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Post  Admin on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 2:53 pm

Israel Buries Terror Victim as Manhunt Continues

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israeli terror victim Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal was laid to rest this morning as security forces continued a manhunt for his killer. Ben Gal was stabbed to death at bus stop at the entrance to the northern West Bank settlement of Ariel yesterday afternoon.

The terrorist has been identified as Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, a 19-year-old Israeli Arab from Jaffa with a complicated background. Assi’s mother urged him to turn himself in. Security cameras caught the attack on video.

Rabbi Ben Gal, 29, lived in the nearby settlement of Har Bracha and taught in Ariel. He is survived by his wife and four children. In what Israel HaYom calls a “poignant twist of fate,” Miriam Ben Gal was already acquainted with Yael Shevach, the widow of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was murdered in a Palestinian terror attack last month.

Itamar Ben Gal
Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal
2. Is Hamas making a strategic decision to attack Israeli targets outside the Mideast? MEMRI notes a commentary published in a Hamas mouthpiece suggesting a “shift in the rules of the conflict.”

We must deliver painful blows to the enemy’s vulnerable underbelly, that is, target its interests, its investments, its diaspora and its representations around the world.

phone3. Did Mahmoud Abbas snoop on Palestinians with CIA help? Say it ain’t so!

A former Palestinian intelligence chief and the head of the West Bank bar association are suing the Palestinian self-rule government after a purported whistleblower alleged the two were targeted, along with many other allies and rivals of President Mahmoud Abbas, in a large-scale CIA-backed wiretapping operation . . .

The document alleges that three of the Palestinian security services set up a joint electronic surveillance unit in mid-2014 and monitored the phone calls of thousands of Palestinians, from senior figures in militant groups to judges, lawyers, civic leaders and political allies of Abbas.

4. A Three-Way Headline Bungle: A headline which fails on so many levels could’ve been avoided had editors read their story a little more carefully.

5. South Africa – Ringmaster in the Theater of the Absurd: Calling Israel an “apartheid state,” inviting Hamas to the ruling party’s conference, and refusing Israeli expertise to prevent a water – South Africa is truly a ringmaster in the theater of the absurd, writes journalist Rolene Marks in a special guest post.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• A month-long manhunt for the killer of Rabbi Raziel Shevach ended in a hail of gunfire in a northern West Bank village near Jenin last night. Ahmad Nasser Jarar, the Palestinian who masterminded the drive-by shooting, emerged from a building clutching an M-16 rifle and bag of explosives and advanced on troops. Ynet coverage.

• Mahmoud Abbas issues preconditions for returning to peace talks (it’s an evergreen headline).

The Palestinians are prepared to return to the negotiating table with Israel, but only on the basis of an international multilateral mechanism, the Arab Peace Initiative and international resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday.

• Following up on the New York Times, the Jerusalem Post fills in more background on what’s known about Israeli-Egyptian military cooperation against Sinai jihadists. Meanwhile, Cairo denied the report.

• Palestinians slam Jerusalem move to end tax breaks on churches and UN properties.

Church of Mary Magdalene
Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives
• Israel’s High Court of Justice is pressing the police, media and non-governmental organizations to compromise on access to areas of Jerusalem’s Old City during periods of tension, the Jerusalem Post reports. Journalists cried foul last year when police restricted access to parts of the Old City during the Temple Mount crisis while allowing Israeli citizens.

• Israeli actress Gal Gadot announced on Twitter that she’ll be voicing herself in an upcoming episode of The Simpsons. According to The Wrap, “Gadot will star in an episode titled “Bart’s Not Dead” airing in during season 30, which will debut next fall.” If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the BDS crowd going D’oh!

Gal Gadot
I grew up watching @TheSimpsons and now I get to voice myself in an episode!

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Post  Admin on Wed 31 Jan 2018, 8:59 pm

UN Indefinitely Postpones Settlement Blacklist
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Just before this roundup was published, Israeli media reported that a UN blacklist of companies doing business in Israeli settlements was indefinitely postponed.

Barak Ravid
BREAKING ON @news10: After strong pressure by U.S. & Israel the UN postpones indefinitely the publication of a "Blacklist" of foreign & Israeli companies which operate in the settlements in the West bank & East Jerusalem

12:45 PM - Jan 31, 2018
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2. According to Israeli media reports, the US may reject the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) practice of granting refugee status to descendants of Palestinian refugees.

Israel has for years demanded that the UN change its designation of Palestinian refugees, and that it use the same criteria it applies for other refugee populations worldwide. Humanitarian assistance to other refugee groups is overseen by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which does not extend refugee status to descendants of original refugees.

The TV report quoted Israeli diplomatic sources who are aware of the new US thinking on the issue as saying that a Trump declaration rejecting the UN criteria for Palestinian refugees would represent “a tremendous victory” for Israeli diplomacy . . .

Bringing the definition of a refugee in-line with other refugee populations around the world could be a game-changer for the Palestinian so-called “right” of return. We unpacked the UNRWA controversy in this ‘splainer video.

3. Haaretz: “Israel will submit a $1 billion dollar plan for easing the Gaza Strip’s humanitarian crisis, which it will ask the international community to fund, at an emergency meeting on Wednesday of donor states.”

The plan’s centerpiece will be Israeli assistance in building infrastructure projects, including desalination plants, electricity lines and a gas pipeline, as well as upgrading the Erez industrial park on the Israeli-Gazan border.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• The Irish Senate postponed last night’s scheduled vote on legislation criminalizing the import of settlement goods. The delay was partly in response to vociferous Israeli opposition and partly due to divisions within Ireland’s governing coalition.

• In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump called for ending US aid to “enemies,” which he suggested includes countries who voted at the UN to denounce his Jerusalem declaration. While domestic issues dominated the speech, Trump also denounced the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs.

• Soldiers thwarted a stabbing attack, arresting a Palestinian with a knife and a map of the West Bank settlement of Negohot, located near Hebron.

• Following up on this week’s Netanyahu-Putin meeting, a large delegation of high-level Russian security officials are due to arrive in Israel today to discuss Iranian entrenchment in Syria and Lebanon. According to Israeli media reports:

A senior Israeli official was quoted by Channel 10 as saying the talks will focus on the same issues discussed by the leaders in Moscow, including Iran’s attempt to increase its influence in Syria; Tehran’s attempts to build rocket factories for the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon; and efforts by Israel and the US to change the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Israel Russia

• Worth reading: Bloomberg News takes a closer look Jerusalem Arabs working in Jewish areas of the city, which helps curb violence.

Ro’aa is a symbol of how economics is reweaving the tapestry of the fractious city. She and an increasing number of young Arabs like her are finding more professional opportunities in the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. That helps explain in part Jerusalem’s relative calm in the wake of U.S. President Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to recognize the city as the capital of Israel, especially in contrast with violent demonstrations the West Bank, Gaza Strip and other parts of the Arab world and even Europe. Even though the young Arabs of east Jerusalem strongly oppose the embassy transfer, they don’t want to undermine opportunity with violence.

Around the World
• Implementation of a Kansas law requiring public employees to declare that they do not boycott Israel was temporarily blocked by a federal judge. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf a teacher who lost a contract because she boycotts Israel. Many states now have anti-BDS legislation, which critics say violates free speech rights. More at the Wichita Eagle and Haaretz.

• BDSniks at Montreal’s McGill U. are up in arms as the university’s board of governors considers rejecting the use of endowment to “to advance social or political causes.” Students trying to get McGill to divest from Israel as well as fossil fuel corporations say the proposed changes to the governors’ social responsibility committee would destroy any campus divestment campaign for five years.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Prof. Eytan Gilboa: Trump’s business approach to foreign aid could also challenge Israel
– Nadav Shragai: An embarrassing freeze
– David Ignatius: The road to an Israeli-Palestinian deal is vanishing
– Cnaan Liphshiz: Netanyahu is trying hard to court Putin. Is his rhetoric working?
– Thomas Friedman: Can crazy still keep the peace between Israel and Iran?
– Benny Anvi: How Nikki Haley is pushing Europe to get tough on Iran

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Mark Belokopytov; Israeli flag CC BY Nicolas Raymond; Russian flag CC BY Nicolas Raymond; puzzle vector CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons; McGill CC BY-ND Viola Ng;

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Post  Admin on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 9:02 pm

Palestinian Authority Incitement Targets Americans
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Palestinian protesters disrupted a business seminar in Bethlehem which the U.S. helped organize, Reuters reports, damaging a consular vehicle as it sped away from protesters who threw tomatoes and eggs. And in the nearby UNRWA-run Aida refugee camp, Palestinians court-martialed and executed effigies of US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Noting the participation of Fatah members in the “trial” and “execution,” Bassam Tawil says the incitement was a “green light” for attacks on Americans.

In fact, the mock trial and “execution” of Trump and Pence gives a green light to Palestinians physically to target Americans.

This incitement against the US should come as a surprise to no one. The activists — who are burning photos and effigies of Trump and Pence and American flags — listen with rapt attention to the anti-American rhetoric coming from Palestinian Authority leaders. Trump and Pence are vilified on a daily basis by Palestinian leaders and media outlets . . .

Most importantly, this is not only a show of disrespect towards the US and its leaders: it is in fact a call for terrorism against American citizens. In the world of the Palestinians, any world leader who does not hate Israel or dares to challenge the Palestinian narrative is defined as the enemy. How will any of Trump’s Middle East envoys ever be able to visit Ramallah or Bethlehem after this wave of incitement?

1/2 Bethlehem Demonstration: Effigies of Trump and Pence "Executed” and Torched in Protest of U.S. Freeze on UNRWA Funding

7:59 AM - Jan 29, 2018
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2. The Irish senate is weighing legislation to criminalize trade with Israeli settlements and create a spillover effect in the US. As this roundup was published, the vote was due to be held tonight.

If enacted, it could put leading U.S. companies with Irish subsidiaries to a choice between violating the Irish law or violating the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, which require U.S. firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction.

In addition to running afoul of U.S. federal law, the bill would subject companies to U.S. state-level sanctions, violate European Union and international law, threaten Ireland’s vital economic links to the United States, and hinder the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

But the Irish Times reports that divisions within the governing coalition may prevent the bill’s passage. And how’s this for an inappropriately opinionizing headline?

Irish Times

See Eugene Kontorovich‘s response:


Eugene Kontorovich
Irish Senate will vote today on bill that makes it a crime to take a taxi to Jerusalem's Old City; or take a tour of the Kotel; etc. Also defines "occupied territory" to only apply to Israel. An outrageous and unprecedented measure. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/coalition-partners-divided-over-bill-on-goods-from-illegal-israeli-settlements-1.3372911

Eugene Kontorovich
Bill would be great incentive for aliyah to Irish Jews: if they visit the Kotel, or have a glass of Golan Heights wine on a visit to Israel; or learn at an old City yeshiva - they could be put in jail on their return.

7:43 AM - Jan 30, 2018 · Israel
3. The PLO is now urging Arab-Israelis to join in civil unrest ahead of Friday’s “Day of Rage” against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, per The Media Line.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• The chief rabbi of the Western Wall apologized for segregating journalists by gender during Vice President Pence’s visit last week. In a letter to sent to Globes, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch promised improvements but says rules won’t change. More at the Washington Post.

Yanir Cozin
• An Israeli reporter who was made to undergo a “humiliating” security check by the Prime Minister’s security detail on Sunday charges that it was in retaliation for a series of tweets he posted about the treatment of reporters covering Pence in Jerusalem. Yanir Cozin covers diplomatic affairs for the Maariv daily. The Times of Israel explains:
In a series of Facebook posts, Cozin — a journalist accredited with Israel’s Government Press Office, and a regular at the Prime Minister’s Office — said he initially agreed to an extensive body search.

But when he was asked to remove his pants, Cozin refused and was subsequently barred from covering the weekly cabinet meeting.

In addition to the Western Wall mishap, an accredited Finnish reporter was prevented from covering the VP’s meeting with Netanyahu after refusing to be strip searched.

• The Israeli embassy in Amman is days away from reopening, according to Israeli media reports. Several embassy staffers are said to have already returned to their positions but no replacement for Ambassador Einat Schlein has been appointed.

Shalit swap
Palestinians in Gaza celebrate the arrival of terrorists freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.
• In case you were wondering about the Palestinians freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap of 2011, more than one-third of them returned to terror. Israel HaYom explains that freed terrorists make up a who’s who of the Palestinian terror scene.
According to an assessment from a senior security official, some 420 of the 1,027 terrorists imprisoned in Israel released as part of exchange deal for captured IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit in November 2011 have found their way back into the circle of terrorism and violence. Some 210 were re-arrested, and 100 were put back behind bars. Terrorists freed in the Schalit deal have directly or indirectly been involved in the murder of seven Israelis . . .

A triumvirate of Schalit-deal terrorists – Sinwar, Tawfiq Abu Naim and Zuhair Jabarin, as well as Arouri and the three regional commanders – now controls Gaza. According to reports from the Palestinian Authority, they are working to carry out attacks in various parts of the West Bank and their main goal is another abduction of an Israeli. Sinwar, Abu Naim and Jabarin were all released from prison in Israel before their sentences were up. These three, along with some of their comrades, star in a popular video clip that Hamas released titled “From prison to power,” in which they express their commitment to carrying out another abduction, and they are trying their best.

• The PA leadership is floundering here. Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the PA will take Trump’s peace plan to the International Court of Justice (!?) while PA President Mahmoud Abbas called for an African role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

• Breaking a Palestinian boycott of meetings with Israeli officials, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will meet with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Sunday. The PA broke off high level contacts with Israel and US over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration in December. According to Israeli media reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel, Hamdallah initiated the meeting “to try and avert a financial crisis.”

Rami Hamdallah
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah
• A Palestinian was arrested apparently trying to sneak into the West Bank settlement of Itamar wearing IDF-style uniforms. While searching for a second Palestinian wearing similar clothes, soldiers found six Molotov cocktails. More at the Jerusalem Post.

• An Israeli judge ordered the dissolution of an eastern Jerusalem-based non-governmental organization for financing terror and donor fraud. The Committee of Agricultural Work had funneled millions of dollars to the Gaza-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. More at Israel HaYom.

• Slovenia’s parliament is expected to recognize Palestinian statehood in a symbolic measure.

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow where he discussed with Russian President Vladmir Putin Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and Lebanon, military coordination, as well as US efforts to bolster the Iranian nuclear deal. More at the Times of Israel and Ynet.

Around the World
• The municipality of Frankfurt is severing ties with banks that enable boycotts of Israel. The Jerusalem Post explains the significance:

Frankfurt is the first German city to sanction banks and financial institutions for providing services to the BDS campaign targeting Israel. The Frankfurt decision to penalize financial entities could have far-reaching implications for the scores of BDS organizations that operate in Germany.

Frankfurt, with a population of nearly 720,000, is located in the state of Hesse and is considered the banking capital of Germany.

• Poll shows Democrats increasingly ditching Netanyahu, not Israel, experts say.

• Former London mayor and suspended Labour party politician Ken Livingstone repeated claims that Zionists collaborated with the Nazis.

The Labour chairman of the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism said Mr Livingstone’s comments formed a deliberate pattern, and demanded his expulsion.

On Saturday, International Holocaust Memorial Day, Mr Livingstone, 72, a former mayor of London, appeared in a programme called Has the Holocaust been exploited to oppress others? on the Iranian state-owned channel Press TV.

John-Paul Pagano
Ken Livingstone observes Holocaust Memorial Day by appearing on state TV of Holocaust-denying regime: Holocaust hijacked by Zionism, chats with Jew-hating callers https://antisemitism.uk/ken-livingstone-appears-in-iranian-propaganda-show-debating-whether-holocaust-commemoration-has-become-an-industry-exploited-by-zionists/

6:40 PM - Jan 28, 2018

Ken Livingstone appears in Iranian propaganda show debating whether Holocaust commemoration has...
Ken Livingstone, who was investigated but only lightly punished by the Labour Party for his repeated claims that Hitler “was supporting Zionism”, has participated in a special programme on Iranian …

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• What made IDF Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis dramatically write an op-ed published in Lebanese media denouncing Iran and Hezbollah? Ron Ben-Yishai takes a closer look at the Israeli army’s first direct and official appeal to the Lebanese public.

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels over Poland and the Holocaust.
– Yair Lapid: Treblinka: The city of the dead
– Cnaan Liphshiz: Historical inaccuracies on both sides of the ‘Polish death camp’ debate.
– Tony Barber: Poland’s government exploits nationalistic grievances
– Ian O’Doherty: Why shouldn’t we remember the Holocaust?
– John Bercow: Anti-Semitism must be called out every day
– Adnan Oktar: The role of propaganda in the Holocaust
– The Australian (staff-ed): Holocaust must not be denied
– Daily Telegraph (staff-ed): The Holocaust must never be forgotten

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

– Bassam Tawil: Incitement gives Palestinians green light to target Americans
– Moshe Yaalon, Leehe Friedman: Israel and the Arab States: A historic opportunity to normalize relations?
– Zalman Shoval: Not a cost-free exercise
– Alexander Apfel: Netanyahu the likely winner in peace talks
– Dani Dayan: Anti-Zionism is just anti-Semitism by another name
– Pierre Rehov: UNRWA: The UN agency that creates Palestinian refugees
– Gerald Steinberg: Israel and UNRWA’s emergency meeting
– David Harris: An open letter to the foreign minister of Slovenia
– Hanin Ghaddar: Hezbollah has destroyed the Lebanon I once knew (click via Twitter)

Featured image: CC BY-ND chinatown news; Shalit exchange via YouTube/CBS News; Hamdallah via YouTube/Watania Media Agency; Frankfurt CC BY-SA drakestraw67; Auschwitz CC BY-NC Benjamin Griffiths;

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Post  Admin on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 9:29 pm

New Orleans Rescinds Contentious BDS Measure
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Today’s Top Stories
1. The New Orleans city council rescinded a controversial pro-BDS measure “citing a misunderstanding of the deep divisions that surround a movement to boycott the state of Israel and a flawed approval process.”

