NEW YORK (JTA) — Let’s be clear from the outset: the BDS movement, the effort to support boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, is sinister and malicious and is having a negative effect on Jewish students on some campuses and on the wider Jewish community.
Naftali Bennett, a former tech guru who co-founded Cyota, a cybersecurity software company in the United States, is not just Israel’s new education minister. Because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new right-wing coalition government wields such a slim majority in parliament, Bennett is also a kind of kingmaker — able to influence Netanyahu’s policies in exchange for the majority his party helps furnish. He told The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth this past week that Israel should annex large parts of the West Bank. Edited excerpts of their interview follow:
How do you like the makeup of this new government?
Asharq Al-Awsat says Moscow has pulled military experts from Assad’s war room in Damascus, evacuated non-essential personnel and stopped declaring there is no alternative to Assad.
Russia is pulling away from its relationship with embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and withdrawing key personnel from Damascus, the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Sunday, citing senior Gulf and Western officials.
Analysis: The main concern is what will happen in the fall, once the nuclear talks with Iran are over, at the time of Ramadan and the Jewish High Holy Days; meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is getting weaker.
IDF troops operating in a West Bank refugee camp. The Palestinian Authority is absent in the camps. (Photo: IDF Spokesman)
The Palestinians are sending us mixed messages. In Zurich, Jibril Rajoub – or Gabriel Regev, as his friends at the Shin Bet security service like to call him – was until this weekend trying to get Israel kicked out of FIFA, world soccer’s governing body. And in Jordan, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is moaning bitterly about the actions of the Israeli government, while speaking in the same breath about the need for increased economic cooperation due to the dire situation facing an already despairing West Bank population.
Intelligence Squared US arranged one of its excellent debates on the upper West Side of Manhattan this week. The debate had as its subject the merits of President Obama’s pending arrangement with Iran. Addressing the proposition that the deal is good for the United States, the debate matched Philip Gordon and Amb. Thomas Pickering (for the affirmative) with Michael Doran and Mark Dubowitz (for the negative), with moderator John Donvan cracking the whip in impressive fashion. The audience votes on the proposition before and after the debate; the team that maximally moves the dial is declared the winner.
T. Belman. It is obvious that Israel is focused on destroying our nationalists rather than destroying Arab terrorists. Livni’s Nationalist Crime Unit must be disbanded.
This article is focused on highlighting two cases, yet they are only the tip of the iceberg. Our hilltop youths are constantly being harassed, defamed and detained as though they were the enemy.
Arab protesters are tolerated beyond patience while nationalist protesters are treated with zero tolerance.
Op-Ed: The Credo of the Hilltop Youth
The credo of the “hilltop youth” is expressed in this article whose subject is the undercover police operation at Kochav Hashachar and the story of Elad Selah, an IDF soldier who has been jailed for alleged spying for the hilltop youth.
[Meir Ettinger is a Jewish activist. He is the grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, H”yd, and the unofficial leader of the hilltop youth. He sent this article to Arutz Sheva and we present it to readers so that his opinion is heard.]
The Nationalist Crimes Unit was created three years ago by Tzipi Livni and graced with a huge budget. It’s purpose was to eradicate nationalist crimes, i.e. actions of what are known as Jewish “rebels” who, for their part, feel that they are acting to prevent the further deterioration of the state of Israel.
The officials in this unit harass those they suspect and try to put as many as possible behind bars. They claim repeatedly (and inaccurately) that the Jewish activists hinder them from focusing on the major security problems on which they would prefer to focus, but it is they who decide to expend their energies that way.
[Caution. I think the ethnic numbers are very wrong. At least they don’t come close to agreeing with Wikepedia.]
Op-ed: Imagine the Islamic Republic falling apart like Syria, Iraq, Libya or Yemen in a civil war with armed militias – and nuclear facilities all over the area.
On Independence Day, I received a message on Facebook from a man who lives in Iraq and wanted to congratulate the State of Israel on its independence and thank it for destroying Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor in 1981.
If it were not for that, he wrote, Iraq would have been filled with nuclear facilities, and imagine what would happen now, with the all-out war taking place there, where there are no rules and no limits and everything is permitted. Israel saved the Iraqi people, he wrote and thanked us.
Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers is a deftly written account of the Jewish revolt against the British in 1940s Palestine. Despite its scholarship—it draws heavily on recently declassified British documents—and its significant bulk, it is a page-turner that leaves the reader feeling sorry once the book is finished.
