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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

From Ian:

David Collier: The BBC promote Soviet style antisemitism
The new face of Soviet style antisemitism

To legitimise the denial of anti-Jewish racism in Labour, the BBC led with Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. Naomi is part of the Corbyn cult’s modern day version of the ‘Yevsektsiya‘. A group designed in 1918 to carry the Communist Revolution to the Jewish masses. The Yevsektsiya had the explicit mission of the ‘destruction of traditional Jewish life, the Zionist movement, and Hebrew culture’.

Wimborne-Idrissi is part of a small clan. Their names are all known to us, because they are so few, and because the same faces appear in the media so often. Memory is ‘repetition and reinforcement’. Basic weapons in a propaganda war. Whenever a media outlet produces one of these propaganda weapons, it reinforces the idea that the new antisemitism isn’t really racism. It all becomes a ‘Jew v Jew’ thing that nobody understands. Jew bashing becomes a circus event to public applause.

If antisemitism goes wherever anti-Israel activity does, and activists seek to strengthen anti-Israel activity, then a rising antisemitism is a cost that anti-Zionists believe is worth paying. Which is why these Jewish Marxists are so valuable a tool. When you use them in a discussion like the BBC did, you are not trying to have a debate on antisemitism, you are explicitly helping to avoid it.
Without a constituency

These people, the same people, are behind all the anti-Zionist Jewish movements. With names like ‘Free Speech on Israel’, ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’, ‘Jews for Boycotting Jewish goods’. There are more groups than people, with the same people in one order or another, sitting as Chair and Secretary of these groups. When an email or petition is written up, the same names appear on them time after time.

If their social media output is liked or shared at all, it is liked or shared by non-Jews using their material to attack other Jews. When you read the names underneath, they often appear as a ‘who’s who’ of the hard-core antisemitic activists. All being allowed to hide behind the cover of having this Jew as a friend. All of the groups, have far larger non-Jewish support, and only really exist, because the non-Jewish anti-Zionists need the cover.
Caroline Glick: Trump Derangement Syndrome as Leftists Target Britain's Former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks
Trump Derangement Syndrome reached a new low last week, as Jewish leftists in America and Britain waged a brutal assault against Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Britain.

It isn’t only President Donald Trump that the “Resistance” seeks to destroy. And their bloodlust isn’t limited to those who work for him, or even to his voters.

If you so much as help the administration achieve a goal that you believe in, for the “Resistance,” you are a criminal.

Sacks served as Britain’s chief rabbi from 1991 through 2013. He is arguably the most widely respected Jewish religious leader in the English-speaking world.

Sacks stands out for his universal accessibility. His written and oral Torah commentaries appeal to Jewish and non-Jewish religious scholars, and to the Jewish and non-Jewish layman, alike.

During his long tenure as Britain’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Sacks developed close working relationships with Britain’s leaders. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, David Cameron and John Major all sought his guidance during their respective tenures as prime minister. They called on Sacks to help them prepare public comments that touched on themes of his scholarship.

And so, too, did U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Last week, Pence gave an extraordinary address before Israel’s Knesset. It isn’t often that a single speech rises to the level of an historic event. But Pence’s address easily crossed the line that separates a great speech from an epic address.
Oxford Islam scholar Tariq Ramadan detained in Paris on rape accusations
French police on Wednesday detained prominent Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, a legal source said, months after two women filed rape charges against him.

The Oxford professor was summoned for questioning to a Paris police station and taken into custody “as part of a preliminary inquiry in Paris into rape and assault allegations”, the source said.

Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement, has furiously denied rape allegations from two women that emerged late last year, as the Harvey Weinstein scandal unfurled in the US.

Henda Ayari, a feminist activist, says Ramadan raped her in a Paris hotel room in 2012, while an unnamed disabled woman also accused the academic of raping her in a hotel room in Lyon in 2009.

In November, Oxford University announced that 55-year-old Ramadan was taking a leave of absence from his post as professor of contemporary Islamic studies, “by mutual agreement”.

Popular among conservative Muslims and a regular panellist on TV debates in France, Ramadan faces regular accusations from secular critics that he promotes a political form of Islam.

Ayari, a self-described “secular Muslim” who used to practise an ultra-conservative strain of Islam that she has since renounced, detailed her rape allegations in a book published last year, without naming Ramadan.

But in October she said she had decided to name him publicly, encouraged by the thousands of women speaking out against sexual assault and harassment under the “Me Too” online campaign and its French equivalent, “Balance Ton Porc” (Squeal on your pig).

Ayari, who lodged a rape complaint against Ramadan on October 20, charged that for him, “either you wear a veil or you get raped”.

“He choked me so hard that I thought I was going to die,” she told Le Parisien newspaper.



The Jews Who Fought Hitler, and the Jewish Army That Wasn’t
In Sons and Soldiers, Bruce Henderson tells the story of young Jewish refugees from the Third Reich who joined the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor, and whose familiarity with Germany and the German language was put to use by military intelligence. In Racing against History, Rick Richman explains the unsuccessful attempts of three Zionist leaders—Chaim Weizmann, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion—in 1940 to raise a Jewish army in America to fight the Nazis. Reviewing the two books, Matti Friedman finds some familiar themes:

Of the three leaders in Racing against History, Weizmann, [then the head of the Zionist Organization and later the first president of Israel], was the most careful in his public utterances. He grasped the danger of the perception that world war was being waged for Jewish interests and preferred the quiet maneuver. . . . In America, he wrote, even mentioning what was happening to Jews in Europe might be “associated with warmongering.” . . .

[The Revisionist Zionist leader] Jabotinsky, [by contrast], wanted a Jewish army raised immediately and said so, even though the mainstream American Jewish leadership called him a “militarist” and published a pamphlet warning against his views. In the pages of the Forward, its editor Abraham Cahan mocked him as a “naïve person and a great fantasizer.” There was no need for Jabotinsky’s Jewish army, Cahan thought, and the Jewish problem would be solved not by a Jewish state but by an Allied victory and democracy. “If true democracy exists,” [wrote Cahan], “there is no place for anti-Semitism.” In other words, the way forward was to be American citizens and soldiers, like [those described by Henderson].

Recent events in Europe and America would seem to suggest that anti-Semitism does, in fact have a place in democracy. . . . The old idea of “Jewish warmongering,” about which Weizmann was so careful in 1940, is still current, as evidenced by the flap in September over a tweet by Valerie Plame, the former CIA agent, suggesting just that. And though the Zionist plan succeeded and there is a Jewish army, the normalization of the Jews has failed to materialize and their existential fears continue.
Yisrael Medad: Shiloh and Jimmy Carter - 40 Years On
Shiloh, where I live with my wife and where my children were raised and grew up since September 1, 1981, is celebrating the 40th anniversary since its founding in 1978. On the 1st of the Hebrew month of Shvat, January 9, 1978, the first 8 families and some Yeshiva students arrived and on the 15th, Tu B'shvat, the public ceremony was held.

At that time, Shmuel Katz ran against Haim Landau as a Minister in the new government, a Land of Israel Movement protest was being held outside the Prime Minister's office, Karnei Shomron's land was being prepared, Arik Sharon was planning expansion in the Rafiah Salient and the government was authorizing a limited settlement plan. The Egyptians arrived in Jerusalem to continue the talks a few days before the founding ceremony with Buhtros Ghali, Ibrahim Kamal and also the American Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Alfred Atherton.

But there is a back story concerning the American administration that should be recalled in connection with the reestablishment of Jewish life in the Hills of Efraim, at the site of the Tabernacle.

Jimmy Carter and his aides were quite opposed to resettlement activity ion Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Ireland shelves bill against Israeli settlements amid controversy
The Irish Senate has put on hold a controversial bill that would have banned the import of products from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, after Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney issued a surprising statement saying he opposes the bill.

"Settlement construction is consistently undercutting Palestinians' hope for the future," Coveney said on Tuesday, adding that such construction is "unjust and provocative."

However, he said that despite this view, he opposes the bill, because "there are many countries around the world about which we have serious human rights concerns. We do not seek to prevent trade with those countries, except in very rare circumstances, in accordance with decisions at the EU or U.N. level."

Coveney's suprise announcement came hours before the Senate was supposed to vote to the bill, which includes a five-year prison term for those who violate its provisions. If passed, Ireland would become the first European country to ban settlement products, though several countries already label them. In light of the government's view on the bill, it is unclear whether it will be voted upon any time soon.

In 2015, the European Union approved guidelines to label settlement products. It said the move was meant to differentiate between Israel, a close trade partner, and the settlements, which it considers illegal.
Netanyahu summons Irish ambassador over bill criminalizing settlement trade
Israel summoned Irish Ambassador Alison Kelly for a meeting on Wednesday over a bill making its way through her country’s Senate to criminalize trade with Israeli firms in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly condemns the Irish legislative initiative, the entire goal of which is to support the BDS movement and harm the State of Israel,” his office said on Tuesday.

“The initiative gives backing to those who seek to boycott Israel and completely contravenes the guiding principles of free trade and justice,” it added.

“Netanyahu instructed that the Irish Ambassador to Israel be summoned to the Foreign Ministry on this matter,” his office said.

Put forward by Sen. Frances Black (Independent), the bill would prohibit trade with “occupied territories” and impose a prison sentence of one to five years for such activity.