Council President Jason Williams, who voted for the measure initially before agreeing to rescind it, said the council was not the right venue for sorting out the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

“We are not going to solve the Middle East crisis in the city of New Orleans today,” Williams said.

building campaign

2. Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon told the UN that there are now 82,000 fighters are under Iranian control in Syria.

There are 82,000 fighters “directly under Iranian authority in Syria,” Danon said, including 3,000 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, 9,000 members of Hezbollah and 10,000 members of “violent Shiia militias recruited from across the Mideast, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.

In addition, Danon said that Iran “directly commands” 60,000 local Syrian fighters.

“These are hard facts that cannot be disrupted. Iran’s military is actively training these militant extremists and its using Syria as its strategic base,” Danon said.

25 Jan

Ambassador Danon
Replying to @dannydanon
We are releasing this information because it is vital for the world to understand that if we turn a blind eye in Syria, the Iranian threat will only grow.

Ambassador Danon
Today, there are 82,000 fighters under Iran’s authority in Syria. 3,000 members of Iran’s  Revolutionary Guard, 9,000 fighters from Hezbollah, 10,000 members of Shia militias recruited from across the region, and an additional 60,000 local Syrian fighters. pic.twitter.com/VV3yQoM5cu

3:59 PM - Jan 25, 2018
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3. Haaretz: Denmark’s parliament overwhelmingly voted to exclude West Bank settlements from bilateral agreements with Israel. The vote also:

– Strengthens government guidelines against investing in projects over the Green Line.
– Adopts UN Resolution 2334, which claims settlements violate international law.
– Supports a UN blacklist (in the works) of companies doing business in the West Bank.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Israel and Denmark currently have 13 direct bilateral agreements in the fields of aviation, culture, education, law, industry, taxes and visas.

The latest resolution will affect future agreements between the two countries, with regard to their implementation in the territories, whether with institutions or private citizens. Existing agreements might be effected pending updates.
Copenhagen, Denmark

Israel and the Palestinians
• As Gaza approaches ‘famine,’ Israel, rather than world, appears most concerned, the Times of Israel reports. Measures flying below the radar include allowing “dual-use” construction items that were previously banned because they could be used for building tunnels. And then there’s Gaza’s electricity situation:

The Palestinian Authority recently decided to renew the electricity supply to Gaza by resuming payments for power generated by Israel (now providing power to homes for six hours, followed by 12 hours of darkness).

But the decision to renew the power supply was not due to a sudden stroke of generosity by the PA. According to sources, it was the result of an ultimatum by Israel: The Jewish state warned the PA that if it didn’t renew payments for the Gaza power bill, the Israeli government would cover the costs with PA tax money it collects. Ramallah understood the message and made a public show of renewing electricity payments.

That likely explains why Israel will supply electricity to a Gaza sewage treatment facility due to become fully operational in two months, per Ynet.

Ronen Manelis
Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis
• IDF spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis managed to get op-ed space in a number of Lebanese opposition papers warning of war if Iran continues building precision weapons on Lebanese territory or if Hezbollah takes control of the country, Haaretz and Israel HaYom report.
Manelis urged the Lebanese people to “open their eyes” and acknowledge the fact that their county has become the subject of nothing short of a takeover by Iran.

“Perhaps most egregious is what lies beneath the surface,” he wrote. “Lebanese authorities’ acquiescence and the willingness of many in the international community to turn a blind eye have allowed Iran to turn Lebanon into one big missile factory. This goes beyond weapon shipments, funding or counseling. Iran has set up a new de facto branch, the ‘Lebanese branch’ right here.

On a related note, the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) profiles Maj. Avichay Adraee, whose Arabic language posts on Facebook and Twitter have garnered more than one million combined followers, many from countries Israel has no relations with.

• Over at the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Nikki Haley denounced PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, suggesting the US will move on without him:

“The United States remains deeply committed to helping the Israelis and Palestinians reach a historic peace agreement,” she said. “But we will not chase after a Palestinian leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace. To get historic results, we need courageous leaders.”

• If you’re looking for tea leaves to assess Mideast peace prospects, Mahmoud Abbas told the leader of Israel’s dovish Meretz party that “the Oslo accords are dead.”

• Is American evangelical support for Israel peaking? What’s behind it, and what do polls of younger Christians suggest for the future? And how is Israel responding? The Washington Post delves into the issue.

flag star cross

• PA police uncovered and defused 12 barrel bombs buried alongside a road near the Palestinian town of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank. It’s not clear who planted the bombs or when, but the stretch of road is located in Area A, where the PA has administrative and security responsibility. Each bomb weighed 20-30 kg. Ynet explains:

According to the Palestinian security source, a Palestinian man noticed suspicious objects peeking out of the ground on the side of the road, which were uncovered due to the heavy rainfall over the weekend.

An IDF spokeswoman told the Jerusalem Post that said that military vehicles “sometimes” pass along the road where the improvised explosive devices were found.

• The Guardian visited the Shuafat refugee camp in eastern Jerusalem to gauge the mood of Palestinians bracing for US aid cuts.

• My antennae are twitching over this lede sentence in the Daily Telegraph. I can’t recall ever seeing a mainstream news site use foreign language characters (in this case, Arabic) in the text of an article — much less the lede sentence.

Daily Telegraph

Around the World
• Ohio State University‘s Undergraduate Student Government is under fire “for a rushed, irregular secret ballot vote Wednesday night that rammed through a resolution in support of an anti-Israel boycott.”

As the USG was being expelled from the room at midnight, two secret ballot votes were quickly cast within minutes—the first attempt returned more ballots than senators present—and it was announced that the motion calling for the University Senate to create an ad-hoc committee to review OSU investments in companies complicit in human rights abuses had passed.

• Former U. Maryland Professor Melissa Landa filed a federal discrimination charge “alleging that her termination from the institution was retaliation by her superiors for her extramural pro-Israel advocacy.”

• Jerusalem Post: PayPal closes account of French BDS organization.

• Some International Holocaust Remembrance Day developments:

– Drawing Israeli rebuke, Polish lawmakers advanced legislation making it a crime to blame Poland for Nazi atrocities.
– Saudi-based Muslim body rejects Holocaust denial.
– A historic Holocaust awareness awakening in Saudi Arabia, of all places
– Social media storm breaks over Corbyn’s ‘Jew-free’ Holocaust Memorial Day statement
– Kurz says Austria bears ‘responsibility’ for Holocaust.
– Germany’s Merkel warns of increased anti-Semitism on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Warsaw Ghetto
Jews captured by the Nazis during the Warsaw Ghetto of 1943.
• Worth reading: Over at The Atlantic, Tamara Coffman Wittes and Daniel Shapiro weigh in on the latest polls suggesting that American support for Israel is becoming politicized. “Americans are far more divided on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than they are on Israel itself.”

• Matan Dansker reviewed Yoram Peri’s new book, “Mediatizing Wars: Power, Paradox and Israel’s Strategic Dilemma.” The book’s only available in Hebrew right now. The review is must-read:

The 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, known as the Second Lebanon War, is where the author pinpoints the change between “media” and “mediazation” in this region. Israel was unprepared for its soldiers being equipped with cellphones and cameras. These soldiers sent uncensored, and often gruesome, pictures from the battlefield, harming public morale, while Hezbollah carefully controlled its messages to its own audience as well as to the international community, presenting pictures of Lebanese citizens being bombed by Israel’s mighty military on social media. This had a direct negative effect on the war itself.

One of the most disturbing examples Peri cites is an incident that occurred in the deadliest confrontation of the Second Lebanon War, now known as the Battle of Bint Jbeil. A direct order was given by the IDF for its troops to capture a house, raise an Israeli flag on top of it and photograph it for PR purposes. Rather than the picture becoming the outcome of the conquest, it became the goal of the mission itself. This set a precedent in which soldiers’ lives were risked in an operation whose purpose is to advance a media need as opposed to a strategic need.

The book serves as a wake-up call to readers, especially in Israel. It shows how our mediatized world (including both conventional and social media) can give an unprecedented advantage to those perceived to be the underdog or the occupied.

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

– Amb. Danny Danon: Why does the UNRWA operate in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority?
– Peter Wertheim: Should the US cut aid to the Palestinians?
– Roger Cohen: It’s time for Mahmoud Abbas to go
– David Horovitz: Siding firmly with Israel, Trump plainly no longer convinced Abbas wants peace
– The Australian (staff-ed): Palestinians’ pointless boycott
– Jonathan Schanzer, Richard Goldberg: How Trump can help the Palestinians promote peace
– Anders Persson: Why there’s no chance Europe will solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
– Avi Issacharoff: As Gaza approaches ‘famine,’ Israel, rather than world, appears most concerned
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: Silencing and intimidating journalists
– Hussain Nadim: Pakistan: Making peace with Israel
– Qanta Ahmed: Jerusalem belongs to the Jews: An Islamic truth
– Naftali Bennett: My country bars enemies from entry. Yours would do the same
– Armin Rosen: How New Orleans almost got duped into endorsing BDS
– Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein: The UN’s horrid Holocaust hypocrisy
– New York Post (staff-ed): Amnesty International shows its anti-Israel bias yet again

Featured image: CC0 Public Domain Pictures/Alice Birkin; Denmark via YouTube/StockFootage.com; Manelis via Twitter/Hen Mazzig; Christianity CC BY-SA HonestReporting; Warsaw Ghetto via Wikimedia Commons; quill CC0 Pixabay/Ashreila;

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

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Post  Admin on Thu 25 Jan 2018, 8:46 pm

US Reexamining All Aid to Palestinians?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Washington is reportedly reexamining the entirety of US aid to Palestinians, according to Israeli media reports.

2. “Even as the Palestinian Authority faces major funding cuts from the US, it has purchased a new luxurious $50 million private jet to be used by President Mahmoud Abbas,” according to Israeli media reports.

King Abdullah
Jordan’s King Abdullah addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2013
3. Despite the discord over Jerusalem’s capital status, Arab leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, still favor resuming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Jordan’s King Abdullah explicitly said that there can be no peace process or solution without the US, but also insisted that Washington get peace efforts back on track by demanding a significant concession from Israel:

“The challenge that the Americans have with the Israelis is that if this [Jerusalem recognition] is to make any sense, it’s to give something pretty good to the Palestinians,” he told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria during an open interview session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland . . .

Trump had hinted that the move would require something big in return from Israel, saying in a cryptic tweet that “Israel, for that, would have had to pay more.”

4. How to Keep HonestReporting in Your Facebook Feed: As Facebook changes the way material appears to you, ensure your Facebook feed keeps HonestReporting visible with these easy steps.

HR Facebook

5. Why Did Haaretz Publish a Pro-BDS Ad? Where do newspapers draw the line when it comes to publishing controversial advertisements?

6. Iraqi Jews, Al Jazeera and Theft: The descendants of Iraqi Jews want a priceless collection of books returned. The government of Iraq says the trove was stolen from them by the US forces. Whose trauma is it? A special guest post by Lyn Julius.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• Jerusalem is protesting after a South African diplomat at the UN Human Rights Council called Israel an apartheid state. Times of Israel coverage.

• Apparently conceding defeat on the terror tunnel front, Hamas is boosting its efforts to develop attack drones, Haaretz reports.

• Lawmakers are advancing the “muezzin bill” which would place limits on the times and volume of traditional Muslim calls to prayer. But Ynet reports Knesset support for the contentious legislation is fading.


• AP reports 100 film industry people signed a letter denouncing the Biarritz Film Festival for giving the public the “opportunity to appreciate Israeli content and talent.” The Guardian, which never fails to give a soapbox to these BDS open letters, is clearly slacking.

• Memo to Yahoo News: The reason Ahed Tamimi is being tried in a military court and not in the Israeli judicial system is because Israel hasn’t annexed the West Bank.

.@beatnikjourno Why did u fail 2 mention that there's military law precisely because Israel hasn't annexed the territory? & Nabi Saleh residents weren't throwing stones at soldiers; they were targeting civilian cars on a nearby road. Despite Tamimi's claims, stones can kill. https://twitter.com/beatnikjourno/status/956110436943806469

8:37 AM - Jan 25, 2018
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Around the World
• The Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel picked up on a worrisome Pew survey which finds the US partisan divide on Israel at a historically high level.

Responding to the poll, MK Michael Oren told the Times of Israel that Israel needs to win over progressive American support as a “strategic goal.”

Israel USA

• Half of European Jews hide their religion, survey shows

• The US wants Lebanon to cut Hezbollah out of the country’s financial sector

• If this guy had channeled his inner Ahed Tamimi and filmed himself slapping the dog, he’d be getting better press coverage.

Man bites police dog while resisting arrest

• After World War II, a group of Holocaust survivors plotted to kill six million Germans by poisoning the water supplies of Munich, Nuremberg, Hamburg and Frankfurt. You’ll be surprised to learn how surprisingly close they came to pulling it off.

• Russian professor kicks Moscow State U. Jewish student out of exam room for wearing a kippah.

• I always cringe when a sentence starts off with the words, Ï’m not anti-Semitic, but . . .” USA Today picks up on the backlash at R&B singer Erykah Badu comments in an interview with Vulture. As for what exactly was the good she saw in Hitler, I’m not going to play spoiler. Perfect idiocy ahead of International Holocaust Commemoration Day.

• 2 Torahs stolen from Hawaii synagogue.

• French lawmakers are now banned from wearing religious symbols in parliament, including kippot.

• I wonder if the New York Times’ hostility towards the Trump administration affects its ability to deal rationally with Israel. Just wondering after seeing this staff-ed about Pence’s visit.

• The pundits are Pence-ive:

– Rabbi Meir Soloveichik: Pence visits Israel’s capital (click via Twitter)
– Zev Chafets: Pence, the anti-Trump, takes Israel by storm
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Pence’s Knesset speech: Curb your enthusiasm
– Aaron David Miller: What Mike Pence just did in Jerusalem
– Ron Kampeas: Mike Pence’s faith drives his support for Israel. Does it drive Mideast policy?
– Boaz Bismuth: A shining speech in Jerusalem – the city upon the hill
– Jonathan Tobin: Why can’t the left accept Mike Pence’s evangelical love for Israel?

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

– Shmuel Rosner: Eroding support for Israel: What can we do?
– Haviv Rettig Gur: Boycotting the boycotters: Why Israel is as bad at fighting BDS as BDS is at fighting Israel
– Vijeta Uniyal: Divided EU won’t back Abbas on Palestinian ‘statehood’
– Shalom Lipner: Forget the ultimate deal. The Mideast needs the status quo.
– Asaf Romirowsky, Alex Joffe: How aid to Palestinians hurts – not helps – the peace process
– Alex Fishman: Trump’s Mideast plan: Take it or leave it
– Kim Ghattas: Palestine is a victim of the Iranian-Saudi war
– Maajid Nawaz: Human rights are universal, Amnesty. Even Jewish rights
– Clifford May: Hezbollah: The A-team of terrorists
– Richard Dannatt: Britain needs to wake up to the threat from Hezbollah

Featured image: CC0 Pexels/Rebecca Zaal King Abdullah via YouTube/World Economic Forum; mosque CCO Pixabay/Firas_Samir; thinking CC0 Pixabay;

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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 6:07 pm

EU Rebuffs Mahmoud Abbas — Sort Of

Today’s Top Stories
1. While US Vice President Mike Pence visited Israel, PA President Mahmoud Abbas flew to Brussels, seeking to enlist European Union recognition of Palestinian statehood and to sideline US peace efforts. For whatever it’s worth, EU officials are backing Abbas on Jerusalem, but are not throwing US mediation under the bus.

The Europeans themselves are interested in playing a “central role” in a renewed peace process, Mogherini said Monday, but she also acknowledged that the US must remain an indispensable part of it.

Abbas’ consolation prizes? Slovenia is poised to recognize Palestinian statehood and separate Israeli media reports indicate that France is quietly pushing to upgrade the PA’s status at the EU.

On the last day of his visit, the VP met with President Reuven Rivlin and visited Yad Vashem and the Western Wall. See below for more on his trip and the only-in-Israel media circus.

piggy bank2. As the Fatah-Hamas power struggle continues, the PA is imposing taxes on the Gaza Strip, Globes reports.

A decree published two weeks ago by the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) states that starting in the fall of 2018, residents of the Gaza Strip will lose the tax exemption they have enjoyed in recent years. They will start paying 20% income tax, land taxes, 17% VAT on all products, and customs duties on goods will be raised steeply.

On Monday, Gaza businesses and banks held a general strike to protest economic conditions in the Strip.

3. Top Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar admits the terror group is boosting ties with Iran and Hezbollah.

“Our relations with Iran and Hezbollah have returned to their natural path and we intend to develop these relations,” Al-Zahar’s said. “We will expand our ties with Iran and Hezbollah,” he added . . .

Al-Zahar also appeared to have admitted in the interview that Hamas, whose coffers are virtually empty, was in need of Iran and Hezbollah’s financial aid, a fact downplayed by Arab media.

4. Your Resources: Check out our new super resource page, chock full of links to articles, videos and other resources — all at your fingertips. A must to bookmark and share.

Your Resources

Israel and the Palestinians
• Vice President Pence addressed the Knesset (see transcript or video). The key takeaway from Monday’s speech? Official confirmation that the US intends to open its new embassy in Jerusalem before the end of 2019.

• Only-in-Israel media circus (part 1) A Finnish journalist was prevented from covering the Vice President’s meeting with Netanyahu after refusing to be strip searched by the Prime Minister’s security detail. Without identifying the reporter, the Associated Press wrote that the woman “said she was singled out because her father is Palestinian.”

Unless there’s a specific security threat, there’s no reason to treat the foreign press corps this way.

Given all of the technology and intelligence at Israel’s fingertips, we fail to see any good reason for the continued humiliation of professional accredited journalists upon entering the Prime Minister's office and the security attempts to conduct strip searches.

