BDS = anti-Semitism and Lies against Israel logo

Boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) are the tactics of political warfare used against Israel, based on the exploitation of human rights, double standards, comparisons to apartheid South Africa, and false accusations of “war crimes.”

  • Definitions:
    • Boycotts of products, culture, and academics – BDS activists lobby stores not to carry Israeli products and encourage others not to purchase them. They send letters to artists, musicians, authors, and academics, imploring them not to perform and appear in Israel or cooperate with Israeli institutions. Boycotts undermine liberal values, such as academic freedom and freedom of expression, by restricting openness and tolerance.
    • Divestment from companies that do business with Israel – Distorting the concept of ethical investing, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accuse companies that conduct business in Israel of involvement in war crimes and violations of international law. The NGOs approach investors, primarily large banks and pension funds, and push for the exclusion of these companies.
    • Sanctions against self-defense measures – Anti-Israel activists demand that the international community enact comprehensive sanctions against Israel – treating Israel as a pariah state. The ultimate goal is legally enforced sanctions by the UN Security Council. Other forms of sanctions include arms embargoes, which are premised on baseless charges of war crimes. Similarly, legal proceedings are initiated against Israeli officials to punish Israel for defensive actions.
  • BDS is the main component of the “Durban strategy,” which was adopted by dozens of NGOs at the 2001 UN Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, which crystallized the strategy of delegitimizing Israel as “an apartheid regime” through international isolation.
    • Other tactics of the Durban Strategy include “lawfare” campaigns against Israeli officials in international courts; lobbying international bodies, including the UN, EU, US and criminal courts; publishing false reports and accusations of “war crimes,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid”; organizing provocations such as flotillas and violent demonstrations under the guise of humanitarian operations and human rights.
  • The campaign seeks to end the “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and promotes the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.” These goals undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination.
  • This campaign is financed and supported extensively by foreign governments, as well as foundations and religious charities, which provide frameworks for anti-Israel political influence. *See funding chart below.
  • Most of this money comes from Europe, usually involving taxpayer funds funneled through secret processes to organizations that operate under the banners of promoting human rights, humanitarian aid, democracy and peace.
  • BDS seeks the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.
    • Co-founder of Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) Omar Barghouti (2004): “The current phase has all the emblematic properties of what may be considered the final chapter of the Zionist project. We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it, for Zionism is intent on killing itself. I, for one, support euthanasia.”
    • As’ad Abu Khalil, a central activist in the U.S. (2012): “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel.”
    • Pro-BDS author Ahmed Moor: “OK, fine. So BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state…. I view the BDS movement as a long-term project with radically transformative potential….In other words, BDS is not another step on the way to the final showdown; BDS is The Final Showdown.”
  • BDS is not an established organization or movement, but comprised of dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and radical activists.
  • In practice, the BDS campaign has little success on the ground, but its effectiveness lies in its ability to penetrate the public and political discourse and blur the lines between legitimate criticism of Israel and the complete de-legitimization of Israel in the international arena.
  • BDS activists utilize the threat of political, economic, academic and cultural isolation as a means of pressuring Israel, and seek to have this idea penetrate the public and political discourse, as a means of influencing governments and businesses to adopt BDS tactics.

Lapid: ‘Israel will protect its interests no matter what’


Defining Anti-Semitism

Fact Sheet
Special Envoy To Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
Washington, DC
June 8, 2010 Click to download PDF file  Defining Anti-Semitism-US-State-Department-156684

“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” –Working Definition of Anti-Semitism by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia

Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion).
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.
  • Recent surveys have found that 75% of Jewish students have seen or experienced anti-Israel incidents


What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?

EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:


  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis
  • Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions


  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
  • Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations


  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist

However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.

Boycott Divestment & Israel Lie #3: BDS and the Law

Video 1 of the Top-10 Lies About the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against Israel. Presented by Fred Taub of Boycott Watch,author of the book Boycotting Peace. In this video, Fred Taub discusses the U.S. Department of Commerce enforced laws you are violating and the IRS forms you need to file when boycotting Israel.

From Columbia Journal of Transnational Law

Economic Dealings with Occupied Territories


In recent years, the international legality of economic activity in occupied territories has emerged as matter of significant debate, largely focused on Israeli-controlled territories.  Some European officials, supported by prominent scholars and a wide range of NGOs, claim that international law requires limiting or prohibiting economic relations involving the Israeli-controlled West Bank and Golan Heights.  Claims are increasingly being heard that international law requires a boycott of Israeli settlements, or at least the clear labeling of goods produced there.

The question of the lawfulness of such activity has even greater salience and urgency with Russia’s annexation of Crimea and belligerent occupation of Eastern Ukraine.  These areas have a significantly greater economic potential than most currently occupied territories, and Moscow is actively seeking foreign investment there.

Discussions of these legal issues have proceeded largely along theoretical lines, ignoring the rich trove of relevant state practice from other occupied territories such as Western Sahara, Northern Cyprus, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Abkhazia.  The European Union, the United States, and other states have adopted a variety of formal positions regarding activities in these territories.  Moreover, recent years have seen a proliferation of state practice and, for the first time, judicial decisions, involving these very questions.

This Article conducts a comprehensive survey of the relevant current state practice and judicial precedent regarding occupied territories, aside from the well-examined case of Israel.  Much of this practice has never been considered by scholars, let alone examined holistically.  Clear patterns emerge when state practice is examined globally, and the principles they suggest are in turn reaffirmed by recent path-breaking decisions of European national courts.

State practice and decisions of important national courts support a fully permissive approach to economic dealings by third-party states or nationals in territories under prolonged occupation or illegal annexation.  There is no obligation on third-party states to block such activity, or to insist on particular language on product labels, or to ensure that their foreign aid funds do not cross into occupied territory.  That does not mean that third countries are prohibited from taking such actions for diplomatic, rather than legal, reasons—though in the absence of a public law prohibition, WTO and other trade rules may actively bar third-country restrictions on such activity.  Practice is most varied on the question of trade treaties extending to occupied territory, as this seems to depend more on the interpretation of the particular instruments, rather than general principles.
Read the full text: Click to download PDF file Kontorovich-Article_53-CJTL-584

The secret history BDS hides from you

Arutz Sheva

US requires Judea-Samaria goods to be labeled

Mail from US Customs reveals products from Judea and Samaria are not to be labeled as being from ‘Israel,’ on pain of sanctions.
By Ari Yashar 28January2016
The Man in the High Castle-FlagA mail from the Cargo Systems Messaging Service of the US Customs and Border Protection dated to this Saturday, and revealed by Channel 1‘s “Mabat” show on Thursday, shows the US is now required products from Judea and Samaria to be labeled differently.

In new instructions on marking requirements sent out to American importers, goods from Judea and Samaria are not to be marked “Israel.” Those who do not comply are to be sanctioned.

“West Bank Country of Origin Marking Requirements,” reads the title of the mail, which begins by clarifying that “the purpose of this message is to provide guidance to the trade community regarding the country of origin marking requirements for goods that are manufactured in the West Bank.”

“Goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as originating from ‘West Bank,’ ‘Gaza,’ ‘Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank and Gaza,’ or ‘West Bank and Gaza Strip.'”

“It is not acceptable to mark the aforementioned goods with the words ‘Israel,’ ‘Made in Israel,’ ‘Occupied Territories-Israel,’ or any variation thereof,” warned the mail. It threatened that such goods that are marked as products of Israel “will be subject to an enforcement action carried out by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

The instructions were published on Saturday, apparently due to complaints by Palestinian Arabs and leftist organizations in the US, who claimed there is no enforcement of the 1995 American law on marking goods from the region.

The US State Department confirmed the details of the mail, and explained that the labeling does not distinguish between Jewish and Arab goods from the region, instead simply defining the entire area as not part of “Israel.”

The Obama administration gave support to the EU decision last November to label Jewish products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. In December the EU double-standard in the move was put on display as a top European court struck down a trade deal with Morocco in the occupied Western Sahara, and the EU responded by petitioning the ruling.

Legal experts revealed the ruling undermines the EU’s claims that its labeling of Israel and taking other punitive actions are due to a principle of “non-recognition,” since the court decision shows that it can and does do business with “occupiers.”

Last Tuesday US State Department spokesperson John Kirby indicated the Obama administration also supports the EU’s controversial resolution from the day before, according to which EU agreements with Israel no longer apply over the 1949 Armistice lines.

Regarding the legal status of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria, and consequentially of products from the region and agreements in it, the 2012 Levy Report proved that Israel’s presence is legal according to international law.

However, despite being commissioned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, two consecutive coalition governments led by him have yet to adopt the findings of the report.

EU report recommends boycott on Israeli settlement products

The Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses is the model for the current EU guidelines for boycotting Israeli products. Leftist policies are, by their very nature, totalitarian in impulse and execution

The Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses is the model for the current EU guidelines for boycotting Israeli products. Leftist policies are, by their very nature, totalitarian in impulse and execution

The European Union has recommended that its 27 member states “prevent” all financial transactions that support Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank.

In its Jerusalem Report 2012, an internal report written by the EU mission heads in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the European Union suggested that member states “prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services,” the French news agency AFP reported.

In a strongly worded 15-page report, the EU also called on members to “ensure that imports of settlement products do not benefit from preferential tariffs and make sure that all such products are clearly labeled as originating from Israeli-occupied areas.”

It also warns that EU programs should not be “used to support settlements and settlement-related activity, including funding for research, education or technological cooperation.”

EU Reveals its True Colors

by Peter Martino July 24, 2013

The EU guidelines are clearly anti-Semitic: they are a unique set of guidelines crafted for the occasion of targeting Jews. The EU does not ask similar guarantees of China for Tibet, Turkey for Cyprus, or Indonesia for Western Papua.

Last week, the European Union issued guidelines regarding the use of EU funds in Israel. From now on, Israeli institutions cooperating with the EU or benefitting from EU funding must demonstrate that they have no direct or indirect links to Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. The guidelines, drawn up by the EU bureaucracy in Brussels, bind the EU, a supranational organization of 28 European nations, and one of the world’s largest donors of development aid. The guidelines also forbid any funding, cooperation, awarding of scholarships, research funds or prizes to anyone residing in Jewish settlements in Israeli territories outside Israel’s 1967 borders. I totally agree with labeling products. All products from Europe and the US should require a Flag_of_the_NSDAP_(1920–1945).svgNazi Swastika on it and a total ban on European and US Cars and other products. This is besides the standard labeling laws for GMO products which should be banned anyway. Israel needs to have a Crash Emergency program to develop the IAI Lavi Fighter and reverse engineer any product that is imported into Israel.Right-to-Know-GMO-Labeling Israel needs to have an Emergency Aliyah program that will entail both Nefesh B’Nefesh, The Jewish Agency and Israeli family contacting their friends and family members still living outside of Israel.

