Trump Campaign Unveils New Policy: Will Ask Justice Department to Probe Anti-Israel Intimidation on US College Campuses

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A Donald Trump administration would ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts to intimidate Israel-supporters on US campuses, a senior adviser to the Republican presidential candidate revealed to The Algemeiner on Monday in a new policy announcement.

“Colleges are generally being far too lenient in allowing the pro-Palestinian community to deprive those in the pro-Israel camp of their First Amendment right to free speech,” said attorney David Friedman — with whom Trump regularly consults on matters related to the Jewish state. “This is a serious constitutional deprivation, so it is something that must be looked at.”

Where Trump’s approach to Middle East peacemaking is concerned, Friedman said that, as part of any future Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, the administration would not expect the Jewish state to uproot its citizens who now live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

“It is inconceivable there could be a mass evacuation on that magnitude, in the unlikely event that there was an otherwise comprehensive peace agreement,” Friedman said. “It makes no sense for Judea and Samaria to be ‘Judenrein [void of Jews],’ any more than it makes sense for Israel to be ‘Arabrein [void of Arabs].’ It’s not fair.”

This would mark a departure from the Obama administration, which criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year after he said, as reported by The Algemeiner, that the main obstacle to peace was the demand of Palestinian leaders for the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews from the West Bank.

Friedman went on: “The critical thing is to recognize that there is not going to be any progress on a Palestinian state until the Palestinians renounce violence and accept Israel as a Jewish state. Until that happens, there is really nothing to talk about in terms of a political process.”

What our administration will not do, Friedman said, “is put its finger on the scale and try to force Israel into a particular outcome, but rather will support Israel in reaching its own conclusion about how to best achieve peace with its neighbors.”

“We trust Israel,” he continued. “We think it is doing an excellent job of balancing its respect for human rights and its security needs in a very difficult neighborhood. Israel is a partner with the US in the global war against terrorism. And we want our partner to be attendant to that task and not distracted by foreign countries telling it what to do. That’s really the overall premise of the policy — to respect Israel as a partner, and not to unduly influence its decisions.”

Furthermore, Friedman said, “The only thing that makes sense now is to take small steps to try to improve circumstances on the ground and provide encouragement and assistance to Palestinians who are not pursuing a hateful agenda.”

Turning to the nuclear deal reached last year between Iran and the P5+1 nations, Friedman said a Trump administration would “reengage with the world powers in a way that seeks to reintroduce leverage on Iran. A nuclear Iran in nine years is unacceptable. Nine years may sound like a long time, but it passes in the blink of an eye.”

Friedman predicted that Trump would fare better among Jewish voters than his Republican predecessors Mitt Romney (30%) and John McCain (22%) did in the past two presidential elections.

“If you didn’t like the Obama relationship with Israel, you’re not going to like the Hillary Clinton one,” he said. “And I think Jews who care about Israel recognize that.”

Regarding education — an issue of interest to many Jewish voters — David Peyman, the Trump campaign’s national director of Jewish affairs, told The Algemeiner on Monday that, as president, Trump would “add an additional federal investment of $20 billion in school choice programs, understanding the fact that currently if you send your kid to a Jewish day school or, for that matter, a Catholic school, you are effectively funding two school systems. One is the public school system through property taxes, and the second is the private school through your tuition.”

Trump, Peyman said, “recognizes the fact that there should be some relief there. This will be done by reprioritizing existing federal dollars. We will give states the option to allow these funds to follow the student to the public or private school they attend. Distribution of this grant will favor states that have private school choice, magnet schools and charter laws, encouraging them to participate.”

Original Article: Alegeimer

Ex-CIA chief: Trump will usher in new age in US-Israel relations

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Clinton-era CIA chief condemns Obama’s behavior towards Israel, believes Trump will repair relationship.

Former CIA chief and Undersecretary of the Navy James Woolsey on Sunday blasted the Obama administration’s handling of the US-Israel relationship and its conciliatory stance vis-à-vis the Iranian regime.

A registered Democrat, Woolsey was critical of what he described as the Bush administration’s intelligence “failure” prior to the Iraq war.

In September, 2016, Woolsey crossed party lines to become Donald Trump’s senior national security adviser.

Woolsey broke with the Obama administration over budget cuts to the military, the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and the icy relations between the White House and Israel.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Woolsey said the incoming Trump administration was likely to alter or reject the Iran nuclear deal, signed by the Obama White House but never ratified by the US Senate.

When asked what would be the most consequential policy change President Trump would likely make, Woolsey replied: “I think definitely the agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons and nuclear technology.”

“It’s a terrible agreement,” Trump’s adviser continued, “it’s the worst I’ve ever come across in nearly 40 years of negotiating agreements with the Soviets and so forth. I think that anybody who brought that agreement back as something that was effective and verifiable would be laughed out of Washington. And the people who brought this one back should have been.”

Woolsey went on to call hopes that the nuclear agreement would constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions as “fanciful”.

