Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

Month: July 2017

ISRAEL’S BOOMING HIGH-TECH INDUSTRY KNOWN GLOBALLY FOR “BOLDNESS & INNOVATION”

 

Historic Israeli Mini-Satellite to be Launched with French Cooperation: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2017— Israel’s first environmental satellite, named “Venus,” the major project of the Israel Space Agency and the French space agency CNES, will be launched from French Guinea at 4:58 a.m. on August 2.

China is Increasingly Becoming Key for Israel's High-Tech Industry: Ferry Biedermann, CNBC, July 18, 2017— China's investors and markets are becoming increasingly important to Israel's economy, and in particular to its booming high-tech industry.

How Israeli Technologies Improve Water, Food Security In India: Amanda Ngo, NoCamels, July 03, 2017— Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to arrive in Israel this week in a historically significant first visit.

Israel’s Tech Startups are Giving Silicon Valley a Run for its Money: Ed Zwirn, New York Post, May 28, 2017 — Wondering where to find the next tech startup propelling humanity to the next best thing?

 

On Topic Links

 

Israel: Internship Nation: Jeff Seidel, Times of Israel, July 16, 2017

Modi's Visit: The View from Jerusalem: Efraim Inbar, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, July 10, 2017

Modi’s Visit to Israel: Oshrit Birvadker, BESA, July 31, 2017

The Role of Azerbaijan in Israel’s Alliance of Periphery: Aynur Bashirova and Ahmet Sozen, Rubin Center, June 22, 2017

 

         

 

HISTORIC ISRAELI MINI-SATELLITE TO

BE LAUNCHED WITH FRENCH COOPERATION                                                         

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich

                                                  Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2017

 

Israel’s first environmental satellite, named “Venus,” the major project of the Israel Space Agency and the French space agency CNES, will be launched from French Guinea at 4:58 a.m. on August 2. Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis called the upcoming launch an “important national event.” Israel, he said, is “known around the world for its boldness and innovation, which are expressed also in the technological developments of ‘Venus.’ We are so proud to see how work of many years of our best engineers and researchers at the head of the Israel Space Agency, along with CNES, will reach its peak at the launching.”

 

Environmental satellites have become very important in recent years because of problems on Earth resulting from population increase, declining space for agriculture, pollution and natural disasters. The Venus, the world’s smallest satellite of its kind, was built in the last few years by Israel Aerospace Industries. It will observe fields and nature from space for environmental research, monitoring land conditions, forestry, agriculture, the quality of water sources and more.

 

The mini-satellite is equipped with a special camera that can visualize details on Earth that are invisible to the naked eye. It will take photos of set locations in Israel and around the world and provide researchers with scores of images daily, each of which will cover 760 square kilometers. The Venus will revolve around the Earth 29 times each 48 hours and repeat exact photo angles, making it possible to note differences in conditions – characteristics that make the satellite unique, the Science and Technology Ministry said.

 

The Venus satellite weighs only 265 kilograms. It will be launched along with an Italian satellite and reach its position 720 kilometers above Earth within 37 minutes and 18 seconds. The first confirmation of proper position and function should be received on the ground after five-and-a-half hours from launch time, but the initial images will arrive a week later. Processed images will be sent to users three months after launch. The Venus is due to remain in operation for four-and-a-half years, after which time it will be shifted to a lower trajectory. Some 110 different set research areas around the world will be photographed. When the satellite passes over Israel, the Venus will photograph three swaths in the Galilee, the coastal area and the Negev Desert, where most national parks, forests, ecological stations and nature areas exist. The photos will also benefit university, government and state research institutes.

 

Venus will transmit data to a reception station in northern Sweden. From there, the data will be processed initially by the French Space Agency, which will be led by French researcher Gerard Didiot. The images of Israel will arrive at the research center at the Sde Boker campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, headed by Prof. Arnon Karnieli. The research center is an operational arm of the Science and Technology Ministry. One of the first research projects to be used by the satellite simulations – funded by an investment of NIS 500,000 from the Israel Space Agency – will be one designed by high school pupils from Rishon Lezion and Rehovot.

 

Venus is also the first innovative technological mission of its kind to test the feasibility of a plasma-based electric propulsion system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, using an electric propulsion system that saves fuel and satellite weight to increase the weight of the equipment for research purposes. Although the Venus is a joint project of Israel and France, all of the satellite’s hardware components were developed in Israel’s space industries. In addition to IAI, which built the satellite and integrated the components, Elbit developed the unique camera, and Rafael developed the propulsion system, resulting in the entire satellite being the product of Israeli construction and development.

 

Meanwhile, IAI president and CEO Yossi Weiss said that the Italian and the Israeli-French satellites are “the glory of Israeli technology and reflect Israel’s international activities in space and the extraordinary cooperation with Italy and France. The stateof-the-art observation satellites program enables the development and production of local needs and exports, and is supported by clear government policy in the field.” He added, “On the eve of the launch, I call upon the Israel government to make the necessary decisions regarding the future of Israeli media satellites. Since the loss of Amos-6 about 10 months ago, no decision has been made regarding the future of the field, which will eventually lead to the loss of knowledge and accumulated technological capabilities. We are approaching the point of no return that could lead to the elimination of Israel’s capabilities in the field of communications satellites.”                      

 

Contents

CHINA IS INCREASINGLY BECOMING KEY

FOR ISRAEL'S HIGH-TECH INDUSTRY

Ferry Biedermann

CNBC, July 18, 2017

 

China's investors and markets are becoming increasingly important to Israel's economy, and in particular to its booming high-tech industry. The first IPO (initial public offering) of an Israeli high-tech company on a Chinese stock exchange, Hong Kong, is expected within the year and Chinese investments in Israeli high-tech venture capital approached $1 billion in 2016, industry experts say.

 

"The Chinese stock exchange market will become another very viable option for Israeli companies looking for public funding," if the first IPO goes off successfully, Eli Tidhar of Deloitte Israel, told CNBC. Tidhar heads what Deloitte calls its "Israel-China corridor". Israel has laid out the welcoming mat to Chinese companies and investors who may face more troublesome regulations and scrutiny elsewhere.

 

Hardly a day goes by without another Israel-China initiative being announced, whether it's a new Israeli tech incubator in China, new investments, joint ventures, trade conferences or delegations. In May this year, another audit firm PwC led a delegation of Israeli companies to Hong Kong to explore the possibilities of listing on the stock exchange. Deloitte's Tidhar says that a sea change is taking place among Israeli companies looking for funding. Israeli high-tech VC (venture capital) companies raised $500 million from Chinese investors in 2014 and $700 million in 2015 and the amount keeps growing, according to Tidhar.

 

"In the past, Israel used to look mostly at the U.S. and Europe as our source for investment, especially in high tech," he said. But now, "It becomes less and less awkward that a company that would like to raise money would pursue this investment from China." This view is echoed Dorian Barak, who heads the Israeli arm of Kuang Chi, one of the few Chinese conglomerates that has so far actually set up a permanent local representation. Israel's venture capital landscape and its exits were until now largely a matter of Western money, Barak said. But that's about to change. "The rise of China and China's adoption of an outward looking policy of investments and cooperation has the opportunity to have as much of an impact on the local economy as did the massive capital influx from chiefly the United States in the (1990s) and the first decade of the 21st century," Barak said in a telephone interview.

 

Kuang Chi last year set up a $300 million fund, particularly for smart city investments in Israel. It has so far, among other companies, invested in machine vision company eyesight Technologies. Large chunks of Israel's infrastructure projects, including ports, railway lines and tunnels, are being carried out by Chinese companies these days. And some flagship Israeli companies have been acquired by Chinese conglomerates, such as ChemChina's acquisition of Adama and Bright Food's takeover of Tnuva. Reuters earlier this year reported that in 2016 total Chinese investments in Israel jumped to $16.5 billion.

 

But in the high-tech sector, this has not yet translated to the same massive presence of Chinese conglomerates that Western companies have in Israel, whether in R&D (research and development) centers, production or representative offices. Kuang Chi's Barak said that Chinese companies are very slowly coming to the realization that there's an added value to a local presence. He's getting constant inquiries from Chinese local government and private investors.

 

"When you see Chinese names on the sides of buildings in Herzliya Pituah (near Tel Aviv) as you currently see American names, you'll know the Chinese investors have really arrived and the Chinese strategics have arrived en masse. There's a long way to go," said Barak. But it's getting there, is the consensus. One company that has seen Chinese investment is intelligent search company Twiggle. It's received backing from the likes of e-commerce giant Alibaba and MizMaa – a fund specializing in Chinese investments in Israeli high-tech.

 

CEO and co-founder Amir Konigsberg, said that for Twiggle, as for many other Israeli companies, the ties with China are not merely about getting finance. Help with market access is of much greater importance. "Not disregarding the growth in other markets, such as the U.S. and Europe, in terms of e-commerce China and Asia are very dominant markets," he said.

 

Israeli start-ups had been used to working with U.S. and European investors, he said: "The collaboration and the synergy with the China market and the big Chinese companies is more recent. The adaptation to that has been gradual and the Israeli companies like ourselves are learning to work better with the Chinese companies." One potential adaptation to be made was in the differences of expectations that sometimes occurs, said Denes Ban, managing partner at Israeli high-tech crowdfunding firm OurCrowd. Those expectations center around the tension between getting funding and getting access to Chinese markets.

 

"If you look at the term sheet, there's no such thing as free Chinese money," said Ban. Many Israeli companies, who are far from naive, initially misjudge the intentions of the Chinese investors: "What often happens is, 'OK we invest but actually the amount we invest doesn't go into the headquarters in Israel, actually it will only go to a joint venture in China and we own 51 percent of it', so basically they control it. We have seen this."

 

For OurCrowd, Ban is very excited about the emerging interest of large Asian, including Chinese, financial institutions in getting their clients a piece of the pie in the Israeli VC market. "We signed a deal in Singapore with UOB, Shanghai Commercial Bank, Reliance India, these are some of the biggest institutions that are looking to offer these venture capital products to their clients," said Ban. He, like others interviewed by CNBC, sees one crucial Israeli advantage to attracting Chinese investment, apart from Israel's start-up nation image: an openness to Chinese investors where the U.S. and Europe are getting pickier. Deloitte's Tidhar puts it simply: "The restrictions, limitations, barriers that Chinese companies face in other markets, they don't face in Israel."                                                           

 

Contents

HOW ISRAELI TECHNOLOGIES IMPROVE WATER,

FOOD SECURITY IN INDIA

                    Amanda Ngo                                                                         

NoCamels, July 03, 2017

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to arrive in Israel this week in a historically significant first visit. This trip marks the first time that an Indian Prime Minister has travelled to Israel, and will strengthen what is already a flourishing relationship between the two nations. India’s demand for Israeli tech, particularly water and agricultural technologies, as well as a shared desire to invest money in innovation, research and development, continue to drive the partnership to new heights.

 

Modi’s delegation is expected to include 100 entrepreneurs, including executives from some of India’s biggest companies. He will engage in talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the goal of promoting strategic partnerships in the areas of water conservation, food security, space technology, defense, and others.

 

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, Israel and India have seen trade between the two countries jump from $200 million in 1992 to $4.167 billion in 2016 (not including defense agreements), according to Israel’s Ministry of Economy. An Israeli-Indian Free Trade Agreement has been in the pipeline since 2010, with observers speculating that this upcoming visit could add momentum to the process…

 

A glance at the strengths and needs of both India and Israel reveals why the partnership has been so successful thus far. With a burgeoning population (currently at 1.3 billion), India is experiencing difficulties with water conservation and purification, and food security. According to the World Bank, around 21 percent of infectious diseases in India are related to unsafe water. Agriculture, too, is a significant part of the Indian economy, representing 17 percent of the GDP and depended upon by 50 percent of the population.

 

Israel is known worldwide for its strengths in water and agricultural technology. For years, Israel has been providing India with world-leading expertise and technology to help the larger nation combat these issues. In return for capitalizing on Israel’s technological expertise, India provides Israel with a huge market opportunity, and endless avenues for business investment. With the second largest population in the world, and a GDP of around $2 trillion (according to the World Bank), the Indian market offers the kind of scale that Israeli businesses need.

 

Over the 25 years of diplomatic relations, the shared initiatives have been wide-ranging. Since 2008, the nations have strengthened their relationship through the joint establishment of ‘Centers of Excellence’ in India, as part of the Indo-Israel Agricultural Cooperation Project. Present across nine Indian states, the 26 centers provide Israeli technology and expertise to Indian farmers. They have been highly successful, and there is suggestion that Modi’s upcoming visit will lead to an expansion of this plan.

 

One of the leading Israeli startups making waves in India is Aqwise. A water tech firm, Aqwise has built a water treatment plant that supplies drinking water to the city of Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located. Using an innovative technique of releasing polyethylene biofilm carriers into the water supply, the company provides around 2 million inhabitants and tourists with clean, potable water. Israeli company IDE has also done impressive work in the water conservation industry in India, implementing desalinization methods that have saved millions of dollars and thousands of millions meters cubed units of water. Israel’s Netafim has been implementing drip irrigation technologies that help Indian farmers conserve precious water.

 

WaterGen, an Israeli air-to-water technology company, is a global leader in water purification. By extracting moisture from air, WaterGen is able to generate water that is safe to drink. Earlier this year, they signed a memorandum of understanding with the India solar engineering firm, Vikram Solar. The deal, which is estimated to be worth at least $100 million, will help the company expand in the Indian market.

 

Indian companies have shown an unbridled eagerness to tap into the Israeli tech scene. Aditya Birla, the third-largest conglomerate in India valued at $41 billion, has been targeting Israel to find new investments since 2016. Focusing on clean-tech, cyber security, financial technology, and water tech, the company has reviewed hundreds of startups. Infosys, an Indian conglomerate, bought Israeli cloud tech firm Panaya for $200 million in 2014. In 2007, Indian company Jain Irrigation acquired Israeli firm NaanDan, forming NaanDanJain Irrigation Ltd. The company is headquartered in Israel, and now serves farmers in over 100 countries.

 

Significant amounts of money continue to be channeled into joint initiatives by both governments. In the very near future, the Israeli government is set to approve a proposal to further economic cooperation with India by investing NIS 280 into water and agricultural technology, among other strategies. NIS 140 of that budget will go into an Israeli-Indian fund aimed at encouraging innovation and R&D for Israeli and Indian companies.

 

Indian and Israeli companies have shown a shared desire to foster innovation. Earlier this year, Israeli equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd and Indian private sector company Reliance Industries, together with American data communications company Motorola, set up an incubator in Jerusalem aimed at encouraging innovation in hi-tech in Israel. The incubator will focus on up-and-coming areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, FinTech, IoT, and computer vision. OurCrowd has also formed a partnership with LetsVenture, the largest marketplace for startup funding in India. The partnership will give exposure to Indian startups, and offer deals to Indian investors.

 

India is also an ardent supporter of Israeli defense technology: Earlier this year, Israeli Aerospace Industries revealed its plan to provide India with missile defense systems in what will be the organization’s biggest security contract ever. The contracts amount to almost $2 billion, and will deliver advanced medium-range surface-to-air missiles to the Indian Army. India is currently the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents  

             

ISRAEL’S TECH STARTUPS ARE GIVING SILICON

VALLEY A RUN FOR ITS MONEY

Ed Zwirn                                         

New York Post, May 28, 2017

 

Wondering where to find the next tech startup propelling humanity to the next best thing? Israel’s answer to Silicon Valley is Silicon Wadi, an area around Tel Aviv on the country’s coastal plain with a heavy concentration of high-tech industries that rivals the San Francisco Bay Area’s cluster of innovative firms. There are about 4,300 startups operating in Israel, with about 2,900 of these located within a 10-mile radius, a rate of development second in intensity to only Silicon Valley itself. Even as President Trump was meeting with the Israeli political elite on the Jerusalem leg of his first foreign trip, a huge slice of that country’s brain trust was gathered in Midtown Manhattan to explore the reasons behind this tech wave and showcase some of the developments that have enabled this small country to punch above its weight.

 

Or maybe jumping would be a more apt metaphor. “The cat flea has the ability to jump almost 200 times its height,” Oded Shoseyov, a professor of protein engineering and nano biotechnology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told the crowd at Nexus: Israel, a gathering sponsored by the American Friends of Hebrew University. Shoseyov, who has his name on more than 50 patents and has served as the scientific founder of 10 companies specializing in everything from nanotechnology to production of medical cannabis, says one of the most exciting scientific quests is understanding the jumping power of the flea. That and other marvels of nature are helping spark solutions to real-world challenges faced by humans.

 

CollPlant, one of the companies he helped found, is attempting to bioengineer solutions to these problems by cloning human DNA onto tobacco plants. “I have no doubt that we’ll be able to produce a human heart in the laboratory,” he says. “This heart is not going to be the same as a human heart, it’s going to be better.”

 

One of the more established players in both Silicon Valley and its Middle Eastern rival is Intel Corp., which set up a research and production operation in Israel in 1972. Intel Israel has since grown to the point where it has become Israel’s largest private employer, with more than 10,200 workers on its payroll as of last year. According to Maxine Fassberg, executive in residence and vice president of Intel Capital, the company exported $3.35 billion of chips and other products from Israel last year, accounting for 1 percent to 2 percent of the country’s GDP.

 

In addition to the tech developments fostered by Intel, Fassberg credits both Israel’s defense sector and its academia for propelling this development. “The bottom line is the people and the quality of the education there,” she says. For his part, Dr. Yaron Daniely, chief executive of Yissum, Hebrew University’s technology transfer arm, and himself the driving force behind many Israeli developments in medical technology, credits the amazing performance of Israeli R&D to “chutzpah,” shown in the willingness of the country’s scientists and entrepreneurs to take on risk. “Exceptional people exist everywhere who are more creative than others, but that doesn’t guarantee success,” he points out. “We were arrogant Israelis. We didn’t think that we were stupid.”

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Israel: Internship Nation: Jeff Seidel, Times of Israel, July 16, 2017— In this day and age, getting a high-quality job is difficult. Since “the internship” has become a prerequisite for being in the race for a good job, the competition for finding one that builds your resume while providing you real-world experience, has only made the process more difficult.

Modi's Visit: The View from Jerusalem: Efraim Inbar, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, July 10, 2017— The visit by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi caused many Jerusalemites, like me, a lot of traffic delays. In retrospect, it was definitely a price worth paying.

Modi’s Visit to Israel: Oshrit Birvadker, BESA, July 31, 2017— From the 1920s until the establishment of official bilateral relations in 1992, Indian-Israeli ties were dictated by the views of Indian Muslims and moves by Pakistan.

The Role of Azerbaijan in Israel’s Alliance of Periphery: Aynur Bashirova and Ahmet Sozen, Rubin Center, June 22, 2017— Israel’s alliance of periphery was formed in the 1950s in order to end the newly established state’s regional and global isolation, which was a result of its conflict with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors.

 

 

IDF DEFEATS ISRAEL’S ENEMIES WITH HIGH-TECH WEAPONS, COMBAT TRAINING, & WAR READINESS

 

The IDF’s Priority: War Readiness: Yaakov Lappin, BESA, July 27, 2017— In Warsaw on Thursday, President Trump gave the most impressive speech by a US president on European soil since Ronald Reagan…

The Merkava 4: Why Hezbollah Should Be Afraid—Very Afraid: Ari Lieberman, Front Page, July 21, 2017— Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, armchair pundits determined that the age of the tank as king of the battlefield had come to an ignominious end.

