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

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

If even the most ardent advocates in the world of the Palestinian narrative had to flee Gaza due to death threats from their Palestinian employees, how can those same figures deny to Israelis the right to defend themselves from Gaza's Hamas-led terrorists attacking their border?

— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) October 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Nafiseh Kohnavard (@nafisehkBBC) October 1, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a glimpse of Tukachinsky’s talent.

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

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

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

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

• Israel to invest NIS 4 billion in garbage treatment.

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

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

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

Jeremy Corbyn is asked four times if he regrets working for Press TV – Iran's state funded broadcaster.

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

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

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

• Jewish Chronicle: UK to ban Hezbollah political wing.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

A sukkah was vandalized overnight in New York City. Disgraceful!

— Leibel Mangel (@LeibelMangel) September 30, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Here’s what else I’m reading:

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

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

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Post  Admin on Thu 20 Sep 2018, 10:20 pm

4911.4848 in reply to 4911.4847
Russian Jet Downed in Syria: Was Israel to Blame?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Syria accidentally shot down a Russian aircraft during an air strike attributed to Israel and France. Despite some initial harsh words against Israel from Russia’s Defense Ministry, Russian President Putin overruled that position, stating that he does not blame Israel.  Meanwhile, the head of Israel’s Air-Force is heading to Moscow to present findings. 
Part of what makes the situation so complex is that both Russia and Iran are supporting the Assad regime. This occasionally puts Israel in the position of needing to attack Iranian weapons or infrastructure located in areas that Russia may be defending. So far, close coordination between Israel and Russia have helped to prevent mishaps and confrontations.
2. Initial reports indicated that the family of Khalil Yusef Ali Jabarin, the terrorist who murdered  Ari Fuld last week, had already received an initial cash reward from the Palestinian Martyrs Fund. A subsequent story by Times of Israel indicated that this was not the case, however a spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoner Affairs’ Commission clarified:
The [Jabarin] family would be eligible to receive a monthly salary of NIS 1,400 ($390), if their son is not freed by Israel and it completes all the necessary documents…We are not bashful or secretive about our support for our prisoners.
The Palestinian Martyrs Fund is particularly relevant in light of recent US decisions to cut funding to Palestinian aid. HR’s Senior Editor Daniel Pomerantz addressed the topic in The Federalist.
Meanwhile, The editors of The Weekly Standard wrote this damning critique of “the Palestinian Death Cult.”
3. A Yom Kippur terror attempt: according to Israeli police, a Palestinian man ran at a Jewish pedestrian near Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday evening and knocked him to the ground. The would-be attacker then ran at nearby Israeli police officers waiving a sharp object. The officers opened fire,  killing the attacker.
4. A  virtual reality exhibit of a Palestinian living room at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is intended to help build understanding. Yet even in a story meant to convey something positive, The Guardian still manages to twist the reality.
5. Ahed Tamimi on France 24 accuses Israelis of being brainwashed and taught to hate. Yet it is Tamimi herself who has been abused, victimized, fed with hatred and brainwashed.
Israel and the Palestinians
• A widely published story that Israel killed an  11 year old Palestinian boy on the Gaza border appears to be untrue. It seems the boy may have actually died when Palestinian rioters threw a rock which struck him. This calls to mind a event last May in which Hamas’s Ministry of Health accused Israel of killing an eight month old baby girl, only to later find that the story was untrue.
• After a failure of Egyptian mediated cease-fire talks Hamas is now intensifying its violent campaign  on the Gaza border resulting in numerous Palestinian deaths.
The media seem committed to describing the violence with the misleading word, “protests.” I can’t help but wonder, is there any other place in the world where media would refer to throwing grenades and other explosives  as a “protest?”
• After ten years of legal battles, Israel’s Supreme Court has authorized the destruction of Khan al-Ahmar, home to Bedouins of the Jahalin tribe, near the settlement Kfar Adumim, in Area C of the West Bank (Judea/Samaria). The town was built without permits, and Israel has made several attempts to relocate the community to an alternate site. Nonetheless, the impending demolition has caused debate in Israel and criticism abroad.
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Around the World
•Citing BDS as the reason, University of Michigan Professor John Cheney-Lippold rescinded his offer to write a letter of recommendation after he realized the student wished to spend a semester in Israel.  The Anti-Defamation League denounced Cheney-Lippold on Monday evening, with the organization’s CEO calling on the University of Michigan to make clear that it does not support his actions. Credit to high school oriented Zionist organization Club Z for picking up the story, which has since gone viral.
•  British PM Theresa May warns Jeremy Corbyn:
You’re not tackling racism if you’re not tackling anti-Semitism,
• This Daily Mail headline needs no further explanation:
Corbyn scores an own goal! Labour leader demands boycott on [soccer team] Arsenal FC – who he supports – over club’s Israeli tourism sponsorship deal
• Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar has said he will raise concerns about human rights, including the need to decriminalise homosexuality in Palestine, when President Mahmoud Abbas visits this coming weekend. (“Palestine” is the phrasing used by the Irish government.)
• Regarding criticism of the demolition of Bedouin town Khan al-Ahma, Naftali Bennett says, “It’s all about poking Israel in the eye politically.”
•Ben-Dror Yemini: The double standard of the ICC
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
–If You Can’t Mourn Ari Fuld, You Are An Accomplice in His Murder – Lt.-Col. (res.) Peter Lerner
–Mahmoud Abbas Has Fresh American Blood on His Hands – Bassam Tawil
–How Feasible Is a Long-Term Truce with Hamas? – Yaakov Lappin
–How Not to Make Palestine Great Again – Shalom Lipner

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Post  Admin on Mon 17 Sep 2018, 4:57 pm
Did Mahmoud Abbas Incite Murder of Ari Fuld?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Is there a connection between Mahmoud Abbas’ incitement and Sunday’s murder of Ari Fuld? Bassam Tawil and Mark Halawa call out the PA chief for accusing Israel of (once again) plotting to move on the Temple Mount. Tawil, a Palestinian scholar, goes so far as to argue that Abbas has “fresh American blood on his hands.”

In a speech before the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah on September 15, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas repeated the old libel that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Abbas claimed that Israel was seeking to copy the example of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where Jews and Muslims pray in different sections.

Abbas did not say what his lie was based on. He also did [not] provide any evidence of Israel’s ostensible plot against the Al-Aqsa Mosque . . .

Hours after reports were published of Abbas’s allegation, a 17-year-old Palestinian from the town of Yatta in the southern West Bank fatally stabbed Ari Fuld, a 45-year-old Israeli-American citizen and father of four, in a shopping center in Gush Etzion, south of Bethlehem.

According to Palestinian terrorist groups, the terrorist, Khalil Jabarin, decided to murder a Jew in response to Israeli “crimes” against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular and Islamic holy sites in general.

In other words, the terrorist was influenced by Abbas’s incitement, and this is why he decided to set out on his deadly mission. There is no doubt that the terrorist saw the reports quoting Abbas’s claim that Israel was planning to allow Jews to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

View image on Twitter
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Mark Halawa - مارك حلاوه

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas repeated an old libel, on Saturday, saying:

“Israel plans to establish Jewish prayer inside the Aqsa mosque, in the same fashion done in Hebron”

- All pro-Hamas twitter accounts are calling for violence citing Abbas’ remarks.

7:34 PM - Sep 16, 2018
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2. Israel and Turkey have been holding backchannel talks to restore ties that were all but severed in May during violent Gaza clashes, according to Israeli media reports.

According to a report Monday in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth, if the latest talks bear fruit, both governments expect to return their respective ambassadors after the Jewish holiday season, or roughly in early October, some five months after the spat — the latest in a series of diplomatic crisis spanning years.

3. After closing the Palestinian mission office in Washington, the US revoked the visa of Palestinian envoy Husam Zomlot and his family, and reportedly froze all PLO bank accounts in the US.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Thousands of Israelis gathered in Gush Etziyon to lay Ari Fuld to rest in a late night funeral. Fuld, a 45-year-old Israeli-American, was murdered by a Palestinian stabber yesterday. See Times of Israel and Ynet coverage of the funeral.

Michele Chabin
 All terror attacks are tragic, but some hit closer to home than others. Ari Fuld, who was murdered this morning, was a pillar in the Anglo (English-speaking) community in Israel. Just about everyone I know is in shock.

Afshine Emrani MD FACC
Replying to @HilzFuld
Here is Ari with his wife and four children. 
Baruch Dayan HaEmet. May his family receive the comfort that only the God of Israel can provide. And may their (and our) memories of Ari always be for a blessing.

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2:37 PM - Sep 16, 2018
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• The IDF raided the Hebron-area home of Khalil Jabarin, who murdered Fuld. As for reports that Jabarin’s parents alerted police, the Times of Israel reports that before the attack, the PA may not have treated the matter more seriously because the mother and father gave conflicting warnings to Palestinian and Israeli security personnel.

When asked if the PA security forces informed their Israeli counterparts that Jabarin had gone missing, the official said that the father had only informed them that his son had disappeared and not that he was planning to carry out an attack.

“All we knew was that the boy had run away. So we did not inform the Israeli side,” the Palestinian official said. “We did not know he was planning to carry out a stabbing.”

Jabarin’s mother, however, went to the nearby Meitar checkpoint in the southern West Bank and told soldiers, at approximately the same time the stabbing took place, that her son planned to commit an attack, according to the Israeli army.

She did not provide specific details about where or when she believed Jabarin would carry out an attack, the army said.

• Sadly, Fuld’s murder wasn’t news in the UK . . .

 How much coverage in the online UK press of the horrific terrorist murder of Ari Fuld? None in @BBCNews @Independent @guardian @Telegraph @thetimes. Apparently the slaughter of an Israeli "settler" doesn't count for UK editors.

8:35 AM - Sep 17, 2018
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• Clashes broke out after an IDF bus accidentally entered the Qalandiya refugee camp on Sunday evening. The bus was quickly surrounded by Palestinians who pelted it with stones. Three soldiers and a border guard were injured. The military is investigating why the bus entered the camp, which is located north of Jerusalem.

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will miss a number of UN meetings over Sukkot scheduling clash. The PM is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

• Trump administration officials are reportedly angry at US Jews for not cheering the Jerusalem embassy move.

• Israel marked the 30th anniversary of its first orbital launch by releasing threatening spy satellite photos of Bashar Assad’s Damascus palace and other sites in Syria.