Unlike most accounts of the Jewish underground, this one tells the story from the British point of view, though without taking Britain’s side. It leaves the reader with no doubt that it was the Irgun, and to a lesser extent the much smaller Lehi, that drove the British from Palestine, and not, as the longtime mythology of Israel’s Laborites would have it, David Ben-Gurion’s skillful politicking.
T. Belman. Abe Foxman, whom I am no fan of, rightly points our that “Legislation that bars BDS activity by private groups, whether corporations or universities, strikes at the heart of First Amendment-protected free speech, will be challenged in the courts and is likely to be struck down.” He is referring , of course, to ” legislation at both the state and federal level making it illegal to conduct boycotts, divestment or sanctions against Israel.”
But it is not so clear. This legislation which seeks to penalize participation in the boycott of Israel is modeled after the legislation passed in the 70’s to penalize people or corporations for participating the in Arab boycott of Israel. That legislation is still here and effective.
This legislation seeks to prevent economic harm to Israel. That’s only part of the problem. I have also believed that the BDS movement is basically a vehicle to put in question the legitimacy of Israel. I have attended a number of events and came away with the feeling that it was all about demonizing, deligitimating and defaming Israel. It didn’t matter whether a the boycott was passed, what was important was that a public forum be created to spread their lies. In that, the movement has been very successful.
It is for this reason I wrote Israel should be legally protected from defamation
Comprehensive approach to fighting BDS is needed
By Abraham H. Foxman, JTA,
It would be easy to scoff, in a worldly wise way, at Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent speech in Montreal. Harper, in town to receive the first-ever King David Award from the Jewish Community Council of Montreal, spoke of the deep friendship between Canada and Israel, of the unique challenges Israel faces as the sole democracy in the Middle East and of his government’s unwavering support for the Jewish state.
From ISIS at Ramadi to riots at home, nothing is going right. “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” – W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”
Things are starting to collapse, abroad and at home. We all sense it, even as we bicker over who caused it and why.
ISIS took Ramadi last week. That city once was a Bastogne to the brave Americans who surged to save it in 2007 and 2008. ISIS, once known at the White House as the “Jayvees,” were certainly “on the run” — right into the middle of that strategically important city.
Dershowitz holds otherwise. Obama is Neither Anti-Israel Nor Anti-Jewish
Is US President Barack Obama an anti-Semite? This question has lingered in the air since his first presidential bid in 2008. It first arose due to the anti-Semitic sermons that Jeremiah Wright, his pastor for more than 20 years, made as Obama and his family sat in the pews.
UJA Federation president claimed its decision to include even Israel boycotters such as the New Israel Fund was the same position taken by the Government of Israel. Not so, says the Government of Israel.
By: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, JP
Dividing Jerusalem will solve neither the problem of how to maintain a Jewish majority in the capital nor the very real security issues facing its residents, such as the violence that has flooded out of east Jerusalem since the latest intifada started.
More than 20 years ago, the diplomatic and security leadership of Israel entered dark days when it signed the Oslo Accords. The results were tragic: More than 15,000 terrorist acts committed against the State of Israel, over 1,500 Israelis murdered, thousands more wounded, and great suffering for the Palestinian population.
Dividing Jerusalem could bring a disaster of similar proportions, if not worse, upon the city.
What ever thee upcoming June 7 parliamentary elections may prove to be far more dramatic than any in Turkey’s recent past. No matter what the outcome, the country is likely to be heading into an unprecedented crisis.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has staked Turkey’s future constitutional order on the outcome of the vote. Erdogan, after 11 years as prime minister with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has assumed the largely ceremonial position of president. While the president is supposed to be impartial, he has been campaigning ferociously in support of his old party because he wants it to win a comfortable majority in parliament — more than 330 seats in the 550-seat parliament, to be precise. Such an outcome will enable him to lay the groundwork for a new political system, which would shift power from the prime minister to a French-style executive president.
Motivated by revolutionary fervour, Kurds succeed where Iraqi army fails
The Associated Press Posted: May 28, 2015
The Kurds, motivated by a desire for their own homeland and backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, have now retaken more than 200 cities from ISIS fighters.
In contrast to the Iraqi army’s failures, Kurdish fighters in Syria are on the march against ISIS, capturing towns and villages in an oil-rich swath of the country’s northeast under the cover of U.S.-led airstrikes.
With every passing week PM Netanyahu makes his position clear namely that he is prepared to accept roughly the deal being proposed subject to israel’s security needs.
