To be honest with you, I try to ignore people on Twitter who don't have a lot of followers. Normally, it's not worth the time or the exposure I give them to respond to them. But this one has gone too far.
I'd like to introduce you to one @JamesMArcher. Here's his bio - a panoply of causes of the extreme Left, with the Democratic party being too far to the right for him.
The Israeli boy in the yarmulke is Zvi Shapiro, the son of two
secular American-Israelis. The Palestinian boy is Zemer Aloni, an
Israeli Jew. The only real aspect of the photo is that the boys were
indeed friends and that the picture was taken in their Jerusalem
neighborhood of Abu Tor,
which straddles the 1949 armistice line and contains both a Jewish and
an Arab section. The boys grew up on the Jewish side of the
neighborhood, and while they both recall interactions with Palestinians,
neither counted close friends on the other side of the line.
The picture was taken by Ricki Rosen,
an American photojournalist who has been covering the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict for 26 years. Rosen snapped the photo on
assignment for Maclean’s, the national news magazine of Canada, for a
cover story about the Oslo Peace Accords. Rosen said that the magazine’s
art director was so specific in what he wanted that he even drew her a
picture — one boy in a yarmulke, the other in a keffiyeh shot from the
back walking down a long road, which was supposed to symbolize the road
to peace. He didn’t care whether the boys were actually Israelis or
Palestinians, nor did it occur to him that the Palestinian’s keffiyeh
would be styled in a way more typical for elderly Palestinian men than
for young boys.
“It was a symbolic illustration,” said Rosen. “It was
never supposed to be a documentary photo.” She also took other
real-life photos for the same article.
Eyeless in Gaza: How Hamas controls the media in Gaza
For those of you who are in London on Monday night, here's a film you don't want to miss. It's called Eyeless in Gaza, and as the title of this post indicates, it shows how Hamas controls what's reported out of Gaza through intimidation. But that's only half the story. Here's a preview.
“It’s something I call ‘group think’,”
explains Himel. “Group think isn’t a malicious attempt to lie or
distort the truth, but there is a strong herd instinct of what is
allowable and what is not.
“When you look at reporting on the Middle East
in general, the same model is used. The Syrian conflict was described
as a fight for human rights and the Arab Spring was hailed as a revolt
against brutal dictators.
“What often happens is the group think will
significantly distort what’s really going on when you are reporting
something – and if you violate group think you can be in a lot of
As a case in point, the film highlights the
naval blockade and subsequent raid by Israeli forces on a Palestinian
freighter named Karine A in 2007. The vessel was found to be carrying 50
tons of weapons, including short-range Katyusha rockets, anti-tank
missiles and explosives.
But as the documentary notes: “Very little of
the weapons found…made it to the media. Instead, the news focused on
flotillas trying to break the naval blockade.”
Why, then, did journalists focus more on the flotillas than the success of the Karine A operation?
Himel explains: “The group think is that an
unjustified blockade is causing hardship for the people of Gaza. They
can’t get basic food, they can’t move around, they can’t get to family
in other places. The media will be attracted to things that strengthen
“So a flotilla coming in trying to save the
besieged people of Gaza, like those besieged in Leningrad in 1942, is
appropriate, whereas if you are talking about a naval blockade that’s
stopping arms getting in, you are instantly making the picture more
complex – and that doesn’t sit well with editors.”
The consequences for journalists who veered away from the accepted narrative can be extreme.
When RTV reporter Harry Fear tweeted that Gaza
rockets had fired into Israel, he was immediately expelled from the
area by Hamas officials, while Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul was
imprisoned and tortured for being critical about the governing
authority in Gaza.
“You pay the price,” says Himel.
There is, however, also another element, which
Himel believes underscores the very reasons why the Israel-Gaza
conflict is reported in the way it is.
“The real story is there’s a really serious war of beliefs going on, that’s the basis for all of it.