— Foreign Press Assoc. (@FPAIsPal) January 22, 2018

• There was a brief scuffle in the Knesset as some lawmakers from the Joint (Arab) list held up signs proclaiming “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.” MKs aren’t allowed to hold up signs or props and Knesset ushers hustled the lawmakers out of the plenum. The Daily Mail sexed up the scuffle for an excessively clickbait headline.

• Does this Los Angeles Times snippet ignore Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, the location of the first and second Temples, and Judaism’s holiest site?

Pence will also visit both the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest prayer sites. It stands just a short distance from one of Islam’s holiest sites, Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

• Only-in-Israel media circus (part 2) Female photographers covering Pence’s visit to the Western Wall got an unexpected shock when they were forced to work separately (behind) the male photographers. Several took to Twitter under the hashtag #PenceFence; judging from tweets by Noga Tarnopolsky and Yael Friedson, the veep’s hands were tied. JMore at Haaretz.

The #PenceFence debacle is a big deal because in the future editors and directors will prefer sending male reporters and photographers to assignments to guarantee coverage and that directly impacts women in journalism. @talschneider @NTarnopolsky

— ?Gabriella R? (@2samadams3) January 23, 2018

• Only-in-Israel media circus (part 3) Andrea Mitchell brought this on herself. NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent got schooled by Israeli reporter on Israeli politics over an inaccurate tweet.

Wrong on several points. 1, they are not “THE 13 Israeli-Arab members” – there are others. 2, it is always against the Knesset rules to hold up signs or use props and there are examples spanning decades of ppl being removed bc of it. 3, ushers, not security guards led them out https://t.co/JgIGkUFpda

— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) January 22, 2018

• With UNRWA’s work and funding under the Trump administration’s microscope, The Independent visited a refugee camp in Gaza to gauge the mood. Reporter Sarah Helm muddies the water of the so-called Palestinian “right” of return.

Moreover, there is every reason to fear that the US cut to UNRWA’s budget has a political agenda and will be followed by a decision to remove the Palestinian refugees’ right of return home from any future deal. The right to return has been a core Palestinian claim, enshrined in UN resolutions, since the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 when the refugees were driven out of their homes in what is now Israel and have never been allowed back.

Memo to Helm and The Independent’s editors: Refugees don’t have an inherent right of return in international law. As Israeli jurists wrote in 2010, “Had this been a legal right and not a question of morals or politics, it would have already been discussed at the international court.”

• Haaretz: Israeli ministers are deliberating on applying 12 bills to West Bank settlements.

• Border Police thwarted an attempted Palestinian stabbing attack at the Tapuach Junction in the northern West Bank.

Around the World
Amena Khan
Amena Khan
• Hijab-wearing UK model Amena Khan pulled out of a L’Oreal beauty campaign amid a backlash after several anti-Israel tweets she posted in 2014 surfaced. Khan removed the tweets and apologized. (The New York Post has screengrabs.)

In the deleted messages captured by screenshots and tweet-saving services, Khan called Israel a “sinister state,” an “illegal state,” and said the country is full of “child murderers” and expressed hope for its defeat. In other posts on social media that had not been deleted, Khan accused Israel of “Torture. Murder. Rape. Genocide” and falsely claimed that “Orthodox Jews themselves condemn the actions of Israel.”

• Filipino police arrested a Hamas bomb-making and rocket expert on Saturday. Taha Mohammed al Jabouri, a 64-year-old Iraqi national, was nabbed following a tip off from the Iraqi embassy in Manila. Authorities say there are no indications he was involved in any terror plots in the Philippines and plan to deport him back to Iraq. More at the Philippine Star.

• French broadcaster blasted for prime-time Holocaust joke.

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

– Eldad Beck: Abbas’ EU comfort zone
– Moshe Arens: Abbas’ fiery speech clears up 24 years of hypocrisy
– Grant Rumley: The tragedy of Mahmoud Abbas
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Abbas’ antics undercut Palestinian cause
– Jonathan Tobin: Don’t blame Trump for Abbas rejecting peace
– Herb Keinon: Pence’s speech: What was in it, and what was not
– James Stavridis: How the US and Israel can reshape the Mideast
– Giora Eiland: An independent Israeli policy vis-à-vis Gaza
– Prof. Elie Podeh: Israel-Jordan reconciliation: Better late than never
– Bassam Tawil: No difference between Fatah and Hamas
– Sharon Koifman: BDS doesn’t bother me
– Amb. Alan Baker: Palestinian manipulation of the International Criminal Court
– Swapan Dasgupta: Modi ends hypocrisy on India’s Israel policy
– Richard Kemp: We must end this appeasement and ban Hezbollah

Featured image: CC0 Unsplash/Charlotte; piggy bank CCO Public Domain Pictures/George Hodan; Khan via YouTube/sobat nu baheula tea; talk CCO Pixabay;

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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 9:51 pm

Palestinian Terrorist Killed in Shootout
Today’s Top Stories
1. The hunt for Rabbi Raziel Shevach’s killers ended when an arrest raid in Jenin turned into a shootout shootout on Wednesday night. According to Ynet, “One of the terrorists, Ahmed Jarrar, was killed in the fighting that broke out when Israeli troops were searching for Shevah’s killers. Another terrorist was arrested, and several additional suspects were detained for questioning.”

Violent clashes continued throughout the night. Hamas claimed Jarrar as a member and denounced Israel-PA security cooperation.

Shevach was killed in a drive-by shooting near his home in the northern West Bank earlier this month.

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2. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri overturned a decision to ban Steven Spielberg’s latest film from the country’s cinemas. “The Post” was initially censored because of director Steven Spielberg’s ties to Israel. The Washington Post reports:

Hariri, who recently returned to his role after a brief and bizarre resignation involving Saudi Arabia, asked the Interior Ministry not to implement the ban, said a government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. Hariri did so, the official said, “because he is opposed to the idea of banning movies.”

3. The trial of two Hezbollah operatives charged with bombing a Bulgarian tour bus is underway in Sofia. Five Israelis and their driver were killed in the 2012 attack, which took place at the Black Sea resort town of Burgas. Another 32 Israelis were injured. The suspects — a Lebanese-Australian national and a Lebanese-Canadian national — are being tried in absentia as Lebanon has refused to extradite them. Jerusalem Post coverage.

4. Stories I’d Like to See: Religious Leaders Calling Out Abbas’ Biblical Revisionism: Religion plays a major part of Israeli and Palestinian narratives, but it’s rare to see the foreign press take a deeper look at the beliefs and their impact on the conflict.

Abbas revisionism

5. Appearing on South Africa’s Chai FM, HonestReporting’s Daniel Pomerantz discussed UNRWA, President Abbas’ speech and more. Listen here.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• Belgium countered US cuts to UNRWA by chipping in $23 million.

• Worth reading: The New York Times takes a closer look at the debate over continued funding for UNRWA.

The agency, known by the acronym Unrwa, was set up in 1949 to aid those who fled or were expelled from their homes during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Meant to be temporary, it defined refugees loosely and expanded that definition over time. One key difference between it and the office of the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, critics say, is that the agency routinely allows refugee status to be passed down for generations. Another is that it does not remove people from its list who have acquired citizenship in a new country, so the number always increases.

Hence the Palestinian refugee population has grown from approximately 700,000 Palestinians who fled the wars in 1948 and 1967 to more than 5.2 million registered refugees, some 1.7 million of them living in Unrwa-administered camps in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria today.

• Tweet of the day goes to Lenny Ben-David:

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Lenny Ben-David
Below is picture of #UNRWA's dense Balata refugee camp in Nablus. Almost 30K residents. IT MAKES NO SENSE.
1. It's located inside Area A under full control of the Palestinian Authority.
2. Why isn't housing built for them in nearby land?
3. Residents can't vote in Nablus elex 1/2

11:09 AM - Jan 18, 2018
 3 3 Replies   26 26 Retweets   22 22 likes
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• Pence visit highlights dilemma facing Egypt, Jordan over Jerusalem recognition.

• Last fallen soldier from Lebanon War laid to rest 31 years later.

• British Labour Party drops candidate who said Holocaust victims are ‘turning in their graves’ over Gaza.

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

– Eli Lake: Abbas shows the world who he really is
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Stop ‘understanding’ the Palestinians
– Bassam Tawil: Abbas’s big bluff – again
– Elliott Abrams: Trump gets UNRWA right
– Oded Revivi: If the Oslo accords are over, the real work of peace can begin (click via Twitter)
– Nadav Eyal: Israel and the Palestinians: So what now?
– Dror Eydar: Israel and India: Two nations, one goal
– Yossi Yehoshua: After neutralizing tunnels, IDF faces new threat

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Post  Admin on Wed 17 Jan 2018, 7:16 pm

US Cuts UNRWA Aid in Half
Today’s Top Stories
1. The US State Department confirmed it is began withholding money it originally planned to provide the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. The US transferred $60 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) but held back on a further $65 million “for future consideration.” More on the Beltway politics at the Washington Post.

In response, UNRWA launched a fundraising campaign and reportedly began laying off teachers and aid workers.

For comparison, the US is also the largest donor to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which oversees assistance to all the other refugees in the world. In 2017, the UNHCR received $1.4 billion from the US, around 40 percent of its budget.

HR Video: Should America Stop Funding UNRWA? The US wants to cut support to the UN agency aiding Palestinian refugees. Is that wise? And what alternative is Israel suggesting?

2. The reason Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is ruling out US mediation for peace talks is because parts of the Trump administration’s peace proposal — yet to be issued — were leaked by the Saudis to Ramallah. According to Israeli media reports, Jerusalem isn’t the issue, it’s the excuse. The Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel explain:

According to the reports on Channel 2 and in Maariv, the Trump plan being written by his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner would create a Palestinian entity that is less than a state, and it would not be based on the pre-1967 lines. Israel would control its borders and the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem would be an issue for negotiations, settlements might not have to be removed, and the Palestinian refugee issue would not be addressed.

“We understood that Trump’s declaration did not really matter and had no impact on what is happening on the ground,” Caspit quoted senior officials close to Abbas telling Knesset members who met with him last week. “We just used the declaration as a preemptive strike to torpedo the negotiations before the Americans finished drafting their peace plan, so we wouldn’t have to reject it publicly later on.”

The Palestinians were quoted saying that the international community accepted the Jerusalem excuse for ruling out negotiations because there is a consensus in the world on the city being the capital of two states.

3. German police raided a number of homes and businesses across the country in a massive search for 10 Iranian agents believed to have been targeting Jews and Israelis — specifically the Israeli embassy in Berlin and Jewish community institutions, including kindergartens. The suspects are thought to be members of the Quds Force, a special unit within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Was it the result of a Mossad tip?

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• The PLO Central Committee recommended suspending Palestinian recognition of Israel and security cooperation. The PCC also claimed the Palestinians are no longer bound by the Oslo accords. The Jerusalem Post notes that there’s no time frame for carrying out the threat. Palestinian leaders have threatened to end security cooperation a number of times in recent years but never followed through.

• After I criticized the media for whitewashing Abbas’ revisionism and rejectionism, I’m glad to see followup analysis from the Associated Press and Washington Post.

• In case you were looking for it, there’s an English translation of Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at MEMRI.

• In Cairo, Mahmoud Abbas insisted that Palestinians are the descendants of the Canaanites, who predated the biblical patriarch Abraham. This puts the PA chief at odds with his own chief envoy to the US, Maen Rashid Areikat, who has argued that the Canaanites were occupiers too because the Palestinians predated even them. Draw your own theological conclusions.

Abraham Journeying Into the Land of Canaan, by Gustave Dore
• Israel reportedly struck a Hezbollah arms depot near Damascus on Tuesday night.

• Security forces discovered and safely detonated a cell phone bomb planted at the entrance to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. It was discovered on Tuesday morning, ahead of a visit by 1,000 Jewish worshipers. The pilgrimage went on as planned, though Palestinians pelted the Jews with stones as they left the holy site.

• The Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza reopened for the first time since Israel destroyed a terror tunnel running directly underneath.

• Israeli authorities intercepted what was described as “the largest consignment ever” of military gear en route to the Gaza Strip. “The shipment included thousands of items of military clothing, including boots, coats and combat vests, all in camouflage colors,” and was seized at the Port of Ashdod on Monday.

Oliver McAfee
Oliver McAfee
• Search and rescue personnel believe that a British tourist missing in the southern Negev desert is suffering from “Jerusalem Syndrome,” a psychotic condition that can overwhelm people visiting Israel with delusions about God or prominent religious figures. The Daily Telegraph updates the latest on the search for the 29-year-old Oliver McAfee, last seen in late November.
An Israeli police search team discovered a series of pages ripped from the Bible carefully weighed down with rocks in the area that he was last seen. Other handwritten notes quoting Bible verses were also discovered.

Some of the notes included references to the story of Jesus fasting in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.

• The Independent introduces us to Jerusalem’s new deputy mayor, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.

Israel and India
• Just before this roundup was published, Haaretz reported that a previously scrapped $500 million deal to sell Spike anti-tank missiles to India “is back on the table.”

• Moshe Holzberg, orphaned in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, made his first visit to the Chabad House where his parents were killed. Indian media seemed to attach great importance, judging from the heavy interest by the Mumbai Mirror, Times of India, Indian Express and NDTV.

• Can Air India win Riyadh’s assent to direct India-Israel flights passing through Saudi skies?

India has been keen to map out speedier flight routes in Saudi skies to reduce the journey duration by around two hours by enabling it to fly west without the need take roundabout routes, thereby slashing costs on fuel and significantly increasing the number of tourists flying between Israel and India.

In addition, the new route would enable the airline to dramatically reduce the price of flight tickets and simultaneously stimulate competition among other airlines.

If Saudi Arabia agrees to the move, it would likely be presented to the Indians as a gesture and not to the Israelis, since Jerusalem has no formal diplomatic ties with Riyadh.

• For a sense of what they’re saying in the Indian media, see Jael Silliman and an Indian Express staff-ed.

Israel India flags

Around the World
• US reality TV host’s anti-Semitic outburst sparks anger when presenter Toni Snow asked a guest whether he was going to “Jew us down.”

• Daily Telegraph: The British government is funding a special trip for student leaders from all 108 UK universities and colleges to Auschwitz in a bid to combat campus anti-Semitism.

• Jewish cemetery in Eritrea vandalized, dozens of graves destroyed.

• Racist, anti-Semitic fliers dropped in Virginia neighborhood ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels over Abbas’ speech.

– David Horovitz: Abbas couldn’t make peace with the Jews; he believes his own lies about us
– Elior Levy: Despite threats, Abbas won’t halt security coordination
– Ben-Dror Yemini: The moderate Palestinian leader’s lies
– Daniel Shapiro: Abbas exits with one final, outrageous performance. Now, America must contain the damage
– Mordechai Kedar: The speech in which Abbas dug his own grave
– Charles Bybelezer: Having missed the boat, the Palestinian Authority is sinking
– Yossi Beilin: Abbas the spectator
– The Australian (staff-ed): Palestinian leader’s own goal
– Rafael Medoff: Mahmoud Abbas, the world’s worst historian
– Ron Kampeas: Will Abbas’ explosive comments kill the peace process?
– Michael Goodwin: Abbas proves to be nothing more than a two-faced, anti-Semite
– Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi: With his Ramallah rant, Mahmoud Abbas declares intention to proclaim a Palestinian entity

• I’ll buy David Hazony‘s cab driver barometer:

David Hazony
Based on a sampling of Jerusalem cab drivers, Abbas’ insult to Trump was far worse than “May your house be demolished” as appeared in Western media. More accurately would be rendered “may you and your descendants be destroyed.” Not very nice.

4:52 PM - Jan 15, 2018
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• Judging from the Irish Times‘ Michael Jansen’s response to the speech, you’d think Israel never had any prime ministers who offered the Palestinians anything in the years since Oslo.

• Speaking of “sh**hole countries,” Tom Gross recalls the time a French ambassador described Israel as a ‘sh***y little country’ – and polite society defended him. Gross concludes:

One would hope that if the representative of a major western government today were to describe the Jewish state, rather than African states, as sh—y, there would be an equal level of outrage. But somehow I doubt it.

• UNRWA aid unspun in the op-eds:

– Abdallah Al-Hadlaq: Stop funding for racist UNRWA until it dwindles and dies
– Nonie Darwish: The terrorism jobs program: Pampering the Palestinians must end
– Daniel Pipes: 99% of ‘Palestine refugees’ are fake
– Michael Rubin: US support for UNRWA has gone on long enough


• Why the righteous indignation from is Codepink co-founder and BDSnik Medea Benjamin about being banned from Israel, which she actively supports people to boycott anyway?

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

– Ron Finkel: Peace is coming, but it’s under the radar
– Giulio Meotti: Arab regimes terrified by Israel’s freedoms
– Shrenik Rao: Can India really play ‘best friends’ to Israel, Palestine and Iran at the same time?
– Alexander Aciman: Can a Jew love France?
– Seth Frantzman: Seven years later: The Arab Spring’s messy endings
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): Hawaii and Israel


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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Jan 2018, 6:05 pm

Media Whitewashes Abbas’ Revisionism and Rejectionism
Mahmoud Abbas’ two-hour address to the central committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization was the diplomatic equivalent of giving the finger to Israel, the US and peace prospects.

The speech was expected to articulate the Palestinian leadership’s response to Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and threatened cuts of aid for refugees.

But given how long the talk was, it must have been a challenge for reporters to focus on sorting out the “news” from the “rambling.” Indeed, the PA president rejected US mediation, blamed Israel for the “death” of the Oslo accords, and dropped tidbits such as someone offering the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis to become the capital of a Palestinian state. (Abbas didn’t say who made the offer.)

But there was a bigger picture that the mainstream media snoozed through. What most journalists would consider the boring, long-winded digressions were actually part of a bigger pattern of historical revisionism and rejection of any place for the Jews in the Mideast.

