Just as another “Freedom Flotilla” is sailing to Gaza, veteran filmmaker Pierre Rehov’s latest film War Crimes in Gaza will be shown next week to the European Parliament under the auspices of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Pierre Rehov’s film should also be seen by the International Criminal Court, which has just received files documenting what it claims are “Israeli war crimes.”
This 55-minute film is superb and packed with both visual, factual, and historical information. If everyone on board this flotilla watched this film—and if they were open to reason—they would turn back.
Going undercover into Gaza, Rehov is able to show us some of the wealthy mansions and villas of Gaza, the bustling malls and supermarkets, luxury cars, and well-dressed people at beachfront resorts—so different from the usual visual narratives of disinformation. Rehov shows us those as well: The weeping Palestinian civilians amidst rubble telling tales of IDF atrocities and devastation.
Undercover, Rehov has frightening footage of Hamas training children as young as six how to kill; the torture and public corpse-desecration of anyone whom Hamas suspected was a ‘collaborator’ or anyone whom they viewed as an opponent; Hamas’s omnipresent but hidden “civilian” army in Gaza; the location of Hamas missiles and guns in heavily populated civilian areas; how different Hamas missiles look than IDF missiles once they have hit their target—and much else.
The film teaches us that, since Hamas could not inflict major military damage to Israel, their strategy became one of propaganda—the kind meant to turn the entire world against Israel. It worked. Everyone wanted to believe the worst of the Jewish state. No one wanted to focus on the Muslim-on-Muslim, Arab-on-Arab, and Hamas-on-Palestinian violence.
Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, confirms, on camera, that Hamas’s goal is not the liberation of Palestinians but the destruction of Israel. Hamas tries to “present Israel as being war criminals.”
According to journalist and author Matti Friedman, hating Jewish Israel “erases a deep sense of guilt” about the Holocaust. Seeing Jews as victimizers not as victims” does that. Friedman also notes in the film that reporters only cover “Israeli actions,” not the preceding Hamas attack, but also because “it matches the story that they want and [reporters] are not interested in being killed [by Hamas]…Bad Jews, good Arabs. Anything that complicates the story is taken out.”
Rehov’s film confirms that Hamas controls all press coverage and will not allow reporters to either see or report on the three kinds of vast, expensive, underground tunnels that Hamas has built all over Gaza. We see the offensive tunnels, which open out into civilian Israel; the smuggling tunnels and the defensive tunnels, which house weapons and Hamas fighters. We come to understand—we see with our own eyes—how Hamas dresses its fighters as “civilians,” and forces it real civilian population to function as human shields in the ground and propaganda wars begun by Hamas.
War Crimes in Gaza turns every Big Lie right side up. From various on-camera Israeli soldiers and military experts, we quickly understand that the IDF follows strict rules of engagement and is, without doubt, the most ethical army in the world with the least civilian casualties possible.
Rehov also challenges some of the latest Lies being told, namely, the IDF purposely killed four small boys who were running on the Gaza beach. Rehov wonders why “so many cameras were filming the sea at this very moment? Were reporters expecting something to happen? Then, who informed them?”
The film attempts to answer some of these. According to Colonel Kemp, “It would not surprise me if the Hamas deliberately lured the IDF to attack this location, as they have done it many times in this conflict before… it is extremely unlikely that children would be targeted by the IDF.” Israeli Colonel Peter Lerner claims that “The IDF had a Hamas terrorist target. We had intelligence pointing specifically to that location.”
Bassem Eid, the founder and director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring group, is perhaps the most eloquent and passionate voice on camera. He hold Hamas responsible for committing war crimes against the Palestinian people. Here is some of what he says:
Israel is using its own rockets and missiles to protect their people. Hamas is doing the opposite. Hamas is gaining power and money while more Palestinians are being victimized in Gaza…there is no doubt that Hamas used people as human shields. IDF sent messages to leave their houses. Hamas prevented them getting out of their houses by saying they are spies of Israel if they do.
Eid insists: “The one [who] committed the genocide is Hamas. The Hamas is offering their innocent people for such a kind of war.”
Federal investigators shut down a massive Hamas-support network in the United States between 2001 and 2008, prosecuting some elements and freezing the assets of others.
But the Investigative Project on Terrorism finds that many of the same functions – fundraising, propaganda and lobbying – endure, now carried out by a group called American Muslims for Palestine (AMP). The IPT investigation identified at least five AMP officials and speakers who worked in the previous, defunct network called the “Palestine Committee.” It was created by the Muslim Brotherhood to advance Hamas’ agenda politically and financially in the United States.
Last year, AMP joined a coalition of national Islamist groups in forming the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is among the other founding members (for more on that coalition, click here). CAIR and its founders appear in internal Palestine Committee records admitted into evidence during the largest terror financing trial in U.S. history.
Several Palestine Committee entities were created by Mousa Abu Marzook, who remains a top Hamas political leader. One branch, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), was convicted in 2008 along with five senior officials, of illegally routing more than $12 million to Hamas. HLF’s role in the Palestine Committee was the chief fundraising arm for Hamas in the United States, prosecutors say.
“The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas,” said U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis during a sentencing hearing.
A flow chart of other Palestine Committee entities includes the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a Northern Virginia think tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR). IAP served as a propaganda outlet, organizing rallies and publishing magazines with articles supporting Hamas. CAIR was added to a Palestine Committee meeting agenda shortly after its 1994 creation.
UASR published an academic journal and, prosecutors say, was “involved in passing Hamas communiques to the United States-based Muslim Brotherhood community and relaying messages from that community back to Hamas.”
Today, AMP routinely engages in anti-Israeli rhetoric, sponsors conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers, and openly approves “resistance” against the “Zionist state.” One AMP official acknowledged the goal is to “to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel.”
An April 2014 AMP-sponsored conference in Chicago, for example, hosted Sabri Samirah, the former chairman of IAP, as a speaker. There was little to no talk about how to achieve peaceful coexistence.
“We are ready to sacrifice all we have for Palestine. Long Live Palestine,” Samirah said. “We have a mission here [in the U.S.] also to support the struggle of our people back there in order to achieve a free land in the Muslim world, without dictators and without corruption.”
The U.S. government had earlier deemed Samirah a “security risk” and he was barred from reentering the country for several years following a trip to Jordan in 2003. While in Jordan, he served as a spokesman for the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood’s political party, the Islamic Action Front. The charges against Samirah were subsequently dropped and he returned to the U.S. last year.
In a mid-May 2015 Jerusalem Report/Jerusalem Post interview by Paul Alster, “The Redoubtable Colonel [Richard] Kemp”, anticipated the findings of the UN Task Force Commission on the 2014 Gaza War. Kemp said: “I think their staff is going to be so heavily biased against Israel that it will be quite a struggle for them to produce a fair report.” Col. Kemp, former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, was present on the battle front last summer at the Israeli /Gaza frontier had presented his independent testimony to the UN Human Rights Commission investigation. It was a furtherance of his remarks to the earlier UN report following IDF Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. Conclusions, as Col. Kemp indicated, rejected by Israel.
Former British Commander in Afghnistan Col. Richard Kemp (ret.)
His predication was reflected in the UN Report by the ‘independent’ investigation released yesterday in Geneva by the Chairperson, former acting New York Supreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis. Davis has made a post retirement career after she left the bench in 1998 conducting independent UN investigations into human rights violations. Justice Davis was member of the team that concluded the IDF had perpetrated war crimes against civilians in Gaza defending Israeli citizens from Hamas rocket terrorism in Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. The summation of the latest UN investigation on the 2014 War in Gaza accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes, while holding IDF to a “higher standard” of behavior.
On April 18, two roadside bombs exploded in the Gaza Strip. Neither of the IEDs planted by Salafi jihadists opposed to Hamas rule in the enclave caused serious damage, but both explosions targeted United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) facilities. While the incidents were widely reported, there has been little questioning of why UNRWA buildings were targeted by those opposing Hamas. The logical conclusion is that in the eyes of those who planted the devices Hamas and UNRWA are identified as cooperating entities.
