Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Peace with Israel? Ask the ‘Palestinians’

According to news reports, the nations will soon try yet again to bring peace to the Arab-Israel conflict (Tova Lazaroff, Daniel Roth, “French prime minister arrives in Israel to promote peace initiative, economic ties”, jerusalempost, May 22, 2016). This time, it’s the French who will lead the charge (ibid).

Diplomats, world leaders and, much to their shame, many Jews will call for ‘peace’. They will pressure Israel to yield to the demands of Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the ‘Palestinian’ Authority.  But has anyone asked the ‘Palestinians’ themselves how they feel about peace with Israel?

This isn’t a difficult question to answer. Over the last 20 years, ‘Palestinians’ have responded to hundreds of polls about this very question (Daniel Polisar, What do Palestinians want?” mosaic, November 2, 2015). If you want to know how ‘Palestinians’ feel about peace with Israel, read those polls. 

Daniel Polisar has (ibid). He’s examined 330 surveys carried out by major Western pollsters and by major Palestinian research institutes, which he names (ibid). The poll results he has examined are uniformly consistent: ‘Palestinians’ support violence against Israel, not peace.

Polisar argues that these polls are carefully constructed and properly taken. They’re scientifically solid. That’s why, he says, the margin of error is typically 3 to 5 percent, with a confidence level of 95 percent.

The polls show that ‘Palestinians’ harbour no love for Israel. With rare exception, these 330 polls show that ‘Palestinians’ see Israel as “implacably hostile and even demonic” (ibid). Here are just a few findings Polisar discusses:

-In problems that necessarily involved both Israel and the ‘Palestinians’, massive ‘Palestinian’ majorities blamed Israel and denied any responsibility on their side (ibid).

-Respondents see Israel as so diabolical as to act in ways detrimental to the Jewish state’s own interests, so long as those acts cause suffering to ‘Palestinians’ (ibid).

-On over two dozen occasions since 2009, when polls asked respondents what were Israel’s long-term goals, an average of 59% said that Israel seeks to expand Israel, take over all of the Jordan River valley, and expel more than four million Arabs (ibid)—even though in the last 25 years no Israeli Knesset member, respected public figure, or major media personality has advocated such a view (ibid).

-Since 1999, polls show that ‘Palestinians’ perceive Israelis as violent, dishonest, untrustworthy, ‘clever’ and ‘diabolical’ in nature (ibid).

-In a 2011 Pew Research Center poll, 88 percent of ‘Palestinians’ said Judaism was the most violent of religions (the other choices were Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism) (ibid).

-In a 2011 poll by the American political consultant Stanley Greenberg, 72 percent of ‘Palestinian’ respondents declared it morally right to deny that “Jews have a long history in Jerusalem going back thousands of years” (ibid).  90 percent declared that “Denying that Palestinians have a long history in Jerusalem going back thousands of years” to be morally wrong (ibid).

-‘Palestinians’ overwhelmingly reject dividing Jerusalem between Jew and Arab (Jerusalem, they believe, must be 100% Arab).

-Depending on the poll, between 65-80% of ‘Palestinians’ believe that Jews have no right whatsoever to land in Israel; all the land is ‘Palestinian’, not Jewish.

-In 21 polls between December 2001 and September 2006, a two-to-one majority consistently backed the view that violence against Israel helps ‘Palestinians’ get what negotiations could not achieve (ibid).  Polls repeatedly affirm the belief that ‘Palestinian’ violence leads to Israeli concessions (bid).

-Respondent answers repeatedly confirm that ‘Palestinians’ believe that violence against Israel is praiseworthy (ibid).

-In 48 polls between 2000-2015, support for armed attack against Israeli civilians inside Israel outnumbered those opposed by as much as six-to-one margin (ibid).

-Between 2001-2004, 90 percent of respondents supported armed attacks against Israeli soldiers; in December 2014, 78 percent of respondents supported knife- and car-attacks against Jews (ibid).

There’s much more in this essay. All of it validates how unforgivingly hostile ‘Palestinians’ are towards Israel. These 330 polls, taken over more than 20 years, clearly demonstrate that ‘Palestinians’ do not think of peace with Israel. They think of violence against Israel.

They support that violence. They praise it. They state that such violence is moral.

These 330 polls tell us an ugly truth: the hearts of ‘Palestinians’ do not overflow with a desire for peace with Israel. Those hearts overflow with a desire to commit violence against Israel.
‘Palestinians’ don’t want peace with Israel. They want victory over Israel.

Diplomats, politicians and misguided Jews can talk all they want about pressuring Israel for peace. But as these polls suggest, it isn’t Israel that keeps peace away. It’s a decades-long, entrenched anti-Israel ‘Palestinian’ world-view that makes peace impossible.

If that world-view doesn’t change, there will never be peace. There will only be violence against Israel.  

The nations ignore this violence. They ignore ‘Palestinian’ hostility to Israel.

The nations choose instead to blame only Israel for no peace. They do that because…?

You tell me.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Terrorist or tourist: How do you tell the difference?

Israel has a tourist bonanza. Each year, more than three million people travel to Israel. Almost all of them come through Israel’s main International gate-of-entry, Ben Gurion Airport.

But along with these tourists come many others: government officials, diplomats, businessman and women, Israeli citizens returning from personal trips, Jews making aliyah from all around the world and, most important for Israel’s security, a number of anti-Israel operatives who intend to harm the Jewish state. This hostile group includes not only anti-Israel advocates or anti-Israel academicians who would harm Israel through words. It can include terrorists who come to kill Jews.

If your job is to help keep Israel safe, how do you catch these terrorists before they leave the airport? How do you spot them?

When you add up all the arrivals landing at Ben Gurion each year, you’ve got close to four million faces to look at. If the same number of arrivals came each day throughout the year (which, of course, doesn’t happen in real life), you’ve got 11,000 faces to look at every day. How do you spot potential terrorists in such a crowd?

