Friday, December 15, 2017

From Ian:

Kevin Williamson: It is time to cut off financial support to Abbas
Abbas boasts that the Palestinian state and the Palestinian National Authority no longer receive U.S. aid, but that isn’t quite true. The United States is a very large contributor to UNRWA, the relief agency for Palestinian “refugees.” (There aren’t any Palestinian refugees, really, but, unlike the rest of the world’s peoples, Palestinians inherit refugee status.) The United States is also a large contributor to other U.N. programs and international organizations that provide aid to the Palestinians, who, thanks to their incompetent and malevolent leadership, have no real economy to speak of. In 2016, the United States gave more in aid to the Palestinians than any other country did.

It is time to rethink that.

UNRWA is a troubled and troubling organization on its best day, an encourager and enabler of Palestinian radicalism. The prospects for peace probably would improve if it were dissolved. But, short of that, the United States should consider accommodating President Abbas’s demand and stepping away from the situation for a while, taking our aid money with us. If President Abbas must have his obstinacy and his cheap theatrics, then let him pay the full price for them. Let’s see how much loose change Erdogan can scramble up from the cushions of his ottoman. The haul is likely to be disappointing.

The United States has global interests, and one of those is seeing to the interests of our allies, including Israel. President Abbas thinks the United States has no role in future peace negotiations in the Middle East. One could not blame Americans for thinking much the same thing about him. What’s certain is that American power and American interests will be here when President Abbas has joined the footnotes, and the powers that be in the Islamic world would do well to meditate on that fact.
The Uncomfortable Truth About Swedish Anti-Semitism
This past Saturday, a Hanukkah party at a synagogue in Goteborg, Sweden, was abruptly interrupted by Molotov cocktails. They were hurled by a gang of men in masks at the Jews, mostly teenagers, who had gathered to celebrate the holiday.

Two days later, two fire bombs were discovered outside the Jewish burial chapel in the southern Swedish city of Malmo.

Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

For Sweden’s 18,000 Jews, sadly, none of this comes as a surprise. They are by now used to anti-Semitic threats and attacks — especially during periods of unrest in the Middle East, which provide cover to those whose actual goal has little to do with Israel and much to do with harming Jews.

Both of these recent attacks followed days of incitement against Jews. Last Friday, 200 people protested in Malmo against President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The protesters called for an intifada and promised “we will shoot the Jews.” A day later, during a demonstration in Stockholm, a speaker called Jews “apes and pigs.” There were promises of martyrdom.

Malmo’s sole Hasidic rabbi has reported being the victim of more than 100 incidents of hostility ranging from hate speech to physical assault. In response to such attacks, the Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a travel warning in 2010 advising “extreme caution when visiting southern Sweden” because of officials’ failure to act against the “serial harassment” of Jews in Malmo.

Today, entering a synagogue anywhere in Sweden usually requires going through security checks, including airport-like questioning. At times of high alert, police officers with machine guns guard Jewish schools. Children at the Jewish kindergarten in Malmo play behind bulletproof glass. Not even funerals are safe from harassment.
Exodus: Jews Flee Paris Suburbs Over Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism
Klein later points out the irony that Paris today is a city “where keffiyeh-wearing men and veiled women speak Arabic on every street corner” but where “soldiers are walking every street that houses a Jewish institution.”

Sammy Ghozlan, the president of the Jewish communal security organization BNCVA, told 20 Minutes that it was vital “not to underestimate the antisemitism we experience on a daily basis.”

“For a long time, Jews were targeted through their symbols — today, people themselves are targeted directly,” Ghozlan said.

As Breitbart Jerusalem has reported, the experience of Jews in Paris is much the same across the rest of the country. More and more are feeling so unsafe that they now feel they have no other choice but to move to Israel for safety.

They are continuing a trend that has seen tens of thousands of Jews quit the country in the past decade.

More than 5,000 departures were recorded in 2016 on top of the record 7,900 who left in 2015 and 7,231 in 2014. In total, 40,000 French Jews have emigrated since 2006, according to figures cited by AFP.

On the evidence, that number will not be falling anytime soon.
David French: What if America Won a War and No One Cared?
The momentous news of ISIS’s defeat was greeted, in large part, with silence. Why?

The announcement came on Saturday. Just three days before the Alabama special election that transfixed the nation, and on the same day that President Trump fact-checked the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, Iraq’s prime minister declared victory in the war against ISIS. Iraq — with indispensable American help — has regained control of its cities and its border with Syria. ISIS has been reduced to a shadow of its former self.

The victory isn’t confined to Iraq. American-allied forces control ISIS’s former capital in Syria, and the world’s largest jihadist army is gone. Bands of insurgents still prowl the countryside, and ISIS cells exist across the world, but the war against the “caliphate” is over. It’s been won.

So why does no one seem to care?

It was exactly three years ago that the Middle East was in crisis. The ISIS blitzkrieg had brought Iraq to its knees. Jihadists controlled immense sections of Iraq and Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi spoke from Mosul’s Great Mosque, declared himself “Caliph Ibrahim,” and called on Muslims across the world to join him in his jihad.

They answered his call by the thousands. They flocked to Syria and Iraq from North Africa, Europe, and Asia. Britain was rocked by reports that more of its Muslim residents had joined ISIS than joined the British military. ISIS initiated genocide. It threatened the Kurds. It threatened Baghdad. Americans old enough to remember the fall of Saigon began to wonder: Was history repeating itself?

For veterans of the Iraq War like me, these were extraordinarily painful months. Friends died over there. Others lost limbs or suffered terrible wounds. Every man and woman who served in Iraq sacrificed something, even if it was “only” a year of their life. And now our nation looked like a bystander to a calamity. Through withdrawal, we’d squandered the military victory of the Surge. Through withdrawal, we’d empowered our enemies.

