No excuse for racism. Not even for Bibi.

Last week, the Elder of Ziyon posted an article: How to explain “racist” Netanyahu’s unprecedented support of Arabs?

The story claims (probably correctly) that Netanyahu governments have given substantial preferential treatment by way of aid to Israel’s Arab minority. And done without claiming credit or publicity.

Why? The Elder dismisses other explanations and offers the following:

Which brings us to the real answer.

Netanyahu has a vision for Israel’s strength and security for the next century. That is, and has been, his paramount goal. He cannot accomplish that goal without winning elections – the opposition parties simply do not share his strategic vision, if they have one at all.

To win elections, Bibi has to sometimes appeal to the less liberal elements of his party and of Israeli society. If he doesn’t win, in his mind, Israel loses.

Bibi’s supposed “racism” is public – he doesn’t give a damn if people think he is racist because if he doesn’t win, nothing can be done to help Israel in his mind. His true attitudes towards Arabs are revealed by what he does behind the scenes, and the anecdote that the article begins with shows that he has done far more to help Arab society in Israel than any previous prime minister from any party.

Do you buy that? I don’t.

Read the whole thing to make sure I am not misrepresenting the position.

The Elder’s position appears to be that it’s OK for Netanyahu to be racist – which he undoubtedly was – because, in the long term, the end (Bibi’s rule) justifies the means. That is irresponsible and dangerous. Die hard Bibi fans like the Elder can try and excuse his dreadful behavior, but ultimately they must fail because there is never an excuse for it. Never. It’s plain wrong. Would we excuse antisemitic behavior from anyone?

As a separate issue, Bibi’s achievements are not all they are cracked up to be, and his failings are many. I do not fall into the camp that demonizes Bibi, but this almost deification is way off base.

On this point, the Elder and I see things very differently.

Quote of the Week

From the Elder of Ziyon:

“Everyone who has tried to explain historic antisemitism and its more modern version of anti-Zionism has missed the issue. The real answer is that some people simply are consumed with hate that is so pervasive, and so delusional, that it overrides any other human attribute including self-preservation. It cannot be explained any more than schizophrenia can be explained. It may be chemical.”

Harsh? Not after you have read the shocking narrative here.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

There are many (many) reasons to admire the work of the Elder of Ziyon. One reason is his talent at asking pointed and relevant questions about anti-Israel propaganda; questions that should make a neutral, objective observer (if there is such a beast) stop, think, and admit: he’s right. One of his recent posts – Jerusalem, quod erat demonstrandum and Daniel Seidemann  – is a perfect example.

It starts with a tweet by Seidemann, contrasting Bibi’s declaration of support for a two state solution with his other declaration about never giving up Jerusalem. Seidemann tweeted that the appropriate conclusion is that Bibi does not support a two state solution.

So, the Elder tweeted a simple question: why do the Palestinians need Jerusalem for a state? They may want it, they may like it, but why do they need it?

Answer came there none.

The Elder (whose whole post is here) concludes his analysis as follows:

“Arabs aren’t afraid of Jews like Seidemann who say they want to give up Jerusalem for peace. They are afraid of Jews – even secular Jews like Netanyahu – who would rather die than lose the Old City.

Beggars can’t be choosers, yet Palestinians who are supposedly living in stateless misery are making preconditions for a state that have nothing to do with statehood.

Because their goal isn’t the creation of a state but the destruction of one.

And the proof is because they insist, without a shred of proof, that there can be no Palestinian state without Jerusalem.


So, quod erat demonstrandum. Or, quintessential Elder demolition.

Elder wisdom

It’s difficult, sometimes, to avoid being in awe of the Elder of Ziyon. Here he is, in a post about a daft BDS resolution being overturned, hitting the nail firmly on the head:

“Israel’s enemies are fixated on symbolic victories, like voting for a resolution that is meaningless or refusing to be in the same building as an Israeli flag. Meanwhile, Israel quietly works on real things like scientific and medical breakthroughs.

So let’s recognize the symbolic state of Palestine, which takes up no land and has only symbolic citizens. It can have a symbolic Olympic team and symbolic currency and symbolic passports.