“They can call anything, on the spur of the moment, to be a military facility and therefore can’t be inspected. If I’m an inspector and I start out to go inspect something, before I get there they turn it into a military facility. They never disseminated all of the paperwork that had to be – in copies of the agreement – that had to be disseminated. So the steps that obligatory to us – paying the funds that have been withheld from banks and so forth – should never have been paid and should be stopped now. It is really a very, very bad and dangerous agreement because it lulls us into a false sense of security and it is not going to be an effective restraint on the Iranians.”

The former CIA Director added that any arrangement with the Iranian regime would have to take into account that government’s history of evading treaty obligations.

“The Iranians never don’t cheat. Negotiations for them are not about a deal where there’s a quid pro quo and each side goes away more or less satisfied. That’s totally alien [to them]. From their point of view, it’s about dominance. It’s about showing dominance. And this agreement they are very pleased with because they believe it shows their dominance.”

During the interview, Woolsey praised Vice President-elect’s 2014 comments on Israel, calling the US-Israel relationship the “most cherished” one with a foreign power.

“I think that that’s a good statement. I would put Britain and Israel together in that.”
He added that the Trump White House would strengthen the US-Israel relationship, repairing damage done during the Obama administration.

“I think that we’re headed back towards the old days that some of us lived through and worked on matters in the Middle East where the US and Israel worked very closely together and had each other’s back. I think that’s coming back again. It’s excellent and we will hopefully get away from the Obama administration propensity to treat your friends – like Israel – as enemies and your enemies – like Iran – as friends.”

Original Article: Arutz Sheva

Senior Hamas official: Trump might be a Jew

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In an interview with Al-Jazeera earlier this month, Zahar said that “Trump loves the Jews, and not only because he likes the Jewish religion.”

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar has suggested that US President-elect Donald Trump is secretly a Jew.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera earlier this month, translated by MEMRI, Zahar said that “Trump loves the Jews, and not only because he likes the Jewish religion. I do not rule out the possibility that he is a Jew.

“He loves the Jewish religion,” Al-Zahhar continued, “and the most important thing in the Jewish religion is Jewish money.”
Zahar then went on an antisemitic rant, saying that Harry Truman was bought by $2 million in “Jewish Money” and therefore recognized the State of Israel.

Zahar continued by saying that American culture was consumed by “unnatural violence…obscene language, obscene acts, obscene declarations and obscene attacks on other countries,” adding that “that is the American culture and upbringing, that is their true religion.”

Speaking to reporters in Gaza after Trump’s win, the Islamist group’s spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said: “The Palestinian people is not very much concerned about the changes in American policies towards the Palestinian cause because such a policy is constant and is based on bias in favor of the Israeli occupation. However, we urge the American President to re-evaluate this policy and to work on bringing justice to the Palestinians.”

Trump has told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that if elected, the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, marking a potential dramatic shift in US policy.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

CNN apologizes for ‘Are Jews People’ headline

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Segment discussing white supremacist think tank’s anti-Semitic rhetoric sparks controversy.

CNN viewers are angry over a caption flashed on the screen during a segment on white supremacist groups which read “Alt-right founder questions whether Jews are people”.

The segment was aired Monday on “The Lead,” which was being guest-hosted by Jim Sciutto.

The discussion with the CNN panelists included statements made over the weekend by Richard Spencer at an event of the white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute. Spencer said of political commentators, after suggesting that the news media had been critical of presidential candidate Donald Trump in order to protect Jewish interests: “One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem.”

CNN said in a statement of the banner caption, called a chyron: “It was poor judgment and we very much regret it and apologize.”

Sciutto referred to Spencer’s remarks as “hate-filled garbage,” and the rest of the panel also expressed disgust and horror after seeing a clip of Spencer’s remarks.

The Lead’s regular host, Jake Tapper, who was on vacation, criticized the chyron in several tweets, after receiving tweets from many angry fans.

“yes, I’m off this week and I’m furious about that chyron and my staff has heard from me. Unacceptable,” read one of Tapper’s tweets.

He also tweeted in response to a complaint that the alt-right was given a platform on CNN: “they were not given a platform. The chyron was, however, unacceptable and will not happen again.”

He also tweeted in response to a complaint that the alt-right was given a platform on CNN: “they were not given a platform. The chyron was, however, unacceptable and will not happen again.”

Original Article: Artuz Sheva

PJTN IN THE NEWS: UN Special Envoy Calls on US to Stop Funding UNESCO

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In the wake of the resolution passed by the UN’s cultural body, UNESCO, which denies Israel’s historic connection to the Temple Mount, Laurie Cardoza-Moore, UN Special Envoy for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC) and President of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) issued a strong rebuke, calling on the United States of America to immediately halt all funding to the organization and rescind their ambassador until this historic travesty is reversed.