Damascus Palace
Bashar Assad’s presidential palace in Damascus, photographed by Israel’s Ofek 11 spy satellite.
Window Into Israel
• The high-speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv rail link is a week away from its planned opening, but Globes reports it still hasn’t received the required safety approval:

[Independent Safety Assessor] is an international standard that is essential for commercial operation of a passenger train service. Approval could still come at the last minute in the coming week. If it is not given in time, however, it is not clear what will happen and whether it will be decided to again postpone the opening of the line.

express train
View of the train and railway during a test drive of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv express train in central Israel on January 16, 2018. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90
• Inquiring minds want to know: Which top Israeli official was a foreign agent in the Paul Manafort case?

Around the World
• A Spanish court annulled a municipality’s resolution “banning any association or economic agreement with Israeli companies and organizations.” ACOM, an organization fighting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in Spain, took legal action after the municipal council of Ayamonte, in southwestern Spain, passed the resolution in May.

The Huelva Court Number 1 wrote in its decision that the content of Ayamonte’s resolution “violates Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution,” since it incites and discriminates against Spanish citizens for reasons of birth, race, sex, religion, opinion or other conditions or circumstance, personal or social, ACOM said.

Related reading: BDS: The Bane in Spain.

BDS Spain

• Tweet of the day goes to Lahav Harkov in reaction to this Los Angeles Times staff-ed.

Lahav Harkov
 · Sep 16, 2018
 .@latimes stands up for...antisemitism?
Here's a reminder of when the US government adopted @TheIHRA definition of antisemitism. Hint: It was before Trump was even elected. … …

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Lahav Harkov
Hi, @latimes editorial board. These are nowhere near the same thing, and no one is seriously trying to deny anyone's right to do the latter. You can do better than this. You are empowering the bigots who do the former.

8:39 AM - Sep 16, 2018
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Aussie Dave: Murder of a hero of Israel: Ari Fuld z”l
– Avi Issacharoff: In world turned upside down, Israel angry at Abbas for taking hard line on Hamas
– Noah Klieger: What need does Abbas have for a state?
– Yoav Limor: Between Gaza and Iran
– Yaacov Amidror: The logic of Israel’s actions to contain Iran in Syria and Lebanon
– Tony Badran: Hezbollah ritually humiliates the UN
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Yom Kippur War: The forgotten victory
– Abraham Rabinovich: What were Israeli Arabs doing during the Yom Kippur War? They were helping their country

Featured image: CC0 Pxhere ; satellite image via Twitter/Ministry of Defense;

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

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Post  Admin on Sun 16 Sep 2018, 4:00 pm
Israeli-American Killed in Palestinian Stabbing Attack
Today’s Top Stories
1. A Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed a US-Israeli man at a shopping center near the Gush Etzyon junction, near Jerusalem today. Ari Fuld, a 40-year-old US immigrant living in Efrat, was a prominent social media personality and Israel activist. He served in an elite IDF paratroop unit before going on to become assistant director of Standing Together, an organization that supports IDF soldiers. Despite being stabbed, Fuld managed to chase after and fire at his attacker before collapsing.

He is survived by his wife and four children. As this roundup was published, the funeral was due to be held at 11:00 PM at the Kfar Etzion settlement.

The attack was filmed by security cameras. The Palestinian, identified as 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin, was subdued by quick-thinking passersby. According to Haaretz:
A source close to the Jabarin family that he informed his parents that he planned on carrying out an attack at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The family subsequently informed security forces though, they could not locate him in the tomb’s vicinity.

See Romi Sussman‘s moving tribute.
 He lived as a hero and died as a hero. My big bro is gone. 

Thanks for the messages. Really. Just looking for oxygen now… …

12:09 PM - Sep 16, 2018
Man murdered in Gush Etzion attack: Ari Fuld
Man murdered in stabbing at Gush Etzion Junction identified as Ari Fuld, a resident of Efrat and a known pro-Israel activist.
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2. An alleged Israeli air strike on Damascus International Airport is said to have targeted an Iranian weapons delivery for Hezbollah and other Tehran-backed militias. Per Israeli media reports:

The strike attributed to Israel also reportedly targeted several weapons storage rooms at the airport. Efforts were made to disguise the true purpose of the buildings, the report said, with some of the warehouses labeled “United Nations” or “DHL,” the international mail company, in an apparent effort to evade Israeli intelligence-gathering efforts.

3. JTA: “Belgium has broken its relations with the Palestinian Education Ministry over its honoring of terrorists and will no longer fund the construction of its schools, a government spokesperson said.”

The Hebron-area school in question had been named after Dalal Mughrabi, who was part of the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 38 civilians, including 13 children, were killed.
Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The PLO mission in Washington, which served as the Palestinian quasi-embassy, closed it offices on Thursday.

• Will the US Navy abandon Israel over a Chinese company winning a tender to operate the new port of Haifa? In 2015, Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) won a bid to take over the port, which is expected to be operational in 2021. Haaretz raises some questions:

The Americans who were at the conference think Israel lost its mind when it gave the Chinese the keys to Haifa Port. Once China is in the picture, they said, the Israel Navy will not be able to count on maintaining the close relations it has had with the Sixth Fleet . . .

The Chinese company SIPG won the bid to expand the Haifa Port three and a half years ago. The project is slated to be inaugurated in 2021 and calls for the Chinese company, which also operates the Port of Shanghai, to run the Haifa Port for 25 years. Another Chinese firm won the bid to build a new port at Ashdod.
Those decisions were made by the Transportation Ministry and the Ports Authority, with zero involvement of the National Security Council, and without the navy being in the picture at all. The problem lies not only in the implications that ties with the Chinese have for Israel’s relations with the United States, which under the Trump administration is ramping up its rhetoric on China because of the trade wars and tensions in the China Sea.

USS Jason Dunham
The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham during a port visit in Haifa on June 19, 2018.
• According to Mideast reports picked up by the Times of Israel, a top trade official from the United Arab Emirates secretly visited Israel in August to discuss trade ties.
• Prague to open “Czech House” in Jerusalem as possible prelude to an embassy move. The center, which is expected to house a cultural center, as well as offices of the Czech Republic’s trade and tourism offices, is scheduled to open in November, reports the Jerusalem Post.

• A balloon attached to what appeared to be an incendiary device, was found near the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon, near the Israeli city of Modiin. According to the Jerusalem Post, “incidents of this kind are rare in the West Bank and the balloon in Beit Horon is unlikely to have come from Gaza, given the settlement’s distance from the Strip.”
• Australia’s federal government halted $21 million in funding to Union Aid Abroad after discovering taxpayer money found its way to a Palestinian organization that employed a member of a listed terror group.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the MA’AN Development Centre is employing as a field and media co-ordinator, Hamza Zbiedat, who is a supporter and affiliate of terrorist organisation, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) . . .

Zbiedat, who was arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces on October 14, 2017, is the second PFLP affiliate employed the MA’AN Development Centre . . .

The government requires NGOs, like Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, ensure that their partners, like the MA’AN ­Development Centre, do not provide direct or indirect support or resources to individuals associated with terrorism.
Sharri Markson
 EXCLUSIVE: The Morrison Govt has suspended funding to a union group and its Palestinian partner organisation after we reveal they have in their employ a second terror affiliate 2N7jX9I 

12:20 AM - Sep 13, 2018
Terror links halt funding to Union Aid charity
THE federal government has suspended taxpayer funding to a union charity after it was ­revealed a Palestinian organisation receiving aid employed a second member of a listed terrorist group.
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• Pass the tissues: Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who recruits children for martyrdom operations burst into tears during speech urging people not to cut the faces of kids during the Ashura mourning period. Shia Muslims mark Ashura as the day Hussein Ibn Ali, a grandson of Mohammed, died in battle.
Window Into Israel
Sara Netanyahu
Sara Netanyahu
• The police investigation into the “Bezeq affair” took a new twist. According to Israeli media reports, police suspect Sara Netanyahu “dictated coverage and content” to the Walla! News site.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of having an understanding with Shaul Elovitch, Bezeq’s majority shareholder, in which the PM gave the telecom giant regulatory benefits in exchange for favorable coverage on the Elovitch-owned Walla! News.
Mrs. Netanyahu was indicted in June on separate charges of misusing state funds. Her trial begins on October 7.

• The IDF formed an advisory committee to clarify working procedures between the between the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit and correspondents covering military affairs. The Jerusalem Post explains that membership in the Military Correspondents Association — or even mere recognition as a military correspondent — gives reporters clearance for briefings with senior officers and information on breaking news ahead of the foreign press.

• Firebombs were hurled at a concert venue hosting a mixed-gender Israeli Arab band Siraj in Umm al-Fahm on Saturday. Haaretz reports that local imams opposed the event “not only because of men and women were performing together, but because men and women concertgoers would not be seated separately.”
• For a sense of the domestic discourse, see Yonah Jeremy Bob‘s take on tensions between Netanyahu and outgoing police chief Roni Alsheich.

Around the World
• Drip drip drip: A trade union leader and ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing calls to resign for saying Israel could have triggered the party’s antisemitism crisis to distract from “atrocities” it committed.
Here’s just part of what Mark Serwotka said at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event, as reported by The Independent. (Labour stands by Serwotka.)

He added: “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I’ll tell you what – one of the best forms of trying to hide from the atrocities that you are committing is to go on the offensive and actually create a story that does not exist for people on this platform, the trade union movement or, I have to say, for the leader of the Labour Party.”
Kevin Schofield
 · Sep 13, 2018
 PCS boss Mark Serwortka: “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but one of the best forms of trying to hide from the atrocities you are committing is to go on the offensive and create a story that does not exist for ... the leader of the Labour Party.” …
Labour antisemitism row was created by Israel to distract from 'atrocities', trade union boss...
The leader of one of Britain’s main trade unions has suggested that Israel created the antisemitism row that has engulfed Labour over the summer.
Richard Ferris

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Post  Admin on Thu 13 Sep 2018, 7:43 pm
 PM’s Spokesman Steps Down Over Misconduct Charges
Today’s Top Stories
1. Just before this roundup was published, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, David Keyes, announced that he is taking “time off” to clear his name after more women accused him of sexual misconduct.

Keyes’ status worsened after the Times of Israel reported that 10 more women accused him of inappropriate behavior and Knesset lawmakers called for his suspension. See yesterday’s roundup for more background on the allegations leveled by New York state Senate candidate Julia Salazar and Wall St. Journal reporter Shayndi Raice — the only two accusers so far who agreed to identify themselves.

The Right to Maim2. A book accusing the IDF of deliberately sparing the lives of Palestinians in order to debilitate them was awarded the 2018 Alison Piepmeier Book Prize by the National Women’s Studies Association. The Algemeiner explains:

Jasbir Puar, an associate professor of women’s and gender studies, co-won the NWSA’s 2018 Alison Piepmeier Book Prize for her work The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability.

