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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: While Abbas met with Trump, Fatah honored 12 terrorists responsible for murdering 95 people
As Palestinian Authority and Fatah Chairman Abbas met with President Trump last week, the two institutions he heads were busy glorifying murderers and planners of suicide bombings and shooting attacks in which 95 people were murdered.
Fatah posted the photo above of 12 imprisoned terrorist murderers on Facebook and sent "blessings" to the "heroic prisoners":
Posted text: "All blessings to our heroic prisoners carrying out the [hunger] strike of dignity: Karim Younes, Marwan Barghouti, Nael Barghouti, Ahmad Sa'adat, Abbas Al-Sayid, Hassan Salameh, Zaid Bassisi, Bassem Al-Khandaqji, Wajdi Joudeh, Maher Younes, Fuad Al-Shubaki, Wael Al-Jaghoub."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, May 3, 2017]
These are the crimes of Fatah's "heroes":
Hassan Salameh - Serving 46 life sentences for planning suicide bombings that murdered 46.
Abbas Al-Sayid - Serving 35 life sentences for planning suicide bombings that murdered 35.
Marwan Barghouti - Serving 5 life sentences for planning 3 shooting attacks that murdered murdering 5.
Bassem Al-Khandaqji - Serving 3 life sentences for involvement in a suicide bombing that murdered 3.
Zaid Bassisi - Serving a life sentence plus an additional 55 years for planning a car bombing that wounded 8.
Karim and Maher Younes - Each is serving a 40-year sentence for kidnapping and murdering 1.
Nael and Fakhri Barghouti - Each was serving a life sentence for murdering 1. Both were released in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal. Nael Barghouti was rearrested for violating the terms of his release and is serving a life sentence plus an additional 18 years.
Wael Al-Jaghoub - Serving a life sentence for establishing PFLP terror cells and carrying out terror attacks. PMW was unable to verify the details of his crimes.
Ahmad Sa'adat - Serving a 30 year sentence for heading the PFLP terror organization.
Wajdi Joudeh - Serving a 25 year sentence for involvement in a suicide bombing that murdered 4 and wounded 24.
Fuad Al-Shubaki - Serving a 20 year sentence for planning attempt to smuggle 50 tons of illegal weapons to the Palestinian Authority
MEMRI: The Positions And Statements Of Hamas's New Political Bureau Head Isma'il Haniya
On May 6, 2017, Hamas announced that its senior official Isma'il Haniya had been elected as head of its political bureau, in place of Khaled Mash'al, who had held this position since 1996. Haniya, who had been Khaled's deputy, was elected in a movement-internal procedure that took place simultaneously in Gaza and the West Bank via video conference. Haniya previously served as Hamas's leader and prime minister in Gaza.
Over the years, MEMRI has presented Haniya's views and positions on various issues. In his statements Haniya reiterated his movement's commitment to the values of jihad and martyrdom, stressing that jihad is a religious duty that must never be subject to negotiations and that Palestinians are "a people who love death as much as [their] enemies love life." He emphasized that armed resistance is a Palestinian right and a "strategic option" which Hamas will pursue and intensify until the final liberation of Palestine "from the river to the sea." He also emphasized that Hamas regards it as its mission to develop increasingly sophisticated means of warfare, from rockets to attack tunnels, and to train the next generation of fighters in their effective use. Accordingly, he praised terrorists who had carried out attacks on Israelis, including on civilians, calling them heroes. He also emphasized that Hamas would never recognize Israel, under any circumstances.
Haniya's rhetoric has been consistently anti-American, for instance when he condemned the U.S. for killing "the mujahid" bin Laden, calling this an expression of America's "policy of oppression," and when he hoped that Allah would "declare war" on the U.S.
David Singer: United Nations Web of Deceit snares International Court of Justice
The United Nations publication The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem 1917-1988 (“Study”) has falsely misrepresented that the Mandate for Palestine was a class A Mandate – deceiving the International Court of Justice and many other reputable sources.
The Study has been published by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
The Study falsely asserts without substantiation:
“All the mandates over Arab countries, including Palestine, were treated as class 'A' Mandates, applicable to territories whose independence had been provisionally recognized in the Covenant of the League of Nations”.
