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The wave of Jerusalem attacks Israelis don’t hear about

One hundred Palestinian bus drivers in the capital have quit their jobs because of such violence from Jewish racists.

Illustrative photo of an Egged bus (Photo by Kw0/CC 3.0)

Illustrative photo of an Egged bus (Photo by Kw0/CC 3.0)

If you’d asked me how many East Jerusalem Palestinian bus drivers in the capital had quit their jobs because of the violence they’d faced from Jewish assailants, I’d have said oh, maybe three. When I read in Haaretz on Sunday (truly a must-read) that the number is roughly 100 — or one out of three Palestinian bus drivers in the capital — I was amazed. East Jerusalem Palestinians, on the whole, are poor; driving for Israel’s giant Egged bus cooperative is a very, very good job for an ordinary eastside resident, paying about three times the average East Jerusalemite’s salary. When 100 of these drivers quit their jobs because of the menace of racist Jewish marauders, it means that that menace is overwhelming.

I had no idea. And I keep up with the news and I’m extremely alert to stories about Jews abusing Arabs. I knew from the Israeli media that on the nights after Palestinian terror killings, bands of young Jews would roam the streets on Jerusalem’s Jewish westside, attacking Arabs in their path and chanting “death to the Arabs.” After the death of Egged driver Yousef Hassan al-Ramouni a month ago — he was found hanged in his bus in what Israeli forensic pathologists ruled a suicide, but which Palestinians commonly believe was a murder — there was a story or two about East Jerusalem drivers complaining about Jewish attacks. But with those rare exceptions and the story of the murder by burning of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the only Jerusalem violence you hear about in the Israeli media lately is Palestinian-on-Jewish — the murders by car and knife, the stoning of the light rail, the violent protests against the police.

But Jewish violence against Arabs in Jerusalem? As far as we Israeli Jews can gather from the news, these are not exactly isolated incidents, but they’re not a “phenomenon,” either. Nothing to make a normal Palestinian bus driver quit his job.

I didn’t know, we didn’t know. In Israel, any incident of Arab-on-Jewish violence is a big story,...

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Moshe Kahlon for prime minister of Israel

I’m planning to vote for Meretz, but if Kahlon has a chance on election day of beating Netanyahu, I’ll vote for him.

I was talking a couple of days ago about the upcoming elections with a friend from work, a middle-class, American-born Ashkenazi immigrant with a Ph. D. in political science. He told me he was voting for the left-wing, largely Arab Hadash party. I asked who he would vote for if, on election day, which is tentatively set for March 17, the “wild card” in the race, ex-Likudnik Moshe Kahlon, had a chance to become the next prime minister. “Then I’d vote for Kahlon,” he said. Myself, I’m planning to vote for Meretz, the left-wing Zionist party, but if Kahlon has a chance on election day of beating Netanyahu, whom the polls now rate the favorite, then I’ll vote for Kahlon, too.

Moshe Kahlon. (photo: Activestills.org)

Moshe Kahlon. (photo: Activestills.org)

This is meant as an illustration of Kahlon’s potential; Hadash and Meretz voters are the last people who would seem likely to vote for a politician whose role model is Menachem Begin. Polls now give Kahlon about 10 Knesset seats (out of 120); he’ll need double that to lead the next government. But I think he can do it. The latest poll, conducted for The Jerusalem Post and Ma’ariv and released Thursday, finds him the single most popular candidate for prime minister, outpolling Netanyahu, 46% to 36%.

Bibi can be beaten. He’s been around too long, he hasn’t delivered much, the atmosphere in the country is extremely unpleasant, and people are tired of his mouth and face. They blame him for these unwanted early elections that are going to cost $500 million. They see the government as a mess with him sitting atop it. They want somebody new, but Netanyahu’s only rivals until now, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman, are too far right for the mainstream.

Kahlon is not. Alone among Israeli politicians, he can win support from the sane right, the center, and even – if it’s between him, Netanyahu and Bennett on election day – the left. He has exclusive ownership of the No. 1 campaign issue – economic hardship, especially the high cost of living – from having broken the cell phone monopoly and...