The text doesn’t specify Israel, but it was drafted with an eye to taking action against Israeli activity over the pre-1967 lines. All the comments in Tuesday’s Senate debate focused on Israel.
NGO Monitor: Powerful NGOs, Antisemitism, and the Irish BDS Bill
Designed for Political Attack, Not Legislation

The language of the bill applies extremely broad and inscrutable definitions of key terms and promotes discrimination based on categories of religion and national origin. For instance, an “illegal settler” is not a resident of settlements, but a “member of the civilian population” of Israel “who was or is present within the relevant occupied territory.” In other words, every Israeli citizen who crosses the 1949 Armistice Line is defined as an “illegal settler.” “Occupied territory” is determined not by international agreements, law, or litigated cases, but rather by a non-binding advisory opinion requested by the UN General Assembly.

Under the bill, Jerusalem’s Old City and the Kotel (Western Wall of the Temple Mount) are considered to be “occupied territory.” As a result, among many other absurd outcomes, Irish citizens who visit the Jewish Quarter and buy a souvenir to bring back to Ireland, study the Bible, or pray at the Kotel could face jail time and fines.

Participating in tours and other programs conducted in the West Bank and East Jerusalem by Israeli human rights organizations (such as the Irish-government funded Breaking the Silence) would be illegal.

Similarly, an Irish citizen or resident could run afoul of the law if they hail a cab and that cab happens to drive even a centimeter over Green Line, if the driver happens to be “member of the civilian population of Israel.” The bill provides a defense if “the subject of the alleged offence was carried out with the consent of an entity or form of authority which is recognised by the State as being the legitimate authority over that relevant occupied territory.” In other words, a person can only be found innocent if the PLO agrees to waive the prosecution. (Although under the 1993 Oslo Accords, as guaranteed by the international community, Israel is the “recognized… legitimate authority” of East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank.)

Taken as a whole, the language in the bill reflects a broader goal of isolating Israel and implementing a discriminatory BDS agenda. References to settlements and “differentiation” are pretexts.
Trump asks Congress to cut aid to US ‘enemies’ who opposed Jerusalem recognition
US President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday night to limit foreign aid to only countries that align themselves with his administration, following up on his threats to suspend funds to countries that refused to support his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The promise of new legislation came toward the end of his first State of the Union address, a landmark annual speech at which the administration typically sets major policy goals for the year to come.

Referencing a United Nations vote in December, in which the world body voted overwhelmingly (128-9) to reject the president’s unilateral move, the president elevated his past rhetoric of withdrawing monetary support for such countries into legislation.

“Dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition,” Trump said. “In 2016 American taxpayers generously sent those same countries more than $20 billions of dollars in aid. That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America.”
Tribune Editorial: U.N. Watch — UNRWA's comeuppance
Those who follow the controversies surrounding the United Nations' relief agency for Palestinian refugees shouldn't be surprised by a Trump administration decision to withhold $65 million from the organization. Maybe that could have been avoided if Turtle Bay bothered to investigate years of accusations against the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The State Department says the money in question — part of America's nearly $364 million annual contribution to UNRWA — is “frozen and being held for future consideration.” The U.S. reportedly wants to see “revisions” in UNRWA operations. There are ample reasons to do so:

• Agency employees have been accused of inciting violence against Israelis.
• A UNRWA campaign used a picture of an 11-year-old girl “from Gaza” in a bombed-out building to portray Israel as an oppressor of Palestinian children. But the monitoring group U.N. Watch exposed the photo as disingenuous; it was shot in Syria.
• Hamas rockets reportedly turned up in a UNRWA Gaza school amid attacks against Israel in 2014.

“Just over the last year alone, UNRWA officials were elected to the leadership of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, UNRWA schools denied the existence of Israel and terror tunnels were dug under UNRWA facilities,” according to Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the U.N.
TV: US may reject UN’s granting of Palestinian refugee status to descendants
Amid its deepening standoff with the Palestinians, the Trump administration is considering halting all of its financial aid to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, and declaring that it rejects the UN criteria under which refugee status is extended to millions of descendants of the original Palestinian refugees, a TV news report said Tuesday.

Hadashot TV news said this “new ultimatum” under consideration by the Trump administration is one of the avenues being explored as the US seeks to press the Palestinian Authority into returning to peace talks with Israel.

The TV report said that State Department sources, asked for confirmation of the report, noted only that President Donald Trump said in Davos last week that all US aid to the Palestinians was under review and that no formal statements were yet being issued.

Hadashot reported that the State Department, having already frozen some $100 million in UNRWA funding, was considering stopping all of its $360-million annual funding for the organization, and instead allocating it to other UN bodies that work with the Palestinians.

At the same time, it further reported that some in the administration and the State Department want to accompany that move with a formal declaration that the US rejects the mandate under which UNRWA operates — according to which Palestinian refugee status is transferred from generation to generation.
Trump’s business approach to foreign aid
When you give humanitarian aid, you don’t check what it is used for. So Europe avoided inquiring about the reasons for the Palestinian distress, like Hamas’ huge investments of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the production of rockets and construction of attack tunnels at the expense of Gaza’s poor residents. No one checked how money from these humanitarian donations went to the Palestinian leaders’ private and secret bank accounts. Europe started asking questions only after receiving proof that the Palestinian Authority was using donations to pay respectable salaries to terrorists who had been convicted and jailed in Israel and to build public institutions and name them after terrorists.

In recent years, the US has been giving the PA some $500 million a year and giving UNWRA $250-400 million. Trump sees this aid as an investment which should yield a good return. Since the rationale for aiding the Palestinians is the existence of a peace process, and the Palestinians are refusing to negotiate, and since they held the same stance during most of Barack Obama’s years in office, the justification for helping them has been dropped. Trump was also offended by the Palestinian boycott of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit and the insults hurled at him by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his people.

Trump’s business approach could challenge Israel too. Part of the American aid is dedicated to the training and maintenance of the Palestinians' security apparatuses. Freezing the aid could sabotage the PA’s security cooperation with Israel, worsen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and perhaps even lead to a new wave of violence.

The US gives Israel about $3 billion a year in military aid. Trump said Israel would have to give something in return for his Jerusalem announcement and make significant concessions as part of a peace agreement. The business principle will provide him with a heavy leverage of pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he presents his “ultimate deal.”
Diplomatic success in campaign against UN Human Rights Council
UN Human Rights Commissioner, Jordan’s Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, has decided to postpone indefinitely the publication of a "blacklist" of Israeli and international companies operating in Judea and Samaria.

The postponement of publication of the list comes after heavy pressure exerted by the US and Israel on the Commissioner with the assistance of diplomats from other countries.

However, a document issued Wednesday by the commissioner mentioned that 206 Israeli and international companies operating in Judea and Samaria or in contact with businesses operating in the area had been identified.

In recent months, the Human Rights Commission has contacted 64 of the 206 companies.

The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, and the American ambassador to the organization, Nikki Haley, have led the campaign against the blacklist.

Danon harshly condemned the publication of the report today by the UN Human Rights Council which included information on the number of Israeli and international companies operating in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.
UN omits ‘blacklist’ from report on firms doing business in settlements
The United Nations human rights body on Wednesday again delayed the publication of a controversial “blacklist” of companies doing business with Israel in territories captured in 1967, amid intense Israeli lobbying to quash the database.

A report from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, dated January 26, noted that 206 companies are accused of doing business in the settlements, but didn’t list them. The report noted that only 64 of the companies have been contacted about the allegations so far, necessitating a delay in the publication of their names.

The report blamed “limited resources” for the delay and said the roster would eventually be published.

“Once OHCHR has been in contact with all 206 companies, and subject to determinations of their responses and non-responses, OHCHR expects to provide the names of the companies engaged in listed activities in a future update. Before the determinations on the companies are made public, OHCHR will notify the companies concerned,” the report read.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon slammed the publication of the interim report and said he would continue to fight to have the list trashed.

“On the day that the UN is marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UNHRC has chosen to publicize this information about the number of companies operating in Israel,” Danon said in a statement. “This is a shameful act which will serve as a stain on the UNHRC forever. We will continue to act with our allies and use all the means at our disposal to stop the publication of this disgraceful blacklist.”

The database, intended to list all companies doing business with Israelis situated in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, was first delayed in February 2017, nearly a year after the Human Rights Council passed a resolution calling for it to be created. It was again pushed back in December.
More than 200 companies have Israeli settlement ties
Citing “lack of resources,” the United Nations has delayed the publication of its black list of companies doing business in areas of Israel over the pre-1967 lines.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had been scheduled to release a data base of those companies by the end of December 2017 to fulfill a mandate the UN Human Rights Council first set in 2016.

But it did not meet that December deadline and in a progress report published Wednesday it stated: “OHCHR was given limited resources to carry out the mandate within the anticipated time frame, which required it to calibrate its research and engagement with companies accordingly.”

“Not all companies about which OHCHR had received information could be contacted by the time of submission of the present report,” the OHCHR stated.

It explained that it had whittled its initial list of 321 companies believed to meet the criteria for inclusion in the data base, down to 206. Out of those it had contacted only 64.

It not provide the names of any of the companies in its report.
NGO Monitor: Statement on UN Blacklist Delay
In response to the UN High Commissioner’s report, announcing that the proposed UN blacklist will be published in a “future update,” NGO Monitor Legal Advisor Anne Herzberg released the following statement:

“For more than a year, NGO Monitor has repeatedly warned that there are significant due process concerns with the creation of a UN blacklist of companies. In his report and in announcing previous delays, the High Commissioner acknowledged the centrality of these issues.

NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Al Haq, have been advocating for this discriminatory blacklist for many years to advance a BDS agenda. However, this does nothing to further human rights, and the UN should not devote further resources to this charade.”

