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Biden’s Team of Israel-Haters

Just days after Joe Biden was inaugurated, pro-Erdogan Turkish journalist Hakkı Öcal, according to Ahval News, “highlighted a report on the strong presence of Jews in the cabinet of U.S. President Joe Biden.” The report claimed that there was an “over 50 percent Jewish presence in the new U.S. cabinet,” and pointed Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Deputy Director David Cohen, among others. But Öcal was off base: among Biden’s handlers, Jewish and non-Jewish, there are few, if any, staunch friends of Israel. After just a few months in office, it was clear that Joe Biden’s handlers’ administration was shaping up to be the most anti-Israel presidency since the founding of the modern State of Israel.

Robert Malley, Special Envoy to Iran, has become notorious over the years for his support for Iran’s Islamic regime and pronounced distaste for Israel. The Washington Times revealed in February 2021 that back in July 2019, “Iran’s smooth, English-speaking foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, met with Robert Malley, who was President Obama’s Middle East adviser, in an apparent bid to undermine the Trump team and lay the groundwork for post-Trump relations.”

Malley (pictured above left) was a good choice for such an assignment. An Israeli security official noted in February 2008 that Malley “has expressed sympathy to Hamas and Hizbullah and offered accounts of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that don’t jibe with the facts.” Obama dropped Malley in May 2008 after it came to light that he had met with representatives of Hamas, but six months later sent him as an envoy to Egypt and Syria.

Meanwhile, Reema Dodin is a deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. According to the Jerusalem Post, “during the Second Intifada, in 2002, Dodin spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with residents of Lodi, California, saying that ‘suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people.’” Also, “in 2001, Dodin took part in a demonstration at UC Berkeley calling for the university to divest from Israel….The demonstrators compared Israel to apartheid South Africa.”

In a similar vein, Biden’s handlers appointed Maher Bitar the Senior Director for Intelligence on the National Security Council. In 2006, while a student at Georgetown University, Bitar was a member of the executive board of the viciously pro-jihad, anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine, and was seen dancing in front of a banner that said “Divest from Israel Apartheid.”

The Deputy Secretary of State is Wendy Sherman, who was the lead negotiator of Barack Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. The State Department’s undersecretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights is Uzra Zeya. According to the Jewish News Service, Zeya “worked for the magazine Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and its publishing group, American Educational Trust. The Washington Report has questioned the loyalty American Jews have to the United States; published accusations against the ‘Jewish lobby’; claimed American Jews control the media; and accused the Mossad of perpetrating the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy and the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.”

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel-Palestine is Hady Amr. In an unhinged 2002 rant, Amr repeated Palestinian jihad propaganda, declaring: “I have news for every Israeli: a very large proportion of the more than 150 million children and youth in the Arab World now have televisions, and they will never, never forget what the Israeli people, the Israeli military and Israeli democracy have done to Palestinian children.”

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy is Colin Kahl. According to Israel Hayom, “Kahl has quite the anti-Israel record. He thinks the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq was 1981 was a mistake. In 2012, he acted to remove recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from the Democratic party’s platform. In 2015, he was among those to formulate the Iran nuclear deal. In 2016, at the end of his term, then-US President Barack Obama tasked him with enlisting support for the anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334 that determined Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria were a violation of international law.”

Have Biden’s handlers appointed a balancing group of strong supporters of Israel, who will move to prevent this unsavory group (which is larger than just those named here) from disrupting America’s relationship with its strongest, most reliable ally in the West? Is there any brake to the ability of the anti-Israel group in Biden’s administration to force Israel to make potentially life-threatening concessions to the Palestinian jihad force. The answer to both questions is no.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Fatah Commission of Information and Culture depicts Netanyahu as Hitler

The Palestinian resistance is a jihadist assault on the state of Israel. It disseminates propaganda to justify human rights abuses that would never be tolerated if they were perpetrated by Christians or Jews. The so-called “far right” is routinely compared to Hitler, even though Hitler was leftist (as is evidenced by the name of his party, the National Socialist German Workers Party). Nazi Germany launched an “extensive propaganda campaign in the Middle East and North Africa during World War II.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has stated that no Jew will live in a Palestinian state. He also did his PhD dissertation in Holocaust denial. And now this. Yet far too many Western governments still support pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, even as the Palestinians continue their gross antisemitism and jihadist attacks on the state of Israel, calling them a just “resistance” and manipulating victimhood in the face of historical truths.

Abbas teaches Palestinians that “Jews must be fought for Allah on behalf of all humanity.” The soft bigotry of low expectations allows the Palestinian leadership to scream victimhood while being the aggressor.

“Netanyahu is Hitler – Antisemitic Fatah cartoon,”

by Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, March 2, 2021:

The antisemitic cartoon above was posted by Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Commission of Information and Culture. It shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Hitler with Hitler’s mustache and a Nazi uniform with Stars of David on blue instead of Swastikas on red on his tie and arm band. Netanyahu is making a Nazi salute and blood is dripping from his hand.

Headline: “He killed the Palestinians with the weapon of racism!”
Text on cartoon: “Adolf Netanyahu”

[Website of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Feb. 16, 2021]

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) internationally accepted working definition of Antisemitism, includes “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

The PA and Fatah have often disseminated this specific kind of Antisemitism by comparing Israel in general and Netanyahu in particular to the Nazis. Fatah has portrayed Netanyahu as a Nazi officer:

Netanyahu has been called Nazi propaganda minister “Goebbels’ outstanding student”:

And recently Palestinian Media Watch documented that Netanyahu was referred to as “the ugly face of Mussolini and Hitler:

Israel as such has been called “fascist and Nazi” and the behavior of Israelis has been compared to that of the Nazis prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: What a Biden Administration portents for Israel and the Middle East

My analyses of what a Biden foreign policy means for Israel, the Middle East, and a wider world, based on Biden’s appointees.

WATCH:

©Barry Shaw. All rights reserved.

Seriously? As Trump Announces Another Mideast Peace Deal, Biden Named Person of the Year

Time magazine has named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris “Person of the Year,” in a tacit acknowledgment that they are, for all their individual differences, essentially a single cog in the socialist internationalist machine that is poised to roll all over us. And there is no doubt that driving the American republic to the point of near-death with election chicanery on a breathtaking scale is indeed a significant achievement, but amid all the excitement, it was barely noticed that President Trump had delivered yet another rebuke to the massively failed foreign policy establishment that is poised to get back in the saddle and start failing some more, by engineering peace between Israel and another Arab state, Morocco.

Trump tweeted Thursday: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!” The Morocco deal, like the previous one between Israel and Sudan, seems to be a straightforward bargain. Trump also tweeted Friday: “Today, I signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal is the ONLY basis for a just and lasting solution for enduring peace and prosperity!” So Morocco gets recognition of its sovereignty over the Western Sahara, and the world gets another step toward peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

That makes four agreements between Israel and Arab nations, something John Kerry confidently stated was not even remotely possible. Isn’t it great that Kerry is about to go back to work for the Person of the Year (what pronouns does that beast with two backs use?) and start showing us how it’s done again?

No one thought it could be done, except, of course, Donald Trump. Back in September, when Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed their deals with Israel, Trump stated: “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.” This was accurate. These “Abraham Accords” have already changed the entire landscape of the Middle East as, for the first time in decades, pragmatic considerations are taking precedence over the fixed ideas that have guided the foreign policy stances of all the Muslim and Arab countries regarding Israel.

Although this aspect of the conflict has been little noted and is still routinely ignored by foreign policy analysts, the Muslim world’s opposition to Israel has not been based upon conflicting claims for land or anything else, but upon core principles of the Islamic religion. As The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process shows, the Qur’an commands Muslims to “drive them out from where they drove you out” (2:191). Even though it is a historical fiction that Israel actually drove Muslim Arabs out, this claim is a staple of pro-Palestinian propaganda, and hence it is a divine imperative, no more negotiable than the Ten Commandments are for Jews and Christians, that Muslims must destroy Israel and “drive out” the Israelis.