Sign HonestReporting’s petition to the Foreign Press Association in Israel demanding reporters and editors give a fuller picture of Palestinian rejectionism and refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

The Speech
The Ramallah audience of PLO cadres, VIPs and the foreign press was regaled with Abbas’ theories of how Israel was founded — not by Jews — but by European “colonialists,” with plans going as far back as Oliver Cromwell in 1653. He accused Israel of sending drugs to Palestinian kids. He ridiculed US Ambassador Nikki Haley’s high heels.

Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
And Abbas fabricated a quote to claim that Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, sought to exterminate Palestinians.

“We must wipe out the Palestinians from Palestine so that Palestine will be a land without a people for a people without a land.”

Abbas also claimed among other things, that the Jews of Europe chose to remain and die at the hands of the Nazis, that Jews from Iraq and Yemen were brought to Israel against their will, and that Israel was formed as “a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism” to safeguard European interests.

The PA chief also hurled an epithet at President Donald Trump, saying in Arabic, Yekhreb Beitak, which means “May God destroy your home.” A Palestinian media professional explained to me that home refers not just to the physical house, but the household — its people and possessions. It’s a term used when two people are in a dispute, and although Arabs may use the term somewhat casually among themselves, it’s not a line one would use in a diplomatic setting. That would explain why the Associated Press called it a “jarring” language.

It’s not the first time Abbas twisted history for his own purposes. His doctoral thesis, written as a student in Moscow, argued that the killed “only” one million Jews, that the Zionist leaders collaborated with the Nazis, and that Jewish leaders inflated the Holocaust’s death toll to six million for their own advantage.

But the overall thrust of the speech was to erase Jewish ties to the land of Israel.

The Coverage
Too many media reports whitewashed Abbas’ coverage. Perhaps editors didn’t attach enough importance to the speech to give their correspondents a longer word count, which might account for the short, sanitized reports by Reuters, BBC News, CNN and Sky News.

Other news services touched on Abbas’ rant, but didn’t delve into the significance, such as AFP, The Independent, Irish Times and the Financial Times.

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
While the New York Times gave a sense of the PA chairman’s verbosity, the paper unfortunately didn’t fact-check Abbas, giving a pass to the false quote.
Testing his audience’s attention, Mr. Abbas also gave a lengthy history lecture reaching back to the 17th century, saying that Oliver Cromwell had first proposed shipping European Jews to the Holy Land, before tracing the beginning of Zionism to what he called the 19th-century journalist and activist Theodor Herzl’s efforts to “wipe out Palestinians from Palestine.”

“This is a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness,” Mr. Abbas said. “The Jews were used as a tool under the concept of the promised land — call it whatever you want. Everything has been made up.”

Indeed, Abbas has made everything up.

Can you imagine the headlines if an Israeli head of state denied the existence of the Palestinian people? Or fabricated quotes?

While I didn’t see any news coverage of the speech in The Guardian, an Ian Black commentary fretted over how the speech would play into the hands of right-wing Israelis. And if I didn’t know any better, I’d say the Irish Independent took Associated Press reports one and two and scrubbed them.

Credit the Daily Telegraph and Washington Post for acknowledging Abbas being Abbas and getting fresh quotes from analysts to provide some meaning.

Palestinians may see Abbas as defiantly throwing down the gauntlet while Israelis see Abbas on the verge of imploding.

If there’s going to be peace, we need the press to step up and enlighten us on what Mahmoud Abbas really stands for.

Sign HonestReporting’s petition to the Foreign Press Association in Israel demanding reporters and editors give a fuller picture of Palestinian rejectionism and refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.


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Post  Admin on Mon 15 Jan 2018, 3:49 pm

Abbas Speech Showcases Palestinian Rejectionism

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Judging from Sunday night’s address the PLO Central Council, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is either divorcing himself from the Olso accords, reality, or both. He blamed Europe for sending Jews to Israel, blamed Israel for destroying the “dead” Oslo accords, blamed the US for mishandling peace efforts and blamed Hamas for undermining Palestinian unity. He also insisted that peace talks could only resume under international mediation.

But AP took note of one particular line addressing the US president, which raised a lot of eyebrows:

To laughter from the crowd, Abbas then added the phrase “Yehreb Beitak,” literally translated as “may your house be demolished.”

In colloquial Palestinian Arabic, the phrase can have different connotations, from a harsh to a casual insult, but its use in a widely watched speech seemed jarring.

I really feel for the Israeli journalists like Barak Ravid who had to cover it.

Palestinian President Abbas's speech at the PLO conference right now is becoming more and more delusional

— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) January 14, 2018

2. According to media reports, the Trump administration will cut in half the year’s first contribution to the UN agency aiding Palestinian refugees.

President Donald Trump hasn’t made a final decision, but appears more likely to send only $60 million of the planned $125 million first installment to the UN Relief and Works Agency, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Future contributions would require the agency, facing heavy Israeli criticism, to demonstrate significant changes in operations, they said, adding that one suggestion under consideration would require the Palestinians to first re-enter peace talks with Israel.

HR Video: Should America Stop Funding UNRWA? The US wants to cut support to the UN agency aiding Palestinian refugees. Is that wise? And what alternative is Israel suggesting?

3. A 26-year-old Israeli Arab from Taibeh was charged with trying to carry out an Islamic State-inspired attack. Haaretz notes:

According to the indictment, last summer Yousef tried to convince others to join him in committing terrorist assaults, including a shooting attack in Jerusalem, a car-bomb attack opposite the police station in his hometown of Taibeh, and a stabbing attack. Yousef was arrested this month, the Shin Bet said. All of the people he allegedly attempted to convince to join him in the terrorist attacks refused, the Shin Bet said, adding that his plans didn’t come to fruition because he was afraid of carrying them out on his own.

building campaign

In the News
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India continues. Israel and India inked nine cooperation pacts in areas such as energy, air transportation, cybersecurity and film production. Netanyahu discussed bilateral ties, his trip’s agenda and more in an interview with India Today.

• In Delhi’s ‘mini Israel,’ visit by premier elicits collective Netanyawho?

• The BBC profiles Moshe Holtzberg, the Israeli boy who survived 2008 Mumbai attack and is returning there for the first time with Netanyahu.

• Tweet of the day goes to George Deek:

Since 2014, #Hamas spent $120 million on terror tunnels. What they could’ve done with $120m: 1,500 homes to house the poor, 3 water plants to provide clean water to #Gaza, 24k hospital beds to heal the sick. Instead of investing in the future, Hamas invests in hate and suffering. pic.twitter.com/ixfpNhUQsE

— George Deek (@GeorgeDeek) January 14, 2018

• Uruguayan hostel rejects Israeli guests over owner’s anti-Israel political view.

• Lebanon is banning Steven Spielberg’s latest movie over the director’s ties to Israel.

A source involved with The Post‘s international rollout says the movie, which stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, was presented to the Lebanese censorship board, which nixed it, citing a “boycott Israel” list that includes Spielberg due to his Oscar-winning Holocaust film Schindler’s List (the 1993 film shot some scenes in Jerusalem). . .

Unlike Gal Gadot, whose film Wonder Woman was banned in Lebanon in May, Spielberg is not an Israeli citizen, nor has he ever fought with the Israeli Army.

Also censored by Lebanese authorities was Jungle. AFP explains:

The other film that got the censorship axe was “Jungle“, a survival drama about Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, who got lost in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon in 1981.

The film, starring Daniel Radcliffe, had been screening for two weeks in Lebanon but is now being pulled, the same official told AFP, explaining that the decision followed a number of complaints.

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

– Avi Issacharoff: Did Abbas just give his valedictory speech, blaming everyone for his failures?
– Elior Levy: Abbas slams Trump and Israel, yet is careful not to burn all his bridges
– Amos Harel: Hamas approaches endgame in Gaza as Israel sharpens its tunnel-elimination prowess
– Yoav Limor: Hamas’ growing dilemma
– Prof. Shalva Weil: The Indian Jews at the heart of the Netanyahu-Modi love affair
– Saudamini Jain: India’s ‘internet Hindus’ are in love with Israel
– MEP David Campbell-Bannerman: Forget the EU-led idiocy, Iran is not our friend

Featured image: CC BY Robert Couse-Baker; Spielberg CC BY-SA Gage Skidmore;

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Post  Admin on Sun 14 Jan 2018, 7:55 pm

IDF Destroys Gaza Terror Tunnel Stretching Into Israel and Egypt
Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF confirmed it destroyed a Gaza terror tunnel which stretched under the Israeli and Egyptian borders early Sunday morning. With an overall length of 1.5 km and extending 180 meters into Israeli territory, the tunnel passed directly under the Kerem Shalom border crossing, where Israel transfers humanitarian aid to the Strip.

The IDF said the tunnel was destroyed in Gaza by Israeli jets, marking the first official Israeli confirmation that it has indeed destroyed tunnels from the air. The IDF rejected Hamas claims that the tunnel was only for smuggling commercial goods. The Kerem Shalom crossing remained closed as this roundup was published.

The tunnel’s connection to the Egyptian Sinai puts Hamas in a difficult spot with Cairo, Avi Issacharoff and Ron Ben-Yishai point out.
2. A British woman attacked by Palestinian terrorists is demanding a probe of UK aid ‘used on prisoners,’ and a powerful MP has promised to raise the issue in Parliament. Several papers picked up on this Daily Express report.

Kay Wilson sent the letter, supported by 130 campaigners, after she discovered that the Palestinian Authority is potentially using British taxpayers’ money to pay her attackers in prison who also killed her American friend Kristine Luken.

The two murderers have received £9,000 each according to reports . . .

She also asked for a British version of the USA’s Taylor Force Act which blocks payments to Gaza and the West Bank unless the Palestinian Authority can certify it is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens, condemning attacks and has terminated payments to terrorists.

While hiking with US national Kristine Luken in a forest near the Israeli city of Beit Shemeish in 2010, two Palestinians attacked them with knives, killing Luken and leaving Wilson for dead. Ayad Fasafa and Kifah Ghanimat are serving life sentences.

atom3. President Donald Trump waived sanctions on Iran, keeping the nuclear deal alive for now. But the president insisted that this was the last time he would continue the waiver. The next waiver deadline is in 120 days:

If Trump had not signed the waivers, nuclear sanctions against Iran would automatically be reinstated, putting the US in contravention of the deal’s terms and likely spelling the end of the pact.

Trump laid out four conditions that must be met for him to not abrogate the deal, which included increased inspections, ensuring “Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon” and that there be no expiration dates to the nuke deal. The current one expires after a decade.

His last condition required Capitol Hill lawmakers to pass a bill unilaterally incorporating Iran’s missile program into the nuclear deal.

building campaign

In the News
• Accompanied by a delegation of 130 businessmen, Netanyahu arrived in India for a six-day trip the Jerusalem Post reports will focus mostly on economic cooperation and technological development. Haaretz fills in more details of the PM’s itinerary. For perspective, bilateral trade in 2016 was at $4.16 billion.

• Here’s a selection of items from the Indian press about the PM’s visit:

> Delhi’s Teen Murti Chowk formally renamed after Israeli city of Haifa. Here’s why.
> Nariman House, witness to 26/11 Mumbai attacks, to be turned into a memorial.
> Budding Israel-India romance tested by Modi’s balancing act
> How Israel helped India during the Kargil war
> Amb. Daniel Karmon: India and Israel are all-weather friends

• Prof. Efraim Inbar also weighs in on the Israeli-Indian ties.

Israel India

• Hamas official in Lebanon wounded in car bomb.

• The Sunday Times of London takes a closer look at Iran/Hezbollah entrenchment along the Israeli-Syrian border.

“Iran is duplicating Hezbollah from Lebanon to the Golan Heights to create a second Hezbollah on Israel’s border,” said Major-General Amos Yadlin, a retired chief of military intelligence in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). “If one side is determined to build a force in Syria and the other side is determined not to let it happen, this is a recipe for escalation.”

• South African Zulu king invokes fight against AIDS and drought, in plea to ANC government to retain close Israel ties.

• Morocco’s largest opposition party dropped a bill to strip emigrants to Israeli settlements of their Moroccan citizenship, with the part leader admitting the effort was merely to appease a visiting Hamas delegation.

• While Hezbollah and Iran undermine Lebanon, Lebanese people flipping out are over this:

Gal Gadot wears Lebanese designer, sparks outrage

lebanon News
Fashion takes political turn as Elie Saab praises Gal Gadot | News , Lebanon News - http://www.lebarate.com/fashion-takes-political-turn-as-elie-saab-praises-gal-gadot-news-lebanon-news/

6:56 AM - Jan 13, 2018

Fashion takes political turn as Elie Saab praises Gal Gadot | News , Lebanon News
Following what seemed to be a blunder on Elie Saab's public Instagram account, the Lebanese fashion designer has found

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• Lorde lost Howard Stern. (Sorry, no spoilers here.)

• British Parliament to debate full ban of Hezbollah as terrorist entity.

• New Jersey divests from Denmark’s largest bank over its support for BDS.

• A 15-year-old Parisian girl’s face slashed in an anti-Semitic assault.

The alleged victim was wearing the uniform of her private Jewish school, Merkaz-Hatorah, when the attack happened during lunch break Wednesday.

• Pro-Palestinian resolution from New Orleans City Council creates backlash.

New Orleans
Washington Artillery Park in New Orleans
• South Carolina‘s governor is pushing legislation that would “ensure the state’s public colleges and universities will take the State Department’s definition of antisemitism into consideration when investigating allegations of discrimination against Jewish students.”

• The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) reports that the US Justice Dept. is creating a special “Narcoterrorism Team” of prosecutors to target Hezbollah drug trafficking and money laundering.

• Worth watching: Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser and Fatah official Ahmed Ghoneim sparred over the issue of PA stipends paid to imprisoned terrorists and the families of “martyrs” on i24 News.

Someone tore down the mezuzah of UCLA’s Jewish student president. Read her powerful response.

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

– Ron Prosor: The problem is UNRWA
– Liat Collins: UNRWA’s unsettling impact
– Bassam Tawil: The Palestinian terror party: Celebrating murder
– Maj-General Gershon HaCohen (Res.): Trump’s shock to the system
– Victor Davis Hanson: The faded Palestinian issue
– Emily Shire: The left’s latest bid to delegitimize the Jewish state
– Jonathan Tobin: I despise BDS — but Israel’s new BDS ban is a big mistake
– Dan Diker, Jamie Berk: Students for Justice in Palestine unmasked
– Daniel Gordis: A dose of nuance: Israel-bashing by analogy
– Khadija Khan: Germans tackling exploding anti-Semitism?
– Alex Fishman: The Iranian wall of fire
– Norman Bailey: On Iran, follow Reagan’s example

Featured image: CC BY Nicolas Alejandro; atom CC BY-SA DeviantArt/deejaywill; New Orleans CC BY-NC Wayne Hsieh;


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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 5:10 pm

Will EU Replace US Aid to Palestinians?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Later this month, Mahmoud Abbas will visit European Union officials in Brussels where he is expected to seek European backing for unilateral statehood moves and increased aid to offset threatened cuts from the US. More at the Times of Israel, which picked up on Arab media coverage.

Abbas Mogherini
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini greeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in April, 2017
2. Gaza is still roiling over a video of a Palestinian member of Islamic State in the Sinai executing another Palestinian accused of collaborating with Hamas. The New York Times reports that two Gaza families, falling in line with Hamas, have disowned their sons.

In Gaza, the video’s horror is intimate.

Mr. Zamli, the video’s main figure, grew up in the Shabora refugee camp in the Palestinian part of Rafah, which straddles the border with Egypt. The man who fired the pistol, Muhammad al-Dajani, from Gaza City, was a Hamas fighter who defected to the Islamic State from Hamas’s military wing. A Hamas official in Gaza identified the accused smuggler as Mousa Abuzmat and said he came from the Egyptian side of Rafah, just across the border.

3. Turkish Jews denounce anti-Semitic tabloid’s claim that ‘Jewish businessmen’ manipulated financial markets ahead of failed 2016 coup.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• The murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach in a drive-by shooting earlier this week “appears to have been the act of a skilled terror cell, not a random crime of opportunity,” Haaretz reports.

Most recent local terrorist shootings have homemade Carl Gustav (“Carlo”) submachine guns. Shevach was presumably shot by guns of standard manufacture — either one or two. More than 20 bullets were fired during the incident, presumably from a passing car driven by a person who was not involved in the shooting. Similar previous attacks were preceded by intelligence-gathering. The perpetrators may have used a lookout, stationed on the access road to Havat Gilad, who spied an easy mark — an Israeli, driving alone after dark.

Haaretz adds that PA security forces are cooperating with Israel to find the killers.

Around the World
• Can German officials fight anti-Semitism among new immigrants by requiring them to visit Nazi concentration camps?

Crematoria at the Dachau concentration camp
• Support for Israel among young evangelicals is still high, but it’s slipping, says survey picked up by the JTA.

• The Irish Times is free to disagree with Israel’s blacklist of organizations supporting Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). It’s reasonable to debate how much impact BDS has on the Israeli economy or whether the blacklist will ultimately strengthen or weaken the boycotters. But I beg to differ with this line:

By responding with a ban that dispenses with democratic norms and shows a contempt for free speech, however, the Israeli leadership does immense damage to its own case.

My colleague, Daniel Pomerantz debated this very issue on i24 News with Yariv Oppenheimer of Peace Now earlier this week.

