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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

From Ian:

Col. Richard Kemp: The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Why No Peace?
The jihadist aim is to isolate Israel politically; to influence political leaders, public opinion, international institutions and international organizations so that on the day their planned offensive begins, no one will be there to support Israel and the Jews. The Palestinian Authority, the PLO and the Arab/Muslim states will be unhampered to do what Hitler was unable to do in historic Palestine -- make it Judenrein (free of Jews).

Terror is "to achieve Palestinian political goals, to influence Israeli politics, to favor a given Israeli candidate for the post of Prime Minister, to compel the Israeli government to conceal more land, to prevent a final peace settlement by maintaining a state of conflict that could eventually lead to total war, to erode Israeli and American resolve and to demonstrate to Arab population that peace is not an option and that the existence of the Jews on their land cannot be recognized". Some of the attacks occurred just when foreign representatives landed in Israel, "to prevent the revival of the peace talks." Mr. Jason Greenblatt should take that into consideration.

The same jihadist war is also underway against the Americans and all "infidels": Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Hindus, Buddhists, and in a general manner all those who do not believe in the "religion of truth", namely Islam; and against those Muslims who compromise with such so-called infidels.
Eugene Kontorovich: Unsettled: A Global Study of Settlements in Occupied Territories
This Article provides the first comprehensive, global examination of state and international practice bearing on Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which provides that an “Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” This provision is a staple of legal and diplomatic international discussions of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and serves as the basis for criticism of Israeli settlement policy.

Despite its frequent invocation in the Israeli context, scholars have never examined – or even considered – how the norm has been interpreted and applied in any other occupation context in the post-WWII era. For example, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) influential Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law lists 107 instances of national practice and UN practice applying or interpreting the prohibition, and all but two relate to Israel. Many questions exist about the scope and application of Art. 49(6)’s prohibition on “transfer,” but they have generally been answered on purely theoretically.

To better understand what Art. 49(6) does in fact demand, this Article closely examines its application in all other cases in which it could apply. Many of the settlement enterprises studied in this Article have never been discussed or documented. All of these situations involved the movement of settlers into the occupied territory, in numbers ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands. Indeed, perhaps every prolonged occupation of contiguous habitable territory has resulted in significant settlement activity.
Melanie Phillips: Trump derangement, UK culture wars




Moshe Holtzberg Returns To India
It’s been nearly ten years since two terrorists stormed the Nariman House in Mumbai in order to kill the Jews who lived there. It was the Chabad House for the city, started by a young couple, Gavriel and Rivka “Rivky” Holtzberg. Two men stormed the building on November 26; by November 28, the terrorists, the, Holtzberg’s, and four Jews who had been passing through were dead. Rivky was five months pregnant at the time.

Their only son, Moshe Holtzberg, was two years old at the time. He was rescued from the horrors by his nanny, Sandra Samuel, who was granted honorary Israeli citizenship in 2010.

This week, Moshe returns to the Nariman House for the first time, along with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is visiting India to meet once again with Narendra Modi. Moshe will be with Netanyahu to commemorate a plaque that will serve as the first step in a Living Memorial to his parents at the Nariman House, situated in the Colaba district of Mumbai.

It’s difficult to conceive of the violence that took place that November, and it’s even more difficult to imagine how it must feel to a 12 year-old whose life is defined by something he (presumably) can’t remember. But the concept of the Living Memorial speaks to how we can constructively think and talk about those nights, not by focusing on the circumstances of death, but on the prospect of continuing life.
Netanyahu says $500m Israel-India arms deal back on the table
A massive missile deal between India and Israeli defense contractor Rafael is back on the table, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, as he wrapped up his third day of a state visit to the subcontinent that sought to foster closer economic ties.

Netanyahu’s visit came shortly after Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had confirmed that Delhi backed away from a $500 million agreement to purchase Spike anti-tank missiles, casting a cloud over the trip.

“They are reauthorizing the Spike deal,” Netanyahu said as his plane took off for Mumbai from Ahmadebad, where he spent the day with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

Netanyahu said the details were being worked out, raising questions as to whether the final agreement would be as large as the canceled weapons deal.

But the prime minister insisted that the outlook on the deal was “very positive.”

Netanyahu announced the news as the centerpiece of a series of achievements during his five-day trip to the Asian giant.
Israel, Argentina, work to cement economic ties
Argentina will export more kosher frozen beef to Israel, following an official visit of Argentinian Vice President Gabriela Michetti.

Michetti on Sunday completed an official visit to Israel with an economic team of vice ministers to turn the good relations between both countries “to concrete economic improvements,” she told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting last week.

The first improvement was announced during the visit: Israel extended the expiration of frozen Argentine beef from 45 to 85 days, opening a new market of Argentinean kosher meat at Israeli supermarkets. Meat accounts for 63 percent of Argentinean export to Israel.

“We have excellent ties, also with the Jewish community of Argentina. We are also trying to leverage the economic issues. We want to deepen these ties so that bilateral trade and investments will grow. We mainly need to realize this view, that everything is done via actions, trade, investments and the market,” Michetti told Netanyahu during their meeting.
IDF Blog: Top 5 Technological Innovations of 2017
Israel is often referred to as the “Start-Up Nation” and is world renowned for its technological advancements. In this spirit, the IDF has made strides in the technological field. In 2017, the IDF integrated new technology, including 62 Merkava tanks, 30 “Namer” armored personnel carriers, 150 operational trucks, 35 night vision goggles, 180 multicopter drones, 40 loaders, 400 parachutes, 21,000 aiming devices, 120 Chevy Savannas, and 257 Jeeps. All of this new equipment helped the IDF take steps towards the future.

1. Yahalom Glasses
Fighting on screens and using virtual reality goggles used to be just for gamers, but that’s no longer the case. Soldiers in the Yahalom Unit of the Engineering Corps are using these same goggles for an entirely different purpose; overcoming the challenges of underground warfare.

VR (virtual reality) goggles allow these soldiers to learn about several different types of ammunition in a visual and accessible way. There are three kinds of VR goggles that are currently used. The first allows the user to coordinate their movements in the real world with those in the virtual space. The second has built- in motion detectors. The third type is controlled using a mobile remote control, meaning one can walk around and choose objects on which to focus.

2. UAV with Night Vision
Until recently, the IDF only used UAVs for daylight photography. Thanks to new thermal cameras with night vision capabilities, the “Matrix” UAVs can focus on small objects, even something as small as an assailant raising a knife to attack someone.

The Matrix as a whole is more advanced than the UAVs that the IDF used previously. It can stay in the air longer, focus on small objects and fly just over a mile high.
IAF first: Female pilot appointed flight squadron commander
Commander of the Israeli Air Force Maj. Gen. Amikam Nurkin today appointed Major T. to be commander of an aviation squadron.

T., a transport pilot by training, will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and will be the first woman pilot in this position and the first woman to achieve this rank.

In addition, the Commander of the Air Force appointed Major M., an airborne flight controller by training, to command the control unit in operational headquarters. Major M.was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, becoming the first female air controller to be promoted to that rank.


Baroness alludes to Jews of Iraq in minorities debate
It is not often that the UK House of Lords is made aware of the tragic plight of the Jews of Iraq, but in a debate on religious minorities in Iraq on 11 January, Baroness Ruth Deech managed to devote a few minutes to their history while appealing for the British government to take a proactive approach to the protection of minorities.

"Sometimes it is difficult for us here in this tolerant country to understand the role played by religion elsewhere. In the area under debate today, it is not just a question of choice of belief; religion equates with identity. Indeed, one reason why so many countries in the Middle East are in turmoil is that the nation states there, sometimes created by western colonialists 100 years ago, do not coincide with religious boundaries.

