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How to Put BDS out of Business

Sept. 7 2017

Behind the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) are a number of organizations connected to terrorism. Existing counterterror laws, as well as recent anti-BDS laws that have been passed by several American states and European countries, can thus be used to shut down these groups’ bank accounts, or prevent them from using services like PayPal. Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky explain:

[M]any BDS organizations are entwined with states and other entities that advance hate groups and terrorism at large. The Dallas-based bank Comerica said in May that it closed the account of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) due to a “business decision.” [But most likely] Texas’s Governor Greg Abbott’s ratification of an anti-BDS law in early May set the stage for the shutdown of the anti-Israel organization’s account. . . . As the Harvard jurist Alan Dershowitz [noted], IADL “was founded as a Communist front and supported financially by the Soviet Union. It is anti-democratic to its core and supportive of terrorism and repression.” . . .

The IADL is part and parcel of a dangerous, growing BDS cottage industry in the West. . . . The interplay between terrorism finance and BDS is perhaps best illustrated by BDS South Africa—the so-called “mothership” of the anti-Israel campaign. In 2015, Farid Esack—an Islamic theologian and head of BDS South Africa—held a series of fund-raisers with Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who participated in the 1969 hijacking of a TWA jet. The United States and the EU have classified the PFLP as a terrorist organization. . . .

The neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer has [also] long been a supporter of BDS. And the German neo-Nazi party Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way) raises funds for its BDS activities using PayPal. Members of the Der Dritte Weg can be seen on the website at the Hizballah propaganda museum in Mleeta, Lebanon.

Both legal tools and public pressure, write Weinthal and Ramirowsky, can and should be used to make it difficult for these groups to keep doing business.

Read more at National Interest

More about: American law, BDS, Israel & Zionism, neo-Nazis, PFLP, Terrorism

The Movement to Return Jewish Worship to the Temple Mount Has Gone Mainstream

Sept. 25 2017

During the eruption of violence against Israelis in Jerusalem this summer, and the subsequent struggle over metal detectors, the Islamic authorities briefly boycotted the Temple Mount. As a result, Jewish visitors, normally prohibited from praying there, immediately began to do so. Meir Soloveichik puts the episode in context and describes its meaning:

The Temple Mount is fast becoming a pilgrimage site for religious Jews. In the past, most abstained from visiting out of concern that they might enter a sacred area in a state of ritual impurity, but many now believe that, with a knowledge of the layout, history, and religious laws pertaining to the location, it is permissible to visit certain parts of the Temple Mount plaza. They thus visit the site under religious guidance—immersing first in a ritual bath, or mikveh—and tread only in specific areas. What was once a trickle of pilgrims has become a stream, and this year they numbered in the many thousands. . . .

[Indeed, a] sea change has taken place in the past fifteen years: . . . the segment of Jews visiting the Temple Mount is becoming more and more mainstream, supported by rabbis noted for their liberalism in social or religious affairs. . . .

Visiting Jews were, for a brief and brilliant moment [this summer], able to utter several words of prayer without interference. The Israeli media published photos of a diverse group of Jews standing on the Temple Mount reciting the kaddish, so close to where their ancestors, on Yom Kippur, had once stood listening to the high priest pronounce the Name of God. Soon after this kaddish, the [status quo ante] returned; Jews again were no longer free to pray at the site toward which all Jewish prayer has been directed for thousands of years. But images of that one unimpeded kaddish remain; to study them is to look back on the miraculous and heartbreaking past half-century in Jerusalem, to celebrate what has been achieved, and to mourn what might have been.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Judaism, Palestinian terror, Religion & Holidays, Temple Mount