“But editors don’t want to say it, because
that means it’s a religious war and you begin to realise how sensitive
and complex the whole issue is.”
That decision not to report the conflict as one based on religion has
also effectively blocked out mention of Hamas and its anti-Semitic
I would say it's much more malicious than Himel thinks it is. Let's start with the Karine A. The Karine A happened in January 2002 before this blog existed, not in 2007 as Himel has it. But the 2007 date is convenient. The so-called 'blockade' of Gaza started after Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. In January 2002, Israel actually controlled Gaza.
The 'flotillas' have nothing to do with the Karine A and everything to do with the anti-Semitic Europeans (who stand behind the flotillas), who promote the most pernicious lies about Israel and Jews. In fact, it is the Europeans who have done more to keep the dream of 'Palestine' replacing Israel God Forbid than even the Arab states. The Arab states have tired of the 'Palestinian' lies.
But like the inconvenient fact that our war with Hamas is a religious war, the media also prefers to ignore the inconvenient fact that Europe still dreams of finishing what Hitler started.
I would still go see Himel's movie, because it's important that someone is at least raising the issue (although Matti Friedman is the guy who really brought the issue up), but given his sloppy reporting on the Karine A, I have to wonder what the movie is really going to say.
To get you thinking, I want to show you the full video from 2014 by an Indian television crew - a video that is quite rare - of which you saw a small clip in the preview above.
A monitoring group also reported that a strike took place. Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told the German news agency DPA that Israeli warplanes fired at least six rockets on depots in the area of Qutaifa, north-east of Damascus.
It was not immediately clear if the targeted sites belong to the Syrian army or its allied Lebanese Hezbollah movement, he added.
The reports have not been officially confirmed.
The Israeli army said that the military does not respond to foreign reports.
Hezbullah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah has issued a number of threats against Israel recently, but he's been warned by Arab states not to try anything. Here's betting that this doesn't draw him out of his bunker either.
This is going to be fun: US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley rips the Security Council's Israel obsession
Here's US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley telling the press about her first Security Council meeting - and she specifically mentions the shameful US abstention (and worse) on Security Council Resolution 2334 during the last days of the Obama administration.
Let's go to the videotape.
For those on the Left who are wondering why you lost the recent US election, you might want to start here.
How Donald Trump is bringing hope to the 'peace process'
After eight years in which most Israelis felt that they weren't getting a fair hearing at the White House, and in which Israel's Prime Minister looked more uncomfortable with each trip to the United States, times have changed. In a White House meeting earlier this week, President Trump allowed Netanyahu to say what nearly all Israelis believe and what former President Hussein Obama would never allow to be heard.
Despite his international protestations, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (like Yasir Arafat before him), has consistently denied
that the Jews have a historic connection to the Temple Mount. Far more
than arcane arguments over historical minutiae, the Arafat-Abbas
tradition of denying a longstanding Jewish link to Jerusalem is the
Palestinian’s inimitable way of saying that the Jews are simply the latest wave of Crusaders,
that Israel is nothing but a colonialist presence in the Middle East.
Just as the crusaders and colonialists of the past ultimately departed,
the argument goes, so too will the Jews.
belief that President Abbas sees the two-state solution as a
steppingstone to a one – Arab – state solution leaves many Israelis
cynical about the peace process and tiring of the rhetoric about two
states. Mr. Trump may have shifted that momentum.
President Trump afforded Prime Minister Netanyahu an opportunity to assert – despite American denials – that Palestinian schools’ textbooks teach Palestinian children to hate Jews. Israelis wholeheartedly believe that accusation to be true. They know of the Fatah Party’s incendiary boast on Facebook that it had killed 11,000 Israelis and that the Palestinian Authority recently named its fourth
school for Salah Khalaf, mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre
of Israeli athletes. While President Barack Obama obliquely acknowledged
in his eulogy for Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime
minister, that “Arab youth are taught to hate Israel from an early age,”
Mr. Trump gave Mr. Netanyahu a stage from which to make the accusation
Obama's eulogy for Shimon Peres - perhaps his first acknowledgment of mainstream 'Palestinian' hate for Israelis and Jews - came on September 30, 2016, nearly at the end of Obama's term, and at a point where it was likely designed to help Hillary Clinton's election prospects and not a sincere empathy with Israel's plight.