Cardoza-Moore declared: “Islamist historical revisionists have hijacked UNESCO, making a mockery of the organization and those who support its mission. I demand that the United States government immediately rescind her Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and halt all funding to the organization until such time as the organization reverses it’s recent resolutions denying Judeo-Christian history on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The United States of America cannot be complacent while the foundations of Judaism and Christianity are publicly denied and defiled.”

She continued: “This resolution is worse than Holocaust denial, as it questions the very existence of the Jewish people. By refusing to recognize the Jewish people’s historic and biblical connection to the Temple Mount, UNESCO has denied the very foundation of our Judeo-Christian faith. This is an insult to millions of Jews and Christians alike and must be reversed.”

Both resolutions were immediately condemned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “another hallucinatory decision” by the U.N. body. He added: “To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple and the Western Wall is like saying that China is not connected to the Great Wall, or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. I believe that historical truth is more powerful and that truth will prevail.”
WCICC, which represents over 40 million Evangelical Christians worldwide and the over 13,000 global PJTN Watchmen recently called upon UNESCO to condemn the strategic and deliberate destruction of ancient artifacts buried beneath the Temple Mount. This destruction has been carried out by the Islamic Waqf for over a decade in an attempt to physically destroy any archeological evidence in order to deny any Jewish connection to the holiest site in Judaism and Christianity.

WCICC’s Archbishop Dr. John Lupoli commented, “Once again, it appears that the biased leadership of the United Nations/UNESCO are denying the infallible Word of God, ignoring both the Torah and the Old and New Testaments, by rejecting the archeological and historical evidence of the Temple Mount’s Jewish history. The continuing onslaught of Muslim influence and cowering of the leadership at the United Nations is a disappointment, to say the least. I call on UNESCO to reverse its tainted vote and position on the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount and all of Jerusalem, historically and presently belong solely to the Jewish people.”

Cardoza-Moore also noted that, “UNESCO’s resolution sets a dangerous precedent. To deny Jewish history to the holiest place in Judaism, The Temple Mount, also denies Christianity’s historical and biblical connection to that holy site as well. This effort is likened to the Islamist group ISIS destroying an eighteen hundred year old church in Syria and other Christian holy sites in Iraq and Egypt. UNESCO’s stated mission is to ensure peace as well as protect the integrity of historical sites around the globe. In the case of Israel, it has shown a blatant double standard. The Bible, a book recognized by the Smithsonian Institute as one of the most accurate historical documents, mentions The Temple over 200 times, as it relates to Israel, the Jews and Christianity. Additionally, the Arch of Titus, that stands as a witness to the destruction and pillaging of The Temple by the Romans in 70 CE, is also completely disregarded as historical revisionists re-write documented history.”

Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), a non-profit organization, was established to educate Christians about their Biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and Israel, utilizing powerful film and video presentations, a variety of grassroots rallies, events and speaking engagements to facilitate dialogue between the Christian and Jewish communities in support of the State of Israel and against global genocidal anti-Semitism.

Original Article: The Jewish Voice

Trump team warns Obama against major moves against Israel at UN

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“Obama shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing policies that clearly don’t match Trump’s positions,” the president-elect’s national security adviser tells Politico • Senior Trump adviser: With Trump there won’t be any coercion against Israel.

Reports surfaced last week, before the Nov. 8 elections, that outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama could be preparing an unpleasant surprise for Israel, most likely in the form of calling on the United Nations Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state.

Now, with Donald Trump set to step into the White House, his aides say Obama should not even think about taking such steps, according to American political website Politico.

“On big, transformative issues where President Obama and President-elect Trump are not in alignment, I don’t think it’s in keeping with the spirit of the transition … to try to push through agenda items that are contrary to the president-elect’s positions,” a Trump national security adviser told Politico on Thursday. “It’s not going to be just counterproductive, but it will also send mixed messages.”

He added: “The machinery of government is going to have to keep grinding as best it can. But Obama and his aides shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing through policies that clearly don’t match Trump’s positions.”

Israel vehemently opposes any move by Obama to secure a U.N. Security Council resolution, which it views as hostile to Israeli interests, especially if he was to ask other world powers to embrace U.S.-drafted parameters for a two-state solution.

One Israeli official, who asked not be identified, told Politico that any such move would represent a “dagger in the heart” of the peace process — perhaps forever.

Senior Trump adviser Jason Greenblatt, seeking to allay Israeli concerns, said: “With Trump, there won’t be any coercion for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He thinks Israel is in a tough position, needs to defend itself and won’t force a solution on Israel. Peace has to come from both sides. If Trump will have an idea that can contribute to the sides he will contribute it, but he doesn’t intend to force a solution.”

Greenblatt, who is also the executive vice president and chief legal officer at the Trump Organization, made the comments during an interview with Army Radio on Thursday.

He said Trump “does not define the settlements as an obstacle to peace, and as evidence of this he will present the situation in Gaza, where the Jewish communities were evacuated and yet peace still wasn’t forthcoming. He does not see the settlements as an obstacle to peace.”

