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Post  Admin on Tue 15 May 2018, 6:38 pm

Clashes Paused as Gaza Buries Dead, World Slams Israel
Today’s Top Stories
1. Palestinians in Gaza spent the day burying their dead for now. Hamas calls for further marches on the border petered out as a mere 400 Palestinians showed up. Nevertheless, the IDF remained braced for Naqba Day violence to spread to the West Bank.

Shortly before this roundup was published, the IDF announced that 24 of the 60 Palestinians killed were terrorists from Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The army also released details about how it prevented a mass border breach.

2. Israel threatens to resume targeted killings of Hamas leaders if riots continue.

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3. Palestinians managed to trash their side of the Kerem Shalom border crossing. It’s the third time they destroyed equipment and infrastructure at the crossing where Israel transfers food, fuel, medicine and humanitarian aid to the Strip. (Who gains? Hamas.)

By the way, Palestinians refused to allow 14 trucks carrying food and diapers to enter Gaza today, the Times of Israel reports. (Medical supplies were allowed through.) The Times notes, “It was not immediately clear why the border officials, who are employed by the Palestinian Authority, would not accept the shipments.”

building campaign

4. Does the Media Really Understand the Gaza Violence? Thanks to the media, Gaza violence was always likely to be a win-win situation for Hamas. HonestReporting addressed a number of issues not raised in this roundup and the critique is must-read.

5. Your No-Hype Guide To The US Embassy Move To Jerusalem: Lost in the media hoopla over the US embassy move is a solid discussion of the law and history shaping this historic moment. HonestReporting’s Daniel Pomerantz explains in The Federalist.

6. Is the US Embassy Move Legal?: Israel must be treated according to the same legal standards as every other country on earth.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli and US officials inaugurated the US embassy in Jerusalem. President Donald Trump addressed the gathering by a video link. Take your pick of Times of Israel or Haaretz coverage. Outside, police clashed with Israeli Arab MKs protesting the move.

• IDF called yesterday’s Palestinian violence unprecedented, as an estimated 35,000-50,000 Gazans clashed with soldiers and tried to breach the border. Military officials told Israeli media that “Hamas deployed 12 separate terror “cells” to try to breach the border at different spots,” and that they were unable to kidnap or kill any soldiers.

• Talk is cheap, but I wondersparking a new intifada in the West Bank was Hamas’ end game all along.


• The New York Times and Washington Post both noted this point about the Hamas’ drive for casualties:

But the protests appeared to have a more violent edge than in previous weeks. Some young men brought knives and fence cutters. At a gathering point east of Gaza City, organizers urged protestors over loudspeakers to burst through the fence, telling them Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions, even as they were reinforcing them.

• The New York Times snippet on Palestinian injury figures made my antennae twitch:

A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces, Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus, cast doubt on the casualty numbers from the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry; he said a large number of those listed as injured had suffered only tear-gas inhalation.

That may be true. According to the Health Ministry, live fire accounted for 1,204 injuries, bullet fragments caused 133 injuries and 837 injuries were attributed to gas. The breakdown did not account for the remaining injuries.

• A Palestinian baby died of tear gas inhalation because, well, who doesn’t bring the little ones to violent clashes? [Update: Just after this roundup was published, a Gaza doctor said the baby, Layla Ghandour had a pre-existing medical condition and may not have died because of tear gas]. Associated Press quoted Hamas-affiliated Gaza health officials that six of the Palestinians killed by gunshots were minors. Indeed, this description from a New York Times dispatch says a lot about the gulf between Israeli and Palestinian society:

At the rear of the protest area, Aseel Nasser, a determined 12-year-old girl, stood her ground. Facing a video camera operated by her brother, she recited a poem that extolled the virtues of jihad against Zionists. She was undeterred by the risks, explained her father, Khalil Nassar, 46, an education ministry official, who had brought her along. “It would be a great honor to be martyred by the occupation,” he said.

The Los Angeles Times also noted one family’s unsuccessful efforts to keep their daughter from going to the clashes. But where did Shireen learn to talk like this?

Terrified for their daughter’s safety, Shireen Nusralla’s parents locked her in her room Monday so she would not go to the protests. But the 30-year-old woman said she sneaked out through a window.

“I’m not afraid,” she declared as she walked toward a camp east of Gaza City, carrying a large Palestinian flag. “My dream is to get martyred or to kidnap an Israeli soldier.”

sad earth• International reactions to yesterday:

– At the United Nations, the US blocked a Security Council statement calling for an investigation into the Gaza violence.
– Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and recalled its ambassador to Israel. South Africa also recalled its ambassador to Israel.
– The US and Australia blamed Hamas for the casualties.
– Mahmoud Abbas lashed out at the US, calling the embassy a “US settlement outpost.”
– In the Hague, the International Criminal Court expressed “grave concern” that both Israel and Hamas may have committed war crimes.
– Ireland dressed down Israel’s ambassador over the border deaths.

• How the heck can CNN interview Gaza march organizer Ahmad Abu Artema and let him pontificate about non-violence, Gandhi and Martin Luther King without ever asking him to explain the slingshots, firebombs, burning kites and other explosives Palestinians have been bringing his to “non-violent” event?

• The politicization of the Eurovision song competition already began when Dublin Lord Mayor Micheal Mac Donncha told Dublin Live that he thinks Ireland should boycott the 2019 contest, which will be held in Israel. Israeli Arab MK Yousef Jabareen made a similar boycott call.

• Spanish court scraps municipality’s boycott of Israel, calling it unconstitutional and discriminatory.

• Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai weighs in on the embassy move, also insisting that Israel only has one capital, and it is Jerusalem.

In all my years as mayor, I have made it clear to every distinguished ambassador that we will provide him and his team with the best service to make them feel at home here, but that I am first and foremost an Israeli who is offended by the fact that his country refuses to recognize my country’s capital—Jerusalem—as Israel’s capital city.
What would the Italians say if the State of Israel decided that Milan rather than Rome was the capital of the boot-shaped country and placed its embassy there?

Ron Huldai
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai
• The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) nailed the first paragraph of its staff-ed.

Violence marred the transfer of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv on Monday, but the ceremony was more excuse than cause. The Palestinians from Hamas who protested along the Gaza border with Israel were continuing their eternal war against the existence of the Jewish state more than they care about where America puts its diplomats.

• Tweet of the day goes to Jonathan Schanzer:
Jonathan Schanzer
 Everyone tweeting callous responses to Gaza deaths or spitting venom at Israel for protecting its border should shut it. This is a legitimate crisis, and not one that anyone seems to be able to solve. I dare you to tweet a legit solution not a banality.

4:50 PM - May 14, 2018
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• Plenty of commentary about the embassy move, the latest from Gaza, and the Palestinians

– Avi Issacharoff: For Hamas, dancing on the brink of chaos is a winning tactic
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: View from the Gaza front: Is the IDF acting legally?
– Amos Yadlin: Hamas incites violence to hide its own shortcomings
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Hamas’ march of folly
– Daily Telegraph (staff-ed) There is no Israel-Palestine peace process left for Donald Trump to wreck

That Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah would be sung at an event like this, while dozens are shot and killed only miles away in Gaza, further proves that Hallelujah is the single most abused and misunderstood song in the history of recorded music https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/996024737808646144
 Hamas wanted to create a split screen by sending civilians on attack. It worked.

11:41 PM - May 14, 2018
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– Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: The conflict in Gaza: Three ways to view it
– Yoav Limor: Gaza teeters on the brink
– Sohrab Ahmari: The media war on Palestinian free will
– Raoul Wootliff: Abandoning split screen, Israeli TV tunes out Gaza to bask in US love
– Sen. Joe Lieberman: Why US embassy Jerusalem move happened and why it matters

• Your daily dose of moral equivalence, courtesy Irish Times cartoonist Martyn Turner:

View image on Twitter
Irish Times Opinion
 Here's the latest Martyn Turner https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/martyn-turner-1.3494951?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
12:46 PM - May 15, 2018
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– John Podhoretz: The embassy moves
– Yossi Beilin: Stop the sulking
– New York Post (staff-ed): Israel defends itself against Palestinian attackers from Gaza
– New York Daily News (staff-ed) Terrorists are chiefly to blame for the tragic loss of life in Gaza
– David Horovitz: As America endorses Israel in Jerusalem, Hamas shows it never will
– Eytan Gilboa: Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem: Fixing a historical diplomatic anomaly
– Bassam Tawil: Western taxpayers funding abuse of Palestinians
– Jennifer Rubin: A new US embassy in Jerusalem, but the same old story

• For a sense of what the critics are saying, see Omar Barghouti, Ben Wedeman, Dana Milbank, Ben White, Michelle Goldberg, Paul Waldman and Rachel Shabi, plus staff-eds in the Irish Times and The Independent. Sheesh . . .

Israeli flag• Last word goes to Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, who argues that Israel’s status in the Mideast is rising because it’s the only country in the region proving capable of confronting Iran:

As long as the US administration entrusts this new role to Israel, and if it is suitable to the Arab parties, it is likely to expand in the future. Israel is a relatively small country, roughly the size of Kuwait, but it has a superior regional military capability. Taking advantage of tensions and the changing situation, it is establishing a new position for itself.
Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Maria Biblik; globe CC BY-SA John LeGear; Huldai CC BY-NC-SA Hubert Burda Media; Israeli flag CC BY Justin LaBerge;

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Post  Admin on Mon 14 May 2018, 11:39 pm

Palestinians Trying to Breach Border as US Opens Jerusalem Embassy

A composite image of Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border on May 4 and Jerusalem municipality worker hangs an American and Israeli flags near the US consulate in Jerusalem on May 7, 2018. Photos by Wissam Nassar/Flash90 and Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 respectively.
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Palestinians began marching on the Israel-Gaza border hours before a ceremony inaugurating the US embassy in Jerusalem.

According to the latest liveblogs from the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and i24 News, between 35,000-50,000 Palestinians are rioting along the Israel-Gaza border. Flaming kites managed to start fires in at least five different Israeli fields. Last I looked at the liveblogs, 37 Palestinians were reported killed, including three Hamas operatives trying to plant a bomb along the border fence. The Israeli Air Force also struck five Hamas targets near Jabaliya

The Shin Bet says Iran is funding the chaos. According to a Ministry of Strategic Affairs message seen by HonestReporting, the Palestinians intended to breach the border at 3:30 PM local time. Meanwhile, Palestinians in the West Bank clashed with soldiers near the Qalandiya security barrier and Bethlehem.

Follow the liveblogs as the situation unfolds.

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2. The inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem was underway as this roundup was published with 800 dignitaries from the US, Israel and local diplomatic corps attending. President Donald Trump is scheduled to address the gathering by a video link.

A convoy of Harley Davidson riders arrive to the US Consulate in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood, Israel, May 13, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
3. The Israeli cabinet approved an NIS 2 billion ($560 million) Jerusalem “sovereignty plan” to strengthen Israeli jurisdiction over eastern Jerusalem. According to the Times of Israel and Haaretz, we’re talking about a contentious land regulation proposal, developing public spaces, business infrastructure and public transportation, encouraging Palestinian schools in the city to use Israeli curriculum, building a cable car from western Jerusalem to the Western Wall and more.

According to the “Land Regulation” proposal, one of the programs authorized by cabinet ministers, Israel will attempt to establish full administrative control over territory in the eastern part of Jerusalem by settling land disputes between Palestinian neighbors and demarcating property boundaries.

Israel currently has no accurate record of land ownership claims in East Jerusalem, the Justice Ministry says, due to it never before forcing Palestinian residents to present certifiable documents of ownership . . .

Critics of the plan, however, say it is a tacit land grab, with the government attempting to establish swaths of land with no proven property claims in order to advance building projects in the eastern part of the city.

building campaign

In the News
• It’s going to take weeks, perhaps months, for Israel to get the Kerem Shalom crossing repaired after Palestinians destroyed fuel lines and other infrastructure on their own side of the crossing. The Times of Israel takes a closer look at why Hamas allowed Gazans to lay waste to a crossing where Israel transfers needed fuel, food, medicine and more to the Strip.

The official said that during the attack on Kerem Shalom, Israeli officials watched as rioters ran back and forth between the crossing and a Hamas position a few hundred meters away.

“Then we saw about 10 Hamas people standing at the gates of Kerem Shalom,” he said.

According to the officer, the Hamas members were wearing civilian clothes but directed the events with walkie-talkies, “giving orders — what to do, where to go.”

• Dr. Mordechai Kedar discussed the embassy move with Sky News.


Sky News
 "History shows Jerusalem was never capital of any Arab or Islamic state" - Israeli scholar Dr Mordechai Kedar defends the controversial US embassy move

11:47 AM - May 14, 2018
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• The Beitar Jerusalem soccer team wants to rename itself “Beitar Trump Jerusalem” in honor of the US embassy move. But the Jerusalem Post notes this qualifier:

Despite Beitar’s announcement to officially change the club’s name, it will require approval from the Israel Football Association, a process which is far from straightforward. In addition, Donald Trump has been a registered trademark in Israel since 2008, and should Beitar try to add it to its name, it may be sued, as it hasn’t received permission to use it.

• Since when did the Irish Times ever acknowledge that Jews have rights to the land of Israel too? This photo caption’s a case in point. The unnamed “Palestinian Jews” shaking hands happen to be David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir.

Irish Times

• Israel’s tough posture in Syria is creating cracks in the Russian-Iranian relationship. The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) explains:

Now, as Mr. Assad regains control of much of the country, Russia and Iran’s interests have begun to increasingly diverge. In particular, Russian analysts said, Moscow has grown concerned over Iran’s attempt to use Syria as a beachhead to threaten Israel and boost its power over Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories.

• This is just satire.


Around the World
• The student council of Germany’s Heidelburg U. voted to label the BDS movement as antisemitic, meaning “BDS groups and affiliated groups will not be supported with rooms or finances,” reports the Jerusalem Post.

• Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, who previously investigated Labour party antisemitism, has called Ken Livingstone to be expelled from the party. Of the ex-London mayor’s claims that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist, Chakrabarti said it was an “insult” that the party only suspended him.

• Worth reading. As for what the phenomenon of spies hacking journalism means for Israel, all I can say is use your imagination…

Scott Shane
 My wrestle with a journalistic dilemma that has disturbed me for a while: When Spies Hack Journalism https://nyti.ms/2GaBNAe 

10:37 PM - May 12, 2018

When Spies Hack Journalism
Reporters usually care little about a source’s motives, provided their information is true and newsworthy. But what if the source is a foreign spy agency?

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• Memo to Atef Abu Saif: There was no pre-1948 British policy to actively replace Palestinians with Jews. And Palestinian living conditions improved in the West Bank in 1967 when Israel took over and invested in the territories. If you want to be a human shield for Hamas in not-so-peaceful “protest” that makes a mockery of the two-state solution, I’m not going to pretend to have sympathy for you if you have to face unpleasant consequences later.

flags• Here’s what else I’m reading about the embassy move, Naqba day, Gaza and the Palestinians today . . .

– Col. Richard Kemp: Expected upsurge in Gaza violence
– Jeff Jacoby: The Palestinians’ real ‘nakba’
– Charles Bybelezer: To create better future, Palestinians must overcome destructive past
– Ron Prosor: The day Jerusalem won
– Eugene Kontorovich: America recognizes one Jerusalem (click via Twitter)
– Naftali Bennett: Don’t think the US embassy belongs in Jerusalem? Get over it.
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): Israel’s capital is finally recognized by the US
– The Australian (staff-ed) US embassy move is a breakthrough for Israel
– Yossi Klein Halevi: Israelis and Palestinians need to honor a two-story solution in the Middle East
– Yigal Carmon: Why the peace process failed
– Yael Patir: Most US Jews oppose embassy move
– Charles Moore: Israel at 70 is a better and less corrupt place than almost all of Britain’s former colonies

• Here’s what else I’m reading about everything else today . . .

– Seth Frantzman: Iran just overplayed its hand in Syria
– Anshel Pfeffer: Israel doesn’t want war with Iran – it prefers crisis in Tehran
– Moshe Arens: No longer alone facing Iran
– Hillel Frisch: What might an Israel-Iran war look like?
– Konrad Yakabuski: On Israel, Trudeau is Harper’s pupil
– Reuven Brenner: The roots of antisemitism (click via Twitter)
– Golan Yarok: Another LSE lecturer caught lying

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Post  Admin on Sun 13 May 2018, 2:08 pm

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What’s Really Behind Trashing of Kerem Shalom?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. For the second consecutive week, Palestinian rioters at the Kerem Shalom border crossing destroyed gas lines and other infrastructure — on the Gaza side of the crossing. The IDF estimated the rioters caused around $9 million in damage forcing Israel to close it until further notice. The destruction sounds senseless until you see what Gaza sources told Ynet about how Hamas benefits from Kerem Shalom’s closure:

A Palestinian source in Gaza, meanwhile, told Ynet that Hamas has been profiteering considerably as a result of the crossing’s destruction. The Kerem Shalom crossing is operated by the Palestinian Crossings Authority, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) rather than Hamas, he noted.

The source then explained that Hamas was encouraging rioters to damage crossings, thereby causing the PA to lose revenue from customs and other taxes levied on incoming goods.

Bringing the goods in through the Rafah border crossing, the source added, will allow Hamas to pocket such tax levies.

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2. Israel destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel which “ran by the Erez pedestrian crossing and was meters away from reaching into Israeli territory” on Saturday night. The tunnel is the ninth destroyed by the IDF since the end of October.

building campaign

3. Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the Eurovision song competition, meaning Israel will host the contest next year. The 25-year-old Barzilai’s female-empowerment song, Toy, was long among the top favorites to win, having racked up some 28 million views on YouTube. Winners are determined by a combination of international viewer votes and a jury.

The Times of Israel is already assessing how much Israel will have to spend on that. Israel hasn’t won the Eurovision competition since 1998 when Dana International took the top prize. See commentaries by David Horovitz and Eran Suissa.

Congratulations to Netta from the HonestReporting staff!

Eurovision HR staff

Israel and the Palestinians
• Weekly clashes along the Gaza border continued on Friday with flaming kites sparking fires, grenades, burning tires and rock throwing. Two Palestinians were killed. Friday marked the first appearance of a kite-cutting drone, which Israeli media reports say has already downed 40 kites.
View image on Twitter

Adam Milstein
 #Israel using small remote-controlled airplanes to combat #Hamas #Gaza Attack Kites. Developed by the Defense Ministry, IDF uses drones to cut wires holding the kites together, in order to prevent them from reaching Israeli fields and setting them ablaze https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-using-model-airplanes-to-combat-gazas-attack-kites/

8:00 PM - May 12, 2018
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• To learn more about the army’s rules of engagement, Haaretz visited IDF snipers working along the Gaza border. The money quote:

From a second visit to the area in recent weeks and a series of discussions with commanders and soldiers, no sense can be discerned that snipers are trigger-happy, as some statements from the left wing have it.

USA• Tomorrow is the ceremony marking the formal move of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. With the assistance of Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, Israel was able to thwart a European Union condemnation of the US embassy move, according to Israeli media reports.

• See Haaretz for a nice “what you need to know” roundup about tomorrow’s embassy move. Security for the event has been three months in the making. Meanwhile, the New York Times explains why Ambassador David Friedman plans to continue splitting his time between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv even after the transfer:

That solution might be practical, given that there is little spare space in the Jerusalem building, and most of the embassy staff will be remaining in the Tel Aviv branch of the embassy for the time being. But it may also help get around any diplomatic awkwardness, allowing the ambassador, David M. Friedman, to continue to host officials whose countries oppose the American embassy move.

Iranian Threat
• If conflict with Iran escalates, how would the Israel economy fare? Calcalist crunched a lot of numbers.

Protracted military engagement would undoubtedly be harmful to Israel’s economic activity, but financial indicators, such as foreign exchange rates, suggest the country is perhaps better prepared than it has ever been for to weather a conflict.

• AFP assesses Russian efforts to mediate between Israel and Iran.

• The sign of the times (part 1) isn’t that Bahrain backed Israel’s strikes on Iranian positions in Syria. It’s that Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa A) said so publicly B) in Arabic C) on Twitter.

Cafe Milano• Sign of the times (part 2): The Associated Press learned of some impromptu “dinner diplomacy” that took place in March.

The UAE and Qatari ambassadors to the US were in Washington’s Cafe Milano along with a State Dept. official and some journalists when they discovered Benjamin Netanyahu was coincidentally also dining there and passed along a message to the PM asking if he’d join them:

It wasn’t long before Netanyahu and his wife came over to say hello on their way out. They lingered, answering a few questions from the group about Iran and other issues. There were smiles, a few laughs about the oddity of the situation, and Netanyahu shook hands with the two ambassadors before leaving the restaurant . . .

In and of itself, the interaction does not signal any historic establishment of ties between Israel and the UAE or any other country. Yet it casts light on how friendly cooperation between the Jewish state and the Arab Gulf nations, until recently kept behind the scenes, are creeping into public view.

• Sign of the times (part 3): Coverage of Israeli strike in Arab media reflects divisions.

• Russia, after Netanyahu visit, backs off Syria S-300 missile supplies, Reuters reports.

• Ynet: The real target of last month’s T-4 attack: an Iranian-made aerial defense system called “The Third Khordad.”

Once the system was unloaded off of an Iranian transport plane on the Syrian T-4 base, it was destroyed before even being unpacked.

The 3rd Khordad system, developed and manufactured by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)’s military industries, was seemingly a copy of the aforementioned Russian S-300—a system capable of intercepting not only planes but also missiles, rockets, cruise missiles and drones deep within Israeli territory.

Third Khordad
A demonstration of Iran’s Third Khordad aerial defense system in 2014.
• According to an Arab media report picked up by Haaretz, Russia gave Iran advance warning of Israel’s plans to attack Iranian positions in Syria.

• While Israel has offered humanitarian aid to civilians of southern Syria, I don’t know of any Israeli-aligned “proxies” that would be the equivalent of Iran’s string-pulling relationship with Hezbollah. Where did AP get this line from?

