Jewish impact on the world


  • John Adams, second President of the United States

"In spite of Bolingbroke and Voltaire, I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation... They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the Globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern."

Source: Letter to F.A. Van der Kemp (1808) Pennsylvania Historical Society

  • Mark Twain

"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of... He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone, other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"

Source: Article "Concerning the Jews" Harpers (1899), see "The Complete Essays of Mark Twain" Doubleday (1963) pg. 249

  • Leo Nikolaievitch Toltsoy

"What is a Jew? Let us see what kind of peculiar creature the Jew is, which all the rulers and all the nations have together and separately abused and molested, oppressed and persecuted, trampled and butchered, burned and hanged... and in spite of all this is yet alive. The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire and has illuminated with it the entire world. The Jew is the emblem of eternity. He, whom neither slaughter nor torture of thousands of years could destroy, he whom neither fire nor sword nor inquisition was able to wipe off the face of the earth, he, who was the first to produce the oracles of G-d, he who has been for so long the guardian of prophecy, and who transmitted it to the rest of the world – such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is as everlasting as is eternity itself."  Source: "Jewish World", London, 1908

  • Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews

"One way of summing up 4,000 years of Jewish History is to ask ourselves what would have happened to the human race if Abraham had not been a man of great sagacity, or if he had stayed in Ur and kept his higher notions to himself, and no specific Jewish people had come into being. Certainly the world without the Jews would have been a radically different place. Humanity might eventually have stumbled upon all the Jewish insights. But we can not be sure. All the great conceptual discoveries of the intellect seem obvious and inescapable once they have been revealed, but it requires a special genius to formulate them for the first time. The Jews had this gift. To them we owe the idea of equality before the law, both divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person; of the individual conscience and so of personal redemption; of the collective conscience and so of social responsibility; of peace as an abstract ideal and love as the foundation of justice and many other items which constitute the basic moral furniture of the human mind. Without the Jews it might have been a much emptier place."

  • Ernest van den Haag, The Jewish Mystique 

"The Jews have invented more ideas, have made the world more intelligible, for a longer span and for more people, than any other group. They have done this directly and indirectly, always unintentionally, and certainly not in concert, but nevertheless comprehensively. The lives of us all in the West (as well as in Russia) and even of vast areas in the rest of the world have been strongly influenced, if not altogether shaped, by a view of human fate which is essentially Jewish in cast and origin."

  • Woodrow Wilson, American President

"If we could but have the eyes to see the subtle elements of thought which constituted the gross substance of our present habit, both as regards the sphere of private life and as regards the action of state, we should easily discover how very much besides religion we owe to the Jew."

  • Adolph Hitler (Backhanded Praise)

"When over long periods of human history I scrutinized the activity of the Jewish people, suddenly there arose up in me the fearful question whether inscrutable Destiny, perhaps for reasons unknown to us poor mortals, did not, with eternal and immutable resolve, desire the final victory of this little nation."

Source: Hitler, op. cit., p.64.  Date: 1925

  • David Gelernter, Yale University Professor

“If we were forced to choose just one, there would be no way to deny that Judaism is the most important intellectual development in human history.”

  • Thomas Cahill, The Gifts Of The Jews

“The Jews started it all—and by ‘it’ I mean so many of the things we care about, the underlying values that make all of us, Jew and Gentile, believer and atheist, tick. Without the Jews, we would see the world through different eyes, hear with different ears, even feel with different feelings ... we would think with a different mind, interpret all our experience differently, draw different conclusions from the things that befall us. And we would set a different course for our lives.”

  • Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher (1844 - 1900)

“The Jews, however, are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest race at present living in Europe; they know how to succeed even under the worst conditions (in fact better than under favorable ones) by means of virtues of some sort, which one would like nowadays to label as vices-owing above all to a resolute faith which does not need to be ashamed before “modern idea…

It is certain that the Jew, if he desired-or if they were driven to it, as the antisemites seem to wish-could now have the ascendancy, nay, literally the supremacy, over Europe; that they are not working or planning for that end is equally sure… The resourcefulness of the modern Jews, both in mind and soul, is extraordinary…”

  • Ernest van den Haag, The Jewish Mystique 

“Asked to make a list of the men who have most dominated the thinking of the modern world, many educated people would name Freud, Einstein, Marx and Darwin.  Of these four, only Darwin was not Jewish.  In a world where Jews are only a tiny percentage of the population, what is the secret of the disproportionate importance the Jews have had in the history of Western culture?”

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German dramatist, novelist & poet (1749 - 1832)

“Energy is the basis of everything.  Every Jew, no matter how insignificant, is engaged in some decisive and immediate pursuit of a goal… It is the most perpetual people of the earth…”

  • Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain

“Some people like the Jews, and some do not.  But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.”

  • Professor Sir John William Dosson, Modern Science in Bible Lands

Until today (1888), no people has succeeded in establishing national dominion in the Land of Israel.  No national unity, in the spirit of nationalism, has acquired any hold there.  The mixed multitude of itinerant tribes that managed o settle there did so on lease, as temporary residents.  It seems that they await the return of the permanent residents of the land.


  • Cecil Roth, Oxford University, History of the Jews

“The preservation of the Jew was certainly not casual. He has endured through the power of a certain ideal, based on the recognition of a Higher Power in human affairs. Time after time in his history, moreover, he has been saved from disaster in a manner, which cannot be described excepting as ‘providential.’ The author has deliberately attempted to write this book in a secular spirit; he does not think that his readers can fail to see in it, on every page, a higher immanence”



Washington’s Silent War against Hezbollah in Latin America

by Joseph M. Humire
The Hill 
October 08, 2018

On July 11, 2018, the government of Argentina took its first action against Hezbollah by freezing the financial assets of 14 individuals belonging to the Barakat clan in South America. Last week, Brazilian Federal Police arrested the leader of this clan, Assad Ahmad Barakat, who was sanctioned by U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in 2004 and is considered one of Hezbollah’s most important financiers. These recent actions against Hezbollah in Latin America signal a shift in the priorities of regional governments, with Washington’s help.
Hezbollah’s presence in a sub-region of South America known as the Tri-Border Area (TBA), at the crossroads of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, long has been known to regional authorities, but recently factors have prompted action. One element was the June 2017 extradition from Ciudad Del Este to Miami of Lebanese-Paraguayan Ali Issa Chamas, for shipping cocaine through U.S. ports and airports.
Many circumstances contribute to a high-level extradition but, fundamentally, both nations need the political will to carry out this type of operation. The Obama administration repeatedly failed to extradite Hezbollah operatives when given the opportunity. For example, Obama’s Department of Justice and State Department failed in 2011 to bring Syrian-Venezuelan drug trafficker Walid Makled to the United States after he provided significant evidence of Hezbollah’s ties to Venezuelan officials shipping drugs to Europe and America. And, in 2016, Ali Fayad, a Lebanese-Ukrainian arms dealer charged in a New York court with “conspiracy to kill officers and employees of the United States,” was released from prison in the Czech Republic and returned to Lebanon.
In a bombshell article last year, Politico accused the Obama administration of turning a blind eye to Hezbollah’s illicit activities in favor of the nuclear deal with Iran, though members of Obama’s administration vehemently deny this was the case. President Trump is sending a different message to South America regarding Hezbollah, with results beginning to show.

Regional governments have started cracking down on Hezbollah’s criminal activity, namely in illicit financing. Argentina’s recent financial freeze affecting Barakat members is an official acknowledgment by the Argentine government that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Since Argentina does not yet have a legal mechanism to designate Hezbollah as such, its Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) used the terror-financing prevention framework within its anti-terrorism law to issue the sanctions. This led to subsequent raids this past summer of casinos, hotels and money-exchange houses in the TBA that led to the capture of Assad Ahmad Barakat in Brazil.
Barakat was imprisoned in the past in Paraguay, convicted of tax-evasion charges in 2002. But this time the political playing field is different, and the Trump administration is likely to place tremendous pressure on Brazil to extradite Barakat to Argentina or the United States.  

To stay ahead of the problem, Attorney General Jeff Sessions established the Hezbollah Financing Narcoterrorism Team (HFNT) in January 2018, led by veteran prosecutor John Cronan at the Department of Justice. This interagency task force, entrusted with combating Hezbollah’s terror finance, is focused not just on prosecuting Hezbollah operatives both in the United States and, with the cooperation of regional prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, in Latin American countries.
With President Trump’s election and the establishment of the HFNT, there is a noticeable difference in Latin American governments’ attitudes toward Hezbollah. In the weeks prior to Barakat’s arrest, several U.S. experts were invited by local authorities to take part in a conference on the crime-terror convergence in the TBA organized by the Department of Justice and U.S. Embassy. Similar seminars were held in recent months in Panama, Peru, and Colombia, some of them sponsored by the Department of Defense in cooperation with local counterparts.
Congress also has weighed in, holding several hearings on the topic and passing the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017. Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), the vice chair of a new subcommittee on terrorism and illicit finance, helped pave the way for greater regional cooperation by holding a Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum with the UIF in Argentina in November 2017.  
Latin America is paying attention to the whole-of-government approach that has formed in Washington. There is still much more to do to curb Hezbollah’s crime-terror activities, and action by our regional partners is critical to success. The recent arrest of Barakat demonstrates that Latin America indeed is ready to act if given political and technical support. President Trump would be wise to capitalize on this momentum and prioritize Latin America in our global counterterrorism efforts.
Joseph M. Humire is the executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the co-editor of “Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America” (Lexington Books). 

