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Thursday, June 30, 2016

On Tuesday, I wrote that for the past two years, Egyptian Ramadan dramas have not been antisemitic, as many had been in years before.

Algemeiner  expanded on my post by quoting from previous posts of mine on the topic, especially how the star of last year's blockbuster Ramadan series "Jewish Quarter" caused its lead actress to explain, in response to social media criticism,  that just because she played a Jewess on TV doesn't mean that she is in any way a Zionist.

Yemen newspaper Bawabatii liberally quoted the Algemeiner article, calling me an Israeli who specializes in the Middle East.


Erem News may be the original Arabic source of the report.

The last time I was quoted in Arab media, I think, was 2008 when a Hamas-leaning website mentioned that I had been keeping count at the time of how hundreds of Palestinians had been killed by their own actions that year, between clan clashes, infighting and honor killings.





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From Ian:

David Singer: European Union Acclaims Abbas Whilst Flogging Farage
Abbas’s address contained a litany of lies based on a fabricated reality from the outset:
“I would also like to thank you all for all the different kinds of aid you have given, aiding us in institution-building and helping us establish the bases for a democratic regime which will be stable in the future and which will be able to comply with international criteria for democracy, and in particular we want to establish a proper rule of law and proper respect for human rights.”
EUP parliamentarians – including Shulz and Juncker – silently swallowed these soothing words despite:
  • Gazan and West Bank Arabs having been denied the right to vote since 2006 or to choose a President to replace Abbas whose term of office had expired in 2010.
  • The “Palestinian National Authority” having been unilaterally disbanded by Abbas by decree on 3 January 2013
  • Honour killings and victimisation of gays continuing under Abbas’s regime
  • Life imprisonment being imposed for selling land to Jews.
A duplicitous Abbas further claimed:
“Our history has been, frankly, one of a continued existence in this territory since the dawn of civilization until now”
Utter nonsense.
The “Palestinians” were defined for the first time in history in 1964 by article 6 of the PLO Charter:
“The Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled. Every child who was born to a Palestinian parent after this date whether in Palestine or outside is a Palestinian.”
The Arab citizens of Palestine formed part of the “existing non-Jewish communities” in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.
Exclusively high-jacking the term “Palestinians” constitutes racist-inspired semantic fraud.
Australia's most popular political commentator Andrew Bolt contrasts Farage's reception at the EU to Abbas blood libels.
Bolt Report Editorial - June 29 (Abbas bit starts at 5min)


Abbas and the European Parliament: Incitement in Spades
It is vital that European and American leaders make clear to Abbas that his anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories about Israel are unacceptable and will be rejected out of hand.
Further, it needs to be said that, not only must he and the PA stop the incitement against Israel and Jews, but President Abbas should stop propagandizing against Israel to the Europeans and others.
It would be far more productive for him to finally sit down and conduct direct negotiations with Israel. This is the only path to peace and a two-state solution.
And yet, Abbas rejected Israeli President Rueben Rivlin’s offer to meet during their shared time in Brussels. To a certain degree, one can understand this decision. Why meet with an Israeli leader when European officials roundly will endorse his canards and not force him to explain his baseless accusations?
The world must stop encouraging Abbas’ hateful and counterproductive path. If not, we will only hear more outlandish statements by him, which harm peace efforts, which harm Israel and which harm the Palestinians most of all.
Elliott Abrams: The Positive Side of Nationalism
In the Brexit vote, Brits chose to reject those patronizing views and express their nationalism. By this, they seem to have meant that they want to make the key decisions about their future, and about how they live, through their own democratic institutions. On the BBC on Friday morning, a typically biased interviewer spoke with Radek Sikorski, the former foreign minister of Poland, who denounced Brexit as dangerous and malevolent. His anger and resentment were so great that they finally moved even the BBC to defend the vote. How? On democratic grounds. Don’t people have a right to vote? Isn’t self-rule sacred? It was half amusing, half inspiring to see the interviewer rise to the defense of his countrymen and -women when they were treated with contempt for choosing Westminster over Brussels.
There is a message here for Israelis — and for Americans.
For Israelis, the referendum fight helps explain their unpopularity among European elites. If nationalism is primitive and infantile and dangerous, it is no wonder that Israel is criticized endlessly and its efforts to defend itself are seen as excessive. Its basic demand — to be understood and acknowledged as a Jewish state — is itself considered illicit; ethno-national states are out of the question these days. Defending your state with actual guns is positively medieval in the eyes of today’s European leaders.
Americans beg to differ, and that’s a reason that Israel is more popular here. Believing in your country and defending it with your army is considered patriotic here, not primitive. The sacrifice of sovereignty to bureaucrats abroad would offend Americans just as it offends so many Britons. All this helps explain Donald Trump’s successes this year, for he speaks a language of nationalism: defending borders and controlling immigration, for example, which was also a central issue in the British debate. That call to “Make America Great Again” is a reflection of nationalism, and it has found a wide audience.



Two Israelis wounded in Netanya stabbing attack
Two people were stabbed and wounded on Thursday evening in what police said was a terror attack outside a market in the coastal city of Netanya.
The Magen David Adom emergency response service said a man described as being around 40 years old sustained serious injures from multiple stab wounds to the upper body. The other victim, a 62-year-old woman, was lightly injured in the attack.
Both were taken to the city’s Laniado Hospital for treatment.
The assailant, identified by Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld as a Palestinian man from the West Bank city of Tulkarem, was shot dead at the scene by an armed civilian.
Reports named the stabber as 40-year-old Wael Abu Saleh.
US official: Teen killed in Kiryat Arba was American citizen
A US official says the 13-year-old Israeli girl killed this morning in Kiryat Arba was an American citizen, AP’s diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee says on Twitter.
Hallel Yaffa Ariel was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist who snuck into her bedroom while she slept.
#US official says 13-year-old girl stabbed to death by #Palestinian attacker in #WestBank was an American citizen.
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) June 30, 2016
From Brexit to Visions of a UN Exit?
That's just a small sampling of the staggering roster of UN scandals, abuses, cover-ups and failures. Along with the apparently chronic problem of peacekeeper rape (despite a policy of "zero tolerance"), and a bigoted fixation on condemning first and foremost the democratic state of Israel, the UN has gone from the globally corrupt 1996-2003 Oil-for-Food relief program for Iraq, to massive bribery and kickback scandals in its procurement department, to narcotics in the mailroom, to the current drama surrounding a former head of the UN General Assembly, the late John Ashe. Ashe was facing criminal charges in a million-dollar-plus bribery case, accused by U.S. prosecutors of having turned his UN post into a "platform for profit," when -- having pleaded not guilty -- he was found dead just last week in his Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. home. According to the medical examiner, he was killed in an accident in which a barbell fell on his neck.
If all this sounds like the saga of a global mafia that happens to have acquired diplomatic immunity, plus an annual multi-billion-dollar entitlement from U.S. taxpayers, plus a luxurious headquarters complex in midtown Manhattan, plus a neo-colonial globe-girdling empire of offices, programs, staff, "public-private partnerships," trust funds and influence, you've got the idea.
Meantime, the UN in its role as promoter of world peace has done nothing to effectively deter turf grabs by Russia and China; has given its eager approval to President Obama's rotten Iran nuclear deal; has failed despite umpteen Security Council resolutions, sanctions and statements to stop North Korea's nuclear missile program -- or for that matter, North Korea's hideous human rights abuses. In the UN General Assembly, the second-largest voting bloc, the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement, has been chaired since 2012 by the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran.
The UN, for all its trappings of democratic process, is a collective of 193 member states, of which the majority are not free. Their governments do not actually account to the people they pretend to represent. The UN's system and priorities are such that there is no place for the government of the genuinely democratic Republic of China on Taiwan, but there is a seat, with accompanying privileges, for the totalitarian Kim dynasty of North Korea.
As a rule, the only member state that every so often tries to reform the UN is its chief sugar-daddy, the U.S., with some help from the British and (during the recent tenure of Prime Minister Stephen Harper) the Canadians. As another rule, the UN -- with its immunities, opacity and spigots of money flowing as an entitlement from the world's developed democracies -- is pretty much impervious to reform. It's been tried, over and over. The chief result is a UN that keeps getting bigger, not better.
What is to be done?
Gove and May, top contenders to succeed Cameron, both firm Israel supporters
The race to succeed David Cameron as Conservative prime minister in the UK took an unexpected twist on Thursday with the announcement that Justice Secretary Michael Gove was throwing his hat in the ring — and the decision of Boris Johnson not to run. The shock moves mean that the two leading contenders to succeed Cameron are Gove and Home Secretary Theresa May, both of whom are staunch supporters of Israel.
Cameron has also been one of Israel’s warmest friends in Europe, and Johnson too is a firm supporter — underlining how widespread support is for Israel in the top ranks of the governing Conservative Party, in contrast to the relentless criticisms of Israel from many senior opposition Labour figures, led by party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Gove, 48, is one of parliament’s most passionate pro-Zionists, a supporter of faith schools when he was education secretary and a denouncer of BDS as “a crime.” He has been engaged with British Jews since at least 1998. He only made his first visit to Israel in December 2013, however, because he was terrified of flying and eventually had to go to a hypnotist to conquer that fear.
Jeremy Corbyn Compares Israel to ISIS During ‘Antisemitism’ Speech
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, compared Israel to the Islamic State terrorist group during a speech Thursday on antisemitism.
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the [Benjamin] Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those various self-styled Islamic states or organizations,” Corbyn said at the launch of Labour’s new report on antisemitism, which was led by Shami Chakrabarti, the director of a civil liberties advocacy group based in the United Kingdom.
Corbyn’s remarks drew loud applause from the audience at the event.
Many listeners interpreted the Labour leader’s statement as a direct comparison between the Israeli government and ISIS. Several other jihadist groups, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula based in Yemen, also strive to build Islamic states governed by Sharia law, or Islamic law, in a similar manner to ISIS’ rule in parts of Iraq and Syria.
Sam Stopp, a Labour councillor, said that Corbyn compared Israel to ISIS and wrote on Twitter, “For that alone, he should resign. I am red with fury,” according to the Independent, a British newspaper.
The Independent also reported that Ruth Smeeth, a Labour member of Parliament who is Jewish, “left the event in tears after a member of the Momentum group ‘accused her of colluding with the Daily Telegraph,’” a right-leaning British paper.
Corbyn defended his statement, saying “of course I’m not” linking the two.
Jeremy Corbyn Appears to Compare Israel to ISIS During Antisemitism Speech