Daniel Gordis believes that Trump's openness to hear the Israeli point of view can only help the 'peace process.'
appearances of confidence notwithstanding, Palestinian leaders
undoubtedly understand that the jig is up – gone (for now) are the days
in which they can tell the world one story and their people another.
That actually gives Israelis hope that – if the Palestinians want
political sovereignty – the Palestinian Authority will have to lay the
groundwork by forging an entirely different narrative about Israel and
is still no reason to assume that President Trump and Prime Minister
Netanyahu can forge a deal. Mr. Trump’s White House is in disarray, Mr.
Netanyahu is under investigation for corruption and politically
weakened, Mr. Kushner has not a day of diplomatic experience, the other
Arab countries that Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu hope will be part of an
agreement may or may not cooperate and Palestinian hatred of Jews may be
too deeply entrenched.
there is at least cause for a glimmer of hope. On Wednesday, whatever
ambivalences about Mr. Trump many Israelis have, they heard from a
United States president sympathetic to their story, sensitive to their
fears of Iran and committed to their safety. That may matter a great
deal. For Israelis who feel safe and protected are infinitely more
likely to make accommodations for peace.
Gordis is right that it's highly unlikely (to say the least) that Trump and Netanyahu can forge a deal. Not now and not in the next eight years. But that has nothing to do with investigations, disarray or weak political positions. Rather, it's because the 'Palestinians' have yet to give any indication that they are ready to accept a Jewish state of any size, shape or form, and that creating a 'Palestinian' state (God Forbid) will not be the end of the conflict, but rather moving on to a new stage against a much weakened Israel.
Don't expect it to happen in your lifetime or mine.
According to a report in Al Hayat, published in London, an Arab
official warned Hezbollah that Israel would forcefully strike back
against any military attack the organization carries out and severely
According to the report, the official said that Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu's ability to recruit "regional assistance" against
Hezbollah is high due to the era of US President Donald Trump. The
official further urged Hezbollah to behave cautiously and prudently.
Let's go to the videotape.
I wonder which Arab official warned Nasrallah not to attack....
Must see: Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) comments at David Friedman confirmation hearing
Several people have sent me this video and it really is a must see. This is Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fl) speaking at the confirmation hearings for David Friedman as US Ambassador to Israel. He's awesome. This will be the best five minutes you will spend today.
It's been a while since I posted a music video (in fact, I haven't been posting much of anything lately, but it's too close to the Sabbath to start telling you why), but last night my 17-year old son came home from yeshiva and said 'Abba, this video is great - you have to post it on the blog,' and showed me this video, not knowing that Benny Friedman has been one of my Twitter followers for a while.
Anyway, it's really a great video, and when I looked last night, it had garnered over 155,000 hits in about ten days. That's quite an impressive number, and if I can increase that I'm happy. Really worth watching.
As the Senate holds a confirmation hearing Thursday on the nomination
of David Friedman, he could face grilling about his ties to Beit El, a
community north of Jerusalem located in the heart of the occupied
territory Palestinians demand for an independent state.
A bankruptcy attorney from the Five Towns area of Long Island,
Friedman is a major donor to Beit El and serves as the president of the
American Friends of Beit El Yeshiva, the U.S. fundraising arm of the
settlement’s Jewish seminary and affiliated institutions, including high
schools, an Israeli military prep academy, a newspaper for the
religious Jewish settler community and the right-wing news site Arutz
They make the entire town sound like shnorrers (beggars). In fact, the 'American Friends' setup is entirely legal - nearly every school in Israel that raises money in the US has one in order for donors to qualify for 501(c)(3) deductions. Each of the other institutions likely has its own 'American Friends' with the likely exception of Arutz Sheva, which the last time I checked was a commercial venture.