The Study then erroneously concludes:
“Only in the case of Palestine did the Mandate, with its inherent contradictions, lead not to the independence provisionally recognized in the Covenant, but towards conflict that was to continue six decades later.”
However the 1937 Peel Commission Report comprehensively debunks the Study’s concocted claims



Clifford D. May: Playing the world for a fool
To understand what is really going on, let us start with a few pertinent facts. Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Britain and the European Union. Following Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, civil war broke out between Hamas and its main rival, Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Within two years, Hamas had prevailed. It has ruled Gaza ever since, devoting its energies to launching rockets, digging terrorist tunnels and provoking three wars with Israel.
In its 1988 founding charter, Hamas makes clear that its goal is to wipe Israel off the map. It rejects a "two-state solution" because, as it interprets Islamic scripture, any land conquered by Muslims at any time in history is as an endowment from Allah to the Muslims. No one has the authority to surrender such territory to non-Muslims.
Last week, at a press conference in Doha, Qatar, Hamas unveiled what it called a "Document of General Principles and Policies." Hamas implicitly renounced its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that launched the modern Islamist movement 89 years ago. However, it mentioned no ideological disagreements with the Brotherhood.
So why the ostensible break? Hamas leaders would like increased international acceptance and, in particular, to be viewed more kindly by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Indeed, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all regard the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
In the document, Hamas says it is willing to accept a provisional Palestinian state within the 1967 lines. It does not say it is unwilling to accept Israel beyond those lines.
Isi Leibler: 9 challenges confronting Israel
Not since the creation of the state has Israel found itself in such an advantageous position. While a genuine peace settlement with the Palestinians remains a distant mirage and the threat from Iran is ever-present, Israel has emerged as a regional superpower, both militarily and economically. And now, finally, the United States seems willing to exert its muscle to neutralize the overtly biased behavior of the international community toward the Jewish state.
1. The relationship with the Trump administration must be cultivated by displaying patience and cooperating with his efforts to reach a peace settlement with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. If, as is likely, Abbas continues to refuse to make any meaningful concessions, President Donald Trump will hopefully reach an understanding with us on settlement and building issues, enabling the formal annexation of the major settlement blocs and paving the way to implement his commitment to transfer the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
2. The people must press for a broader government. There is no reason for Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid to be in opposition when his policies are almost identical to those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He could also serve as an outstanding foreign minister.
A broader coalition would neutralize the arguments of those claiming that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the most extreme right-wing government in Israel's history, and demonstrate that the government's policies are endorsed by the clear majority of the nation. With a broad consensus of the electorate, the government would be in a position of strength and, even in the absence of a Palestinian state, would finally be able to determine future borders.
Abbas, UNESCO, and the Test of Diplomacy
Just a day before President Donald Trump received the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, for a summit meeting at the White House, UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, adopted a resolution on Jerusalem, the third in a whole sequence in the last two years that sought to delegitimize the State of Israel and its status as protector of the Holy City.
There has always been deception and missed truths in international diplomacy. In the 17th century there was a British diplomat named Sir Henry Wotton who said that an ambassador is an honest gentleman sent abroad to lie for his country, while UNESCO is a whole institution dedicated to lying, particularly against the rights of the State of Israel, and here they went again and did it.
In the past, UNESCO would speak about who has rights in the area of the Temple Mount. They would use only Arabic nomenclature – the Haram al-Sharif – when they would speak about it, and they ignored any Jewish presence or Jewish rights. Now the latest resolution addresses the issue of the illegality of Israel's position. The past resolutions and the current resolutions are completely false.
How do we know that UNESCO has been distorting history and deceiving the international community on so many occasions? UNESCO not only dealt with the issue of Jerusalem, it focused in particular on the issue of Rachel's Tomb, which is located just beyond the southern border of Jerusalem. Around 2010, UNESCO began to speak about the Bilal Bin Rabah mosque in Bethlehem as an additional name to Rachel's Tomb. Where did they get this? The Palestinian Authority just a few years earlier started making that reference to Rachel's Tomb and in doing so tried again to take a famous Jewish holy site and convert it to an exclusively Islamic position in the Holy Land.