Jewish Labour MP harangued as party’s anti-Semitism report unveiled
A Jewish member of parliament for Labour on Thursday morning stormed out of a London event at which the party unveiled the findings of its anti-Semitism inquiry, after a supporter of leader Jeremy Corbyn accused her of controlling the media.
“This morning, at the launch of the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism, I was verbally attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional antisemitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy,'” Ruth Smeeth wrote in a statement on her website after the incident. (Momentum is a left-wing pro-Corbyn Labour group.)
“It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report on antisemitism in the Labour Party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people, which were ironically highlighted as such in Ms Chakrabarti’s report, while the leader of my own party stood by and did absolutely nothing,” she said.
“Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews,” she continued.
Ruth Smith Storms Out of Labour Meeting Over Anti-Semitism


Lapid blasts UK Labor leader Corbyn for comparing Israel to ISIS
The Labor head's remarks came against the backdrop of the publication of the results of an internal investigation concerning antisemitism in the British Labor party.
Lapid referenced this morning's (Thursday) murder of 13-year-old Hallel-Yaffa Ariel by a Palestinian terrorist in his statement, saying: "It is inconceivable that on such a tragic day for Israel, on which an innocent girl is murdered by an evil terrorist lowlife simply for the crime of being Jewish, the head of the opposition in Britain will draw an equivalence between Israel and ISIS.
"This is a vile comparison that betrays ignorance. This is pure anti-Semitism. The State of Israel is a life-loving country that operates according to principles of democracy, morality, and justice, and fights against terror groups whose sole objective is the murder and maiming of innocents."
"I call for the Labor party in Israel to sever all ties with its British namesake until party leader Jeremy Corbyn is replaced," Lapid concluded.
MKs slam Corbyn’s ‘anti-Semitic’ comparison of Israel to ISIS
In Labour’s Israeli sister party, opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) said: “Corbyn's suggestion of moral equivalence between Israel and ISIS is outrageous, unacceptable, and a betrayal of global Labour values.”
Herzog compared Corbyn to former Labour minister Ernest Bevin, who was foreign secretary when the State of Israel was established.
“Corbyn represents a consistent stance of hatred towards Israel, like the infamous Ernest Bevin, and like Bevin, who failed, Corbyn will fail, as well,” Herzog stated.
Earlier this year, amid allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour, Herzog invited Corbyn to see Israel himself; Corbyn declined.
Zionist Union, MK Itzik Shmuly said that “Corbyn has finally gone insane and his leadership shames Labour.”
Shmuly called on Labour MPs to oust Corbyn, because he “lost touch with reality,” and does not care about facts; rather Corbyn “is only interested in anti-Semitism and hatred for Israel.”
Are Democrats Finally Getting Tough on the Palestinian Authority?
In a remarkable turnaround, Democratic Party activists who are known to be pro-Palestinian are calling on their party’s platform committee to condemn the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Or am I misreading something?
Two pro-Palestinian members of Congress, Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, issued their call last week on the blog of J Street. It happens that Ellison and Gutierrez are members of that same platform committee, so it may seem strange that they are taking a public position before the committee has finished its deliberations. But apparently they made up their minds on the Palestinian issue before being appointed to the committee, and no testimony by witnesses or discussions with their fellow committee members will change their minds.
Here’s the key sentence in the Ellison-Gutierrez proposal: “Palestinians struggle under an unjust occupation that deprives them of the rights, opportunities and independence that they deserve.”
Three cheers for Ellison and Gutierrez, for courageously speaking out against the PA’s unjust occupation and denial of rights!
That must be what they mean, right?
After all, 99 percent of the Palestinians live under the rule of the PA (in Judea and Samaria) or Hamas (in Gaza). So if the “occupation” is “unjust,” then it is the PA and Hamas that are committing the injustice.
French police probing new Charlie Hebdo threats
French police are probing new threats against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the target of a jihadist attack in January 2015 that left 12 dead, a legal source said Wednesday.
The publication has received a series of threatening messages on its Facebook page since June 8, and on June 22 a hand-written letter was posted to the newsroom containing the same threats and the words "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest).
"No one has been arrested at this stage and investigations are ongoing," said the source.
Jihadist brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi gunned down eight Charlie staff as well as several others in and around the building in the attack on the magazine whose drawings of the founder of Islam Mohammed drew the fury of Muslims around the world.
Organizer of London Al-Quds Day Counter-Demonstration Says Pro-Israel Community Will No Longer Be Silent Amid Growing Anti-Zionism
A planned counter-demonstration against an upcoming “Al-Quds Day” march in London will convey the clear message that the country’s pro-Israel community won’t be silenced, an organizer of the rally told The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
Fiona Sharpe — co-chair of Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI), a British pro-Israel grassroots organization — said the annual Al-Quds Day event — which will take place on Sunday — “has displayed increasing levels of incitement and hate directed towards Israel which has become — most certainly in recent years — antisemitic.”
Over the last 10 years, Sharpe said the march has faced “no visible opposition to the lies and hatred” its supporters spew. SFI — along with its co-sponsors the Israel Advocacy Movement and the Zionist Federation — “felt it was time to voice our opposition and show that Israel has many friends in the UK and Europe.”
The Al-Quds Day rally is organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and ends in front of the US Embassy at Grosvenor Square. One of the more offensive activities by rally participants each year is the waving of the Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS flags, which IHRC has failed to condemn. In the UK, Hamas and ISIS are designated terrorist organizations, while only Hezbollah’s “military wing” is classified as such.
Why the anti-Israel boycott movement is an immoral threat to peace
Israelis across the political spectrum well understand the chilling implications of the right of return, even if much of the international community does not. The BDS movement — whose website endorses the right of return as one of its three core goals — promotes that vision of a world without Israel. BDS dupes those of its supporters who genuinely seek a two-state solution into believing that they are working for peace. Indeed the BDS website doesn't even mention two states for two peoples among its goals. Even if Israel were to uproot every settlement, redivide Jerusalem, forfeit its claim to the holy places and return to the eight-mile-wide borders of the pre-1967 war, the BDS movement presumably would press on until Israel was erased from the map.
BDS activists brand Israel as an illegitimate colonialist state, a European transplant in the Middle East. This historical distortion erases 4,000 years of intimate connection between the Jewish people and the land. It ignores another factor of demography: A majority of Israel’s Jews don’t come from Europe, but from the Arab world, descendants of the nearly 1 million Jews effectively expelled from Arab countries where Jews lived for millenniums. Israelis call them the forgotten refugees.
As a means of applying economic pressure on Israel, BDS has failed. Despite the boycott, investments in Israel haven't diminished. Israel is far too integrated into the global economy and the high-tech sector to be isolated.
The attempt to turn Israel into a version of the old, apartheid South Africa will also fail because there are too many people around the world who admire Israel. Israel-lovers are no less passionate in defending the Jewish state than Israel-haters are in seeking to harm it.
The real threat of BDS, though, is more subtle than economic pressure. BDS creates an atmosphere in which Israel is solely to blame for the failure of peace between Jews and Arabs, and it negates the very idea of a nation-state for the Jewish people. BDS takes one of the world’s most complex and heartbreaking conflicts — between two traumatized peoples — and turns it into a morality play between darkness and light. The movement to criminalize Israel is itself a crime. Rather than Israel, it is the BDS movement that must be exposed and ostracized for its bigotry and hatred.
David Collier: Fighting BDS
To those undecided who listen on the side to the exchange, they argument has no context, they don’t understand the conflict. All they hear is that a settlement has been built, a wall has gone up, a child was arrested and then they hear you trying to justify it. There is no point. Don’t defend Israel’s actions post 1967. BDS is not an argument about post 1967 Israel. Attack BDS.
When you do this you come off script. In general, the people pushing BDS do not have a grounding in the conflict. Those that do, only take their information from one sided and extremely dubious sources.
I was at a BDS training event, and they role play with would be activists. It was informative because it was accurate. They know the pro-Israeli argument. So they deflect.
They have standard responses to accusations such as the one that suggests they are antisemitic. One line responses that are learnt parrot style. If they deflect this criticism and then regurgitate a few statistics about child prisoners, they are on their way to seeking new converts. They want you and expect you to use the argument that you can’t boycott Israel because it makes too many things. For them, this type of argument is great. You seem to be saying Israel is guilty but too powerful to boycott.
Confrontation is not something to be scared of. The *vast majority* of BDS activists would not last a minute in a discussion on the conflict. They have a leaflet that says Israel is guilty of genocide. That’s enough for them. Truth doesn’t matter. So it is easy to expose this ignorance by simply driving home the real narrative, talk facts and history.
When you argue, highlight the contradictions. Refugees are always a good one for this. Talk about the abuse of Palestinians in Lebanon. Over the last 70 years, those Palestinians remain the most abused. If bds is a humanitarian cause, why not push for Lebanon to give rights to those born inside its borders. Use the democracy arguments, there is no rational response to this.
Highlight the violence of the mandate, or the rejection of partition. Stick to the historical narrative, it supports Israel and exposes BDS. How many times have the Arabs had the chance for peace but rejected it? Why do BDS pick and choose which international rules are important and which ones are to be ignored? Why was ‘Palestine’ not created before 1967? Again. If it is post 1967, leave it alone. You are not arguing with someone over the solution to the conflict within a two state scenario.
So remember
  • BDS exists in the ‘destroy Israel’ paradigm
  • BDS has no central ‘brain’
  • BDS is contradictory and hypocritical
  • BDS needs to convert people, not tell the truth
  • BDS deflates the atmosphere for negotiations and peace.
  • BDS is anti-Israel, not pro-Palestinian
  • BDS is not supported by the historical narrative – the opposite is truth.
Pro-Israel members of NY food co-op suspended over BDS spat
A popular Brooklyn cooperative grocery store that has been fighting about Israel boycott efforts for eight years reportedly suspended four pro-Israel members for interrupting a meeting more than a year ago.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, four Park Slope Food Co-op members have been suspended for a year for interrupting an April 2015 presentation by members who were calling for a boycott of SodaStream, the Israeli seltzer-machine company that at the time had a factory in a West Bank settlement.
At the 2015 meeting attended by hundreds of members, the four now-suspended members went to the front of the room and unplugged the projector that was displaying an image of an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian that they believed was propagandistic.
The four were subjected to a disciplinary hearing in April and found guilty of uncooperative behavior.
Al Jazeera Uses Classic Canard to Promote Jihad Against Jews
Nearly 80 years ago – decades before Israel was established as a Jewish state – then-Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin Al Husseini (who subsequently allied with Adolf Hitler) embarked on a campaign of incitement to foment a jihad against Jews.
His focal point? The area near the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, and more specifically, the Western Wall — the last remnant of the Jewish Holy Temple compound. The canard upon which he based his campaign was that Jews were planning to destroy or take over Muslim holy sites. His battle cry? "Defend [Muslim] Holy Places." The result? Anti-Jewish pogroms carried out across Palestine, with massacres in Hebron and Safed that killed, mutilated or wounded hundreds of people. (For more details, see here.)
Haj Amin al Husseini's battle cry was so successful in igniting a jihad that it became the go-to slogan and theme to promote anti-Jewish violence in the Middle East. During Jordan's 19-year, illegal occupation of Jerusalem, Jews were barred from visiting their holy sites and the theme became a non-issue, but since Israel's recapture of the area in 1967, it has been used successfully by consecutive Palestinian leaders and has become part and parcel of the campaign to separate Jewish people from their holiest site. (For more details, see here.)
Journalists are under tremendous pressure from the Palestinian Authority and Abbas to adopt words that reject the history of the area to promote Arab/Muslim supremacy there. For example, a "media advisory" put out in November 2014 by the PLO Negotiation Affairs Department warned journalists not to refer to the site as "disputed" and to reject any non-Muslim terminology in regard to the site as invalid.
The theme is part of an aggressive Palestinian campaign to turn public opinion against Jewish history and rights. It is one that reverses the perpetrator and victim. Muslim perpetrators of violence to deny non-Muslims their freedom of visitation are now the victims, while Jewish history, rights and attachment to their holiest site are pronounced null and void.
‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ Repeats anti-Israel Clichés; Post Provides a Platform