Published by in November 2017 by Duke University Press — which has come under scrutiny for its editorial advisors’ ties to the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel — the book posits that the “Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have shown a demonstrable pattern over decades of sparing life, of shooting to maim rather than to kill.”

Yet it contends that this “purportedly humanitarian practice of sparing death by shooting to maim” is not rooted in a desire to minimize fatalities, but rather seeks to maintain “Palestinian populations as perpetually debilitated, and yet alive, in order to control them.”

3. It’s official: Tel Aviv, will be the host city for next year’s Eurovision competition, so mark your calendar. “The European Broadcasting Union announced on Thursday that next year’s competition will be hosted in the coastal city, at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds complex, with the grand finale event to be held on May 18. The two semifinals will be held on May 14 and May 16.”

Heads up to all the foreign correspondents, copy editors and talking heads: Tel Aviv is not Israel’s capital.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel dismantled five protest shacks outside the illegally built West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar this morning. Palestinians had set up the trailers after the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled last week that the 180 Bedouins living in Khan al-Ahmar failed to prove ownership of the land. Israeli authorities so far have not made any moves against other structures, but may evacuate the Bedouins at any time. More at the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament stated that the razing and transfer of the Bedouins “would constitute a grave breach of international humanitarian law,” and declared that Israel must compensate Europe an estimated 315,000 euros for the cost of the humanitarian projects it has sponsored. That’s a rich accusation, considering European Union funding for illegal buildings in the West Bank violates international law.
 This morning, enforcement was carried out against 5 movable structures that were illegally transported & installed in the vicinity of Kfar Adumim. The erection of these structures was advanced by representatives of the PA in opposition to the enforcement of Israeli law in Area C.

5:31 AM - Sep 13, 2018
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• The IDF destroyed a large bomb found placed along the Gaza border fence during Monday’s clashes.
• Palestinian youths disrupted a joint Israeli-Palestinian conference in eastern Jerusalem marking the 25th anniversary of the Oslo accords.
• Noting the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo accords, the New York Times and Washington Post take deep dive looks at the unfulfilled hopes.
Oslo accords
Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat signing the Declaration of Principles on Sept. 13, 1993.
• National Public Radio takes a closer look at the Palestinian “right” of return and redefining refugees.

• Israel denied an Arab report picked up by the Israeli media that it sold an Iron Dome system to Saudi Arabia. The deal was said to have been mediated by the US and laid the groundwork for further military cooperation. The Saudis face missile attacks from Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

• Col. Richard Kemp, a retired British army officer who formerly commanded UK forces in Afghanistan, discussed the recent Gaza border clashes and an upcoming UN report with the Hamilton Jewish News.

When the effort is part of a publicity campaign Kemp describes as “the greatest slur campaign the world has ever seen,” the narrative it creates becomes one the world’s media swallows whole.

“It almost doesn’t matter what Israel does in PR terms,” he added. “What media wants on the whole is a bad news story, they don’t want to hear that Israel does its best to avoid civilian casualties, what they want to see is death, destruction, horror and outrage.”

• Palestinian arson terror, by the numbers, based on a Nature and Parks Authority figures picked up by Israel HaYom:
– 78: Percentage of plant life decimated in reserves near Gaza border.
– 7,900: overall acres of land lost to fire.
– 2,987: acres of national parks and reserves land lost to fire.
– 2,440: acres of JNF-owned land lost to fire.
– 1,047: acres of agricultural fields lost to fire.
– 1,504: acres of open land lost to fire.
– 14: Percentage of all nature reserves adjacent to Gaza lost to fire.
– 78: Percentage of Be’eri Crater Nature Reserve lost to fire.
– 77: Percentage of Kurkar Niram Nature Reserve lost to fire.
– 50: Percentage of Karmiya Nature Reserve lost to fire.
– 15 million: Damage in shekels to the nature reserves alone ($4 million)
Related viewing: The Environmental Impact of War.
Window Into Israel
• Two members of an advisory committee tasked with appointing officials for senior government positions resigned amid concerns that their close relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu posed a conflict of interest. The High Court of Justice had froze the proceedings of the “Goldberg committee,” which is currently examining candidates for the next Bank of Israel governor, IDF chief of staff and police commissioner.

Petitions against [Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Yaakov] Nagel and [Iris] Stark were filed due to their possible conflicts of interests and closeness to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which was feared could influence the nominations, especially the next police chief who would be responsible for leading criminal investigations against the PM.

• How adequate is the IDF’s readiness for war? Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot recently reported a high level of preparedness, but the IDF ombudsman, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick, wrote his own harshly critical report and went public with his dissent in June. Now, Haaretz reports of a new dossier of information and an unheard of call for an external inquiry.

The call to establish an external investigative commission is unprecedented. Brick is scheduled to complete his 10-year tenure as ombudsman at the beginning of January. His demand for an inquiry reflects two main problems: deep concern over the state of the ground forces and a growing lack of trust in the IDF’s ability to investigate itself and correct what needs to be rectified. In addition, from the moment that the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee was brought into the picture, it was clear that Brick’s claims would have political implications.

IDF soldiers
• For commentary on the domestic scene, David Pannick QC weighs in on the Israeli Supreme Court’s oversight of the nation-state law.
Around the World
• In the San Francisco/Oakland area, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is allowing advertisements from a group that promotes Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Unfortunately, The Independent‘s featured image suggests a bugaboo in their caption system and/or a copyeditor asleep at the wheel. Either that or Ken Livingstone’s guest writing the Indy’s photo captions. (The caption was revised after HonestReporting contacted the editors.)
The Independent

• The BBC takes examines the growing tech trade ties between Israel and the UK.

• Ewa Jasiewicz reportedly withdrew from from a panel event run by the Jeremy Corbyn-supporting organization, Momentum. The British-Polish pro-Palestinian activist was due to speak at a festival in Liverpool in parallel with the Labour party’s annual conference.
Jasiewicz’s participation in the festival sparked controversy amid revelations that she A) suggested in 2002 that terror groups target Israeli parliamentarians instead of civilians, and B) vandalized one of the Warsaw ghetto’s remaining walls with the words “Free Gaza and Palestine” and “liberate all ghettos.”
Even without Jasiewicz, sparks will fly. Concerned for attacks by Corbynistas, the conference’s Jewish delegates will have bodyguards. The party powwow begins September 23.

• If this Beatles classic hasn’t stuck the right chord with you, let it be.
Paul McCartney: ‘Hey Jude’ isn’t about the Jews
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Zev Chafets: How Trump’s Mideast moves are a game changer
– Yonah Jeremy Bob: Did John Bolton shield Israel from the ICC?
– Noah Klieger: Shutting Palestinian offices in Washington long overdue
– Alex Brummer: UNRWA perpetuates the refugee problem
– Charles Bybelezer: Beyond Oslo: Charting a new course to Israeli-Palestinian peace
– Curtis Ryan: The Trump administration’s new idea for Israeli-Palestinian peace is actually an old, failed idea
– David Rosenberg: The Oslo accords didn’t achieve peace. But they did birth Startup Nation
– Ziva Dahl: 25 years after Oslo, the US pressures Palestinians to give up a lost war
Dr. Einat Wilf
 To those conveniently telling a story of how Rabin assassination (1995) and Netanyahu election (1996) were causes of failure of Oslo Accords (1993), a friendly reminder that LATER, in 2000 and 2008, Palestinians WALKED AWAY from clear, concrete opportunities to have their state.
3:29 PM - Sep 13, 2018
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– Jonathan Tobin: US takes a stand against antisemitism that Obama didn’t
– Akiva Bigman: Zionism is still the answer to anti-Semitism
– Noah Rothman: Do Zionists have civil rights?
– Point of No Return: Why Rachel Shabi’s ‘alliance of colour’ will go nowhere
– Abigail Shrier: The new Jewish-Christian amity (click via Twitter)
– Robert Hamilton: God said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (click via Twitter)
Featured image: CC BY dulnan;; soldiers CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces;

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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Sep 2018, 5:02 pm

Nancy Pelosi has no intention of stepping aside: ‘As long as Trump’s here, I’m here’
September 11, 2018
Nancy Pelosi has no intention of stepping aside: ‘As long as Trump’s here, I’m here’
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi plans to stick around for as long as President Donald Trump is in office.

The Democrat leader told CNN in a Monday night interview that “as long as Trump’s here, I’m here,” even as she admitted that it’s time for some “new blood” in the party.

Pelosi: I won’t leave till Trump does
Pelosi sat down with CNN’s Christian Amanpour to talk about the midterms, the Democratic party, and her own political future. Amanpour asked Pelosi about the challenges to her leadership from a younger generation of Democrats who say it’s time for a change.

“I do agree that it’s time for new blood and we should move on, and if Hillary Clinton had won and the Affordable Care Act was protected — I feel very proprietary about that — I was happy to go my way,” she said.

Pelosi said that since Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election, it was important for her to stay where she is to make sure women are at the table. She also mentioned the vulnerability of the Affordable Care Act under the Trump administration.

“They give me the honor of serving and it’s up to them to choose who comes next. But to have no woman at the table and to have the Affordable Care Act at risk, I said, ‘As long as [Trump’s] here, I’m here,’” she said.

“45,” she clarified, referring to Trump by number rather than by name.

Impeachment if “facts are there”
Pelosi said that it’s “up to the caucus to decide” but that she’s confident that she “will be” Speaker of the House. But more than 50 Democrats running in the midterms, including nine incumbents, have said they will not back her while dozens more have evaded the question.

Amanpour broached a topic that highlighted a split between Pelosi and the younger, more progressive wing of the party advocating new leadership: impeachment. While the party’s radicals have called for impeachment vocally and often, Pelosi has mostly demurred.

Pelosi told Amanpour that seeking impeachment is “divisive” but proceedings could be on the table if the “facts are there.”
“Well, I don’t think that impeachment should be engaged in for political reason but I don’t think it should be avoided for a political reason. In other words, if the facts are there, then it takes us to a place. But that is not our priority. Our priority, again, unifying.”

For impeachment to become more than a progressive fantasy, Democrats must take back the House. Pelosi said her party would win handily if the midterms were held today, with women leading the way.
Do you suspect Nancy Pelosi will hold on to whatever power she can for as long as she can?
“If the election were held today, we would win overwhelmingly and women would lead the way,” she said. “We have so many excellent women candidates from women across the country. Women marched and then they ran, and now they’re running and now they’re going to be members of Congress.”