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

– Alex Joffe, Asaf Romirowsky: The UN agency that keeps Palestinians from prospering (click via Twitter)
– Daniel Pipes: How 99 percent of ‘Palestine refugees’ are fake
– David Makovsky: Why a big wave of European countries recognizing Palestine is fast approaching
– Sever Plocker: Trump’s Mideast ‘achievement’: A growing rift with the Palestinians
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Palestinian capital in Abu Dis or Ramallah?
– Yossi Kuperwasser: When old conventions fall
– Mitchell Bard: Will Palestinians protect freedom of religion and holy places in Jerusalem?
– Udi Dekel: How to stop the shooting from the Gaza Strip
– Dennis Ross: How to get Middle East peace talks on track
– Herb Keinon: The message behind Israeli action in Syria
– Alex Ryvchin: Smiling barbarians not planning for peace
– Stephen Daisley: Israel’s revival of the death penalty would be a grave mistake
– Ramyar Hassani: Iranian regime, fragile as eggshells

Featured image: CC BY Jon S; Abba and Mogherini CC BY-NC European External Action Service; Dachau CC BY-SA Adam Jones;

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Post  Admin on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 6:49 pm

Manhunt for Terrorists Who Killed Israeli
Havat Gilad shooting
Israeli security personnel at the Havat Gilad Junction in the northern West Bank, where Israeli Rabbi Raziel Shevach was killed in a drive-by shooting on Jan. 9, 2018.
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Rabbi Raziel Shevach, killed in last night’s terror attack, was laid to rest today. He was murdered in a Tuesday night drive-by shooting in the northern West Bank near the settlement outpost of Havat Gilad, where he lived. The IDF is searching for his killers. Settler leaders are urging the government to legalize the unrecognized settlement outpost in response to the attack.

The 35-year-old Shevach — who worked in a West Bank yeshiva and also volunteered for both Magen David Adom and the chevra kadisha (Jewish burial society) — was remembered as a kind-hearted affable man. He is survived by his wife and six children between the ages of 10 months and 10 years.

Rabbi Raziel Shevach
2. After a Vienna demonstration against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration where protesters shouted “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning” and “death to Israel,” Austrian police are now pursuing charges against three Israel activists who waved an Israeli flag.

The police are seeking a 100 euro fine or two days in jail for the waving of the flag at the December 8 rally near the US embassy in the capital.

The criminal notice, dated January 3, states that the activists “showed an Israeli flag at a rally in an extremely provocative way and manner that was visible for participants at the rally and thereby produced considerable offense and provocation among the Palestinian protestors.”

3. Officials warn looming Foreign Ministry budget cuts will harm Israel’s image overseas.

4. War on Want Confirms Why It Was Blacklisted: While WoW bills itself as a human rights charity, its primary motivation is political.

building campaign

In the News
• Tunisian Jewish school attacked as anti-government protests rage across 20 cities, reports Reuters.

• “Germany has summoned Iran’s ambassador in Berlin to warn Tehran against spying on individuals and groups with close ties to Israel, saying such acts violate German law.”

• Malka Azzam Awida made history.

View image on Twitter

Reda Mansour
Congratulations to Malka Azzam Awida The first #Druze #Arab #Israeli woman judge ! She was appointed last month #TimesUp

9:37 PM - Jan 9, 2018
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• UK students are crying foul over restrictions placed on an upcoming talk at University College London by Israeli activist Hen Mazzig. The UCL administration, citing security concerns, is limiting attendance to Mazzig’s talk to 100 students and faculty, and has said the event may not be publicized. More at the Jewish Chronicle and Jerusalem Post.

• Tweet of the day goes to Michelle Chabin.

Michele Chabin
Last night's victim of Palestinian terror was a 35-year-old rabbi, a first responder who no doubt treated many Palestinians over the years. He was also a father of 6 young children. Anyone who thinks this murder will advance peace or a Palestinian state understands nothing.

8:17 AM - Jan 10, 2018
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Anna Ahronheim: After years of alleged Israeli strikes in Syria, will luck run out?
– Yoav Limor: Strategic superiority, constant concern
– Ben Lynfield: UNRWA’s role is in the eye of the beholder
– Noah Pollak: How Trump can cut aid to a horrible UN program
– Liora Cohen: UNICEF has declared war on the IDF
– Shlomi Eldar: Abbas’ electricity deal an olive branch to Gaza
– Bassam Tawil: ISIS sets its sights on Gaza
– Liram Stenzler-Koblentz: As Islamic Jihad grows stronger, it’s time to talk to Hamas
– Michael Doran: Don’t end the Iran deal, fix it (click via Twitter)
– Gary Rosenblatt: When magical thinking on Israel meets reality
– Einat Wilf: Anti-feminism and anti-Zionism

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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 3:21 pm

PA Paid $358M in Terror Stipends in 2017
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel’s Defense Ministry released numbers revealing how much the PA spends on stipends for terrorists imprisoned in Israel and for the families of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks. The figures reported in Ynet and Israel HaYom indicate the PA paid out NIS 1.23 billion overall (roughly $358 million).

Individual stipends depend on the length of the prison sentence, how many children the terrorist has and whether the terrorist is an Israeli national. Extra bucks for Jerusalem residents too.

In 2017, the Palestinian Authority paid prisoners and freed prisoners over NIS 550 million, while families of killed or wounded terrorists received some NIS 687 million. This constituted some seven percent of the PA’s overall budget . . .

The data was included in a memorandum attached to the Law to Prevent Payments to Terrorists and Their Families by the Palestinian Authority.

According to the memorandum, at the end of every year the defense minister would present a report concluding the annual payments made by the PA to terrorists to the Security Cabinet for approval. In accordance with that report, the sum will be deducted from the tax money Israel collects on behalf of the PA.


2. According to a Swiss report picked up by the Jerusalem Post, Saudi Arabia sought to purchase an Iron Dome system to defend itself missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthis in neighboring Yemen. The Saudis were reportedly interested in other Israeli-made military tech as well.

Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations. But the Swiss paper reported that Saudi-Israel intelligence cooperation has registered “further progress,” according to observers in Tel Aviv and Riyadh.

3. Israel struck a weapons depot on a Syrian military base near Damascus overnight, the Syrian army claims. Israeli officials haven’t commented on the reports. More at the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel.

4. The BDS Blacklist Ban: HR Debates Peace Now on i24News: Is the law “blacklisting” BDS activists from entering Israel anti-democratic? HR’s Daniel Pomerantz debates Yariv Oppenheimer from Peace Now on The Rundown on i24 News.

5. Sanitizing the BDS Movement? The BDS movement is more than just about boycotting Israel. It’s about the delegitimization of Israel and the end of the country as a Jewish state. So which papers got it right and who sanitized BDS?

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• A senior Hamas official, Imad al-Alimi, is fighting for his life in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital after being shot in the head. There are all kinds of rumors about what happened, so this Ynet snippet will have to suffice.

The circumstances behind the injury are still unclear. It is possible he tried to take his own life after being diagnosed with cancer a year ago, or that he was hurt in an assassination attempt. A third option is that his handgun accidentally discharged, hitting him.

• Israeli trade delegation to Cuba may augur a diplomatic thaw

• After various postponements, Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Israel, Egypt and Jordan. AP reports that Pence is “not expected” to meet with Palestinian officials, who are fuming over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

• Is President Donald Trump widening a rift between the evangelicals and Mideast Christians over Jerusalem?

Around the World
• Stockholm’s ambassador to Israel acknowledged that Sweden is failing to protect its Jewish community.

“This is the reality of the Jewish community and it’s a failure, it’s not something that should be allowed to happen,” Sweden’s ambassador to Israel, Magnus Hellgren said as he acknowledged that his country failed to protect the Swedish community in the wake of anti-Semitic incidents.

Non-Violence sculpture in Gothenburg, Sweden
• Kosher market near Paris set on fire one week after it was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

• Berlin‘s government-funded Jewish museum is being accused of pro-Palestinian bias after it opted for Muslim, not Jewish symbols in advertising a Jerusalem exhibition.

• Security forces in Jordan thwarted a plot by Islamic State to “carry out a series of coordinated and large-scale attacks” across the country. Police arrested 17 members of the terror cell, seizing weapons and other unspecified “materials.” More at the Times of Israel.

• I wonder what this means for Israel’s qualitative military edge. Reuters reports that the White House has nearly completed a plan “to help drum up billions of dollars more in business overseas for the U.S. weapons industry.”

According to the report, guidelines on military export rules will be eased and “give greater weight to the economic benefits for American manufacturers in a decision-making process that has long focused heavily on human rights considerations.”

US Army
US artillery soldiers in a 2016 readiness drill.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Yehuda Kurtzer: How Israel’s BDS blacklist falls short of its own goals
– Ephraim Sneh: How to prevent a Gaza explosion
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): Shut down UNRWA
– Rowan Polovin: Downgrading Israel degrades South Africa
– David Harris: 10 ways that Israel is treated differently
– Elliott Abrams: The princes and the mullahs

Featured image: CC BY liz west; money CC0 Pexels; Gothenburg CC0 Pixabay; soldiers CC BY US Army;

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

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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 11:36 pm

US to Transfer Palestinian Aid to Different UN Agency?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. US funds earmarked for the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency should instead be gradually transferred to a separate UN body responsible for aiding the rest of the world’s refugees, suggested Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Describing the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has overseen health care, schooling, social services and more for Palestinian refugees since 1950, the PM said:

“This is an agency that was established 70 years ago, only for Palestinian refugees, at a time when the UNHCR [UN High Commissioner for Refugees] deals with global refugee problems. Of course this creates a situation in which there are great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not refugees but who are cared for by UNRWA, and another 70 years will pass and those great-grandchildren will have great-grandchildren and therefore, this absurdity needs to stop,” Netanyahu said.

But Netanyahu noted that “genuine” Palestinian refugees still need assistance, and proposes that UNRWA funds from the United States should be “gradually shifted” to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which has “clear criteria for supporting genuine refugees, not fictitious refugees as happens today under UNRWA.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

2. Israel expelled a Norwegian aid worker, and as luck would have it, it occurred while Norway’s Foreign Minister was visiting. Haaretz explains:

The activist is accused of having asked over the past several years for visas for activists in the aid group’s name under false pretenses. According to the authority, after they arrived in Israel the activists did not engage in humanitarian work but in other activities, some of them political.

The incident occurred in the midst of the first official visit to Israel of the new Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide. Haaretz has learned that the activist had been living in Israel for several years and when she tried to return to Israel Sunday morning after a short trip abroad, she was refused entry.

Norway also agreed to limit funding of non-governmental organizations promoting boycotts of Israel.


3. Israel arrested two Bedouin teenage girls accused of being in contact with Islamic State and plotting a terror attack in Israel. According to the Times of Israel, Rahma and Tasnin al-Assad carried out surveillance of possible targets in Beersheva. A third suspect, Ahmad Abu Ramila of eastern Jerusalem, was charged on lesser counts over his involvement in the plot.

4. The Independent Labels Electronic Intifada Head an ‘Expert’: There are a lot of problems with how the paper uses Ali Abunimah as a talking head.

Israel and the Palestinians
• UNICEF, the UN agency responsible for providing assistance to children and mothers in developing countries, is spurring a campaign to label the Israeli military as ‘grave violators of children’s rights.’ Israel HaYom picked up on an NGO Monitor report.

If blacklisted, IDF would join the ranks of terrorist groups ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and al-Qaida.

• Does Mohammad Fathi Janid qualify for 72 virgins? (I’m asking for a friend.)

Times of Israel

• Jordan’s Interior Minister Minister Ghalib Zoabi toured the Temple Mount on Sunday and nothing happened. Zoabi was the first high level Jordanian official to visit the holy site since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration in December.

• The Israeli cabinet is revisiting plans to create off-shore artificial islands for Israeli homes and infrastructure. Discussion of the Dubai-style islands has been on-and-off over the years with opposition from environmental groups. The plans are unrelated to a separate proposal for an artificial island off of Gaza for the Palestinians, which would include a port and cargo terminal. Jerusalem Post coverage.

Palm Islands
Wing suit flying over Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands
• Most sanitized coverage of Israel’s blacklist of BDS groups goes to the Irish Times. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement isn’t about “criticizing” Israeli policies, it’s about delegitimizing Israel.

The blacklist targets a grassroots movement known as Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), which criticises Israel over its policies towards the Palestinians.

• Turns out UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, one of the blacklisted pro-BDS groups whose senior members will be barred from Israel.

• Tweet of the day goes to Legal Insurrection.

Legal Insurrection
Our ability to travel to Israel is a human right! Say #BDS supporters who try to bully others into not going to Israel >> @jvplive @US_Campaign @codepink #bdsfail

2:53 AM - Jan 8, 2018
5 5 Replies 34 34 Retweets 51 51 likes
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• JTA: A German bill would allow the expulsion of migrants “who make anti-Semitic statements, including the refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

crystal news ball

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

– Todd Stern: Jews should not venerate Trump
– Eli Lake: What a Soviet dissident sees in Iran’s unrest
– Nick Short: For Iran’s revolution to succeed, a free press is a must

Featured image: CC BY-NC Chris Walton; Norway CC BY-SA Lemsipmatt; Dubai CC BY-NC Richard Schneider;


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Post  Admin on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 9:11 pm

Fatah Cadres Meet With Hezbollah Chief
Today’s Top Stories
1. Fatah cadres met with Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to discuss responses to US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. A Fatah spokesman told The Media Line the delegation met with other Lebanese leaders, and that Fatah remains committed to non-violent resistance. But that’s not how Nasrallah characterized the contact in an interview with a pro-Hezbollah paper:

In the Al Mayadeen interview, Nasrallah also alleged that the Iranian regime financed the recent wave of Palestinian protests against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. He stressed that Hizbullah is keen to work towards establishing a “point of unity” with the Palestinians and confirmed that Jerusalem was the focus of his meeting with officials.

“We will not hesitate to seize any opportunity to provide support and weapons to the resistance in Palestine,” Nasrallah declared.

Hezbollah chief Seikh Hassan Nasrallah
2. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a list of organizations from North and South America, Europe and South Africa whose members will be barred from Israel because of their support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). Among the more well-known blacklisted groups are Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. More at the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.

3. All signs point to Turkey setting up an unwelcome Red Sea naval base after Ankara signed a deal with Sudan to “transfer the island of Suakin in the Red Sea to Turkey to rebuild and administer for an undefined period of time.” Israeli and Egyptian officials can’t be pleased.

4. NPR Buries the Facts: In an article about Palestinian in Jerusalem, NPR buries or even leaves out critical facts.

Israel and the Palestinians
• In Cairo, government officials leaned on several influential Egyptian talk show hosts not to condemn Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, the New York Times reports. Now that Israel and Egypt face common foes in Iran and the Islamic Brotherhood/Hamas, the regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi doth not protest too much. (Egypt denies the report.)

But strife with Israel was not in Egypt’s national interest, Captain Kholi said. He told the hosts that instead of condemning the decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it. Palestinians, he suggested, should content themselves with the dreary West Bank town that currently houses the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah.

“How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?” Captain Kholi asked repeatedly in four audio recordings of his telephone calls obtained by The New York Times.

“Exactly that,” agreed one host, Azmi Megahed, who confirmed the authenticity of the recording.

• Arab League to lobby UN to recognize Palestinian state. And Ynet reports the Palestinians will seek full statehood from the UN even though the request will never a US veto.

• If Hamas passed a contentious “Muezzin Bill” for Gaza, would the media say they’re silencing religious expression like when Israel’s Knesset mulled such legislation? Gazans are irked by early-morning calls to prayer.

• The web site of “In Between” bills Israeli-Arab Maysaloun Hamoud’s first film as a story of “three strong and independent-minded Israeli-Palestinian women who share an apartment in Tel Aviv.” But writing in Vulture (New York Magazine’s culture section), Lebanese-born writer Shirine Saad describes the movie as “a candid story about women in Palestine,” obfuscates Israeli government funding, and muddies the waters of Hamoud’s identity, describing her as a Palestinian.

Lahav Harkov
This is a good movie. Too bad @shirinesaad writes around Israel's involvement in a way that could only be intentional. The director is an Israeli citizen, and it implies the Palestinian Authority funded the film, when, in fact, it got funding from Israel. https://twitter.com/vulture/status/949960865633193984

12:40 PM - Jan 7, 2018
 2 2 Replies   7 7 Retweets   20 20 likes
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• A by the numbers look at Israel’s fight against terror 2017, based on figures from the IDF and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) picked up the by the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and Ynet. See those sites for comparisons to previous years.

> 99: terror attacks
> 20: Israelis killed
> 169: Israelis wounded
> 42: illegal West Bank weapons workshops shut down
> 455: illegal weapons seized in West Bank
> some 1,100: lone wolf attacks foiled
> NIS 10 million: seized money suspected of being meant to fund terror ($2.9 million)
> 35: rockets fired at Israel from Gaza
> 59: retaliatory strikes on Gaza following rocket fire
> 3,617: Palestinians arrested in 2017 according to the IDF
> 6,742: Palestinians arrested in 2017 according to NGOs
> 7: Palestinian homes demolished by Israel as punishment for a family member committing a terror attack
> 98: Palestinian homes demolished by Israel for not being built without proper permits

• It says a lot about The Guardian that it’s the paper of choice for group letters supporting BDS — in this case, more than a 100 writers, singers, musicians, etc. (mostly the usual suspects) showing solidarity with Lorde.

• Tweet of the day from Diaa Hadid, who used to cover Israel, Gaza and the West Bank for the New York Times.

Diaa Hadid ضياء حديد
Hamas used to threaten reporters who wrote about Isis in Gaza, myself included. https://twitter.com/dovlieber/status/948904860950433792

1:46 PM - Jan 4, 2018
 8 8 Replies   145 145 Retweets   157 157 likes
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Around the World
• By 2040, Muslims will outnumber Jews in the US, according to a Pew Research Center poll picked up by the Times of Israel.

Muslims in the U.S. are not as numerous as the number of Americans who identify as Jewish by religion, according to our estimate. At the same time, our projections suggest that the U.S. Muslim population will grow much faster than the country’s Jewish population. By 2040, Muslims will replace Jews as the nation’s second-largest religious group after Christians.

• Legal battle heats up over Fordham U. decision to ban ‘Students for Justice in Palestine.’

• Israeli ambassador: Sweden has failed to protect its Jewish community.

• Fans unfollow Dutch actress for vacationing in Israel. But she asked for it.

Victoria Koblenko, an award-winning movie, television and theater actress and journalist with 151,000 followers on Instagram, invited others to unfollow her as well on the social network, saying in a Jan. 3 post from the Old City of Jerusalem that she has no interest in the attention of people who “assume something about my political inclination based on my holiday destination.”