But even by Trump’s new standards, Friedman appears to be extreme.
Friedman is a fervent supporter of the settlements and an outspoken
opponent of Palestinian statehood.
“I have expressed my skepticism about two-state state solutions
because of what I perceive as the Palestinians inability to denounce
terrorism and recognize Israel as a legitimate state,” Friedman said.
If that's 'extreme,' I don't many Orthodox Jews in the United States or Israel who aren't extremists.
In Beit El, the Friedman Faculty House, which bears his and his wife’s
names on the facade, is built on private Palestinian land without
permission from its Palestinian landowners, according to the
anti-settlement watchdog Kerem Navot.
And now CBS is accepting claims by Israel's Hebrew 'Palestinian' daily as 'facts.' Prove it.
Israel's Leftist youth do something good, but would they do it for 'settlers'?
The Jerusalem Post reports that a conglomeration of 'Zionist' youth groups has been collecting winter clothes and blankets for Syrian refugees.
The items have been taken to a collection point, a representative
confirmed to JTA. From there, a partner aid organization is facilitating
the delivery of the goods to the refugees, who won’t know their country
of origin. The representative said the delivery date and method could
not be revealed due to the sensitive nature of the situation.
Because if the Syrians found out they were coming from the 'Zionist entity,' they'd probably burn them, even if they didn't really want to turn them away, because... 'Palestine uber alles.'
“I thought people would be reluctant to support an effort they would not
get credit for,” Gilad Perry, Dror Israel’s international
collaborations director, said in a statement. “I was amazed to see how
wrong I was. The generosity of people just caring for those who suffer
from the cold winter on the other side of the border, in an ‘enemy
country,’ overwhelmed me.”
Amazing. Leftist Israelis willing to do something for which they won't get any credit except in an article in the JPost.... Oh wait, how do you know they're Leftist? Well, if you're an Israeli, you recognize two of the three names of the groups involved, and there's a hint at the end of the article.
HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (Youth Who Work and Learn) is a sister movement
of Habonim Dror, long affiliated with the Labor Zionist movement.
So please forgive my cynicism. I'm all in favor of helping out Syrian refugees with clothes and blankets (but not with letting them unvetted into Israel, the US or any other western country). And there ought to be a lesson from the fact that Israelis are helping these poor people while they get nothing from any of the oil-rich Gulf countries.
But I have to ask another question. Suppose - just suppose - that there were Jewish revenants (known in the international media as 'settlers') who were expelled from their homes in Judea and Samaria and Gaza, who were out in the cold and the rain today who had no warm clothing and no blankets. Would the Leftist Zionist movements be willing to take up collections for them too? They'd even say thank you. You wouldn't have to cut out all the Israeli labels for them. And you could even get credit for helping them. So would the Labor Zionist movements help them?
Sadly, I think we already know the answer to that question. This is from a post I did in May 2012, citing statistics from the summer of 2011 - six years after the Jews of Gush Katif in Gaza were expelled from their homes. Hint: There were no Labor Zionists lining up to help the Jews of Gush Katif, with or without credit.
Perhaps this is the time to look at some statistics regarding the Jewish
refugees from Gaza, who were expelled from their homes seven years ago
this summer. This is from a United Nations report(!) from June 2011.
About 230 of the 1,450 families from Gush Katif (16 percent) have moved into permanent homes, according to a December 2010 report released by the Gush Katif “committee”.
Unemployment among former Gush Katif residents is running at about 18
percent, while under-employment is 20 percent, said the “committee”.
Before the withdrawal, unemployment was 5 percent, with 85 percent
working in Gush Katif, according to JobKatif, an NGO created to help former residents rebuild their livelihoods.
unemployment is much worse in Gaza, the unemployment rate among the
evacuees is about double the rate of the general Israeli population.