Those new states have bundled together people who identify with their communities across boundaries rather than in their own neighbourhoods. To be a religious minority is seen by the ruling class as if one was a foreigner at best and a traitor to the community at worst. It has become especially dangerous to be a minority since the rise of Daesh. Nor is this attitude confined to Muslims; we have seen the atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Burma by the majority. But in determining cash and protection allocation, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees does not include religious persecution as one of the vulnerability categories. It is time for religious persecution to be up front in UN relief work. Will the Government urge the UN bodies to confront this?
Muslim activist rejects Revlon award because of Gal Gadot
Global cosmetics chain Revlon recently offered Amani al-Khatahtbeh a Changemaker Award for her advocacy on behalf of Muslim women. But the writer and activist said on Tuesday she will be declining the recognition, because the makeup company just named Gal Gadot as its global brand ambassador.

“I cannot accept this award from Revlon with Gal Gadot as the ambassador,” she wrote on social media. “Her vocal support of the Israeli Defense Forces’ actions in Palestine goes against MuslimGirl.com’s morals and values.”

Revlon did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Khatahtbeh, who grew up in New Jersey as the daughter of Jordanian and Palestinian parents, is best known for starting the online magazine MuslimGirl.com in 2009. She also wrote a book, Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age, which was published in 2016.

“I can’t, in good conscience, accept this award from the brand and celebrate Gal’s ambassadorship after the IDF imprisoned a 16-year-old girl named Ahed Tamimi last month, an activist who is still currently incarcerated,” she wrote on Tuesday. “I think we are in a moment where we must persist that women’s empowerment includes ALL women.”
Jim Jefferies: The comedian with no boundaries takes on Tel Aviv
Jim Jefferies is an asshole. A hilariously entertaining asshole.

For close to two hours the Australian comedian who now lives in the US, paced a stage set up in the center of the Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. He was vulgar, he was disgusting, he was offensive and he was uproariously funny. He was Jim Jefferies, basically.

As Jefferies pointed out on Hayom BaLayla with Guri Alfi Monday night, he didn't sell as many tickets as the last time he performed in Israel, in 2016. It's true that the hall was far from full, but Jefferies' target demographic of 20-something slightly unwashed men was out in full force. It's likely that the lower attendance had something to do with the influx of comedians in Israel this month; last week Chris Rock showed up and two weeks ago was Jerry Seinfeld - and there are few Israelis who can afford all three. In a way, Jefferies is the anti-Seinfeld, a man whose jokes are squeaky clean, well-rehearsed and often predictable. And Jefferies was a hell of a lot more entertaining.

With his signature lightning-fast wit, perfect timing and endless vulgarities the comedian was in top form Tuesday night. Perhaps he was happy to hear earlier in the day that his Comedy Central show was renewed for a second season. Or perhaps he's just doing what he loves. Either way, no topics were off limits, and no profanity left behind: His favorite and most frequent word of the night can't be printed here, but safe to say it rhymes with... runt. He was even selling mugs emblazoned with the word as people filed out of the show.

Jefferies had no problem jumping into jokes about his host country right from the start. "Stop fighting over this land, it's not that good," he said. "I mean, it's nice it's just not worth the argument, you know? I'll give you Tasmania or something... Florida maybe."
Ban on screening 'The Post' overturned in Lebanon
Lebanon’s interior ministry has overturned a ban on screening the newspaper drama The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Lebanon’s censorship board had made the decision to ban the film based on a “boycott Israel” list, which Spielberg appears on since he shot some scenes from the 1993 film Schindler’s List in Jerusalem, the Hollywood Reporter reported Sunday, citing a source involved with the movie’s international roll out.

But on Wednesday, the interior ministry decided not to sign off on the decision. “Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouk is going to allow the film to be shown,” a senior ministry official told the French news agency AFP.

The company distributing the film in Lebanon confirmed to AFP that the film about the Washington Post’s pursuit and publishing of the Pentagon Papers would be released in movie theaters in the capital of Beirut and elsewhere on Thursday.

In the last three years, at least five films directed or produced by Spielberg were screened in Lebanon, including The BFG, and Bridge of Spies.

AFP reported that a second film was censored by Lebanon this week. The film, Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe, is the story of about Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg who got lost in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon in 1981. The film already had been playing in theaters for two weeks when it was censored and removed. In addition to the main character in the film being Israeli, one of the film’s producers also is Israeli.
So you wanna boycott Israel?


The Dutch and Their Jews: The Never-Ending Shame of the Netherlands
Last month, a video showing a man waving a Palestinian flag and smashing the windows of a kosher Amsterdam restaurant went viral. Thereafter, two policemen — who stood by during the vandalism — overpowered the attacker.

Two days later, the attacker was freed by the police with a warning that if he committed additional crimes, he would be rearrested. Later, it became known that the perpetrator is a Palestinian-Syrian asylum-seeker who’s lived in the Netherlands for several years. He reportedly promised not to repeat his hate/terror crime in Amsterdam. The prosecution also withheld several salient facts from the public — for example, that the man was an ex-combatant in Syria’s civil war.

When the restaurant owner’s lawyer released this additional information, the prosecutor’s office said that it would seek disciplinary action against the lawyer. While the Palestinian Syrian was being investigated, the kosher restaurant was vandalized for a second time. Also, on New Year’s day, a rock destroyed the windows of the Chabad House in Central Amsterdam.

When the perpetrator of that attack came before the court, it was decided to request a psychological examination, which will take several months. In the meantime, the attacker will remain free. Michael Jacobs, a Jew, wasn’t so lucky. He was arrested for holding an Israeli flag on Amsterdam’s main square last summer because he stood too close to a pro-Palestinian demonstrator. Jacobs remained in jail for a full week. Yet there is nothing in the Dutch legal system which forbids his action.
Education Department Nominee Ken Marcus Is Being Treated Incredibly Unfairly
When I was a child — having been born in the 1950s, under the shadow of the Holocaust — I naively thought that antisemitism was mostly a thing of the past, and that it vanished in the gas chambers and ovens of Auschwitz. Yet within the past few decades, I have witnessed antisemitism blossom into a socially acceptable hatred that has managed to make its way into the corridors of polite society in a fashion that is as overt, obvious and unconcealed as it is alarming.

Antisemitism has migrated not only into college classrooms and campuses, but into the most respectable chambers of the US Senate, in the very committees whose mandate is to authorize and appropriate taxpayer-funded programs to eliminate racism and antisemitism as well as other hatreds –and to appoint professionals within those agencies.

Recently, much of this antisemitic invective has been directed against a colleague of mine, Ken Marcus, who has been nominated to serve as assistant secretary of education for civil rights within the Department of Education. For reasons that I will explain, Marcus has been the victim of an ugly and disgusting smear campaign.

Marcus served in a similar capacity from 2004-2008 under President George W. Bush, as assistant secretary of education for civil rights, and later as staff director of the US Commission on Civil Rights. He monitored and investigated complaints against minority groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ individuals and people with disabilities. A firm believer in free speech rights under the First Amendment, Marcus has always expressed the view that hate speech is protected speech under the Constitution, and that the best antidote for hate speech is more speech.
Dozens of Advocacy Groups Endorse Jewish Nominee for Top Education Department Civil Rights Post
Dozens of advocacy groups on Monday called for the confirmation of Kenneth Marcus — a leading figure in efforts to combat campus antisemitism — to a prominent civil rights post at the US Department of Education.

The founding president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law — which aims to fight anti-Jewish and anti-Israel discrimination in universities and colleges — Marcus was nominated to serve as assistant secretary at the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. He previously held the same position under President George W. Bush from 2003-2004.

Marcus’ record was strongly endorsed by 60 “Jewish, Christian, education and civil rights” organizations in a letter sent to members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which is expected to consider his nomination this week.

The groups — representing “millions of your constituents” — praised Marcus’ protection of both civil liberties and free speech rights during a career that has included posts at the US Commission on Civil Rights and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

During his service, “Ken championed the civil rights of all Americans in a wide range of areas, including strengthening Title IX enforcement, fighting against racial segregation, increasing fair housing rights for the disabled, and ensuring that Jewish, Sikh and Muslim students were protected under Title VI,” the letter said.
BBC News continues to blame Palestinian violence on US
The report then went on to promote equivalence between the murder of an Israeli civilian in a terror attack and the deaths of Palestinians engaged in violent rioting and terrorism.