The two rivals have long fought each other through proxies, and with the new exchange each seemed to be sending a warning that a direct clash between them could swiftly escalate.

• Netanyahu’s spokesman, David Keyes discussed the Iranian threat with Channel 4‘s Jon Snow.

Around the World
Germany• Executives from the German Bank for Social Economy may be included in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s top 10 list of antisemitic activity, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Critics say the Cologne-based BFS is a hotbed of BDS activity. The bank maintains at least four accounts that directly or indirectly aid the BDS campaign to undermine and dismantle the existence of Israel.

• Amsterdam kosher eatery’s owner will close shop unless police curb antisemitic vandalism

• Following a fatal stabbing in Paris, a Jewish lawmaker says France is suffering an “intifada.”

• US envoy Jason Greenblatt got Jerusalem Post op-ed space to denounce Hamas for failing its own people and taking Gaza back to the Stone Age.

Jerusalem• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend about the embassy move, Jerusalem and the Palestinians this weekend . . .

– Gilad Erdan: How Trump’s Jerusalem embassy decision could lead to peace for Israel
– Josefin Dolsten: Why these Latin American countries support moving their embassies to Jerusalem
– Aaron David Miller: Five myths about the US embassy move to Jerusalem
– Abigail Shrier: Trump’s Jerusalem stand
– David Harris: May 14, 2018, a historic day
– Avi Issacharoff: It’s make-or-break time for Hamas in Gaza
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Gazans are victims of an ideology of hatred
– Alex Traiman: Jerusalem is rising as Israel’s enemies falter
– Michael Goodwin: Getting a grip on Israel’s future
– Alan Baker: Did the Palestinians ever really recognize Israel?
– Alex Ryvchin: Arab leaders, not Britain, to blame for Palestinian plight

Iran• Here’s what else I’m reading about tensions with Iran . . .

– Raphael Ahren: Despite global vows of support, Israel stands alone against Iran in Syria
– National Post (staff-ed): Israel is left to contain the Iranian threat that Obama ignored
– Abdulrahman Al-Rashed: Which side are you on? Iran or Israel?
– Julie Lenarz: Why we must stand with Trump and Israel to stop Iran from creating a Shiite empire
– Amos Harel: Iran’s entrenchment in Syria set back months after most extensive Israeli strikes in decades
– Jonathan Spyer: Under fire but unfazed, Israel plays the waiting game with Iran
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Israel, Iran walking on the precipice
– David Horovitz: Israel has the upper hand over Iran in Syria, but the ayatollahs won’t give up
– Michael Oren: Trump made the right choice on Iran
– Herb Keinon: Putin stops neither Iran nor Israel in Syria
– Jack Goldsmith: How legally binding is the Iranian nuclear deal?
– Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror: Don’t ease up
– Seth Frantzman: Putin is now key to restraining Iran in Syria
– Anshel Pfeffer: Putin gives Israel a free hand against Iran, but he may soon have to pick a side
– Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Iran is in trouble
– Melanie Phillips: The elephant in the room is regime change
– Prof. Shmuel Sandler: Mideast peace will come through containment of Iranian threat
– Vivian Bercovici: The vanity and art of the deal

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND J McDowell; US flag CC BY-NC-ND Bill Dickinson; Third Khordad via YouTube/armyreco; German flag CC BY-SA Emanuele; Iranian bomb CC0 Pixabay;

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Post  Admin on Thu 10 May 2018, 4:13 pm

Israel Destroys Iranian Positions in Syria Overnight
Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF announced that Iran’s Quds Force fired 20 rockets at Israel last night. Some were shot down by Israel’s missile defense technology, and no injuries were reported. In response, Israel launched attacks on dozens of Iranian targets in Syria, including intelligence centers, weapons depots, anti-aircraft networks, and more. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced that Israel, “hit almost all Iranian infrastructure in Syria.” This is a departure from Israel’s usual policy of being ambiguous as to whether it was responsible for attacks. More on the night’s events below.
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Israeli Air Force
 The IDF has struck dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria in response to the Iranian rocket attack against Israel. Quds force is behind attack and has played the initial price. IDF remains ready for various scenarios but does not seek to escalate the situation
5:30 AM - May 10, 2018
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2. Continuing fallout from President Trump’s announcement that  the United States will withdraw from the JCPOA, (the Iran nuclear deal).  There was a predominantly negative EU reaction , but journalists rarely mention that Europe purchases over one million barrels of oil per day from Iran, raising a possible conflict of interest. There were primarily supportive American Jewish  reactions via LA Times, and mostly supportive Israeli view in the Times of Israel.
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3. Will European countries boycott the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem? Some reports say yes, but Israel’s Foreign Ministry says it has not heard of any such decision. Either way, we’ll find out on Monday, May 14. Watch this space for more as events unfold.
4. IDF’s Defense of the Gaza Border:  What’s the Truth?  Will 100,000 Palestinians breach Israel’s border on Tuesday?  Will there be violence and will Israel be condemned? HonestReporting helps you prepare for the conversation.
Iran and Syria
• Secretary of State Pompeo : We will work with our allies to find a lasting solution to the Iranian threat.
• Amid Iranian missile barrage, US says Israel has right to defend itself.
• After Putin meet, PM indicates Moscow won’t curtail Israeli strikes in Syria.
• Will recent events on the Syrian border lead to war with Iran? Israel’s former national security adviser Yaakov Nagel doesn’t think so:
No one wants a war. Usually wars happen because of misunderstandings, because people are talking about war too much [but] Iranians know full well Israel’s capabilities, and its willingness to defend itself.
• Iranian Lawmakers Shout “Death to America,” Set U.S. Flag Ablaze at Parliament – Nasser Karimi
• Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria, is caught between Syrian forces and Islamic State as battles continue.
building campaign
Window into Israel
• Despite a rash of scandals involving the Israeli PM, his Likud party continues doing well in the polls, at least to some extent due to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA.:
The poll found that if an election were held now, Netanyahu’s Likud party would rise from its current 30 Knesset seats to 35…When the poll asked respondents whether they supported canceling the Iran deal, 62% said yes, 17% said no, and the rest did not offer an opinion
• What is the “Supreme Court override bill” and why do Israelis care? JPost’s  Lahav Harkov weighs in.
• Israel continues to negotiate with the UN on a plan for African migrants. HonestReporting previously explained the overall situation in this post.
Around the World
• Sussex U. students renew commitment to boycott Israel.
• A Dutch mosque says it converted a Holocaust survivor to Islam. Local Jews are skeptical.
• Stony Brook University’s  Muslim chaplain under fire from pro-Palestinian students for defending campus Hillel.
• German police caught the 89-year-old “Nazi Grandma,” Ursula Haverbeck, after she failed to report to jail to begin a two-year sentence for Holocaust denial and incitement.
• Fourteen Boston-area students accused of vandalizing a high school with swastikas and anti-gay slurs.
• David Horowitz: Problems are mounting for Iran, which may make it particularly dangerous.
• Allister Heath: The Iran deal was a monument to Western myopia and groupthink. Good riddance.
• Con Coughlin: Iran’s aggression, not Donald Trump’s, has sundered the nuclear deal.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Avi Issacharoff: Airstrikes are a setback, but Iran fully intends to cement its presence in Syria
– Eli Lake: Trump is now free to fight for Iranian freedom
– Jonathan Tobin: Wrong man, right decision
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: The best path to peace
– Rafael Medoff: Columbia U. vs. the Jews, again
– Dr. Reuven Berko: Hamas and the Trump Effect

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Post  Admin on Wed 09 May 2018, 10:44 pm

US Quits Iran Nuclear Deal — Now What?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Trump announced the US is withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal and reinstating sanctions.

Israel and the Gulf states were happy. Europe expressed its regrets. Iran denounced the move but said it will keep the JCPOA and move forward by negotiating with Russia, China and Europe.

Trump emphasized that sanctions would also apply to other nations that did business with Iran, meaning that the United States could very well apply sanctions on its closest European allies. “America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail,” Trump said.

However, officials said European companies would have several months to pull out of the Iranian market.

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2. The Syrian situation got hotter as another military based was struck, presumably by Israel. Fifteen people, including eight Iranians, were said to be killed. The IDF noted unusual movements of Iranian forces in Syria, and believed they were preparing an imminent reprisal for last month’s strike on the T4 air base. Arab media reports picked up Ynet said missiles intended to be fired at Israel were destroyed:

Yedioth Ahronoth military correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai added that it could be gleaned from the Syrian report of an Israeli attack on a base used by Iranian militias that Iranians have been trying to launch missiles or rockets at Israel in the past few days.

Israel has foiled these attempts, Ben-Yishai opined, both by using the media and — reportedly — by launching a preventative attack. It could also be surmised that the targets of Tuesday’s attack were missile silos and rocket launchers the Iranians took out of hiding and intended to use—prompting Israel to attack once it discovered it.

More at Haaretz and the Times of Israel, plus Amos Harel‘s take.

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3. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin. The primary agenda item, says Haaretz, is maintaining military coordination over Syria. See also The Media Line, which points out that with the US pulling out of the nuclear accord, Putin is poised to broker an understanding between Jerusalem and Tehran over Syria.

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Raphael Ahren
 BREAKING: In Moscow's Red Square, PM @Netanyahu watches as Russia's military parades the S-400 anti-missile batteries (which could be deployed to Syria soon defend Assad)

8:59 AM - May 9, 2018
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4. BBC Whitewashes HR’s Jeremy Bowen Complaint: The BBC went for the one person guaranteed to provide entertainment and controversy rather than sober analysis, then tried to quietly cover it all up with after-the-fact revisions and lame response to a formal complaint.

5. Which West Bank? Unraveling an unusual reader alert.

Iranian Threat
• State comptroller: “Communities on Israel’s borders are at risk of being infiltrated by terrorists due to the failure of the Defense Ministry and IDF to properly fund, coordinate and plan a proper security system.” As tensions with Syria mount, the army told northern residents not to disrupt their daily routines.

Meanwhile, the US warned government employees not to go to the Golan without prior approval.

• AP finally discovers the “two Jews, three opinions” phenomenon . . .

Netanyahu opposition to Iran deal not shared by all Israelis

Israel and the Palestinians
save the date• Further cluttering my calendar, the Palestinians announced that the day the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem — Monday, May 14 — will be a “day of rage.” It makes for an already busy week:

›› Sun. May 13 is Jerusalem Day, featuring plenty of events commemorating the anniversary on the Hebrew calendar of the city’s reunification during the Six Day War.
›› Mon. May 15 Is Israel’s Independence Day (according to the Gregorian calendar) and when Palestinians mark their “Naqba Day.” Hamas plans a mass march on the Israel-Gaza border and . further marches on Israeli checkpoints and borders in the West Bank and from Lebanon and Jordan are also called for, though the PA, Jordan, Egypt and Israel are working together to prevent violence.
›› Tue. May 16, Guatemala moves its embassy to Jerusalem.

• Human Rights Watch is going to court to prevent Israel from expelling its Israel-Palestine director. The Interior Ministry revoked Omar Shakir’s work permit and gave him 14 days to leave saying he supports the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Shakir, a US citizen of Iraqi descent, denies ties to BDS and says Israel is trying to muzzle HRW.

• Settler gets 15 years in prison for killing Palestinian, 13 years later. Yehoshua Elitzur was convicted of manslaughter in 2005 for shooting Sael Jabara al-Shatiya on a West Bank road, but fled Israel before he could be sentenced. Elitzur was arrested in Brazil which extradited him this past January. More at Ynet.

atom• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels weighing on the Iranian situation . . .

– David Horovitz: Trump’s Iran deal withdrawal: It should never have come to this
– Hugh Hewitt: The Netanyahu moment
– Ron Kampeas: After pulling out of the Iran deal, Trump is open to Plan B — but no one knows what that is
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: Is the Iran nuclear deal dead, or only wounded?
– Raphael Ahren: In nixing nuclear deal, Trump vindicates Netanyahu — for now
– Seth Frantzman: How does Iran keep getting away with it?
– Bret Stephens: A courageous Trump call on a lousy Iran deal
– Jennifer Rubin: 5 big consequences of Trump’s Iran blunder
– Susan Rice: Trump’s most foolish decision yet
– Jonathan Schanzer: Why Trump pulled out of the Iran deal, and what could happen next
– Benny Avni: Keep killing off Obama’s foreign policy, Mr. President

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Post  Admin on Tue 08 May 2018, 8:29 pm

Israel Braces for Iranian Reprisal Attack

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel is bracing for an Iranian missile attack from Syria in retaliation for last month’s strike on the T4 military base. Haaretz explains:

Israel’s assessment is that Iran seeks to settle its open account with Israel, but wants to do so without sparking a war. One possible solution to this dilemma is trying to fire a limited barrage at military targets in northern Israel.

Over the past few days, military officials have briefed mayors nationwide about the latest developments.

The decision to publish this information in the media is presumably meant to deter Iran and Hezbollah from carrying out their plans.

For more, take your pick of Jerusalem Post or Times of Israel coverage, plus Ron Ben-Yishai‘s take.

Netta Barzilai
2. BDS is targeting Israeli singer Netta Barzilai with a campaign calling on Eurovision judges and viewers to give her “zero points” in the international singing competition. Netta, who sings “Toy,” is favored to win the Saturday night final. Could BDS actually sabotage her chances?
The Eurovision’s scoring system is based on an equal number of points awarded by judges and the contest’s viewers from across the continent and participating countries.

The BDS campaign’s efforts may thus prove successful in significantly hampering the Israeli’s chances of winning—or even making it to the final.

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3. According to unofficial results from yesterday’s Lebanese elections, Hezbollah and its allies secured a majority of parliamentary seats. However, because of a multi-ethnic power-sharing agreement, the prime minister must be Sunni, and the Sunni with the most votes was the incumbent, the Saudi-backed PM Saad Hariri, even though his Future Movement actually lost seats. It was Lebanon’s first national election in nine years.

Reuters picked up on one Israeli cabinet minister Twitter response saying that “Hezbollah=Lebanon.”

One “candidate” noted by the Associated Press was a Palestinian refugee. Manal Kortam ran a symbolic campaign to draw attention to the 174,000 disenfranchised Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who have no voting rights and face many job restrictions.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Is Hamas interested in negotiating a long-term truce with Israel? “According to intelligence assessments, the organization is still in dire distress and is currently more open to discussing options it rejected in the past.”

• The IDF said it killed three Palestinians trying to infiltrate Israel from Gaza to carry out an attack. They were found an ax, lighter fluid, a lighter, a bolt cutter and a GoPro camera. The army didn’t comment on whether a fourth Palestinian in the group was apprehended or fled back to Gaza.

• According to Ministry of Defense estimates, the Palestinian Authority will pay Palestinian terrorists who killed Israelis in recent attacks almost $2.8 million each over their lifetimes. The assessment was disclosed during a Knesset discussion on cutting payments to the PA until the stipends for terrorists and their families are halted. Times of Israel coverage.

The bill to be voted on Monday would allow the government to either permanently deduct the funds paid out to terrorists, or “freeze” the payments, leaving the security cabinet with the final say.

• Ahead of next week’s inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem, the PA is urging foreign dignitaries to boycott the event. Meanwhile, US embassy road signs went up in the Kiryat Moriya neighborhood where the building currently called a consulate is located. Further underscoring the relocation, the embassy’s Twitter handle changed from @usembassyTLV to @usembassyjlm.

Also, plans for the new building, which is expected to take six years to build, were released. More on that at Ynet.

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Joshua Davidovich
 Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat displaying both a new sign for the not-yet-existent US embassy in Jerusalem AND how not to use a ladder safely.

9:20 AM - May 7, 2018
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• Outcry as UAE, Bahrain send cycling teams to race in Israel.

• Israel’s reaching out to Iraqis on Facebook with a “digital embassy.”

• Worth watching: Pierre Rehov unpacks what’s really happening with the Gaza clashes “Behind the Smoke Screen.”

Window into Israel
• Israeli company sold in staggering $7.1 billion deal. Haifa-based Frutarom, an ingredient and flavor-producer, will be acquired by the New York-based International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. “The deal represents the second largest sale or “exit” of an Israeli company to date, only surpassed by Intel’s purchase of Mobileye for $15.3 billion in 2017.”

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Yonah Jeremy Bob weighs in on the Supreme Court override bill.

Around the World
• An Uber driver who ordered an Israeli diplomat to leave his vehicle in the middle of Chicago traffic for speaking Hebrew has been barred from the ride-sharing service.

• An 89-year-old neo-Nazi is on the run from justice after failing to show up to begin a prison term. A German court sentenced Ursula Haverbeck to two years for incitement. She has been previously convicted of Holocaust denial.

• Student groups at California Polytechnic State University called for an increase in funding for all clubs — except for the “Zionist” ones.

• When three pro-Palestinian activists got op-ed space in the San Antonio Express-News, editors followed up by giving opportunities to reply to local activist Eleanor Siegal and Israeli Consul General Gilad Katz.

The Alamo in San Antonio
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Naftali Bennett: Hezbollah is Lebanon is Hezbollah
– Emily Landau: Why does Europe still have faith in Iran, a serial nuclear cheat and liar?
– Tzachi Hanegbi: The JCPOA is fatally flawed
– Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror: The depth of Iran’s deception
– YJ Fischer: Trump is going easy on Iran
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Don’t threaten us with war
– Boston Globe (staff-ed): Scuttling the Iran deal would be a costly error
– Charles Bybelezer: No free lunch: Israel bracing to ‘pay price’ for US embassy move
– Jack Rosen: Treat BDS as the campus scourge it is: The push to vilify Israel too often feeds anti-Semitic rhetoric and conduct

Featured image: CC BY Lucy Fisher; Netta via YouTube/Eurovision Song Contest; Alamo CC BY Nan Palermo;

Trump to Announce Iran Nuke Deal Decision Today
Today’s Top Stories
1. As this roundup went to press, President Donald Trump was due to announce his policy on the Iranian nuclear accord today. He faces a May 12 deadline on whether the US should remain in the agreement.

2. It’s official: Paraguay became the third country to plan embassy move to Jerusalem. In the coming days, the US and then Guatemala will open embassies in the Israeli capital.

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3. First the Palestinians weaponized kites, now they’ve weaponized helium balloons. Just attach a lit-Molotov cocktail and send it off. Ynet and Israel HaYom describe the hundreds of thousands of shekels damage they caused yesterday:

One balloon landed near Kibbutz Mefalsim in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council, setting a wheat field ablaze.

Another caused a fire in the Be’eri Forest in the Eshkol Regional Council.

building campaign

Iranian Threat
• “Opposition forces in southern Syria arrested a number of suspected Hezbollah members in the past week, including one man who said he was awaiting orders to fire rockets at Israel, a rebel commander told The Times of Israel late Sunday night.”

Cyprus• Cypriot President: Iranian threat to Israel is also a threat to Cyprus. President Nicos Anastasiades’ comments to i24 News come ahead of trilateral summit with Netanyahu and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday.

• The Jerusalem Post visited northern Israeli communities to gauge the mood of the people.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas denied yesterday’s Haaretz report that it was willing to negotiate a long-term truce with Israel.

• Square near US embassy in Jerusalem to be named for Donald Trump.

• A Knesset bill to deduct terror funds from PA cleared its first legislative hurdle. Ynet coverage.

The deducted money, according to the bill proposal, would be put in a special fund created for this purpose and used—subject to approval from the defense minister—to carry out Israeli court verdicts against the PA or against terrorists; to pay compensation to terror victims; and to carry out projects as part the fight against terrorism and the funding of terrorism.


• After completing nine months of a 14-month sentence, Hebron shooter Elor Azaria was released from jail today.

Azaria was convicted of manslaughter for shooting a Palestinian, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif as he lay prone on the ground minutes after he had been neutralized by soldiers Sharif had attacked with a knife. Azaria’s trial polarized the country for weeks.

• According to the UN, some 7,000 Palestinian refugees have been displaced by a Syrian army offensive on the Yarmouk refugee camp. I haven’t seen any meaningful coverage for days.

Around the World
• The UK Labour party expelled a hard-left ‘revolutionary’ who sent a letter to several news services falsely claiming to have been signed by 33 Barnet Labour members supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s record on antisemitism.

Stephen Pollard
 Corbyn visited Barnet last Tuesday. Didn't meet a single Labour candidate, didn't campaign for them - but did meet man expelled from Labour hours laterhttps://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/hard-left-revolutionary-who-met-jeremy-corbyn-in-barnet-ahead-of-local-elections-is-expelled-by-labour-party-1.463689

11:27 AM - May 8, 2018

Hard-left 'revolutionary' who met Jeremy Corbyn in Barnet ahead of local elections is expelled by...
Fred Leplat - who sent a letter which falsely claimed to have been signed by 33 Barnet Labour members to the JC supporting Mr Corbyn's record on antisemitism - has been expelled by Labour

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• Police escort required for Israeli speakers after protesters disrupted their appearance at U. California, Irvine.

• Durham BDS activists employed by local synagogues, federation.

• Poland’s Holocaust law has triggered a tide of abuse against the Auschwitz museum.

A key claim of the campaign against the museum is that it has been training the site’s official guides to promote “foreign narratives” that are considered by many nationalists and government supporters to be inherently hostile to the Polish point of view.

• Ynet: The Giro d’Italia bicycle race moved on to Sicily, where pro-Palestinian protesters denounced the participation of an Israeli cycling team and tried to block the road.

US Israel• Ahead of Israel’s 70th anniversary (according to the English calendar), retired US admiral James Stavridis and Michael Makovsky argue that the US should wish the Jewish state a happy birthday by simply raising Israel’s intelligence clearance, speeding up promised aid and encouraging a higher level Israeli-Arab security cooperation.