Currently, Israel has, like other security forces, a technology that can compare the face of an arrival with an existing data base of known criminals and/or suspects. But the problem with this technology is that a face has to be in the data base in the first place. You cannot identify someone to stop if his face is not already in the data base. 

This requirement creates security problems. For example, only three of the eleven terrorists who attacked Paris in November, 2013 had criminal records (“Terrorist or criminal? New software uses face analysis to find out”, israel21c, May 29, 2016). Before the attacks, there was no way to identify any of them as ‘terrorists’.

Now a new company in Israel could change that. The company is called, Faception. It’s developed a technology that can tell if a face belongs to a ‘terrorist’.

The technology isn’t perfect. But in its early stages, it seems to work to an 80+% accuracy (ibid).

Faception is a high-tech Israeli start-up. It claims that it is first-to-technology and first-to-market with proprietary computer vision machinery to profile people and reveal their personality based only on their facial image (Faception, Homepage).

It claims that its technology was able (through back-testing after the attacks) to identify nine of the Paris attackers as ‘potential terrorists’ (ibid). It claims it’s already working with one homeland security agency. It’s looking for more business.

Here’s a corporate video. It’s 2:02 long:

Faception believes its technology can make us all safer. But this technology has a problem. It depends upon profiling.

The United Nations doesn’t like profiling. It defines profiling as “Any action undertaken for reasons of safety, security or public protection that relies on stereotypes about race, [color], ethnicity, ancestry, religion, or place of origin rather than on reasonable suspicion” (UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, 2008). Using that definition, a ‘facial profiling’ system might be called another ’stereotyping’ method that’s  as superficial as skin color or ethnicity.  

In America, that kind of profiling could be a civil rights violation. Already, racial profiling has been called a violation of the 14th Amendment (Faye V. Harison, “Racial Profiling, Security, and Human Rights”, University of Florida, no date, p 1). Will facial profiling be considered the same as racial profiling?

Profiling individuals based on ‘superficial’ criteria is regularly attacked by Human Rights organizations. Those groups have condemned it (“Threat and Humiliation: Racial Profiling, Domestic Security, and Human Rights in the United States”, amnestyinternational, October 1, 2014).The UN joins them. It calls on all nations to end all forms of profiling (“States must step up efforts to counter racial and ethnic profiling – un rights expert”, UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, ohchr, June 30, 2015).

Faception offers a technology to help protect us. But that technology could provoke a Human Rights storm (Harison, ibid). What do you do about a technology that could catch a terrorist before he commits an act of terror--but causes a Human Rights uproar? Put another way, what’s more important, individual human rights or national security?

Personally, I‘ve got only one answer to these questions. It’s an answer that comes from my own experience here in Israel: with terror attacks often occurring daily, I don’t mind being stopped because of how I ‘look’. 

I want that public police activity. It sends a message: we are stopping people. You might be one of them.  

So far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a problem with that. If there’s a new technology that can keep terrorists wondering when they’ll get stopped, I’m for it. I don't mind a little inconvenience to stop a killer.

Do you?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Through Israel, the noble French seek peace--for France

You may have already seen the news: France has organized a new ‘peace’ initiative to end the Arab-Israel conflict (“France to host Middle East peace conference”, aljazeera, May 19, 2016). They’ve designed a new peace concept. You might call it the ‘French twist’.

This French ‘twist’ for peace is that the principals won’t be allowed to negotiate for peace. In theory, the ‘Palestinians’ and the Jews won’t be allowed in the room.

The French goal is to bring peace through an international conference. This conference will create a plan. Then, the French will call up the Israelis and ‘Palestinians’ to tell them what their ‘peace’ arrangement looks like.

The French want an Arab-Israel peace.  You’ll see why in a moment. They want 20 countries to join with the UN Security Council and the Middle East Quartet (the US, EU, UN and Russia) (ibid) so that they will become the honest brokers who create an honest peace.

Do you believe that? The French do.

The Israelis don’t. One of the participants in this Conference is the Arab League (ibid). Israel doesn’t see the Arab League as an honest broker. The Israelis believe that the Arab League is, so to speak, thick as thieves with the ‘Palestinians’.
The Arab League has 22 member states. It exists to help the ‘common interests’ of its members (Jonathan Masters, “The Arab League”, Council on Foreign Relations, October 21, 2014).  ‘Palestine’ is one of those ‘member states’. In international politics, the Arab League and ‘Palestine’ go together like hummus and pita.

The Arab League isn’t objective about ‘Palestine’ in the international arena. It advocates for the ‘Palestinian Cause’. Now, as a Conference participant, it can help that ‘Cause’ by judging Israel’s fate.

Israel, meanwhile, has no such advocate at this conference. It will be alone. It will probably be bullied and threatened (Daoud Kuttab, “How serious is the French proposal on Middle East peace?”, almonitor, March 3, 2016).

How’s that going to work out? The French say, very well indeed, thank you.

France is concerned about Israel because of its Muslim citizenry (Jimmy Hutcheon and Chloe Rouveyrolles, “Analysis: French peace plan plays to home and international crowds”, middleeasteye, March 29, 2016). France has been hit with serious anti-West Muslim Jihadi terror attacks (ibid). The French know that Islam is overtaking Christianity in France, and is ready to become France’s dominant religion (Giulio Meotti, “Has the Pope Abandoned Europe to Islam?”, gatestoneinstitute, May 25, 2016). It will use this peace initiative only for theatrical value (Fred Maroun, “The French Peace Initiative: From de Gaulle to Haaretz”, gatestoneinstitute, May 17, 2016). It intends to embarrass Israel's government (ibid) and curry favour with Muslims.  

The French desperately want to send a message to their Muslim citizens: France cares about what’s happening to your beloved ‘Palestine’. We will help you.

For the French, a successful peace conference could mean a satisfied Muslim constituency. It could mean less rioting in France—and less jihadi attacks.

