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Thursday, May 25, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: The PA, UN, and Norway behind center named after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi
In another show of admiration for terrorist murderers and according to the Palestinian Authority's policy of presenting them as role models for Palestinian youth, the Palestinian NGO "Women's Technical Affairs Committee" (WTAC) has named a youth center for women after the terrorist murderer who led the most lethal attack in Israel's history.
The Dalal Mughrabi Center is a joint initiative of the NGO, the PA, the UN, and the Norwegian government! The center's name sign prominently includes the logos of:
- The PA Ministry of Local Government
- UN Women
- The Norwegian Representative Office to the PA
The center, which was inaugurated last week, is named after the terrorist who in 1978 led a group of terrorists who hijacked a bus and killed 37 Israelis, among them of these 12 children:
Worse still, it is not only the name that glorifies the terrorist murderer, the purpose of the center is to educate about her murderous terror attack to youth. At the inauguration of the center, which is situated in the village of Burqa in the Nablus district, a member of the village council, explained about the center's activities:
"Reem Hajje, a member of the village council, noted that the center will focus especially on the history of the struggle of Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and on presenting it to the youth groups, and that it constitutes the beginning of the launch of enrichment activities regarding the history of the Palestinian struggle." [Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, May 15, 2017]
MEMRI: Copenhagen Imam Mundhir Abdallah: We Will Obliterate Israel; Terror Attacks In West Carried Out By Troubled, Desperate Victims Of Western Atrocities
On May 16, 2017, Copenhagen imam Mundhir Abdallah, whose March 31, 2017 Friday sermon calling for the killing of Jews led to government action against him and was covered by media worldwide, addressed an "open political meeting" at the Al-Farouq Mosque. In it, he accused the U.S., and the West in general, of committing atrocities in Muslim countries, thus planting the seed for the terror attacks being carried out in the West. Rejecting criticism of him because of his previous sermon, he insisted that as soon as Muslims regain power, they would "erase" and "obliterate" Israel as well as all U.S. military bases in the region. Westerners, he said, are "machines," living in a "culture of AIDS, drugs, homosexuality, family disintegration, and colonialist control" of wealth. Imam Abdallah posted the address on his personal YouTube channel.
The following is the transcript of Mundhir Abdallah's May 16 address:
"What Islamic Terrorism?! You Are Talking About Several Desperate Individuals And Groups, Which Have Taken Root In The Barbaric Environment You Yourselves Created In Iraq – America Created A Barbaric Environment"
Mundhir Abdallah: "It is no secret that Islam and the Muslims today are subject to the most ferocious Crusader campaign. The West today is leading an all-out war against Islam and the Muslims.
[...]
"[The U.S.] sponsors that criminal [Assad], who perpetrates ignominious atrocities of historic proportions against humanity, and then along comes Trump, talking about fighting Islamic terrorism. What Islamic terrorism?! What Islamic terrorism?! You are talking about several desperate individuals and groups, which have taken root in the barbaric environment you yourselves created in Iraq.
Syria co-sponsors WHO resolution targeting Israel over health in “occupied Syrian Golan”
The annual assembly of the U.N.’s World Health Organization will vote today on a resolution co-sponsored by Syria that targets Israel over “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”
This year’s text, co-sponsored by Syria and the Palestinians, along with Algeria, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia and Venezuela, removes specific language condemning Israel that was in last year’s resolution — likely as a bid to garner EU support — yet renews the annual shaming of Israel by renewing a special agenda item and mandating a report by WHO’s director-general.
“For the U.N. to allow Syria’s Assad regime to influence its focus on health conditions is absurd,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a monitoring group accredited with consultative status at the United Nations.
“It is the height of cynicism for Syria to introduce a resolution on the health of Druze residents of the Golan Heights, who in fact live very well under Israeli jurisdiction, even as Assad bombs his own hospitals, ambulances and medical workers. The U.N. should reject the hijacking of its world health agenda by Arab regimes and allied dictatorships like Cuba and Venezuela.”
“Notably, the UN assembly will not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor will it pass a resolution on any other country in the world.”



Netanyahu: Israel Has Made Jerusalem an Island of Tolerance and Religious Freedom
The soldiers who liberated Jerusalem during the Six Day War did the same thing with an outburst of emotion stemming from the depths of their souls. I remember the human flood when a hole in the wall surrounding the city was breached near City Hall and it flowed into the alleyways and we finally reached the Western Wall and touched those stones in person. Seeing our soldiers standing near the Western Wall at that historic occasion was joyous for three reasons: our success in turning the existential threat against us into a great miracle of salvation; our return to the land of our forefathers, in which our identity as a people was forged; and the wondrous unification that joined us and proved that by standing together, we could overcome any challenge.
We liberated Jerusalem and transformed it into one city – not perfect, but whole. It is an advanced city. It has flourished, is open to all and the believers of the various religions are respected here. We redeemed Jerusalem from the ongoing neglect and distress it had suffered. We are the ones who brought it to a high point in its development. What was here in Jerusalem before that? What was the city like at the dawn of our national rebirth, when we began returning to it? There was almost nothing here. In the 19th century, was there an advanced kingdom here in Israel? Was there a vibrant Palestinian capital?
The truth must be told: Jerusalem, like the entire Land of Israel, was a peripheral and desolate district of the Ottoman Empire. A long list of famous visitors provided their impressions of the Holy Land: de Chateaubriand, de Lamartine, Mark Twain, Herman Melville – the greatest writers and poets in human history. They were not Zionist agents. They wrote about what they saw, and they all painted the exact same picture: a remote country, the great majority of which was dull and barren, shrouded in a feeling of unease.
Nir Barkat, Mayor Jerusalem: Jerusalem at 50: A 2,000-year-old dream
I was seven years old when the Six Day War broke out in 1967. My family and I lived in Jerusalem, a few hundred meters from the no man’s land between Jordanian and Israeli territory that divided the city. The State of Israel was preparing for an imminent onslaught. As a little boy, I remember helping soldiers dig trenches in our yard and hiding with my brothers under our beds when the war began. For days, our streets were bombed and our neighbors were wounded. Until suddenly the war was over.
My family and I went out to walk the streets of our newly reunited city. I saw the adults around me crying. As a child, I couldn’t understand. Only years later did I realize the source of that outpouring of emotion.
In that moment, we fulfilled a 2,000 year old dream.
We returned to the roots of our history: the City of David, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives and the Western Wall. We united east and west, north and south. Jerusalem’s unity has strengthened us all.
Jerusalem today is the crossroads of the modern and ancient: the City of David and the Western Wall Tunnels – alongside the Hebrew University and a thriving hi-tech ecosystem; the Western Wall and the holy sites – minutes from the bustling Mahane Yehuda market, the Israel Museum, the Jerusalem Payis Arena and Teddy Stadium; the newly reinvigorated Park HaMesila along the old Ottoman train tracks and Gazelle Valley nature reserve – that stretch alongside Israel’s first light rail line. Old and new, holy and secular, natural sites and technological wonders sit side by side in the city of Jerusalem.


50 years on, just-released photos show horror, then joy, in Battle for Jerusalem
Up until the 1967 Six Day War, Jewish soldiers had lost practically every major battle to Jordan’s Arab Legion.
In the 1948 Independence War, the legionnaires trounced the Israelis at the Latrun Fort five times, put Jerusalem under siege, and massacred soldiers and civilians alike at Kfar Etzion in what is today the West Bank.
And indeed the first two days of the Six Day War saw bitter, brutal fighting in the then-divided city of Jerusalem between Israeli troops and the Jordanian Armed Forces — by 1967, it had dropped the name “Arab Legion” — including one of the fiercest battles of the entire war: the Battle of Ammunition Hill.
To coincide with this year’s Jerusalem Day celebrations on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry released dozens of photographs and transcripts, some of which have never been seen by the public before, documenting the vicious fighting for Jerusalem and its Old City, and the ecstasy that followed it.
IsraellyCool: Recreation Of Another Iconic Photo From The Liberation Of Jerusalem
You may have already seen the goosebump-inducing recreations of the iconic paratroopers-at-the-Wall photo.
But there were other iconic photos from the liberation of Jerusalem 50 years ago, including this one of Jerusalem Commander Uzi Narkis, Defence Minister Moshe Dayan, and Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin walking through Lion’s Gate.
Yesterday, on Yom Yerushalayim, the grandson of Narkis, great-grand-daughter of Dayan and granddaughter of Rabin, recreated the historical moment.

