Muslim Congresswoman

Why is everyone so surprised that Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (Minn) has immediately expressed anti-Semitic views upon taking office?  It is well-known that most Muslims have such views and since she is their representative you would expect her to express them.  For example, most Muslims in polls agree that Jews are trying to take over the world, and also that Jews have undue influence due to their control of money.  These are classic anti-Semitic views, and Omar is merely reflecting this when she tweets that many US Congressmen support Israel because they are paid by AIPAC.  Add to this the fact that in any poll taken a majority of Palestinians support the use of terrorism against Israeli civilians.

There are two origins for these views, first, Islam, the fact that in the Koran Mohammed was rebuffed by the Jewish leaders of the city of Medina (which means “State” in Hebrew), whereupon he made a pact with them that he later broke and massacred them. There are clear anti-Jewish/anti-Semitic statements in the Koran.  Second, European Nazi ideology.  Many people forget that the vast majority of the Arab world sided with Germany during WWII.  Iraq had a pro-Nazi government that carried out an anti-Jewish pogrom in Baghdad in 1941 (known in Arabic as the Farhud).  Egyptian anti-British nationalists (such as Nasser) sided with the Nazis, and the Ba’ath Party that had its origin in Christian French-oriented Lebanon, was a pro-fascist (national socialist) party that subsequently ruled Syria (Assad) and Iraq (Saddam Hussein).

The other recent Muslim electee, Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) has not so far issued as many controversial statements, but if you ask her she will certainly agree with her colleague Omar.  Also, in Congress is the Black American Muslim Keith Ellison (D-Minn), who generally takes a pro-third world view, in which America is the imperialist bad guy exploiting the poor colonized third world.  However, there is a stark contrast between the views of the leftist liberal electorate of Minnesota that elected both Ellison and Omar, and those of the Arab/Muslim parties they support, who are basically third world fascist thugs and terrorists (like Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas).  I predict even worse days to come for the Democratic Party that has segued further and further to the left and is now in the process of trying to separate itself from the crude anti-Semitism of Omar, that she cannot disavow.


Terror Murder

When I opened my Sunday newspaper the photo of a smiling beautiful young woman of 19 with curly ginger hair stared back at me.  She was Ori Ansbacher and she looked happy and healthy.  But, the caption nearby told the story that she was brutally murdered and mutilated while walking alone in a forest near Jerusalem.  Her killer was an Arab man named Arafat al-Rifaiyeh, aged 29, who left his home in Hebron with a long knife looking to kill a Jew and traveled to Jerusalem where he happened upon Ori alone in the forest.  He was captured by the Israeli police on Saturday hiding in Ramallah.  The horrible thing is that BDS and other Jews-haters justify such disgusting murders.

We Israelis are outraged and disturbed by the continual murders of Jews by so-called lone-wolf Palestinian terrorists, who wish to continue  the work of the Nazis and other anti-Semites, to murder Jews and chase them from wherever they are. We don’t know how her parents came to be living in Israel, maybe their ancestors had been here for generations, or maybe they are Holocaust survivors, but without any doubt Ori had as much right to live here as any Arafat, and  further she had the right to life!  Israeli Amb. Danny Danon has made a complaint to the UN Security Council over her murder, but you probably won’t read about it in your papers in the West.

I saw that the Labor Party of Israel is considering a campaign for the next election supporting giving a State to the Palestinians.  And former C-in-C Benny Gantz who now has the Israel Resilience Party wants another withdrawal. Every sensible Israeli knows that doing such a thing will not lead to peace, on the contrary it will only increase and amplify the ability of the Palestinians to carry out such terrorist attacks.  The Palestine Authority under their dictator Pres. Abbas continue to pay all terrorists who carry out murders of Jews and also pay their family if they are killed or captured.  If this isn’t support of terrorism what is?  Such a policy will spell electoral suicide for the already shrinking Labor Party and every poll predicts a move to the right in Israeli politics.