By ensuring that Israel can defend itself and facilitating tacit cooperation between Israel and our Sunni Arab partners, the U.S. can bolster the anti-Iranian coalition, lay the foundation for a more stable Middle East and restore its regional leadership — all without putting significant numbers of American boots on the ground.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Anshel Pfeffer: From doomsday to delay: 5 scenarios ahead of Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal
– Avi Issacharoff: Few options for Tehran as it plots revenge on Israel
– Amos Harel: Iran seeks revenge on Israel without claiming responsibility – taking a page from Israel’s playbook
– Seth Frantzman: Iran’s missile threat and Israel’s message to Russia and Assad
– Yoav Zitun: IDF bases prepare for possible Iranian strike
– Yigal Carmon, A. Savyon: Tehran lied about a fatwa banning nuclear weapons
– Wall St. Journal (staff-ed): Iran wins in Lebanon (click via Twitter)
– Nadav Shragai: The US embassy prepares to move to Jerusalem
– Micky Aharonson: Why Russia recognizes Hamas, and other contradictions of its Israel policy
– Andrew Baker: To fight antisemitism, first you have to define it
– Jonathan Tobin: The new anti-Semites promote a very modern ‘blood libel’
– Elizabeth Tsurkov: The Left only cares about Palestinians when it can blame Israel
– Adam Langleben: Labour has betrayed Jewish voters — Corbyn must take action now

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Post  Admin on Sun 06 May 2018, 7:42 pm

Israeli Air Force Retaliates for Gaza’s Flaming Kites

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Palestinians launched more flaming kites at Israel on Friday. The kites did little damage this weekend (the winds blew them back over Gaza). However, the IDF retaliated for the first time by striking a Hamas position on Sunday morning which military officials said was being used as a launching pad for the kites.

Alex Ryvchin
 Hell of a progressive movement they have there. “We are waiting for the wind to pick up so we can fly tens of kites and burn their crops,” - https://nyti.ms/2HPnMOb  #gaza

11:50 AM - May 6, 2018
The direction of the wind not only thwarted the kites, but also blew copious amounts of Israeli tear gas and smoke from the burning tires toward the protesters, chasing many away.
Wind Thwarts Plan to Send Flaming Kites From Gaza Into Israel
There were fewer protesters and lower casualties on Friday along the Gaza border, and the plan to fly kites carrying incendiary devices failed when the wind shifted.

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2. Palestinian youths at the Kerem Shalom set Gaza’s own gas line on fire at weekly fence protests. The IDF said the Palestinians didn’t cross over to the Israeli side and destroyed their own fuel supply infrastructure.

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3. According to Israeli media reports, “Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are pumping a quarter of a billion dollars into the Islamic Waqf and a slew of Muslim organizations in East Jerusalem.”

The three countries are describing the move as an act of “rescue” to finance renovations at holy sites, but Israeli officials fear their involvement will go beyond money and could spark violence in the run-up to the ribbon-cutting on May 14, the TV report said.

building campaign

Iranian Nukes
• According to Israeli media reports, intelligence officials from France, Germany and Britain have visited Israel to see the nuclear documents Israel stole from Iran.

• Netanyahu and Putin to meet in Moscow on May 9, ahead of Trump’s May 12 deadline for quitting the Iranian nuclear deal.

• A number of papers picked up on a Boston Globe scoop that former secretary of state John Kerry is quietly engaging in “shadow diplomacy” with Iranian and European officials to preserve the nuclear accord.

• Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer discussed the Iranian nuclear revelations with CBS News.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Palestinian clashes along the Gaza border continued on Friday. Some 10,000 Gazans showed up, with riots breaking out at five different border locations. Soldiers had to respond to the usual burning kites, attempts to breach the fence, burning tires, etc.

• In new videos, IDF accuses Gazans of faking injuries, taking small kids to riots.


 Throughout Hamas’s activity, fake injuries and the exploitation of women and children are rampant. This was all intended to disguise terror activity, including hurling explosives & grenades, attempted infiltrations, & burning Israeli land

6:16 PM - May 5, 2018
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• Al Jazeezra footage shows a group of around 15 Gazans breaching the border and running around in Israeli territory celebrating before being chased back into the Strip. Background at the Times of Israel.

• At least six Palestinians reported killed as a large explosion rocked central Gaza on Saturday. Palestinian media reports described the blast as a “work accident.”

• US officials are denying reports that the Trump peace plan will call for Israel to transfer four eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods to the Palestinian Authority

• Amid furor over his antisemitic speech, Mahmoud Abbas was re-elected as the top leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Abbas apologized, which gave the UN an excuse to not condemn the PA leader.

• Israel withdrew its bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.

Interpol• The Algemeiner picked up on a report about PA membership in Interpol — the organization which facilitates cooperation among international police in areas such as counter-terror, organized crime, and cyber-crime.

Findings include A) a trend among autocracies to use Interpol to harass political opponents abroad, B) the Palestinian Authority sought Interpol membership as part of a political war against Israel, and C) the US and its allies should oppose PA membership until it reaches a peace agreement with Israel.

• Two leading US human rights activists refused entry to Israel, one for BDS ties.

• Tunisia bid for 2022 Youth Olympics frozen over ban on Israeli athletes.

Window Into Israel
flags• The Knesset may give Israel’s rabbinical courts the power to punish non-Israeli Jews who refuse to grant a divorce to their wives. Haaretz explains:

The bill would allow these courts to prevent non-citizens in these circumstances from leaving Israel after a visit, or even to jail them. Such steps against foreign nationals are thought to be unprecedented.

• A Knesset committee advanced the Supreme Court override bill this afternoon. The bill — which would allow lawmakers to pass legislation struck down by the High Court with a simple majority of 61 MKS — is expected to be voted on by the full Knesset on Wednesday.

• PM removes Facebook post claiming Arab soccer fans celebrated hikers’ deaths.

• In Israel’s latest corruption case, several Beit Shemesh municipal officials were arrested on accusations of “receiving valuable kickbacks from business people in return for advancing their interests by allowing them to purchase city land for development.”

Around the World
• Ahead of today’s Lebanese national elections, the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) reports that Hezbollah is facing serious discontent. More than 1,200 Hezbollah personnel have been killed fighting in Syria since 2012, and 28 percent of the casualties are from the organization’s Bekaa Valley heartland.

• Hezbollah ‘settlers’ are changing Syria’s demography under Iranian direction. See Memri and The Algemeiner.

Jeremy Corbyn
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
• Local council elections were held all over the UK. While the overall numbers didn’t change too much in terms of Labour vs. Conservative success, one outcome drew a lot of attention. Barnet, the London borough with Britain’s largest concentration of Jews, voted overwhelmingly for the Tories. Barry Rawlings, the leader of the Barnet Labour group, summed it up in a frank op-ed published in The Guardian:

I will always believe that if the evidence of antisemitism in the party had been dealt with as it should have been over the last two years, Barnet would have a Labour council this weekend.

What happened instead was an election day phenomenon that I never want to experience again. Jewish residents voted in protest against Labour. In Golders Green, which has a large Jewish population, turnout was above 70% compared with below 40% in other polling districts. Non-Jewish residents voted against us in solidarity with their Jewish friends, neighbours and loved ones. We are a community, after all. Hundreds of our own supporters, even members, told us that this time they couldn’t bring themselves to vote Labour.

It is agonisingly difficult to describe the feeling of standing as a Labour candidate in a political environment that has turned toxic.

• As if further confirmation was needed about Labour’s antisemitism problem, former London mayor Ken Livingstone tried to defend Labour’s flop – by claiming Hitler collaborated with Jews. “Inside simply 10 seconds of an interview this morning the disgraced ex-London Mayor insisted that anti-Semitic allegations towards him had been a “smear” and that the Nazi dictator HAD “collaborated” with Zionists within the 1930s.” Watch the full interview on Sky News and draw your own conclusions.

• Uber suspended a Chicago driver accused of kicking an Israeli diplomat out of his car for simply speaking Hebrew. The ridesharing organization came under scrutiny after Itay Milner, deputy consul general of Israel to the Midwest described Thursday night’s incident on Facebook.

• Germany‘s antisemitism czar supports banning banks and financial institutions that support or enable BDS.

• Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories roil Washington D.C. city council, “seemingly getting worse with every public attempt to ease the tensions,” the Associated Press reports.

• Wait, what?

Dutch cop cites Israel in asking removal of Holocaust memorial sign

• When a New York Times staff-ed says Mahmoud Abbas’ antisemitism makes him an unfit partner for peace, you know something fundamental is shifting.

• Avner Yona, a farmer living in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, near the Israel-Gaza Strip border, weighs in on the Gaza terror kites and their impact.

• Hmmmm. The Economist accuses Syria of “erasing” the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp next to Damascus.

• Regarding Hamas, Malaysia and the drone engineer killed in Kuala Lumpur, Jonathan Schanzer comments:

The longer Hamas operatives like al-Batsh are welcome on Malaysian soil, the more likely it becomes that Israel moves against them. But for Kuala Lumpur, the concern should probably be the financial links that can be drawn between the terrorist group and Malaysian banks or financial institutions. With the Hamas-Malaysia connection increasingly exposed, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where new U.S. sanctions are not under consideration.

Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
• Plenty of commentary about Israel, Iran and the future of the nuclear accords . . .

– Matthew Kroenig: Why Netanyahu’s revelations are significant
– Emily Landau: Netanyahu’s speech proves what we knew all along — and that changes everything
– Amb. Mark Regev: The Iran nuclear deal was based on lies and is untenable
– Dennis Ross: Israel’s intel coup actually provides good arguments for staying in the Iran nuclear deal
– Abdulrahman Al-Rashed: Iran must prove Netanyahu is lying
– Yaakov Katz: The Iran show
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Mossad’s achievement a deterring strategic factor in Israel-Iran conflict
– Yaroslav Trofimov: Can Israel’s clash with Iran be contained in Syia? (click via Twitter)
– Nahum Barnea: Israelis deserve to know: Is Netanyahu pursuing war with Iran?
– Washington Post (staff-ed) Netanyahu’s revelations aren’t enough to justify ripping up the Iran nuclear agreement
– Fred Weir: As Israel-Iran rivalry burns, Russia’s Tehran ties may get singed
– Reuel Marc Gerecht: The nuclear deal makes America complicit in Iranian crimes

quill and ink

• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .

– Yossi Klein Halevi: How Israelis see the world
– Yossi Kuperwasser: Abbas is not the problem
– Daniel Gordis: Netanyahu and Abbas clarify Israel’s choices
– Avi Issacharoff: In Gaza, setting fire to their own gas lines to fuel the flames of protest
– Cnaan Liphshiz: It’s not just Abbas: Blaming Jews for the Holocaust is widespread
– Anshel Pfeffer: Abbas’ Holocaust revisionism shows his moral failure, but his political failures are much worse
– Lev Golinkin: When Abbas spews anti-Semitic vitriol the response is thunderous. Not so much for Poland’s prime minister
– Dr. Reuven Berko: The end of the peace process
– Seth Frantzman: Palestinian antisemitism: Skin deep, widespread and not well-understood
– Hen Mazzig: The nakbas
– Stephen Daisley: Jewish voters didn’t just beat Labour, they shamed them
– Colbert King: The stench of anti-Semitism and racism mars Washington

• For a sense of what the critics are saying, see Peter Beinart.


Featured image: CC BY Pedro Ribeiro Simes;; flags CC BY-NC fabcom; Corbyn via YouTube/Daily Mail; Netanyahu via YouTube/IsraeliPM; quill CC0 Pixabay/Ashreila;

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Post  Admin on Thu 03 May 2018, 12:09 pm

Gaza Man Asks IDF to Shoot Him So He Can Get Hamas Stipend?
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Palestinian charged with asking IDF to shoot him to get Hamas stipend.
Hamas member Mustafa Banna allegedly asked soldiers during Gaza border clashes to shoot him so he could get $500 payment and stipend from the terror group; he entered Israel and was arrested.
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2. Guatemala raises flag over new Jerusalem embassy site ahead of May 16 opening.
Where do matters stand with other countries in the mix to move? President Donald Trump said he may visit Jerusalem for the May 14 opening of the United States embassy. President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay pledged to relocate his country’s embassy. The Czech Republic announced a three-staged move. The National Congress of Honduras passed a non-binding resolution supporting a move. Then there’s Romania, which is, uh, a more complicated story.
Last but not least, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan told Mahmoud Abbas that Tokyo has no plans to relocate its embassy.
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Avi Mayer
 It's official: the flag of Guatemala has been raised in Jerusalem, making it the first country to move its embassy to Israel's capital. ???????? (via @arik3000)
5:36 PM - May 1, 2018
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3. “The Trump administration has taken the position that Israel should not be required to discuss giving up nuclear weapons, which according to foreign sources it possesses, without recognition by all states in Middle East of the country’s right to exist.” Haaretz explains that the US policy shift pre-empts calls for making the Mideast a nuclear-free zone as diplomats lay the groundwork the 2020 conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons:
Israel took the position that the issue of nuclear weapons could not be divorced from security issues in the region or from the state of war that exists between Israel and some other countries. Israel also argued that some of the signatories to the treaty, including Iran, Syria and Libya, were attempting to develop nuclear weapons.
building campaign
4. Business Insider: Israel ‘Stomping on Iran’: News site prematurely declares “one of the worst wars the Middle East has ever seen” is already Israel’s fault.
5. New York Times Electrifies Israel’s Gaza Fence: Are Palestinians trying to breach the Israel-Gaza border fence really getting shock therapy?
Iranian Nukes
• Has Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech reawakened Iranian protests against the mullahs?
• While the US and Europe are divided about the impact of the Iranian nuclear revelations, the New York Times suggests Israel’s next steps:
And Israel is not finished with its lobbying campaign. Officials there said they planned to share much of the data they had harvested from the secret archive with the International Atomic Energy Agency — including data on some previously unknown nuclear sites in Iran.
Israel’s intention appears to be to force the organization, a United Nations agency, to demand that the Iranians allow inspections of those sites, even though some of them may have been closed or dismantled years ago. Since Iran considers many of these military sites, the Israelis, and some American officials, expect the Iranians to balk at the demand — inciting another crisis for the deal.
Indeed, Germany says the IAEA should probe Israeli claims.
International Atomic Energy Agency
• According to Israeli media reports, Iran breached the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, a.k.a. the Iranian nuclear deal) by simply holding onto all the files.
• The Mossad heist has the Iranian regime “quaking in its boots.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli and American officials, the European Union and Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt denounced Mahmoud Abbas for antisemitic remarks in an address to the Palestinian National Council on Monday.
Abbas — who wrote his dissertation on the Holocaust — blamed the Holocaust on “Jewish behavior,” in particular money-lending and banking. He also described Israel’s origin as a European “colonial project aimed at planting foreign bodies in the region.”
As for the rest of the PNC powwow, The Media Line reports that Hamas boycotted the gathering despite holding 70 of the council’s 700 seats. Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were also no-shows.
electricity• Israel signed a $775 million deal to build four electricity power plants in the West Bank and for the PA to take responsibility for the power distribution. Reuters notes that the deal does not apply to the Gaza Strip:
As part of the new deal, the PA will pay off a 915-million-shekel debt to the state-owned utility Israel Electric Corp (IEC), while taking charge of the distribution of electricity to West Bank Palestinians.
• A new Israeli liaison to the Palestinians was sworn in on Sunday. Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, a Druze officer, replaces Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai as head of Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
• President Reuven Rivlin landed in Addis Ababa for the first visit to Ethiopia by an Israeli head of state. Among the items on Rivlin’s itinerary: meeting with Falash Mura leaders who are threatening a mass hunger strike to protest delays in bringing the 8,000 members of their community to Israel.
• British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey was provocatively filmed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists during the diplomat’s secret visit to the Gaza border.
 Unusual day at the office for @DavidQuarrey, UK ambassador to Israel, who spent last Friday at the Gaza border in a flak jacket. Part of his trip was filmed by Islamic Jihad. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/01/british-ambassador-israel-filmed-islamic-terrorist-group-secret/ … 
4:23 PM - May 1, 2018
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Window into Israel
• The Knesset passed a bill barring terrorists from becoming members of the parliament. Details at the Jerusalem Post.
The goal of the legislation is to prevent those who have taken action against the state and its citizens for ideological reasons from being fielded as a candidate by a party. The sponsors of the bill said they hoped it would also educate the public about the seriousness of hate crimes.
• Principal of pre-military academy resigns after flash flood disaster.
• It’s days like this when I wish Jews controlled the weather:
Cities Cancel Holiday Bonfires as Hot, Dry Weather Hits Israel
• For commentary on the domestic scene, Gil Troy weighs in on the Nahal Tzafit flash flood disaster and Nimrod Goren on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Around the World
• Morocco cuts Iran ties over an alleged arms delivery to Polisario Front separatists in Western Sahara, reports AFP. Moroccan officials also accused Hezbollah of complicity. Is Iran trying to gain a foothold in northwestern Africa now?
• German newspaper’s Israeli flag experiment yields ‘frightening results.’
• The first person convicted of under Malaysia’s new Fake News Law is a 46-year-old Danish citizen who posted a YouTube video accusing Malaysian police of taking almost an hour to respond to the shooting of Hamas engineer and lecturer Fadi al-Batsh. Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman will be spending a month behind bars.
Police insisted they only took eight minutes to respond, and the charge against Sulaiman said he had “with ill intent, published fake news through a video on YouTube.” Sulaiman pleaded guilty but said the video was posted in a “moment of anger” and he did not mean any harm. The judge fined Sulaiman 10,000 ringgit ($2,500) but he opted to spend a month in jail because he could not pay.
If you read 5 Tips For Sorting Through the News and Sharing Responsibly on Social Media, you’re less likely to be fooled by such posts or run afoul of Malaysian authorities.
Iran• Plenty of commentary about the Israel, Iran and the nuclear deal.
– Bret Stephens: The Iran deal is a lie
– David Ignatius: We know Iran’s nuclear secrets now. Let’s make the most of them.
– Raphael Ahren: Very existence of Iran’s secret nuclear archive may be a violation of nuke deal
– Dore Gold: Netanyahu’s wake-up call to the world on the Iranian nuclear program
– Dr. Haim Shine: Mockery backfires on the media
– David Sharma: Iran nuclear deal is the lesser evil
– Con Coughlin: In taking on Iran, we must not ignore the dangerous terrorists the ayahtollas still sponsor
– David Harsanyi: Team Obama should just accept they failed with Iran
– Associated Press: Iran has few options to avenge Syria strikes
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Trump’s ‘madness’ may be doing the trick
• For a sense of what the critics from the Nothing New Here Choir are saying, see John Kerry, John Kirby, Steven Simon, Jeffrey Lewis, Catherine Philp, CNN‘s experts and a Los Angeles Times staff-ed.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Jonathan Freedland: It’s right to condemn Mahmoud Abbas for his antisemitic remarks
– Michael Starr: Hamas’ newest innovation: The human shield-wall
– Khaled Abu Toameh: The real Gaza blockade
– Amb. Alan Baker: Manipulating the truth about Gaza
– Linda Maizels: Black nationalist antisemitism on campus requires Jews to be ‘white’
Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND sinkdd; electricity CC0 Pixabay; Iran CC BY yeowatzup;

Business Insider: Israel ‘Stomping on Iran’
I’m just going to throw this out there:

Yes, you read that correctly: according to Business Insider, Israel is “stomping” on Iran. And it’s Israel that is bringing about war. Not just any war, but “one of the worst wars the Middle East has ever seen.”

This at a time when the Syrian civil war has already killed over half a million people…with Iranian support.

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Journalistic negligence
In truth, Iran and Syria are posing a very real and immediate military threat to Israel, and Israel is responding in a highly calculated manner.

This reality seems lost on writer Alex Lockie, who portrays Iran and Syria as if they were some kind of hapless victims, rather than highly armed, and very active, aggressors.

Here are just a few of the article’s most problematic statements:

Experts say a strike in Syria on Sunday that is believed to have killed Iranians was most likely carried out by Israel in a marked escalation of military conflict.

What is Israel allegedly targeting? Iranians? No, Israel targets Iranian military bases including  hardened missile bunkers. And how is responding to such a threat an “escalation?” When Iran places offensive weapons within striking distance of Israel, that is an escalation.
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The Times of Israel
 Satellite captures destruction on Syrian base after alleged Israeli strike https://www.timesofisrael.com/satellite-captures-destruction-on-syrian-base-after-alleged-israeli-strike/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

11:17 AM - May 1, 2018
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This article addresses presumed Israeli strikes in recent days, but he does not include satellite photos of fortified Iranian military bases such as the one above, nor does he mention that one strike  destroyed 200 Iranian missiles.

And surely we can all come together and be supportive when Israel targets Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure: which the US has linked directly to Iran. The article makes no mention of this at all.

Instead, Business Insider paints Iran and Syria, who are pounding Syrian civilians with gruesome chemical weapons, as being some kind of victims, because…Israel. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

Israel appears to have been punishing Iran and walking all over Syria as the US expresses support for Jerusalem.

Israel is walking all over Syria? Yet it is Iran that has troops and bases on the ground. It is Iran that is supporting Assad with arms and funding, and is participating in one of the greatest atrocities in the 21st century (the Syrian civil war).

What they won’t tell you
All professional journalism requires both accuracy and context. So for the benefit of our readers, here are a few of the critical items that Business Insider is keeping from you:

No mention that Iran’s declared policy is to “annihilate Israel” and claims it will succeed within 25 years.
No mention that in Syria over half a million people have already died, with much of the carnage attributable to…you guessed it: Iran.
No mention at all of Hezbollah, with its 130,000 to 150,000 medium and long-range missiles and rockets, right on Israel’s border. Hezbollah is an internationally recognized terror organization that serves as a proxy for…again: Iran.
No mention that Iran also happens to be one of the world’s greatest sponsors of terrorism, responsible for killing hundreds of Americans.
We hoped that Business Insider or its writer might be responsive when we called this to his attention. After all, everyone makes mistakes, right?
 Congratulations to @businessinsider @alexjlockie for the most ridiculous coverage of Bibi's nuclear expose. Portraying Iran as a poor victim of Israeli malevolence is really pushing the limits of reality. Israel is "stomping on Iran"? Seriously?! https://twitter.com/businessinsider/status/991024365876760579

3:05 PM - May 1, 2018
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Writer Alex Lockie’s reply indicated merely that he thought  his article was “confusing” to us. On the contrary, Business Insider seems to be the party that is confused: about the very nature of professional and ethical journalism.