The JVP head foists additional falsehoods on readers by insinuating that Arabs in Israel live under apartheid-like conditions. Yet, Israeli Arabs serve on Israel's Supreme Court, have command ranks in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and have their own political list in Israel's legislature, the Knesset. By contrast, the PA—in accordance with its penal code—kills any Palestinian suspected of selling land to Jews. Ezra Nawi—a BDS supporter who has been called “extraordinary” by JVP, which has raised money for him—was caught on camera acknowledging that he helps the PA kill Palestinians by providing information on those selling land to Jews (“Israeli leftist brags turned in Palestinians who sell land to Jews, risking their death and torture,” Legal Insurrection, Jan. 9, 2016).
Casting all of the blame for lack of peace on Israel, Vilkomerson tells Post readers that “BDS is a powerful way to encourage the state to act.” This omits that Palestinian leaders have rejected Israeli and U.S. offers of a “two-state solution” in exchange for peace with the Jewish state on a number of occasions, including 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis conference. More recently, PA officials rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's 2014 “framework” to restart negotiations and a similar proposal by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in March 2016.
Perhaps the reason why Vilkomerson omits this Palestinian rejectionism is that, as noted above, her organization and its allies don't want a “two-state solution.” That's not what BDS is about. And Vilkomerson—her obfuscation notwithstanding—can't mask that.
Her opinion piece appeared in The Post's “Post Everything” blog. Is the online news and commentary world more than a little like television's “vast wasteland” years, as some have suggested? Vilkomerson's JVP propaganda at “Post Everything” suggests as much.
After CAMERA alerted Israel's government press office (GPO) to the objectionable clip, the GPO asked AJ to remove it. We will see if and when that happens.
NPR's Conflict of Interest No Conflict, NPR Decides
Call it the one-day news story that should have been a blockbuster. The Associated Press reported that “a group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in selling the Iran nuclear deal gave NPR [National Public Radio] $100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues….”
That group was the Ploughshares Fund, which says it seeks to reduce and eventually eliminate international nuclear stockpiles. Ploughshares contributed “at least $700,000” to NPR to fund the network's coverage of national security issues since 2005, AP's Bradley Klapper wrote. (See “Group that helped sell Iran nuke deal also funded media,” AP, May 20, 2016.)
The chief of staff of one U.S. senator who had opposed the Iran agreement told CAMERA the Ploughshares revelation probably was not “the smoking gun” that finally would prompt congressional examination of NPR's performance. Public broadcasters are required by the Telecommunications Act to demonstrate “strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature.” Congress has not enforced this statutory provision since the act's passage in 1967 and amendment in 1991.
Something more in the way of public attention apparently would be needed to give the revelation legislative traction, the chief of staff said.
That “something more” might be found in a close reading of NPR Ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen's account of her review, “On Ethics: Did Ploughshares Grant Skew NPR's Iran Deal Coverage?” posted at NPR's Web site May 27, 2016. Her short answer was “no.”
Jewish Poker Pro Reveals Recording of Antisemitic Comments From Fellow Players
A Jewish pro poker player exposed antisemitic statements made by fellow professionals in an audiotape obtained and published by the New York Daily News on Sunday.
Jaclynn Moskow said she was in Pittsburgh in November 2014 taping an episode of the popular TV show “Poker Night in America,” when host Chris Hanson, a professional poker player, told her, “The thing about ‘Poker Night’ that makes it so great is that there are no Jews. Every other show on TV has Jews.”
Moskow, 31, later confronted Hanson over his bigotry and recorded their conversation. According to a transcript of their talk, Moskow told Hanson, “You remember the other night…when I was telling all you… You guys were so nice and how great it was because you were from the Midwest, and you said like, ‘ah, yeah that the key was that, you know there are no Jews on this show,’ right?…I just wanted to let you know I’m Jewish.”
Hanson told the South Florida native he “didn’t mean anything by it” and apologized for his remarks, but later claimed he hadn’t said them.
“I deny I made any statement that could reasonably be construed as disparaging of any race, creed, color or religion,” Hanson said in a statement released by his attorney, Linda Kenney Baden. When told that Hanson’s conversation with Moskow was recorded, Baden insisted, “The statement stands.”
British Jews denounce neo-Nazi 'Miss Hitler' pageant
A Scottish woman who said she turned to neo-Nazism after “the Jewish propaganda became too obvious to ignore” was named Miss Hitler 2016.
National Action, a British white supremacist group, announced the winners of its contest on Twitter and on its blog earlier this week because Facebook removed the group’s page in May, shortly after the contest was announced.
Female supporters were invited to “submit a short interview for the site under a pseudonym, accompanied by photos in the T-shirts we sent them.”
According to the group, the contest was designed to raise awareness of its female supporters, who “rarely get much spotlight or recognition.”
The winner, a brunette who was not identified and appears in photos with the lower half of her face covered and performing the Nazi 'Heil Hitler' salute, said in a Q&A on the site that she “didn’t want to believe that the Jews are the enemy, as I was brought up to believe that they are very similar to Christians.”
US publisher to give ‘Mein Kampf’ proceeds to survivors
A Boston-based publishing company has decided to donate proceeds from Adolf Hitler’s infamous manifesto “Mein Kampf” to a local organization that works with aging Holocaust survivors.
The move comes after publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was criticized by Jewish advocates for its plans to donate proceeds and royalties from the book to Boston-area cultural organizations, and not necessarily to those that combat anti-Semitism.
Following the backlash, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt partnered with Boston-based Combined Jewish Philanthropies to determine “how best to provide aid directly to the victims of the horrific events of the Holocaust,” Andrew Russell, the publisher’s director of corporate social responsibility, said in a statement.
Moving forward, the proceeds from “Mein Kampf” will be donated to Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Boston for “direct support of the health and human services needs of [Holocaust] survivors,” Russell said.
Jewish lecturer attacked in London for carrying ‘schlep’ bag
A Jewish sociology lecturer carrying a book bag with the word ‘schlep’ on the side has been told to “f*** off back to Israel with the other Yids,” in what may be the first instance of anti-Semitic abuse in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Natalie Pitimson, a senior lecturer at the University of Brighton, on Tuesday said the verbal assault was made on board a packed commuter train travelling through central London at rush-hour, but that no-one reacted, “despite almost certainly having heard”.
Of the bag, she said: “I bought it from the Jewish Museum in North London because I liked it. The word ‘schlep’ written on the side perfectly describes my regular hour-long trek through central London… On the train I noticed a lad and his girlfriend looking at me and my bag, which was on my lap. When they spotted me looking back at them, he told me to ‘f*** off back to Israel with the other Yids.’ Nobody else in the carriage reacted.”
French high court reaffirms sentence for Holocaust-denying prof.
France’s highest court affirmed a one-year prison sentence for a professor who questioned the Holocaust’s veracity.
The Court of Cassation rejected the appeal last week of Vincent Reynouard, who has since fled the country and is presumed escaped. It was the last of several appeals by Reynouard to the sentence imposed last year by a Caen court over a 2014 video in which he said the Holocaust may not have happened and called state commemorations of the deportation of French Jews ”manipulation of memory,” France 3 reported.
Reynouard has lost his license to teach in the public education system over repeated Holocaust denials.
The court's ruling came amid protests over a Paris university readmitting a student who had been expelled for anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Earlier this month, the Sciences Po University agreed to readmit a student, Amira Jumaa, who is under disciplinary review for writing hateful remarks about Jews on Facebook last year. Jumaa, a citizen of Kuwait, also was fired over the posts by the French consulate in New York, where she was working in an internship.
Sciences Po allowed Jumaa to continue to study at the institution while its disciplinary board, which had suspended Jumaa last year, decides on her appeal of the sanctions.
Belgian court upholds kosher ritual slaughter rights
The Constitutional Court of Belgium ruled on Wednesday that shechita, kosher ritual slaughter, is legally permissible and that the practice can continue.
According to the court, restricting shechita by insisting that animals be stunned before slaughter would contravene Belgium’s constitution requiring freedom of religion to be upheld.
Several months ago a number of Belgian parliamentarians, including the Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare Ben Weyts, began a campaign against shechita and demanded that ritual slaughter not be exempted from the requirement to stun animals before slaughter. Animals rights activists in many countries have fought to ensure that all livestock taken to slaughter are stunned, but Jewish law prohibits stunning and make shechita impossible.
The practice is currently illegal in two EU member states – Sweden and Denmark – as well as three other non-EU countries in Western Europe: Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. EU members Finland, Austria and Estonia enforce strict supervision of shechita, which some Jews there say make it nearly impossible.
A campaigns to ban religious slaughter has also taken place in the UK, while opposition to schechita led to a ban by the Netherlands in 2010, although it was overturned by the Dutch Senate in 2012.
Swiss firm Doodle buys Israel’s Meekan for undisclosed amount
Doodle, an online scheduler and a subsidiary of the Swiss media group Tamedia, has bought Tel Aviv-based startup Meekan, a developer of a chatbot that acts as a virtual scheduling assistant, for an undisclosed amount.
In response to a voice request, Meekan’s bot automatically matches up the schedules of all members of a group chat within seconds and proposes prioritized dates. The Meekan chatbot is adaptive and remembers the earlier preferences and practices of its users to help optimally plan and adjust schedules, Doodle said in a statement posted on Tamedia’s website.
“Unique to this industry,” Meekan is completely driven by artificial intelligence, with no humans involved behind the scenes, Doodle said.
“The integration of Meekan enables Doodle’s next step forward,” Christoph Brand, head of Digital Division at Tamedia, said in the statement. “The chatbot as an intelligent virtual assistant allows fast scheduling without having to consult one’s own calendar. It has definitely enormous potential.”
Germany to Lease Advanced Israeli Drones for 600M Euros
Germany has reached a preliminary agreement to lease up to five advanced drones from Israel for 600 million euros.
The deal, which was signed with the state-owned Israel Air Industries last week, stipulates that the large Heron TP (Eitan) drones will be initially sent to Germany to be made operational and deployed in 2018, Ynet reported.
General Volker Wieker, the German chief of staff, said that he preferred the Israeli-made drones to the American-made Predator and Raptor drones, which were designed to destroy targets from the air.
Notably, Israel has not previously confirmed that its drones can be armed to attack targets on the ground. A previous deal between Israel and Germany was specifically for reconnaissance drones.
Israeli companies handpicked by White House for GES 2016
Six Israeli companies were handpicked by the US State Department and White House to take part in the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in California, June 22-24.
Two additional Israeli enterprises were chosen to present as part of GES+, focusing on youth and women entrepreneurs: Loop Organization, founded in Nazareth by lawyer and computer engineer Wasim Abu Salem to teach computer science and coding to Israeli Arab children ages 7-16; and Toya-Play a Difference from Anat Shperling and Yifat Anzelevich, which uses mobile games to tell children the life stories of remarkable women.
Hosted by President Barack Obama, GES attracted more than 1,000 global delegates. Each of the world’s six regions was represented by 100 entrepreneurs chosen from about 5,000 applications from more than 150 countries.
Super hybrid car is heading down the road
Why do hybrid and electric cars account for less than 3 percent of the 89 million cars sold every year across the world? It’s mainly because hybrids are expensive and 100% electric cars can’t go far between battery charges.
While others scramble to design smaller, lighter combustion engines, or better fuel-cell and battery technologies, an Israeli startup is totally reinventing the combustion engine to power the hybrid car of the future – a smart electric vehicle.
Chief Marketing Officer and cofounder Gal Fridman tells ISRAEL21c that after just two years in business, Aquarius Engines has filed three patents and signed a deal to test the Aquarius engine in a major European automaker’s concept car at the beginning of 2017.
Because Aquarius uses so little fuel to power the engine and charge the battery, drivers would have to fill the 50-liter (13-gallon) tank only about every five or six weeks.
Whereas conventional automobiles can go 600 kilometers (372 miles) on 50 liters of gasoline, and an electric car can go 350 kilometers on a single charge, a car fitted with the Aquarius engine has a range of 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) per tank.
Soul singer Joss Stone heads to Tel Aviv
Soul singer Joss Stone is joining the stream of singers coming to Israel this summer, with an intimate show on July 25 in Tel Aviv’s Barby Club.
Stone, who started her career at the age of 13 on a British talent show, had her first album, “The Soul Sessions,” go platinum in Britain. She has recorded seven albums and won several Brit Awards and a Grammy in 2007.
Her latest album, “Water for Your Soul,” came out last July and included a range of musical genres, from reggae, hip-hop and soul to gospel and world music.
Focused on love and relationships, a familiar topic for 29-year-old Stone, the album is considered to be something of a comeback for the young singer, who received lukewarm reviews for several of her previous releases.