Click here for NGO Monitor’s position paper (December 2016) on the lack of due process and legal safeguards in the original formulation of the UNHRC initiative. The announcement of the initial delay in February 2017 largely echoes this document.
Israelis sue New Zealanders for pressing Lorde to cancel concert
An Israeli legal rights group said Wednesday it was filing a lawsuit against two New Zealanders for allegedly convincing pop singer Lorde to cancel her performance in Israel in what appears to be the first lawsuit filed under a contentious Israeli anti-boycott law.

The 2011 law opens the door to civil lawsuits against anyone calling for a boycott against Israel, including of lands it has occupied, if that call could knowingly lead to a boycott. The law, which is part of Israel's fight against a global movement calling for boycotts against the Jewish state, allows courts to order defendants to pay damages.

Critics said the law would stifle free expression.

The two New Zealanders, Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab, penned an open letter to Lorde last year in which they urged her to "take a stand" and "join the artistic boycott of Israel." The New Zealand singer-songwriter replied to a tweet of the letter saying "Noted! Been speaking (with) many people about this and considering all options. Thank u for educating me i am learning all the time too."

Late last year, Lorde announced she was cancelling her Tel Aviv concert, which had been scheduled for June 2018. With her cancellation she joined a number of international stars who canceled shows in Israel for political reasons, although many have continued to perform despite pressure from activists.
Kansas law barring Israel boycotts violates free speech, court rules
A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Kansas law barring state contractors from participating in boycotts against Israel, saying the state law violates free speech rights.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree wrote in his decision that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that the "First Amendment protects the right to participate in a boycott like the one punished by the Kansas law."

Several states have enacted laws in recent years to counter an increasingly visible movement protesting Israel's policies toward Palestinians. Backers of boycotting Israeli companies argue they are defending Palestinian human rights, while boycott critics contend the goal is to destroy the Jewish state.

The judge granted the request from the American Civil Liberties Union to block enforcement of the Kansas law while the case proceeds, saying it is "highly likely" the Kansas law is invalid.

"A desire to prevent discrimination against Israeli businesses is an insufficient public interest to overcome the public's interest in protecting a constitutional right," Crabtree wrote.

The ACLU brought the lawsuit on behalf of Esther Koontz, a math and science curriculum coach at a Wichita public school, who is seeking to overturn the Kansas state law that took effect in July and prohibits the state from entering into contracts with individuals or companies participating in a boycott of Israel.
McGill University Considers Rejecting Use of Endowment to ‘Advance Social, Political Causes,’ Drawing BDS Protest
The Board of Governors at McGill University in Montreal, Canada is considering advising against the use of its resources “to advance social or political causes,” a move that has faced opposition from students supportive of boycotts against Israel.

In a December 12th meeting, the board considered including the language in the mandate of its Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility, which informs the board of the social impact of investments in its 1.6 billion CAD endowment. It also discussed a proposal to review the mandate every five years, rather than the current three.

McGill Students in Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) and Divest McGill warned in The McGill Daily on Monday that such changes “would have effectively destroyed the potential for any divestment campaign in the next five years.”

Divest McGill has sought to pressure the university to withdraw its investments in fossil fuels, while SPHR has called for divestment from companies that “profit from the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories,” in line with the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Representatives from both campus groups disrupted the meeting to ensure the amendments would not pass.
Posters of giant bloodthirsty dog emblazoned with a Star of David posted around UCL campus to promote event
University College London (UCL) members of staff and students have contacted Campaign Against Antisemitism about an extremely disturbing poster depicting the United States trying to restrain a bloodthirsty giant dog emblazoned with a Star of David, eating a smaller animal with the Palestinian flag painted on it.

UCL Friends of Palestine Society, UCL Islamic Society and UCL Marxist Society are hosting a series of events for so-called “Al-Aqsa Week”. This highly-offensive and inappropriate poster is being used to promote a talk hosted by UCL Friends of Palestine Society and UCL Marxist Society on“Trump and Jerusalem: How to stop Imperialism” at 19:00 tomorrow.

Other talks in the series include one called “US Embassy in Jerusalem: What’s the big deal?” on Wednesday and another called “Winning and losing Jerusalem” on Friday.

Campaign Against Antisemitism is writing to the UCL administration, calling for a disciplinary investigation.

An inquiry by UCL in January last year found serious problems in its previous performance, and since then speakers including Miko Peled and eugenicists have been invited to speak at the campus.

Anti-Israel Students to Protest Arrest of Palestinian Teen Who Assaulted Israeli Soldiers
Forty anti-Israel students and community organizations plan to protest Wednesday at New York's Penn Station in a show of support for a teenaged Palestinian arrested by Israeli authorities for assaulting two Israeli soldiers.

The "Free Ahed Tamimi" campaign calls for the release of the Palestinian teen who was arrested Dec. 19 for assault after she and her cousin were filmed hitting two IDF soldiers in the West Bank earlier that week. The Tamimi family has claimed that the soldiers Ahed assaulted had shot a relative in the head with a rubber bullet an hour before the filmed incident. In the footage, which went viral, the soldiers are not seen physically responding to Tamimi.

Nerdeen Kiswani, president of the New York City chapter Students for Justice in Palestine, which is co-organizing the Penn Station activity, said in a statement, "We must demand the release of Ahed Tamimi, who is held in Zionist captivity paid for by U.S. tax dollars that funded the soldiers who harassed and shot her family in the first place.

Kiswani has often expressed her support for extremist forms of anti-Israel activism, galvanizing the crowd at a December Times Square rally at which speakers called for the violent end to Israel and celebrating a 2017 track-ramming attack in which four Israeli soldiers were killed as a "F- you" to "settlers."
PreOccupiedTerritory: Anti-Religion Activist Finds Way To Paint Tu Bishvat Nature-Celebration As Anti-Nature (satire)
A local campaigner against the influence of religion on public life averted a crisis today by devising a line of reasoning that characterizes a minor Jewish holiday honoring trees as in fact a subversion of everything trees stand for and therefore another argument to do away with Jewish practice and thought, as opposed to something positive about Judaism.

Alon Kantran, 27, faced a potential conflict of values heading into the holiday, in line with his position that religion, Judaism in particular, has nothing positive to contribute to humanity and must be abolished or abandoned. The fifteenth of the Hebrew month of Shevat, cited by the ancient Mishnah text as “Rosh HaShanah LaIlanot,” the “New Year for Trees,” has become a celebration of trees, especially fruit trees, among Jews, and among the more secular, a day for planting trees and emphasizing ecological concerns. Such a constructive role for Jewish tradition threatened Mr. Kantran’s ethos, and he has for years sought to develop a thesis that would allow him to dismiss or taint the source so as not to be forced to acknowledge a positive role for something with a religious pedigree.

This year, reported the activist, he succeeded in formulating an argument he finds sufficiently compelling. “I’m happy, and a little relieved, I confess, to inform all concerned that I’ve done it,” he announced. “It goes like this: what Judaism actually celebrates on Tu Bishvat isn’t the beauty or symbolism of trees and nature, but human exploitation of trees and nature. It’s all about exploiting different varieties of produce to illustrate or symbolize something alien to the tree’s authentic experience, casting everything in human terms, regardless of the tree’s point of view or wishes.”
2300 word Guardian article on the history of terror in cities has a glaring omission
A Guardian article by Jason Burke (Cities and terror: an indivisible and brutal relationship, Jan. 29th) on the history of terror attacks in cities around the world – an expansive 2300 word piece which spans hundreds of years – includes a diverse array of examples.

Attacks on London in the mid 19th century by Irish extremists.
Attack on French Parliament in the late 19th century.
Marxist terror in Central and South America in the mid to late 20th century.
Islamist attacks in Africa, on Western targets in the Mid-East and in Western European and US cities in the late 20th century and early 2000s – including the “new” tactic, used by ISIS just last year, of car ramming.

Yet, despite the fact that Burke acknowledges that “the emergence of terrorism as we know it today” begun “in the second half of the 19th century”, his historical overview of modern terror somehow manages to avoid any mention of the thousands of Palestinian terror attacks against Jews in Israeli cities, or Palestinian attacks on Jewish targets in Western cities.

Modern Palestinian terror ‘innovations’, such as the widespread use of suicide bombing – cruelly deployed to maim and murder civilians of all ages in cafes, pizza parlors and bus stops – go unmentioned.
BBC ignores its own previous reporting in coverage of Polish bill
Interestingly, none of the BBC’s coverage of the story mentioned that attempts to pass this bill began several years ago – even though the BBC reported on that topic in 2016.

Oddly too, the BBC’s reporting did not remind audiences of a relevant story the BBC covered in 2016 and early 2017 concerning a museum in Gdansk.

“Poland’s nationalist government has won a court ruling that will enable it to take over a brand new World War Two museum and reshape its exhibition to fit a narrower Polish perspective. […]

The ruling on Tuesday by Warsaw’s Supreme Administrative Court means the Museum of the Second World War will be merged with a yet-to-be built museum on 1 February.

Poland’s Culture Minister, Piotr Glinski, will then be able to nominate his own director who can change the museum’s exhibition to fit the government’s needs. […]

Mr Glinski has said that following the merger the museum will concentrate on more Polish aspects of the war including the country’s defence against the Nazi invasion in 1939.”


Another relevant story reported by the BBC last year was also ignored in this latest coverage.

As we see, rather than building on its previous reporting on attempts by Poland’s current government to dictate a narrative of history, the BBC has elected to present this story through the context-free narrow perspective of the objections of Israeli politicians.
The cold north version of anti-Semitism
Norway is far from being considered an anti-Semitic country, which is why it is interesting to read the findings of a study by the Norwegian Institute for Holocaust Research and Religious Minorities on Norwegian attitudes toward Jews and Muslims.