The Pope’s Visit to UAE

Among the more extraordinary events of the present time was the visit of the Pope to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  This was the first recorded visit of a leader of Christianity to the Arabian peninsula, from which Christians (and Jews) have historically been excluded.  This in itself is extraordinary, that a group could exclude all other religions from a whole sub-continent, merely because their prophet lived there!  Of course, up to and during Mohammed’s time Jews and  Christians did live in the Arabian peninsula.  But, they were all killed or driven out by the Muslims.

Now in the modern world, where they need Western tourists and connections to the wider world, some of the small Gulf Arab States are seeking to project the image of modernity and tolerance.  Hence the declaration by the UAE of a year of tolerance, during which they invited the Pope and other world religious leaders to attend a conference on Peace and Tolerance. Very nice.  Of course, one should not forget that these tiny sheikdoms lived through centuries of mutual conflict and were only brought into the modern world by British control and American oil dollars.  But, now some of them are opting for a more peaceful coexistence and in fact Abu Dhabi now calls itself the Land of Peace.

In contrast, in most other parts of the Muslim world, Christians are under physical attack, in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Turkey, Pakistan and more, Christians are being blown up in their Churches and Cathedrals and receiving death threats. (They can’t attack Jews living there because they already expelled or killed all of them, except in Morocco).   So we should be pleased that at least in some parts of the Arab Muslim world there is a tendency towards tolerance and modernization.  Even the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, considered the most important in the Arab world, came to Abu Dhabi and embraced the Pope.

But, let’s not get too carried away by this gesture.  One of the Gulf Arab States, Qatar, while also modernizing, has embraced extremism to the extent that the other Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia have broken diplomatic ties with it.  Qatar pays the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas m$15 per month in Gaza (thru an agreement with the Israeli Govt., so that they can pay for their electricity and water, etc.).  Qatar also flirts with ties with Iran.  Recently an Israeli Arab woman was murdered in Turkey by her brother and father because she wanted to go to medical school.  A Christian woman named Asia Bibi who was rumored to have blasphemed against the Koran in Pakistan was beaten by a mob and then condemned to death in 2010.  She spent 8 years on death row before she was declared innocent of the crime, but she was recently forced to leave the country under State protection because mobs were rioting demanding her death.  The Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared that blasphemy laws must be retained as they protect Islam.

BDS Terrorists

Many well-meaning and innocent westerners, who seek to help the poor Palestinians, are supporting the BDS movement, to boycott, divest and sanction Israel.  But, they don’t realize that the BDS movement has its origins in Palestinian terrorism.  The founder of BDS is Omar Barghouti, who is the cousin of Marwan Barghouti, a leader of Fatah who joined with the terrorist group Hamas and organized attacks on innocent Israeli civilians during the second intifada (2000-06).  He was sent to jail for many years for his involvement in murder.  But, Omar went to Columbia and Tel Aviv University and found a more subtle approach.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry of Israel just issued a Report, presented by the Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, that points out the close connection and cooperation between the organized BDS movement and terrorism.  For example, 30 members of Hamas and the PFLP, both recognized terrorist organizations, hold senior positions in NGOs that are part of BDS.  Approximately 100 persons who have been identified as terrorists or were imprisoned for terrorist activities play a role in the BDS organization. For example, Laila Khaled, convicted of hijacking two civilian planes in 1969 and 1973, who is involved with the “armed struggle” against Israel, is a major fundraiser for BDS in Europe and S. Africa.  Another is Rani Sourani, who is director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and is also a member of PFLP (he received m$1.5 of European funding in 2014-7), and one of his colleagues, director of the legal department Iyad Al-Alamo, recently gave legal advice to Hamas.  Salah Hammoudi, a convicted PFLP terrorist, is a field worker for Addameer, a fund-raising arm of BDS.  Mustapha Awad is a trained Hezbollah member of the PFLP who belongs to a US-based organization fund-raising for BDS.  There are many more examples.