A discussion at the seder table

Posted on March 31, 2017 by Vic Rosenthal
So we are sitting around the seder table with our American Uncle Max and he says,

[I] remain convinced that a two-state solution is the only outcome that would quell ongoing incidents of violence, maintain Israel as a secure, Jewish and democratic state, and provide a just and stable future for the Palestinians.

Having had the traditional four cups of wine, my first, immediate reaction would be to say something about 1993 calling and wanting its policy back. But actually this and other surprisingly stupid things appeared in a letter signed by 191 members of the US Congress, read at AIPAC by Nancy Pelosi, and sent to Donald Trump.

Many things have happened in the past 24 years, both in the US and especially in the Middle East, but for these (mostly Democratic) lawmakers, nothing has changed. One wonders exactly what could happen that would change their minds, which seem to have accepted the necessity of an additional partition of the land of Israel as an article of faith.

My second thought is an almost overwhelming feeling of fatigue over the fact that this irrational and dangerous idea will not go away, and that I am yet again forced to argue about it.

So, pay attention, Uncle Max. I am not going to repeat this like the verses of had gadya.

First, there won’t be a “2-state solution.” The Palestinian leadership and man-in-the-street will not agree to anything acceptable to Israel. They have already rejected deals that were better than what Israel would offer today. Their conditions, including the right of return for millions of descendents of Arab refugees and the expulsion of Jewish residents of Judea/Samaria, will always be unacceptable.

But even if some kind of agreement were reached with the PA/PLO, why would we expect them to adhere to it? They have broken countless promises made in the framework of the Oslo agreements, including essential ones like ending official incitement and changing the PLO charter; and they have an ideological/religious mandate to break promises on the smallest of pretexts.

But even if the signers of the agreement did not break it, what guarantee is there that their successors – who could represent Hamas or even more militant radical Islamists – would honor it? If they didn’t, the only option for Israel would be war.

In this connection, it’s interesting that 2-staters often say that “Mahmoud Abbas is the most ‘moderate’ PLO leader,” and that therefore we should get an agreement with him before he is replaced and it is too late. But this is exactly why an agreement with him will be worthless.

But even if Abbas’ successors did not break the agreement, an additional partition of the land of Israel more or less along the Green Line would restore Israel’s pre-1967 indefensible eastern boundary. In addition to the absurdity of reversing the outcome and punishing the winner of a defensive war, it would leave the most populated parts of Israel vulnerable both to terrorism from the high ground in Judea and Samaria, and invasion from the east.

At this point I get my relief map of Israel off the wall and wave it under Uncle Max’s nose. How is it possible to defend Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport from short-range rocket and mortar attacks when terrorists can sit on commanding hills only a few miles away? How can Israel prevent the introduction of weapons and terrorists into these areas if it doesn’t control the Jordan Valley to the east? There are five mountain passes across the Judean and Samarian hills. With Iran controlling more and more territory in Iraq and the unstable country of Jordan tottering, what will prevent Iranian forces from reaching them?

John Kerry in 2014 suggested implementing American-assisted security arrangements that would theoretically protect Israel while allowing Palestinian sovereignty in most of the territories. But former Defense Minister and Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon considered the plan ludicrous, and “not worth the paper it was printed on.” Others have since come up with more sophisticated plans, but Israel is loathe to depend on high-tech sensors, Palestinian cooperation, or (especially) foreign troops. We also need to keep in mind that future American administrations might be even less friendly than the previous one. Only Israel can defend Israel.


“But it’s Palestinian land. There’s an international consensus. The settlers are motivated by extremist religious ideas, says Uncle Max.”

Wrong. According to the Palestine Mandate, whose guarantee to the Jewish people is still in force, it’s Jewish land. And the border of Israel legitimately extends to the Jordan River. The “international consensus” is a consensus between the Islamic bloc and the Europeans, both of whom are offended by the idea of a sovereign Jewish state. Both the Muslims and the Europeans, although in different ways, are no less “religious” in their convictions than the observant residents of the territories. The “consensus” is no more than a correspondence of racist anti-Jewish attitudes.

“But wait. Most Israeli Jews support the 2-state solution.”

No they don’t! A new poll shows that there has been a large decrease in support for a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria – from 60% in 2005, when Israel withdrew from Gaza, to 36% in 2017. Apparently Israeli Jews learned something from the Gaza experience.

“But,” Max continues, “the alternative to two states is one state, and Israel can’t absorb all those Arabs and still be Jewish and democratic.”

Wrong. There is no exhaustive dichotomy. Who said Israel has to absorb them? Who said there has to be a sovereign Palestinian state in almost all of Judea and Samaria? How about creating an autonomous territory in a contiguous part of the area – like Puerto Rico is to the US – where the population votes in local but not national elections, and in which external security is provided by the sovereign? That’s just one of many possibilities. Sure, working out the details would be complicated, but no more complicated than the “security arrangements” John Kerry tried to foist on us. And although some Arabs and some Jews might have to move, it would be far less traumatic than the massive expulsion of Jews that is envisaged under a 2-state plan.

“I don’t know,” he says. “There must be a way to make 2-states work.”

No, there isn’t, and that is exactly the problem. You are searching for an answer to the wrong question, one that does not have an answer. The real issue isn’t how to partition the land of Israel yet again. It’s how to guarantee the security of the state and its citizens within its rational, legitimate and defensible borders.

It’s time to say “dayenu” to the 2-state solution. The starting point must be defensible borders, not a Palestinian state.

Of course the Palestinians would find this approach unacceptable, but they also find any 2-state deal that doesn’t provide for the ultimate replacement of the Jewish state with an Arab one equally unacceptable. So why does it matter?

Why do you think we followed Moshe out of comfortable Egypt and into the desert, Uncle Max? It wasn’t in order to create ‘Palestine’!

A Call to Action: Shut Down the Claims Conference

By: Guest Author

Published: August 1st, 2013
Latest update: August 2nd, 2013

For more than a decade, there have been passionate pleas for the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the organization responsible since its inception for the distribution of over $70 billion of restitution payments, to review its management.
Photo Credit:

By Naomi Vilko, MD

Many Jewish Americans are unaware not only of the sordid behavior of the Claims Conference (Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany); they are also unaware of its existence and mission. Established in 1951, the Claims Conference has the tasks of negotiating for compensation and restitution for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution and of distributing payments from the German government to individual Jewish Holocaust survivors and the social services agencies that serve them.

Shamefully, $57.3 million intended for survivors was stolen from the Claims Conference by 31 people – 11 of them employees - over 16 years. [For more information, please read Isi Leibler’s numerous articles covering the Claims Conference scandal on his blog.] Now, influential Jews including Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress and Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel have insisted upon an independent investigation into the Claims Conference fraud as well as a change in its leadership and governance. I am grateful to Rabbi Mark Golub of Shalom TV, Isi Leibler of The Jerusalem Post and staff writers from The Jewish Daily Forward and The Jewish Week who have been following the Claims Conference scandal and pressing for justice for the survivors. I hope that we can mobilize the Jewish community to quickly close this corrupt agency and transfer the funds to another agency who will distribute them in time to help those in need.

Many Holocaust survivors have not received compensation for their suffering and losses because for some of these aging victims, the process is simply too painful; others have not received compensation because the Claims Conference is at best, difficult and obstructionist, and at worst, corrupt. Claims Conference officials have also continued to expand the definition of “Jewish victim of Nazi persecution”. Today, it administers programs providing funds not just to those who survived ghettos, concentration camps, forced labor battalions and death marches, but to anyone who fled Nazi invasion, lived in hiding, or lived under curfew. As a Psychiatrist specializing in trauma, I am well aware that it is difficult to tease out the quantitative and qualitative differences between different traumatic experiences – but I am certain that those who survived concentration camps (the youngest of whom are in their 80s) should receive assistance immediately and without the frustration of dealing with the uncaring staff of the Claims Conference and its various agencies.

My mother and I have dealt with the issue of reparations since my father, a survivor of 5 concentration camps, death marches, Hungarian forced labor and a ghetto, died suddenly in 1962. My father was denied any compensation. As his widow and a survivor herself, my mother appealed, but the appeals were denied. Recently, I again contacted several Jewish agencies in a futile attempt to assist my now 92-year-old mother with paying for her home-care. I was astounded to learn that if she only needed assistance 20 hours/week, she would receive funds, but since she requires 24-hour assistance (which she pays for herself) she will receive nothing to defray the expense. We were advised that she could go on Medicaid and/or be sent to a nursing home.

Jewish social agencies are doing the best they can to help survivors, but they say that they have limited funds. After helping themselves to large salaries and allowing fraud to persist under their noses for over a decade, is it any surprise that the Claims Conference does not have enough funds for the survivors it “claims” to serve? Furthermore, while it is commendable in theory for the Claims Conference to work to expand eligibility for these funds, I must ask: if there is not enough money available to help the survivors who have already been identified, what is the result of such efforts beyond making the bread lines longer?

It is an outrage and an embarrassment that the Claims Conference has continued to operate without oversight, even after failing in its responsibility to adequately investigate and prosecute the fraud for so many years. We must shut down the Claims Conference and transfer the funds to an existing agency, such as the Jewish Federation or the World Jewish Congress that can quickly prioritize the way funds are distributed to survivors. We have an obligation to take care of those who have been tortured and enslaved because they are Jewish – before it’s too late.

