Israellycool Down Under Punditry in the Middle East Wed, 09 Sep 2015 04:48:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State Tue, 08 Sep 2015 21:02:31 +0000 I’ve always been a solution-oriented person. Ever since abandoning radical leftism due to being turned off by their idealist utopia model for solutions in favour of the “what is the least lousy option that can work” model, I have been pondering various proposed solutions for the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Let’s just say there is a reason why even the brightest minds in the world haven’t found a viable solution yet. It’s complex. There are so many factors at play that many people don’t even realize – geographic, cultural, economic, political, diplomatic, religious, and probably many others.

To complicate matters, in many countries, the conflict has become a bipartisan issue. In the US, for example, red states prefer the one state solution and blue states prefer the two state solution. It wasn’t always this way, but in recent years certain political movements within both parties (Republican and Democrat) pushed it in that direction.

Let me break it down for you.

Geographic Factors

There is ample archaeological and written evidence, from Roman historians to the Quran, that express without a shadow of a doubt that Israel is the land of the Jewish people.


The land promised by God to Abraham/Ibrahim in the Torah / Old Testament / Quran. Contains not only Modern Israel but also Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, part of Egypt, and Iraq.

As you can see from the above biblical map, we are already compromising so much. We just want a state of our own. Is that so much to ask? Even if it’s not even 1/20 of the land God had allegedly given to us.

But let’s leave God out of it. I’m agnostic and modern Zionism is an inherently secular movement, so I couldn’t care less what God had promised us or not.

Archaeological findings prove that there has been a continuous presence in Jerusalem since biblical times. The rest of Israel has been inhabited by Jews for most of recent history despite numerous conquests. Don’t believe me? Go on an archaeological dig anywhere in Israel. Read any historical document that refers to the region that doesn’t have the goal of taking over the region with replacement theology. Take a look at this article. Yes, it’s Wikipedia, but it’s well-sourced and easy to read, with most of the pertinent information in one place. It is well-documented that the Arabs, who are the cultural and genetic forefathers of the modern day Arab Palestinians, conquered the land around 700AD. By then it called Philistia or Syria Palestina, a name given to it by the Romans. The Arabs were referred to as “Plishtim” by the locals, which in Hebrew means “Invader.” The modern term “Palestinian” actually means invader, which totally destroys any “Palestinians are also indigenous” argument. (Granted, they do have the rights to longstanding presence, but indigenous status takes precedent).

Cultural Factors

There are some big cultural differences we need to take into account when looking at the conflict.

First of all, Israelis. Israelis are a melting pot of different groups of Jews whose ancestors had been forced to flee the region due to colonialism, forced expulsion, and of course ethnic cleansing. They migrated all over the world, and over the years made aliyah, returning to their ancestral homeland. They are a blend of different cultures, from the more Arabized, traditional, conservative Mizrachim and Sepharadim to the more liberal, progressive, Europeanized West European Ashkenazis, to the Eastern European Ashkenazis who mainly fled communism and are just rebuilding their lives and integrating into Israeli society. Then you have the Bnei Menashe and other groups of Jews from countries such as Ethiopia and India, who are finally reconnecting to their roots after thousands of years, bringing with them their own set of customs and interpretation of Judaism. Needless to say, it’s not a monolithic group of white settler colonialists by any stretch, and they don’t always agree on everything (understatement of the year!) so it’s a pretty eclectic vibe.

There are many cultural aspects that bind Israeli Jews together, however. Israelis have a very optimistic attitude that if you can dream it, you can do it. The air is thick with innovation, the free exchange of ideas, open self-criticism of everything (solicited or otherwise), and general openness because Israel is a society that is generally tolerant of differences.

Israel is a blend of individualist cultures, from the European and American immigrants to Israel, and collectivist cultures, from the Mizrachim, Sepharadim, and others. However if you compare it to the surrounding Arab culture, it is extremely individualist. Everyone’s triumphs and successes are their own, and people are encouraged to work hard in school and achieve their own inventions and successes. They are praised for their individuality and creativity and originality is encouraged.

Conversely, Arab culture is uniformly collectivist. The nail that sticks out is hammered down, and the good of the whole supersedes the good of the individual. Anyone who deviates from the groupthink is shunned and heavily ostracized. Since family and group ties are closer and seen as most important, the last thing someone would do is go risk losing them. Therefore, they know that they must do what everyone else is doing and say what everyne else is saying to stay afloat and keep their place in society. If someone goes against the group think, they and their families are shunned and made to feel ashamed. Therefore there is a huge incentive upon families and tribes to keep their members in line to preserve their honour. Honour is heavily valued, so loss of honour brings shame and ostracism on a person’s entire family, as the person is not an individual but a part of the family unit. Therefore the family is blamed because they should have done a better job to keep the person in line, and because the person represents not themselves but their family, tribe, and nation in everything they do. This aspect of collectivism is called honour-shame culture.

