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Friday, June 2, 2017

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The limits of Israeli power
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump bowed to the foreign policy establishment and betrayed his voters. He signed a presidential waiver postponing the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem for yet another six months.
Ahead of Trump’s move, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a last-ditch bid to convince Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem. But it was not to be.
Israel’s failure to convince Trump to do what he repeatedly promised US voters he would do during his presidential campaign shows the disparity in power between Israel and the US.
Israel lacks the power to convince foreign nations to recognize its capital – much less to locate their embassies there. The US, on the other hand, not only has the power to recognize Jerusalem and transfer its embassy to Israel’s capital whenever it wishes to do so, it also has the ability to convince dozens of other countries to immediately follow its lead.
The disparity between what the Americans can do and what Israel can do was on display on Monday evening in a glittering hall at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. There, Bar-Ilan University conferred its Guardian of Zion award on former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton. In his acceptance speech, Bolton presented his vision for the resolution of the Palestinian conflict with Israel.
Bolton’s views are important not merely because his past work at the State Department and the UN brought the US some of its only diplomatic victories in recent decades. His views are important as well because of his close relationship with Trump.
Bolton began his discussion Monday evening by rejecting the “two-state solution.” The two-state model, he noted, has been tried and has failed repeatedly for the past 70 years. There is no reason to believe that it will succeed now. This is particularly true, he said, given the lack of Palestinian social cohesion.
Nakba: The source of Arab-Israeli conflict
UNRWA's success has been in transforming itself into the guardian of Palestinian refugees' isolation, preserving the uniqueness of their identity as an entity that cannot be assimilated into any Arab country, but only into what is perceived as Palestine.
Since Israel’s inception in 1948, the Arab-Palestinians mark Nakba Day. Nakba, the Arabic term for catastrophe, represents much more than just the physical creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948, which Palestinians decree as the cataclysmic disaster. It is also the Palestinian process of refusing to accept the fact that a sovereign Jewish state could even be allowed to come into being.
Over the years, one of the greatest ironies is that Arab members of Knesset have repeatedly proposed establishing an official Nakba Day. Although the Knesset's Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs eventually banned these proposals, they indicate how ingrained 1948 is in the Arab psyche. To the Knesset's credit, there was an understanding that marking the Nakba is harmful and propagates the notion that Israel's birth was illegitimate.
But what is the Nakba all about? On the one hand, the very idea that an Arab-Israeli MK could propose Nakba be celebrated as a national holiday highlights the extent and openness of Israeli society; even ludicrous idea can be raised in its parliament. On the other, such a proposal would require Israeli society to forget what Zionism is all about.
Moreover, the Nakba’s vitality is embedded in the existence of Arab-Palestinian refugees who serve as a permanent reminder of the original sin of 1948. Nakba is also what has allowed Arab countries to treat their own brethren as bargaining chips rather than human beings whose suffering and deprivation they could have alleviated.
Palestinians: Israel's Goodwill Gestures Send Wrong Messages
Here is what is being said on the Palestinian street: Today Israel runs away from the West Bank or the Gaza Strip; tomorrow Israel will run away from Ashkelon, then from Tel Aviv and from there to the sea, and we have achieved our goal of destroying Israel. Therefore, we need to continue attacking Israel.
As with the Gaza Strip, the withdrawal from Lebanon taught the Palestinians that terrorism could drive Israelis out of their country.
Never have the Palestinians given Israel credit for its goodwill steps. On the contrary, they scoff at these moves and describe them as "cosmetic changes". The Palestinian line is that Israel's steps are "insufficient" and "unhelpful." Its concessions are regarded as gestures of a terrified people and as the rightful reward for terrorism. Far from satiating the appetite of the terrorists, such steps prompt them to step up their attacks against Israelis.



PMW: Two-Faced PA: Different messages for different audiences
Jibril Rajoub, top Palestinian official who may be the next leader after Mahmoud Abbas, recently penned an article in Newsweek magazine in which he presented himself as a seeker of peace, claiming to support the two-state solution:
"We in the Palestinian leadership are determined to seize this opportunity to achieve the long overdue two-state vision."
[Rajoub in Newsweek, May 1, 2017]

Later Rajoub wrote: "We will accept no solution but a two-state one."
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Rajoub was an active terror promoter and supporter during last year's Palestinian terror wave. The documentation below shows that Rajoub's claim in Newsweek to be a supporter of the "two-state vision" is a very different message from the one he promotes to Palestinians.