Linda Sarsour and the Deafening Silence
I look around as Sarsour, this blood-thirsty wolf in a liberal sheep’s clothing, is given a pass by those who “disagree with what she says, but feel she has the right to say it.” And I can either shake my head with disgust and disbelief, or stand up with those willing to oppose her. And that’s what I will do on May 25.
I may not agree with everyone who speaks before or after me. I may take issue with some of their beliefs. But their beliefs don’t call for my death by stoning, or the other “progressive” tactics of Linda Sarsour’s beloved “intifada.” If a pair of female rabbis can forgive Sarsour’s romantic view of terrorism and excuse her Twitter fantasies of “taking Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s vagina away” as “a little mean,” I can surely stand with Milo Yiannopoulos and everyone else from the LGBT community and other walks of life who understand that Sarsour’s political agenda, if successful, would place all of our collective heads in the basket of jihad.
My personal public health and policy requires that I keep my head.
How ‘Woke’ Are Feminist Farrakhan Fans Like Linda Sarsour?
When Essence recently presented “Woke 100 Women,” three of the leading organizers of the Women’s March — Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez — were among the “socially conscious change makers” featured by the magazine. The three also appear in a related short clip explaining what “woke” means. For Tamika Mallory, being woke “is like eyes wide open; everything is clear; you can always see things other people … just ignore;” for Linda Sarsour, it means “being outraged all the time … about injustice,” while Carmen Perez defines it as “being uncomfortable all the time” and speaking “on behalf of those that can’t speak up for themselves.”
But apparently, being woke can also mean just ignoring things other people see, and not feeling outraged or uncomfortable when there is a chance to schmooze with Louis Farrakhan. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Farrakhan “has espoused anti-Semitism and racism for over 30 years as NOI [Nation of Islam] leader,” and he reaffirmed “his status as the leading anti-Semite in America” in 2015, when he “devoted a large portion of his annual address to followers in Chicago to the anti-Semitic myth that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) offers a similarly unequivocal condemnation, denouncing “the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric” of Farrakhan and other NOI leaders, whose conduct “earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.”
Just three months after Farrakhan expounded his antisemitic conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks, Mallory and Perez were holding hands with him, posing for a photo during an “unforgettable special evening in Chicago with The Minister Farrakhan!”
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and BDS
I asked Papagapitos if she understood why some Jews would find it problematic that RBF funded organizations that believed Israel’s existence to be dispensable or undesirable—like JVP, Zochrot, and other pro-BDS grantees do. The possibility didn’t bother her. “I think what is most problematic is that there would be a monopoly on the solution or on what the correct approaches are,” she said. “And so long as they are striving for the same kind of peaceful and just values or values of justice and peace for the region and for all people, then I think that’s OK, and I don’t see what makes Zochrot or JVP any less Jewish than a different Jewish group.”
RBF has appointed itself arbiter of bigger and more fateful questions than this one—the place of JVP or Zochrot within the American Jewish discussion is a trivial matter compared to, say, the trajectory of U.S.-Iranian relations, or climate change. Still, RBF’s engagement with American Jewish communal life has been minimal or non-existent, at least up until a couple of years ago. The Fund has now thrown its substantial resources behind a sweeping interpretation of what Israel and the American Jewish community really need. RBF’s approach to philanthropy is based on the conviction that a private foundation should take the kinds of risks that government and the private sector cannot. That expansive sense of freedom and mission has now led RBF to stake out a clear—and, to many, unpalatable—position on some of the most wrenching dilemmas in Jewish life.
BDS funding may or may not have been consonant with what David Rockefeller believed about the Middle East. But that is the present-day result of the philanthropic ideal that he pioneered, and that he entrusted future generations of his family to uphold.
David Collier: The twisted, lying academics at the University of Warwick (part one)
The first meeting; ‘Palestine for Dummies’
University of Warwick 'Palestine for Dummies'The talk was given by Dr Teodora Todorova. Todorova is one of the co-founders of the new faculty led group. Another co-founder, Nicola Pratt, introduced the evening. She introduced Todorova as an expert. Todorova herself announced her ‘PhD is on Israeli Palestinian issues’. Everybody can relax, we are in the hands of expertise and academia. As can be seen from the image on the left, the poison that was about to infect the campus was delivered to a room full of students.
We are not dealing with a difference of ‘opinion’ here, nor am I simply highlighting a distorted narrative. There is no attempt to adhere to any type of truth. Todorova began an hour long rant so full of mistakes and lies (yes, lies) that every single student left that room more stupid and more in danger of radicalisation than if they had all spent the evening swallowing a Hamas handbook.
That the academic involved actually took her PhD in a related subject matter only serves to further darken the clouds over the whole of academia. It is shameful that any academic could present a talk so riddled with inaccuracy, lazy research, blatant distortion and so many outright lies. That it came from an academic who should in theory have spent years ‘reading’ about the very subject she understands nothing about, brings into question the entire academic award process. Apparently she has been delivering this talk for years. Her actual knowledge of the history of the conflict? Risible. Let’s begin:
Church of Scotland’s Rejection of BDS and Criticism of Hamas Draws Cautious Welcome From Country’s Jews
Scottish Jews have cautiously welcomed the Church of Scotland’s decision at its annual General Assembly to reject the BDS campaign targeting Israel, as well as its rebuke of Hamas over the group’s continuing denial of the Jewish state’s right to exist. The decisions were approved despite searing condemnations of Israel made by many speakers at the assembly.
Long-regarded as a stronghold of anti-Zionist activism, the Church has come in for heavy criticism from British Jews in recent years over its uncompromising stance on Israel. But at this year’s Assembly, an amendment to a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was successfully passed that expressed the Church’s “deep concern in regard to Hamas’s continued declaration…that Israel does not have the right to exist.”
A motion that urged “the adoption of economic measures to pressure the state of Israel to comply with international law” was also rejected by the Assembly. Arguing against the move, the Reverend Paraic Reamonn, minister of St. Andrew’s Jerusalem, stated that Church support for BDS would amount to “reckless endangerment of its institutions and activities in the Holy Land.” Reamonn did not say whether he had received specific information from the Israeli authorities to support his fear.
Report: Ben Gurion University professors support BDS
On Wednesday, the Knesset Education Committee convened an emergency session to discuss the concern that Ben-Gurion University is promoting the BDS movement.
The committee meeting was initiated by MKs Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), Anat Berko (Likud) and Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) following the University’s recent promotion of a controversial workshop run by far-Left NGOs and sponsored by the European Union, which taught students how to effectively film protests.
Ben-Gurion University has come under fire in the past for its affiliation with anti-Zionism and BDS. In 2011, Israel’s Council for Higher Education recommended shutting down the University’s Department of Politics and Government unless changes were implemented.
Education Committee Chairman MK Yakov Margi (Shas) said, “It is outrageous that such a phenomenon is occurring within Israel. We need to deal with whoever is promoting it.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Boy Who Cried Wolf Shaking Head At Repeated Touting Of Palestinian Cause (satire)
A youth notorious for repeated invocation of a threat to the point that the alarm no longer raises the intended reaction cannot believe that Arab and Muslim regimes keep citing the overused Palestinian cause in their polemic rhetoric as if anyone cares anymore.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf told acquaintances today that he remains incredulous that after so many instances of trying to rally the Arab and Muslim worlds around opposition to Israel, with little to show for it, the regimes spouting that rallying cry still try to leverage solidarity with the Palestinians for their own political gain, with ever-diminishing returns.
“I don’t get it,” the boy who continued to raise the alarm of “Wolf!” just to see the reaction from the villagers. “Even an idiot such as I knows when to stop. But these people? I can’t imagine their thought process. ‘Hey, every single time we’ve invoked this as a pan-Arab issue that demands we unite around it, we’ve had our butts handed to us – let’s keep doing it!’ Einstein’s definition of insanity comes to mind.”
Why quote Haaretz big time when the left-leaning Israeli newspaper reflects a small minority's views?
In Israel, one preferred local journalism hub has long been Haaretz, which has been called that nation's equivalent of The New York Times.
Its a false comparison because Haaretz ("The Land" in Hebrew) has limited circulation, is unabashedly and consistently left wing in its news columns as well as its editorial positions, is hostile toward religious orthodoxy -- no small thing in a nation where religion plays an enormous role in public life -- and has no where near the domestic influence or corporate wealth of the Times.