That means that as long as pious, believing, knowledgeable Muslims are in charge in Muslim countries, which is by no means always the case, no negotiated settlement will ever establish Israel securely and end the jihad against it. That in turn is why analysts ignore Islam when considering the conflict: people don’t like bad news, or problems that cannot be solved. Nonetheless, this is the reality of the situation, and no good can ever come from ignoring reality.

Why, then, did Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and now Morocco normalize relations with Israel? Because it was in their interests to do so. Sudan was taken off the terror list in exchange for normalization. The Islamic Republic of Iran has for years claimed Bahrain as Iran’s nineteenth province, and the UAE likewise feels the heat of being in close proximity to one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terror. In a certain sense, these deals with Israel are a byproduct of Barack Obama’s decision to send billions to the mullahs’ tottering regime: a newly secure and empowered mullahcracy threatens Bahrain and the UAE, and so it was in their best interests to look for assistance from a country that Iran also menaces.

Now, with the mullahs expecting The Person of the Year and their minions to prop them up again, there are numerous indications that many in the Islamic world have had quite enough of the Palestinians’ jihadist intransigence and resistance to all peace accords, and are willing to proceed on a pragmatic basis, quite aside from what Islamic doctrine and law say, in order to secure their own countries against the threat from Iran.

And so maybe Old Joe deserves the credit for Middle East peace that the establishment media is certain to give him no matter what: if he hadn’t publicly stated his intention to empower and enable the Islamic Republic, Sunni Arab states wouldn’t see the need to make accords with Israel to protect themselves from the mullahs. Make that man, uh, those people, Person of the Year!

Meanwhile, it’s too bad that there is no unbiased, trustworthy organization giving out prizes for efforts toward world peace. If there were, Trump would be a shoo-in. But that would require a sane world.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Israel-Morocco Accord: Trump Gives the Nobel Peace Prize Committee Another Reason to Honor Him

Donald Trump has just given the Nobel Peace Prize Committee another reason for awarding him that prize. After the U.A.E., Bahrain, and Sudan, a fourth Arab state – Morocco – has now announced it has agreed to normalize ties with Israel. “Morocco, Israel normalize ties as US recognizes Western Sahara,” by Omri Nahmias, Lahav Harkov, and Greer Fay Cashman, Jerusalem Post, December 11, 2020:

Israel and Morocco have agreed to establish diplomatic relations, US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday, Dec. 10.

Morocco became the fourth Arab country to normalize ties with Israel in four months, following the Abraham Accords with United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

“Another historic breakthrough today!” Trump tweeted. “Our two great friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!”

Israel and Morocco plan to reopen economic liaison offices, which were closed in 2002, and work quickly to exchange ambassadors and begin direct flights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

In addition, Trump announced that he signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara, a disputed territory. “Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal is the ONLY basis for a just and lasting solution for enduring peace and prosperity!” he tweeted.

Morocco recognized the United States in 1777. It is thus fitting we recognize their sovereignty over the Western Sahara,” Trump added. No other UN member states recognize Western Sahara as part of Morocco.

That was the quid pro quo that Morocco required: recognition of its sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Just as the U.A.E. wanted, in exchange for agreeing to normalize relations with Israel, an American promise to sell the Emirates the Stealth fighter jet, the F-35 (and from Israel, it wanted, and received, a promise to suspend extension of Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank), so King Mohammad VI wanted the U.S. to recognize Morocco’s claim to the Western Sahara. This was not only to satisfy the government in Rabat, but also could be held up to the Moroccan people as a diplomatic coup, so that they would be less inclined to resent the new ties to Israel.

The Trump administration viewed finalizing establishment of ties between the two countries as a prime goal in the past few weeks.

White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner said normalization “comes on the heels of four years of very, very hard work and very intense diplomacy.”

The move is the culmination of a successful year of upgrading Israel’s relations with Arab and Muslim countries, beginning with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Chad and meeting Sudan’s leader in Uganda, the Abraham Accords, as well as the warming relations and cooperation with Saudi Arabia, in addition to a number of other Arab states.

Israel proposed a scenario similar to what has since unfolded, by which normalization with Morocco would come in conjunction with American recognition of the Western Sahara, to the White House in the beginning of this year, as reported in multiple Israeli media sources.

French media reported that Morocco purchased three drones from Israel for $48 million in January.

This is evidence of ties already warming up long before the announcement on Dec. 10. Israel does not sell weapons to states with which it has less than friendly ties.

Like the Gulf states, Morocco views Iran as a threat. Rabat cut ties with Tehran in 2018, because Iran funded Western Sahara separatist movement Polisario via Hezbollah.

Long before that, Morocco had a relationship with Israeli intelligence agencies. Moroccan King Hassan II gave Israel recordings of an Arab League meeting [in 1965] that helped Israel prepare for the Six Day War, according to former IDF intelligence chief Shlomo Gazit and former intelligence officer and cabinet minister Rafi Eitan. That same year, the Mossad helped Morocco abduct a dissident from France.

King Hassan II provided Israel with a secret recording he had made of an Arab League meeting held in Casablanca in 1965, that revealed both the disunity among the Arabs and the parlous state of their military – especially that of Egypt. The tale of that Moroccan tip-off to Israeli military, that helped Israel win the Six-Day War, can be found here.

And Israel, in turn, helped Morocco. Mossad helped persuade a Moroccan dissident, Mehdi Ben Barka, to come to a rendezvous in Paris, where he was then kidnapped outside a famous restaurant, the Brasserie Lipp, by two French policemen working for the Moroccans; Ben Barka was never seen again.

Netanyahu, however, focused on the many Israelis of Moroccan origin and not security matters in his remarks on normalization, which he called a “great light of peace” in honor of Hanukkah.

Everyone knows the warm ties of the kings of Morocco and the Moroccan people to the Jewish community there,” Netanyahu said. “Hundreds of thousands of Jews moved to Israel from Morocco and they form a living bridge between the people of Morocco and Israel. This solid base is the foundation on which we build this peace.”

Trump’s proclamation said the US “affirms, as stated by previous Administrations, its support for Morocco’s autonomy proposal as the only basis for a just and lasting solution to the dispute over the Western Sahara territory…An independent Sahrawi State is not a realistic option for resolving the conflict and that genuine autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty is the only feasible solution.”

“Therefore, as of today, the United States recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over the entire Western Sahara territory.”

The White House also urged the sides in the Western Sahara conflict to return to the negotiating table under the framework of Morocco’s plan for autonomy for the Sahrawi people of Western Sahara.

Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara has been recognized by the U.S., but it is expected that the Sahrawi people will enjoy a large degree of autonomy. We will see if that promise by Morocco is borne out. And we still don’t know if that “autonomy” will give the Sahrawis a fair share of the revenues from the huge deposits of phosphates in the Western Sahara.

The US plans to open a consulate in Dakhla, in Western Sahara, which the Moroccan Foreign Ministry said would have “a primarily economic vocation.”

Kushner said recognizing Moroccan sovereignty in the Western Sahara was “something that seemed inevitable at this point; is something that we think advances the region and helps bring more clarity to where things are going.”

Following the announcement, President Trump spoke with King Mohammed VI of Morocco. According to a readout provided by the White House, “the leaders discussed cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus, ways to minimize its economic impact, and common interests in critical regional issues.”

During the conversation the King agreed to resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural cooperation to advance regional stability,” the White House said in a statement.

King Mohammed told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call on Thursday that Rabat stands by a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a royal court statement said.

Like the U.A.E. and Bahrain, Morocco has reaffirmed the boilerplate commitment to a “two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” And like them, it has no plans to help the Palestinians beyond that recital; it has decided to promote its own national interests – its claim to the Western Sahara – over the demands of the Palestinians, who have been “betrayed” and “stabbed in the back” yet again, this time by Rabat’s willingness to normalize ties with the Jewish state.

The king added that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are the only way to reach a final, lasting and comprehensive solution to the conflict.

