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Post  Admin on Thu 20 Feb 2020, 8:04 pm

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IsraBite NEWS
Your bite-sized Israel news roundup
HonestReporting
Israel, PA Step Back From Trade War

1
Israel and the Palestinian Authority backed down from an escalating trade war. After the PA banned the import of Israeli calves several months ago, Israel retaliated with a ban on Palestinian agricultural products. Jerusalem and Ramallah reached an agreement to end their restrictions.
2
UNESCO helps Palestinian terrorists study 'human rights' in Israeli prisons with sham courses (!?).
3
Meet Afif Abu Much, "a mild-mannered software engineer" who is emerging as an articulate and influential spokesman on issues of Arab representation in Israeli society.
4
A fourth Israeli aboard a cruise ship docked in Yokohama was diagnosed with the coronavirus and is expected to be isolated in a Japanese military hospital for further treatment.

Another 11 Israelis aboard the Diamond Princess have so far tested negative for the virus. They are expected to arrive back in Israel tomorrow  -- and face another two weeks of quarantine at Ramat Gan's Sheba Medical Center.

The Health Ministry believes that the coronavirus will inevitably reach Israel and has already drawn up plans to create isolation units and, if necessary, commandeer entire hospitals, close major tourist sites and hotels, and impose restrictions on large gatherings. The Palestinians are gearing up for potential outbreaks in the West Bank and Gaza.

5
Antisemitism Watch: A former Polish priest was indicted for hate speech and Holocaust denial. A large swastika was painted on the front of a Jewish-owned business in New Jersey. Frankfurt's mayor made a stark warning about rising German antisemitism.

Commentary I'm reading

- How Hamas extorts Israel through attrition (Elior Levy)

- Hamas using Israeli election to extract a softer stance on Gaza (Amos Harel)

- Gilad Shalit, Israel’s son, is getting married (Bari Weiss)

- Iran has become a burden to its allies in Syria (Abdulrahman Al-Rashed)

- The right-wing's moral duty (Ben-Dror Yemini)
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HonestReporting
Netanyahu Trial to Begin March 17

1
Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial begins on March 17, so mark your calendars. That's two weeks after election day, when either Netanyahu or Benny Gantz will be trying to put together a coalition.

Related reading: The Charges Against Benjamin Netanyahu, Explained.

2
Israel struck an Islamic Jihad terror cell on the Gaza border after an IDF patrol came under sniper fire today.

A Gaza terror balloon carrying a warhead from a rocket propelled grenade was found outside the Israeli community of Alumim. Sappers safely defused the explosive.

3
Two Israelis aboard a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama were allowed to disembark. Ten other Israelis still on the Diamond Princess are expected to be released later today or tomorrow and three others remain hospitalized in Japan.

The Interior Ministry is banning non-Israelis from entering the country if they have been in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau within 14 days prior to their arrival.
And yes, special voting locations will be set up for Israelis under quarantine on election day.

4
The Washington Post takes a closer look at an ongoing Israel-Palestinian trade war.

5
Antisemitism Watch: Britain's TalkRadio was fined £75,000 for a George Galloway broadcast dismissing Labour antisemitism as a "Goebbellian lie." One of Ireland's newly-elected Sinn Fein lawmakers apologized for tweets comparing Israel to the Nazis. And antisemitism is spiking in the Netherlands.

Last but not least the president of the University of Illinois student government vetoed a BDS resolution, saying its passage "made students feel unsafe" and "fostered a climate of hate."

Commentary I'm reading

- The 'deal of the century' and Israel's European challenge (Dr. Emmanuel Navon)

- Islamists' response to Trump peace plan (Bassam Tawil)

- The UN should be ashamed of its anti-Israel boycott list (Stephen Daisley)

- A brazen anti-Semitic ‘blacklist’ (The Australian, staff-ed)

- Israel may be facing new wave of terrorism (Yoav Limor)

- Palestinian rights activists moonlight as terrorists (Emily Schrader)

- Antisemitism, toujours (Judith Miller)

- Why Netanyahu’s post-election court date might mean a quicker ouster (Anshel Pfeffer)  






https://honestreporting.com/israel-turkey-eastern-med/
Are Israel and Turkey On a Collision Course in the Eastern Med?
BY PESACH BENSON  JANUARY 23, 2020
Israel Turkey maritime
The discovery of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea is putting Israel on a collision course with Turkey.  Israel is partnering with Cyprus and Greece to build an ambitious pipeline to Europe. But with billions of dollars at stake, Turkey is poised to play the spoiler.

What’s behind Turkey’s opposition, and how far will President Recep Tayyip Erdogan go to thwart Israel’s energy alliance?

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The Pipeline
The EastMed pipeline is an undersea pipeline that will deliver natural gas in Israeli, Cypriot and Greek waters to Europe.

The roughly 2,000 km pipeline, comes with a $7 billion price tag and is due to be completed in 2025. It will initially transfer 9-12 billion cubic meters of gas annually, enough to meet an estimated 10 percent of Europe’s energy needs.

The pipeline will connect Israel’s Leviathan gas field with Cyprus’ Aphrodite field, continue to the Greek island of Crete and the eastern Peloponnese, then cross the Gulf of Patras before reaching mainland Greece. A second pipeline, known as Poseidon, will be laid to transfer the gas to Italy.
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Greece, Cyprus and Israel Set to Sign EastMed Pipeline today https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/01/02/51547/
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The gas sales will be a windfall for Israel, Cyprus and Greece.

Factoring in the Turkey’s Occupation
Turkey’s opposition to the EastMed pipeline must be understood in the context of its claims on Cyprus and current occupation of Northern Cyprus. Cyprus was an Ottoman territory until 1878, when Britain captured it during the Russo-Turkish war. During World War I, Cyprus was annexed to the British Empire after the Ottomans joined the Central Powers.

As the British Empire declined after World War II, a referendum was held in 1950; the island’s Greek Cypriot majority overwhelmingly voted for unification with Greece, while Turkish Cypriots preferred partitioning the island between Greece and Turkey.

In the 1950s, Greek Cypriot insurgents fought to oust the British from Cyprus. The London and Zurich agreements of 1959 set in motion Cypriot independence, which was finally attained in 1960.  In 1961, the Republic of Cyprus became the 99th member state of the United Nations.

Turkey, notably, is the only UN member state that does not recognize Cyprus.

A constitution outlining the power sharing between Cyprus’ Greek and Turkish communities led to legal impasses and discontent on both sides. Tensions rose considerably when President Archbishop Makarios III proposed constitutional amendments in 1960, and violence between the two communities broke out in 1963.

But the conflict exploded in 1974, when Greece’s military junta ousted Makarios. Turkey invaded to protect Turkish Cypriots, and in the ensuing fallout, the Greek military regime collapsed. Amidst peace talks, the Turkish military launched the “Second Peace Operation” with a new invasion that overran Northern Cyprus.  Almost all the Greek Cypriots there were driven off their lands or fled.

Cyprus

Today, Cyprus is divided by a UN-patrolled buffer zone. Nobody recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is under international embargo in areas such as business, transportation, culture, sports and more. Thus:

Northern Cyprus’ mail, trade, banking and transportation take place through Turkey.
Turkish settlers from the mainland and their descendants “now make up roughly half the population in the north,” meaning they may already outnumber the original Turkish Cypriots and their descendants.
An estimated 30,000-40,000 Turkish soldiers are stationed on Northern Cyprus andTurkish leaders want to establish a naval base there as well.
Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot and Maronite communities, numbering 343 and 118 respectively as of 2014, live in enclaves and are denied the right to vote  or run for office. Turkey is accused of erasing the Greek and Christian character of Northern Cyprus by neglecting and even looting archaeological sites, churches,  and monasteries  as well as Christian and and Jewish cemeteries.

(A comparison of Turkish settlements in Northern Cyprus with Israeli settlements in the West Bank is beyond the scope of this article. For more on that, Professor Eugene Kontorovich elaborates.)