The survey was conducted from January to April 2017 and was followed by in-depth interviews with local Jews and Muslims. A similar survey had been conducted six years earlier, and the contrast between the results is remarkable. The worst number: While in 2011 only 3% of Norwegians thought physical attacks on Jews were justified in retribution for Israel's policy in the Palestinian territories, in 2017 that rose to 12%. Among Norwegian Muslims, that figure is 20%.

There are only about 3,000 Jews in Norway, the northernmost Jewish community in the world. The number has never gone higher than that. Meanwhile, an estimated 150,000 Muslims live in Norway, and this could be a low eastimate. A few hundred Jews arrived in the cold nothern country after being expelled from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497. But less than 200 years later, in 1687, King Christian V decided to follow suit and banned Jews from his country, jailing and then expelling the few Jews living in Norway.

In 1814, Sweden and Norway united (in a pact that held until 1905), and their joint constitution included an explicit ban on Jews, with some exemptions. It was only in 1851 that the Norwegian parliament lifted the ban on Jews, allowing them to enter the country and have religious rights on par with those of Christian dissenters.
Austria to dissolve ‘Nazi songbook’ fraternity linked to Freedom Party
Austria’s chancellor said Wednesday that one of the country’s controversial nationalist fraternities would be disbanded after it emerged that it had printed song texts celebrating the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities.

The lyrics in the book produced in 1997 by the Germania zu Wiener Neustadt organization included “Step on the gas, old Germanics, we can make it to seven million,” according to media reports.

Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust during World War II, many of them in gas chambers. Other songs in the book praised the Waffen SS and Nazi paratroopers behind war crimes committed in Greece.

The scandal took on a political dimension because until recently the vice-chairman of the fraternity was Udo Landbauer, a candidate for the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) in local elections in Lower Austria state last Sunday.

It also put Chancellor Sebastian Kurz under pressure since he had formed a coalition at federal level in December with the anti-immigration, Islamophobic FPOe, giving the party the interior, foreign and defense ministries.
Bloomberg: More Jerusalem Arabs Working in Jewish Section of City, Narrowing Income Gap
An increasing number of residents from Arab sections of Jerusalem are working in the Jewish parts of the city, leading to a narrowing of the income gap between Jews and Arabs in the city, Bloomberg News reported Monday.

Ro’aa, a 22-year-old sales clerk, explained that she didn’t have success working in the Arab section of the city. “There were no benefits, my salary was always two months late,” she told Bloomberg. “On the Israeli side you get paid more and receive all your benefits, and if they see you are working hard you get promoted.”

According to the report, Ro’aa is emblematic of “an increasing number of young Arabs … finding more professional opportunities in the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem.”

“We want to create a better life for our residents,” Hussam Watad, who runs a community center that offers Hebrew classes in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina told Bloomberg. The center also supports lawsuits to improve the infrastructure in Arab neighborhoods. The goal, Watad said, is “to show a rosier future” to resident of Arab neighborhoods.

Currently some 6,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem are studying Hebrew, and more are registering to attend institutions of higher learning in the Jewish sections of the city. The municipality has established one employment center in east Jerusalem and is planning to build a second one.
Weizmann Institute research: Large semi-arid forests could cool the planet
Planting the “right kind” of forests extensively in areas that have mostly been neglected in forestation efforts − semi-arid regions in Africa and Australia − could have a measurably positive influence on the climate and help offset a significant portion of human-induced global warming.

This was discovered recently by Weizmann Institute of Science researchers led by Prof. Dan Yakir of the earth and planetary sciences department who used an Israeli forest as a model. The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Forests are considered one of the best means of offsetting global climate change, because they tie up large amounts of carbon. In other words, they have a large biomass compared to other types of plant cover and, since they tend to be long-lived, they keep that carbon tied up for a long time in a process called “carbon sequestration.”

But forests interact with the climate in all sorts of ways – not just through their uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Their color changes the amount of radiation absorbed by the Earth’s surface; and together with evapotranspiration – the movement of water up through the roots to the leaves and out through pores in the leaves – provides the trees with ways of adjusting their internal temperature.

Yakir and his group found that some trees, if they act together on a sufficiently large scale, can also promote cloud formation. So trees not only adapt to a climate, they shape their climate – and ours – as well.
Israeli entrepreneur calls for NATO-style cybersecurity alliance
Israel and its global allies, in the US, Europe and the Mediterranean region, must set up regional computer emergency response teams that will work together — a “cyber-protection alliance NATO” — to foil hacking attempts in the civilian sphere that are becoming more and more aggressive, said Erel Margalit, a former Knesset member and high-tech entrepreneur, on Wednesday.

Speaking at the 2018 Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv, Margalit, who was a member of the parliament’s task force on civilian cybersecurity, warned that citizens and civilian infrastructures are still very exposed to cyber-threats because there is not enough collaboration between government and private enterprise, and also because the cooperation between “democratic countries isn’t tight enough.”

More cooperation is needed, he said. “Together we stand and divided we are threatened.”

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an intergovernmental military alliance between North American and European countries in which member states undertake to defend each other if attacked by an external party.

As more and more devices are being connected to the internet and with the greater use of cloud computing, the cyber-attack surface is getting wider, cyber security experts have warned.
Shin Bet Chief: Israel Is Leading Cyber Power, Has Thwarted Hacking Attacks From All Over World in Past Year
Israel has foiled numerous foreign-originated cyber attacks in the past year, Nadav Argaman — the head of the Shin Bet security agency — said on Tuesday.

In remarks given at the Cybertech 2018 TLV conference, Argaman declared, “The State of Israel is one of the leading cyber powers in the world.”

“We, as an organization, have very significant cyber capabilities,” Argaman noted. “Cyber is a main tool for us in our work of thwarting terrorism.”
First Temple-era relics of possible royal estate found in Jerusalem hills
Israeli authorities inaugurated a nature park on Wednesday near Jerusalem after five years of archaeological excavations at Ein Hanya, the second-largest spring in the Judean Hills and a key site in the history of Christianity. Along with an announcement that the park will open to the public free of charge within months, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed some major findings at the site, including a column capital typical of royal structures from the First Temple era and one of the oldest coins ever discovered in the Jerusalem area.

Excavations and conservation and development work were conducted between 2012 and 2016 at the site, which is part of the Rephaim Valley National Park and located beyond the Green Line but within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries.

“The result is an extraordinarily beautiful site incorporating archaeology, an ancient landscape and a unique visitor experience,” the IAA said in a statement.

The new findings were publicized for the first time as senior officials participated in a tree-planting ceremony for the Jewish festival of Tu Bishvat and revealed the new nature park.
Arbor Day (Tu Bishvat) Guide for the Perplexed
1. Judaism stipulates four new years celebration — one of them is the New Year for the trees, Tu Bishvat (Arbor Day), the 15th day of the month of Shvat (January 31, 2018).

Tu Bishvat highlights the rejuvination and blooming of trees and the Jewish people. According to Rashi, the leading Jewish Biblical commentator, this date was determined because most of the winter rains are over by Tu Bishvat, sap starts to rise and fruit begins to ripen. The Knesset, was established on Tu Bishvat, 1949.

The other three New Years are the first day of the month of Nissan (the Biblical Exodus — the birth of the Jewish people), the first day of the month of Tishrei (Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year) and the first day of the month of Elul (the tithing of cattle — only if the Temple is rebuilt).

2. The Hebrew word for tree — Etz (עצ) – is the root of the Hebrew words for independence (עצמאות), power (עוצמה), identity/selfhood (עצמיות), essence (עצם) and bones (עצמות).

3. Another Hebrew word for tree is Ilan (אילן), whose root is איל (the awesome/mogul), which is also the Hebrew spelling for the majestic ram. The two letters, אל, mean God and the letter י is an acronym for God.

4. Just like trees, human beings aspire for stability, long-term planning and durability in face of rough times. Rough times forge stronger trees and character.



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barbed wireGeneva, January 31 - Officials at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees disclosed today that they are lobbying various governments to support an expansion of the organization's mandate beyond serving Palestinians to include migrant workers who entered Israel illegally and were then deported, plus their descendants, until that, population, too, can be resettled in Israel.

UNRWA Director-General Pierre Krahenbühl told reporters the agency had ambitious plans that go beyond the decades-old mission it has pursued since 1949, and which accords unique treatment to Palestinian refugees in comparison to those fleeing other conflicts: whereas the UN High Commissioner for Refugees focuses on resettlement of refugees outside the conflict zone, UNRWA is charged with maintaining Palestine Refugees as stateless dependents of the international community pending a "return" to homes that no longer exist, in what is now Israel. Krähenbühl explained that treating deported illegal migrants the same way would simply be a logical extension of the organization's existing activities.

As UNRWA faces funding shortfalls amid a diplomatic row between the US and Palestinians, the agency has sought alternative funding sources, and has formulated a strategy to that effect. "Much has been said about the unique, even discriminatory, treatment accorded to Palestine Refugees," he remarked. "But many Palestinians depend on UNRWA not just for education, medical care, and food, but for jobs. Calls to fold UNRWA into UNHCR and have Palestine Refugees treated as other refugees would deprive these millions of Palestinians of their lifeline and birthright. Now, we are aware that no other refugee populations are considered as having a 'birthright' to return to their ancestral lands, and UNHCR doesn't keep them stateless and dependent. It also, unlike UNRWA, doesn't define as a 'refugee' anyone except the persons who fled or were driven from the conflict, and not their descendants in perpetuity."

