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Post  Admin on Tue 14 Aug 2018, 8:40 pm

Israel Asks US to Ease Up on UNRWA Aid Cuts

Today’s Top Stories
money1. Fearing a Gaza crisis, Israel has asked the US to ease up on cutting funds to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which provides humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees:

Israeli defense officials relayed that cutting UNRWA’s budget could be extremely problematic, saying that while Israel had no objection to cutting the agency’s budget in the West Bank because other organizations would fill the void, no such organizations could do the same in Gaza.

Israel’s declared position, as expressed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is that “UNRWA needs to pass from this world” and that responsibility for the Palestinian refugee issue should be transferred to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the body that deals with all other refugee matters in the world.

With that, Israeli defense officials and politicians have expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, in part because any health or sanitation crisis there would immediately affect Israel. Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that contamination does not stop at the border.

2. A last-minute funding compromise between the government and Israel’s public broadcaster enables Israel to keep Eurovision hosting rights.

Under a last-minute compromise agreement announced on Channel 10 News on Tuesday morning, the Finance Ministry and the [Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation] decided that a special loan would be taken out to provide the EBU guarantee. The loan will not be funded with taxpayer money, but through a private body that has not been identified, Channel 10 reported.

Eurovision 2019

3. The controversy over Jeremy Corbyn’s homage to the terrorists responsible for Munich Olympics Massacre escalated. See below for the continuing fallout.

4. En-Thralled with BDS: A 10,000-word diatribe bends, breaks and hides the truth about the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

Join us. Make a difference. SIGN UP

Israel and the Palestinians
• The PA is pushing a new initiative to remove or suspend Israel from the United Nations over the controversial nation-state law.

• Are Israel and Hamas close to a cease fire deal? An unidentified Israeli source told the Los Angeles Times a deal is “virtually done.”

• Israeli cabinet ministers reportedly reject plan to return PA control to Gaza.

• An Israeli cabinet minister confirmed that Prime Minister secretly visited Egypt in May to discuss a possible long-term ceasefire in Gaza. Israeli media reports cited by Reuters said the two also discussed easing the Gaza blockade and rehabilitating its infrastructure.

building campaign

• The IDF discovered another network of Hamas hackers using false identities of attractive young women and infected apps to target soldiers.

• In a series of West Bank raids, the IDF shut down a firearms-making workshop, seized guns and arrested 21 Palestinians.

• Poll: Israeli and Palestinian support for two-state solution at lowest level in nearly 20 years.

• Evergreen headline: PA again vows to continue paying prisoners, families of ‘martyrs.’
Peter Beinart
• Peter Beinart, a columnist and prominent voice of liberal American Jewry, was pulled aside for questioning at Ben Gurion Airport “and interrogated for an hour about his political views, before being allowed to enter Israel.” The Shin Bet subsequently apologized and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Beinart’s questioning an “administrative mistake.”

In recent months, Jewish notables of different stripes entering the country have been pulled aside and questioned, such as philanthropist Meyer Koplow, IfNotNow founder Simone Zimmerman and author Moriel Rothman-Zecher.
Beinart, a contributor to CNN, The Atlantic, and Haaretz, is often critical of Israeli policies. He described the incident in The Forward. Social media sympathy was widespread, but not unanimous.
Eugene Kontorovich
 Dude, I hate to break it to you, you weren't detained. You were questioned at the airport. The whole thing lasted an hour. You weren't a prisoner of conscience, or any other kind of prisoner. I know a lot of right-wingers that get questioned longer.
Peter Beinart
On being detained yesterday at Ben Gurion airport https://forward.com/opinion/408066/peter-beinart-i-was-detained-at-ben-gurion-airport-because-of-my-beliefs/
5:24 PM - Aug 13, 2018
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• Argentina blames Gaza violence on Palestinians.

• Fatah’s official Facebook page honored Japanese terrorist Kozo Okamoto. He, along with two other terrorists, carried out the 1972 Lod Massacre, opening fire on travelers in Lod Airport. Twenty six people were killed and 80 others were injured. Okamoto was eventually released in a 1985 prisoner swap and currently lives in Lebanon. Japan has a warrant for Okamoto’s arrest but Lebanese officials have ignored Tokyo’s extradition requests.

• In an interview with Saudi media, ex-Mossad chief Tamir Pardo said he doubted Russia could remove Iran from Syria, and suggested international sanctions on Lebanon to weaken Hezbollah.

• Manila confirmed that firebrand Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte will visit Israel in September.
Rodrigo Duterte
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte
• Defense Minister is in the process of selecting the next IDF chief of staff. Haaretz looks at the four generals who interviewed for the military’s top job. Eyal Zamir, Yair Golan, Aviv Kochavi, and Nitzan Alon are all vying to replace Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who is retiring on January 1.

Around the World
• The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator unspin UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s contradictory explanations for his homage to the Palestinian Black September terrorists responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre. Corbyn told Sky News, “I was present when it was laid, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”
Luciana Berger
 Being “present” is the same as being involved. When I attend a memorial, my presence alone, whether I lay a wreath or not, demonstrates my association & support. There can also never be a “fitting memorial” for terrorists. Where is the apology? https://twitter.com/skynewspolitics/status/1028991144896684032

Sky News Politics
Jeremy Corbyn admits he was present at a wreath-laying memorial for Palestinian activists thought to have been behind the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.

He said: "I was present when it was laid, I don't think I actually was involved in it."https://news.sky.com/story/jeremy-corbyn-thinks-he-did-not-lay-wreath-to-palestinian-activists-11471739 …

3:34 PM - Aug 13, 2018
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• Daily Mail: The so-called “peace conference” Corbyn attended before the graveside ceremony “featured speeches by terror chiefs who called violence ‘magnificent’ and compared Israel to ISIS,” a reference to Islamic State. Here’s just one of the chestnuts that was said in Corbyn’s presence.

At the event in Tunisia, top Hamas leader Oussama Hamdan presented a ‘four point vision to fight against Israel’ and praised the group’s ‘great success on the military and national levels’, adding that the violence was ‘magnificent’.

• The controversy escalated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Corbyn taking shots at each other on Twitter. It’s not normal for the prime minister to get involved in a domestic British affair. The BBC explains the significance of their exchange:

[Corbyn’s] supporters say the purpose of Benjamin Netanyahu’s message is to shut down that sort of criticism of Israel’s actions.

But his critics will argue that the fact such a senior figure has got involved in Labour’s internal row over anti-Semitism shows how urgently the party needs to resolve an issue that has been hanging over it for months.
 Israeli PM @Netanyahu's claims about my actions and words are false.

What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.https://twitter.com/netanyahu/status/1029046307481153542 …

Benjamin Netanyahu
The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between

7:39 PM - Aug 13, 2018
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• The Times of Israel takes a closer look at Corbyn’s chief spin doctor, Seumas Milne. Before becoming Labour’s director of communications, he was editor of The Guardian’s Comment is Free section. Here’s the money quote that validates Jewish gripes with Comment is Free during its six years under Milne:

“I never regarded him as a journalist, but as a propagandist,” says a former Guardian colleague. “The basics of reporting both sides of an argument were anathema to him.”

Seumas Milne
Seumas Milne, Labour’s director of strategy and communications
• Judge says he’s likely to dismiss suit accusing San Francisco State U. of antisemitism.

• Jewish leaders question timing of EU summit on Yom Kippur. Was the the Salzburg confab’s scheduling a deliberate move or just insensitive?

• German police are investigating after the Israeli and US embassies in Berlin received threatening letters with white powder last month.

• American Jewish philanthropist and activist Ronald Lauder is worried about Israel-diaspora ties. Shmuel Rosner‘s response makes me go hmmmmm.

Shmuel Rosner
 Lauder has valid points, but falls flat with this: He wants Israel changed because it complicates USJews effort to keep youngsters enthusiastic about heritage. Tough luck. This is US responsibility. Israelis will not take blame for failure

NYT Opinion
Ronald Lauder: Israel, this is not who we are https://nyti.ms/2MiWHnV 

12:30 PM - Aug 14, 2018
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Jonathan Spyer: Israel’s interest in the US-backed enclave in eastern Syria
– Jonathan Tobin: The Gaza conundrum and the two-state solution
– Yaakov Lappin: Hamas is taking the region to the brink of war
– Yossi Mekelberg: One step forward, two steps back in Gaza
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: How will the International Criminal Court view new evidence regarding Gaza Beach war crimes?
– Amy Spiro: Eurovision spat isn’t Israel’s “hallelujah” moment
– James Sorene: Even pro-Palestinian activists are appalled by Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Israel

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND greenzowie; money CC0 Pixabay; Beinart via YouTube/#NANYC; Duterte via Wikimedia Commons; Milne via YouTube/Captain Corleone;

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Post  Admin on Sun 12 Aug 2018, 10:54 pm

Jeremy Corbyn Laid Wreath For Munich Olympics Terrorists

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Damaging photos from 2014 surfaced showing Jeremy Corbyn at a tribute event for Palestinian “martyrs” — including the plotters responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes during the 1972 Munich games. The Daily Mail reports that Corbyn even laid a wreath.
The massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics was among the first news stories I followed closely at the age of 6. It had a huge impact on me. How many layers of justification does it take to honor the killers as martyrs? https://buff.ly/2M8bceW

7:39 PM - Aug 11, 2018

Corbyn holds wreath for Palestine 'martyrs' tied to Munich massacre
Jeremy Corbyn seen in 2014 holding a wreath at a cemetery in Tunis honouring Palestinians, just a few feet from where terror leaders of the Black September group are buried.

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2. The rocket fire came to an end, but it was business as usual for thousands of Palestinians who resumed the “March of Return” clashes along the Gaza border. Palestinians threw firebombs and rocks at soldiers and incendiary balloons were let loose. Haaretz coverage.

Meanwhile, an unusually large incendiary kite from Gaza landed on power lines near Kibbutz Sufa on Friday. Workers from the Israeli Electric Corporation removed the burning device from the four meter (13 foot) kite before the fire could spread. More at the Times of Israel.

3. National Public Radio: The Trump administration may soon cut suspended aid to Palestinians. More on the story at Foreign Policy, which says the the amount to be withheld is “up to $200 million.”

Our strength is grass roots.

4. HR Visits the Gaza Border: HonestReporting visited kibbutzim near the Gaza border. By reminding ourselves of who and what Israel is defending, the truth comes into proper focus.

5. Casualty Counts as a Moral Barometer and Virtue Signalling: In a 558-word column, virtue signaling at the expense of Israel is, unfortunately, a lot easier than conflict resolution.

6. A Night of Rockets and Headline Fails: While Hamas fired rockets and Israel responded, you won’t believe the headlines some editors came up with.

7. If more Palestinians die than Israelis, does that mean that Israel is to blame? HR’s Daniel Pomerantz and former Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer debate on i24News.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas arrested a Salafi cell it said was responsible for firing a Grad rocket which landed in Beersheva on Thursday.

• Hamas tried to hack Israelis with a fake rocket warning app.

• YNet takes a closer look at UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov, the man trying to save Gaza.

• Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers traced the false photo of a Gaza toddler killed during an Israeli airstrike to the Instagram account of Dr. Basem Naim. He’s the head of the Council on International Relations in Gaza, as well as the Strip’s former Health Minister.

(((Kay Wilson)))
The kid allegedly murdered by the #Israel is a random pict from #instagram--she lives in LA, and is fine. Oh, her name is Elle, not Bayan #Hamas #IsraelUnderFire

7:34 PM - Aug 9, 2018
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• It’s been 17 years since a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 15 people inside a busy Jerusalem restaurant. Palestinian Media Watch noted the August 9 anniversary of the attack known as the Sbarro’s bombing with a look at the PA terror stipends paid out to the people involved in the attack. Here’s a by the numbers look:

– $294,332: total money paid by the PA to the three Palestinians involved in the attack and their families
– $50,124: Money paid to the family of the suicide bomber, Izz al-Din Al-Masri
– $52,681: Money paid to Ahlam Tamimi, who planned the attack and brought Al-Masri to Jerusalem
– $52,681: Money paid to Abdallah Barghouti, who built Al-Masri’s bomb vest
– 15: people killed in the bombing
– 7: children among the dead
– 130: people injured

Israeli-Arabs cast their votes at a polling station in the Arab town of Beit Safafa, on March 17, 2015, in the Israeli general elections for the 20th parliament. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90
• Worth reading: Journalist Matti Friedman profiles Ramadan Dabash, who is vying to become the first Palestinian to take a seat on the Jerusalem city council. Municipal elections are on October 30.

Over the past five years or so, watching from west Jerusalem, it’s been clear that remarkable changes are afoot in the city’s human landscape. Not long ago, it was unheard-of to see Palestinian salespeople in Israeli stores. Now it’s commonplace. Palestinian enrollment at Hebrew University is up dramatically, as are requests for Israeli citizenship. The number of East Jerusalem wage earners employed in West Jerusalem is now estimated at close to 50 percent. The trend is driven not by good will but by economic interests: by demand for labor in Jewish Jerusalem, and by a lack of better options for Palestinians. . .

Following all of this makes you more aware of the peculiarities and paradoxes on which the city rests. One, for example, is that the movement on the Israeli side is coming not from the conciliatory left but from the nationalist right. The left traditionally hoped that one day East Jerusalem would be transferred to Palestinian rule and wouldn’t be Israel’s problem — hardly an incentive to invest. The right, on the other hand, believes the whole city must remain under Israeli control, and thus has an interest in making a united city more viable.

• Over in South America (part 1): The new government of Colombia is reviewing former President Juan Manuel Santos’ recognition of Palestine shortly before he stepped down from office. Days before President Ivan Duque was sworn in, Santos sent a letter to the Palestinian representative in Colombia recognizing “Palestine” as “free, independent and sovereign state,” Reuters reports. Duque previously said that he is open to moving Colombia’s embassy to Jerusalem.

Israel Brazil flags• Over in South America (part 2): Brazilian presidential front-runner vows to move embassy to Jerusalem and close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.

“Is Palestine a country? Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here,” Jair Bolsonaro, a lawmaker from the Social Liberal Party, said Tuesday when the National Congress reopened after a three-week recess. “You do not negotiate with terrorists.” . . .

The South American country recognized Palestine as an independent state in 2010 as part of former far-left President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva’s alignment with extremist governments such as Iran and Libya.

• Over in South America (part 3): Is South America turning pro-Israel?

• The Los Angeles Times and the Times of Israel take a closer look at Israel’s public relations battle.

• Ten months on, a Palestinian school built with Belgian aid is still named after terrorist who massacred 38 people. Dalal Mughrabi was the key figure in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre.

building campaign

Window Into Israel
• Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein made some waves for refusing to sign an Israeli Arab MK’s resignation letter which was written in Arabic. The Washington Post neglects to mention that Edelstein sent Wael Younis’ letter to the Knesset translation department and then signed the document.

• The State Comptroller is probing why a gas processing platform for Israel’s largest offshore gas field is only 10 km (about six miles) away the coast. The Times of Israel reports that critics citing safety and health concerns want it moved 125 km (78 miles) out to sea. The government says the closer location is easier to protect. And Noble Energy says the project as it is now is irreversible. Sigh.

offshore gas
An aeriel view of the Israeli ‘Tamar’ gas processing rig 24 km off the Israeli southern coast of Ashkelon. Noble Energy and Delek are the main partners in the Tamar gas field, estimated to contain 10 trillion cubic feet of gas. June 23, 2014. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90
Around the World
• Key allies of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are urging him to accept the IHRA definition in full or face what Politico calls “or face a potentially catastrophic rupture in the party.”

• A pair of Jeremy Corbyn videos also surfaced in recent days that aren’t going to help him make nice with angry Jewish community leaders. In 2013 video, Corbyn said Palestinians live “under occupation of the very sort that would be recognized by many people in Europe” during World War II, the Times of Israel reports.

A separate video from 2012 shows Corbyn applauding antisemitic poetry at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign meeting. The Campaign Against Antisemitism fills in the background.
EXCLUSIVE - In 2013 @JeremyCorbyn spoke at an event hosted by the Palestinian Return Centre in which he made a direct comparison between Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the Nazi occupation of Europe during WW2. Watch until the end…

11:41 AM - Aug 10, 2018
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• The Daily Telegraph reports that the Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, is also under fire for comments made in 2012 about Israel “genocide” against the Palestinians.

• Leaked Labour papers reveal scale of challenge to tackle antisemitism. Internal party documents seen by The Guardian indicate that there are more antisemitic incidents than the party can effectively investigate and discipline.

Around 70 cases are believed to be pending. However, the papers reveal only a minority were considered by the NEC because of time constraints. At least three of the most serious cases of antisemitism were referred to Labour’s highest disciplinary body for possible expulsion.

• The Norwegian daily paper Dagbladet, is refusing to remove an anti-Semitic Netanyahu cartoon

The image, from the poison pen of cartoonist Finn Griff, depicts the PM, whose body is shaped like a Nazi swastika, punching a Druze off a “whites only” bench. The cartoon online illustrates a commentary by columnist Jan-Erik Smilden. If you understand Norwegian, post your thoughts on Smilden in the comments section below. Ambassador Raphael Schutz is demanding an apology.
Raphael Schutz

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Post  Admin on Wed 08 Aug 2018, 9:51 pm

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Birthright Students Tell All

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Today’s Top Stories
*** BREAKING NEWS *** The IDF reports shots fired at civilian construction vehicles near the Gaza border. Developing . . .

Birthright1. It’s been about a month since a number of students walked out of Birthright, protesting what they said was a lack of balance. The other students of that Birthright group took to the Jerusalem Post to explain what really happened and why they stayed. I’m encouraged that Generation Z Jews are speaking up and taking back the media’s narrative of their experience.

The narrative being portrayed in the media and the carefully selected scenes from a particularly frustrating bus ride do not fully capture our group’s willingness, even eagerness, to discuss the conflict.

It became apparent only after the walkout that everything had been premeditated. Four of the six protesters had already been working prior to the trip with IfNotNow, an activist group with the goal of changing how Birthright presents the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It did not matter that the reality of our group and our tour guide did not match with the experience that this organization led them to believe they would have with a staunchly pro-Israel and even Islamophobic guide. The efforts of our guide and our group leaders to create space for dialogue were not enough for them . . .

One of the fundamentals of being a good Jew is to be inquisitive. We are taught to ask questions and to debate, but also to be open-minded. We support the activists’ right to speak their beliefs, but we do not support the method by which they were expressed. We wish they had chosen to stay on our trip and had continued the conversation that we began on our first night in a more productive and friendly way.

Daniel Sugarman
If you unhesitatingly promoted the viewpoint of the six Birthright participants who flounced off their trip, surely you have an obligation to share this, from other participants on that very same tour bus.https://m.jpost.com/Opinion/Why-we-stayed-on-our-Birthright-trip-564269 …

7:46 AM - Aug 8, 2018

Why we stayed on our Birthright trip
Everything had been premeditated. The protesters had already been working prior to the trip with IfNotNow, an activist group with the goal of changing how Birthright presents the conflict.

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2. Ahmed Abu Artema, the Palestinian who spearheaded Gaza’s “March of Return,” says the Palestinians have “lost the battle for public opinion.” More at the Times of Israel and MEMRI (video or transcript). Does this strike you as a cautious dig at Hamas, or doublespeak.

“[The ‘Return March’] has been an attempt to create a certain model. Unfortunately, we have lost the battle for public opinion in the Return March, when it became associated in people’s minds with blood and the loss of limbs . . . The images of torn limbs, wounded people, blood, and martyrs are very painful, and must drive us to reexamine all our tactics and to invent new ones.”

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

3. Trying to resolve the issue of haredi army conscription, the government had asked the Supreme Court for seven months to come up with new legislation. Instead, the court gave lawmakers three. The ruling raises expectations of early elections, with Gil Hoffman already forecasting Israelis going to the polls in early 2019. More at Israel HaYom.

4. Video: The New Face of Palestinian Protest: Ahed Tamimi: An AJ+ interview with Ahed Tamimi glorified the Palestinian teen. Here’s what the network didn’t say about the new protest icon.