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Post  Admin on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 5:25 pm
UK Labour Adopts Antisemitism Definition, But . . .
Today’s Top Stories
1. Good news and bad news from the UK Labour party. The good news is that the party adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s full working definition of antisemitism. The bad news is that the party leaders also attached a statement that the definition will not “in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of the Palestinians.” Jewish activist Richard Angell’s response quoted by the Jewish Chronicle sums up the exasperation:

“A ‘right to be racist’ protection when debating the Middle East is not just wrong, it harms the cause of peace but it will also continue a culture where Jewish people cannot feel at home in Labour.”

As for the party leader himself, Jeremy Corbyn maintained that it is not anti-Semitic to describe the creation of Israel as racist. (He was overruled by Labour’s National Executive Committee.)
Jeremy Corbyn
2. Israel’s High Court of Justice gave the state permission to evacuate the illegally built West Bank Bedouin Village of Khan al-Ahmar. The justices said “the main issue in the case was not whether the eviction could be carried out, but where the residents would be relocated.” Haaretz coverage.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
3. An Abu Dhabi judo event was reinstated after United Arab Emirates organizers promised to treat the Israeli team equally. Israeli sporting officials hailed the move. The Abu Dhabi Grand Slam begins on Oct. 25.
Last year, the UAE snubbed Israel by refusing to play the Israeli anthem or fly the Israeli flag when Tal Flicker won a gold medal.

4. Video: Cutting Funds to UNRWA: Will it Stop the Violence? Washington defunding the UNRWA, which supports Palestinian refugees, is more complicated than you think. HR’s Daniel Pomerantz discussed the issue with former Palestinian negotiator Gaith Al-Omari on i24 News.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas’ Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar admitted the weekly March of Return clashes were staged to avert internal crisis. Ynet coverage.

Gaza’s Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar openly admitted on Tuesday that the weekly “March of Return” protests staged on the Gaza border in recent months were intended to avert an internal crisis and divert pressure onto the Israelis.

“After the reconciliation efforts (between Hamas and Fatah) reached an impasse, a number of factions planned to cause an internal explosion in the Gaza Strip, but the Marches of Return thwarted the plan,” Sinwar said during a Hamas conference in the coastal enclave.

• Israel shut down the Erez border crossing with Gaza following violent clashes and heavy damage to infrastructure.

• Explaining Washington’s rationale for defunding the UN agency overseeing Palestinian refugees, US Ambassador David Friedman said that $10 billion in aid to the Palestinians since 1994 “were bringing the region no closer to peace or stability, not even by a millimeter.”

• The IDF acknowledged carrying out airstrikes on 202 Iranian targets in Syria since 2017. The hits “were mostly shipments of advanced weaponry, as well as military bases and infrastructure, which the IDF officials said drove Iranian forces to abandon some posts.” More on the story at Reuters.

IAF jet
An Israeli Air Force jet in 2017.
• After Jerusalem suggested it could strike Iranian targets in Iraq, The Media Line takes a closer look at what Tehran’s designs for Iraq mean for Israel.

Window Into Israel
• Eurovision organizers demand preparation work on Shabbat and free expression for participants . . .

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office was in lockdown this afternoon as dozens of protesters tried to break in. Per the Jerusalem Post, “The demonstrators are retired policemen protesting that their pensions are not equal that of retired career IDF soldiers and officers.”

• Here’s a by the numbers look at Israel’s population, based on figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. More details at the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.

Israelis– 8.9 million: Overall population
– 162,000: population increase (a 1.9% rise) from last year
– 6.6 million: Jews (74.4% of the population)
– 1.8 million: Arabs (20.9% of the population)
– 418,000: Other minorities (4.7% of the population)
– 166,000: foreigners in Israel not included in the stats
– 175,000: babies born in past year
– 43,000: deaths in past year
– 25,000: new immigrants in past year
– 52,809: marriages in past year
– 14,819: couples separated in past year
– 4.2: percentage of unemployment in past year
– 313,000: students in higher education

• For commentary on the domestic scene, the funeral of Sen. John McCain had columnist Nahum Barnea wondering about Israel’s own political polarization.

Around the World
• London’s Metropolitan Police are investigating Labour party members who may have violated hate crimes laws when making a series of offensive comments about Jews. LBC Radio received a dossier of 45 antisemitism cases brought to Labour’s disputes panel, then showed them to Mak Chisty, who previously headed the police’s efforts against hate crimes:

He has reviewed all 45 anti-Semitism cases within this dossier and found 17 should have been reported to the police as a race-hate incident for investigation.

And he told LBC a further four – including the ones detailed above – warrant a criminal investigation as hate crimes.

• Why is Germany silent on Jeremy Corbyn’s praise of Munich Olympic terrorist?

• Anti-Semitic flyers appear outside Detroit church.

• The president New York’s Vassar College condemned a “disorientation guide” that urged students to “slap a Zionist.” More details at Legal Insurrection.
Vassar College
• Worth reading: Ninety-three year-old Stanislaw Aronson survived the Warsaw ghetto uprising, fought in the Polish underground and then in Israel’s War of Independence. He sees antisemitism spreading in Europe and worries people will repeat the mistakes that led to the Holocaust. Here are the lessons he wants to pass on.

Confronting lies sometimes means confronting difficult truths about one’s self and one’s own country. It is much easier to forgive yourself and condemn another, than the other way round; but this is something that everyone must do.

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels commenting on UK Labour’s antisemitism problem . . .

– Danny Stone: Why the way we spell antisemitism is as important as how we define it
– Anshel Pfeffer: Labour’s decision on antisemitism will not solve the party’s existential crisis
– Jon Craig: Labour’s antisemitism announcement not what it seems
– Lyn Julius: Corbyn’s worldview turns the truth on its head
– Eldad Beck: Corbyn will play the victim
– Keith Kahn-Harris: After Labour’s antisemitism U-turn, Jewish people should stick with the party
– Times of London (staff-ed): Labour takes a first step towards rebuilding trust with Jews

• Tweet of the day goes to Paul Gross . . .
Paul Gross
 Wait... so, the full definition of antisemitism is accepted... but with an amendment ensuring “free speech to criticize Israel”? Given that the definition does not prevent criticism of Israel, the assumption must be that the amendment is there to allow something beyond criticism.
A Fair Voice
Replying to @pauldgross and 2 others
And this article... I’m still catching up ..
8:36 PM - Sep 4, 2018 · Israel
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today:
– Amos Harel: Israel signals lull in Syria strikes is over, resuming military action against Iran
– Yoav Limor: In this war, everything goes
– New York Post (staff-ed): Trump is pushing the Middle East to face reality in Palestine
– Yossi Beilin: UNRWA: Right decision, wrong time
– Ben-Dror Yemini: A Jordan-Palestinian confederation—why not?
– Yoni Ben-Menachem: Jordan doesn’t want a confederation
– Meir Indor: The danger of confederation
– Prof. Efraim Inbar: The Oslo process is a proven failure
– Abdulrahman Al-Rashed: Israel’s threat and the birth of Baghdad’s government
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): Lana’s off key: A musician folds to anti-Israel BDS
Featured image: CC BY Nicolas Alejandro; Corbyn via YouTube/JC Sendon; jet CC BY-NC Israel Defense Forces; Israeli children CC BY Kristoffer Trolle; Vassar via Facebook/Vassar College;
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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Sep 2018, 3:04 pm
Explosions in Syria

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Today’s Top Stories
1. At least two military personnel were killed and 11 wounded in overnight explosions  on a military airport on the edge of the Syrian capital. Israel rarely confirms or denies its operations in Syria. This attack  was, apparently, especially destructive and rumoured to have a connection to Israel. A Syria-based Iranian military claimed the explosion was caused by an electrical short circuit.

2. In an ongoing chess game of threats and counter-threats, Israel has threatened to attack any Iranian military assets in Iraq as it has done in Syria, following reports Tehran has moved ballistic missiles closer to the Jewish state.

3.  A report from Western intelligence officials reveals that Iran is using civilian flights to smuggle arms to Hezbollah.

4. HR’s Senior Editor Daniel Pomerantz writes in The Federalist that a myopic focus on Trump is merely a distraction from one of the primary reasons behind America’s funding cuts to Palestinians: the Palestinian Martyrs Fund and the murder of Americans abroad.

5. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is a controversial figure. Yet it is still important that journalism regarding his visit to Israel be based on facts. HonestReporting succeeds in getting an important correction from The Independent.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Controversy continues over state visit by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to Israel.

• Will Roseanne Barr move to Israel? After her personal scandal involving a Tweet accused of being racist (which resulted in the cancellation of her television program) what will be the public effect?

• Minister of Education Naftali Bennett called for the censure of the Arab-Israeli Joint List MKs in response to their open support of UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, The call was echoed by Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren .

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Around the World
• Canada’s Quebec solidaire party is becoming increasingly active in local politics. Billing itself as “the most environmentalist, left-leaning and socially conscious of the four major political parties,” Quebec solidaire’s 2017 convention was interrupted by a mini scandal after it was revealed the food table contained … Israeli hummus. The offending food was promptly removed when the organizers realized that it came from a country that “persecutes Palestinians,.

• The Ukrainian city of Lviv, once a major center of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, commemorated on Sunday the 75th anniversary of the annihilation of the city’s Jewish population by Nazi Germany and honored those working today to preserve what they can of that vanished world.

• The European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said today that the world is going through a period of chaos, and the EU should work more closely with international partners as the multilateral system is under threat. Mogherini has frequently taken anti-Israel positions in the past. Will she really become more active in world affairs, and if so, what will be the impact on Israel?

• Former government heads Stephen Harper (Canada) and  David Trimble (First Minister, Ireland) write in The Telegraph, “Corbyn’s Anti-semitism is a threat to all of us.”  Though this is behind a paywall, we felt it too important to not include.  Here is one relevant paragraph:

The rise in anti-Semitism across Europe should be alarming to all of us, and not just for moral reasons. History shows that the mindset which embraces anti-Semitism rarely restricts its hatred to the Jewish minority.

• The Wall Street Journal weighed in on Corbyn with a full page spread.

• Former UK Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks warned of an existential threat to British Jews..