In numerous contexts, Rajoub has handed out plaques of honor decorated with the PA's map of "Palestine," which erases Israel's existence. Instead, all of the State of Israel is included in "Palestine" in addition to the PA areas.
Jibril Rajoub heads the PLO's Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs and when the council held a youth camp named "Know Your Homeland," it chose the PA map that includes all of Israel as the decoration for the camp shirts. To make sure that the participants do not see this as a historical map of the past, the map was painted in the colors of the PA flag, symbolizing future Palestinian political jurisdiction over the entire area. Rajoub's Higher Council posted a picture of the drawing of the PA map on its Facebook page.
Turkish takeover in Jerusalem
There is a direct line, say the article authors, from civic dawa to radicalization and active enlistment in the armed struggle against Israel. This includes active social networking which glorifies terrorists, martyrs, and prisoners, and explicitly calls for violent resistance to Israel. These networks were also the source for the libel that Al-Aqsa mosque is endangered by the Jews/Zionists, and for dissemination of an incredible volume of disinformation related to Israeli actions on the Temple Mount.
The authors ask for particular attention to the mounting involvement of Erdogan's Turkey, which is the worldwide Brotherhood's main patron. Turkey now enjoys unprecedented popularity among the Arab residents of east Jerusalem, the authors write. The Turks' public support of the Palestinian cause and adoption of the Al-Aqsa issue, and their decision to inject millions of dollars into east Jerusalem, have won them great sympathy and support.
The Turks fund a great part of the dawa activities in the city, with Sheikh Ekrima Sa'id Sabri as the lead Turkish agent. (He is a former grand mufti of Jerusalem appointed by the PA and today the most prominent representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in the city.) The Turkish consulate in Jerusalem, the Turkish government assistance agency, and a string of Turkish organizations that have local branches in Israel or the West Bank, are directly implicated in this subversive activity too. As a result, Turkish flags today fly everywhere in east Jerusalem and prominently on the Temple Mount as well.
The Turks also have injected significant sums to those who do their bidding on the Temple Mount, for various activities such as Quran-recitation groups, transportation of worshipers to and from the mosque, iftar feasts in Ramadan, renovation and cleaning campaigns, and the like. In general, the Islamist forces on the Temple Mount operate, intentionally or not, to Turkey's benefit and the detriment of Jordan. They may believe that the replacement of the Jordanian presence by a Turkish presence would be a positive and welcome development.
The main loser here is Jordan, which long enjoyed the status of Guardian of the Holy Places and protector of the Arabs of Jerusalem. This also is the context of the PA's intensive activity in the international arena, and especially at UNESCO, ostensibly intended to protect the Islamic holy places against an Israeli takeover. This tactic allows the PA to convey to its critics that it is the true defender of Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem against the threat of "Judaization," while at the same time gnawing at Jordan's historic role as guardian of the Mount and seeking to counteract the emerging Turkish dominance in Temple Mount affairs.
Trump’s embassy waiver is another key policy disagreement with Israel
In 1972, then-congressman Gerald Ford called for moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Two years later, Ford — now president — was asked by Israel’s ambassador in Washington at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, about the embassy’s relocation.
“In the Oval Office you view things differently than from the House of Representatives,” Rabin quoted Ford as replying.
Twenty years after this episode, Congress passed a law stipulating the embassy be moved to Jerusalem, but allowing presidents to delay the relocation every six months.
Giving credence to Ford, on Thursday, Donald Trump became the fourth US president to sign a presidential waiver ordering the delay, just as his predecessors have done 36 times since the late 1990s.
Disappointing Jewish and Evangelical supporters in Israel and the US, but not really surprising anyone, Trump set his signature underneath the exact same “presidential determination” that Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama made before him.
It states that it is “necessary, in order to protect the national security interests of the United States, to suspend for a period of 6 months” the implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act.
In doing so, Trump, seen just a few months ago by many on the Israeli right as a potential dream president, once again publicly disagreed with the Israeli government.
The president has already publicly urged a most unhappy Netanyahu to rein in settlements, and openly differed with him over Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s readiness for peace.
Pro-Israel Groups in US Express Disappointment Over Trump’s Decision to Delay Potential Move of Israel Embassy to Jerusalem
A number of pro-Israel groups in the US have expressed disappointment over President Donald Trump’s decision to sign a waiver on Thursday that delayed the potential move of the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by at least another six months.
