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Friday, July 21, 2017

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Europe remains blind because it doesn’t want to see
The Islamists’ key insight is that progressive views have hollowed out Western societies, particularly in Europe, so that they no longer know what values they need to defend against the Islamic jihad.
What secularists fail to grasp is that the values they most prize, such as the power of reason or belief in human rights, were created by Judaism and expressed in the West through Christianity.
Human rights rest on the belief that all are created equal in the image of God. The power of reason rests on the revolutionary concept in the book of Genesis that there is an intelligible universe.
Secular ideologies, however, are positively anti-Judaism.
Moral relativism denies the moral codes of Mosaic law. Deep green environmentalism repudiates the belief embodied in the creation that mankind is superior to the natural world. Scientific materialism dethrones God and puts man in his place.
Judaism is an obstacle both to the unconstrained individualism of Western libertines and also to the Islamist attack on reason, equality and freedom. Small wonder Western progressives make common cause with Islamists against the Jewish people.
Macron is a universalist who doesn’t believe in defending Western national identity. Nor does he believe in France. He said last February: “French culture does not exist; there is a culture in France and it is diverse...
French art? I never met it!” Anyone who believes Macron will defend the Jewish people, the free world or France itself is in for a rude awakening. As are the rest of Europe and the West, while they continue to misjudge the central importance of Israel and the Jewish people to their battle to survive. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Macron’s Terrorism Idiocy
According to Macron, climate change causes droughts and migration, which exacerbates crises as populations fight over shrinking resources. If Macron really believes that, France and Europe are in for some tough times.
First, droughts are a frequent, cyclical occurrence in the Middle East, the Sahel, and the Horn of Africa. The difference between drought and famine is the former is a natural occurrence and the latter is man-made, usually caused by poor governance. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the Horn of Africa, where the same drought might kill a few dozens of Ethiopians but wipe out tens of thousands of Somalis.
Second, the common factor in the wars raging in the Middle East today is neither climate change nor extreme weather, but brutal dictatorship, radical ideologies, and the militias supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yemen could be a breadbasket. Its terraced fields rising up thousands of feet in the mountains grow almost every fruit imaginable. Yemen also catches the tail end of the monsoon. If Yemenis planted exportable crops like coffee rather than the mild drug qat, which does not bring in hard currency, they might be fairly prosperous.
It is not climate change that denied the Syrian public basic freedoms and liberty for decades, nor was it climate change that dropped barrel bombs on civilian neighborhoods, tortured and killed 13-year-old Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, or used chemical weapons. For that matter, when it comes to radicalization, the problem is Syria was less climate and more decades of Saudi-and Qatari-funded indoctrination and Turkish assistance to foreign fighters.
Regardless of all this, another obvious factor nullifies Macron’s thesis: When drought occurs in regions outside the Middle East, the result is seldom suicide bombing.
A Non-Hyperbolic, Non-Apologetic Analysis of the Proposed Israel Boycott Law
Some of you may have read a recent Intercept post claiming that Congress is considering banning support for the boycott of Israel (by "some of you", I mean half my twitter feed). Unsurprisingly, this piqued my interest. On the one hand, the Intercept is not exactly an outfit known for letting accuracy get in the way of hyperbole. On the other hand, plenty of bad/regressive/poorly drafted laws are introduced in Congress, and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in particular tends not to bring out people's sense of care and proportion.
So in my ongoing effort to help reintroduce the endangered species of calm, non-hyperbolic discussion of Israel on the internet, here's my best attempt at a calm, non-hyperbolic analysis of what this bill actually would do. But first, a bit of background.
American law already prohibits the boycotting of a country friendly to the United States where it is done at the behest of a boycott call by a foreign country. This law came about for a very particular reason: the threat of secondary boycotts by Arab countries. Companies which might have no interest in boycotting Israel might do so if, say, Qatar (whose business they value much more) said "you can't do business with us if you do business with Israel." The U.S. law counters by saying "you can't follow the Qatar boycott if you want to stay within American law". Even for companies where Qatar > Israel, the U.S. is > > > Qatar, so the law effectively neutralizes foreign calls for a secondary boycott.
The most anodyne way of describing this new law is to say that it merely extends the preexisting ban on boycotting an ally of the United States at the behest of a foreign country (e.g., Qatar) to include doing so at the behest of an International Governmental Organization (e.g., the EU and UN). If the current law isn't unconstitutional (and it's been upheld against challenge, see Briggs & Stratton Corp. v. Baldrige, 728 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1984)), why would this one be problematic?



Three Israelis killed, one wounded, in stabbing attack in West Bank
Three Israelis were killed and another was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank on Friday night when a terrorist broke into a home and stabbed its residents.
Paramedics said two men, one in his 60s and another in his 40s, and a woman in her 40s, have died of their wounds sustained in the attack in a home in a settlement. The three were initially listed in critical condition.
A fourth woman, in her 60s, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem in serious condition.
According to a preliminary investigation, the terrorist, a Palestinian youth from a nearby village, arrived in the settlement on foot armed with a knife, climbed a fence and chose the last house on a street near it.
The perpetrator broke a window and entered the home, surprising a family of about 10 inside as they were finishing their Shabbat dinner before launching his stabbing spree, Channel 10 reported.
Abbas announces immediate halt to ‘all contacts’ with Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced late Friday he was freezing all contacts with Israel.
“We announce a freeze on all contacts with Israelis on all levels,” Abbas said, according to Israel’s Channel 10, “until it cancel the steps taken against our people in Al-Aqsa and in Jerusalem.”
He specifically castigated the deployment of metal detectors at the Temple Mount compound — placed there by Israel after a July 14 terror attack in which three Arab-Israelis shot dead two Israeli police officers there with guns they had smuggled into the holy site — as being intended by Israel “to impose sovereignty at Al-Aqsa and divide it,” according to a Ynet translation of his remarks.
NYTs: Israeli Aid Gives an Unexpected ‘Glimmer of Hope’ for Syrians
Since Israel and Syria are technically in a state of war and have no diplomatic relations, Israel has not taken in masses of Syrian refugees as other countries have done. Even a government proposal to bring in 100 orphaned Syrian children was dropped.
Still, many Israelis have expressed distress over standing by as the humanitarian disaster has unfolded in Syria, which is what motivated the military to undertake the operation, officials said.
Syrians wounded in the fighting first arrived at the Israeli border fence early in 2013, desperate for help.
“We faced a dilemma,” said Dr. Noam Fink, the chief medical officer of the Israeli military’s northern command. “The decision was made by our commanders and our government to allow them to enter the country and to give them full medical treatment.”
Since then, with medical facilities in war-ravaged towns and villages barely functioning, Israel has treated about 4,000 war-wounded or sick Syrians.
Israel says it is now getting aid to an area inhabited by about 200,000 Syrians, including around 400 displaced families living in tent encampments along the international boundary, and is helping equip new clinics in the area.
“So far the strategy is working,” said Amos Harel, the military affairs analyst for the newspaper Haaretz, noting the relative quiet along the Israeli-Syrian cease-fire line. “It is an intelligent policy. It is not only altruistic.”
Georgette Bennett, who founded the Multifaith Alliance in 2013, said her network had the ability to reach deeper on the Syrian side, covering an area of 1.5 million Syrians. The cooperation between Israelis and Syrians is “a great glimmer of hope coming out of this tragedy,” said Ms. Bennett, a Hungarian-born former refugee and the daughter of Holocaust survivors.
The alliance’s director of humanitarian relief and regional relations, Shadi Martini, is a Syrian who said he managed a hospital in Aleppo, a city that has been an epicenter of the war, before fleeing the country in 2012. When he first heard about the Israelis’ aid, he said: “It was a very big shock to me. Syrians were brought up to fear Israelis as the devil who wants to kill us and take our land.”
Operation Good Neighbor


Lobby to reform UNRWA launches in Knesset
A new Knesset lobby calling for the reform of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will be launched this week.
The Knesset Lobby for UNRWA Policy Reform, which is chaired by MK Sharren Haskel (Likud), will hold its first session tomorrow (Wednesday) in the Likud Conference Room in the Knesset.
The session will deal with UNRWA's policy of eternally perpetuating the refugee status of the Palestinian Arabs. Palestinian Arabs are the only population in the world whose refugee status is inherited, and are the only refugees who do not fall under the purview of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The session will also deal with the prevalence of incitement against Israel and Jews in the textbooks used in UNRWA schools.
David Bedein, the director of the Center for Near East Policy research and the initiator or tomorrow's event, explained why the lobby will focus on reforming UNRWA instead of abolishing the organization.