  • How about Israel adding labels saying “Made by Jews in Judea and Samaria – the ancient biblical homeland of the Jewish people” or “Produced by Jews in Judea and Samaria – heartland of the Jewish National Home.”
  • Have TV commercials in Hebrew telling Israelis that it is a matter of life and death to get home.
  • Have TV commercials in English reminding Jews about Kristallnacht and the riots in the streets.
  • Have TV commercials reminding the Diaspora Jews about Israels wonderful healthcare, schools, clean air and low unemployment rate. Remind everyone that Israel is the Startup Nation for innovation. Remind everyone that Israel has one of the highest standards of living and rates of longevity.
  • Arrest all CIA, DIA, DEA, FBI, MI 5/6, etc of USA, Britain & EU countries agents in Israel (including news reporters), throw them in jail, quick harsh trials for espionage, sedition, provocation of unrest & rebellion etc, harsh sentences; THEN demand release of Pollard in exchange.

    Riots in Los Angeles California; Just remember that the only country that the Jews have is Israel אין לי ארץ אחרת

    Riots in Los Angeles California; Just remember that the only country that the Jews have is Israel
    אין לי ארץ אחרת

  • Publish “dangerous region & no protection” warnings for vacationers or businessmen visit in those countries.
  • Arrest, imprison, charge with espionage & sedition all missionaries.
  • Permanently shut down the IBA and Army Radio.
  • Israel needs to pull out of all joint EU-Israeli projects.
  • Israel needs to ban all EU and EU funded Leftest Israeli NGOs such as Peace Now.
  • Persona Non Grata Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, Ex US President Jimmy Carter and deny visas to all officials of the EU and US Governments.
  • Israel needs to arrest all UN workers as Enemy Combatants and throw them into prison internment camps (like the US did to the Japanese living in the US during World War 2) until Jonathan Pollard and the other Jews that are in the American Gulags are released and safely in Israel.[Remember the UN’s 1975 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379 of which “determine[d] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination” ]
  • Israel must begin the process of preparing to assert its international trade rights in the WTO’s dispute resolution system, a quasi-judicial forum with authority to overturn measures that violate these rules.
  • This would then be followed by formal consultations with EU trade officials, a required “out-of court” step before invoking the WTO dispute resolution process.
  • The process should be monitored at the ministerial level or by a special interministerial committee. It is important to note that even the beginning of formal consultations does not commit Israel to bringing a dispute to a panel, and even then the matter can be narrowed or settled at any time. The substantial majority of WTO disputes never result in a ruling, but are settled diplomatically. However, bringing a dispute provides for diplomatic leverage that would otherwise be absent.
  • It is extremely likely that the EU would respond to Israeli moves towards the WTO with a vocal and forceful reaffirmation of its position. This is commonplace in WTO disputes. Israel must be prepared to not be intimidated by such protests. The likely consequence of a failed WTO approach will be no worse than a failed diplomatic one, and the chances of success are much higher.
  • If other steps fail, Israel should vigorously pursue a challenge to the measures through the WTO’s dispute resolution system. The WTO has the power to rule the EU measures illegal. Moreover, it can authorize various forms of retaliation and self-help by Israel.

This is besides Prayer, Tuvah and Tzedakah. That should wake someone up.

שיר אירופי מחתרתי לחג המולד Underground European Song for Christmas

Thing are looking up! Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon orders that any EU request relating to Judea, Samaria and Gaza be turned down because of its latest ban.

“The Foreign Agents Are Coming”: The New Video Game That is Driving the NIF Crazy

אם תרצו – בונים חברה ציונית

Published on Apr 26, 2018 Come play the game that enables you to experience what IDF soldiers feel when they are harassed and persecuted by the New Israel Fund:


New Report Confirms Ties Between BDS-Promoting NGOs and Terrorist Organizations

By David Lange February 3, 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSA) today released its “Terrorists in Suits” report, which reveals over a whopping 100 links shared between the internationally-designated terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and at least 13 anti-Israel BDS promoting NGOs.

Click to Download the report Click to download PDF file MSA-Terrorists-In-Suits-English-1 logo

Boycotting the Boycotters: Israel fights back against European blacklist campaign

by Breitbart Jerusalem19 Nov 2015

JERUSALEM – Israel has decided that it will not stand idly by in the face of the European Union’s decision to label all goods produced in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

It will take measures against 16 European countries that backed the initiative, likely damaging relations between Israel and the EU, Israeli website Ynet reported.

Some of the 16 countries backing the labeling, including Italy and the Netherlands, have better relations with Israel than others, so measures against these countries will be less harsh than countries that have been more hostile towards Israel such as Ireland and Sweden.

Steps include reexamining the EU’s role in the peace process and restricting meetings between EU ambassadors to lower tier government figures. Ambassadors from all 16 countries will receive official censure from Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

“In addition, any foreign delegations seeking  to visit the West Bank and Gaza will undergo a much stricter process for entry and may even be prevented  from entering those areas entirely. Official representatives from said governments may be denied meetings with the prime minister or the president.

“From now on we will be very measured in how we behave with these visitors,” a senior Israeli official said. “We will control the flow of [passage] and will not authorize things automatically.”

Ynet further reported thatIsrael will be more stringent regarding  which EU projects it allows in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, thereby diminishing the EU’s influence in those areas.

“They lead many projects which need our support, but you can’t act against us and then expect that everything will continue as normal,” said the official. Finally, dialogue between the EU and Israel – especially on crucial topics like strategy, fighting terrorism, and handling immigration – will be reduced, postponed, or halted.

“Whoever takes hostile measures against us will pay the price,” said the source. He was quick to add, however, that no measures will be taken if they harm Israel’s own interests. “We had to walk a tightrope between things we wanted to do so that they would get the message and not hurting ourselves.”

Meanwhile, EU’s ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, persisted on Wednesday with his claim that the decision to label Israeli products does not mean Europe is boycotting Israel or the settlements.

“I’ve been shocked to hear claims of anti-Semitism and historical comparisons or analogies to the persecution of Jews in Germany in the’30s and’ 40s,” Faaborg-Andersen said at the Jerusalem Post’s Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem. “In my mind this is a distortion of history and belittlement of the crimes of the Nazis, and the memory of their victims.”

“The European Union has been accused of a variety of sins, including today from this podium,” Faaborg-Andersen lamented. “Anti-Semitism, hypocrisy, immorality, rewarding terrorism, destroying Palestinian jobs. These allegations have been made by people coming from the highest echelons in this country.”

Faaborg-Andersen also accused Israel of hypocrisy. “How is the stated commitment to a two-state solution compatible with continued building in settlements, including in many settlements beyond the separation barrier that would not be part of Israel in any peace agreement?

“True, settlements are certainly not the only problem [in regard to peace] – but they are definitely a significant and crucial problem.”

Earlier in the week, Breibart Jerusalem reported on Faaborg-Andersen’s contradictory explanation for the labeling.

On the one hand he insisted Israel was not being singled out and the practice was part of a “uniformed standard” that applied to products from all over the world, but when he was presented with the fact that other disputed regions – of which there are over 200 globally – were not subject to the same labeling Faaborg-Andersen rationalized that those situations were different from Israel’s.

Arutz Sheva

Ten rules for crushing BDS terrorists

Don’t engage. Don’t discuss. Don’t debate. There is no reasoning with savages. They want to hear from you, but only to shout you down.

Jack Engelhard 15February2016
First let’s understand what we ‘re talking about. We are talking about thugs who learned their tactics from the Brown Shirts of yesteryear — the means to disrupt, intimidate, bully and terrorize.

Back then they spoke mostly German. Today they speak mostly Arabic even if it’s in English.

The target? The Jews. Anybody else? Nobody else.

Think Kristallnacht (the infamous Night of Breaking Glass) – except on a daily basis, not just one night – and focused on every business imaginable, and the campuses.

Nearly every college and university in the United States has them, and has them ready to “break glass” and riot against anything Jewish or Israeli.

Mostly a Muslim phenomenon, some Christians and even some Jews have signed on. You know who you are and shame on you.

The movement, it is said, began in 2005. Partly correct. More accurately, it begin in 1965 when Ted Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson pushed through an immigration act that for the first time limited these immigrants, people familiar with Judeo/Christian values (Europeans), in favor of those immigrants, people coming from lands where it’s sharia or die.

This is the result.

Instead of assimilated youngsters, we have a generation processed through ancient Jew-hatred, many of them professional agitators, bought and paid for by Saudi Arabia and similar countries that spend billions to buy influence within one university to the next, including the Ivy Leagues.

The bullying is organized and non-stop. Jewish students are suffering. A group of them, readers of my books and columns, asked for a meeting and we met. They were energized, they said, by a particular story of mine in “Escape From Mount Moriah.” They pointed to the four-page essay, “A Jewish Soldier.” (Chapter 17.)

Was it true? Did it really happen? Can one incident really turn everything around and transform weaklings into fighters and winners?

Of course it’s true. It’s a memoir. It happened in Montreal. But it can happen anywhere and end just as well.

So we talked and over a period of days agreed on a call to action based on “A Jewish Soldier.” (A close second was “The Purple Gang.” Chapter 10.)

We are calling it “The One Bully at a Time Principle.”  As follows:

1. Jewish students at UCLA got it right. Finally! BDS threw a party, but Jewish students didn’t show up. The student government passed a resolution to boycott the Jewish State but was in turn boycotted. The snub left the boycotters jabbering and hi-fiving among themselves, leaving no doubt that their designs are totally one-sided and illegitimate,

2 Don’t engage. Don’t discuss. Don’t debate. There is no reasoning with savages. They want to hear from you, but only to shout you down.

3. Keep in mind that these BDS types are not “fellow students.” They are trained specialists. You will never win the argument through talk.

4. Win the argument through action. Do keep clear of them when you can. But when the opportunity arises, use their tactics – only double.

5. When one of theirs gets up to speak, disrupt, jeer, heckle, shout him down. Let them know how it feels.

6. Not Jewish, you say? Yes it is. Read your Bible. We were never meant to be pushovers. Israel did not win its many wars by rolling over. Moreover it’s a Krav Maga maneuver. Use your opponent’s strength against him and for your own benefit. Use whatever is at hand to defend yourself in a street fight. (Isn’t that what this is?) Anything goes for the sake of winning. There are no limits.