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Netanyahu's xenophobia: Bad in America, bad in Israel

We know what he thinks of Arabs. Read what he thinks of Mexican-Americans.

Sign warning of immigrants near the U.S.-Mexican Border. (Photo by Shutterstock.com)

Sign warning of migrants near the U.S.-Mexican Border. (Photo by Shutterstock.com)

Of all the reasons Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu puts forth for why Israel needs a “Jewish nation-state” law, the most bizarre one is this: “There are those – including those who deny our national rights – who would like to establish autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev.”

Yeah, and there are those who would like to colonize Mars, and they will probably get there long before anybody establishes Arab autonomy in the Galilee and Negev.

This is another of Netanyahu’s endless supply of Arab scarecrows: we have to pass this cockamamie nation-state law or the Arabs are going to take over the Galilee and Negev.

Read also: Is the ‘Jewish nation-state’ bill good for anyone at all?

No surprises here; he’s built his career on scaring Jews about Arabs. But Netanyahu has a well-known parallel career as a pitchman to Americans, Christians as well as Jews, for the cause of Israeli Jewish chauvinism – and to get them on his side, he has been known to wave around a different ethnic scarecrow: a Mexican one.

In his 1993 magnum opus, “A Place Among the Nations – Israel and the World,” which was first published in English, he writes about what he calls the “Palestinian Principle.” He describes it as the idea that any ethnic minority has a right to carve out its own state on the land where it resides, regardless of the effect on the established surrounding state, and even if another state already exists where that ethnic minority is the majority. (At the time, Netanyahu was fighting against the Palestinian statehood campaign with the argument that “Jordan is Palestine.”)

After depicting the chaos that would ensue if the “Palestinian Principle” were applied in Europe, Africa and Asia, he writes on page 150:

The United States is not exempt from this potential nightmare. In a decade or two the southwestern region of America is likely to be predominantly Hispanic, mainly as a result of continuous emigration from Mexico. It is not inconceivable that in this community champions of the Palestinian Principle could emerge. These...

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‘Pallywood’: A particularly ugly ethnic slur

And a very popular one among right-wing Israelis and Diaspora Jews.

I’ve been writing for years against the “Pallywood” theory – the right-wing notion that videos showing Palestinians getting killed by Israelis are really elaborate fakes meant to blacken Israel’s name. Yet it’s only this morning I realized that the term “Pallywood,” which was coined by Boston University Prof. Richard Landes, is an ethnic slur, and a particularly ugly one.

It not only mangles the name of an entire people, it does so in the most contemptuous context – it links the name Palestinian with the telling of lies, and not just any lies, but lies about Palestinian deaths at the hands of their conquerors.

Pallywood. Compared to that, referring to New York as “Hymietown” is mild stuff.

What a bigoted term Landes invented, and what a popular one it is in the Israeli/right-wing Jewish political lexicon. A Google search for “Pallywood” this morning turned up 406,000 entries. There’s a Wikipedia page for it, too.

And I didn’t even notice how vicious an insult it was until now, which says a lot about how living in Israel makes you numb to abuses of Palestinian, or Arab, or Muslim dignity: In Israel, we Jews say things about them that they could never get away with saying about us.

Related:
Day of catastrophe for ‘Pallywood’ conspiracy theorists
Beitunia killings and the media’s incredibly high bar for Palestinian stories
Truth, tapes and two dead Palestinians




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Day of catastrophe for ‘Pallywood’ conspiracy theorists

Naming and shaming.

Following Wednesday’s arrest of a Border Policeman on suspicion of murdering a Palestinian teenager in a May 15 Nakba Day protest, here is a partial list of Israeli and pro-Israel figures who insinuated that the video of the shooting (which also showed the killing of another teenage protester) had been fabricated:

Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon: “I’ve seen lots of films that were edited [to distort what had happened]. This film I’ve not yet seen, but I know the system.”

IDF spokesman Maj. Arye Shalicar: “That film was edited and does not reflect the reality of the day in question, the violence.”

Roni Daniel, Channel 2’s military correspondent and media warmonger supreme: Times of Israel: “Daniel suggested that the film may have been staged and faked. … His queries were not about whether two Palestinians had been shot that day, Daniel said, but rather about whether the NGO footage being disseminated indeed actually showed such shootings or was fabricated.”

