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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 5:10 pm
Will EU Replace US Aid to Palestinians?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Later this month, Mahmoud Abbas will visit European Union officials in Brussels where he is expected to seek European backing for unilateral statehood moves and increased aid to offset threatened cuts from the US. More at the Times of Israel, which picked up on Arab media coverage.

Abbas Mogherini
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini greeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in April, 2017
2. Gaza is still roiling over a video of a Palestinian member of Islamic State in the Sinai executing another Palestinian accused of collaborating with Hamas. The New York Times reports that two Gaza families, falling in line with Hamas, have disowned their sons.

In Gaza, the video’s horror is intimate.

Mr. Zamli, the video’s main figure, grew up in the Shabora refugee camp in the Palestinian part of Rafah, which straddles the border with Egypt. The man who fired the pistol, Muhammad al-Dajani, from Gaza City, was a Hamas fighter who defected to the Islamic State from Hamas’s military wing. A Hamas official in Gaza identified the accused smuggler as Mousa Abuzmat and said he came from the Egyptian side of Rafah, just across the border.

3. Turkish Jews denounce anti-Semitic tabloid’s claim that ‘Jewish businessmen’ manipulated financial markets ahead of failed 2016 coup.

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• The murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach in a drive-by shooting earlier this week “appears to have been the act of a skilled terror cell, not a random crime of opportunity,” Haaretz reports.

Most recent local terrorist shootings have homemade Carl Gustav (“Carlo”) submachine guns. Shevach was presumably shot by guns of standard manufacture — either one or two. More than 20 bullets were fired during the incident, presumably from a passing car driven by a person who was not involved in the shooting. Similar previous attacks were preceded by intelligence-gathering. The perpetrators may have used a lookout, stationed on the access road to Havat Gilad, who spied an easy mark — an Israeli, driving alone after dark.

Haaretz adds that PA security forces are cooperating with Israel to find the killers.

Around the World
• Can German officials fight anti-Semitism among new immigrants by requiring them to visit Nazi concentration camps?

Crematoria at the Dachau concentration camp
• Support for Israel among young evangelicals is still high, but it’s slipping, says survey picked up by the JTA.

• The Irish Times is free to disagree with Israel’s blacklist of organizations supporting Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). It’s reasonable to debate how much impact BDS has on the Israeli economy or whether the blacklist will ultimately strengthen or weaken the boycotters. But I beg to differ with this line:

By responding with a ban that dispenses with democratic norms and shows a contempt for free speech, however, the Israeli leadership does immense damage to its own case.

My colleague, Daniel Pomerantz debated this very issue on i24 News with Yariv Oppenheimer of Peace Now earlier this week.

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

– Alex Joffe, Asaf Romirowsky: The UN agency that keeps Palestinians from prospering (click via Twitter)
– Daniel Pipes: How 99 percent of ‘Palestine refugees’ are fake
– David Makovsky: Why a big wave of European countries recognizing Palestine is fast approaching
– Sever Plocker: Trump’s Mideast ‘achievement’: A growing rift with the Palestinians
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Palestinian capital in Abu Dis or Ramallah?
– Yossi Kuperwasser: When old conventions fall
– Mitchell Bard: Will Palestinians protect freedom of religion and holy places in Jerusalem?
– Udi Dekel: How to stop the shooting from the Gaza Strip
– Dennis Ross: How to get Middle East peace talks on track
– Herb Keinon: The message behind Israeli action in Syria
– Alex Ryvchin: Smiling barbarians not planning for peace
– Stephen Daisley: Israel’s revival of the death penalty would be a grave mistake
– Ramyar Hassani: Iranian regime, fragile as eggshells

Featured image: CC BY Jon S; Abba and Mogherini CC BY-NC European External Action Service; Dachau CC BY-SA Adam Jones;

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Post  Admin on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 6:49 pm
Manhunt for Terrorists Who Killed Israeli
Havat Gilad shooting
Israeli security personnel at the Havat Gilad Junction in the northern West Bank, where Israeli Rabbi Raziel Shevach was killed in a drive-by shooting on Jan. 9, 2018.
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Rabbi Raziel Shevach, killed in last night’s terror attack, was laid to rest today. He was murdered in a Tuesday night drive-by shooting in the northern West Bank near the settlement outpost of Havat Gilad, where he lived. The IDF is searching for his killers. Settler leaders are urging the government to legalize the unrecognized settlement outpost in response to the attack.

The 35-year-old Shevach — who worked in a West Bank yeshiva and also volunteered for both Magen David Adom and the chevra kadisha (Jewish burial society) — was remembered as a kind-hearted affable man. He is survived by his wife and six children between the ages of 10 months and 10 years.

Rabbi Raziel Shevach
2. After a Vienna demonstration against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration where protesters shouted “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning” and “death to Israel,” Austrian police are now pursuing charges against three Israel activists who waved an Israeli flag.

The police are seeking a 100 euro fine or two days in jail for the waving of the flag at the December 8 rally near the US embassy in the capital.

The criminal notice, dated January 3, states that the activists “showed an Israeli flag at a rally in an extremely provocative way and manner that was visible for participants at the rally and thereby produced considerable offense and provocation among the Palestinian protestors.”

3. Officials warn looming Foreign Ministry budget cuts will harm Israel’s image overseas.

4. War on Want Confirms Why It Was Blacklisted: While WoW bills itself as a human rights charity, its primary motivation is political.

building campaign

In the News
• Tunisian Jewish school attacked as anti-government protests rage across 20 cities, reports Reuters.

• “Germany has summoned Iran’s ambassador in Berlin to warn Tehran against spying on individuals and groups with close ties to Israel, saying such acts violate German law.”

• Malka Azzam Awida made history.

View image on Twitter

Reda Mansour
Congratulations to Malka Azzam Awida The first #Druze #Arab #Israeli woman judge ! She was appointed last month #TimesUp

9:37 PM - Jan 9, 2018
10 10 Replies 65 65 Retweets 173 173 likes
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• UK students are crying foul over restrictions placed on an upcoming talk at University College London by Israeli activist Hen Mazzig. The UCL administration, citing security concerns, is limiting attendance to Mazzig’s talk to 100 students and faculty, and has said the event may not be publicized. More at the Jewish Chronicle and Jerusalem Post.

• Tweet of the day goes to Michelle Chabin.

Michele Chabin
Last night's victim of Palestinian terror was a 35-year-old rabbi, a first responder who no doubt treated many Palestinians over the years. He was also a father of 6 young children. Anyone who thinks this murder will advance peace or a Palestinian state understands nothing.

8:17 AM - Jan 10, 2018
Replies 3 3 Retweets 6 6 likes
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• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Anna Ahronheim: After years of alleged Israeli strikes in Syria, will luck run out?
– Yoav Limor: Strategic superiority, constant concern
– Ben Lynfield: UNRWA’s role is in the eye of the beholder
– Noah Pollak: How Trump can cut aid to a horrible UN program
– Liora Cohen: UNICEF has declared war on the IDF
– Shlomi Eldar: Abbas’ electricity deal an olive branch to Gaza
– Bassam Tawil: ISIS sets its sights on Gaza
– Liram Stenzler-Koblentz: As Islamic Jihad grows stronger, it’s time to talk to Hamas
– Michael Doran: Don’t end the Iran deal, fix it (click via Twitter)
– Gary Rosenblatt: When magical thinking on Israel meets reality
– Einat Wilf: Anti-feminism and anti-Zionism

Featured image: via @IsraelMFA;


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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 3:21 pm

PA Paid $358M in Terror Stipends in 2017
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel’s Defense Ministry released numbers revealing how much the PA spends on stipends for terrorists imprisoned in Israel and for the families of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks. The figures reported in Ynet and Israel HaYom indicate the PA paid out NIS 1.23 billion overall (roughly $358 million).

Individual stipends depend on the length of the prison sentence, how many children the terrorist has and whether the terrorist is an Israeli national. Extra bucks for Jerusalem residents too.

In 2017, the Palestinian Authority paid prisoners and freed prisoners over NIS 550 million, while families of killed or wounded terrorists received some NIS 687 million. This constituted some seven percent of the PA’s overall budget . . .

The data was included in a memorandum attached to the Law to Prevent Payments to Terrorists and Their Families by the Palestinian Authority.

According to the memorandum, at the end of every year the defense minister would present a report concluding the annual payments made by the PA to terrorists to the Security Cabinet for approval. In accordance with that report, the sum will be deducted from the tax money Israel collects on behalf of the PA.


2. According to a Swiss report picked up by the Jerusalem Post, Saudi Arabia sought to purchase an Iron Dome system to defend itself missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthis in neighboring Yemen. The Saudis were reportedly interested in other Israeli-made military tech as well.

Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations. But the Swiss paper reported that Saudi-Israel intelligence cooperation has registered “further progress,” according to observers in Tel Aviv and Riyadh.

3. Israel struck a weapons depot on a Syrian military base near Damascus overnight, the Syrian army claims. Israeli officials haven’t commented on the reports. More at the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel.

4. The BDS Blacklist Ban: HR Debates Peace Now on i24News: Is the law “blacklisting” BDS activists from entering Israel anti-democratic? HR’s Daniel Pomerantz debates Yariv Oppenheimer from Peace Now on The Rundown on i24 News.

5. Sanitizing the BDS Movement? The BDS movement is more than just about boycotting Israel. It’s about the delegitimization of Israel and the end of the country as a Jewish state. So which papers got it right and who sanitized BDS?

building campaign

Israel and the Palestinians
• A senior Hamas official, Imad al-Alimi, is fighting for his life in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital after being shot in the head. There are all kinds of rumors about what happened, so this Ynet snippet will have to suffice.