Regarding Trump’s comments that he would transfer the U.S. Embassy, currently located in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem, Greenblatt said that “when Trump gives his word he stands by it. For Israel, he recognizes the right of Jewish nation to preside in its eternal capital of Jerusalem and is revolted by UNESCO’s decision on the matter.”

Asked whether Trump intends an Israel-related role for him, such as Middle East emissary, Greenblatt answered in Hebrew that such an appointment would be a “bracha” [“blessing”] and added, “It’s too early to tell, but I very much hope so. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve in that capacity.”

During the election campaign, Greenblatt and David Friedman, Trump’s adviser on Israel, formulated an official document stipulating that on the matter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. is interested in coming to an agreement, but that “a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

“Additionally, the Palestinians are divided between PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza, so there is not a united Palestinian people who could control a second state. Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization that actively seeks Israel’s destruction. We will seek to assist the Israelis and the Palestinians in reaching a comprehensive and lasting peace, to be freely and fairly negotiated between those living in the region.”

The document also states that “the Palestinian leadership, including the PA, has undermined any chance for peace with Israel by raising generations of Palestinian children on an educational program of hatred of Israel and Jews. The larger Palestinian society is regularly taught such hatred on Palestinian television, in the Palestinian press, in entertainment media, and in political and religious communications. The two major Palestinian political parties — Hamas and Fatah — regularly promote anti-Semitism and jihad.

“The U.S. cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant. The U.S. should not support the creation of a state that forbids the presence of Christian or Jewish citizens, or that discriminates against people on the basis of religion.”

Regarding Israel’s future borders, the document specifies that “Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.”

On the issue of the Jewish and Israeli connection to Jerusalem, the document states that “the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and [the Trump administration] will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.”

Meanwhile, on the matter of the Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the U.S. on defense aid for Israel, the document describes it is “a good first step, but there is much more to be done. A Trump administration will ensure that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States, and the MOU will not limit the support that we give. Further, Congress will not be limited to give support greater than that provided by the MOU if it chooses to do so.”

The U.S., according to the document, “should veto any United Nations votes that unfairly single out Israel and will work in international institutions and forums, including in our relations with the European Union, to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel, impose discriminatory double standards against Israel, or to impose special labeling requirements on Israeli products or boycotts on Israeli goods.

“The U.S. should cut off funds for the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish state.”

Regarding the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanction movement, the document declares that the U.S. should view such efforts “as inherently anti-Semitic and take strong measures, both diplomatic and legislative, to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israeli areas, in a discriminatory manner.”

On relations with Iran, the document states: “Despite the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, the U.S. State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming, and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. must counteract Iran’s ongoing violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and their noncompliance with past and present sanctions, as well as the agreements they signed, and implement tough, new sanctions when needed to protect the world and Iran’s neighbors from its continuing nuclear and non-nuclear threats.”

The document describes the relationship between Israel and the U.S. as an “unbreakable bond” that is “based upon shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, respect for minorities, cherishing life, and the opportunity for all citizens to pursue their dreams.”

It continues: “Israel is the state of the Jewish people, who have lived in that land for 3,500 years. The State of Israel was founded with courage and determination by great men and women against enormous odds and is an inspiration to people everywhere who value freedom and human dignity.

“Israel is a staunch ally of the U.S. and a key partner in the global war against Islamic jihadism. Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow.”

Original Article: Israel Hayom

BDS and Radioactivity: Alumni Confront Anti-Israel Rhetoric on Campus

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You may remember the story of Alexander Litvinenko, the ex-KGB officer who fled Russia for asylum in Great Britain. In 2006, while living in England, Litvinenko was hospitalized with acute radiation syndrome and died shortly afterwards, murdered from polonium-210 poisoning.

Litvinenko was silenced for his political views.

Most American college campuses are not places of politically based violence, at least not yet. Nevertheless, students are being effectively silenced by poisoned language.

Anti-Israel activists employ a simple diversionary tactic: they often use inflammatory adjectives and terms to make the reputations of Israel and its supporters radioactive. It is a way to silence critics and avoid civil academic debate.

After all, if the opposition is too terrible to talk to, there’s no need for conversation. The proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement call this approach “anti-normalization,” a tactic that is both self-serving and undermines the essence of the academy.

Along with Susan Julien Levitt and Laurie Josephs, I recently helped found a group called Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), which works to promote an intellectually vibrant college experience while identifying and countering the antisemitism that has infected many campuses, often in the form of anti-Zionism. While Israel’s right to exist is a given, in our view, we strongly support open and civil exchanges on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other issues related to the Middle East. It’s important for the university to give ear to Palestinians and their concerns, of course—but for the university to do its job, we need a free marketplace of ideas, as well.

Sadly, the fine values of the academy may no longer be taken for granted.

In some academic spaces, we are seeing a shutdown of open debate and civility, in the name of social justice. It’s an intellectually dishonest strategy advanced with little subtlety by the BDS movement, as promoted by its campus wing, Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP).

