My Mideast Punchlines: wonder of wonders…..

Wonder Woman continues to break movie box office records, and its star, Israeli actress Gal Gadot, is rapidly attaining cult status. Stunningly beautiful and sassy, Gadot is a former combat instructor in the Israeli army. What’s not to like?

Well, if you’re an Arab regime that subjugates its women, Gadot, being both superhuman and Israeli, represents your worse nightmare. So, one after the other, they’re banning the movie. Childish? Of course, but then the film does have an over-12s rating.

My Mideast Punchlines: talking to the animals….

To the ire of Israel, Irish President Michael Higgins recently met BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, the Times of Israel reports.

This comes several days after Netanyahu chided Ireland’s Foreign Minister earlier this month over Dublin’s support for non-governmental organisations that call for Israel’s destruction.

Another Higgins, Professor Henry, sang Talk to the Animals in My Fair Lady. The Irish president apparently sings from the same hymn sheet. Do you speak the language of BDS?



My Mideast Punchlines: red is the colour, arsenal is the name….

The Temple Mount standoff continued today with clashes near the entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City. The Islamic Wakf, which administers the Temple Mount, announced that all mosques in Jerusalem will be closed on Friday and that worshipers will converge on the Temple Mount.

Meanwhile, the PA appealed to the international community to force Israel to remove metal detectors placed at the holy site following last week’s terror attack in which two Israeli policemen died..

In effect, the Palestinians are saying that they want nothing to be allowed to stand in the way of an arsenal for the killing or maiming of any non-Muslim on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site (no, not the Western Wall). Their twisted ideology continues to show its true colour — blood red.

My Mideast Punchlines: shame on the shame society….

Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, has called for a “day of rage” tomorrow.

This is ostensibly to protest against the metal detectors which the Israeli government has installed at Temple Mount in Jerusalem. That was in response to last Sunday’s attack there by two Israeli Arabs. Already armed, they burst from the compound and murdered two Israeli Druze police officers, leaving a third officer injured.

It’s the usual story. Arabs are incited to attack Jews by mendacious claims (made by Abbas, amongst others) that the Jews are attacking Muslim holy site; Arabs launch murderous attack on Israelis from said Muslim holy site; Israelis take security measures around said Muslim holy site to defend against further such attacks; Arabs claim these defensive security measure are further attack on Muslim holy site; Arabs incite further attacks on Israelis in protest at presumed attack on holy site; and on and on.

In explanation of the twisted logic used by Arabs, Melanie Phillips quotes the distinguished medievalist (and originator of the term “Pallywood”) Professor Richard Landes, who wrote a fine piece in 2014 explaining the cultural dynamic behind this otherwise baffling inversion of reality by the Arab and Muslim world. Those who know me know that I have spent a lifetime attempting to understand the shame society that is the Arab world. Those of us not raised within its stultifying restrictions would ever choose to live by the mores of this society, which virtually guarantee failure in every aspect of modern life. Anyway, following is the key passage from Prof Landes’ article.

It will make you bless the day that you were not born a Muslim Arab.

“In order to understand the role of hard zero-sum, honor-shame concerns in the attitude of Arabs toward Israel, one must first understand the role of the Jew in the Muslim Arab honor-group.

For the 13 centuries before Zionism, Jews had been subject to a political status in Muslim lands specifically designed around issues of honor (to Muslims) and shame (to Jews). Jews were dhimmi, “protected” from Muslim violence by their acceptance of daily public degradation and legal inferiority. Noted Chateaubriand in the 19th century: “Special target of all [Muslim and Christian] contempt, the Jews lower their heads without complaint; they suffer all insults without demanding justice; they let themselves be crushed by blows. … Penetrate the dwellings of these people, you will find them in frightful poverty.”

For more than a millennium, Arab and Muslim honor resided, among other places, in their domination and humiliation of their dhimmi—and when the occasional reformer equalized their legal status, he struck a heavy blow to Muslim honor. Noted a British envoy on the impact of Muhammad Ali’s reforms: “The Mussulmans … deeply deplore the loss of that sort of superiority which they all & individually exercised over & against the other sects. … A Mussulman … believes and maintains that a Christian—& still more a Jew—is an inferior being to himself.”