The circumstances behind the injury are still unclear. It is possible he tried to take his own life after being diagnosed with cancer a year ago, or that he was hurt in an assassination attempt. A third option is that his handgun accidentally discharged, hitting him.

• Israeli trade delegation to Cuba may augur a diplomatic thaw

• After various postponements, Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Israel, Egypt and Jordan. AP reports that Pence is “not expected” to meet with Palestinian officials, who are fuming over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

• Is President Donald Trump widening a rift between the evangelicals and Mideast Christians over Jerusalem?

Around the World
• Stockholm’s ambassador to Israel acknowledged that Sweden is failing to protect its Jewish community.

“This is the reality of the Jewish community and it’s a failure, it’s not something that should be allowed to happen,” Sweden’s ambassador to Israel, Magnus Hellgren said as he acknowledged that his country failed to protect the Swedish community in the wake of anti-Semitic incidents.

Non-Violence sculpture in Gothenburg, Sweden
• Kosher market near Paris set on fire one week after it was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

• Berlin‘s government-funded Jewish museum is being accused of pro-Palestinian bias after it opted for Muslim, not Jewish symbols in advertising a Jerusalem exhibition.

• Security forces in Jordan thwarted a plot by Islamic State to “carry out a series of coordinated and large-scale attacks” across the country. Police arrested 17 members of the terror cell, seizing weapons and other unspecified “materials.” More at the Times of Israel.

• I wonder what this means for Israel’s qualitative military edge. Reuters reports that the White House has nearly completed a plan “to help drum up billions of dollars more in business overseas for the U.S. weapons industry.”

According to the report, guidelines on military export rules will be eased and “give greater weight to the economic benefits for American manufacturers in a decision-making process that has long focused heavily on human rights considerations.”

US Army
US artillery soldiers in a 2016 readiness drill.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Yehuda Kurtzer: How Israel’s BDS blacklist falls short of its own goals
– Ephraim Sneh: How to prevent a Gaza explosion
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): Shut down UNRWA
– Rowan Polovin: Downgrading Israel degrades South Africa
– David Harris: 10 ways that Israel is treated differently
– Elliott Abrams: The princes and the mullahs

Featured image: CC BY liz west; money CC0 Pexels; Gothenburg CC0 Pixabay; soldiers CC BY US Army;

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

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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 11:36 pm
US to Transfer Palestinian Aid to Different UN Agency?

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Today’s Top Stories
1. US funds earmarked for the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency should instead be gradually transferred to a separate UN body responsible for aiding the rest of the world’s refugees, suggested Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Describing the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which has overseen health care, schooling, social services and more for Palestinian refugees since 1950, the PM said:

“This is an agency that was established 70 years ago, only for Palestinian refugees, at a time when the UNHCR [UN High Commissioner for Refugees] deals with global refugee problems. Of course this creates a situation in which there are great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not refugees but who are cared for by UNRWA, and another 70 years will pass and those great-grandchildren will have great-grandchildren and therefore, this absurdity needs to stop,” Netanyahu said.

But Netanyahu noted that “genuine” Palestinian refugees still need assistance, and proposes that UNRWA funds from the United States should be “gradually shifted” to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which has “clear criteria for supporting genuine refugees, not fictitious refugees as happens today under UNRWA.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

2. Israel expelled a Norwegian aid worker, and as luck would have it, it occurred while Norway’s Foreign Minister was visiting. Haaretz explains:

The activist is accused of having asked over the past several years for visas for activists in the aid group’s name under false pretenses. According to the authority, after they arrived in Israel the activists did not engage in humanitarian work but in other activities, some of them political.

The incident occurred in the midst of the first official visit to Israel of the new Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide. Haaretz has learned that the activist had been living in Israel for several years and when she tried to return to Israel Sunday morning after a short trip abroad, she was refused entry.

Norway also agreed to limit funding of non-governmental organizations promoting boycotts of Israel.


3. Israel arrested two Bedouin teenage girls accused of being in contact with Islamic State and plotting a terror attack in Israel. According to the Times of Israel, Rahma and Tasnin al-Assad carried out surveillance of possible targets in Beersheva. A third suspect, Ahmad Abu Ramila of eastern Jerusalem, was charged on lesser counts over his involvement in the plot.

4. The Independent Labels Electronic Intifada Head an ‘Expert’: There are a lot of problems with how the paper uses Ali Abunimah as a talking head.

Israel and the Palestinians
• UNICEF, the UN agency responsible for providing assistance to children and mothers in developing countries, is spurring a campaign to label the Israeli military as ‘grave violators of children’s rights.’ Israel HaYom picked up on an NGO Monitor report.

If blacklisted, IDF would join the ranks of terrorist groups ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and al-Qaida.

• Does Mohammad Fathi Janid qualify for 72 virgins? (I’m asking for a friend.)

Times of Israel

• Jordan’s Interior Minister Minister Ghalib Zoabi toured the Temple Mount on Sunday and nothing happened. Zoabi was the first high level Jordanian official to visit the holy site since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration in December.

• The Israeli cabinet is revisiting plans to create off-shore artificial islands for Israeli homes and infrastructure. Discussion of the Dubai-style islands has been on-and-off over the years with opposition from environmental groups. The plans are unrelated to a separate proposal for an artificial island off of Gaza for the Palestinians, which would include a port and cargo terminal. Jerusalem Post coverage.

Palm Islands
Wing suit flying over Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands
• Most sanitized coverage of Israel’s blacklist of BDS groups goes to the Irish Times. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement isn’t about “criticizing” Israeli policies, it’s about delegitimizing Israel.

The blacklist targets a grassroots movement known as Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), which criticises Israel over its policies towards the Palestinians.

• Turns out UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, one of the blacklisted pro-BDS groups whose senior members will be barred from Israel.

• Tweet of the day goes to Legal Insurrection.

Legal Insurrection
Our ability to travel to Israel is a human right! Say #BDS supporters who try to bully others into not going to Israel >> @jvplive @US_Campaign @codepink #bdsfail

2:53 AM - Jan 8, 2018
5 5 Replies 34 34 Retweets 51 51 likes
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• JTA: A German bill would allow the expulsion of migrants “who make anti-Semitic statements, including the refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

crystal news ball

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

– Todd Stern: Jews should not venerate Trump
– Eli Lake: What a Soviet dissident sees in Iran’s unrest
– Nick Short: For Iran’s revolution to succeed, a free press is a must

Featured image: CC BY-NC Chris Walton; Norway CC BY-SA Lemsipmatt; Dubai CC BY-NC Richard Schneider;


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Post  Admin on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 9:11 pm
Fatah Cadres Meet With Hezbollah Chief
Today’s Top Stories
1. Fatah cadres met with Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to discuss responses to US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. A Fatah spokesman told The Media Line the delegation met with other Lebanese leaders, and that Fatah remains committed to non-violent resistance. But that’s not how Nasrallah characterized the contact in an interview with a pro-Hezbollah paper:

In the Al Mayadeen interview, Nasrallah also alleged that the Iranian regime financed the recent wave of Palestinian protests against Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. He stressed that Hizbullah is keen to work towards establishing a “point of unity” with the Palestinians and confirmed that Jerusalem was the focus of his meeting with officials.

“We will not hesitate to seize any opportunity to provide support and weapons to the resistance in Palestine,” Nasrallah declared.

Hezbollah chief Seikh Hassan Nasrallah
2. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a list of organizations from North and South America, Europe and South Africa whose members will be barred from Israel because of their support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). Among the more well-known blacklisted groups are Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. More at the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.

3. All signs point to Turkey setting up an unwelcome Red Sea naval base after Ankara signed a deal with Sudan to “transfer the island of Suakin in the Red Sea to Turkey to rebuild and administer for an undefined period of time.” Israeli and Egyptian officials can’t be pleased.

4. NPR Buries the Facts: In an article about Palestinian in Jerusalem, NPR buries or even leaves out critical facts.

Israel and the Palestinians
• In Cairo, government officials leaned on several influential Egyptian talk show hosts not to condemn Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, the New York Times reports. Now that Israel and Egypt face common foes in Iran and the Islamic Brotherhood/Hamas, the regime of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi doth not protest too much. (Egypt denies the report.)

But strife with Israel was not in Egypt’s national interest, Captain Kholi said. He told the hosts that instead of condemning the decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it. Palestinians, he suggested, should content themselves with the dreary West Bank town that currently houses the Palestinian Authority, Ramallah.

“How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really?” Captain Kholi asked repeatedly in four audio recordings of his telephone calls obtained by The New York Times.

“Exactly that,” agreed one host, Azmi Megahed, who confirmed the authenticity of the recording.

• Arab League to lobby UN to recognize Palestinian state. And Ynet reports the Palestinians will seek full statehood from the UN even though the request will never a US veto.

• If Hamas passed a contentious “Muezzin Bill” for Gaza, would the media say they’re silencing religious expression like when Israel’s Knesset mulled such legislation? Gazans are irked by early-morning calls to prayer.

• The web site of “In Between” bills Israeli-Arab Maysaloun Hamoud’s first film as a story of “three strong and independent-minded Israeli-Palestinian women who share an apartment in Tel Aviv.” But writing in Vulture (New York Magazine’s culture section), Lebanese-born writer Shirine Saad describes the movie as “a candid story about women in Palestine,” obfuscates Israeli government funding, and muddies the waters of Hamoud’s identity, describing her as a Palestinian.