The approach of shutting down your opposition by making it effectively radioactive is a propaganda device that requires psychological sleight of hand. Whether Jews have been criticized for being capitalists in control of the press, or communists and radicals, or of being godless — or too religious — we are tragically accustomed to antisemitic slander in all its permutations.

As Ecclesiastes put it over 2000 years ago: “There is nothing new under the sun.”

In future blogs, I will discuss how each of these false labels (as well as the ones anti-Zionists use) takes a piece of truth and distorts it in order to alienate otherwise fair-minded people. After all, as anti-Zionists well understand, no one wants to be labeled a racist, a supporter of apartheid, an occupier, an elitist, a cynical manipulator of the LGBTQ community or a supporter of ethnic cleansing.

Name–calling carries power. Let’s consider a few examples.

Without question, there are many folks who either feel disenfranchised or have actually been disenfranchised. I can understand the urgency behind the Black Lives Matter movement, contemporary feminism and the need for the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage. History requires oppressed voices to be heard.

Yet, if a person has made it in society, or was born into privilege, that fact alone does not invalidate his opinions and arguments. To make someone’s opinions illegitimate simply because others have been oppressed may feel good, but it is a silencing technique that ultimately perpetuates the wrong.

Still, on many campuses today, you are radioactive simply because you were born into a particular family.

“Israel Apartheid Wall” got my attention a few years ago, when SJP promoted it at Vassar College and elsewhere. It is deeply insincere, and in fact dishonest, to reduce the complex dynamics behind the construction of Israel’s security fence in the face of suicide bombers and the second Intifada to just those three words.

We are not talking about the street, remember, we are discussing the academy. Anti-Israel faculty often falsely portray Israel as an apartheid state whose Jewish population discriminates against Arabs and persons of color. Thus, by extension, those who support Israel are labeled racist, as well. Give me a Jewish college student who doesn’t cringe at the possibility of being leveled with such an accusation. I don’t blame such students for not wanting to have anything to do with this rigged discussion, and instead stick to their studies.

SJP and BDS have figured it out. Their relentless and cynical verbal offensives successfully marginalize many prospective Jewish defenders of Israel.

You may be aware that Israel has a vibrant LGBTQ community, and that it is a truly liberal nation on gay rights. Yet, in an effort to court favor with disenfranchised groups everywhere, BDS has cunningly turned this apparent positive into a negative.

It goes like this: Yes, Israel is good on LGBTQ rights, but don’t let that distract you from its cynical use of this fact to distract the world from its human-rights abuses against the Palestinians. Israel’s efforts to promote its liberal, gay-rights agenda is then dismissively labeled as “pinkwashing.”

A recent event at Vassar College vividly illustrates this tactic. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bret Stephens had been invited to speak by the administration on the topic of why he supports Israel. (The administration was moved to action by the efforts of Vassar’s ACF alumni group). That appearance provoked Joshua Schreier, a Vassar professor of Jewish Studies, to write an open letter in the student paper warning that Stephens’ support for Israel and its LGBTQ community should not deflect attention from the fact that, in his opinion, Israel is an “oppressive and racist regime.”

Perhaps we need to look at how BDS and its supporters cynically demonize Israel as a way to avoid being criticized for their own problematic claims? Whoever points a finger, points four back at himself.

According to the anti-Israel activists, Israel is an interloper on the international stage; simply an extension of European colonialism. This approach flies in the face of the ancient and enduring Jewish connection to and presence in the land of Israel, and the early Zionist’s correct sense of urgency to save European Jewry, in anticipation of the holocaust that was to come.

I see no love of truth here.

It is simple: the Jews belong in the land of Israel.

There is an understandable conflict between Zionists who expanded a Jewish population that was already there, and the largely agrarian society of Palestinians that lived in the same local. Two states have been offered on multiple occasions. Anti-Zionists prefer to have no Palestinian state at all rather than admit a Jewish state in the land of Israel. And so they attach the colonialist label on Israel in order to delegitimize it.

To present only one thread in the complex history of the Middle East, such as the suffering of those Palestinians who believe that they lost their homeland to Israel, and ignore the many facts that led up to the current moment (such as the persistent Arab rejection of a two-state solution that has resulted in decades of violence), surely does not bring academic honor to a campus. We can all do better.

BDS and SJP represent a small, but loud, voice on college campuses. Let’s work together to mobilize students, professors, college presidents and alumni to call for meaningful, open and fair conversation, devoid of name-calling.

Most of us want peace between these two peoples. If there is no place for invigorating dialogue, we have no chance.

Original Article: Algemeiner

Reaction to Trump victory pours in from Jewish and Christian groups

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Reaction is pouring in Wednesday from pro-Israel Jewish and Christian organizations on Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential election, with most groups praising the president-elect for his commitment to the Jewish state.