“At least 16 Palestinians and one Israeli have now been killed since 6 December, when President Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and starting preparations to move the US embassy.

Fourteen of the Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli troops, while two have died as a result of Israeli air strikes in response to rocket fire from Gaza.”


The BBC refrained (once again) from informing readers that the two people who “died as a result of Israeli air strikes” were members of Hamas.

“In one of the IAF strikes late Friday on a Hamas base in Nusseirat, located in the central Gaza Strip, two Palestinians were killed. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza named the men as Mahmud al-Atal, 28 and Mohammed al-Safdi, 30. […]

The terror group later confirmed the dead men were members of its military wing.”


As we see the BBC continues to frame the recent rise in Palestinian violence as having been caused exclusively by the US Administration’s announcement recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – rather than by the choices made by those throwing rocks and firebombs, launching missiles, stabbing a security guard at a bus station or shooting a volunteer first-aider on his way home.

At the same time, the corporation continues to refrain from producing any serious reporting on the long-standing efforts made by terror organisations to increase attacks (particularly in Judea & Samaria) and the incitement appearing in official PA media and on the social media of Palestinian factions.
Hamas ‘Hardtalk’ interview rebuts BBC messaging, perpetuates inaccuracies – part one
Sackur’s presentation of course would not have surprised anyone familiar with the BBC’s long history of promoting the ‘one man’s terrorist’ narrative that fails to distinguish between means and ends and results in inconsistent BBC reporting on terrorism in differing locations.

Another notable point was Sackur’s adoption of Hamas’ own terminology and his breach [from 20:09] of the BBC Academy’s “journalists’ guide to facts and terminology” which, as noted here recently on two occasions, instructs the corporation’s staff not to use the term Palestine except in very specific circumstances.

Sackur: “Is the resistance in Palestine now in the hands of ordinary people – young people particularly – not with veteran leaders like you?”

Viewers and listeners may have noticed that during this interview some of the messaging they have previously received from the BBC was contradicted.

For example, the BBC’s long-standing and repeated claim that the Gaza Strip is occupied even though Israel withdrew from the territory over twelve years ago was contradicted by Zahar [from 04:00].

Zahar: “But lastly, lastly by our method of self-resistance, self-defence against the occupation in Gaza we succeed[ed] to eliminate the occupation in Gaza.”
Hamas ‘Hardtalk’ interview rebuts BBC messaging, perpetuates inaccuracies – part two
As we saw in part one of this post, the January 8th edition of ‘Hardtalk‘ (aired on the BBC World News channel, the BBC News channel and on BBC World Service radio) was devoted to an interview with Hamas’ Mahmoud Zahar in which some of the messaging audiences have previously received from the BBC was contradicted.

Throughout the interview Zahar also promoted numerous falsehoods, smears and inaccuracies which went unchallenged by presenter Stephen Sackur – thereby leaving audiences with misleading impressions and false information.

1) Despite Hamas’ known misappropriation of thousands of tons of building materials intended for the repair and reconstruction of civilian homes damaged during the 2014 conflict and its spending of millions of dollars on tunnel construction and missile production rather than on public services for the impoverished residents of the Gaza Strip, Sackur failed to challenge Zahar’s claim that the poor quality of life in Gaza has nothing to do with Hamas “management”.

Zahar: “Yes, our life is very miserable – not because of bad management on our side but because of the crime committed by the Israeli occupation and by the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority with them and lastly by the impact of the international community, represented mainly by Mr Trump, against our human rights in the most important third shrine in Islam, al Aqsa Mosque.”
Student leaders to be taken to Auschwitz in bid to combat campus anti-Semitism
Student union leaders are set to be taken to visit Auschwitz to tackle anti-Semitism on campus, the Government has said.

Students from all 108 universities and university colleges in England are set to be taken to visit the former concentration camp to learn about the Holocaust as part of a Government-funded project.

The £144,000 programme has been announced amid concerns about high levels of anti-Semitism among university students.

Last month then-universities minister Jo Johnson said there were "unacceptable" levels of anti-Semitism among students.

Two sabbatical officers from each university will visit the former Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland in trips run by the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Student leaders will then take part in seminars which will teach them how to identify and tackle antisemitism at their own university.

The Government said the original 200 student leaders were expected to pass their experience on to another 7,500 students across the country as part of a programme of events.
StandWithUs UK's Tamir Oren on Antisemitism on UK Campuses


Chelsea FC Launch Campaign to Tackle Anti-Semitism in Football
Chelsea Football Club is launching a campaign to fight anti-Semitism in football, targeting fans as well as players and the club’s support staff.

The long-term initiative begins on 31 January at Chelsea’s Premier League game against Bournemouth and forms part of what the club describes as “on-going inclusion work”, through the Chelsea Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign. The initiative is supported by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea Football Club wants to raise awareness of and educate players, staff, fans and the wider community about anti-Semitism in football.

The move follows anti-Semitic chants by Chelsea FC fans during their win at Leicester last September that were condemned by the club.

As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, on that occasion blues supporters repeated a song about Alvaro Morata previously used to abuse London rivals Tottenham, who have a large Jewish fanbase.

“Alvaro, Alvaro. He comes from Madrid. He hates the f****** Yids,” sang Chelsea supporters at the King Power Stadium.

“The club and the players appreciate the fans’ passionate support away from home, of course,” Chelsea head of communications Steve Atkins said in that game’s aftermath. “But the language in that song is not acceptable at all.”
‘You’re Not Going to Jew Us Down?’: US Reality TV Host’s Antisemitic Outburst Sparks Anger
The presenter of a top-rated US reality TV show is in the spotlight for using an antisemitic epithet during a scene in which a guest was challenged for not haggling over a price of $36,000.

In the most recent episode of the DIY Network‘s “Texas Flip N Move” — a reality show in which houses and other lodgings are refurbished and then “flipped” at a profit — that aired last Friday night, Jan. 12, presenter Toni Snow asked the guest whether he was going to “Jew us down” after she and her sister Donna informed him that $36,000 was their “price point” for a refurbished school bus.

After the delighted guest replied, “That’s a done deal right there, all day,” Toni Snow interjected: “You’re not even going to bicker a little bit? Jew us down?”

“Texas Flip N Move” is one of the DIY Network‘s leading shows, currently in its seventh season.

A spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League roundly condemned the show, pointing out the connection between Toni Snow’s remark and the ancient antisemitic depiction of Jews as driven by financial greed.
Israeli tech firms raise $5.24 billion in 2017, up 9% from 2016
Israeli high-tech companies raised $5.24 billion in 620 deals in 2017, an increase of 9 percent compared to the $4.83 billion attracted in 2016, in 673 deals, Israel’s IVC Research Center and attorneys Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co. (ZAG S&W) said in a report Wednesday.

The total capital raised by Israeli high-tech companies has been growing since 2013, the data showed. The jump in 2017 was fed by four large deals of over $100 million each, capturing 12 percent of the total amount raised. These were funds raised by cybersecurity startup Cybereason, ridesharing firm Via, AI- insurance firm Lemonade and Skybox Security.

The average financing round in 2017 rose to an average $8.5 million in 2017, from an average $3.6 million in 2013, the IVC-ZAG 2017 Israeli High-Tech Capital Raising Survey said.

Israeli VC funds invested $814 million in 2017, the highest sum since 2013, and an increase of 25 percent from $651 million in 2016, making up some 16 percent of all of the money raised by Israeli high-tech companies, with the other 84% of funds raised by foreign VCs and other investors, both Israeli and foreign.
#WeRemember Holocaust Remembrance Campaign Spreads to 45 Countries
Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has launched a global campaign encouraging millions of people to use social media to raise awareness about the Holocaust.

The campaign calls on people in every country to hold up a sign with the words “We Remember,” and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #WeRemember.

The campaign took off last Monday and has already spread to 45 countries.

“Antisemitism is more prevalent today than it has been at any time since World War II, and bigotry and discrimination still rear their ugly heads all around the world,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer. “This is why we all must declare, together, that we remember.”

Holocaust survivors, lawmakers, government ministers and religious leaders from around the world, as well as soccer and basketball stars, have joined the project and have been photographed holding up “We Remember” signs.