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

–Israel Welcomes U.S. Defunding of UNRWA as Step for Peace – Tovah Lazaroff and Michael Wilner (Jerusalem Post)
–Moving Iranian Ballistic Missiles into Iraq Is Extremely Destabilizing – J.E. Dyer
–The Welcome Disruption in Palestinian Aid – Jonathan Greenberg

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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Sep 2018, 4:18 pm

US Cancels Funding to UNRWA
Today’s Top Stories
1. United States cut all funding to UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees. Even if one supports international aid to Palestinians, UNRWA, as an agency, is problematic in a number of ways. Numerous articles discuss the US position and international reactions, including the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and UNRWA itself.
Last January HR’s Daniel Pomerantz discussed the topic on i24 News and responded to claims by UNRWA head Christopher Gunness:
2. Is an Israel-Lebanon war looming? The U.N. Security Council warned Thursday that violations of the cease-fire agreement between Lebanon and Israel could lead to a new conflict and urged international support for Lebanon’s armed forces and their stepped up deployment in the south and at sea. Though Lebanon nominally has a government and an army, the Hezbollah terror group is generally the primary source of influence and military power in the country.
3. The Associated Press explores the dangers faced by Palestinian medical workers aiding the (sometimes violent) protesters on the Gaza border.  Credit to the AP for including a reference to the Israeli position on this matter:

Israel says it does not intentionally target medics and even tries to protect them but accuses militants of mixing in with the crowds. Last month, Israel said a Palestinian nurse from the group Doctors Without Borders tried to carry out a late-night cross-border shooting attack on Israeli troops.

4. Amidst the continuing issue of UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s antisemitism and support for extremists, The Sun focused on his paying tribute to disgraced former UN official Richard Falk.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar says: We’ll fire hundreds of rockets at central Israel if talks fail, saying they can make alarm sirens wail in the Tel Aviv region for six months straight. I particularly liked this Tweet from parody account TheMossadIl, putting Hamas’s priorities into the larger perspective:
The Mossad
 A threat from the idiots who can't even give their own people six hours of electricity.

10:26 PM - Sep 1, 2018

Hamas leader threatens Israel with 'six months' of rockets on Tel Aviv
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• Pop singer Lana Del Rey cancelled her show in Israel under pressure from BDS. According to the singer:

It’s important to me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally.

I can’t help but wonder about the double standard: do singers visiting China always perform in Tibet? When visiting Russia do they make it a policy to stop in the Ukraine? When in Turkey is it imperative that one also performs in Cyprus? In fact, is this standard applied anywhere else in the world at all? (No, no, no and no.)

•Soldiers nab 3 Palestinians with pipe bombs in northern West Bank.
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Around the World
•In the UK, Labor party whip Frank Field resigned, saying Jeremy Corbyn has become a “force for antisemitism in British politics.” Meanwhile, a second Labour MP, Mike Gapes, (Ilford South), has warned he could quit as well.

•Russia masses huge force off Syrian coast for final assault on rebels in Idlib. Moscow officials vow to ‘liquidate’ militants and rebels in northern Syria, after witnesses report ‘largest’ Russian naval deployment in Mediterranean since start of seven-year conflict.

• Iran has given ballistic missiles to Shi’ite proxies in Iraq that are capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

•Op-ed from the Boston Globe raises the question: Will anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn be the next British PM?

• The UK Labor party’s national executive committee must call an end to its damaging and hurtful battle with the Jewish community.

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

–Redefining “Palestinian Refugee” Is Long Overdue – David Harris
–Does the U.S. Owe Money to the Palestinians? – Bassam Tawil
–The PA at the End of Abbas’ Reign – Lior Akerman

Featured image: CC BY Thomas8047;
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Post  Admin on Wed 29 Aug 2018, 6:01 pm
Nikki Haley: Palestinian “right of return” off the table.
Today’s Top Stories
1. Nikki Haley: Haley said at the UN that the Palestinian ‘right of return’ should be “off the table.” as the Trump administration prepares to roll out its peace plan. Though the thinking in Washington isn’t new, this is the first time it has been stated publicly as ab official policy shift.

As we discussed in a previous IDNS, the “right” of return is not actually a legal right but a claim by Palestinians to allow all refugees and all their descendants to settle in Israel. This is out of line with the the international laws regarding all other refugee groups in the world as set forth in the 1951 Refugee Convention, yet the UN applies its own unique set of rules to Palestinians.

2. Iran is attempting to fight US sanctions in the International Court of Justice at the Hauge. Their argument is that US sanctions breach a 1955 bilateral agreement on US-Iran trade known as the Treaty of Amity. The US will likely argue that the Hague does not have jurisdiction over US treaties and trade policy. If that fails, the US may argue that Iran is not truly the same country it was in 1955, as the government was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution of 1979 (thus making the treaty inapplicable to the current Iranian government). It is not clear at this stage how any of the arguments will play out, but it does seem to indicate that the sanctions are creating real pressure on Iran.

3. The IDF demolished the home of Muhammad Tarek Ibrahim Dar Yusuf: a Palestinian who killed an Israeli in a terror attack last month.   Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at troops. Despite the attack on IDF soldiers, there are no reports of Palestinians being killed or injured. The Associated Press followed a common media trend of referring to these actions as a “protest.” I can’t help but wonder: is there any place else in the world where a journalist would call hurling rocks and explosives at soldiers a “protest?”

Israel and the Palestinians
• Possibly due to the anticipated announcement of a US peace plan, Palestinian Abbas has announced that he backs a demilitarized Palestinian state. According to Abbas:

I support a state along the 1967 borders without an army. I want unarmed police forces with batons, not guns. Instead of warplanes and tanks, I prefer to build schools and hospitals and allocate funds and resources to social institutions.

This contrasts with Abbas’s ongoing insistence that he won’t stop payments to the Martyrs Fund, which rewards terror attackers and takes up a significant portion of the Palestinian national budget.

• The purchase of accurate surface-to-surface rockets from the defense company Israel Military Industries (IMI) will create new, rapid-firepower response capabilities for the IDF’s ground forces. This will increase the power and precision of ground forces, making them less reliant on artillery brigades and the Israeli Air Force.

• Suffering from one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, Gaza-based software firms have launched coding academies across the Palestinian Territories to help create jobs.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
Around the World
• Two Spanish cities reverse Israel boycott motions following legal actionSagunto, Villarrobledo scrap earlier pro-BDS decisions after intervention by the pro-Israel group ACOM. Tribunals in Spain, including the nation’s Supreme Court in two of its rulings, have voided more than a dozen motions passed by municipalities while other municipalities voluntarily scrapped their boycott motions under threat of legal action. However, dozens of Spanish municipalities still support boycott, more than in any other EU nation.

• Even as the US cuts aid to Palestinians (see our previous IDNS), America is encouraging other nations to step up and fill the gap. America’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said the U.S. cannot be faulted for cutting funding when countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait aren’t doing their part.

• Egypt is not an oil rich nation as many of the Gulf states, yet is developing plans of becoming energy independent and even a net exporter by the end of 2018.  Egyptian plans include potentially importing from Israel and Cyprus and then re-exporting to Europe and elsewhere.  As the global energy economy changes, look for this to have an impact on Mideast politics and power balances.

• Rubicon, a Greek anarchist group, has staged a protest at the Foreign Ministry building in central Athens to oppose Greek-Israeli energy and military cooperation as well as the decision by the United States to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. As this is a reaction to increasing Greek-Israeli cooperation in a variety of areas, it can actually be seen as a positive sign for Greece-Israel relations.

• In a bizarre speech, UK’s Labor party leader Jeremy Corbyn claims that Israel controls speeches made by British MPs in Parliament.

• BBC’s bias against Israel shows it is not fit for purpose.

• British Jews who have traditionally supported the Labor party struggle with Jeremy Corbyn’s antisemitism, and what this means for their vote. Meanwhile, analysis and opinions abound, including a statement by former chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks that Corbyn an  “anti-Semite” who “defiles our politics,” as well as this analysis of Corbyn’s long and disturbing history.

• Israel’s recent Nation State Law encourages Jewish “settlement.” While the term in its original Hebrew refers to settlement throughout Israel, it does not exclude the West Bank. Will this cause new problems for Israel in the future? Will it change the democratic nature of Israeli society? Former editor of the New Republic Martin Peretz gives his take.

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

– UNRWA Is Not the Solution – Amb. Ron Prosor
– Israel wants to help Pacific with potable water – Radio New Zealand
– Carter’s Plan to Reengage with Assad Regime Is Unrealistic – Frederic C. Hof

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Post  Admin on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 8:15 pm
US Cuts Palestinian Aid
Today’s Top Stories
1. The US has announced that it will cut $200M in foreign aid to Palestinians. While the AP did mention that the Palestinian government spends money on its “Martyr’s Fund” to encourage terrorism, the AP (and much of the media) failed to mention that the amount is $403M annually, more than enough to make up for the $200M withdrawn by the US.

The AP also neglected some critical context: that this move is partly in response to the Palestinian government paying rewards to the killers of Americans, such as Taylor Force, and that the funding cut enjoys wide bi-partisan support from Congress via the Taylor Force Act.

HR’s Daniel Pomerantz debated the topic with PLO executive committee member Mustafa Barghouti on i24 News last March. Here are a few highlights:

2. Senator John McCain has passed. He is remembered as defender of Israel, and a principled hero.
Michael Oren
The Jewish people forever remember our friends and will forever remember John McCain. Champion of justice, defender of freedom, hero and patriot, and lover of Zion. I was honored to know and work with him. All Israelis, like all Americans, will cherish his memory and miss him.

2:17 AM - Aug 26, 2018
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3. FIFA has banned the head of Palestinian soccer from attending matches for a year for inciting hatred and violence toward Lionel Messi as part of a campaign to stop Argentina’s national team playing in Israel.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Despite pressure from BDS groups, singer Lana Del Rey will not cancel her performance in Israel.

• PM Netanyahu presented the defense cabinet with a budget proposal for the IDF, which entails a significant increase in spending.

• US set to announce it rejects Palestinian “right of return.“ The “right” of return is not actually a legal right but a claim by Palestinians to allow all refugees and all their descendants to settle in Israel.

The administration is also preparing to cap the number of recognized Palestinian refugees at half a million – about a tenth of the UN’s number. Both of these moves are in line with the international standards applied by the UN to all refugee groups in the world other than Palestinians.

For further explanation of the topic see this video we produced:
• It seems the aid group Doctors Without Borders has employed a terrorist. Israel has identified a nurse for the organization Hani al-Majdalawi as the terrorist who opened fire at soldiers and threw a bomb this week.
Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

Mideast Matters
• The U.N. political chief called on Israel Wednesday to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian supplies for the Gaza Strip are not “held hostage to political and security developments.”

• After US strikes in Syria result in civilian casualties, the world seems to be taking the concept of human shields a little more seriously. The Wall Street Journal points out that Israel has been dealing with this problem all along.