Nicosia
The UN buffer zone in Nicosia.
War Over Energy Resources?
The Cyprus dispute has simmered for years. But the discovery of natural gas and other resources raised the  stakes to include neighboring Mediterranean states. The Eastern Med gas rush began with the discovery of the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in Israeli waters in 2009 and 2010 respectively. That prompted Israel and Cyprus to hammer out a maritime border agreement, just in time for the discovery of the Aphrodite gas field in adjacent Cypriot waters. Greece too, is exploring for gas and oil widely believed to be in the vicinity of Crete.

All this coincided with the steady rise of Turkey’s ruling Islamist neo-Ottoman AKP Party which wants to expand Turkey’s regional influence in Syria, Iraq, the Caucasus and, significantly, both Cyprus and various Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

The bottom line is that the EastMed pipeline can’t be built without Cyprus, but Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus. And the Turks are throwing their weight around. Forbes explains:

Earlier this year, Turkey tested similar tactics the Chinese have used to impose control over the South China Sea. When experiments in using naval forces to escort Turkish drill ships into contested waters and to block rival petrochemical exploration vessels were met with little protest, Turkey simply moved the goalposts. Emboldened by somnolent America and European reactions, Turkey moved quickly to redefine the Mediterranean’s maritime borders. Earlier this month, Turkey concluded a massive maritime land-grab, entering into a maritime border agreement with Libya’s besieged government that cedes much of the resource-rich eastern Mediterranean to Turkish control.

For Turkey, regional maritime might is proving to be right.

Turkish naval ships
Turkish naval ships during a 2018 exercise.
A number of incidents have incidents have largely flown beneath the Western media’s radar, but point to a pattern of Turkish behavior that cannot be ignored:

An Israeli research vessel, the Bat Galim, was working in Cypriot waters in coordination with the Cypriot government when it was was harrassed and forced away by Turkish naval ships in December 2019. (Israel responded two weeks later with Air Force jets circling over a Turkish research ship operating near Cypriot waters.)
Turkey deployed armed aerial drones to Cyprus to further enforce its maritime claims.
On January 14 alone, Turkish F-16 jets committed 91 violations of Greek air space including mock dogfights with Greek fighter jets and flying over inhabited areas of the Greek Islands.
Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) signed a maritime agreement creating an exclusive economic zone from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore to Libya’s northeast coast. Although the GNA has international recognition, it controls only limited amounts of the countryside, which is why Turkey is sending troops to Libya. Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Egypt denounced the agreement as illegal. There are concerns that Turkey’s endgame in Libya is to install a Muslim Brotherhood regime.
Turkey is building its first aircraft carrier which is expected to enter service in 2021.
Turkey Libya maritime agreement

Indeed, Israel’s military “added Erdogan’s aggressive policies in the region to its list of ‘challenges’ in an annual assessment for the coming year,” the first time the IDF assessed Turkey this way.

Israel has other reasons to be wary of Erdogan and the ruling AKP Party.

Erdogan allows Hamas to plot terror attacks on Israel from Turkish soil.
Turkish meddling in Jerusalem undermines Israeli sovereignty over the city.
Hoping to undercut Jewish land claims, Erdogan transferred to the Palestinians thousands of Ottoman-era land registries.
Other Eastern Med Players
While Israel, Cyprus and Greece have been quickest to capitalize on their bonanza of natural resources, they aren’t the only Eastern Med countries with offshore gas carefully watching how matters play out with Turkey:

For the Palestinians, the Gaza Marine gas field remains undeveloped because of the geopolitical headaches posed by Hamas control over the Strip.
In Egypt, sales from the Zohr natural field have had little trickle-down effect on the public and Cairo actually imports Israeli gas.
Lebanese efforts to exploit offshore resources have been slow due to government inefficiency and political paralysis.  The Israeli-Lebanese maritime border is also a matter of contention, with reserves extending into a disputed zone. Hezbollah has threatened to fire missiles at Israeli gas rigs.
gas fields

Related reading: Understanding the Israel-Lebanon Maritime Border Dispute

Turkey’s attacks on US-backed Kurds, purchase of Russian missile systems, support for Islamist factions in Syria, and championing the Palestinian cause suggest Ankara wants to actively expand its regional influence in conjunction with Iran and Russia — at the expense of the US, the West and Israel.

Will Turkish expansionism lead to wider conflict?

Only time will tell.

Images: Cyprus map via Wikimedia Commons with additions by HonestReporting; Nicosia CC BY-NC-ND Marco Fieber; Turkish navy via YouTube/Turk Silahali Kuvvetleri;
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HonestReporting
IDF Thwarts Hamas Catfishing Scheme

1
The IDF thwarted a Hamas catfishing scheme to trick soldiers into downloading malware onto their phones. The fake social media accounts and the malware's ability to take over a soldier's phone were described as the most sophisticated of Hamas's previous attempts.

 

Per the Jerusalem Post, "While the military knew about Hamas’s operation for the past several months, it was decided to let them continue, to enable the IDF to have more effective technological means to stop the terror group."

 

More at the Times of Israel and Ynet.

 

While we're on the subject of cyber security, Haaretz reports the Likud party app was hacked for the second time in one week.

2
Megiddo Prison guards had a gut feeling about the guy: Palestinian security prisoner found with 11 cellphones in his abdomen.

3
Israeli police at Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs apprehended a Palestinian man who tried to stab them.

4
A third Israeli aboard a cruise ship docked in Yokohama tested positive for the rapidly spreading coronavirus and is now hospitalized in Japan. Another 12 Israelis remain aboard the Diamond Princess. Ynet looks at Israeli preparations for their return. So the question is: Is repatriating the Israelis a danger to public safety?

 

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry expanded Israel's quarantine regulations: Recent visitors to Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau are now required to self-quarantine at home for two weeks.

5
Antisemitism Watch: Swastikas and other racist graffiti were found at Columbia University. And the Tennessee state legislature advanced bills against antisemitism.

Commentary I'm reading

 

- UN blacklist crushes cooperation that actually boosts Israeli-Palestinian ties (David Harsanyi)

- Just negotiate: Palestinians at the UN continue their anti-Israel pressure campaigns (New York Daily News staff-ed)

- Hamas is in charge in Gaza border towns, not Israel (Matan Tzuri)

- Iron Dome upgrade deals another blow to enemy's desire to target Israeli civilians (Yaakov Lappin)

- Beware a Palestinian state (Yoram Ettinger)

- Is Lebanon’s prime minister a Hezbollah puppet? (Abdulrahman Al-Rashed)
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HonestReporting
UN Releases Blacklist; Israel Furious

1
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet published a blacklist of companies doing business in West Bank settlements.

 

Israel blasted the blacklist and suspended ties with Bachelet, who prepared the list at the request of the UN Human Rights Council. The UNHRC's main annual session in Geneva begins on February 24.

 

Of the 112 listed companies, 94 are based in Israel. Among the more well-known companies included are Motorola Solutions, General Mills, Airbnb and Trip Advisor.The list will be updated annually.

 

Related reading: Israel and the Dysfunctional UN Human Rights Council

2
Per Arab media reports picked up by i24 News, the Lebanese military opened fire on an Israeli drone flying in Lebanese airspace, forcing it to retreat.

3
For the second time in one week, videos glorifying Palestinian violence were found on TikTok.

4
In the ivory tower of dour known as Harvard U., Jewish students formed an anti-Zionist organization which they say will support BDS while also fighting antisemitism . . .

5
Antisemitism Watch: The UK Labour party expelled 25 members in a single day. The Jewish Chronicle suggests the party was pressured to act by a looming ruling by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which enforces Britain's equality and non-discrimination laws.

 

And the Oxford English Dictionary is under fire for its expanded definition of "yid."

