Tag: Palestinian


As ‘Attacks Beget Attacks’ in West Bank, Army Must Break Cycle of Terror: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Dec. 14, 2018— The last quarter of 2018 has seen a significant rise in the level of violence in the West Bank, with growing concerns of another outbreak like that in late 2015 and early 2016, which saw regular stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

A Distinct Lack of Jewish Outrage: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Dec. 13, 2018 — American Jews have often been bashed for being too Israel-centric.

Strasbourg Attack Fits Previous Model of Criminal-Terror Nexus in Europe: Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 12, 2018— On Tuesday, Cherif Chekatt, 29, shot at a crowd next to a Christmas market in central Strasbourg killing two, while a third person was brain-dead and being kept alive on life support.

Confronting the Darkness of Hate Together: Alan Herman, CIJR, Dec. 13, 2018 — On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Remembrance Day, Doris Epstein and myself, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research’s Toronto Co-Chairs, drove out on a cold and windy Sunday night to Grace Life Centre in Scarborough.

On Topic Links

After Antisemitic Attacks, Are Jews Safer in the East Than the West?: Sean Savage, Algemeiner, Dec. 13, 2018

When Anti-Zionism Tunnels Under Your House: Bret Stephens, New York Times, Dec. 13, 2018

A Painful Reminder: Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom, Dec. 11, 2018

The Hamas Plan to Take the West Bank: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 13, 2018




Judah Ari Gross

Times of Israel, Dec. 14, 2018

The last quarter of 2018 has seen a significant rise in the level of violence in the West Bank, with growing concerns of another outbreak like that in late 2015 and early 2016, which saw regular stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

This past week has been particularly deadly, and the military is engaged in a delicate balancing act — launching a large-scale effort to interrupt the cycle of violence in an attempt to stave off a wider conflict in the West Bank, but at the same time trying to limit the potential to inflame already heightened tensions in the restive region.

On Sunday, Palestinian terrorists opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside the Ofra settlement, injuring seven people, including a 30-weeks pregnant woman whose baby was delivered prematurely and died three days later. An assailant stabbed two border guards in the Old City of Jerusalem on Thursday, lightly injuring them, before he was shot dead. Also on Thursday, a gunman shot dead two Israeli soldiers and seriously injured a third serviceman and a civilian woman at a bus stop outside the Givat Assaf outpost, near Ofra. And a Palestinian attacker stabbed a soldier and bashed his head with a rock, seriously injuring him, at a military outpost near the Beit El settlement on Friday.

On Thursday, Israeli troops also shot dead a 58-year-old Palestinian man who they said attempted to ram them with his car in the town of el-Bireh, outside Ramallah. The man’s family denies that he tried to deliberately hit the soldiers with his car, and the military is reportedly investigating the possibility that it was indeed an accident.

Adding to the past week’s heightened tensions, Israeli security forces shot dead a suspected terrorist, Ashraf Na’alowa, who is believed to have committed a shooting attack in the Barkan industrial zone in October, killing two of his Israeli co-workers; the army said he opened fire at the troops who came to arrest him in the city of Nablus in the predawn hours of Thursday morning. Soldiers also arrested some of the terrorists responsible for the Ofra shooting on Wednesday night — one was also killed — while others are still believed to be at large.

But the escalation of violence in the West Bank has been coming for several months. Following a rocky May, which saw an increase in attacks apparently tied to the transfer of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the summer was relatively calm, with between 64 and 88 acts of violence each month, mostly in the forms of Molotov cocktails thrown at Israeli cars and other low-level attacks, according to figures from the Shin Bet security service.

Beginning in September, this started to change, with more and more attacks recorded each month in the West Bank. November saw over 100, according to the Shin Bet, and December appears to be on track to have even more and deadlier attacks. The military is also in the midst of several other manhunts in the West Bank. Except for Thursday’s Old City stabbing, all the assailants managed to flee the scene of the attacks.

This tendency of one attack to lead to a second is generally attributed to three main sources. In some cases, it is the result of established terror groups, notably Hamas, taking advantage of a volatile situation and directing operatives to carry out attacks. There are also lone copycats with no ties to organized groups — often young men from bad family situations — but who are inspired by an act of terrorism and set out to commit their own. And there are acts of revenge, a brother or cousin of an assailant recently shot dead by Israeli troops who commit attacks as a form of retribution. The past week has seen the first two, according to Israeli defense officials.

The Hamas terror group, which has scaled down its violent activities in the Gaza Strip as it tries to reach a ceasefire agreement with Israel, has been stepping up its efforts in the West Bank. “Hamas is the most violent group in [the West Bank], and it is trying to carry out terror attacks all the time,” a senior officer in the IDF Central Command said Thursday. The Israeli military said it believes a Hamas cell conducted the terror attack in Ofra on Sunday and that the terror group may have also committed the shooting in nearby Givat Assaf on Thursday. Other attacks this week appeared to have been committed by lone assailants with no direct ties to terror groups.

