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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

From Ian:

What Ireland's Boycott Bill Means For Israel
Fiamma Nirenstein, a former member of the Italian parliament and currently a Fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, considers the boycott movement more of a threat due to what she defines as troublesome constituent elements. "On the one hand, BDS is viewed as a way of attacking Israel without being accused of extremism, so in this sense it is a great invention by the Palestinians. On the other hand," she expounded to The Media Line, "the program is connected to the worst anti-Semitic organizations, including terrorist ones."

Nirenstein further highlighted the danger associated with the potential blurring of boundaries. "Boycotting commerce outside of the [1967 borders] interferes with business conducted inside of them, including banking, insurance, etc... So there is a fine line between calling for a boycott of products in [the territories] and advocating for a [blanket] ban of the Jewish state."

As regards the EU, specifically, she considers the body the "mother of the BDS, as it is globalist, anti-religious and totally devoted to the idea of peace whatever the cost may be. By contrast, Israel is a nation-state with religions undertones that must constantly defend itself and Europe cannot forgive that. I do not think that Israel can do anything to change this attitude."

Somewhat paradoxically, though, the law itself is a critical barrier to the implementation of European boycotts on Israeli goods. As noted by numerous economists, should the Irish bill be passed, U.S. companies, for example, might be forced to end their operations in Ireland as American firms are legally prohibited from participating in foreign economic bans not sanctioned by Washington. Such an eventuality would, in turn, render an estimated 150,000 people in Ireland jobless. And the same holds true across the continent, the potential negative ramifications of which have been made evident by ongoing European efforts to negotiate around renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Aside from the legal, economic and moral implications, there is also the long-touted political norm against taking action that could "pre-judge" the outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Increasingly, European countries seem to comprehend that applying uni-directional pressure on Israel is not a recipe for peace, but, rather, serves to push both sides further away from the negotiating table.

Indeed, critics of BDS the movement note its overall limited realization of its raison d'etre to damage the Jewish state diplomatically and financially. Nevertheless, most analysts agree that cases such as the Irish Senate legislation require a fervent Israeli defense, if not measured offensive. Such instances are, in the eyes of Jerusalem and its proponents, more than much ado about nothing, even if the economic sky is not liable to fall.
Ireland, Boycotts, and Israeli ‘Settlement’ Products
Ireland did not extend recognition to Israel until 1963 and did not establish an embassy in Tel Aviv until 1996. Furthermore, Ireland was one of the first European countries to call for a Palestinian state in 1980 and has persistently focused on the Palestinian refugee issue.

Today, despite its subordinate position within the European Union to such larger powers as France and Germany, Ireland has played an outsized role as a voice on matters concerning Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last year, the Irish parliament passed a symbolic resolution calling on the EU government to recognize Palestinian statehood. Ireland was also the first European country to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization. At the same time, the BDS movement in Ireland is viewed by many as extremely powerful.

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which has been at the forefront of anti-Israel sentiment in Ireland, led to Israel banning some 20 activists associated with the Dublin-based group from entering the Jewish state as part of a “blacklist” targeting anti-Israel BDS groups.

As such, Kittrie believes that Israel needs to do a better job improving the country’s image in Ireland.

“Israel has a good story to tell. It needs to do a far better job of telling it to the Irish people,” he said.

“Watching the debate in the Irish Senate, one would think that the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians is entirely the fault of Israel. That is just not correct. I think education has a big role to play in improving relations between Ireland and Israel.”

EU: Israel spreads ‘disinformation’ by alleging we fund terror-tied BDS efforts
The European Union is pushing back after an Israeli minister accused Brussels of funding boycotts and even terrorism against Israel.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini recently complained to Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, saying a report from his ministry was spreading disinformation in a report accusing the EU of funding anti-Israel groups with ties to terrorists.

EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret also rebuffed the suggestion Tuesday.

“The idea that the EU could support terrorism is entirely unfounded,” he told The Times of Israel on Tuesday. “We’re very determined in our fight against terrorism and remain opposed to the isolation of Israel or the questioning of its legitimacy. That’s why we don’t fund any BDS activity.”

He added that the EU was open to hearing “issues of concern” from Israel.

Mogherini sent a letter on July 5 to Erdan responding to a May report from his ministry that alleged that the EU funds nonprofit groups that campaign for boycotts of Israel or have ties to terror groups.
Knesset passes law barring 'anti-IDF' groups from schools
Education Minister Bennett: If Breaking the Silence wants to change things, it should act at home, not abroad • Breaking the Silence: The law proves how much Bennett fears his own ideology • Delegitimizing groups should be outlawed, right-wing forum says.

The Knesset on Monday passed a legislative proposal designed to keep out of schools nongovernmental organizations that advocate against the Israeli military. The bill passed its second and third readings with a vote of 43 in favor to 23 against.

The law, sponsored by Habayit Hayehudi MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli, was dubbed the "Breaking the Silence bill" for a controversial advocacy group dedicated to exposing alleged wrongdoings by the IDF. The group has been excoriated numerous times for encouraging legal action against Israeli soldiers, an allegation its leaders deny.

The legislation expands Section 2 of the Public Education Law and states that public education will teach Israeli youth about performing a meaningful role in the IDF or in national service.

The bill also grants the education minister the power to establish guidelines that will prevent organizations from outside the school system from activity in public schools if their work contradicts the goals and values of the public education system.



Isi Leibler: The perils facing Anglo Jewry
Over 10 years ago, I warned that the Anglo-Jewish leadership's passivity would lead to disastrous political consequences and negatively impact the younger generation.

I described Anglo-Jewish leaders as "trembling Israelites, whose uppermost objective was to lie low and avoid rocking the boat." The policy for confronting anti-Israel or anti-Semitic adversaries was summed up by then-President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Henry Grunwald as the "softly softly" approach – attempting to resolve problems by silent intercessions.

The prevailing tendency of the leadership was to ignore the fierce waves of anti-Semitism and hostility from both Muslim immigrants and the Left. When the Muslim leadership called for the abolition of Holocaust Memorial Day, the Board of Deputies responded apologetically.

When London Mayor Ken Livingstone ranted his anti-Israel and anti-Semitic utterances, the Jewish leadership ignored him.

To enhance their social acceptability some Jewish leaders publicly condemned Israel, most noteworthy of whom was Sir Mick Davis, then chairman of United Jewish Israel Appeal, who proclaimed that Israel was in danger of becoming an "apartheid" state.

In 2006, Melanie Phillips wrote "Londonistan," predicting the growth of Islam in Britain and the consequent dangers. She was immediately assailed by the Jewish leadership as an extremist. Yet, within the decade, her prophecies were not only realized but considered understated.
Ocasio-Cortez Gets Hammered After Anti-Israel Remarks, Admitting Ignorance
Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has received intense backlash after an interview with PBS in which she made comments with anti-Semitic undertones that prompted even left-leaning pundits to express embarrassment over her remarks.

In an interview on PBS's "Firing Line" with host Margaret Hoover, Ocasio-Cortez called Israel the "occupiers" of Palestine and then fumbled over her words when pressed to explain herself.

After an stumbling attempt to explain her answer, the economics and international relations major eventually conceded that she did not know what she was talking about, saying that she was not "an expert."

Still, the backlash that she faced online was overwhelming and brutal, with tens of thousands of people responding to Ocasio-Cortez's disastrous interview.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Backs off Support for Two-State Solution After Only Three Days
The upstart New York politician and self-described democratic socialist has a history of being critical of Israel, tweeting during her campaign that the killing of Palestinians at mass border protests by Israeli security forces was "a massacre."

But during a Friday interview on PBS' "Firing Line" Friday, Ocasio-Cortez gave a more nuanced answer when asked her views on the Jewish state. "Well, I believe absolutely in Israel’s right to exist. I am a proponent of a two-state solution. And for me, it’s not — this is not a referendum on the state of Israel," she said.

Ocasio-Cortez walked back her use of the terms "massacre" and "occupation." "I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue," she laughed. "I am a firm believer in finding a two-state solution on this issue, and I'm happy to sit down with leaders on both of these…"

But when Ocasio-Cortez interviewed with the left-wing Democracy Now! on Monday, she was singing a different tune, now declining to say she supported the two-state solution.

"Are you still for a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine?" asked host Amy Goodman.

"You know, I think this is a conversation that I'm engaging with with activists right now," she responded. "Because this is a huge– especially over this weekend. This is a conversation that I'm sitting down with lots of activists in this movement on, and I'm looking forward to engaging in this conversation."

Ocasio-Cortez became the Democratic congressional nominee in New York's 14th Congressional District after defeating incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in last month's primary.
NY Dem Assemblyman Rips Dems For Supporting Ocasio-Cortez
On Tuesday, New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) slammed Democratic Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her recent comments regarding Israel in which she called Israel an occupation force over Palestinian territories.

Hikind snapped, “What’s incredible isn’t that liberal, knee-jerk reactions and misinformation can come from an inexperienced candidate like Ocasio-Cortez — it’s that experienced, informed Democrats do nothing and let it pass! Where are the leaders of the Democratic Party on this? Where are New York Democrats? Scapegoating the Jewish State, which is under constant attack, is now acceptable?

