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Post  Admin on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 12:24 pm

The Miracle of the Resurrection of Hebrew
BY DOV LIPMAN  AUGUST 15, 2019
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 https://honestreporting.com/miracle-resurrect-hebrew-revival/?utm_source=pushengage&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=pushengage

The story of the resurrection of Hebrew goes back thousands of years. Millennia ago, the Jewish people spoke ancient Hebrew to one another, engaged in commerce speaking Hebrew, and worshiped in Hebrew – all in the land of Israel.

The Bible, too, was written in Hebrew.

For over 3,000 years, the Jewish people have read from hand-written Torah scrolls in synagogues and learned from printed editions in study halls and in their homes – all in Hebrew. The Mishna, which records the Jewish Oral Tradition, the prayers, and most rabbinic literature are in Hebrew. There are also examples of Hebrew used in literature throughout Jewish history, with a specific renaissance in the 19th century.

But upon being exiled from the land of Israel 2,000 years ago, Hebrew ceased to be the spoken language of the Jewish people. Even the small numbers of Jews who remained in Israel began speaking the language of their conquerors and lost Hebrew.

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And now Hebrew has been resurrected – spoken throughout the land of Israel and even among Jews in other places in the world.

There is no other story in world history of an ancient language revived to become a spoken language by any faith, country or nation.

The Resurrection of Hebrew: How Did it Happen?
The process began during the first half of the 19th century as Jews began returning to the land of Israel, reconnecting with the small Jewish community that had remained there throughout the exile and Jews who had returned in previous generations. To enable a common language among the various Jewish groups in Israel who spoke Yiddish, Ladino, or Arabaic, they began to speak Hebrew.

Around the same time, the dream of a return to Israel among European Jews led to a drive to resurrect Hebrew – especially in Zionistic educational programs and in meetings related to the Zionist movement.

Related reading: The Jewish Connection to the Land of Israel

Key in the establishment of any community is schooling. In their attempts to resurrect a sovereign Jewish state in the Land of Israel, the early Zionists realized the importance of setting up schools in which a common language was taught. The first Hebrew boarding school where Jewish studies were taught in Hebrew and in which teachers and students communicated in Hebrew was established in 1884 by Aryeh Leib Frumkin.

The Haviv school became the first Hebrew elementary school of modern times when it was established in 1886 in Rishon LeZion. Gradually, all schools in the agricultural settlements began teaching their general studies in Hebrew. Attempts to transform Hebrew into the only language spoken in the settlements and cities failed because parents saw Hebrew as an impractical language lacking the words to describe day-to-day activities. Yes, people knew ancient Hebrew because of their familiarity with the Bible but that didn’t help them with their need to communicate in a modern world.

The Man Behind Hebrew’s Revival: Eliezer Ben-Yehuda
Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the man who helped resurrect the Hebrew language
Eliezer Ben Yehuda
Enter Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the historical figure credited with the resurrection of Hebrew as a spoken language.

As Jewish nationalism rose in 19th century Europe, Ben-Yehuda and others believed that for the nation to be worthy of national rights, it had to speak in a common, national language. He is credited with being the first to begin conversing in Hebrew, deciding in 1881 that he would speak to family and friends in Hebrew alone, first in Paris and then in Jerusalem where he moved late that year.

Ben-Yehuda’s first child, Itamar Ben-Avi, was born on July 31, 1882 and was raised to be a Hebrew speaker – the first native speaker of Modern Hebrew. In an attempt to convince other families to play their part in Hebrew’s resurrection, he published a Hebrew newspaper called “HaZvi” and founded associations for Hebrew speaking. This effort was met with great frustration as very few families agreed to the exclusive use of Hebrew.

Unfazed, Ben-Yehuda founded the Clear Language Society in 1889 with the goal of teaching Hebrew throughout Israel. And in 1890, he established the Hebrew Language Committee which addressed the need for new Hebrew words for modern-day conversation. The committee published books, dictionaries, bulletins, and periodicals, inventing thousands of new words, project to ancient sources and roots to create modern Hebrew words.

For example, chashmal meaning electricity, is derived from Ezekiel (1:4) 1 where chashmal is the word used to describe a color in the middle of a fire. The same was done for modern foods which didn’t exist in the Torah such as tapuz for orange and glida for ice cream. Since an orange resembles a “golden orange,” tapuz is a combination of  tapuach which is the ancient Hebrew word for “apple,” and zahav which is the ancient Hebrew word for “gold.” The Mishna uses the word galid to refer to a frozen substance that can be used for a spiritual bath. Onkelos, who wrote a translation/commentary to the Torah used the word “glida” for the Torah’s word kerach,”meaning “ice.” (Genesis 31:9)

In 1903, the Union of Hebrew Teachers was established. The founding group included just 60 teachers, but the Union led to hundreds of Hebrew speakers who demonstrated that Hebrew could be used in a day-to-day conversational context.

Completing the Resurrection: Hebrew’s New Reality
Ulpan students playing their part in the resurrection of the Hebrew language
Immigrants at a Jerusalem ulpan. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
As the Second Aliyah began in the beginning of the 20th century, the use of Hebrew in Israel became widespread as the language of communication. Most of these new immigrants were familiar with the Hebrew literature of 19th century Europe and believed that Hebrew was necessary for the development of an official national home for the Jewish people in Israel.

The Hebrew Language Committee was reestablished with a mission “to prepare the Hebrew language for use as spoken language in all affairs of life,” and focused on forming uniform rules of grammar. Hebrew-only schools gradually became the norm and once graduates of the early Hebrew schools began creating families of their own, Hebrew quickly became the popular language of conversation both in homes and the streets.

The final step in the resurrection of Hebrew and its establishment as an official language of the developing state came in 1913 when a  proposal to use German as the official language of the Technion engineering school — filled with its extensive technological vocabulary — was overturned amid anger by the students, faculty and the broader community.

All of the above created a reality on the ground in Israel which served as the basis for the British decision to establish three official languages in Palestine when they took control of the region following World War I – Arabic, English, and…Hebrew!

Related reading: The Hebrew Language and the State of Israel

When Israel declared its independence in 1948, despite the high percentage of the population made of immigrants, over 80 percent of Jews in Israel reported that Hebrew was the only language which they used in their daily conversations.

Despite the deep connection which Israel’s founding generation had with Hebrew, they made sure to establish Arabic as an official language of the new state alongside Hebrew to make sure that the minority population in the Jewish state felt welcome  as equal citizens.

And now this ancient, biblical language has been resurrected and in the streets of Israel today you can hear a people speaking the same language as King David in the very same land over 2,500 years ago.

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND antefixus21 with additions by SeekClipArt;
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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 4:39 pm

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Iran: The Regional Threat Explained
BY GRIFFIN JUDD  AUGUST 14, 2019
Iran regional threat
Entangled with nearly every Mideast country, Iran is a regional threat. The only Shiite-ruled country in the Sunni-dominant region, the theocratic regime has made clear its ambition to spread its Islamic revolution throughout the Arab world. This has continuously posed a serious threat to the Sunni rulers of majority-Shiite countries, and has prompted unprecedented cooperation between the Gulf States and Israel, who share the view that Iran is the biggest regional threat.

Iran’s regional threat is laid out here country-by-country. Iran’s strategic threat to Israel is especially complex, and will be addressed on another occasion.

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Palestinian Territories
Iran has long been criticized for its support of Hamas, the terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip with an iron fist. Iran has also been a prominent supporter of Islamic Jihad, the even more radical organization which operates in both Gaza and the West Bank.

Iran’s support for Hamas began after the initiation of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). An offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ Islamist ideology has made it an ideal vassal for Iran, and the group has declared that it shares with Tehran an “identical view in the strategic outlook toward the Palestinian cause in its Islamic dimension.”

Iranian support for Hamas mainly comes in the forms of arms and money; following the seizure of the Karine A, an Iranian cargo ship intercepted by Israel in 2002 and found to be carrying 50 tons of weapons to Gaza (including rockets). Numerous further weapons shipments have been stopped by Israel and other countries, and Iran has been sanctioned by the UN over this issue. Hamas also receives up to $70 million yearly from the Iranian regime, although US sanctions have likely cut into this number.
Karine A
Weapons from the Karine A bound for Gaza.
Islamic Jihad also depends on Iranian money for its terror activities. A radical group which split from the “moderate” Hamas, many of the weapons shipments seized by international navies are to be split between the two terror organizations, and an estimated $30 million of Iranian funding goes to Islamic Jihad. Leaders of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have met with the Iranian regime, which has in turn voiced its total commitment  to the destruction of Israel.
Egypt
Egyptian relations with Iran have been rocky ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when Egypt gave refuge to the deposed shah of Iran. The newly-established supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini condemned the Israel-Egypt peace treaty and called for Egyptians to overthrow their leader, president Anwar Sadat. Egypt supported Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War and remains the only Arab country without an embassy in Tehran.

Iran’s support for Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, is also a wedge issue. An Islamist missionary movement turned political party, the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to power following the 2011 Egyptian revolution before being ousted in a military coup and declared a terrorist group. Recently, Egypt’s president has condemned Iranian interference in the region, joining the international chorus on this issue.

Related reading: Iran: The Global Threat

Lebanon
The Islamic Republic’s influence over Lebanon especially highlights Iran’s regional threat. Tehran asserts its  domination of Lebanon primarily through its terrorist proxy Hezbollah. Founded in the 1980s, Hezbollah developed political clout by running in elections, while a vast supply of weapons give it the ability to fight Israel and intimidate political opponents within Lebanon.
Following a 2006 raid into Israel, the IDF launched a counterattack to destroy Hezbollah, but was unsuccessful. Since the war, Iran has not only replenished Hezbollah’s rocket stockpiles but increased them exponentially, with generous supplies of advanced anti-tank weapons and surface-to-air missiles.
Today, Hezbollah is the de facto army of Lebanon, significantly more powerful than the Lebanese Armed Forces.
CSIS Missile Defense
@Missile_Defense
 “A militia trained like an army and equipped like a state.” This recent report examines Hezbollah's missile and rocket forces: https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/hezbollahs-rocket-arsenal/ … @CSIS
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Hezbollah is not only a heavily armed militia, it is also a key part of the government of Lebanon. The terrorist group provides a variety of social welfare services and runs its own media and education, and also pays its fighters very well ($600-$1,200 a month for married fighters). This is possible due to funding from Iran: the Islamic Republic has historically given Hezbollah up to $700 million a year, in addition to an estimated $300 million after the war with Israel in 2006. However, recent US sanctions imposed on both groups are taking a severe toll, and Hezbollah has invoked severe austerity measures to cut costs.

Hezbollah has also recently grown in semi-legitimate influence, winning more seats in parliament in the 2018 elections and gaining several ministry posts (including the Ministry of Health, one of the largest budgeted departments) during coalition negotiations. Hezbollah will likely use these positions of power to benefit its followers (such as prioritizing medical care for its supporters), but it is difficult for US sanctions to impact only them and not Lebanon as a whole.

Lebanon will surely be the battleground for any new conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, with all the catastrophic destruction that accompanies war.  With Hezbollah’s implicitly violent control of the Lebanese economy also stifling investment, Iran continues to drag Lebanon down.

Related reading: All You Need to Know About The Hezbollah Threat to Israel

Syria
Iran and Syria have historically had close relations, but since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War this relationship has been unbalanced. The Islamic Republic has spent over $100 billion to prop up Bashar Assad’s regime, including huge volumes of military supplies, intelligence support, and direct intervention by Iranian-sponsored militias and regular forces. Iran has also provided a line of credit for Assad, a luxury most countries deny him.

Hezbollah has also played a key role in the civil war, acting as Iran’s elite forces and training other pro-regime militias. Hezbollah has been involved in some of the hardest fighting of the war, resulting in thousands of casualties (including 1,250 killed) but gaining vital combat experience for its fighters. In line with Iran’s regional threat, Tehran also uses Syria to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah and its other proxies, part of its efforts to threaten and destroy Israel.




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Iran: The Global Threat
BY GRIFFIN JUDD  AUGUST 14, 2019
Iran global threat
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a global threat, synonymous with terror.  Not without reason did president George Bush Jr. famously label Iran as part of the “Axis of Evil” in 2003 and call it out as the “primary state sponsor of terror” in 2005.

Fourteen years later, Iran has only grown bolder and more troublesome. Once merely a regional threat, Iran’s influence and ambitions and dangers are now international. Tehran’s support for global terror and its nuclear program are Iran’s primary global threats, as explained below.

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Support for Global Terror
Even before president Bush called out Iran as a global threat, the Islamic Republic was notorious for its terror activities.

Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the theocracy has used proxy groups and covert government groups to carry out bombings of Israeli targets, as well as Iranian dissidents and defectors. Iranian proxies which engage in terrorism include Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels of Yemen, as well as smaller sleeper cells across Europe, South Asia, and Northern and Latin America. These groups, which are estimated to have up to 200,000 total members, have struck in the past with deadly results.

Hezbollah
The Explosion from Hezbollah's 1983 U.S. Marine Barracks Bombing, Iran: The Global Threat
The explosion from Hezbollah’s 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing
The Lebanese group Hezbollah originated as a terrorist association, and even as it has transformed into the de facto army of Lebanon, it has maintained its terrorist roots. The group was responsible for the infamous 1983 bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut, and has expanded its reach to the international level.

In Argentina, it has bombed the Israeli embassy and a prominent Jewish community center.
In Bulgaria, it bombed a tour bus filled with Israelis.
Similar attacks were foiled in Cyprus and Venezuela.
Other Hezbollah plots have been uncovered in Azerbaijan, Egypt, and Thailand, as well as throughout South America, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Hezbollah also engages in other crimes; drug smuggling and money laundering in Colombia, drug and immigrant trafficking in Mexico, counterfeiting and arms trafficking in the US, and robberies and forging European documents around the world. The profits from all of these operations flow back to Hezbollah in Lebanon, where the money is used to fund its terror and militancy.

Related reading: All You Need to Know About The Hezbollah Threat to Israel

The Houthis
The Houthi rebels are a Shiite militia currently fighting a civil war against the internationally recognized Yemeni government, assisted by Iran. Their activity has mostly been directed against the Yemeni government, but others have been caught in the crossfire: the terrorist militia has targeted Jews specifically, forcing them out of cities and destroying their homes; even before the direct intervention of Saudi Arabia in the conflict, dozens of Saudi soldiers had been killed by the rebels; and in Houthi-controlled areas there have been accusations of kidnapping, torture, and extortion.
Strait of Bab el Mandeb
The Houthis have also targeted international parties on multiple occasions, launching several missiles (supplied by Iran) at US and UAE naval vessels off the coast of Yemen. The rebels have also attacked civilian ships such as oil tankers in the Bab el Mandeb Strait, causing huge damage to international commerce. These attacks, as well as a series of missile strikes against Saudi Arabia, which have killed hundreds, has all been facilitated by Iranian-supplied ballistic missiles and other heavy armaments.

The stakes are high: 4.7 million barrels of oil pass through this strait daily. Indirectly through the Houthis, Iran is now a threat to global trade.

Iranian Government
Apart from its proxies, Iran is itself a global terrorist actor through its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC has been known to plant agents in diplomatic missions, who then target rival countries’ diplomats and tourists, as well as prominent Iranian dissidents. The examples are limitless:

In June 2018, an investigation by Dutch intelligence led to the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats based at the Iranian embassy in Amsterdam from the Netherlands. This followed the assassination several months earlier of an Iranian Arab activist who was gunned down in the Dutch capital. In March 2018, Albanian authorities arrested two Iranian operatives on terrorism charges after being caught allegedly surveilling a location where Iranian New Year (Nowruz) celebrations were about to begin. In January 2018, after weeks of surveillance, German authorities raided several homes tied to Iranian operatives who reportedly were collecting information on possible Israeli and Jewish targets in Germany, including the Israeli embassy and a Jewish kindergarten.

All of that activity was in the span of only six months, and only in Europe; Iran’s global threat and history of terrorism goes back further, starting immediately after the Revolution with the assassination of defectors and dissidents, spreading internationally. But terrorism is not the only global threat Iran presents.

Related reading: Iran: The Regional Threat Explained

Iran’s Nuclear Program
Iran has become notorious on the world stage for its nuclear program, despite its frequent claims of “peaceful purposes.” Following a decade of intense international sanctions, in 2015 Iran agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, UK, USA). Also known as the Iranian nuclear deal, it was theoretically designed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons by increasing the oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange for sanctions relief.

However, the deal sharply divided the American public and was a subject of major contention during the 2016 presidential campaign. In May 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement. The other European signatories have attempted to support the deal by evading US sanctions.

Origins
Ironically, Iran’s nuclear program began under American auspices in the 1950s through the Atoms for Peace program. It sought to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons by making technology for civilian nuclear power available to US allies (including, at the time, Iran).