“We congratulate President-elect Trump on his election victory and welcome his clear commitment to be a president for all Americans and to “bind the wounds of division” after a long and bruising campaign,” said Stephen M. Greenberg, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman & CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“We look forward to working with President-elect Trump and his advisors in the transition before his inauguration and in the years to come during his presidency on the issues facing our country, as well as of specific concern to the American Jewish community including strengthening the special U.S.-Israel relationship, the rise of anti-Semitism and the security of the Jewish people at home and abroad,” added Greenberg and Hoenlein.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder, and Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper praised Trump’s stated policy on Jerusalem. “We are buoyed by Donald Trump’s unambiguous commitment to a strong and safe democratic Israel and his recognition of Jerusalem as its eternal and undivided capital,” they said.

“We look forward to working with President Trump on a wide range of other issues including Iran, international terrorism, human rights, online hate and the burgeoning scourge of anti-Semitism here at home and globally,” Hier and Cooper added.

Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, called Trump’s platform on Israel “the most pro-Israel platform any American political party has ever put forth.”

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, the head of the Christian Zionist group Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), described Trump’s win as a “victory of biblical proportions” while noting that his tenure could potentially mark the “most pro-Israel American administration in history,” largely due to the “unleashed power of 100 million evangelical Christian voters.”

“PJTN congratulates President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence on a historical victory of biblical proportions, said Cardoza-Moore. “We look forward to seeing the American Embassy moved to Jerusalem, the eternal, undivided capital of Israel and a return to full unwavering American support for Israel.”

Similarly, Gary Bauer—a former presidential candidate and Ronald Reagan administration official, and the current head of the conservative Christian organization Campaign for Working Families—said Trump’s win is “good news” for the pro-Israel community.

“Donald Trump’s victory is good news for all of us who believe in and are committed to a strong and unwavering alliance of the United States and Israel in an increasingly dangerous world,” Bauer told JNS.org.

Susan Michael, the U.S. director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, also said that she is hopeful that Trump will repair relations with Israel that were damaged by President Obama.

“The fact that President Elect Trump agreed to our Five Guiding Principles in a strong US-Israel relationship gives us great hope that his presidency will be one that corrects the mistakes of the Obama administration in this regard and will work in partnership with our strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel,” Michael told JNS.org.

Original Article: JNS.org

Trump-swastika graffiti found in Philadelphia

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Graffiti in South Philadelphia included the word ‘Trump’ and Nazi imagery.

Graffiti with Nazi imagery and the word “Trump” were discovered in Philadelphia on the same day that Donald Trump won the presidential election.

The graffiti was spotted Wednesday on a South Philadelphia storefront, Philly.com reported. Police are investigating.

One image included the worlds “Sieg Heil 2016,” a reference to the German Nazi greeting. Another showed the word “Trump” with the T replaced with a swastika.

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There were additional reports of similar images as well as other racist graffiti in South Philadelphia, according to Philly.com.

Mayor Jim Kenney condemned the graffiti. “The acts of political and racial vandalism that occurred this morning in South Philadelphia must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he said.

The Anti-Defamation League also denounced the “hate graffiti.”

“Swastikas and the Nazi salute send a message of intolerance and hate to the entire community,” Nancy Baron-Baer, the ADL’s regional director, said in a statement. “The fact that today is the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht adds another layer to this already sickening act.”

Wednesday was the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “Night of Broken Glass” pogrom in 1938 against Austrian and German Jews that many Holocaust historians view as the opening shot in the Nazi-led campaign of violence against the Jews.

One Philadelphia resident, who wished to remain anonymous, posted an article about the graffiti incident on his Facebook page alongside a note about the Kristallnacht anniversary, swiftly received an antisemitic response. He told The Jerusalem Post that he received a a private message on the social media network from an old college acquaintance, wishing for a second Holocaust and expressing hope that he dies, along with the rest of the Jews.

Antisemitic discourse, particularly on social media, became increasingly vitriolic over the course of the US presidential election campaign.

Trump, who has received wide support among white nationalists, released a campaign ad late last week promising to defeat an international global power structure featuring several prominent Jews in the financial world. Critics alleged the ad used anti-Semitic tropes, but the Trump campaign denied the charges.

Original Article: The Jerusalem Post

Trump and Netanyahu

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Deep into his fourth term, the PM will for the first time face a Republican president, someone he calls ‘friend’ though barely knows him. He might have preferred to work with Clinton.

On January 20, 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will finally have a Republican president sitting in the White House.

Netanyahu has often been called a Republican himself, and many observers of US-Israel relations believe he is eagerly awaiting Inauguration Day, when for the first time in his 10 years at the helm of the Jewish state there will not be a Democratic president of the US.

On the face of it, Donald Trump’s victory seems to be a dream come true for the Israeli prime minister. The president-elect has repeatedly vowed to unconditionally back the Jewish state in any possible way: he promised not to try to force a solution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; slammed the Iranian nuclear deal; pledged to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and removed the two-state solution from the Republican party platform.

Netanyahu also knows and appreciates the vice-president-elect, Mike Pence, who has a long record of support for Israel.