Hikind continued, “The head of the Democratic Party has called Ocasio-Cortez the future of our party. Considering this statement of hers, that’s a frightening thought! I call on my fellow Democrats to address her outrageous comments! Your silence is deafening.”
Anti-Facebook Group Takes Anti-Semitic Signs to Congress
The recently launched Freedom from Facebook coalition, which includes anti-Israel groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and Linda Sarsour's MPower Change as members, showcased signs portraying two top Jewish Facebook officials as an octopus with its tentacles across a globe, an anti-Semitic trope used by the likes of Nazi Germany to push conspiracies of Jewish control.

Freedom from Facebook members showcased the signs showing Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg as an octopus in the opening moments of Facebook executive Monika Bickert's testimony to the Judiciary Committee. The signs could be seen clearly in C-SPAN's broadcast, though the protesters were quickly told to put away the signs and removed from the hearing.

A clearer image of the sign was posted shortly after they were displayed at the hearing by Eddie Vale, a communications representative for Freedom from Facebook.

The portrayal of Jews with tentacles over the globe is nothing new and has in fact already been used against Facebook's Zuckerberg by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which eventually apologized for publishing it.

Vale, who told the Washington Free Beacon he himself designed the signs, said any notion that his cartoon is anti-Semitic is "silly." He said his intention was to play off a cartoon critical of Standard Oil, which also includes an octopus.

Dozens of British rabbis call out Labor Party for antisemitism definition
Sixty-eight British rabbis signed an open letter decrying antisemitism in the country’s labor Party and calling on the party to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

In a rare united position, rabbis ranging from ultra-progressive to haredi Orthodox signed on to the letter.

Labor’s national executive committee is set to meet Tuesday to approve the party’s new code of conduct, which will include a softened version of the alliance’s definition of antisemitism. labor’s definition omits at least four points featured in the original one, including accusing Jews of “being more loyal to Israel” than their own country; claiming that Israel’s existence is a “racist endeavor”; applying a “double standard” on Israel; and comparing “contemporary Israeli policy” to that of the Nazis.

“The labor party’s leadership has chosen to ignore those who understand antisemitism the best, the Jewish community,” the rabbis said in their letter, which was published in The Guardian. “By claiming to know what’s good for our community, the labor party’s leadership have chosen to act in the most insulting and arrogant way.”

The Guardian reported that legal advice given to the labor Party by the Jewish labor Movement ahead of Tuesday’s meeting warns that the new definition of antisemitism could violate the Equality Act in Britain.

The advice, according to the Guardian, says that in crafting the new definition, labor has ignored the so-called Macpherson principle – that a racist incident is one perceived to be racist by the victim – and therefore when it comes to antisemitism, Jews are being treated less favorably than other groups.

A labor spokesman told the newspaper that is “entirely untrue” that the party’s code of conduct is not fully in line with the Macpherson principles.
UK Chief Rabbi: Labour guidelines show 'unprecedented contempt' for Jews
The UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirivis strongly criticized the Labour party Monday for failing to adopt in full antisemitism guidelines set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, saying its omission of critical clauses constitutes an “unprecedented message of contempt to the Jewish community.”

Mirvis wrote his letter to the Labour National Executive Committee on Monday, but the body nevertheless adopted its own, heavily criticized guidelines regarding antisemitic behavior on Tuesday afternoon, although reportedly left room to “re-open” discussions on the code of conduct with the Jewish community.

Labour’s new guidelines are based on the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism, but exclude several of key clauses, including one which stipulates that accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations, is antisemitic.

Another clause omitted in Labour’s guidelines is that is antisemitic to apply a double standard by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

In his letter to the NEC, Mirvis urged it to adopt the IHRA guidelines in full, noting that they have been adopted by the UK government, Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament and 120 local municipal authorities, as well as the Jewish community.
Chris Williamson Tries to Stop Jewish Labour MPs' Anti-Semitism Motion
At last night’s PLP meeting, Labour MPs passed a motion calling on the party to adopt the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism. Before the vote, Chris Williamson raised a point of order attempting to stop two Jewish Labour MPs from moving their motion, to the fury of his colleagues. Peak Chris Williamson.

Meanwhile away from the meeting, 68 rabbis took the unprecedented step of signing a letter calling on Labour to adopt the full IHRA definition. In an extraordinary intervention from a broad spectrum across the Jewish community, they wrote:

“antisemitism within sections of the Labour party has become so severe and widespread that we must speak out with one Jewish voice. The Labour party’s leadership has chosen to ignore those who understand antisemitism the best, the Jewish community. By claiming to know what’s good for our community, the Labour party’s leadership have chosen to act in the most insulting and arrogant way.”

Still Labour moderates do nothing about this other than send a few tweets. Once again the Tory shambles letting Labour get away with this…
NGO Monitor: NGO Involvement in the 2018 Gaza Flotilla
On July 19, 2018, the Freedom Flotilla, comprising four boats, will set sail from Italy with the aim of “end[ing] the siege” of Gaza and “demand[ing] an end to our governments’ complicity with Israel’s war crimes and violation of human rights.”

The Freedom Flotilla partners with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP, a terrorist organization designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.” According to the Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin, UAWC “was established by the PFLP; is controlled by senior PFLP operatives; makes its assets available to the PFLP; and acts in coordination with and to advance the interests of the PFLP (including active involvement in PFLP political activity).”

Many of the passengers aboard the flotilla have connections to highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including Medical Aid for Palestinians, Israel Social TV, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Health Work Committees, and CODEPINK.
NGO Monitor: Analysis of NIF 2017 Funding for 30 Political Advocacy NGOs
NGO Monitor has analyzed the NIF’s 2017 financial reports (latest available), detailing grants to a wide variety of Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This analysis focuses specifically on 20% of the NIF’s funding that is distributed to 30 political advocacy NGOs claiming to promote human rights.

In analyzing NIF’s financial documents, NGO Monitor found that:
- 2017 expenses were $31 million, approximately the same as in 2016. Total revenue was $29 million, a 3.5% increase from 2016 ($28 million).
- Total authorized grants to all NGOs was approximately $13.6 million in 2017, approximately the same as in 2016 (See Table 1).
- The amounts listed in the annual financial statements comprise both “core grants” made directly by the NIF and “donor advised” grants. NIF details the division between these two funding formats in a separate online report.
NGO Monitor: Written Submission of NGO Monitor to the 70th Session of the CEDAW Committee for its review of “State of Palestine”
NGO Monitor1 presents this submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (“Committee”) at its 70th session regarding its review of “State of Palestine” and its compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”), to which it purported to accede in April 2014.

Under CEDAW, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is required to “condemn discrimination against women in all its forms” and to “agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women” (Art. 2); to “ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men” (Art. 3); to “(b) participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government” and to “participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country” (Art. 7); to “take all appropriate measures to ensure to women, on equal terms with men and without any discrimination, the opportunity to represent their Governments at the international level and to participate in the work of international organizations” (Art. 8); to “ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education” (Art. 10); to “accord to women equality with men before the law” (Art. 15); and to “eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations” (Art. 16).

Yet, the PA is currently not fulfilling these obligations, as indicated in its own submission to the Committee. Personal status laws discriminate against women in matters of marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. Repressive cultural practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, polygamy, and “honor” crimes are endemic. Coupled with unsatisfactory educational and employment opportunities, the laws and customs create an environment where there is both entrenched de jure and de facto discrimination. In addition to legal and cultural discrimination, the PA exploits women and girls to carry out and incite acts of terrorism against civilians. The PA promotes female terrorists as national role models for young girls, enabling a culture of violence, in direct opposition to the principles of CEDAW. The PA also supports so-called “civil” society organizations that promote the exploitation of women for nationalism and violence, denying women the ability to access legitimate organizations that might aid them in achieving equality and prosperity.
Westmont Scholar’s Depiction of Settlers As Repugnant Other Hinders Peace
Apparently, it’s an occupational hazard for Christian Bible scholars to think ill of Israel and its Jewish citizens. This tendency doesn’t afflict every Christian scholar of the Bible, but the fact is, some of the people who should be most committed to preaching a Biblical message of love and forbearance have a difficult — if not impossible — time offering much consideration to Israeli Jews. Some of these scholars say and write hateful falsehoods about Israeli Jews who attempt to defend themselves from hostile attacks from their Palestinian neighbors, many of whom are motivated by an virulent antisemitism rooted in the Koran and Islamic doctrine.

New Testament scholars in particular are vulnerable to the temptation of casting modern day Jews into the frame of Jewish and Roman villainy laid out in the Gospels. By using these frames to interpret the conflict, these Christian scholars do not promote love or peace, but instead broadcast a contemptuous and hateful commentary on the Israel-Palestinian conflict that demonizes Israelis and gives Palestinians a pass.

This scripturally-rooted narrative of Jewish villainy offered by Christian scholars like Naim Ateek, Walter Brueggeman and Gary Burge has helped pave the way for a resurgence of antisemitism in the Western church. This narrative has engendered indifference to the suffering Israelis have endured over the past several decades and given license to Palestinian violence and hostility against the Jewish people.