  • Friday, December 15, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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From Ian:

The Anti-Semitic Invective of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Accuses Jews of ‘Counterfeiting History and Religion,’ Claims Qur’an Says They ‘Fabricate Truth’

Abbas, whose doctorate denied the Holocaust and who accused rabbis of poisoning Palestinian water, is no stranger to anti-Semitic remarks

On Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at a summit in Turkey. Understandably, Abbas condemned the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and reiterated Palestinian claims to the city. But then the Palestinian leader ventured into far more disturbing territory: instead of simply assailing the political policies of the United States and Israel, he began to assail Jews. Almost as an aside, Abbas declared:

I don’t want to discuss religion or history because they are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion. But if we read the Torah it says that the Canaanites were there before the time of our prophet Abraham and their existence continued since that time—this is in the Torah itself. But if they would like to fake this history, they are really masters in this and it is mentioned in the holy Qur’an they fabricate truth and they try to do that and they believe in that but we have been there in this location for thousands of years.

Typically, Abbas presents his critiques of Israel as anti-Zionist rather than anti-Jewish. But of course, the Qur’an does not mention Zionists or Zionism—a modern political movement. It mentions Jews. Thus, according to Abbas, it is Jews who are “really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history and religion,” who “fabricate truth,” and who “are really masters in this.” Ironically, in this passage, Abbas was attempting to argue that the modern Palestinian people is actually descended from the biblical Canaanites, a dubious claim with little evidence to support it. Thus, he accused Jews of being fabricators of history while engaging in the same.

This is far from the first time the Palestinian president has dabbled in anti-Semitic invective.

Abbas Defies Oslo Agreements, Demands Full UN membership
Abbas stressed there can be no peace without Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state, and described President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a violation of international law and signed agreements. With that, Abbas said, the US disqualified itself from playing the role of mediator in the peace process, and his side will now take its case to the international community.

Abbas then called on the OIC member states to support his nation on 13 distinct points:

1. Limit the foreign relations of OIC members with world countries based on their position on the issue of Jerusalem, specifically with regard to the US declaration.

2. In light of the Jerusalem declaration, it is necessary to take political and economic measures to compel Israel to end its “occupation of the land of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and to implement international humanitarian law.” In other words, commit suicide, ASAP.

3. Demand that the countries of the world review their recognition of the State of Israel.
Jerusalem, Israel's Capital: Watch the Masks Fall
Many analysts say that US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a campaign promise to evangelical Christian and right-wing Jewish voters, but there is another way of looking at it. Trump's recognition might be a golden opportunity for two-faced opportunists to be unmasked -- a shot of reality that might eventually help the peace process and solve this long-lasting conflict.

Since the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, many Arab observers, intellectuals and academics have started to question the veracity of those jihadists who claim they are sacrificing themselves to defend Jerusalem, because when the actual announcement came -- nothing happened. Those who were exploiting sensitivities related to Jerusalem -- especially political Islamists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah -- come mainly from the axis of resistance, led by Iran.

Other opportunists are the two-faced countries in the region, such as Qatar and Turkey. While publicly hostile towards Israel, behind closed doors they support it. Further opportunists are the Western and Arab media, who for decades have been promoting the idea that the problem is the Israeli occupation, but never mention the Palestinian Authority corruption.

Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has also revealed the shortcomings of the US Department of State. It has not played any role in clarifying the above-mentioned points and, by this negativity and bureaucracy, only generated further hatred towards the US.

Trump's recognition has exposed the hypocrisy of the armed militia Hezbollah which always claims it will never disarm because of its fight against Israel. Now after the recognition of Jerusalem, many Arabs are questioning Hezbollah's motivations regarding Israel. Lebanese and other Arabs are questioning why Hezbollah has not sent its armed militia to fight in Israel as it did in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Dr. Hadi El Amine, a Lebanese researcher in political science and governmental studies, tweeted, "The axis of resistance's words are aimed against Israel, but their missiles are pointed at the Arabs."

  • Friday, December 15, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
When you live your entire life knowing that you have hundreds of millions of Arabs publicly supporting your every word, you tend to get a bit skittish when things start to fall apart.

Arab News (and many other services) reported yesterday:
The US administration is serious about getting a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, but its proposed plan is still being put together, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said.

“We believe the Trump administration is serious about bringing peace between Israelis and Arabs,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, a former ambassador to the US, told France 24 television late on Wednesday.

“They were working on ideas and were consulting with all parties, including Saudi Arabia, and they are incorporating the views represented to them by everybody. They have said they would need a little bit of time to put it together to present it.”
This is not the narrative that the Palestinians want the world to think about the US and Trump.
 Secretary-General of the Palestinian People's Party Bassam Salhi described the statements made by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair on the work of the American administration on a "peace plan" as ridiculous.

Bassam al-Salhi expressed his strong rejection of the statements made by al-Jubayr, in which he claimed that there was "a serious American peace plan to be proposed by the Trump administration."

Salhi said in a press statement Friday that this position is absurd and contradicts the Palestinian, Arab, Islamic and even international positions, which clearly expressed their rejection of US policy and considered it to undermine the entire "peace process".

He stressed that the Palestinian position to end American care for the political process is serious, and the Arab countries are required to respect this position and that there is an effort to hold America accountable. 
You see? All Arabs are required to parrot Palestinian talking points! Just like BDS claims that anyone who does anything with Israel is "violating" their own edicts. 

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  • Friday, December 15, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The "Institute of Middle East Understanding," which claims to be an independent organization meant to provide accurate information about the Middle East to journalists,  published this tweet:

Of course, this is a photo of Jews flocking to the Kotel this past Sukkot.

The Reuters article referenced indeed had that photo as a slideshow of different aspects of Jerusalem, but only the IMEU implied that this photo shows actual protests.

The IMEU's Twitter feed is filled with anti-Israel vitriol and lies. One can only wonder at how many lazy journalists rely on this organization to poison their minds in order to avoid doing any research of their own.