Children have faced adjustment issues and the divorce rate increased,
along with financial problems, say former residents. Government
compensation that was received, was lower than the value of the land and
did not allow farmers to re-establish their farms, according to the
Shilat Kahalani, spokesperson for the Mateh
Binyamin Regional Council which covers 42 Israeli settlements in the
West Bank (known as Judea and Samaria to Israelis), told IRIN that many
former Gush Katif residents wanted to rebuild their homes and lives in
the West Bank, but were prevented from doing so by a building
moratorium which was only lifted in September 2010, having been in
force for 10 months.
380 farms existed in Gushi Katif (of which 240 were operational), but
only 28 percent of the owners of agricultural land have resumed
farming. Most business owners, too, have not returned to their trade
and were not appropriately compensated, according to the “committee”.
“Disengaging a community is not something that can be rebuilt easily,
and many families never received promised full financial support,”
A June 2010 report
on the findings of the Israeli “State Commission of Inquiry into the
Handling of the Evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria by the
Authorized Authorities”, placed blame on the state of Israel.
“The State of Israel failed in its handling of the evacuees,” it said.
“Five years after, most of the evacuees are still living in temporary
caravan sites; the construction of most of the permanent housing has
not yet commenced; and the decisive majority of the public structures
in the evacuees’ new settlements have not yet been built.”
was a mission of the government to settle people in Gaza,” said former
Gush Katif resident Debbie Rosen, and “there must be a solution for
every settler”. She received half the value of her home in Gush Katif,
and she and her six children are still waiting for their new house to
be built, she added.
And for those who think that the
Ulpana neighborhood is going to be 'evacuated' quietly with the soldiers
called in to do the job embracing the residents in tears, consider
“People in my community are unwilling to be evacuated
because on a personal level they witnessed the awful outcomes of such a
disengagement on the lives of the Gush Katif evacuees,” Binyamin council
spokesperson Kahalani said.
That might have something to do with the violence in Amona during my last trip to the US a couple of weeks ago (violence that I did not have time to cover).
If only the Labor Zionists cared as much for their own as they do for the other....
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that
62% of Likely U.S. Voters believe most Christians living in the Islamic
world are treated unfairly because of their religion. Just 17% disagree,
while 21% more are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
By comparison, 39% feel most Muslims living in the United States are treated unfairly because of their religion. That’s up from 31% last year and is the highest finding in surveys to date.
A plurality (46%) still believes Muslims are not treated unfairly because of their faith, while 15% more are not sure.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats, however, believe most Muslims in
this country are mistreated, a view shared by only 22% of Republicans
and 39% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Fewer
Democrats (47%) think most Christians are mistreated in the Islamic
world, compared to 76% of GOP voters and 64% of unaffiliateds.
And for those who think women are smarter... they're not - at least when they're Democrats.
Women are more likely than men to think most American Muslims are
mistreated here but less likely to believe Christians are mistreated in
the Islamic world.
By the way, note that no one talks about mistreatment of Jews despite study after study that shows that attacks on Jews due to their religion far exceed attacks on persons of any other religion.
Family of 'Palestinian' terror victim were Bob Kraft's guests of honor at the Super Bowl
I am sure that many of you recall Ezra Schwartz, the American yeshiva student (who studied at the same high school I did) who was murdered in a 'Palestinian' terror attack here in Israel a bit more than a year ago. More of you may recall that Patriots' owner Robert Kraft ordered a moment of silence to honor Ezra before a Monday night football game in Foxboro during the shiva, after Kraft himself had shown up at the family's home to pay a condolence call (and embarrassed then President Hussein Obama into calling the family).
On Sunday, the Schwartz family got to see one heck of a football game - as Kraft's VIP guests. That's right, the Schwartz's (pictured above) were Patriots' owner Robert Kraft's VIP guests at Super Bowl LI in Houston.