To say that to the honor-driven Arab and Muslim political player, in the 20th century as in the 10th century, the very prospect of an autonomous Jewish political entity is a blasphemy against Islam, and an insult to Arab virility, is not to say that every period of Muslim rule involved deliberate humiliation of dhimmi. Nor is it to say that all Arabs think like this. On the contrary, this kind of testosterone-fueled, authoritarian discourse imposes its interpretation of “honor” on the entire community, often violently. Thus, while some Arabs in 1948 Palestine may have viewed the prospect of Jewish sovereignty as a valuable opportunity, the Arab leadership and “street” agreed that for the sake of Arab honor Israel must be destroyed and that those who disagreed were traitors to the Arab cause.

Worse: The threat to Arab honor did not come from a worthy foe, like the Western Christians, but by from Jews, traditionally the most passive, abject, cowardly of the populations over which Muslims ruled. As the Athenians explained to the Melians in the 5th century B.C.E.:

“One is not so much frightened of being conquered by a power which rules over others, as Sparta does, as of what would happen if a ruling power is attacked and defeated by its own subjects.”

So, the prospect of an independent state of should-be dhimmis struck Arab leaders as more than humiliating. It endangered all Islam. Thus Rahman Azzam Pasha, the head of the newly formed Arab League, spoke for his “honor group” when he threatened that “if the Zionists dare establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetrated.” As the Armenians had discovered a generation earlier, the mere suspicion of rebellion could engender massacres.

The loss in 1948, therefore, constituted the most catastrophic possible outcome for this honor-group: Seven Arab armies, representing the honor of hundreds of thousands of Arabs (and Muslims), were defeated by less than a million Jews, the surviving remnant of the most devastating and efficient genocide in history. To fall to people so low on the scale that it is dishonorable even to fight them—nothing could be more devastating. And this humiliating event occurred on center stage of the new postwar global community, before whom the Arab league representatives had openly bragged about their upcoming slaughters. In the history of a global public, never has any single and so huge a group suffered so much dishonor and shame in the eyes of so great an audience.

So, alongside the nakba (catastrophe) that struck hundreds of thousands of the Arab inhabitants of the former British Mandate Palestine, we find yet another, much greater psychological catastrophe that struck the entire Arab world and especially its leaders: a humiliation so immense that Arab political culture and discourse could not absorb it. Initially, the refugees used the term nakba to reproach the Arab leaders who started and lost the war that so hurt them. In a culture less obsessed by honor and more open to self-criticism, this might have led to the replacement of political elites with leaders more inclined to move ahead with positive-sum games of the global politics of the United Nations and the Marshall Plan. But when appearances matter above all, any public criticism shames the nation, the people, and the leaders.

Instead, in a state of intense humiliation and impotence on the world stage, the Arab leadership chose denial—the Jews did not, could not, have not won. The war was not—could never—be over until victory. If the refugees from this Zionist aggression disappeared, absorbed by their brethren in the lands to which they fled, this would acknowledge the intolerable: that Israel had won. And so, driven by rage and denial, the Arab honor group redoubled the catastrophe of its own refugees: They made them suffer in camps, frozen in time at the moment of the humiliation, waiting and fighting to reverse that Zionist victory that could not be acknowledged. The continued suffering of these sacrificial victims on the altar of Arab pride called out to the Arab world for vengeance against the Jews. In the meantime, wherever Muslims held power, they drove their Jews out as a preliminary act of revenge.

The Arab leadership’s interpretation of honor had them responding to the loss of their own hard zero-sum game—we’re going to massacre them—by adopting a negative-sum strategy. Damaging the Israeli “other” became paramount, no matter how much that effort might hurt Arabs, especially Palestinians. “No recognition, no negotiations, no peace.” No Israel. Sooner leave millions of Muslims under Jewish rule than negotiate a solution. Sooner die than live humiliated. Sooner commit suicide to kill Jews than make peace with them.”