The F-35 Critics vs. the Facts: Chet Richards, American Thinker, July 4, 2017— The people working on various aspects of the F-35 fighter program must be very frustrated.

Why Israel Removed the Metal Detectors: Daniel Pipes, Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2017— Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party announced Saturday that the “campaign for Jerusalem has effectively begun, and will not stop until a Palestinian victory and the release of the holy sites from Israeli occupation.”

 

On Topic Links

 

Insulting Apology from Islamic Center of Davis (Video): Camera, July 27, 2017

Historic Change on the Temple Mount: Moshe Feiglin, Zehut, July 26, 2017

Operation Good Neighbor: Israel Reveals its Massive Humanitarian Aid to Syria: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, July 19, 2017

When Will the F-35 Stop Being Controversial?: Sandra Erwin, National Interest, July 11, 2017

 

         

THE IDF’S PRIORITY: WAR READINESS

                                                 Yaakov Lappin

                                                  BESA, July 27, 2017

 

Israel is enjoying a period of relative calm, but in five to ten years, its strategic environment will likely be significantly more complex and challenging than it is today. For that reason, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has, under the Gideon multi-year working plan, placed combat training and war readiness at the top of its agenda.

 

The IDF General Staff has identified the objective of attaining a good state of war readiness, and keeping this readiness high, as a crucial objective for Israel in the medium to long term. It is an objective that has been neglected in past years due to budget instability and the lack of a clear strategic directive to place war readiness front and center. This dangerous blind spot appears to have been corrected. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot is intensively promoting the objective of war readiness throughout the whole of the military. A multi-year working plan provides a stable funding environment in which this can be achieved.

 

The stable truces in place with Hamas and Hezbollah, and the freeze in Iran’s nuclear program, allow the IDF time and space to focus on combat training and force build-up, thereby giving Israel the ability to prepare for a more dangerous future. The truces are fueled by Israeli deterrence and an Israeli ability to skillfully leverage influences on enemy decision-making. Both of the hybrid terrorist-guerrilla armies, Hezbollah and Hamas, are bogged down by challenges of their own. Despite their ideologies, they are reluctant to initiate a full-scale clash with Israel at this stage, as that would expose them to devastating Israeli firepower.

 

Such deterrence, could, however, prove time-limited. The prospect of combat with these foes, even if unintended, seems likely to grow with time. The risk of clashes with Hezbollah and Hamas will also be joined over time by new threats, the seeds of which can already be discerned. As Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi, head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate, said in June, “Israel’s power deters all enemies in all arenas, state and non-state … but there is a basic instability, and an increase in non-state actors. Their force build-up is intensifying, increasing the chances of scenarios of [a security] deterioration, even if no one wants these scenarios.”

 

Several factors point to a likely increase of threats. An assessment of these confirms the wisdom of Eizenkot’s directive to focus on achieving and maintaining good war readiness now, while conditions allow. The Iranian regime has not given up its strategic objective of obtaining nuclear weapons. The sunset clauses on the nuclear deal will lift key restrictions over the next eight to thirteen years. Assuming the hard-line Shiite ideological-religious camp and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) continue to control Iran’s foreign and military policies, the Islamic Republic will be able restart its nuclear program at the end of the sunset clauses (if it does not cheat and breach the agreement beforehand).

 

Iran could begin enriching uranium again (using improved techniques it is currently researching) to bring it to nuclear breakout, and could try to reach that point at a time of its choosing. Its missile program is already developing. This means Israel could find itself in a state-to-state conflict in the not too distant future. Additionally, Arab Sunni states threatened by Iran have launched civil nuclear programs of their own. These could turn out to be the initial stages of military nuclear programs, designed to counter Iran’s nuclear shadow.

 

The prospect of a nuclear arms race in the region is therefore very real. It might develop as an added layer on top of the fast-paced conventional arms race that already exists throughout the Middle East. An arms race in a region marked by instability and multiple failed states calls for an IDF that is capable of dealing with both non-state actors and state militaries that might, in the future, fall under the command of revolutionary Islamists. The latter are seeking to topple the pragmatic, rational Arab Sunni governments who currently share many interests with Israel.

 

Meanwhile, powerful hybrid non-state actors, which are part army and part terrorist-guerrilla, are building up their forces near Israel’s borders. Hezbollah in particular, though also Hamas, continues to build up its offensive capabilities. The Iranian missile factories set up in Lebanon are the latest indication of Hezbollah’s ambitious force build-up program, which threatens the Israeli home front as well as strategic targets inside Israel. Where Syria once existed as a centralized state, an assortment of well-armed Iranian-backed forces is gaining strength. The Shiite axis in Syria combats Sunni rebel organizations (some of them fundamentalist and jihadist) and receives Russian air support.

 

A number of these non-state entities are arming themselves with destructive firepower, including precision-guided heavy rockets and missiles. These capabilities were once reserved for the great powers. Halevi described this situation as one in which “great military power is falling into irresponsible hands.” The IDF is busy building up its own capabilities, and it remains the most potent military force in the Middle East. But as time progresses, Israel’s strategic depth is shrinking due to the mass production of precision weaponry by Iran’s military industries and the trafficking of such weapons to Iranian proxies…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

 

Contents

THE MERKAVA 4: WHY HEZBOLLAH SHOULD BE AFRAID—VERY AFRAID

Ari Lieberman

Front Page, July 21, 2017

 

Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, armchair pundits determined that the age of the tank as king of the battlefield had come to an ignominious end. They argued that the introduction of anti-tank guided missiles rendered the tank obsolete. How wrong they were. Several post-war studies of the conflict demonstrated that the tank was still indispensable to modern warfare and when employed in a combined arms manner with artillery and mechanized infantry, still reigned supreme.

 

Israel learned many lessons from the Yom Kippur War and incorporated those lessons into the development of its own indigenous tank, the Merkava (Chariot). The Merkava 1 entered service with the Israel Defense Forces in 1978 and first saw action in 1982 during Operation Peace for Galilee when it engaged and destroyed no fewer than nine Soviet-made, Syrian T-72 tanks without sustaining a single loss. It also reportedly succeeded in downing a Syrian anti-tank helicopter with its main gun.

 

Since that time, the Merkava has undergone several modifications and improvements, the latest iteration of which is the Merkava 4. The Merkava 4 is considered by armored warfare experts to be among the finest tanks in the world, and in terms of crew survivability, the safest. In the summer of 2006, Israel was forced to go to war again, this time with the notorious terrorist organization Hezbollah. On July 12, two Israeli reservists were killed and their bodies snatched during a Hezbollah cross-border attack. Israel could not allow the outrage to go unanswered and decided to launch an offensive against Hezbollah. Nearly 400 Merkava tanks, mostly of the older II and III variants, were haphazardly deployed in the latter stages of the 34-day conflict.

 

During the course of the war, Hezbollah guerrillas fired thousands of anti-tank missiles – from the first generation Sagger to the highly advanced Kornet – at static Israeli infantry and tanks but only succeeding in damaging some 40 tanks and of these, there were only 20 penetrations. Despite these encouraging numbers, so-called experts began to once again challenge the utility of the tank and its place in modern warfare. IDF planners saw things differently. They went back to the drawing board in an effort to draw conclusions from the performance of the Merkava and tactics employed by its crew members.

 

With at least 1/3 of its fighting force permanently stationed in Syria, the probability of Hezbollah initiating war against Israel in the near future is low. Even in the absence of the Syrian conflict, Hezbollah will soon not forget the thrashing it took at the hands of the IDF during the 2006 campaign. Nevertheless, most experts agree that the next Lebanon war is not a question of if, but when, and when it does begin, Israel’s latest Merkava variant, the vaunted Merkava 4 will be in the thick of it.

 

The Merkava 4 incorporates many sophisticated design features including advanced electro optics that ensure a 100% first-hit kill capability from its formidable 120mm smooth-bore gun. The Merkava also features an internally operated 60mm mortar to deal with missile-armed infantry. The Merkava is also capable of firing the long-rang, third generation LAHAT laser homing, guided missile from its main gun, an advantage lacking in the Merkava’s contemporaries. Another feature possessed by the Merkava but lacking in its competitors is the ability to accommodate up to eight infantry soldiers or three litter patients.

 

But among its most outstanding features is its emphasis on crew safety and ability to negate anti-tank missile threats. The tank, whose well-sloped armor is composed of advanced spaced and composite materials, is arguably the best protected in the world. Unlike other tank designs, the Merkava’s 1,500hp diesel engine is located in the front, providing the crew with an additional layer of protection from frontal hits. Learning from past experience, the Merkava’s vulnerable underbelly was up-armored to provide additional protection against anti-tank mines and Iranian supplied explosively formed projectiles (EFP), which have been used to devastating effect by Iraqi and Afghan insurgents against American forces, claiming no fewer than 500 American lives. In addition, the Merkava 4’s armor is modular, allowing for quick battlefield repair and tailoring the armor for the tank’s mission-specific purposes.

 

But perhaps the Merkava’s most outstanding feature is its use of the Trophy active self-protection missile defense system, which acts like the tank’s personal Iron Dome missile defense shield. The system is designed to shoot down incoming missiles before the projectile reaches the tank’s armor. The IDF is the first military to deploy such a platform and all Merkava 4s and Namer (leopard) and Eytan armored personnel carriers (APC) are equipped with it. The United States Army is currently testing the Trophy system for use and adoption in its M1A2 Abrams tanks and other armored fighting vehicles such as the Stryker wheeled APC and the Bradley tracked APC.

 

The Trophy’s first baptism under fire occurred on March 1, 2011 when it successfully intercepted an RPG-29 anti-tank rocket fired by a Hamas terrorist from Gaza. Three years later, during Operation Protective Edge, the system proved itself again, shooting down no less than five anti-tank missiles fired by Hamas terrorists. Not a single Merkava tank was damaged thus depriving the enemy of any psychological or propaganda victory…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

 

Contents

 

THE F-35 CRITICS VS. THE FACTS                                                        

Chet Richards                                                                        

American Thinker, July 4, 2017

 

The people working on various aspects of the F-35 fighter program must be very frustrated. The program is still highly classified, so that much that is taking place within the program is simply not available for discussion. And yet, the F-35’s critics are baying and howling and often deliberately misrepresenting the program and its products.

 

The F-35 program is not one program. It is several. Its products are three different aircraft and several brand-new, and highly innovative, technologies. It provides quantum leaps in aviation technology in many different areas. Simultaneously achieving all these technical breakthroughs has obviously proved difficult. But that is not surprising — it is the norm in innovative engineering.

 

The program is producing three very different aircraft: the F-35A is a conventional takeoff aircraft for the Air Force. The F-35B is a vertical takeoff and landing capable aircraft for the Marine Corps. The F-35C is a catapult takeoff and carrier landing aircraft for the Navy. From a distance, the aircraft look alike and inside they share much avionics and the core of the engine. But don’t be fooled. These are very different aircraft.

 

The F/A-18 Hornet and the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet also look like they are the same aircraft. But they are really two completely different aircraft. The Hornet was developed in the 1970s and was manufactured in the 1980s. The Super Hornet was developed in the 1990s and was in production after 2000. The Super Hornet is 20% larger, up to 15,000 pounds heavier, has 40% greater range and 50% greater endurance. They look alike simply because the Super Hornet borrowed excellent aerodynamic design from the Hornet. Time and money saved. Then why are they both called "F-18"? Try selling a brand new aircraft to Congress! For that matter, try selling three different aircraft to Congress: just call them all F-35s and make sure they look alike.

 

The real intent of unifying the various F-35 programs under one management umbrella was to make sure that each of the three different aircraft, and innovative technologies, would be fully compatible for Joint Service Operations. Moreover, there is substantial fabrication and logistics commonality and this reduces overall unit cost and subsequent support cost. It should be noted that the F-35 development effort is not quite complete. There are still bugs to be fixed. This is normal, and normally provided for in the Integrated Master Plan and Schedule.

 

At a similar point in the development of the M1 Abrams tank, its critics were howling for program cancellation because of the tank’s many developmental bugs. The bugs were fixed and the M1 proved itself, in battle, to be by far the deadliest tank in history. Even though Initial Operating Capability (IOC) has been declared for the F-35A and the F-35B, this does not mean that these aircraft have their full combat capability — although some units have been forward deployed. IOC really means that these aircraft are training the crews that will eventually operationally fly improved production models. And, in a pinch, they could fight.

 

My old boss, mentor, and dear friend, the late Bill O’Neil, used to say that a fighter plane is a truck. Its job is to deliver a munition to the right place at the right time. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. Try telling that to a fighter jock. What he wants is something looking sleek and deadly! But Bill was right, and his contribution to the F-35 is major. I mentioned that several innovative programs existed under the F-35 umbrella. One of the most important of these is Bill’s Distributed Aperture System — the DAS. The DAS on the F-35 consists of six infrared sensors (cameras) placed at various parts of the aircraft. A complex computing system seamlessly fuses the imagery and presents it to the helmet visor of the pilot in such a way that wherever he looks he sees the world outside the aircraft as if the walls of the aircraft are simply not there. No need to roll the aircraft to see the ground below, just look down. No need to turn the aircraft to look straight behind, just turn your head. The wings are no longer there to obscure your vision.

 

Imagine a pilot about to land his nose-up aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier. It is night. It is storming. The carrier’s lights are doused because an enemy is nearby. To the naked eye the carrier simply does not exist. Only the lights of the Optical Landing System are visible. If you have any doubts about the seriousness of this scenario just talk to a carrier qualified pilot, as I have. It scares even the most experienced pilots! Because the DAS sensors see in the infrared, night looks like day. With DAS, the pilot looks down just below his instrument panel. The now brightly lit carrier’s deck is fully visible to him at all times. Landing is so very much easier. Carrier pilots are going to love the DAS. But the F-35 DAS is in its infancy. It is easy to envision where this technology is going to go, with greatly increased spatial resolution and hyperspectral imaging. DAS is definitely the future — the future for all aircraft — thanks to the F-35 program…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

 

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WHY ISRAEL REMOVED THE METAL DETECTORS

Daniel Pipes                                              

BESA, July 2, 2017

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party announced Saturday that the “campaign for Jerusalem has effectively begun, and will not stop until a Palestinian victory and the release of the holy sites from Israeli occupation.” Fatah demanded the removal of metal detectors and other security devices from the entrance to the Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. A week earlier two Israeli policemen were killed by terrorists who had stashed their weapons inside the mosque.

 

The Fatah statement was illogical and hypocritical. Many mosques in Muslim-majority countries use the same security technology to protect worshipers, tourists and police. Yet Mr. Abbas managed to force the Israeli government to remove them. He did it by deflecting attention from the policemen’s murders and stoking fear of a religious conflagration with vast repercussions.

 

The Temple Mount crisis highlights with exceptional clarity three factors that explain why a steady 80% of Palestinians believe they can eliminate the Jewish state: Islamic doctrine, international succor and Israeli timidity. Islam carries with it the expectation that any land once under Muslim control is an endowment that must inevitably revert to Muslim rule. The idea has abiding power: think of Osama bin Laden’s dream of resurrecting Andalusia and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hopes of regaining influence over the Balkans. Palestinians consistently report their belief that the state of Israel will collapse within a few decades.

 

A confrontation over the Temple Mount uniquely excites this expectation because it reaches far beyond the local population to arouse the passions of many of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. The most prominent Muslim leaders and institutions overwhelmingly supported Fatah’s position on the Temple Mount security provisions. Islamic voices outside the pro-Palestinian consensus are rare. Palestinians rejoice in their role as the tip of an enormous spear.

 

Palestinians’ illusions of might enjoy considerable international support. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization routinely passes critical resolutions aimed at Israel. Columbia University houses something called the Center for Palestine Studies. Major corporations such as Google and news organizations like the British Broadcasting Corp. pretend there’s a country called Palestine. Foreign aid has created a Palestinian pseudo-economy that in 2016 enjoyed a phenomenal 4.1% growth rate.

 

In the Temple Mount crisis, the U.S. government, the Europeans and practically everyone else lined up to support the demand for the elimination of metal detectors, along with high-tech cameras or any other devices to prevent jihadi attacks. The Quartet on the Middle East welcomed “the assurances by the Prime Minister of Israel that the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem will be upheld and respected.” With this sort of near-unanimous support, Palestinians easily imagine themselves stronger than the Jewish state.

 

Israel’s security services timidly avoid taking steps that might upset the Palestinians. This soft approach results not from starry-eyed idealism but from an exceedingly negative view of Palestinians as unreformable troublemakers. Accordingly, the police, intelligence agencies and military agree to just about anything that ensures calm while rejecting any initiative to deprive the Palestinians of funds, punish them more severely or infringe on their many prerogatives.

 

The Israeli security establishment knows that the Palestinian Authority will continue to incite and sanction murder even as it seeks to delegitimize and isolate the state of Israel. But those security services emphatically prefer to live with such challenges than to punish Mr. Abbas, reduce his standing and risk another intifada. The collapse of the Palestinian Authority and a return to direct Israeli rule is the security services’ nightmare. Mr. Abbas knows this, and this week’s fiasco demonstrates that he’s not afraid to exploit Israeli fears to advance his dream of debasing and eventually eliminating the Jewish state.

 

Daniel Pipes is a CIJR Academic Fellow

CIJR Wishes All Our Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents

On Topic Links

 

Insulting Apology from Islamic Center of Davis (Video): Camera, July 27, 2017 —That’s the dishonest, cowardly, meaningless, and insulting apology offered by the Islamic Center of Davis in California after Imam Ammar Shahin called for the annihilation of Jews during a sermon he gave on Friday, July 21, 2017. After Shahin’s sermon was recorded and posted on the mosque’s website, it came to the attention of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) who translated it from Arabic into English for a shocked public.

Historic Change on the Temple Mount: Moshe Feiglin, Zehut, July 26, 2017—Although I anticipated that Netanyahu would remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount, and although I very much hoped that I would be proven wrong, things are developing in such an amazing and fascinating manner, that you cannot but think that perhaps we are on the threshold of an historic change of direction.

Operation Good Neighbor: Israel Reveals its Massive Humanitarian Aid to Syria: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, July 19, 2017—The Israeli military on Wednesday unveiled the scope of its humanitarian assistance in Syria that has dramatically mushroomed over the last year to include treating chronically ill children who have no access to hospitals, building clinics in Syria, and supplying hundreds of tons of food, medicines and clothes to war-ravaged villages across the border.

When Will the F-35 Stop Being Controversial?: Sandra Erwin, National Interest, July 11, 2017 —It is a question that has nagged the Pentagon for years: At what point will the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter be out of the woods?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LES DRUZES ISRAÉLIENS: FRÈRES DE SANG

  

    

 

 

 

 

LES DRUZES EN ISRAËL

Jacques Benillouche

18 Juillet 2017

          

 

L’assassinat à Jérusalem de deux policiers druzes à Jérusalem, dans un attentat commis par trois jeunes arabes israéliens d’Oum El Fahm, a remis au-devant de l’actualité cette communauté discrète, très impliquée dans la vie israélienne.