NGO Monitor: Amnesty International from Gaza to Mosul: Handcuffing Western Democracies Engaged in Urban Warfare
On July 11, 2017, Amnesty International published “At Any Cost: The Civilian Catastrophe in West Mosul, Iraq,” alleging “repeated violations of international humanitarian law, some of which may amount to war crimes” by both ISIS and “Iraqi government and US-led coalition forces” in the first half of 2017 (pg. 5). Even if “IS tactics and violations created particular challenges,” “Iraqi government and US-led coalition forces failed to adequately adapt their tactics to these challenges – as required by international humanitarian law” (pg. 6).
According to Amnesty, pro-government forces must “Assume the presence of civilians in every structure when engaging IS fighters” (pg. 46). Amnesty demands an adjustment in tactics, including restrictions on “the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects – including artillery, mortars and IRAMs” (pg. 7). Based on the discussion of specific incidents (more on this below), Amnesty seems to rule out all airstrikes.
In other words, if pro-government forces in Iraq had adhered to Amnesty’s version of the laws of armed conflict (LOAC), they could not have effectively fought in west Mosul. Instead, Amnesty’s rules would force a slow, brutal, bloody ground campaign, which would clearly increase civilian casualties and coalition troop losses.
For years, especially in publications on the 2009 and 2014 Gaza conflicts, Amnesty has been advancing a similar argument regarding Israeli operations in urban zones, albeit with much more condemnatory language than it uses here. Because Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon deliberately co-locate their forces in heavily populated areas, in particular in mosques, hospitals, and family residences, Israel must fight with one hand tied behind its back. All Israeli strikes are automatically labeled “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate.” Precautions implemented far and above legal obligations by Israel to warn civilians, such as leaflets, SMS messages, and “knock on the roof,” are twisted by Amnesty into an indication of Israel’s criminality (and Hamas’ protection of civilians).
JPost Editorial: Fighting antisemitism
The US State Department’s post of special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism was established in 2004, during the presidency of George W. Bush.
Now, 13 years later, US President Donald Trump is seeking to do away with the position.
We urge him to reconsider. Antisemitism is an issue that should be taken seriously by the Trump administration. Allowing the position to stay vacant sends the misleading message that this administration does not take antisemitism seriously enough.
But a warm body is not enough. Filling the position is important. But no less important is choosing the right person. The ideal candidate should clarify, not obscure, the main forces behind contemporary antisemitism. There have been good and bad envoys in the past.
Gregg Rickman, the first envoy, was particularly adept at identifying and publicizing the fact that delegitimization of the Jewish state is in yet another strain of antisemitism.
Singling out Israel for special condemnation or denying Israel the right to exist, let alone defend itself, was often motivated by irrational hatred for Jews, Rickman noted. Therefore, no rational argument, appeal to reason or presentation of facts could convince the Israel-basher to disown his or her positions.
Thousands remember prosecutor on Buenos Aires bomb anniversary
The death of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor in the AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires, will forever be linked to the attack, the center’s president told thousands at a gathering marking the bombing’s 23rd anniversary.
“We know the truth about the AMIA massacre due to the investigation by a prosecutor who honored his work, even surrendering his own life like Alberto Nisman” in order to fulfill his duty, Agustin Zbar said Tuesday at a commemoration. “Hopefully soon enough we will have light shed on the details of his tragic end. His death is indissolubly linked to his task in the AMIA case. It is a direct consequence of the impunity of the AMIA foreign criminals whom he bravely faced.”
Zbar, a lawyer, said the judiciary file on the case points to Hezbollah and Iran as the culprits, but no one has been brought to justice for an attack that killed 85 and injured hundreds. “Our fellow Muslim compatriots must also repudiate and denounce the violent actions of Iran and Hezbollah in Argentina, as well as those of terrorists in the United States, Europe, Israel or wherever they may be.”
US Government Mourns AMIA Bombing Victims, Investigator Alberto Nisman, on 23rd Anniversary of Iran-Perpetrated Atrocity
The US State Department marked Tuesday’s 23rd anniversary of the July 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires with a statement highlighting Iran’s role in the atrocity and urging transparency in the investigation into the death of Alberto Nisman, the Argentine special prosecutor who exposed Tehran’s culpability for the attack.
“The United States shares the sorrow of the families of those who perished in the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building in 1994,” Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for the State Department, said. “For the past 23 years, we have joined the Argentine government and victims of this terrorist attack in seeking justice. We continue to believe that the Iranian government has a responsibility to cooperate fully with Argentine authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
Nauert then paid tribute to Nisman, who was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment in January 2015, shortly before his planned public exposure of the collusion between Tehran and the former government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in exonerating the Iranian and Hezbollah operatives responsible for the bombing.
“On this occasion, we also reflect upon the significant contributions of prosecutor Alberto Nisman in investigating the AMIA bombing, and note the importance of clarifying the circumstances of his tragic death,” Nauert said.
Iran Continues to Protect AMIA Bombing Suspects
There should be no statute of limitations on terrorism cases. That’s why the murder of 85 Argentines who were at the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) when it was bombed 23 years ago today should serve as a sobering reminder that even with the passage of time, those responsible must be held to account.
But once again, Iran is seeking to absolve itself of responsibility for its role in the deadliest attack on Argentine soil.
Five Interpol red notices, which call for international cooperation to arrest and extradite the suspects for aggravated homicide in connection with the bombing of the AMIA, are in force against Iranian suspects in the bombing. At the time of the bombing, Mohsen Rezai was commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohsen Rabbani was Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Buenos Aires, Ahmad Vahidi was Iran’s Defense Minister, Amhad Asghari was third secretary in Iran’s Embassy in Argentina and Ali Fallahian, was Iran’s Minister of Intelligence.
Last week, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said Iran is “ready to work with Interpol to resolve a dispute” over the 1994 bombing of the AMIA, a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. That is analogous to the arsonist volunteering to work with the police to find the source of the fire.
Today’s AMIA leadership understands Iran’s move for what it is: yet another Iranian maneuver aimed at lifting the red notices from those who have been wanted by Interpol since 2007.
What Does Israel Have against George Soros? Quite a Lot, Actually
On Monday, the New York Times published an opinion piece by a far-left Israeli journalist named Mairav Zonszein arguing that the billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros “should be”—but is not—“a darling of the Israeli establishment.” The obstacle: he does not offer “unconditional support for [Israel’s current] government.” Elliot Kaufman begs to differ:
Israel is not concerned about Soros’s lack of “unconditional support for the government.” Rather, it detests the fact that he provides millions of dollars to organizations that seek to boycott, isolate, and delegitimize Israel. . . . Soros has given over $1 million to I’lam, a Palestinian media center that accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and argues that “the practical meaning of the Nakba,” an Arabic term for the creation of Israel, “undermines the moral and ethical foundation of Zionism and, hence, of the state of Israel.” . . . An NGO Monitor report from 2013 also revealed that Soros funds the Institute for Middle East Understanding and Mada al-Carmel, both of which call for international boycotts against Israel.
He funds multiple organizations that specialize in suing Israel domestically and internationally, including Al-Haq, which is led by a senior activist of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, considered a terrorist organization by the United States. . . .
There is no mystery as to why Soros is despised in Israel: he is engaged in a campaign to subvert it from within and attack it from abroad. Soros’s foundation treats Israel like an adversary and a rogue state, to be targeted, pressured, and sanctioned. Soros has even publicly compared Israel to Nazi Germany, amateurishly contending that the victim has become the victimizer.
Ahead of Palestinian Terrorist Rasmea Odeh’s Imminent Deportation From US, Supporters Plan ‘Farewell’ Event in Chicago Starring Angela Davis
A convicted Palestinian terrorist set to be deported after spending over two decades in the US will be seen off by supporters next month in Chicago at a celebration featuring a prominent American feminist activist.
Rasmea Odeh — sentenced to life in prison by an Israeli military court for her membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and for planting explosives in two 1969 Jerusalem bombings, one of which killed two Hebrew University students, and released in a 1980 prisoner exchange — will be honored as a “farewell” event starring BDS activist Angela Davis.
The program, which will also feature a performance by a hip hop duo called Rebel Diaz, was organized by the Rasmea Defense Committee, which long supported Odeh’s attempts to fight prosecution in court for omitting her criminal record on her US naturalization papers.
Odeh took a plea deal earlier this year and will be deported to Jordan, after the August 12 program to be held at the building of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
Odeh has been a popular figure on the US campus speaking circuit, recently giving a talk at Northwestern University as a guest of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. The Northwestern Jewish community organized a coinciding silent vigil in memory of Odeh’s victims, which was attended by some 150 students, faculty and administrators, including the university president.
World Vision Australia Implicated with Supporting Another Terrorist Group
The Israeli Authorities have now confirmed allegations made against World Vision Australia (WVA) in 2012 regarding their funding of the Palestinian NGO: the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (“UAWC”). These include that:
  • The UAWC is linked to the proscribed terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (“PFLP”);
  • The Committee of Agricultural Works (“CAW”), an Israeli NGO, is also linked to the PFLP and exists solely to allow the fraudulent use of its official Israeli Government registration documents;
  • The use of the CAW’s documents in relation to the UAWC was “intended to deceive the Australian Parliament and Australian Government Relief Organization (AusAid) in order to mobilize funds for the UAWC, which as stated above, is a body operating on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
This revelation follows, and is additional to, the exposure of World Vision’s head of Gaza operations as a Hamas agent who diverted the millions of charitable funds to the terrorist group. This time World Vision is even more heavily implicated as it was put on notice of the terror links and fraud 5 years ago and chose to do nothing despite being presented with extensive evidence.
Islamic 'charity' places pro-Iran professors in US universities
An Islamic "charity" was recently convicted of acting as a front group for the Iranian regime, as well as financing and installing pro-Iranian professors and curricula in 44 North American universities, Conservative Review reported.
Out of the 44 universities, 41 are in the United States.
In late June, a New York jury ruled that the Alavi Foundation is linked directly to the Iranian regime and the US federal government seized the organization's Manhattan headquarters.
It was "the largest terrorism-related criminal forfeiture in US history," prosecutors said.
How did Alavi integrate itself into American society?
The group claims its goal is to "offer courses on Persian language, Iranian studies, and the Islamic culture with a focus on Shiite studies."
The Alavi Foundation also donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Over the past few years, Alavi raised their university financing efforts by approximately 50%. Between 2013-2016, the number of North American universities working with Alavi jumped from 30 to 44.
The New Israel Fund Is No Friend of the Jewish State
It’s not often that Israeli government officials accuse American Jewish non-profit organizations of aiding terrorists – but then again, the New Israel Fund (NIF) is not usual. After all, there are not many Jewish non-profits that openly support a boycott of Israel, and continually harm the Jewish state.
This week, Miri Regev — Israel’s culture minister — noted that the NIF helped advertise a farewell party for former Knesset member Basel Ghattas who “was convicted in March … after he was caught sneaking cellular devices … to jailed terrorists and carrying messages to and from Hamas-affiliated terrorists held in Israeli prisons.” Ghattas was sentenced to two years in prison for his crimes.
As Regev noted, the NIF often funds incitement against Israel, adding, “it’s very sad to see an organization which touts ideas like tolerance and the rule of law … but then turns around and pays with its own money for advertising an event in honor of a man convicted of helping terrorists.”
The examples of NIF supporting terrorism are replete. For instance, Michael Sfard — an attorney for a number of organizations that are funded by the New Israel Fund — testified as an expert witness on behalf of the PLO during a recent trial in Manhattan brought by victims of Palestinian terrorism.
Canadian Islamist Groups Lose Charity Status Over Potential Militant Financing
Canadian authorities have stripped two former affiliates of the Islamic Society of North America’s Canada chapter (ISNA-Canada) of their charitable status after discovering financial ties between the Islamic organizations and a Pakistani militant group.
The two groups — ISNA Islamic Services of Canada and the Canadian Islamic Trust Foundation — lost their charity status for “non-compliance” following a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit, according to records acquired by Canada’s Global News.
The CRA discovered several issues during the audit, including evidence that ISNA Islamic Services facilitated donations that may have ended up in the hands of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), a Kashmir-based militant group. According to the CRA report, the Toronto-based Jami Mosque raised and transferred funds to the ISNA Development Foundation “for remit” to the Relief Organization of Kashmiri Muslims (ROKM), a “charitable arm” associated with HM.
“Given the identified commonalities in directorship between ROKM and Jamaat-e-Islami and the Hizbul Mujahideen executive committee, concerns exist that the funds collected and disbursed as part of this relief fund may have been used to support the political efforts of Jamaat-e-Islami and/or its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen,” the CRA said.
HM is designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union and India. In June, the US State Department put HM’s leader, Syed Salahuddin, on its terrorist designation list, citing his threats to train suicide bombers in Kashmir and HM’s responsibility for several deadly terrorist attacks.
Indy corrects. New text refutes claim Israel stops Gaza docs from traveling to training seminars
Though we addressed the extremely misleading claim that the the blockade prevents medical equipment from reaching hospitals, we particularly focused on the specific claim by PHR-Israel that Israel “prevents Gazan doctors from travelling abroad for training”. We contacted a spokesperson from COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories) to get an answer about this claim, and they flatly denied it. In fact, they provided us detailed statistics on the hundreds of such crossings over the past couple of years.
We contacted Indy editors, providing them with the information from COGAT, and we learned this morning that our complaint was upheld. The article has been updated and now includes the following text immediately following the claim by PHR-Israel.
A spokesperson for Cogat (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories) denied that Israel stops Gazan doctors from receiving training. “In 2016 alone, 221 crossings of doctors were coordinated for professional training abroad, whilst an additional 43 were coordinated in 2017,” the organisation said in a statement. “The list of doctors is determined by the Palestinian Authority,” added the Cogat spokesperson.