WJC President Ronald Lauder said it was the responsibility of the young generation to teach their friends about the horrors of hatred and spread the message that “never again” means “never again.”
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel to honor foreign diplomats who rescued Jews
In the summer of 1944, Albert Franko was being deported from the Nazi-occupied Greek city of Piraeus to Auschwitz, when suddenly he was taken off the train — because his wife was a Turkish citizen.

His life was saved due to the personal intervention of Selahattin Ülkümen, Turkey’s consul-general in Rhodes.

At his own initiative and with tenacious perseverance, Ülkümen saved some 50 Jews. Most of them weren’t Turkish citizens, but he told the Gestapo that Turkish law considers spouses of Turks to be citizens themselves, demanding their release. Survivors later realized that no such law existed, and that Ülkümen had invented it to save their lives.

Some 75 years later, Israel’s Foreign Ministry is honoring Ülkümen and 35 other foreign diplomats who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust with a monument at its Jerusalem headquarters and an exhibition to be displayed in more than 60 Israeli missions around the globe.

The exhibition, called “Beyond Duty,” pays tribute to the diplomats, hailing from 21 countries, who were recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.

“In a time of supreme moral testing and in the darkest hours of the Jewish people, these people acted by the dictate of their conscience in order to save Jews, without regard for personal and professional consequence,” said Ran Yaakoby, who spearheaded the project.
Part of the exhibition’s panel on Selahattin Ülkümen (courtesy Foreign Ministry)

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel is eternally grateful and will forever salute their courage and moral example,” said Yaakoby, the director of the ministry’s Department for Combating Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Remembrance.



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Let's look at the reasons being given to continue funding UNRWA:

“Given the long, trusted, and historic relationship between the United States and UNRWA, this reduced contribution threatens one of the most successful and innovative human development endeavors in the Middle-East,” UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl said in a statement.
“The reduced contribution also impacts regional security at a time when the Middle East faces multiple risks and threats, notably that of further radicalization.” he said.
 UNRWA schools use the same curriculum as their host countries. So how, exactly, does UNRWA reduce radicalization if it is teaching the same thing as everyone else?

“At stake is the access of 525,000 boys and girls in 700 UNRWA schools, and their future,” he said. “At stake is the dignity and human security of millions of Palestine refugees, in need of emergency food assistance and other support in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At stake is the access of refugees to primary health care, including pre-natal care and other life-saving services. At stake are the rights and dignity of an entire community.”

Emergency food assistance and pre natal care is a small part of UNRWA's budget. The bulk is education. As far as I can tell, the only education system in the world run by the UN is that of UNRWA.

And no one is explaining why that needs to be the case.

As far as dignity is concerned - since when is raising three generations of stateless people dependent on aid "dignified"?

“The US Administration seems to be following Netanyahu’s instructions to gradually dismantle the one agency that was established by the international community to protect the rights of the Palestinian refugees and provide them with essential services,” said Hanan Ashrawi on behalf of the PLO Executive Committee.
“This administration is thereby targeting the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people and depriving the refugees of the right to education, health, shelter and a dignified life,” she said.
The PLO official too said that shaving $65 million off the US donation would destabilize the region.
“It is also creating conditions that will generate further instability throughout the region and will demonstrate that it has no compunction in targeting the innocent,” she said, adding that, “Once again the US Administration proves its complicity with the Israeli occupation.”
Ashrawi is falling back on the always popular Arab trope that any change will bring "instability," a code word for terrorism.

As if the region has been the model of stability in the 69 years since UNRWA was established!

No one is saying that people who would starve without UNRWA rations should be cut off. But the idea that the UN should be responsible for the education of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children (about 1/3 of all school kids in the territories) is obviously wrong: UNESCO estimates that 69 million teachers need to be hired worldwide to achieve educational goals by 2030, does anyone say they must be UN employees?

UNRWA services in the territories should be eliminated. Those "refugees" live in their own land, and should be taken care of the PA. And everyone knows it.

UNRWA services in Jordan to Jordanian citizens who are of Palestinian descent must be eliminated as well. Jordan is their country, why create two classes of Jordanian citizens? Why does no one care about this discrimination?

Once those two things are done, then UNRWA can make a case about how it is needed in Syria and Lebanon, where Palestinians are discriminated against. But don't whine about how the UN must provide free schools to Palestinians but no one else in the world.



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Heliocentrism Is Wrong: The World Revolves Around Palestinians

By Mahmoud Abbas, President, Palestinian Authority; President, State of Palestine; Chairman, Fatah; Chairman, Palestine Liberation Organization
AbbasAs a devout Muslim I have always maintained that any model of the universe with the sun at the center of our planetary system must be flawed; our scholars and spiritual leaders have always placed Earth in the center, and a flat Earth at that. But what most of them have neglected to note is the specific center of gravity, as it were, upon that Earth is the Palestinian people.

All conflicts, all injustices, indeed all world events, have their root in our struggle; no campaign may exist unless it acknowledges its links to ours, and its secondary status in relation to ours, for the Palestinian struggle must always remain first in attention, first in sympathy, first in allegiance, but most important of all, first in funding.

Nefarious actors will attempt to sway the public and the decision-makers into believing Palestine has fallen out of favor, that other conflicts demand more urgent focus at the moment, but we must pay them no heed. All the crises in Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, France, Myanmar, Sudan, Qatar, Niger, Venezuela, Nigeria, China, Turkey, Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, Mali, Afghanistan, Lebanon, the United States, Russia, Jordan, Spain, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Honduras, North Korea, Mexico, Greece, and elsewhere represent either offshoots of our struggle or attempts by our enemies to distract from it. Do not be diverted! Palestine is the central human rights, justice, liberation, geopolitical, and astrophysical issue of all time.

Every movement of every body in the vicinity of Earth, let alone on or near its surface; every wobble of every distant star or exoplanet as it floats about the heavens, owes its path to us, to Palestine. The media, academics, and other sources of "information" who prate on about galactic phenomena as if they bear no connection to Palestine are in the pay of Zionists. Do them violence until they acknowledge the truth, and if they refuse, do them violence until death.

Ignorant or malicious challengers will make every effort to sway you from the axiom that is Palestiniocentricity. Fight them as one fights all evil, with every means at your disposal, so that we may maintain Palestine at the top of the world's set of prior- hey! I'm talking to you! HEY! YOU CAN'T JUST WALK AWAY FROM ME! I REPRESENT THE MOST IMPORTANT CAUSE IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND! INFIDEL! TRAITOR! CRIMINAL! WON'T ANYONE LISTEN?



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From Ian:

Eli Lake: Palestinian President Shows the World Who He Really Is
There are two ways to understand the two-and-a-half hour rant Sunday from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in which he called for discarding past agreements with Israel.

The first way is straightforward: He means it. As Maya Angelou famously said, "when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." In the case of Abbas, he has been showing us who he is for a while now.

He defends Palestinian Authority payments for terrorists. He called murderers "heroic brothers" when they were released by Israel in 2013 as a condition for restarting peace talks. In December he urged the Organization of the Islamic Conference to reconsider its recognition of Israel.

So when Abbas gives a Castro-esque speech laced with fake history about Israel being a colonial project of Europeans, it fits a pattern.

The second way of understanding his rant requires some creative accounting. Abbas doesn't really mean it. Abbas has been a patient peace partner now for 15 years, but along comes President Donald Trump, who recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and asks Saudi Arabia to pressure Abbas to take a deal. What do you expect?

This is the interpretation of J-Street, the Soros-family-funded advocacy group that touts itself as pro-peace and pro-Israel. A J-Street statement on the Abbas speech began with this throat clearing: "Sunday’s speech by President Abbas no doubt reflected his own and the Palestinian people’s deep despair at the ever-deepening occupation and the lack of diplomatic progress toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

J-Street was careful to stipulate that this despair was "no excuse for calling into question either the Jewish connection to, or Palestinian recognition of, the state of Israel." But let's not lose the plot. This group asserts that Abbas would not have delivered his rant "if it were not for President Trump’s inept and disastrous missteps regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."


