Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Every now and then, it’s nice to pull back from the combat zone to take a look at some of the tools and weapons used in our battles with Israel’s enemies.  And, given that we’re primarily fighting against a propaganda war, Martin Luther King Day gives us the chance to learn about an important verbal jousting technique known as the “Halo Effect.”

Like many persuasive tools, the Halo Effect takes advantage of the fact that the human mind is extremely gifted at making associations, but that many of those associations are formed in the absence of full knowledge.  Some uninformed associations (like associating a rustle in the bushes with danger, even if it’s just the wind) have obvious evolutionary benefit.  But uninformed associations can have a dark side (prejudice, for example, falls into this category), and the mind’s tendency to associate first and ask questions later (if ever) leaves us vulnerable to manipulation.

It is the propagandist’s job to create uniformed associations to the benefit of their cause.  For example, the BDSers’ incessant incantation of “Israel=Apartheid” is meant to cement an association in the mind of an audience that Israel represents the kind of racist society associated with the “Apartheid” term.  The boycotters must pitch this message to those who have no idea what Israel is like, since such factual knowledge would instantly expose the Apartheid accusation as a lie.  But they also prefer their audience to know nothing (or next to nothing) about South Africa’s actual experience with the Apartheid system, which leaves the term serving simply as a marker for a bigoted society worthy of dismantlement.

In general, the Halo Effect is used to associate your own cause with a person, image or movement with positive connotations.  Invocation of Gandhi, for example, gives your cause a halo of spirit-driven, non-violent resistance to power, just as invoking Reagan or Kennedy associates you with the perception of uncompromised conservative or liberal principles (regardless of the complex lives and political beliefs of all three icons).

In the Arab-Israeli propaganda, no icon is the subject of more dispute than Martin Luther King, which is why quotes of his support of Zionism show up on so many pro-Israel web sites every Martin Luther King Day.  Anti-Israel propagandists, desperate to claim the mantle of the Civil Rights movement for themselves, ignore, deny or dispute King’s support for the Jewish state, and thus the ongoing war over King’s legacy.

Keep in mind that the Halo Effect does not require in-depth education of the public on the facts of the matter.  In fact, diving deeply into the complex real lives and beliefs of any icon (the ones already mentioned, or additional ones like Nelson Mandela or Albert Einstein) are as likely to lead to confusion over where they ultimately stood.  And for purposes of generating a halo to stand inside, a simple story will always trump a complex one.

So how to best use this technique, both to cement our own causes to worthy individuals and messages and prevent our enemies from doing the same?

I’ve already mentioned the importance of keeping your story simple.  But while simplification of complex stories is acceptable in political argumentation, such simplicity should never stray into inaccuracy.  For example, it’s fair to highlight that Nelson Mandela never advocated for BDS or point out his positive experiences with the Jewish state.  But using that to claim Mandela as an ardent Zionist would be a stretch into self-delusion or deception that could damage the credibility of anyone making such statements.

Identifying the line between telling an easily digestible tale and telling fibs is the key to using the Halo Effect to maximum advantage, as well as limiting its effectiveness for opponents.  For example, years ago a memo in which Nelson Mandela condemned Israel as an Apartheid state was exposed as a fraud, a hoax that has limited the BDSers ability to invoke his name ever since.  And while similarly inaccurate quotes from Martin Luther King condemning anti-Zionism were also exposed as incorrect, our side benefited from exposing this inaccuracy ourselves, rather than waiting for our opponents to do so.

So what’s the bottom line for activists whose main weapon is language?  First off, understand human psychology and the tools of persuasive communication (like the Halo Effect) well enough to put them to use for a worthy cause, and (2) always hitch these techniques to the truth (which is not that hard, given that the truth is on our side).

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From Ian:

Israeli security forces find cell phone bomb in Joseph's Tomb
Israeli security forces removed a bomb on Monday from Joseph's Tomb in Nablus in the West Bank, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

The bomb, found in a cell phone during a security scan to secure the tomb for about 1,000 worshipers, was removed from the tomb and detonated by security forces. Protestors threw stones at security forces upon their entry to and departure from the site, damaging their bus but resulting in no casualties.

Nablus, built on the site of the ancient Biblical city of Shehem, is located in Area A of the West Bank, which is exclusively administered by the Palestinian Authority.