Around the World
• Despite some talk that President Trump was looking to make Israel “pay a price” for the embassy move (in negotiations with Palestinians) national security advisor Bolton says this is not the case.

• Amidst a torrent of claims of antisemitism, British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn defends saying ‘Zionists’ don’t understand English culture. And speaking of antisemitism, you may notice we are no longer writing it as “anti-Semitism” (with a hyphen). Why? This article from Times of Israel explains.

• Corbyn’s antisemitism just keeps popping up: a Jewish woman asked police to intervene after she was called ‘a piece of s***’ at a meeting hosted by Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament that has been described as “antisemitic.” Among other highlights, one speaker said “Israel go to hell.”

• Jewish delegates at next month’s Labour Party conference will be given bodyguards as fears grow for their safety amid the raging antisemitism that has come to characterize the party.

In addition to the news, there is also a plethora of analysis on Corbyn’s antisemitism this week, here are just a couple options among many: 1 and 2.

• While many Palestinians support terrorist attacks against Israel, mental health issues or personal distress are the main motivators prompting lone wolf attackers to act and seek a martyr’s death, a study by Israel’s Public Security Ministry has found.

• From Aleppo to Ben-Gurion: a Syrian refugee’s journey to Israel.

• As the Syrian war draws to a close, the real question is what Israel and Iran do now.

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

–Nasrallah Presents Hizbullah’s Perception of Confrontation with Israel – Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira
–Facing Reality about the Palestinian Refugees – Alon Ben-Meir
–Hamas Activities in Turkey Against Israel – Omer Dostri

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Post  Admin on Tue 21 Aug 2018, 1:41 pm
Two Iranians Indicted For Spying on US Jewish Sites
Today’s Top Stories
1. The US indicted two Iranians accused of spying and surveillance of Israeli and Jewish sites in the Chicago area. More at the Chicago Sun Times.
The indictment states that on or about July 21, 2017, Doostdar carried out surveillance and took photos at several Jewish centers in Chicago, including the Hillel Center and the Rohr Chabad House. Doostdar is accused of taking detailed pictures of the security measures at the ultra-orthodox Chabad center.
The indictment does not name the Israeli targets.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.
2. The IDF opened a criminal probe into the deaths of two Gaza teens during recent riots. Haaretz explains:
Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek made the decision to examine the two cases: the killing of 18-year-old Abed Nabi next to the border fence in March, and the killing of 15-year-old Othman Hellis next to the Karni crossing in July.
A military statement said initial probes suggested that troops involved in the incidents did not adhere to open-fire regulations.
3. According to Arab reports picked up by Israel HaYom, US President Donald Trump will roll out his Mideast peace plan during his Sept. 25 address before the UN General Assembly.
Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump addressing the UN General Assembly in 2017 as photographers below the screen capture the moment.
4. Lessons Learned on South African Limmud Tour: Managing editor Simon Plosker shares his thoughts on two intense weeks of presentations, briefings and interviews in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Mahmoud Abbas and the PA have been effectively sidelined as Israel, Egypt and the US try to arrange a Gaza ceasefire with Hamas. The Media Line examines what this means and what options Abbas still has.
• Police are launching an investigation into the funeral of a terrorist after the family violated an agreement to keep the burial in Umm al-Fahm low key. Ahmad Muhammad Mahamid was shot and killed while trying to stab a police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday. The incident was caught on video.
Fireworks were lit in the town to mark the return of the body, and hundreds attended the funeral. During the procession participants chanted “in spirit and blood we will redeem you martyr.”
According to police the funeral was limited to just 150 family members but “many hundreds were seen participating contrary to the order which defined the time of the funeral, the route, the number of participants.”

building campaign
• Bloomberg News takes a closer look at Israeli efforts to shore up the Palestinian economy.
• The Jerusalem Post got special access to the IDF’s internal file on the “Gaza beach incident” during the 2014 war. (And here’s The Intercept report the JPost referred to.)
• Staring down calls for a boycott, American singer Lana Del Rey defended her decision to perform in Israel. Del Rey is due to perform at the Meteor Festival at Kibbutz Lehavot Habashan in September.
But in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday, the singer said “music is universal and should be used to bring us together.”
Lana Del Rey
Window Into Israel
• Israel is easing gun control restrictions for IDF veterans, making an estimated 500,000 Israelis newly eligible for a permit. Take your pick of Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and Ynet coverage.

There are approximately 145,000 gun-license holders in Israel at present. This number does not include people who have firearms because their job requires it, and does not include soldiers and police. Gun licenses must be renewed every three years.

The plan now being completed by the Public Security Ministry would allow almost anyone who has done combat service in the Israeli army to apply for a permit. The ministry believes that among the hundreds of thousands of people who meet this requirement, about 35,000 to 40,000 people will actually apply, boosting the number of permit holders to about 200,000.

(Before you tie this into the American gun control debate, you must see how Haviv Rettig Gur compares and contrasts the Israeli and US gun cultures.)

• Tourism in the Galilee is taking a hit over the outbreak of leptospirosis.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed that 42 Israelis have contracted leptospirosis from bathing in a contaminated spring in the Golan Heights and the waters that it feeds. In most cases the symptoms were mild. The contamination was probably caused from the feces of cattle herds and contaminate waters have been closed. The Ministry of Health stresses that it is safe to travel to the north and the disease cannot be caught from the air or pool water.
Israelis beating the heat at a Golan water stream on August 10, 2018. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90
• Are Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin subverting Israeli democracy? Ilya Zaslavskiy, an expert on Russia thinks so.

Q: What is the Russian ruling class’s goal in Israel?
But they’re also interested in subverting democracy. A strategic goal for the next few years is to subvert democracy in the West. In some ways they have already succeeded, and the appetite comes with food, as they say. So once they subvert democracy, the goal is to advance more corruption, more vested interests and then just turn the whole West into a corrupt world.
Q: Why do they want to turn the West into a corrupt world?
A: Because then you can engage in what Russians love, which is realpolitik. Whoever is strong gets his own zone of influence and no one else can interfere. Russia would like to divide the world into zones of interest.
Moscow’s Red Square
Around the World
• Drip drip drip: “Jeremy Corbyn visited Israel and the West Bank in November 2010 with an Islamist lobby group to meet senior Hamas officials, and failed to declare the funding for the trip in violation of parliamentary rules, i24 News can reveal.”

• Drip drip drip: A key ally of Jeremy Corbyn is under media scrutiny. Largely overlooked photos of Tony Lloyd, currently shadow secretary for Northern Ireland, pictured along with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. A 2011 post at Harry’s Place with more photos, notes Lloyd’s scarf, “which depicts, as Palestine, a map which shows not just Gaza and the West Bank, but Israel itself.”
 · Mar 25, 2018
 Labour is an anti-racist party and I utterly condemn antisemitism, which is why as leader of the Labour Party I want to be clear that I will not tolerate any form of antisemitism that exists in and around our movement. …
Labour's new shadow Northern Ireland minister, Tony Lloyd, with the leader of the completely Jew-friendly Hamas... awkward...
8:11 PM - Mar 25, 2018
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• Drip drip drip: Corbyn’s personal secretary, Nicolette Petersen, was dragged into Labour’s anti-Semitism row after it was revealed she once urged supporters to read Jewish newspapers to “show you who not to vote for.” The Daily Mail explains the disclosure of a damaging pamphlet:

Last night, a pamphlet emerged in which she told voters how to get rid of MPs who support Israel in the lead up to the 2010 General Election.

The article was published in the Palestinian News magazine published by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. Mr Corbyn was a patron of the group at the time.
• Drip drip drip: Daniel Sugarman‘s referring to Kevin Maguire‘s latest 
 So, the Mirror published a piece by Kevin Maguire, downplaying Corbyn's connection to Jew-killing terrorists & Labour antisemitism. 

The article has been changed, but this tweet showed a quote...
Presumably they realised using a Shylock reference here was WAY beyond bad taste

3:40 PM - Aug 20, 2018
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• For commentary on the domestic scene, Ben-Dror Yemini weighs in on the Shin Bet’s grilling of Peter Beinart; Moshe Arens notes the differences between Druze and Arab protests against the nation state law.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Peter Lerner: The UN’s insanity on Gaza
– Bassam Tawil: Abbas’s responsibility for Gaza crisis
– Adam Milstein: The grave danger of media bias
– Smadar Bat Adam: What apartheid?
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): A Rey of light: Lana Del Rey refuses to buckle to BDS pressure
– Tammi Rossman-Benjamin: Anti-Zionist attacks at universities have increased — yet schools aren’t doing anything
– Clifford May: Imagining the Islamic Republic

Featured image: CC BY Robert Couse-Baker; Trump via UN Photo/Ariana Lindquist; Del Rey via YouTube/XMVAX; Red Square CC BY-SA Vicente Villamon;

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Post  Admin on Sun 19 Aug 2018, 8:31 pm
UN Chief Suggests Armed Force to Protect Gazans From Israel
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Today’s Top Stories
1. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres suggested military force to protect Palestinians from Israel. It was one of four proposals he offered for resolving the Gaza situation. In any event, none of the following will fly without US support and Israeli cooperation:

– Providing a “more robust UN presence on the ground” with rights monitors and political officers to report on the situation.

– Pouring in more UN humanitarian and development aid to “ensure the well-being of the population.”

– Creating a civilian observer mission that would be present in sensitive areas such as checkpoints and near Israeli settlements, with a mandate to report on protection issues.
– Deploying an armed military or police force, under a UN mandate, to provide physical protection to Palestinian civilians.

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon’s response: “The only protection the Palestinian people need is from their own leadership.”
 How does the UN Sec. Gen. propose preventing such a force from becoming a shield for Hamas, which continues rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and population centers, thereby denying Israel its right of self-defense under Article 51 of UNCharter?

7:28 PM - Aug 18, 2018

UN chief report proposes armed peacekeeping force to protect Palestinians in Gaza
2. Palestinian riots continued along the Gaza border on Friday. Israel responded by closing the pedestrian crossing at the Erez Crossing except for humanitarian cases. Jerusalem called it a warning to Hamas.

The closure is a symbolic move by Jerusalem since the Erez Crossing is used by few Palestinians. Those who do use the crossing do so with official authorization on humanitarian grounds, mainly belonging to aid organizations.

On Saturday night, Palestinian media outlets also reported on the partial closure against a background of stalled talks in the ceasefire arrangements.
As for ceasefire talks, Mahmoud Abbas openly said he’s trying to sabotage the Egyptian-mediated peace efforts. Talks will pause on Tuesday for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Our strength is grass roots.
Our strength is you.