 

La compréhension du conflit israélo-palestinien passe par la connaissance des populations qui composent l’État d’Israël. Les minorités sont importantes et jouent souvent un rôle primordial au sein de la communauté israélienne.

 

Les Druzes ont participé à la guerre d’Indépendance d’Israël et ont contribué à la victoire contre les armées arabes.

 

Les Druzes, professant une religion musulmane hétérodoxe, sont installés au sud du Liban (350.000), au sud de la Syrie (700.000) dans le djebel Druze et au nord d’Israël en Galilée (120.000).

 

Leur religion, fondée sur l’initiation philosophique, est considérée comme une branche ismaélienne du courant musulman du chiisme.

 

Mais cette secte, ayant abandonné certains préceptes islamiques, s’est transformée en religion à part en se distinguant des autres musulmans avec lesquels les relations sont souvent houleuses.

 

Leur doctrine est dérivée de l’ismaélisme et constitue une synthèse du mysticisme musulman et de la pensée coranique. Courant monothéiste par excellence, il insiste sur l’unité absolue de Dieu.

 

La religion, qui ne comporte ni liturgie et ni lieux de culte, reste très secrète et n’est révélée aux fidèles qu’après divers degrés d’initiation. Cette discrétion était imposée en raison des exactions qu’on subies les membres de cette communauté de la part des autres musulmans et même des chrétiens.

 

De simples locaux abritent les lieux de prière, sans minaret, sans fioritures ni décorations murales et il n’existe aucune hiérarchie religieuse parmi les imams.

 

Les Druzes, rejetant la charia et les obligations rituelles qui en découlent comme le jeûne du ramadan, sont devenus suspects à la fois aux yeux des chiites et des sunnites.

 

Bien que ces petites communautés soient disséminées autour de plusieurs frontières, elles représentent une société écoutée par les gouvernements dont elles dépendent.

 

Leur propension à la révolte et leur esprit d’indépendance leur permet de constituer un groupe de pression efficace.

 

Les chefs des villages druzes des victimes, Marar et Hurfeish dans le nord d’Israël, ont été éprouvés par la mort des leurs mais cela n’atteint en rien leurs convictions sur la mission confiée à toute sa communauté.

 

Ils ont déclaré sans aucune ambigüité que «notre village a malheureusement donné un grand nombre de ses fils pour la sécurité de l’État d’Israël.

 

Même s’il y a parfois chez nous des controverses avec les autorités, en raison de certaines discriminations, nous continuerons à nous engager dans les rangs de Tsahal et à apporter notre contribution à l’Etat dans lequel nous vivons et nous prions pour sa pérennité».

 

Pour comprendre l’état d’esprit des Druzes dont le nationalisme pro-israélien est souvent exacerbé et analyser leur comportement comme minorité dans le paysage d’Israël, Tsahal nous avait autorisés à interroger, en exclusivité, le lieutenant-colonel druze Safwan, 41 ans, qui avait accepté librement de répondre à nos questions.

 

Les Druzes, qui sont citoyens israéliens servent dans l’armée au titre du service militaire légal ou en tant que soldats de carrière. Safwan, m’avait reçu dans sa base de Galilée qu’il commande en temps de paix tout en étant à la tête d’un régiment de réservistes en période de guerre. Nous reproduisons cette interview qui reste totalement d’actualité.

 

Votre religion est peu connue en Europe.

 

Les Druzes ont fait scission avec l’islam en 1017 à partir d’Egypte pour se disperser ensuite dans différents pays car ils ont été alors persécutés.

 

Ils ont vécu dans une société fermée, réservée uniquement aux Druzes, surtout pour des raisons de sécurité. Notre religion se distingue des autres parce que les conversions ne sont pas admises et que la monogamie est exigée.

 

L’absence de prosélytisme nous rend pacifiques car nous voulons rester dans notre milieu sans chercher à faire venir à nous de nouveaux adeptes.

 

Nos religieux ne peuvent le devenir qu’après une longue période de probation, sorte d’examen, et après une enquête approfondie sur leur passé qui doit être irréprochable. A ce moment seulement, ils reçoivent les clefs secrètes de nos dogmes et de nos pratiques.

 

Comment expliquer votre nationalisme ?

 

Les Druzes sont installés dans plusieurs autres pays du Proche-Orient. Notre religion nous impose d’être fidèles, loyaux et reconnaissants envers le pays qui nous héberge. La règle est de ne pas couper la branche sur laquelle nous sommes et pour cela, nous devons nous intégrer sans cependant nous assimiler.

 

A l’opposé des Kurdes, nous n’avons aucune aspiration à créer un État druze et nous ne revendiquons aucun territoire. Nous tenons à être forts et notre doctrine nous impose de donner beaucoup de nous-mêmes à notre pays. C’est ce qui marque notre lien à Israël. Chaque Druze défend le pays où il vit.

 

Nous sommes très attachés à la notion de territoire et si vous nous en donnez un, nous le protègerons quoi qu’il nous en coûte. Cela explique pourquoi les Druzes s’engagent militairement pour défendre le Liban, la Syrie ou Israël.

 

Cela explique aussi pourquoi les Druzes du Golan, annexé par les Israéliens, restent attachés à leur appartenance à la Syrie, sans aucune motivation politique.

 

Quelles sont vos relations avec les Druzes des autres pays ?

 

Nous avons des relations avec les Druzes de Syrie et du Liban parce que nous avons des liens familiaux. A titre personnel d’ailleurs, je m’efforce de reconstituer l’origine de mes racines très éparpillées.

 

Nous sommes cependant autorisés, tous les ans, à rendre visite à nos familles de l’étranger car le maintien de ces relations est primordial pour nous. Nous espérons fortement être un pont menant à la paix entre les peuples qui se combattent sans interférer dans les propres préoccupations nationales.

 

Y a-t-il une discrimination à l’égard de votre communauté ?

 

Nous ne souffrons d’aucune discrimination car il n’est pas marqué sur mon front que je suis druze et mon physique ressemble à celui de l’israélien moyen. D’ailleurs ma femme ressemble à une italienne.

 

Mais les choses ont beaucoup évolué. En particulier, en 1987 quand je me suis engagé, j’ai été incorporé dans un régiment réservé aux Druzes.

 

Aujourd’hui, cela ne se fait plus. Les conscrits druzes sont intégrés dans tous les régiments, selon la spécialité qu’ils choisissent : fantassin, tankiste, pilote ou marin. Le temps a fait les choses et, nous avons à présent des généraux.

 

On vous accuse en Europe d’être les harkis d’Israël.

 

Je m’insurge en faux contre cette affirmation d’autant plus que je connais le problème qui a fait l’objet de ma thèse de maitrise de sciences politiques portant sur la guerre d’Algérie.

 

Contrairement aux harkis qui étaient des simples soldats, sans nationalité française, souvent enrôlés de force et commandés par des officiers français, moi je suis un colonel druze qui commande des Israéliens, juifs et non juifs sans distinction.

 

Comment êtes-vous perçus dans les villages arabes.

 

Il y a beaucoup d’idées fausses qui circulent à savoir, par exemple, que la police des frontières est uniquement constituée de Druzes parce qu’ils parlent l’arabe alors qu’elle comporte aussi des Russes et même des Français.

 

En revanche je comprends la situation du jeune arabe qui se présente aux frontières, face à un soldat qui parle sa langue.

 

Il est naturellement en droit de se poser la question de savoir pourquoi celui-ci a choisi le mauvais bord. Les Palestiniens sont des étrangers pour nous alors que nous avons à défendre nos intérêts et nos options nationales.

 

Nos enfants parlent presque sans accent parce qu’ils étudient dans les écoles israéliennes bien que nous ayons dans nos villages nos propres écoles.

 

Ils sont complétement assimilés dans le pays ; leur tenue ressemble à toutes les tenues des jeunes occidentaux mais, à l’exception des religieuses en forte minorité qui portent un petit voile, les autres préfèrent le jeans.

 

Quelles sont les activités des druzes en dehors de l’armée ?

 

Dans les années 1960, les Druzes étaient essentiellement des agriculteurs et à 5% des militaires. Aujourd’hui, 30% des Druzes travaillent dans la défense nationale, 30% dans les professions libérales et le reste dans les services et l’agriculture.

 

Et votre représentation dans les institutions politiques ?

 

Nous avons des députés druzes et même un ministre de la communication. Nous représentons 1,5% de la population totale donc, de ce point de vue, nous n’avons pas à nous plaindre.

 

Israël est un pays qui est aussi bien le nôtre que celui des Juifs. Nous avons des consuls et des ambassadeurs druzes à l’étranger.

 

Pourquoi beaucoup de Druzes s’enrôlent dans l’armée ?

 

Notre conviction est que nous voulons et nous devons êtres forts pour nous défendre parce que l’histoire de notre persécution nous l’impose. Par ailleurs l’officier a une image de marque très importante dans notre communauté, qui symbolise la force.

 

Certes, depuis quelques années, les ingénieurs high-tech ont supplanté les soldats dans cette vision et la carrière militaire est abandonnée au profit des industries.

 

L’officier a un statut social élevé chez nous, il inspire le respect et la fierté de nos parents et il est un gage pour notre sécurité car nous avons toujours à l’esprit que nous pouvons à nouveau être persécutés. L’armée est l’endroit où la réussite personnelle peut s’affirmer au mieux.

 

Pourquoi vivez-vous entre vous, dans des villages druzes ?

 

Il faut d’abord rappeler que, dans l’Histoire, nous avons été toujours persécutés par les autres musulmans et cela explique que nos villages ont été construits au sommet de collines ou de montagnes, comme Daliat Hacarmel. Mais, par ailleurs, nous devons nous retrouver et sauvegarder nos traditions.

 

Nous sommes très sensibles au culte de la famille et des parents et nous avons besoin de cette proximité, sans pour cela être accusés de créer une ségrégation. Dans nos villages, nous sommes proches de nos lieux de culte et comme vous ne l’ignorez pas, nous tenons à nous marier entre nous.

 

Il est rare qu’un ou une Druze n’épouse pas quelqu’un de sa communauté. Ceux qui vont vivre temporairement dans les villes, pour suivre des études ou pour y travailler, reviennent toujours s’installer dans leur village pour y retrouver une protection morale et physique. Mais nous n’oublions jamais d’où nous venons. »

 

Cet entretien nous a permis de comprendre pourquoi les Druzes du Liban ou de Syrie n’ont aucune sympathie pour Israël puisqu’ils défendent les intérêts de leur pays sans référence à leur communauté ailleurs. En fait, ils n’agissent pas au nom d’une appartenance à une même communauté, comme les Juifs par exemple, mais en tant que nationalistes chargés de soutenir leur pays respectif même si des membres de leurs familles combattent par ailleurs aux côtés des Juifs.

 

 

 

 

LES DRUZES ET ISRAËL :

UNE HISTOIRE D’AMOUR

31 juillet 2014

 

 

 

Le 20 juillet dernier, le Colonel Ghassan Elian, commandant de la très réputée brigade d’infanterie Golani, revenait blessé du combat. Il a aussitôt voulu repartir sur le front. Il fallut bien du courage aux médecins pour lui expliquer qu’il n’était pas en état.

Être Druze et Israélien

 

« J’ai beaucoup de soldats là-bas. Je dois y retourner » fut l’une des premières phrases prononcées par l’officier druze israélien à son arrivée à l’hôpital, a rapporté la 10e chaîne israélienne. Blessés dans des affrontements durant la nuit du 19 au 20 juillet dans le nord de la bande de Gaza, il a supplié les médecins de le laisser rejoindre ses soldats. Blessé à l’œil, les médecins l’en ont toutefois empêché et lui ont demandé de rester sagement à l’hôpital car il avait toujours des éclats dans son corps. Il est encore actuellement soigné à l’hôpital.

 

Le colonel Ghassan Alian est l’un des Israéliens druzes les plus élevés dans l’armée israélienne, sa nomination à la tête de la célèbre brigade d’infanterie Golani avait fait l’objet de reportages et d’articles de journaux car il devenait le premier commandant non juif de la brigade. Le colonel Alian n’en est pas à sa première guerre pour la défense d’Israël, il a notamment combattu en 2006 lors de la deuxième guerre du Liban et a été également blessé dans des combats contre le Hezbollah. En 2014 il était néanmoins toujours sur le front. Il est marié et père d’un enfant et vit avec sa famille à Shfar’am.

 

Le colonel Alian Ghossan n’est pas toutefois le plus haut gradé des Israéliens druzes, puisque il existe des généraux druzes dans l’armée israélienne ainsi que des ambassadeurs, des diplomates, des politiciens haut placés. Comme la plupart des Druzes en Israël, le colonel Ghassan Alian est un ardent défenseur de l’Etat hébreu. Pour lui, l’Etat d’Israël n’est pas seulement l’Etat des Juifs, qui constituent 80% de la population et qui ont construit l’Etat en tant que peuple, mais aussi l’Etat démocratique qui fait partie des fondements de l’Etat et du mouvement sioniste et hébreu, l’Etat du bien et de la défense de la liberté, de la vie, de la démocratie, du respect des autres. Le colonel ne cache pas son sentiment de combattre pour la défense d’Israël, des siens, mais aussi de tout le monde libre dans un combat contre l’obscurantisme, la haine raciste et religieuse du Hamas et du Jihad islamique, contre des criminels de guerre qui vouent un culte à la mort et cherchent à faire tuer leurs propres enfants pour les porter en martyre. Appartenant à une minorité en Israël, il défend l’Etat qui l’accueille dans la tolérance et l’ouverture contre ceux qui ont persécuté les Druzes avant la création de l’Etat d’Israël, et qui continuent encore de le faire aujourd’hui au Liban et en Syrie, sans que personne ne lève le petit doigt.

 

 

AYOUB KARA NOMMÉ MINISTRE DE LA COMMUNICATION

Shraga Blum      

28 Mai, 2017

 

 

Depuis l’entrée en fonction de ce gouvernement, le poste de ministre de la Communication n’était pas pourvu et c’est le Premier ministre qui en assumait la charge. Cette situation provoquait nombre de critiques, ce ministère étant d’une grande importance stratégique et politique. Plusieurs saisies de la Cour suprême avaient été faites par l’opposition ou des organisations citoyennes au motif qu’il y a conflit d’intérêts dans le fait que le Premier ministre, qui de surcroît est sous le coup d’enquêtes judiciaires, détienne ce poste qui englobe les médias. Ainsi, il y a trois mois, Binyamin Netanyahou nommait Tsahi Hanegbi comme « ministre par intérim ».

 

Mais depuis dimanche, il y aura un ministre attitré en la personne d’Ayoub Kara, actuellement ministre sans portefeuille. Depuis quelques temps, c’est le nom de Yariv Levin qui  circulait pour endosser ce poste très sensible mais c’est finalement Ayoub Kara qui a été choisi par Binyamin Netanyahou.

 

Avec Ayoub Kara, qui est se voit ainsi récompensé pour sa fidélité inconditionnelle à Binyamin Netanyahou, c’est la première fois qu’un représentant de la communauté druze se voit confier une ministère à part entière. Jusqu’à présent, Ayoub Kara ainsi qu’un autre druze, Salah Tarif, étaient arrivés au stade de ministre sans portefeuille ou ministre au sein du bureau du Premier ministre.

 

Une belle manière de récompenser cette minorité qui a toujours été fidèle à l’Etat d’Israël et dont de nombreux fils ont donné leur vie pour la défense du pays.

 

 

 

 

DES MILLIERS DE PERSONNES AUX FUNÉRAILLES DES 2 POLICIERS « BIEN-AIMÉS » TUÉS AU MONT DU TEMPLE

Judah Ari Gross

Times of Israel, 14 juillet 2017

 

 

 

es deux agents de police druzes israéliens assassinés lors d’un attentat à l’arme à feu perpétré sur le mont du Temple dans la Vieille ville de Jérusalem ont été inhumés lors de deux cérémonies de funérailles séparées dans leurs villages respectifs, au nord d’Israël, vendredi en début de soirée.

 

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Haiel Sitawe, 30 ans, a été enterré dans la ville de Maghar, une municipalité majoritairement druze et arabe du nord d’Israël, dans l’après-midi de vendredi. L’adjudant Kamil Shnaan, 22 ans, a pour sa part été inhumé dans le village druze de Hurfeish, également dans le nord d’Israël.

 

Sitawe avait rejoint la police des frontières dans le cadre de son service militaire obligatoire au lieu de servir au sein de l’armée. Il était entré dans la police israélienne en 2012 et était intégré depuis l’unité responsable de la sécurisation du mont du Temple. Il laisse derrière lui une épouse, Irin, un fils de trois semaines, ses parents et trois frères.

 

Shnaan avait rejoint la police directement après le lycée. Il avait décidé de rester au sein des forces de l’ordre il y a sept mois, signant pour une carrière d’officier.

 

Il était le plus jeune fils d’un ancien membre de la Knesset issu du parti travailliste, Shachiv Shnaan. Sa cérémonie de fiançailles avec sa petite amie devait avoir lieu la semaine prochaine. Shnaan laisse derrière lui ses parents, un frère et trois soeurs.

 

Shnaan et Sitawe ont été tous deux promus adjudants à titre posthume.

 

S’exprimant lors des funérailles de Sitawe, le chef de la police Roni Alsheich a salué l’agent « aimé » par ses pairs.

 

« Aujourd’hui, vous êtes sortis à la tête d’une patrouille. Vous n’étiez même pas censés être dans cette patrouille où vous avez trouvé la mort, mais un ami vous avait demandé votre aide et vous avez immédiatement répondu. C’est ainsi que vous étiez – un véritable ami… », a-t-il dit.

 

« Vos amis ne parviennent pas à réaliser le fait que vous n’êtes plus en vie… Les membres de la famille ne trouvent pas les mots pour qualifier leur douleur. Leur douleur est notre douleur, leur chagrin est notre chagrin… Nous vous embrassons, nous vous promettons que jamais, vous n’avancerez seuls », a-t-il déclaré aux familles.

 

Le ministre de la Sécurité intérieure Gilad Erdan a également pris la parole lors de ces funérailles, disant de Sitawe que par ses actions courageuses, ce dernier avait sauvé de nombreuses vies.

 

Lors de la cérémonie d’inhumation de Shnaan, plus tard dans l’après-midi, son père a expliqué aux médias qu’il avait élevé son fils à « aimer son pays, aimer la vie, aimer les gens ».

 

Il a ajouté que la mort de son enfant « marquait un moment où nous remercions Dieu pour tout ce qu’il a donné, 22 ans. ». Après un bref silence marqué par le chagrin, il a indiqué que son fils n’était plus « avec nous » et qu’il priait « pour qu’il soit la dernière victime du terrorisme, pour que les gens comprennent que trop, c’est trop ».

 

Des milliers de personnes ont participé à la cérémonie.

 

L’attaque qui a entraîné la mort de Sitawe et Shnaan a commencé juste après 7 heures du matin, vendredi, lorsque trois terroristes arabes israéliens ont ouvert le feu sur un groupe d’agents de police dans une allée située aux abords du mont du Temple.

 

Les deux hommes ont été grièvement blessés lors de l’attentat, et ont succombé plus tard à leurs blessures.