Oh, and this is far from the only not-so-random act of kindness on Bob Kraft's list. Remember Max Steinberg, the IDF lone soldier (who was killed in Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in the summer of 2014) whose mother was asked by buffoon John Kerry how her day is going? Here's what Bob Kraft sent Steinberg's parents in Los Angeles.
In fact, many of Kraft's acts of kindness seem to connect football to Israel. This is from the third link above.
Kraft is also a huge supporter of Israel and routinely takes football
players to goodwill trips to Israel, even during the height of the
Kraft took Patriots players on the tours, including star quarterback Tom
Brady in 2006 – who, though not Jewish, keeps a menorah that Kraft gave
him in his Brookline home. These players in turn share stories and
photos of Israel to their millions of fans with counterbalance all the
negative press and opinions about Israel.
One of Kraft’s most distinctive philanthropic projects is supporting
American Football Israel, including Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem
and the Kraft Family Israel Football League.
Another project is an annual reception that Kraft continues to hold after his wife Myra's death (they used to do it together) for all of the kids from Boston who are in Israel on one-year programs. That one should be happening in the next month or two.
There's more too:
He takes time out of his busy schedule to
write letters to the families of fallen IDF soldiers and personally
doing the huge mitzvah of nichum aveilim (visiting the bereaved) Kraft
is nosei b’ol chaveiro ( carrying the burden of your people) by helping
these bereaved parents find some comfort with his condolence visit and
remembering them over a year later and flying them down to the Super
Bowl to be his personal VIP guests at the Super Bowl.
As Ezra Schwartz’s aunt Rachel said, he has a
“good neshoma” and is a true “mentch” in every sense of the word, it is
not for us to say that her theory of the last minute miraculous
turn-around in the Super Bowl is not somehow ordained from above,
although quarterback Tom Brady did famously say “God, [there’s] got to
be more than this” on “60 Minutes” in reference to winning his third
Super Bowl. Kraft indeed deserves credit where credit is due. (Hakaras
Hatov.) we just shared it with you, now share this story and the
inspiration. G-d Bless you, Mr. Kraft!
For those of you who root for other teams who find the Patriots' constant success frustrating and annoying, now you know why he merits it. Go out and perform acts of kindness for others like Kraft does, and maybe your time will succeed too.
Oh yeah, in case you missed, the Patriots came from down 28-3 with two minutes left in the third quarter to beat the Falcons 34-28 on Sunday night. Watching here in Israel at 5:30 am was quite sweet.
Two Saudi journalists and a Kuwaiti have called on US President Donald Trump to move his embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. All three journalists also make clear that the 'Palestinians' are no longer at the head of the Arab world's agenda.
In a January 25, 2017 article in the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat,
prominent Saudi journalist 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, the daily's former
editor and the former director of Al-Arabiya TV, discussed the issue of
the U.S. moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He
stated that the Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem is a settled
matter, and that moving the U.S. embassy there, or any other embassy,
would not lend legitimacy to the occupation. Rather, if U.S. President
Donald Trump moved the embassy to Jerusalem as part of an overall peace
agreement, this measure could actually mark the end of the occupation
and the conflict.
also noted that, in the 2000 Camp David talks, Yasser Arafat sadly
missed an opportunity to restore East Jerusalem to the Palestinians as
part of then-U.S. president Bill Clinton's unprecedented proposal for
resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He added that today, due to
the crises plaguing the Middle East, "the Palestinian cause is no
longer central," although extremists exploit the Palestinian tragedy to
further their own interests.
should be noted that one day before Al-Rashed's article was published,
Saudi columnist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh published an article in the
official Saudi daily Al-Jazirah titled "The Palestinians Have No
[Choice] But Peace." Like Al-Rashed, he argued that the Arab world,
currently preoccupied with civil wars and with fighting home-grown
terrorism, no longer regards the Palestinian cause as its foremost
concern, and called on the Palestinians to forgo armed resistance and
embrace the two-state solution – for that is the only solution that is
feasible and supported by the international community.