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren: On CNN: “The many, many inconsistencies, you see two young people who were supposedly shot, one to the chest, one through the back but they both fall in the same way. They fall forward which is inconsistent with what we know about combat deaths. We see a picture of Israel forces shooting. But if you zero in on that picture, you will see that those rifles indeed have the sleeve on the barrel, which is used for rubber bullets, not for live ammunition.”

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon:  ”The organization for the “protection of Palestinian children” stands behind this latest video, as they were behind the Muhammad al-Durrah video. … When it is revealed that this video is fabricated, we must hit these organizations where it hurts them the most: the tax-exempt fundraising.”

Media “watchdog” CAMERA, reprinting a story from right-wing Jewish newspaper Algemeiner: “The usual suspects are pushing the story and video of the alleged killings has gotten a huge number of hits on YouTube, but it’s pretty clear that something is amiss with the story the Palestinians have told the world about what happened at Betunia.”

Jonathan S. Tobin, editor of Commentary magazine online: “Those who cry bloody murder at the Israelis today will owe them an apology if, as may well be the case,...

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The hard fact is that Israeli repression works

Iron fist tactics have kept Palestinians down for the last decade, and there’s a strong chance that the harsh measures Netanyahu just outlined will succeed in putting them down again.

Those who oppose Israel’s iron fist tactics against violent Palestinian resistance argue, as a rule, that it’s impractical, it won’t work, you can’t repress a nation forever, and the only solution is to end the injustice that provokes the violence. But this is a sentimental view that comes, I think, from a need to believe that justice always wins in the end. The fact is that Israeli iron fist tactics have worked pretty damn well in keeping the Palestinians down over the last decade, and there’s a very strong chance that the tactics Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out Tuesday night – overwhelming armed force, house demolitions, draconian punishments for rioters and their parents, and more – will work again this time.

The iron fist put down the Second Intifada in 2004/5, and Israel has enjoyed remarkable quiet from the West Bank since then, also from East Jerusalem until this summer. A crucial difference between the first two intifadas and the current violence is that those earlier upheavals were organized; this one isn’t, which makes it much easier for Israel to overcome.

The iron fist has also worked in Gaza since Operation Cast Lead nearly six years ago. Israel has had to “mow the lawn” twice more since then, most recently over the summer, but otherwise the Palestinians in the Strip have been largely harmless in their cage.

What are the chances that this time around, Palestinian resistance will force Israel to begin reversing course, with an eye toward ending the occupation? I think they’re extremely slim. Even though it’s true that the First Intifada led to the Oslo Accords and the Second Intifada led to the disengagement from Gaza, those were different times in a different Israel.

Read also: What Palestinian media is saying about the J’lem violence

Before Oslo, Israel had never tried negotiating peace with the Palestinians, so Israelis were ready to take a chance. Before disengagement, Israel had never tried unilateral withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory, so Israelis were ready to give that a try, at least behind the broad back of Ariel Sharon.

But the bus bombings of the early 2000s ended Israelis’ belief in negotiations, then the rocketing from Gaza in...

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The difference between Israel’s violent, racist cops and America’s

It’s in how Israel and America, especially their respective leaders, react to these cops’ most outrageous crimes.

Israeli police are not the only ones with a habit of getting trigger happy when they come up against members of a feared and hated ethnic minority. While many Israeli cops (and soldiers) have a tendency toward overkill with Arabs, many American cops have the same tendency with blacks. But there’s a crucial difference – not necessarily between American and Israeli police, but between the way American and Israeli society, especially their leaders, react to such killings.

After police in Ferguson, Missouri killed teenager Michael Brown in August following a struggle, and “Ferguson” became a watchword for American police brutality and racism, Attorney General Eric Holder went to Brown’s family’s home to pay his condolences.

After a private security guard killed Trayvon Martin in July after a struggle, President Barack Obama said, “I send my thoughts and prayers, as well as Michelle’s, to the family of Trayvon Martin, and to remark on the incredible grace and dignity with which they’ve dealt with the entire situation.  I can only imagine what they’re going through, and it’s remarkable how they’ve handled it.” He went on to say, “You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son.”