Iran’s civilian nuclear program expanded until 1979. Following the Revolution, the new Islamic Republic cut ties with the US and many Iranian-born nuclear scientists fled the country. However, in 1984, supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini reached out to international actors for help and secretly restarted Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran's Heavy water production plant in Arak, Iran: The Global Threat
Iran’s Heavy water production plant in Arak. Photo by Nanking2012
With assistance from Russia, China, Pakistan, and Argentina, Iran was able to develop its program until, in 2002, it was revealed by Iranian dissidents that the regime was capable of making a nuclear weapon. Over a decade of negotiations and sanctions followed, characterized by Iranian deception and concealment as it announced compliance in public while continuing to develop in secret.

Then, in 2013, president Barack Obama’s administration began secret negotiations with the Iranian regime which concluded in 2015 with the JCPOA.

The JCPOA
Despite its complexities, the basic terms of the JCPOA centered on four key points:

Before the deal, the amount of time Iran would need — working at maximum capacity — to create enough weapons-grade uranium for a bomb (often referred to as “breakout time”) may have been down to weeks. Under the deal, presuming full compliance, Iran’s breakout time was lengthened to 6-8 months, which was thought to defang Iran’s global nuclear threat.
In exchange for relief from crippling sanctions on the Iranian economy, the regime agreed to destroy most of its uranium and not create more weapons-grade material. Iran also agreed to restrict itself to no more than 5,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium, and stop creating weapons-grade plutonium.
Iran agreed to give IAEA inspectors access to nuclear sites to ensure compliance.
If Iran is confirmed to be violating the deal, any other party can file a complaint which if not resolved results in the snapback of all international sanctions which the deal lifted.
The parties to the deal are Iran on one side and the P5+1 on the other, and the deal was enshrined in international law by the unanimous vote of the UN Security Council on Resolution 2231. However, the JCPOA was never ratified by the US Senate or confirmed by an executive order. As a result, the JCPOA has no binding status in US law.

The deal was heavily criticized for several reasons, primarily:

The many restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program would expire after 10-15 years (the sunset provisions). Tehran would then be free develop a nuclear weapon unimpeded by sanctions or limits, raising Iran’s global threat after the deal’s expiration.
The IAEA’s ability to inspect Iranian nuclear sites was restricted to the point where, according to critics, Iran could still secretly develop a weapon while appearing to be compliant.
The deal does nothing to address Iran’s support for global terror, interference in Middle East countries, human rights abuses, or its ballistic missile program. President Trump invoked this last point when he withdrew the US from the deal in May of 2018.
President Trump announcing the U.S.'s withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran: The Global Threat
In hopes of getting a better deal addressing those issues, as well as following a report by Israel showing that Iran had continued to develop nuclear weapons after 2003 (contrary to its statements at the time), President Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions. America’s allies in the Mideast concerned about Iran’s global threat applauded this move, but in the US it remains a partisan issue.

This withdrawal, combined with Iran’s reaction, is what has created the tense situation in the Persian Gulf today.
Iran’s Global Threat: Ballistic Missiles
Map of Iranian Ballistic Missile Ranges, Iran: The Global Threat
Created by CSIS Missile Defense Program
Iran’s development of ballistic missiles goes back to the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, when Tehran launched more than 600 into Iraq. Since the end of that conflict, the regime’s arsenal has grown immensely both in size and diversity; Iran now has missiles capable of hitting the entire Middle East and parts of Europe.

Although Iran has denied it, the general consensus is that “Iran’s ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering WMD [Weapons of Mass Destruction], and Tehran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East. Iran’s… desire to deter the United States and its allies… provides Tehran with the means and motivation to develop longer-range missiles, including ICBMs.”

Under the terms of UN Security Council Resolutions 1929 and 2231, Iran is explicitly forbidden from testing or developing ballistic missiles. However, this has not stopped it from steadily expanding the size and range of its missiles, with assistance from countries like North Korea and China. During the recent escalation between the Iran and the US and its allies, Tehran has tested missiles which are considered prime candidates for carrying nuclear weapons.

Iran claims that its missile program is defensive but the evidence belies that. In 2016, Iran fired two missiles with a range of over 2,000 km. Although the Iranians painted the words “Israel must be destroyed” on the side of the rockets, those missiles were also capable of reaching Europe and US military bases in the Mideast, increasing Iran’s global threat of escalation in any crisis.

Why You Should Care
This litany of Iranian threats to global peace and stability is enormous, and has not even mentioned, except in passing, two huge issues: the threat Iran poses to Israel and the regime’s many human rights abuses against its own people (these will be addressed on another occasion).

But even without these, it is clear that Iran is a global problem. Iran exports terror and destruction around the world, with proxies that undermine, intimidate and attack opponents. It oppresses its own people, crushing dissent while taking millions of dollars meant to help their future and instead throwing it away on foreign terror groups. The regime seeks to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them not only to their enemies in the region, but around the world. Is it any wonder Iran is considered a global threat?
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Post  Admin on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 2:19 pm

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Independent Changes Headline To Cover Up For Terrorists
BY EMANUEL MILLER  AUGUST 11, 2019
When is a terrorist not a terrorist?
Judging by a recent Independent headline, the answer would seem to be when they are thwarted in the act of staging an attack on Israel.

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On Saturday morning a “large-scale terror attack” was prevented when Israeli soldiers killed four Palestinians trying to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
The men were armed with rocket-propelled grenades, hunting knives, AK-47 rifles, hand grenades and bolt cutters. After one of them hurled a grenade at the Israeli soldiers, the soldiers returned fire, killing the four terrorists. A tweet from the IDF depicted the dizzying array of weapons carried by the would-be assailants.
Israel Defense Forces
✔
@IDF
 · Aug 10, 2019
 We just identified a number of terrorists from Gaza approaching Israel, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPG grenade launchers & grenades—one of which was thrown. Once one of the terrorists crossed into Israel, our troops opened fire.  
The terrorists were neutralized.
Israel Defense Forces
✔
@IDF
These are the weapons possessed by the terrorists who attempted to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza last night.

Their (unfulfilled) objective: murdering Israelis.

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Both the IDF’s tweet and a subsequent statement from Hamas which functionally distanced itself from what it termed “angry youth”, but also condemning “the occupation” for this “latest crime” (i.e. preventing the attack) served as evidence of the fact that an attack had indeed taken place.
Nevertheless, instead of referring to the men as terrorists or militants, The Independent’s headline left out a significant part of the story. “Israeli army kills four Palestinians attempting to cross Gaza fence” reads like a description of a totally different event.

Upon further investigation, HonestReporting noted that the piece was taken from the Associated Press. The original piece, however, had a different headline: “Israeli army kills 4 militants trying to cross Gaza fence”.  Though this headline is also problematic, failing to note that the terrorists actively attacked Israeli soldiers, at least it correctly identifies them as combatants.
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 Shameless from the @Independent. The Israeli army just "kills" Palestinians, apparently.

Why no indication that they were armed to the teeth with RPGs, rifles and knives?

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Clearly, someone at The Independent saw this story and decided to run it — but not before changing the headline to obscure the fact that these men were terrorists carrying a substantial supply of bullets, grenades together with RPGs and rifles.

Describing these individuals as merely “Palestinians” would seem to be a deliberate attempt to cover up for terrorists and is utterly unacceptable.

HonestReporting has filed a complain with The Independent and will be updating this page if and when any response is received.

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Emanuel Miller is a Jerusalem-based writer who has previously worked for the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel, and helped establish the English media department of My Truth, an organization that documents the experiences of Israeli soldiers while facing an immoral, cynical enemy. He regularly speaks about Israel, media bias, and Israel's geopolitical complexities to audiences including Birthright groups, student leaders visiting Israel, and for those seeking to get a more nuanced understanding of Israel.

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Post  Admin on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 3:29 pm

The Sunday Times Thinks You’re Stupid
BY SIMON PLOSKER  AUGUST 8, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/the-sunday-times-thinks-you-are-stupid-sarah-helm/?utm_source=pushengage&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=pushengage
Does The Sunday Times really think that it can fob off its readers? A number of people have forwarded us an entirely inadequate response from The Sunday Times to their complaints concerning a highly problematic article on Gaza by advocacy journalist Sarah Helm. The response is quite frankly, an insult to the intelligence.

HonestReporting critiqued the Helm piece, noting the journalist’s previous record of anti-Israel bias and outright lies. But things really took off after we were supplied with photos of Bilal Masoud, the main subject of the article, carrying an AK-47 assault rifle. This, despite Helm portraying the since deceased Palestinian as a relatively harmless stone thrower armed only with a slingshot.

Bilal Masoud

On this basis, we lodged a formal complaint with The Sunday Times and received the same canned response as some of our readers, which fails to address our specific issues. Holding up another piece published on the same day as evidence of ‘balance’ and ‘even-handedness,’ The Sunday Times avoids the real issues, failing to address the actual complaint.


Read more about Sarah Helm’s article and Bilal Masoud here : Exclusive: Gaza ‘Victim’ Exposed With His AK-47

Given the impersonal nature of the response, we have chosen to republish it here with some of the sections bolded that we will be addressing ourselves:

Thank you for getting in touch. I’m sorry you disliked Sarah Helm’s feature in The Sunday Times Magazine. She reported the testimony of Palestinians affected by the bloodshed at the border fence since March 2018. We believe that it is in the public interest to understand how they view their situation.

However, we understand that these are contentious issues and that there are two sides to the story of Israel and Palestine. For that reason, in the same edition we gave equal weight and space to a very forthright article by Rod Liddle putting forward the perspective of Jewish UK citizens who have emigrated to Israel. If you read the piece, you will see he gives extensive consideration to rocket and tunnel attacks on Israeli territory: and in the accompanying video in our online edition, he travels with the IDF to inspect tunnels dug by Hamas and Hezbollah (which he refers to as terrorist organisations) to enable attacks on Israel. You may not be surprised to learn that, as you have complained about Sarah Helm’s article, Liddle’s report has been subject to complaints from those who take a different view of the conflict.

In both cases, our writers were attempting to give a platform to voices that often go unheard in a fractious debate. We believe they have done so, and that our approach in facilitating this has been demonstrably even-handed.

Finally, thank you for your views. They have been noted, and we will give them due consideration when planning our future coverage of these issues.

A number of points:

We have no problem with differing points of view of the conflict appearing in the newspaper but why does The Sunday Times need to create a false balance? Each article deserves to be judged on its individual merits and not used as a means of ‘balancing’ each other out. Publishing a separate story that deals fairly with the topic at hand cannot be used as an excuse not to deal with a serious breaches of professional journalism.
Claiming even-handedness assumes that both sides are equal. This isn’t necessarily the case. It also assumes that the two journalists in question, Sarah Helm and Rod Liddle, have treated their subjects in an equally professional manner. We don’t believe this to be the case irrespective of the number of complaints received on each story.
Is it really something we should be grateful for that Rod Liddle refers to Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations?! That’s a pretty low bar and shouldn’t be seen as being “pro-Israel” but simply a recognition of factual reality rather than opinion.
The Sunday Times fails to address the main point of the complaint: that Sarah Helm has deliberately or otherwise misrepresented who Bilal Masoud was in order to present a sympathetic portrayal of him as a victim of Israeli violence. Our complaint asked if Sunday Times editors were aware of Masoud’s background before the story went to print. Are Sunday Times editors too embarrassed to acknowledge that they gave a platform to a journalist with a track record of dubious ethics and got burned?
It appears that The Sunday Times finds it easier to insult its readers’ intelligence rather than to deal with the damning evidence that we presented.

We will be following up on our complaint. Watch this space.
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Post  Admin on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 8:33 pm

Exclusive: Gaza ‘Victim’ Exposed With His AK-47
BY SIMON PLOSKER  AUGUST 5, 2019
Martyrs poster of Bilal Masoud. Screenshot: YouTube
 https://honestreporting.com/exclusive-gaza-victim-exposed-ak-47-sarah-helm/
On August 4, HonestReporting critiqued a feature in The Sunday Times by advocacy journalist Sarah Helm. Given her track record of lies and distortions, it was not surprising that the article focusing on Palestinians injured at the Gaza border fence took a distinctly one-sided and biased approach.
Read the original critique here: Propaganda for Gaza in The Sunday Times

Upon further examination, the story is even more problematic than we initially realized. Helm focused on Bilal Masoud, a 29-year old Gazan who sustained crippling injuries after being shot during violence at the border fence at the Great March of Return.

Masoud, unable to live with his injuries and a lack of support from Palestinian authorities eventually commits suicide, setting himself ablaze with kerosene. Certainly a harrowing story and Helm clearly intends to elicit sympathy for Masoud who is consistently referred to by his first name throughout the piece.

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Masoud is portrayed as someone who offered a very limited threat to Israelis or the IDF soldiers stationed on the other side of the border fence.

Bilal always took his slingshot: a piece of frayed nylon cord with a patch of Velcro for the stone, which Khalil now keeps. “It was part of him,” he says, demonstrating how Bilal, who was known as the “lion of the border”, would stand whirling the cord. I wonder whether “the lion” ever hit an Israeli soldier. Khalil shakes his head, saying he was lucky if he ever hit a watchtower.

This image of Masoud is taken from The Sunday Times article. This is how Sarah Helm wants you to picture Masoud before his injuries. A young man armed only with a simple slingshot.

This is a man who, according to Helm’s article, merely threw stones yet paid a terrible price:

“Bilal said, ‘I don’t care. I will throw stones,’ so we walked up close.” Were they close enough to see the soldiers? “Of course not! The Israelis were behind their hills. But they saw us,” and Khalil imitates a sniper. “Cowards,” says his mother.

The man who merely “cut the fence “a small bit”.”

After the publication of our original post, Joe Truzman, researcher of terror organizations and author of the GroundBrief newsletter contacted us. His online research revealed the Bilal Masoud that Sarah Helm and The Sunday Times didn’t want you to see. He sent us these photos:
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Post  Admin on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 10:23 am

Daily Mail Fawns Over Bashar Assad’s Wife
BY SIMON PLOSKER  AUGUST 5, 2019
Asma Assad
Beating cancer is something to be celebrated and used as an example for others in a similar situation to aspire to. But what if the cancer survivor held up as a shining light happens to be Asma Assad, the wife of a vicious dictator responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in a brutal civil war?

So it is with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s wife, the subject of a fawning article in the Daily Mail.


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 Syrian President Assad's wife Asma, 43, confirms she has 'totally conquered cancer' https://trib.al/ckGLaSF 


Bashar Assad's wife Asma says she has 'totally conquered cancer' 
In a state TV interview that aired late on Saturday, Asma Assad, 43, sported a new short blonde bob as she confirmed that she is now free of cancer.

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We don’t begrudge Asma Assad’s personal victory over her illness or her encouragement of women to get regular health checkups. That the general health of Syria’s population and her husband’s responsibility for the brutality inflicted on Syria’s citizens over the past few years is barely touched upon is hard to fathom.

The wife of Assad has been widely praised for her outspokenness on cancer and her candid approach to her own illness, but has faced heavy criticism for failing to speak out against, or stop, her husband’s violent regime.

Her 53-year-old husband has been President of Syria since 17 July 2000. He is regional Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party’s branch in Syria.

The party is closely linked with the Islamist political party and militant group Hezbollah.

Asma’s progressive public image has taken a hit since the Syrian Civil War intensified in early 2012, as the First Lady was criticised for remaining silent throughout the beginning of the Syrian uprising.

This is where reality ends. Instead, Daily Mail readers are treated to a variety of fluffy photos of Asma as well as Bashar and a short interview clip from Syrian state television. Another video taken directly from the official social media of the Syrian presidency shows Asma as the humanitarian visiting wounded Syrian soldiers while a third video, devoid of context, allows Asma to criticize the Western media’s coverage of the Syrian Civil War.

The Syrian state propaganda machine couldn’t have asked for a more pliant platform than the Daily Mail, one of the most widely read news sites in the world.

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Where’s the outrage?
While Asma Assad is portrayed as a humanitarian and a brave cancer survivor, what about the rest of her fellow citizens?

What about the use of chemical weapons on civilians by her husband’s regime?

What about the indiscriminate air strikes and barrel bombs on Syrian villages?

And what about the Syrian healthcare system destroyed by Assad’s forces while Asma received her cancer treatment?

Only in the past few months, prominent doctors and Nobel laureates issued a plea for an end to a bombing campaign that had targeted some 20 hospitals in Syria’s north-west.

One paediatrician, Abdulkader Razouk, described to the Observer how he and his colleagues evacuated an entire hospital including dialysis patients, mothers in labour and premature babies in incubators, as airstrikes began in their town, at least 12 miles from the frontline. “After the airstrikes, but before the direct attack, we knew the hospital would be targeted,” he said in a phone interview about the Tarmala hospital, which was eventually hit on 10 May. “Only a few medical staff stayed to provide emergency response.”