Israel and the Mideast
• Just before this roundup was published, the IDF raised its level of alert after Hamas personnel were seen evacuating positions along the Gaza border. Yesterday, two Hamas snipers who opened fire on Israeli soldiers were killed. The IDF closed several roads near the border but issued no special instructions for residents.

• To Israeli consternation, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders met with Russian officials in Moscow.

• Russia and Israel reached an understanding to preserve the 1974 Golan buffer zone.

• US official to Haaretz: Trump’s peace plan will cause discomfort to both Israel and Palestinians.

building campaign

• French President Emmanuel Macron cancelled a previously postponed visit to Israel. “Paris did not provide a reason for the cancellation, but it is likely tied to the political crisis Macron is facing at home after his bodyguard was filmed assaulting May Day protesters.”

• UN peacekeepers monitoring the Israel-Lebanon border have new Italian commander. Per the Associated Press, “Maj.-Gen. Stefano Dal Col takes over from outgoing Irish army Maj.-Gen. Michael Beary as the new head of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.

• As debate over the Nation State Law continues, all eyes are turning towards Israel’s Supreme Court. Could the justices overturn it? Meanwhile, lawmakers interrupted their summer hiatus for a special parliamentary session to discuss the law. Per Ynet, “Only five members of the coaliton showed up for the discussion, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu notably absent.”

• The Times of Israel takes a deeper look at the Druze community and its grievances with the Nation State Law.

Around the World
• Israel’s envoy to Norway slammed an ‘anti-Semitic’ swastika cartoon of Netanyahu published in Dagbladet, one of the country’s leading dailies.

The image, from the poison pen of cartoonist Finn Griff, depicts the PM, whose body is shaped like a Nazi swastika, punching a Druze off a “whites only” bench. The cartoon online illustrates a commentary by columnist Jan-Erik Smilden. If you understand Norwegian, post your thoughts on Smilden in the comments section below. Ambassador Raphael Schutz is demanding an apology.

View image on Twitter

Raphael Schutz ????
Today in @dagbladet, an example of the most repulsive imaginable #antisemitic imagery, with Israeli PM portrayed as a Nazi swastika punching off a Druze Israeli from a ‘whites only’ bench.
We demand dagbladet to remove this sickening image and apologize!

5:34 PM - Aug 7, 2018
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• A seven-year-old video surfaced of then-backbencher Jeremy Corbyn on Iran’s Press TV saying that the BBC “has a bias towards saying that…Israel has a right to exist” and heavy Israeli pressure on the news service. More at the Times of Israel and the Daily Telegraph. The latter explains its significance:

Mr Corbyn’s remarks prompted further warnings from Jewish leaders amid claims his comments may fall foul of the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism if it they were made now.

The guidance states it is anti-Semitic to: “Deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

• In a statement, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance warned the UK Labour party not to alter its working definition of antisemitism.

Any ‘modified’ version of the IHRA definition that does not include all of its 11 examples is no longer the IHRA definition. Adding or removing language undermines the months of international diplomacy and academic rigour that enabled this definition to exist. If one organisation or institution can amend the wording to suit its own needs, then logically anyone else could do the same. We would once again revert to a world where antisemitism goes unaddressed simply because different entities cannot agree on what it is.

• Kuwait Airways paid damages after an Israeli was barred from boarding a flight at London’s Heathrow Airport.

• Having won Michigan’s primary elections, Rashida Tlaib is set to become the first Palestinian-American congresswoman.

• Some of the world’s leading Holocaust experts want to help Mark Zuckerberg solve Facebook’s denial dilemma. Will Zuck take up their offer?


• For commentary on the domestic scene, Ariel Bolstein, Sara Greenberg and Uri Heitner weigh in on the nation state law. And Daniel Gordis has what to say about a number of Israeli free speech issues.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Raphael Ahren: Fractured union: Israel has all but given up on the EU
– Ron Kampeas: Israel is suspected again of assassinating an enemy’s rocket scientist. Do these killings pay off?
– Yaakov Lappin: Deadly Gaza border incident underlines short path to escalation
– Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: The Iranian regime is in deep trouble

Featured image: CC BY-ND chinatown news; Facebook CC BY mkhmarketing;

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Post  Admin on Tue 07 Aug 2018, 3:32 pm

Fake Russian Twitterers Sought to Influence US-Israel Ties

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Today’s Top Stories
internet troll1. Fake Russian social media accounts sought to influence US-Israel ties. “The tweets concerning Israel were part of a set of 2,973,371 Twitter posts from fake accounts compiled by the Clemson researchers and uploaded to the internet in concert with the FiveThirtyEight website.”

Researchers from Clemson University found that of nearly three million posts flagged as being from fake accounts out of so-called Russian troll farms, tens of thousands of them had to do with Israel and the broader region.

Sixty percent of the posts on Israel worked to bolster the relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, oftentimes while criticizing former American president Barack Obama, the researchers found . . .

The Russian accounts were not trying to influence the Israeli conversation, but rather the American one, where the Jewish state has become a more polarizing issue, the researchers determined.

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2. The IDF shelled a Hamas position after soldiers on patrol came under fire mid-day. Two Hamas men were killed and six others were injured; no Israeli forces were hurt. The army also released some footage.

According to the reports, the Israeli attack hit a graduation ceremony of al-Qassam fighters at Hamas’ Askelan base. Senior Hamas figures were reportedly in attendance. The Gaza Health Ministry confirmed the two deaths.

As for what this means for ceasefire talks, it’s hard to say. Cabinet ministers quoted by Associated Press and Reuters (before the incident) suggested that A) the ceasefire will be limited to simply restoring calm and not rehabilitate Gaza, and B) Egypt needs to step up its involvement with the Strip.

· 6h
Replying to @IDFSpokesperson
The IDF is prepared to target any aggression against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for everything happening in and emanating from the Gaza Strip.

Raw footage: Hamas terrorists shooting at IDF troops from an outpost in the Gaza Strip pic.twitter.com/3ybzw8w3jW

9:57 AM - Aug 7, 2018

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3. Sky News Australia fired talk show host Adam Giles, suspended his show and apologized after a radical racist was invited to discuss his views on immigration and politics.

The skeletons in guest Blair Cottrell’s closet include calling for Hitler’s portrait to be displayed in Australian classrooms, staging a mock beheading to protest the construction of a mosque, plus convictions for arson and stalking. The interview prompted a backlash from advertisers, the resignation of one of the station’s commentators in protest, and plenty of outcry from both the Jewish community and Sky News Australia staffers — most notably reporter Laura Jayes. The fallout also drew attention to Facebook’s decision not to suspend Cottrell’s account over rape comments directed at Jayes.

I’ll give the last word to Craig Emerson, who explained why he quit in protest:

A Sky anchor wishing a neo-Nazi all the best in his endeavours is yet another step in the mainstreaming of racism and bigotry in our country.

Sky News Australia

Israel and the Mideast
• Israeli media was abuzz after a Mossad official confirmed to the New York Times that Israel was responsible for the assassination of a Syrian chemical weapons and rocket expert on Saturday. Dr. Aziz Asbar was “bent on amassing an arsenal of precision-guided missiles that could be launched with pinpoint accuracy against Israeli cities hundreds of miles away”

The Israelis believed that Mr. Asbar led the secret unit known as Sector 4 at the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center. He was said to have free access to the presidential palace in Damascus and had been collaborating with Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, and other Iranians to begin production of precision-guided missiles in Syria by retrofitting heavy Syrian SM600 Tishreen rockets.

• US sanctions against Iran went into effect, restricting Iranian access to US currency and precious metals and hitting financial institutions that trade or hold Iranian currency. A second phase of stronger sanctions is due to go into effect in November targeting Iran’s oil and shipping sectors as well as anyone doing business with the Central Bank of Iran. See Wall St. Journal coverage (click via Twitter).

Israeli officials praised the development.

Dan Williams
Israel’s defence minister, in meta-trolling mode, wishes Sacha Baron Cohen would spoof European leaders and “maybe understand the insanity” prompting their opposition to U.S. sanctions on Iran.

אביגדור ליברמן
איפה סשה ברון כהן כשצריך שיתחפש לאייתולה איראני ויילך להיפגש עם מנהיגי אירופה? אולי הוא יצליח להבין מה השיגעון שאחז בהם. אירופה פועלת להציל את כלכלת איראן ואת משטר האייתולות, שאחראי על שורת פיגועי טרור ונסיונות פיגוע על אדמת אירופה, כולל בתקופה האחרונה. פשוט טירוף.

5:26 PM - Aug 6, 2018
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• Will incendiary kites spread to the West Bank? Probably not.

The wind patterns in Judea and Samaria, as well as the close proximity of Palestinians and Israelis, make such attacks prohibitive, Vaknin said.

The wind is just as likely to blow the incendiary objects into Palestinian areas as it is to push them into Israeli ones, he said. In contrast, the wind in Gaza almost always blows eastward from the Mediterranean Sea toward Israel, he added.

• One consequence of the US embassy move to Jerusalem: Dozens of Palestinian security guards who work unarmed at the consulates in Jerusalem face possible layoffs. Haaretz reports that security demands for the new embassy require more armed security, but Israel will not grant weapons permits to the Palestinian guards. Haaretz adds that the guards may be shifted to other work.

building campaign

• Martin Kramer debunks a David Ben-Gurion fable that was published in the New York Times, and the paper stands by its error.

• Mahmoud Abbas has raised eyebrows with PA personnel moves over the last several days. The Media Line takes a closer look at what’s happening in Ramallah.

• An unprecedented archaeological survey of the Western Wall is certainly warranted after a stone slab recently fell out, landing dangerously close to a worshiper. What isn’t warranted is this click-bait Times of London headline that is not born out by the report. (Here’s Why Headlines Matter.)

The [Israel Antiquities Authority] is planning to survey the wall using lasers, ultrasound and underground sonar detectors to try to work out whether there are structural weaknesses and how they can be treated. In the past such work has been resisted out of concern that it may fuel religious tensions.

Times of London

Around the World
• Britain’s Green Party said it “reached out” to the Campaign Against Antisemitism to learn lessons and “respond accordingly” after a video surfaced on Left Foot Forward. In the video Shahrar Ali, one of three candidates now vying for leadership of the Green Party, is seen addressing a 2009 demonstration against Operation Cast Lead, comparing IDF activities to the Holocaust. As for Ali, he doubled down in a statement to the Evening Standard:

Shahrar Ali told us in a statement this morning: “The targetting of Green spokespersons with false accusations of anti-Semitism is designed to stifle legitimate criticism of the Israeli government. This form of deceit is especially dangerous as it sets back the cause of tackling all forms of racism and xenophobia, which are regrettably on the rise. It is imperative that the Green Party continue to speak out on behalf of all the oppressed and to challenge the perpetrators.”

• The UK Labour party dropped disciplinary action against MP Dame Margaret Hodge. She confronted party leader Jeremy Corbyn, calling him an antisemite and racist to his face. A second Labour MP who has also been critical of the party’s antisemitism, Ian Austin, however, still remains under investigation. The Jewish Chronicle updates that.

• The Campaign Against Antisemitism notes that soon after posting an article promising to “root antisemites out of Labour, Jeremy Corbyn’s Facebook page is awash with antisemitic comments, which are not being rooted out.

• Danish imam defends himself against hate speech charges by calling for jihad against Israel(!?)

• Guatemala dedicates weekly lottery prize to bilateral ties with Israel.

• Florida prosecutors add hate crime charges against a Miami man accused of trying to burn down a condominium building and “kill all the Jews” who lived there. Local reports say police also found “Nazi-themed materials” in the home of the defendant.

• Two recent incidents shed light on how BDS activists are trying to drive a wedge between American Jews and Israel by stoking internal divisions. Alexander Joffe explains how.

Jewish star

• Yemeni-Egyptian writer Dr. Elham Manea went to Israel and she doesn’t regret it.

• For domestic commentary, Mohammed Darawshe, Amos Yadlin and Gideon Allon weigh in on the nation state law.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– David Makovsky, Ghaith al-Omari: Arab leaders need to step up to avert war in Gaza (click via Twitter)
– Alex Fishman: Gaza ceasefire plan: Much ado about nothing
– Dr. Edy Cohen: When Palestinian blood isn’t equal
– Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman: Diplomacy backed by military force
– Ron Kampeas: Trump and his foreign policy team are on separate pages. What does it mean for Israel and Iran?


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Post  Admin on Mon 06 Aug 2018, 8:53 pm

Abbas Playing Spoiler for Gaza Ceasefire?
Today’s Top Stories
1. According to Mideast media reports, Hamas has agreed to a gradual ceasefire “that would begin with a halt to arson attacks and other violence along the Gaza border in exchange for eased border restrictions.” The Israeli cabinet was updated on the truce talks and the situation in the Strip yesterday, but ministers weren’t asked their opinions, per Israeli media reports.

Although Mahmoud Abbas has been sidelined in the Egypt-brokered discussions, Ynet reports Israeli cabinet ministers aren’t optimistic about the proposal because of the PA’s potential spoiler role:

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also hardening his positions. He remains intransigent to increasing the salaries of PA employees in Gaza and objects to the Egyptians’ proposals, which makes it all the more difficult to resume Palestinian reconciliation.

If Abbas refuses to take civil control of the Gaza Strip, it’s doubtful cash money could be brought into the strip to increase the residents’ purchasing power.

Therefore, the stage that is most likely to succeed is the first one, the ceasefire: Hamas will commit to stopping the launching of incendiary balloons and kites, and Israel will agree to reopen the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

Indeed, Hamas is already accusing Fatah of trying to thwart the ceasefire. And in response to the Israeli pessimism, the Hamas leadership held a meeting discussing battle-readiness.
Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
2. A raft of US sanctions on Iran are due to go into effect tomorrow after Washington pulled out of the nuclear accord. What’s in store?

Sanctions are due to return in two phases on August 6 and November 5 – with the first targeting Iran’s access to US banknotes and key industries including cars and carpets.

The second phase – blocking Iran’s oil sales – is due to cause more damage, although several countries including China, India and Turkey have indicated they are not willing to entirely cut their Iranian energy purchases.

Plenty of questions abound. Will the pressure force Tehran to renegotiate the deal? Will US allies follow? Will sanctions lead to mass Iranian protests against either the US or the ruling ayatollahs? What exactly is President Donald Trump’s strategy? Will Tehran lash out with attacks on US interests? And of more immediate concern to to Israelis, will Iran stir up terror against Israel by its proxies?
Dan Williams
Iran may respond to the reimposition of US sanctions by trying to stoke attacks on Israel from the Palestinian territories or by Hezbollah - Israeli security cabinet minister @YoavGallant to @EfiTriger @GLZRadio

5:29 AM - Aug 6, 2018
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3. According to Israel HaYom, the Trump administration is delaying the rollout of its long-anticipated Mideast peace plan till sometime after November’s mid-term congressional elections “because certain components of the plan call for Israeli concessions and could harm Republican candidates’ election bids,” and also in expectation of Israel going to early elections:

The official also said that if Israel goes to elections after the Jewish holidays this September, then the administration would postpone the peace plan even further, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be able to adopt certain aspects during an election campaign . . .

If Israel does not hold elections this year, a window of opportunity for unveiling Trump’s Middle East peace plan would be opened.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
In the News
• Poll: More than 60 percent of Palestinians support the PA’s rejection of the US as a mediator for peace talks.

• An arson kite landed in a West Bank settlement vineyard today. The fire was quickly extinguished and no damage was reported to the Tura winery, near Nablus.

• Israel released the first images of the sea barrier it is building to block attacks from Gaza. Why now? My guess is that it adds to the psychological pressure on Hamas amidst the ceasefire talks.

• The Daily Telegraph visited the Druze community of Daliyat el-Karmel to take the pulse of its opposition to the nation state law.

building campaign

• Still under fire for not adequately addressing UK Labour antisemitism, party leader Jeremy Corbyn released a video acknowledging the party is too slow in disciplining members.

However, the video didn’t address the standoff over Labour’s partial adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism. More on the story at the Daily Mail while the Times of London sums up the impasse over the definition:

Mr Corbyn has indicated that he is now ready to include in his party’s code three of the four examples of antisemitism given by the alliance. He will continue to insist, however, that it is not necessarily antisemitic to say that the existence of the state of Israel is a “racist endeavour”.

• Writing in the New Statesman, two of Britain’s top Jewish leaders, Marie van der Zyl and Jonathan Goldstein, disclose that they advised Corbyn not to release his statement on antisemitism on Friday afternoon, as it would be “an act of tremendous bad faith” just before the Sabbath.

• The vandalizing of Elie Wiesel’s childhood home with antisemitic graffiti is going to put pressure on Romania because it is the first incident to fall under the provisions of a recent law to combat antisemitism. New York Times coverage.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

CNN International
Vandals spray-painted hot-pink pejoratives on the childhood home of author, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel on Friday https://cnn.it/2OHz8mW

10:46 AM - Aug 6, 2018
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• Brown U. condemns ‘disturbing’ antisemitic incident on campus.

• “Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, is being accused of fostering anti-Semitism after publishing a controversial essay in a German-language theological journal.” The point of contention has to do with ““supersessionism,” but if I try explaining it, this roundup’s word count will go through the roof . . .

Pope Benedict
Pope Benedict holding his final general audience in 2013.
• For commentary on the domestic scene, Moshe Arens and Peter Lerner weigh in on the nation state law.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Pinhas Inbari: Stabilizing Israel-Hamas Relations in Gaza: Can It Be Achieved?
– Smadar Perry: Walking a tightrope: Negotiating a ceasefire deal with Hamas
– Charles Bybelezer: The Gaza conundrum
– Ron Prosor: UNIFIL has another chance to do its job
– Haisam Hassanein: Why younger Saudis won’t fund, facilitate or fight for a Palestinian state
– Seth Frantzman: Syrian scientist killing is a message to Assad and Tehran
– Yoav Limor: Syrian scientist neutralized at the last minute
– Robert Philpot: Do latest Corbyn disclosures show the rift in Labour now too wide to bridge?
– Anshel Pfeffer: Why Corbyn’s column on anti-Semitism won’t allay Jewish concerns
– Rod Liddle: Bigots of the world, unite!
– Dave Rich: Jeremy Corbyn needs to do much better to convince Jews he acts in good faith

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND gato-gato-gato; Abbas via YouTube/WION; Pope Benedict CC BY-NC-SA Catholic Church England and Wales;


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Post  Admin on Sun 05 Aug 2018, 8:22 pm

Is Long-Term Gaza Ceasefire Shaping Up?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Although no officials are confirming anything, Mideast media is swirling with reports of a Israel-Hamas ceasefire in the works. The gist of the coverage is that Hamas has agreed to an proposal brokered by Egypt and UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov for a 5-10 year ceasefire. The Israeli cabinet is meeting today for an update on the progress of talks; a vote on accepting the proposal is not expected for several days.

According to Hadashot, the first phase of the plan would see the Rafah border crossing with Egypt reopened on a permanent basis, and eased restrictions on the Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel.

The second phase of deal, according to Hadashot, would see an agreement between Hamas and Fatah that would see the Palestinian Authority take control of the Gaza Strip under the auspices of Egypt. It was not clear how this could be reconciled with Hamas’s refusal to relinquish its weaponry — a stance that has scuppered previous Fatah-Hamas reconciliation efforts.

In return, the PA would resume paying its employees in Gaza whose salaries it has withheld, the TV report said. The second phase also outlines a roadmap for elections to be held in Gaza within six months.

A third phase would implement long-proposed humanitarian projects like the establishment of a port in the Sinai in Egypt that would serve Gaza, the report said.

Marginalized by the activity, Fatah warned Hamas not to strike a truce of any kind with Israel. Ynet got some behind the scenes coverage.

One sticking point is the fate of two Israeli citizens and the bodies of two IDF soldiers held by Hamas. Hamas reportedly is willing to negotiate their return only after the implementation of the ceasefire, which worries the families of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oren Shaul. Also held in Gaza are two Israelis, Avraham Mengitsu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are mentally unstable and wandered across the border in separate incidents.

From left to right: Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, Avraham Mengitsu and Hisham al-Sayed
2. According to White House emails obtained by Foreign Policy, Jared Kushner is looking to remove the refugee status of millions of Palestinians and shut down the UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for aiding them.

“It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote about the agency in one of those emails, dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.

“This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he wrote . . .