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From COGAT:
Today, Israelis and Palestinians gathered at an international exhibition of agriculture in the heart of Tel Aviv, in which the Civil Administration arranged participation for Palestinians in order to learn about cutting-edge agricultural technology to develop their businesses.

Here, an opportunity was presented to create ties with Israeli farmers, network with experts in the industry, and learn about advanced innovations in the agricultural market.
The exhibition was AgroMashov. According to Ma'an Arabic, 150 Palestinian Arab farmers attended

About a thousand Palestinian farmers are helped every year by the efforts of COGAT - which is part of the IDF.

This sort of thing flummoxes the boycotters. If a thousand Palestinian farmers are anxious to work with Israel on growing and marketing their goods, then don't they know what's best for themselves without having holier-than-thou hypocrites tell them to voluntarily starve for the cause?



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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


Everyone says Israel does a poor job of hasbara, but the question is “what is the job?”

Hasbara is information, propaganda, public diplomacy, clarification of policies, telling the truth about Israel or telling lies. It depends on whom you ask.  Folks who don’t like what I write sometimes call me a ‘hasbarist’, which is apparently something like a pederast.

One form of hasbara – defensive hasbara – responds to what Richard Landes likes to call ‘cognitive warfare’. Cognitive warfare is a real thing that nations and ideological activists expend a lot of effort and money on and which can have serious, concrete effects.

Cognitive attacks can be targeted at different populations and intended to produce different effects. It can be aimed at an enemy population to demoralize it, reduce support for its leadership, destroy will to fight, create confusion, or cause the leaders to make mistakes. It can also be aimed at third-party nations, to keep them from supporting the target. Cognitive warfare techniques can also be used to strengthen one’s own population’s identification with particular policies.

Israel’s enemies flood the world’s media and institutions like the UN with descriptions of the IDF’s ‘disproportionate’ use of force, ‘excessive’ civilian casualties, use of prohibited weapons, cruelty and even deliberate targeting of children. Defensive operations are portrayed as unprovoked aggression. These accusations are either exaggerated, presented out of context or made up from whole cloth – sometimes they are based on faked or doctored video, the so-called ‘pallywood’. Documentation is often no more than unsupported statements from Palestinians, laundered via the NGO ‘halo effect’ (“if Human Rights Watch reports it, it must be true”) to give them credibility. Organizations like ‘Breaking the Silence’ spread unsubstantiated allegations of war crimes both in Israel and abroad. A massive quantity of accusations are made in order to overwhelm our capacity to respond.