Do you believe that? The French do.

For its part, Israel rejects the Conference. It has reason not to trust France (Maroun, ibid). Just 5 weeks ago, the UNESCO organization voted to declare that Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, has no connection whatsoever to Judaism (Yochanan Visser, “UNESCO Just Decided The Temple Mount In Jerusalem Is An Exclusive Muslim Holy Place”, westernjournalism, April 19, 2016). France supported that declaration.

One could make a case that France is not an honest broker for a fair Arab-Israel peace. Its record is too pro-Arab to be honest. Israel has no reason to believe France will be fair about peace for the Jewish state—certainly not now, after France has just voted for that anti-Israel UNESCO declaration.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no faith in this ‘conference’. He believes that peace for Israel won’t happen through international diktats or committees (“Netanyahu renews rejection of French peace initiative”, aljazeera, May 24, 2016). He wants direct talks between himself and the PA’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas (ibid). He argues that peace can be built only by the people who have a direct stake in the outcome (ibid).

Mahmoud Abbas, however, doesn’t want direct talks with Israel (Raoul Wootliff, “Palestinians reject Netanyahu’s direct talks proposal”, timesofisrael, May 24, 2016). Direct talks would mean ‘negotiations’—and Abbas doesn’t want to negotiate anything with Jews.

He’s got a better deal with the French. If the conference succeeds, he’ll get the state he wants. If the Conference fails, France has already told Abbas it will recognize ‘Palestine’ as a state anyway (“Abbas discusses French initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Paris”, albawabanews, April 16, 2016).

Ah, the French. They’re so clever. With one international event, they’ll aim to destroy the Jewish Israel and get peace--for France.

How noble of them.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

France wants peace?

Everybody wants peace for Israel. We know that's true because there have been so many peace proposals pushed at Israel. In fact, there have been something like 13 peace proposals presented to Israel over the last 96 years (see below).  

Israel has accepted almost every one of those peace offers. One might even argue that Israel had been willing to accept every one of those 13 previous proposals. 

Israel has been so positive about these proposals for reason. It wants peace--period.

But there's no peace in the Middle East. The reason is simple. The Arabs have rejected every one of these proposals. 

They don't want peace. They don't want Israel.

Now, it's May, 2016. We're about to see yet another 'peace' attempt (Eldad Benari, "Erekat claims Kerry will attend French peace summit" Arutz Sheva, May 17, 2016). 

We know this latest attempt will fail because we've been to this 'movie' before. Here's a list of those previous 'peace movies'. It presents a perfect record of Arab rejection.

The list comes from a reader comment from a recent news article. Some of you may not accept every entry. But I think a case can be made for each one.

Check it out:

1920, San Remo conference, rejected
1922, League of Nations decisions, rejected
1937, Peel Commission proposals, rejected
1947, UN General Assembly proposal, rejected
1948, Israel's stretched out hand for peace, rejected
1967, Israel's stretched out hand for peace, rejected
1978, Begin/Saadat peace proposal, rejected
1995, Rabin's peace, rejected
2000, Barak/Clinton peace offer, rejected
2005, Sharon's peace gesture, rejected
2008, Olmert/Bush peace offer, rejected
2009, Netanyahu's call for direct peace talks, rejected
2014, Kerry's Peace, rejected

Arab nations in the Middle East have always been consistent. They've never waivered. They've never changed. They will not accept a Jewish sovereign state in the land of Israel--ever. 

They have never shown any interest in doing that. They show no interest in doing it now.

What makes France think the Arabs will change their minds now? What evidence exists to suggest that Mahmoud Abbas--the leader of the so-called 'Palestinian Authority'--is finally ready to live side-by-side in peace and security with Israel?

He isn't. He doesn't want to live next door to Israel. He wants to replace Israel. Look at the 'Palestinian' logo. It shows Israel renamed as the Arab 'Palestine'. 

If France really want peace, they would do better to tell the Arabs that gaining peace is completely their responsibility. France should tell the Arabs that if the so-called 'Palestinians' put down their arms today there'd be peace tomorrow. France should also declare that if Israel put down its arms today, there'd be no Israel tomorrow. France should then tell the Arabs they will not allow that to happen.

If peace is the goal here for France, this is the only way they'll do it, by telling the Arabs to stop trying to replace Israel. 

France will never do that. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Ya'alon legacy: a doctrine of failure-to-defend

The recent firing of Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) has put into bas relief the legacy that Ya’alon leaves behind. It’s a legacy that encouraged failure in the face of a determined enemy. 

The Left in Israel praises Ya’alon for his ‘doctrine of management’. For example, Ya’alon ‘managed’ Israel’s borders. He ‘managed’ Israel’s ‘settler’ activists. He ‘managed’ Jewish ‘extremists’. He ‘managed’ the 2014 Gaza war. He ‘managed’ Israel’s response to the recent flurry of terrorism that included a ‘knife intifada’, ‘child intifada’ and a ‘car intifada’.

Israel’s Left praises Ya’alon for his Defense stewardship (Judah Ari Gross, “What will replace the Ya’alon doctrine”, timesofisrael, May 22, 2016). The Left praises him for helping to ‘protect’ Israel while keeping the door open to a two-state solution (Chemi Shalev, “Ten Reasons Benjamin Netanyahu Was This Week’s Top anti-Zionist”, haaretz, May 22, 2016). The Left believes that Ya’alon’s doctrine of management will be the legacy he leaves behind.  

This ‘doctrine’ may indeed be his legacy. But it was why he failed as Defense Minister. This doctrine was, in the end, characterized more by a commitment to appeasement than by any kind of ‘military wisdom’ (see Moshe Feiglin, “MK Liberman's appointment as Defense Minister”, Arutz Sheva, May 19, 2016). True, Feiglin didn’t focus on the word, ‘appeasement’. But ‘appeasement’ oozes from between the lines of his essay.