There are many survivors who have no children to care for or advocate for them and who live isolated lives in apartments with no services and little human contact. My hope is that raising awareness of the additional psychological trauma survivors experience as a result of the reparations and compensation processes and, specifically, the New York based Claims Conference itself, may lead the Jewish people to take action. Let’s face it: The Jewish people have not adequately taken care of the survivors, who are now extremely elderly and dying. They are entitled to live the last years of their lives with dignity.

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Algemeiner: How Zionists Helped Destroy Segregation in Baltimore

After a year when Jewish and African-American relations were strained by the Black Lives Matter’s denunciation of Israel and other uncomfortable incidents, it’s worth recalling a little-known episode that points to the kind of intergroup relations that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. worked so hard to foster.

In the autumn of 1946, Zionist activists known as the Bergson Group sponsored a Broadway play called “A Flag is Born,” which was authored by the Academy Award-winning screenwriter and playwright Ben Hecht. Starring a young Marlon Brando and Yiddish theater luminaries Paul Muni and Celia Adler, “Flag” depicted the plight of Holocaust survivors in post-war Europe, and the fight for Jewish independence in British Mandatory Palestine.

The London Evening Standard expressed horror that large audiences were flocking to what it called “the most virulent anti-British play ever staged in the United States.” American publications took a different view: Time called the play “colorful theater and biting propaganda,” while Life complimented its “wit and wisdom.”

After a successful 10-week run on Broadway, “Flag” was scheduled to be performed in various cities around the country, including the National Theater in Washington, DC. When the Bergson Group realized that the National barred African-Americans from attending, they quickly looked for an alternative venue.

Civil rights activists used a variety of tactics to oppose theater discrimination, from lawsuits to picket lines. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Jewish newspaper editor Harry Golden made headlines with his “Rent-a-Child” scheme, which ridiculed racist theaters by having white children accompany African-American women to the theater; the ladies were admitted on the assumption that they were the children’s nannies.

“Flag” author Ben Hecht and 32 other playwrights then announced that they would not permit their works to be performed at theaters that barred African-Americans. The Washington engagement of “Flag” was rescheduled for the Maryland Theater in Baltimore, and a train car was secured to bring 18 US Senators and a number of foreign diplomats to Baltimore for the February 1947 event.

In making the switch from Washington to Baltimore, the Bergson Group struck an important symbolic blow against racial discrimination. But as it turned out, the controversy was not over.

The Maryland Theater didn’t bar African-Americans, but it did restrict them to the balcony, which bigots nicknamed “n—-r heaven.” Alerted of this by local NAACP activists, the Bergson Group fashioned a kind of good cop-bad cop strategy. Just hours before the first curtain, Bergson officials informed the theater management that if they did not rescind the seating discrimination, the NAACP would picket the show with signs declaring, “There is No Difference Between Jim Crow in Maryland and Persecution [of Jews] in Palestine.” The Bergsonites also threatened to personally escort several African-Americans to the show as their guests, to be seated in the regular sections.

The pressure worked.

The Maryland Theater management agreed to recognize the Bergson Group as the “lessee of the theater.” That made the theater’s ticket agents employees of the Bergson Group, and subject to whatever seating policy the activists chose to adopt. A dozen African-Americans attended the opening night performance on February 12, 1947 and “were seated indiscriminately, without untoward results,” the Baltimore Afro-American reported. February 12 is, fittingly, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

Exuberant NAACP leaders hailed the “tradition-shattering victory” won by the alliance of black and Zionist activists against theater discrimination. The NAACP used that victory as potent ammunition in its battles to desegregate other Baltimore theaters in the years to follow.

“I am proud that it was my play which terminated one of the most disgraceful practices of our country’s history,” a beaming Ben Hecht declared after the opening performance in Baltimore. “For the first time in the history of the State of Maryland, Negroes were permitted to attend the legitimate theatre without discrimination. I am proud that it was “A Flag is Born” that they attended without insult. Breaking down this vicious and indecent tradition in Maryland is worthy of the high purpose for which ‘Flag’ was conceived and written. The incident is forceful testimony to the proposition that to fight discrimination and injustice to one group of human beings affords protection to every other group.”

Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, and author or editor of 16 books about Jewish history, Zionism, and the Holocaust.

From Benjamin Anthony: The Truth about Israel's Future

Click to read as published by Times of Israel.

On December 23rd, 2016, we watched as nations convened to promote, and to permit, the passage of UNSC Resolution, 2334.

That the resolution was ratified by a group within whose ranks sit several perpetrators of occupation, of wars of highly questionable legality, and of military campaigns that have ravaged countries and populations far beyond their sovereign boundaries, is an irony worthy of comment and exploration indeed.

Moreover, the fact that the very governments who have demonstrated nothing more than boundless ineptitude and indecisiveness regarding the broader middle east now arrogantly exhibit total and utter certainty as to how, when and why Israel must affect policy - for Israel's own sake no less - reflects a dynamic that ought to beggar belief. Sadly, such hypocrisy is standard procedure at the United Nations.

Of far greater concern to me, however, was the speech made by Secretary of State John Kerry, less than a week thereafter, in which he demonstrated a stubborn, absolutist adherence to the two state solution; the essential tenets of which include further land concessions by Israel and the division of our capital, in the hope of a peace that has thus far eluded us.

Indeed, the secretary's perception is best evinced by his opening declaration that:

"The two state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians."

Responses to the speech came thick and fast; both from within and beyond the state of Israel. Some were congratulatory, others condemnatory. Regrettably, far too many focused upon the secretary himself; a futile endeavor indeed.

On matters such as this, Israel ought to undertake two things above all.

Firstly, we ought to present responses demonstrative of strategic thought, deliberation and direction.

Secondly, Israel should assign the best of our talent and attention to the 'message,' not the 'messenger.' Specifically, we must vigorously challenge the manner in which peacemaking for Israelis is prescribed by others. If current events in the middle east prove anything at all, it is that nothing is certain, much less singularly so. Messengers come and go. Policies, unchallenged, endure.

We ought to be deeply disturbed by the willingness of many to trumpet the two state solution, with all of its pitfalls, as the only possible solution. With particular reference to our friends overseas, and to those individuals by whom you are represented, I thus propose a series of questions for you to ask of yourselves; the answers to which ought to engender a deeper understanding and internalization of the dilemmas facing the people of Israel and the potential ramifications upon which many of us rightly focus.

These questions are informed by simple realities that are too often forgotten, dismissed or overlooked by many throughout the international community. We in Israel do not have the luxury of averting our gaze from such considerations. We should not be expected to do so.

Question 1: Is the two state solution geographically practicable and implementable?
Can you stand over an open map of the land that lays between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean sea and demonstrate how a fully contiguous state for the Palestinian Arabs - incorporating Judea & Samaria and the Gaza Strip - can be established without breaching the contiguity of northern and southern Israel?

Question 2: Is there proof, evidence and precedent suggestive of the idea that further concessions of land to the Palestinian Arabs will result in a peaceful, secure reality for the state and people of Israel?
Having withdrawn from the Gaza strip in 2005, in the pursuit of peace, Israelis have fallen prey to thousands of rockets launched upon our towns and cities from the very territory vacated. Today, at least two-thirds of the state of Israel is rendered within range of rocket attacks emanating from Gaza. Terror tunnels dug by Hamas into Israel have morphed from a tactical threat into a strategic asset. Does this reality inspire confidence in the continuation of the land for peace policy? This question calls for answers predicated upon proof and evidence. It does not call for hopes, dreams and conjecture.

Question 3: Are you certain that the majority of Israelis are ready, willing and prepared to divide our capital city, Jerusalem?
For millennia, the people of Israel yearned to return to Jerusalem. Unlike the national anthems of many other countries, a full throated reference to our capital city marks the crescendo of the Israeli anthem. For millions of Israelis, Jerusalem constitutes the magnet, the pulse and the very heart of our national, cultural and religious existence. As just one citizen, I reject as absurd any suggestion proclaiming that only by carving up that very heart is the survival of the broader organism assured. Capital cities signify state sovereignty. A sacked capital signifies a defeated state. Whether a capital is sacked by gunfire or by diplomatic pressure, the result is the same.

Israel's citizenry has known generations of war and so we are uniquely willing to travel the road that leads to peace. Yet even at the outset of that journey we can clearly discern certain features that are more than worthy of being defended, both now and in the future. For me, and for many like me, Jerusalem, is one such feature. I am willing to defend it jealously, proudly and unabashedly. You may well suggest that it ought to be partitioned. I simply ask that you refrain from doing so as though your suggestion is reasonable. To me, it is not. In insisting upon the preservation of my capital, I am neither unique here in Israel, nor markedly different from citizens of other sovereign countries who would respond with equal possessiveness regarding their nation's capital.

Question 4: If the two state solution is implemented, unsuccessfully, would you be prepared to live with the consequences of that failure as is expected of the Israeli people?
Since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, three defensive operations have been launched by the I.D.F. in response to acts of terror from the strip. Such operations required the repeated, mass mobilization of the I.D.F. reservists. These citizen-soldiers are our fathers and our mothers. They are our doctors, professors, lawyers and innovators. They are our business owners and our civil servants. They are just like you. For more than a decade now, they have been caught in the cause of putting right that which legislators made so very wrong. Even as such legislators enjoy their retirement from public life, having vacated the international stage, the citizens of Israel are called upon to preserve our safety and security. Our ability to do stems from a direct and personal obligation to defend our homes and our families. Such citizen-soldiers move forward on pain of death. Would you be willing to risk a reality such as that?