We commend Indy editors for the correction.
BBC News’ side-lining of French president’s anti-Zionism statement is no surprise
Macron’s statement is of course in step with the IHRA working definition of antisemitism that was adopted in recent months by the British government and the EU parliament as well as in accord with the US State department’s definition. His words were reported by numerous media outlets including the Independent, the Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
However, the BBC News website’s report on the ceremony made no mention whatsoever of the French president’s recognition of anti-Zionism as a manifestation of antisemitism.
Should we be surprised at the omission of that statement from the BBC’s coverage of the event? Not really.
Last April – despite the fact that it still does not work according to an accepted definition of antisemitism – the BBC considered itself sufficiently qualified to produce a backgrounder titled “What’s the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?“.
As was noted here at the time, that article promoted the Livingstone Formulation, failed to inform readers what anti-Zionism actually means and focused on promoting the inaccurate and misleading notion that anti-Zionism is the same thing as expressing criticism of the policies and actions of the Israeli government while advancing the ‘Zionism is racism’ canard. Subsequent BBC reporting again amplified similar themes.
Why Spanish People Get It Wrong
For years, El País advanced an anti-Israeli narrative, at times even toying with overt anti-Semitism, to the point where, in 2009, fourteen US congressmen sent a letter to then-Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to express their concern about El País' systematic publication of “articles and cartoons conveying crude anti-Semitic canards and stereotypes.”
That same year, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (a notoriously harsh critic of the Israeli government) published Yoav Sivan's article “Bias in black and white” which noted that “Even in minor stories unrelated to the conflict, El Pais displays a unique combination of sloppiness and unapologetic hatred for Israel.”
The year 2009 marked a turning point. The newspaper changed its approach to the region with more balanced reporting. Tel Aviv ceased to be incorrectly identified as the capital of Israel and articles from the Middle East began to include viewpoints from both sides of the conflict.
Over the past year, however, El País has drifted back to its previous pattern, disregarding the voice of one of the parties in the conflict.
NY council candidate likens Jews who don’t fight landlords to German Nazi enablers
Thomas Lopez-Pierre wants you to know he cares about Jews. That’s why the New York City Council candidate removed the phrase “greedy Jewish landlords” from his campaign materials.
But if you’re Jewish, he said, you do need to stand up to those landlords. Otherwise, you’re just like Germans who allowed the Holocaust to happen.
“Good Germans looked the other way as German Jews were carted off by the Nazis,” he said. “In the same way, New York Jews look the other way as Jewish landlords engage in racial economic cleansing in New York City.”
Was he really equating gentrification in Harlem to the Holocaust? Of course not, he said. Comparing those things is far too tricky.
“I’m not comparing the damage that was done to each particular group, because we would be here for a lifetime trying to weigh which one is worse,” he said.
In Rotterdam, posters of Jewish man and Muslim woman kissing spark a scandal
In a country where sex toys are displayed in shop windows and television commercials often feature nudity, a picture of a clothed, heterosexual couple kissing may not seem like the stuff of scandal.
But precisely such an image — part of a poster campaign celebrating diversity in the Netherlands — has triggered acrimonious debate, charges of racism, acts of vandalism and even threats by those who found it offensive.
The reason: The women pictured in a series of posters were wearing Muslim headscarves – including one woman who was shown kissing a man wearing a kippah.
To some of the detractors, the poster campaign was a provocation designed to upset the sensibilities of Dutch Muslims and other non-white minorities. But to campaign supporters — including some prominent members of the Dutch Jewish community — it was an important statement about the need to counter radicalism and coercion in the Netherlands’ growing Muslim minority.
Israel helps Montenegro extinguish wildfires
Israel sent two firefighting aircraft and two IAF cargo planes to Montenegro today, as part of the international effort helping the Balkan country extinguish raging wildfires, said a spokesman for Israel’s Fire and Rescue Authority.
NATO allies and partners answered a call from Montenegro to help it deal with forest fires in the Lustica peninsula. Israel, Ukraine, Switzerland and Bulgaria sent firefighting planes and helicopters as assistance.
Fires have raged along the Adriatic coast since Sunday. Hundreds of firefighters in France, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Montenegro have been battling strong winds in trying to contain the wildfires.
In Montenegro, the wildfires burned close to fishing villages and tourist resorts at Lustica peninsula and forced at least 100 people to evacuate the area, according to a NATO statement.
In November 2016, Israel sent out a call for international help in battling its own wildfires. Teams from Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Croatia, Italy and Russia answered the call.
BiondVax surges after results of flu vaccine study
Shares of BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. surged on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange after the firm said a Phase 2 study clinical trial of an universal flu vaccine candidate it is developing had shown “statistically significant positive results.”
The company’s shares were trading 19 percent higher at 3:08 p.m. in Tel Aviv.
The study of the M-001 vaccine candidate had two primary targets, BiondVax said: to check its safety and the cellular immune responses specific to influenza. “Both endpoints were achieved,” the statement said.
The primary safety results showed that M-001 has a good safety profile and is well tolerated, the company said in a statement. These same findings were reported by the company in November, as preliminary results of the study.
The study also showed that compared with the placebo group, “statistically significant elevated T-cell dependent immune responses” were found in the two dosages of M-001 administered. In addition, a study looking into the antibody response to avian flu H5N1, after the vaccination of M-001 or a placebo, found a statistically significant elevation of antibodies in participants who had received M-001, in one of the four H5N1 strains tested, BiondVax said in a statement.
Israeli device will aid US dairy farm nutrition analysis
Cargill Animal Nutrition has joined forces with Israel’s Consumer Physics to introduce Reveal real-time nutrition analysis to US dairy producers.
The new Reveal real-time forage analysis service, which launched this month, utilizes SCiO – the smallest handheld near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer on the market, made by Consumer Physics.
“Today’s dairy producers are constantly pushing the envelope to run a more productive and efficient operation. They need cutting-edge offerings like Reveal that allow them to make smarter nutrition decisions, when they need to be made,” says Mike Messman, strategic technology lead for Cargill’s US dairy business.
“We believe that Reveal analysis will allow producers to manage forage dry-matter fluctuations as they happen, and adjust their feeding programs to maximize production and income over feed costs.”
Over 10% of recruits in IDF's summer draft born outside Israel
The July draft for IDF field units is set to begin this Sunday, with hundreds of new recruits expected to join on each day of the two-week draft.
The annual large summer draft for all IDF units began on July 9 and will end on Aug. 17.
IDF figures for this year's summer draft show that 58% of new recruits are men and 42% are women. About 8% are over the age of 20. The oldest new recruit is 28.
More than 10% of the new recruits in the current draft were born outside Israel. A total of 379 recruits are enlisting as lone soldiers, which means they have no immediate family in Israel and are entitled to special benefits. A further 325 recruits are new immigrants who arrived in Israel after age 16.
Among new immigrant recruits in the current draft, the largest numbers hail from France (93), Ukraine (62), Russia (52), the U.S. (41), and Ethiopia (38).
How an Oregon-born immigrant to Israel found a job giving tours of Hamas tunnels
Capt. Libby Weiss spent most of the summer of 2014 in a Hamas tunnel, and she wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.
Israel’s military captured the tunnel, which extended from Gaza into Israel near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, during Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza. As a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, Weiss was tasked with showing the tunnel to journalists, and she was the first to bring foreign reporters into the claustrophobic space.
Her inaugural tour went to Jodi Rudoren of The New York Times and CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.
“It was really chilling to be inside there,” Weiss said. “There were empty potato chip bags and water bottles strewn about on the ground. It made you realize just how close the enemy was.”
For the past six years, Weiss has been on call 24/7 for journalists from all over the world. Reporters turn to her when they want to film Israeli soldiers in action or need a quick comment from the IDF on breaking news.
On August 17, Weiss finally will be turning off her army-issued phone. At 29, she is stepping down from her post and retiring from the military.
Border Police name new all-women unit for heroic officer
A new all-female Border Police unit will be named in honor of Cpl. Hadar Cohen, 19, the policewoman killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in February 2016, the Border Police announced Thursday.
The new unit will be named the Oz Ve'Hadar Unit, from the sentence praising virtuous women in the Book of Proverbs (31:25): "Strength [oz] and dignity [hadar] are her clothing."
It will be the Border Police's second all-female unit.
The attack that killed Cohen took place after a group of Border Police officers noticed three suspicious individuals near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City. As the officers began checking the ID cards of one of the group, the other two drew guns and knives and attacked the officers.
Cohen, who was fresh out of basic training, responded immediately and killed one of the terrorists, but another shot her in the head before he was killed by the other police officers. Another policewoman, 19, sustained moderate stab wounds.
"Hadar fought with great courage and heroism. This is a very moving gesture," Cohen's father said in response to the announcement of the formation of the new unit.