7. Learn self-defense. Judo, karate, most certainly Krav Maga, the Israeli/IDF method. Toughen up.

8. Don’t scatter your power. Focus on one institution, one individual at a time. Send the message. That’s how we did it that one day in Montreal.

9. Pick the toughest college, the place where BDS terrorism is most heated. Today this appears to be Vassar. Go there in numbers. Bully back!

Cause a ruckus they’ll never forget. (Stop being Nice Jewish Boys. This is not cute or funny anymore. It has become harmful.)

How to get this organized? Don’t ask me. You’re smart. You’ll figure it out.

10. Pick the toughest kid. That’s how we did it when our toughest kid (Doodie) picked their toughest kid, beat him up, and the rest went running for their lives. Our streets were never completely safe even after that, but MUCH safer than before. Our French Canadian tormentors now had to think twice before starting anything.

I understand. We’re asking Jewish kids to act differently. But this is war and we are all in it together whether we like it or not.

Turn to your Hebrew Scriptures, go to the Book of Exodus, read the last phrase from the chapter Beshalach, and be amazed. (I sure was.)

Read – “G-d maintains a war against Amalek from generation to generation.”

So on it goes. Be prepared for a lengthy battle. Each of us must do his part. But look Who is on our side.


EU’s Economic Hold over Israel Wanes

The deputy prime minister of Vietnam visited Israel on Wednesday, prompting Jerusalem Post reporter Herb Keinon to delve into some fascinating trade statistics. Bilateral trade between Israel and Vietnam totaled almost $1.1 billion last year, a fivefold increase in just five years, and is now more than double Israel’s trade with Austria and four times its trade with Norway. In fact, Keinon later tweeted, Israel’s trade with Vietnam now exceeds its trade with 21 of the European Union’s 28 member states. And Vietnam is just one country; Israeli trade with other Asian countries has also burgeoned. All of which goes to show that one of Israel’s biggest Achilles’ heels – its economic dependence on an increasingly hostile Europe – is swiftly disappearing.

Taken as a whole, the EU is still Israel’s largest trading partner, but its lead has been shrinking rapidly as Israeli trade with other parts of the globe expands. Moreover, many of the European countries most hostile to Israel are among its least important trading partners. Norway, Sweden, and Ireland, for instance, would star in any list of the most hostile countries, yet each of them conducts less trade with Israel than Vietnam does. In other words, the countries that are most hostile to Israel tend to be those with relatively little ability to cause it economic harm.

Israel has long since ceased to count on Europe for diplomatic support. In international forums, many European countries reflexively back even the most outrageous anti-Israel resolutions, while even Israel’s best friends in Europe rarely do more than abstain. This past May, for instance, every EU country voted for a UN resolution declaring Israel the world’s worst violator of health rights (perhaps they think Israeli hospitals should stop treating Syrian war victims or cancer patients from Hamas-run Gaza?).

Nor does Israel depend on Europe militarily. As Haaretz reporter Anshel Pfeffer pointed out after Britain threatened to suspend arms exports to Israel during last summer’s Gaza war, such threats are so old hat that Israel long ago dropped Britain as a major military supplier. Ditto for most other European countries (the two exceptions being Germany and Italy). Today, Israeli defense imports from Britain consist mostly of spare parts that it could easily obtain elsewhere if necessary.

Thus, the one stick Europe still has with which to threaten Israel is economic.  And as the recent decision to impose discriminatory labeling requirements on Israel show, the EU bureaucracy is increasingly seeking to wield this stick.

Israel obviously can and should push back against such measures, and it has already scored some successes against the labeling decision. Hungary, for instance, flatly announced it will ignore the directive; Greece has also come out against it; Germany’s ruling party has denounced it, as has the president of the German parliament; and when German department store KaDeWe hastened to apply the new directive, the resultant outcry forced it into humiliating retreat a day later. All this fits a pattern I’ve noted before: Elected politicians, whose voters expect them to produce economic growth, tend to be much less enthusiastic about economic sanctions against Israel than EU bureaucrats, who aren’t answerable to any electorate.

Nevertheless, EU bureaucrats still wield a great deal of power, and they are likely to come up with more anti-Israel measures in the future. Thus over the long term, Israel’s best defense is to sharply reduce its economic dependence on Europe. And as the trade statistics with Vietnam show, Israel is making rapid strides toward doing exactly that.


Who Is Actually Boycotting Israel? The Answer Might Surprise You

by Adrienne Yaron: 28December 2015

No one is actually boycotting Israel. Not the Europeans. Not the American Studies professors. Not Saudi Arabia. Not even Roger Waters. There is not a single human being on this planet that has access to electricity and the Internet that actually boycotts all Israeli products. How do I know this? The same way you all know it: they all have cell phones, and there isn’t a cell phone manufactured today that does not contain Israeli hardware or software, or both.

In fact, the overwhelming majority of Israeli export products are simply not susceptible to boycott. Of Israel’s top ten export categories, only two of them consist primarily of consumer products: pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. Do you really think anyone with AIDS or HIV will boycott the best HIV medications available? Or that diabetics will boycott the easiest and most painless insulin administrators, or the newly developed artificial pancreas? Will blind people really refuse to use technology that describes the world to them in real time because it was engineered by Israelis?

The list of cutting edge, top of the line medical treatments, therapeutics, vaccines and medical equipment invented and produced by Israel is immense, and most of them have no viable substitute. You either use the Israeli product or go untreated. Do you think a lot of people would choose the latter? When the chips were down, even veteran antisemite Jimmy Carter used Israeli cancer treatments. Heck, how many people really exist that would even be willing to pay triple or quadruple the price, out of pocket, to avoid a generic antibiotic that was made by Teva? I would guess not that many.

The rest of Israel’s top ten export categories are all industrial or governmental-level products, which are not purchased by individual consumers. The industrial and government level products that Israel markets are, like Israel’s pharmaceuticals, generally unique, necessary, and irreplaceable. China, India, and Africa need Israel’s agritech and water technology products to feed and water their burgeoning populations. California has no choice but to employ Israeli companies to solve its drought problems.

Every country in the world that wants to protect its population from terrorist attacks must turn to Israel for the most state of the art security products. And of course, Israel’s high tech industry, both hardware and software, is thoroughly integrated into virtually all modern electronic products. Even most Arab countries either directly or indirectly use Israeli water, agriculture, and communications technology.

BDS’ own website only instructs its supporters to boycott “fresh produce, Ahava, and Sodastream.” Ahava and Sodastream are both great companies, but they hardly constitute a major percentage of Israel’s export sales. Moreover, these two companies probably benefit by increased sales from Israel supporters because they are the only two individually-named targets of the boycott movement.

As for “fresh produce,” this stopped being a major export of Israel decades ago. Fresh fruits and vegetables now constitute only about 3.6% of Israel’s total exports. More importantly, the overwhelming majority of Israel’s fresh vegetable market is to Russia — a nation that has shown little interest in the boycott bandwagon and a lot of interest in feeding its population. Both India and China have also been steadily growing their market share for Israeli produce, and there is little doubt than any sales drop in Europe will be outbalanced by an increase from these giants.

So in fact, all the huffing and puffing of the anti-Israel “BDS” crowd is nothing more than hot air. The BDS movement has not had, and will never have, any significant economic effect on Israel’s overall economy, because Israel’s economy is grounded in products and services that effectively cannot be boycotted. In fact, financial analysts are predicting that Israel’s economy will grow more than any other developed country in 2016. Even these academic association resolutions are hypocritical and phony. If you read the texts of them, they specifically allow for “individual members” to continue working with “individual Israeli scholars” — in other words, these hypocritical professors don’t actually have to give up anything, or stop any research projects with Israelis. They make their nasty, defamatory statement, and continue business with their Israeli colleagues as usual.

So what does all this mean? It means we have been fighting the BDS movement all wrong. BDS cannot really hurt Israel economically. They probably spend more money promoting their “boycott” than it actually costs Israel in lost export sales. The real goal and purpose of BDS is to defame Israel, and attempt to discredit it in the eyes of foreign observers, in order to exert political pressure. BDS demonstrations are an opportunity for them to spew antisemitic vitriol and express their vicious hatred of the Jewish state. BDS’ only real power is in propagating its hateful ideology.

Those of us that support Israel have been out there trying to convince people why they should not boycott Israel, defensively arguing that Israel is a nice place and please don’t be mean to us. And in the process, we’ve been making the BDS movement seem far more powerful and effective than it really is. Our protestations make it seem like BDS is actually hurting Israel. Responding rationally to their arguments makes them seem legitimate. Does Israel need to vastly improve their public relations? Yes. But we cannot do that by giving the BDS movement more credibility than it deserves.

If we want to beat BDS, we must expose them as the useless hateful idiots they really are. What we should be doing is humiliating these people with the evidence of their hypocrisy and ignorance at every opportunity. BDS tables should be countered with humorous tables offering “Deposit your cell phone here to boycott Israel.” When pro-Israel voices are asked about the issue by the press, we should thank them for the free advertising and their continued support of Israeli communications technologies used in planning and recording their events.

BDS activists are nothing more than schoolyard bullies. They thrive on making us upset, but ultimately that is their only real power. We can defeat them simply by laughing at them. After all, what is more ridiculous and pathetic than a bitter Jew-hater who can’t survive without Jewish technology? We can discredit them simply by showing the world how hypocritical, idiotic, and ineffectual they really are.

An Open Letter to Critics of Israel

A message from American Jewry: BDS is a real threat, not paranoia

From early December 2014 through this January, American academic associations representing about 100,000 professors met to discuss or vote on resolutions that urged a boycott of Israeli universities.

They include the American Anthropological Association, Middle East Studies Association, Modern Language Association, and the American Historical Association. BDS (Boycott/Divestment/ Sanctions) was also voted on by a California graduate student association and by a graduate association at the City University of New York. The final consequences of these actions are not yet clear.

BDS was intensely examined in Israel during this same period. Sessions were held to discuss the causes and significance of BDS in VERA (the Committee of Heads of Israeli Universities), the Israel Academy of Sciences, at universities and colleges from Haifa to Beersheba and at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies. The issue was also addressed in a host of less formal meetings with groups of intellectuals and public figures and in the media, including “Roim Olam,” a weekly review of news on Israeli TV and in newspaper articles. The key presenter on these occasions was Cary Nelson, a professor of English from the University of Illinois and immediate past president of American Association of University Professors, with 50,000 members. Nelson was sent by the American Jewish community to alert and inform Israelis of the seriousness of the challenge from BDS. His calling card was a book of essays sponsored by an agency of American Jewish federations: The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel, of which he is co-editor.