Question 5: If the two state solution is implemented, unsuccessfully, would you be prepared to have your own children face the consequences of that failure as is expected of Israeli children?
Israel's sons and daughters constitute the first line of defense against attacks upon our cities and civilians. Oftentimes, due to Israel's lack of strategic depth, our defenders can literally see the towns they defend from the forward lines of the battlefield. Israel's sons and daughters face a clear cut choice, therefore. If they stand fast, the people behind them will live. If they fail to do so, some of those people will die. It really is that straightforward on the line. The past four major, cross-border operations have come as a direct consequence of the land for peace formula. With that in mind, would you bet the safety of your children upon the policy whims of foreign governments? Or is the courage required to engage in such a wager something you uniquely expect from the parents of Israeli teens?

Question 6: In Israel, parents and children alike report to the field of combat. They do so with a very heavy heart. Is it truly reasonable to believe that Israelis require international pressure in order to sedulously pursue a peaceful existence for ourselves and for our loved ones?
Within Israel, the debate as to how we ensure a life of peace, safety and security is alive, well and intense. It is Israel's to have. We will continue to exercise our democratic right to demand of our legislators that they do all that is possible and practical to bring about an end to this conflict, without paying a pyrrhic price. No pressure from overseas is needed when it comes to appreciating the urgency of peace making. What accounts for your belief that it is?

Friends, these are my questions to you. They are posed with my insistence that anyone unable to return a resounding 'yes' to all 6 must move away from the land for peace policy and instead consider new, imaginative and viable alternatives. A stubborn unwillingness to do so would demonstrate an alarming readiness to demand of the people of Israel that we accept upon ourselves a standard that no other people would be so much as asked to consider.

It will not be the legislators of distant lands who immediately bear the consequences of the policies they espouse. Rather, it will be the citizens of Israel to whom the task is uniquely assigned.

Do not impose upon Israel a future that you would never accept upon yourselves.

Allow us instead to chart our own course, both this year, and in the years to come, as we move toward the realization of our most sincere prayer, that of knowing Shalom Al Yisrael.

Notice: The views expressed above do not represent the views of the IDF, the Foreign Ministry or the organization Our Soldiers Speak. They are reflective solely of the views of the author. 

Free Speech and Antisemitism By RUTH R. WISSE

Free Speech and Antisemitism



WSJ Dec. 29, 2016 6:22 p.m. ET

December began with the passage by the Senate of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act and ended with President Obama’s betrayal of the Jewish state. In a reversal of policy, the U.S. failed to block a United Nations Security Council measure that is arguably the most prejudicial U.N. pronouncement since the 1975 resolution declaring that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The president’s abstention aligns America with the malefactors against whom the Senate is trying to raise awareness.

Let us take this step by step. The Senate passed the triple-A act in response to the escalation of anti-Jewish hostility in America, especially on the fringes of politics and in institutions of higher learning. University administrators protested that the legislation would stifle “freedom of speech.” Treating anti-Semitism as a problem of free speech is like treating an outbreak of mumps as a problem of cosmetics. Responsible authorities are required to check injurious epidemics.

The Senate bill itself understates the problem by treating anti-Semitism under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. Were anti-Semitism historically a matter of discrimination alone, it could not have generated the extermination of the Jews of Europe or the perpetual Arab war against Israel. Discrimination is merely one byproduct of anti-Semitism, which in modernity is a political strategy, ideology and movement forged in 19th-century Europe, adapted by 20th-century Arabs, and now spreading in our midst.

Decades after World War II, the U.S. established the Holocaust Memorial Museum presumably to warn against genocides like the mass murder of European Jewry. But the museum inadvertently subverted its purpose. The League for Anti-Semitism was founded in Germany in the 1870s to oppose liberal democracy, which it called a Jewish plot “to conquer Germany from within.” Tsarist Russia added “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and accused Jews of wanting to conquer the world. Nazism added the feature of Aryan supremacy. Nationalist movements adapted it to their specificities, and so did internationalist movements, which is why one of their leaders called anti-Semitism the “socialism of fools.”

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Protean anti-Semitism spans the political spectrum and blames Jews for whatever they are said to represent. Long before the Holocaust, anti-Semitism spawned its successor anti-Zionism. When the mufti of Jerusalem instigated massacres of the Jews of Palestine in 1929, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin hailed them as harbingers of a Communist revolution, charging Palestinian Jews with imperialism and laying the groundwork for the Soviet-Arab alliance that later dominated the U.N. Thus was a form of politics designed in Europe and organized against Jews in their dispersion reorganized against Jews gathered in their homeland.

The Arab League’s war against Israel opposed the principle of coexistence. Arab leaders, having failed in their vow to push Israel into the sea, adopted the inverted tactics of anti-Semitism by accusing Israel of displacing the Palestinians. Much of the subsequent convulsion and violence in the Arab world can be traced to that original political sin of refusing coexistence.

Turning back to America, no one familiar with President Obama’s biography can be surprised by his acquiescence in the anti-Jewish politics of grievance and blame. Raised in, educated by, and exposed to the major forms of contemporary anti-Semitism, he would have been remarkable to have escaped its effects. He attended school in Indonesia where, according to Pew surveys, unfavorable views of the Jews are among the highest in the Muslim world.

This is the most obvious connection between his upbringing and his membership in the Chicago church of Jeremiah Wright, the pastor whose anti-Semitism he had to repudiate in order to win the White House. No less important than either of these influences were his college years at Columbia in the early 1980s—when Prof. Edward Said was sounding the pro-PLO drumbeat against Israel—and his association with the anti-Zionist hard left in Chicago.


In this respect the president is a faithful product of his education. His ruinous legacy underscores the importance of “Anti-Semitism Awareness,” whether or not passage of the Senate’s act will be enough to arrest it. The current administration has courted the favor of Israel’s pursuers in the hope of averting their enmity toward the U.S.

In so doing, it has licensed an anti-Israel assault on the part of some Americans beguiled by a similar fantasy and comforted by the knowledge that Israel, because it can least afford to relax its military defenses against their common enemies, serves as the West’s fighting front line. In like fashion, college administrators may be glad to have Jews absorb campus discontent that might otherwise be directed at them.

These dodges failed before and will fail again. The Jewish people has proven its ability to remain morally intact—some say exceptional—through several millennia. America’s exceptionalism is still being tested, and its submission to anti-Semitism is not a good sign. In failing to stand up to Israel’s and America’s common foes, President Obama has failed the country that elected him its leader.

Ms. Wisse, a former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard, is the author of “Jews and Power” (Schocken, 2007).

Do Palestinians Want Peace? Here Are 5 Facts That Say No.


DECEMBER 29, 2016

In Secretary of State and Professional Asshat™ John Kerry’s execrable speech on the Arab-Israeli conflict on Wednesday, the man whose face is a living rockslide declared that the true obstacle to peace was Israel building bathrooms in Efrat and East Jerusalem. Kerry repeatedly maintained that Palestinians want peace with Israel. That’s eminently untrue, and it’s been untrue for the entirety of the so-called peace process and long before.

Here are five demonstrations that the “Palestinians want peace” notion is an outright lie, and that Palestinians actually prefer a continued conflict that maintains the possibility of the full-scale destruction of the Jewish State.

1. Palestinian Response To Kerry Speech. Hilariously, just after Kerry ripped into Israel in unprecedented fashion and declared that if Israel stopped all settlement building and moved to reverse settlements, as well as splitting Jerusalem, Palestinians would embrace peace, the Palestinians openly scoffed at him. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki immediately stated that Kerry had not proposed anything new, and refused recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. So much for Kerry’s proposed peace deal.

2. Palestinians Have Repeatedly Refused Kerry’s Deal. In 2000, far-left Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered over 90 percent of Judea and Samaria, all of the Gaza Strip, a land-link between the two, Palestinian control over the mosques on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as well as cash for Palestinian refugees. Arafat ran away from the table. Even useful idiot Thomas Friedman stated about Arafat, “He came with no compromise ideas of his own on Jerusalem. He simply absorbed Mr. Barak’s proposals and repeated Palestinian mantras about recovering all of East Jerusalem.” Just months later, Arafat launched an Intifada. In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered nearly 94 percent of Judea and Samaria, plus another six percent of Israeli territory, a link to the Gaza Strip, withdrawal from East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods, and placement of the Old City under international control. Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas walked away from the table.

3. The Palestinian Unity Government Is Rooted In Anti-Jewish Terror. The Palestinian government is committed to the destruction of Israel. It is a tripartite unity government under the control of the terrorist group Hamas, the terrorist group Fatah, and the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. Not one of these groups recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. All teach, fund, and promote terrorism against Jews, as even Kerry acknowledged. The charters for each of these groups call for Israel’s full destruction.