"But while the idea of folding UNRWA into UNHCR is a non-starter, we have proposed the opposite: give all refugees the same privileges, funding, and promise that UNRWA does for Palestinians, and including deported migrant workers in the definition of 'refugee,'" continued Krähenbühl. "In other words, fold UNHCR into UNRWA. Obviously such an ambitious program will take years to implement, and we have therefore proposed a pilot involving only migrants who entered Israel illegally or who overstayed their visas and were expelled. We can provide for them as we have provided for generations of Palestine Refugees, and I am confident we can count on Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and other Arab states to provide hospitality for untold generations of this new population of refugees, until such time as they, too, can reenter Israel, as opposed to going where they originally came from, or some third country."

Critics of the proposal noted that funding for such an ambitious expansion of UNRWA remains in the realm of fantasy. "I don't see this lasting beyond the pilot," predicted Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch. "But I'm fine with it that way, actually, because, like BDS, there are some things that you just have to see as universal values but then only insist are important when Israel is involved."




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From Ian:

PMW: PA TV to kids: "Follow the example" of arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, he is "a symbol"
A new children's program on PA TV called From My Country teaches children that arch-terrorist Abu Jihad, who the PA has bragged was responsible for the murder of at least 125 Israelis, is a role model to be followed.

The opening of the weekly 10 minute program, which has been broadcast twice so far, shows a cube with photos of six different Palestinian personalities. One of them is terrorist Abu Jihad, who orchestrated numerous terror attacks against Israelis, among them the most lethal attack in Israel's history - the Coastal Road Massacre - in which Palestinian terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 37 civilians, among them 12 children.

Also included among the six personalities promoted to kids is Ghassan Kanafani - a writer and a leader of the terror organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

In each episode, a young PA TV host emphasizes that the program is about "our country," stressing that its beauty "is reflected by great personalities who have given and are giving much to the homeland." Presumably the six people from the opening are among these "great personalities":

Young PA TV host: "Hello my dear friends and welcome to the program From My Country. You certainly know how beautiful our country is: its villages, cities, historical, religious, archaeological, and tourist sites. The most beautiful thing is that all of this beauty of our country is reflected by great personalities who have given and are giving much to the homeland, whether in the political, literary, artistic, or scientific struggle."


Why Polls on a Palestinian State Are a Mirage
The Steinmetz Center asked respondents if they supported a “two-state solution” that would include:

1. A “permanent settlement.” In reality, nobody can guarantee that any settlement would be “permanent.” The Palestinian leader who signs an agreement could be overthrown the next day. Arab leaders are constantly being ousted and replaced by arch-rivals.

2. The agreement would include “demilitarization of the Palestinian state.” This, despite the fact that every Palestinian leader has rejected the idea of demilitarization. Even if they signed such an agreement, what’s the likelihood that they would abide by that? If a “demilitarized” Palestinian state started importing tanks that it claimed were needed for self-defense, Israel would face international condemnation and sanctions if it tried to intervene.

3. There would be “family unification in Israel of 100,000 Palestinian refugees.” Notice the use of the sympathetic term “family unification.” What cruel person would oppose unifying families? More important, the PA’s position has always been that millions of Palestinian “refugees” — not a mere 100,000 — must be allowed to settle in Israel. The 100,000 figure is an illusion that supporters of the Palestinians trot out to try to sell their imaginary deal.

4. “The Palestinian state will fight terror against Israelis.” What a joke. The heart and soul of the Oslo Accords was that the PA would stamp out terrorist groups. Yet here we are, 25 years later, and the PA has never disarmed or outlawed any of the terrorist groups, never extradited any terrorists to Israel, never even expelled terror factions from the PLO, etc. But now, when they have a state, they will suddenly “fight terror?”

So there you have it: The “Palestinian state” that 47 percent of Israeli Jews would favor is a creature of the Steinmetz Center’s imagination. A permanently peaceful, totally demilitarized, terror-fighting Palestinian state that won’t insist on flooding Israel with “refugees.” Who wouldn’t want such a neighbor? Frankly, I’m surprised only 47 percent of Israeli Jews voiced their support.



Poland set to vote on Holocaust bill despite agreeing with Israel to hold off
The Polish Senate said it would vote Wednesday on a controversial Holocaust bill, despite assurances from the country’s prime minister that Israeli concerns would be addressed before steps were taken to pass it into law.

The Polish Senate confirmed in a post to its official Twitter account that the bill, which criminalizes the blaming of Poles for Nazi atrocities committed on Polish soil during the Holocaust, was on the agenda.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, Sunday night, as the two attempted to set aside a diplomatic spat over the legislation.

Netanyahu has pilloried the law — which prescribes prison time for referring to “Polish death camps” and forbids any mention of Polish complicity in Nazi crimes — as “distortion of the truth, the rewriting of history and the denial of the Holocaust.”
Polish Interior Minister Issues Last-Minute Ban on Neo-Fascist Show of Force Outside Israeli Embassy in Warsaw
Poland’s interior minister stepped in at the last minute to prevent a planned rally in front of the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw by neo-fascist organizations on Wednesday, as a bitter dispute between Warsaw and Jerusalem over new legislation that would criminalize discussion of Poles who colluded with the Nazi Holocaust continued to fester.

Joachim Brudziński, the interior minister, announced on Wednesday afternoon that the streets around the Israeli Embassy in the Polish capital would remain closed until midnight on Monday, February 5. Brudziński said the planned far-right show of force was a threat to the “security and interests” of the state, overruling a decision by the city authorities in Warsaw on Tuesday to grant a permit for the rally.

Far-right leaders attempted to put a brave face on their decision not to defy the ban, claiming they had concluded independently that the rally should be canceled because of the risk of violence. “Today it is not our intention to have a confrontation with the Polish state,” Robert Winnicki — one of the rally organizers, and a member of the Polish parliament for the ultranationalist Ruch Narodowy (National Movement) — stated on Twitter.

Numerous social media posts promoting the rally on Tuesday described it as a rally against “Antipolonism” — an alleged prejudice against the Polish nation equivalent to racism or antisemitism.
Majority of Knesset backs bill accusing Poland of Holocaust denial
New legislation cosponsored by 61 members of Knesset would make a Polish bill to outlaw talk of Poles’ complicity in the Nazis’ crimes a form of illegal Holocaust denial.

The bill, formulated by MKs from the coalition and the opposition — Itzik Shmuly (Zionist Union), Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Nurit Koren (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) — seeks to amend the Law for Defense Against Holocaust Denial to state that denying or minimizing the involvement of the Nazi’s helpers and collaborators will also be a crime.

In addition, the amended law would provide legal aid to any Holocaust survivors and educators taking students to death camps who face foreign lawsuits because they recounted what happened in the Holocaust.

The 1986 Law for Defense Against Holocaust Denial states that anyone who publishes denial and minimization of the Holocaust or identification with with crimes against the Jewish People can get five years of jail time.

The Polish senate was expected Wednesday to approve a bill making use of the phrase “Polish death camps” or saying the Polish people were in any way culpable for the Nazis’ crimes against humanity, an offense that carries a three-year prison sentence. The vote was set to take place even though the Polish and Israeli governments plan to negotiate a version of the bill that would be agreeable to both sides.

MK Shmuly said “the Poles and others who may want to copy them should know that the historic truth of the Jewish People is not for sale.”
Recipient of Polish award returns honor over death camp legislation
An Israeli historian of Jewish-Israeli heritage who was awarded in 2012 the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic from the then Polish president for his contribution to promoting the memory—and increasing awareness of—the Polish Righteous Among the Nations, has returned his award in protest against “demonic” legislation that Israel has argued is an attempt to downplay Poland’s role in Nazi atrocities.

The legislation, that has been approved by Poland’s lower house of Parliament, prescribes prison time for defaming the Polish nation by using phrases such as "Polish death camps" to refer to the killing sites Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland during World War II.

“This is hypocrisy and a distortion of history, and it’s something I can’t agree with,” Israel Gal said in an interview with Ynet.

Gal, also a scholar of literature, acquired the rights to the book “People and Animals” which tells the story of Jan Żabiński, and his wife Antonina, who saved about three hundred Jews brought out of the Warsaw ghetto in a zoo in the city, and in 2011, he published his Hebrew version of the book.

“I received this award of honor from the then Polish president Bronisław Komorowski through the Polish Embassy,” Gal said. “This brave and humane family saved dozens, perhaps even hundreds of Jews and underground Polish fighters.”

Asked why he had decided to return the award, Gal pointed to the less liberal stance that had gripped the current Polish government.

“I did it because the new government in Poland is acting in an almost completely opposite fashion to the government in 2012, that was a lot more liberal,” Gal responded. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Polish journalist: Jews also took part in the Holocaust
A Polish TV host has suggested that World War II death camps in Poland be referred to as “Jewish death camps” instead of Polish or German, while a journalist intimated on his program that Jews played a part in the Nazi Final Solution.

The comments have fanned the flames that have already mildly burned relations between Warsaw and Jerusalem after the Polish parliament recently moved to pass legislation that Israel has argued is an attempt to downplay Poland’s role in Nazi atrocities.

The guest of the program aired by TVP2 also slammed Israel for its vociferous opposition to the bill, which prescribes prison time for defaming the Polish nation by using phrases such as "Polish death camps" to refer to the killing sites Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland during World War II.

“This narrative is built out of contempt for the facts,” argued Marcin Jerzy Wolski who hosts the Polish public mainstream TV channel operated by TVP.

Discussing an experiment carried out in Germany in which exhaust fumes were pumped into rooms containing monkeys and humans, Wloski and the conservative commentator and author Rafal Aleksander Ziemkiewicz digressed into a conversation about Jews in the Holocaust, gas chambers and how the Nazis improvised as they searched for more efficient methods to murder European Jewry.