King Mohammed also highlighted his commitment to a two-state solution, as well as the importance of freedom of worship in Jerusalem, during his conversation with Trump.

Of course, there is now total “freedom of worship” in Jerusalem, as there was not during the 19 years of the Jordanian occupation. The only worshippers who may feel they don’t have “freedom of worship” are the Muslims from countries that have normalized ties with Israel, who have been cursed and threatened at Al-Aqsa mosque by angry Palestinians.

The White House, not Netanyahu, informed Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Benny Gantz of the developments with Morocco several weeks before they were made public, contrary to the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan deals in which they were told at the last minute.

Ashkenazi said that “today is another great day for Israeli diplomacy, a day of light befitting the holiday of Hanukkah.

And Ashkenazi should have mentioned that it’s also “another great day for American diplomacy,” but since he didn’t, we’ll do it for him.

“Renewing relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco is an important part of the Abraham Accords that reflects the deep and longstanding friendship between the nations. I call on more nations to join the Abraham Accords’ circle,” he stated….

It isn’t true that there has been a “deep and longstanding friendship between the nations” (of Israel and Morocco), but I suppose it’s a useful fiction. Ashkenazi might have said that “we all hope that this historic agreement will lead to a deep and longstanding friendship between our nations.” That would have been dignified, hopeful, and true.

Approximately one million Israelis are wholly or partly descended from Moroccan Jews, the second largest group in Israel after the Jews from Russia. They are well disposed to their original home and to the present King Mohammed VI, who like his father, King Hassan II, is known for his sympathetic interest and affection for the Jews in the Kingdom.

Furthermore, King Mohammed VI’s senior advisor is Andre Azoulay, a Moroccan Jew who previously advised Mohammed’s father, King Hassan II.

The Moroccan king’s philosemitism, beside his interest in Moroccan Jews, is expressed in the distinct absence of any animus toward Israel, a view which he surely inherited from his father. His father hosted two Israeli prime ministers, Rabin and Peres, in Morocco, and remained friendly with Rabin until the end of the Israeli’s life, and with Peres until the end of his own, even when Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza were engaged in war. King Hassan II’s father, King Mohammed V, blocked efforts by Vichy officials to impose anti-Jewish measures on Morocco and deport the country’s 250,000 Jews to their deaths in Europe, and is revered for that by Morocco’s Jews and their descendants in Israel.

King Hassan has been celebrating Morocco’s Jewish heritage in recent years, and bringing other Moroccans along with him. “Judaism is part of Moroccan identity,” said Zhor Rehihil, Muslim conservator at the Museum of Moroccan Judaism in Casablanca, the first of its kind in the Arab world. “We still have a Jewish memory, even though the Jews left.” No other Arab state has devoted so much attention to its former Jewish population.

This normalization of relations with a fourth Arab state has gone off without a hitch. The sky has not fallen. The Palestinian Authority, still smarting from its treatment by the Arab League (that refused to denounce the U.A.E. and Bahrain), has been quiet. Morocco’s decision to normalize relations is likely to increase the pressure on other Arab and Muslim states to follow suit. Each additional Arab state that normalizes relations with Israel increases the gravitational pull on the others that have not. They’ve all taken note of the granting of national wishes – the F-35 sale for the U.A.E., the recognition of its sovereignty over the Western Sahara for Morocco, the removal of economic sanctions for the Sudan – by the American government. What would it take to get Oman to follow suit? Or Mauritania? Or Tunisia? And what of Saudi Arabia, whose King Salman thinks one way about normalization of ties with Israel (which he insists can only happen after a Palestinian state in the “pre-1967 lines” is created), and his son the Crown Prince, who doesn’t give a damn about the Palestinians, quite another?

Another coup for President Trump, in achieving yet another astonishment, but will the Biden transition team be willing to recognize this feat of diplomatic finesse? I have my doubts.

COLUMN BY

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Israel has tape of Iranian nuclear scientist saying mullahs ‘want five warheads’

Yet His Fraudulency Joe Biden plans to enable Iran’s nuclear program anew by returning to the Iranian nuclear deal. Find out why that would be a catastrophic move in The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran.

“‘Israel has tape of slain Iran nuke chief talking about building five warheads,’” Times of Israel, December 4, 2020:

Israel intelligence managed to recruit an Iranian official close to the recently assassinated Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and recorded the nuclear scientist speaking about his efforts to produce “five warheads” on behalf of the Islamic Republic, according to a Friday report in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

This top-secret recording was played in 2008 by former prime minister Ehud Olmert for then-president George W. Bush during a visit by Bush to Israel and was a key element in convincing the Americans to step up efforts to combat Iran’s nuclear program, the report said….

“I’m going to play you something, but I ask that you not talk about it with anyone, not even with the director of the CIA,” the report quoted Olmert as telling Bush from within the closed-door meeting. Bush reportedly agreed to the request.

Olmert pulled out a recording device, hit play and a man could be heard speaking in Persian.

“The man speaking here is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh,” Olmert reportedly explained. “Fakhrizadeh is the head of the “AMAD” program, Iran’s secret military nuclear project. The one it denies exists at all,” Olmert told Bush according to the report.

The prime minister then revealed that Israeli intelligence services had managed to recruit an Iranian agent close to Fakhrizadeh who had been feeding Jerusalem information on the nuclear scientist for years.

Olmert provided Bush with an English-language transcript of what Fakhrizadeh had said in Persian.

According to the report, Fakhrizadeh could be heard giving details about the development of Iranian nuclear weapons. However, the Yedioth report only quotes selected phrases, without the word nuclear. The scientist complains that the government is not providing him with sufficient funds to carry out his work. On the one hand, Fakhrizadeh says, in an apparent reference to his superiors, “they want five warheads,” but on the other, “they aren’t letting me work.”

Fakhrizadeh then goes on to criticize colleagues in the defense ministry and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the report.

Bush read the recording’s translation and reacted with silence. Yedioth claimed the recording served as a “smoking atomic gun” for Olmert….

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EDITTORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Chutzpah: Palestinians Prepare List of Demands For Biden Administration

The Palestinian Arabs sense an opening for them in Biden’s Washington, where they rightly assume they will be personae gratae again. They have already been preparing their laundry list of demands for the Biden Administration, which is discussed here: “PA wants Biden to reverse ‘anti-Palestinian’ decisions,” by Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, November 22, 2020:

The Palestinians will demand that the new administration under US President-elect Joe Biden cancel “anti-Palestinian” decisions taken by the administration of President Donald Trump, Palestinian officials said on Sunday.

The officials told The Jerusalem Post that the Palestinian Authority has prepared a list of demands that will be presented to Biden after he is sworn in on January 20.

The list includes a request to reopen the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington, rescinding Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, resuming financial aid to the PA and the UN Relief and Work Agency and reopening the US consulate in east Jerusalem.

In addition, the officials said, the Palestinians will also demand the Biden administration cancel the recent decision that allows US citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their place of birth, as well as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement allowing for settlement products to be labeled as “Made in Israel.”

“We have already contacted Biden’s people to inform them of our demands,” a Palestinian official told the Post. “We had a positive dialogue with senior officials who are close to Biden.”

Since that contact between the Palestinians with Biden’s staff, the two most pro-Israel of Biden’s advisers, Tony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, have been appointed to be, respectively, Secretary of State and National Security Adviser. It may not be quite as smooth sailing for the PA as it thought just a few days ago.

Last week, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said the Palestinians want to conduct dialogue with the new US administration in order to cancel decisions taken by the Trump administration.

Malki said the Palestinians have suffered tremendously as a result of Trump’s decisions directed against them, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the closure of the PLO mission in the US and the suspension of US financial aid to the Palestinians.

Malki and other Palestinian officials said they also expected the Biden administration to distance itself from Trump’s plan for Middle East peace, also known as the “Deal of the Century.” The Palestinian leadership has strongly condemned the plan, unveiled in January 2020, as a “conspiracy aiming to liquidate the Palestinian issue and national rights.”

