande. And so, unlike Russia, which needs peace to develop, the United States regards war as vital.

In principle, any war is a struggle for resources. Typically, the winner is the one that has more resources and can ultimately mobilize more troops and build more tanks, ships, and planes. Even so, sometimes those who are strategically disadvantaged can turn the situation around with a tactical victory on the battlefield. Examples include the wars of Alexander the Great and Frederick the Great, as well as Hitler’s campaign of 1939-1940.

Nuclear powers cannot confront each other directly. Therefore, their resource base is of paramount importance. That is exactly why Russia and the United States have been in a desperate competition for allies over the past year. Russia has won this competition. The United States can count only the EU, Canada, Australia, and Japan as allies (and not always unconditionally so), but Russia has managed to mobilize support from the BRICS, to gain a firm foothold in Latin America, and to begin displacing the United States in Asia and North Africa.

Of course, it’s not patently obvious, but if we consider the results of votes at the UN, assuming that a lack of official support for the United States means dissent and thus support for Russia, it turns out that the countries aligned with Russia together control about 60% of the world’s GDP, have more than two-thirds of its population, and cover more than three-quarters of its surface. Thus Russia has been able to mobilize more resources.

In this regard, the United States had two tactical options.

The first seemed to have great potential and was employed by it from the early days of the Ukrainian crisis.

It was an attempt to force Russia to choose between a bad situation and an even worse one. Russia would be compelled to accept a Nazi state on its borders and therefore a dramatic loss of international authority and of the trust and support of its allies, and after a short time would become vulnerable to internal and external pro-U.S. forces, with no chance of survival. Or else it could send its army into the Ukraine, sweep out the junta before it got organized, and restore the legitimate government of Yanukovych. That, however, would have brought an accusation of aggression against an independent state and of suppression of the people’s revolution. Such a situation would have resulted in a high degree of disapproval on the part of Ukrainians and the need to constantly expend significant military, political, economic, and diplomatic resources to maintain a puppet regime in Kiev, because no other government would have been possible under such conditions.

Russia avoided that dilemma. There was no direct invasion. It is Donbass that is fighting Kiev. It is the Americans who have to devote scarce resources to the doomed puppet regime in Kiev, while Russia can remain on the sidelines making peace proposals.

So now the United States is employing the second option. It’s as old as the hills. That which cannot be held, and will be taken by the enemy, must be damaged as much as possible so that the enemy’s victory is more costly than defeat, as all its resources are used to reconstruct the destroyed territory. The United States has therefore ceased to assist the Ukraine with anything more than political rhetoric while encouraging Kiev to spread civil war throughout the country.

The Ukrainian land must burn, not only in Donetsk and Lugansk but also in Kiev and Lvov. The task is simple: to destroy the social infrastructure as much as possible and to leave the population at the very edge of survival. Then the population of the Ukraine will consist of millions of starving, desperate and heavily armed people who will kill one another for food. The only way to stop this bloodbath would be massive international military intervention in the Ukraine (the militia on its own will not be sufficient) and massive injections of funds to feed the population and to reconstruct the economy until the Ukraine can begin to feed itself.

It is clear that all these costs would fall on Russia. Putin correctly believes that not only the budget, but also public resources in general, including the military, would in this case be overstretched and possibly insufficient. Therefore, the objective is not to allow the Ukraine to explode before the militia can bring the situation under control. It is crucial to minimize casualties and destruction and to salvage as much of the economy as possible and the infrastructure of the large cities so that the population somehow survives and then the Ukrainians themselves will take care of the Nazi thugs.

At this point an ally appears for Putin in the form of the EU. Because the United States always tried to use European resources in its struggle with Russia, the EU, which was already weakened, reaches the point of exhaustion and has to deal with its own long-festering problems.

If Europe now has on its eastern border a completely destroyed Ukraine, from which millions of armed people will flee not only to Russia but also to the EU, taking with them delightful pastimes such as drug trafficking, gunrunning, and terrorism, the EU will not survive. The people’s republics of Novorossiya will serve as a buffer for Russia, however.

Europe cannot confront the United States, but it is deathly afraid of a destroyed Ukraine. Therefore, for the first time in the conflict, Hollande and Merkel are not just trying to sabotage the U.S. demands (by imposing sanctions but not going too far), but they are also undertaking limited independent action with the aim of achieving a compromise – maybe not peace but at least a truce in the Ukraine.

If the Ukraine catches fire, it will burn quickly, and if the EU has become an unreliable partner that is ready if not to move into Russia’s camp then at least to take a neutral position, Washington, faithful to its strategy, would be obliged to set fire to Europe.

It is clear that a series of civil and interstate wars on a continent packed with all sorts of weapons, where more than half a billion people live, is far worse than a civil war in the Ukraine. The Atlantic separates the United States from Europe. Even Britain could hope to sit it out across the Channel. But Russia and the EU share a very long [sic] border.

It is not at all in Russia’s interests to have a conflagration stretching from the Atlantic to the Carpathian Mountains when the territory from the Carpathians to the Dnieper is still smoldering. Therefore, Putin’s other objective is, to the extent possible, to prevent the most negative effects of a conflagration in the Ukraine and a conflagration in Europe. Because it is impossible to completely prevent such an outcome (if the United States wants to ignite the fire, it will), it is necessary to be able to extinguish it quickly to save what is most valuable.

Thus, to protect Russia’s legitimate interests, Putin considers peace to be of vital importance, because it is peace that will make it possible to achieve this goal with maximum effect at minimum cost. But because peace is no longer possible, and the truces are becoming more theoretical and fragile, Putin needs the war to end as quickly as possible.

But I do want to stress that if a compromise could have been reached a year ago on the most favorable terms for the West (Russia would have still obtained its goals, but later – a minor concession), it is no longer possible, and the conditions are progressively worsening. Ostensibly, the situation remains the same; peace on almost any conditions is still beneficial for Russia. Only one thing has changed, but it is of the utmost importance: public opinion. Russian society longs for victory and retribution. As I pointed out above, Russian power is authoritative, rather than authoritarian; therefore, public opinion matters in Russia, in contrast to the “traditional democracies.”

Putin can maintain his role as the linchpin of the system only as long as he has the support of the majority of the population. If he loses this support, because no figures of his stature have emerged from Russia’s political elite, the system will lose its stability. But power can maintain its authority only as long as it successfully embodies the wishes of the masses. Thus the defeat of Nazism in the Ukraine, even if it is diplomatic, must be clear and indisputable – only under such conditions is a Russian compromise possible.

Thus, regardless of Putin’s wishes and Russia’s interests, given the overall balance of power, as well as the protagonists’ priorities and capabilities, a war that should have ended last year within the borders of the Ukraine will almost certainly spill over into Europe. One can only guess who will be more effective – the Americans with their gas can or the Russians with their fire extinguisher? But one thing is absolutely clear: the peace initiatives of the Russian leaders will be limited not by their wishes but their actual capabilities. It is futile to fight either the wishes of the people or the course of history; but when they coincide, the only thing a wise politician can do is to understand the wishes of the people and the direction of the historical process and try to support it at all costs.

The circumstances described above make it extremely unlikely that the proponents of an independent state of Novorossiya will see their wishes fulfilled. Given the scale of the coming conflagration, determining the fate of the Ukraine as a whole is not excessively complicated but, at the same time, it will not come cheap.

It is only logical that the Russian people should ask: if Russians, whom we rescued from the Nazis, live in Novorossiya, why do they have to live in a separate state? If they want to live in a separate state, why should Russia rebuild their cities and factories? To these questions there is only one reasonable answer: Novorossiya should become part of Russia (especially since it has enough fighters, although the governing class is problematic). Well, if part of the Ukraine can join Russia, why not all of it? Especially as in all likelihood by the time this question is on the agenda, the European Union will no longer be an alternative to the Eurasian Union [for the Ukraine].

Consequently, the decision to rejoin Russia will be made by a united federated Ukraine and not by some entity without a clear status. I think that it is premature to redraw the political map. Most likely the conflict in the Ukraine will be concluded by the end of the year. But if the United States manages to extend the conflict to the EU (and it will try), the final resolution of territorial issues will take at least a couple of years and maybe more.

In any situation we benefit from peace. In conditions of peace, as Russia’s resource base grows, as new allies (former partners of the United States) go over to its side, and as Washington becomes progressively marginalized, territorial restructuring will become far simpler and temporarily less significant, especially for those being restructured.


Playing offense against BDS

Izzy Tapoohi 3May2015


We all know the old adage “the best defense is a good offense.” In an era of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), investing in Israel’s economy has become our greatest form of offense.

While it has long been a sound financial decision, today, investing in Israel takes on added relevance as an expression of confidence that the country’s economic resilience will continue despite geopolitical instability and BDS tactics. Through every challenge, Israel’s economy remains an outstanding example of innovation and progress.

The statistics speak for themselves: Israel’s 2014 Q4 growth was 7.2 percent, double initial projections. The country’s debt-to-GDP ratio – a key indicator of the strength of the economy that helps determine credit ratings and interest payments – decreased by 0.5 percent to 67.1 percent. This is lower than many developed countries. U.S. debt-to-GDP is 105.6 percent; the Euro Zone average is 107.7percent; and the OECD average is 94 percent.

For a small country like Israel, which has no real export markets in its region and is constantly in a state of heightened military preparedness, this is a considerable accomplishment

The success of Israel’s economy infuriates BDS advocates. Their response includes boycotting Israeli products, companies and social institutions, divesting from corporations that do business with Israel, demanding that companies and institutions rid their portfolios of Israel bonds, and sanctioning Israel in various diplomatic and economic forums.

These actions raise the question of who actually wants Israel boycotted. Certainly not individuals around the world benefiting from Israel’s life-saving advances in science and medicine. Certainly not the millions of people utilizing made-in-Israel technology to make their daily lives more engaging and productive. And certainly not the distressed citizens of nations afflicted by natural disasters – Nepal, Japan, the Philippines, Haiti and more – who rapidly receive vital supplies and essential medical care from Israeli emergency response teams.

While it might seem tempting to engage BDS advocates – who cynically ignore the most egregious abusers of human rights — head-on through internet forums or verbal confrontations, the most appropriate response is this: every call for divestment should be met with an investment in Israel’s economy through Israel bonds.

Investing in Israel bonds defeats the BDS goal of weakening Israel’s economy by doing the exact opposite: helping to keep it strong.

In 2014, the Israel Bonds organization, which has been a cornerstone of Israel’s economy since 1951, exceeded $1.1 billion in U.S. domestic sales for the second consecutive year. Significantly, 84 percent of all retail sales in 2014 were under $25,000, demonstrating an ever-growing trend of individual investors becoming stakeholders in Israel’s economy through Israel bonds.

During this time of geopolitical uncertainty, hypocritical double-standards and calls for divestment and boycotts, an investment in Israel bonds is a definitive and personal response to the actions of those who wish Israel harm.

About the Author
Israel “Izzy” Tapoohi is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Birthright Israel Foundation, the non-profit organization that raises funds in the US to support Birthright Israel trips. Tapoohi joined Birthright Israel Foundation after serving as President and CEO of Development Corporation for Israel Bonds from October 2011 – October 2016. Prior to Israel Bonds, Tapoohi held director positions on the boards of leading Israeli and international companies, including Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications provider, and Africa-Israel Investments Ltd., an international holdings and investments group. He has been appointed to top-level advisory positions, including with the first and second Netanyahu governments, and has been involved with real estate and venture capital investments.


Elder of Ziyon logo

Elder of Ziyon logo


Israel’s Supreme Court rejects Bedouin have land right claims in Negev “Al Arakib”

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 Elder of Ziyon
Al Arakib is an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev that Israel has demolished over 50 times. It has become a cause celebre among Israel bashers.


The case has been in the courts for years.

In late 2006, seventeen Bedouin of the al-Uqbi family filed six land claims saying that the land they are on, including Al-Araqeeb, belongs to them. After five years of legal proceedings, the court heard extensive testimonies of experts and witnesses on the behalf of both sides, reviewed historical documents, and scrutinized land laws from the Ottoman period, the British mandate period and that of Israel. The country’s leading experts in historical and political geography testified. For the plaintiffs spoke Ben Gurion University’s Prof. Oren Yiftachel, a critical geographer and a social scientist. Testifying for the state was Prof. Ruth Kark, a leading expert on the historical geography of Palestine and Israel from the Hebrew University.[5]


The plaintiffs argued that the state order to expropriate the land in 1951 was made on the erroneous assumption that under Ottoman law, the land was classified as Mawat (uncultivated and not adjacent to settled lands). They said that the land had been cultivated and owned by them, and so classified as Miri land under Ottoman legal terms. In an expert opinion filed to the court, Oren Yiftachel said that these “tribal areas” of scattered tent clusters were not at that time registered with the authorities, but were nevertheless considered settled and met the definition of a “village” in the 1921 Land Ordinance.[5]


The state’s expert witness, Prof. Ruth Kark, said that prior to 1858 there had been no fixed settlements on or near the disputed land. The first permanent settlement had been Beersheba, which the Ottomans founded in 1900 and which is 11 kilometers from Al-Araqeeb – refuting the Beduin’s claims that the land could not have been Mawat because it was both cultivated and next to a settlement.[5] The State presented an aerial shot of the place proving that the Al-Araqeeb area had no cultivated land during the British mandate period.[24]


The verdict was presented by Judge Sarah Dovrat in the Beersheba District court on March 15, 2012.[25] Based on the experts’ testimony and the presented documents, the judge ruled in favor of the State, saying that the land was not “assigned to the plaintiffs, nor held by them under conditions required by law,” and that they still had to “prove their rights to the land by proof of its registration in the Tabu” (Israel Lands Authority). The judge said that the Bedouin knew they were supposed to register but did not. She said, “The state said that although the complainants are not entitled to compensation, it has been willing to negotiate with them,” and that “it is a shame that these negotiations did not reach any agreement.” The court also ordered the Bedouin to pay legal costs of 50,000 NIS (approximately U.S. $13,500).[5]


In its ruling, the court criticized the expert on the behalf of the plaintiffs, stating that his testimony lacked a sufficient factual basis value and reliable basis.[26] In addition, the court held that the Bedouins’ own internal documentation indicates they were well aware of the legal requirement to register the lands in the Land Registry, but chose not to do so.[5] The judge affirmed that the practice of removal of encroached settlements carried out by the State is acceptable and legal.[5]
Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled yet again that Israel was right and the haters are wrong.


From Israel Hayom:

Something happened in the legal world this week. The High Court of Justice rejected out of hand a petition filed by the Bedouin, backed by leftist organizations, about the village of Al-Arakib in the Negev desert. The place has become a symbol and a flashpoint for everything having to do with state lands. The Bedouin claim ownership of land in the northern Negev on the basis of “ancient rights.” The petitioners spoke of “historical land” from which they had been banished, and argued that the Aloukabi clan had worked those lands at the beginning of the 19th century.


Professor Oren Yiftachel lent his assistance to the plaintiffs by serving as an expert witness, arguing that there had been an ancient Bedouin settlement in the area of Al-Arakib, but all his arguments were rejected. Both the district and the High Court of Justice criticized him severely. Judge Sarah Dovrat wrote: “It became clear that he [Yiftachel] was relying on sources and quoting them without having taken the trouble to read them.” In the High Court ruling, Justice Esther Hayut wrote: “An analysis of the evidence reveals that Professor Yiftachel’s argument is not supported by objective perspective.” A Bedouin tribe might have stopped at the place in question during its peregrinations, but this does not prove that there was ever a pre-existing settlement there.


The interesting thing was the discussion about the desolation of the Negev in the 19th century. The expert witness for the prosecution, Professor Ruth Kark, argued that the plots of land at Al-Arakib were not settled and farmed with any regularity until the start of the British Mandate. She made her case using land surveys, historical maps, official documents, and travel logs. The importance of the legal debate goes beyond the individual story of Al-Arakib and pertains to the historic claim to the land of Israel as a whole, which was mostly wilderness, both in terms of agriculture and population.


An important piece of evidence was the British Palestine Exploration Fund survey map, a thorough mapping survey conducted from 1871-1877 and published in seven volumes. The map was so detailed that it was printed in 26 issues (which are available today online.) The PEF people delineated every wadi, every settlement, tree, and home. They crisscrossed the territory, and an examination of the map shows how empty and barren the land was, and how few people lived there.


The Bedouin plaintiffs claimed a right to the lands in question because they were “native sons,” but the court cast doubt on that argument, because according to their own version of events the clan had arrived in the Negev after it was already under the control of the Ottoman Empire, and therefore were not a native minority that had been conquered by a foreign regime. The verdict makes it clear that the Bedouin who filed the suit testified that their tribe, the Aloukabi clan, had fought alongside Arab armies against Israel in the War of Independence. After they lost, some of the tribe were dispersed to the Gaza Strip and Jordan. At no stage was a deed of ownership presented — not even a record that the land had been registered to the tribe under the Ottomans. Nor was any evidence presented that either the Ottomans or the British Mandate government had acknowledged that the Bedouin had any native rights. The High Court struck down in principle the attempt to “generate rights out of nothing.”


This is a ruling of unparalleled importance and it should serve as a basis for settling the matter of Bedouin lawsuits over Negev land. This is a powder keg that has ramifications for our linkage to the land of this country. This issue can’t be left hanging. The new government should take note.
Israel-haters have been using the Bedouin issue over the past few years to delegitimize Israel within the Green Line in the same way that they use spurious Palestinian Arab claims to delegitimize Israel from without. There are dozens of NGOs that pretend to advocate for Bedouin in the Negev when in fact they are simply looking for excuses to bash Israel.

(h/t Yoel)


The same thing happened during the Mandate. See The Claim of Dispossession, by Ari Avneri.

There is a deeper issue her, that of the validity of nomadic land claims. No-one has really dealt with this in law, and the problem is shared across the Levant. If you periodically cycle over a large swath of territory, either hunting or gathering, have you asserted ownership rights. The court’s decision is neither radical nor groundbreaking. I doubt there would be any different decision in Jordan or Egypt or Turkey.



Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought



JERUSALEM — At the peak of the drought, Shabi Zvieli, an Israeli gardener, feared for his livelihood.

A hefty tax was placed on excessive household water consumption, penalizing families with lawns, swimming pools or leaky pipes. So many of Mr. Zvieli’s clients went over to synthetic grass and swapped their seasonal blooms for hardy, indigenous plants more suited to a semiarid climate. “I worried about where gardening was going,” said Mr. Zvieli, 56, who has tended people’s yards for about 25 years.

Across the country, Israelis were told to cut their shower time by two minutes. Washing cars with hoses was outlawed and those few wealthy enough to absorb the cost of maintaining a lawn were permitted to water it only at night.

“We were in a situation where we were very, very close to someone opening a tap somewhere in the country and no water would come out,” said Uri Schor, the spokesman and public education director of the government’s Water Authority.

But that was about six years ago. Today, there is plenty of water in Israel. A lighter version of an old “Israel is drying up” campaign has been dusted off to advertise baby diapers. “The fear has gone,” said Mr. Zvieli, whose customers have gone back to planting flowers.

As California and other western areas of the United States grapple with an extreme drought, a revolution has taken place here. A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs, even during severe droughts. More than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is now artificially produced.

During the drought years, farmers at Ramat Rachel, a kibbutz on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, took water-economizing measures like uprooting old apple orchards a few years before their time. With the new plenty, water allocations for Israeli farmers that had been slashed have been raised again, though the price has also gone up.

“Now there is no problem of water,” said Shaul Ben-Dov, an agronomist at Ramat Rachel. “The price is higher, but we can live a normal life in a country that is half desert.”

With its part-Mediterranean, part-desert climate, Israel had suffered from chronic shortages and exploitation of its natural water resources for decades.

The natural fresh water at Israel’s disposal in an average year does not cover its total use of roughly 525 billion gallons. The demand for potable water is projected to rise to 515 billion gallons by 2030, from 317 billion gallons this year.

The turnaround came with a seven-year drought, one of the most severe to hit modern Israel, that began in 2005 and peaked in the winter of 2008 to 2009. The country’s main natural water sources — the Sea of Galilee in the north and the mountain and coastal aquifers — were severely depleted, threatening a potentially irreversible deterioration of the water quality.

Measures to increase the supply and reduce the demand were accelerated, overseen by the Water Authority, a powerful interministerial agency established in 2007.

Desalination emerged as one focus of the government’s efforts, with four major plants going into operation over the past decade. A fifth one should be ready to operate within months. Together, they will produce a total of more than 130 billion gallons of potable water a year, with a goal of 200 billion gallons by 2020.

Israel has, in the meantime, become the world leader in recycling and reusing wastewater for agriculture. It treats 86 percent of its domestic wastewater and recycles it for agricultural use — about 55 percent of the total water used for agriculture. Spain is second to Israel, recycling 17 percent of its effluent, while the United States recycles just 1 percent, according to Water Authority data.

Before the establishment of the Water Authority, various ministries were responsible for different aspects of the water issue, each with its own interests and lobbies.

“There was a lot of hydro-politics,” said Eli Feinerman of the faculty of agriculture, food and environment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who served for years as a public representative on the authority’s council. “The right hand did not know what the left was doing.”

The Israeli government began by making huge cuts in the annual water quotas for farmers, ending decades of extravagant overuse of heavily subsidized water for agriculture.

Desalination Plants in Israel map By The New York Times

Desalination Plants in Israel map By The New York Times

The tax for surplus household use was dropped at the end of 2009 and a two-tiered tariff system was introduced. Regular household water use is now subsidized by a slightly higher rate paid by those who consume more than the basic allotment.

Water Authority representatives went house to house offering to fit free devices on shower heads and taps that inject air into the water stream, saving about a third of the water used while still giving the impression of a strong flow.

Officials say that wiser use of water has led to a reduction in household consumption of up to 18 percent in recent years.

And instead of the municipal authorities being responsible for the maintenance of city pipe networks, local corporations have been formed. The money collected for water is reinvested in the infrastructure.

Mekorot, the national water company, built the national water carrier 50 years ago, a system for transporting water from the Sea of Galilee in the north through the heavily populated center to the arid south. Now it is building new infrastructure to carry water west to east, from the Mediterranean coast inland.

In the parched Middle East, water also has strategic implications. Struggles between Israel and its Arab neighbors over water rights in the Jordan River basin contributed to tensions leading to the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel, which shares the mountain aquifer with the West Bank, says it provides the Palestinians with more water than it is obliged to under the existing peace accords. The Palestinians say it is not enough and too expensive. A new era of water generosity could help foster relations with the Palestinians and with Jordan.

Desalination, long shunned by many as a costly energy guzzler with a heavy carbon footprint, is becoming cheaper, cleaner and more energy efficient as technologies advance. Sidney Loeb, an American who was one of the scientists who invented the popular reverse osmosis method, came to live in Israel in 1967 and taught the water professionals here.

The Sorek desalination plant rises out of the sandy ground about nine miles south of Tel Aviv. Said to be the largest plant of its kind in the world, it produces 40 billion gallons of potable water a year, enough for about a sixth of Israel’s roughly eight million citizens.

Miriam Faigon, the director of the solutions department at IDE Technologies, the Israeli company that built three of the plants along the Mediterranean, said that the company had cut energy levels and costs with new technologies and a variety of practical methods.

Under a complex arrangement, the plants will be transferred to state ownership after 25 years. For now, the state buys Sorek’s desalinated water for a relatively cheap 58 cents a cubic meter — more than free rainwater, Ms. Faigon acknowledged, “but that’s only if you have it.”

Israeli environmentalists say the rush to desalination has partly come at the expense of alternatives like treating natural water reserves that have become polluted by industry, particularly the military industries in the coastal plain.

“We definitely felt that Israel did need to move toward desalination,” said Sarit Caspi-Oron, a water expert at the nongovernment Israel Union for Environmental Defense. “But it is a question of how much, and of priorities. Our first priority was conservation and treating and reclaiming our water sources.”

Some environmentalists also say that the open-ocean intake method used by Israel’s desalination plants, in line with local regulations, as opposed to subsurface intakes, has a potentially destructive effect on sea life, sucking in billions of fish eggs and larvae.

But Boaz Mayzel, a marine biologist at the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, said that the effects were not yet known and would have to be checked over time.

Some Israelis are cynical about the water revolution. Tsur Shezaf, an Israeli journalist and the owner of a farm that produces wine and olives in the southern Negev, argues that desalination is essentially a privatization of Israel’s water supply that benefits a few tycoons, while recycling for agriculture allows the state to sell the same water twice.

Mr. Shezaf plants his vines in a way that maximizes the use of natural floodwaters in the area, as in ancient times, and irrigates the rest of the year with a mix of desalinated water and fresh water. He prefers to avoid the cheaper recycled water, he says, because, “You don’t know exactly what you are getting.”

But experts say that the wastewater from Israel’s densely populated Tel Aviv area is treated to such a high level that no harm would come to anyone who accidentally drank it.


An article on Saturday about Israel’s success in ensuring a sufficient supply of water even during droughts by desalinating Mediterranean seawater and recycling of wastewater referred imprecisely to Sidney Loeb, an American who moved to Israel in 1967 and taught water professionals how to desalinate seawater. He was one of the scientists who invented the reverse osmosis method, not its lone inventor. (The others were Srinivasa Sourirajan, a fellow student at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1959, and their teacher Samuel Yuster.)



Vote With Your Feet: Free States Are Happier & Richer

Submitted by Gabriel Openshaw via The Mises Institute,

The greater the economic freedom, the wealthier and happier the people.

From minimum-wage laws to higher progressive taxation to greater unionization to larger welfare programs to more regulation, left liberals demand a stronger and more economically active central government. Advocates of laissez-faire, on the other hand, favor smaller government, less regulation, lower taxes, and greater individual opportunity and property rights.

But which economic policy approach actually yields the best results?

We’ve already clearly demonstrated — via international and US state migration rates — that people the world over are naturally drawn toward greater economic freedom. Across countries, and even across states, millions of people every year migrate away from greater taxation and more regulation and toward lower taxation and less regulation. But are they better off?


Let’s take a look at the fifty US states, ranked by their level of economic freedom. The most highly-ranked states have lower tax burdens, deference to property rights, less government spending, and labor market freedom:

Economic Freedom Ranking

Economic Freedom Ranking

Taking into account cost-of-living differences, the top ten most economically free states have an average $52,334 median household income, which is considerably higher than the $43,090 median income for the ten least free. That’s a 21 percent raise for workers by switching state government policies to a smaller government approach. How much more could it be increased if the same were done at the national level?

economic freedom $ table

economic freedom $ table


The observed results are not a question of race or country of origin: African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and immigrants also earn substantially more in the more economically free states. While left liberals should be lauded for their apparent concern for the welfare of minorities, the truth is that their policies yield the worst results for them, a standard of living pay cut just for living in a more regulated and heavily taxed state.

One may think that this could be driven by urban vs. rural states more than policies, but the top ten free states are 71 percent urban vs. 72 percent for the bottom ten — a negligible difference. Moreover, the states in between the two are even more urban, at 75 percent, which effectively rules out correlation.

Another objection may be that “the rich” or “the 1 percent” are skewing the numbers — that income inequality is running rampant with less government to level the playing field, as many persistently believe. The exact opposite is the case.

Using median incomes as the measure (instead of average incomes) effectively eliminates the impact of the very wealthy on the numbers. And the “Poverty Measure” is lower in the most free states (13.3 percent) than in the least free (15.1 percent).

But the real measure of income inequality is the Gini index, and we can put aside for now the fact that median incomes are a far better measure of overall economic well-being than inequality of incomes (i.e., 100 people making $1 a day are perfectly equal but not better off than ninety-nine people making $2 a day and 1 making $5 a day, despite the latter’s higher inequality).

income inequality: economic freedom $ table

income inequality: economic freedom $ table

If we assume inequality to be an important economic measure instead of a normal byproduct of economic growth, the most free states do better, with a .446 Gini index vs. a higher and less equal .462 Gini for the least free states. Not only that, but the rate of growth of inequality over the past forty years is lower in the most free states compared to the least free: 22 percent vs. 30 percent. In other words, heavier government involvement has led to more income inequality and faster growth of such, while less government has created a more equal growth in incomes.

A final argument might be that while there may be greater income in more free-market states, the increased government regulation and intervention provides greater care and increases the population’s happiness and well-being. But the opposite is the case.

Gallup publishes an annual Well Being Index, which measures and ranks each state’s population across five core measures of well-being:

  1. Purpose (liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals)
  2. Social (having supportive relationships and love in your life)
  3. Financial (managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security)
  4. Community (liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community)
  5. Physical (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily)

Averaging each state’s Wellness rank for the past seven years we find that states with greater economic freedom also bring greater happiness and well-being.

Wellness rank: economic freedom $ table

Wellness rank: economic freedom $ table

So what happens when you create a more laissez-faire and libertarian environment where people make more money, have less poverty, and find greater happiness in their lives? People want to move there. And indeed, looking at state-to-state migration of Americans between 2006 and 2010, we see a net migration flow of 704,000 from the twenty-five least economically free states to the twenty-five most economically free. That’s hundreds of thousands of Americans choosing to relocate away from more interventionist government to more free market oriented government.

Political Party Just One Factor

On that latter point, it’s important to distinguish small-government ideology from Republican party control in a state. While it’s true that there’s a strong correlation between Republicans and economic freedom — the ten most free states had a Partisan Voter Index (PVI) average of R+10.3 vs. D-6.1 for the ten least free — it’s not a perfect correlation either. Two of the top ten states (Virginia and New Hampshire), for instance, are swing states, and two of the bottom ten economically free states (West Virginia and Mississippi) are solidly Republican.

It’s also worth noting what economic freedom is not: it is not corporatism or crony capitalism, where the government bails out banks and subsidizes politically connected businesses, which both major political parties are heavily guilty of. Rather, it’s smaller, less intrusive government.

The reality on the ground is that states with more libertarian free market policies enjoy better results: greater median incomes, a more equitable distribution, less poverty, greater success for minorities and immigrants, and higher overall levels of happiness and well-being. In the political rhetoric landscape the battle of ideology is fierce and filled with demagoguery; in the real world the difference in results between competing economic policies are strikingly clear.


Rav Ovadia Yossef on Wigs / Sheitels (with English translation)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Tzniut Posters 012

Peah Nochrit (wigs)
This is Absolutely Forbidden!!!

There are more than 20 poskim who say that this is completely forbidden, it is absolutely forbidden to go out of the house into the public streets wearing a peah nochrit (wig). It is just as if you are going out with a completely uncovered head. Just like it is forbidden for a married woman to go out with her hair uncovered, it is equally forbidden for a married woman to go out with a wig on.


There was a great gaon, Rebbe Pinchas Horovitz, a world sized giant, Rebbe Pinchus Leibush Horovitz, he took his beit din with him and they took a Sefer Torah with them and they pronounced a cherem (a decree of excommunication) on any woman who would wear a peah nochrit (wig). Who can violate a cherem of a man as great as this?! He was a giant, a giant in Torah… To violate his cherem… Who would violate such a persons’ cherem? This is in addition to the fact that there were many Gaonim who have written explicitly that wigs are forbidden.


Tzniut Posters 013


Any Rav who is lenient regarding wigs will face judgement for it in the future!

The Gaon of Vilna writes in his sefer on the Mishnayot explicitly that wigs are forbidden.

The Gaon Yaabetz writes extensively in his sefer ‘Mor Uktziah’ and in his sefer ‘Tshuvot Yaabetz’ very explicitly that wigs are absolutely forbidden!

The Chatam Sofer writes, “After the Gaon Yaabetz has thusly said, it is certainly necessary to forbid wigs.”

The Maharif Chiyut in his sefer ‘Ish Chiyut’ writes in one of his teshuvot (halachic responsas), “It has already been forbidden by the greatest of the world and there is no room for leniency in this matter. Only the apikorsim (heretics), the minim and apikorsim are the ones who are lenient in this matter. Everyone else is very cautious in this matter.”

Rav Chaim MiSanz writes in his sefer ‘Shu”t Divrei Chaim’ as follows, “It is the actresses, wild and immodest women, they began with this practice. Many have learned from them, we have mixed with the goyim and learned from their ways.”
To my great sorrow, I have heard of many good girls who would prefer to wear a cloth head covering, and the boys, those learning in the Yeshivot are making conditions not to date them unless they commit to only wearing a wig after marriage. What Yeshiva students are these? These are ignoramuses, fools, wicked people! They are defaming the name of Hashem. People who ask for things like this learn in a yeshiva?! What Torah are they learning? They will have to face judgement for this in the future.
The author of the sefer ‘Atzei Arazim’ in Even Haezer writes, “I am certain that any Rav who is lenient in the matter of wigs will have to face judgement in the future!”

Ad for Wigs at the OU Center in Jerusalem

From the OU Center Ad in Torah Tibbits OU-ttidbits-1163-pg66-18December2015

OU Torah Tidbits 1163 Page 66 18Dec2015

OU Torah Tidbits 1163 Page 66 18Dec2015




Why Israel is a pilgrimage site for birds — and bird-watchers

Located at the nexus of three continents, with a diverse climate, Israel draws some 500 million birds each year from 550 species
By Ben Sales February 26, 2016,

Thousands of cranes taking flight in Israel’s Hula Valley, February 2016. (Ben Sales/JTA)

Thousands of cranes taking flight in Israel’s Hula Valley, February 2016. (Ben Sales/JTA)



Thousands of cranes taking flight in Israel’s Hula Valley, February 2016. (Ben Sales/JTA)
JTA — Thousands of cranes sit in pairs in a field here, their outlines approaching the horizon. Then, all at once, they take flight, a cloud of black-and-white feathers filling the sky.

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Shai Agmon isn’t interested in most of these. All he cares about is one pair near the front, slightly shorter than the rest. Most of the birds are common cranes, but these two are demoiselle cranes — a rare find in these parts.

“They can’t sleep in the desert and can’t stop in southern Israel,” said Agmon, director of the Hula Valley Avian Research Center for Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael-Jewish National Fund, which manages the valley’s bird-watching park. “Here they have food and a safe place to rest.”

With 300 bird species passing through each year, the Hula Valley in northern Israel is one of the prime bird-watching spots in a country that has gained a reputation as a mecca for bird-watchers. With a location at the nexus of three continents, and a climatic diversity that ranges from arid desert in the south to a cooler mountainous region in the north, Israel draws about 500 million birds annually from 550 species. The entire continent of North America, which is 1,000 times Israel’s size, sees barely twice as many species.

Israel’s unique geographic features — it is also one of the last green spots before the adjacent Sinai and Sahara deserts — has also made it a destination not only for birds but for people who live for the thrill of identifying a rare species perched on a branch or lake.

“The more I go see places in the world, the more I see how much richness of nature I have in Israel, and some of it is so close to home,” said Yuval Daks, a bird photographer for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. “It’s hard to compete with the richness of Israel because we have so many climates. We have the desert, [Mount] Hermon.”

For the estimated tens of thousands of bird-watchers who come to Israel every year, the must-see sites aren’t the Western Wall or Masada but the Hula Valley and the Eilat Bird-watching Park. Sometimes armed with telephoto lenses, bird-watchers will wake up before dawn and drive for hours to find a species.

When they’re successful, the experience can be electrifying. Dan Alon, director of the Israel Ornithological Center, recalled being overwhelmed the first time he encountered a flock of 200,000 honey buzzards in 1984.

“It filled the sky,” Alon said. “You couldn’t see the sky. You can’t forget that. I love birds. I love this world. I find new things all the time.”

The Hula Valley became a prime bird-watching spot by accident. Drained of its swamps in the 1950s, the valley was re-flooded four decades later when KKL-JNF realized the drainage had damaged the local ecosystem. Farmers began planting corn and peanuts in the newly re-moistened soil — exactly the crops cranes like to eat.
Shai Agmon is director of the Hula Valley Avian Research Center for Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael-Jewish National Fund, which manages the valley’s birdwatching park. (Ben Sales/JTA)


Shai Agmon is director of the Hula Valley Avian Research Center for Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael-Jewish National Fund, which manages the valley’s birdwatching park. (Ben Sales/JTA)

Shai Agmon is director of the Hula Valley Avian Research Center for Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael-Jewish National Fund, which manages the valley’s birdwatching park. (Ben Sales/JTA)


Shai Agmon is director of the Hula Valley Avian Research Center for Keren Kayemeth L’Yisrael-Jewish National Fund, which manages the valley’s bird-watching park. (Ben Sales/JTA)Soon, rather than just pass through the valley, 30,000 cranes stayed there every winter, feasting on the crops and sleeping perched in an artificial lake. Now, to protect the farmers’ livelihood, the government feeds the cranes up to eight tons of corn a day.

KKL-JNF is setting up six bird-watching parks throughout Israel in an effort to draw bird-watchers to sites across the country. Every year the society holds Champions of the Flyway in Eilat, in which international teams compete to see how many different species they can spot in one day.

“We’re not going to manage nature,” said Yaron Charka, KKL-JNF’s chief ornithologist. “The most important thing is that there will be interesting birds that come here naturally.”

Some of Israel’s bird-watchers have done more than just look at the winged creatures. Yossi Leshem, director of the Israel-based International Center for the Study of Bird Migration, set up a radar system that detects bird migration patterns to avoid crashes that could down Air Force jets. Leshem pioneered the use of mice-eating birds like kestrels and barn owls as a means of pest control. And he has helped Israeli schoolchildren learn geography by studying bird migration patterns.

“What’s important to me is to preserve nature,” Leshem said. “So I looked for some applied area that’s not just theoretical.”

Some bird-watchers, however, prefer Israeli activists to leave the country’s avian ecosystem as is. Clive Bramham, an avid American bird-watcher who lives in Norway, has visited Israel twice — in 2002 and a decade later. The first visit, with less infrastructure and fewer crowds, was more pleasant.

“You want access, but you want the real experience,” Bramham said. “The Hula was exciting, [but] I would not go there on a Saturday. I would not do that again. There’s more traffic on the weekend. If you really want to see the birds, get there early.”

Arutz Sheva

The US forced Israel out of Gaza and Northern Shomron in 2005

The rabbi who knew the real reason for Arik Sharon’s “Disengagement”

Reflections on the passing of Rabbi Shaar-Yashuv HaKohen zt”l: The Rabbi who heard the real reason Arik Sharon retreated from Gaza and expelled the Jewish communities from Katif and Northern Shomron.

David Bedein, 06/09/16

The death of the Chief Rabbi Emeritus of Haifa, Rabbi Shaar-Yashuv Cohen, brings to mind the most stirring episodes in the history of the modern State of Israel.

Rav Shaar-Yashuv Cohen, wounded in the battle for the Old City in Jerusalem, was the last Jewish civilian who left the Old City as it fell, carried on a stretcher into captivity…And Rav Shaar-Yashuv Cohen, who served as the deputy Mayor of Jerusalem in 1967, was given the honor of being the first civilian allowed to enter the Old City in Jerusalem at the time of its liberation during the six day war.

Yet there is yet another mission to Jerusalem which was little known.

In August, 2005, Rabbi Shaar-Yashuv Cohen traveled to Jerusalem to attempt a last minute plea for then Prime Minister Ariiel (Arik) Sharon to reconsider his plan to retreat from Gush Katif, which involved Israel’s obliteration of the 21 Jewish communities there, including 325 thriving Jewish farms and 86 synagogues and Jewish study centers. Rav Shaar-Yashuv Cohen told me at the time that the rapport between Arik Sharon and himself had lasted since his days of captivity in the 1948 war and that Rav Shaar-Yashuv was the only Rabbi who was ready to speak with him at the time.

Sharon gave a clear answer to the rabbi: “This is what the US is demanding that I do and I must do it.”

It did not matter that half of the 9,000 Jews who live in Gush Katif had nowhere to go, and that their relocation plans were still up in the air.

It did not matter that the Israeli government cannot offer more than two containers to each family to help them remove their possessions.

It did not seem to matter that the experts in Israel’s security establishment are warning that the result of Israel’s hasty retreat will be the creation of a new Islamic terror base.

Rav Shaar-Yashuv Cohen heard Sharon making it clear that he was under pressure from the US government and that is that, and that the myth of an autonomous Israeli policy in this regard had nothing to do with reality.

Indeed, one of the common assumptions was that the Sharon government’s plan to expel Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, and unilaterally hand the area over to an independent Palestinian entity, had been an entirely autonomous Israeli decision.

But the US government was behind it all along.

In meetings with concerned American citizens, Danny Ayalon, Israeli ambassador to the US at the time, clearly stated that Sharon’s Retreat Plan was part of an overall Israeli-American agreement.

In late June, 2005, Ayalon met with representatives of the Orthodox Union, one of the largest contingents of American Orthodox Jews, and told them clearly that “Prime Minister Sharon is left with no choice. He is doing exactly what the US expects him to do.”

In an interview with the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, published on June 22nd, 2005, Ayalon reversed earlier Israeli government statements, saying that Israel does not expect the Palestinian Authority (PA) to dismantle terrorist infrastructure until after the planned expulsion. He mentioned that ending terrorism and anti-Israel incitement had been conditions Israel had demanded from the PA before carrying out the plan; however, Ayalon indicated that the agreement with the US was more important than an agreement with the PA.

The Israeli ambassador said, “Disengagement has to be viewed in the context of Israel-United States relations…. This pullout did not follow an agreement with the Palestinians, but it followed something which is much more important, an agreement with the United States. Disengagement is something that creates a common agenda between us and the United States.”

In the final interview given by Benyamin Netanyahu before his resignation from the Sharon government, he indicated that the current policy pursued by the government of Israel should be perceived as a threat to the security interests of the US and of all Western countries, since it created a terror base in Gaza, and since the Palestinian Authority incorporated the Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations instead of dismantling them.

Yet, the directive of the US State Department remained unaltered: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon must dismantle and withdraw any and all Israeli presence from every Jewish community in the Katif district of Gaza by mid-August.

When Israel did go ahead with the retreat of the IDF and the expulsion of the Jewish communities from Katif and the Northern Shomron, Rav Shaar-Yashuv Cohen told me that he wanted to tell the world that this policy was implemented as a the result of a clear dictate to Arik Sharon issued by the government of the United States. This was not meant as rationalization for Sharon’s policy.

Few people want to hear the warnings of Rav Shaar-Yashuv Cohen that Israeli policy is often dictated from Washington.


Holiness and Hi-tech

Holiness and hi-tech, do they go together? Is there a conflict between working out in the gym and learning Torah? What about fashionable clothes and makeup? Can they be part of the Torah-observant lifestyle?
By: Rabbi Lazer Brody Update date: 12/18/2017


Holiness and hi-tech, do they go together? Is there a conflict between working out in the gym and learning Torah? What about fashionable clothes and makeup? Can they be part of the Torah-observant lifestyle?


You might not realize it, but these questions are over 22 centuries old. They’re also the underlying historical theme of the relationship between ancient Greece and ancient Israel, Hellenism, Chanuka and assimilation. Uncovering this knowledge is vital to understanding current events and particularly contemporary Jewish history as well as what’s going on in Israel and the Diaspora.


The Maccabees’ battle against Hellenism and assimilation was not merely a historical event of 22 centuries ago. It’s still going on today. Hellenism, with its quest for wisdom and beauty, is a very powerful magnet. Here’s how:

Noah had three sons – Shem, Ham and Yephet. He cursed Ham for acting in gross disrespect to him. He blessed Shem and Yephet who cooperated with one another in preserving his dignity. He blessed the G-d of Shem, thereby paving the way to Torah for Shem’s offspring, Abraham and the Jews. He blessed Yephet with beauty and aesthetics, charting the cultural course for Yephet’s offspring, the Greeks. Ever since, the Jews have had an affinity for the Greeks and Greek culture.


Of the kingdoms that constitute the four Diasporas that Daniel alludes to in his prophecy, the Babylonian and Persian kingdoms symbolize lust, while Rome, with its repeated historical slaughter of the Jews (crusades, inquisition and the Holocaust to name a few) symbolize evil and cruelty. Yet, Greece stands for wisdom and beauty – beauty of thought and beauty of body. Greek thought and culture is very appealing to Israel. For that reason, the Greek Diaspora posed the greatest threat to Jewish continuity.


Like Shem, Yephet was a thinker. In the same generation that Mordechai the Tzaddik and Ezra the Scribe lived, so did Aristotle. To put things into historical perspective, Aristotle lived from 384-322 BCE, or 3377-3439 in the Hebrew calendar. The miracle of Purim happened in 3405, when Aristotle was 28 years old and already Plato’s prime disciple and beacon of Greek philosophy. 3405 was a special year for it was also the year when Alexander the Great was born. Alexander lived from 356-322 BCE, or 3405-3438 in the Hebrew calendar. Alexander died a year after Aristotle. Ten years later, in 3448, Shimon Hatzaddik, the High Priest and last remnant of the Men of the Great Assembly, died, ending the era of the Prophets and beginning the era of the Tannaim.


