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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

From Ian:

Palestinian NGOs Reject European Aid, Due to Refusal to Renounce Terror Ties
Over 100 Palestinian NGOs have refused to sign an EU grant request because it demands that funds cannot be handed over to terrorist groups.

The director of the BDS organization Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin, told The New Arab, “We demanded to include conditions stipulating that we do not have to recognize the criteria listed regarding terror groups.”

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs said in a statement that this was due to “shared ties between supposed Palestinian human rights organizations and terrorist groups,” and cited its report “The Money Trail,” which found that “EU institutions have awarded millions of euros in financial aid to Palestinian civil society organizations which have ties to terrorist entities and promote boycotts against Israel.”

In another report, titled “Terrorists in Suits,” the ministry revealed “over 100 ties shared between BDS organizations and internationally designated terrorist groups … including the PFLP and Hamas.

“According to the report, so-called Palestinian civil society organizations act as medium for funds for terrorist entities, enabling them to raise money for their activities through legitimate bodies including the EU,” the ministry added.

“The opposition of these organizations to criteria preventing the transfer of funds to terror related activities proves the report’s claim,” the ministry’s statement asserted.
50 Leftist Jews to Spend Winter Vacation in ‘Direct Co-Resistance’ in Judea & Samaria, Fly Home in 10 Days
To start, you should know there’s a thing called The Center for Jewish Nonviolence, and that it “strives for a future that honors the full equality and shared humanity of both Palestinians and Israelis.”

Then you should know that on Monday the CJNV tweeted: “CJNV delegation begins—International Jewish activists defy crackdown on Palestinian solidarity activism during delegation to the Occupied Territories.”

IfNotNow, one of the groups represented in this unusual Xmas vacation in the Holy Land, tweeted: “A group of our members, along with members of J Street, JVPlive, Naamod UK and other Jewish left orgs around the world just hit the ground in the West Bank as part of CJNV’s newest delegation. They’ll engage in direct co-resistance work with Palestinian activists.”

We have no blessed idea what the crackdown on Palestinian solidarity activism even means, never mind how one goes about defying it, and what’s the meaning of “direct co-resistance work” – in ten days or less (they’re flying home at the end of the revolution). We do know from the group’s press release that it will include “civil disobedience, educational sessions and community building projects.”

Then lunch.

That’s a lot to accomplish in ten days. We signed up for the daily updates, in the hope they’ll be as entertaining as the first couple of tweets.

David Collier: Antisemitism and the conflict – explained in two simple maps
This is the entire story of antisemitism and the Israel / Arab conflict delivered in two simple maps. One map is based on Jewish populations in the 1930s, the other Jewish populations today. The maps are not just of Europe or the Middle East, but the entire Europe, Middle East and North Africa region. People love to make everything seem complex. Sometimes the best thing to do is cut out the noise:
Map: Jewish populations Europe and MENA region 1930s

Map: Jewish populations Europe and MENA region 2010s

If anyone notices any important mistakes, let me know. The figures in the maps are a collation of official European pre-holocaust figures, scholarly estimates from the Arab ethnic cleansing of their Jewish populations and contemporary population figures. Only significant populations of 50k+ have been considered unless the population is smaller but still a sizeable % of the total population.

Put the two images side by side and everything suddenly becomes clear. The horrific scale of the destruction of Jewish communities. But also the antisemitic obsession with Israel. Some spend their time arguing that anti-Zionism isn’t antisemitism, but just look at the maps. Tell me that having hounded, persecuted, expelled and murdered their Jewish communities throughout the regions, that the current obsession with that one tiny concentration of Jews that is left – the Jews in Israel – isn’t driven by antisemitism.

New Israeli Scholarship Shows That an Alleged 1948 Massacre Never Happened
Reviewing three Hebrew-language works about Israel’s War of Independence, Yoav Gelber begins with Eliezer Tauber’s study of the battle of Deir Yassin, long assumed to have culminated in a massacre of Arabs by the Jewish Irgun and Le?i militias. Tauber demonstrates that (like the “massacre” in Lydda) it was nothing of the sort. Both sides, however, greatly exaggerated the number of Arab casualties for propaganda purposes, with consequences that also bear examining:

[Before the battle of Deir Yassin], the bulk of the Arab population had looked on the fighting from the sidelines. The local Arab leadership in Jerusalem strove to excite the Palestinians, and bolster their motivation to fight. This was the main purpose of the propaganda campaign that Hussein Khalidi, the only member of the Higher Arab Executive who remained in the country, and his associates launched in the days following the battle. They achieved the opposite outcome: instead of inspiring the Arabs’ stamina and will to fight, the inflated numbers of casualties and faked atrocity rumors shocked and intimidated the non-combatant population and considerably encouraged the mass flight.

Nonetheless, I think that Tauber overstates the part of Deir Yassin in causing the Arab mass flight. Before Deir Yassin, about 100,000 Arabs left their homes, huts, or tents and went to the neighboring countries or to purely Arab regions within Mandatory Palestine. The Palestinians have tried to minimize the scope of this early wave of refugees and claim that only members of the elite fled, but the refugee population was much larger and more varied.

Gelber concludes his review by offering some general conclusions about the 1948 war:

The Palestinians’ refusal and inability to build institutional and administrative infrastructure that would take over the Arab areas from the receding mandatory authorities caused anarchy and created a vacuum that was only partly filled by the Arab armies later, after the invasion. The few vain attempts to create quasi-governmental institutions were an exception testifying to the rule and took place mainly in Jerusalem. [As a result], invading Arab armies increasingly had to devote attention and logistical resources to fill the vacuum at the expense of their military mission.
Yisrael Medad: Eliezer Tauber's Treatment of Deir Yassin
My own post on Eliezer Tauber's book on Deir Yassin is here.

I quote from Yoav Gelber's review

"...Tauber deserves every kudo for his meticulous work, which is exemplary for this genre of historiography. He left no stone unturned and used all the available sources, written and oral, Arab, Jewish (Haganah, IZl, LHI, and political), British, and Red Cross. This resolution of microhistoriographic analysis requires a massive use of oral testimonies, extracting the valuable material from the rubbish and a careful scrutiny of the findings. His expertise in Arabic and on Palestinian society equipped him with vital tools for conducting such a study.

In examining the oral testimonies about the battle in Deir Yassin, Tauber has shown how the stories of witnesses on both sides, Arab villagers and IZL and LHI combatants, are close to each other. Of course, each witness speaks from his individual and national perspectives, but it is clear that they all speak of the same battle and that their stories are supplemental rather than contradictory. At the same time, the narratives that were circulated by both sides’ higher echelons immediately after the fighting was over are propagandist and conflicting.

...At that stage of the war, occupying an Arab village was something new, still without precedent. Under the circumstances of the inter-communal civil war overshadowed by waning British sovereignty, it was also impossible to hold people in captivity and POWs should have been either released or killed. This axiomatic assumption forecasted the flight of the non-combatant population at the beginning of the raid. In the case of Deir Yassin, the axiom proved mistaken for various reasons analyzed by Tauber.
2019 Man of the Year: Benjamin Netanyahu
It has been a turbulent year for long-serving Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Encased in a cloud of indictments, Bibi, as he is often called, continues to survive.

In fact, at the time of this writing, Netanyahu is barely trailing his rival contender for prime minister, despite multiple investigations into his political dealings. Furthermore, polls indicate that Netanyahu would still garner more seats in the Israeli parliament than his likely replacement in the Likud Party, Gideon Sa'ar.