An extension of both collectivism and honour-shame culture is called tribalism. Many related families form clans, and clans form tribes (or can be tribes). Tribalism is characterized by strong tribal affiliation, to the point where the tribe is expected to act as a unit, and going against the tribe is seen as the ultimate evil. In tribalism, the tribe is always right, and in any conflict between tribes, the other tribe is always vilified as wrong no matter what the truth may be. People are generally kept in line through religion, poor education, and threats of ostracism.

To Arabs, the Jews are a tribe, and being ruled by another tribe is considered shameful and humiliating, especially if the land was previously at any point ruled by Arabs. Israel’s relative success compared to surrounding Arab countries is additionally humiliating to its tribalist neighbors. This is why most Palestinians don’t want a Jewish state regardless of the fact that their quality of life would vastly improve under Jewish control – the humiliation of being ruled by another tribe overrides that. That’s why most Arabs fight for the entirety of the territory to become a Muslim Arab theocracy, in addition to the fact that it is the party line that they must adhere to. Their people are good, the outsiders are evil, their people are righteous, the others are sinners, their people are virtuous and humble, the others are decadent and lascivious. This “othering” of outsiders serves to reinforce their social ties.

You can probably see how Israel’s robust culture of self-criticism is seen as a sign of weakness to be exploited. Tribalists, who are not allowed to acknowledge when their in-group is wrong, would never shame their own people. That is a cardinal sin. So you end up with Jews constantly criticising themselves and Arabs refusing to do so – resulting in a disproportionate amount of negative content about Israel.

Economic Factors

In the 19th century, when Jews started fleeing antisemitism and returning to their ancestral homeland, they brought their agricultural advancements with them. The Ottoman Turks who ruled the region, upset that the Muslim hegemony is being threatened, encouraged Arabs to migrate to the region. There is a reason why so many Palestinian surnames refer to place of origin, for example: Al-Masri (Egyptian), Al-Baghdadi (Iraqi), Al-Moghrabi (Morocco), Al-Dzair (the Algerian), Al-Yamani (Yemen). Many Arabs were eager to piggyback off the economic opportunities brought by Jewish innovation in the region. So yes, absolutely, some Arab families have planted their roots in Israel as early as 1400 years ago. Yes, they form the minority, but not a negligible minority.

So yes, both Jews and Arabs have both planted their roots in Israeli soil, by virtue of indigenous status and longstanding presence, respectively. So this is actually pretty complicated as there are a lot of ethical issues involved with the prospect of removing a group of people from their land. (Some people would call it ethnic cleansing).

Modern day Israel is an economic oasis on comparison to the surrounding Arab countries. Many Israeli Arabs are happy to be living in Israel as a result, since they get to reap the benefits of this prosperity. As previously stated, however, many other Arabs care more about preserving their honour than about economics. So you really can’t make blanket statements about Arabs. Some want to be there, some don’t. We have to make room for the nuance involved.

Political Factors

Fatah and Hamas rule the West Bank and Gaza, respectively. Hamas has a devoted following because they’ve actually done quite a bit to improve infrastructure and social services in Gaza, despite the fact that they spend a ridiculous amount of money, that they should be spending on building the economy and tourism sectors, on terror to destroy Israel. Fatah is less of a terrorist outfit. Although they do support terror – Abbas’ government does compensate terrorists and their families for hurting Israelis – they are much more innocuous, although some say they are just wolves in sheep’s clothing. Fatah’s big problem is that they are a kleptocracy of epic proportions. Fatah’s leaders live extravagant lives, leaving their citizens in relative poverty on purpose in order to show them off as victims to gain more sympathy and aid money, which only fattens the coffers of the party elite and serves to make Israel look bad. Both parties have an incentive to wipe out Israel, as they would gain even more power if they took over the entire region. Needless to say, their territorial political ambitions mixed with a cultural of tribalism means they aren’t backing down anytime soon. We must find a solution to give them what they want (keep them in power) and keep their honour at least somewhat intact.

Diplomatic Factors

The Palestinians are being encouraged on many fronts to continue the “resistance” or fight against Israel. First of all the UN is highly anti-Western and anti-Israel, with the communist and third world blocks colluding to spite the Western nations that colonized them (as these Western nations support Israel and the Palestinians have done a good job at convincing the world that Israel is a Western imperialist proxy). These groups support the Palestinians unconditionally as they see their “struggle” as another brown struggle against evil white people, which they can relate to.

Additionally, the Palestinians have the support of the Arab world that sees Palestine as a branch of the same big ethnic tree. Israel’s existence and success is humiliating to them, so to defend their way of life they feel they must undermine Israel at all costs. Moreover, Israel provides corrupt Arab and Muslim leaders with a convenient scapegoat to blame the problems associated with their own corruption on. These leaders have a huge incentive to continue demonizing Israel and spreading antisemitism, as it is a useful tool to keep them in power and make them look good by making an “outsider” group look bad.

Religious Factors

The Jewish religion, in concert with Jewish culture, places a lot of emphasis on knowledge, exploration, and questioning. They see the best way to get back to God and reinforce one’s faith in God is to question Him. Consequently, Jewish culture is all about questioning what you know, expanding the knowledge base, creativity, and exploration.