Lahav Harkov
This is a good movie. Too bad @shirinesaad writes around Israel's involvement in a way that could only be intentional. The director is an Israeli citizen, and it implies the Palestinian Authority funded the film, when, in fact, it got funding from Israel.

12:40 PM - Jan 7, 2018
 2 2 Replies   7 7 Retweets   20 20 likes
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• A by the numbers look at Israel’s fight against terror 2017, based on figures from the IDF and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) picked up the by the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel and Ynet. See those sites for comparisons to previous years.

> 99: terror attacks
> 20: Israelis killed
> 169: Israelis wounded
> 42: illegal West Bank weapons workshops shut down
> 455: illegal weapons seized in West Bank
> some 1,100: lone wolf attacks foiled
> NIS 10 million: seized money suspected of being meant to fund terror ($2.9 million)
> 35: rockets fired at Israel from Gaza
> 59: retaliatory strikes on Gaza following rocket fire
> 3,617: Palestinians arrested in 2017 according to the IDF
> 6,742: Palestinians arrested in 2017 according to NGOs
> 7: Palestinian homes demolished by Israel as punishment for a family member committing a terror attack
> 98: Palestinian homes demolished by Israel for not being built without proper permits

• It says a lot about The Guardian that it’s the paper of choice for group letters supporting BDS — in this case, more than a 100 writers, singers, musicians, etc. (mostly the usual suspects) showing solidarity with Lorde.

• Tweet of the day from Diaa Hadid, who used to cover Israel, Gaza and the West Bank for the New York Times.

Diaa Hadid ضياء حديد
Hamas used to threaten reporters who wrote about Isis in Gaza, myself included.

1:46 PM - Jan 4, 2018
 8 8 Replies   145 145 Retweets   157 157 likes
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Around the World
• By 2040, Muslims will outnumber Jews in the US, according to a Pew Research Center poll picked up by the Times of Israel.

Muslims in the U.S. are not as numerous as the number of Americans who identify as Jewish by religion, according to our estimate. At the same time, our projections suggest that the U.S. Muslim population will grow much faster than the country’s Jewish population. By 2040, Muslims will replace Jews as the nation’s second-largest religious group after Christians.

• Legal battle heats up over Fordham U. decision to ban ‘Students for Justice in Palestine.’

• Israeli ambassador: Sweden has failed to protect its Jewish community.

• Fans unfollow Dutch actress for vacationing in Israel. But she asked for it.

Victoria Koblenko, an award-winning movie, television and theater actress and journalist with 151,000 followers on Instagram, invited others to unfollow her as well on the social network, saying in a Jan. 3 post from the Old City of Jerusalem that she has no interest in the attention of people who “assume something about my political inclination based on my holiday destination.”

Victoria Koblenko
• With all due respect to Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III: There’s no Israeli threat to any holy places or to Christian control of their sites, and besides, it’s no crime for Jews to buy property in Jerusalem.

Christians are panicked because the church itself is selling land to God knows who, which is why protesters in Bethlehem threw eggs and shoes at Theophilis III as he arrived at the Church of the Nativity on Saturday to celebrate Christmas — which the Greek Orthodox calendar celebrates in January.
Noga Tarnopolsky
Today is the Orthodox Christmas, and hundreds of Palestinians in Bethlehem attacked the motocade of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III,calling him a 'traitor' for selling church lands to Israelis. Palestinian security handled it.,7340,L-5067091,00.html

10:13 PM - Jan 6, 2018

Palestinians attack car of Greek Patriarch in protest against land deals
Hundreds of Palestinians smash windshields, bang on motorcade of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III in protest of his church's sale of lands to Israelis; Palestinians call Patriarch...
 Replies   11 11 Retweets   6 6 likes
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• Here’s a recipe for a nasty New York Times staff-ed headline. Ingredients: half-cup of “All-Trump’s-Fault,” half-cup of “Blame the Likud Central Committee,” a pinch of lip service to Palestinian intransigence (to taste). Mix all ingredients well, add hot air and place in preheated oven at 175° C. Remove when half-baked.

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

– Orly Azoulay: How Trump embarrassed Israel with anti-Palestinian tweet
– Jonathan Tobin: Threatening to cut Palestinian aid is the right move
– Noga Tarnopolsky: The time-bomb in Trump’s threat to Palestinian funding
– Nadav Shragai: UNRWA – the great refugee charade
– Yossi Beilin: Jerusalem remains on the agenda
– Los Angeles Times (staff-ed): Trump bungles his quest for the ‘ultimate deal’ in the Middle East
– Ron Ben-Yishai: The creative score-settling that may lead to Gaza war
– Nigel Woodley: In support of the State of Israel
– Amos Harel: Even if Iran protests are modestly successful, Israel would benefit
– Bret Stephens: Finding the way forward on Iran
– Ely Karmon: Iran protests could evolve into ethnic/sectarian strife
– Amir Taheri: Behind the latest protests in Iran
– Daniella Cohen: The rise of fake news in the Mideast and beyond
– Jay Rosen: Show your work: The new terms for trust in journalism

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Jason Kuffer; Nasrallah via YouTube/RT; Victoria Koblenko via Instagram/vkoblenko;

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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 7:00 pm

Israel to Resume Selling Electricity to Gaza
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel will resume selling electricity to Gaza after a six-month hiatus. The move came at the request of the PA, though it’s not yet clear what prompted it. The 120 megawatts that Israel previously sent the Strip daily will resume within days, according to Haaretz.


2. Singapore banned a documentary about Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi from being screened at a Palestinian film festival. Tamimi was arrested after unsuccessfully trying to provoke an Israeli soldier by slapping him in front of video cameras. Singaporean officials described the film, “The Radiance of Resistance,” as a “skewed narrative” and “inflammatory.” Reuters adds:

It was screened at a number of festivals worldwide in 2017 and won Best Documentary at the Respect Human Rights Film Festival in Belfast, but has become even more topical following Tamimi’s arrest last month.

3. Bad blood between Hamas and Islamic State in the Sinai is escalating. In a video released by Islamic State, a man accused of collaborating with Hamas was executed. The Washington Post explains:

The video cited Hamas’ crackdown on Islamist militant groups in Gaza and their failure to prevent the U.S. declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as reasons for attacking the group. It begins with a video clip of President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem last month.

The confrontation between the two militant groups has been building for more than a year, as Hamas has cracked down on Islamic State supporters in Gaza, and tightened its border with the Sinai in an attempt to repair relations with Egypt.

4. Video Podcast: How Israel Is Perceived in South Africa: HR’s Simon Plosker discusses with South African radio personality Howard Feldman of Chai FM how Israel is viewed in South Africa, how the history of apartheid impacts those perceptions, and more.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Following up on US threats to cut financial aid to the Palestinians and a key UN agency assisting them, the Times of Israel and Associated Press examine the nature and numbers behind Washington’s donations. And the New York Times takes a closer look at the role of the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA).

• The IDF struck what it called “central terrorist infrastructure” (possibly a terror tunnel?) in Gaza on Wednesday night in retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire earlier in the day.

• IDF military police are launching a criminal investigation into the death of a disabled Palestinian during clashes along the Gaza border in December. Palestinians claim wheel-chair-bound Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh was shot and killed by IDF sniper fire. An initial army probe ruled out sniper fire as the cause of death, but couldn’t determine how he died.

The military said it was hindered in its investigation by the fact that Palestinian authorities did not share the details of Abu Thurayeh’s injuries from the demonstration.

• Guatemala offers to help countries move their embassies to Jerusalem.


Iranian Situation
• Cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz discussed the Iranian threat and the country’s unrest in a Q+A with the Times of Israel.

. . . Steinitz posited that most Iranians recognize Israel as an economic powerhouse and are interested in establishing friendly ties with the Jewish state.

“Honestly, I don’t understand why Iranian taxpayers have to spend approximately one billion dollars every year on a Lebanese militia,” he said, referring to the Hezbollah terror organization, an Iranian Shiite proxy bent on Israel’s destruction, among other goals.

• How social media is being used by both sides in Iran’s turmoil.


• Plenty of commentary/analysis of what’s going on in Iran.

– Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: Iranian Jews in a time of protest
– Anshel Pfeffer: Iran protests prove the regime’s days of excusing away its failures are over
– Yves Mamou: Is Hezbollah eating the Iranian people’s bread?
– Eli Lake: The West can help Iranians take back their country
– Eldad Beck: Europe’s deafening silence
– Ray Takeyh: The Islamic Republic of Iran is doomed
– Daniel Schwammenthal: Why are the Europeans so silent on the Iran protests?

• Must read: Former refusenik Natan Sharansky lays out why Western silence emboldens the mullahs and fails the protesters.

Revolutions take place when enough people simultaneously cross that fateful line between silent questioning and open dissent, between cowering in fear and standing up for freedom. Once they do so, the regime can no longer contain the upsurge of opposition and must either begin to liberalize or collapse.

This is why a policy of silence on the part of world leaders is so misguided. What matters to Iranians debating whether to cross this decisive threshold is how much they dislike their own government, as well as their knowledge that the free world — those who share the basic principles for which they are fighting — stands behind them in their moment of truth . . .

Our leaders must not be misled by the argument that publicly siding with Iran’s dissidents will give the regime an excuse to blame the protests on foreign meddling or crack down even harder on dissidents. The government in Tehran will do these things no matter what, since a regime as threatened as Iran’s is right now will take any steps in its power to deflect and suppress opposition.

Natan Sharansky
Around the World
• French Jews protest reprint of anti-Semitic essays from Holocaust era.

