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Post  Admin on Sun 18 Nov 2018, 3:26 pm

Israeli Government’s Fate to Be Decided Tonight
Today’s Top Stories
1. As this roundup was published, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to meet this evening with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon in a last-ditch bid to save his tottering governing coalition. Following last week’s resignation of defense minister Avigdor Liberman, who opposed the PM’s ceasefire with Hamas, Netanyahu’s coalition shrank to a barely-there 61-59 Knesset majority. Kahlon leads the centrist Kulanu party, which has 10 seats, and Kahlon said last week he favors early elections.

Meanwhile, Naftali Bennett threatened to take his eight-seat Bayit Yehudi party out of the coalition if he is not appointed Defense Minister. Bennett is currently Minister of Education. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who leads the seven-seat Shas party, added further pressure on the PM by coming out for early elections.

If Netanyahu succeeds in holding together a coalition for the remainder of his four-year term, the next elections would be held in November, 20019. We’ll know more tonight . . .

Bennett, Netanyahu, Kahlon
Left to right, Naftali Bennett, Benjamin Netanyahu and Moshe Kahlon
2. Defying Israel and the US, Mahmoud Abbas signed paperwork to join a 11 nternational organizations and conventions, including the International Postal Union, with the forms to be formally submitted this week. The US does not recognize Palestinian statehood, and federal law requires Washington to stop funding organizations where the Palestinians have full membership.

Washington is mulling consequences.

3. Linda Sarsour: Jews who oppose antisemitic Muslim congresswoman have dual loyalties.

In the News
• The US raised eyebrows by voting for the first time against a UN committee’s draft resolution denouncing the “illegal occupation” of the Golan Heights after years of US abstentions on the issue. AP adds that the UN General Assembly will vote on it in December. Ambassador Nikki Haley explained the shift in this statement. Could this augur US recognition of Israeli control over the Golan?
The resolution is plainly biased against Israel. Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone. The destructive influence of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents major threats to international security. ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement.
It was one of nine resolutions slamming Israel by the “Special Political and Decolonization Committee” on Friday. More at UN Watch.
• Jerusalem Post: “In an unprecedented move, Egyptian intelligence officials on Friday attended a Hamas rally for the Palestinians who were killed in last week’s clash with an elite IDF unit in the southern Gaza Strip.”
• Angela Merkel lobbied Romania not to relocate it embassy to Jerusalem. And Australia and Malaysia are at loggerheads over the possibility of Australia moving its embassy to Jerusalem (Aussie Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad’s opposition was simply because he’s an antisemite.) As if the Romanian and Australian embassies are any of Merkel and Mahathir’s concern . . .
• Stunning tweet from the Daily Telegraph’s Raf Sanchez.
Raf Sanchez
 · Nov 15, 2018
Replying to @rafsanchez
Hamas are super paranoid after the Israeli commando raid and are looking for collaborators. We went through lots of new checkpoints. There was much more scrutiny of foreign journalists and they searched our bags on the way out.
Raf Sanchez
We got a sense of how careful Israel was to avoid civilian casualties during the airstrikes in #Gaza. The Israeli army called one guy we met and spent 45 mins on the phone with him, getting him to evacuate his neighbours, before they blew up a Hamas media building next to his.
1:38 PM - Nov 15, 2018
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• An elite IDF commando injured in last week’s Gaza-op gone-awry was released from the hospital. Doctors at Beersheva’s Soroka Medical Center said the soldier, whose name hasn’t been released, is in “good condition for rehabilitation.”
• Palestinian shunned for selling land to Jews to be buried in Jewish cemetery.

• Was an Israeli agent killed in an Iranian air strike on Iraq’s Kurdish region?

HR Mission to Israel

• The Jerusalem Post picked up on the latest revelations from the Paris trial of 15 Hezbollah operatives accused of laundering massive amounts of drug money in Europe and South America. It seems they took advantage of weak German anti-terror finance policies to launder “as much as one million euros per week during the high point of its operation.” More on the trial at The National.

Window Into Israel
• The New York Times takes a closer look at how Netanyahu would fare if Israel goes to early elections.

• Per Israeli media reports, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife will reportedly be questioned as a suspect in a case involving suspicions she lied to the State Comptroller regarding the employment of a former aide-turned-state witness.”

Mrs. Netanyahu and an employee of the Prime Minister’s Office are already accused of fraudulently spending $100,000 in state funds to pay for catered meals. The trial, which began in October, moved to criminal arbitration on Thursday. The Prime Minister’s wife maintains her innocence.

• Meet Israel’s first Druze news anchorwoman, Gadeer Mreeh.

Gadeer Mreeh
Gadeer Mreeh, Israel’s first Druze anchorwoman
Around the World
• Drip drip drip: Since 2016, thousands of British Jews have applied for foreign passports, either because they want to retain EU citizenship after Brexit, or because they fear rising antisemitism and the likelihood of Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister. According to the Times of London, most inquiries have focused on Germany, Spain and Portugal, as well as Israel.

• Drip drip drip: British parliament hosted an Israel-hating Jordanian lawmaker who once praised a gunman who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls as a “hero,” the Daily Mail reports.

• Kentucky governor’s executive order bans state contracts to businesses supporting BDS.

• A drunk man sparked panic at a Baltimore performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” when he yelled “Heil Hitler, heil Trump” during an intermission. A number of people in the audience ran out fearing 58-year-old Anthony Derlunas was going to open fire. Before being ushered out of the theater, Derlunas told police a scene in the play reminded him of his hatred for the US president.

The police explanation for why Derlunas wasn’t charged with any crime puts a new twist on yelling fire in a crowded theater.

“As reprehensible as those words are, they are considered protected free speech because nobody was directly threatened,” police spokesman Matt Jablow said in an email.

Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof
• Police are investigating incidents of antisemitic graffiti on the campus of Cal. State Fullerton and at a Miami Beach synagogue.

• Knesset member and former chief IDF spokesman Nachman Shai called for reforms in the IDF Spokesman’s Unit and the Military Censor in light of criticisms following last week’s Gaza violence.

During the difficult days this week, a flood of information from the field reached the public long before the authorized officials could respond. After this round of fighting, and with the clear expectation of additional rounds in the future, these two media organizations, which both deal with information – one disseminating it and the other in keeping it under wraps – must reexamine themselves. They will very soon be put to a new test, and they should be ready for it.

• A diverse group of British-Jewish thinkers were invited to share their thoughts on the evolving relationship between UK Jewry and Israel, whether there’s a ‘potentially seismic change’ in the way the community relates to and talks about Israel. They all weighed in at the Fathom Journal.


• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Amos Harel: Early elections will limit Netanyahu’s room for maneuver in Gaza
– Anshel Pfeffer: Why the timing of the Israeli election matters so much to Netanyahu and his rivals
– Lahav Harkov: How Netanyahu can save this coalition
– Avi Issacharoff: We should all hope the victories of Gaza’s Yahya Sinwar haven’t gone to his head
– Zev Chafets: Netanyahu made the right call on Gaza
– Dan Feferman: What is Hamas’s end-game? Escalation control
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Why renewed US sanctions on Iran are good news for Palestinians
– Amos Harel: Putin’s interests in Syria and Lebanon limit Israel’s options
– Elliott Abrams: Are American Jews disenchanted with Israel?
– Ben Shapiro: Intersectionality leads to ignoring antisemitism. Here’s why
– Soeren Kern: First Muslim women in US Congress misled voters about views on Israel

Featured image: CC BY woodleywonderworks;; Bennett via YouTube/CBS New York; Netanyahu via YouTube/VOA News; Kahlon via YouTube/Moshe Kahlon; Mreeh via YouTube/themedialine; Fiddler on the Roof via YouTube/guru006; Israeli flag via YouTube/Jewish National Fund of Canada British flag via YouTube/easyaccessenglish;

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

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Post  Admin on Thu 15 Nov 2018, 7:17 pm

Fallout From Liberman Resignation Continues
Today’s Top Stories
1. The political turmoil from Avigdor Liberman’s resignation continues: The Bayit HaYehudi party threatened to quit the coalition if its leader, Naftali Bennett, was not offered the defense portfolio. Cabinet ministers Moshe Kahlon and Aryeh Deri urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call early elections. And leaders of the Orthodox parties were tight-lipped but skeptical about what the turmoil would mean for the issue of army conscription for yeshiva students.

With the likelihood of early elections, the White House can’t roll out its peace plan. (UPDATE: Shortly after this roundup was published, Haaretz quoted White House officials that the peace plan will still be released within 2-4 months). And last, but not least, Hamas celebrated Liberman’s resignation as ‘victory for Gaza.’
2. Not-so-great moments in coexistence: The Associated Press reports the PA suspended a Palestinian police chief and referred him to an “investigative committee” after photos surfaced on social media showing him helping Israeli soldiers change a flat tire in the Hebron area.

3. Minnesota’s newly-elected Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar says she backs BDS after having told a Jewish audience during her campaign that it “stops the dialogue” and is “counteractive.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• Palestinians laid Mahmoud Abu Asabeh to rest in Hebron yesterday. He was the only person killed during Hamas’ rocket barrage earlier this week. The Times of Israel notes that no senior Fatah or PA officials attended the funeral. Asabeh, a 48-year-old contractor, was killed when a rocket struck the Ashkelon apartment building where he worked.

• Three policemen were lightly injured when they were stabbed by a Palestinian who snuck into a Jerusalem police station by scaling a fence on Wednesday night. A fourth officer was lightly hurt during the scuffle to subdue the attacker.

HR Mission to Israel

• While foreign dignitaries visiting the Western Wall have become more common in the last two years, the Czech Republic’s foreign minister managed to raise eyebrows in Israel and ire in the PA. That’s because Tomas Petricek visit “marked the first time a European foreign minister was joined at the wall by an Israeli diplomat.”
The EU, like much of the international community, does not recognize Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, and so officials of member states usually refrain from going there in the company of Israeli officials. European dignitaries who want to visit the site usually do so in a private capacity.
Petricek later told Palestinian media that a planned Czech cultural center in Jerusalem won’t have any diplomatic status, and that Prague does not intend to move its embassy out of Tel Aviv.
Around the World
• Stealing a page from former American football star Colin Kaepernick, two students at a Cape Town Jewish school were disciplined after they “‘took a knee’ in solidarity with Palestinians while Hatikva was sung during an award ceremony.” Kaepernick polarized the National Football League in 2016 by kneeling during the pre-game national anthem in protest against police brutality.
Eric Reid (left) and Colin Kaepernick (right) take a knee during the national anthem in 2016
• Over at the University of Tennessee, antisemitic hate messages, swastikas and other Nazi symbols were painted on an iconic campus boulder known as The Rock. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that this is the second time in two weeks The Rock was defaced like this.

• A French Jewish mayor’s home was covered with antisemitic graffiti. Police in Brumath, near Strasbourg, “have no suspects in the incident, which occurred on the 80th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms,” per the JTA.
• A drunk Irish lawyer had a horrible meltdown when neither her alleged status as an international human rights lawyer for the Palestinians nor her threats of a boycott against Air India impressed the flight crew to serve her extra wine, poor thing. According to the Daily Mail, Simone O’Broin was arrested by British police upon landing at Heathrow Airport. Indian journalist Tarun Shukla‘s video of part of the foul-mouthed rant went viral, reinforcing Israeli suspicions that a lot of pro-Palestinian activists are just bigoted bullies.
They said she allegedly stole a second bottle from the service area in direct defiance of airline staff, and shouted at the cabin crew for up to five hours.

 Embedded video
Tarun Shukla
 Irish lady behaves in such an abusive, racist way with @airindiain crew for being refused extra drinks. Very decent AI crew behaviour. Arrested on landing. Wonder if she should have been controlled onboard with handcuffs. @JitiBhargava @Mohan_Rngnathan
2:49 PM - Nov 13, 2018
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• Shutterstock, one of the largest companies selling photos and illustrations online, deleted antisemitic images from its site.

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels on Israel’s political tumult and the Gaza situation.

– Jonathan Tobin: Hamas rockets and the idea of two states
– Pinhas Inbari: A “joint operations room” in Gaza – the new factor in Gaza’s balance of power
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Israel-Hamas ceasefire pushes Abbas towards irrelevancy
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Netanyahu’s strategic gamble in Gaza
– Nahum Barnea: Netanyahu let Hamas win
– Yoav Limor: Slogans don’t win wars
– Weekly Standard (staff-ed) A ceasefire in Gaza
– Washington Post (staff-ed): After an explosion of violence, Netanyahu chooses peace in Gaza
– Lahav Harkov: Can Netanyahu’s teetering government survive?
– David Horovitz: Israelis aren’t happy with Netanyahu, but still look mainly to him to solve Gaza
– Raoul Wootliff: Liberman’s exit puts election ball in Netanyahu’s court, but not on his terms
– Amos Harel: Avigdor Lieberman: The Israeli Defense Minister who never was

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Ira Rifkin: Beat the journalism clock: Track rising anti-Semitism via Jewish and Israeli news media
– Ariel Sobel: The Women’s March is victim blaming. Again.
– Jonathan Kaplan: How anti-Semitic stereotypes from a century ago still echo today
Featured image: CC BY Matthew G; Netanyahu via YouTube/Elizabeth Rimini; Kaepernick via YouTube/ABC News;

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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Nov 2018, 8:04 pm

Defense Minister Resigns, Raising Odds of Early Elections
Today’s Top Stories
1. Raising the prospect of early elections, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman resigned in protest against the unofficial ceasefire reached between Israel and Hamas. The departure of Yisrael Beiteinu and the party’s five Knesset seats leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition with a barely-there 61-59 majority. So what happens next?

Political jostling for the Defense Ministry has already begun, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett and several Likud ministers claiming they are Liberman’s rightful heir.

However, there is also a chance that Netanyahu will choose to hold an election immediately, rather than try to keep the coalition together with a one-seat majority.

A senior Likud source said that there is no reason to call for elections, and that Netanyahu will retain the defense portfolio for himself.

We had a little photoshop fun in the office today . . .
 Breaking News:

More in today's IDNS...
12:31 PM - Nov 14, 2018
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2. An “unofficial” ceasefire went into effect, bringing a respite from rocket barrages, sirens and air strikes. Southern Israel returned to “normal,” Gazans celebrated “victory,” and the UN Security took no action after discussing the crisis. More at the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter). See also Ynet coverage of yesterday’s cabinet deliberations.

3. Moshe Lion was elected mayor of Jerusalem, defeating fellow city council member Ofer Berkovitch in yesterday’s runoff election.

Lion — Jerusalem’s first mayor of Sephardi descent — is a former accountant who in 1996 was appointed managing director of the Prime Minister’s Office (during Benjamin Netanyahu’s first term). He became a member of the Jerusalem city council in 2013 after failing to unseat incumbent mayor Nir Barkat. Don’t expect the new mayor to enjoy much of a honeymoon period. Globes explains why:

Lion’s party did not win a single council seat, thus making the work of forming a council coalition very difficult.

See Ynet for the outcomes of other municipal runoffs. And don’t bother parsing the results for national trends. As Reuters notes, “many candidates run as independents or on non-traditional party lists, making it difficult to gauge any broader political impact from the results.”

4. How are news audiences digesting the Israel-Hamas media war? Our very own Daniel Pomerantz discussed the issue on i24 News along with Peace Now’s Yariv Oppenheimer.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli media reports put the number of Israelis injured during the two days of rocket attacks at 108. Most were lightly wounded or suffering from shock.

• Worth reading: The mind-boggling damage caused to a Netivot home by a single piece of shrapnel highlights the destructive power of Palestinian rockets. Nobody was hurt because the family living there got away in time — which is exactly why you haven’t heard about this.

• The IDF arrested a Palestinian man who was throwing grenades near the Gaza border fence yesterday.

HR Mission to Israel

• The IDF censor couldn’t prevent the spread of identifying info about Lt. Col. M. on social media after the elite soldier was killed in this week’s Gaza intelligence mission gone awry. As this roundup went to press, a gag order on his name remained in place. Ynet took a deep dive look at the issues of security, sensitivity, rumors and misinformation.

The IDF Censor has not yet surrendered to the forces of time and technology. This unacceptable phenomenon raises its head time after time, and as of right now, there is no one who can stop it. Nevertheless, the Censor does not intend to change the instructions. The incident in Gaza on Sunday was not the first time it happened. Bereaved families say they were informed of their sons deaths in military operations after reading anonymous WhatsApp messages on many occasions. Other parents said they had a breakdown after seeing their child’s name accidentally appear on a list of casualties spread through social networks.

• The Daily Beast discussed Iron Dome and civil defense with Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitz, the outgoing commander of Israel’s Aerial Defense and one of the architects of Israel’s anti-missile defense strategy.

Iron Dome
• The US is now offering a $5 million reward for the capture of Hamas leader Salah Arouri. He is currently the deputy chairman of the Hamas politburo best known for masterminding the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014, which triggered the last war in Gaza. Per the Jerusalem Post:

Arouri, who is believed to be living in Dahiyeha — a Hezbollah stronghold in the Lebanese capital of Beirut after being kicked out of Qatar in 2017 — is reportedly working with Qassem Soleimani the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force.

The US also blacklisted Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s son, Jawad. More on the terror designations at Reuters.

Window Into Israel
• The Knesset Ethics Committee suspended Oren Hazan for six weeks after the Likud MK insulted a Defense Ministry official. If Hazan’s name rings a bell, it’s because the BBC used the attention-seeking lawmaker to smear Israel earlier this year.

• The Bank of Israel’s Deputy Governor, Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg, was promoted to acting Governor after Karnit Flug’s five-year term came to end. Globes reports that Amir Yaron, who was tapped to replace Flug, is still working his way through the bureaucratic approvals process.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News looked back on Flug’s term.

Around the World
• Questioning the need for increased security at Cardiff’s biggest synagogue, Labour Welsh politician Jenny Rathbone blamed antisemitism on the Israeli government. The Jewish Chronicle obtained a recording of the Corbynista’s comments.

[Rathbone] also said that rising antisemitism in Britain was the result of “the failure to come to a peace settlement around Palestine and Israel”.

Ms Rathbone suggested the behaviour of Israel “drives peoples to be hostile to the Jewish community in this country”.

Cardiff Castle
• According to FBI stats, hate crimes in the US rose 17 percent last year, which the Washington Post says was “fueled in part by more police departments reporting hate crime data to the FBI.”

More than half of hate crimes, about 3 out of every 5, targeted a person’s race or ethnicity, while about 1 out of 5 targeted their religion.