When video showed Los Angeles police in 1991 beating Rodney King at length and without mercy after a high-speed chase, President George H.W. Bush said, “What you saw, what I saw on the TV videotape was revolting. I felt anger, I felt pain. I thought, ‘How can I explain this to my grandchildren?’”

Compare that to the reactions of Israel’s leaders after video showed Israeli police shooting Kheir Hamdan while he was running away, his back turned to them, after he stabbed at the windows of their police car, and how they dragged his body on the ground and threw it into the back seat, after which he died in the hospital.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rubbed in the insult by threatening Israeli Arabs: “We will not tolerate disturbances and rioting. We will act against those who throw stones, block roads and call for the establishment of a Palestinian state in place of the State of Israel. Whoever does not honor Israeli law will be punished with utmost severity. …

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'New York Times' on Jerusalem violence: What occupation?

Bureau chief Jodi Rudoren’s new article doesn’t even rise to the level of false moral equivalence.

I don’t like to pile on in the left-wing criticism of the New York Times’ coverage of Israel/Palestine; as a rule I find it irritatingly “even-handed,” equating the violence of the subjugator with that of the subjugated, but this, after all, is a big step up compared to the coverage by so many other American media, which simply see the Palestinians as the aggressors and Israel as fighting back in self-defense. But yesterday’s article by Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren about the violence in Jerusalem doesn’t even rise to the level of false moral equivalence; it frames the story completely as one of Palestinians attacking Israelis, now and before, without any provocation from Israel whatsoever.

The story, “In Jerusalem Unrest, Signs of a ‘Run-Over Intifada’ for the 21st Century,” is a long one, but except for one fleeting reference to the “Israeli occupation,” it makes no allusion to Israel’s rule over the Palestinians. It takes the trouble to define the word “intifada” (“shaking off”), but doesn’t say what the Palestinians might want to shake off, except the “status quo,” about which nothing is said.

It asserts that the burning of Mohammed Abu Khdeir was a “revenge attack” for the kidnap-murder of three Israeli teenagers, but doesn’t suggest that the kidnap-murders might have come in revenge for anything.

Rudoren writes that Arafat “directed” the violence of the second intifada, but doesn’t say who was directing the violence of the occupation at the time, because in her article there is effectively no occupation, nor any Israeli violence at all.

The story focuses on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary, but makes only a passing mention that Israeli police are stationed on it – without making it clear that Israel is in control of the holy site, that Palestinians consider this to be a problem, and that Israeli control of the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary may have something to do with the current violence in Jerusalem.

The story ends, however, on an even-handed note with a quote about the extra-political problems faced by both Jews and Palestinians in Jerusalem, what Rudoren calls the city’s “deep challenges” – poverty, ultra-Orthodox Jews who don’t work or serve in the Israeli army, Palestinians who don’t vote in municipal elections.

Bravo. Finally, some “context.”

Related:
How...

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No one left for Bibi to blame – except, of course, Abbas

Israel is in a crisis – the heaviest Palestinian street violence in a decade, the threat of a full-blown third intifada – and here’s how Netanyahu is managing it: by seizing on the last available scapegoat.

Outside of the Netanyahu government and its supporters, does anyone believe that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is inciting the rioting and terror in East Jerusalem? Does anyone think the gunmen and killer drivers and adolescent stone-throwers are taking their cues from Ramallah’s 79-year-old bureaucrat-in-chief? Conversely, does anyone think that if Abbas were to call publicly and repeatedly for an end to Palestinian violence in the capital, it would stop?

This is a ridiculous notion. Yet this is the message that Israel’s big four, Prime Minister  Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, keep flogging after every terror attack in East Jerusalem, and in between as well. Blaming Abbas is the beginning and end of this government’s diplomatic strategy for dealing with the current crisis – the heaviest Palestinian street violence in a decade, the threat of a full-blown third intifada.

