The Facebook Intifada: Micah Lakin Avni, New York Times, Nov. 3, 2015 — Three weeks ago, my father was riding on a public bus in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood when terrorists from East Jerusalem shot him in the head and stabbed him multiple times.
The Hidden Hand Behind the Palestinian Terror Wave: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Oct. 25, 2015— The wave of Palestinian terror against Israel, which the Palestinian leadership calls an “intifada” (a violent uprising that includes an armed struggle), is winning open support from all the representative organizations and institutions of the Palestinian people…
Jordan’s Delicate But Pivotal Role on the Temple Mount: Barry Shaw, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 28, 2015— When all strands of Palestinian political society came together in a deadly incitement based on religion radiating out from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem it left many dead on both sides of the religious divide…
Why Oslo Failed: Confronting “Peace Now”: Louis Rene Beres, Breaking Israel News, Oct. 29, 2015 — Notwithstanding the latest “Peace Now” demonstrations in Tel-Aviv, Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remain destined to fail.
Sara Zoabi Speaks at Israeli Knesset: Youtube, Oct. 14, 2015
Toronto-Born Jewish Terror Victim Dies After Year in Coma Following Meat Cleaver Attack at Jerusalem Synagogue: Michael Bell, Tom Najem & Neil Quilliam, Globe & Mail, Oct. 20, 2015
In Tense Eastern Jerusalem, Arabs and Jews Hunker Down: Ben Sales, Times of Israel, Nov. 2, 2015
Palestinian Incitement to Violence and Terror: Nothing New, But Still Dangerous: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Nov. 17, 2015
Micah Lakin Avni
New York Times, Nov. 3, 2015
Three weeks ago, my father was riding on a public bus in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood when terrorists from East Jerusalem shot him in the head and stabbed him multiple times. Afterward, as he lay unconscious in the intensive care unit of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, fighting for his life, one question was on my mind: What inspired the two young Palestinian men to savagely attack my father and a busload of passengers?
My father, Richard Lakin, dedicated his life to the cause of Israeli-Arab reconciliation. Ever since moving to Israel from Connecticut in the 1980s, he spent his career teaching English to Israeli and Arab children. Inspired by his experience marching with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s, he became a founding member of Israel Loves Iran, a social media initiative designed to bring the citizens of these two nations closer together. When news of his tragedy broke, many of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish residents of Jerusalem who knew my father and admired his work rushed to his bedside to pay their respects and say a prayer for his recovery. Even Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, stopped by on his recent visit to Israel.
Watching the well-wishers congregating in the intensive care unit, however, I realized that the world leaders who were having the most impact on the situation in the Middle East right now weren’t Mr. Ban or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and other young entrepreneurs who shape the social media platforms most of us use every day.
It may sound strange to talk of Twitter and Facebook as relevant players in the war against terror, but as the recent wave of violence in Israel has proved, that is increasingly the case. The young men who boarded the bus that day intent on murdering my 76-year-old father did not make their decision in a vacuum. One was a regular on Facebook, where he had already posted a “will for any martyr.” Very likely, they made use of one of the thousands of posts, manuals and instructional videos circulating in Palestinian society these last few weeks, like the image, shared by thousands on Facebook, showing an anatomical chart of the human body with advice on where to stab for maximal damage.
Sickeningly, my father, too, became a viral hit on Palestinian social media: Hours after he was shot and stabbed, a video re-enactment of the attack was posted online celebrating the gruesome incident, and calling on more young Palestinians to go out and murder Jews. Such images, YouTube videos and comments have become a regular feature on social media after every attack.
My father raised me to cherish and protect free speech, but the very liberty that free speech was designed to protect is at stake when it is used to spread venom and incite violence. Just as it is universally recognized that shouting fire in a crowded theater is dangerous and should be prohibited, so, too, must we now recognize that rampant online incitement is a danger that must be reckoned with immediately, before more innocent people end up as victims.
The companies who’ve turned social media platforms into very big business argue, and rightly so, that monitoring each post is nearly impossible, that permitting users the freedom of expression is essential, that there are already steps in place to combat hate speech. All that is true. But something new is happening today, and what Facebook, Twitter and the others must realize is that the question of incitement on social media isn’t just a logistical or financial question but, first and foremost, a moral one.
This wave of terrorism is different from anything we’ve seen, involving not terrorists recruited by shadowy organizations but ordinary young men and women inspired by hateful and bloody messages they see online to take matters and blades into their own hands. Just as many of us now argue that we should hold gun manufacturers responsible for the devastation brought about by their products, we should demand the same of social media platforms, now being used as sources of inspiration and instruction for murderers.