It is as if the early church fathers who sought to destroy the prestige of the Jewish people in order to promote the ascendancy of Christianity have come alive again in the 21st century to work their evil against the Jewish state.
The Use of Labels in NY Times Advocacy Reporting
The recent, months-long campaign of Palestinian arson attacks is described by Middle East-based scholar and Gatestone Institute contributor Bassam Tawil as “a well-organized campaign of terror orchestrated by terrorists and activists belonging to Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.” They “formed a terror cell called the ‘Kites Unit’ similar to the gangs that fire mortars and rockets at Israel,” Tawil says, and their goal is to “kill as many Jews as possible and bring about the obliteration of Israel.” He explains that this is part of a global “jihad (holy war) against the enemies of Allah and Islam.”

“Ingenious” and “exasperating” are hardly the terms that come to mind to describe this terror campaign that has burnt down thousands of acres of farmland, woodland, and fields in Israel, scorching its wildlife and releasing toxic fumes on its human inhabitants. The first term carries the positive connotation of resourcefulness and brilliance while the second suggests a mere annoyance, minimizing the disastrous impact of these actions on plant and animal life and their injurious effect on human life.

Yet these are precisely the words chosen by New York Times correspondent David Halbfinger to describe the Palestinian arson campaign. In a July 9th article faulting Israel’s “punitive” response to kite terrorism for “chok[ing] off” Gaza’s “economic vitality,” Halbfinger referred to the Hamas-initiated campaign as “an ingenious and, for Israel, exasperating tactic.”
What Happened to Sacha Baron Cohen?
It was an intermittently amusing segment. It also placed Baron Cohen in the shallow waters waded by the likes of John Oliver, Michelle Wolf, and the other TV hacks who confuse outrage for insight and who select their targets from a very, very short list of preapproved bugbears.

Now, look: I’m a lifelong gun-rights advocate—I wasn’t much older than 4 when I squeezed my first trigger—and I will readily admit that our camp—to the extent that you can call it that—has its share of crazies. Every political persuasion does, without exception, which is what happens when a host of passionate people get together to pursue a cause. But I would expect a satirist of Baron Cohen’s caliber to transcend the preposterous and try a little bit harder. Why not, say, visit Chicago and ask the good people there how they explain why—given that Illinois is one of only seven states in the nation to require a permit to buy any firearm and one of only five states to enforce a waiting period before receiving said firearm, and given that Cook County enforces an assault weapons ban—the city’s gun violence rates keep climbing to grizzly new heights?

The answer would deliver fresh insights, but it would also open up the conversation to the possibility that there are irrational people promoting emotionally satisfying but practically useless proposals on both sides of the conversation. And that simple, basic, all-too-human realization—the sort, by the way, that had once made Borat such a keen observer of American culture—is no longer permissible here.

Who Is America? is not a question asked in a vacuum. It’s posed in a moment in time when the guardians of our cultural institutions have decreed that actors aren’t free to act as they please lest their choice of roles offend someone’s sensibilities. It’s posed when editors at large publications propose that committees for public safety gather to ascertain what’s fit to print and what’s just ideologically transgressive. It’s posed when free speech is considered by many a menace rather than a foundational right. A benighted moment like this calls for a great comic to parse the folly and show us the sad state of our union. Instead, we got another feckless clown telling the same tired talking points to the ever-shrinking audience that’s willing to listen. Come back, Borat Sagdiyev; our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Some American Jews uneasy over Baron Cohen duping supporters of Israel
Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and he is taking aim at a strain of “pro-Israel” thought that has both delighted and unsettled many American Jews: the unconditional love engendered by the country among deeply conservative Americans.

In “Who is America?,” a show that made its debut Sunday night on Showtime, the British Jewish comic returns with the shtick that made him famous — disguising himself in order to prank the famous and not-so-famous.

Having created Borat (a dimwitted Kazakh journalist) and Ali G (a dimwitted hip-hop journalist), Cohen now rolls out Israeli Col. Erran Morad, a purported terrorism expert. In Sunday’s show, Cohen as Morad dupes a few current and recent politicians, as well as gun rights activists, into supporting a fictitious initiative to arm toddlers.

The gun rights activists, Philip Van Cleave and Larry Pratt, endorse Morad’s “Kinderguardian” program. So do Trent Lott, the former senator from Mississippi; Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Joe Wilson, R-SC; and a former Rep., Joe Walsh, R-Ill. (Van Cleave stars in a Barney-like instructional video in which he sings a variant of “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”: “Aim at the head, shoulders, not the toes, not the toes.”)
CNN Commentator Celebrates Birthday Of Cop-Killer
On Monday, CNN contributor and Temple University professor Marc Lamont-Hill decided he wanted to celebrate the birthday of an accused cop-killer.

And the full quote on Instagram:
Thinking about Assata Shakur on her 71st birthday. She wrote the second book that changed (and saved) my life. She taught me about the value and power of Freedom Dreams. She showed me the beauty of struggle. And she proved that "a wall is just a wall. and nothing more at all. It can be broken down." I pray for her continued safety and protection. I continue to work to demonstrate her innocence. And I implore the State to stop prosecuting an unjust and unfair campaign against one of our most treasured Freedom Fighters. Thank you Mama Assata. Wishing you 100 more ears! #palenquequeen#handsoffassata #freeallpoliticalprisoners#everysingleone

For those who don’t know Shakur’s history: her birth name was JoAnne Deborah Byron. She married when she was almost 20; her husband for that year was Louis Chesimard so she became Joanne Chesimard. She began using the name Assata Olugbala Shakur in 1971, rejecting Joanne Chesimard as a "slave name."

In the early 1970's, she joined the Black Liberation Army, an offshoot of the Black Panthers. The Black Liberation Army attempted an armed struggle against the U.S. government by robbing banks and killing police officers and drug dealers.
Judge: Jewish heritage can be basis for race discrimination
Jewish people are protected by a law against racial discrimination in employment decisions, a federal magistrate judge has concluded in siding with a football coach suing a private Baptist college in Louisiana.

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

“Modern sociologists and anthropologists, especially with advancements in DNA studies, debate whether Judaism is a people, a religion, or both. There is no doubt, however, that many people have and continue to view being Jewish as a racial identity,” Hornsby wrote.

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

The magistrate recommends allowing Bonandona to continue pursuing his claim that the Pineville college racially discriminated against him because of his Jewish heritage.
Jewish professor describes being beaten by a Palestinian and German police
According to Melamed, he was wearing a kippah when a self-identified Palestinian man asked if he was Jewish and then proceeded to follow him, shouting things like “I f*** Jews. I f*** Jews” and “No Jews in Germany.”

He then threw Melamed’s kippah to the ground three times and pushed him three times. In response, Melamed said he tried to kick the man in the groin twice, but missed both times.

The attacker fled after hearing a police siren. Melamed wrote that two police officers ran past the attacker and tackled him instead, then two or three other policemen helped pin him to the ground and handcuffed him. He said police punched him in the face several dozen times, bloodying him and breaking his glasses.

“I didn’t have much time to wonder, as almost immediately four or five policemen with heavy guard jumped over me (two from the front, and two or three from the back),” Melamed wrote. “They pushed my head into the ground, and then while I was totally incapacitated and barely able to breath[e] not to mention move a finger, they started punching my face. After a few dozen punches, I started shouting in English that I was the wrong person.”

A police officer then suggested that Melamed provoked the beating, Melamed wrote. He responded by describing his ancestors’ deaths in the Holocaust.

“Then the same policemen shouted at me in a didactic tone (in English): ‘Don’t get in trouble with the German Police!’” Melamed wrote. “This was more than enough. I told the policeman sardonically, ‘I am no longer afraid of the German police. The German police murdered my grandfather. They murdered my grandmother. They murdered my uncle, and they murdered my aunt. All in one day in September 1942. So, alas, I am not afraid of them anymore.’”

After being taken to the police station, Melamed wrote that police did not tend to his wounds and repeatedly tried to dissuade him from filing a complaint against them — including by suggesting that he attacked the police first, and by threatening to accuse him of resisting arrest. Eventually, he was taken to another office, where he filed a complaint.
Group of men attacks German Jew wearing Israeli pin and kippa
A large group of men attacked a 17-year-old German Jew who wore an Israeli pin and kippah on Friday night in what the police believe was an antisemitic attack.

Media in the German city of Dusseldorf reported that some 10 men of “North African or Mediterranean” appearance pushed the young Jewish man, causing painful injuries.

The men also insulted the youth, whose name was not published in German media reports. According to the police, the suspects are between the ages of 18 and 23. Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted in response to The Jerusalem Post story: “Those are not just separate and distinct events. It’s a pattern, a pattern of antisemitic attacks by Muslim migrants against the members of the Jewish community, just because they are Jewish. It is unacceptable anywhere, and doubly so in Germany.”

Michael Szentei-Heise,the executive director of the Jewish community in Dusseldorf, told the WAZ daily newspaper that the attack showed, “For the safety of Jewish citizens in Germany it is catastrophic.”
California GOP Condemns Anti-Semitic Candidate's Robocalls About 'Jews Taking Over The World'
On Tuesday, voters in California’s Bay Area began receiving anti-Semitic robocalls declaring that the "Jews are taking over the world and must be stopped." The calls promoted John Fitzgerald, a former Democratic 2010 candidate who flipped to Republican in 2012 and who is the only Republican challenger to incumbent Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord.