The Second Holy Temple was rebuilt in 3408, three years after the miracle of Purim.


History juxtaposes Aristotle and Alexander on the Greek side with Mordechai the Tzaddik and Shimon the Tzaddik on the Hebrew, or Torah side. They are quite intertwined. Aristotle advised and exchanged letters with Alexander. Alexander was profoundly influenced by Shimon. Yet here, we learn the difference between the two philosophies and their ideological leaders.


We must keep in mind the monumental difference between Greek and Torah philosophy, which reflect Greece’s goal and Israel’s goal. Whereas the Greeks honor wisdom, beauty and hi-tech, Israel honors proximity to Hashem and therefore holiness and emuna which accomplish that objective. In Greek philosophy, the world is not happenstance – there is a Creator who set it into motion but, according to their misconceptions, is no longer involved in its direction and function. Israel believes in the Creator and his constant Divine Providence that controls everything – past, present and future.


According to the Greek philosophers, there is no connection between wisdom, beauty and achievement and character refinement. In Greek eyes, a PhD in physics, multi-millionaire startup-company genius or an Olympic gold medalist are most laudable, even though they might act like a vulgar beasts. In fact, tradition tells of Aristotle, who was once seen in a very non-complimentary situation by his pupils. They asked, “Our master, Aristotle, is that you?”


Aristotle replied, “In the academy, I’m Aristotle; out here in the gutter, I’m just having a good time.” Such a story is an anathema to Judaism, whose sages are not only wise men but impeccably refined and holy as well. No wonder Shimon the High Priest earned the title of “Tzaddik”, “the righteous”, attesting to his holy spirit and his impeccable humility and personal holiness.


Alexander in fact nullified himself to Shimon Hatzaddik. The Gemara in Tractate Yoma 69a tells that Alexander, upon receiving evil counsel from the Cutim (Samaritans), was on his way to destroy the Jews and their Holy Temple because of the blood libel that the Jews had revolted against him. Shimon HaTzaddik found out about the Samaritans’ evil slander. He dressed up in his ritual High Priest garments and took a group of torch-carrying priests who walked all night long to meet Alexander. The first rays of dawn silhouetted the Cohanim; the rising sun made the image of Shimon Hatzaddik glimmer. As they approached the Greeks and Alexander saw the High Priest, he stepped from his royal carriage and prostrated himself before him. The Greek officers were aghast that their commander and king, conqueror of the world, would bow down to a Jew. Alexander told them that Shimon HaTzaddik’s image was that which appeared before him in a dream every time before engaging in a victorious battle.


Alexander asked that the Jews place his statue in the Holy Temple. Shimon Hatzaddik explained to him that this is forbidden according to Torah. Instead, he named every Jewish baby boy born that year Alexander in the king’s honor. That’s why, to this day, Alexander is a popular name among Jews.


Benevolent and respectful of Torah and of the tzaddik of the generation, Alexander made Greek culture very popular in Israel. Yet, when he died in 3408 in the Hebrew calendar, Greek culture became less and less subservient to Torah and Hellenism took over.


As Hellenism rose, Torah and holiness declined. In the course of the next 170 years until the Hasmonean revolt and the miracle of Chanukah in 3622 (139 BCE), over 90% of the Jewish population had become Hellenists. With Hashem’s mercy, Mattathias son of Yochanan the High Priest and his five sons stopped the tide of Hellenism and assimilation.


There’s a fine line between holiness and hi-tech. As long as hi-tech, the gym and beauty are subservient to Torah, they enhance Torah. But, as soon as they become a goal unto themselves, they become Hellenism.


We are still fighting the battle of Chanukah and Hellenism today, where so much of our population has detached hi-tech, athletics and beauty from holiness, making them an end on their own. May Hashem give us the courage to illuminate this philosophical darkness of assimilation, and spread the light of emuna, for our future depends on it.


Happy Chanukah!


An IDF soldier’s description of experience in Gaza

Orignially From Facebook post now on

Matan Barad May 27 [2018] at 11:16pm

Worth the reading, any questions are welcome.


A place with so much meaning.

Words cannot describe the situations my comrades and I have been through.

The first time we got to the border we couldn’t imagine how the next 4 months would be like.

The first thing my officer told us when we started duty is that “the fence is a metaphor… only where the IDF is, is there a border”.

We couldn’t imagine how right he was.

In the past 4 months, my unit took control over the border, it was at this time the most difficult border in Israel.

Israel Independence Day, “Yom Nakba”, prisoner day, USA opening the Embassy in Jerusalem.

You know what was the hardest part of all this??

It’s not the fact we didn’t take off our shoes the past week nor shower. Not the fact we didn’t talk to our friends and family the past week. It’s not the fact we sleep in average 4 hours a night.

Let’s not talk about when was the last time we went home.

It was the fact we did all of this, and at the end of the week, we saw in the media only criticism, on how we kill Innocent Palestinians.

Well, I wanna put things straight. (Since I’m actually here)

Have you ever seen 4,000 people running towards you full of hate and yelling “Allah Akhbar”? Have you ever seen 4,000 people men woman and kids full of hate and anger?

Can a knife kill? A Molotov cocktail? Fire kites? Bomb? AK47?

Well, that’s a daily threat on the border.

My friends and I felt all the things above.

We SAW 4000 people run to the fence, WE have been shot at, WE saw a bomb explode that was meant for us, WE saw people run towards us with knives and axes meant to KILL us.

The feeling that goes through your body after all this is indescribable.

We have the right to defend our people, family, friends. We know if they pass us they are going for them.

Our last resort is to shoot, we first send papers describing we don’t want this, we send smelly bombs to keep them away. No country in the world does that.

After all this, they keep coming… we shoot.

Every shot you take needs to get approved by 2 different people. Every shot that you take is written down and checked by officials.

The first rule as a sniper is to never close your eyes so you won’t miss a thing.

Sometimes you see things you will never forget.

All in all, I can assure you at the end of this tour we as a unit don’t regret a shot we took.

Every shot we took was to protect the people we love.

And we did it with a smile,

It was for us,

Our families,

Our friends,

Our country.


Elder of Ziyon logo

Elder of Ziyon logo


Should We Carpet Bomb Gaza?

July 25, 2018

“Spray the suckers. Carpet bomb the whole damn place,” someone is bound to say in every conversation regarding the relentless terror emanating from Gaza toward Israel. After all, we’ve already been accused of carpet bombing Gaza. So why not actually do so?…

But when challenged on the idea of carpet bombing Gaza, the inevitable question always follows, “Do you have a better solution?”
Alternatively, folks will get passionate and raise their voices, “How many soldiers and civilians have to die before we get serious?” they will say. “How many crops must be burnt? How many animals killed? And what of our ecosystem?”




These are questions for which no one has answers, least of all this writer, who has a soldier son and children and grandchildren in Netivot, in the South. This is the predicament in which we find ourselves after the Expulsion, Ariel Sharon’s “Disengagement” plan. Sharon threw the Jews out of their homes to take attention away from his sons’ legal issues. He made the 10,000 Jews he expelled from Gaza and Samaria the sacrificial lamb for his personal woes. This is in spite of campaign promises in which he swore he would never give Gaza away—despite citizens’ referendums in which the people overwhelmingly voted against the move.

My belief is that Sharon is roasting on a spit in Hell like a rotisserie chicken for the Expulsion and the resulting situation in which we now find ourselves. It’s like a modern day Noah’s Ark story, where the world that was created in Gaza in the wake of the Jews’ expulsion is just too ugly, too rotten with terror and evil to exist, and so it must be destroyed in toto. Except that God promised He would never do that again: would never destroy a world.

זה קורה ממש עכשיו, מול מכללת ספיר, בצומת שער הנגב.
ממשלת ישראל, למה אתם מחכים בדיוק? לנפגעים בנפש?
Avigdor Liberman – אביגדור ליברמן, אזרחי ישראל מחכים שתשים סוף לטירוף הזה.

And so it is up to Israel, if it is to be done at all.
But we simply can’t.
So we’re caught between a rock and the hard place of innocent civilian pawns and public opinion. A purgatory, if you will, to Sharon’s Hell.

Ad matai? The grandmother of Aviv Levi, Hy"d, giving her baby's baby a final salute. I can only imagine that she was once a soldier herself, praying that her children would never see war. Bs"d, may we once and for all become a nation, proud and strong and resolute, that can promise her children that this will be the last war.

Ad matai? The grandmother of Aviv Levi, Hy”d, giving her baby’s baby a final salute. I can only imagine that she was once a soldier herself, praying that her children would never see war. Bs”d, may we once and for all become a nation, proud and strong and resolute, that can promise her children that this will be the last war.

JerusalemCats Comments:

Israel needs to put Gaza under a Medieval Siege. Put the Hamas leadership’s heads on Pikes. Hang all the Pallywood Actors and Staff en mass along with all the Leftist Journalist and Reporters. Just dip then in Wax or Plastic and have them hanging around the border crossings. Bomb and Incinerate all Hamas, UN and EU facilities preferable with the staff inside. Then play Bagpipes and War Drums 24/7. To top it off Play Monty Python.

The Massed Pipes and Drums – Edinburgh Military Tattoo – BBC One

Kodo – “O-Daiko” – HD (japanese drummers – Taiko – tambours géants Japon)

comments Elder of Ziyon


Why can’t Israel do what the Americans, British and Allies did to Nazi Germany during World War ll? Israel is dealing with Islamo-fasicst Nazis. All is fair in Love and War so send them to hell. Treat the Gazan Civilian like the Allies treated Nazi German Civilians.


Perfect comparison. After WWII, millions were relocated as the lines were set, Poles to Poland, Germans to Germany. That has kept the general peace since.

Israel, after liberating J/S, Gaza, Sinai, Golan, the Dreamers allowed begged the defeated and humiliated arabs to remain and seethe. That little bit of idealistic wishful thinking guaranteed decades of war.

echos of the mt’s

You also don’t do ‘carpet bombing’ either. Huge waste of resources. Instead you follow a modern version of the recipe the RAF’s Bomber Command developed to set cities on fire:

We start off with a barrage of medium-size general purpose bombs to drive people into their shelters. (if you’re in the know about what’s coming, start running now and don’t stop). Next comes very heavy bombs, heavier the better, with delayed-action fuses to crush the water mains and (hopefully) break open some of the shelters. After that comes a barrage of small HE bombs with a mix of instant-acting fuses to tear open the roofs, break in windows and generally let the incendiary stuff into the buildings. Some of these bombs have delayed-action or booby-trap fuses to kill the UXB teams.

Then we have the incendiaries. White phosphorus to burn things that don’t want to burn including people, metal, usually magnesium to really set things going nicely and napalm to spread the fires as quickly as possible. Ideally, one wants the fired to spread faster than people can run (hence the need to run early and run fast.

Now, next phase is lots and lots of little anti-personnel bombs to kill the firefighters and any other emergency personnel. Cluster bombs are great for this.

Now we have the blaze going nicely, lots more medium-sized bombs (not big ones, they might blow the fires out) to open up buildings. Finally, after a bit of a delay, lots more little bombs to get the emergency people as they try to get in to help.

As I said, the RAF had this done pat. Like in Dresden, the main force of bombers hit 3 hours after the first group started the fires. In the chaos, the rescue crews never heard the air raid sirens or the planes 1.8 kilotons of bombs.


That sounds wonderful. Can we do the same to CNN, BBC, and The New York Times?

If NATO can kill journalist why can’t Israel? Let’s start with the New York Times.
In the Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,…
the case is reviewed. In short:

On 23 April 1999, at 0220, NATO intentionally bombed the central studio of the RTS (state-owned) broadcasting corporation at 1 Aberdareva Street in the centre of Belgrade. The missiles hit the entrance area, which caved in at the place where the Aberdareva Street building was connected to the Takovska Street building. While there is some doubt over exact casualty figures, between 10 and 17 people are estimated to have been killed.

NATO intentionally bombed the Radio and TV station and the persons killed or injured were civilians. The questions are: was the station a legitimate military objective and; if it was, were the civilian casualties disproportionate to the military advantage gained by the attack? …. Insofar as the attack actually was aimed at disrupting the communications network, it was legally acceptable.

Assuming the station was a legitimate objective, the civilian casualties were unfortunately high but do not appear to be clearly disproportionate…
Assuming the RTS building to be a legitimate military target, it appeared that NATO realised that attacking the RTS building would only interrupt broadcasting for a brief period….

On the basis of the above analysis and on the information currently available to it, the committee recommends that the OTP not commence an investigation related to the bombing of the Serbian TV and Radio Station.

The prosecutor said that there was no reason to prosecute this as a war crime, as the attack on a broadcasting station that killed 16 (according to later reports) was not disproportionate.

Law Of Armed Conflict (LOAC) condones reprisals. Look it up. Every rocket Hamas fires at you, every terror tunnel they dig, demands a reprisal.

This has already been asked and answered. Stop electricity and water to the Gaza strip. Only food gets there. Strike hospitals and mosques when they are used in a military fashion. It’s not rocket science. And guess what? The world will whine, but after a few weeks, no one will care. Just like the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, the Arabs have no option but to accept it.





Open Orthodoxy Disaster


Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz August 01, 2018

The Washington Post recently reported on breaking news: “Taking on positions as clergy in a tradition where women have never been clergy before, they have adopted a variety of titles. Some call themselves rosh kehilah, meaning ‘head of the community.’ Some go by maharat. Rabbanit. Rabba. And even rabbi.”

In case you didn’t get it, they explained, “That’s right. There are female rabbis now in Orthodox Judaism. Not many, to be sure. Since Rabbi Avi Weiss privately ordained Rabba Sara Hurwitz in 2009 and declared her the first female Orthodox clergywoman – then founded a school, Yeshivat Maharat, to train more – his school has ordained 21 women, and others have been ordained privately. That’s tiny compared with the 1,000 Orthodox rabbis in the global Rabbinical Council of America, which refuses admission to women. But this small group of women is becoming far more significant in Orthodox Jewish life. Women lead synagogues now in New York and in Massachusetts.”

Many of you who are reading this article view this as a joke and wonder why in this newspaper we spend so much space and ink reporting on the advances that Open Orthodoxy is making across the country.

One of the reasons is because this disaster is coming to a town near you, before you know it. Many sit comfortably in their cocoons, viewing themselves and their communities as impervious to the perversions of Open Orthodoxy and other deviant groups.

Many see themselves as so firmly entrenched that nothing can influence them and negatively impact the strength of their community. But then, when Open Orthodoxy comes to town, people gather in despair, wondering how to prevent their community from falling prey to the so-called progressives who sell a watered-down version of halacha to good people who don’t know better. Being aware of the threat and properly educating those who are searching can prevent much pain and loss.

Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter, an assistant clergy member at Beth Sholom Congregation in Potomac, Maryland, just announced that she is moving to Philadelphia to open a new shul there. Of course, it will be Orthodox. She got a grant from a new fund that was established to support female-friendly Orthodox synagogues. So, while we are sitting around ignoring the growing problem, the other side is ramping up their efforts at promoting their feel-good agenda.

She is not the only one. The Post cites the examples of Rabbi Lila Kagedan, who leads the Walnut Street Synagogue in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and Rabbanit Adena Berkowitz, who started Kol HaNeshamah in New York.

The Post says that Fruchter “chose Philadelphia because the local Orthodox community is growing.” In other words, people in Philadelphia are returning to Orthodoxy after having recognized that Conservative and Reform Jewry are vapid and fail to provide serious religious fulfillment.

So, this woman and others like her come along and take advantage of these serious people who seek to observe Torah and mitzvos, selling a story that by following them, they can have the best of all worlds. They sell themselves as halachically Orthodox. No, I am not making that up. Fruchter herself says it.

“I assure them it’s going to be traditional, halachic: fully in line with Jewish law in terms of Modern Orthodox understanding,” Fruchter said.


Who, you wonder, pays for this? The article answers your question. “Her synagogue is funded by Start-Up Shul, a new organization aiming to create gender-inclusive Orthodox synagogues. In the model of Christian church-planting efforts, said Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld (the leader of Washington’s Ohev Sholom and a co-founder of Start-Up Shul), the organization will fund two synagogues this year and hopes to increase to four or five new synagogues per year in the future.

“We want to support entrepreneurial rabbis – maharats, rabbanits, whatever they call themselves – who are going to create a synagogue supportive of women in leadership positions in the clergy,” said Herzfeld. “Without question, most Orthodox Jews are absolutely ready. Her synagogue is going to be bursting through the roof within five years,” he predicted. “She’s such a talent. People are going to be coming from all over Philadelphia just to be taught by her.”

Who is Herzfeld? Why, he is the Orthodox rabbinic leader of a shul where females are employed as clergy. He formed the Beltway Vaad, an Open Orthodox group of male and female clergy who are involved in conversions and kosher supervision, among other things. Along with Maharat Friedman, he runs DC Kosher, which endorses local gentile vegan and vegetarian restaurants through random checks by volunteer mashgichim.

His shul is Orthodox, of course. In fact, it is a member of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, a.k.a. the Orthodox Union or the OU. Though in 2013 it was the first shul to hire a maharat, the synagogue organization has not yet revoked the shul’s membership. The article says that “Herzfeld believes most Orthodox Jews don’t care” about having women rabbis in Orthodox shuls.

If you do care, he doesn’t care about you and people like you. He funds start-up Orthodox shuls such as Fruchter’s and will continue to push the envelope until Open Orthodox innovations become acceptable.

The article reports: “Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman said that when she became the spiritual leader of New York’s Kehilat Orach Eliezer – which chose to hire her after considering male rabbis for the position – people asked members of her synagogue if they were willing to attend a shul with a female leader. But once these skeptics attended a service themselves, they were often persuaded.

“‘When I initially did some weddings, people said, ‘What is going on here?’ When people saw, ‘Hey, this is halachic,’ they had to see it for themselves. . . . They saw this is a halachic service. ‘So she speaks. So she gives advice. So she gives the leadership. Now I understand. This is something that doesn’t hurt my sensibilities,’ said Najman. Now the leader of the Kehilah in Riverdale, Najman says the number of male Orthodox rabbis who accept her as a peer has gone from a ‘handful’ to ‘hundreds.’”

The article quotes Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, a “leading Orthodox feminist.”

“‘Time is a big deal. I think change takes time,’ said Weiss-Greenberg. ‘The more that you meet these women, you hear their Torah, you see them responding to crisis and simply being there, you realize what we could be losing out on.’”

Weiss-Greenberg “described female Orthodox clergy who ministered to victims’ families in Las Vegas after the mass shooting there and who joined in Black Lives Matter marches. Young children, she said, will grow up knowing only this model of Orthodox Judaism. ‘That’s exciting. In general, the notion of all this being normalized is extremely heartening,’ she said. ‘I did not think the landscape would be what it is today 20 years ago.’”

Orthodoxy has always been lacking because it did not have clergy who marched in BLM rallies, these people would have you believe. Now, thanks to these courageous new rabbis, that void is being filled.

Orthodox is no longer not normal, they’ll tell you, because they are with it and progressive. Why, they are even in sync with the most aggressive (anti-Semitic) anti-establishment anarchists.

We can either laugh or cry, though perhaps we should be doing the latter.

We learn the parshiyos of Devorim in which Moshe Rabbeinu admonishes the Jewish people prior to his death, as they stand at the doorstep of Eretz Yisroel. In this week’s parsha of Eikev, we read how Moshe Rabbeinu told the nation that they would be blessed if they would follow Hashem’s mitzvos. He warned them not to fear the nations around them and not to succumb to their fallacious ways and observances.

“Destroy their idols and don’t be desirous of their gold and silver, for then you will take them for yourself and Hashem despises them. Do not bring their iniquity into your home, for you will then be detested. Despise it, for it is abominable” (Devorim 7:25-26).

Moshe was saying not to adopt their idols, physical, spiritual and mental. Don’t adopt their practices and culture for yourselves, for if you do, Hashem will despise you.

Don’t attempt to follow the zeitgeist of your neighbors if it is not in keeping with Jewish custom, for it will lead you down the wrong path. And don’t compromise on time-honored values to conform with what you believe are the mores of the day, for doing so will lead you away from the practices Hashem, your G-d, has commanded you to follow.

Moshe further warns not to forget Hashem and cut observance of His mitzvos, mishpotim and chukim (Devorim 8:13).

The pesukim in chapter 8 further admonish the people, stating that should they become wealthy, they dare not become haughty and forget everything Hashem has done for them, for man does not live on bread alone; he exists by following the word of Hashem. If you think that you have earned your many possessions by yourself, through your own intelligence and hard work, you will be smitten by Hashem for not following His commandments.

We must not imagine that the Torah is open to modern day interpretations that emanate from secular theologians and common practice, for by doing so we are introducing abomination into our homes and synagogues. The same philosophy that actively pursues compromises on gender inclusion in the synagogue will also come to welcome and accommodate compromises and actions that the Torah specifically terms abominations.

For just as the Torah foretold, what began as small cracks and minor adjustments in observance has snowballed into what can only be viewed as a new form of religion, unrelated to the Torah and Orthodoxy.

The message of the parsha is direct to us as individuals as well, not only to leaders, groups and communities. Though we are in a relaxed period of the year, the words of this week’s parsha are directed to all and deserve to be studied seriously, lest we ourselves fall off the proper track.

It is easy to become enamored with our own abilities and project our successes as personal victories we earned. One who fails to work on self-improvement can easily become enamored with himself, leading not only to social problems, but deeply religious ones as well. Humility coupled with emunah and bitachon goes a long way toward making us better, healthier, and happier.

There is no better time to start than now.


2019 From A Fourth Turning Persepctive

Tyler Durden 01January2019

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

“An impasse over the federal budget reaches a stalemate. The president and Congress both refuse to back down, triggering a near-total government shutdown. The president declares emergency powers. Congress rescinds his authority. Dollar and bond prices plummet. The president threatens to stop Social Security checks. Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling. Default looms. Wall Street panics.”

The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe


Strauss and Howe wrote their book in 1996. They were not trying to be prophets of doom, but observers of history able to connect events through human life cycles of 80 or so years. Using critical thinking skills and identifying the most likely triggers for crisis: debt, civic decay, and global disorder, they were able to anticipate scenarios which could drive the next crisis, which they warned would arrive in the mid-2000 decade. The scenario described above is fairly close to the current situation, driven by the showdown between Trump and the Democrats regarding the border wall.

It has not reached the stage where all hell breaks loose, but if it extends until the end of January and food stamp money is not distributed to 40 million people (mostly in urban ghettos) all bets are off. The likelihood of this scenario is small, but there are numerous potential triggers which could still make 2019 go down in history as a year to remember.

As we enter the eleventh year of this Fourth Turning, the fourth Crisis period in U.S. history, the mood of U.S. citizens and citizens around the globe continues to darken. Fourth Turnings are driven by generational configuration and the emotional reaction to events by the Prophet generation leaders, Nomad generation spearheads, and Hero generation cannon fodder.

As we close out this year, stock markets are gyrating wildly, central bankers are trying to reverse their nine years of interventionist strategies to sustain the establishment, civil chaos spreads across the European continent, saber rattling between the U.S., Russia and China increases, the animosity between political parties reaches new heights, the Deep State relentlessly pursues their Mueller led coup against Trump, mega-social media corporations tighten their grip on free speech by silencing conservatives, leftists push their socialist, open borders, normalizing degeneracy agenda, and global recession gains momentum as trade declines and global debt reaches unserviceable levels.

Examining the three prior Fourth Turnings may give us a window into where we stand and what may happen in the coming year. We are in the tenth year of this Crisis, with the eleven-year anniversary slated for September 2019. The American Revolution Crisis was catalyzed in 1773 when the Boston Tea Party forever changed the colonial mood towards revolution. After eight years of struggle and desperate measures, the climax was reached with the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781.

But there was still thirteen more years of crisis as the new states forged a Constitution, elected Washington its first president, and he withstood the Jacobins, put down the Whiskey Rebellion and finalized a treaty with England. In year ten of the crisis, two years past the climax, the Treaty of Paris was signed, British troops left the continent, and Washington resigned as commander of American troops. The Articles of Confederation had been ratified in 1781 and remained in place until succeeded by the U.S. Constitution in 1789.

There was no tenth or eleventh year of the Civil War Crisis. Lincoln’s election with only 40% of the popular vote, prompting the attack on Fort Sumpter, and subsequent secession of Southern states, triggered the bloodiest conflict in world history, with 8% of all white men aged 13 to 43 killed in the war, including 6% in the North and 18% in the South. The acceleration of this Fourth Turning into a five-year window from 1860 to 1865 was not a positive development.

The extreme intensity of the conflict resulted in 700,000 tragic deaths. The catalyst occurred five years too soon and the resolution a generation too soon. A more extended crisis may have allowed tempers to moderate and the conflict to end in a more constructive manner. Instead, with the surrender at Appomattox and assassination of Lincoln, the resolution felt more like a defeat than a victory. Turmoil continued for at least a decade after the resolution.

The Great Depression/World War II Crisis saw its tenth and eleventh years as the most ominous, dangerous and destructive for Great Britain, as they bore the brunt of the German onslaught. 1939 saw the Nazi invasion of Poland and the official start of World War II. In May of 1940 Germany launched its blitzkrieg offensive through Holland and Belgium, defeating the French and British forces in a matter of weeks. Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister, replaced by Churchill, as France surrendered in late June.

The Battle of Britain raged from July through October as Hitler relentlessly bombed England, trying to force their surrender. Germany, Italy and Japan signed the Tripartite pact in September, setting the stage for the U.S. eventual participation in the war. Einstein informed FDR of the potential for an atomic bomb during 1939 and the Manhattan Project was born. The climax of the crisis occurred with the successful D-Day invasion. The dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan and successful demobilization of military forces marked the end of the crisis.

History may not repeat, but human nature never changes, so the 80-year cycles of manmade crisis will repeat. The length of time from the American Revolution climax in 1781 until the Civil War climax in 1863 was 82 years. The next climax in 1944 was 81 years after the Civil War climax. Therefore, we can expect a climax to this current Crisis sometime in the 2025 range. The question is what events will transpire between 2019 and 2025 before a climax is reached.

Based upon history, the resolution will not be based on compromise, civility, reason, or peaceful means. The combustible combination of unpayable debt, civic anarchy, and global chaos are set to detonate, creating an era of maximum darkness, death, destruction, and decisions. Making America Great Again will require personal sacrifice, dreadful choices, survival skills, intelligent decisions, and the courage to win at all costs.

The first ten years of this Crisis were the early Winter solstice period when public order began to pass its nadir. The coldest days of Winter beckon with the harshest years of the Crisis ahead. Many melancholy days lie ahead, as bitter winter winds and blizzard like conditions sweep the bleak landscape, testing the mettle of even the bravest souls. The catalyst for the Crisis was the Wall Street created global financial meltdown in 2008. The election of Trump marked the beginning of the regeneracy, with Trump as the Gray Champion.

The last two years have certainly marked a new more volatile phase of this Crisis, setting the stage for the fireworks to come. The regeneracy is less like FDR’s New Deal initiated unification of the country and more like the Lincoln regeneracy after the First Battle of Bull Run when he ordered the enlistment of a half million men to fight a like number of fellow American men. Both American factions were unified in their cause. The chain reaction of emergencies and unyielding responses will continue unabated until a final resolution is achieved.


“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies.

The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

Strauss and Howe foresaw the core elements which would surely propel the next Fourth Turning. They were plain to see for people who chose to see the world with eyes wide open. Debt, civic decay and global disorder are on center stage as we enter the fateful year of 2019. A madness seems to be gripping the nation, a melancholy realization all is not right. Everything has a chaotic feel, as financial markets are falling, politicians threaten and attack each other, government dysfunction is laid bare for all to see, Deep State snakes slither behind the scenes trying to bring down Trump, racial tensions grow, foreign governments topple, Russia and China challenge U.S. hegemony, and the global debt Ponzi scheme is entering its collapse phase.

There are no moderates, only pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions. Compromise and workable solutions to our deep-seated problems are off the table. The mood of the populace ranges from frustrated and angry to depressed and stressed. The aroma of conflict wafts through the air as battle lines are being drawn.

The initial spark of a global financial meltdown created by greedy Wall Street banks, the feckless Fed, and corrupt government officials was driven by bad debt, outright control fraud by the financial industry, captured rating agencies, easy money provided by the Wall Street owned Fed, and utter contempt for properly regulating the Wall Street cabal by the Fed and SEC.

This emergency was met by an unyielding response from the establishment, with the easiest money policies in world history, bailing out criminal bankers with taxpayer funds, increasing global debt by $80 trillion to $250 trillion (318% of global GDP), running fiscal deficits exceeding $1 trillion per year, and pretending all that debt will be repaid. Pretend and extend has been the solution.

The Deep State has taken extraordinary measures to try and retain their stranglehold on the wealth of the nation and control of the political, financial, social and media levers of society. They have utilized a combination of propaganda disguised as news, social media distractions, technological surveillance, misinformation campaigns, welfare to keep the poor sedated, and the continued issuance of debt to keep the masses satiated with consumer goods as their wealth dissipates. But the teetering edifice of debt, delusion and deception is poised to topple in 2019.


As we enter 2019, year eleven of this ongoing Crisis, you can sense the panic and distress permeating from the pores of the establishment figures and their rich shadowy benefactors trying to maintain their unseen presence behind the curtain as they pull the strings – operating as the invisible government running the show for their own benefit. It seems the unanticipated election of Trump has thrown a monkey wrench into their well- oiled pillage machine, forcing them to reveal themselves as they attempt a not so subtle coup against a sitting president.

Fourth Turnings always sweep away the existing social order in a torrent of violent upheaval and the blood of young men. But that doesn’t mean the existing establishment will give up their wealth, power and control without a fight. And the fight is underway. The volcano has erupted and the molten lava could flow in numerous pathways over the next six or so years.


“Imagine some national (and probably global) volcanic eruption, initially flowing along channels of distress that were created during the Unraveling era and further widened by the catalyst. Trying to foresee where the eruption will go once it bursts free of the channels is like trying to predict the exact fault line of an earthquake. All you know in advance is something about the molten ingredients of the climax, which could include the following:

  • Economic distress, with public debt in default, entitlement trust funds in bankruptcy, mounting poverty and unemployment, trade wars, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation (or deflation)
  • Social distress, with violence fueled by class, race, nativism, or religion and abetted by armed gangs, underground militias, and mercenaries hired by walled communities
  • Political distress, with institutional collapse, open tax revolts, one-party hegemony, major constitutional change, secessionism, authoritarianism, and altered national borders
  • Military distress, with war against terrorists or foreign regimes equipped with weapons of mass destruction”

The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

The ingredients of distress in the next phase of this Crisis could include any or all of those pondered by Strauss and Howe twenty-two years ago. I can make the case for multiple levels of distress breaking free from their channels, making 2019 as historic a year as 1939 or 1940. My prognosis for 2019 follows:

Economic Distress

Economic distress is mounting, as the machinations of the Fed, Wall Street and the U.S. government prove to be nothing more than debt financed illusions. Once the easy money spigot is turned off and the tide of zero interest debt for Wall Street and mega-corporations recedes, you realize everyone was swimming naked. The national debt grew by $1.4 trillion in 2018 during “the best economy ever”, according to Trump.

We added $12 trillion to the national debt and have generated a historically weak recovery, especially for the working class. We’ve gone nine years without recession and the longest period in U.S. history between recessions was ten years. Without the tax cut stimulus, interest rates higher, corporate profits flagging, global trade waning, and central bankers withdrawing liquidity, recession is likely in 2019 – driving deficits towards $2 trillion.

The number of zombie companies (GE, Sears, JC Penney, Chesapeake, all fracking companies) propped up by cheap junk bond debt is astronomical. National debt default is still a ways off, but a tsunami of corporate debt defaults will inundate the economy once the recession knocks the legs out from beneath this faux recovery. Corporations and consumers have never been more indebted. Stock valuations have never been higher.

An economy that begins to self destruct when interest rates approach 3% proves the “solutions” implemented by those in power did nothing for the average American, while further enriching the parasitical class pulling the strings. At this point, a specific triggering event is unnecessary to provoke the economic conflagration. The unbearable weight of unpayable debt is going to cause the structure to collapse at free fall speed, like the Twin Towers pancaking everyone in the floors below.

With a recession inevitable in 2019, we know the stock market declines 30% to 40% during recessions, on average. When a stock market is this overvalued, based solely on Fed easy money and corporate buybacks (Apple has lost $9 billion on their buybacks this year), the withdrawal of liquidity combined with recession and declining profits will knock 50% to 60% off current prices. I wonder how many middle-class 401k contributors expect this to happen. Well this will be the third time in 18 years, so you would think they’d learn by now.

Recession means job losses, consumer debt defaults, less tax revenue for the government, more wasteful spending by politicians pretending to care, soaring deficits, currency gyrations, and the potential for rising interest rates as no one will be willing or able to buy the newly issued debt. Will we have massive deflation or hyperinflation? Anything is possible in a collapse scenario. What is certain will be millions of angry Americans looking for someone to blame and politicians seeking to distract them with some foreign “threat” to their safety and security. This is when trade wars morph into real wars.

Social Distress

The social distress sweeping the country gets the majority of attention on the left-wing corporate media propaganda machines as they purposely fan the flames of divisiveness. Keeping the sheeple angry at each other keeps them distracted from the continued pillaging of the national wealth by the Deep State scum operating in plain sight. The daily war against the normals has reached new heights of hypocrisy and idiocy.

The unceasing mantra of diversity, trying to normalize the lifestyles of the mentally ill, glorifying socialism as Venezuela implodes due to socialism, promoting the climate change agenda to abscond with more taxes, and trying to force left wing agendas down the throats of white traditional family-oriented people, is on the verge of starting civil violence as we are witnessing in France. The ruling class has gone too far in accumulating the wealth of the nation through the capture of regulatory, political, financial, and communication structures. Wealth inequality arisen through fraud, deception and corruption will lead to class warfare – likely after the next financial collapse.

The current government shutdown over funding for a border wall is essentially a showdown over the racial makeup of the country and allowing unfettered access to welfare benefits to illegal invaders who will loyally illegally vote for their Democrat benefactors for eternity. Racial politics is what has kept blacks enslaved on the welfare plantation in decaying urban ghettos run by Democrat politician plantation owners.

A black uprising led by Kanye West has struck fear into the hearts of Democrats, giving them further incentive to keeping the southern border open to new Democrat voters. With gun grabbing liberal politicians attempting to disarm the deplorables in flyover country, while supporting antifa and black lives matter terrorists, and thwarting efforts to keep criminals and terrorists from illegally entering the country, a violent showdown is inevitable.

Political Distress

The political distress since the 2016 election has reached levels not seen since the Civil War Crisis period. The Deep State controllers’ next hand-picked figurehead president – Hillary Clinton – inexplicably lost the election to a NYC reality star real estate mogul who boasted about grabbing pussies and had a weakness for strippers and Playboy bunnies. Clinton’s arrogance and hubris were her downfall as the deplorables she ridiculed and a majority of white women in the country gave Trump a slim victory and drove millions of pussy-hat wearing feminazis into a rage.

College students across the land sobbed in their safe spaces and missed their Queer Theory or Pick your Gender classes. But not only were snowflakes across the land melting, but the surveillance state spooks who attempted to rig the election in Clinton’s favor went into a frenzy, as fear of their traitorous machinations being revealed forced them to begin a coup attempt against Trump. The Mueller, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Obama, Clinton reactive coup attempt is ongoing and will come to a head in 2019.

The outcome of this epic struggle between the Deep State and the non-approved upstart president could create civil war like conditions. How will Trump supporters react if they believe their leader is removed through impeachment, based on false charges? Will they take to the streets in armed insurrection? Will the police and military fire on their fellow citizens? What if Trump refuses to step down, creating a Constitutional crisis? What if he is assassinated?

On the other hand, what if Trump’s allies within the DOJ and Military present evidence of collusion against the Obama administration, Clinton and top officials in the FBI, DOJ and CIA? How would the left wingers react to military tribunals with their beloved leaders in the docket? Even if these earth-shattering events don’t come to fruition, a Democrat controlled House will thwart everything Trump attempts to accomplish as they position themselves for the 2020 presidential election. The anger and disillusionment of the masses will deepen.

Military Distress

The potential for catastrophe on the military front hasn’t been higher in decades. The linear thinking lemmings dismiss the possibility of a global conflict because they are just as obtuse as “experts” before them throughout history. Since World War II we have only experienced proxy wars where the outcomes would not change the course of world history. There have been no “total wars”, where the loser is utterly shattered and complete victory is attained.

Those who practice revisionist history act as if the previous two Fourth Turning total wars were completely predictable before they began. In 1858 no one believed a Civil War taking the lives of 700,000 Americans was just over the horizon. Exactly 80 years later in 1938, few believed a global conflict which would kill 65 million people in six years was imminent. Here we are exactly 80 years later and anyone predicting a global conflagration killing millions is declared a loon.

Every previous Fourth Turning has ended in total war with victory of the “good guys” always in doubt. Every total war has ratcheted up the level of death and destruction, as technological “advancements” enhance our war making abilities. Human nature DOES NOT change. We are not smarter, less war-like, more humanitarian, or less arrogant than our predecessors throughout history. Hubris, power, and miscalculation by egomaniacal leaders leads to war.

We know the climax of this Fourth Turning is slated for around 2025. This infers a high likelihood of a major war involving the U.S. in the foreseeable future. Will it ignite in 2019? All the combustible elements are present. The onset of a global depression, trade wars, China & Russia feeling pushed into a corner and the volatile political situation in the U.S. and EU provide a potential pathway to global conflict.

Economic indicators from China show the slowest economic growth in a quarter century. Their natives are restless. Plunging oil prices will throw the Russian economy into recession. The EU economies, led by Germany, are seizing up with the slowdown in global trade. Japan has essentially been in recession since the 1990s. The U.S. is poised for a recession in 2019.

Immigration chaos in Europe, Brexit, Ukrainian nazis provoking Russia, South China Sea territorial disputes, the Syria, Turkey, Iran, Israel ticking time bomb, Saudi anarchy, socialist South American regimes imploding, and U.S. political pandemonium have created a perfect storm of domestic and international disasters. What do low-life politicians do when faced with terrible domestic issues? They seek to distract their citizens with a foreign threat. See “Blame Russia for Everything” as an example of this tried and true propaganda technique.

Desperate politicians do desperate things to retain power. Desperate Deep State actors care not one wit for their fellow countrymen. They are willing and able to sacrifice the youth of their nation to fight wars which will further enrich themselves and their fellow traitorous benefactors. We are nothing but cannon fodder to this psychopathic scum. Putin and Xi are essentially dictators who have no fear of elections every two years. They are serious men in possession of nuclear missiles, capable of destroying the world.

Blaming them for all the ills in your own country is a fool hardy tactic. The ever- increasing saber rattling, whether in the Ukraine, Syria, South China Sea, or during antagonistic trade negotiations can easily lead to unintended consequences. All leaders have enormous egos and are prone to over-confidence and miscalculation regarding how their opponent will react. Someone is going to do something stupid and then all hell is going to break loose.

No Escape

“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.

History offers no guarantees. Obviously, things could go horribly wrong – the possibilities ranging from a nuclear exchange to incurable plagues, from terrorist anarchy to high-tech dictatorship. We should not assume that Providence will always exempt our nation from the irreversible tragedies that have overtaken so many others: not just temporary hardship, but debasement and total ruin. Losing in the next Fourth Turning could mean something incomparably worse. It could mean a lasting defeat from which our national innocence – perhaps even our nation – might never recover.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

There is no escape from the Fourth Turning. We are midway through this crisis and the existing social order retains tenuous control over the levers of finance, government and the legacy media. History tells us our society will be reshaped and transformed before this crisis resolves itself sometime between now and 2029. It would be the utmost of arrogance to believe our nation will be protected from destruction by an all-powerful God. We’ve made bad choices, deferred hard decisions, squandered our financial resources, allowed our educational system to be corrupted and valued all the wrong things.

There will be consequences. The overt last- ditch financial debt schemes concocted by the entrenched establishment, to prolong their power and control, are unraveling and a death and rebirth of the social order through a chaotic cleansing is in the offing. I believe the real fireworks will begin during 2019.

I don’t eagerly await the terrible storms headed our way. I wish we didn’t have to withstand the brutal gales of this coming winter, but we have no choice. You have to survive Winter to experience the blossoming Spring. The coming decade will try our souls and force everyone to make choices that will make a difference. The specific events are unknowable, but how we react and who we support during the events will be the decisive factor in whether this Fourth Turning is resolved in a positive way. Having it resolved in negative way could be an unimaginable tragedy.

Patrick Henry made his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech during the first American Fourth Turning. His words ring true today. We are already at war. Sides have been drawn. We are going to have to fight whether we like it or not. Our only other choice is chains and slavery. The time to choose has arrived. Welcome to 2019.

“The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry – 1775

You have a choice: Be proud of being Jewish – I am a Jew

Rabbi Lazer Brody, The End of Days-21July2015

You have a choice


On becoming un-assimilated

Rivka Bond May 6, 2016

2014 was the year I became un-assimilated. In my secular American family, Jewish culture was largely a matter of historical and literary interest (my father wrote a book on Jewish writers in America, in which he cheerfully predicted that Jews would become completely assimilated and disappear as a people). I grew up in a secular household — so determinedly so that we celebrated no holidays other than Thanksgiving. With both Sephardi and Ashkenazi ancestry, we represent a great swathe of the Diaspora, but all that came down to me was a love of reading and a smattering of Yiddish. I spent my undergraduate years trying to make sense of the Holocaust, and in 1989 I moved to the UK to pursue a career in archaeology.


I experienced no anti-Semitism in my home-town and very little at University (my parents shielded me from the fact that we had been refused a property deal because the seller did not want Jews in the neighbourhood). Even so, I was always conscious that ‘they’ could come and get me at any time, and that I needed to have a valid passport at all times, ‘just in case’. I was prepared for hatred from neo-Nazis, the KKK, and survivalists who thought I was not quite ‘white’ enough, but nothing, NOTHING could have prepared me for the explosion of hatred that came, not from my enemies, but from my friends.


It began with the Gaza war. Suddenly, my facebook pages exploded with bloody images; friends were asking me to join them in hyperbolic tirades against Israel’s ‘genocide’, its temerity for defending itself against the hail of rockets launched by extremists whose declared aim was to wipe Israel off the map. I was asked to sign petitions to throw the Israeli ambassador out of the country. I was assailed by pictures of Israel as a tentacled monster; cartoons of innocent Arab children being brutally murdered by hook-nosed assassins emblazoned with the star of David; hate speech such as I had rarely encountered in my day to day life suddenly became commonplace. A colleague said to my face what a shame it was that Jews have become the new Nazis, that we ‘failed to learn the lesson of the Holocaust’. Another colleague spoke of Israeli ‘pinkwashing’, of Israel hiding its supposed crimes by pretending to be a liberal society. Another simply turned her profile picture to a Palestinian flag, and filled her page with hate towards the Israeli ‘oppressors’.


At first I thought I just needed to explain and to educate. I embarked on countless discussions; I explained Israel’s leaflet drops, the text messages, the phone calls to clear civilians out of areas in which militants were operating, so that they would not be injured by the bombs; I quoted numbers, statistics, reports, evidence. I explained that 20% of the Israeli population are Arab Muslims, Christians, Druze and other minorities, all of whom are able to vote; I explained that Arab Muslims are on the Knesset, and have complete free speech. Universities are training Arab students (their tuition is free), and Israeli Arabs work alongside Jewish doctors in Israeli hospitals. I explained that around 800,000 Jews were evicted from Arab countries, but all were given refuge in tiny Israel; half the population of Israel are native to the Middle East and had nowhere else to go. No one was listening.


I became increasingly desperate as again and again I was met with cold hostility. To the British far-right, Jews are brown people who are trying to infiltrate white culture, corrupting white society with our greed and our mania for power and destruction. To the British left wing, Jews are white people who are oppressing innocent brown people, colonising their country, murdering their children with random abandon and stealing their organs to sell on the black market.


The attacks on Jews across Europe began to mount– but the mainstream papers were not reporting them. Synagogues were firebombed, Jews besieged in a Paris shul, and then the marches– huge swathes of people marching down the streets of European cities shouting ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas’. My friends responded with excuses for the violence, or with silence.


By Rosh Hashanah I was attending the nearest shul, a two hour drive away in Cardiff but worth every moment. I hadn’t set foot in a synagogue since my friend Lori’s Bat Mitzvah, back in the 1970s, but what a blessed relief it was to be somewhere where I belonged, and where other people were sharing my experience, and understood. An anti-Israel march through Cardiff involved, once again, cries of ‘Jews to the gas’, and an old man from shul described the horror of sitting in his shop when the mob marched by. Several of the elders in my shul escaped from this kind of hell when they were rescued by the Kindertransports. Now, it seemed to be happening again.