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Katherine Franke, a law professor at Columbia who previously falsely retweeted the claim that the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would be illegal under international law, wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe invoking Rosa Parks to justify anti-Israel bigotry:

I recently traveled to Tuskegee, Ala., to meet with civil rights icon Rosa Parks’s lawyer, Fred Gray, and we talked about the role of the Montgomery bus boycott in breaking up racial segregation. “The boycott was the spark that ignited the end of Jim Crow segregation in this country,” he told me. Gray noted that when Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white man, political boycotts were illegal in Alabama. (Some years after the Montgomery bus boycott, the Supreme Court found bans on political boycotts unconstitutional.)

Given the important role that boycotts have played in virtually every social movement in this country, it is particularly troubling that a committee of the Massachusetts legislature will hold a hearing this week on a bill that aims to punish supporters of political boycotts. The bill would require that anyone who applies for a state contract over $10,000 must sign a pledge that they will not engage in a boycott that targets a person or entity because of their “race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”

What’s really behind this measure is a desire to punish people or groups that have endorsed a boycott of Israel or of companies that profit from Israel’s denial of Palestinians’ human rights. Israel’s most ardent defenders argue that any criticism of Israel — and particularly the use of a political boycott — is motivated by hatred toward Jews and/or Israelis. Yet this is a gross mischaracterization of the role of boycotts in social movements generally, and in human rights activism in the Middle East specifically. In 2005, Palestinians called for boycotts, sanctions, and divestment as a peaceful measure to pressure the state of Israel to abide by international law and grant Palestinians their fundamental rights. 
...Passage of antiboycott legislation here in Massachusetts would betray the legacy of Rosa Parks and the sacrifices made by the supporters of the Montgomery bus boycott who played such a crucial role in ending race-based apartheid in this country.
Besides the false assertion that boycotts of Israel are not motivated by antisemitism (since the Arab boycott before 1948 was explicitly against Jews), Franke is claiming that being against boycotting Israel is a betrayal of Rosa Park's legacy.

Rosa Parks would disagree.

In 1975, Parks - along with other prominent African-Americans - signed a full page ad in the New York Times that was explicitly against the Arab economic boycott of Israel.


The ad says, among other things:

1.We condemn the anti-Jewish “blacklist.”
We have fought too long and too hard to root out
discrimination from our land to sit idly while foreign interests
import bigotry into America. Having suffered so greatly from
such prejudice, we consider most repugnant efforts by Arab
states to use the economic power of their newly acquired oil
wealth to boycott business firms that deal with Israel or that
have Jewish owners, directors or executives and to impose
anti-Jewish preconditions for investments in this country. 

Franke is pretending that a civil rights icon would support discrimination against Israeli Jews today.

No, Professor Franke. It is you who Rosa Parks would condemn. The BDS movement is a direct continuation of the Arab League boycotts of Israel before there was an Israel and the Arab boycotts of the 1970s that prominent American blacks so eloquently exposed as pure bigotry.. 

(h/t CAMERA)



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Ahmed Shihab-Eldin calls himself "palestinian by blood. american by birth. kuwaiti by nationality. egyptian by upbringing. austrian by adolescence. curious by nature. employed by @AJplus."

He tweeted:




I keep watching this video, but I cannot find any frisking or pushing. The soldiers are relaxed. At the very end one directs him to leave by lightly touching his elbow.

TOUCHING HIS ELBOW.

I think the UN should convene a special session.

The funny part is that he has scores of people tweeting feeling sorry for him because this was as traumatic an experience as one can imagine.

Even funnier is that there were about 10 photographers looking so hard to find a story there. But apparently, when there is no story, certain people will just make one up, knowing full well that even when they have video that contradicts their own story, people will believe them as long as the story is anti-Israel.