Road to Power, a white-nationalist, neo-Nazi organization headed by Scott Rhodes, is rumored to be the culprit of these robocalls. Road to Power also sent out robocalls on behalf of Patrick Little, an anti-Semite who ran for Feinstein’s Senate seat (luckily, Little failed miserably and only secured one percent of the vote in the June primary).

Fitzgerald called the robocalls a "smear against my campaign."

"I do not, never have and never will hate or degrade any ethnic group solely based on their ethnic identity," he said in a statement on his campaign website. "I question Road To Power’s true motives and funding along with the news agencies who are falsely characterizing and smearing me as a person of 'hate' and as an 'anti-Semite' by associating me to the robocall."
Poland honors satirist who said Jews create antisemitism
A Polish satirist who in 2016 made anti-Semitic jokes on television and later accused Jews of fomenting hatred against themselves was awarded his country’s highest distinction for artists.

Ryszard Makowski, 62, was awarded the Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture on Thursday along with 20 others by Culture Minister Piotr Gliński in Warsaw, the w Polityce news website reported. Makowski won the bronze medal, the lowest of three categories in the distinction awarded annually to artists by the ministry.

“It is an expression of thanks by Poland for your creativity and for your commitment, for your talent – that is always augmented with work, perseverance, creative courage,” Gliński said in presenting the award.

In 2016, B’nai B’rith Poland protested Makowski’s performance on the public broadcaster TVP3 over a song with words saying that dishonest banking practices have been around for as long as “tsimmes and gescheft” – Yiddish words that mean a sweet carrot stew and business, respectively. The song also references the Rothschild Jewish family.

In March, Makowski wrote in w Polityce about the protest by Israel and Jewish organizations against a law that criminalized blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes. The law was amended last month.

“One may suspect that this ostentatious struggle of Jewish circles,” he wrote, “is aimed at sparking up anti-Semitic moods.”
Salesforce buys Israeli marketing analytics firm Datorama for $850M
U.S. sales and marketing software giant Salesforce ‎announced Monday that is has signed an agreement to ‎acquire Datorama, which develops cloud-based artificial intelligence-powered marketing analytics software.

Israeli media reported the deal was worth some ‎‎$850 million, but neither company would confirm the ‎details.‎

Salesforce has been a key beneficiary of so-called ‎digital transformations, a growing trend in which ‎companies move their operations onto lower cost ‎cloud-based services that offer more scalability.‎

Founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Ran Sarig and Efi ‎Cohen and advertising executive Katrin Ribant, ‎Datorama has more than 3,000 international ‎customers, including PepsiCo, Ticketmaster, Trivago, ‎Unilever, Pernod, GoDaddy, L'Oréal, ‎Ricard and Foursquare, to name a few.‎

The Tel Aviv-based firm has 17 offices worldwide and ‎employs 400 people. It is expected to remain ‎headquartered in Israel, where it will operate as a ‎Salesforce research and development unit.‎
Israel’s Evogene to develop insect-resistant cotton with Brazilian seed-grower
Israel’s Evogene Ltd., a plant genomics company that uses gene modification to improve crop quality and productivity, has reached an accord with Brazil’s Instituto Mato-grossense do Algodão (IMAmt), a developer and marketer of cotton seeds, to work together on the development of insect-resistant seeds.

As part of the accord, Evogene will identify genes that are effective against the cotton boll weevil and the fall armyworm, Evogene said in a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Tuesday. IMAmt will validate the findings in its lab, and if they are found to be correct, the parties will enter negotiations for a commercial license agreement, the statement said.

Cotton is among the most significant commodity crops. Global production is estimated at $30 billion, with Brazil being the fourth-largest producer of cotton in the world, the filing said.

The cotton boll weevil and the fall armyworm are among the most devastating pests threatening the cotton industry. It is estimated that the former, which feeds on cottons buds and flowers, inflicts annual costs of $468 million in Brazil alone, with insecticides being only marginally effective.
Israeli NGO Establishes Mobile Dental Clinic for Refugee Camp in Kenya
Israeli humanitarian aid organization IsraAID set up a mobile dental clinic for one week in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, home to over 190,000 refugees from across the region, the majority escaping violence and instability in neighboring South Sudan.

Staffed by volunteer dentists from Bloom Dental Group, a San Francisco Bay Area dental practice, and IsraAID volunteers, the mobile clinic provided a range of treatments from routine check-ups to surgical procedures.

The four-person dental team, led by Israeli-American Dr. Lior Tamir, arrived on July 2 to Kakuma Refugee Camp to begin treating thousands of refugees.

Also arriving at the camp were more than $26,000 in oral healthcare supplies and products donated by global distributor Henry Schein. The clinic is supported by the Koret Foundation.

“For many of the refugees it will be the first time in their life that they are receiving dental treatment,” IsraAID co-CEO Yotam Polizer tells ISRAEL21c. “I think what’s unique about this program is that dental care is not something we usually think about when we think of humanitarian aid. We can really make thousands of people’s lives a lot better in a relatively simple operation.”

According to IsraAID, lack of access to adequate dental care and oral hygiene education is a major issue affecting the lives of refugees in Kakuma and around the world. As the number of displaced people around the world grows to more than 68 million, strain on dental and medical services for refugees is likely to grow.
‘You’re Given a Stick at Birth. You’re Buried With Your Stick.’
Tehoka Nanticoke scored the earliest goal he can remember when he was “3 or 4” years old, in a peanuts division game in Welland, Ontario. “I remember coming off the bench, getting the ball, coming across the crease—backhand,” he recalled on Friday night, a few minutes after the Iroquois Nationals had wrapped up their first and only practice of the World Lacrosse Championships at Netanya’s Wingate Institute. In Onondaga, Akwesasne, Six Nations and the other islands of Iroquois life remaining in the Northeast, young people are given sticks before they can even walk—Chase Scanlan, a rising freshman at Loyola and at 18 the youngest member on the team, told me he was playing full-floor box lacrosse from the age of 3. “There’s lots of magic in these sticks. The wooden ones anyway,” Iroquois general manager Scott Burnam explained just as that Friday night practice kicked off. “You’re given a stick at birth. You’re buried with your stick.”

In Iroquois communities, lacrosse is present at both the beginning and the absolute end of earthly consciousness, with the sport creating a through-line for the entirety of a person’s life. That’s how it’s been so far for Nanticoke, who grew up in Six Nations, Ontario and is now a 20-year-old rising sophomore at the University of Albany and perhaps the top underclassmen in NCAA lacrosse. He remembers the advice an older brother imparted during his peanuts days (again, the age of 4, roughly), in which his sibling “taught me to do what I had to do to get the ball in the net. I was doing backhands that young—I was doing everything. My first one-hand, between-the-legs-goal was in 2008. I was 10, it was against Burlington [Ontario], Kyle Hebert, the Stony Brook goalie. I remember it was on him.” This was meant as a description and not as a boast: I asked Nanticoke whether there was ever a moment in early youth when he realized he was a better player than everyone else around him. “I don’t go and look at myself like that,” he said.

On the field, Nanticoke is both fleet-footed and boulder-like. He’s cat burglar and battering ram, crashing through defenders and then salvoing shots before anyone on either team has adequately processed what’s happening. On the sidelines, he’s one of the few beacons of calm in a sport whose soundtrack is largely yelling based. Coaches and players scream in code: “HOT HOT HOT HOT! BALL BALL! BERMUDA PEACHES! Make ‘em roll back!” everyone bellowed at each other during a defensive drill on Friday night. The next day, moments before the opening face-off against England, Nanticoke poured baby powder down the entire length of his stick to reduce the feeling of recoil caused when the ball slams into its pocket. “Soft, soft,” he said, spinning the stick in his hands, “like you’re catching an egg every time.”



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Here is the introduction of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad video celebrating its monthly accomplishments.

Notice the kinds of things PIJ, and its Palestinian audience, is proud of. Stabbings, rockets, bus bombings, rockets.

Anyone who uses the words "Palestinian resistance" is referring to this, whether they realize it or not.

(Notice also that the animated bus that is exploded has the word "Israel" on it, but backwards.)





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From Ian:

The Israel Victory Project: “25 Years Since Oslo, Time for New Thinking”
Launched by the Middle East Forum in Fall 2016, the Israel Victory Project maintains that peace can only be reached when the Palestinians are forced to concede the futility of their century-long rejectionism and accept Israel’s right to exist. To advance this goal, the Forum created an Israel Victory Caucus in both the U.S. Congress and the Knesset, as well as apprised key members of the Trump administration of the concept, in order to promote legislation and policies that will supplant the failed Oslo “peace process” with persistent pressure on the Palestinians to come to terms with Israel’s existence. Such measures can range from stopping financial support to the Palestinian Authority so long as it continues to pay lifetime allowances to families of killed and/or jailed terrorists, to ending the “Palestine refugee” farce, to harnessing the widest international backing behind Israel’s political stance and sustained military effort to defeat Palestinian terrorism.

Gregg Roman, director of the Middle East Forum, was interviewed by Land of Israel podcast host Eve Harrow on July 3rd’s Knesset meeting of the joint US-Israel program, the Israel Victory Caucus.