Islam, on the other hand, means total submission to God. The Quran is the rulebook, and the ultimate authority. In Muslim circles, in keeping with the collectivist culture of submission and deference to the group, any kind of debate and questioning upsets social harmony (the holy grail of collectivism) and is strongly discouraged.

At the very core of Islam is replacement theology. In order to assert the legitimacy of his new religion, the Prophet Mohammed had to do his best to discredit the religions that came before him – namely Christianity and Judaism, which were very popular at the time. He did this by effectively “replacing” the relevance of Judaism and Christianity – in other words, undermining or appropriating the fundamental tenets and principles of both religious predecessors. This replacement theology also extends to land. Jews are the chosen people? Not anymore! Muslims are now according to the Quran. So their national desires and territorial aspirations now magically supersede those of the Jews and Christians. Hence the justification of conquest and colonialism.

Indeed, it is a Muslim belief that a territory that is muslim at any point in time cannot be made non-Muslim. Islamicization cannot be undone. Going against this would be going against the Quran. But, interestingly enough, denying that Israel belongs to the Jews is also going against the Quran, as it says that the territory belongs to “Bani Israil” (بني إسرائيل), which some interpret as the Jews and others as the “children of Ishmael,” or Muslims. So it’s a complicated grey area with two contradicting factors.

However, Israel is the name God gave to Jacob after he fought with God. Jacob is the grandson of Abraham/Ibrahim through Isaac, not through Ishmael. Therefore it is factually incorrect to argue that Bani Israil means Children of Ishmael, because Jacob/Israel is not a descendant of Ishmael.

The Factor of Identity

The term “Israeli” comes from the third patriarch, Jacob, who became Israel after fighting with God in the book of בראשית/Genesis. This patriarch went on to have 12 sons, who fathered the 12 tribes of Israel. Israeli, meaning “of Israel” signifies that we are descended from Jacob through his 12 sons who formed the 12 Jewish tribes.
The term “Palestinian” comes from the name the Romans gave them after the conquering to upset the Jews: Philistines, which resembles the Hebrew word “Plishtim” or “invader”. So just their name alone alludes to their colonial origins. Before the creation of the State of Israel, the territory was called “Palestine,” and both Jews and non-Jews who lived there referred to themselves as Palestinians (although it was generally a term to describe Jews, as the Arabs saw themselves as part of the pan-Arabist vision and referred to themselves as Arabs).


A picture of the currency before the founding of the Modern State of Israel, when it was part of Mandate Palestine. Notice the Hebrew writing, as well as the “אי” meaning Eretz Israel. If that doesn’t signify the Jewish character of the place, I don’t know what does!

When Israel was founded the Jews and Arabs who stayed within its borders became known as Israelis. The Palestinian identity to describe Arabs only became mainstream around the early 1960’s, and was manufactured in order to undermine Israel and create a semblance of indigenousness, in order to further their Pan-Arabist (a form of colonialist Arab nationalism) aims.

That being said, nowadays Palestinians identify strongly with the label “Palestinian,” and saying things like “Palestinians don’t exist” is counterproductive and distracts from legitimate dialogue. Right now they call themselves Palestinians, and they have for the last three generations. Yes, it is true, there has never been a State of Palestine on that land that wasn’t part of a larger invading colonial empire. Yes, the only State that ever existed on that land that wasn’t part of a colonial empire was Judea, home of the Jews. Yes, the Palestinians are indeed ethnically identical to the surrounding Arabs, but they have developed a marginally distinct culture and identity that we simply cannot ignore. So throwing them out of this whole spiel and telling them to “go back to where you came from” not only sounds extremely racist and reeks of ethnic cleansing, but also is silly since they do have longstanding presence, and many Palestinians really do feel that the territory of Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza is where they came from! It is their home, whether we like it or not.

What the Israelis have:

Relatively scarce in natural resources compared to the rest of the Arab world, Israel compensates in human capital. It’s an innovation powerhouse, the second most educated country in the world, and has given the world a lot of technology that is used to make the most of scarce resources.

What the Arabs have:

The Arabs have land. Lots and lots of land. Israel occupies 0.16% of the landmass of the Arab World. That’s a massive difference! Furthermore, much of the Arab World consists of sparsely populated desert that can be cultivated with proper Israeli technology. You know, provided these countries decide to recognize israel in the first place…

What the Israelis want:

Self-determination and governance on our ancestral homeland, a safe haven where to we can flee persecution, and the respect and governance of our sacred places. Israel has been willing to compromise, making eight two-state solution proposals that were all flatly rejected. All of them involved dismantling the settlements and some involved giving away Jerusalem entirely. Still, they didn’t budge, meaning that neither the settlements nor Jerusalem matters to the at all. They want to remove us as we get in the way of their Pan-Arabist plan.

