Netanyahu’s bold move against Europe

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adopted a new strategy for managing Israel’s diplomatic relations with the West. Long in the making and increasingly urgent, Israel’s new strategy is very simple. Foreign governments can either treat Israel in accordance with international diplomatic norms of behavior, or they can continue to discriminate against Israel.

If they act in accordance with international diplomatic norms, Israel will respond in a like fashion. If they choose instead to discriminate against Israel and treat it in a manner no other democratic state is treated, Israel will abandon diplomatic convention and treat foreign governments as domestic critics.

On Monday, after his repeated requests for Germany’s visiting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to cancel his plans to meet with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, Netanyahu gave Gabriel an ultimatum. Gabriel could meet with Netanyahu, or he could meet with them.

Gabriel refused to cancel his meeting with Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem. So Netanyahu canceled their meeting.

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Losing Free Speech Would be a Costly Mistake

Beyond the Cusp

Free speech as protected in the First Amendment does not protect “Hate Speech,” or so says Howard Dean. This is kind of funny as my remembrances were that unpopular speech was exactly the speech the First Amendment was meant to protect, and “Hate Speech” would most certainly be very unpopular. The proof of this is exactly what is playing out at University of California, Berkley Campus, often referred to as the home of free speech. It was at Berkeley in the 1960’s that freedom of speech was first tested and protected with the anti-war movement. It was back during this tumultuous time when the five rights delineated in the words of the First Amendment: ”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people…

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Agenda for the Trump-Abbas meeting

The day after Israel celebrates its 69th Independence Day, US President Donald Trump will greet PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas at the White House. The date of their meeting, May 3, is notable not least for its timing.

The timing of the meeting presumes a linkage between the establishment of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state. This is not merely obnoxious, it is also blind to reality.

In reality, an independent state of Palestine has existed for the past 12 years in Gaza. Rather than build that up and declare independence, Abbas and his comrades surrendered Gaza to Hamas in 2007.

Hamas, in turn, transformed independent Palestine into a base for jihad.

Abbas’s failure to declare independence in 2005 – and the subsequent failure of his US-trained forces to defend their control over Gaza in June 2007 from Hamas terrorists – is generally overlooked. But it is critical that Trump understand the significance of his behavior before he meets with Abbas.

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France’s War to Delegitimize Israel

Officially, France prohibits any form of boycott against Israel. In 2015, the Court of Cassation confirmed a 2013 decision regarding the illegality of boycotts and the call for boycotts in France. Under the law, in 2013, BDS France was fined €28,000 (USD $30,000) by a local French court, after a call made in 2010 by 14 activists to boycott Israeli products in a supermarket. In addition, each of the 14 activists was fined €1,000.

However, according to a report recently released by NGO Monitor, the French government continues to fund NGOs openly hostile to Israel and to fund NGOs that support and promote boycott campaigns against Israel.

The French government’s financial support for boycott campaigns embraces:

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How Long has the Syrian War Raged On?

BEIRUT (AP)

Al-Qaida’s leader meanwhile urged his followers and other militants in Syria to unite and prepare for protracted jihad, or holy war, against what he called an “international satanic alliance,” apparently referring to the Syrian government, its ally Russia, and the U.S., all of which are targeting the groupMORE

Dry Bones- Israel’s Political Comic Strip Since 1973

Marine Le Pen’s Muslim Slaughter Ban Targets Kosher Meat, Too

While campaigning at a meat market near Paris, Marine Le Pen, the right-wing candidate in the ongoing French presidential elections, announced that, if elected, she would ban ritual slaughtering of animals. This announcement caused even more concern about the presidential candidate, whose anti-Muslim platform will also harm Jews.

“Slaughter without stunning, I’m sorry, it should have special labels,” Le Pen said. “Furthermore, I think that slaughter without stunning should be prohibited.”

Le Pen is running on an anti-immigration platform, which is increasingly popular in a terror-stricken France. This new measure is intended to target Halal slaughtering for religious Muslims but like many of the anti-Muslim measures Le Pen advocates, this will also harm Jews. The laws of halal and kosher slaughtering are similar, both requiring the animal to be fully conscious before being slaughtered.

Ritual slaughter is prohibited in several European countries, ostensibly for reasons of animal cruelty. This type of ban has historically been used as an anti-Semitic subterfuge, most notably in pre-war Germany and Poland.

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Which Way Will France Go?

It was a sort of farewell to the army. During a brief visit to the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle last December, French President François Hollande honored the French soldiers involved in “Operation Chammal” against the Islamic State. After two years and 238 deaths at the hands of Islamic terrorism, what did France do to defeat radical Islam? Almost nothing.

It is this legacy of indifference that is at stake in the looming French presidential elections. If Marine Le Pen or François Fillon win, it means that France has rejected this autocratic legacy and wants to try a different, braver way. If Emmanuel Macron wins, France as we have known it can be considered pretty much over. Macron is, for example, against taking away French nationality from jihadists. Terrorism, Islam and security are almost absent from Macron’s vocabulary and platform, and he is in favor of lowering France’s state of emergency. By blaming “colonialism” for French troubles in the Arab world, and calling it “a crime against humanity“, he has effectively legitimized Muslim extremist violence against the French Republic.

As General Vincent Desportes wrote in his new book, La dernière Bataille de France (“The Last Battle of France”):

“President Hollande said on November 15 that it would be ruthless, we were at war … but we do not make war! History shows that in the eternal struggle between the shield and the sword, the sword is still a step forward and winning”.

In the past two years, France only used the shield.

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