Nelson argues that BDS must be seen as a growing long-term threat to Israel as a whole and to Israeli academia in particular. There is unfortunately abundant evidence that this is indeed the case, especially in the humanities faculties as opposed to engineering, the sciences or professional schools like medicine.

As Nelson pointed out in his speaking tour, over the past decade BDS has made serious inroads into Europe and is now actively rearing its ugly head in the US. He is in a position to know.

Nelson explained, offering chapter and verse, that because the attack is concentrated in the humanities, if this movement continues unchecked within a few years a whole generation of congressional aides will have been educated with the view that BDS is entirely legitimate and within a decade elected officials and senior bureaucrats will accept this position without question. The same instructional bias would inevitably affect the future leaders of the American Jewish community who, like public officials, typically begin their education with a BA in liberal arts. The threat to Israeli national security, as was made clear at the INSS, is that national strength depends on international legitimacy, and is not limited to the size and quality of the weaponry of Israel’s armed forces.

It appears that Nelson’s message has been heard.

VERA has established a national committee to monitor BDS and assist in a campaign to counter it. The INSS has established a working group to address it.

Additional ideas are being floated on how to present accurate views of Israeli higher education and its value to the entire citizenry of Israel as well as to our neighbors.

The Israeli response is a preliminary and belated awakening to a well-planned, wide and coordinated attack by PACBI – the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel. It is yet another facet of “lawfare” working to delegitimize Israel through the International Criminal Court and in the court of world opinion. This rapid penetration of this incendiary campaign clearly reflects intentional arson, not spontaneous combustion.

A pocket of resistance to this analysis within Israel claims that concern over BDS is instigated by the political Right to squelch criticism from the Left over Israeli policies within and beyond the Green Line. There is even a charge that Nelson’s visit was a Machiavellian charade sponsored and paid for by a branch of the Prime Minister’s Office. This critic has even labeled Nelson’s visit as a plot to spread “Boycott paranoia” (David Newman, The Jerusalem Post, January 12, 2015).

The role of American Jewry in this wake-up call should be welcomed. Rather than viewing American Jewry as ignorant of Israeli realities and thereby gullible, critics might ask why the Israeli Foreign Ministry did not see the danger coming and allocated so few resources to rebuff this new form of lawfare. The insistence on the serious threat of BDS is an expression of the solidarity of American Jewry with Israel.

This bond takes many forms from philanthropy and the education of the American public concerning Israel to this new initiative: alerting the Israeli academy and public of yet another danger lurking in a relentless war against the Jewish state. The failure to acknowledge a growing campaign designed to isolate and demonize Israel is myopic, clearly misinformed and perhaps also disingenuous.

A. Mark Clarfield is a professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and adjunct professor at McGill University, Shimon Glick is emeritus professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Ilan Troen is emeritus professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.


Calling BS on BDS – Israeli Apartheid


The first article in the BDS Handbook is “ISRAELI APARTHEID” by Noura Erakat (p.7-8). Ms. Erakat’s article is first because while this is put together by the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,” like most anti-Israel groups, this group and Erakat have switched from advocating an end to the occupation (which westerners usually think means the one started in 1967, but really refers to the one from 1948, i.e. all of Israel) to an end to the “Apartheid State of Israel.” No one would have asked black South Africans to simply make peace with the Apartheid government if it just made a few changes because an apartheid system is beyond remedy. The only solution to an apartheid state is its total dissolution and replacement with a completely different system of government.

Erakat begins by asserting that Jewish statehood in a democratic system is impossible due to demographics that she claims will make Israel Jewish-minority state by 2025, though she of course does not provide any source for such unsupported statements. In order to deal with this impossibility, Erakat asserts that Israel has established an apartheid system in order to control the non-Jewish population an ensure Jewish rule continues.

This is of course nonsense, but we shall take on each of Ms. Erakat’s arguments one at a time to prove each and every one of them to be the lies they are.

today [Israel] has made its aversion to secular coexistence explicit in its demand for recognition of itself as a Jewish state from Palestinian leadership.

Ms. Erakat really must read our article explaining the need for Israel to be recognized as the Jewish State. Unless the Palestinian leadership recognizes the right of the Jewish People to a state of our own – without simultaneously renouncing their own right to a state of their own of course – any peace treaty will be meaningless. Unless the Palestinians teach their children that peace with Israel means accepting that the Jews have just as much a right to be here as they do, they will continue to grow up wanting to kill us and will throw out that treaty whenever they are strong enough to do so.

Despite what Erakat would like you to believe, Israel is the most secular state in the Middle East and derives its authority from Basic Law (Israel’s de facto constitution) and the will of the people, not from religious law (though that is one of many sources for some legislation.) If Ms. Erakat actually cared about separation of church and state, literally any other state in the Middle East would be a far more appropriate target. She of course doesn’t care – or mention – that the draft Palestinian Constitution lists “Palestine” as “part of the Arab homeland,” (Article 2) Islam as its official religion (Article 5) and the principles of shari’a as “a main source for legislation” (Article 7). Which only goes to show that this isn’t about religion and state, it is about a specific religion (Judaism) and a specific state (Israel).

Consider that within the Israeli legal system, there are twenty discriminatory laws—seventeen of which are discriminatory on their face in that they only relate to the rights of Jews in Israel or alternatively abridge the rights of Palestinian-Israelis.

Of course Ms. Erakat does not list or link to these “twenty discriminatory laws,” but one can assume she is referring to Adalah’s list of Discriminatory Laws. This New Israel Fund funded organization spends its resources blackening Israel’s name all over the world including at the infamous “Anti-Racism” conference in Durban back in 2001, helping to jump-start the BDS movement at a conference roundly criticized as peddling classic anti-Semitism. But even this list (which is actually more the 20 listed by Erakat) includes bills that are not even laws and many that are not racist at all. According to Adalah, making limited restrictions on convicted terrorists’ access to their lawyers is racist, despite the fact that numerous such prisoners have used these meetings to communicate with terrorist groups (something that of course Adalah fails to mention). Another “discriminatory” law sets a time period before owners are able to sell or rent to foreigners, but foreigner is defined as a non-Israeli, not a non-Jew, so there is nothing racist about this at all. How dare Israel make it more difficult for convicted terrorists to communicate with their comrades or set minor limitations on selling property to non-citizens?! The horror!

A complex web of 1,500 military laws define the fate of Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem

Given that the West Bank is run by military administration, this is to be expected, not condemned as shocking or racist. A military administration, just like the one the United States established in Germany following World War II, would have to have thousands of laws in place governing how the administrating power and the locals must behave.

However, Gaza hasn’t been occupied by Israel since 2005 and the only Israeli laws that are relevant to the territory relate to borders and airspace, something every sovereign state has the right to dictate. Eastern Jerusalem is governed by the same laws as the rest of the State of Israel and the only reason to include it here is not to highlight separate laws, but to continue the fiction that it exists as a separate entity at all.

More broadly, apartheid refers to any social system that separates and discriminates against people based on race or ethnicity when that system is institutionalized by laws or decrees.

Of course when painting Israel as an apartheid state, Erakat her ilk must resort to “broad” characterizations that pervert the term and rob it of all significance. Whereas South Africa was run by a system of countless laws regulating what non-whites could or could not do, where they could go or live, which hospitals they could use, which doors they could enter through and which doctors could treat them, that prevented them from voting, holding office or citizenship, restricted their professions and much more, Israel has no such laws at all. All of Israel’s citizens have equal rights before the law, though it does, like all other countries, at times have difficulties translating these rights into reality.

Not only does Israel not have a South African-style quota system for the number of Arabs allowed to be employed in certain professions or departments, Israel has actually engaged in affirmative action campaigns for university admission and state workers with great success in some areas (universities) and minor but growing success in others (employment).

All countries would be deemed apartheid states if they were held to the Israel standard, but of course no other country needs to worry about this because the issue at hand is not apartheid, but Israel itself.

Whereas in South Africa, apartheid distinguished between whites and non-whites, in Israel the parallel categories are Jews and non-Jews.

This is pure fantasy. Does Israel maintain demographic records of its citizens and residents including their religion and ethnicity? Sure it does. Many if not most countries do. One’s status as a non-Jew, however, does not prevent one from using any state service (unless it is explicitly a religious service, in which case they would use the one for their religion), any job (government or private), or attending any school (although, one would imagine it would be difficult for a non-Jew to gain entry to a religious Jewish school just as it would be difficult for a Jew to gain entry to a religious Muslim school). If anything, recognizing Israel’s minority populations allows for the communities to run their own affairs and schools in a way that would not be possible otherwise. There is a legitimate case to be made for a more equitable distribution of state-funds, but that is a matter for the Knesset to fix, not the UN.

The US government has a hard enough time balancing its own budget, it is hard to see how it would be easier with an international organization sticking its proverbial cook in the Washington kitchen.

In application, the main difference between the two case studies is that in South Africa, the system was created primarily to exploit non-white labor, while in Israel it is implemented in order to control as much land as possible for exclusive Jewish use, however in both cases the purpose and effects of apartheid policies are the exploitation of both land and labor.

Here, Ms. Erakat stumbles over one of the biggest problems: colonial and apartheid systems have traditionally be based on the idea of exploiting the locals for cheap, if not slave, labor. However, in Israel, early Zionist pioneers specifically set out to do the labor themselves, to redeem themselves and the land through work and attempting to turn the anti-Semitic canard of the exploitative Jew on its head.

Therefore, after consciously ignoring Israel’s history of Jews working the land themselves, she tries to paint Palestinians working in Israel as tools in a colonial enterprise. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics over 100,000 Palestinians currently work in Israel with roughly 70% doing so legally and the rest working without the required permits. It is important to remember that none of these Palestinians are forced to work in Israel at all. These Palestinians choose to do so because they can make often make at least three times the pay they would receive for the same job in Judea and Samaria, while also getting health insurance and other job benefits. Those working illegally also make more money than they would at home, but are often subject to worse working conditions, lower pay and an obvious lack of job security. This should come as no surprise given that the US and all other Western countries have the exact same problem with illegal immigrant workers. Israel has taken steps to curb illegal hiring with mixed success, much like other countries grappling with the same issue.

The idea that Israel should be condemned as an apartheid state because it is struggling with the same exact illegal labor issues as most other democracies is hypocritical at best and anti-Semitic at worst.