4. Polls Show Palestinians Are Not Interested In A Durable Peace. Kerry kept saying that Palestinians want peace. That’s not what the polls say. A poll from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research as of September 2015 found that 51 percent of Palestinians rejected the two-state solution. A plurality, 42 percent, said that the best way of establishing a Palestinian state would be “armed action,” with just 29 percent saying negotiation. Polls also showed Hamas running evenly with the supposedly-moderate Palestinian Authority. Prior polls show that Palestinian willingness to accept a Jewish state would be only temporary anyway: a poll from 2010 showed that while about 60 percent of Palestinians supported a two-state solution at the time, they also thought that in the end, Israel would disappear. Just 23 percent said they believed in a right to exist for a Jewish homeland in Israel.

5. Israeli Attempts To Uproot Settlements Have Been Met With Violence. Perhaps the best evidence that Palestinians are not interested in peace comes courtesy of actual history: in 2005, the Israeli government forced 8,000 Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip and handed all control over to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians promptly burned down every resource left by the Jews, then turned around and elected the terrorist group Hamas, which proceeded to arm and then attack Israeli civilians, use funding to build terror tunnels designed for kidnapping and murder, and attempt to ship in more armaments from Iran and Turkey. Again, Hamas was elected. They now sit in the unity government with the Palestinian Authority and Islamic Jihad.

So no, the Palestinians are not interested in peace. They never have been. Israel accepted UN borders in 1947; the Arabs declared war. Israelis accepted the armistice lines of 1949; the Arabs created the Palestine Liberation Organization to “liberate” Palestine – meaning all of Israel, including Tel Aviv and Haifa – from Jewish rule in 1964, before the so-called “occupation.” In 1979, the Jews handed over the Sinai for promises of peace with Egypt. In 1993, the Jews signed the Oslo Accords. The Jews have made concession after concession, and each new concession has been met with a wave of violence.

How President-elect Trump might undo Obama's hostility to Israel

by Jonathan Schanzer
The Hill December 30, 2016        

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is counting the days until Barack Obama leaves office. So are many supporters of Israel here in the United States, including members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.

It's not just last week's abstention on an anti-Israel measure at the United Nations Security Council. Nor was it the long-winded speech about Israeli settlements by President Obama's secretary of State, John Kerry, earlier this week.

It's the sum total of Obama's harmful Middle East policies that have imperiled Israel: a deeply-flawed Iran deal that gifted Iran $150 billion in sanctions relief; the failure to stabilize the war in Syria, which has put Hezbollah, ISIS and other bad actors on Israel's northern border; and the mishandling of the Arab Spring, which has brought chronic instability throughout Israel's already-nasty neighborhood.

Will the next administration fix all of that? It's a tall order.

The Iran deal can certainly be undone. ISIS can be defeated. Iran and Hezbollah can be driven from Syria. And some of the region's nasty internecine conflicts can be mediated. The problem is that this can't all be accomplished at once. Untangling Obama's mess will require prioritization, patience and, above all, thoughtful policies.

But other things can be fixed more quickly. On Jan. 20, the relationship between the new president and Israel's prime minister seems set to improve immeasurably. Based on statements from both leaders, the "special relationship" will be special again. Donald Trump appears poised to rhetorically defend Israel against its many enemies and to do nothing to prevent Israel from defending itself. He also appears ready to veto any new anti-Israel measures at the U.N. Security Council.

Last week's U.N. vote is not likely to be overturned, however. This was almost certainly part of Obama's calculus. Obama understood full well that the measure would pave the way for the delegitimization of Israel by some countries, and even put wind in the sails of the propaganda and economic warfare campaign against Israel known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

True, the outgoing president signed a generous Memorandum of Understanding in September granting $3.8 billion per year in U.S. aid to Israel for a decade. But his eleventh-hour move at the U.N. now promises to subtract from this assistance.

Since the U.N. vote, pro-Israel lawmakers and policy wonks have been considering moves that the new administration might make to mitigate the damage and perhaps even try to inoculate Israel in the future.

Some, notably Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), have called for steep cuts in U.S. funding to the U.N. Such a move would put the U.N. on notice for its pathological fixation on Israel, but also its irredeemable ineffectuality and incalculable corruption.

There are other ways of sending a tough message short of a full funding cut. This could include working to abolish the U.N. Human Rights Council, through which the worst dictatorships and nastiest regimes regularly accuse Israel of alleged crimes, but stand by uselessly while Bashar Assad, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia have carried out unspeakable atrocities in Syria.

Another step could be to either cut funding to or demand the reform of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which is a U.N. body dedicated entirely to supporting the Palestinian refugee population. UNRWA recognizes some 6.5 million Palestinians as refugees today.

Except this population is overwhelmingly made up of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original refugee populations from the 1948 and 1967 wars. Indeed, the original refugee population has dwindled over the years to an estimated 30,000-50,000. In other words, UNRWA has been perpetuating the Palestinian-Israel conflict through heredity, and by not insisting that this population be resettled, as the UN has done with every single other refugee population.

Other legislators, including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinin (R-Fla.), have repeatedly called for cuts in U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority. These calls will almost certainly increase as Congress seeks to reassure Israel in the wake of Obama's lame-duck maneuvers. Legislators in the past have pointed to incitement, the paying of salaries to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons, and corruption as justification. They will now point to the Palestinian Authority's complicity in the recent U.N. vote.

Others have talked about shutting down or downgrading the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) diplomatic representation here in the United States. It's certainly fair to ask why the United States continues to recognize the PLO as the sole Palestinian representative for diplomatic negotiations when it has refused to negotiate with Israel for years.

But none of this would necessarily protect Israel from the boycotts and assaults on its legitimacy that may stem from the U.N. vote. That's why some within the incoming administration are reportedly mulling reprisals for European nations that wage economic warfare against Israel. There is also talk of injecting new funds, leadership and urgency into the bureaucracy to fight politically motivated boycotts against America or any of its allies.

Finally, there is talk of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move is, of course, enshrined in law, even though Obama and his predecessors have wielded their waiver authorities to block it. Moving the embassy is, by now, a well-known objective of Trump's incoming ambassador, David Friedman. Should it come to pass, it will be seen as a sign of unequivocal friendship and a full-throated recognition of Israel's struggle for security and international legitimacy. That is something Israelis haven't seen for eight years.

Jonathan Schanzer is vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies

You are the racist, actually, not me RACHEL MOORE – December 30, 2016


I am an Orthodox Jewish settler raising seven children in the West Bank. I’m also an American citizen and I voted for Donald Trump. Yeah, I’m that lady. I opened a local business here, and I did so on purpose — to respond to BDS anti-settler activities by encouraging Jewish West Bank residents to work in the West Bank and keep their own businesses local in the West Bank. I believe in annexation and I do not support a two-state solution.

And that makes me a peace-loving, Palestinian-respecting individual. I’m not the racist. You are. 

You, my liberal, anti-settler, anti-Trump friends who hate my views — if not me (yet) — are the racists. I have spent a lot of time particularly in the past three months being told by US Democratic voters and UN supporters what a monstrous racist group of people we are, those people “like me.”

I’ve finally had enough. I’ve invited so many of you to engage and hear from real people instead of judging, and you show no interest. Apparently, it’s preferable to let television and the New York Times inform your views on my little corner of the world.

I want to start with the US elections. I have read post after blog after article telling me why Trump voters voted for him. What we think, how we feel, what matters to us (and what doesn’t, like women and/or minorities), and who we are. With some serious name calling. But you didn’t ask me. And you don’t actually know what I think or feel or want or why I voted. So you are pre-judging me. Based on a whole lot of stuff. But it’s prejudice, no matter how you slice it. And I have tolerated — just barely — eight years of a president who not only told me what to think and feel, but told the world assumptions about me as a white person who grew up with “privilege” that just aren’t true. I watched as my life choices and values as a person living in the West Bank of Israel were summarized, judged and assumed by the leader of the free world in a way that is just false, and offensive to my sense of fairness, justice and humanity. I have been misjudged and mischaracterized, in fact penalized, without a proper understanding of what reality looks like over here.

I have watched a president grab executive power while Congress screamed and the citizens ignored it. I watched a president on the political left, who was democratically elected and is entitled to his views, create a culture of demonization of the Right in a way that is unprecedented in my lifetime. I saw policies that moved the US towards socialism. And I voted against any more years of that. Not that you asked. But when you — or he, or Hilary — call me a misogynist or a racist or a pig or “deplorable” for voting the way I did, you are judging a whole band of “them” that isn’t you. And I know how much you hate it when other people do that.

As for being an Israeli settler? I live and work with and among Palestinians. They are my neighbors, my colleagues, my friends, and yes, my threat. They, their dignity, pain, reality and families are in my face and consciousness daily. I don’t presume to claim to know what all Palestinians as a group think or believe. What I do know is that there is a very wide spectrum and a whole lot of shades of gray without much black and white. Let me start by asking you: do YOU know that?

While the world watches Aleppo burn and Syrian children slaughtered in the thousands every year without so much as single protest or call to action, the same world is out to show that Israeli occupation of another people is the true evil in the world.

And that same prejudiced world has been living with democracy for so long that I think maybe you have all forgotten what it really means not to have it. Here is the problem I need you to grapple with for a moment: there is no Palestinian leadership option that will give people a voice, empower and educate women, create and build freedom for the individual. Palestinian citizens of Israel today (many of whom call themselves proudly Arab Israelis and not Palestinians, but not all, it’s part of the shades of gray and a different blog post) have access to subsidized education, universal health care, can open a business, sit on the Supreme Court, and be members of Israel’s Parliament. They can fight the system lawfully and from within and stand up in our parliament, the only democracy in the Middle East, and explain why Israelis need to improve the situation today for Palestinians.

