Jewish World Update Mar/Apr 2021

Obama’s New Book Full of Revisionist History, Errors
Former President Barack Obama’s 768-page memoir, A Promised Land, published in November 2020, continues to garner criticism from people who claim it is shot through with historical inaccuracies and anti-Israel revisionist history. Writing for JNS.org, former Israeli Knesset member Dov Lipman said it “misleads readers in a way that will forever shape their negative perspective of the Jewish state.”

Lipman, who said he never before criticized Obama publicly, wrote, “However, his memoir, A Promised Land, is filled with historical inaccuracies that I feel the need to address. His telling of Israel’s story (at the beginning of Chapter 25) not only exhibits a flawed understanding of the region—which clearly impacted his policies as president”—but misleads readers.

Richard Sherman, writing in clevelandjewishnews.com, said, “Obama writes the British were ‘occupying Palestine’ when the Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917. However, he ignores that the victors after World War I, in the San Remo agreement of 1920, awarded the Jewish people Judea and Samaria.

In 1922 the League of Nations ratified the British Mandate, and in 1946 the United Nations ratified the actions of the League of Nations. “By omission,” wrote Sherman, “Obama implies there was not a scintilla of international consent for a Jewish state.”

Obama also claimed the Palestine Liberation Organization was a “result” of the 1967 Six-Day War when in fact it was begun in 1964.

Obama also claimed “Zionist leaders mobilized a surge of Jewish migration to Palestine” after the British supposedly illegally began forming a Jewish state there. In the JNS.org article, Lipman set the record straight:

The truth is that Jews, who maintained a continual presence throughout the 2,000 years that most were exiled from the land, had already been moving to Palestine in large numbers way before then; considerably more than 100,000 immigrants arrived in the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Then, in the 1920s, high numbers fleeing anti-Semitism in Europe could only find safe haven in Palestine due to the United States having instituted quotas in 1924 on the number of Jews who could enter America.

The number of immigrants rose even more in the 1930s when Adolf Hitler rose to power and began his conquest of Europe while the world remained silent.

Historical context is important, and once Obama chose to write about the history, he should have provided the full context and portrayed the Jews as they were: a persecuted and desperate people searching for safety, and not, as he implies, strong conquerors flooding into Palestine.

His claim that the new immigrants “organized highly trained armed forces to defend their settlements” is also misleading. A more accurate way to describe it would have been: “Because the Arabs in the region mercilessly attacked the Jewish areas, the Jewish refugees had no choice but to take up arms to defend themselves.”

Acknowledging that the Arabs were attacking Jews before there was even a State of Israel is important historical context for understanding the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Muslim Brotherhood Pursues ‘Congressional Jihad’ in America
“If anyone thinks a presidential outcome for [Joe] Biden could occur without empowerment of Islamic radicals, then think again,” said Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, founder and president of Voice of the Copts, an American nonprofit organization that fights Islamic supremacy and Sharia Law. Unitedwithisrael.org reported Ramelah believes the Muslim Brotherhood intends to “exploit the administration” of Biden “in order to pursue ‘Congressional Jihad’ through its contacts in America.” According to Al-Jazeera news, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) promised to deliver the votes for Biden. Ramaleh said CAIR heavily backs radical Ilhan Omar (D-MN) “and equates her political grooming” to its pursuit of “Congressional Jihad.”

No Buying, Selling, or Trading Without Vaccine?
Although an Israeli health official said the Israeli government won’t “force” people to take the coronavirus vaccine, plans are underway to “maneuver” the population into compliance, israelnationalnews.com reported. Commentator Mike Cernovich wrote, “Government won’t force you to take the vaccine. Amazon will. Airlines will. Banks will. You won’t be able to buy, sell, or trade without the vaccine.” Sheba Medical Center official Dr. Eyal Zimlichman said it is possible “to create motivation” by giving “green status” to people who are vaccinated, so they can go “freely in all the green zones. They’ll open for you cultural events, they’ll open to you the shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants,” the news outlet reported. Presumably, lack of “green status” will shut people out.

Anti-Semites Prolific During Capitol Chaos
Anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers abounded during the riot outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC, in January. Some wore T-shirts that read “Camp Auschwitz,” and others sported neo-Nazi symbols. Some T-shirts bore the abbreviation 6MWE, which stands for “six million wasn’t enough,” referring to “the number of Jews exterminated by the Nazis during WWII,” reported algemeiner.com. Outside the Capitol, an Israeli television reporter “was accosted by a pro-Trump demonstrator who showered him with anti-Semitic abuse. The demonstrator called the correspondent for Israel’s Channel 13 a ‘lying Israeli’ and a ‘Yid’ as he ranted about U.S. aid to the State of Israel,” algemeiner.com reported.

Hamas Received $22 Million in Cash in Suitcases
Iran’s late strongman Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani once gave Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar $22 million in cash in suitcases to take back to the Gaza Strip. Hamas, a terrorist organization determined to destroy Israel, governs the Gaza Strip. Al-Zahar said recently, “We had agreed on a larger sum, but there were only nine of us, and this was all we could carry.”

Israelis Feed Needy in San Francisco
A long line of cars, representing hundreds of families, waited in line in San Francisco recently to receive food as part of an outreach by the consulate general of Israel in San Francisco and volunteers from the Israeli humanitarian-aid organization IsraAID, reported israeltoday.co.il. “These are families whose financial state has worsened because of COVID-19 to the point where they don’t have enough food to eat,” the news outlet reported. At another time, staff from the Israeli embassy and United Arab Emirates distributed “winter kits” and “kits to deal with the corona plague” to more than 100 homeless people in Washington, DC, israeltoday.co.il reported. “This is the first cooperation of its kind between the diplomatic missions of Israel and the Emirates in the spirit of the new Abraham Accords.”

Saudi Prince Warns World About Iran
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned Gulf State leaders at a recent summit that they had better unite to face the grave danger posed by Iran, reported worldisraelnews.com. “I believe the Iranian supreme leader [Khamenei] makes Hitler look good. Hitler didn’t do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. . . . The supreme leader is trying to conquer the world,” he said. Iran recently installed 1,000 more centrifuges and produced 20 percent enriched uranium, bolstering its nuclear capabilities. Fear of Iran in part has led four nations so far to join the Abraham Accords with Israel: United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.

Israel’s $50.4 Billion Deficit Is Highest Ever
Israel’s budget deficit for 2020 was the highest in its history: $50.4 billion, or 11.7 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, reported timesofisrael.com. The deficit was three times higher than in 2019 and is one of the highest in the world, “expected to be surpassed only by those of the U.S., Canada, the UK, Iceland, and Australia,” the news source reported. The Bank of Israel is hoping the inoculations against the coronavirus will improve the economy.

For news about Israel updated daily, log on to foi.org/news.

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