A natural leader, Netanyahu has served as prime minister since 2009. He also held that post from 1996 to 1999, making him one of the most successful international political figures of all time.

Netanyahu gracefully braved eight years of the anti-Israel Obama regime and it's likely he will see his way through this current domestic scandal. This fortitude has enshrined him as a hero to the Jewish people and earned him a spot as a 2019 Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.
Gaza begins exporting Israeli-style 'Krembo' treat to Bahrain
A shipment of Krembo, one of Israel's favorite snacks, made its way from the Gaza Strip on Monday on its way to Bahrain.

The shipment of Krembo, a chocolate-covered marshmallow and cookie, was produced in Gaza and became the first export of processed food from Gaza since 2007 when it went through the Kerem Shalom crossing on Monday, according to Gal Berger of KAN News.

Eight tons of the treats will make their way through Israel to Jordan and eventually to Bahrain in a shipment coordinated by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories' (COGAT) Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) for Gaza.

Over 450 tons of strawberries have been exported from the Gaza Strip to various locations around the world since the beginning of the season, including the UAE, England and Israel.

According to a report published by the Gaza Ministry of Economy, the Gaza Strip imports almost everything it consumes, paying some $3 billion in customs tariffs per year.

The Kerem Shalom border crossing is the only place commercial vehicles are allowed access to and from Gaza. More than 1,000 trucks pass through the crossing every day (not counting fuel tankers). Prior to 2010, when Israel eased limitations at the Kerem Shalom crossing, only 150 trucks a day were allowed to enter. (h/t Zvi)
Jewish Voice For Labour promotes graffiti 'vigil', prompting antisemitic conspiracy theories in return
Jewish Voice For Labour's Facebook page has been hit by antisemitic conspiracy theories after the fringe group promoted a "vigil" after anti-Jewish graffiti was daubed across a synagogue wall and on shop windows in north London.

The graffiti, which showed a Star of David and the words "9/11", was discovered in Hampstead and Belsize Park on Sunday morning and those who daubed it were condemned as "cowardly pedlars of hate".

JVL posted a link to the event, which is to take place on Monday afternoon and is hosted by the controversial Stand Up To Racism.

One Facebook user replied: "Is this a continuation of the far right Zionist disinformation campaign?”

Another contributor wrote: "Is it antisemitic to accuse Israel of 'false flag' complicity in the 9/11 attack though?

“The Star of David is the political logo of Israel. I don't see any anti-Jewish abuse here? More anti-Israel surely ?

Insisting he agreed it was “completely wrong” to target buildings, including South Hampstead shul with graffiti, he added: “I’m just worried that every criticism of Israeli actions becomes dismissed as antisemitism.”

The news that Stand Up To Racism, which is linked to the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), is to host the event was met with widespread dismay in the Jewish community.
Antisemitism graffiti demonstration descends into farce as organiser warns of 'Zionist journalists'
A demonstration against the antisemitic graffiti in Hampstead and Belsize Park descended into farce after an organiser was heard warning about the presence of “Zionist journalists” at the event, organised by the far-left Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

Sasha Simic, who was wearing a yellow vest bearing the logo of Stand Up To Racism, an SWP-linked organisation, was overheard by the JC referring to a “Zionist” who he suggested was attending the event on Monday evening.

Mr Simic, who has been a member of the SWP’s Hackney branch, did not respond to the JC on Tuesday when asked to clarify his comments.

A group of young Jewish counter protesters began to sing Israeli anthem, the Hatikvah, after they voiced objections to one attendee for wearing a large pro-BDS badge on his hat.

But they were shouted down by activists at the vigil.

Flags of the fringe, pro-Corbyn group Jewish Voice For Labour were flown at the event, hours after someone posted to its Facebook page that the graffiti could be a “Zionist disinformation campaign”.

French Philosopher: ‘Left-wing Islamism and antisemitism have a future,’
One of France’s most important philosophers and a widely recognized public intellectual, Alain Finkielkraut, has sounded strong alarm bells over the rise of left-wing Islamism and radical antisemitism.

“In France, it [antisemitism] is part of the extreme Left and a growing part of the population with a migration background,” he told the German magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday. “It is particularly worrying that the extreme left defends radical, antisemitic Islam for two reasons: ideologically, because for them, the Muslims are the new Jews, the disenfranchised; but also for tactical reasons, because today there are many more Muslims than Jews in France. So, left Islamism also has a future, and I’m afraid of that.”

In February, a Yellow Vests protester hurled antisemitic insults at Finkielkraut, calling him a “dirty Zionist shit” who should “go back to Tel Aviv.”

“Antisemitism is not a thing of the past, it even has a future,” Finkielkraut said. “I was actually the object of aggression with a proven antisemitic character. But I was not called ‘dirty Jew’ but ‘dirty Zionist shit.’ The peculiarity of contemporary antisemitism is that it uses the language of anti-racism. Because of the existence of Israel, the Jews are now considered racists. ‘Filthy Jew’ – that was a morally disgraceful term. ‘Dirty racist’ – that is highly moral today.”
Antisemitic lecturer invited, then uninvited, at San Diego State University
A lecturer who in the past referred to Jews as "godless... blood-sucking parasites [that] sell us alcohol, drugs, depraved sex, and every other type of low-life thing," was recently included in the list of speakers for a program on the topic of US reparations for slavery at San Diego State University, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

The event was proposed by graduate students who received funding for $68,000 to organize it, as announced in the university newsletter on December 18, according to the LA Times.

Among the five speakers suggested by Terry Sivers was Ava Muhammad, a spokesperson for the organization Nation of Islam led by antisemitic minister Louis Farrakhan.

Muhammad made the disparaging remarks in a 2017 speech whose clip was widely circulated on social media and was denounced, among others, by the Anti-Defamation League.

"This shows that the committees, faculty and administrators who approved this proposal either did so without vetting the summit's speakers or they did the vetting and approved them anyway," Peter Herman, an SDSU literature professor, told the Californian newspaper. "At the very least, they were irresponsible."

The day after the newsletter was sent, Herman contacted some university administrators to inquire about the inclusion of Muhammad in the program, claiming that he was working on an article about the episode for a local publication.
BBC Complaints contradicts BBC News website article
UN SC resolution 465 dates from the time of the Carter presidency and the 2016 resolution (2334) from the end of the Obama administration. In other words, the BBC has chosen to ignore the interim thirty-six years during which – according to the BBC itself – “the US adopted a position of describing the settlements as “illegitimate” – though not “illegal” – and sheltering Israel from condemnatory resolutions on the issue at the United Nations”.

Obviously Israeli construction in Ma’ale Adumim or other locations has not “made a significant change to the 1949 armistice line” at all. That line remains as it was when drawn and is specifically defined in that agreement as being “agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”

However Aleem Maqbool did not claim that construction in Ma’ale Adumim had had the effect of “significantly reducing the width of the remaining West Bank” – he claimed that it “cuts the West Bank in half”. That statement of course remains inaccurate, as does the claim that the US Secretary of State’s announcement “breaks four decades of State Department policy”.
‘Global Conflicts’ Article Shows More Pictures from Israeli-Arab Conflict than Rest of World Combined
The piece is sourced from Agence France-Presse, better known as AFP. The practice of reproducing text, or ‘copy’, as it’s known in the trade, from wire services such as AFP and Reuters is common and a useful filler for news outlets, as well as a substitute for having correspondents on the ground in numerous locations around the world. In this case, the article itself is balanced and unworthy of special comment.