After a suspected Hamasnik drove into a crowd on the “seam line” between East and West Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a Border Police officer and wounding over a dozen other people, Netanyahu said, “the vehicle attack in Jerusalem is a direct result of Abu Mazen’s incitement.” Ya’alon upped the ante, saying, “Abu Mazen’s rhetorical incitement, in which he disseminates lies and hatred against Israel, while praising Palestinian terrorists who harm Jews, are responsible for the bloodshed in Jerusalem.” Bennett decided to outdo everyone, saying Abbas was “the driver of the death car and the terrorists his emissaries.” But he had competition from Liberman, who said, “a leadership such as the Palestinian Authority, which glorifies and encourages terror, creates a ‘terrorcratic’ entity that only leads to more bloodshed.”

First of all, they’re exaggerating about Abbas’ rhetoric. True, he hasn’t helped calm the situation by saying that “settlers … desecrate” the Noble Sanctuary (the Temple Mount to Jews) with their visits; accusing Israel of “declaring war” on the Palestinians by closing the holy site for a few hours for (genuine) security purposes; and heaping blame on the “murderous, terrorist gangs in the Israeli occupation army” for killing Muataz Hijazi, the apparent Islamic Jihad member who tried to assassinate...

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The fraud that is the Temple Mount movement

Following the murder attempt on Yehuda Glick, the claim is being made – and getting a more sympathetic hearing than usual – that he and his colleagues have been leading a civil rights movement for Jews. Don’t believe it.

Palestinian Muslim worshipers pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city on the first day of Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) marking the end of the hajj and commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command, on October 4, 2014. Israel is in security lockdown for the Jewish fast of Yom Kippur, which is coinciding with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha for the first time in three decades. The concurrence of the holy days has not occurred for 33 years because the two faiths use different lunar calendars. (Activestills.org)

Palestinian Muslim worshipers pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city on the first day of Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) marking the end of the hajj and commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God’s command, on October 4, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Ten years ago I interviewed Likud Knesset member Moshe Feiglin in his office in the West Bank settlement Karnei Shomron. On his wall was a framed aerial photograph of the Temple Mount – but the Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock didn’t appear. In their place stood an illustrated, rebuilt Jewish Temple. I’ve heard that this photo and others like it are big sellers in Jerusalem.

Feiglin was at the Wednesday night conference in Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center where Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick was shot and critically wounded by a Palestinian. Also present was Yehuda Etzion, who was imprisoned in the early 1980s for leading a plot within the “Jewish Terror Underground” to blow up the Dome of the Rock. Feiglin wasn’t the only extreme anti-Arab Likud MK at the gathering; Miri Regev and others were there too. The conference was titled “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount.”

Following the murder attempt on Glick, the claim is being made – and getting a more sympathetic hearing than usual (here and here) – that he and his colleagues have been leading a “civil rights” movement for Jews, one whose aim is simply to gain for Jews the same right Muslims have to pray...

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'Klinghoffer': New York’s Jewish right goes to the opera

Now that ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ has opened and people are learning what the opera is actually about, the outraged claims made against it are being exposed as hot air.    

Until Monday night, when the “The Death of Klinghoffer” opened at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, people knew it was being attacked by many Jews for supposedly being anti-Semitic and for defending terrorists, and they didn’t know if the accusations were true or false. But now that the opera has opened, and it’s been widely reviewed, and audience members have been interviewed, it’s becoming clear to the mainstream public that pays attention to such issues – and this controversy has attracted a lot of attention – that these claims are total bullshit.

And what should be clear, though it probably isn’t, is that the protest against the opera, the raging campaign to prevent it from being staged at the Met, was not made by “American Jews” or even “New York Jews,” but by the anti-Muslim, anti-liberal, pro-war American Jewish right based in New York – the same people whose word should never be taken for anything.