Another Palestinian official told the Post that while he was optimistic the Biden administration would cancel some of the decisions taken by the Trump administration, the Palestinians do not believe it would be easy to return the US Embassy to Tel Aviv.

No, it won’t be easy to move the Embassy back to Tel Aviv. It will be impossible. There is not a chance in hell that the American Embassy will be moved out of Jerusalem. Biden has already declared that he would not do it, though he also added that he “would not have made the move himself,” a curious remark given that he was one of the most enthusiastic backers of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which passed in the Senate by 93 to 5.

“We know that the Biden administration would not be able to accept all our demands, such as the removal of the embassy from Jerusalem, but we are very optimistic regarding the other demands,” the official explained. “If [Biden] renounces the ‘Deal of the Century’ and resumes financial aid to the Palestinians, this will be a good step in the right direction. It will be a big victory for the Palestinian people.”

The suspension of financial aid to the Palestinians was partly in response to the PA’s refusal to end its Pay-For-Slay program, which incentivizes terrorism by providing generous monthly stipends to imprisoned terrorists, and to the families of terrorists who had been killed. The PA has been recently been making noises about modifying the plan, by providing stipends based not, as now, on the length of a sentence, which provide more money the longer the sentence (so those who commit the worst attacks get more money), but instead on the “financial need” of a terrorist’s family. Qadri Abu Bakr, the PLO’s Director for Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, in English told the New York Times that the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) policy on terrorists’ families’ salaries will change. But in the Arabic version of those remarks, Qadri Abu Bakr said the exact opposite, assuring his listeners that the calculation of stipends to terrorists and their families would not change in any way. Two versions, directly contradicting each other. Why not? Qadri Abu Bakr knows: “War is deceit,” said Muhammad.

It is thus doubtful that the PA could bring itself to change its Pay-For-Slay policy, which reflects the Palestinians’ visceral support for terrorism. But even if the PA did change the criteria according to which the stipends are calculated, this would still leave in place a program that subsidizes, and therefore incentivizes, terrorism. This will make it very difficult for the Americans to turn on the faucet of aid again.

The PA’s complacent assumption that the Americans will renew financial aid to the Palestinians needs to be challenged and undermined. Even without the Pay-For-Slay program, why should the Americans turn on that tap for the PA, rather than have the PA go hat in hand to their fellow Arabs in the oil states, or Iran, or Turkey, and ask them for aid? Who decided that the United States owes the Palestinians a permanent living? And why should American taxpayers be shelling out billions, over the years, to UNRWA, which includes on its ever-expanding rolls of those who receive its largesse not just the real Palestinian refugees, those who left in 1947-1949, of whom there may now be 30,000 still alive – but also all of their descendants, now amounting to more than five million people? Who decided that among the many tens of millions of refugees who have been created by conflicts – wars, civil wars, persecutions — all over the world since the late 1940s, only one group, the Palestinians, should be allowed to pass on the refugee status to their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on, world without end?

This ever-lengthening list of “Palestinian refugees” has been on the international – almost entirely Western – dole for decades. Don’t we need to ask a few questions at this point? For example, why are we Americans expected to give hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the Palestinians instead of, say, to the inoffensive and much poorer people in Bolivia or the Congo or Nepal? What exactly have the Palestinians done for us? Haven’t they used terror as a weapon for a half-century? Didn’t we see the Palestinians hand out candies and celebrate when they heard the glad news on 9/11/2001? Haven’t Palestinian terrorists killed American citizens? Isn’t Hamas a local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, that seeks a worldwide caliphate? And what about the links between the Palestinians and our mortal enemy, Iran?

According to the official, the Palestinians are also expecting the Biden administration to return to the long-standing US policy toward settlements and adhere to UN resolutions on this issue.

In November 2019, Pompeo announced that the US no longer views settlements as “inconsistent with international law,” a move that drew strong condemnation from the Palestinian leadership.

Secretary Pompeo had quite properly declared as a break with previous policy what ought to have been American policy all along. The Israeli settlements in the West Bank do not violate, and are not “inconsistent with” international law. Their legality stems from the Mandate for Palestine, that included the entire West Bank in the territories assigned to the future Jewish National Home. Previous administrations had relied on the “Hansell Memorandum” of 1978, which took the position that the settlements were “illegal,” but Hansell himself never mentions the Palestine Mandate In his memorandum, as if it were of little moment, when it is, in fact, the essential document for understanding Israel’s claim to the West Bank, and hence, the basis of Israel’s right to build settlements in that territory.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden names ‘Palestinian’ who justified jihad suicide bombings as deputy director of Office of Legislative Affairs

Not a good sign for future U.S. relations with Israel. But this is also a sign of how topsy-turvy the world is today. Biden wouldn’t be caught dead naming someone who had noted that Islam is not a religion of peace to any position at all in his administration. Such a person would be poison to the Democrats and to most Republicans. But demonize Israel and justify murder of civilians? Welcome aboard!

“Reema Dodin to be first Palestinian-American White House staffer,” by Tzvi Joffre, Jerusalem Post, November 24, 2020:

Reema Dodin, a Palestinian-American, will serve alongside Shuwanza Goff as a deputy director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, President-elect Joe Biden announced on Monday. Dodin will be the first Palestinian-American to serve as a White House staffer, according to Palestinian media.

The new White House staffer was born to Jordanian-Palestinian immigrants in the US. Dodin’s family is originally from Dura, near Hebron, according to Palestinian media.

Dodin served as deputy chief of staff to Democratic Senator Richard Durbin and has also served on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, among other positions.

She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also a Truman National Security Fellow, a New Leaders Council Fellow, an Aspen Socrates alum, a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Jenkins Hill Society – a consortium of women in politics supporting female politicians.

During the Second Intifada, in 2002, Dodin spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with residents of Lodi, California, saying that “suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people,” according to the Lodi News-Sentinel.

In 2001, Dodin took part in a demonstration at UC Berkeley calling for the university to divest from Israel, according to the Berkeley Daily Planet, a local news publication. The demonstrators compared Israel to apartheid South Africa….

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The Trump Administration’s Geopolitical Hat Trick

Sudan has become the third Arab country to agree to normalize relations with Israel. The Palestinians are most unhappy: “Palestinians condemn ‘shameful’ Israel-Sudan accord,” by Khaled Abu Toameh and Celia Jean, Jerusalem Post, October 24, 2020:

The Palestinian Authority said on Friday that it “condemns and rejects” the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel.

A statement by the PA presidency in Ramallah said that normalization with Israel is in violation of the Arab summit resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative….

Friday’s statement by the PA, however, did not accuse Sudan of betraying the Palestinians or stabbing the Palestinian people in the back, as was the case with the UAE and Bahrain.

Mahmoud Abbas has apparently figured out that the curses and insults that he and his cronies flung at the UAE and Bahrain when they normalized relations with Israel, did the Palestinians no good, but merely inflamed passions against them. With the Sudan, they’re trying a different, more-in-sorrow approach: How can you do this to us? Don’t you feel our pain?

“No one has the right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue,” the statement added. “The path to a just and comprehensive peace should be based on international law and legitimacy so as to end the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and achieve independence for the Palestinian people in their state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders. The Palestinian leadership will take the necessary decisions to protect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

But Sudan did not arrogate to itself the “right to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue.” It said nothing at all about the “Palestinians” in its agreement to normalize relations with Israel. It was only addressing, and promoting in two ways, its own national interest. First, to obtain this agreement, the U.S. has removed the Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. That will give it access to foreign investors, and to loans from the World Bank, the IMF, and other institutions. Second, Israel will be eager to prove to the Sudan that it made the right choice, by helping it where it most could use Israeli help: in agriculture. Israel is a world leader in drip irrigation, in wastewater management, and in solar energy, all of which could be of great help to Sudanese farmers.

While not in the official PA statement, Wasel Abu Youssef from the Palestinian Liberation Front, a small faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, said that Sudan joining “others who normalized ties with the state of the Israeli occupation represents a new stab in the back of the Palestinian people and a betrayal of the just Palestinian cause.”