Some of the names rumored to be part of Trump’s future cabinet will be music to Netanyahu’s ears. Newt Gingrich and John Bolton, for instance, are thought to have a good chance of becoming the next secretary of state, and Rudy Giuliani expects to be appointed attorney-general. Many others in Trump’s inner circle have long records of outspoken and unconditional support for the Jewish state and Netanyahu’s policies.

On the other hand, Netanyahu knows that Trump is unpredictable and might change his Middle East policies on a whim. The prime minister surely hasn’t forgotten that Trump said he wants to remain “neutral” on the Israeli-Palestinian issue or that he contemplated asking Israel to repay the billions in military aid it received from the US.

In December, Netanyahu issued a statement rejecting Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims, stressing that “Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.”

On Wednesday, several hours after Trump’s upset victory, Netanyahu released a videotaped congratulatory message in which he called the president-elect his “friend.” In a statement issued after their phone call later in the day, the Prime Minister’s Office said the two men “have known each other for many years.”

There is no publicly available evidence for this claim. True, ahead of the 2013 Knesset elections, Trump taped a 35-second clip endorsing Netanyahu and calling him a “terrific guy.” The producer of that video, British-Israeli PR professional Jonny Daniels, said the two men spoke after the video was published, but that he was not sure they had ever met in person.

There is no publicly available evidence for this claim. True, ahead of the 2013 Knesset elections, Trump taped a 35-second clip endorsing Netanyahu and calling him a “terrific guy.” The producer of that video, British-Israeli PR professional Jonny Daniels, said the two men spoke after the video was published, but that he was not sure they had ever met in person.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office told The Times of Israel that Netanyahu and Trump had met before their September 2016 meeting, but could not provide more detail.

But even if the professed Netanyahu-Trump “friendship” amounts to more than a handful of phone calls and one meeting, it cannot come close to the 20-year, deep and resonant — though certainly complicated — relationship the prime minister has with Hillary Clinton.

Netanyahu first met the former first lady, senator and secretary of state in 1996, when her husband was president. Since then they have met on countless occasions, sometimes yelled at each other, but eventually found a modus vivendi and even developed an amicable relationship.

“Despite our policy differences, Netanyahu and I worked together as partners and friends,” she wrote in her 2014 memoir. “We argued frequently, often during phone calls that would go on for over an hour, sometimes two… I learned that Bibi would fight if he felt he was being cornered, but if you connected with him as a friend, there was a chance you could get something done together.”

To be sure, Netanyahu is deeply troubled by some of Clinton’s policy positions, such as her lukewarm support for the nuclear Iran deal and her belief in the urgent need for a Palestinian state.

And yet it stands to reason that Netanyahu thought he would have gotten along just fine with a Clinton administration. In an email leaked to Wikileaks, a “senior Israeli official who is very close to the Prime Minister, and knows his thinking” is quoted saying that Hillary is “more instinctively sympathetic to Israel” than President Barack Obama.

Netanyahu always had a “surprising good relationship” with Clinton, the Israeli official revealed, and considered her “easy to work with.”

Clinton herself signaled a strong desire to create a positive working relationship with Netanyahu had she been elected president. Inviting him to the White House to patch up US-Israel relations — which suffered greatly last year in the wake of the Iran deal — was “near the top” of her list of priorities, she had said.

Would Netanyahu have preferred Clinton over Trump? We might never know.

But already, Israeli politicians to Netanyahu’s right, such as Naftali Bennett, are seizing on the Republican platform’s omission of a two-state solution — essentially trying to push Netanyahu into formally abandoning the idea, and preparing to undermine him from the right if he doesn’t. He can expect more pressure from the right, too, to expand settlements — once Trump is in the White House and such building may not be criticized as it routinely was under Obama. Netanyahu is wary about Palestinian statehood, and is a supporter of the settlement enterprise, of course, but he benefited, in the complex dance of domestic politics and regional diplomacy, from being able to find a middle path between the pro-peace-talks, anti-settlement US administration and the opposite stance of the political hawks at home. A president Clinton would have enabled him to chart a similar course, albeit with slightly greater empathy from Washington. A president Trump will likely give Netanyahu a freer hand — which, however paradoxically, might make life more complicated for him.

On Wednesday, the president-elect and the prime minister spoke on the phone for about 15 minutes. They exchanged pleasantries and discussed “regional issues,” according to Netanyahu’s office. Trump also invited Netanyahu to the White House “at the first opportunity.” Netanyahu gladly accepted.

Pretty soon, then, we might find out more of what Trump plans for the Middle East — if anything. We’ll also see how well the two men get along. And Netanyahu will have a better idea of whether president Trump is as “easy to work with” as Hillary Clinton would have been.

Original Article: The Times Of Israel

Trump invites Netanyahu to meeting ‘at the first opportunity’

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump by phone on Wednesday and Trump invited him to a meeting “at the first opportunity”, Netanyahu’s office said.