The two then segued into an attack of Israeli criticism against the new bill and the “claims” that Poles participated in the Holocaust. Ziemkiewicz also slammed the notion of blaming nations for the actions of individuals.

“Don’t be surprised if someone teaches that the Jewish people crucified Jesus or participated in the Holocaust,” he said. “If we look at the percentage of involvement of countries that took part, Jews also were part of their own destruction.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
‘Germany Was Always Antisemitic, That Hasn’t Changed Much:’ Holocaust Survivor Stuns German TV Viewers with Candid Answer
A 93-year-old survivor of Auschwitz stunned the viewers of one of Germany’s most popular political talk shows on Sunday night when — asked to compare the Nazi era with the situation today — she asserted that the two periods had more in common than many people may care to admit.

“I think that Germany was always antisemitic, that has not changed much,” Esther Bejarano — who was enslaved in the infamous “women’s orchestra” of the Auschwitz death camp — told the ARD Network‘s flagship “Anne Will Show.”

Bejarano was one of several guests on an International Holocaust Remembrance Day edition of the show that asked the question, “How antisemitic is Germany today?” Other guests who participated in the candid and often emotional discussion included two government ministers, a prominent human rights advocate and a leading scholar of modern Jewish history.

Much of the show was dedicated to a harrowing interview with Bejarano about her incarceration in Auschwitz. She began by relating that her father had been a stalwart German patriot, convinced that the German people would reject Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party. But after the Nazis came to power and prevented the family from emigrating to British Mandatory Palestine, Bejarano was imprisoned in a hard labor camp in Germany, before being deported to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland in April 1943.
Isi Leibler: The predictable liberal response to Pence
One might ask those calling on Israel to “move forward” to explain what they mean. The implication is that the worse Abbas becomes, the more concessions we should provide. In other words, continue appeasing those seeking our destruction.

Instead of commending Pence for distinguishing between good and evil, the Israeli media condemned him for casting all the blame on the Palestinians and none on Israel. While it is undeniable that on occasion Israel has made mistakes, to suggest that both parties are equally at fault and morally equivalent is an utter distortion.

The reality is that for the first time since the creation of the state, we have an American leadership willing to tell the truth.

They have ceased repeating the mantra of equivalence between those striving for peace and separation and those inciting to bloodshed and annihilation.

Above all, for the first time we have an administration distinguishing between good and evil and willing to expose the evil emanating from the Palestinians and their allies.

This is truly a sea change and we should unite to take advantage of this situation which, given the turbulence of American politics, cannot be guaranteed to last forever.
Don't Ignore Kushner's Quiet Mideast Gains
First, he recognizes that Iran now matters more to the Arabs than Palestine. With Iran and Islamic militants threatening the survival of major Arab states, many Arab leaders have quietly decided to align with Israel—dialing down their interest in the Palestinian drama. Consider that President Trump’s plan to move the United States’ embassy in Israel to Jerusalem did not touch off huge protests in Arab capitals or angry editorials in the Arab press. Kushner was one of the strongest voices inside the White House in favor of the long-promised move. Any other mediator would fret that the move would needlessly complicate his job. Kushner knows that Iran has replaced Palestine as the center of Arab interest, and he spotted an opportunity that few in Washington saw.

Second, Kushner realizes that younger Arab generation has a fundamentally different perspective from that of its elders. More than 60 percent of Arabs are too young to remember the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel, and many more regard them as ancient history. Consider an American equivalent; how many millennials are outraged at the fate of South Vietnam? As a result, younger Arabs largely accept Israel’s existence as a settled fact, and generally see trading with its prosperous economy as essential to their own economic growth. I know. I have heard them tell me these things in the privacy of their living rooms. Their septuagenarian leaders do not share their views, and punish younger leaders who try to independently engage with Israelis—which only deepens the divide.

The generation gap is based on practical economic concerns. Young Arabs want well-paying jobs that allow them to marry and start families. They want good schools for the children. Many see no issue with taking an ambulance across the border to an Israeli hospital, unlike their retirement-age relatives who say that they would rather die.

Kushner correctly captured the sentiment of the new Arab generation when he said in July 2017, “We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books. Let’s focus on, How do you come up with a conclusion to the situation?”

To be sure, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the longest and thorniest conflicts in history. It cannot be resolved quickly or easily. Kushner has publicly acknowledged this, usually adding the idea that new approaches are more likely to bear fruit than old ones.
Greenblatt: Trump won't force an agreement on Israel
US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt on Tuesday evening spoke at a a conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies about American efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

"In Judaism, the word 'peace' is found in the common greeting 'Shalom aleichem.' In the Muslim world, 'Asalam Aleichem,' or 'peace be with you,' is similarly used. And yet, despite the similar emphasis and articulation of peace in their most common greetings, pursuing peace between Israelis and Palestinians can seem a daunting, even impossible task," Greenblatt said.

"I firmly believe that there is a real path towards peace," he emphasized. "Much has changed since my first trip to the region in 1983. At that time, the prevailing interest of the Arab world, with the exception of Egypt, was the rejection of Israel, including calls for its destruction and the very real possibility of war."

Greenblatt noted that today, the atmosphere has changed: "Confronted with an emboldened and aggressive Iran and populations eager for economic opportunity, many leaders understand that Israel is not the problem, and in fact Israel can be part of the solution."

"US President Donald Trump has brought a fresh set of eyes, and energy, to the task of peacemaking. It is clear that President Trump's actions and language have changed expectations about what is possible. He has revitalized the discussion and language of peace in the region."
Erekat: We'll complain to ICC against Trump
Saeb Erekat, secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, on Tuesday announced that the "State of Palestine" plans to appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against U.S. President Donald Trump's peace plan and his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In an interview with a Turkish news agency, Erekat said that U.S. policy is contrary to the decisions of international institutions, which regard East Jerusalem as territory that is "occupied" by Israel.

Erekat further stated that the Palestinian Authority (PA) intends to turn once again to the UN Security Council with a request that it recognize it as a full member state in the United Nations.

He claimed that the United States strives to remove Jerusalem from the negotiating table, to dry up UNRWA by reducing financial aid to the organization, to leave the IDF in the Jordan Valley, leave the settlement blocs intact and allow IsrSaael to control the air space and the ports.

He added that according to the American view, only under these conditions would a Palestinian state be declared and its capital would be in the suburbs of Jerusalem.
How Nikki Haley is pushing Europe to get tough on Iran
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley took her Security Council colleagues on a field trip in the US capital, complete with a lunch with President Trump. Did the Monday feel-good adventure make a dent?

Who knows? But it certainly should have — especially when it comes to Iran, which along with North Korea presents the most burning foreign-policy challenge for President Trump.

Haley took the ambassadors to a Washington base, Anacostia-Bolling, to show remnants of missiles shot from Yemen to Saudi Arabian territory that were sent there for examination. It was a compelling presentation: Indeed, one shard clearly displayed a “made in Iran” marking.

The tour demonstrated that the Iranians managed to give missiles to their Yemeni allies, the Houthis. As one council member, Britain’s Acting Ambassador Jonathan Allen, tweeted, Haley provided “clear evidence that #Iran missiles and other weapons [were] used by Houthis in #Yemen.”

That’s a clear violation of two Security Council resolutions. One bans all sales of arms to Yemen. The other forbids Iran to export weapons anywhere.

And that last one, part of Resolution 2231, is crucial for untangling Trump’s Iran dilemma.

Most Security Council members view the Obama-led nuclear pact with Iran as an untouchable piece of successful diplomacy. For Trump and Haley, it’s a deeply flawed deal in need of repair, if not scrapping. But it’s the Security Council’s view that matters.
Haley suggests action on Iran missiles could persuade Trump not to nix nuke deal
The United States is encouraging other UN Security Council countries to set aside the nuclear deal loathed by President Donald Trump and focus on cracking down on Iran’s missile and other non-nuclear transgressions, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday.

Haley, who brought fellow Security Council ambassadors on a field trip to Washington, suggested that a concerted global effort to punish Iran for violating Security Council resolutions on ballistic missiles could persuade Trump it was worthwhile to remain in the nuclear deal. She noted that France, a key member of the group that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal, had recently “started hitting” Iran rhetorically for violating ballistic missile resolutions.

“It’s working,” Haley said after meeting with Trump and the other ambassadors. “They’re starting to realize, ‘If we don’t start talking about the violations, if we don’t call them out, then the US is going to say this whole thing is a sham.'”

An outspoken critic of Iran, Haley brought the other Security Council envoys to a US military base in Washington to view missile parts that the US calls evidence of Iran’s illicit transfer of prohibited missiles to Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Trump administration maintains that fragments from those missiles, recovered in Saudi Arabia after being launched from Yemen by the Houthis, contain markings proving they were Iranian-made, though some security experts have questioned whether the evidence is foolproof.
JCPA: Europe’s Failure to Exercise the Diplomacy of Truth
  • The intellectual and political backing given to the "Palestinian resistance" by the European Commission has become the cover for the rampant anti-Semitism and terrorism endemic in Europe today.
  • Europe has denied Israel the right of self-defense despite the rain of Hizbullah missiles on its innocent civilians in the north. Europe applied double standards and condemned Israel's security fence in 2004 even after Israel suffered more than 1,000 killed in terrorist suicide attacks between 2001 and 2004. European leaders showed that they could easily vote for the worst lies about Israel in the UN General Assembly and other UN bodies.
  • Israel must make its demands on Europe:
    Recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital
    Combat incitement and anti-Semitism
    Halt the financing of many anti-Israel enterprises
    Ban the textbooks that encourage incitement in schools
    End the EU's illegal building in the territories
    Refuse boycotts or discrimination against Israeli products
    Deny trade and common scientific work with countries that discriminate against Israel
    And promote relationships with those sincerely friendly toward the Jewish state.
COGAT Head rebukes European ambassadors
Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) head Major General Yoav Mordechai met today with 28 ambassadors of EU countries and dozens of other diplomats as part of the EU Security and Policy Committee.