In the same January email, Kushner wrote: “Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are. . . . Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”

More at at the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
3. Palestinian terror balloons from Gaza sparked 40 fires in southern Israel over the weekend. On balloon carrying flaming material was found on the roof of a home in Beersheva.

Meanwhile, a falcon tied to incendiary device was found dead in southern Israel near the Gaza border on Thursday evening.

Israel and the Palestinians
White House
• The Trump administration released millions in frozen aid to PA security forces. The unfrozen $42 million is earmarked only for Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation, the Times of Israel reported.

Meanwhile, the White House is putting together a policy team ahead of the unveiling of its long-awaited and little-known Mideast peace plan. AP calls this ” the first evidence in months that a plan is advancing.”

• The Israeli navy intercepted another boat trying to break the Gaza blockade. The Swedish-flagged “Freedom” was towed to Ashdod. The people aboard — including individuals from Canada, Sweden and Malaysia — are expected to be deported. Israel has blockaded Gaza since Hamas took over the Strip in 2007 in order to prevent weapons smuggling.

• Palestinians carjacked an Israeli in the West Bank, stranding him on the side of the road near Qalqilya. Palestinian police picked up 71-year-old Natan Said and his car was later found and returned. Said shared his story with Ynet.

• A Palestinian who saved Jewish kids after a terror attack is about to be kicked out of Israel, according to Israeli media reports.

The Palestinian man, who has not been named, received a temporary visa to live and work in Israel after receiving death threats in his home town near the West Bank city of Hebron.

In 2016, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on an Israeli car near Hebron, killing the driver, Rabbi Miki Mark and injuring his wife and daughter. A Palestinian, whose name was never publicized, offered assistance to the family. Shortly afterwards, the Palestinian Authority fired him from his public service job. The second Palestinian arriving at the scene, Dr. Ali Shroukh, also helped, making himself a target of Palestinian abuse as well.

building campaign

• With no anti-Israel record, does the head of the UN’s Gaza probe, David Crane, a sign that Israel may get fair treatment?

• Mahmoud Abbas appointed veteran spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh as deputy prime minister. According to the Jerusalem Post, “sources in Ramallah said the appointment was probably connected to reports about tensions between Abbas and [PA Prime Minister Rami] Hamdallah.”

Abbas also fired Issa Qaraqe, who heads the PLO’s Committee for Detainees and Ex-Detainees. Did it have anything to do with growing Israeli and US pressure on the PA to halt terror stipends to Palestinian terrorists and their families?

• Ibrahim al-Madhoun, director of the Hamas-run Youth Media Center, apologized for a recent Skype interview on i24 News Arabic. Madhoun had discussed the impact of UNRWA budget cuts on Palestinian refugees. Normalization is so taboo . . .

• Other countries abolished debtors’ prisons, but not Hamas. According to The Economist, debtors’ prisons in Gaza are full.


• Israeli fighter jets flew in Croatian victory parade, angering Serbia reports the Times of Israel. August 4 marked the anniversary of Operation Storm, the last major battle in Croatia’s 1995 war of independence against Serbia.

The participation of three Israeli F-16 Barak jets is taking place against a backdrop of Israeli-Croatian arms deals worth half a billion dollars. In January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced their plans to move forward with the sale of about 30 Israeli F-16s to Croatia.

The deal is expected to be completed by 2020.

Window Into Israel
• Some 50,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square for a Druze-led demonstration against the nation state law.

• AP takes a closer look at the five-year drought that’s confounding proponents of desalination, farmers and government officials.

• Standard & Poors upgraded Israel’s credit rating to to AA-, with a stable outlook, the best rating it has ever received from the international credit rating agency. Amiram Barkat explains how it happened and what its significance is.

• Good news: Eilat’s coral reef is growing.

Eilat’s coral reef
• For more commentary on domestic issues, Netanel Fisher, Zev Chafets and Prof. Abraham Diskin weigh in on the nation state law.

Around the World
• A scientist believed to be the head of Syria’s chemical weapons program was reportedly killed in car bombing on Saturday night, according to Arab reports picked up by the Times of Israel. If you’re wondering who the heck Dr. Aziz Asbar is, Seth Frantzman put together everything you need to know.

• An op-ed by embattled UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s reaching out to the Jewish community flopped. Published in The Guardian, Jews denounced Corbyn’s piece over the weekend because:

A) it wasn’t strong enough,
B) he suggested that it’s not racist to be anti-Zionist,
C) Corbyn copied-and-pasted one passage, nearly word-for-word, from a piece he wrote in April,
D) it was published online late Friday afternoon (5:30 PM, in fact) shortly before Shabbat, and in the paper’s Saturday print edition, making it impossible for Jews to respond. The Times of London explained the significance of that:

Most Friday evening services at synagogues around the country would have started an hour after the article was published. Many Jewish community leaders were therefore unavailable for comment. Some Orthodox Jews who observe the Sabbath strictly do not use electricity from sunset on Friday until Saturday night.

Stephen Pollard
So keen is Corbyn to engage with Jews that he publishes this (awful) piece on a Friday night, for a Saturday paper. So not a single observant Jew can engage with it. (And he did the same thing with the Chakrabarti report, announcing it Friday night.) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/03/jeremy-corbyn-antisemitism-labour-party?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

6:35 PM - Aug 3, 2018

I will root antisemites out of Labour – they do not speak for me | Jeremy Corbyn
Yes, there is a continuing problem. But the party will do whatever it takes to safeguard the Jewish community, says Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

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Before the piece was published, plans for Corbyn to address a Jewish audience collapsed.

• Corbyn faces a claim he allegedly called MP Dame Louise Ellman ‘the Honourable Member for Tel Aviv.’

• The Daily Mail takes a closer look at the imprisoned Hamas terrorists who Jeremy Corbyn referred to as “brothers” shortly after the 2012 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap.

• Britain’s press regulatory body IPSO (the Independent Press Standards Organization) sided with a “Jewish cabal” Labour member over Holocaust row. Guido Fawkes picked up on IPSO’s ruling.

• The Times of London takes a closer look at how the party finds ways to let off antisemitic Corbyn allies.

• BDS activists are pushing the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team to cut ties with a company that supplies sniper rifle scopes to the Israeli Defense Forces. The Oregonian reports:

In a press release sent out before the event, Katbi Smith said, “It is unacceptable for our hometown team to promote a company which provides sniper scopes to the IDF, a murderous death squad that upholds apartheid through continuous brutalization of Palestinians.” . . .

Katbi Smith said her group plans to “escalate this campaign with actions at future Blazers games and events.”

Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers’ All-Star Damian Lillard
• Hamzeh Daoud, the Stanford U. resident assistant who recently touched off a firestorm by saying he would “physically fight” resigned. Backstory at Inside Higher Ed.

• A European Union report details international web of Hezbollah terror funding.

• Elie Wiesel’s childhood home in Romania was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.
Jeremy Corbyn
• Lots of spilled ink and burnt pixels over Jeremy Corbyn and Labour antisemitism problem:

– Anshel Pfeffer: Why Corbynism is a threat to Jews throughout the Western world
– John McTernan: How anti-Semitism crept into Europe’s political mainstream
– Stephen Pollard: Corbyn is no ‘militant opponent’ of antisemitism – he is its ally
– Daniel Hannan: So now we know: the Left’s ‘anti-racism’ does not extend to solidarity with Jews
– Councillor Nickie Aiken: The view from Westminster
– Michael Segalov: Corbyn must step up and disown those who tolerate antisemitism
– Kyle Orton: The British Left’s meltdown over anti-Semitism should be a warning
– Jamie Rodney: The Labour party is no place for a Jew
– Jeremy Rosen: Jeremy Corbyn the Zionist
– Melanie Phillips: UK Jewish community leaders lose the plot on antisemitism, hate and lies
– Henry Zeffman: Corbyn has led Labour into nightmare of his own making

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Zvi Bar’el: Hamas stands to emerge dominant from possible Gaza deal — at Abbas’ expense
– Yoav Limor: ISIS is alive and kicking on the Golan
– Elior Levy: Iran’s $100 million aid to Hamas and Islamic Jihad
– Doron Ella: China supplies weapons to Israel’s enemies
– William Jacobson: Ahed Tamimi’s mother calls out “racism” of Ahed’s Western supporters
– Rachel Avraham: Pakistan’s new prime minister: Good for Israel?

Featured image: CC BY zoetnet; White House CC0 Pxhere; prison CC BY-NC-ND Mr.Kitsadakron Pongha; Eilat CC BY-NC-ND yoel_tw; Trail Blazers via YouTube/NBA; Corbyn via YouTube/VICE News;


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Post  Admin on Fri 03 Aug 2018, 8:34 am

Israel Kills ISIS Terrorists At the Syrian Border

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Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF killed seven Islamic State terrorists approaching the Israel-Syria border overnight. The military said it had tracked the seven for some time and launched an airstrike when they were in the buffer zone between the two countries. They were killed approximately 700 feet (200 meters) from the border. The Jerusalem Post reported that “elite IDF troops found seven bodies with grenades, 5 Kalashnikov rifles and suicide vests, among other items.”

Meanwhile, reports cited by Haaretz said that “Russia plans to deploy military police on the Golan Heights and set up eight monitoring posts to avoid any possible provocations there.” And the Russian Defense Ministry announced that UN peacekeepers returned to the Israeli-Syrian border for the first time in several years.
Jeremy Corbyn
2. The UK Labour party’s antisemitism woes made for bad press, damaging revelations and exclusive scoops almost everywhere you looked today:
> The Independent disclosed provocative emails by Momentum activists claiming “Jews ‘manufactured’ some of the antismemitism to exploit to ‘generate an atmosphere of insecurity’ because ‘Zionists’ want to ‘exploit and generate the fear of antisemitism.'”
> The Jewish Chronicle went undercover to a meeting of Corbyn’s allies.
> The Times of Israel reported that Corbyn supported a 2011 parliamentary motion for Holocaust Memorial Day to be renamed ‘Genocide Memorial Day.’
> The Times Times of London unearthed more Corbyn comments comparing Israel and Nazi Germany as well as an awkward leaflet promoting the 2010 Holocaust Memorial Day event he hosted.
> The Daily Telegraph reports that Corbyn instructed police at that Holocaust memorial event to throw out any Jewish activists speaking up for Israel.
> On top of all that, staff editorials in The Independent and Daily Telegraph harshly condemned Corbyn and Labour. And columnist Sam Greenhill wondered if Corbyn’s past Israel slurs are the reason he has refuses to align Labour with the widely recognized definition of anti-Semitism.
Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

3. As Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen threaten to close the Bab al-Mandab strait at the mouth of the Red Sea, Israel said it would join an international coalition to keep the waterway open. An Iranian closure of the strait would choke Israeli shipping and create a crisis for the world’s oil market — 4.8 million barrels of crude oil pass through Bab al-Mandab daily.

Saudi Arabia suspended oil shipments through Bab al-Mandab after Houthis fired a missile at a tanker traversing the strait last week.

Strait of Bab el Mandeb
Strait of Bab el Mandeb
4. Video: LGBT and International Human Rights: What’s happening in the Palestinian territories is truly shocking.

In the News
• If you’re reading tea leaves to gauge the likelihood of a Gaza war, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a trip to Colombia “due to the situation in the south.” The PM was to attend Wednesday’s inauguration of Colombia’s new president, Ivan Duque. The Jerusalem Post points out, “This is the first time Netanyahu has cancelled a trip abroad because of the security situation in the country in years.”

• Poll: “Nearly two-thirds of Jewish Israelis think Israel should launch a large-scale military offensive in the Gaza Strip if its Hamas rulers do not abide by the latest ceasefire agreement.”

• Caving to pressure, Tunisia to host 7-year-old Israeli chess whiz.

• Following a spike in terror balloons, Israel banned gas and fuel transfers to Gaza.
View image on Twitter

Israel Foreign Min.
Footage from Israel's environmental satellite VENUS exposes the width of the damage caused to Israeli lands by #Hamas-led incendiary #terrorism, directed at southern Israeli communities near #Gaza over the last 4 months.

7:39 PM - Aug 1, 2018
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• Hamas banned a seminar in Gaza “on the Palestinian media’s role in highlighting the issue of Palestinian security prisoners held in Israeli prisons” because it was organized by Fatah organizers failed to ask for a permit.

• In battle for eastern Jerusalem, property deeds are the weapon of choice.

building campaign

• The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) takes a closer look at Israel’s Druze community, which continues protesting the nation state law.

“The state of Israel respects our dead, but not our living,” said Naser Saba, 40, from this Druze village of 10,500 in the hills outside Haifa in northern Israel. His brother Alam was killed in 2001 during a military operation and was buried in a military cemetery with an Israeli flag covering his casket. “We want to be wrapped in the flag when we’re alive too.”

• New York’s Barnard College to host prisoners’ group accused of ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror organization.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Pinhas Inbari: Ahed Tamimi: What’s in a name
– Stewart Weiss: Terror balloons: Child abuse, not child’s play
– Ben Judah: British Jews find their voice
– Dov Waxman: Who gets to define antisemitism?
Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND James Russo; Corbyn via YouTube/Imajsa Claimant;

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Post  Admin on Wed 01 Aug 2018, 10:42 pm

Is Iran Withdrawing Forces From Israeli Border?
Today’s Top Stories
Alexander Lavrentiyev
Russian envoy Alexander Lavrentiyev
1. Israeli media picked up on a claim by Russia’s envoy to Syria that Iran has already withdrawn (or, depending on how you understand the quote, only agreed to withdraw) its forces a distance of 85 km (53 miles) from the Israeli border. In an article widely picked up in the Israeli media, Alexander Lavrentyev told Russia’s government-owned Sputnik News:
“Of course, we take into account the interests of neighboring states, interests of Israel, our president spoke about that. As we took into account the Israeli concerns, we managed to attain the pullout of Iranian units 85 kilometers [some 53 miles] from the Israeli [-Syrian] border,” the presidential envoy added.
I haven’t seen an official Israeli reaction yet, so note the differences between coverage in the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Ynet and the Times of Israel. The latter noted:
It was not clear what prompted him to say this as Israel has repeatedly and forcibly stated that it will not accept any Iranian presence at all in Syria and last week Israel rejected a Russian proposal to keep Iranian forces in Syria 100 kilometers (62 miles) away from Israel’s northern border, a senior Israeli official said, moments after a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded in Jerusalem.
In any event, you gotta be careful with Sputnik.
Eliyahu Kamisher
Russia attained an Iranian pullout of 85km from the Golan Heights, Russia's Syria envoy tells Sputnik. Contradicts earlier reports of a 100km buffer zone and Israel's official position that it will not tolerate Iran forces anywhere in Syria. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201808011066840176-russia-iran-syria-israel-envoy/
7:53 AM - Aug 1, 2018
Russian Special Envoy for Syria: Moscow Acts Openly on Syrian Settlement
SOCHI (Sputnik) - The summit of the Syrian guarantor states - Russia, Turkey and Iran - is likely to take place after the meeting of the Russian, Turkish, German and French leaders scheduled for...
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2. UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn issued an apology after the Times of London reported that he “hosted an event that compared the Israeli government to the Nazis at the House of Commons on Holocaust Memorial Day.”

In January 2010 when he was a backbencher, Mr Corbyn spoke at and opened a talk entitled Never Again — for Anyone. The event was part of a UK tour called Never Again for Anyone — Auschwitz to Gaza.
The main talk, entitled The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes, was delivered by Hajo Meyer, a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz who became a passionate anti-Zionist and repeatedly made the comparison between the Nazi regime and Israeli policy.
That comparison has become one of the most heated elements of the row over Labour’s decision to rewrite an internationally accepted definition of antisemitism.
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3. Palestinian Authority security personnel, armed and in uniform, toured Israeli-controlled areas of Hebron for first time. Israeli officials confirmed they gave the group of 30 Palestinian security personnel permission, calling it an “exceptional matter” and that the tour didn’t reflect any changes in the status quo of the city’s security. A Palestinian official described the tour to the Times of Israel as “symbolic.”

Under the Hebron Protocol signed by the PLO and Israel in 1997, the Jewish state controls the segment of the West Bank city known as “H2,” where some 500 Israeli settlers live surrounded by 40,000 Palestinians. Hebron’s Old City falls within the area.
In the News
• At a High Court of Justice hearing over the fate of the illegal Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar, judges told lawyers representing the residents that the village’s demolition was unavoidable. Details at the Times of Israel.
• President Reuven Rivlin reportedly intends to protest the nation state law by signing it in Arabic.

• The New York Times takes a closer look at Druze opposition to the nation state law. Two Druze IDF officers have already resigned in protest.

• Worth reading: Thumbs up to Vox‘s balanced and comprehensive explainer piece on the nation state law.
building campaign
• Jeremy Corbyn ally Pete Willsman apologizes for rant about Jewish ‘Trump fanatics.’
• If you’re new to the issue of the UK Labour party’s antisemitism problem or having trouble wrapping your head around its almost-daily woes with the Jewish, this JTA piece nicely overviews what’s going on.
• Anti-Zionist graffiti was discovered on a synagogue in the French town of Le Havre. Vandals wrote on a wall by the entrance “no to Zionists, no to Israel” and placed stickers of Palestinian, Lebanese and French flags.
• “The online travel reservation service Booking.com amended its definition of the city of Jerusalem as an “Israeli settlement” following a critical query from a Belgian Jewish newspaper.”
• Following up on last week’s controversy, the Jerusalem Post explained in a staff-ed why it fired freelance cartoonist Avi Katz. The Jerusalem Report, a magazine owned by the Jerusalem Post, published Katz’s cartoon about the passage of the nation state law, depicting Israeli lawmakers as a pigs reminiscent of George Orwell’s book, “Animal Farm.”
Ron Skolnik
This @Jerusalem_Post editorial seeks to explain why cartoonist Avi Katz was fired. (It claims the pig imagery used was antisemitic.) But it fails to explain why the cartoon that prompted the firing was approved for publication. https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Lines-crossed-563887

11:12 PM - Jul 31, 2018
Lines crossed
The swine image is reminiscent of antisemitic memes used against Jews throughout history. Just recently, a Hamas-affiliated scholar said, “Allah has transformed Jews into pigs and apes.”
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:
– Bassam Tawil: The secret reason Arabs reject the Jewish nation state law
– Raphael Ahren: Israel says it’s unfazed by specter of US-Iran summit, but anxiety brews
– Charles Bybelezer: Was the peace process doomed to failure from the start?
– Gilad Kabilo: End the discrimination against Israeli chess players
– Melanie Phillips: Labour antisemitism: The skies are darkening even more
– Gaby Hinsliff: Peter Willsman’s rant points to a Labour party still blind to antisemitism
– Benjamin Weinthal: A deadly plague for Iran

Featured image: CC BY-NC Lori Erickson; Lavrentiyev via Wikimedia Commons;

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Post  Admin on Tue 31 Jul 2018, 8:58 pm

Israel Suspends Aid to Syrians As Assad Retakes Border Area
Today’s Top Stories
1. After seven years of fighting, the Syrian army completed its takeover of the Golan Heights frontier with Israel. According to Israeli media reports, Israel conveyed a message to Russia “to ensure that Syrian government forces do not harm or massacre civilians,” and also suspended humanitarian aid programs.

The decision marks the first time the Israeli border will be fully closed to Syrians seeking life saving services and medical care since Operation Good Neighbor was initiated nearly five years ago.

2. A number of Arabs noted on Twitter with irony that Ahed Tamimi gained nine kilos in prison, unlike prisoners of the Bashar Assad regime. The tweets caught the Jerusalem Post‘s eye.
The difference between Israel and Bashar AlAssad#AhedTamimi lucky girl Because it was in Israel's prison not Assad’s prison
ahed Tamimi came out of prison in good health, better than before.
Notice : The father of ahed Tamimi supports Assad's regime

2:18 PM - Jul 29, 2018
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3. The family of Mohammad Tareq Yousef, the Palestinian terrorist who stabbed Yotam Ovadia to death last week is now eligible for a terror stipend. Yousef was shot and killed as he stabbed two other Israelis on Thursday night in Adam, a settlement north of Jerusalem.