The Jewish holy site has been targeted by Palestinians in the past. In October of 2015, hundreds of rioters set the tomb ablaze before being dispersed by Palestinian Authority police. The religious site suffered severe damage, but again, no one was wounded.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the arson, stressing "his rejection of these actions and all actions that violate law and order, and which distort our culture, our morals and our religion.”
MEMRI: Palestinian Authority Honors Two Prisoners Serving Life Sentences For Kidnapping, Murder Of Israeli Soldier; Representative For PA President 'Abbas: 'The Two Prisoners Are A National Example'
On January 14, 2018, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Prisoners Affairs Authority, in conjunction with the governor of the Ramallah district and the Palestinian Prisoners Club, held an event in Ramallah to mark the 36th year of imprisonment of two Israeli-Arab terrorists – Kareem Younis, aka "The Eldest of Prisoners," and his cousin Maher Younis – serving life sentences in Israel for the 1980 kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg. During the event, senior Fatah officials heaped praise on the two, describing them as "national examples of steadfastness" and "one of the symbols of the Palestinian struggle."

Fatah deputy chairman and Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul, who spoke at the event as the representative of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said: "The two prisoners are a national example of steadfastness for the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation. They are a symbol from among the symbols of the Palestinian struggle, along with thousands of prisoners who have paid and are still paying a high price for the liberation of their people."

The head of the Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Authority, Issa Qaraqe, also spoke, saying: "The Israel jailor cannot break the willpower of the prisoners Kareem and Maher Younis, no matter how long their incarceration continues. Their struggle against the prisons of the occupation is a source of pride to all Palestinians."

Ramallah District Governor Dr. Laila Ghannam said: "The prisoners gave their lives for Palestine, and so it is our obligation to stand by them and support their families until they are released from prison."

Palestinian Prisoners Club head Qadura Fares said: "This event is in recognition of their sacrifice. They were and still remain a national school [sic] for the ongoing struggle against the occupation and its arrogance."
Melanie Phillips: Abbas tears off the mask
This outrageous speech was almost certainly prompted by the fact that Abbas and co realise that with Trump the game is now up. The US will no longer promote the interests of these Palestinian Arabs who have been given a free pass for their murderous lies all these years.

But Britain and the EU did not go along with Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. They continue to misrepresent international law and blame Israel falsely for preventing a peaceful solution to the Middle East impasse while persistently excusing, justifying and thus conniving at Palestinian Arab rejectionism.

In short, Britain and the EU continue to support, validate and this connive at an agenda aimed at the extermination of Israel promoted by hallucinatory lies and libels about the Jewish people along with gross Holocaust denial.

Abbas’s speech should be sent to every member of the British parliament, and the Prime Minister, Theresa May, should be asked how Britain can continue to give any money at all to such open antisemites and Holocaust deniers. She should be asked how the British government can continue to support giving such people a state of their own. She should be asked why the British government has ignored this horrifying reality, and the constant mortal danger it poses for the Israelis, for so long.

But then, many British people will be unaware of the appalling nature of Abbas’s speech since the BBC chose to bowdlerise it, as BBC Watch observes here.

Abbas clearly felt he had nothing to lose by making this speech. America has made clear it will no longer give the time of day to such an unconscionable agenda. Only Britain and the EU continue to keep it alive, to their undying shame.

  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Haaretz has an article by former US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, where he tears apart Abbas' nonsensical and hateful speech:

His bizarre description of Israel as colonial creation of European powers, his canard that Israel has no organic connection to Jewish history, is completely inconsistent with any plausible logic of accepting a two-state deal. His accusation of Israel importing drugs to poison Palestinian youth is shameful.

And his ardent defense of the payments made to Palestinian terrorists in prison tells Israelis, Palestinians, and the U.S. Congress that he will not educate Palestinians to give up violence directed at civilians in their struggle for independence.

Here’s a thought experiment: Let’s say a more strategic version of Trump, capitalizing on (rather than wasting) the goodwill built up by envoys, had already - either before or together with his Jerusalem announcement -submitted a perfect plan for the "ultimate deal"/two-state solution, in which all legitimate Palestinian aspirations could be achieved. If Abbas believes the nonsense in his speech delegitimizing Israel’s existence, there is no way he could accept it.

But then Shapiro, who should know better, falls into the lazy false conventional wisdom that Israel's leadership is just as bad:
A similar thought experiment applies: Even if Abbas, or some other Palestinian leader, met every Israeli condition - recognition as a Jewish state, renouncing the right of return of refugees, extensive arrangements to ensure Israel’s security - there is no chance that the current coalition would meet him halfway.

What does Shapiro base this on? Bibi has spelled out these exact conditions as necessary for peace. Why doesn't Shapiro believe him?

Because he reads Haaretz?

Well, Haaretz is what proved that Bibi is far more willing to compromise than any Palestinian leader!

We've mentioned it before. Haaretz reported that Bibi accepted a US-drafted framework for peace and to create a Palestinian state.

This was in 2014. This is Haaretz' graphic summarizing what happened:

Is Shapiro confidently predicting that the current coalition would reject a plan that Bibi approves? It is possible, but he really needs to show support for such a position rather than declare it as fact outright. Israelis have shown enthusiasm for peace before, and it seems unlikely that a peace plan that addresses all Israeli concerns would be turned down.