“We are certain that the Trump administration is very well aware that no Israeli prime minister will ever cede sovereignty over Jerusalem,” Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper — the dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — stated. “The city is and will remain the undivided capital of Israel.”
“Next week’s 50th anniversary of the reunification of the city during the June 1967 Six-Day War marks a half-century of full access to holy sites of all faiths in the Old City, a fact that should be acknowledged and celebrated by religious leaders of all Abrahamic faiths.”
Christians United for Israel (CUFI) issued a statement with similar sentiments, saying, “The president knows that Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel and we strongly believe that the location of our embassy should reflect that reality.” CUFI noted it remained “hopeful” Trump would ultimately “fulfill his campaign pledge” and relocate the embassy to Jerusalem.
Senator Charles Schumer of New York — the Democratic minority leader — stated he believed Jerusalem was the “undivided capital of Israel” and asked, “Will those who criticized [former] President [Barack] Obama for not moving the embassy make their voices just as loud and just as strong when it comes to President Trump’s failure to move the embassy?”
Israeli left blames Netanyahu for embassy decision
Politicians on the Israeli Left and center-left said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should take responsibility for US President Donald Trump’s decision to sign a waiver preventing the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said all the world’s embassies should be in Jerusalem.
“Unfortunately,” he added, “Netanyahu learned a lesson that there are no shortcuts and whoever wants international recognition must reach a courageous diplomatic agreement.”
Labor leadership candidate Amir Peretz said: “The prime minister and his rightwing policies cause there to be no embassies in the capital.”
He said that when his party returns to power, “the peace process will move forward and the embassies will also move.”
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On said the move was “the right decision for the moment” and a good sign that Trump would make a serious effort to advance a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
'We don't need embassies in Jerusalem - the world needs them'
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) responded to President Trump’s decision Thursday to leave the US Embassy in Israel at its present location in Tel Aviv, saying the move had little impact on Israel, but boded ill for efforts to forge a lasting peace in the region.
Despite his disappointment with the decision, Glick nevertheless expressed appreciation for the president’s pledge to move the embassy, and said he was optimistic the move would ultimately be made.
"I believe it'll happen eventually,” said Glick. “I want to bless the fact that Trump... said he that did not change his mind, he's just looking for timing. He wants to move the embassy and that's a step in the right direction because transferring the embassy to Jerusalem will be a contribution to stability in the region."
Glick added that while he supported the move, it had little direct bearing on Israel or the Jewish people and their connection with the city.
"Jerusalem is the capital of the people of Israel and the State of Israel. It has been the capital of the people of Israel for 3,000 years. Every single Jewish couple that has gotten married swear to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the heart - three times a day in our prayer. Nobody can change that - Jerusalem is the capital of Israel."
Economist attack piece reveals the ‘zealotry’ of their anti-Israel agenda
To citizens of Israel, it’s often baffling how foreign media characterizations of the state seem to have almost no relationship to their daily reality. Sometimes, the criticism is so hyperbolic and fantastical it’s almost as if they’re covering a different country entirely. Among the most popular conclusions in search of evidence within the media echo chamber is that the state is becoming increasingly racist, moving “dangerously right” and that democracy itself is in danger.
The Economist’s latest edition includes a series of pieces on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, including one, titled ‘Right v far right: Politics in Israel no longer offers much of a choice’, which represents one of more egregious examples of this erroneous media narrative.
As with most media attacks on Israel, the Economist’s nearly 1500 word article on issues such as religion and state, terrorism and interfaith relations all but ignores the actions of Palestinians and Arab Israelis – a denial of agency increasing representing the sin qua non of the popular media narrative about the conflict.
The piece begins by warning their ‘sophisticated’ readers to be ware of Jewish zealots.
Rivlin: Under peace deal, Jews will continue to live in Hebron
President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday declared that Jews will always live in the West Bank city of Hebron, including under any future peace deal with the Palestinians.
“I do not know if there will ever be a political agreement, and if there will be, what its nature will be,” the president told the crowd of over a thousand people in the city. “It is clear that in any agreement Jews and Arabs will continue to live here, and so all of us must care for the prosperity and flourishing of Hebron and Kiryat Arba.”
Rivlin was in the ancient city to mark the 50th jubilee of Israel’s capture of the West Bank from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War, the subsequent establishment of the Kiryat Arba settlement and the return of a Jewish community to Hebron.
The president said the West Bank city, where a small enclave of Israeli settlers live in the midst of tens of thousands of Palestinians, should serve as an example of how the two sides can live together.