Of the more than 7,000 incidents reported last year, 2,013 targeted black Americans, while 938 targeted Jewish Americans . . .

Anti-Semitic hate crimes rose 37 percent in 2017.

• Do divisions over antisemitism threaten the future of the Women’s March?

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels weighing in on the Gaza situation . . .

– Ron Ben-Yishai: This is not how you create deterrence
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas prefers to preserve ‘achievements’ over all-out war
– Amos Harel: Netanyahu is willing to take a big risk for quiet on the Gaza border
– Lahav Harkov: Ceasefire shows politics don’t always come first
– Yaakov Katz: Netanyahu as defense minister is too much. There are options

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Post  Admin on Tue 13 Nov 2018, 5:01 pm

Palestinians Fire Over 400 Rockets at Israel

A man stands inside a house in Ashkelon that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on November 13, 2018. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
Today’s Top Stories
1. Residents of southern Israel spent the night shelters as Palestinians fired more than 400 rockets and mortars since Monday evening. One Palestinian was killed when a rocket struck an Ashkelon apartment building where he worked. Most of the rockets landed in open areas or were intercepted by Iron Dome, but several homes and buildings were hit. The IDF responded with air strikes on Gaza, destroying 150 targets. The Times of Israel explained that the Palestinian barrage

appeared to be the largest-ever attack in a 24-hour period from the Gaza Strip, with more than twice the number of projectiles fired than on any single day of the bloody 2014 war.

The attacks began yesterday in the late afternoon with Palestinians fired an anti-tank rocket at an Israeli bus near the Gaza. One soldier on board was injured; tragedy was averted because other soldiers disembarked minutes beforehand.

2. The man killed in Ashkelon was a 48-year-old Palestinian laborer from Halhul, near Hebron. Mahmoud Abu Asbah, who worked in the building where he was killed, is survived by a wife and six children. I’ll call him a martyr.
 Identification of the man killed by rocket fire on Ashkelon overnight -->
"Mahmoud Bashir Abu Asbah (48), who worked in the building in Ashkelon,
who is from the town of Halhul, immediately north of Hebron"

Yasser Okbi
ההרוג באשקלון מנפילת הטיל הוא אזרח פלסטיני מהעיר חלחול מצפון לחברון - מחמוד בשיר אבו עסבה (48), שעבד בבניין.@MaarivOnline

View image on Twitter
9:15 AM - Nov 13, 2018
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3. As this roundup was published, incoming rocket sirens continued in various Israeli locations and Gaza factions denied reports of a ceasefire.

Israel suspended its participation in truce talks and rejected international mediation, though trucks continued making humanitarian deliveries to Gaza at the Kerem Shalom crossing. Israel’s security cabinet ended a marathon meeting without announcing any decision.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Regarding the intensity of the barrage, the Daily Telegraph noted:

Israel estimates that Hamas and its allies have around 20,000 mortars and rockets, meaning that they could continue firing at the current rate for weeks. “Unfortunately, they are not anywhere near the end of their capabilities,” said Lt Col Conricus.

The rapid rate of rocket fire is believed to be an effort to overwhelm Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system, which has been largely successful intercepting rockets in recent years.

Here‘s what the barrage looked like at one point yesterday.

 Embedded video

Israel Defense Forces
 RAW FOOTAGE: The skies of southern Israel RIGHT NOW. Dozens of rockets are being fired from #Gaza at Israeli civilians.

3:27 PM - Nov 12, 2018 · Israel
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• The IDF completely destroyed the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV headquarters. But Hamas was clearly prepared. The station was quickly back on the air from an undisclosed location.

The IDF said that Al-Aqsa TV was “used by [Hamas] for military activities, including sending messages to terrorist operatives in the West Bank, calls for terror attacks and instructions on how to commit them.”

The outlet was recognized as a terror group by the United States in 2010.

• Avital Leibovich made me go hmmmmm . . .

View image on Twitter
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Avital Leibovich
 This is a picture of the seconds after #IDF hit the AL Aqsa TV building. Makes me wonder whether there was more in the building then just cameras...

7:51 PM - Nov 12, 2018
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Window Into Israel
• The Times of Israel examines how security cabinet confusion during the early hours of the Gaza op-gone-awry highlights the risk Benjamin Netanyahu takes by not designating a deputy PM.

• Runoff elections are being held in 55 Israeli municipalities today, most notably Jerusalem, where candidates Moshe Leon and Ofer Berkovitch campaigned to the wire. Ashkelon’s run-off election was postponed due to the escalating violence. The new date has yet to be determined.

Around the World
• “A Wisconsin school district has launched an investigation after a photo of what appears to be a group of mostly white male students holding up a Nazi salute went viral.”

• A statement from the leadership of the Women’s March condemned antisemitism while standing by Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory. See JTA coverage and judge for yourself if it goes far enough in distancing the feminist leaders from the antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. (Once you think your head is wrapped around that, move on to why journalist Carly Pildis says the apology “erases Jewish women.”)


• How a rabbi saved four Torah scrolls from being destroyed in the California wildfires.

• Police launch hate crime investigation after Jewish teens attacked in north Toronto.

• UCLA Chancellor Gene Block took to the Los Angeles Times to defend the public university’s decision to host the national conference of Students for Justice in Palestine. It’s all about free speech.

Ultimately, we must combat speech that is distasteful with more and better speech. If universities can find ways to rise above the current rancor and if our students in particular can model our values, then that may well provide the very best hope for our future.

SJP people who equated victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre to Gazans killed in Hamas-led border clashes aren’t going to provide Block and his campus with shining examples of “more and better speech.”

Ryan's Ruminations
 Question for @UCLAchancellor Gene D. Block: when (and we know its merely a matter of time) the SJP conference spirals into an anti-Semitic hate fest, will @UCLA demand they cease? Will UCLA stand up not for #Israel but for Jews under attack more & more?https://lat.ms/2PPdK2H 

8:04 PM - Nov 12, 2018
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The controversial Students for Justice in Palestine conference will go on at UCLA. Here's why
Universities, and their leaders, must preserve the rights of all sides to speak and be heard.

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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Avi Issacharoff: Israel and Hamas are plunging into an all-out war that neither side wants
– Yaakov Lappin: Hamas’s emboldened risk-taking is fueling this escalation
– Amos Harel: Hamas tries to dictate new rules of game in Gaza, but it may be misjudging Israel
– David Horovitz: Hamas will never change. Sooner or later, it must be faced down
– Yoav Zitun: Hamas trying to challenge Iron Dome
– Ariel Kahana: An avoidable war becomes inevitable
– Amos Harel: Botched special op in Gaza brings Israel and Hamas to brink of war
– Yoaz Hendel: Let the IDF win
– Brig. Gen. Aharon Levran (res.): Restore Israeli deterrence in Gaza
– Bassam Tawil: Massive missile attack on Israel after Qatar funds Hamas
– Prof. Efraim Inbar: In the Middle East, you win with fear

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Post  Admin on Mon 12 Nov 2018, 6:56 pm

IDF Officer Killed as Gaza Op Goes Awry
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel and Hamas were back on the brink of war last night after undercover IDF commandos were exposed during what military officials called an intelligence gathering operation. One officer, identified as “Lt. Col. M.” was killed and another officer was moderately wounded. Trapped several kilometers inside Gaza, the commandos needed aerial support to exit the Strip.

Seven Hamas terrorists were killed, including a senior commander of the group’s tunneling forces. The Palestinians fired 17 projectiles at Israel, all of which either landed harmlessly in open areas or were intercepted by Iron Dome.

The IDF said all the soldiers returned to Israel, contradicting rumors that Hamas captured a soldier. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a visit to Paris to deal with the crisis. As a precaution, schools and train stations in communities near the Gaza border were closed and flight paths in and out of Ben Gurion Airport were altered, and the IDF sent reinforcements to the area.

As this roundup was published, M.’s funeral was underway. The military censor banned the publication of his name for now, so the funeral was closed to the press and family members remembering the fallen soldier in Israeli media reports could not be identified by name either.

More on the flare up at the Times of Israel, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post and New York Times. The latter added:

A former Israeli military commander in charge of long-range missions, Tal Russo, made the rounds of television studios assuring viewers this had been an intelligence operation, not an assassination or abduction mission. It was of the sort, he said, that “are carried out all the time, every night and in all fronts.”

The violence comes on the heels of a $15 million cash transfer to Gaza arranged by Israel and Qatar which was used to pay salaries to Hamas civil servants.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

 "Seven Palestinians" were killed in #Gaza last night, but who were these people? #Hamas knows, and you should know too: These were certainly not civilian casualties.

10:49 AM - Nov 12, 2018
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2. The New York Times cancelled its controversial $7,900 tours of Iran. The New York Post explains:

“We’re suspending the Iran tours because of difficulties related to the issuance of visas for our experts,” said a NYT spokeswoman.

She declined to comment on whether it was also in reaction to the Trump administration’s tightening of sanctions as it pulls the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The paper offers pricey organized Journeys to offset declining print revenue. Following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Times cancelled its $11,995 Saudi Arabia tours.

Sheikh Loftollah Mosque
The Sheikh Loftollah Mosque in Isfahan
3. A former financial official with the Temporary International Presence in Hebron admits the civilian observer group is tainted with anti-Israeli bias and corruption. Israel HaYom reports that Bennet Nygaard Solum, who served as TIPH’s chief procurement and financial officer, has revealed details of fraud, perjury, embezzlement and covering up incidents of observers accosting Israelis.

The TIPH’s observers come from Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Hebron’s Jewish community and a growing number of Israeli officials are calling for Israel not to continue TIPH’s mandate when it comes up for renewal in January.

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In the News
• Not-so-great-moments in jihad enlistment: “State prosecutors on Sunday filed an indictment against an Arab Israeli man who had planned to join jihadist anti-regime terror groups in Syria but was prevented from doing so by his mother who took away his passport, the Justice Ministry said in a statement Monday.”

• Before leaving Paris early, Netanyahu had a short but “very important” chat with Russian President Vladmir Putin. “Netanyahu’s office had been working to arrange such a meeting, his first with Putin since Syrian air defenses downed a Russian military plane during an Israeli airstrike in Syria in mid-September.”

Armistice Day
World leaders marking Armistice Day in Paris.
• Israel’s Channel 20 took a lot of heat for an inappropriately amicable interview with a Jewish arsonist who torched an Arab-Jewish school promoting co-existence.

Channel 20 later issued an apology for its “Open Studio” show, which hosted Yitzhak Gabai who was sentenced to over three years in prison for torching the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School in Jerusalem in 2014.

• Transportation minister Israel Katz ordered an expansion of Route 90 following fatal crashes near the Dead Sea. In the past three weeks, 17 people have been killed in three separate accidents. Parts of the route passing through the Negev are prone to flash floods.

Route 90, which is Israel’s longest, runs along Israel’s eastern border from Metula in the north to Eilat in the south. Most of the road is decades old and currently features only one lane in each direction, with no divider. Its length and characteristics have made it one of the country’s deadliest routes.

Route 90
Road work being on on Route 90 by the Dead Sea in Israel, on February 21, 2017. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90
Around the World
• “The fires racing through southern California have led to the evacuation of more than 260,000 people, burned over 83,000 acres and destroyed more than 170 homes, as well as damaged several Jewish institutions.”

• A person of interest was identified after the image of a swastika was sent to the phones of a Chicago-area high school.

• Roger Waters’ anti-Israeli message has ignited a campaign against the ex-Pink Floyd frontman in Latin America.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Lahav Harkov: IDF spokesman lost the narrative on botched Gaza mission
– Avi Issacharoff: Dollars trump death: Hamas seems committed to truce despite deadly Gaza flareup
– Amos Harel: Gaza incident was a botched Israeli military op, but not an assassination attempt
– Zvi Bar’el: For Netanyahu, any concession to Hamas that keeps Palestinians divided is worth it
– Yossi Yehoshua: Cash for quiet in Gaza
– Khaled Abu Toameh: The “separate” Palestinian state
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Israel and the Gulf states: The dam has burst
– Moshe Arens: Is Brazil’s new government good for Israel?
– Giora Eiland: The real concern behind the “submarine affair”
– David Harsanyi: Here’s the anti-Semitism the media doesn’t want to mention


Featured image: CC BY Shironeko Euro; mosque CC BY-NC-ND Andrea Moroni; Armistice Day via YouTube/Wotchit News;

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

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Post  Admin on Sun 11 Nov 2018, 5:15 pm

Hamas Pays Salaries After Israel Approves Cash Transfer

Today’s Top Stories
1. Three suitcases stuffed with $15 million from Qatar passed through the Erez crossing to Hamas on Thursday, allowing Hamas to pay the salaries of some 30,000 of its civil servants. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the transfer.

Hamas demanded funds to pay civil servant salaries as one of the conditions that would need to be met in order to halt violent riots along the border and the launching of incendiary devices into Gaza.

Netanyahu said that he had no intention of using Israeli funds to bribe Hamas. But the UN and Egypt, which have worked intensely to restore calm, have explored the option of Qatari funds to pay civil servant salaries in order to quell domestic unrest.

Israel and Qatar also reportedly agreed on a sea crossing between Gaza and Cyprus, though details on security arrangements remain to be hammered out. That’s according to Arab reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel. More overall at the New York Times.

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Gal Berger גל ברגר
 Exclusive: 3 suitcases w 15 million dollars in cash entered Gaza today w the qatari envoy through Israel (Erez crossing point). The money goes to Hamas, to pay salaries of civil employees. Exclusive pic:

6:20 PM - Nov 8, 2018
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2. Israel’s High Court of Justice endorsed a lower court’s landmark judgment against the Palestinian Authority for the false imprisonment and torture of 51 Palestinian “collaborators.” The Jerusalem Post explains:

Notably, the court said if Palestinians were cooperating with Israel to thwart terrorist attacks on Israelis, the PA is also obligated to assist in such efforts under the Oslo Accords. Accordingly, the court said the PA could not treat such Palestinians as criminals, much less torture them.

Further, the court found that in some cases, the PA had arrested Palestinians while they were within the Green Line, or had arrested Arabs who have Israeli citizenship.

The lower court awarded the Palestinians NIS 13.1 million (approximately $3.5 million) in damages for false imprisonment but did not yet set a financial liability for the torture.


3. Israel’s Minister of Economy and Industry was invited to a conference in Bahrain. Ynet explains:

[Eli] Cohen’s expected trip follows a number of visits made by high-profile Israeli politicians to the Gulf states in recent weeks, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit to Oman and Culture Minister Miri Regev’s trip to Abu Dhabi to attend the Judo Grand Competition.

4. The Washington Post’s Perplexing Platform for Press Predators: Editors owe readers an explanation for publishing an op-ed by the leader of the antisemitic and Iranian-proxy Houthi rebels.

5. What Does The Independent Really Think About Israel? The First timeline entry accompanying a feature on Prince Charles simply refers to Israel’s creation in terms of the “destruction of Palestine.”

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Israel and the Palestinians
• A Gaza man who infiltrated Israel on Friday managed to burn down a greenhouse in Netiv Ha’Asara before being apprehended. The IDF insisted that no lives were endangered by infiltrator, saying he was tracked by surveillance footage, but residents of the border community were furious.

• According to Haaretz, Israel is quietly and indirectly cooperating with the International Criminal Court’s probe of the 2014 Gaza war.

In the past, Israel sharply criticized the court, saying that it had no authority to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, there is concern in the political and military echelons that the court will open a criminal investigation into Israel’s actions in the Strip, a process that could lead to a wave of lawsuits against those involved and even to their arrest abroad.

In the last few months, diplomatic, military and legal officials have held discussions, some of them attended by the prime minister, to prepare for the court’s initial findings regarding the 2014 Gaza war. Toward that end, Israel has begun using third parties to transfer documents to the court that could bolster its stance and influence the examination team, which until now has been exposed mainly to the evidence presented by the Palestinian side.

• Israeli security at the Erez crossing nabbed a Palestinian trying to smuggle coins from the time of Alexander the Great out of Gaza. Times of Israel coverage.

• The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) takes a closer look at the growing trend of Palestinians working in Israel’s hi-tech industry.

But the depth of Israel’s talent shortage and the high wages Israeli companies can offer are breaking down political barriers.

“The more the Israeli market has a demand, the more they flip every stone to look for talent,” said Mr. Tahboub.


• Did Benjamin Netanyahu pay a secret visit to Pakistan?

• New ambassadors from Egypt and Jordan recommitted to peace with Israel while presenting their credentials to President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Thursday.

• Cairo denied Palestinian claims that Egyptian naval forces shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza.

Window Into Israel
• The JTA takes a closer look at Aliza Bloch, the first female mayor of Beit Shemesh and a “reluctant icon for Orthodox feminism.”

• 20 Israelis were rescued from flash floods in the Negev over the weekend.

• Organized crime assassinations are on the rise.

• The million-dollar question: When will Israel hold new elections?

Around the World
• Could Iranian election meddling help Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street?

Russia is not, though, the only hostile state attempting to influence political debate in the UK. According to recent reports, Iran has its sights on assisting Corbyn. Among its reported targets for trolling are Israel and British Jews who complain about anti-Semitism in the UK’s principal opposition party.

The reason for that support will worry both. It underlines a long and controversial association between the Labour leader and Iran, and throws light on the radically different approach Corbyn advocates for British foreign policy in the region — which he might seek to advance were he to become prime minister.

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
• Drip drip drip: Per the Times of London, “The Labour Party allowed a member who was being investigated for anti-semitism to be a delegate at its recent conference — despite Jeremy Corbyn pledging in his speech to make the party “allies” of the Jewish community.” More at the Jewish Chronicle.

• The Los Angeles city council unanimously called on UCLA to cancel the upcoming national conference of Students for Justice in Palestine. So did 31 other student groups.

• Bowing to widespread outrage, French President Emmanuel Macron backed away from honoring the disgraced Philippe Petain during Armistice Day commemorations. Petain, a hero of World War I, became the figurehead leader of Vichy France, which collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II. After the Nazis were defeated, Petain was convicted of treason and stripped of his military ranks. France is hosting events marking the 100th anniversary of World War I.

• On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe revealed a 69% increase in antisemitic incidents this year.

A synagogue burns during Kristallnacht in the German town of Siegen.
• Anti-Israel rally at Amsterdam Holocaust monument glorifies suicide bomber. London rally for Jews killed in Arab countries disrupted by men shouting in Arabic about killing Jews. Police arrested a man suspected of snatching wigs off the heads of Orthodox Jewish women in Los Angeles. Swastika and “heil Hitler” painted on Jewish family’s Las Vegas home.