Israel will not survive with a policy of containment or appeasement. It can’t survive, because the Arab enemy before us does not see appeasement or containment as either ‘wisdom’ or ‘diplomacy’. It is offended at being ‘contained’. It sees appeasement as cowardice. It sees Ya'alon's doctrine of 'containment' and 'appeasement' as proof that intifada and continuous Hamas-like pressure eat away at Israel’s will to fight.

Ya’alon’s Leftist beliefs blinded him to that reality. He is a Left-leaning Jewish Arabist-pacifist. He has acted in ways to protect Arab terrorists at the expense of Jewish defenders ("Ya'alon Demoralizing the IDF", shilohmusings, April 10, 2016). He rushed to condemn Jews by branding Jewish youth as ‘Jewish terrorists’—even when no proof existed to validate that claim (“Ya'alon: We will not allow Jewish terrorists to harm Palestinians”, jerusalempost, July 31, 2015). He rushed to condemn an IDF soldier for the death of an Arab terrorist during an incident where the terrorist could have been moving to detonate a suicide bomb (Ben Caspit, “Why Israelis are defending IDF soldier who shot Palestinian attacker”, almonitor, March 28, 2016).

Ya’alom didn’t defend Israel with strength. He defended Israel by turning the other cheek.

The problem with this approach is that an Israel Defense Minister does not have the mandate to turn any cheek. An Israel Defense Minister has only one job: to make certain that Israel’s enemies are afraid to attack Israel. His fatal error is that he did not create a doctrine to win the war against Israel’s enemies. He created a doctrine only to ‘manage’ that war.

As a result, he failed to make Israel’s border safe. He sought only to make our borders quiet

‘Safe’ and ‘quiet’ may seem similar. But they aren’t.  'Safe' and 'quiet' suggest very different military goals. 

Ask Jews who live in southern Israel. Their border with Gaza has been relatively quiet. But they’ve just recently been advised to prepare for a mass evacuation because the IDF is concerned about another attack by Hamas from Gaza (Jack Moore, “Israelis on Gaza border told to prepare for mass evacuation in event of conflict”, newsweek, May 18, 2016). As these Jews now consider a mass disruption in their lives, do you think a quiet border is better than a safe border?

Ya’alon’s doctrine brought Israel to a new low. He didn’t protect Israel. He didn’t protect Jews. He had Jews arrested and detained without due process. He allowed Jews to be tortured.

Ya’alon’s doctrine made Israel weak. His ‘doctrine’ made Israel passive against the aggressive reign of terror Arabs began September, 2015. That passivity allowed Arabs to murder more than two dozen Jews, and wound/traumatize hundreds.

That’s the legacy of the Ya’alon doctrine. It’s a ‘doctrine’ that didn’t defend Israel from attack or make Israel safe. It made Israel refuse to fight.

In the end, Ya’alon’s personal anti-Israel beliefs ruined him. He chose to defend a deputy IDF Chief of Staff—one of Israel’s highest ranking military officers—against criticism for having compared Israel to Nazi Germany (“Netanyahu gives Ya'alon a sharp reprimand on Nazi comparison”, Arutz Sheva, May 5, 2016).

This ‘Nazi’ comparison is a staple of the Arab Jew-hate industry. It is unbelievable that a ranking IDF General would use an enemy's Nazi comparison to criticize his own nation--on Holocaust Day, no less. It’s unconscionable that Ya’alon should defend an IDF soldier's use of  that Jew-hate reference.

Moshe Ya’alon didn’t stand up for his country. He stood up for Israel-as-Nazi.

He didn’t make his country strong. He created a legacy of failure. No wonder he was fired.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Good news in the fight to defend Israel

In 2005, so-called ‘Palestinians’ began an economic war against Israel called, BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). The BDS movement says it exists only to get Israel to comply with international law. It wants only, it says, to end Israel’s ‘Apartheid’, end the ‘occupation’ and bring ‘equality’ for ‘Palestinians’ (BDS Homepage, bdsmovement.net).

Today, some 10+ years later, the world may be growing wary of BDS. There’s evidence to suggest that Zionists (those who defend Israel’s right to exist on its ancestral homeland) aren’t the only people to understand that getting Israel to ‘comply with international law’ is not the goal of BDS.

Perhaps the first non-Zionist to make this point was Norman Finkelstein, once the ‘rock star’ of the Palestinian Cause (Jordan Michael Smith, “An Unpopular Man”, newrepublic, July 7, 2015). No friend of Israel, he nonetheless turned against BDS.

In a February 2012 interview with a strongly pro-Palestinian activist, Finkelstein declared that he had decided to oppose BDS (ibid). He declared that BDS had only one real goal—to destroy Israel (ibid).  Therefore, he didn’t want to have anything to do with BDS.

This rejection was extraordinary. Finkelstein had been to that moment a notorious anti-Israel advocate. He was “no poster child for truth and fairness about Israel” (“Norman Finkelstein slams BDS, ISM movements”, elderofziyon, February 14, 2012). But here, he was adamant: he said, ‘they [BDS} think they’re being very clever…[they say they want justice]…but they know that the result of implementing what they want is—no Israel…you know that and I know that’ (ibid). 

Today, Finkelstein isn’t the only person to understand the true nature of BDS. Today, the United Methodist Church knows it, too.

To be sure, BDS happily courts a variety of Christian denominations. BDS helps to foment anti-Israel votes in the Presbyterian Church, World Council of Churches, United Church of Crist, United Methodist Church (UMC) and the Episcopalian Church, among others.

Some of these Churches voted to boycott Israel before BDS began. BDS has increased their anti-Israel ardour.

For example, this month, BDS travelled to the United Methodist Church (UMC) looking for a big victory against Israel. Relying on a cadre of strongly anti-Israel members within the Church, BDS had put a number of anti-Israel BDS resolutions onto a major UMC General Conference agenda.