What the Palestinians want:

Most believe that the existence of Israel is antithetical to their diplomatic, religious, and political beliefs and want to do whatever it take to get rid of it. As many as 40% of Gazans think suicide bombing can be justified to achieve political aims. A minority (mostly in the West Bank) would support a two-state solution, but the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) have rejected every single two state offer Israel has provided. They even refused to accept the Partition Plan of 1949, which would have given them all of Jerusalem! Due to their refusal, the UN decided to scrap it and gave the land to Israel.

The Arab Peace Initiative

This is an attempted trump card that many anti-Israel activists give whenever they are reminded about the Palestinians’ rigidity in refusing to accept the existence of Israel.

First proposed in 2002, the API offered Israel full recognition of statehood in exchange for a few things. It sounds great and all, but it’s actually pretty sneaky, as if these conditions were met, Israel would cease to exist as a Jewish state.

The conditions:

  1. Dismantling of the settlements and the creation of a Palestinian state. Interesting, because Israel has actually agreed to this many times in exchange for Mutual Recognition. Mutual recognition they were never actually granted.
  2. Full right of return. So basically anyone who identifies as Palestinian anywhere in the world can just move to Israel. Since there are over 10 million Palestinians and just 6 million Israeli Jews, this would create a huge demographic problem and effectively stamp out the Jewish state by democracy, making it yet another Arab state. So this condition is in fact a sneaky way of realising their Pan-Arabist, Pan-Islamist colonialist ambitions.

So essentially this is a Trojan Horse that will necessarily end the existence of Israel as we know it.

So it’s really not a peace initiative at all. Or maybe it is to them, as to them peace means wiping out all that are different from them and living in a homogeneous group where everybody follows the Arab groupthink.

One State Solution

Rationale: Many people, more often than not those who lean right, propose a one state solution. This means that Israel annexes the West Bank and Gaza, making it part of Israel. Many supporters of this solution recognize that Palestinians are actually just Arabs, and hope that offering them Israeli citizenship and educating them the Israeli way will help undo the decades of anti-Israel and antisemitic indoctrination that Palestinian leaders implemented into schools. An extreme fringe minority interpret this solution in the Kahanist way, that Arabs don’t belong in Israel and that we should essentially kick them out and make them perpetual refugees. Most supporters of the One State Solution don’t believe this though – rather, they believe in integrating the Arab population into Israel and encouraging them to be vibrant and productive citizens of the Jewish State.

Problems: If the West Bank and Gaza are annexed, Israel will experience a severe demographic crisis similar to that of the Arab Peace Initiative. There would be about 2/3-5/6 the number of Arabs in Israel as Jews, and the birthrate in the Palestinian territories, while decreasing, is still quite a bit higher than Israel’s. Many supporters of the One State Solution argue that if educated in Israel and integrated into their culture, their birthrates will decrease to match Israel’s, but detractors claim it’s unwise to count on that, as once we adopt this solution. there’s no going back.

Two State Solution

Rationale: Proponents of this solution believe that if we give the Palestinians, who have developed a distinct culture of their own in the last 67 years, their own state, the world would have no reason to be upset at Israel anymore. It also strikes supporters as fair – a state for me and a state for you. Two states for two peoples, living side by side. Most proposals, including those offered by Israel, involve a Palestinian state in the West Bank (Areas A, B, and C) and Gaza. Finally, according to supporters, the stateless and oppressed Palestinian people can finally have a land to call their own.

Problems: First and foremost, detractors argue that the majority of Palestinians don’t want a state, they just want to destroy Israel because to them it simply doesn’t belong and throws a wrench in their Pan-Arabist ambitions. The Palestinian government believes in all or nothing and has refused every two state offer.  Not only that, but there is no guarantee that a newly autonomous Palestinian state, without Israeli surveillance and security detail, won’t focus all their energies on destroying Israel, enlisting the help of neighboring Arab countries who share the same Pan-Arabist goals. A second and smaller concern is that one or two Palestinian states would push the balance even further against us at the UN. Moreover, many see the fact that Israel is supposed to allow Arabs but the future state of Palestine won’t be allowed to have any Jews – therefore almost half a million people would have to be uprooted and displaced in order for a Palestinian state to exist – is a double standard that should not be honoured under any circumstances. Finally, some of the holiest sites in Judaism are located Palestinian Authority-controlled territories and are being desecrated as we speak. Jews who want to be able to see their historical and holy sites will be prevented from doing so due to anti-Jewish apartheid laws (oh, the irony!) and the mere danger of visiting a country where a lot of people hate your people and want to see you dead.

The majority of Jews believe in a conditional two state solution: provided mutual recognition occurs. This means provided the Palestinian Authority agrees that it will accept Israel’s existence, maintain normal relations, and agree not to fight it. Unfortunately this is nowhere near reality, and actually misinterprets and distorts what the Palestinians themselves claim they actually want, which is not their own state, but all or nothing!

As we can see, neither of these solutions are valid now. All have serious problems associated with them.

I have proposed a third hybrid option. I call it Plan Lex. It isn’t a traditional Two State Solution, but it takes into account the need for a Palestinian State and the desire for self-determination – meaning, to be governed by their own people.