What it does have is influence in international liberal circles, which I'd say includes the majority of the Western correspondents working in Israel.
Haaretz strongly opposes the right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, in particular its policies toward Palestinians in the West Bank. On this issue, its editorials and columnists are often quoted by those in the international media who trend liberal-left.
As such, Haaretz wields more influence internationally than it does within its home nation, giving it outsized importance in the international debate over Israel -- which is why Haaretz should be a subject of interest to American consumers of Middle East news.
CNN’s Amanpour Blames Israel’s ‘Very Far Right’ Gov’t for Stalling Peace in Mid East
Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s international correspondent, is concerned that the “very far right” Israeli government is making Middle East peace impossible while glossing over the role the Palestinian Authority plays in stalling an agreement. As she easily labeled the problems she finds with Israel, Amanpour was less specific when talking about Hamas as a terrorist group.
“There are lots and lots of complications,” Amanpour said about finding a path to peace and compromise between Israel and the PA. “Not least the Palestinians which are embroiled with a whole Hamas side of the equation. And the Israelis that are going further and further to the right. Bibi Netanyahu's government is a very far-right government.”
She continued:
“Its coalition allies are far right. Under — since President Trump has been elected, the government in Israel has simply put more and more settlements into the occupied territories. That makes it more difficult.”
Did you catch that? It's the far right that's the problem, not the Hamas terrorists.
Corrected: “Occupation Wall” Comes Down
Describing Israel’s security barrier, specifically the walled section next to Bethlehem, The Independent‘s Bethan McKernan could barely disguise her bias:
Israel’s barrier is there as a means to protect against terrorist infiltration. Labeling it an “occupation wall” is prejudicial and inaccurate.
Following a complaint from HonestReporting, The Independent has amended it to the more palatable “security wall.” While we would normally take issue with the description of the barrier as a wall (over 95 percent of the structure is a fence), in this case the reference to a wall is acceptable given the focus on the specific section by Bethlehem.
UKMW prompts Indy correction to sentence claiming 750,000 Palestinian prisoners since 1967
Earlier in the month, we complained to editors at The Independent about an article (“Restaurants in Gaza only serve salt water in solidarity with hunger strikers”) by Bethan McKernan which included the following claim, attempting to contextualise Palestinian support for the hunger striking prisoners:
“750,000 Palestinians have at one point or another in the last 50 years been imprisoned by the Israeli state, affecting almost every family.”
This statistic, stated as fact by McKernan, is at minimum highly disputed. As blogger Elder of Ziyon has persuasively demonstrated, it’s almost impossible for these numbers (cited frequently despite the fact that it originated from a radical NGO with ties to a terror group) to add up. Elder showed that, for the number to be accurate, it would mean that there were over 23,000 new prisoners a year since 1967, or 500 a week. However, even during the height of the intifada, the number of new prisoners a year never even reached 10,000.
'Gas the Jews' spray-painted in Florida park
Anti-Semitic and satanic graffiti was spray-painted throughout a park in central Florida.
The graffiti at the part in Wedgefield, Florida, was discovered by parents on Wednesday morning.
Orange County officials said that park employees on Wednesday worked to clean and cover up the graffiti, under a local policy to remove defacement of public property within 24 hours, local ABC affiliate WFTV 9 reported.
Among the epithets in the graffiti was “Gas the Jews.”
Risking death, Muslim lawyer stands up for Iraqi Jews' rights
When people think of Iraq, they think of a country plagued by war, on the verge of ‎collapsing. They think of a failed state that ethnically cleanses minorities and blows up holy sites as well ‎as ancient archaeological treasures. Most Iraqi Jews see nothing but a bleak picture when they look ‎at Iraq today. However, within this war-torn country, there is a Muslim voice of hope, calling out ‎for his country to become a true democratic state and to give Iraqi Jews the justice that they ‎deserve. He does this under the threat of death but remains determined to speak out for all of the ‎minorities in his country, including the Jews. ‎
Ammar al-Hamadani, a Muslim Iraqi lawyer, is working to ensure that Iraqi Jews ‎receive the compensation they deserve in a new democratic Iraq after they were expelled from ‎the country following Israel's 1948 War of Independence. Referring to the expulsion of Iraq's Jews and ‎the seizure of their property as "unconstitutional and inhumane," he stated with sadness that the ‎laws that prompted the Iraqi Jewish community into exile remain in force today "despite the ‎political change that took place in Iraq in 2003 and the enactment of a new Iraqi constitution in ‎‎2005 in which we had some hope for change for Iraqi Jews in a democratic, federal and multi‎cultural Iraq."‎
Al-Hamadani emphasized that it is unlawful to strip any Iraqi of their citizenship for any reason and ‎it is the right of "any Iraqi who has lost his citizenship for either political, racist or sectarian reasons ‎to request the restoration of citizenship." However, al-Hamadani noted that while the Iraqi ‎Constitution permitted the restoration of Iraqi citizenship for those who lost it for the above ‎reasons, Iraqi Jews were excluded: "Iraqi Jews remain deprived of justice under the new Iraq in ‎such a crude violation of the constitution." ‎
Size of Gazelle Herd in Jerusalem Reserve Triples in Two Years
Staff at the Gazelle Valley nature park in Jerusalem are celebrating the recent birth of two new fawns, as these cute offspring bring the number of antelope to 20.
Two years ago, when the nature reserve officially opened the Gazelle Valley nature park had just six long-legged antelope, a staffer at the park tells ISRAEL21c.
Gazelle Valley, officially known as Pri Har Valley, opened to the public in 2015. A lengthy court battle between real-estate developers and local conservationists, with the help of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and other environmentalists, took some 20 years to resolve.
Today, this green open space of 260 dunams (64 acres) in the heart of Jerusalem holds the distinguished title of being Israel’s first urban nature reserve.
Over the years, the conservationists fought on behalf of the local antelope population to keep them and their natural environment safe.
Israeli cows are world's best milk producers, new report shows
Israeli cows are world's best milk producers, a new report by the Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday.
The report, released ahead of the Shavuot holiday, said the average Israeli cow produces some 11,970 liters (3,162 gallons) of milk a year.
The data also showed a 3.5% increase in demand for milk and dairy products in 2016.
Between milk and other dairy drinks, yogurt, cheese and pudding cups, Israelis consume an average of 178 liters (47 gallons) of milk a year per capita, the report showed.
Some 774 dairy farms operated in Israel in 2016 compared to 1,026 in 2006. Still, the average dairy farm production has increased by 71% over the same period.
Israeli startup finds way to predict tumor resistance to chemo
Chemotherapy is sometimes thought to be a treatment that’s harsher than the disease it comes to fight.
Cancer patients are subject to rounds of chemotherapy treatments in which cells – both healthy and cancerous are expected to be destroyed in the process.
So it’s especially awful when the targeted tumors have cell mutations that are resistant to chemo or develop resistance afterwards, rendering the potentially harmful therapy ineffective and pointless.
Now Hebrew University researchers say they have developed a way to predict resistance to chemotherapy treatments, which can help doctors and patients better target their treatments and helping reduce the rate of resistance levels “dramatically,” from the current 50 percent.
Research Elucidates Ancient Jerusalem Reservoirs, Known as ‘Elephant in the Room’
The massive ancient reservoirs that remain viewable today in Jerusalem’s Old City had serviced Jews making pilgrimages to the Second Temple some 2,000 years ago, according to a soon-to-be-published research paper.
Jerusalem contains a large number of these ancient pools. A massive cistern named the Pool of Israel — more than 360 feet long, 111 feet wide and 78 feet deep — is situated next to the Temple Mount. The Pool of Hezekiah lies among the houses of the Christian Quarter. Jerusalem residents are also familiar with the Sultan’s Pool, which was converted into an open-air venue for public performances; two pools located on the Church of St. Anne’s property; a deep pool seen on Western Wall tours; and the Shiloah Pool, which was discovered under the City of David.
“While residents of Jerusalem had private wells under their homes and the ruling authorities had aqueducts, another solution was needed for the masses of pilgrims. The visitors used water for drinking, cooking and other day-to-day tasks. Two of the pools were also used for ritual cleansing,” Dr. David Gurevich, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who specializes in the holy city’s history during the Second Temple period, told Israel Hayom.
“These large complexes are the elephant in the room that researchers have ignored. Even though some of the pools were excavated and researchers suggested the use of individual pools, they ignored the larger picture. The question was never asked, ‘What are these facilities doing specifically here?’ It turns out there has never been another city on the Mediterranean coast with such a large amount of these pools of water,” said Gurevich.