Maj. Gen. Mordechai spoke with the diplomats on issues related to the Middle East. "I sit before everyone present in this distinguished forum and am amazed that for years no one has spoken and no one in the European Union has addressed the Israeli humanitarian issue," he said.

Mordechai was referring to the European Union's disregard for IDF killed-in-action and hostages in Gaza. "There are two IDF casualties whose bodies have not yet been returned to their families, as well as two Israeli civilians. While we are working to assist the Palestinian population on the humanitarian level, it is only natural that we expect international pressure to solve the Israeli humanitarian issue."

"I demand that you strive to put effective pressure on the terrorist Hamas entity and the Palestinian Authority, which since the reconciliation with Hamas has also been responsible. I say to the European Union and the international community: Live up to your principles, even in terms of respect for international law."
An embarrassing freeze
Optimism abounded at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week when U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for talks.

But when the two leaders spoke to the cameras, one sentence slipped under the media's radar: "Israel will pay for that [the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel]," Trump said. Even though he spoke in the future tense, it was clear we are already paying something. And who knows, perhaps the price was agreed by both sides in advance.

The fact is that the Trump administration has adopted the previous president's policy of forcing Israel to slow and effectively freeze construction in Jerusalem and its environs. Despite Vice President Mike Pence being Israel's greatest friend at the White House, it is clear that even under Trump, the U.S. has not changed its views on the core issue of Jerusalem.

"We're not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or the resolution of contested borders," Pence said in his Knesset address this month.

The American position is unfortunate, but what is even more troubling is Israel's resigned approach. After all, it was the Jewish presence that determined the borders in Jerusalem in the past, and Jewish homes will ultimately shape its boundaries more than any other variable.
The fictitious Arab narrative
In Abbas' narrative, the Palestinians are "victims of colonialism and Zionism" and therefore cannot be expected to act responsibly. Instead, they should be compensated for their victimhood and struggle to liberate all of Palestine. Israeli Arabs are part of the Palestinian people. The refugees must return to their homes and the State of Israel must be a state for all its citizens, until, as part of a phased plan, it turns into a Palestinian state. Elements of this narrative have been repeated by Abbas for many years. They were featured in his book "Zionism: Beginning and End," which was published in 1977 and again in 2011.

The sign the Joint Arab List members raised implies they believe this false narrative.

And that is the real problem. Clearly, some Israeli Arab voters believe they are part of the Palestinian people before they are part of Israeli society. The extent of this belief's representation among Arab Israelis is uncertain.

Abbas especially warns the Arabs against the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states. It will be interesting to see if they heed his warnings: His call to suspend ties with the U.S. was ignored, just as east Jerusalem merchants ignored his calls for a general Palestinian strike during Pence's visit.
Thomas L. Friedman: Can Crazy Still Keep the Peace Between Israel and Iran?
War is not inevitable. For the last 12 years, Israel, Hezbollah and Iran have been engaging in what one Israeli officer called a “kinetic dialogue,” where both sides try to contain the conflict and not humiliate the other. When, on Jan. 18, 2015, Israel killed an Iranian general and several Hezbollah fighters in Syria, Hezbollah responded by firing a missile at an Israeli Army vehicle along the border, killing two Israeli soldiers. It was the biggest escalation since the 2006 war.

But Israel, after careful thought, chose not to retaliate for the retaliation. Iran and Hezbollah, having made their point, stopped, too. That’s the kinetic dialogue in operation. But how long can that be trusted to work?

Israel, Iran and Hezbollah are all stronger than they were in 2006. But they each also have more to lose by a new rocket war. Israel’s “Silicon Wadi” — its vast network of high-tech companies along its coastal plain — has become a giant growth engine. And Hezbollah and Iran have now assumed virtual control over the Lebanese and Syrian states. No one wants to lose its gains.

That should be a source of optimism. But, alas, there are just too many chances for miscalculation on this crowded 3-D chessboard to be sanguine that the next 12 years will be as quiet as the last 12.

As one Israeli military officer on the Syrian-Israel border remarked to me, “We want to keep the temporary status quo forever, because everything else looks worse.”
Bennett: Israel should target Iran, not just its terror proxies
Israel must immediately change its strategy and take action against Iran when there are attacks from Hezbollah and Syria, security cabinet member Naftali Bennett said Wednesday at the Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv.

Bennett said that for 30 years, Israel made a mistake of targeting, what he called, “mosquitoes” but not “the swamp” and what he called “tentacles” but not “the octopus.”

“Our message to Iran: The era of your immunity while you send others and use your national resources to hurt Israel is over,” Bennett said. “A rocket from Lebanon will be treated like an Iranian rocket. We will not waste our resources and energy fighting in Lebanese towns while you recline your chair and watch.

“We will also not sit idly and watch the accumulation of accurate missiles in Lebanon. Between 2006 and 2012, Hezbollah made a massive leap in the quantities of its rockets, and now has over 130,000. We will not allow it to make a qualitative leap. This strategy means Iran, the Quds Force and the host countries will pay a price.”

Bennett said he was not necessarily referring to armed conflict with Iran and its Quds Force but “war via diplomacy, intelligence, preemptive efforts, technological means, economic sanctions, and – if needed – other means.”
U.S. defends role of Lebanon army as Israel threatens to attack it
The United States pledged continued support for Lebanon's military on Wednesday, calling it a potential counterweight to Iranian-backed Hezbollah, even as Israel said the two forces were indistinguishable and fair game in any future war.

Such a public difference of opinion between two close allies was remarkable enough, but especially so as it was sounded by senior officials at the same event - an Israeli security conference.

The Lebanese Armed Forces took no part in the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, which killed around 1,200 people in Lebanon and 158 Israelis. It has received more than $1.5 billion in US military assistance since then and, in the last seven years, training and support from US special forces too.

With Hezbollah having helped sway the Syrian civil war in President Bashar Assad's favor, Israel and the United States both worry that the Iranian-backed militia could now broaden its clout in its Lebanese heartland. They disagree on whether the Lebanese army would help or hinder Hezbollah's expansion.

"We will sustain our efforts to support legitimate state security institutions in Lebanon, such as the Lebanese Armed Forces, which is the only legitimate force in Lebanon," David Satterfield, acting assistant US secretary of state, told the conference organized by Tel Aviv University's INSS think-tank.
Jordanian scholar: Shared concern over Iran not enough for Israel-Sunni alliance
Establishing a genuine alliance between Israel and Sunni Arab states requires more than shared concern over Iran, the director of the Center for Israel Studies in Amman told an audience in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Speaking as part of a panel on regional perspectives on Israel at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, Abdullah Sawalha said: “Making Iran the only component of this alliance is not enough. If the [Iranian] regime collapses, what will happen between Israel and the Sunni states?”

“For an alliance, we have to build a network of mutual interests: energy, water, technology and so on,” he added.

While National Infrastructure, Water and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz recently played up budding ties, Sawalha highlighted the current limits of the relationship with Sunni states.

“This rapprochement is very secret, it’s only behind the scenes,” he said. “The Arab states don’t want to do any kind of normalization in public and Israel respects the will of the Arab states. The biggest losers are the people of the region. Unfortunately, the winners are anti-normalization actors, BDS and enemies of peace.”

The level of interaction is also unhealthy for building firm ties, Sawalha said. “We’ve seen interaction between governments but no civil society engagement or people-to-people connections. Without letting our people know about this partnership, Israel and the Sunni states will lose the support of our people and will not be able to make any progress in breaking the barriers between the nations and narrowing the gaps.”
Macron condemns anti-Semitic attack on Jewish boy, 8, near Paris
An 8-year-old Jewish boy wearing a kippa was attacked on Tuesday in the suburb of Sarcelles near Paris, in the second assault on Jewish children in the area in three weeks.

Local prosecutors told AFP on Tuesday that it was treating the incident as an anti-Semitic crime.

Prosecutors said the two youths attacked the boy while he was on his way to after-school tutoring on Tuesday, pushing him to the ground and then beating him. According to the victim, the assailants were about 15 years old.

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the incident Tuesday evening, saying that any attack on a citizen over their religious identity constitutes an attack on the whole Republic.

“An 8-year-old boy was attacked today in Sarcelles. Because he was wearing a kippa. Every time a citizen is attacked because of his age, his appearance or his religion, the whole country is being attacked,” the French leader wrote on his Twitter account.

“And it is the whole country that stands, especially today, alongside the French Jews to fight each of these despicable acts, with them and for them,” he added.
German FM to meet with Netanyahu, doesn't plan to meet Breaking the Silence
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet on Wednesday with visiting German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, whom he refused to meet last April because of Gabriel’s insistence on meeting the far-left NGO Breaking the Silence.

Gabriel arrived in Israel on Tuesday evening for a one-night visit. In addition to meeting Netanyahu, he is scheduled to travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and deliver a speech at the INSS annual conference taking place in Tel Aviv.

Since the incident in April, Netanyahu and Gabriel have only spoken briefly on the phone once, when Netanyahu called both him and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in October to thank them for Berlin’s decision to go ahead with the sale of three submarines to Israel.