One immediate solution is to remove blatant incitement without waiting for formal complaints — it’s one thing to express a political opinion, even one that supports violent measures, and another to publish a how-to chart designed to train and recruit future terrorists. To that end, an Israeli non-profit took legal action against Facebook earlier this week, demanding that the company do more to monitor and remove unacceptable content. My family joined the lawsuit as plaintiffs. Still, I believe that any truly successful effort to curb the culture of hate on social media must come from the companies themselves.
Companies can become more active in combating hate. The popular social networking site Reddit, for example, not only banned specific types of unacceptable content — such as a group encouraging rape — but it also engaged specific user groups in dialogue, a simple act of civility that succeeded in curbing the worst rhetoric. Companies can and must work harder — using all the tools at their disposal — to create an online culture that does not tolerate violence and hate.
Sadly, for my father, it’s too late: Two weeks after the attack, he succumbed to his wounds. When they heard the news of his passing, many of his friends — Christians, Muslims, Jews — posted his favorite photo on their social media channels. It shows an Arab and an Israeli boy, their arms around each other, while the text around them spells simply “coexist.”
Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi
JCPA, Oct. 25, 2015
The wave of Palestinian terror against Israel, which the Palestinian leadership calls an “intifada” (a violent uprising that includes an armed struggle), is winning open support from all the representative organizations and institutions of the Palestinian people, including the PLO, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, the Hamas authorities who control Gaza, and organizations representing the Palestinian diaspora. The green light for the intifada was given by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 30, in which he lauded Palestinian terror and threatened political chaos – that is, a descent into an all-out intifada-type conflict.
By unleashing Palestinian terror Abbas hopes to bring about greater international intervention in the conflict, and, thereby, to give greater heft to UN General Assembly Resolution 67/19 of December 4, 2012, which recognizes “Palestine” as a nonmember observer state of the UN within the borders of June 4, 1967, including east Jerusalem. Thus the Palestinian terror is meant to leverage international pressure on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank without negotiations or conditions. The Palestinian struggle against Israel will then continue from the new borders under improved circumstances.
The Hamas leadership, too, sees the UN resolution as a historic opportunity for it, particularly the provision that recognizes “the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in accordance with a decision by the Palestine National Council, [as] entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine….” Hamas, which in the past was a bitter foe of the PLO, has made it a supreme goal to take over the organization. It thereby seeks to gain the status of sole representative of the Palestinian people and the right to international recognition of that status with the entire attendant political, legal, economic, and other ramifications.
Hence, in the reconciliation agreements between the PA/Fatah and Hamas, the Hamas leadership demanded the formation of a temporary PLO leadership that would include Hamas and Islamic Jihad – that is, partnership in the temporary Palestinian government – and the holding of new elections for the PLO institutions, first and foremost the Palestinian National Council.
Despite his declared support for a national reconciliation, Abbas is in no hurry to incorporate Hamas in the PLO institutions and is making this conditional on gaining real control of Gaza, currently under the effective control of Hamas. In Hamas’ view, Abbas and the present Palestinian leadership are an obstacle to gaining a foothold in the PLO institutions and the PLO Executive Committee, which constitutes the “temporary” Palestinian government. The Hamas leadership understands that Abbas is trying, by means of the intifada, to upgrade the international recognition of the Palestinian state and of his status as “president” of all the Palestinian people, including Gaza, and to do so without enabling Hamas’s incorporation in the institutions of the state-in-the-making that are recognized by the international community.
Hamas has branded the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah as “traitors,” collaborators with Israel in the “grave crime” of security cooperation, to be punished by execution for “severe treason” against the Palestinian people. The Hamas leaders deny the legitimacy of the PA’s rule and call for its overthrow by the masses. In recent years the Hamas leadership has been trying to spark an intifada in the West Bank that will lead to the PA’s collapse – whether through a revolt by the Palestinian population or a wide-scale Israeli military operation against the PA military forces that are responsible for the terror.
The Hamas leadership is also appropriating the current terror wave by dubbing it the “Al-Quds Intifada,” while putting cardinal emphasis on opening a front against Israel both in the West Bank and within Israel itself by calling on Israeli Arabs to take an active part in the struggle. Gaza serves as a base for setting the terror wave in motion. Apart, though, from a few attacks (the firing of a few rockets, some sniper fire, and breaches of the border fence), the Hamas leadership is refraining as in the past from responding to the “assault on the Palestinians” with massive rocket fire from Gaza at Israeli communities.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri made clear (in the Hamas daily Felesteen, October 14, 2005) that Hamas wants to sustain what it has called “the popular nature of the Al-Quds Intifada” while keeping it focused on the West Bank and Jerusalem, along with attacks within Israel. Abu Zuhri also underlined the harnessing of legal tools and of the human rights organizations to the terror organizations’ struggle against Israel, and particularly, as he called it, against “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians (in other words, those killed during attempts to murder Israeli civilians and soldiers with knives, vehicles, and so on)…
The Hamas leadership, then, does not want to open an immediate military front against Israel in Gaza, but rather to focus the terror activity on the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel itself. The overriding goal is to undermine the PA’s rule…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Arutz Sheva, Oct. 28, 2015
When all strands of Palestinian political society came together in a deadly incitement based on religion radiating out from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem it left many dead on both sides of the religious divide – Jewish Israelis who were the prime target of Islam-motivated Palestinians.