 

Les terroristes, originaires de la ville arabe d’Umm al-Fahm, se sont enfuis dans le complexe du mont du Temple avant de tomber sous les balles des agents de police sur les lieux, a fait savoir un porte-parole des forces de l’ordre.

 

Une séquence filmée par des caméras de surveillance diffusée dans la soirée de vendredi montre les premiers moments de l’attentat, lorsque les terroristes se sont montrés, tirant dans le dos de l’un des agents.

 

S’exprimant devant la presse après l’attentat, le chef de la police israélienne, Roni Alsheich, a déclaré : « Cette matinée a été dure pour la police. Nous avons perdu deux hommes, des agents, qui ont payé le prix le plus cher dans cette attaque ».

 

Suite à l’information de leurs décès, les politiciens israéliens et d’anciens responsables de la Défense ont offert leur soutien à la communauté druze d’Israël.

 

Le ministre de l’Education Naftali Bennett a indiqué dans une déclaration que « le peuple juif a un lien éternel avec nos frères, les druzes », ajoutant qu’il était en deuil de Shnaan et Sitawe.

 

Le ministre des Finances Moshe Kahlon a écrit sur Twitter que son « coeur est aux côtés des familles des policiers, nos frères druzes héroïques assassinés au cours de cet attentat méprisable ».

 

L’ancien général Noam Tibon a écrit dans un Tweet qu’il « salue les soldats druzes, ayant constaté « leur grande contribution à la défense d’Israël au cours de longues années passées au sein de l’armée israélienne ».

 

« J’embrasse les familles Shnaan et Sitawe pour la perte de leurs fils », a-t-il ajouté.

 

Le chef de la police a qualifié cet attentat d' »extraordinaire et extrême ».

Les personnels médicaux d'urgence soignent les victimes d'un attentat terroriste perpétré sur le mont du Temple à Jérusalem, dans la Vieille ville, le 14 juillet 2017 (Crédit : Magen David Adom)

 

Les personnels médicaux d’urgence soignent les victimes d’un attentat terroriste perpétré sur le mont du Temple à Jérusalem, dans la Vieille ville, le 14 juillet 2017 (Crédit : Magen David Adom)

 

Tandis que les fusillades et les attaques au couteau sont fréquentes dans la Vieille Ville de Jérusalem depuis deux ans, les attentats perpétrés sur le mont du Temple lui-même ou à proximité sont excessivement rares.

 

« Une attaque à l’arme à feu sur le mont du Temple est un événement grave, sensible et rempli de signification que ce soit au niveau de la politique nationale ou internationale », a dit Alsheich.

 

 

 

 

 

Actualité 

 

 

 

 

ABBAS ANNONCE UN « GEL DES CONTACTS » AVEC ISRAËL ET APPELLE LE HAMAS À SE RÉCONCILIER AVEC LE FATAH

AFP ET TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF, 22 juillet 2017

 

 

 

Le président de l’Autorité palestinienne, Mahmoud Abbas, a annoncé vendredi un « gel des contacts » avec Israël.

 

« Au nom de la direction palestinienne, j’annonce (…) un gel de tous les contacts avec l’Etat d’occupation à tous les niveaux jusqu’à ce qu’Israël s’engage à annuler toutes les mesures contre notre peuple palestinien en général et à Jérusalem et dans la mosquée Al-Aqsa en particulier, et qui visent à imposer la souveraineté à Al-Aqsa et la diviser », a déclaré Abbas.

 

Il a spécifiquement fustigé l’installation de détecteurs de métaux dans le complexe du mont du Temple – placés là par Israël après une attaque terroriste menée le 14 juillet et dans laquelle trois Arabes-Israéliens ont abattu deux officiers de police israéliens avec des armes à feu qu’ils ont introduites clandestinement dans l’enceinte de la mosquée Al-Aqsa.

 

La déclaration du président de l’AP a eu lieu après une journée d’émeutes autour de la Vieille Ville et dans la région de Jérusalem. Trois Palestiniens auraient été tués et quelque 200 autres ont été blessés.

« Les mesures prises par Israël conduisent à une confrontation religieuse et à une fuite d’un processus diplomatique », a déclaré Abbas, cité par Haaretz.

 

Abbas a appelé tous les employés palestiniens à faire un don d’un jour de salaire pour soutenir Jérusalem.

 

Il a déclaré qu’il avait parlé avec plusieurs chefs d’État, y compris ceux d’Egypte, d’Arabie Saoudite et du Maroc, et leur a demandé d’intervenir dans le conflit concernant le mont du Temple.

 

Le président de l’AP a déclaré que l’AP financerait tous les coûts liés au traitement des blessés des affrontements de vendredi. « Nous allons dépenser 25 millions de dollars pour soutenir les Palestiniens de Jérusalem », a-t-il déclaré.

 

Il a également appelé le Hamas à se rallier à la cause du mont du Temple et à se réconcilier avec son propre parti, le Fatah.

 

Le Waqf islamique, gardiens jordaniens du site sacré, s’est opposé à la présence des détecteurs de métaux et a appelé les Palestiniens et les Arabes israéliens à ne pas entrer dans le site pour y prier.

Après l’attaque de la semaine dernière, Abbas et le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu ont parlé au téléphone et Abbas avait condamné l’attaque, mais a également exigé que le complexe soit immédiatement rouvert.

 

Israël n’a pas immédiatement répondu à l’annonce d’Abbas vendredi soir. Il n’était pas clair si la déclaration du président de l’AP sur le gel de « tous les contacts » comprenait la coordination de la sécurité entre les forces de sécurité israéliennes et palestiniennes.

 

Les forces de sécurité de l’AP et l’armée israélienne travaillent étroitement pour endiguer les attaques terroristes et autres violences.

 

Bien qu’Israël et l’AP n’aient pas repris les pourparlers de paix depuis trois ans, la coopération entre les forces de sécurité respectives pour maintenir le calme en Cisjordanie reste très active.

Un attentat au couteau à Halamish a fait 3 morts israéliens et un blessé grave, vendredi soir.

 

« Le Secrétaire général déplore profondément la mort de trois Palestiniens dans les affrontements aujourd’hui avec les forces de sécurité israéliennes et demande que ces incidents soient pleinement examinés. Ses pensées et ses prières sont avec les familles des victimes. Le Secrétaire général est préoccupé par le déroulement de la violence dans la Vieille Ville de Jérusalem. Il exhorte les dirigeants israéliens et palestiniens à s’abstenir de mesures susceptibles d’intensifier la situation et appelle tous les dirigeants politiques, religieux et communautaires à aider à réduire les tensions. Le Secrétaire général réitère que la sainteté des sites religieux doit être respectée comme lieu de réflexion, pas de violence, a déclaré vendredi soir dans un communiqué, Farhan Haq, le porte-parole adjoint du secrétaire général de l’ONU.

 

 

 

 

UN HOMME GRIÈVEMENT BLESSÉ PAR UN TERRORISTE DANS UNE ATTAQUE AU COUTEAU À PETAH TIKVA

Times of Israel,  24 juillet 2017,

 

 

Le président de l’Autorité palestinienne, Mahmoud Abbas, a annoncé vendredi un « gel des contacts » avec Israël.

 

« Au nom de la direction palestinienne, j’annonce (…) un gel de tous les contacts avec l’Etat d’occupation à tous les niveaux jusqu’à ce qu’Israël s’engage à annuler toutes les mesures contre notre peuple palestinien en général et à Jérusalem et dans la mosquée Al-Aqsa en particulier, et qui visent à imposer la souveraineté à Al-Aqsa et la diviser », a déclaré Abbas.

 

Il a spécifiquement fustigé l’installation de détecteurs de métaux dans le complexe du mont du Temple – placés là par Israël après une attaque terroriste menée le 14 juillet et dans laquelle trois Arabes-Israéliens ont abattu deux officiers de police israéliens avec des armes à feu qu’ils ont introduites clandestinement dans l’enceinte de la mosquée Al-Aqsa.

 

La déclaration du président de l’AP a eu lieu après une journée d’émeutes autour de la Vieille Ville et dans la région de Jérusalem. Trois Palestiniens auraient été tués et quelque 200 autres ont été blessés.

« Les mesures prises par Israël conduisent à une confrontation religieuse et à une fuite d’un processus diplomatique », a déclaré Abbas, cité par Haaretz.

 

Abbas a appelé tous les employés palestiniens à faire un don d’un jour de salaire pour soutenir Jérusalem.

 

Il a déclaré qu’il avait parlé avec plusieurs chefs d’État, y compris ceux d’Egypte, d’Arabie Saoudite et du Maroc, et leur a demandé d’intervenir dans le conflit concernant le mont du Temple.

 

Le président de l’AP a déclaré que l’AP financerait tous les coûts liés au traitement des blessés des affrontements de vendredi. « Nous allons dépenser 25 millions de dollars pour soutenir les Palestiniens de Jérusalem », a-t-il déclaré.

 

Il a également appelé le Hamas à se rallier à la cause du mont du Temple et à se réconcilier avec son propre parti, le Fatah.

 

Le Waqf islamique, gardiens jordaniens du site sacré, s’est opposé à la présence des détecteurs de métaux et a appelé les Palestiniens et les Arabes israéliens à ne pas entrer dans le site pour y prier.

Après l’attaque de la semaine dernière, Abbas et le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu ont parlé au téléphone et Abbas avait condamné l’attaque, mais a également exigé que le complexe soit immédiatement rouvert.

 

Israël n’a pas immédiatement répondu à l’annonce d’Abbas vendredi soir. Il n’était pas clair si la déclaration du président de l’AP sur le gel de « tous les contacts » comprenait la coordination de la sécurité entre les forces de sécurité israéliennes et palestiniennes.

 

Les forces de sécurité de l’AP et l’armée israélienne travaillent étroitement pour endiguer les attaques terroristes et autres violences.

 

Bien qu’Israël et l’AP n’aient pas repris les pourparlers de paix depuis trois ans, la coopération entre les forces de sécurité respectives pour maintenir le calme en Cisjordanie reste très active.

Un attentat au couteau à Halamish a fait 3 morts israéliens et un blessé grave, vendredi soir.

 

« Le Secrétaire général déplore profondément la mort de trois Palestiniens dans les affrontements aujourd’hui avec les forces de sécurité israéliennes et demande que ces incidents soient pleinement examinés. Ses pensées et ses prières sont avec les familles des victimes. Le Secrétaire général est préoccupé par le déroulement de la violence dans la Vieille Ville de Jérusalem. Il exhorte les dirigeants israéliens et palestiniens à s’abstenir de mesures susceptibles d’intensifier la situation et appelle tous les dirigeants politiques, religieux et communautaires à aider à réduire les tensions. Le Secrétaire général réitère que la sainteté des sites religieux doit être respectée comme lieu de réflexion, pas de violence, a déclaré vendredi soir dans un communiqué, Farhan Haq, le porte-parole adjoint du secrétaire général de l’ONU.

 

 

 

UN HOMME GRIÈVEMENT BLESSÉ PAR UN TERRORISTE DANS UNE ATTAQUE AU COUTEAU À PETAH TIKVA

Times of Israel 24 juillet 2017

 

 

Un Arabe israélien a été poignardé lundi en fin de matinée à Petah Tikva, en périphérie de Tel Aviv et a été évacué à l’hôpital, souffrant de blessures modérées à graves.

 

La police a annoncé que la victime avait été attaquée à proximité d’un stand qui vendait des Shawarma. Il s’agit apparemment d’un résident de la ville arabe israélienne d’Arara, tandis que son agresseur est un habitant palestinien de la ville de Qalqilya, en Cisjordanie.

 

L’agresseur a tenté de s’enfuir à pied, mais a été neutralisé par des civils qui l’ont livré à la police.

Les médias parlent d’un automobiliste qui aurait aidé les piétons à l’arrêter en fonçant sur lui avec sa voiture.

 

L’agresseur a été arrêté et emmené pour subir un interrogatoire. Louba Samri, porte-parole de la police israélienne a qualifié ce geste de crime nationaliste, nom de code pour attaque terroriste. L’assaillant travaillait illégalement en Israël.

 

La victime est un homme de 32 ans. Il a été soigné par les services d’urgence dans un commerce de proximité.

 

L’agence nationale de sécurité, le Shin Bet, a indiqué que l’attaquant, dont le nom n’a pas été autorisé à la diffusion, a purgé une peine de prison en Israël pour ses activités violentes contre Israël.

Selon les médias, l’assaillant a déclaré aux enquêteurs de police qu’il avait commis cette attaque pour riposter contre les actions d’Israël au mont du Temple, à Jérusalem. « Je l’ai fait pour Al-Aqsa », aurait-il dit.

 

Walla News a indiqué que la victime était un chauffeur de bus pour la compagnie Egged. Un responsable d’Egged a indiqué au site que le chauffeur était en pause au moment de l’attaque, et que l’assaillant à dû le prendre pour un Juif. »

 

« Il était pleinement conscient et assis sur une chaise et souffrait de blessures au couteau sanglantes sur la partie supérieure du corps », a indiqué Tom Dagan, un membre des services d’urgence de Magen David Adom (MDA).

 

« Nous lui avons administré les soins médicaux d’urgence, avons stoppé les pertes de sang et l’avons transporté dans une unité de soins intensifs d’urgence du MDA pour l’évacuer à l’hôpital Beilinson dans un état modéré à grave ».

 

Un employé du magasin de shawarma a décrit les premières minutes de l’incident au site Ynet. « Un homme est rentré et a commandé un shawarma. Il n’y avait rien d’anormal à son comportement. Ensuite, un chauffeur Egged, qui mange régulièrement avec nous, est entré. Il a passé commande et s’est servi une boisson dans le réfrigérateur. Pendant que je préparais sa commande, un autre chauffeur est entré, est soudainement, je l’ai entendu crier ‘attentat, attentat’. »

 

 

 

UNE MANIFESTATION ANTI-ISRAËL A EU LIEU DEVANT LA SYNAGOGUE D’ISTANBUL

JTA, 24 juillet 2017

 

 

 

Pour la deuxième fois en moins d’une semaine, des manifestants se sont mobilisés contre Israël devant une synagogue d’Istanbul.

 

Ce dernier incident, signalé dans les médias turcs, a eu lieu samedi devant la synagogue Ahida, du côté européen de la capitale turque, au nord du quartier de Fatih, bastion des Frères musulmans et d’autres mouvements islamistes en Turquie.

 

Jeudi, des manifestants se sont rassemblés devant la synagogue Neve Shalom, à Istanbul. Ils ont frappé la porte d’entrée et ont jeté des objets dessus. Les dirigeants juifs turcs ont condamné le fait de s’en prendre à des synagogues pour protester contre les actions prises par Israël. Suite à un attentat terroriste contre la police israélienne près de la mosquée d’Al-Aqsa, Israël a temporairement limité l’accès au lieu saint aux personnes de plus de 50 ans, et a placé des détecteurs de métaux à l’entrée.

 

En réaction aux protestations de la communauté juive de Turquie, le Premier ministre turc Binali Yıldırım a déclaré dimanche dans un communiqué adressé aux médias que bien que « limiter l’accès des musulmans à la mosquée d’Al-Aqsa, quelle qu’en soit la raison, est une erreur inacceptable, et la Turquie attend d’Israël de rectifier ceci immédiatement », le gouvernement turc « n’accepte pas que des actions soient prises devant des lieux de culte de citoyens juifs ».

 

Yıldırım a déclaré que le gouvernement « attend de tous ses citoyens de faire preuve de retenue ». Le communiqué n’a pas évoqué de conséquences si d’aventure certains ne se pliaient pas aux attentes du gouvernement.

 

Informations sur les Publicités Twitter et confidentialité

 

À la synagogue Ahida, qui est l’une des plus anciennes du pays, au moins 29 hommes se sont rassemblés samedi, brandissant des panneaux avec des slogans anti-Israël et une structure en carton supposée représenter une machine à rayons X, selon le site d’informations Haberler.

La manifestation visait la décision prise par Israël concernant les détecteurs de métaux à l’entrée du mont du Temple, aussi connu pour les musulmans sous le nom de Haram al-Sharif (le Sanctuaire Noble).

 

Les synagogues, prises pour cible par les islamistes et autres terroristes en Turquie par le passé, sont sous l’étroite surveillance de la police.

 

Pour entrer dans les principales synagogues d’Istanbul, notamment Neve Shalom, les visiteurs doivent en obtenir l’autorisation au préalable. Le fait que les manifestants ont pu se rassembler devant les synagogues et y organiser une manifestation est assez inhabituelle à Istanbul.

 

 

 

 

UNE VICTIME ISRAÉLIENNE DU TERRORISME DEMANDE À L’ONU D’AGIR CONTRE LES SALAIRES DES TERRORISTES PALESTINIENS

 

Times of Israel, 25 juillet, 2017

 

 

Oran Almot, qui avait 10 ans en 2003 quand un terroriste s’est fait exploser au restaurant Maxim à Haïfa tuant son père, ses grands-parents, son frère et son cousin, a fustigé le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations unies lors d’une réunion mardi à New York qui traite des tensions concernant le mont du Temple.

 

« Le Conseil de Sécurité tient une discussion sur le Moyen-Orient, mais l’un des sujets les plus importants, le financement du terrorisme par l’Autorité palestinienne, restera en dehors de cette discussion », a déclaré Almog, qui a été invité à s’exprimer devant le conseil par l’ambassadeur d’Israël, Danny Danon.

 

« Les dirigeants palestiniens paient des salaires aux terroristes et à leurs familles chaque mois. Quiconque croyant dans la valeur de la vie humaine devrait agir contre ces paiements », a-t-il ajouté.

 

Danon a déclaré que « l’attaque meurtrière à Halamish [vendredi] ne s’est pas produite dans le vide. Ce terroriste a commis un crime haineux dans le sillage d’appels endémiques et incessants par des officiels palestiniens incitant à la violence. »

 

La veille, l’envoyé avait montré une photographie de la cuisine ensanglantée à l’ONU, en indiquant que les proches du terroriste palestinien de 19 ans allaient recevoir « des milliers de dollars » de la part de l’Autorité palestinienne pour avoir perpétré cet attentat. La mère du terroriste de Halamish a été arrêtée mardi pour incitation.

 

 

 

LE SOLDAT QUI A TIRÉ SUR LE TERRORISTE À HALAMISH : « JE NE RÉFLÉCHISSAIS PAS, J’AI IMMÉDIATEMENT AGI »

Times of Israel, 22 juillet 2017

 

 

Un soldat en permission qui a réussi à blesser le terroriste palestinien à l’origine du massacre à Halamish vendredi soir, dans laquelle trois Israéliens ont été tués, revient sur les événements samedi dans une interview accordée à la Deuxième chaîne.

Identifié uniquement comme Sgt. A., de l’unité d’élite des forces spéciales de l’armée israélienne, le soldat dit avoir entendu les cris des victimes de la maison voisine, après quoi il a couru à la fenêtre de la maison en question et a tiré et blessé l’assaillant.

 

« J’ai compris immédiatement ce qui se passait – j’ai vu le terroriste et lui ai tiré dessus depuis la fenêtre », a-t-il dit, des propos cités par la Deuxième chaîne.