Back in 2004, confirmation of UNRWA’s relationship with Hamas came from the very highest level when the U.N. organization’s long-time Commissioner-General, Peter Hansen, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don’t see that as a crime.” Hansen left his post soon after.
According to its critics, UNRWA allows the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to dictate what will be taught in UNRWA schools, including incitement against the State of Israel, the aspiration to martyrdom, and the demonization of Jews. Hamas is alleged to control the UNRWA teaching staff union and through those teachers, feed young and impressionable minds a diet of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic indoctrination. UNRWA vehemently denies this charge.
At its inception in 1950, UNRWA’s definition of a Palestine refugee was crystal clear, including someone whose “normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”
Depending on whose figures one accepts, between 600,000-700,000 former residents of British mandated Palestine left their homes in that period. That’s about the same number of Jews who were forced to leave neighboring Arab lands and move to Israel as their lives became untenable in their long established countries of residence.
UNRWA supports a Palestinian “right of return,” meaning any or all of those 5.2 million people should have the right to move into Israel.
That result would create a demographic avalanche which would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish homeland.
“According to the UNHCR [United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNRWA’s parent organization], you lose your refugee status if you become a citizen of another country,” David Roet, Israel’s deputy UN ambassador, said in a speech to the UN last week. “But in the Palestinian case, this restriction does not apply. UNRWA – and UNRWA alone – allows refugees to pass their refugee status to their children and now grandchildren.”
UNRWA employs more than 10,000 people in Gaza, Roet added. “Where were they when Hamas stockpiled thousands of rockets, many of them in close vicinity to UNRWR facilities? It seems that while they are quick to condemn Israel, when it comes to reporting on Hamas, UNRWA’s employees become blind, deaf, and mute.”
In UNRWA schools, “Palestinian children are taught that the only solution to their plight is the so-called ‘claim of return.’ Many UNRWA facilities are decorated with keys symbolizing this claim of return. Young children are taught that these keys will one day open doors for them – but in truth these keys have them locked in a distorted reality. The ‘claim of return,’ make no mistake, is a euphemism for the destruction of the State of Israel.”
Roet’s comments came amid UN events marking UNRWA’s 65th anniversary and were in response to UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl’s assertion that Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East “face an existential crisis on many fronts.” Yet UNRWA appears to allow the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to dictate what will be taught in its schools even though, as a supposedly apolitical body, it holds veto power over classroom instruction.
In her new book, Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews 2003-2015, best-selling author, lecturer, columnist and retired psychotherapist Dr. Phyllis Chesler explores the growth of the anti-Israel campus movement and the alliance of leftist academic intellectuals with leaders of anti-Semitic Islamist movements in the East.
Speaking to Breitbart News via email, Chesler expands on the “cognitive war” being waged against Israel and the West, the startling growth of leftist pro-Palestinian movements on campus, and the nature and appeal of the anti-Israel “death cult” that has taken advantage of young college students looking to empathize with the oppressed.
Q: The book is a series of essays from the past twelve years that gives the reader a wide breadth of how expansive the propaganda war, as you call it in the book, against the state of Israel is. It covers everything from your first experiences with the anti-Israel movement on campus to events as recent as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on the Iranian nuclear talks earlier this year. My first question to you is a simple one: why this compilation of essays now?
A: I wanted to preserve these representative and strengthened essays as a legacy and for widespread use on campuses and at organizations and conferences. This is a reliable and accessible way of both remembering and teaching the coming generations about what has been happening globally in terms of the Orwellian defamation of Jewish Israel and of Western civilizational values.
Q: How has the anti-Israel movement on campus grown in the past decade, in your estimation, and what can pro-Israel students and activists do to stem that growth?
A: The Soviet-era Arab League, Saudi and Qatari money, Palestinian propaganda groups, Muslim Brotherhood student groups, human rights groups, and the United Nations, have been working on demonizing Israel for the last 35-60 years. Professors, think tanks, Middle East Studies programs, films,student conferences—with the strong backing of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine and what has become an “Islamophobia” industry—have forcefully indoctrinated American students (and the media) into believing that the earth is flat. Now, anyone who does not hew to such politically correct Junk Science, will be physically intimidated, jeered, cursed, economically punished, censored, and possibly fired. What to do? First, we must admit that a Cognitive War was declared long ago and, second, that it is a war we simply refused to fight. Worse, it is a war in which we collaborated against ourselves. Now, we must seize courage in both hands and commit ourselves to this battle for the next one hundred years.
Q: Is there a notable distinction to be made between anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli activism? If so, where is the line, and how should supporters of Israel approach each?
A: Currently, there is no longer any difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. In the distant past, an honorable theoretical discussion could be had about whether the long-persecuted Jews would ultimately benefit from a state “like any other state,” which some believed would absolve Jews from their God-given mission of being a “light unto the nations.” What kind of Jewish state Israel should be has been appropriately discussed and argued. It still remains a more than lively discussion. But now, there are those, including some Jews, who believe that if Israel cannot be perfect, it does not deserve to exist; that Israel has caused the existential danger it now finds itself in; that even though Israel is surrounded by enemies (not only geographically but also theologically, ideologically, economically, internationally, militarily, and by the Biggest Lies ever, etc.), Israel-alone should still be judged by standards that one never applies to Sudan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Hamas, Fatah, ISIS, and Boko Haram.
In 2002, I, and a mere handful of others, stated that anti-Zionism is partly what anti-Semitism is now about. I also stated that a Perfect Storm was coming our way (both Israel’s and America’s). That Storm is an alliance between western, politically correct intelligentsia and Islam. It took others about a decade to begin stating this as well.
Q: One of the most striking things for me about the book is how many topics it covers and, in turn, the way it highlights how versatile the left can be in hijacking any topic to bash Israel, from feminism to sports to theater and the performing arts. How much effort should supporters of Israel spend fighting in the political realm vs. combatting opponents in other venues that are not traditionally political? Is any one of these– entertainment, sports, international law, social justice– not getting as much attention from the pro-Israel movement as it should?
A: Israel needs a global “Iron Dome” to defend itself against the all-out cognitive war that is currently being waged against it. I spell out some specific ideas in a lecture that I am working on. I have also made many cogent suggestions over the years (some are contained in this book), which have never been tried or funded. Israel’s supporters need to do everything, simultaneously, and we need to understand that we are coming from behind. However, that is also how our patriarch Jacob/Israel once approached crises and battles. We have the talent, we do not have the money. Arab and European governments have funded our Big Lie opponents for more than half a century. Funders must now do likewise. And we need team players working in concert. We exist.
Q: You are among one of the most unabashed feminists at the forefront of the pro-Israel movement. A young, politically conscious American woman reading or watching only liberal mainstream media would have a difficult time believing you can be both feminist and a hawk on foreign policy or, as you mention in “The Brownshirts of Our Time,” feminist and pro-Israel. What do you say to those that can’t see where the two ideologies meet?
A: I am a civil libertarian and a free thinker. I am not an ideologue. I am in service to original ideas—but we live at a moment in history when ideology trumps independent thinking and when celebrity trumps all. Thus, I oppose totalitarianism, fascism, and barbaric misogyny. I cannot make common cause with those who have been trained to demean the West and to celebrate all other cultures as both “equal” to and “oppressed” by the West. I once lived in the Islamic world and I move in Muslim (dissident) circles to this day. Therefore, unlike most Western feminists, I understand the nature of Islamic gender and religious apartheid—and I oppose it. I also understand that the history of Muslim leaders has been one of imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, anti-black racism, slavery, persecution of infidels, and the gross subordination of women. I do not share the same need for sacrificial atonement that so many feminists currently display.
I lived in a polygamous household in Kabul and disagree with pseudo-feminists in the West who believe we should consider this cultural practice in a “relativist” way. I also saw my first burqas in Kabul and view them as a dangerous human rights violation and a health hazard. I also learned a little about family-initiated femicide, aka honor or horror killings, and know they are not at all like Western domestic violence.
Q: Given that Israel is the most female- and LGBT-friendly nation in the Middle East, should there be a responsibility among the feminist and LGBT rights movements to support Israel?