And this reporter's buddy who took this video is wildly moving his camera around as if he is being pushed, to create the impression of chaos and wild aggression. But the police aren't near him, nothing it happening.

It is really bad Pallywood.

(h/t geo)



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From Ian:

Dr. Martin Sherman: Temple Mount attack-the demise of the “1-state” theory
Last Friday, three non-Jewish terrorists gunned down two-non-Jewish policemen to express their hatred of the Jewish state.
And yet while many condemned the heinous deed, expressing shock, dismay, and opprobrium at the brutal desecration of the Temple Mount, no one really found it bewilderingly inexplicable or staggeringly aberrant. After all, Judeocidal Arab hatred has always defied rational explanation.
Extinguishing hopes for one-state formula
No less perverse was the fact that the alleged cause of the killers’ homicidal urge was purported to be the “Occupation”, despite the fact that none of the perpetrators were subject to any form of “Occupation”—as they were all Israeli citizens, with full civil rights.
But beyond the human tragedy, the hail of bullets that cut short the lives of the two Druze police officers from the Galilee, Hayil Satawi and Kamil Shanaan, inflicted an additional casualty.
For they conclusively cut down any residual credibility that the proposal for a one-state formula—especially as touted by “right wing” pundits—might still have had. Indeed, it totally extinguished any lingering hopes that some kind of coherent, cohesive society could be forged if Israel were to annex Judea-Samaria—and incorporate its Palestinian Arabs into Israel’s permanent population.
Arsen Ostrovsky: Temple Mount Crisis: It’s Not About the Metal Detectors
For its part, the international community has turned a blind eye to the pervasive anti-Israel incitement and the growing payments to terrorists. According to Palestinian Media Watch, the Palestinian Authority has increased spending to terrorist prisoners by thirteen percent and to families of terrorist “martyrs” by four percent in 2017.
The UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations that proclaim to champion human rights are silent as Palestinian children are exploited. European governments that are quick to decry the building of Jewish homes in Jerusalem, are silent as Jewish lives are threatened in Jerusalem. Not a single voice has emerged from the Arab world calling for a restoration of calm and an end to the violence.
Jerusalem is a tinderbox. The city’s Muslim leadership has called for the closure of all mosques on Friday and urged all Muslims to converge on the Temple Mount. Tens of thousands of worshipers are expected to visit the site, creating an extraordinarily volatile situation.
As Arab leaders fan the flames of discontent for selfish political gains, the international community, beginning with every Western head of state, must urge Palestinian and Arab leaders to act responsibly and call for calm. Anything less is to be complicit in the violence that is sure to follow.

Three Palestinians reported killed in protests in Jerusalem, West Bank
Three Palestinians were reported killed in clashes that erupted between protesters and Israeli police on Friday in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as thousands demonstrated against the installation of metal detectors at the entrances to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The upgraded Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount were introduced after three Arab Israelis shot dead two Israeli police officers on duty there last Friday, using guns they had smuggled into the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Palestinian medical officials said all three of gunshot wounds.
The Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency said a 17-year-old was killed in Ras al-Amud outside the Old City after being shot by a “settler,” though no shooter was identified; the term is often used by Palestinians to refer to any Israeli out of uniform. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the teen as Muhammad Mahmoud Sharaf from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
A second person was reportedly shot in the A-Tur area of east Jerusalem and died of his wounds at Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem. He was identified by Palestinian media as Muhammad Hassan Abu Ghanem. The Wafa agency did not give his age or his place of residence.
The third death reportedly occurred in Abu Dis in the West Bank, near Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The fatality was identified as Muhammad Lafi, 18, from Abu Dis, by Palestinian media.