 

« J’ai bien compris la situation », a-t-il répété. « J’ai tiré sur [la maison] depuis l’extérieur. Je ne réfléchissais pas beaucoup sur le moment, j’ai immédiatement agi. »

 

L’attaquant a été blessé par le tir et a été évacué à l’hôpital dans un état modéré. Grâce à ses actions, le soldat a probablement empêché d’autres effusions de sang. Ce qui s’est passé vendredi n’était pas la première expérience du genre pour le sergent A.

 

Au cours de l’été 2014, lors de la guerre d’Israël avec le groupe terroriste palestinien du Hamas à Gaza, A. a aidé à stopper une similaire infiltration dans la maison de sa famille située dans la même implantation, Halamish.

 

Selon Ynet, A. avait trouvé deux Palestiniens dans la cuisine. Les deux hommes avaient battu sa soeur et son petit ami et les avaient enfermés dans une pièce. A. a réussi à les effrayer avant d’appeler en renfort l’équipe d’intervention d’urgence des implantations sur place.

 

Bien que la police n’ait jamais déterminé si l’incident était criminel ou une tentative d’attentat terroriste, la soeur de A., Noa, reste convaincue qu’ils avaient cherché à mener une attaque. « Un miracle nous est arrivé », avait-elle déclaré au Yedioth Ahronoth à l’époque.

 

Nous vous souhaitons Shabat Shalom!
 

 

 

 

 

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TEMPLE MOUNT CRISIS: METAL DETECTORS REMOVED, PALESTINIANS CONTINUE PROTESTS

The Temple Mount Crisis — Far From Over, it’s Really Just Beginning: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, July 26, 2017— Although for a moment it seemed that the metal detector crisis had ended Monday night, with the removal of the electronic gates and cameras from the entrances to the Temple Mount…

Palestinians: Metal Detectors or Lie Detectors – Who Is Violating What?: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, July 27, 2017— The metal detectors that were supposed to prevent Muslims from smuggling weapons into the Temple Mount compound, and which were removed by the Israeli authorities this week, have a more accurate name: "lie detectors."

Caving in Cravenly to Terror, Acting Stupidly Towards Jordan: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, July 27, 2017— Israel's security cabinet decided to remove all the metal detectors and cameras at the Temple Mount entrances…

Victory Requires Patience: Efraim Inbar, Israel Hayom, July 19, 2017— The Knesset has launched an Israel Victory Caucus, co-chaired by Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer and Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Peri, following the establishment of a similar caucus in the U.S. Congress.

 

On Topic Links

 

Clashes Erupt at Temple Mount as Muslim Worshipers Return to Site: Dov Lieber, Times of Israel, July 27, 2017

Israel’s Embassy in Jordan May Stay Closed: Jewish Press, July 27, 2017

In Unprecedented Attack, Israel Hayom Pans ‘Helpless,’ ‘Feeble’ Netanyahu: Times of Israel, July 26, 2017

Beyond the Debate Over Metal Detectors (Video): Amb. Dore Gold, JCPA, July 27, 2017

         

 

THE TEMPLE MOUNT CRISIS —

FAR FROM OVER, IT’S REALLY JUST BEGINNING                                                                      

Avi Issacharoff

Times of Israel, July 26, 2017

 

Although for a moment it seemed that the metal detector crisis had ended Monday night, with the removal of the electronic gates and cameras from the entrances to the Temple Mount, we are evidently still in the midst of an impasse that may last for quite some time. Both sides, and especially the two leaderships, each for their own political reasons, appear to be exacerbating the situation, looking for confrontation rather than calm.

 

On the one side, there is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who, along with his Fatah movement, explicitly called Tuesday for an escalation of the struggle and for large-scale demonstrations against Israel on Friday. This seems to be an attempt to extricate the PA leader from the depths of irrelevance.

 

On the other is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who seemed to be profoundly impacted by the results of Tuesday’s Channel 2 survey, which indicated deep public dissatisfaction with his response to the Temple Mount crisis. Hours after the poll’s publication, he ordered the Defense Ministry not to evacuate some 120 settlers who illegally occupied a contested home in Hebron, in addition to instructing police to individually check every worshiper ascending to pray at the Temple Mount — a decision perceived by the Palestinian public as a declaration of war.

 

Both sides continue their gallop toward a deeper, bloodier confrontation, and there is no responsible adult in the room to stop the deterioration. Anyone who may have expected Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to intervene in the police’s war against the security establishment, or perhaps speak out against Netanyahu’s decisions of late, has quickly learned that a country long acclimated to operating without a foreign minister has also functioned for the past two weeks without a defense chief. The man simply does not exist.

 

The indications that the crisis is far from over are evident on several levels. First, Tuesday’s demonstrations by Muslim worshipers, which spiraled into violence outside the entrances to the Temple Mount, involved thousands of demonstrators refusing to enter the Al-Aqsa compound despite all of their demands being met. Asked what exactly they were protesting at that point, their responses were as absurd as something you might hear on a TV sitcom.

 

The problem here is that the statements made by demonstrators, Muslim religious leaders and the Palestinian leadership are not funny. And the person most responsible for setting the tone at this stage is the mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, who of all the Jordanian Waqf members is the furthest from being a representative of Amman. Hussein, who receives his salary from the Palestinian Authority, announced early Tuesday afternoon that Muslim prayer would continue to be held outside the Temple Mount. When asked why, he explained that only when the situation was restored to the way it was before July 14 would the worshipers return to the Haram al-Sharif.

 

The fact that there are no longer any metal detectors or security cameras did not prevent him and his followers from conjuring a list of new demands: “removing invisible cameras,” removing cameras overlooking the Temple Mount, removing barricades still lying around the Old City, the planting of trees on the Al-Aqsa compound, etc. It is as if “someone” is trying to invent demands in order to exacerbate the situation, and is unfortunately succeeding in doing so.

 

The second indication relates to Abbas. On Tuesday, the PA president gathered the leadership of the Jerusalem branch of Fatah’s militant Tanzim faction at his office in Ramallah. He understood that Israel had pulled the rug from underneath him when it removed the metal detectors and that he and his Fatah movement were accordingly in extreme political distress. If in the past Abbas was considered weak, now many in the Palestinian public consider him to be simply irrelevant. He was not part of the erupting crisis on the Temple Mount, nor was he involved in efforts to solve it. The Jordanians, according to a senior Palestinian source, did not even update the PA leadership regarding the arrangement it had reached with Israel to remove the metal detectors and cameras.

 

Consequently, it seems that the Palestinian leadership’s decision to escalate the struggle is intended to convey a message not only to Israel but also to Jordan: Anyone who tries to ignore us or erase our role with regard to the Temple Mount will receive an intifada in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. What we are therefore now seeing is a struggle for survival by Abbas and his Fatah movement. Abbas has given a green light to the Tanzim faction to organize demonstrations and rallies this Friday, but no one knows how they will end. This quite easily could lead to shooting battles with IDF soldiers, casualties, deaths and even a scenario, mentioned more than once in recent years, which includes all the ingredients necessary for an intifada. It certainly won’t end well…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

 

Contents

PALESTINIANS: METAL DETECTORS OR LIE DETECTORS –

WHO IS VIOLATING WHAT?

Bassam Tawil

Gatestone Institute, July 27, 2017

 

The metal detectors that were supposed to prevent Muslims from smuggling weapons into the Temple Mount compound, and which were removed by the Israeli authorities this week, have a more accurate name: "lie detectors." They have exposed Palestinian lies and the real reason behind Palestinian anger. Israel apparently removed the metal detectors from the gates of the Temple Mount as part of a deal to end an unexpected crisis with Jordan over the killing of two Jordanian men by an Israeli embassy security officer in Amman. The security officer says he was acting in self-defense after being attacked by one of the Jordanians with a screwdriver.

 

The crisis erupted when the Jordanian authorities insisted on interrogating the officer — a request that was rejected by Israel because the officer enjoys diplomatic immunity. US intervention and a phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah helped end the crisis peacefully and quickly, and the officer and the rest of the Israeli embassy staff were permitted to leave Jordan and head back to Israel.

 

Shortly after the embassy staff returned to Israel, the Israeli authorities started removing the metal detectors that were installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount after terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers on July 14. The move sparked a wave of rumors and speculation, according to which the Jordanians allowed the embassy staff to return home in exchange for the removal of the metal detectors. Israel and Jordan have denied any link between the shooting incident in Amman and the removal of the metal detectors.

 

The crisis that erupted between Israel and Jordan over the killing of the two Jordanians was solved in less than 48 hours — much to the dismay of the Palestinians. The Palestinians were hoping to exploit the crisis to exacerbate tensions between Amman and Jerusalem. Their ultimate goal: to cause the Jordanians to scrap their peace treaty with Israel and return to the state of war with the "Zionist enemy." The Palestinians were also hoping to exploit the crisis to incite Jordanians against Israel and the Hashemite monarchy.

 

Fortunately, the Jordanian authorities did not fall into the Palestinian trap. They realized that it is in their own interest to resolve the crisis swiftly and peacefully. King Abdullah was wise enough not to allow the Palestinians to drag him into a confrontation with Israel.

 

Since the installation of the metal detectors at the Temple Mount, the Palestinians have been waging yet another campaign of fabrications and distortions against Israel. This Palestinian blood libel claims that Israel is seeking to "change the status quo" at the Temple Mount by introducing new security measures such as metal detectors and surveillance cameras at the gates to the holy site. Yet if anyone has violated the status quo it is the Palestinians themselves. Status Quo Violation Number One: For the past two years, the Palestinians have been trying to prevent Jews from touring the Temple Mount — a practice that has been allowed since 1967.

 

Status Quo Violation Number Two: The Palestinians and their supporters have long turned the Temple Mount into a battlefield for clashing with Israeli policemen and Jewish visitors. In an ongoing arrangement that ought to interest the international community, they pay Muslim men and women salaries to come to the compound and harass policemen and Jewish visitors by hurling insults at them and throwing stones and petrol bombs. These individuals belong to an outlawed group known as the Murabitun. This is a group of Muslim fanatics who receive money from the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel to do their utmost to stop Jews from entering the Temple Mount.

 

Status Quo Violation Number Three: Over the past two decades, the Waqf (Islamic Trust) that manages the affairs of the mosques on the Temple Mount, and other parties, have been carrying out illegal excavation and construction work at the site in a bid to create irreversible facts on the ground. The Waqf and the Palestinian Authority claim that the excavation work is aimed at refuting Jewish claims to the Temple Mount and showing the world that Jews have no historical, religious or emotional attachment to Jerusalem.

 

Status Quo Violation Number Four: The Palestinians and their supporters have been using the Temple Mount compound as a platform for spewing anti-Semitism and calls to murder Jews and all "infidels." This abuse of the holy site as a podium for spreading Palestinian poison is far from a new practice. Palestinians and other Muslims have been doing this at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other mosques around the world for decades. Take, for example, when the imam at Al-Aqsa Mosque predicted that the "White House would turn black, with the help of God." This prayer, attended by thousands of Muslim worshippers, came only a few weeks before the 9/11 terror attacks. Last week, another imam prayed to God that Israeli policemen guarding the Temple Mount would be widowed and orphaned. These are only a handful of the countless examples of how mosques are being used to indoctrinate the hearts and minds of Muslims with hate.

 

Status Quo Violation Number Five: The murder of two policemen on July 14 is the mother of all status quo violations. Until the murder, Muslims had resorted to less deadly weapons such as stones and petrol bombs to attack Jews and policemen. July 14 represents the first time that Muslims used firearms at the Temple Mount. While it is not unusual to see Muslims blowing up mosques and committing atrocities against fellow Muslims in many Arab and Islamic countries, the shooting attack at the Temple Mount was still unprecedented.

 

Smuggling weapons into the Temple Mount is a grave desecration of the holy site. Murdering two police officers, who were stationed there to safeguard the site and protect Muslim worshippers, takes the level of violation and desecration to new lows. It is worth noting that the two police officers were not murdered during a confrontation or a violent incident. One of them was shot in the back while he was standing at one of the entrances to the Temple Mount.

 

After the July 14 murder, Palestinians began waging daily protests by refusing to enter the Temple Mount through metal detectors installed by the Israeli authorities to prevent weapons smuggling for the safety of the Muslim worshippers themselves. Instead, Palestinians gather every evening at the entrances to the Temple Mount, where they complete their prayers with a volley of stones and petrol bombs lodged at police officers. Crucially, and contrary to Palestinian claims, there has been no Israeli decision to ban Muslims from entering the Temple Mount…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

 

Contents

CAVING IN CRAVENLY TO TERROR,

ACTING STUPIDLY TOWARDS JORDAN                                             

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

          Arutz Sheva, July 27, 2017

 

Israel's security cabinet decided to remove all the metal detectors and cameras at the Temple Mount entrances, and perhaps even the cameras at the Lion's Gate and the other gates that lead into the Old City of Jerusalem, placed there just a few days ago after the cold-blooded murder of two Druze Border Police officers by Israeli Arab terrorists. The decision was linked to Jordan's freeing the security guard in the Israeli Consulate there, although the guard has diplomatic immunity, having been sent by the Shabak chief on a mission to Jordan and engaging in negotiations with colleagues in the Hashemite Kingdom.

 

The Cabinet decision talks about developing "smart checks" for the astronomical cost of 100 million IS to take the place of the detectors and cameras. I am willing to bet – you name the amount – that nothing of significance will be developed in the near future and the talk of "smart checks" is meant to mislead the public, deluding the man in the street into thinking that Israel has found a way to be sovereign in the Old City and the Temple Mount. In addition, even if a miracle occurs and new technology is developed, there is zero chance that it will be put in place without riots. For Israel-hating Muslims, there is  no difference between metal detectors, cameras and any other technology, because putting anything there means Jewish Sovereignty, contradicting basic Islamic tenets mandating that Jews have to live as dhimmis under the protection of the ruler but subject to his whims, and that they must pay the humiliating Koranic jyzia head tax.

 

Without doubt, the Israeli government caved and retreated from its decision to operate security apparatus at the entrances to the Temple Mount. From today on, only Jews and tourists will be expected to undergo a humiliating search to be sure they are not carrying phylacteries or prayer books when they ascend the Mount. Muslims, who proved their terrorist proclivities on the 14th of July this year, will continue to enter the holy site without being searched or supervised and will be able to smuggle weapons on to  the Mount. Pressure was exerted on the Israeli government from every direction: Israeli Arabs, PA Arabs, Arab and Muslim countries, Europe and the USA.

 

Israel's capitulation when faced with these pressures is of grave significance. The first failure is the fact that Israel's government did not coordinate its steps with the US government, particularly Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special envoy to the Middle East. The government did not expect the crashing wave of Islamic opposition to the move and did not obtain American support for the security measures beforehand. After all, every American understands the necessity of these measures in light of the terrorist reality in which the enlightened world finds itself.

 

Muslim haters of Israel have received enormous encouragement from this affair. Their future demands will be much greater, in just the way one's appetite grows at the sight of food. Terror, it seems, does pay, and the state of Israel looks for easy, immediate and temporary solutions to problems instead of dealing forthrightly with challenges and emerging the victor over those who wish to harm us. The Jewish people will pay a high price for this questionable "achievement" of "defusing tensions on the ground," a result that is far from proven.

 

Removing the security apparatus proved that the Muslims have scored another victory over the Jews. Once again it has been made clear that Israel's government has melted down the steadfast sticking-to-our-guns mentality that characterized the Jewish people when the state was established in 1948 and during the wars that have since accompanied life on our ancestral lands. No declaration, no matter how bombastic, whether proclaimed by the president, prime minister, ministers, officials, IDF commanders or  police can hide the bitter and humiliating truth that terrorists forced the Israeli government  to cave in and retreat from its correct and completely justified – original – decision.

 

How will the government be able to look the families of the two Border Police officers in the eye?  What  will all those irresponsible ministers say to  the families hit by the terror that will unquestionably increase thanks to their weak and scandalous decision to remove the security apparatus guarding the capital of Israel? How will the Israeli Police deal with the wave of terror that this government's stupidity will bring about, without being provided with the means necessary to accomplish their mission? What nation with the will to live caves in to terror this way?..

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

 

Contents  

             

VICTORY REQUIRES PATIENCE

Efraim Inbar       

                                                Israel Hayom, July 19, 2017

 

The Knesset has launched an Israel Victory Caucus, co-chaired by Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer and Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Peri, following the establishment of a similar caucus in the U.S. Congress. The caucus hopes to sensitize the Israeli public, as well as politicians in Israel and abroad, to the need to attain a decisive victory over the Palestinians. Professor Daniel Pipes, the scholar behind this project, argues convincingly that a peace settlement will only be possible after the Palestinians realize that the 100 years of struggle against Zionism has failed.

 

To date, the Palestinians (not only Hamas) still entertain hopes that the Zionist enterprise can be dismantled. Israel's victories on the battlefield against Arab armies, its success in containing terrorism and the prosperity of the Jewish state have not yet cemented a sense of defeat among the Palestinians. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority continues the campaign to delegitimize Israel. Elements in Palestinian society even believe that Jewish society will inevitably crumble under the pressure of terrorist attacks and internal tensions.

 

The view that Israel will eventually disappear, just like the Crusaders in the 12th century, is widespread. The Palestinians are encouraged by the indiscriminate financial and diplomatic support they get from abroad and are pleased with the enhanced regional influence of Iran, which pledges the destruction of Israel. The assumption that their desire for a state leads to concessions needed for a peace settlement with Israel remains to be proven. Taking into consideration the nature of the "peace partner," the protracted struggle is likely to continue unless a new pragmatic leadership emerges. Alas, such a leadership is not in the offing, leaving Israel no choice but to wage a limited war on the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

 

Indeed, Israel is in a state of war, not in a peace process. This truth is not palatable to the international community that emphasizes diplomacy and wants to believe that the Palestinians are interested in peace. This predicament constrains Israel's military freedom of action in the pursuit of victory. Its ability to inflict pain on the Palestinians — which is what war is about — is limited. It is often accused of exercising excessive force by a liberal press that is inherently averse to any use of force.

Moreover, Israel is torn by a permanent dilemma. On the one hand, it tries to buy calm, and time, by providing economic means to sustain the weak Palestinian economy. Jerusalem understands that hungry neighbors attract international criticism of Israel and could turn into a security problem. On the other hand, it needs to punish the violent Palestinians to create deterrence, and to affect their behavior and aspirations. It is not easy to balance the first effort, basically a short-term consideration, with the attempt to deliver a costly defeat to the Palestinians that might bring an end to the conflict faster.

 

The Palestinian reluctance to adopt realistic foreign policy goals and Israel's hesitation to use its military superiority to exact a much higher cost from the Palestinians are the defining features of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…                                                                                                                                           

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Clashes Erupt at Temple Mount as Muslim Worshipers Return to Site: Dov Lieber, Times of Israel, July 27, 2017—Thousands of Muslim worshipers entered the Temple Mount on Thursday for the first time in nearly two weeks, many shouting in delight as they did so, and violent clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the compound.

Israel’s Embassy in Jordan May Stay Closed: Jewish Press, July 27, 2017—While Israel wants Ambassador to Jordan Einat Schlein and her staff to return as soon as possible to the Israeli embassy in Jordan, that probably won’t be happening.