Plan Lex


My crazy little plan that just might work.

  1. The Two State Component
    1. Offer Gaza up to Egypt, and agree with Egypt to render the Sinai Peninsula, which was for a time part of Israel and remains to this day a sparsely-populated desert, part of the Palestinian State or Province/Region along with Gaza.
    2. In exchange, Israel can provide Egypt with water-saving technology and infrastructure, education, environmental refurbishing, improved agricultural techniques, proper sanitation and modern sewage disposal techniques, etc. for as long as the treaty is in place. It seems expensive, but it’s a worthy expense when you consider that this could potentially solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    3. Allow Egypt to administer this territory if it wishes, or hand it over to a semi-autonomous or autonomous Palestinian ruler. Egypt basically gets to do whatever it wants with it as long as anyone who identifies as Palestinian can gain citizenship and live in that region, whether it’s Egyptian citizenship or Palestinian citizenship. This is where the Right of Return comes in, potentially solving this multi-generational “refugee crisis.”
  2. The One-State Component
    1. Annex the West Bank in its entirety, Areas A, B, and C. This will allow Jews access to their historical and holy sites that are presently over the green line. All Palestinian inhabitants of this territory will be offered an option: Either they can take Israeli citizenship, or they can migrate to the new Palestinian Country or Territory in Gaza/Sinai and gain citizenship there.
    2. Ensure the proper integration of this large Palestinian Arab population. Re-educate them to help undo the indoctrination of hate done by the PA.
    3. Yes, there will be a demographic change, but it will be harmless in comparison to the total One State Solution, as the Arab Population will become a manageable 30% rather than a Jewish-State-threatening 45% of the total.


Israel has dealt with all these territories before. It held Sinai after it captured it in the aftermath of the defensive 1967 war until the 1979 Peace Treaty with Egypt. It controlled the West Bank from 1967 until the Oslo Accords of 1994 when it ceded Areas A and B to the Palestinian Authority in exchanged for a peace that didn’t happen. It controlled Gaza from 1967 until 2005 when it unilaterally dismantled every Jewish settlement, and gave it complete autonomy, which it thanked us for with a barrage of terrorist attacks and a terrorist Hamas government.

What it boils down to is that the Arab World has more land than it knows what to do with, and Israel has some incredible technology that is ages ahead of the standard in the Arab World. If we can arrange a truce that involves the exchange of these resources for peace and common good, we can potentially solve one of the highest profile conflicts of the 20th century.

I know my solution is not perfect. The biggest wrench in it is that the Palestinians have made it clear that they don’t want anything other than Israel destroyed. However, I do think my solution is a lot better than any of the others I’ve heard of, and is a really nice hybrid of the traditional One State and Two State solutions, both of which are very flawed – the first is creating potential demographic suicide and the second is giving up a lot of important ancestral homeland to a people that don’t even really want it. With my solution, we can appease the world’s desire for a Palestinian State in the Sinai which doesn’t contain any important Jewish sacred sites and mitigates the demographic issues associated with annexation of both Palestinian territories.

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Silverstein, Why Are You Such A Richard? Tue, 08 Sep 2015 20:16:14 +0000

Indigenous Canadian goes off hasbara reservation calling Palns. "tragedy tourists" telling them: "cut that shit out."

— Tikun Olam (@richards1052) September 8, 2015

I find an odd mix of reactions when I write anything about indigenous rights but especially if I have the temerity to speak about the indigenous rights of other non North American peoples. It smacks of colonised attitudes

“What would some dumb Indian from the bush know about the Middle East?”

“Why is that Indian lecturing me about somewhere far away?, Indians don’t know about the world. They just sit around the fire chanting in their loincloths.”

Umm, some Indians read books and have the internet, and some Indians have actually traveled outside the rez in 2015. We are not all ignorant darkies who need white people to tell us what to do.

I think the reaction I find most odd is the whole “Well Ryan must be a traitor to his people because he stands up for another group of people.” This would amuse my family to no end, as I used to take flack for being an extremist in Metis circles for believing that we should not abjugate ANY of our inherent rights.

I stand up to people who perpetuate colonialist nonsense, because I honestly believe that too much of the world has thoroughly colonised notions about everything. Colonised thought permeates our very existence. For instance,

“Everything White is better than anything Brown”

“The world is always white vs dark”

“We should try hard to be more White because being White is the pinnacle.”

Even the attitude that Israel is European, is quite colonized.. nobody who has ever driven in Israel or who has dealt with Israeli “customer service” would ever say that Israel is European! Hell, try standing in line for an hour waiting to get a slushee before learning that in Israel, lines are a suggestion not a rule.

I fight these notions because they are harmful even when you don’t know it.

Ask yourself, why else would it even be acceptable to tell me, a Metis man, that I am simply a “half breed” as though that mitigates anything else I might say? As if being “half” marginalizes the experiences of my family who suffered greatly for standing up to the Government when it denied our basic human rights. I am an Indian – there is no “half” anyone who carries Indian blood and who is even remotely visible who can understand when I say “an Indian, is an Indian, is an Indian.”