• Swastikas painted on two Paris-area kosher shops.

• Does this mean the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer web site is really just another tentacle in an international Jewish media conspiracy?

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

– Ahmed Charai: Trump’s Jerusalem move could provide a pathway to peace
– Avi Issacharoff: As economy crumbles and with ‘nothing to lose,’ war in Gaza grows likely
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians always on the wrong side of history
– Raphael Ahren: Trump’s Mideast policy: Diplomatic Darwinism in the quest for the ultimate deal
– Grant Rumley: Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t have a Trump strategy
– Ariel Bolstein: The new front against BDS
– New York Post (staff-ed): Team Trump finally starts treating Palestinians fairly

Featured image: CC0 PublicDomainPictures; electricity CC BY-NC Ariel Dovas; flags CC BY-NC-ND Leo Prieto; Iran CCO Max Pixel; Sharansky via YouTube/BBYO;

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Post  Admin on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 3:25 pm

Syrian Cabinet Minister Ousted Over Israeli Journalist’s Visit
Today’s Top Stories
1. According to Arab media reports picked up the Times of Israel, Syria’s minister of information was ousted for failing to prevent Israeli journalist Jonathan Spyer from entering and reporting from Syria, even joining an Assad regime-sponsored trip where he interviewed some government ministers.

Jonathan Spyer (left) with Syria’s Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar (center) and now-ousted information minister Mohammed Tourjeman (right) in April, 2017.
2. Anti-government demonstrations escalated with attacks on police stations. Iranian state-run media reported that one demonstrator shot and killed a member of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in the central city of Najafabad. So far, 21 people, including an 11-year-old boy, have been killed in six days of unrest. More at CNN, AP, Reuters and the Washington Post.

According to Israeli media reports, an Israeli government assessment has determined that the protests have already weakened the Iranian regime:

“The escalation of the protest’s messaging attests to our understanding of a certain breach of the Iranian citizens’ fear barrier,” the document reportedly states. Since the government’s brutal crackdown on similar protests in 2009, Iranians had been careful to not allow their discontent to extend beyond social media. However, the recent demonstrations have shown that “barrier” to have been eroded, the Foreign Ministry analysts conclude.

At @nytimes today, a story about a meaningless & empty gesture by Likud party hacks is higher than the ongoing story about Iran.

— yaacov lozowick (@yaacovlozowick) January 2, 2018

3. Israel busted a Hamas terror cell in the West Bank planning an attack. Ynet reports the five-man cell received instructions from Abdullah Arar, a Hamas operative freed by Israel in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. Arar had been imprisoned for his role in the 2005 kidnap and murder of Israeli Sasson Nuriel.

4. Video: Should Israel and the US take a stand on the Iranian protests, or should they stay silent? With the PA rejecting Trump’s involvement in the peace process, what role can and should the US play? Watch The Spin Room on i24 where HR’s Daniel Pomerantz discussed these questions and more with Dennis Ross, a former ambassador and adviser to four US presidents, along with Newsweek columnist Marc Schulman.

Israel and the Palestinians
• For five days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept his silence about the Iranian protests. But then, he spoke out in a video wishing the Iranian people “success in their noble quest for freedom.” The Jerusalem Post explains the Prime Minister’s thinking and what changed:

Foremost in the minds of some who advocated this policy was the results of Israel’s very public support in September of independence for Iraqi Kurds. Rather than lead other countries to express similar support, or do much more than giving some moral support to the Kurds themselves, these statements were used by Iraq, by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and by Iran against the Kurds.

Seeking to avoid a replay, Netanyahu’s policy up until Monday afternoon was just to keep quiet.

But then two things happened. The first was that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani publicly blamed Israel and the US for fomenting the unrest. The second was the deafening silence of the Europeans.

• Whether or not you agree with the Jerusalem Law (passed on Monday night), which would require a special parliamentary majority to approve ceding Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, this New York Times headline is inappropriately opinionated and over the top.

Around the World
• James Zogby is a prominent Arab-American lobbyist of Lebanese descent who supports BDS and was involved in crafting the 2016 Democratic Party platform. So as the the hoo-ha over Lorde and her dissing of Israel continues, why don’t the International Business Times and Radio New Zealand disclose who Zogby is?

There’s nothing wrong with sharing his tweet responding to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s controversial full-page ad denouncing the 21-year-old New Zealander. Just be up-front that Zogby’s not some average Twitter guy.

James Zogby
James Zogby
• Florida police officer resigns during investigation over his anti-Semitic Facebook posts.

• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels weighing in on the Iranian protests.

– Anshel Pfeffer: In Iran, when does a protest become a revolution?
– Seth Frantzman: Media analysis: What Iranian protests?
– Lee Smith: Why can’t the American media cover the protests in Iran?
– Michael Segall: Protests spread across Iran
– Prof. Ze’ev Maghen: Iran’s split personality
– Melanie Phillips: The Iranian uprising
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: The unpredictability of revolution
– Jonathan Tobin: Jerusalem and now Iran: Is Donald Trump turning into a morally serious president?
– Nadav Eyal: Iranian protestors keeping with revolutionary tradition
– Washington Post (staff-ed): The West should support the protesters in Iran

wouldn't it be nice if you could move ONE of the 10,000 reporters you have ready to take every possible propaganda photo against Israel – to cover #Iran protests from close-up? But you can't. Because real oppression isn't one you can get close to.

— David Collier (@mishtal) December 31, 2017

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

– Amos Harel: Three reasons Israel doesn’t want a war in Gaza right now – and, yes, Iran is one
– Alex Fishman: Trump’s gift to Abbas
– Khaled Abu Toameh: How Palestinians silence Palestinians
– Alan Dershowitz: Debating BDS with Cornel West
– Assaf Wohl: A Jew boycotting Israel? Must be a joke
– Dan Margalit: Anything but a boycott
– David Harris: 10 basic facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
– Dror Eydar: The Palestinian masquerade
– Nadav Shragai: Erdogan talks Hamas’ language
– Sherry Sufi: Islamic terrorism: myth and conspiracy theory build augmented reality
– Edmond Mulet: How the UN Security Council failed Syrian chemical weapons investigators and victims
– Emily Landau, Gilead Sher: Lessons from the negotiation that led to the Iran nuclear deal


Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Sophie; Zogby via YouTube/Electronic Intifada;

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Post  Admin on Wed 27 Dec 2017, 5:23 pm

Syrian, Iranian-Backed Forces Advance Near Israeli Border
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Syrian and Iranian-backed forces are steadily advancing in the border area near Israel. Reuters reports:

The Syrian army said it had encircled the village of Mughr al Meer at the foothills of Mount Hermon as troops moved toward Beit Jin amid fierce clashes. On Monday, the army said they had cut off insurgent supply lines and made further advances . . .

A western intelligence source confirmed rebel reports that Iranian-backed local militias alongside commanders from the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah Shi‘ite group were playing a major role in the ongoing battles.

Tehran was pushing to establish a strategic presence along the Israeli border in the Syrian Golan Heights, the source said

2. Guatemala announced that it will move its embassy to Jerusalem. But it will only happen after the US relocates its embassy.

Ten other countries are said to be in talks about relocating their embassies too. Although Deputy Foriegn Minister Tzipi Hotovely didn’t name names, Israeli media chatter centered on Honduras, Paraguay, Togo, Romania and Slovakia. The Philippines denied reports that they are considering a transfer.

Jerusalem’s Old City walls
3. Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are unhappy with the PA’s handling of opposition to President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and are moving to take initiative against the embassy move away from Mahmoud Abbas. If you want something done right, leave it to the Palestinian Authority do it yourself. Arab sources told Israel HaYom:
“The Palestinians’ efforts to sway public opinion have been a complete failure, and as a result, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has created a rift between us [the Arab world] and Trump. We are once again left with the demagogic, hollow and inflammatory rhetoric of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” . . .

A senior official in Amman told Israel Hayom that the Palestinians’ colossal failure to create a unified Arab front against Trump’s Jerusalem decision also has Jordanian officials concerned that the kingdom’s status as the custodian of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem will be compromised.

4. The Dishonest Reporter of the Year Award, 2017: It’s finally time to announce the winner!

5. What You Were Reading: The Top 10 Posts of 2017: A look back on the year’s 10 most-read posts. What do the articles you clicked on say about 2017?

6. HonestReporting depends on the financial support of readers like you to continue producing the Israel Daily News Stream and all of our other content. Help us keep you up informed of everything you need to know about Israel in the news. Donate now.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Seeing Trump as ‘lost cause,’ Abbas said to widen boycott to US consular staff, according to Israeli media reports.

• The State Department and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman are at odds over his request that official documents stop referring to the West Bank as “occupied.”

However, due to pressure “from above” the two sides agreed that the issue will be discussed again and that US President Donald Trump will have the final say, the report said.

• Western Wall train station to be named after Donald Trump.

• Holiday cheer, Palestinian style:


• Worth reading: The Los Angeles Times opens a window on the split between American and Mideast Christians over Trump’s Jerusalem declaration:

For many Holy Land Christians, Trump’s declaration was about as welcome as a biblical curse.

For American evangelical Christians, it has largely been welcomed as an auspicious sign from on high.

• Israeli chess players are demanding compensation after they were refused visas by host Saudi Arabia.

The Israel Chess Federation accused Saudi Arabia of misleading FIDE to qualify for hosting the tournament.

“All their previous statements were to the contrary,” spokesman Lior Aizenberg said.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that Qatari chess players are boycotting the tournament over a snub which is “been there, done that” for Israelis:

Qatar’s chess federation said its players had been granted visa but would not take part because organizers demanded that the players not display the Qatari flag during the competition.