The campaign gets results: the IDF adopts tactics to reduce collateral damage even further, to the extent that its operational effectiveness and morale of its troops are impacted. Israel is deterred from initiating operations that might result in legal action against its officers and soldiers. Unfriendly regimes in the US are unopposed when they act to turn Israeli military victories into political defeats or cut off deliveries of weapons in wartime. Sympathy for terrorist entities like Hamas and Hezbollah make it possible for them to ‘stay in business’ between conflicts and rearm. Israeli young people may even be influenced by the smear campaign to avoid military service so as not to be involved in what they are told is an immoral enterprise.

The BDS campaign that is being waged all over the world, including Europe, South Africa, Australia and the US, is a major cognitive offensive. While it is doubtful that it can ever amount to more than an economic pinprick against Israel, that isn’t its primary objective. What it has already been successful at doing, whether or not resolutions to boycott, sanction or divest are passed, is to give currency to the idea that Israel’s behavior is so egregious that decent people are expected to shun it. Even where anti-BDS laws or resolutions have been passed, these are spun as a response by ‘Jewish power’ to justified grass-roots outrage.

Defensive hasbara counteracts these sorts of cognitive warfare. Although the sheer volume of false accusations makes it difficult, they must be refuted before they can be turned into concrete legal or diplomatic challenges. 

The role of the government and the army in responding to false accusations is key, because only they have the access and authority necessary to find out the truth about incidents that happened in war or in confrontations between soldiers and civilians. The record of the Israeli authorities in this arena has been spotty at best. One of the worst failures was the case of the alleged killing of Mohammed al-Dura in 2000, which almost certainly was a scripted ‘Pallywood production’ in which neither the young al-Dura nor his father were wounded. A map showed that IDF soldiers could not have shot them. Nevertheless, shortly after the incident, the IDF officially apologized for the young al-Dura’s ‘death’!

Defensive hasbara is one piece of the puzzle, a necessary response to cognitive attacks, but in itself not sufficient to win the cognitive war. If all we do is defend ourselves, the result is that we simply help spread the accusations (I’m reminded of an anecdote about Lyndon Johnson advising his PR person to spread the story that an opposing candidate had sex with chickens in order to force him to publicly deny it). We can’t afford to ignore specific accusations, but we also need to ensure that people on our side have access to a correct account of our historical, moral and legal rights to the land of Israel as well as the justification of specific policies.

The thrust of Palestinian Arab propaganda – and it indeed is thrust at the world continuously – is that the Jews stole the land from an indigenous Palestinian people and Israel occupies it today (on both sides of the Green Line) as a cruel racist, colonialist oppressor. As long as this story is believed, then there will continue to be pressure for ‘justice’, which usually involves changes to borders and security features (e.g., the elimination of the security barrier or the blockade of Gaza) that will advance the Arab program to destroy the Jewish state and kill or disperse its people.

Just as the Palestinians and their supporters have a logically consistent (but false) narrative of history and current events to justify their demands, we too need to develop and broadcast our (in this case true) narrative. In contrast to defensive hasbara, I’ll call this positive hasbara.

If we were doing this, we would advocate for our narrative in both the inward and outward directions, in our own educational system and also in our informational efforts to the outside world. The narrative would rest on a Zionist philosophical foundation, accurate historical scholarship and solid legal argumentation. All our organs of state – the Prime Minister and government, the Foreign and Defense Ministries, the army, the Broadcasting Authority, and more – would be on the same page when it comes to our basic right to have a Jewish state here, why we must maintain military control of the territories, why Jews have a right to live anywhere in the land of Israel, and why our security measures are justified.

Needless to say, this is not the case today. We tell the world how much we want peace with the Palestinians, how beautiful our beaches are, how gay-friendly we are, how we have a lot of high-tech startups, how our medical technology is the best in the world, how our soldiers are nice to cute Arab kids, and how the terrorists murder us. The world responds by saying that terrorism is our fault because we don’t ‘end the occupation’, ‘stop settlement activity’ and ‘free Palestine’.

The necessary messages are not getting through because they are not being sent. Why is this?

We have a political and social culture that is very tolerant of political diversity. A small percentage of Israelis tend to be extremely, even pathologically, critical of the state, and at the same time sit in key positions in our most important information-related institutions, not to mention the ministries, the courts, even the army. There are academics, media personalities, artists and intellectuals who are anti-Zionist and anti-state. Instead of Naomi Shemer we have Aviv Geffen. University faculties are ludicrously unbalanced toward the Left.

These individuals can directly create roadblocks, but they also foster a lack of confidence on the part of others who don’t share their point of view. In Israel, unabashed Zionists are considered at least naïve and often extremists. Nobody wants to look silly.

Because we don’t project a consistent message that justifies our existence, we should not be surprised that people all over the world don’t bother to sort through the contradictory messages – including many that can only be called suicidal – that emanate from Israel, and instead prefer the simple call for ‘justice for the Palestinian people’.

I don’t have a solution for this problem. We aren’t Yasser Arafat, who created a unitary voice for the Palestinians by murdering anyone who disagreed with him. We aren’t the Soviets, who tightly controlled all means of expression and sent people to the Gulag for illegally using a typewriter. But as long as we don’t unite behind a Zionist ideal, we won’t be able to present a counter-view for the Palestinian narrative. And indeed, we won’t have an answer for the nihilism of the post-Zionist Left among us.

Shimon Peres said that you don’t need hasbara if you have good policy. This is wrong for many reasons, but one of them is that you can’t have good policy if you don’t have a consistent understanding of who you are and what your objectives are. You can’t fight a cognitive war over your legitimacy if you don’t know what the basic arguments for that legitimacy are. You can’t negotiate if you don’t know what you can compromise and what you can’t. Positive hasbara is more than propaganda, it’s also getting our own selves clear about what we ought to do and why.

***

Cognitive warfare is real and dangerous. Defensive hasbara is the necessary response. We can improve our execution of it by adding money and manpower to the effort to counter the enemy lie machine. It’s difficult, but we know how to do it. And we should.

Positive hasbara, answering the Palestinian narrative with a persuasive one of our own, is a much harder task, because it requires that we have a consistent national narrative that we feel comfortable asserting. And we don’t.

And that’s the answer to the question at the beginning of this post: “the job” we need to do is a political one, not just a PR operation: it is no less than to unite Israel’s Jews under a Zionist ideological banner. Until we are successful at this, the only hasbara game we can play will be the defensive one.




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From Ian:

Girl, 13, dies of wounds after stabbing attack in West Bank bedroom
A 13-year-old girl died after being stabbed repeatedly by a Palestinian assailant who entered her bedroom in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba Thursday morning. Another man was seriously wounded in the terror attack.
The victim, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem unconscious, not breathing and in critical condition, where doctors said they were unable to save her.
A 31-year-old man also suffered multiple stab wounds and shooting injuries in the attack, according to rescue and hospital officials.
It appears the man, a civilian guard responding to the attack, was accidentally shot by other guards in an effort to neutralize the terrorist, according to initial reports.
The assailant was shot and killed, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The Palestinian health ministry identified him as Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, 17, from Bani Naim, adjacent to Kiryat Arba.
Local officials said the home lies on the edge in the Ramat Mamre neighborhood, adjacent to a fence surrounding the settlement. A picture released by the IDF showed the bedroom with blood smeared on beds and the floor.
According to an initial account, the attacker jumped the fence — a breach that sent an alert to the IDF and civilian security guards in the area — and broke into the girl’s bedroom, where she was sleeping.
‘A terrorist murdered my daughter in her bed,’ tearful mother says
The mother of a 13-year-old girl murdered in her bedroom in a terror attack Thursday morning tearfully recalled her daughter’s last moments, as politicians and others expressed outrage over the stabbing attack inside a West Bank settlement home.
“Like all adolescents during summer vacation, my daughter was asleep — tranquil, calm — and a terrorist came and murdered her in her bed,” Rina Ariel, the mother of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, told reporters outside Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem where the teenager was taken after sustaining critical injuries in the attack earlier Thursday.
She arrived with multiple stab wounds to her upper body and was pronounced dead shortly after.
Ariel was stabbed to death in her room on Thursday morning when a Palestinian teen, identified as Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, 17, from Bani Na’im, jumped the fence into the settlement, broke into her house and stabbed her to death, before also stabbing a civilian security guard who arrived at the scene. Tarayrah was shot and killed by other guards.
9 Facts You Need to Know about Hallel Ariel, Who Was Murdered in Bed by an Arab Terrorist
  1. Hallel Yafa Ariel, 13 and a half years old, was on summer vacation, having just finished the 8th grade.
  2. Hallel was related to Israeli Minister Uri Ariel.
  3. The terrorist-murderer was 17 years old, Muhammad Taraiyre, from the village of Bani Naim. He climbed the fence at 8:44 AM, was spotted by security cameras, but made his way quickly to the Ariel house and murdered Hallel Yafa by stabbing her dozens of times while she was asleep in her bed.
  4. The terrorist was neutralized by a member of the civilian Rapid Response Team. Another member of the team, Yehoshua Gilboa, was severely injured. The determination and drive of the RRT stopped this terror event from spreading any further.
  5. The funeral will begin at the family’s home in Ramat Mamre “Kharsina” neighborhood of Kiryat Arba. The procession will conclude at the Ancient Jewish Cemetery in Hebron where the burial will take place. The funeral is expected to draw Ministers, Knesset Members, Rabbis and other spiritual and cultural leaders.



