Sunday, February 26, 2017

Nazi hate appears again

In the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, Nazi overlords made every effort to erase all evidence of an inmate's individual, unique identity. They took away clothes, jewelry and personal religious articles. They stripped Jews, herded them naked, humiliated them. 

They took their names away. They tattooed numbers on inmates' arms. By this means, Nazis took away a human being's name and identity. The Nazi goal was to disconnect every Jew from his people, his identity, his religion and his humanity. With six million Jews, they succeeded.

Today, the Arab leaders of the Palestinian Authority do the same thing to Israel--on a national level. They make every effort to erase all evidence of Israel's Jewish identity. They take away Jewish names from Jewish holy sites. They give Arab names to Jewish places. They deny Jewish history in Israel. 

The goal of Arab leaders in the PA is the Nazi goal: to disconnect every Jewish place in Israel from its people, its history, its religious Jewish roots and its national Jewish significance.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) wants to do to the state of Israel what the Nazis did to individual Jews--erasure. The PA tries to erase not only individual Jewish identity (with its calls for Intifada) but the entire national Jewish identity.

Some argue that it was the resiliency of Jewish identity that helped many Jews survive those Nazi concentration camps. While that may not be entirely true, it seems far more compelling to state that it is Israel's national resiliency in the face of PA hate that has made Israel a secular Light unto the Nations in such areas as medicine, agriculture and computer science.

Nazis lost their humanity trying to deny Jews their humanity. Today, when you compare how both Israel and the so-called 'Palestinians' have developed since 1948, you see that too many 'Palestinians' have lost both their individual humanity and their communal commitment to build a 'nation-state'. 

They don't dream of nationhood.  They dream of destroying the Jewish state so as to deny Israel its Jewishness.

The Nazis of Germany were able to achieve great evil because powerful men decided that their beliefs were supreme over the word of the Jewish G-d. The leaders of the Palestinian Authority seek the same evil Nazi goals--religious supremacy, conquest and extermination. 

Unchecked, the Nazis of Germany destroyed all of Europe, a large portion of Russia, and perhaps 40 million people. How many millions of Jews do today's 'Palestinian' leaders want to kill?  

Nazis subjected Jews to inhuman, horrific treatment. Those Nazis created, empowered and implemented Man's worst horror against Man--all in the name of a new world order. 

Today, 'Palestinian' leaders would do that again. They want to sweep across Israel and kill in the name of a new, holier 'Palestinian' national social order.

Nazi hate has not disappeared. It has come again to life--in the Palestinian Authority. 

(Much of this essay derives from a speech given by Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice David Stras at a dinner sponsored by the Twin Cities Cardoza Society, in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 2, 2016, as reported by Scot Johnson at powerline on November 28, 2016) 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday cartoon

Today is Friday. Shabbat, the day of rest, approaches. 

News headlines tell us Israel is in trouble, for one reason or another. What do these difficulties mean for us (in Israel)? Perhaps a cartoon can give us some perspective. 

This week's cartoon comes from the website, tlvfaces. The cartoon isn't new. But it still makes a statement. 

The cartoon remains relevant. Even if the faces have changed, the point of the cartoon hasn't. Take a look:

Image result for today's israel cartoons

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trump comes out fighting for Israel at the UN

When South Caroline Governor Nikki Haley was recently confirmed by the US Senate to be Donald Trump’s new US Ambassador to the United Nations, some felt she wasn’t the right person for the job. She had no international diplomatic experience (Patricia Zengerle, “U.S. Senate confirms Haley as Trump's U.N. ambassador”, reuters, January 25, 2017). Therefore, she wasn’t qualified.

Well, here’s a formal statement from Amb Haley following her very first experience sitting in on a UN Security Council session. These Freshman remarks tell you three things. First, she really is new to the UN. Second, she has a very clear view of what she expects from the UN. Third, the Trump administration is certainly not afraid to talk tough (“Remarks at a Press Availability Following UN Security Council Consultations on the Middle East”, Ambassador Nikki Haley,, February 16,2017):

 “The first thing I want to do is talk about what we just saw in there. The Security Council just finished its regular monthly meeting on Middle East issues. It’s the first meeting like that that I’ve attended, and I have to say it was a bit strange. The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hizballah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated, month after month, for decades”.

How’s that for a Freshman Ambassador? Is it clear enough? She continues:

“I’m here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I’m here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias. We will never repeat the terrible mistake of Resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel. Instead, we will push for action on the real threats we face in the Middle East”.

These words are not diplomatic expressions of nuance or suggestion. They’re fighting words. They’re the diplomatic equivalent of a punch in the UN’s nose.