In Unprecedented Attack, Israel Hayom Pans ‘Helpless,’ ‘Feeble’ Netanyahu: Times of Israel, July 26, 2017—After years of backing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the free daily Israel Hayom castigated the premier’s “display of feebleness” and his “helpless” response to the Temple Mount crisis on its front page on Wednesday, in a large above-the-fold headline.

Beyond the Debate Over Metal Detectors (Video): Amb. Dore Gold, JCPA, July 27, 2017—It’s extremely important to remember where exactly the current crisis about metal detectors on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem came from – to recall it all started when guns were smuggled onto the Temple Mount and actually used against two Israeli policemen.  Officers Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan were killed as a result of these illegal firearms that were brought in to a holy site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

 

 

 

On Topic Links

           

What I Won at the Maccabiah: Anthony Housefather, Times of Israel, July 23, 2017

Malice on the Mount: The Hate Behind the Latest Mideast Crisis: Benny Avni, New York Post, July 24, 2017

Israeli Sovereignty Over the Temple Mount Is Crucial for Peace: Prof. Hillel Frisch, BESA, July 24, 2017

Turkey Opens Trial of 17 Journalists on Terrorism Charges: Carlotta Gall, New York Times, July 24, 2017

 

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“The hateful incitement and glorification of violence by the Palestinian Authority has led to the murder of innocent Israelis, stabbed to death in their home…The international community must demand that Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority put an end to these heinous attacks and stop their ongoing encouragement of violence.” — Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon. Danon, has called on the UN Security Council to condemn the horrific terror attack Friday night that left three family members dead and a fourth gravely wounded as they sat at the Sabbath table celebrating the birth of a new grandson. (Jewish Press, July 22, 2017)

 

"I declare the suspension of all contacts with the Israeli side on all levels until it cancels its measures at Al-Aksa mosque and preserves the status quo." — PA President Abbas. Abbas ordered the suspension of all official contact with Israel until it removed new security measures at Temple Mount. Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces outside the shrine for days and on Friday three were killed when fighting broke out as people protested against the installation of metal detectors at entrances to the Temple Mount. Hours after the announcement, three Israelis were killed and one wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank town of Halamish. The metal detectors have since been taken down. Abbas said on Tuesday he will maintain a freeze on security coordination with Israel “unless all measures go back to what they were before July 14…All the new Israeli measures on the ground from that date to the present are supposed to disappear,” he said. “Then things will return to normal in Jerusalem and we will continue our work after that in relation to bilateral relations between us and them.” (Jerusalem Post, July 22, Times of Israel, July 26, 2017)

 

“Everyone who knows Israel is aware that restrictions on Al-Aqsa mosque are not due to safety concerns…When Israeli soldiers carelessly pollute the grounds of Al-Aqsa with their combat boots by using simple issues as a pretext and then easily spill blood there, the reason is we have not done enough to stake our claim over Jerusalem…From here I make a call to all Muslims: Anyone who has the opportunity should visit Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa mosque. Come, let’s all protect Jerusalem.”—President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Erdogan said he had heard that Israel had removed the metal detectors from the entrances to the Temple Mount for Muslim worshippers and hoped that “the rest will follow…We expect Israel to take steps for the peace of the region,” he added. Israeli ministers decided that the metal detectors set up outside the Temple Mount — in the wake of a terror attack at the holy site in which two Israeli police officers were killed — would be removed, and replaced with security measures based on “advanced technologies.” (JTA, July 25, 2017)

 

“The days of the Ottoman Empire have passed. Jerusalem was, is, and will always be the capital of the Jewish people. In stark contrast to the past, the government in Jerusalem is committed to security, liberty, freedom of worship and respect for the rights of all minorities. Those who live in glass palaces should be wary of casting stones.” — Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement issued Tuesday, the Israeli Ministry called Erdogan’s remarks “absurd, unfounded and distorted.” “He would be better off dealing with the difficult problems facing his own country,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said. The Prime Minister’s Office in Israel also responded, saying in a brief statement: “It would be interesting to see what Erdogan would say to the residents of northern Cyprus or to the Kurds. Erdogan is the last one who can preach to Israel.” (JTA, July 25, 2017)

 

“Any Arab, any terrorist, who comes to kill, must not come out alive…He must be killed, not injured…Last week, two Druze police officers who were watching over us were murdered by terrorists…A few years ago there was a terror attack in Tel Nof (when four rabbis and a Druze police officer were killed, November 2014).” — Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef. Rabbi Yosef dedicated his Saturday night class at the Yazdi synagogue in Jerusalem to the memory of the murder victims in the community of Halamish Friday, and to wishes of a quick recovery to the family’s grandmother who was critically injured in the same attack. The Chief Rabbi was very critical of the fact that the terrorist attacker had not been eliminated at the scene of the crime. (Jewish Press, July 23, 2017)

 

“We still stand behind Dyke March Chicago’s decision to remove the Zionist contingent from their event, & we won’t allow Zionist displays at ours.” — Organizers of SlutWalk Chicago, part of a protest movement that “fights rape culture, victim blaming, and slut shaming.” After the scandal involving the ejection of Jewish women carrying Star of David pride flags at Chicago’s Dyke March, SlutWalk Chicago has announced that it will ban “Zionist displays” from its upcoming protest.  In one exchange defending the Dyke March decision to exclude the Jewish women, SlutWalk organizers justified the action: “They were kicked out after a discussion where they made their Zionist beliefs known and refused to back down.” The Star of David flag was banned, “because its connections to the oppression enacted by Israel is too strong for it to be neutral & in context it was used as a Zionist symbol.” SlutWalk’s organizers reportedly insisted that anti-Zionism is a legitimate progressive belief, and that any linkage with antisemitism should be dismissed as a discrediting tactic. (Algemeiner, July 20, 2017)

 

“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, television and the internet…To hell with them! They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood.” — Sen. John McCain. McCain stood with his party on Tuesday, casting a crucial vote in the Republican drive to repeal “Obamacare.” Confronting an aggressive brain cancer, the 80-year-old Arizonan served notice he would not vote for the GOP legislation as it stands now. Debates in the Senate have become “more partisan, more tribal, more of the time than at any time I can remember,” he lamented. With President Trump threatening electoral retribution for Republicans who don’t toe the line, McCain urged senators to stand up for their own constitutional status. “Whether or not we are of the same party, we are not the president’s subordinates,” he said. “We are his equal!” (National Post, July 26, 2017)

 

“Hezbollah is a menace to the Lebanese state, people and region…The group continues to increase its military arsenal which threatens Israel.” — President Trump. On July 25th, Trump hosted Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the White House. Hariri is seeking continued support, estimated at $80 million, and support for 1.5 million Syrian refugees who are being hosted in Lebanon. In addition Trump linked Hezbollah to Iran and claimed that together they “fuel a humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. It portrays itself as a defender of Lebanese interests but its true interest is itself and its sponsor, Iran.” He also spoke harshly of Syrian President Assad, claiming he is “horrible” and that if the US had punished him several years ago under Obama then “I don’t believe you’d have Russia and Iran in Syria today, to the extent they are, or not at all.” Although Trump articulated a clear stance against Hezbollah, he seemed to not understand its role in Lebanon. Hezbollah is a partner in the current government of Lebanon, controlling the ministries of Industry and Sports and Youth. It is allied to President Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement which controls the Ministry of Defense portfolio and its allies in Amal, another Shia movement, control the ministry of Finance. (Jerusalem Post, July 26, 2017)

 

“Last year, after President-elect Trump picked Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, The New York Times editorial page called the Alabama senator “radical” and “extreme” and tarred him as an unrepentant racist and xenophobe. Last week, after Trump criticized Sessions and others, the same editorial page suddenly discovered a new fondness for Sessions. The Times now insisted that Trump had impugned his “integrity” and that of others “who have spent their careers respecting and protecting” the law. It’s not likely that Sessions is grateful for the embrace. He knows he’s just a pawn — dirt when Trump embraces him, and a saint when Trump criticizes him. Media hypocrisy doesn’t get any more blatant.” — Michael Goodwin (New York Post, July 22, 2017)

 

“As Mr. Obama tells it, all of this reflexive Obama bashing created “an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive. He’s just doing more of what has been done for the last seven and a half years.” In other words, Republicans didn’t clean up the standing water in their own backyard and now they’re complaining about mosquitoes. One irony is that even as Mr. Obama denied any liability for Mr. Trump, he lapsed into the same rhetorical habit that helped fuel the businessman’s ascent. For Mr. Obama, principled opposition to his policies is always illegitimate or motivated by bad faith. Like the President’s nonstop moral lectures about “our values” and “who we are as Americans,” by which he means liberal values and who we are as Democrats, he reads his critics out of politics. No wonder so many Americans feel disenfranchised and powerless.” — Joseph Rago, March 12, 2016. Rago died last week at age 34. (Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2017)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

ISRAEL-JORDAN EMBASSY CRISIS ENDS (Amman) — After more than 24 hours, the crisis between Israel and Jordan surrounding the embassy in Amman concluded. All Israeli diplomats from the embassy arrived in Israel. The the embassy staff's evacuation was made possible after a phone call between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah. During their conversation, the king urged Netanyahu to solve the crisis surrounding the Temple Mount as quickly as possible, specifically calling on Netanyahu to remove the metal detectors. For more than 24 hours, some 20 diplomats and security guards were locked in the Israeli Embassy in Amman after a highly unusual security incident in which an Israeli security guard shot and killed a Jordanian civilian who attacked him. (Ha’aretz, July 24, 2017)

 

3 HALAMISH TERROR ATTACK VICTIMS LAID TO REST (Jerusalem) — The three members of the Salomon family who were murdered Friday by a Palestinian were laid to rest. 70-year-old Yosef Tzvi Salomon and his two children, 46-year-old Chaya Esther and 36-year-old Elad Menachem were stabbed to death by 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, a Palestinian from the neighboring village of Kobar who burst into their home during a Shabbat dinner. Yosef’s wife, Tova Salomon was moderately injured in the attack. As reported, the knife used by al-Abed in the attack was (purchased) just days before the attack. Al-Abed carried the knife along with a bag and Quran. (Jerusalem Online, July 23, 2017)

 

PETAH TIKVA STABBING ATTACK (Jerusalem) — A 32-year-old Ar’ara resident was stabbed in the neck on Monday in Petah Tikva in a terror attack. The victim is in moderate condition. Police have the terrorist, a 21-year-old Palestinian from Qalqilya, in custody. According to the initial investigation, the terrorist is a resident of Qalqilya who was residing in Israel illegally. He stabbed the Israeli next to a shawarma stand in the city. The Israel Police stated that the terrorist claimed during his interrogation that he carried out the stabbing attack “for Al-Aqsa." (Jerusalem Online, July 24, 2017)

 

MUSLIM-ARAB KILLED BY OWN EXPLOSIVE DEVICE (Jerusalem) — A Muslim Arab was killed in clashes with security forces in al-Azariya, bringing the total number of Arab deaths in riots over the weekend to four. Arab sources said he was shot by Israeli forces, but the IDF said he had attempted to throw an improvised explosive device, which blew up and killed him. The Arab man was named as 24-year-old Yousif Kashur. The incident followed the murder of an Israeli man and two of his adult children were murdered by a Muslim-Arab terrorist in the town of Neve Tzuf (Halamish). In addition, hundreds of Arabs were wounded as thousands people continued to protest the installation of security measures at the Temple Mount following the murder of two policemen on July 14. (Jewish Press, July 23, 2017)

 

ISTANBUL SYNAGOGUE ATTACKED (Istanbul) — Activists from a Turkish fascist youth movement whose leader enjoys close relations with Erdogan attacked the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul, throwing rocks at the building during a protest against Israel’s decision to install metal detectors at Temple Mount. The group threatened further protests. Alperen Ocaklari — an ultranationalist youth organization linked to the nationalist Great Union Party (BBP) — arrived at the synagogue with the message that Turkish Jews would not be permitted to worship freely as long as Israel controls access to the Temple Mount site. The BBP Party is electorally insignificant and tends to support much larger parties, like the current ruling AKP Party, as a means of maintaining influence. (Algemeiner, July 21, 2017)

 

WCC ENDORSES PALESTINIAN PROTESTS OVER TEMPLE MOUNT (Jerusalem) — The World Council of Churches (WCC) has declared its support for the Palestinian campaign against Israeli control of Jerusalem’s holy sites, describing new Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount as a “corrosive act in the midst of an already-fragile peace.” The WCC’s attitude to Israel has been hostile for several decades. The organization has a deliberately vague policy towards BDS, saying it does not support a boycott, but endorsing at the same time “all non-violent efforts to end the occupation (including considering appropriate economic and other measures).” (Algemeiner, July 23, 2017)

 

UNIVERSITY CONDEMNED FOR ALLEGEDLY ASSISTING ANTI-ISRAEL MANDATE (Ottawa) — The University of Western Ontario was slammed by Jewish groups for its alleged role in assisting the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in its investigation into supposed Israeli violations of international law. The criticism followed revelations by UN Watch that the school has allegedly extended “support in kind” to Michael Lynk, the UN’s “special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967” and a Western law professor. The university’s reported contributions to Lynk’s work — which UN Watch called a “permanent, politicized, and prejudicial investigation” into Israel — have included the provision of “research assistants, office space and admin assistance.” UN Watch estimated the worth of these services to be $100,000. (Algemeiner, July 21, 2017)

 

ZOA CALLS FOR TILLERSON'S RESIGNATION (Washington) — The Zionist Organization of America called on Secretary of State Tillerson to resign over the State Department terrorism report that the ZOA called “bigoted, biased, anti-Semitic, Israel-hating (and) error-ridden.” In the report, the State Department listed as “continued drivers of violence” a “lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians…the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount, and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.” The report also said that Palestinian leaders had addressed incitement. The ZOA said the report directly contradicted multiple criticisms of the PA for incitement by Trump and the U.S. amb. to the UN Nikki Haley. (JTA, July 24, 2017)

 

U.S. AIRSTRIKE HITS AFGHAN SECURITY FORCES (Kabul) — An American airstrike in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand killed several members of the Afghan security forces, Afghan and American officials said Friday. The death toll was uncertain, but officials said at least nine police officers were killed. It was the latest blow to the Afghan forces in Helmand, an area where they have been suffering heavy casualties at the hands of the Taliban. It was the culmination of another bloody day for the Afghan police across the country. Earlier in the day, officials in northeastern Badakhshan Province said that as many as 35 police officers had been killed in a Taliban ambush. (New York Times, July 21, 2017)

 

IRAN THREATENS U.S. MILITARY BASES (Tehran) — An Iranian general warned the U.S. against imposing sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), threatening U.S. military bases in the region. Major General Baqeri warned U.S. lawmakers to exercise more “caution” and “think deeper” about the decisions on new anti-Iran sanctions. His comments come a month after the Senate passed a bill imposing new sanctions on Iran. The sanctions on Iran target individuals involved in the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program, as well as anyone who does business with them. In addition, the resolution applies sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization and calls for the enforcement an arms embargo against the organization. (Arutz Sheva, July 18, 2017)

 

ISLAMIST GROUPS LOSE CHARITY STATUS (Ottawa) — Canadian authorities have stripped two former affiliates of the Islamic Society of North America's Canada chapter (ISNA-Canada) of their charitable status after discovering financial ties between the organizations and a Pakistani militant group. ISNA – Canada and the Canadian Islamic Trust Foundation lost their charity status for "non-compliance" following a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit. The CRA discovered several issues during the audit, including evidence that ISNA Islamic Services facilitated donations that may have ended up in the hands of Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmir-based militant group. (IPT, July 19, 2017)

 

NAZI PAINTING RETURNED TO HEIR OF OWNERS (London) — An heir of a prominent German banking family has recovered a Renaissance-era painting that was looted by the Nazis and then bought by Hermann Goering, who amassed a collection of more than 1,000 paintings. The artwork, The Raising Of Lazarus, by an anonymous German artist, was salvaged by the Monuments Men at the end of World War II before entering the Bavarian State Paintings Collection in 1961, where it remained until now. The Monuments Men were an army unit that also tapped on the expertise of curators and art historians to search for stolen artworks to return them to rightful owners. (New York Times, July 24, 2017)

 

EX-NAZI INTERPRETER STRIPPED OF CITIZENSHIP FOR 4TH TIME (Ottawa) — For the fourth time, the federal government has stripped Helmut Oberlander of his Canadian citizenship. And for the fourth time, Oberlander will fight it, having won three previous court challenges. Oberlander, 93, of Waterloo, Ont., was an interpreter for the Nazis and served in Einsatzkommando 10a, which has been described as a group of mobile killing squads that targeted Jewish people in the former Soviet Union. Oberlander is not accused of taking part in any executions. The federal government has argued Oberlander failed to disclose his activities during the Second World War to Canadian officials when he obtained his citizenship in 1960. In 1995, the government started proceedings to strip Oberlander of his citizenship. The governor in council did so in 2001, 2007 and 2012. (CBC, July 25, 2017)

 

ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH 2,700-YEAR OLD RESERVOIR IN ISRAEL (Tel Aviv) — Israeli archaeologists digging near the city of Rosh Ha-Ayin have uncovered a remarkably large 2,700-year-old water system surrounded by wall engravings that dates back to the end of the Iron Age. The system, which includes a 13-foot-deep reservoir that is 66 feet long, was built beneath a large structure with walls that extended nearly 164 feet. Its size suggests that it was an administrative site built to control the region’s water supply. The site is being excavated ahead of the construction of a residential neighborhood outside Rosh Ha-Ayin, 14 miles east of Tel Aviv. (Fox News, July 24, 2017)

 

EGYPT SAID TO APPROVE RESTORATION OF ALEXANDRIA SYNAGOGUE (Cairo) — The Egyptian government has reportedly approved a $2.2 million plan to restore a 160-year-old synagogue in Alexandria. The Ministry of Antiquities’ Project Sector approved the funds for restoring the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, according to the head of the Islamic and Coptic Monuments Department. The synagogue was forced to close several months ago after part of its ceiling collapsed. The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue can seat over 700 people and is considered to be one of the largest synagogues in the Middle East. It is the last active synagogue in Alexandria, which once was home to 50,000 Jews. Estimates today put the number of Jews living in all of Egypt at fewer than 50. (Times of Israel, July 8, 2017)

 

JEWISH HIGH JUMPER BARRED FROM OLYMPICS DIES AT 103 (Cairo) — Margaret Bergmann Lambert, a record-breaking athlete who was barred by the Nazis from competing for Germany in the 1936 Berlin Olympics because she was Jewish, died at the age of 103. Lambert was known in her prime as “The Great Jewish Hope.” Then known as Gretel Bergmann, she set the German record with a high-jump of five feet, three inches at a meet a month before the Games. But she soon received a letter from Nazi officials stating: “Looking back on your recent performances, you could not possibly have expected to be chosen for the team.” She immigrated to the U.S. the following year, and won the U.S. women’s high-jump championships in 1937 and 1938. But World War II forced the cancellation of the 1940 Olympics — she was never able to compete on the biggest stage in sports. (Forward, July 25, 2017)

 

‘ISRAEL FOREVER’ PETITION TO SIGN BALFOUR DECLARATION (London) — The Israel Forever Foundation is campaigning for support of the Balfour Declaration. Your signature will help ensure the continued recognition of the Jewish connection to Israel as set forth by Balfour in his historical statement 100 years ago. If you would like to sign the declaration click the following link: Israel Forever

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

 

What I Won at the Maccabiah: Anthony Housefather, Times of Israel, July 23, 2017—Walking into Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem as part of the Maccabiah Games opening ceremony is very special for any athlete.