I also know that despite many flaws, Israel is the most democratic and liberal nation in the Middle East; it towers above any Arab or Muslim country in terms of rule by law, freedom from censorship, women’s rights, gay rights, and Arab Muslim and Arab Christian rights. It also has the most ethical army in the world. In short, I know that the world’s view of Israel is “upside down” and I mean to right it.
Q:What do you think is the appeal of the pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist movement on campus to young people who otherwise share socially liberal values incompatible with the ideals of groups like Hamas?
A: It is, essentially, a death cult appeal but one couched in the language of empathy for the suffering oppressed. It demands the utter eradication of individuality for a presumably noble purpose, that of sweeping away all evil on earth—no matter the cost. (Hmmm, where have we heard that before?) If Christians must be crucified and exiled; if Jews must be completely exterminated; if infidels must all convert to Islam or die—then so be it. What Westerners envision as “revolutionary” is really quite reactionary but the herd instinct, the pressure to be a politically correct anti-racist, has been dangerously romanticized. This madness must be de-programmed. First, the Islamists must be defeated militarily. Then, we can put our best minds to the task of de-programming.
Q: Beyond Israel, Europe appears to be a strong preoccupation for the book, particularly the rise of anti-Semitism there. What is Europe doing wrong to invite events like the Charlie Hebdo attack or even casual discrimination in cities like Paris and Malmo?
A: Europe, like America, and like Israel, symbolizes Western values which are despised, envied, and condemned by tribal Islam. Today, Europe is doing nothing wrong—and yet it is doing everything wrong. There is a tragic history here.
Europe wanted cheap Arab oil and cheap Arab and Muslim workers. They did not expect these workers to stay or to eventually bring half their villages along with them. Many Europeans have traditionally been racists. That is why so many are now “atoning” for the sins of their grandparents by adopting a more “politically correct” version of racism. (Dark-skinned Muslims may live as they wish, we have no desire to seriously integrate them; anyway, this is their preference as well).
Many immigrants remained illiterate or felt disenfranchised; they lived on the dole in hostile, parallel, anti-European communities and became radicalized via mosque, jail, and satellite TV. Jean Raspail, the French novelist, envisioned what could happen in his brilliant book In The Camp of the Saints. As I write in one of the essays in Living History: On The Front Line for Israel and the Jews, 2003-2015, I sometimes think that Europe is reaping a terrible, karmic destiny. It murdered six million friendly, non-violent, often highly assimilated Semites—the Jews—and has now reaped the whirlwind of many millions of non-friendly, violent, anti-assimilation Semites—the Arab and African Muslims.
To read an exclusive excerpt from Living History: On the Front Lines for Israel and the Jews 2003-2015, click here.
The world is witnessing a resurgence of global anti-Semitism not seen since the 1930s and the “Final Solution.” In the Middle East, Hitler-admiring regimes like Iran, and Hitler-admiring parties like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, are openly planning to finish the job the Nazis started. Even in America, until now the most hospitable place outside of Israel for Jews, the atmosphere is more hostile than at any time in the last 70 years.
According to the FBI, three-fifths of all religious hate crimes in America are now committed against Jews, while a recent Pew poll revealed that 54 percent of Jewish students have either been the subject of an anti-Semitic attack or witnessed one. The frequency of these attacks among college-aged students, moreover, is five times that of any other age group. The reason for this is obvious: Across the United States student groups associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, specifically Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association, are engaged in a vitriolic campaign against Israel and those students who support its right to exist. These organizations promote the propaganda of the terrorist organization Hamas, and call for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Students for Justice in Palestine, the more active of the two groups, claims to support a left-wing agenda of “social justice,” and “universal human rights.” Like the left itself, though, Students for Justice in Palestine doesn’t stand for the rights of Palestinians in the territories controlled by Palestinians, including the rights of Palestinians to disagree with each other without being targeted by their terrorist rulers. Instead, SJP’s sole agenda is the destruction of the Jewish state.
While SJP’s self-professed purpose is “to promote self-determination for the Palestinian people,” the organization defines the boundaries of this liberation as extending “from the river to the sea,” i.e., from the Jordan River on Israel’s eastern border to its western border on the Mediterranean. To advance this genocidal agenda, SJP endorses the lie that Israel was created on territory stolen from the Palestinians and, therefore, Jews illegally occupy Arab lands from which they must be purged.
In fact, Israel was created on land that had belonged to the Turks, who are not Arabs, for 400 years previously. In 1948 when Israel was created, there was no Palestinian political entity, no movement for a Palestinian state, and no people calling itself Palestinian. These core genocidal lies make up the primary agenda of SJP and its anti-Jewish allies, and are crowned by the ludicrous claim that Israel is an “apartheid state” with policies worthy of the “Nazis.” In fact, Israel is the only democratic and ethnically tolerant state in the Middle East, the only place where gays, Christians and women are safe. The real Nazis in the Middle East are the Arabs who openly call for the extermination of the Jews.
Despite its anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist agendas, SJP is funded by university fees. University administrations officially recognize the organization and grant it the privilege of erecting walls of hate, and conducting “die-ins” and other propaganda stunts in campus centers where other students can’t avoid being assaulted by their noxious accusations.
University administrators who refuse to rein in this hatred operate under pressure from faculty and student activists of the anti-Israel “social justice” left. These include the self-hating Jews of J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace, who join hands with their mortal enemies to condemn anyone who confronts SJP and the malignant forces it represents as “Islamophobes.”
As it happens, “Islamophobe” is a term coined by the Muslim Brotherhood to demonize its opponents, and the center of a campaign seeking a universal ban on critics as religious blasphemers. The campaign’s success can be seen in President Obama’s refusal to call the terrorist Islamic State “Islamic,” or to describe the war waged by the Islamic State, al Qaeda and other Islamic terror organizations as a religious crusade.
Thanks to the savageries of the Islamic State, however, Americans have begun to wake up and to see Jews as canaries in the mine, and to understand that what is happening to Jews is also happening to Christians and others in the way of Islamic Nazis. Nonetheless, the continuing successes of front organizations such as Students for Justice in Palestine are ominous indicators of the dangers that confront us, and should be a wake-up call, too.
Iran has violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty time after time, often undetected; it also continues to violate Article 2, clause 4, of the United Nations Charter: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…”
During the British Mandate, the entire area was known as Palestine. The official listing for “Place of Birth” on all passports at the time — for everyone, including Jews — was Palestine.
One can only hope that what clearly seems such a fatally dangerous deal — that threatens the existence of not only Israel, the Middle East and Europe, but, with Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, also the United States — will not be allowed to happen.
The notion of Israel’s “right to exist” has been in the news twice in recent days.
First, the University of Southampton, in Britain, announced that due to “safety fears,” it was cancelling a conference, scheduled for later this month, to question Israel’s right to exist.
Were the “security concerns” related to the fact that the conference would promote the rising infestation of Jew-hatred in Britain? A recent U.K. parliamentary report shows that hate crimes against British Jews have doubled in the past decade, and has called upon the British government to take urgent action.
The second time was when Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing the Obama Administration’s nuclear “framework” with Iran, said that in any deal, Iran should recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Despite being a member of the United Nations along with Israel, Iran nevertheless does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Iran has not only been a long-time sponsor of terrorist groups that for years have targeted and killed Israeli civilians (as well as American servicemen in Africa and Lebanon); it has also repeatedly threatened Israel with genocide. The latest announcement came in late March, when Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said that “erasing Israel off the map” was “non-negotiable.”
As Netanyahu has continually stated, a nuclear Iran is a threat to Israel’s existence and America’s existence.
Under such circumstances, that a British university was even thinking of holding such a conference is perplexing, at best.
The Jewish people have historical ties to the land of Israel that reach back nearly 4,000 years, a longstanding nationalist movement, a government in the post-colonial era and recognition by the United Nations — a similar path to existence as most other countries. Does anyone question, say, Zimbabwe’s right to exist?
Responses to statements that might have been raised, if this conference had gone ahead, include:
False Claim #1: Jews were out of Israel for almost 2,000 years.