• Pakistani columnist Irfan Husain wonders why can’t Pakistan come to terms with the existence of Israel.

• Natan Sharansky weighs in on issues raised by the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and what they mean not only for Jewish diaspora communities but Israel as well.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Avi Issacharoff: Israel and Hamas cheer Qatari infusion, but Abbas could spoil the party
– Yoav Limor: Qatari cash: The right move at the right time
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Calm in Gaza, unrest in the West Bank
– Zvi Bar’el: Israel and the US set eyes on Lebanon as Iran-Saudi proxy clash heats up
– Naomi Linder Kahn: The PA moves to take over Area C with European financial support
– Steven Cook: Oman just bought Israeli insurance
– David Collier: NYU, SJP and a response to ‘the 10 common misconceptions About BDS’
– Amb. Danny Danon: Don’t give up on the Democrats
– Avram Mlotek: Farrakhan’s hate speech leads to actual abuse of Jews. I just experienced it.
– Amotz Asa-El: Can antisemitism flourish in America?
– Thane Rosenbaum: The anniversary of Kristallnacht is a somber reminder
– Seth Frantzman: In the Middle East, World War I centenary is reminder of continuing conflict

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Post  Admin on Thu 08 Nov 2018, 5:33 pm

Did Abbas Agree to Cooperate With Gaza Understandings?
Today’s Top Stories
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
1. According to Arab reports picked up by Ynet and Haaretz, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi managed to get Palestinian Authorithy President Mahmoud Abbas on board with the Israel-Hamas understandings to restore calm to the Strip. UPDATE: After this roundup was published, the PA denied any changes in Abbas’ views on the Egypt’s efforts to broker calm.

Egypt has warned that it will withdraw as mediator and sponsor of the negotiations and will work exclusively with Hamas as sovereign of Gaza if Abbas doesn’t cooperate.

2. Without disclosing the scope or source of the funding, Hamas announced an initiative to A) create 10,000 temporary jobs for university students living in Gaza, B) pay at least 60 percent of the salaries of Hamas’ civil servants, C) provide grants to families with relatives injured in this year’s border clashes and other underprivileged families. Ynet coverage.
3. Actress and activist Alyssa Milano said she’ll boycott the January’s Women’s March if organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory don’t denounce Louis Farrakhan’s antisemitism or step down from their roles. (The Nation of Islam leader most recently compared Jews to termites.) See her original comments to The Advocate along with JTA background.

Many people credit Milano’s October, 2017 tweet with raising the profile of what became known as the #MeToo movement. Journalist Carly Pildis explains the significance of Milano’s stance

Carly Pildis
 I have been writing about anti-semitism in Women's March leadership for 2 years. This the first time a major feminist figure who isn't Jewish has spoken up and called Women's March leadership behavior towards Jewish Americans unacceptable. Thank you @Alyssa_Milano

9:35 PM - Nov 7, 2018
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4. FT Skews Khan al-Ahmar Every Which Way: How many errors can one video possibly contain?

Israel and the Palestinians
• The IDF is searching for suspects after two Israelis were injured in a shooting attack on a bus near Beit El, north of Ramallah on Wednesday night.

• Palestinians claim Egyptian naval forces shot a Gaza fisherman on Wednesday. Israel and Egypt have blockading the Strip since Hamas seized control of the Strip. Cairo is also fighting a jihadist insurgency in the Sinai peninsula. AP coverage.

• Belgium upgraded the diplomatic status of the PLO mission in Brussels.

De Brouckere Square, Brussels
• Worth reading: Israeli officials let their guard down with Gary Rosenblatt, sharing their thoughts on American Jewish criticism, their views on Trump’s presidency and egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.

• Police wrapped up their investigation of suspected fraud by people close to Netanyahu during the $2 billion purchase of naval vessels from a German company. According to the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, the police will recommend indictments against Netanyahu’s former lawyer, David Shimron, former commander of the Israel Navy Eliezer Marom, and others.

Netanyahu himself is not a suspect in what’s known as “the submarine affair.”

Around the World
• Among the noteworthy midterm election results was in Michigan, where Detroit-area voters elected Rashida Tlaib to the House of Representatives. The 42-year-old Tlaib has a law degree, has been involved in Michigan politics for 14 years. She is also the daughter of Palestinian refugees, which means the UNRWA defines Tlaib as a Palestinian refugee too.

Philippe Petain
Philippe Petain
• French President Emmanuel Macron is under fire from Jews and others for calling Nazi collaborator Philippe Pétain a ‘great soldier.’

Petain rose to prominence during World War I for leading French forces to victory at the Battle of Verdun. But he became better known as the figurehead leader of Vichy France, which collaborated with Nazi Germany. After World War II, Petain was convicted of treason and stripped of his military rank, spending the rest of his life in prison. Macron’s comments come ahead of next week’s Armistice Day, which this year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

• The New York Police Department reports that antisemitic attacks are on the rise even as other crime declines. A hate crime suspect is wanted in Los Angeles for randomly pulling wigs off the heads of Orthodox Jewish women. Dozens of anti-Semitic flyers were found at the University of Rochester. A judge’s son was accused of burning a cross and threatening a North Carolina synagogue. And a Leipzig University poll found that A) nearly 30% of Germans believe Jews use ‘dirty tricks, and B) around 40% of Germans said that Israeli policies contribute to the unsympathetic sentiments toward Jews.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Jonathan Tobin: Don’t expect Democrats to obstruct Trump’s Mideast policies – or punish Netanyahu
– Mitchell Bard: UCLA shamefully condones Students for Justice in Palestine
– Eric Mandel: After Pittsburgh, time to have a conversation about antisemitism today

Featured image: CC BY Bartosz Brzezinski; Sisi via Wikimedia Commons; Brussels CC BY-SA .ky; Petain via Wikimedia Commons;

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Post  Admin on Wed 07 Nov 2018, 9:02 pm

What Do US Midterm Results Mean for the Jews?
Today’s Top Stories
1. As the dust settles on the US midterm elections, the JTA rounded up the results of the races that mattered the most to Jews.

Meanwhile, Eytan Gilboa and Ben Sales weigh in on whether the outcome is “good news for the Jews.”

2. Israel and Russia cancelled a meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin in Paris next week. According to Israeli media reports, the November 11 summit was scrapped due to Moscow’s ire over Israeli airstrikes in Syria. But the Prime Minister’s Office said the cancellation was due to a French request that no meetings be held on the sidelines of Armistice Day commemorations marking the anniversary of the end of World War I.

Whatever the case, Netanyahu may cancel the trip now.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin
3. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner is preparing to become the public face of the soon-to-be-released White House peace plan. The Jerusalem Post explains:

State Department sources tell The Jerusalem Post that Kushner recently visited Foggy Bottom to begin preparing for a more public role centered on the plan. Moving into the spotlight would be a relatively new format for the prodigal son-in-law, who has rarely spoken in public since entering the White House. While Trump is likely to announce the plan in a formal speech, Kushner is expected, from that point on, to serve as the public face of the peace effort.

In the News
• “Clashes broke out in the northern West Bank city of Nablus overnight Tuesday after Israeli security forces entered the city to escort Jewish worshipers to the Joseph’s Tomb holy site, the army said,” the Times of Israel reports.

• Here’s a by-the-numbers look at Palestinian voter participation in last week’s Jerusalem municipal elections. Ramadan Dabash ran for a seat on the city council as leader of the “Jerusalem, My Town” party. Don’t expect any improvement when residents go back to the polls for the November 13 runoff election. Based on the Times of Israel.

– 250,675: overall ballots cast for lists in Jerusalem
– 3,001: ballots cast for Jerusalem, My Town (1.2 percent of overall vote)
– 8,086: votes Jerusalem My Town would have needed for one seat on the city council

Palestinians aren’t eligible to vote in Israeli national elections, but those with Jerusalem residency are eligible to vote in municipal elections and run for city council. But Palestinians have boycotted municipal elections, saying they legitimize Israeli control over the city.

Anwar Gargash
Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash
• A United Arabs Emirates minister scolded Hamas on Twitter over the terror group’s support Iran. The Times of Israel explains

“Hamas’s solidarity with the Iranian government does not take into consideration the Gulf and Arab anxiety over Tehran’s regional interference,” Anwar Gargash, UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted Tuesday evening. “It is unnecessary. It pushes the Palestinian issue into a maze and confirms the opinion that the movement, in its orientation, is nothing more than an Iranian regional tool.”

Gargash was responding to Hamas’s statement of sympathy for Iran after the US reinstituted sanctions.

• Saudi Arabia will bar more than one million Israeli Muslims from making a pilgrimage to Mecca. Till now, Israeli Muslims would have to travel to Jordan and receive a temporary Jordanian passport allowing them to enter and leave the Saudi kingdom. Haaretz reports that Saudis will no longer recognize those temporary passports, but speculates that this might be a sign of better ties to come:

Members of the Israeli hajj committee and Jordanian officials alike did not publicly criticize the Saudis over the issue, but in private conversation some said the Saudis were using the decision to examine the possibility that Muslim citizens of Israel could travel directly to Saudi Arabia, as part of the growing detente between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Members of the hajj committee confirmed that the topic was raised in talks but said they had no official information that could explain the Saudi move.

Muslim pilgrims in Mecca
• Ramallah is going through a building boom, but city planners are letting developers demolish an awful lot of heritage buildings. While reading this dispatch in The Independent, it occurred to me that if it was Israel destroying those buildings, there’d be a heckuva hue and a cry.

• For the first time, Tunisia appointed a Jew to a cabinet post. Businessman Rene Trabelsi was tapped as tourism minister.

• The Media Line discussed with analysts the latest Saudi efforts to develop their own atomic infrastructure. In a nutshell, the reactors the kingdom plans to build won’t be operational for years. A greater concern would be if the Saudis opt to purchase nuclear weapons from, say, Russia or China.

Window Into Israel
Lt. Yakir Naveh
• After 56 years of searching, Israel found the body of an Air Force pilot whose plane crashed in the Sea of Galilee. Lt. Yakir Naveh’s crashed into the lake in 1962 while taking a cadet out on a training flight.

Though the Sea of Galilee is a relatively small body of water, search efforts in the lake have been described as “hellish” for divers, as the soft, silty bottom reduces visibility to a minimum . . .

The military said the remains were discovered with help from an external company, which provided “modern and advanced technologies” that helped sift through the ground around the crash site.

• Speaking of the Sea of Galilee, Reuters examines the lake’s diminishing water level and Israel’s desalination efforts to save it.

Around the World
• The University of Leeds denies BDS claims that it divested from companies over Israel ties.

• Sussex University investigates professor who claims Israel was behind 9/11 Twin Towers attacks ‘with help from Zionists in US government.’

World Trade Center

• It turns out Britain’s Royal Mint rejected a commemorative Roald Dahl coin over the author’s antisemitic views several years ago. Some of his books, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and BFG remain popular with children and also became successful movies, but Dahl’s antisemitic comments cast a shadow over his centenary in 2014. See The Guardian‘s scoop.

• Vandalism to Jewish food truck in Austin, Texas, was an antisemitic hate crime, owner says

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian threats to Arab normalization with Israel
– Alex Fishman: Hamas’s ‘wait and see’ strategy in Gaza ceasefire talks
– Amb. Alan Baker: After the Pittsburgh massacre, it’s time to adopt an international convention on the crime of antisemitism
– Roger Boyles: Iran sanctions should have our full support
– Andrew Silow-Carroll: Yes, anti-Semitism is a problem again. No, it is not 1939.
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): Louis Farrakhan, the worst: Jew-hating minister must be shunned by all
– Benny Avni: Despite Farrakhan’s urging, Iranians not giving in to hate
– Rosie DiManno: Pittsburgh massacre brings back traumatic memories of Toronto rabbinical student’s murder


Featured image: CC0 Pexels; Netanyahu CC BY-NC-SA World Economic Forum; Putin via Wikimedia Commons; Gargash via YouTube/Asia Society; Mecca CC BY-SA Al Jazeera English; World Trade Center via YouTube/Inside Edition;

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Post  Admin on Sun 04 Nov 2018, 6:59 pm

London Police Formally Investigating Labour Antisemitism
Today’s Top Stories
1. London police confirmed that they have opened a formal investigation of antisemitism in the British Labour party. LBC Radio obtained a party dossier with details on 45 incidents, and turned it over to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick who has a regular phone-in with that station. More on the story at the Jewish Chronicle.
The commish emphasized to BBC News that the police were only investigating allegations against party members, not the party itself.
Cressida Dick
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service in London, Cressida Dick
2. What may be the emerging Israel-Hamas deal reportedly includes a partial lifting of the Gaza blockade and and to Palestinian violence, according to Arab reports picked up by Haaretz. An Israeli official separately confirmed to Israel HaYom that the two sides were very close to an Egyptian-brokered deal.

It wasn’t clear if will the deal also include the return of two missing Israeli civilians or the bodies of two IDF soldiers.

3. Trying to understand the reinstated US sanctions on Iran now kicking in at midnight? Here are five things to know (click via Twitter), five more things to know, what it all means as the Mideast hold’s its breath.

4. Newsweek’s Fact-Checking Lynk Fail: At what point does an opinion piece turn into a work of fiction?

Our strength is grass roots
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli security forces raid PA offices outside Jerusalem, sparking clashes. Times of Israel coverage.

• A Palestinian-American writer was deported from Israel. Officials said Susan Abulhawa’s expulsion wasn’t related to any BDS activity, explaining:

Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP the writer was refused entry because of an incident in 2015 when she refused to answer questions by security personnel when attempting to enter though a land crossing from neighbouring Jordan.

“She was refused entry then and told that the next time she arrived she had to coordinate in advance,” Haddad said in Hebrew. This time “she landed without arranging entry in advance”.

• The new Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors to Israel will present their credentials to President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday, the Times of Israel reports.

• Thanks to this IDF tweet, we’re going to be accused of veggie-washing the “occupation.”

Israel Defense Forces
 With 10,000 vegan soldiers, we’re proud to be the most vegan army in the world!

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Post  Admin on Thu 01 Nov 2018, 7:13 pm

Israel Connected to Virus Striking Iranian Infrastructure?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israeli officials are keeping silent amid reports of a powerful computer virus striking Iranian infrastructure in recent days.

Iranian infrastructure and strategic networks have come under attack in the last few days by a computer virus similar to Stuxnet but “more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated,” and Israeli officials are refusing to discuss what role, if any, they may have had in the operation, an Israeli TV report said Wednesday.

The report came hours after Israel said its Mossad intelligence agency had thwarted an Iranian murder plot in Denmark, and two days after Iran acknowledged that President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone had been bugged.

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2. Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro says he wants to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem.

3. According to Israel HaYom, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking to end the international observer mission in Hebron. The Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) was established in 1994 after Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Palestinians worshiping in the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Recently, however, there has been a growing number of complaints alleging its members are systematically and violently targeting the Jewish community in Hebron.

Temporary International Presence in Hebron
International observers in the Old City of Hebron on April 20, 2011. Photo by Gili Yaari/Flash 90.
In the News
• Moral of the story: If you burn tires for seven months, the laws of supply and demand will catch up with you.

In Gaza, tire shortage hits motorists but not protesters

• “A kindergarten in southern Israel was evacuated Thursday morning after a teacher spotted a suspicious object in the playground that was later found to be an explosive device, apparently flown into Israel from the nearby Gaza Strip, officials said,” per the Times of Israel.

• Israel’s Attorney General ruled out razing the homes of mentally ill terrorists, arguing that “in cases where the attacker suffers mental illness, there is no deterrence from the threat of destroying the home.”

• The Jerusalem Post picked up on a very sobering assessment of what the next Israel-Hezbollah war would look like. We’re talking about an awful lot of rockets causing an awful lot of death and damage, even in the best case scenario. See the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s report and judge for yourself.


• With the foiling of an Iranian plot to assassinate dissidents in Denmark, will Copenhagen’s anger divide the European Union on Iranian sanctions?

• A Hamas goon was killed in an accidental explosion in Gaza today. Does Daoud Jneid still qualify for 72 virgins?

• Israeli officials traveled to Chad to discuss renewing ties, according to Israeli media reports.

• Following up on this week’s Israeli municipal election results, Aliza Bloch defeated incumbent Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul, to become the city’s first female mayor. And what do electoral changes in West Bank communities say about the settler movement?

• Authorities say fraudsters are trying to cash in on the Pittsburgh synagogue tragedy, so heads up.

Pittsburgh Public Safety said police have received reports about people being approached in person, by phone and via email and social media to donate money to support victims and injured officers. Some of the would-be scammers have sought personal credit card information.

See also the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which listed the FBI’s tips to avoid being scammed.

online fraud

• Amid the furor raised by her claims that that Israel is to blame for rising antisemitism, Baroness Jenny Tonge stepped down as a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

• “One of Toronto’s most prestigious private schools for girls has fired its head and issued an apology in the wake of a controversial and deliberately provocative touring adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice,” which parents viewed as antisemitic.

• California police are investigating the vandalizing of an Irvine synagogue as a hate crime.

• Who bugged Kiev’s main synagogue?

Kiev Central Synagogue
• Several Jewish newspapers published a joint editorial urging American Jewish solidarity in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. The editorial, which was published in 15 Jewish papers, was drafted by Jane Eisner and Dovid Efune, editors in chief of The Forward and The Algemeiner respectively, and signed by 17 leading Jewish American journalists.

As journalists, we hold a variety of opinions about politics in this country and in Israel; the American Jewish community is diverse, and those differences are reflected on the pages of its media.

In coming together now, we are not erasing those differences, but rising above them, to issue a call for solidarity and respect, and asking our political and communal leaders to do the same.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Raphael Ahren: Giant leap for Israel-Gulf ties can’t shatter the Palestinian glass ceiling
– Zvi Bar’el: With or without Israel’s help, foiled Iran terror plot puts Europe in a nuclear bind
– Dr. Anat Roth: Block the PA’s hostile takeover of Khan al-Ahmar
– Jewish Chronicle (staff-ed): A climate of hate leads only one way
– Amb. Danny Danon: We can learn from Israel’s effective anti-terror methods
– Ruth Wisse: The many faces of Jew-hatred (click via Twitter)


Featured image: CC BY-NC Zach Korb; Hezbollah via YouTube/France 24 English; fraud CC0 pxhere; Kiev via Wikimedia Commons;

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Post  Admin on Wed 31 Oct 2018, 3:40 pm

Why Did PA Sign Secret Deal With UN Atomic Agency?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Quite a scoop by the Jerusalem Post. “The Palestinian Authority (PA) signed a draft agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in February, which was confirmed by the IAEA’s Board of Governors. Yet because the document is classified as “Restricted,” it has not yet been published.”