I wrote on facebook about the smashing up of the kosher food section in a British supermarket, the Palestinian flags flying from County Council halls, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the attacks on anyone with a kippah, the declaration that Bradford was now an ‘Israel-free zone’, the boycott of the Jewish Film Festival. My Union joined the Israel boycott, and I resigned my role as Union rep for my university department and left the Union. An old boyfriend who despised Israel began to post sneering posts about Jews– and then I saw his name on a petition for a complete boycott of Israeli academics. Other colleagues signed as well– people I had known and worked with, travelled with, excavated with.


Shots were fired into a Kosher restaurant in Paris. Shots were fired at another Kosher restaurant a few weeks later. The mainstream papers did not share this information. I shared post after post about the rising tide of anti-Semitism, but my friends responded by saying ‘well, but, it’s all about Israel’s genocide’. Or, ‘Muslims are suffering too, you know.’ One patronising friend wrote, ‘Oh Rivka, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be so terrified’. Terrified? I was not terrified– I was furious, and lonelier than I have ever felt before in my life.


Then came the Charlie Hebdo shootings. The perpetrators were on the run, and Jews across Europe knew that Jews were likely to be next. Sure enough, the getaway car was found outside a kosher restaurant– fortunately closed. Only the Jewish papers reported this. Then, a car exploded outside a synagogue. Only the Jewish papers reported this. Then, the Hypercache shootings– and a BBC reporter, interviewing a distraught Jewish lady on the street, said, ‘the Palestinians suffered hugely at Jewish hands as well’. The woman– the daughter of Polish survivors of the Holocaust– was subjected to the suggestion that ‘Jews’ are to blame for this attack, even as the attack was taking place.


The police came and spoke to our shul, and said that our security door, security fencing and CCTV were inadequate; we needed a new, bomb-proof steel door. We were reminded never to wear anything that would identify us as Jews on the street, and never to congregate outside but to move swiftly away from the building.


That weekend, I went to a vigil in memory of the dead from Charlie and the Hypercache. We were told to bring pens, to signify the importance of free speech. Journalists spoke of the importance of free expression. A local Muslim leader spoke of the importance of peace. We waited — all of the Jewish community waited — for the rabbi to speak, perhaps to say kaddish. The rabbi was brought on stage, the town dignitaries spoke about free speech — and then it was over. NOT ONE WORD was said about the Jews who died in the shootings. By this time I was crying, distraught, and I went to find the rabbi to ask him why, WHY had he remained silent? Why hadn’t he spoken?


‘I was not allowed to speak’, he said. ‘They felt it would be divisive.’


So, we had a vigil to celebrate free speech, but the Jews were not allowed to speak. He looked me in the eye, our young rabbi, and said ‘Some things never change’.


When I was in my early 20s, shortly before I moved from America to the UK, I dreamed I was in Ireland. In my dream I wandered through an ancient hall, and I thought to myself, ‘I want to live here forever, in this beautiful ancestral hall’. Then I went out into the grounds, and there was a family graveyard there. I thought to myself, ‘I want be buried in this ancestral graveyard’. Then I went back into the house.


Soon after, there was a knock on the door. I opened it, and it was my father. He said, ‘you have to come away from here’. I pleaded, I said ‘But I want to live in this ancestral hall, and be buried in the ancestral graveyard’. And he said, ‘this is not our home, and our ancestral graveyard is over there’. And he pointed — and when he pointed, I could see across Ireland, and across the channel, and halfway across the Continent to the chimneys of Auschwitz — and they were still smoking. He said, ‘that is our ancestral graveyard’, and then I understood. I stepped out of the house and I shut the door behind me, and together we walked down the road, towards the smoking chimneys of Auschwitz.


That’s the end of the dream, but it’s not the end of the story, because the fact is we DO have an ancestral home, and that ancestral home is Israel. I have never before felt this attachment so keenly; this recognition that Israel isn’t just the place we pray for at the end of each Seder. It is the ancient, ancestral home of the Jews — first mentioned in a text inscribed on an Egyptian stele in 1208 BCE. Israel is in our blood. What is more, I have come to realise just how much I love my people — my wonderful, outspoken people — so audacious that we argue with God, and wrestle with angels.


I am not ready to leave the UK, this beautiful country that has been my home for 27 years, but I am weary of people saying, ‘but criticism of Israel isn’t anti-Semitic!’ as if I am so stupid that I can’t distinguish between rational political discourse and screaming, ranting, vitriolic and misinformed hostility.


I am weary of having the same arguments: ‘but I don’t hate Jews! I deplore anti-Semitism! I just hate Israel, because…’ (then there comes a long string of misinformation– Israel is committing genocide, Jews have no history in the Middle East, Israel is an apartheid state). I have found that introducing evidence and verified information never makes the slightest difference. People accuse us of every conceivable crime, and who doesn’t hate crime?


I am weary of seeing confused and hurt young Israeli artists, who come here to perform with their classes and are subject to picket lines and people screaming at them on the streets.


I am weary of articles describing the beatings of French Jews who are attacked on the way home from synagogue; weary of photos of the bloodied faces of the Jews beaten nearly to death.


Before the 2014 war, I had about 135 Facebook friends, and these weren’t random people I met online — these were people I went to school with, to University with, friends I’d lived with, worked with, travelled with and excavated with. Out of all those people, just 9 of them — including my husband– were able to listen to what I was saying. All the rest either sneered, attacked, dismissed, belittled, disparaged or patronised — or they were persistently, resoundingly, silent.


One of my few remaining friends said to me sadly, ‘you never used to use that word, Gentile’. I explained that it was not a pejorative term, but she knew that. What made her sad was that I had never before spoken of her as if she and I were in different groups. We had always been the same — two women, two archaeologists from two different countries but with a deep and lasting friendship that knew no fundamental differences. But that is what has happened: I have become un-assimilated. I am no longer just a person — I am a Jew.

You have a choice: Return to your G-d and Homeland (Aliyah) or

Arutz Sheva

Watch: Jews Lead Israel Boycott on US Campuses

Shocked anchorman for Channel 2 TV interviews ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ activists who favor boycott on all Israeli products.

By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/19/2015, 3:59 PM
Watch: Jews Lead Israel Boycott on US Campuses

Channel 2, Israel’s most widely viewed television channel, devoted an in-depth report on its main weekend newscast to the American Jews who play a prominent role in the movement that calls to boycott Israel and end security assistance to it.


Anchorman and reporter Danny Kushmaro interviewed Candace Graff, a Harvard graduate and activist in Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), who told him: “After spending a year in Israel before I started college, I’ve never felt less Jewish. I’ve never felt less connected to my religion than when I was in Israel. Because my Jewish identity is about justice, freedom and equality.”


A shaky video showed mostly female members of JVP entering the offices of Friends of the IDF and reading out names of Palestinians killed in Gaza, reportedly in a protest against US assistance to Israel.


Graff said that she boycotts all Israeli products, including those made in Tel Aviv. “There is no separation between the Occupation and the economy of Israel,” she explained. A second activist, Brandon Davis, confirmed to a shocked Kushmaro that he has no problem with several million Palestinians entering Israel as part of the “Right of Return.”.


“You want me to gamble on my life,” Kushmaro said to Davis, and explained that the scenario he is supporting would spell the end of a Jewish Israel.


Davis was emphatic, however, and decreed: “We’re talking about the end of a Jewish supremacist Israel.”


“I don’t have anything against you,” Alice Rothschild told Kushmaro. “I feel that Israel has lost its way.” When asked why this is her business, she refers to US military aid to Israel: “I am responsible because I am funding the occupation.”


A young woman called Tali Reskin (or Roskin) spoke to Kushmaro in Boston an hour after the United Church of Christ voted to boycott products made in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, and expressed her excitement over the development. She claimed that JVP is growing fast, and that more and more Jews are supporting BDS.


The report, which is mostly in English, is embedded above.


JINO - Jews In Name Only

JINO – Jews In Name Only



Why Some American Jews Are Lobbying for the Iran Deal

August 11, 2015 Benyamin Korn


Isn’t it remarkable how much of the fight over the Iran deal is a battle between different factions in the Jewish world?

First off, one would think it would be an argument primarily over whether the agreement endangers America, not Israel. After all – as Prime Minister Netanyahu reminded us in his webcast this week – Iran still regards America as “the Great Satan.” Israel is just “the little Satan.” Sure, Iranian protesters add an occasional “Death to Israel” to their chants, but it is “Death to America” that is heard loudest and longest.


Yet on Capitol Hill, the question that seems to be occupying everyone’s mind is: how will Jewish Congressmembers vote? And on the op-ed pages and the radio talk shows, we hear mostly about AIPAC vs. J Street, and pundits speculate as to whether other Jewish organizations will support or oppose the Iran deal.


In Israel, both the governing Likud coalition and the Labor Party (“Zionist Union”) opposition movement are against the agreement. In the United States, the latest polls show the majority of American Jews oppose it. None of that seems to matter to J Street and others on the Jewish far left, who are spending millions of dollars in search of public and congressional support for the Iran agreement.


Think about it: Israeli Jews, from left to right, oppose the agreement because they recognize that it will put nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian theocracy, and it will strengthen Iran’s proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. Yet a well-funded fringe faction of American Jews is aggressively supporting the agreement. Their actions could pave the way for more rockets to hit Tel Aviv – and that’s just for starters. What motivates such Jews to take steps that will endanger the lives of their fellow-Jews?


A convincing answer is to be found in the remarkable new book, Jews Against Themselves, by Edward Alexander, just published by Transaction Books. Alexander, a professor emeritus at the University of Washington, is a combat veteran of the intra-Jewish quarrels of the past several decades, and he is one of the most skilled. In this, perhaps the most important of his many books, Professor Alexander takes on the painfully relevant topic of what he calls “the new forms taken by Jewish apostasy.”


Classic Jewish apostasy consisted of converting to Christianity or Islam, usually in order to avoid being persecuted. The modern version stems from essentially the same motive, but takes on peculiar forms. Nowadays, Jewish apostasy involves proudly brandishing one’s Jewish identity or associations in order to legitimize actions that undermine Israel – in order to avoid being blamed for unpopular Israeli actions.


There is the author and pundit Peter Beinart, whose promotion of a boycott of “settlers” is, in fact, an extension of the 65 year-old Arab economic boycott of Israel, Alexander argues: “The ‘selective’ boycott requires boycotting feta cheese coming from cows in Judea but not companies–such as have been punished by the U.S. Treasury Department–that procure military equipment used by Hezbollah to murder Jews in Nahariya and Acco.”


There are the Jewish faculty members at the Berkeley campus of the University of California who have built a cottage industry on denying that there is anti-Semitism on their campus, on other campuses, or practically anywhere else. Although Prof. Judith Butler, a leader of this group, grudgingly concedes that “those who do violence to synagogues” may be classified as anti-Semitic, she will not use that word to characterize violence against “synagogues and seders in Israel,” Alexander points out. Good grief!


There is the peripatetic Michael Lerner and his magazine Tikkun, still passionately lobbying against Israel, more than two decades after his fifteen minutes of fame as then-First Lady’s Hillary Clinton’s short-lived moral guru. (Clinton’s “Jewish Rasputin” is more like it, Alexander writes, recalling the pernicious role of the Russian Czar’s senior adviser.)


And there are the obnoxious Jewish left-wing activists who invoke their dead grandmothers as weapons in the war against Israel, claiming that if Grandma were still alive,”she would be right there with me protesting against Israeli apartheid,” as one recently wrote. Alexander comments: “Jewish mothers, one notices, rarely receive these accolades from their Israel-hating daughters; often still alive, mothers constitute too great a risk.”


Jewish supporters of the Iran deal can’t possibly think that the agreement itself makes America or Israel safer. They are driven by something else – by a desire to find favor with the current occupant of the White House, the news media, and the academic and intellectual elites whom they admire. It’s disturbing, and in some ways hard to understand. Jews Against Themselves sheds much-needed light on the subject and deserves to be on everyone’s “must reading” list.


Arutz Sheva

J Street condemns killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist

J Street president defines assassination “an attempt to sabotage the ability of the incoming Biden administration to re-enter the JCPOA”

Yoni Kempinski , Nov 29 , 2020

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued a statement in response to the assassination of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.


“The assassination of a senior Iranian nuclear scientist appears to be an attempt to sabotage the ability of the incoming Biden administration to re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)”, Ben-Ami wrote, “as well as the chances of further diplomacy, either by limiting the political leeway of Iranian officials who want to restore the deal, or by triggering an escalation leading to military confrontation”.


Ben-Ami claims that “those who oppose the JCPOA will stop at nothing to kill the agreement once and for all, despite repeatedly being proven wrong about the deal’s success in blocking Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon and the disastrous consequences of Donald Trump’s violation of the pact”.


“The facts speak for themselves”, Ben-Ami continues, “Iran now has twelve times as much enriched uranium as when Trump took office. Its forces have openly launched missiles at US troops. The Iranian people — suffering cruel sanctions in the midst of a pandemic — blame the United States rather than their own government’s hardliners for their predicament”.


The J Street president says that “thankfully, change is on the way”, but states that for President-elect Biden to have a real opportunity to restore and build on the JCPOA, “others must step up in the remaining weeks of the defeated Trump administration”.


“We call on Congress to make clear that it supports diplomacy as the primary means to address threats emanating from Iran”, Ben-Ami concludes, “beginning with the restoration of the JCPOA. We call on our allies around the world to seek calm and refrain from any actions that would further escalate tensions. We call on the Iranian government not to respond to the provocation of the assassination, and exercise restraint in anticipation of responsible, competent American leadership again being in place”.



Soros/Schwartz background includes reports of him being a collaborator working on behalf of SS Officers. The street unJews gang are clearly a modern version of the suspected Schwartz.

Dov Blair Epstein

JStreet is an empty vessel. They hate Israel. It’s a hamas supporting terrorist organization.


The Mindset of Progressive Jews and the ‘Israeli Problem’

August 12, 2015 Abraham H. Miller / – In the sweltering heat of a Chicago summer, my friend marched outside the South African consulate, protesting apartheid. Years earlier, she had protested Jim Crow in front of a Woolworths store in Chicago, failing to comprehend that her beloved big government—not Woolworths—prevented blacks from sitting at lunch counters on the other side of the Mason-Dixon line.


In the midst of the 1980 presidential election, as the nation convulsed in economic turmoil, she brought an otherwise pleasant dinner party to an end when she said the most important thing in America was fighting racial


She would ambush nearly everyone with some leftist talking point and assume a level of moral superiority when they could not respond because it hadn’t been their foremost concern.


When Israel went into Gaza to stop the random death raining from the skies on its southern cities, she awoke me from a deep sleep one night to start sobbing into the phone about the children dying in Gaza.


I reminded her that in all the exchanges between Israel and Gaza, never once did she ever express any sympathy for Israeli children, and that Gaza was ruled by a bunch of murderous thugs. She merely continued to sob, fixated on horrific pictures of dead children in Gaza, obliviously insisting that the Israeli incursion should stop immediately.


My acquaintance is the epitome of the progressive-minded Jew. With all the rallies she attended, she never once marched for Israel or even for the release of Soviet Jewry. Today, her mantra is the “occupation”—“the root cause of worldwide hostility toward Israel.” The rabbi of her north suburban congregation preaches that Israel must take risks for peace, but after the winter break from her rabbinical studies in Israel, she, unlike the rest of her class, postponed returning to Israel until Saddam’s scuds were no longer a threat—a behavior she repeatedly denies. And the congregation, like many American liberal Jews ensconced in the safety of suburbia, would never allow their children to take public transportation downtown after dark. But Israelis, they reason, should take risks for peace.


You can remind my friend that even before there was a state of Israel, there were Arab pogroms. Israel risked for peace by leaving Gaza. Diaspora Jews even put up money to buy the flourishing, lucrative greenhouses of the Israeli “occupants,” so the people of Gaza would have a thriving industry. They fell upon the greenhouses like barbarians entering Rome, mindless of their value, and vandalized them for their parts and scrap.


In Gaza, Israel unilaterally yielded land for peace, along with a housewarming present, and got Iranian Grad missiles and Qassam rocket fire in return. Not quite the bargain the liberal Jews predicted.


But liberals never give up. You can show them pictures of East Germany, the old Soviet Union, and Venezuela today and tell them communist economies do not work. And they will tell you, it just hasn’t been done right. So, forget Gaza, it just wasn’t done right. Let Israel repeat the same insanity in Judea and Samaria. Israel should leave the disputed territories, and there will be peace. As Arabs tell me, if they control the Judean hills, no plane will ever be assured of landing safely at Ben Gurion Airport. Gaza in comparison will look like a fireworks show.


At interfaith meetings, the good liberal Protestant clergy tell us that it’s all up to Israel, for Israel is the more powerful entity. And ultra-liberal Jews, like my friend, mouth this banality as if one can negotiate with oneself. I always wonder why the Presbyterians are so convinced they have the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict but have been incapable of finding a real solution in Northern Ireland, where the peace is still periodically shattered by a petrol bomb. And the Lutherans might reflect on how much their church has accomplished with ethnic minorities in Europe.


The internal communal dialogue with progressive Jews is a waste of time. They voted twice for President Barack Obama and will support his Iran nuclear deal to the last Israeli. I suspect my friend cannot name one human rights advocate who disappeared in Zimbabwe’s prisons, but rest assured that if there is a demonstration in front of the Zimbabwe consulate in Chicago for Cecil the Lion, she will be there.


Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a senior fellow with the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought (@salomoncenter on Twitter).



Ben & Jerry’s Sues Corporate Parent Unilever To Thwart Sale Of Branded Ice Cream In Jewish Quarter of Old City, Judea and Samaria

Asks judge to prevent settlement agreed to in separate case, in which Unilever agreed to sell Ben & Jerry’s business in Israel to an Israeli manufacturer-distributor, enabling sale of Ben & Jerry’s brand ice cream in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

Posted by 7July2022 at 04:30pm

Ben and Jerry

Ben and Jerry

Last week, we reported that Ben & Jerry’s owner Unilever had agreed to a new arrangement under which Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream will continue to be sold throughout Israel, including in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, and in Judea and Samaria (a/k/a the West Bank). The deal was meant to settle a lawsuit filed by the ice cream company’s Israeli distributor, after Ben & Jerry’s refused to sell its ice cream in the West Bank and the distributor (in keeping with Israeli law) refused to discriminate between Israel and the West Bank. Under the agreement, Unilever agreed to sell Ben & Jerry’s business in Israel (and the West Bank) to the Israeli manufacturer-distributer.


While there is debate about who won, Ben and Jerry’s have no doubt: they lost. That’s why they’ve sued Unilever to stop the deal.


We previously covered the controversy here:


Ben & Jerry's new logo - in Hebrew

Ben & Jerry’s new logo – in Hebrew

Some on the left tried to spin the deal as the beginning of the end for Israel.


Leftist company Ben & Jerry’s was not among them. On July 5, the company filed a federal lawsuit in Manhattan seeking to prevent Unilever from consummating the deal. Ben & Jerry’s claims Unilever breached its contracts with the ice cream company, both the merger agreement by which Ben & Jerry’s became a subsidiary of Unilever, and the shareholders agreement between Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s.


The gist of Ben & Jerry’s complaint is that, even though Unilever bought them out, the ice cream company maintained an independent board of directors for the purpose of safeguarding Ben & Jerry’s brand-name image. The independent board was concerned with such matters as the company’s integrity, reputation, and goodwill. Unilever, they say, did not consult Ben & Jerry’s board before agreeing to settle the suit. In Ben & Jerry’s view, that failure constitutes a breach of contract that will irreparably harm its “brand integrity.”

2. From its stances on migrant justice and LGBTQ+ rights to Black Lives Matter and climate change, the Ben & Jerry’s brand is synonymous with social activism. The Company’s core values of advancing human rights and dignity, supporting social and economic justice for historically marginalized communities, and protecting and restoring the Earth’s natural systems are integral to Ben and Jerry’s identity. So much so that when the Company entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger with Unilever in 2000 (“Merger Agreement”), Ben & Jerry’s expressly reserved the “primary responsibility for safeguarding the integrity of the essential elements of the Ben & Jerry’s brand-name” with an Independent Board of Directors. These terms were subsequently memorialized in a Shareholders Agreement between Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever.

3. Pursuant to the terms of the Merger Agreement and Shareholders Agreement, Unilever agreed to a unique corporate governance structure that preserved the independence and autonomy of Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors. Specifically, an Independent Board of Directors was created and expressly authorized to protect against actions that, in its discretion, pose a risk to the integrity of the essential elements of the Ben & Jerry’s brand name…

4. In May 2021, the Independent Board of Directors determined that it would be inconsistent with the essential elements of Ben & Jerry’s brand integrity for Ben & Jerry’s to be sold in the West Bank. In response, Unilever issued a public statement declaring that it had “always recognised the right of the brand and its independent Board to take decisions about its social missions.” And, in April 2022, Unilever reiterated that Ben & Jerry’s “would clearly be harmed if forced to provide a license . . . against its will.”

5. On June 29, 2022, Unilever abruptly reversed course, announcing that Ben & Jerry’s “will be sold” in the West Bank through a third-party distributor. See Exhibit E. Unilever’s unilateral decision was made without the consent of Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors, the entity contractually empowered with protecting Ben & Jerry’s brand. An injunction restraining Unilever from violating the express terms of the Merger Agreement and Shareholders Agreement is essential to preserve the status quo and protect the brand and social integrity Ben & Jerry’s has spent decades building (footnotes omitted).

Ben & Jerry’s claim “irreparable harm” because the company has jumped onto the BDS bandwagon, concluding that Israel is somehow odious because it tries hard to protect itself from Palestinian terrorism. BDS and Ben & Jerry’s lay the blame for the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” solely at Israel’s feet. The Palestinians’ complete failure to offer terms for a peace deal that would completely resolve the issues between the parties, and leave each to live in peace within its own secure and recognized borders; their failure to educate their children for peace; the Palestinian Authority’s fomenting violence by offering bounties to terrorists who attack Israelis; not to mention Hamas’ ongoing rocket attacks on civilians, and absolute rejection of the idea of making peace with Israel – all are Israel’s fault, and the Palestinians are completely innocent victims.


“As early as 2013,” the new complaint says, “the Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors had begun receiving complaints regarding the human rights implications of selling its products in the West Bank.”



[Click on image to see document]

In its motion for a temporary restraining order, the company claims its “Independent Board determined that it would be inconsistent with the essential elements of Ben & Jerry’s brand integrity to continue selling its products in the West Bank.” Furthermore, “Once Unilever completes the sale to AQP, Ben & Jerry’s will have lost control over its brand in Israel and the West Bank. That harm cannot be repaired.” Since Ben & Jerry’s had committed to refusing to sell in the West Bank, and wouldn’t sell in Israel if it couldn’t also refuse to sell in the West Bank, the loss of control means Ben & Jerry’s will continue to be sold in the West Bank and Israel.



[Click on image to see document]

The court rejected the application for an immediate restraining order. Instead, it scheduled a hearing for July 14. The court order doesn’t explain why, but presumably the court will determine whether there are grounds to issue a preliminary injunction to block the sale. The difference between a temporary restraining order (called a “TRO” in legal lingo) and a preliminary injunction – besides being able to get the former faster – is that a party seeking the former typically doesn’t bother to give the other side notice of the action or time to respond. For the latter, it does. The Wall Street Journal reports that the sale has already closed. If so, Ben & Jerry’s can only seek damages but won’t be able to prevent the sale.



[Click on image to see document]

The above-referenced documents, and declarations supporting Ben and Jerry’s motion for a TRO, may be found at:

What will Unilever say in its response? Here are a couple of thoughts:

  1. We have the right to control business operations, including the right to settle lawsuits. Ben & Jerry’s interpretation of the agreement under which it bought Ben & Jerry’s would let the tail wag the dog instead of the reverse.
  2. If Ben & Jerry’s was trying to scotch the settlement in the Zinger lawsuit, why did it file a whole new case? If Ben & Jerry’s opposed the Zinger settlement, it should have filed its objections in that case, and in that district (New Jersey). It’s a party to the lawsuit Zinger brought, after all. Technically, the Zinger case was dismissed on Friday, July 1, after the parties notified the court that the suit had been settled. But, Ben & Jerry’s claim implicates Zinger’s rights, and if the ice cream company gets its injunction and prevents the settlement from being consummated, the New Jersey case will certainly have to be reopened. On the other hand, if (as the Wall Street Journal reports) the sale of the Israeli business to Zinger has already been consummated, an injunction now is pointless. In that case, Unilever may simply argue that Ben & Jerry’s sat on its rights in the Zinger case and is foreclosed (estopped) from challenging the resolution in another case.

Is it possible Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t/didn’t really want to mess up the settlement, but just to burnish its credentials with its leftist fanbase; and collect money/recover complete independence from Unilever at the same time?


New Reform curriculum: Further alienating Jews from Israel?

The Reform in their 1885 Pittsburgh Platform formally rejected the Torah of Israel and Israel both as a State of Israel, The People of Israel and the Land of Israel:
Para.#4 “We hold that all such Mosaic and rabbinical laws as regulate diet, priestly purity, and dress originated in ages and under the influence of ideas entirely foreign to our present mental and spiritual state. They fail to impress the modern Jew with a spirit of priestly holiness; their observance in our days is apt rather to obstruct than to further modern spiritual elevation.”
Para.#5 “We recognize, in the modern era of universal culture of heart and intellect, the approaching of the realization of Israel’s great Messianic hope for the establishment of the kingdom of truth, justice, and peace among all men. We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.”.

Relatively few Israeli Jews identify with either Conservative (2%) or Reform (3%) Judaism.


Framing Israel: The Distortions of the New Boycott-Driven School Curriculum

Max Samarov & Amanda Botfeld Researchers, StandWithUs 10January2016

The next phase in anti-Israel academic indoctrination is already here – at Hebrew schools across the country.

Education is important. What shapes our youth shapes the future, and so we need to craft our school curricula carefully. So it is worth carefully deconstructing the troubling new K-12 curriculum, Reframing Israel, produced by Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman. The curriculum was introduced at the beginning of the school year, and Zimmerman claims that more than 10 Hebrew schools have already adopted it. The stated goal of Reframing Israel is “teaching Jewish kids to think critically about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” But is this the actual impact of the curriculum?


The answer is no.


First, it is crucial to note that the main author and the majority of contributors to Reframing Israel are part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. This includes the writer of the curriculum’s “historical overview of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”


This is deeply problematic, because while BDS sells itself as a movement for justice and human rights, its ultimate goal is the elimination of Israel and the violation of Jewish rights to self-determination. According to recent polls, only four percent of American Jews strongly support BDS, and the overwhelming majority see the denial of Israel’s right to exist as racism. Members of the Jewish community are of course free to support anything they choose, but responsible parents and educators should take BDS’s agenda into account when thinking about the goals and biases of Reframing Israel.


At first glance the curriculum appears well-balanced, filled with pride-building activities like learning Hebrew songs and creative exercises aimed at building understanding of both Israeli and Palestinian narratives. The educational method is also well thought out, encouraging students to actively engage with diverse points of view instead of expecting them to “passively accept the information.” These aspects of Reframing Israel could indeed help Jewish kids think critically about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


It is therefore disturbing that when digging a little deeper into the material, the message becomes overwhelmingly anti-Israel and pro-BDS. This is particularly apparent in the “Historical Overview” and “Key Terms” sections, which guide the majority of the curriculum.


The historical overview begins by downplaying the relationship between the Jewish people and Israel, focusing on religious instead of historical and archaeological aspects. Sections about the Jewish connection to the land are prefaced with phrases like, “in Jewish tradition,” or “according to the Hebrew Bible,” rather than being anchored in the certainty of well-documented historical facts. The overview says that “for centuries before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, this area was known, to outsiders and to residents alike, by the Roman name ‘Palestine.’” It omits the fact that the Romans chose this name hoping to erase any Jewish connection to the land, in the aftermath of an unsuccessful Jewish revolt against their rule. What is never comprehensively stated is that Jews are indigenous to Israel; that Israel is the birthplace of their identity, language, religion, and culture; that Jews maintained a continuous presence in Israel for over 3,000 years; and that Jews who were forced to live in exile maintained their unique connection to the land throughout their history.


Likewise, the overview whitewashes the centuries of institutionalized oppression, discriminatory taxation, and violence Jews faced under Muslim rule across the Middle East, including in the Holy Land. Instead, it states that


Following the founding of Islam in the seventh century CE, Jews and Muslims, as well as local Christians, generally lived, worked, and worshiped peacefully alongside one another in what many today call the “Holy Land.” Excepting the period of the Crusades, it was only toward the end of the nineteenth century that sustained tensions began to emerge among the different communities of the region.

Jewish communities are also described as being “well-integrated,” and having “flourished” in most times and places. Anti-Semitism is mentioned only in relation to Europe, and not the Middle East. This ahistorical distortion of facts is to be expected in anti-Zionist propaganda, which seeks to blame the existence of Israel for all tensions between Muslims and Jews. It does not, however, belong in a curriculum designed to educate young people with historical accuracy. The reality is that Jews in the Middle East were subjected to second-class citizenship at best and brutal violence at worst. Many visitors to the region reported how Jews were mistreated throughout the centuries. For example, when Karl Marx traveled to the Holy Land in 1854, he wrote that the Jews of Jerusalem lived in “the most filthy quarter of the town” and were “the constant objects of [Muslim] oppression and intolerance.” Reframing Israel simply whitewashes this history. It fails to acknowledge that for the Jewish people, diaspora meant 1,900 years of dispossession and oppression across both Europe and the Middle East.


Unfortunately these outright distortions of history continue as the overview shifts to Israel’s 1947-1949 War of Independence. Arab forces involved in the beginning of the war are described as “no match for the well-trained and equipped Haganah,” ignoring the fact that these Arab forces were equipped by the British and able to lay siege to Jerusalem, nearly starving 100,000 of its Jewish residents to death. Historian Benny Morris is cited to support the notion that Palestinian refugees were “deliberately pushed out,” yet Morris himself has explicitly stated that “no systematic policy of expulsion was ever adopted or implemented” by Israel. The controversial account of Palestinian civilians being killed in the village of Deir Yassin is covered uncritically, while the numerous accounts of Jewish civilians being killed during the war are never mentioned. Finally, while the overview effectively blames Israel for the Palestinian refugee crisis, it equivocates and fails to hold Arab leaders responsible for the simultaneous dispossession and plight of 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab states.


Part of the cover of Reframing Israel.

Part of the cover of Reframing Israel.

The overview is equally biased when it comes to the numerous proposals that have been made to divide the land peacefully between Israelis and Palestinians. It states that “neither side embraced” the 1937 Peel Report, which called for the establishment of a tiny Jewish state and a much larger Arab state. In fact it was only the Arab leadership which unequivocally rejected any possibility of Jewish statehood. Zionist leaders signaled that while they were unsatisfied with the proposal, they were interested in negotiating.


In regards to the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan, the overview states that

The Jewish leadership accepted the UN Partition Plan and Jews around the world celebrated, seeing Partition as the fulfillment of the Zionist dream. Palestine’s Arab leadership, however, rejected Partition, arguing that foreigners (i.e., the British and the UN) had no right to take land from Arabs and give it to a minority of Jews, most of whom had recently arrived from Europe. Some also emphasized that while Jews owned only 6-7 percent of the land and represented only 30 percent of the total population, the Partition Plan awarded them 56 percent of Palestine—an outcome that they considered unfair.

These objections from Arab leaders are covered uncritically, as is their decision to immediately go to war against the Jews instead of negotiating or making a counter-offer. Even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that rejecting the 1947 Partition Plan was “our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole.” Yet this notion is entirely absent from the curriculum. Likewise, there is no mention of the fact that 70 percent of the land allocated to the Jews was an arid desert, or that Jerusalem would have been classified as an international city rather than the capital of the Jewish state. The notion that the Jews were merely recent arrivals from Europe is not meaningfully challenged, even though Jews are indigenous to Israel, were the majority population in Jerusalem since the late 1800s, and had already been building the foundations of a state for half a century.


Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s rejection of a far-reaching Israeli peace offer in 2000 is presented as an Israeli “claim,” rather than a fact that has been repeatedly corroborated by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and others. Lastly, the curriculum completely ignores Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s 2008 offer to give almost all of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians for peace, and the rejection of that offer by Mahmoud Abbas.


Most egregious is how the violent racism of prominent Palestinian leaders and organizations is whitewashed or ignored. The curriculum falsely claims that Palestinian suicide bombings, which began in 1993, were a reaction to a massacre perpetrated by Jewish terrorist Baruch Goldstein in 1994. The extended and brutal Palestinian attacks of the Second Intifada are presented as “grassroots” retaliation against Israel, ignoring the fact that Arafat was actively encouraging the murder of Israeli civilians. Haj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem from 1921-48, is discussed numerous times, but with no mention of his violent incitement against Jews. The PLO is described as mostly “secular and left-wing”—despite the fact that its charter called for the violent destruction of Israel and erased the connection between the Jewish people and their homeland. Hamas’ goals are presented as simply “Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and the return of Palestinian refugees,” ignoring their repeated calls for genocide against Jews and the destruction of Israel.


At the end of this “historical overview,” which supposedly encourages critical thinking about the conflict, the BDS movement is introduced entirely uncritically to Jewish children. In the “Key Terms” section, BDS is described favorably as having “attracted significant global support,” with opposition coming only from “Jewish organizations” for reasons unknown. This is not only misleading but disingenuous; BDS is overwhelmingly opposed by Western political leaders, major American academic institutions, and the mainstream Jewish community due to the movement’s destructive agenda.

For instance, BDS’s central demand—the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants—is presented without criticism. (President Barack Obama has contended that it would “extinguish Israel as a Jewish state.”) The right of the Jewish people to self-determination, which underpins Israel’s existence and is guaranteed under international law, is never clearly recognized. The curriculum paints the Jewish “Right of Return” as inherently discriminatory, never mentioning that other nations, such as Ireland and Japan, provide similar rights. Astonishingly, BDS’s core slander against Israel—that Israel is an apartheid state—is introduced without any meaningful counterarguments.


The evidence strongly suggests that Reframing Israel is an attempt to inculcate Jewish-American children with the BDS movement’s political agenda. If this is the case, it may be BDS’s most despicably manipulative tactic yet.


Whether the flaws in Reframing Israel are a result of unconscious bias or insidious political motives is not entirely clear. What is clear, however, is that this curriculum lacks academic integrity and fails to achieve its stated goal of promoting critical thinking.


Instead, Israel is presented as confusing and strange. A questionable solution to a somewhat limited problem of anti-Semitism; a country with defense policies, but no clear reason for their existence; a policeman in a mostly crime-free neighborhood; a nation more on the wrong than the right side of history. Rather than teaching Jewish kids to think critically about the conflict, this curriculum largely teaches them to uncritically accept certain Palestinian narratives while constantly underplaying the valid concerns of Israelis.


It is unfortunate that Reframing Israel thoroughly fails to encourage genuine critical thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because there is a real need for this type of curriculum within Jewish educational institutions. Many Jewish students get to college knowing little about the Israeli narrative and nothing about the Palestinian narrative, despite the fact that both are so relevant to the story of the Jewish people today.


So what would a successful curriculum to foster critical thinking look like?


It would employ some similar methods to Reframing Israel in terms of introducing students to different aspects of Jewish, Israeli, and Palestinian culture, and encouraging them to actively engage with differing perspectives rather than handing them predetermined conclusions. The curriculum would still cover both Israeli and Palestinian narratives, and expose students to a variety of political viewpoints. However, the historical overview would make clear that Israel is the home of the Jewish people from a historical, archaeological, and anthropological perspective. It would be candid about the 1,900 years of dispossession and oppression Jews suffered across both Europe and the Middle East, up until Israel was established. And it would engage with Palestinian perspectives without shying away from a truly critical examination of the role influential Palestinian leaders and organizations have played in the conflict.


Most importantly, critical thinking would occur within a basic framework that is sorely missing from Reframing Israel. Supporting Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state would be presented as what it is: an ethical and moral imperative not just for young Jews but for all people of conscience. The curriculum would under no circumstances promote political agendas that deny the rights of the Jewish people or the Palestinian people to self-determination. BDS would be clearly defined as a form of bigotry which makes it more difficult to achieve a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. We must encourage young Jews to think and engage critically with the conflict, so that they are intellectually and emotionally prepared when they get to college. But as we do so, we must make sure that we are not giving legitimacy to those who are trying to undermine our rights as a people.


An art project at a Hebrew school. Photo: Rachel Pasch / flickr

An art project at a Hebrew school. Photo: Rachel Pasch / flickr

Reframing Israel has not been widely adopted by Jewish educational institutions as of yet, but there appear to be active attempts underway to make this happen, starting with outreach to the Reconstructionist Educators of North America. The curriculum has also received significant exposure in the mainstream Jewish press and been promoted on social media by officials at influential political organizations. As efforts to push Reframing Israel increase, it is crucial for Jewish educators and parents to be fully informed about how problematic it truly is.


Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once stated that “everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” The authors and activists behind Reframing Israel should heed this truth and change their curriculum accordingly. Until then, Jewish parents and educators should look elsewhere to provide their children with a critical and well-rounded understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Chalkboard Banner Photo: Todd Petrie / flickr

Chalkboard Banner Photo: Todd Petrie / flickr


From Caroline Glick:


Time to draw lines and defend them


At a certain point, you just have to know when draw a line in the sand.


Sloan and Guy Rachmuth, Jewish parents in Durham, North Carolina, reached that point in 2014 when they opted to walk away from their local Jewish day school and home school their two children.


The Rachmuths pulled their children out of the Lerner School when they concluded the school would not abide by its commitment to assist “all students in developing a positive Jewish identity and pride in their Jewish heritage.”


As committed Zionists, the Rachmuths were dismayed to see that far from fulfilling its commitment, the Lerner school was cultivating a learning environment that questioned the legitimacy of the Jewish national liberation movement and of the State of Israel.


Perhaps the turning point was when the school took down all the maps of Israel from the classroom walls.


Perhaps it was when their five-year-old son came home and asked them why the map of Israel hurt some people’s feelings.


Perhaps it was when they discovered that the school had employed a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activist as a Hebrew teacher.


Perhaps it was when the school refused to back Israel during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.


Or perhaps the Rachmuths felt obliged to draw their line and walk away when they got the sense that the school rejected not only their Zionism, but vigorously opposed their right to defend their values.


According to Andrew Pessin’s two-part report on the Rachmuth family’s ordeal published by JNS, in internal memos, the current school board president Tal Wittle referred to Sloan Rachmuth’s repeated complaints about the school’s diffident position on Israel, and the dominant role BDS supporters played at the school as “bigotry.”


If the Lerner school had simply let the Rachmuths walk away, the story would have been relegated to the shadows. Instead, it became a matter of importance for the American Jewish community and for Israel because the school decided to punish the Rachmuth’s for their decision.


Last fall the Lerner school sued the couple for breach of contract for their refusal to pay $20,000 in tuition for the 2014-2015 school year, despite the fact that their children did not go to school that year.
School officials told Pessin that it was “a business decision” to sue the family.


Maybe monetary considerations played a role, but Pessin quoted an internal email from Wittle to school principal Allison Oakes making clear that “business” was only one consideration.


“Part of me,” Wittle wrote, “wants to say [to the Rachmuths] fine, keep your money because our school doesn’t need such bigotry anywhere near it. But, one, that sends the message that they are in the right, and two, we run a business.”


In other words, the school decided that it needed to sue the Rachmuths in order to punish them for rejecting the school’s values.


And that isn’t the end of it. Pessin reported that community members are so angry at the Rachmuths that some are calling for the Durham Jewish community to boycott their business.


That is, “A family withdrawing from a school in protest of those who support the boycott against Israel [is now being threatened with] being boycotted by those who support the school.”


Pessin was assured by Oakes that while she had heard the same talk, the community would never really carry out the threat, although she is maintaining the lawsuit.


It’s hard to know the precise moment that unapologetic Zionism became controversial or even, as the president of the board of the Lerner School would have it, a form of bigotry, for a significant portion of American Jews. But there can be no doubt that it happened.


Last month a group of alumni from Oberlin College tried to oppose the rabid anti-Israel and anti-Semitic atmosphere on their alma mater’s campus. They organized a closed Facebook page and sent an open letter to the college’s president demanding action to protect Jewish students.


Among the many incidents that upset the alumni were the student cooperative association’s decision to expel the kosher food co-op. Another low point was when anti-Israel activists planted 2,133 flags in the center of campus to symbolize the Palestinians killed during Operation Protective Edge. They planted the flags on Rosh Hashana.


Rather than thank the alumni for acting to protect them, last week three Jewish student leaders published an op-ed in the Cleveland Jewish News condemning the alumni for failure to take a “nuanced” view of the Palestinian conflict with Israel.


The students wrote that they believed that the alumnis’ call for an end to BDS on campus needed to include “a call to end settlement expansion and other obstacles to lasting peace and a two-state solution.”


“We all agreed,” the Jewish student leaders wrote, “that working to end the occupation and achieve a two-state resolution is vital for the future of a Jewish and democratic Israel.”


In other words, you can’t be for Israel without embracing J Street’s moral equivalence – at best – between Hamas, a terrorist group which aspires to murder all Jews, and law abiding Israeli citizens who live in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.


Perhaps the moment Zionism became a form of bigotry for American Jewry was in September 2007 when Columbia University’s Jewish president Lee Bollinger invited then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on campus. Ahmadinejad broke the post-Holocaust taboo of openly calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state.


By inviting him to speak on campus, Bollinger effectively said that the Jews have no intrinsic right to life – let alone to freedom and national self-determination. Rather, the determination of whether or not Jews can exist is a legitimate subject for debate and inquiry.


Everyone – including Ahmadinejad – has a right to voice their position on the issue. Moreover, Bollinger indicated through his action, America’s greatest universities have a duty to confer legitimacy and grant a prestigious venue to Ahmadinejad to air his genocidal position.


After Columbia gave legitimacy to a man who seeks to murder every Jew, how could anyone object to anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate groups merely insisting that the US end all assistance and support for Israel? How could it be illegitimate to blame Israel for the suffering of the Palestinians? How could it be illegitimate to teach Jewish kindergarteners that there is something intrinsically hurtful about the map of the Jewish state when a Jewish university president invited a man who called for that state to be wiped of the map to speak to his students?


Last week Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan held a “top secret” conference for Jewish leaders from around the world to develop strategies and action plans to fight BDS.


Pollster Frank Luntz reportedly shared with the 150 conference participants the dismal results of a survey he had taken of American Jewish university students.


According to Luntz, only 42 percent of American Jewish students surveyed said that Israel wants peace.


A mere 31% of the students believe that Israel is a democracy.


According to media accounts, the Strategic Affairs Ministry set out what its experts believe is the sort of language pro-Israel activists should use to counter BDS propaganda. The language, participants were told, should be inclusive, not condemnatory.


For instance, people opposing BDS should say, “Boycotts divide people, and that’s part of the problem, not the solution.”


On the other hand, it would be a big mistake to say, “The BDS movement is not about legitimate criticism. It’s about making Israel illegitimate.”


It’s hard to escape the sense that in advocating these slogans, the government has missed the point, and the boat.


You can’t engage people who believe you are evil.


You cannot cooperate with people who insist that anyone who defends you, or insists that you have a right to be defended is a bigot, whereas anyone who opposes you – including Ahmadinejad – has a right to be heard, and that it is the duty of right thinking people to provide them with prestigious venues to vent their hatred of the Jewish state and those who defend it.


For drawing the line in opposing anti-Israel indoctrination at a Jewish day school, the Rachmuths have been forced to cough up $30,000 in legal fees and endure the condemnation of their Jewish community which shuns them for their Zionism.


For drawing the line in opposing ever-so thinly veiled anti-Semitic intimidation of Jewish students at Oberlin, Jewish alumni have been castigated by the Jewish students they seek to protect.


The government has clearly awakened to the threat of the BDS movement. But our leaders still don’t seem to recognize that the answer to hatred isn’t inclusion.


It is drawing a line and defending it without apology.

Comment:Jerusalem Cats

To the Lerner School Administration from a former Day School Administrator from the U.S.
How many of your students have made Aliyah (immigration to Israel)?


How many have actually gotten their Teudat Zehut (Israeli identity card) and lived here for 10 years, of stead of just going on Birthright or a Mission for 2 weeks?


How many of your students have raised family here?


How many of your families have experienced a missile attack at 2 AM?


How many of your students have had to deal with Arabs daily?