Obviously, we will never know, because Palestinian intransigence is so much deeper and embedded than the most right wing parts of Israel's ruling coalition. But Shapiro knows the players. If he has evidence for his assertion, and is not falling into the Obama mindset of "Bibi=Likud='most right wing government in Israel's history'," he should spell it out.

And if he has some inside information  that Haaretz's reporting on the 2014 negotiations is inaccurate, and in fact Netanyahu is who rejected the Obama/Kerry framework, we need to know that as well.

UPDATE: Shapiro responded via tweet:
Not what I’m implying. I’m very clear on the responsibility Abbas bears. I also address the fact that the vast majority of the ministers in the current govt are very clear (& proud) that they do not seek and would not support 2 states. I listen to them and take them at their word.
I replied:
But do you think that Bibi would hold new elections if something like that happened? In other words, do you think they have veto power? Because if not, still no analogy.
No response yet.

Menachem Begin faced fierce opposition from his cabinet as well when he was selling the Egyptian peace treaty.

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  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Times of Israel:
Army sappers detonated a cellphone-operated explosive device that was apparently planted by Palestinians at the entrance to the Joseph’s Tomb holy site in the city of Nablus early Tuesday morning, ahead of a visit by approximately 1,000 Jewish worshipers, the army said.

There were no injuries or significant damage caused by the controlled blast, and the pilgrimage to the shrine continued as planned, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said.

A remote controlled bomb is not something that a lone-wolf terrorist does. This was a well-planned terror attack, done under the noses of the Palestinian Authority (if not with their actual tacit support.)

Dozens could have been killed and wounded. And the people who come to worship at Josephs Tomb are by and large not big Zionists - just religious Jews who brave terrible conditions to visit late at night.

Of course, under signed agreements, the Palestinian Authority is supposed to allow free access to Jews to their holy places. In reality, the Jews would be torn limb from limb if they tried to visit on their own, and they need to be protected by the army and border police.
According to the military, as the group was leaving the area, local residents began to throw rocks at the troops and the buses, causing no injuries, but some light damage to the vehicles.

This is as pure an example of Jew-hatred as one can imagine.

But B'Tselem doesn't support freedom to worship. It supports the people who attack the Jews.
Pilgrimages by Israeli or foreign civilians to the Joseph’s Tomb holy site are frequent catalysts for violence. In the past, Nablus residents have attacked the groups visiting the site with rocks, Molotov cocktails and rifle fire.

As a result, those interested in visiting the site require a military escort.

The left-wing B’Tselem rights group has condemned the routine practice, saying that “Israel has preferred the interest of Jewish worshipers over the rights of the Palestinian residents, their security, their safety and their daily routine.”
The only reason the army need to be there is to protect the Jews from mobs of stone throwers (and potential bombers.) Otherwise, the Jews could visit peacefully and leave peacefully, not having to come in groups of a thousand at midnight but coming throughout the day. Souvenir stands could be placed nearby and the economy of Nablus could improve.

It isn't the Jews who disrupt the lives of the resident of Nablus - it is the residents of Nablus who hate Jews so much that they must stone and firebomb them.

But B'Tselem shows that it really doesn't care about human rights at all. Palestinians have the absolute right to keep Jews out of their town, and Jews have no right to peacefully pray at their holy site.

I found the Facebook post where B'Tselem says this. It is an amazing inversion of cause and effect. Residents of Nablus are crying to B'Tselem "researchers" about how they hear and smell tear gas firings - but the idea that there would be no clashes if Palestinians didn't attack Jewish worshipers is simply incomprehensible to these "humanitarians." No, to B'Tselem, Palestinians are animals who literally cannot stop themselves from attacking Jews, and it is Jews who are responsible for being attacked by the unfortunate fact that they exist.

This is not human rights. This is supporting terror and Jew-hatred. And for this reason alone, B'Tselem has discredited itself as any kind of moral authority.

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  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

From Arutz-7:
Advanced in years, Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Bohrer, of blessed memory, passed away on Shabbat. He and his wife Helen were among the original founders of the town Bet El, living in an army camp under minimal conditions. Rabbi Bohrer was a renowned tour guide and speaker, and worked on behalf of Yeshivat Bet El since its founding 40 years ago.
Rabbi Bohrer dedicated his life to the success and building of Bet El Institutions, dedicating his talents and wisdom to furthering the blossoming of Bet El up to and including the last weeks of his life.
Based on this 1964 NYT article about his being the first Israeli to receive rabbinical ordination at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Bohrer must have been 87 years old:

I knew Rabbi Bohrer. In 2007, when he was 76, he acted as an unpaid tour guide for my family in Israel, and his encyclopedic knowledge of the land, or archaeology and geography, as well as of the Tanach (Hebrew scriptures) gave us a side of Israel we could never have seen otherwise.