(h/t Arnold R)

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  • Friday, December 15, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
To all you editorial writers, self-professed Middle East exports, diplomats and others:

1. Trump's declaration did not destroy the peace process. Pretending it destroys the peace process destroys the peace process.

2. Trump's declaration did not recognize all of Jerusalem as Israeli.

3. Trump's declaration did not preclude Jerusalem also being a Palestinian capital one day. (I think it's a very bad idea, but he never even implied it.)

4. Trump's declaration didn't cause terror or violence. People who purposefully misinterpreted Trump's words incited violence and organized violent demonstrations.

5. The initial violence in the territories after the declaration was directly orchestrated by the Palestinian Authority. (It closed its schools to increase the number of demonstrators.) The riots weren't spontaneous.

6. Everyone agrees that Jerusalem within the Green Line is Israeli under international law. Israel can do there what any country can do. There was never a shred of legal support for Jerusalem to be considered an international city  - because the Arabs rejected the 1947 UNGA resolution that proposed it.

7. No matter whether the world accepts it, Jerusalem is Israel's capital, because that's where its government is. A state can declare its capital; no outsider can change that. Trump merely stated the obvious.

8. The idea that Jerusalem must be accepted as the capital of a Palestinian state before it can be accepted as the capital of Israel is wholly arbitrary and purely anti-Israel. It pre-judges the outcome of negotiations, the exact charge falsely given to recognizing  Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

9. Jerusalem has been universally accepted as the capital of the Jewish nation way before Israel was reborn and even before modern Zionism. 

10. Earlier this year, Russia recognized pre-1967 Jerusalem as Israel's capital, today. There is no contradiction between that position and what Trump said. Yet there was no uproar over that recognition. 

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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.
From Ian:

Human rights defenders, or offenders
Unfortunately, those prestigiously honored as human rights defenders by the international community have made a mockery of these universal values of human rights.

For example, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN’s health body, in October appointed Zimbabwe’s outgoing dictator Robert Mugabe as a “Goodwill Ambassador.” Mugabe’s apparent defense of human rights, including the universal right to health, comprises of leading an extremely violent regime, completely destroying Zimbabwe’s economy, and manipulating elections to maintain his dictatorial role. The ICC has even been urged to investigate Mugabe for crimes against humanity.

Another instance is Aung San Suu Kyi—the leader of Myanmar. Despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and being affirmed by Hilary Clinton as having a role in giving the world “new hope” in the ability for countries to transition from dictatorship to democracy, Suu Kyi is currently the leader of a country committing human rights violations against the Rohingya population. She has also lied to the world about her regimes culpability in a humanitarian disaster that many are calling genocide.

Likewise, the UN’s “expert” on Israel Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk, who is also a Western University professor, proclaimed that Manal Tamimi, an individual who uses virulently antisemitic and violent rhetoric on her Twitter, is a “human rights defender.” It is difficult to understand how someone who posts tweets that call for violent uprisings and include cartoons that depict Jews as rats promote the UN’s universal values.

Finally, is Glamour Magazine’s inclusion of the “Women’s March Organizers” in its 2017 list of “Women of the Year.” However, one of the organizers, Linda Sarsour, overtly promotes particularistic human rights—for instance, arguing that feminism and Zionism are mutually exclusive. Sarsour, in direct opposition to broad international support of a two-state framework for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, supports a “one-state solution”—which would effectively lead to the demise of Israel and a denial of Jewish rights to sovereign equality. She is also an advocate for discriminatory BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel. The organizers of the Women’s March further damaged their credibility by publically supporting Rasmea Odeh—a convicted terrorist, responsible for the 1969 bombing of a supermarket in Israel that killed two students.
PM: Palestinians should accept reality, act for peace
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the Palestinians to "accept the reality and act for peace and not for extremism," following U.S. President Donald Trump's official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Responding to calls from Muslim leaders calling for east Jerusalem to be recognized as the capital of Palestine and condemning Trump's declaration, Netanyahu said Palestinians should "recognize another fact when it comes to Jerusalem: not just that it is the capital of Israel, we also preserve freedom of worship in Jerusalem for all religions, and we are the ones who preserve this safeguard in the Middle East, in a manner that no one else preserves it, and on which others have also failed, sometimes miserably.

"Therefore all of these declarations do not impress us. The truth will come out, and many countries will yet recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move their embassies."

Netanyahu made the statement at a Mossad intelligence agency event in Jerusalem.

Zionism and the changing global structure
There is nothing weirder than the gap between the American Jewish conversation about Israel, on the one hand, and the real day-to-day lives of Israelis on the other.

American Jews are re-litigating the twentieth century, while Israelis are living the twenty-first.

American Jews ask: will Israel make peace or live forever by the sword? Why does the occupation never end? Will antisemitism destroy us all? Do Jews have a right to every inch of the biblical lands? Will Netanyahu cause a break with American Jews? Will Israel’s democracy be ruined by demography? How will the tiny Jewish state survive against an ocean of enemies? These are questions Israelis have mostly stopped asking, and American Jews cannot understand why.

The answer is that everything has changed. The strategic, economic and cultural opportunities facing Israel have drowned out the existential threats. The old anxieties have been overrun by both Israel’s successes and failures.

Successes: it is now a vibrant and powerful country, and its power has changed the thinking of national governments not just in Europe but also across the Arab world. Today Israel has only one real strategic enemy – Iran, which has been the force behind all of Israel’s wars in the past decade-and-a-half.

Economically, the Jewish state has become a global leader in technology, from agriculture to autonomous vehicles. It has solved its two biggest problems of nature: water and energy. Culturally, it has become an exporter in everything from film to art to wine to architecture to electronic music.

Israelis now count their Nobel prizes the way Jews used to. (h/t Elder of Lobby)

  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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.
  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Reuters:
Nazareth, the Israeli Arab city where Jesus is thought to have been raised, has canceled some Christmas celebrations in protest at U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an official said.