3. A video surfaced of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn endorsing a boycott of Israel back in 2015. It contradicts Corbyn’s previous claims that he doesn’t support “a comprehensive or blanket boycott.” Backstory at the JTA.
In the footage filmed in Belfast, he is asked: “Can the panel give hope to the people of Palestine by supporting the movement for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel?”
He replies: “I think the boycott campaign, divestment campaign, is part and parcel of a legal process that has to be adopted.” He later adds: “I believe that sanctions against Israel, because of its breach of the trade agreement, are the appropriate way of promoting [the] peace process.”

4. Google Maps ‘Crosses Country Borders’ in Jerusalem: According to Google Maps, a walk from HonestReporting’s new offices in downtown Jerusalem to the Old City may “cross country borders.” A political statement or a technical glitch?
5. HR Prompts The Guardian to Downgrade Palestinian ‘Ambassador’: According to diplomatic protocol, and the UK’s list of diplomatic representatives, Manuel Hassassian’s official title is “Head of Mission,” not “Ambassador.”

Israel and the Palestinians
• According to Arab media reports picked up by the Times of Israel, “a Syrian military intelligence officer in charge of the army’s ‘Palestine Department’ was assassinated Saturday.”
According to Israel’s Army Radio, quoting Syrian opposition sources, Habib was the point man in President Bashar Assad’s regime “responsible for the struggle against Israel.”

There was no word on the identity of the shooters or a possible motive.
• An Israeli Arab was shot and killed by police while trying to stab a policeman in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday.
• Israeli security forces investigating the death of an Israeli woman killed by a Palestinian motorist believe the fatal hit-and-run was an accident and not a terror attack. Hava Roizen, a 42-year-old Russian immigrant was struck by a car in the northern West Bank on Thursday evening. The driver turned himself in to PA police the same night and will remain in their custody.
“I was afraid that if I stopped they would kill me, so I fled,” the driver told Palestinian police, according to Hebrew media reports.
building campaign
• The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center takes a closer look at the how Palestinians use vests labeled as “press” to carry out attacks against Israelis.
• The US consulate in Haifa is closing down on September 1 with public services to be divided between the embassy in Jerusalem and its Tel Aviv branch. An embassy official told Ynet it was “part of internal planning of the embassy and of administrative reasons.”
• Israeli Arabs want to set July 19 — the anniversary of the nation state law’s passage — as Israel Apartheid Day, the Jerusalem Post reports. There’s room to debate the law, but it’s not an apartheid law. It’s telling that Israeli Arabs never jumped on the Israel Apartheid Week bandwagon in that event’s 14 years. (Here’s why.)
Around the World
• Per The Independent: “Antisemitism training at this year’s Labour conference is at risk of being scrapped after Jewish members accused party leaders of trying to ‘censor’ the sessions.”
• The Labour party suspended former MP Jim Sheridan over comments he made about the Jewish community on Facebook.
• Fatah cast doubt on Corbyn’s claim that no terrorists were buried in the Tunisian cemetery. The Independent explains:
Fatah’s official Facebook page carries a tribute to Atef Bseiso, who is buried at the cemetery in Tunisia, stating that he was involved in planning the “Munich operation”.
• The Labour party filed a formal complaint with Britain’s Independent Press Standards Organization, the UK press regulatory organization, over media coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s wreath-laying imbroglio, The Guardian reports. A damaging photo from 2014 of Corbyn holding a wreath by the graves of Palestinian terrorists connected with the 1972 Olympic massacre in Munich made front page news last week:
In its complaint, the party said the Sun, the Times, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and Metro had misrepresented the event, which the Labour leader attended in 2014.
The press regulator has acknowledged the complaint and said it will consider taking the case further, raising the prospect that it could attempt to rule on the definitive chain of events surrounding Corbyn’s visit to the cemetery.
It is highly unusual for a senior politician to turn to the press regulator over negative media coverage.
I doubt Corbynistas will get much satisfaction from IPSO. HonestReporting has been left empty-handed after filing far more credible complaints with the regulator.
• UK Jewish leader calls Corbyn premiership an ‘existential threat’ to community.
• Munich massacre survivor brands Jeremy Corbyn an ‘anti-Semite who admires terrorists.’
• As pro-Palestinian politicians win US primaries, American Jews ask if it’s ‘a wave or a ripple.’
The answer depends on who you ask. Pro-Israel operatives who focus on maintaining bipartisan support for the Jewish State insist it means very little. Presuming they go to Capitol Hill, they will be just three of 535 members of Congress . . .
But there are others who think what’s beginning to unfold is the inevitable outcome when an Israeli prime minister aligns himself, or is perceived to align himself, with one political party, and who advances policies that are known to ostracize America’s progressive movement — with which most US Jews happen to associate.
US flag
• BDS activists shut down Berlin music festival event due to Israeli sponsorship.
• 20-year-old and co-conspirator charged in Indianapolis-area synagogue vandalism.
• Romanian police nab suspect in anti-Semitic vandalism of Elie Wiesel’s home.
• Germany investigates website selling “Heil Hitler Beer,” “Fuhrer Wine” and “Zyklon B Peanuts.”
• Canadian Jews decry fashion shoot at Ottawa‘s Holocaust Monument as desecration. Last word on the issue goes to Jane Daly.

Jason Ruspic
 · Aug 15, 2018
Replying to @20YS
people need to calm down!!!!
Jane Daly
Who needs to calm down? The Jewish people? Like there isn’t one other place for a fashion shoot in Ottawa than a memorial for the millions killed in the Holocaust? Who wants to look at clothes with that as a backdrop?

8:34 PM - Aug 15, 2018
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• Canadian lawmaker rescinds award to activist who participated in pro-Palestinian ‘hate rally.’
• A Canadian newspaper praises Palestinian mothers who sent their sons on jihad missions.
• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels on the Gaza situation . . .

– Amb. Danny Danon: The UN enables Palestinian rejectionism
– Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: Does Israel have a strategy for Gaza?
– Avi Issacharoff: Why a true long-term deal for the Gaza Strip is still a long way off
– Zvi Bar’el: The Qatar dilemma: When even a supporter of terrorism can be an Israeli ally
– Yoav Limor: Hamas’ moment of truth
– Hillel Frisch: Why Hamas escalated and why it is winning the current round
– Alex Fishman: The art of playing for time
– Herb Keinon: Syria in Gaza, without the Russians

• For commentary on the domestic scene, Lahav Harkov and Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael Bouchnik-Chen weigh in on the nation state law. Tweet of the day goes to Seth Frantzman.
Seth Frantzman
 There are people who comment in western media about changes in Israel and its society who have never set foot in a barber shop in Israel, never taken public transport or been to most of Israel, yet despite shallow, surface cliched knowledge they are quoted and listened to #think
1:20 PM - Aug 19, 2018
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• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .

– Prof. Eyal Zisser: On the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords
– Amos Harel, Amir Tibon: Why Iran thinks it has an ‘insurance policy’ against an Israeli or US strike
– Maysam Behravesh: US’s ‘Arab NATO’ plan will not curb Iran
– Michael Freeman: BDS has nothing useful to contribute to the Mideast peace process
– Jay Sekulow: UNRWA has changed the definition of refugee
– Dr. Yitzhak Degani: The Assad regime returns to the Golan
– Jonathan Tobin: The Corbyn challenge for progressives
– Brendan O’Neill: The shameful double standards of the Corbyn crew
– Fiamma Nirenstein: Corbyn unmasked: He brought flowers to terrorists
– John Lloyd: Can UK’s Labour rid itself of anti-Semitism?
– Daily Telegraph (staff-ed): Labour needs to confront the moral outrage surrounding Corbyn
– Christopher Booker: The BBC still thinks we should appease Iran’s dictators, but Iranians themselves are protesting
Featured image: CC BY-NC Roland Scheerer; newsboy via Public Domain Files; US flag CC0 Pixabay;

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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Aug 2018, 6:45 pm
Did Jeremy Corbyn Try to Free Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower?
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Did embattled UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn once visit the Knesset to free Mordechai Vanunu, who leaked Israeli nuclear secrets?
2. Another damaging photo of Corbyn and a Palestinian terrorist surfaced. At the Tunisian wreath-laying ceremony, Corbyn “shared a platform” with the exiled leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, Maher al-Taher, the Times of London and Daily Mail report.
A month after the photo was taken, the PFLP claimed responsibility for Jerusalem’s Har Nof synagogue attack. Four rabbis, including a British national, and Druze police officer were killed when two Palestinians armed with axes, knives and a gun stormed the synagogue during morning prayers.
 Corbyn shared Tunis platform with MAHER al-TAHER of PFLP = Palestinian terror gang which murdered UK Rabbi in a Synagogue  via @MailOnline
1:22 PM - Aug 16, 2018
Corbyn shared platform with Palestinian group which murdered UK rabbi
Although the incident occurred a year before Mr Corbyn became leader of the Labour party, the PFLP had been noted as a terrorist organisation by the EU for two years previously.
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3. The latest Mideast reports picked up by Times of Israel, Haaretz, Ynet and Israel HaYom on a possibly emerging ceasefire deal say it will last for one year and establish a Cyprus-Gaza shipping connection which Israel would have security control of.
The deal would also include “Qatari funding for Gaza’s electricity bills in cooperation with Israel, and Qatari payment of civil service employees’ salaries in Gaza in cooperation with Egypt.”
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In the News
• According to Israeli media reports Egypt’s intelligence chief, Major General Abbas Kamel, recently visited Tel Aviv to discuss a long-term Gaza ceasefire with his Israeli counterparts.
• The parents of Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in Gaza in 2014, are seeking a temporary injunction against Israel’s efforts for a Gaza ceasefire. The High Court of Justice agreed to hear their request.
• Was the IDF’s re-opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza a premature move?
• Palestinian leader tightening screws on Gaza to serve his own interests accuses the US of promoting Gaza aid to serve its own interests.
• The US warned that neither Israelis nor Palestinians would be fully pleased with President Donald Trump’s peace initiative, and that both sides would have to make painful compromises. To emphasize the point, White House envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted his joint statement with Ambassadors Nikki Haley and David Friedman and Trump’s advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner in English, Hebrew and Arabic. More on the story at the Times of Israel.
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8:49 PM - Aug 15, 2018
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• Israel arrested a Belgian national suspected of terror activity last month. A gag order was lifted on Palestinian-Belgian Mustafa Khaled Awad, who is accused of being part of a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror cell. He was detained trying to enter Israel at the Allenby Bridge crossing from Jordan.
• The IDF’s Military Advocate General closed the file on “Black Friday,” the bloodiest day of the 2014 Gaza war, saying there were no grounds to open a criminal investigation.
On August 1, 2014, one hour after a humanitarian ceasefire began on August 1, Hamas fighters attacked an IDF unit, killing two soldiers and abducting Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was dragged into a tunnel. The IDF initiated the so-called Hannibal Protocol (which is no longer in use) to prevent the Hamas personnel from escaping with Goldin. In the course of IDF shelling and air strikes that day, 42 armed Palestinians and 72 likely civilians were killed. The MAG concluded that the civilians were not deliberately targeted and that officers worked to prevent collateral damage.
Lt. Hadar Goldin
• UN agency says schools for Palestinian refugees will open on time despite US aid cut. The UN Relief and Works Agency is responsible for more than 700 schools and 22,000 teachers for around 500,000 children in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
• Israel’s Government Press Office scored a correction with Sky News. The web site referred to Black September “activists” involved in the Munich massacre, then changed the wording to “terrorists.”