The airstrike destroyed more than half the hospital and much of its equipment from beds and generators to the operating theatres, emergency services and pharmacy. Staff went back briefly to hunt through the rubble for any supplies that survived the onslaught but the building is now abandoned. “It would be impossible to rebuild and reopen now,” Razouk said. “The airstrikes are continuing and still targeting the hospital until this moment, even though it’s empty.”

Treated in a military hospital
Meanwhile, in one interview mentioned by the Daily Mail:

She [Asma Assad] was also asked why she chose to be treated in Syria and in particular – a military hospital.

‘Lisa, after nine years of war, you ask me why in the military hospital?!’ she replied with a laugh.

The interviewer explained that ‘the question is being asked’ and Asma added: ‘I am proud that I was treated in a military hospital.

‘I am honoured that those who were treated with me were, a few hours or days earlier, on the front lines defending our country.’

The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming. The Daily Mail doesn’t consider the state of Syria’s civilian hospitals, so many of which have been deliberately bombed by Assad’s military and its allies. While Asma Assad is treated in a military hospital, her fellow citizens have been deprived of medical care, including cancer treatment, by her own husband’s brutality.

While other media outlets such as Reuters and the Associated Press saw fit to address Asma Assad’s position in Bashar’s vicious regime, it’s only the final paragraph of the Daily Mail’s article that we learn the human cost of the civil war:

Since Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011, Mrs Assad has mostly been seen in public receiving families of fallen soldiers, or hosting people wounded in the conflict, now in its eighth year, which has killed more than 400,000 people.

For the Daily Mail, it is the conflict that has killed more than 400,000 people with barely a thought as to who is responsible for the killing. But why ruin such a positive narrative with information that could tarnish Asma Assad’s image?

This isn’t the first time that a puff piece on Asma Assad has appeared in the western media. Vogue magazine was pilloried back in 2011. It appears that the lessons from that embarrassment to journalism have not been learned.
Shame on the Daily Mail for publishing this.
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Post  Admin on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 3:08 pm

Propaganda for Gaza in The Sunday Times
BY SIMON PLOSKER  AUGUST 4, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/propaganda-for-gaza-in-the-sunday-times-sarah-helm/?utm_source=pushengage&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=pushengage
Palestinian protesters burn tires during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza Israeli border on April 6, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90
 
Advocacy journalist Sarah Helm has a history of lies and distortions when it comes to reporting on Israel. In recent years we’ve called her out for using a quote falsely attributed to David Ben Gurion and lying about Israel’s Gaza border fence in The Independent. We’ve also taken Helm to task for an opinion piece in The Guardian that was littered with bias and blatant falsehoods. Other examples of Helm’s bias have been cataloged at UK Media Watch.

So it’s hardly surprising that Helm has appeared in The Independent and The Guardian that regularly display overt hostility towards Israel. Unfortunately The Sunday Times, a more balanced media outlet, has now given Helm a platform to disseminate her anti-Israel bias. While this latest article is behind a paywall, thus limiting its reach, it is nonetheless worthy of a response.

Helm tells the story of Bilal Masoud, “shot in his legs and right arm by Israeli soldiers at the border fence separating Gaza from Israel. Now he was unable to do anything for himself or feed his birds.”

Even the way that Masoud and other Palestinians in the story are referred to by their first names is a deliberate attempt to elicit sympathy for their plight. Indeed, that Masoud eventually commits suicide is undoubtedly disturbing. It is also legitimate to feel some level of sympathy for Palestinians whose lives have been ruined as a result of reckless or violent behavior, incited by Hamas terrorists to riot at the Gaza border fence.

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But Helm doesn’t bother examining what’s really motivating Palestinians like Bilal to risk their lives or even actively seek to end them.

Bilal rushed to the fence, knowing that Israeli troops would open fire if he got too close. He was badly maimed by the shots; his injuries so unbearable that ultimately he chose another way to end his life.

Bilal is one of thousands shot by Israeli soldiers since the Great March of Return protests began near the fence in March last year.

The Great March of the Return protests marked Palestinians’ desire to go back to their families’ former homes in what is now Israel.

So Israel is simply shooting thousands of Palestinians who merely “desire to go back to their families’ former homes.” This is a narrative that ignores the very violent intentions of many of those driving the weekly demonstrations at the border fence, least of all Hamas, which barely warrants a mention.

Helm writes:

People in Gaza say the majority of the dead and injured are poor young men without hope, many of whom are unarmed, who go to the border with the aim of getting shot and dying. “This is a kind of mass suicide, the result of despair among Gaza’s youth,” says a head teacher at a UN school. His words are echoed up and down the strip.

If Palestinians are deliberately aiming to get fatally shot, it is worth noting that Israel is not obliging them. The IDF has intentionally avoided killing thousands of rioting Palestinians, hence the number of non-fatal injuries to limbs as opposed to actual deaths.

And why would Gazans feel so suicidal and hopeless? According to Helm:

Since the Israeli siege has tightened, jobs have become scarcer. President Trump has cut all US funding for aid. With unemployment at 60% among the young, the “shebab”, as the young are known, sit around the streets on plastic chairs, wondering when they’ll get a job and have the money to get married.

What kind of “siege” allows in huge amounts of fuel, gas, goods, medical supplies and allows thousands of trucks to cross into Gaza and thousands of Gazan residents to enter Israel each month? A siege is typically a form of war meant to starve a population into submission. Israel’s (and Egypt’s) blockade is specifically for security reasons.

Related reading: The Gaza Blockade: An Explainer

Nowhere does Helm hold Hamas accountable for the situation in which Gaza finds itself.
Furthermore, Helm writes:

When the Great March of Return was announced in spring 2018 there was a brief spell of euphoria. The demonstration was timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, “the catastrophe” as it is known in Gaza, when Israel was created and Palestinian Arabs were driven out. Of the 2m Palestinians who live in Gaza, 1.4m are refugees or descendants of refugees expelled from villages by Israeli forces during the 1948 war.

Sarah Helm
This is nothing more than a blatant attempt to claim that Israel ‘ethnically cleansed’ Palestinians in 1948. In reality, while some Palestinians were forced out during fighting, many Palestinians fled as a result of the war and not due to any Israeli plan to expel them. Today, over a million Israeli Arab citizens are testament to the fact that Israel did not embark on a campaign of expulsion.

Ultimately, Sarah Helm’s profile of the death of Bilal Massoud is tragic. But this is a tragedy that is certainly not Israel’s responsibility alone. Hamas is responsible for so much of the tragedy of Gaza. While Palestinians such as Massoud grew desperate, Hamas preferred to spend its money on rockets and attack tunnels as well as encouraging its people to approach the Gaza fence in the hope that enough deaths and injuries would spawn sympathetic media pieces such as Helm’s.

Given Helm’s previous form, it’s hard to know just how far this tale has been spun to suit her pro-Palestinian advocacy and anti-Israel bias. Shame on The Sunday Times for giving her a platform.

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Post  Admin on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 10:02 am

Understanding the Israel-Lebanon Maritime Border Dispute
BY GRIFFIN JUDD  AUGUST 4, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/understanding-israel-lebanon-maritime-border-dispute/?utm_source=pushengage&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=pushengage
International border disputes are very common, and in the normal course of events rarely draw any attention. But what happens when one of the countries in the dispute refuses to acknowledge the other’s existence?  This complicates things, because the two countries then cannot negotiate directly. After all, negotiation implies recognition.

That is the dilemma currently facing Israel and Lebanon, who, since 2011, have been arguing over an 856 sq km piece of ocean.

But why is this area of the sea worth fighting about? What are the problems? And more importantly, what are the possible solutions?

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History of the Israel-Lebanon Maritime Dispute
To understand this dispute, one must understand the international laws behinds it. At the root of the problem lies is the jurisdiction of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Under this treaty, states are entitled to a 200-nautical mile Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) off their coast. Within this zone, states have exclusive rights to exploit natural resources, such as fish and oil.

Lebanon ratified UNCLOS and submitted its proposed border to the UN in 2011; Israel never ratified the treaty, but generally adheres to it, and submitted its proposed border to the UN at the same time.

And here the dispute arose.

Lebanon does not recognize Israel as a country, and has no diplomatic relations with them. Instead, Lebanon refers to Israel as “the state of Palestine” when submitting treaties to the UN, and the two countries must rely on third parties when concluding negotiations. Israel and Lebanon’s land border (sometimes referred to as the Blue Line) is based on the 1949 armistice agreement and the British-French Paulet-Newcombe Agreement which demarcated the boundary between Mandatory Palestine and Mandatory Syria and Lebanon.

The UNCLOS and Paulet-Newcombe treaties are the foundation of all subsequent Israeli-Lebanese border negotiations.

Israel-Lebanon maritime border dispute

Both Lebanon in 2007 and Israel in 2010 concluded maritime border agreements with Cyprus. Lebanon, during its negotiations with Cyprus, marked the southernmost point of its border as Point 1. However, Lebanon was forced to cancel the agreement under pressure from Turkey (meaning it never entered into force). This provided a precedent for Israel, which during its negotiations with Cyprus used Point 1 to indicate its northernmost border.

Lebanon, meanwhile, submitted to the UN borders which were different from those used in its Cyprus negotiations. Point 23, and not Point 1, would be considered the southernmost point of Lebanon’ s EEZ, a provocative difference of 17 km. It’s not clear why the Lebanese altered their demarcation, though some believe they wanted to antagonize Israel.

Whatever the reason, this resulted in the overlap between Israel and Lebanon’s claimed EEZs.

Why Does It Matter?
If the disputed zone was just empty ocean, the Israel-Lebanon maritime border dispute would be a non-issue. However, Israel’s coastal waters contain reserves of oil and natural gas. It is speculated that the waters off Lebanon do as well, with reserves extending into the disputed zone.

The stakes are high.

Estimates based on seismic studies suggest Lebanon’s EEZ may contain up to 25 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, an enormous windfall worth billions of dollars for a state whose economy has lagged in recent decades. However, there is also an element of geopolitical danger, as Lebanon seeks to assert its sovereignty at the cost of Israel’s. Indeed, the dispute only rose in prominence in 2018, when Lebanon began selling drilling permits for “blocks” of their EEZ; A combined venture by Total, ENI, and Novatek purchased rights to explore Blocks 4 and 9, the latter of which contains part of the disputed zone.

Tamar gas field
Workers on the Israeli ‘Tamar’ gas processing rig in 2014. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90
The Israeli defense minister at the time, Avigdor Liberman, called the move “very provocative,” and the dispute quietly simmered for a year and a half until April, 2019, when Lebanese officials indicated a willingness to negotiate over the zone. Facilitated by the US, direct talks were expected to begin in July, 2019. However, that month an Israeli naval vessel entered the disputed waters, a possible provocation for the Lebanese government.

Lebanese officials hope to avoid geopolitical complications interfering with the exploitation of their resources, as happened to the Palestinian Authority. In 1999, the PA cooperated with Royal Dutch Shell to drill in the Gaza Marine gas field. However, Shell withdrew from the partnership in 2018 following almost two decades of political difficulties — much of it stemming from Hamas’ rule of the Gaza Strip and Israel’s blockade.

Related reading: The Gaza Blockade: An Explainer

What’s Being Done?
In the absence of direct relations between the two countries, resolving the Israel-Lebanon maritime border dispute is tricky. However, president Barack Obama sent several mediators to try resolving the dispute.

The first mediator, Frederic Hof presented a plan in May 2012 creating a provisional but legally binding maritime separation line and a buffer zone with no petroleum activities. According to media reports, it acknowledged that around 500 sq km of the disputed area belong to Lebanon. It didn’t satisfy Beirut but was neither approved nor officially rejected at the time.

A second US mediator, Amos J. Hochstein, proposed a plan more favorable to Lebanon. But the plan never took off due to Lebanese government instability and Israel’s lack of enthusiasm for it.

The Trump administration — notorious for its undermanned diplomatic staff — allowed the issue to simmer until Lebanon signaled it was ready to renew talks in  April 2019.  Since then, US envoy David Satterfield has been working to set the terms for the July conference, and it has been suggested that a possible solution to the Israel-Lebanon maritime border dispute will open both countries’ waters for seismic surveying.

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Before you comment on this article, please note our Comments Policy. Any comments deemed to be in breach of the policy will be removed at the editor’s discretion.
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Post  Admin on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 5:44 pm

https://honestreporting.com/exposed-amnesty-internationals-deceptive-press-release/?utm_source=pushengage&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=pushengage
Exposed: Amnesty International’s Deceptive Press Release
BY EMANUEL MILLER  JULY 30, 2019
Amnesty-presents-Hate
‘Famous Actress cancels play to highlight suffering of Palestinians.’

It’s a compelling story, one sure to be picked up by journalists, but beyond the usual anti-Israel agitprop, it’s a tale of deception and dishonesty that should leave Amnesty International shamefaced.
A show called “Obliterated,” sponsored by the prominent human rights organization, was said to have been due to be performed exactly one year after the destruction of a Gaza theater.
In fact, the play was never due to have been performed at all — the whole thing was a PR stunt.
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In an email sent to people who had signed up for what was advertised as a free, one-night only performance, playwright Ahmed Masoud and actress Maxine Peake openly admitted to the devious trick: “There was never a play or a show. I didn’t write it and Maxine never rehearsed it.” This was confirmed when an Amnesty International UK press officer told HonestReporting, “they have cancelled it, and intended to cancel it.”

Despite openly admitting to registrants that the play was never written, a press release circulated by Amnesty International to announce the show was being pulled totally neglected to acknowledge that the cancellation was premeditated. The press release, seen by countless journalists, failed to mention that the play was never written, and that from the very outset, no performance was actually planned. Consequently, multiple news outlets picked up on the press release and failed to report the full story.

The episode should act as a cautionary tale to journalists not to rely on press releases for more than one reason.
The stunt was designed to draw attention to the first anniversary of the destruction of the al-Mishal Cultural Center in Gaza. In its press release, Amnesty wrote:
The scheduled performance – which is fully booked – would have marked exactly one year since the destruction by an Israeli airstrike of the Mishal Cultural Centre last year, the only working theatre in Gaza which housed numerous arts projects in the beleaguered Palestinian territory.

That’s one way to describe the theater. A more objective statement would have recognized that the theater was believed to have served as a command and control center for the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza in its ongoing hostilities against Israel.

For a self-described human rights organization, it’s hard to understand how a commitment to human rights is being served when Amnesty allows itself to be used as cover for Hamas’ human shields policy, in which the terror group embeds itself in civilian infrastructure in order to conceal its presence and avert being struck, even after being discovered. (Significantly, under international law, the responsibility for any civilian casualties and collateral damage incurred in the event of a military strike on such a military installment would fall firmly on Hamas’ shoulders.)

None of this seems to interest Amnesty International UK, whose media department failed to mention the controversy entirely.

When human rights organizations wage media campaigns to gain public sympathy while possibly providing cover for terror organizations committing war crimes, the cause of human rights is being shamelessly, deceitfully used for political ends.

To be clear, HonestReporting has no problem with PR stunts. They are a reality in the media world, are often ingenious, entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking, We do, however, have a problem with NGOs and activists conning journalists by pretending that their actions are not a PR stunt at all.

Please SHARE this article on social media and take a minute to leave a strong (but polite!) message to Amnesty International UK to convey your disgust at its duplicit
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Post  Admin on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 3:18 pm

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What Really Happened at the Camp David II Summit?
BY DOV LIPMAN  JULY 29, 2019

“Why doesn’t Israel simply give the Palestinians what they are asking for and bring the conflict to an end?”

“What do you want from the Palestinians? Israel refuses to give them their own state so of course the Palestinians resort to terrorism and armed conflict!”

These two refrains are heard constantly from the pro-Palestinian camp in parliaments and college campuses around the world.

The problem with this line of questioning is that it ignores the fact that Israel has tried to make peace and has tried to offer the Palestinians as much as it can. The Camp David II summit of 2000 is a case in point.

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Camp David II
The last major attempt to resolve the issues between Israel and the Palestinians took place in July 2000. US President Bill Clinton invited Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat to meet at Camp David, the president’s retreat in western Maryland.

Years before, in 1979, Camp David had been the place where US President Jimmy Carter hosted Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat for talks that eventually led to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty. It was hoped that Camp David’s relaxed setting would facilitate a similar breakthrough for the Israelis and Palestinians. Hence the name, Camp David II.

The Oslo Accords, signed in 1993 between Arafat and the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, called for a final status agreement between the two sides within five years of the Palestinians being given their own autonomy.

The Palestinians were not happy about coming to Camp David II, fearing they would be pressured into making concessions. But Arafat accepted the invitation and on July 11, the Israeli and Palestinian delegations arrived in Camp David.