In our opinion, it is time to bring this to the attention of Business Insider’s editors, and we need your help.

Please share your considered comments with Business Insider at:  corrections@businessinsider.com. Write “Correction request” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include the link to this story and provide supporting details about the problem.

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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Apr 2018, 8:53 pm

Gaza Border Violence
Israeli youth commemorate 10 teenagers who died in flash floods over the weekend.
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Renewed violence on the Gaza border:  with some 12,000 to 14,000 Palestinians in attendance, several hundred tried to breach Israel’s border. The New York Times reported the following interesting and rather confusing twist:
The breach of the fence was no mere protest: Those assaulting it threw firebombs and rolled burning tires at the fence to try to melt it; at least some carried pistols, according to both the Israeli military and Palestinian witnesses…four Palestinian protesters said they saw two men with handguns fire at Israeli soldiers and then flee…these accounts could not be verified.
In an exclusive conversation with HonestReporting, the IDF clarified that they are not aware of a pistol related incident.
Three Palestinians were killed, bringing the total to 42 over the past month. According to one UN agency 5,500 Palestinians were injured, including 1,739 by live fire, though the figures appear to come ultimately from the less than reliable Hamas controlled Gaza Ministry of Health.
US ambassador Nikki Haley denounced Hamas’s use of civilians as human shields, a side to this story that has been escaping much of the mainstream press as well as the UN itself.
2. Ten Israeli teenagers died in flash floods in southern Israel, while on a hike as part of a “mehina” or post-high school, pre-military educational program. Israeli police arrested three of the youth leaders on charges of negligence.
3. War of words with Iran: In response to earlier statements by Iranian officials, Israel’s defense minister Avigdor Liberman said:
We hear many (Iranian) threats … but if they [Iran] attack Tel Aviv, we will strike Tehran.
Iran and its proxies continue to maintain a military presence in Lebanon and Syria near Israel’s borders, and there have been occasional, limited clashes with IDF.
Israel and the Palestinians
• WATCH: Crossing Divides: Israeli school for both Jews and Arabs.
• IDF officer Ben Deri who shot and killed a Palestinian teenager with a live round during a stone throwing riot in 2014 is sentenced to 9 months in prison. The IDF forces at the scene had been instructed to use only rubber-coated bullets.
Around the World
•As one of his first actions as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo plans to visit the Mideast, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel.
• Much discussion about remembering the Holocaust this week, including two pieces in the Washington Post (one and two). In addition, Poland criticizes a statement by Congressman  Ro Khanna, (D-CA) that the new Polish law criminalizing certain Holocaust related statements glorifies Nazi collaborators and denies the Holocaust.
• In what we’ve found to be a rather unusual move for mainstream press, both Newsweek and Reuters covered deaths of Palestinians in Syria.
• Jeremy Corbyn’s official Facebook page is littered with vile anti-Semitic posts including claims of ‘supremacist Jews’ taking over Labour, and his new ‘strategy adviser’ once compared Israel with ISIS and worked for group demanding boycott of all Israeli goods. Saddening, but not shocking.
Jeremy Corbyn
• Merkel’s antisemitism envoy ‘not surprised’ Jews want to leave Germany.
• Why would an ordinary Palestinian participate in the protests/clashes/riots on the Gaza border? Here’s a different view on the events.
• In Gaza, Hamas Is the Oppressor – Not Israel – Michael Levin
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
–Former U.S. Peace Negotiator: Conditions for Israeli-Palestinian Peace Are Not Present – Aaron David Miller interviewed by Michael Young
–Is Palestinian Terrorism the Result of Desperation? – Fred Maroun
–Paralyzed Man Finishes London Marathon Aided by Israeli Robotic Suit – Tamar Ben-Ozer
Image: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 

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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Apr 2018, 3:09 pm

Was Malaysia Hit Part of Larger Mossad Operation?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. The killing of a Hamas drone expert in Malaysia was part of what the New York Times reports is a broader Mossad operation “to dismantle a Hamas project that sends Gaza’s most promising scientists and engineers overseas to gather know-how and weaponry to fight Israel.”

The Times also reports that Fadi al-Batsh was also negotiating arms deals with North Korea.

Ahmed Abu Hussein
Ahmed Abu Hussein
2. A Palestinian “journalist” shot at a Gaza protest died of his wounds yesterday. The reason I’m qualifying the “journalist” designation is because of what Associated Press says about 24-year-old Ahmed Abu Hussein’s employer:
Hussein was working for “Voice of People” — a radio station linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the U.S. and the EU.

PFLP-linked radio stations don’t do journalism, they do propaganda and incitement. MK and former journalist Yair Lapid articulated the distinctions in a 2016 letter to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) after the press organization denounced Israel for closing down an Islamic Jihad-affiliated TV station:

[Lapid] added that “freedom of the press does not extend to terrorist propaganda and to those who incite to murder. The content on Palestine Today would not pass the editorial guidelines of any of your members. I was a journalist for over three decades; this isn’t journalism. This isn’t free speech, this is hate speech. You are not defending press freedom; you are defending incitement to murder.”

3. It’s the equivalent of terminating the Grammys. Germany has discontinued the Echo music awards amid an antisemitism controversy.

“The Echo brand is so badly damaged that a complete new beginning is necessary,” the BVMI announced, adding that the “Echo will be no more.”

“The events surrounding this year’s Echo, for which the board apologized, cannot be reversed, but we can ensure that such a mistake does not happen again in the future,” the BVMI statement said.

4. AP Exposes Hamas Definition of ‘Non-Violence’: Thumbs up to AP for shedding light on Hamasplaining non-violence.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• Czech president announces 3-stage plan to move embassy to Jerusalem – eventually. I’m not holding my breath.

Israeli politicians hailed [Milos] Zeman’s speech, despite the fact that as president, he has limited executive power. Acting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis is opposed to a full-fledged relocation of the embassy, saying he does not want to break with EU policy.

• Reporters Without Borders released its annual World Press Freedom index. Of the 180 countries listed, Israel‘s press freedom was ranked at 87 (problematic) while the Palestinian areas were ranked at 134 (bad). Norway and North Korea were rated the world’s best and worst respectively.

Window into Israel
Esther Hayut
Supreme Court President Esther Hayut
• Government ministers agreed to postpone a vote on a contentious “Supreme Court Override Bill.”
Members of the ruling coalition want to enable the Knesset to re-approve legislation that the Supreme Court strikes down. The delay was a condition for Supreme Court President Esther Hayut to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the Override Bill. More at the Times of Israel.

The legislation would take the form of a passage added to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. With no constitution, Israel’s basic laws set the parameters of the balance of power between different branches of government.

• A government report shows scant number of African migrants consented to leave Israel.

• For commentary on the domestic scene, David Horovitz and a Haaretz staff-ed weigh in on the African migrants situation. Emmanuel Navon and Gershom Gorenberg address the Supreme Court override bill.

Around the World
• Thousands of Germans wore kippot (skullcaps) in solidarity against antisemitism yesterday. The German government’s anti-Semitism czar agrees it can be unsafe to wear kippah in public.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Dr. Felix Klein also said the recent increase in anti-Semitic violence on German streets is due to a “brutalization of our political culture,” and argued that the beating of an Israeli last week in Berlin proved that German Jews’ concerns about the major influx of Muslim and Arab refugees were legitimate.

Most European Jews stopped wearing kippot for safety anyway.

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Henrik Enderlein
 After recent anti-Semitic violence in Berlin, large daily @Tagesspiegel prints a cutout do-it-yourself #Kippa. Asks Berliners to wear it today in sign of solidarity. #NeverForget #berlinträgtkippa

6:15 AM - Apr 25, 2018
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• In anti-Semitism row, Belgian prime minister slams honor for pro-BDS British director Ken Loach.

• This is what we’ve come to: In London, dozens of Labour politicians escorted Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth across Westminster to an anti-Semitism hearing as she ran a gauntlet of Corbynistas heckling her and branding her abuse claims a ‘witch hunt.’ Smeeth was there to give evidence at a disciplinary hearing for Labour activist Marc Wadsworth. More at the Daily Mail.

In 2016, Wadsworth was suspended from Labour for haranguing Smeeth, a Jewish MK, at the launch of the Chakrabarti Inquiry report into allegations of antisemitism and racism within Labour.

• Students, activists disrupt talk by Israeli diplomat at Syracuse U.

• Report finds Canadian antisemitism is ‘becoming mainstream’ as number of incidents rise.

Josh Rosen
Josh Rosen
• UCLA’s star quarterback Josh Rosen, who is expected to be a high pick in tonight’s NFL draft, says he gets called antisemitic slurs during games. The JTA picked up on Rosen’s interview with Michael Silver. Here’s the key snippet fueling the buzz:
When it comes to trash talk in his current sport, Rosen has proven to be an easy target. “I get a lot of Jewish things,” Rosen says. “My nose, particularly. I get, like, ‘Stay the f— down, you Jewish bastard … I’m gonna break your f—- nose, you Jew.’ ”

Rosen’s reaction? Keep it coming.

“I really like when people try to get in my head,” he says. “I like away games more than home games. I like silencing crowds; that’s a big thing. One of my best games was at Arizona my freshman year. It was College GameDay and they had a ton of banners; they had my face on the queen from ‘Frozen’. They had, ‘Josh Rosen’s Bar Mitzvah Wasn’t Even Lit.’ When people really get into me, it gets my competitive juices flowing.”

• Brazilian governor apologizes for welcoming Hezbollah official.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Oded Granot: Israel can meet the S-300 challenge
– Alex Fishman: Gaza protests: Hamas preparing its ‘victory picture’
– Aviv Ezra: Hamas can’t mask intent
– Radu Golban: Why is Romania’s president refusing to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem?
– Dr. Alex Joffe: Transfer UNRWA’s responsibilities to whom?
– Yves Mamou: Has Europe even tried to fight antisemitism?
– Seth Frantzman: What the new French-American tag team means for the Middle East


Featured image: CC BY-ND michael davis-burchat; Hayut via Wikimedia Commons; Rosen via YouTube/SkyDesigns;

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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Apr 2018, 6:11 pm

Jordan Moves to Revoke Mahmoud Abbas’s Citizenship

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Today’s Top Stories
Jordan1. According to Arab reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post, Amman “began the process of revoking the Jordanian citizenship of about 30 Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials and their families,” including PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Many Senior Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials, including Abbas and his two sons, were given Jordanian citizenship over a decade ago, a Jordanian official disclosed in early 2011 . . .

The report did not disclose any information as to why Jordan decided to begin the process of revoking the Palestinian leaders’ citizenship now.

2. Russian Defense Ministry confirmed plans to transfer advanced S-300 air-defense systems to Syria.

It’s likely related to reports that the head of Moscow’s Security Council held separate meetings in Sochi with Israeli and Iranian counterparts.

3. British Jewish leaders came away disappointed and angry after meeting with Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn. Stephen Pollard details why the meeting broke down. Ahead of the meeting, Corbyn published an op-ed in the Evening Standard about his efforts to rid Labour of antisemitism.

Meanwhile, Jewish Labour MP Fabian Hamilton took to The Independent to express his own disillusionment with Corbyn.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• CNN: “US intelligence is monitoring a series of cargo flights from Iran into Syria, that the US suspects may be carrying weapons systems into Syria for potential use by Bashar al-Assad’s regime or Iranian forces.”

An administration official confirms to CNN that the flights took place and the US and Israel are both concerned the cargo could potentially include weapons that could eventually be used to threaten Israel.

Richard Dannatt
Lord Richard Dannatt
• The High Level Military Group, a group of former senior military leaders from NATO and other democratic countries, issued a 76-page report (pdf format) assessing the threat Hezbollah poses and the likelihood of war.
One member of the HLMG, Lord Richard Dannatt, a former UK Chief of the General Staff, got op-ed space in the Daily Telegraph to explain that the West “has no coherent plan” to avert a war between Hezbollah and Israel:

In the absence of a concerted international effort to rein in Iran in the region – and no such coherent Western strategy currently exists – we must be prepared to expect Israel to defend its vital security interests robustly. Many criticise the IDF for being heavy-handed but, having quizzed their Chiefs of Staff personally, I believe they would act within acceptable legal and moral standards. Yet the legitimate military objectives Israel would be forced to attack in a conflict with Iran, and its proxy terror-armies hiding among civilians in Lebanon and Syria, would make for a very grave war.

To have any hope of avoiding such a conflict, Britain and her allies must understand Israel’s position, making clear to Iran and Hezbollah that their campaign of terror against Israel will be met by international condemnation and an acceptance of Israel’s fully legitimate military reaction. We should now proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety, ending the farce of our denying a reality that even their own leader articulates – that it is but one organisation, and its terrorism and politics are linked inextricably. If they say it, why don’t we accept it?

The Jerusalem Post and a separate Telegraph piece picked up on the story.

A Hezbollah parade
• Germany: Every state can name capital, but not Jerusalem.

• The Financial Times (click via Google) visited Efrat as the rising price of settlement homes suggest they’re here to stay. It’s a good report, though I must quibble about some missing context. One reason Israelis are comfortable purchasing in the Gush Etzyon bloc, the West Bank area south of Jerusalem, is that its widely expected to remain Israeli after a peace agreement is reached.

But his $500,000, two-storey villa has shot up in price and is now valued at about $1.3m.

It is a trend that reflects a growing belief among Israelis that most of the settlements that dot the West Bank, especially those closest to Jerusalem, such as Efrat, are de facto permanent. The price of an average four-room apartment in the main settlements has jumped 60 per cent in the past decade, according to Israel government data analysed for the Financial Times by Haim Mesilaty, head of the Real Estate Appraisers Association.

Window into Israel
African asylum seekers who had been detained at Saharonim prison, southern Israel, due to their refusal to leave Israel to a third country, seen being released from the prison. High Court ruled there is no legal justification to keep them in detention. April 15, 2018. Photo by Hadas Parush/FLASH90
• Israel scrapped a contentious plan to deport tens of thousands of African migrants and officials ordered that detention centers be prepared for reopening. The Washington Post sums up where the situation now stands:
The government’s announcement Tuesday that it was abandoning the effort to send the migrants to unidentified African countries — widely reported to be Rwanda and Uganda — was welcomed as a positive step by advocates for about 36,000 migrants in Israel. But the move is also likely to bring even more uncertainty to those who have no official status here.

See also the Times of Israel, which gauged the mood of residents of southern Tel Aviv.

• Israeli Border Police officer sentenced to 9 months for killing Palestinian teen after agreeing to a plea deal.

• Two cars were torched in an Israeli-Arab village near Nazareth. Graffiti found on a nearby wall saying “Jews let’s win” has police treating it as a hate crime.

Around the World
• US Supreme Court rules that victims of Palestinian terror cannot sue Arab Bank in American courts.

US Supreme Court
• Israeli-Palestinian conflict overshadows celebrations as Jewish community pulls out of annual Liberation Day march in Rome.

• U. California-Berkeley students call for removal of ‘antisemitic,’ ‘anti-Israel’ lecturer.

• After more than 50 New York U. student groups pledged to boycott Israel and its supporters, the JTA visited the campus to find out What it’s like to be a Jewish student at NYU.

• George Washington U. student government passes Israel divestment resolution.
Avi Mayer
24 Apr
Last night, a handful of activists managed to ram through a student government resolution calling on George Washington University to divest from companies that do business with Israel. Today, GW's president clarifies – that ain't gonna happen: bit.ly 2qXaFPn  pic.twitter.com/q3qmUxvCLy

Avi Mayer
 Fun fact: of all the schools at which radical activists have managed to shove through resolutions calling for the administration to boycott or divest from Israel, not one has ever actually done so. https://twitter.com/AviMayer/status/988838555920293888

7:00 PM - Apr 24, 2018
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• “The extreme levels of brutality meted out by the Assad regime and its allies against civilians in Syria have improved the image of the IDF by comparison across the Arab world,” writes Elizabeth Tsurkov.

On April 17, 2018, when Palestinians mark Prisoner’s Day, a popular Syrian opposition website decided to mark the occasion by posting an infographic comparing Israeli prisons and those of the Assad regime.

The infographic shows that while 7,000 Palestinians are incarcerated in Israel, 220,000 Syrians are held in regime detention facilities. According to the infographic, 210 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons since 1967, while 65,000 Syrians have died in regime detention over the past seven years.

Such irreverence of Palestinian suffering by an Arab media outlet would have been unimaginable a few years ago.

thinking• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Anshel Pfeffer: Everyone’s talking about Russia’s S-300. Why now, and why should Israel be worried?
– Dennis Ross: Russia risks a wider Mideast war (click via Twitter)
– Fred Weir: Will Russia’s involvement in Syria end up burning its ties with Israel?
– Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: Iranian moves in Syria threaten Israel
– Moshe Arens: Palestinian refugees – War by other means
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): The West Bank is “disputed,” not “occupied”
– Chemi Shalev: Trump and Macron White House lovefest should make Netanyahu anxious
– Ada Aharoni: Uprooting of Jews from Arab countries, an answer to modern antisemitism
– Thomas Friedman: Israel’s got its own refugee dilemma: African ‘Dreamers’
– Ron Kampeas: Does Natalie Portman’s snub of Netanyahu make her the face of liberal Zionism?
– Attila Somfalvi: Natalie Portman is just a symptom of US Jewry’s changing attitude towards Israel
– Douglas Schoen and Arielle Confino: Want to fight anti-Semitism? Teach people about the Holocaust.

Featured Image: CC0 TheAngryTeddy; Jordan coat of arms CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons; Dannatt via YouTube/Max Mallows; Hezbollah via YouTube/Gika Jisa; Supreme Court CC BY-NC-ND Aaron Fellmeth Photography; thinking CC0 Max Pixel;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Post  Admin on Tue 24 Apr 2018, 6:01 pm

Hamas Leadership Divided Over ‘March of Return’

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Today’s Top Stories
1. There’s an internal rift within the top leadership of Hamas over ending the weekly “March of Return” clashes along the Gaza border. According to Israel HaYom, Egyptian intelligence officials offered to open the Rafah border crossing more frequently and ease the passage of goods if Hamas ended the clashes. The Egyptians then improved the offer by offering to advance a prisoner swap with Israel. But Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh rejected the offer without consulting the rest of the leadership:

The official, who had come into contact with Haniyeh as part of an Egyptian security delegation to Gaza, added that high-ranking Hamas officials, including [Gaza strongman Yahye] Sinwar, were furious with Haniyeh and had accused him of coordinating Hamas policy with Tehran rather than the group’s own leadership . . .

According to the official, there are voices in Hamas that argue that the border marches have run their course in their current format and that the diminishing number of demonstrators from week to week is actually undermining the potential for the grand finale demonstration. The final march, planned to coincide with the day on which Palestinians observe the Nakba (catastrophe) of having been displaced by the establishment of the State of Israel, is expected to draw more than 100,000 demonstrators. The official said that Sinwar and other high-ranking Hamas figures share this view.

Furthermore, an associate close to Sinwar told Israel Hayom that the Sinwar camp believes that if the border marches continue in their current format it could undo any progress that has been made thus far and that it could undermine the general Palestinian interests as well.

Haniyeh and Sinwar
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh talks to reporters as Yahye Sinwar looks on in January, 2018
2. Blazing kites from Gaza set fire to Israeli wheat field, destroying 100 dunams (25 acres) of crops.

Gazans sent four kites affixed with flaming materials over the border on Monday, setting fire to wide swathes of a wheat field in southern Israel as Palestinians vowed to use the new tactic to try and cause “panic and attrition among the enemy.”

3. “Palestinian diplomats in Geneva have filed a complaint against Israel for what they say are breaches of its obligations under a UN anti-racism treaty, triggering what may be a lengthy and high-profile investigation,” The Guardian reports.

4. Natalie Portman and ‘Regime Change’? The Independent’s coverage of Natalie Portman and the Genesis Prize claims that she campaigned for Israeli “regime change.” Regime change?!

5. Headline Fail: Sanitizing a Hamas Terrorist: According to a Financial Times headline, an assassinated senior Hamas terrorist is a “Palestinian lecturer.”

6. HR Prompts The New Yorker to Correct Trump Jerusalem Embassy Error: President Trump declared that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem. So why did The New Yorker specify “East Jerusalem” when Trump never specified where in Israel’s capital city?

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• Egypt is reportedly allowing Palestinians to transfer the body of assassinated Hamas drone engineer Fadi al-Batsh back to Gaza for burial. Israel sought to block the transfer to pressure Hamas to release the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed during the 2014 Gaza war.

• In the aftermath of the assassination of Batsh’s murder in Malaysia, Haaretz examines the terror group’s overseas operations.

In Turkey, Indonesia, Tunisia, Lebanon and other countries, Hamas is raising funds and recruiting activists, building ties, and increasing its offensive military capabilities . . .

The map of Hamas operatives’ deaths around the world shows that while the organization is trying to find ways to develop outside the confines of the Gaza Strip, there are those who seek to nip this in the bud.

A Palestinian aiming a rock during the “March of Return” along the Israel-Gaza border on April 13, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
• The Washington Post takes a closer look at the desperate straits of Gaza’s spiraling economy. Along the way, the paper acknowledges why Israel can’t fundamentally accept the March of Return and how Hamas has co-opted the march to distract Gazans from the Strip’s troubles.
With Hamas cornered and unable to provide basic services, analysts speculate that another war with Israel could be imminent as the militant group seeks a way to divert attention from the internal crisis.

But Hamas has found another release valve — for now, at least.

