This Is A Form Of Antisemitism

The Federalist posted an article today about a recent decision by the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ), the highest court in the EU. The court ruled that Jewish products made in contested areas of Israel must bear consumer warning labels.

The article notes:

Prior to the ruling, U.S. lawmakers in Congress fired warning shots, cautioning the EU that such a move would prompt the enforcement of American anti-boycott laws, thus endangering the EU’s trade with the United States.

Now, according to reporting by Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon, the Trump administration is ready to go to battle over the ruling. Currently, the United States is the EU’s largest trading partner.

The origins of the legal dispute stretch back several years to when the EU issued a mandate in 2015 declaring that products produced in the West Bank and Golan Heights be labeled as coming from an Israeli settlement, facially for the purpose of promoting “consumer protection,” although it’s unclear if that is actually achieved here. In late 2016, France became the first EU member state to attempt to enforce the mandate, resulting in the Israeli winery Psagot filing a lawsuit claiming that such a mandate violated the EU’s anti-discrimination laws.

Under the new rule, goods produced by Jews will be labeled as having been produced in an Israeli settlement, while goods produced by Muslims may be labeled as made in “Palestine,” indicating blatant discriminatory treatment. Unsurprisingly, Israel’s presence in the West Bank and the Golan Heights are the only contested areas in the world to be the focus of the labeling ire of the EU.

The article notes that Israel is the only country singled out for this treatment:

“No other territory, occupied, disputed, or otherwise is subject to such requirements,” noted Eugene Kontorovich, director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East at George Mason University. Kontorovich emphasized the peculiarity of the ruling. “In no other case does any ‘origin labeling’ require any kind of statement about the political circumstances in the area. This is a special Yellow Star for Jewish products only.”

Indeed, there are a multitude of contested areas throughout the world that produce goods for which the EU has deemed politicized labeling requirements unnecessary. Despite Russia’s occupation of parts of Georgia or Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara, nothing in EU law or greater international law requires labeling goods produced by Russia in occupied parts of Georgia as “Made in Georgia” or goods produced by Morocco in Western Sahara as “Made in Western Sahara.”

Just a side note about the concept of contested territories. If you look at a map of the land originally given to form a Jewish state, it not only includes the ‘contested territories,’ it includes Jordan. The country of Jordan was originally intended to be the Palestinian state (as there had never been a Palestinian state), but was turned over to the Hashemites. For pictures illustrating the history of Israeli territory, go here.

Sometimes It’s Hard To Figure Out Who Your Friends Actually Are

There has been a civil war going on in Libya since 2014. When Muammar Gaddafi was killed in 2011, there was a revolution for less than a year, and a government was established. A new government was elected in 2014, but there were controversies surrounding that election. There has been a civil war in Libya ever since.

On June 28th, The New York Times reported the following:

Libyan government fighters discovered a cache of powerful American missiles, usually sold only to close American allies, at a captured rebel base in the mountains south of Tripoli this week.

The article notes that America supports the current government of Libya. Gen. Khalifa Hifter and his forces are waging a military campaign to overthrow the current government and take over Libya. So where did the American weapons, to be used against a government America supports, come from?

The article notes:

Markings on the missiles’ shipping containers indicate that they were originally sold to the United Arab Emirates, an important American partner, in 2008.

If the Emirates transferred the weapons to General Hifter, it would likely violate the sales agreement with the United States as well as a United Nations arms embargo.

Both the State Department and Defense Department are investigating how the weapons wound up in Libya.

The article continues:

“We take all allegations of misuse of U.S. origin defense articles very seriously,” a State Department official said in a statement. “We are aware of these reports and are seeking additional information. We expect all recipients of U.S. origin defense equipment to abide by their end-use obligations.”

The United States supports United Nations-led efforts to broker a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis, the official added.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Defense declined to comment further on the matter.

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, declined to answer questions about the provenance of the missiles.

Finally, the article notes some interesting contradictions in those who support of the current regime and the rebels:

When General Hifter started his assault on Tripoli on April 4, in the face of much international opposition, the Emiratis continued to support him. They supplied a Russian-made surface-to-air missile system, Chinese-made Wing Loong combat drones and Emirati drones, said a senior Western official with knowledge of the arms trade.

Jordan, another American ally to side with General Hifter, sent a Jordanian-made anti-tank system known as Nashshab, the official said.

Turkey, a regional rival of the United Arab Emirates, intervened on the other side of the fight, sending combat drones and armored vehicles to help the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli.

The United States supports the Tripoli government, which it helped install. However, President Trump appeared to endorse General Hifter and his military drive after the two men spoke by telephone in April, hailing his “significant role in fighting terrorism.”

Other American officials later rowed back that position by stressing American support for the United Nations-led political process.