The conversation was “hearty and warm” and regional issues were discussed, the office said, adding: “The Prime Minister congratulated Trump on his electoral win and told him that the United States has no better ally than Israel.”

Original Article: Reuters

Donald J. Trump’s Israel Advisory Committee Plan

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It has been an exhilarating election cycle. Approximately seven months ago, we were blessed to have been tapped by Donald J. Trump to be his top advisors with respect to the State of Israel. We have been fortunate to work with a talented team of people and have put together the below positions. Each of these positions have been discussed with Mr. Trump and the Trump campaign, and most have been stated, in one form or another, by Mr. Trump in various interviews or speeches given by him or on his social media accounts. For those of you who are true friends of the State of Israel, and for those of you who believe that the State of Israel and the United States of America have an unbreakable friendship, we urge you to read the below. We would like to express our gratitude to those individuals who have helped us over the past few months — we truly appreciate your efforts, friendship and guidance. We would also like to express our gratitude to our friend, a great friend of the State of Israel, Donald J. Trump, who gave us the tremendous opportunity to serve in this capacity. May God bless the United States of America and the State of Israel.

· The unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel is based upon shared values of democracy, freedom of speech, respect for minorities, cherishing life, and the opportunity for all citizens to pursue their dreams.

· Israel is the state of the Jewish people, who have lived in that land for 3,500 years. The State of Israel was founded with courage and determination by great men and women against enormous odds and is an inspiration to people everywhere who value freedom and human dignity.

· Israel is a staunch ally of the U.S. and a key partner in the global war against Islamic jihadism. Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow.

· The American people value our close friendship and alliance with Israel — culturally, religiously, and politically. While other nations have required U.S. troops to defend them, Israelis have always defended their own country by themselves and only ask for military equipment assistance and diplomatic support to do so. The U.S. does not need to nation-build in Israel or send troops to defend Israel.

· The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the American and Israeli Governments is a good first step, but there is much more to be done. A Trump Administration will ensure that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States, and the MOU will not limit the support that we give. Further, Congress will not be limited to give support greater than that provided by the MOU if it chooses to do so. Israel and the United States benefit tremendously from what each country brings to the table — the relationship is a two way street.

· The U.S. should veto any United Nations votes that unfairly single out Israel and will work in international institutions and forums, including in our relations with the European Union, to oppose efforts to delegitimize Israel, impose discriminatory double standards against Israel, or to impose special labeling requirements on Israeli products or boycotts on Israeli goods.

· The U.S. should cut off funds for the UN Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish State. UNESCO’s attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel’s 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the United Nations.

· The U.S. should view the effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel as inherently anti-Semitic and take strong measures, both diplomatic and legislative, to thwart actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israeli areas, in a discriminatory manner. The BDS movement is just another attempt by the Palestinians to avoid having to commit to a peaceful co-existence with Israel. The false notion that Israel is an occupier should be rejected.

· The Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.

· A two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians appears impossible as long as the Palestinians are unwilling to renounce violence against Israel or recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Additionally, the Palestinians are divided between PA rule in the West Bank and Hamas rule in Gaza so there is not a united Palestinian people who could control a second state. Hamas is a US-designated terrorist organization that actively seeks Israel’s destruction. We will seek to assist the Israelis and the Palestinians in reaching a comprehensive and lasting peace, to be freely and fairly negotiated between those living in the region.

· The Palestinian leadership, including the PA, has undermined any chance for peace with Israel by raising generations of Palestinian children on an educational program of hatred of Israel and Jews. The larger Palestinian society is regularly taught such hatred on Palestinian television, in the Palestinian press, in entertainment media, and in political and religious communications. The two major Palestinian political parties — Hamas and Fatah — regularly promote anti-Semitism and jihad.

· The U.S. cannot support the creation of a new state where terrorism is financially incentivized, terrorists are celebrated by political parties and government institutions, and the corrupt diversion of foreign aid is rampant. The U.S. should not support the creation of a state that forbids the presence of Christian or Jewish citizens, or that discriminates against people on the basis of religion.

· The U.S. should support direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians without preconditions, and will oppose all Palestinian, European and other efforts to bypass direct negotiations between parties in favor of an imposed settlement. Any solutions imposed on Israel by outside parties including by the United Nations Security Council, should be opposed. We support Israel’s right and obligation to defend itself against terror attacks upon its people and against alternative forms of warfare being waged upon it legally, economically, culturally, and otherwise.

· Israel’s maintenance of defensible borders that preserve peace and promote stability in the region is a necessity. Pressure should not be put on Israel to withdraw to borders that make attacks and conflict more likely.

· The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and Mr. Trump’s Administration will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

· Despite the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015, the U.S. State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism — putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming, and training terrorist groups operating around the world including Hamas, Hezbollah, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. must counteract Iran’s ongoing violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and their noncompliance with past and present sanctions, as well as the agreements they signed, and implement tough, new sanctions when needed to protect the world and Iran’s neighbors from its continuing nuclear and non-nuclear threats.

Original Article: Medium