Nazareth, the largest Arab town in Israel with a Muslim and Christian population of 76,000, is one of the Holy Land’s focal points of Christmas festivities.

“We have decided to cancel the traditional Christmas singing and dancing because we are in a time of dispute, because of what Trump has said about Jerusalem,” city spokesman Salem Sharara said.
Ali Salam, mayor of Bethlehem, is Muslim. He is deciding to curtail Christian celebrations to protest what the US did.

Who loses? The Christians, of course.

And they are not happy:

Interestingly, this anti-Trump mayor was a big fan of Trump's a year ago, claiming that Trump learned all his campaigning methods from him.

(h/t Yoel)

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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

Thirteen Conservative rabbinical students studying in Jerusalem wrote a letter in which they criticized the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They wrote in part,

We, a group of rabbinical students of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary write from Jerusalem to express our deep concern and unease following the current US administration’s reckless decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city outside the context of just and respectful negotiations for peace with Israel’s Palestinian neighbors. …

Though the president called for a continued hope for a two-state solution, he has done nothing to show honest dedication to advancing such a goal—or any lasting solution toward peace in the region. To validate this counterproductive move would be to normalize a political moment that continues to stretch itself far beyond the bounds of what is normal.

The Torah frames this entry into and possession of the land of Israel as contingent upon actions that are born of a collective memory of oppression. We recite our plight in Egypt, our generations of suffering, and our responsibility to all of God’s creations as guidelines for governance. As we reside in the ancient, holy, and beautiful land of Israel, we are commanded, year after year, to remember that we are but tenants of God’s eternal domain and have the crucial responsibility to uphold the dignity of every person who resides in our midst. As temporary and permanent residents of Jerusalem and as future rabbis, we expect the Jewish state to govern with this holy mandate of equality and humanity for all peoples in mind. We therefore envision a Judaism, a generation of American rabbinic leadership, and a State of Israel that heeds the cries of our Palestinian brothers and sisters who currently live with neither a path to citizenship nor self-determination.

My immediate thought was that students with such an obviously limited understanding of Jewish history, both ancient and recent, who aren’t cognizant of the reasons that there hasn’t been (and will not be) a “two-state solution,” and who hear the cries of their “Palestinian brothers and sisters” more loudly than those of their Jewish ones who are being stabbed on the street in the Jerusalem that they claim to love so much, should find another line of work than being rabbis.

However, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Recently a scroll dating to c. 165 BCE was uncovered by archaeologists sifting through rubble removed from illegal excavations by the waqf on the Temple Mount. Until the development of advanced computer imaging techniques, it was unreadable. But scientists at Bar-Ilan University in Jerusalem have recently announced that they have succeeded to decipher much of it. It sheds light on the controversies of the period, which it turns out were not so different from ours. Without further ado, I present some of the text, which I’ve translated into English:

We, students of the Hellenistic school of the priesthood of the Holy Temple write from Jerusalem to express our deep concern and unease following the Maccabee Administration’s reckless decision to cleanse and rededicate the Temple, without first holding just and respectful negotiations with our Greek neighbors. 

Of course Yehuda Maccabee calls for a negotiated settlement with Antiochus, but he just went in and kicked the Greeks out, with no consideration for their humanity and right of self-determination. Would it have been so terrible to have a small altar to Zeus in one corner of the Temple? We have the obligation to uphold the dignity of every person who resides in our midst, even if it’s their custom to slaughter pigs on our altar.

As temporary and permanent residents of Jerusalem, we expect the Jewish state to govern with this holy mandate of equality and humanity for all peoples in mind. We therefore envision a Judaism and a State of Judah that heeds the cries of our Seleucid brothers and sisters who currently live without the ability to fulfill their religious obligations with pigs.

In addition, as everyone knows, the Maccabee program is impractical. Where, for instance, do they think are they going to get the oil to light the Menorah for eight days of sacrifices?

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From Ian:

Evelyn Gordon: The Mainstream Media’s Misdirection on Jerusalem
Mainstream media outlets like to complain about “fake news” emanating from sources other than themselves, but the mainstream media itself has taken fake news to new heights in its recent coverage of Jerusalem. Leading media outlets have asserted, inter alia, that Jews never cared about Jerusalem until a few decades ago, that Jews didn’t live in East Jerusalem before 1967, and that Jordan protected freedom of worship in the city.

Exhibit A is the New York Times’ mind-boggling backgrounder on Jerusalem, which “informs” readers that Jews didn’t really care about the city until “hard-line religious nationalism” came into vogue a few decades ago. To produce this flat-out lie, the reporters omit crucial facts, downplay those they can’t omit and rely heavily on Arabs–who have made a fetish of denying Jewish links to Jerusalem for decades–to tell their readers what Jews think (though, naturally, they also found some Jews to echo these claims). Thus, for instance, they paraphrase historian Issam Nasser as saying, “The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem,” while Prof. Rashid Khalidi asserts that post-1967, “Jerusalem became the center of a cultlike devotion that had not really existed previously.”

To support this idea, the reporters omit almost any fact that might contradict it. Readers are never told, for instance, that Israel’s founding fathers–the ones who ostensibly had little interest in Jerusalem–fought some of the bloodiest battles of the War of Independence in an effort to save the city from its Arab besiegers.They even took the extraordinary step, after repeated failures to open the road to Jerusalem militarily, of building an entirely new road through very difficult terrain to relieve the siege.

Readers also aren’t told that Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, repeatedly stressed Jerusalem’s importance, declaring it “the heart of the State of Israel,” which “Israelis will give their lives” to keep, because for Israel, “there has always been and always will be one capital only.” And they’re certainly never told that the devotion to Jerusalem Khalidi deems of such recent vintage actually dates back 3,000 years, to the First Temple, and that throughout two millennia of exile, Jews prayed facing Jerusalem and begged God to restore them to their holy city.