“Hebron is not an obstacle to peace, Hebron is a test of our abilities to live together, side by side,” Rivlin said, while urging the government to improve the quality of life of all of the city’s residents.
Poll: Overwhelming majority of Israelis prefer sovereignty in Jerusalem over peace deal
While it is often reported that most Israelis favor the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, once Jerusalem is added to the equation, an entirely different picture emerges. A survey held this week found that some 67% of Israelis would oppose a peace deal that would grant the Palestinians partial sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem, with 33% saying they would support it.
Opposition to a peace deal rose to 84% if it grants the Palestinians full sovereignty over the Old City.
The poll, commissioned by Israel Hayom and conducted by the Maagar Mochot polling and research institute, was conducted after a Channel 2 News survey asserted last week that 47% of Israelis would support a peace deal based on the 1967 borders, with land swaps that preserve the large settlement blocs.
Following that poll some on the Left claimed the government was out of step with the electorate. But it turns out that such talk misses the point because it does not address the biggest issue that could make or break negotiations: the fate of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The term full sovereignty is rather well understood. But the term "partial sovereignty" means that the Old City would be split largely along the so-called Clinton Parameters, placing the Jewish Quarter in Israeli hands, but placing the other quarters or most of their area under Palestinian control. Such plans also mean that sovereignty over the Western Wall would not include sovereignty over the Temple Mount as a whole.
When It Comes to Territorial Compromise, Israel Doesn’t Have a Choice
According to the widespread conventional wisdom on both the left and the right in Israel as well as among Israel’s allies and detractors internationally, the Jewish state faces a difficult choice: either cede territory and the security it brings in order to allow the creation of a Palestinian state, or risk the continued conflict, terror, and international opprobrium that come with holding on to the West Bank. Max Singer, however, argues that there is no choice at all:
While there are undoubtedly peace-seeking Palestinians, as a community the Palestinians have not even begun to discuss the possibility of making a peace that accepts Israel and ends the Palestinian effort to gain all the land “from the river to the sea.” Nor have they begun public discussion of the possibility of most of the “refugees” settling outside Israel. Without debate among Palestinians, there is no way they can give up their determination to destroy Israel and make a genuine peace. . . .
A true two-state solution would finally defeat Palestinian and Arab efforts of a century, and they are not yet ready to accept defeat. Whatever disagreement there is among Israelis about how much land, if any, Israel should give up in order to bring peace, that disagreement is not what is standing in the way of peace. . . .
Many Israelis argue that we have to find a solution for our conflict with the Palestinians, and some insist that the problem is urgent (“Peace Now.”) But the experience of Israel’s first 60 years should teach us that patience is an advantage and perhaps even a necessity. What entitles us to have a solution available?
Words and silence matter: Trump vs. Obama
Trump did not mention the two state ‘solution’ in his speeches. Why should a U.S president preclude the outcome of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations? Or promise the creation of a second Palestinian state in addition to Jordan? Under Palestinian Authority leadership this state would be another corrupt Arab entity with substantial chances of failing. Yet another logical reason not to mention the two state ‘solution’ is that the PA does not control the Gaza Strip.
Nor did Trump mention "settlements." There was no reason to do so. The central topic in Trump’s speeches in the Middle East focused on the fight against terror. It is worth noting that Trump did mention to the Palestinians that they should stop glorifying terrorist murderers of civilians, which sometimes also include Americans.
During his visit to Europe Trump continued to set the record straight. He reprimanded NATO leaders in Brussels, saying that 23 out of 28 did not meet their financial commitments to the organization. He said: “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.” This was a euphemism for saying that they are parasites relying on the U.S.
The EU and several European states have been arrogantly telling Israel for many years how it should run its internal affairs. The idea that EU leaders are being told to own up to their commitments is considered unpleasant by many European leaders. From an Israeli viewpoint it is very positive that Trump told them off on their failures.
After Trump’s visit many European leaders may be nostalgic for Obama, who was partly responsible for letting the Middle East chaos develop and the diminishment of U.S standing in the world. Yet as Alan Dershowitz said about his fellow Harvard law graduate Barack Obama: He will be remembered as “one of the worst presidents in the foreign policy arena,’ who created a ‘terrible conflict’ for people who share other tenets of his ideology.”
Hundreds of new West Bank homes said slated for approval
The Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee is set to meet next week to review and advance multiple construction projects in the West Bank which were put on hold for various reasons, including US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel last week.