• The fallout from Lorde’s cancellation of a Tel Aviv concert in the face of BDS pressure continues. Her Israeli promoter and a researcher on the conflict between BDS and musicians explained to the Times of Israel why it’s naive to think that a young singer like Lorde would have been able to stand up to the bullying.

“Whenever I deal with producers, I always say to them up front, let the artist know what they’re getting into and know what to expect,” he said. “Lorde is younger and not as established as other acts that have visited Israel, that also means she’s easier to influence. And we shouldn’t place the whole burden of BDS on the fragile shoulders of a 21-year-old from New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand asked to meet with Lorde. And the Washington Post examines how other musicians have handled BDS bullying.
• The editor of “Youpi,” a popular French childrens’ magazine, apologized and removed the latest edition from news stands in France and Belgium over a sentence saying that Israel was one of several states that aren’t “real countries.”

Around the World
Alberto Nisman
• The wheels of justice are turning in Argentina. A court ruled that Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor investigating the 1994 AMIA bombing case, was murdered. Earlier this month, a judge called for the arrest of former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, accusing her of treason for her role in alleged covering up Iran’s involvement in the attack. Kirchner was recently elected to the Argentine congress, so lawmakers would have to vote on stripping her parliamentary immunity.
A suicide bomber driving a van loaded with explosives blew up the Jewish community headquarters in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and injuring more than 300.

The story has a lot of moving parts and background, so see the Times of Israel and New York Times.

• Swastika graffiti and SS symbols sprayed on Jewish Melbourne home in shocking racist Christmas Day attack.

• Greek anarchists vandalized the Israeli embassy in Athens with bottles of red paint.

• Ponder this: A Brandeis U. study of anti-Semitism at four American universities suggests that anti-Semitism and hostility towards Israel on campuses isn’t as widespread as we thought, that BDS isn’t so entrenched, and that Israel and Jews aren’t a high concern — even among Jewish students.

• In his statement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump specifically stressed that he was not calling for any change in the status quo of holy sites. Which is why the poison pen of The Guardian‘s Nicola Jennings muddies the waters.

Nicola Jennings

• Lorde have mercy on us all!

– Liel Liebovitz: If Lorde is serious about her politics, she shouldn’t boycott Israel but her native New Zealand
– Einav Schiff: BDS, unfortunately, is still alive and kicking
– Amy Spiro: A major BDS win in a sea of losses
– Karl Quinn: Lorde’s Israel backdown shows doing the right thing in music is far from black and white

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

– Reuel Marc Gerecht: In the Mideast, Trump gives reality a chance (click via Twitter)
– Ben-Dror Yemini: The blue-eyed poster girl of Palestinian propaganda
– Raphael Ahren: Why a small Central American nation became a trailblazer on Jerusalem
– Ronni Shaked: Abbas left with an empty diplomatic toolbox
– Anshel Pfeffer: The Palestinians just gave Netanyahu what he always wanted for Christmas
– Seth Frantzman: Five challenges for Israel if Syria returns to the Golan
– Yoav Fromer: What happens at the UN GA stays at the UN GA
– Col. (Res.) Grisha Yacoubovich: The Palestinian war of narratives
– Itzik Reuven: BDS claims: An Ethiopian answer
– Elior Levy: 13 years after his death, Arafat’s memory remains purely symbolic
– Elliott Abrams: The Trump national security strategy
– David Ignatius: We ignore Iran at our own peril

Featured image: CC BY Eugen Anghel; Jerusalem CC BY-NC-SA BORIS G; chess CC BY monkeywing; Lorde via YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; Nisman via YouTube/Carlos Kalman;

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Post  Admin on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 9:17 pm
Israel to Quit UNESCO
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel will formally announce its intent to leave UNESCO as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen to present a formal letter of withdrawal. According to UNESCO rules, Israel’s departure from the cultural organization would take effect at the end of 2018.

In the past year, UNESCO angered Israel with resolutions denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem and Hebron:

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the decision was based on the organization’s “attempts to disconnect Jewish history from the land of Israel.”

However, the withdrawal will contain a provision noting that Israel will walk back the decision should UNESCO conduct reforms and change its attitude towards Israel before the end of next year, a senior Israeli official told Channel 10 news Friday.

Audrey Azoulay
Press Encounter by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, President of the Security Council and Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay briefing reporters in November, 2017
2. As expected, the UN General Assembly voted to denounce Trump’s Jerusalem declaration. The non-binding resolution (see full text) passed by a vote of 128-9, with 35 abstentions and 21 countries absent from the proceedings. Take your pick of coverage from the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Ynet and Haaretz.

In case you missed it, see The UN Debates Jerusalem: A Primer, in which HonestReporting unpacks Thursday’s UN proceedings.

3. Hezbollah recruited a sleeper agent in the Bronx. They took advantage of the fact that Ali Kourani is a dual US-Lebanese national. How many other sleepers might Hezbollah have out in the West?

It is claimed that his Hezbollah handler ordered him to surveil facilities belonging to the FBI and Army National Guard in New York City. He took detailed notes on security protocols at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In interviews with the FBI after being “deactivated” from the terrorist group’s external operations wing, Kourani allegedly told the feds he was recruited because of Hezbollah’s interest in obtaining dual-citizen sleeper agents who could be activated in case of an emergency.

4. HonestReporting depends on the financial support of readers like you to continue producing the Israel Daily News Stream and all of our other content. Help us keep you up informed of everything you need to know about Israel in the news. Donate now

Israel and the Palestinians
• In Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he won’t accept any peace proposals from the US.

• Having threatened to cut aid to countries voting against the US at the UN, AP takes a closer look at the credibility test Donald Trump now faces.

• Ynet: Chinese-backed peace push embraces two-state solution.

• Romania’s parliament weighs relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.

numbers• Thwarted terror attacks in Israel over 2017, by the numbers. Based on Shin Bet figures presented to the Knesset and reported the Jerusalem Post:

– 400: Overall number of attacks thwarted by Israel
– 13: Foiled suicide attacks
– 8: Kidnappings prevented
– 1,100: Potential lone wolf attacks thwarted
– 54: Palestinian attacks successfully carried out

• You know the Palestinians have a problem when the New York Times describes West Bank protests and clashes as meh:

The response has been more of a part-time simulation of an uprising, almost by appointment. A few thousand protesters have turned out at familiar friction points in the West Bank or along the Gaza border on the designated “Days of Rage” called for by the political factions. Other days, hardly anybody has shown up.

• Three Turkish nationals were released from custody after scuffling with Israeli police on the Temple Mount on Friday, according to Israeli and Turkish media reports.

• Denmark says it is tightening up conditions for financial aid to Palestinian non-governmental organizations and revoking its support for some of those NGOs. The Times of Israel explains:

The move came after Denmark launched a review of its practices in May following a meeting where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Samuelsen to stop Denmark’s funding for Palestinian NGOs that are involved in anti-Israel incitement or promote boycotts of the Jewish state.

Danish parliament
Folketinget, the Danish parliament in Copenhagen
• US Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of Hezbollah-linked drug prosecutions that the Obama administration abandoned while trying to strike a nuclear accord with Iran. The AG’s directive comes on the heels of last week’s Politico explosive report on Hezbollah drug trafficking and money laundering, a long-term federal investigation, and the Obama administration’s response reported interference.

• I’d like to believe Yahoo entertainment writer Rebekah Scanlan took a BDS press release a way to seriously. If she really thinks that Tel Aviv is “in military occupied Israel,” then A) Scanlan has a really skewed understanding of the Mideast. Does anyone copy edit her work?

By the way, subsequent New Zealand reports say Lorde, a 21-year-old NZ pop singer, is considering dropping her Tel Aviv gig in June.

Rebekah Scanlan

• A two-day old Syrian baby born with a life-threatening heart defect was airlifted to Tel Aviv for emergency surgery on Saturday.

NYT Persia• The New York Times runs 13-day tours of Iran and Barbara Sofer has a bone to pick.

Can you morally justify a visit to Iran if you’re not a journalist, a diplomat or a spy? Do tourists really believe they’ll get a deep and true understanding of this rogue state by complying with the rules of dress and censorship? Tales of Persia, indeed.

Imagine a trip in the 1930s to see the new and fascinating regime in Nazi Germany. You could take your photo near the Brandenburg Gate and feast on authentic streuselkuchen. You might even get to see actual Nazi roundups in action. There were, in fact, such tourists, curious to see what they described as Hitler’s utopia.

The Times trip to Iran will set you back a minimum of $7,995, but the real question is how much will turning this aggressive state into another travel destination on par with Venice and southern Arizona set the world back.

• Don’t miss Peter Lerner’s Twitter thread on the case of Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, the wheelchair-bound Palestinian killed in mysterious circumstances near the Gaza border.

View image on Twitter
LTC (R) Peter Lerner
1/6 This is going to be a thread about the #ibrahimabuthuraya case. It has caused a very emotional response on twitter and I want to lay down some questions. 
Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a wheelchair-bound paraplegic, participated in a riot meters near the Gaza border, was killed.

6:35 AM - Dec 24, 2017
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Twitter Ads info and privacy
• Plenty of spilled ink and burnt pixels ruminating on the UN’s Jerusalem vote.