Although the Islamic Movement and Hamas (are) two of the leading Palestinian instigators of the violence, it was the statements of a presumed secular Mahmoud Abbas that inflamed the Palestinian street. He, like Yasser Arafat before him, presumed to speak for the Muslim world when he exhorted his people in a televised address to his people on September 16, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”
He was referring to his incitement to prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount plateau which is the most holy place in Judaism. About them he said, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque is ours. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is ours as well. They have no right to desecrate the mosque with their dirty feet; we won’t allow them to do that.” This statement was not only inflammatory; it was disdainful not only to Jews and Christians but also to King Abdullah, the Hashemite leader of the Kingdom of Jordan. It was also terribly presumptuous as Palestinian Arabs have no religious right to govern any holy site in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in particular.
The accepted status quo rests on Israel’s agreement in 1967 to allow the Jordanian appointed Waqf to govern the Islamic holy site on the Temple Mount, known in the Muslim world as “Haram al-Sharif.” The explosion of the Arab war of 1948 against the nascent state of Israel left part of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria, colloquially called “the West Bank,” under Jordanian occupation.
Jordan formally annexed the land they conquered in a war of aggression on April 24, 1950. This was widely considered illegal, including by the Arab League. On July 27, 1953, King Hussein declared the parts of Jerusalem under Jordanian control to be “the alternative capital of the Hashemite Kingdom” and would form “an integral and inseparable part” of Jordan. There was no consideration during the Jordanian occupation of any of this territory to be a state of Palestine. No claims for “Palestine” were lodged between 1948 and 1967 while it remained under Hashemite control, despite later narratives of “Palestinian Arabs” being kept in refugee status within Jordan itself.
Those Arabs remaining in the "West Bank" and east Jerusalem were granted Jordanian citizenship without complaint. Its residents were allowed to vote in the Jordanian parliamentary elections and their representatives continued to sit in the Jordanian parliament as late as 1988 even though Jordan lost all of the territory it held in Jerusalem and the "West Bank" following a failed aggressive war it launched against Israel in 1967.
Following the Jordanian victory over Israel in 1948, as part of the Armistice Agreement signed on April 3, 1949. Jordan obligated to allow “free access to the holy site and cultural institutions and cemeteries on the Mount of Olives.” However, Jews were barred from entering into the Old City and visiting the Jewish holy places. Synagogues within the Old City were systematically destroyed. Gravestones in the Jewish Mount of Olives cemetery were desecrated and taken to be used as paving stones. The Wailing Wall, a part of the destroyed Jewish Temple, was used as a urinal.
When Arab nations prepared once again to attack Israel in June 1967 in what became known as the “Six Dar War” the Arab armies suffered crippling losses of weaponry and equipment. Arab losses in the conflict were disastrous. Egypt’s casualties numbered more than 11,000, with 6,000 for Jordan and 1,000 for Syria, compared with only 700 for Israel. Nobody at that time criticized Israel for a “disproportionate use of force” as they have constantly chosen to do in later events when Israel has been forced to defend itself from aggressive violence and terrorism, including during recent knifing and stoning attacks in which Palestinians have sustained a greater loss of life than Israelis.
In 1967, Israel warned Jordan to stay out of the fighting. Ignoring this request, Jordan began pounding the western parts of Jerusalem with artillery fire. Israel launched a counter-offensive which drove Jordanian troops out of Jerusalem and much of the "West Bank." Israel offered the Jordanians a ceasefire. This was refused. The muezzin loudspeakers on the Dome of the Rock mosque bellowed “Take up your weapons and take back your country taken by the Jews.”
Perhaps the most iconic and historic moment of this war was when Israeli soldiers broke through the Lion Gate leading into the Old City of Jerusalem and fought their way through the narrow alleyways to the most central site in Judaism. There the IDF Chief of Staff, Mordechai “Motta” Gur, radioed the message “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” A tremor went through the soul of every Jew. Following two millennia during which Jews prayed to be reunited with Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple, Israel had liberated Judaism’s most revered shrine.
The guardianship of these Islamic shrines has, historically, been allocated into the hands of Jordan.