The idea for the weekly protests, dubbed the “March of Return,” has been widely attributed to Palestinian activist Ahmad Abu Artema, who disavowed any political affiliation and said he believes in a one-state solution to the conflict, an arrangement in which Palestinians are given rights alongside Israelis in a democratic state.

• An Israeli officer was injured by gunfire during the demolition of alleged terrorist’s home.

• Israel arrested this morning two armed Palestinians who crossed the border from Gaza.

• The IDF retaliated with artillery fire into Syria after an errant mortar shell landed in Golan Heights.

Around the World
• A Dutch newspaper is catching flak for an ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon about the Gaza protests and Israeli Independence Day. This is from the poison pen of de Volksrant’s Jos Collignon.

de Volksrant

• It’s too soon to assess what this means for Israel-Diaspora ties in the long-term, but Haaretz reports that actress Natalie Portman has energized liberal Zionist students in the US:

Goldblatt says the mantle of legitimacy she lends will embolden young American Jews – specifically fellow progressive Zionists like himself – to feel more comfortable speaking out against Israeli policies that they too find objectionable.

It will also enable them to say, as Portman did in her statement, that you can be critical of the leadership in Israel without wanting to boycott the country.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Dennis Ross: How Hamas exploits the people of Gaza: Protests clarify their cynical tactics
– Moran Stern: The real story behind Gaza’s marches: The Gazans who chose to stay home
– Daniel Siryoti: Understanding the Hamas rift
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Assassination in Malaysia
– Yoav Zitun: Killing of engineer a possible blow to Malaysian terror hotbed
– Maj. Gen. (Res.) Shlomo Turjeman: Israel’s Sinai dilemma
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: New twist on an old lie
– Rabbi Eric Yoffie: IfNotNow is so noisy about the occupation. Why is it so quiet about Israel’s right to exist?
– Alexander Apfel: An open letter to Natalie Portman

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Sophie; Hamas leaders via YouTube/Al Jazeera English; Portman screengrab from Genesis Prize;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Post  Admin on Mon 23 Apr 2018, 8:31 pm

Did Russia Threaten Israel Over Syrian Air Defense System?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Moscow sort of denied a Russian media report picked up by the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post that it was moving forward with plans to provide advanced S-300 air defense systems to Syria. Reuters quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying no decision was yet made on the transfer.

The anonymous source behind the report in the Kommersant included a threat to Israel:

The sources told the newspaper that if Israel tried to destroy the anti-aircraft batteries — as analysts have indicated Israel likely would — it would be “catastrophic for all sides.”

Are comments by anonymous Russian military officials — which are then somewhat denied by higher ups — part of a Moscow game to intimidate Israel?
2. Ynet: IDF to release report detailing how Hamas deliberately sends children towards the border fence as human shields. They’re abusing their own kids, purposely putting them in harm’s way.

“The children are sent to the front to face the (IDF) snipers,” a senior IDF official said. “And under the cover of the smoke, they throw Molotov cocktails or sabotage the (security) fence, out of an understanding that we will not hurt them.”

Gaza clashes
A Palestinian kid slinging a stone at Israeli soldiers during the “March of Return.”
3. A Hamasnik was injured in an explosion in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday. Three people, including a child, were reportedly also injured. It wasn’t clear what caused the blast. In a separate incident on Sunday, a Hamasnik was reportedly killed in a Gaza tunnel collapse on Sunday. It wasn’t specified if the collapsed tunnel extended into Israeli territory or was part of a network of other tunnels beneath the Strip.

building campaign

In the News
• Satellite photos obtained by Israeli media indicate precision of raid on Iranian military base in Syria.

The images obtained by the channel show the charred remains of a single hangar at the Tiyas airbase, with the surrounding area relatively unaffected . . .

The strikes did not appear to target Russian military equipment or Syrian anti-aircraft systems that were also at Tiyas.

• Knox College in turmoil as professor says ‘Jews act like Nazis,’ and a Jewish critic is targeted by hate mail.

Jeremy Corbyn
• Jeremy Corbyn’s much-anticipated roundtable on relations with British Jews was called off.

Meanwhile, the Times of London reports Corbyn cleaned up his Twitter feed, having been “forced to unfollow Twitter accounts that liken Israel to the Nazis” following a Sunday Times of London report on the antisemites, conspiracy theorists and Bashar Assad apologists the UK Labour party leader follows.

• Boston-area city council turns away BDS resolution

• A California man was charged with hate crimes for allegedly having ‘kill lists’ of prominent Jewish community members.

• Its disingenuous of critics like The Guardian to insist Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders, then denounce Israel for defending those borders. What’s okay for Israel to defend if not the Green Line?

• Must-listen: Former Chief British Rabbi Jonathan Sacks discussed antisemitism on a recent BBC Thought of the Day.

writer• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Yossi Yehoshua: Malaysia assassination: Hamas left hanging in the air
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: The Mossad’s hi-tech Hamas hit list
– Seth Frantzman: Why the blind spot to antisemitism?
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): Barnard students against Israel with warped campus vote
– Benjamin Tovias: Natalie Portman and BDS are not one and the same


Featured image: CC0 stevepb; Gaza child via IDF Spokesperson’s Unit; Corbyn via YouTube/The Telegraph; writer CC0 Pixabay

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Post  Admin on Sun 22 Apr 2018, 2:18 pm

Hamas Drone Engineer Killed In Malaysia
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Today’s Top Stories
Fadi Albatsh
Fadi Albatsh
1. A Hamas drone and rocket engineer was killed in Malaysia, shot and killed by gunmen on a motorcycle. Officials in Jerusalem dismissed suggestions that Israel was responsible for Albatsh’s death.

The family of Fadi Albatsh is trying to bring his body back to Gaza for burial, but Israeli officials say they won’t allow this as long as Hamas holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed during the 2014 Gaza war. The New Straits Times reports that the family may try to bring Albatsh to Gaza via Egypt; Israel has asked Cairo not to allow the transfer.

2. The Hamas “Press Office” handed down directives to journalists covering the Gaza fence clashes. Palestinian journalists will have to toe the Hamas line or face the consequences. I haven’t seen any Western papers disclose the intimidation their Palestinian stringers face or how it effects the final product. Bassam Tawil noted the Hamas directives posted online.

In a nutshell, Hamas does not want journalists to use the words “clashes” and “confrontations” when reporting about the demonstrations, or that any demonstrators killed were its own operatives. Photographers are not to take photos of Palestinians throwing rocks or firebombs, and to solely focus on the Israeli response. Journalists are not to quote or rely on Israeli media or inform Palestinians what Israelis are saying about clashes. Journalists are to instead expected to “humanize” the dead and injured Palestinians.

Since the Palestinian journalists covering the “March of Return” are unlikely to ignore Hamas’s new instructions, this will affect the reporting of the international media. Most international media outlets and correspondents employ Palestinian producers and translators and “fixers” to assist in covering Palestinian issues.

A Palestinian journalist who is afraid to defy the Hamas instructions will not tell his employers everything he sees and hears. Some of the Palestinian journalists will also be doing that of their own volition and not necessarily out of fear of Hamas or any other Palestinian group. These journalists see themselves as foot soldiers of the “revolution” and are convinced that their loyalty should be, first and foremost, to their people and cause. And the truth? Well, the truth finishes last.

self censorship
3. The Friday Palestinian clashes along the Gaza border continued. Reports put the number of Palestinians who came out this weekend at 3,000 — a significant drop-off from the 30,000 who showed up for the first “March of Return” three weeks ago. The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) notes that “Several Palestinians this week flew kites with oil-drenched, burning rags on their tails in an attempt to set alight Israeli fields on the other side of the fence.” Indeed, one flaming kite set an Israeli warehouse ablaze.

Four Palestinians were killed; one was a 14-year-old boy who ignored warnings from his mother and IDF leaflets. Hamas and Fatah figures got into a big fight at Ayoub’s mourning tent as both sides apparently accused each other of trying to exploit the boy’s death for political purposes.

According to Israeli media reports, an initial IDF probe concluded that Mohammed Ibrahim Ayoub was trying to damage the border fence.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• Plenty of news on the issue of embassies relocating to Jerusalem. There’s a political tussle going on in Romania over the issue. Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and the ruling Social-Democrat Party approved a memorandum to begin the process, but President Klaus Iohannis says that A) the move would violate international law and that B) constitutionally, the final decision is his. The Czechs announced plans to open an honorary consulate in the Israeli capital (What’s an honorary consulate?, you ask.)

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that at least six countries are in talks to move their embassies, and that Israel would offer “preferential treatment” to the first 10.

Tnuva• Nicola Khamis, the mayor of the West Bank Christian town of Beit Jala, sparked a BDS storm by disclosing that he’s also a sales representative for the Israeli dairy cooperative, Tnuva:

Khamis said that if the Palestinian Authority government makes a decision not to work in Israel and with Israelis and not to purchase Israeli products, he will be the first to abide by it.

He pointed out that when the PA took a decision last year banning Israeli products from entering the territories under its control, he obeyed the order for the full 19 days and did not market any Israeli goods.

“I work in accordance with the Palestinian law and regulations,” the Beit Jala mayor added. “Palestinian law does not ban Palestinians from working with Israel, including purchasing and selling.”

• Israeli police found a bomb in a Palestinian truck on Independence Day.

• Ynet: “The European parliament in Brussels adopted on Wednesday legislation preventing the transfer of funds from the European Union’s PEGASE to the Palestinian Authority, if those funds are to be used for education to hatred.”


• The US State Department is raising eyebrows for its annual report on human rights around the world, its first issued under the Trump administration. The 2017 report didn’t refer to the West Bank as “occupied.” More on the story at the Jerusalem Post. (The Washington Post notes other conspicuous changes.)

• To international skepticism, Syria and Russia claim their defense systems intercepted a lot of US missiles in last week’s US-led strike. Writing in the National Post, Professor Michael Armstrong uses the controversy to examine disputed claims about Israeli Iron Dome’s success rate.

• Israeli cyber firm says it has evidence Hamas planted spyware in Fatah phones.

• Actress Natalie Portman, who was to be honored with a prestigious Genesis Award, said she would skip the award ceremony because she doesn’t want to appear to endorse Netanyahu, who is scheduled to speak at the affair. Portman initially didn’t specify why she wasn’t attending and early reports and reactions assumed it was because of BDS. Genesis Prize organizers subsequently cancelled the ceremony. See Ynet and JTA coverage plus Portman’s Instagram post and draw your own conclusions.

The Genesis Prize Foundation canceled the prize ceremony, saying in a statement that its organizers “fear that Ms. Portman’s decision will cause our philanthropic initiative to be politicized, something we have worked hard for the past five years to avoid.”
Natalie Portman
Around the World
• German controversy, part 1: A German theater offered free tickets to the premiere of George Tabori’s production of “Mein Kampf” to anyone wearing a swastika armband, while offering Jewish stars to purchasing patrons. The play premiered on April 20, which is also Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Germany outlaws the display of swastikas. How did the evening play out?

• German controversy, part 2 (per Jerusalem Post): A German LGBT group “terminated its account with the Bank for Social Economy over the financial institution’s enabling of organizations that advocate a boycott of the Jewish state.”

Kollegah and Farid Bang
Kollegah and Farid Bang
• German controversy, part 3: Germany’s most prominent music award continues swirling in controversy. A number of Echo Award honorees are returning their prizes in protest over the award for best hip-hop/urban album. Billboard sums up what’s behind the sturm und drang:
In this case, they picked Kollegah and Farid Bang’s Jung Brutal Gutaussehend 3 [Young, brutal, and good-looking]. The lyric that caused the most controversy — “My body is more defined than those of Auschwitz inmates” — is only on a deluxe edition of the duo’s album and the song was not performed at the ECHO ceremony.

• German controversy, part 4: Adam Armoush, a 21-year Israeli Arab in Berlin who didn’t believe Germany was antisemitic, donned a kippa (skullcap) to find out for himself. Armoush was attacked by a man whipping his belt while shouting “Yehudi.” A video of the assault went viral, drawing condemnation and concern. The attacker — a 19-year-old Syrian asylum seeker turned himself in to the police. See Deutsche Welle

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 Antisemitischer Angriff in #Berlin – ein Mann schlägt mit einem Gürtel auf einen Mann ein und bezeichnet ihn wiederholt als "Yahudi" (arabisch für "Jude"). #Antisemitismus

10:32 PM - Apr 17, 2018
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• A recent UK Labour TV advertisement is drawing more attention to the party’s antisemitism problem. It features the general manager of a Leeds mosque who the Daily Mail reports has a history of antisemitic social media posts. And Guido Fawkes points out that ad’s producer, Jake Bowers, also has a history of antisemitic social media posts.

Twitter• The Sunday Times of London examined the nearly 2,500 people and organization that UK Labour Jeremy Corbyn follows on Twitter. According to the Times, he follows :more than 40 accounts that are pro-Palestine and in many cases fiercely anti-Israel. A small number of tweets on those accounts are abusive and some are anti-semitic” and violate both Labour and Twitter policies on antisemitism.

Other accounts Corbyn follows “are used to spread some of the conspiracy theories that seek to exonerate the Syrian regime for the suspected chemical attack in Douma and the Russians for any involvement in the chemical attack in Salisbury against Sergei Skripal.”

Last night Labour sources said that while Corbyn often sends his own tweets, they denied he had seen the anti-semitic ones, claiming he does not have time to read his Twitter timeline.

• A University of Winchester academic who defended Jeremy Corbyn is now being investigated for antisemitism.

• Syracuse University suspends fraternity after video of ‘extremely racist’ behavior surfaces.

• 250 French intellectuals can’t be wrong, can they?


• Teens apologize for threatening to bomb Swedish Jews at Malmo synagogue.

• Quote of the day goes to Bret Stephens, addressing international critics of Israel’s response to the Gaza border clashes:

It would also be helpful if they could explain how they can insist on Israel’s retreat to the 1967 borders and then scold Israel when it defends those borders. They can’t. If the armchair corporals want to persist in demands for withdrawals that for 25 years have led to more Palestinian violence, not less, the least they can do is be ferocious in defense of Israel’s inarguable sovereignty. Somehow they almost never are.

• Heather Mann is making waves describing in a Sunday Times of London op-ed the threats and abuse she and her family have received because her father, Labour MP John Mann, fights antisemitism. We’re talking about threats of rape, a vial of suspicious liquid found in the mailbox, visits from the bomb squad, and more.

The abuse received by my dad and other MPs, including Ruth Smeeth, continues to be ignored or denied. Some Labour Party members are even questioning whether these latest threats against my family are real. It’s my, my mum’s and my sister’s safety we are talking about.

We are a strong family. But I understand what so many Jewish Labour supporters are now feeling. I demand leadership from my party.

Last week, her father gave a rousing must-watch speech against antisemitism in the House of Commons.

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels dealing with Israel, Syria and Iran.

– Ron Prosor: Time to target Hezbollah in Europe
– Alex Fishman: Israel playing on Iranian nerves
– Avi Issacharoff: Israel and Iran are headed for a collision in Syria
– Yaroslav Trofimov: Iran’s moves in Syria raise risk of conflict With Israel (click via Twitter)
– Jennifer Rubin: Another administration causes headaches for Israel in Syria
– Lawrence Freedman: Israel and Iran will joust but know all-out conflict is too risky

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Avi Issacharoff: Israel-Hamas shadow war follows Palestinian expats to Malaysia
– Yoav Limor: Hallmarks of an Israeli hit
– Liron Libman: The blurred distinction between armed conflict and civil unrest: Recent events in Gaza
– Hadley Freeman: If people don’t know about the Holocaust, it’s because they don’t really care
– David Collier: Attacking Jews, the whole antisemitism crisis, will ‘be positive for Labour’
– Melanie Phillips: In Britain and Poland, antisemitism’s ugly history repeats itself
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: Did Mark Zuckerberg make Facebook vulnerable to anti-terror lawsuits?

• For a sense of what the critics are saying, see Roger Cohen.

Featured image: CC BY abstrkt.ch; euros CC BY-NC-ND b.e.n.; Portman via YouTube/Jimmy Kimmel Live; Kollegah und Farid Bang via Wikimedia Commons; Twitter CC BY Jurgen Appelo;

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Post  Admin on Wed 18 Apr 2018, 9:06 pm

Syrian Air Strike Targeted Advanced Iranian Air Defenses

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Today’s Top Stories
1. According to the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter), last week’s airstrike on Syria’s T4 airbase targeted an advanced Iranian air defense system and that “Israel had begun planning the strike before a suspected Syrian chemical weapons attack on April 7.”

2. During a UK parliamentary discussion on antisemitism, angry Labour backbenchers accused Jeremy Corbyn of lacking the moral clarity and decisiveness to take action against antisemitism within the party. In a stormy meeting that lasted nearly three hours, MPs — some driven to tears — shared the burgeoning hate mail, threats and abuse they and their friends have received for speaking out against antisemitism. More at The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Jewish Chronicle. See Anoosh Chakelian‘s take.

Durham Police Dept.3. At the behest of BDS advocates, the city council of Durham, North Carolina, voted to prohibit international police exchanges. Pro-Palestinian supporters originally sought a resolution singling out police exchanges with Israel.

A police spokesman said the department hasn’t engaged in any exchanges with Israel and doesn’t plan to. WRAL-TV reports former Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez spent a week in Israel undergoing training.

“None of the training had anything to do with militarization,” Lopez said. “It was about leadership, it was learning about terrorism and then learning about how to interact with people who are involved in mass casualty situations and how to manage mass casualty situations.”

Lopez also said while he was chief, two of his commanders went to Washington, D.C., to receive training from Israeli police, and he felt the experiences were valuable.

building campaign

4. AP’s Three-Way Independence Day Botch: Wire service marks Independence Day with a trifecta of errors.

5. HonestReporting’s mission to Israel is soaking up the Memorial Day experiences. The group visited the Heritage Center of the Givati Division in Ashdod, participated in a memorial ceremony at one of the military cemeteries and then visited the Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum. The somber mood changes at sundown when the Independence Day celebrations kick off.

View image on Twitter

 Israel #MemorialDay visiting IDF'S Givati Brigade. On the vase is the word יזכור we remember. Those who died to keep us safe. Soon going to the memorial ceremony. With #HRmission2018 and the soldiers of Givati.

7:22 AM - Apr 18, 2018
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli intelligence doesn’t believe the US-led missile strikes on Syria have deterred Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons again, per Ynet.

• Gaza gunmen fired on Israeli soldiers operating along the Gaza border on Tuesday evening, prompting an IDF tank to fire shells at a Hamas border post. No Israeli casualties were reported.

• A Palestinian man arrested with knife at Qalandiya checkpoint this afternoon admitted he intended to stab an Israeli.

• Diplomat’s wife snubbed — just for being Israeli.

• An alleged Hamas agent says he met Dutch officials at event organized by Oxfam. The JTA reports that Abu Amin Rashed’s Facebook post about Monday’s meeting in The Hague is raising concerns about government money provided to Oxfam making its way to Hamas.

Around the World
Reuven Rivlin
President Reuven Rivlin and a Holocaust survivor at Auschwitz during the 2018 March of the Living
• Polish nationalists are calling for an investigation of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who they say violated a controversial Holocaust speech law during a recent visit to Auschwitz. AP explains:
At issue in the group’s complaint are comments in which Rivlin reportedly told Polish President Andrzej Duda that Poland allowed the implementation of Germany’s genocide, National Movement Vice President Krzysztof Bosak said.

The alleged comments during commemorations at Auschwitz last Thursday were carried in Israeli media and were not part of Rivlin’s public remarks.

Bosak said it would be unacceptable if Rivlin asserted that Poland bears any responsibility for the Holocaust. While the National Movement understands that diplomatic immunity protects the Israeli president from prosecution, it wants the nature of the president’s remarks to be clarified, he said.

• Italian soccer fans taunted a rival team’s followers with anti-Semitic chants.

• Jewish cemetery vandalized near Paris.

• Racheli Frenkel, the mother of Naftali Frenkel, one of the three teens who were kidnapped and murdered in 2014, nails the essence of Memorial Day.

My Memorial Day has hardly changed. It has always been mine, ours, the closest thing to sanctity that can be created by a secular calendar. It has never been perceived as a gesture towards the bereaved family, as a show of respect and goodwill, a gesture towards the victim. It’s coming together around the loss we are all experiencing. One doesn’t have to lose a close relative, God forbid, to feel that this date is part of Israel’s personal and familial calendar.

But our memorial days have never been a veneration of the dead. This isn’t a culture of martyrs. We will always favor, appreciate and celebrate life over death. It is good to live for our country, it is good to live. It is good to raise the price of life.

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Dan Shapiro
 I again attended the Israeli Air Force Memorial Day ceremony. Amazing how the loving memory of each fallen servicemember is honored, and in the care shown to the bereaved families, whether from this year or decades ago. The solidarity of Israeli public mourning is deeply moving.

1:36 PM - Apr 18, 2018
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• A who’s who of British personalities shared their thoughts on What Israel Means to Me.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Boaz Bismuth: Giving thanks for the miracle of the ordinary
– Rabbi Warren Goldstein: Israel at 70
– Barbara Kay: A gift for Israel’s birthday: a legal summary of its clear legitimacy
– Arsen Ostrovsky: Celebrating Israel’s independence: A story of hope, courage and freedom
– Seth Frantzman: Hezbollah’s war of words telegraphs Iran’s response to Jerusalem
– Roger Boyes: Israel and Iran face a showdown in Syria
– Rick Ekstein: Israel’s search for peace may pass through the Gulf
– Times of London (staff-ed): New lows for Jeremy Corbyn


Featured image: CC0 Craig Dennis Rivlin via Facebook/Reuven Ruvi Rivlin;

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Post  Admin on Tue 17 Apr 2018, 4:58 pm

Syrian Army Gears Up for Offensive on Palestinian Refugee Camp
Flags lay on graves of fallen Israeli soldiers on Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem in this 2017 image. Israel begins a 24-hour period of honoring it's fallen soldiers and those who died in attacks when Memorial Day begins on April 17 at sundown. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
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Today’s Top Stories
1. The Bashar Assad regime is gearing up for an offensive against Islamic State in the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp, the Jerusalem Post reports. Most of the camp’s residents fled for Lebanon as the Syrian civil war escalated, but some 18,000 Palestinians remain in Yarmouk, besieged and near starvation.