He took us to Tzfat (Safed,) Tiberias, Hebron, Jerusalem, the memorial of the slain girls by a Jordanian soldier at the site of the Island of Peace massacre, the tomb of the prophet Samuel right after it was attacked and vandalized by Arabs, his beloved Bet El, Masada and the Dead Sea.

Rabbi Bohrer was a scary driver but his love for Israel was total. He literally dedicated his life to the land. He wrote scholarly papers all his life. I just found this video of him giving s lecture a couple of years ago about the transformation of Canaan to Eretz Yisrael:

My family kept in touch with him. He met me and Mrs. Elder other times we visited Israel. He did an enormous favor for me personally that can never be repaid, helping me to purchase my own Holocaust-era Torah (from eBay!)  and having a friend of his who is a scribe repair it to make it kosher, and then bringing it personally to America for me, explaining how to care for it.

We saw him nearly every year when he came to America for fundraising, and we discussed projects we wanted to collaborate on, but alas they will never come to be.

May his memory be a blessing.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

From Ian:

The left’s latest bid to delegitimize the Jewish state
Jerusalem defied many in the media’s expectations that it would explode into violence after President Trump’s decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital. But that hasn’t stopped some liberal Zionists from predicting doom — and the demise of their own ideology.

Michelle Goldberg wrote in The New York Times this week that the announcement, along with the fruition of plans to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, would be the prime cause for the death of “liberal Zionism” — a concept that isn’t explicitly defined but is generally understood to center on a two-state solution. Goldberg claimed Trump showed “Palestinians and Israelis alike” that he was “giving the Israeli government carte blanche to continue claiming Palestinian territory,” even though she admitted the administration was “not prejudging the status of Jerusalem in a final peace deal.”

There is likely a one-state future, and it “can be Jewish or it can be democratic, but it cannot be both,” Goldberg argued. “Trump’s embassy decision was thus another nail in the coffin of liberal Zionism.”

She wasn’t alone. On Dec. 6, the day of Trump’s embassy announcement, Haroon Moghul wrote for NBC News that it “signal[ed] that the two-state solution is pretty much dead.” The next day, UCLA Professor Saree Makdisi wrote an op-ed titled “Trump Just Dealt a Death Blow to the Two-State Solution” in the Los Angeles Times. Both were riddled with half-truths and selective omissions of history — namely any mention of Arab nations rejecting repeated land-for-peace offers by Israel or the fact that Arab countries initiated many of the wars where, as Makdisi put it, Israel “illegally” took land.

It’s a particularly egregious bit of hypocrisy. From the Arab League’s famous “Three No’s” (no peace, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel) after the Six-Day War to Linda Sarsour telling Haaretz last year that she desired not a two-state solution but a single state (without Jewish self-determination), when those opposed to Israel’s existence have actually denounced a two-state plan, they’re not accused of hindering the peace process.

Should America Stop Funding UNRWA?
UNRWA provides aid to Palestinians. But it does some harmful things too: slandering Jews and putting Israeli lives in danger. It even worsens the refugee problem. Trump wants to cut funding. So why is the Israeli PM urging him to reconsider? The answers might surprise you.

UNICEF: Another UN Agency corrupted by anti-Israel politics
ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Boko Haram justifiably appear on the UN’s list of grave violators of children’s rights in conflict zones. But UNICEF is also spearheading a campaign to have Israel’s military included on this blacklist, which could lead to Security Council sanctions if successful.

It’s preposterous that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) could be grouped among terror groups and militias from failed states, together with the planet’s worst offenders in terms of protecting children.

But the problem is that UNICEF has for years been partnering with a group of virulently anti-Israel non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who play an integral role in advancing this campaign to blacklist the IDF, receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from UNICEF to do so.

These NGOs, some of whom reportedly have links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group, supply UNICEF’s Palestinian office (UNICEF-oPt) with a steady stream of inaccurate information and distorted claims about Israel’s justice system and the operations of its security forces.

This propaganda then becomes the basis for misleading and false UNICEF reports about the alleged mistreatment of Palestinian minors involved in violent attacks and who are subsequently arrested by the IDF.

Basically, UNICEF has allowed itself to become corrupted by a virulently anti-Israel and pro-BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) agenda, which is now perverting its mandate of child protection and its guidelines of neutrality and impartiality, as documented in a 49 page report released last week by the watchdog group NGO Monitor, UNICEF and its NGO Working Group: The Campaign to Blacklist the IDF.
UNICEF and its NGO Working Group: The Campaign to Blacklist the IDF

  • Monday, January 15, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Amnesty International says:
Israeli authorities must release a 16-year-old Palestinian activist who could face up to 10 years in prison over an altercation with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank last month, Amnesty International said as she appeared in court today.