– Ron Prosor: Israel’s efforts are paying off
– Raphael Ahren: Why Israel’s massive defeat at the UN isn’t quite as bad as it looks
– Eli Lake: Nikki Haley confronts the UN’s jackals
– Joe Dyke: Abbas breaks with US over Jerusalem — but for how long?
– Elliott Abrams: Honor and dishonor at the United Nations
– Benny Avni: Anti-Israel General Assembly should feel shamed — not the US
– Max Boot: Trump is right about Jerusalem, but that’s not the help Israel needs
– Prof. Efraim Inbar: Erdogan’s Israel obsession
– Wall St. Journal (staff-ed): Next year in Jerusalem (click via Twitter)
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): UN-acceptable madness as United Nations attacks America over Jerusalem

Daniel Gordis
Listening to UN and to Cuba speaking about Pal’s right to self determination and Iran references to Israeli crimes is more than slightly dizzying. Be clear. If the question were whether the Jews have a right to a state, the motion would fail.

4:51 PM - Dec 21, 2017
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Twitter Ads info and privacy
• For a sense of what the critics are saying, see Daniel Barenboim and Iyad el-Baghdadi.

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

– Peter Lerner: Video of a Palestinian girl hitting soldiers shows the IDF’s moral fiber
– Nachman Shai: Fighting the media wars
– Ben-Dror Yemini: ‘Innocent protestor’ killed by IDF was a terrorist, told his family ‘I Intend to be a martyr’
– Amos Harel: Syria’s Assad is taking over the border region, presenting Israel with a moral dilemma
– Aje Carlbom: Sweden’s new wave of anti-Semitism
– Sohrab Ahmari: Swedish secularism targets Jewish homeschoolers
– Alex Fishman: The new threats at the end of the tunnel
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Another ‘reconciliation’ bites the dust

Featured image: CC BY-NC-ND Spyros Papaspyropoulos; Azoulay via UN Photo/Kim Haughton; numbers CC0 Pixabay; Copenhagen CC BY Kristoffer Trolle;

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Post  Admin on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 1:42 am
Emergency UN Meeting Debates Jerusalem Today

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Today’s Top Stories
1. Ahead of the UN General Assembly’s discussions on Jerusalem, President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to countries supporting a resolution denouncing the president’s Jerusalem declaration.

Although the US has no veto power in the General Assembly and the Palestinians enjoy overwhelming support, its resolutions are non-binding. On Twitter, Ambassador Nikki Haley warned other countries “the US will be taking names.”

Video: The UN Debates Jerusalem: A Primer: HonestReporting unpacks today’s UN emergency meeting over Jerusalem.

2. Bahrain distanced itself from the Palestinian campaign against Trump, calling it a “side issue” and insisting that the world keep its focus on the “theo-fascists” of Iran. And the Saudis appear to be pushing the Palestinians to curb their battle with the White House for similar reasons.

3. The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is putting together a blacklist of companies doing business in West Bank settlements, will not seek re-election to his post. Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s job is up for renewal in August. AFP reports:

Earlier this week, in an interview with AFP, the Jordanian prince had rejected the idea of “wheeling and dealing” with political players to secure a second four-year term in Geneva.

And in an email to staff, seen by AFP, he wrote: “After reflection, I have decided not to seek a second four-year term” adding that “in the current geo-political context,” to stay “might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a statement of advocacy.”

Hussein did not mention Trump by name, but he has reportedly been under pressure from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to tone down his human rights criticism of Washington.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
4. HonestReporting depends on the financial support of readers like you to continue producing the Israel Daily News Stream and all of our other content. Help us keep you up informed of everything you need to know about Israel in the news. Donate now.

Israel and the Palestinians
• US envoy Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador David Friedman met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ynet reports that Israel was asked to hold back on large construction projects in Jerusalem, and that
Trump will give the PA a grace period to reconcile themselves to his Jerusalem declaration.

But this next point makes me wonder if the US is unwittingly giving the Palestinians an opening to avoid peace talks altogether until a new president takes over the Oval Office.

They also stressed that should the Palestinians choose not to return to being open to the US acting as peace interlocutors, the White House has no intention of advancing a peace process without them, adding that the Palestinians would be missing an opportunity.

• A Hamas terror cell plotted to kidnap a Knesset member and the IDF’s Arabic spokesman.

South Africa• South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, voted to downgrade its embassy in Ramat Gan to a liason office. The decision was made at the ANC’s biannual conference, which was attended by delegations from both the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terror group. More at the Times of Israel and the Mail & Guardian along with South African Jewish reactions.

• Plenty of room at the inn: Israeli tourism officials are ebullient over a record-breaking year, including an expected 20 percent increase in Christian pilgrims over Christmas.

• Despite being swamped with 650,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar, the government of Bangladesh rejected what Ynet describes as a “significant” humanitarian aid package. Dhaka’s putting its sensitivity to “political ramifications” ahead of the welfare of refugees it has accepted.

Bangladesh expressed gratitude to Israel for the offer, but informed it that it cannot accept aid due to the sensitivity involved and the political ramifications that could ensue.

Around the World
• Dutch Jews are up in arms over the government’s handling of a recent attack on a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam, the JTA reports.

Yet just 60 hours later the suspect — identified in the media as Saleh Ali — was free. Authorities never divulged details about his identity and origins despite the absence of a gag order, and reports that Ali was a former combatant in Syria’s civil war in the Netherlands on an asylum-seeker visa . . .

But to many Dutch Jews, perhaps the most disturbing aspect is that the draft indictment against Ali mentions only vandalism and theft.

In other words, Dutch officials don’t consider Ali’s actions a hate crime.

• If you boycotted Wonder Woman because Gal Gadot’s Israeli, you may have to boycott the royal wedding too.

Speculation grows Meghan Markle’s wedding dress could be a ‘racy’ Israeli-designed outfit

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
• Turns out a spate of hate mail received by Canadian synagogues is more widespread than previously reported. Synagogues in Ottawa, Calgary and Kingston say they received identical messages featuring a Jewish star dripping blood with a swastika in the middle along with the words, “Jewry must perish” as synagogues in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Hamilton. More at CTV News.

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

– Eric Cortellessa: Trump warns over UN, but he likely can’t stop feeding the hand that bites
– Clifford May: Reimagining a more realistic ‘peace process’
– Lior Weintraub: An American paradigm shift
– Alan Dershowitz: The conflict over Jerusalem is all Obama’s fault
– Abigail Esman: In Europe, ‘Islamophobia’ gets the headlines — despite trailing anti-Semitic violence
– Howard Feldman: The ANC’s endorsement of Hamas is unnerving
– Daniel Laufer: #NoWayToTreatAChild a cynical campaign to manipulate Palestinian children
– Michael Herzog: The growing risk of an Israel-Iran confrontation in Syria

Featured image: CC BY-NC Elvin; Hussein via UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre; South Africa CC BY-NC-SA Col; royals via YouTube/Inside Edition;

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Post  Admin on Wed 20 Dec 2017, 10:42 pm
Palestinians Take Jerusalem Fight to UN General Assembly
Today’s Top Stories
1. Still trying to reverse President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, the Palestinians are taking their fight to the UN General Assembly. While the Palestinians enjoy overwhelming support in the General Assembly, the GA’s resolutions are symbolic, carrying limited to no legal weight. The General Assembly already voted 176-7 on Tuesday “to affirm the Palestinian right to self-determination.”

More on the politicking scheduled for Thursday at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Ynet and Times of Israel. To put the debate in perspective, Reuters notes:

Under a 1950 resolution, an emergency special session can be called for the General Assembly to consider a matter “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures” if the Security Council fails to act.

Only 10 such sessions have been convened, and the last time the General Assembly met in such a session was in 2009 on occupied East Jerusalem and Palestinian territories. Thursday’s meeting will be a resumption of that session.

United Nations
The UN headquarters in New York City.
2. In the aftermath of Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, the PA is recruiting Russia and China to “replace” the US and take leading roles in mediating Mideast peace. More at the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post.

3. A Berkeley councilwoman fired a commissioner who wouldn’t support Israel boycott. The JTA, picking up on local coverage, explains, “Cheryl Davila, who was elected to the Berkeley City Council last year, dismissed Transportation Commissioner Ben Gerhardstein last month after he declined to state a position on whether Berkeley should divest from companies that do business with Israel.”

4. Hot Debate: Do Israeli soldiers deserve to be attacked? Are Israelis and their MKs racists? Is the Arab world finally realizing that Jerusalem is holy to Jews and that they’ve missed opportunities for peace? Angry sparks flew as HR’s Daniel Pomerantz, Haaretz’s Gideon Levy and MK Meirav Ben Ari argued on i24 News’ Spin Room.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Contrary to earlier coverage, the Jerusalem Post reports that Vice President Mike Pence has a green light to hold a press conference by the Western Wall when he visits Israel in mid-January:

The source denied earlier reports that the administrator of the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz had completely barred Pence from conducting a press conference at the Western Wall during his upcoming visit to the country.

According to the source, Pence would be able to hold the event in the upper plaza, but not the lower one, which is considered sacred.

• To curb rocket fire, Hamas is arresting and reportedly even torturing Salafists, according to Haaretz.

• Citing freedom of information laws, Israeli BDS activists demand details on Israel’s anti-BDS policy. Israel HaYom reports:

The activists want the state to reveal the identities of the international law firms working on the project and the nature of the services they are providing the Justice Ministry.
Fatou Bensouda
• Ynet: The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, reaffirmed her previous decision not to investigate the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010. The move effectively closes the chapter on Palestinian and Turkish lawfare against Israel. Thirteen people, all Turkish nationals, were killed in a clash with Israeli naval commandos who intercepted the flotilla trying to break the Gaza blockade:
Bensouda further determined that the judges failed to properly address the context in which the IDF soldiers committed the alleged “crimes” and the violence resistance they encountered on the ship. She said the judges’ disregard of the activists’ resistance was particularly surprising in light of the fact that they determined that the IDF soldiers had used force which wasn’t necessarily required. According to the prosecutor, even if live ammunition was used before the takeover, that doesn’t necessarily point to the existence of a policy or plan to carry out crimes.