But on the rare occasions when the reporters can’t omit an inconvenient fact, they shout, like the Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” Thus, the Times’ reporters do concede the pesky fact that Israel’s founding fathers–those same people who ostensibly didn’t care about Jerusalem–relocated Israel’s capital to the city the moment it was safe to do so, a few months after the war ended, and even codified this decision in legislation. But the information is hidden in a parenthetical aside: Jerusalem’s “western half became part of the new state of Israel (and its capital, under an Israeli law passed in 1950).”

Unfortunately, this backgrounder was no aberration. Just a few days later, a Times editorial asserted that “East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967, but Israel has steadily built settlements there, placing some 200,000 of its citizens among the Arab population and complicating any possible peace agreement.” You’d never know from reading this that east Jerusalem was “exclusively Arab” in 1967 only because Jordan had ethnically cleansed every last Jew from the area 19 years earlier. Prior to this ethnic cleansing, Jews had not only lived there almost continuously for 3,000 years but constituted an absolute majority of the city’s residents for the past century. Still, one can understand the paper’s dilemma. It might be difficult to explain to readers why the Times, which normally condemns ethnic cleansing, suddenly condones it when the victims are Jews; much better to simply conceal the fact that it ever happened.
CAMERA: To the Editor: Re “Does Mr. Trump Want Mideast Peace?” (editorial, Dec. 6):
In making the case against President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, you say, “East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967.” The language risks severely misleading readers, as it suggests that this ethnic “exclusivity” was an intrinsic and even desirable part of the area’s character before 1967.

But eastern Jerusalem was empty of Jews for a mere 19 years. When Jordan’s Arab Legion conquered the Old City, its Jewish Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods, it forced out every Jewish man, woman and child. Before that, Jews were a large and integral part of what is now called East Jerusalem, and at times were the majority population.

The situation between 1948 and 1967 was not the norm, but an aberrant blip on the timeline of Judaism’s holiest city and a result of ethnic cleansing.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Trump, Jerusalem, Arabs, Muslims
Arafat's followers know that if they succeed in moving Jerusalem outside the borders of Israel, a large number of Jews are going to lose all hope and leave Israel for the countries from which they or their parents came. This will mean the beginning of the end for the Zionist enterprise, because there is no Zionism without Zion. That's why they expend so much energy on Jerusalem, taking advantage of the fact that if most countries do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, Jerusalem becomes the weak link in the chain holding Israel together.

Arafat attempted to frighten the Israeli with the slogan: "A million shaheeds will march on Jerusalem," meaning that millions are willing to jput their lives on the line in order to free the city from the clutches of the Zionists. This mantra has been internalized in Islamic society and can be heard at anti-Israel demonstrations all over the world.

In comes Trump and recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, giving the Palestinian nationalist narrative a hard blow and Israel a kind of insurance policy. This maddens all the Arabs who flourished on the dream of destroying Israel during the golden Oslo Agreement years, because it has now becme clear that a very powerful nation, the USA, does not see itself a partner in that dream and is even willing to act against it.

The Arabs , in general, and particularly the Palestiinians, can already picture the dominos falling. The Czech Republic, Hungary and other important states plan to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the city as Israel's capital. They noticed that in April of this year, eight months ago, even Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his recognition of Western Jerusalem as Israel's capital city. There was no outcry, verbal or otherwise, in response to Putin's declaration, for one simple reason: The Arabs are deathly afraid of Putin, after he made crystal clear to what lengths he is willing to go during the war in Syria, and they carefully refrain from reacting to his statements or decisions.

For both religious and nationalistic reasons, the Arabs and Muslims are incapable of accepting Israel as the Jewish State.

The question we are forced to ask ourselves is whether we in Israel, Jews and Christians, are going to recognize the Muslim and Arab problem , but tell them in no uncertain terms that "Jerusalem belongs to the Jews and you are going to have to learn to live with it" or are going to give in to the Arab and Muslim dreamers who are incapable of accepting a reality in which the Jewish religions is alive and well.

  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Huffington Post has an interesting article where they reveal details of the 17 page style guide to the neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer.

It is more than a style guide - it is a mini-manifesto on how to do propaganda.

And the Jews are the main target:

This is antisemitism in its purest, most honest form. And it is refreshing to see it in black and white, and not hiding behind "lulz" (as the author of this piece likes to do) or behind intellectual pretenses (as the person who coined the word "anti-semitism" did.)

But is this naked desire to tie every world problem to Jews, by the extreme right, any different than the naked desire by the extreme Left to tie all the world's ills to Israel?

Leftist Israel haters and their Arab partners blame Israel for police brutality in the US, for the rise of ISIS, for US involvement in Iraq, for Palestinian men beating their wives, for raping Palestinian women and for not raping Palestinian women, for being the biggest violator of human rights and international law, for genocide, for flooding Gaza, for apartheid, for Iran's intransigence, for Arabs killing Arabs, for Palestinians killing Jews, for daily massacres of Palestinians,  for "rape culture," for 9/11, for poisoning wells, for stealing organs, for murdering Princess Diana. And more.

Two two sides, the extreme Left and extreme Right, have a real commonality. Every world problem must be blamed on (Jews/Israel.)

Yet while neo-Nazi-type antisemitism is rightly denounced, there is far less concern over the "anti-Zionism" that is identical to what the neo-Nazis espouse.

Anti-Israelism is every bit as odious and sickening as antisemitism. Minimizing it as merely "criticism of Israel" is a way to mainstream and justify hate.

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  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

Mahmoud Abbas, in his speech to the OIC, consistently insulted the United States and acted as if he is in a position to bully the US.

Abbas said "the United States has chosen to lose its eligibility as an intermediary and to have no role in the political (peace) process."