Update on Wounded Kiryat Arba Security Volunteer
Shuki Gilboa, the 31-year-old man who was wounded fighting the terrorist in Kiryat Arba was taken to Hadassah hospital.
As of Thursday afternoon, the man is being treated in the ICU. He’s conscious, stable and now listed as moderately wounded.
Update: 4:42 PM: Gilboa is being brought into the operating room in order to save the vision in his eye.
The man is a security volunteer in Kiryat Arba where he lives. He was stabbed by the terrorist, but also inadvertently shot by Israeli security forces as they killed the terrorist.
Prayers can be said for Yehoshua ben Esther.
PMW: PA and Fatah quick to honor murderer who killed 13-year-old girl in her sleep
Fatah’s official Facebook page immediately posted his picture, declaring him a Martyr - “Shahid,” the highest honor achievable in Islam according to the Palestinian Authority.
WAFA, the official PA news agency, likewise honored the terrorist, referring to him as a Martyr - “Shahid.”
According to Palestinian Authority law, the family of today’s murderer will immediately start receiving a monthly PA stipend that the PA pays to the families of all the “Martyrs.”
The mother of the terrorist told a local Hebron news network that her son was “a hero” who made her “proud”:
Mother of terrorist Muhammad Taraireh: “My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a Martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, he [my son] has joined the Martyrs before him, and he is not better than them. Allah willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine. Allah be praised.” [Local Hebron News Network http://alkhalil.ps/, June 30, 2016]
IDF moves in on Kiryat Arba terrorist’s hometown after deadly attack
The Israel Defense Forces closed off the Palestinian village of Bani Na’im Thursday, hours after a Palestinian from the town stabbed and killed a 13-year-old Israeli girl in the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arba, a spokesperson said.
On Thursday morning, 17-year-old Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah sneaked into the West Bank settlement. He broke into the home of the victim, Hallel Yaffe Ariel, and stabbed her repeatedly. A 31-year-old man from the settlement’s emergency response team was also wounded in the terror attack.
Tarayrah was shot and killed, according to the IDF.
Following the incident, Israeli forces entered Bani Na’im and visited the terrorist’s home “in order to investigate,” the army said in a statement.
According to Palestinian media reports, Tarayrah’s father was arrested by IDF troops.
JPost Editorial: Ongoing incitement
The standing ovation European parliamentarians last week accorded Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s shameless blood libel against Israel was startling, but not unexpected. The Palestinian leader’s technique of making vile anti-Semitic slurs about the Jewish state, then cynically and insincerely retracting them after they have done their damage, is well known.
Such remarks reflect Abbas’s true attitude toward a peace settlement with Israel. It is the latest escalation of the incitement of terrorism that has become a trademark of his rule, now in the eleventh year of a four-year term.
One of the obligations the Palestinian Authority has consistently failed to meet under the Oslo Accords is to eliminate the anti-Israel incitement it has cultivated throughout its official institutions and civil society.
When Abbas glorifies terrorists who murder innocent Israelis by referring to them as “holy martyrs” and naming streets and public institutions after them, it is no wonder that Palestinian culture reflect this – and that so many young Palestinians are incited to commit acts of terrorism.
Abbas’ Advisor May Have Inspired the Hallel Ariel Murder
The murder of 13-year-old Hallel Ariel Thursday morning may have been inspired by an exceptionally vile statement made this week by a high PA official, Abbas’ advisor and Fatah Central Committee member Sultan Abu Al-Einein, who on Monday urged Arabs to seek out Israelis in order to cut off their heads.
The statement was made during an interview with Donia Al-Watan, an independent Palestinian news agency, about building peaceful and normal relations with Israel, according to Palestinian Media Watch. Abu Al-Einein explained that he rejects “negotiations, meetings, and normalization” activities and believes that when a Palestinian meets an Israeli he should kill him.
“Regarding the matter of normalization [with Israel] and the participation of members of the Fatah leadership and members of the PLO Executive Committee in Israeli conferences, Abu Al-Einein said: ‘If you would ask me about my personal position, I would tell you — every place you find an Israeli cut off his head. Likewise, I am against talks, negotiations, meetings, and normalization in all its forms with the Israeli occupation,’” Donia Al-Watan reported.
After West Bank attack, Netanyahu implores world to pressure Palestinians to condemn terror
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the enlightened nations of the world to put pressure on the Palestinian leadership to stop incitement following the murder of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel by a Palestinian terrorist in Kiryat Arba on Wednesday.
"The horrifying murder of an innocent child in her bed sheds light on the bloodlust and lack of humanity displayed by the terrorists we are facing, brainwashed by incitement," Netanyahu stated.
"The entire nation feels deeply the pain of the family and says to the murderers - you will not break us," he said.
Netanyahu vowed to continue to fight terror wherever it may be and called on the world to condemn the attack, just as they condemned the terror attacks in Brussels and Orlando.
"I expect the Palestinian leadership to condemn this cruel murder in a clear and decisive manner, and to act to stop the incitement immediately," Netanyahu said, adding that he expects the international community to join him in this call.
US, Germany condemn killing of sleeping Israeli teen
The US State Department on Thursday condemned a terror attack earlier in the day in which a 13-year-old Israeli girl was stabbed to death in her bed, calling it “simply unconscionable.”
Denouncements were also issued by the German Foreign Ministry and the US, UK, and EU envoys to Israel, who all said there was no justification for such attacks.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the outrageous terrorist attack this morning in the West Bank where a 13-year-old girl, Hallel Ariel, was stabbed to death in her home,” the US State Department said in a statement. “This brutal act of terrorism is simply unconscionable. We extend our deepest condolences to her family. We also understand another individual who was responding to the attack was wounded by the attacker. We extend our hopes for a quick and full recovery.”
'I want to die,' Kiryat Arba terrorist wrote on Facebook prior to attack
Mohammad Tarayrah, the 17-year old Palestinian who carried out a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba Thursday morning which resulted in the death of 13-year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, was planning to become a martyr, a post written on his Facebook page reveals.
Tarayrah, who resided in the Nablus area village of Bani Naim, was greatly inspired by Majd al-Hadour, an 18-year old woman from his village who carried out a car ramming attack against IDF soldiers near Kiryat Arba last Friday. Hadour was shot and killed by the IDF following the attack.
In the posts he published about her on his Facebook page, Tarayrah mentions Hadour under the hashtag #Asistertobravery. In addition, he wrote a special poem for her, telling her that "Jerusalem is now proud of you."
The teen murderer was hailed as a "martyr" by official PA media, who failed to note . Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party tweeted praising "the martyr Mohammad Tarayrah, who carried out the operation today that resulted in the killing of a settler and in the injuring of another."
Honest Reporting: NBC News: “Suspected” Terrorist Murders Israeli Teen
How appalling an atrocity does a Palestinian have to carry out before media accepts that it is an act of terrorism?
Thirteen-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was stabbed to death in her bedroom this morning by a Palestinian terrorist. According to NBC News, the murderer was a “suspected terrorist”:
It seems crystal clear that this horrific incident is an act of terror carried out by a Palestinian terrorist. How can NBC News attribute the “suspected” terrorist to the Israeli military or Israeli officials when embedded tweets from both the IDF and IDF spokesperson Peter Lerner appear in the article stating clearly that this is a terrorist attack?
UPDATE 2
The headline has been amended and the word “suspected” removed. The opening paragraph, which had already seen the same word removed (see update below) has now been further altered. “The accurate word “terrorist” has unfortunately and unnecessarily been replaced with “attacker.”
While the headline change is welcome, the decision to state that Israeli officials said that a Palestinian “attacker” was responsible is inaccurate. Israeli officials most certainly described the assailant as a terrorist.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Bir Zeit Mathematics Students Aim To Prove Equivalence Of Terrorists, Victims (satire)
Undergraduate researchers at this institution north of the Palestinian capital have launched a project aimed at developing a mathematical proof that equates the deaths of terrorists with the deaths of their victims.
Hedd Stabr, Souss Adbamr, and Qid Qilr, all juniors pursuing BS degrees in Bir Zeit University’s mathematics department, announced today they had received approval from their professors and academic advisers to pursue such a proof as part of a multi-year project required for the degree. The three students received final approval this morning, and decided to make their announcement immediately after they received news that a 17-year-old Palestinian had just stabbed to death a 13-year-old Israeli girl in her bedroom.
“My friends and I realized there is no better time than right now to get started on this project,” said Stabr, 20. “We aim to develop a mathematical proof that demonstrates empirically that on a moral plane, the death of, for example, the seventeen-year-old Palestinian heroic martyr at the hands of the brutal occupying Zionist pig security forces, in the aftermath of his heroic commando operation to infiltrate the quarters of a squatter pig and eliminate her, is morally equivalent to her death, and can be treated as such without qualms by the media.”
“Of course the proof will be of use in other situations, as well,” added Adbamr. “For example, when Hamas or allied groups fire rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip and Israel takes military action to suppress the rocket fire, any Palestinian deaths will be mathematically proven as equivalent to Israeli casualties suffered in the initial rocket barrage.”
The Palestinian ‘Refugee’ Dodge
Two decades of failed peace talks cannot be understood without understanding this simple fact: Whereas the Palestinian leadership talks constantly about the refugees’ sufferings to drum up sympathy for its quest for statehood, it has no intention of actually doing anything to help them. And therefore, it sees no urgency in actually acquiring a state that would enable it to do so; it can afford to keep saying no to every Israeli offer.
In fact, far from wanting the refugee problem solved, Palestinian leaders would prefer that it continue to fester, in order to keep international attention on “the Palestinian problem,” as the Egyptian statesman accurately said. That’s also why they keep insisting the only acceptable solution is one that’s completely unfeasible: a mass “return” of refugees to Israel, which would eradicate the Jewish state demographically. Were they instead to say “yes” to a statehood offer, not only would it deprive them of the ability to keep exploiting the refugees as cannon fodder in their diplomatic war on Israel, but it would require them to actually start caring for their people–which is the last thing they want.
That’s precisely why more such “candid words” about the Palestinian refugees are so badly needed. It’s long past time to admit, as the Egyptian statesman did, that they aren’t actually refugees and shouldn’t be treated as such; this would free up money and manpower to help the real refugees who need it so desperately. And it’s also past time to admit that as long as Palestinian leaders show no interest in caring for their so-called refugees, it’s a sure sign that they have no interest in actually saying “yes” to a Palestinian state.
Gold to 'Post': Quartet report could cause Israel diplomatic damage
Gold said from an Israeli perspective there are two clear factors that have held up the diplomatic process.
The first has been Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and negotiate. “You can’t have a negotiated solution if there is no negotiations,” he said. “It is very simple.
The second reason is because of Palestinian incitement and violence. The Oslo process of 1993 “was predicated on the assumption that the parties were putting their hostile relationship behind them, that violence cannot coexist with the quest for peace,” he said.
But since then, he noted, successive governments had to deal with violence – first the suicide bombing in the heart of the country’s cities, then rockets from Gaza, and finally a new wave of incitement that led to the knifing attacks of the last several months.