Military officials and analysts explain the increased violence of the past week as “terror attacks beget terror attacks” — or in Hebrew, “pigua rodef pigua”: that one incident often prompts another and another, until the pattern can be broken. The Israel Defense Forces is now attempting to do just that, though it is no easy task, with the potential for violence to escalate if either too much or not enough action is taken.

In its effort to both hunt the terrorists who fled and break the cycle of violence, the IDF has sent additional infantry battalions to the West Bank and established a dedicated command unit to spearhead the searches. The military has set up checkpoints at the entrances and exits to Ramallah and other nearby towns and villages; carried out extensive arrest raids in the West Bank, arresting some 37 Hamas members, including senior leaders; and has stationed additional troops around the West Bank’s roadways and inside settlements to both prevent attacks and respond more effectively to those that do occur…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]



A DISTINCT LACK OF JEWISH OUTRAGE                                                             

Jonathan S. Tobin         

JNS, Dec. 13, 2018

American Jews have often been bashed for being too Israel-centric. But while there was a great deal to be said for arguments that the organized Jewish world needed to focus more on building up Jewish identity in America rather than live vicariously through Israel’s achievements and struggles, I’m beginning to think such criticism isn’t as valid as it once was.

In the last several weeks, Israelis have endured a massive rocket barrage from Gaza, the discovery of terror tunnels dug under their northern border by Hezbollah terrorists and a spate of deadly shooting attacks on Jewish civilians. Yet while hard-core pro-Israel activists follow these events closely, they haven’t generated much interest—let alone outrage—from the broader Jewish community, especially when compared to concerns about anti-Semitism in America.

Part of it has to do with a general numbness about such things that 70 years of conflict has engendered among those who observe Israel’s struggles from afar. Shootings, rockets and even the threat of an invasion by Hezbollah—Iran’s terrorist auxiliary in Lebanon—can be viewed as part of a narrative about a “cycle of violence” between Israel and its enemies that breeds a degree of complacence, if not apathy, even about such terrible events.

It’s also true that the policies of the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are generally unpopular among American Jews, even if he still retains broad support among Israelis, who appear likely to re-elect him next year. That has created a dynamic whereby all Israeli security concerns—whether on the strategic level, like the conventional and nuclear threats from Iran, or everyday terrorism from Hamas in Gaza—can be discounted or even to some extent ignored. For some critics of Israel, the strategic threats are seen as exaggerated because they conflicted, as was the case with Iran, with the position of popular U.S. politicians like President Barack Obama. Others see routine Palestinian violence directed at Israeli civilians as understandable, if not justified, because of their opposition to Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

But it may also be more the result of a breakdown of a sense of Jewish peoplehood and identity due to assimilation than political disagreements. For those American Jews who are raised on universalist values, any sectarian or parochial concern can be seen as inherently racist. If that’s how you look at it, then you’re likely to view Israel’s troubles as either insignificant or illegitimate.

Of course, not all American Jews are apathetic. There are still many for whom support for Israel is the primary or even exclusive focus for their activism and even to some extent their identity. The same applies to some leading Jewish organizations that remain committed to bolstering the U.S.-Israel alliance and supporting the Jewish state in various ways.

Primarily, the idea that American Jews were obsessed about Israel to the exclusion of other concerns was always a myth. The energy and passion of pro-Israel activists often gave politicians the misleading impression that the conflict in the Middle East was the only thing Jews cared about it. But for most Jewish voters, the security of the Jewish state has always ranked rather low on their list of vital issues, if it made the list at all. Whatever they may think of Israel, after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October, American Jews are concentrating more on anti-Semitism. Though removed as we are from the rising tide of Jew-hatred that has swept from the Middle East and across Europe, there is no escaping the realization that even in a country where Jews are completely accepted, as they are in the United States, anti-Semitism is still present.

It’s understandable that the most deadly attack on American Jews in the history of the nation would concentrate our minds on threats to Jewish life here, whether from extremists on the far-right or from the left. But even as we contemplate that dismal reality—and spar about which form of anti-Semitism is more of a threat—it is vital that we recognize that what happens in the Middle East is an inevitable byproduct of the same hate that generates Jew-hatred on these shores. There are those who argue that foes of Israel are solely motivated by anger about the creation of a Jewish state in a region dominated by Islam, as well as by the dispossession of those who fled the country in 1948 during the War of Independence. They claim that the Palestinians have a genuine grievance rooted in things Jews did to them, rather than anti-Semitic myths about Jewish conspiracies.

But even a cursory examination of the arguments against Zionism shows that they are part of the same mindset of delegitimization of Jewish rights. That is why the Palestinian Arabs have consistently rejected every offer to share the country from the 1930s to the offers of statehood turned down by the Palestinian Authority in the last two decades. The rhetoric of even the moderate P.A. is just as steeped in the language of demonization of Jews as that of right- or left-wing anti-Semites in Europe or North America.