Moshe Dayan was Israel’s Minister of Defense and, as he proceeded across the Temple Mount plateau he saw an Israeli flag atop the Dome of the Rock and he ordered it taken down. After he placed a private prayer note in the cracks of the Western Wall he turned and declared, “We’ve reunited the city, the capital of Israel, never to part it again. To our Arab neighbors, Israel extends the hand of peace and to all peoples of all faiths; we guarantee full freedom of worship. We’ve not come to conquer the holy places of others but to live with others in harmony.”…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Louis Rene Beres
Breaking Israel News, Oct. 29, 2015
Notwithstanding the latest “Peace Now” demonstrations in Tel-Aviv, Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remain destined to fail. This is not because of any Israeli “right-wing government intransigence,” but on account of an immutably corrupted Palestinian doctrine.
From Oslo’s beginnings, in 1993, the Arab side sought only to embrace the U.S.-brokered pact as a promising means of improving its own relative power position. Even then, in unhidden sentiments that have become still more explicit during the so-called “Third Intifada,” the Palestinians had been seeking only a One-State Solution. Never, even for a moment, did a single Palestinian faction display any authentic interest in living “side-by-side” with any Jewish State. Never did any such faction actually favor a “Two-State Solution.” Never.
There are, of course, other elements of Palestinian misrepresentation and contrivance, that have cumulatively doomed the “peace process.” Most obvious is the ongoing and plainly-undiminished Palestinian commitment to incitement and terror, and, as an inevitable corollary, the continuing Palestinian insistence on a “right of return.” On its face, this alleged “right” remains a not-so-coded message for accelerating Israel’s incremental destruction. Prima facie, this seemingly-benign and “just” expectation clearly represents complete rejection of Israel’s physical continuance as a sovereign state. For any “peace process,” even ones currently favored by Israel’s “Peace Now,” this particular sort of rejection is not merely problematic. It is, rather, replacement-centered, or openly annihilatory.
There is yet another important reason to explain incessant Palestinian noncompliance with Oslo. This most widely overlooked explanation centers on the uniform and persistent Palestinian Authority violations of international criminal law, here, the “peremptory” obligation to extradite wanted terrorists to Israel. This incontrovertible obligation stems from both: 1) the actual language of the codifying agreement; and 2) the always-binding principles of underlying international law. Such jurisprudential principles do not depend for their implementation upon any specific treaties or pacts. Sometimes, they are even binding perpetually, as “jus cogens” norms, to introduce specific legal terminology of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
From Oslo’s beginnings, on September 13, 1993, the Palestinian Authority, inter alia, absolutely refused to honor its expressly core obligation to extradite Arab terrorists to Israel. Significantly, even if the Oslo Agreements had not themselves contained unambiguous provisions for terrorist extradition, the PA would still have been bound to “extradite or prosecute” terrorist murderers, according to the more general, customary, and pre-existing rules of international criminal law. Ultimately, the basic and universally-binding requirement to extradite major criminals (Hostes humani generis, or “Common enemies of humankind”) lies most enduringly in “Natural Law.”…
In turn, this “higher law” exists at the normative center of all civilized national and international legal systems, most prominently, in the jurisprudential foundations of Israel, and the United States of America. his general legal obligation to extradite is more than merely anecdotal. It has a proper name. It is specifically referenced, in law, as aut dedere, aut judicare; “extradite or prosecute.”…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Sara Zoabi Speaks at Israeli Knesset: Youtube, Oct. 14, 2015 —Sara Zoabi in the Knesset yesterday speaking about Muslim Zionism. English translation provided by Calgary United with Israel (CUWI).
Toronto-Born Jewish Terror Victim Dies After Year in Coma Following Meat Cleaver Attack at Jerusalem Synagogue: Michael Bell, Tom Najem & Neil Quilliam, Globe & Mail, Oct. 20, 2015—Nearly one year ago, doctors placed Toronto-born Howie (Chaim) Rothman, an Israeli-Canadian brutally wounded in a terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, in a drug-induced coma, so devastating was the swelling of his brain.
In Tense Eastern Jerusalem, Arabs and Jews Hunker Down: Ben Sales, Times of Israel, Nov. 2, 2015 —To get to the Jewish compound in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, residents arrange in advance for an armored van to pick them up at a spot adjacent to the walls of the Old City.
Palestinian Incitement to Violence and Terror: Nothing New, But Still Dangerous: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Nov. 17, 2015—The bitter, civil violence and terror over the past weeks, concentrated in Hebron and in Jerusalem, revolving around the issue of the Al Aqsa mosque, and enveloping Arabs both in Israel and in the disputed territories, are being attributed by various commentators to a series of causes and reasons.