This Indian has in fact read a lot of books. He tends to swear a bit but he is comfortable debating almost any subject against anyone because he is comfortable in his knowledge levels and world experience. What this Indian is not comfortable with is some ridiculous racist making ridiculous comments about how this Indian “went off the reservation” because he had the temerity to stand up to people who are trying to steal his peoples’ credibility and struggle.

Richard, do you even understand how offensive that is to someone whose father needed to get written permission to “go off the reservation”? Seriously, Dick, do you know that the term “going off the reservation” was used for years as an excuse to kill Indians with no penalty? I suppose I shouldn’t expect much from a guy who told a young black woman she was an “Uncle Tom.” I should expect even less from someone who hides behind his Jewish blood to attack Jewish people all the time.

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Great News! No Need To Worry About An Iranian Nuke Tue, 08 Sep 2015 19:02:45 +0000 deal2

The Tehran Times reported this week in a breathless headline that “It’s a big lie that Iran was on verge of building atomic bomb, Iran tells Kerry“. The Tehran Times article shares the response of Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham to claims made earlier this week by US Secretary of State John Kerry that Iran had “come within months of building a nuclear weapon”.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkhan explained that Iran has no desire for a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkhan explained that Iran has no desire for a nuclear weapon.

“The U.S. officials are used to make unfounded and exaggerated remarks on Iran’s nuclear program under the pressure of the Zionist lobbies,” Afkham said.
According to Iran’s defense doctrine and fatwa issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the country has never sought atomic bomb and will not, she noted. “

So would everybody please take a chill pill!

Iran deal supporters and anti-Israel types; your efforts at helping Iran gain a nuclear weapon via the Iran deal are for naught, turns out they don’t even want a bomb. And to those of us who opposed the Iran deal thinking it would pave the way for an Iranian atomic bomb, we can all heave a big sigh of relief. After all, Iran wouldn’t lie about a thing like that, right?

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US State Department Funding Anti-Israel Activities Tue, 08 Sep 2015 17:33:29 +0000 Following my last post shining a spotlight on his Nazi fancy dress – particularly troubling in light of his endorsement of an antisemitic comment on a Facebook page he runs – AMZ Productions owner Jesse Locke quietly removed both the antisemitic comment and the offending photo.

No apology or repudiation of antisemitism, mind you. Just cowardly ass covering. Thankfully, I screenshotted both the comment and photo in case of this eventuality, so the evidence remains.

Meanwhile, commenter kweansmom discovered another troubling aspect to this story.

It seems AMZ Productions’ anti-Israel documentary was funded – at least partly – by an outfit called Rise Up.

Rise Up went fundraising for this project, raising a measly $560 of $5000. But they did it seemingly under false pretenses.

For the past three years Rise Up has been building peace in the Arabic world by giving youth a voice through the arts. We believe that our project is a ripple that can become a positive wave of change in the region. We will be documenting inspirational moments and characters from our trip in partnership with Jesse Locke from AMZ Productions.

This sounds like an apolitical project to document inspirational people and moments. Not the anti-Israel propaganda film that it seems to be.

But it gets worse. You see, Rise Up needn’t worry too much that their fundraising efforts fell flat. They have a big backer.

The result is the powerful film PUSH Tunisia, screened at BendFilm this year, but more than that, the trip became the foundation for Roberts’ determination to teach street art to kids in the Middle East. His hope: that through art young people will become leaders and vocal advocates for change.

“That’s where I started thinking, ‘What do I want to do?’ ” said Roberts.

At the same time, his work was catching the eye of some big backers. Now he’s got the U.S. Department of State behind him.

“Basically, they were like, do you want to coordinate more projects throughout the Middle East?” said Roberts.

The answer was yes.


On the dime of the State Department, in the last year Roberts has been back to Tunisia two more times, most recently, to Jordan and Palestine—where he arrived on the first day of the November conflict between Hamas and Israel.


It’s this power of graffiti to inspire that makes Roberts’ work for the State Department seem to be a bit of a conundrum at first.

In one photo Roberts shared with the Source, he stands with several young people in front of a stenciled image of a man with a fist in the air. The words say “For Freedom, Rise Up.”

But Roberts’ work on behalf of the U.S. government with kids in Tunisia, Palestine and Jordan isn’t about inspiring revolt, he said. It’s about leadership development, education and learning how to communicate in nonviolent ways.

Still, street art has the power to inflame, as Roberts and Va-Jo said it did in Tunisia.

To learn more about what the U.S. government is trying to get at by funding these art workshops we got in touch with Rachel Leslie, cultural affairs officer for the American Consulate General in Jerusalem, a proponent of Roberts’ work in the region.

She requested that we email our questions. Her answers were then vetted by the State Department back in D.C., she said. Naturally, what we received back was very polished and diplomatic-sounding. Still, we got the gist.