"In all our conferences and decisions, we have agreed that Jerusalem is a red line, and now we must translate all this into actions that force the United States to retreat from this crime and prevent other countries from taking similar steps.," Abbas said.

He added, "When the United States announced the closure of the PLO headquarters in Washington, we announced that we would not deal with the US consul. America must feel that any decision it takes is not easy and we can and will force it to pay the price."

Like a two-bit thug, Abbas then repeated his go-to threat: "If the State of Palestine does not have its capital in Jerusalem on the borders of June 4, 1967, there will be no peace in the region, the territories or the world, and they must choose [which it is going to be.]

What's wrong with this picture?

Last year, under the Obama administration, the Palestinian prime minister thanked the European countries for giving so much money to his government, but falsely claimed that the US didn't give them a dime. In fact, the
US gave $357 million to the PA, and $355 million more to UNRWA. The US is by far the biggest donor to the PA.

And the PA treats the US like dirt.

I can understand Obama genuflecting to such insults. But isn't Donald Trump supposed to be different?

People screamed that Netanyahu insulted the US by allowing plans for buildings in areas of Jerusalem that would be part of Israel in any conceivable peace plan when Joe Biden visited. But when Mahmoud Abbas is directly threatening the US, these supposed patriots are suddenly mute.

The US should inform Mahmoud Abbas that for every day they do not meet with Mike Pence starting with his visit this month, the amount of money they will receive next year will be reduced by $1 million.

Abbas acts like a bully because he thinks he has the Islamic world and much of Europe behind him. Let's see what happens when the US actually forces him to take some responsibility for his actions.

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  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last month, a firestorm of criticism was directed to Miss Universe Iraq  Sara Idan for posting this selfie of herself on Instagram with Miss Universe Israel Adar Gandelsman:

Arabs criticized Idan for posing with Adar, saying it was an insult to Palestinians and "unacceptable normalization with the Israelis."

Idan answered that she was not trying to offend anyone but was trying to spread a message of peace.

Idan was the first contestant from Iraq in the pageant in decades.

In a new interview on Israeli TV, Gandelsman says that Idan's parents were threatened, not only for the selfie but also because their daughter pose in a swimsuit, and that her family was forced to flee the country because of death threats. She says they remain good friends and are in touch every day.

At 2:18 of the video you can see the pair hamming it up on a selfie video.

(h/t Yoel)

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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From Ian:

Europe would not last a week if it had to face what Israel does
I was watching the videos from Ramallah and elsewhere of the Palestinian riots against the blessed American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. All those Israeli policemen and soldiers engaged in dispelling the riots and violence without inflicting losses but managing to contain the damage.

These young Israelis doing such a tragic job are the same age as I am, at night they return to their wives and children, mothers and fathers. They are not shaheeds, they care about human life, their own and the ones of the people they must confront in the streets. They are the face of a state dealing with this drama for the last 70 years.

Then I thought of all the blackmail, the attacks, the wars, the threats, the tension and the death drawings that the world prepares for the small Jewish state with whose disappearance it is obsessed. And I thought, looking and looking at those images, that no European country, not one, would survive a week of this instead of Israel.

Most of commentators today worry about the “consequences” of the just and historical American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But if the fear of violence had dictated its actions, Israel would not have been born in 1948 and the Jews after Auschwitz would have been found in a deli of Brooklyn rather than on the beaches of Tel Aviv.

In its 70 years of existence, Israel has lost 23,447 soldiers and 2,495 civilians, it survived 12 wars and thousands of missiles, while coexisting with the specter of a chemical and nuclear war.
Phyllis Chesler: Are New Yorkers becoming like Israelis?
On 9/11, I typed, “Now, we are all Israelis.”

At the time, what I meant was that Muslim terrorists had come after us in New York CIty in a rather big way, just as they’d been attacking Israelis decade after decade, even as the world yawned indifferently or cheered the terrorists on.

Now, what I mean is that terrorist attacks have been normalized in the West, even in New York City, which has seen one attack after the other, beginning with the political assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1990 by El Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian-born American citizen radicalized in Pakistan, who was later involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

Let’s not forget that in 1994, Lebanese-born, Rashid Baz, shot at a van filled with Orthodox Jewish students, killing Ari Halberstam and wounding three children.

Who can forget the 1997 Brooklyn-based Palestinian bomb plot to blow up the New York subway trains—or the lone, Palestinian shooting attack on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

One can write that Palestinian Arabs export terrorists—not just terrorist ideology.
History repeats itself as Lord Allenby captures Jerusalem’s Old City, again
For a couple of hours on Monday afternoon in Jerusalem’s Old City, there was partying like it was 1917.

World War I Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers, Turkish pashas, local religious leaders, ladies in long skirts and bonnets — and the legendary T.E. Lawrence — celebrated as they awaited the arrival of Field Marshall Edmund Allenby, commander of the British Army’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force, to officially liberate Jerusalem from Ottoman rule.

A century after the Great War, these actors played the long-dead Allenby and other historical figures to the delight of the many hundreds gathered from around Israel and the world who were genuinely excited to join in the festive reenactment.

Exactly 100 years ago on December 11, 1917, General Allenby delivered the British Army’s Proclamation of Martial Law in Jerusalem in seven languages from the steps of the Tower of David.

For some, like eighth-generation Jerusalemite Shalom Bagad, showing up on Monday was coming full circle.

“My mother Shulamit was here exactly on this very date in 1917 to watch Allenby enter Jerusalem and give his proclamation,” Bagad said.

  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

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(The following is a rebuttal to Diana Buttu's piece in the Washington Post, The world should respond to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration with sanctions on Israel, which I submitted to the Washington Post
on Dec. 10. I was tentatively hopeful they would print this, but as time dragged on and I received no response, I realized there was no interest in printing this opinion. I offer it here, instead, in a slightly modified version.)