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From Hezbollah's Al Manar:

A senior commander in Yemen’s Ansarullah revolutionary movement, Mohamamd Ali Al-Houthi felicitated Hezbollah on the Resistance and Liberation Day.

Al-Houthi, who is the Head of the Revolutionary Council in Yemen, congratulated Hezbollah and the Lebanese resistance on the occasion. “May 25, 2000, is a  memorable day in Lebanon’s history, when the Zionist enemy and his collaborators were defeated,” he wrote on his Facebook account.

“Jihad is the major way to become free from tyrants and occupiers,” Al-Houthi wrote on Thursday.
If this is Liberation Day, that means Lebanon is liberated from the Zionist occupation, then why does Hezbollah continue to exist?

Remember, the Houthi slogan on their logo translates to "God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Power to Islam." The supposedly not-anti-semitic Shiites in Hezbollah and Iran have never said a negative word about the antisemitism that is baked into the very fabric of the Houthis that they ally with.




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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


Another mass murder in the name of the Islamic jihad, this time in Manchester.

The  New York Times counted 13 deadly Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe alone over the past two years. The worst was in Paris on the night of November 13, 2015 in which 130 people were murdered in six coordinated attacks. The Manchester suicide bombing, in which “only” 22 were killed (but then, half of these were children) was the fourth deadliest. In the same time period there were several wholesale jihad-inspired murders in the US, and here in Israel literally hundreds of “retail” terrorist attacks in which 49 people have been killed and 737 injured.

Western responses to this onslaught have consistently missed the point. But before we can evaluate them, we need to ask why the jihadists are killing us. The reasons may not be what we think.

The objective of the jihad is to change our behavior and our society to move it toward an Islamic future. The ultimate goal is that all the nations of the world will live under Islamic rule,  according to shari’a (Islamic law). Christians and Jews will be permitted to live as dhimmis (protected people), with limited rights and paying the special tax, the jizya. No other form of religious worship will be permitted, and “polytheists” or “idolaters” like Hindus may have no choice but to convert to Islam or die. Muslims will tell you that this is for our own good, because Islamic society is the best and most just of all possible arrangements, but those of us accustomed to Jewish, Christian or humanistic (Enlightenment) values might disagree.

Jihadists understand that Muslim armies are not capable of conquering the West by force of arms and imposing shari’a. So they are employing a more complicated strategy. Part of it is to increase Muslim populations in the West by migration and by daw’a (persuasion). The massive migrations into Europe, which are primarily of Muslims, may be in part a deliberate strategy and in part a side effect of conflicts and economic pressures in the Middle East and Africa, but they have become the engine of the jihad. Some elements in Europe even encouraged migration, seeing it as an answer to the low birthrates among native Europeans. No matter – the Muslims are there, and are keeping, even intensifying, their commitment to the struggle to propagate Islam.

Even a country like France, which may have as much as 10% of its population Muslims is far from having a Muslim majority which could impose shari’a by democratic means (although probably it would be a case of “one man, one vote, one time.”) So the jihad has to progress by persuading non-Muslims to accept Islam.

Some number of them can be persuaded by the attractions offered by Islam – beautiful mosques, fervent believers – fervent Christians are a rarity in post-Christian Europe – the mystique of an “eastern” faith, the desire to belong to something supra-national, and similar things. We can call this “positive persuasion,” persuasion by the positive properties of the faith.

There is another kind of persuasion, however, which we can call “negative persuasion.” It works by creating pain and fear in the subject, and then presenting the acceptance of Islam as a way to ameliorate the distress. It is similar to the way some military training regimens break the spirit of recruits with cruelty, fatigue and humiliation, and then present the surrender of self to the organization as a way to regain self-respect. Negative persuasion works by inducing Stockholm Syndrome in its subjects, who identify with someone who oppresses them in order to stop the oppression.

Islamic terrorism is a form of negative persuasion. In order to be effective, it must be cruel enough to shock the subjects, which is one reason that Muslim terrorists often choose targets where there are children, like the Manchester bombing or the many acts of Palestinian Arab terrorists in Israel against schools, school buses, kindergartens, discos, and so on. A terrorist act needs to be well-publicized, and is randomized in such a way that an average person will think “that could have been me, or my child.” It is intended to show the power and superiority of Islam, so victims are sometimes humiliated or even tortured. Sometimes, in order to illustrate the terrorist’s power of life or death, terrorists make a selection among their victims, and kill only Jews or non-Muslims, release women, and so on.

A successful major attack is usually followed by a wave of conversions to Islam, as those people who are susceptible to Stockholm Syndrome follow their irrational but emotionally powerful impulse to align themselves with the terrorists, whom they – perhaps subconsciously – feel will no longer hurt them.

In many, perhaps most, people, the syndrome is not strong enough to make them become Muslims. But it does make them more sensitive to Muslim demands and concerns; to accept limitations on speech and expression (as in the case of the Danish Cartoons) that would not otherwise be acceptable; or to take on strongly pro-Muslim political opinions. Much of the staff of the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, for example, regularly expresses opinions that are so anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian that the paper is sometimes called “the Palestinian newspaper published in Hebrew.”

Terrorism as negative persuasion is a deliberate strategy used by the PLO. Recently, an acquaintance said that he always worried whenever there were negotiations between Israel and the PLO, because “that’s when the buses start blowing up.” At the same time that they are negotiating, the PLO ramps up terrorism in order to send the message that Israelis would be better off if they submit to its demands.

Given this analysis, how should we react to terrorism like the Manchester bombing? Well, here is a classic example of how not to, from an editorial in the inimitable NY Times (and similar sentiments appeared throughout the “responsible” media):

Meanwhile, as hard as it is amid the shock and the mourning, it is important to recognize this attack for what it is: an attempt to shake Britain — and, by extension, the rest of Europe and the West — to its core, and to provoke a thirst for vengeance and a desire for absolute safety so intense, it will sweep away the most cherished democratic values and the inclusiveness of diverse societies.
The Islamic State wants nothing more than to watch Western democracies embrace its mad version of a holy war pitting Muslims against Christians, the newly arrived against others. This has been the goal of other attacks in Europe. …
In Britain, as in the rest of Europe and in the United States, it is critical that immigrants, especially Muslims, are not stigmatized. As Richard Barrett, former director of global counterterrorism operations at MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, said, “engaging the [Muslim] community and letting the community inform us” is one way “to understand why people do this” and to prevent future attacks.