The committee is to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first time since Trump came to office in January. The various projects on its docket include advancing through different stages of planning as many as 2,600 homes. Of these, over 400 are expected to receive final approval for construction, including some outside the major settlement blocs.
The government does not expect the building approvals to cause diplomatic trouble with Washington, having already discussed the issue with the Trump administration, an Israeli official said. “These are plans, some of which are old and were frozen at various stages,” he said.
The committee normally meets every few months, but its last scheduled meeting was postponed due to Trump’s visit to Israel.
Palestinian statehood is a grave threat to Saudi Arabia
Can the Saudis and the Kuwaitis forget Palestinian Arab treachery when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait? They helped Saddam invade, and brutally occupy Kuwait. Has King Abdullah of Jordan forgotten the Palestinian Arabs acted towards his father in Black September 1970 through July 1971? It is said that that Abdullah’s father, King Hussein, would joke about Arafat saying, “Yasser Arafat could never come to a bridge that he wouldn’t double-cross.”
And, do you need any more proof of the Palestinian Arabs stance than how they have stood behind Assad and his Iranian-backed killing machine? Count on the Palestinians to double-cross Jordan and Saudi Arabia if they have a state.
In addition, if there is a Palestinian Arab state, all of Israel’s air force bases will be in range of rudimentary Sarin-poison-gas-tipped katyusha rockets. They don’t call the 1967-borders “Auschwitz Borders” for nothing. With the 'West Bank' and Jordan in Palestinian Arab - read Iranian -hands, Israel will be spatially militarily disconnected from Saudi Arabia. Jordan will turn into a Houti Yemen-like enemy to Saudi Arabia’s north. The Saudis can’t handle one Iranian Yemen now and most certainly will not be able to survive another.
A Palestinian Arab 'West Bank' State is not only a danger for Israel, it will bring the Saudis and the Sunnis an Shiite-Iranian-controlled Jordan. It’s no wonder the "Palestinian issue" barely rated even a sentence in the last paragraph of King Salman’s speech.
All the Sunni Muslims are depending on Saudi leadership to protect them from the Iranians.
The Saudis and the Sunnis need a Israeli military superman who can not only defend itself, by itself, but also blunt any Iranian attack on the Kingdom in the first 24-48 hours of hostilities until the United States can mobilize and scale-up its in-theater order of battle.
The Trump-Haley Effect at the United Nations
Unlike his predecessor Ban Ki-moon, Guterres has made statements and taken actions demonstrating a more balanced, nuanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict. For example in March, he rejected a UN report authored by an Israel-hating conspiracy theorist that peddled the banal and false claim that Israel practices apartheid and had the report removed from the UN’s website. Shortly thereafter, a top official that headed the commission which issued the report resigned. That same month, he publicly reiterated recognition of ancient historical and religious Jewish ties to Jerusalem. This was seen as a rebuke to UN bodies like UNESCO, which had sought to sever that nexus. In an address to the World Jewish Congress in April, Guterres stated that “Israel needs to be treated like any other UN member state,” and tellingly noted that, “the modern form of anti-Semitism is the denial of the existence of the State of Israel.”
In addition, the relentless surge of radical Islamic terrorism in Europe has likely produced an increased level of empathy with Israel. Moreover, nations affected by terrorism have reached out to Israel and sought its expertise. Only the most radical and anti-Semitic of Europe’s leaders, like Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister Margot Wallström and British Labor Party head, Jeremy Corbyn, still differentiate between Israeli blood and blood spilled in Western Europe.
But perhaps the single most influential factor for the positive change in attitude lies with President Donald Trump and America’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. From the moment he was elected, Trump made clear that he would no longer tolerate the UN’s inequitable practices and shoddy treatment of Israel. He could not have picked a better emissary than Nikki Haley to carry out America’s new and robust approach toward rectifying a long-standing, systemic UN problem.
At every opportunity and in every forum and venue, Haley has made clear that the United States will not sit idly by while one of its most important allies and only Mideast democracy is mercilessly attacked and vilified by assorted despots and dictators, while other nations with abysmal human rights records are allowed to go unchallenged. Haley has made clear to UN member states that “there’s a new sheriff in town” and that sheriff is “taking names.”
Judging by this past week’s swift action by the UN Secretary General and Norway, it appears that the Trump-Haley, one-two combo is having the desired effect. Haley’s continued pressure at the UN is all but certain to produce more positive outcomes but it is still an uphill battle given the level of long-standing and embedded vitriol which still prevails in that cesspool of depravity.