The Romans crushed a Jewish revolt in 70 AD, and dispersed Jews throughout the Roman Empire. However, a continuous Jewish presence in the region never ceased. Key events recorded in history include: Jews governing Jerusalem when the Persian Sasanian Empire took over in 614; Jewish scribes working on the final text of the Hebrew Bible in the region between the 7th and 11th centuries; Jews enduring the Crusades; and Napoleon’s plans to invite Jews to form a state in 1799.
In 1799, as Napoleon Bonaparte’s army was besieging the city of Acre, Napoleon issued a letter, offering the Palestine as a homeland to the Jews, referring to them as “Rightful heirs of Palestine.” Above, a painting depicting the siege of Acre.
False Claim #2: Israel came about only because of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century.
The 19th century fostered the rise of nationalist movements throughout much of Europe. They led to the creation of modern Greece, Italy, and Germany, and also rose throughout the 20th century, often to end European colonization. In 1914, there were only 62 countries in the world; today there are 196, most of which were formed through nationalist movements, including, recently, Serbia, Croatia and Moldova, among others.
False Claim #3: Jews used violence to gain control of Israel.
Although some Jewish resistance groups occasionally used violence against Britain in an effort to gain independence, many other people, in a press for independence, have taken up arms, too. These include American colonials, Latin American independence movements, and the Algerians, Irish, and Bangladeshis, as well as countless others in the 20th century.
False Claim #4: The Palestinians controlled the land for centuries.
When the Ottoman Empire lost control of Palestine after World War I, there were no people known as “Palestinians” — only Muslims, Christians, Jews and assorted others living in the area. During the British Mandate, which followed World War I, the entire area was known as Palestine. The official listing for “Place of Birth” on all passports at the time — for everyone, including Jews — was Palestine. The word was coined by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 132 AD, as part of an effort to obliterate the Jewish presence in the province. He changed the telling name of Judaea, and the land around it, to “Syria Palaestina”, and renamed Jerusalem as “Aelia Capitolina.”
The modern concept of Palestinian nationhood came into fruition only after Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, when five Arab armies attacked Israel literally the day of its birth, hoping to kill it in its crib. Many Arabs left; and many Arabs urged their fellow Arabs to leave, assuring them that in a few weeks, after the Jews were routed, they would be able to return. The problem was that the Arabs were the ones who were routed; the Jews won. When the Arabs who had fled wanted to come back, the Israelis said they were not welcome — they had chosen the hostile side. Instead of settling these Arabs in the countries to which they had fled, as the Jews had settled their countrymen fleeing Arab lands, the Arabs preferred to leave them as stateless people — now known as Palestinians. They were then promised, and still are promised, that they will return one day to the homes that they (or, by now, their great-great-grandparents) had voluntarily abandoned to be out of the way of the shooting.
The Arabs who stayed are still where they were, still in their homes, and are full citizens of Israel. They make up 20% of Israel’s population and have equal rights with Israel’s Jewish citizens. They enjoy full representation in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, and hold senior positions in all professions.
False Claim #5: The UN Resolution legitimizing the State of Israel did not actually pass.
UN Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan, was a recommendation that in November of 1947 called for the creation in Palestine of an Arab State and Jewish State. It was rejected by the Arabs, who threatened to use force to prevent it — and did.
Israel declared Independence on May 14, 1948, as the British Mandate on Palestine was set to expire. On May 11, 1949, UN Resolution 273, which admitted Israel to the United Nations, was adopted by the required two-thirds majority.
Currently 83% of the UN member states recognize Israel. Countries that refuse to recognize Israel include some Muslim nations, Cuba and North Korea.
False Claim #6: Israel came about only due to sympathies surrounding the Holocaust.
In 1917, well before the Holocaust, the British put forth the Balfour Declaration, which favored a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. Confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922, it put the process to statehood in motion. In 1936, in the midst of Arab violence, the British Peel Commission called for a plan to create a Jewish State, but the plan was not enacted. Had Israel been formed at that point, many more Jews could have fled there to avoid the Holocaust.
False Claim #7: The Palestinians have a right to part of the territory based on the original UN plan.
Palestinians have been offered part of the territory for a Palestinian state again and again. The Palestinians, however, rejected a state of their own offered by the Peel Commission in 1937, and they rejected a state of their own in the UN Resolution 181 Partition Plan, because they would not accept a Jewish state. They came back from the Khartoum Conference in 1967 with three “Nos”: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations; and they twice rejected offers for a Palestinian state from Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and later from Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, both of whom offered 97% of everything the Palestinians demanded. The Palestinians did not even submit a counter-offer.
One can only conclude that the Palestinians do not actually want state; what they want is to displace the Israeli state. They themselves have confirmed this suspicion at least twice — first in the PLO “Phased Plan” of 1974, never rescinded, which calls for eliminating Israel in stages. The second time was in the Charter of Hamas — now half of a “Palestinian Unity Government” with Fatah. The Hamas Charter calls not just for the destruction of Israel but also for a genocide of all the Jews everywhere. This Charter, too, has never been rescinded.
Israel has granted self-governance to the Palestinians; however, considering the non-stop Arab and Muslim attacks on Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu and others have said that full autonomy cannot be given to the Palestinians until their terrorist groups are completely demilitarized.
* * *
The “existence” of Israel — the only country in the region with human rights, freedom of expression, and equal justice under law — is not, and should not, even be in question. The more appropriate question is if organizations that ask questions such as that should exist.
Iran has violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty time after time, often undetected; it also continues to violate Article 2, clause 4, of the United Nations Charter: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
In March 2015, apparently not content with wiping just “Israel off the map,” Iran, in the person of its Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, also called for “Death to America.”
One can only hope that what clearly seems such a fatally dangerous deal as the Obama Administration’s nuclear “framework” with Iran — that threatens not only the existence of Israel, the Middle East and Europe, but, with Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, also the United States — will not be allowed to happen.
George Phillips served as an aide to Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, working on human rights issues.
Immediately after Israel’s March 17 election, Obama administration officials threatened to allow (or even encourage) the U.N. Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state and confine Israel to its pre-1967 borders. Within days, the president himself joined in, publicly criticizing not just Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Obama has had notoriously bad relations, but sectors of Israeli opinion and even Israel itself.
The administration leaks suggesting that Israel be cut adrift in the Security Council in effect threatened “collective punishment” as a weapon in U.S.-Israel relations. This is especially ironic coming from “progressives” who have repeatedly accused Israel of “collective punishment” by forcefully retaliating against terrorist attacks. But more important, exposing Israel to the tender mercies of its Security Council opponents harms not only Israel’s interests, but America’s in equal measure. Roughly half of Washington’s Security Council vetoes have been cast against draft resolutions contrary to our Middle East interests.
America’s consistent view since Council Resolution 242 concluded the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is that only the parties themselves can structure a lasting peace. Deviating from that formula would be a radical departure by Obama from a bipartisan Middle East policy nearly half a century old.
In fact, Israel’s “1967 borders” are basically only the 1949 cease-fire lines, but its critics shrink from admitting this tedious reality. The indeterminate status of Israel’s borders from its 1948 creation is in fact a powerful argument why only negotiation with relevant Arab parties can ultimately fix the lines with certainty.
That is why Resolution 242’s “land for peace” formula, vague and elastic though it is, was acceptable to everyone in 1967: There were no hard and fast boundaries to fall back on, no longstanding historical precedents. Prior U.N. resolutions from the 1940s, for example, had all been overtaken by events. Only negotiation, if anything, could leave the parties content; externally imposed terms could only sow future conflicts. Hence, Resolution 242 does not call for a return to the prewar boundaries, but instead affirms the right of “every State in the area” to “secure and recognized boundaries.” Ignoring this fundamental reality is fantasy.
So what drives Obama to conjure his Security Council threat? Obviously, deep antipathy for Netanyahu is one reason. Obama didn’t like Netanyahu before Israel’s recent election, and liked him even less after Bibi’s speech to a joint session of Congress. Hoping to motivate lukewarm or indifferent Likud voters to pump up his election-day support, Netanyahu emphasized his opponents’ efforts to turn out anti-Likud Arab voters, and Obama flayed him for it. Obama also opposed Netanyahu’s preelection criticism of the “two-state solution” and disdained Netanyahu’s efforts to clarify his comments after he won.