Victoria Koblenko
• With all due respect to Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III: There’s no Israeli threat to any holy places or to Christian control of their sites, and besides, it’s no crime for Jews to buy property in Jerusalem.

Christians are panicked because the church itself is selling land to God knows who, which is why protesters in Bethlehem threw eggs and shoes at Theophilis III as he arrived at the Church of the Nativity on Saturday to celebrate Christmas — which the Greek Orthodox calendar celebrates in January.
Noga Tarnopolsky
Today is the Orthodox Christmas, and hundreds of Palestinians in Bethlehem attacked the motocade of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III,calling him a 'traitor' for selling church lands to Israelis. Palestinian security handled it. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5067091,00.html

10:13 PM - Jan 6, 2018

Palestinians attack car of Greek Patriarch in protest against land deals
Hundreds of Palestinians smash windshields, bang on motorcade of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III in protest of his church's sale of lands to Israelis; Palestinians call Patriarch...

 Replies   11 11 Retweets   6 6 likes
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• Here’s a recipe for a nasty New York Times staff-ed headline. Ingredients: half-cup of “All-Trump’s-Fault,” half-cup of “Blame the Likud Central Committee,” a pinch of lip service to Palestinian intransigence (to taste). Mix all ingredients well, add hot air and place in preheated oven at 175° C. Remove when half-baked.

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

– Orly Azoulay: How Trump embarrassed Israel with anti-Palestinian tweet
– Jonathan Tobin: Threatening to cut Palestinian aid is the right move
– Noga Tarnopolsky: The time-bomb in Trump’s threat to Palestinian funding
– Nadav Shragai: UNRWA – the great refugee charade
– Yossi Beilin: Jerusalem remains on the agenda
– Los Angeles Times (staff-ed): Trump bungles his quest for the ‘ultimate deal’ in the Middle East
– Ron Ben-Yishai: The creative score-settling that may lead to Gaza war
– Nigel Woodley: In support of the State of Israel
– Amos Harel: Even if Iran protests are modestly successful, Israel would benefit
– Bret Stephens: Finding the way forward on Iran
– Ely Karmon: Iran protests could evolve into ethnic/sectarian strife
– Amir Taheri: Behind the latest protests in Iran
– Daniella Cohen: The rise of fake news in the Mideast and beyond
– Jay Rosen: Show your work: The new terms for trust in journalism

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Jason Kuffer; Nasrallah via YouTube/RT; Victoria Koblenko via Instagram/vkoblenko;

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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 7:00 pm

Israel to Resume Selling Electricity to Gaza
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel will resume selling electricity to Gaza after a six-month hiatus. The move came at the request of the PA, though it’s not yet clear what prompted it. The 120 megawatts that Israel previously sent the Strip daily will resume within days, according to Haaretz.


2. Singapore banned a documentary about Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi from being screened at a Palestinian film festival. Tamimi was arrested after unsuccessfully trying to provoke an Israeli soldier by slapping him in front of video cameras. Singaporean officials described the film, “The Radiance of Resistance,” as a “skewed narrative” and “inflammatory.” Reuters adds:

It was screened at a number of festivals worldwide in 2017 and won Best Documentary at the Respect Human Rights Film Festival in Belfast, but has become even more topical following Tamimi’s arrest last month.

3. Bad blood between Hamas and Islamic State in the Sinai is escalating. In a video released by Islamic State, a man accused of collaborating with Hamas was executed. The Washington Post explains:

The video cited Hamas’ crackdown on Islamist militant groups in Gaza and their failure to prevent the U.S. declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as reasons for attacking the group. It begins with a video clip of President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem last month.

The confrontation between the two militant groups has been building for more than a year, as Hamas has cracked down on Islamic State supporters in Gaza, and tightened its border with the Sinai in an attempt to repair relations with Egypt.

4. Video Podcast: How Israel Is Perceived in South Africa: HR’s Simon Plosker discusses with South African radio personality Howard Feldman of Chai FM how Israel is viewed in South Africa, how the history of apartheid impacts those perceptions, and more.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Following up on US threats to cut financial aid to the Palestinians and a key UN agency assisting them, the Times of Israel and Associated Press examine the nature and numbers behind Washington’s donations. And the New York Times takes a closer look at the role of the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA).

• The IDF struck what it called “central terrorist infrastructure” (possibly a terror tunnel?) in Gaza on Wednesday night in retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire earlier in the day.

• IDF military police are launching a criminal investigation into the death of a disabled Palestinian during clashes along the Gaza border in December. Palestinians claim wheel-chair-bound Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh was shot and killed by IDF sniper fire. An initial army probe ruled out sniper fire as the cause of death, but couldn’t determine how he died.

The military said it was hindered in its investigation by the fact that Palestinian authorities did not share the details of Abu Thurayeh’s injuries from the demonstration.

• Guatemala offers to help countries move their embassies to Jerusalem.


Iranian Situation
• Cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz discussed the Iranian threat and the country’s unrest in a Q+A with the Times of Israel.

. . . Steinitz posited that most Iranians recognize Israel as an economic powerhouse and are interested in establishing friendly ties with the Jewish state.

“Honestly, I don’t understand why Iranian taxpayers have to spend approximately one billion dollars every year on a Lebanese militia,” he said, referring to the Hezbollah terror organization, an Iranian Shiite proxy bent on Israel’s destruction, among other goals.

• How social media is being used by both sides in Iran’s turmoil.


• Plenty of commentary/analysis of what’s going on in Iran.

– Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: Iranian Jews in a time of protest
– Anshel Pfeffer: Iran protests prove the regime’s days of excusing away its failures are over
– Yves Mamou: Is Hezbollah eating the Iranian people’s bread?
– Eli Lake: The West can help Iranians take back their country
– Eldad Beck: Europe’s deafening silence
– Ray Takeyh: The Islamic Republic of Iran is doomed
– Daniel Schwammenthal: Why are the Europeans so silent on the Iran protests?

• Must read: Former refusenik Natan Sharansky lays out why Western silence emboldens the mullahs and fails the protesters.

Revolutions take place when enough people simultaneously cross that fateful line between silent questioning and open dissent, between cowering in fear and standing up for freedom. Once they do so, the regime can no longer contain the upsurge of opposition and must either begin to liberalize or collapse.

This is why a policy of silence on the part of world leaders is so misguided. What matters to Iranians debating whether to cross this decisive threshold is how much they dislike their own government, as well as their knowledge that the free world — those who share the basic principles for which they are fighting — stands behind them in their moment of truth . . .

Our leaders must not be misled by the argument that publicly siding with Iran’s dissidents will give the regime an excuse to blame the protests on foreign meddling or crack down even harder on dissidents. The government in Tehran will do these things no matter what, since a regime as threatened as Iran’s is right now will take any steps in its power to deflect and suppress opposition.

Natan Sharansky
Around the World
• French Jews protest reprint of anti-Semitic essays from Holocaust era.

• Swastikas painted on two Paris-area kosher shops.

• Does this mean the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer web site is really just another tentacle in an international Jewish media conspiracy?

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

– Ahmed Charai: Trump’s Jerusalem move could provide a pathway to peace
– Avi Issacharoff: As economy crumbles and with ‘nothing to lose,’ war in Gaza grows likely
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians always on the wrong side of history
– Raphael Ahren: Trump’s Mideast policy: Diplomatic Darwinism in the quest for the ultimate deal
– Grant Rumley: Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t have a Trump strategy
– Ariel Bolstein: The new front against BDS
– New York Post (staff-ed): Team Trump finally starts treating Palestinians fairly

Featured image: CC0 PublicDomainPictures; electricity CC BY-NC Ariel Dovas; flags CC BY-NC-ND Leo Prieto; Iran CCO Max Pixel; Sharansky via YouTube/BBYO;

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Post  Admin on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 3:25 pm

Syrian Cabinet Minister Ousted Over Israeli Journalist’s Visit
Today’s Top Stories
1. According to Arab media reports picked up the Times of Israel, Syria’s minister of information was ousted for failing to prevent Israeli journalist Jonathan Spyer from entering and reporting from Syria, even joining an Assad regime-sponsored trip where he interviewed some government ministers.

Jonathan Spyer (left) with Syria’s Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar (center) and now-ousted information minister Mohammed Tourjeman (right) in April, 2017.
2. Anti-government demonstrations escalated with attacks on police stations. Iranian state-run media reported that one demonstrator shot and killed a member of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in the central city of Najafabad. So far, 21 people, including an 11-year-old boy, have been killed in six days of unrest. More at CNN, AP, Reuters and the Washington Post.

According to Israeli media reports, an Israeli government assessment has determined that the protests have already weakened the Iranian regime:

“The escalation of the protest’s messaging attests to our understanding of a certain breach of the Iranian citizens’ fear barrier,” the document reportedly states. Since the government’s brutal crackdown on similar protests in 2009, Iranians had been careful to not allow their discontent to extend beyond social media. However, the recent demonstrations have shown that “barrier” to have been eroded, the Foreign Ministry analysts conclude.

At @nytimes today, a story about a meaningless & empty gesture by Likud party hacks is higher than the ongoing story about Iran.

— yaacov lozowick (@yaacovlozowick) January 2, 2018

3. Israel busted a Hamas terror cell in the West Bank planning an attack. Ynet reports the five-man cell received instructions from Abdullah Arar, a Hamas operative freed by Israel in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. Arar had been imprisoned for his role in the 2005 kidnap and murder of Israeli Sasson Nuriel.

4. Video: Should Israel and the US take a stand on the Iranian protests, or should they stay silent? With the PA rejecting Trump’s involvement in the peace process, what role can and should the US play? Watch The Spin Room on i24 where HR’s Daniel Pomerantz discussed these questions and more with Dennis Ross, a former ambassador and adviser to four US presidents, along with Newsweek columnist Marc Schulman.

Israel and the Palestinians
• For five days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept his silence about the Iranian protests. But then, he spoke out in a video wishing the Iranian people “success in their noble quest for freedom.” The Jerusalem Post explains the Prime Minister’s thinking and what changed:

Foremost in the minds of some who advocated this policy was the results of Israel’s very public support in September of independence for Iraqi Kurds. Rather than lead other countries to express similar support, or do much more than giving some moral support to the Kurds themselves, these statements were used by Iraq, by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and by Iran against the Kurds.

Seeking to avoid a replay, Netanyahu’s policy up until Monday afternoon was just to keep quiet.

But then two things happened. The first was that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani publicly blamed Israel and the US for fomenting the unrest. The second was the deafening silence of the Europeans.

• Whether or not you agree with the Jerusalem Law (passed on Monday night), which would require a special parliamentary majority to approve ceding Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, this New York Times headline is inappropriately opinionated and over the top.

Around the World
• James Zogby is a prominent Arab-American lobbyist of Lebanese descent who supports BDS and was involved in crafting the 2016 Democratic Party platform. So as the the hoo-ha over Lorde and her dissing of Israel continues, why don’t the International Business Times and Radio New Zealand disclose who Zogby is?

There’s nothing wrong with sharing his tweet responding to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s controversial full-page ad denouncing the 21-year-old New Zealander. Just be up-front that Zogby’s not some average Twitter guy.

James Zogby
James Zogby
• Florida police officer resigns during investigation over his anti-Semitic Facebook posts.

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels weighing in on the Iranian protests.

– Anshel Pfeffer: In Iran, when does a protest become a revolution?
– Seth Frantzman: Media analysis: What Iranian protests?
– Lee Smith: Why can’t the American media cover the protests in Iran?
– Michael Segall: Protests spread across Iran
– Prof. Ze’ev Maghen: Iran’s split personality
– Melanie Phillips: The Iranian uprising
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: The unpredictability of revolution
– Jonathan Tobin: Jerusalem and now Iran: Is Donald Trump turning into a morally serious president?
– Nadav Eyal: Iranian protestors keeping with revolutionary tradition
– Washington Post (staff-ed): The West should support the protesters in Iran

wouldn't it be nice if you could move ONE of the 10,000 reporters you have ready to take every possible propaganda photo against Israel – to cover #Iran protests from close-up? But you can't. Because real oppression isn't one you can get close to. https://t.co/CSONCaGkMv

— David Collier (@mishtal) December 31, 2017

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

– Amos Harel: Three reasons Israel doesn’t want a war in Gaza right now – and, yes, Iran is one
– Alex Fishman: Trump’s gift to Abbas
– Khaled Abu Toameh: How Palestinians silence Palestinians
– Alan Dershowitz: Debating BDS with Cornel West
– Assaf Wohl: A Jew boycotting Israel? Must be a joke
– Dan Margalit: Anything but a boycott
– David Harris: 10 basic facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
– Dror Eydar: The Palestinian masquerade
– Nadav Shragai: Erdogan talks Hamas’ language
– Sherry Sufi: Islamic terrorism: myth and conspiracy theory build augmented reality
– Edmond Mulet: How the UN Security Council failed Syrian chemical weapons investigators and victims
– Emily Landau, Gilead Sher: Lessons from the negotiation that led to the Iran nuclear deal


Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Sophie; Zogby via YouTube/Electronic Intifada;

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Post  Admin on Wed 27 Dec 2017, 5:23 pm

Syrian, Iranian-Backed Forces Advance Near Israeli Border
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Syrian and Iranian-backed forces are steadily advancing in the border area near Israel. Reuters reports:

The Syrian army said it had encircled the village of Mughr al Meer at the foothills of Mount Hermon as troops moved toward Beit Jin amid fierce clashes. On Monday, the army said they had cut off insurgent supply lines and made further advances . . .

A western intelligence source confirmed rebel reports that Iranian-backed local militias alongside commanders from the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah Shi‘ite group were playing a major role in the ongoing battles.

Tehran was pushing to establish a strategic presence along the Israeli border in the Syrian Golan Heights, the source said

2. Guatemala announced that it will move its embassy to Jerusalem. But it will only happen after the US relocates its embassy.

Ten other countries are said to be in talks about relocating their embassies too. Although Deputy Foriegn Minister Tzipi Hotovely didn’t name names, Israeli media chatter centered on Honduras, Paraguay, Togo, Romania and Slovakia. The Philippines denied reports that they are considering a transfer.

Jerusalem’s Old City walls
3. Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are unhappy with the PA’s handling of opposition to President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and are moving to take initiative against the embassy move away from Mahmoud Abbas. If you want something done right, leave it to the Palestinian Authority do it yourself. Arab sources told Israel HaYom:
“The Palestinians’ efforts to sway public opinion have been a complete failure, and as a result, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has created a rift between us [the Arab world] and Trump. We are once again left with the demagogic, hollow and inflammatory rhetoric of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” . . .

A senior official in Amman told Israel Hayom that the Palestinians’ colossal failure to create a unified Arab front against Trump’s Jerusalem decision also has Jordanian officials concerned that the kingdom’s status as the custodian of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem will be compromised.

4. The Dishonest Reporter of the Year Award, 2017: It’s finally time to announce the winner!

5. What You Were Reading: The Top 10 Posts of 2017: A look back on the year’s 10 most-read posts. What do the articles you clicked on say about 2017?

6. HonestReporting depends on the financial support of readers like you to continue producing the Israel Daily News Stream and all of our other content. Help us keep you up informed of everything you need to know about Israel in the news. Donate now.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Seeing Trump as ‘lost cause,’ Abbas said to widen boycott to US consular staff, according to Israeli media reports.

• The State Department and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman are at odds over his request that official documents stop referring to the West Bank as “occupied.”

However, due to pressure “from above” the two sides agreed that the issue will be discussed again and that US President Donald Trump will have the final say, the report said.

• Western Wall train station to be named after Donald Trump.

• Holiday cheer, Palestinian style:


• Worth reading: The Los Angeles Times opens a window on the split between American and Mideast Christians over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration:

For many Holy Land Christians, Trump’s declaration was about as welcome as a biblical curse.

For American evangelical Christians, it has largely been welcomed as an auspicious sign from on high.

• Israeli chess players are demanding compensation after they were refused visas by host Saudi Arabia.

The Israel Chess Federation accused Saudi Arabia of misleading FIDE to qualify for hosting the tournament.

“All their previous statements were to the contrary,” spokesman Lior Aizenberg said.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that Qatari chess players are boycotting the tournament over a snub which is “been there, done that” for Israelis:

Qatar’s chess federation said its players had been granted visa but would not take part because organizers demanded that the players not display the Qatari flag during the competition.


• The fallout from Lorde’s cancellation of a Tel Aviv concert in the face of BDS pressure continues. Her Israeli promoter and a researcher on the conflict between BDS and musicians explained to the Times of Israel why it’s naive to think that a young singer like Lorde would have been able to stand up to the bullying.

“Whenever I deal with producers, I always say to them up front, let the artist know what they’re getting into and know what to expect,” he said. “Lorde is younger and not as established as other acts that have visited Israel, that also means she’s easier to influence. And we shouldn’t place the whole burden of BDS on the fragile shoulders of a 21-year-old from New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand asked to meet with Lorde. And the Washington Post examines how other musicians have handled BDS bullying.
• The editor of “Youpi,” a popular French childrens’ magazine, apologized and removed the latest edition from news stands in France and Belgium over a sentence saying that Israel was one of several states that aren’t “real countries.”

Around the World
Alberto Nisman
• The wheels of justice are turning in Argentina. A court ruled that Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor investigating the 1994 AMIA bombing case, was murdered. Earlier this month, a judge called for the arrest of former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, accusing her of treason for her role in alleged covering up Iran’s involvement in the attack. Kirchner was recently elected to the Argentine congress, so lawmakers would have to vote on stripping her parliamentary immunity.
A suicide bomber driving a van loaded with explosives blew up the Jewish community headquarters in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring more than 300.

The story has a lot of moving parts and background, so see the Times of Israel and New York Times.

• Swastika graffiti and SS symbols sprayed on Jewish Melbourne home in shocking racist Christmas Day attack.

• Greek anarchists vandalized the Israeli embassy in Athens with bottles of red paint.