Please think about this when you read about the violence taking place against Israelis – then, now and in the future.

My Mideast Punchlines: be careful what you wish for….

A new Palestinian law combating information technology (IT) crimes has sparked a wave of protests from Palestinian journalists and human rights organisations.

The controversial Cyber Crime Law, signed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on July 11, permits the imprisonment of Palestinians for “liking” or sharing published material on the internet.

Critics say the law paves the way for the emergence of a “police state” in PA-controlled territories in the West Bank. They also argue that the law aims to silence criticism of Abbas and the PA leadership.

The new law comes on the heels of the PA’s recent decision to block more than 20 Palestinian websites accused of publishing comments and articles critical of the PA leadership.

Two-state solution, anyone? Well, liberal lefties, be careful what you wish for. This is just a foretaste of what would happen if the Palestinians ever had a state of their own. The queues for an Israeli blue identity card would stretch from Ramallah to Mecca. Please get this through your heads, useful idiots of the liberal left:  the founders of plane hijackings, suicide bombings, stabbings and car ramming are the people on this earth least deserving of a state of their own. On the other hand, yet another failed Arab state may be exactly what they deserve.

My Mideast Punchlines: beggars can’t be choosers…

According to Arab reports picked up by i24 News, Hamas is seeking to disperse its leadership in several countries such as Turkey, Algeria, Lebanon and Malaysia.

Until recently, many Hamas leaders were based in Qatar, but they were expelled amid Qatar’s crisis with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

Beggars can’t be choosers, so Israel should immediately offer sanctuary to these Hamas leaders. It has some of the most luxurious of extended-stay holiday homes; a little isolated, but situated in stunning parts of the country. True, others may call them jails, but, hey, if you’re a Hamas leader with nowhere else to go….

My Mideast Punchlines: lights out…..

Out of fuel, Hamas shut down Gaza’s only electricity plant last night. This leaves the Strip with two to four hours of electricity. The Palestinian Authority recently notified Israel it would no longer pay for fuel shipments to the Gaza as Mahmoud Abbas turns the screws on Hamas.

Which only goes to prove that while Israel is a Light Unto Nations, internecine strife is plunging the Palestinians into darkness. With apparently no light at the end of their tunnel of suffering, Gazans have no one to blame but themselves. By electing Hamas, they made their bed and now have to lie in it — with or without a table lamp.

My Mideast Punchlines: where rights make a wrong….

A new report points out that the UN’s Human Rights Council is obsessed with Israel, while turning a blind eye to the activity of 40 European companies that operate in some of the world’s occupied territories.

The report issued last month by two pro-Israel advocacy organisations – Kohelet Policy Forum and NGO Monitor – says that “some of the world’s largest industrial, financial services, and other major publicly traded companies,” are operating in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine.

The UNHRC has been pushing efforts to boycott businesses that are active in Jewish settlements since it adopted Resolution 31/36 on March 24, 2016. A new boycott list is due out by December.

Arab hush money and/or antisemitism combine to create the most pernicious of double standards. As far as its stance on Israel is concerned, the UNHRC is the UNIWC (United Nations Inhuman Wrongs Council).

My Mideast Punchlines: if it ain’t Jews…..

Guest blog from my friend, Phil Sinitsky:

Residents of hell, aka Gaza, are getting no more than three hours of electricity supply per day. Medications are scarce in Gaza hospitals and three infants died there because they were refused permits to go to Israel for medical help. This is the stuff of banner headlines and rent-a-mob marches led by Labour party leader Corbyn & co, but not a word of protest has been heard from them or any other lefty. Why? Because it is Palestinian president Abbas who is withholding power supplies, medicines,  as well as the permits for the three children to travel to Israel for help. How sad is that for the lefties? It’s galling them that they can’t even accuse Israel of being behind this humanitarian crisis. Egypt tried to help with fuel shipments to Gaza, but Mr Abbas has barred Palestinian banks from transferring payments for the fuel. Why is the Corbyn-led lefty mob silent? Because IF IT AIN’T JEWS, IT AIN’T NEWS!