“A new stab in the back”? Oh dear. It sounds as if Wasel Abu Youssef of the PLF did not get the memo from Mahmoud Abbas calling for a kinder, gentler approach to Sudan. This kind of charge only infuriated the UAE and Bahrain when it was made about them by the PA; the Sudanese are just as unlikely to be pleased to be described as back-stabbers. The Palestinians really ought to do a better job of coordinating their responses; this mixed-messaging will never do.

Abbas Zaki, a senior official of the ruling Fatah faction, said that Sudan would not gain anything from the normalization accord with Israel….

“Sudan would not gain anything from the normalization accord”? But Sudan has already gained something. It has been removed from the American list of state sponsors of terrorism; that removal will greatly improve Sudan’s ability to attract foreign investment, and will now enable Sudan to receive loans from the IMF, the World Bank, and other financial institutions that were previously impossible to obtain. And then there is the extensive Israeli aid that will be given to Sudanese farmers, just as soon as the agreement goes into effect. Abbas Zaki is whistling in the dark.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the agreement was “not compatible with Sudan’s record of supporting the Palestinians.”

But that “record of supporting the Palestinians” took place under the long and terrible rule of Omar al-Bashir, the dictator of Sudan from 1989 to 2019. Bashir was an ardent supporter of Hamas, allowing it to operate freely in the country. Bashir also gave refuge to Osama bin Laden, who lived securely in the Sudan for four years. The new regime in Sudan wants to end any hint of the country’s previous connection to terrorists; it wants to reconnect with the West, attract investors, and build its economy, especially agriculture. It has gotten nothing from its “record of supporting the Palestinians” except being placed on the list of state sponsors of terror. Now, by normalizing relations with Israel, it has already been taken off that list, allowing it to attract investors, be again eligible for foreign aid, and be able to obtain loans from major financial institutions such as the IMF. Israel is ready to share with Sudanese farmers the benefits of its expertise and advances in at least three key areas – solar energy, drip irrigation, and wastewater management – where it is a world leader.

PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] spokesman Daoud Shehab accused Sudan of presenting Israel with a “free gift” in order to appease the US.

“This is a black day in the history of Sudan,” Shehab added. “The agreement jeopardizes Sudan’s future and identity and is a betrayal of the Arabs and Muslims.”

The PIJ official expressed confidence that the Sudanese people would not accept this “betrayal.”…

It is Israel that will be giving gifts to the Sudan, in the form of aid to its agricultural sector. As for Shehab’s claim that the normalization agreement “jeopardizes Sudan’s future and identity,” since when did the Palestinians become the judges as to the “Arab” identity of others? Because the Sudanese are black, is there possibly an attempt here to hint at doubt as to their “Arab” identity unless they fall back into line with what the Palestinians demand? And what exactly was the “betrayal” by the Sudan? Did it owe the Palestinians anything? Have the Palestinians ever done anything for the Sudan, other than land the country on the list of state sponsors of terrorism?

There is certainly domestic opposition in the Sudan to this new agreement. But the opponents of normalization surely know that the Sudanese quid for that significant American quo was Sudan’s agreeing to normalize relations with Israel. And if they are willing to “give peace a chance,” they will find the new connection with Israel will pay ample dividends, for the Israelis want to make sure that the “early adopters” of normalization realize economic benefits quickly. In the case of Sudan, as bears repeating, that means Israeli help to Sudanese farmers, mainly by sharing Israeli advances in drip irrigation, in waste water management, and in solar energy.

Commending the agreement from the Arab world was Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who tweeted that he welcomed the joint efforts of all three states involved in the agreement.

He added that he also values “all efforts aimed at achieving regional stability and peace.”…

El-Sisi has for a long time been cooperating with Israel on security matters, especially against Jihadis in the Sinai and, naturally, against the Muslim Brotherhood that is the sworn enemy of his regime. He previously praised both the UAE and Bahrain for their normalization agreements with Israel. It is not surprising, but is still heartening, that the most populous Arab state, and Sudan’s immediate northern neighbor, has come out foursquare for the agreement.

The Palestinian Arabs continue to believe that they should have a veto power over the policy toward Israel of all the other Arabs. They seek to deny the Arab states the possibility of making their own arrangements with Israel, arrangements that further their own national interests. The UAE and Bahrain dismissed the Palestinian objections, and went ahead in normalizing relations with the Jewish state. They have had only curses and insults heaped on them by the Palestinians, which only makes them more determined to promote both economic and people-to-people ties with the Israelis – “a warm peace.” Meanwhile, the entire nation of Israel seems ready to make sure their new Arab interlocutors benefit from such normalization; Israeli businessmen, entrepreneurs, scientists, academics, and tourists have gone to the UAE and Bahrain, while Emiratis and Bahrainis are doing the same in the Jewish state. And now, to complete the Trump Administration’s geopolitical hat trick, Sudan has just become the third Arab state to announce its intention to normalize relations with Israel. Abbas rages in Ramallah, for he can do no other, and the caravan moves on.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump: ‘Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal’

VIDEO: President Donald J. Trump announces Bahrain, Israel will normalize relations.


“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!”

This is extraordinary. Trump is achieving it by refusing to heed the conventional wisdom that has guided U.S. foreign policy into disaster after disaster for decades. I rated him very high in Rating America’s Presidents, and he keeps on vindicating me. But his defiance of the mainstream analysts and demonstration of their failures is one reason why they hate him with such passionate intensity.

“Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel, Trump announces,” Jerusalem Post, September 11, 2020:

Bahrain has joined the United Arab Emirates in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel, President Donald Trump said on Friday, a dramatic move aimed at easing tensions in the Middle East.

Trump tweeted out the news after he spoke by phone to both Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said.

Trump also tweeted: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!”

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” the United States, Bahrain and Israel said in a joint statement.

“Opening direct dialog and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” it said.

Netanyahu says the agreement marks a “new era of peace.”…

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Harvard Hires PLO Executive to Mentor Students

Clarion discovers over $2.6 million in donations from the Palestinians to Harvard


Harvard University named Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat — who serves as secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — as a fellow at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Erekat, a man who called random stabbing attacks on Israeli citizens by Palestinian terrorists “self-defense,” will be charged with mentoring students and giving seminars in the school’s “The Future of Diplomacy Project.”

PLO member Erekat is one of four new fellows appointed by the school to the project. Commenting on the appointments, faculty chair Nicholas Burns said that the new fellows “will strengthen our capacity to learn the lessons of effective diplomacy and statecraft.”

In the course of research to our new documentary film Covert Cash (see below), Clarion Project discovered that the Palestinian Authority (PA), which essentially serves as the governmental arm of the PLO, made six donations to Harvard between the years of 2017 and 2019. The donations totaled $2,625,000.

The film asks, among other questions, what type of return on their investments are these foreign governments getting from their donations to American universities?

Since its inception, the PA has pleaded poverty and solicited donations from the world community. As of December 2018, the U.S. government had given the Palestinian Authority $5 billion in taxpayer dollars since 1994 (post the Oslo Accords). The European Union is one of their largest funders of the PA as well. Besides being used to line the pockets of top PA executives, Israel maintains that a good portion of this donated money has been used for terror.

The Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964 with the purpose of “liberating Palestine” through armed struggle. Most of the enormous amount of violence perpetrated by the group over the years has been aimed at Israeli civilians.

The PLO was considered by the United States to be a terrorist organization until the Madrid Conference in 1991.

In 1993, the PLO ostensibly recognized the right of Israel to exist, yet continued to perpetrate terror attacks against Israel. It coordinated those attacks during the 2000–2005 Second Intifada and afterwards with the Palestinian Authority, its governmental arm.

Erekat has been involved in every Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiation since 2000 – all failed endeavors (most likely due to the fact that he explicitly stated in a 2014 interview with Al Jazeera, “I will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state”).

Nevertheless, Erekat will now bring his “expertise” – both as a diplomatic and as the author of 14 books on foreign policy, oil, conflict resolution and negotiations – to Harvard, where students at one of the most prestigious foreign policy schools in the country will be educated by him.