Ahed Tamimi will go before Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank accused of aggravated assault and 11 other charges after a video showing her shoving, slapping and kicking two Israeli soldiers in her home village of Nabi Saleh on 15 December went viral on Facebook.

“Nothing that Ahed Tamimi has done can justify the continuing detention of a 16-year-old girl. The Israeli authorities must release her without delay. In capturing an unarmed teenage girl’s assault on two armed soldiers wearing protective gear, the footage of this incident shows that she posed no actual threat and that her punishment is blatantly disproportionate,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
Amnesty is saying that Israeli soldiers should just allow children to attack them.

But it gets worse. Amnesty tacitly supports and praises the assaults:
“Ahed Tamimi’s ensuing arrest and military trial exposes the Israeli authorities’ discriminatory treatment of Palestinian children who dare to stand up to ongoing, often brutal, repression by occupying forces.
“It would be an unconscionable travesty of justice if Ahed Tamini’s act of defiance in the face of relentless oppression earns her a long prison sentence after a trial in a military court that does not ensure basic fair trial standards.”
Amnesty is encouraging children to assault armed soldiers, telling them that the soldiers do not have the right to defend themselves nor to arrest them. And that the human rights community will praise them and turn them into heroes.

Amnesty would never encourage children to attack armed Syrian or Russian soldiers. Because those soldiers would kill the children without a moment's hesitation - and without any fear of condemnation by Amnesty.

But Israel has completely different rules for "human rights" NGOs.

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In a post entitled “The Tamimi masterclass on media manipulation,” I documented some two years ago in considerable detail that Bassem and Nariman Tamimi (i.e. the parents of Ahed Tamimi) feel completely free to tell credulous reporters invented stories that depict them and their children as innocent victims of Israeli brutality. The specific incident I investigated also showed that – even when it comes to her own children – Nariman Tamimi’s grim philosophy is “Either victory or martyrdom.”

A recent example shows Bassem Tamimi displaying a similarly cold-hearted fanaticism – but only for Arab audiences. Thanks to an admirer of the Tamimis, we can watch clips with English subtitles (h/t @kweansmom) from an interview that Bassem Tamimi recently gave to the Lebanese media network Al Mayadeen. According to Wikipedia, the network’s “editorial policy emphasizes that Palestine and resistance movements wherever they are found are its point of reference” and “that the Palestinian cause is the channel’s centerpiece;” there have also been claims that “the channel is a propaganda platform for Iran and Hezbollah.”

The Al Mayadeen interviewer is obviously eager to let Ahed’s father Bassem Tamimi tell their audience what an awesome “resistance” icon he has brought up. In the first clip, Ahed’s proud dad explains that after publishing the video of Ahed punching, kicking and slapping two Israeli soldiers, the family anticipated her arrest. Bassem Tamimi doesn’t mention the fact that it was Ahed’s mother who posted the video on her Facebook page – thus apparently trying to ensure her daughter’s arrest – and he doesn’t mention the fact that the video also includes a segment where Ahed, prompted by her loving mom to give a “message to the world,” is calling for stabbings and suicide bombings.

As Bassem Tamimi explains to Al Mayadeen, even though the family anticipated Ahed’s arrest, it would have been wrong “to break (stop) a possible exemplar (of resistance) because “our people need to see a specific moment even if there is a price to pay.”

After outlining his views on futile Israeli attempts to intimidate Palestinians, Bassem Tamimi is asked by his interviewer what sentence he expects for Ahed. He calmly responds that he expects his daughter to be sentenced to a year and a half in prison, and he vows to reject any possible “agreement”: “We will not break her challenge so that she pleads guilty in front of this judge. This will be offered to us for the sake of extortion, [but] we will reject it [and] she will completely reject it.” Bassem Tamimi also claims that Ahed “said to her siblings ‘you are not allowed to have an agreement’” and supposedly, Ahed said the same to him in previous instances when he was arrested.

Emphasizing again that Ahed “rejects making an agreement,” Bassem Tamimi declares: “so we have two choices: completely rejecting the legitimacy of the [Israeli] court, or asking to put the court on trial by way of a global opinion (pressure).”

Of course, this is not really an either-or choice: the strategy Bassem Tamimi outlines obviously involves rejecting any compromise with the Israeli authorities AND mobilizing public opinion against Israel. This has been the Tamimis’ strategy for years, and according to this interview, the Tamimis intend to follow it through also now – even if it means a considerable prison sentence for their teenage daughter. The global publicity activists and sycophantic media outlets provide to the Tamimis makes it very worthwhile for them to have Ahed locked up for a year or two.