The Palestinian Authority doesn’t have nuclear reactors nor does it intend to build or purchase them. Surely it doesn’t possess nuclear bombs, not to mention that Israel, as the occupying force, monitors the situation closely and prevents the entry of any suspicious nuclear materials to the West Bank, even for potential dual use.

The PA move challenges Israel, the IAEA and the US. A “state” by definition is responsible for all the materials and equipment within its territory. Therefore, it will be interesting to watch how the IAEA will deal with this issue and define the areas of the “Palestinian state.”

2. Israelis went to the polls to choose municipal leaders. Jerusalem will have a run-off election in two weeks, pitting city council members Moshe Lion and Ofir Berkovitch, as no candidate received a minimum 40 percent of the vote to avoid a second round.

In Tel Aviv, incumbent Mayor Ron Huldai secured his last victory. The 74-year-old Huldai has been mayor since 1998; by law, he will be required to step down when his new term ends in 2023. And in Haifa, voters ousted incumbent Yona Yahav for the city’s first female mayor, Einat Kalisch Rotem. More election-related developments below.


3. A grieving Pittsburgh held the first funerals for the 11 Jews killed in Saturday’s Squirrel Hill synagogue massacre. Details on the remaining funerals were released as were updates on the injured police officers.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review had the latest on the legal proceedings against the accused gunman, Robert Bowers. See below for more developments and commentary.

Our strength is grass roots.

Israel and the Palestinians
• For now, Israel is fine with weakening Hamas, but not toppling it from power. Israeli officials have concluded, according to Haaretz, that a power vacuum in the Strip isn’t in Israel’s interests, even though that appears to be the Palestinian Authority’s goal. “As a result, senior political and defense officials say Israel’s talks with Hamas through intermediaries will be more effective than a process that involves the PA.”

That would explain later reports also picked up by Haaretz, of an Israel-Qatar deal to transfer funds for Hamas’ civil servants. It’s not clear if the agreement was only reached in principle or is already being implemented:

According to the reports, Gaza’s Finance Ministry has prepared the list of officials who will receive the payments, as requested by the Qataris. It is still unknown whether security officials in the police and the security forces will also receive their salaries from the Qatari money.


• A new poll finds most Gazans oppose the border clashes.

• The IDF is opening a criminal inquiry into the death of a Palestinian medic during Gaza border clashes in June. The army’s initial findings were that Razan Najar,a 21-year-old volunteer medic was not killed by soldiers.

In calling for the criminal probe, Afek was not rejecting the army’s initial findings, but rather felt the issue demanded a deeper review in light of the claims by Palestinians that the troops had intentionally targeted Najjar, a source told The Times of Israel, on condition of anonymity. Under the framework of a criminal probe, the Military Police would be better able to perform such an investigation.

• The Coptic Church is gearing up for a new turf battle at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Holy Sepulchre
Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre
• AP takes a closer look at Israel-Gulf ties becoming increasingly overt.

• Can Marwan Barghouti unite Palestinians from an Israeli jail?

• After Human Rights Watch issued a report denouncing systematic human rights abuses by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, The Media Line sought Palestinian reactions:

A Palestinian journalist who is based in the West Bank, however, told The Media Line under condition of anonymity for reasons of personal safety, that despite the harassment Palestinian media in the West Bank face, “the situation here [in the West Bank] is not even comparable to that of Gaza-based journalists.

“In the West Bank, our situation is much better than other situations for journalists in the Middle East,” he elaborated, “What we really need here is for the PA to raise the ceiling of freedoms for us.”

The reporter charged that both the PA and Hamas judge journalists’ work on its political background and views. In the West Bank, the PA deals with critics of the government agenda by denying them the ability to ply their craft, but while in Gaza, he saw that the Islamic Jihad detained journalists, closed down its media offices and denied access to work materials.


• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to attend Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s inauguration. Netanyahu would be the first Israeli PM to visit the South American nation. Bolsonaro — who supports moving Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem and shutting down the Palestinian mission in Brasilia — is to be sworn in on January 1, 2019. Haaretz coverage.

• An Iranian plot to assassinate dissidents in Denmark was foiled with an assist from Israel’s Mossad.

• Did Netanyahu’s plane secretly land in Islamabad? Haaretz examines how one tweet sparked hysteria and a government crisis in Pakistan.

Window Into Israel
• Protests and violence broke out at polling stations in the Golan Heights, where Druze residents for the first time were able to directly vote for mayors and council members in their four towns.

The vote was controversial since many Druze who feel connected to Syria fear it will help Israel legitimize its control over the region . . .

There had been calls to boycott the election during campaigning and a string of candidates pulled out.

Polling was to occur in four Druze villages in the Golan, though it was called off in two because there were no candidates.

• Haaretz, Ynet and the Times of Israel rounded up results from the rest of the country.
Ruth Marks Eglash
 Almost no slips of paper used in this voting booth in East Jerusalem. #Palestinians in Jerusalem typically boycott Israeli elections, refusing to recognize its sovereignty over the city. Despite hopes, it was no different this year.....

Suleiman Maswadeh
כפי שאתם רואים, הפתקים כמעט מלאים. הבנתי שזה המצב ברוב הקלפיות במזרח העיר.
אני כבר הצבעתי.

View image on Twitter
9:19 PM - Oct 30, 2018
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• For a sense of what they’re saying about the election results and what’s next, see Marissa Newman and Raoul Wootliff.

Around the World
• When it comes to synagogue security, the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) and JTA examine what can US Jews learn from Europe. Securing synagogues and other US Jewish institutions could cost perhaps $1 billion.

• The Jewish staff of Allegheny General Hospital who treated Bowers made a powerful impression. Allegheny General Hospital President Jeffrey Cohen shared his story with local affiliate WTAE, and from there, ABC News, CNN, Britain’s Channel 4, and others.

• In a strange twist of fate, now it’s Russian Jews praying for American Jews.

• The New York Times searched Instagram for the word “Jew.” The results were 11,696 examples of how hate thrives on social media.

• AP: “For many Jewish journalists in the U.S., persistent online anti-Semitic harassment has become part of the job.”

However, he said there was a new surge of anti-Semitic material — much of it generated by bots — after the Pittsburgh massacre.

“They flood the zone in the wake of these kind of controversies … sowing discord and distrust,” he said.

• Halloween haunted house that held ‘Swastika Saturday’ on day of Pittsburgh attack apologizes, donates proceeds to Squirrel Hill’s Tree of Life synagogue.

Daily Mail• Drip drip drip: The UK Labour party dropped a formal complaint it filed against the Daily Mail, claiming its correspondence with the Independent Press Standards Organisation was compromised.

IPSO confirmed to the Press Gazette that it is “no longer investigating any complaints about the relevant articles, but declined to comment on Labour’s claim that the complaints process was compromised.”

The decision will be seen as a vindication for the Mail’s original story, which concerned a photo, obtained by this paper, of Mr Corbyn holding a wreath only feet away from the graves of terror leaders linked to the 1972 killings . . .

Labour insisted Mr Corbyn had been at the cemetery to commemorate 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike on a Tunisian PLO base in 1985.

But the Mail found that the monument to the air strike victims is 15 yards from where Mr Corbyn is pictured – and in a different part of the complex. Instead he was in front of a plaque beside the graves of Black September members.

• Drip drip drip: Poll finds 38 percent of British public ‘believe Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic.’

• Denmark won’t fund groups that promote boycott against Israel, foreign minister says

• Student leader says antisemitic graffiti appears almost daily at French universities.

• Still trying to make sense of the Steel City synagogue slaughter. These commentaries are just the tip of the iceberg of more issues raised by the tragedy.

– Brendan O’Neill: The militarisation of anti-Semitism
– Daniel Markind: From both Left and Right, they always come for us
– Alexandra Schwartz: The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and the return of antisemitism to American life
– Melanie Phillips: Hatred of Jews unites far right and left
– Eliora Katz: The old antisemitism in the New World (click via Twitter)
– Ira Rifkin: Pittsburgh surprised many: But not those who repeatedly reported rising American anti-Semitism
– Alexis Madrigal: Pittsburgh and the dilemma of antisemitic speech online
– David Efune: Is America any different when it comes to antisemitism?
– Fiamma Nirenstein: The disease of antisemitism infects everyone
– Gil Troy: Let’s unite over Sinai, not Auschwitz – or Pittsburgh

Michael Ramirez
It saddens so much when I hear of these horrible tragedies and I think of the eleven lives that are forever lost, the people they have left behind, the wounded, and... https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/michael-ramirez/cartoon-the-pittsburgh-massacre/
4:29 PM - Oct 30, 2018

CARTOON: The Pittsburgh massacre
United we stand.
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Pinhas Inbari: PLO Council meeting in Ramallah – to be or not to be
– Amos Harel: Pendulum swings back towards renewed Israel-Gaza conflict
– Elliot Kaufman: The Palestinians’ worst enemy is their own leaders (click via Twitter)
– Smadar Perry: The Omani way of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conlict
– Ronen Bergman: Oman is Israel’s link to the Mideast
– Dr. Reuven Berko: No disguising Abbas’ anti-Semitism
– Bassam Tawil: New Palestinian ‘concern’ for international conventions
– Mayuri Mukherjee: How Israel made friends in India
– Eric Mandel: Is America ready for Iran’s plans in Jordan and Lebanon?
– Wall St. Journal (staff-ed) Iran’s European hit squads (click via Twitter)

Featured image: CC BY Terry Ozon; Qatar CC0 Max Pixel; Sepulchre CC BY-NC-ND Christopher Chan; censorship CC0 James Ledbetter;

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Post  Admin on Sun 28 Oct 2018, 5:33 pm

11 Killed in Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre
Today’s Top Stories
1. Eleven people were killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest antisemitic attack in US history. The gunman, identified as Robert Bowers, walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood and opened fire on Saturday morning as he yelled “All Jews must die.” Six other individuals were injured.

Bowers, who is now hospitalized after being shot by the police, had shared on social media numerous antisemitic messages and said he wanted “all Jews to die.” Shortly before this roundup was published, officials announced the names of the 11 people killed. They ranged in age from 54-97.

Ryan Struyk
 Here are the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting:

1:31 PM - Oct 28, 2018
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See special dispatches from Squirrel Hill by David Shribman, Kevin Gorman, Gabe Kramer and Campbell Robertson.

2. The IDF retaliated for Palestinian rocket fire over Friday and Saturday launching 80 air strikes on Gaza over the weekend. Israeli officials accused Iran of ordering the rocket fire.

Going into the weekend, Israeli media picked up on optimistic Arab reports of an “understanding” brokered by Egypt to calm Gaza tensions, but clashes continued along the border, with Palestinians throwing grenades, firebombs and rocks at soldiers. Five Palestinians were killed, including one by his own hand grenade.
Israel Defense Forces
 RAW FOOTAGE: This is what it looks like when rockets are intercepted right above your home.
10-12 rockets were fired from #Gaza at #Israel, the Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted several.

8:03 PM - Oct 26, 2018
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3. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a surprise visit to Oman on Thursday. A joint statement issued with Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said didn’t shed light on the nature of their discussions, but analysts suggest the two discussed Oman’s neighbor across the Persian Gulf, Iran.

Afterwards, Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi, who was visiting Bahrain, publicly declared that it’s time for the world to accept Israel. And the Daily Telegraph noted, “Unusually, the trip was prominently highlighted in Oman’s state media. Arab governments often prefer to keep their contact with Israel as discreet as possible.”

Israel and Oman do not have diplomatic ties, and the last time leaders of the two countries met was in 1996 when Shimon Peres visited. PA officials denounced Oman for hosting Netanyahu, as did Hamas and Iran. More on the story at Reuters.

Our strength is grass roots.

Israel and the Palestinians
• “Despite the IDF’s decision to remove all restrictions placed on the Gaza border region following an escalation of hostilities over the weekend, the residents of the communities adjacent to the strip announced Sunday they will not send their children to school in an act of protest against the continuing violence,” reports Ynet.

• For the first time, the United Arab Emirates acknowledged Israel‘s existence by raising the Israel’s flag and playing Israel’s national anthem after three Israeli judokas won bronze medals at a tournament in Abu Dhabi. The judo team was accompanied by Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev. Times of Israel coverage.

Regev is the first Israeli minister to visit the UAE in an official capacity, as the countries have no official diplomatic relations.

 Just a day after #Oman openly welcomed #Israel’s @netanyahu, kudos to #UAE for hammering another crack in the wall of rejectionism.  https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-first-israeli-judo-team-to-compete-in-uae-tournament-under-national-flag/

12:59 PM - Oct 27, 2018

In first, Israeli judo team to compete in UAE tournament under national flag
Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev to attend opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, that will also feature the Jewish state's national anthem

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• Part of airborne incendiary found near a Sderot daycare center. Nobody was injures as sappers removed the device.

• For the first time since Israel captured the Golan Heights in 1967, the Druze residents will get to vote for their own municipal leadership. AP found the Druze divided over this new right.

The chasm has pit community elders who pledge fealty to Syria and activists opposed to Israel’s occupation against those with looser ties to their ancestral homeland who seek to have a stake in how their own communities are managed . . .

Since the annexation, Israel has appointed representatives to local councils in the Golan’s four Druze villages. But a yearning by more educated, younger Druze for economic opportunities and greater integration into Israeli society, coupled with a realization that the territory will not return to Syria in the near future, has sparked a desire by some to control their own fate, even if it means cooperating with what’s still largely seen as an occupying power.

That, along with a sense that the appointees did not properly represent the community, prompted a group of young lawyers from the area to appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court for a say in choosing their leaders. Their petition succeeded, paving the way for the first-ever elections on Oct. 30.

• AFP takes a closer look at the Palestinian debate over participating in Jerusalem’s municipal elections.

• Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi was selected to be the next IDF chief of staff. Once Kochavi completes the formality of meeting with a government vetting committee, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman willl formally submit Kochavi’s name to the cabinet for final approval. Current IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot steps down from the post on December 31.

Kochavi Haley
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley ?receives briefings from Deputy Chief of Staff MG Aviv Kochavi during a visit at the Kerem Shalom border crossing on the Gaza Strip-Israel border on June 8, 2017. Photo by Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv
Around the World
• AFP reports that Gab.com, a social media platform popular with white supremacists and where Bowers shared his venom, is being forced offline.

• An Israeli psychotrauma team is en route to Pittsburgh to aid terror victims. So is Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett.

• Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto discussed the massacre Haaretz.

• The JTA looks at other deadly attacks on American-Jewish institutions in recent years.

• It appears that Baroness Jenny Tonge deleted this disgusting Facebook post, but not before David Collier screengrabbed it and the JTA picked up on the story.
David Collier
 This is truly shameful. As the blood still stains the floor of the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS, tries to turn the blame onto Israel - Baroness Jenny Tonge is an absolute disgrace

6:27 PM - Oct 27, 2018
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• Other individuals under fire for ham-handed responses to the massacre we could’ve done without are UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour, Labour MP Chris Williamson, journalist Julia Ioffe and Hamas. The latter drew the ire of Ephraim Gopin.

 So Hamas has expressed condolences over the shooting in #Pittsburgh.
The same org that praised Rassan & Udai Abu Jamal who shot & stabbed to death 5 Jews in 2014 who were PRAYING IN A SYNAGOGUE in Jerusalem, including my friend Aryeh Kupinsky.

1:35 PM - Oct 28, 2018
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• US federal authorities arrested a Florida man, Cesar Sayoc, who is suspected of sending pipe bombs to George Soros, Hillary Clinton, CNN and others:

The suspect behind a campaign of mail bombs sent to critics of US President Donald Trump pined to return to “the Hitler days,” and dreamed of eradicating Jews, blacks, gays and others, according to his former manager.

• Study: Online attacks on Jews ramp up before US Election Day

• Shock as antisemitic vandal targets dean of leading French medical school

• The University of Winnipeg apologizes for “antisemitic statements” made at campus event on Jerusalem.

• President of George Washington U. student bar association ordered to resign over alleged anti-Semitic comment

• Toronto private school parents offended after satirical anti-Semitic play performed

Canada• Poll: Nearly half of Canadian BDS supporters, 45 percent, would continue boycotting Israel, even if the Jewish state agreed to all their demands — namely withdrawing from “occupied” territories, removing the security barrier and allowing Palestinian refugees to exercise the “right” of return. Amanda Hohmann, executive director of La’ad Canada, which commissioned the poll, said:

“Proponents of BDS claim that the movement is motivated strictly by a desire to end so-called abuses by Israel. However, the results of this survey appear to show that for almost half of BDS supporters, that is simply not true. This begs the question of what motivates these individuals, because it’s clearly not about coexistence.”

• Dutch politician praises pro-Palestinian kite show featuring Nazi symbols.

• “If your child came home from college and said she was challenged by a classmate who claimed that Palestine is Arab land stolen by the Jews, could you provide her with a response?”

• Pittsburgh’s on my mind.

– Shmuel Rosner: Cry, don’t politicize. 9 comments on the Pittsburgh massacre
– Bari Weiss: A massacre in the Heart of Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood
– Jennifer Rubin: American anti-Semitism: It’s getting worse
– Howard Fineman: Shaking my faith in America
– Max Boot: What is happening to our country?
– Jeffrey Herf: Trump doesn’t understand how anti-Semitism works. Neither do most Americans.

• I don’t know who designed this image, but Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense player Terrell Edmunds earned my tweet of the day for giving this image a lot of traction.

Terrell Edmunds

11:54 PM - Oct 27, 2018
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Abdulrahman Al-Rashed: What next after Netanyahu’s visit to Oman?
– Seth Frantzman: Iran’s dangerous game in Gaza
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Iran is pressuring US using Islamic Jihad in Gaza
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Israel should revise its policy on Syria
– Amos Harel: Gaza fuse is getting shorter as Netanyahu risks losing control of the conflict
– Alex Fishman: Throw your frustrations at the IDF
– Zvi Bar’el: The sultan’s new friend: Just why did Netanyahu visit Oman?
– Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror: The Khashoggi assassination: Gossip, regional implications, and the Israeli angle
– Amb. Alan Baker: Why is ICC prosecutor interfering in Khan al-Ahmar?
– Melanie Phillips: How the West has created antisemitism denial

Featured image: Pittsburgh via Wikimedia Commons with additions by HonestReporting; Canadian flag CC0 Pixab

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Post  Admin on Wed 24 Oct 2018, 2:37 pm

France to Issue Mideast Peace Plan?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Will French President Emmanuel Macron issue an alternative Mideast peace plan if the White House does not reveal its peace plan after the upcoming US midterm elections?