More facts about Erekat:

  • In 2015, Erekat compared Israel to ISIS saying, “There is no difference between the terrorism practiced by the group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Israel’s terrorism”
  • He called Israel’s expansion of settlements “terrorism” at a time when settlements had seen nearly zero physical expansion for 25 years. In negotiations with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Erekat admitted that the settlements took up only 1.1 percent of the areas Palestinians wanted for a state
  • Erekat denies archaeological evidence of the Jewish history in Jerusalem
  • Erekat claimed his family had lived in Israel for 9,000 years, yet evidence shows that the family comes from the Huwait region of Arabia

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump announces ‘historic peace agreement’ between Israel and the United Arab Emirates

This is indeed historic, and shows a weakening of the lockstep and Islam-based hatred of Israel that has dominated the Arab and Muslim states’ response to the Jewish state up to now, with very few exceptions. Netanyahu and the Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan thank Trump for his “dedication to peace in the region” and “the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it.”

The key word there is “pragmatic.” The jihad against Israel remains as a theoretical religious obligation, but Trump has apparently compelled the UAE to understand that to maintain hostility to Israel in light of today’s political realities is imprudent. He deserves congratulations and gratitude for achieving, at least in part, what a succession of Presidents has tried and failed to achieve.

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Boston: “Day of Rage” Protesters Call for Violent Destruction of Israel

The Leftist-jihadist alliance on abundant display.

“‘Day of Rage’ Protesters in Boston Chant Anti-Israel, Pro-Hamas Slogans, Call for Intifada,” by Jackson Richman, JNS, July 3, 2020:

Tensions brewed at “Day of Rage” rallies and vehicle caravans nationwide on July 1, protesting Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, more commonly known as the West Bank. The name refers to times when Palestinians riot and hurl rocks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, most recently near the border with the Gaza Strip.

Approximately 300 people associated with BDS Boston—a coalition of far-left anti-Israel organizations—chanted Hamas slogans on Wednesday night in front of the offices of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Relations Council in the Massachusetts capital.

The BDS organizers said that they were protesting police brutality in the aftermath of the killing of African-American George Floyd, 46, on May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police.

“The protesters hijacked legitimate outrage over the death of George Floyd to justify an ugly display of hostility towards Israel and Jewish organizations on the streets of Boston,” said Dexter Van Zile, an analyst at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis, or CAMERA, which is based in Boston. “This wasn’t about changing American police policies, but about coarsening and brutalizing the discourse around Israel and Jews through the exploitation of black suffering.”

CAMERA staff filmed the rally. A speaker for BDS Boston is on video leading the large crowd in the Hamas chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which is a call for the replacement of Israel with a majority-Arab Muslim country.

At other times, the crowd can be heard loudly chanting “Intifada, Intifada,” the name of violent Palestinian uprisings. Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist group.

“Kaffiyeh-wearing college students and mostly middle-class white activists with Palestinian flags were shouting for the violent elimination of the world’s only Jewish state,” said Van Zile. “Think about that: They’re chanting eliminationist rhetoric outside the offices of mainstream American Jewish organizations—a fact that shows that this wasn’t simply about Israel, but about Jews as Jews.”…

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Nancy Pelosi Claims Israeli ‘Annexation’ Will Harm American Security Interests

The story of her astonishing claim is at the Jerusalem Post here:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that she is “concerned” about a possible Israeli move to annex parts of the West Bank.

“Unilateral annexation puts the future at risk and undermines US national security interests,” she said in a webinar hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA). “It undermines our national security interests and decades of bipartisan policy. We always want it to be bipartisan,” she continued.

The extension of Israel’s sovereignty to the “West Bank” – the name Jordan gave in 1950 to those parts of Judea and Samaria it had managed to hold onto during the 1948-49 war – is based on the Palestine Mandate itself. That Mandate assigned to the future Jewish state all of the land from Mt. Hermon in the north, to the Red Sea in the south, and from the Jordan River in the west, to the Mediterranean in the east. At the end of Arab-Israeli hostilities in 1949, the Jordanian army remained in possession of part of Judea and Samaria; Jordan renamed that territory the “West Bank” in order to efface the Jewish connection to the land, much as the Romans nearly 2000 years before had replaced the name “Judea” with “Palestine.” When Israel took possession of the “West Bank” after the Six-Day War, this did not create its legal, historic, and moral claim to land where Jews had lived for 3,500 years, but allowed the Jewish state to finally enforce its preexisting claim.

A second, and independent source for the Jewish claim to extend its sovereignty to a considerable part of the “West Bank” is U.N. Resolution 242.

The chief drafter of Resolution 242 was Lord Caradon (Hugh M. Foot), the permanent representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations from 1964-1970. At the time of the Resolution’s discussion and subsequent unanimous passage, and on many occasions since, Lord Caradon always insisted that the phrase “from the territories” quite deliberately did not mean “all the territories,” but merely some of the territories:

Much play has been made of the fact that we didn’t say “the” territories or “all the” territories. But that was deliberate. I myself knew very well the 1967 boundaries and if we had put in the “the” or “all the” that could only have meant that we wished to see the 1967 boundaries perpetuated in the form of a permanent frontier. This I was certainly not prepared to recommend.

On another occasion, to an interviewer from the Journal of Palestine Studies (Spring-Summer 1976), he again insisted on the deliberateness of the wording. He was asked:

The basis for any settlement will be United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, of which you were the architect. Would you say there is a contradiction between the part of the resolution that stresses the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and that which calls for Israeli withdrawal from “occupied territories,” but not from “the occupied territories”?

Nota bene: “from territories occupied” is not the same thing as “from occupied territories” – the first is neutral, the second a loaded description. Lord Caradon answered:

“I defend the resolution as it stands. What it states, as you know, is first the general principle of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. That means that you can’t justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it. We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation.

“Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong.”

Note how Lord Caradon says that “you can’t justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it,” with that “merely” applying to Jordan, but not to Israel, because of the Mandate’s explicit provisions allocating the territory known now as the “West Bank” to the Jewish state. Note, too, the firmness of his dismissal of the 1967 lines as nothing more than “where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948,” that is, nothing more than armistice lines and not internationally recognized borders.

Does Speaker Pelosi understand the legal, historic, and moral claims of Israel to Judea and Samaria (a/k/a the “West Bank)”? Does she understand the intent of the Mandate for Palestine, in recognizing those claims, and does she have a firm understanding of the territory that was included by the League of Nations in that Mandate? Does she comprehend, as well, the meaning of U.N. Resolution 242, which allows Israel to make territorial adjustments to ensure its own security? Is she aware that an American military mission, sent to Israel by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the orders of President Johnson, to study what territories, at a minimum, Israel would have to retain after the Six-Day War, reported back that Israel would need to keep the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank in order to slow down, or prevent, a possible invasion force from the east that could cut Israel in two at its narrowest point; within the 1949 armistice lines, Israel was only nine miles wide from Qalqilya to the sea.

Would comprehending the Mandate for Palestine (especially the Preamble, and Articles 4 and 6), and U.N. Resolution 242, make a difference to Nancy Pelosi? Would she be less quick to lecture Israel on not annexing territory in the West Bank, if she knew Israel had a perfect right to that territory – the Jordan Valley and the settlements – according to both the Mandate, and U.N. Resolution 242?

Pelosi’s bizarre claim is that any Israel “annexation” of territory would “harm America’s national security interests.” She has it exactly backwards. Any annexation by Israel of territory to which it is entitled, and which will increase the Jewish state’s ability to protect itself, will contribute to American national security. Deprived of control of the Jordan Valley, forced to surrender some of its settlements, Israel would be much more vulnerable to attack. And though Israel has never asked for a single American soldier to help defend it, unlike several Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, if it is squeezed back into something like the 1949 armistice lines – i.e., the pre-1967 lines which Abba Eban famously described as “the lines of Auschwitz” — that could make more likely the need, in some future war, for Israel to request American help. That’s not something either Israel, or America, wants. And if Israel were to be squeezed back into something like the 1949 armistice lines, and as a consequence was in danger, in case of war, of being cut in two by an invader from the East, does anyone doubt that if the Israelis ever felt their national survival was at stake, they would use some of their nuclear weapons as a last resort. Does Pelosi want to make such a possibility more likely?