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Gov't Press Office
 Hey @Skynews, "Black September activists" are no less than terrorists. Why are you continuing to mislead your readers?@EmmanuelNahshon

9:50 AM - Aug 16, 2018
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• While Jeremy Corbyn denies Labour’s antisemitism problem, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad wears his on his sleeve.
• Fearing a pro-Palestinian backlash, an Israel-themed Brazilian Carnival parade was nixed for this (!?)
The consulate recently learned that the Aguila de Oro Samba School had decided to focus on Brazil’s rising corruption as a theme for this year’s parade.
• A European debating tournament banned national-origin discrimination after a Qatari team refused to debate Israeli counterparts.
building campaign
• Defying ‘intimidation’ by BDS advocates protesting Israeli sponsorship, Berlin music festival gets underway.
• Michigan congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib endorses one-state solution, pledges to slash Israeli military aid

• Ilhan Omar, who once called Israel an ‘apartheid regime,’ wins congressional primary in Minnesota
• Israel’s Health Ministry urged calm as more Golan waterways said to be contaminated.
A health official said authorities were considering closing off more rivers and streams in the Golan Heights — including the Jordan River — possibly for months, as more people were hospitalized with symptoms feared to be leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that can be fatal and is transmitted via animal urine.”
Waterways currently closed to bathers are Zavitan, Zaki, Yehudia and Meshushim streams, the Jordan River in the area of Jordan Park, Betekha and Bethsaida in the Majrasa, the Daliot River estuary and the Jilbon River.
Nahal Meshushim in the Golan
• Will the National Defense Authorization Act force Al Jazeera to register as a foreign agent in the US? It’s all about transparency:

The NDAA is the major defense-spending bill signed annually by the president. This year’s bill included a small section relating to foreign-owned media. Concerns about such media transmitting in the US have increased since the 2016 election. The Russia Today TV network registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act under pressure in 2017 . . .

Now Congress has sought another way to potentially force Al Jazeera’s connections to Qatar out into the open. Section 722 of the NDAA is titled “Disclosure requirements for the United States-based foreign media outlets.” It calls on the Federal Communications Commission to transmit to Congress every six months details about content, and a description of the relationship of the media outlet to the foreign government, as well as the legal structure of the media entity.
Al Jazeera
The Al Jazeera news studio
• Cabinet minister Naftali Bennett talked up the controversial nation state law in a New York Times op-ed.

• On the domestic scene, Zev Chafets examines the meaning of Israel’s upgraded Standard & Poors credit rating.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:
– Col. (res.) Ronen Itsik: Calm, but at what price?
– Elior Levy: The scale of arrangement between Israel and Hamas
– Max Boot: I’ve been visiting Israel since 1998. The path to peace is shrinking.
– Mitchell Bard: Hamas anniversary is reminder of terror group’s agenda
– A. Z. Mohamed: In Islam, Jerusalem is not Mecca
– Jonathan Freedland: For Corbyn, precision and honesty are the way out of this wreath mess
– Robert Philpot: Shrugging off critics Trump-style, Corbyn withstands outrage, rises in polls
– Dennis Ross: Iran is throwing a tantrum but wants a deal
Featured image: CC0 BY Unsplash/Charlotte; Nahal Meshushim via Wikimedia Commons; Al Jazeera CC BY Mohamed Nanabhay;
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.

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Post  Admin on Wed 15 Aug 2018, 3:08 pm
Israel Re-Opens Kerem Shalom Crossing to Gaza
Today’s Top Stories
1. Following recent days of calm along the Gaza border, Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom border crossing to full operations and extended the Strip’s fishing zone

2. Interpol made its first PA-requested arrest since the Palestinians joined the international police organization. A male fugitive wanted on rape charges was arrested at an undisclosed international airport and the PA is now in the legal process of having him extradited.

The Palestinians became members of Interpol in 2017 over Israeli objections. Israel opposes Palestinian membership fearing the Palestinians will leak sensitive information to terrorists and use Interpol warrants to arbitrarily arrest Israeli officials, among other concerns.


3. Washington officials told Haaretz that the Trump administration wants to see a long-term Gaza ceasefire “with or without the Palestinian Authority.”

4. Owen Jones Adds Fuel to Corbyn’s Antisemitism Problem: Corbynistas wish Labour’s dumpster fire of antisemitism would disappear, but Owen Jones and The Guardian add fuel to the fire.

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In the News
• Israel reportedly filed a formal protest against the International Criminal Court over an unusual appeal to ‘Palestinian victims.’ The Times of Israel explains:

Israel has lodged a formal protest with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for launching a campaign last month to reach out to “victims of the situation in Palestine,” an unusual step which Jerusalem officials charge casts doubt on the court’s ability to treat the Jewish state fairly . . .

This despite the fact that ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has not yet decided whether the court has any jurisdiction over matters related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, since it has no jurisdiction over Israel (which is not a member state) and because Palestine is not a state and therefore cannot exercise jurisdiction over the West Bank.

• Russia to help restore UN patrols near Syria-Israel frontier. CNN and the Daily Telegraph visited the Syrian Golan with Russian forces.

• Palestinians are scrambling to deliver 10 tons of mail blocked by Israel for years. Letters and parcels barred from entering the West Bank, either for security or administrative reasons, had piled up in Jordan.

COGAT, the Israeli Defense Ministry body responsible for civilian coordination in the Palestinian territories, said the release was part of confidence building measures after the two sides agreed on a postal entry deal “about a year ago.”

It said while the deal had not yet gone into force for future deliveries, it had “allowed a one-time transfer of approximately ten and a half tons of mail that had been held in Jordan.”

• Reuters: UN-run schools for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon may not be able to open due to US aid cuts. The UN Relief and Works Agency is responsible for more than 700 schools and 22,000 teachers for around 500,000 children.

• BDS claims victory in Tunisia, forcing an “Israel-linked” ship from port. However, “a spokesman for the Israeli container company Zim told The Jerusalem Post that the ship did not belong to the company, was not rented by the company, and did not contain any cargo belonging to the company.”

building campaign

• Haaretz: Israel’s attorney general to examine Shin Bet detentions of Left-wing activists entering the country.

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be grilled in the “Bezeq affair” on Friday for the last time. Police are investigating whether the PM had an understanding with Shaul 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.

Around the World
• “Jewish Labour members will boycott talks on tackling antisemitism after accusing party leaders of trying to deliberately “antagonise tensions” in the row over the issue, The Independent has learned.”

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
• Jeremy Corbyn condemned after a photo surfaces of him making a Muslim Brotherhood salute.
• Former ambassador slams Jeremy Corbyn’s support for pair convicted over bombing of Jewish targets in UK. The Jewish Chronicle explains:

Mr Corbyn was part of a campaign to free Samar Alami and Jawad Botmeh, who were convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions after two car bomb attacks in London on July 26, 1994.

The first bomb exploded at the Israeli embassy, injuring 14 people. Thirteen hours later, a second bomb exploded, injuring six more people, outside Balfour House in North Finchley, the headquarters of a number of Jewish charities, including the Joint Israel Appeal, the forerunner of the UJIA.

• Australian students condemned for dressing up as Jewish caricatures with money bags, hooked noses and striped concentration camp uniforms with yellow Jewish stars — repeatedly.

• Worth reading: I liked this Twitter thread from Peter Lerner.

LTC (R) Peter Lerner
People keep asking me why is #Israel negotiating with #Hamas. While Israel refuses to confirm its negotiating with the terrorist organization the reality on the ground suggests otherwise. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

10:56 AM - Aug 15, 2018
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• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels weighing on Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s antisemitism problem:

– Anshel Pfeffer: Netanyahu picks the perfect time to lay a trap for Corbyn – and he fell for it
– Sohrab Ahmari: Never Corbyn
– David Patrikarakos: Jeremy Corbyn will lay a wreath for PLO Munich murderers but not for dead Jews at Yad Vashem
– Michael Foster: I’m a Jewish Labour donor and stood to be an MP. But if Corbyn becomes Prime Minister, I’ll have to leave Britain
– Julie Lenarz: Jeremy Corbyn, anti-Semite
– Matthew Norman: Netanyahu is a brutal bully – but only blind Corbyn cultists could say he was wrong about the wreath-laying

thinking• For commentary on the domestic scene, David Horovitz weighs in on Israeli democracy while Avi Berkowitz and Alexander Apfel comment on the nation state law.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Amos Harel: In nearing deal with Israel on Gaza, Hamas wins achievements through military resistance
– Cliff Smith: Trump should release secret report on the true number of Palestinian refugees
– Lt. Gen. (ret.) John Toolan: Laws of armed conflict in Gaza
– Raphael Ahren: A Palestinian attempt to oust Israel from the UN would be quixotic — and fail
– Daniel Arbess: Advice for a Palestinian ‘icon’ (click via Twitter)
– Amb. Alan Baker: Is the International Criminal Court Becoming a Palestinian Propaganda Engine?
– Amnon Lord: Lawfare in the service of terrorism
– Fern Sidman: Israel is the #1 victim of ‘fake news’
– David Ignatius: The unintended consequences of US disengagement in the Middle East


Featured image: CC0 Unsplash/Johnson Wang; Interpol via YouTube/INTERPOL; Corbyn via YouTube/Wafa Agency; thinking CC0 Max

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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.

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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
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?

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." …

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. …

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 

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?

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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Birthright Students Tell All

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*** 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. …

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.

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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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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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Our strength is you.

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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

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.

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CNN International
Vandals spray-painted hot-pink pejoratives on the childhood home of author, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel on Friday

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.)

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.
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 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.

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
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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.

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 … 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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