The foreign interventions, which flout a United Nations embargo on all arms sales to Libya, highlight how the conflict set off by the ouster of Libya’s longtime dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, in 2011 has partly devolved into a proxy conflict between rival regional powers.

I would just like to note that civil wars are nasty, and it is foolish for outsiders to get involved in them. It really doesn’t sound as if the current government in Libya is the one we should be supporting.

The Sorry State Of Freedom On Our College Campuses

A friend sent me a link to a Washington Post article posted on October 9. The headline in the article is, “A second Michigan instructor withheld a recommendation letter from student headed to Israel.”

The disturbing part is the reason given:

The article continues:

Her email echoed the one that arrived last month in the inbox of Abigail Ingber, another junior at the University of Michigan. 

“I am very sorry, but I only scanned your first email a couple weeks ago and missed out on a key detail,” John Cheney-Lippold, a cultural studies professor, wrote to Ingber in early September, upon realizing that the reference was for a program at Tel Aviv University. “As you may know, many university departments have pledged an academic boycott against Israel in support of Palestinians living in Palestine. This boycott includes writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study there.”

The concept that Israel includes Palestinian land is simply not true. As Walid Shoebat has stated, “One day during the 1960s I went to bed a Jordanian Muslim, and when I woke up the next morning, I was informed that I was now a Palestinian Muslim, and that I was no longer a Jordanian Muslim.” Jordan was established to be the Palestinian state. The Palestinians were kicked out of Jordan after they attempted to overthrow its government. The Arab countries have kept them as refugees for generations in order to gin up anger against Israel with the hopes of driving the Jews into the sea. It is unbelievable that our college professors are encouraging this sort of behavior. It’s a shame our college teachers don’t know history. In actuality, the land occupied by Jordan was initially given to Israel.

The article concludes:

Michael Zakim, a cultural historian at Tel Aviv University, argued that the boycott would end up undermining “the Palestinian struggle” by unwittingly supporting forces “determined to delegitimize the humanism and internationalism that predominates on Israeli university campuses.” He labeled as “inanity” some of the means taken to “discredit Israeli academic culture,” such as the refusal to serve as an external reader on a dissertation.

Feisal G. Mohamed, then of the University of Illinois and now at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, responded, saying the boycott didn’t compel each of the actions decried by Zakim. Still, he reasoned, “any and all available means must be used to end an occupation.”

At Michigan, the board of regents declined last year to form a committee to investigate divesting the university’s endowment from companies doing business with Israel, after the student government passed a resolution supporting such a move.

But refusing to throw its weight behind BDS isn’t enough, Secker (Jake Secker) warned. If the university doesn’t take further action to insulate its students from the political actions of their professors, he said, it could have a crisis on its hands.

“This is an epidemic that’s starting to begin,” he said. “Especially being someone who has an Israeli background, I took it personally. It really disturbed me.”

Any university discriminating against students who want to study in Israel should lose all federal and state funding. BDS is not an acceptable policy, and the government should not be funding it.

Why Border Security Matters

The Daily Caller reported yesterday that a Jordanian national who allegedly smuggled six Yemeni citizens into the U.S. from Mexico was arrested Saturday. Yemen is know to be a hotbed of terrorism.

The article reports:

Moayad Heider Mohammad Aldairi, 31, was given an arrest warrant followed by a criminal complaint on May 29 for the supposed smuggling trips through the Texas border between July 1, 2017 and December 12, 2017, the DOJ reported Monday.

Aldairi was also a Mexican citizen and conspired with others who wanted to smuggle “Special Interest Aliens” across the border, according to the complaint.

…“The HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) interviews with the six (6) detained Yemenis revealed that each of them paid ALDAIRI varying amounts to be smuggled into the United States from Mexico,” the complaint said.

“Alien smuggling puts our national security at risk, and the Criminal Division is dedicated to enforcing our immigration laws and disrupting the flow of illegal aliens into the United States,” Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said, according to the DOJ press release.

Does any thinking person believe that potential terrorists are not taking advantage of our porous borders–both north and south?

 

A Short History Lesson

The idea that Israel belongs to anyone except the Jews does not hold water historically. The British named the area of Israel Palestine as an insult to the Jewish people who lived there–it had nothing to do with there being a state of Palestine. Such a state never existed.

This is the picture of the land given to Israel in 1920:

The majority of that land that was originally given to Israel was given to Jordan. After the war in 1948, the Armistice Agreements left Jordan in control of the West Bank. In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank and gave all residents Jordanian citizenship. Until the 1967 War, the people living in the West Bank were considered Jordanian citizens. As I have noted in previous posts, Walid Shoebat stated, “One day during the 1960s I went to bed a Jordanian Muslim, and when I woke up the next morning, I was informed that I was now a Palestinian Muslim, and that I was no longer a Jordanian Muslim.”