Since this General Conference meets only once every four years, any resolution placed before it is important: it’s the only place to go to change Church positions on moral, social and public policy issues (Miriam Elman, “United Methodists Vote to Break Ties with Anti-Israel ‘U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation’”, legalinsurrection, May 19, 2016.

This year’s quadrennial Conference took place May 10-May 20th. Some 864 delegates gathered to vote on a variety of resolutions that would affect Church policy. Four of the resolutions submitted asked for some kind of boycott against Israel.

Before the Conference, BDS promoters felt good about how Church members would vote. But they were disappointed. In a stunning reversal, UMC delegates turned against BDS. As one delegate put it, “activists who seek to enroll the church in demonizing Israel serve neither peace nor justice for anybody” (“Juicy Ecumenism”, 2016 United Methodist Church General Conference, May 17, 2016).

That statement echoed Finkelstein’s earlier condemnation. The UMC vote was significant. 60 per cent rejected the boycott effort (478-319) (ibid). After the vote, essayist Elman tweeted, “Instead of divesting from Israel, United Methodists voted to divest from anti-Israel BDS coalition” (ibid). To Elman, this latest anti-Israel gambit truly ‘went down in flames’ (ibid).

This isn’t the only recent major failure for BDS. Since April, 2015, eight states in the US have passed legislation to prohibit their state from investing state funds into any company that participates in the boycott of Israel: Iowa, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, and Florida (“Movement Against Israel Boycotts Gains Steam as Iowa’s Governor Signs Anti-Boycott Bill”, thetower.org, May 11, 2016). Twelve (12) other states have similar legislation pending (Danielle Ziri, “At the state level, US legislators tackle BDS head on”, jerusalempost, May 11, 2016).

At the Federal level (in the US), the Obama administration has not challenged BDS language or anti-Israel efforts. But at the state level, where the Obama reach is short and weak, the battle to protect Israel gains strength.

This month, Israel has won twice—at the United Methodist Church General Council meeting (May 17th), and in Iowa, where the Governor signed Iowa’s own anti-BDS legislation (May 10th).

The fight to protect Israel is far from over. BDS will fight on—especially on college campuses and within Christian Church hierarchies.

But then, as you’ve just seen, those who defend Israel are no longer silent. They’re no longer passive. They’ve become better organized, more assertive and more vocal.

They’re fighting for Israel. They’re fighting for us—and they’ve just begun to fight.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Israel, happiness and the consequence of Jew-hate

Evaluating happiness may be the psychological equivalent of trying to nail Jello to a tree. It’s a slippery business.

Measuring happiness is nothing like measuring the gas mileage of your car. You can’t write down a few easily available numbers, do a simple calculation, and derive a solution with pencil and paper.

Happiness is far more elusive. It’s subjective, not objective. It’s based on emotion, not observable fact. It’s potentially here today but gone tomorrow.

Nonetheless, social scientists measure happiness. They’ve come up with methods to identify, classify and evaluate what they call ‘subjective happiness factors’. They’ve created measurement tools. They’ve designed definitions, statistical models and protocols. Now they share the results of all this work in a World Happiness Index.

The 2016 World Happiness Index ranks the happiness of 157 nations (the UN has 193 member states). The Index explains its science. It explains its methodology. It presents its conclusions. 
Take a moment. Think about the question, how happy are the nations of our world?  Are rich nations happier than poor nations? Are nations free of conflict happier than those engaged in conflict?

For example, Americans live in the world’s wealthiest nation. Does that make Americans the happiest people?

Communists argue that Communism is better than Capitalism. Are the Communist superpowers Russia and China happier than the US?

How about Israel’s so-called peace partners, the people of the Palestinian Authority? How happy are they?

Surely, they should be happy. The UN overwhelmingly supports them. The EU and US support them. Everyone seems to cheer for them.

Come to think of it, what about Israel? Israel is so roundly and repeatedly demonized, attacked and vilified, could anyone in Israel possibly be happy?

This is an important question for Jews, especially those outside Israel. Many of these Jews claim they’d never move to Israel because life here in the Holy Land is, supposedly, so difficult and dangerous it’s perfectly grim. Does the 2016 World Happiness Index validate this belief?

Look at the numbers. According to the 2016 World Index Report, Israelis (including Arab-Israelis) are ranked as the 11th happiest people in the world. These Israelis, so vilified by the world’s media, are happier than Americans (ranked 13th). We are happier than the Germans (16th), the Austrians (12th), the Italians (50th) and the Japanese (53rd).

So far as those wonderful Communists are concerned, the Russians are ranked 56th. The Chinese rank 83rd.

Israelis, it turns out,  are a very happy people.

In fact, when you compare Israelis’ happiness to that of citizens in countries which tend to demonize Israel, you’ll notice something strange: Israelis are happier than all of them.

For example, one could make a case that some of the world’s most aggressively anti-Israel media  appear in such countries as France, Belgium, Britain, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Iran and Turkey, to name just a few. But none of these countries ranks higher on the Happiness Index than Israel.

Again, Israel ranks 11th   in happiness. By contrast, Belgium ranks 18th. Britain ranks 23rd. France ranks 32nd. Turkey ranks 78th. Iran ranks 105th. The Palestinian Authority ranks 108th. Egypt ranks 120th .  

In the entire Arab world, the happiest Arab country is the United Arab Emirates. It ranks 28th, some 17 places below Israel. The least happy Arab country is Syria (156th).
What’s going on here? Why is the vilified Jew of Israel so happy?

The answer is simple. We are happy in Israel because we live a dream fulfilled. We have returned to our ancestral homeland. We have reconstituted our sovereign nation. Once again—as promised—HaShem our G-d has made our desert blossom. We grow stronger every year, despite the hate that vilifies us—and despite our internal challenges.

We’ve become the can-do nation. We are called, the start-up nation. We are the world’s water superpower (Seth Siegel, “How Israel Became a Water Superpower”, Huffington Post, April 20, 2016).  We are on the road to becoming a High Tech superpower (Steve Forbes, “How The Small State Of Israel Is Becoming A High-Tech Superpower”, Forbes, July 22, 2015).