PodCast: Did Abbas kill the Israeli left?
Gil Hoffman speaks to Zionist Union Knesset member Nachman Shai on the impact of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s anti-Semitic speech and rejection of peace talks on the Israeli Left.

Shai, like Naftali Bennett Monday says the Abbas era is over, but unlike Bennett, Shai says the 2-state-solution is still alive. He also laments Israel’s inability to get out its message when its Foreign Ministry’s funding has been cut again. (h/t Elder Of Lobby)


Israeli official: UNRWA is one of the greatest frauds in history
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning said he expects the US Embassy to move to Jerusalem within the coming year.

"Three things are happening in the US which have never happened before," Netanyahu explained. "My estimation is that the US Embassy move will happen faster than we think. Within the span of a year - that's my educated guess."

"There is a dramatic change regarding Iran, and the President has a time limit, at the end of which the Iran deal will either be fixed or canceled."

Regarding UNRWA, the UN organization created for the purpose of helping "Palestinian refugees," Netanyahu said, "This is the first time they are being challenged. This organization perpetuates the Palestinians' refugee status. This is the first time someone is standing up and challenging that."

A Netanyahu official said he "believes that the the Americans are discussing Israel's proposal to transfer care of the refugees in Judea and Samaria from UNRWA to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)." The many millions of refugees who are not Palestinian Arabs are represented by one organization UNHCR. Only the Palestinian Arabs have an organization of their own.

The US on Wednesday morning cut UNRWA funding from $125 million to $60 million.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Michael Oren (Kulanu) said, "I congratulate US President Donald Trump on his decision to drastically cut funding to UNRWA. This is a false and corrupt organization, which fabricates millions of refugees in order to receive world funding. UNRWA perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by teaching Palestinian youth to hate the State of Israel and to work to erase it. The President's decision is a crucial and vital step to putting an end to one of the greatest frauds in history. UNRWA's fraud has caused great damage to Israel and to the entire Middle East."



US support for UNRWA has gone on long enough
In a 1951 report to the UN General Assembly, UNRWA reported, “There must be a firm goal of terminating relief operations. Sustained relief operations inevitably contain the germ of human deterioration.” It was right, but Arab state rejectionism got in the way. Arab states like Egypt, Syria, and Iraq quickly concluded that they could use UNRWA to perpetuate the problem, to undercut normalization with Israel, and to transform an aid agency into a weapon against Israel.

The rest is history. Both current UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl and UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness were born years after UNRWA was meant to dissolve.

Nor does UNRWA’s track record make it worth saving. While UNHCR has resettled refugees and allowed them to get on with their lives, UNRWA has actively undercut settlement. It has embraced a unique definition of refugee that differs with UNHCR and that is used everywhere else in the world. Consider: If India and Pakistan used the same definition of refugee from their partition that UNRWA embraces, there would be more than 100 million refugees in South Asia today. UNRWA has helped make the Palestinians the largest per capita recipient of aid on earth, but has the least to show for it.

The problem isn’t just waste of money, however. Almost a quarter-century after the Palestinian Authority began, UNRWA has eroded rather than supported the foundations of good governance. After all, if UNRWA promises to take care of housing, education, and support, why shouldn’t both the Palestinian Authority and their sometime-partner Hamas spend money on terror pensions, terror tunnels, and an arsenal of rockets?

Add into the mix UNRWA incompetence: schools used as arsenals, school books teaching incitement, UNRWA employees moonlighting as bomb makers, and terror recruitment in UNRWA high schools and the problem is even worse. UNRWA denials of complicity in such activities, if taken at face value, are just acknowledgment of its own poor oversight.

It’s long past time to cut off UNRWA and ask UNHCR to take over. The Palestinians deserve an apolitical agency rather than an amplifier for radicalism and waste. UNRWA has become a cancer not only for those who seek peace and reconciliation, but also for the entire UN system.

UNRWA in 1951 was right. Permanence is not a virtue; it’s an impediment.
U.S. State Department: State Department: Aid Cut to UNRWA "Not Aimed at Punishing Anyone"
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Tuesday: "We committed a voluntary contribution of $60 million [to UNRWA] for 2018 so far....That money is going to sustain schools and health services to ensure that teachers and also health care providers can be paid their salaries."
"This is not aimed at punishing anyone. The United States Government and the Trump administration believe that there should be more so-called burden sharing to go around....We don't believe that taking care of other nations and other people has to solely be the United States' responsibility....I would argue we're the most generous nation on the globe, but we will ask other countries to do more."
U.N. Ambassador praises U.S. UNRWA decision: ‘Time for this absurdity to end’
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Tuesday praised the Trump administration for announcing it would cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees.

Danon said in press statement that it was time for the “absurdity to end” in how funds provided to the relief agency were being spent on building terrorist infrastructure and teaching Palestinian youth to delegitimize Israel.

“UNRWA has proven time and again to be an agency that misuses the humanitarian aid of the international community and instead supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate,” he said.

“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. It is time for this absurdity to end and for humanitarian funds to be directed toward their intended purpose – the welfare of refugees,” Danon added.
UN chief 'very concerned' over American cut to UNRWA
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday he was "very concerned" by reports that the U.S. had cut its funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, by half.

According to AFP, Guterres said he had not been informed of Washington's decision.

"I strongly hope that in the end, it will be possible for the United States to maintain the funding of UNRWA," he was quoted as having said.

"UNRWA is not a Palestinian institution but a UN institution," added the UN chief, who dubbed the agency "an important factor of stability" in the Middle East.
UNRWA warns US funding cut threatens regional security, Palestinian dignity
Krähenbühl called for a global fundraising effort to make up for the loss of US support.

“At stake is the access of 525,000 boys and girls in 700 UNRWA schools, and their future,” he said. “At stake is the dignity and human security of millions of Palestine refugees, in need of emergency food assistance and other support in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“At stake is the access of refugees to primary health care, including pre-natal care and other life-saving services. At stake are the rights and dignity of an entire community.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was not aware of the decision, but warned that UNRWA provides “vital services.”

“I am very concerned and I strongly hope that in the end it will be possible for the United States to maintain the funding of UNRWA in which the US has a very important share,” he told reporters at the UN.
Stung by US aid cut, UNRWA launches global fundraising campaign
Noting that the US “has consistently been UNRWA’s largest single donor,” Krahenbuhl announced he was “launching in the next few days a global fundraising campaign to capture the large-scale commitment to keeping our schools and clinics open throughout 2018 and beyond.”

He called on “host countries and our donors including those in the region,” as well as “people of good will in every corner of the globe where solidarity and partnerships exist for Palestine Refugees” to “join us in responding to this crisis and #FundUNRWA to ensure that Palestine Refugee girls and boys can stand strong.”

The call was shared Wednesday by UN officials, including the organization’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov.

UNRWA’s spokesman said Wednesday that the agency was facing its worst funding crisis ever. “The US has announced it will contribute $60 million to the program budget. There is for the moment no other indication of possible funding,” Chris Gunness told AFP. “This dramatically reduced contribution results in the most severe funding crisis in the history of the agency.”​

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission to the US also lashed out at the funding cut on Wednesday, insisting the funding of UNRWA was “not a bargaining chip but a US and international obligation.”

In a statement, the Palestinian representative in Washington, Husam Zomlot, said that “taking away food and education from vulnerable refugees does not bring a lasting and comprehensive peace,” and vowed that “the rights of Palestinian refugees will not be compromised by a financial decision.”
Arab League: US cutting UNRWA funds to erase Palestinian refugees
The Arab League chief charged Wednesday that a US decision to freeze crucial funding for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees was aimed at wiping out the whole issue of Palestinian refugees.

“This decision affects the education and health of Palestinians and aims to eradicate the question of refugees,” Ahmed Aboul Gheit said at a conference in Cairo on the disputed city of Jerusalem.

On Tuesday, the United States held back $65 million that had been destined for UNRWA, two weeks after President Donald Trump threatened future payments to the agency.