Amid Ongoing Terror Surge, ‘Mi Shebeirach’ Prayer for Israeli Security Forces Updated to Include Police
The wording of the “Mi Shebeirach” prayer for members of Israeli security forces has officially been updated to include police officers, the Hebrew news site nrg reported this week.
Israel Police Rabbi Rahamim Berachyahu announced the change on Wednesday. The revision was approved by Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau.
“In recent years, Israeli police officers have stood at the forefront of action and danger in the face of terrorist incidents taking place across the country,” Rabbi Berachyahu explained. “The men and women of the Israel Police protect the citizens of the State of Israel every day and, unfortunately, even pay with their lives to save innocent civilians.”
The prayer — originally penned by the late former IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren — was last updated during the Second Intifada to include all members of Israel’s security forces, rather than just soldiers.
Ruthie Blum: Holy terror, Turkish delight
Leave it to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to portray his latest grab for regional relevance and power as a diplomatic effort to resolve a political-religious crisis in Jerusalem, inflamed by last week's shooting attack on the Temple Mount.
The attack, which killed two Israeli Druze policemen, was committed by three Israeli Arabs. Nevertheless, it served as yet another excuse for Palestinians to stage days of rage against Israel.
The ostensible reason for the violent uprising is the placement of metal detectors at the entrance to Judaism's holiest site -- where only Muslims are allowed to pray -- as a way of preventing additional bloodshed. On Thursday, while the Israeli government scrambled to placate the Jordanian Waqf, the custodians of the site, and the leaders of Fatah and Hamas by mulling a removal of the scanners, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that he is concerned not only about the infiltration of Arab terrorists, but of Jewish ones seeking revenge, as well. Yeah, right.
Never mind that metal detectors are a way of life in Israel, forcing anyone who rides an intercity bus or enters a government building to have to go through them. What is par for the course for the rest of us simply does not fly with mobs on the ready to riot against any Israeli action, including one aimed at protecting innocent Muslims.
This is not the only truth that is being drowned out by the shouts of "Allahu akbar" wafting through the streets of east Jerusalem. Another is the response of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which criticized the terrorist attack by denouncing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government for "exploiting the operation to escalate its vicious incitement against our Arab masses."
The Palestinian Mountain of Hate
Tens of thousands of faithful Muslims pack Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque every week. Things have been particularly tense in the holy site this week, after Palestinian terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers last Friday. Israel responded by putting up metal detectors, an act that led thousands of Palestinians to riot and assualt Israeli soldiers with rocks, bottles, and clubs.
What could make folks gathered for prayer so rowdy? Listen in on some of the mosque’s sermons, and the answer becomes painfully obvious.
“The Israelites,” roared Khaled al-Mughrabi, one of al-Aqsa’s top preachers, in the summer of 2015, “have a holiday, Passover. Every holiday, each group would look for a small child. They would kidnap the child, steal him, and put him inside a barrel, called ‘the barrel of nails.’ They would put the small child inside the barrel, and his body would be pierced by the nails. At the bottom of the barrel they would put a faucet, and that faucet would run with the boy’s blood. This is because Satan demanded of them, in return to doing everything they want, that they eat bread kneaded with the blood of children.”
When they’re not ritually slaughtering babes, Mughrabi said on other occasions, the Jews have a full agenda of evil: they’re the real culprits behind the 9/11 attacks, are planning to take over the world, and are actual blood-drinking vampires, which is why the industry they control, Hollywood, loves making so many movies about the Jew Dracula.
Not to be outdone, Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, is fond of using the mosque to talk about one of his favorite topics, the Holocaust. Which, to hear the renowned sheikh tell it, never happened. “Six million Jews dead? No way, they were much fewer,” he told an interviewer. “Let’s stop with this fairytale exploited by Israel to capture international solidarity. It is not my fault if Hitler hated Jews, indeed they were hated a little everywhere.”
Security cabinet gives police final say on Temple Mount metal detectors
The high-level security cabinet overnight Thursday-Friday authorized the Israel Police to decide whether to keep the metal detectors around the Temple Mount compound on Friday, ahead of anticipated violence by Muslim worshipers over the new security measures.
“Israel is committed to preserving the status quo at the Temple Mount and free access to the holy sites,” a late-night statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said, following hours of meetings between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ministers, and security chiefs in Tel Aviv. “Israel is committed to the security of all worshipers and visitors to the Temple Mount.”
“The cabinet has authorized the Israel Police to make any decision in order to ensure free access to the holy sites, while upholding security and public order,” the statement said, without elaborating.
Israel’s security authorities were set to flood the streets of Jerusalem on Friday with policemen and soldiers in an attempt to quell expected violence at protests over the stepped up security measures in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Police leave metal detectors in place, bar young men from Jerusalem’s Old City
The Israel Police said Friday morning it would leave contentious metal detectors in place at the entrances to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount amid calls by Muslim leaders for mass protests against the new security arrangements at the holy site.
In a statement, police said the decision came “in light of the events of recent days, which included violent riots near the gates of the Temple Mount and at other sites in villages in East Jerusalem.”
It also cited intelligence information that said “extremist elements” intended “to cause violent disruptions to the public order, and thereby to threaten the public peace, including the [safety] of those coming to pray at the holy sites and other residents of the area.”
The high-level security cabinet voted early Friday to grant the Israel Police the authority to decide which security measures would be implemented at the holy site.
Jerusalem mayor, ministers praise decision to leave metal detectors at Temple Mount
Several ministers and the mayor of Jerusalem on Friday praised the government’s decision to keep metal detectors installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount following last week’s terror attack, despite widespread Muslim opposition to the move.
“The decision of the Jerusalem district police commander, Yoram Halevi, to place the metal detectors on the Temple Mount is a courageous decision,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat posted on Facebook. “This time last week two policemen were killed at the site and he is taking responsibility to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.”
The attack at the Temple Mount saw three Arab Israeli gunmen shoot and kill two Israeli police officers using firearms they had smuggled into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Barkat said Israel must not give in to Palestinian threats of violence over the new security measures.
“We must not cave in to threats and allow terror to achieve its goal. Even if we face security challenges [due to the new measures], this is the right decision. We must support the police,” he said.
Abbas asks Jared Kushner to force Israel to remove metal detectors
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke by phone late Thursday with Jared Kushner, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, reportedly to ask that the White House pressure Israel to remove metal detectors installed at the Temple Mount following last Friday’s deadly terror attack.
According to Hebrew-language media, Abbas told Kushner that tensions over the holy site were a serious concern, and that they threatened to get out of control if Israel did not back down.
Abbas held emergency meetings with senior members of his Fatah party on Friday to discuss the escalating tensions. The meetings with the PLO Executive Committee and the Fatah Central Committee were intended to decide on the Palestinian response to Israel’s decision early Friday to leave the metal detectors in place on the Temple Mount despite Palestinian protests.
Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: New Temple Mount Security Measures ‘Responsible Governance’ on Israel’s Part After Terror Attack
Following last Friday’s terrorist attack at the Temple Mount in which two Israeli policemen were killed, Palestinian leaders have been seeking to “rile up” their public, the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during an appearance on i24 News on Tuesday.
The demands being made that Israel remove the metal detectors it put in place at the entrances to the Temple Mount following the incident are “undermining the rights of people to be safe and secure,” Dovid Efune stated during a debate with Mai Abdul Rahman — the president of the American Palestinian Women’s Association — on the “Crossroads” program, which is hosted by David Shuster and Michelle Makori.
Efune called the increased security measures at the sensitive hilltop holy site “responsible governance” on Israel’s part.
Furthermore, he noted, the status quo that has prevailed on the Temple Mount since 1967 has not changed.
“Everything remains the same, except it’s a little bit more secure,” Efune said.
US envoy visits bereaved families of cops slain at Temple Mount
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Thursday visited the families of two Israeli police officers killed last Friday by three Arab Israeli gunmen at the Temple Mount.
Haiel Sitawe, 30, and Kamil Shnaan, 22, of Israel’s Druze community were the victims of Friday’s deadly attack.
“Met today with families of Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan who were murdered last week defending the Temple Mount,” Friedman wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Heartbreaking. Praying for these two beautiful families.”
Sitawe joined the Israel Police in 2012 and had served in the unit responsible for securing the Temple Mount ever since. He left behind a wife, Irin, a three-week-old son, his parents and three brothers. Shnaan was the youngest son of a former Labor Party Knesset member, Shachiv Shnaan. His engagement party to his girlfriend was to be held this week. Shnaan was survived by his parents, one brother and three sisters.
Bereaved Jewish mother comforts mother of slain Druze officer
Hundreds of people visited the Druze villages of Hurfeish and Maghar Wednesday to pay their condolences to the families of the two police officers murdered in last Friday's terrorist attack on the Temple Mount.
Among the visitors were Israelis who lost loved ones to terrorism. The visits were arranged by the OneFamily organization, which assists bereaved families and victims of terrorism.
OneFamily said in a statement published on their Facebook page that the purpose of the visits was to "let their families feel that they are not alone."
Dozens of Israelis, Jews and non-Jews alike, answered the organization's call and bordered the buses to visit the families of Command Sergeant Major Hayil Satawi and Command Sergeant Major Kamil Shanaan.
Among the visitors who paid their condolences to the families was Hadas Mizrachi, the widow of Baruch Mizrahi, a resident of Modi'in who was killed in a shooting attack two years ago while traveling with his family to celebrate the Passover Seder.
Mizrachi was joined by Deborah Gonen, the mother of Danny Gonen of Lod, who was murdered in a shooting attack in the Binyamin region two years ago.
This Ongoing War: The Al-Aqsa factor: Rats, snakes and chickens
It's not hard for an observant bystander to detect just how calculated the whipping up of the current violence actually is. The larger challenge is in seeing how this is part of a much longer narrative - an effort over generations to depict the Arabs, then later the Palestinian Arabs, and the Islamic world in general, as being under attack by Israel and the Jews.
We tweeted earlier today about the importance of looking at history and understanding the deep old roots of this week's violence. It may have been triggered by three similarly-named, murder-minded clansmen - all Mohammeds from the Jabarin clan - traveling up to Jerusalem on Friday to have themselves a shooting attack. But it started a lot earlier:
The “Al-Aksa Is in Danger” Libel The History of a Lie
Making that point more concisely is one specific caricature - this one:

'Settler' asks Israeli Arabs: Why don't you condemn terrorism?
A constant refrain on the Israeli left for decades has been the claim that the key to peace lies in greater dialogue between Arabs and Jews.
Now, a pro-Israel activist group has taken up the challenge, launching a new Arabic division dedicated to conducting dialog with Israeli Arabs – in Arabic.
Boomerang, which produces viral videos and other social media content challenging the anti-Israel narratives pushed by much of the mainstream media, debuted the pilot of a new series of Arabic (with English and Hebrew subtitles) videos.
In the first video, Yitzhar resident and Boomerang activist Tzvi Succot heads to the Old City of Jerusalem in the wake of last Friday’s deadly terror attack near the Temple Mount, to present in Arabic the question raised by many Israeli Jews after last week’s attack: where are the condemnations?
Boomerang: Israeli 'settler' to Arabs in Arabic - "why don't you condemn terror"?