Nancy Pelosi claims that Israel’s annexation of land in the West Bank will harm America’s national security interests; she has things backwards. The better able Israel is to defend itself, the less likely that it will ever have to ask for American aid. And what about the Arab states? Would they be angry with the United States if Israel held onto most or even all of the West Bank? We know that while the member states of the Arab League, for public consumption, have deplored Israeli “annexation,” behind the scenes several of these same states have expressed their support, more muted in some cases than in others, for the Trump Deal of the Century which allows for that Israeli annexation. The ambassadors of three Arab states — Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE – in a sign of support even attended the White House ceremony in which the Trump Plan was rolled out. Though Jordan has denounced any “annexation,” privately Jordanian officials have said they do not want the Palestinians to control the West Bank, for they fear a possible alliance of Palestinians on both sides of the Jordan against the Hashemite monarchy. Two other important Arab states, Egypt and, especially, Saudi Arabia, have lost interest in the “Palestinians” – Crown Prince Muhammad angrily told Mahmoud Abbas to “take whatever deal” he can that the Americans offer – and are more interested in Israeli help, including the sharing of its intelligence with them, in combating Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. When the Israelis were about to annex the Golan Heights, it was predicted that all hell would break loose in the Arab countries. Nothing happened. When Trump decided to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, we were again warned that Arabs and Muslims would be inflamed. Again nothing of the sort occurred.

Now we are being assured that if Israel annexes the Jordan Valley and the settlements, the Arabs will this time really rise up. Why should we believe it? Even in the West Bank, where Mahmoud Abbas insists he has now torn up all agreements with Israel, on the ground there is still security cooperation between the P.A. and Israel. On May 20 it was reported that an unnamed senior Palestinian official sent messages to the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service saying that some coordination would continue and that the Palestinian security organizations will continue to do their best to foil terror attacks against Israel. Even if cooperation really is ended, the official vowed that terror groups will not be permitted to act freely in areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority. So there is a lot less to Abbas’s threats to “end all cooperation with Israel” than meets the eye. Abbas knows how valuable is the intelligence the P.A. receives from Israel on its deadly rivals Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and their operatives in the West Bank. Will he really want to do without Israeli assistance that on several occasions has even helped to foil plots to murder him and his cronies?

What should Nancy Pelosi in decency do? She should study the Palestine Mandate and its maps. She should remember that even though the League of Nations dissolved in 1946, its successor organization, the United Nations, included in its Charter Article 80 (called the “Jewish people’s article”), which recognized the continuing validity of the Mandate for Palestine. And finally, she should study the text of U.N. Resolution 242, and the authoritative explanation of that text by its main drafter, Lord Caradon. Only when she has thoroughly digested the meaning of both the U.N. Resolution 242 and of the Mandate for Palestine, will she have earned the right to comment on what Israel “should” or “must” do.

She might then say, for example, that “I am well aware that Israel has a right to keep the entire West Bank if it so wishes. I do not challenge that right. But I challenge its wisdom. Wouldn’t it be better to keep the territories Israel currently controls, without a formal annexation that will merely serve to roil the Arab world?” I still think she’d be wrong, but at least she would no longer be outrageously, offensively, intolerably wrong.

The Speaker told participants that Democrats are taking “a great pride” in former president Barack Obama’s memorandum of understanding, which provides Israel with $38 billion worth of security assistance over a decade. “That’s our commitment. And we continue to have that,” she said. “It was signed in 2016 to help Israel defend itself in a variety of ways. And we stand committed to that, but we’re very concerned about what we see happening in terms of annexation.”

“I’m not a big fan of the Palestinian leadership in terms of their capability to be good negotiating partners,” she added. “I wish they could be better. But I think that everybody can be doing better in terms of that.” She also sent a barb to the Trump administration’s peace plan, saying that it has “nothing in common with the word peace or plan.”

Pelosi is “not a big fan of the Palestinian negotiating partners in terms of their capability to be good negotiating partners”? That’s a historic understatement. Mahmoud Abbas for the last twelve years refused outright to engage in any negotiations with Israel. He’s not been a “negotiating partner” at all. And in 2008, when he negotiated for the first and last time with the Israelis, he refused Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer of 94% of the West Bank, together with Israeli territory equivalent to 5.8% of the West Bank, and on top of that, Olmert also offered to relinquish Israeli control of the Old City to an international body. Abbas refused, and walked out. Pelosi should have told the truth: the Palestinians have shown themselves completely unwilling to seriously engage in negotiations with the Israelis.

Pelosi’s brusque dismissal of Trump’s peace plan — it has, she said, “nothing in common with the word peace or plan” – is intolerable. It is the first American effort that, had it been accepted, would have led to the creation of a Palestinian state, one which would include 97% of all the Palestinians living in the West Bank. For the first time in their history, the Palestinians would have a state. What’s more, according to the Trump Plan, the Palestinians would be given two large swathes of territory in Israel’s Negev, along the border with Egypt, to compensate for territory taken by Israel – as is its right under the Mandate – in the West Bank. Further, Gaza would be directly linked to the West Bank part of “Palestine” by traffic corridors. An enormous effort went into the Administration’s constructing a viable Arab state, consisting of contiguous territories in the West Bank where 97% of the Palestinians now live, and from which they would not have to move. Speaker Pelosi should look at all the work that went into carving out this state before so airily dismissing it.

Finally, in what is surely the most generous offer of aid in history, the Trump Administration promised that international donors would provide the state of Palestine with $50 billion dollars in aid; by comparison, the Marshall Plan allotted a total of $60 billion (in 2020 dollars) not for just one but for sixteen countries. Why does Nancy Pelosi say this carefully worked-out effort was not a “plan”? Has she looked at the maps, and seen with what care the Trump Administration managed to ensure that 97% of the Palestinians now in the West Bank would be included, in contiguous territories forming the state of Palestine, while 97% of the Israelis in the West Bank would be included, without having to move, in the state of Israel. It was a real feat of boundary-drawing. And why does Pelosi say the Trump Plan has nothing to do with “peace” when that is its main goal, to keep the peace between Palestinians and Israelis, by means of both the statehood and the prosperity– that $50 billion in aid — promised to the Palestinians, and through the demilitarization that would be required of the future state of “Palestine”?

American national security interests will not be harmed but enhanced if Israel and the Palestinians make peace, based on the Trump Plan, and if the Palestinians achieve a level of prosperity in their own state that they would not wish to endanger through war, while Israel’s deterrent power is increased by its permanent control, through annexation, of West Bank territories, and especially of the Jordan Valley, that can help prevent or slow down an invasion from the East. There may be a brief display of displeasure from the Arab street, if the Trump Plan is accepted, but in the corridors of power in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman, there will be quiet satisfaction that the Trump Plan has put paid to Palestinian irredentism, given the Palestinians a state of their own, and imposed demilitarization on that state. Israel, more secure than ever, can continue to help them deal with their real worries – the Muslim Brotherhood, the assorted terror groups including Hezbollah (Iran’s proxy), and Hamas (which is merely a branch of the Brotherhood), and above all, Iran.

It is difficult for many Democrats to admit that something good might actually come out of the White House, where they long ago consigned its occupant to the outer darkness. And who has the time to read all that stuff – the Mandate for Palestine, U.N. Resolution 242, Article 80 of the U.N. Charter – or learn about the history of the non-existent negotiations between Mahmoud Abbas and several different Israeli leaders? Who has the time to find out what the Arab leaders really want, which is not always what they say they want? It’s a lot to ask. But try, Speaker Pelosi. Just try.