So Obama’s list of complaints about Netanyahu is long and getting longer. But if the criticisms were really about Netanyahu’s campaign tactics, threatening to let slip the dogs of political war in the Security Council would hardly be an appropriate response. Obama’s punishment would simply not fit Netanyahu’s crime.
Far more disturbing, Obama’s postelection statements demonstrate something much deeper than just animosity toward Netanyahu. Obama said that “Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state, but it also, I think, starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country.”
With these comments, Obama is criticizing not just Netanyahu, but the very legitimacy of Israel’s democracy, giving an implicit green light to those prepared to act violently against it. Obama’s remarks are substantially more egregious than Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2014 criticism that Israel’s unwillingness to follow the White House lead in the Palestinian negotiations made it understandable if there were another Palestinian intifada or further efforts by the international “boycotts, sanctions, and divestiture” movement against Israel.
Obama is thus going well beyond acting unpresidential or even immature. Whether one takes his or Netanyahu’s side, the administration’s approach is now squarely contrary to America’s larger strategic interests. And the global harm that will be done to common U.S. and Israeli interests through Security Council resolutions if Washington stands aside (or worse, joins in) will extend far beyond the terms of one prime minister and one president.
Consider the inevitable damage merely from the sort of council resolution threatened by Obama’s leakers. Declaring that a Palestinian state exists outside of Israel’s 1967 boundaries would instantly terminate all bilateral Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy on these central issues. What else would there be to talk about? Resolution 242’s basic premise would be upended; rather than enhancing the role of diplomacy between Israel and the relevant Arab parties, a Palestinian statehood resolution would eliminate it.
The reverberations would echo even wider. Already, Obama’s representatives on the U.N. Human Rights Council declined to defend Israel during the HRC’s annual festival of Israel-bashing, another first from our transformative president.
More seriously, Israel’s “occupation” of West Bank lands would immediately render it in violation of the statehood resolution, thus exposing it to international sanctions, including from the Security Council if Obama continued to stand aside. Prosecutions of Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court would instantly have a jurisdictional basis, and those officials would also be exposed to “universal jurisdiction” statutes that have become all the rage with the international left in recent decades. And won’t the White House be surprised when “Palestine” gains admission to the entire U.N. system, triggering a statutorily required cut-off of U.S. contributions to each agency that admits the new state!
No end of mischief will flow from even one undisciplined Security Council resolution, let alone whatever else Obama is prepared to allow. Obama’s criticisms, with the implied charge of racism not far beneath their surface, have once again brought Israel’s very legitimacy into question. We are all too close to resurrecting the U.N.’s 1975 “Zionism is racism” resolution. Daniel Patrick Moynihan would not recognize Obama as a president from the Democratic party.
Obama needs reminding that petulance is for teenagers, not presidents. U.S. interests extend beyond personalities and temporary frustrations. As in many other policy areas, Obama’s “l’état, c’est moi” approach is laying foundations for enormous problems both today and long after he leaves office. If anyone wants a convincing argument why national security must be at the very center of America’s 2016 presidential contest, Obama has surely supplied it.
John R. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2005-06.
To support Israel is racist; to support ISIS is a demonstration of diversity. This is the atmosphere at American college campuses today. “Higher learning” has become synonymous with “liberal brainwashing.”
It is important to remember that Israel is America’s ally- not just any ally, but America’s closest ally in the Middle East. Despite President Obama’s blatant hatred for Israeli PM Netanyahu and his Administration’s obvious moves against our only truly democratic friend in the region, at the end of the day, Israel is still a close ally of the United States.
Yet at America’s colleges and universities, which celebrate diversity, the extremely diverse, humanitarian and peaceful Israel (whose population is made up of multiple races and religions), is the enemy.
After his Facebook post described Gazans as a wild pit bull in a cage, which attacks violently whenever let out of that cage, all hell broke loose from the anti-Israel camp. The Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Connecticut College and the history department condemned the “hate speech,” “dehumanizing language,” “bigotry,” and the celebration or incitement of “violence and brutality.”
The professor is actually against violence and brutality according to what he’s written. Those who disagree with his post are the ones who are supporting violence.
As a matter of fact, Pessin spoke the truth. Gaza is ruled by Hamas. Hamas is a wild pit bull, and no matter how much anyone tries to pretend that Gazans do not support Hamas, the terrorism and support for terror against innocent Israeli civilians and even Jews in Diaspora speaks for itself. Over the summer of 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, anti-Israel rallies around the world turned into anti-Jew violent riots. The pro-Palestinians showed their overwhelming support for Hamas and their hatred for Jews.
Yet this professor is the one accused of hate speech and celebrating violence.
You can start an ISIS “humanitarian” club and training camp at Cornell.
Joseph Scaffido, the Assistant Dean of Students for Student Activities at Cornell University, one of the most prestigious universities in America, spoke on hidden camera to an undercover journalist posing as a student from Morocco who hopes to attend the Ivy League school next year. The “student” asked about starting an ISIS humanitarian group, raising awareness for the “freedom fighters,” obtaining funding to bring over a terrorist to give a speech, and even starting a training camp. The Dean’s responses were all “yes, yes, yes,” explaining that Ithaca, where Cornell is located, is a very liberal community.
Apparently “liberal” now means “terror supporting.” Incidentally, as liberal as President Obama is, and although he is unwilling to admit that ISIS is Islamic, he at least recognizes that it is a terror group.
ISIS is an enemy of the United States. Israel is a friend.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who speaks out against the abuse of women in Islam, was offered an honorary degree from Brandeis University, but after Muslim cries of Islamophobia, the university took back its offer.
Any advocacy of women’s rights is deemed “Islamophobic.”
Ali was raised Muslim and herself is the victim of atrocities like female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. She was once a pious Muslim, but after the Somali native was granted political asylum to the Netherlands and received an education, she began to reflect on Islam and its teachings. After the 9/11 attacks, she picked up the Qur’an and hadith, and it wasn’t long before she renounced her faith.
Ali’s AHA Foundation “works to protect and defend the rights of women and girls in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture”: http://theahafoundation.org/
Apparently defending the rights of women and girls is “Islamophobic.”
The decision of Brandeis University to revoke its offer to Ali is pure hypocrisy. Why? Because the school has given such honors to anti-Semites in the past. Jay Bergman, Professor of History
Central Connecticut State University, writes for FrontPage Magazinein an open letter to the university:
“You say that you are withdrawing the award because Ms. Hirsi Ali’s views violate what you call ‘the core values’ of the university. But Brandeis saw nothing wrong in awarding an honorary degree to Tony Kushner, who has called the creation of the state of Israel a mistake and falsely accused it of ethnic cleansing; and to Desmond Tutu, an anti-semitic bigot who has compared Israel to Nazi Germany. From this one could reasonably conclude — since Tutu’s anti-semitism did not cause Brandeis to refrain from awarding him a degree — that anti-semitism is either one of the core values of your university or is not inconsistent with these values.
“It is clear that at Brandeis University Israel can be smeared and those who do so are rewarded, but someone who properly criticizes Islam is unfairly attacked and dishonored.”
Anti-Semitism is allowed at a school founded by the Jewish community, but legitimate concerns regarding the mistreatment of women in Islam go against what the university stands for?
The result of a growing Muslim population in America is a growing anti-Semitic population. But it is worse than that. Now our young adults, who attend colleges and universities in the hopes of getting a good education, a higher degree and eventually beginning a successful career, some becoming our future politicians and practically all of voting age already, are being taught that our ally is our enemy, and our enemy is our friend. They are in effect, being taught that it is racist to say anything which might be considered “negative” against terrorists.
So bring on the ISIS terrorist speakers but condemn the Israel-supporting professors. Welcome to university life in America today.
Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism — two sides of the same coin — are raging yet again. They are brutally alive in the Middle East, Europe and even here in America.
Yet now, at long last, there is some pushback, at least on the “battlefield of ideas.”
