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Moroccans Demand Halt to Ties with Israel

People carry flags and banners during a protest calling for ending ties with Israel, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, in Rabat, Morocco, December 10, 2023. REUTERS/Ahmed El Jechtimi

Moroccans waving Palestinian flags took to the streets of the capital Rabat on Sunday calling on the government to cut ties with Israel in protest against Israel‘s military campaign against the terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Protests against Israel‘s war in Gaza have repeatedly drawn thousands of people in Morocco since the conflict began two months ago, mostly led by pan-Arab and Islamist groups.

Sunday’s march by about 3,000 protesters was the first to have been led by the PJD — Morocco’s biggest Islamist party which led the elected government from 2011 until 2021 — a sign the movement is growing more vocal in opposition.

Protesters chanted “Palestine is not for sale,” “Resistance go ahead to victory and liberation” and “the people want an end to normalization,” referring to the policy of Morocco and other Arab states normalizing ties with Israel.

Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, after Hamas terrorists burst across the fence on Oct. 7 and went on a rampage through Israeli towns, gunning down families in their homes, killing 1,200 people and seizing 240 hostages.

Since then, Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza say thousands of people have been killed during Israel’s military campaign, although experts have cast doubt on the reliability of casualty figures coming out of Gaza.

Morocco agreed to strengthen ties with Israel in 2020, under a deal brokered by the US administration under then President Donald Trump that also included Washington recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

Despite their policy of normalizing ties with Israel, Moroccan authorities have said they continue to back the creation of a Palestinian state and have urged a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the protection of all civilians there.

Islamist and leftist parties and groups in Morocco have increasingly spoken out against the normalization policy since the start of the war in Gaza on Oct. 7.

Protesters on Sunday also called for a boycott of brands they accuse of supporting Israel.

“We call on Morocco to end diplomatic relations with Israel,” said Ahmed El Yandouzi, as he was queuing to sign a petition with a Palestinian scarf around his neck.

Although Morocco and Israel have not yet completed the process of setting up full embassies in each other’s countries as they agreed to do, they have moved closer together, signing a defense cooperation pact.

The PJD was in office when Morocco agreed the normalization deal with Israel, with its then leader Saad Dine El Otmani signing it as prime minister, but the policy was ultimately set by King Mohammed, who sets overall strategy.

The new PJD leader, Abdelilah Benkirane, has said signing the agreement was a mistake.

The royal court has previously asked the PJD to stop criticizing Morocco’s ties with Israel.

The post Moroccans Demand Halt to Ties with Israel first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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UN Representative to the Palestinians Claims Israelis Are ‘Colonialists’ with ‘Fake Identities’

UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine Francesca Albanese, October 27, 2022 (Photo: Screenshot)

The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur to the Occupied Palestinian Territories referred to Israelis as “colonialists” who have “fake identities” while quoting another Twitter/X account on Wednesday, raising questions about the impartiality of the international body.

Francesca Albanese responded to a long post by Alon Mizrahi, a far-left activist, arguing that the reason many Western nations support Israel is that they are colonial projects. 

She highlighted the following quote from Mizrahi: “free Palestine scares them [Westerners] bcs it is the ghost of their own sins, rediscovered as a living, breathing human. The current political structures of colonial projects cannot afford it, so they try to uproot it. Bcs it is a fight between all colonialists and their fake identities.”

” free Palestine scares them bcs it is the ghost of their own sins, rediscovered as a living, breathing human. The current political structures of colonial projects cannot afford it, so they try to uproot it. Bcs it is a fight between all colonialists and their fake identities..” https://t.co/N1wkOPgKJs

— Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur oPt (@FranceskAlbs) February 21, 2024

The original post claimed that “All colonial powers work together to guarantee the supremacy of made-up identities over genuine, native ones. Because if this model breaks anywhere, it will collapse everywhere.”

Mizrahi argued that “A Palestinian state would be a major, major moral blow to white, Western colonialism.”

The tweet was met with immediate condemnation.

David Friedman, who served as the US Ambassador to Israel from 2017 to 2021 under former President Donald Trump wrote that her tweet was “Exhibit A why the UN is a failure and why we no longer belong in that bastion of hypocrisy and corruption.”

An account documenting Hamas’ October 7 atrocities asked, “If Israel is indeed a ‘colonialist project’ Where should all the Israelis go if this project should be dismantled?”

The perception of UN bias against Israel has also been boosted by the fact that, in 2023, Israel was condemned twice as often as all other countries combined.