Kuwaiti journalist 'Abdallah Al-Hadlaq also expressed support for relocating the embassy, in a January 28, 2017 article in the Al-Watan
daily titled "Be Brave [Trump] – Move [The Embassy] to Jerusalem and
Trust in God." Quoting extensively from an article by Robert Satloff,
executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East
Policy, which presents arguments in favor of the embassy move,
Al-Hadlaq argued the move could involve extensive benefits and not only
dangers and drawbacks. He concluded by saying: "Wise and intelligent
diplomats, politicians and pundits are telling Trump, who is reluctant
to move the embassy to Jerusalem: 'Be brave, move it to Jerusalem and
trust in God."
Satloff's piece is here. While it makes reference to 'west' Jerusalem, the facility in which the US consulate is currently located (pictured above) is practically on the line, although the US government likes to characterize it as 'west' Jerusalem, and it still serves (at least for now) as the US embassy to 'Palestine.'
Trump to Israel: 'Just do it (and stop talking about it)'!
On Thursday night, it was reported by Michael Wilner in the Jerusalem Post that Donald Trump believes in a 'two-state solution' and that Israel should stop making announcements that destroy that possibility.
The White House warned Israel on Thursday to cease settlement
announcements that are “unilateral” and “undermining” of President
Donald Trump’s effort to forge Middle East peace, a senior
administration official told The Jerusalem Post.
first time, the administration confirmed that Trump is committed to a
comprehensive two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict
negotiated between the parties.
The official told the Post that the White House was not
consulted on Israel’s unprecedented announcement of 5,500 new settlement
housing units over the course of his first two weeks in office.
President Trump has made clear, he is very interested in reaching a
deal that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is currently
exploring the best means of making progress toward that goal,” the
"With that in mind, we urge all parties to refrain from taking
unilateral actions that could undermine our ability to make progress,
including settlement announcements,” the official added. “The
administration needs to have the chance to fully consult with all
parties on the way forward.”
Trump plans to bring up the peace
process in his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the
White House scheduled for February 15.
Trump says, shut up and build. That sounds more like Trump who is
asking Israel to play smart and to move only when the table is in your
“Not helpful in promoting peace,” said his White House spokesman today – and where have we heard that before?
Never from Trump. So something’s gone wrong and I don’t think it’s entirely Trump’s fault, nor do I think here we go again. He’s Obama all over again.
won’t happen. But over the years some of us have noticed Israel’s habit
of going public each time it hires an architect. As for me, it’s been
an astonishment how Israel telegraphs every move, particularly when it
comes to housing in Judea and Samaria.
What other country does this? What other country stops the presses to announce -- Hello World, We’re Building More Homes.
Got a problem with that? – and in unison the world says yes.
IS the wisdom of Chelm if you expect any other outcome, and that has to
be the cause of Trump’s annoyance. Immediately Israel’s High Court gets
into the act along with the “peace groups” and Haaretz and The New York Times and a day later France invites 70 countries for a Paris summit to denounce the Jewish State.
That leaves Trump boxed in and he says so himself, that it cramps his style and his space to maneuver.
many times a day can he take on the entire world, as he’s been doing,
and now must carry Israel on his back – as he has it figured.
for no good reason except that Israeli leaders do not know when to keep
quiet. Instead they keep rubbing it in and keep asking for trouble.
trouble comes when they speak loudly and then expect the United States
to carry the big stick…like stopping the UN from another 2334.
we forgotten that personally Trump owes us nothing? The overwhelming
majority of American Jews voted against him. He knows this.
same majority protests his partial travel restrictions, which means
that while he wants to keep anti-Semites out, we want them in.
pockets of Israelis were shown on television protesting Trump’s
immigration pause. That hurt and it sure wasn’t “helpful” in terms of
Now we hear that Trump favors a two-state
solution and where did he get that if not from Benjamin Netanyahu who
keeps promoting that dangerous nonsense.