“Programs like Jesse’s are incredibly important because they connect Americans with Palestinians,” she wrote. “Often they help counter misperceptions about the U.S. and about American culture, and create positive impressions about Americans, our society, and our values.”

For Roberts, receiving this government funding to teach Palestinians to communicate messages about their feelings has been strange and has prompted questions in his own mind. Israel is just over the border from the walls he was painting, a prosperous nation that enjoys protection and support from the United States. But in Palestine and in Jordan, he saw refugee camps swollen with people living in terrible squalor.

“I’ve been all over the world,” said Roberts. “I’ve never encountered anything like this. It is a military state. It just blew me away. In this day and age—it just blew me away.”

Yet, there he was, in what he described as an “apartheid” situation stenciling Rise Up murals on the walls in Palestinian territory with the full support of the American government behind him.

More here.

By the way, Jesse Roberts is the guy in the middle here, smiling, with the kaffiyeh wrapped around his forehead.

Rise Up’s 2013 form 990 submitted to the IRS indicates it received $46,000 in grants that year to promote “peace and social awareness through educational programs for underprivileged populations in Egypt, Oman, Morocco and Barcelona.” No mention of “Palestine.”

guidestar 2012

In the form 990 for 2012, the year in which Rise Up traveled to Israel per the above article, there is no mention of work in “Palestine.” There is, however, mention of a grant of $21,067 for promoting “social justice and increased awareness for various underprivileged populations in Nicaragua and India.” Again, no mention of “Palestine.”

guidestar 2012 form

So while it is not clear exactly how much the US State Department has been funding them, one can assume it is in the tens of thousands of dollars.

And by funding Rise Up, and through them AMZ Productions, the State Department is funding those who glamorize violence against Israel, the exploitation of children and placing them in potential harm’s way, as well as the demonization of Israel.

You can contact the State Department here to let them know your disapproval of this allocation of their funds:

Contact form:



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We Can’t Compare Syrian Refugees And Jews Fleeing Nazis Tue, 08 Sep 2015 07:14:24 +0000 Since the moment we saw those pictures of that little boy washed up on the beach, there has been a clamouring noise from too many people keen to relate the current refugee crisis to the plight of the Jews in Nazi Europe. Let’s overlook the hundreds of thousands already murdered in Syria’s civil war.

So I was just wondering if I could ask something of all those people quick to claim that Syrian refugees are the new 1930’s Jews.

UNHCR persons of concern refugee numberFor those Jews who managed to escape Nazi Germany, where were the refugee camps, like the ones in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan today hosting 4,088,099 registered refugees (6th Sept). Because I’ve never heard anyone mention them. I’m sure a lot of Jews must have been saved in those camps.

As far as I know, in 1939 there were precisely zero Jewish countries and zero safe and secure refugee camps. I suspect if there had been a Jewish country or even a refugee camp it would have taken in some refugees. Worse: the major nations of the world, especially Britain, blocked Jews from reaching safety and sent them back to be murdered by Hitler.


“An Aerial View of the Za’atri Refugee Camp” in Jordan by U.S. Department of State

There are 23 Arab countries and a somewhere north of 60 Muslim countries and beyond the immediate neighbours housing huge UNHCR camps, they are doing almost nothing to help and are certainly not offering to permanently settle refugees as the nations of Europe are being called upon to do.

To punch emotional buttons and compare people who are fleeing safe and secure (if desperately unpleasant and hopeless) refugee camps with the 6 million murdered Jews is really, really dark.

The migrants streaming into Europe don’t just want the first safe haven they can find, the vast majority of them already left safe camps (those who weren’t slaughtered in fighting before getting out of course). They don’t even want Hungarian goulash, they want Germany’s (halal) food and social services.

Now there are some (mostly persecuted Christians, Yazidis and other minorities) who are not safe in some of the refugee camps, they should be welcomed with open arms. But the unpleasant truth is most of them should be housed in camps close to where they came from until such time as Syria figures out how to be a sane place again.

Location of UNHCR refugeesI believe the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is doing a pretty good job on this one so far. Of all the UN agencies it’s one of the few I have a great deal of respect for. It is only by looking at UNHCR that we really see how the Palestinians and their special UNRWA have become the weapon of mass deception we know them to be.

By falsely equating Syrian (and other Arabs displaced by the glorious revolutions of the Arab spring) your bleeding heart effusions will have the following effect. The same malignant forces who made UNRWA and Palestinian refugees a weapon against Israel for 60 years, will seize this opportunity (almost entirely caused by internal Islamic strife) as new way to drive the dagger more firmly into the hearts of your present homes.

It’s not an exaggeration to say Europe is struggling mightily with the existing Muslim minorities it has. This is not helping. Is Europe now to import further disfunction and eventually destroy their own societies?

If you want to do something, stand up for the Christians and other minorities who are persecuted by the Muslims even in the UNHCR camps (I was talking last night to someone who is going to Iraq and Turkey today). The UNHCR is the right agency for this job: support and mitigation of unpleasant living conditions must flow through them.