In sum, Israel  exemplifies the power of hope. We lead the world in showing what you can do when hope is channeled into positive works.

So why are these happy and hope-filled Jews so vilified? This answer to this question might also be simple: almost half the world’s population (Christians and Muslims) have been raised on some form of Jew-hate. Even today, Christian denominations demonize the Jewish Israel. Even today, Muslim preachers refer to Jews in Israel as apes and pigs who should be slaughtered.

Take another look at the Happiness rankings of the nations listed above. None of them are as happy as Israelis.  

Israel’s level of hope and happiness evades them. Apparently, they’re too filled with Jew-hate to be happy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This truth should make you sick

Almost every day, the world hears the same message: The 'Palestinian' people want peace. Israel rejects peace. 'Palestinians' attack Israel out of 'frustration' over Israel's anti-peace behaviour.

That message is false. There’s a reason there's no peace in this region. But that reason isn't Israeli intransigence. There's no peace here because of  intense, vicious, even unbelievable Jew-hate (see below).

The UN, the USA and the EU ignore this Jew-hate. They respond to this hate with silence.   

The US, EU and UN should know better. They should reject the Arab hate. They should condemn Arab lies. They don't. 

They find nothing wrong with Arab Jew-hate. They find nothing wrong with Arab lies.  

The Obama administration, the EU and UN are not innocents who’ve been taken in by sophisticated falsehoods. They are not na├»ve. They have too much access to information to be innocent. They have too much experience on the international stage to be naive.

I’d say they accept the Arab lies because they want to accept them. I'd say their silent because they feel the same about Arab Jew-hate: they accept it.

Somewhere in their Western-Christianized collective consciousness, the US, EU and UN (created by Western thought) find the demonization of Israel and the call for the destruction of the Jews to be a satisfying thought. That’s why the US, EU and UN say nothing about the Arab hate you're about to see.

The video below was made in 2009. It references other videos shot as long ago as 1995. The video is connected to the website 
HonestReporting. It's 8:03 minutes. 

Points to remember:

-For 'Palestinian' children, dying for 'Palestine' is glorified.

-Children's shows are laced with Jew-hate incitement.

-TV reinforces this hate: everyone yearns for martyrdom...martyrdom is a beautiful thing...martyrdom is better than peace...I celebrate as I eat the flesh of my usurper...

-The worse form of child abuse is to teach a child to hate...these are kindergarten children being taught to be suicide bombers.

-These children are being raised to believe that the entire land of Israel is Arab...the entire land of Israel is Arab 'Palestine'..Haifa, Jaffa, Hebron...all the land is (Arab) Palestine, all the land is Palestine. Repeat enough and the children will learn: all the land is (Arab) Palestine.

-The PA publicizes, even celebrates, the worst kind of Jew-hate, including those who shout, 'just give us weapons... We will kill them all [the Jews]... We won't leave a single Jew... We won't leave a single Jew here'. 

What kind of people are these?  Where in these calls is there a desire for peace?

-In every map and schoolbook, Israel is (Arab) Palestine: that is, their 'Palestine' replaces Israel. They do not teach peace. They do not teach that Israel and 'Palestine' should live side-by-side in peace and security (the mantra of the UN, the EU and the Obama administration). Instead, they teach 'Palestine' will erase and replace Israel. 

How can there be any two-state solution when ‘Palestinians’ are taught there is only one state in their future—an Arab Palestine?

-Israel doesn't exist...Israel doesn't exist...Israel doesn't exist. How many times do we have to hear it to understand it: Israel doesn't exist, Israel doesn't exist...all the land is Palestine, all the land is Palestine, all the land is Palestine. Get it? 

Arab Kindergartners get it: all of Jewish Israel is the Arab 'Palestine'. So tell me: with this kind of education during 1995-2009, will young adult Arabs in 2016 be talking about peace with Israel—or killing Israel?

What do you think?

-The Oslo Accords (for a two-state solution) were supposed to be the road to peace. That’s what the US, EU and UN say. But ‘Palestinians’ disagree. They say Oslo was just a Trojan Horse to get inside Israel, to continue the battle against Israel.... The purpose of the Oslo Accords is to weaken Israel and then destroy Israel...The strategic goal is the liberation of 'Palestine', from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. 

If that’s what the PA proclaims, why do you blame Israel for ‘no peace’?

When little Arab children are taught to want to kill Jews, do you really think there can be peace between Arab and Jew?

If the US, EU and UN choose not to hear or see this message of conquest and hate, I will suggest they make that choice consciously. I will tell you plainly they are silent for a reason: they support the Arab goal--the destruction of the State of Israel.

Why else would they refuse to address the Jew-hate? Why else would they allow that Jew-hate to continue? 

The truth is, Jew-hate is poison. It poisons peace. It poisons your children. It poisons your future. 

It destroys everyone who touches it. It's always been that way. It will never change.

This is the truth that should make you sick: these Arabs poison children--and no one cares. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A modest proposal regarding Naqba Day sirens

For Arabs who call themselves 'Palestinians', May 15, 2016 is called, Naqba Day. 'Naqba' means, I am told, 'catastrophe'. 

Interestingly, 'Palestinians' don't celebrate hope or life. They choose instead to celebrate a 'catastrophe'.

The particular catastrophe they celebrate each May 15th has nothing to do with a natural disaster. It has nothing to do with any kind of financial or political disaster. It has nothing to do with events over which they had no control. 

The 'catastrophe' they celebrate so religiously each year is a disaster of their own making. 

In 1947, the United Nations voted to break up the-then British Palestine. The UN decided to create in this Palestine two states for two peoples, the Arab and the Jew. That vote was (and is) called, UN Resolution 181. 

You should read it. You can access it by googling 'UN Resolution 181".