"We stand for peace. We support a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is negotiated directly between the two parties, as President Trump reiterated in his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday. The outrageously biased resolutions from the Security Council and the General Assembly only make peace harder to attain by discouraging one of the parties from going to the negotiating table".

No one in recent memory from the US government has spoken so bluntly to the UN about Israel. No one from a recent US administration has called out the UN this way:

"Incredibly, the UN Department of Political Affairs has an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs. Imagine that. There is no division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world’s number one state-sponsor of terror, Iran. The prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues does the peace process no favors. And it bears no relationship to the reality of the world around us.

The double standards are breathtaking. Just a few days ago, the United States sought unsuccessfully to have the Security Council condemn a terrorist attack to Israel, where the terrorist opened fire on people waiting for a bus and then stabbed others. The Security Council would not hesitate to condemn an attack like that in any other country. But not for Israel. The statement was blocked. And that’s downright shameful".

Haley had first signaled her strong support for Israel before her Senate confirmation hearing (Elad Benari, “Trump's UN ambassador blasts world body's anti-Israel bias”, arutzsheva, January 18, 2017). It seems she wasn’t grandstanding. After being confirmed, she declared that the Trump administration would hold accountable any nation that refused to back the US at the UN (Somini  Sengupta, “Nikki Haley Puts U.N. on Notice: U.S. Is ‘Taking Names’ “, newyorktimes, January 27, 2017). Now, with this press statement, she appeared to be building a case for defending Israel upon that tough foundation:

"Israel exists in a region where others call for its complete destruction and in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise. These are threats that we should discuss at the United Nations as we continue working toward a comprehensive agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But outside of the UN, there is some good news. Israel’s place in the world is changing. Israel is building up new diplomatic relationships. More and more countries recognize how much Israel contributes to the world. They are recognizing that Israel is a beacon of stability in a troubled region, and that Israel is at the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological discovery.

It is the UN’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change. The United States will not hesitate to speak out against these biases in defense of our friend and ally, Israel.

I will say that I think we saw maybe a slightly different tone in the meeting, but we will have to see how it goes.

Thank you".

No one knows where such tough talk for Israel will lead. For now, one thing seems certain: Trump begins his presidency fighting for Israel at the UN. 

Will that bring good things to Israel? Stay tuned.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Did Netanyahu just sell Judea-Samaria down the river?

Last week, three days before Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in the US with newly elected US president Donald Trump, I wrote the following about Trump and Israel  ("Will there be a real Trump-Israel alliance, or not?”, tuviabrodieblog, February 12, 2017): 

“Trump is neither politician nor diplomat. He’s a deal-maker--and he's aggressive. When he gives something, he expects something in return.

Today, Trump protects Israel [at the UN]. Will he now expect something in return from Israel? What could that ‘something’ be?”

On February 12, no one could answer that question. Everyone was ‘on hold’. They had to wait for a February 15, 2017 meeting between Trump and Netanyahu to learn if Trump expected something from Israel.

Three days later, that meeting took place. At a post-meeting joint news conference, Trump said he’d like to see Israel hold back on settlements “for a little bit” (“Read full transcript: Trump and Netanyahu's Joint Press Conference”, haaretz, February 15, 2017). No one knew what ‘a little bit’ meant.

Headlines in Israel now reveal what Trump meant.  The news isn’t good for Israel:

- Elad Benari, “ 'We can't build [in Judea-Samaria] without coordinating with the U.S.' “, arutzsheva, February 17, 2017;

-“Netanyahu, Trump, agree to create Judea and Samaria 'team' “, arutzsheva, February 19, 2017;

- Nitsan Keidar, “ 'We might not be able to keep our promises on Amona' “, arutzsheva, February 20, 2017.

In exchange for protection on the international stage, Trump wants control of what happens in Judea-Samaria.   

‘Amona’ is the name of a tiny Jewish community (perhaps 60 buildings) in Judea-Samaria. The state of Israel has recently torn it down. Arabs had claimed the land upon which that community had been built was their land. Interestingly, these Arabs didn’t go before Israel’s High Court to sue for this land. They were pretty much invisible (Moshe Arens, “Israel's Supreme Court Wants Amona Demolished. Where Are the Palestinian Plaintiffs?”, haaretz, November 21, 2016). Only the anti-Israel NGO Peace Now (which has an anti-Israel agenda) appeared in court, even though it was not an aggrieved party.

The Court didn’t mind. Despite the Arabs’ invisibility, the High Court ruled in their favour. It ordered all houses in Amona torn down.

Amona residents resisted. They refused to move.