Washington is the largest contributor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA).

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness warned Wednesday that “this dramatically reduced contribution results in the most severe funding crisis in the history of the agency.”

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the freeze amounted to “cruelty” toward an “innocent and vulnerable population.”
Abbas: ‘Jerusalem is the gate of peace and war — Trump must choose’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday continued to rail against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, cautioning that actions taken in the city could spark a future war, while also advocating a “peaceful” path.

“Jerusalem is the gate of peace and war — Trump must choose,” said Abbas, who was at a conference in the Al Azhar University in Cairo on “global support for Jerusalem.”

While warning of war, the 82-year-old Palestinian leader also reiterated several times that the only way forward for Palestinians to oppose both American and Israeli policies involved peaceful means.

“A popular and peaceful resistance is the path that will succeed and that we will continue on,” Abbas said.
Israeli TV: Abbas fury a response to Saudis revealing Trump’s pro-Israel plan
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided to give his fiery address denouncing Israel and the United States earlier this week after Saudi officials informed him of the parameters of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, which were overwhelmingly favorable to the Jewish state, Israeli television reported Tuesday.

A close associate of the PA president was summoned to Riyadh for an urgent meeting earlier this month. There, the details of Trump’s peace plan — which provides for a “state-minus” — were presented to the Palestinians for the first time, according to Hadashot news.

The plan’s main clauses were as follows: less-than-full statehood for the Palestinians, ongoing Israeli control over security matters, a permanent IDF presence in the Jordan Valley, land swaps not based on the pre-1967 lines, no settlement evacuations, and an Israeli veto regarding the final status of Jerusalem, which would be later negotiated by the parties, the TV report said.

On Sunday, Abbas gave a particularly harsh address at a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Central Council, lambasting Trump and rejecting US peace overtures.
Trump’s top peace envoy heads to Israel for meeting with Quartet
Amid continued diplomatic fallout from US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and a belligerent, fiery speech from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas denouncing his administration’s peace efforts, Trump’s top peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt, will arrive in the region Wednesday to meet with envoys from the Middle East Quartet to advance an Israeli-Palestinian accord.

“Jason will be attending a regular meeting of the Quartet Envoys to exchange information and continue our engagement on advancing peace,” a White House official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.

Greenblatt, who will arrive in Israel on January 17, will likely stay until US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit, which is scheduled for January 22-23.

The so-called Quartet consists of representatives from the US, Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union. It was established in Madrid in 2002 to try and resolve the decades-old dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.

The upcoming meeting comes as Palestinians still fume over Trump’s Jerusalem decision.
JPost Editorial: Abbas's failures
Abbas made it very clear this week what he rejects: recognition of the Jewish people’s historic and religious claims to the Land of Israel; acceptance of the US as the principal broker in peace negotiations with Israel; making painful concessions for the sake of peace; normalization of relations with Israel as a precursor to peace; stopping the transfer of foreign aid to terrorists and their families.

But he gave no reason for hope, no sense that he was leading his people toward a goal.

Perhaps Abbas is under the impression he is restoring the Palestinians’ lost honor by lashing out at the US president with epithets such as “May God destroy your house,” or by vowing not to cooperate with the US in its peace initiative or by shouting bluster at Donald Trump such as “Damn your money!” But the opposite is true. Abbas’s pitiful performance is yet another missed opportunity to lead his people into a better, more promising era. Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been pressuring him to adopt a more pragmatic stance toward peace negotiations.

Instead of using Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an opportunity for more intransigence, use it as a chance to extract more concessions in negotiations with Israel. Instead of focusing on self-pity and victim-playing, Abbas should be taking advantage of the changing attitudes toward Israel to enlist Arab nations’ support for a comprehensive peace agreement that would improve the lives of Palestinians.

Unfortunately, Abbas seems incapable of changing course. He has thrived under the status quo of protracted conflict for so long that he cannot imagine a better reality. Doing so would be tantamount to admission of his own failure.
It’s Time to Outlaw Fatah
Just days before the reconciliation was announced, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for the formation of an Arab army to “lead intifada after intifada, until the job” of liberating Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is accomplished.

And nothing has changed, as we can see with Shevach’s murder. Following the shooting, Hamas issued a statement in praise of the “heroic attack.”

Because the Palestinian people — who themselves suffer when money is funneled to terrorists for the murder of innocent Israelis rather than to helping their social, educational and economic needs — do not act against their own government, it is time that the Israeli and American governments take real steps to eradicate Palestinian violence.

Shevach’s friends say that the good-hearted family man was deeply loved by all who knew him. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau described him in a statement as devoted to saving lives, teaching Torah and safeguarding Judaism in the Land of Israel.

In Shevach’s memory, the United States and Israel should clearly and definitively declare Fatah a terrorist organization — just like Hamas — and to treat those two major components of the Palestinian Authority as such, until the PA stops funding and perpetuating terrorism.

The US and Israel should immediately halt all cooperation with the PA, and place financial sanctions on anyone who does business with it.

Finally, Israel must close the roads connecting Palestinian Authority-controlled cities and towns to Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, so that Shevach will be the last Jew killed in Israel in cold blood — for nothing but his religion and faith.
Abbas Has a Problem With Women
Why is it that every time a female US government official says something that the Palestinian Authority (PA) doesn’t like, PA leaders respond by making a disparaging remark related to the fact that she is a woman?

In his bizarre, two-hour rant before the Palestinian Central Council on January 14, PA President Mahmoud Abbas declared that US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, “wears high heels not for elegance but to use to hit anyone who attacks Israel.”

When Condoleeza Rice was national security advisor, an official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, called her (on June 23, 2002) “the dark complexioned lady,” “the Black Lady” and “this pitiful woman.” On November 3 of that year, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida railed against Rice for “her loose way of sitting, when she puts one leg on top of the other.” The writer then alluded to Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Another official PA newspaper, Al-Ayyam, referred to Rice (on June 22, 2003) as a “black widow,” a “single black lady” and a “black raven,” and patronizingly compared her to African-American supermodel Naomi Campbell.

And the PA’s problem with women is not limited to Republicans. In its October 3, 1997 issue, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida’s editor in chief denounced Arab leaders whom, he said, “would have sung love songs” to then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright “were it not for her advanced age and the fact that she has passed her prime.”

I wonder if the PA’s disturbing obsession with the physical appearance of these female US officials is a reflection of the anti-woman culture that the PA fosters in Palestinian society.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Stop ‘understanding’ the Palestinians
Looking at a conflict, any conflict, requires us to understand the different sides. To understand the pain. But what applies to every conflict appears to be completely wrong when it comes to the Palestinians. The more we understand them, the more we bolster their rejectionism.

When we “understand” their claims about the Nakba, instead of telling them that what happened to them happened to tens of millions of people, and happened to Jews, even from Arab countries—we perpetuate the delusion of the right of return.

For years, they have been hearing the same chant from the Fisks and the Yiftachels. And if that’s what the world’s educated and enlightened people have to say, is there any chance that the Palestinians themselves give up the right of return fantasy? Does this “understanding” bring the chance for peace and reconciliation closer, or does it push it away?

When, for the sake of this “understanding,” they say we must understand what Jerusalem means to the Muslims in general and to the Palestinians in particular—although Jerusalem remained marginal and neglected under Muslim rule for centuries—they are helping inflate the lie. And when they spread the lie that the Palestinians are living under an oppression, which is similar to what happened at Auschwitz—it’s blood libel. Because under Israeli rule, the Palestinians have experienced huge growth in every possible area.

And no, terrorism isn’t justified, because the Palestinians have repeatedly received decent proposals for an agreement. They could have gained independence. They are the ones who have said no. And those who keep justifying them are justifying the continuation of violence and terror.