In his traditional Christmas message, Pope Francis remarked upon armed conflicts in Africa as well as the crises in Lebanon and Venezuela, saying, “May Christ bring his light to the many children suffering from war and conflicts in the Middle East and in various countries of the world.”

Given his words, one would expect that if newspaper outlets would attach pictures to the AFP article, they would be primarily of children in Lebanon, Venezuela and Africa.

As such, it’s notable that the International Business Times version of the story includes six images – four of which are from areas within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
MEMRI: 'National Socialist Black Metal' Music Available On Telegram, Last.Fm, VK, Facebook, iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, Bitchute, YouTube
National Socialist Black Metal (NSBM) music is widely circulated on many social media platforms, including Telegram, Last.Fm, VK, Facebook, iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, Bitchute, and YouTube. Several channels on Telegram share links to songs and ideological content in keeping with the genre's Nazi rhetoric. Links from Telegram channels are also posted to the video-hosting service Bitchute and to YouTube, which often removes this content. There is an overlap between Telegram channels that post NSBM and those that promote violence. Additionally, NSBM music festivals are promoted on these Telegram channels.

The following report will look at platforms that host NSBM content. Some make it available at no cost, and others offer it for sale.

On October 28, 2018, the [redacted] Telegram channel published its first post. It says that it focuses on "true terror propaganda, hate literature and W.A.R. anthems by those who act. We will not appease the weak or coddle to any feeble scene tourists who try to ride along our superiority. The line has been drawn and you're standing on our opposing side. Expect death. Sieg Heil."

A December 8 post features links to an NSBM song on YouTube and that eulogizes American neo-Nazi terrorist Robert Jay Matthews, the leader of a white supremacist militant group who was killed in a shootout with law enforcement in 1984. On November 2, it promoted two websites that sell NSBM music.
Over 40 gravestones vandalized at Jewish cemetery in Germany
More than 40 gravestones have been vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in the German town of Geilenkirchen, the Bild newspaper reported on Monday.

According to accounts in the German media, two masked men arrived at the Jewish cemetery at approximately 3 a.m. Monday morning and proceeded to knock over dozens of gravestones and deface some of them with blue paint.

The two were arrested near the crime scene following a tip from a witness to the act of vandalism who alerted the authorities.

According to Bild, the two men, 21 and 33, both known as far-right extremists, were briefly detained and released. Law enforcement has opened an investigation into the incident.

Just a few days ago, a similar crime was reported in Slovakia, where some 20 gravestones were vandalized in the country's north.
Jewish group urges Amazon to stop selling ‘Secret Hitler’ board game
An Australian Jewish group on Friday called for Amazon to stop selling a board game in which players win by putting Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in power.

The Melbourne-based Anti-Defamation Commission called on the internet retail giant to “show respect to the survivors” and said its objection to the “Secret Hitler” game had been sparked by a complaint from someone whose father survived the Holocaust.

“Using Hitler as part of a board game whitewashes his inhuman crimes, is highly distasteful and shows that still today many do not understand the inexpressible horrors of the Holocaust,” Dvir Abramovich, the group’s chairman, said in a statement.

“It is deeply troubling that Amazon Australia is providing another popular avenue for Hitler’s name to be revived and normalized, and reach a new generation of young people who may think it’s cool to play him. We call on the company to immediately stop selling this game,” the statement said.

The Anti-Defamation Commission addressed its complaint to Amazon Australia, but the game is also on sale on Amazon’s US site, where over 1,400 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars.
Gas Pumping From Israel’s Offshore Leviathan Field Gets Underway
Gas pumping from Israel’s Leviathan offshore natural gas field got under way on Tuesday after Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry said Noble Energy and its partners had met all necessary conditions, despite ongoing protests from coastal residents and environmental activists warning of pollution emitted by the pumping rigs.

The largest energy project in Israel’s history, it is expected that the Leviathan field will yield 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. After extraction, the gas will then make a 120-kilometer journey via pipelines to a processing platform 10 kilometers off the Israeli coast.

From there, the processed gas and stabilized condensate will be transported by pipeline to the national gas transmission system and pipeline.

“For the first time since its establishment, Israel is now an energy powerhouse, able to supply all its energy needs and gaining energy independence,” said Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu, a partner in the field. “At the same time, we will be exporting natural gas to Israel’s neighbors, thus strengthening Israel’s position in the region. [The] Leviathan project will bring the coal era in Israel to an end, and will supply efficient, inexpensive and clean energy to people in Israel and in the Middle East.”
‘Hollywood Reporter’ names Gal Gadot as 1 of 5 breakout stars of the decade
The Hollywood Reporter named Gal Gadot as one of the top five breakout stars of the 2010s. The Wonder Woman star and IDF vet from Rosh Ha’ayin shares the honor with three highly-acclaimed actors and one director: Elisabeth Moss, the star of the television series Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale; Timothée Chalamet, star of Little Women and an Oscar nominee for Call Me By Your Name; Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the star and creator of the offbeat, Emmy-winning television series, Fleabag; and Jordan Peele, director of the innovative films that mix horror and social commentary, Get Out and Us.

Gadot wrote in an Instagram post: “Wow! Thank you @hollywoodreporter for the honor of being named 1 of the 5 breakouts of 2010’s. And in such great company. Finding out about it on @elisabethmossofficial post was mind blowing Overwhelmed by all the support you’ve shown throughout the years...! To many more.... 555.”

The article was not yet on The Hollywood Reporter’s website, but apparently Moss got an advance look at the layout and posted it on her Instagram account.

The honor caps an extremely busy year for Gadot. In addition to her upcoming films – Wonder Woman 1984, which will be released in 2020 and is the follow-up to her smash-hit 2017 film; the Netflix film about an art heist, Red Notice, with Ryan Reynolds and Dwayne Johnson; and Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile – she founded the Pilot Wave Motion Pictures production company with her husband, Yaron Varsano, and is moving into the producer’s chair.
587 exits worth $70b: Startup Nation had booming decade, has still bigger dreams
The last 10 years have seen the so-called Startup Nation flourishing, with increasing numbers of multinationals taking notice, snapping up Israeli companies and technologies and setting up local R&D centers.

Startup entrepreneurs, once eager to sell their firms to the highest bidder as soon as they could, are now holding out longer and raising more money from venture capital or private equity funds to grow their companies on their own.

A look at the figures shows that in the past decade, Israel saw 587 exit deals — defined as initial public offerings of shares, or merger and acquisitions of Israeli startups — for a total of $70 billion, according to data compiled by PwC Israel. The deal of the decade was the acquisition by US tech giant Intel Corp. of Israel’s Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based maker of self-driving technologies, for a whopping $15.3 billion.

The past decade has also seen entrepreneurs who sold their businesses come back to the tech arena to set up other companies, this time equipped with more daring, skills and experience, and train a fresh generation of tech entrepreneurs.

“Startup Nation has grown stronger and bigger and deeper, and it has strengthened in pretty much every metric, whether it is number of startups or the amount of VC funding raised,” said Saul Singer in a phone interview with The Times of Israel.

Singer, together with Dan Senor, was the author of the book “Start-Up Nation,” which gave Israel the nickname and to a large extent defined the decade that followed its publication in 2009.

Over the course of that decade, Singer said, Israel’s tech ecosystem “has matured. We have more serial entrepreneurs, more people who have started multiple companies, have had some failures and some successes, and are now building companies that have a better chance at success.”
Celebrating innovation: Startup Nation’s 10 biggest tech deals of the decade
To celebrate the end of the twenty-tens, a booming time for Israel’s tech industry, The Times of Israel presents a list of the 10 biggest tech acquisition deals of the past decade.