It is not the first time Albanese has made comments that raise eyebrows. Earlier this month, in response to French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron calling the October 7 attack “largest anti-Semitic massacre of the 21st century,” she said “No, Mr. Macron. The victims of October 7 were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel’s oppression.”

Following backlash, she wrote that she opposes “all racism, including anti-Semitism, a global threat. But explaining these crimes as anti-Semitism obscures their true cause.”

Hamas’ founding charter, in a section about the “universality” of its cause, reads: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Albanese has also argued that Israel should make peace with Hamas, saying that “It needs to make peace with Hamas in order to not be threatened by Hamas.” 

When asked about what people do not understand about Hamas, she added, “If someone violates your right to self-determination, you are entitled to embrace resistance.”

The post UN Representative to the Palestinians Claims Israelis Are ‘Colonialists’ with ‘Fake Identities’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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‘He Has Something to Say to Us Today’: Museum of Jewish History Set to Honor Legacy of ‘The Great Artist’ Arthur Szyk

Arthur Szyk, self portrait

The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City is celebrating the 130th birthday of  the Polish-Jewish artist Arthur Szyk with a special lecture series hosted by the world’s leading expert on his work.

Titled, “Commemorating Arthur Szyk’s 130th Birthday,” the lecture series will include four 90-minutes sessions led by award winning author Irvin Ungar, a former rabbi who has studied Szyk for over 30 years, publishing three books about him and hosting exhibitions of his art at museums throughout the world. Among art historians, Ungar’s scholarship and curation is credited with single-handedly fostering a “Szyk renaissance.”

Born in 1894 in the city of Łódź during the Russian Partition of Poland, Szyk, though his life ended prematurely in 1951, lived through a violent and epochal moment in history — an age of revolution, world war, and genocide. His works, from sketches of the Boxer Rebellion he drew at the age of six to his depiction of Hitler as Pharaoh — and later, Hitler as Anti-Christ — were expressive commentaries on troubled times.

After Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939, Szyk fled to England and then America, where he earned a reputation as a “soldier in art” for portraying the Nazis and Axis leaders as primal mad men and using irradiating imagery to alert the world to the plight of the Jewish people under Nazi occupation, an issue that affected him personally. In 1940, his mother, Eugenia, was murdered in the Chełmno extermination camp, just 30 miles from the city in which he grew up. Many more relatives, as well as those of his wife, were murdered during the Holocaust.

Arthur Szyk, Anti-Christ, 1942

Szyk’s contemporaries widely acclaimed his work, both for its creativity and social consciousness. In 1949, he published “Do Not Forgive Them, O Lord, For They Do Know What They Do!,” an anti-racist drawing condemning the bigotry that Black soldiers who fought fascism abroad faced in the segregated American south. In the piece, a soldier is on his knees and bound by rope while two hooded Klansmen holding shotguns watch him from a distance. His humanism once prompted allegations that he was a member of the Communist Party, charges which were entirely unfounded.

Today, Szyk is best known in the Jewish world for what is regarded as his magnum opus, The Haggadah, an “illuminated manuscript” which tells the story of Passover Seder in a series of watercolor illustrations. It was thoroughly anti-Nazi, linking the oppression of Jews in Nazi Germany with the enslavement of Jews in Egypt and, ultimately, their Exodus.

There is much more to learn about Szyk, Irvin Ungar told The Algemeiner on Thursday during a phone interview, including his tireless advocacy on behalf of the Zionist movement and the establishment of the State of Israel, as well as his “prolific” production of illustrations for modern editions of classic books such as Canterbury Tales and Anderson’s Fairy Tales.

“My job has been how to bring all these various aspects and dimensions of Arthur Szyk together and to present an unbelievably talented and creative artists who excelled in book illustration, religious art, and political art,” Ungar said. “He was excellent in all three. It’s very rare to find any artist who can excel in all three areas with the great degree of skill and craftsmanship which he did.”

Szyk, an “artist of and for the Jewish people and for the world,” transcended his time, Ungar added, and continues to speak to ours. Rising antisemitism, illiberalism on the far-right and far-left, and great power conflict were the major themes of his art and make him an invaluable resource for comprehending a world in peril.

“He has something to say to us today,” Ungar emphasized. “He had something to say about United Nations in 1947 and 1948. It applies today. He had something to say about antisemitism being the great softener of his democracy at that time, and that would also apply to our day. You can find numerous of his artwork and think ‘That was created for today,’ and that in my mind is why his artwork is eternal.”