By declaring the murderer a “Martyr”, the PA is saying that he did an exemplary act according to Islam, for which he will be rewarded in the afterlife by Allah. In addition, the PA will reward the terrorists’ family financially, as the PA does all families of so-called “Martyrs,” with a one-time grant of 6,000 shekels ($1,643) and a monthly allowance for life of 1,400 shekels ($383).

4. You Won’t Believe What One News Site Called the IDF: “Israel Occupation Forces” is just a provocative slur used by Palestinians and the press release which the story was based on.

5. New York Times’ Myths About Israel as a Jewish State: Everyone’s entitled to their views, but op-eds still have to be grounded in accurate facts.

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In the News
• Israeli policewoman lightly hurt by Molotov cocktail during a violent riot in this morning. Israeli security forces were carrying out an arrest raid in the Deheishe refugee camp near Bethlehem when Palestinians started throwing rocks and firebombs.

• Palestinian terror balloons landed in Beersheva for the first time on Monday evening.

• Israeli journalist Neri Zilber has me going hmmmmmmm.

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Neri Zilber
For 1st time Palestinian security forces patrol through Hebron's (divided) Old City in full uniform & weapons. Israel must have given okay. This is good news as far as these things go. http://maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=956873

2:08 PM - Jul 31, 2018
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• Israel’s security cabinet was briefed on possible scenarios for a war with Hezbollah and its implications for the home front. Haaretz reports that because Hezbollah’s rocket threat, a conflict in the north could mean evacuating hundreds of thousands of Israelis living in the north.

One issue that keeps the top brass up at night is the level of the Israeli public’s expectations, based on experience of attacks on the Home Front in the past and versus what they should expect in the event of a major conflict up north. During the last two Gaza campaigns, Pillar of Fire (2012) and Protective Edge (2014), the Iron Dome system managed to shoot down about 90 percent of the rockets fired at built-up areas. People living in central Israel became entirely too sanguine and many have come to ignore instructions during war. But a clash up north will force Israel to cope with hundreds of rockets a day, and will do much more damage to the home front, both in the north and in the center of the country.

The extent of rocket shootings and the still-limited number of anti-ballistic missiles Israel has, will not enable similar interception statistics in the event of another war in the north.

building campaign

• Poll: 58% of Israeli Jews support the nation state law.

• Isaac Herzog begins his first day as chairman of the Jewish Agency tomorrow. The former Labor Party leader shared his thoughts on bridging Israel-diaspora gaps in Associated Press interview. Meanwhile, Haaretz looks back at the legacy of the man Herzog’s replacing: former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky.

Natan Sharansky
Natan Sharansky
• Prime Minister backs artificial island for new Tel Aviv airport. The government plans to close down the Sde Dov Airport, which handles domestic flights to Eilat, northern Israel and the Golan.

• No end to the madness: Bombshell tape shows Jeremy Corbyn ally blamed ‘Jewish Trump fanatics’ for inventing Labour antisemitism. The Jewish Chronicle posted a recording of “Peter Willsman’s angry rant – at the meeting attended by Mr Corbyn where Labour’s ruling body approved a controversial new code of conduct on antisemitism.”

• The Times of London takes an in-depth look at the UK Labour Party’s problem with antisemitism.

• Why does it not surprise me that The Independent was the only mainstream paper to treat Noam Chomsky’s latest rant as news?

The Independent

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Nahum Barnea, Raphael Ahren and Dror Eydar weigh in on the nation state law.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Arnold Roth: More horror than heroism: Ahed Tamimi
– Colin Shindler: Would a Corbyn-led Labour government pose an existential threat to British Jews?
– Councillor Nickie Aiken: Strip away the ideological cloak that masks the new antisemitism: it is crude racism

Featured image: CC BY-NC Kartik Malik; Sharansky via YouTube/CBN News;

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


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Post  Admin on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 8:34 pm

Judo Tourneys Cancelled Over Israeli Participation
Today’s Top Stories
1. A pair of international judo tournaments were cancelled in Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, apparently over concerns about the fair treatment of Israeli participants.

“The International Judo Federation’s Executive Committee decided to suspend both the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and the Tunis Grand Prix until governmental guarantee is given to ensure free and equal participation of all nations at the said events,” a statement posted Friday on the federation’s website announced.

The Federation did not mention Israel specifically but the statement referred to “past situations involving the denial of participation in equal conditions of all IJF member federations – with their national insignia and anthem at the aforementioned events,” a clear reference to Israeli athletes.

Meanwhile, 7-year-old chess champ Liel Levitan of Haifa can’t compete in an international tournament because host Tunisia isn’t allowing Israelis to compete.

2. The David’s Sling missile defense system was used for the first time when it detected a pair of Syrian missiles which the system calculated would strike Israel. Haaretz explains what happened next:

The military investigation found that, while airborne, one of the Syrian missiles changed course and was expected to fall in Syrian territory. Therefore, one of the interceptor missiles was ordered to self-destruct. Israel also launched another interceptor missile at the second Syrian rocket, but it was still unclear if it hit its target.

David’s Sling, also known as Magic Wand, is one part of Israel’s three-layered missile defense system. Iron Dome defends against short-range rockets, David’s Sling against medium range missiles while the Arrow is designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles.

3. Two Palestinian scientists were found dead in Algeria. It’s not clear if their death was accidental or an assassination. More at Haaretz.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• The IDF believes Gaza snipers used an Iranian armor-piercing rifle to kill soldier.

• Yet another flotilla will try to symbolically break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. A four-boat “freedom flotilla” is due to depart the Sicilian city of Palermo this week. They are expected to reach Gaza waters in 10 days.

• Cracks are emerging in the PA boycott of the US peace plan as some officials in Ramallah do not believe spurning the White House initiative is in the Palestinians’ best interest. The Media Line explains:

In the current diplomatic climate, officials warned, Europe cannot replace the U.S. as an intermediary because many European capitals are reluctant to assume America’s traditional role as primary peace broker between the two sides. European leaders are also wary of ignoring the Trump administration’s demand to not abide by the PA’s push to form a new, multilateral mechanism for negotiations.

• Following up on CNN and Washington Post op-eds by Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, David Friedman and Amb. Nikki Haley, the New York Times examines the US threat to abandon plans for rehabilitating Gaza. This might explain why Washington’s staying on the sidelines as UN envoy Nickolay Mlade­nov pushes for quiet in Gaza.

building campaign

• An ancient boulder dislodged from the Western Wall on Sunday, crashing into the mixed-prayer plaza on Sunday afternoon, during Tisha B’Av. Nobody was injured; the 220 pound (100 kilo) stone’s fall was caught on video. Depending on who you follow on social media, its either a call for Jewish soul-searching, Allah’s anger, illegal Palestinian digging, or Israeli efforts to undermine the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In a statement, the [Israel Antiquities Authority] said there were a number of possibilities that may have led to the stone’s fall, such as vegetation growing in the wall’s cracks, or entrapped moisture that may have led to the stone’s wear. There is also the possibility of a still unknown engineering failure. . .

Al-Aqsa Mosque director Omar al-Kiswani denied that anyone on the Temple Mount pushed the rock down to the bottom.

• Globes takes a closer look at what’s known about Hamas’ cyber capabilities and the threat posed by its hacking attempts.

Mideast Matters
Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to host Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian military chief of staff Gen. Valery Vasilyevich Gerasimov in Jerusalem today to discuss Syria, reports Haaretz. (Their meeting was underway as this roundup was published.)
Meanwhile, according to Russia’s Ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov, Moscow and Jerusalem have “understandings” about how Syria will look after Bashad Assad consolidates his control over southern Syria.

• Israeli jets reportedly struck an Iranian-run missile production facility in Syria. Unconfirmed Arab reports picked up by the Israeli media said several Hezbollah members were killed at a site in northwest Syria that was once allegedly used to produce and store chemical weapons.

Window Into Israel
• With Isaac Herzog due to take over the Jewish Agency on August 1, Tzipi Livni returns to her former position of the Knesset’s opposition leader. The Jerusalem Post explains the politics behind that.

• Druze leaders, including three MKs, petitioned the High Court against the Nation State Law.

Haviv Rettig Gur
That an Egyptian dictator or a western progressive criticized the nationstate law is far less important than that Israel's Druze believe we Jews have betrayed them. | Druze MKs petition High Court against Jewish state law https://www.timesofisrael.com/druze-mks-petition-high-court-against-jewish-state-law/ … via @timesofisrael

8:06 PM - Jul 22, 2018

Druze MKs petition High Court against Jewish state law
Lawmakers from coalition and opposition say legislation is a 'spit in the face' to minority group that 'gives of its blood and sons for the state'

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• For commentary on the Nation State Law, Prof. Eugene Kontorovich (click via Twitter), Reuven Berko and a counter-intuitive take by Fred Maroun throw their support behind it. Weighing in against was a staff-ed in The Guardian. Kontorovich also debated the law with Jewish Voice for Peace director Rebecca Vilkomerson on MSNBC.

Around the World
• UK Labour’s in-fighting over antisemitism continues. A number of senior party members want Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman, Seamus Milne, to retract a number of past comments he made about Israel from his days as an editor at The Guardian. The Times of London reports:

Seumas Milne, the leader’s director of strategy and communications, was a vocal critic of Israel during his career as a left-wing columnist. Senior Labour insiders have questioned whether Mr Milne’s previous statements were linked to Labour’s decision to omit part of an internationally accepted definition of antisemitism from its new code of conduct.

A row broke out last week after the party accepted part of the guidelines from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) but left out some of the official examples. One of the omissions states that antisemitism may include “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavour”.

Mr Milne wrote in The Guardian in 2009: “The truth is that throughout the Arab, Muslim and wider developing worlds, the idea that Israel is a racist state is largely uncontroversial . . . This is a state, after all, created by European colonists, built on the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population.”

Mr Milne went on: “There’s a perfectly reasonable argument to be had about the nature of Israel’s racism and whether it should be compared to apartheid, for example.”

Seamus Milne
Seamus Milne, Labour’s director of strategy and communications
• A key ally of Jeremy Corbyn admits Labour has failed to ‘win the faith of the Jewish community’ on anti-Semitism.

• Stanford U. student threatens to ‘physically fight Zionists’ on campus.

• South African model and media personality Shashi Naidoo expects to be barred from entering Israel when she arrives to “re-educate” herself on the conflict. The Jerusalem Post explains the extent of the BDS bullying:

Naidoo made headlines last month after she defended Israel’s actions in Gaza and explained the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a factual manner. However, during her explanation, she called Gaza a “shithole,” due to the way Hamas is running the Strip. She said the international aid and money given was being used for rockets instead of housing, schools and better infrastructure.

Following her comments, the celebrity said she received 10 death threats and was intimidated, threatened and dropped by several of the brands she represents.

After the death threats, Naidoo issued an apology for her comments. She has since been coerced by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel into holding a press conference, at which she agreed to go on a trip with the organization.

Shashi Naidoo
Shashi Naidoo
• Tunisian police arrested six people after photos showing Arab men holding a barbeque in a Jewish cemetery were posted online. “The cemetery reportedly has become a hangout,” the JTA reports.

• Anti-Semitic graffiti found in two Bosnian cities.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Seth Frantzman: David’s Sling and the Syrian regime’s news normal
– Josh Rogin: Inside the Putin-Netanyahu-Trump deal on Syria
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Helsinki: Israel, Syria and Iran
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Hamas’s military wing wants war
– Daniel Siryoti: Hamas got the message
– Tomas Zdechovsky: EU member states should follow US and leave the UNHRC
– Elliot Kaufman: World socialism’s anti-Israel turn (click via Twitter)
– Mandy Blumenthal: ‘We no longer feel safe in Britain. Anti-Semitism is forcing us to leave our home’
– Charles Moore: Anti-Semitism is an issue that could blow the Labour Party to smithereens
– Lawrence Franklin: Ireland’s anti-Israel bill and the Muslim Brotherhood
– Asaf Romirowsky, Alexander Joffe: Time to rethink our attitudes toward Middle East refugees

• For a sense of what the Israel-bashers are saying, see Rebecca Vilkomerson‘s take on defining antisemitism.


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Post  Admin on Sun 22 Jul 2018, 3:13 pm

IDF Soldier Killed at Gaza Border
Today’s Top Stories
1. Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral Sunday in Petah Tikva of IDF Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi, who was killed by Palestinian sniper fire on the Gaza border on Friday. Israel responded with air strikes that killed four people in Gaza, three of whom were confirmed Hamas fighters. Israel’s Channel 10 had an unconfirmed report: Egypt warned Hamas that Israel would launch a war “in two hours” if Hamas were to respond. Since that time a form of ceasefire has been holding, more or less.

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Staff Sergeant Aviv Levi, a platoon sergeant in the Givati Brigade, was shot and killed yesterday during operational activity in the southern Gaza Strip. He was 21 years old.
6:02 PM - Jul 21, 2018
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2. The Washington Post published an important opinion piece by US heavyweights Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman who say “Help is at hand for Palestinians. It’s all up to Hamas.” Meanwhile, the same authors plus US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley wrote in a CNN op-ed, that they see the beginning of a “paradigm shift” at the UN regarding Israel. Is it possible that the tide is changing?
When the amendment came to a vote, a miracle by UN standards happened. Although the measure ultimately failed for technical reasons, more nations voted for holding Hamas accountable with the US amendment than against it.
3. Thousands of LGBT rights activists are protesting Israel’s Surrogacy Law , which excludes single men and homosexual couples. Dozens of companies announced support for the protest, including local divisions of Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft. The protests are occurring in cities across Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and Be’er Sheva.
Rocky Baier
Thousands of protestors block Ayalon Hwy in support of LGBTQ rights @Jerusalem_Post
8:45 AM - Jul 22, 2018
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4. There is legitimate debate over Israel’s new “Nation State Law,” but some news sources are going a step further and getting the facts wrong. HonestReporting critiqued Sky News and even got them to remove a problematic Tweet.
It is perfectly legitimate to take issue with the nation state law but this @SkyNews piece isn’t analysis, it’s agitprop. Even critics of the law don’t need to descend to the apartheid libel @alexrossiSKY. How can we trust someone with these views to report impartially on Israel? https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1020163136576466944
6:31 AM - Jul 20, 2018
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To get a fuller picture of the law itself and both sides of the debate, you can refer to our previous IDNS.

5. WATCH: A new law keeps organizations like Breaking the Silence out of Israeli schools. Is this anti-free speech or not? Is BtS a legitimate watchdog group or anti-Israel extremists? HR’s Senior Editor Daniel Pomerantz explains on i24News. Watch, and tell us, what’s your opinion?

VIDEO 2.52 mins .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRJ9yzpAV4c&ab_channel=HonestReporting
Israel and the Palestinians
• In light of several “ceasefires” and ongoing exchanges of fire over the weekend between Israel and Gaza, the UN’s Antonio Guterres weighed in:

I call on Hamas and other Palestinian militants to cease the launching of rockets and incendiary kites and provocations…[and Israel] must exercise restraint to avoid further inflaming the situation.
• After this weekend’s exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas, a shaky ceasefire has been restored.
Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
Mideast Matters
• Israel helps evacuate 800 of Syria’s “white helmet” aid workers to Jordan, amidst increasing danger in the region.
• Sisters who spent 6 years in Syria’s Palestinian camp, Yarmouk, recount years of horror.
•A Saudi Journalist calls on Arab countries to advance peace with Israel.
Around the World
• A San Francisco State University professor posted a photo on Facebook that rejects welcoming Zionist students to the university, SFSU is not planning to take action on this matter.
• This isn’t the first time Teen Vogue has taken an unfair and misleading position on Israel. Is this a pattern?

•Netanyahu is optimistic about Iran’s exit from Syria. This comes after Israel was the only country explicitly mentioned in the Trump-Putin summit.
• Israelis disagree on whether or not restaurants should be required to close for Tisha Be’av.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
–David Harris: The “If Only Israel” Syndrome
–Shlomo Nakdimon: The winner of the Trump-Putin summit is Israel
–Gil Hoffman: Much Ado About a Jewish Nation-State
–Charles Moore: Anti-Semitism is an issue that could blow the Labour Party to smithereens
–Bel Trew: Meet the girl who dreams of being Gaza’s first Olympic swimmer

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Post  Admin on Thu 19 Jul 2018, 11:29 pm

Israel Passes Contentious Nation-State Law
Today’s Top Stories
Israel1. The Knesset passed the Nation-State Law last night, formally declaring in law that Israel is a Jewish state. Supporters say it enshrines Israel’s identity as a Jewish state while critics say it marginalizes Arab citizens. Here’s the full text of the law, and few key snippets so you can judge for yourself.

> “The Jewish nation-state bill is a Basic Law with constitutional heft that declares Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. It anchors in law the state’s menorah emblem, Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, national holidays and the right of all Israeli residents to preserve their heritage without consideration of religion and nationality.”

> “Similar to a constitution, the Basic Laws underpin Israel’s legal system and are more difficult to repeal than regular laws. The nation-state bill, proponents say, puts Jewish values and democratic values on equal footing. Critics, however, say the law effectively discriminates against Israel’s Arabs and other minority communities.”

> The basic laws, enacted in the absence of a single constitution, legally supersede the Declaration of Independence and, unlike regular laws, have never been overturned by Israel’s Supreme Court. Basic laws can only be amended by a majority of 61 in the Knesset.

> “The bill also strips Arabic of its designation as an official language alongside Hebrew, downgrading it to a “special status” that enables its continued use within Israeli institutions.”

> “The most controversial clause, which appeared to pave the way for the creation of communities segregated by nationality or religion, was removed from the legislation earlier this week.”

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

2. The British Labour Party’s National Executive Council rejected the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s full working definition of antisemitism, and is accused of fudging the issue by “pledging a review.”

Meanwhile, Jewish Labour MPs fear a civil war, but it seems like that’s already underway. Veteran MP Dame Margaret Hodge told off party leader Jeremy Corbyn, calling him an ‘an antisemite’ to his face (she only denied using the f-word) then doubled-down in a Guardian commentary. MP John Woodcock resigned from Labour as did Jewish party activist Tal Ofer.

3. IDF delivers aid to displaced Syrians as rebels surrender to Bashar Assad. More on the ceasefire deal at Ynet.

4. Sky News Distorts Contentious Israeli Nation State Law: While there’s room to debate the merits of the Nation Sate Law, Sky News paints an incomplete picture.

5. Talk Show Producer Tweets Hooey and Why It Matters: What does it say about public discourse when a talk show producer retweets a months-old lie about Israeli “apartheid” and “genocide?”

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• Just before this roundup was published, Israeli media reported an IDF airstrike on a Hamas terror balloon cell, killing one Hamasnik and injuring three others.

• Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban arrived in Israel yesterday for a two-day visit. Ties between Budapest and Jerusalem have expanded despite concerns over the right-wing Orban’s brand of nationalist politics and antisemitic dalliances. President Reuven Rivlin warned Orban of the dangers of ‘neo-fascism.”

Previews in the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel lay out the significance of Orban’s visit. Dispatches in Haaretz and the Times of Israel take the pulse of Hungarian Jewry.

Viktor Orban
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
• Flaming balloon from Gaza lands in preschool near children at play.

• People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals condemned the Palestinian use of a bird to start a fire. PETA’s denunciation on Twitter came after a dead falcon with an incendiary device tied to it was found in Habesor National Park by an Israeli parks worker helping extinguish a fire.

• The IDF’s using an autonomous drone system to try to intercept Gaza kites, balloons. The system “uses optic sensors to identify the launch of airborne arson devices, then launches another drone to intercept the threat and neutralize it — a process the system handles from start to finish without any human input.”

• Palestinians slammed a Saudi documentary about Israel’s founding. “The two-part series, titled ‘The Naqba,’ is rich with imagery from the Holocaust and from the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish population. It interviews Israelis, Arabs and historians in what it says is an attempt to depict the controversial topic in an unbiased light.”

Window Into Israel
earthquake• State comptroller Yosef Shapira warned in a new report that Israel is not prepared for a major earthquake. Too many schools, police and fire stations, buildings housing medical services, prisons and bridges are at risk — because A) they were built before the 1980s, when the government began enforcing durability standards, and B) plans to reinforce them were never implemented.

Shapira also criticized the Ministry of Tourism for the insufficient preparedness of hotels.