After President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Diana Buttu in her piece, The world should respond to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration with sanctions on Israel, asserted that his actions were somehow an “aggression” that broke the law. Which is funny, because growing up, my mother taught me that sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me. This is completely analogous here, as Israeli cars are stoned daily with the (too often successful) intention of killing as many Jews as possible, for no other reason than that the drivers and their passengers are Jewish and driving on land Arabs covet.
Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, on the other hand, is semantics, words that cannot hurt anyone, and certainly abrogate no law.
Buttu writes: “Under the United Nations’ 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine, Jerusalem was never intended to be the capital of any country, but rather a shared city under an international regime with sovereignty resting with neither Israel nor Palestinians.”
That’s correct. Buttu, however, seems to have forgotten that the Arabs rejected Partition, opting instead to attack the fledgling State of Israel. Let’s get specific here and mention that this was some five Arab states attacking the new state of just 600,000 Jews. Who was the aggressor here? Who the bully and who the victim? If the Arabs wanted Jerusalem to retain its international status, as set forth by Partition, why then did they attack?
And the fact is, attack they did. To their detriment. 

They lost the war they initiated.
Buttu likes to cite rule of law, being a lawyer by trade, but seems to have forgotten that since five Arab armies launched a war against a tiny group of people on a small sliver of land, instead of accepting the Partition Plan, the Arabs, for all intents and purposes, took Partition off the table. The Arabs did that, not Israel, and not President Trump.
Israel had accepted Partition, though it would have meant a much reduced land mass, difficult to defend.
It was the Arabs who said no to Partition, and instead launched a war.
This is why Jerusalem is not today, the international city that Buttu mourns, the one called for by Partition, which the Arabs scorned, preferring to take their chances, attacking one small nation.
And losing.
Buttu speaks of Israel taking 78% of the land for themselves in 1948. What she does not say is that Transjordan (today, Jordan) was created on 78% of the Mandate for Palestine, which had been promised to the Jews by Balfour in 1917. What happened here, is that after Balfour viewed “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” the Arabs complained: they wanted their national home in Palestine, too.
So in fact Israel did not “take control of 78% of Palestine in 1948,” rather, Jordan, by its very creation, took 78% of Israel. And Israel meekly accepted this situation. Any national home in Jewish indigenous territory was better than none. We were used to being meek, saying yes sir. Centuries of being occupied, expelled, forced to wander, and persecuted, will do that to you. We would take any crumbs.
And with the UN Partition Plan, Israel accepted yet a further reduction of its land mass, gave away more bits and pieces, more crumbs.
But the Arabs were not going to settle for less than the entire land mass, all for itself, free of Jews. Which is why five Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948. And lost.
That should have been the end of the story.
But Diana Buttu gives the reader an “alternative ending,” in which she says that in 1948, Israel “occupied a large part of Jerusalem’s western half,” while in 1967, Israel occupied the “West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” and that “the eastern part of Jerusalem also came under Israel’s military rule.”
What actually happened is that in its defensive war of 1948, in which Israel was attacked by five Arab armies, the Jews succeeded in taking back part of their longed for holy city. Had the Arabs not attacked, Partition would have been fully embraced and adhered to by Israel, and Jerusalem would have remained an international city. But the Arabs did not accept Partition, and went to war.
It was Jordan, by the way, that occupied the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1948. As Jordan was the aggressor, this was considered an illegal occupation by every single UN member state, with the exceptions of Great Britain and Pakistan, two states that had/have no love for the Jews.
Arab Legion soldier in the ruins of the Hurva Synagogue, Jerusalem