Israel’s most significant achievement, however, is convincing the prosecutor that it had investigated all aspects of the incident properly and thoroughly— both in the army and in through the Turkel Commission—and drawn conclusions in a way that would make any additional investigation redundant.

USA Today• USA Today finds that Jerusalem Palestinians are still seeking Israeli citizenship despite Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

Increasing numbers of East Jerusalem Palestinians are choosing to live in Jewish neighborhoods. Separately, greater numbers of local Palestinians are choosing to send their children to Arabic-language schools using Israeli curricula.

Between the 2016 and the 2017 school years, there was a 14% increase in Arab students studying for Israeli high school enrollment exams, according to municipal statistics. Parents want their children to be able to access Israeli universities.

• Germany’s foreign minister compared Israeli policy in the West Bank to apartheid.

• Deutsche Welle takes a closer look at the Hezbollah scouts program, where brainwashed kids as young as six aspire to “crush Israel” and serve as cannon fodder.

As a former child soldier, Ziad says he feels the pain of the children being politicized in Dahiya, and compares them to the Hitler Youth of World War II. “If God gave me one wish, I would ask for my childhood, my teenage years back,” Ziad said. He now gives lectures about his experiences and sense of loss, in the hope that the next generation might learn something from them.

Judging by 21st century Dahiya, it is a forlorn hope. A new generation of Zaids, Alis and Abbases are being taught that childhood is a time to prepare for the next war.

Around the World
• Canadian Jews are concerned after synagogues in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Hamilton received identical anti-Semitic hate messages. The letters featured a swastika inside a Jewish star dripping with blood, along with the words “Jewry must perish.”

The Forward
Synagogues Across Canada Get Hate Mail Saying ‘Jewry Must Perish’ -

7:30 PM - Dec 19, 2017

Synagogues Across Canada Get Hate Mail Saying ‘Jewry Must Perish’
Synagogues in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton received the letters.
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• Brooklyn high school student arrested for bomb threat targeting ‘Jew-loving teachers’

• A New Jersey imam was suspended over a sermon caught on film demonizing Israel and the Jewish people.


Rabbi Eric Yoffie
• There’s a significant debate taking place within US Reform Judaism about Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and the movement’s opposition to it. Two prominent Reform rabbis came out in support of the White House’s move, with Rabbi Eric Yoffie arguing that liberal American Jews don’t get that the president’s move is good for the peace camp. Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch went even further, apologizing for the movement’s criticism:
The world’s superpower finally did the right thing, and we opposed it – not on the principle, but on the “timing.” The timing? Now is the not the right time? Two thousand years later and it is still not the right time? As if there is a peace process that the Palestinians are committed to and pursuing with conviction.

There were critics who accused the civil rights movement of moving too quickly. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s response: “The time is always ripe to do what is right.”

See also Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin‘s take.

David’s Tower, Jerusalem
• Lots of spilled ink and burnt pixels over Jerusalem:
– Lahav Harkov: The global media’s deranged ‘Jerusalem syndrome’
– Bassam Tawil: Is it really about Jerusalem?
– Raphael Ahren: Despite failing, UN Jerusalem bid paints Israel, US as alone against the world
– Michael Totten: Islamic governments cede West Jerusalem to Israel
– Colin Rubenstein: Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a welcome, symbolic move
– Denis MacEoin: The US embassy move to Jerusalem vs. the ‘peace process’
– Prof. Eyal Zisser: Why is Europe always against Israel?
– Simon Palamar: Jerusalem decision high-risk, low-reward for Trump
– Vijeta Uniyal: India’s stance on Jerusalem angers Arab regimes
– Benny Avni: Britain just betrayed America at the UN
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): Haley’s Chanukah gift in blocking nasty anti-Israel Security Council resolution

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

– Yoaz Hendel: How to deal with the Palestinian camera war
– Amos Harel: Assad regime prepares to expand its control over border area with Israel
– Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: If only peace were as easy to share as a selfie
– Nadav Eyal: Before Gaza turns into Somalia
– Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi: Obama and Hezbollah: No moral backbone
– Roger Boyes: Muslim migrants behind rise in UK anti-Semitism
– Eli Lake: Obama’s alternative facts on the Iran nuclear deal

Featured image: CC BY Matthew G; United Nations CC BY-NC UNAMA News; Bensouda via UN Photo/Loey Felipe; Yoffie via YouTube/Amy Yoffie; Jerusalem CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons/Yonah baby;

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Post  Admin on Tue 19 Dec 2017, 2:44 pm
IDF Denies Shooting Wheelchair-Bound Palestinian
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Today’s Top Stories
1.  IDF denies shooting wheelchair-bound Palestinian Ibrahim Abu Thraya.  The media quickly echoed the Palestinian claim that the IDF had shot the amputee in the head. Yet the IDF investigation concluded that the protest was highly violent and that IDF forces did not shoot toward Thraya at all. So far Hamas has refused to release details or autopsy reports about Thraya’s death. This reminds me of a 2014 event critiqued by HonestReporting, in which Palestinians accused Israel of killing the elderly Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein, a claim the media widely echoed without sufficient investigation. It was later revealed that Ein had died at home  of a heart attack.

2. Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back his long-planned trip to the Middle East citing the vote on the tax overhaul legislation this week. Some news sources speculate the delay may be partly due to violence in the Middle East in the wake of President Trump’s announcement regarding Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Indeed, some Palestinians are burning placards and pictures of the Vice President.

3. The United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on the US to rescind its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to the news saying, “You lit a candle of truth. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you, [UN Ambassador] Nikki Haley.”

4. A CNN video couldn’t sufficiently demonize Israel on the facts. So CNN’s Senior International Correspondent resorted to dramatic emotional language, twisting reality and even hiding facts. Watch our video critique:

Israel and the Palestinians
• Rocket fired from Gaza at Israel falls short, hits home of Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri’s brother, who is also a top terror operative himself. Poetic irony aside, will the media simply lump this in with its generic statistics of damage/death caused “by Israel” in Gaza? Meanwhile another rocket damaged a residential home in Israel, a sobering reminder that Israel’s missile defenses are far from perfect.

• The IDF arrested 17 year old Ahed Tamimi for hitting Israeli soldiers, apparently in an attempt to provoke a violent reaction for publicity purposes (she did not succeed).  The Tamimi family has a long history of attempting such provocations.  Watch the video here:

Around the World
• A major Politico investigative report indicates that the US may have turned a blind eye to Hezbollah drug smuggling into the United States in order to help close the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal).

• President Trump released his security strategy for the United States. Of particular note is this portion:

Today, the threats from radical jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats.

• Iran on Sunday criticized French President Emmanuel Macron over his tough stance towards Tehran, calling him Donald Trump’s “lapdog.” Iran’s lack of tact aside, it seems that more and more countries are developing serious concerns about Iran’s pursuit of ballistic missiles which could eventually be used to carry nuclear warheads, and which experts say violates the JCPOA (the “Iran Nuclear Deal”).

• The US is still planning a Middle East effort toward peace, after what it calls a “cooling off” period in the wake of Trump’s Jerusalem embassy announcement. Mahmoud Abbas has said he will no longer work with the United States on this matter and has announced he will not meet with Vice President Pence on his upcoming visit. Time will tell if the Palestinian government backs down from this position.

• US Secretary of Defense Mattis says Iran is working to destabilize the Middle East. While this isn’t exactly surprising to anyone who follows news in the region, it is significant to hear such a clear statement from a US Secretary of Defense.

•  Guardian columnist Natalie Nougayrède says that “to fight European antisemitism, we must first face up to it.” At least Nougayrède is making a good start.

• Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev says that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is good for peace and Britain should do so too.

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

– Does Israel Want Peace? – Dani Dayan
–Trump’s Statement on Jerusalem Does Not Contradict the Arab Peace Initiative – Oded Eran
–Is It Time to Cut Off U.S. Financial Support to Abbas? – Kevin D. Williamson

Featured image: CC BY John Henderson;

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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Dec 2017, 4:31 pm

Abbas: Israel is Not a Country
Today’s Top Stories
1. In a fiery speech at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul, Palestinian President Abbas effectively said that Israel is not a country (specifically that Israel does not meet the international requirements for statehood and that countries around the world should cease recognizing Israel as such). Abbas further appeared to accuse Israel and/or Jews of falsifying Jewish history in the region. American Jewish groups — including, most unusually, J Street — issued highly critical responses, yet Israeli leaders were mostly subdued, with Prime Minister Netanyahu simply calling Palestinian leadership to, “recognize reality and work toward peace, not extremism…”

2. The Israeli army has said it fired selectively on chief instigators during “extremely violent riots,” including one near the Gaza border.  According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, a wheelchair-bound amputee,  was shot and killed by Israeli forces.  The IDF says it is investigating, but in the meantime Israel is getting hit with some significantly bad publicity around the world.

3.  In reference to a future peace process, The White House said:

We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel.

The statement is making waves in the press as some kind of new development, though it does not materially differ from the consensus opinion that has long been held by the US, and for that matter, most of the world,

News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
and never miss a thing.

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4. Since when is the Western Wall some kind of bargaining chip that Israel might have to give up? America doesn’t think so, so why does the New York Times?