Guterres: Denial of Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told officials from the Simon Wiesenthal Center that “denial of Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism,” the organization said.
Guterres told senior members of the NGO at his offices at UN headquarters in New York that he rejects campaigns to erase Jewish history in the Holy Land. “History must be respected. Jerusalem is a holy city for three religions,” Guterres said, according to a press release on the meeting issued by the center on Tuesday.
The UN’s cultural organization UNESCO recently passed several resolutions that ignored Jewish ties to Jerusalem. Guterres has spoken out against that characterization in the past.
Guterres and the heads of the Jewish human rights group discussed various issues including challenges to achieving Mideast peace, global terrorism, the UN’s role in countering anti-Semitism in Europe, and Israel’s treatment by UN agencies.
UNRWA bash Israel at UN's 2017 World Health Assembly


Reporting on Presidential Visit to Israel, NBC Downplays Palestinian Terrorism and Misrepresents King David Hotel Bombing
NBC has published an article on its website about the preparations that were made for President Trump's visit to Israel, including his stay at the King David Hotel (May 22, “Trump's Israel Visit: Major Security in Jerusalem, Bethlehem”). While many of the details about the security efforts are interesting, several notable omissions created a distorted view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel was misrepresented as an attack that targeted civilians, while the extent of Palestinian terrorism was downplayed. In addition, as has become all too common, the article ignored Palestinian intransigence.
The article begins with a detailed description of the extensive security preparations at the King David, after which it notes that the hotel has been targeted before, “most famously in 1946 when militant Zionists fighting for an independent state bombed the building and killed 91.” There is even an accompanying photo showing the aftermath of this incident. What the article fails to note, however, is that at the time of that bombing, the building was being used as a British military headquarters. As CAMERA has explained before:
In 1946, the Irgun bombed the British military headquarters in the southern wing of the King David Hotel.This target was not a civilian one, but rather the site of the British military command and criminal investigation division. The bombersissued threewarnings to enable evacuation – to the hotel, to the French Consulate and to the Palestine Post.The British chose to believe the calls were a hoax.
This omission creates a false impression that the attack on the hotel by Zionist groups in pre-state Israel targeted civilians.
At the same time, the article downplays Palestinian terrorism. NBC writes:
According to Israeli emergency services, some 48 Israelis have been killed and 608 wounded in attacks by individual Palestinians since August 2015 – the latest bout of violence. During the same period, around 260 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and more than 18,000 wounded, according to Palestinian officials.
HuffPost Arabi Imagines Jerusalem Curfew and Settler Ambitions from Nile to Euphrates
A May 22 HuffPost Arabi article ("Can the Israelis leave Jerusalem? Celebrations of the Anniversary of Their Control Reveals What They Will Do in the Holy City") about Israel's May 24 Jerusalem Day celebrations contains fantastical falsehoods, including the false claim that a curfew is imposed on Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter the day of the Israeli parade marking the city's unification and that a dominant political strain in Israel envisions the Jewish state stretching from Egypt to Iraq.
First, the article begins with the bogus curfew claim:
Shopkeepers in the Muslim quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem will close their doors on Wednesday, 24 May 2017, due to the curfew. Palestinian citizens will be left behind the doors of their closed houses in the narrow, winding streets surrounding Tariq al Alalam and Tariq Al Wadi.
Micky Rosenfeld, spokesman for the Jerusalem police, confirmed that there was no curfew in the Muslim Quarter or in any other part of the city May 24. He said that stores in the Muslim Quarter closed that day because there were no shoppers during the Israeli march celebrating Jerusalem's unification. In addition, Arab-owned stores on main thoroughfares including Salah al-Din street were open and served customers. A participant in this year's flag march confirmed to CAMERA that while there were no Arabs on the specific streets which completely fill up with marchers on the route of the parade, Arabs were going about their usual business on streets not on the parade's route. Indeed, on the day of the march, Arab residents of the Muslim Quarter can be seen outside their homes, receiving flowers and messages of peace from the Tag Meir activist organization.