2. The Union of European Football Associations reversed its ban on Israel airing UEFA matches to West Bank settlements.
3. Bolivia is promoting yet another anti-Israel event at the UN Security Council.

Bolivian Ambassador to the U.N. Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz has invited Randa Siniora, director of the Ramallah-based Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling and former director of Al-Haq – both groups that promote anti-Israel lawfare and support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – to address the Security Council.

Al-Haq’s delegitimization campaign against Israel is especially virulent, and past officials in the organization have been convicted of affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated by Israel as a terrorist group.

In the News
• For the first time in a week, Israel transferred a shipment of Qatari-sponsored fuel to Gaza.

• A manhunt is on for terrorists who fired at IDF soldiers from a moving vehicle at a West Bank checkpoint near the Palestinian village of Halhul, near Hebron, last night. Ynet coverage.

• A Palestinian youth was killed during a clash with IDF soldiers along the Gaza border yesterday. Some 200 Palestinians threw explosives at the border fence and burnt tires, which is why I disagree with the Associated Press and call it a clash and not a protest.

• A 23-year-old Palestinian man was killed during a clash with soldiers on Tuesday evening. The IDF entered entered the northern West Bank village of Tamun, near Nablus overnight looking for fugitives wanted for terror activity.

• Sending a signal to Iran, Azerbaijan’s military chief arrived in Israel for first official visit.

• Bloomberg News: “Israeli and Palestinian authorities have agreed on a new mechanism to facilitate Palestinian banking transactions, which would eliminate the threat of terrorism-financing lawsuits for Israeli banks and improve transparency in the Palestinian economy.”

Bank HaPoalim

• Israel Aerospace Industries in $777 million deal to supply air and missile defense systems for the Indian navy.

• Police in Jerusalem forcibly removed Coptic priests blocking Israel Antiquities Authority workers from carrying out safety repairs at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

• Ukrainian politician celebrates Cossack pogroms on Facebook(!?)

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reportedly forgo early elections over fears that President Reuven Rivlin will block him from forming a new government. The president’s office dismissed the report as “paranoia.” i24 News explains the concerns in Netanyahu’s camp that

. . . Rivlin would charge another lawmaker with the task of forming a new government in light of a slew of corruption probes into the affairs of the prime minister and members of his inner circle.

Under Israeli law, after elections the President assigns the task of forming the new government to a lawmaker he feels will be able to form a successful coalition. The coalition then selects its prime minister. The law does not stipulate that the task must be assigned to the head of the party with the most votes, nor that it must be the head of a party at all.

Rivlin Netanyahu
President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Raphael Ahren: Khashoggi disliked Israel, but his brutal murder puts Jerusalem in tough spot
– Nadav Shragai: Bethlehem after Oslo: Terror spiked in Israel’s absence
– Jonathan Tobin: The right to criticize Israel is beside the point
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian ‘support’ for Saudi Arabia
– Karol Markowicz: Why does the Left give Louis Farrakhan a pass?
– Marc Schulman: American Jews and Israelis – We really need to talk
– Ben Sales: A conference of American Jews seeks dialogue with Israelis. But which Israelis, and to what end?

Featured image: CC BY Chris Candid; soccer CC0 Public Domain Pictures; bank via Wikimedia Commons; Rivlin via Wikimedia Commons; Netanyahu via YouTube/VOA News;

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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 1:50 pm

Unusual Human Rights Report Slams PA, Hamas
Today’s Top Stories
Human Rights Watch1. Unusual indeed: Human Rights Watch issued a scathing report (see summary or full report) on PA and Hamas violations of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza. HRW accused Fatah and Hamas of systematically targeting each others’ supporters, arbitrary arrests, torture and stifling dissent. AP and Reuters, among others, picked up on the story. The Jerusalem Post noted:

Usually reports by HRW and other groups with voluminous narratives of Palestinian being tortured are focused on allegations against Israel, with criticism of Palestinians treatment of their own relegated to a few pages tucked into large reports on the whole world.
The 149-page report, “‘Two Authorities, One Way, Zero Dissent:’ is unique in focusing on Palestinian against Palestinian torture.

2. It turns out last week’s Palestinian rocket fire which destroyed a house in Beersheva was indeed triggered by a lightning strike. Ynet reports that is why Israel’s cabinet didn’t authorize an IDF escalation.

Security Cabinet ministers told Ynet on Monday the government decided against launching a military operation in the Gaza Strip following the rocket attack because Israeli intelligence determined, with a very high degree of certainty, that the rockets were fired due to a malfunction caused by the lightning storm that raged on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday . . .

“We acted very responsibly,” the minister explained. “It wasn’t right to go to war because of the weather.”
3. Police safely detonated a bomb found in a mailbox at the Westchester home of Jewish billionaire George Soros. The 88-year-old philanthropist — who has supported a number of left-wing non-governmental organizations harshly critical of Israel — was not home at the time. The New York Times reports that local police turned the investigation over to the FBI.

4. Jerusalem’s Municipal Elections Are Coming: Here’s what the media has overlooked about next week’s voting.
In the News
• Jordan’s foreign minister says Amman has no plans to extend a lease on two tracts of land on the Israeli-Jordanian border. The 1994 peace agreement granted Israel a 25-year lease on the agricultural tracts of Naharayim and Tzofar near the Kinneret and Eilat respectively. Jordan gave notice it will not renew the leases, which expire next year.

The Israeli farmers in Naharayim and Tzofar are concerned about their future, while some officials in Jerusalem suggested this will have spillover effect on Israeli water transfers to Jordan.

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• Senior Hamas official Ahmed Yousef publicly denounced the leadership of both Fatah and Hamas for failing to unite and govern properly, turning Palestinians into “beggars and street vendors who can barely earn a living.” Yousef is one of the original founders of Hamas. His remarks were published on a Palestinian web site. More on the story at the Jerusalem Post.

• The IDF said a Gaza man arrested while trying to enter Israel deliberately let himself be caught so he could stay in Israel. The IDF said the man would be returned to the Strip later today.

• Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan is visiting Israel, primarily boosting business ties. He also visited the Western Wall.

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Raphael Ahren
 Chinese VP Wang Qishan visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem accompanied by @IsraelMFA Officials, which I'd highly unusual

3:33 PM - Oct 22, 2018
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• Israel and other Mideast states worry as the Khashoggi affair erodes Saudi Arabia’s reputation. In Tehran, the mullahs are passing the popcorn and watching the show as Turkish officials continue releasing a steady drip of lurid revelations.

• Paypal halted services for War on Want, a UK charity with alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.

• Tweet of the day goes to Eugene Kontorovich.

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Eugene Kontorovich
 Under Oslo Agreements, PA obliged to ensure "free access" and worship - even bus stops - for 12 specified Jewish Holy Sites. Today, all remain completely unaccessible. Instead of free access & worship, they are just free of worship. Hello @UNESCO @UNHumanRights @hrw @AmnestyCIJ?

12:54 PM - Oct 22, 2018
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• New legislation being mulled by a Knesset committee would bill the PA for medical care given to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli hospitals. Ynet explains:

Although the proposed amendment does not preclude medical treatment, which is required under international law, it does exempts Israel from funding terrorists’ medical bills by allowing the deduction of medical expenses from regular tax payments Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which uses these payments to provide terrorists with generous stipends . . .

The Ministry of Public Security estimates that the Israel Police pays NIS 2 million annually to provide medical treatment for terrorists injured in terror attacks, while the Israel Prison Service (IPS) finances an additional NIS 20-25 million annually for medical treatment given to security prisoners.

• Haaretz: “In an effort to resolve the crisis with Reform and Conservative Jews in the United States, the Israeli government is bypassing the movements’ leaders and reaching out directly to congregational rabbis viewed as less critical of its policies.”

• Drip drip drip: Labour councillor behind new initiative to fight racism has history of alleged antisemitism.

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

– Nadav Shragai: Don’t use Temple Mount to placate Jordan
– Raphael Ahren: Jordan nixing of land leases could sow distrust, but some see hope for reversal
– Seth Frantzman: Is Israel’s position in region as secure as it looks?
– Gilad Cohen: Israel-China ties are a very good thing
– Shalom Lipner: After the midterms, could a threatened, volatile Trump flip on the Jews?
– Rafael Castro: Universalism, particularism and enduring antisemitism
– Raymond Berger: The headline intifada


Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Miguel Moya; lightning CC BY-NC-ND Bo Insogna, MrBO.com; thinking CC0 Max Pixel;

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

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Post  Admin on Mon 22 Oct 2018, 8:48 pm

Israel Arrests PA’s Jerusalem Governor

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel arrested the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem Governor and a second PA official.

According to Reuters, Governor Adnan Gheith and Jihad Al-Faqeeh, the PA’s head of intelligence in Jerusalem, are suspected of involvement in the abduction of a Palestinian man who the PA claims facilitated the sale of eastern Jerusalem property to Jews. That individual, whose name has not been released, is an Israeli-American national.

2. AP takes a closer look at what the Jamal Khashoggi affair means for the White House’s Mideast peace plans. President Donald Trump was counting on Saudis to help sell his “deal of the century” to the Arab world. But Riyadh’s changing explanations for the Khashoggi’s death in their Istanbul consulate make Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman increasingly radioactive.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman
3. The IDF uncovered a Hezbollah outpost masquerading as part of a fictitious environmental non-governmental organization. The Times of Israel writes:

The alleged Hezbollah observation post was located in the Lebanese town of Aadaysit Marjaayoun, less than a kilometer from the border and from the Israeli community of Misgav Am, according to the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

4. Antisemitism: Judas Slur on Jewish Voters: A columnist crosses a line by comparing a political appeal to Australian Jewish voters with the betrayal of Jesus.

In the News
• A Palestinian was shot and killed while stabbing an IDF soldier in Hebron near the Tomb of the Patriarchs this morning.

• Iran and Russia are forcing Israel into a strategic dilemma. How to deal with Tehran’s deliveries of GPS components to make Hezbollah’s rockets more accurate, while also dealing with the uncertainty of how exactly the Russians and Syrians will operate the just-delivered sophisticated S-300PM-2 missile batteries? Analysts discussed the issues with The Media Line.

• The controversy surrounding BDS activist Lara Alqasem has moved from courthouse to college. Ynet reports Hebrew U. students are divided about her presence and campus security has been boosted.

(((Barbara Mazor)))
 Now that #LaraAlqasem will attend HebrewU her classmates will create empty seats for HebrewU students  Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe. These students won't get a chance to attend. They were murdered by the terrorist and fraudster Rasmea Odeh. Lara organized her support for Odeh.

עומדים ביחד نقف معًا
HAPPENING IN JERUSALEM: The students of "Standing Together" hang signs in the Hebrew University that read "Reserved for #LaraAlqasem", in Hebrew, Arabic and English. We are Jews and Arabs who denounce the attempt of the Israeli government to silence criticism towards its policies

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3:13 PM - Oct 21, 2018
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• A Scottish Jewish lawyer was ordered to take diversity training following a fracas with a BDS activist. Matthew Berlow, of Glasgow, told Scotland’s Herald on Sunday that he will pay the accompanying fine, but will appeal the diversity training requirement.

• President Reuven Rivlin called for ‘Reverse Birthright’ trips to improve Israel-Diaspora ties.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Yossi Yehoshua: Hezbollah sees Israel’s empty threats in Gaza
– Yaakov Lappin: New Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader ‘will seek to satisfy Iran’
– Alexander Yakobson: If Zionism were colonial, it would have ended long ago
– Herb Keinon: Jordan terminating peace treaty annexes is start of a process, not the end
– Raoul Wootliff, Adam Ragson: Dismantling ‘Isle of Peace,’ Jordan chooses hardliners over Israel ties
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: A move that spells weakness
– Avi Issacharoff: Israeli-Jordanian peace deal is strong – despite Amman’s ingratitude


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Post  Admin on Sun 21 Oct 2018, 6:45 pm

Israel Delays Plans to Evacuate Khan Al-Ahmar
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel is delaying plans to demolish the illegally-built West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar until further notice. Israeli media reports said the government is considering an offer by the Bedouins to voluntarily move to a nearby location. Earlier this year, the High Court of Justice rejected the residents’ appeal, saying they failed to demonstrate ownership of the land, where 180 Bedouins live.

US flag2. The State Department downgraded its diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, placing its Jerusalem consulate under the auspices of the embassy. AP explains the significance of the development and why Palestinians are fuming:

The consulate had for years served as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians but will now be known as the Palestinian Affairs Unit of the embassy to Israel. It will remain in its current location, at least for now, the State Department said.

The step, which was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, means that the Jerusalem consulate will no longer have a separate channel to Washington to report on Palestinian affairs and will no longer be run by a consul general with authorities tantamount to those of an ambassador . . . .

Typically, the head of a consulate, known as a consul general, reports to the ambassador, who has “chief of mission authority” over all U.S. posts in the country. In contrast, the consul general running the Jerusalem consulate historically had his or her own chief of mission authority. The closest comparable case to the Jerusalem situation is the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, which also has its own chief of mission who does not report to the U.S. ambassador in Beijing.

Our strength is grass roots.
3. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Australia to move its embassy to Jerusalem anymore. As Australian officials finish counting postal ballots cast in a byelection in the Wentworth area of Sydney, independent candidate Kerryn Phelps will hold her lead over Liberal candidate and former ambassador to Israel, David Sharma. With a significant number of Jewish voters in Wentworth, Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised to consider moving Australia’s embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Wentworth result has bigger stakes than the embassy issue. Phelps’ victory erases the ruling Liberal Party’s one-seat parliamentary majority, pushing Australian politics into new uncertainty.

Scott Morrison
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
4. Hyenas Publishing News Scraps Are No Laughing Matter: A Gaza rocket attack on Beersheba warrants a mere paragraph in The Times of London, yet Israeli hyenas and celebrity weddings got full attention in the following days.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel reopened its border crossings with Gaza after violence significantly decreased along the border Friday.

The IDF said a number of explosives and grenades were set off during clashes on Friday and that Palestinians broke through the fence in three locations before immediately returning to the coastal enclave, with soldiers opening fire at the suspects in one case.

However, Israeli defense officials described the demonstrations as some of the quietest since the wave of protests dubbed the “March of Return” began on March 30.

“Unlike past weeks, most of the rioters remained at a distance and did not try to reach the fence. Hamas acted for restraint on the ground,” the military said.

• Joe Truzmah wouldn’t reveal to the JNS how he tweets what he tweets about the Gaza border clashes. But in what he calls a Groundbrief, Truzmah lays out the who and how of Gaza’s Kushuk (tire) unit:

At first glance, the Kushuk Unit appears to be made up of ordinary Palestinian citizens fighting the IDF. However, a detailed look into their members revealed a structured command made up of militants and associates belonging to various factions in the Gaza Strip. There is a leader, commanders and footsoldiers who operate together as a unified group to achieve a specific goal.

• Miss Earth Lebanon was stripped of her title after posing with Miss Earth Israel. Lebanese officials withdrew their award to Salwa Akar after a photo of her and Miss Israel Earth Daza Zreik, an Israeli-Arab, spread online.

The Miss Earth web site describes itself as “channeling the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to promote environmental awareness.”

Ofir Gendelman
 Miss Lebanon Salwa Akar who participates in the #MissEarth2018 pageant had her title revoked today in Lebanon b/c she "dared" to take this photo w/ Miss Israel.

Miss Israel Daza Zreik is an Israeli-Arab, who proudly represents her country. 

Lebanese apartheid must be condemned.

7:19 PM - Oct 16, 2018
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• The Supreme Court ruled that an Israeli law barring BDS activists from entering the country didn’t apply to Palestinian American student Lara Alqasem. The 22 year-old American-Palestinian student got off to a bumpy start catching up on classes at Hebrew University after the two-week legal battle. More at the New York Times and Reuters.

• Since spy-plane downing, Russia toughens stance against Israel in Syrian skies.

• Amman announced that it will not renew annexes of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty dealing with two parcels of land leased to Israel. Those leases are due to expire, but the Israeli government wants to negotiate an extension. Haaretz explains:

The territories in question are known in Arabic as al-Baqura and al-Ghamr, and Naharayim and Zofar in Hebrew . . .

Israel leased the land for 25 years upon the signing of the treaty. The deadline for renewing said leases of the treaty is this coming Thursday.

Naharayim is also known as the Island of Peace. More at the Times of Israel.

• New flight data suggests Iran sent Hezbollah advanced weapons to turn rockets into precision missiles.

• Invited to address the UN Security Council on Thursday, Hagai El-Ad, director of the human rights organization, B’Tselem, blasted Israeli policies towards the Palestinians. Take your pick of transcript or video (skip to 23:30). More at the Times of Israel.

El-Ad, speaking in English, drew analogies between the situation in the Palestinian territories, the American South under Jim Crow laws, and South Africa under its racist apartheid regime, noting that Palestinians have no representation in the Israeli institutions that govern their lives.
Hagai El-Ad
• Jerusalem Post: The Palestinian Authority arrested a Palestinian-US national who is accused of having a role in the sale of Arab property in eastern Jerusalem to Jews.

• Israeli security forces thwarted a terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Har Adar. A 20-year-old Palestinian was arrested with a knife inside the settlement on Saturday morning.

• An IDF military court indicted two soldiers — both in the Military Police — who are accused of stealing cash from Palestinians passing through the Qalandiya border crossing and also sexually assaulting two female tourists they were searching.

• Pressure is mounting on the New York Times to cancel its Iran “Journeys” after the paper cancelled its Saudi tours in the aftermath of the Jamal Khashoggi affair.

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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Oct 2018, 2:01 pm

Louis Farrakhan’s Antisemitic Tweet Sparks Outrage

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Twitter told Buzzfeed it won’t take action against antisemitic preacher Louis Farrakhan over his tweet calling Jews “termites.”

The tweet appears to violate Twitter’s proposed new policies around “dehumanizing” tweets, defined in a company blog post as “language that treats others as less than human … Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to a tool for some other purpose (mechanistic).”