Commentary I'm reading

 

- Breaking down the UNHRC blacklist (Ben Cohen)

- Debunk the UNHRC blacklist (Nadav Shragai)

- UNHRC’s game is rigged, so Israel isn’t playing (Lahav Harkov)

- Blacklist a message to Israel on its settlements (Itamar Eichner)

- Israeli-Arab non-aggression pact? Don't celebrate yet (Zvi Bar'el)

- World players may vow open mind on Trump plan, but won’t abandon old positions (Raphael Ahren)

- 'Deal of the century' will go nowhere as long as Palestinians are unwilling to deal (Jesse Kline)
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Hezbollah Tapped to Coordinate Iraqi Militias' Activities

1
Reuters: Trying to fill a void left by the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Tehran has tapped Hezbollah to coordinate the activities of Iran's proxy militias in Iraq.

2
Peace processing: Addressing the UN Security Council, Palestinian chief Mahmoud Abbas denounced the US peace plan. Abbas also appeared with ex-PM Ehud Olmert at a press conference; Abbas called for turning back the clock on peace talks to where they were 12 years ago -- when Abbas refused to respond to Olmert's unprecedented offer.

And despite a steady drip of dire headlines that the PA has or will cut ties with Israel, Abbas has not followed through.

3
Israel and the Gulf states will soon sign a non-aggression pact, according to former Qatari PM Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim. Jassim tweeted in Arabic that the agreement might also include Morocco. More at i24 News.

4
The panel of three judges with the unenviable responsibility of overseeing the trial of State of Israel vs. Benjamin Netanyahu has been set, per the Jerusalem Post. No date has been scheduled but proceedings are not expected to begin before Israel's March 2 elections.

Related reading: The Charges Against Benjamin Netanyahu, Explained.

Commentary I'm reading

- The promise of the Trump peace plan (Natan Sharansky, Gil Troy; click via Twitter)

- The Arabs are giving up on the Palestinians, and the PA knows it (Vivian Bercovici)

- The days of intifada are long gone (Moshe Elad)
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Palestinian Diplomacy Crumbles at UN

1
Lacking support from members of the UN Security Council, Palestinian diplomats withdrew a draft resolution denouncing the US peace plan, according to a widely cited AFP report.

 

PA chief Mahmoud Abbas will still address the Council today, but no vote will be taken afterwards. Arab officials warned Abbas to "lower the volume" ahead of his appearance.

 

Meanwhile, ex-PM Ehud Olmert was due to join Abbas at a press conference, but The Guardian reports "Olmert said the two would only meet privately and refused to reject Washington’s proposal."

2
Peace processing: "The Trump administration excluded funding for the Palestinian Security Services in its budget request for the 2021 fiscal year, after 27 years of bipartisan support and Israeli backing."

 

Is the US arranging a meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Sultan?

3
An Egyptian delegation visiting Gaza to defuse tensions with Israel warned Hamas to distance itself from Iran. Hamas' Gaza strongman Yahya Sinwar skipped the meeting fearing Israel would try to assassinate him.

 

Unconfirmed reports also suggested that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have agreed to stop launching incendiary balloons.

4
"A firebrand Arab television host called Israel the most successful project of the 20th and 21st centuries in an Arabic tweet on Saturday, stirring up intense debate about the Jewish state on social media." (Times of Israel)

5
Ecuadorian authorities arrested two Iranians travelling with fake Israeli passports.

6
The Likud party has some 'splaining to do after its app leaked the personal data of every single registered Israeli voter, including full names, identity card numbers, addresses and gender -- and for some individuals, even more.

 

As a result of the leak, per the Jerusalem Post, Iran and other foreign agencies may now have access to data on Israeli intelligence officials.

Commentary I'm reading

 

- After inciting violence, Abbas comes to New York to fight a peace plan (Bassam Tawil)

- Mahmoud Abbas makes noise at UN again rather than try to negotiate peace (Amb. Danny Danon)

- Netanyahu just set the new starting point for future Israeli-Palestinian talks (Tamir Pardo)

- Why Trump’s plan is proving a hard sell in Israel (Zev Chafets)

- Arab outrage -- over the prospect of living in Palestine (Melanie Phillips)

- Deal of the century is non-starter (Norman Bailey)

- Israeli Arabs are Israeli, not Palestinian (Shakib Ali)
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Tunisia Fires UN Envoy For Excessive Criticism of Trump Peace Plan

1
Peace processing: Tunisia fired its ambassador to the UN after helping the Palestinians draft a resolution denouncing the US peace initiative. Amb. Moncef Baati's criticims went further than President Kais Saied wanted, risking damage to Tunisia's relations with the US.

While briefing the UN Security Council on the US peace plan, Jared Kushner blamed PA chief Mahmoud Abbas for a spike in Palestinian violence.

As annexation became a major topic in the Israeli election campaign, US Ambassador David Friedman poured cold water on talk of unilateral annexation.

2
Israel shelled Hamas positions in Gaza early Sunday morning in response to rocket fire from the Strip.

Palestinians also launched what Hebrew media reports said "appeared to be the warhead from a rocket-propelled grenade attached to balloons."

3
Russia accused Israel of putting civilian aircraft over Syria at risk during an airstrike last week, but former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin isn't buying Moscow's claims.

4
Jerusalem Post: Over in Ireland, two political parties supporting a boycott of Israeli settlements, Sinn Fein and Fine Gael, won big in this weekend's election. Exit polls put them and Fianna Fail in a three-way dead heat -- with each getting 22 percent of the vote.

5
Antisemitism Watch: "A Jewish member of the Harvard Club claims she was assaulted by a professor during a pro-Palestinian lecture at the swanky venue — and then was booted by the Ivy League institution." German Jews are urging a Green Party MP to resign from an ‘antisemitic’ BDS group.

Last but not least, neo-Nazis and white supremacists on social media are blaming Jews for the coronvirus.

Video: Peace to Prosperity

text
Commentary I'm reading

- Abbas is leading the Palestinians down another dead-end street (Prof. Eyal Zisser)

- Palestinians: Arab leaders talking to Israel are 'traitors, Jews' (Khaled Abu Toameh)

- Trump's plan for a failed Palestinian state (Sever Plocker)

- The sovereignty dilemma (Nadav Shragai)

- Sudan's action is understandable; Many Arab countries have ties with Israel (Abdulrahman Al-Rashed)

- What's keeping Israel from a Gaza military operation? (Amos Harel)
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Do Today's Terror Attacks Hint of New Wave of Violence?

1
Do three terror attacks in 12 hours suggest a new wave of Palestinian violence is on the way?

This morning, an Arab Israeli armed with a pistol shot a police officer on the Temple Mount. Last night, 12 soldiers were injured in a Jerusalem car-ramming attack. And shortly before this email went out, reports broke of a shooting near the West Bank settlement of Dolev, lightly injuring an Israeli soldier. Not coincidentally, an animated video glorifying Palestinian terror attacks was posted to TikTok.

 

On the Gaza side of the equation, IDF air strikes hit terror targets after Palestinians continued launching mortars and balloons carrying explosives. Hamas is even weaponizing condoms (!?).

 

In recent days, Palestinian leaders have threatened violence in opposition to the US peace plan launched last week.

2
Further stoking Israeli-Palestinian tensions, two PA police personnel were killed during clashes in Jenin last night. Palestinians rioted when Israeli forces entered the city to demolish a terrorist's home. The IDF is investigating whether the two were involved in violence or inadvertently hit.

3
Syria accused Israel of carrying out airstrikes near Damascus last night.

4
Reuters: Sudan gave a green light for commercial flights heading to Israel to cross its airspace.

5
Antisemitism Watch: According to a Community Security Trust study picked up by The Guardian, antisemitic incidents in the UK hit new high in 2019. British soccer player Tom Pope faces an FA suspension over an antisemitic tweet. Facebook killed off a New Jersey page accused of antisemitism. Swastikas were painted on headstones at a Dutch Jewish cemetery.

Commentary I'm reading

- Palestinians choose ‘the cause’ over statehood (Alex Ryvchin)

- Who's afraid of a Palestinian state? The Palestinians (Boaz Bismuth)

- Trump's plan vows to shower Mideast with billions of dollars. But where will they come from? (Zvi Bar'el)
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Netanyahu Concedes No Annexation Till After Elections

1
Peace Processing: Benjamin Netanyahu conceded he’ll advance annexation only after elections on March 2. Maps, however, are already being drawn up.