The plan would work, too, if this symbolic people weren’t so supportive of killing real Jews.”

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Silence is killing

In his trademark style, Elder of Ziyon cuts through the crap and gets straight to the point in his post Palestinian society is truly sick. After noting that, earlier today in Jerusalem, two Palestinian kids (aged 12 and 13) attempted to stab and kill a security guard, he asks the question:

“What causes a 12-year old to want to risk being killed just to have a chance at wounding a Jew?”

He then answers his own question as follows:

“Incitement is part of the problem, but it is not the main issue.

True, Palestinian news outlets and social media are filled with photos, videos, songs and cartoons that all advocate murder and terror, images that make heroes of the attackers and that dehumanize the victims.

But to truly understand the sickness that is Palestinian society, you need to look beyond the words and images and music. You need to look at what is not being said.”

Let us pause for a moment for reflection. Think on that last point. What is not being said?

The Elder continues:

“You will not find any examples of people telling children not to attack Jews. You won’t find any stories of parents who try to raise their kids to respect all human beings. You will not find any stories about Israeli victims. You will not see anything about teachers telling their students that their lives are too valuable to waste on randomly stabbing people. You won’t find anyone saying that murder is bad no matter who does it.

You won’t find a single voice opposed to the current wave of children sacrificing themselves for a chance to stab Jews.”

As the next part clarifies, he is not talking about about Israeli media – within which there have been several sensible pleas to stop the stabbings and other terrorist attacks. He is talking about the Palestinian Arab media. For example:

“If there has been any opposition to children stabbing Jews in Palestinian Arab media, I have yet to see a single example. On the contrary, the stories are neutral at best and often cheerleading – and then using Israeli efforts to protect themselves as reason to encourage more attacks.”

I don’t have the resources to check that claim, but I dare say we would have seen evidence on social media, were there such opposition.

Crucially, he notes:

“I am not saying that Palestinian Arabs are all united in their support for sending their children out on suicide missions. I have no doubt that most parents are aghast at the idea that their kids might join the fad.

But because of the sick nature of Palestinian society, publicly coming out against terror is simply not possible. There is far more fear of saying anything against the politically-correct message of supporting terror than there is of the “oppressive occupation” itself.”

In other words, instead of opposition from – presumably – the majority, there is silence. As it is suggested, however, the fear is that the price of speaking out would seem to be too high. I’m not sure if the Elder or I were in the shoes of a Palestinian family member with kids, we would be able to risk the consequences of speaking out in public. We might (as many do) make sure our kids knew not to get involved, but that might be as far as we could go. So, although the Elder’s identification of a key part of the problem is accurate, there is no readily available solution, other than building bridges, hoping, and trying to keep on doing the right thing. No matter what the terrorists may get up to.

Until there’a breakthrough or radical change, the silence will continue to kill.

You can read the complete post by the Elder of Ziyon, here.

Intellectual dishonesty of Israel’s critics

[This is a selfish post – more so than normal! – as one aim is to save links to a crucial report and commentary bound to come in handy in future discussions.]

JINSA is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. They commissioned a report to assess Operation Protective Edge, asking several retired generals for their opinion. (You know, people who know the odd thing about real combat, and the laws of warfare – as opposed to the crap espoused by the media.)

The Elder of Ziyon’s excellent post about the report (here, including a link to the report) has some great extracts and commentary.

A limited selection follows:

Elder: The authors know the Laws of Armed Conflict far better than the NGOs do. They recognize Hamas’ unique tactics of cynically putting their own civilian population in danger in order to add a public relations dimension to what they call “unrestricted warfare.”

What does the report say? Continue reading

The enemy within

I don’t claim extensive knowledge of the activities of J Street or the New Israel Fund. But none of what I have seen gives me the impression that they have a warm, close connection with the Israel I live in, love, and know. And knowing some of the people who pour money into these two groups, that does not come as a surprise. However, it takes a clear sighted perspective from the Elder of Ziyon to put this across in an accessible, thoughtful format. Here we are:


Click the picture to go to the Elder’s story.