Palestinian rejectionism is two parts Palestinian, one part international community, and one part lack of Israeli strategy. Palestinian’s rejectionist Waqf-Fiqh mentality (“waqf” is the Islamic holy trust, and “fiqh” is Islamic legal doctrine), with its Islamic concept of never relinquishing lands that were once in Muslim hands, can be challenged by citing the precedent of the Balkans, and ancient Andalusia, now Spain, where Muslims gave up lands in 1492. The second rejectionist idea, “samud,” (steadfastness), encourages Palestinians to wait millenia, if need be, to defeat the Israelis, but Palestinians want to better their lives now and partake in the benefits of Israeli innovation. Third, the international community (and far left) indulge Palestinian “no’s” with donations that perpetuate the rejectionist cycle, but there are organizations working to separate monies for strictly humanitarian concerns apart from the political ones. Fourth and final is the Israeli security apparatus, fearing escalation or increased risk, which prefers keeping the status quo, instead of bringing about a resolution to the conflict on Israel’s terms.


Falcon found near Gaza with flammable material attached by string
A falcon was discovered near the Gaza border on Monday with strings attached that contained flammable material.

The falcon was found dead, hanging by the attached string from a burned tree near the Nahal Habesor riverbed.

It was not immediately clear if the bird was launched from Gaza to spark fires in Israel, as Gazans have done hundreds of time in recent weeks with kites and balloons, or if the predatory animal attempted to attack a balloon or kite carrying an incendiary device and became ensnared in its attached strings.

The falcon was found on a day when firefighters battled 15 separate fires started by Gazan kites and balloons in the border region.

Nature and Parks Authority officials who examined the bird said it wore a harness, suggesting it was a trained hunting bird, and strengthening speculation that it was deliberately sent to start fires, the Ynet news site reported.



Congress Wants Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights
Congress is renewing efforts to press the Trump administration into recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights region on Israel's northern border with Syria, bucking efforts by GOP leadership to kill the effort, according to conversations with lawmakers.

The House's National Security Subcommittee, led by chairman Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) will hold a hearing Tuesday to examine how recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the territory could bolster U.S. national security efforts to stem the flow of terrorists in the Jewish state and elsewhere in the region by giving the Jewish state unilateral control over the Syrian territory, where Iranian-backed fighters and other jihadists have been spotted since the start of a bloody civil war.

The push to have the Trump administration formally recognize Israel's sovereignty over the territory comes following a Monday afternoon press conference between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladamir Putin, where the two leaders discussed efforts to decrease tension in Syria.

When DeSantis and other Republicans pushed a congressional resolution recognizing Israeli control over the Golan Heights in May, it was nixed by GOP leadership who were seeking to prevent such a vote on the heels of the Trump administration's successful effort to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The resolution had won support from Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and others.
Dore Gold: Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty on the Golan Heights
Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Security, July 17, 2018.

U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights would constitute the fulfillment of a series of previous diplomatic assurances given to Israel by past administrations regarding the international status of Israel's position on that strategic plateau.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six-Day War, after years during which the Syrian armed forces positioned there bombarded Israel's farms and towns, situated roughly 1,700 feet below, with artillery fire. The Syrians also sought to divert the headwaters of the Jordan River that flowed through the Golan Heights.

President Gerald Ford wrote to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on September 1, 1975, that with respect to the Syrian front: "The US...will give great weight to Israel's position that any peace agreement be predicated on Israel's remaining on the Golan Heights."

In the context of preparations for the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, Secretary of State James Baker wrote a new letter of assurances to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, which included a clause reconfirming President Ford's 1975 written commitment to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. During the Clinton administration, Secretary of State Warren Christopher wrote a letter of assurances to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on September 19, 1996, committing the U.S. to the Ford Letter.

While Syrian ground forces were severely degraded in the recent civil war, the eventual recovery of the Syrian army must be anticipated. Massive Russian arms transfers to the Syrian armed forces will likely provide the basis for the renewal of Syrian military power.
A new focus of concern involves the role of Iran in converting Syria into a satellite state that will host Iranian forces and Shiite proxy militias, some of which have been integrated into the Syrian army in its campaign to take control of south Syria.
The moment of truth in Gaza
Winds of war have blown across the Gaza frontier, undoing the four years of relative quiet since Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Truth be told, both sides could find themselves mired in a war despite their lack of interest in one and despite the fact that both know they will end up in the same place after another round of fighting.

One factor pushing Hamas toward an escalation is, of course, its state of crisis; more specifically, the economic crisis afflicting the population in Gaza under its rule. Hamas has failed in its attempts to break the physical and diplomatic blockades imposed by Israel and Egypt along with other Arab countries.

Its hopes of securing financial aid for the Strip, without providing anything of substance in return, have been dashed. Consequently, the terrorist organization would rather charge into the unknown, in the assumption that anything, even a military skirmish or war, is preferable to the current dead-end – which could turn the population against it.

There are other reasons behind Hamas' completely illogical decision to play with fire. They apparently pertain to the sense within the terrorist group that it has convinced Israel it is prepared to go all the way, as it has nothing to lose. As a result, Israel has been careful not to pressure Hamas or to get entangled in a military conflict with it.
After Hamas: Why Israel Fears A Power Vacuum in Gaza
The Israeli military and Hamas have been in a stand-off for months, as the so-called “March of Return” protests along the Gaza Strip border morphed into ongoing incidents of kite arson which, in turn, has led to the familiar pattern of tit-for-tat exchanges of Palestinian rocket fire and retaliatory strikes by the Israeli air force. The unending tension heralded by frequent air raid sirens and palpable frustration at the seeming inability to stem the violence has the civilian population and its army demanding that its vastly stronger fighting force eliminate what it defines as a terrorist organization and what Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman calls a bunch of “cannibals.”

If the Israeli government decided to overthrow Hamas a power vacuum would necessarily emerge and it is uncertain which group would move in to fill it, according to security analysts who spoke to The Media Line. In such an eventuality, the fear is that an even greater foe or threat could fill the void. Moreover, according to this line of thought, if the Israel Defense Forces eliminated Hamas, Israel would lose an effective way of policing the Gaza Strip. Additionally, when organizations in the enclave attack Israel, the IDF holds Hamas accountable, a policy that forces Gaza’s rulers to rein in those actors.

Nevertheless, following Sunday’s strikes by the IDF of some 40 Hamas targets in Gaza, the question naturally arises: why does the government not immediately green-light the destruction of such terror infrastructure if it is aware of its existence?

“[It is] better for Hamas to have a command structure,” Dr. Eran Lerman, a faculty member at Shalem College and Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, told The Media Line. A retired IDF colonel, he contends that without this formal apparatus Israeli deterrence would be reduced as Hamas would have little to lose. Furthermore, without assets, it is possible that the terror group would quickly disintegrate or be overtaken by a competing entity that might be more anathema to Israel.
Hamas Fires 200 Rockets at Israel in Just 24 Hours
On Saturday, July 14, Hamas fired approximately 200 rockets and mortar shells at Israel from the Gaza Strip. Here are the events that took place this past weekend, from Hamas’ attacks to the IDF’s response.

Friday, July 13
Throughout the day, thousands of Palestinians violently rioted in several locations along the Gaza Strip. The rioters hurled grenades, explosive devices, firebombs, and burning tires towards the security fence and IDF troops. An IDF officer was injured and taken to a hospital when a grenade was hurled at him by terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip. IDF troops responded with riot dispersal means and fired towards the terrorists according to the rules of engagement.

During the violent riots, an attempt was made to breach the security fence and infiltrate Israel from the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF responded according to the rules of engagement in order to stop the infiltration.

Saturday morning, July 14
After three months of intense violence at the Gaza border, IAF fighter jets targeted a Hamas terror tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip in the southern Gaza Strip. In additional, a Hamas terror training facility and several terror sites where arson attacks are prepared were attacked.

Early Saturday morning, Hamas fired the first of many rockets and mortar shells at Israel. They continued during the day with more than 141 red alert signals in 15 hours. These projectiles hit an Israeli playground and synagogue as they were indiscriminately fired towards multiple cities. In response to the rockets, the IAF attacked another terror tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip.


IDF strikes Gaza terror cell launching incendiary balloons into Israel
An Israeli army drone struck a Palestinian cell launching incendiary balloons from the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon.

According to local reports in Gaza, two youth were injured in the strike near the city of Jabalya.

Earlier in the day, two incendiary balloons landed in schoolyards in southern Israel. The first, a condom with an arson device attached to it, landed in the yard of an empty elementary school in the Eshkol Regional Council and was neutralized by local security forces.

A second one landed in the yard of a kindergarten in a community in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. Although the schoolyard was full of students at the time there were no injuries and the device was also safely neutralized.

Tensions have risen significantly following a flare-up of violence over the weekend when Hamas launched 200 mortars and rockets into southern Israel and Israel retaliated by striking over 40 Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip.
Flaming balloon from Gaza lands in preschool near children at play
A balloon from Gaza carrying flaming materials landed in the yard of a preschool in an Israeli community near the border Tuesday as children played outside. A teacher managed to get the children inside and there were no injuries.

“We went out to the yard with the kids in the afternoon to play,” teacher Batsheva Baruchi told Channel 10 news. “After five minutes something burning and smoking fell on us from the sky. I immediately understood it was an incendiary balloon.”