We can’t ask Trump to be more Jewish than the Jews or more Israeli than the Israelis.
Our only claim on Trump is that we are family. The United States and Israel share the same values.
Only Israel can be counted on through thick or thin throughout the region and he needs Israel as much as Israel needs him.
Trump knows this. But he’s asking Israel to play by new rules, which is to shut up and deal only when the time is right.
How Israeli high tech gets sold to countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel
Greetings from home - I returned to Israel this evening after an 18-day business trip.
This evening I was told about a company in Israel that is white labeling (which means removing all signs of who the real manufacturer is) for sale to a hostile (i.e. Muslim) country. This is not uncommon. On the very first initial public offering on which I worked when I made aliya, one of the items we had to get permission not to disclose was the fact that the company was about to make a large sale in Malaysia. How does it happen? Jonathan Ferziger and Peter Waldman explain.
Trade and collaboration in technology and intelligence are
flourishing between Israel and a host of Arab states, even if the people
and companies involved rarely talk about it publicly. When a London
think tank recently disinvited Bar from speaking on a panel, explaining
that a senior Saudi official was also coming and it wasn’t possible to
have them appear together, Bar told the organizers that he and the Saudi
gentleman had in fact been planning to have lunch together at a
Moroccan restaurant nearby before walking over to the event together.
“They were out-Saudi-ing the Saudis,” he says.
Peace hasn’t come
to the Middle East. This isn’t beating swords into plowshares but a
logical coalescence of interests based on shared fears: of an Iranian
bomb, jihadi terror, popular insurgency, and an American retreat from
the region. IntuView has Israeli export licenses and the full support of
its government to help any country facing threats from Iran and
militant Islamic groups. “If it’s a country which is not hostile to
Israel that we can help, we’ll do it,” Bar says. Only Syria, Lebanon,
Iran, and Iraq are off-limits.
Interesting. Three of those four countries are also on the list of countries whose nationals are currently barred (or not barred depending upon whom you ask) from entering the United States under Donald Trump's executive order.
The Saudis and other oil-rich Arab states are only too happy to pay for
the help. “The Arab boycott?” Bar says. “It doesn’t exist.”
Hey - don't tell the Democrats that. They think the Arab boycott exists and will continue to exist until we have 'peace' with the 'Palestinians.' Reality says otherwise.
On the other hand, the Saudis like to hide reality:
Saudi officials declined to speak on the record about possible ties
to Israel. Questions e-mailed to the kingdom’s interior ministry and its
embassy in Washington for this article were unanswered. A source in
Riyadh, insisting on anonymity, e-mailed a statement denying any trade
links between Israel and Saudi Arabia:
“In regard to
defense systems technology, Saudi Arabia has never dealt with Israel in
this field or any other field. Moreover, common sense tells us that in
order for Saudi Arabia to get any weapon systems, they have to be bought
under trade agreements made with friendly countries that manufacture
those systems with official and approved export trade certificates from
their governments. It is also certain that Israel is not among the
countries that have commercial relations with the Kingdom.”
Arab embargo of Israel, nominally in force since the Jewish state’s
founding in 1948, necessitates that all business between Israel and most
Arab states remain strictly off the books, cloaked by intermediaries in
other countries. But the volume and range of Israeli activity in at
least six Gulf countries is getting hard to hide. One Israeli
entrepreneur set up companies in Europe and the U.S. that installed more
than $6 billion in security infrastructure for the United Arab
Emirates, using Israeli engineers. The same companies then pitched Saudi
Arabia to manage overcrowding in Mecca. Other Israeli businesses are
working in the Gulf, through front companies, on desalination,
infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, and intelligence gathering.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married and a fourth is engaged! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com