Violence, he said, has become more prevalent despite the peace process, “and if you want to have a meaningful move toward a negotiated solution, you have to get the violence under control, and you have to get the incitement under control.”
Regarding the incitement, Gold termed “disgusting” the European Parliament giving a standing ovation to Abbas last week after he delivered a speech in which he charged that some rabbis were urging the government to poison the Palestinian water supply.
Acknowledging that the ovation came for the speech, not for the statement about poisoning the water, Gold asked, “How on earth can European parliamentarians applaud a statement that comes out of the deepest any-Semitic mythology of the Middle Ages?”
Quartet report on stalled peace process delayed again
A report by the Middle East Quartet about the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, slated for publication this week, has been delayed once again.
Quartet officials kept mum Thursday about the exact publication date, though it was rumored that it could take another few days.
One official said that it was possible that the Quartet — a consortium consisting of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia — would release a paper with the report’s key points but will delay publication of the entire report to a later date.
The UN’s special envoy to the peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, was scheduled to brief the UN Security Council Thursday afternoon.
Originally, the report was supposed to come out ahead of the June 3 peace summit in Paris, but was pushed off, presumably due to pressure by Israeli diplomats who frantically tried to have the document’s wording be modified in Israel’s favor.
Erdogan blasts Gaza flotilla that sparked crisis with Israel
With a reconciliation deal between Turkey and Israel finalized, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for the first time lambasted the group behind the 2010 flotilla to the Gaza Strip that sparked years of strife between the nations.
Erdogan, who has been attacked by the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) for signing the accord with Israel, said Wednesday the aid group had no business criticizing him, as its unsanctioned actions were the cause of years of diplomatic crisis.
“Did you ask for my permission before setting out on the flotilla?” Erdogan said at a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner at his residence in Ankara. “When you launch a flotilla you need to ask [permission].”
He added that at the time of the flotilla “we were already delivering the same amount of humanitarian aid to Gaza, but without making [a show if it],” according to Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper.
“Now we have Israel’s promise, all aid supplies to Gaza will be permitted from now on,” Erdogan said.
Turkey Mediating Hamas-Israel Prisoner Swap, Senior Hamas Official Claims
On the heels of the newly approved reconciliation deal between Israel and Turkey, a senior Hamas official on Wednesday said that Turkey has started mediating a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The prisoner swap would involve the return to Israel of the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, two Israeli soldiers who were killed during the 2014 Gaza war.
“An important meeting between a big delegation of Hamas and Turkish intelligence took place in Turkey a few weeks ago to discuss a number of Palestinian issues related to the Gaza Strip, among them a possible prisoner swap,” the anonymous Hamas official said in an interview with the Saudi news website al-Khaleej Online.
“Turkey is currently acting as a mediator to conclude a prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel. It is making important moves and holding important talks, and it went to great lengths in order to reach a good launch point that will enable the parties to conclude a deal,” said the official.
Isi Leibler: Herzog’s intolerable deceit
The somewhat insipid response by the media to these revelations is a byproduct of our dysfunctional political system, having inured Israelis to political deceit and made them highly cynical.
Zionist Union chairman MK Isaac Herzog is the scion of one of Israel’s most distinguished families. His late father, Chaim Herzog, served with distinction as president, and his grandfather, whose name he carries, was one of Israel’s most respected and beloved chief rabbis.
I have been lauding Herzog over the past year, relating to him as a Labor Zionist of the old school who had the ability to revive the party and rid it of the delusional leftists who alienated many of its former supporters and weakened it almost to the point of destruction. I bemoaned the fact that a unity government was not formed, insisting that Herzog, like the head of all Zionist parties, would basically be implementing the same policies as the current government.
In this context, I believed that he would make an excellent foreign minister and enable Israel to display unity in the face of the concerted diplomatic pressures being exerted against us.
In January, after the elections, while as leader of the opposition Herzog continued castigating Netanyahu, he nevertheless publicly endorsed the consensus policy toward the Palestinians adopted by Professor Shlomo Avineri, Labor Zionism’s foremost intellectual.
Although he emphasized that he remained committed to a separation from the Palestinians, Avineri maintained that the Oslo Accords were no longer relevant as the Palestinian leadership refused to accept Israel’s right to exist and considered Israel’s destruction a greater priority than achieving their own statehood. Avineri concluded that under such circumstances, efforts to implement a two-state solution were delusional.
Israel hopes for UN return to Golan as Iran, ISIS seek foothold
Israel’s Mission to the United Nations on Wednesday called for the return of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) peacekeepers to the Israel-Syrian border in the Golan Heights, amid fears Iran and the ISIS terror group are looking to gain a foothold on the Syrian side of the prized strategic area.
The UNDOF force, which was created after the 1973 Yom Kippur War and includes deployments by UN countries from around the world, monitors the border between Israel and Syria. Its mandate, originally given by the UN Security Council in 1974 as a temporary measure, has been renewed every six months since.
But UN monitoring stations on the Golan have been abandoned since 2014, after Islamic terrorists captured UNDOF peacekeepers.
On Wednesday the UN Security Council renewed the UNDOF mandate once again and called for UN member states participating in the UNDOF peacekeeper program to renew the deployment of monitors on the ground.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, praised the renewal of the UNDOF mandate and echoed the Security Council’s call for a return of UNDOF peacekeepers to the Golan.
“UNDOF manning these positions is in Israel’s interest,” said Danon.
“The UNDOF peacekeepers play an important role and Israel is interested in them returning to the buffer zone in the quickest, and safest way, possible.”
Zoabi doubles down on claim IDF troops are ‘murderers’
Joint (Arab) List MK Hanin Zoabi on Thursday reiterated her claims that the IDF soldiers involved in a May 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla were “murderers,” saying the remarks she made a day earlier represented a “world consensus.”
“I represent not just the Palestinian consensus, not just the consensus of my people, I represent a world consensus,” she told Army Radio.
“If I stand on a stage, any stage, [with] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, you know who will be received with applause and who will convince the world,” Zoabi added.
She rejected charges by her interviewer that she was pandering to opponents of Israel and betraying her constituency by making inflammatory remarks about the IDF and focusing on the Palestinian cause instead of issues pertaining to Israeli Arabs.
Zoabi’s statements came a day after Netanyahu asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to explore legal ways to expel the MK from the Knesset. That came hours after she sparked a firestorm in the plenum when, speaking from the podium, she called IDF soldiers “murderers” and demanded they apologize for the flotilla raid.
MKs blame Zoabi for terrorist attack that killed 13-year-old girl
Incitement by MK Haneen Zoabi (Joint List) is to blame for the death of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, MKs on the Right posited Thursday.
“The blood of the 13-year-old girl murdered today is on Zoabi’s hands,” MK Nava Boker (Likud), a Deputy Knesset Speaker, said. “This is the result of the incitement she speaks from the Knesset’s stage.”
On Wednesday, Zoabi called IDF soldiers “murderers” during a speech in the Knesset, leading to a near-brawl in the plenum when several MKs from the coalition and opposition shouted at her and tried to rush the stage. Following the melee, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Attorney-General Avihai Mandelblit to look into legal ways of removing Zoabi from the Knesset.
Boker said Zoabi “encourages terrorist attacks against Jews and the murder of children in their beds.
Israeli activists evacuated from Ramallah after car torched
Nine Israeli Jews who entered the Palestinian city of Ramallah voluntarily to visit friends on Wednesday were evacuated from the area after one of their vehicles was firebombed. No one was hurt in the incident.
Eight of the nine Israeli activists left the area independently and one was escorted out by the Palestinian police.
Journalist Meron Rapaport, who works with the Two States, One Homeland organization, was among the group of Israelis.
The group, all members of the organization, reportedly drove to Ramallah in three vehicles for an Iftar meal, which breaks the fast each day during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Shortly after news of their arrival spread, one of their empty vehicles was torched. Eight of the activists left Ramallah independently through the Qalandiya crossing and the ninth was escorted through the Beit Mishpat crossing.
The IDF said that Israeli security forces will look into the circumstances of the activists' trip to Ramallah, as Israelis are prohibited from entering Palestinian Authority-controlled Area A territories.
9 Leftwing Activists Insist Being Firebombed in Ramallah Wasn’t So Bad
Nine Israeli leftwing activists from the Two States, One Homeland NGO, including journalist Meron Rapoport, on Wednesday had to be rescued from an Arab mob in Ramallah that was throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at their vehicle. According to an IDF report Wednesday night, the nine Israelis were on their way to visit a local journalist, also a member of their NGO, for the post-fast Iftar meal. Eight of them managed to flee on their own, a ninth reached the offices of the Palestinian Authority secret police and was handed over to the IDF near Beit El. All nine are under investigation for violating a martial law decree against unauthorized entry into Area A in Judea and Samaria.
But one of the activists, Eliaz Cohen, told Walla that the group had not been attacked in transit, as Israeli media reported, but that a few Arabs had thrown the stones and one, singular, small Molotov cocktail at their parked car while they were inside their host’s home, dining. According to the activists they all took their time and had not been chased away, and only when the meal was over did eight of them calmly leave, while Rapoport went down to file a complaint with the PA police.
The NGO’s statement stressed that “despite some of the reports, at no point did we feel threatened, and our Palestinian friends were shocked by the incident. The thing that frightens the most those wishing to maintain the status quo are Israelis and Palestinians who talk and act together.”
Two Palestinian security officers killed in Nablus ambush
Five Palestinians, including two Palestinian Authority security officers, were killed overnight Wednesday in separate shootings in the West Bank. Sixteen people were injured in the incidents.
In one incident, a Palestinian fugitive shot at the home of a police officer in the town of Nablus, injuring his wife and daughter before fleeing the scene. When police arrived to investigate, they came under fire and two officers were killed, according to PA police spokesman Loaie Izrekat.
The wife and daughter, as well as one other security officer, were taken to the Nablus Rafidia hospital for treatment.
It was not immediately clear if the officer whose home was attacked was one of the fatalities.
The Governor of Nablus Akram Rajoub announced an emergency inquiry into the incident and called on all parties to exercise restraint in its wake, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an said.
Family celebrates stabber’s birthday with terror cake
The family of Mohammed Said Ali, who was shot dead after he stabbed a Border Policeman at Damascus Gate on October 10, celebrated his 20th birthday with an unusual birthday cake.
A photograph showing the moment of the stabbing had been printed on the cake’s icing, and the writing on the cake said: “Mohammed Ali – the knife commando.”
His mother proudly had her photograph taken with the cake in the Arab newspaper Al Quds Al’an.
The terrorist had come from the village of Shuafat north of Jerusalem to carry out the attack.
Two Border Policemen were wounded by the terrorist’s stabbing and a third who was wounded by stray gunfire targeting the terrorist.
The terrorist pulled out his knife after the Border Policemen asked him to show identification papers.
(h/t Yenta Press)