• United Torah Judaism party to remain in government despite the question of Haredi army conscription being unresolved. Party leader Rabbi Yaakov Litzman had threatened to pull out of the governing coalition if the issue wasn’t settled by today, when the Knesset begins its summer recess.

Around the World
• Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is distancing herself from the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her latest comments on a Democracy Now! livestream interview came on the heels of a disastrous Q&A with PBS.

• Another Mideast peace plan bites the dust. Oldoz Javidi has already retracted her idea, saying it could be “misinterpreted.”


• An Austrian province is mulling limiting kosher meat sale to registered Jews, with government officials citing concerns for animal welfare. Jewish leaders say that the required registry smacks of Aryan racial laws implemented by the Nazis. JTA coverage.

• Study finds online antisemitism is going mainstream in Germany.

• Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg told Recode he wouldn’t remove Holocaust denial posts because “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.” That brought a heap of criticism, forcing Zuckerberg to clarify his comments. Meanwhile, Berlin lawmakers insisted that Facebook must adhere to German Holocaust denial laws.

Jessica Huseman
Just tuning in here, but if Zuckerberg won’t shut down Holocaust denials, just why should we believe they are gonna tamp down misinformation ahead of the election? What is the baseline for when wrong information is being offered in bad faith if not that?

1:16 AM - Jul 19, 2018 · Belize
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• Over at i24 News, Eugene Kontorovich explains the legal case for recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan.

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Emmanuel Navon and Dr. Aviad Bakshi weigh in for the Nation-State law while Amir Fuchs and Yedidia Stern oppose it.

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels about the British Labour Party’s antisemitism problem . . .

– Naftali Bennett: We won’t let Labour divide the Jewish people
– Stephen Pollard: Jeremy Corbyn, the anti-racist who turned Labour into the party of anti-Semitism
– Times of London (staff-ed): Labour and antisemitism
– Denis MacShane: Labour rejection of EU’s definition of antisemitism is morally wrong and politically foolish
– David Hirsh: Understanding Labour’s disavowal of the IHRA definition
– Stephen Daisley: Labour members must pick a side in the fight against anti-Semitism

Dave Rich
This Labour leadership "would rather lead a party where it is not antisemitic to compare Israel to Nazi Germany, than lead a party where Margaret Hodge MP, whose grandmother and uncle were murdered in the Holocaust, feels she is welcome." https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/18/labour-antisemitism-code-jeremy-corbyn?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

2:02 PM - Jul 18, 2018

Labour’s antisemitism code exposes a sickness in Jeremy Corbyn’s party | Dave Rich
For years, certain antisemitic attitudes have been normalised in parts of the left. It seems they are now an official party stance, says Dave Rich of the Community Security Trust

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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Daniel Shapiro: Trump’s appalling display in Helsinki shows Netanyahu was right all along to invest in Putin
– Ian Lee: Why Netanyahu liked what he saw from Trump in Helsinki
– Ilan Jonas: If Iran gets back to nukes, Israel is better prepared to strike
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Iran supports Palestinian terror groups
– Noa Landau: Israel’s tightening alliance with central Europe’s nationalist leaders is splitting the EU
– Herb Keinon: Putting the Western Wall on the itinerary for world leaders
– Anna Ahronheim: Is Israel heading to another war with Gaza … over kites and balloons?
– Charles Bybelezer: The Israel-Hamas standoff is set to play out
– Seth Lipsky: Will Schumer drop Israel for Ocasio-Cortez?
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: What does Trump’s denial of Russian hacking mean for Israeli elections?
– Allison Kaplan Sommer: Principled activists or entitled brats? What’s wrong with the Birthright walk-outs
– Bethany Mendel: Playing politics with Birthright? That’s like stealing a free trip to Israel
– Ira Rifkin: Anti-semitism: Journalistically parsing its current upsurge both here and abroad

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA ERIO; Israeli emblem via Wikimedia Commons; Orban via YouTube/Dr. Steve Turley; earthquake via Wikimedia Commons;

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Post  Admin on Tue 17 Jul 2018, 11:16 pm

Trump-Putin Summit: The Israel Angles

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Meeting in Helsinki, US and Russian Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin said all the things Israelis needed to hear about Syria. But in the absence of specifics, I won’t say I’m reassured. More on the Israel angles at the Times of Israel and Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter).

When terrorist forces are wiped out in south and west Syria, Putin said, “the situation on the Golan Heights must be restored to what it was after the 1974 agreement, which set out the terms for the disengagement of forces between Israel and Syria.”

In a statement following the press conference Monday, Netanyahu thanked the two leaders for their commitment to Israeli security . . .

Netanyahu “very much appreciates the security coordination between Israel and Russia and the clear position expressed by President Putin regarding the need to uphold the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria,” the statement added.

Daraa Israel DMZ

2. As Russian-backed Syrian forces pressed their offensive in the Daraa province, some 200 displaced Syrians massed at the Israeli border waving white flags, apparently asking for help.

After a few moments, the Syrians dispersed, the army said, and they could be seen walking back toward a displaced persons camp in the village of Bariqa, near the border.

Since Assad’s renewed offensive against the largely rebel-held Daraa and Quneitra provinces began last month, Israel has expressed fears that Syrians from the areas might attempt to breach the border in an attempt to seek refuge inside the Jewish state.

3. Egypt gives ultimatum to Hamas to end the terror kites and balloons within days, shuts the Rafah border crossing.

“Hamas cannot stop the launching of the balloons in one go because it will damage its position in the eyes of the Gaza residents and those who support it who will see it as a collapse. Therefore, it has to do it gradually,” once source in Gaza told Ynet.

Meanwhile, Israel halted the transfer of gas and fuel to Gaza. Food and medicine are still being allowed in, but only on a case by case basis.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli army drills for Gaza incursion, in apparent warning to Hamas.

Monday’s exercise — which the IDF invited local media to film, and which was detailed on the evening’s main news broadcasts — appeared intended to send a message to Hamas that Israel was prepared to take drastic action, if needed, to bring peace back to the communities in the Gaza periphery, which have also endured weeks of “fire kite” attacks launched from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

• Israelis discovered a falcon near Gaza with an incendiary device tied to it. Per Ynet, “An initial inspection by the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority revealed that the falcon was harnessed to, and not merely entangled in, the combustible material.” The Times of Israel adds that “the falcon was found dead, hanging by the attached string from a burned tree near the Nahal Habesor riverbed.”

It’s the first time Palestinians used animals to spread fires. On a handful of occasions, Palestinians unsuccessfully sent bomb-laden donkeys and horses at soldiers, resulting only in the deaths of the animals.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

 A falcon attached to a rope with flammable material was found today near the Gaza Strip. Arson fires have been caused by incendiary materials flown from Gaza into Israel. Apparently it’s not enough to destroy nature with kites, now falcons are being used for terror as well.

6:04 PM - Jul 16, 2018
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• If the IDF were to overthrow Hamas, what would the power vacuum mean for Israel? Analysts discussed the issue with The Media Line.

• Although the Trump administration hasn’t expressed any inclination on the matter, a congressional sub-committee is going to hold hearings on recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan.

• Iranian ties to Hamas are more overt than ever. An address by Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, to a Gaza conference by video link up was cut short by a technical glitch. Hamas blamed Israel. More at Ynet.

• CNN got rare access to UNIFIL to learn more about what peacekeepers do along the Israel-Lebanon border.

• European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini blasted Israeli cabinet minister Gilad Erdan, demanding the Minister of Strategic Affairs provide proof to his accusations that the EU finances terror and BDS activities. Haaretz saw the letter while the Times of Israel fills out more details.

Federica Mogherini
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini
Window Into Israel
• An inaugural flight of landed at Eilat’s new llan and Assaf Ramon International Airport. The airport is due to open in March, 2019.

• The Knesset passed the ‘Breaking the Silence’ bill into law; non-governmental organizations deemed to be acting against the state or IDF will be barred from Israeli schools. More on the story at the Times of Israel.

• Does Israel need a law to define itself as the nation-state of the Jewish people?

• Knesset passes law: Pregnant women no longer need to wait in line.

Around the World
law• A federal judge in Louisiana ruled that Jewish heritage can be basis for race discrimination. AP explains:

The nation’s highest court hasn’t defined what “race” means under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, U.S. Magistrate Mark Hornsby said in a court filing Friday. But he concluded that Jewish citizens have been treated as a racial or ethnic group entitled to the law’s protection against employment discrimination . . .

The magistrate issued his findings in a civil case football coach Joshua Bonadona filed against Louisiana College in February. Bonadona claims the college’s president, Rick Brewer, refused to approve his hiring because of what he allegedly called the applicant’s “Jewish blood.”

• Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has a history of Israel-bashing, struggled with explaining “the Israeli occupation” during an interview on the PBS talk show The Firing Line. The Jerusalem Post has backstory on this video people are buzzing about.

[Margaret] Hoover then asked: “You use the term ‘the occupation of Palestine’. What do you mean by that?”

In response, Ocasio-Cortez exclaimed “Oh!”, paused, and said “I think that what I meant is the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas, in places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes.”

The interviewer continued to press her for clarification, at which point Ocasio-Cortez somewhat deflected the request, stating that she is “not the expert on geopolitics on this issue.”


Ryan Saavedra

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Post  Admin on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 6:34 pm

What Does Trump-Putin Summit Mean for Israel and Syria?
Today’s Top Stories
*** Breaking news *** After this roundup was published, the IDF struck two Hamas positions after terror balloons launched from Gaza sparked fires in southern Israel. Code Red Alerts are being heard in southern Israel. Developing . . .

1. As this roundup was published, US and Russian Presidents Donald Trump and Vladmir Putin began their first face-to-face meeting in Helsinki, Finland. The Mideast is paying particularly close attention as their discussions on Syria are expected to have major ramifications on Iranian entrenchment in Syria and Israel’s pushback. (The New York Times, CNN and BBC are liveblogging from Finland.)

Indeed, Israel reportedly struck an Iranian base in northern Syria near Aleppo last night. The Al-Nayrab military base near Aleppo is linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Reports say 22 people, including nine Iranians, were killed in the attack, which targeted weapons warehouses.

Helsinki seafront
2. Israel allowed reporters from the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) to take a first-hand look at selected Iranian nuclear documents which the Mossad stole from Tehran earlier this year. If you’re stymied by their paywalls, the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post summarized their coverage.

Coincidentally or not, the stories were published on the eve of the Trump-Putin talks . . .

In a lengthy briefing at a security facility here last week, senior Israeli intelligence officials disclosed additional details about the operation. Those include specifics on how the documents were removed from Iran; the existence within the documents of the warhead designs, for which Israel said Iran got unspecified foreign assistance; the operation of a secret explosives-testing facility that international inspectors had long searched for in vain; and a scramble by Iranian officials to keep their nuclear program alive after international inspectors concluded it had been suspended . . .

The documents track, and in some cases repeat, revelations and assumptions made previously by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but also provide specifics—including, for example, the existence of an underground metallurgical testing facility—about which international inspectors were unaware.

3. The Swiss ambassador to Israel apologized to Hebron’s Jewish community after a Swiss member of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) was caught on video slapping a 10-year-old Jewish boy. The man, who serves as a TIPH legal counsel, was ordered to leave Israel.

4. Gaza Rocket Barrage = Anti-Israel Media Barrage: For a number of news services, the Gaza crisis started when Israel fired back.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
In the News
• In rare step, International Criminal Court is reaching out to ‘Palestinian victims,’ raising the ire of Israeli officials.

In a little-noticed press release issued Friday, three judges who are members of the so-called pretrial chamber dealing with Palestinian complaints of alleged Israeli war crimes ordered the court’s registry “to establish, as soon as practicable, a system of public information and outreach activities for the benefit of the victims and affected communities in the situation in Palestine.”

• The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ elite force, Qassem Soleimani, to address Gaza via satellite link. Haaretz notes this isn’t the first time Iran-Hamas ties have been on such overt display.

• Additional Iron Dome batteries deployed in southern and central Israel

• The Jerusalem Post and Israel HaYom visited Kfar Aza, Moshav Ein Habasor and Sderot to take the pulse of Israeli communities on the Gaza border.

• Eastern Jerusalem is undergoing an Arab tourism boom as pilgrims from countries that don’t recognize Israel increasingly flock to the Holy City.

• The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) takes a closer look at Iranian efforts to create a land bridge to Syria, and Israel’s efforts efforts against it.
View image on Twitter
Dov Lieber
 This map, put together with info from intelligence officials and @LeBeckInt shows the common route by which Iran, with the help of Iraqi Shiite militias, brings weapons from Iran to Syria & Lebanon. 

Israel is intent on shutting this route:https://www.wsj.com/articles/israel-broadens-fight-against-iran-1531684841?tesla=y&mod=article_inline …

10:14 AM - Jul 16, 2018
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• Syrian government forces continued pounding rebel-held areas of southern Syria. According to AP, more than 800 missiles were fired on positions as close as four km (2.5 miles) from the Israeli border. Reuters adds that the Syrians captured a strategic hill overlooking the border.

• Hezbollah and Shi’ite militias aligned with Iran are integrated into the Syrian army in its campaign to take control of south Syria.

• Award-winning Palestinian photographer died in a Syrian jail, reports AFP. Niraz Saied had documented life in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus. Saied was arrested by Syrian forces in 2015.

Around the World
Britain• The UK Labour party’s antisemitism definition could breach the Equality Act, according to legal advice.

The advice, seen by the Guardian, suggests that because Labour has ignored the so-called Macpherson principle – that a racist incident is one perceived to be racist by the victim – when it comes to antisemitism, Jews are being treated less favourably than other groups . . .

The Macpherson principle, which has been widely adopted since the murder of Stephen Lawrence as part of the inquiry into racism in the police, says: “The definition [of a racist incident] should be: A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”. Once the fact of the incident have been established, the burden of proof is then on the accuser to provide an alternative explanation.

• Argentina freezes assets of suspected Hezbollah fundraising network.

• ESPN removes weekly Australian Football League pool participant for ‘Burnthejews’ screen name.

building campaign

• A New York Post staff-ed slams international silence on Hamas’ terror balloons and “ecological war on Israel.”

The world regularly shrugs at such Israeli suffering. But what about the assault on Mother Nature? The fires are destroying nature preserves, killing some animals and destroying the food supply for others . . .

Calling PETA, Greenpeace and all the rest: If one combatant can launch environmental war without global censure, the tactic will catch on. Even if it risks showing sympathy for Israel, you have a clear duty to raise the alarm.

Related viewing: The Environmental Impact of War
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Charles Bybelezer: Trump-Putin summit could avert or pave way to Mideast war
– Zvi Bar’el: If Moscow’s ‘deal of the century’ for Iran works, both Damascus and Jerusalem will smile
– Shlomo Bolts: Putin is laying a bomb on Israel’s doorstep
– Anna Ahronheim: Gaza: Another futile round?
– Amos Harel: Israel signals Hamas it’s not afraid of confrontation
– Michael Cotler-Wunsh: Scorched earth and international law
Featured image: CC BY-SA Gage Skidmore; Helsinki CC BY-NC-ND Jonathan Britain via Wikimedia Commons;

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

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Post  Admin on Sun 15 Jul 2018, 9:41 pm

Cease-Fire Holding After Heavy Gaza Violence

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Violence erupted along the Gaza-Israel border with a weekend of rockets and air strikes, but an Egypt-brokered ceasefire has taken hold. Over the course of the weekend, some 200 rockets/mortars were fired at Israel and the IDF struck 40 different targets, including weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, training sites and command centers. Too many developments to summarize so see below for all the details.

2. Unfolding coverage of last week’s Benjamin Netanyahu-Vladimir Putin summit reports that Israel has accepted Bashar Assad rule in Syria in exchange for Iranian and Shiite forces being kept “tens of kilometers” from the Israeli border. The New York Times explains:

With Syrian government forces raising the national flag on Thursday over Dara’a, birthplace of the revolt against Mr. Assad, the endgame of the Syrian civil war seemed to be fast approaching. And with it, time could be running out for Israel to dislodge Iran from Syria by diplomatic means.

Adding to the urgency is a summit meeting on Monday between Mr. Putin and President Trump in Helsinki, where Iran and Syria are expected to be on the agenda. Mr. Netanyahu moved up his meeting in Moscow by several days to make a last pitch to Mr. Putin before the meeting.

But a commitment to keep Iranian forces tens of kilometers from Israel was a far cry from ejecting them completely from Syria, which Mr. Netanyahu has been lobbying Mr. Putin to do. And even that commitment was not confirmed by Russian officials.

Netanyahu conferred with President Donald Trump ahead of the US leader’s meeting with Putin tomorrow.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Syrian President Bashar Assad, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump
3. JTA: Prominent British journalist Paul Mason is accused of beating a man protesting against Labour anti-Semitism.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Here’s the rundown on the weekend violence, based on Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and Times of Israel reports one and two.

-Friday afternoon: IDF officer moderately wounded by grenade thrown by a 15-year-old Palestinian along the Gaza border. The teenager was killed by responding soldiers. In a separate incident, a Palestinian teenager was shot and killed trying to breach the border fence. Israel retaliated with air strikes on Hamas targets in the Strip, including a site used for manufacturing terror balloons
-Friday night: Hamas responded by firing more than 30 rockets. An Israeli family four was all injured when their Sderot home was hit by a rocket. Another mortar hit the courtyard of an empty synagogue.
-Saturday morning: Israel responded by destroying a terror tunnel and other targets including a high-rise building (it was meant to be the Palestinian national library). Hamas continued firing rockets.
-Saturday night: Hamas announced a ceasefire with Israel brokered by Egypt. This ceasefire reportedly includes a gradual stopping of terror kites. (The ceasefire didn’t take hold right away.)
– Sunday morning: IDF gives all clear to southern residents as ceasefire appears to hold. Later in the morning, the head of a Fatah-aligned rocket unit and his 13-year-old son were killed in a “work accident.”
-Sunday afternoon: Israel strikes Hamas cell launching incendiary kites during ceasefire. No reports of further rocket fire.

Elad Ratson

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Post  Admin on Thu 12 Jul 2018, 4:21 pm

IDF Strikes Syrian Positions After Drone Infiltration

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Today’s Top Stories
1. The IDF struck several Syrian army positions in retaliation for a drone infiltration yesterday afternoon. The drone, which the IDF said appeared to be an unarmed Syrian reconnaissance aircraft, was shot down about 10 km inside Israel by a Patriot missile.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, where the two discussed Syria. Take your pick of Jerusalem Post or Haaretz coverage.

Meanwhile, US Senator Lindsey Graham urged Israel not to cut any deals with Moscow at Washington’s expense. Backstory on that i24 News. Netanyahu responded, saying he coordinated with the US.

Ireland3. As expected, the Irish Senate approved legislation that would criminalize the import and sale of products and services from West Bank settlements. The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill now moves to parliament’s lower house. The Irish Times (click via Google News) reports that the US State Department lobbied Fianna Fail, Ireland’s leading opposition party, not to support the bill.

Questioned by the Jerusalem Post, Ireland’s Ambassador to Israel Alison Kelly said the minority government was against the bill, but Israeli settlement activity makes opposition to the legislation difficult.

I liked Eugene Kontorovich’s Twitter thread in response.

4. What is HonestReporting? Check out our new YouTube trailer telling new visitors who we are and what we do.

Israel and the Palestinians
• A Jerusalem judge issued a temporary confiscation order for a pair of Norwegian ships due to participate in a flotilla to symbolically break the blockade of Gaza, reports Ynet. Till now, intercepted ships were towed to Ashdod and then subsequently released.

The court order allows for the Karstein and Freedom, worth approximately 75,000 euros, to be used for monetary compensation for victims of Hamas terrorism the moment they enter Israeli waters.

• Congressional Democrats demand ‘transparency’ over Trump administration’s review of US aid to Palestinians.

Acknowledging the need to ensure that no tax-payer money “is diverted from its intended purposes, or even worse, inadvertently benefiting the terrorist organization Hamas,” the Democratic lawmakers expressed concern that depriving US funds from the Palestinians could exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

• Worth watching: Yael Raz-Lachvani of Kibbutz Nachal Oz discusses Palestinian terror kites with the BBC.