Arab MKs try to reach Temple Mount amid clashes between protesters, police
Members of the Joint (Arab) List tried to make their way to the Temple Mount Friday amid tensions between police and protesters over increased security arrangements at the holy site.
The Knesset members met early Friday morning with leaders of the Islamic Waqf, the Jordanian body that administers the Temple Mount, before marching with protesters through East Jerusalem towards the Old City.
At the Salah Al-Din Street street outside the Old City, the MKs were met with a temporary police checkpoint allowing only women and men over 50 to proceed towards the Temple Mount. Police said “an uproar was caused by the arrival of the public figures, who riled up those waiting there.”
Protesters tried to break through the barrier and several threw bottles and stones at officers, police said, adding that they responded with non-lethal riot disposal methods.
Israel-Jordan Temple Mount security forum to exclude PA
Israel and Jordan are planning to form a joint committee to devise security arrangements on the Temple Mount that would be acceptable to all sides, Israel Hayom learned Thursday.
The decision comes amid rising tensions over Israel's decision to install metal detectors at the entrance to the compound in response to the deadly terrorist attack near one of the gates to the Temple Mount last Friday. Muslim worshippers view the security measure as an attempt by Israel to expand its control over the site, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims, while Israel insists the measure is meant only to prevent attacks.
Although the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, the religious body charged with administering Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, will be represented in the committee, the Palestinian Authority will not, sparking outrage in Ramallah.
Senior Jordanian officials confirmed the reports. An official declaration announcing the establishment of the committee was expected on Friday, they said, but it depends on how events unfold on the Temple Mount.
The committee will deal with a wide range of issues beyond the metal detectors installed at the entrances to the compound. Among these is the implementation of an arrangement Jordan and Israel agreed upon previously to install a closed circuit security camera system in sections of the Temple Mount complex. The arrangement has not yet been implemented because the Waqf has yet to begin the installation stipulated in the arrangement.
Amid Temple Mount tumult, the who, what and why of its Waqf rulers
As tensions ratchet up in Jerusalem’s Old City following Israel’s installation of metal detectors at gates to the Temple Mount in response to a terror attack there, attention has turned to the byzantine warren of authorities that control and manage the ultra-sensitive holy site.
While Israel controls access to the compound, inside its nine gates the Jerusalem Awqaf Department — sometimes called the Islamic Religious Endowments Authority, or simply the Waqf — exerts near total control.
The Waqf is entirely controlled and funded by the Jordanian government. It administers daily life on the Temple Mount, which includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock, archaeological sites, museums and schools.
Since Israel captured the site in 1967, an uneasy relationship between authorities and the Waqf has been maintained, with both saying they are committed to keeping the delicate status quo that allows non-Muslims to visit, but not worship, on the Mount.
For many non-Muslims, both the Waqf and the status quo remain a mystery, and questions abound as to how the body has come to wield such power in a city that is ostensibly completely under the control of the state of Israel.
Head of Islamic body '1.7 billion Muslims say no to metal detectors'
The head of the Wakf Muslim religious trust in Jerusalem, Abdul Azim Salhab, saying he was speaking in the name of all Muslims worldwide, on Friday rejected the security cabinet's decision not to remove metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount (al-Aksa mosque) compound.
Speaking at a press conference in East Jerusalem, Salhab said: "We are one. We all reject the measures to put in metal detectors. We reject the entrance of settlers to the mosque compound. We in Jerusalem represent 1.7 billion Muslims who say in one voice no to the metal detectors. We say no to the arrangements taken by the Israelis against the Wakf."
Israeli police installed the metal detectors after an attack last Friday by three Israeli Arab gunmen at an entrance to the Temple Mount left two policemen dead. The assailants were shot dead by police. While Israeli authorities say the detectors are necessary for security, Palestinian leaders say they are a violation of the status quo and are indicative of an Israeli intention to take over the mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
Thousands protest against Israel in Amman, Istanbul, Beirut
A number of anti-Israel protests were held in capitals across the Middle East and Asia on Friday, amid protests in Jerusalem over security measures implemented at entrances to the Temple Mount following last week’s deadly terror attack at the holy site where three terrorists emerged from the compound and killed two Israeli police officers.
Thousands gathered in Amman, Beirut, Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur Friday afternoon in solidarity with Palestinian worshipers who have been protesting the new arrangements, including metal detectors and cameras, since last Friday’s shooting.
In the Jordanian capital, thousands protested against Israel and hailed the attack that killed the two officers last week, according to media reports. A makeshift cardboard “missile” with the words “Al-Aqsa is a red line” was reported to have been carried by the crowd.
“With our soul, with our blood, we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Al-Aqsa,” they chanted.
“We will go to Al-Aqsa in our millions as martyrs,” vowed the crowd, whose country is the official custodian of the Temple Mount, as protesters set ablaze and trampled an Israeli flag.
Leading Sunni Muslim center calls for intervention to 'save' al-Aksa
The leading center for religious learning and jurisprudence among the world's Sunni Muslims, Egypt's al-Azhar, has called for urgent Muslim, Arab and international intervention to "save" al-Aksa mosque from Israel.
A statement reported on news sites in the Arab world, including the Palestinian Maan news agency, issued late Thursday by al-Azhar in Cairo said the institute was following with "deep concern the escalation of the Israeli occupation forces against blessed al-Aksa mosque." It warned against the "continuation of the violations" against it. It said these alleged violations were provoking the feelings of Muslims all over the world and threatening the stability of the entire region.
Issuing of the statement pointed up the potential for wider reverberations of the al-Aksa crisis in the Arab world. The security cabinet decided late Thursday to leave metal detectors installed at the entrance to the Temple Mount/al-Aksa mosque compound in place to search worshipers. Palestinian religious figures have termed that a violation of the status quo at the site and an indication of Israeli designs against the mosque.
Turkish Islamists hold anti-Israel rally at Istanbul synagogue, kick doors
A group of Turkish ultra-nationalists on Thursday protested outside one of the most significant synagogues in Istanbul to denounce Israel’s security measures at the Temple Mount following a deadly attack last Friday that left two Israeli police officers dead, the Dogan news agency said.
The group from the Alperen Hearths, a far-right ultranationalist and Islamist youth group, said in a statement read outside the Neve Salom synagogue in central Istanbul that Israel was a “terror state” seeking to block freedom for worship to Muslims.
“If you prevent our freedom of worship there then we will prevent your freedom of worship here,” said the statement.
It was read by the group’s local chairman Kursat Mican.
Erdogan demands Israel remove metal detectors
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday urged his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin to swiftly remove metal detectors erected at the entrances Temple Mount following a deadly terrorist attack at the holy site last week.
Muslims have been refusing to enter the Temple Mount since Sunday, when Israel began installing metal detectors at entrances to the site following the murder of two police officers.
"Within the framework of freedom of religion and worship there can be no impediment for Muslims" entering the holy site, the Anadolu news agency quoted Erdogan as telling Rivlin.
"Given the importance that Haram al-Sharif carries for the whole Islamic world, the metal detectors put in place by Israel should be removed in the shortest possible time and an end put to the tension," Erdogan added.
The Turkish leader had earlier held telephone talks with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, telling him the measures imposed by Israel were "unacceptable".
In rare call, Rivlin asks Erdogan to condemn Temple Mount violence
President Reuven Rivlin asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to condemn last Friday’s terrorist attack near the Temple Mount, when the two leaders spoke by phone on Thursday evening.
“The president reminded Erdogan that after the terrorist attacks in Turkey, the State of Israel was quick to condemn those criminal acts. He said Israel expected to hear similar condemnation from Turkey, with the understanding that terrorism was terrorism wherever it took place; in Jerusalem, in Istanbul, or in Paris,” Rivlin’s office said.
The Temple Mount is a site that is “holy for all,” Rivlin told Erdogan as he explained that the attack in which two Israeli policemen were killed, was “intolerable.” It “crossed a red line which endangered the ability of all of us to live together,” he said.
He assured Erdogan that Israel had maintained and would continue to maintain the status quo at the Temple Mount, in which only Muslims can pray there but Jews and Christians can visit.
Haniyeh lashes out at Muslim world in speech calling for ‘action’ at Temple Mount
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh lashed out at the wider Muslim world on Friday in a speech in Gaza City for its inaction over the past week, following the implementation of new Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The upgraded security, including metal detectors and cameras at the entrances to the holy site, were put in place last week following a deadly terror attack in which three terrorists emerged from the compound and shot dead two Israeli police officers, having earlier stashed their weapons at the site.
Palestinians have been protesting the security measures introduced by Israel after the attack by clashing with Israeli police on a near-daily basis since the July 14 attack, near the Temple Mount and around East Jerusalem.
Muslim leaders have instructed those wishing to pray not to agree to pass through the metal detector gates posted at the Temple Mount. Only a few Palestinians agreed to security checks and entered the site on Friday, with thousands more praying or protesting at various sites around the city.
PreOccupiedTerritory: If You Ethnically Cleanse An Area Of Jews They’e Not Allowed Back In By An Expert On International Law Whose Conclusions Suit Your Sensibilities (satire)
It should not be difficult to arrive at a simple understanding of the status in international law of the territories Israel took in the 1967 war. All one needs to do is apply the proper overriding principles, and thereby determine whether those territories are disputed, as Israel claims, or occupied, as most others do. I am happy to inform you that I and my myriad colleagues have examined the legal literature and precedent, and found the one overarching principle that clearly demonstrates the territories are under occupation: once an area is ethnically cleansed of Jews, as the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem were in 1948, Jews lose their claim to the land, and can never reclaim sovereignty. The same does not apply to anyone else.
This principle helps explain the dominant international approach to the Occupied Territories. Jordanian legionnaires and local Arab irregulars expelled all the Jews from the areas they conquered, or forced their evacuation before the imminent arrival of enemy fighters: the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood to its northwest, the Etzion Bloc to Jerusalem’s south, Jenin, Kfar Darom, and multiple other sites that had held Jewish communities. Then, once the armistice was concluded in 1949, Jews must never be allowed back.
Contrast that, appropriately, with the approach to dispossessed Arabs, the refugees and their descendants. Who in their right mind would contend that once removed from their lands, they have no further claim? Only someone who seeks to undermine the cause of millions of Palestine Refugees, and we know who you are. Know this: Palestinians are not Jews, who can be dispossessed and left to the dogs. See: the Hebron Jewish community before and after 1929.
David Singer: Trump Should Dump PLO and Jump-Start Israel-Jordan Negotiations
President Trump has completed six months in office without managing to get Israel and the PLO to resume their negotiations – stalled since April 2014.
Trump’s failure has not been for lack of trying.
The President has turned on his political charm offensive – inviting both Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the White House – whilst making personal visits to Jerusalem and Bethlehem – all apparently to no avail.
Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman have been actively engaged on the ground in both Jerusalem and Ramallah in talks with Israel and the PLO – yet nothing of significance has emerged to indicate the PLO is ready to meet Israel without preconditions face to face across the negotiating table.
Even if these two adversaries resumed negotiations – there appears little chance of the PLO modifying demands that:
1. it be granted sovereignty over every square metre of Judea and Samaria (“the disputed territories”) and
2. Jerusalem be divided.
Offers by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 to cede its claims in more than 90% of the disputed territories have already been rejected by the PLO.
Trump needs to identify a new Arab partner to replace the PLO and join Israel in allocating sovereignty of the disputed territories between Jews and Arabs.
House Appropriations Committee Approves Restrictions on U.S. Funding for UN and Palestinian Authority
Tough conditions on American funding for both the UN and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been approved by the congressional committee overseeing the US Foreign Operations Bill for 2018.
The bill — passed by the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday — places strict restrictions on how the $47.4 billion budget for overseas operations will be disbursed.
A statement from the committee confirmed that there will be “no funding for the (UN) Human Rights Council unless the Secretary of State determines that it is in the national security interest and the Council stops its anti-Israel agenda and increases transparency in the elections of its members.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned back in March that US funding of the council would be terminated if it continued with “its biased agenda against Israel.”
“The bill also prohibits funds for UN organizations headed by countries that support terrorism, and withholds a portion of funds for the UN and international organizations until transparency and accountability measures are met,” the statement added.
Senate Democrats Describe Palestinian Authority As Sponsor of Terror