Baruchi said she and other workers at the school in the Sdot Negev Regional Council herded the children into a safe room. “We were saved,” she said. “What if it had fallen next to one of the children?”

Police sappers were called to the scene. No damage was caused by the balloon.

While most kites and balloons flown into Israel in recent weeks have carried incendiary devices meant to burn Israeli fields and property, some have been attached to makeshift bombs.
Netanyahu tours IDF’s Gaza Division, says Israel ‘in a military campaign’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday toured the army’s Gaza Division following a violent flareup with the Gaza-based Hamas terror group over the weekend, declaring that Israel was in the midst of a “military campaign,”

“We are in a military campaign in which there have been exchanges of blows. I am prepared to say that the Israel Defense Forces is prepared for any scenario,” Netanyahu said.

Over the weekend, Hamas fired some 200 rockets and mortar shells at Israel and the IDF carried out multiple strikes inside the Palestinian enclave.

On Saturday night, a ceasefire of sorts was brokered by Egypt and other international bodies, though Israel was not directly involved in the talks. The violence has abated, but tensions endured and cross-border attacks continued.

Asked if Israel was working to prevent a military conflict with Hamas, Netanyahu defended the government’s actions.

“I believe that we are doing the right things. It would be worthwhile to pay attention not only to what we are saying, but to what we are doing,” he said.
Israel halts fuel deliveries to Gaza as arson terrorism flares up
The Defense Ministry on Monday announced it was ‎temporarily suspending the delivery of petroleum fuels and natural gas ‎to the Gaza Strip through the main cargo crossing ‎linking Israel with the coastal enclave. ‎

Last week, Israel imposed sanctions on Gaza ‎over ‎Hamas-backed arson terrorism and ‎ongoing border ‎riots, announcing the ‎closure of the Kerem ‎Shalom crossing to anything by humanitarian cases ‎and aid deliveries. ‎

Kerem Shalom is Gaza's only cargo terminal. The ‎‎coastal enclave has been under a maritime blockade ‎‎since 2007, when Hamas ousted the Fatah government ‎‎from Gaza in a military coup. Israel maintains that ‎the ‎blockade is vital to prevent Hamas from ‎smuggling ‎terrorists and weapons into Gaza. ‎

A Defense Ministry statement said Monday that the ‎delivery of fuel and gas will be suspended until next ‎Sunday, stressing the move will not impact the ‎deliveries of food and medical supplies. ‎

The ministry also said it would reduce the fishing ‎zone in southern Gaza to 3 nautical miles. ‎
Palestinian Authority calls on world to stop Israeli attacks on Gaza
The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday called on the international community to intervene to stop Israel from carrying out a military operation in the Gaza Strip.

The PA government, which held its weekly meeting in Ramallah, also repeated its call for providing “immediate and urgent international protection” for the Palestinians.

The PA, however, did not address the issue of the economic sanctions it has imposed on the Gaza Strip. The sanctions include, among other things, halting payment of salaries to thousands of PA employees and forcing thousands of others into early retirement, as well as suspending social welfare assistance to hundreds of families.

Hamas and other Palestinian factions have held the PA responsible for the continued “humanitarian and economic crisis” in the Gaza Strip.

Condemning what it called the “Israeli escalation and threats to launch an aggression on the Gaza Strip,” the PA said that residents of the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave were still suffering from the effects of three “brutal wars waged by Israel and which resulted in the martyrdom and wounding of thousands and the destruction of all aspects of life there.”

The PA also condemned what it termed the “silence” of the international community toward Israel’s “flagrant violation of international and humanitarian laws.” It claimed that Israel was perpetrating “crimes and racist measures against the defenseless Palestinian people.”
Proving itself to Iran, Hamas is deliberately playing with fire
Last Tuesday, as a punitive measure against incendiary balloons and kites terrorism, Israel announced that the Kerem Shalom border crossing is closing its doors.

Only humanitarian goods will be allowed into the Gaza Strip. In fact, Israel only allows the entry of fuel, food, fruit, flour, and other necessities to Gaza, and bans entry of electrical appliances, electronic equipment and construction supplies intended for international real estate developments in the strip.

Some people in Gaza criticized Hamas's handling of the situation. Critics say that in the final analysis, after a long, publicized and bloodstained campaign called the "Great March of Return", which has raised awareness on the Palestinian issue in Israel and world-wide, Hamas's actions only intensified the siege on Gaza.

As a result, Palestinians suddenly finds themselves in a dead-end road. The "Great March of Return" demonstrations have since lost momentum and reached a point of exhaustion. The only people who confront the IDF are Hamas members wearing civilian clothes, and poor young Palestinians who receive pocket money for their participation.
Technical glitch stops Iran’s Quds Force chief addressing Gazans
Gazans were disappointed on Monday after a highlight of what was dubbed the "Wet Gunpowder Festival" was wrecked by a technical failure after a live speech broadcast from Tehran by Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, was cut short.

Hamas commander in Gaza Yahya Sinwar also failed to show up to the festival, citing security considerations, while Mahmoud al-Zahr, another senior Hamas member, also cancelled his speech at the last minute.

A few minutes into Soleimani's broadcast, a technical malfunction caused his speech to be interrupted and teams were unable to reestablish the connection. The event’s emcee blamed Israel for letdown.

Being the mastermind behind many of Iran's attacks around the world, Soleimani is on the wanted list of several countries. He has been seen regularly in Syria and Iraq in the past, where he has closely monitored Iranian's military activity.

Ahead of the event, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Kamil Abu Rokon, published a post on his Facebook page in which he addressed the residents of Gaza about Soleimani's speech.

"I wonder what he's going to talk about: developing the Gaza Strip, rebuilding structures, providing electricity, water, helping the needy," Rokon wrote in his post.
Hamas warns Israel of ‘dangerous consequences’ over Gaza crossing closure
The Hamas terrorist group on Monday warned Israel of “dangerous consequences” over its fresh restrictions at a commercial crossing with the Gaza Strip, as the administrators of the Rafah passage linking Egypt to the Palestinian enclave announced its crossing would also be shuttered in both directions on Tuesday.

“The Israeli occupation’s closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing and depriving Gaza from the most simple necessities of life is a crime against humanity that will be added to its list of crimes at the expense of the Palestinian people including those living in the Strip,” said Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum in a statement posted on the organization’s official website.

“These vengeful measures reflect the degree of the oppression and the ugliness of the crime that Gaza is facing, that will have dangerous consequences for which the occupation will bear full responsibility,” the terrorist group said.
'Gazans, demand that Hamas cease its terror'
The head of the Coordination and Liaison Administration in Gaza, Col. Iyad Sarhan, addressed the residents of the Gaza Strip in a post published on the Arabic page of the Coordination Unit for Government Activities in the Territories.

In a video filmed at the Kerem Shalom crossing, Sarhan stressed Hamas' responsibility for harming trade in the Gaza Strip. "We ask every merchant and every citizen who is interested in calm and wants to see the goods enter [Gaza], turn to the Hamas terrorist organization and demand that they stop their terror activities such as firebombs and incendiary balloons."

"The heavy price you are paying is the result of the balloon terrorism and incendiary kites, which we consider to be terrorism in the full sense of the word and therefore the response will be more difficult," he added/

He noted that the reality in Gaza can be different. " As long as terror continues with the launching of the balloons, the IDF will not sit idly by, will not be silent about the situation, and will respond strongly to the continued firing of balloons and other terrorist acts that are burning the southern region."
Egypt Gives Hamas a Few Days to End Kite, Balloon Terror
Egypt has warned Hamas to significantly reduce or completely end within a few days the launching of incendiary balloons and kites into Israeli territory from Gaza, Ynet learned on Tuesday morning, giving the terror group an extended deadline to restore calm to the border.

The ultimatum came after Israel announced on Monday evening that it would be closing the commercial Kerem Shalom crossing to gas and fuel supplies after a ceasefire agreement was violated earlier in the afternoon when a rocket was fired into southern Israel.

Before the Israeli announcement, the Egyptians also announced the same evening that they were temporarily closing the Rafah crossing due to a technical malfunction. However, it was not immediately clear whether the Rafah closure was incidental or coordinated with Israel in a bid to pressurize Hamas to cease its terror activities that threaten to escalate the conflict on the border.

Ynet also learned that Hamas reiterated a message it had already conveyed to Cairo this week that it is unable to end the phenomenon.

However, Hamas has insisted to Egyptian intelligence officials, who are mediating between the sides, that its men are indeed working to reduce the number of incendiary balloons.
AP Corrects Headline, Article Israel Didn’t Shutter Crossing
Following communication from CAMERA’s Israel office, the Associated Press today corrected a headline which incorrectly stated that Israel shuttered the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing, despite the fact that crossing is still open for food and medication. About Israel’s decision today to suspend the transfer of fuel and gas to the Gaza Strip until Sunday, following Hamas’ ongoing air-borne arson attacks, the original headline had erred: “Israel shuts down cargo crossing into Gaza to punish Hamas.”

The article’s first sentence also repeated the erroneous claim that Israel closed the crossing, stating: “Israel shut down its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in response to continued Hamas hostilities, even after it agreed to a cease-fire ending 24 hours of intense fighting.”