The approach for this summit was “all or nothing.” The two sides were to strive to reach an agreement regarding territory and status of settlements, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, refugees and the Palestinian call for the right of return, and security arrangements. There were to be no partial or intermediate agreements.

Camp David 2
From left to right, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, US president Bill Clinton and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Camp David II summit in 2000.
The Positions
Territory: The Palestinians were demanding the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip but were willing to accept land swaps from within Israel for any part of these territories which Israel would hold on to. Prime Minister Barak offered the Palestinians 73% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip with a plan for them to eventually control 91% of the West Bank, with an elevated highway and railroad to connect the two territories.

The Palestinians would also receive the equivalent of one percent of the West Bank by taking control of the Halutza Sand region next to the Gaza Strip. The plan would have required Israel to forcibly evacuate people from their homes in 63 settlements, while allowing Israel to annex the settlements of Gush Etzion and Maale Adumim where a few hundred thousand Israelis reside.

Jerusalem Camp David IIJerusalem: Israel proposed giving the Palestinians “custodianship” over the Temple Mount and “administration” over the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the Old City and all Islamic and Christian holy sites. They would be allowed to raise the Palestinian flag in all these locations.

Israel felt that it could not relinquish its sovereignty over these areas due to security concerns. The Israeli neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem would remain under Israeli sovereignty and the Palestinians would be given civilian autonomy in their areas. The Palestinians would create the city of Al-Quds to be the capital of Palestine. This city would include small cities and villages on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Refugees: The Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for over 700,000 refugees from the Israeli War of Independence in 1948 and their descendants numbering in the millions, was not one which Israel could agree to. The influx of millions of Palestinians would amount to the end of the democratic Jewish state of Israel.

Instead, Israel proposed that a maximum of 100,000 refugees be allowed to enter Israel for family reunification and other humanitarian considerations. All remaining Palestinian “refugees” would be settled in the new Palestinian state or in third-party countries. An international fund worth $30 billion which Israel would contribute to, would register claims of property lost by Palestinian refugees and provide appropriate compensation.

Security: The number one concern for Israeli negotiators related to security. Israel demanded that the Palestinian state be demilitarized and that it commit to dismantling all terrorist groups.

Israel proposed that an international force be stationed in the Jordan Valley, with Palestine controlling the border crossing albeit under Israeli observation, and that Israel maintain a permanent security presence along 15% of the border between Jordan and Palestine. Israel also asked that be allowed to set up radar stations inside the Palestinian state and that it be able to deploy troops in the Palestinian state in a case of emergency.

A final peace: Israel’s number one demand was that for it to make all these concessions, Arafat must declare an end to the conflict and make no further demands of Israel in the future.

White House aides who were present at Camp David II were surprised at how far Barak was willing to go and felt that his offer met most of what the Palestinians were asking for.

But Arafat rejected the Israeli offer.

Instead of an agreement, the parties issued a declaration which said that “the two sides agreed that the aim of their negotiations is to put an end to decades of conflict and achieve a just and lasting peace” and that “the two sides commit themselves to continue their efforts to conclude an agreement on all permanent status issues as soon as possible.”

Clinton’s Post-Camp David II Proposals
Bill Clinton Camp David II
US president Bill Clinton
President Clinton did not give up on the mission to secure an actual agreement and following months of back and forth, presented a new proposal to both sides in December 2000 in which he pushed Israel to make even more concessions.

Territory: The Clinton proposal offered the Palestinians 94%-96% of the West Bank plus land swaps of up to 3% in Israel to give the Palestinians close to 100% of the land mass they sought.

Security: To provide Israel with its security needs, the Israeli army would withdraw from the Palestinian areas gradually over the course of three years while an international force would be gradually introduced into the region. Israel would maintain a small presence on the Jordan Valley for an additional three years, but under the authority of the international force.

Israel would be allowed to have an “early-warning” station in the West Bank but with the presence of a Palestinian liaison, and in the event of an “imminent and demonstrable threat to Israel’s security,” an arrangement would be made for IDF deployment to the West Bank on an emergency basis. And finally, the state of Palestine would be “non-militarized” but would have a strong security force.

Jerusalem: Clinton proposed that Arab neighborhoods be in Palestine, that Jewish neighborhoods be Israeli, that the Palestinians would have sovereignty over the Temple Mount and that the Israelis would maintain sovereignty over the Western Wall and the “holy space” which the Western Wall is part of. No excavations around the wall or under the Temple Mount would take place without mutual consent.

Related reading: Jewish Ties to the Temple Mount: What’s the Story?

Refugees: Clinton proposed that to address the refugee issue, the new state of Palestine would be the homeland for refugees displaced in the 1948 war and afterward. In addition, an international effort would be made to compensate refugees and assist them in finding houses in the new state of Palestine, in their new current host countries, in other willing nations, or in Israel.

A final peace: Clinton agreed with the Israeli demand that the agreement had to clearly mark the end of the conflict and put an end to all violence.

The Israeli government voted to accept the proposal on December 27, 2000. Arafat never gave Clinton an official “no,” but he also never said “yes,” amounting to a rejection of the proposal — an unceremonious ending for Camp David II and Clinton’s peacemaking efforts.

According to notes taken by White House officials during the Camp David II meetings trying to convince the Palestinian leader to accept the agreement, Arafat was quoted as saying:

The Palestinian leader who will give up Jerusalem has not yet been born. I will not betray my people or the trust they have placed in me. Don’t look to me to legitimize the occupation. No one can continue indefinitely to impose domination by military force – look at South Africa. Our people will not accept less than their rights as stated by international resolutions and international legality.

Some said that the Palestinians felt that the land swaps being offered them were inferior lands to that which they were giving up in the West Bank, that they needed to have complete sovereignty over the entirety of eastern Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, and recognition of a full right of return for Palestinian refugees.

The Second Intifada Begins
Yasser Arafat Camp David II
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
Not only did the Palestinians reject the Israeli offer, but soon after, the Second Intifada, a violent Palestinian uprising began. More than 1,000 innocent Israeli civilians were killed in a Palestinian campaign of suicide bombings and shootings.

President Clinton blamed Arafat for the failure of the two sides to reach an agreement:

I regret that in 2000 Arafat missed the opportunity to bring that nation into being.

Dennis Ross, the chief US negotiator, concluded that Arafat was never truly open to a two-state solution. Rather, Arafat and the Palestinians had clung to their desire for

a one-state solution. Not independent, adjacent Israeli and Palestinian states, but a single Arab state encompassing all of Historic Palestine.

Palestinian officials confirmed that the Second Intifada was premeditated all along. Speaking at the Ein Al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, PA Communications Minister, Imad Al-Faluji said,

Whoever thinks that the Intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon’s visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is wrong, even if this visit was the straw that broke the back of the Palestinian people. This Intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat’s return from the Camp David negotiations, where he turned the table upside down on President Clinton. [Arafat] remained steadfast and challenged [Clinton]. He rejected the American terms and he did it in the heart of the US.

Related reading: Did Ariel Sharon Start the Second Intifada?

Sadly and tragically for both Israelis and Palestinians, the Palestinian leadership continued its obstructionist ways by not replying to an even more generous offer made by Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, and by stonewalling negotiations even when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enacted a 10-month freeze on settlement activity, then a key precondition for talks by both the Palestinians and the Obama administration.

So, asking why Israel doesn’t bring the conflict to an end and give the Palestinians what they want isn’t the right question. Here’s the better question:
Why do the Palestinians continue to avoid making peace with Israel?
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Post  Admin on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 9:49 pm

https://honestreporting.com/israeli-arabs-apartheid/

https://honestreporting.com/israeli-arabs-apartheid/
HonestReporting
Do Arab Israelis Really Suffer From Apartheid?
BY DOV LIPMAN  JULY 16, 2019
Israeli Arab
An Israeli Arab woman votes in municipal elections in Kafr Qasim on October 30, 2018. Photo by Roy Alima/Flash90
The claims of “apartheid” regarding Arab Israelis often heard in college campuses and parliaments around the world ignore just one point – the facts.

The  Cambridge Dictionary defines apartheid as “a political system in which people of different races are separated.” Oxford defines it as “a policy of system of segregation on grounds of race.” Two dictionaries specifically relate this word to South Africa.  Merriam-Webster defines “apartheid” as “racial segregation specifically: a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa.” The Collins dictionary says, “apartheid was a political system in South Africa in which people were divided into racial groups and kept apart by law.”
Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population. A simple study of the Israeli political situation shows that Arab Israelis  hold positions in the highest levels of legislative branch (the Knesset), the executive branch (the Israeli cabinet) and the judicial branch (the Supreme Court) something which could not happen in an apartheid society.
The only legal distinction between Jews and Arabs is that Arabs are not required to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. This policy came from David Ben Gurion’s decision not to put Arab Israelis in a position of having to fight fellow Arabs. Volunteers are accepted, and the number of Arab Israelis in the IDF is growing modestly. One can read about people like the IDF’s highest ranking Arab officer, the mostly-Arab Desert Reconnaissance Battallion (a.k.a. Gadsar), an observant Muslim woman serving in an infantry battalion, as well as Arab Christian  soldiers. Six Arab Israelis have even received the IDF’s highest decoration, the Medal of Distinguished Service.
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Arab Israelis in the Knesset
Arab Israelis have been elected to every single Knesset in Israel’s history and Arab Israeli parties have run in all of Israel’s elections.

A prime example of the freedoms which Arabs have to elect their representatives and for them to reach high office in the legislative branch is Dr. Ahmed Tibi, of the Hadash-Ta’al party. He served as an adviser for PLO and PA chairman Yassir Arafat and ran for a seat in the 15th Kneset in 1999 with the Arab Balad party. He won a seat, subsequently switched to the Arab Ta’al party and won election to the 16th Knesset in 2003. Tibi was reelected again for the 17th Knesset in 2006, and was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, a position he has continued to hold in the 18th, 19th, and 20th Knessets. Twelve laws sponsored by MK Tibi – dealing with social, economic, and consumer issues – have been passed into Israeli law.
Aida Touma-Suliman
MK Aida Touma-Suliman
Another example of Arab Israelis and their significant impact in Israel’s legislative branch is Knesset member Aida Touma-Suliman of the Hadash-Ta’al party. She was the first and only Israeli woman to head a daily newspaper (Al-Ittihad) and succeeded in advancing the passage of three laws before being elected to the Knesset: a law regarding family courts, a law to raise the marriage age from 17 to 18, and a law to encourage women representatives in city councils. In the 20th Knesset, MK Touma-Suliman was elected chairwoman of the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women.

Since Israel’s founding, 81 Israeli Arab and Druze MKs have served in the Knesset.
Arab Israelis in the cabinet
The Arab parties have not joined any of the governing coalitions, making it impossible for Israeli Arab MK’s to serve as ministers in the executive branch. However, there are Arab MK’s who serve in mainstream parties and one such MK, Raleb Majade of the Labor party, joined the executive branch when he was appointed as Minister of Science, Culture and Sport in 2007.

(It should be noted that the Israel has a sizeable Druze community has produced 14 Knesset members who served in mainstream Israeli parties and who have sat in governing coalition, including Ayoob Kara who served as Minister of Communications from 2017-2019 and Majalli Wahabi who served a short stint as acting President of Israel in 1997.)
Arab Israelis in the courts
Salim Joubran
Justice Salim Joubran
There are numerous Arab Israeli judges sitting on the bench in Israel’s justice branch of government, with one, Justice Salim Joubran, having served as a permanent Supreme Court Justice. (Another Arab Israeli, Abdel Rahman Zuabi, served as a Supreme Court Justice temporarily for nine months in 1999.)

Justice Joubran earned his law degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and worked as a private practice attorney for 12 years before being appointed to his first judicial position on Haifa’s Magistrate Court. He served on the bench at various levels for 21 years until his appointment to the Supreme Court in 2003. He was later appointed deputy chief justice.
Joubran, who also served as chair of the Central Elections Committee for the 2013 Knesset elections, retired in 2017.
Justice Abdel Rahman Zuabi graduated with a law degree from the Tel Aviv School of Law and Economics in 1958 and worked as a lawyer in Haifa and Nazareth until 1978, when he was appointed to be a judge on the Nazareth District Court. In 1996, Judge Zuabi was appointed deputy chief of the Nazareth District Court. On March 3, 1999, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Israel.
Justice George Karra studied law at Tel Aviv University and worked in private practice for 14 years. Judge Karra was appointed to be a judge in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court where he served for 11 years and then the Tel Aviv District Court for 17 years. He was appointed to serve as a Supreme Court Justice in 2017.
None of these prominent positions in the three branches could ever be held by a member of the oppressed population in an “apartheid regime.”
Arab Israelis beyond the government
The facts demonstrating that Israel is not an “apartheid state” extend beyond the realm of government to culture, media, sports and more.

Lucy Ahrish
Lucy Ahrish
Arab Israeli Rana Raslan won the Miss Israel title in 1999 and represented Israel at the Miss Universe pageant. Mira Anwar Arad, represented Israel at the 2009 Eurovision song competition, singing Arab lyrics. One of Israel’s most popular news anchors is Lucy Aharish, an Arab Israeli. Ahrish has worked for all the Israeli TV channels was honored with lighting one of the 12 torches to signify the start of Independence Day festivities at the national Israeli Independence celebration in 2015.

An Arab Israeli, Dr. Samer Haj Yehia, was appointed chairman of Israel’s oldest banking corporation, Bank Leumi (National Bank), in July 2019.
Israel’s national sports teams have featured Arab citizens throughout the history of the state. The 2018 Israeli national soccer team included a starting lineup that was nearly half Arab Muslim/Christian with Beram Kayal, an Arab Israeli, as its star player and the team’s captain was Muslim Israeli Bibras Natkho, who had previously served as captain of Israel’s under-19 team.
* * *
The claim that Israel is an apartheid state trivializes the horrific struggle which the black population suffered during the apartheid years in South Africa. Unlike the black population during those horrible decades in South Africa, Israeli Arab citizens have the right to move freely,  obtain an education, vote, receive top health care, work in the most prominent positions and speak freely.
It’s fair to criticize specific policies of Israel’s democratically elected government just as Israelis can criticize the policies of other governments. But Israel is clearly not an “apartheid regime.” Enemies of the State of Israel apply that term to Israel in an effort to rally interest in a boycott of Israel just as this tool was used effectively to help bring the South African apartheid regime to its end.
Intellectual honesty demands a rejection of this false and misleading terminology with regards to Israel.
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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Jul 2019, 6:26 pm

 Here is another Report which is asking to alter and rewrite article.
https://honestreporting.com/irish-independent-cuts-out-israels-side-on-jerusalem-demolitions/?utm_source=pushengage&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=pushengage
Irish Independent Cuts Out Israel’s Side On Jerusalem Demolitions
BY EMANUEL MILLER  JULY 23, 2019

News wire services underpin the media industry. It’s not feasible for every news outlet in existence to have a reporter in every hotspot across the globe. Instead, outsource, turning to independent news agencies who allow newspapers and websites to reprint their articles for a fee.
The significance of wire service reports is generally under-appreciated by the public. Whereas people frequently vent frustrations with with big names such as the New York Times and The Guardian, many stories published in these papers, and others, are sourced from another organization entirely.
HonestReporting has previously noted the significance and impact of wire service reports:
When these agencies get their reporting right, it means that many millions of people are exposed to good coverage. When these wire services get things wrong, however, millions are exposed to false or misleading reporting.
There’s also one more possibility: Wire articles can be published as is, or they can be edited. Sometimes, the original reporting is fine — but then altered by an over-zealous editor before being published on a news website or newspaper.
That’s exactly what happened on Monday, when the Irish Independent published an article titled, “Fury as Israel demolishes Palestinian homes.” Although newspapers and websites are free to edit wire agency articles, basic journalistic principles still apply. Balance, context, and accuracy are as important for these pieces as they are for a story written by a newspaper’s own reporters.
The piece, originally written by Ali Sawafta for the Reuters news agency, titled Israel demolishes Palestinian homes near West Bank barrier, was balanced, and fairly depicted the serious, complex issue of the demolition of Palestinian buildings built close to the security barrier.
Unfortunately, the Irish Independent’s version of this Reuters dispatch totally cut out Israel’s side. Readers would think Israel tore down the buildings for no reason whatsoever. A comparison of the original report and what the Irish Independent published shows the key omissions:
The original headline indicates the homes’ proximity to Israel’s defense infrastructure, but the Irish Independent piece removed that key context the story.
The second paragraph of the original Reuters story mentioning Israel’s rationale was deleted by the Irish Independent. It reads thus: “Israel said the 10 apartment buildings, most of them still under construction, had been built illegally and posed a security risk to Israeli armed forces operating along the barrier that runs through the occupied West Bank.”
Second paragraph of Reuters' article
Second paragraph of Reuters’ original article
The third paragraph of the original Reuters story refers to the UN and makes clear that under 20 people were affected by the demolition. The single-sentence paragraph, reading, “U.N. officials, who had called on Israel to halt the demolition plans, said 17 Palestinians faced displacement”, was removed from the Independent’s piece.
The original article fairly describes the concerns of both sides,  saying: “Palestinians fear that the razing of buildings near what Israel describes as a security barrier against Palestinian attacks will set a precedent for other towns along its route, which snakes through the West Bank for hundreds of kilometers.” The Irish Independent then removed the words, “what Israel describes as a security barrier against Palestinian attacks,” and published the concerns of the Palestinians alone.
These violate three different categories of media bias: imbalanced reporting, lack of context, and selective omission.