The pillars of Israeli apartheid are the The Law of Return (1950) and The Citizenship Law (1952), which allow Jews to freely immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship, but simultaneously deny Palestinians [sic] refugees that same right as guaranteed by United Nations Resolution 194.

There are four main issues that make this entire statement a lie:

  1. There is a big difference between a law giving preferential or different treatment for one group of people than a law that specifically targets another group for exclusion or harm. If any law giving preferential treatment was illegal, then affirmative action programs in Israel and other countries would be illegal as well.
  2. The Law of Return and the Citizenship Law does not prevent non-Jews from applying for or receiving Israeli citizenship. Anyone can apply to move to Israel, but Israel is under no obligation to simply open its borders to anyone and everyone any more than other countries are.
  3. Between 1967 and 2001, over 250,000 Palestinians have gained Israeli citizenship through the Laws of Family Reunification (LFR). So over the course of 34 years, Israel took in 1/3 the number of the original Palestinian “refugees” that Erakat claims Israel bars from “returning.” She would likely retort that Israel has since altered the laws of family reunification substantially reducing the number of Palestinians gaining citizenship. However, this law was only amended (to exclude members of enemy states) during the Second Intifada when a significant number of Palestinians who received citizenship under LFR engaged in terrorism (40% of all attacks). If a significant number of North Korean spouses of Americans were engaging in espionage or terrorism, one would expect the US government to pass similar restrictions, without any international outcry.
  4. United Nations Resolution 194 does not guarantee the right of Palestinians to immigrate to and gain citizenship in Israel. Rather, it states (in a non-binding General Assembly Resolution):

refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.

While Israel rejects the idea of the “Right of Return” for Palestinian “refugees,” it has many times offered to allow a significant number to immigrate to Israel (on top of allowing over a quarter of a million to do so under existing law between 1967 and 2001). The part of UNGA 194 that is never addressed is the part that says those who wish to “return” must also “live in peace with their neighbors.” Such a scenario is impossible without a larger peace treaty in place. This was the Israeli position at the 1949 Lausanne Conference when it offered to take in 100,000 Palestinians (really an additional 80,000 since it had already unilaterally allowed in 20,000). Had the Arab states agreed to this proposition or negotiated under the premise that additional Arab immigration could only happen as part of peaceful relations – as UNGA 194 states! – those 80,000 Palestinians (or more under negotiations) and their descendants would not be in refugee camps but equal citizens of Israel. Israel has offered to take in varying numbers of Palestinians in each subsequent peace offer and has also offered compensation as stipulated by Resolution 194, only to be rebuffed each time.

If “pro-Palestinian” advocates like Noura Erakat actually want to help the Palestinians and see at least some of them “return” to Israel (or get compensation), the most effective way to do so would be to encourage their leaders and people to make peace. However, “activists” like Ms. Erakat are more interested in using the Palestinians as a tool to destroy Israel than helping them realize their “rights.”

According to Azmi Bishara, exiled Palestinian-Israeli politician and scholar, this constitutes a meta-form of apartheid wherein the forcible separation upheld by decree is that which prohibits the return of Palestinians to their lands.

The real “meta” aspect of this accusation is a former Israeli Knesset member asserting that Israel is an apartheid state. Of course there were no black parliamentarians in South Africa and a very limited number of “coloreds” and “Asians,” but all Israeli citizens regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation can both vote and be elected to the Knesset.

What’s more, Bishara isn’t “exiled,” he had to flee Israel after the police opened a criminal investigation based on his “alleged” transferring of sensitive material to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War. He then has the audacity to say that “forcible separation [is] upheld by decree” when this is merely Israel maintaining control of its borders. Is America practicing a “meta-form of apartheid” by forcibly separating Mexican families by not just opening its southern border completely?

Today, nearly 5.5 million Palestinians constitute a global diaspora who have the right to return to their home as enshrined by international law but lack the international political will necessary to do so.

The precipitous climb in Palestinian “refugee” numbers is due to the fact that the criteria for a Palestinian refugee is different than for any other refugee in the world. Under normal circumstances, when a refugee gains citizenship in another country, they lose their refugee status and this is precisely why Palestinians were forced into camps and denied citizenship (except for Jordan which gave both camps and citizenship). If this were the case, then the millions of Palestinian citizens Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and countries around the world may be a “diaspora” community, but they are not refugees under the standard definition of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees… which is why they keep using their own UN agency (UNRWA) that plays by its own rules and lets them keep their refugee moniker regardless.

But again, the best way to ensure any Palestinian “return” would be to encourage the Palestinians to agree to a peace treaty with Israel, something Erakat is manifestly against.

the Absentee Property Law cynically conditions expropriation of land on its abandonment while systematically prohibiting the entry of the land’s Palestinian owners thereby enforcing abandonment.

If anyone is cynically manipulating the situation here, it is Erakat. In her twisted mind, Palestinians who left are not responsible for abandoning their property, but rather Israel is responsible because it refuses to let them return after their attempt to destroy Israel through war failed. What’s more, Erakat makes it seem as though there was no war at all or any security concerns that Israel would have to take into consideration in regards to a hostile population that had just taken part in a violent attempt at genocide. The fact that many the Absentee Property Laws are based on older Ottoman and British laws is also conveniently omitted.

In effect, between 1948 and 1953, Israel established 370 new settlements for Jews only, 350 of which were located on land confiscated as “absentee” property.

There are two important points to remember here:

  1. The population of Israel more than doubled in the years cited by Erakat as the Arab and Muslim world forced out over 850,000 Jews and more Holocaust survivors were able to reach Israel’s shores. The idea that Israel would need to house these people is certainly understandable and the fact that this was often done on land that recently appropriated by the state from former residents who had just engaged in a war against the state is reasonable as well.
  2. While Arabs in Israel were granted citizenship and voting rights after the War of Independence, they remained under military administration until 1966. While this isn’t pretty, it was not done on the basis of racism (otherwise it would not have been temporary) but rather based on security concerns. No one in Israel knew exactly what was going to happen with regards to its new Arab citizens who had just attempted to destroy the nascent Jewish State. Would they be law-abiding citizens or would they be a fifth-column? Would they be loyal to Israel or the Arab states? It was only once Israel found that any threat to its security by its Arab citizens was marginal or could be easily dealt with by the security services, that the military administration was lifted. It is certainly justified to call this decision and other decisions by the Israeli government into question for their wisdom, but given the instability and very real dangers at the time, such actions were within the realm of acceptable actions and were not based on racism.

Since 1978, settlement policies inside the State have focused on settling Jewish populations in the areas outside greater Tel Aviv, especially the Galilee in order to manipulate the local demography.

Given that Israel’s reason for being is for it to be the nation-state of the Jewish people, it is completely reasonable that it would attempt to shore up the Jewish presence in certain areas. This is especially true given the international community’s focus on dividing Israel again and if certain areas of Israel have a non-Jewish majority, it is possible those areas might be earmarked by foreign powers to be taken away from the state. What’s more, Israel encouraging Jews to move to certain areas does nothing to prevent non-Jews from moving to or living in those areas as well.

Land expropriation began in the Occupied Palestinian Territories after Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War.

Yes, state land in Judea and Samaria was subsequently administered to by the State of Israel after Jordan was forced to withdraw. That is the normal state of affairs.

Since 1967, Israel has systematically confiscated Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank for settlement expansion.

This is a lie. While there have been situations where Israelis have taken land owned by individual Palestinians, there are also a myriad of examples of Israeli courts forcing these lands returned or compensation paid to the owners. While there are also situations where this has not yet occurred, this is not state-guided and hardly “systematic.”

More importantly, after nearly 50 years, the built up areas of the settlements in Judea and Samaria only take up 1.1% of the land there. At that rate it would take Israel 5000 years to settle the entire territory, hardly systematic confiscation.

The situation is especially harsh in Jerusalem where Israel has embarked on a “Judaization” campaign by disproportionately serving its Jewish residents.

Using the term “Judaization” or “to make Jewish” in regards to Jerusalem or any part of Israel is a disgusting attempt to re-write history. No one would ever characterize renovations in the Vatican as an attempt at “Catholicizing” the city or building in Mecca as “Islamization,” so why is it acceptable to talk about “Judaizing” Jerusalem?

Erakat does however have a legitimate point to make regarding the fact that the municipality disproportionately serves Jewish areas. While there is no such thing as a “Jewish-only” section of Jerusalem, areas with Jewish majorities do have better access to services than those with Arab majorities. The city government has taken steps to address this problem with some success, but much more can and should be done to address this inequity.

That being said, Jerusalem is hardly the first city to have issues properly servicing its poorer and minority areas. While this is a legitimate issue to raise, if someone claims to care about the proper allocation of urban resources to minority populations but only seems to care when those are Israeli cities, then their motives are questionable to say the least. If Jerusalem is brought up as one of many examples around the world, that is certainly acceptable and could even be positive if it yields the desired results.

This is to say nothing of the complex system of Jewish-only roads, checkpoints, settlements, and the Separation Barrier, also known as the Apartheid Wall, in the OPTs which explicitly demonstrate the nature of Israeli apartheid.

This in fact does say nothing about the complex system in Judea and Samaria since none of these things actually exist. Let’s talk about each one of these false allegations individually:

Jewish-Only Roads

This is the type of lie that is repeated over and over despite the fact that it has been completely and thoroughly debunked and forced major newspaper to issue retractions. Yishai Goldflam, Director of Presspectiva, tackled this in Haaretz (one of the prime offenders who make use of the inaccurate term), saying:

Here are the facts: the state did, indeed, impose restrictions on certain roads in Judea and Samaria several years ago and did not allow Palestinians to travel on them, especially after the eruption of the second intifada. But most of the restrictions were already removed in 2009. Today, most West Bank roads are open to the majority of the Palestinian population. And even at the time those roads were restricted for Israeli use, they were never restricted to Israeli Jews alone. The roads were open to all Israeli citizens — Muslims, Christians, Druze and Circassians. There was never a religious or ethnic-based separation on the roads of Judea and Samaria.

Any restrictions that once were in place were based on security considerations, not racial ones, and were along national lines, not ethnic ones.

There are no “Jewish-only” roads and never were! The same cannot be said for Saudi Arabia, but since the issue for Erakat is Israel and not Israel’s actions, she doesn’t care in the least.




The first clue that the checkpoints have nothing to do with race and everything to do with security is the fact that they were first introduced during the First Intifada as violence flared. Had Israel been interested in segregating Judea and Samaria, it would have erected those checkpoints right after the Six Day War, not 20 years later.