In a comprehensive press briefing with diplomatic reporters, Netanyahu said that the real question is not where the borders will be, but, rather, “what will be on the other side of that border.”
“The first problem is what will be the nature of the regime on the other side,”
“Who will be in charge of the security in areas where Israel leaves?” Netanyahu said that when he is assured by various international interlocutors that Israel’s security needs will be taken care of, he asks, “by whom?” “Who will deal with the tunnels?”
The hostile West (and many Israelis) may write off Hotovely as just another religious zealot who wants to annex the West Bank.
Israel’s new deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, has caused a sensation, not least in her own ministry. She has told the truth.
She said Israel must not hesitate to assert that the entire Land of Israel, including the West Bank, belongs to the Jewish people.
That right, she said, came from the Hebrew Bible. She referred to Maimonides, who asserted that Genesis began with the creation of the world in order to provide a riposte to foreign nations accusing the Jews of stealing the Land of Israel.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile calls for a Palestinian state with concern for the well-being of the Jewish nation-state.
One of the false presumptions of our time is that people on the political Left are motivated by good intentions even when they do bad things, while people on the political Right are motivated by bad intentions even when they do good things. – British commentator Douglas Murray, May 7, 2015
The ultimate test of this agreement will be a test of blood…If it becomes clear that they [the Palestinians] cannot overcome terror, this will be a temporary accord and… we will have no choice but to abrogate it. And if there is no choice, the IDF will return to the places which it is about to leave in the upcoming months. – Then-deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin on the Oslo Accords, Ma’ariv, November 26, 1993
Recently we’ve been hearing — both from Hezbollah and Israel — about the massive installations the terrorist group has been building just across the Lebanese border with Israel, and what will happen when war breaks out.
Omri Ceren of The Israel Project explains:
They’ve taken their arsenal – 100,000+ rockets including Burkan rockets with half-ton warheads, ballistic missiles including Scud-Ds that can hit all of Israel, supersonic advanced anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-aircraft assets, drones and mini drones, tunnels, etc. – and embedded it across hundreds of villages and probably thousands of homes. …
The Israelis can’t afford a war of attrition with Hezbollah. The Iran-backed terror group has the ability to saturation bomb Israeli civilians with 1,500 projectiles a day, every day, for over two months. They will try to bring down Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers with ballistic missiles. They will try to fly suicide drones into Israel’s nuclear reactor. They will try to detonate Israel’s off-shore energy infrastructure. They will try to destroy Israeli military and civilian runways. And – mainly but not exclusively through their tunnels – they will try to overrun Israeli towns and drag away women and children as hostages. Israeli casualties would range in the thousands to tens of thousands.
T. Belman. Eiland’s thesis is that we should declare in advance that if we are attacked from Lebanese soil, Israel will declare war on Lebanon. This, Israel is already doing. He argues that such a prospect is a strong deterrence. Secondly he argues that once the war starts we should attack Lebanon’s army and infrastructure in addition to Hezbollah. He argues, the harder we hit them, the faster will be the demand for a ceasefire. This will be in Israel’s interest to induce.
He doesn’t mention the arsenal of Hezbollah. Israel should invade Lebanon en mass and proceed to destroy all their missiles in southern Lebanon. This could be done within a couple of weeks, just the time needed to reach a ceasefire. The destruction of this arsenal should be one of Israel’s demands for a ceasefire. In order to destroy the arsenal quickly with fewer casualties on both sides is to hit them hard enough to cause them to flee the south.
One other thing that he doesn’t mention. It is very difficult to fight a terrorist group only rather than a country. An all out war would have different rules applied than an asymmetrical war against a terrorist group.
Such a policy would have grave implications for Hezbollah and Assad, not to mention Iran.
Similarly I believe the same policy should be followed in Gaza. We should declare war on Gaza not just the terrorists there. After all, the Gazans voted for Hamas and should be held responsible. We should hit them hard forcing them to flee regardless of attempts by Hamas to stop them. We should also declare in advance that we will not allow Gaza to be rebuilt. Any homeless Gazans must be resettled elsewhere. There has to be a cost. While this barrage is happening we should invade only for the purpose of destroying the tunnels.
Israel must declare in advance against who it will wage its next war in the north: Not just Hezbollah, but mainly the Lebanese state, its institutions, infrastructures and army.
This week 15 years ago, the IDF pulled out of Lebanon unilaterally. The decision was a correct and brave move by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak. But the policy adopted after the pullout was wrong, and its ramifications in the future are dangerous.