The Times of Israel visited Nitzana, along the Egyptian border. Residents had harsh words for a peace plan that would leave them surrounded by Palestinian enclaves.

Whoda thought? Pro-Netanyahu media is turning on Jared Kushner.

2
The IDF struck Gaza terror targets last night in retaliation for three rockets fired from the Strip. "Children in a kindergarten near Kiryat Gat were forced to run for shelter on Wednesday as a suspicious batch of balloons possibly carrying explosives was seen drifting close to the kindergarten," Israeli media reported.

Meanwhile, for the first time in 14 years, some 600 Gaza farmers returned to farmlands in a no-go zone along the border with Israel.

3
Antisemitism Watch: Duke University settled an antisemitism complaint with the US Dept. of Education. More on that at Inside Higher Ed and the Duke Chronicle.

The number of antisemitic hate crimes in New York fell in January. A German court ruled that medieval antisemitic sculpture can stay on a Wittenburg church. Also in Germany, a Bundestag lawmaker is under fire for membership in an ‘antisemitic’ BDS group.

Commentary I'm reading

- After yet another no, isn’t it time for a Palestinian peace plan? (Yossi Klein Halevi)

- The US peace plan: A return to the Rabin Doctrine of defensible borders (Dan Diker)

- Mother Nature scoffs at Trump’s Mideast peace plan (Tom Friedman)

- Both Israel and Hamas need a Gaza deal before the election (Zvi Bar'el)

- The price of Israel's new African adventure (Itamar Eichner)

- Are rabbinical schools becoming anti-Israel bullying pulpits? (Gil Troy)


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Israel, Sudan Move Towards Normalizing Ties

1
Benjamin Netanyahu met with the leader of Sudan's transitional government, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who wants to upgrade ties with Israel. They were hosted in Uganda by President Yoweri Museveni who is considering opening an embassy in Jerusalem.


Israel and Sudan are in a technical state of war. Since last year's overthrow of long-time dictator Omar Bashir, Sudan has moved away from Iranian influence and is trying to emerge from years of international isolation.

More at the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post and Associated Press.

2
Peace processing: Jared Kushner is going to brief the UN Security Council on the US peace initiative on Thursday, possibly heading off PA counter-moves at Turtle Bay.

Per Haaretz, Netanyahu actively sold the US on moving Arab Israelis to a future Palestinian state.

According to Israeli media reports, Netanyahu sought to arrange a three-way agreement in which "the United States would recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara territory, in exchange for Morocco taking steps to normalize relations with Israel."

3
Palestinians in Gaza are now threatening to send balloons carrying tear gas grenades. On Monday alone, sappers defused at least nine balloons suspected of carrying bombs and incendiary devices.

Haaretz reports that Israeli officials believe the rising number of balloon attacks is a Hamas effort to embarrass Netanyahu ahead of Israel's March 2 elections.

4
The Israeli Navy foiled Hamas' attempt to smuggle weapons into Gaza by sea from the northern Sinai peninsula. The weapons were intended for Hamas' naval commando unit.


The intercept took place three months ago, but the news was only today cleared for publication.

5
Jewish groups are calling for action over antisemitic cartoons recently published in a Portuguese magazine.


The antisemitic tropes from the poison pen of Vasco Gargalo (see cartoons one and two) published in Sabado are a great example of why the media needs to adopt a definition of antisemitism.

6
Antisemitism Watch: Sudesh Amman, the 17-year-old terrorist who stabbed three in London made antisemitic statements online and shared a lot of extremist Islamic material. Paris metro passengers stopped four Arab men from harassing a Jewish man. Antisemitic incidents fell to 15-year low in South Africa.

Commentary I'm reading

- The art of no deal: Who’s subverting Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan? (David Horovitz)

- Trump’s peace plan won’t work but it could strengthen Arab-Israeli relations (Einat Wilf)

- Trump's 'take it or leave it' Mideast gambit (Thane Rosenbaum)

- The problem with the peace process has been too much empathy, not too little (Jonathan Tobin)

- The real reason Arabs in Israel do not want to live in 'Palestine' (Khaled Abu Toameh)

- Israel comes full circle with Sudan (Amb. Dore Gold)

- Oman, Chad, and now Sudan: Israel and the wider Mideast puzzle (Seth Frantzman)

- Judge gets it right in denying insurance claim for Palestinian terrorist’s widow (Rosie DiManno)

- The Netanyahu trial that has stopped making news (Herb Keinon)
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Israel Rejects Transferring Arab Villages to PA

1
Peace Processing: Israeli officials ruled out transferring Arab towns in the "Triangle area" to the Palestinians. Around 260,000 Arab Israelis live in an area between Haifa, Netanya and the Green Line and the majority prefer keeping their Israeli citizenship.

Contrary to yesterday's wire reports, the Palestinians have not cut security cooperation with Israel or the US.

 

The Times of Israel examines the White House's proposed land-swaps while the New York Times takes a closer look at the Israeli political echelon's confusion over annexation and how it may impact the March 2 election.

2
Morocco reportedly bought three Israeli-made Heron reconnaissance drones via France. Reports suggest the Moroccan military will deploy the unmanned aerial drones in occupied Western Sahara.

3
Worth reading: Israel HaYom discussed missile defense with Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav, commander of the IDF's air defense program.

Commentary I'm reading

 

- Why even the Israeli Left has embraced Trump's peace plan (Einat Wilf)

- Trump is no friend of Israel, even if he says otherwise (Jackson Diehl)

- A month to election day, Netanyahu falls into an annexation trap (Shalom Yerushalmi)

- Abbas is bringing back the intifada (Alex Fishman)

- Abbas caught between a rock and a hard place (Khaled Abu Toameh)

- Palestine is foolish to reject Donald Trump’s pragmatic peace plan (Jennifer Oriel)
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Did the PA Just Cut Security Cooperation With Israel?

1
Did the Palestinian Authority cut security ties with Israel and the US? That depends on you believe: Reuters says Mahmoud Abbas did end security cooperation, while the Associated Press described the PA chief's words as a threat that has not yet been carried out. Indeed, AP notes this important background:

 

"The Palestinians have made such threats in the past, with few people taking them seriously. But this time might be different . . ."

 

Abbas' lack of credibility doesn't just stem from the sheer amount of times he has threatened to end security cooperation or dismantle the PA. If Abbas were to follow through, his Fatah regime would risk being overthrown by Hamas.

 

As for the Israeli papers, the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel suggest the split is not yet a done deal.

2
Peace processing: The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates made headlines for retweeting a commentary by New York Times columnist Bret Stephens titled, Every Time Palestinians Say ‘No,’ They Lose.

 

The Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) takes a behind the scenes look at the Trump administration's efforts to release the White House peace plan.

 

In case you're wondering, "annexation" doesn't have the same legal meaning as "applying sovereignty" to Jewish communities in the West Bank (JTA).

3
The IDF struck Hamas targets in Gaza on Saturday night in retaliation for weekend rocket fire. Israel also reimposed restrictions on cement deliveries to the Strip and cut 500 entry permits for Gaza merchants.

4
Globe & Mail: An Ontario court ruled that the wife of a late Palestininan terrorist living in Canada can’t collect on his $75,000 life insurance policy.

 

Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad didn't disclose in his application that he was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who destroyed an El Al plane in Athens in 1968, killing one Israeli.