Soft Fat & Lazy Bigoted Americans who only get their information from TV or the New York Times. You would not survive 2 weeks here.


But if you are not soft and lazy you will actually talk to friends that live here and find out the truth. Visit Israel as a Pilot Trip. Walk the side streets of Jerusalem, visit the Haredim shuks (Open Air Market places)[Women are to wear Clothes!]. Contact Nefesh B’Nefesh for more information on Pilot Trips. http://www. 1-866-4-ALIYAH and find out what the real truth is and live here.

Nefesh B'Nefesh: Live the Dream US & CAN 1-866-4-ALIYAH | UK 020-8150-6690 or 0800-085-2105 | Israel 02-659-5800

Nefesh B’Nefesh: Live the Dream US & CAN 1-866-4-ALIYAH | UK 020-8150-6690 or 0800-085-2105 | Israel 02-659-5800


Sidebar: A School is connected to a Congregation or a Rabbi. Who are you connected to?
Questions to ask your “Rabbi” or Principal: How many members or former Students have make Aliyah? How are you actively promoting Aliyah? What about Palestinians, BDS and the “West Bank”?


Pro Israel Bona Fides at issue in lawsuit between Jewish School and Parents

Pro-Israel Bona Fides at Issue in Lawsuit Between Jewish School and Parents

In an ugly lawsuit between a Jewish school and parents, a partner shul weighs in to give its “pro-Israel” hecksher.

By Lori Lowenthal Marcus 17 Adar I 5776 – February 26, 2016 -

North Carolina is currently the site of one of the saddest public chapters of Jews and Jewish institutions turning on each other.


A family left a Jewish day school because the school is not pro-Israel and instead harbors wildly anti-Israel administrators and teachers. In turn, the school insists it is pro-Israel and that the parents, who departed before the school year began, should have paid the full year’s tuition for their two children, as they were required under the contract they signed.


The school is suing the parents for breach of contract.


The parents, confident that they were justified, turned to the media to draw attention to what they see as a shanda: a Jewish school employing anti-Israel agitators. The school in turn has enlisted the other Jewish communal organizations in the area, as well as parents and parents of alumni, to publicly defend the school and criticize the defecting family.


Ugly does not begin to cover it.


The Lerner School (until very recently the Sandra E. Lerner Jewish Community Day School) brought its breach of contract claim against Dr. Guy and Sloan Rachmuth in North Carolina state district court, located in Durham.


Much has already been written about this battle, including at FrontPage and, more recently at JNS.


The motivating factor which led the Rathmuchs to withdraw their children from the school before the start of term in 2014 was their realization that the school is not, as they had been promised, pro-Israel.


Local Jewish communal leaders responded by claiming that from their personal experience, that claim is false, almost laughably so. But this is no laughing matter.


One of the strongest voices in this chorus of Lerner School support comes from Rabbi Larry Bach of Judea Reform Congregation, which is located on the same campus as the Lerner School. Bach explained that it has an “ongoing partnership with Lerner, which includes “sharing space and resources.”


On Feb. 17, Rabbi Bach wrote a letter to his Judea Reform congregants in support of the Lerner School position. That letter has been distributed beyond the congregation, as testament to the Lerner School’s pro-Israel bona fides. He wrote that he was “incredulous at the charges leveled against the school,” and that “nothing that I’ve seen of the school comports with the story being told by its detractors.”


He also wrote:

My brief experience is nothing compared to the connections many of you have. Judea Reform members are proud parents and former parents, founders, teachers and administrators, and benefactors. We at JRC are proud of our ongoing partnership with Lerner, which manifests in sharing space and resources, and in other ways, big and small. I look forward to a deepening relationship with Lerner, both personally and between our two institutions, in the years ahead.

Just a reminder: the Rachmuths serious disagreement with the Lerner School was that it was not supportive of Israel, and that instead its position towards Israel, as evidenced by its hiring of anti-Israel faculty and members its own administration, made it an environment in which their children could not be educated. The basis of the family’s counterclaim against the school is for “unfair and deceptive trade practices,” based on promises made by the school specifically about its pro-Israel positions.


So it is relevant to consider what goes on in the Jewish congregation next door, which has a “partnership” with Lerner, including “sharing space and resources, and in other ways, big and small,” specifically regarding Israel.

A quick scan of the temple’s speakers and presentations brings one up short. The Judea Reform website reveals a particular orientation regarding Israel, but it isn’t close to what either Lerner is claiming or what the Rachmuths were allegedly promised by its school partner. In fact, every topic that has anything to do with Israel is one-sided against the Jewish State.

The speakers and organizations range from the Jewish world’s center far left to simply further and further left until you finally get to a “leading Muslim public intellectual” who was brought in from the Duke Islamic Studies Center to speak about the “Intersection of Spirituality and Social Justice,” by exploring Rumi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Rabbi Heschel.


A J Street speaker is the authority in Judea Reform’s “Standing up for Israel” program.


But wait: Judea Reform held an Israel Discussion Series in the 2014/15 school year. That sounds promising. Until you look at the topics and who covered them.


On Feb. 21, 2015, Prof. Sarah Shields of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spoke at Judea Reform. Her topic was: “Before 1948: the History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Shields was described by her students as “stridently anti-American and anti-Israel,” and “unbalanced.” She was one of four UNC professors to sign a petition to boycott Israeli academic institutions during the summer of 2014.


On Aug. 23, 2015, Marty Rosenbluth, who is described as “Amnesty International’s Country Specialist for Israel and the Occupied Territories for more than a dozen years,” gave a talk. The topic of Rosenbluth’s talk was “Balance of Fear: Can We Use a Human Rights Approach to Frame the Israel-Palestine Discussion?” You can just imagine who was framed by that talk.


Amnesty International accused Israel of committing war crimes in Lebanon and in Gaza. In 2006, Rosenbluth defended AI’s claims on the anti-Israel radio program “Democracy Now.” Rosenbluth is listed as an advisor by the Muslim American Society, an American offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.


A little over a month later, Judea Reform presented Sandra Korn to lead a discussion about “Open Hillel: On Red Lines in the Jewish Community.” Korn was “involved in the Open Hillel Campaign” at Harvard. Open Hillel, of course, is the effort of college students to overthrow the requirement that Hillel events be supportive – or at least not openly destructive – of Israel.


October’s fare in Judea Reform’s Israel discussion series brought Shai Ginsburg to speak about “Old and New Maps the Holy Land, and the State of Israel.” In the fall of 2014, Ginsburg, along with other members of the Jewish Studies department of nearby Duke University, wrote a letter to the school paper denouncing the upcoming Hillel’s “Israeli Shabbat: Bedouin Style,” and urging its cancelation. Why? Because, they wrote, “As you may know, there is a long history of Israeli appropriation of Palestinian, Arab, and/or Bedouin culture.”


In November, Temple Judea Reform invited in a member and “summer organizing intern for Jewish Voice for Peace,” Jade Brooks, to speak on the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions 101: A Global Movement for Justice.


In other words, Judea Reform brought in a promoter of BDS, from the single most anti-Israel “Jewish” group in the country, to educate their community about why doing harm to Israel qualifies as a “movement for justice.”


The final topic in Judea Reform’s “Israel Discussion Series” was about “preventing violent extremism in America.” But this was not about attacks on the pro-Israel population or even simply American Jews. Instead it focused on “Anti-Islamic Bigotry.”


So Temple Judea Reform’s entire “Israel Discussion Series” gave the podium to not even one speaker or presentation other than Israel-bashers — with a small dose of criticism for “islamaphobia” added in for flavor. Given the intimate relationship between shul and school, this record should give great pause to those who took comfort in its rabbi’s vouching for the pro-Israel position of the Lerner School.


The Sadducees have endured, Non Torah Judaism is modern Sadducees(Ẓadduḳi of the Talmud)


Interfaith Marriage and Jewish Customs: Doing Away With Something Inconvenient

May 6, 2016 Author:-

Interfaith Marriage and Jewish Customs: Doing Away With Something Inconvenient

Seymour Rosenbloom is a Conservative rabbi who gave 36 years of distinguished service to Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1972, and we must assume he studied under both Professors Saul Lieberman and Abraham Joshua Heschel. I mention this only because I had wondered how they might have reacted to the opening line of his most recent article, published on April 6, in which he declared: “The Conservative movement’s leadership must drop its ban on Conservative rabbis officiating at interfaith weddings — before it’s too late.” Apparently the Conservative movement forbids any of its rabbis to officiate at interfaith marriages, and both bride and groom must be Jewish from birth or have converted to Judaism prior to the wedding.


Most Reform rabbis have long abandoned this taboo, and Reform Judaism’s Central Conference of American Rabbis has chosen to tolerate this aberration, with the official Reform website stating that “rabbis are given autonomy in such matters and each rabbi interprets Jewish tradition according to his or her own understanding.” Rosenbloom argues that it is time for Conservatives to move in the same direction. “Reality has overtaken us. Sixty percent of Jews who wed marry someone from another faith. The Conservative movement’s prohibition is ineffective as policy if our goal is to reduce intermarriage.”


He has a point. Marriages between Jews and non-Jews are on the rise, and refusing to embrace such unions has resulted in an alarming demographic decline. Rosenbloom’s own community numbered 1,000 families when he began his tenure in 1978. He retired in 2014, by which time that number had shrunk to 650 families. Moreover, as he admits in the article, this subject is personal — last year his stepdaughter became engaged to a non-Jew and asked him to officiate. “We talked about it. They wanted the ceremony to be as Jewish as possible . . . so I agreed. Looking back, I can’t believe I even gave it a second thought.”


There was another interesting article that appeared just before Pesach, also authored by a Conservative rabbi, Professor David Golinkin. Framed as a halachic ruling, the article explains why the custom for Ashkenazi Jews to refrain from “kitniot” — rice and legumes — on Pesach, can be discarded, as “it causes exorbitant price hikes . . . it emphasizes the insignificant and ignores the significant . . . it causes people to scoff at the commandments . . .[and] it causes unnecessary divisions between Ashkenazim and Sephardim.” You might be thinking that Golinkin, too, has a point, and one that might be closer to your heart than Rosenbloom’s.


Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch was the rabbi of Frankfurt’s breakaway orthodox community during the late 19th century. This was after it had become evident that the umbrella Jewish community in that city was drifting ever further away from normative Judaism, causing fully observant Jews under its auspices to drift away with it. His commentary on the Torah, published in German between 1867 and 1878, is an absolute tour de force. It contains numerous coded references to his struggles with the Reform, and there is one particularly relevant example in this week’s Torah portion. Rabbi Hirsch notes an anomaly regarding the Sadducee view of the Temple incense offered up by the High Priest on Yom Kippur. The Sadducees were a sect that emerged during the Second Temple period that discarded rabbinic law as practiced by their nemeses, the Pharisee sect. They became ‘purists’ who were only willing to follow laws exactly as they appeared in the text of the Torah, claiming that rabbinic law was entirely human with no basis in the will of God.


When it came to the Yom Kippur incense, however, they made an unusual exception. The Torah states: “He should take a full pan of fire coals from the altar, and a handful of incense, and bring them into the sanctuary, and then put the incense onto the fire.” The order is clear — outside the sanctuary, the incense should remain separate from the fire, and only once the High Priest was inside did he put the incense onto the fire. But the Sadducees insisted that the incense must be placed onto the coals before he entered the sanctuary, in defiance of the Torah’s explicit instructions. The Sadducees explained this inconsistency in their position by saying that it would be disrespectful to treat God differently than one treats a human being. Incense is always lit before someone enters a room, so that the excessive smoke the ignition creates will not be irritating. To do it any differently for God would be extremely rude, they said.


Rabbi Hirsch suggests that this idea is nothing less than a negation of the Torah. To suggest that one should change the incense procedure on the basis of human concerns places man before God. On that basis, says Rabbi Hirsch, it is evident that rather than disappear, the Sadducees have endured, today embodied by people who reject the authority of rabbinic law, and who ridicule or discard any mitzvah or custom that makes no sense to them, or offends their morality or sensibilities. Rather than serve God, they seek God only on their own terms. If something makes no sense, it must be abandoned as an outmoded useless relic.


Interfaith marriage and the consumption of kitniot on Pesach, on the face of it, have very little in common. But the reasons that underpin their advocacy share much. It is all about doing away with something that is inconvenient. In as much as we value our history, and a religious system developed over millennia, we would do well cling to all aspects of it that have preserved us and delivered us as committed Jews into the present, and on to the future.

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Elder of Ziyon logo

Elder of Ziyon logo


Poll indicates that J-Street Jews are JINOs (Jews In Name Only)


The American Jewish Committee just released a poll of US Jews’ opinions on many subjects, including the Iran deal.


It finds that a small majority of American Jews support the deal, although those with strong opinions were far more against it:

Recently, the U.S., along with five other countries, reached a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Do you approve or disapprove of this agreement?
Approve strongly
Approve somewhat
Disapprove somewhat
Disapprove strongly

But when asked about specifics, practically none felt that the deal would do what J-Street claims it would do:

How confident are you that this agreement will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?


The American Jewish Committee poll 2015

The American Jewish Committee poll 2015

11. Will Israel’s security be more threatened or less threatened by the Iran nuclear deal?
More Threatened
Less Threatened
Stay the same
12. How confident are you about the ability of the U.S. and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to monitor Iran’s compliance?
Very confident
Somewhat confident
Not so confident
Not at all confident

– See more at:

Here’s the interesting part, though.

Support for the deal plummets among Jews in direct proportion to how much they care about Judaism and Israel.

As the AJC press release says:

While 51 percent of total respondents approve of the deal and 47 percent disapprove, there is a significant split within the community on the issue: those who consider being Jewish very important, those who view caring about Israel as a key part of their Jewish identity, and those belonging to the traditional denominations of Judaism are far more likely to oppose the deal than others. It may, in fact, be appropriate, in light of the data, to speak of two diverging Jewish sub-communities.


Among those who consider their being Jewish “very” important, 61 percent disapprove of the agreement (37 percent “strongly”), while 38 percent approve it (12 percent “strongly”). In contrast, 55 percent of those for whom being Jewish is “fairly” important approve the deal (15 percent “strongly”), as do 59 percent of those for whom being Jewish is not important (22 percent “strongly”).


Similarly, a majority—54 percent—of those for whom caring about Israel is an important component of their Jewish identity disapprove of the deal, 19 percent “strongly,” while 66 percent of those for whom caring about Israel is not an important component agree with the deal, 27 percent “strongly.”


Fully 67 percent of Orthodox and Conservative Jews disapprove of the agreement, 45 percent “strongly.” Yet 54 percent of Reform and Reconstructionist Jews approve of it (19 percent “strongly”), as do 69 percent of those who identify as “just Jewish” (24 percent “strongly”).

Unfortunately, there are many more American Jews who are Jewishly ignorant than those who care about Judaism and Israel. 74% of those surveyed identified with being Reform, Reconstructionist or “just Jewish” – a plurality of 37% for the latter category. (While there are certainly some Reform Jews with strong Jewish identities, most Jews who know nothing about their religion but go to synagogue twice a year will self-identify as Reform.)


So this is how you can find absurd results like the responses to these two questions:

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “The goal of the Arabs is not a peaceful two-state agreement with Israel, but rather the destruction of Israel.”
Do you favor or oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state?

How can this be reconciled? Because so many Jews don’t care about Israel.


And those are the Jews who support the Iran deal.


When J-Street claims to be representing the majority of American Jews, they are still lying – as the poll shows, a plurality of American Jews feel that the deal is dangerous and practically none buy into J-Street’s argument that the Iran deal is actually good. But the Jews who most strongly support the deal are the Jews who don’t give a damn about Israel or Judaism – Jews In Name Only, or JINOs.


And the Jews who don’t give a damn about Israel and Judaism – the ignorant Jews or the Jews who are hostile towards Israel – are the ones who support J-Street’s positions.


Jews are given a choice; either become Torah Jews living in Eretz Israel or die out as a individual and a community. According to the Pew Research Institute there is a 79% intermarriage rate, 67% of Secular Jews are not raising their children Jewish, 70% of children that didn’t receive a Jewish education (ie, went to public schools) ultimately intermarried. In comparison, of those that attended a Orthodox Jewish Day school or Yeshiva until grade 12 – 2% intermarried. Jews are not having children: with a Jewish Fertility Rate of 1.4 (Replacement is 2) and Jews are now older; the majority of Jew in the US are now over 55. What is really interesting is the Age Distribution among Jews of stead of being a bell curve it is flatly distributed. Compare 2007 to 2014

% of Jews who are ages
—— 18-29 30-49 50-64 65+ Sample Size
2014– 22% 27% 26% 26% 825
2007– 20% 29% 29% 22% 664

In other words “Intermarriage and wives who prefer careers, than children are their demise. Sorry, but one or two children does not increase our numbers.”If many American Jews are abandoning Israel it has more to do with their weakening sense of Jewish peoplehood, as reflected in the 2013 Pew Survey. According Prof. Steven M. Cohen, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York,”The real cause of [community] shrinkage is intermarriage and the decline of ethnic attachment [ie:the high assimilation rate] among American Jews,”


For example today roughly one million American Jews identify with the Conservative Movement a decline of 1/3 in just 25 years.


The Jewish population in the Diaspora is either making Aliyah or dying out. Those Jews that still live in the Diaspora will convert to anything else to hide their Jewishness; “…both her parents had assimilated, hiding any signs that led to their Jewish birth and background….”


Or They will be forced to assimilate by the government. for example – Jewish Orthodox school in London ordered to closeInspectors said the school was founded to prevent students from “developing a wider, deeper understanding of different faiths, communities, cultures and lifestyles, including those of England.”


And…Jerusalem no longer anticipates that it can generate support from the American Jewish progressive community,… Remember the Spanish Expulsion of 1492 and the Marranos Jews .


Arutz Sheva

You will not find them in Berlin

A great man prophesied and his words came to pass. Op-ed.

Shalom Pollack, 18July2021

Almost one hundred years ago, a great man prophesied.


Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Hakohen Kook often found himself at the center of continuing controversy as first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Eretz Yisroel.


He was an original thinker and revolutionary in his synthesis of the values of the land of Israel, the people of Israel and the Torah.


In his tumultuous time, the Jewish world was divided into numerous and distinct camps.


Some identified with the Torah and a lifestyle that was emblematic of isolated community life in the Diaspora.Life outside their local community was not contemplated. The Jewish people as a Nation or a people with the land was at best a faded memory. Ensuring their unchanged lifestyle wherever they happened to live at the time, protecting personal and community survival against the threats of a menacing world was their sacred task.


As the modern era and “emancipation” began in the eighteenth century, there was an awareness among some of the idea of a Jewish Nation and Jewish land.


Some Jews embarked on “Reforming” the faith


Some Jews dedicated themselves to Socialism and Communism.


Others clung to a grudging acceptance in their countries and became zealous patriots.


Some developed a Jewish identity that stressed “Jewish secular culture” in the Yiddish language and literature.


Some stressed the cosmopolitan mission of Judaism.


Still, others sought the most direct way out of it all – through the church.


With all the twists and turns in this modern era, Jewish history found itself in an identity storm and at a crossroads.


Two movements emerged clearest from the turmoil and vied for leadership of the next phase of Jewish history.


The Agudah movement and allies in the “old world” fiercely defended the status quo. What was, must be. A sovereign Jewish Nation, Land, or people were ideas that were seen as a threat to an existence jealousy protected for so long.


Then there were the Zionists who rebelled against what was, and sought a “new Jew”; sovereign and proud in its own country, working and defending the land., speaking its own language. In rejecting the status quo of the demeaning Diaspora, they also cut their ties to the one thing that assured Jewish existence during the long exile. They rejected the very thing that saw them through the bleak centuries of persecution.


A Jewish nation and land, but without Torah! No longer would the Jewish people be a nation that dwells alone but a “normal’ one, accepted by the family of peoples.


This was their proclamation, and they were confident that the Jewish future was theirs.


The two camps glared at each other from distant corners.


And then there arose a third. Unlike most of the rabbinic world, Rabbi Kook had a great appreciation for the young idealistic pioneers and dreamers. He shared a part of that dream and worked with them while trying to teach them why the Torah must be a part of their vision.


Rabbi Kook drew criticism from the rabbinic establishment. How could a rabbi associate with sinners and scoffers?


Rabbi Kook responded to them in a famous letter in which he asked them, “who tries to teach them if not me”?


He then turned to his pioneer friends and made a dire prediction.

He warned them that if they continue to be divorced from the Torah, their children will reject the very land of Israel for which they sacrifice.

This prophetic warning came to mind when I listened to a radio talk show not long ago


The host is a well known Leftist. The caller was from Berlin. She left Israel because she objected to the “politics, racism, culture, and corruption in Israel.”


“There needs to be a civil war in Israel to defeat the forces of darkness!” she cried.


Her grandchildren are native German speakers and she enjoys the culture of Germany.


The proud caller from Berlin is Sabra. Her father was a pioneer and fighter for the land. Her family is the Israeli equivalent of the “Daughters of the Revolution .


The host was appalled that she abandoned Israel – and for Germany! He asked her if it does not bother her that her grandchildren are raised in the language used to order our people into the gas chambers?
“What happened to you,” he yelled at her! “You and I agree on most political issues in Israel but not this! How can you?”


And then he said, “I am jealous of the National Religious (those who continue Rabbi Kook’s legacy).youth. I do not agree with their politics or religious beliefs, but you will not find them in Berlin.”


“If you and so many like you would remain in Israel, we the Left could run the country once again. Instead, you take the easy way out and flippantly abandon a dream.”


He could not have described Rabbi Kook’s warning – both the Left’s aspirations and the abandonment of Israel – any better.

Shalom Pollack is a popular tour guide who made aliya to Israel in 1977 as a young, single man. Today he has children and grandchildren.who are continuing the journey he began. His passion for Israel has led him to writing a book from which this excerpt is taken.


Amalek or Palestine?

Political Cartoon-Arutz Sheva 13December2015

“Tired of your lousy neighbor?”
“Cook them with potatoes.”
“Economical and delicious.”
The Neighborly Cookbook: Cooking with the Supernatural World
Political Cartoon-Arutz Sheva 13December2015

by Yekutiel Ben Yaakov ‍‍י״ט כסלו תשע״ו – Tue, Dec 1, 2015 From an email

It is them or us – coexistence between Jews and Arabs is long dead, if it ever existed.

Too many Arabs are part of the terror murder machine in Israel for us to hope for a better day tomorrow, without some drastic action to be taken by the Israeli government. The Israeli-left and the U.S. State Department would like us to believe that by surrendering more land to the Arabs or by giving the Arabs more control of Judaism’s holiest sites, such as the Temple Mount, that Israel will gain quiet and security. However, rewarding the terrorists never worked before. Israel ran away from Lebanon bringing missiles and rockets closer to her major cities. The same happened after Israel’s concessions in “Oslo” and after the disengagement-expulsion of Jews from Gaza and Northern Shomron. Israel’s good will and concessions only brought about an intensification of Arab aggression and terror, as the terrorists used the lands and guns given them to advance their violent struggle against the Jewish state.The situation is only getting worse. When you have 11 year old Arab terrorist children stabbing Jews as well as 72 year old Arab grandmas partaking in the carnage, running Jews over and wielding their knives, it is time to wake up and understand that the pathological hatred that Arabs possess against Jews in Israel is not something that can be bought off with candies or with indoor toilets. This is not about desperation either. Many of the culprits are educated, professional and from affluent homes. The attacks are intensifying despite Netanyahu’s good will gestures, and his commitment to continue to discriminate against his own people on the Temple Mount, to the point where Israel allows the Arabs to control the mount and arrests any Jews that dare move their lips in prayer. The racist status quo which discriminates against Jews has been maintained and enforced to the point of national nausea, against Jews who seek to exercise basic religious rights.

Palestine, Amalek and Nazi Nation

During some points of the recent wave of terror which has plagued Israel, there were reports showing attacks against Jews every 10 minutes. The official PA schools run by Israel’s “moderate” peace partners openly support terror against Jews as does the Arab media. Arab mothers praise their children who kill Jews and glow with happiness when their martyred offspring die, as long as they kill a Jew along the way. This sweeping type of hatred against Jews is unprecedented in Jewish history. If anyone wants to get a better understanding of the rationale of the mitzvah in the Torah to wipe out Amalek – men women and children or the similar law that applies to the 7 nations, one need only look at the Arabs in Israel, where men, women and children are part of the armed terrorist struggle against the Jews. It is no surprise then that the Gematria – The mathematical sum of the letters that form the word “Phalastin” – “Palestine” and the sum of the word “Amalek” are equal to 240 (239 plus the kolel). The Nazi nation (haleum haNazi) is also equal to 239 (with the kolel).


7 Nations is a concept and not just about genetics


The Or Hachayim says that any nation that lives in the Land and that believes that we are thieves who stole their land, must be wiped out or expelled, because they will never settle for anything less than the expulsion or annihilation of the Jews- the people who they view as thieves – who stole “their land”. Indeed, it is us or them. There will never be peace and security until they are removed from Israel or until we lie down our arms and leave Israel.


Amalek is also a concept


Rabbi Yosef B. Soloveichik Z”L held that Amalek, as well, is not exclusively determined by genetics. He maintained that the German Nazis were halachically classified as Amalek. I know the Arabs have not succeeded in murdering 6million Jews, yet, G-d forbid. However, I also know that the so called “Palestinians” reached new heights when it comes to their level of Jew-hatred. I have yet to hear of Nazi grandmas who were happy to see their grandchildren perish in battle as long as they could aid in the murder of Jews. I have yet to hear of 11 year old German children who brandished weapons to hunt down Jews, or of 72 year-old German women who joined the hunt. These are not people you can reason with. These are not people who you could live side by side in peace with. No Jew will be able to cross a street or walk 4 meters in Israel without turning his back in fear of being attacked by Arabs. That is the reality whether we want to accept it or not.


They must go or we must go


They must go or we must go. Currently it is only legal to speak of expulsion of Jews and surrendering more land in a futile exercise of appeasement that only makes the Arabs more brazen, and thirsty for Jewish blood. To propose the expulsion of Arabs is considered racist according to Israeli law and can land the one espousing such words in prison. That has to change and will change if we wish to retain our Jewish homeland and if we wish to live in peace, security and tranquility. There is no other alternative.


Israel will survive


It is likely that when Israel ultimately takes the type of action that it needs to take to finally quell Arab terror and to distance the hostile Arabs from Israel, that this will bring international condemnation and sanctions against Israel. Better sanctions and life for the Jews and the Jewish state, than accolades, Auschwitz and funerals and flower sympathy wreaths to be laid at a new Yad Vashem that will G-d forbid memorialize the Jewish state that was. Israel will survive, but Israel will need to wise up and legalize the only program that could yet save the state. Legalization of Kahane? Call it whatever you want or show me another alternative that is based on Torah and/or logic that could save Israel.


American Jews Must Come Home To Israel – while they still can


As for Jews in the Exile, they ought to heed the words of Rabbi Kaniyevsky who has called upon Jews not to leave Israel and for the Jews to come home to Israel. Once Israel shows faith in G-d and takes the necessary steps such as expelling her hostile Arab enemies, the Jews will be subject to attacks from Muslims around the world. The governments that will likely condemn Israel and ostracize the Jewish state will not have the will or the ability to control the Muslim mobs and other random Jew haters who will blame Israel – The Pariah State for all of the security and economic ills of the world. This is already happening in Europe and across the United States. But the Jews who come home to Zion will find refugeת Yoel 3:5)..


The Torah Warns About What Will Happen if the Jews do not fulfill the Mitzva to expel their enemies


This is all written clearly in the Torah: Bamidbar 33:52 where it says that if we do not drive the inhabitants out of the land they will end up oppressing us on the land. The commentaries explain that they will do to us that which we should have done to them.
The Talmud teaches us in Sotah page 34 (The page learned in Daf HaYomi on Sunday this week, the very same day the Arabs carried out yet another two stabbing attacks in Jerusalem), that Joshua and the nation of Israel passed through the Jordan River into Israel, with the walls of the water standing 12 mil high on either side of the Jews, who miraculously passed through them. Joshua stopped the nation of Israel while still in the Jordan River and had this to say to them, before they entered into the land: Know the reason that you are going into the Land, for the sake of driving out the enemies of the land and inheriting the land. If you are prepared to do this then everything will be ok, but if not, the water will come crashing down on you and on me to drown us.




The words speak for themselves and require no further explanation. This is a halachic imperative and we will not be able to inherit the land if we do not drive out the inhabitants. We will be washed away. It is not a coincidence that the Arabs speak of driving us into the sea. Interestingly enough the gematria of “bain Mayim” – the water will come = 153, the same gematria as “bSakinai” (with those wielding knives), which is also the same gematria as Veauto LeHasel – and with an auto to kill. And water is the same gematria as the word blades (Mayim and BLahavim) = 90. The point is clear – if we listen to the Torah and drive out our enemies we will have life in the land, and if not we will be washed away into the sea, stabbed and run over, or whatever means the enemy finds to use at his/her disposal to conveniently murder Jews.


Torah, water, swords, vehicles as tools to save Jews or to kill Jews – THE CHOICE IS OURS!


Torah is compared to water – yet the very same water can be turned into a weapon to destroy us. Measure for measure when we reject the Torah way and the Torah solution, we stand to get washed away by water. Safra VEsayfa – Torah and the sword also go together, as we learn that Jewish scholars should use a sword when they need to, holding a sword in one hand and the Torah in the other, like King David. The word for knife in Hebrew is “sakin”. Sakin, too, has two opposite roots and meanings and could be used to save Jews or to kill Jews. The word misken means weak (a nebach) yet also could be used in the opposite context as we see in the words sakana or mesukan – danger and dangerous.
Hebrew is a Divine language, created by G-d – and antonyms and synonyms often derive from the same root, and there is often a thin line that divides between them. Man is given two choices, and freedom to choose between the Torah way of life or self-destruction. The same water can be used like a tree of life or like waters that crash down upon our heads and drown us, if we refuse to follow the Torah way and drive out our enemies. The same sword can be used against us or our enemies. The same vehicle can transport our enemies out of the land or be used to run us over G-d forbid. Every Rosh Hashana we utter the holliest prayer of the “Netane Tokef”, “who will perish in water or in fire”. (Fire is also the same root as blade), Lehava – flame and Lehav – blade. Who by sword? Who by water? At this time in Jewish history that holy prayer takes on another dimension and has additional meaning – who will perish and who will be expelled, – us or them?


Arutz Sheva

“Today everyone knows that the gloomy predictions of my father Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, of blessed and righteous memory, about the Oslo Accords turned out to be correct…”

Rabbi Ovadia’s grandson blasts Deri over Oslo

Grandson of revered spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia blasts Shas chairman’s claim that his grandfather instructed him to abstain on Oslo vote.
Arutz Sheva Staff, 13/09/18

Rabbi Yehonatan Yosef, the grandson of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, sharply criticized the remarks made by Shas chairman Aryeh Deri, who said in an interview with Army Radio that the order to vote for the Oslo Accords was received from Rabbi Ovadia.


“We have explicit recordings of my grandfather, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef of blessed and righteous memory, and his clear statements that it was Aryeh Deri who dragged him to support the Oslo Accords. I am sorry that in the Sephardic and general public people believe a convicted criminal and not my grandfather, Rabbi Ovadia,” said Yosef.


“Today everyone knows that the gloomy predictions of my father Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, of blessed and righteous memory, about the Oslo Accords turned out to be correct. Even though he paid a heavy price with ugly personal persecution in the face of his opposition to the bloody agreements, father was not afraid to express his opinion, that of the Torah, and so do I, the small one, especially when they harm grandpa, father and their heritage.”


Yosef, who serves as Eli Yishai’s representative in a unity faction headed by Aryeh King which is running for Jerusalem city council, also said, “Everyone knows that when Eli Yishai was close to my grandfather, Rabbi Ovadia published an emotional letter to the settlers of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in which he explicitly wrote that the ruling he gave about ‘Land for Peace’ is not valid at all and the Oslo agreement is null and void. ”


“He also vehemently opposed the Disengagement, including strong opposition to the evacuation of isolated settlements such as Netzarim,” Yosef said.


“Even in the case of a ruling relating to territories in return for peace on the ground, we saw that by the day of his death, he had instructed Shas representatives to oppose any concessions on territories. My father and I strongly opposed the Oslo Accords. Who knows how many Jews would have been alive if Aryeh Deri would have bothered to knock on the government’s table and oppose the agreement. It is unclear to every thinking person how the illusion agreements, with their many dangers, such as giving thousands of rifles to Palestinian policemen and bringing thousands of murderers from Tunis to the Land of Israel, did not cause him to rise up and warn of the danger posed to millions of Jews,” Yosef concluded.


Councilman Greenfield Denounces Anti-Semitic Outburst in NYC Council Chamber

anything Ny Published on Jan 22, 2015
New York City Councilman David G. Greenfield makes impromptu remarks on the floor of the council moments after Pro-Palestine activists protested the commemoration of 1.1 million people killed in Auschwitz. Greenfield is the grandson of holocaust survivors. He can be followed on Twitter at @NYCGreenfield and at


Netanyahu presented with emergency plan to absorb 120,000 French Jews



Indicating displeasure with Israel’s immigration promotion and absorption strategy, the Jewish People Policy Institute last week presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with its emergency plan for the absorption of 120,000 French immigrants.According to the high profile Jerusalem think tank, which maintains close ties with the Jewish Agency and senior politicians, Israel has thus far not implemented the necessary policies to compete with the United States, Canada, and various European states in attracting highly educated and business savvy French Jews.


According to JPPI senior fellow Dr. Dov Maimon – himself a French immigrant – despite the increase in French aliya over the past several years, the number of people making the move is relatively small compared to the large numbers of people who have made inquiries with the Jewish Agency.


Agency chairman Natan Sharansky recently told The Jerusalem Post that some 50,000 French Jews had requested information on aliya during 2014.


“When you have 100,000 people who come to your shop to look at a car and only 7,000 buy it at the end of the day, the conversion rate is seven percent. The conversion rate [regarding aliya] is very low,” Maimon told the Post.


“We have made a market study. We have reached out to those people who want to come and didn’t come and asked them ‘why don’t you come?’ and they tell us three things: employment, affordable housing, and social life.”


The JPPI believes Israel can entice 30,000 French Jews to come here annually over the next four years if it implements a policy shift away from the older model used in bringing over Jews from Morocco, Ethiopia, and the Soviet Union, he explained.


“The old paradigm was reaching out to in populations in distress…and you send them to [periphery development towns like ] Dimona and then they have nowhere to go. Today people have a choice. People who are not satisfied in Dimona will move back to France or Canada or America.”


Given that French emigres can work all over Europe and that places like the Canadian province of Quebec recognize their degrees and professional qualifications and actively recruit French graduates to move, Israel’s efforts, unless revamped, may prove insufficient to woo young, educated Jews, he added.


According to Maimon, the most important thing Israel can do to bring French Jews en masse to Israel is to “give tax incentives and job creation incentives” as well as provide subsidies for people who could create jobs here.


In its report, the JPPI recommended that Israel should establish an administrative body within the Prime Minister’s Office to coordinate all immigration from western Europe, a suggestion that Maimon said is significant because such work requires an increase in scope beyond what can be accomplished by the Immigrant Absorption Ministry.


“They are not the right people,” commented Maimon.


The report also recommended the establishment of a commission tasked with removing the administrative barriers prevented French professionals from working here.


When someone can use their French diploma anywhere in Europe and moving to Israel requires new testing just to continue working in a field in which one has toiled for years, there is less incentive to move, he explained.


One option, Maimon recommended, is a two-year, temporary measure to allow for the recognition of French degrees without any bureaucratic hassles.


“The committee will deal with, among other things, issues related to education, academics, military service and contact with the IDF, employment, published work permits and recognition of professional degrees, encouraging the relocation business and capital investment and housing,” according to the report.


Tax benefits, the formation of business incubators geared toward French entrepreneurs and the establishment of French communities and neighborhoods centered around Francophone social services and business enterprises would also serve to promote immigration, JPPI asserted.


Others have made such suggestions in the past.


Speaking with the Post in August, Tel Aviv businessman Edouard Cukierman, the son of Roger Cukierman, the president of the French communal umbrella organization CRIF, said that the Israeli business community must do more to attract French workers.


The Jewish Agency “does a good job for the average immigrant,” but does not know how to address the needs of educated classes from affluent Western nations as well as it deals with mass aliya, Cukierman said, adding that “they have very different needs from the standard immigrant.”


Late last year, the cabinet approved a new initiative to reform the byzantine bureaucracy involved in integrating accredited members of white collar professions into the labor market.


Doctors, physiotherapists, architects and other professionals will have easier transitions to Israeli society, the government announced last November, although no results have yet been announced.


In an interview with the Post earlier this month, absorption Minister Sofa Landver called upon the Ministries of Health, Education, Economy and Finance to lower such all barriers immediately, as a temporary measure pending legislation on the issue.


“We must immediately prepare for the absorption of many thousands of Jews from France. The figures we have already gathered show that thousands of Jews will shortly arrive, and we expect 15,000 this year alone, many more than were expected before the wave of terrorist attacks in France. Unless we put together a plan for their absorption from an economic point of view, they will be liable to emigrate to other countries.


The professionals in the government must review the plan and promote it,” Globes cited Natan Sharansky as saying.


Asked about the plan, a Jewish Agency spokesman said they “welcome all constructive discourse surrounding aliya. The activities of The Jewish Agency and of its partners in the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption reflect the range of possibilities and needs at any given time, in order to best address whatever situations may arise – in France as well as elsewhere.


The ongoing discussions regarding aliya involve a variety of parties and documents such as this one and can be helpful in guiding the conversation and serving as a basis for practical planning among all those concerned.”


A spokesman for the Absorption Ministry said he was not familiar with the JPPI plan.



Leading British Jewish Actress Says Antisemitism May Drive Her to Leave UK

January 29, 2015

Maureen Lipman

Maureen Lipman

One of Britain’s best loved actresses has admitted that she is contemplating leaving the country amid a sharp rise in antisemitic attacks against the UK’s Jewish community.


Maureen Lipman, whose extensive credits include a starring role in Roman Polanski’s 2002 film about the Holocaust, The Pianist, was speaking to London radio station LBC following Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies around the world.


“When the going gets tough, the Jews get packing,” Lipman said. “It’s crossed my mind that it’s time to have a look around for another place to live. I’ve thought about going to New York, I’ve thought about going to Israel.”


Lipman described as “very, very depressing” statistics released by the Community Security Trust, the official security body of British Jews, which last year recorded the highest level of antisemitic attacks in Britain in more than three decades.


“There are 245,000 Jews in this country; I’ve been talking like this for a long time, and my kids are very bored with me,” she said. “But it is only in the last few months that they have to begun to say: ‘Mum you may have something’.”


Lipman has become increasingly outspoken on the subjects of antisemitism and the demonization of Israel in recent months. As The Algemeiner reported in October, Lipman launched a fierce attack on Ed Miliband, the leader of the British Labour Party, for supporting British recognition of a Palestinian state independently of any negotiations with Israel. Lipman also accused Miliband, who is Jewish, of “pandering to the antisemitism masking as anti-Zionism, which is once again sweeping across Europe.”


Revival of a Nation

Israel April 15, 2018

This is Israel. (HD)

This is Israel. August 26, 2014



The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make. Number 1: How to Flip the Emotional Switch

Posted by: Alexandra Markus in Alexandra, Hasbara Guide 21April2015


I had planned to write a brief and concise Hasbara Guide for college students who are faced, often for the first time, with hostile opposition to the existence the country they love. Somehow though, I got more than a little bit carried away. I’ve just been doing this for way too long, and have a lot of field experience that I would love to impart on the next generation so that you don’t screw up as many times as I did.


I am also in a unique position. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to interact with antizionists and “non-zionists” in university through both my progressive activism (pro-choice, feminist, pro-LGBT, etc.), my budding friendships with my boyfriend’s sister who converted to Islam 30 years ago and her 5 children who are very active in SJP, and my relationship with my longtime best friend who converted to Islam 2 years ago (and yes, she’s still my best friend, although she does cringe at a lot of the things I say on this topic).


So if anyone understands what’s going on inside their heads, it’s me. And I can promise you, every one of those people mentioned above are wonderful people with their hearts definitely in the right place. I just think they’re wrong about this particular issue.


I’ve decided to frame this series in terms of don’ts, because I find that explaining what to do and how to do it is much easier when done so within the bounds of knowing what not to do.


So, without further ado, I present to you: The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make. In other words, How Not To Do Israel Advocacy So That You Get A Better Sense of How To Do Israel Advocacy.


In my 7 years of working the campus Israel Advocacy scene, along with my brief interlude as a hardcore leftist during my sophomore year of university, I’m going to come out point blank and say that I’ve been guilty of every single one of these mistakes. We’re all human, and we all have motives, hopes, and fears. We care about our safety, our reputation, and also the truth, and often we have to modify our methods to satisfy each of these to the greatest extent we can.


There is definitely a spectrum of activism, involving different philosophies and approaches, between “taking the high road” (a.k.a. doing nothing) and “fighting fire with fire” (a.k.a. using the tactics of the so-called “Pro-Palestinian” activists right back at them). The quote, “put two Jews in a room and you’ll get three opinions” seems to ring especially true in relation to which method of Hasbara is most effective. Jews can’t agree on anything, what makes you think Hasbara is any different?


The saying goes: you can only reach new heights by standing on the shoulders of giants. I’m going to make a disclaimer here and admit that some of these ideas aren’t exactly mine. Rather, they were conclusions I drew from countless discussions with well-known “giants” in pro-Israel activism, both literal (like Ryan Bellerose) and figurative (like Chloé Valdary). It’s actually quite funny that the most talented and effective pro-Israel activists in my opinion happen to be non-Jews, but when I think about it, it makes sense. We Jews are not very good at selling ourselves, because we don’t have a tradition of proselytizing like Christians and Muslims do. Fortunately, we can learn from them, so that you don’t wind up learning the hard way like I did as a naive, bright-eyed college freshman, all those years ago.

  1. Too many facts, not enough emotion.




This error is a committed often by pro-Israel students, especially since on our side we have facts, but on their side they have hyperbole, conspiracy theories, and pictures of dead babies. As my friend Ryan Bellerose always says, “If you respond to pictures of dead babies by talking about computer chips, everyone will think you’re an insensitive jerk.” The anti-Israel side is more effective by flipping an emotional switch in three seconds with a soundbyte or a picture of a dead Syrian baby than we are with our huge walls of text and facts about Israel’s myriad lifesaving technological innovations. Not only is that approach boring in comparison, it also isn’t particularly moving to anyone with a modicum of empathy when compared side by side to the disenfranchised Palestinians. That is unfortunate, because we do have a very compelling and emotionally charged story, we just need to learn how to tell it right. Since college students of the 21st century don’t have the attention span to read our long, dense fact sheets, especially when they have a few hundred pages of reading due by the end of the week, we need to flip their emotional switch. Not only should we debunk their pictures as fake or from other conflicts, but we should also contribute some of our own. Videos of Palestinian leaders admitting they want to kill all Jews, images of children hurt by Hamas rockets and suicide bombers, videos of Israelis running to bomb shelters and taking cover at the side of the road amidst sirens and panic, stories about Palestinians who were thrown off buildings and dragged by motorcycles for being gay or admitting publicly that they want peace with Israel, and maybe a 3-minute soundbyte about our indigenous claim to the land and the 7th century Arab conquest. Here’s a good example of an emotional video that is short and powerful enough to keep anyone’s attention and leave a positive impression of Israel, but if you look hard enough on sites and YouTube channels like MEMRI, Jerusalem U, StandWithUS, and PalWatch, you’ll find the soundbytes you’re looking for.

Jews Talk Justice

Alliance for New Zionist Vision April 6, 2015




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make # 2: How To Not Be A Wuss

| 28April2015

It’s Hasbara Tuesday, Ladies and Gents!

Welcome to Part 2 of the Hasbara Guide, because like Saudi wives, one is never enough.

No, I am not a paid Hasbara shill. I wish I was. It would be nice to get remunerated for all the hard work I put into advocacy, but alas, I have to stick to doing it because I care about my country and people. Hasbara has become a dirty word, just like Zionism has, and for the same reasons. No, we are not paid propagandists. Yes, Israel has paid spokespeople to promote its reputation just like every other country has. No, I am not one of them, and neither are any of my Hasbara colleagues. Aside from the really high-profile pro-Israel activists who get paid to do speaking engagements or who form the upper echelons of organizations like StandWithUs, I cannot think of anyone I know who is paid to do this. But I digress.