As the right-wing Orthodox Jewish Press noted helpfully in an article titled “For Grass Roots Klinghoffer Protest, Jewish Establishment MIA”:

Not one mainstream Jewish organization has lent its name or its resources to this effort. …

The mostly small, and some quite tiny pro-Israel organizations which have been working tirelessly to fight the Met’s decision to stage “Klinghoffer” are (this is all of them): Advocates for Israel, AMCHA, Americans for a Safe Israel, the Bridge Project, Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art, Catholic League, Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign, Congregation Oheb Zedek, Congregaton Or Zarua, Endowment for Middle East Truth, Hasbara Fellowship, Human Rights Coalition Against Radical Islam, International Committee for the Land of Israel, Israel Forever Foundation, Israel’s Voice, JCCWatch.org, Jewish Action Alliance, Jewish Political Education Foundation, MERCL, Mothers Against Terrorism, One Israel Fund, Rambam Mesivta High School, Shalhevet High School for Girls, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs, Strength to Strength, Westchester Hebrew High School, Zionist Organization of America.

This is not to say, though, that it was entirely a fringe effort; a former New York governor and a few local politicians lent their names to the protest. Ronald Lauder, one of the biggest right-wing machers in the world, was on the podium at the rally across from...

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World’s delayed reaction to Gaza war kicks in

A week of encouraging signs augurs revival of anti-occupation cause.

My view of the chances that the occupation will end someday fluctuates between pessimistic and despairing. Since the war in Gaza, I’ve felt the cause was effectively lost; I figured that if the monstrous devastation that Israel visited on the Strip and its people did not light a fire under the world’s ass, then the anti-occupation movement was on a slow boat to nowhere. But just in the last week there have been a number of delayed international reactions (and even one from Israel) to the Gaza war, and they add up to what I see as a critical mass of encouraging signs that is weighty enough, at least, to argue against despair.

The clearest one was the international donors’ pledge in Cairo of $5.4 billion for the reconstruction of Gaza. The Palestinian Authority had only asked for $4 billion; expectations had been for $1.5 billion. This is a serious investment by the world, and a strong demand for change.

It was backed up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s speech at the conference, in which he blamed the war on the occupation. “We must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations,” Ban said. He followed it up the next day in Jerusalem by slamming Netanyahu’s diplomatic stonewalling and settlement-building in a joint news conference with the prime minister, who was not amused.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the press alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, October 13, 2014. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the press alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, October 13, 2014. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

There was also the speech at the donors’ conference by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi calling on Israel to accept the Arab Peace Initiative. Sissi is a brutal autocrat, he doesn’t yearn for justice for anyone, but his speech was a sign that he is not in Israel’s pocket as Israelis like to think, and that he may be thinking...

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The Kurds must not be abandoned again, this time to ISIS

If there are any people on earth who deserve the world’s protection from slaughter, it is the Kurds.

Despite the stereotype of Mizrahi Jews in Israel resenting Arabs because of the way they were treated in the old country, there are plenty of Mizrahim who have good memories of their relations with their former Muslim neighbors. However, there is no Mizrahi community in Israel that feels a kinship with their Muslim former countrymen like the Kurdish Jews do.

A fighter from the Islamic State. (photo: Islamic State)

A fighter from the Islamic State. (photo: Islamic State)

Today ISIS appears to be on the verge of slaughtering the people in the town of Kobani, the heart of a Syrian Kurdish area with a population of hundreds of thousands. Kurds are getting killed in riots in Turkey and protesting across Europe to try to prevent a catastrophe. So I’d like to recall what the head of the Association of Kurdish Jews in Israel, Yehuda Ben Yosef, told me in a radio interview on TLV1 on September 21, when the news of the day was that ISIS had taken over some 60 Kurdish villages near Kobani.

What’s happened to the Kurds in the last 100 years is terrible. The Kurds don’t have a minute of silence. What happened today – our heart is with them, and if we can help, medications or food or blankets, we do it. We do everything to help the Kurds in Turkey who ran away from Syria.

We have a good relationship all over the years. People from Kurdistan come to Israel these years and they are our guests and we keep in touch with the people there by telephone, Internet, Facebook. Today some Kurds from Norway are coming to be our guests, Muslims from Norway, coming to the Jewish community in Israel. In Syria we don’t have contact, but what we can do for people in [Iraqi Kurdistan], we do our best to help them.

In August, Ben Yosef led a demonstration of Kurdish Jews outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. I asked him what the message had been. The same as it is now, he said, only now it’s more urgent.

I don’t want to try to go into the geopolitical considerations of Turkey, Syria and the...

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