Commentary I'm reading

- Trump’s critics shouldn’t encourage Palestinians to make another mistake (Jonathan Tobin)

- Israel's security in Trump's redrawn Middle East (Ron Ben-Yishai)

- What if Trump’s pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian plan turns out to be the opposite? (David Horovitz)

- An Arab case for the Trump peace plan (Ahmed Charai)

- Abbas chooses Hamas over peace with Israel (Khaled Abu Toameh)

- The Trump plan and the Arab sector's new dilemma (Jalal Bana)

- Trump’s Mideast peace plan will likely harden the Israeli-Palestinian divide (Dennis Ross)

- Trump’s Mideast peace plan takes a fresh approach (Amb. Danny Danon)

- Renewed Gaza fire raises questions about Hamas' intentions (Amos Harel)

- Rashida Tlaib still hasn’t apologized for pushing a blood libel against Jews (Aaron Kliegman)

- Complaints on antisemitism executive order highlight climate on campus (Alexander Joffe)
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Palestinians Reject Trump Peace Plan

1
The Trump peace plan was released to great fanfare in the White House by the US President and Israeli PM Netanyahu.

 

The full "Peace to Prosperity" document can be viewed here or you can catch the main takeaways courtesy of the Times of Israel or JPost.

 

Netanyahu welcomed the plan with Israel to retain 20% of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and all Israeli settlements and Jerusalem remainaing the undivided capital.

 

Despite a path to a Palestinian state with its capital in part of eastern Jerusalem, the Palestinians have rejected the plan as a complete non-starter. Arab states including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the UAE have reacted more positively however.

 

You can read more analysis in the commentary section below.

2
A Dutch district court threw out a case alleging war crimes against Blue & White leader Benny Gantz brought by a Dutch Palestinian who lost six relatives in an Israeli air strike on Gaza in 2014, saying it did not have jurisdiction.

3
The Central Elections Committee has voted in favor of banning an Arab lawmaker from running in the upcoming election. Joint List MK Heba Yazbak has been accused of condoning violence against IDF troops and praising notorious Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar.

4
Could former spy Jonathan Pollard be brought to Israel before the March 2 election? That's PM Netanyahu's aim according to a Likud source in the Times of Israel.

5
Antisemitism Watch: Fresh antisemitic writings appeared in Italian cities and towns as the country marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. Attorney General William Barr ordered federal prosecutors across the US to step up their efforts to combat anti-Semitic hate crimes as he met with Jewish leaders in Brooklyn, New York.

Commentary I'm reading

 - The Trump peace plan is a squeeze play against the Palestinians. It might work. (David Ignatius)

 - How Israelis could agree to share a state with Palestinians (Omri Boehm)

- Trump Plan Breaks the Mold in Mideast Peace Efforts (Gerald Seib)

- Trump plan won’t bring peace, helps Netanyahu, raises risk of binational state (David Horovitz)

- Ten things about the borders, bridges and tunnels of the Trump peace plan (Seth Frantzman)

- This peace plan comes with a map, why is this significant? (Herb Keinon)

- Trump's peace plan is last chance at 2-state solution (Ben-Dror Yemini)
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Netanyahu, Gantz to Meet Trump Today

1
President Donald Trump is due to hold separate meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz today to brief them on his peace plan.

According to Reuters, the president told the two that they will have six weeks to decide if they are on board with the "Deal of the Century" before he reveals it to the public.

Gantz will immediately fly back to Israel; Trump and Netanyahu are scheduled to make a joint press appearance on Tuesday where elements of the initiative are expected to become public for the first time.

More at the Times of Israel and Haaretz.

2
At least 800 cyberattacks were directed at Ben Gurion Airport and at airplanes carrying world leaders to Israel last week for the World Holocaust Forum, according to Israeli media reports.

All were fended off as "security preparations for the high-level diplomatic gathering included planning for just such attacks."

3
Two people have been quarantined in Israel amid fears they have the deadly coronavirus. One is a 32-year-old Chinese laborer, the other a 60-year-old woman who returned from China four days ago.

Doctors at Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center and Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital are running tests and have not yet confirmed if either has the virus, which has so far claimed the lives of 80 people in China.

4
Antisemitism Watch: The Times of London reports that British "universities and councils that refuse to adopt an internationally recognised definition of antisemitism are to be named and face having their funding cut."


The White House raised concerns and eyebrows by giving press credentials to a right-wing Christian site whose whose founder recently described impeachment proceedings as “a Jew coup” planned by “a Jewish cabal.”

Although Jews make up less than one percent of the French population, the majority of the country's documented hate crimes last year were antisemitic.

Commentary I'm reading

- 'Deal of the Century' - Does Israel know what it wants? (Herb Keinon)

- Israel, beware the true cost of Trump's 'peace plan' (Daniel Shapiro)

- Trump's peace plan undercuts Palestinian egotism (Ben-Dror Yemini)

- Moment of truth for peace plan (The Australian, staff-ed)

- Palestinian elections: How Abbas and Europe are trying to blame Israel (Khaled Abu Toameh)
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Trump to Unveil Peace Plan; Netanyahu, Gantz Heading to US

1
Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz are heading to Washington where President Donald Trump will launch his Mideast peace plan this week. Gantz and Netanyahu will hold separate meetings with Trump

According to Israeli media reports, the "Deal of the Century" will propose a demilitarized Palestinian state with Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. Statehood will be contingent on the Palestinians recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and disarming Hamas. None of the Israeli reports indicated the plan's vision for Gaza.

The PA maintains it will not accept any Trump proposals and CNN reported that Ramallah rebuffed a White House overture. While the IDF expects West Bank violence, reports suggest Iran will push Islamic Jihad to oppose the deal.

Gantz will immediately return to Israel in time for the Knesset's Tuesday debate on Netanyahu's legal immunity (which may be delayed or go on with right-wing parties boycotting the session). The PM's bid for immunity does not appear to have enough parliamentary support.

2
Israeli aircraft struck terror targets in Gaza on Saturday night in response to the continued launch of incendiary balloons.

Meanwhile, National Public Radio reports that Israel has allowed Palestinians in Gaza to export produce, venture further offshore for fishing and enter Israel for work.

3
For the first time, the Interior Ministry is permitting a limited number of Israelis to visit Saudi Arabia.

4
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and others retweeted an unverified claim that Israelis killed a Palestinian boy over the weekend. The body of eight-year-old Qais Abu Ramila was found drowned in a reservoir where police believe he slipped and fell. Rumors were fueled by security footage showing a boy entering a car, but the family said it wasn't their son.

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi apologized for her tweet claiming Ramila was kidnapped and murdered by Israeli settlers, but British politician and broadcaster George Galloway (last I saw) doubled down and pinned his false, inflammatory tweet. Tlaib deleted her tweet without explanation or apology.

5
So far, it's just crickets from BBC higher-ups on Orla Guerin's stunted Holocaust report. At least former executives are speaking out with their criticism.

See HonestReporting's critique: BBC Equates Israel, Nazis From the Halls of Yad Vashem.

6
Antisemitism Watch: Germany will face an exodus of its Jewish population if government officials don't take stronger action against antisemitism. So warned Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in a Der Spiegel commentary (in German) picked up by the Associated Press.


Former Nazi concentration camps are seeing a surge in visits by far-Right and Holocaust deniers who disrupt tours and praise antisemitism. There's a new antisemitism scandal in Belgium where a daily paper published an article accusing 'Zionists' of 'playing Holocaust card.


"A Labour frontbencher who claimed that he was 'mortified' to discover he had 'accidentally' shared anti-Semitic posts failed to remove the remarks from his Facebook page for another six months after his apology."


Los Angeles recorded a steep rise in antisemitic attacks amid an overall increase in hate crimes. Swastikas were spray-painted outside Jewish congregation in Wellington.

Video: Dangers of Hate and Propaganda
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls0oG_JgET0&feature=youtu.be


text
Commentary I'm reading


- Is Trump's plan a fantasy or an exercise in realism? (Jonathan Tobin)

- What’s really behind Trump’s meeting with Bibi and Gantz (Benny Avni)

- For Israel, now is the time for strategic initiatives (Prof. Eyal Zisser)

- Trump's peace plan is once-in-a-lifetime chance for Israel (Shimrit Meir)

- Securing a small, sweet victory, Mr. Gantz goes to Washington (David Horovitz)

- The Arabs used to chant that Palestine did not exist (Daniel Swindell)
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World Leaders Gather for Israel's Biggest Ever Diplomatic Event
 

Leaders, heads of state and royalty from 49 countries are in Jerusalem today for the World Holocaust Forum, the biggest diplomatic event ever hosted by Israel. If you're wondering what's happening and why it matters, see this Times of Israel backgrounder.
 