The state negotiated. It made promises: if Amona residents permitted their homes to be destroyed by the state, the state would give them new land—nearby--and build new buildings for them. The residents accepted these promises. Then they were evicted.

Now there’s a new Trump-Netanyahu ‘team’ approach to Judea-Samaria. The US and Israel will ‘work together’ on Judea-Samaria issues. As a result of this arrangement, Netanyahu believes he has a problem. He says he doesn’t know if he can now fulfill his promises to Amona (Keidar, above).

The wording of the report that Netanyahu might not now be able to fulfill these promises suggests two observations: (1) Netanyahu had neglected to tell Trump that pre-existing ‘settlement’ promises are in place for Amona; and (2) Netanyahu appears afraid to declare to Trump that these promises must stand because they pre-date the ‘team’ agreement.  

Netanyahu simply returned home and announced that, oh, there’s a problem. We may not now be able to keep those Amona promises after all (Keidar, ibid).

Trump has brought confusion to Israel. Netanyahu said he doesn’t know if he can fulfill his Amona promises (above). His office announced he will not renege on these promises (Ido Ben Porat, “PM will not renege on Amona commitment”, arutzsheva, February 20, 2017). Then Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (the final authority over Judea-Samaria) declared, Israel would be crazy to defy Trump (Jacob Magid, “Liberman: Israel would be crazy to defy Trump on settlements”, timesofisrael, February 20, 2017).

Certainly, Netanyahu’s ‘oops’ moment (above) doesn’t mean his promises to Amona will be abandoned. But if Netanyahu is even thinking he may not be able to keep his promises to Amona, then he reveals three new (and extraordinary) realities for Israel: (1) his agreement to a ’team’ approach to Judea-Samaria is not a ‘team’ concept at all, but a relationship where Trump’s opinion regarding Judea-Samaria is more important than Israel’s; (2) Netanyahu can no longer make or keep promises to anyone in Judea-Samaria without Trump’s approval; and (3) because of (1) and (2), Netanyahu has given up Jewish control of Judea-Samaria to a non-Jewish power.

If this conclusion (3) is correct, it would be an historic first. The underlying anti-Israel truth of this ‘team’ agreement would represent the first time in modern Israel history that the nation’s Prime Minister has voluntarily given control of ancestral Jewish homeland to a non-Jew.

If this conclusion is not correct, why does Netanyahu sigh that he may not now be able to keep his promises to Amona?

To sell someone ‘down the river’ is to betray them. Is that what the Netanyahu-Trump ‘team’ agreement has done to the Jews of Judea-Samaria? Is this what Israel must do to gain Trump’s protection?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dershowitz, Trump--and the 'Palestinians'

Alan Dershowitz, who has been on the political scene for years, has written much about Israel. I don't always like what he says. Sometimes, I think he's totally off-target. 

But I'll usually read at least a portion of what he's written. Even when I think he's dead wrong, I'll still click on an article he's written to give it a look.   

Now, I've found an essay by Dershowitz that's worth reading all the way through. In this essay, I especially likes what he has to say about how to win the lottery.

Take a look at this most recent Dershowitz essay. If you've already read it, please take a second look. It's worth your time. 

The essay title is below. It comes from newsmax. it was published at newsmax February 18, 2017:

Trump: Palestinians Must Earn a Two State Solution

President Trump raised eyebrows when he mentioned the possibility of a one state solution.
The context was ambiguous and no one can know for sure what message he was intending to convey. One possibility is that he was telling the Palestinian leadership that if they want a two state solution, they have to do something. They have to come to the negotiating table with the Israelis and make the kinds of painful sacrifices that will be required from both sides for a peaceful resolution to be achieved. Put most directly, the Palestinians must earn the right to a state. They are not simply entitled to statehood, especially since their leaders missed so many opportunities over the years to secure a state. As Abba Eben once put it: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
It began back in the 1930s, when Great Britain established the Peale Commission which was tasked to recommend a solution to the conflict between Arabs and Jews in mandatory Palestine. It recommended a two state solution with a tiny noncontiguous Jewish state alongside a large Arab state. The Jewish leadership reluctantly accepted this sliver of a state; the Palestinian leadership rejected the deal, saying they wanted there to be no Jewish state more than they wanted a state of their own.
In 1947, the United Nations partitioned mandatory Palestine into two areas: one for a Jewish state; the other for an Arab state. The Jews declared statehood on 1948; all the surrounding Arab countries joined the local Arab population in attacking the new state of Israel and killing one percent of its citizens, but Israel survived.
In 1967, Egypt and Syria were planning to attack and destroy Israel, but Israel preempted and won a decisive victory, capturing the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Sinai. Israel offered to return captured areas in exchange for peace, but the Arabs met with Palestinian leaders in Khartoum and issued their three infamous "no's": no peace, no recognition, and no negotiation.
In 2000-2001 and again in 2008, Israel made generous peace offers that would have established a demilitarized Palestinian state, but these offers were not accepted. And for the past several years, the current Israeli government has offered to sit down and negotiate a two state solution with no pre-conditions — not even advanced recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. The Palestinian leadership has refused to negotiate.
President Trump may be telling them that if they want a state they have to show up at the negotiating table and bargain for it. No one is going to hand it to them on a silver platter in the way that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon handed over the Gaza strip in 2005, only to see it turned into a launching pad for terror rockets and terror tunnels. Israel must get something in return: namely real peace and a permanent end to the conflict.
The Palestinian leadership’s unwillingness to come to the negotiating table reminds me of my mother’s favorite Jewish joke about Sam, a 79 year old man who prayed every day for God to let him win the New York lottery before he turns 80. On the eve of his 80th birthday, he rails against God: "All these years I've prayed to you every day asking to win the lottery. You couldn't give me that one little thing!" God responded: "Sam, you have to help me out here — buy a ticket!"