HonestReporting has contacted the Irish Independent, urging the editor to revise the article.
Help us pressure the Irish Independent — comment on our social media posts (Facebook here and Twitter here) to demand the Reuters dispatch be published in full.
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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Jul 2019, 11:30 am

Daily Beast Attacks Baseball Legend For Supporting Israel
BY GUESTPOST  JULY 23, 2019
Mariano Rivera
https://honestreporting.com/daily-beast-attacks-baseball-legend-mariano-rivera-israel/?utm_source=pushengage&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=pushengage
This article on Maniaro Rivera in the Daily Beast is cross-posted with permission of the Elder of Ziyon blog.

This article in the Daily Beast by Robert Silverman is truly remarkable in how much it tries – and fails – to tar the greatest relief pitcher of all time as a bigoted, far-right racist.

Over the past three years, [Rivera’s] served at the pleasure of a racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf of an apartheid government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons. None of this will be inscribed on his Hall of Fame plaque. It should, even if much of the sports world would very much like to pretend none of it exists.

The article then goes into detail about these accusations, and ends up with nothing more than guilt by association with people whose views the author finds odious, again without proof.

The illustration of Rivera on a yarmulka/pitcher’s mound with the Israeli flag is actually perfect for this article – nothing but insinuation, zero facts, and showing how biased the author is.

Mariano Rivera Daily Beast

Let’s start off with Silverman’s “proof” that  Israel is an apartheid state. He links to an article about a document released by a UN commission made up exclusively of 18 Arab states, because whatever Arabs say about Israel must be true. He doesn’t mention that the document was not accepted by the UN and the person who wrote it was forced out of her job for making that accusation without clearing it with her UN bosses.

I’m not going into whether Trump is racist (I don’t believe he is although he is too willing to use racist dog whistles to help his political aims) but to imply that everyone who does anything for Trump is a racist is something that any decent editor would throw back in the face of the writer.

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Look at the doggerel in the article:

Rivera insisted he would retire from baseball in 2003 in order to focus on evangelical work; “Phil. 4:13″, referring to Philippians 4:13, was scribbled on his cleats; the year he retired, Rivera’s charitable organization, one very much powered by his faith, was distributing nearly a million dollars annually, according to New York magazine; he recently founded a church in New Rochelle, NY (his wife serves as pastor); when Rivera gave up the game-winning single that cost the Yankees the 2001 World Series, he said it was part of the greater good—God’s plan, even—because doing so prevented a teammate from possibly getting on a plane that crashed; and when it comes to his signature pitch, “He put it in me,” Rivera said. “He put it in me, for me to use it. To bring glory, not to Mariano Rivera, but to the Lord.”

But the vast majority of Evangelical Christians also believe in a particular messianic biblical prophecy: Jews must rule the Holy Land before Christ can return. Whether Rivera ascribes to those beliefs entirely is unclear, but his support for Israel and the Israel Defense Forces is a matter of public record. He has traveled to Israel on multiple occasions, possibly beginning in 2013.

Wow. Silverman has proven that Rivera is a devout Christian and supports Israel. Which is, of course, unforgivable to Silverman.

It gets more absurd:

[A]ccording to the NYBR {New York Board of Rabbis]  executive vice president, at one point they were in the Golan Heights. Gesturing toward Lebanon and Syria, which were visible from where they stood,“They could have a much better life and yet they choose not to take that path,” the rabbi claimed Rivera told him. “There’s an ideology that infects their thinking, and they just don’t want to live in peace.”

If Silverman has evidence that Syria and Lebanon want peace with Israel, he should stop writing about baseball and publicize that. He could win a Pulitzer.

While there, Rivera said the IDF trains soldiers to be “a better person, a better citizen, and a better human being,” according to a statement put out by the FIDF. Two-and-a-half months earlier, Israeli soldiers killed at least 60 Palestinian protesters in Gaza and injured thousands more.

Of whom nearly all those killed were Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists.  But isn’t it better just to call them “protesters?”

The entire article has not a single fact to prove its point. All it has is loose linkages of Rivera with people and organizations that Silverman has an obsessive hatred for but who aren’t close to what Silverman claims they are.

In the end, Silverman is upset that a successful athlete is pro-Israel and a proud Christian, which proves that the only bigotry in this entire article comes from the author.

HonestReporting adds:
The original illustration of Rivera on a yarmulka/pitcher’s mound with the Israeli flag has now been replaced on the Daily Beast website. That such an image was produced at all and was deemed acceptable by the Daily Beast is shocking.

While the Daily Beast might be able to get away with using the Israeli flag, the use of a yarmulke or skullcap is a specifically Jewish image, not an Israeli one. This is arguably antisemitic. (Note: this isn’t the first time the Daily Beast has had to remove an image that misappropriated a skullcap.)
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Post  Admin on Sun 21 Jul 2019, 12:42 pm

Israeli Genocide? No, It’s Herbicide!
BY SIMON PLOSKER  JULY 21, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/israel-genocide-no-its-herbicide-gaza-border/?utm_source=pushengage&utm_medium=push_notification&utm_campaign=pushengage
View of an agricultural aircraft, in Hevel Lakhish, Southern Israel, July 13, 2014. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90
Israel has been accused of many things when it comes to its treatment of Palestinians, including the false charge of genocide. Here’s a new one: Herbicide.
The Guardian reports:

Israeli aircraft spraying herbicide beside the buffer zone along the Gaza strip is directly affecting the livelihoods of Palestinians in violation of international standards, a new report claims.

The study tracked the drift of the herbicides on to the Gazan side and concluded it was killing agricultural crops and causing “unpredictable and uncontrollable damage”, according to the report’s main researcher.

Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at Goldsmith’s University, London has apparently spent 16 months investigating. This is the research agency behind the front-page revelation in the New York Times in December 2018 that a Palestinian medic was killed by mistake after a bullet fragment tragically ricocheted into her, but nevertheless managed to suggest that her killing was perhaps not accidental.

It’s also the research agency whose director prompted an astonishing story in the Financial Times attacking Israeli shrubs and trees for “erasing memory” of other peoples.

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Forensic Architecture’s latest foraging for evidence to soil Israel’s image, courtesy of The Guardian, presents Palestinians as victims of some malevolent herbicide spraying that is taking place on the Israeli side of the border.

Why does Israel need to use herbicide at all?
As with so many Israeli actions, this is a response to Palestinian violence and the need to maintain Israeli security. The Gaza security fence can be breached by terrorists or other Palestinian infiltrators who are able to use the undergrowth to avoid detection. The IDF needs to be able to spot any infiltrators to prevent attacks on nearby Israeli communities.

Undergrowth can also be used to cover up the openings to attack tunnels running under the border from Gaza, many of which have been discovered in recent years.

And why is it necessary to use a plane to spray the area? It’s not hard to imagine, particularly in light of the violent Palestinian riots and violence during the March of Return, what would happen if Israeli soldiers or civilians carried out the spraying manually. No doubt they would be met with bullets, rocks or firebombs.

It’s difficult to treat The Guardian’s story with any sympathy given its failure to mention the real environmental destruction going on near the Gaza border. In the past year, hundreds of incendiary balloons and kites have been launched by Palestinians leading to the destruction of thousands of acres of forest and Israeli farmland, wiping out flora and fauna and decimating livelihoods.


View of the burnt area of Besor Stream in Tel Gama, near Kibbutz Re’im, near the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 25, 2018. Photo by Dario Sanchez/Flash90
And driven by the same wind that is allegedly spreading the herbicide further over the Gaza border. Why shouldn’t Israel prioritize the preservation of its own greenery above that of a relatively small area of Gaza?

Yet, according to The Guardian and Forensic Infrastructure, Israel is the real menace to the local environment. The same environment that has been damaged on the Gaza side of the border where tires have been burned and toxic smoke emitted, affecting Palestinians as well as Israelis.


Palestinian rioters burn tires during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza Israeli border east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on April 6, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90
Gaza, where it took enormous amounts of Israeli agricultural technology and ingenuity to grow crops in unfavorable conditions. Where state of the art greenhouses were left to the Palestinians when Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005, yet were destroyed by the very people who could have benefited from them.

Gaza, where a lack of a properly functioning sewage system has polluted the water sources and the groundwater. Along with the aforementioned toxic pollutants, couldn’t there be any number of contributory factors affecting Palestinian agriculture other than Israeli herbicides?

With its embedded video from Forensic Architecture presenting crop dusting as a sinister activity, and the comments of highly politicized anti-Israel non-governmental organizations such as Adalah and Al-Mezan, it’s hardly a stretch before herbicides, used to control weeds and undergrowth, become likened to the equivalent of chemical weapons.

It’s not genocide, it’s herbicide.
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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Jul 2019, 7:34 pm

https://honestreporting.com/israel-china-ties-the-sticking-point-with-the-us/
Israel-China Ties: The ‘Sticking Point’ with the US?
BY TYLER KOTLER  JULY 11, 2019
US Israel China
At first glance, Israel and China don’t seem like natural allies. China’s population is 160 times larger than Israel’s, and Israel’s geographic size pales in comparison to China’s. The two countries have distinct histories, cultures, and religions, and their indigenous populations come from areas thousands of miles apart. There are major political obstacles too: The US, China’s greatest competitor, is also Israel’s strongest ally.

Nevertheless, Israel-China ties have grown substantially over the last few decades, centering around mutually beneficial economic exchanges.

As China has risen almost unchallenged as the economic powerhouse of the East, it has pushed forward with an aggressive, imperialist expansion plan. Through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the country has put its full weight behind spreading its economic influence across Asia and into Europe, constructing a vast network of land and sea routes. It has already brought Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and many African nations under its sway, and it’s clear that the government has been eyeing Israel as its next target.

However, this has thrust Israel into the middle of the world’s most prominent great power rivalry, creating a complicated triangle of relations between Israel, the US, and China. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has worked tirelessly to maintain its status as the global hegemon and contain China’s rise to power.

So far, Israeli leadership has been able to walk a fine line between the two countries, but it’s playing a dangerous game that may backfire terribly. With growing concern from the US, the question of whether Israel will fall under the wing of China’s growing influence or remain a loyal enclave of US-oriented foreign policy in the Middle East remains up in the air.

Time will tell. However, the short but eventful history of Israel-China ties can at least explain how Jerusalem ended up in this situation.
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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jul 2019, 9:38 pm

HR Executive Director Delivers Antisemitism Petition to New York Times
BY SIMON PLOSKER  JULY 11, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/hr-executive-director-delivers-antisemitism-petition-to-new-york-times/
HonestReporting Executive Director Daniel Pomerantz’s recent trip to the US included a visit to the headquarters of the New York Times.

The publication of an openly antisemitic cartoon in the New York Times international edition, under the guise of criticism of Israel, marked the perfect opportunity to deliver our antisemitism definition petition to that newspaper’s offices as a constructive means of addressing the issue.

Daniel delivered the petition calling on the media to adopt the internationally recognized antisemitism definition to New York Times Editor-in-Chief, Dean Baquet. (You can view the cover letter here.)

The petition has, so far, gathered over 11,500 signatures, taking up 240 pages. And we’re still collecting signatures.

We intend to deliver the petition to other mainstream media outlets in the near future. If you haven’t signed yet, it’s not too late. Please also tell your friends and family to sign as well.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION: IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO TELL THE MEDIA TO ADOPT THE IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM
https://honestreporting.nationbuilder.com/ihra-antisemitism-definition
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ANTISEMTISMIHRAINTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ALLIANCENEW YORK TIMES

Simon Plosker
With overall responsibility for HonestReporting’s content and output, Simon joined the HonestReporting team in November 2005 following several years working in a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Jewish Agency and the Board of Deputies of British Jews prior to immigrating to Israel in 2001 from London. In Israel, Simon has worked for BICOM and as Managing Editor of NGO Monitor as well as serving for a short period in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. Simon has a BSoc.Sc in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham and a MSc in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics.
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Post  Admin on Mon 01 Jul 2019, 4:47 pm

Foreign Editor Invents Trump Peace Plan as ‘Worse Than Apartheid’
BY SIMON PLOSKER  JUNE 24, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/shannon-ebrahim-invents-trump-peace-plan-worse-than-apartheid/
The details of US President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” economic plan to jump start the Palestinian and regional economies has been publicly released ahead of a Bahrain Conference. Anyone can read on the White House website where $50 billion of investment is supposed to go.

Much of the criticism of the plan, including from the Palestinians, surrounds the fact that the plan only deals with economics and not the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The details of a political plan apparently in the works for later in the year have not yet been released.

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But the Foreign Editor of South Africa’s Independent Media, Shannon Ebrahim knows better. While most other mainstream media outlets were commenting on the actual contents of the Trump economic plan and the forthcoming Bahrain Conference, Ebrahim was making it up as she went along based on a clear hatred towards Israel.

According to her:

Under the deal, Palestinians will be squeezed into a tinier fraction of historic Palestine, from 22% (the Green line of 1967) to a meagre 12%, where they will be confined to cantons or Bantustans, stripped of water, resources, the right to a military or any real sovereignty.

The equivalent of bantustans will be surrounded by Israeli settlements. Settlements will no longer be illegal.

The plan kills any notion of a Palestinian state, but formalises the Zionist dream of a Greater Israel, containing self-governing cantons of Palestinians who will not have equal rights to Israelis. The sophisticated system of apartheid will be further perfected.

Within the context of this Greater Israel, Palestinians will be allowed to work only outside their cantons in low-paying jobs in agriculture and construction, and will have to pay Israel for its military protection.

No doubt Israel will continue to collect Palestinian tax and customs revenue, and withhold it as a form of punishment against those living in the cantons.

Israel will easily impose economic blockade on the Palestinian encampments as it has with Gaza for many years, starving them into submission.

The vision is beginning to look like a far worse version of apartheid South Africa, where there is one country but with masses of inhabitants who are disenfranchised, not accorded basic or equal rights, and living under the heavy hand of oppression and exploitation.

We could add more of this hateful rant but you probably get the picture by now.


Related reading: The False Israel-Apartheid Libel

It’s one thing to write anti-Israel hate speech based on nothing more than one’s own misguided and warped opinion. It’s another to claim that this opinion is based on fact – in this case a fully open US plan that anyone and everyone can see for themselves.

The Independent Media’s own Press Code in its clause on accuracy, states:

When publishing opinions, Independent Media shall require that the opinions are based on fact and are honestly held.

Maybe Shannon Ebrahim believes what she writes but her opinions are certainly not based on fact. In this case, attempting to invent parts of a US plan that don’t actually exist is a breach of the Press Code.

That the Foreign Editor of a mainstream media outlet could write such an opinion piece isn’t only unprofessional. It’s embarrassing.


We’ve submitted a complaint to Independent Media and ask that you do the same through its online feedback form.

UPDATE
Since the publication of this post, the story was covered by the South African Jewish Report with considerable input from HonestReporting.

Shannon Ebrahim responded with another vicious opinion piece that appeared in a number of South African printed editions belonging to the Independent Media stable of titles under the headline “Prosperity for Palestine in return for permanent occupation.”

It now appears online under a different headline. Ebrahim used the opening paragraphs to attack HonestReporting and its Managing Editor Simon Plosker. Following an official complaint, inaccurate background details concerning Plosker’s employment history (which is openly available for any journalist to find) have been corrected.

A serious and entirely false charge currently remains:

Plosker’s “Honest Reporting” were so desperate that they sent their article to all the contacts on my LinkedIn account, suggesting a rather sophisticated smear campaign.

HonestReporting is a transparent organization. When we critique media outlets or individual journalists, we do so publicly, including on our website, Facebook and Twitter.  We have never, nor would we, engage in a “rather sophisticated smear campaign” on LinkedIn.  Ebrahim has no evidence that we sent anything to all of her LinkedIn contacts because it simply never happened.

We have demanded a retraction and an apology from Independent Media.
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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 11:32 pm

https://honestreporting.com/guardian-recycles-old-discredited-anti-israel-smear-from-independent/
The Guardian Recycles Old, Discredited Anti-Israel Smear
BY EMANUEL MILLER  JUNE 20, 2019

Almost two weeks after The Independent published a baseless smear about Gazan babies dying alone in Israel – a claim swiftly exposed by HonestReporting – The Guardian’s Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha have now repeated the smear.