Do you actually know what “racist” reality exists today? Israelis are bound by law, including in the “West Bank” to obey and uphold the laws. That makes us culpable legally and financially if we cause harm to anyone or anything. But a resident in a territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority, just a few miles from my home can smash into the side of my car, laugh and walk away. A Palestinian can buy land and build on it. A Jew cannot. In fact, a Jew cannot travel into Palestinian controlled areas at all, without fear of lynching, beatings and murder. Which will not only go unpunished, but when they happen are celebrated in the streets. That makes ME the victim of racism and apartheid over here in the West Bank. Arabs living in Israel have more freedom, more education, more democracy, more of a voice and more opportunity than in the thousands and thousands of miles of stretches of the many Arab countries in the Middle East. Jews no longer exist in those countries because of the racism/apartheid against them that is so rampant, so commonplace and yet, has not warranted a single speech in the UN or from the White House condemning it.

When I am castigated for supporting the annexation of land that some of you wrongfully identify as “occupied” (it’s disputed, not occupied, based on International Law; look it up.), you are telling me that Palestinians, whose current situation is far far less than ideal and is causing anger and sadness and needs improvement, all want to live under an oppressive, dictatorial, thug-like regime that embezzles, doesn’t provide girls with proper education, trains in hate, and has no democracy, because it is comprised of Palestinians. (Picking leaders by ethnicity? How racist of you!)

You are telling me that “they” desire this over living in 100% freedom and democracy in a “Jewish” state that has Arab/Muslim religious rights, education, healthcare, and the ability to make change legally and effectively through serving in the government. And if you aren’t telling me what they want, you are telling me that you know that this is what is best for them. That this is the best alternative of those that are out there waiting for them. It is most definitely the alternative that John Kerry just laid out.

You are telling me what they want, what they prefer…. Or at least that you know, sitting over there in Massachusetts and California (and Herzliya) what they SHOULD want. What’s best for them. You are taking your Western ideals and assumptions and choices and imposing them on people here without a true understanding of peoplehood, of the history. You are swallowing political rhetoric about a group of people – about them, and about me. And that is your prejudice — your racism.

Annexation would end the dispute over disputed territories. It would give full rights to those living in the areas known as “post 1967” lines. It would allow Jews and Arabs to buy land and build where they live. And to argue and disagree and VOTE. And make the system better over time. With a real democracy. It would allow women to become doctors and lawyers and famous news anchors, just like the Arab female role models Israel already has! It would allow Israel to throw out and deport all terrorists. Freeing the Palestinian people of the terrorists in their midst just as much as it would free Jews. Equal opportunity banishing of bad guys. Because I believe that non-terrorist Palestinians don’t want to live among terrorists, or be ruled by terrorists, or have to shelter terrorists. Or be labeled by the world because of those terrorists. I think better of them than that. Do you?

Annexation would yes, “water down” my Jewish demographic. But that doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t scare me. You have just assumed that it would because of your racist prejudices against me. I would rather see people of all faiths live on the one island of democracy, freedom and hope that exists in the middle of an insanely mad world of violence, death, clitorectomies, child brides and much worse that is the Middle East today, than hand Palestinians over to the hands of thug leaders they don’t like or respect, they only fear and have to obey. Which is what those not blessed to be in Israel proper today have to suffer from.

The Palestinians living in Gaza are raised on hate. They have missiles in their kindergartens and children’s bedrooms. Girls and women can be beaten, as in most of the Middle East, because of prevailing culture and the leadership. While you seem quite ready to create an official state in a “Two State Solution,” where that is where the bar is set, I don’t have such little regard for Palestinian lives. For little Palestinian girls. I want better for them. Israel can give them better — because Israel already does, for many.

I think they deserve as rich and wonderful life as I am blessed to have. And Israel is the only place in the Middle East that can give it to them. You want to give them Gaza? How about Aleppo? Or Saudia Arabia, where women can’t drive and there are tutorials on televison on how to use makeup to cover up their beatings? That’s all you think that they are worth?

If you are fighting so hard for a reality where that is the best they can get, then take a look in the mirror because the racist sure isn’t me, it’s you. 

Secretary Kerry’s suspension of disbelief

Yoram will be in the US in 2017, available for speaking engagements.

Secretary Kerry’s suspension of disbelief
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
“Israel Hayom,” December 20, 2016,

The term “suspension of disbelief” refers to well-intentioned subordination of documented-facts and common sense to one’s zeal and wishful-thinking: sacrificing long-term realism on the altar of oversimplification and short-term gratification and convenience.

Secretary Kerry’s December 28, 2016 speech was replete with suspension of disbelief, totally inconsistent with Middle East reality, but consistent with the Secretary’s 31-year foreign policy track record.

Secretary John Kerry’s Middle East track record:

Kerry was the top frequent-flying Senator to Damascus, allowing his own idyllic   vision of the globe and his hosts’ duplicitous rhetoric to cloud reality.  He contended that Hafez and Bashar Assad – two of the most ferocious, cold-blooded dictators in the world - were constructive leaders, referring to Bashar Assad as a generous reformer and a man of his word, while Bashar terrorized his people and facilitated the infiltration into Iraq of Islamic terrorists, whose aim was to murder Americans. In March 2011, Kerry stated: “My judgment is that Syria will move, Syria will change as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the US and the West….”  Indeed, Syria has changed, but contrary to Kerry’s assessment, with 400,000 deaths and 10MN refugees out of 18 million Syrians.

In his 1997 book, The New War (sold by Amazon for $0.01), Kerry demonstrated inclination to dismiss the writing on the wall when in conflict with wishful-thinking: “Terrorist organizations with specific political agendas may be encouraged and emboldened by Yasser Arafat’s transformation from outlaw to statesman.”  

In 2012, Kerry contended that the Arab Street was transitioning toward democracy, “the most important geo-strategic shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”  He referred to the Arab Tsunami as an Arab Spring and to the regime change in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen as youth and Facebook revolutions. Kerry supported regime-change in Libya, which has transformed Libya into a leading global platform of Islamic terrorism.

Critical pitfalls of Secretary Kerry’s roadmap to peace:

1. In his December 28, 2016 speech, Secretary Kerry maintained that the crux of the failure to conclude a peace agreement is lack of trust: “Negotiations [between Israel and the Palestinian Authority] did not fail because gaps were too wide, but because the level of trust was too low….”  

2. Apparently, Kerry takes lightly the failure of the Palestinian leadership to pass any of the crucial test of its commitment to peaceful coexistence – in 1993 (Oslo Accords), 2000 (Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s unprecedented proposals) and 2005 (the uprooting of all Jewish settlements from Gaza) – by responding to unparalleled Israeli territorial and diplomatic concessions with a dramatic escalation of hate education and terrorism. Such a Palestinian track record should be expected due to the notorious hate-education and incitement, which has been a most effective production-line of terrorists, and is the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian strategic goal.  

3. Contrary to the Secretary’s observation, the crux of the failure has been the inherent nature of the Palestinian leadership, highlighted by its long-term track record: from waves of anti-Jewish terrorism, through the collaboration with Nazi Germany, the USSR and the East European rogue Communist regimes, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Islamic, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations.

4. While Palestinian leaders are welcome by the US State Department with a “red carpet,” Arab leaders welcome them with “shabby rugs” in response to the Palestinian violent back-stabbing of Arab hosts (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and most painfully, Kuwait in 1990). 

5. Kerry stated that “the two state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians…. The vote in the UN was about preserving the two-state solution…. The US did vote in accordance with our values….” However, the aforementioned Palestinian leadership track record certifies that a Palestinian state would be another rogue, violent regime, undermining US values and national security, adding fuel to the regional fire, constituting a lethal threat to the vulnerable pro-US Hashemite regime – with potential spillover into Saudi Arabia and the pro-US Gulf states – undermining stability in Egypt, upgrading the potential of a pro-Ayatollah bloc from Teheran to Ramallah, west of the Jordan River, providing port facilities to the Russian (and possibly Chinese and Iranian) navy in the Eastern Mediterranean, and adding another anti-US vote at the already anti-US UN. 

6. Once again, Secretary Kerry attempts to scare the Jewish State into reckless concessions, implying that the only way to preserve Jewish demography (majority) is by conceding Jewish geography (the over-towering mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria). Once again, he reverberates inauthentic, manipulated Palestinian statistics, and therefore ignores the demographic reality in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel: an up-trending 66% Jewish majority, featuring an unprecedented Westernization of Arab demography and a robust Jewish demographic (fertility and net-migration). 

7. Kerry misled the public when claiming that UN Security Council Resolution 242 “called for the withdrawal of Israel from territory that it occupied in 1967 in return for peace and secure borders….” Kerry failed to indicate that 242 did not stipulate “all the territories;” that Israel has already complied with 242 by conceded 90% of the territory by evacuating the entire Sinai Peninsula; and that Israel fought a defensive/preemptive war in 1967.  He failed to mention that in 1988 Jordan waived its claim to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (which was recognized only by Britain and Pakistan); and that Israel possesses the best legal title over the area based on Articles 77 and 80 of the UN Charter, which upholds the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, aimed to establish a Jewish national home.