Will the Syrians drop leaflets or barrel bombs on the UNRWA-administered camp?

Qasem Soleimani, senior commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
2. Israel’s bracing for expected retaliation from Iran. Diplomats abroad are on alert. Israel revealed more details about Iran’s deployment of forces in Syria. More on that at Ynet, i24 News and Israel HaYom.

Israeli defense officials said that the majority of Iran’s military support is delivered to Syria under the guise of humanitarian aid.

Since 2015, the Iranian Air Force has been conducting routine flights into Syria, using military cargo planes disguised as civilian Iranian airlines to transport weapons and combat personnel, including drone operators.

The Quds Force is said to be focused on establishing air defenses and drone operations in Syria, so it can use them to launch direct offensives against Israel.

Will Tehran’s threatened revenge overshadow Independence Day celebrations?

3. Haaretz and Ynet report that peacefully protesting Gazans have flown several firebomb-laden kites into Israel, sparking blazes in nearby kibbutzim. No injuries or significant damage reported but fire fighters are on alert.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• Europe to Hamas: Relinquish armed struggle for five years (!?) and we’ll rebuild Gaza.
Patrice Leclerc
• The mayor of French city council who supports boycotts of Israel was blocked from entering Israel at the Allenby Bridge on Monday. Earlier this year, Gennevilliers Mayor Patrice Leclerc, of the French Communist Party, pushed a council resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood (subsequently rescinded under pressure).

Leclerc was also part of a French delegation barred from Israel after seeking to visit Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti and other security prisoners last year.

• An IDF source confirmed to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that Israel indeed was responsible for last week’s attack on the T4 air base in Syria, where Iranian aerial drones were reportedly kept.

“It was the first time we attacked live Iranian targets — both facilities and people,” said the Israeli military source. And the Iranians not only openly announced their embarrassing losses through the semiofficial Fars news agency — they have played down previous indirect casualties from Israeli strikes in Syria — but then publicly vowed to take revenge.

The rest of Friedman’s column is worth reading.

• Syria blames missile malfunction and false alarm on Israeli-US ‘joint electronic attack.’

• Israel’s new ambassador to Jordan took up his post in Amman closing the chapter on a months-long diplomatic row. Israeli-Jordanian relations nose-dived in July when a security guard shot and killed two Jordanians, one of whom was said to have attacked the guard. Amb. Amir Weissbrod replaces Einat Schlein.
Tel Aviv
• Ahead of the country’s 70th anniversary celebrations, here’s a by the numbers look at Israeli population figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

– 8,842,000: current overall population
– 6,589,000: Jewish citizens
– 1,849,000: Arab citizens
– 404,000: citizens from other ethnic groups
– 177,000: babies born in past year
– 28,000: new immigrants in past year
– 41,000: Israelis who died in past year
– 1.9 percent: Population growth in past year
– 14,500,000: estimated number of Jews in world today
– 45: percentage of world Jewry now living in Israel
– 806,000: Israeli population in 1948

• One the eve of Yom HaZikaron, the New York Times visited the new National Memorial Hall for Israel’s fallen.

Around the World
• The New York Daily News reports that a group of American victims of Palestinian terror asked a New York court to take another look at their lawsuit against Facebook in light of Mark Zuckerberg recent testimony to Congress. Last year, a federal judge dismissed a pair of lawsuits against Facebook which argued that the social media giant was liable for allowing terror groups like Hamas to further their goals.

A year after a Brooklyn federal judge concluded Facebook couldn’t be on the hook for enabling Hamas attacks in Israel, the victims are insisting Zuckerberg’s two days of testimony put a whole new spin on the legal fight . . .

“It is clear from Zuckerberg’s testimony that Facebook takes an active role in forming the content appearing on its website,” attorney Robert Tolchin told the Second Circuit.

• Student government vote on Israel boycott resolution cancelled at George Washington U. over security concerns.

• NYU: Students’ pledge to boycott pro-Israel groups ‘is at odds with our values.’

• Over at the Washington Post, Aaron David Miller and Steven Simon worry that partisanship is compromising US-Israel relations.

But the shattering of our shared image of Israel and its transformation into a political football — a shift that a changing Israel has encouraged — will ultimately diminish ourselves. Why? Because it deprives us of a communal symbol and shared value as our social cohesion is becoming increasingly frayed.

It is also dangerous. Alliances are most vulnerable when they are perceived to be weakening. And a United States divided regarding Israel might forgo intervention on its behalf in a crisis, in a way that could create doubts about American reliability while forsaking a solemn commitment to a people that had passed through the gas chambers and crematoria.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Alex Fishman: Syria strikes: Trump made the bed, now Israel must lie in it
– Noa Landau: Despite tensions over Syria attack, Israel’s line to the Kremlin remains open
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Israel can deal with Russian supply of S-300 missiles to Syria
– Chemi Shalev: 9 takeaways from the US Syria strike briefing, and an inconvenient truth for Israel
– Prof. Eytan Gilboa: ‘Sharp power’: Hamas’ dirty war against Israel
– Peter Lerner: The Gaza border — Israel’s White Cliffs of Dover
– Liel Leibovitz: The Gaza delusion
– Jonathan Goldstein, Jonathan Arkush: Corbyn needs to defend Labour MPs fighting antisemitism
– Karol Markowicz: Why we’re forgetting the Holocaust

Featured image: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90; Tel Aviv CC BY-NC-ND stttijn; Soleimani via Wikimedia Commons; Leclerc via YouTube/Regards;

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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Apr 2018, 8:49 pm

IDF Destroys Cross-Border Terror Tunnel From Gaza

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Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF announced it discovered and destroyed another cross-border terror tunnel from Gaza which was “ready for use.” It’s the fifth cross-border tunnel destroyed in the last five months. Haaretz reports it was found “near the site where Palestinians have been protesting along the Israel-Gaza border for the past several weeks.” The Jerusalem Post notes:

The tunnel stretched several kilometers inside Gaza and was connected to a network of other tunnels. It stretched meters inside Israel close to the community of Kfar Aza but “did not at any point pose any threat to Israeli citizens or communities,” Manelis stressed.
 Over the course of the weekend, the IDF thwarted an offensive terror tunnel belonging to the Hamas terror organization that infiltrated Israeli territory from northern Gaza near Nahal Oz. This terror tunnel put the lives of hundreds of Israeli families at risk

8:30 AM - Apr 15, 2018
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2. The US, Britain and France struck Syrian targets over the weekend in retaliation for Bashar Assad’s recent chemical attacks. Satellite photos show that the regime’s chemical weapons facilities in three different locations were hit heavily. Officials in Jerusalem leaders praised the retaliation but fretted that the US will soon abandon Syria to Russia and Iran, forcing Israel to deal with their threats alone.

In further comments underlining Israel’s concerns about finding itself alone on the front line, Trump also said, “No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the Middle East. It’s a troubled place. We will try to make it better, but it is a troubled place. The United States will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people.”

Israel is also reportedly worried that Putin may utilize the US-led strike as a pretext to justify making some of its advanced air defense systems available to Assad, Israel’s Hadashot TV reported Saturday night.

3. Following some below-the-radar diplomacy, Arab sponsors of a pair of UNESCO resolutions denouncing Israel agreed to postpone a vote for at least six months. Upbeat officials in Jerusalem and the UN said they were satisfied. Does this mark the beginning of change for UNESCO?

building campaign

4. HR CEO Joe Hyams discussed news literacy, journalism and the battle against media bias with Steven Shalowitz of IsraelCast.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Turns out the Iranian drone shot down over northern Israel in February was loaded with explosives.

• The weekly border clashes continued on Friday with some 10,000 Palestinians demonstrating at several points along the border. Many threw firebombs at Israeli soldiers, while others sought to damage or breach the border fence. Palestinians even tried to fly a kite bomb over soldiers but the Daily Mail reports things didn’t go as planned:

The daring plot did not go as planned as the kite was instead blown into Gaza before it crashed to the ground and exploded. Another bomb was detonated near the Karni crossing, and may have caused Palestinian casualties.

Aviva Klompas
13 Apr
The latest from Hamas's 'peaceful' #MarchofReturn. A Molotov cocktail was attached to a kite and a 'peaceful activist' tried to fly it over Israeli territory. The devise fell into Gaza, but I'm sure Israel will be blamed for any injuries. pic.twitter.com/W7LYhcQMlA

Aviva Klompas
 Video of explosive being attached to the Gaza “peace” kite. These guys should be nominated for a Darwin Award
1. Douse explosive in gasoline
2. Light on fire
3. Send chump to run with flaming devise pic.twitter.com/FcOOgR48ap

8:16 AM - Apr 14, 2018

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• Four Islamic Jihad operatives were killed in a work accident when explosives on their all-terrain vehicle blew up a few hundred meters from the Israel-Gaza border on Saturday.

• Haaretz publisher derided for ‘racist’ tweet.

Responding to commenter criticizing a Haaretz weekend supplement that crowned Israel’s national anthem the ‘most hated Israeli song,’ publisher Amos Shocken tweets, ‘My family was part of Zionism’s leadership while you were still climbing trees‘; after public outcry, Shocken backtracks and claims he meant to point out ‘ignorance.’

Yom HaZikaron
An Israeli soldier salutes a fallen soldier’s grave during a 2007 ceremony in Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
• On Tuesday night and Wednesday day, Israelis pay tribute to fallen soldiers, security personnel and terror victims on Yom HaZikaron. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the Memorial Day based on Ynet and government figures.

– 23,645: Overall number of the fallen since 1860, when when Jews began moving outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
– 71: Overall number of people added to the list since last year
– 31: IDF veterans disabled in attacks who died of their condition in the past year
– 12: civilians killed in the past year
– 8,929: bereaved parents currently living in Israel
– 4,849: IDF and security personnel widows
– 3,134: overall number of civilians murdered in enemy activity since Israel declared its independence in 1948
– 122: foreign citizens, who were murdered in terror attacks in Israel
– 100: Israelis killed in attacks abroad

Around the World
Die Zeit• Jerusalem Post: An Israeli diplomat in Berlin, Adi Farjon, took to Twitter to chide Germany’s weekly Die Zeit for a cover story arguing that Jews from around the world “settled Arab lands” to build the state of Israel.

The article’s headline, “Israel at 70: Why is There No Quiet in This Country?” triggered outrage over the omission of historical facts. The paper asserted that “Jews from across the world settled Arab lands and simply created facts out of which the State of Israel grew.”

• 40 academics at the U. of Sydney pledge to boycott Israel.

• 51 NYU student groups pledge to boycott Israel and its pro-Israel backers.

• Columbia U. students accuse anti-Zionist groups of ‘systematically harassing, silencing’ opposing voices.

• South Carolina is set to become first state to define anti-Semitism by law. The JTA picked up on coverage from the Charleston Post and Courier.

Under the measure, universities must take the definition into account when reviewing charges of discrimination or bias.

The bill uses as its template the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, which includes as anti-Semitic calls for violence against Jews, advancing conspiracy theories about Jewish control and Holocaust denial. More controversially, it also includes “applying double standards” to Israel “by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

South Carolina state capitol building in Columbia
• UK Labour shadow minister suggests party could back BDS movement.

• Jewish Chronicle: Labour Party will no longer use award-winning TV and film director Ken Loach to produce its election broadcasts following his comments on antisemitism this week.

This comes after the film-maker demanded that the Labour MPs who demonstrated against antisemitism in Parliament Square be kicked out of the party.

• A 40-year-old Jewish man found was found dead and bound in his Paris apartment.

Police believe the motive for the crime is financial, according to the report. Jeremy Dahan’s car and an expensive hand watch were missing.

In recent years, France has seen several cases of extreme violence against Jewish victims whose attackers singled them out for robbery, rape and murder because they were Jewish.

• Unable to find venues to perform, the antisemitic French comedian Dieudonne — who has been repeatedly convicted of hate speech — turned to deception to book Chateau de Vaugrenier on France’s Cote d’Azur. Now the owners of the chateau have sued Dieudonne and his agents.

B-1 bomber
A US B-1 bomber takeoff in 2016
• The Western missile strike on Syria was welcome, but didn’t go far enough for Israel, Ron Ben-Yishai argues:

The “one time shot” announced by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis hit only Syria’s chemical weapons infrastructures and little else. It’s far less than what could have—and should have—been done, especially considering the fact the targets hit do not threaten the regime’s survivability or its ability to continue its victory tour over rebel groups.

If anything, those deterred are the Americans, French and British, who were overly cautious with their choice of targets out of fear of angering Putin. Defense Secretary Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford claimed the strike was limited to avoid harming civilians or other collateral damage.

• The Syrian situation’s on my mind this weekend:

– Ron Prosor: Mission not accomplished
– Zvi Bar’el: Putin may limit Israel’s operations in Syria in retaliation for US-led strikes
– Herb Keinon: For Israel, not much changes after US-led attack
– David Horovitz: Attack drone revelation shows grave, immediate, adjacent threat to Israel: Iran
– Noga Tarnopolsky: Trump’s hit-and-split approach to Syria has Israelis worried: The US goes, Iran stays

• Plenty of ink spills, broken quills, and burnt pixels weighing in on Gaza:

– Shimrit Meir: In Gaza, a march into the unknown
– Yossi Klein Halevi: Israelis, Palestinians and the Necessary Injustice of Partition (click via Twitter)
– Seth Frantzman: How Gaza’s mass protests are failing to make an impact
– Grisha Yakubovich: Popular resistance vs. Israeli independence
– Dr. Reuven Berko: Hamas’ failed doctrine
– Marc Lynch: Why Gaza’s ‘March of Return’ isn’t dominating Arab headlines
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Why Egypt is concerned about Gaza’s ‘Return March’
– Gary Rosenblatt: Israel-Gaza Clash About Outlook, Not Borders
– Haim Ramon: It’s time to end policy of coexistence with Hamas

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Brendan O’Neill: Why do you hate Israel?
– Julie Szego: Anti-Semitism rears its ugly head once more
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: License to kill Americans
– Robert Fulford: The next British PM might be an anti-Semite, like some leftist friends
– Shmuel Berkowitz: The status of Jerusalem in international and Israeli law
– Randy Hultgren and Aviv Ezra: Israeli medical humanitarian work along Syrian border deserves UN recognition

Featured image: CC BY-NC Frank Knaack; Die Zeit via 4vector.com; South Carolina CC BY Ron Cogswell; B-1 via US Dept. of Defense;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Post  Admin on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 4:59 pm

Israel On Alert as Iran Vows Revenge for Air Strike

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Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF’s on high alert and preparing for retaliation from Iran or Hezbollah. A top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, said “Israel’s crime” would “not remain without response.”

Iran was setting up a large air force compound at the T-4 Base in Syria, according to Haaretz.

2. At a conference in Ramallah, Dublin Mayor Micheal Eamonn Mac Donncha said Palestinians, like the Irish, were victims of imperialism, Ynet reports.
Donncha was on an Israeli government blacklist barring him from entering the country, but managed to pass through Ben Gurion because his name was misspelled on the Ministry of Strategic Affairs’ paperwork.

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 On the eve of #HolocaustRemembranceDay the Lord Mayor of #Dublin takes part in a #Ramallah conference, glorifying the #GrandMufti that met #Hitler. 
Did Mícheál MacDonncha intentionally chose this timing? Either way, he is participating in a conference glorifying a war criminal.

8:15 PM - Apr 11, 2018
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3. UK Labour Party scandals have ’emboldened’ antisemitic attackers according to a report picked up by the Daily Telegraph. The JTA and Washington Post looked at the Tel Aviv U. study’s other findings.

Alongside hard-right antisemitic activity there has also been a “rise in leftist antisemitism” which “supports radical Muslim anti-Israeli attitudes expressed in antisemitic terms such as in the BDS and Antifa movements, and certainly in the UK Labour party led by Jeremy Corbyn,” it said.

“The recent strengthening of the extreme right in a number of European countries was accompanied by slogans and symbols which remind, not only the Jewish population, of the 1930s, despite the significant differences between the two periods,” the report added.

4. Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018: In Israel, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, everything stops for two minutes. Here’s a little peak from right outside our office.

5. Saeb Erekat: Leg Injury is an ‘Extrajudicial Killing’: Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, serial liar Saeb Erekat falsely claimed that a Palestinian was the victim of an “extrajudicial killing” even though he was actually shot in the leg and injured — a significant detail that HR got added to the story.

6. HR managing editor Simon Plosker discussed the latest events and media coverage from Israel with Australia’s J-Air Radio‘s David Schulberg.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli jets carried out an overnight air strike on a Hamas compound in Gaza after a bomb was detonated near an IDF bulldozer doing routine work on the Israeli side of the border fence. One Palestinian — a Hamasnik — was killed in the air strike. Palestinians fired gunshots at the aircraft, instead hitting an Israeli home in Kibbutz Sha’ar Hanegev (it’s okay — the baby was in the shelter).

The Times of Israel notes:

According to the IDF, the improvised explosive device was planted in the area during one of the demonstrations held along the security fence in recent weeks.

• Hamas has been practicing breaching the Gaza security fence to abducting IDF soldiers, and is also interested in sparking wildfires in nearby Israeli agricultural fields, according to Israeli media reports.

Sources in the IDF Southern Command said that chatter on Palestinian social media indicates that, following last week’s “tire-torching campaign” – during which demonstrators used mirrors and set fire to hundreds of tires with the aim of creating a smokescreen to hinder Israeli troops’ counterterrorism efforts – this week, protesters plan a “Molotov campaign” and are likely to hurl large numbers of firebombs over the security fence.

The main concern here is that some of the firebombs could hit agricultural areas that are near the border, sparking potentially massive fires.

• What is Hamas’ end game for the Gaza border clashes?

building campaign

• IDF to discipline soldiers who filmed sniper video.

• Slovenia’s expected recognition of Palestine was indefinitely frozen amid politics, upcoming elections and even death threats.

• Guatemala to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem on May 16.

• Hamas’s chosen weapon against moderate Muslims is Holocaust denial.

Around the World
• Florida-Israel group cancels Miami-area Independence Day events over safety concerns.

• 22% of young Americans have never heard of the Holocaust.

German Einsatzgruppen executing Jews near Ivangorod, Ukraine, in 1942.
• The Daily Beast takes a closer look at rising antisemitism in Germany.

Human rights defenders, entrepreneurs, journalists, and victims of anti-Semitism tell The Daily Beast they feel lost and shocked and under attack from many different directions—from Muslim migrants who despise Israel, and from far-right and far-left figures in German politics. Last year, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior reported more than 600 incidents of attacks on Jews and Jewish public spaces across the country.

• Anti-Semitic graffiti painted on Jewish elementary school in Paris.

• Worth reading: Einat Wilf raises important points about the relationship between the Holocaust and Israel’s founding, and what it means for today. Read it all.
Einat Wilf
 "On #HolocaustMemorialDay Israelis mourn a vision of a state that could have been home to so many more. Zionism sought a state for the Jews not so that 'never again'. Zionism sought a state for the Jews so that never at all." My essay on Zionism Denial: https://www.thedailybeast.com/zionism-denial 

7:40 PM - Apr 11, 2018

Zionism Denial
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• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels assessing Israel and Syria.

– Ron Ben-Yishai: The lessons of the Holocaust and Syria
– Ronen Bergman: The Jewish state has a special duty to defend Syrians
– Yoav Zitun: Russian response to Syria strike tests coordination with Israel
– Ben Caspit: Israel ‘alone in fight’ against Iran in Syria
– Yaroslav Trofimov: Israel caught in US-Russia rift over Syria (click via Twitter)
– Judah Ari Gross: Syria strike and its aftermath raise chances of open clashes with Iran
– Ben Sales: After its latest strike on Syria, Israel’s cozy relationship with Russia could be over
– Raphael Ahren: After airstrike in Syria, an Israeli proxy war with Iran looms
– Amos Harel: Revenge by Iran could push Israel to terminate Tehran’s presence in Syria

writing• Here’s what else I’m reading today

– Larry Haas: Hamas attacks Israel — and the world condemns Israel
– David Harris: Israel vs. Hamas: The case for moral clarity
– Amb. Alan Baker: The events along the border with Gaza
– Shlomo Toren: If you were an Israeli sniper near Gaza, you would shoot too
– New York Post (staff-ed): Israeli Labor party right to boycott Britain’s Labour bigot
– Greg Sheridan: Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party allows anti-Semitism to thrive
– MP Luciana Berger: Ken Loach’s threats to Labour MPs who oppose antisemitism is damaging our party
– Gil Troy: Israel at 70: It’s time to reclaim the Z-word, Zionism

Featured image: CC BY-NC Aftab Uzzaman; Einsatzgruppen via Wikimedia Commons; writing via Wikimedia Commons;

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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Apr 2018, 6:06 pm

Islamic Jihad’s Top Leader Comatose After Massive Stroke

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Today’s Top Stories
1. “Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah has reportedly suffered a massive stroke and had to undergo surgery in an attempt to save his life, according to Hamas-affiliated media reports Tuesday,” reports Ynet. Other Arab reports picked up by the Times of Israel claim the 60-year-old terror chief has been in a coma for several weeks after being poisoned. Islamic Jihad denied an attempt was made on Shalah’s life.

Shalah, 60, is reportedly now in Lebanon and will not be able to fully return to work. The FBI’s $5 million reward for information leading to the terror chief’s capture or conviction still stands.

Islamic Jihad officials said the terror group’s leadership has already begun thinking of holding elections to find a replacement for Shalah, in case he is unable to resume his duties.