However, a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News the rules have not yet taken effect, so Farrakhan’s language is not in violation of any extant policy. The spokesperson did not give a date for when the new rule would go into effect, or if it would at all. He did not address whether Farrakhan’s tweet would be in violation were the policy in effect.

 I'm not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.

10:05 PM - Oct 16, 2018
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2. Hamas and other Gaza factions had agreed to scale back border clashes before Wednesday’s rocket fire, according to Arab reports picked up by the Times of Israel:

The timeline in the report is significant, because it implies that the major Gazan factions were looking for de-escalation when an unknown faction fired two rockets at Israel early Wednesday, one of them slamming into a home in Beersheba and destroying it.

3. Twitter data shows Iranians masqueraded as foreign journalists to push political messages.

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In the News
• Following yesterday’s surge of rockets and air strikes, Israel’s security cabinet instructed the IDF to change the rules of the game moving forward. The army lifted home front restrictions on communities adjacent to the Gaza border. Hamas leaders also came out of hiding. Last but not least, Beersheva mother Miri Tamano described how she saved her children as a Palestinian rocket destroyed her house.

Hagai El-Ad
• Stoking controversy, Hagai El-Ad, executive director of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, was due to address the UN Security Council today about the situation in the Mideast. The Times of Israel invited both Hagai El-Ad and Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, to make their cases for and against El-Ad’s address.

If this all feels like deja vu, it’s because El-Ad addressed the UNSC in 2016.

• The Australian Federal Police (AFP) were asked to investigate the leak of an intelligence document concerning the proposed relocation of Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem. The Guardian Australia obtained an Australian Security Intelligence Organisation memo warning that moving the embassy “may provoke protest, unrest and possibly some violence in Gaza and the West Bank.”

Considering that Palestinians never pass up an opportunity for a good “day of rage,” I hardly see the necessity of marking the assessment “Secret” and “AUSTEO” (Australian eyes only).

• Israeli companies to secure UN forces in Africa.

• Per the Jerusalem Post, “Police are investigating the vandalism of a cemetery belonging to the Salesian monastery Beit Jamal, located near Beit Shemesh, after its cruciform tombstones were pushed over and many of the tombs were destroyed.”

• Drip drip drip: Is the Jeremy Corbyn revolution starting to devour its own? The Jewish Chronicle reports that Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum, which propelled to Corbyn to the top of Britain’s Labour party, said Jewish Voice for Labour’s very existence inflames tensions between the party and the Jewish community.

The JVL is made up of hard leftists who appropriated their Jewish identity to attack Israel and mainstream UK Jewry. Lansman is also Jewish.

Jon Lansman
• Flyers promoting a talk with Israeli Druze, Arabs and Christians were defaced at the University of Houston.

• Yair Rosenberg makes the case to not kick Louis Farrakhan off of Twitter:

Because erasing hate from social media doesn’t make it go away, it just makes it easier to ignore. When Farrakhan and his supporters are out and about on Twitter, racking up retweets, getting tens of thousands of video views, and spreading bigoted calumnies, it makes it much more difficult to dismiss them as inconsequential, as so many of their apologists have attempted to do.

On a related note, Eli Lake gets tweet of the day.

Eli Lake
 He was only talking about the termites that support Israel. The other termites are fine and welcome to participate in the next women’s march.

Joe Bernstein
Just in from a @Twitter spokesperson: Louis Farrakhan's tweet comparing Jews to termites is not in violation of the company's policies. The policy on dehumanizing language has not yet been implemented. 

So if you want to compare Jews to rats/insects - get it in while you can!

8:21 PM - Oct 17, 2018
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• Gaza’s on my mind today . . .

– Yoav Limor: A game-changing event
– Anshel Pfeffer: The rocket from Gaza that struck an Israeli home and almost caused a war
– Amos Yadlin: How to get out of the Palestinian trap
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: The storm before the storm
– Seth Frantzman: Major escalation as Gaza calculates conflict with Israel
– Daniel Siryoti: Hamas fears Egypt’s wrath
– Marc Schulman: The pressure is on Netanyahu to do something dramatic
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Hamas attack tunnels are still a serious danger

lost in thought• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– The Australian (staff-ed): Australia stands up at the UN
– Albert Dadon: Israel’s capital in Jerusalem can be Palestinians’ great hope
– Daniel Shapiro: Why the Khashoggi murder is a disaster for Israel
– Paul Miller: No, Israel has no obligation to let in a BDS supporter
– Eytan Meir: Hebrew University crossed a redline on the Alqasem appeal
– Shoshana Bryen: UNESCO: Why the United States needs to watch out
– Yuval Rotem: Why digital diplomacy matters
– Manfred Gerstenfeld, Irene Kuruc: Antisemitic conspiracy theories proliferate in UK’s Labour party

Featured image: CC BY-NC Kent Landerholm; El-Ad via YouTube/SISO Movement; Lansman via YouTube/Owen Jones; monkey CC0 Pixabay;

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Post  Admin on Wed 17 Oct 2018, 8:26 pm

Tense Calm Returns to Gaza After Rockets and Air Strikes
Today’s Top Stories
1. Gaza tensions sharply escalated overnight when Palestinians fired a rocket which hit a house in Beersheva. Seven people, including three children, were treated for shock. A second rocket fired at the Tel Aviv area landed in the sea. The IDF retaliated with air strikes on 20 terror targets. As this roundup was published, Egypt reportedly had brokered a ceasefire, though neither Cairo nor Jerusalem offered any corroboration.

The IDF rejected Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s joint denial of responsibility, saying only those two terror groups had the kind of Grad rocket that was fired. Beersheva schools were closed for the day and the army is examining why the Iron Dome didn’t fire an interceptor. Miri Tamano, a single mother of three whose Beersheva home was hit, appealed to the public for help.

More at the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Ynet and Israel HaYom.

2. Defying Washington, the UN General Assembly gave ‘Palestine’ extra rights allowing it to head a major bloc in 2019. The Times of Israel explains:

Palestine’s delegates will be able co-sponsor proposals and amendments, make statements, and raise procedural motions. They will have these extra rights for the duration of its chairmanship of the Group of 77, the largest bloc of developing nations at the UN. The Palestinians will assume the bloc’s presidency on January 1, 2019, and hold it for one year.

Palestine — which is not a member state of the UN but has observer state status — was chosen in July to head the so-called G77 plus China, a consortium now consisting of 134 nations that often speaks in one voice at the General Assembly.

Our strength is grass roots.
3. Let’s not hyperventilate over what are — at this point — incremental developments in Australia and Romania. (Props to Buzzfeed for best coverage of the Australian development.)

– Australia considering controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
– Australia may also recognize East Jerusalem as future Palestinian capital
– Romanian PM to consider moving embassy to Jerusalem

Australia Israel

Israel and the Palestinians
• The International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, warned that Israeli plans to raze an illegally built Bedouin village could constitute a war crime. Last month, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that the Bedouins failed demonstrate ownership of the land and allowed an injunction against the demolition to expire.

• According to Israeli media reports, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot met with his Saudi counterpart, Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, on the sidelines of a Washington conference.

gavel• Israel’s Supreme Court heard Lara Alqasem’s appeal against her deportation. The justices didn’t indicate when they would issue their ruling.

Alqasem, a 22-year-old American of Palestinian descent obtained a student visa from the Israeli consulate in Miami and was accepted into a graduate studies program at Hebrew University. She is free to leave Israel, but is staying in a holding facility at Ben Gurion Airport while she wages a legal battle.

• Without offering any specifics, White House envoy Jason Greenblatt told Ynet that President Donald Trump’s peace plan will “unify” the West Bank and Gaza. Greenblatt sought to debunk Palestinian claims that Trump’s yet-to-be-revealed initiative will cement the separation of the Fatah-run West Bank and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

• The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) denied reports that it banned Israel’s public broadcaster, Kan, from televising qualifying games to West Bank settlements.

• A secret Israeli-US military delegation reportedly visited Ukraine to train against Russia’s S-300 anti-aircraft system. Israeli media reports were based on Syrian and Russian reports, so take it with a heavy dose of skepticism.

• This video noted by MEMRI has me going hmmmmmm

 Fatah Revolutionary Council Member Abdel-Elah Atira: The Number of Palestinians Brought in to the West Bank and Gaza following the Oslo Accords Equals the Number of Palestinian Refugees in 1948

9:57 AM - Oct 15, 2018
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• Ireland’s High Court rejected an Israeli woman’s attempt to obtain refugee status. The woman, who has not been identified, “fled Israel after being called for military service because she conscientiously objected to participating in military actions against the Palestinian people.” Irish Times coverage.

Window Into Israel
• Attorney General: Law can distinguish between terror convicts and other prisoners as Knesset mulls legislation that would allow for the early release of certain prisoners.

Israel is expected to release 300 prisoners in line with a recent High Court ruling which said that overcrowded prison conditions infringed on prisoners’ human rights. Around 1,000 prisoners, possibly including individuals convicted of terror and other security offenses, are expected to be released when the law takes force on December 20.

Ayalon jail complex
A handcuffed prisoner poses for the camera through the hole of a door cell in Israel’s Ayalon Prison complex. Photo by Nati Shohat /Flash90
• “Facebook’s Israel office has removed thousands of fake accounts ahead of the October 30 municipal election at the request of the National Cyber Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

• The Christian Science Monitor takes a closer look at a wave of Arab women running in local elections.

• Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu’s legal defense against several corruption investigations became more complicated with death of their chief lawyer, Jacob Weinroth. He was known for representing other Israeli politicians in high-profile cases. The 71-year-old Weinroth battled cancer for several months, but there were no signs of an imminent demise.

Around the World
• Drip drip drip: Police are probing attack on two Jewish protesters outside ‘pro-Corbyn’ meeting in London that left a woman hospitalized “after being repeatedly kicked in the head.”

• Drip drip drip: “A new Antisemitism Monitoring Centre set up to record and process complaints relating to Jew-hate within Jeremy Corbyn’s party has received nearly 500 submissions just a week after it was launched.”

Jeremy Corbyn
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
• Religious hate crimes in England and Wales jumped 40 percent in the past year, according to a government report picked up by the Evening Standard and Jewish Chronicle. The stats found that 64% of all hate crimes targeted Jews and Muslims.

• Drip drip drip: ‘Free Palestine scrawled on Holocaust educational advertisement in London.

• Second Orthodox Jewish man attacked in Brooklyn in two days.

• A Berlin rally against racism featured speakers calling for Israel’s destruction and urging support for BDS. An estimated 200,000 came to the Saturday gathering, some of whom held signs with the logo of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.

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Adam Milstein
 They're calling it an anti-Racism March? HOW? March with turnout of over 200k people held in #Berlin to protest right-wing extremism, it featured speakers who urged the obliteration of the #Jewish state #Israel and support for the BDS Movement http://ow.ly/xuqz30mg7me 

11:30 PM - Oct 16, 2018
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• Antisemitic fliers blaming Jews for assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were found posted outside a Reno synagogue.

• Antisemitic, racist Fliers supporting the Ku Klux Klan left on On residents’ lawns in Philadelphia suburb.

Jamal Khashoggi
• Does the human rights community have the guts to launch a BDS campaign against Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi? Naaaah. Jonathan Tobin articulates why:

Nor is the human rights community – that expends so much energy trying to smear Israel as an apartheid state – likely to call for a BDS campaign against the nation that is the guardian of Islam’s holy places.

Saudi Arabia is both a cruel theocracy and a corrupt family business that is deserving of the harshest criticisms for its conduct. But the double standard by which the one Jewish state on the planet is judged differently than the rest of the world is what has inspired the BDS movement, not an abstract devotion to the principles of human rights.

• Tweet of the day goes to @ignis_fatum:

كَوْن مُوازٍ
 It seems that Hamas and the PIJ want to have it both ways. Pressure #Israel by firing rockets into Gush Dan and Be’er Sheva and then make innocent statements like nothing happened .#Gaza

كَوْن مُوازٍ
Surprising statement from the Gaza factions : “We salute the Egyptian attempts to bring calm and condemn the attempts to escalate the tensions including the rocket fire overnight” #Israel #Gaza https://twitter.com/SafaPs/status/1052438628637511682

7:03 AM - Oct 17, 2018
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Ron Ben Yishai: Hamas’s dangerous games demand different kind of reaction
– Dr. Hanan Shai: Israel, Hamas fighting war of attrition
– Khaled Abu Toameh: The Palestinian battle against a plan that does not exist
– Stephen Flatow: America wouldn’t let her in, so why should Israel?
– Carly Pildis: Anti-Zionism has no place in the Progressive movement
– Gil Troy: Beware of BDS derangement syndrome
– David Shayne: Sorry, but BDS is anti-Israel – really!
– Benny Avni: Punish the Saudis — but not by rewarding Iran

Featured image: CC BY-SA Japanexperterna.se; gavel CC BY-SA wp paarz; Corbyn via YouTube/Slugger O’Toole; Khashoggi via YouTube/Al Jazeera English;

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Post  Admin on Mon 15 Oct 2018, 2:15 pm

Supreme Court Justice Evades Palestinian Attack
Today’s Top Stories
Justice David Mintz
1. Palestinians tried to attack Israeli Supreme Court Justice David Mintz near his home in the West Bank settlement of Dolev. According to Haaretz:

Mintz told police that the assailants blocked his car with their vehicle, and came toward him carrying hammers. He then fled the scene. The justice was not injured, and no damage was done.

It’s not clear if the Palestinians knew who Mintz was.

2. A Palestinian was killed trying to stab a soldier at a West Bank this afternoon. No Israelis were injured. The incident, which took place at a bus stop between the Ariel settlement and the Barkan Industrial Park, is the third Palestinian terror attack in eight days.

Last week, two Israelis were killed when a Palestinian employee killed workers in that industrial park; two days later, two Israelis were wounded in a stabbing attack outside a northern West Bank army base.

3. Israel completed a 12 km stretch of a security barrier along the Lebanese border.

Our strength is grass roots.
Israel and the Palestinians
• IDF aircraft struck a Gaza cell launching incendiary balloons on Sunday. More at Ynet.

• As expected, the High Court of Justice froze the deportation BDS activist Lara Alqasem consider her appeal after a lower court ruled against her. The 22-year-old obtained a student visa from the Israeli consulate in Miami and was accepted into a graduate studies program at Hebrew University. She is free to leave Israel, but is staying in a holding facility at Ben Gurion Airport while she wages a legal battle.

Lara Alqasem
Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old American graduate student, arrives to the courtroom at the Tel Aviv District court on October 11, 2018. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90
• UNRWA, the cash-strapped UN agency for Palestinian refugees, has a cushy job opening. It’s looking for a director of external relations and is offering a $100,000 salary along with various nice benefits. Per the Jerusalem Post:

The position that UNRWA is advertising pays over 14 times average annual income for a Palestinian in 2017, $6960.

• Drip drip drip: Tamar Zandberg, leader of Israel’s left-wing Meretz party, denied meeting UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Zandberg’s original tweet is in Hebrew.

Raf Sanchez
 Jeremy Corbyn is so disliked in Israel that even the leader of the Left-wing Meretz party rushes to say she has never met with him: https://twitter.com/EylonALevy/status/1051453095778103297

Eylon Levy
Leader of Israel's left-wing Meretz party vigorously rejects allegations she has met @jeremycorbyn. #vilesmear https://twitter.com/tamarzandberg/status/1051409828936060929

9:45 AM - Oct 15, 2018
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• The Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria opened for first time in four years. It’s only used by UN observers, but it’s hoped that Druze citizens in Israel will eventually be able to use it to visit relatives on the Syrian side.

International peacekeepers were forced to evacuate their posts in 2014 when Islamist rebels captured the Syrian side of the border. A number of monitors got out in a dramatic IDF rescue.

• Israel HaYom: Israel will open an embassy in the Rwandan in 2019.

Mt. Bisoke
Rwanda’s Mt. Bisoke
• New York police charged Farrukh Afzal with assault as a hate crime after he was caught on video beating up an elderly Orthodox Jewish man. The victim, 62-year-old Lipa Schwartz, said that Afzal spoke another language and that the only words he understood were “Israel” and “Allah.”

• Michele Chabin pretty much summed up my thoughts on Jackson Diehl‘s latest column.

Michele Chabin
 To say that Israel and Saudi Arabia have been destabilizing the Middle East while not even mentioning the role Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and the Palestinians are playing is the height of tunnel vision and bias.

Shmuel Rosner
I disagree with the content, but for Diehl to write such article is interesting in and of itself  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trumps-middle-east-ambitions-have-been-exposed-as-misguided-fantasies/2018/10/14/5e007bc8-cd69-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html

10:59 AM - Oct 15, 2018
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Yossi Yehoshua: An escalation at the Gaza border
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Hamas probes Israel’s defenses
– David Makovsky: Why Mahmoud Abbas thinks he’s beating Trump — and Israel
– Ariel Ben Solomon: Israel ties warming with Central Asian countries
– Zalman Shoval: If not UNRWA, there would be no Palestinian refugee problem
– Norman Bailey: The US elections and Israel


Featured image: CC BY Jon S; Mintz via Wikimedia Commons; Mt. Bisoke via Wikimedia Commons;

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Post  Admin on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 2:03 pm

Gaza Riots Intensify
Today’s Top Stories
1. Palestinian riots along the Gaza border intensified on Friday. “In the most serious incident, in the south of the Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said several Gazans planted a bomb by the fence. After it exploded and blew a hole in the fence, some 20 Palestinians rushed through and ran toward Israeli soldiers stationed in a snipers’ nest.” One of the seven Palestinians rioters killed was shot while attacking soldiers with a knife. More at the Times of Israel and Haaretz.

The army said some 15,000 protesters hurled grenades, bombs, firebombs and rocks at Israeli forces at various locations along the border. Hadashot reported that for the first time soldiers were also being shot at with crossbows.

If you’re wondering how we got here, be sure to watch our latest video, Gaza Truce Talks: The Breakdown.

2. A Tel Aviv court upheld an entry ban on Lara Alqasem, the US student accused of supporting BDS. But she will be allowed to remain in the country if she opts to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The judge, Erez Yekuel, found that there was “no disputing” that Alqasem from 2014-17 was a member of an organization that called to boycott Israel, and for two years was the president of its Florida campus chapter, and that the organization allegedly urged the “boycott of Israeli society” and expressed support for those who carried out activities to harm Israel.

He cited contradictions in her testimony, noted that she had wiped her social media history, and found that the state had the right to bar someone who sought to harm the country’s economy and image.