The public opinion in the free world is influential. It can and should have told the Palestinians and Israel: Get off your high horse. No more fantasies. There will be no return of Palestinians to Israel and no return of Jews to every hill in Judea and Samaria. But the understanding towards the Palestinians must stop—not to prevent an agreement, but on the contrary, to give it a chance.
PMW: Abbas and his advisor lash out at Trump and US ambassadors,
In his speech on Jan. 14, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas made some important statements about future PA relations with the US. He insulted US President Trump, going as far as to say: "May your house be destroyed," and called US ambassadors David Friedman and Nikki Haley "an insult to an administration that respects itself." In addition, Abbas stressed that the Palestinians already decided in 1980 they would not have relations with any country that recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, indicating that this is still policy. Finally, Abbas also mocked American aid, saying the US should not do the PA "any favors by paying us money."

Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and Supreme Shari'ah Judge, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, likewise ridiculed the US and its financial aid to the PA, asking: "What idiocy has taken control of your minds to delude you that Jerusalem is for sale, or that one grain of sand from Palestine, all of Palestine, is for sale, or purchase, or bargaining?"

With these statements, Abbas and Al-Habbash emphasized the anti-US messages PA and Fatah leaders have been disseminating since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in the beginning of December 2017, and which PMW documented in a recent report. The report exposes that the PA and Fatah are mocking Trump, demonizing the US, and rejecting US aid. Below is an updated version of the report that includes the additional statements by Abbas and his advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash:
CNN Sanitizes Mahmoud Abbas' Speech, Expunges Antisemitic Statements
CNN's account of Mahmoud Abbas' dramatic speech Sunday (Jan. 14) was a blatant whitewash, completely skipping over the Palestinian Authority President's hateful and false statements about Jews as well as his call to arms. Among the Palestinian leader's falsehoods was his denial of any connection between Judaism and the Holy Land, the assertion that Jews preferred to be murdered in the Holocaust rather than come to pre-state Israel, and the charge that Israel is sending drugs to Palestinian youth ("Abbas slams US, others in defiant speech," Jan. 15).

Covering Up Abbas' Call to Arms

Also newsworthy, but omitted by the CNN piece, was what former U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro called Abbas' "ardent defense of the payments made to Palestinian terrorists in prison [which] tells Israelis, Palestinians, and the U.S. Congress that he will not educate Palestinians to give up violence directed at civilians in their struggle for independence."

Indeed, while ignoring Abbas' defense of payment to Palestinian terrorists, CNN's Andrew Carey and Abeer Salman maintained that Abbas "also said he advocated only 'peaceful popular resistance."

Though Abbas did say at one point in his long speech "I support only peaceful popular resistance," he also explicitly contradicted himself, giving his clear blessing to the use of violence.
Guardian’s Ian Black covers for Mahmoud Abbas’s assault on historical truth.
There seems to be no limit to the lengths the Guardian will go to obfuscate or excuse Palestinian extremism, incitement or historical revisionism. Their former Middle East Editor, Ian Black, provided his take on Mahmoud Abbas’s recent speech in Ramallah and characteristically airbrushed (or just ignored) the most incendiary and indefensible parts in order to maintain the desired narrative of a ‘moderate’, even “principled”, PA President.

The headline of the Jan. 16th article, “Will Abbas’s ‘Eff off, Trump’ fury play into the hands of rightwing Israelis?”, is classic Guardian – expressing deeper concern over how ‘the Israeli right’ will respond to Abbas’s comments than to the truth or falsehood of his views, or the larger question of its political and ideological implications. As Matti Friedman has explained, within the media echo chamber, what Palestinians do, or what they believe, is not the story. The only actor in the drama who matters is Israel.

You can see this journalistic tick in the way Black introduces Abbas’s controversial remarks.
Israelis quickly condemned an “extremist” or “antisemitic” speech and focused on his description of Zionism as a colonialist movement by people who, he claimed, had no connection to the land they were settling. It was a bleak reminder of the irreconcilable narratives that lie at the heart of the conflict: Israelis and Zionists have always focused on their intentions in creating and maintaining a Jewish state; Palestinians on the results – and primarily the way they were displaced and oppressed by foreign intruders.

Israelis, readers are told, “quickly” condemned Abbas’s speech as extremist or antisemitic, presumably suggesting Israeli reaction was hasty, predictable, as if by rote. Moreover, Black significantly downplays Abbas’s charges. As Dov Lieber, Arab Affairs correspondent for Times of Israel reported, the Palestinian President’s lecture on Zionism alleged that “colonialism created Israel to perform a certain function”. It is a colonial project, Abbas continued, “that has nothing to do with Judaism, but rather used the Jews as a tool under the slogan of the Promised Land.” Contrary to Black’s claim, Abbas’s charge had nothing to do with “irreconcilable narratives”, a term suggesting the veracity of Abbas’s belief that that there’s no Jewish connection to the land can’t be determined.
Mossad intelligence led to German raids on Iranian spies — report
The Mossad intelligence service provided critical information that led to raids on the homes of suspected Iranian spies throughout Germany, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

Hours earlier, German authorities said they were conducting searches across the country in connection with ten suspected Iranian spies, with one report saying that they were members of an elite military force that had been eyeing Israeli and Jewish targets.

The weekly German-language magazine FOCUS reported that arrest warrants for the suspects listed them as being members of the al-Quds Force, which is part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

The alleged spies had been monitoring Israeli and Jewish targets, the report said.
Iranian spies in Germany targeted Israel embassy, Jewish kindergartens — report
The German journalist who first reported raids by local security forces at the homes of suspected Iranian spies across Germany supplied new details Wednesday about the Israeli and Jewish targets allegedly monitored by the suspects.

Josef Hufelschulte, of the weekly German-language magazine FOCUS, told Israeli public broadcaster Kan that the suspected spies had been gathering information on the Israeli embassy in Berlin, as well as on targets related to the local Jewish community, including kindergartens.

The operatives were monitored by German intelligence services for two months before the raids were conducted, Hufelschulte said.

On Tuesday, German authorities said they were conducting searches across the country in connection with 10 suspected Iranian spies, with FOCUS magazine claiming that they were members of an elite military force that had been eyeing Israeli and Jewish targets.
Netanyahu ‘confident’ US embassy will move to Jerusalem within a year
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday praised a series of recent moves by US President Donald Trump and expressed confidence that the US would relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem within a year.

“My confident assessment is that it will move much faster than people think, within a year from today,” he told Israeli reporters on a flight from New Delhi to Gujarat during a state visit to India.

Last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that relocating the embassy to Jerusalem would likely take at least three years, and quite possibly longer. “It’s not going to be anything that happens right away,” he said in a speech at the State Department reported by The New York Times. “Probably no earlier than three years out, and that’s pretty ambitious.”

Trump promised to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a December 6 speech at the White House in which he also formally recognized the city as Israel’s capital.
Watch, It Finally Happened: Police Bewildered as 42 Jews Pray Aloud on Temple Mount
It began with a regular tour of the Temple Mount compound by a group of 42 Jews, which included rabbis and politicians. At some point, they ran into a provocation of local Arabs and Waqf officials, who got in their faces and verbally attacked the group, yelling the familiar pre-detonation slogan, “Allahu Akbar.”

At which point, the group members decided on the only proper monotheistic response and began shouting back: “Adonai hu ha’Elohim” (God is the only deity) and “Shema Israel, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad” (Hear, Oh, Israel, God is our Deity, God Is One.”

And that threw the Israel police into a loop, because, according to protocol, only Muslims get to declare their fealty to the Creators, while Jews have been arrested up there for saying a blessing before eating an apple or drinking a bottle of water.

The police clearly lost it, and resorted to violence – and that just when confronting 42 Jews who chuck the discriminatory rules and reach out to their Father in Heaven. What would happen when a thousand Jews ascend to the holy mountain? Who could stop them?
Court orders teen soldier-slapper held in custody until end of proceedings
A military court judge on Wednesday ordered that 16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman — who were both filmed slapping and shoving IDF soldiers last month in their West Bank village of Nebi Saleh — remain behind bars until the end of legal proceedings against them.

In his decision regarding the younger Tamimi, Judge Haim Balilti wrote that “the gravity of the offenses of which she is accused do not allow for an alternative to custody.”

The Ofer Military Court judge argued that security forces treated the Palestinian teenager “leniently over a long period of time.”