A fourth clip from the interview is summarized by the translator as follows: “Ahed’s father tells @AlMayadeenNews of how his little resistor is driving the Zionist establishment insane, discovering there [their] spying devices and leaving them baffled.”

Yet, the clip starts with Bassem Tamimi presenting a dire picture of the hardships and dangers his daughter is facing in Israeli detention – a “child” taken to “a jail cell” and facing endless interrogations; “the main court brings people to yell, threaten with rape & all these things” – but then Bassem Tamimi gloats that Ahed discovered “spying devices.”

He also confesses: “I was extremely happy when she told me ‘a police officer started yelling out of frustration, that’s when I knew I won, and he was defeated.’” Then Bassem Tamimi returns to the story about the “spying devices”, which his daughter supposedly discovered when her mother Nariman and her cousin were brought to her cell. Ahed gestured to them not to talk until she found the “spying device” and started “talking to (toying with) them [i.e. presumably the Israeli ‘spies’], mocking them.”  And Bassem Tamimi proudly concludes: “I saw that she was like a stone, all this pressure on a child hasn’t affected her one bit.”

So this is the version for Arab audiences – you can watch the strikingly different version for English-speaking western audiences here: a sad Bassem Tamimi who worries terribly about his daughter and wants her to be just a normal teenager…

Last but not least, here’s a revealing Al Mayadeen clip about how Ahed Tamimi is presented to her fans in the Arab world – and you don’t have to know Arabic, because the pictures glorifying Ahed speak for themselves, showing clearly that her Arab fans know very well that the Tamimis are not fighting Israeli settlements or the occupation of the West Bank, but Israel’s existence as a Jewish state in any borders.

I was intrigued by one image in particular: it seemed to be cut at the bottom corners, which are also obstructed by the line of text displayed in the Al Mayadeen clip. So I took a screenshot and did a reverse image search – which was worth it: the full image shows Ahed wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh and a shirt adorned with a map that presents Israel, the West Bank and Gaza as one country; two rats wearing caps with a Star of David viciously chew at her flowing hair.

The image was apparently very popular on Facebook and Twitter; interestingly – and depressingly – it was also retweeted by Samya Ayish, who describes herself as a Palestinian “Journalist/ Producer in @CNNArabic.” Perhaps Ayish didn’t notice the antisemitic imagery of the two rats with the Star of David, but she surely didn’t have a problem reading the Arabic text of the tweet which praised Ahed for wearing (or representing) “the amulet of Palestine ... all of Palestine.” So it seems that at least at CNN Arabic, they know what the Tamimis stand for.

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From Ian:

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: The speech in which Abbas dug his own grave
Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, has delivered a speech triggered by his rage at the President of the United States Donald Trump, going so far as to hurl the most bitter curse in the Arabic language at the POTUS: "May your house be destroyed."

This imprecation does not merely relate to someone's present home, but to all the members of his family being thrown into the street to lead lives of destitution, humiliation and shame. Only someone familiar with Middle Eastern culture understands the real significance of this curse.

The question that naturally rises is what happened that brought Abbas to the point where he is willing to burn his bridges with the US President and deliver a speech whose import is the severing of relations with the country which serves as chief funder of UNRWA, also pushing the US president towards a negative stand on the "Palestinian Issue."

"Jerusalem, Capital of Palestine," is an idea created after the Six Day War and further developed after the Oslo Accords were signed in September 1993. Arafat turned it into a mantra, while official Israel – Shmon Peres, Yossi Beilin, Alon Liel and their cohorts – did nothing to stop him. They told us that the expression is meant for a Palestinian Arab audience, i.e. for "internal use" only. "Millions of shahids are on the march to Jerusalem!!" Arafat shouted day and night, but they told us to ignore it, that these were empty words, merely a pipe dream.

The world, led by Europe, went along with this Palestinian house of cards, financing it with billions of dollars over the years in the hopes of turning it into a real concrete structure, simply ignoring reality. Europe supported the establishment of a "Palestinian peace-loving state alongside Israel" while forgetting the fact that the PLO ideology calls for destroying the Jewish State and that its logo includes the map of that "Palestine" reaching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

MEMRI: Palestinian Journalist: Judaism Has Been A 'Religion Of Hatred' Toward All Mankind For The Past 3,000 Years That Surpasses Nazism In Its Cruelty
In an article he published on August 4, 2017 in the Omani Al-Watan daily, Palestinian journalist Jawad Al-Bashiti, who resides in Jordan, wrote that Judaism has been a "religion of hatred" toward all mankind for the past 3,000 years, and that the Jews invented a god of their own who, they claim, instructs them to take the gentiles' property and to kill their elderly, women, and infants. Al-Bashiti concluded his article by saying that, if the Jews' "delusions" remain fixed in the minds of the "new Israelis," Nazism will seem like "a drop in the ocean of the Talmudic beastliness." It should be noted that slightly different versions of this article have been published in the past.