The irony of this move by the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s is that if you go to the documents of the Ottoman Empire, we have an imperial firman of the Ottoman Sultan who describes Rachel's Tomb as a Jewish site. It never refers to it as the Bilal Bin Rabah mosque because Bilal Bin Rabah, who was the first muazzin of Islam according to the Islamic tradition, was buried in Damascus, not in Bethlehem. But not only did the Palestinian Authority put forward this twisted agenda, it was picked up by UNESCO, which is supposed to be responsible for some kind of educational truth. It wasn't.


Dennis Ross: Qatar needs to stop funding Islamists
Instead, what one sees is that Qatar appears to want to have it both ways. Preserve its ties to us and to the Islamists — keep the U.S. base in Qatar as a way of ensuring an American stake in Qatar’s security and deterrent against more overt threats to the country and preserve the ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and like-minded groups; bring in American universities to establish campuses and highlight the investment in western-oriented education and values even as it continues to underwrite Al Jazeera and its role in spreading a narrative that challenges those very values.
Qatar can only have it both ways so long as we permit it. Qatar’s leaders clearly want the American security connection. Trump should make it clear to them that they will have it so long as they are not threatening our interests and those of our partners in the region. As important as the al-Udeid base is, the Qataris should know we have alternatives and are prepared to develop them in the UAE and elsewhere unless Qatar is prepared to be a genuine partner and not a party that contributes to the very threats we need to counter.
Former Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and served in senior national security positions in the Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations. His most recent book is Doomed to Succeed: The US-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama.
Ben-Dror Yemini: A familiar refusal
Abbas reiterated in his meeting with Trump that the refugee problem could be solved based on international law and previous agreements. All previous initiatives, however, failed because of one barrier—the Palestinian refusal to compromise on the refugee issue.
There is a concern, just a concern, that US President Donald Trump’s peace plans will be shattered just like any other peace initiative in the past few decades, due to one barrier: The refugee return fantasy.
Occasionally, we hear statements that provide small glimmers of hope. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated last week that the refugee problem could be solved “based on international law and previous agreements.” But that’s the thing: All previous initiatives failed because of a Palestinian refusal to compromise on the refugees. Even when Abbas does make a moderate statement, only several hours go by before a tough clarification arrives.
Will a new American president manage to change the regular pattern? It won’t happen through another negotiation. That would be a waste of time. It could only happen the opposite way. First of all, after an agreement that will be presented by Trump, all the relevant parties must accept it, otherwise there will be no reason to move forward. The outlines are already known; they were presented by Clinton, in former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s initiative and in the draft submitted to Abbas by former US president Barack Obama and secretary of State John Kerry. It wasn’t easy to swallow the previous suggestions, which the Palestinians had already refused. It definitely won’t be easy this time. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t be grabbing this opportunity, either. The only thing that has changed is that there is a new broom with a lot of determination. Will the determination manage to create real change? We’ll have to wait and see.
Police arrest knife-wielding man targeting Jews in London
Police in north London arrested a knife-wielding man who threatened Jews in Stamford Hill, which has a large Orthodox Jewish community, British media reported Tuesday.
Footage of the assailant shows him waving a meat cleaver and yelling at people passing by.
Scotland Yard said the police were called to Upper Clapton Road around 4 p.m. following reports that a man armed with a meat cleaver and a long knife was threatening a shopkeeper.
According to media reports, the man, 61, tried to enter a kosher food shop but the staff were able to lock the door and keep him out.
The suspect then entered a second kosher store, shouting, "Where is the boss, I will kill him!" Told that the owner was not there, the suspect ran outside and accosted two Jewish girls, ages 8 and 14, brandishing his weapons in their faces and shouting, "You Jews run away from here before I kill you."
The Candy Bar that Blew Barghouti's Cover
Tellingly, although Nasser Abu Bakr's conflict of interest has been reported several times, his spectacular breach of journalistic ethics does not seem to bother his employers at Agence France-Presse (AFP). Worse, it calls into serious question AFP's professional ethics.