Hezbollah is now a full-fledged army, thanks partially to Russia
Pictures being published from time to time by Hezbollah tell a great deal about its role in the fighting in Syria. In some of the pictures Hezbollah fighters can be seen leaning against Russian tanks, and the truth is that since Russia began its open military activities in Syria, Hezbollah fighters are also learning Russian methods of war, becoming familiar with advanced Russian weaponry, coming to understand the latest Russian technologies, and in some cases, actually fighting alongside Russian special forces.
Hezbollah is not alone. Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and some members of Shiite militias who have come from overseas have also been fighting alongside Russian soldiers on occasion. But when it comes to Hezbollah, such developments should be raising concerns on the Israeli side. The Shiite terror group is sustaining new losses every day in the fighting in Syria, but at the same time it is gaining expertise from one of the most advanced military forces in our region.
In the 10 years since the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah has been transformed from a terror group deployed against Israel to a full-scale army in almost every respect. It knows how to operate logistically over vast areas. This includes tending to the needs of its troops all over Syria, in much the same way the IDF’s network of welfare officers and staffers does. It is also capable of tending to the welfare needs of Shiite civilians in the Syrian villages under its control. It operates artillery and rockets, it has entire networks of unmanned drones, it is skilled in the use of anti-tank weaponry, and of course it carries out ground operations to conquer and hold territory.
Egypt reiterates support for Palestinian state
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Wednesday met with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, part of his first official visit to Ramallah since being appointed to the position.
According to Anadolu news agency, Shoukry also met with his PA counterpart, Riyad al-Malki, for talks which centered on Israel-PA peace negotiations and the French initiative for peace.
"This is my first visit [to Ramallah] since I was appointed to the position [of foreign minister]," Shoukry said at a press conference with al-Malki.
He went on to say that he brought a message of "solidarity and support" from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, reiterating Cairo’s support for an independent state of Palestine.
"During my meeting with President Abbas we discussed the Egyptian-Palestinian relationship and the French peace initiative aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said, according to Anadolu.
Shoukry also noted that Egypt’s Rafah border crossing with Gaza would be opened on Wednesday for a five-day period.
"Egypt is concerned about the interests and needs of the Palestinian people in Gaza," he stressed.
Turkey’s War and Our Own
There were multiple tragedies that occurred on Tuesday at Ataturk airport in Istanbul. The most immediate concerned, of course, the 41 people who were killed by three suicide bombers. The larger tragedy is the damage done to Turkey’s image of itself as a modern, secular European power.
The very airport that was struck is named after Kemal Mustafa Ataturk, the great strongman who created the modern Turkish state out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. The sultans lorded it over much of the Middle East. Ataturk sought to turn his back on their legacy and largely succeeded. He even banned the fez because it was not the kind of hat that Europeans wore. Thanks in large measure to the efforts of Ataturk and his successors, Turkey had modernized and secularized. Istanbul reestablished its reputation as one of the world’s great cosmopolitan cities–a destination for the ordinary tourists and the jet set alike.
But while Ataturk could change many things about Turkey, he could not change its geographic location. The state he created continues to straddle Europe and Asia, with all of the problems of the Middle East on its doorstep. It was likely one of those problems–the growth of the Islamic State in next-door Syria and Iraq–that caused the terrible explosions at Ataturk airport. Much as Turkey would aspire to join the rest of Europe, it is being dragged into the maw of the Middle East.
This is yet another tragic consequence of the world’s failure to stop the killing in Syria. As long as that country remains in chaos, extremist groups such as ISIS will find a safe haven there, refugees will spill over the borders (nearly 2 million Syrians have found their way to Turkey), and terrorists will come in their wake. The ultimate responsibility for this terrible state of affairs must, of course, rest with Syria itself. Much of the blame must lie with its dictator, Bashar Assad, whose scorched earth campaign to hold onto power has been responsible for the vast majority of the estimated 400,000+ deaths in the five-year-old Syrian civil war.
Some of Erdogan’s Best Friends Are Terrorists
Following Tuesday evening’s multiple suicide bombing at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the world – the West in particular – to view the event as a “milestone for the joint fight against terrorist organizations, a turning point.”
He also said that the attacks, “which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, show that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values.”
If 43 innocent people had not been brutally killed, along with hundreds of others seriously wounded, his words would be cause for a global guffaw on the part of friend and foe alike.
In the first place, as an authoritarian leader of a previously modern and democratic Muslim country, which he has spent the 14 years since his election turning into an Islamic state where critics in the press and political system are thrown in jail for any hint of opposition, he has more nerve than sense to pretend that he is in the same boat as the United States and Europe.
Secondly, as someone who is strongly tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, he has shown that it is only certain terrorists he wants eradicated; the others are his allies, who do the dirty work he welcomes and supports.
‘The Holocaust Is Justified’: What Syrian Refugees Learn in School
There are perhaps few better ways to gauge the probable socio-cultural attitudes of Syrian nationals currently between the ages of young adulthood and late middle-age regarding Jews and Judaism than by examining the content of the state-issued textbooks comprising the curriculum for state-mandated education in Syria.
Although questions of methodology and practice are certainly important (e.g., “how” the material is taught), as are potentially “extra-curricular” sources of information (social media, etc.), the material itself is nevertheless central to a clear and accurate understanding of Syrian perceptions, within the cohort studied, regarding Jews and Judaism. As the following study will demonstrate, the state-mandated educational curriculum in Syria has, since at least 1967, presented a consistently aspersive and defamatory model of Jews and (albeit, to a lesser extent) of Judaism itself.
Established by the governing Ba’athist party in 1967, the current school curriculum is the product a joint socio-cultural initiative established amongst the nations of Syria, Jordan and Egypt of the same year. Beginning in “primary” school (corresponding to 1st through 6th grades), and continuing through three years of “lower-secondary” school (roughly 7th through 9th grades) and the final three years of “higher-secondary” school (10th through 12th grades), Syrian students are taught to believe that Jews are destined both for temporal “elimination” in this world, and “hell” in the subsequent after-life. Indeed, after reviewing sixty-eight separate state-issued Syrian school textbooks from the academic year of 2001, Dr. Arnon Groiss of CMIP (Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace) has categorically stated that:
Not a single word in favor of the Jews is to be found in the Syrian textbooks. The Jews are denied the characteristics of a nation, they are detached from their ancestors and from the land of Palestine, and their religion is racist. They are portrayed as enemies of the Arabs since antiquity, of Islam since its inception, of all mankind, of the prophets and of God himself. The hatred of the nations of the world towards them is justified. The Holocaust is justified… [and] its magnitude is exaggerated by the Jews. There is one passage in the textbooks that calls for their elimination.



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