The following are excerpts from the article:
"According to every criterion of human development and progress, cultural, ethical and scientific, especially in the 21st century, there is nothing worse than devotion, in theory and in practice, to the Jewish religion – the Torah and the Talmud – and there is nothing worse than when this devotion takes on a Zionist and political [guise]… Judaism – the legends and the fables that it adopted, claimed for itself, created and developed, and the concepts, ideologies, and ideas that it invented – is the religion of hatred toward all mankind. And although in its Zionist permutation it directs the bulk of its hatred toward Palestinians and Arabs, the fact is that [Judaism] represents 3,000 years of hostility and hatred toward [all] gentiles, in other words, toward mankind as a whole...

"The ancient nomadic group [called] the Hebrews or the People of Israel fabricated the Jewish perception so that it would be consistent, in general and in principle, with this group's social and historical reality:... [The Jews] were a nomadic people that knew nothing of the culture of the ancient nations or of [life] in neighboring regions. They lived in a state of war and by means of war. Anxious about their survival, they distanced themselves from the danger of assimilation and absorption into the cultured pagan nations, and [adopted] a culture of war that is in no way similar to any [other] culture because of their beastliness and hostility toward non-Jews, i.e. toward all of mankind. They invented a god for themselves – Yahweh – according to their social and historic ideal. They first 'Judaized' the heavens so that they could Judaize the land, in other words, the land of the others, i.e. Palestine, which they saw in their Talmudic visions as the Promised Land…

  • Monday, January 15, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

From the Hollywood Reporter:
Lebanon has banned Steven Spielberg's newspaper drama The Post just days before the film is set to premiere in Beirut.

A source involved with The Post's international rollout says the movie, which stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, was presented to the Lebanese censorship board, which nixed it, citing a "boycott Israel" list that includes Spielberg due to his Oscar-winning Holocaust film Schindler's List (the 1993 film shot some scenes in Jerusalem).

The matter has been transferred to Lebanon's Minister of Interior and Municipalities, who could overturn the decision.

Unlike Gal Gadot, whose film Wonder Woman was banned in Lebanon in May, Spielberg is not an Israeli citizen, nor has he ever fought with the Israeli Army. Lebanon is officially at war with Israel.
But there is one nagging question:

 [O]ver the past three years, at least five films either directed or produced by Spielberg were accepted and approved by the censorship board and it is only now that it is invoking Spielberg's inclusion on the "boycott Israel" list. Both The BFG and Bridge of Spies — which mark Spielberg's two most recent helming efforts before The Post — were released in Lebanon.
Why would the Lebanese censors be more sensitive over a newspaper drama?

The most plausible reason is because, to the censors, newspaper=media=Jewish.

The obvious thing to do is to find an Israeli or Zionist or Jewish connection with every film being made and publicize them.

I'm sure the Lebanese people will be happy when they can only watch Arab films.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Monday, January 15, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

(Part 1 here)

During his speech yesterday, Mahmoud Abbas gave a long review of what he considers history, and he introduced it by saying that it came from Abdelwahab Elmessiri's "Encyclopedia of Jews, Judaism and Zionism," an eight-volume work praised by antisemites for its seeming scholarship. (I've looked at Elmessiri before.)

Abbas introduced this section of his speech with a quote from Elmessiri, "The functional nature of Israel means that it was created by the colonialism for a specific purpose. It is thus a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism".

In going through his bizarre history of Zionism, Abbas claims that Theodor Herzl said upon visiting Palestine, "We have to erase the Palestinians from Palestine to make Palestine as a land without people for a people without a land", and this was the basis of the slogan " a land without a people for a people without a land."

This is complete fiction.

Abbas praised the Mufti of Jerusalem in this speech, who colluded with Hitler to help in any way he could to exterminate the Jews. Does anything more need to be said?

(It is reported that Abbas also said that Europeans asked Holland to move Jews to Palestine, and other bizarre ideas. Those parts were not in the official transcript.)

He says that according to UNRWA, there were 950,000 refugees from the 1948 war, not the lower numbers cited by "Zionists." This is also a lie. UNRWA in 1950 said that there were 950,000 who claimed to be refugees, but it admitted that many of them were not refugees or were from families lying to get more rations. The report says that UNRWA accepts that the actual number is about 751,000. And that number is suspect, too. (Efraim Karsh estimates less than 500,000.)