According to data compiled by PwC Israel, the country saw 587 exit deals — defined as initial public offering of shares, or merger and acquisitions of Israeli startups — over the past 10 years, for a total of $70 billion. These helped put Israel’s tech scene on the global map in a whole variety of fields, including auto technologies, semiconductors and processors, health technologies, medical devices, and navigation apps.

• The biggest deal of the decade, and actually the biggest deal ever for Israel, was of course the acquisition by US tech giant Intel Corp. of Israel’s Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based maker of self-driving technologies, for a whopping $15.3 billion in 2017.

Mobileye’s tech emerged from the Hebrew University’s department for computer vision. The firm is a maker of vision technology for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving technologies. The firm, founded in 1999 by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, had its shares traded in the US before Intel acquired it.

• The second largest tech deal of the decade — though it is still awaiting regulatory permits for completion — was the acquisition by US chip maker Nvidia of Mellanox Technologies Ltd. in 2019 for $6.9 billion.
The top 45 stories of the decade
It’s only been 10 years, but in that time the world has been transformed. Social media has gone from angel of democracy to demon. Climate change has become something we can see with our own eyes. All over the world, established orders have been overturned.

In Israel, new technologies like auto-tech, fintech, AI and food-tech have emerged to dominate Israel’s high-tech scene, while Israel’s food scene has come of age – as you can tell by the high number of accolades to Israeli restaurants rolling in. Israeli TV has also won its fair share of praise, spurring an unexpected new area of export.

In this decade, Israel lost one of its most internationally popular leaders, Shimon Peres; but women the world over got two strong new role models — Israeli actor Gal Gadot, who stormed the world with her portrayal of Wonder Woman, and Netta, who swept Eurovision with her bubbly empowerment song, “Toy.”

We’ve looked back through our archives to discover your favorite stories. It’s an extraordinary journey that charts the emergence of Israel’s aid industry, the move toward veganism and alternative meats, and the growth of tourism to Israel – from just 1.9 million tourists to Israel in 2010, to 4m. in 2019.

Some of the technologies we wrote about went on to huge success, some pivoted, and some – notably Shai Agassi’s Better Place – went out with an almighty bang.

Take a look through the decades and remember some of the highlights of every year.
Top 5 Israeli innovations of the past decade
While Israeli discoveries reach far and wide, the past decade marked a high number of Israeli technological milestones in an astounding variety of fields – from medicine to high-tech to space exploration. Some of those startling advancements include finding potential cures for diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and improvements in transportation by using artificial intelligence-run devices. Leaping into the unknown, Israel launched objects into orbit, such as the Amos communications satellites, and earlier this year made history as the seventh country to send a spacecraft to the Moon.

1. The first Israeli spacecraft to the Moon, Beresheet
In February of this year, Israel Aerospace Industries and SpaceIL did the impossible – after years of a combination of hard work, Israeli ingenuity, and budgeted-funding – the first Israeli spacecraft, Beresheet blasted off to the Moon. Beresheet – in the beginning – as it was aptly named, was sent into space, and orbited the Earth for two months relying mainly on solar powered energy in order to save fuel costs, before it crash-landed on the lunar surface in April.

Although communication was ultimately lost with the craft, it made history as both the cheapest and lightest probe ever built. Beresheet generated a combined cost of $100,000, and was funded by SpaceIL President Morris Kahn, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, Canadian businessman Sylvan Adams, the Science and Technology Ministry, the Israel Space Agency, Israel Aerospace Industries, and numerous other private donors.

Although the Jewish state has only been in existence for 71 years, it is on a direct trajectory to technological innovation-success, from new developments in medicine to future space exploration projects.

So, who knows what the next decade may hold?
Israel’s population at 9,136,000 on the eve of 2020
On the eve of the new decade, Israel's population stands at 9,136,000 according to data by the Central Bureau of Statistics, as reported by Ynet, up from 7,509,000 in 2009, an increase of 17.8%.
According to CBS estimations, 6,772,000 Israelis identify as Jews – or 74.1% of the total population - and 1,916,000 as Arabs - 21%.

In 2019, the population grew by 1.9%. A total of 177,000 babies were born, and about 34,000 people immigrated to the country under the Law of Return.
The CBS added that according to its calculation, Israel's population will top 10 million by the end of 2024.
Israel's TOP 10 events of 2019.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
We hear horror stories about how demeaning and time consuming it is for Palestinian workers to cross into Israel.

Yet when Israel fixes the problem, the media suddenly loses interest in reporting the story.

It is much easier to report the lie that Israel wants to humiliate Palestinians for no reason than to report the reality that Israel wants to make everyone's lives easier while maintaining its security.

Unfortunately, the lie sells newspapers and helps ratings, while the truth is complicated and messy and doesn't conform with what so many people want to believe.

So the truth is buried.

(h/t Irene)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

Anti-Semitism Is a Threat to Western Civilization Itself
On Saturday night, a man burst into a rabbi’s home in Monsey, NY, where a Hanukkah party was taking place, and began stabbing people with a machete. In North London, that same night, the walls of a synagogue and several shops were spray-painted with anti-Semitic slogans. Daniel Johnson comments on both incidents:
The appearance of graffiti in North London seems, by comparison, merely symbolic. Yet the fact that it happened against the background of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labor party gives it a sinister significance.

The fact that these incidents happened at Hanukkah is also ominous. In the German city of Halle, a synagogue was attacked by a gunman at Yom Kippur only last month. Jewish festivals present opportunities for anti-Semites to target victims wherever they gather together. By deliberately turning solemn occasions of communal worship into times of fear and anxiety, anti-Semites seek to disrupt the rhythm of the religious calendar that is the essence of Judaism.

Yet the Jewish people has never allowed itself to be intimidated, let alone subdued, by such threats. The Hebrew Bible is the story of a nation that survived every attempt to crush its identity and suppress its faith in the God of Abraham and Isaac.

It is up to the rest of society to show their Jewish friends and neighbors that they will not look the other way as the oldest hatred renews itself. . . . Western leaders, too, have a responsibility to protect their Jewish citizens. This Hanukkah, Boris Johnson tweeted: “Britain would not be Britain without its Jewish community.” True enough, but tweets and gestures are not an adequate answer to lies, murder, and mayhem. Anti-Semitism is a mortal threat not only to the Jewish people but to Western civilization itself.
Victimhood Culture Leads to Anti-Semitism
The left’s leading populists have fetishized the victim status of certain minorities, including African Americans. They’ve made slavery and its legacy the focal points of American life. They’ve determined, without evidence, that police are on a campaign to kill unarmed blacks. And they speak generally as if we’ve suddenly been transported to a pre-civil-rights-movement America.

What’s more, unlike Donald Trump, some of the left’s leading populists have gone out of their way to steer their followers toward blaming the Jews. The stand-out figures here are Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. Their public record of blaming Jewish money for corrupting American politics is so well known that it needs no rehearsing here. And it’s either been ignored or defended by the larger left. If you called either of them out on their anti-Semitism, you were charged with racism and misogyny. Democratic leaders were so petrified of Omar that they couldn’t even pass a House resolution condemning her blatant anti-Semitic remarks.

But the problem on the left goes beyond Omar and Tlaib. And it goes beyond the rest of the Squad, who engage in constant anti-Israel theatrics. It stretches to the identitarian populism of most of the 2020 Democratic candidates for president, to the liberal garment-rending over the defeat of the anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn, to the intersectional gobbledygook that divides college campuses by ethnicity, to the Women’s March activists who embrace Louis Farrakhan, and down to the community level, where, for example, the NAACP, Passaic branch posts Facebook rants blaming tainted water supplies on the Jews.