On June 7,  Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, a member of the British Labour party,  claimed that a Gazan mother was told by doctors over the phone that two of her prematurely-born babies died. In an op-ed published in The Independent, Allin-Khan alleged that the “mother had to return to Gaza days after giving birth,” and therefore was not present when two of the triplets died. It was only months later, wrote Allin-Khan, that the “mother was issued a permit and was able to collect her and take her [remaining daughter] home.

As HonestReporting responded at the time:

According to multiple news sources, the mother was with the boys when they died. Rather than being far away in Gaza, the reports clearly indicated that the mother was actually with her children in Israel until their final moments, and only then returned to Gaza in order to bury them.

Anyone looking into the story online would easily have been able to find these articles – from the Israeli media and the Palestinian media alike – all stating the same thing; that the babies’ mother was actually with them when two of them died, and only returned to Gaza afterwards. Similarly, a quick Google search would have yielded HonestReporting’s response.

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Despite the mass of contradictory evidence available online, the Guardian has now re-run this same story in an article entitled, “A Jerusalem hospital where Palestinian babies die alone.” In the Guardian article, a more detailed version of the claim appears:

In one case, a 24-year-old mother from Gaza was permitted to travel to Jerusalem to give birth to gravely ill triplets two months early. Two weighed less than a bag of sugar.

But Hiba Swailam’s permit expired and she had to return to Gaza. She was not there when her first child died at nine days old, or two weeks later when her second baby also died. She was informed by phone.

This is the exact same story. The only major difference, beyond the inclusion of the names of the family members, is the identity of the writer. This time the story is from a journalist, rather than a politician. Surely journalists are supposed to check their sources? What kind of journalist writes a story months after the event itself occurred, and almost two weeks after another newspaper publishes an article on it? And as if all that wasn’t enough, what kind of journalist disregards the fact that gaping holes have already been punched through the story?

Guardian Hospital Palestinian Babies Die Alone

The Guardian report correctly describes the “vicious political rivalry between the Palestinian political factions in the West Bank and Gaza” that has “deepened a health crisis.” In pointing out that the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) “has been accused of cutting medical aid to Gaza to press Hamas to cede control of the strip,” The Guardian mentions an important fact. However, the writers could, and should, have gone further. Not only has the PA cut medical aid to Gaza, it also deliberately drags its feet in processing exit permit requests for the people of Gaza, thus denying them vital medical care.

Indeed, a report in Hebrew published on Israel’s Channel 13 website on May 31 said that:

The hospital repeatedly asked the Palestinian Authority to request a permit from the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories for Shahd’s mother or father to come back to Israel and reunite with their daughter. ‘We tried over and over, but they refused.’

Israeli media also reported that a single permit request was made, which was faulty and therefore denied. Despite the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to re-apply for a permit for the infant’s mother to return to Israel, she was issued a special permit by COGAT following the intervention of the Israeli television channel. None of this was mentioned in The Guardian story.

Beyond the facts of this story, the wider context which is notably absent from The Guardian report. The fact that Gazans with medical permits have been caught providing information for terror attacks and smuggling explosives into Israel underscores the need for vetting. In one case, two sisters from Gaza smuggled explosives disguised inside medicine containers into Israel as they were headed for cancer treatment at a Jerusalem hospital. In another, a Gazan woman with a travel permit to accompany her sister, a cancer patient who received medical treatment in Israel, exploited the opportunity to pass on a phone and instructions to a Palestinian from the West Bank. The recipient then used the phone and instructions to start preparing bombs.

While journalists have every right to document the suffering of individuals in Gaza, circulating concocted and already discredited stories, and neglecting to contextualize the facts by mentioning Israel’s legitimate security concerns, is an insult to journalism.


Please send your considered complaints to The Guardian readers’ editor – guardian.readers@theguardian.com
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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 9:40 am

https://honestreporting.com/honestreporting-prompts-improved-guardian-headline-planned-trump-village/
HonestReporting Prompts Improved Guardian Headline on Planned ‘Trump’ Village
BY EMANUEL MILLER  JUNE 17, 2019

With Sunday’s unveiling of a plaque marking the site of a planned village in the Golan to be named after United States President Donald Trump, media coverage was assured, and the vast majority of news outlets managed to keep their comments accurate and fair.

Not The Guardian.

Despite the fact that the plaque unveiling was merely symbolic, the Guardian’s headline informed readers that Israel has in fact already “built” a settlement in Trump’s honor. “Israeli settlement called Trump built on conquered land”

This is, of course, false.  With no budget allocated, no planning done, no final location decided for the project, and not even so much as a binding decision to actually oversee the construction of Ramat Trump, (Trump Heights in Hebrew,) no building whatsoever has been undertaken.

HonestReporting swiftly called the Guardian out on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, and the Guardian consequently renamed the article to more accurately reflect the reality: “‘Trump Heights’: Israeli settlement in Golan named after US president.”

Though the revised headline could make clear that Trump Heights is only being planned at this stage, and has not yet received funding or a government mandate, it at least doesn’t claim that it has already been “built”.

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 Reality: There is no budgeting, no planning, no location for a settlement, and no binding decision to implement the project.

The @guardian: Israeli settlement called Trump built on conquered land.

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Emanuel Miller
Emanuel Miller is a Jerusalem-based writer who has previously worked for the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel, and helped establish the English media department of My Truth, an organization that documents the experiences of Israeli soldiers while facing an immoral, cynical enemy. He regularly speaks about Israel, media bias, and Israel's geopolitical complexities to audiences including Birthright groups, student leaders visiting Israel, and for those seeking to get a more nuanced understanding of Israel.

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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 3:59 pm

https://honestreporting.com/fanatic-jews-storm-al-aqsa-mosque-photo-captions/
Success: ‘Fanatic Jews Storm Al-Aqsa Mosque’ Photo Captions Corrected
BY SIMON PLOSKER  JUNE 3, 2019

Hundreds of Jewish visitors ascended the Temple Mount to celebrate Jerusalem Day on Sunday, June 2. The Times of Israel reports how clashes broke out between Palestinian rioters and Israeli police.

The Daily Mail’s Mail Online included a selection of photos in its story of events. A disturbing number of the captions, however, are astonishing in their bias and inaccuracy.

So, according to Mail Online, “fanatic Jews… raid Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Since when are Jews exercising their legal rights to visit Judaism’s holiest site “fanatics?” While it is admittedly unusual for Jews to visit the site during the final days of Ramadan, which happened to coincide with this year’s Jerusalem Day, the status quo agreement allows for non-Muslim visitors at set visiting times.

Related reading: Jewish Ties to the Temple Mount – What’s the Story?

Jews are also prohibited from praying on the Temple Mount and will be detained by the Israeli police if they are caught doing so and, as the Times of Israel video showed, are accompanied by the police on a set route.

How is this described as a “raid” on the Al-Aqsa compound?

The mosque itself is of no interest to the Jewish visitors and non-Muslims are prohibited from entering. So why would “Jews storm the building?”

Putting aside the abysmal copy editing, how is it that Palestinians initiate a riot yet Jews, according to the caption, are the ones who caused the clashes?

This is effectively an inversion of reality.

Much like the rest of the captions, which read as if they have been written by a Hamas media outlet.

We contacted Mail Online requesting changes to the photo captions. To its credit, Mail Online responded positively and the captions were swiftly amended.

The adjective “fanatic” used to describe Jewish visitors has been removed.
It has been clarified that the Jews’ visit was to the compound containing the Mosque, not the Mosque itself.
Jews are no longer ‘storming the building’ and are instead, entering the compound.
Nor are they ‘raiding’ the compound but are now ‘visiting.’
Their entrance no longer “caused” the clashes but “led to” them, a more subtle use of language.
How did this happen?
While the photos appear to be taken from the mainstream Getty Images photo service, further investigation reveals that the real credit lies with Anadolu Agency, an international news agency headquartered in Ankara, Turkey. The agency is state-run.

The series of photos on the Getty Images website is even titled: “Fanatic Jews’ raid Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.”

The photos with the appalling captions that appeared on the Mail Online site can be found here, here, here, and here.

And the photographer? Faiz Abu Rmeleh, in addition to his work for Anadolu Agency, is also involved with the Activestills organization, which makes no secret of its particular political bias:

Activestills collective was established in 2005 by a group of documentary photographers out of a strong conviction that photography is a vehicle for social and political change. The collective views itself as part of the international and local struggle against all forms of oppression, racism and discrimination. It is composed of Israeli, Palestinian and international photographers, operating locally in Palestine/Israel and abroad.

Activestills approaches the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as one, working to expose the most blatant attack on human rights and freedom within these borders: the Zionist settler-colonial project led by Israel against the Palestinian population. One of our main topics of documentation is the various forms of resistance against the colonial project, on both sides of the Green Line.

So we have a blatantly politicized photographer whose mission is to promote Palestinian “resistance” against Israel, presumably including portraying violent Palestinian riots on the Temple Mount as the result of “fanatic Jews.”

Related reading: Photojournalist Stages News for Profit and Ideology

While we do not know if Faiz Abu Rmeleh came up with the captions, his photos were distributed by the Anadolu Agency. That a Turkish state-run organization would produce anti-Israel propaganda is hardly surprising.

What is disturbing is how Getty Images accepted these captions on their own website while Mail Online’s editors failed to check the veracity of those captions when posting the photos in their own story.

All in all, a perfect storm of anti-Israel hate allied to a lack of vigilance on the part of Mail Online.

Featured image: CC BY-NC Patrick McKay;
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Post  Admin on Mon 27 May 2019, 7:52 pm

LA Times Op-Ed Sweetens the Destruction of Israel
BY SIMON PLOSKER  MAY 26, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/one-state-solution-la-times-destruction-israel/
The concepts of equal rights and justice are embedded in the American psyche. US academic of Palestinian descent, George Bisharat is well aware of this when he makes his case for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the LA Times. But what looks like a winning formula couched in the language of human rights and equality is actually a thinly veiled way of sweetening the pill of advocating for Israel’s destruction as a Jewish state.

Bisharat’s prescription:

The way forward will be difficult, but it could start with a compassionate declaration from Palestinians, along the lines of South Africa’s Freedom Charter, committing to a just society that includes both Israeli Jews and Palestinians. Such a declaration should embrace a broad, multi-faceted and contemporary vision of justice for this troubled land.

Without even mentioning the word ‘apartheid,’ Bisharat has conflated the end of the South African apartheid regime with a solution to his Israel problem.

Needless to say, Israel is not apartheid South Africa.


George Bisharat
Bisharat continues:

For example, a Freedom Charter would address the rights of the Israeli Jews who currently inhabit homes of Palestinians seized in 1948, and fear eviction when Palestinian refugees return, as we are legally and morally due. My family, like survivors of the Nazi Holocaust seeking return of their seized works of art, insists that ownership of our grandfather’s Villa Harun ar-Rashid in West Jerusalem should be restored to us.

Again an immoral equivalence and this time an wholly offensive one.  Palestinians became refugees in 1948 as a result of a conflict that they and their Arab brethren initiated. Any homes or property they lost as a result was not “seized” as Bisharat would like readers to believe. This cannot and should not be compared to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust who lost everything for nothing more than being Jewish. Palestinians have every right to consider the events of 1948 to be a catastrophe. To turn their misfortune into the equivalent of the Holocaust, however, is entirely inappropriate.

Bisharat’s immoral equivalency then becomes farcical:

The charter should also address rights for women and members of the LGBTQ community, which some Palestinians as well as some Jewish Israelis have been slow to embrace. And it should address environmental issues that will be crucial as global warming puts increasing pressure on the Middle East.

Israel is the most progressive country in the Middle East when it comes to women’s and gay rights. Any suggestion that there is some similarity between Israelis and Palestinians on these values is simply laughable. Indeed, given the fact that openly identifying as a member of the LGBTQ community is a possible death sentence for Palestinians, it’s insulting to intimate that both Israelis and Palestinians need to equally improve their records on this issue.

As for throwing in environmental issues and global warming, Bisharat clearly knows his audience. In truth, these are simply irrelevant to the real conversation. Israel is a world leader in many environmental initiatives including water conservation and agriculture technology. Compare with the Palestinians whose ideas of environmental protection extends to polluting the air by burning tires, torching thousands of acres of forest and fields, and dumping sewage and waste on the land.

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Bisharat then claims that one-third of Palestinians support a one-state solution. However, he then states:

Meanwhile, in the U.S., polls show that about an equal number of Americans support one state with equality as support a two-state solution, with young people leading the way. According to a poll released by the University of Maryland in December 2018, 42% of Americans ages 18 to 35 support a single state, versus 33% for two states. And if a two-state solution is no longer possible, a majority of all Americans support one state with equal rights.

Quite frankly, so what? Why are the views of young Americans even relevant here? Israelis and Palestinians are the people who have to live together in a workable solution to the conflict, not Americans who cannot begin to fathom the practical issues that any solution would entail.

It is only in the eleventh paragraph of Bisharat’s 15 paragraph piece that he openly acknowledges his real agenda:

Of course, an Israel founded on equal rights for all will no longer be a “Jewish state” — just as South Africa, after the fall of apartheid, was no longer a state that institutionalized white supremacy. It was a fundamental misperception of Israel’s founders that a homeland privileging Jews could be accepted in another people’s land.

Bisharat makes a direct link between a Jewish state and white supremacism, essentially branding the concept of a Jewish homeland as a racist construct. Not only racist but illegitimate in its entirety because these Jews are living “in another people’s land.” In Bisharat’s worldview, Jewish self-determination in the land of their forefathers, a land that they have had a continuous connection to for over 3,000 years, is illegitimate.

And because Bisharat is attuned to his West Coast liberal audience, he makes sure to throw in another trigger:

Israeli Jews will not surrender their advantages easily. Privileged groups never do.

Being a professor on a US campus, Bisharat is well aware of the conversation surrounding intersectionality and supposed ‘white privilege.’ So it’s a natural stretch to turn Israeli Jews into a ‘privileged group’ in much the same way as bigoted left-wingers in US politics and academia have branded American Jews as the beneficiaries of ‘white privilege.’

Nowhere in his piece does the author address the glaring problem with a one-state solution from the Palestinian perspective. Palestinians are divided between two administrations, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip. Despite numerous efforts to come to an arrangement, these two bodies are in open conflict with each other. Palestinians cannot even unite among themselves. Bisharat expects both sides to come together in harmony in a one-state solution?

Bisharat ends with a call for “the prospect of building a just and genuinely free and democratic society — a true beacon of progress for the region if not the world.” There’s a state of this description already in the region. Its name is Israel. Bisharat knows that Palestinians are incapable of building anything genuinely free and democratic. Far easier to take over the state that already exists through the ballot box and bring an end to Jewish sovereignty.

This call for a one-state solution, while presented in the language of liberalism, equal rights and justice, is nothing more than Bisharat’s politically correct method for bringing about the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian rejectionism has played a significant role in wrecking all initiatives for a Palestinian state living side by side with an Israeli one. Bisharat’s opinion piece is an admittance that his one-state solution is just that – a single Palestinian state where Israel currently exists.


Please send your letters to the LA Times and expose George Bisharat’s real agenda – https://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-letter-to-the-editor-htmlstory.html
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Post  Admin on Wed 15 May 2019, 5:36 pm

https://honestreporting.com/bbc-documentary-almost-gets-gaza-right/
Flawed BBC Documentary Proves Israeli Narrative Right
BY EMANUEL MILLER  MAY 14, 2019
One Day in Gaza yahud
A BBC documentary, One Day In Gaza, examining the events of May 14, 2018, when tens of thousands of people in Gaza protested along the border with Israel, confirmed Israel’s version of events and explanations for what went on that day at the Gaza border.

Directed by award-winning documentary maker Olly Lambert, the program details how events on that dramatic day unfolded.

Despite a number of flaws, One Day In Gaza proves that Israel was not facing mere unarmed protesters, but was dealing with a dynamic in which violent rioters and armed terrorists concealed themselves in large groups of civilians, including women and children, some of whom were willing human shields for their violence.

The Israel-Gaza conflict is an incredibly difficult, and thorny, topic to cover. It has many facets, including Israel’s right to self-defense, the suffering of the Palestinian people under Hamas’ decade-long reign of terror, their legitimate right to self-expression, and the willingness of Gazan civilians to allow themselves to be used as human shields.

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One Day in Gaza addresses all of these in context, giving  people a platform to speak in their own words. It allowed Israeli Adele Raemer to show Israelis are “on edge” and anxious about Israel being invaded. The film demonstrates that some of the Palestinians involved in the protests were potentially violent and extremist, with one young protester sharing his thoughts from the night before the march: “We’re going in, we’ll cross the fence. We’re going in and we’ll give them hell,” and another who speaks openly about his fantasy to “rip a Jew’s head off.”