More importantly, there is a direct correlation between the level of terrorism and the number of checkpoints. According to the IDF between July 2008 and February 2014 the number of checkpoints decreased from 40 to 13. This proves that as the terror threat decreases, so does the number of checkpoints, so if you want to see the checkpoints removed, the best course of action is to work to dissuade Palestinians from engaging in terrorism.

Anyone who has ever had to go through an airport or deal with the TSA knows that security checks are annoying, take some time and are occasionally accompanied by people in uniforms abusing their positions of power. Unfortunately, this is also the case at the checkpoints, but just like security checks at the airport, they are required to ensure everyone’s safety and were created in response to real terror threats.

While imperfect, checkpoints do save lives and are often indistinguishable from other border crossings or security checks at airports or train stations.

Are you able to tell which image is from a checkpoint and which is from a train station?




Didn’t think so.


Arabs can and do move to Jewish towns and neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria. The most common Israeli destination for Israeli Arabs are the allegedly “Jewish-only” neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem that the world keeps calling settlements. However, this fact is constantly ignored by the media.

In fact, just this year Mohammed Said Ismail Musallam, an Israeli Arab, was killed by ISIS after traveling to its territory to join the group. ISIS accused him of being an Israeli spy and the reports about his execution all highlight the fact that he was Israeli, Arab, and lived in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. This neighborhood has a Jewish majority but many Arab residents as well. Had Musallam been a Jew, the media would have been quick to point out that he was an “illegal settler,” but since he was Arab, this was completely ignored.

Security Fence

It is honestly surprising that Erakat even mentions the term “Separation Barrier” at all before throwing around the libelous epithet “Apartheid Wall.” Israel uses the term “Security Fence,” for two reasons. First, it was built as a security measure during the height of the Second Intifada and was successful in stopping attacks: from 2000 to July 2003 there were 73 suicide bombings originating from Judea and Samaria, but after that initial phase of fence building, the following three years only yielded 12 successful attacks. Islamic Jihad and Hamas leaders) have openly complained that the Security Fence makes it difficult for them to conduct suicide bombing operations.

Second, while the media likes to show eye-grabbing images of the concrete wall sections of the barrier, these parts account for just 5-10% of the whole. Hardly the defining characteristic.

If you build a castle at the beach and then use a seashell as a door, is that a sandcastle or a seashell-castle?



These concrete sections were only built because there were so many shooting attacks in those areas that a simple fence would not have protected Israel’s citizens from danger. The main fence section can be moved if necessary, as would happen if a peace treaty were ever reached with the Palestinian Authority. In fact, some sections of the fence have already been moved when the Israeli Supreme Court sided with Palestinians who brought lawsuits against the state over the route it took.

Another thing propagandists like Erakat leave out is that the improved security situation brought about by fence has led to a reduction in the number of checkpoints as well.

So while Erakat would like her readers to believe that the imaginary “Jewish-only roads,” checkpoints, settlements, and Security Fence, “explicitly demonstrate the nature of Israeli apartheid,” in fact they do nothing of the kind. Her accusations are based on lies in an attempt to ascribe racist motivations for Israel’s legitimate security measures.

Israeli apartheid characterizes Israeli policies both within Israel proper as well as the OPT: in both contexts a racial hierarchy is firmly established with the primary aim of maintaining a Jewish majority within nation-state borders.

The reason why Erakat says this is because the main characteristic of apartheid is the way in which a racial hierarchy is firmly established by law and enforced through violence. Unfortunately for her, as we have shown, there are no racial laws in Israel. Jews and non-Jews live in the same towns, eat in the same restaurants, go to the same hospitals and schools, vote in the same elections, serve in the same governments and more. Whereas every aspect of life in Apartheid South Africa was governed by laws designed to prevent the mixing of races and maintain domination by the minority ethnic group over the majority, nothing remotely similar exists in Israel.

Since no such race laws exist in Israel, Erakat resorts to lies, distortions and omissions in order to force an analogy that just does not fit.

The apartheid paradigm has a profound impact on the movement, because it simply and brilliantly draws on a historical example of apartheid and calls upon the tactics used in that struggle to fight apartheid in its newest form—boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). The apartheid paradigm allows peace and justice activists to challenge Israel’s “moral authority” and for the first time to set the terms of the debate.

This last part is key because everything before it is a complete lie. As we discussed at the beginning, while an anti-occupation movement is clearly working towards an end to said occupation (usually ambiguous to confuse the masses and make it seem as though they are referring to the one from 1967 not 1948) and would ostensibly be satisfied with a two state solution, an anti-apartheid movement can only be satisfied with an end to a state that is based at its core in racist principles (and who could be against that?). By discussing this as an anti-apartheid movement, BDS supporters are indeed “setting the terms of debate” and doing so in a way that leads to only one logical conclusion: the dissolution and destruction of the Jewish State.

If anyone ever tells you BDS isn’t about destroying the State of Israel, now you know how to call them on it.


Simon Wiesenthal Center Report: BDS “a Thinly-Veiled, Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic ‘Poison Pill’”

19March2013 Author: Zach Pontz
A new report issued by the Simon Wiesanthal Center has labelled the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel “a thinly-veiled, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ‘poison pill,’ whose goal is the demonization, delegitimization, and ultimate demise of the Jewish State.”

The report, which was compiled by Dr. Harold Brackman, takes a comprehensive look at the origins of the movement dating back to 2001. Among its many conclusions is that BDS “is a movement that does not help better the life of a single Palestinian and which is oblivious to major human rights disasters erupting throughout the Middle East and beyond.”

As a determining factor of BDS’s illegitimacy, the report uses Natan Sharansky’s ‘three Ds test’ for when criticism crosses the line into anti-Semitism:

“FIRST: Double Standards – singling out Israel for criticism while ignoring the more egregious behavior of major human rights abusers in the Arab and Muslim world and beyond.

“SECOND: Demonization of Israel – distorting the Jewish State’s actions by means of insidious and false comparisons with the Nazis and/or South Africa’s Apartheid regime.

“THIRD: Delegitimization – when Israel’s fundamental right to exist is denied—alone among all nations in the world—this too is anti-Semitism.

  • “BDS claims to be peaceful or to favor “nonviolent punitive measures” (while refusing to denounce anti-Israel, anti-Jewish violence).
  • “BDS often downplays its programmatic commitment to the unlimited “right of return” of millions of Palestinians, not born in Israel but claiming refugee status that would spell the end of the Jewish State.
  • “BDS ostensibly wants to right the specific wrongs done to Palestinians, yet attacks the foundations of Israel’s entire economy and society: all (Jewish) Israelis are collectively guilty.
  • “BDS is fueled by and reinforces a one-sided historical narrative denying any responsibility of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim “rejectionists” for destroying chances for peace and reconciliation—from before Israel’s establishment in 1948, to the 1980 Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, to the 1993 Oslo Accords, to the 2000-2001 Camp David and Wye Summits, to the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and to this very day.
  • “BDS slanders Zionism and supporters of the Jewish State by falsifying the profound differences between Apartheid South Africa and democratic Israel.
  • “BDS utilizes—without admitting it—Christian “supersessionist” theological claims that Jews and Israel have lost divine favor because of the Jewish People’s alleged sins and as result Jews no longer have legitimate historic or moral claims to the Holy Land.”

The report also dismisses the BDS canard that Israel is as bad, if not worse, as Apartheid South Africa. “The truth is that the equation of Israel with South African Apartheid is both a false analogy and an historical libel at the center of the BDS campaign to isolate and ultimately destroy Israel,” it states, adding that “the end result [of the two-state solution] would be the creation—not of South African-style ‘Bantustans’ among the Palestinians—but of a sovereign Palestinian state on over 90 percent of the Arab territory Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War. In the meantime, Israel stays out of Gaza except when it reacts against terrorist attacks.”

The report also slams the BDS movement for its glaring hypocrisy, noting that “BDS Crusaders” never refuse “to utilize the outsized contributions of Israelis to cellphone technologies, the digital revolution, or biotech breakthroughs that have transformed the quality of life for billions and saved countless lives,” and highlighting the glaring fact that “Qatar-born Omar Barghouti exploits the academic freedom offered by Tel Aviv University to pursue an advanced degree while comparing Israelis to ‘mad dogs,’” while viewing  “all Israeli academics as members of ‘occupation.’”

The report observes that BDS has had “a minimal impact on business” and has mostly failed in its objectives beyond the propaganda arena. Minor victories can be highlighted, but even those have been negligible and come with their own brand of controversy. A recent Brooklyn College event is a prime example: The school was unwilling to cancel a BDS event despite opposition from groups on both the left and right. Ultimately the event created a controversy when a group of Jewish students were evicted for “disturbing” the attendees.

Yet despite the minor PR victories, even supporters of BDS have acknowledged the insidious goals of the movement, with Lebanese American Palestinian Professor of Political Science, As’ad Abu Khalil saying in 2012: “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the State of Israel . . . That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”

The report concludes, that BDS has no positive impact on peace in the Middle East: “Those truly committed to a ‘Two State Solution’ will never serve the cause of peace by embracing the anti-Semitic BDS. Honest people have a choice between two options only: a return to currently unfashionable, always difficult, peacemaking to forge two viable, peaceful states or the grim alternative, stripped bare of pretenses, of a deadly specter astride a Pale Horse.”

Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus

The Shot That Killed the Two-State Solution

The fighting in Gaza has largely been treated as a sideshow to the peace initiatives of John Kerry. The idea appears to be that once Israel withdraws its troops, the Secretary can resume his efforts to reach an agreement. If that truly is the thinking in the White House, the president will find himself frustrated and disappointed again. The rain of rockets from Gaza has only stiffened the resistance of the Israeli public and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to territorial compromise on the West Bank. And, one rocket, in particular, may have killed the two-state solution altogether.

From the beginning of his first term, and initial missteps in pushing for a quick end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, President Obama and his foreign policy team failed to understand the implications of Israel’s 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip. When Israel evacuated every citizen and soldier, effectively ending the “occupation,” the expectation and hope was that the Palestinians would use this opportunity to build the infrastructure of a state and demonstrate that they could live in peace with Israel.

This was a true test of the mantra “land for peace” and the Palestinians failed. Almost immediately, Hamas escalated its terror attacks on Israel and began to launch barrages of rockets and mortars at Israel’s civilian population. By the start of the latest operation, Israel had absorbed more than 10,000 rockets, which had the range to put more than half of Israel’s population (Jews and Arabs) in danger. Depending on the proximity to Gaza, Israelis had from 15 to 30 seconds to find shelter after hearing the siren indicating an incoming rocket.