 
All eyes are on Vladimir Putin, who may have hinted that he'll release Naama Issachar from prison. She's been held in Russia after authorities at Moscow's international airport found her carrying an ounce of hashish.
 
 
In a rarity for European leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron visited the Western Wall.
 

A senior Saudi religious figure was due to visit Auschwitz today ahead of the 75th anniversary of the concentration camp's liberation.
 
Mohammed al-Issa, the secretary-general of the Mecca-based Muslim World League (MWL) and a former Saudi justice minister will lead the highest level Muslim delegation to the camp. Last year, Issa penned a Washington Post op-ed calling on Muslims to remember the Holocaust.
 

The Israel Electric Corp. ended power cuts to the West Bank, saying that the Palestinian distributor had transferred $214 million out of an overall debt of $519 million.
 

Antisemitism Watch: Half of Americans don't know that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, according to a Pew Research Center study picked up by The Guardian. Meanwhile, 57% of French survey respondents didn't know how many Jews died during the Holocaust.
 
 
A BBC journalist who aired an expose on Labour antisemitism is suing the party for libel over its response to his report.
 
A Milwaukee man with Jordanian roots and ties to a neo-Nazi white supremacist group was arrested for vandalizing a synagogue. The president of the University of Montana denounced an antisemitic email sent to faculty and staff.
 
Commentary I'm reading
 
- Iran's weak points, and how Israel and the US could exploit them (Ephraim Kam)
 
- Holocaust remembrance, Palestinian irrelevance (Ruthie Blum)
 
- Israel cannot let Russia re-write Holocaust history (Sever Plocker)
 
- You can’t be a feminist and not be a Zionist (Emily Schrader)
 
- The 'crime' of Arabs singing to Arabs in Israel (Khaled Abu Toameh)
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Lebanon Arrests US Journalist Accused of Working For Israel

1
Lebanese authorities arrested freelance journalist Nicholas Frakes in Beirut, who they accuse of working for the Israeli daily, Haaretz. Friends and journalist advocates told The New Arab that Lebanese authorities misunderstand how international coverage works.

Frakes, a 24-year-old US national was detained "after live footage streamed from the scene of the protests was broadcast on the Facebook page of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz." Haaretz denied any ties to Frakes, saying the footage came from Reuters, but the wire service denied Frakes worked for them.

Frakes' case is being handled by a military court. Lebanese law criminalizes contact with Israelis. In recent days, a number of other journalists have been harassed, attacked, or detained while covering Beirut's unrest.

2
Despite a spike in incendiary balloons (including one cluster which landed near Beit Shemesh), Israel is allowing Qatari aid into Gaza. Meanwhile, National Public Radio visited the Erez border crossing, where it reported "scores" of Palestinians were actually entering Israel for work.

The Jerusalem Post examines why Gazans have resumed their incendiary balloon attacks.

3
Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman reported Israeli security services foiled 560 terror attacks in 2019, including 10 suicide bombings, four kidnapping attempts, and more than 300 shooting attacks.

4
Israel HaYom picked up on an in-depth report detailing the history and current state of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel.

5
Honduras and Colombia blacklisted Hezbollah as a terror organization and Guatemala announced it will do so as well.

6
According to international intelligence sources, the new deputy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Hejazi, was among the planners of the 1994 Argentine Jewish center bombing.

7
Antisemitism Watch: In a now-deleted Twitter thread, a newly elected British Labour MP told a Jewish student it was “privilege” that allowed Jews to argue for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The German news outlet Deutsche Welle has been rocked by allegations of antisemitism, racism, sexual harassment and bullying. A judge’s son pleaded guilty to making antisemitic threats against a North Carolina synagogue.

Video: March For All Women...Except the Jewish Women
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gaBIEOj3jU

text
Commentary I'm reading

- Incendiary balloons are launched at Israel – but addressed to Egypt (Amos Harel)

- Israel is kowtowing to Hamas (Alex Fishman)

- Why the bombing Auschwitz argument still matters (Jonathan Tobin)

The West mourn Jewish dead, but what about the living? (Melanie Phillips)

- Would Martin Luther King Jr. have taken up the Palestinian cause? (Martin Kramer)
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IDF Begins Installing Tunneling Sensors Along Lebanese Border
1
The IDF began installing tunnel-detecting sensors along the Lebanese border. The first ones are being emplaced near Misgav Am, in the northern Galilee and "will continue over the coming year along the entire border based on intelligence, budget and situational needs."
2
Palestinians are preparing to ramp up balloon-borne firebomb attacks against Israel. Palestinians are said to be unhappy with what they call a "lack of progress" in implementing previous understandings with Israel, but according to Haaretz, much of the problem has to do with Egyptian ire at Hamas officials who attended the Iranian funeral of Qassem Soleimani.

"At least four explosives reached Israel from Gaza via helium balloons in recent days, according to police data."
3
A Palestinian is in custody after stabbing an Israeli in Hebron on Saturday. Also on Saturday, a Palestinian woman was arrested after she tried to stab police officers in Jerusalem's Old City.
4
Britain expanded its freeze on Hezbollah assets to target the entire organization. Till now, only Hezbollah's "military wing" was designated as a terror organization, even though Hezbollah itself always maintained the organization was indivisible.
5
The Daily Mail got a peek at a previously unrevealed Iranian nuclear document from the trove seized by the Mossad from Tehran last year. "It shows scientists outlining their proposals for a 'warhead', which are given the green light by Tehran's top nuclear official."
6
I got a few emails about Apple’s Siri calling President Reuven Rivlin the "President of the Zionist occupation state." It turns out someone hacked Rivlin's Wikipedia page, and when Siri is asked about public figures, it turns to Wikipedia. (i24 News)
7
"The UK’s biggest education company pulled a GCSE textbook after the Sunday Telegraph revealed claims that it had 'whitewashed' Jewish history" with a litany of lies and distortions about Israel.
8
Antisemitism Watch: A 700-year-old "Jew pig" sculpture on a church in the German town of Wittenberg is at the center of a legal dispute. "A Jewish employee in the German Federal Chancellery filed a complaint with the federal commissioner responsible for combating antisemitism after he claimed he was subjected to Jew-hatred by his co-workers."

Surveillance video shows a person vandalizing a Nebraska synagogue. Italian police arrested a man suspected of vandalizing a synagogue in Trieste.

Last but not least, London's Chelsea football club became the first sports team (as far as I know) to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of antisemitism.

Commentary I'm reading

- Will Trump's Middle East peace plan make a difference? (Jonathan Tobin)

- The Palestinians and Europe's secret agenda (Khaled Abu Toameh)

- Keep an eye out for Israel Derangement Syndrome (Juliet Moses)

- The first step to fighting anti-Semitism is recognizing how irrational it is (Deborah Lipstadt)

- As antisemitism renews, so must the fight against it – which is what 34 governments are doing today (Kathrin Meyer)

- Auschwitz and the new anti-Semitism (Simon Schama)

- Why intersectionality fails the Jews (Batsheva Neuer)
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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Jan 2020, 6:55 pm

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Israel Begins Pumping Gas to Egypt
1
In a major milestone, Israel began pumping natural gas to Egypt. It's all part of a $15 billion deal to provide Egypt with gas for the next 10 years. More at the Associated Press and Globes.
2
The IDF launched air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire.
3
Palestinians opened fire on IDF vehicles in Jenin, according to Palestinian reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post.
4
Israel arrested a Finnish parliamentarian trying to cut through the Gaza border fence. MP Anna Kontula was one of five people taken into custody from a group called Gaza 2020 Breaking the Siege.
5
PA President Mahmoud Abbas just began the 16th year of his four-year term(!?) prompting The Media Line to take a closer look at his legacy.
6
Fashion model Arbel Kynan says a Lebanese-born French designer dropped her from a modeling gig because she is Israeli.
While we're on the topic of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS for short), a Spanish court struck down a pledge by the municipal council of Santa Cruz de Bezana to make the town "free of Israeli apartheid."
And South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order prohibiting Israel boycotts.
7
Antisemitism Watch: A Virginia man with neo-Nazi sympathies was charged with targeting of Jews and African-Americans with fake bomb threats. A fake bomb was placed at the entrance to an Israeli restaurant in Amsterdam. Antisemitic incidents in Ukraine reportedly decreased by 27 percent last year.