In this portion of The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make (TBMPIAM), I will discuss something most Jews find very counter-intuitive: actually standing up for ourselves rather than keeping our heads down in hopes people won’t notice us. Anyone raised by a Jewish mother can attest that you are conditioned from birth to do whatever in the world you could to avoid any risk whatsoever. “Don’t rock the boat”, “Don’t draw too much attention to yourself, you will get hurt,” “Don’t swab your ears with Q-Tips, you’ll burst your eardrum,” “Don’t post that [pro-Israel post] on Facebook, people will hate you, why would you want people to hate you?”

This Jewish self-preservation instinct, to stay in hiding and succeed through pure grit and hard work, comes from a very sad place, a cultural PTSD. But if we don’t stand up for ourselves, who will stand up for us? Or at least, who would stand up for us before millions of us have already been massacred? Our Jewish mothers are right – we cannot rely on the “goyim” to help us, we have to rely on ourselves. Simply too many people hate us and have hated us throughout history for literally no reason but superstition, so we have often learned the hard way that trusting others (or even sharing controversial opinions with them) can be a very bad, if not deadly idea.

I’m going to ask you to shelve that mentality. Disregard what your mother said. Yes, I can hear the collective gasp of Jewish mothers everywhere who are reading this. “Let someone else’s kid die for standing up for what they believe in!” they might exclaim, brows creased with worry. But fear not, interspersed throughout this guide and future installments are some safety tips, because although chutzpah is absolutely necessary to stand up for ourselves (and standing up for ourselves is absolutely necessary to avoid getting pummeled by enemies with far more chutzpah), you need to know when to quit.

If you try, there is a chance you’ll have to leave the fray for your own safety. However, that’s a very small chance, and your chance of failure is 100% if you don’t try at all. (If it makes you feel better, I’ve been doing this for 8 years and have emerged without even a hasbara-related scratch as a result, so I’m living proof that Hasbara can be done right – and safely). So, without further ado:




Mistake #2: Always being on the defensive instead of being proactive.

This issue is why most of the advice I gave in #1 (too much pedantic, hard facts and not enough emotion) doesn’t always work. Since the status quo is on our side, the anti-Israel camp feels like it has to work that much harder to gain enough popular opinion to topple it, while we stay complacent in maintaining it. They are constantly on the offensive because we are by definition defending the status quo, and are eager and zealous to jump into action with enticing slogans that fool students into thinking they are about tikkun olam, making the world a better place. Buzzwords like “social justice,” “equality,” and “human rights” are thrown around, and the nastiest of accusations are aimed at Israel without much vocal opposition from Day 1. For the first time in their lives, many of these students are given the feeling they can make a difference in the lives of thousands of suffering Palestinians. Students are immediately guilt-tripped, made to feel that if they don’t support the Palestinians and protest Israel, then they aren’t good people who care about human rights. Unfortunately, this means that the pro-Israel groups need to be proactive in ensuring this doesn’t happen, in showing them what human rights actually mean, that Jewish human rights are human rights too, and that the very real violations of Palestinian human rights are not Israel’s fault, before the anti-Israel groups get to it. This typically means right away.

We Jews have such a compelling story, if only we were to frame it appropriately as a struggle against thousands of years of oppression, we can appeal to the underdog-loving left too. However, the other side normally beats us to it, branding us as the evil white privileged colonizers before we get a chance to show our side of the story.

In most students, this means the emotional switch is already flipped, and any counterarguments or upbeat videos like the one I linked to in the last installment will just make us look like insensitive jerks. Think about it from their point of view based on the emotional overload they have probably already received from the Palestinian side: “Who cares about computer chips and nightlife when thousands of Palestinian babies are being slaughtered by the evil white supremacist colonialist jerk-offs in Israel? How can these Israelis party on the beach while Palestinians are being killed by the zillions by their compatriots in the IDF and not feel like the terrible people they are for not only being complacent, but supportive of their genocidal polices?” Misconceptions like these create a barrier that will result in whatever we are going to say not only being ignored, but also repudiated as insensitive. Once the emotional switch is flipped, no amount of logic and reason can un-flip it, which why we have to be proactive and try to flip the switch ourselves before the other side can. This advice may sound counterintuitive, but it’s really the only way around their aggressive campaign to move hearts and minds away from Israel.

So how do you do this?

  • Maintain active and proactive pro-Israel groups on campus and in your community. In other words, host many events with food. I started Montreal United with Israel after Protective Edge to create a meeting place at the grassroots for a wide variety of pro-Israel advocacy, as well as a one-stop shop for all things pro-Israel: information on all the events, lectures, political endorsements, and Israel-related local news you could ever want across the Zionist spectrum.
  • Post and comment on Israel-related news on social media. Don’t wait for a conflict to happen to do so, as usually when there is a conflict, the loudest voices are the ones against us and the emotional switch in naive minds is very easily flipped when tensions are high. Cause in point: antisemitic incidents soared during and following Protective Edge.
  • Make every effort to host activities that make people not only feel good about Israelbut also develop a better understanding of our point of view and the social justice issues we face as Jews. We must not ignore the elephant in the room – i.e. the conflict. Rightfully brand it as a triumph over oppression and countless attempts to wipe us out. Never forget that we are the underdog in the Arab World, and portray us as such. Some good examples are Israel Food Fests, bringing in IDF soldiers to talk (and since all Israeli students have to serve before university, ask any Israeli student), screening documentaries like the ones from JerusalemU, hosting an interactive workshop about the situation in Israel (SJP shouldn’t have a monopoly on interactive “apartheid wall” or eviction notice-type interactive, visual activities, maybe consider a makeshift rocket siren drill demonstration for example), or even a Zionist Music Festival like Chloe Valdary’s wildly successful “Declare your Freedom Fest”

Being proactive is extremely important, because once a news item comes their way, instead of letting their switch be flipped by the obviously biased reporting and demonization from SJP, SPHR, and the media, people will think twice, and hopefully, they will think critically.




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #3: How to Actually Know What You’re Talking About

  | 5May2015


Today is another Tuesday. That annoying day when the excitement of going back to work or school after the weekend has dwindled, but you still have four more days to go.

However, the fact that it’s Tuesday means it’s another Hasbara Tuesday! You get to find out what the next mistake Pro-Israel activists make is! Aren’t you psyched? I know I am!

You may have seen my segment discussing the series on The Voice of Israel. If you haven’t, you can find it here.

Before I start talking about how to deliver your facts and emotions, it’s important to make sure you don’t mess this up and give them ammunition by accidentally getting some of the crucial facts wrong.

Mistake #3 Not getting your facts right.

Wall of Truth

Wall of Truth

[Click to Enlarge]

You don’t have to be a genius to understand that if you are caught giving out wrong facts, you lose your credibility. Since a lot of the anti-Israel activists are well-trained professionals, we have to work so much harder than they do as they are quick to exploit any holes in our logic or story. Their activists know how to draft resolutions, infiltrate student governments, and captivate their audiences to the point that they’re all over these innocent students before we get a chance to sneeze, let alone say “Am Israel Chai.” Therefore, they get to frame and direct the argument. Fortunately for us, the facts, and history, are on our side, and the other side is the one that is twisting facts and ideas. Another advantage is that pro-Israel activists tend to be more educated on the issue, because the antizionist viewpoint usually belongs to someone who was too lazy or had too much at stake to pick up a nonrevisionist history book. However, even those of us who are educated tend to make mistakes, especially given how biased and misinformed sources we trust such as politicians, the media, NGOs, and even the UN often are. The most common errors are 1) that Arabs (“Palestinians”) are indigenous to Israel and 2) That the settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law. I’m going to debunk those two myths because they are so ingrained in the discourse that they are seen as truth, even among most pro-Israel students.

1) In his talk at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR) in Montreal, Ryan Bellerose cited the official definition of “indigenous” to prove that the Jews, not the Palestinians, are indigenous to Israel (also in this post on Israellycool). Indigenous status, according to José R. Martinez-Cobo (former special rapporteur of the Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities for the United Nations), is conferred not just based on where a group comes from but also based on the specific place where the group’s culture originated. The genesis of Arab culture occurred in the Hijaz peninsula (in and around Saudi Arabia), while the genesis of Jewish culture occurred in Israel. But what about Palestinians who were once Jews? Ryan has an answer to this: “In accepting the identity of the Arab colonizers,” he said, “even ethnically Jewish converts who identified as Muslim Arabs had forefeited their indigenous culture and status.” If a Gulf Arab were to convert to Judaism, marry a Jew, learn Hebrew, assimilate into the culture, and move to Israel, she too would forfeit her indigeneity to the Hijaz Peninsula and take on the indigeneity of her adopted culture to the land of Israel. Since many ancestors of the Palestinians were converted to Islam by Arabs and fully embraced Arab culture, they no longer belong to the Jewish cultural group (in fact, many would get deeply offended if you accused them as such), and therefore cannot claim to be indigenous to the land of Israel. Blood isn’t enough, as home is where the heart, soul, and genesis of a culture was and is.

2) Until about a year ago, I actually believed that the settlements were illegal, because the so-called “pro-Palestinian” side never ceased to point that out as they preyed on my ignorance on that particular topic. Contrary to popular belief, the settlements are actually legal under international law. Here’s why (let’s start from the top, shall we?):

In 1948 Israel was formed as a territory handed over by the British and voted upon by the United Nations. Almost immediately, Arab states attacked Israel on all sides. There was a yearlong war in which Israel lost 1% of its population. At the end of the war, they had an armistice agreement (1949) that handed over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to Jordan. Gaza became part of Egypt. As a part of the 1967 war, which Israel surprisingly won, Israel took over the Sinai Peninsula (which included Gaza), the Old City of Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria (a.k.a. the West Bank). Later, through peace treaties, the Sinai was returned Egypt, and both of the Egyptian and Jordanian borders were at peace. However, Egypt refused to take Gaza and Jordan refused to take charge of the West Bank. The Egyptian and Jordanian inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, who somehow magically became “Palestinians” the moment those territories were given to Israel, disputed that territory swap, culminating in the brutal First Intifada, which ended with the Oslo Accords in 1994. The Oslo Accords were signed between the Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin and the head of the PLO, Yasser Arafat. As these negotiations continued, Israel agreed to swap some of its land for peace, and the beginning of the transfer of authority to the Palestinians had begun. During these land for peace swaps in the 1990’s, Israel kept some discrete pockets within the territories they gave up, predominantly Jewish neighborhoods, in order to avoid displacing too many Jews and to be able to maintain a security presence. As per the Oslo Accords, the Jewish settlements, dubbed “Area C” were determined to be administered by Israeli military and civilian authority. The security presence is important because the Palestinian government hadn’t, and hasn’t yet changed its mind about wanting to do everything it can to destroy Israel. Since the West Bank and Gaza were Israel’s to give, there are absolutely no legal issues with having kept some, as there were no legal issues when France decided to keep the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off the coast of Quebec in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

Ergo, the settlements in the West Bank are legally Israel’s or disputed, depending on one’s definition. They are not occupied. The “occupation” misnomer is nothing more than pure historical revisionism, designed to persuade the public into believing falsehoods that undermine the Israeli cause.

Israel has always been very eager to make peace with the Palestinians, but the latter have refused because they believe all of Israel belongs to them and want nothing more than to eliminate it. This is why all talks between the Palestinians and Israel are going nowhere, and any possibility of a Two State Solution is impossible as long as the Palestinians persist in this denial of the state of Israel and remain an ongoing security threat. They don’t want two states, they want Palestine to replace Israel. Their definition of peace is for the entire land to belong to the Arabs, and for Palestine to replace Israel completely. As such, they refuse to back down until this happens, and only adopt resolutions if they facilitate that goal.

There are many other examples where many pro-Israel activists get their facts wrong, but this example is so common that in their Advocacy training guide, CIJA (Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs) even advises to “not defend the indefensible” (a.k.a. the settlements). Given that I just defended the settlements, CIJA’s advice comes from either a lack of understanding of the facts and history that are so integral to understanding the conflict, or based on the assumption that the general public who have been force-fed these lies for so long are a lost cause. That being said, I understand where CIJA is coming from, as although the settlements are not illegal, they are very unpopular, even among most Jews. In my opinion, they are unpopular because certain misconceptions and rewritings of history are so common that people believe them to be true. This revisionism misleads people to believe that settlements get in the way of Palestinian statehood. However, when we dig through history, we learn that every two-state solution offer included dismantling all the settlements, but even that didn’t stop the Palestinians from refusing them. This track record makes it painfully obvious that the only statehood the Palestinians want is one that replaces Israel completely, and that dismantling the settlements won’t solve the Middle East Conflict, it will just give the Palestinians the power and autonomy needed to gather enough weapons to destroy Israel. After all, the settlements didn’t exist in 1949 (it was Arab land) and the Arabs still attacked Israel at every opportunity.

Although the settlements may require a complex explanation, if the topic is ignored it will remain the elephant in the room, especially if the opposition is curious about them or using them as part of their argument that Israel violates human rights. Despite my impassioned defense, I am still ambivalent about Israeli settlement policy, but that’s a discussion for another day.

You don’t have to be a walking encyclopedia or history buff, but when you talk about something in a position of authority, you should probably try to get your facts right. Books like The Case for Israel and The Case Against Israel’s Enemies by Alan Dershowitz, Why I am a Zionist by my friend Gil Troy, a professor at my alma mater, the age-old classic From Time Immemorial by the late Joan Peters, and Son of Hamas by Mossab Hassan Youssef are great primers that can be used to bolster knowledge of what you’re advocating. Don’t like books? JerusalemU makes pretty great short documentaries, and Alan Dershowitz’ The Case For Israel is also a film that’s on YouTube for free.

While you wait for the next installment of TBMPIAM, feel free to watch the videos and read the books I recommended above. Did I miss an important book? Are there any other common misconceptions you think advocates should learn about? Post them in the comments!




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #4: How to Not Look Like A Total Jerk

  | 12May2015

It’s Tuesday. We’re Tuesday People.

But, though I am a Tuesday Person (I was even born on a Tuesday) I am nowhere near as nice as Morrie Schwartz, at least not while doing Hasbara, because sometimes being nice is really hard. Raise your hand if you never called someone a nasty name in a debate, either online or in real life. I see no hands raised. Case in point.

I don’t think I know a pro-Israel advocate who hasn’t lost their marbles, threw off their kid gloves, and thought, “no more Mr. Nice Guy/Girl!” at least once. There are, after all, some pretty rabid antisemites and nutcases out there. However, the more seasoned, prominent pro-Israel activists I know are very professional and seldom if ever lash out at their opponents no matter how fed up they are. And when closed-minded nitwits refuse to listen to anything you have to say because, for example, you’re not their friend so they won’t trust you over their friend who is saying the opposite of what you are (or who claims his cousin’s best friend’s sister’s husband’s aunt’s house was destroyed in Gaza and she was only given five seconds’ warning to grab all her belongings so how dare I deny her lived experience), or because to them the fact that the Palestinians are the underdog and the Israelis are victorious necessarily means the Israelis are the oppressors of the Palestinians, sometimes you have to know when to quit. Case in point illustrating what not to do: calling people closed-minded nitwits. To their face, anyway. You can vent all you want when you go home to your husband or your best friend or your local Zionist World Domination Planning Committee meeting.

(As an aside, if someone accuses you of denying their lived experience, send them a link to the IDF protocol for Gaza (if you are Israeli) or this IDF article about their protocol. Tell them the truth: that, assuming what they said is true, those who do [insert their IDF demonizing “anecdote” here] are breaking the rules of the IDF and, if caught, are severely punished. Give them an example – a news article – of when an IDF soldier got in trouble for something similar)

When you start to feel like you’re talking to a brick wall despite your best efforts, when you start to realize that too much is at stake for the person you’re talking to should they decide to change their opinion for them to ever consider doing so, you need know when to stop what you’re doing. I even have friends whom I’ve been friends with since high school or earlier who are anti-Israel because they fell for the “Social Justice” anti-Israel rhetoric in university hook, line, and sinker, but they’re still my friends. I just gave up talking politics with them because I knew I would never get anywhere (not for lack of trying, through) and that any further attempts would only create friction between us. I have other friends who were more open-minded whom I was successfully able to convince. So your mileage may vary, but you have to know that when there are sparks – the first signs of a flame war on both sides – you sometimes have to put out the fire and just leave the building, otherwise you just burn down with it and all you’ll be left with are ashes.

If you don’t, it’s extremely easy to get frustrated, and frustration, especially when these brick walls are saying deeply offensive, antisemitic things, often leads you to do things you wouldn’t do otherwise, things that don’t necessarily feature you or the Zionist Movement in the best light. You get more with honey than you do with vinegar. But don’t beat yourself up over failing to convince them, remember you can’t win ’em all.

What NOT to do: Ad hominem, as it can easily devolve into this [not a real conversation].

What NOT to do: Ad hominem, as it can easily devolve into this [not a real conversation].

#4. Using ad hominem without explaining why.
Ad Hominem is a Latin term that is literally means “to the man,” and is usually a device used by people who suck at arguing, want to intimidate despite a weak argument, or have run out of ideas. Figuratively, it means insulting the person talking to you rather than the things they are saying, effectively discrediting them and telling them that everything they say is going to be wrong because they are [insert insult here]. This removes their incentive to even bother talking to you or listening to what you have to say, prematurely ending the debate with an automatic loss for you. What’s the point of doing Hasbara if you’re going to keep shooting yourself in the foot by calling your opponent a name, implicitly informing them that no matter what they say you won’t listen? The answer is, there is no point. It’s a complete waste of time!Knowledge is power, but with great power comes great responsibility. Meaning, when you’re representing the Jewish people, don’t be a jerk, because it makes the rest of us look like jerks. This advice is often the hardest to follow because it can be so tempting to call someone ignorant, stupid, or an “asshat.” As true as those insults may be, they don’t work; in fact, they are counterproductive. Think of the last time your mind was changed by someone who belittled you for being ignorant, called you an idiot or a bad person, or talked down to you. I might just be speaking for myself but I can’t think of any examples. When someone disrespects you, it is human nature to tune them out and not take them seriously as they are not taking you seriously by calling you those names. So as counterintuitive as it seems, be patient with them. Instead of saying, “You’re wrong!” or “You’re so ignorant!” explain exactly why they are wrong and what facts in particular are missing or misunderstood. Insult the ideas, not the people, but still let them down gently. For example:THEM: Israel has made Gaza an open-air prison in order to abuse and control the Palestinian people and limit their self-determination.
Wrong Answer: That’s totally wrong! What are you, an idiot?
Wrong Answer 2: Where did you get this info? The propaganda machine? Pick up a damn history book!
Right Answer: It’s interesting you say that, because there are some missing pieces. Did you know that Israel dismantled all Jewish settlements in Gaza in 2005 and withdrew fully from the territory, and that there was no blockade at the time? Gaza had autonomy and held elections through which Hamas came to power, and from 2005-2009 thousands of rockets were launched into Israel from Gaza. That is why the blockade exists, and the UN has found that it is a fully legal blockade.The use of insults doesn’t only apply to people – sometimes it can apply to groups. For example, many people have their facts so wrong that they get alienated if you use the word “terrorists” to describe Hamas. They see it as us delegitimizing the Palestinians’ elected government and undermining their desire for statehood. That’s why it’s so important to show, for example, why Hamas are terrorists before actually calling them terrorists. Same goes for any derogatory term, like “murderers”, “Nazis”, “fascists”, etc. By the same token, if you absolutely must call someone a name, first depersonalize it, then explain why you chose that particular name. For example, instead of saying “you’re so ignorant!” say, “That’s actually a very ignorant thing to say. Here is why….”If you call someone a name, they won’t listen to anything you have to say afterward because you sound like a jerk that doesn’t care about what they have to say. Even if you don’t care about what they have to say because you know they’re wrong, their education is wrong, their sources are wrong, or they have an obvious agenda, you have to at least pretend to care. No matter what, ad hominem is rude, and if you’re rude, don’t be surprised to get rudeness in return.TOP



The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #5: How to Win Over the Next Generation

 | 19May2015

Mistake #5: Same old, same old.

feature photo for titanium zev video

feature photo for titanium zev video

Happy (almost) Shavuot, Hasbarites! You can shave your beards now. And get married. But you probably wouldn’t want to do both at the same time.

The mistake I’m about to talk to you about is committed by pretty much every single pro-Israel group ever. It also annoys me to no end. It’s not like it’s any more damaging than the other mistakes, I just find it the most grating. After all, why are organizations paying thousands of dollars to bring in top speakers like Prof. Alan Dershowitz or the Israeli Ambassador who deliver brilliant, passionate speeches, only to have around 10 people show up, all Jewish senior citizens who are already converted (and maybe the one young student who works part time for a production company who was paid to film the event – in other words most likely me)?

The problem is, young Jews in general aren’t raised with a sense of pride in their heritage. They take our history for granted as a result, and don’t seem to care enough to organize events on their own. Therefore, members of the older generation, in other words, Holocaust survivors and their children, usually end up taking all the initiatives. The reason for this is obvious – those who survived the Holocaust saw firsthand what widespread antisemitism can do so they are determined to stop it. They also intimately understand how important Israel’s existence is in order to protect us from what they have known to be a long history of very fickle governments.

There’s a catch: older folks tend to have no idea how to attract young people. For starters, older people often eschew social media, and if they are on social media they usually don’t use it properly. They host events that most young people would find unappealing in the modern age of soundbytes and interactivity, like a screening of a 3-hour documentary on the Dreyfus Affair or a long lecture from a rabbi about Jewish Law or a monotone history professor who rambles on about the 1947 Partition Plan. Even lectures by interesting and famous people like Kasim Hafeez are not well attended (there were more SJP people walking out in this video clip than people actually attending the lecture). Kasim is an excellent speaker and a Muslim Zionist who has seen and experienced firsthand the type of hate his community indoctrinates its adherents with, so I was actually very surprised about that turnout. This begs me to question: why aren’t the fish biting?

I learned in psychology class in undergrad that young people are egocentric, so they won’t want to attend events that force them to be passive and uninvolved. That’s why they are so attracted to the Palestinian side – because the Palestinian side makes them feel special, like they could make a change just by attending their events and boycotting Israeli products. Moreover, the Palestinian side guilt-trips them into not wanting to be associated with anything as “un-PC” as the real problems in the Muslim world. In fact, anything that doesn’t adhere to the radical leftist “social justice” code of conduct is deemed “un-PC” and therefore immoral and can result in severe punishments such as ostracism. Therefore, like socks and sandals, Zionist movements and their associated events are things students are made to feel that they shouldn’t be caught dead in. Manipulation at its most brilliant.

The anti-Israel side has a lot they can teach us. They host music festivals, trivia nights, and poetry slams, which young people really like and consider “cool.” They particularly enjoy these activities because they are interactive and allow everyone to actively participate and contribute, as well as take part in the trendy movement that is “social justice.” On the other hand, university students spend enough time in lecture halls, so unless the speaker is an actual celebrity or the documentary is less than 30 minutes long, they wouldn’t want to spend even more time in a lecture hall they could avoid it. That’s why we need to start holding events in cafés, lounges, and other places where young people of all cultures and creeds like to hang out. Our events have to be informative, but also fun and interactive. That’s why the Palestinian side has got marketing their cause down to a science! Trivia nights, music festivals, and poetry slams are perfect examples of exactly that. They allow people to bond and lose themselves in the experience, things young people enjoy and crave more than anything.

The pro-Palestinian side markets itself as a struggle, a hustle to get by. They relate to the student who is studying day and night while juggling a part-time job or even a kid or two. They relate to the student who is trying to find herself, struggling to make her way through the smoke and mirrors. The movement appeals to anyone who is going through a hard time, anyone who has ever felt oppressed and victimized. Their events are always free and almost always include childcare, in order to attract the most vulnerable and then relate them to their cause. Next to them, the “rich, elitist Jews,” with our ivory tower shindigs that sometimes cost hundreds of dollars (like the AIPAC conference) and involve nonstop bragging sessions about how successful, wealthy, and innovative Israel is, can be a huge turnoff to ordinary students who want a cause, a struggle to relate to, students who want to feel like they are helping make a difference in the world.  We need to start appealing to the Davids of the world, as Ryan Bellerose so aptly put it in this amazing must-read post, and stop portraying ourselves as Goliaths.

This might seem like a bit of a digression but I think it’s a good analogy so I’m going to say it nonetheless. When I was in high school (and this is going to be bragging but anyone who knows me from high school knows this was true), I was consistently at the top of my class. I worked really hard and did really well, and very rarely struggled with concepts. When I did, however, I was never afraid to ask for help. When I did ask for help during a teacher’s office hours, I would frequently get shooed away. “You’re doing just fine, you’ll probably get 100 on the next test whether I help you or not, so I would prefer have more time to help the many students waiting in line behind you.” Don’t get me wrong, my teachers liked me and enjoyed chatting with me (I was, after all, awarded my school’s equivalent of Miss Congeniality at graduation), but they were totally right. I was usually smart and capable enough to eventually work through these concepts on my own.

So how does this story relate to Hasbara? If we portray ourselves as if we are at the top, nobody will want to help us or see the need to support us. Nobody sympathizes with the “poor little rich girl” in her Gucci sunglasses and her BMW convertible, as they assume her Daddy would get her a cushy job even if she graduates high school with straight Ds. Nobody feels the need to give aid money to Donald Trump. Most certainly, nobody wanted to waste their time helping the Valedictorian with a math problem I probably could (and eventually did) solve on my own. As Jews, while it’s important to celebrate our triumphs, we also need to emphasize our struggles, as the reason you hear people like Noam Chomsky say that antisemitism isn’t a problem anymore is because we don’t do enough of the latter. We don’t look like people who are resisting an existential threat – which we are!

Making events more attractive to young people will also make them more attractive to non-Jews, whom we absolutely need to focus on getting on our side because non-Jewish youngsters are overwhelmingly anti-Israel. Why? Because young people will do whatever is cool, and the “Social Justice Movement,” which unfortunately means anti-Israelism by extension, is what’s branded as “cool.”Anti-Israel leaders are mostly Arab youngsters who are trained up from birth to want to do this, feel it’s a tribal duty to increase their honour, and know what’s cool and understand what it’s like to be a college student in the 21st century! Pro-Israel groups don’t have that advantage because they’re run by people who haven’t been college students  for the last 30-50 years! Contrary to popular antisemitic belief, there are too few Jews for us to ever have much power, so unless we can bring non-Jews into our cause, we won’t get anywhere. If your Hasbara documentary screening is going to just be yet another theatre full of Jewish retirees, might as well just screen the Golden Girls or I Love Lucy because it won’t make any more of an impact on our political goals and public policy than if we screened Crossing the Line 2We want to persuade the leaders of tomorrow, not the leaders of yesterday!

The score has been settled: The anti-Israel camp has branded themselves as the cool kids and we have branded ourselves as the nerds. The pro-Israel movement has become a senile idiot who fell asleep at the wheel and didn’t notice this paradigm shift happening since the 1980’s, with its roots in the late 1960’s. This installment discussed only part how to become the “cool kids” again. The next installment will cover the missing piece of that puzzle…




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #6: How to Win Friends In Order To Influence People

| 26May2015

How to Win Friends & Influence People

How to Win Friends & Influence People

As we’ve discussed last week, the biggest obstacle in Israel Advocacy is getting our message out. Getting the message out doesn’t mean preaching to the converted – as they already embrace it! Therefore, the way to influence public opinion is by building alliances, especially with the left and non-Jews – in other words, the groups that have the most power and aren’t already pro-Israel. Minds are best changed and opinions are best formed through relationship building, or alliance-forming. If you don’t believe me, just look and see what SJP is doing. They already have a strong support base among Muslims and Arabs so they don’t even bother trying to direct their PR at them. Instead, they temporarily turn into lefties, because they know not to make the same mistake we do, which is…

Mistake #6: Preaching to the Choir

Yes, most Conservatives and Jews love Israel. We know that. They know that. If we only cater to them, we are literally wasting our time, while the anti-Israel groups cover a lot of ground and gain a lot of fans through their extremely effective outreach programs.

Doing this is a big problem for us Jews especially. Due to our history of persecution we have a tendency to stay inside our bubble and not reveal any potentially contentious opinions or ideas to anyone outside of it, for fear of repercussion. Moreover, proselytizing is totally not our forte; in fact, unlike Christians and Muslims, we have no tradition of it. This gives the anti-Israel groups (which are mostly Muslim-affiliated) a HUGE advantage, as activism, in a way, is a form of proselytizing. The exact same skill set is needed, in addition to very similar approaches and tactics. This ability to persuade and proselytize, which is so deeply embedded into Muslim and Christian tradition and culture, is totally absent among Jews. In fact, we not only suck at proselytizing, we also revile it and see it as unnecessary and obnoxious, which is why most Jews really can’t stand activists, whom they decry as “radical nutjobs” with utmost derision. It’s no wonder that most Jews abide by the notion of sha shtil, which roughly translates to “sit down and be quiet,” which is the polar opposite mentality to activism. The polar opposite mindset to combating antisemitism. We are already fighting an uphill battle from the outset. If we want to get even close to an even playing field with the anti-Israel side (let alone surpass them), we absolutely MUST stop preaching to the choir and get out of our Jewish Bubble.

But… how? Many Jews just don’t know how to do it. Fortunately I have some insight here I need to share.

First and foremost, we must build alliances, which are built through friendships and interaction with individuals outside the bubble. Yes, that’s hard, but any Christian who has done any missionary work will be the first to admit: if you want to be effective, the first and most important thing you have to do is get out of your comfort zone. Make alliances with other groups totally unrelated to Israel and Judaism, especially highly motivated social justice people who want to make a difference. You’ll go farther if you can appeal to as wide a variety of people as possible, and the more proactive these people are, the better. The Palestinians are totally aware of this, which is why you see these crazy comparisons between Ferguson and Palestine (Black solidarity movement, ironic since Zionist Jews were the most active in the Civil Rights movement alongside blacks), how the “Oppression of the Palestinians disproportionately affects women” (for the feminist activists), or even the twisted way in which anti-Israel activists somehow attach gay rights to one of the most homophobic entities on the planet (the Palestinian Authority). Do you seriously think they believe that Ferguson and Palestine are the same? I don’t. They do this to forge friendships, and create bonds and alliances by piggybacking on causes that people care very deeply about, to try to divert their passion for those causes into passion for the Palestinian cause. This concept of forming alliances is something we simply don’t do enough of, and something we can seriously learn from the Palestinians. That being said, I think what they do is appropriation. Personally, I feel more comfortable saying “here are some commonalities between us that might help us form a common bond” instead of saying “my situation is exactly like yours.” We need to fight fire with fire a little more, but we can do that without stooping to their level. However, appropriation is better than being a sitting duck and letting the antizionists make all the friends on the playground while successfully convincing everyone to hate you.

Some pro-Israel groups have focused on alliance-building, albeit in such marginal, isolated examples. It’s something we need to be doing a lot more of to gain people on our side. In fact, we are so behind the eight ball because among non-Jewish groups, most have already been approached by and converted to the other side. Why? Because the Palestinian activists are so proactive and know the right emotional and rhetorical tools to persuade naive audiences while we don’t. If a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on a door only to find out a Mormon got there first and baptized the person, the Jehovah’s Witness could preach all they want, but it would be an exercise in futility. Like the JW in this analogy, in most cases, we are simply too late. The ship has sailed, especially if emotional switches have been flipped.

We need to start taking advantage of our interpersonal skills and build relationships on a personal level with executives of organizations not related to Israel or Jews. I know that the urge to stay in the Jewish Bubble is strong with us, but we must resist it with all our might. Even one connection could be a link into larger organizations with thousands of followers. Start with befriending non-Jews and building a rapport before ever talking politics, and then ease your way into it. Although we are doing a pitiful job when compared to the other side, there have been small but notable triumphs that we have to build upon.

A pertinent example that highlights both the challenges we face and the potential for success is McGill University’s anti-BDS campaign, in which I played a peripheral role in helping defeat the Pro-BDS campaign. If you take a look at the events I linked to, you can see the list of endorsements for each side in their descriptions.

The anti-BDS campaign had nearly ALL Jewish endorsements with few exceptions: the more Conservative provincial party (interestingly called the “Liberal Party”) and the popular center-left student newspaper The McGill Tribune. The pro-BDS group has mostly Muslim and Arab groups, however there are many notable exceptions: the most popular student newspapers in English and French; the much-loved umbrella organization for social justice that gets a default $4 a semester from all students (QPIRG, whose fees are increased by student referendum every few years, and yes, I despise it for many reasons); the Union for Gender Empowerment (UGE); the Midnight Kitchen (the school’s vegan food bank); CKUT (our college radio station); the African Students Society (MASS, which supports BDS but uses wix as a web host); KANATA (an indigenous Canadian group); and the Black Students Network (BSN). In other words, BDS is not a fringe movement at McGill: it’s actually really mainstream. The leaders of the movement projected the idea that “you should vote for BDS, duh, everyone is doing it.” Since college students haven’t outgrown peer pressure, this strategy totally works. What struck me is not only how the BDS camp made it look so effortlessly “hip” and played on strong psychological desires to fit in, but also the striking differences between the constituencies of both movements, which illustrates the problem we are facing.

The anti-BDS group had nearly all Jewish organizations and Jewish politicians – all older rich white men whom no student could relate to. The pro-BDS group had young, hip student groups comprised of students of every color just like McGill voters, who identify with groups that are traditionally seen as “oppressed”. In college, it’s “cool” to be a leftie (actually it’s considered mandatory for anyone who wants to appear to have a conscience, sadly). And, among lefties, it’s “cool” and “edgy” to be part of an oppressed group. Also among lefties, only the voices of those who belong to oppressed groups actually matter, or at least they hold the most weight, as an attempt to compensate for injustices committed against them, as well as “attempts to silence them.” Cognizant of these trends, anti-Israel groups made it a point to lend credibility to the narrative of “oppression” of the Palestinians by the Israelis by having oppressed groups on campus vouch for them. From genderqueer (UGE), to students of color (BSN, ASA), to indigenous students (KANATA) to economically disadvantaged students (Midnight Kitchen), the anti-Israel groups had managed to woo the entire spectrum of oppressed minorities.

However, this cloud has a silver lining. Not all the clubs fell for their trap. The Armenian Student Association, which understands better than anyone what the Jews went through as they too suffered a horrible genocide in the early part of the 20th century, decided to jump on board with us and endorse the anti-BDS campaign. The Armenian-Jewish alliance, a bond between two groups that have been brutally oppressed throughout history, represents something we can build upon, a model for future alliances on campus that even the bleeding heart left can’t ignore.

Another part of the silver lining? Despite the overwhelming vocal support the anti-Israel side got during the campaign, BDS was narrowly outvoted by a 50-vote margin. Why? Because in the end, BDS is a message of hate and Zionism is a message of love. We must never lose sight of that.

You might be wondering: how in the world do anti-Israel groups manage to appeal to such a diverse array of organizations? Here’s a hint: Chameleon. they tailor their message to each audience. Because their message is literally a lie, they can manipulate and change it to suit the tastes of whomever they happened to be addressing at any given moment. As we will find out next week, one size does not fit all…




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #7: How to Deliver Different Strokes for Different Folks

 |  3June2015

Happy Tuesday, Hasbarites (well, it’s still Tuesday where I am!)

By now, if you’ve been reading my previous installments as religiously as I hope you are, you’ve got the basics pretty down. The advice I’ve been giving you is advice that can apply to basically any kind of persuasive scenario. and a lot of it is common sense (although, as we all know, common sense isn’t exactly common).

Now that we’ve covered the basics, we can move on to some of the greatest hurdles in Israel advocacy and my idea of how to overcome them. The next advice I’m going to give you is probably going to be the most important advice I provide, as it’s exactly what the anti-Israel side is doing, and exactly what we AREN’T doing.

In my last few installments, I’ve discussed how most pro-Israel activities are headed by senior citizens who don’t know how to influence the next generation (as they don’t speak our language) and mainly preach to senior citizens. Given that senior citizens are overwhelmingly pro-Israel, it’s preaching the choir and a waste of time. I’ve discussed how pro-Israel groups fail to get out of their Jewish bubbles and create and build alliances with other cultural groups. And now, I bring you something that anyone who has studied marketing should be well-acquainted with, but most pro-Israel organizations are not: knowing your audience.

Mistake #7 Thinking one size fits all

Different Strokes

Different Strokes

When we promote Israel, whether on campus or off, we project the same monolithic message every single time. Israel is great! Look at the beaches! Look at the gay pride parades! Look at the hot women! Support Israel because we’re sexy!

Except that doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, that style was founded and projected in the 1980’s during the Reaganomics yuppie age. That time of relative tranquility between the 1960’s and ’70’s revolution and the post-9/11 activist reemergence when everyone wanted to be a “Material Girl (or Guy)”. The late 1980’s was the heyday of gangsta rap, where bragging about getting rich, piling on the bling and name brands, and pretending to have bank accounts as big as your hair, were in vogue (if you want to understand that zeitgeist, think of the movie Clueless). Nowadays, pretending to be as bohemian and ascetic as possible, what I would like to call “fake poor” or “thirdworldist” is chic. This means raiding thrift stores (or wearing new designer clothes that look like they were bought at a thrift store), listening to indie bands with weird, often esoteric names, and going to coffee shops with torn or patched up plaid sofas. This means looking back on the ’80’s and ’90’s with “WTF was that?!” and looking back to the ’60’s and ’70’s with wistful longing, nostalgia for an era that most of us have never experienced despite being glorified everywhere by today’s young “hipsters” – the trendsetters of the modern day.

Obviously, the zeitgeist is different now. Our Hasbara strategy hasn’t changed with the times, and the fact that today’s “cool kids” look down on the 1980’s with revulsion doesn’t help our cause. In fact, it makes us look even worse to them, because while our fancy, exclusive, 600$/plate fundraising galas might have thrilled 1980’s “Material Girls,” it just reminds Millennials of all the starving children in Africa (or Palestine!) who are suffering, as well as the elitist or classist lack of inclusion that only bolsters the common narrative of Israel being Goliath and the Palestinians being David. Palestinian activists know this, which is why they make all their events free, include free childcare, and host them at grungy but trendy cafés. They’re the cool kids. We’re so last century!

You might be asking: what in the world does this have to do with one size fits all? Well, a huge part of the zeitgeist of the 21st century is the appreciation of diversity. By spreading a monolithic message, we’re essentially ignoring that diversity is there. Our one-size-fits-all attempt to please and win over everyone will win over no one because it’s spreading ourselves too thin. If we want to be most effective, we need to cater our message to the individual, because there isn’t such thing as a monolith.

In order to do this you need to know how to read a room. Read a person. ask them questions and learn more about them as a person to determine which “category” they fit in (or which combination of categories). By knowing people, you can predict what they will likely say and be able to cater your response accordingly based on what they like to hear. This tactic is precisely how the Palestinian side has brought Black activists from the Zionist side (as Martin Luther King Jr. and his civil rights friends mostly were) to the antizionist side in droves – by somehow connecting the black struggle against police brutality in America (Ferguson, etc.) with the struggle of Ethiopian Jews and illegal African migrants against police brutality. (An aside: the former are much-beloved members of the Jewish community, as Jewish as I am, and the latter bring mayhem and criminality wherever they go – just ask any Israeli).

Here are some examples of catering your message to the individual, an expanded form of the popular piece “The 4 Types of Anti-Israel Leftists“. I’m sure you can come up with many more.

1. Radical Leftists

Case Study: Magenta Lawson

Magenta is a rising sophomore at Swarthmore College who identifies as gender nonbinary (skew female, gender pronoun “she”) and LGBTQ (queer). A Political Science major, she’s been bombarded for the first time this past year with all this new information about the injustices in the world perpetuated by European Colonialism against the Native American, African, Asian, and Middle Eastern tribes. She was taught that these were people totally at peace until the colonialists came and ruined it all. Inspired by her professors and enraged by what she’s been learning at school about all kinds of oppression, she feels a calling to make the world better and use her power and white privilege living in an affluent society to help the powerless. She joined the Queer Alliance and finally met people who understood her scenario and related to her nonbinary identification and approach and made her feel like she belonged and was part of something awesome instead of an outcast and weirdo like she was in high school. Many of these friends were also active in other social justice causes, sympathetic to marginalized individuals, whether they are queer, People of Color, or Palestinian. She started attending meetings at other organizations such as Amnesty International and Students for Justice in Palestine, where she learned about all the horrible crimes perpetuated against the Palestinians by Israel. Over time, while learning about the corrupt history of colonialism in America, how it was founded, and how it prospered off the backs of tortured African slaves and well-meaning Native Americans whom they handed a brutal genocide in return, she became disillusioned with power and started identifying as anarchist, seeing that as the ultimate expression of anti-colonialism. While learning of corruption and greed of the wealthy, who exploit the poor to fill their pockets, she also became sympathetic to Marxism.

Who they are?

Usually college students (people tend to grow out of this once reality hits them in the face), sometimes non-profit workers, union organizers, and academics.

Why do they believe what they do?

They’re idealistic and genuinely want to make the world a better place. They are also very trusting of anyone who claims to be “marginalized” and mistrusting of anyone in authority, power, or who projects an air of success and affluence – e.g. the Clueless Hasbara Organizations (see what I did there?) They believe in a zero-sum game – in order for someone to be affluent and successful, somebody else must be oppressed and slaving away without getting what they deserve. This disillusionment with power is what draws many of them to Marxism and anarchism.

How do we appeal to them?

To attract the radicals, who care the most deeply and whose concern and motivation to act we can use to help our own cause, we need to focus more on justice and less on peace. This advice might sound counterintuitive, but if you have peace without justice, stability without resistance in the face of a purportedly “oppressive” regime, you have a solution that is unfair. This unfairness doesn’t fly, especially with Generation Y, brought up in the “everybody gets a trophy” egalitarian culture. The bright side is that leftists are generally open-minded, so if you feed them the information in an anti-oppressive framework without sounding too confrontational, they might understand.

What do we do?

We need to speak their language. Learn the language of the left, the language of anti-oppression. Radical leftists will only support you if you’re disenfranchised, so talk about the Jewish struggle for equality and self-determination over the course of millennia. Expulsions (especially the Farhud, to expose the Arabs for the colonialists they really are), genocides, massacres, pogroms, second class citizenship, colonization, etc. Teach them about Israel’s indigenous status according to the JC Martinez-Cobo definition, the one that’s accepted by the UN. Point out the hypocrisy of the so-called “Pro-Palestinian” groups claiming to support progressive values but supporting the Palestinians who want to turn Israel into a theocratic, homophobic, misogynistic dictatorship.

What do we not do?

Do not invite the to any paid events at the JCC or Federation. Do not invite them to any speeches given by people in suits and ties, or people connected to industry, even science. It’s too bourgeois for those types of people and makes Israel look like Goliath rather than David. They would listen to a homeless bum off the street before they would listen to a professor like Alan Dershowitz or Mordecai Kedar.

Why it can be harder than most:

They are stuck in the leftie groupthink and worried about ostracism if they were to change their mind, and teens and young adults value belonging more than anything.

Why it can be easier than most:

These youngsters tend to be pretty open-minded, especially if they’re freshmen.

2. The Bleeding Hearts

Case Study: Laura O’Neal

Laura O’Neal is a 37 year-old Irish Catholic mother of three young kids. Exuberant, fun, charismatic, and warm, she cares deeply for her friends and family, and tends to give people the benefit of the doubt. She is gregarious and has a tight group of friends who bring their kids over often, so there’s always the pitter-patter of little feet and the high pitch squeals of young kids filling her home. Every night at 6pm, after she’s fed the kids dinner, she watches the 6 o’clock news and sees images of dead children in Gaza. She immediately pictures it happening to her own kids and her friend’s kids and her heart grows heavy. Israel is evil, abusing its power, and needs to be stopped, especially since Canada supports it.

Who are they?

Very intuitive, emotional people, mostly mothers.

Why do they believe what they do?

They believe everything they hear and see on TV and in the newspaper, especially the sensationalist images on TV and on news sites. They also fall prey to graphic and gushy Facebook posts shared by their “Bleeding Heart” friends, typically propagated by propagandists such as Mohammed Zeyara and Jewish Voices for Peace. These individuals, often women, are usually very impressionable and easily emotionally aroused (so they also often fall prey to conspiracy theories and are in the category of individuals most likely to be anti-vax). They always follow their intuition and tend to think in black and white. They are usually not very educated. If they are, they’ve been out of school for awhile.

How do we appeal to them?

Appeal to their emotions. Pictures say a thousand words.

What do we do?