Our strength is grass roots.

3. The Jerusalem Post and Seth Frantzman examine what the disappearance of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi means for Israel. Did Khashoggi’s criticism of growing Israeli-Saudi ties play a factor in his disappearance? Will Iran seize on the incident to drive a wedge between the Saudis and the West?

Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Saudi officials say the 60-year-old writer left the consulate through a rear door but Turkish authorities say there’s no surveillance footage to support that claim.

Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi
Israel and the Palestinians
• Settlers are suspected of killing a 47-year-old Palestinian woman in a stoning attack. Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi, a mother of eight, succumbed to injuries when her car was pelted by stones near the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank. More at the Times of Israel.

• The government approved a $6 million 31-unit housing complex in Hebron, the first Jewish building there in 16 years. The Jerusalem Post unpacks the complicated history of Hebron’s Hezkiyahu neighborhood, where many Jews lived before the 1929 Arab riots wiped out the city’s Jewish community.

• A Gaza terror group unveiled its incendiary ‘blimp’ bound for Israel. I think they got the idea from the famous terror blimp scene from Black Sunday . . .

Gaza group unveils first-ever incendiary blimp bound for Israel https://t.co/BAwC2oCefw

— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) October 13, 2018

• Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov to i24 News: It is “irrational” not to recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “But he explained that Russia would not move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem until it could also move its mission in Ramallah to the eastern part of the contested city.”

• Critics denounced the UN Human Rights Council’s election of ‘unqualified’ new members. We’re talking about human rights luminaries like Somalia, Eritrea, Bahrain and the Philippines.

• Worth reading: Vanity Fair got exclusive access to YAMAM, Israel’s elite counterterror unit.

YAMAM’s technology, including robots and Throwbots (cameras housed in round casings that upright themselves upon landing), is dazzling to the uninitiated. But so are the stats: YAMAM averages some 300 missions a year. According to N, his commandos have stopped at least 50 “ticking time bombs” (suicide bombers en route to their targets) and hundreds of attacks at earlier stages.

Members of the YAMAM counter-terror unit in a training exercise
• Worth reading: Ynet went behind the scenes with the IDF’s tunnel hunters.

• Coexistence took a big hit when a Palestinian terrorist shot two Israelis to death at a West Bank industrial park last week. The New York Times takes a closer look at where Jewish and Palestinian employees of the Barkan Industrial Park go from here.

• Municipal elections are two weeks away. Haviv Rettig Gur takes the pulse of Jerusalem politics.

Around the World
British flag

• Drip drip drip: Dozens of Jewish journalists and anti-racism activists were barred from a UK Labour Party event in London in yet another antisemitism controversy, per The Independent.

Multiple Jewish people who had tickets to the event on Thursday evening, but who had previously spoken out about the antisemitism row that engulfed Labour over the summer, were told at the last minute that their tickets had been cancelled.

Organisers told The Independent that people had been banned because they had “previously misrepresented events, people or facts”.

• Drip drip drip: The British government is due to release statistics on antisemitic incidents in the past year. The figures are expected to rise with a probable link to Labour Party antisemitism. The Daily Mail explains:

Jewish safety group the Community Security Trust recorded 727 anti-Semitic incidents in the first half of 2018, including 34 that made specific reference to Labour.

However, the figures to be published this week are expected to provide more detail on the scale of the problem.

• Man suspected of drawing devil, setting fire at Modesto, Calif. synagogue.

• Antisemitic fans of the Chelsea soccer team will have to choose between a trip to Auschwitz or being banned from the Stamford Bridge stadium, The Sun reports.

• Jewish teens assaulted, robbed in anti-Semitic attack in France.

• Three colleges in one New York town banned a person suspected of hanging antisemitic fliers blaming Jews for allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

• The new government of Quebec plans to ban the province’s public servants from wearing kippahs and other religious symbols.

The proposed ban by the Coalition Avenir Québec government is ostensibly to make Quebec public institutions more secular and “neutral” religiously. It would bar police, prison guards, public school teachers and some others from wearing visible kippahs, turbans, hijabs and crucifixes under the possible penalty of dismissal for noncompliance.

Quebec City
Quebec City
• Tweet of the day goes to @barbyonabike, who was reacting to our own tweet about AP coverage.

Surely if armed attacks were merely a protest, then all the IDF did was stage a counterprotest.

— barbyonabike (@barbyonabike) October 14, 2018

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

– Yoav Limor: Gaza: Back to the beginning
– Elior Levy: From Gaza to Ramallah: crucial days for Israeli-Palestinian relations
– Amanda Borschel-Dan: Lara Alqasem: A pawn in the PR battle for and against BDS
– Dan Diker: Will PA-supported terrorism kill economic peace?
– Jonathan Tobin: BDS threatens the diaspora, not Israel
– Lahav Harkov: When the BDS battle lost pro-Israel US Jewry
– Talia Katz: Antisemitism run amok at the University of Michigan
– Ido Aharoni: News media bias and the information revolution
– Asaf Romirowsky: Antisemitism spreads in the United States

 Featured image: CC BY-SA Johnny Silvercloud; Khashoggi via YouTube/Washington Post; YAMAM CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons; British flag CC0 Max Pixel; Chelsea CC0 Pixabay; Quebec City CC BY-NC-ND Steve Leclerc;

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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Oct 2018, 6:58 pm

IDF Destroys Cross-Border Gaza Terror Tunnel
Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF demolished a cross-border terror tunnel that stretched 200 meters into Israeli territory. It’s the 15th such tunnel neutralized by Israel in the past year.
“This specific tunnel, in the way it was built, indicates that Hamas is trying to challenge our counter-tunnel efforts. They are changing the way they excavate in order to make it more difficult for us to detect them,” Conricus said.
The move against the tunnel wasn’t related to an accidental Iron Dome launch earlier in the day, which triggered alarms and had Israelis living in the vicinity on edge. No Palestinian rockets were fired.

Speaking of Gaza, Egypt’s efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are breaking down and could lead to war. The reasons might surprise you.
2. Judges in Tel Aviv today heard an appeal from Lara Alqasem, who has been barred from entering Israel. It’s not clear when the judges will announce their ruling. Alqasem, an American student of Palestinian descent, was prevented from entering the country because her name was on a list of people who support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. The 22-year-old obtained a student visa from the Israeli consulate in Miami and was accepted into a graduate studies program at Hebrew University. She is free to leave Israel, but is staying in a holding facility at Ben Gurion Airport while she wages a legal battle. More on the hearing at the Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, 300 academics signed a letter published in The Guardian calling on Israel to lift its ban on Alqasem. Among the signatories were some heavyweight figures in the academic boycott circles. See HonestReporting’s response: Academics’ Letter Exposes BDS Hypocrisy.

Was Israel right to bar a student from entering the country over her previous support for BDS? HR’s Daniel Pomerantz discussed the issue on i24 News with former Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer.

3. “The University of Michigan apologized to two students who were refused letters of recommendations for study in Israel by lecturers citing their support for boycotting the Jewish state.” President Mark Schlossel and provost Martin Philbert’s letter “also addressed a university lecture that featured a speaker who compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler.”

In the News
• Two people were hurt in a stabbing attack outside an army base in the northern West Bank. Israeli security was still searching for the terrorist when this roundup was published.

• Incendiary balloons were found in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam today.

• Two New Zealand BDS activists were ordered to pay damages over Lorde’s Israel boycott.

• For some Americans, Jerusalem’s newest pilgrimage site is the US embassy(!?)

Our strength is grass roots.
• Awfully nice of Associated Press to lump Israel together with human rights luminaries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Rodrigo Duterte.

In the United States, the Trump administration avoids strenuous criticism of human rights abuses by allies, like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and the Philippines, or leaders it seeks to cultivate ties with, like Russia, China and North Korea.

• A French consulate employee confessed to making $12,000 by smuggling Weapons to Palestinians in the West Bank in official diplomatic vehicles.

Bezeq• Ynet reports the Israeli government is due to vote on Sunday to strip Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his authority over the Bezeq telecom giant as police continue to investigate “the Bezeq affair.”

Netanyahu is suspected of having an understanding with Shaul Elovitch, Bezeq’s majority shareholder, in which the PM gave the telecom regulatory benefits in exchange for favorable coverage on the Elovitch-owned Walla! News.

At the time of the alleged arrangement, Netanyahu also served as Communications Minister (he resigned from that position in February, 2017). Ayoub Kara currently serves as Communications Minister, but Ynet reports that Netanyahu “holds a monopoly in the field of communications.”

• Drip drip drip: Mohammed Pappu, one of UK Labour’s rising stars, shared antisemitic posts on Facebook.

• Swedish Jewish politician’s house burnt in suspected hate crime.

• JTA: 10 American Jewish baseball players to become dual Israeli citizens to boost nation’s Olympics bid.


• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Yonah Jeremy Bob: Do China’s actions leave Interpol open to abuse by Palestinians?
– Michal Aharoni: On BDS, we are our own worst enemy
– Marc Schulman: Israel is damaging its image more than the entire BDS movement
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Tensions grows between the Palestinian Authority and Egypt
– Ariel Bolstein: With Russia, there’s no such thing as a free lunch
– Bassam Tawil: How Palestinians lie to Europeans
– Howard Jacobson: Corbyn’s complaint

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND sinkdd; baseball CC BY Marco Verch;

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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 1:19 pm

Defying Abbas, Israel Transfers Fuel to Gaza
Today’s Top Stories
1. Mahmoud Abbas’ intransigence is making the Palestinian Authority chief irrelevant to efforts to calm Gaza. Israel began transferring Qatari-funded fuel to the Strip without Ramallah’s consent or coordination. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Abbas of “suffocating Gaza.” More on that at Haaretz and Israel HaYom.

Meanwhile, Egypt is pressuring Abbas to get on board with Gaza talks. Cairo threatening to quit its mediation efforts if the PA chief doesn’t play ball.

2. Netanyahu tapped an American-Israeli to be the next Bank of Israel Governor. Meet Amir Yaron, a professor of banking and finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Yaron replaces Karnit Flug, whose five-year term ends in November.

.@Wharton professor Dr. Amir Yaron has been named the next Governor of the Bank of Israel; the @Penn economist—who holds a doctorate from @UChicago—will replace Dr. Karnit Flug, the first female head of Israel's central bank. pic.twitter.com/fWyoInIauc

— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) October 9, 2018

3. The search for the Palestinian who shot and killed two Israelis in a West Bank industrial park continued. PA security forces joined the manhunt.

The Palestinian security official said the PA has been helping Israel search for Na’alowa because it “does not support violent acts and wants to maintain security and stability” in the West Bank.

Our strength is grass roots.

In the News
• Mayor Nir Barkat’s plan to oust UNRWA from Jerusalem could face legal hurdles.

• Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit thew a monkey wrench into plans to bring 1,000 Falash Mura from Ethiopia to reunite them with family in Israel. Mandelblit told the cabinet that the Ethiopian reunification plan would make it difficult for the state to justify restrictions on Arab family reunifications.

The legal and bureaucratic complications begin with the Interior Ministry, which does not recognize the Falash Mura as Jewish, meaning the government won’t apply the Law of Return. Rather, the some 8,000 Falash Mura currently in Ethiopia need special permission to immigrate. Family reunification policies for Palestinians are more stringent amid concerns that terrorists would use it to enter Israel.

• Worth reading: Globes takes readers inside Iron Dome’s secret manufacturing plant.

Iron Dome
An Iron Dome launch in 2012
• Guides for the perplexed? The Knesset is mulling legislation to allow unlicensed tour guides for pilgrims and certain foreign groups. Critics say the bill would skew tourists’ impressions of Israel, dramatically lower industry standards and threaten the livelihoods of Israel’s estimated 5,000 active guides.

• “German politicians on Monday accused Bremen’s Senator of the Interior Ulrich Mäurer of antisemitism and urged him to resign after he said Israel executes Palestinians on the Gaza-Israel border.”

• Tweet of the day from journalist Michele Chabin:

Spotted this today in a Palestinian refugee camp. While many of the products being sold were from the West Bank & beyond, many were made in Israel. #BDS is a political tool. In reality Palestinians love – and eat – Israeli junk food. #bdsfail pic.twitter.com/DFBWGYrp8z

— Michele Chabin (@MicheleChabin1) October 9, 2018

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Vivian Bercovici: The next war in the Middle East
– Yossi Yehoshua: A powder keg in the West Bank
– Dr. Reuven Berko: The same old Sinwar
– Yaakov Lappin: ‘The war between wars’: Israel vs Iran in Syria
– Moshe Koppel, Eugene Kontorovich: Why all the outrage over Israel’s nation-state law?
– Yaakov Ahimeir: Tbe travesty of Palestinian education
– Dow Marmur: Jeremy Corbyn and the insidiousness of anti-Semitism
Featured image: CC0 alberthbq; Iron Dome CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces;

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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Oct 2018, 4:24 pm

Manhunt Continues for Palestinian Terrorist
Today’s Top Stories
1. The manhunt continues for the Palestinian who shot to death two Israelis in yesterday’s terror attack at the Barkan Industrial Park in the West Bank. Israel identified the suspect as Ashraf Naalwa, who worked at the park. Kim Levengrond Yehezkel 28, was buried in Rosh Ha’Ayin. Ziv Hajbi’s funeral was underway in Nir Yisrael, near Ashkelon as this roundup was published.HonestReporting
 Where's the coverage? Two Israelis brutally murdered yesterday in a horrific terror attack by a Palestinian at the Barkan industrial zone. Yet there's nothing in @Independent @Telegraph @thetimes @BBCWorld. Don't Israeli victims of terror count for the UK media?

9:29 AM - Oct 8, 2018
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2. Israel’s national broadcaster, Kan, is on the brink of losing its rights to broadcast the the next Union of European of Football Associations (UEFA) championship and the 2022 World Cup. According to Israeli media reports:

The reason: UEFA’s demand that Kan will not broadcast the games to Israeli citizens living beyond Israel’s 1967 lines, namely the West Bank. Kan won a bid for the rights to broadcast the games in both Hebrew and Arabic in late 2017.

Citing people within Kan, Yedioth reported UEFA’s demands are a result of a Qatari company acquiring the rights to broadcast the games in the Middle East and North Africa, including the Palestinian territories. This includes any Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

3. Examining the failure of talks trying to calm the Gaza situation, analysts told The Media Line that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas has no intention to ease up on Hamas. According to Israeli media reports, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the cabinet yesterday that Israel is preparing for a military offensive for the likelihood that humanitarian conditions and border clashes will spiral out of control. Props to Australia’s ABC News for a thorough and balanced look at the situation.

4. New York Times: ‘Israel Says’ a Terror Attack Happened: Why did a headline cast doubt on a terror attack when the report itself asserted all the facts?

Our strength is grass roots.

In the News
• A third victim recuperating from the deadly terror at the Barkan industrial park, 54-year-old Sarah Vettori, shared her story for the first time:

Vettori said she never though such a thing could happen but admits that it most likely will not be the last incident of this nature.

“I’ve worked with Arabs for many years, and I’m not afraid. Unfortunately this is not the first and not the last time something like this happens. If he would have found me, I would not have been here. To my relief, he was in shock and did not even look under the table,” she added.

Facebook blood• Shedding light on Naalwa’s motives, the New York Times adds:

The Israeli military and the Israeli security agency known as Shin Bet said they had determined the assault was a terrorist attack, while allowing that the assailant may also have had personal motives.

The Israeli authorities pointed to a message on Facebook that the suspect had apparently posted before the attack as one indication that he was not out only for personal vengeance. According to the Israeli news media, he suggested in the post that he had been called by Allah.

• Since opening in 1982, the West Bank’s Barkan Industrial Park has been a symbol of Israeli-Palestinian coexistence, where roughly 7,200 Israelis and Palestinians work side by side. What does yesterday’s terror attack there mean for coexistence there and in the West Bank’s other 19 industrial parks? The Times of Israel visited Barkan.

Amjad Mughar, who has been working at Barkan for the past three years, expressed concern over what he expected to be an increase in daily security checks of Palestinian workers, as well as the possibility that he might lose his work permit altogether.

“I don’t know how I will be able to support my six kids without this job. I really don’t know why someone would do something like this,” Mughar added.

According to Moshe Levran, who works as an export manager at Twitto Plus, one of the Barkan factories, “The Palestinian employees are more distraught over the incident than the Israelis ones are.”

• Outgoing Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat discussed with the Associated Press his plans to remove UNRWA — the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees — from the city.

• White House envoy for Jason Greenblatt told the Times of Israel that the US won’t propose an Israel-Jordan-Palestinian confederation.

• Sappers neutralized an incendiary balloon found in a settlement north of Jerusalem on Monday.

• A new wave of Democrats tests the party’s blanket support for Israel.

• Sara Netanyahu’s trial kicked off yesterday with 45 minutes of pre-trial arguments over procedural matters. Judge Avital Chen scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for November 13. I’m not clear if the month between hearings reflects A) the judge’s hope that the PM’s wife and prosecutors can still settle their issues without a trial, B) delay tactics by one side or the other, C) an overworked legal system, or D) all of the above.

Mrs. Netanyahu and an employee of the Prime Minister’s Office are accused of fraudulently spending $100,000 in state funds to pay for catered meals. The Prime Minister’s wife maintains her innocence. The Jerusalem Post takes a closer look at what happened in the courtroom, what didn’t, and what’s next.

Sara Netanyahu
• Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz has become the wild card of Israeli politics. A poll concluded that if he founded a party — presumably centrist — it would take 12 parliamentary seats, mostly at the expense of Yesh Atid and Zionist Union. In either scenario, Likud would take the most overall Knesset seats.

• The cabinet approved a plan to reunite 1,000 Ethiopian Falash Mura with their relatives in Israel. But for Ethiopians already in Israel, the government’s move won’t go far enough. The JTA adds, “There are some 8,000 Falash Mura in Ethiopia awaiting permission to immigrate to Israel, most of whom have some family members in Israel.”

Ethiopian Jews
Israelis who immigrated from Ethiopia hold up family photos of loved ones who remain in Ethiopia during a protest to bring the rest of the Falashmura in Jerusalem, on March 12, 2018. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
• Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman got op-ed space in the Jerusalem Post to weigh in on Khan al-Ahmar. I think it’s a signal that Israel will soon move to evacuate the illegally-built Bedouin village near Jerusalem.