So where am I going with this? Pamela Geller posted an article on her website on January 12 about a court case in the Court of Appeal of Versailles France.

The article reports:

…the Court of Appeal of Versailles ruled that West bank settlements and occupation of Judea Samaria by Israel is unequivocally legal under international law, in a suit brought by the Palestinian Authority against Jerusalem’s light rail built by French companies Alstom and Veolia…

Somehow the major media did not report this ruling.

The article includes a detailed analysis of the case and the reasons for the decision. I will try to summarize the highlights here:

In order to rule whether the light rail construction was legal or not, the court had to to seek the texts of international law, to examine international treaties, in order to establish the respective rights of the Palestinians and the Israelis.

And to my knowledge, this is the first time that a non-Israeli court has been led to rule on the status of the West Bank.

…Keep in mind though, that the Court’s findings have no effect in international law. What they do, and it’s of the utmost importance, they are clarify the legal reality.

The Versailles Court of Appeal conclusions are as resounding as the silence in which they were received in the media: Israel has real rights in the territories, its decision to build a light rail in the West Bank or anything else in the area is legal, and the judges have rejected all the arguments presented by the Palestinians.

The article lists the Palestinian arguments:

  • The PLO denounces the deportation of the Palestinian population, and the destruction of properties in violation of international regulations. Relying on the Geneva and Hague Conventions and the UN resolutions, it considers that the State of Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian territory and is pursuing illegal Jewish colonization. Thus, construction of the light rail is itself illegal (1).
  • The PLO adds that the light rail construction has resulted in the destruction of Palestinian buildings and houses, the almost total destruction of Highway 60, which is vital for Palestinians and their goods, and has conducted many illegal dispossessions. Therefore, several clauses from the annexed Regulations to the October 18, 1907 Fourth Hague Convention were violated (2).
  • Finally, the PLO alleges that Israel violates the provisions relating to the « protection of cultural property » provided for in Article 4 of the Hague Convention of 14 May 1954, Article 27 of the Hague Regulations of 1907, Article 5 of the Hague Convention IX of 1907, and Article 53 of Additional Protocol No. 1 to the Geneva Conventions.

The article explains why these are not valid arguments:

The Court explains that the Palestinian Authority misinterprets the texts and they do not apply to the occupation:

  • First of all, all the international instruments put forward by the PLO are acts signed between States, and the obligations or prohibitions contained therein are relevant to States. Neither the Palestinian Authority nor the PLO are States, therefore, none of these legal documents apply.
  • Secondly, said the Court, these texts are binding only on those who signed them, namely the « contracting parties ». But neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Authority have ever signed these texts.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. The 1967 lines were not borders–they were lines drawn in an armistice. Remember also what has happened in the Gaza Strip since Israel gave it up–it has become a launching pad for sending rockets into civilian areas, and all of the income-producing greenhouses were destroyed because they had been owned by Jews. That kind of hatred is not anything the world needs to encourage.

It will be interesting to see what the implications of this court case will be. First of all, will any of the major media report it? Second of all, will this impact any decisions made at the United Nations regarding a ‘two-state solution.’ Again, I would like to note that until the people involved in the ‘two-state solution’ are willing to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, the ‘two-state solution’ is not a recipe for peace, but only an excuse for more war.

A Solution?

The New York Post posted an article today about the planned prisoner swap between Jordan and ISIS of Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, and Kenji Goto of Japan.

The article reports:

Jordanian officials said would-be bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and other Islamic State fighters would be “quickly judged and sentenced” if Muath al-Kaseasbeh is killed, the Daily Mail reported.

The deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed Thursday with no word from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, about the fates of al-Kaseasbeh or fellow hostage Kenji Goto of Japan.

“I have reliable contact in the Jordanian government who says a message has been passed to ISIS,” said Elijah Magnier, chief international correspondent for Kuwait’s Al Rai newspaper. “It warns that if they kill the pilot, they will implement the death sentences for Sajida and other ISIS prisoners as soon as possible. There are other prisoners in Jordan that ISIS would like to free.”

I have very mixed emotions about this. If Sajida is released, she will probably attempt another suicide bombing (and this time the bomb may go off). She will kill herself and also kill innocent people. You may save the lives of the two prisoners by turning her over to ISIS, but in the process you endangered other lives–probably more than two. Another part of this dilemma is the fact that the only thing ISIS seems to understand or respect is force. If taking hostages turns out to be a losing game for them, rather than something that gets their soldiers back or raises money for their organization, they might turn to something else. Depending on exactly what that something else is, it could be either a good or a bad thing.