Focus on the Jewish struggle for self-determination, as well as how the Jews were persecuted at every turn – the Jews as an oppressed people. Like the Radical Leftists, they also sympathize with anyone who is oppressed and downtrodden. Prove to them that antizionism is antisemitism – challenge why they are only not okay with Israel when worse human rights violators are ignored. Try to explain how the media is biased and discuss the statistics – for example that the 2014 Gaza War casualty figures are skewed adult male of fighting age (67%). More than 80% of the Gaza casualties have been male. Show proof (videos, etc.) of Hamas child soldiers, children dying while digging the terror tunnels, and institutionalized indoctrination of hate against Jews. Just how these people are impacted by emotional videos from the Palestinians during the Gaza War, they would also be impacted by similar emotional videos from Israel. It might also help to explain the issue with Saudi/Qatari funding of our institutions that might skew the bias.

What do we not do?

Overwhelm them with facts, or anything longer or more complicated than a quick soundbyte. Make sure nothing you send them is above the 5th grade level.

Why it can be harder than most:

These people see the media (especially the news) as an authority and will often respect it over you.

Why it can be easier than most:

They are very impressionable, so if you have a compelling argument that’s “juicy” (e.g. proof of human shields, child soldiers, proof that it’s the PA’s fault), then they will eat it up.

3. Muslims

Case Study: Ahmed Al-Shahid

Born in Tunisia, Ahmed moved to Montreal, Canada at 11 years old. Naturally, his family gravitated to other members of the Tunisian community, and because it was small, the Muslim community, which welcomed them with open arms. His Grade 6 classmates made fun of him because of the different way he spoke French, so he sought solace with other Tunisians and Muslims who accepted him. The narrative he had been raised with was that Israel was illegitimate, and perpetuating horrific human rights violations. It was also seen as part of the package, a small but necessary condition for fitting in with the community. He is fully aware that any misstep or inkling of sympathy toward Zionists can lead to ostracism, so he and his friends bonded over immersing themselves in their narrative. In a way it’s the glue that holds Muslims together and a way they can express Muslim pride.

Who are they?

They’re members of the Muslim faith, either born into it or converted. The latter are more difficult to deal with because they feel they have to prove themselves.

Why do they believe what they do?

They’re from a collectivist culture, meaning tribal and family affiliation trump absolutely everything else. Therefore groupthink is of utmost importance and must not be compromised or else consequences are serious.
These folks are raised with a deeply-rooted distrust of Jews and a hate of Zionism. Zionism is seen as illegitimate and fought against by many world governments. This is an attempt by governments to distract from their own shortcomings. Western Muslims also see themselves as victims. The victim complex is huge among Muslims of all sects and levels of observance, and causes them to feel a kinship to the Palestinians. Finally, since the Muslim communities in the West (especially the U.S.) are relatively small, Muslims from all countries and tribal affiliations join together in communal activities. Since there is a lot of infighting among Muslims in the Middle East, the one common thread among Western Muslim communities, the one thing every group or entity in the Muslim world agrees upon, is antizionism. So, to help them bond, they cling to that thread. Many of the more traditional and religious Muslims genuinely believe that once a territory is conquered by Muslims, it belongs to Allah and cannot be reversed. This is quite a hurdle to overcome!

How do we appeal to them?

When you’re dealing with a devout Muslim, especially a Sunni, you can almost guarantee that their antizionism comes from feelings of kinship with their coreligionists that run very deep, the collectivist notion that when they suffer, you are suffering that is often unfathomable to individualist westerners. Whether due to religion or tribalism, the cultural idea is that everything my group does is right or must have a good reason even if I can’t see it now, and everything the opponent culture does is wrong, and that whatever intention they have must bad. With this notion, explaining the error of their facts and assumptions will take you absolutely nowhere, because social ties trump all else and self-criticism is out of the question for them.

What do we do?

Fortunately for us, Sura 17 in the Quran states that Allah gave Israel to the Jews, aka “Bani Israeel”(??? ???????). Yes, you heard that right; the Quran is a Zionist document. What better way to argue with a religious person than to cite their very own holy book?

What do we not do?

Muslims have a very “face-saving” culture, so don’t go right out in their face and tell them “you’re wrong!” You have to let them down very gently or they won’t be receptive and immediately instinctively get defensive.
Also, don’t keep going if you know you’re going nowhere.

What can make our job easier?

Nothing. This is the hardest group to do Hasbara to. Don’t even bother unless you’re really experienced at this and know your facts backwards and forwards. The more Western their mindset, however, the less difficult it might be to influence them.

What can make our job harder?

Collectivist cultures value tribal affiliation above all else, and supporting Israel goes directly against most people’s tribal affiliation. The social consequences of becoming a zionist in the Muslim community are therefore dire and certainly include ostracism. Nobody wants to be ostracized, especially those who believe people are more important than politics or the truth as the community is very tight-knit. They will most likely fight you to the bitter end and not concede publicly, though they may concede privately.

I’ve given you just a few examples, but I’m sure you can extrapolate them to many other scenarios and predict how to cater to each “type” of person in your approach. The most effective aspect of Palestinian activism is the fact that they are chameleons – they can change their colors to suit whatever people they happen to be preaching to. While we shouldn’t compromise our identity, we must acknowledge that Zionism has many facets and qualities to it that form sort of a buffet, and that when feeding people from the buffet, we should probably choose food we think they’ll like based on what we know of them. The ability to “read a room” takes time to develop, but once you do, you’ll realize it could help you a lot with other aspects of life.

I could write a whole book with case studies and examples like this, but this is all I have time for. Have any of your own? Post them in the comments!




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #8: How to Socially Engineer a Debate like a Boss

 |  9June2015

Social Engineering

Social Engineering

Another Tuesday, another Hasbara Blog.

I can hear the sighs.

Yes, there’s more. Yes, Hasbara is complicated, to the extent that it’s like a science, and an interdisciplinary one at that. It requires psychology, sociology, history, political science, and so on. Some of the lessons here are boring but necessary, others are fun and also necessary, but we need all the pieces to complete the puzzle and get a good picture of what we are up against and how to tackle them.

I can see many of you glanced at the title of this post and thought, what on earth is social engineering? As a proud computer geek, I figured I would use an analogy that is closest to home to describe the way in which we can persuade the other side to at least consider our points of view. In the hacking world, social engineering is how hackers manipulate the gatekeepers of highly sensitive information in order to facilitate their hack. A good example of this is the snafu involving the twitter handle @N being stolen via social engineering.

Instead of hacking someone’s twitter and stealing their handle, you’re hacking into their brain and stealing their side of the story.

I know that sounds creepy and probably came out totally wrong. If so, I’m sorry. I can promise you there is no literal brain surgery involved in this operation.

As I’ve discussed in previous installments, the major strategy of the Palestinians is to hijack causes people care about and relate them to the Palestinian cause to get people to care as much about the Palestinian cause as they do about their pet cause.

Of course, as the pro-Israel side that is already disadvantaged by sheer numbers of true anti-Semites in the world, we need to take it a step further.

We need to show that we do share progressive values with the West. Since it’s true, this won’t be too difficult. The difficult part is figuring out precisely which values to highlight and how, as that differs from person to person. In the last installment, we discussed how to read a room and categorize people to learn about their background, what they value, why they believe what they do, so that we can unpack and dissect that, as well as probe them in a way that causes them to question how they fit their anti-Israelism within the framework of their own values. That is the first part of social engineering.

The second part is a bit more complicated. As my freshman English professor loved to say, “God is in the details.” What are the details? The details are in how we disseminate our message. Even once we’ve found the person, worked up the courage, placed them in a category, learned about their values and motives behind their stance while befriending them in a non-political way, there is still one missing step before we can flip their emotional switch. Whether this step succeeds or fails lies entirely in the delivery.

This crucial step, which as a scientist I would call the “rate-limiting step” (I am sure all my fellow biologists and chemists here are nodding in agreement), involves the initial broaching of the subject of Israel. Typically this happens when you notice a friend of yours being swayed in the anti-Israel direction, but other times this can happen when the pro-BDS student you befriended begins to post pro-BDS propaganda. First impressions are the most important, so how you jump into that argument can make or break your shot at persuading them.

First off, you absolutely cannot appear to be what I call a “knee-jerk Zionist”. In other words, the second you see an anti-Israel post, having an emotional outburst about how they’re all terrorists and human shields and liars and biased and paid off by Saudi and Qatari money.

Sure, all of the above may be true, but being a bull-in-a-china-shop “knee-jerk Zionist” destroys your credibility right off the bat. Immediately, you sound like someone who didn’t do their research, who didn’t bother to form a thoughtful viewpoint or draft a calculated response. You sound like an emotional wreck, the type of person who falls prey to emotional propaganda. The dogmatic type of person who believes the bias he or she was raised with without question. I’m sure everyone has a friend like that – the friend who shares everything they find that is shocking, alarming, conspiratorial, or otherwise, before they find out it was a hoax. You sound like a crazy anti-vaxer who reacts emotionally and excessively to stuff they read without doing their research.

Don’t get me wrong – the bull in a china shop approach has its place – when preaching the choir. If you want to rev up an army of angry old Jewish folks, this kind of alarmism is exactly what works. However, as I’ve discussed in previous installments, it’s mainly a waste of time, time that we should be focusing on converting the unconverted or persuading those who are already loosely “pro-Palestine” for what you believe are good intentions, reasons compatible with Western progressive values.

I can promise you that no matter how right you are, if you come at neutral, on-the-fence or loosely pro-Palestine folks like a bull in a china shop, they will stop listening. You will have branded yourself as a raving lunatic. Most importantly, you will have branded yourself as “biased to the other side.” If someone thinks you’re on the opposite side, they will immediately tune you out, out of a subconscious loyalty to their present affiliation.

So how do you approach them? First of all, you need to grab their attention. Flip their emotional switch first, but don’t overwhelm them or sound over the top. Second, you need to apply some of the famous Carnegie principles to influencing people – most notably, making them believe it’s their idea. In order to do that, you have to get a good idea of what their idea would look like. You would have to make them believe that you are on their side, on the same page in order for them to get confused as to where your idea ends and theirs begins. You have to essentially read their minds.

Sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? Well it’s just plain socializing 101. It’s human nature to aim to predict how someone would react to a certain thing we say before we actually say it, fully aware that different people react differently to different things. We just have to word things in a way that they would be receptive to. In a way they want to hear. In a way that affirms and embraces their values and beliefs.

I see people attempt this, but more often than not, they fall flat, become unrelatable, and tune their conversation partner out. How? By making this mistake:

Mistake #8: Not acknowledging the points you do agree on

This mistake can be very difficult to avoid, because 1) the first impulse most people have when they hear something they disagree with is to immediately fire an opposing counterargument right back at them and 2) more often than not, debating becomes more about winning and less about finding the truth.

As I said above, in order to get someone to listen to you, you have to make them feel like you’re on their team, that you’re supportive, and share the same interests and goals. As someone who would call yourself a liberal or a progressive (in other words, prizing Western values), that’s actually not as hard as it sounds, especially since it’s not difficult to prove that the Palestinian side is only pretending to share those values, when in fact they revile them.

Even when you’re not dealing with a Western-minded person, it’s not impossible to make them think you’re on their team. After all, I don’t think I’ve ever met a person I disagree with on absolutely everything. A lot of people want the same things – peace, justice, human rights, freedom, dignity, etc. – but have a different idea of what they mean and how to achieve them.

The first thing you must do at all times is acknowledge the humanity of the other side in order for them to acknowledge the humanity in you. I know that sounds esoteric, but what it really means is to see them as a person rather than a monolithic “enemy,” and treat them as such. This doesn’t mean you have to actually change sides, this means that you have to listen to what they have to say so that they reciprocate the cues and listen to you. Listening also helps you formulate a better counter-argument, taking more of their talking points into account. Discussions are ineffective if they are one-way streets. As I discussed in Installment 4, if you zone out or heckle them, you appear very closed-minded, and they will thus reciprocate by also being closed-minded, or more so than usual.

I can promise you that even if you’re debating the most virulent antisemites, that there’s something you can agree upon. For example: Palestinians deserve human rights. Who wouldn’t agree with that? They’re human! An important rule of psychology, as I discussed earlier, is that if you appear to be “on their team,” they are more likely to take your ideas seriously. As such, in any debate, it’s important to first outline what you do agree with as opposed to starting off with what you don’t agree with (the latter being a defining characteristic of “Knee-Jerk-Zionism”). Starting off the debate with a foundation of compromise, respect, and conciliatory behavior, even if the opposition is someone you have no respect for at all like Gideon Levy, a man who feeds off the admiration of our enemies for going against his people, is the key to having them take the rest of your ideas seriously.

Here are two sample scenarios:

Example 1:


The Israelis are denying the Palestinians basic human rights!


Denied by their own people!! Israel did NOTHING wrong!


I definitely agree that the Palestinians’ basic human rights are being denied and that this is something that should be addressed. Can you explain how you think the Israelis are denying the Palestinians basic human rights?

In this example, you posed a question that requires them to think carefully about their position. Later on in this article, we will go over a scenario where such an argument is destroyed step by step, in the gentlest way possible (but without compromising our Zionism at all, because contrary to popular belief, being conciliatory doesn’t require that!)

Example 2:


Are you against a two state solution?


A two-state solution can’t happen! Why are we even having this pointless conversation? The two state solution argument is moot because the Palestinians don’t want a two state solution, they want to take over the whole territory and refuse to settle. Anyone who understands an iota of Arabic or anything about the culture knows that any kind of compromise, for the PLO, is losing face. If you give them a finger, they will take a hand and try to destroy Israel with their newfound autonomy. Case in point: Gaza 2005.


In theory, I am all for a two state solution! I sincerely hope one day we can reach a point where this can be done with peace, security, and mutual recognition. Personally given the type of governance the PA has, I’m not confident it can happen in the near future, however.

As you can see, you’re starting off with something you think they will agree upon. How do you figure out something they’ll agree upon? By listening to their initial argument/premise and extracting common values from it. As I touched upon earlier, of the most tried and true methods of persuasion, introduced by Dale Carnegie in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, is to make them feel like your argument was their idea. That is the holy grail of Hasbara. Starting off each argument with something you both agree on makes it easier to get inside your head and follow your thinking. If you start your idea with their idea, it’s easier for them to conclude that your whole argument was at least an extension of their idea.

Another example, broken down step by step:


  • Palestinians deserve human rights.
  • We all know that they are suffering from atrocious human rights abuses as multigenerational refugees.
  • We both know that because of the Wall, Palestinians are suffering from economic disadvantages when compared to Israelis.
  • Israel’s behavior is definitely not perfect when dealing with the Palestinians, especially on an individual level since soldiers are people too and often bring their biases and immaturity with them. Most of them are men aged 18 to 21 after all.
  • Of course we cannot justify those occasional abuses of power, but they are not condoned by Israel and punished harshly.
  • Although the Israeli government is hardly a model of uncorrupted perfection, the PA government is extremely corrupt and living richly while the Palestinians are suffering.
  • Israel is providing them water and electricity which they have not paid for in years.
  • Hamas in particular is spending all its money on rockets and weaponry to destroy Israel when they should be feeding their citizens and giving them a better life.
  • They are teaching them a curriculum that is training them up to hate Israel with a violent passion, and encourages martyrdom and murdering Israelis. For example, many streets, parks, and monuments are named for suicide bombers who killed a lot of Israelis.
  • They are making no attempt to protect Palestinians with bomb shelters and the like. Instead, many say they are using Palestinians as human shields, making them out to be martyrs for their cause, in other to gain world sympathy. With the culture of martyrdom, this is something they are made to feel proud about.
  • Meanwhile way less Israelis die because the Israeli government is spending billions on bomb shelters on every block, and the Iron Dome, which shoots down rockets. I’m sure if the PA put all that aid money – the largest amount received per capita in the world – to good use they could also invest in an iron dome.
  • I know the situation is not ideal for the Palestinians but is it really Israel’s fault?
  • Can we think of a better solution to what we have now that will help boost Palestinian human rights while keeping Israelis safe?

At the beginning, you start out with the points you probably agree upon. This starts you off on the right foot and allows them to take you seriously as a nuanced thinker who isn’t a bigot and has listened to the Palestinian argument in the past and taken home some aspects from it. This makes them feel that you are open-minded and on their team, which boosts your credibility.

You even start to concede some of the small problems to them, such as the occasional abuses of power by IDF soldiers. But wait – there’s a twist! You say that this behavior is not condoned by Israel! You have just snuck a pro-Israel argument into a very human rights-centric pro-Palestinian argument, proving that being pro-Israel and pro-Palestine are not mutually exclusive.

Then you slowly start to turn it around on the PA’s head. Yes, the Palestinians are suffering. Yes, that’s horrible and shouldn’t happen. But here’s what the PA is doing, which is not making their situation any better.

Eventually you round out the argument in a more conciliatory manner, and finish it with an open-ended question, which makes you look open-minded and makes the argument interactive enough for you to carefully point out flaws in their logic and education.

That, my friends, is intelligent, thoughtful Hasbara. It is not one-size-fits-all; rather, it is tailored to the individual at the receiving end.

But this guide is not over yet! Stay tuned for future installments that discuss other general pitfalls we may encounter and how to prevent them.




The Biggest Mistakes Pro Israel Advocates Make #9: How To Avoid Seeming Holier Than Thou

 |  17June2015
I know, I know, it’s not Tuesday. But I have a good excuse, I promise.

First of all, since Saturday night, I had to deal with rectifying this situation. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But just because I was flattered doesn’t mean a mega ass-kicking wasn’t in order. Moral of the story: nobody messes with me and gets away with it.

Second, my internet got completely cut off for some reason, and by Tuesday morning I’d used up all my data. I had to wait until the tech guy came around 3:30pm and by that time the Israellycool staff were asleep for the night and couldn’t edit it anyway. So I figured I should cook dinner instead.

At first I wasn’t sure about including Mistake #9 because it just seems so obvious. Like anyone with common sense should be totally aware of this.

But unfortunately, common sense ain’t so common. I see this mistake committed regularly by some of the most articulate, outspoken supporters of our cause. I will not name names, but they usually fall under the category of pro-Israel Chabad, evangelical (or religious) Christian, or settler-zionist (you know what I mean). This mistake is:



Mistake #9: Making it a Religious Argument

I’m going to preface by saying that I’m religiously agnostic so this might cloud what I say below.

A lot of the articles and blogs I see written from those points of view argue that Israel is the land G-d chose for the Jews. It is the land that G-d gave to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (a.k.a. Israel), and the Children of Israel (a.k.a. the Jews). It is the land that was our refuge, our freedom that G-d led us to when we were slaves in Egypt.

The only thing I’m thinking when someone brings up purely biblical reasons for supporting Israel is: Cool story, bro.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate support for Israel wherever it may come from, but sometimes a purely religious argument does more harm than good, as it makes people think that such is all there is to Zionism. In fact, Zionism is not a religious movement. It is so secular that Chabad Jews don’t even call themselves Zionists because Zionism is too secular (though they support Israel unconditionally). Did you know that? I didn’t until yesterday.

I know all the Torah stories. I know that the Torah and by extension the Old Testament (Tanach) are some of the most Zionist documents on the planet. I went to Hebrew School. But therein lies a rub: the only people that argument is convincing to are other religious people, people who are already Zionists because they are religious. Any truly bible-believing religious Jew or Christian is a Zionist because the book they so treasure and follow is basically a religious Zionist manifesto. So you are stuck with this problem where you are strictly preaching to the converted, which means this argument does nothing to advance the cause of Zionism as a whole.

Worse yet, to anyone who is not devoutly religious, in other words, the majority of the Western world, the argument alienates them from the Zionist cause. The reason for this is that it makes our cause look vacuous, as if all there is to it is superstition, or something written in a book of fables published 3000 years ago. That argument distracts us from the other far more mainstream, compelling causes for Zionism and associates Zionism with religious fundamentalism. Since religious fundamentalism is currently a fringe movement that most people ridicule and look down upon, Zionism, which is currently associated with right-wing religious fundamentalists in many left-wing circles, is often the same by extension. Among the “young, hip, crowd”, anything associated with right-wing religious fundamentalism is basically the anti-cool. The last thing we want to be is the anti-cool, because being the anti-cool means that even people who agree with us will be too ashamed to admit it and eventually become absorbed into what they perceive is the anti-Israel majority. Since a lot of people assume that what the majority believes must be right, being the anti-cool is a death knell for our cause.

This is something we need to change.

We need to end religious-based arguments once and for all. Not only are they detrimental, but they are misleading, as the true nature of Zionism is purely secular.

That being said, I think that if you weave in the religious argument with the indigenous argument (i.e. that the Jewish religion arose from the Jewish culture, which had its genesis in the land of Israel) it can bolster it. That being said, arguing entirely from a religious standpoint is, in my opinion, completely futile.

Even if we may believe religious Zionist arguments, we should avoid them at all costs as they convince nobody but those who are already convinced, and they do more harm than no argument at all among secular people.

So what arguments can we use instead?

1) Israel is the indigenous homeland of the Jewish People. Cite archaeology rather than the bible. If archaeology proves the bible, you can use that evidence as the basis for any biblical claims you might make.

2) The Arabs as colonizers (turn their “settler colonialism” argument on its side)

4)  Continuous Jewish presence in the land of Israel (also the fact that there has only been a Jewish state on that land, everything else was a colony of some larger colonialist entity).

5) This appeal to the left. [EDD: See next Post: Reader Post: I Support Israel…. Because I Am A Liberal]

Have any other arguments that work? Post them here.




Reader Post: I Support Israel…. Because I Am A Liberal

  | 25February2015

Israel Flag

Israel Flag

I support Israel because I am a liberal.

In college I was a pretty typical hippie. I ate kale salads, bought local and organic where possible, listened to obscure alt/rock indie bands, and supported and participated in initiatives that sought to help the environment, promote aboriginal rights, reduce the influence of multinational corporations on government policy, and increase the minimum wage. I went to protests and gay pride parades, and even participated in a drag show and a feminist working group. I’m staunchly pro-choice and supportive of many social welfare policies and equal rights for gays, lesbians, and transgendered individuals, many of whom I include among my closest friends.

In other words, I lean left. Quite left, in fact. That’s why I support Israel.

Yes, you read that right. I support Israel because I am a liberal.

I’m a feminist, environmentalist, queer ally, activist, and Zionist. Those terms are not mutually exclusive – in fact, they complement each other and are the very antithesis of hypocritical.

I support oppressed peoples around the world. I believe that every human being has the right to live in peace and dignity, however they choose – whether bikini or burqa. By that token, I do not support governments that legally oppress marginalized groups such as immigrants, gays, women, indigenous peoples, transgendered people, and those of a different religion from the ruling class. I also don’t blindly support groups just because they are oppressed, especially if their oppression is the result of their democratically elected leadership. I choose my support carefully, and support the groups whose values most align with mine.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is rife with black and white generalizations and anger on both sides. Some who take Marxist and Post-Colonialist ideology way further than was initially intended see the Palestinian Arabs as little more than poor, oppressed “people of color,” who have no choice but to resist the powerful, rich, “white” Israelis. Many ironically claim their movement is nonviolent, which cannot be further from the truth, as stabbings, suicide bombings, rocket launches, and myriad other methods have succeeded at killing thousands of Israeli civilians as intended. Even at so-called “nonviolent” demonstrations, pro-Israel counter-protestors are frequently subject to violence.

The anti-Israel movement is also marred with the “racism of low expectations,” which excuses violence from peoples they deem “oppressed” while decrying actions far less severe from those they deem “oppressors.” They use death tallies and alliances to determine guilt and innocence. Those officially allied with the “world superpowers” – such as NATO, or more specifically the U.S. – are automatically considered guilty and undeserving of any sympathy, whereas those allied with the “less-powerful” third world, the communist bloc, and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are cut more slack. Also, the ability to protect their own people with devices such as the Iron Dome, resulting in a lower death toll apparently makes the Israeli side more guilty, and the increased death toll, despite the fact that it’s the result of the use of Human Shields by the Palestinian side, confirms innocence. It appears to me that more Israelis need to die in order for us to be absolved from our alleged guilt, which to me sounds totally ridiculous, and highlights how little sense these metrics make.

I’m done taking sides. I chose to align myself with the humanitarian side, the side that would make a better life for Israelis and Palestinians alike. I choose to align with Israel, as that is the pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian way to go.

Israeli Arabs have full equal rights and live better in Israel than in any Arab countries. My values – supposedly leftist, liberal values – of protecting the environment and social welfare systems, fostering education and scientific progress and ensuring equality for all genders, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and abilities – align with Israel’s and are the opposite of the Palestinian Authority’s.

I support Israel because I am an environmentalist. Israel has always been at the forefront of water-saving technologies, as well as improved recycling, alternative fuel sources, and other green technology as a result of the need to make the most of what little natural resources the country has. Israel injects billions of dollars into these initiatives and startups, andcontributes even more to research and development (R&D) in its universities and think tanks, while the Palestinian Authority hasn’t contributed a cent.

I support Israel because I am a queer ally. Queers in Israel have more rights than queers in any other country in the Middle East, meaning they actually have rights. Queers in Israel are allowed to have civil unions that give them the same legal rights and benefits as straight married couples, and Israel recognizes gay marriages practiced outside. Queers in Israel are also allowed to go all out and be themselves, as is evidenced by the thriving scene, with loads of gay bars, drag shows, and pride parades.

I support Israel because I’m a feminist. Women serve alongside men in the IDF, enroll in university at higher rates than men, and hold some of the highest positions in the land. One of the most revered Israeli Prime Ministers of all time was a woman. Israel surpasses its neighbors by a mile at this metric, by virtue that woman are legally considered equal to men.

I’m not “pinkwashing” or “greenwashing” or whatever kind of “washing” everyone is using these days to silence pro-Israel attitudes among progressives. In fact, I am surprised more people aren’t realizing how nonsensical these terms are, and how little water they actually hold when subject to scrutiny.

I support multiculturalism and minority rights. So does Israel. Despite being called a “Jewish State,” Israel is only about 70% Jewish. The rest includes 1.4 million Muslim Arabs who are legally equal to Jews. They don’t only have equal rights, they have more rights, as non-Jews have a right Jews do not, the right to refuse to do military service. I’m not going to downplay the racism and discrimination they sometimes experience in many facets of Israeli society, but the government condones none of it. Israelis, especially if they are in IDF uniform, get punished severely by Israeli law for committing any kind of hate crime or discriminatory act against an Israeli minority. In contrast, the Palestinian Authority rewards those and the families of those who commit crimes against Israelis, from throwing rocks to suicide bombings, with money, fame, and prestige. Take a walk around any Palestinian Authority city and you’ll find streets, parks, monuments, and museums dedicated to suicide bombers for the sole reason of them sacrificing their lives in their quest to destroy Israel. Given that 40% of Palestinians think suicide bombings can be justified according to a recent Pew poll, these views are not unpopular. Most especially, all the Palestinian territories are strictly judenrein –meaning no Jews are allowed to live there. Somehow though, people call Israel an apartheid state, when the Palestinian Authority isn’t just apartheid, it’s genocidal. Just take a look at the Hamas Charter and see for yourself.

If the anti-Zionists got what they wanted, that is the kind of regressive society that would take over. The fact that any progressives would support it over an open and free Israel totally boggles my mind.

I support Israel because I support indigenous rights. A common myth that many people believe is that Palestinians, not Jews, are indigenous to Israel. For starters, there has only ever been a Jewish state in Israel: Judea. During all other periods of history, it was part of a larger colonial power – first it was a Roman colony, then it was a Muslim caliphate, then it was a part of the Ottoman Empire, then it was handed over to the British after the Ottoman Empire fell in 1917, and finally, the British handed it back to the Jews with the blessing of the UN, and it became a state for the first time in nearly two millennia. Genetic testing seems to confirm that “Palestinians” and their Arab brethren are genetically indistinguishable, and are the descendants of colonialists from the Arabian Peninsula. Jews, however, are originally from the Levant. In other words, Jews are indigenous to the State of Israel. Not only that, but Jews have always been in Israel despite numerous expulsions by their colonial rulers, and Jerusalem, the holiest city in Judaism, always had a Jewish majority.

Finally, I believe that Big Oil should not intervene with social policy, as any environmentally-conscious left-winger should. That’s why I recognize that Big Oil – in other words, oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar – spend billions of dollars on the anti-Israel lobby, as well as funding institutions that foster their anti-Israel and judeophobic worldview and even terrorist groups in both the U.S. and abroad. Right wing corporate lobbying by Big Oil in the U.S. is unacceptable but Islamist lobbying by Big Oil from the Gulf States is okay? To me this kind of selective allowance seems hypocritical and counter to the progressive liberal values I hold dear, especially since the brand of conservatism the Gulf states espouse makes the Tea Party look like a far-left hippie commune.

The “White ain’t Right, Strong is Wrong” mentality has infected my fellow lefties like a virus, and has stifled all critical thinking, probing, and intellectual curiosity. This mentality, along with its Marxist and postcolonialist progenitors, is a mental shortcut that is used to categorize and simplify the world in a way that is palatable to the human mind, but so dangerous that it causes people to completely ignore complexity, nuance and exceptions. These types of shortcuts – the very shortcuts that lead to racism by putting people into categories and assuming guilt or innocence based on superficial parameters – are antithetical to liberal progressive thought as they create unnecessary constraints on free thought and render the mind a prison to certain ideologies.

Although Jews have consistently, without a doubt, been through the ultimate proverbial meat-grinder, with entire civilizations trying to wipe us out at every turn, we should define ourselves by our successes and our triumphs. And, due to the above reasons, I see Israel as the greatest triumph of all.

That’s why, as a progressive and a liberal, I wholeheartedly support Israel.

Alexandra Markus is a freelance writer who lives in New York City and works as a producer for AskAbigail Productions. While attending McGill University, she was a student reporter intern at the Israel on Campus Coalition. She is passionate about debunking anti-Israel falsehoods wherever she may find them. She also remains active in other progressive causes.




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #10: How To Not Let Your Brains Fall Out

  |  24June2015 ttps://

Everyone here probably already knows that Israel Advocacy is an uphill battle.

Over the last 40 years, there has been a concerted effort to make Israel look like Goliath and the Palestinians look like David, even though it’s truly the other way around, through a well-oiled propaganda machine (see what I did there?) that pretends to be grassroots. This web of lies began in the mid 1960’s with the creation of the Palestinian identity for Levantine Arabs in order to manufacture the illusion of indigenous status, in response to the overwhelming support of the Western world for the new State of Israel. The Arabs astutely figured out that the main reason for the support for Israel was the civil rights zeitgeist in the West, with the return of the Jews to their homeland following one of the biggest genocides of the 20th century at the pinnacle of reclaiming social justice.

Following the Israeli win of the Six Day War in 1967, seemingly against all odds. the fact that Israel was here to stay had finally sunk in for the Arabs. The Arab armies, ten times larger than the Israeli forces, realized they weren’t going to defeat Israel militarily. The 1973 Yom Kippur War cemented this fact. Even when caught completely offguard, during the holiest day in the Jewish Calendar, the Israelis still managed to defeat the Arab armies. Ashamed and humiliated, the Arab League plotted its revenge.

This revenge was not only spearheaded by the “3 Nos: No Peace, No Recognition, No Negotiation,” of the 1967 Arab League Conference. It was also marked by the launch of a brilliantly thought-out propaganda war against Israel. When the US began supporting Israel, seeing it as a strategic ally in a Middle East that shares its Western values, longtime enemies of the U.S. and the West, notably the Communist Bloc and former Western colonies in Africa, Asia, and South America were eager to come to the Arab League’s aid in smearing Israel. With the Cold War communists seeing Israel as an illegitimate Western proxy in the Middle East, and the former colonies seeing Israel as yet another outpost of the Western colonialist movement (since it was a British colony handed over to the Jews by its colonial ruler), the ground was optimally fertile for the beginning of what would become decades of subversion.

The Arab League not only struck oil, it also struck gold with these strange bedfellows that became its allies. Third World dictatorships and totalitarian Communist regimes had one major thing in common (other than rampant corruption): the necessity of keeping their populations in line to maintain their despotic governments, resulting in the ability to create the most brilliant, persuasive propaganda that gets to the core of the human psyche. They created propaganda that so delicately misleads, manipulating emotions to the extent of creating ire and bloodlust against any perceived threats in order to stamp them out and allow the regime to prevail. During the Cold War, America and her allies, in their deliberate attempt to subvert communism and tyranny and bring democracy to the world, were a huge threat to these leaders who profited off the suffering and admiration of the masses. Therefore, they were more than eager to lend the Arab World and later, the Iranian Regime, their propaganda expertise.

Part of the Communist Bloc’s Cold War strategy, which was later emulated by the Arab League, was to get the American population to turn on their leaders and sympathize with its regimes. It attempted to do this by starting with the most idealistic and vulnerable, as well as the most open-minded: the left. The late 1960’s genesis of the Palestinian propaganda movement coincided with the Flower Power anti-war movement in the wake of the Vietnam War. Supporters of the anti-war hippie movement were the angriest at their government, which the Eastern Bloc saw as an opportunity to lure them to the Communist and anti-Western cause. The posters and propaganda that the Eastern Bloc created were geared to this audience, cultivating sympathy for the Vietnamese affected by the war in order to generate even more anger at the U.S. government. They created posters that made these activists feel proud to support “the reds” in the Cold War, and even prouder to rebel against their own government in doing so. The same poster psychology that aimed to generate sympathy for communist Vietnam was also used to generate sympathy for the poor Palestinians who were allegedly being tortured and stripped of a homeland by the evil Western colonialist Israelis, supported by the U.S. of course. This zeitgeist culminated in Edward Said’s 1978 book Orientalism, one of the most brilliant propaganda pieces ever created. These tactics were, again, a ploy to weaken support for the West, that, in its support for Israel, was seen as betraying the Arab World.

This alliance between the Former Colonies and the Communist Bloc would become one of the most clandestine yet productive in recent history, using their hatred of Israel as a tool to subvert the Western psyche in such a way that it is easily conquered.

So now you know why lefties wear Keffiyehs over their Che Guevara t-Shirts, and why anti-Israel posters and Soviet propaganda posters are very much alike in their style. The left, like the Eastern Bloc and the Third World, learned to spread their gospel by manipulating emotions, because neither are known for their practicality or groundedness.

This brings us to Mistake #10.


BDS Circus

BDS Circus

Mistake #10: Don’t Fall for the Leftie Guilt Trip

Full disclosure: I was a radical leftist for a decent chunk of my university career. Why? Because leftism appealed to my young, idealistic heart, and because it was the only ideology that was promoted during my formative education. The field of education from Kindergarten to University is overwhelmingly left wing, so I saw the Right and Conservatives demonized in my education at every turn. I simply didn’t see an alternative. I was made to feel that any support of the Right Wing made me a bad person. In order to promote multiculturalism, harmony, and conflict resolution in a racially diverse environment, educators constantly promoted leftist values and attempting to understand and humanize all sides of any disagreement. I was taught that the Cold, Vietnam, Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq Wars were 100% bad and pointless, that Western intervention is always a bad thing, that the underdog is always more virtuous and necessarily being oppressed by the more powerful side, and that capitalism is disgusting and immoral. I was also taught that the more open my mind, the more tolerant of all points of view the better. Being a radical leftist in college seemed like a natural extension of my education to date. It was all I knew, all that was good and right in the world.

One of the things that my teachers and professors had always stayed away from was the Arab-Israeli conflict (thank goodness!) Everything I knew about the conflict was gleaned from reading the newspaper, which I did religiously, and talking to my parents, who are proud liberal Jews. To them, supporting Israel was a natural extension of being a liberal, as we support justice, peace, human rights, gender equality, and secularism, while the Palestinians are an extension of a theocratic movement that is anti-equality, regularly violates human rights, and refuses peace at every turn. I had no idea that most other leftists saw being a Zionist and being a leftist as being completely at odds, if not utterly contradictory.

In university, what started out as unwavering support turned into cognitive dissonance as I started to uncover the more sinister anti-Israel elements of the so-called “Social Justice Movement.” I knew in my heart it was wrong but I assumed that because I agreed with the leftists on every other issue, they must be right about this too, I must just be missing something or brainwashed by my upbringing. Hillel’s Zionist advocacy was boring and refused to address the more intelligent social justice questions I was conditioned to ask. They did nothing for me, and even pushed me in the opposite direction as I sought something more profound. Something the “pro-Palestinian” movement provided.

However, when I attended events, I couldn’t help but notice issues with their logic. They explicitly denied history that I was taught even in my leftist formative education. I was taught in high school, in passing, that the Israelis “stole” the land from the Palestinians, but that was sort of okay because the land was sparsely populated and the Jews needed a place to go after the Holocaust. My textbooks had factual information that was backed up by historical documents. Even though I thought my education was as left it as can be, the facts I learned about the conflict and the facts they were saying were very different. In fact, they sounded like they were exaggerating and angry, completely denying and omitting any Jewish claim to the land, which didn’t lend much to their credibility. Sometimes instead of saying “Israelis,” they would slip and say “The Jews” during their angry tirades. I started to see some of the cracks in the foundation, but I didn’t really know it yet.

Shortly after my first anti-Israel event, I ran into a booth that belonged to the now-defunct QPIRG Opt-Out Campaign. I was taught through my leftist indoctrination that QPIRG, the radical leftist HQ on campus, was Mother Theresa incarnate, the medium through which you could get involved with noble, selfless organizations and do good in the community and the world. The picture the men who ran the booth painted of QPIRG was anything but what I had learned it was. QPIRG apparently gave a lot of its money to extremist anarchist, communist, and anti-Israel organizations that sympathized with Muslim extremists and terrorists. I was shocked, immediately remembering my experience at the anti-Israel talk (which was marketed to me with a flashy heart-wrenching poster that used symbolism to convey Israeli oppression of Palestinian children, that appeared to be about social justice). Gradually, through my friendship with these guys, it all fell into place. I soon became involved in Israel Advocacy after I did my best to find proof of my leftist friends’ allegations against Israel but found they did not hold up to scrutiny. My leftist friends, feeling that I had betrayed Social Justice by speaking out against QPIRG and for Israel, dropped me like a hot potato. I was even kicked out of the feminist working group I had created (more on that here). After getting to know the intelligent, kind, progressive, accepting individuals I met through the Opt-Out campaign and my writing for the Prince Arthur Herald, I realized that they were the true liberals, and that voting for the Conservative Party didn’t preclude having a brain or a heart. The incessant smearing of the right wing became a huge turnoff for me, especially since the so-called “right wingers” did nothing to smear the lefties on campus and were extremely tolerant and supportive of the leftist views I still retained as the foundation of radical leftism came crashing down. Ironically, they were the true liberals. They were the polar opposite of the evil bigoted misognynist racist rape apologist Conservative demons that my leftist friends portrayed them as. I thought if this portrayal was dead wrong, what other portrayals were dead wrong too? It was then that I decided to unpack the radical left and noticed serious problems with the ideology, problems that were very similar to what this girl wrote about here.

With this epiphany in mind, I sought to explore what draws the majority of Canadian college students to be anti-Israel, even though the historical facts were not on their side. I discovered a concerted, well-funded attempt to take advantage of young students’ idealism, naivëté, open-mindedness, and ignorance to push historically revisionist and inverted narratives. Yet to me, that didn’t answer the full extent of the question. I wanted to know why it didn’t occur to people that they were going against their own values by supporting Palestine and not Israel. The same people who rallied for gay rights, women’s rights, indigenous self-determination, and environmental sustainability rallied hand in hand against the only country in the Middle East that supports any of those things.

Noble Savage Theory, the concept that every culture is perfect until the West or Western influence gets their stinky claws on it, did answer part, but not all of that question. If the concept of the “Noble Savage,” so prominent in leftist, postcolonial discourse, was entirely to blame, leftist activists wouldn’t be signing petitions against the Ugandan government’s treatment of gays, for example, which they are doing in large numbers.

The truth, as I later found out, was that the Ugandan government isn’t funded by the multibillion dollar Arab propaganda industry to deter gay rights. The anti-Israel movement is. They have the money, the creativity, and the genius to convince the world that up is down and down is up. That freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength, cloaking it in our very own Western values. They exploit sympathy and distort facts in such a sophisticated way that it’s impossible to know they are doing it unless we are deliberately looking to make that accusation. They employ questionable ethics that the West would never even fathom while pretending to be ethically and morally sound so that the West suspects nothing. After all, being the first to point out others’ moral failings somehow gives them a carte blanche for their own, and they threaten those who attempt to expose them with death, inciting fear in anyone who would ever dare to uncover the truth. They’ve discovered how media, culture and subcultures around the world work, what makes them tick, what moves them, and they cater their propaganda accordingly.

How do they put some of the most intelligent people in the world, like Stephen Hawking and Noam Chomsky, under their spell? Lies that sound convincing, and, in Goebbels style, are repeated constantly in different ways. How do they keep them? None other than a good old-fashioned guilt trip.

One of the last strings that attached me to the radical left was my guilt. Guilt over the suffering of the world that the West caused. Guilt from believing what the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) told me, that if I don’t support Palestine, that I’m spitting in the face of Social Justice and therefore a bad person. Guilt over the fear that by supporting Israel, I was condoning the suffering of millions of innocent Palestinians and supporting their oppressors. When I gradually discovered that being pro-Israel and not supporting Palestinian suffering were far from mutually exclusive, the leftist Tower of Babel fell. When I was able to escape the tentacles of guilt that sought to return me to the clutches of leftism, I finally felt like a true liberal. I felt set free.

My message to you, dear reader? Avoid falling for the colossal guilt trip that is leftist antizionism. It is like quicksand – hard to escape without everyone making you feel like a bad person. I recall how in college the left was seen as a whole package that included antizionism, a package you could either take (and therefore be a good person) or leave (and therefore be a greedy evil capitalist who wanted to steal money from poor people). Reject one tenet of the package and you were seen to be rejecting the entire package, therefore a traitor to Social Justice and ostracized by anyone who claimed to support what they saw as all that is good in the world. This way of thinking ultimately feels wrong to me, the true antithesis of liberalism. Since leftism was seen as all or nothing, by being pro-Israel, I was seen as automatically choosing nothing. Over time I learned not to care about what people who pretended to be open-minded to different points of view thought.

Nowadays I look at each issue individually, and don’t define myself as right or left, even though I still support many of the left-wing values I did as a radical leftist (albeit watered-down versions). Putting yourself into a box is putting yourself in shackles. In order to truly set your mind free, you have to open your mind to points of view that you think ring true, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum.

But don’t open your mind so much that your brains fall out.





The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #11: How to Avoid Washing Away Your Message

  |  Jun 30, 2015

– But Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Gays have rights. They could even have civil unions, and marriages performed elsewhere are recognized. I mean, come on guys, just look at Tel Aviv Pride!

– Pinkwashing.

– But Israel invests billions of dollars in eco-friendly technologies to conserve water, increase crop yields, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. We even plant like, a buttload of trees!

– Greenwashing!

– Aw c’mon man, you really gonna do this? Did you know that Israel is frequently the first to arrive with aid to folks all over the world who are the victims of natural disasters. Sierra Leone, Jordan, Japan, Haiti, Nepal….that country Israel’s got a heart of gold I tell ya!


– Did you know that Israel has the most start-ups per capita in the world? All that lifesaving technology in the hospitals and stuff, lots of it is from Israel! We’re creating apps that save lives, and, y’know, sometimes help you determine where the cops are on the road

– Techwashing!

 Seriously, bro? Seriously? Even the hot chicks on the beaches in Tel Aviv won’t get you to love Israel? I mean, freaking Bar Refaeli!


Dude, you’ve gotta be kidding me. Is there any argument that you WOULD listen to without screaming that it’s some sort of washing?

I’m sure other kinds of “washing” accusations exist but these are the main four I see. I’m also pretty sure about 95% of you readers have already rolled your eyes at least once. That’s understandable. It annoys me too.

_____washing accusations, derived from the term “whitewashing,” are yet another brilliant tactic that anti-Israel activists use to silence us. More importantly, it’s a tactic used to get left-wing activists who ordinarily would support Israel based on their ideals and values to close their minds to pro-Israel arguments that would otherwise appeal to them.

The concept of “washing” is so ingrained into the leftist psyche by anti-Israel activists that the second they hear any pro-Israel argument that makes sense to them, their first impulse is to believe that 1) It’s propaganda and nonsense or 2) That it’s meant to distract activists from the inhumane way Israel is treating the Palestinians.

Because gay rights, green technology, tech startups, hot chicks, and saving Nepalese orphans have everything to do with the Palestinians. Duh.

Everything, even completely unrelated events such as the Ferguson shooting in the US has to be related to the Palestinians if they want to keep themselves at the forefront of global concern. And it works.

They have zero ethics in the way they grab attention. They have no respect for the human lives that end as a result of their human shield program. They send children to their deaths as suicide bombers and tunnel builders. They milk every single tragedy that happens to them for the cameras, even going so far as to create fake scenarios or to provoke IDF soldiers with cameras always standing by to record the action. They aim for maximum drama, maximum effect, because they know it’s the only advantage they have over us. As a pro-Israel advocate, I feel like I’m playing a game against the pro-Palestinian side with them cheating profusely, and everyone is not only letting it happen, but cheering them on.