Let us be clear on this: Abu Bakr and his PA friends are demanding that the Israeli and international media refrain from reporting anything offensive about the Palestinians. That is censorship -- not to mention shock-troop thuggery.
Since his appointment as chairman of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), Abu Bakr has spearheaded a campaign to boycott Israeli journalists and media organizations. He has repeatedly accused Israeli journalists of serving as an "arm" of the Israeli military authorities and government. Ironically, it is Abu Bakr and his PJS who serve as part of the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership establishment and do not conceal their role as officials.
Pizza Hut runs ad mocking hunger strike leader Barghouti
Pizza Hut’s franchise in Israel on Monday released an ad poking fun at Palestinian hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti following the recent release of video footage showing him secretly eating a candy bar and cookies in his prison cell.
The ad drew widespread criticism from Palestinians and a call to boycott the chain, which issued a quick apology.
In the ad, which it posted on its Facebook page and later deleted, the pizza chain put a banner in Hebrew over a screenshot from a clip released by the Israel Prisons Service on Sunday of Barghouti eating. It read, “Barghouti, if you are already going to break the hunger strike, isn’t pizza better?”
The ad also included a photoshopped Pizza Hut box on the floor of the prison cell, as well as a piece of pizza in the sink.
In response to the ad, a large number of Palestinians called for a boycott of the pizza chain on social media.
Pizza Hut apologizes for post making fun of Palestinian hunger strike
Pizza Hut International apologized for a post this week by its Israel branch making light of a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.
After Marwan Barghouti was caught on tape breaking his hunger strike in HaSharon Prison, Pizza Hut Israel posted a screenshot from the video with a photoshopped pizza box and the caption: “Barghouti: If you’re going to break the strike, isn’t pizza better?”
But the post created a firestorm and forced the international brand to apologize publicly. On its main Facebook page in both English and Arabic on Tuesday, the brand condemned the post.
“Pizza Hut International apologizes for any offense caused by a recent post on Pizza Hut Israel’s Facebook page,” it wrote. “It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the values of our brand. The local franchisee in the country removed it immediately and the relationship with the agency that posted it was terminated, and we truly regret any hurt this may have caused.”
Wife of Palestinian hunger striker wants pope to intervene
The wife of the leader of a hunger strike by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has written to Pope Francis calling on him to intervene “before it is too late.”
Fadwa Barghouti, wife of Palestinian leader and prominent prisoner Marwan Barghouti, has called on the pope to “speak up, because freedom and dignity are God-given rights, and no human group should deprive another of these rights.”
“Your call for respect of the rights of the Palestinian people, including the rights of our political prisoners, would allow the voice of those placed in isolation to reach the world,” the letter says.
The Vatican has recognized Palestine as a state.
The hunger strike began on April 17, led by Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences over his role orchestrating deadly terror attacks in the second Palestinian intifada.
Rivlin reinvites UK royal family after reported cancellation
President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday extended a fresh invitation to the British royal family to visit Israel, after reports in the UK media said an upcoming trip to the Holy Land had been canceled.
“We would be happy to welcome a member of the royal family here in Jerusalem, especially marking 100 years since the Balfour Declaration,” the president said during a meeting with visiting Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
In March, in a meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Rivlin publicly extended an invitation to Prince Charles to visit Israel during the centennial year of the 1917 signing of the Balfour Declaration.
But The Sun tabloid reported Sunday that Charles will not visit Israel in the fall of 2017.
Israeli President to Archbishop of Canterbury: "Israel Is the Only Country in the Middle East Where the Christian Community Is Flourishing"
President Reuven Rivlin met at his residence on Monday with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The Archbishop was accompanied by the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani, and the UK Ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey.
Rivlin warmly welcomed the archbishop and spoke of the importance of his visit to the Holy Land.
He said, “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian community is flourishing. And Israel is committed to the values of freedom of religion for all people of faith. This is our value and our duty as a Jewish-democratic state.”
The president stressed Israel’s commitment to bring an end to the conflict with the Palestinians and stated that the only way to reach an agreement required building trust between the sides. “Anyone who cares for the well-being of the people of this land must be a partner in this mission," he said. "We must not allow voices which teach hatred or call for boycotts, to divide the peoples. We must find ways to bring people together. I believe faith should bring people together.”