The Palestinians haven't bought a ticket. They haven't negotiated in good faith. They haven't accepted generous offers. They haven't made realistic counter proposals. They haven't offered sacrifices to match those offered by the Israelis.
Now President Trump is telling them that they have to "buy a ticket." They are not going to get a state by going to the United Nations, the European Union, or the international criminal court. They aren't going to get a state as a result of the BDS or other anti-Israel movements. They will only get a state if they sit down and negotiate in good faith with the Israelis.
The Obama Administration applied pressures only to the Israeli side, not to the Palestinians. The time has come — indeed it is long past — for the United States to tell the Palestinians in no uncertain terms that they must negotiate with Israel if they want a Palestinian state, and they must agree to end the conflict, permanently and unequivocally. Otherwise, the status quo will continue, and there will be only one state, and that state will be Israel.
The Palestinians are not going to win the lottery without buying a ticket.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The press vs Trump. The press is shocked. Trump laughs.

On February 15, 2017, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ended his first official visit in America with new US president, Donald Trump. As happens with all state visits to the US, president Trump closed this official visit with a joint press conference with his guest, Netanyahu.

For me, this press conference was what one expects from such a formal environment: caution, pleasantries, only hints of substance. But world-press reactions to the press conference were harsh. Those reactions suggest that Trump and the press don’t speak the same language. When Trump speaks, the press doesn’t seem to understand a word he says.   

I know this experience. When I first made aliyah from the US, my Hebrew was, understandably, an Americanized Hebrew, not an Israeli Hebrew. To many Israelis, my Americanized Hebrew just wasn’t Hebrew. Therefore, when I spoke to an Israeli with my Americanized Hebrew, the reaction I often got was, ‘What? What? I can see your lips moving. But the sounds coming out are nonsense!’ That’s how the press reacts to Trump.

For example, here’s what Trump said about a two state solution: “So I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like.  (Laughter.)  I’m very happy with the one that both parties like.  I can live with either one.  I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two.  But honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians -- if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best” (Read full transcript: Trump and Netanyahu's Joint Press Conference” haaretz, February 15, 2017). From other comments Trump made at the press conference, Trump appears to be  signalling (1) his goal is peace between Arab and Jew; (2) he wants to work towards that goal; (3) he has no pre-conceptions about what ‘peace’ should look like; and (4) he’ll be happy with whatever makes the two parties involved happy.

Do you have a problem with that? What he’s saying is, he’s more concerned with the end result—peace—than he is with how to get there. He recognizes that ‘two-states’ isn’t the only road to peace. He recognizes that the ‘two-states’ model hasn’t worked.

In fact, given the chronic failure of the ‘two-state’ idea, I’d say his approach is refreshing. It’s also more than reasonable for than American leader.

The press doesn’t think so. It has a huge problem with Trump’s answer.  

For example, The Guardian said Trump acts to “dismantle” years of US policy (Julian Borger, Peter Beaumont, “Donald Trump says US not committed to two-state Israel-Palestine solution”, guardian, February 15, 2017). The BBC said Trump has “dropped decades of US policy insisting on a two-state solution” (“Trump relaxes US policy on Middle East two-state solution”, February 15, 2017). CBSnews said Trump “broke” with two decades of US policy” (“In significant shift of U.S. policy, Trump backs off two-state solution for Mideast to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, February 15, 2017). CNN said Trump “rejected the long-established US framework for Middle East peacemaking” (Nicole Gaouette, Elise Labott, “Trump backs off two-state framework for Israeli-Palestinian deal”, February 16, 2017) [The emphasis here is mine].