It comes in the form of a new academic institute championed by a hardened veteran of this war, and its presence at universities throughout the world is blossoming.
In this country, we hear shouts of Jew-hatred at every pro-Palestinian demonstration.
We read all about it in the biased left-liberal, anti-Israel media and see it in President Obama’s overt hostility to Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Perhaps most troubling, though, is its presence on the American campus, where it is at full boil.
There, Israel-bashing is embraced as an expression of politically correct, divine truth — rather than called out for what it often really is: unadulterated racism.
Professors disguise their hatred of Jews by presenting it as a “politically righteous” stand against Israel, since the Jewish state is, in their portrayal, a colonialist, apartheid nation.
A 2015 report by the National Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students found 54 percent of 1,157 college students polled at 55 American campuses have experienced and/or witnessed anti-Semitic incidents.
Enter Prof. Charles Small — to the rescue. Small founded the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy after running a successful similar program at Yale from 2005 to 2011.
The Yale program was superb; experts there examined contemporary Islamic Jew- and infidel-hatred and terrorism in new academic ways — that is, openly and honestly.
That doomed it. The program was squashed and he was forced out by leftist pressure and a campaign by Arab and pro-Palestinian students, faculty and advocates.
Now, he’s back, and his new effort is also seeing success. The institute is proving a powerful force, one the Western academic world (not surprisingly) abhors.
He’s offering a rigorous scholarly program dedicated to the study of contemporary global anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism may be the “oldest hatred,” but no such program focusing on its current-day manifestation has ever before existed.
Instead, America today is awash with well-funded anti-Israel, anti-American and anti-Western Middle Eastern studies departments. Small says he is “fighting anti-Semitism on the battlefield of ideas, not in university corridors, not at campus demonstrations.”
By 2012, ISGAP had a foothold at Fordham and Harvard law schools, Stanford and McGill. It’s now at Columbia Law, Sapienza University in Rome and the University of Paris-Sorbonne. In two weeks, it will debut at the University of Chile.
In the 2014-2015 academic year, ISGAP presented more than 100 seminars in English, French and Italian.
Through the guidance of executive-committee Chairman Lawrence Benenson, funding is diverse, coming from “both right of center and left of center.”
The effort has not always been easy. The powers that be at the Sorbonne said “anti-Semitism is not important, not relevant” — their exact words.
Grudgingly, they let Small stage an event “just once,” thinking nothing would come of it; instead, 80 people showed up.
At another seminar after the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket attacks, 150 people turned out. ISGAP was later given military protection and invited to formally join the Sorbonne as a “recognized research center.”
This is an extraordinary victory. “The French now understand that those who are profoundly anti-Semitic are threatening the foundations of their society,” says Small.
This coming summer, ISGAP will be training professors at Oxford. Applications have poured in from Canada, the United States, the UK, Russia, China, Brazil and Argentina.
Yet already, it boasts a prestigious staff, including experts like Robert Wistrich, Martin Kramer, Bassam Tibi, Shimon Samuels, Valentina Colombo, Irwin Mansdorf, Meir Litvak, Richard Landes and others.
Despite the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (a campaign by “Israel-deniers”), the campus Israeli “apartheid” hate-fests and the indoctrination taking place in social sciences and departments of Middle East studies, we now have the beginning of a successful “fight back” strategy. Let’s hope it continues to rise to the enormous challenge it faces.
There are two new youthful faces at the CAIR-Florida office in Tampa. And like the organization they represent, their actions are those of Islamic extremists.
On January 9, 2015, on the official website of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a press release was posted discussing the group’s hiring of two individuals to its staff, Laila Abdelaziz and Ali Akin Kurnaz. According to the release, “Laila Abdelaziz joined the CAIR Florida team as the Legislative and Government Affairs Director, and Ali Kurnaz joined [the] CAIR team as its Communications Coordinator.”
CAIR was established in June 1994 as being part of the American Palestine Committee, an umbrella organization acting as a terrorist enterprise run by then-global Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who was based in the U.S. at the time and who now operates out of Egypt as a spokesman for Hamas. In 2007 and 2008, amidst two federal trials, the U.S. government named CAIR a co-conspirator in the raising of millions of dollars for Hamas. Along with ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, CAIR is listed as a terrorist organization by United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Both Abdelaziz and Kurnaz came to CAIR by way of Emerge USA, Abdelaziz being the Tampa-area Regional Field Coordinator of Emerge and Kurnaz being the Central Florida Regional Director of Emerge.
Emerge USA, like CAIR, has a friendly – even patriotic – sounding name, yet the reality of the organization is that it presents a dangerous facade. Emerge is a politically active Islamist group whose goal is to place radical Muslims into positions of influence and power.
The head of Emerge, Khurrum Wahid, who previously served as a legal advisor for CAIR, is a South Florida attorney who has built a name for himself by representing high profile terrorists. His past clients include: Rafiq Sabir, who received a 25 year prison sentence for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was given a life sentence for being a member of al-Qaeda and for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush; and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian, who was deported to Turkey last month.
Abdelaziz and Kurnaz have their own troubling past, beyond their involvement with Emerge.
In January 2010, during a town hall meeting for Barack Obama, Ramallah-born Laila Abdelaziz denounced Israel in a question she posed to the President. “[W]hy have we not condemned Israel and Egypt’s human rights violations against the occupied Palestinian people, and yet we continue supporting them financially with billions of dollars from our tax dollars?” she belligerently asked.
In November 2012, when Israel invaded Gaza, in order to stop Hamas from continuing to target her citizens with rockets – over 2000 rockets in less than one year – Abdelaziz tweeted, “Don’t worry ya Gaza, we’re working hard for you in Florida.”
As well, she described an interfaith initiative between Jews and Muslims as “flawed” and “comical,” and just one week ago, she labeled an article written by a Muslim girl about the girl’s recent trip to Israel, which was sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), as “ridiculous.” The girl, Aliya Manjee, describes herself as “pro-Palestine,” but to Abdelaziz merely visiting Israel is a crime.
Abdelaziz’s counterpart at CAIR, Ali Kurnaz, is no less extreme.
In January 2009, during Israel’s previous incursion into Gaza, Kurnaz filmed and edited a video of a CAIR sponsored anti-Israel protest that had been held in Orlando. Kurnaz produced the video for a group called Liberated Front. A representative from Kurnaz’s group, Nancy Zanaty, was featured on the video loudly denouncing former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Also on Kurnaz’s video, viewers repeatedly witness rally goers shout “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” It is the same slogan used in Gaza by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to call for Israel’s destruction. The river is the Jordan River, and the sea is the Mediterranean – both sides of Israel.
In July 2014, Kurnaz attacked U.S. Representative Ted Deutch, when Deutch sent a tweet against Hamas and in support of Israel’s right to defend herself. Deutch wrote, “As Hamas and other terrorists fire on Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and all of #Israel, I strongly support Israel’s actions to defend her citizens.” Kurnaz tweeted the following in reply to Deutch, “[T]hink before you tweet. Your lopsided message conveys your lack of understanding of this conflict.”
This past January, Kurnaz followed the Twitter account of an individual named Alexus Morales. Much of Morales’ Twitter is devoted to support for Hezbollah. Indeed, the header of Morales’ Twitter page is a Hezbollah flag.
None of this can be seen as controversial to Hassan Shibly, the Executive Director of CAIR-Tampa. In June 2011, the Tampa Tribune reported on previous statements Shibly had made regarding Hezbollah. Shibly had stated that Hezbollah was “basically a resistance movement” and “absolutely not a terrorist organization.”
What may be controversial to everyone, though, is a tweet by Ali Kurnaz, where he seemed to be admitting to abusing illegal drugs. He stated, “Instead of war on poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.” Question: Why do the police have reason to “bother” Kurnaz?
Regardless of the answer, with the hiring of Laila Abdelaziz and Ali Kurnaz, CAIR-Florida has continued to show why it is a danger to society. Given all the upheavals which are taking place involving Islamic extremist groups, closing down CAIR in the USA would appear to be a foregone conclusion.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
Truth Revolt, By Hank Sheinkopf, Ronn Torossian and George Birnbaum, March 16, 2015:
As President Harry Truman said, “I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.”