• Ponder this: A Brandeis U. study of anti-Semitism at four American universities suggests that anti-Semitism and hostility towards Israel on campuses isn’t as widespread as we thought, that BDS isn’t so entrenched, and that Israel and Jews aren’t a high concern — even among Jewish students.

• In his statement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump specifically stressed that he was not calling for any change in the status quo of holy sites. Which is why the poison pen of The Guardian‘s Nicola Jennings muddies the waters.

Nicola Jennings

• Lorde have mercy on us all!

– Liel Liebovitz: If Lorde is serious about her politics, she shouldn’t boycott Israel but her native New Zealand
– Einav Schiff: BDS, unfortunately, is still alive and kicking
– Amy Spiro: A major BDS win in a sea of losses
– Karl Quinn: Lorde’s Israel backdown shows doing the right thing in music is far from black and white

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

– Reuel Marc Gerecht: In the Mideast, Trump gives reality a chance (click via Twitter)
– Ben-Dror Yemini: The blue-eyed poster girl of Palestinian propaganda
– Raphael Ahren: Why a small Central American nation became a trailblazer on Jerusalem
– Ronni Shaked: Abbas left with an empty diplomatic toolbox
– Anshel Pfeffer: The Palestinians just gave Netanyahu what he always wanted for Christmas
– Seth Frantzman: Five challenges for Israel if Syria returns to the Golan
– Yoav Fromer: What happens at the UN GA stays at the UN GA
– Col. (Res.) Grisha Yacoubovich: The Palestinian war of narratives
– Itzik Reuven: BDS claims: An Ethiopian answer
– Elior Levy: 13 years after his death, Arafat’s memory remains purely symbolic
– Elliott Abrams: The Trump national security strategy
– David Ignatius: We ignore Iran at our own peril

Featured image: CC BY Eugen Anghel; Jerusalem CC BY-NC-SA BORIS G; chess CC BY monkeywing; Lorde via YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; Nisman via YouTube/Carlos Kalman;

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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 9:17 pm

Israel to Quit UNESCO
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel will formally announce its intent to leave UNESCO as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen to present a formal letter of withdrawal. According to UNESCO rules, Israel’s departure from the cultural organization would take effect at the end of 2018.

In the past year, UNESCO angered Israel with resolutions denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem and Hebron:

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the decision was based on the organization’s “attempts to disconnect Jewish history from the land of Israel.”

However, the withdrawal will contain a provision noting that Israel will walk back the decision should UNESCO conduct reforms and change its attitude towards Israel before the end of next year, a senior Israeli official told Channel 10 news Friday.

Audrey Azoulay
Press Encounter by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, President of the Security Council and Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay briefing reporters in November, 2017
2. As expected, the UN General Assembly voted to denounce Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. The non-binding resolution (see full text) passed by a vote of 128-9, with 35 abstentions and 21 countries absent from the proceedings. Take your pick of coverage from the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Ynet and Haaretz.

In case you missed it, see The UN Debates Jerusalem: A Primer, in which HonestReporting unpacks Thursday’s UN proceedings.

3. Hezbollah recruited a sleeper agent in the Bronx. They took advantage of the fact that Ali Kourani is a dual US-Lebanese national. How many other sleepers might Hezbollah have out in the West?

It is claimed that his Hezbollah handler ordered him to surveil facilities belonging to the FBI and Army National Guard in New York City. He took detailed notes on security protocols at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In interviews with the FBI after being “deactivated” from the terrorist group’s external operations wing, Kourani allegedly told the feds he was recruited because of Hezbollah’s interest in obtaining dual-citizen sleeper agents who could be activated in case of an emergency.

4. HonestReporting depends on the financial support of readers like you to continue producing the Israel Daily News Stream and all of our other content. Help us keep you up informed of everything you need to know about Israel in the news. Donate now

Israel and the Palestinians
• In Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he won’t accept any peace proposals from the US.

• Having threatened to cut aid to countries voting against the US at the UN, AP takes a closer look at the credibility test Donald Trump now faces.

• Ynet: Chinese-backed peace push embraces two-state solution.

• Romania’s parliament weighs relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.

numbers• Thwarted terror attacks in Israel over 2017, by the numbers. Based on Shin Bet figures presented to the Knesset and reported the Jerusalem Post:

– 400: Overall number of attacks thwarted by Israel
– 13: Foiled suicide attacks
– 8: Kidnappings prevented
– 1,100: Potential lone wolf attacks thwarted
– 54: Palestinian attacks successfully carried out

• You know the Palestinians have a problem when the New York Times describes West Bank protests and clashes as meh:

The response has been more of a part-time simulation of an uprising, almost by appointment. A few thousand protesters have turned out at familiar friction points in the West Bank or along the Gaza border on the designated “Days of Rage” called for by the political factions. Other days, hardly anybody has shown up.

• Three Turkish nationals were released from custody after scuffling with Israeli police on the Temple Mount on Friday, according to Israeli and Turkish media reports.

• Denmark says it is tightening up conditions for financial aid to Palestinian non-governmental organizations and revoking its support for some of those NGOs. The Times of Israel explains:

The move came after Denmark launched a review of its practices in May following a meeting where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Samuelsen to stop Denmark’s funding for Palestinian NGOs that are involved in anti-Israel incitement or promote boycotts of the Jewish state.

Danish parliament
Folketinget, the Danish parliament in Copenhagen
• US Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of Hezbollah-linked drug prosecutions that the Obama administration abandoned while trying to strike a nuclear accord with Iran. The AG’s directive comes on the heels of last week’s Politico explosive report on Hezbollah drug trafficking and money laundering, a long-term federal investigation, and the Obama administration’s response reported interference.

• I’d like to believe Yahoo entertainment writer Rebekah Scanlan took a BDS press release a way to seriously. If she really thinks that Tel Aviv is “in military occupied Israel,” then A) Scanlan has a really skewed understanding of the Mideast. Does anyone copy edit her work?

By the way, subsequent New Zealand reports say Lorde, a 21-year-old NZ pop singer, is considering dropping her Tel Aviv gig in June.

Rebekah Scanlan

• A two-day old Syrian baby born with a life-threatening heart defect was airlifted to Tel Aviv for emergency surgery on Saturday.

NYT Persia• The New York Times runs 13-day tours of Iran and Barbara Sofer has a bone to pick.

Can you morally justify a visit to Iran if you’re not a journalist, a diplomat or a spy? Do tourists really believe they’ll get a deep and true understanding of this rogue state by complying with the rules of dress and censorship? Tales of Persia, indeed.

Imagine a trip in the 1930s to see the new and fascinating regime in Nazi Germany. You could take your photo near the Brandenburg Gate and feast on authentic streuselkuchen. You might even get to see actual Nazi roundups in action. There were, in fact, such tourists, curious to see what they described as Hitler’s utopia.

The Times trip to Iran will set you back a minimum of $7,995, but the real question is how much will turning this aggressive state into another travel destination on par with Venice and southern Arizona set the world back.

• Don’t miss Peter Lerner’s Twitter thread on the case of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, the wheelchair-bound Palestinian killed in mysterious circumstances near the Gaza border.

View image on Twitter
LTC (R) Peter Lerner
1/6 This is going to be a thread about the #ibrahimabuthuraya case. It has caused a very emotional response on twitter and I want to lay down some questions. 
Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a wheelchair-bound paraplegic, participated in a riot meters near the Gaza border, was killed.

6:35 AM - Dec 24, 2017
 17 17 Replies   109 109 Retweets   81 81 likes
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• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels ruminating on the UN’s Jerusalem vote.

– Ron Prosor: Israel’s efforts are paying off
– Raphael Ahren: Why Israel’s massive defeat at the UN isn’t quite as bad as it looks
– Eli Lake: Nikki Haley confronts the UN’s jackals
– Joe Dyke: Abbas breaks with US over Jerusalem — but for how long?
– Elliott Abrams: Honor and dishonor at the United Nations
– Benny Avni: Anti-Israel General Assembly should feel shamed — not the US
– Max Boot: Trump is right about Jerusalem, but that’s not the help Israel needs
– Prof. Efraim Inbar: Erdogan’s Israel obsession
– Wall St. Journal (staff-ed): Next year in Jerusalem (click via Twitter)
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): UN-acceptable madness as United Nations attacks America over Jerusalem

Daniel Gordis
Listening to UN and to Cuba speaking about Pal’s right to self determination and Iran references to Israeli crimes is more than slightly dizzying. Be clear. If the question were whether the Jews have a right to a state, the motion would fail.

4:51 PM - Dec 21, 2017
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• For a sense of what the critics are saying, see Daniel Barenboim and Iyad el-Baghdadi.

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

– Peter Lerner: Video of a Palestinian girl hitting soldiers shows the IDF’s moral fiber
– Nachman Shai: Fighting the media wars
– Ben-Dror Yemini: ‘Innocent protestor’ killed by IDF was a terrorist, told his family ‘I Intend to be a martyr’
– Amos Harel: Syria’s Assad is taking over the border region, presenting Israel with a moral dilemma
– Aje Carlbom: Sweden’s new wave of anti-Semitism
– Sohrab Ahmari: Swedish secularism targets Jewish homeschoolers
– Alex Fishman: The new threats at the end of the tunnel
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Another ‘reconciliation’ bites the dust

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Spyros Papaspyropoulos; Azoulay via UN Photo/Kim Haughton; numbers CC0 Pixabay; Copenhagen CC BY Kristoffer Trolle;

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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 1:42 am

Emergency UN Meeting Debates Jerusalem Today

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Ahead of the UN General Assembly’s discussions on Jerusalem, President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to countries supporting a resolution denouncing the president’s Jerusalem declaration.

Although the US has no veto power in the General Assembly and the Palestinians enjoy overwhelming support, its resolutions are non-binding. On Twitter, Ambassador Nikki Haley warned other countries “the US will be taking names.”

Video: The UN Debates Jerusalem: A Primer: HonestReporting unpacks today’s UN emergency meeting over Jerusalem.

2. Bahrain distanced itself from the Palestinian campaign against Trump, calling it a “side issue” and insisting that the world keep its focus on the “theo-fascists” of Iran. And the Saudis appear to be pushing the Palestinians to curb their battle with the White House for similar reasons.

3. The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is putting together a blacklist of companies doing business in West Bank settlements, will not seek re-election to his post. Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s job is up for renewal in August. AFP reports:

Earlier this week, in an interview with AFP, the Jordanian prince had rejected the idea of “wheeling and dealing” with political players to secure a second four-year term in Geneva.

And in an email to staff, seen by AFP, he wrote: “After reflection, I have decided not to seek a second four-year term” adding that “in the current geo-political context,” to stay “might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a statement of advocacy.”

Hussein did not mention Trump by name, but he has reportedly been under pressure from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to tone down his human rights criticism of Washington.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
4. HonestReporting depends on the financial support of readers like you to continue producing the Israel Daily News Stream and all of our other content. Help us keep you up informed of everything you need to know about Israel in the news. Donate now.

Israel and the Palestinians
• US envoy Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador David Friedman met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ynet reports that Israel was asked to hold back on large construction projects in Jerusalem, and that
Trump will give the PA a grace period to reconcile themselves to his Jerusalem declaration.

But this next point makes me wonder if the US is unwittingly giving the Palestinians an opening to avoid peace talks altogether until a new president takes over the Oval Office.

They also stressed that should the Palestinians choose not to return to being open to the US acting as peace interlocutors, the White House has no intention of advancing a peace process without them, adding that the Palestinians would be missing an opportunity.

• A Hamas terror cell plotted to kidnap a Knesset member and the IDF’s Arabic spokesman.

South Africa• South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, voted to downgrade its embassy in Ramat Gan to a liason office. The decision was made at the ANC’s biannual conference, which was attended by delegations from both the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terror group. More at the Times of Israel and the Mail & Guardian along with South African Jewish reactions.

• Plenty of room at the inn: Israeli tourism officials are ebullient over a record-breaking year, including an expected 20 percent increase in Christian pilgrims over Christmas.

• Despite being swamped with 650,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar, the government of Bangladesh rejected what Ynet describes as a “significant” humanitarian aid package. Dhaka’s putting its sensitivity to “political ramifications” ahead of the welfare of refugees it has accepted.

Bangladesh expressed gratitude to Israel for the offer, but informed it that it cannot accept aid due to the sensitivity involved and the political ramifications that could ensue.

Around the World
• Dutch Jews are up in arms over the government’s handling of a recent attack on a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam, the JTA reports.

Yet just 60 hours later the suspect — identified in the media as Saleh Ali — was free. Authorities never divulged details about his identity and origins despite the absence of a gag order, and reports that Ali was a former combatant in Syria’s civil war in the Netherlands on an asylum-seeker visa . . .

But to many Dutch Jews, perhaps the most disturbing aspect is that the draft indictment against Ali mentions only vandalism and theft.

In other words, Dutch officials don’t consider Ali’s actions a hate crime.

• If you boycotted Wonder Woman because Gal Gadot’s Israeli, you may have to boycott the royal wedding too.

Speculation grows Meghan Markle’s wedding dress could be a ‘racy’ Israeli-designed outfit

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
• Turns out a spate of hate mail received by Canadian synagogues is more widespread than previously reported. Synagogues in Ottawa, Calgary and Kingston say they received identical messages featuring a Jewish star dripping blood with a swastika in the middle along with the words, “Jewry must perish” as synagogues in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Hamilton. More at CTV News.

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

– Eric Cortellessa: Trump warns over UN, but he likely can’t stop feeding the hand that bites
– Clifford May: Reimagining a more realistic ‘peace process’
– Lior Weintraub: An American paradigm shift
– Alan Dershowitz: The conflict over Jerusalem is all Obama’s fault
– Abigail Esman: In Europe, ‘Islamophobia’ gets the headlines — despite trailing anti-Semitic violence
– Howard Feldman: The ANC’s endorsement of Hamas is unnerving
– Daniel Laufer: #NoWayToTreatAChild a cynical campaign to manipulate Palestinian children
– Michael Herzog: The growing risk of an Israel-Iran confrontation in Syria

Featured image: CC BY-NC Elvin; Hussein via UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre; South Africa CC BY-NC-SA Col; royals via YouTube/Inside Edition;

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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Dec 2017, 10:42 pm

Palestinians Take Jerusalem Fight to UN General Assembly
Today’s Top Stories
1. Still trying to reverse President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, the Palestinians are taking their fight to the UN General Assembly. While the Palestinians enjoy overwhelming support in the General Assembly, the GA’s resolutions are symbolic, carrying limited to no legal weight. The General Assembly already voted 176-7 on Tuesday “to affirm the Palestinian right to self-determination.”

More on the politicking scheduled for Thursday at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Ynet and Times of Israel. To put the debate in perspective, Reuters notes:

Under a 1950 resolution, an emergency special session can be called for the General Assembly to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures” if the Security Council fails to act.

Only 10 such sessions have been convened, and the last time the General Assembly met in such a session was in 2009 on occupied East Jerusalem and Palestinian territories. Thursday’s meeting will be a resumption of that session.

United Nations
The UN headquarters in New York City.
2. In the aftermath of Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, the PA is recruiting Russia and China to “replace” the US and take leading roles in mediating Mideast peace. More at the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post.

3. A Berkeley councilwoman fired a commissioner who wouldn’t support Israel boycott. The JTA, picking up on local coverage, explains, “Cheryl Davila, who was elected to the Berkeley City Council last year, dismissed Transportation Commissioner Ben Gerhardstein last month after he declined to state a position on whether Berkeley should divest from companies that do business with Israel.”

4. Hot Debate: Do Israeli soldiers deserve to be attacked? Are Israelis and their MKs racists? Is the Arab world finally realizing that Jerusalem is holy to Jews and that they’ve missed opportunities for peace? Angry sparks flew as HR’s Daniel Pomerantz, Haaretz’s Gideon Levy and MK Meirav Ben Ari argued on i24 News’ Spin Room.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Contrary to earlier coverage, the Jerusalem Post reports that Vice President Mike Pence has a green light to hold a press conference by the Western Wall when he visits Israel in mid-January:

The source denied earlier reports that the administrator of the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz had completely barred Pence from conducting a press conference at the Western Wall during his upcoming visit to the country.

According to the source, Pence would be able to hold the event in the upper plaza, but not the lower one, which is considered sacred.

• To curb rocket fire, Hamas is arresting and reportedly even torturing Salafists, according to Haaretz.

• Citing freedom of information laws, Israeli BDS activists demand details on Israel’s anti-BDS policy. Israel HaYom reports:

The activists want the state to reveal the identities of the international law firms working on the project and the nature of the services they are providing the Justice Ministry.
Fatou Bensouda
• Ynet: The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, reaffirmed her previous decision not to investigate the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010. The move effectively closes the chapter on Palestinian and Turkish lawfare against Israel. Thirteen people, all Turkish nationals, were killed in a clash with Israeli naval commandos who intercepted the flotilla trying to break the Gaza blockade:
Bensouda further determined that the judges failed to properly address the context in which the IDF soldiers committed the alleged “crimes” and the violence resistance they encountered on the ship. She said the judges’ disregard of the activists’ resistance was particularly surprising in light of the fact that they determined that the IDF soldiers had used force which wasn’t necessarily required. According to the prosecutor, even if live ammunition was used before the takeover, that doesn’t necessarily point to the existence of a policy or plan to carry out crimes.

Israel’s most significant achievement, however, is convincing the prosecutor that it had investigated all aspects of the incident properly and thoroughly— both in the army and in through the Turkel Commission—and drawn conclusions in a way that would make any additional investigation redundant.

USA Today• USA Today finds that Jerusalem Palestinians are still seeking Israeli citizenship despite Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

Increasing numbers of East Jerusalem Palestinians are choosing to live in Jewish neighborhoods. Separately, greater numbers of local Palestinians are choosing to send their children to Arabic-language schools using Israeli curricula.

Between the 2016 and the 2017 school years, there was a 14% increase in Arab students studying for Israeli high school enrollment exams, according to municipal statistics. Parents want their children to be able to access Israeli universities.