Apparently, the press rejects allowing Arab and Jew to decide what kind of peace they can live with. The press seemed shocked by Trump’s words.

To the press, Trump isn’t talking about anything new. But he is, unbelievably, dismantling, rejecting and breaking something of value—past US peace efforts.  

The press refuses to see value in Trump’s Middle East thinking. Press reports of the news conference suggest shock that Trump should drop long-standing US policy, as if that policy was the Gospel. Indeed, this ‘two-state’ idea has been called an American ‘article of faith’ (Ishaan Tharoor, “The Trump-Netanyahu road map to nowhere”, washingtonpost, February 16, 2017) which Trump now trashes.

This reaction against Trump suggests an incredibly arrogant worldview, wherein both Arab and Jew are so incapable of reaching peaceful cooperation, they must have peace imposed upon them by outsiders who, of course, know better than either Arab or Jew.

I can’t say such a worldview is itself racist. But it certainly smells of racist preconceptions.

The inference of this arrogant dismissal is that Trump, by not endorsing ‘two states’, is repulsive to the civilized. He’s uncouth. Look at him—such a fool.

Trump is no fool. Have you seen how he reacts to the way the press treats him? He smiles. He laughs to himself. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

He’s having a good time. He drives the press insane.

The press get so red with rage at him, it fails to see that he acts on his own agenda, unseen.

Trump has a plan for the Middle East. The press can’t see it.

Israel must be careful. Netanyahu will have to be skilled when dealing with him.

Forget the press’ arrogant disdain for him. Trump will be a formidable ‘negotiator’.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

As Netanyahu meets Trump, watch the protesters

Earlier this week, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left Israel. He flew to the US to meet with US President Donald Trump. His meeting with Trump is set for today, Wednesday, February 15, 2017. 

These two leaders will have much to talk about. Pundits say they'll talk about Iran. They'll talk about the UN--and more. 

For example, Israel has just passed a new 'Regulation Law' that legitimizes small communities in Judea-Samaria. it's considered to be controversial because the anti-Israel industry calls this law the death-knell for peace. Trump will probably have a comment or two to say about this. What will he say?

Then there's the question of coordinating security and intelligence issues that affect both countries. There's also Syria and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to talk about ("Netanyahu heads to Washington for first meeting with Trump", timesofisrael, February 13, 2017). 

This meeting with Trump is part of a brief world-sprint for Netanyahu. Last week, he was in Britain to meet with British PM Theresa May. This week, he 's gone to the US for his meeting with Trump. Later this month, he's scheduled to fly to Australia and Singapore for more high-level meetings. 

It's not certain how he'll be received during these trips. But if what happened in London during last week's meeting with British PM Theresa May, the reception he gets from local citizenry may teach us something about the state of anti-Israelism in the era of a tough Donald Trump.

Briefly, anti-Israelism in London, as characterized by protesters who turned out last week to voice their opposition to Israel, is loud, hateful and anti-Semitic. 

As you'll see in a  moment, pro-Israel 'defenders' at this London protest scene actually outnumbered the anti-Israel 'protesters'. As you watch the video below, you may notice that slogans used by the anti-Israel crowd had more to do with destroying Israel than with any demand for peace or a 'two-state' solution. 

You should remember that. Anti-Israelism isn't about peace. it's about destroying Israel.

In this video, you'll hear a chant: 'From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea'. For this chant, 'Palestine will be free' refers to replacing the entire state of Israel with a 'Palestine'. In other words, the chant--a favorite among the anti-Israel crowd--calls for the destruction of the Jewish state in order to create the Muslim state of 'Palestine'.

The British protesters below spent more time demonizing than 'peace-ifying'. They demonized Israel with the exaggerated claim of 'world's greatest terrorist state'. They demonized by associating Netanyahu's political party, Likud, with the 'KKK'. At least one protester claimed that Israel was out to start a World War; but then, he didn't seem to know what he was talking about.

Does that matter? The man still got out his anti-Israel message: those Jews are going to start a World War.

See for yourself. The video below is just over 4 minutes. It appeared on youtube on February 7, 2017. It comes from the website, unitedwithisrael:

As Israel's leader meets president Trump, follow the protesters. As they chant and shout, listen, if you can, to the words they use. 

I suggest that these protests will not be about, 'we want peace'. They'll focus on demonizing the Jewish state. 

Of course, local media in the US might not show you protests. You may have to surf the 'net to get that story.

Take the time to find the protesters. You might get a real education.