What you will read is the original 'two-state' solution. It's a 'solution' which the Jews accepted. It's a solution which the Arabs rejected--and still reject.

Soon after the UN passed this vote, the Arabs declared war against the Jews. The Arabs' intent was clear: they would push the Jews into the sea, destroy the new Jewish state even before it got a chance to 'be born', and turn Palestine into an all-Arab, all-Muslim country.

The Naqba today's 'Palestinians' celebrate is not that declaration of war. The catastrophe they celebrate is the fact they lost that war.

They don't mourn the fact that their Arab fathers started a war that has left them stateless. They don't mourn the fact they'd have been better off doing what the Jews did--accept the vote to create two states.

They mourn only one thing. They mourn over the fact that they lost that war.

Today is May 15th. It's the day we read in the Jewish Press that, at noon, mosques in Judea-Samaria that stand within the Palestinian Authority will replace their daily loudspeaker calls to prayer with a special 'Naqba Siren' (Shalom Bear, "Naqba Day sirens to sound at noon", Jewish Press, May 15, 2016).

If this news report is correct, we could see 'Palestinians' imitating the Jews of Israel, who sound a siren for Israel's Independence day. In imitation, Arabs could, supposedly, stop whatever they are doing to stand silently for the 2 minutes' duration of the siren sound. If the 'Palestinians' actually do this--and, again, if the Jewish Press is correct--the effect on Israelis could be dramatic: 2-minutes of Arab silence could mean that no Arabs will be throwing stones at Jews, stabbing Jews or otherwise trying to harm Jews. 

2016 could be the first time Arabs use sirens to celebrate their 'catastrophe'. If Arabs do indeed heed the sirens' call and stand in silence, these two minutes could turn out to be the safest two minutes in Israel's history.  

Because Muslim mosques stand so close to Jewish residential areas, many Jews in Israel will hear the sirens. Because the Jews of Israel do not mourn the Arab loss in that 1947-49 war, the sirens might not be well received.

If the report in the Jewish Press is correct, why must Israel's Jews stand aside and allow Jew-haters to remind themselves that their 'catastrophe' must be avenged (the usual Arab response to Naqba)? If the Arabs are going to blare about their Naqba, shouldn't we blare about our survival?

After all, Israel is a democracy. Isn't democracy about equality--equal rights, equal opportunity?

If these Jew-haters are using their religious centers to recall how they failed to kill Jews, shouldn't Jews have the democratic right to remind the Arabs why they lost?

Here's a modest proposal: during these mosque-generated siren blasts (if they occur), Israelis should use their own loudspeakers. During that same two minutes, these Jewish loudspeakers should proclaim, 'Shema Yisroel, HaShem Elokainu, HaShem Ehchod!"--and should repeat these words until the Arab two minutes of sirens cease.

The Shema, as many of you know, is a centerpiece of Jewish prayer. It is known by almost all Jews, no matter their denomination. It is the singular--and among the oldest--ex‎pression of the monotheistic essence of Judaism. It proclaims our undying faith in the G-d of Israel.

Remember, Arab aren't the only residents in this country who have access to loudspeakers. If they use their loudspeakers, they should understand that we have the same right to use our loudspeakers. 

That's the democratic way, isn't it?

We'll soon see if the Jewish Press is correct.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hatikva on Israel Independence Day

Today, May 12, 2016, is Yom Ha'atsmaut, Israel's national Independence Day. If you will, it is Israel's version of America's July 4th.

A 'national anthem' is commonly defined as a solemn and patriotic song officially adopted by a country as an expression of national identity. Israel's national anthem is called, Hatikva which, loosely translated, means, 'hope'. 

This national anthem of hope was not written for the creation of the State of Israel. It wasn't written immediately before or just after the founding of the State in 1948. It's not even a modern song. 

It's an old song. It predates the founding of modern Israel by more than 125 years. 

How can a national anthem be written 125+ years before nationhood? How can such a song capture a national identity?

To answer these questions, you must first realize that this anthem is unusual. It doesn't celebrate statehood. It has nothing to do with victory in battles for independence. 

But it has everything to do with who we are and why we live in this land. It does that by capturing one aspect of the spirit of the Jewish people. That spirit is linked directly to the Land of Israel. That spirit declares to the world who we are and what we yearn for.

Tell me what you dream of and I will tell you who you are. Our national Jewish dream is no different.

We are a people of hope. We are a people who have been exiled from our land. We are a people who dream to return to our ancestral homeland, a land upon which we have stamped indelibly our mark of ownership (proven repeatedly by ongoing archaeological finds).

 We are a people with an eye on our future, a future that focuses on Zion and on Jerusalem. Our Hatikva tells the world that we have never given up our hopes for our future.

The lyrics of Hatikva come from a poem first written in 1876--77. The exact date is unknown ("Hatikva", knesset.gov.il, 2009). It was first put to music some 10 years later, in 1888.

It may have been chosen to be the anthem of the Jewish people as early as the First Zionist Congress in 1897 (Vivian Eden, "Evil Spirits Lurking in Israel's National Anthem", Haaretz, August 24, 2015). It was officially adopted as Israel's national anthem in 2004 (knesset.gov, ibid).

This song is not about prosperity. it's not about rockets' red glare. It's not about a flag. It's not about victory. 

It's about the future. It's about Jerusalem.

It's about hope. It's about the yearning for our future. It's a reflection of Jewish prayer, which speaks of Jerusalem and which require us all to turn towards Jerusalem when we pray.

It's a yearning for Jerusalem. It's a yearning to return to Zion. It's a yearning to be free as a nation in that Zion, in that Jerusalem.

The lyrics tell us that within the Jewish heart there is a spirit that still sings (even after some 2000 years of exile). Our eyes look towards Zion. Our hope is not lost. The hope of 2,000 years is to be free as a nation in our land, the land of Jerusalem and Zion.

These words may be more than 125 years old, but they are as real to us today as they were 125+ years ago when first written.