Ramadan Shalah
Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah in Tehran, 2006
2. I’m undecided on how to judge this but Yasser Murtaja, the Palestinian photojournalist killed on Friday during clashes along the Gaza border, may have been a Hamas operative too. The Jerusalem Post and i24 News picked up on Walla! news (in Hebrew) reporting that Murtaja had been an officer in the Hamas security apparatus for years. It’s based on anonymous sources and Hebrew’s not my first language.

The report noted that in 2015, Murtaja had attempted to bring a drone into Gaza to aid in Hamas’s intelligence gathering. The sources told Walla! that Murtaja was constantly in contact with senior officials in Hamas’s internal security mechanism and many of those officials attended his funeral.

3. Israel’s Labor party suspended ties with Jeremy Corbyn as antisemitism controversies continue plaguing the UK Labour party.

Meanwhile, the majority of UK voters agree that Labour has an antisemitism problem, according to a Deltapoll survey picked up by the Jewish Chronicle and The Guardian.

חיליק בר Hilik Bar
 Clarification: in the letter the leader of the Israeli Labour @GabbayAvi  sent to Mr. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labor Party, he made it clear: the suspension of relations is limited to Mr. Corbyn -himself-, rather than to the inter-party relations as a whole.

4:05 PM - Apr 10, 2018
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4. Media Fail: Images of Syrian Chemical Attack Victims Linked to Israeli Air Strike: Thanks to witless editors and automation, you’d think Israel gassed Syrian kids.

5. The Independent Publishing Lies in its Op-Eds: The Independent is entitled to publish opinion pieces critical of Israel. It’s not entitled to include false quotes and lies.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• There’s a new controversy over a video of Israeli soldiers cheering as a sniper shot an apparently unarmed Palestinian near the Gaza border fence. The IDF said in a statement that the 1:20 long video didn’t show the wider context of a violent two-hour riot near Kissufim. The sniper was cleared but the cameraman wasn’t.

During the riot, means were taken in order to disperse it, including verbal warnings and calls to halt, using riot dispersal means and firing warning shots into the air.

After none of these were successful, a single bullet was fired towards one of the Palestinians who is suspected of organizing and leading this incident, while he was a few meters from the fence. He was hit in the leg and injured.

The army also said the soldier who did the filming was not part of the unit of soldiers who fired and that an inquiry was continuing. See Times of Israel coverage and this Jerusalem Post assessment.

 Despite publicly backing the Gaza “March of Return,” PA officials are privately opposed. Analysts told the Jerusalem Post that the clashes are A) boosting Hamas and sidelining Fatah in public opinion, B) raising fears of a spillover effect in the West Bank creating new security headaches for the PA, and C) complicating Abbas’ efforts to put new sanctions on Hamas and Gaza.

• Ynet takes a closer look at what’s known about the air field targeted by yesterday’s (Israeli?) airstrike. The Tiyas air base, also known as T-4, also served as an Iranian drone base. Of the 14 people killed in the attack were four seven were Iranian military advisers — including Mehdi Dehqan Yazdeli.

Yazdeli was reportedly a member of the Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force, a division that operates drones, which further strengthen the assertion Iran’s drones array in Syria was the target.

• Israel to build two new desalination plants and expand water grid amid ongoing drought.

Around the World
Marie Colvin
• The Assad regime deliberately ‘assassinated’ journalist Marie Colvin, says a court claim filed by the family of the late Sunday Times correspondent. The Guardian explains:
The legal action over the 2012 killing is the first war crimes-related case against the Syrian government to reach court. It includes evidence from high-placed defectors who testify that reporters were tracked via their satellite phone signals.

Colvin, an American reporter who operated out of London, and Remi Ochlik, a French photographer, were killed “in a targeted rocket attack” on a makeshift media centre in the rebel-held city of Homs, the papers allege.

• Irish students, teachers endorse boycott campaign against Israelis.

Israeli Air Force• Jerusalem hasn’t confirmed or denied a role in yesterday’s Syrian air strike, but all the commentary I’m seeing assumes the Israeli Air Force dunnit.

– Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror: Israel won’t tolerate Iranian presence in Syria
– Zvi Bar’el: Russia’s tough rhetoric on Syria, Palestinians is a warning sign for Israel
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Israel signals Russia and Iran: We’re not scared of military conflict
– Charles Lister: Israeli airstrike on Syria a message to Iran, Russia — and Trump
– Herb Keinon: Never waste a crisis
– Alex Fishman: With friends like Trump and Putin, Israel has no one to rely on
– Patrick Wintour: Israel has launched countless strikes in Syria. What’s new is Russia’s response
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Israel means what it says
– Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira: The implications of the Syrian T-4 air base bombing

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Alex Ryvchin: West playing its part in Hamas propaganda war
– Ronni Shaked: For now, Palestinians are winning war of public opinion
– Pinhas Inbari: Gaza ‘Return March’ splits Hamas and organizers
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: Gaza violence puts Israel back on ICC radar
– James Kirchick: The antisemitism problem Corbyn created
– Pamela Druckerman: What are the French doing to protect Jews? A lot.
– Seth Siegel: Israeli lessons on defeating drought

Featured image: CC BY-SA tedeytan; Shalah via Wikimedia Commons; Colvin via Vimeo/Hugh Hood; jet Facebook/Israeli Air Force;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Apr 2018, 9:45 pm

Did Israel Coordinate Syrian Air Strike With US?
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Russia accused Israel of carrying out an overnight air strike on a Syrian air base which reportedly killed 14 people — including Iranian soldiers. Jerusalem officials declined to comment on what Moscow called “a dangerous development.” Meanwhile, NBC News reported that two US officials (unnamed) confirmed that Israel carried out the attack, and even gave the White House advance notification while the Jerusalem Post suggests even more:

There is some speculation among analysts that Israel carried out the attack in coordination with the US to test the latest Syrian response system in advance of such a response.

Israel has launched periodic air strikes in Syria to prevent transfers of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah and curb Iranian entrenchment. If Israel carried out last night’s strike, it could also have been a response to Bashar Assad’s recent chemical attack on Douma, a rebel-held town northeast of Damascus. At least 42 people, including women and children were killed. The NBC report assumed the strike was a response to the chemical weapons, though its sources didn’t specify that. The Tiyas air field, also known as T4, has been hit by Israel in the past, “destroying an Iranian drone control center and communications systems.”

Elizabeth Tsurkov
 A friend in Mare', northern Aleppo posted this just now in response to the strike on T4: "thank God I stayed awake [it's almost 05:00 now in Syria) and our expectation were proven right." Many anti-Assad Syrians who are awake are celebrating.

2:57 AM - Apr 9, 2018
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2. This is not satire: Syria to chair UN disarmament forum on chemical and nuclear weapons. Still don’t believe it? See the UN web site for yourself.

budget3. In defiance of Congress, the Palestinian Authority is now openly budgeting its terror stipends. The Jerusalem Post picked up on a report by The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. The PA’s recalcitrant response to the recently passed Taylor Force Act couldn’t be clearer.

In total, the PA expects to receive NIS 2.790 billion (around USD 790 million) in aid from donor countries in 2018. Hence the allocations for assistance to prisoners, released terrorists, and shahids represent nearly 46% of the foreign aid funds that the PA expects to receive.

4. The Gaza Riots: What’s Really Happening: With so much misleading coverage it’s hard to understand what’s really happening. HonestReporting rounds-up the latest events for you.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• The IDF brass ordered a probe of the army’s handling of the ongoing Gaza border clashes. According to Haaretz, “the probe is not criminal but rather operational, and upon its conclusion the findings are to be presented to the military advocate general, who may decide whether to open a criminal investigation.”

• Only the Palestinians could burn thousands of tires and then blame Israel for Gaza’s tire shortage.

Hamdan criticized Israel’s decision to stop tire imports to Gaza, asserting that there is a shortage of tires in the coastal enclave.

“There is no doubt stopping tire imports will have a negative effect on Palestinians in Gaza especially considering there is shortage of them there,” he said. “We are going to exert all efforts so that Israel reverses its decision.”

No doubt, the related pollution is Israel’s fault too . . .

View image on Twitter

George Deek
 Hamas is burning thousands of tires along the border, polluting the air and harming the environment. 
All children - in #Gaza and in #Israel - deserve to breathe fresh air and drink clean water. 
Stop #Hamas from polluting our future.
9:31 AM - Apr 6, 2018
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• IDF: Palestinians who breached fence planted explosives. Israel retaliated with a Monday morning air strike on a Hamas military compound in Gaza.

• The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court warned that the Hague is watching the Gaza protests and that actions by both Israel and Hamas “could potentially constitute war crimes.” The Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel picked up on Fatou Bensouda’s statement.

• The Palestinian Authority’s top cleric accused Hamas of deliberately sending civilians to die for the sake of headlines. Palestinian Media Watch (video or transcript) picked up on Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash’s denunciation of the Gaza “March of Return.”

• Located near the Gaza border, the Israeli town of Nahal Oz has weathered many Palestinian rockets and mortars fired from the Strip. Props to Reuters for giving its residents a voice on the latest Gaza clashes.

• Where did the New Yorker get the idea that Trump said this?

Trump declared that the U.S. would move its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to East Jerusalem, something that no American President had attempted since Israel occupied the West Bank, in 1967.

• How the heck did Associated Press, Times of London and Sky News come to illustrate coverage of Syrian air strike with images of Syrian kids being treated for exposure to Bashar Assad‘s chemical weapons? You might think Israel was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. (All three subsequently changed their images.)


Around the World
• Hundreds protested antisemitism outside the UK Labour party’s headquarters in London.

• In regards to The Guardian’s coverage of Labour antisemitism, readers’ editor Paul Chadwick responds to Corbynistas going nuts every time their hero, Jeremy Corbyn, is criticized.

• Jeremy Corbyn calls for review of arms sales to Israel over Gaza border protests.

• Ynet takes a closer look at Hezbollah operations in Colombia.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Amos Harel: Israel is now directly confronting Iran in Syria
– Yoav Limor: Israel can only rely on itself
– Avi Issacharoff: Why did Assad use chemical weapons? Because he can
– Mohammed Ruzgar: Don’t let Syria’s chemical weapons attack go unpunished

Yossi Melman
 I assume Israel attacked tonight in Syria to prevent Iranian deployment and transfer of precise missiles to Hez. It was based on good intel and operational feasibility and wasn’t a respobse to the use of chemical weapons by the regime. But if its interpreted as such even better.

8:25 AM - Apr 9, 2018
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– Yoni Ben-Menachem: The Hamas gimmick that failed
– Moshe Arens: The source of Gaza’s woes
– National Post (staff-ed) : It’s Hamas that wants to see Palestinians killed, not Israel
– Herb Keinon: As US intervenes at UN for Israel, other world bodies enter the breach
– Noa Shusterman: Gaza will get worse before it gets better
– Eugene Kontorovich: Why Israeli rule in the West Bank is legal under international law
– Tom Gross: If Labour denied slavery, there would be more protest

Featured image: CC BY-SA carterse; 3D budget pie CC BY Pixs.com

The Gaza Clashes: What’s Really Happening

Palestinian protestors burn tires during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza Israeli border east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on April 6, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90
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Since March 30, there have been intermittent protests, riots, and even armed attacks at the Gaza border.

Much of the media coverage has been so poorly informed or even outright misleading, that it can be almost impossible to understand what’s really happening. Israel has, in many cases, been made out to be a violent aggressor intentionally killing peaceful protesters.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

That’s why HonestReporting will be actively monitoring, analyzing and communicating throughout these events.

Here, for your use and information, is what we’ve seen so far:

Re-cap of events
On April 1, we posted this explanation and analysis of the events up to that date. It was immediately clear that the “protests” also included molotov cocktails, burning tires, rock throwing, and in one case even live gunfire at the IDF.  There were ongoing attempts by rioters to breach the border fence and enter Israel.
Of the 30,000 Palestinians present, 16 were reportedly killed by IDF sniper fire. The figure later increased to 19.
It was well known since April 1 that at least ten of the casualties had clear affiliations to terror groups, including Hamas. An analysis of open-source information from Palestinian media brought that number up to 15, and HonestReporting was the first to publish that new information on April 5.
Another protest/riot on April 6 brought 20,000 people and new violence: including the burning of what may have been 10,000 tires, and further attempts to both attack IDF soldiers and to  infiltrate Israel under the resulting smokescreen. Meanwhile, and this is not a joke, Hamas is now blaming Israel for what it claims is a “shortage” of tires in Gaza. Seriously. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.
A number of Palestinians criticized Hamas for publicizing the deaths of its members, including holding military funerals and rallies. The main objection can be summarized as follows: by revealing that so many of the deaths were actually terrorists, Hamas undermines the PR illusion that this was a “peaceful protest.”
As of yesterday morning, Haaretz put the total number of Palestinian casualties at 29, while a slightly later AP story puts the number at 32. One casualty was Palestinian photojournalist Yaser Murtaja. Though the not all the facts are known yet, this story is making some strong waves in the press. The IDF says it is investigating and that it does not deliberately target journalists.  Most of the information known so far is from the Hamas controlled Gaza Ministry of Health or from Hamas itself.
International investigations?

Fatou Bensauda, CC by Max Koot Studio
In the meantime, numerous international parties, including UN Secretary General António Guterres and EU chief Federica Mogherini have begun calling for an international investigation into the actions of the IDF.  Whether Israel adequately investigates itself, and whether the allegations have sufficient gravity are likely to be the key issues in determining whether the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutes a case.

If the ICC does prosecute a case, Israel is not the only party under the microscope:  Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda has noted that Hamas or other Palestinian bodies could be subject to investigations related to war crimes for their use of civilians in covering violent activities.

The UN and EU, on the other hand, are primarily political bodies and can choose to launch their own investigations merely if their members wish to: without any regard to standards of international law.

When the dust settles and the burning-tire-smoke clears, international investigations will likely be the big remaining question.

In the meantime, the IDF has already appointed Brig. Gen. Moti Baruch, head of the General Staff’s Doctrine and Training Division to lead the IDF’s own investigation.

The latest updates
Some of the critical facts and images from Friday’s flare-up have made the mainstream news, yet some of the most informative have remained conspicuously absent.

Take, for example, this image round-up by Israellycool’s Aussie Dave: including telling, often dramatic pictures of events, some of which have not been published by any international news source.

Another telling scene was captured in this photo of a swastika flying alongside Palestinian flags, with tire-smoke all around:

LTC (R) Peter Lerner
 Hamas is a genocidal terrorist organization. Seen today in #GazaReturnMarch.

4:39 PM - Apr 6, 2018
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A few nay-sayers on Twitter tried to claim the image was photo-shopped, until they came face to face with this video of the same:

Video Player

And speaking of tire-smoke: in this particularly shameless tweet, the Palestine diplomatic office in the US preposterously claims that Hamas’s own tire-fire is actually an Israeli nerve agent.

Palestine in the US
 Reports from on the ground in #Gaza say that Israeli forces are shooting a type of nerve agent gas that isn’t tear gas.

2:41 PM - Apr 6, 2018
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Here is some additional video of tires and fires throughout the area.

Next time you hear about Palestinians throwing “stones,” keep in mind that in at least some cases, this is what they are really talking about:

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Israel Breaking
 Palestinians build large slingshot to throw objects at Israeli forces on the Israel-Gaza border today. The "rallies" today will not be peaceful, despite the many headlines which will claim so.

7:27 AM - Apr 6, 2018
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Just outside Gaza, JPost’s Seth Frantzman caught up with Richard Kemp, former commander, British forces, Afghanistan. Kemp took the media to task pointing out that they don’t necessarily fully understand events even if they’re physically close up. Specifically, Kemp clarified that this is not a “peaceful demonstration” as is often portrayed by the media but rather:

…a deliberate and specific intent by a major terrorist organization, recognized around the world as terrorists, to penetrate the border of the State of Israel.

Arab world reacts
Though reactions are mixed, at least some residents of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and other Arab countries, took to social media to lambaste Hamas for its exploitation of the inhabitants of Gaza. Meanwhile, despite a show of support at the official level, it seems Palestinians in the West Bank were largely apathetic to the events in Gaza. Notably, top Palestinian Authority cleric Mahmoud al-Habbash declared:

[Hamas is] sending Gazans to their deaths for good headlines… [is] trading in suffering and blood [and] no longer fools Palestinian people.

And though it’s not in the Arab world, as long as we’re talking reactions we should give credit where it’s due: Reuters was one of the few publications to ask Israelis living near Gaza what they think. Here’s one example:

“I’m sorry about what is happening there. I know the situation is very, very difficult,” Israeli farmer Daniel Rahamim said about economic hardship in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave ruled by Hamas, an Islamist group that advocates Israel’s destruction.

“But I don’t talk about a peace deal anymore. Maybe we can achieve a long-term ceasefire,” Rahimim, 63, said as he irrigated his crops. He said his 24-year-old daughter, still “traumatized by rockets” left the area after the demonstrations started.

Finally, if there was any doubt about the real point of these protests and riots, Hamas leader Yehya Al-Sinwar was crystal clear:

As these events unfold, HonestReporting will continue to monitor, analyze and hold the media to account.

Watch this space.
If you see biased or inaccurate media coverage of these events, take action and demand fair coverage from your media. Let us know by informing us through our Red Alert page.

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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Apr 2018, 8:38 pm

Dozens Killed In Suspected Syrian Chemical Attack

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Today’s Top Stories
*** Breaking news *** Just before this roundup was published, there were breaking reports of IDF tanks firing in the Gaza Strip in response to three suspects crossing the border fence.

1. “Reports and footage pouring in after a deadly chemical attack in Syria killed dozens showed children with foam around their mouths and entire families “gassed to death” in the rebel-held town of Douma.” Most recent reports say the death toll could surpass 100.

Israeli officials are calling on the US to strike Syria, while the IDF’s former intelligence chief Amos Yadlin urged the Trump administration to ground all the regime’s helicopters used to drop the barrel bombs and chemical weapons.

News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
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2. According to Israeli media reports, Syrian President Bashar Assad has sent soldiers and heavy artillery into the demilitarized zone along the Israeli-Syrian border ahead of an offensive against rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan.

The step violates the Agreement on Disengagement signed in 1974 between Israel and Syria, which concluded the Yom Kippur War . . .

Since most [UN monitors] have been moved out of Syria due to the bloody war and are now watching at a safe distance from Israel, it is unclear if the international body can force the Assad regime to halt its military presence in the buffer zone.

See related commentary by Amos Harel.

demilitarized zone

3. Clashes between Palestinians and IDF forces continued along the Gaza border over the weekend. The Times of Israel reported that 20,000 Palestinians participated in Friday’s demonstration — down from 30,000 the previous week, with many burning tires, and throwing rocks or firebombs at soldiers.

The IDF released video footage of Gazans attempting to breach or target the fence under cover of huge plumes of black smoke caused by the burning of tires close to the border, and Israeli television showed footage of what appeared to be teenage Gazans rolling tires close to the border fence.

Meanwhile, a senior Hamas official suggested to the Times of Israel that if Israel boosted the Strip’s economy, Hamas would curtail the protests.

He said Israel could authorize large-scale exports from Gaza, increase the number of tradespeople allowed to travel from the Strip to Israel and the West Bank, and expand the maritime fishing zone.

HonestReporting’s Daniel Pomerantz debated the clashes with former Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer on i24 News. In this snippet, they discussed the likelihood of international investigation.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• Among the nine Palestinians killed in Friday’s clashes was photojournalist Yasser Murtaja, who the army said had operated a drone near soldiers. One photographer who was with Murtaja told Reuters that Murtaja was not operating a drone at the time while The Guardian quoted another photographer saying that Murtaja “had been standing with him about 100 metres from the border fence when he decided to go into the smoke to get a better shot.”

The army said it is investigating.

Lenny Ben-David
 #Gaza border clashes & drones: Last 2 yrs #Israeli security nabbed #Hamas shipments smuggling "commercial drones of various sizes from multiple different brands, & all of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) featured hi-quality on-board cameras" #YaserMurtaja had to be suspected.

9:52 AM - Apr 8, 2018
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• The Egyptians and Saudis are trying to calm the Palestinians, according to Arab reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post:

An Egyptian Foreign Ministry official was anonymously quoted as saying that, in exchange for halting the protests, Egypt would ensure that the Rafah border crossing, which Egypt controls, would be regularly opened. The source said that the agreement had come under the direction of the Saudis.

• One unarmed Palestinian who managed to cross the border was arrested by the IDF.

• Hamas was accused of jailing bus drivers refusing to take Gazans to the border clashes.

• This swastika made for one of the more telling images:
View image on Twitter

LTC (R) Peter Lerner
 Hamas is a genocidal terrorist organization. Seen today in #GazaReturnMarch.

4:39 PM - Apr 6, 2018
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• Israel foiled a sophisticated terror plot on the seas thanks to the navy’s arrest of an Islamic Jihad operative. The plan was to use a Palestinian fishing boat as a lure in order for Palestinians on a second ship to fire a Kornet anti-tank rocket while a third boat would kidnap Israelis surviving the attack.

The navy netted Amin Saadi Muhammad Jumaa while he was surveilling their patrols. More at the Times of Israel and Ynet.

• A Palestinian stabbing attempt thwarted near the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim on Sunday afternoon.

Around the World
• Israelis barred entrance to Tunisian taekwondo World Junior Championships

• A number of German diplomats hiding behind a reporter’s shield of anonymity defended Kuwait Airways’ discriminatory policy of ‘no Israelis allowed.’

Fauda• Variety: Top Hollywood executives signed a letter supporting Netflix after threats from BDS over distribution of the Israeli TV drama, “Fauda.” More at the JTA.

The show focuses on a commando unit of the Israeli Defense Forces whose members embed themselves in the Palestinian community, gathering intelligence and preventing terror attacks. Fauda is an Arabic word meaning “chaos.” The show incorporates both Arabic and Hebrew dialogue. It airs on Netflix with English subtitles. Netflix is set to release the second season of the series next month.

• BDSniks are celebrating after Russian punk group Pussy Riot cancelled a Tel Aviv concert. The band didn’t disclose the reasons why, but its Israeli publicist told the Jerusalem Post it was for technical and not political reasons.