Recently, many have stood up and told the truth about New Israel Fund’s support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, their actions to harm Israel Defense Forces personnel, and cooperation with the United Nation’s Anti-Israel activities. In response, NIF supporters and friends of NIF donors have unleashed hell upon those of us who have told the truth about the dangers of this organization.
What they have not done is address the issues which are serious and real. We applaud Birthright Israel who has banned The New Israel Fund from partnering with them, and urge others to follow suit.
The masses of Jews – on the left and right – shun those extremist Jews who sympathize with Israel’s enemies, whom represent a tiny portion of world Jewry – but are given an oversized prominence in the media – and unfortunately amongst Jewish leadership. We are outraged about the cancer called the New Israel Fund, as they must be rooted out of the realm of acceptability.
While we welcome political debate, there are limits. Shouting “fire in a crowded theatre” is not acceptable, so too must boycotts of Israel be deemed unacceptable for any friends of Israel.
Kenneth Levin, a Harvard psychiatrist has noted that Jewish self-hatred is in part a result of Stockholm syndrome, where “population segments under chronic siege commonly embrace the indictments of their besiegers however bigoted and outrageous.” The Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yoni Chetboun said, “The main goal of the NIF is to undermine the Israeli Army, by knowingly financing left-wing Israeli groups that try to get young Israeli soldiers prosecuted for war crimes.”
While Jane Eisner and Deborah Lipstadt of The Forward defend their friends, they cannot ignore the fact that these viewpoints are as mainstream in Israel as Lyndon Larouche is in the United States. Your defense of your friends does not address those who have no decency, encourage boycotts against the Jewish state, and harm the Jewish Army.
As Naftali Bennett said, “Yes, New Israel Fund, I will boycott whoever persecutes Israeli soldiers. I will not apologize for it. Members of the New Israel Fund, listen carefully: Whoever harms, slanders and persecutes Israeli soldiers are not my brothers. The NIF works methodically and consistently to attack our Israeli soldiers, accuse them of war crimes of torturing Palestinians and intentionally attacking women and children. They turn to the UN and to the committees that are most hostile to Israel and try their best to convince them that Israel is a war criminal. I repeat: They say that our soldiers- you, I, your friends and your families, your children and their friends – that we are all war criminals. The New Israel Fund invests large amounts of money through its organizations with one purpose- to harm IDF soldiers who are physically protecting us with their bodies.”
As PM Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Everyone should know what the letters B-D-S really stand for: bigotry, dishonesty, and shame. And those who oppose BDS, like Scarlett Johansson, they should be applauded.”
Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse has said “the rapid demoralization of Jews in the face of anti-Zionism… shows the depth of the influence of the past, for many have yet to achieve the simple self-respect that has been eluding the Jews collectively since the dawn of modernity.”
While each of us earns our livings in the field of communications, we welcome debate and discussion – but we do not welcome hatred of the Jewish State. No matter how difficult it is, all self-respecting Jews must renounce the New Israel Fund.
They may be nice people, they may do good things on other fronts – but those who support the New Israel Fund stand against the Jewish people.
Hank Sheinkopf is CEO of Sheinkopf Communications and a leading Democratic strategist. His clients have included former President Bill Clinton, former NY Mayor Bloomberg and others.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of the 20 largest independent American PR firms.
George Birnbaum is an international political consultant, who is partners with Arthur Finkelstein. Birnbaum formerly served as chief of staff for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
I don’t read or watch mainstream news very often, but I’m always curious about which stories are being covered. So a few days ago I asked a friend of mine (I know he watches CNN) if he’d seen any stories about ISIS throwing gay people off roofs.
“Yes,” he said. He’d read about it.
“Have you seen any stories about the massacres of Christians?”
He asked, “What massacres?”
The reason I asked is because of something I heard Raymond Ibrahim say. He was explaining why you don’t hear much about the Christian persecution now happening all over the Muslim world. His explanation struck me as insightful. Brilliant really.
He said that the general narrative in mainstream news is that the Palestinians are the besieged underdogs who have been forced out of their homeland, and Israel is the powerful oppressor. And all the bombings and killings committed by the Palestinians are somewhat understandable, so this narrative goes, given that the Palestinians have been so mistreated.
When Jews are mistreated by Muslims anywhere, it can always be explained by this mainstream news narrative that its source is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But the burning of churches and the massacres of Christians by Muslims casts this kind of Islamic violence in a whole different light. The Christians are, in reality, a besieged minority in Muslim countries and the Muslims have no political grievance they can use to justify what they’re doing. They’re killing the Christians because they’re Christians.
So far, the news media seems reluctant to change their narrative, so instead they just don’t say much about these very “newsworthy” stories. If gays were being massacred, it would be headline news. If neo-Nazis were lining up Muslims on a beach and beheading them on film (as Muslims recently did to Christians in Libya) and burning down their mosques, you can bet everything you own it would be front page news.
In other words, the actions themselves are certainly newsworthy. But because it is Muslims massacring Christians, to cover it would not only discredit the Israeli-is-the-evil-one narrative, but it would also cast all that previous violence into a whole new worldview — a horrifying, frightening view of the world (that the problem might be the ideology considered sacred by 1.6 billion people) — and that is something that most news organizations seem as yet unwilling to confront.
Somali-born free speech and women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali gave the keynote address at a sold-out event in Boston Wednesday that centered on rising anti-Semitism on college campuses in North America.
Hirsi Ali’s address, and a panel featuring a rabbi and three student activists, followed the premiere of a new Jerusalem U film titled Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus, which can be viewed in its entirety online. The film demonstrates how anti-Israel activities on college and university campuses are being organized to alienate and intimidate those who support Israel, and how reasonable criticism of Israel “crosses the line” into anti-Semitism.
As a press release about the Boston event notes, Hirsi Ali said the film demonstrates how students are being “misled.” Denouncing “virulent anti-Semitism” on college campuses, she asserted, “The least we can do is boycott, divest, and sanction campuses that compromise academic freedom.”
Excerpts of Hirsi Ali’s address are as follows:
It is appalling that only seventy years from the Holocaust, crowds in Europe chant, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” It is even more appalling that 10,000 soldiers in Paris are needed to protect Jewish sites. That is the continent that promised never again. The men and women who were in the concentration camps, who are tattooed, some are still here. And it is happening again.
Watching Crossing the Line 2: the New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus was like having a bucket of ice water being poured over my head. I saw the film last week. And I watched it again last night. And I couldn’t sleep. The more we pretend that this is happening somewhere far away, the more hopeless and helpless we feel. But this is not happening far away. This is happening on American campuses, British campuses, Canadian campuses. The filmmakers who made this film made it because it is important that we listen to this message while it is at a smaller stage.
I have a different acronym for BDS. They call themselves Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. I call them Bully, Deceive, and Sabotage. Bully, Deceive, and Sabotage the only society that is free in the Middle East. BDS. On campus, if you care about issues like justice and injustice, we really need to show it. You need to do it. Where is the BDS movement against the Islamic State? Where on campuses is the BDS movement against Saudi Arabia? The Iranian regime, who for decades have promised to wipe Israel off the map, who are developing a bomb. And there’s no BDS movement against them on campus. Why? Last year in Nigeria, 200 girls were kidnapped. They were sold into slavery. There was no BDS movement against Boko Haram.
“Anti-Israel activities on campus cause students today to feel embarrassed to be pro-Israel, or could even lead them to hold negative opinions about Israel” said Amy Holtz, president of Jerusalem U, in a statement in the press release. “Raising awareness of this growing problem is crucial. We made this film in order to give students the knowledge to differentiate between education and intimidation, debate and hate. They must be able to identify when it is ‘Crossing the Line.’”
Steven Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism,
Hot off the presses. Rasmieh Odeh, the female Palestinian terrorist who participated in the killing of two teenagers in Jerusalem in 1969 and then immigrated to the US and lived the good life in the US for 20 years by lying on her immigration forms that she was never convicted in Israel of a terrorist act (for which she served 10 years) and which she had confessed to WAS finally convicted today of lying, perjury and formally accused by the Judge of being a terrorist.