Historically, indulged victims have needed no encouragement in pointing their finger at Jews. Telling them that others are responsible for their woes has usually been enough to get them headed in that direction. But some on today’s left have given Jew-hatred an extra nudge. Their winks, dog-whistles, and outright calumnies have served as a noxious propaganda campaign and led to a surge of minority anti-Semitism. With the attempted murders in Monsey, this can no longer be kept a secret, and maybe those who have facilitated it will begin to know a little shame.
Bethany Mandel: Stop using Jewish blood to smear your political enemies
Those who reflexively blame President Trump for any and all attacks, no matter how unrelated his administration, actions, or rhetoric are, have made a conscious choice: They would rather play politics than put an end to the violence. And worse, it seems they would like it to continue, in order to have more ammunition against the White House leading up to the 2020 election.

Just as dangerous are those on the Right who are using the occasion to lecture Jews on how they should be voting, that they should be arming themselves and fortifying their houses of worship, and where they should be living. The problem of anti-Semitism isn’t because Jews vote one way or another. (This is a complicated issue when you break down voting histories between Orthodox and secular Jews, but that is a conversation for another time.)

Solving anti-Semitism doesn’t involve making our supermarkets, schools, synagogues, and more into fortresses. That’s not how any of us want to live. Unfortunately, we’ve begun to, and yet the violence continues and is becoming more serious by the day. Most of the attacks in New York have been in the streets, and they’ve taken place against men, the elderly, and even women with their children, in broad daylight and in full view of the public.

Advocating for Jews taking advantage of the protections of the Second Amendment is a moot point for many panicked Jews living in areas where obtaining a gun permit is an uphill climb and a conceal carry permit an absolute impossibility. We can recognize that Jews are safer while armed and advocate for less restrictive gun laws while still acknowledging that guns aren’t a magic bullet to solve this crisis, either. In the long term, there is a battle to be fought for expanded access to guns, but in the short term, lectures about firearms are paternalistic and can be deeply frustrating for panicked people unable to avail themselves of the option.

That this is the case in New York and New Jersey isn’t the fault of the Orthodox Jews living there. Instead of being condescended to about needing to move, allies would be far more appreciated and be doing far more good, continuing to advocate for less restrictive gun laws in these jurisdictions instead of expecting a small community under siege to flee the homes of their parents and grandparents.

There are societal issues that are much more complex and deeper at play — the rot is far more complicated than mere politics and Trump. As long as the violence striking the Jewish community is treated as a political cudgel, it will continue unabated.
December 30, 2019 - Hour 1 (Guest Host Jon Gabriel)
Jon Gabriel, Editor-In-Chief at Ricochet, columnist for the Arizona Republic, and co-host of "The Conservatarians" podcast, fills in for Seth.
Guests: Bethany Mandel of (first 20 minutes)

Monsey Hanukkah Party Hero Recalls Face-to-Face Confrontation With Antisemitic Attacker
A synagogue administrator who helped other guests get to safety before confronting the the machete-wielding assailant who stabbed five people at a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York, on Saturday night is being hailed as a hero.

In a TV interview on Monday, Joseph Gluck recalled that the attacker, Grafton E. Thomas, had entered the house of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg just as the menorah-lighting ceremony was ending in the dining room.

“First he stood in the anteroom, hitting people right and left with a big machete knife,” Gluck told CNN. “That’s when I started to run out through a side door with all the people in the dining room. We ran to the back of the house, going out by the back door.”

Gluck said that he immediately turned and ran to the front of the house to offer further assistance. Going back inside, he quickly came face to face with Thomas.

“I grabbed the coffee table that was on the floor, hit him in his face, and that’s when he came back outside after me,” a visibly-exhausted Gluck continued. “He told me, ‘Hey you, I’ll get you!’ I was a few feet in front of him, I was screaming, ‘He’s coming, he’s coming!’

When Thomas returned to his car to drive away from the crime scene, it was Gluck who wrote down his license plate, enabling police in New York City to apprehend the 37-year-old attacker in uptown Manhattan a few hours after the attack.

Gluck also spoke about the sense of shock that descended on the community in the wake of the attack, particularly among its children.

“My kids couldn’t fall asleep, so they came into my bed that night,” Gluck said.
Dov Hikind: Antisemitism in NY has nothing to do with the Right, Trump
"The acts of antisemitism that have happened in New York have nothing to do with the Right, have nothing to do with the president," Former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind told Fox and Friends. His statement came after NY City Mayor Bill de Blasio told Fox News that an "atmosphere of hate" had been developing in the US and that much of it was "emanating from Washington," and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called it an "intolerant time" in the US during a press conference following the stabbing attack in Monsey.

US President Donald Trump praised Hikind's comments, tweeting, "Thank you to highly respected Jewish leader Dov Hikind for his wonderful statements about me this morning on @foxandfriends."

Hikind responded on Twitter, "Thank you Mr. President for all you've done and continue to do to protect the Jewish people all the while making America stronger and more prosperous!'

Hikind not only criticized the mayor and governor's looking to Washington for the recent rise in antisemitism, but also claimed that the two are not doing their jobs in New York. "No one out there in the City of New York thinks de Blasio is really doing a good job dealing with antisemitism," Hikind told Fox and Friends.

Anti-Semitism Isn’t Blacks Vs. Jews. Saying So Hurts Us All.
Hanukkah of 2019 will be remembered as the week that the anti-Semitic violence that has become the new normal for us Orthodox Jews finally made it into mainstream consciousness. According to the Anti-Defamation League, at least 10 attacks took place over Hanukkah alone, reinforcing what we in the community have known for a while now: It’s open season on visibly Orthodox Jews. The violent run that overlay the Festival of Lights culminated in a horrific stabbing attack in the home of a Monsey Rabbi, where many were wounded as they gathered for Menorah lighting. But it comes on the heels of dozens of violent attacks that have plagued Orthodox communities across New York and New Jersey for the past few years.

Of course, there was a certain relief at having the physical attacks against us recognized: Finally, the mainstream media and even liberal and left-wing politicians and activists were speaking up about the violence against us after such a lengthy, inexplicable silence. Some argued that it took so long to speak up about these anti-Semitic attacks because the majority of the perpetrators were not white supremacists but African Americans — members of a community that is itself marginalized and frequently under attack.

That may be true. But if it is, it’s upsetting, not only because it erased our suffering but because of the racist underpinnings of such a view. After all, it was hardly the African American community in its entirety that was committing or even supporting these acts. They were committed by individuals, often young and sometimes mentally ill individuals. And though there was precious little by way of condemnation, it wasn’t like these acts of violence and vandalism were supported by our African American neighbors.

Indeed, in its newfound voice addressing these attacks, the left landed on a narrative that is almost as upsetting as their silence was: casting the attacks as a symptom of underlying tensions between the Orthodox and Black communities.

Jewish college student attacked on New York subway
Yonatan Herzfeld was taking the S train from Grand Central Station to Times Square at approximately 3:30 p.m. when he was chased off the subway car by an African-American male.

The middle-aged man was “shouting about my kippa and drawing a circle, referring to my kippa [skullcap] saying, ‘what’s that you got on your head,’” Herzfeld said.

As the situation escalated and the assailant shouted more slurs, Herzfeld took out his phone to record the anti-Semitic incident.