Malice on the Mount: The Hate Behind the Latest Mideast Crisis: Benny Avni, New York Post, July 24, 2017 —Being right isn’t always enough. And, as Israel is learning the hard way amid continued violence in Jerusalem and beyond, sometimes it isn’t even close.

Israeli Sovereignty Over the Temple Mount Is Crucial for Peace: Prof. Hillel Frisch, BESA, July 24, 2017 —Why is Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount so important? Because international “partnership” arrangements in political hotspots not only rarely (if ever) work, but make matters much more volatile and dangerous. At the Temple Mount, only exclusive Israeli sovereignty can work.

Turkey Opens Trial of 17 Journalists on Terrorism Charges: Carlotta Gall, New York Times, July 24, 2017—Akin Ipek, one of Turkey’s richest men, was staying in the Park Tower Hotel in London when the police raided his television network in Istanbul. The raid was national news, so Mr. Ipek opened his laptop and watched an unnerving spectacle: an attack on his multibillion-dollar empire, in real time.

RUSSIA SKILLFULLY PROJECTS GEOPOLITICAL STRENGTH, DESPITE EXTERNAL THREATS & ECONOMIC WOES

Trump Soars in Warsaw — But Gets Suckered in Hamburg: Ralph Peters, New York Post, July 7, 2017— In Warsaw on Thursday, President Trump gave the most impressive speech by a US president on European soil since Ronald Reagan…

Russia’s Strategy: Built on Illusion: George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures, July 19, 2017 — Strong powers can underplay their hands and afford to make mistakes.

Chechnya’s Jewish Community Doesn’t Exist — But it’s Angry at Israel: Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, July 21, 2017— While Russia’s mainstream Jewish leaders in Moscow firmly backed Israel’s actions in clashes this week with Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the small Jewish community of Chechnya broke ranks with them and boldly condemned the Jewish state’s “provocations” against Muslims in the holy city.

Middle Eastern Islamism Threatens Russia: Daniel Pipes, Eurasia Expert, July 24, 2017— Why is the Middle East so unstable? Is there hope for improvement?

 

On Topic Links

 

Are Russia and America Headed for a Showdown?: George Beebe, National Interest, July 24, 2017

Why Trump’s Syrian Cease-fire Makes Israel Nervous: David Makovsky, Politico, July 14, 2017

The Prospect for Russia's Jews: Maxim D. Shrayer, Mosaic, March 6 2017

Taliban Fighters Claim Russia is Giving Them Weapons: Mark Moore, New York Post, July 25, 2017

         

 

TRUMP SOARS IN WARSAW — BUT GETS SUCKERED IN HAMBURG                                                           

Ralph Peters

                                                  New York Post, July 7, 2017

 

In Warsaw on Thursday, President Trump gave the most impressive speech by a US president on European soil since Ronald Reagan raised the challenge, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” His speechwriter served him splendidly, deservedly praising Poland’s long struggle for freedom and repeatedly calling out Russia for its invasions, occupations and atrocities.

 

The historical references, such as to the Katyn Forest Massacre of 15,000 Polish officers held as POWs, resonated with the Poles and galled Moscow. Listening to our president, I felt like standing up and cheering. Then Trump met Vladimir Putin on the rim of the G-20 summit in Germany, and he fell under the same spell that had seduced three US presidents, Clinton, Bush and Obama, the latter of whom ended up as Putin’s strategic punching bag.

 

Listening to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s summary of the two-hour-plus meeting was painful. The naivety on display played into Putin’s hands. We got nothing, Putin got a big win. While it seemed a fine thing that our president brought up Russian interference in our election, Tillerson undercut it by stressing that he and the president didn’t want to re-litigate the past but seek to move forward. That was terrific news for Putin, who needs to be punished harshly for his election-meddling (yes, the Russians indisputably meddled). Russia’s new czar got a free pass for a still-to-be-issued promise not to do it again. We held all the aces. And we folded.

 

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had his say, too, not only claiming Trump accepted that Russia had not meddled in the election, but implying, in the Russian version, that Trump personally rejected the notion of Russian interference. Follow-up US denials didn’t help; the damage was done. And that no-details-yet deal to suspend the fighting in southern Syria? The primary beneficiary — if it even works — will be Iran and its surrogates, who will be protected from interference as they tighten their grip on the border with Iraq.

 

The administration needs to grasp that Russia’s our enemy, and that’s because it chooses to be. The burden’s not on us to make up with Moscow, but on Putin to stop invading his neighbors, assassinating dissidents (including those in the West) and terror-bombing civilians in Syria. That’s how things could move forward. We somehow have convinced ourselves that we need Russia’s help. That’s nonsense. Russia desperately needs our support. And it needs sanctions lifted (watch that space). What do the Russians have? They have Putin. And he’s as canny as he is savage.

 

The live shots of Trump’s first handshake with Putin were telling. Trump was himself. Putin was the self he chose to be. Normally not a smiley-face guy, Putin advanced with an artificial smile — he’d studied Trump and decided that the best approach was chumminess. And he kept control of the situation. Short in stature, he was careful not to come too close to Trump, avoiding an embrace that would have made him look tiny compared to our president. Putin calculates every single move.

 

Czar Vladimir was more at ease in the second photo op, when both men were seated and Putin, who has a large torso, looked bigger beside Trump. Having watched Putin for many years, he always reminds me of a predatory cat, ever watching for the right moment to pounce. A judo devotee for five decades, he has a constant awareness of his environment, a sinewy alertness in the moment.

 

Perhaps our president will draw a lesson from the immediate propaganda use to which the Russians put this meeting. But he would have been better served had he at least included his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster — who has no ties to Putin — in this initial meeting. As it is, we’re stuck with a public disagreement between Lavrov and Tillerson over what actually was said. And sowing doubt is to Russia’s advantage.

 

The president we need is the one we heard in Warsaw, praising and detailing the valiant, against-all-odds heroes of the Warsaw uprising, when Poles rose against the Nazis, expecting the Red Army — positioned just across the Vistula River — to come to their aid. Instead, Stalin ordered his troops to halt while the Nazis massacred the Poles. The speechwriter knew his or her history — and who the enemy was and still is today.

 

We need the Trump who, in that speech in Poland’s rebuilt capital, insisted that Western civilization is worth defending and that the fundamental question of our time is whether we’ll defend it. That sent the politically correct in the media into a weak-loined frenzy — all cultures are supposed to be equal — but, for the rest of us, it was heartening to hear someone defend a civilization that, for all its discontents, embodies the highest achievements of humanity: personal freedom, the rule of law, freedom of religion, opportunity and government of the people, by the people and for the people. As the president pointed out in that speech, the enemy doesn’t come only from the south, but from the east, as well. Ask the Poles.

                                                                       

 

Contents

RUSSIA’S STRATEGY: BUILT ON ILLUSION

George Friedman

Geopolitical Futures, July 19, 2017

 

Strong powers can underplay their hands and afford to make mistakes. Weak powers, on the other hand, need to exaggerate their power and be far more precise in its use. Power is like money; the less you have, the more you need to flaunt it and the fewer mistakes you can afford to make. But by trying to convince others that they have more power than they actually do, they run the risk of squandering a scarce resource. It’s nearly impossible to both flaunt power and preserve it at the same time.

 

This is the core strategic problem of Russia. On the one hand, it is still trying to find its way more than 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, an event President Vladimir Putin has referred to as “the greatest political catastrophe” of the 20th century. In the lives of nations, a quarter of a century is not very long, and the reverberations of the catastrophe are still being felt. On the other hand, Russia lives in a complex and dangerous region, and appearing weak can be the biggest threat to its well-being. Therefore, like a wealthy person coming into hard times, Russia must simultaneously try to appear more powerful than it is and meticulously manage what power it has.

 

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has faced two fundamental problems. The first is geographic. The second, which we’ll return to later, is economic. Russia’s main geographic problem is that it needs to maintain a buffer zone to its west to stem the risk of attack from the European Peninsula. Russia has been invaded three times, once by France and twice by Germany. In each case, it survived because of strategic depth. The Baltics, Belarus and Ukraine created the buffer zone that gave Russia room to retreat and exhaust the enemy. Although the weather also played a role, distance was the main challenge for attacking armies. Even in World War I, Germany was unable to sustain the gains it won. In the Napoleonic Wars and World War II, the enemy was ground down and defeated.

 

After World War II, Russia’s buffer zone expanded dramatically. A second tier of nations to the West – Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania – came under Soviet dominion. Soviet power pushed into central Germany. For the first time in its history, it had strategic depth such that an attack from the European Peninsula was unthinkable. But maintaining the force that was needed to hold this deep buffer exceeded Soviet resources. The drop in oil prices, the inherent inefficiency in the economy, and the cost of defending what it had won in World War II had become unsustainable, and the Soviet Union collapsed. It first lost the deep buffer of Eastern Europe, and two years later, it lost the critical elements of its core buffer, the Baltics and Ukraine.

 

An argument can be made that given the situation on the European Peninsula, the threat to Russia has evaporated. But nothing in Russia’s history permits such complacency. In 1932, Germany was a weak and divided liberal democracy. Six years later, it was the most powerful military force in Europe. Russia understands the speed with which European (and American) intentions and capabilities can change. It must therefore continue to pursue strategic depth.

 

When the Baltic countries were brought into NATO, the Russians were unable to respond. But Ukraine was a different matter. It had become independent but was not absorbed by the West. It was also a critical part of Russia’s buffer. Ukraine is vast, and the cost of crossing it from the west is high. When Western countries, particularly the U.S., appeared to support the establishment of a pro-Western government in Kiev during the 2004 Orange Revolution, Russia believed they actually intended to undermine Russian security. A Ukraine armed or controlled by the West would make Russia very difficult to defend. The U.S. claimed the Orange Revolution was about human rights, but the Russians saw that as a cover. The Russians fought back with covert operations designed to install a pro-Russian government in Kiev. The Americans responded by supporting the uprising in 2014, and the Russians saw this too as a hostile act.

 

But Russia was in no position to do anything about it. Its intelligence services failed to understand or prevent what happened in Kiev. The Russians had to do something to demonstrate they were not impotent. So Russia formally annexed Crimea, a region that was historically Russian, and where Russian force was already overwhelming. This convinced the Americans that Russia was an aggressive power. Russia found itself in a strategic confrontation that outstripped its resources but which it could not abandon.

 

But with Russia unable to challenge Western forces and with the U.S. uninterested in an extended conflict with Moscow, the result was a frozen conflict in Ukraine. There was an implicit agreement: Russia would accept a pro-Western government in Kiev so long as that did not include a military alliance or deployment of Western forces in Ukraine. The U.S. and Europe would accept the status quo so long as the Russians did not become aggressive. The Russians had a buffer against the West, and the West had a buffer against Russia. This achieved a solution the West could live with because Ukraine was not a fundamental interest. But for the Russians, it was only minimally acceptable. Ukraine was vital to Russian interests and this solution was only just short of a defeat.

 

Russia decided it had to act to increase its strength. But it was dealt another blow in 2014, when oil prices began to decline as a result of increased supplies and constrained demand. And this brings us back to Russia’s second fundamental problem: its economic weakness. Russia is dependent on an economic variable it can’t control. It remains heavily reliant on oil exports but it can’t dictate the price of oil. At a time when it needed to expand its military power, it was facing deep economic constraints. This was precisely the problem the Soviet Union faced in the 1980s. It had to increase its military force while its major export, energy, plunged in price. This problem was instrumental in the Soviet Union’s collapse. To avoid repeating this scenario, the Russians had to decrease their defense budget rather than increase it.

 

After the dual shocks of 2014, Russia could either acknowledge its weakness or attempt to appear more powerful than it was. But if it acknowledged its problems, Russia was afraid, reasonably so, that the U.S. could impose a more aggressive policy on Moscow. Russia was forced into the maneuver of a formerly wealthy man down on his luck. It had to appear convincingly more powerful than it was, with the attendant danger of using up resources it couldn’t afford to spend. It pursued this strategy through low-cost, low-risk actions.

 

One such action was in Syria. The intervention there served no Russian strategic interests. There was speculation that Russia was interested in pipelines or ports. But no one believed that Russia’s commitment to Bashar Assad was so deep that it would intervene to save him. In reality, the Russians intervened to show that they could, and to prove that they could deal with the United States and Turkey as equals. From a strategic standpoint, it made little sense. From a psychological standpoint, it made some sense. The forces it sent were limited, and while they may have prevented the fall of Assad, they are now as bogged down as the Americans, unable to win and unable to leave. But being as bogged down as the Americans was not a problem. To the contrary, it made Russia a player on a bigger stage…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]                

 

Contents

CHECHNYA’S JEWISH COMMUNITY DOESN’T EXIST —

BUT IT’S ANGRY AT ISRAEL                                                 

Cnaan Liphshiz                                                                                

JTA, July 21, 2017

 

While Russia’s mainstream Jewish leaders in Moscow firmly backed Israel’s actions in clashes this week with Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the small Jewish community of Chechnya broke ranks with them and boldly condemned the Jewish state’s “provocations” against Muslims in the holy city. At least that was the story reported in the national and local media, including the Echo of Moscow radio station and Chechnya Today – the most popular news site in the predominantly Muslim Russian republic.

 

There was just one problem with the news item: Chechnya apparently has no organized Jewish community, and according to some Jewish people who were born there, also next to no Jews. The reports about where Chechen Jews stand on the issue of Jerusalem, where police and Palestinians clashed Thursday night and Friday over Israel’s decision to place metal detectors near the entrance to the Al Aqsa mosque, relied on a video message published Tuesday by a man called Mosei Yunayev.

 

Claiming to speak for the Jewish community of Chechnya, he joined Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov in condemning Israel’s actions at the Temple Mount, where the mosque is situated. Chechen Jews, Yunayev said, “wholeheartedly support” the sharp-worded rebuke of Israel by Kadyrov. “Nonsense, I doubt there are even any Jews left in Chechnya, let alone an organized Jewish community,” Tamara Rafailova Kahlon, an Israeli who was born in the Chechen capital of Grozny, told JTA on Friday. Her father, Rafoi Rafailov, heads an association of Chechen Jews in the city of Pyatigorsk, situated 150 miles west of Grozny in the North Caucasian Federal District. “They all left, I don’t know who this man speaks for,” she said.

 

On July 15, Kadyrov called Israel’s heightened security on the Temple Mount, where the previous day three Arab-Israeli terrorists killed two police officers before they were shot to death, “deliberate provocation to foment riots.” He described as “violent” Israel’s detention of the grand mufti of Jerusalem, who was called in for questioning after he urged worshippers to ignore a temporary closure of the compound immediately following the attack.

 

In response to the shooting, Israel for the first time placed metal detectors in gateways leading to the Haram al Sharif compound, which contains the Al-Aqsa mosque. Thousands of troops were deployed Friday following riots; two Palestinians were killed in the clashes. Security checks are a “provocation that invites resistance” by Muslims, Kadyrov said. Yunayev’s support for the condemnation by Kadyrov received considerable exposure in the Chechen media and other Russian-language publications. But Russian-speaking Jews, including community leaders, journalists and immigrants from Chechnya, dismissed and ridiculed Yunayev’s claim to represent a Jewish community that they said does not exist.

 

In an interview with Chechnya Today, Yunayev denied the assertions. “Those who claim that there are no Jews in Chechnya are far from being Jewish,” he said. And he presented his credentials: “I was sent to the Chechen Republic by the Council of Elders of the Jewish People to restore the Jewish community in the region. Only true believers know how right I am in my convictions.” JTA could not confirm the existence of an organization by that name; its only presence online originates in Yunayev’s mention in the Chechnya Today article. At other times, Yunayev presented himself as a member of the equally untraceable Congress of Jews of the North Caucasus Federal District.

 

Rabbi Boruch Gorin, a senior figure within the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, told JTA he is aware neither of that group nor of any other organized Jewish community active in Chechnya. “Chechnya is special in that there is no Jewish community, there are no Jews there,” he told the news site Open Russia on Thursday. “Not in Grozny, not anywhere. Perhaps there are a few individuals, but there is no social community of ethnic Jews after the Chechen wars” of the 1990s and 2000s. “Any statements from the Chechen Jewish community are made up,” Gorin said.

 

Chechnya did have a Jewish population in the past. Grozny had a 19th-century Ashkenazi synagogue that was turned into a music school in 1937 and then destroyed during the first Chechen war of 1994-96. But today, “Chechnya has no Jews,” according to the website Gorskie, the official website of the Mountain Jews Community, who have lived for centuries in the Caucasus…           

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    

 

 

Contents  

             

MIDDLE EASTERN ISLAMISM THREATENS RUSSIA

Daniel Pipes (Interview)          

                                                Eurasia Expert, July 24, 2017

 

Why is the Middle East so unstable? Is there hope for improvement? Middle Eastern instability results from the region's particularly difficult transition to modernity. This can be explained by two main problems: historic Muslim-Christian tensions going back to the origins of Islam and acute differences between modern and Islamic ways at both the public and private levels. In all, Muslim-Christian relations are probably the most fraught of any two large bodies of people in the world…

Will Syria or its neighbors be occupied by terrorists? For me, the word terrorist has lost meaning; it's what everyone calls his enemies. Let me change your question from terrorists to jihadis. Jihadis have a great future in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq and could control those states. The other neighbors – Turkey, Jordan, Israel – can protect themselves from anarchy though not from specific attacks.

 

In the aftermath of the Putin-Trump meeting at which both presidents expressed a readiness to fight ISIS in Syria, do you expect their forces to cooperate against it? Every serious analyst recognizes that the real issue in Syria is the growing Iranian presence and the Sunni states' resistance to it. ISIS is a sideshow. As Moscow is basically supporting Tehran and Washington supports the Sunni states, their differences will preclude more than occasionally tactical cooperation. I hope the Trump administration supports the Kurds and others who are resisting Iranian domination.

 

After helping the Iraqi army take Mosul from ISIS, will the U.S. government also help take Syrian cities from it? Due to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Americans feel a special responsibility for Iraq; but no similar sense exists for Syria. Also, the presence of Turkish and YPG forces complicates matters in Syria. I therefore expect a lesser U.S. involvement in Syria than in Iraq.

 

Can ISIS export instability from Syria-Iraq to Central Asia? ISIS has a history of doing too much too fast, making too many enemies and paying a heavy price for these mistakes. Assuming it has not learned the lesson of making alliances and limiting ambitions, it will likely try to reach Central Asia. I doubt it will succeed as the lure of the caliphate has been broken and other Islamist competitors are better positioned there…

 

Estimates suggest 5-7,000 people from Russia and the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are fighting for ISIS; Putin has stated that "we certainly cannot allow them to apply experience gained in Syria in our home." Do these CIS fighters in fact pose a threat to Russia? Assuming that the Russian authorities are on the alert for former ISIS fighters, I expect their threat will be contained to occasional acts of jihadi violence but no greater challenge…                                                                 

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Are Russia and America Headed for a Showdown?: George Beebe, National Interest, July 24, 2017—The situation may have to get worse before cooler heads start to prevail.