Rivlin spoke in relation to recent comments made by the president of Turkey, commenting, “We have heard voices which attack Israel for building Jewish life in Jerusalem. I must tell these people, for the last 150 years there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Even under the Ottoman Empire there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Under Israeli sovereignty, we continue to build Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. There is no doubt Jerusalem is a microcosm of our ability to live together. And we will continue to ensure freedom of religion for all faiths.”
How Trump should tour Jerusalem
US President Donald Trump will visit Israel on May 22 as part of his “Three Big Religions Tour.” America’s showman-in-chief is launching presidential theme-travel now. Before Brussels and Sicily, he will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bethlehem and the Vatican, contrasting peaceful religions with militant Islamism. Trump also hopes his deal-making magic will dazzle Israelis and Palestinians. In preparation, security experts are swarming Jerusalem. The King David Hotel is now the King Donald (kidding!). Trump aides are arriving in Israel to plan his itinerary. Here’s my proposal:
Trump should start in Israel’s New York, Tel Aviv, where Zionists transformed sand dunes into a metropolis, spawning a modern Hebrew City. As a real estate mogul, the president will appreciate how Israel’s Trump, the late David Azrieli, developed a neglected neighborhood into a mass real estate project branded with the family name: Azrieli Towers.
First takeaway: Zionism created Israel, a modern old-new miracle.
Then Trump should make his way via helicopter to Jerusalem, landing near the First Station, another Zionist Cinderella project that turned a dump into a mall and entertainment center. Our Zionist tale continues with the railway station built 120 years ago to revive Jerusalem, and today’s cutting-edge Israel, seen in the JVP Media Quarter and the Our Crowd offices, financing start-ups through crowd funding.
From there, he should descend into the valley, then climb Mount Zion. Let him imagine Jordanian snipers as he crosses the border that ruptured the city for 19 years after the Jordanians occupied territory they seized in the 1948 war without UN approval,and note how harmful it would be to re-divide the city. Also describe the pilgrims who ascended – as he is doing – thousands of years ago, to the two Temples.
Israel denies reports of Trump decision against US embassy move
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office denied on Wednesday reports that it had received notice that US President Donald Trump has decided not to move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
"Israel's position is that all embassies, particularly the US embassy, should be in Israel's capital - Jerusalem," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Israeli outlet NRG cited unnamed sources as saying the White House had relayed the decision about scrapping plans for the controversial move to the government in Jerusalem.
It remains to be seen whether Trump will make any announcement on his campaign pledge of moving the US embassy during his first visit as president to Israel and the Palestinian territories on May 22-23.
Palestinian and Arab leaders have warned the US against the move, saying it would trigger violence in Israel and elsewhere.
The US Congress passed a law in 1995 mandating the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, but allowed the president a waiver. Each president since then has routinely exercised the waiver, citing the national security interests of the United States.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Israel Moving Embassy From DC To Mar-a-Lago (satire)
Amid a frenzy of speculation whether President Donald Trump will authorize moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the nation’s declared capital of Jerusalem, Israeli diplomats have upped the political ante by announcing that they are in the latter stages of authorizing a potential transfer of Israel’s embassy in the US capital to the Trump-owned country club of Mar-a-Lago in Florida, where he spends almost as much time as the White House.
Senior Foreign Ministry officials speaking on condition of anonymity disclosed to PreOccupied Territory that the diplomatic relationship between the two allied countries should be reciprocal, and that the move signals a new approach to Israel’s relations with all the countries who locate their embassies to Israel in Tel Aviv instead of Jerusalem.
“If the US would like to maintain its embassy to Israel elsewhere than our capital, we will feel free to do the same in return,” declared one official. “Since the current president spends so much of his time at Mar-a-Lago in any case, we do not anticipate the change in venue having an adverse effect on communication with the administration.”