“The intensity of her violence establishes a clear rationale for danger and indicates that her actions stem from the promotion of an ideological goal,” Balilti added.
NGO Monitor Statement on Remand of Ahed Tamimi and NGO Campaigns
Jerusalem – Today the Israeli Military Court ordered the continued remand of Ahed Tamimi pending her trial. Tamimi was indicted on multiple counts of assault of law enforcement officers, slingshotting stones, and incitement to commit suicide attacks.

Since her arrest, NGOs claiming to promote human rights have been calling for her release, primarily on the basis of her age as well as the political motivations surrounding the incidents.

In response, Lt. Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch, former head of prosecution in Judea and Samaria and Military Justice Consultant at NGO Monitor, states, “Tamimi’s repeated attacks on security forces, other violent crimes, and incitement to terrorism would in most, if not all, Western legal systems warrant her arrest pending trial. NGOs cannot have it both ways: arguing that she is treated too harshly for a 16-year old, but also lauding her for engaging in an intentional provocation against soldiers.”

NGO Monitor notes that the NGOs advocating for Tamimi’s release regularly attack the military courts, claiming inherent bias. However, today’s decision shows that the court acted independently and applied the law, basing its decisions on the evidence presented and the other relevant factors.
PA government targets Israeli textbooks
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is taking aim at Israeli school textbooks, claiming they encourage murder of Palestinian Arabs.

In its weekly meeting on Tuesday, the PA government headed by Rami Hamdallah expressed its full support for the decisions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council from earlier this week.

The PLO Central Council had authorized the organization’s Executive Committee to suspend its recognition of Israel (though the PLO never actually recognized Israel despite pledging to do so), to stop the security coordination with Israel and to stop the economic dependence on the Jewish state.

The PA government expressed willingness to help implement the decisions in order to realize the "legitimate national rights, first and foremost the right of return of our people to their homeland."

The government also called on the international community to provide international protection for the "Palestinian people", to formulate an international mechanism for settling the conflict in order to reach a two-state solution and to recognize the state of “Palestine” within the pre-1967 borders with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.





UN Report Finds that Iran Violated Int’l Arms Embargo of Yemen’s Houthi Rebels
A report from a United Nations panel found that remnants of missiles used in Yemen’s civil war originated in Iran, showing that Iran did not block the transfer of ballistic missiles to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution, CNN reported Monday.

UN Security Council Resolution 2216 demanded that member states “immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer” of arms to parties in the Yemeni civil war including the Houthi rebels.

While the report also faults Saudi Arabia, which is leading a coalition to fight the Houthis and support the internationally-backed government of Yemen, CNN reported, that ” a significant portion of the report blames Iran” for its actions in Yemen.

“The Panel has identified missile remnants, related military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were introduced into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo,” the report reads. “As a result, the Panel finds that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 (2015) in that it failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer, of Borkan-2H short-range ballistic missiles, filed storage tanks for liquid bi-propellant oxidizer for missiles and Ababil-T (Qasef-1) unmanned aerial vehicles, to the then Houthi-Saleh alliance.”

The UN report, which has not yet been officially released, appears to support charges made by United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at a press conference last month, that Iran is the “arsonist” in the Middle East, destabilizing the region by transferring arms to terror groups.
Saudi Arabia Reportedly Shoots Down Missile Fired From Yemen
A ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s armed Houthi group toward Saudi Arabia’s southern Jizan region was shot down by Saudi forces on Tuesday, Saudi state TV Ekhbariya reported.

The station gave no further details. There were no reports of casualties or damage.

The Iranian-aligned Houthis have fired several missiles at the kingdom, and while these have not caused any serious damage they have served to deepen tensions between Riyadh and its arch-rival Tehran.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supplying missile parts and expertise to the Houthis, who have taken over the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and other parts of the country during its civil war. Iran denies the charge.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition that has been fighting the Houthis in neighboring Yemen since March 2015, after the movement drove Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.

Saudi Arabia said on Nov. 4 it had intercepted a ballistic missile over Riyadh’s King Khaled Airport, an attack that led the coalition to close air, land and sea access to Yemen in a move it said was meant to stop Iranian supplies to the Houthis.
In rare gesture, Jerusalem expresses sympathy for Iraqi terror victims
In a rare friendly gesture to a country Israel still formally considers an enemy state, the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday empathized with the victims of two major terror attacks in Iraq earlier this week and called for closer ties between Jerusalem and Baghdad.

A short text posted to the Ministry’s Arabic Facebook page expressed the wish for normalization.

“Israel expresses great sorrow and shock at the deaths of innocents in terror attacks, and hopes that peace and stability will return to Iraq,” the text reads. “Israel extends its hand to its neighbors and waits for the day when the political circumstances will be conducive to the establishment of normal relations and fruitful cooperation for the benefit of all the peoples of the region.”

On Monday, two suicide bombers blew themselves up on the Iraqi capital’s Tayyaran Square, killing 38 people and injuring dozens. The twin attack shattered hopes that the country would stabilize after years of war and armed insurgencies.



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The ruined Tiferet Yisrael synagogue, 1949


From the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine.report from April, 1949:

15. Since the presentation to the General Assembly of the Commission's first report to the Secretary-General, the Special Committee on Jerusalem has continued to work actively. In particular, it has held interviews with representatives of Arab and Jewish central and local authorities. On the basis of new instructions given to it by the Commission, the Committee is endeavouring to formulate, in conformity with the terms of paragraph 8 of the resolution of 11 December 1948, proposals which will at the same time be acceptable to both parties. The Commission is aware that acceptance by the two parties is not mentioned in the terms of reference which it received from the General Assembly on the subject of the international regime for Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the Commission feels that such acceptance would facilitate considerably the establishment and functioning of such a regime. In this connexion, the Commission is happy to report that, during its conversations in Beirut with the Arab delegations, the latter showed themselves, in general, prepared to accept the principle of an international regime for the Jerusalem area, on condition that the United Nations should be in a position to offer the necessary guarantees regarding the stability and permanence of such a regime. On the other hand, the Governments of the Arab States have reserved their right to give their final opinion after they have been acquainted with the text of the proposals which the Commission is to submit to the General Assembly.
16. The religious representatives mentioned above also emphasized to the Commission, during the Beirut meetings, the importance which they attach to the application of those paragraphs of the resolution which concern Jerusalem and the Holy Places. Some of them expressed a further desire to see the international regime extended to cover Nazareth.
Today's Arabs say insist that Jerusalem is wholly Arab, and it is inconceivable that any non-Arab control the city. But in 1949, when Transjordan did control half of Jerusalem and Israel the other half, the other Arab countries liked the idea of an international regime controlling Jerusalem.

And they even wanted to extend that regime to Nazareth, inside Israel.

What has changed between then and now? It is obvious: Nothing. Both then and now,  Arabs didn't care about who would administer Jerusalem as long as the people who controlled it weren't Jews. They wanted to reduce, however they could, the amount of land that Jews controlled - hence the absurd idea of not only including Nazareth in the corpus separatum, but also the corridor that would need to be created to travel there from Jerusalem - cutting Israel nearly in half.

There is no rich Arab history in Jerusalem. It was never an Arab capital. The city was a terrible place to live when under Muslim rule.

The only time Muslims showed interest was when either Christians, during the Crusades, or Jews nowadays, controlled the city. Otherwise, the city was all but ignored, with only occasional pilgrims passing through.

The Palestinian Arab obsession with Jerusalem, plastering photos of the Dome of the Rock on every surface, is a new phenomenon. Jerusalem is not even mentioned in the original PLO charter written in 1964!

Trump's speech did not affect the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem one iota. What it did was strengthen Israel's claim to part of Jerusalem. That idea, that Jews have any rights to any part of Jerusalem, is what is behind Mahmoud Abbas' temper tantrum today - and it can be traced back to how the Arab nations looked at Israeli control of the "New City" of Jerusalem in 1949.

The Palestinian Arabs'' true interest is in taking Jerusalem away from the Jews, just as the Arabs wanted to in 1949.

And both times by cynically using international instruments to accomplish that goal.




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