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Students for Justice in Palestine Crosses over to Pure Anti-Semitism

While those who loathe the Jewish state are often quick to insist that they are “anti-Zionists” rather than anti-Semites, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a prominent campus anti-Israel group, seems to have dropped all pretenses by condemning a radical ultra-Orthodox group for settling in Central America. Lev Tahor, a fiercely anti-Zionist group—whose practices are considered extreme even by ḥaredi standards—relocated to Guatemala after running afoul of the law in the U.S., Israel, and Canada. Jonathan Marks writes:

National SJP urges its followers to “sign [a petition] to support the community of Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj as they resist colonial/Zionist land occupation and exploitation!” What does the community of Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj (San Juan La Laguna) in Guatemala have to do with Zionists? Nothing. But it is engaged in a dispute with Jews, and that is all that seems to matter to SJP. . . .

These “settler-colonialists” first attempted to “colonize” Israel, Canada, and the United States, leaving each of these places amid allegations of child abuse. They have not been in San Juan la Laguna since 2014, when they were forced out by local authorities. SJP is evidently bringing this up now because the former mayor of the town has been jailed for his part in the expulsion. That expulsion may, in fact, have been motivated as much by what the mayor himself called a “clash of cultures” and what others would call religious discrimination as by whatever allegations the elders of Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj may have caught wind of. . . .

[T]he petition actually ties itself in knots trying to explain why Lev Tahor, though anti-Zionist, is actually Zionist. “Any and all anti-Zionist work,” it states, must also be anti-colonial, and the community of Lev Tahor cannot be anti-Zionist, due to their “threatening of and lack of respect for indigenous peoples.” Not ignorance, then, but malice, is behind the petition. . . .

Students for Justice in Palestine has thrown its weight behind a petition that blames Jewish nationalism for the ills of all indigenous peoples and includes even anti-Zionist Jews among the Zionists. There is no definition of anti-Semitism so narrow as not to include this repulsive petition.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Israel & Zionism, Students for Justice in Palestine, Ultra-Orthodox

 

Israel’s Economy Thrives While the Middle East Disintegrates

Jan. 19 2018

Now that the data have come in from 2017, it is clear that the Israeli economy had another successful year, expanding at a rate higher than that of any other advanced country. Israel’s per-capita GDP also grew, placing it above those of France and Japan. Daniel Kryger notes some of the implications regarding the Jewish state’s place in the Middle East:

The contrast between first-world Israel and the surrounding third-world Arab states is larger today than ever before. Israel’s GDP per capita is almost twenty times the GDP per capita of impoverished Egypt and five times larger than semi-developed Lebanon.

Like any human project, Israel is a never-ending work in progress and much work remains to integrate ḥaredi Jews and Israeli Arabs into Israel’s knowledge economy. Properly addressing Israel’s high costs of living requires more economic and legislative reforms and breaking up inefficient oligopolies that keep the prices artificially high. However, by any standard, the reborn Jewish state is a remarkable success story. . . .

Much has changed since OPEC launched its oil embargo against the West after the failed Arab aggression against Israel in October 1973. Before the collapse of the pro-Arab Soviet empire, China and India had no official ties with Israel and many Western and Japanese companies avoided doing business with Israel. Collapsing oil prices have dramatically eroded the power of oil-producing countries. It has become obvious that the future belongs to those who innovate, not those who happen to sit on oil. Israel has today strong commercial ties with China and a thriving partnership with India. Business delegations from Jamaica to Japan are eager to do business with Israel and benefit from Israel’s expertise. . . .

[For its part], the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement may bully Jewish and pro-Israel students on Western campuses. However, in real life, BDS stands no chance of succeeding against Israel. The reason is simple: reborn Israel has . . . become too valuable a player in the global economy.

Read more at Mida

More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy, Middle East, OPEC