Israel has long held that the protesters acted as human shields for more violent elements, sometimes willingly. During the program, numerous women spoke and children openly admit their role in enabling terrorists and rioters to get closer to the border: “We line up like a human shield so the men could advance further,” says one Gazan woman. Another tells viewers that previously, “some of us distracted the Israelis with stones and Molotov Cocktails” before cutting the fence.

Similarly, the program showed a Hamas official admitting that, at one location at least, Israeli shooting only commenced as a direct response to armed Palestinians firing on IDF soldiers, finally laying to rest the myth that all of these Palestinian protesters were unarmed innocents and Israel had attacked without cause. Gazan interviewees also reveal that the demonstrations, which originally were grassroots were infiltrated and co-opted by the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists groups.

For all this, the program should be praised. However, it was not without its flaws.

Censoring Palestinian antisemitism
The film demonstrated that some of the Palestinians involved in the protests were potentially violent and extremist. A Gazan boy says “the revolutionary songs excite you, they encourage you… to rip a Jew’s head off.” However, instead of translating the Arabic word for Jew, ‘Yahud,’ accurately, the translation is inaccurately rendered, and replaced with a more sterile one – Israeli, thus minimizing antisemitism.

Seth Frantzman of the Jerusalem Post writes:

Arabic media throughout the Middle East does not use the term “Yahud” to refer to Israel, but rather “Israel” written in Arabic letters. On any day numerous articles at newspaper like Al-Ghad in Jordan illustrate this. Even Hamas writes “Israel” in its official press release for media, not “Yahud.”

Yahud is routinely translated directly as “Jew” by the media in almost every other circumstance. In his article, Frantzman contrasts the BBC’s translation with news coverage after a doctor was fired in January following the surfacing of antisemitic tweets.  In its coverage of the firing, NBC noted that: “She tweeted that she would ‘purposely give all the yahood [sic] the wrong meds,’ using the Arabic word, Yahud, which means Jews.”

UPDATE: A BBC spokesperson has responded to the uproar provoked by the mistranslation of the word ‘Yahud’: “We sought expert advice on the translation before broadcast and we believe the translation of ‘Yehudi’ as ‘Israeli’ in this documentary is both accurate and true to the speakers’ intentions.”

Related Reading: Israel’s Existence Lost in BBC Translation

Removing context
The documentary sets out to frame the protest against the backdrop of the US embassy relocating from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In reality, the protests had been occurring on a weekly basis for over a month by this point. The protests of May 14 were originally scheduled to occur a day later, but Hamas deliberately brought the protest forward a day so as to compel the media to cover the embassy transfer in the context of mass riots and casualties. In not mentioning this, the BBC helped Hamas achieved its objective.

Similarly, even if the documentary focused on one just one day, the BBC had a responsibility to explain events preceding that day. It certainly showed the Gazan narrative, in which the day came about as a ‘response’ to the US transferring its embassy to Jerusalem. However, it didn’t show much from Israel’s perspective. In the lead-up to the protest covered in the documentary, Israel was attacked on numerous occasions by terrorists in Gaza.

At previous protests, people had breached the border fence with weapons, and shot at Israeli soldiers. For example, on March 30, in the very first in the series of protests, two men armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades opened fire on Israeli soldiers and then attempted to breach the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip.

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

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The documentary could have found time to mention another border breach that took place a few weeks before, in which four Palestinians entered Israeli territory and  tried to set fire to a military vehicle before fleeing back to Gaza. Video footage of that incident was shown on Al Jazeera and other outlets, and could easily have been integrated into the program.

The BBC could also have highlighted that only a few weeks before, three Gazans with grenades and knives successfully infiltrated Israel and were discovered near an army base 20 kilometers from Gaza.

Other clips, such as the one below, were freely available on social media.

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(((Emanuel Miller)))
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 This is what a border infiltration from #Gaza into #Israel looks like. See the man (0:30) clutching a meat cleaver? Imagine hundreds like him coming into Israeli territory, hoping to murder as many Israelis as possible.

This is what Israel is up against.
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Where was the footage? Why was there no mention of repeated attempts to lay booby-trapped flags, box-cutters and other tools at the border fence in order to kill or injure Israelis, on one occasion injuring four IDF soldiers after approaching the fence to remove a bomb disguised as a flag? Why was there no mention of the countless flying Molotov cocktails in the form of balloons or kites with petrol bombs attached, causing massive fires?

Showing these videos, or even just describing these events, would have left viewers in no doubt that Israel faced an array of threats, and was genuinely fearful of a mass invasion, with hordes of people intent on causing harm to Israeli citizens and Israeli property.

Israel’s measures to avoid mass casualties
Notably, entirely absent from the program were the measures taken by Israel to avoid mass casualties. Due to the most violent rioters and terrorists concealing themselves within larger groups of protesters, regular Israeli soldiers were taken off border duty, and only snipers were allowed to shoot. The guiding principle was that only a sniper rifle would be accurate enough to take aim at the most violent people without injuring the innocent people around them. Whether or not this was enough is a matter of opinion, but the fact that this was Israeli policy is undisputed and should have been mentioned.

‘Gassing’ Palestinians?
While that may have been missed by most people, watching Palestinians seemingly convulsing in agony towards the end of the program was an assault on the senses. Footage of Gazans suffering from the effects of an unknown gas is shown. Viewers are told that a “drone came and started dropping gas” and the narrator described Israelis deploying “gas” against the Gazan people in much the same way the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons during that country’s civil war.  People are seen writhing, convulsing and crying out, with others appearing flat on their backs, receiving saline solution to their eyes and hands. Some have breathing tubes.

There is no problem in documenting this, the very real result of Israel’s response to the mass rioting and attempted breach of its border. However, no description of the gas is given. All viewers are told is that Israel used “gas.” That the BBC notably failed to say “teargas” as it had done earlier in the program undoubtedly left viewers wondering if Israel was using chlorine or something far worse than a legitimate means of crowd dispersal used by other Western states.

As a result of the failure to define exactly what tools Israel used, a clip taken from the program spread swiftly on social media within hours of the program being aired, purporting to be evidence of Israeli ‘chemical weapons.’

Flawed, but the most balanced coverage so far?
Despite the numerous flaws listed above, One Day in Gaza deserves a degree of credit. It shows that human shields were used regularly, that Hamas deliberately bused civilians into military zones, sometimes against their will, and displays the horrendous embrace of violence by Gazan teens and youths. The program also allowed people on both sides to talk about their frustrations and hopes, allowing the humanity of one Israeli citizen and of numerous Israeli soldiers to come through.

An Israeli soldier, tasked with watching events through security cameras, speaks of Israel’s recognition that “tens of thousands of people aren’t all enemies,” and makes clear that the situation was complex and dynamic. “We’re talking about civilians, and that’s what makes this difficult.” Repeatedly, Israelis state clearly that they genuinely had no desire to hurt anyone innocent, but were forced to react to a military event.

In many ways, the documentary backs up the Israeli account of events that day, showing how hell-bent the protesters were on breaking through the fence and murdering Israelis. It’s just a pity that a lack of context, background and one lamentable translation ruined an otherwise fair program.
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Post  Admin on Mon 06 May 2019, 3:46 pm

From the Scene: Under Fire in Israel’s South
BY SIMON PLOSKER  MAY 6, 2019
https://honestreporting.com/under-fire-gaza-rockets-israel-south/
In November 2018, I had the experience of walking through a bombed-out apartment building in Ashkelon where a Gaza rocket strike had resulted in a fatality. So I had some idea of what to expect when I hitched a ride south again with a group of journalists to see the situation for myself. Over 600 Gaza rockets had been launched into Israeli towns, cities and communities in the space of only a few days.

En route in a small minibus, the protocol for a warning siren was explained. The driver would pull over and we were to get out as quickly as possible and lie down on the side of the road. Sitting at the back of the bus, I contemplated that in the event of a rocket attack, it would be virtually impossible for everyone to get out of the one side door and take cover within the 15 seconds warning time before a rocket fell.


Moshe Agadi
We arrived at the home of 58-year old father of four, Moshe Agadi, killed by shrapnel from a rocket fired at his Ashkelon house. The scene was busy – journalists, IDF soldiers, police, damage assessors, as well as friends and members of the Agadi family gathered in the aftermath of the tragic and appalling disaster that had befallen them.

A crater in the front yard indicated where the rocket had landed. Twisted metal and shattered concrete littered what would otherwise have been an idyllic garden area of trees and shrubbery. While the rocket may not have scored a direct hit on the house, the impact was still obvious.


The crater to the left of a wall shattered by the rocket’s impact.
Pock marks on the house exterior struck by shrapnel; a blown out window; roof tiles dislodged. While Agadi was able to get family members into their safe room in the seconds before the rocket struck, he was killed by the shrapnel in his living room. While the house remained virtually intact and the damage appeared to be superficial, the deadly potential of what so many media have termed “homemade’ rockets was only too apparent.

Damaged roof tiles and shrapnel impact on the side of the house.

A blown out window frame.

The neighboring house was also damaged. We went inside, treading on debris and shattered glass. A double glazed window pane at the other end of the living room served as a graphic illustration of the sheer force of the shrapnel blast. Had that been a human being on the receiving end, the consequences do not bear thinking about.


The results of shrapnel hitting a window inside the neighboring house.
Despite the activity at the site, there was still a surreal calm even as journalists received briefings from the IDF and police spokespeople. Birds chirped in the trees while the journalists took photos and asked questions.

Then the siren
With approximately 30 seconds warning time for Ashkelon, whose population numbers nearly 140,000, the assorted people in the vicinity moved quickly inside. It became clear that the safe room simply wasn’t large enough to accommodate the number of people seeking shelter. Those of us left outside  the safe room crouched down and waited. I positioned myself by a wall in the small service porch immediately adjacent to the safe room. The broken tiles by my feet served as a reminder that this house had already endured one fatal attack. Lightning couldn’t possibly strike twice, could it?

In the ocean, if someone screams “shark,” your immediate instinct is to swim as fast as you can to shore. You don’t know if you’ll make it back or if that shark will grab you but you’ll do your utmost to survive. In this situation, however, there is no shore to swim to. All you can do is tread water and hope that the shark will swim by. All you can do is wait and hope.

As the siren continued to wail, multiple booms and thuds reverberated from outside, the sound of Gaza rockets being intercepted by the Iron Dome. It was clear from the noise that the rockets were close. Despite previous experiences, it was still unnerving. Finally, the siren stopped. After waiting a minute or two, we filed out of the house.



(Due to the limitations of a cellphone, the video footage barely does justice to the situation.)

The IDF Home Front Command instructs Israelis to stay in their protected spaces for at least 10 minutes after the end of a siren. Israelis are notoriously hesitant to follow instructions. These instructions are issued for a reason, which we found out only a few seconds after leaving the house as the siren began to blare again.

Another dash back to our previous positions inside the house and more booms. We were unaware that this was a massive rocket barrage aimed at Ashkelon. I was almost back on the minibus when the third siren in only a few minutes prompted yet another run to my now familiar space in the service porch for the limited protection it offered. Strangely, members of the Agadi family, perhaps struck by a fatalism resulting from Moshe Agadi’s death, stayed in the living room almost ignoring the incoming threat.

This time, the sounds of explosions rattled the house and there were audible gasps from the among those huddled in and out of the safe room. The booms felt as if they were literally right outside. I have to admit that it was genuinely frightening. As we eventually hurried out of the house in the aftermath of the siren, I realized that I was trembling slightly. I’ll put it down to the adrenaline but my nerves had most definitely been frayed.

Sadly, Iron Dome was unable to prevent at least one of the Gaza rockets from landing on a factory in Ashkelon’s industrial zone, killing one Israeli man. By the time we reached that scene, emergency services had already secured the factory site and evacuated the casualty, Israeli Bedouin resident of the Negev Ziad al-Hamamda, 47, who left behind a wife and seven children.


The scene from a factory struck by a rocket in Ashkelon.

Emergency services on the scene.

An attempt to visit the residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz on the Gaza border was abandoned after Palestinian terrorists launched a Kornet anti-tank missile at a civilian car on a highway near Sderot, killing  68-year-old Moshe Feder. The road was promptly closed by security forces. As we waited at a gas station north of Gaza to see if the road would be reopened, the sound of booms and thuds in the near distance was incessant. It’s one thing to see the constant alert messages on a cellphone. It’s another to experience it in real time.

Over 600 Gaza rockets during the course of two days is hard to imagine. Being there felt even more intense than previous times such as the 2014 conflict, which stretched over a far greater length of time and breadth of the country. Yet the sheer number and the frequency of the rocket attacks over the southern region during the course of the past few days left me with a feeling of increased vulnerability borne out by the far greater numbers of Israeli deaths and injuries than in past violent flare ups.

I suspect those journalists who visited the scene also left with a new sense of anxiety and vulnerability. How unfortunate that it takes an experience of this nature to understand or even empathize with the suffering of Israelis who have to live through such events.

At this time, calm has been restored to both the residents of Israel’s south and the Gaza Strip. Until the next time.



https://honestreporting.com/gaza-blockade-explainer/
The Gaza Blockade: An Explainer
BY PESACH BENSON  FEBRUARY 26, 2019
Rafah crossing Gaza blockade
View of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, in the Gaza Strip on July 17, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90
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Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of Gaza since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 2007.

Often overlooked, forgotten or taken for granted in media coverage and public discussion is the reason for the blockade: the threat of Hamas weapons smuggling.

Egypt captured Gaza during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. The Strip would remain under Egyptian military occupation until the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel’s administration allowed Jews to settle in the Strip. (The Jewish Virtual Library expands on historical Jewish ties to Gaza). When Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in 2005, 8,000 settlers were evacuated from 21 settlements. The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority managed Gaza’s affairs until 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the Strip, killing and expelling Fatah personnel.

The Hamas takeover destroyed international agreements between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt over Gaza’s border crossings. PA personnel and European monitors manning the crossings fled the violence.

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Since Hamas seized power, Israel has fought three wars in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and Operation Protective Edge in 2014). The IDF has foiled a number of attempts to smuggle Iranian arms to Gaza. Egypt has also has also periodically moved against Gaza-Sinai smuggling tunnels. Hamas has an up-and-down relationship with jihadist insurgents in the Sinai fighting the Egyptian military.

(For the sake of brevity, we look forward to addressing the legality of the Gaza blockade separately. For the time being, readers interested to learn more can see International Law and the Fighting in Gaza by Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell.)

The Cairo context
Egyptian flagThe Hamas coup set off alarm bells in both Israel and Egypt and the two countries established a blockade of the Strip. Jerusalem was worried because Hamas is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Cairo’s concerns, however, aren’t as fully understood in the West but are a critical part of the Gaza blockade’s background.

Hamas is an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Article II of the Hamas covenant identifies the organization as “one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.” The Brotherhood, which was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, seeks to spread Islamist rule throughout the Middle East. In the years before Israel’s founding, the Brotherhood provided support for Palestinian terror attacks associated with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. Egypt’s failure to prevent the establishment of Israel led the Brotherhood to increase its rhetoric against King Farouk and attacks on government officials. Banna’s assassination in 1949 is widely thought to have been carried out by the Egyptian Iron Guard, a royalist movement which Farouk used to settle political and personal vendettas.

Successive Egyptian leaders Gamel Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak suppressed the Brotherhood. But the Egyptian Revolution turned the tables. In 2012 elections, the Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party’s candidate, Mohamed Morsi, was elected president. The FJP also won 47 percent of the Egyptian parliament. The Brotherhood sought to draft a new constitution enshrining Islamic law and authorizing the president wide powers to “protect the revolution.” The power struggle came to a head in 2013, when, in the face of mass anti-government protests, the Egyptian military overthrew Morsi, arrested Brotherhood members and seized the organization’s assets.

Despite being crushed in Egypt, the Brotherhood has affiliates in numerous other Arab countries, Europe and even Israel. (The Islamic Movement in Israel split in 1993 over the Oslo accords. The “Southern Branch” accepted Oslo and eventually ran in Knesset elections. The “Northern Branch” rejected Oslo and was outlawed in 2015 over its ties to Hamas.)

Timeline of key events
To better understand the Gaza blockade’s history, here is a timeline of key events followed by background information on Gaza’s three operational border crossings.

Gaza map
Sept. 12, 2005: Israel completes Gaza disengagement, evacuating 8,000 settlers from 21 Jewish communities in the Strip. Israel continues maintaining control of territorial waters, air space and borders. The PA, which administers Gaza, takes control of the Palestinian side of the border crossings, which remain open.

Sept. 23, 2005: Palestinians in Gaza fire first post-disengagement rockets at Israel.