Why Trump’s Syrian Cease-fire Makes Israel Nervous: David Makovsky, Politico, July 14, 2017—Israel has done all it could over the past six years to stay out of the maelstrom next door in Syria, where Bashar Assad’s regime has struggled for six years to beat back a peaceful uprising that became a bloody civil war.

The Prospect for Russia's Jews: Maxim D. Shrayer, Mosaic, March 6 2017—Why do you stay here?” “I have a son here,” he replied. And then he added: “God gave me as a Jew such a place in life—to live in Russia.” “What about the other Jews, why do they stay here?” “About the others I don’t know, but I imagine they too are needed here by nature and the Creator.”

Taliban Fighters Claim Russia is Giving Them Weapons: Mark Moore, New York Post, July 25, 2017—Two groups of Taliban fighters said they have weapons supplied by the Russians, CNN reported on Tuesday, reinforcing claims by US military officials that the Kremlin is arming its one-time foe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEMPLE MOUNT TENSIONS REFLECT PALESTINIAN ANTISEMITISM, NOT METAL DETECTORS

Cause and Effect: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, July 23, 2017— Is there a cause and effect relationship between the new security arrangements instituted by Israel on the Temple Mount and the horrific murder of Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children Chaya, 46, and Elad, 36?  

The Argument Is About Jews, Not Metal Detectors: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, July 21, 2017— To an objective observer, the crisis that erupted in the aftermath of a bloody terror attack near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount makes no sense.

As Temple Mount Tensions Persist, Where’s Donald Trump?: Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel, July 23, 2017— With violence between Israelis and Palestinians threatening to spiral out of control, and amid many calls for restraint from the international community, one person has remained conspicuously silent: Donald Trump.

The Rami Hamdallah Compliment: IDF Policy Towards the Palestinians Proves Its Value: Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA, July 23, 2017— Within the last two weeks, interactions between Israel and the PA at the ministerial level have offered proof of the value of current Israeli strategy towards the Palestinian population.

 

On Topic Links

 

Grief and Defiance as Israel Lays 3 Members of Salomon Family, Murdered by Palestinian Terrorist, to Rest: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, July 23, 2017

Palestinians’ Dilemma on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount: Opposing Israel or Each Other?: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, July 19, 2017

How Jerusalem's Top Cop Keeps the Peace: Judith Miller, Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2017

A Time for Jewish Rage: Francis Nataf, Times of Israel, July 23, 2017

         

 

CAUSE AND EFFECT

                                                 Editorial

                                                  Jerusalem Post, July 23, 2017

 

Is there a cause and effect relationship between the new security arrangements instituted by Israel on the Temple Mount and the horrific murder of Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children Chaya, 46, and Elad, 36? There is according to 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, who massacred the three and seriously wounded Yosef’s wife, Tova, 69. Before leaving his home in Kobar on Friday night to carry out his attack in the neighboring settlement Halamish (Neveh Tzuf) in Samaria, he posted a message on his Facebook page: “They are desecrating the Aksa Mosque and we are sleeping, it is an embarrassment that we sit and do nothing…all I have is a sharpened knife, and it will answer the call of al-Aksa.” He signed off with emojis including hearts.

 

But there is no connection. What Abed did is what people have been doing to Jews for millennia, refusing to recognize Jewish nationality, rights, statehood and connection to this land. This has nothing to do with metal detectors. It is about hatred and radical ideology, fueled by lies and incitement. Connecting between the two like Abed did is a convenient way of thinking. It absolves him of responsibility for his actions and shifts the blame to the victim.

 

In Abed’s case, the despicable act of murdering an elderly man, seriously wounding his wife and killing two of his children can be transformed into a heroic act that is part of the Islamist struggle for control over al-Aksa, or as retribution for perceived grievances said to have been perpetrated by Jews who have no right to political autonomy in this land, let alone on the Temple Mount. If a cause-and-effect relationship exists at all in this story it is the connection between the cold-blooded murder of two Israeli Druse police officers adjacent to the Temple Mount and the decision by Israel to place metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount to prevent similar attacks in the future.

 

In a world governed by reason, ensuring the Temple Mount remains safe and gun-free would be seen first and foremost as a Muslim interest, since Muslims make up the vast majority of people who pray at the site and do not want to see it desecrated by acts of murder. The three Arabs with Israeli citizenship who smuggled guns into the Temple Mount exploited the atmosphere of trust and reverence that enabled lax security arrangements. Perhaps it was naive to think that this sort of attack could not take place. But our government does not want to repeat its mistake.

 

Now, Netanyahu is being asked to cave in to the demands of the Islamists. A campaign in Israel is being led by Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement, and by Hamas, and is receiving the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan and North Africa. The governments of Turkey and Qatar are also supporting the struggle.

 

More “moderate” Arab leaders such as Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are gradually being forced to fall in line with the Islamists. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who initially denounced the murder of the Druse officers, has since changed course, suspending ties with Israel in protest against the metal detectors. The “Arab Spring” proved the power of the masses to bring about regime change. And its memory is still fresh in the minds of men like Sisi and Abdullah.

 

In retrospect, Netanyahu should have foreseen all this. He has extensive experience with the explosive potential of the Temple Mount. The decision to place metal detectors on the Temple Mount seems not to have taken into consideration all the potential ramifications. Did Netanyahu ask himself whether the security benefits gained by introducing the metal detectors outweighs the price paid in the form of unrest, rioting and a renewed wave of terrorism? Sometimes it is better to be smart than right.

 

At the same time, no amount of concessions will satisfy people like Abed, Sheikh Salah or the Muslim Brotherhood. Removing the metal detectors will not be the end of it. There will be new grievances, new “causes” for Muslim violence. Extracting concessions under threat of violence is one of the objectives of terrorism. The question is where do we draw the line. Perhaps we should have been “smart” when it comes to metal detectors. Ultimately, however, appeasing Islamists does not lead to real peace. When violence is rewarded it tends to become an incentive for more violence.

 

                                                                       

 

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THE ARGUMENT IS ABOUT JEWS, NOT METAL DETECTORS

Jonathan S. Tobin

JNS, July 21, 2017

 

To an objective observer, the crisis that erupted in the aftermath of a bloody terror attack near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount makes no sense. Three Arab terrorists used guns they had smuggled up to the compound July 14 to kill two Israeli policemen, both of whom happened to be Druze rather than Jewish. In response, Israeli authorities set up metal detectors to prevent a recurrence of the crime. The response to this from Palestinians was general outrage, violence and a promise of mass riots if the offending machines were not immediately removed. Upon Friday afternoon prayers July 21, with Israel facing the prospect of even more violence that might get out of control, the metal detectors remained in place.

 

How could putting metal detectors to protect a holy site be considered a casus belli for what might, if the conflict escalated in the way the Muslim rioters promised, lead to a new holy war? The answer is that this isn’t about metal detectors. It’s about something much bigger: the right of Jews to be in Jerusalem.

 

What happened near the Temple Mount wasn’t about metal detectors. Nor was it another variation on the usual theme sounded from Israel’s critics about the infringement of Palestinian rights. To the contrary, Israel didn’t change the status quo at the Temple Mount, which denies Jews the right to pray at the holiest place in Judaism. The Islamic Waqf was left in charge of Jerusalem’s mosques, including the Temple Mount’s Al-Aqsa, inviolate.

 

Nor was the new security measure discriminatory. Any Jew or non-Jew who wishes to enter the Western Wall plaza below the Temple Mount compound must also pass through security, including metal detectors. The same is true for Muslims who wish to enter the holy places in Mecca during their annual pilgrimages.

 

So what exactly is this all about? For a century, Palestinian Arab leaders have been playing the “Al-Aqsa is in danger” card. The cries that Jews were seeking to destroy the mosques or in some way harm Muslim rights led to a series of pogroms against Jews, including the riots of 1929 in which Jews were massacred in Hebron. But the appeal to holy war isn’t only a vestige of the horrors of the distant past and the influence of the Nazi sympathizer Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem who incited those riots.

 

It was the supposedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose inflammatory statements helped incite the so-called “stabbing intifada” in recent years by also claiming Jews were going to harm the mosques. It was Abbas, not just his Hamas rivals or other violent Islamists, who called on Palestinians to resist the Jewish presence in Jerusalem. It was Abbas who said “stinking Jewish feet” should not profane the holy places.

 

Abbas’s motives were cynical, since he was waving the bloody banner of holy war to compete with his political foes. But the impact of his statements gave the lie to the notion — so prevalent on the Jewish left — that a peace agreement could be easily reached if Israel had the will to try for one. His rhetoric sought to remind Palestinians that the conflict wasn’t over borders or settlements, but something far more basic: a religious war that mandates Arab opposition to the Jewish presence. This is why the PA goes to such trouble to foment fights at United Nations agencies like UNESCO intended to deny Jewish ties or rights to holy places, even those that are self-evidently proof of Jewish history like the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

 

This is also why the new security measures are merely the latest pretext for Arab violence intended to make the point that Jews should not merely have no say over the Temple Mount, but have no right to be there at all. The demonstrations and threats of more violence are just one more power play intended to remind the world that the only solution Palestinians will ultimately accept is one in which the Jews are excluded. So long as this is their goal, it isn’t Al-Aqsa that is in danger, but any hope for peace.

 

 

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AS TEMPLE MOUNT TENSIONS PERSIST,

WHERE’S DONALD TRUMP?

Raphael Ahren                       

                                                  Times of Israel, July 23, 2017

 

With violence between Israelis and Palestinians threatening to spiral out of control, and amid many calls for restraint from the international community, one person has remained conspicuously silent: Donald Trump.

 

Two days after a terror attack in Halamish in which a grandfather and two of his children were stabbed to death, and after a week of clashes over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount that have seen several Palestinian protesters killed, the US president has yet to comment. Some of his closest confidants are said to be involved in ongoing efforts to calm the situation, but Trump himself has not yet made any public effort to help restore calm.

 

The White House is holding talks with Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and other regional players in a bid to quell the current wave of violence, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Saturday night, quoting Israeli and Arab officials. Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner, who reportedly discussed the matter last week with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas, is said to be leading the US effort, together with Trump’s special envoy to the peace process, Jason Greenblatt, his ambassador in Tel Aviv, David Friedman, and the US consul-general in Jerusalem, Donald Blome.

 

But Kushner’s team is working behind the scenes. On Wednesday, the State Department issued a statement saying the US was “very concerned about tensions” surrounding the Temple Mount, and calling on Israel and Jordan to “find a solution that assures public safety and the security of the site and maintains the status quo.”

 

But the statement was vague, and did not indicate how the administration viewed Israel’s decision to install metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount following the July 14 attack in which three Arab Israelis shot dead two on-duty Israeli police officers there with guns they had smuggled into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Mount’s Waqf Muslim authority has successfully discouraged worshipers from walking through the gates, and they have instead prayed outside. Numerous Arab leaders have demanded that Israel remove the metal detectors.

 

On Saturday night, the Middle East Quartet released a statement strongly condemning “acts of terror,” and, noting the “particular sensitivities surrounding the holy sites in Jerusalem,” urging all sides to “demonstrate maximum restraint, refrain from provocative actions and work towards de-escalating the situation.” Though his name was not mentioned in the statement, Greenblatt represents the US in the Quartet, and would have been party to its drafting. But the vague statement carries less weight than clear US intervention would.

 

Trump has declared his intention to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and has invested considerable time and effort trying to bring the two sides closer together. He has established good relations with all key players in the region and potentially holds considerable influence over them. To date, in this crisis, he has chosen not to use it. It’s not as though he’s been hesitant to make his voice heard on Israeli-Palestinian issues: Trump has already spoken out on such abidingly sensitive matters as settlements and Palestinian incitement.

 

Trump’s advisers would likely urge him to proceed with caution, cognizant that any crisis surrounding the Temple Mount can snowball from a local affair into a religious war that sets the region ablaze. The White House would also seek to tread carefully lest it be seen as biased toward either party, thus jeopardizing its declared interest in restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

 

Careful diplomacy would therefore seem wise. But careful need not mean private. The prospects of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only recede further so long as the current Temple Mount crisis rumbles on, whereas the US president weighing in constructively might have an immediate cooling effect. Thus far, nothing is known about how the president feels about the current situation. He was likely briefed on it, but has kept his silence.

 

With passions so high, it is difficult to predict how a clear-cut US presidential statement assigning blame and/or defining a solution would be received by the sides. If the president were to declare flat out that it was absolutely legitimate for Israel to have installed metal detectors to secure the holy site, and that such a move does not constitute a change to the sensitive status quo there, that might alienate Arab and Muslim leaders. Or it might move the Palestinians, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, to lower the volume of their protest, allowing it to gradually quieten down.

 

Were he to firmly declare the metal detectors an unnecessary infringement on worshipers’ rights, and publicly urge Israel to reinstate the status quo ante, he might infuriate Israel. Or possibly provide Netanyahu with an urgent imperative to find an alternate arrangement. A more subtle intervention, though, could reasonably be expected to be welcomed by all sides. Were the president to personally urge the various parties to seek a mutually acceptable solution, and offer American good offices to help achieve that, it is hard to imagine that anybody would reject him.

 

When the leader of the free world speaks, the Middle East does sometimes listen. The more so when the leader of the free world is unpredictable, and when many of the parties involved in this crisis share an interest in staying on his good side.                           

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THE RAMI HAMDALLAH COMPLIMENT:

IDF POLICY TOWARDS THE PALESTINIANS PROVES ITS VALUE                                                                                            Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman                                                                                                              

BESA, July 23, 2017

 

Within the last two weeks, interactions between Israel and the PA at the ministerial level have offered proof of the value of current Israeli strategy towards the Palestinian population. First came the positive meeting between PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, during which the former offered uncharacteristic praise of Israel’s measured response to the wave of violence that began in October 2015. Then came the July 10 inauguration in Jenin of the power plant project, jointly launched by Hamdallah and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, which indicates once again the utility of Israel’s gas exports as a tool of regional policy.

 

Palestinian praise for Israeli policies – amid a regular pattern of abuse, defamation, absurd UN resolutions aimed at denying the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, and intermittent violence by Palestinian attackers who win moral and material support from the PA leadership – sounds like a “man bites dog” story the media should love. But little attention was paid to the highly unusual comments made by Hamdallah during his meeting with Kahlon. Side-by-side with a wide-ranging discussion of economic arrangements, Hamdallah felt obliged to take note – in public! – of Israel’s moderate and well-calibrated response to the violence that erupted late in 2015.

 

It is true that perpetrators and would-be perpetrators are apprehended and sometimes killed. But the attitude towards the population at large, and towards the economy of the West Bank, is deliberately geared to avoid collective punishment and give the peaceful majority a stake in stability.

 

This approach, as well as other major decisions (such as building permits in area C), reflects a consistent set of policies that are based, to some extent, on American lessons learned in the realm of counterinsurgency as well as on Israel’s own extensive experience on the ground. They do not insure against further violence – in fact, a major clash erupted in Jenin just a day after the power plant ceremony. But they do serve three key purposes. They create a stake in stability for a growing segment of Palestinian society; they reduce a potential point of friction between Israel and her key Arab neighbors and partners in the region-wide struggle against Iranian ambitions and Islamist totalitarians in their various forms; and they play a role in creating an atmosphere conducive to Israel’s recent burst of successful foreign policy activities.

 

The approach makes it easier for the Palestinian security forces, despite brutal criticism from Hamas and others, to sustain its security cooperation with Israel, which ultimately not only saves lives but also reduces the level of direct friction between the IDF and the population (not to zero, as was demonstrated on July 11 in Jenin). Israeli commanders in the field instruct their officers and soldiers to deal courteously with civilians whom they meet in the daily conduct of life at checkpoints and on patrol.

 

Many of the senior officers are themselves veterans – as younger officers – of the intensive clashes of 2000-04 (mistakenly referred to by many as “the second intifada,” though this was not a popular uprising but a campaign of violence conducted from above – “Mister Arafat’s War,” as Tom Friedman called it back then). They well remember the lessons learned during that period. Some have also internalized aspects of American field manuals on counterinsurgency, which bear the marks of what David Petraeus and others learned in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

These policies towards the Palestinians, which are enhanced at the national level by a more generous policy on finances, trade, and infrastructure, are not universally popular. It is difficult, after all, to advocate for them while the PA continues to nurture the families of “martyrs” and jailed murderers. While some on the left see the policies as insufficiently lenient, many on the right see them as signs that the IDF has lost its edge. It now panders to the Palestinians and strives for international approval, they claim, when it should be striking hard at those who hate us. But a balanced response is not a matter of political preference, submission to international pressure, or naïve notions of who we are up against. Considerations of public image, both domestic and international, may play a secondary role, as does the long shadow of the ICC. But the choices made by the IDF and the Cabinet are rooted in Israel’s national security interests.

 

At the Palestinian level, these attitudes reduce tensions and offer incentives for the uninvolved to stay that way. The ideologically committed elements are relatively well-mapped in terms of intelligence coverage and are dealt with much less leniently, with impressive statistical results. Moreover, this approach enables the PA Security Services under Majid Faraj to sustain their cooperation with the IDF and the Shin Bet, which greatly reduces the load on our forces and the level of friction with the local population. This is not to say that the Palestinian security forces can now fend for themselves. They are at best half-ready, and if left to their own devices would be swept away by Hamas (as happened in Gaza in 2007). Still, the mutual support is a win-win, and it cannot be sustained in a more confrontational atmosphere.

 

Moreover, at the regional level, the careful management of the conflict, and the measures taken to avoid escalation, make it easier for Israel to husband the broad and robust set of relationships it has with its two peace partners: Jordan, whose stability is vital and could easily be threatened if things go wrong on the other side of the river; and Egypt, which looks upon itself as a custodian of basic Palestinian rights. The same is true, to a large extent, for other, less overt friends in the region, who share Israel’s view of the Iranian threat. For all these countries (or, rather, for their leaders), the Palestinian cause as such is not of primary importance. They cannot, however, do much business with Israel if the Arab media is flooded by visuals of clashes and casualties…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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On Topic Links

 

Grief and Defiance as Israel Lays 3 Members of Salomon Family, Murdered by Palestinian Terrorist, to Rest: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, July 23, 2017—Thousands of mourners gathered in the central Israeli town of Modi’in on Sunday afternoon to attend the funerals of the three members of the Salomon family murdered on Friday night by a Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank community of Halamish.

Palestinians’ Dilemma on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount: Opposing Israel or Each Other?: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, July 19, 2017—I spoke to several Fatah sources in east Jerusalem on July 17, 2017, as the “metal detector” crisis began to build, and their bottom-line is that they feel they are left alone to defend Jerusalem. They fear they may lose control of the situation; some individuals may take action on their own with serious consequences.

How Jerusalem's Top Cop Keeps the Peace: Judith Miller, Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2017—Three Arab Israelis opened fire last Friday on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a holy site for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Two Israeli policemen were killed, as were the attackers.

A Time for Jewish Rage: Francis Nataf, Times of Israel, July 23, 2017—Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a moderate when it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict. I still believe in a two-state solution and I have gone so far as publicly advocating dialogue with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. I understand that along with much of the hype and irrationality, there are legitimate grievances on the other side and that it is in everyone’s best interest to think more creatively about ways to come to some sort of political solution.