• Germany’s foreign minister compared Israeli policy in the West Bank to apartheid.

• Deutsche Welle takes a closer look at the Hezbollah scouts program, where brainwashed kids as young as six aspire to “crush Israel” and serve as cannon fodder.

As a former child soldier, Ziad says he feels the pain of the children being politicized in Dahiya, and compares them to the Hitler Youth of World War II. “If God gave me one wish, I would ask for my childhood, my teenage years back,” Ziad said. He now gives lectures about his experiences and sense of loss, in the hope that the next generation might learn something from them.

Judging by 21st century Dahiya, it is a forlorn hope. A new generation of Zaids, Alis and Abbases are being taught that childhood is a time to prepare for the next war.

Around the World
• Canadian Jews are concerned after synagogues in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Hamilton received identical anti-Semitic hate messages. The letters featured a swastika inside a Jewish star dripping with blood, along with the words “Jewry must perish.”

The Forward
Synagogues Across Canada Get Hate Mail Saying ‘Jewry Must Perish’ - https://forward.com/fast-forward/390393/synagogues-across-canada-get-hate-mail-saying-jewry-must-perish/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Main

7:30 PM - Dec 19, 2017

Synagogues Across Canada Get Hate Mail Saying ‘Jewry Must Perish’
Synagogues in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton received the letters.

 9 9 Replies   12 12 Retweets   5 5 likes
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• Brooklyn high school student arrested for bomb threat targeting ‘Jew-loving teachers’

• A New Jersey imam was suspended over a sermon caught on film demonizing Israel and the Jewish people.


Rabbi Eric Yoffie
• There’s a significant debate taking place within US Reform Judaism about Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and the movement’s opposition to it. Two prominent Reform rabbis came out in support of the White House’s move, with Rabbi Eric Yoffie arguing that liberal American Jews don’t get that the president’s move is good for the peace camp. Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch went even further, apologizing for the movement’s criticism:
The world’s superpower finally did the right thing, and we opposed it – not on the principle, but on the “timing.” The timing? Now is the not the right time? Two thousand years later and it is still not the right time? As if there is a peace process that the Palestinians are committed to and pursuing with conviction.

There were critics who accused the civil rights movement of moving too quickly. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s response: “The time is always ripe to do what is right.”

See also Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin‘s take.

David’s Tower, Jerusalem
• Lots of spilled ink and burnt pixels over Jerusalem:
– Lahav Harkov: The global media’s deranged ‘Jerusalem syndrome’
– Bassam Tawil: Is it really about Jerusalem?
– Raphael Ahren: Despite failing, UN Jerusalem bid paints Israel, US as alone against the world
– Michael Totten: Islamic governments cede West Jerusalem to Israel
– Colin Rubenstein: Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a welcome, symbolic move
– Denis MacEoin: The US embassy move to Jerusalem vs. the ‘peace process’
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Why is Europe always against Israel?
– Simon Palamar: Jerusalem decision high-risk, low-reward for Trump
– Vijeta Uniyal: India’s stance on Jerusalem angers Arab regimes
– Benny Avni: Britain just betrayed America at the UN
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): Haley’s Chanukah gift in blocking nasty anti-Israel Security Council resolution

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

– Yoaz Hendel: How to deal with the Palestinian camera war
– Amos Harel: Assad regime prepares to expand its control over border area with Israel
– Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: If only peace were as easy to share as a selfie
– Nadav Eyal: Before Gaza turns into Somalia
– Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi: Obama and Hezbollah: No moral backbone
– Roger Boyes: Muslim migrants behind rise in UK anti-Semitism
– Eli Lake: Obama’s alternative facts on the Iran nuclear deal

Featured image: CC BY Matthew G; United Nations CC BY-NC UNAMA News; Bensouda via UN Photo/Loey Felipe; Yoffie via YouTube/Amy Yoffie; Jerusalem CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons/Yonah baby;

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Post  Admin on Tue 19 Dec 2017, 2:44 pm

IDF Denies Shooting Wheelchair-Bound Palestinian
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Today’s Top Stories
1.  IDF denies shooting wheelchair-bound Palestinian Ibrahim Abu Thraya.  The media quickly echoed the Palestinian claim that the IDF had shot the amputee in the head. Yet the IDF investigation concluded that the protest was highly violent and that IDF forces did not shoot toward Thraya at all. So far Hamas has refused to release details or autopsy reports about Thraya’s death. This reminds me of a 2014 event critiqued by HonestReporting, in which Palestinians accused Israel of killing the elderly Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein, a claim the media widely echoed without sufficient investigation. It was later revealed that Ein had died at home  of a heart attack.

2. Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back his long-planned trip to the Middle East citing the vote on the tax overhaul legislation this week. Some news sources speculate the delay may be partly due to violence in the Middle East in the wake of President Trump’s announcement regarding Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Indeed, some Palestinians are burning placards and pictures of the Vice President.

3. The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on the US to rescind its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the news saying, “You lit a candle of truth. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, [UN Ambassador] Nikki Haley.”

4. A CNN video couldn’t sufficiently demonize Israel on the facts. So CNN’s Senior International Correspondent resorted to dramatic emotional language, twisting reality and even hiding facts. Watch our video critique:

Israel and the Palestinians
• Rocket fired from Gaza at Israel falls short, hits home of Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri’s brother, who is also a top terror operative himself. Poetic irony aside, will the media simply lump this in with its generic statistics of damage/death caused “by Israel” in Gaza? Meanwhile another rocket damaged a residential home in Israel, a sobering reminder that Israel’s missile defenses are far from perfect.

• The IDF arrested 17 year old Ahed Tamimi for hitting Israeli soldiers, apparently in an attempt to provoke a violent reaction for publicity purposes (she did not succeed).  The Tamimi family has a long history of attempting such provocations.  Watch the video here:

Around the World
• A major Politico investigative report indicates that the US may have turned a blind eye to Hezbollah drug smuggling into the United States in order to help close the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal).

• President Trump released his security strategy for the United States. Of particular note is this portion:

Today, the threats from radical jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats.

• Iran on Sunday criticized French President Emmanuel Macron over his tough stance towards Tehran, calling him Donald Trump’s “lapdog.” Iran’s lack of tact aside, it seems that more and more countries are developing serious concerns about Iran’s pursuit of ballistic missiles which could eventually be used to carry nuclear warheads, and which experts say violates the JCPOA (the “Iran Nuclear Deal”).

• The US is still planning a Middle East effort toward peace, after what it calls a “cooling off” period in the wake of Trump’s Jerusalem embassy announcement. Mahmoud Abbas has said he will no longer work with the United States on this matter and has announced he will not meet with Vice President Pence on his upcoming visit. Time will tell if the Palestinian government backs down from this position.

• US Secretary of Defense Mattis says Iran is working to destabilize the Middle East. While this isn’t exactly surprising to anyone who follows news in the region, it is significant to hear such a clear statement from a US Secretary of Defense.

•  Guardian columnist Natalie Nougayrède says that “to fight European antisemitism, we must first face up to it.” At least Nougayrède is making a good start.

• Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev says that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is good for peace and Britain should do so too.

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

– Does Israel Want Peace? – Dani Dayan
–Trump’s Statement on Jerusalem Does Not Contradict the Arab Peace Initiative – Oded Eran
–Is It Time to Cut Off U.S. Financial Support to Abbas? – Kevin D. Williamson

Featured image: CC BY John Henderson;

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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Dec 2017, 4:31 pm

Abbas: Israel is Not a Country
Today’s Top Stories
1. In a fiery speech at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul, Palestinian President Abbas effectively said that Israel is not a country (specifically that Israel does not meet the international requirements for statehood and that countries around the world should cease recognizing Israel as such). Abbas further appeared to accuse Israel and/or Jews of falsifying Jewish history in the region. American Jewish groups — including, most unusually, J Street — issued highly critical responses, yet Israeli leaders were mostly subdued, with Prime Minister Netanyahu simply calling Palestinian leadership to, “recognize reality and work toward peace, not extremism…”

2. The Israeli army has said it fired selectively on chief instigators during “extremely violent riots,” including one near the Gaza border.  According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, a wheelchair-bound amputee,  was shot and killed by Israeli forces.  The IDF says it is investigating, but in the meantime Israel is getting hit with some significantly bad publicity around the world.

3.  In reference to a future peace process, The White House said:

We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel.

The statement is making waves in the press as some kind of new development, though it does not materially differ from the consensus opinion that has long been held by the US, and for that matter, most of the world,

News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
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4. Since when is the Western Wall some kind of bargaining chip that Israel might have to give up? America doesn’t think so, so why does the New York Times?

5. Success! When the Associated Press called the Western Wall the “holiest site” in Judaism (it’s actually the Temple Mount), the story was picked up by publications around the world. The distinction is significant in the face of frequent claims in the Muslim world that the Temple Mount (which Islam calls the Al-Haram Al-Sharif) is an exclusively Muslim holy site.  HonestReporting has already prompted  corrections from the AP itself, The Washington Post, ABC News, US News & World Report, USA Today, and we’re not done yet!

6. Success! According to The Independent, the EU chief said that Europe will “continue to recognize Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel.” Just one problem: she didn’t say that. HonestReporting prompted the appropriate correction.

7. HonestReporting faces off against Fatah on live television. Israel’s Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that under Israeli law, the government may not hold on to terrorists’ bodies to negotiate for the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, and three live Israeli civilians, currently held in Gaza. Within hours after the court’s decision, HR’s Daniel Pomerantz debated Ahmed Ghoneim of the ruling Palestinian Fatah party on “The Rundown” on i24 News.

Israel and the Palestinians
• A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli Border Security Police officer and was subsequently shot non-fatally, before being evacuated to Israel’s Mt. Scopus Hospital for treatment. The attacker appeared to be wearing an explosive vest at the time, though it may have been fake. Police are investigating both the vest as well as whether he may have been disguised as a journalist  in order to get close to his victims without being stopped.

• A Palestinian was arrested outside the  Samaria Military Court with two suspected bombs. He was stopped and arrested by Border Police officers.

• Domestic protests abound in Israel: with one group protesting Prime Minister Netanyahu over corruption charges, and labor unions protesting the financially troubled pharmaceutical company Teva, for cutting 1,700 jobs in Israel.

Around the World
• US Vice-President Mike Pence will arrive in Israel on Wednesday after previously delaying his trip due to a major vote on the US tax reform bill. Palestinian President Abbas is refusing to meet with the VP due to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

• One year after the deadly terror attack at the Christmas market in Berlin, Der Spiegel speaks to some of the Israeli victims, who explain that Germany simply doesn’t understand how to handle terrorism: not how to prevent it, nor how to behave in the aftermath. Ironic given how much Germany loves to lecture Israel.

• The family of Sarah Idan (Miss Iraq in the Miss Universe competition) has been forced to flee their country because Idan dared to take a photograph with her friend, Miss Israel (Adar Gandelsman). Idan explains on Twitter, “I’m not the first nor the last person to face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom. Millions of Iraqi women live in fear. ”

Sarai (Sarah Idan)
I’m not the first nor the last person to face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom. Millions of Iraqi women live in fear. #freeiraqiwomen https://twitter.com/jewishnewsuk/status/941381388053467136

3:09 AM - Dec 15, 2017
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• British Member of Parliament Tommy Sheppard hosted an “open event”  to highlight injustices faced by Palestinians. However, pro-Israel advocates were refused entry and apparently a senior Palestinian made anti-Semitic remarks in the meeting. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has now launched an investigation into whether the arrangements for the meeting breached the MPs’ code of conduct.

• Is there any place in the world that actually supports North Korea? As it turns out, there is: Gaza. Newsweek explains that some Palestinians in Gaza hang posters of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un and one restaurant even offers a (symbolic) discount on felafel (Gaza has no North Koreans present to actually take advantage of the offer). North Korea has a history of warm relations with Palestinian authorities and terror groups, including Hamas.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
RT Ali_Kourani: Restaurant in Gaza: “any Korean customers are welcome to an 80% discount in gratitude to the DPRK leader’s stance on our Palestinian cause”

5:54 PM - Dec 14, 2017
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• Noted Israeli author Matti Friedman discusses the increasing interaction of Jews and Arabs in the Jerusalem workforce, calling it the “glue” that holds the city together: a glue that is stronger than the current protests and riots over Trump’s Jerusalem announcement. In support of his view  Friedman points  out:

If you count every single violent fatality reported here this year in this city of 860,000 – not just political violence but apolitical homicides, too – the number is 27. That’s 27 too many, obviously. But it’s worth pointing out that 27 is less than a quarter of the homicide number last year in Jacksonville, Fla., a U.S. city the same size.

Just imagine if you compared the number to a US city with a higher crime rate, like Chicago or New York.

• Haaretz’s Amira Haas is a harsh critic of Israel, arguably even anti-Israel. Yet she makes a good point in acknowledging that “To defeat Israel by force of arms is an illusion.” This reality seems to be (finally) dawning on many Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza.

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

– Burning the Israeli Flag Has Nothing to Do with Freedom of Speech – Ines Pohl
– Haley: We Don’t Need Other Countries Telling Us What’s Right or Wrong – Olivia Beavers
– The Times Square Intifada – Liel Leibovitz

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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Dec 2017, 3:00 pm

Putin Declares Victory, Orders Partial Troop Withdrawal From Syria
Today’s Top Stories
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin visiting the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria on Dec. 11, 2017.
1. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria. Putin, who was visiting Syria, essentially declaring victory over Islamic State. CNN notes that Moscow will continue operating two bases, and that Putin’s visit comes two days after Iraq’s government declared it had recaptured all of its territory from Islamic State.
2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the foreign ministers of 28 EU countries in Brussels. In a separate meeting in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron asked Netanyahu to make gestures to the Palestinians, such as a settlement freeze, to get peace talks back on track.

Take your pick of Haaretz, Times of Israel, Ynet or Jerusalem Post coverage.
Gregg Carlstrom
Not an EU expert, but suspect "be more like Trump" is not a message that will play well with most European leaders. https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.828279

12:08 PM - Dec 11, 2017

Netanyahu tells EU: Stop pampering Palestinians - Trump tells them the truth
Netnayahu says there is no country in the Mideast that does as much as Israel to protect Europe from the spread of ISIS


3. While we were all distracted by Jerusalem, Gaza’s already-delayed transfer of power from Hamas to the PA has hit “obstacles,” tsk.

4. NBC News Host Tweets Support for the End of Israel: How can Ayman Mohyeldin be trusted at all to report fairly after demonstrating his anti-Israel bias on Twitter?

Israel and the Palestinians
• Whether or not you agree with West Bank settlement activity, the derogatory word colonizing states that Jews are not native to the region. This Irish Times headline and report by Lara Marlowe directly attacks indigenous Jewish status.

Irish Times colonisation

• Foreign Policy: The Trump administration blindsided Palestinian leaders by failing to mention the impending Jerusalem recognition ahead of the president’s announcement.

• The Jerusalem Post takes a closer look at what’s known about the IDF’s tunnel-busting technology.

• Either Jerusalem Post copy editors were asleep at the wheel, or another country is laying a claim on Jerusalem.


Around the World
• Meet Mateusz Morawiecki, the Christian with Jewish roots is slated to become Poland’s new prime minister.

• French PM: Anti-Semitism in France has deep roots and ‘new masks.’

• Anti-Semitism has no place in Germany, minister says after an Israeli flag was burned in Berlin. I’m glad Reuters noted this vestige of common sense in Europe. It’s very much in-line with the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which Germany adopted in September.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Bild that while criticism of Trump’s decision was understandable, people had no right or reason to burn the Israeli flag, stir up hatred against Jews or question Israel’s right to exist.

On a related note, CTV News Vancouver reports that “Pro-Israel Jewish activists are crying foul after a likeness of an Israeli flag was lit on fire in Vancouver Saturday at a pro-Palestinian demonstration, but rally organizers say it was an expression of legitimate anger toward Israel.”


• More anti-Semitic, white supremacist flyers found on Princeton campus.

• Anti-Israel activists at Columbia U. fail to condemn Hamas for executing gay Palestinian.

• Rutgers U. isolates but does not fire professor for anti-Semitic social media posts. If he’s not working with students or faculty, what exactly is Professor Michael Chikindas being paid to do?

In a letter sent to faculty Friday morning, University President Robert Barchi and Chancellor Debasish Dutta announced that professor Michael Chikindas, who is a tenured, will be removed from teaching required courses so that students will not have to study with him.

Chikindas will also be ousted as director of the Center for Digestive Health at the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, to allow employees to avoid working for him, Barchi and Dutta wrote, and he will be required to go through a cultural sensitivity program.

Jerusalem• The tsunami of Jerusalem commentary is receding . . .

– Anshel Pfeffer: Three reasons we’re not seeing a 3rd intifada
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Nothing to be happy about, nothing to get killed over
– Fiamma Nirenstein: Europe, be a fair friend
– David Sharma: Trump’s Jerusalem move could help revive peace prospects
– Conrad Black: The Palestinians should take what they can get while they can
– Moshe Arens: Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a well-known fact
– Jennifer Oriel: Trump’s support for a two-state solution is being ignored
– Ralph Peters: Why the ‘Arab street’ didn’t just explode
– Emma Green: Trump did not bring Jerusalem crashing down
– Fareed Zakaria: Trump’s Jerusalem decision isn’t diplomacy. It’s pandering.
– Christian Science Monitor (staff-ed): If not the US, then who as Mideast mediator?
– The Australian (staff-ed): Middle East landscape evolves

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

– Amos Harel: Israel’s tunnel-busting breakthrough is robbing Hamas of its strategic weapon
– Douglas Murray: Are racist chants now acceptable on the British left?
– Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: In Sweden, protesters shout anti-Semitism
– Giulio Meotti: Islamist regimes take over UNESCO

Featured image: CC0 Pixabay/USA-Reiseblogger Putin via Kremlin; Jerusalem CC BY-SA Dan;

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