• The Balata refugee camp and the new Palestinian city of Rawabi are 24 km apart. Joelle Fiss wonders how the camp’s gritty poverty and the city’s shining opulence of coexist.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Moshe Arens: The real issue behind the downing of the Russian plane
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Israel and Russia – back to the future
– Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror: Israel and Russia: Common objectives, separate interests
– Amos Yadlin: The critical security challenges Israel has to face
– Uri Heitner: Don’t fight Abbas’ battles
– Elior Levy: Hamas testing the limits, Abbas intransigent
– David Aaronovitch: Has British Jewry’s stand against antisemitism increased it?

Featured image: CC BY-NC Thom Sanders; soccer CC0 Max Pixel;

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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Oct 2018, 1:43 pm

Israel Cabinet Minister to Visit Abu Dhabi?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Despite the absence of diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev may accompany Israeli judokas at an upcoming tournament in Abu Dhabi. According to Israeli media reports, “Regev’s attendance at the event is contingent upon the necessary security arrangements being made by the Shin Bet security agency and the UAE.”

The competition kicks off on October 27.

2. Hamas’ Gaza strongman, Yahya Sinwar granted his first interview to an Israeli paper, Yedioth Ahronot. Ynet and La Republicca published excerpts of the Q+A with Italian journalist Francesca Borri. Both papers will publish the full interview tomorrow. Coincidentally or not, Sinwar was also extensively profiled by the the Daily Telegraph in a 3,200-word piece worth reading. Here’s the key snippet drawing the most buzz. Draw your own conclusions.
Why did you decide to give this interview now, to an Israeli newspaper no less?
Because now I see a true opportunity for change . . . .
A new war is in no one’s interest, certainly not our interest. Who really wants to confront a nuclear superpower with four slingshots? War doesn’t achieve anything.

Meanwhile, the IDF sent reinforcements to the Gaza border as Palestinian clashes have intensified in recent weeks.
Yahya Sinwar
Hamas’ Gaza strongman Yahya Sinwar
3. Per the JTA, “French authorities reportedly have suspended their insistence on special labeling for West Bank products following a lawsuit alleging that the practice is discriminatory.”
Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

In the News
• Qatar agreed to finance fuel for Gaza’s sole power plant:

Gaza now gets around four hours of electricity a day. The Qatari aid, estimated to be tens of millions of dollars, aims to raise the average to eight hours a day.

• Ynet reports that the pollution from burning tires during Palestinian border clashes is creating health risks that Israel can’t ignore:

Residents of Kerem Shalom, and particularly young children, have been suffering from breathing difficulties and vomiting caused by the burning tires smoke.

Representatives of the Environmental Protective Ministry arrived at the community several days ago to carry out several air quality monitoring tests, finding unusually high levels of air pollution both outside homes and inside them . . .

Some of the air pollution is also caused by the crowd dispersal measures the IDF uses against the Palestinian rioters.

tire fires
Palestinians burning tires along the Gaza-Israel border in April, 2018.
• German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visited continued with talks with Israeli leaders, a wreath-laying at Yad Vashem, and an honorary doctorate at Haifa University. More at the Jerusalem Post. On a related note, Minister of Finance and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed sanctions on Iran and Israeli-German relations with Globes.

• Israel is likely to extend the secrecy of some Independence War documents for 20 more years. Haaretz explains why:

The extension is intended to prevent the exposure of intelligence sources and methods that are still in use today by security forces. The archives also include information that was received from foreign sources under the condition that it would not be released . . .

• Worth reading: The Christian Science Monitor takes a closer look at Palestinian participation in Jerusalem’s upcoming municipal elections. Voters in cities and regional councils across the country go to the polls on October 30.

• “Political leaders in Britain’s Labour Party have been informed by legal counsel that their party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, could be hit with U.S. sanctions for his multiple dealings with the terror group Hamas, according to a copy of a U.K. legal review obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.”

• NASA signed a deal with Israel Space Agency for the Jewish state’s first lunar mission.


• The number of women in senior IDF roles continues to climb.

• By royal order, Morocco will introduce Holocaust studies into the country’s education system.

• Bottom story of the day: Thai sex hotel sparks Jewish outrage with bizarre Nazi-themed room decorated with swastikas and huge murals of Adolf Hitler overlooking the bed.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Ron Prosor: Why didn’t we stop funding UNRWA years ago?
– Sean Durns: Once again, the media whitewashes antisemitism around the world
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Iran’s strike in Syria is a warning to the West and Gulf states
– Richard Landes: Revisiting Netzarim Junction and the birth of fake news
– Dave Rich: Jeremy Corbyn has lit a fire of Jew-hate that is now beyond his control

Featured image: by Unsplash/Jean Gerber; Sinwar via YouTube/AP Archive; tires via YouTube/RT; moon CC BY-NC Emmanuel Huybrechts;

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

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Post  Admin on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 9:51 pm

UNRWA Evacuates Staffers From Gaza
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Today’s Top Stories
1. UNRWA, the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees, evacuated most of its international staff from Gaza to Israel. The personnel from overseas were threatened and harassed by the UNRWA’s Palestinian employees, disgruntled by budget cuts and layoffs. One of UNRWA’s foreign workers still in Gaza described to the Times of Israel the incident that prompted their hasty exit from Gaza, and how the agency is operating for now. See Hillel Neuer‘s take:

If even the most ardent advocates in the world of the Palestinian narrative had to flee Gaza due to death threats from their Palestinian employees, how can those same figures deny to Israelis the right to defend themselves from Gaza's Hamas-led terrorists attacking their border? https://t.co/zUrcZTjfkU

— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) October 2, 2018

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Our strength is you.

Join us. Make a difference. SIGN UP

2. German chancellor Angela Merkel is due to arrive in Israel today. According to Israeli media reports which the German embassy in Israel subsequently denied, Merkel threatened to cancel her visit if Israel makes any move to evacuate the illegally built West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar before her arrival. Last month, the High Court of Justice ruled that the Bedouins failed demonstrate ownership of the land and allowed an injunction against the demolition to expire.

The Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and Haaretz preview what’s in store for Merkel’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
3. Doubling down on previous antisemitic tropes, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad insisted that Jews are indeed “hook-nosed,” asserted that six million Jews weren’t killed in the Holocaust, and blamed Israel for everything wrong in the Mideast. Backstory at the Times of Israel. Here’s the full BBC Hardtalk interview.

4. An Irish Teacher’s Harsh Unreality: Daire Louise O’Dowd is entitled to her opinions, however misguided and hateful they may be. She is not, however, entitled to spread lies and half-truths.

5. Video: Why is the US cutting aid to Palestinian refugees? Here’s what you need to know.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Associated Press: “The Palestinian Authority filed a case Friday with the United Nations’ highest court asking its judges to order Washington to remove the recently relocated U.S. embassy from Jerusalem.”

• Palestinian Islamic Jihad elected a new leader, and in the process, strengthening Iran’s influence over the Gaza-based terror group. Ziad al-Nakhalah replaces Ramadan Shalah, who is said to be comatose.

• Israel arrested two West Bank Palestinians suspected of planning terror attacks for Hamas.

• If you haven’t already seen Netanyahu’s address to the opening session of the United Nations (see video or transcript), he disclosed for the first time the existence of a secret atomic storehouse in Tehran for storing what he called “massive amounts of equipment and materiel from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.” and called for inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. (IAEA chief Yukiya Amano dismissed the PM’s call.)

Netanyahu reportedly sought to reveal an additional site, but the Israeli security establishment recommended against it.

• Emboldened by civil war gains, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told the UN that Damascus will recapture the Golan too. Just how seriously should Israel take the threat?

• UN Secretary-General to UNESCO: Denying Israel’s right to exist is antisemitism.

• South Africa quietly returned its ambassador to Israel. Ambassador Sisa Ngombane was recalled to Pretoria four months ago in protest against IDF activities in response to violent Palestinian protests along the Gaza border. Times of Israel coverage.

• Here’s a Muslim majority country actually fishing for Israeli recognition: Kosovo says it would move its Israel embassy to Jerusalem — if it had one.

Israel’s decision to not recognize Kosovo was based in part upon its own fears that Palestinians would use Kosovo to justify their own independence, the Jerusalem Post reported at the time. However, politicians in both countries have spoken warmly of their ties and hopes for a new relationship in the future.

Rugova Canyon
Rugova Canyon in western Kosovo
• Do Arabs view Ahed Tamimi as an icon of Palestinian “resistance,” a ditzy teenager, or an “agent” of Israel? It depends on which Arabs you ask. (See Dr. Eitan Orkibi, who describes Tamimi’s “victory lap around Europe” as blonde-washing terrorism.)

Mideast Matters
• Iran fired six ballistic missiles into an Islamic State-held area of Syria in retaliation for a deadly attack on a military parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) made sure to paint “death to America,” “Death to Israel,” and “Death to al-Saud” on the missiles. The missiles flew 570 km, crossing over northern Iraqi airspace.

Slogans written on the missiles launched by #Iran today according to Iran State TV :

“Down with USA”
“Down with Israel”
“Down with the house of Saud”


— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) October 1, 2018

• France froze assets of Iran’s intelligence service linked to a foiled bombing attack in a Paris suburb. The attack on a gathering of Iranian opposition figures in June was thwarted thanks to the Mossad tipping off French, German and Belgian officials.

• “German special police forces arrested a Syrian man last week in a central street in Berlin on suspicion of planning to carry out a chemical attack on Israel, according to local media.”

WhatsApp• Per Ynet, picking up on Arab reports: “Thousands of residents of the Dahieh suburb south of Beirut, an area controlled by Hezbollah, received anonymous mobile phone notifications warning them they live in close proximity to a Hezbollah weapons storage compound that has the potential of exploding at any moment, the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Wednesday, implying Israel is responsible for incident.”

• Hezbollah’s growing partnership with the Lebanon’s army provides operational cover.

• Iranian authorities, detained three people after photoshopped images of Israeli soldiers were mistakenly put up on an Iranian billboard commemorating “Defense Week.” According to the Jerusalem Post:

The billboard depicted three Israeli soldiers, photoshopped from a photo by Timon Studler that had been uploaded onto the Unsplash.com website. The image was cropped to remove a female IDF soldier. However, the person who made the poster neglected to notice that the soldiers had M-16s – rifles the Iranian army is not equipped with.

The billboard in #Iran's #Shiraz caused an uproar among #Iran social media users,citizens&the poster was taken down.
Billboard in Shiraz meant to commemorate the country’s 8-year-long war with Iraq featured images of soldiers from the #Israel Defense Forces. 
? pic.twitter.com/J0xLg0qZZL

— Mete Sohtao?lu (@metesohtaoglu) September 28, 2018

Window Into Israel
• A Spanish journalist working in Jerusalem was arrested for the hit-and-run death of Chaim Tukachinsky, a pianist, composer and conductor. What initially seemed to be a tragic story of drunk driving became way more complicated, according to Israeli media reports.

The journalist, Julio de la Guardia, worked as a foreign correspondent for a series of Spanish outlets. He was kicked out of Israel in 2011 after he hit his wife in a domestic dispute, seriously injuring her, the television report said, citing Foreign Ministry officials.

It was not immediately clear why de la Guardia, 51,was reissued a new work visa and allowed to return to Israel.

The report said that during the investigation into the accident it had been discovered that the reporter had also been working for a Spanish-language Iranian TV company under an assumed name.

Here’s a glimpse of Tukachinsky’s talent.

• Seeking to narrow the gender gap in Tel Aviv city hall, a first-ever all-female list is running to balance out the city council. Shelly Harel, leader of Halo, told the Jerusalem Post, “Only eight of the 31 city council members are female and none of them lead a party.”

Meanwhile, Rachel Azaria and Zippi Brand Frank “dropped out of the upcoming Jerusalem and Tel Aviv races respectively” which means no women are left in either city’s mayoral campaign. More on that at The Media Line. Municipal elections across Israel will be held on October 30.

• The IDF comptroller was ordered to investigate the military’s readiness for war. The move comes after a disagreement within the military brass about the IDF’s preparedness for conflict went public earlier this year. See Jerusalem Post coverage and Zev Chafets‘ commentary.

IDF soldiers training in 2015
• Police to question Netanyahu on Friday in graft probes.

• Israel to invest NIS 4 billion in garbage treatment.

• Two people were died at an outdoor rave in the Upper Galilee. Police suspect at least one of the deaths was due to a drug overdose, Haaretz reported.

Around the World
• Drip drip drip: Plenty of controversy at the UK Labour party’s national conference. Jewish delegates arrived with bodyguards. Marxists openly distributed material explaining “Why Israel is a racist state.” Plenty of Palestinian flags were waved. A Jewish event on the sidelines of the conference was cancelled after someone called in what turned out to be a phony bomb threat. See Anshel Pfeffer‘s account of the proceedings.

Meanwhile, party leader Jeremy Corbyn stoked more anger by praising antisemitic poet Ernest Jones and being photographed with an activist who wants Holocaust denial to be treated as free speech. And in a Channel 4 interview, Corbyn repeatedly refused to say whether he regretted working for Iran’s Press TV. Corbyn received “up to £20,000 for five appearances between 2009 and 2012.” Backstory at the Times of Israel.

Jeremy Corbyn is asked four times if he regrets working for Press TV – Iran's state funded broadcaster. pic.twitter.com/732Z2GlTtX

— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) September 25, 2018

• Drip drip drip: A poll picked up by the Times of London suggests Labour’s antisemitism problem will cost the party one million votes in Britain’s next elections.

• Drip drip drip: Corbyn says his Labour government “will recognise an independent state of Palestine as soon as we take office.”

• Jewish Chronicle: UK to ban Hezbollah political wing.

• Ireland’s public broadcaster, RTE, won’t punish staff refuse to attend — on “conscientious grounds” — the upcoming Eurovision song competition in Tel Aviv. According to the Jerusalem Post:

RTE said it did not believe any member of its staff had ever protested a Eurovision in the past. In 2012, the contest was held in Azerbaijan, and in 2009 it was held in Russia – both countries with questionable records on human rights.

• Per the JTA, “A letter from 55 U.S. House of Representatives Republicans to President Donald Trump asks him to direct the State Department to allow U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birth country on their passport.”


• If Spain recognizes Palestine as a state, would Israel recognize an independent Catalonia?

• German court powerless to stop Kuwait Airways anti-Israel policy.

• An Israeli student at Columbia U. says she’s being bullied by a Palestinian group, and the administration is failing to protect her.

• A Manhattan sukkah was vandalized with the words “Free Gaza.” Police are investigating it as a hate crime.

They continue to tell me that Israel hatred and Jew hatred are not the same thing.. They are wrong!

A sukkah was vandalized overnight in New York City. Disgraceful! pic.twitter.com/iAixoAI56K

— Leibel Mangel (@LeibelMangel) September 30, 2018

• A secret recording from 2013 surfaced in the Polish media of current Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki slamming ‘greedy’ Jewish, American hedge fun owners.

• Guess what hit the fan: Angered by a hair salon’s swastika logo, Taiwanese protesters urinated and defecated in front of the store.

• Hmmmmm. Per The Guardian, “The British newspaper industry’s trade body has said the government should force social media sites such as Facebook and Google to pay an annual financial levy to fund journalism, and set up a regulator that would force them to take legal responsibility for all the content on their platforms.”

Israeli Air Force• If you’re trying to make sense of Israeli and Russian head space over Syrian air space, here are a few questions: Does Putin have any reason to give up his leverage on Israel? Has Moscow ever had a crisis it didn’t try to exploit? Is the S-300 threat due to it’s power, or because it’ll be manned by Russians?

Is ugly antisemitism a factor in Russia’s reaction, the lies in its defense ministry report, or fears of the pro-Israel lobby penetrating “all the administrative structures of the Russian Federation, plus the mass media, plus the oligarchs, etc.”?

Further, can the US make Russia back off in the Middle East? And would Trump save Israel in the next war?

• A column in Germany’s most widely read newspaper, called for an end to trade with Iran in order to protect Israel. The Jerusalem Post picked up on a blunt commentary by Julian Ropcke, the foreign policy editor of Bild (German).

• In the name of peace, it is time to accept Israel’s possession of the Golan Heights, argue Spain’s former national security advisor Rafael Bardaji and Col. Richard Kemp, who commanded British forces in Afghanistan.

• UK Labour pains made for plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels. For a a sense of what they’re saying, see Eve Garrard, Ronald Lauder, Robert Philpot, Margaret Hodge, Colin Shindler, Daniel Finkelstein, Gisela Stuart and Tom Gross.

Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
• Peace processing:
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Dealing with Iran must come first
– Ron Prosor: Forcing Iran’s allies to face the truth
– Avi Issacharoff: Cornered by US and Israel, Abbas could pull plug on Gaza — and start a war
– Benny Avni: Abbas says no to peace
– Vivian Bercovici: No hope for Mideast peace if the Palestinians won’t renounce terrorism
– Abdulrahman al-Rashed: Closing down Palestinian embassy in Washington: End of the cause?
– Orly Azoulay: Trump’s UN speech was the worst thing for Israel
– Marc Schulman: Why Donald Trump is dangerous for Israel
– Oren Liebermann: Trump’s new position on two-state solution won’t budge Israelis or Palestinians
– Colin Rubenstein: Trump should encourage a more conciliatory Palestinian leadership
– Bassam Tawil: Israel’s ‘nationality’ law and Palestinian lies

• Credit to Netanyahu for raising the alarm on Iran. But as Einat Wilf points out, the last few days have been lousy for anyone trying to make a splash with American public opinion.

I Must admit that at this very moment, I am much more gripped by terror watching the testimony of #ChristineBlaseyFord knowing that what she describes remains a clear and present danger faced by every girl, than learning of yet another nuclear facility somewhere in Iran.

— Dr. Einat Wilf (@EWilf) September 27, 2018

• Here’s what else I’m reading:

– Asaf Romirowsky: Normalizing antisemitism
– Yoram Ettinger: American aid to Israel is a sound investment
– Michael Makovsky, Charles Ward: Beating back Iran’s aggression by supporting Israel
– Emily Schrader: Qatar’s cynical PR strategy: AJ+
– Mohammed Samhouri: The Gaza disengagement: Personal reflections on a missed opportunity

Featured image: CC BY Giuseppe Milo; Merkel CC BY EU2017EE Estonian Presidency; Kosovo via Wikimedia Commons; WhatsApp CC BY-NC pngimg.com; soldiers CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces; passport CC0 Pixabay; Air Force via Wikimedia Commons; Abbas via YouTube/United Nations;

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