A second official elaborated on the process underway. “We had a committee discuss potential alternative cities and sites for our embassy in the US,” she recounted. “New York obviously made the short list, given its centrality in US commerce, politics, and culture, but more important, it’s not the capital city. It would be the perfect analog to Tel Aviv in that respect. But although Mr. Trump hails from New York and is expected to return there with some frequency, in the end we deemed it more likely that the president will be in an accommodating mood when he relaxes at the Palm Beach retreat.”
EXCLUSIVE: An Interview With Former Israeli Parliament Member Moshe Feiglin: Trump Represents 'A Whole Movement All Over The World'
Moshe Feiglin, a former Knesset member who represented the Likud party from 2013 to 2015, and led Zo Artzeinu, (This is our Land) which protested the Oslo accord, has recently launched a new Israeli political party of his own called Zehut, which is mobilizing and growing. Feiglin is also a columnist for the Jewish Press who comments on issues ranging from politics to Israeli culture. He describes himself as a faithful libertarian; he created his new party after he became frustrated with the Likud and believed it needed to be challenged from a party on the right.
Zehut’s motto is “Liberty, Purpose, and Jewish Identity,” and takes alternative and controversial positions on issues that face Israeli society. In a video produced by the party to outline their agenda, the party proposes a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by annexing the West Bank and offering three options to non-Jewish residents: financial assistance to emigrate, permanent residency status for “those who stay and openly declare their loyalty to Israel, just like residents of other Western countries,” and “the few who wish to become loyal Israeli citizens and serve in the army...will be able to receive full citizenship following a lengthy and in depth examination.” The video also cites a study by the American Israeli Demographic Research Group from 2012 which claims that by 2035, the Jewish majority will increase to 80% between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.
Of U.S./Israel relations, Feiglin believes that the United States should cease funding to Israel, claiming “this so-called aid is much more of an American interest more than an Israeli interest” because the money from the aid is only permitted to be spent in the United States. Feiglin says Israel and the United States “have common interests and common values” but believes that the “relationship should be on the same level of two countries that respect and honor each other.”
Trump aide Gorka pushes back against accusations of antisemitism
A senior foreign policy adviser to US President Donald Trump pushed back Sunday against reports suggesting he has ties to proto- fascist groups in Hungary dating back to his young adulthood.
Sebastian Gorka, a deputy assistant to the president, told The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York that claims he and his fellow White House colleagues Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller harbor antisemitic views are politically motivated, driven by those on the political Left aligned with movements hostile to Israel.
Gorka received a warm welcome at the conference, receiving applause at the beginning and a partial standing ovation at the end of his session with the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Yaakov Katz.
He characterized himself and the Trump administration as staunchly “pro-Israel” and personally condemned antisemitism.
“I have spent my life fighting against totalitarian ideologies, and so has my father,” Gorka said. “For me, jihadis are linked to fascists because they are totalitarians – and that is why I am proud to work for this administration.”
Palestinian Authority Officials Claim ‘New Bond’ With Trump Administration, Top Ramallah-Based Paper Reports
An insider account of the events surrounding last week’s meeting between US President Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas reveals optimism among Palestinian officials regarding the new White House occupant.
The account — published in the Ramallah-based Al-Ayyam daily newspaper, which is close to Abbas — is titled “The Secrets and Details of President [Abbas’] Visit and Talks in the US Capital.”
“The observers were unanimous that President Abbas received an unusually [warm] welcome in the White House,” the Al-Ayyam report — translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute — said. “The Palestinian flag was prominently displayed in many places, especially in the historic Roosevelt Room, where it…stood behind the US president as he gave his address.”
Israeli-Palestinian peace 'truly urgent,' German president says
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tuesday that it is "truly urgent" to start moving toward a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
After meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Steinmeier said much time has already been spent on efforts to set up a state of Palestine alongside Israel.
"In the international community, there were many attempts and much time has passed, and those who know the region know that it has become truly urgent to implement proposals for a two-state solution," Steinmeier said, standing next to Abbas.
Steinmeier said he believes there is no alternative to a two-state deal and that "it's high time to work on the requirements for it."
The German president arrived in Israel on Saturday for a three-day visit. He met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday.
In a press conference following their meeting, both leaders praised the strong relationship between Jerusalem and Berlin.