“I wanted to have evidence for whatever he was about to do,” said Herzfeld, a student at Stony Brook University. “He then chased me off the train so fast I couldn’t even grab my suitcase and I had to circle back into the train to get it. The train closed and I stood as far from him as I could.”

Herzfeld ran away from the suspect, shouting for help on the subway platform in the middle of one of New York City’s busiest stations. However, no one attempted to help him. In videos posted on Facebook, witnesses are seen staring at the student while he runs across the platform.

“No one did anything when I was screaming for help,” he said. “Many were yelling at me to stop filming him, telling me that I brought the incident upon myself.”

Herzfeld believes the man was simply set off by the fact that he was wearing a yarmulke.

“When the train pulled up to Times Square, he was in the car ahead of me, and the only way out was to get past him,” Herzfeld explained. “But he kept coming closer towards me, so I was backing up closer and closer to the wall until there was no more room.

“I screamed ‘help’ several times at the top of my lungs, and that startled him for a few seconds, which gave me enough time to use my suitcase as a shield and push past the mobs of people. They all stood frozen.”

Fighting the Demonization of Israel at the International Criminal Court
On December 20, 2019, Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, announced: "I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip."

Bensouda's opinion is baseless, preposterous, discriminatory, and violates the ICC's own mission and rules. The Court was established in 2002 to prosecute individuals for international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and serious war crimes. The U.S. and Israel did not ratify the Rome Treaty that established the Court out of concern that it would be used to deliver politicized and biased judgments. That concern has been proven valid.

The ICC prosecutes individuals, not states. Therefore, if its pre-trial chamber of three judges rules that the ICC has jurisdiction over the case, Bensouda will be able to subpoena senior Israeli politicians and military officers for interrogation. If they refuse, she could issue warrants for their arrest.
A Scorecard on the First Decade after the Arab Spring
Today, the Middle East is a combination of confused Arab nation-states that have shown their weakness and incapacity to contain the Iranian threat. The instability of Arab regimes allows the formation of sectarian and extremist Islamic militias that threaten the Middle Eastern and world order. The disintegration of the Middle East nation-states has placed the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on hold.

Turkey, with its Muslim Brotherhood leader, President Erdogan, has adopted an unprecedented activist and aggressive policy. Turkey was deeply involved in facilitating the introduction of ISIS fighters from Europe and Asia into Syria and Iraq. Turkey’s intelligence services were also implicated in the supply and training of jihadists in Egypt and Libya. Turkey’s intelligence agents were caught red-handed in Sinai fighting alongside jihadist organizations against the el-Sisi regime of Egypt.

This past decade saw the reappearance of Russia as a superpower in the Middle East. Moscow has sought to fill every vacuum and to replace the United States politically with new arms and economic deals. As a result of its massive military presence in Syria, Moscow became the mediator Israel could not circumvent and a force on the ground with whom Israel had to coordinate deconfliction arrangements to prevent unwanted clashes between the militaries of both countries.

Illustrative of the weakness of the Arab regimes was their inability to deal with existential dangers. Ethiopia is building the biggest hydroelectric power facility in Africa on the Blue Nile, whose inauguration is scheduled for 2022. The Blue Nile provides 85 percent of the water flow to Egypt downstream. Moreover, filling the Ethiopian dam threatens the water level in Egypt’s Aswan Dam, where a severe drop could jeopardize the production of electricity by the dam’s turbines. There is little wonder that Egypt has several times contemplated military action against the Ethiopian dam.

Iraq has always depended on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. In recent years the Iranians have diverted at least 42 rivers and springs of water from Iran, causing a migration of Iraqis from the water-stricken areas. The Turks have built five big dams on the Tigris. As a result of these projects, Iraq has lost more than 50 percent of its water. Before 2003, Iraq generated power from 12 hydroelectric stations. Reduced water flow because of Turkey and Iran, coupled with drought and the war with the Islamic State, have left Iraq’s major cities with only an intermittent supply of electricity.
Peace through sports? Qatar to let Israelis in for 2022 World Cup
Israelis will be able to enter Qatar as normal tourists in two years to attend the world's biggest sporting event, despite the Jewish state not having official diplomatic ties with the Gulf country, a senior Qatari official indicated on Tuesday.

Speaking with ESPN, the head of the Qatari committee organizing the 2022 FIFA World Cup Hassan al-Thawadi, said his country will serve as host for all nationalities during the monthlong event. "Everyone is welcome. We do not mix sport and politics, but we would hope that Palestinians are able to make it too," he said Tuesday.

Over the past several years Gulf states have allowed Israelis to use their airports for layovers and even granted visas for Israeli delegation members for various international conventions or sporting events, but if Israelis are allowed to enter Qatar at will, this will be unprecedented.

The FIFA Ethics Code prohibits host countries from discriminating fans based on their nationality during official sporting events.

The Israel advocacy group StandWithUs has repeatedly called on the international soccer governing body to ensure Israelis would be allowed to visit Qatar during the tournament in 2022.

The organization welcomed the apparent decision to let Israelis enter freely.

"[StandWithUs] cautiously welcomes comments by Hassan al-Thawadi," the NGO said. "StandWithUs has repeatedly called upon FIFA, the international football/soccer association, to ensure that the Qatari government will issue entry visas to Israeli fans wishing to attend the FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar in 2022. To date, Israel is not included in Qatar’s online list of nearly 250 nationalities and territories eligible for an entry visa."
40% more Jewish visitors to Temple Mount compared to last Hanukkah
During the Hanukkah holiday, there was a 40% rise in the number of Jews visiting the Temple Mount, with 400 more visitors compared to last year.

Temple Mount organizations reported the large rise in the number of Jewish visitors, with the Yaraeh Organization reporting that over 1,200 Jews visited the site during Hanukkah. The organizations stated that visitors were coming to be at the site where the miracle of Hanukkah took place during the 2nd century BCE in the time of the Hasmoneans. Eight hundred Jews visited the site last year during the Hanukkah holiday.

Many rabbis and heads of yeshivas visited the site during the holiday, according to the Temple Mount organizations. Rabbi Dov Lior, Otniel Yeshiva head Rabbi Ram HaCohen and Rabbi Eyal Yaakovovitz were among the visitors.

HaCohen expressed admiration for the recent easing of restrictions on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, and thanked police officers for their positive relationship with Jewish worshipers.
Israeli terror victims file massive NIS 20 billion suit against Arab Bank
1,132 Israeli victims of terrorism filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in the Jerusalem District Court for NIS 20 billion against the Arab Bank PLC for its alleged funding of terrorists who carried out attacks against Israel.

The lawsuit followed a separate case filed in the US in 2004, which led to a historic judgment in 2014 and an eventual $1b. in compensation in a settlement with the bank. Victims involved in that lawsuit held dual US-Israeli citizenship.

A second case put forth by 6,000 victims, including the 1,132 Israeli victims who filed Tuesday, was rejected by the US Supreme Court in April 2018, since they were not US citizens.

Arab Bank, based in Amman, Jordan, operates some 600 branches around the world, is one of the largest Arab-affiliated banks in the world and is essentially Jordan’s sovereign bank.

Whereas the US lawsuit caused serious business issues for Arab Bank, which had large assets that the US could access, it is unclear what assets Israeli courts might be able to reach.
‘A strange paradox’: Abbas derides Israel for softening on Hamas, punishing PA
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called Israel’s move to achieve ceasefire understandings with Hamas while withholding funds from Ramallah and advancing settlement activity in the West Bank a “strange paradox.”