Gabriel does not have Breaking the Silence on his agenda this trip.

Gabriel triggered a diplomatic incident on his maiden visit to Israel as foreign minister in April by insisting on the Breaking the Silence meeting , even though it was made clear to him that if the meeting took place his planned meeting with Netanyahu would be canceled. The two men did not meet, and Gabriel then refused to take a phone call from the prime minister.
Netanyahu interrupts German FM to downplay 2-state support
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Wednesday, he publicly corrected him over Israel’s stance on a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians.

In statements after the meeting, Netanyahu interrupted Gabriel as he talked about a two-state solution to the conflict. Gabriel said he was “very thankful to hear that, of course, also the government of Israel wants to have two states” with secure Israeli borders.

But Netanyahu interjected to reiterate his position that Israel would have to maintain security control in the Palestinian territories under any peace arrangement. “No, that we will control security west of the Jordan (river)… that is, I think, the first condition,” Netanyahu said.

“Whether or not it’s defined as a state when we have the military control is another matter, but I’d rather not discuss labels, but substance,” he added.
Here's how IDF forces foil terror attacks
The IDF is constantly foiling terror attacks and puts much effort into preventing terrorists from infiltrating Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. There is no question that IDF forces work hard to prevent terror attacks, but most of the Israeli public, certainly in Judea and Samaria, does not know about many of these foiled attempts and has no idea where the IDF gets its information from.

The technology which helps Israel's security forces prevent terror attacks also provides night vision, and it was procured with the aid of the One Israel Fund and its generous donors, who believe that Israel needs a strong Judea and Samaria.

The One Israel Fund was founded 25 years ago, and works 24 hours a day to provide for all of the needs of Judea and Samaria communities.

All monies donated to the One Israel Fund go straight to security and to provide security forces with the equipment they need in the field. When necessary, funds also go to help communities in need of them.
IDF foils stabbing attack in settlement, arrests Palestinian with knife
A Palestinian man planning a terror attack was arrested Wednesday near the West Bank settlement of Negohot holding a knife and a map of the Israeli community, security forces said.

“A short while ago, IDF troops thwarted an attempted terror attack next to the community of Negohot, southwest of Hebron,” the military said in a statement.

“Soldiers apprehended a Palestinian suspect wearing a military-style jacket near the community,” the army said, adding that a knife and a map of the settlement were found in the suspect’s possession.

“The suspect and the found items were transferred to [the] security forces,” the statement said.

The incident comes three days after a pair of Palestinians wearing army uniforms tried to infiltrate the settlement of Itamar in the northern West Bank. One of the suspects was arrested with a pair of binoculars, but no weapons, the IDF said, while the second one fled and was searched for by soldiers in the area between the settlement and the Palestinian village of Beit Furik.
Youth injured in Arab rock attack on children's planting event
After the attack on thirteen-year-olds in Kutzra in November, Arabs from the village of Urif attacked a children's Tu Bishvat festive planting event that took place this afternoon in Yitzhar, reported 0404 News.

Arabs threw stones, hitting a youth about 18 years old in the head. The youth suffered light injuries and was evacuated to a medical unit to receive medical treatment. An IDF and Border Police force that arrived at the area pushed the Arabs back towards the village.

In November, twenty-five 13-year-olds on a class trip celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of the youngest student were ambushed by dozens of Arabs hurling stones down at them from a ridge overlooking the entrance to a cave in eastern Samaria.

The children were escorted by two armed chaperones – both of them school staff members. The chaperones reported to the IDF that the class was under attack by stone-throwers, but were forced to defend the children by themselves for a full hour before soldiers arrived at the scene.

In the meantime, the hikers came under a barrage of stones and hid in a nearby cave.
This Ongoing War: There's now a $5 million reward for bringing the terrorist Ahlam Tamimi to justice
Established in 1984, Rewards for Justice, a program of the US State Department has the goal of bringing international terrorists to justice and prevent acts of international terrorism against U.S. persons or property... Since the inception of the Rewards for Justice program in 1984, the United States Government has paid more than $145 million to over 90 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide.

Federal criminal charges were announced last March against Ahlam Tamimi, the mastermind of the 2001 Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria massacre. Our daughter Malki, 15, was one of the people, mostly children, killed in that Hamas-driven terror outrage. Tamimi described herself as Hamas' first woman agent.

If you follow our blog, it won't be news to you that Tamimi has been living a celebrity's life in Amman, Jordan since her extorted release from an Israeli prison cell in the 2011 Shalit Deal. She was the only one of the 1,027 terrorists freed in that catastrophic transaction who was sent into "exile" in Jordan. Since she was born in Jordan in 1980 and lived in Jordan, getting her education there until a couple of years before executing the Sbarro attack and went back to living in Jordan today with a cousin who is now her husband, it's not really exile and never was.
PA issues weak condemnation of Bethlehem incident
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas's bureau in Ramallah on Tuesday issued a short statement condemning the attack on an American diplomatic vehicle outside the United States consulate in Bethlehem.

The statement said, "The presidency emphasized its absolute opposition to such behavior that deviates from the Palestinian values and roots."

The PA's announcement made no mention of any commitment to arrest and/or prosecute the perpetrators. The PA is fuming at U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and has declared it would "no longer accept" any peace plan proposed by the United States.

Video footage from Tuesday's incident in Bethlehem showed Palestinian Arabs attacking and throwing objects at a car with American consulate personnel.

The incident came after PA activists, led by representatives of Abbas’s Fatah party, on Saturday held a mock trial for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Bethlehem.
UN envoy: Gaza on verge of 'full collapse'
UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned on Tuesday that Hamas-controlled Gaza on the verge of "full collapse", AFP reported.

According to Mladenov, a key to saving Gaza from disaster was restoring the government of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas to power there, a decade after it was forced out by Hamas in a bloody coup.

"Without that Gaza risks exploding in our face again, this time in a far more deadly and violent manner than in the past," Mladenov was quoted as having said at the annual conference of Israel's Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

Abbas's Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal last October, under which the PA was to have resumed full control of Gaza by December 1.

That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and had later reportedly hit “obstacles”.

Sharp disagreements remain between the sides, particularly over the fate of public employees in Gaza and security control of the enclave.
U.S. General to Turkey: We Won't Abandon Allies Fighting ISIS on the World's Behalf
Gen. Joseph Votel said the United States has no intention of withdrawing coalition forces from the northern Syrian town of Manbij, as Turkish leaders had demanded this weekend. As Turkish forces continued the assault on Afrin, the lead of U.S. Central Command on Monday urged Turkey and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, to recognize each other’s legitimate security concerns but focus on the common enemy of ISIS.

Senior U.S. leaders across the government have been in constant talks with Turkish counterparts during the Afrin assault, saying that the U.S. recognizes Turkey’s problems with the Kurdish terrorist group known as PKK, but refusing to give up any territory liberated by the SDF, which include Kurds.

“It’s not our intention right now” to pull back from Manbij, Votel said in Jordan on Monday. He spoke with two reporters traveling with him through the region, including into Raqqa and other parts of northern Syria.

Meanwhile, Russia has begun hosting talks about Syria’s future. The talks, which are being held in Sochi, include representatives from the Assad regime, Iran, and the United Nations. The United States and Syria’s main opposition group declined to participate. Votel said the U.S. hopes that the Sochi talks help lead all parties back to the Geneva process. “That is where the global legitimacy comes in,” he said. “That’s the gold standard, right there: Geneva.”
Turkey Confirms Use of German Tanks in Offensive Against Kurds
The Turkish government has confirmed deploying German Leopard tanks against the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria. Reports of their use in the offensive on the Kurdish-held Afrin region provoked heated debate in Germany.

Turkey has given confirmation that its troops have been using Leopard 2 tanks supplied by Germany during their offensive against Kurdish fighters in the Syrian border region of Afrin, according to a report from the German Ministry for Economic Affairs sent to parliamentarians in Berlin.

The confirmation comes amid a heated debate on German arms exports to crisis regions.
Turkey using German-made tanks in cross-border assault criticized as illegal by German lawmakers

Disputed arms exports

- Pictures of German tanks taking part in the Turkish offensive in Syria began emerging at the start of last week.

- As a result, the German government has put on hold a decision on whether to provide an upgrade to the tanks that has been requested by Turkey.

- Turkey, a NATO partner of Germany, received 354 Leopard 2 tanks from Germany in the 1990s, with the only condition being that it did not sell or give them to any third party.
UN Watch: U.N. elects Turkey's Erdogan regime Vice-Chair of Committee on NGOs




The Kurdish fight is humanity’s fight
In 1939, when the Nazis rolled into Poland, my aunt, whose name I carry, was forced to strip naked and dig a hole, into which she and the other members of her village were summarily mowed down.

Many in the Western world turned a deaf ear to the cries of my aunt, as well as to those of six million other Jews.

America was exhausted and war weary after having fought World War I, in which approximately 30 million people had been killed, and was in a period of profound isolationism and retreat.

There emerged a charismatic, young, impassioned leader who appealed to his people, stunned by their crushing defeat in WWI, with fiery speeches of reclaiming the pride of the Fatherland.

America heard Hitler’s speeches, and knew they were laced with antisemitism. But Germany was so far away, and the enemy that had been scapegoated was a strange people, with different customs, mere Jews.

This picture is not too dissimilar from what is happening today in northwestern Syria. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a tyrannical brute, who has made a frequent habit of trampling on the human rights of his own people, with total impunity. Since the failed coup of July 2016, Erdogan continues to conduct arbitrary arrests and purges of academicians, politicians and journalists. Anyone slightly threatening to him is held in prison on trumped-up charges.




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