While the media tried to keep “score” of casualties to show a “disproportionate” number of Palestinian casualties compared to Israelis, the simplistic recitation of these figures completely misrepresented the impact of the conflict. First, Israelis had no obligation to allow themselves to be killed just to make the score more even. Second, the casualty figures in Israel would have been horrifying if not for their technological genius in developing the Iron Dome system, which shot down most of the rockets that were directed at major population centers such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Furthermore, the media simply accepted whatever information the Palestinian Health Ministry gave them, ignoring the fact that the ministry was an arm of Hamas and that, according to their data, not a single Hamas terrorist was killed, only civilians. Inexplicably, the press ignored this fact and portrayed the war as though Israel was fighting ghosts that only they could see.

This latest bombardment, especially with the introduction of longer range weapons, has reinforced the view following the disengagement that giving up territory in the West Bank without ironclad security guarantees was a risk that exceeded any hoped for benefits of peace. This is the attitude even of the Israeli left whose homes and families were also in the line of fire.

As dangerous as the overall barrage has been, it was one rocket in particular that may have completely changed the prospects for a two-state solution. That rocket did not kill anyone and caused little direct damage; however, the fact that it was within a mile of Israel’s international airport was enough to scare the United States and most other countries to cancel their flights in and out of Israel.

Fortunately, no rockets have come anywhere near a commercial airliner or hit the airport itself, but the mere possibility was sufficient to put Israel’s economy in potential jeopardy. At the height of the tourist season, flights were cancelled and Israel’s principal artery to the outside world was isolated.
Imagine if a rocket did hit the airport or was in the vicinity of an airplane, never mind the catastrophic implications of actually downing a jet. If Israel gives up strategic territory in the West Bank, one Palestinian with an animus toward Israel could smuggle or construct a crude weapon that could reach the airport and, because Iron Dome cannot hit rockets fired short distances, there would be no defense.

Israelis legitimately fear that the West Bank, less than 30 miles from Tel Aviv, 6 miles from Ben-Gurion Airport and a few feet from Jerusalem, will turn into Hamastan where the entire heart of Israel would be within easy rocket range.

How many Israelis will be willing to take this risk now? Would you?

Dr. Mitchell Bard is the Executive Director of the nonprofit AICE and author/editor of 23 books including After “Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine” and “Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews.”


Why Israel is losing the information war

From Caroline Glick 20August2014

For most Israelis, the international discourse on Gaza is unintelligible.


Here we were going along, minding our own business.


Then on a clear night in June, apropos of nothing, Palestinian terrorists stole, murdered and hid the bodies of three of our children as they made their way home from school.


Before we could catch our breath from that atrocity, they began shelling our major population centers with thousands of rockets, missiles and mortars, and infiltrated our communities along the border with Gaza through underground tunnels to kidnap and murder us.


And as the Palestinians did all of these things, they used their civilian population and the foreign press corps as human sandbags. They ordered their own people not to evacuate their homes from which Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad terrorists launched their missiles, rockets and mortars at Israel. And they launched missiles at Israeli cities from outside the hotel where the foreign reporters were staying.


It doesn’t take a PhD to understand what the game is. And Israelis – even many with PhDs – understand what is happening.


This is why so many Israelis are up in arms about our government’s failure to impact the wall of lies that comprises the discourse on Israel in the Western world.


The knee-jerk reaction of many Israelis to the sight of UN officials, CNN anchors and New York Timesreporters accusing us of committing war crimes is to blame ourselves.


Our hasbara (public diplomacy) is a catastrophe, our defenders are incompetent idiots, we moan and scream.


But the truth is not so simple. Our speakers have gotten much better over the past several years. Some, like ambassadors Ron Dermer and Ron Prosor and IDF Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, are excellent.


Israel’s public diplomacy efforts have been unsuccessful in penetrating, let alone dismantling the edifice of lies that constitutes the Western narrative about the Palestinian war against us because our underlying strategy for contending with it is directed at the wrong goal.


Our PR gurus defined our hasbara goal as getting our story out effectively. To do so, Israel has operated on two parallel tracks. First, we have tried to adjust our policies to adhere to what we perceive as the West’s demands.


We have employed measures unprecedented in military history to protect the Palestinians from their elected leaders who use them as fodder in their propaganda war against Israel.


There is no precedent in the history of warfare to Israel’s practice of warning Palestinians when it is about to attack civilian installations that Hamas has unlawfully used to attack Israel.


Moreover, Israel has accepted interpretations of the laws of war – such as the specious assertion that Israel is required to provide free electricity to Gaza – that have no relationship whatsoever to international law.
The second component of getting out our story has been developing the sort of glitzy, media-friendly PR apparatus that everybody who is everybody says is the be all and end all of a successful media strategy. There is no foreign press corps more coddled than the foreign press corps in Israel. No government is more active on social media sites than Israel.
And yet, for all of our efforts, the UN Human Rights Committee appointed an open hater of Israel who doesn’t have a problem with Hamas to run a phony investigation of the IDF’s imaginary war crimes.

For all our efforts, The New York Times, MSNBC, the European media, CNN and all the rest demonize our soldiers and leaders. They ignore the fact that everything Hamas and its allies in Fatah and Islamic Jihad do is a war crime – from calling for the annihilation of Israel to shooting rockets at civilian population centers, to shooting rockets at civilian population centers from hospitals and from outside the hotel where their reporters are staying in Gaza.
So desperate are we for any truth in reporting that we seize as a major victory the fact that a Wall Street Journal reporter was nice enough to Tweet the fact that he interviewed a Hamas leader in Shifa hospital.

A casual glance at the mountain of distorted and simply false stories reported about Israel and its enemies makes clear that at a minimum, most of the Western media don’t care about the truth. The fact that they sent reporters to Israel and Gaza doesn’t mean they wanted those reporters to publish what is going on.

The reporters knew what they were supposed to say before they even got on a plane to Israel. True, Hamas has openly acknowledged that it prohibited the foreign press from filming its terrorists and their war crimes. But with rare exceptions, the media had no problem with Hamas’s rules.

So too, the UN Human Rights Council didn’t decide to form a commission of inquiry to criminalize Israel because we weren’t good enough at showing the lengths we go to protect Gazans from their elected leaders. And the UNHRC didn’t appoint William Schabas, who has called for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to be tried for war crimes, to lead its star chamber because it didn’t get the press release proving that Israel acts in compliance with international law.

The media, the US State Department and the UN attack Israel for crimes that Hamas commits because they are wedded to a narrative in which Israel is to blame for its enemies’ desire to destroy it.

As the UN, The New York Times and President Barack Obama see it, Israel is to blame because it is inherently guilty by its nature.

The White House and State Department can accuse Israel of conducting a “totally indefensible” and “disgraceful” strike against an UNRWA school, when no such strike occurred, and if it had occurred it would have been totally defensible, because as far as they are concerned, as Martin Indyk claimed in May, Israel’s right to exist is conditional on our willingness to accept their belief that we are inherently morally deformed and in need of direction by our betters.

Netanyahu is Schabas’s “favorite [to be placed] in the dock of the International Criminal Court,” because Netanyahu is the elected leader of the morally deformed Jewish state.
Given this situation, it is clear that Israel’s public diplomacy efforts are directed toward the wrong goal.

The goal of hasbara cannot be to educate the likes of The New York Times’ bureau chief Jodi Rudoren about the truth because the problem isn’t one of ignorance. The problem is that they consider the truth an impediment to their goal of reporting the narrative of Israeli criminality.

Rather than striving to educate, we must work to manipulate the Rudorens of the world into covering the truth.

For instance, there is no reason to provide reporters clearly dedicated to hiding the truth with access to national leaders and military commanders. Let them find their own sources. Israel is a free country. There is no reason for The New York Times to be invited to a press briefing by IDF commanders.

Another critical element of a strategy for forcing hostile media and international agencies to contend with the truth is to create events that they can’t ignore.
For instance, the chief military prosecutor together with the state prosecution should indict Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah leaders on war crimes charges and the relevant Israeli courts should begin adjudicating the cases.

The Knesset should begin deliberations on a bill to strip UNRWA of its legal immunity as a first step towards bringing its personnel up on charges of providing material support for terrorism.

True, such actions will be met with howls of condemnation and hysterical reproaches from all the usual suspects.

But at least they will be talking about Palestinian war crimes. At least they will be forced to acknowledge that UNRWA is a force of destabilization and radicalization, not of stabilization and moderation in the Arab conflict with Israel.

Our leaders and spokespeople cannot win the information war by devoting themselves to pointing out the West’s hypocrisy and double standards, or the rank mendaciousness and bigotry that stands at the core of their approach to Israel. No one ever won a war by only playing defense. And we won’t win this one by explaining why we aren’t war criminals.

We will only begin to make progress when we define the goal of our hasbara as forcing an unwilling media and international community to discuss the truth by taking deliberate actions that will make it impossible for them to ignore it.

Examples of the Lies against Israel and the Real Truth

Click to download PDF fileGaza_Strip_Guardian

“Hamas was not forced into shooting their rockets from pads located in urban areas, thereby leading to unavoidable civilian deaths,” wrote Wechsler. “They were not shooting from some of the densest population centers anywhere because they had no other choice. No—the choice was there. Though not large, Gaza had ample space that was not densely populated—farm land, empty spaces where rockets could have been stored and shot from. Furthermore, the U.N. could easily have developed temporary quarters in these same spaces for the sheltering of civilian refugees, far away from the sites of battle.”

“Hamas was not forced into shooting their rockets from pads located in urban areas, thereby leading to unavoidable civilian deaths,” wrote Wechsler. “They were not shooting from some of the densest population centers anywhere because they had no other choice. No—the choice was there. Though not large, Gaza had ample space that was not densely populated—farm land, empty spaces where rockets could have been stored and shot from. Furthermore, the U.N. could easily have developed temporary quarters in these same spaces for the sheltering of civilian refugees, far away from the sites of battle.”

Gaza Population-Density

Elder of Ziyon logo

Every IDF officer has more training in international law than practically every columnist and reporter

From Elder of Ziyon 18August2014

Yaacov Lozowick summarizes an important article from Yediot Acharonot (not available online and only in Hebrew) about the depth of commitment the IDF has to international law on all levels.