But as the next paragraph of the article explained, the crossing remains open for food and medicine: “Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel will cease transferring gas and fuel through the Kerem Shalom crossing until next Sunday but will allow food and essential medication to cross.” (Israel suspended the shipment of commercial cargo last week in light of the persistent arson attacks which have destroyed some 35,000 acres of land.)

After CAMERA contacted AP, editors changed the headline to accurately state: “Israel places new limitations on cargo crossing into Israel.” Likewise, the amended first sentence also no longer contains the inaccuracy about Israel shutting down the crossing. The updated story states: “Israel placed new restrictions on its only cargo crossing with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in response to continued Hamas hostilities, even after it agreed to a cease-fire ending 24 hours of intense fighting.“
Gaza Rocket Barrage = Anti-Israel Media Barrage
Yet again, some media failed to note the proper order of events that led up to a violent weekend in the region. To recall, Palestinians have been violently demonstrating at the Gaza border for many weeks, including efforts to sabotage or breach the security fence. Hundreds of incendiary terror kites and balloons have been launched from Gaza causing widespread destruction of Israeli farmland and nature reserves. In the space of 100 days, some 7,500 acres have been scorched – the equivalent of 5,000 soccer fields.

When an IDF officer was moderately wounded by a grenade during a Gaza border riot and with kites and balloons continuing to cause havoc, it was hardly a surprise that Israel reacted to Palestinian violence by launching precise airstrikes at Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

While Israel targeted terrorist infrastructure, the response of Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups was to indiscriminately launch over 200 mortars and rockets at Israeli towns and villages in the border region. Four residents of Sderot were injured and tens of thousands of Israeli civilians were forced to hunker down in bomb shelters and reinforced safe rooms over the weekend.

But for some media, it all started when Israel fired back.
Canadian Media Depict Israel as the Aggressor Despite Palestinian Rocket Barrage
Where were the Canadian media headlines to explain the true chronology of the recent flare up in violence between Israel and Hamas?

As HonestReporting.com points out in its primer of recent hostilities, news coverage commenced only when Israel fired back. As Simon Plosker, HR.com’s Managing Editor notes: “How many times have we witnessed the media falsely portray Israel as an aggressor when it responds to Palestinian violence and terror?”

Indeed, untold to Canadian news consumers is that the Hamas terror organization recently fired over 200 rockets and mortars (aimed at killing Israeli civilians) hitting synagogues, parks, civilians homes, kindergartens and wounding four Israelis and sending thousands to flee and live in bomb shelters. For several months now, Palestinians have carried out a campaign of terror and have committed arson attacks with kite and balloon bombs which have set fire to thousands of acres of Israeli land, causing environmental damage and danger to the lives of civilians.

It seems that all major news outlets (some examples can be seen below) have a condition of limited blindness. It also seems that the world has no problems equating the self defence military actions of a sovereign state with those of a terrorist organization bent on killing innocents.
Trump and Putin praise Israel in Helsinki, diverge on Syria and Iran
US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Israel, Syria and Iran at their meeting in Helsinki on Monday and in subsequent comments to the press. The public comments provide some insight into their view of the future Middle East. With the Syrian regime conducting a major offensive in the south, the US deeply involved in eastern Syria and Israel demanding that the Iranians leave, these were central topics of concern.

Trump spoke first with a discussion of Israel. “We’ve worked with Israel long and hard for many years,” he said, adding that the US has never been closer to Israel than it is today. “President Putin also is helping Israel, and we both spoke with ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel.”

Trump said “we,” which apparently indicated that Moscow and Washington are both working with Israel and “Israel working with us.” He continued, “I think their working with Israel is a great thing – and creating safety for Israel is something both President Putin and I would like to see very much.”

Putin argued that Russia was helping to “crush terrorists in the southwest of Syria.” He mentioned the 1974 cease-fire lines on the Golan. “This will bring peace to the Golan Heights and bring a more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel – and also provide security for the State of Israel.” Putin said he paid “special attention” to the issue when sitting with Trump.

The two also discussed the future of Syria. Trump claimed the US military was successfully coordinating with Russia in Syria. “Our military do [sic] get along very well,” he said. Putin then remarked that Russia was working to establish peace and reconciliation. “Russia and the United States apparently can act proactively and take leadership on this issue,” he said, emphasizing that coordination between the US and Russian militaries in Syria had helped avoid “dangerous incidents and unintentional collisions.”
Trump says meeting with Putin was ‘really good’ for Israel
US President Donald Trump on Monday said his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday was good for Israel, seemingly referring to efforts to remove Iran-backed fighters from Syria’s Golan border.

Trump also said Putin was a strong supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but did not offer any specifics on what was discussed that related to Israel at the meeting in Helsinki, where Iran’s presence in Syria had been widely expected to be a main topic of conversation between the two world leaders.

“We came to a lot of good conclusions. A really good conclusion for Israel. Something very strong,” Trump told Fox News, without going into detail.

Trump said Putin was “a believer in Israel.

“He’s a fan of Bibi,” he said, using Netanyahu’s nickname. “Really helping him a lot and will help him a lot, which is good for all of us.”
The Putin-Trump news conference that made Netanyahu smile
The Democrats hated Monday’s news conference between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin; even some Republicans cringed when Trump said he believed Putin’s denial of involvement in the 2016 US election over what his own intelligence agencies maintain; and many Europeans leaders surely recoiled at the US president appearing so cozy with a man they view as a real and present threat.

But one man who was definitely pleased at what he saw at that extraordinary news conference in Helsinki on Monday was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

No, his pleasure had nothing to do with the two leaders’ answers to the questions about the alleged election collusion, or their discussion about how they will deal with their competition in the field of gas and oil.

Netanyahu was pleased because his full-court diplomatic press leading up to this meeting – a diplomatic campaign that brought him to Moscow last week for less than 24 hours, and included a phone conversation with Trump on Saturday – paid off.

There, at a news conference being watched by the whole world, both leaders – both! – acknowledged Israel’s security concerns in Syria and the need to address them.

And Netanyahu did nothing to try to conceal his satisfaction. On the contrary: he issued a statement after the news conference “commending” the abiding commitment to Israel’s security that Trump articulated during that address to the media.

“The friendship between Israel and the US has never been stronger,” he said.
Why Russia Needs Israel
Why has Russia under Putin acknowledged Israeli red lines aimed at preventing the buildup of an Iranian military presence in Syria? To fully understand Putin's acceptance of Israeli involvement in Syria, one must consider the balance of power that existed between Czarist Russia and its southern neighbors, Ottoman Turkey and imperial Iran, at the turn of the 20th century. At that time, Russia's population was 100 million compared to 24 million for the Ottoman Empire and half that number in impoverished and divided Persia.

One hundred years later, a massive change in the balance of power has occurred. Today the combined populations of Persia and the Ottoman Empire (165 million) exceed the number of Russian citizens (142 million). Within Russia, the birthrates of Russian Slavs, Putin's core group, are declining much more quickly than those of its sizeable Muslim Turkic populations. Moreover, the huge economic advantage Russia once enjoyed over the Ottoman Empire and imperial Persia has almost entirely disappeared, with the combined GDP of Iran and Turkey equaling Russia's.

Israel is the only Middle Eastern country with an increasing non-Muslim population and increasing power. Moreover, Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a shared culture exemplified by Russian-born and native Russian-speaking politicians in positions of power. Thus, an understanding with Israel is important to Putin and the Russian leadership.
'Remember Obama intervened in Israeli elections?'
Fox Senior Anchor Sean Hannity argued interference in foreign election campaigns is a very common practice and that "everyone does it". Moreover, he said Hillary Clinton was also assisted by foreign elements to collect "dirt" on Trump and get the FBI to open an investigation against him before the 2016 election.

The same case against Trump - including rumors about Trump's embarrassing photographs taken in Moscow - contained "Russian propaganda," Hannity said.

Hannity reminded viewers that President Barack Obama did not hesitate to intervene in the Israeli election campaign against Binyamin Netanyahu. This is despite the fact that Israel is "America's number one ally in the Middle East."

In the United States a special investigation has been going on for a year-and-a-half to determine whether there was a conspiracy between Trump and Putin in which Putin intervened to help Trump win.

John McLaughlin, an American who served as Netanyahu's pollster in the 2015 elections, said after Obama's election to the US media that Obama had intervened in the Israeli election campaign, accusing him of uniting the Arab parties and contributing to the V15 that worked to replace the government.
Hungarian PM to visit Israel, but only deputy to visit PA
In a sign of burgeoning diplomatic ties, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will arrive in Israel on Wednesday for an official visit as a guest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Orbán is expected to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem and meet with the country's chief rabbis.

Orbán, whose country is a member of the European Union, is spearheading a contrarian line within the organization – which is one reason for the warming relations between Israel and Hungary and the respective leaders.

Israel Hayom has learned that unlike other EU leaders who have visited Israel, Orbán will not visit the Palestinian Authority. As a small diplomatic token, however, he will send his deputy, Zsolt Semjén, to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in Judea and Samaria.