Abbas made the comment in a speech to Fatah members on Sunday at the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah.

“Here, we are blocked from funds and the land is being gradually taken. Over there [in Gaza], understandings for a calming [of tensions] and quiet are being done,” he said.

“The strange paradox is that there are deals for a calming [there], while there is a daily decision and decree to squeeze us here,” he added.

For over a year, Egypt and other international parties have brokered various informal ceasefire understandings between Israel and terror groups in Gaza, including Hamas, which controls the coastal enclave.

The understandings have largely entailed Israel lifting restrictions on the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza, in exchange for Hamas maintaining relative quiet in the border region between the coastal enclave and the Jewish state.

The PA has vehemently opposed them, arguing Hamas does not have the legitimacy to make deals with Israel.
Hamas 'promoting' Donald Trump's Deal of the Century, says Fatah
In yet another sign of mounting tensions between the two rival parties, the Palestinian-ruling Fatah faction on Monday accused Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh of “promoting” US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “Deal of the Century.”

The latest allegation came after Hamas announced that its security forces arrested a number of Palestinian Authority intelligence officers on suspicion of helping Israel kill Palestinian Islamic Jihad military commander Baha Abu al-At in the Gaza Strip in November.

The Hamas-Fatah tensions are likely to hamper efforts to hold long overdue Palestinian presidential and parliamentary elections. The two parties on Monday accused each other of working to sabotage the proposed elections.

Hamas has agreed to participate in the vote. The PA, however, says it won’t hold elections unless Israel allows east Jerusalem residents to vote in the city.

A statement issued by Fatah’s “Information and Culture Commission” claimed Haniyeh’s current tour of several countries was aimed at “promoting the Deal of the Century” and that Hamas and Israel were colluding to preserve and strengthen the Palestinian political split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Internal Hamas Document Implicates Group in Elimination of Senior Islamic Jihad Commander
An internal Hamas document reveals its alleged involvement in the IDF’s assassination of senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Atta in the Gaza Strip in November and exposes the ongoing power struggle between the various Gaza factions.

The document, a copy of which was obtained by TPS, was confirmed as authentic by the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) intelligence service and by Islamic Jihad operatives in Judea and Samaria.

The document, titled “Statements on Hamas and Islamic Jihad Relations” was written shortly after the operation at the end of November, and recently compiled by Hamas’s National Relations Department and sent to Hamas’s chief in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

The authors of the document complained to Sinwar about unusual statements by Abu Fakhri Saraj, a member of Hamas’ political bureau in the Gaza Strip, made during a meeting in a Gaza mosque dealing with Hamas’s relations with Islamic Jihad.

Islamic Jihad officials gained knowledge of the statements they say serve as evidence of Hamas’s complicity in Abu al-Atta’s assassination.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Hamas Calls Off Gaza Fence Riots Till March To Replenish Human Shield Stockpile (satire)
The militant Islamist group that governs this coastal territory announced this week it has suspended the weekly violent protests at the border with Israel for most of the winter, citing depleted inventories of women, medical personnel, journalists, and children to put in harm’s way and generate international outrage at the Jewish State when those harmless parties get injured or killed.

A spokesman for Hamas told reporters that inclement weather, political sensitivity, and other factors had combined to make this the most appropriate time to step back from the Friday confrontations with Israeli border units and to concentrate on replenishing the stockpiles of human shields that have drained since the weekly riots began almost a year ago.

“Talks in Egypt regarding a possible long-term truce have certainly made this a relevant move,” stated Fawzi Barhoum. “Inclement weather has taken its periodic toll on the intensity of the protests, as well, and sustaining such an initiative requires logistics that put a strain on the population: canceling school, browbeating people into not working, and interrupting the few infrastructure projects that we’ve cared to undertake, just to give several examples. The combination of these factors, plus the need to reassess the availability of human sacrifices, translates to a hiatus in the protests. We can revisit this as spring approaches.”
MEMRI: Reactions In Iraq To The Recent Violent Conflagration – Hizbullah Brigades: 'Trump Will Pay A Heavy Price In Iraq And In The Other Countries Where His Criminal Forces Are Found'; U.S. Bases Will Be Crushed
In the past 24 hours, tension between the U.S. and the Iran-supported Iraqi Shi'ite militias, headed by the Hizbullah Brigades, has peaked, following yesterday's U.S. aerial attacks on five Hizbullah Brigades positions in Iraq and Syria. The Hashd Al-Sha'bi – the Popular Mobilization Units, or PMU – announced that over 25 of its members had been killed, among them Abu Ali Khazali, commander of a battalion of its 45th Brigade.[1] The U.S. attacks came after the December 27 rocket attack on the K1 military base near Kirkuk in northern Iraq, which houses U.S. and coalition forces and which killed a U.S. civilian contractor and wounded several U.S. service members. This was the worst and most recent of several rocket attacks on bases in Iraq at which U.S. troops are stationed. Some of the attacks were against a complex in Baghdad's Green Zone where the U.S. Embassy is located and where diplomats reside. To date there has been no claim of responsibility for any of these rocket attacks, although at one point Iraqi security forces announced that they had killed "three terrorists" who had fired rockets, but did not announce their identities. The U.S. has said that the rocket attacks are being carried out by the Shi'ite militias, headed by the Hizbullah Brigades, which have in the past year threatened several times to harm U.S. interests which, they say, are within range of their weapons.[2]

The Hizbullah Brigades' response to the U.S. attack came quickly. Elements in the organization warned that "[President] Trump must know that he will pay a heavy price in Iraq and in the other countries where his criminal forces are found" and that "our forces are ready to crush the bases of the American occupation." Other PMU-member militias also threatened retaliation against U.S. forces in Iraq.

It should be noted that it was reported that immediately after the U.S. attack, four Katyusha rockets were fired at Camp Taji, a base north of Baghdad where American forces are also deployed.[3]

Iraq's political echelons condemned the U.S. attack; members of Parliament representing the militias even called for "eye for an eye" retribution. Hizbullah in Lebanon also condemned the attack; an announcement by the organization stated that "there is no escape from the fact that those who made the decision to carry out this criminal act of aggression will soon discover the stupidity, results, and ramifications of this decision."[4]

It is also notable that Iran's response to the U.S. attack has so far been low-key, conveyed by low-level officials, despite the fact that the Hizbullah Brigades are Iran-backed and are subject to its authority.
IAF chief: US strike on Iran-backed Iraqi militia a ‘potential turning point’
Israeli Air Force chief Amikam Norkin on Tuesday described strikes on an Iran-backed Iraqi militia by the United States as a “potential turning point” in the campaign against Tehran.

On Sunday, the US conducted a series of airstrikes on the Iran-supported Kataeb Hezbollah in western Iraq and eastern Syria, killing at least 25 members of the militia, in response to a rocket attack two days prior on an Iraqi military compound that killed an American contractor and injured several American and Iraqi soldiers. US President Donald Trump on Tuesday indicated that the United States held Iran directly responsible for the rocket attack last Friday.

Israeli officials have recently lamented that the Jewish state was alone in the fight against Iran in the Middle East.

“The American strike two days ago in Iraq is a potential turning point,” Norkin said, speaking at a conference hosted by the Calcalist financial newspaper.

Israel’s air force chief did not elaborate on how he believed the US might continue to act against Iran in the region.
Iraqi supporters of Iran-backed militia break into US embassy in Baghdad
Dozens of angry Iraqi Shiite militia supporters broke into the US Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday after smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area, prompting tear gas and sounds of gunfire.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw flames rising from inside the compound and at least three US soldiers on the roof of the main building. There was a fire at the reception area near the parking lot of the compound but it was unclear what had caused it. A man on a loudspeaker urged the mob not to enter the compound, saying: “The message was delivered.”