Times of Israel Removes False Reference to Jerusalem 'Curfew'
Times of Israel has removed the false claim that a "police-enforced curfew" was imposed on residents of the Old City's Muslim Quarter during the Jerusalem Day march celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city's reunification. The article ("A jubilee for the non-jubilant: Alternative events for Jerusalem Day," May 18), had incorrectly reported:
On the one hand are the thousands who attend the annual city march, parading with Israeli flags through downtown Jerusalem and into the Old City and Muslim Quarter, where some of them taunt Arab residents confined to their homes by a police-enforced curfew.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to CAMERA that there was no such curfew, neither during this year's Jerusalem Day march, nor during past years. The last record of any curfew in Jerusalem that we can locate dates back to 1988. Before, that, when Jordan controlled eastern Jerusalem, King Hussein imposed curfews in the 1960s, as the New York Times reported April 22, 2013 from its archives from 50 years earlier ("1963 King Ends Parliament in Jordan"). In 2013, The Financial Times corrected the false claim that there are curfews in Jerusalem.
Ex-UN envoy: Trump should have kept promise to pull out of Iran nuke deal
US President Donald Trump should have kept his election campaign promise to scrap the Iran nuclear deal “debacle,” former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton told the Jerusalem Post in a recent interview.
Bolton said that pulling out of the deal upon his election “would have shown unambiguously that this was a mistake,” adding he believed that there are “clear indications that Iran has violated” the deal in the areas of ballistic missile testing, heavy water and uranium enrichment.
Criticizing a large number of experts who might have been skeptical pre-deal, but who have supported maintaining the deal now that it is in effect, he said that “those who say we should keep it, and strictly enforce the deal” are “trying to nail jello to a wall.”
Asked why Trump was not maintaining the deal even as he criticizes its provisions, the former ambassador said, "I don’t know why. Maybe the influence of the [US] State Department bureaucracy.” Pressed that Trump had promised to “drain the swamp,” including overturning bureaucracy positions he disagreed with, he responded, “the swamp is pretty powerful, the swamp is pretty powerful.”
Palestinian teen who stabbed soldier dies in hospital
A Palestinian assailant who was shot after she stabbed an IDF soldier has died of her wounds, the Israeli hospital that treated her said Friday.
The assailant, identified by official Palestinian news agency Wafa as 16-year-old Nof Infiaat from the northern West Bank town of Yaabad, had stabbed a soldier on Thursday with a knife at the entrance to Mevo Dotan, a Jewish settlement southwest of Jenin.
The other soldiers on the scene shot the assailant, critically wounding her. Paramedics treated her at the scene and took her to Hadera’s Hillel Yaffe Hospital.
The soldier, who is approximately 20 years old, was also taken to Hillel Yaffe, the Magen David Adom rescue service said.
He was lightly wounded after being stabbed in his upper body.
Jerusalem on high alert for first Friday prayers of Ramadan
Jerusalem police were on high alert for the first Friday prayers of the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan, as thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza poured into the capital to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound at the city’s Temple Mount.
Police reinforcements were deployed across Jerusalem’s Old City to provide security around the ultra-sensitive compound, Judaism’s holiest site and the third holiest place in Islam.
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, in Jerusalem to monitor law enforcement efforts ahead of the prayers, said that police “will do everything possible to ensure freedom of religion and worship for anyone who wishes” to pray at the site.
Scientists Map The Genome Of Ancient Egyptian Kings, And They Weren’t From Africa
The first ever genetic analysis of mummies found that ancient Egyptian kings were more closely related to West Asians than Africans, according to a study published Tuesday by scientists at the Max Planck Institute.
The research found that ancient Egyptians were most closely related to Neolithic Levantine, Anatolian and European populations. The mummies tested did not share strong genetic links to Africa often found in modern Egyptians.
“This suggests that an increase in Sub-Saharan African gene flow into Egypt occurred within the last 1,500 years,” Wolfgang Haak, who led the research team, said in a statement.
“The genetics of the Abusir el-Meleq community did not undergo any major shifts during the 1,300 year timespan we studied, suggesting that the population remained genetically relatively unaffected by foreign conquest and rule,” Haak said.
It’s further evidence that ancient Egyptians were genetically different than modern day residents. Scientists largely agree that ancient Egyptians were indigenous to the Nile area, but a vocal minority of “Afrocentric” scholars claim that the area’s ancient population was entirely African.
Elliott Abrams: The Danger Grows in Bahrain
Sadly, the government of Bahrain is simply shutting down all political life and criminalizing all criticism of its actions. I'm unaware of any real evidence that Waad actually supports terrorism and in fact it has criticized even any form of violent protests. What's going on here is the end of freedom of speech or association in Bahrain.