Zionism: Yielding Territory Since 1919
The proposed map of the Jewish National Home as presented to the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference:
We've been yielding and surrendering territory ever since.
Yes, Palestine Was Southern Syria
Another confirming document, from 1919:

Indian Navy ships dock in Haifa port ahead of historical visit by Indian PM
Three warships of the Indian Navy are in Israel’s Haifa Port on a three-day visit as part of the Indian Navy's Overseas Deployment (OSD) to the Mediterranean Sea and the West Coast of Africa.
The ships, INS Mumbai (guided missile destroyer)i, INS Trishul (stealth missile frigate) and INS Aditya (tanker), are part of the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command, based in Mumbai.
The Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral RB Pandit, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who is flying his flag on the guided missile destroyer, INS Mumbai.
The ships, which arrived on Tuesday will engage extensively with the Israel Navy during their stay in the country, including both professional and social engagements. During the entry to Israel the ships also took part in a joint drill with the Israel Navy.
It is the 8th visit of Indian ships to an Israeli port, with the first being in 2000 and “the current visit seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries and, in particular, to strengthen the existing friendship between India and Israel,” read a statement by the Indian Embassy in Israel.
Air India suspends plans for Tel Aviv flights
The refusal of Arab countries to allow the Indian carrier to fly over their countries makes the route uneconomic.
Air India has suspended plans to launch Tel Aviv - New Delhi flights. In March the Indian carrier announced that it was launching three weekly flights this month but it is now reconsidering its plans after failing to receive permission to fly over a range of Arab and Muslim countries.
An Air India official said that the refusal of countries like Saudi Arabia to grant overflight permission has made a five hour flight into an eight hour flight and makes the route uneconomic. Air India is thus considering completely scrapping the idea of flying to Tel Aviv.
This is good news for El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL), which offers the only direct flights between Israel and India on its Tel Aviv - Mumbai route. It is bad news for Israeli tourists, most of who fly to India indirectly via Istanbul, Moscow and Tashkent.
Israeli forces thwart Palestinian pipe bomb attack at IDF court in West Bank
A potential security crisis was averted Wednesday morning after Israeli forces caught a Palestinian carrying a pipe bomb outside of a military court in the West Bank near the Palestinian village of Salem.
According to border police, the suspect, a minor from Jenin, attempted to enter the complex via a military checkpoint. When asked by security officials to show identification, the suspect said he did not have any, prompting a search of his person. During the search, soldiers found two pipe bombs in the suspect's possession.
Initial investigations revealed that he planned to enter the courthouse complex and detonate the explosive devices, targeting security forces inside.
The suspect was taken by security forces for further investigation.
Bomb disposal technicians were called in to neutralize the devices.
Hamas assures critics Israel’s destruction still a goal
Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar clarified Wednesday that his terror group’s new political program, which some interpreted as accepting the idea of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, would not preclude Hamas from seeking to liberate all of historic Palestine, including Israel.
“If we liberate Palestine though the resistance until the 1967 borders, we will go directly to liberate the rest of Palestine and the territories of 1948, and there will be no negotiations,” Zahar said at a conference in Gaza addressing international reactions to the new policy document, according to the Hamas-linked al-Resalah news site.
Zahar was likely responding to hardline critics of Hamas’s new program, such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.
“As partners with our Hamas brothers in the struggle for liberation, we feel concern over the document,” Islamic Jihad’s deputy leader, Ziad al-Nakhala, said Saturday.
“We are opposed to Hamas’s acceptance of a state within the 1967 borders and we think this is a concession which damages our aims,” he said in a statement on Islamic Jihad’s website.
Iran to Launch Two New Satellites, Likely Cover for Illicit ICBM Program
Iran is preparing to launch two new domestic satellites into space, according to a new announcement by Iranian military leaders that is stirring discussion among U.S. national security insiders who say the move is likely cover for the test firing of advanced intercontinental ballistic missile technology that could be used as part of Iran's nuclear program.
The latest test comes as the Trump administration continues to engage in a comprehensive review of the Iran nuclear agreement that U.S. officials tell the Washington Free Beacon will result in a full-scale plan to "meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction."