COLUMN BY

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Members of Congress and Their Highly Selective Indignation

Stephen Flatow notes that a letter signed several weeks ago by 60 members of Congress shocks the conscience, or should. Here is his story :

Did you hear the shocking news? Sixty Congress members just signed a letter demanding that the Federal government stop the dismantling of any illegally built homes that have been built by Arabs. But they did not object to Israel’s continuing policy of dismantling illegally built Jewish homes.

The letter demanded that the American government not allow American-made equipment it supplied to Israel to be used in what they called “the ongoing home demolitions” of Arab homes. There was no mention in the letter of the Israeli government’s dismantling of Jewish homes and settlements it deemed “illegal.” Nor was there any mention of the demolition of houses belonging to the families of terrorists as an effective way to discourage would-be terrorists.

Who would have thought that in this day and age, members of Congress would stoop so low as to make policy recommendations based on the idea that one specific ethnic group should be targeted?

We were supposed to have given up the old practice of making policies based on the color of people’s skin, rather than the content of their character. Images of George Wallace standing in that schoolhouse door were supposed to be just a bad memory. Yet here we are, in 2020, with 60 Democrats signing a letter that echoes the attitudes of those dark times.

J Street played a major role in organizing the Congressional letter. In a December 10 press release, the group announced that “J Street supporters across the country are contacting the offices of their members of Congress and urging them to sign on to this important and timely letter.”

The letter was sent to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 16, bearing the signatures of 60 members of Congress, all Democrats. They urged the US government to prevent Israel from using American-made equipment in “the ongoing home demolitions and forcible transfer of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.”

The letter’s reference to “Palestinian civilians” indicates that J Street misled the members of Congress. Evidently, the J Streeters did not explain to potential signatories that house demolitions in Israel are not based on the race, religion, or ethnicity of the homeowners.

Israeli courts authorize dismantling illegally built homes on the basis of whether the homes were built illegally. The Israeli government does not have a policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. If it did, it would be doing quite a poor job of it, since 99.9% of Palestinian homes are still standing!

Both Jews and Arabs in the West Bank have illegally built homes. Some are on “state and waste” lands that are owned by the Israeli government, and from which permission for such building had not been obtained. In some cases Jewish settlers have wrongly claimed – as was the case with the settlement at Amona — to have bought the land they built on from Palestinians, claims that did not stand up in court. Individual houses, owned by Arabs and Jews – though mostly by the former – have been pulled down when the builders violated building codes so egregiously that only demolishment would discourage them, and warn others, from continuing to flout the law.

Clearly, J Street never informed these members of Congress that the Israeli government has been demolishing illegally built Jewish homes too.

On October 24, Israeli bulldozers destroyed two housing structures in the unauthorized Jewish community of Shevah Ha’aretz, near the town of Yitzhar. On November 26, the government sent tractors to level a Jewish housing structure near the community of Bat Ayin and to plow over an adjacent olive grove that had been planted by Israeli Jews and their Christian Zionist supporters. On January 15, the bulldozers were active in Yitzhar, destroying two more Jewish homes that were built illegally.

Had you heard or read about this Israeli destruction at Shevah Ha’aretz, near Bet Ayin, and at Yitzhar of Jewish houses that had been built illegally? No, of course not. It’s not something the Times or the Post or the BBC or any other part of the mainstream media would want brought to your attention. And while we hear constantly about the destruction of “Palestinian” olive trees by mad-dog Jewish settlers, have you ever heard of Israeli tractors plowing over an olive grove planted by Jews that the government considered “illegal”? No, you never have, until just now.

So why didn’t the Congressional letter ask Secretary Pompeo to make sure that no American-made bulldozers were used to smash those Jewish homes?

There are two possible answers.

One would be that those members of Congress are a bunch of racists who care only about the demolition of homes owned by one ethnic group and don’t care about the ones owned by another ethnic group.

But I don’t believe that. I believe that the signatories, except for a few die-hard Israel-haters such as Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, are simply unaware of the reality on the ground in Judea and Samaria. They are unaware because J Street misled them. J Street led them to think that the Israeli government has a racist policy of targeting Arab houses.Comment:

The Israeli government demolishes with equal firmness both Arab and Jewish houses that have been built illegally, or that for security reasons needs to be demolished. Some Arab homes have been built on state or waste land the Palestinians did not own. In other cases, demolitions may be carried out to enforce building codes and regulations that have been repeatedly flouted. The IDF also carries out house demolitions as a counter-insurgency measure to impede or halt militant operations. An Arab house may have been strategically built just above an Israeli settlement, from where those in the house could do the most damage to Jewish civilians living below. That could be grounds for its demolition.

House demolitions are also carried out to discourage terrorism. The demolition of houses belonging to the families of convicted terrorists is used both to punish terrorists and to deter future would-be terrorists, who might not want their families to suffer. As a policy, it seems to have worked, in significantly decreasing Palestinian terrorist attacks.

If J Street had fully informed these 60 Congresspeople about the situation, then the entire premise of the anti-Israel letter would have collapsed.

Racism has no place on Capitol Hill. There should be no discrimination between houses owned by Arabs or Jews, whites or blacks, or any other racial or ethnic groups.

J Street, the so-called “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby, should be ashamed of itself.

In 2005, the Israeli government demolished many houses of Israeli settlers who were transferred in accordance with the Israeli disengagement from Gaza. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said this was done by request of the Palestinian Authorities.

In addition to removing all traces of the Israeli settlements in Gaza, as demanded by the Palestinians, who might have used for their own purposes both the residential housing and the greenhouses left intact by Israelis, were they not so consumed with hate, Israel has routinely demolished “illegal” buildings put up by settlers in the West Bank — that is, “illegal” because their builders had failed to obtain permission from the Israeli state. Sometimes entire outposts have been demolished, if the Israeli government determines they were built “illegally.” Yet very little attention is given to these Israeli actions in the world media, for it would not do to deflect attention from what so many see as the only outrage, that committed by those oppressive Israelis, in destroying structures put up by the inoffensive Palestinians.

When Israel tears down “illegal” buildings or settlements put up by Jews, it does so either because the land on which the settlement was built turns out, according to scrupulous investigation by the Israeli officials, to be owned by Palestinians, or it is state land on which the Israeli government had refused to give permission for Jews to build. It may, for security reasons, want to prevent new Israeli settlements to be built too perilously close to Arab villages – given the enormous effort that might be necessary to defend their inhabitants in case of hostilities. Some settlements or outposts may actually weaken the state if they are likely to prove hellishly difficult to defend.

The government of Israel has not hesitated to remove settlers, and demolish their settlements if, after judicial decisions and appeals that go all the way up to the Supreme Court, they are given the go-ahead. Israeli decisions to demolish Arab structures are also subject to the same judgements and appeals.

In February 2017, Israeli forces began an operation to evacuate settlers from the West Bank outpost of Amona after the Supreme Court stated that it must be demolished by 8 February. According to the Supreme Court the outpost had been built on private Palestinian land settlers claimed they had bought; the land had been declared a “closed military area” by the government.

At Amona, it took thousands of Border Police to subdue a crowd of 10,000, who had come from all over Israel to protest the decision. But the sight of Israeli police violently subduing fellow Jews who were protesting the demolishment of Jewish homes did not make it to Western media; it didn’t fit the story that the media likes to present of ruthless Israelis demolishing, for no conceivable reason, Arab houses.

Perhaps some of those 60 Democratic Congressmen will take the time to find out more about the reasons for Israel’s demolishment of Jewish settlers’ houses, demolishments about which they appear not to have heard, which might provide them with a more nuanced view of the matter. And then they should have the decency to listen to the Israeli government’s explanation of the reasons for its demolition of a handful of Arab homes – an infinitesimal number, though you wouldn’t think so from the mainstream media reports — including gross violations of building codes, and erecting structures — without permission — on state and waste lands. Finally, the Congressmen should understand that demolishing the family homes of terrorists in order both to punish them and to discourage other would-be terrorists, does, in fact, work. It took the Israelis quite a while to fully comprehend, but now they do. They know that given their merciless and relentless enemy, there is no point in gentle persuasion or observing Marquess of Queensberry rules. This is the Middle East.

COLUMN BY

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.