In 1967, the Jews were once again forced to fight when the Straits of Tiran were closed, a casus belli. When this time, against all odds, the Jews recaptured their holy city, they were not in contravention of international law, because they were fighting a defensive war.
Occupation is defined by Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, which states that “territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army." That would be Jordan, which attacked Israel in 1948, and took over part of Jerusalem, thus abrogating the terms of Partition. That would not be Israel in 1967, when, in the course of defending itself against hostile armies, the Jews managed to retake that same territory.
There is a vast difference between land taken in an offensive versus land taken during defensive maneuvers. A legal difference. In no way, can Israel be said to be an occupying force, when it is and was the entity attacked. To say otherwise is contrary to international law.
It is also important to note here the 49th article of the 4th Geneva Convention:
“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”
This completely busts the myth of settlement of Judea and Samaria as somehow being in contravention of international law. Israel did not fight an offensive, therefore cannot be called an occupier. Settlers, furthermore, are not foreign to Judea and Samaria, (how could a Jew be foreign to Judea?), nor were they forcibly transferred. The settlers came willingly to the area. Joyfully even, eager to build homes in their native land.
No one forced these settlers to settle where they did.
The term “West Bank” is, in fact, a propaganda term. It refers to Judea and Samaria as if they were the West Bank of the Jordan river, looking out from Jordan. This is supposed to lend legitimacy to Jordan’s illegal occupation of the area between 1948 and 1967. The territory comprises far too much land, however, to be called a riverbank. This author lives in Efrat, located in the Judean Wilderness. Efrat is nowhere near the Jordan River. It is, on the other hand, not so far from the Dead Sea, though this body of water, too, cannot be seen from my apartment.
Buttu says that “despite numerous Israeli attempts since 1948 to have its declaration of Jerusalem as its capital recognized internationally, not a single country around the world has accepted its claims, for one simple reason: Acquiring territory by force goes against international law.”
Except that Israel did not acquire the land by force, but in pure existential defense. Israel did not abrogate international law in defending itself against five Arab armies in 1948. It did not abrogate international law in 1967, when an act of war forced Israel to defend itself against several Arab nations once more. This is not only not the legal definition of acquiring territory by force, it is also a lie to say otherwise.
Thus, Ms. Buttu is dishonest in the thrust of her piece, which states that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is by way of acknowledging that “might is right.”
It is the Arabs who were and are the aggressors when it comes to Israel. Israel has only defended itself. It reacquired its centuries’ old, biblical capital Jerusalem, only while fighting for its very existence, attacked by the might of five invading armies.
God wrought a miracle and the Jews won. And of course the Jews were going to declare Jerusalem their capital. The Jewish liturgy, canon, and customs are littered with references to Jerusalem, though the city’s name does not once appear in the Quran. Yet Buttu speaks of the “theft of Palestinian land” as if the Muslim Conquest never happened, nor all the other conquests that robbed the Jews of their land; land that belonged to them before there was an Arab people; land that belonged to the Jews before Mohammed was born.
President Trump said some words. No more, no less. He acknowledged a reality: The Arabs lost, the Jews won—they get to call Jerusalem their capital if they so choose.
And they do.
Why does anyone get to question that right?
Buttu goes on to talk about Israel’s security fence, which has saved thousands of lives, saying it has worsened the lives of local Arabs. Is that because it prevents them from killing Jews? Because that is the precise purpose of that ugly, expensive fence, that obscures the beautiful view. And it works. Proven. Is it inconvenient to the Arabs? Let them not resort to violence then. Let them live productive peaceful lives and see how quickly that ugly, expensive fence comes down.
Buttu speaks of “the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes for spurious bureaucratic reasons.” Here too, Buttu is disingenuous. Rooms of terrorists in their family homes are destroyed. Had they not murdered Jews, their family homes would remain intact. It’s a deterrent measure. Stop killing Jews and POOF, the demolitions stop, too.
It’s a choice.
Buttu speaks of expulsions (from homes built without permits), construction of “illegal” settlements, which are not illegal at all (Hague Convention, Geneva Convention, lather, rinse, repeat), which “scar the land,” which actually had lain rocky and barren, between 1948 and 1967, when Jordan illegally occupied the territory. Even now, Arabs like the fertile valleys. Jews have settled on the hilltops and made them bloom. No one has been dispossessed. It’s a lie.
Buttu speaks of checkpoints (made necessary by constant Arab terror), and about all the Arabs “squeezed—indeed suffocating—under Israeli military rule.” But why don’t the 22 land-rich Arab nations surrounding the tiny sliver that is Israel, absorb and settle their squeezed and suffocating brethren? After all, Israel absorbed the 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries since 1948!
In short, Buttu’s rant about President Trump’s statement of the obvious, is a lot of sound and fury signifying worse than nothing, because it signifies a big, giant, antisemitic lie.
That the world buys that lie is a choice. It’s a choice to honor aggression. Not Israel’s aggression, but Arab aggression, what Professor Ruth Wisse says is not an Arab Israeli conflict, but the Arab War against the Jews.
The Arabs were given Jordan: Palestinian State #1. Then they were given autonomy in their villages throughout Judea and Samaria: Palestinian State #2. Next, the Jews expelled 11,000 of their own people to give them a third state, Gaza: Palestinian State #3.
These are salami tactics parading as Arab nationalism. Cutting off bits and pieces of Israel, negotiating for a bit here, a bit there, under the guise of creating a Two-State Solution, when there are now de facto, fully three Palestinian states.
In addition to these three Palestinian states, there are 22 other states in the region where Arabic is the predominant language and Islam is the predominant culture and religion.
Israel, on the other hand, has just one tiny sliver of land where Jews can speak Hebrew in the streets and shops, with Judaism the predominant religion and culture. It is not right to take away any more of it for a people who have so much land already. And of course Jerusalem is central to the Jews and has been for thousands of years.
President Trump said nothing more than the truth: Jerusalem is historically Jewish. Everyone knows this to be true.
To say otherwise is a lie.
To actually believe the lie is evil.

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Ramallah, December 13 - Youths in the Palestinian-administered territories admitted uncertainty today regarding the specific offense they are meant to be resisting via violent protest, given the plethora of triggers under discussion in Arab media of late.

While international media have reported the latest Days of Rage as outgrowths of US President Donald Trump's announcement that the country now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, local protesters appear less confident in the precision that description, as in recent months and years the list of developments used as pretexts for Palestinian outpourings of murderous riots has grown beyond the simple invocation of "Occupation" that once served the uncomplicated purpose.

Would-be rioters milled about the de facto Palestinian capital this morning attempting to arrive at a coherent, unified conception of the motive for going on a hoped-for deadly rampage against Jewish targets, meeting only mixed success. Several hundred did manage to perform their routine rock-, brick-, and firebomb-throwing at Israeli troops stationed just outside the city, but without the enthusiasm and single-minded purpose characteristic of a single-issue Day of Rage.

"I need to know what I'm trying to kill people for," complained Ali Latdam, 20. "We always have the Occupation, but that's kind of a general thing. Usually, when our leaders close schools, order merchants to close and go on strike, and foment unrest at a specific time and place, there's a narrow focus for the rage. Is it still the Donald Trump thing? Did Israel put metal detectors back near Al Aqsa? Did they destroy another Hamas tunnel? Did a Palestinian get killed trying to stab somebody? Is some imprisoned terrorist in the midst of a declared hunger strike? Or is this just one of those we-need-to-get-our-people-out-into-the-street-and-distracted-by-Israel-so-they-don't-notice-we're-oppressing-them-and-robbing-them-blind riots? I'd like to know."

"It's hard to get behind a generic 'I don't like this' orgy of violence," explained Mustafa Massikr, 19. "Purpose is important here. I'm not about to risk my life handling a Molotov cocktail if this isn't about what I think this is about. There has to to be clarity on this."

In the absence of that clarity, report participants, unsubstantiated rumors regarding the true spark for the most recent Day of Rage have run rampant. "We had some guys claiming there was another round of cartoons mocking the Prophet," warned Mr. Latdam. "Spreading reports like that is just plain irresponsible. It's like no one cares about getting it right. Who's in charge of these things, anyway?"

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