Nov. 24, 2005: European monitors deploy to the Rafah border crossing as part of deal allowing PA control of the Gaza side of the crossing.

Jan. 25, 2006: Hamas wins Palestinian majority of seats in Palestinian legislative elections.

Jan. 30, 2006: The Quartet (the UN, US, EU and Russia) issues a statement demanding the new Palestinian government renounce violence, recognize Israel, and adhere to previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. (The UN Security Council later endorsed the Quartet’s three principles in 2008.)

Feb. 20, 2006: Israel rules out contacts with any Palestinian government in which Hamas has a role.

June 25, 2006: In a cross-border raid, Hamas abducts IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and kills three other soldiers. Israel tightens its closure of Gaza to prevent possibility of Shalit being smuggled out of the Strip. A month-long military operation is waged in Gaza.

March 12, 2007: Islamists abduct the BBC’s Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston. The high profile affair ended with his release on July 4, 2007.

Gaza coup
Hamas gunmen celebrating takeover of Gaza in June, 2007
June 10-15, 2007: The Battle of Gaza: In a bloody coup, Hamas seizes control of Strip, murdering PA personnel and ousting Fatah. As security deteriorates, PA officials and European monitors flee the Rafah border crossings. With the PA no longer manning the border crossings, Israel closes the Karni crossing and Egypt closes the Rafah crossing. (Before Hamas seized power, an average of about 1,500 people a day used the Rafah crossing.) To curb weapons smuggling, Israel and Egypt impose restriction on Gaza’s maritime traffic.

Jan 23, 2008: Hamas breaches border wall with Egypt; hundreds of thousands of Palestinians pour into the Sinai to purchase essentials. The UN estimated that as much as half of Gaza’s 1.5 million population crossed the border.

Feb. 3, 2008: Egyptian forces and Hamas seal the Gaza-Sinai border.

Dec. 27, 2008: IDF launches Operation Cast Lead in response to Gaza rocket fire.

Jan. 2009: Israeli air strike in Sudan destroys a 23-truck convoy carrying Iranian rockets intended for Gaza terror groups.

Jan. 18, 2009: Operation Cast Lead ends with unilateral ceasefire.

Sept. 15, 2009: The UN releases the findings of its controversial inquiry and report (the Goldstone report) on Operation Cast Lead. In April, 2011, lead investigator Judge Richard Goldstone recanted the report’s most contentious conclusions about Palestinian civilian deaths.

May 31, 2010: Israeli naval forces intercept a six-ship flotilla trying to symbolically break the Gaza blockade. Ten Turkish Islamists die in violent clashes aboard the Mavi Marmara.

March 15, 2011: Israeli naval forces intercept the Victoria, seizing approximately 50 tons of weapons, as well as manuals written in Farsi, intended for Hamas.

Sept. 2, 2011: An independent UN inquiry into the Mavi Marmara affair (the Palmer report) criticizes Israeli forces for using excessive force but upholds the blockade’s legality. (See also the Turkel report, the independent Israeli inquiry’s findings, which elaborated on the blockade’s legality.)

Oct. 18, 2011: Hamas frees Gilad Shalit in prisoner swap. Israel immediately frees 477 prisoners plus another 550 in December.

Oct. 23 2012: A Sudanese munitions factory reportedly owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is destroyed in an explosion attributed to Israel.

Nov. 14, 2012: IDF launches Operation Pillar of Defense in response to Gaza rocket fire.

Nov. 21, 2012: Cease-fire ends Operation Pillar of Defense.

March 5, 2014: Israeli naval forces intercept the Klos-C, seizing an undisclosed amount of Iranian-made weapons intended for Gaza terror groups.

Klos C
Weapons captured from the Klos C on display in Eilat on March 10, 2014
July 8, 2014: IDF launches Operation Protective Edge in response to Gaza rocket fire and the Hamas kidnapping/murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.

July 20, 2014: Hamas captures the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed in an ambush after a ceasefire had taken effect. Hamas holds their bodies to this day.

July 23, 2014: Israeli engineers and scientists conduct first tests on a high-tech tunnel detection system.

Aug. 26, 2014: Operation Protective Edge ends as ceasefire takes hold.

Sept. 7, 2014: Avraham Mengistu, a mentally unstable Israeli, manages to cross the border into Gaza. Hamas holds Mengistu to this day.

Oct. 24, 2014: Islamist insurgents in the Sinai kill 31 Egyptian soldiers in two attacks on military positions. Among the responses by Cairo was an announcement of plans to expand a buffer zone along the Egypt-Gaza border

Jan. 8, 2015: Having discovered smuggling tunnels longer than expected, Egypt doubles the width of the Gaza buffer zone. Nearly 1,220 homes are demolished and 1,600 tunnels destroyed.

April 20, 2015: Hisham al-Sayed, a mentally unstable Israeli Bedouin, manages to cross the border into Gaza. Hamas holds Sayed to this day.

Sept. 11, 2015: Egyptian military begins pumping seawater into cross-border tunnels.

April 17, 2017: Gaza’s sole electric power plant runs out of fuel for the first time. Hamas and Fatah blame each other. Electricity from Israel and Egypt provides only four of hours daily of power to the Strip.

Jan. 17, 2018: Israel reveals plans for a 40-mile underground border barrier to block Palestinian tunnels into Israel.

March 30, 2018: Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers in the first of weekly “March of Return” violence along the Gaza border.

May 12, 2018: IDF destroys Hamas terror tunnel beneath the Erez border crossing.

May 29, 2018: IDF destroys Hamas terror tunnel under Kerem Shalom crossing that curled under Egyptian territory.

May 27, 2018: Israel announces start of construction of an underwater sea barrier to prevent infiltration.

Nov. 12, 2018: Following a botched Israeli intelligence operation in the Strip, Palestinians fire approximately 400 rockets at Israel, the largest barrage ever in a 24-hour period.

Gaza’s Three Border Crossings
Erez crossing: (with Israel): This terminal, the only crossing point for pedestrian traffic, is primarily used by international personnel such as diplomats, aid workers, journalists and also Palestinians with permits to leave Gaza, usually for medical treatment.

Israel is forced to scrutinize requests for medical permits because Hamas has used Palestinians being treated in Israel to pass messages to terror operatives in the West Bank. And healthy Palestinians trying to leave the Strip have paid doctors to write referrals for treatment abroad.

Further complicating matters, the Palestinian Authority often blocks patients from leaving the Strip by holding up the release of payment vouchers and delaying the transfer of drugs from West Bank warehouses, while cheap black market medicines smuggled from Egypt are fueling Gaza’s opioid crisis.

Erez crossing
A Palestinian woman at the Erez crossing who entered Israel with her children for medical treatment as a soldier assists her.
 

Kerem Shalom crossing (with Israel): Located at the convergence of the Gaza, Israeli and Egyptian borders, this crossing is used by all trucks delivering goods from both Israel and Egypt to the Strip. As other border crossings (noted below) were closed, Kerem Shalom became the sole transfer point. It currently sees an average of 100,000 tons of items delivered to the Strip.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at what 147,540 trucks delivered to Gaza in 2017 per COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit within the Defense Ministry which implements civilian policy in the West Bank and Gaza in liaison with the Palestinian Authority and other relevant international aid organizations).

3,383,440: tons of construction materials
568,744: tons of food
637,111: tons of gas
155,038: liters of diesel fuel
40,696: liters of gasoline
7,044: tons of medical equipment
3,154: vehicles
Further, more than 6.5 million tons of construction materials have been brought into the Strip to rebuild homes, roads, public facilities and other infrastructure since the 2014 Gaza war.

It’s worth noting that goods also flow out of Gaza through Kerem Shalom. Agricultural produce, textiles and other Palestinian exports pass through Kerem Shalom for sale around the world. For example, Gaza exported 36,765 tons of produce in 2015.

In addition, Israel provides Gaza with 125 megawatts of electricity (half of the Strip’s needs) and 10 million cubic meters of water.

Rafah crossing (with Egypt): This crossing for pedestrians is the only direct passage between Egypt and Gaza. Since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in 2013, Rafah is only opened sporadically. Egyptian trucks delivering goods are directed to the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is operated by Israel.

Three other Israel-Gaza border crossings are non-operational. The Sufa crossing was primarily used for deliveries of construction materials and closed in 2008. The Nahal Oz crossing — where underground lines transferred gas and fuel — was closed in 2010. Of all the border crossings, the Karni crossing had the highest capacity for truck deliveries. Its operations were reduced in 2007 and finally closed in March, 2011.

* * *

Images: Egypt via YouTube/ONLINE; gunmen screengrab via military.com; Klos C via YouTube/”Yerushalayim” – TV magazine in Russian about Israel; Erez crossing via YouTube/COGAT;
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Post  Admin on Sun 05 May 2019, 11:02 pm

https://honestreporting.com/dishonest-headlines-parrot-hamas-claim/
Nikki Haley slams Israeli critics’ double-standard: ‘No other country would sit back and take this’
 May 5, 2019
Nikki Haley slams Israeli critics’ double-standard: ‘No other country would sit back and take this’Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (AP/Andrew Harnik)
As Palestinian terrorists rain hundreds of rockets down on the Jewish state,  former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. questions why Israel should “sit back and take” it.
By World Israel News Staff
On Saturday, Nikki Haley responded to Palestinian terrorists’ ongoing rocket fire on Israel with a pointed post on Twitter questioning the double-standard many nations apply to the Jewish State.
“If this was any other country, the international community would raise havoc. No other country would sit back and take this. Why should Israel? #DoubleStandard,” she tweeted.
Former Amb. Haley also shared a video on Twitter showing the devastation caused by Palestinian rockets, which killed an Israeli father of four in Ashkelon, Moshe Agadi, and wounded a number of others severely.
Nikki Haley
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@NikkiHaley
 If this was any other country, the international community would raise havoc. No other country would sit back and take this. Why should Israel? #DoubleStandard

Israel Defense Forces
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@IDF
200+ rockets rained down on the homes of Israeli families today. WATCH:
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The former ambassador is slated to visit the Jewish state at the end of June to serve as the keynote speaker at a forum hosted by daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin are scheduled to attend.
During her tenure as the U.S. ambassador to the the United Nations, Haley proved herself a vocal supporter of the Jewish State.
Former Amb. Haley was joined by other leading U.S. diplomats in condemning Palestinian terrorists for the rocket attacks, with President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt tweeting:
“Hamas and [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] have engaged in yet another deplorable act of terrorism, indiscriminately firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian communities. The U.S. stands firmly in support of Israel’s right to self-defense and we call on the international community to do the same.”
In a follow-up tweet, Greenblatt added, “When Hamas and [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] continue to choose terrorism, they prevent the world from trying to help the Palestinians in Gaza and they cause harm to Palestinians.”
The U.S. State Department similarly issued a statement stating, “The United States strongly condemns the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel.
“We call on those responsible for the violence to cease this aggression immediately. We stand with Israel and fully support its right to self-defense against these abhorrent attacks.”
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Post  Admin on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 9:58 pm

Facebook Fights Fake News With Biased Gaza Video
BY EMANUEL MILLER  APRIL 30, 2019
Facebook Gaza Fake News
https://honestreporting.com/facebook-fights-fake-news-biased-gaza-video/
A video commissioned by British Channel 4 for Facebook Watch called “Gaza: life in the deadly blockade” shows a horrendously context-free and one-sided portrayal of the Gaza border protests.

The video, uploaded to UK television Channel 4’s Facebook page and promoted through Facebook Watch, fails to mention the deep involvement of Hamas in instigating the violence, even though the vast majority of those killed in the border riots were associated with the organization. The majority of the remainder were associated with a rival terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Instead, viewers are simply told that “these families went to the front lines together,  and came back severely wounded,” and that over “260 people have been killed, 50 of them children.” That some of those minors killed were members of Hamas’s armed wing is not deemed relevant enough for inclusion in the video, naturally.

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Beyond the omission of Hamas’s role in conducting the violence, there is also no coverage in the video of the thousands of explosive filled-balloons, condoms and kites that were launched on a daily basis for months. Nor do viewers see the result of the blazes sparked by these crude firebombs – many thousands of acres of scorched forest, crops and fields.

While covering the human toll is fair and important journalism, totally neglecting to mention the petrol bombs, grenades, and knives with which the more violent protesters equipped themselves lets Hamas off the hook. The video fails to inform viewers of the wider context of Hamas sporadically firing hundreds of rockets on Israeli cities and towns, hiding lethal improvised explosive devices IEDs on the border, shooting directly at Israeli soldiers, and constructing numerous tunnels into Israeli territory with the aim of kidnapping and killing Israelis, leaving Israel with a very real need to clamp down on the Gaza border.

Instead, all viewers are told is that, “traumatized and trapped, life in Gaza is suffocating.”

Hamas wants gullible audiences around the world to believe that its protests are mild and met with unreasonable force by the IDF. It wants to be viewed as the plucky underdog instead of seen for what it is; an aggressive, dangerous terrorist organization seeking to disturb the peace for the sake of political gain. In humanizing the protesters without subjecting Hamas officials or the protesters themselves to probing questions, the piece helps give Hamas what it’s looking for: legitimacy.

It all starts when Israel fires back
In one telling sentence, the presenter, clad in helmet and flak jacket, speaks directly to the camera:

These Friday protests follow a familiar pattern: first, the tear gas comes in, then the live ammunition starts, and then they bring back the injured.

Incredibly, the presenter’s summary simply avoids all mention of the Gazan rock-throwing, tire-burning, and attempts to rush the border en masse that would entail an Israeli response. As per usual, it is Israel that is the aggressor and the initiator of violence.

Romanticizing violence
Asking viewers to “meet Gaza’s young protesters” who are “risking their lives,” the video romanticizes the violence. A young boy tells the camera, “I didn’t have any weapons or gas bombs. I just had a slingshot and a stone, nothing else.” Portraying thuggish behavior as heroic, the video ignores the fact that hundreds of teens and children were allowed or even encouraged to be anywhere near a conflict zone. The video accepts wholesale the claim that protesters wanted to cross into Israel, but doesn’t question what their plans were after breaking through the border fence.

Here’s one video which might suggest the protesters’ true plans and the very real threat to Israeli lives:

 Embedded video

(((Emanuel Miller)))
@emanumiller
 This is what a border infiltration from #Gaza into #Israel looks like. See the man (0:30) clutching a meat cleaver? Imagine hundreds like him coming into Israeli territory, hoping to murder as many Israelis as possible.

This is what Israel is up against.

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Gaza under ‘siege’ claim repeated
Throughout the video, both the presenter and the Palestinians themselves refer to a ‘siege’ on numerous occasions. There is no such siege. Approximately two thousand people travel through the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza each day, and the Kerem Shalom crossing sees approximately 150,000 trucks making deliveries to Gaza yearly per COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit within the Defense Ministry responsible for implementing liaising with the Palestinian Authority and relevant international aid organizations). While there is a blockade on Gaza, it’s maintained by Israel and Egypt in order to negate the very real threat of Hamas weapons smuggling.


Related Reading: The Gaza Blockade: An Explainer

Bizarre ‘explosive bullet’ claim
During the interview, a Gazan resident called Malina Al Hindi claims that a remote Israeli sniper fired an explosive bullet at her leg. If the credulous reporter had bothered to do his job and check claims made by interviewees, the quote would never have been given air-time: there is quite simply no such thing as an explosive bullet. They simply do not exist. There is nothing wrong with Gazans sharing their own perspective, much of which may be hostile to Israel, but journalists should not provide a platform for Gazans to make false claims unchallenged.

Explosive Bullet smear

In telling her story, Al Hindi discloses a crucial piece of context that only locals and those with real knowledge of the situation on the ground would notice: there are multiple fences between Israel and Gaza. Al Hindi admits that “we opened a gap in the third barbed wire fence.” In other words, a group of protesters had broken through not one, not two, but three fences. It was only at this point that she was hit.

It would have been reasonable to ask at this point how many more warnings the IDF should have given Al Hindi and her fellow rioters. Should the IDF have waited till they entered Israel? Should the IDF have allowed her to start actively attacking Israeli civilians? Instead, the video moves on without questioning Al Hindi’s actions in any way.

Combating Fake News?
The irony of it all is that the Uncovered show was commissioned by Facebook as a means to tackle fake news. In June 2018, Facebook announced that it was looking to promote “high-quality and timely news content on the platform” to honor an earlier commitment to show news that is trustworthy, informative and local on Facebook.

Uncovered was launched in early 2019, but instead of meeting Facebook’s laudable criteria, Channel 4 has failed miserably with this video. Through missing context, failing to ask even simple questions, and selectively omitting uncomfortable details, the Gaza video fails to show nuanced, accurate picture of what’s really happening.

Concerned about the rise of fake news on Facebook? SHARE this article now
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