Making Anti-Semitism Official

Last week the Daily Caller reported that the European Union has forbidden its member states from funding Israeli individuals or organizations based in the contested territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The article states:

In new guidelines that were originally published on June 30 and are scheduled to go into effect on Friday, the 28 nations that make up the E.U. are no longer allowed to contribute financially to or cooperate in any way with organizations that are headquartered beyond the historic “Green Line” that divides the West Bank from the rest of Israel.

Significantly, the guidelines also define East Jerusalem as one of the illegal Israeli settlements that cannot receive future funding. East Jerusalem includes Old City landmarks like the Temple Mount and the Western Wall that are central to thousands of years of Jewish faith and history, making Israeli agreement with the ruling very unlikely.

It’s amazing sometimes how some organizations rewrite history. In April 2011, the American Thinker posted an article stating:

…Except that there was no “border” on Israel’s eastern flank from 1948 until 1967 — only a 1949 armistice line that marked the farthest westward military penetration by Jordan during Israel’s War of Independence when half a dozen Arab armies unsuccessfully tried to exterminate the nascent Jewish state.

The 1949 armistice line was never recognized internationally as a “border.”  Neither of course were Jordan’s aggression and illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem since  they occurred in flagrant violation of the 1947 UN partition plan to divide British Mandate Palestine between a Jewish state and an Arab state.

Israel needs defensible borders. Israel lives in a tough neighborhood where its neighbors won’t even admit that it has a right to exist there. The European Union is definitely coming down on the wrong side of history.

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Now For Something Completely Different

The civil war in Syria continues despite the fact that the news doesn’t seem to be paying a lot of attention to it. I have no suggestions for a course of action–I am not convinced anyone involved is the ‘good guys.’ My only concern is for the civilians caught in the middle. We need to find a way to get the civilians out of the way and let the people who are determined to fight with each other slug it out. However, the human cost of this civil war is a major concern.

Gary Lane at CBN News posted a story today about the refugees that are fleeing the Syrian civil war.

Please follow the link above to CBN News to see the video showing what is going on in Syria.

The article reports:

The United Nations estimates the number of registered Syrian refugees at more than 170,000. They have scattered across the region, ending up in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan.

These refugees are being met by Christian relief groups who are helping move from border camps to apartments. I was touched by a quote from a woman who was helped by the Christian groups:

The article reports:

Doyle (Tom Doyle, with the Dallas-based ministry E3 Partners) witnessed how the effort affected the life of one refugee.

“Some of the people were pushing them around and it was mass chaos and this woman looked at me and she said, ‘but it was the Bible people that came to us and gave us food and clothes and loved us and played with our children. It was the Bible people who were there for us,'” Doyle recalled.

“When she got done sharing her story she looked at me and said, ‘And I want you to know, I love Jesus now!'” he said.

Out of wartime tragedy, “The Bible People” are having an impact on the lives of the refugees by sharing the love of Christ, meeting material needs and shining light into the lives of Syrians fleeing chronic darkness.

Obviously, this is an awful situation, but it is encouraging to know that Tom Doyle and others like him are helping the refugees find a new life after fleeing such horrendous violence.

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I Realize That This Is A Politically Incorrect Idea–But It Is True

Yesterday the Jerusalem Post posted an article with the headline, “There is no such thing as a two-state solution.” Unfortunately, based on the history of the past 60+ years, that is true. The article was written by Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois.

The article states:

It is time to let go of the two-state solution insanity and adopt the only solution that will bring true peace to the Middle East – a single Israeli state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Israel is the only country in the region dedicated to peace and the only power capable of stable, just and democratic government in the region.

This solution is the best one for everyone, especially the Palestinians. They will trade their two corrupt and inept governments and societies for a stable, free and prosperous one. Those Palestinians that wish to may leave their Fatah and Hamas-created slums and move to the original Palestinian state – Jordan. The British Mandate for Palestine created Jordan as the country for the Palestinians. It was the only justification for its creation. Even now, 75 percent of its population is of Palestinian descent. Those Palestinians that remain behind in Israel will maintain limited voting power, but will be awarded all the economic and civil rights of Israeli citizens. They will be free to raise a family, start a business and live in peace, all of which are impossible under Arab rule.

It is telling that Israel, despite being a ‘Jewish state,’ is the only country in the Middle East that allows Christians, Jews, and Muslims to live together without being discriminated against by the government.

If the goal is peace, Israel has to have the right to exist. The countries whose sole purpose is to destroy Israel need to be denied access to American foreign aid money and allowed to go bankrupt. The people in those countries need to have the opportunity to prosper–either in Israel or Jordan–not in a terrorist state with no purpose other than terrorism.

 

 

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