But here are my comments on the case and on the scandalous ramifications of the success of the terrorist lobby “ said , Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
Emerson’s organization has been tracking this case for more than 2 years and produced a five part documentary series, “Spinning a Terrorist Into a Victim” (which you can link to on our website and utube) showing how her numerous “respectable” defenders turned truth on its head by spearheading a massive campaign to portray this terrorist killer as a “victim” of a conspiracy by the “Israeli lobby”, “Islamaphobic” prosecutors”, and “anti Palestinian bigots.”
“What was particularly outrageous about this case was the amalgamation of major human rights groups, Islamic groups (all of whom were just invited to the White House CVE Summit, who have been appointed to senior advisory positions by DHS and DOJ, and all of whom have met repeatedly in Chicago with Mayor Rahm Emanuel) such as CAIR, ADC and nearly every other Islamic group in the alphabet that came to her defense and claimed she was innocent, that she was a victim of the “persecution of the Israeli lobby,” that the PFLP (which carried out the bombing in which she participated) was a ‘heroic resistance group,” etc.
And then there was a list of 124 female faculty members from around the country that supported this killer including the infamous NYY Professor Lisa Duggan, an outspoken supporter of BDS.
“Even more galling in the end was how the judge, who first admonished her, succumbed to the political correct pressure of the pro terrorist lobbying groups and claimed in court that that this killer was, in his scurrilous words, now a “reformed” person: “No doubt in my mind she [Odeh] has changed and reformed.” She is engaged in “positive and constructive activities right now.”
“Kudos to the prosecutors who pursued justice for so many years and refused to bow to political pressures from the Holder Justice Department to drop the case. These prosecutors are the real heroes. True American heroes who deserve the gratitude and deep respect of every American citizen.
“But make no mistake, said Emerson: the reason this was a seminal day in history was not because she was convicted but because of the successful influence of the massive terrorist lobby in the United States which has been lobbying for years in claiming she was framed by the “Jewish Lobby.” That so many ‘mainstream Islamic organizations, human rights groups and academic professors came to the defense of a murderer and perpetuated the “big lie” perfected by Goebbels was scurrilously demonstrated today. That these groups– who have defended a confessed terrorist murderer and then claimed she never did it—have been so routinely welcomed as respected guests into the halls of the White House, State Department, DHS, DOJ, FBI, Chicago Mayor’s Office and by the mainstream media especially the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times represents one of the most darkest days in American history. Yes we should rejoice that justice was finally achieved.
“But the legacy of the massive coalition of such allegedly respectable groups lobbying in support of a confessed terrorist killer is something this country needs to confront. And it starts at the White House and it extends to the mainstream media and to local city officials who by virtue of legitimizing these proterrorist lobby groups have blood on their own hands. “
Odeh with her interpreter before Judge Drain (sketch by Jerry Lemenu)
DETROIT – Rasmieh Odeh, a Palestinian woman who conceived of and led a deadly 1969 Jerusalem bombing plot that killed two civilians, has had her citizenship revokedand will serve 18 months in an American prison for naturalization fraud. Prosecutors had asked for her to serve five to seven years. Her defense maintains even her 18-month sentence in prison is “unjust”.
Odeh never would have been allowed into the United States, and never would have been naturalized as an American citizen, had immigration officials known about the 10 years she spent in Israeli prisons for helping bomb a Jerusalem supermarket, killing two Hebrew University students. But Odeh, 67, failed to disclose that history, checking “no” on her immigration and naturalization applications to questions that asked if she had ever been arrested, convicted or imprisoned.
Those false answers allowed her to live an idyllic life in America for 20 years. Her lies ultimately caught up with her, and the prosecutors, to their credit, initiated an investigation and prosecution that resulted in her conviction on one count of naturalization fraud last November.
U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain said Thursday that Odeh’s case was about “lying under oath” but had been “politicized” to make the Palestinian-Israeli conflict the “rallying point to engender sympathy.”
Regular naturalization fraud guidelines, in this case, recommend that Odeh serve 15-21 months in prison, but prosecutors urged Judge Drain to go far beyond those guidelines due to the nature of the crime she hid from authorities. A sentence of five to seven years fits the crime, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel argued, saying the original guideline range would fail to deter other terrorists who might consider seeking entry into the United States by failing to disclose their terrorist backgrounds.
Judge Drain cited the prosecution’s deterrence argument saying he wanted to “impose a sentence that will make people think twice before lying under oath to enter the country.” He chided Odeh saying, “you don’t have respect for the law.” He added that “people are watching this case” and he wanted to set a precedent that “promotes respect for the law.”
Judge Drain also said that Odeh not only committed perjury in how she filled out the application, claiming she thought it only applied to her time in the U.S., he also pointed out that she testified about her alleged “torture” and Israeli conviction despite repeated instructions by the court not to do so. For these actions, he not only revoked her citizenship, he sentenced her to 18 months in prison – still far below a prison term of five to seven years that the prosecution requested.
Odeh apologized for knowingly disobeying the judge’s instructions during her trial, explaining that the words just “came out on their own”. Yet she continued to speak at length at her sentencing about her “difficult and harsh” childhood growing up under “Israeli occupation.”
She justified her membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, (PFLP), a known terrorist group, as understandable: “As a woman in an occupied territory, everyone struggled against occupation and I was one of them,” she said, adding that it was not her fault if people made her into an “icon.”
“Every time I do something, something happens and takes me to the zero point,” Odeh said, citing her birth in Palestine and refugee experience in Jordan, while denying responsibility for the murders she participated in.
Footage from a 2004 film, “Women in Struggle” and from a 1993 video, entitled, “Tell Your Tale Little Bird” revealed incriminating evidence of Odeh’s role in the Supersol supermarket bombing in 1969. Footage from a 1970 hijacking showed a female PFLP terrorist identifying her group as “Task Force Rasmieh Odeh.”
Defense attorneys did not want Odeh to have to serve any prison time. They emphasized her community activism in Chicago and persisted in attacking the credibility of Odeh’s conviction in Israel.
In their sentencing memorandum, Odeh’s attorneys wrote that the government’s recommendation was a “draconian sentence, for illegitimate political purposes” designed to “curry favor with their American Zionist constituents and obfuscate 67 years of Israeli terrorism.”
Odeh’s principal attorney, Michael Deutsch who has defended Islamic terrorists for years, emphasized Odeh’s “extraordinary” work within the Arab American and larger community in Chicago. Unfortunately, he said, the sentencing guidelines “do not talk about a person’s contributions to society. But here was a woman who came to the country, she had not taken but given of herself to make this a better place for the immigrants who come here.” He cited her age and “physical and psychological conditions” as reasons justifying a more lenient sentence. Odeh has been “punished enough” and “to use the fact that 45 years ago that she may have been involved in resistance activity seems to me to be unfair and unnecessary,” he said.
“Deutsch’s description of [Odeh’s] participation in the killing of two civilians as ‘resistance activity’ is nauseating, revolting, appalling and reflects the same justification invoked by terrorists around the world when they kill innocent civilians”, said Steven Emerson, Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.
Odeh is the associate director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago. Her prosecution sparked a campaign by colleagues and supporters aimed at pressuring the U.S. Attorney to drop the case. Dozens of people traveled from Chicago, where Odeh now lives, to Detroit, to pack the courtroom during the trial and demonstrate in front of the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse.
Despite his recognition of Odeh’s repeated flouting of U.S. law, Judge Drain also nodded to the influence of her campaign of supporters.
To the dismay of anti-terrorism experts who have been following the trial, Judge Drain applauded Odeh’s social activism within the Arab American and larger community, stating that Odeh was once a “terrorist”, but “that was a situation decades ago.” He said that today she was a “reformed” person: “No doubt in my mind she [Odeh] has changed and reformed.” She is engaged in “positive and constructive activities right now.”
Even still, Judge Drain pointed out that Odeh’s background did not excuse her involvement in terrorist acts and subsequent lies. “You grew up in a war environment. It’s not a whole lot different from a lot of people I see in some ways,” he said.