• Latin America’s largest airline to begin direct flights between Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv by the end of 2018.

• BDS calls on Argentina’s national soccer team to cancel upcoming friendly match in Israel. This could turn into a Messi situation.

Lionel Messi
• The UK Labour party is sharply divided over antisemitism claims, according to leaked minutes obtained by the Guardian. Meanwhile, in yet another antisemitism row, a Labour councillor could be suspended after activists ‘reveal Facebook posts claiming he voted against a new Marks and Spencer because it was funding Zionist regime,’ the Daily Mail reports.

• Plenty of commentary on the Gaza situation:

– Khaled Abu Toameh: West Bank’s apathy amid Gaza chaos shows Palestinians becoming a divided people
– Avi Issacharoff: For Hamas, Gaza marches have scored some undeniable wins
– Vivian Bercovici: No country would tolerate what Hamas is doing at Israel’s border
– Alex Fishman: Gaza protests: When there’s smoke, there’s fire
– Eli Lake: Palestinian casualties are no accident for Hamas
– Daniel Siryoti: Hamas doesn’t know when to fold
– Hussein Ibish: The nonviolent violence of Hamas
– Yoav Limor: A slippery security slope

• For a sense of what the critics are saying, see Saree Makdisi, Diana Buttu and Yousef Munayyer.

• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend:

– Robert Philpot: For most in Labour, anti-Semitism charges are bogus, Israel is a force for bad
– Howard Jacobson: ‘Jews know what antisemitism is and what it isn’t. To invent it would be a sacrilege’
– Daniel Hannan: Anti-Semitism on the Left is nothing new. It has a long and cruel history

 Yesterday my friend Margot tried to post Howard Jacobson's article about Labour antisemitism on Labour Party Forum. She said that this is a real problem, not a smear to bring down Corbyn. She was called a pro-Israel plant & has today been expelled from the group. #EnoughIsEnough

11:35 AM - Apr 8, 2018
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– Benny Avni: Why the new Saudi ruler should go to Jerusalem
– Shlomo Avineri: The dangerous game of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA xeeliz; Messi via YouTube/Messi Magic;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 1:38 pm

 Exposed: More Palestinian ‘Victims’ Identified as Terror Org Members
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This article is translated and re-posted from work by Israeli blogger Abu Ali taken entirely from open Palestinian sources (as opposed to unattributed military intelligence) in the aftermath of confrontations at the Gaza border. The blogger’s expertise and the information below have been corroborated to HonestReporting by Colonel Grisha Yakubovich (Res.), the former Head of the Civilian Department in the IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit and an Arabic speaker and expert in Palestinian affairs.

Who are the victims of the March of Return?
March 30, 2018 – Land Day was officially opened by the “March of Return” events in the Gaza Strip. The events were preceded by intense preparations on the Gazan side, which included calls by many organizations in the Gaza Strip, both military and civilian, for civilians to come en mass to claim “their right to return to their land that Israel stole from them.”

In preparation for March 30, tents were set up and infrastructure was prepared for receiving the civilians, in order to ensure that they would remain in areas close to the fence up until the target date of May 15 – Nakba Day.

The confrontations around the fence opened with intensity throughout the Friday of March 30, and ended with 17 dead and more than 1,000 wounded Palestinians with varying degrees of injury. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, these included about 800 wounded by gunshots from Israeli snipers.

Many claims have been voiced since then against Israel’s excessive use of force in an attempt to suppress the demonstrations on the fence. There were also allegations of Israeli snipers indiscriminately causing harm to civilians.
In the following document, I will present the data on the fatalities as they were recorded in the Palestinian media – by open and public means.
I would like to point out that in the days following March 30, two more fatalities were added to the list of fatalities, which are included in the document.
The document refers to the 19 victims of the events – and it is correct as of April 4, 2018.
Before the data is presented, and for the sake of readers’ convenience, I would like to point out that of the 19 killed there are:
7 operatives from Hamas’ Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades
1 operative of the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, Saraya al-Quds
2 activists of Katayef al-Maqawama al-Wataniya al-Filastina – the military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
1 operative of the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of Fatah’s Shahid Nakhl al-‘Amudi faction
1 Hamas security forces operative (armed)
1 military activist of the Fatah movement
1 affiliate of Shada al-Aqsa – the Shahid unit of Nabil Mas’ud – an Iranian-oriented faction
1 Hamas-affiliated operative with an orientation to the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades
1 Fatah activist – it has not been proven that he is a military activist
3 without any significant organizational affiliation
Total of 15 persons with actual military identification. Another 4 whose connection to military activity has not been proven.

Note: Failure to find any connection publicly in the Palestinian media does not mean that they are not military activists.

Another important factor to consider when examining the identity of the dead and their affiliation is the fact that out of the 19 killed, it is possible to clearly identify 15 military activists, i.e. around 80% of those killed at a minimum.

The entire Gaza Strip has fewer than 70,000 military operatives, including from all the various organizations. Gaza has a population of 2 million today. That is, the percentage of military activists out of the total population is lower than 3.5%.

Thus, the dry facts show that although the share of military activists in the population is only 3.5%, in practice, 80% of those killed are military activists. That is 23 times the rate of their percentage in the population. This high rate among those killed is even more amazing given the fact that they were dressed in civilian clothes and could not be identified in advance as military activists.

Details can be seen in the scrolling window below or via downloadable PDF.
Exposed: More Palestinian ‘Victims’ Identified as Terror Org Members by HonestReporting on Scribd
For more on the Gaza border violence see HonestReporting’s Myths and Facts: Gaza’s Deadly “Protests”
HERE http://honestreporting.com/myths-and-facts-gazas-deadly-protests/

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Post  Admin on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 4:22 pm

Myths and Facts: Gaza’s Deadly “Protests”

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During the Passover weekend, some 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza approached the border with Israel and carried out a variety of violent activities in what they call the “Land Day Protests” or the “March of Return.”

We’ve seen quite a bit of mishandled coverage, so here are the main myths and facts so you can better understand the situation and also speak up when you see inaccurate or biased media.

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Myth: This is a non-violent “protest” or a “march.”
Fact: It is none of the above.

View image on Twitter
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LTC (R) Peter Lerner
#GreatReturnMarch in #Gaza is another great show of #Palestinian non violence. (Via Reuters)

2:53 PM - Mar 30, 2018
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Despite its official name, which has been widely repeated by the media, this is not a “protest” nor a “march” by any commonsense or dictionary understanding of the words.

Picturing something like a picket parade on Capitol Hill? Think again. From the beginning we saw significant violence which would not be tolerated by any country.
According to the IDF and multiple videos, the violence began with burning tires, slinging rocks, throwing molotov cocktails and other varieties of firebombs. The correct word for this type of activity is a “riot.”

The violence quickly escalated to live gunfire on the IDF. Firing on a country’s army is typically called an “act of war.”
Under the cover of live fire and the smokescreen from burning tires, armed terror organizations were attempting to breach the border and cross into Israel with weapons. That is called an “attempted infiltration.”

Moments ago, IDF troops thwarted an infiltration attempt by three terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip. The terrorists approached the security fence and attempted to infiltrate Israeli territory. In response, IDF troops targeted the terrorists with tank fire

5:54 PM - Mar 30, 2018
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For proper context, it is tremendously important to imagine how the United States or any European state might respond to such violence on its borders, or direct gunfire on its army.

Terminology matters, and journalists should call these events what they are. The all too common headline, “Israeli forces kill 16 Palestinians in border protests,” communicates a very different understanding than the more accurate, “Palestinians killed in attempted infiltration of Israel,” or “…in confrontation with Israeli army.”
Reuters Top News
Israeli forces kill 16 Palestinians in Gaza border protests: Gaza medics https://reut.rs/2J2CFcR

9:53 PM - Mar 30, 2018

Israeli forces kill 16 Palestinians in Gaza border protests: Gaza...
At least 16 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured by Israeli security forces confronting one of the largest Palestinian demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border in recent years, Gaza...
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Myth: Israel is shooting innocent civilians.
Fact: Of the estimated 30,000 people present, as of this time of writing, 17 have been confirmed dead. Of those, at least 10 are confirmed as active fighters of Hamas, Global Jihad, or the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, all designated as terror organizations by the United States, the European Union, and others. (All 17 have been confirmed as young men of military age).

The individuals so far confirmed as terrorists include the following:

At least 10 known terrorists with track records of terrorist activity were killed whilst carrying out acts of terror during the violent riots along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Friday March 30, 2018

11:07 PM - Mar 31, 2018
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Hamas has even publicly taken credit for five of the above individuals.

Myth: Israel is shooting people in the back or while they are running away.
Fact: The information on deaths and injuries out of Gaza comes ultimately from the Gaza Ministry of Health. The Gaza Ministry of Health is, in turn, fully controlled by Hamas.

Repeating unsubstantiated claims by Hamas would be like repeating claims by Islamic State: no journalist should do so without clarifying the dubious reliability of the source.

Other sources of information include highly edited snippets from camera-phones on the scene. In most cases, the viewer has no way of knowing any relevant context, for example: what the subjects of the videos may have been doing before the video began, or what activities are occurring around them.

At least one video showed a Palestinian apparently being shot from the opposite direction of where the IDF was located, indicating that the event was most likely staged. While this is probably not the case with all the videos, it should certainly argue for caution regarding the reliability unverified videos in general. See this Twitter thread:
Jacob Magid
The IDF's gonna have a hard time saying this guy fell off his bike...

9:16 PM - Mar 30, 2018
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Jacob Magid
30 Mar
The IDF's gonna have a hard time saying this guy fell off his bike... pic.twitter.com/BCkC5KrOWi

LTC (R) Peter Lerner
Rubbish. How does the IDF shoot a guy in the right leg when the left one is facing the fence and the right one is facing his prayer buddies. This video SCREAMS Pallywood.

10:20 AM - Mar 31, 2018
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Tom Pink
Replying to @LTCPeterLerner @JacobMagid
PETER! The sniper who fired that brutal shot is laughing at your stupidity. And probably your loyalty too.

LTC (R) Peter Lerner
I’m not aware of bullets that can circle around a person. But maybe I’m just ill informed.

10:27 PM - Mar 31, 2018
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Myth: “Land Day” really just advocaties peaceful co-existence.
Fact: The core demand of “Land Day” protesters is that all of Israel should be “returned” to Palestinians. Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, emphasized in a speech on Friday that:

The March of Return affirms that our people can’t give up one inch of the land of Palestine.

Historical inaccuracies aside, this is a demand for an end to the world’s only Jewish state. Journalists should be clarifying this critical point.

Myth: These events are spontaneous and grass-roots based.
Fact: Israel’s Minister of Defense says the Hamas terror organization has invested $15 million dollars to organize this violence. Though Hamas has not confirmed the figure, it is well established that Hamas generally spends huge sums on promoting violence.

Funds have been used to: bus thousands of civilians into an area that Hamas has turned into a combat zone, to attempt a variety of terror attacks, and to attempt border incursions under the cover of the riots that they, themselves, have organized.
The investment of $15m dollars in this kind of violence should be measured against Gaza’s need for basic infrastructure, electricity, medical facilities and more. Every journalist should be asking the question: how does Hamas have so much money available for violence, but so little available for the basic needs of the people living under its rule?
Myth: Injury figures cited by Gaza health officials are reliable.
Fact: Gaza health officials are employed by Hamas and lack credibility. While most news services failed to qualify the figures or make an attempt of independent verification, CNN, to its credit, acknowledged this caveat:

However, there appears to be a disparity in the number of Palestinians injured by live bullets. Manelis said only “a few scores were hit by live ammunition,” while the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said 758 people were injured.

In addition, the high number of alleged injuries could include virtually anything from suffering shock, inhaling smoke or teargas, or even grazing one’s knee. For Hamas, the higher the number of claimed injuries, the greater the PR value and the claim of disproportionality aimed at the IDF.

Myth: This is a conflict pitting the IDF vs. Palestinian civilians.
Fact: Israel has emphasized repeatedly that it has no conflict with Palestinians in Gaza: but only with Hamas and related terror organizations that are mounting violent attacks against Israelis.

One particularly chilling example: the IDF recounts that Hamas sent a seven year old girl to breach the border into Israel, and abandoned her within the line of fire (presumably in the hope that she would be killed for PR purposes). At significant personal risk, Israeli soldiers entered the line of fire, recovered the girl and returned her to her parents without harm.

Meanwhile, rioting Palestinians in Lebanon were turned away from Israel’s borders in clashes with the Lebanese army.

As far as we have seen so far, none of these stories have received coverage in the mainstream international media.

Anyone who truly cares about Israelis or Palestinians should expect and demand accurate media coverage of these events. Hamas is harming Palestinian civilians while simultaneously using them as cover to attack Israel. By granting PR victories to Hamas, the media actually play a direct role in encouraging further violence.

Furthermore, citizens of any country should consider what dangers they may face at home when terrorists see that their violence is excused, covered up, and rewarded with PR victories. Encouraging terror anywhere endangers innocent people everywhere.

If you see biased or inaccurate media coverage of these events, take action and demand fair coverage from your media. Let us know by informing us through our Red Alert page.

Featured image: freevector.com and Flash90/Sliman Khader, with modifications.

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Post  Admin on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 5:46 pm

Growing Danger on Gaza Border
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Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF shelled Hamas positions on Wednesday after Palestinians started a fire near the Gaza border. The army is gearing up for massive Hamas-organized protests along the border on Friday connected to “Land Day.” AP previews what’s in store. According to Arab media reports picked up by Israel HaYom, “Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian security officials have been secretly cooperating with the aim of preventing a Hamas-orchestrated march planned for Friday from the Gaza Strip from becoming violent.”

The PA is said to be concerned that any violence in Gaza will spark riots across the West Bank. Jordan is worried that riots in the West Bank could spill into its territory. Egypt is concerned about riots on its shared border with the Gaza Strip and about the possibility of Palestinian masses breaching the border.

2.  Military Police probe finds Palestinian double amputee Ibrahim Abu Thuraya was not killed by IDF snipers. According to Ynet, “the sniper fire had ended at least an hour before the time Abu Thuraya was hurt according to Palestinian reports.”

At the time of the original event, HR’s Daniel Pomerantz explained the background on i24 News:

3. Some Jewish groups are slamming Trump’s new U.S. National Security Advisor pick John Bolton for “bigotry” and being “anti-Muslim.” Meanwhile The Daily Beast reports that while serving as UN Ambassador under the George W. Bush administration, Bolton apparently went behind Condoleeza Rice’s back numerous times to protect Israel at the UN.
Israel and the Palestinians
• I initially thought this was satire.

Pal Media Watch
 Having female terrorist leaders like Dalal Mughrabi, killer of 37, is proof of gender equality in Fatah, according to Abbas' Secretary General.

Read more about this here: bit.ly 2GxNBAx 

3:55 PM - Mar 27, 2018
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• Morocco’s foreign minister visited the Temple Mount’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday, accompanied by Palestinian Authority Jerusalem Gov. Adnan al-Husseini and PLO Ambassador to Morocco Jamal al-Shobaki along with officials from the Wakf Islamic trust which administers the holy site, the Jerusalem Post reports. “An Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to comment on the Moroccan minister’s visit to the mosque.”

• Israeli Border Police caught a Palestinian from Hebron trying to smuggle himself into Jerusalem in the trunk of a car. The driver, an eastern Jerusalem resident was arrested. It’s not clear if the Palestinian was looking for work, engaged in criminal activity, or tied to a terror group.

Window into Israel
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was released from the hospital after being diagnosed with mild viral infection. Doctors at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital sent the 68-year-old PM home with instructions for rest and medicine. Although he was fully conscious, the Times of Israel points out “the prime minister risked mass confusion by apparently choosing not to appoint a temporary replacement.”

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office told The Times of Israel they were “not aware” if a temporary deputy prime minister had been appointed who would take over if Netanyahu were to be sedated or otherwise incapacitated. Army Radio reported that throughout the check-up he was conscious and capable of fulfilling all his responsibilities as prime minister.

Around the World
• What did a Jewish reporter learn from an afternoon with three Iranian journalists?

• Reuters: Croatia favors Israeli offer of used F16s for air force.

The Israeli offer, which according to the media reports is worth some $500 million, includes a squadron of 12 already used F-16s.

• San Francisco State U. president apologized for campus anti-Semitism, says ‘Zionists welcome on campus.’ Background at the JTA.

• There is an ongoing problem of Muslim anti-Semitism in Germany. Der Spiegel explores.


– Richard Landes: Mideast pack journalism: Everybody agrees

– Judah Ari Gross: Gaza infiltration puts IDF limitations on display at the worst possible time
– Yoav Limor: Gaza: Israel’s policy dilemma
– Elior Levy: Abbas’ sanctions on Gaza are bad news for both the Palestinians and Israel

– Raphael Ahren: In spy wars, Israel chooses Russia over UK, but Trump could play spoiler
– Norman Bailey: Israel and the presidents-for-life club
– Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman: A strategic vision for the Eastern Mediterranean
– Cnaan Liphshiz: What a Jewish reporter learned from an afternoon with 3 Iranian journalists

– Hadley Freeman: Why did I protest against Corbyn? Look at his long list of evasions
– Karol Markowicz: Liberals refuse to face the left’s growing anti-Semitism

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND sinkdd;

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Post  Admin on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 5:02 pm

Armed Infiltrators from Gaza Arrested in Israel

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Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF arrested three Gaza infiltrators armed with grenades and knives 20 km (about 12 miles) inside Israel.

2. Jews and other concerned citizens protested Labour party antisemitism, with some 2,000 demonstrating outside Parliament. The Jewish Chronicle reports the turnout “included a broad cross-section of the community and a large number of Labour MPs.” The demonstration caught UK media attention, with coverage in The Independent, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and BBC.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that Labour ignored a formal complaint over the antisemitic mural at the heart of the latest controversy.

Our own Simon Plosker was at the scene
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Simon Plosker
I’m here in Parliament Sq, London supporting the UK Jewish community that I left behind 17 yrs ago to say #EnoughIsEnough to #LabourAntisemitism.

5:27 PM - Mar 26, 2018
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3. Israel’s Construction Minister Yoav Gallant has said that Israel is unlikely to join the long list of countries expelling Russian diplomats following the poisoning of a Russian spy in in the UK, according to Gallant a member of the security cabinet:

First of all because we share some ideas and interests. Secondly, because there are more than a million immigrants who have come from Russia to Israel, and the Russian administration views them as citizens, or old citizens, or veterans of of Russia. And thirdly, we have to remember what are the proportions and what are the distances.

4. Unpacking Israel’s African Migrant Dilemma: In a special deep dive analysis, we explore the facts, the formalities and the fight over the fate of thousands of Africans in Israel.

Israel and the Palestinians
• The IDF’s bracing for Land Day protests along the Gaza border.

• Times of Israel: Hamas police violently suppressed a Gaza student demonstration at Al-Azhar U. The students were protesting recent administration decisions over unpaid tuition fees. Hamas claims the protest was engineered by Fatah-affiliated students.

• Worth reading: Globes visited Syrian children being treated in Israeli hospitals.

“No treaty is being signed here, but bridges are being built, one by one with the medicine, doctors’ visits, and equipment being transferred, in the hope that it will make them trust us.”

Around the World
• This is a follow up from yesterday’s IDNS: French police arrested two men charged with the brutal killing of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mirielle Knoll. Investigators are treating it as an antisemitic murder.

• AP: Kansas legislators are trying to salvage a law prohibiting state contractors from boycotting Israel after a federal judge blocked its enforcement, advancing a bill Monday to narrow the ban so it no longer would apply to individuals or small contracts.

• Worth reading: Over at Foreign Policy, Shai Feldman and Tamara Coffman Wittes point out that there’s “more to the Arab world’s newfound friendship with Israel than ganging up on Iran.” They point to Israel’s energy exports, budding economic interdependence, and the Arab world’s fading interest in the Palestinians.

The cumulative effect of these factors is a dramatic change in the attitude of many Sunni Arab governments: from almost uniform hostility to Israel to increasingly viewing themselves as better off with Israel’s presence in the region. Some Israelis, including in the current government, believe this gives the country a freer hand in managing its conflict with the Palestinians, including even unilateral steps to resolve issues in Israel’s favor.

Jeremy Corbyn
• Jeremy Corbyn and Labour party antisemitism dominated today’s opinion sections.

– Anshel Pfeffer: The crisis between Jeremy Corbyn and British Jews has reached a boiling point
– Rod Liddle: Nothing proves Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semitic — just everything he says and does
– Sajid Javid: It’s a sad day when British Jews feel they have to come to Westminster to make a stand
– Matthew d’Ancona: Corbyn’s ‘regret’ over an antisemitic mural doesn’t go remotely far enough
– Oliver Wright: Antisemitism row is battle for soul of Labour Party
– Richard Littlejohn: Anti-Semitism seeps from the political fringe to the poisoned heart of the Labour Party
– Hugo Rifkind: Jeremy Corbyn can’t pretend he has only just noticed
– The Guardian (staff-ed): Labour and antisemitism: a leader must lead

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas’s ‘defensive’ drill seen as a warning to Israel, Abbas, and Trump
– Giora Eiland: It’s time for an Israeli initiative concerning Gaza
– Lt. Col. (ret.) Peter Lerner: This Friday, Israel’s tear gas and tanks will confront Palestinian marchers. But brute force can’t be Israel’s only answer
– Dr. Reuven Berko: Hamas: Aggression by any other name
– Avi Issacharoff: As Abbas blows out 83 candles, Palestinians left grasping for an heir
– Wall St. Journal (staff-ed): The UN hates Israel (click via Twitter)
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Despite anti-Israel resolutions, UNHRC undergoing a positive change
– Ron Prosor: It’s time for a change at the UN Human Rights Council
– Assaf Weiss: Where BDS goes, antisemitism follows

Featured image: CC BY-SA Japanexperterna.se; Corbyn CC BY-NC-ND Chris Beckett;

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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