And last but not least, if young people are responsible for most of New York City’s antisemitic attacks, will Holocaust education help the situation?
8
In the mudpit of Israeli poltics, it was bedlam for the right-wing parties after Bayit Yehudi broke its alliance with the Kahanist Otzma Yehudi to join up with the New Right.

Last night was the deadline for parties to register their final slates with the Central Elections Committee. The Times of Israel looks at who registered and how some lists changed.

Commentary I'm reading

- It’s not trivial to know Bethlehem isn’t in a non-existent nation (Jonathan Tobin)

- Why some Palestinians love Soleimani (Khaled Abu Toameh)

- Realism means preparing for war. And peace (Yossi Klein Halevi)

- New tensions between Egypt and Hamas (Yoni Ben Menachem)

- No to the planned Palestinian elections (Efraim Inbar)

Is the Mideast heading for an energy war? (Prof. Eyal Zisser)

- Hezbollah's pursuit of precision missiles fateful for 2020 (Yaakov Lappin)

- For Arabs, restoring synagogues means never having to say you're sorry (Lyn Julius)

- The campus anti-Israel craze (Ammiel Hirsch, Joshua Davidson)

https://honestreporting.com/nyts-headline-jew-friendly-uk-news-site-independent/
NYT’s Headline Deemed Too Jew-Friendly for UK News Site
BY EMANUEL MILLER  JANUARY 15, 2020
The New York Times’ reporting on Israel and Jewish affairs is regularly critiqued by us, but in this case, a story, penned by Isabel Kershner about Jewish women learning the Talmud, is positive and well-balanced.

Which may be exactly why British newspaper The Independent, which subsequently republished the article, felt the need to change the headline for something more… downbeat.

Compare the original New York Times headline, below:

…with the revised headline when the article was republished by The Independent:
Not only is the new headline significantly more negative, but the claim that the Talmud is a “forbidden text” is clearly at odds with the content of Kershner’s article. In it, she writes that:

While Talmud study by women was not forbidden by rabbis, it was generally frowned upon, and still is in parts of the strictly Orthodox world.

As Kershner explains, the Talmud is in no way a forbidden text. (Well, not unless one considers the fact that Jews were repeatedly banned  from learning and publishing their sacred texts in various places over history, continuing until as late as twentieth century Soviet Russia.) In reality, Jewish women were never formally prevented from reading the Talmud, but instead were encouraged to abide by limiting social norms.

Receive briefings from
LEADING SECURITY EXPERTS
Similarly, the claim that these women “defy rabbis” is to overlook or expose gross ignorance of the growing trend of rabbis encouraging Jewish women to familiarize themselves with ancient Jewish texts. As orthodox rabbi and HonestReporting staff member Dov Lipman wrote on Twitter:
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Post  Admin on Wed 15 Jan 2020, 7:04 pm

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Syria Points Finger at Israel Over Strike on Airbase
1
At least three pro-Iranian operatives were killed in an air raid on the Syrian T-4 airbase near Homs, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The strike, which Syria attributed to Israel, targeted a weapons storehouse, as well as a building that was under construction and two military vehicles. The number of casualties is expected to rise.
2
European countries have triggered a dispute mechanism in their nuclear deal with Iran, a move that could lead to the return of UN sanctions on Tehran.
What does the potential unravelling of the nuclear deal mean for Israel? The CSM takes a comprehensive look.
3
Jerusalem's deputy mayor will tell Britain's House of Lords today that the UK must stop funds for UNRWA unless it agrees to stop anti-Israel and antisemitic incitement in its schools. (JPost)
4
Israel's national baseball team is on the way to the Tokyo Olympics! The AP features the incredible story.
5
Antisemitism Watch: A Delaware county Republican committee has voted to remove its vice chairwoman after she made comments criticized by some as antisemitic.

Commentary I'm reading

- A Selective Opponent of ‘Settlers’ (Eugene Kontorovich)

- Iran’s Response to Soleimani’s Killing Is Coming (Sam Dagher)
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Post  Admin on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 5:45 pm

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Does Soleimani Fallout Imperil Iranian Jewry?
1
Are Iranian Jews imperiled by the fallout of the US hit on Gen. Qassem Soleimani?
On a more encouraging note, video posted on social media shows Iranian students refusing to trample American and Israeli flags.
2
Shifting sands: Henrique Cymerman of i24 News became the first Israeli journalist to report from Saudi Arabia.
3
Antisemitism Watch: The two terrorists who attacked a Jersey City kosher market last month had a massive improvised explosive device which the FBI says may have been intended to use against Jewish targets.
A UK Labour report cited many members who believe Israel stoked the party's antisemitism controversies. "Kill all Jews" graffiti was found at a Brooklyn high school; in Queens, swastikas and antisemitic graffiti were found scrawled all over the interior of a Jewish man's SUV.  A French court convicted a Muslim man of a hate crime for assaulting a Jewish optician.
4
Israeli political parties have until tomorrow night to submit thier final lists for the March 2 elections. The New Right and National Union parties merged their lists. New Right leader Naftali Bennett also wants to bring Bayit Yehudi into the alliance, but only if it divorces itself from the Kahanist Otzma Yehudi. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who is number 5 on the Likud list, is leaving politics as soon as his successor is named.
Meanwhile, Labor-Gesher and Meretz merged their lists, but polls indicate the Left-wing alliance won't break the overall Knesset stalemate.


Commentary I'm reading


- US-Iran tensions temporarily restrain Israel on northern front (Amos Harel)


- Elections remain elusive for Palestinians, as Abbas searches for pretexts to postpone them (Israel Kasnett)


- The fear of being Jewish (Jordan Salama)


- From New York to Israel, no safe spaces for Jews (Max Cherman, Ezra Loeb)


- Jews should define antisemitismn (Emily Schrader, Zina Rakhamilova; Disclosure: Zina Rakhamilova is HonestReporting's digital content editor)
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Post  Admin on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 1:29 am

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Three cabinet appointments were frozen after the High Court of Justice indicated they might be struck down. Netanyahu was forced to vacate the diaspora affairs, welfare and housing portfolios and it's not clear who will oversee those ministries for the duration of Israel's autopilot government.


Video: Ilhan Omar's Hypocrisy
https://honestreporting.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/j/4FA593286DB7997B2540EF23F30FEDED/2CEE6A03BC192049D9767B6002735221
Three cabinet appointments were frozen after the High Court of Justice indicated they might be struck down. Netanyahu was forced to vacate the diaspora affairs, welfare and housing portfolios and it's not clear who will oversee those ministries for the duration of Israel's autopilot government.