But, why should we be surprised, the BDS movement’s declared aim is to destroy Israel, because it is an “apartheid State” (demonstrably not so) and because it is an enemy of all this is good and wholesome, such as the poor Palestinians.  The fact that the BDS movement is cozy in bed with Palestinian terrorists is not surprising, they see the BDS movement that they have nurtured and grown, as a parallel track to undermine and destroy Israel.  Why not ask oneself, what about boycotting Venezuela, or China (well-known for it excellent human rights record) or Bangladesh (where civil rights activists are imprisoned and tortured), or those bastions of liberal treatment of minorities such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and Iraq (where Christians are murdered weekly)?  Of course the reason the focus is entirely on Israel is because Israel is the Jewish State and is the enemy of the Palestinians and they want to destroy it; the truth is that apart from that BDS would not exist.

PS. Dear readers, please note I have had a bad cold and am just recovering, hence some gaps in my postings.



Brexit or the Wall

I do not know what is a worse mess, the UK’s future tied up in Brexit, or the US Govt. brought to a stand-still by the budget dispute over The Wall!  I have a modest proposal. To let cool heads prevail in both cases, let the Governments switch, just for the solution to these two seemingly insoluble problems.  Let Pres. Trump and the US Govt. take over the Brexit negotiations, and let PM May and her Govt. take over the negotiations for the Wall.

While the Brexit negotiations primarily concern the UK Govt. and the EU, this is far from being the main problem.  The main problem is convincing the House of Commons (HC) to accept May’s Plan to resolve the problem and to satisfy the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland that their border will be a “soft” border, according to the so-called “back-stop” agreement.

With the US border with Mexico, the problem is not Mexico, the problem is getting the Democrats to agree to compromise with Trump and pay towards the Wall (or fence) in order to allow the US Govt. to avoid another shut-down.  Maybe with fresh eyes, people on both sides could see a better way ahead.  Perhaps the Democrats would find it easier to compromise with May than with Trump, and perhaps the MP’s would find it easier to compromise with Trump rather than with May.

What would happen if this idea was instituted, it could be a model for future intractable problems, let another Government and system come in and resolve the problem their way.  But, actually I don’t see it happening, it’s like when couples throw their keys into a bowl, but they always take out their own keys.  The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.  So let Trump not worry about taking a hammering in the Commons, and let May not worry about begging Pelosi to give her a few dollars.  They have big enough problems of their own. Still it would be a nice experiment.

Plan B = Plan A

The twisting complex plot of Brexit gets ever more confusing.  You may remember that  last week PM Theresa May presented her Plan for Brexit, the British exit from the EU.  At that time she basically stated that this was the only possible Plan, negotiated over the past few years in detail with the EU.  But, the House of Commons (HC) didn’t like her “take-it-or-leave it” approach, so they voted it down by a huge margin.  There were a variety of opponents, including those against Brexit, those in favor of a “hard” Brexit with no further connections with the EU, and even those who want a “no-deal” Brexit with no deal with the EU, those who want to extend the period of negotiations, those who want a second referendum, etc.

Given this rare defeat for the Government, the leader of the Labour opposition Jeremy Corbyn introduced a vote of non-confidence in the Govt.  But, this failed because the majority of MP’s didn’t want to change horses in mid-stream.  They want May to continue the process, but with their input (or control).  As such they mandated that May return in 3 days (!) with a Plan B, showing her flexibility and responsiveness to their (often contradictory) concerns.

Not surprisingly when May returned 3 days later and presented her Plan B, it was very much like Plan A (how could it not be).  She changed two things, she dumped the plan to charge EU citizens living in the UK a fee for applying for residence, and she said she would modify the so-called “back-stop” agreement between the UK, that includes Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the EU (of which Ireland is a member).  This agreement is necessary so that the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland does not become a “hard” border again.  Precisely how this back-stop agreement will be changed is unclear, but depends on re-negotiation with the EU.