Iran continues to boost its military might and move forward with the testing of controversial ballistic missile technology. The expertise needed to launch satellites into space is similar to that needed to properly launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could potentially reach U.S. soil.
U.S. officials and national security experts have been paying close attention to Iran's missile progress as North Korea ups its provocative moves. Tehran and Pyongyang have long traded illicit missile technology on the black market and Iran's nuclear progress closely mirrors that of its partner.
The Iranian satellite launches also come as Iran engages in an unprecedented effort to reorganize and boost its military so it can serve as an offensive fighting force, a move that has drawn concern among U.S. national security insiders.
Khamenei says ‘wealthy US Zionist merchant’ tried to interfere in 2009 elections
Iran’s supreme leader says anyone trying to foment unrest around the country’s upcoming presidential election, like that which followed the disputed 2009 vote, “will be hit with a slap.”
Iranian state television quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as making the comment Wednesday during a graduation ceremony for cadets in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Tehran.
Khamenei also referred to a “wealthy American Zionist merchant” trying to interfere in Iran’s 2009 election in his comments, likely referring to liberal billionaire George Soros.
Iranians will go to the polls May 19. Moderate President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration struck the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, is seeking another four-year term.
Syrian Kurdish official praises US decision to provide arms
A top Syrian Kurdish official on Wednesday welcomed the US decision to arm Kurdish fighters with heavier weapons, saying it would “legitimize” the force as it prepares to march on Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State group.
But the decision, announced by the Trump administration Tuesday, is sure to rattle Turkey, which considers the Syrian Kurdish group, known as the YPG, to be a terror organization.
The YPG forms the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which has driven the IS group from much of northern Syria with the help of US air support. The US is eager to expel IS from Raqqa and sees the Syrian Kurds, who are among the most effective fighters in the country, as the best placed force for the task.
Ilham Ahmed, a top official in the Syrian Democratic Forces’ political office, said the decision to provide heavier arms carries “political meaning” and “legitimizes the YPG and the Syrian Democratic Forces.”
She said the decision is likely to be met with “aggression” from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is to visit Washington next week.
Turkey doesn't quit Hamas cold turkey
Despite the reconciliation agreement, Turkey has been sponsoring—at least in silence or in complete and open disregard—Hamas activities in its territory, including those of its military wing.
Before the signing of the reconciliation agreement, Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin approached Netanyahu and asked him not to sign the accord due to Turkey's continued backing of Hamas operatives. The calls were not heeded.
The main activities of the organization in Turkey is coordinating terror cells in the West Bank and according to the defense establishment, the relationship with Hamas leadership in Gaza is administered directly by the Turkish government in Ankara.
Hamas' presence in Turkey continues despite the departure of Saleh al-Arouri, who headed Hamas in Turkey before leaving the country following Israeli demands during the reconciliation negotiations.
The End of Turkey’s Jews?
Much has been written about Turkey’s turn toward Islamism and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s growing autocracy. Turkish officials and their proxies argue, however, that Turkey remains both tolerant and democratic. The problem, they say, is limited to the followers of Islamic theologian Fethullah Gülen and Kurdish politicians and activists whom Erdogan accuses of terrorism. Turkey’s minorities, they say, are safe. The Turkish Heritage Organization, for example, argued, “Turkey has been a safe haven for Jews, Arabs, Kurds, Yazidis and Muslim nations for generations.”
That may have once been true for minorities besides Armenians and Kurds but, increasingly, it’s no longer the case for Yezidis, Christians, and Jews.
The Erdoğan years have been scary ones for Turkey’s Jews, with wild anti-Semitic conspiracy theories becoming increasingly commonplace. Many Jews have nonetheless remained hopeful that the repression and intolerance would pass. There were reasons for hope: Turkey was never a perfect democracy but, even after setbacks, its developmental trajectory was toward greater tolerance.
No longer. In many societies, Jews have been the canary in the coal mine. When a country loses its Jews, it is a sign that its democratic evolution has halted. Four years ago, some Turkish Jews began to leave. That trickle appears to be turning into a flood.



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