• Along the Gaza border yesterday, an IDF drone opened fire near a group of Palestinians preparing incendiary balloons. The Times of Israel also reports, “In a separate incident, also east of Rafah, Israeli soldiers shot and detained a Palestinian youth who the army said tried to breach the Gaza security fence with a pair of wire-cutters and a bottle full of a flammable liquid.”

• State-owned TV New Zealand apologize and admitted botching its in coverage of Gaza riots. TVNZ mistakenly reported that Israel had killed “hundreds” of Palestinians. As the Israel Institute of New Zealand of pointed out, “the UN has reported 131 Palestinian deaths. And approximately 80% of the casualties have been identified as terrorists.”

The Independent• The Independent has a new Mideast and North Africa correspondent, and she’s off to a nice start. Bel Trew, who I believe is based in Cairo, filed this nice dispatch from Gaza after meeting with some goons from the Resistance Brigades of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

It’s encouraging that The Independent finally has a Mideast correspondent who can openly travel and report in Israel. Beirut-based journalists like correspondent Bethan McKernan file plenty of reports about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without ever seeing it for themselves because Lebanese authorities and Hezbollah are very suspicious of things like Israeli datelines, passport stamps, receipts, etc.

• Worth reading: The Christian Science Monitor visited the Israel-Syria border to learn more about the evolving status quo between the two countries. See more dispatches from the border at the Jerusalem Post and Reuters.

Window Into Israel
• Police arrested four suspects over the kidnapping of an Israel-Arab boy. Footage released by the police shows seven-year-old Karim Jumhour being abducted from the entrance to his home in the village of Kalansua, in central Israel. As this roundup was published, police were still searching for Jumhour. According to Israeli media reports, “the kidnapping is believed to have been carried out by a crime family over unpaid debts.”

• Teen suspect in Duma terror trial released to house arrest.

Around the World
Jeremy Corbyn
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
• UK Labour’s Jewish affiliate is threatening to sue the party over its adoption of a controversial definition of antisemitism. The Guardian reports that A) the Jewish Labour Movement, the only Jewish group to be an official Labour affiliate, never signed off on the party’s antisemitism definition, and B) general secretary Jennie Formby misled Labour’s National Executive Committee to believe the JLM had approved the definition.
British Jews are furious with Labour and Jeremy Corbyn over the party’s recently adopted definition of antisemitism. The party, in essence, took the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and edited out the references to Israel and how certain criticisms of the Jewish state can be antisemitic. The IHRA’s full definition of antisemitism was adopted by adopted by Britain in 2016.

• New Labour antisemitism row as Jeremy Corbyn promotes MP who once called for moving Israel to the US.

• With an eye towards re-establishing “universal jurisdiction,” Spain is re-examining policy that would allow it to put on trial Israeli officials accused of war crimes.

• Argentina asked Russia to arrest an Iranian official linked to the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community headquarters in Buenos Aires. The attack killed 85 people and injured more than 300. Alí Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been implicated in the attack.

Noga Tarnopolsky
 Fun fact from Moscow: Ali Akbar Velayati, the Iranian official sent to meet with Putin on Syria, faces an international warrant for ordering the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires. Argentina today asked Russia to arrest him & turn him over. No answer as yet https://www.timesofisrael.com/argentina-asks-russia-to-arrest-iran-official-over-1994-jewish-center-bombing/

11:26 PM - Jul 11, 2018

Argentina asks Russia to arrest Iran official over 1994 Jewish center bombing
Senior adviser Ali Akbar Velayati, in Moscow for meetings with Putin, already has an international warrant against him on suspicion of ordering deadly terror attack

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• California State Assembly candidate accuses Israel of genocide and offers support for Louis Farrakhan

• Norwegian hospitals refuse to assist in circumcisions.

• Greek Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki vandalized for second time in two weeks.

building campaign

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Amos Harel: Israel’s ultimate consideration in shooting down Syrian drone
– Herb Keinon: The message in the Netanyahu-Putin meeting
– Oded Granot: Iran not going anywhere from Syria
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Don’t worry, they are only flying kites
– Karl du Fresne: Israel’s continuing existence a remarkable feat of survival


Featured image: CC0 Pexels; Ireland CC0 Pixabay; Corbyn via YouTube/ITV News;

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

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Post  Admin on Wed 11 Jul 2018, 2:53 pm

Irish Senate to Vote on Criminalizing Settlement Goods
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Today’s Top Stories
*** BREAKING NEWS *** Shortly after this roundup was published, the IDF shot down an aerial drone that infiltrated Israel from Syria. Developing . . .
1. As this roundup was published, Irish parliament’s upper house, the Seanad, was due to vote on legislation criminalizing the import and sale of goods and services from West Bank settlements. Under the terms of The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill, anyone importing or selling settlement products would be liable to up to five years in prison and a 250,000 fine.
With wide support from independent and opposition parties, bill is widely expected to pass despite opposition from the government itself. The Attorney General says the bill violates European Union trade regulations while the Foreign Ministry prefers what it calls a common EU response to settlement activity.

The bill will also be a source of friction for Irish companies doing business in the US, where Congress has already passed anti-boycott legislation. Orde Kittrie explains:

If enacted, it could force U.S. firms with Irish divisions or subsidiaries to make a costly choice between violating either Irish law or U.S. law. If the companies refuse to join in Ireland’s boycott of such products, they could violate the new Irish law. But if they abide by the Irish law, they could violate U.S. law, which prohibits U.S. companies from participating in foreign boycotts that the United States government does not endorse.

Following the bill’s presumed passage, the legislation will then move to the lower house (the Dail) for debate and vote.

More on the story at the Times of Israel and Irish Times. Tweet of the day goes to Alex Ryvchin.

Alex Ryvchin
 Anti-Israel activists argued that labelling goods from Israeli settlements was about “consumer choice”. Now Irish steps to criminalise such goods, and remove all consumer freedom to purchase them, makes clear that this was just the latest attempt to boycott the Jewish state.

4:30 AM - Jul 11, 2018
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2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu departed for Moscow today for his third meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin in six months. They’ll discuss — what else? — the latest developments in Syria and Iran’s entrenchment there. Haaretz reports this:

Foreign diplomats informed of the details of discussions between Israel and Moscow say that Israel has agreed not to disrupt the Assad regime’s retaking of control on Israel’s northern border and not to assist the rebels except for humanitarian aid, in exchange for keeping Iranian troops and Shi’ite militias away from the border and maintaining room to maneuver against any increase in their strength in Syria.

Indeed, Syria widened its assault on rebels in areas near the Golan Heights.

Democrats3. The JTA takes a deep dive look at the wave of progressive American Democrats who criticize Israel, and the bind it puts on the party’s supporters of the Jewish state. What does the rise of candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Leslie Cockburn mean?

“There’s a lot of evidence that defining liberalism through an intersectional lens has had the effect of casting Israel as an ‘oppressor’ and thus a nation worthy of condemnation even as its actual policies on issues associated with intersectionality are infinitely better than those of its neighbors,” KC Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College, former Fulbright instructor at Tel Aviv University and regular Washington Post contributor, told JTA in an email interview . . .

“Liberal Zionists,” Johnson warns, “will need to more effectively communicate how Israel’s policies on women’s issues, LGBT rights and civil rights are consistent with a Democratic Party increasingly oriented around identity politics.”

4. Israel Hate Journalist Tweets Old (Fake) News: Reporter Kitty Holland once tweeted that she won’t interact with Zionists. So it’s not a surprise that she’s spreading more anti-Israel poison on Twitter, this time an old and fake “news report” from a fringe website.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• The Israeli Navy intercepted a Palestinian boat trying to break the Gaza blockade yesterday. Eight Palestinians aboard were arrested and the boat was towed to Ashdod. Some of the Palestinians were said to have been injured in recent clashes and seeking medical attention abroad. However, the Times of Israel reports:

The vessel’s purported destination was Cyprus, however the boat lacked the equipment necessary to safely reach the island nation, making it more likely that this was a symbolic act of protest.

• Mufti of Jerusalem issues religious decree prohibiting Palestinians from selling property to Jews.

The fatwa, according to Palestinian sources, came in response to an Israeli bill allowing Jews to purchase land in Area C of the West Bank. The bill, put forward by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi), aims to change a 1953 Jordanian law that prevents foreigners and non-Arabs from directly purchasing land in the West Bank.

Socialist International• Israel’s Labor Party quit the Socialist International after the umbrella organization of socialist parties and organizations adopted a resolution joining the Boycott Divest and Sanction Israel campaign.

I haven’t seen any response from Israel’s Meretz party, which is also a member of the Socialist International.

• The White House tapped former Obama Mideast peace envoy David Hale for a top post in State Department post. A career diplomat, Hale currently serves as US ambassador to Pakistan. President Donald Trump’s peace plan is yet to be released and it’s not clear what role, if any, Hale might have getting Israeli-Palestinian talks back on track. More at the Times of Israel.

Window Into Israel
Shaul Elovitch
Israeli businessman, Shaul Elovitch arrives for extension of his remand in case 4000 at the District Court in Tel Aviv, February 22, 2018. Photo by Flash90
• Media tycoon Shaul Elovitch reportedly admitted to police investigators that he altered coverage of the PM at the request of the Netanyahu family.
Police are investigating whether the PM had an understanding with Elovitch, Bezeq’s majority shareholder, in which Netanyahu gave the telecom giant regulatory benefits in exchange for favorable coverage on the Elovitch-owned Walla! News site.

During his interrogation, which reportedly lasted even longer, Elovitch said he had called Walla’s CEO Ilan Yeshua to change the content of news articles, adding, according to Channel 10 news: “I couldn’t ignore the pleas of [the prime minister’s wife] Sara Netanyahu and the rest of the Netanyahu family. I didn’t want to anger the prime minister. He was my regulator.

“What did you expect? That I would ignore those requests?” Elovitch reportedly told his interrogators. “But I never expected any favors in return. I didn’t talk to Netanyahu about regulatory benefits and there was no bribery deal.”

Netanyahu, who was also grilled by investigators yesterday, said he and his family didn’t get favorable coverage from Walla.

1927 earthquake
Damage to the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City after the 1927 earthquake.
• With earthquakes on the minds of Israelis, today happens to be the anniversary of the last major earthquake to hit Israel. The Jericho earthquake struck on this date in 1927.
Known as the 1927 Jericho Earthquake, the 6.25 magnitude quake lasted approximately five seconds and rippled from its epicenter in the northern Dead Sea region to Jerusalem, Jericho and Nablus, reaching Ramle, Lod and Tiberias – claiming 500 lives and injuring an additional 700 people. It also caused massive structural damage throughout the region.

This was also the last time an earthquake caused significant damage to Jerusalem. Over 130 people were killed and some 450 were injured.

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Ori Chudy criticizes Israel’s earthquake preparedness as “inadequate.”

building campaign

Around the World
• In New Zealand, National Party leader, Simon Bridges acknowledged that New Zealand “got it wrong” by co-sponsoring UN Security Council resolution 2334, which denounced Israeli settlements. The resolution was passed in December, 2016, during the waning days of the Obama administration, when the US abstained from the vote rather than veto it.

• Alumni group knocks Columbia U. for ‘disappointing’ response to professor who blamed Israel for “every dirty act in the world.”

Columbia University
• French Jewish family told to remove mezuzah outside apartment.

• Caught between jihadists and neo-Nazis, Swedish Jews fear for their future.

• Looks like The Australian‘s staff-ed shares HonestReporting’s sentiments towards Nabil Shaath and his response to Australia’s decision to cut aid to the PA.

In expressing himself as he did, Mr Shaath revealed how out of touch the Palestinian leadership has become in relation to terrorism against Israel and its citizens. It defies reason that Mr Shaath can seriously believe that any self-respecting country should go on providing aid to the Palestinian Authority amid suspicions that it may find its way into supporting those carrying out acts of terrorism. That is the purpose of the “Martyrs’ Fund” and Ms Bishop has taken the right action.
 Nothing sums up the arrogant Palestinian sense of entitlement more than Nabil Shaath saying Australia is "worthy of being spat on" for sending aid through accountable NGOs rather than the corrupt PA that pays terrorist salaries. #Chutzpah. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/australia-worthy-of-being-spat-on-nabil-shaath-condemns-decision-to-cancel-10-million-in-aid/news-story/6222e9beff77591b7be4f464f7412318

7:55 AM - Jul 10, 2018

‘Worthy of being spat on’
A senior Palestinian Authority official has condemned a decision by the Australian government to cancel $10 million in aid, describing Australia as “worthy of being spat on” and “servants of the US”.

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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: Economics won’t help. The Palestinians will continue with terror attacks
– Avi Issacharoff: Closing Gaza border crossing shows Israel has no clear vision for the Strip
– Alex Fishman: The games at play in Syria
– David Wainer, Jonathan Ferziger, Donna Abu-Nasr: Israel’s support for Sunnis in Syria was not a failed investment
– Dominic Green: Trump’s Mideast ‘deal of the century’ turns out to be a big fat nothing burger
– Keith Kahn-Harris: Without trust, Labour’s new antisemitism code is bound to fail
– Kenneth Waltzer: From ‘intersectionality’ to the exclusion of Jewish students: BDS makes a worrying turn on US campuses

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Alex Moreno Fuster; Dublin CC BY-NC ladyb; Democratic donkey CC BY DonkeyHotey; earthquake via Wikimedia Commons; Columbia CC BY-NC-ND Wally Gobetz;

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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Jul 2018, 7:45 pm

Israel Designates TV Station As Terror Entity

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel designated the Al-Quds TV network a terror organization. The move bars the network from operating in Israel. The Defense Ministry said the channel acts as the propaganda arm of Hamas. Haaretz explains:

The channel, which first went live in October 2008 and broadcasts from Beirut, has offices in the Gaza Strip as well as in Ramallah and Jerusalem. It makes use of local companies to produce content.

Owners, journalists and photojournalists of a production company which collaborates with Al-Quds and is based in the Arab-majority northern city of Umm Al-Fahm were summoned on Monday morning for questioning.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you

2. The Jerusalem Post takes a closer look at divisions within Hamas over international initiatives to rehabilitate Gaza:

Here’s the dilemma Hamas is facing: On the one hand, if Hamas accepts these initiatives, its rivals – first and foremost the ruling Fatah faction – will accuse it of “selling out to Israel and the US,” and giving up Palestinian national rights in return for economic projects and humanitarian aid.

On the other hand, rejecting proposals to improve the living conditions its constituents could aggravate the situation and possibly prompt desperate Palestinians to revolt against the Hamas regime.

3. Since Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on May 18, some 18,000 Palestinians have left the Strip. Who is fleeing and what does this mean for Gaza?

Most of those who are leaving aren’t ordinary Gazans, because getting out of Gaza requires financial resources, political networking, energy and initiative and – above all – somewhere to go to, in a world increasingly hostile towards immigrants. Hence, most Gazans who make it out are necessarily Gaza’s most resourceful, highly-educated, promising, accomplished, and sometimes wealthiest people.

The exit of these Gazans over the last few months constitute a clear attenuation of the territory’s future: A mass brain drain and human capital flight . . .

Hamas leaders dismiss the numbers of emigrants as a “small fringe.” However, had it not been for the Egyptian’s pre-specified capacity to process about 500 people a day (of which 400 are from an endless waiting list and about 100 “coordinated passages” – the result of bribes), the numbers would certainly have been far more shocking.

4. Reaching out to Israeli audiences, Daniel Pomerantz discussed HonestReporting’s work and the nature of media bias on Radio Eretz FM‘s Noam Nir (in Hebrew). Forward to 1:35:55.

Israel and the Palestinians
• A flotilla seeking to symbolically break the Israeli blockade of Gaza was left the Strip today. Organizers say the boats will carry sick and injured Palestinians who have been unable to travel abroad to Cyprus. There was no information about yet about the Israeli navy intercepting the boats when this roundup was published.

Israel enforces a blockade of the Strip to prevent weapons smuggling.

• Reacting to Australia cancelling $10 million in aid to the PA over terror stipends, Palestinian official Nabil Shaath displays a stunning sense of entitlement.

The Australian

• No injuries reported after shots fired at West Bank settlement of Beit El on Monday night.

• Hamas’ Gaza strongman, Yahye Sinwar, broke his arm in a traffic accident. According to Palestinian reports picked up by the Times of Israel, no foul play is suspected.

• Worth reading: The Washington Post takes a closer look at Israeli efforts to reduce Palestinian lone-wolf terror attacks by monitoring social media.

flames• A by the numbers look at terror kites, per figures reported by Ynet.

– More than 100: Days since Palestinians launched the first terror kites
– 678: Fires sparked across farmlands and woodlands near Gaza border
– 9,160: Dunams of land consumed (around 2,263 acres)
– 6,000: Dunams of agricultural produce consumed (around 1,482 acres)
– 15,100: Dunams of Jewish National Fund land consumed (around 3,731 acres)
– 33: Number of fires fought on Monday alone

Window Into Israel
• Another minor earthquake rumbled northern Israel near the Kinneret Lake, “bringing the number of tremors in the area in recent days to more than 40.” Israeli media raised concerns about the nation’s earthquake preparedness:

Out of 1,600 schools deemed three years ago to be in danger of collapsing, just 53 have since been reinforced, Hadashot TV reported Monday.

None of the 108 dangerous material factories, ordered two years ago by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to strengthen their structures, has completed the process, the report added.

They’re taking the earthquake threat seriously in Tiberias. More on the national preparedness at Globes.

building campaign

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had another round of police questioning about the “Bezeq affair.” Police are investigating whether the PM had an understanding with Bezeq’s majority shareholder, Shaul Elovitch in which Netanyahu gave the telecom giant regulatory benefits in exchange for favorable coverage on the Elovitch-owned Walla! News site. Netanyahu denies any wrong-doing.

• Tel Aviv‘s Deputy Mayor Asaf Zamir announced that he’s going to challenge Mayor Ron Huldai in municipal elections. Residents of the White City go to the polls in November.
Tel Aviv
Around the World
• The courtroom battle against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions continues. Legal Insurrection updates the latest on a lawsuit against the American Studies Association, which adopted an academic boycott of Israel.

• We knew all along that Students For Justice in Palestine never believed in a two-state solution. Now SJP confirmed it in an op-ed in the California Aggie, the student paper of U. California, Davis. Backstory at The Algemeiner.

Lastly, it is an ideological fantasy to really believe that progress is possible so long as the state of Israel exists. Underlying this naive fantasy is the belief that a state that engages in racist laws, systematic killings and home demolitions can also function as a beacon of peace. The goal of Palestinian resistance is not to establish “love” with those who are responsible for the suffering of the Palestinian people; it is to completely dismantle those forces at play.

• Muslim Democratic congressional candidate calls Israel ‘apartheid regime,’ the JTA reports.

• Knife-wielding man threatens Zurich Jewish family on way to synagogue.

girl reading paper • Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Tony Badran: Iran’s two-front strategy against Israel
– Amos Harel: Israel tightens Gaza blockade – but ball is in Hamas’ court
– Herb Keinon: Why close the Kerem Shalom crossing now?
– Yossi Yehoshua: Protective Edge deterrence has eroded
– Yaakov Selavan: While you were busy denouncing Israel
– Yoav Limor: Syria strike is a message to Iran ?
– Eytan Halon: What does Boris Johnson resignation mean for UK-Israel relations?
– Daniella Peled: Too little, too late on anti-Semitism from Corbyn and UK Labour Party

Featured image: CC BY Christine Rondeau; flames CC BY palo; Tel Aviv via YouTube/Moshe Tutian girl CC BY-NC Roland Scheerer;

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

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Post  Admin on Mon 09 Jul 2018, 8:40 pm

Is Hamas Moving Forces to Calm the Gaza Border?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Hamas forces have returned to the Gaza border in what appears to be a bid to restore calm, according to Israeli media reports. Meanwhile, Israel announced that it is closing the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Gaza because of the terror kites and balloons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is taking other steps, but didn’t elaborate.

On a related note, Qatar’s envoy to Gaza floated a trial balloon of his own, telling Israeli radio that letting 5,000 Gazans work in Israel would calm the border and end the terror kites and balloons.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you

2. Syria blamed Israel for an airstrike last night on a military base. The T4 base, located near Homs, is known to be used by Iranian personnel. After one airstrike on T4 earlier this year, an IDF officer confirmed to the New York Times that Israel had been responsible.