Since the PM put her Plan B up for discussion, this allowed MP’s to add amendments, and here the opponents crawled out of the woodwork.  The Speaker of the House used his authority to dismiss most the more outlandish amendments, however, about 8 were allowed.  Only one of them that was passed has significance.  Although it is not binding on the PM, it requires that there be NO “non-deal” Brexit.  In other words, the UK must sign an exit agreement with the EU.  Finally, after all the amendments, the Plan B was voted on and it passed by a resounding acclaim.

So largely the difference between Plan A and Plan B was that Theresa May took a much softer approach to the opinions being expressed by the MP’s.  She listened to them, she agreed to continue to consult with them, she appeared more flexible and less dogmatic, and this worked.  But, word from out of Brussels was that the EU is not interested.  Their attitude, as was May’s Plan A, is that the long negotiations have concluded, that an agreement has been arrived at (650 pages) and that there is no turning back and no renegotiation possible, and that the back-stop agreement on the Irish border is part of that agreement, period.  Now May faces the unenviable task of returning to Brussels to plead with them to agree to re-open these issues when as far as they are concerned, all negotiations are over.  Can she persuade them to at least show the appearance of flexibility, as she did so expertly in the HC


TIPH Gone!

The TIPH was the Temporary International Presence in Hebron.  Note that it was intended to be temporary, and was renewed every 6 months by both sides, Israel and the PA, for 22 years, since 1997.  That is certainly stretching the meaning of “temporary.”  The TIPH was intended as a peace-keeping presence in Hebron to monitor the activities of the two sides, consisting of ca. 3,000 Jews and ca. 220,000 Arabs.

But, in fact, the TIPH was overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian, with 64 civilian observers from  Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Turkey.  They spent all their time monitoring the activities of the Jewish inhabitants and the IDF and none on the Palestinians.  The theory was that the Jews were the interlopers, and it was natural that the Hebron Arabs resented them.

The fact that there had been a Jewish community in Hebron from time immemorial until 1929 was largely lost on the TIPH.  In 1929 there was an Arab riot that resulted in the massacre of 133 Jews and then the British, who were in charge, forced the remainder ofthe Jews to  move to Jerusalem (where there had also been an Arab riot and massacre of Jews).   That spelled the absence of Jews from Hebron for 38 years, until the IDF recaptured the area in the Six Day War of 1967, and Jews returned.

The Arabs of Hebron did everything they could to stop the return of Jews to Hebron, but under the agreement of 1997 that divided the city, the Arabs got 80% and the Jews 20%. But that was not enough for them, so they continued rioting and shooting, until the agreement introduced the TIPH.

I visited Hebron with a tourist group about 10 years ago.  While I was there we visited the Hadassah building, and I went across to the TIPH guards who were watching every movement.  I chatted to one of the civilian monitors in English.  As far as he was concerned I was an American tourist.  He told me that most of the trouble was due to the Jews, that they were an irritant there and probably shouldn’t be there.  Never mind that the Cave of Machpelah is nearby with the graves of the Jewish patriarchs and the building over them built by Herod the Great in the style of the Temple in Jerusalem.  During the Muslim period for over 800 years Jews were not allowed to go above the third step of the entrance to pray as a sign of humiliation.  After its conquest by Israel the holy site (called a Mosque by the Muslims) was divided into two for Jewish and Muslim prayers (note they were given equal time, no attempt to humiliate them).  But, of course this was not enough for them.

I am glad that Netanyahu has stopped the TIPH, let the IDF take care of peace-keeping there.  However, the reason for the timing now is that Netanyahu feels the pressure from the right, and so to keep his base he has had to take some steps.  Another is his commitment that under his Administration no Jew will be forced to leave their homes in the territories, that should belong to Israel by right of priority and legally as the sovereign successor to the British Mandate.