The embassy attack followed deadly US airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The US military said it was in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that it had blamed on the militia.

Dozens of protesters pushed into the compound after smashing the gate used by cars to enter the embassy. The protesters, many in militia uniform, stopped in a corridor after about 5 meters (16 feet), and were only about 200 meters away from the main building. Half a dozen US soldiers were seen on the roof of the main building, their guns were pointed at the protesters.

The US ambassador and his staff were evacuated, Reuters reported.
Trump accuses Iran of ‘orchestrating’ Baghdad embassy breach and violence
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Iran for an attack hours earlier by militia supporters who broke into the US Embassy compound in Baghdad and damaged property, along with previous Iraqi Shiite militia attacks on US interests.

“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the US Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible,” he tweeted.

“In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!” Trump added.

The US military said its airstrikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that it blamed on the Kataeb Hezbollah militia.

Trump tweeted from his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is in the midst of two-week-plus vacation. He’s been largely out of sight and the tweet marked his first comment on the weekend US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that killed 25 member of the Iran-backed group.

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Ken Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, tweets more that President Trump does. Yet I cannot find any tweets where he denounces antisemitism that cannot be blamed on white nationalists.

Essentially, he denies that any other sort of antisemitism exists.

The one tweet that shows this more than any other was written in 2018:

The New York Times article he refers to is about a rally against antisemitism that was prompted by an attack by a Syrian on someone (who wasn't Jewish!) wearing a kippah.

The article describes all kinds of antisemitism in Germany - from immigrants, from a rap duo as well as from the far-Right. But Roth ignores almost the entire article to take one sentence that claims that 90% of antisemitic attacks are from the far-Right as he sarcastically demeans anyone who says that Muslim antisemitic attacks are worth mentioning.

Yes, a human rights advocate is literally making fun of anyone concerned about Muslim attacks on Jews.

Certainly Roth knows that the vast majority of violent attacks against Jews in Europe have been done by Muslims. He not only fails to acknowledge them, but he smugly denounces anyone who mentions it!

What about this German study that supposedly says that 90% of attacks are from the far-Right? It turns out that the study was worthless. 

The German government uses outdated and ambiguous definitions of the motivation behind antisemitic attacks that by their nature do not include specifically Muslim antisemitism as a category, only the vague "foreign ideology" or "religious ideology" as well as right and left wing. So, for example, when 20 Muslims chanted "Sieg Heil" at an Al Quds demonstration in 2014, the government absurdly classified that as "right wing" antisemitism. Four Palestinians who burned down a synagogue were not charged with an antisemitic crime.

In reality, German Jews have reported that 41% of the antisemitism they have experienced comes from Muslim extremists, and only 20% from the far-Right - not much more than the 16% from the far-Left.

The German government itself has written a 40-page report specifically on Muslim antisemitism.

Ken Roth never mentioned any of this.

If the German government and German Jews (as well as other studies) refute the claim that nearly all antisemitism in Germany comes from the far-Right, then why does a supposedly human rights defender actively deny the evidence and cherry picks only one specific type of antisemitism to ever denounce?

There is nothing wrong with combating the very real danger of right wing antisemitism. There is something very wrong about denying that any other types exist or are worth talking about. If you deny the very existence of a type of antisemitism that conflicts with your political beliefs, then you are a denier and enabler of antisemitism.

What kind of a human rights leader makes fun of the very real fears of people of Islamic extremist antisemitism?

Ken Roth, by sarcastically denying that any non-Right version of antisemitism even exists, shows that he is unqualified to call himself a human rights advocate at all.

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PA president Mahmoud Abbas has emphasized that he will not allow any Israeli or Western moves to limit the salaries he pays terrorists, whom he calls "martyrs and prisoners."

Abbas said that if only penny remains in his budget, he will spend it on terrorists and their families. He said that he considers this issue a red line that he will not allow any change to.

The funny thing is that Abbas has reduced the budget for paying terrorists as a result of Israeli pressure, he just doesn't admit it. Members of Hamas have had their terror salaries cut a few months back and they even went on a hunger strike to protest that cut in November.

It seems that Abbas has no problem cutting Hamas out of his budget, even their "martyrs," something we've known for quite a long time.

Nevertheless, the West's "moderate" darling has made it abundantly clear that he supports "pay for slay." He proudly tells his people that his number one priority is not a state, not independence, not jobs, not the economy, and not even Jerusalem.

Abbas' top priority is rewarding terrorists who have killed and injured Jews.

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In 2014, after Israel refused to release a final batch of prisoners unless the PLO agreed to extend peace negotiations, the PLO responded by violating an agreement with Israel that it wouldn't sign international conventions join international bodies. In a very short time, the PLO signed the following conventions, without reservations:

The Fourth Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the First Additional Protocol
The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (on the involvement of children in armed conflict)
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
The UN Convention against Corruption
The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
The Vienna Convention on Consular Services
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

As we have been reporting, the signing of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has been rejected recently by the Palestinian Authority's own Supreme Fatwa Council and has been denounced by a group of tribal leaders. An analysis of Palestinian Authority laws also shows that CEDAW was never implemented in legal codes; discrimination against women is in fact the law.

Given what we know about the Palestinian Authority, it clearly has not taken seriously a number of other conventions it signed in 2014, including the ones against racial discrimination (which include the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association); corruption, torture, civil and political rights, and apartheid. Its policies still include antisemitic laws against selling land to Jews. It is considered one of the most corrupt regimes in the Arab world. It still tortures prisoners with impunity.

The editor-in-chief of the Ma'an media network, Dr. Nasser Al-Lahham, made an astonishing admission about the Palestinian Authority in a television show over the weekend on the topic of CEDAW:

Regarding the CEDAW agreement, which recently sparked controversy, Al-Lahham sees it as a fabricated crisis for partisan reasons, and that its signature is important so that Palestine is part of the international system, calling on those concerned about the CEDAW agreement to be reassured that there is no civil marriage in Palestine...
He continued: "The government cannot implement CEDAW in its entirety in light of the existence of a societal system, and that the signing of the agreement is political and was not intended to undermine the Sharia, and had it not been for the signing of CEDAW and many other agreements, the International Criminal Court would not have accepted us."
He is admitting that the PLO never had any intention of honoring its agreements with the international community, and the only reason these conventions were signed were to take on the trappings of a state so they could join the ICC and prosecute Israel!

It is notable that Israel signed CEDAW with reservations on two of its paragraphs because Israel relies on Muslim and Jewish law for personal issues like marriage that cannot be reconciled with CEDAW. The PLO didn't sign it with any reservations about Sharia law, simply because it never intended to honor the convention to begin with - and by extension, it never intended to honor any of the agreements it signed.

This proves yet again that the PLO and PA have no intention for "Palestine" to be a serious member of the international community. The only reason for its existence is to attack Israel, not to build a functioning state that protects the rights of its citizens.

The ICC prosecutor should be made aware that the "State of Palestine" is not a state and its signed agreements that underlie its claims to statehood are meaningless.

Ironically, Muslims say that Jews are inherently violators of treaties, based on Quranic stories about Mohammed. Here we see that Palestinians knowingly violate international treaties and never intended to abide by them from the outset.

The international community should revisit every single treaty signed by the PA and PLO and demand full compliance - or it should expel the Palestinians from treaties that they have joined without intent of implementing.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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