3. South Carolina became the first state to adopt a uniform definition of antisemitism. Columbia lawmakers adopted the State Department’s definition, which adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition.

The IHRA working definition made news in the UK last week when the Labour party adopted a watered down definition, angering British Jewry.

South Carolina
South Carolina statehouse in Columbia
In the News
• The opening of Sara Netanyahu’s trial has been postponed to October 7. Mrs. Netanyahu is accused of fraudulently spending $96,000 on ordered meals at the state’s expense despite the prime minister’s residence having a cook available.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court accepted a request from attorney Yossi Cohen, who sought to postpone the opening hearing in the case due to a clash with another case he is working on.

• Defiant Abbas says he won’t halt stipends to terrorists.

• After Israel arrested a Turkish national suspected of transferring money to Hamas, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu says Ankara will “retaliate.” Israel is taking measures to restrict President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to expand his influence in eastern Jerusalem.

earthquake• Israel’s earthquake preparedness, by the numbers. Based on Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel coverage of an emergency meeting of officials from the Defense Ministry, municipalities and rescue services following a series of light earthquakes in northern Israel.

– Over 10: number of earthquakes striking around the Kinneret in recent days
– 4: Earthquakes felt in northern Israel just on Sunday
– 6.2: Richter scale magnitude of Israel’s last major earthquake in 1927
– 500: Fatalities from the 1927 earthquake
– 74,000: Israeli students trained to be first responders after an earthquake
– 16,000: Expected fatalities in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– 100,000: Expected injured in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– 10,000: Expected number of buildings destroyed in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– 377,000: Expected homeless in a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– NIS 200 billion: Estimated cost of damages from a 7.5 magnitude earthquake
– 80,000: Buildings more than three-stories high that were built before 1980, and not constructed to current standards
– “not much”: What’s been done to strengthen buildings and infrastructure, according to a 2004 state comptroller’s report

• Pakistan’s only officially recognized Jew, Fishel Khalid openly made his case against restrictions on traveling to Israel in a recent Pakistani Daily Times op-ed. His piece caught the eye of National Public Radio, which interviewed Khalid to learn more.

I am raising my children to be Jewish, yes. And mark my words, either Pakistani state allows me or not, I’m going to celebrate Passover next year in Jerusalem, Israel.

building campaign

• North Korea once sought to extort Israel by offering to stop working with Iran on missile technology — if Israel coughed up $1 billion. The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) picked up on the new memoir of a North Korean diplomat who defected.

In a Stockholm cafe one winter’s day in 1999, North Korea’s ambassador to Sweden made a proposal to his Israeli counterpart, according to a former Pyongyang diplomat: Give North Korea $1 billion in cash and we will scrap our agreements to sell our missile technology to Iran and other enemies of Israel.

The Israelis refused, and days later offered food aid instead, according to the account. The talks ended without an agreement. Since then, North Korea has remained a steady supplier of conventional and ballistic weapons and nuclear technology to countries such as Iran and Syria.


• Jewish Syrian wearing a Star of David pendant attacked in Berlin.

• More swastika carvings found in Ridgefield, Conn.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Ron Ben Yishai: Assad’s huge victory and what it means for Israel
– Amos Harel: Syria strike: On eve of Moscow meeting, Netanyahu sends Putin strategic message
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Assad’s Pyrrhic victory
– Manfred Gerstenfeld: Can Labour stamp out antisemitism as long as Corbyn is chairman?

Featured image: CC BY Sjoerd Lammers Photography; South Carolina CC BY Jeff Turner; earthquake via Wikimedia Commons; North Korea via Good Free Photos; Iran CC0 Pixabay;

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Post  Admin on Sun 08 Jul 2018, 10:29 pm

White House Pivots to ‘Gaza First’ Strategy

Today’s Top Stories
1. With peace efforts stuck in the mud, the Trump administration is focusing its efforts on improving Gaza’s living conditions, the Washington Post reports.

[A US infusion of development aid] could demonstrate a commitment to the Palestinian people that could make it more difficult for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to continue to rebuff overtures to engage in the peace process . . .

Israeli officials said they welcome a “Gaza first” approach as a way to both put pressure on Hamas and wait out the rival Palestinian leadership in the West Bank.

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2. According to Israeli media reports, Israel is moving to restrict Turkish activities in eastern Jerusalem, amid concerns that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to expand his influence there through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), a non-governmental organization that also operates in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Turkish aid group is suspected of A) trying to purchase property in eastern Jerusalem, B) transferring money to Hamas, and C) involvement in last year’s Temple Mount protests. That all ties in with the Israel’s arrest of a Turkish national, Ebru Ozkan. She’s accused of trying transfer money to Hamas.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
3. British Jews are furious with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party over its newly adopted definition of antisemitism. The party, in essence, took the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and edited out the references to Israel and how certain criticisms of the Jewish state can be antisemitic.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism, Stephen Pollard, Nick Cohen and Jewish Labour activists Mike Katz and Adam Langleben castigated the party’s watered down definition. The IHRA’s full definition of antisemitism was adopted by adopted by Britain in 2016.

Jonathan Freedland
 So Labour have rejected a definition of antisemitism accepted by UK, Scottish and Welsh govts, 124 local authorities, gov’ts around the world and most Jews. It seems Labour found that definition too stringent - it prohibited anti-Jewish expression that Labour wants to allow

3:20 PM - Jul 5, 2018
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel’s High Court of Justice put a freeze on plans to demolish the illegally built Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar.

• Palestinians in Ramallah are accusing the PA of hypocrisy after the police force received 25 brand new American-made jeeps from the US consulate. The PA has boycotted American officials since the White House recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

building campaign

• Foiling a terror attack, police arrested a Palestinian with meat cleaver and knife outside the Beit El settlement on Saturday.

• First cabinet member enters Temple Mount after three years as Prime Minister lifts ban.

Michele Chabin
 #Palestinian media outlets are characterizing the visits of Israeli MKs on the Temple Mount as "storming." You can criticize without lying. 
"To storm" means to "suddenly attack and capture (a building or other place) by means of force." They're walking, not storming. #FakeNews

3:04 PM - Jul 8, 2018
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• Britain to lead review of incitement in Palestinian textbooks, which is expected to be completed in September, 2019.

• South African International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu announced that Pretoria will not reinstate its ambassador to Israel. Pretoria recalled Ambassador Sisa Ngombane two months ago in protest of Israel’s handling of the Gaza border clashes.

Lindiwe Sisulu
South African International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu
• Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s niece was seriously wounded in Friday clashes along the Israel-Gaza border, Ynet reports.

• An incendiary balloon from Gaza landed near a kindergarten in moshav Netiv HaAsara on Sunday, causing light damage on Sunday.

• The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) takes a rare look at Palestinian discontent with Mahmoud Abbas and the PA. Call it restless in Ramallah?

“We have never reached this level of weakness in front of our people,” said Saeb Erekat, a 63-year-old top aide to Mr. Abbas.

“At the end of the day, governing is not about how decent you are and how honest you are,” Mr. Erekat said. “You promised your people you do something. You didn’t.”

• Jerusalem denied an i24 News report that Israel hosted a military delegation from the United Arab Emirates “to review operations of the advanced US-made F-35 fighter jets.” The UAE is seeking to procure the advanced stealth fighter, and has openly participated alongside the Israeli Air Force in exercises in both Greece and the US.

A US Air Force F-35 taking off on a Oct. 25, 2017 training flight.
Window Into Israel
• Plans for a mixed prayer pavilion at the Western Wall took another hit when another member of the committee tasked with implementing the compromise plan quit.

Religious Affairs Minister David Azoulay of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party announced his resignation from the committee in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he charged that the decision to build the permanent plaza had already been made by the premier ahead of a committee meeting set for Sunday.

Culture Minister Miri Regev and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked resigned from the committee in recent days.

• Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug announced that she will step down from her position when her five-year term ends in November. The 63-year-old Flug is the first woman to serve as the Bank of Israel’s governor. Flug did not indicate why she isn’t seeking a second term. Times of Israel coverage.

Karnit Flug
Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug
• A new right-wing list, the “United” faction, seeks to bring together Jerusalem’s haredi and national-religious residents in the October 30 municipal elections. Jerusalem City Council member Aryeh King heads the new faction and joins an already crowded field of people vying to succeed outgoing Mayor Nir Barkat.

Other announced candidates include Deputy Mayor Moshe Lion, Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Kulanu MK and former Jerusalem deputy mayor Rachel Azaria, Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai, and activist Ofer Berkovich of the pluralistic Hitorerut faction.

• Northern Israel felt another minor earthquake today. It measured 3.2 on the Richter scale. After a number of minor earthquakes in recent days, a retired IDF Home Front officer warns a warns a major earthquake will hit Israel in the near future.

Around the World
• Progressive Democrats increasingly criticize Israel, and could reap political rewards, ABC News reports.

• French website removes ad for Auschwitz showerhead.

• Australian glasses company under fire for ad campaign filmed at Holocaust death camp.

Saying it was unaware of site’s sensitivity, Valley Eyewear apologizes and takes down pictures and video shot at Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

 .@valleyeyewear, perfect for vampire cataract sufferers who love to loiter around Holocaust and WWII memorials.

2:27 PM - Jul 1, 2018
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• Jewish Israel advocate Sergio Kowensky was shot and killed in his Johannesburg work place last week. According to the South African Jewish Report, it’s not yet clear if the businessman, who was chairman of the Likud South Africa Jewish group, was specifically killed for his Zionist activities, or was “just another senseless act of urban violence on the crime-ridden streets of Johannesburg.”

Kowensky, who was 67, is survived by his wife and three children.

• Anti-bullying experts are being sent to 170 German schools in a bid to counter rising antisemitic incidents.

• Two teachers at New York’s elite Riverdale Country School lost their jobs for sharing anti-Israel views with students.

UNRWA• Over at the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) Richard Goldberg and Jonathan Schanzer call on a the White House to declassify a single US document they say would blow the lid on the Palestinian refugee “scam.”

Unrwa labels more than five million Palestinians “refugees”—an impossible figure. The first Arab-Israeli war, in 1948, yielded roughly 800,000 Palestinian Arab refugees. Perhaps 30,000 remain alive today, but Unrwa has kept the refugee issue alive by labeling their descendants—in some cases great-great-grandchildren—as “refugees,” who insist on the “right of return” to their ancestors’ homes. Israel categorically rejects this demand . . .

In 2012 Congress ordered the State Department to disclose how many Palestinians currently served by Unrwa fled the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and how many are merely their descendants. The Obama administration classified the report, citing national security—as if revealing foreign census data were a threat to America.

A year and half into office, Mr. Trump hasn’t reversed this policy, but momentum is building against it.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– David Weinberg: Thwart Turkey’s Jerusalem incursion
– Amos Harel: Assad returns to the Israeli border. The big question is who is coming with him
– Zvi Bar’el: As Syrian army heads south, Assad will require new agreements with Israel
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: The end of the Syrian revolution
– Avi Issacharoff: As war edges toward end, Iran faces hard fight to keep its influence in Syria
– Yarden Ben-Yosef: The digital battle over the narrative of the Gaza protests
– Daniel Siryoti: Abbas had better fall into line
– Lahav Harkov: When realpolitik crosses the line
– Yossi Beilin: When BDS has a Jewish face
– Gol Kalev: Are Palestinians ready tell supporters, ‘We’re not your toy?’

• Last but not least, Saeb Erekat is sour grapes after Australia ended direct financial assistance to the PA.


Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Armando G Alonso; Erdogan via Wikimedia Commons with alterations; Sisulu CC BY-ND Government ZA; F-35 U.S. Air Force with alterations; Flug via YouTube/Gazunda – Today’s Finance;

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Post  Admin on Thu 05 Jul 2018, 3:09 pm

Israel Confirms Efforts For Prisoner Swap With Hamas
Today’s Top Stories
1. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan confirmed to Ynet that Israel is trying jump-start talks for a prisoner swap with Hamas. He didn’t elaborate on the specifics about reports that Germany is acting as a go-between to facilitate an exchange.

According to the source, the negotiations are being conducted on two levels — via German diplomats in the Palestinian Authority, and a second track working out of Berlin — and that Israel and Egypt both trust the German team. If a deal is reached, the paper reports that Egypt will facilitate the exchange.

Hamas currently holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Hamas also holds captive Israeli civilians Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who both wandered across the Gaza border in separate incidents. Both are mentally unstable.

The last prisoner swap was in 2011 when Israel released 1,027 prisoners for Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped and held captive for more than five years.

From left to right: Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, Avraham Mengitsu and Hisham al-Sayed

2. The Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center slammed an Israeli and Polish joint declaration after Warsaw amended a contentious Holocaust law.

Yad Vashem’s statement said the Israeli-Polish declaration contained a number of historical errors, and that it paves the way to continue with legal battles against historians and other Holocaust researchers – even though now these will be only civil and not criminal proceedings . . .

Another controversial part of the joint declaration is its final section, which drew parallels between anti-Semitism and “anti-Polonism and other negative national stereotypes” and condemned both equally.

Poland launched an PR blitz featuring full-page ads in Israel, Europe and the US. (You may ask, Why Germany?)

3. The trial of former cabinet minister Gonen Segev began in Jerusalem behind closed doors. Segev, who served as minister of energy and infrastructure from 1992 to 1995, is accused of spying and transferring secret information to Iran. Take your pick of Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, or Ynet coverage.

Segev is expected to plead not guilty initially, though the prosecution believes that there may eventually be a plea deal.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
Israel and the Palestinians
• There’s a new strain on Israeli-Jordanian tensions. When Britain’s Prince William visited the Temple Mount, Nizar al-Qaissi, a diplomatic working in Jordan’s mission in Ramallah, joined Waqf officials in greeting the royal, to the ire of Israeli officials. According to the Times of Israel:

Israel’s Foreign Ministry and police were opposed to al-Qaissi’s presence and made their position known to organizers of the prince’s visit, a well-placed source told The Times of Israel, speaking on condition of anonymity . . .

An official at the UK Consulate General in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel that “the Waqf invited those to attend and greet” the future king.

The Islamic Waqf, which administers the Temple Mount, is overseen and funded by Jordan. The 1994 peace agreement between Israel and Jordan recognizes the Hashemite Kingdom’s “special role” in regard to Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Raphael Ahren
No Israeli diplomats were present when Prince William visited the Western Wall. But a Jordanian diplomat, stationed in Ramallah, accompanied the future king to Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock. Official Israel is not pleased. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-irked-over-jordanian-diplomat-greeting-prince-william-on-temple-mount/

11:57 AM - Jul 5, 2018

Israel irked over Jordanian diplomat greeting Prince William on Temple Mount
Ramallah-based Nizar al-Qaissi had joined Waqf officials in greeting royal on 'private visit' to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock

See Raphael Ahren's other Tweets
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• If you can’t beat them, join them. Ariel Gold, a prominent backer of BDS and leader of CodePink, is mulling aliyah to get around Israel’s recent refusal to let her enter the country.

• Latest poll finds Palestinians favor jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti as successor to Mahmoud Abbas.

• Worth a listen: London’s LBC Radio talked to an Israeli soldier about his recent experiences on the Gaza border.

• The IDF warned Bashar Assad that any Syrian forces entering the demilitarized zone along the Israel-Syria border will be legitimate targets. The DMZ was established in 1974. International peacekeepers monitoring the border left as the civil war made their work too dangerous.

Meanwhile, a Hezbollah commander in Syria confirmed to Reuters that the terror group commands Syrian soldiers.

“Hezbollah is a fundamental participant in planning and directing this battle,” a commander in the regional alliance that backs Damascus told Reuters. “Everyone knows this – the Israeli enemy, friends, and even the Russians.”

Hezbollah’s role includes directing Syrian forces, the commander said. It has also deployed its own elite forces.

Window into Israel
water• A major study suggests desalinated water raises the risk of heart disease. Researchers said there was a failure to add magnesium to the water, leaving the Health Ministry and Water Authority to point fingers at each other.

According to the Israel Water Authority, only 1% of desalinated water is used for drinking and adding magnesium as part of the production process would be very costly. However, some argue that even the water used for agriculture should be enriched with magnesium because it is absorbed by the produce that people eventually eat, the television report said.

While the idea of introducing magnesium into the desalinated water has been raised in the past, the Water Authority and the Health Ministry have failed to agree on a plan to implement the proposal.

• Former employee at Israeli cyber-weapons firm sought to sell stolen top-secret code on the Darknet.

building campaign

Around the World
• The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign is targeting a Berlin cultural festival because the Israeli embassy among the sponsors.

• Sydney high school students suspended over Nazi salutes and antisemitic bullying of Jewish students.

• Jews in Turkey fear growing antisemitism.

• Polish priest set for sainthood criticized for antisemitism.

Fishel Benkhald
• Unable to visit Israel, Pakistan’s only officially recognized Jew, Fishel Benkhald lays out his beef with Islamabad policies in an op-ed that must be unusual for regular readers of the Pakistani Daily Times:
I am stuck in a real life conundrum. Being a practicing Jewish man, I want the freedom to perform my religious duties, a right granted to me and other minorities in the country by the constitution. However, the reality is that my Pakistani passport states that ‘this passport is valid for all countries of the world, except Israel’. As per the constitution, every citizen has the right to practice their religion, including religious pilgrimages. How then, can the state be justified in prohibiting not only Jews, but Pakistani Christians, Messianic Jews, and even Muslims from travelling to Jerusalem? This self-conflicting sentence on our passports is flawed and inconsistent with our constitution, and it is time to challenge this archaic law.