8. While Kerry attempts to coax Israel into reliance on security arrangements and guarantees, he fails to indicate that such tools are characterized by non-specificity, non-automaticity and ample escape routes, which may doom Israel on a rainy day. For example, the NATO treaty does not commit the US beyond considering steps on behalf of an attacked NATO member “as it deems necessary.”  Furthermore, in 1954, President Eisenhower concluded a defense treaty with Taiwan, to be annulled by President Carter with the support of Congress and the US Supreme Court.

The US’ and Israel’s national security, and the pursuit of peace, require long-term, tenacious commitment to realism, in defiance of oversimplification, short-term convenience and suspension of disbelief; avoiding rather than repeating critical past errors, which doomed a litany of well-meaning peace initiatives.

"The NY Times does it again" by Phyllis Chesler

Phyllis Chesler, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and recipient of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, is the author of sixteen books, including The New Anti-Semitism and Living History: On The Front Lines for Israel and the Jews.

The New York Times has done it again! Just when I think they couldn’t possibly be any worse—they have the power to surprise and disgust me anew.

Six days ago, 14 nations on the UN Security Council (with America’s abstention), voted in Resolution 2334--and we know that Obama was behind this resolution, just stay tuned for “iron clad” evidence.

Yesterday, Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, delivered his shameless lecture in which, as Israel’s “friend,” he demanded that it commit suicide by appeasing terrorism even further in the pointless, fruitless process known as the “two state solution.”

And today—the New York Times devotes five articles—yes, five separate articles, to further buttress and defend Kerry’s vision.

Under a bold headline: Kerry Says Israel Keeps Sabotaging Peace Prospects, we find two articles; both are front page right hand “lead” articles. David E. Sanger (Kerry Rebukes Israel, Calling Settlements a Threat to Peace) spends 1,612 words “voicing frustration at Netanyahu.”

Right next to him, Peter Baker (In John Kerry's Mideast Speech, a Clash of Policies and Personalities), spends 1,320 words claiming that the “two state solution nears the end of its shelf life.” Both articles continue on page A10 and take up the entire page. The pull quotes read: “A bluntness rarely heard from U.S. diplomat about a close ally,” and “Kerry plays for history, while Netanyahu and Trump play for time.”

This is not straight news reporting. This is an editorial. Really, it is rank propaganda.

On page A11, opposite, there is another article by Jonathan Martin (Kerry's Blunt Words for Israel Denounced by Lawmakers in Both Parties). The pull quote here reads: “A speech is greeted warmly in Europe but with a shrug in the Arab world.” This article is 872 words in length.

Not to be trumped by their own journalists, the NYT editors spend their entire editorial on: “Is Israel Abandoning a Two-State Solution?” The word count here is 1,228 words.

Of course, Thomas Friedman, whose column appears opposite the editorial, spends 901 words in an article titled: Bibi Netanyahu Makes Trump His Chump.

This coverage, which is entirely one-sided and based on falsehoods, distortions, and false moral equivalencies, amounts to almost 6,000 words (5,933 words to be exact).

So in Thursday’s Paper of Record we have a thousands of words highly critical of Israel and only of Israel. The consistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state, to cease their terrorism against it, their refusal of offers of more than 95% of disputed territories—that is both underplayed and never viewed as the main reason that the “peace process” has failed.

Most people do not read or study entire articles. They are guided by the headlines, the pull quotes, and perhaps by the opening paragraphs. If a presumably distinguished newspaper spends that many words on the same day featuring a single country—then this must be major breaking news. Yes?

The first and only mention of Islamic terrorism in today's paper appears on pg A 12 (Tunisian Detained as Possible Accomplice in Berlin Attack) and concerns a possible accomplice in the Tunisian truck attack in Berlin. We learn nothing about Syria, Iraq, Sudan or Iran. We are not kept apprised of the region’s continual melt-down into barbaric chaos, the vast flood of refugees—especially the horrifyingly under-valued Christian refugees in the region.

I have said this before and I’ll say it again: The New York Times is guilty of the filthiest propaganda when it comes to Israel, Judaism, and Islam. It alone has indoctrinated and brainwashed all those who read it, day after day, and who swear it is their “Bible.”

May I strongly suggest that everyone read Daniel Pipes in the current issue of Commentary? He has written a clear and concise analysis of how Israel itself will be able to make peace. It is titled: “A New Strategy for Israeli Victory.”

Our World: Obama’s war against America By CAROLINE B. GLICK J POST

Our World: Obama’s war against America


Mon, 26 Dec 2016, 02:08 PM

In 1989, following her tenure as President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick described how the Palestinians have used the UN to destroy Israel.

Following outgoing US President Barack Obama’s assault on Israel at the UN Security Council last Friday, longtime UN observer Claudia Rossett wrote an important article at PJMedia where she recalled Kirkpatrick’s words.

In “How the PLO was legitimized,” published in Commentary, Kirkpatrick said that Yasser Arafat and the PLO worked “to come to power through international diplomacy – reinforced by murder.”

Kirkpatrick explained, “The long march through the UN has produced many benefits for the PLO. It has created a people where there was none; a claim where there was none. Now the PLO is seeking to create a state where there already is one. That will take more than resolutions and more than an ‘international peace conference.’ But having succeeded so well over the years in its campaign to delegitimize Israel, the PLO might yet also succeed in bringing the campaign to a triumphant conclusion, with consequences for the Jewish state that would be nothing short of catastrophic.”

As Rossett noted, in falsely arguing that Obama’s support for Friday’s UN Security Council Resolution 2334 is in line with Reagan’s policies, Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power deliberately distorted the historical record of US policy toward Israel and the PLO-led UN onslaught against the Jewish state.

As Rosett noted, in stark contrast to Power’s self-serving lie, neither Reagan nor George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush would have ever countenanced a resolution like 2334.

Obama’s predecessors’ opposition to the war against Israel at the UN was not merely an expression of their support for Israel. They acted also out of a fealty to US power, which is directly targeted by that war.

It is critical that we understand how this is the case, and why the implications of Resolution 2334 are disastrous to the US itself.

Resolution 2334 is being presented as an “anti-settlement” resolution. But it is not an anti-settlement resolution.

Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and neighborhoods in Jerusalem are being used – as they always have been used – as a means of delegitimizing the Jewish state as a whole, and legitimizing Palestinian terrorists and Islamic terrorists more generally. Resolution 2334 serves to criminalize Israel and its people and to undermine Israel’s right to exist, while embracing Palestinian terrorists and empowering them in their war to annihilate Israel.

America’s historic refusal to countenance such actions at the UN Security was never a purely altruistic position. It was also a stand for American power and the inherent justice of American superpower status and global leadership.

Throughout most of its history, the UN has served as a proxy battlefield first of the Cold War, and since the destruction of the Soviet Union, for the war against the US-led free world. Beginning in the early 1960s, the Soviets viewed the political war against Israel at the UN as a means to undermine the moral basis for the US-led West. If Israel, the only human rights defending state in the Middle East, and the US’s only stable ally in the region could be delegitimized, then the very coherence of the US-led Western claim to moral superiority against the totalitarian Soviet empire would be undone.

Hence, the first Soviet attempt at the UN to castigate Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement, as a form of racism was made in 1965, two years before Israel took control of Judea and Samaria and united Jerusalem in the Six Day War.

That attempt failed. But nine years later the wording first raised in 1965 was adopted by the UN General Assembly which passed resolution 3379 slandering libeled Zionism as “a form of racism.”

With their automatic majority in the General Assembly and all other UN organs, the Soviets used the Palestinian war against Israel as a proxy for their war against America. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the Islamic bloc, backed by members of the former Soviet bloc, the non-aligned bloc and the Europeans continued their campaign. The only thing that kept them from winning was the US and its Security Council veto.

When Obama chose to lead the anti-Israel lynch mob at the Security Council last week, he did more than deliver the PLO terrorist organization its greatest victory to date against Israel. He delivered a strategic victory to the anti-American forces that seek to destroy the coherence of American superpower status. That is, he carried out a strategic strike on American power.

By leading the gang rape of Israel on Friday, Obama undermined the rationale for American power. Why should the US assert a sovereign right to stand against the radical forces that control the UN? If US agrees that Israel is committing a crime by respecting the civil and human rights of its citizens to live in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, then how can America claim that it has the right to defend its own rights and interests, when those clash with the views of the vast majority of state members of the UN? Following Obama’s assault on Israel Friday, Senators Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz called for the US to end its financial support for the UN at least until the Security Council abrogates Resolution 2334. They are correct.

But it isn’t anger at how Obama has and is expected to continue to use the Security Council to imperil Israel that should inform the incoming Trump administration’s actions. Rather a determination to maintain US power and secure its national security requires that the UN be permanently defunded and defanged.

For eight years, through his embrace and empowerment of US enemies, betrayal and weakening of US allies, emaciation of the US armed forces and repeated apologies for America’s past assertions of global leadership, Obama has waged a determined war against US superpower status. The last vestige of the strategic and moral rationale for US power was the protection America afforded Israel at the Security Council.

Now with that gone, it has become a strategic imperative for the US to render the UN irrelevant. This can only be undertaken by permanently defunding this corrupt institution and using the US’s Security Council veto to end the UN’s role as the arbiter of international peace and security, by among other things, ending the deployment of UN forces to battle zones.