State Dept. Blames Israel for Terrorism, Claims Palestinians Rarely Incite Attacks
The State Department is facing harsh criticism for claiming in an official report that Israel is to blame for terrorism attacks committed by Palestinians and accusing the Jewish state of being largely responsible for an impasse in peace negotiations, according to a leading member of Congress who is calling on the State Department to correct its "inaccurate and harmful" characterization of Israel.
The State Department, in its latest annual report on the global terrorism situation, blames Israeli security policies for stalling the peace process and claims that Palestinians rarely incite terror attacks.
The claims are coming under fierce criticism from pro-Israel advocates and have prompted one leading member of Congress to formally call on the Trump administration to amend the report to more accurately reflect the situation.
Rep. Peter Roskam (R. Ill.), co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, criticized the latest report in a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and called on the administration to immediately amend it to portray Palestinian terror attacks as a primary reason for the impasse in peace talks.
The State Department's current characterization, Roskam claims, is harmful to Israel and likely to impede efforts by the Trump administration to renew peace talks.
Jordanian MP praises soldier who killed Israeli schoolgirls
A Jordanian member of parliament has praised soldier Ahmed Daqamseh, who in 1997 shot dead seven Israeli schoolgirls, as a hero, i24news reported Thursday.
Dima Tahboub, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Action Front which is the political wing of Jordan’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, said Daqamseh was a hero because he was retaliating against Israel and the teenage girls were “enemies.”
Tahboub’s comments were made in an interview with British journalist Tim Sebastian, according to i24news.
Daqamseh was a soldier in the Jordanian army when he opened fire on a group of students who were visiting the “peace island” of Naharayim on March 13, 1997, as part of a class trip.
Naharayim is located right near the Jordanian border, and Daqamseh opened fire on the girls from the Jordanian side. He killed seven of the students, and wounded six others.
Israelis stuck, but uninjured, in 6.7 quake on Greek island of Kos
Israelis holidaying on the Greek island of Kos were shaken by a massive earthquake Friday which killed two tourists, left over 300 hurt across the region and sparked fears of a tsunami.
“People left the hotels and began looking for open areas to get away from the beach,” Margalit Keren, who was staying on a yacht in Kos with her husband, told Channel 2 news on Friday.
“We were fast asleep when we felt the sea rise up and hit hard on the side of the yacht,” she said. “Along the wharf all the boats collided with each other and a yacht moored next to us snapped its ropes and started to float away. The water fell by half a meter in height.”
“People came running out of the hotels and searched for open spaces away from the shore,” she added. “There were dozens of aftershocks.”
Gaza sewage pollutes Israeli aquifers, forcing closures
Israel has stopped pumping water groundwater out of two sites in the Negev, after raw sewage dumped from the Gaza Strip into a river which flows into Israel seeped into aquifers inside of Israel.
The Israeli Health Ministry ordered the National Water Carrier (Mekorot) to shut off pumping stations near the town of Netiv Haasara in the western Negev after ministry officials found the Gaza sewage had seeped into the soil around the pumping stations, Yediot Ahronot reported.
Because of funding disputes between the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and the PLO-governed Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, the supply of electricity to Gaza has been reduced over the past month, leading Hamas officials to shut down a waste treatment plant built with some $100 million in foreign aid.
Over the past two weeks, cities in the northern Gaza Strip have let their sewage flow untreated into the Nahal Hanun stream.
The Nahal Hanun stream runs across the Gaza Strip and into pre-1967 Israel, passing by Netiv Haasara and seeping into the nearby aquifers.
Power-sharing deal between former foes taking shape in Gaza
A power-sharing deal between two former archfoes is slowly taking shape in the Gaza Strip and could lead to major changes in the Hamas-ruled territory, including an easing of the decade-long border blockade.
In the latest sign that the Egypt-backed understandings are moving forward, Hamas permitted more than 2,000 supporters of its exiled former nemesis, Mohammed Dahlan, to stage a rally in Gaza City on Thursday. They held up banners with large photos of him and signs reading, "Thank you, Dahlan."
Dahlan backers also opened an office in Gaza last month as a springboard for political activity and began disbursing $2 million in Dahlan-procured aid from the United Arab Emirates to Gaza's poor.
All involved appear to benefit from the new deal for Gaza: Egypt, which is battling Islamic extremist insurgents in the Sinai Peninsula, hopes to contain Hamas through new security arrangements; Dahlan, forced into exile after falling out with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010, is poised to launch a comeback and advance his Palestinian leadership bid; and Hamas gets a chance to prolong its rule with a promised easing of Gaza's stifling border blockade.
Hamas' irrational rationale
Can Hamas be undermined to the point that its existence is threatened? I believe the answer is yes.
To do so, Israel would need to seize large parts of the populated areas in Gaza; destroy miles and miles of terror tunnels; locate and eliminate Hamas commanders; and locate and destroy headquarters and weapon production sites, even if most of them are hidden in densely populated neighborhoods.
The results of such an operation would be hard to swallow in Israel, and even more so overseas: The IDF would surely sustain multiple casualties; Gaza would pay a heavy price in terms of fatalities -- terrorists and civilians alike -- which would undoubtedly number in the thousands; bombing large areas would cause massive infrastructural damage that would leave the enclave in utter ruins; and while there is no telling what damage bombing the tunnel grid would cause, it would surely be massive.
Once the dust settles on such an operation, a familiar question would arise: Now what? Does the IDF leave Gaza to the hell of warring terrorist groups left unchecked by a strong ruler, or does it stay? Will Israel be responsible for Gaza's rehabilitation, shouldering the economic burden that implies as well as the burden any occupying power bears under international law? These are difficult questions that underscore the fact that the everyday dilemmas with respect to what should be done about Gaza are, for now at least, better than the alternative.
Syria rebels blindsided by US move, say jihadists to benefit
Syrian rebels said on Thursday a US decision to halt a covert CIA program of military aid would mark a big blow to the Syrian opposition and risked allowing jihadists to tighten their grip over the insurgency.
Rebels who have received aid under the CIA program said they had yet to be informed of the US decision first reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday and confirmed by two US officials to Reuters.
A Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander said the US decision risked triggering the collapse of the moderate opposition, which would benefit President Bashar al-Assad and jihadists linked to al Qaeda that have long sought to extinguish more moderate groups.
Other rebel sources said much would depend on whether US-allied regional states Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey kept up their support to groups fighting under the FSA banner, which had been the focus of the CIA program.
"We heard nothing about this," said an opposition official familiar with the program, describing the decision as a complete surprise.
The US decision compounds an already bleak outlook for the Syrian opposition that has been battling since 2011 to unseat Assad, who appears militarily unassailable thanks in large part to staunch Russian and Iranian backing.
The CIA program which began in 2013 funneled weapons, training and cash to vetted FSA groups via Jordan and Turkey.
Hezbollah, Syria army launch offensive at Syrian-Lebanese border
The Lebanese group Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched an offensive on Friday to clear militants from an area of the Syrian-Lebanese frontier, a commander in the military alliance fighting in support of President Bashar Assad told Reuters.
The operation is targeting insurgents from the Nusra Front group in the Juroud Arsal area on the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Arsal, and in areas of the western Qalamoun mountains in Syria, the commander said.
The barren Juroud Arsal area between Syria and Lebanon has also been a base of operations for Islamic State militants. Several thousand Syrian refugees are living in camps in Juroud Arsal.
Hezbollah's al-Manar TV said Nusra militants were being targeting in Juroud Arsal and in areas near the Syrian town of Fleita.
The Lebanese army has deployed reinforcements on the outskirts of Arsal town in anticipation of the operation, aiming to prevent militants from fleeing into Lebanon, a Lebanese security source said this week.



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