All I simply want is to invoke my given constitutional right to perform a religious pilgrimage without having the threat of criminal persecution from the state of Pakistan hanging over my head.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Oded Yaron: Hamas’ cyber honeypot exposes Israeli weakness and tech giants’ complicity
– Dan Margalit: Israel to declare a boycott on Viktor Orban? Get real
– Mitchell Bard: How UC Berkeley went from anti-Israel bastion to Israel studies powerhouse
– Sirwan Kajjo: Hezbollah’s indefinite presence in Syria

Featured image: CC BY Bartosz Brzezinski; water CC BY Aqua Mechanica

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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 2:06 pm

Hamas Hacked Israeli Soldiers’ Phones
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel uncovered a Hamas “honey pot” network that sought to lure IDF soldiers into downloading infected apps onto their phones by posing as young women. The malware gave Hamas access to the phones’ location, photos, messages and contacts, and allowed the terror group to remotely operate the camera and microphone without the soldiers’ knowledge. As for the extent of the hacking, the Washington Post reports:
While it could not give exact numbers on how many soldiers were allegedly approached or duped into conversation with Hamas’s cyberoperatives, the army said hundreds of recruits reported being approached through their Facebook accounts. About 2 percent of those agreed to download the apps. It is possible that more people will come forward now that the information about the purported cyberthreat has been made public.
Hamas managed to compromise soldiers’ phones in a similar “honey pot” scam last year. See Lilach Shoval‘s take.
2. Israel’s Eurovision win is in jeopardy as a US label claims Netta Barzilai’s ‘Toy’ was copied from “Seven Nation Army,” a 2003 hit by the Detroit rock band, The White Stripes. According to Israeli media reports, if Universal Music Studios’ claim is proven in court, “it could disqualify Toy’s eligibility to participate in Eurovision and strip Israel of its win and hosting rights for the 2019 tournament.”
If you want to listen and judge for yourself, here are links to Toy and Seven Nation Army plus this mashup of both songs. The White Stripes broke up in 2011.
I presume Cyprus — which came in second place with Eleni Foureira’s Fuego— will host next year’s tournament if (and that’s a big if) Israel is indeed disqualified.
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3. An Israeli law professor was tapped to head the UN Human Rights Committee. The JTA introduces us to Professor Yuval Shany of Hebrew University and the Israel Democracy Institute.
The Human Rights Committee is different from the more well-known Human Rights Council, which is generally hostile to Israel. The United States recently withdrew from the council.
The committee, which operates under the aegis of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is a nonpolitical body that monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its state parties.
4. The Environmental Impact of War: What exactly is the environmental impact of Palestinian terror kites and what can you do about it?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lifted a ban on Knesset members and cabinet ministers visiting Temple Mount. The change in policy came after police recommended that parliamentarians be allowed to visit the holy site. See Times of Israel and Haaretz coverage.
The ban was put in place three years ago for security reasons. Lawmakers will be required to coordinate their visits with the police, and are limited to one visit every three months.
• The Palestinian Authority defiantly doubled down on its stipends for imprisoned terrorists and the families of “martyrs” a day after the Knesset passed a law cutting tax revenue transfers to Ramallah.
Mahmoud Abbas
• According to the Israeli security establishment, Mahmoud Abbas is the biggest obstacle to rehabilitating Gaza. Haaretz explains:
In conversations over the past few weeks, Abbas is said to have expressed little interest in the Gaza Strip’s distress. He remains very hostile to Hamas, which he accuses of sabotaging the internal Palestinian reconciliation process and of the assassination attempt on PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during a visit to Gaza in March. As a result, the PA chairman has not responded to the feelers that have been put out by Israel, the United States and Nickolay Mladenov, the UN secretary-general’s envoy to the Middle East, about advancing the rehabilitation of the Strip.
• In Paris, IDF chief spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis briefed French lawmakers on the Gaza situation. According to the Times of Israel:
Manelis’s comments on the Gaza protests may have been meant as a rebuttal to the official stance of French President Emmanuel Macron, who said in a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on June 6 that the violence was caused by the US moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May.
• Netanyahu to meet Putin in Moscow next week.
• The trial of former cabinet minister Gonen Segev gets underway tomorrow. Segev, who served as minister of energy and infrastructure from 1992 to 1995, is accused of spying and transferring secret information to Iran. Although there’s a gag order, Haaretz looks at what’s known about the affair.
Around the World
• The Israeli Embassy in Dublin denounced a bill making its way through the Irish parliament that would criminalize the import and sale of settlement products. Foreign Minister Simon Coveney opposes the legislation.
Niall Collins
 · 19h
 The @fiannafailparty Parliamentary Party meeting this evening has decided to support the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill initiated by @frances_black https://twitter.com/niallcollinstd/status/1014108695666585600?s=21
The Irish Government has always condemned construction of illegal settlements. But this Bill asks Irish govt to do something it is not legally empowered to do - trade is an EU competence, not an Irish one. FF knows this - so this move is both opportunist and irresponsible.
7:53 PM - Jul 3, 2018 · London, England
87 people are talking about this
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• The British Labour party selected a Ken Livingstone defender as head of its disputes panel. Jewish activists called Claudia Webbe’s appointment “a step backwards” as the party continues to grapple with antisemitism within its ranks, the Jewish Chronicle reports.
• UK Jewish youth group drops Israel teen tour leader who said ‘Kaddish for Gaza’.
• Amsterdam’s oldest Jewish cemetery vandalized with swastikas.
building campaign
• Worth reading: Haviv Rettig Gur weighs in on the “brief but exciting life of the bill to outlaw filming IDF soldiers.” Not only did the contentious bill have no prayer of being passed, the legislation’s principal advocates and critics (including its author) knew it. Hence, the smoke and mirrors of Israeli politics.
The bill was fake from the start, the cabinet committee that “approved” the bill actually killed it, the preliminary vote was an agreed-upon fiction, Liberman’s gloating was a lie and the left-wing activists’ pearl-clutching was a demonstration of either a similar dishonesty or, worse, ignorance . . .
To recap, a bill to outlaw the filming of IDF soldiers has transformed into a bill that increases the maximum sentence for obstructing those soldiers — a crime never prosecuted in Israel’s history — from one year to three. It doesn’t forbid filming. And even as it was gutted, the bill was removed from the Knesset’s agenda for the foreseeable future. In its brief life, it offered left-wing activists a chance to rally to democracy’s defense, and the right’s populists a chance to show their uncompromising defense of Israel’s young soldiers . . .
Israeli soldiers at the entrance to the village of Husan, in the West Bank, on June 23, 2018. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:
– Charles Bybelezer: Planning for when terrorism no longer pays
– Clifford May: The courage to say yes
– The Australian (staff-ed) Good call on Palestinian aid
– Leon Hadar: The Trump-Netanyahu honeymoon appears destined to end
– Raphael Ahren: Does the Israeli-Polish Holocaust law agreement defend truth or betray history?
– Seth Frantzman: Foiled Iranian bomb plot overshadows Tehran’s European charm offensive
Featured image: CC BY PACAF; malware CC BY-SA Christoph Scholz; Abbas via President of Russia;

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Post  Admin on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 8:41 pm

What Does Assad’s Advance on Border Mean for Israel?
Today’s Top Stories
1. As the Syrian army along with an Iranian-backed militia make gains in the southwestern province of Daraa, the Jerusalem Post examines what it means for Israel.

The offensive, backed by Russian planes, is now within 10 km. of Israeli forces on the Golan border and risks opening a new front between Islamic State and the Syrian army . . .

As the regime closes in on the rebels the potential fighting with ISIS could threaten the relative stability near the border.

This is because the ISIS affiliate controls an area very close to al-Rafeed where thousands of Syrian internally displaced persons are clustered. It is also because ISIS could threaten any Israeli humanitarian aid crossing the border or seek to provoke Israel into a clash with the Syrian regime. In addition the Russian air force has consistently said its main role in southern Syria is to strike at ISIS and other extremist groups, which could draw the Russian activity closer to the border. Israel has so far had a working de-confliction arrangement with Moscow.

In addition, if the regime cuts the road from Nawa south the rebels and the civilians in the area near the Golan will be cut off from any aid they had been receiving from near Jordan. This will make them increasingly reliant on Israel for humanitarian aid, increasing chances of a crisis. The Syrian regime and its Russian allies likely know this and they are waging the current battle accordingly.

Daraa Israel DMZ

2. The IDF confirmed that Arab non-governmental organizations from countries that don’t have relations with Israel are using Israel to deliver humanitarian aid to displaced Syrians, Haaretz reported. “Lt. Col. E. refused to specify the Arab countries involved, ‘so as not to complicate things for them.'”

3. Trying to expand its influence in Jerusalem, Turkey is renovating the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, Israel HaYom reports.

Recently, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and the Saudis warned Israel of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meddling in Jerusalem. (His efforts to Turkify the city interferes with their own efforts to Arabize it. They both agree that the latest nefarious move to Judaize Jerusalem is a beyond the pale.

See related commentary by Nadav Shragai.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Western nations held a de facto boycott of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, the day the organization its controversial Agenda 7 debate on Israel. The Jerusalem Post explains:

The silence marked a slim sign of continued success for the Israeli and US campaign to abolish the UNRHC mandate that requires a debate on Israeli actions against the Palestinians at every council session under Agenda Item 7.

All other alleged human rights abuses around the globe are dealt with under Agenda Item 4, save for Israel, which is the only country with a permanent dedicated agenda item.

• When the family of Naftali Frenkel sued Iran and Syria for their connections to his 2014 kidnap and murder, Federal Judge Rosemary Mayers Collyer awarded the family a surprisingly low compensation, “arguing that the family had taken its chances when it chose to live in the West Bank.” But Ynet reports that sanity prevailed after the Frenkel’s appealed the ruling:

About a month ago, the [appellate] court accepted most of the family’s claims and handed the case back to Judge Collyer, clarifying that no guilt should be ascribed to the victim and that the damages should be increased. Collyer is expected to make a decision on the matter soon.

The principle (and possible precedent) matters more than the money as neither Iran nor Syria responded to the lawsuit. Frenkel, a dual Israeli-US citizen along with Eyal Yifrach and Gil’ad Sher, were abducted by Hamas terrorists from a hitchhiking spot at the entrance to Alon Shvut, near Bethlehem.


• Israel passed a law cutting funding to PA over its payments to imprisoned terrorists and the families of “martyrs.” The PA called the Knesset vote “a declaration of war.”

The US froze aid to the PA pending review, and Australia ended direct aid to PA over the issue. More at Reuters.

building campaign

Mideast Matters
• Latest reports put the number of displaced Syrians at 270,000, of which an estimated 11,000 are now encamped along the Israeli border. They’re fleeing a Syrian-Russian offensive against rebels which has so far killed 293 people, including rebels, civilians and children.

• The Times of Israel picked up on Arab reports of a powerful explosion at a weapons depot used by Iranian-backed militias in southwestern Syria today.

• Worth reading: Haaretz visited the northern border to gauge the new Syrian realities facing Israel.

• An Iranian general accused Israel of stealing clouds and snow, and manipulating weather. If Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali isn’t careful, the Mossad may just steal Iran’s sunshine and bluebirds too.


• The Shin Bet is reportedly concerned that Iran may target former prime minister Ehud Barak and other Israelis abroad, per Israeli media reports. Far-fetched? Reuters reports, “An Iranian diplomat has been arrested along with two people suspected of plotting a bomb attack on a meeting of an exiled Iranian opposition group in France attended by Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Belgian authorities said on Monday.”

Window into Israel
• Orthodox lawmakers are threatening to topple the government after a contentious bill to draft yeshiva students passed its first Knesset vote.

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Uri Regev and Yossi Verter weigh in on the yeshiva conscription bill and its implications.

Around the World
• Members of Ireland’s leading opposition party, Fianna Fail, are throwing their weight behind a bill to boycott products from Israeli settlements. More at the Times of London.

• Does a UK High Court ruling spell the end of BDS motions in local governments?

Deborah Lipstadt
Prof. Deborah Lipstadt
• Holocaust expert Dr. Deborah Lipstadt said the UK Labour party is partly responsible for a rise in “softcore Holocaust denial.”
Speaking at the Holocaust Education Trust’s annual conference in Westminster, London, she described how “softcore Holocaust denial” can also crop up in connection with Israel, where people go beyond criticism of policies and strategy and begin to draw comparisons with Nazi Germany.

“To talk about a genocide, or to talk about the Nazi-like tactics of the Israeli army is ludicrous,” she said. “Every army makes mistakes, every army does things wrong. There are things the Israeli army does wrong, but to compare it to Nazis is softcore denial.”

• UK court forces apology from Israeli-born antisemitic activist Gilad Atzmon for libeling a Jewish campaigner.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– MK Elazar Stern: Ending Palestinian ‘pay to slay’ payments for the sake of peace
– Zvi Bar’el: Syria’s Assad has become Israel’s ally
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians beat female journalists; world ‘sees no evil’
– Charles Dunst: Does cozying up to authoritarians make Israel safer?
– Herb Keinon: Will golden age of Israel-Mexico ties continue under new president?

Featured image: CC BY Shironeko Euro; gavel CC BY-ND bloomsberries; clouds CC BY-NC david reid; Lipstadt via YouTube/Nederlands Auschwitz Comité;

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

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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 9:45 pm

Australia Stops Direct PA Aid Over Terror Stipends
Today’s Top Stories
1. Australia stopped its $10 million funding for the Palestinian Authority amid concerns that the assistance was freeing up other money for the PA to spend on stipends for imprisoned terrorists and the families of “martyrs.” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement:

I am confident that previous Australian funding to the PA through the World Bank has been used as intended. However, I am concerned that in providing funds for this aspect of the PA’s operations there is an opportunity for it to use its own budget to activities that Australia would never support.

Any assistance provided by the Palestine Liberation Organisation to those convicted of politically motivated violence is an affront to Australian values, and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

More on the story at the Sydney Morning Herald and AP.

Australia Israel

2. Seeking to thwart a yet-to-be-released US peace plan, Mahmoud Abbas is seeking to form a new unity government — including Hamas — and arrange Palestinian elections. According to Asharq al-Awsat, Abbas is also looking into the possibility of bringing former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad to lead the new government.

Fayyad was prime minister between June 2007 and June 2013 and was succeeded by current PM Rami Hamdallah. Palestinians haven’t held national elections since 2005 and the 82-year-old Abbas is in the 13th year of a four-year term as President of the PA. Previous attempts to organize elections collapsed amid Fatah-Hamas feuding.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
3. According to the Daily Mirror, Prince William has caught the Mideast peacemaking bug and “has pledged to make peace in the Middle East his ‘lifelong project’ after his historic trip to the region.”

A highly-placed Palace source told the Sunday Mirror that the Duke is determined to solve the region’s long-simmering mutual hostility – a problem which has stumped a series of world leaders . . .

An insider revealed: “The politicians who affect this younger generation’s lives may only be in office for five, 10 or 20 years – but William knows his duty is for life.”

Tradition dictates that royals stay neutral rather than entering the political landscape at home or abroad.

But sources say William wants to play a significant role in bringing “peace and prosperity” to the Middle East and intends to use his global platform as a force for good in the region.

building campaign

In the News
• Anti-Israel activists are pushing the European Union to exclude Israel from research projects that are part of the Horizon 2020 R&D program. Israel HaYom reports that “154 organizations from 16 countries signed a letter urging EU lawmakers to exclude Israeli defense contractors from $117 billion research and innovation program in 2021-2027.” If the boycotters succeed, the exclusion could cost Israel billions of dollars in grants.

Ariel Gold
Ariel Gold
• A prominent Jewish Boycott Divestment and Sanctions activist was barred from entering Israel on Sunday. Ariel Gold, is the national co-director of Code Pink and an unequivocal supporter of BDS.

Gold had reportedly come to Israel on a visa to take part in a Jewish studies program at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In interviews, she has spoken of her desire to learn more about Judaism.

However, Israeli officials believed she was actually here to urge support for a boycott of Israel.

• Haaretz takes a closer look at budding Israel-Bahrain ties.

• Palestinian Authority condemns annual Jerusalem Light Festival as “judaizing” the city.

• Kansas judge dismisses lawsuit over Israel boycott ban but orders state to pay legal fees.

• The BDS movement is not only struggling to gain traction in Germany, it faces a surprisingly broad spectrum of opposition. The New York Times examines why.

• Worth reading: Moshe Yaalon (former defense minister) and MK Yair Lapid (who serves on the Knesset Committee on Intelligence and the Secret Services) make the case for why the West should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Their argument boils down to three elements, namely a) historical Jewish claims, b) it’s not in Israeli interests to trust Bashar Assad, and c) taking the Golan away punishes the Assad regime for using chemical weapons without requiring Western boots on the ground.

Golan Heights
An Israeli soldier in the Golan Heights
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Amos Harel: In bid to avoid conflict, Israel unlikely to help Syrian rebels near its border
– Seth Frantzman: Syria challenge: How will Netanyahu act?
– Yoav Limor: Things up north can quickly go south
– Daniel Shapiro: Trump’s appeasement of Putin will backfire on Israel
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Arab states not waiting for the Palestinians
– Gary Rosenblatt: ‘Kill The messenger’: How the Annapolis shooting hits home

Featured image: CC BY daliscar1; Golan CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces;

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Post  Admin on Sun 01 Jul 2018, 8:48 pm

Displaced Syrians Flocking to Israeli Border
Today’s Top Stories
1. Encampments of displaced Syrians sprung up along Syria’s border with Israel and Jordan as civilians fled renewed fighting in the southwestern Daraa province.

Syrian and Russian forces last week launched an offensive against rebels in southern Syria, violating a ceasefire brokered by the US, Russia and Jordan. Israel was not a party to that ceasefire. Of the estimated 160,000 people driven from their homes, 45,000 people have made their way to the Israeli and Jordanian borders. Jerusalem and Amman insist that no refugees would be allowed to enter, though six injured Syrian children were taken into Israel for treatment at an undisclosed hospital.

The IDF transferred humanitarian aid sprung up along Syria’s border with Israel and Jordan and is also bolstering defenses along the unsettled frontier. Reuters also reported that peace talks between rebels and Russia have resumed under Jordanian mediation.

Displaced Syrians explained to CNN and Haaretz why they fled to the Israeli border:

Abu Khaled said they decided to head for the Israeli border “because it’s safest there. It’s a demilitarized zone, according to international agreements, and the regime and its allies can’t attack there with their planes.”

Daraa Israel DMZ

2. An Israeli court ordered the PA to pay $3.5 million compensation to 51 “collaborators” tortured in Palestinian prisons. The Times of Israel explains the precedent-setting ruling:

Many of the plaintiffs were arrested by the PA’s forces from within Israeli territory — mostly East Jerusalem — and/or have Israeli citizenship. The Jerusalem court therefore ruled it had the jurisdiction to preside over the case.

Plaintiffs said while held between 1990 and 2003, interrogators beat them, put out cigarettes on their bodies, pulled out their teeth, forced them into painful positions for lengthy periods of time and withheld food and drink. Several said their genitals were abused, leaving them sterile and impotent.

3. The Palestinian Authority is stepping up activity in eastern Jerusalem in violation of agreements with Israel dating back to 1994. We’re talking about conferences, receptions, youth groups and cultural events organized and/or funded by the PA or Palestinian factions.

The Palestinians claim the activity is legal and that Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has emboldened police to clamp down.

4. Western Wall Confusion in the UK Press: HonestReporting corrected the record when several papers mischaracterized the holy site visited Prince William.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
In the News
• Two Palestinians were killed and another five were injured in a mysterious explosion in a Gaza apartment building. There were conflicting details but the consensus coverage in the Israeli media suggests “mishandling of explosives.”

• Plans to build a permanent mixed-prayer pavilion at the Western Wall were cast further in doubt today when Likud lawmakers balked at joining a committee tasked with implementing it. In recent days, the committee’s chair, Miri Regev (Minister of Culture and Sport) and Ayelet Shaked (Justice Minister) dropped out and have not been replaced. The Jerusalem Post reports that the committee’s last remaining member is Religious Services Minister David Azoulai of Shas, “who will vote against the upgrades.” More at the Times of Israel.

• Government delays aliyah of Ethiopian Jews. Around 8,000 Jews in Ethiopia are waiting to immigrate:

At least 1,500 of those entitled to make Aliyah have been separated from their parents or children.

The Interior Ministry has decided the Law of Return does not apply to Ethiopian Jews due to suspicions that they willingly converted to Christianity after suffering persecution during the last century and later returned to Judaism.

building campaign

• The cabinet approved an Orthodox army conscription bill for passage to Knesset. Judging from the Jerusalem Post, it appears the bill will pass the Knesset and that the religious parties will likely not follow through on earlier threats to topple the government.

• South Africa’s leading Jewish organization is pursuing criminal charges against three online antisemites. “Laden with obscenities, the messages openly threatened Jews and evoked crude antisemitic stereotypes.”

• A congressional bill combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee. The Jerusalem Post explains that the legislation “would shield Israel and Israeli businesses by criminally penalizing US citizens seeking to participate in international boycotts against them.”

• French prosecutors announce investigation into anti-Semitic mosque sermon in Toulouse.

• Dutch Muslim political activist wishes cancer on ‘filthy Jews’ at pro-Israel paper.

• The Spanish city of Sagunto voted to boycott Israel in defiance of court rulings.

Sagunto Castle
• My blood went cold when I first learned of the terrible attack on the Annapolis Capital-Gazette. In memory of the five victims, Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith, its worth pausing to remind ourselves of something that’s so obvious, we take it for granted: Journalists tell us the stories of the day — in our hometown, our country, and around the world — so we can be a better-informed, self-governing citizens.

Annapolis Capital Gazette

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Amos Harel: Assad preparing to retake southwest Syria and Israel will Have to decide whether to intervene
– Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, Dr. Nir Boms: Daraa: Will Israel once again turn its back on those who have been on its side?
– Yossi Yehushua: Israeli deterrence against Hamas has ended
– Marc Schulman: This summer, Israel and Hamas could reach a peace agreement — or tumble into war
– Jonathan Tobin: Why Trump and Kushner will never get the Palestinians to the negotiating table
– Daniel Gordis: Can Abbas revive Israel’s left?
– Irish Examiner (staff-ed) Eurovision Song Contest: Sound of hypocrisy in boycott call
– Raphael Ahren: Prince William’s visit a PR coup for Israel, with some royal pain amid the gain
– Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis: Why Prince William’s Israel visit meant so much to British Jews
– Ben-Dror Yemini: The Palestinian paradox: 70 years of perpetuating refugeeism
– Jonathan Schanzer, Varsha Koduvayur: Kuwait best get with the program – or be prepared to face Trump’s wrath
Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Alex Moreno Fuster; Sagunto Castle CC BY-ND santiago lopez-pastor;

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