We must not allow societal breakdown across the Muslim Arab world to destroy our homes.

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Photo of the Day: Hansen House Starting Up Mon, 07 Sep 2015 22:40:07 +0000 Five years ago, I went inside the gates of Hansen House. It was deserted, run down and dreadful. In 1887, the Protestant community in Jerusalem had built a leprosy asylum. Over the years it had become run down and was closed.

Oh, how things have changed.

Inside Hansen House for start up event

Renovations on the large structure to be used as a new culture and technology center in Jerusalem, Israel, are not completed.  However, tonight the inner courtyard was filled with people to see and hear the finalists of a StartUp Open competition.

  • Frank Mobile App allows users to give and get back constructive, anonymous feedback from friends.
  • Guide In Medical a new Intubation device identifies & navigates into the trachea in difficult situations.
  • InnerEye has visual target detection capabilities by combining the human brain and computer vision.
  • Lishtot is a water quality testing technology and device for answering the question “to drink or not to drink?” in real time.
  • PlayClay is a platform, which enables the creation of various games and applications for direct and intuitive 3-D modeling of soft materials.
  • SmartLogic maximizes industrial machine up-time by “listening” to machines and predicting future failures.

All the presentations were fascinating. Start Up Nation and amazing technology in the Old Hansen Hospital, with Wifi and more.

I love the old and new of Jerusalem.

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RAF Takes Out Jew Hating British Jihadi In Syria Mon, 07 Sep 2015 15:15:20 +0000 The RAF (in apparent contravention of a vote in parliament) have struck at a target in Syria:

British forces have carried out an air strike in Syria to foil a “barbaric attack” being plotted against the UK by Isil jihadists, David Cameron has said.

An RAF piloted drone carried out a targeted strike to assassinate Reyaad Khan, a British-born jihadist who the Prime Minister said was plotting an attack on UK soil.

“We took this action because there was no alternative,” Mr Cameron said.

And guess what, it was all about the Joooos! No mention of Zionists.

But the Telegraph revealed that Khan grew up in the same street as Abdul Miah, one of the ringleaders of a foiled terror plot that intended to unleash a Mumbai style attack on London.

Miah, 27, his brother Gurukanth Desai, 32, and fellow accomplice, Omar Latif, 30, were among nine terrorists arrested in December 2010 as they prepared to carry out a string of deadly attacks.

During the police operation Desai, a father of three who once owned a Cardiff takeaway, and Miah were bugged claiming that fewer than 100,000 Jews died in the Holocaust and talking about how Hitler “had been on the same side as the Muslims” because he understood that “the Jews were dangerous”.

Source: David Cameron: Britain mounted fatal air strike in Syria – Telegraph

We’ll be waiting for Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to commandeer the world’s front pages to condemn a “targeted assassination”.

Update: How interesting that the BBC breaking news story makes NO MENTION of Hitler, Muslims and the Jews.


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More Troubling Conduct By AMZ Productions Owner Mon, 07 Sep 2015 14:15:13 +0000 Following my expose of AMZ Productions antisemitism, their owner Jesse Locke engaged me on Twitter, refusing to explain why he ‘Liked’ the antisemitic comment or even to condemn antisemitism. Instead, he doubled down and accused Israellycool of “harboring hatred,” being “racially charged against palestinians” and “promoting physically threatening children.”

The basis of these charges? Some comments left on the site, which I had not checked, and which I certainly do not condone.* Nevertheless, this was the best he could do to try and tarnish this site, instead of expressing remorse for endorsing a vile, antisemitic comment.

In the meantime, he quietly removed the offending ‘Like’ from the antisemitic comment, but kept the comment on the site, while removing some pro-Israel ones.

resistance comments

So he would not seem to be a fan of Jews, which might help explain why he is helping produce a Pallywood movie.

Meanwhile, a reader has sent me a link to Locke’s Facebook page, which contains the following photo:


locke comment

My friend was having a graduation party.. The theme of the party was unicorns and book burning. I chose to represent the book burning aspect..It doesn’t make any sense.

Besides Locke’s nonchalance towards playing dress-up as a Nazi to represent “book burning,” notice the comment by his FB friend with a Jewish-sounding name – a comment Locke seems to ignore.

Now this might ordinarily be seen merely as poor taste, but his endorsement of an antisemitic comment on a FB page might put it into a different, more disturbing perspective.

* Alas, I do not have the bandwidth to go through every comment so I repeat the disclaimer that we do not endorse all comments on this site and ask that you all use common sense when commenting and refrain from hateful comments or calls to violence.

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WATCH: Anti-Israel Protesters On Hamas Sun, 06 Sep 2015 18:53:32 +0000 This would almost be funny if it wasn’t.


Says it all really. Their hatred of Israel outweighs all else.

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Gazans Co-Opt “Drowned Syrian Child” Sun, 06 Sep 2015 13:53:52 +0000 You just knew this was coming.

From hijacking planes to hijacking causes.

And let’s remember that both Assad and Hamas had the same benefactor.

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