Only by stripping the UN of its financial wherewithal to assault US allies and American interests and by denying it the institutional and operational capacity to serve as an arbiter of disputes morally and legally superior to the US can America protect its sovereignty and advance its interests.

Only by denying those associated with the UN the prestige that confers to an institution legitimized by democrat and autocrat alike can the incoming Trump administration rebuild America’s reputation and power.

It is not surprising that Obama is carrying out the final act of his presidency at the UN. Obama has made no attempt to hide his desire to eliminate America’s independence of action. By elevating the post of UN ambassador to a cabinet level position at the outset of his presidency, Obama signaled his conviction that this corrupt institution is the equal of the US government.

This early signal was transformed into an open policy when Obama used the Security Council as a means to bypass the US Senate in implementing his nuclear deal with Iran.

Now, by ignoring the near consensus position of both parties that the US should block anti-Israel resolutions from being adopted at the Security Council and plotting further action against Israel at the Security Council in his final weeks in office, Obama has made clear his position and his aim.

Obama is not leading the war against Israel at the Security Council simply to advance the PLO’s war for the annihilation of Israel. He is acting in this manner to undermine the legitimacy of American power.

Obama’s strategic campaign against his country can only be defeated by a counter campaign by his successor.

Luckily, by eschewing multilateral entanglements in favor of bilateral partnerships during his presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump has demonstrated that he understands the threat and will adopt the only possible means of countering it. To reassert and rebuild the rationale for American power, the Trump administration must permanently defund the UN and reject its legitimacy as an institution of global governance.

WSJ: Obama’s Fitting Finish

In the list of low points in U.S. foreign policy, the betrayal of Israel ranks high.


Dec. 26, 2016 6:36 p.m. ET

Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what’s left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.

Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.

Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.

Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar AssadMr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.

Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.

Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.

Most betrayed: Americans.

Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.

These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.

The administration was deceptive about the motives for the 2012 Benghazi attack. It was deceptive about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s service record, and the considerations that led it to exchange five Taliban leaders for his freedom. It was deceptive about when it began nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was deceptive about the terms of the deal. It continues to be deceptive about the fundamental aim of the agreement, which has less to do with curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than with aligning Washington’s interests with Tehran’s.

Now the administration is likely being deceptive about last week’s U.N. vote, claiming it did not promote, craft or orchestrate a resolution that treats the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City as a settlement in illegally occupied territory. Yet in November, John Kerry had a long talk on the subject with the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of the resolution’s sponsors.

“One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict,” the New Zealand Herald reported last month. “‘It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we’ve spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the U.S. might go on this,’” the paper added, quoting Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

The Israelis claim to have more evidence along these lines. If so, it means the administration no longer bothers to lie convincingly.

Even this might be excusable, if Mr. Obama at least had the courage of his mistaken convictions, or if his deception were in the service of a worthier end. Instead, we have the spectacle of the U.S. government hiding behind the skirts of the foreign minister of New Zealand—along with eminent co-sponsors, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal—in order to embarrass and endanger a democratic ally in a forum where that ally is already isolated and bullied. In the catalog of low points in American diplomacy, this one ranks high.

After the Carter administration pulled a similar stunt against Israel at the Security Council in December 1980, the Washington Post published an editorial that does the paper honor today.

“It cannot be denied,” the editors wrote, “that there is a pack and that it hounds Israel shamelessly and that this makes it very serious when the United States joins it.” The editorial was titled “Joining the Jackals.”

Unlike Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama hasn’t joined the jackals. He has merely opened the door wide to them, whether at the U.N. or in the skies over Syria or in the killing fields in Ukraine. The United States abstains: What a fitting finish to this ruinous presidency.


Controversy erupts over ex-diplomat Indyk’s statements about Israel and Jews

Posted on December 29, 2016 by Rafael Medoff/ and filed under IsraelNewsU.S..

By Rafael Medoff/

WASHINGTON—Several Jewish organizations and leaders are expressing alarm over former U.S. diplomat Martin Indyk’s role in the Obama administration’s recent Israel policy moves.

Indyk served as U.S. ambassador to Israel, and then assistant secretary of state, between 1995 and 2001, followed by a stint as President Barack Obama’s envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 2013-2014. 

Reliable Washington sources report that the maps and proposals Indyk and his aides formulated in recent years are still central to the Obama administration’s strategy for the Palestinian issue. Indyk also is said to have remained in contact with key U.S. policymakers even though he left the Obama administration and now serves as executive vice president of the Brookings Institution.

In media interviews and on Twitter in recent days, Indyk has emerged as one of the most vociferous defenders of the Obama administration’s Dec. 23 vote against Israeli settlements at the United Nations. He is also one of the most vocal opponents of President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of attorney David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel.

Indyk’s credibility is now being called into question, however, as several Jewish organizations are urging him to clarify whether or not he made a series of unusually harsh remarks about Israel and Jews in a tape-recorded private conversation when he was executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a prominent think tank.

In that conversation, in 1989, Indyk reportedly said Israelis are “paranoid,” “arrogant,” and think that “the rules of society do not apply [to them]” because “they are the goy’s rules.” Connecting Israeli attitudes to what he characterized as Jewish attitudes in general, Indyk reportedly said that “Jews would do whatever they can to avoid paying taxes,” and that Jews believe it is justified to “find a way to ignore the law or get around it.” He added, “In my own family, my grandfather used to stay up nights to figure out how to avoid paying taxes.” 

The reported remarks “echo three of the most infamous centuries-old tropes of anti-Semites,” Prof. Eunice G. Pollack, a historian of anti-Semitism and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of American Jewish History, told 

“You have an updated version of the classic ‘Jewish swindler,’ combined with the ‘disloyal Jew’ who evades his patriotic duty to pay taxes, and the millennia-old ‘arrogant Jew’ who, in a more religious era, was accused of deriving his arrogance from his partner, Satan,” said Pollack.

Jewish groups want answers

Indyk has not responded to multiple inquiries from about the statements. The quotations were first raised by the organization Amcha - the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, headed by Rabbi Avi Weiss, when Indyk was nominated as ambassador to Israel in 1995. But they were not picked up by the news media at the time and were not raised by senators at his confirmation hearing.

Farley Weiss, president of the National Council of Young Israel, told, “I hope he didn’t say such things, and if he did, I hope he will disavow them. Either way, he needs to address the controversy.” 

Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), a pro-Israel think tank in Washington, said in a statement to that her organization is “calling on Ambassador Indyk to immediately clarify whether or not he made these horrific statements.” Stern said it would be “very ironic” for Indyk to oppose the David Friedman nomination over past statements that Friedman made, “if Indyk made the repulsive remarks he is alleged to have made prior to his own nomination.”

In a tweet that was quoted in The New York Times and elsewhere, Indyk sarcastically asserted that Friedman would be “a great ambassador for the deep settler state. But David Friedman needs to be U.S. envoy to all Israelis. Is he up for that?” In an interview with CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, Indyk said Friedman’s call for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to western Jerusalem is “incendiary” because it “would imply that the United States was recognizing Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, including the Arab part...which has the third-holiest mosque in Islam.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told that Indyk "forgot to mention that what he calls ‘the Arab part’ of Jerusalem includes a large Jewish community, the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, and the Mount of Olives, which contains the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world. That mosque is the third-holiest site to Islam, but Har Habayit (the Temple Mount) is Judaism’s holiest site.” Cooper said “the current status quo, in which the U.S. does not recognize any part of Jerusalem as sovereign Israeli territory, is patently unfair.”

The Wiesenthal Center, World Jewish Congress, National Council of Young Israel and other Jewish groups have endorsed the Friedman nomination. J Street, Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu oppose it.

EMET’s Stern, for her part, said that Indyk’s “judgment and objectivity” were “severely undermined” two years ago, when it was revealed that he had accepted a $14.8-million contribution from the government of Qatar for the Brookings Institution. Qatar is the largest financer of the terrorist organization Hamas.

Adam Kredo, a senior foreign policy writer for the Washington Free Beacon, told that Indyk "is known among reporters for anonymously criticizing Israel in the press, for planting stories meant to pressure the Jewish state into making concessions, [and for] leading the Obama administration's efforts over the years to discredit Israel and blame it for the failure in peace talks." 

Indyk’s Twitter war

Indyk took to Twitter this week to accuse Kredo of spreading “fake news” when Kredo reported that Vice President Joe Biden was involved in lobbying on behalf of the U.N. resolution against settlements. Israeli government officials subsequently publicly charged that Biden personally lobbied the government of Ukraine to back the resolution. Biden has denied the accusation.

At the same time, Indyk has been engaged in a Twitter mini-war this week with both an Israeli embassy official and a former colleague. It began with Indyk tweeting that the U.N. resolution was not an attack on Israel but was aimed only at “settlers, who undermine peace negotiations [and] are hurting Israel.” Reuven Azar, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, replied, “Please don't lie to your followers. This pro-BDS resolution is unprecedented.”

Indyk shot back, “Diplomats are sent abroad to lie for their country. But that doesn’t include accusing people of lying. Leave that to your political bosses.” Azar responded, “We’ll keep fighting for our country and you'll keep lecturing us,” to which Indyk sarcastically replied, “Happy Hanukkah to you too.”

Robert Satloff, who serves in Indyk’s former post as executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, weighed in on Azar’s side, tweeting, “I disagree w/my friend @martin_indyk. We’ve tried and failed using chainsaw on settlement issue; it needs a scalpel.”