This will not be Hungary's first gesture toward Israel under Orbán. In late 2017, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini pushed for an EU resolution to condemn the American decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Mogherini attempted to pass the resolution through the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU, but Orbán instructed Hungary's representative to oppose it, essentially torpedoing the initiative.
200 displaced Syrians gather at Israeli border fence as Russia bombs civilians
Some 200 displaced Syrians approached the Israeli border on Tuesday, some of them waving white flags, in an apparent effort to reach out to the Jewish state for assistance as forces loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad moved into the area as part of a military operation against rebel-held areas in the country’s southwest.

The refugees fled toward the border as a Russian airstrike on a nearby school being used as a shelter killed at least 10 civilians, according to a search and rescue team.

The Israel Defense Forces said it was aware of the situation on the border, but had not yet determined a need to take direct action.

Soldiers were seen calling for the approaching Syrians to move away from the border, in footage filmed by the Reuters news service.
Family of soldier abducted by Hamas sails toward Gaza
The family of the late Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in Gaza in 2014 and whose remains Hamas refuses to return to Israel for burial, sailed from Ashdod to Ashkelon on Monday as part of a new campaign to have Goldin's remains, as well as those of Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, brought home.

The Goldin family's rallying cry is "No deal without our boys."

Goldin's mother, Leah, said, "When we were children, the words 'Go to Gaza' were a curse. Today, we are sailing in the direction of Gaza to put pressure on the government and decision makers, and force them to act."

His father, Simcha, said, "Our children stayed behind the Rafah [border] crossing, and four years on, the leadership has not brought them home and continues to feed the monster known as Hamas.

"Our leadership isn't using all the tools at its disposal to bring our children home," he said.

A number of Knesset members were on board the boat.
Palestinians' Latest "Apartheid Fatwa"
The mufti's position parallels that of a US Supreme Court judge. If the mufti issues a legal opinion or religious decree, his people and leaders are expected to abide by it.

With the new fatwa, Abbas can go to President Trump and other world leaders and tell them, "I would truly like to make peace with the Jews; however, I am prevented from doing so by this fatwa, which bans Muslims from doing real estate transactions with Jews. Sorry!"

One can only imagine the response of the international community had the Chief Rabbi of Israel issued a decree banning Jews from doing business with Muslims. But in the instance of the Palestinian mufti and his superiors in Ramallah, everything seems to be fine -- once again, the international community turns a blind eye to the Palestinian leaders' apartheid and their terrorizing of their own people.
PA protests Tisha B'Av event in Jerusalem
The PA “foreign ministry” issued a statement denouncing the intention to hold a Tisha B'Av march around the walls of the Old City, a tradition that the “Women in Green” organization has been carrying out for 24 years.

In its statement, the PA said that this was a "provocative step" aimed at "realizing sovereignty over Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, and uniting the city as the capital of Israel, under the auspices and with participation of a number of Israeli public figures."

"This march is a continuation of the radical policy prevailing in the political arena in Israel and among the settlers, especially since Trump's ominous statement about Jerusalem, the transfer of the American embassy to the city, the ongoing Judaization of the holy city and its separation from its Palestinian surroundings." According to the statement, the move "prevents the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, sovereign and territorial, with East Jerusalem as its capital."

The PA called on the international community "to act immediately to defend what remains of its credibility, to implement the relevant UN resolutions and to take measures to force the State of Israel to comply with international law and the international desire for peace."

"The fact that Israel is not obligated to account for its aggressive and provocative conduct encourages it to continue to commit further violations and crimes and to continue the violent isolation of occupied Jerusalem and its holy places," the statement said.
IDF Arrests Terror Suspects in Judea, Finds Submachine Gun in Barbie Backpack
Riots broke out as IDF troops arrested terror suspects in eastern Jerusalem and just outside the city in Kafr Bidu, with Arab residents throwing objects and rocks at soldiers, who responded with riot dispersal equipment. No injuries were reported on either side.

During raids in Hebron, the IDF confiscated an M-4 assault rifle, an air pistol, ammunition, magazines and gun parts, according to officials.

Border Police arrested one man who was part of a group attempting to cross the security fence from Samaria into Israel by climbing over it with a ladder. Forces chased them on foot, but some of the men managed to enter Israel, whereas others turn back and fled towards Samaria.

During the chase, one of the men threw away a pink backpack featuring a picture of Barbie, which was found to contain a Carlo-style, locally made submachine gun, a cellphone and a bolt-cutter for cutting through metal fencing.
Pistol found hidden in wheelchair
Border Police detectives and IDF forces operating last night near the PA village of Al-Funduq in western Samaria found an FN pistol hidden in a wheelchair.

The detectives arrived after receiving intelligence information, set up an ambush and waited for the suspicious vehicle which, according to the information, carried weapons.

After several hours of activity, the suspicious vehicle appeared and was stopped by the police for a search. The vehicle carried three suspects. It quickly became clear that the driver suffered from a disability in his legs and that he was assisted by a wheelchair found in the trunk of the vehicle. It was also discovered that he was driving the vehicle with the assistance of a manual driving mechanism.

Upon searching the vehicle, police were surprised to find an FN pistol in the wheelchair found in the trunk, apparently used by the driver. The three suspects were arrested for further investigation by Border Police.
Iranian Nuclear Archives Show Advances about Which “International Inspectors were Unaware”
Information contained in the Iranian nuclear archives extracted by Israel in a daring January raid contain more detailed information about the extent of Iran’s nuclear weapons program including specifics “about which international inspectors were unaware,” The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The Journal report was based on a briefing given by Israeli security officials to selected reporters. The briefing contained more details than what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed in April, when he announced the raid and documentation that Israel had recovered.

The topics covered in the briefing included, “how the documents were removed from Iran; the existence within the documents of the warhead designs, for which Israel said Iran got unspecified foreign assistance; the operation of a secret explosives-testing facility that international inspectors had long searched for in vain; and a scramble by Iranian officials to keep their nuclear program alive after international inspectors concluded it had been suspended.”

While some of the information contained in the archive was already known by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is charged with assessing Iran’s compliance with the deal, it also included details “about which international inspectors were unaware.”
Intelligence Agency of German State of Hesse Identifies Iran as One of Two States Seeking WMD
In a newly released report, the German intelligence agency in the state of Hesse singled out Iran as one of two states seeking to obtain weapons of mass destructions as the ultimate form of power.

Benjamin Weinthal reported for The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that the report lists types of illegal proliferation technology that Iran and North Korea want for the production of weapons of mass destruction, including “equipment for the enrichment of uranium, nuclear reactors in connection with reprocessing plants, bioreactors, drying installation facilities, and the production process for precursor chemical products.”

According to the security agency, “Weapons of mass destruction are a continued instrument of power politics that also, in regional and international crises situations, can shatter the entire stability of state structures. States like Iran and North Korea attempt, in the context of proliferation, to acquire and spread such weapons by, for example, disguising the transportation ways through third countries.”

German intelligence officials further observed that the goal of Iran and North Korea was “to circumvent control mechanisms in countries that are not especially subject to embargo restrictions.”
U.S. Refuses European Requests for Exemptions from New Sanctions on Iran
The United States has rejected an appeal from Britain, France and Germany to grant broad exemptions to European firms doing business in Iran, saying it would press ahead with sanctions intended to exert “unprecedented” economic pressure on the Tehran regime, U.S. and Western officials told NBC News.

Replying to a June 4 letter from the European powers, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote that the Trump administration would not agree to wide-ranging protections for European companies operating in Iran and instead would grant only limited exceptions based on national security or humanitarian grounds, the officials said.

The stern message comes as the White House has ratcheted up its rhetoric toward Iran, accused Tehran of plotting terrorist attacks in Europe and vowed to hammer the country’s economy.
Iran’s Rouhani says US ‘isolated’ on sanctions
The United States is increasingly isolated in its move to reimpose sanctions on Tehran after quitting the international nuclear deal, President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday, vowing to resist American “plots.”

“The path chosen by the Islamic Republic of Iran is perseverance, resistance,” Rouhani said in televised remarks. “Each time that we were able to thwart the plots, the people and the government were side by side.”

Over the objections of allies, Trump in May pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers in 2015.

He reimposed US sanctions that had been suspended in return for controls on Tehran’s nuclear program, effectively barring many multinational firms from doing business in Iran.

“The United States is more and more isolated on the subject of sanctions,” said Rouhani. “The illegal logic of the United States is not supported by any of the international organizations.”

Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Khamenei Celebrates Birthday With Genocidal Message for Israel
Visitors to the Twitter feed of Iran’s “supreme leader”on Monday were treated to the incongruous sight of multicolored balloons floating above a series of incendiary anti-Israel tweets.

The celebratory mood on what is normally a rather somber feed marks Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s 79th birthday — which falls on Tuesday, July 17, in the Gregorian calendar.

But as the last balloon disappeared from the screen, so did the jollity — leaving only a thread of threatening messages warning of the Jewish state’s coming destruction.

Denouncing US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace as a “satanic, vicious plot,” Khamenei declared, “The turbulent dream that Al-Quds [Jerusalem] would be given to the Zionists will never come true.”

He continued: “The Palestinian nation will stand against it and Muslim nations will back the Palestinian nation, never letting that happen.”

As to his ultimate intentions towards Israel, Khamenei left little to the imagination in a further tweet.

“By God’s grace, the Palestinian nation will certainly gain victory over the enemies and will witness the day when the fabricated Zionist regime will be eradicated,” he vowed.



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