Here's why: although modern  Israel in now 68 years old, it's existence is still questioned. Although Israel is a legally created sovereign state (made so by the United Nations), it's Jewish land is called 'illegal' and 'illegitimate'. Although important Western military leaders openly state that Israel has the world's most moral army, the world calls Israel's army immoral.

Although the Temple Mount has been the holiest spot on earth to the Jewish people, the United Nations has declared that it is not even Jewish. The UN declares that the Temple Mount is now Muslim.

Although Jerusalem has been the undivided Jewish capital of the Jewish people for thousands of years (except when others have conquered it), the world refuses to acknowledge that Jerusalem is our Jewish capital. Instead, the world wants to divide it. 

To many in today's world, Israel's very existence is a sin. They believe there is only one way to deal with that sin. 

To make peace in this world, many claim, that sin must be removed. Therefore, Israel must be removed. Israel must be destroyed.

If Israel is to survive these attacks, it must have a clear vision of why it exists. It must have a clear vision of what it wants for its own future. It must be able to stand up and say to the world, your vision for us is not our vision.

Hatikva makes that statement. On this, our Yom Ha'Atzmaut, our national Independence Day, Jews across Israel stand up to sing this Hatikva

This national anthem declares that our national goal is not to surrender land. it is not to surrender Jerusalem. This song declares that our goal is to be a free nation in our land, in our Zion, in our Jerusalem. You can't get any clearer than that.

Here, now, are two renditions of our national anthem, our song of hope--our song of our future. The first version gives you the lyrics. The section version is, well,different: 

                                                        from: youtube. uploaded November 13, 2013

                                                        from youtube: uploaded May 5, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Yom Hazikaron--and Ramallah

Today, May 11, 2016 is Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s national Memorial Day. This is the day Israel remembers its fallen soldiers.

At eight pm last night—and again this morning at 11 am—sirens all across Israel sounded. For one full minute, we stopped, stood and remembered those who have been killed so that we might live freely as Jews in this, our modern, reconstituted national Jewish homeland.  The sirens’ sound created a somber memorial moment.

But Yom Hazikaron is not just the day we remember our fallen soldiers. It’s also the day we remember those civilians among us—thousands upon thousands of our neighbours--who have been killed, wounded, maimed and/or forever traumatized by Arab attacks. It is a day that reminds us of many things.

This day reminds us that the story of the Jewish people has never changed. It is a story of random but inevitable persecution.

In World War Two, the Nazis transformed this story of persecution.  They turned it into a national dream. They used modern technology to create a Jew-killing machine never before seen.

On a small scale, this Nazi dream succeeded: in hundreds of small towns and villages across Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and parts of Russia, Jewish populations were completely exterminated. Those places became Judenrein—100% Jew-free.

Just one week ago in Israel, on May 5, 2016, we remembered those times and that horror. One week ago was our national Holocaust Day, Yom HaShoah. We remembered the killing. We remembered the Nazis. We remembered the dead.

Today, we honor Yom Hazikaron, our Memorial Day. Today, we continue to remember. But this time, we remember Jews in Israel—not the Jews of Europe during 1939-45.

Today, on Memorial Day, our thoughts are clear. In our cemeteries across Israel, we see proof that Jews continue to be killed.  We understand: the Nazi dream continues.  Jewish existence is still threatened by a hate driven by national leaders.

Today, Yom HaZikaron, our national Memorial Day, we see a headline that drives home this very point. Today, we read, Dalit Halevi, “PA PM: We're following the path of the Nazi Mufti”, Arutz Sheva, May 11, 2016.

We understand. The Nazi dream lives.

The story behind this headline reports that the Prime Minister of today's Palestinian Authority (PA)—our so-called ‘peace partners’—has recently spoken before the Seventh International Bayit al-Maqdis Islamic Conference, held in Ramallah. He reminded his audience that the very First Bayit al-Maqdis Islamic Conference had been held in 1931. That Conference was presided over by the then-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Husseini loved the Nazi regime. He went to Hitler. He helped Hitler. He called for a Nazi-style killing of Jews in the then-Jewish Palestine.

This modern PA Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, reaffirms Husseini’s goals. He declares to the world that the PA still follows the Jew-hating Husseini path.

The Palestinian Authority endorses the Husseini call to bring the Nazi nightmare to the Jewish people of Israel. The Palestinian Authority continues to pursue the Nazi dream.

That dream is relevant to us. It is aimed directly at us.

This may be why Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Day, has been placed so close to our Yom HaZikaron, our national Memorial Day: to remind us that nothing has changed for the Jewish people. The threat is still there. The anti-Jew bloodlust is still there. The dream to exterminate us is still there.

If the Arab commitment to the Nazi dream became reality, Israel would cease to exist. The Jews would no longer have a sovereign place. Look at the Arab map of ‘Palestine’. It’s the map of Israel renamed as ‘Palestine’.

If the Arab Nazi dream came true, the Jews of Israel would disappear just as they disappeared from the Arab-run Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Yemen, etc.  Israel would become Judenrein—Jew-free. Israel would become what even Adolf Hitler had failed to accomplish-- a national Nazi Judenrein paradise.

We remember this Nazi dream on Yom HaShoah. We remember it again on Yom HaZikaron. We remember because when you visit the graves of those who have fallen you can see how Arabs have kept that evil dream alive.

On this Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s National Military cemetery, Har Herzl, was so crowded, it was nearly impossible to walk. Road traffic to the cemetery was worse than rush hour.

We take Yom Hazikaron seriously. We know what’s at stake. We understand the sacrifice we suffer for our freedom.

We remember the Nazi nightmare. We remember the Arab calls to exterminate us. We remember.

Because of the dead who lay before us on Yom HaZikaron, we will never forget. We will never forget why these beloved have died. We will also not forget that the Nazi dream lives just 22 kilometres away.

 It lives in Ramallah. It is close. Very close.

We will never forget that.