The editorial is wrong by 180 degrees about the reason for the attack. The last thing the terrorists want is to “provoke a thirst for vengeance.” The opposite: they want to paralyze us with fear so that we will not dare to act to reduce immigration of Muslims, or even to speak freely about Islam. What destroys our “cherished democratic values” is not fighting back, but submission.

The writer warns us not to criticize Islam, Muslims or immigrants; indeed, as Barrett says, let them define the significance of this event for us! And you can bet that they will define it – by explaining that Britain has treated Muslims badly in Iraq and Afghanistan and therefore had it coming, just as Osama Bin Laden blamed 9/11 on American support for Israel.

“The inclusiveness of diverse societies,” which the writer places on the level of “our most cherished democratic values,” is actually a measure of instability when what we are inclusive of are Muslims and Islam.

There is a great deal of concern about whether murderer Salman Abedi was working for Da’esh, which claimed credit for his act. The Times writes that “It is still unclear whether Mr. Abedi acted alone or as part of a network.” And then it continues,  “No one yet knows what motivated him to commit such a horrific deed.”

Whether he acted alone is perhaps important to counterterrorism professionals, whose job it is to stop killers like Abedi, but it is irrelevant to the second question, whose answer is obvious.

What motivated him was Islam.



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From Ian:

A Terrorist’s Teenage Target
I was 17 when the bombing happened — just a few years older than many of the kids murdered this Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. It was June 1, 2001, and I decided to go out to the Dolphinarium, a disco on the beach in Tel Aviv, with three of my friends: Liana, Oksana and Tanya.
We went to that club almost every weekend. It was the summer before our mandatory army service, and we planned to spend it together — dancing, biking, swimming and tanning.
Girls could get in to the club free before midnight — and we didn’t have any money, so we decided to go early. We bought a bottle of cheap vodka from a convenience store and hung out on the beach talking and taking sips until we saw a crowd start to gather outside the door at 11:30 p.m.
Tanya and I got into the line on the left-hand side of the door; Oksana and Liana went to the right so we could all get in faster. Then, at 11:44 p.m., a Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the club.

Everything went mute. To this day, I don’t know if I lost consciousness. All I know is that I had flown some distance in the air, and everywhere I looked there were dead bodies. It seemed that every single person in that line had been murdered except for me. Liana died on the spot. A total of 21 people were killed, 16 of them were teenagers.
From Manchester to Jerusalem, a War on Our Way of Life
The Ariana Grande concert was not a random target. This was a deliberate and calculated jihadist terrorist attack against a group of people they particularly despise: Western girls and women whose strength, choice, and independence make them feel threatened.
It fits a grim litany of crimes. Soft targets such as nightclubs and concert halls have been targeted before in Paris, Orlando, and Istanbul and it is the sad reality with which Israel has been dealing with for decades. The car rammings, the knife attacks, and other ways to kill infidels. Israel, in many ways, is the ground zero of modern terrorism.
The same ideology responsible for British authorities now having to collect and piece together what is left of the bodies of our children in the heart of Manchester, claimed the lives of 21 Israelis, 16 of them teenagers, when suicide bomber Said Khutari blew himself up at the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv in 2001 at the height of the second intifada. He, too, murdered in the name of Islamic jihad and had ties to Hamas.
Terrorist groups come in different shapes and forms. They operate under their own names and are tied to local contexts. But, ultimately, they are united in the same Islamist fanaticism that leads Hamas to wrap suicide vests around children in Gaza just as it makes Islamic State ban music by sword wherever they go.
Try blaming that on Western foreign policy and you quickly run out of arguments. What connects the dots between terrorist attacks across the world — from Jerusalem to Manchester or Baghdad and Stockholm — is the global jihadist insurgency that has declared war on our way of life.
Europe chose to sacrifice its children to the Islamic Moloch
When did European governments decide that our children, from Nice to Manchester, must be sacrified to radical Islam and that they are to become a photo opportunity for newspapers?
Europe cries over the innocent victims. Then it plunges into its indolent normality and continues chatting.
There is an enemy, it needs to be collared and fought by paying the necessary price to defend freedom and life in the West. And yes, it is a very high price.
Europe must learn to respond the way the Russians did after Beslan, the Ossetian school where Islamic terrorists butchered hundreds of children and innocent people. Or like Israelis did after the attack at the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv. Otherwise, Europe will reach the point where the soldiers of Allah will have to be hunted down, from door to door, as in Mosul and Raqqa.
Is it possible that Europe's leaders have chosen to avoid fighting because they are all childless?
“Est regis tueri cives." It is the king's duty to protect citizens. Or do we think that, to continue enjoy our lazy lifestyle, we must feed the Islamic Moloch, like the god of Carthage, which demanded the sacrifice of children in return for the preservation of the city?



Former Head of Cobra demands UK deport jihadists NOW ‘We can't allow them to roam free'
He spoke to Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain today about what can be done to help reduce the threat of terror in the UK.
“We have the finest intelligence services and finest police services in the world and they have protected us time and time again,” he noted. “Hundreds of attacks have been stopped, thousands of terrorists have been put in prison.
“The problem is that there are 3,000 known jihadists on the streets of the UK today, our intelligence services, our police services, no matter how good they are they can’t monitor all of them, they can’t control all of them.”
He went on to add that security services have to “prioritise” those they focus their attention on and “sometimes get it wrong”.
Colonel Kemp insisted that the only way to help them was to deport those who pose a threat, commenting: “Every single person who we have intelligence upon, who is known to be involved in terrorism, who is not a UK citizen, and who we cannot prosecute in this court, we deport and send them back to where they came from.
“We do not allow them to roam free on our streets and murder and maim and disfigure our children like they did in Manchester.”
Israel is helping the UK with counter terrorism: Jonathan Sacerdoti interviews Richard Kemp former


Why Islamists are obsessed with controlling young girls
Terrorism is not random or accidental. It is a conversation with the state conducted by means of extreme violence. Each atrocity has its point to make. With previous terrorist incidents, Isis has emphasised its hatred of Christians, say, or street revellers. This one was meant largely for the girls. Ariana Grande is a singer particularly beloved by pre-teen and teenage girls, although women, men and boys such as John Atkinson were caught up in the horror too. But Islamic State, like some psychopathic stalker, is obsessed with female propriety. In the streets of Isis-controlled Raqqa, women must be totally covered and veiled in black. It is heavily punishable to wear perfume or even talk loudly in public. One woman of 21 said in a clandestine interview: ‘We are dead, but we are still breathing.’
What must it be like, to deprive girls and women of fresh air and sunshine, open laughter, work, friendships, perfume and power, to make them feel ‘dead but still breathing’? What does it signify to feel so menaced by their independence that a large part of your life revolves around restricting it? In Raqqa, jihadis are taught to believe that they have hit the domestic jackpot with a wife at home who is rendered compliant mainly by the threat of beating or destitution. Yet such coercive arrangements — what Larkin once described as ‘fulfilment’s desolate attic’ — do notably little to diminish Isis members’ existential rage: they seem to increase it.
Freedom is imperfect and risky. Once you hand it to someone, there’s no telling how they’ll use it. Few people realise that more keenly than the parents of a teenage girl. The world is waiting for her, in ways that she might not yet anticipate, but she is raring to get out into it. So most British parents make a thousand tiny compromises, watching girls inch towards full independence like climbers in a potentially faulty harness. We wrap them in promises and incantations: ‘Text me when you get there’, ‘Stay close to your friends’, ‘Be careful’, ‘I love you’. Events such as the Ariana Grande concert are supposed to be the first, tentative flights near the nest.
Trustee of mosque ‘linked’ to Manchester bomber sent anti-Semitic tweets
The trustee of a mosque linked to the family of the Manchester suicide bomber has denied it is a breeding ground for extremism, as it was revealed that he was behind offensive tweets about Jews.
Farzi Haffar from Didsbury mosque this week sought to calm fears about radicalisation, despite having sent social media messages commenting on “the Jewish lobby” and describing Israelis as Nazis.
Haffar, who denied that concert bomber Salman Abedi had visited the mosque, did say the killer’s father, Ramadan, had used it.
“We’ve never seen him,” said Haffar, referring to the 22-year old suicide bomber, who killed 22 people and injured more than 110 people on Monday. “His father who used to pray here is in Libya. Lots of Libyans prayed here.”