Why does it matter? For one thing, the Fifth Fleet is headquartered there. The United States therefore has a continuing interest in political stability in Bahrain. But stability and repression are two entirely different things. These steps by the government of Bahrain, which is to say by the royal family, silence criticism and opposition, and silence the country's Shia majority, for a while. But this is a pressure cooker, and the pressure will build as long as legitimate grievances exist--and grow. And they will.
Who will benefit? Iran, which is already engaged in a program of subversion in Bahrain. The government of Bahrain is steadily squeezing out the center--eliminating legitimate opposition groups and moderate voices, and assuring that more radical groups will grow in influence. It's entirely self-defeating, and it's a gift to Iran. If there is any awareness of this danger in the U.S. government, it is at the moment invisible. But I wonder: are the relevant officers in the U.S. Navy as relaxed about repression in Bahrain as the White House appears to be?
Turkey's Erdogan Turns On Trump Administration
The honeymoon between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan appears to be coming to an end.
In a blistering speech on Thursday, just two weeks after meeting with Trump in the Oval Office, Erdogan aired a lengthy list of grievances against the Trump administration.
According to a translation provided by Washington Hatti, a U.S.-based Turkish news site, Erdogan complained that the State Department recently decided to bring an end to an annual event celebrating Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. He also blasted the administration for refusing to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania.
Erdogan, a former political ally of Gulen’s, accuses the imam of masterminding last July’s failed coup attempt.
Also on Erdogan’s menu of complaints is the Pentagon’s recent decision to arm the YPG, a Kurdish rebel group helping the U.S. military fight against ISIS in Syria.
Turkish embassy hosts banned Islamic Movement chief at Iftar dinner
Turkish ambassador Kemal Okem hosted Sheikh Raed Salah, an Islamist leader who has spent time in Israeli jails for incitement and violence, to an Iftar dinner Thursday night, angering and raising eyebrows in Jerusalem.
A picture of Salah at the dinner appeared on the the Turkish embassy's Twitter feed under the caption: “Amb Okem hosted an iftar dinner with the participation of the Arab and Muslim community leaders. #Ramadan Kareem!”
One senior Israeli official characterized the participation of Salah as “astonishing.”
Salah is the leader of of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement. He was released from prison in January after serving a nine month sentence for incitement to violence resulting from an inflammatory sermon he delivered in Jerusalem in 2007. That was not the first time he served jail time for similar offenses.
Dutch man jailed for praising ISIS, threatening to behead Jews
A Dutch national living in Ireland was sentenced to five years in jail after threatening his two French housemates, praising the Islamic State and saying he would behead Jews.
Shmael Heirouche, 40, was sentenced Wednesday in Cork Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to a charge of threatening to kill or cause serious harm, the Irish Independent reported.
Heirouche, who is of Moroccan ancestry, was diagnosed as schizophrenic in the Netherlands. However, Judge Sean O’Donnabhain called his threats a serious matter and noted that society had a right to be protected. Heirouche has refused to accept psychiatric support services, according to the report.
Heirouche praised Islamic State terror attacks in France to his French housemates saying that they gave him “great joy,” and said that those who carried out the attacks would “get a first class ticket” to paradise, according to the report. At the time of his arrest he told officers that of he had a sword he would cut off the heads of Jews.
The housemates also told the court that Heirouche described them as Zionists and said that all Zionists should “have their throats cut.”
ISIS condemns Kathy Griffin for cultural appropriation (satire)
The self-proclaimed Islamic State has issued a statement condemning self-proclaimed comedian Kathy Griffin, accusing her of “cultural appropriation” after she posed for a photograph with a mock severed head of President Donald Trump.
The group, which has been protective of its brand ever since taking over vast swaths of Iraq and Syria and establishing itself as the premier beheading agency in the Middle East, said it was deeply disturbed by Griffin’s “ignorant and offensive” use of a “sacred Islamic State tradition.”
“This is just another example of a privileged white woman culturally appropriating the proud custom of a marginalized people. Beheadings are our thing, not your thing,” said the statement, which was released on Telegram.
Reports indicate that ISIS was at least somewhat relieved to see the swift and overwhelming backlash against Griffin on social media.
“Of course, the West’s social justice ‘warriors’ have always been our ally, and once again, they did not disappoint. We’re thankful that our fatwa friends immediately identified her offensive appropriation of one of our most cherished rituals,” said Aahil al-Raqqa, an executioner for the group.
According to sources close to the matter, it wasn’t simply Griffin’s portrayal of a beheading that was offensive, but also her lack of attention to detail to such a definitive aspect of ISIS culture.



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