Commemorating Arthur Szyk’s 130th Birthday, begins on Monday, February 26, at 7 PM. Ungar will give two more lectures in March before concluding the series on April 8 with an exploration of The Haggadah.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post ‘He Has Something to Say to Us Today’: Museum of Jewish History Set to Honor Legacy of ‘The Great Artist’ Arthur Szyk first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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The Serial Killer Who Might Be the First President of Palestine

Marwan Barghouti gestures as Israeli police bring him into the District Court for his judgment hearing in Tel Aviv, May 20, 2004. Photo: Reuters / Pool / David Silverman.

JNS.orgA Greek Orthodox priest named Georgios Tsibouktzakis was murdered for the crime of driving while mistakenly being perceived as Jewish. And now his killer is being widely touted as the likely first president of “Palestine.”

In recent weeks, pundits in The New York Times, The Guardian and other news outlets have promoted Marwan Barghouti as the best candidate to replace Mahmoud Abbas as head of the Palestinian Authority and then become the first president of the “Palestine” that they hope to establish.

Incredibly, many of these Barghouti enthusiasts make no mention at all of the innocent people he was convicted of murdering. That’s like murdering them twice. Here’s some information on one of Barghouti’s victims.

Georgios Tsibouktzakis was born and raised in the picturesque northern Greek town of Evosmos, a name that means “pleasant scent.” Among its notable sites is the Agios Athanasios Church, which is more than 200 years old.

The Tsibouktzakis family must have been impoverished because upon completing primary school, at age 12, Georgios set aside his studies and found a job in a local fabric factory.

At some point, young Georgios experienced a religious awakening. He adopted an extremely humble lifestyle, giving away his belongings, including his most precious possession—his bicycle—and entering a Greek Orthodox religious order.

After studying at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Georgios decided to go to Israel. And why not? Christianity was born in the Land of Israel. The Christian Bible is filled with references to Judea (although there is no mention of “Palestine,” for some reason). As a devout man of faith, he wanted to spend the rest of his life in the Holy Land.

In 1990, Georgios arrived in Israel and resumed his religious studies at a local Greek Orthodox seminary. After three years, he became a monk and was given the name Father Germanos. Eventually, he was ordained a priest and deacon. He was assigned to live at St. George’s Monastery.

A word about St. George’s. Despite the frequent lies by Arab propagandists and their supporters about Israel supposedly mistreating Christians, in fact, the country is home to numerous monasteries such as St. George’s, which all operate as freely as any Jewish religious institution. St. George’s is located on a prime piece of real estate just 12 miles outside of Jerusalem.

For many years, Father Germanos was the only resident of the monastery. He spent his days in prayer and study. When necessary, he would drive to nearby Jerusalem to run errands. It was a humble and peaceful existence. Until June 22, 2001.

On that evening, the priest was driving back from Jerusalem to St. George’s. A Palestinian Arab terrorist with a sniper’s rifle was hiding above the highway near the exit for the Jewish community of Ma’ale Adumim.

As Father Germanos’s car came into view, the terrorist saw his yellow Israeli license plates. So he opened fire. Because if you have Israeli plates, you’re probably Jewish, and if you’re Jewish, you deserve to be murdered. Thus, the clergyman’s life was taken at the age of 34.

Israel’s security services learned from their sources that the attack had been planned and carried out by Force 17, a terrorist unit of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah Party movement that was commanded by longtime “intifada” leader Marwan Barghouti. That information was confirmed by the apprehended shooter, a 22-year-old Fatah member Hassin Radeida.

Barghouti was arrested and indicted as the mastermind of the murder of Father Germanos, as well as a string of other murders. Barghouti had the opportunity to contest the charges and prove his innocence. But he refused to deny culpability and declared that the “Zionist” court had no right to prosecute him.

Of course not—since, in Barghouti’s view, murdering Jews is right and proper, then prosecuting anybody for murdering them is wrong and improper.

On May 20, 2004, Barghouti was convicted of the murders of Father Germanos and four other innocent people. He is serving five consecutive sentences of life imprisonment.

The various news columnists and others who have been building up Barghouti in recent weeks say that he is the only figure in the Palestinian Arab world who is popular enough to serve as head of the P.A., and then as the president of “Palestine.”

If that’s true, what does that tell us about Palestinian Arab society? Their single most popular political person is a serial killer. How sad that supporters of the Palestinian cause have decided to champion such a monster, while Father Germanos and the murderer’s other victims lie in their graves, forgotten and abandoned.

The post The Serial Killer Who Might Be the First President of Palestine first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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