End Propaganda Myth That Jerusalem is Holy to Muslims
It’s time to end the propaganda myth that Jerusalem is a holy city to Muslims.
The Muslim fixation and clamor on Jerusalem is actually a very recent historical development, a product of political conflict, not historical truth.
Jerusalem rates not a single mention in the Quran and Muslims face Mecca in prayer.
In the seventh century, the Damascus-based Umayyad rulers built up Jerusalem as a counter-weight to Mecca. This is when the important Muslim shrines, the Dome of the Rock (691 CE) and, later, the Al-Aqsa mosque (705 CE), were intentionally built on the site of the destroyed biblical Jewish temples — a time-honored practice to physically signal the predominance of Islam.
However, references in the Quran and hadith to Muhammad’s night journey to heaven on his steed Buraq from the “farthest mosque” couldn’t mean Jerusalem because the Quran refers to Palestine as the “nearest” place. And it couldn’t have been a reference to the Al-Aqsa (“Furtherest”) mosque, for the simple reason that the Al-Aqsa mosque didn’t exist in Muhammad’s day.
With the demise of the Umayyad dynasty and the shift of the caliphate to Baghdad, Jerusalem fell into a long decline, scarcely interrupted by occasional bursts of Muslim interest in the city during the Crusader period and the Ottoman conquest. Mark Twain, visiting in 1867, described it as a “pauper village.”
David Singer: Trump Signals Abbas Must End Indiscriminate Slaughter of Jews
Every time a Jew is stabbed, run over, murdered in his bed or whilst praying in a Synagogue, blown up dining in a restaurant or attending a nightclub, killed by stones thrown at his car or targeted in drive by shootings, Palestinian Arabs – radicalised and encouraged by the PLO Charter to perpetrate such heinous crimes – are treated as heroes, many having schools named after them. Their families are rewarded by Abbas paying them monthly pensions which totalled $300 million in 2016.
Abbas declared on 16 September 2015:
"We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah."
Trump told the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh on 21 May:
“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out. DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship. DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities. DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.”
Trashing the hate-filled PLO Charter and ending incitement to indiscriminately slaughter Jews are necessary steps in this process.
Abbas will end up in the diplomatic wilderness if he ignores the messages delivered by both Trump and Netanyahu.
Fatah TV honors 4 terrorists


PLO official: "We will not relinquish one grain of sand from Jaffa, Haifa, Lod or Ramle"


Who’s Ready for Peace?
Though Abbas talks a good game about peace, his government continues to pay pensions to terrorists and to foment hate. It does so because attempting to change the views of a Palestinian public that still sees its national identity as inextricably tied to war against the Jews would be political suicide. Until a sea change in Palestinian politics occurs that will enable Abbas or a successor to accept an end to the conflict, Trump’s big deal will remain a fantasy. And that hard truth is something no amount of American negotiating or Saudi money can change.
Trump may believe his own assertion that the Palestinians are ready for peace, but this is where his lack of experience and policy knowledge carries more weight than his instincts to negotiate. If he’s right, and Abbas is able to demonstrate that willingness, Netanyahu will have no choice but to negotiate a two-state solution, even if that shatters his current center-right coalition. But Netanyahu isn’t that worried about such a possibility because, unlike Trump, he understands the realities of Palestinian politics.
What is really going on is an elaborate game of chicken in which the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are gambling that their opponent will jump first and blow up the process. If Netanyahu is confident that he will win, it’s because Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, has sabotaged every previous effort at peace, including multiple offers of statehood from past Israeli prime ministers.
In short, the time is not ripe for a deal. The U.S. should instead keep its distance from any renewed negotiations and continue to advocate for interim steps, such as increased investment in the Palestinian economy, reform of Abbas’s kleptocratic government, and an end to its support for terror and hate. In doing so, he can help manage an insoluble conflict rather than giving the world false hope. Otherwise, if he decides to invest his dwindling political capital in a peace effort that has a minimal chance of succeeding, he is likely to fail as miserably as Obama and every other American president who gambled his reputation on a fool’s errand.
The World Needs to Drive Out Destructive Fantasies
The Palestinians and other powers such as the OIC, the UN and domestic interest groups do not get a veto over reality.
If we are going to "reset" the Middle East, we need to reset our thinking as well, starting with accepting that Israel has a right to exist. Israel exists, and Israel has a legitimate claim to Jerusalem. Further, the Jewish people have proven themselves as more capable custodians of Jerusalem than their Muslim neighbors, who are already burdened by challenges in their own territory.
Alongside us, the world must drive out the fantasy that Jerusalem is not Israel's capital. Jerusalem is the heart and soul of Israel. To deny Jerusalem as a part of Jewish and Israeli identity is the same as denying Mecca as inherent to Muslim identity.
Czech Parliament Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Condemns UNESCO
The Czech Parliament approved a resolution Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, while condemning recent anti-Israel resolutions passed by UNESCO.
The resolution, which was approved by 116 of 156 members of the parliament’s lower chamber, calls on the Czech government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to stop paying membership fees to UNESCO until it stops its anti-Israel bias.
In early May, UNESCO passed a resolution denying Israel’s claims over Jerusalem. Last year, UNESCO passed two resolutions denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount.
At a dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the Czech lawmakers for the resolution.
“The parliament in Prague called on its government to respect the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and also proposed halting any additional state payment of UNESCO membership dues as long as the organization continues the political discrimination against Israel,” Netanyahu said, adding, “This is the correct, worthy and courageous decision that others should copy.”
The Secret to President Trump’s Success in the Middle East
This week the American president was greeted by an especially warm welcome in Saudi Arabia, where dozens of heads of Muslim states were also present. He received a warm if somewhat more qualified reception in Israel. Jonah Goldberg explains Donald Trump’s popularity with Middle Eastern leaders and the pitfalls that lie ahead:
The success . . . of the president’s Middle East trip stands on the ashes of Barack Obama’s failures. It’s easy to forget that for all of Obama’s alleged expertise, his foray into the Middle East foundered on his arrogance and naiveté. In his 2009 Cairo speech, he unspooled clichés as wisdom, thinking that his name alone would put points on the board. He bought into the idea that the road to stability and peace in the Middle East went through Jerusalem.
As Obama learned on the job, he came to believe that the road to peace went through Tehran, crafting an Iranian deal that alienated both our democratic ally Israel and our strategic Sunni allies, chief among them Saudi Arabia. In pursuit of his fantasy, he turned a blind eye to Iran’s crushing of the Green Revolution and dithered to the point of complicity in the Syrian abattoir. Meanwhile, Iran remains as implacably hostile and as determined to be a regional hegemon as ever.
That is the context of Trump’s reception. “Welcome, President Not-Obama!” . . .
JPost Editorial: Israel's qualitative military edge and enduring US-Arab ties
The package also includes conventional defense equipment such as tanks, artillery, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, Patriot and THAAD anti-missile systems, warships, patrol boats, and associated weapons systems – none of which represents a strategic threat to Israel. Even the inclusion of a program of modernization of the kingdom’s air force with 150 Black Hawk helicopters for $6b. is nothing for the IDF to worry about.
Katz said that “President Trump’s visit strengthens the anti-Iranian camp in the region and presents an opportunity to advance regional security and economic cooperation as a foundation for regional peace.” He stressed, however, that “at the same time Israel’s qualitative military edge should be maintained.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, citing some “non-negligible” arms purchases by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and even Iran, told Army Radio on Wednesday, “I’m not at peace with the arms race in the Middle East. The arms sales in the region have reached $215b. and this is no small sum.”
According to a February report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, arms imports to the Middle East jumped by 86% between 2012 and 2016, accounting for 29% of global purchases, an increase of almost double from the previous five-year period studied.
Trump expressed a well-scripted truth during his Israel Museum speech on Tuesday: There is no reason why ties with Israel have to come at the expense of ties with the Arab and Muslim world.
They won’t – as long as Israel maintains its qualitative edge.
Isi Leibler: Trump's visit has provided an extraordinary opportunity to improve relations with our Arab neighbors. We must now show restraint and refrain from projecting an extremist image.
We are today in an exceedingly strong position. Israel has never been so powerful militarily, ‎economically and socially.‎
Israel has never had such widespread international recognition. Whether you adore or loathe ‎Netanyahu, nobody can deny that he has been an outstanding statesman in the international ‎arena. He has a unique relationship with the Americans and with Russian President Vladimir ‎Putin, and has built up relations with India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia, Eastern ‎Europe and now Africa. ‎
The extraordinary opportunities of today may never be replicated. We must demonstrate ‎restraint and ensure that our elected representatives neither undermine us nor project the ‎image of extremists by engaging in foolish or intemperate outbursts primarily designed for ‎personal political promotion. ‎
Today, we have in our grasp this remarkable opportunity to genuinely move toward ‎improving and stabilizing our relationship with our Arab neighbors. ‎
Daniel Pipes grades Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia


Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: Trump’s Demand That Palestinian Authority Halt Terror Funding Will Expose Abbas’ ‘Duplicity’
President Donald Trump’s effort to get the Palestinian Authority to stop giving money to jailed terrorists and their families will expose the “duplicity” of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during an i24 News appearance on Monday.
“What President Trump has brought to the table that previous presidents have not brought to the table is an insistence on the Palestinians that their rewards for the terrorists that have perpetrated these types of attacks — paying salaries to terrorists in prison — are not acceptable,” Efune told “Stateside” host David Shuster, shortly after the news broke of a deadly suicide bombing at an arena in the British city of Manchester.
“Stopping payments to terrorists has never been done before,” Efune noted. “And I’ll go a step further. It’s not possible. It’s ingrained in Palestinian society. President Abbas does not have the power to do that. And President Trump’s insistence on that is going to show him up.”
Members of Congress call on Trump to move embassy to Jerusalem
A bipartisan group of members of the US House of Representatives called on US President Donald Trump to move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the deadline for him to make a decision loomed.
“The American Embassy belongs in the Jewish capital of Jerusalem,” Congressional Israel Allies Caucus co-chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) said. “"It does not take a national security expert to know that the Kotel, the Western Wall, is in Israel. I know that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the undivided capital of Israel, because when I visited the Prime Minister, the Supreme Court, the Knesset, the very institutions of Israeli democracy, we meet in Jerusalem.”
CIAC co-chairman Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) added: “I don’t know any other country in the world that isn’t able to name its own capital.”
The congress members spoke at a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification at the US Capitol Tuesday. The event was hosted by the the Israel Allies Foundation, which engages in faith-based diplomacy and helps found pro-Israel caucuses in parliaments around the world, including the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus.
The Next Lebanon War Will be Different
It’s now been more than a decade since Hezbollah launched a cross-border attack on Israel and precipitated a war that devastated south Lebanon and parts of Beirut. That war ended with the acceptance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for the “disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon,” including Lebanese Hezbollah and the assertion of full control over Lebanese territory by the government of Lebanon.
Suffice to say, that hasn’t happened. Under the watchful eyes of well-paid United Nations observers, Iran has resupplied Hezbollah with an arsenal greater in both quantity and quality than that which was used against Israel in 2006. And, despite more than $100 million in U.S. military and financial assistance, the Lebanese Armed Forces have yet to disarm a single Hezbollah terrorist let alone truly secure Lebanon’s borders. Beirut International Airport remains under the de facto control of Hezbollah.
The problem isn’t just military: Since 2006, Hezbollah has launched itself into the driver’s seat. After turning its guns on fellow Lebanese in 2008 in a dispute over revenue sharing, Hezbollah successfully leveraged its disruptive ability into real power when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, among others, acquiesced to the Doha Accords, granting Hezbollah a permanent veto over Lebanese politics in exchange for their quiet. That was bad on two levels: First, Hezbollah can prevent any serious Lebanese reform or investigation. Second, Hezbollah can do so as a minority stakeholder, meaning it will never be held accountable for governing even as it seeks the legitimacy associated with serving as a political party.
In the past year, it has augmented its control even more. The rise of long-term ally and Christian politician Michel Aoun to Lebanon’s president gives Hezbollah de facto control over the state. Any future conflict will be between Israel and Lebanon and not simply Israel and one particular group, as in 2006.
Levin shreds ‘idiot’ Tillerson’s Middle East delusions
Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin broadcast his radio show from Israel Wednesday night. Live from the Middle East, he didn’t pull any punches in a blistering critique of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s questionable foreign policy views.
He slammed Tillerson for holding the bizarre worldview that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would miraculously create peace in the entirety of the Middle East.
Levin quoted Tillerson, who said, “We solve the Israeli-Palestinian peace dilemma, we start solving a lot of the peace throughout the Middle East region.”
“Does he really believe this Obama position? This European position?” Levin asked.
“So in other words, there wouldn’t be an ISIS. There wouldn’t be an Al Qaeda. There wouldn’t be a Hezbollah. There wouldn’t be a Hamas. There wouldn’t be an Islamic jihad,” he commented, mocking the Tillerson plan.
“Is this Tillerson serious? Sounds like an idiot,” Levin said bluntly.
“He goes right from the oil company, right into the midst of this stuff, and he makes no sense,” the Conservative Review editor said of the secretary of state’s inexperience.
US said pushing Israel to transfer parts of West Bank to PA administrative rule
The administration of US President Donald Trump is said to be pressing Israel to transfer parts of the West Bank to Palestinian administrative control as a goodwill gesture to help revive peace talks between the two sides.
Despite a series of economic incentives approved on Sunday by the Israeli cabinet, the US wants to see greater concessions to the Palestinian Authority and views the recent measures as insufficient, Channel 10 reported Wednesday.
Specifically they have asked for areas in the northern West Bank to be transferred from Area C to Area B, according to the report.
Under the Oslo Accords, Area C of the West Bank (60%, where most of the settlements are located, and some 150,000 Palestinians live) is under full Israeli administrative and military control, while in Area B (22%), administrative control is the responsibility of the PA while the IDF is in charge of security. Area A (18%, encompassing the major Palestinian cities) is under the full administrative and military control of the Palestinian Authority.
Estonia blasts BDS, calls Israel 'a friend and partner'
Attempts to isolate Israel or make it an international pariah state are unhelpful, Estonia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Mikser told The Jerusalem Post in a wide-ranging interview at the ministry on Wednesday.
In line with the European Union and the majority of the international community, Estonia disapproves of Israel's settlement policy. “The international community deems that settlements are in contradiction to international law and an obstacle to peace and will not be approved as a legitimate way of advancing Israel's national interests,” he said.
But Mikser questioned the motives of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, saying "there is a subtle difference between understanding why people and groups act in a certain way and considering it appropriate and constructive. The way to go [forward] is [through] negotiations rather than making efforts to intimidate the other party."
Mikser also stressed that Estonia sees Israel "as a friend and partner."
Israeli minister meets publicly with Arab officials in Ecuador
For the first time in recent years, delegates from Gulf states met openly and publicly with an Israeli government minister as they gathered in Ecuador on Wednesday for the swearing-in of Lenin Moreno as the country’s new leader, in apparent first fruits of US President Donald Trump’s Mideast diplomacy.
Likud Minister Ayoub Kara attended the ceremony in the capital Quito along with leaders of South American nations and representatives from around the world.
Kara tweeted that he was “surprised by the warm attitude of representatives from the Gulf states,” crediting Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel as a game changer.
Trump has been trying to push for an alliance of the Sunni states, together with the US and Israel to counter Iran. He is pushing Israel and the Palestinians to reach a peace deal, which he says would also facilitate a wider peace between Israel and the Gulf nations.
Terror victim's mother: My son's murderer gets payments from the PA
Ruth Schwartz, whose 18-year-old son Ezra Schwartz was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Gush Etzion in November 2015, spoke out at the UN against the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday for compensating terrorists.
"The terrorist who murdered our Ezra is receiving a monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority," Ruth said. "Ezra's murder broke our family; we will never be the same without him."
Ruth spoke at the United Nations during a special forum on the glorification of terrorism, organized by Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, in partnership with the non-profit pro-Israel education and advocacy organization StandWithUs.
"My son is the victim of the worst crime," she said. "He was brutally taken from his family and friends forever. He will never be able to have fun or make someone smile, go to college, get married, have children or do anything in this world again. I will never again get to hug him or tell him that I love him. Instead, I get to visit him at the cemetery."
Palestinian Arsonists Burn Down Jewish School in West Bank
Palestinian arsonists burned down a Jewish religious school in the northern West Bank on Monday, during a “Day of Rage” held in support of an ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons.
The arsonists entered the area surrounding Homesh Yeshiva and set the building alight. No injuries were reported. Officials from the school said they expected the IDF to bring the arsonists “to justice” and vowed to build a larger structure at the same site to replace the destroyed building.
Jewish residents of Homesh were evicted and had their homes demolished in 2005 as part of the Israeli government’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip as well as four communities in the northern West Bank.
Knesset member Betzalel Smotrich (HaBayit HaYehudi) said, “The burning of the yeshiva in Homesh is a reminder for us to continue working for the return of the Jewish people to all areas that were destroyed during the [2005] expulsion.” He added, “Every place we leave becomes a place of terror and where holy sites are damaged.”
Israel reduces Gaza electricity after Palestinian Authority refuses to pay
Israel has reduced electricity in Gaza to three hours a day after the Palestinian Authority said it would not foot all of the bill.
For the last few months the PA has cut electricity to Gaza, as it seeks to regain control of the area, a decade after Hamas ousted Fatah from the Strip in a bloody coup.
Israel supplies 125 MW of electricity to Gaza’s 2 million residents, but the PA pays the monthly bill of NIS 40 million.
Initially the PA told Israel it would halt its electricity payments all together. This week it told Israel it would only pay NIS 25m. to NIS 30m. a month.
PA payments determine the amount of electricity Israel supplies to Gaza, said Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit, during an Arabic BBC Radio interview.
“This is an internal Palestinian issue and not an Israeli-Palestinian issue,” Mordechai said.
Hamas publicly executes three over murder of Gaza commander
In the presence of more than one hundred officials and local leaders, the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry in Gaza executed the suspected killer of Mazen Fuqaha, along with his two alleged accomplices.
The executions took place in a walled-off, open-air space in the Strip.
Grainy images broadcast through Facebook Live appeared to show a group of people standing around what is believed to be the execution site, according to Arab media reports. The content could not be independently-verified.
Hamas explicitly warned against airing the execution.
Iran Congratulates Haniyeh as New Hamas Leader, Urges Him to Liberate Palestine
A powerful Iranian general congratulated Ismail Haniyeh on his recent appointment as the new leader of Hamas, and encouraged him to “raise the issue of Palestine” as part of the Muslims’ “global fight against Arrogance,” the Mehr News Agency reported Wednesday.
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps(IRGC)-Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani praised Haniyeh and called on the new Hamas leader to fight what Mehr referred to as “the evil plots of Zionist and global Arrogance,” which are attempting to undermine the Islamic world and “seeking seizure of the Holy Qods,” a reference to Jerusalem.
“Great tasks belong to great men; as promised we rely on your foresight to reach a future during which the domestic crises are solved with prudence,” Soleimani said. “We await strengthening of unity with Hamas, the ally of Resistance axis, to raise the issue of Palestine again; to this aim we count on your efforts to replace the Palestine on top of Muslims global fight [against Arrogance].” The references to “Arrogance” mean the United States.
Soleimani encouraged Haniyeh to continue fighting until the liberation of Al Aqsa and the entire Palestinian territory. He also called for Jerusalem to be converted into a site for all Muslims and Christians.

