The recent moves at the U.N. by the PA and the PLO mark the latest use of rejectionism as a tool in the Palestinian arsenal of diplomatic warfare against Israel—and now the U.S. While terrorism is rightly condemned and fought around the world, Palestinian rejectionism, though equally damaging, is not. Those who want peace, stability and security for all people must fight rejectionism as they do terrorism, writes attorney Richard D. Heideman.
While Christianity traces its birthplace to the Middle East, that region has been arguably the most hostile area for the religion in recent years. A new report by the Christian charity group Open Doors has found that most of Israel’s neighbors, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories, are among the world’s most dangerous places for Christians. Susan Michael, U.S. director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, told JNS that “Islamic extremism originated in the Middle East and is the main cause of persecution of Christians in the world today. It is a dangerous and violent ideology that must be stopped.”
In a bid to show the world what responsible, considered citizens they are, Iran’s leaders recently hosted their annual, gloriously named “Tehran Security Conference.” A paper delivered to the conference outlined the “State-Resistance Doctrine”—the principles that guide Iran in dealing with the outside world. Through its own words, the Iranian regime gives the lie to Western claims of “moderation.” The doctrine might also turn out to be the source of the Islamic Republic’s coming collapse, writes JNS columnist Ben Cohen.
Far from hurting the BDS movement, Israel’s new “blacklist” of boycott leaders banned from entering the country allows these enemies of the Jewish state to play martyrs and garner undeserved sympathy. Contrary to the fears of Israeli lawmakers, the real threat posed by BDS is to Jews in the Diaspora, not those in Israel, writes JNS Editor in Chief Jonathan S. Tobin.
Leaders of several major American Jewish organizations told JNS they support the Israeli government’s decision to prevent the entry of foreign citizens who promote boycotts of Israel. Rebecca Vilkomerson, director of the barred group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), described the Israeli ban as “bullying.” But Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said JVP’s complaint “is the height of hypocrisy given their tactics,” referring to incidents in which JVP activists have harassed pro-Israel speakers.
Honest cooking and sincere storytelling rely on similar ingredients: tradition, love, humor and spice, among others. These components are found throughout “Candies from Heaven,” the newly translated memoir of leading Israeli culinary journalist Gil Hovav. A series of 22 short stories offers a delectable glimpse into the Hovav family dynamic as each member adapted to the realities of life in the early days of the Jewish state. Hovav’s memoir is a heartwarming and earnest slice of life, writes book reviewer Jeffrey Barken.
Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry on Jan. 7 published a list of 20 organizations affiliated with the BDS movement that will be barred from entering the country, marking the Israeli government’s first major step to ban entities that seek to undermine the Jewish state since legislation targeting such groups was passed last year. Prof. Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of the NGO Monitor watchdog group, told JNS that the government’s move signals that Israel “won’t turn a blind eye to those who work to delegitimize it, but the downside is that it also serves to raise the profiles of these groups.”
A Hamas cease-fire with Israel is being undermined by the second-largest terrorist faction in Gaza, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Both Hamas and PIJ are ideologically committed to the Islamist goal of destroying Israel. Yet Hamas is keen on preserving a truce with Israel at this time, as a new conflict now would jeopardize its base in Gaza. Hamas finds itself in a “very uncomfortable situation in the event of a clash with Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and therefore, we are continuing to live in the unsolvable equation in Gaza,” said Prof. Uzi Rabi, a Middle East expert from Tel Aviv University.
At the start of 2018, a purportedly emboldened Israeli right initiated political measures that seemingly enhance Israel’s sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. While the mainstream press, led by The New York Times, branded the moves as “annexation” and “apartheid,” legal expert Avi Bell told JNS that the Israeli initiatives are almost entirely symbolic and have “no meaningful legal consequences.”
You know that critics of Israel are getting panicky when they start trotting out the old “one state” bogeyman. “As a 2-State Solution Loses Steam, a 1-State Plan Gains Traction,” a New York Times headline announced on Jan. 5, above an article so palpably absurd that it can only reflect the mad panic among advocates of Palestinian statehood as they see their dream fading away. And the fact that The Times chose to make it page one news says a lot about the fearful mindset among the left-wing news media, Israel-bashing pundits and Jewish peace camp types, writes JNS columnist Stephen M. Flatow.
The crowd in Jerusalem’s Zion Square is civil as protesters hold up signs decrying alleged government corruption. Standing on the stage, Dr. Yoaz Hendel, with his trademark tussled hair, addresses the crowd. With the political climate in Israel heating up once again, JNS sat down with Hendel—a former director of public diplomacy for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—to discuss his perspective on politics, the prime minister and the future of Israel. Hendel draws his ideology, which can be defined as “liberal nationalism,” from the legacies of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Revisionist Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky.
Amid the continued protests throughout Iran, what will the future hold for the country’s terror-funding Shi’a regime? “Does the regime have both the will and ability to keep itself in power? If it lacks both, it is finished. If it has either, it should be able to weather this crisis,” said Dr. Harold Rhode, a former adviser on Islamic affairs in the U.S. Department of Defense. Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said that “regardless of [the protests’] perceived success or failure, they show the international community that the Iranian people are willing to risk their life for their beliefs.”
Many major Jewish groups are expressing support for the idea of reducing U.S. aid to the Palestinians after President Donald Trump mentioned the possibility of a cut. Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told JNS that the Palestinian Authority “has proven tone deaf to every previous U.S. warning about its actions, so perhaps some reduction in aid would finally get its attention.”
President Donald Trump has not shied away from challenging conventional stances on domestic and international issues. Will Trump’s approach extend to U.S. funding for UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency that is solely dedicated to the Palestinians? “The original intent of American foreign policy [on UNRWA] was resettlement, repatriation and reintegration [of Palestinian refugees]. On all three accounts we have failed,” Asaf Romirowsky, executive director of the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East nonprofit, told JNS.
You don’t have to be supporter of President Donald Trump to understand that he is right to demand that if the Palestinians want U.S. money they must, at the very least, come back to the negotiating table and cease funding and fomenting terror. It isn’t so much a case of “America First” to demand that recipients of U.S. largesse cooperate with U.S. policy, as it is one of common sense, writes JNS Editor in Chief Jonathan S. Tobin.