Abbas claims that the UN admitted Israel as a state on condition of its acceptance of UNGA resolutions 194 and 181. This isn't true, as a glance at UN documents at the time shows.

Abbas goes on to say that David Ben Gurion didn't want Jews from Arab countries to immigrate because he hated them and they were just like Arabs. This is sort of insane.

Then in the next sentence Abbas says that Ben Gurion worked with Arab leaders to force the Jews out of Arab countries by taking away their citizenship so they would come to Israel. All of the official Arab antisemitism in the wake of 1948 is now considered to have been started by Israel, according to Abbas.

Abbas repeated what he has said many times over the years: He bragged that the Palestinians have made no concessions since 1988, when they declared independence on the "territories" (without dropping their claim for all of Israel.) He insisted yet again that they are nnever going to compromise further.

Intransigence is his pride, while the world still considers him a moderate.

 Abbas went on to say that he is against terrorism, saying that he has signed 83 conventions or assertions against terrorism. Of course, he has never once admitted that Palestinian suicide bombings, bus bombings and rocket fire towards civilians is terrorism to begin with.

Abbas claimed that there are no Palestinians in ISIS. Well, that's another lie.

Abbas said that Palestinians have a "culture of peace." A glance at his own Fatah Facebook page, not to mention the webpages of organizations that he invited to this conference like Islamic Jihad and Hamas, celebrate terror. (He castigated Hamas and Islamic Jihad for not attending.)

After the ludicrous claim that Palestinians have a culture of peace, Abbas strongly defended paying the salaries of terrorists and their families:

There is important is the issue of the salaries of the martyrs and the families of martyrs and prisoners, we refuse to cut these salaries categorically, we will not allow one to touch the salaries of the families of the martyrs and the wounded and prisoners, they are our children and we will continue to pay the money to them.
This is Mahmoud Abbas - a liar and terror supporter who the nations of the world regard as a moderate and a peacemaker. His own words damn him. But no one wants to admit that the most moderate Palestinian leader is as untrustworthy as any other.

Here's video of excerpts. It is truly insane.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Monday, January 15, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Yesterday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas gave a long and bizarre speech castigating the United States and Israel and acting as if the Palestinians are in a position to dictate the parameters of peace.

Sometimes Abbas goes off script and says things that are even more bizarre, but the official transcript is nutty enough to show how little the Palestinians care about facts. (His curse to Trump, "May your house be demolished," was not mentioned in the transcript, for example.)
Jerusalem is the bride of our Arabness, Jerusalem is the crown of the crown, Jerusalem is the flower of the cities, Jerusalem and the Aqsa is what the Prophet said is one of the cities of pilgrimage after Mecca and Madinah.

Nowhere in the Quran does Mohammed mention Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was removed from the table with a Twitter tweet from Mr. Trump. 
Trump made a speech about Jerusalem that in no way removed it from negotiations. ( I wish it would have.) For those who bothered to read it. In this case, Abbas isn't alone - most US critics of Trump didn't read his speech either.
 We are sitting here and we will not commit the mistakes of the past in 1948.....
The mistake of 1948 was not accepting compromise that would have resulted in a Palestinian state - which is the exact same mistake that Abbas is making nowadays.

This country is our country, and this is our country from the days of Canaanites, Incidentally we are the descendants of the Canaanites, and the Bible says that from the days of the Canaanites to this day they did not leave this country, and here we are before our master Abraham, we will not leave this  country ...
Note that Abbas is not referring to the territories, but to all of British Mandate Palestine.

And, no, the Palestinians are not descendants of the Canaanites. (Some Lebanese are, though.) Most Palestinian Arabs are quite proudly Arab, as they say in their own founding documents, and Arabs come from Arabia. Most Palestinian families trace their lineage back to Arabia.

We will not accept [Trump's] project, and we told him the deal of the century is a slap in the face, but we will slap back.
Will the people who have interpreted Israeli settlement activities over the years as a slap in the face of America criticize Abbas for literally saying he will slap America in the face? Amusingly, Saeb Erekat has repeatedly used the phrase "slap in the face" when talking to American leaders about Israeli actions - one wonders if he suddenly approves of face slapping America.

[Zionism is] a colonial project has nothing to do with Judaism, but the Jews used [Judaism] as a tool.... They were under the slogan of the Promised Land and the land of love and they came here. The issue did not start a hundred years ago. It started much earlier in 1653 when Cromwell ruled Britain.
The idea of Jews returning to Zion is as old as the Jewish disapora. Do I need to quote prayers that were composed before Mohammed was born? Do I really need to mention the rabbis who moved back to Eretz Yisrael over the past 2000 years?

Zionism did not start with Cromwell.

This post will be continued - the number of lies is pretty astounding.

Yet the world never seems to be upset at a supposed world leader who lies so easily.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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