5. Success! When the Associated Press called the Western Wall the “holiest site” in Judaism (it’s actually the Temple Mount), the story was picked up by publications around the world. The distinction is significant in the face of frequent claims in the Muslim world that the Temple Mount (which Islam calls the Al-Haram Al-Sharif) is an exclusively Muslim holy site.  HonestReporting has already prompted  corrections from the AP itself, The Washington Post, ABC News, US News & World Report, USA Today, and we’re not done yet!

6. Success! According to The Independent, the EU chief said that Europe will “continue to recognize Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel.” Just one problem: she didn’t say that. HonestReporting prompted the appropriate correction.

7. HonestReporting faces off against Fatah on live television. Israel’s Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that under Israeli law, the government may not hold on to terrorists’ bodies to negotiate for the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, and three live Israeli civilians, currently held in Gaza. Within hours after the court’s decision, HR’s Daniel Pomerantz debated Ahmed Ghoneim of the ruling Palestinian Fatah party on “The Rundown” on i24 News.

Israel and the Palestinians
• A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli Border Security Police officer and was subsequently shot non-fatally, before being evacuated to Israel’s Mt. Scopus Hospital for treatment. The attacker appeared to be wearing an explosive vest at the time, though it may have been fake. Police are investigating both the vest as well as whether he may have been disguised as a journalist  in order to get close to his victims without being stopped.

• A Palestinian was arrested outside the  Samaria Military Court with two suspected bombs. He was stopped and arrested by Border Police officers.

• Domestic protests abound in Israel: with one group protesting Prime Minister Netanyahu over corruption charges, and labor unions protesting the financially troubled pharmaceutical company Teva, for cutting 1,700 jobs in Israel.

Around the World
• US Vice-President Mike Pence will arrive in Israel on Wednesday after previously delaying his trip due to a major vote on the US tax reform bill. Palestinian President Abbas is refusing to meet with the VP due to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

• One year after the deadly terror attack at the Christmas market in Berlin, Der Spiegel speaks to some of the Israeli victims, who explain that Germany simply doesn’t understand how to handle terrorism: not how to prevent it, nor how to behave in the aftermath. Ironic given how much Germany loves to lecture Israel.

• The family of Sarah Idan (Miss Iraq in the Miss Universe competition) has been forced to flee their country because Idan dared to take a photograph with her friend, Miss Israel (Adar Gandelsman). Idan explains on Twitter, “I’m not the first nor the last person to face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom. Millions of Iraqi women live in fear. ”

Sarai (Sarah Idan)
I’m not the first nor the last person to face prosecution over a matter of personal freedom. Millions of Iraqi women live in fear. #freeiraqiwomen

3:09 AM - Dec 15, 2017
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• British Member of Parliament Tommy Sheppard hosted an “open event”  to highlight injustices faced by Palestinians. However, pro-Israel advocates were refused entry and apparently a senior Palestinian made anti-Semitic remarks in the meeting. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has now launched an investigation into whether the arrangements for the meeting breached the MPs’ code of conduct.

• Is there any place in the world that actually supports North Korea? As it turns out, there is: Gaza. Newsweek explains that some Palestinians in Gaza hang posters of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un and one restaurant even offers a (symbolic) discount on felafel (Gaza has no North Koreans present to actually take advantage of the offer). North Korea has a history of warm relations with Palestinian authorities and terror groups, including Hamas.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
RT Ali_Kourani: Restaurant in Gaza: “any Korean customers are welcome to an 80% discount in gratitude to the DPRK leader’s stance on our Palestinian cause”

5:54 PM - Dec 14, 2017
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• Noted Israeli author Matti Friedman discusses the increasing interaction of Jews and Arabs in the Jerusalem workforce, calling it the “glue” that holds the city together: a glue that is stronger than the current protests and riots over Trump’s Jerusalem announcement. In support of his view  Friedman points  out:

If you count every single violent fatality reported here this year in this city of 860,000 – not just political violence but apolitical homicides, too – the number is 27. That’s 27 too many, obviously. But it’s worth pointing out that 27 is less than a quarter of the homicide number last year in Jacksonville, Fla., a U.S. city the same size.

Just imagine if you compared the number to a US city with a higher crime rate, like Chicago or New York.

• Haaretz’s Amira Haas is a harsh critic of Israel, arguably even anti-Israel. Yet she makes a good point in acknowledging that “To defeat Israel by force of arms is an illusion.” This reality seems to be (finally) dawning on many Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza.

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

– Burning the Israeli Flag Has Nothing to Do with Freedom of Speech – Ines Pohl
– Haley: We Don’t Need Other Countries Telling Us What’s Right or Wrong – Olivia Beavers
– The Times Square Intifada – Liel Leibovitz

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Post  Admin on Mon 11 Dec 2017, 3:00 pm
Putin Declares Victory, Orders Partial Troop Withdrawal From Syria
Today’s Top Stories
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin visiting the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria on Dec. 11, 2017.
1. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria. Putin, who was visiting Syria, essentially declaring victory over Islamic State. CNN notes that Moscow will continue operating two bases, and that Putin’s visit comes two days after Iraq’s government declared it had recaptured all of its territory from Islamic State.
2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the foreign ministers of 28 EU countries in Brussels. In a separate meeting in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron asked Netanyahu to make gestures to the Palestinians, such as a settlement freeze, to get peace talks back on track.

Take your pick of Haaretz, Times of Israel, Ynet or Jerusalem Post coverage.
Gregg Carlstrom
Not an EU expert, but suspect "be more like Trump" is not a message that will play well with most European leaders.

12:08 PM - Dec 11, 2017

Netanyahu tells EU: Stop pampering Palestinians - Trump tells them the truth
Netnayahu says there is no country in the Mideast that does as much as Israel to protect Europe from the spread of ISIS

3. While we were all distracted by Jerusalem, Gaza’s already-delayed transfer of power from Hamas to the PA has hit “obstacles,” tsk.

4. NBC News Host Tweets Support for the End of Israel: How can Ayman Mohyeldin be trusted at all to report fairly after demonstrating his anti-Israel bias on Twitter?

Israel and the Palestinians
• Whether or not you agree with West Bank settlement activity, the derogatory word colonizing states that Jews are not native to the region. This Irish Times headline and report by Lara Marlowe directly attacks indigenous Jewish status.

Irish Times colonisation

• Foreign Policy: The Trump administration blindsided Palestinian leaders by failing to mention the impending Jerusalem recognition ahead of the president’s announcement.

• The Jerusalem Post takes a closer look at what’s known about the IDF’s tunnel-busting technology.

• Either Jerusalem Post copy editors were asleep at the wheel, or another country is laying a claim on Jerusalem.


Around the World
• Meet Mateusz Morawiecki, the Christian with Jewish roots is slated to become Poland’s new prime minister.

• French PM: Anti-Semitism in France has deep roots and ‘new masks.’

• Anti-Semitism has no place in Germany, minister says after an Israeli flag was burned in Berlin. I’m glad Reuters noted this vestige of common sense in Europe. It’s very much in-line with the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which Germany adopted in September.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Bild that while criticism of Trump’s decision was understandable, people had no right or reason to burn the Israeli flag, stir up hatred against Jews or question Israel’s right to exist.

On a related note, CTV News Vancouver reports that “Pro-Israel Jewish activists are crying foul after a likeness of an Israeli flag was lit on fire in Vancouver Saturday at a pro-Palestinian demonstration, but rally organizers say it was an expression of legitimate anger toward Israel.”


• More anti-Semitic, white supremacist flyers found on Princeton campus.

• Anti-Israel activists at Columbia U. fail to condemn Hamas for executing gay Palestinian.

• Rutgers U. isolates but does not fire professor for anti-Semitic social media posts. If he’s not working with students or faculty, what exactly is Professor Michael Chikindas being paid to do?

In a letter sent to faculty Friday morning, University President Robert Barchi and Chancellor Debasish Dutta announced that professor Michael Chikindas, who is a tenured, will be removed from teaching required courses so that students will not have to study with him.

Chikindas will also be ousted as director of the Center for Digestive Health at the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, to allow employees to avoid working for him, Barchi and Dutta wrote, and he will be required to go through a cultural sensitivity program.

Jerusalem• The tsunami of Jerusalem commentary is receding . . .

– Anshel Pfeffer: Three reasons we’re not seeing a 3rd intifada
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Nothing to be happy about, nothing to get killed over
– Fiamma Nirenstein: Europe, be a fair friend
– David Sharma: Trump’s Jerusalem move could help revive peace prospects
– Conrad Black: The Palestinians should take what they can get while they can
– Moshe Arens: Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a well-known fact
– Jennifer Oriel: Trump’s support for a two-state solution is being ignored
– Ralph Peters: Why the ‘Arab street’ didn’t just explode
– Emma Green: Trump did not bring Jerusalem crashing down
– Fareed Zakaria: Trump’s Jerusalem decision isn’t diplomacy. It’s pandering.
– Christian Science Monitor (staff-ed): If not the US, then who as Mideast mediator?
– The Australian (staff-ed): Middle East landscape evolves

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

– Amos Harel: Israel’s tunnel-busting breakthrough is robbing Hamas of its strategic weapon
– Douglas Murray: Are racist chants now acceptable on the British left?
– Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: In Sweden, protesters shout anti-Semitism
– Giulio Meotti: Islamist regimes take over UNESCO

Featured image: CC0 Pixabay/USA-Reiseblogger Putin via Kremlin; Jerusalem CC BY-SA Dan;

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