Construction of a controversial concrete wall barrier around the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp has resumed following a brief halt

Hezbollah supporters set Lebanese minefield alight near northern Israeli border town
Supporters of Lebanese terror group Hezbollah marking the anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon 17 years ago set fire to a field along the Israel-Lebanon border near the northern Israeli town of Metulla on Thursday, setting off several mines.
Explosions were heard in the area as Israel Defense Forces responded to the incident, Israel Radio reported.
Soldiers were said to have dispersed the crowd on the other side of the border, apparently by firing shots into the air. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
A video from the scene posted by an Israel Radio reporter showed smoke rising from the field, as a number of IDF soldiers gathered near the fence.
The World Never Agreed to a Nuclear-Armed Iran
The 2015 agreement with the Islamic Republic includes a nakedly insincere pledge from Tehran that “under no circumstances will [it] ever seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons.” Thus, writes Max Singer, even though most of the its provisions are set to expire after eight-to-fifteen years, the deal does not require that its parties ever allow Iran to have nuclear weapons. America and its Western allies may therefore do whatever is necessary to prevent this from happening without violating the deal:
The problem of stopping Iran is . . . not a legal one. . . . The U.S., Germany, France, and Britain no doubt have the power to end Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. If they cut off all communication with the country—flights, telephone, Internet, banking—along with the countries that would follow their leadership, Iran would be compelled to yield, regardless of what China and Russia might do. And Beijing and Moscow would not be enthusiastic about standing against the West’s actions to defend Iran.
The democracies don’t need to commit to changing the Iranian regime, or to collaborate actively with Iranian dissidents. Even moderate political and social support by the U.S. and Europe for Iran’s internal opposition could scare the regime into postponing its efforts to get nuclear weapons. [Likewise], no military attack . . . could reliably destroy all Iranian weapons-production facilities, but complete destruction is not necessary. Partial elimination might be enough to convince the regime that rebuilding would not be worthwhile because they could be attacked again. And a successful attack could undermine the Iranian security services’ control over the population.
Iran builds third underground missile plant – report
The powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has established a third underground ballistic missile production facility in southwestern Iran, the semi-official Fars News agency reported Thursday.
Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC’s airspace program, told the Iranian outlet that the country would continue its ballistic missile program despite international criticism.
The facility was under construction for years, Hajizadeh told Fars.
Alongside the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution that “called upon [Iran] not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”
However, Tehran has interpreted that call to be a suggestion, and has carried out multiple ballistic missile tests since the passage of the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
IDENTIFIED: Meet The Erdogan Goon Who Brutally Kicked A Female Protester At Turkish Embassy [VIDEO]
Lucy Usoyan doesn’t remember all of the details of the brutal beating she suffered at the fists and feet of a group of men in front of the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. last week.
But after being shown a picture of Eyup Yildirim on Wednesday, she says that the 50-year-old supporter of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was one of the goons who savagely kicked her while she was curled up in a ball during the melee.
“Absolutely,” Usoyan told The Daily Caller on Wednesday after reviewing Yildirim’s Facebook page to see if he was one of the men who assaulted her.
Yildirim, the owner of a construction company in New Jersey, was one of the most visible figures spotted in videos recorded of last week’s attack.




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