One of our common mistakes is whitewashing everything. Yes, pinkwashing, greenwashing, aidwashing, techwashing, babewashing, and other washing without anything of substance to complement it. That method just makes it look like we’re purposely avoiding or hiding something, obscuring the “truth” with fluff. While I hate giving legitimacy to antizionist terminology, we do have to respond to the true issues with our advocacy campaigns that are underlying these accusations.

So I bring you

Mistake #11: Pinkwashing, Greenwashing, Techwashing, Aidwashing, Babewashing, and other types of “washing.”

Yes, I can feel many of your fingers twitch, eager to type an impassioned rebuttal in the comments section. “How dare you legitimize their nonsensical accusations against us, meant to silence us!”

And you know what? You’re right. These tactics are meant to silencing us, they are for the most part a load of rubbish. However, they highlight a serious problem with our advocacy that we need to address:

Its shallow, avoidant nature.

There. I said it. Our advocacy sucks when it avoids the real issues that anti-Israel activists address. We actually look like we are hiding something because we ignore the elephant in the room, presumably to avoid negative publicity. Well, without a proactive response to all the negative crap about us out there, we only hear once side of the narrative – THEIRS. On our side we have pictures of beaches, gay pride parades, computer chips, hot babes, and occasionally airlifting Nepalese earthquake survivors.

Let me reiterate.

palstagram - Israeli soldiers with guns

palstagram – Israeli soldiers with guns

Palestinian Side: Pictures of dead babies. Rubble. Cities in ruin. Mothers crying over bloodsoaked children. Palestinian teenagers being restrained by Israeli soldiers.* Israeli soldiers with guns and tanks entering civilian areas. Accusations of apartheid, genocide, ethnic cleansing, indiscriminate warfare, violations of international law, economic restrictions due to a blockade and a wall, intentionally keeping the Palestinians in poverty, police brutality, racism, forced sterilization.

Tel Aviv - Hot Gun Chick

Tel Aviv – Hot Gun Chick

Israeli SideBeaches, sexy chicks on beaches (sometimes carrying military guns), gay pride parades, drag queens, nightclubs, parties, good food, computer chips, technology, iPhone apps, photos that glorify the IDF, the Tel Aviv skyline that emphasizes the wealth of the country, Israeli models, high tech machines designed in Israel, Israeli soldiers with guns and tanks giving each other bro-hugs and taking selfies, expensive gala dinners that cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars a head, a lot of trees, and fields full of flourishing crops, and bible quotes.

I’m not say they should remove all these completely. These images do work on some subsets of the population and there is nothing wrong with having them around. However, as I discussed in previous installments, we have to start giving different strokes for different folks. We need to stop only catering to the lowest common denominator, because although it might temporarily entice the masses, all they have to hear is “but these Israelis are using these pictures to hide that they’re killing people indiscriminately in Gaza, see these photos!” to change their minds. We don’t produce anything to flip their emotional switches that comes anywhere close to what the Palestinians provide. Our images of all our cool toys and sexual liberation can’t form the basis of a zionist argument because they aren’t an argument (at least not alone).

To an intellectual, educated activist who doesn’t have the time to read every pro-Israel manifesto or wall of text (like this one), our methods of soundbyte advocacy are almost offensive. As in, how stupid and shallow do you think we are? All we see from them are people dying and brutal human rights violations, and all you have to show for it are pictures of women in bikinis partying on the beach? Seriously?

Let’s try to translate these images and soundbytes in word form, side by side:

-“Israel is the only country in the Middle East to have gay rights.”

-“But in the Occupied Territories, the Palestinians don’t have rights!”

-“But look at all these hot babes on the beach in Tel Aviv!”

-“But Israeli soldiers are killing Palestinian women and children for no reason!”

-“But look at these Israeli soldiers hugging and posing for a selfie? Aren’t they cute?”

-“Cute? They killed 2500 Palestinians last summer! Including 500 children! In COLD BLOOD!”

-“But look at these awesome startups that come out of Israel! Some of them are saving lives!”

-“Saving lives in the West, maybe. Israelis are sure taking a lot of lives in the West Bank and Gaza, wrongfully imprisoning and brutally oppressing our martyrs who are fighting for our freedom to exist as a state of our own!”

-“Seriously? You think Israel doesn’t want to help people? Look at all these pictures of Israel helping set up medical aid tents in Haiti and Nepal!”

-“Isn’t it ironic that they help all these poor suffering people overseas but refuse to help people who are suffering just as bad, right next door? Doesn’t that look like a cover-up of some sort?”

-“But look how environmentally friendly Israel is!”

Yeah, it does make Israel look like a callous psychopath in comparison. In fact, that’s exactly what Hamas and their PR people are trying to do – to use our PR tactics against us. They one-up us every time and make us look like jerks, using our own words against us. They use social justice as a trump card, as none of the other frivolous stuff the pro-Israel side likes to talk about matters if Palestinians are denied basic human rights.

So, like any other brand has to do, we have to keep reinventing ourselves to match the zeitgeist of the time. Not only reinventing ourselves, but adding new layers and new dimensions in response to cultural changes and paradigm shifts, as well as both preemptively and in response to what our opponents are doing and saying.

Imagine it as making an ice cream sundae to share with a group of friends. It has a scoop of mint chocolate chip because your friend Judge Dan loves mint chocolate chip. Your other friend, Brian loves white chocolate and Dave sort of likes it, but Aussie Dave‘s favourite flavour is peanut butter cup so that must be included too. Brian, however, can’t eat anything that has too much carbs or sugar, so cookie dough ice cream is out of the question for him, even though I like it a lot. Ryan loves maple because he’s a walking Canadian stereotype, and let’s say Bob is vegan, then the sundae has to have vegan ice cream in it. Deebo appreciates the finer things in life, so he insists on gelato, but none of our other friends want to pay that much for all the scoops to be gelato, so they compromise on one scoop of Oreo gelato, Deebo’s favourite flavour. Varda insists on plain vanilla bean because she’s boring. Mirabelle loves olive oil ice cream but she’s willing to settle on mango sorbet, which most of us can tolerate. A lot of us don’t want to waste our calories on just plain vanilla though. I love myself a little bit of everything (except vegan ice cream, because it’s not even real ice cream).

In order to compromise for this Sundae, which will probably just end up looking like a Ben and Jerry’s Vermonster, we need to have a scoop of what everyone likes. If I love Oreo but don’t like vegan ice cream, I’ll have a large spoonful of the Oreo scoop but leave the vegan scoop for someone else. If I like a little bit of everything, I’ll have a tiny bit of everything. The more scoops of ice cream there are, the more people are going to be happy with the selection, the more people will find the assortment palatable.

Hasbara has to be a Vermonster, with one scoop of everything, so that there’s something targeted for everyone. No one scoop should overwhelm the other flavours, and we should do an equally exceptional job with each flavour, otherwise someone will insist on getting it elsewhere. We should have an indigenous rights focus, a human rights focus, a social justice focus, a high tech focus, an international law focus, a tikkun olam (helping humanity) focus, a religious freedom focus, among others. One of the many reasons the Palestinian PR campaign is so much more effective than ours, besides the fact that they left all their ethics at the door, is because they have many different angles and messages associated with their cause, and know how to appeal to different demographics.

So what does this have to do with whitewashing?

We have to stop whitewashing our cause. It’s doing us no favours if nearly all of our public relations materials are shallow, light, fun things, a delicate house of cards that comes crashing down the second a Palestinian activist plays the social justice trump card. We need to have failsafes in cases where this is bound to happen. We need to be proactive. We need to stop treating the general public like they’re too stupid and shallow to ever probe deeper into issues. We need to appeal to the intellectuals and social justice warriors who want work tirelessly to make the world a better place. They are the ones who give human rights causes credibility, but they’re currently fighting for the other side.

The saddest part is, they used to fight the war of words for us, but we took them for granted and refused to modify our strategy to reflect changing times, so they gave up on us and left for a more compelling message. They left because the Palestinian side pulled the trump card they couldn’t refuse.

Without justice, you can’t have peace, as any peace would be oppressive.

Without human rights for all, in Israel and in the occupied territories, you can’t argue that equal rights exist for Israelis and Palestinians, for gays and lesbians, for men and women in Israel while ignoring the elephant in the room: the accusations launched against us from the territories.

We can’t claim that we are so valiant in bringing rapid aid in far-off lands while failing to address what is perceived as a human rights crisis within our own lands.

We cannot justifiably post photos of scantily clad Israeli women on the beach while simultaneously ignoring accusations of IDF soldiers shooting innocent Palestinian children playing soccer on the beach.

We can’t brag about our environmental innovations while the Palestinians are complaining that their environments are thick with dust, shrapnel, and rubble from Israeli airstrikes.

We can’t brag about computer chips when they’re showing us pictures of dead babies. As Ryan Bellerose said in his recent talk at CIJR, it makes us sound like we have Asperger’s.

The climate now, in the 2010’s, with our world turning upside down, is much heavier than the light and carefree 1980’s when our Hasbara strategy originated. We’ve since lived through the Gulf War, the Kosovo war, 9/11, the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, the Arab Spring, two intifadas, wars with Hamas and Hezbollah, and the looming threat of ISIS.

We need to stop adopting a policy of ignoring the elephant in the room, otherwise we look like a joke next to the Palestinians whose concerns seem way more legitimate than our #firstworldproblems. We need our strategy to have more grunge, more edge, more emotion, more anti-colonialism, more anti-oppression, more resistance, and of course, more justice.

We need to show that young adults don’t enlist in the IDF because they want to, they go because they know they need to in order for their country to survive. That Israeli soldiers don’t go to war because they get a kick out of it. That Israel is spending billions in aid money to protect itself with bomb shelters and the iron dome while Hamas is not using any of its aid money (the most per capita in the world) to do so. We need exposés on Hamas and Fatah corruption and how the many social justice issues affecting Palestinians are caused by Hamas like this one. We need to show what Hamas is doing to not only gays but Israelis, and denounce their desire to keep any future Palestinian state Jew-free from an antiracist perspective. We need to show that not only are we indigenous and the Palestinians are not (they’re Arabs from the Arabian peninsula), we’ve also lived on that land continuously since biblical times, and that a mass Arab immigration followed the agricultural advancements brought to that land by the Jews. We need to get to the bottom of the conflict in order to leave no stone unturned. If we only skim the surface, if we don’t address their grievances and talking points or predict what their future talking points may be and act accordingly, we look like we’re either hiding what’s down below or too scared to venture there and open Pandora’s Box.

We need to get inside the heads of Palestinian activists. And I can promise you, pics of bikinis, gay pride, computer chips, and rows and rows of fresh organic crops isn’t doing it for them. We need to do more. We need to go deeper. A video by New Zionist Vision I posted with the first installment of my Hasbara Guide illustrates this point very well.

What do I mean by this?

Compare these two message side by side. Which one does the most powerful job of annihilating the Palestinian narrative and approach? Which only fuels it and causes the to roll their eyes, making us look callous and uncaring?

Narrative 1: We give our people, Muslims included, more rights in Israel than any other Middle Eastern country, especially gays and women. We have great nightlife, fun beaches, good looking girls, fancy start-ups, and a prosperous economy. We also care about the environment and give a lot of aid to third world countries and countries hit by natural disasters. Oh and by the way the land is ours because God said so. Aren’t we wonderful?

Narrative 2: This is the land of our people. We’ve inhabited it continuously since the 18th century B.C.E., despite constant wars and attempted expulsions by colonial powers. We are the ultimate survivors of oppression, which includes centuries of enforced dhimmitude on our own land by colonialist Arab invaders from the Hijaz (did you know the word “Palestinian” means “invader”?) This movement called Zionism, which emerged in the 19th century, is about reclaiming our ancestral land from its colonial rulers (then the Muslim Ottomans), and refusing to endure dhimmitude any longer. We did this by buying land from the once-barren territory, often from absentee colonial landowners from the colony’s Mother Country who charged us way more than what it was worth. We cultivated the land with new agricultural technologies that we learned and developed while in exile, and many Arab immigrants came from surrounding lands later on to share in on this prosperity. After the holocaust, the world realized how badly the Jews need a haven from persecution so the UN let us have Israel. This, the Zionist dream and reality, is the ultimate story of an indigenous population exiled from their homeland or made to live as dhimmis finally reclaiming our sovereignty, the holy grail of a social justice movement. The Arab armies, whose leader Haj Amin Husseini was allied with Hitler, fought us at every turn because to them, we should always be dhimmis and “know our place”. We refused to back down and continued this resistance, refusing to be violent unless provoked, which we are frequently. Much of what they say about us lacks context or are flat out lies. Oh and by the way, we share your values of justice, human rights, and equality, being the only country in the middle east where women and gays are treated as equal, and we give tonnes of aid every year to developing countries and countries surviving natural disasters, especially the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to whom we give the most and treat them in our hospitals. Even though the British gave the Arabs their own state already, Jordan, we’re still willing to compromise some of our land for a Palestinian state if they’re willing to recognize us, which they don’t seem to. All they seem to do is send terrorists our way and compensate them and their families for attacking us. How is that just? Why would this make us want to take down the blockade when they only want destruction and refuse peace? And we do have nice beaches, and pretty ladies, you should come visit sometime and see all this for yourself.

Which one is most compelling? The first part sounds like a fluffy tourism ad. The second one is long, I know, but it’s multilayered and profound, as our message should be. We shouldn’t regurgitate all of it at once, we should start with the deeper stuff and then move on to the shallow stuff later when they feel more comfortable with us. It sounds counterproductive, but they’ll only listen to us if we flip their emotional switch, and only the deeper stuff does that.




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #12: How to Deal With That “Hot Mess” of a Best Friend

 |  7July2015

Everyone has that friend.

You know what I’m talking about? The one whose life is a bit of a trainwreck, to put it mildly? The one you have to carry into the cab passed out drunk and stay with until he gets home, just to make sure he doesn’t stop breathing? The one who keeps failing her classes because she spends more time studying her boyfriend’s reproductive system than the one in the textbook? Or maybe the friend who keeps getting busted for selling pot, has a gambling problem, has commitment issues, can be a bit of a jackass, or is a revolving door in and out of rehab? You know, the one who struggles with an addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, bad relationships, gambling, or other poor life choices?

Most people have that friend, the one they keep at arm’s length but are still friends with them for old times’ sake. And if you don’t have that friend, you probably are that friend.

And then there’s that other friend. The one who looks like as much of a hot mess if not more than the first friend. Thing is, (and this is the reason you’re still their friend) they aren’t as screwed up as they appear when you get to know them. They’re actually really nice people who have good heads on their shoulders (shocker, I know) but they just appear to be a hot mess. Every time they have a moment, it’s always right up in the public eye, in some youtube video that’s going viral on Facebook. They can’t do anything crazy without getting caught. Most college students get drunk every weekend, but when she was in college she would get drunk once a semester but every single time, she would puke all over the couch at your boyfriend’s frat house, making her a household name, an inside joke at ADPi (and just about everywhere else). She always has hope that the next time around, the next time she has 4 drinks, she’ll be able to hold it in. Or maybe have enough time to run outside and hide behind a tree or something. But nope, each and every time it’s all over that darn couch. If you choose good betting sites to play on, you’ll have endless fun.

Israel is the second type of Hot Mess Best Friend. She’s a really good person. She screws up just as much as everyone else (if not less) but is always so darn public about it, and the more public she is the more people expect it and look for every opportunity to provoke a reaction out of her for their own entertainment or schadenfreude.

And you know what? She doesn’t really care. Some people admire her for it, but others just laugh. How could she be so clueless? They think.

I immediately thought of that analogy when I read this article in the Jerusalem Post.

Why does even JPost have such biased headlines? I thought.

IDF Kills Palestinian Who Throws Stones at Commander’s Vehicle

Does the Jerusalem Post want Israel to be a pariah state? With headlines like this one it sure seems like it.

Mistake #12: Lacking Foresight

Israel is in a unique situation that sometimes I don’t think it understands. Dozens of countries around the world use it as a convenient scapegoat, used to distract citizens from their own human rights abuses. The entire Arab and Muslim world sees its very existence as an affront to Pan-Arabism (a.k.a. colonialism) and Islam, which it holds dear more than anything else. Then you have your tens of millions of leftists who see Israel as a convenient way to feel like they’re making a positive difference in the world. Then there’s that trainwreck of a UN that spends all day everyday demonizing Israel during Item 7, and desperately wants to feel vindicated. Take all that into account and you have a situation that pretty much guarantees that anything Israel says that can possibly incriminate her will be twisted, taken out of context, and exaggerated a thousandfold to the delight of the Palestinian leaders. Who, by the way, want nothing more than to wipe Israel off the map. (See Exhibit A).

It’s for these reasons that, as someone with 7 years of experience in pro-Israel programming on campus, I cringe at headlines like these.

When I saw that headline, I saw the backlash.

I foresaw the article in Electronic Intifada, which then made it over to Mondoweiss. Which then trickles down into the mainstream media. The news and facts so distorted, reduced entirely to “Palestinian Child Throws Rock, Gets Shot to Death.”

I foresee the twitter firestorm. How could Israel do this? Popular political pundits posit. This is a perfect example of what we mean by Israel’s disproportionate action of Israel’s military against innocent unarmed Palestinian children who were JUST THROWING ROCKS. PEBBLES, I TELL YA.

The millions, if not billions of people who love feeling vindicated every time Israel does something “bad” or “evil,” jump all over this, and it becomes viral. “Look, even their right wing pro-Israel publication Jerusalem Post said so! It must be true!” (Ironically they dismiss any JPost news that makes Israel look good as ‘biased’ because of the source).

Eventually, I envision these articles trickling down into mainstream left-leaning publications like Slate, Buzzfeed, Salon, and Huffington Post.

Before I know it, the White House Communications Director Jen Psaki is denouncing the “brutal and unjust murder of an innocent unarmed Palestinian civilian by Israeli forces” as well as “Israel’s disproportionate attacks on the citizens of Gaza,” on behalf of the White House, further putting a dent in an already fragile and crumbling relationship between Israel and the United States.

See, JPost? See what you did there?

I commented on the article on a Zionist Facebook group, stating my concerns about how that headline can be so easily twisted to help the haters. I immediately received an angry backlash, entirely from Israelis, automatically assuming I’m a hater.

–Do you have any idea how many children have been killed by these “stone throwers”? These are big chunks of cement, not little stones. Or is it just OK if it is Jewish kids?

That’s not what the article sounded like to me. To me and most Westerners, when we think of throwing rocks we think of PEBBLES. The kind of stuff kids use that get them sent to the principal’s office at recess.

You are a complete moron. Have you ever been to Israel? Have you ever been in this position? Let me answer that, no. I have lived and served in the idf, you are a clueless liberal, idiot! Israel shouldnt have to do a PR campaign to explain the obvious to any intelligent people.

Except it isn’t. Most people who read the publication do not live in Israel and do not understand the reality there and have never been in this position. We are diaspora Jews, many of whom who are increasingly embarrassed and turned off Israel even though we know in our hearts its cause is just. Killing some dude out there throwing stones might seem justified to people who have had stones thrown at their vehicles, who have served in the IDF and understand the protocol. But to complete outsiders who don’t experience that reality in Israel, the IDF looks like nothing more than a bunch of crazy psycho barbarians that are killing an ant with a shotgun.

Do you have any brain cells? How about I throw a rock at your car while you’re driving??!!! Do you know that it kills people?

Not people who haven’t had rocks thrown at their car before. In other words, the majority of people outside of Israel. For us we just think of driving through a hailstorm, which most of us have done especially Americans living in Tornado Alley.

Your stupidity is incredible. No one with more than two brain cells is turning their back on Israel. Just the educated morons on today’s campuses. Smh

Gee, thanks. Maybe you’re the reason people get turned off by the pro-Israel crowd. It’s understandable that we are always knee-jerk defensive. But for crying out loud, use a little self control before belittling someone’s brain cells. Especially those of an Ivy League student who’s been passionately defending Israel for over a quarter of my life.

-This chick Lex is damn retarded, by choice. Stop trying to put the WRONG comment on here. See.. The PR Smear campaign against is going to happen regardless. Meanwhile, YOU have never driven by these Molotov and HUGE stones being thrown at you, and your kids, and your neighbors, etc. With that said, and the campaign to destroy Israel constantly in effect while those educated enough know the unnecessary dangers Israelis are facing daily. THIS IS A PROPER RETALIATION when your car is being AMBUSHED and this commander was clearly at risk. Well done. Your words mean nothing. Go see it for yourself for an hour and you’d say “shoot those mothafawkkas now

My Response?

You have no idea how Jews in the diaspora and policy makers and thinkers see Israel and you guys make no effort to make it easier for them to understand you. This is part of the problem. This is why people are turning their backs on Israel.

I wanted to add: You guys are part of the problem.

But I bit my tongue (and hit backspace).

Whenever we do anything, or say anything, we absolutely must ask ourselves the following questions:

1) How would someone with an anti-Israel agenda react to this?

2) How would a diaspora Jew react to this?

3) How would someone who lives outside Israel, never served in the IDF or any army, and doesn’t understand its unique reality react to this?

4) How could I reword this to place the blame on the side it deserves, in this case the Palestinian hooligans.

We have to get inside their heads. We have to think about how they would react to these kinds of headlines. Just like your “Hot Mess” friend needs to consider going to the bathroom after her fourth drink and tossing her cookies in private just like every other wasted college student. She’s built a reputation as a particularly sloppy, destructive drunk (even if she just gets drunk maybe once or twice a semester, much less often than her friends), so people will scrutinize her more heavily in order to vindicate the “Hot Mess” label they gave her in their minds. So she has to be careful how she behaves herself, and might want to stay a little bit under the radar so that when people do twist their story, they look stupid, not her.

In that response to my comment, there is another phrase I see all the time from Israelis:

“Well who cares about what they think anyway? They’re going to hate us no matter what, so we might as well do what we want and cater to our own people!”

This defeatist attitude is the problem. I know it’s disillusionment from so much backlash, but it is literally giving up. Whether we like it or not, non-Israelis will continue to read JPost, whether they be diaspora Jews who are concerned, non-Jews who are curious, or antisemites who are out for blood libel. We don’t have that luxury to cater to Israelis only. We are in a unique position where people scrutinize our every move, and ignoring that is only going to make matters worse. It’s only going to disconnect people further from our narrative, and dehumanize us into evil robots who kill innocent people for no reason in their eyes.

As a former radical leftist, I have a unique perspective. I know exactly how they think, so I can predict precisely how people will react depending on how we frame our arguments or news headlines. It’s so important to know our enemy so that we can stop jumping right into their trap, especially if we can avoid it. Why is this headline a trap, and how can we avoid it?

The most common response I get to these kinds of articles, when anti-Israel people cite them to argue against Israel, they use them as examples of Palestinians using rocks (not seeing them as weapons, seeing them as pebbles), and the IDF retaliating with a shotgun, basically a perfect metaphor for their perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are literally feeding our enemies ammunition with this.

Instead of doing that, we should learn how to frame our narrative differently. Headlines are a huge part of this, as most people glean everything they will ever learn about the event from the headlines alone.

What is the problem with the headline IDF Kills Palestinian Who Throws Stones at Commander’s Vehicle? What would a better headline be?

First let’s start with my choice of headline.

Member of Palestinian mob killed after throwing heavy stones at moving army vehicle


if you attempt to kill and maim members of an armed forced by throwing rocks at them they will shoot you and they will dill you

if you attempt to kill and maim members of an armed forced by throwing rocks at them they will shoot you and they will dill you


Why is this better than the last one?

1) The subject of the article, in other words the main focus (and in this case the main perpetrator) and the first part people read, should be the Palestinian terrorist, not the IDF. The focus shouldn’t be on the IDF killing the Palestinian, it should be on the Palestinian trying to kill the IDF by throwing stones.

2) It shows that these aren’t just pebbles. These are massive boulders meant to kill, [See below post] not the little stones you find in a gravel driveway.

3) It doesn’t, at least at first glance feed into the constant narrative that validates our enemies, the one of Israelis Killing Palestinians. This is a foiled attempted murder and needs to be reported as such.

4) It accurately depicts that the Palestinian was in a bloodthirsty mob, not some sad-looking lone ranger throwing rocks by himself (which, by the way, makes him look like no threat at all and feeds the narrative of Israelis killing Palestinians for no reason other than to assert power).

5) The term “Commander’s Vehicle” exacerbates and emphasizes the perceived power imbalance. This kind of thing screams “INJUSTICE!” and is sure to rile most people, especially lefties, who are obsessed with power imbalances and have a knee-jerk sympathy for anyone they deem the underdog. This does not make the IDF look like it was acting in self-defense, even though it was.

This analysis is only one example of how the way in which we frame our narratives influences how people perceive us, and can either alleviate or exacerbate the existing PR disaster we are finding ourselves in.

I would like to close with a few considerations I am hoping you can keep in mind, especially if you are in any position that involves reporting on what’s happening in Israel.

What would any other army do if a group of Palestinians were hurling rocks at the windshield of a car that is moving at 60mph?

In the U.S., rock-throwing is a felony. Whether at civilian or law enforcement vehicles, rock throwers face criminal charges that include aggravated assault, throwing a missile into an occupied vehicle, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment of life, and aggravated assault with a lethal weapon. In any other country, the rock thrower would be punished the same way as the Palestinian was in Israel. Contrary to popular belief, Israel isn’t a distinctively evil country – it is a pretty normal country even by Western standards. This whole, “Palestinians throw rocks, Israelis throw bombs,” is a false analogy.

Rocks catapulted at moving vehicles, to anyone with any background in physics (i.e. very few people) follow Newton’s Third Law. If the car is hitting the rock at 60mph, then the rock is hitting the car at 60mph. Essentially the rock is almost like a bullet and can cause serious damage. We need to stop assuming everyone knows that or has witnessed it and frame it in such a way that anyone can relate to it or imagine it happening to them, so that they can truly realize the damage the Palestinian mob wanted to inflict on the soldiers by throwing the rocks.

This disconnect between the diaspora and Israel needs to end. Otherwise we have no hope of winning the PR war. We need to start putting ourselves in other people’s shoes as that is the only way we could ever have any hope of reaching them emotionally.




Attempted Murder, Plain And Simple

 |  3July2015

You are no doubt going to hear a lot about the killing of a 17-year-old palestinian. So here’s what went down:

In response to being pelted with stones, a brigade commander in the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division shot and killed a Palestinian on Friday morning, the IDF confirmed.

Palestinian rioters began throwing stones at Col. Israel Shomer’s vehicle and in response, after firing warning shots he opened fire and killed one of them. The victim was identified as a seventeen-year-old named Muhammad al-Casba.

The incident took place near the West Bank village of Al-Ram which is north-east of Jerusalem, at a time of heightened security in the West Bank following a spate of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. The commander was on his way to the Kalandiya checkpoint in between Jerusalem and Ramallah when his vehicle was attacked.

There were no injuries among the IDF personnel but a photo of the scene showed an IDF vehicle with a smashed windshield.

“The commander reacted exactly as expected given that the incident presented an immediate risk to life,” an IDF source said on Friday.

The source described the attack on the commander’s vehicle as an ambush that was planned.

Here’s a photo of the windshield:

Throw Stones at Car Windshield

Throw Stones at Car Windshield

The perpetrator was not trying to dirty the commander’s windscreen or inconvenience him. He was trying to kill him. This was attempted murder that could have become successful had the perpetrator not been neutralized.

The moral of the story?

if you attempt to kill and maim members of an armed forced by throwing rocks at them they will shoot you and they will dill you

if you attempt to kill and maim members of an armed forced by throwing rocks at them they will shoot you and they will dill you


Thanks to Deebo for the poster.




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #13: How to Not Bite the Hands That Feed You

 |  16July2015

I apologize for the lateness of this post, but I’ve been running around for the last few days preparing for my upcoming trip to Israel this Thursday! I think that’s a good excuse, don’t you? Part of my lateness could also be explained by the time I spent reeling from the news of that one-sided trainwreck, also known as the Iran Deal.

Speaking of the Iran Deal, we need to stop assuming our enemies think exactly as we do. This is a big rookie mistake committed by many idealistic, naive leftists. In fact, it was only when it dawned on me that there are cultural differences that account for certain foreign policy decisions and cause different nations to examine different circumstances through a different lens that I was able to abandon the radical leftist worldview, as it is entirely contingent on the notion of “we are all the same.”

Because, let’s face it, we aren’t.

Even among Jews we aren’t the same. We are not the monolithic Semitic caricature that Jodi Rudoren thinks we are. I for one am living proof – I have very fine blonde hair (Type 1a for the stylists among you), blue eyes, am tall, have pale skin that doesn’t tan, and a “cute little goyishe nose” as my grandma likes to say. My younger sister has classic Semitic features – you can point her out as a The Jew anywhere she goes. She is shorter than me, has thick dark hair, hazel eyes, skin that tans to near-olive from just walking down the street in a tank top, and a longer, more Jewish nose. People have talked trash about Jews around me assuming I wasn’t one, which is a pretty strong indication of this.

Jews are also the very opposite of monolithic where ideas are concerned.

When you put two Jews in a room you get three opinions.

The freethinking aspect of our culture has taken us far in virtually every field imaginable. It has gotten us to challenge everything we knew, and produce some of the greatest contributions to humankind.

But it’s our biggest obstacle in Hasbara.

Mistake #13: Fighting the Wrong Enemy

Arguing Jews

Arguing Jews


I see this issue rear its head constantly and it has been gradually grating my gears for awhile now. Plurality is great, don’t get me wrong. It’s evidence of a sophisticated, robust, and healthy society where we have the freedom to express ourselves. But this stubbornness will be our downfall.

I had inadvertently been ignoring a huge elephant in the room, until a friend of mine posted a Facebook status about it, and I realized that I cannot write a Hasbara Guide without including this issue.

The most startling difference between the pro-Israel and anti-Israel groups, not including the fact that we have ethics and they don’t, is that they speak as one cohesive voice and we are a dissonant cacophony. They just fight for their cause while we waste all our time fighting each other about how we will fight for our cause.

This distinction is actually quite dangerous. It means we spend too much time arguing with each other and not enough time doing real Hasbara. This could partially explain why pro-Israel advocacy groups spend six times as much as the anti-Israel activist groups but get much less done.

People naturally gravitate to the more simple, cohesive message, which the Arab narrative produces. Simplicity and cohesion in a narrative breeds credibility (e.g. Occam’s Razor), which is why many people intuitively support the Palestinian narrative and sometimes don’t even know why.

Whereas simplicity and cohesion of thought is antithetical to Jewish culture. If debating over minutiae were an Olympic sport, Jews would take up the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. We form all the colors of the rainbow, occupy all positions on the political spectrum, and our views span anywhere from diehard religious Kahanist to atheist antisemite. If you can think of a viewpoint, you can probably find a Jew who has that viewpoint.

That’s why Jews run a whole host of organizations, from JDL, to AIPAC, to J-Street, to JVP. And because of our Voltarian outlook on life (“I completely disagree with everything you say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it”) we just shrug our shoulders and allow it. Jews embrace pluralism, Arabs embrace cohesion and social harmony (individualism vs. collectivism). As an aside, that’s why it’s so ironic to me that leftists support the Arabs, given that Jews share these leftist values.

In Islam, it is about cohesiveness. Islam means total submission to G-d, and the very nature of the Quran discourages any kind of questioning or pondering. In Judaism, it’s the opposite, it’s all about questioning, about discourse, about being opinionated. The only way that we will win this PR war is to do something very un-Jewish, which is to become completely cohesive, and align ourselves unilaterally for this one purpose: supporting Israel.

The anti-Israel activists know this difference, which is why they take advantage and milk it for all it’s worth.

An American Muslim whose family lives in the Middle East, who is very close to me, confided in me one day that she supports a two-state solution. She told me that if I repeat this to anyone, she will deny it. She said if her family finds out what she truly believes, that she wishes to coexist with the Jews, she will be completely ostracized. She will lose her family, her relationships, her job, her possessions, and everything she holds dear. As part of her community, she is only allowed to have one opinion: that Israel, from the river to the sea, belongs to the Ummah as Palestine.

If we commit this one act of sacrificing part of who we are as Jews, we will save ourselves. This particular act of assimilation, where we completely relinquish discourse, and commit to speaking with one unified voice in support of Israel, is the only way we can win. It is the only way of achieving long-term sustainability of the Jewish State.

The anti-Israel groups know this will never happen, which is why they take the approach they are taking and rely on the one weapon they have: their cohesion. They know that for this reason alone, we Jews have forfeited the chance of ever winning the war of Public Opinion.

Pan-Arabists see this cacophony of different voices as a sign of weakness that needs to be exploited. This is precisely what they are doing – dividing and conquering, by supporting such organizations as J-Street and JVP that subvert the traditional pro-Israel narrative. They take advantage of Jewish openmindedness and reverence for education and reason and integrate their narrative into the academic canon in the tradition of Said.

So what do we do about this?

We have to put aside all of the minutiae and make the goal very narrow: we fight antizionism, so we can have a state. It doesn’t matter which parts of Zionism you believe in, which parts you don’t believe in, or whether you subscribe to religious or secular Zionism, stop fighting over what Zionism is and isn’t and just fight for Israel, because fighting for Israel means fighting for justice.

Do you believe that Jews deserve a state of our own?

Do you believe that everyone except Jews is allowed a state of their own?

If you’re universalist (anti-nationalist), have you thought about why you aren’t fighting against the existence of any other countries?

Consider the hypocrisy of antizionism. Focus on that.

The survival of Israel is the most important thing.

Whether you supported the Likud or the Zionist Union.

Two states or One State.

Secular or Religious

Separation between the rabbinate and state law or no separation

Right or Left

All these things we like to nitpick about.

Let them go.

When dealing with antizionists, survival is the only argument.

We are allowed to speak our minds and have robust and lively discourse, while the Palestinian side is muzzled under penalty of death for being a collaborator with Israel. Yes, this makes us look bad next to their unanimous agreement in the justice of their cause. Yes, this harms our credibility because they have one voice and we have many voices. But does this justify the sacrifice of Western and Jewish values we would have to make?

The answer is not a Yes or No answer. It is far more complicated than that.

A person who reads this article might say that what I’m really asking you to do is agree with Israel and other Zionists no matter what. However, that’s not truly the case.

There is a way of being pluralistic without being combative, and to acknowledge criticisms of Israel without allowing them to be being co-opted to delegitimize it. Derech Eretz, how you conduct yourself and how you treat others, should be kept in mind at all times. Disagreeing in ways that are respectful and non-aggressive is very important. Moreover, however embarrassed, passionate and angry you feel about something a fellow Zionist said, especially if it refers to the “form” of Zionism he is espousing, go easy on him. He’s on our team. Focus our energy on fighting the haters, because fighting our allies is a waste of time. Sure, it’s great that you want to make Israel better, but we are in the midst of a serious delegitimization campaign, the last thing we want is to add fuel to the fire. The last thing we want is some guy quoting something you said and exclaiming, “see? Even this Zionist Jew here said that!” This means we need to shut up and get to work.

Build Safe Spaces

If you really want to discuss grievances about the State of Israel, or discuss your views on Zionism, you may join many of the popular Facebook groups, such as Progressive Zionists that only lets proven Zionists in. Keep in mind that using these groups as a way to criticize Israel is sort of a waste of time and energy that could be better spent combating the constant libel that is spewed at us.

Are you Israeli?

No? Then why are you criticizing Israel as if you are! I’m Canadian and I will never go around complaining about Canada’s racism against our First Nations people to people who aren’t Canadian because they won’t get it and will just assume we’re a horrible country. Canadians tend to have an aversion to insulting Canada to non-Canadians, assuming they won’t understand the intricacies and context. Guess what, Israelis? The same goes for non-Israelis! They don’t know the context, the history, or the intricacies, so they won’t understand. So why do Israelis love complaining about their country to anyone willing to listen? Israel’s endless self-deprecation is a huge anomaly, and Israelis need to get out of that habit – as very soon you might no longer have a country to criticize if you keep this up. There’s a fine line between robust and healthy discourse within a population with the hopes of making it better, to downright nitpicking and reinforcing the extreme double standards, harsh judgment, and high expectations the rest of the world has for us.

Consider your audience

What benefit would calling Israel names like “racist!” in public have to Israel? What would non-Israelis who aren’t part of the culture think when they see Israelis insulting their own country nonstop night and day? Israel is the only country in the world whose existence is under question. Just think about this for a second. Think about what’s at stake. There are bigger issues than Ethiopian Jews not making as much money on average as Ashkenazi Jews, like, oh I don’t know, existing!! This kind of stuff especially in English-language mainstream newspapers is fodder for those who want us dead. Due to our special circumstances, we should keep criticism of Israel regarding anything related to the Palestinians (or anything that can be embellished and twisted to support the “apartheid” libel) private (amongst ourselves, in closed Facebook groups, etc.) and ideally limited to Israeli and Hebrew audiences.

Every Jew is a PR poster for Israel whether they want to be or not. Every time you open your mouth to argue or fight your fellow Zionists in public, you are bad PR for Israel. It’s time we bite our tongues and put up a unified front. Be what they need us to be: supportive. Put your Zionism before everything else, and aim to let change happen from within.

Because no Jewish state is worse than having a PM you disagree with on occasion.

And having a PM you disagree with on occasion (or even often) doesn’t give you a license to join the Israel-bashing party, just like my dislike of certain factions within the Canadian government doesn’t turn me into a Canada-bashing machine.

Put the good of Israel over your pride and ego.

What is it historically that got us over every threat of our peoplehood?

Sticking to each other and clinging to our ancient traditions and values.

That’s what got us through. It was the infighting that was always our downfall.

I do know something that every Israeli would agree upon: we just want to be left alone to live in peace. As usual, different Israelis and Jews have different visions of what this entails.

Some say we need to drive out all the Arabs, because then we’ll be in a Jewtopia and never have to worry about pan-Arabist terror (ethnic cleansing Kahanists).

Some say we need to wipe out our enemies the second they attack us (the hardliners).

Some say we need to just do nothing and defend only when our existence is at stake (the pacifists).

Some say let’s just do whatever we want and not care what anyone else thinks, because the world hates us anyway so nothing we do will fix things (the nihilists).

Some say we need to grant concessions to our enemies via negotiations, land for peace, “right of return,” etc., in hopes they’ll let us be in return for us being so nice to them (the naive pushovers)

Some say we should just abandon Israel altogether because its existence just stirs the pot in the middle east needlessly (the post-zionist antisemitism internalizers).

And some probably have myriad other ideas.

We need to cut it all down to the basics. Trim the fat. Cut the embellishment. Cut the overthinking. We are Zionists in a world that is against us. Let’s act like it. Let’s join together and fight for the most basic necessity of the Jewish people: the existence of our very own state on our ancestral homeland.

Once we’re over that hurdle, then we can argue about specifics.




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #14: How To Be Incredibly Sexy

 |  28July2015



As I write this, I am sitting in a café in Jaffa (Yafo) sipping on water and have just finished a quinoa salad with carrots, red onions, tahine, and mushrooms. No, I’m not a vegetarian (heaven forbid!) I just like eating healthy, don’t judge me.

Israel is the best country in the world. Yes, that is my very biased opinion. The people are warm, ridiculously good-looking, and treat you like family, the food is delicious, the vibe is awesome, and there’s a little bit of everything for everyone.

This past Shabbat, I attended a lecture by Neil Lazarus on the situation in the Middle East, and one of the major points he stressed was that many Jews are reluctant to show their pride. He called them the “Jew-ish” Jews. History has shown is that we have a very legitimate reason to be scared, to hide away, to wear our assimilation as a badge of honour. Because when they come for us, we will be harder to find and kill. That is the reality of our history, and this reality unfortunately repeats itself.

However, seeing Israel in all its beauty – its sounds, its smells, it’s big loving heart – I’m not so sure assimilation is the way to go. We have a beautiful culture. A culture we should celebrate and be proud of.

People pick on the weak. They always have. We are small. We are kind. We are eager to please. We are easy targets for bullies. That’s just the way the world works. It’s sad, it breaks my heart, but it’s true.

For many reasons, I had serious self-esteem issues as a kid. I was picked on really badly because of this self-consciousness, because I let the severe bullying get me down. They acted like they were doing this because of some fundamental moral failing in me, so they could feel superior and justify their actions. Bullies love getting people down, and as much as antizionists pretend they have the world’s best interests at heart and want to save those who they claim are suffering at our hands, we should call them for what they are: bullies.

One day I woke up and decided to love myself, flaws (and there are many) and all. I decided to be a good person, and that what others do is their problem. I decided to stop caring about what other people say, hold my head high, and stand proud and strong. Most importantly, I decided to be myself, and if people don’t like that, they are welcome to miss out on the crazy fun adventures that typically ensue when you hang out with me.

I noticed a huge change in how I was treated. I was confident. I took pride in who I was. And, as any issue of Cosmo magazine would attest, I became irresistibly sexy – men started hitting on me. I saw a huge difference in how people treated me, it was uncanny.

People respected me. They wanted be like me. They asked me for advice a lot. I realized I had achieved something they wanted. I am sure that thing is confidence.

Mistake #14: Lacking Confidence!

Real confidence is magical. It is magnetic. It draws people to you. And it is a big missing piece in Hasbara. It is different from arrogance because it is authentic, inclusive, open, and kind. It is egalitarian, not supremacist. It is telling the world that you are proud of your culture, here to stay, and that anyone who disagrees should #@&$ off in the nicest way possible.

Arab culture is an honour-shame tribalist culture, so this confidence and tribal pride is built into it, while all we do is apologize for everything. While we definitely should be the bigger person and apologize for the things we screw up – that kind of humility and heart is something I admire so much about Israelis – we shouldn’t apologize for existing and taking back what was stolen from us. This is Israel, not Canada. We don’t say sorry to burglars when they try to rob our house, so why should we say sorry to the Palestinians for leaving their land in 1948 in the throes of a defensive war that their people started.

Given the Palestinian and Arab governments’ immense confidence (or hubris, I would say), we look like little pipsqueaks next to them. They already outnumber us, they assert themselves without appearing off-putting to Western audiences, they are proud and they all say the same arguments without stuttering and looking at their feet. They form a solid, cohesive unit and, bolstered by their confidence, they are the popular clique of Mean Girls and we are the Science Nerd sitting all by herself in the cafeteria, tutoring everyone in math for nothing in return, as stray french fries and spitballs are continuously launched at her. I was Israel in high school.

The only difference between me in high school and Regina George (the Queen of the Popular Clique), besides the fact that I had glasses, braces, and was bad at sports, was that she had confidence and I didn’t. Her confidence was so magnetic that she got away with doing horrible things to people while still keeping her popularity.

The Palestinian Government is Regina George.

We are amazing. We are beautiful, smart, kind, passionate, talented, versatile, and have a bright future ahead of us. We turned a desert into an incredible, thriving, verdant country! We are facing an uphill battle because we are small, but we can do it if we assert ourselves and hold our head high.

So get out there and wear that Jewish Star. Tell our story. Spread our love. Flaunt our culture. And stop apologizing.

When I was in high school I was embarrassed by my quirkiness and intellect. Now I wear it as a badge of honour. Because seriously, the haters are missing out! And the more confidence and certainty we exude in telling our story, the more credible we will appear. And our confidence will be magnetic and draw people to our story.

I know this because I changed. I made the transition. I learned to love myself and be confident in my beliefs and in my story.

We can do this. We can stand tall, be proud, exude confidence. We have a compelling story, a beautiful culture, and a lot to offer. Now let’s stop letting the haters get us down, stop apologizing, and start standing up for Zion.



The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #15 FINALE: How To See the Big Picture

 |  5August2015



Please excuse my lateness. I just got back from Israel last night and I am suffering from severe Israel withdrawal.

Symptoms include excessive crying to the point where my keyboard is so wet I have to wipe it every few minutes, eating hummus and pita even though the kind we have at home is crap compared to Israel’s, WhatsApping all my Israeli friends nonstop, craving falafel, shawarma, bisslis, Israeli salad, and pickles (even though I’m not pregnant!) crying even more, hugging inanimate objects because there are no Israeli friends to hug and enjoy life to the fullest with around me, needing to go to the beach but then realizing we have no beach in rural Pennsylvania, blaring Matisyahu and that addictive Tel Aviv song on permanent loop while closing my eyes and imagining I’m at a club or bar in Tel Aviv, and did I mention crying?