Video: Ilhan Omar's Hypocrisy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QHJSMDAicE


text
Commentary I'm reading


- Oppose Iran sanctions, but support BDS against Israel? (Jonathan Tobin)


- Don't be fooled by Iran's low-key revenge for Soleimani (Shimrit Meir)


- The sinister genius of Qassem Soleimani (Karim Sadjadpour click via Twitter)


- It’s time to call violent anti-Semitism what it is: domestic terrorism (Ron Klein)


- Dinner-party anti-Semitism is now unabashed – and getting louder (Zoe Strimpel)





 

text
Commentary I'm reading


- Oppose Iran sanctions, but support BDS against Israel? (Jonathan Tobin)


- Don't be fooled by Iran's low-key revenge for Soleimani (Shimrit Meir)


- The sinister genius of Qassem Soleimani (Karim Sadjadpour click via Twitter)


- It’s time to call violent anti-Semitism what it is: domestic terrorism (Ron Klein)


- Dinner-party anti-Semitism is now unabashed – and getting louder (Zoe Strimpel)
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Post  Admin on Fri 10 Jan 2020, 1:33 pm

Bite size Honest Reporting
Defending Israel From Media Bias
img
VIDEO: Ilhan Omar's Hypocrisy
WATCH HERE https://honestreporting.com/ilhan-omars-hypocrisy/
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=4QHJSMDAicE&feature=emb_logo
After the US imposed additional economic sanctions on Iran, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar condemned the decision, tweeting that "sanctions are economic warfare."
Which is an interesting point, given that Omar is one of the BDS movement's biggest supporters...
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Post  Admin on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 4:26 pm

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Iranian Missiles Strike US Bases in Iraq

1
Iran has made good on its threats to retaliate for the killing of Qasem Soleimani by firing more than a dozen missiles at two US bases in Iraq. There have been no immediate reports of casualties and President Trump has tweeted "All is well!"

 

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, also seemed ready to stand down, for now. “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense,” Mr. Zarif tweeted. “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

2
Is this the end of the Iranian threat for now? The Washington Post looks at how a ‘quantum change’ in missiles has made Iran a far more dangerous foe.

 

The New York Times and Telegraph both examine the possibility of Iranian cyberattacks while the Telegraph also looks into how Iran is deploying online disinformation at a scale to rival Russia.

3
While Israeli security officials have stated that the risk of an Iranian attack on Israel is low, PM Benjamin Netanyahu has nonetheless warned Iran:

 

“We’re standing steadfast against those who seek to kill us. We’re standing with determination and with force. Whoever tried to attack us will suffer a most crushing blow.”

4
Honduras has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Video: Who was Qasem Soleimani?

Commentary I'm reading

- Trump has crushed Iran’s plans for domination, Con Coughlin

- How inevitable is war with Iran? Aaron David Miller

- Iran’s plan was to hurt America, not start war, Ron Ben-Yishai

- Let's all take a deep breath on Iran, Sever Plocker
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Post  Admin on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 4:23 pm

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Soleimani Buried Amidst Bellicose Threats
1
Iran buried Qasem Soleimani in a funeral marked by bellicose threats against the US and Israel. Tehran also announced it will no longer abide by the nuclear deal -- but claimed it will still cooperate with international atomic inspectors.

Meanwhile, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were criticized by other Arabs for mourning Soleimani. Indeed, the Washington Post examines how he orchestrated the brutality of the Assad regime's repression of the Syrian people.

2
A Palestinian was convicted for the 2018 murder of American-Israeli Ari Fuld. The trial of Khalil Yusef Ali Jabarin was delayed when Jabarin's lawyer was arrested for his own involvement in terror attacks.

3
Will Roger Waters and BDS go to war with St. Nick?

Trained American Santas hit Jerusalem for Orthodox Christmas.

4
Antisemitism Watch: Some 25,000 people marched against antisemitism in New York City, but more threats against Jews were reported in Crown Heights. And police are looking for a man who attempted to enter a Queens yeshiva, then made an antisemitic remark at a woman before spitting at her.

A Delaware Republican official is under fire for what many are calling an antisemitic Facebook post. A 13-year-old boy was punched on a London bus and told "you stupid Jews think you own the world." In France, thousands of people rallied in several cities to protest a court’s ruling not to try a Jewish woman's killer.

 
Last but not least, tragedy transformed Devorah Halberstam into New York City’s most outspoken expert on antisemitic crime -- but is anyone listening to her?

Video: Rejecting Humanitarian Aid in Exchange for Terror
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpJWvdom0Oc&feature=youtu.be
text

Commentary I'm reading

- Iran just withdrew from the nuke deal -- but not really (Yonah Jeremy Bob)

- Soleimani hit may push off Israel-Iran confrontation (Herb Keinon)

- Not just 'another' Iranian general (Prof. Eyal Zisser)

- Soleimani's death won't mean World War III (Ray Takeyh)

- Erdogan's 'quiet jihad' meddles in Israel (Nadav Shragai)

- Arab states have everything to gain from normalization with Israel (Rami Dabbas)

- The multiple faces of antisemitism (Ben Cohen)

- Antisemitism and anti-Zionism: Blurring of lines (Allen Fagin)
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Post  Admin on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 9:54 pm

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Israel Braces for Iranian Revenge After Soleimani Assassination

1
Following the US assassination of Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani, Israel's on alert for an attack by Iran or one of its proxies. The US sent an additional 3,000 troops to the Mideast as Iran vowed revenge.

Soleimani was Tehran's point man with proxies like Hezbollah, the Houthis, and various Iraqi militias, among others. Palestinians in Gaza mourned Soleimani's death. As for the next man up, here's what's known about Esmail Ghaani, Soleimani's successor.

Related reading: How Iran's Land Bridge Threatens the Entire Mideast

2
Israel, Greece and Cyprus signed an agreement to build an undersea pipeline to deliver natural gas to Europe. According to the Associated Press, "The project, with a rough budget of $6 billion, is expected to satisfy about 10% of the European Union’s natural gas needs."

Unfortunately, Turkey's trying to sabotage the deal.

3
It's going to be Israel's fault if Lebanon throws fugitive businessman Carlos Ghosn in prison, right? Per the Washington Post:

"A group of lawyers on Thursday lodged a complaint with Lebanon’s judiciary charging that visits he made to Israel in his position as chairman of Renault and later Nissan constitute a crime under laws forbidding citizens from interacting with Lebanon’s arch-foe, which has been in a state of war with Lebanon for the past 60 years."

4
Antisemitism Watch: A soon-to-be-released report picked up by the New York Times finds that antisemitic hate crimes in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are "poised to hit an 18 year peak." Rattled Brooklyn Hassidim are changing their daily routines. In the face of widespread criticism, NBC New York deleted a tweet that many saw as blaming Jews for a spike in antisemitic attacks.


A US official went to Hungary to speak about anti-Semitism and another speaker delivered an antisemitic rant. In Germany, police arrested two men suspected of vandalizing a Jewish cemetery. Lithuania’s ruling party is drafting a bill to exonerate the Baltic state from Holocaust crimes. "A French-Jewish man who was critically injured in a 2016 stabbing attack by a man who shouted about Allah succumbed to his injuries and died, his lawyer said."

Last but not least, what's the impact of antisemitism on social media?

5
Over in the Knesset combat pit, 65 MKs threw their support behind convening a committee to weigh Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request for immunity from prosecution. The majority of lawmakers are expected to reject the request. More at the Jerusalem Post, Ynet and Times of Israel. The latter explains:

"Netanyahu requested immunity last week, but is reportedly banking on lawmakers being unable to swiftly set up a committee and discuss his request, thus pushing off the process until after the March elections."

Commentary I'm reading
- Iran must be confronted (Michael Oren)

- Soleimani assassination ushers in a new regional reality (Yoav Limor)

- Suleimani died as he had killed (Bret Stephens)

- Suleimani’s death is a huge blow to Iran’s plans for regional domination (Hassan Hassan)

- The US is keeping the promise made at San Remo in 1920 (Prof. Eugene Kontorovich)

- Palestinian 'moderates' celebrate terror (Bassam Tawil)

- Anti-Semitism: The ultimate marker of cultural derangement (Melanie Phillips)

- We sought a break from anti-Semitic violence in Brooklyn. It followed us. (Chana Lightstone)

- Jew-haters, right and left (Jeff Jacoby)

- The keys to understanding American anti-Semitism — and fighting back (Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks)

- Jews on the right don't get racism while Jews on the left don't get solidarity (Anshel Pfeffer)

- Labour's defeat hasn't ended antisemitism (Stephen Daisley)
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