The IDF takes international law very seriously. Over the past decade it has considerably expanded the part of the military prosecution which deals with the laws of war, and there is now an entire team of officers, many at the colonel level, whose entire profession is to ensure the IDF functions within the law. I’ll stray from the Yedioth article for a moment to add that I’ve come across these folks in recent years, in professional discussions, and they’re knowledgeable, committed and professional. I expect that they know more about the laws of war than just about any media type or pundit who pontificates on the matter, except of course the other professionals. It seems safe to me to say that if anyone who doesn’t have a full and updated education in the laws of war informs you about how what the IDF does is illegal etc, they are probably talking through their hat comfortable that you, too, don’t know enough to call them out. The laws of war, like any branch of law, is a professional field, and it takes training and practice to be good at it.

That’s the first stage.

The second stage is that these officers spend a significant chunk of their time training other IDF troops in the basics. Clearly a corporal in the infantry won’t go through a full course of training, but the higher the officer, the more exposure they will have had to the principles and concepts of the laws of war, and the more occasions on which they’ll have been required to think about applying them. The training of an IDF soldier includes the understanding that the IDF respects the laws of war; the training of an officer includes applying these laws.

The third stage is that the legal types participate in the planning of all operations. I’m not going to detai the many levels of preparation an IDF operation goes through from conception to execution, but there are lots of them; the legal experts are part of the process. According to Yedioth, this results in some operations never being authorized in the first place, and others are adapted to stay within the law.

The fourth stage of preparation is that there’s a legal expert in every division, and there are channels of communication down to at least the level of battalions; since companies and platoons don’t generally execute their own operations, that more or less covers everyone.

Fifth stage: Aeriel and artillery actions. Aeriel and artillery actions are not necessarily susceptible to heat of battle situations. Both pilots and artillery officers are less likely than infantry, tank or engineering soldiers to need to respond immediately to fire from an unidentified source in the confusion of a battlefield. The article in Yedioth claimed that every single shell shot by those two branches was thought about in advance, and targets were vetted in advance, after they were visually identified by one or more of the layers of eyes the IDF had over Gaza – drones, other drones, radar and other stuff.

Read the whole thing.

What this means is that every IDF officer has more formal training on international law than practically every reporter, every columnist and every pundit that screams “War crimes!”

So when a major New York Times columnist badly misstates international law, it is because he is ignorant. When the head of a major human rights organization justifies it, it is because he is malicious. (Even under the “just war” definition of proportionality, it applies to the decisions to embark on an operation, not to the death-count afterwards. And Ken Roth knows that.)

The IDF had an entire website dedicated to international law. Here is what goes into every single decision to drop a bomb, every single time:

Given the complexity, sensitivity and potential consequences of aerial strikes against terrorists, decisions in this regard are made through highly regulated operational processes. These operational processes are set out in clear orders and procedures, which are classified by nature. Among other things, these orders and procedures define the various stages of the process of planning an aerial strike, thus identifying the entities whose input the military commander must receive before conducting the attack.

The process whereby decisions on aerial strikes are made reflects the full implementation of relevant aspects of international law. First and foremost, the decision to strike is subject to criteria and conditions specified in the orders and procedures, which are designed to ensure that the attack will be consistent with international law. These criteria and conditions have been formulated on the basis of preliminary legal advice and they are implemented by the commanders in each and every aerial strike. Furthermore, although not legally required, in certain cases advice is provided in respect of the legality of a specific target. Obviously this type of advice is generally unfeasible during “real time” aerial strikes conducted in response to immediate threats, when the decision to attack a target is required to be reached in fractions of a second.

The implementation of principles of international law in procedures surrounding aerial strikes is also reflected in the intensive training that those involved in the decision-making process undergo. As an inseparable part of these training programmes, the relevant operational entities – from intelligence officers to operational commanders – learn and internalize the laws of armed conflict that apply to attacks, under the guidance of skilled legal advisers with expertise in the subject.

Within the decision-making process, significant emphasis is placed on the input from intelligence officers, which factor in all the relevant information available about the target, the anticipated military advantage and the collateral damage expected. For example, the intelligence input considers factors that may establish the legality of the target and the anticipated military advantage, such as the nature of the terrorist activity in which the terrorist target is involved (for example, participating in rocket attacks directed at Israeli civilians) and their role within the enemy’s military operations. The intelligence insight will also consider, to the extent possible in the given circumstances, information that can be used to assess the extent of the anticipated collateral damage to civilians or civilian objects.

Based on this information, along with the insight of additional professionals such as damage assessment experts, the military commander may properly apply the principles of distinction, proportionality and the obligation to undertake precautionary measures – both in deciding on the attack itself and the manner in which it will be conducted (for example, the timing of the attack, the type of munitions to be used, etc.)

Almost certainly, not a single international journalist who reported on Gaza ever heard of this website, or even ever consulted an expert on international law, before throwing around terms like “war crime” and “proportionality.”

Rabbi Burns

Not sure if this has been covered already, but does anyone have an overview of the legal requirements when faced with human shields?

From what I have been able to glean so far, it seems that this area has not been addressed in the relevant legal codes, i.e. no law says the attacking force must avoid harming human shields and no law says the attacking force may disregard human shields.

On more than one occasion I have heard media claim that Israel shoots human shields “anyway”, even though it is clear that Israel cancels attacks where there are obvious human shields. Naftali Bennett is one who was foolishly outflanked by this (and other) insinuations on sky news.

Irene -> Rabbi Burns

The short answer is yes, you can kill the human shield “anyway.” Combatants have been using human shields for a very long time, and it has been addressed many times in international law. As in any military action that might involve injury to civilians, the rule of proportionality applies. And of course the IDF takes into account factors other than international law, such as how much heat Israel will endure for taking an entirely legal action that would cause no comment whatsoever if done by any other country on earth.

Article 28 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV: “The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.”

Practice Relating to Rule 97. Human Shields…


https://www.jewishpress.comIsraelis flood local market for top-class poultry rejected by european union boycott

Persecuted Jews from Europe are discovering the delights of international cuisine in the Jewish State.

By: Hana Levi Julian 17August2014

A gourmet kosher chicken from Israel today cannot be had in many areas of the European Union.

Israeli poultry farmers are taking their export business elsewhere these days – and their chickens too.

European Union sanctions on business emanating from firms based in Judea, Samaria and other locations on the ‘wrong’ side of the 1949 Armistice Line have complicated Israel’s business dealings.

Chickens and poultry products from those areas have become part of the business casualties to fall by the wayside. But given the number of southern chicken coops that were struck by rocket fire during Operation Protective Edge, this may be a blessing in disguise for the local market, particularly with the upcoming Jewish holiday month of Tishrei looming on the horizon.

The process has gotten to the point that it’s no longer worth it for many business owners to bother with the Europeans. Instead, Israeli business owners are seeking other venues — closer to home — for their products.

Officials from Israel’s foreign and agricultural ministries say the dilemma has been solved by an increase in domestic demand which has risen, ironically, in part due to the European persecution of Jews abroad.

For the past two months, the premium-quality products have instead been diverted to local markets, where they much appreciated and in very high demand – particularly with the influx of new immigrants with discriminating palates from France and North America.

It is true the Jewish communities in Europe are sadly being deprived and missing out; but Israelis who normally are asked to make due with the export ‘leftovers’ are reaping the benefits of the ‘sanction bonanza’ as a result.

And happier, gourmet Israelis at home make for a far more popular government in times of crisis.

Bottom line: Palestinian Arab terrorism hasn’t gotten a toehold — let alone a snowball’s chance — with the Netanyahu administration in power.

There are no chickens in the Israeli government coalition this time around.

From The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Amb Prosor addresses special UN General Assembly session on Gaza

Amb Prosor addresses special UN General Assembly session on Gaza
Mr. President,

Winston Churchill, one of the great architects of this institution, is remembered for his remarkable ability to perceive danger long before the rest of the world had woken up to the fact. In 1935, four years before World War II, Churchill criticized the international community for standing by as Germany rapidly rearmed. In his words: “The family of nations suffered from a want of foresight, an unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, and a lack of clear thinking and confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”

The international community is once again facing the severe lack of foresight and unwillingness to see. Every day we are confronted by stories of radical Islamic terrorism: ISIS is purging Iraq of Christians, Boko Haram has kidnapped school girls in Nigeria, Al-Shabab gunmen are raiding fishing villages on the Somali coast. And yet this Assembly does not utter a word. It can only muster its outrage when Israel acts to defend its citizens.

The double standards are absolutely appalling. In Iraq, over 1,600 people were killed in July. In Libya, clashes between rival militias killed 200 people last month. In Nigeria, Boko Haram has slaughtered nearly 3,000 people this year. It may just be me, but I didn’t hear the Arab group rally to condemn these atrocities. Instead, this group gangs up against the only democratic nation in the Middle East that is defending its citizens from the totalitarian forces threatening every enlightened country in this Assembly.

It might be too much to ask you to stand on our side in this battle between civilization and barbarism. But at least have the decency to swallow your selective outrage as Israel wages war against the extremist groups, seeking to eradicate the values that we all hold very dear.

Mr. President,

Israel is on the frontline of the war against radical extremism. The battle we fight today is the same battle that you all will fight tomorrow. Hamas, like ISIS and al-Qaeda, shares a disdain for democracy, a contempt for modernity, and a willingness to target innocent civilians.

And yet, some of you have abandoned the only democracy in the Middle East standing against the tide of terrorism. What does this say about your values? What does it mean for the next generation? This institution is being held hostage by some in this Assembly who are the worst human rights abusers.

The Arab nations, backed by some members of the non-aligned movement, may have the numbers, but they don’t have the morals. They use the majority to convene special sessions, issue condemnations, and push through resolutions demonizing Israel. In fact, I won’t be surprised if the Arab states pass a resolution saying that the terror tunnels were actually simply an irrigation system, and that the rockets were nothing more than shooting stars.

Few nations have the courage to admit that Hamas is committing a double war crime, targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians. Fewer still have the courage to admit that Hamas is willing to see its own children killed so it can build sympathy for its cause. By not vocally and unequivocally condemning Hamas, you are condemning another generation of Israelis and Palestinians to further suffering.

There is only one way to achieve sustained quiet in Israel and build a peaceful and prosperous Gaza. Hamas must be disarmed, Gaza must be demilitarized. And the international community must divorce itself from the romantic notion of Hamas as ‘freedom fighters’.

Seventy years ago Winston Churchill bemoaned what he saw as the inability of mankind to act until the emergency comes. Today I am here to issue a warning: Stand with Israel and stand against terror before it is too late, before the danger lands on your doorstep and self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.

Thank you Mr. President.


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