One of the many things I learned about while living in Israel is that much of the conflict is fabricated or severely exaggerated by the media, at least on Israeli soil. For the most part, Arabs and Jews are friends, and get along like brothers and sisters. This incredible story, which I posted last week, is a testament to amount of heart that permeates this country, and the sense of brotherhood that transcends race and religion. Arabs and Jews are refusing to be enemies, and at the grassroots, there is peace. Israelis are full of love, a kind of love that is felt by everyone around them, including Arabs, most of whom gladly accept and return the feeling. I’ve had Arab taxi drivers talk at length about how they love living in Israel, love how they are treated, love the quality of life they have, and appreciate how lucky they are. These small encounters are not what we see in the news, yet I’d like to see more of them as human experiences, rather than facts, are what truly move hearts and minds.

Do you want to support Israel? To change opinions? Then come to Israel, see it for yourself, and I am certain you will come home with many incredible heartwarming stories to share. There is nothing more convincing than “I was there” (which is why Palestinian stories, despite them being easily debunkable, are believed over Israeli facts, because it’s hard to deny lived experiences without looking like a total jerk).

A common retort I get from anti-Israel activists goes along the lines of, “How dare you deny the experiences of millions of Palestinians! How would you feel if your family were butchered alive / forced to leave their homes / given 5 seconds to escape before an airstrike that destroyed their house / imprisoned for no reason / mocked and dehumanized at a checkpoint / etc.”

How can you respond to that? Even if it’s utter falsehood, you really truly can’t.

I would answer:

How would you feel if you were a promising rising star in the Israeli intelligence until you had your entire life destroyed by a Qassam rocket that literally blew up your brain?

How would you feel if your peaceful life as a date farmer in Iraq was ruined forever because of the founding of the State of Israel a thousand miles away, and you were stripped of your citizenship and all your possessions?

How would you feel if you stepped out of a restaurant (Café Rimon), where you were having lunch with your best friend and her fiancé, for five minutes to have an argument with your boyfriend, only to come back to see your friend and her fiancé dead from a bomb blast?

How would you feel if you were fighting for your life in a hospital because someone decided to firebomb your car on the way home from work just because you are Jewish?

These are all real stories; the first three are from people I know very well, and the last happened only yesterday.

What made me the most emotional during my time in Israel were all the amazing stories I heard from random people. Stories that need to be repeated.

Stories of love and loss.

Stories of friendship and brotherhood.

Stories of Israelis and Palestinians performing incredible acts of kindness for one another.

Stories of the incredible pain and damage, often permanent, that occur from simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time in Israel, because of the immeasurable and unnecessary hatred in one person’s heart, imbibed in them since birth from hate-filled curricula in the West Bank and Gaza.

Stories of hugs, laughs, clinked glasses, gifts, warm smiles, shared meals, deep conversations, puffs of a nargila, and selfless acts of service.

Stories of injury, loss, overcoming immeasurable obstacles, heroism, sacrifice, and of course, incredible resilience and fortitude of the mind, heart, body, and soul.

The problem we are dealing with is a miscommunication of emotions. From both sides. It is not black and white, and if there is one thing I could take back from my time in Israel, it would be that at the micro level, kindness is the language of coexistence.

Jews and Arabs can and should refuse to be enemies.

Jews and Arabs should pressure their governments (especially the PA) to promote peace and brotherhood, living side by side.

It can happen, but it isn’t. Why? Because we are living in different worlds. Such different worlds that it becomes so easy to dehumanize the other.

I know what keeps these worlds apart: fear. Fear that is definitely legitimate, given how much Israelis have been through. But all it takes to break the fear is a little bit of kindness. A little bit of effort – for example, a Jew learning Arabic – goes an incredibly long way. When I conversed with Arab-Israelis in the few Arabic phrases I knew, they beamed with happiness. There is an invisible wall separating us, and if it were possible to take that down brick by brick, we will be a lot closer to harmony.

What people don’t know, however, is that in Israel, people are already doing just that! I see examples of it every single day, of friendships being formed at the micro level that impact perceptions and truly make Arab-Israelis happy to be there. There are some Israelis who are kind to Arabs and vice versa, and it makes a huge impact! We just need to start increasing it.

Before you dismiss me as having drank the leftie kool-aid, please be aware that I know that there are issues surrounding this. While Israel proper is a shining example of what peace, love, and tolerance can look like, the Palestinian Territories are a whole different ball game. This separation I was discussing before is a big issue there, and is made worse by governments that want to exacerbate it and annihilate Israel. Since Jews don’t live in the West Bank and Gaza (it’s even illegal to sell land to Jews!) and Arabs don’t live in the Settlements, these areas are where you find the biggest divides, and the largest gaps in understanding. Add the fact that the West Bank and Gaza curricula in schools, camps, and the media are rife with antisemitism and you have prime breeding grounds for terrorism. Does it therefore surprise you that the vast majority of terror-related incidents in Israel originate in the West Bank or the Settlements? What divides us, incites us.

I’m not advocating a binational state. In fact, I’m actually arguing that the Palestinian’s lack of interest in any kind of coexistence makes them, not Israel, the major culprits here. That being said, we need to build a sense of mutual understanding before we can get anywhere with any arguments. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t feel a rapport with you and doesn’t understand where you’re coming from, you will go nowhere.

Whenever you are arguing, no matter how hard it sounds, you have to try to get into their head, not only to be able to predict which argument would appeal to them most, but also to develop the sense of mutual understanding and respect that is necessary to build the rapport needed to adequately persuade and be taken seriously. Remember: their hearts are probably in the right place, especially if you’re dealing with bleeding heart lefties. They genuinely believe what they are doing or advocating is what’s right, either because they were told or because of the hypercritical mindset that academia had cultivated in them. Always explain to them that pro Israel and pro Palestinian are not mutually exclusive, and give concrete examples.

Stories are the key. Stories should be proactive rather than reactive (#2), include facts but also flip the emotional switch (#1) as they allow people to imagine being there. In fact, a well-told story that can be backed up with evidence can often prove the very facts you are trying to disseminate (#3). When telling stories, make sure to behave yourself in a way that will do Israel proud – avoid ad hominems that discredit and weaken your arguments (#4). Be creative with how and where you disseminate your stories, as you want to be able to appeal to as many demographics as possible in a targeted fashion(#5, #7). This usually means avoiding religious arguments unless they are used as evidence to back up an indigenous argument (#9). Build a rapport with whomever you are talking to (#6), and try to find common ground before you disagree with each other (#8). One of the good things about stories is that they let you avoid clichés (pinkwashing, greenwashing, etc.) as real life is, funny enough, seldom a cliché (#11). Think carefully about how you frame it (#12), and try not to let petty spats with fellow Zionists (#13) or guilt trips by lefties (#10) interfere with the end goal of spreading your love of Israel with the world.

And don’t forget to do it with confidence. You know you’re right, you know you have it all together, now own it (#14).

I’m going to end with a story.

I got into a near-fatal accident last year in Singapore, during Operation Protective Edge. I lost so much blood from the accident that my immune system crashed and I got pneumonia in both lungs, which collapsed them. My femur shattered and had to be put back together again by a very skilled surgeon. That orthopedic surgeon’s name was Dr. Sohail Khan, a kind Muslim British Pakistani who, as I later found out, cared so much about the Palestinian cause that he volunteered in Gaza. I doubt he knew about my history of Israeli advocacy, and even if he did it clearly didn’t make a difference – he did a flawless job repairing my leg and helping a medical team keep me alive throughout and after the surgery, and was always kind, patient, and helpful. He was clearly a good man. He just had a drastically different worldview that caused him to believe a different story from me, to advocate a different cause, and to see goodness differently as a result.

At the end of the day, no matter how nasty things, get, remember that the person you’re debating is human. They probably had a drastically different upbringing that resulted in a different value system, a different set of beliefs, a different identity that shaped their worldview, and a different barometer for trust. They genuinely think they are doing the right thing. Never lose compassion for your adversary; see yourself as a guiding light. The more of an attempt you make to understand their point of view and respect their intentions, the better job you’ll do at hasbara, which requires a foundation of mutual respect for them to take you seriously enough for them to genuinely listen when you explain their side. Because that’s all it is: explaining. Hasbara comes from the Hebrew word “le’hasbeer” which means to explain or to tell a story.

If they remain stubborn and refuse to listen despite all your attempts to follow the above advice, don’t beat yourself up. Remember that you did what you can, and that hasbara is a two-way street. And if ever you lose your way, get fed up with your opponent, and feel like they must be the devil incarnate, remember that my life was saved by a devout Pakistani Muslim who supported Gaza so much that he dropped everything to provide medical care there for free.

Always remember to let your heart shine through. At the end of the day, they’re passionate because they care, and you’re passionate because you care. Never lose sight of that. You can’t win ’em all, but you can at least know you did everything you could.




Are You Suffering From Diasporitis?

 |  3September2015

1946 - 1951: European Jewish Diaspora

1946 – 1951: European Jewish Diaspora


Today marks the one-month anniversary since I left Israel.

During my time in Israel, I made a lot of excellent Israeli friends whom I talk to all the time even though I’m no longer there. Since my personality is very Israeli and I understand the culture, we click, and I feel like one of them (except when I realize that they are only speaking English to accommodate me).

I’m very well-versed about Israel. I did a lot of research on the conflict as a sophomore in college when I was trying to debunk Zionism (but failed miserably). I actually learned the Israeli rebuttals to many instinctive leftie or media-driven arguments in advance. Even still, my Israeli friends get frustrated with me from time to time. Every so often, I say something that makes the fact that I grew up 10,000 kilometers away all the more apparent.

“So you guys really just study Torah from Kindergarten to 12th grade? Even in secular school?”

“Do you have any Arab friends? Is that like, weird or something?”

“Are restaurants in Tel Aviv open for lunch on Saturdays?”

“Why do the ultra-orthodox have so much power in Israel when most of Israel can’t stand them?”

“Zionism is not a Jewish movement, it’s a civil rights movement” (It’s actually both, as Israelis learn in school).

“Wait, so you wanted to join the army?”

And this is me we are talking about, questions I asked just over a month ago. I, the former go-to girl for all things Israel Advocacy on campus and in my hometown. I still had (and have) a lot to learn about life in Israel.

However, I encounter far more individuals with a serious case of diasporitis on a regular basis.

Diasporitis. n. A deficiency, caused by a disconnect between one’s experience and the Israeli experience, that causes diaspora Jews to internalize a lot of media stereotypes and form incorrect and potentially damaging assumptions about life in Israel.

My friend Fred Maroun, who has never been to Israel but is Arab and understands the Middle East better than most, released an article yesterday criticizing Israel’s settlement policy that made serious waves in the pro-Israel community. Those who showed the most ire were Israelis, while diaspora Jews just shrugged. My friend Ryan Bellerose gently reminded us that opposing the settlements or settlement policy is a mainstream opinion in the diaspora but not in Israel, which could explain this discrepancy. We are used to this. Heck, I myself am iffy about settlement expansion and used to oppose the settlements altogether.


Indeed, this is the belief I held until about 2 years ago, and the belief of most diaspora Jews: That the settlements are pointless, stupid, abusive, detrimental, and are a major obstacle in the way of peace.

The truth, as I learned later, is much more complicated, but to make a long story short, the settlements are used as a red herring and have literally nothing to do with the conflict – meaning the reason the Palestinians are mad at us and refuse allow us to have Israel – at all.

Why did I believe what I did? Simple. Everything I knew about Israel was gathered from the media or hearsay. Those who have been to or lived in Israel avoid talking about the conflict at all costs so as to avoid creating tension by having an uncommon viewpoint (I don’t blame them, it’s scary!) Nobody in my family has been to Israel in the last 15 years for longer than a week at a time, and when they did they remained blissfully unaware of the tensions and rarely interacted with native-born Israelis. Even Jewish advocacy groups tend to steer clear of the conflict – as an Israel advocate on campus I was advised to avoid mentioning the conflict at all costs as it will potentially create a negative connotation. So the only viewpoint I heard was the other side’s and the media’s.

A conversation I recently had with a woman I was best friends with since I was 17 (we recently grew apart) reminded me precisely how far I’ve come. I thought about it and realized that as recently as around 4 years ago, I held the same viewpoint that she did. It’s the viewpoint that the media feeds us. We have no idea what is going on in Israel on the ground, and the only info we get is through a very biased filter.

The conversation went like this:

Her: Why are the IDF so brutal?
Me: Brutal? They are just protecting themselves from hamas who literally kill indiscriminately
Her: but doesn’t everyone?
Me: Israel actually has the most precise air strike technology available
Civilians still die. It’s how it works sadly
and that shouldn’t happen either
Her: I know
and these kind of things breed hatred
Me: But they are accumulating weapons to attack Israel
The IDF just wants to destroy the weapons
So that they don’t kill Israelis
Her: but why wouldn’t they want to attack israel?
Me: Why would they?
Israel offered a 2 state solution a million times
The Palestinians want all or nothing
Her: their homes are being taken, they are being killed
i’m not familiar with the terms of the offers but i guess it has to do with that
It’s way more complicated than that
Me: it is complicated, no one’s denying it
Israel doesn’t want to kill anyone, it’s not their goal, their goal is to defend
Unfortunately people die in the process
Which I am against if they aren’t terrorists
Her: yeah ok except it keeps expanding
Me: It’s not expanding
It’s been the same since 1948
The expansion is a frequent falsehood people tell to obscure the truth
Her: once we start accusing the other party of creating falsehood, this is where conversation ends and all trust evaporates
I’ve heard both sides accusing the other side of creating falsehood
and it is systematically where people stop talking to each other and start resenting each other
and i’m not saying there isn’t falsehood
but accusing the other side of falsehood is cheap
Me: I wish they could talk to each other
I wrote an article about that
Her: but they aren’t ready to talk. and i’m not sure what it will take for them to be ready to talk to each other.
problem we are dealing with is a miscommunication of emotions. From both sides. It is not black and white, and if there is one thing I could take back from my time in Israel, it would be that at the micro level, kindness is the language of coexistence.
Jews and Arabs can and should refuse to be enemies.
Jews and Arabs should pressure their governments (especially the PA) to promote peace and brotherhood, living side by side.
Her: very much so. in fact i find the whole “conversation” overseas to be wildly misguided, again from both sides
there is almost more hatred from outside, from people who have never lived there
and that’s not ok
Me: Absolutely.

By the end I had given up. My head was spinning, and the last thing I wanted to do was create more animosity by getting into the minutiae. She was never going to understand it. She isn’t invested in it, and neither is 99% of the population. They just passively take in news, hearing about the latest Israeli use of force without any context, or the latest Palestinian cry of wolf. They don’t ask Israelis about what they are going through, they don’t try to look up the history or motives behind certain altercations, they don’t really care. And why would they? Most people have things they are much more passionate about or that are much more pressing matters.

A lot of views held by individuals with Diasporitis are extrapolated from the situation in their country or are simply instinctive. An example would be opposing mandatory conscription for the IDF, or opposing IDF security presence in the Palestinian Territories. Many even oppose the IDF altogether: War is bad, army means war, therefore army is bad. The reason for the surprisingly high margin of support for the Iran deal among American Jews is not surprising when you take into account the epidemic scourge of Diasporitis.

Claiming or thinking, “We are the Jews! We should be better than that! Set a good example, be a light unto the nations! We should know better and hold ourselves and those who represent us to a higher standard and be the angels and the doves of the world!” is a unique trait of individuals with Diasporitis.

Back in 2012 when countries started recognizing a Palestinian state, I was all for it – after all, what could possibly be wrong with the Palestinians getting statehood at last? Then they could just have their own state and leave us alone, right? Who cares if they don’t recognize Israel, they’ll be much happier and less angry now that Israel is no longer occupying them, brutally destroying their dignity, imprisoning them for no reason, patrolling their streets, and hurting their economy, right? A state for you and a state for me. That sounded fair to me then.

I thought Bibi was a right wing jerk who had no sympathy for the Palestinians, and that Tzipi and Buji were the way to go. For a time I even supported Meretz. They seemed to be the only ones who truly cared about human rights and social justice for everyone, not just Jews. And I was appalled that Bibi wouldn’t recognize a Palestinian state – positively appalled! I was told it was because he was a racist – and I believed it!

I had Diasporitis. I had such bad case, as it tends to worsen in university when surrounded by passionate radicals, that I almost became an antizionist. I genuinely thought that if we dismantled the settlements and removed the blockade, that there would be peace in Israel and in Palestine, that we would all be holding hands and singing kumbaya. I believed it because it’s what I was taught. I was taught that we are all human, all cultures are equally good, war and anyone who fights it is bad as negotiation and diplomacy are always possible and always the better option, and the stronger party in a conflict is always the evil one. I saw the world through a purely Western lens, in an ironic attempt not to be ethnocentric. I was always pro-Israel and even engaged in J-Street-like advocacy (opposing BDS for example, but still conceding to a lot of unwarranted criticism), but I was infected nonetheless.

Is there a cure? I know I was cured. I remember precisely when and how. In December 2011, I moved to Singapore for an exchange program and lived with my boyfriend’s family until late Spring of 2012. His father is a professor of International Economics and a Mizrachi Jew with close family ties to Israel. I lived with them again from July 2013 to September 2014, where the curing intensified.

My boyfriend’s dad was obsessed with following the news, and cared deeply about what was going on in Israel. He would always call me downstairs when something related to Israel was on TV or send me links over the internet. He would debunk the media bias with his professorial logic and extensive knowledge and experience about what was happening on the ground. It was eye-opening. A lot of things I was previously confused about suddenly made sense, and I became more passionate and well-equipped in my defense of Israel. He also had history on his side: a man in his 80’s, he witnessed a lot of important parts of Israel’s history, including the announcements on the radio from the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Hussaini, urging all the Muslims to get out of Israel to avoid becoming collateral damage in 1948. His passion was contagious, and he urged me to apply for an internship at the Israel on Campus Coalition, which I surprisingly got, despite being extremely naive even then in comparison to how I am today.

The final stretch of my treatment for Diasporitis was in 2013 when I moved to Singapore again, this time with my boyfriend. I thought we were going to settle down in Asia, but Hashem had other plans. At any rate, I wanted to understand and appreciate the cultural differences so that I would have an easier time adapting to South East Asian life. My boyfriend’s dad, having lived all over the world and on every continent except Antarctica for at least 10 years each, had taught a popular course on cultural differences and took it upon himself to impart his knowledge to me. He taught me about honour-shame culture, about individualist vs. collectivist cultures, and about tribalism (“my culture can do no wrong!”) He made it a point to not only teach it to me with examples from contemporary Asian society, but also from the Arab-Israeli conflict. He feels that a big part of why a disconnect exists between the diaspora and Israel is the fact that we do not recognize the cultural differences between Western and Arab culture, but Israelis do, so they process the information differently and react differently. Learning about these differences, in addition to experiencing Asian culture (which has very similar values and guiding principles to Arab culture) for myself, caused a lot of things to fall into place.

I understand that not everyone is lucky enough to have a mentor to guide him or her out of Diasporitis, which is why I don’t flinch or judge when I hear the same tropes again and again by those inflicted. However I think as informed Jews and Israelis who understand what is going on in Israel, we have a duty to help heal the Jewish world of Diasporitis. Inform diaspora Jews about what is really going on. Reach out to them without sounding threatening or belittling. It’s not their fault they are this way, they are merely a product of the diaspora society we live in.

However, the most important role here are Israelis. Israelis need to start reaching out to and befriending people in the diaspora. They need to start sharing their stories, their experiences of daily living that often contradicts what diaspora Jews hear about in the media. Israelis, I know you take your lives – and being in a Zionist bubble – for granted, but relationship-building is the best way to generate sympathy for your cause. I know it isn’t black and white, but there is so much more to the story than is typically assumed, and the shades of grey are not where one would expect. Who better to learn the nuance of the conflict from than Israelis themselves?




Alternative Judaism: Taking Israel Out of Judaism

 |  19November2015

I have finally figured out the blight on American Jewry that is sweeping the nation, leaving few stones unturned, scaring nearly all of us into submission: We are raising a generation of Jews without Israel.

I swear I’m not a redneck. I’m not an Evangelical Christian. I am not a member of the Tea Party. I am just a Jew that loves Israel unapologetically and is brazen and loud about it, and for the first time in my life, this very fact is revolutionary.

Following the recent Anti-Israel and Anti-American happenings at Goucher College, VassarU MinnesotaUC Santa Cruz, and UCLA, the outcry on Columbia University’s Israel Week event page, my exchange with a J-Streeter, this exchange between another Israellycool contributor and a J-Streeter, this odd sighting at the Kotel, this Jewish mother bringing in the Tamimi family to brainwash children in Ithaca to believe Palestinian terrorism is somehow a noble endeavour, and the Paris attacks, I realized that our greatest enemies are our own people. I also realized why.

Progressive Zionist Club: My Introduction

I knew this was going on for awhile. Back in 2010, when I began my studies at McGill University, I had a brief stint as a radical leftist. I had been conditioned my whole life to believe that leftism is the solution to all the world’s problems, and that if I didn’t believe leftist ideals, I was a bad person. I became friends with a bunch of leftist Jews, having no idea about their thoughts on Zionism because that simply wasn’t on my radar when our own city was positively teeming with systematic oppression of every possible kind. One of them added me to a group called the Progressive Zionist Club (not to be confused with the Facebook groups “Progressive Zionists” or “Progressive Zionism”). Based on the name alone I thought to myself – wow – finally, some progressives who are also Zionist! I didn’t know such people existed! I didn’t really have time for the club until long after I left the radical leftist fold and started getting involved in pro-Israel advocacy again.

It was my persistent Zionism that sowed the seeds of doubt in my mind about the factors in radical leftism that were problematic. I wanted to really be sure antizionism was the way to be for someone genuinely interested in social justice before I went into it full throttle, because I also wanted to be extremely careful before going against something my family cares deeply about. So I did my research, and through my research I found nothing wrong with Zionism and a lot wrong with the arguments from the other side. I was kicked out of the feminist alliance for being a Zionist. It was my research into Zionism with the strong desire to find anything wrong with it that I could so that I could fit in with these people who seemed to care as much as I did about repairing the world and made that their priority, that made me so resolute in my beliefs. Having been raised on a steady diet of Western media, I was still a leftist Zionist, thinking Meretz and J-Street were forces of good, that the settlements were evil, and that the Israeli left needed to save Israel from itself. Obviously, the more I learned over time, the more things have changed.

In 2014, I came across the group Progressive Zionist Club again, when a post that defended BDS appeared in my newsfeed. Appalled, I browsed through the group and what I saw horrified me: A group of Jews who were vocally supporting anti-Israel organizations, thinking that Students for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR, our SJP) wanted peace more than the Israeli government did, and that they love Israel more than I do because they care about it enough to criticize it brutally and incessantly.

These same students were behind the cancellation of Ryan Bellerose‘s talk at Hillel Montreal. Hillel refused to back me, citing their desire not to alienate this fragment of the Jewish Community. Hillel is a Jewish student organization above all, more so than it is a Zionist organization, and it certainly isn’t a Zionist advocacy organization. After talking to a few more people from Hillel off the record, I learned that Hillel’s aim is to get donations, so they must be as uncontroversial as possible, and therefore avoid doing anything to rock the boat. The PZC folks definitely rocked the boat, even getting SPHR involved to cry victim and create a pandemonium of “controversy.”

Needless to say, Ryan didn’t stand back when they began publicly bullying him, and his very blunt and direct responses were seen as “unprofessional.” A few minutes after midnight on the day of his talk, Ryan was told it was cancelled. This was their way of deescalating the situation, it seemed. Apparently if you want to represent the Jewish people, you have to be timid and appeasing, at least according to Hillel. Of course, this allows leftist organizations like PZC, J-Street, Jewish Voices for PalestinianHegemony (which they call “Peace”) to walk all over it, causing Hillel to stay quiet instead of doing the right thing. I wondered: where did this warped mindset come from?

American Jewry: Same Excrement, Different Toilet

I moved to the U.S. for grad school and realized that the mainstream Jews on campus were the same type that would have joined PZC in Montreal. When I told the pro-Israel student group on campus that I have good connections that can act as speakers for pro-Israel events, the first thing they asked me was, “any democrats?” I made a terrible joke along the lines of “After the Iran Deal? Not anymore!” They rolled their eyes at me, sneered, and I never heard from them again. Republican, it seems, on college campuses, is synonymous with “Taliban sympathizer.” Although the leftists seem to have more sympathy for the Taliban than they do for Republicans.

#BlackLivesMatter but #JewishLivesDont

In October, I witnessed an anti-Semitic incident on the quad of my very university, with #BlackLivesMatter protesters going on about how “If the Jews were treated as blacks were in America, the government would care, they would do something!” They were using antisemitic tropes, implying that “Jews control the government” (or at least that they are in cahoots with it, which is ironic because the president is (half) black not Jewish), Jews have privilege, and Jews are on the side of the oppressors. None of the dozens if not hundreds of bystanders said or did anything.

I looked at the most menacing protester, a white male, the one ranting about Jews with a hateful fervor that ironically reminded me of a KKK demonstration I saw on TV, and implored, “did you grow up with pennies thrown at you in the cafeteria? Did you watch one of your closest friends get beaten up in the middle of the student lounge, their only crime admitting they were in fact Jewish? No? Then shut up and check your white privilege!” He scoffed and responded, “Jews are not systematically oppressed and disproportionately incarcerated as blacks are by the US judicial system,” to which I responded “Jews are the most persecuted group on the face of this earth. Check your privilege!” to which he yelled “my privilege? Look in the mirror!” That’s when I decided that engaging in this privilege-measuring contest was futile if not dangerous, and I fled.

I posted a status about it later that day, expecting support from my fellow Jewish classmates. The only response from a Jew from my campus was dismissive and patronizing, along the lines of: “but what about Islamophobia? Hopefully now you know what Muslims go through every day. Consider this an opportunity to build your empathy.” Whaaaaat?

Hillel’s Unsafe Spaces

Shortly afterward was the “safe space discussion” hosted by my school’s Hillel. Get this: the Hillel Israel fellow made the banner for the event that Hillel organized with JStreet and a group of other leftist Jewish organizations, the Israeli and Palestinian flags side by side. For an event to discuss a vigil to commemorate the victims of terror in Israel. I guess they can’t feel even-handed enough if they don’t include a Palestinian flag, even though the acts of terror they are condemning were committed in its name. Leftism is mainstream, and if you don’t agree with it, you’re seen as a stupid, closed-minded, anti-progressive, evil republican, racist, unsophisticated bigot without a conscience. You might as well be a redneck in their eyes.

How Paris Made me a Pariah.

Then came the events in Paris on Friday. I felt it was a natural response to see this as a warning against the unchecked stampede of Syrian refugees into Western lands, especially given the Trojan Horse efforts by ISIS, the corruption in the UN refugee bodies, widespread talk of passport forgery, and the direct relationship between the acceptance of Syrian refugees and antisemitism (which the Arab World, Syria included, is raised on). I was universally reviled by all my friends, especially the Jewish ones. I was accused of being a hypocrite, as my ancestors and relatives were indeed refugees from the Eastern European pogroms and the holocaust, and the reason I’m alive is the magnanimity of the western world towards refugees. I tried to remind them of the unique issues associated with the Syrian refugee crisis, but I am subsequently ignored and accused of being against humanity. To them, I was essentially a Nazi sympathizer who hated social justice. Who were “they”? Almost entirely young Jews.

Antisemitism and its Apologists in My Academia

In all my years as a student, I never experienced overt antizionism in Academia. It was always tiptoed around by professors in the name of professionalism. The closest it got was during my first year of undergrad, my Theatre Performance professor sang the praises of renown antisemite Caryl Churchill’s notoriously antisemitic play, Seven Jewish Children, talking about how great it was while the other Israeli in my class and I exchanged disgusted glances. She wished we could have examined this play instead of Churchill’s other play, Top Girls, but she was worried she would be given hell from her department because it’s “too controversial.”

Fast forward to Monday. Yes, three days ago. I’m sitting in class and the professor starts talking about the Paris attacks. The professor has a PhD in philosophy and is very down to earth. He isn’t one of those new age hipster philosophers, he is very lucid and concrete and can make anything make sense. He is also a Jew, which he displays proudly and mentions many times as an important part of his identity. His daughters both have very Israeli names. He was discussing a philosopher’s theory of how how we need to acknowledge our shared humanity, our human selves must recognize the human selves of The Other. Then he brought up the Paris Attacks. He made several disclaimers about not wanting this to become a political discussion, and not ever wanting to justify violence against the innocent people of Paris who were just enjoying a night out. He then said that the terrorists are people too who resent their civilians being bombed and their people’s way of life being colonized (I assumed this to mean by the host country).

I am not sure why he said this, maybe there was something I missed, because I ordinarily adore this prof and saw him as a grounded voice of reason. These comments seemed counter to his usual rational way of seeing the world. I wasn’t sure if he was trying so hard to eliminate his biases, with the two very left-wing, proud Muslims in the room, that he appeared too sympathetic to the side of evil, if he genuinely wanted to become more empathetic, or actually believes the anti-Western leftist rhetoric that the West are still colonizers and the root of all that is wrong with the world. I’m not sure if he wanted to avoid aggravating the extremely Islamophilic administration, which hired some of the most prominent anti-Zionist thinkers of all time as professors, and the Muslim student body, which cries “Islamophobia!” at even the slightest hint of criticism, which it cannot handle. Regardless, he actually tried to help us “understand” ISIS’ side of the story. I thought that was abominable and horrifying, and am drafting him an email with such grievances as we speak.

Or maybe he is one of those hardcore leftie Jews, the kind that joins JVP and speaks out extra loud against Israel because they represent him. The kind that feels that if we want to eliminate antisemitism, we need to do everything possible to avoid being confrontational and offensive, and just “accept being white.” Or perhaps he is the proud reform or reconstructionist Jew whose religious upbringing purposely excluded Israel.

“That Kind of Jew”: Anatomy of a J-Streeter

What is “that kind of Jew”? That kind of Jew seems to represent about half of American and Canadian Jews I’ve met. They believe in what J Street stands for. They’re embarrassed by Israel rather than proud of her. They think we are better off “accepting our whiteness” and never rock the boat, in order to eliminate antisemitism. They believe that any antisemitism is the fault of the “loud Jews” who don’t stay quiet and obedient, and the Israelis who won’t give Palestinians a state, who continue to “occupy Palestinian land,” or who refuse to uproot hundreds of thousands of Jews who live in the “settlements.” Since they see us as causing the antisemitism that can potentially harm them, they get really angry and critical of Israel and pro-Israel “right-wingers.” In sum, they don’t see the point of Zionism, so they see fighting it as a moral imperative, a way to keep themselves out of the danger that they believe Zionism and resistance to assimilation bring Jews. They see us as ruining it for everyone.

If they felt truly connected to Israel, this wouldn’t happen.

Antizionism is no longer a fringe movement. It has become more and more mainstream, to the point where most Jewish students I’ve encountered on campus are not completely comfortable in their Zionism, if they are even Zionist at all. The more I explored American Jewry and all its nooks and crannies, the more clues I uncovered.

Traditional Jewry: Zionistic but Unfriendly

For Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I attended a Conservative service, ironically through Hillel. I felt more connected to my Israeli  roots than ever before, as every prayer, it seemed, reminded us of our connection to Israel as a people. Our religion is one with the land, and the land inspired our religion. It was very mainstream, but the people there were extremely cold and uninvolved. Not one person said hi to me or tried to make me feel welcome, ignoring me when I tried to introduce myself. The services were only in Hebrew and difficult to follow, even for someone like me with a K-6 Jewish Day School education and a reasonable command of the Hebrew language.

I understood how alienating that kind of Judaism can be, though I felt very spiritually united with Israel. When I left the service, it became indisputable that no group of people is more intertwined with Israel than the Jewish people, and that we had to do everything we could to protect this legacy and heritage that we pass down from generation to generation. Despite my spiritual reconnection with my Zionism, I felt disconnected from the other congregants and the clergy.

Alternative Judaism: Non-Zionist but Very Friendly

About a month later, my roommate took me to an alternative reform synagogue. The energy was infectious, the music was great, and there was an emphasis on friendliness and inclusion. It felt like going to church, which I have done a few times out of politeness with some evangelical friends who were clearly trying to convert me. What it was missing was any connection to Israel whatsoever.

For the Shabbat services, we used a prayer book written by the reconstructionist Rabbi, Marcia Prager. In the entire book, Israel was never mentioned as a nation, only as the nickname of the patriarch Jacob a few times. This shouldn’t be surprising from a rabbi who refers to Brooklyn as the “Promised Land” in her bio. There was zero connection made between our people and the land of Israel, which was a startling contrast to the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. It was clear to me that they were careful not to alienate the Jews among them who are desperate to fit in with the “progressive” social justice contingent.

There was a band that played awesome music, with the feel of contemporary Christian music. In fact, the synagogue was hosted in a church building, with portraits of Jesus and the Virgin Mary on the walls surrounding us. I thought the service was a beautiful embrace of our Jewish culture, but excluded Israel, which felt very wrong to me. I went to an Alternative service at Hillel with the exact same observations a few weeks later. I left both services feeling welcome and loved, but incomplete.

A Tale of Two Judaisms

In my Orthodox Jewish upbringing, my synagogue didn’t make me feel like I was part of a community. This feeling was shared, which is why my entire family turned away from Orthodox Judaism towards agnosticism and no longer observes Jewish ritual. The only synagogues that I didn’t find snobbish, cold, or unwelcoming were all unequivocally reform and reconstructionist. There is a reason why numbers in the latter contingents are growing exponentially. Mainstream Jews are leaving Orthodox and Conservative Judaism in droves, and the only thing keeping the former alive is the high birthrate among the ultra-orthodox, exacerbating the problem of the residual non-ultra-orthodox not feeling welcome. Mainstream Jews are leaving what was traditionally known as mainstream Judaism and creating a new mainstream. A mainstream that excludes Israel, that is raising a generation of Jews with no emotional connection to Israel.

I dug into my past and noticed a pattern.

The leader and most anti-Zionist member of the PZC? An avowed communist and observant reform Jew who teaches Sunday School at Temple Emanu-El. Yes, to children.

The Hillel Israel Fellow at my graduate school? He runs the “alternative” services and is part of the “Jewish Renewal” movement, an offshoot of reconstructionism.

That J-Streeter I debated with? A reconstructionist Jew who calls himself “white”.

That Jewish classmate who ranted about Islamophobia on my facebook post about antisemitism? A reconstructionist Jew who calls herself “white.”

The professor who empathized with ISIS? A reform Jew (who also likes Bernie Sanders, and yes I am a Facebook stalker). His synagogue has an extensive website, with zero reference to Israel in any of its programming or interest groups.

What is the solution? We need to create a Judaism that is comfortable in its Zionism, that is also warm, friendly, welcoming and tolerant of diversity but also one that venerates our rich Semitic Jewish heritage and traditions and fosters pride in the Jewish identity. Orthodox and Conservative Jews, we need to be welcoming and not just a bunch of religious Jews davening around the bimah while the rest fall asleep or gossip in the women’s section. We need a Judaism that is open-hearted and loving, where we all treat each other like the family that we are, no matter who we are. There are so few of us, we must preserve and appreciate the souls that we have. We must create a community people want to be a part of, and feel they can be a part of, and feel proud to be a part of.

Had I not been raised with a strong connection to Israel embedded in my Jewish identity, I would definitely have not thought twice about abandoning my Zionism to advance my social standing on campus, as I wouldn’t see why it’s worth preserving. I would probably still be a radical leftist, feeling like a hero speaking against my own people and heritage for what I would have perceived as the higher calling of “Social Justice.” So if we want to stop the rapid increase in antizionist Jews, we have to foster a deep spiritual and emotional connection to Israel and embed it deeply and universally into our Jewish culture, and create a community worth fighting for.

After all, a central tenet of Judaism: Kol Am Israel Arevim ze la’zeh (כל עם ישראל ערבים זה לזה). All Jews look after one another.

Let’s make that a reality.

The Old City, Jerusalem, Israel: Depriving our children of this beautiful connection to the Holy Land that our ancestors have shared for nearly four millennia is to deprive them of the very essence of Judaism itself.

The Old City, Jerusalem, Israel: Depriving our children of this beautiful connection to the Holy Land that our ancestors have shared for nearly four millennia is to deprive them of the very essence of Judaism itself.




The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Activists Make Ever: Love Thy Enemy

 |  25December2016

A year and a half ago, I penned a detailed guide to “hasbara” called “The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Activists Make“.

This guide earned me a Hasby Award nomination, propelling me into hasbara stardom. (Just kidding. About the stardom part).

Since then, I’ve spent a year navigating the complex advocacy world of Columbia University, where I worked on my Master’s Degree. After observing very carefully, and comparing the pro-Israel and anti-Israel activists, I realized exactly why the other side is so effective, particularly at Columbia.

The anti-Israel side tends to be effective when the pro-Israel side is very leftist overall. Now I am not bashing leftists – rather recently, I was just as leftist as their average J Streeter, if not more, and still am center-left by Israeli standards. I am bashing their approach.

I felt compelled to write this article after seeing the results of the latest UN resolution, which Obama didn’t veto, that delegitimized the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. My Facebook friends acted surprised and betrayed. Meanwhile, I just kind of snickered at them, because I totally saw it coming. It reflects an entire Western approach to an Eastern conflict that I find problematic in this context, an approach with two prongs:

  • That if you hug your enemies tight enough they’ll love you
  • Striving for a Compromise

These are both very Western frameworks for problem solving. It’s what works when negotiating with other Western nations, and it’s very easy to get sucked into the idea that non-Western nations are just like us, because it would be racist to think otherwise, right?

The key thing is that Israel is an Eastern country. Most Israelis are Mizrachi, Sephardi, or Arab. A minority are Ashkenazi, and even the Ashkenazis from Eastern European countries like Russia brought over an Eastern rather than a Western mentality. Furthermore, lest we forget that all Jews (who aren’t converts) trace their roots to the Middle East. All Jews can trace the roots of our culture to this very spot. So Israel is overwhelmingly Eastern, contrary to popular belief.

If you apply a Western problem-solving method to a characteristically Eastern conflict, you’re bound to run into problems.

There are far more Ashkenazim in the diaspora than Sephardim, so it can be easily surmised that most of the pro-Israel activists on campuses and elsewhere are Ashkenazi. Therefore, they have been assimilated into Western culture, and have taken on a Western problem-solving approach. Most of the anti-Israel organizations are run mostly by Arabs and Muslims, who tend to have a very Eastern approach. This ideological clash is why most advocacy gets lost in translation, and why most advocacy on Israel’s side uses the totally wrong approach because it’s ascribing a Western method to an Eastern conflict.

If we love our enemies enough, they’ll love us.

Although I’ve talked about this problem in the Smolani and Me series, I hadn’t yet realized how this issue applies to the campus. This is a problematic view that explains much of why Western countries do things they know are morally reprehensible, in the spirit of getting their enemies to love them and eventually listen to them. Western nations do this by voting in favour of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN to appease Muslims. It won’t appease recent Muslim immigrants, because the ideological issues most Muslims have with the West are much deeper than Israel. These immigrants immigrated for economic reasons, for a better quality of life, but most of them consider Western culture immoral, decadent, and superficial, too focused on career-building and rugged individualism and not focused enough on keeping the family together and maintaining piety. They see our acceptance of gays as abhorrent, as much as the professional anti-Israel activists love to pretend to be pro-LGBT and milk intersectionality to appease their leftist audience. So Western governments’ attempts to “kill them with kindness” don’t actually work, because their disapproval of us runs far deeper than policy.

I see a manifestation of this mentality on campus all the time. If I got a dollar for every time a pro-Israel activist came to me and complained that her club wanted to collaborate with SJP on a peace event, I would be a millionaire.

I also very often see pro-Israel groups trying hard not to offend SJP, out of the assumption that they just want peace like we do, even though they don’t say they want peace, they say they want justice. When I was at Columbia, Aryeh, a pro-Israel student group affiliated with Hillel, told us not to do anything for Israel Apartheid Week, because if we do, they will be provoked and it will escalate. However, my co-president and I saw how crucial it was that the haters didn’t give off the impression that their view was unanimous – as that would lead students to think their unanimity means they are right – so our very presence was of crucial importance. So we went big, and SJP and some anti-Israel Student Government members were so threatened by us they succeeded at shutting us down.

2015-2016 Columbia University Student Governing Board president Mariam Elnozahy wearing an Apartheid Divest T Shirt while telling us to take down the Pinocchio

2015-2016 Columbia University Student Governing Board president Mariam Elnozahy wearing an Apartheid Divest T Shirt while telling us to take down the Pinocchio

Oddly enough, Hillel also wanted to shut us down, because our presence was too offensive to the Palestinians. They sent people to our booth to try to convince us to take it down and that it’s the wrong approach, and when we refused, they made it a point to tell the media that we are crazy radicals who don’t represent them. Hillel was motivated by fear that we will undo all the careful diplomacy they’ve worked so hard on, as pro-Israel groups continue to assume that if they’re nice enough even to our sworn enemies, if we try very hard not to offend them, then suddenly they will like us.

While there is an element of truth to the importance of being diplomatic, the obsessive desire to do so often waters down the pro-Israel advocacy itself, as we have seen from their desperate attempt to ensure Israel Apartheid Week with its three anti-Israel displays (SJP, JVP, and Student Workers Solidarity) proceeds unopposed. In the desire to be “sensitive” to SJP and other anti-Israel groups, we shy away from the tougher topics and stick to “cherry tomato advocacy” – lighthearted, superficial fluff that’s meant to cast Israel in a positive light while ignoring the important issues that keep intellectuals from feeling comfortable supporting Israel.

Due to our fear of saying that only Jews are indigenous, or that we have a stronger claim to the land, or that Palestinians are the descendants of colonizers, or that the term “Palestinian” to refer to an Arab was only popularized by the PLO in 1964 to fake indigenous status when bragging about one’s colonialist ambitions was no longer cool, we put on cotton candy events. “Look how good this Israeli food is!” “Look how much technology we invented!” “Look how much Israel loves peace!” When things get rough, we get defensive rather than offensive. Unfortunately the result of all this is that intellectual, observant students, who are most likely to become the leaders of tomorrow, think that we are not super convinced of the veracity of our claim and are therefore masking that with frilly superficial cherry-tomato propaganda, or that have something to hide because we avoid the elephant in the room.

If we are seen as going out of our way to not offend the Palestinians, we are seen as doing so because we think we “owe them” for the Nakba in 1948, thus bolstering the “Israel steals Palestinian land” narrative (which is why I always say that we should completely cut any help or aid we give the Palestinian Authority or Gaza because they are not our responsibility, and the fact that we give them aid makes it look like we are paying reparations). Moreover, as I and others have said ad-nauseum, If you say “Israel invented cherry tomatoes” and they say “Israel kills babies”, we look like the assholes who are trying to cover up something or put rainbow cherry tomato band-aids over our gangrenous scars.

That being said, I’m not advocating you change your advocacy strategy to “Israel: Because We Aren’t Babykillers!” That’s defensive rather than offensive, and I’ve warned about these strategies in the second installment of my Hasbara Guide. I am saying that we should be instead turning the tables. We should not be afraid to offend the sensibilities of our Palestinian snowflakes, our sacred cows, because the only way we can get somewhere with advocacy is to do something that will inevitably offend them (since anything that is a strong argument against their narrative is bound to offend them). We need to point out the hypocrisies and falsehoods inherent in the Palestinian side. It’s what they do to us and why they are so effective. My suggestion is to take a common Palestinian argument and find someone to destroy it. Hillel at Hebrew U had a speaker named Dany Tirza, who was in charge of building the security fence. He gave an incredible presentation about why the wall is so important to the security of Israel. At the Jeff Seidel Student Center at Hebrew U, Steve Gar, who is in an elite anti-terrorism unit, talked about why Israeli security is important but also did a great job at pulling our emotional strings. Kay Wilson, who survived a machete attack and speaks at StandWithUs Galas and Synagogues, would be fantastic for campuses, but students are afraid to bring her because they are worried accusing the Palestinians of terror is too confrontational.

The only effective advocacy is at least somewhat confrontational in nature.

SJP is disruptive, and it works, because they appear passionate about rebuking the oppressor at every opportunity so their cause looks more legit. (That being said, I’m an advocate of free speech and do not support disrupting any Palestinian talks, rather I am all for challenging speakers in the question period).

Just as the West betraying Israel at the UN hasn’t stopped the surge of terror attacks that has plagued the region, so too does trying to “make nice” with SJP and the haters, and diluting our advocacy to avoid offending them, only weaken our case. We need to be strong, resolute, and unafraid of offending – because any good pro-Israel argument will cause the Palestinian side to act offended to encourage us to retreat, or to try to shut us down.

Remember this is an Eastern conflict and the only way to solve it is by Eastern methods. so if SJP doesn’t feel threatened and offended, it isn’t good advocacy.

Stay tuned for the next installment on the common misconception on campus that compromise will win the hearts of the next generation.


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