No matter what you think about Netanyahu or settlements, it’s important to remember that the Jews shot in the West Bank weren’t targeted because of their politics, but because they were Jews. The same is true for the ongoing efforts of Hamas and Hezbollah to threaten the existence of the one Jewish state on the planet. That’s why stories about rockets, tunnels and especially murderous shootings of Israelis deserve to be treated as more than just routine violence. It should merit attention from Americans. Israeli Jews are just as deserving of the right to live their lives in peace and security as Americans. And their enemies are motivated by the same kind of intolerance for Jewish rights as those who target Jews here. If you can’t work up any outrage about that, then you’re not paying attention to the truth about anti-Semitism.





Seth J. Frantzman                 

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 12, 2018

On Tuesday, Cherif Chekatt, 29, shot at a crowd next to a Christmas market in central Strasbourg killing two, while a third person was brain-dead and being kept alive on life support. Six more victims are fighting for their lives. As of press time Wednesday, French security forces are still hunting the suspect, who is known to counter-terrorism services. He initially fled in a taxi from the city of 270,000 which is located near the German border.

According to reports, the perpetrator acted alone although four people were detained in connection to the attacks. He used a gun and knife. Security has been increased at Christmas markets. According to BBC, he was on a “fiche S” watch list for “potential threats to national security.” He shouted religious extremist slogans during the course of the attack. This conjures up memories of the murder of 12 people in the 2016 Christmas market attack in Berlin. The perpetrator in the Germany attack, who was born in Tunisia in 1992, had been in prison in Italy where he was allegedly “radicalized.” German security services had warned of his terrorist connections in the spring of 2016, and he was supposed to be deported.

According to France 24, the suspect in the Strasbourg shooting was also known to police. Born in Strasbourg, he was confronted by soldiers who have been deployed in French cities as part of Operation Sentinelle. These soldiers were deployed after the November 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 130. The Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has said the suspect “sowed terror” at three places in the city. The reference to “three places” leaves more questions about what happened. It appears that the reference is to the suspect coming into contact twice with security forces and exchanging fire with them.

As with many attacks in Europe over the last several years, the Strasbourg suspect was already known to security and police. He had served a sentence and been convicted of 27 unspecified crimes in France, Switzerland and Germany, according to reports. In 2016 he was “flagged by anti-terrorist services,” France 24 reported. “He had been reported by the General Directorate for Internal Security.”

The intelligence agency had visited him in prison and taken account of his “religious proselytism.” Yet, even with this long rap sheet and being monitored by security forces, he carried out an armed robbery on Tuesday before the attack. During a search of his apartment, grenades were found which raises the question how a man who was well known for violent proclivities and apparently religious extremism was able to acquire his arsenal.

The attack took place one km. from the European Parliament, which has taken the attack in stride. Antonio Tajani, the president of the parliament, tweeted the parliament would not be intimidated. “Let us move on,” he wrote. But residents and others may want more answers. One man told the BBC that he had attempted to aid a victim of the attack, waiting for 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. “A doctor told us on the phone that it was senseless,” to continue to aid the dead victim. This leads to questions about why medical services took so long to reach the scene.

The attack in Strasbourg is among the most serious incidents this year in Europe, after a spate of ISIS-inspired attacks between 2015 and 2017. However the background of the alleged perpetrator appears to fit a much larger pattern, particularly in France. Mohammed Merah, the perpetrator of the Toulouse and Montaubon attacks, was born in Toulouse. A petty criminal, he then went to Afghanistan and Pakistan and was placed under surveillance in 2006, and again in 2009. He went to Egypt and Pakistan, and was followed by security service upon his return in 2011. Yet despite all this he was able to acquire weapons and between March 11 and 19 went on a spree of killing, targeting soldiers and then a Jewish school…[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





Alan Herman        

CIJR, Dec. 13, 2018

On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Remembrance Day, Doris Epstein and myself, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research’s Toronto Co-Chairs, drove out on a cold and windy Sunday night to Grace Life Centre in Scarborough. A Candlelight Vigil in commemoration of the victims of murders at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh was being held. Doris and I, along with Ann Samson of Congregation BINA, and Howard Kamen of Beth Torah were there to represent the Jewish community. The initiative was being organized jointly by proud Toronto Jewish leaders Shai Abraham and Ariella Daniels, and by Jay and Molly Banerjei of the Christian Music Festival. This vigil was a spontaneous reaction to the horrors of Pittsburgh and, for most of us, this was our first encounter with these Christian leaders. To say the least, we had no idea what to expect.

What struck me almost immediately, in addition to the large crowd that had turned up, was the diversity of the people in that audience. The audience was a distinct blend of Koreans, Filipinos, Jamaicans, Indo-Canadians, Sri-Lankans, French and Afghans. A sombre mood filled the air of the sanctuary, but informing it an excitement could also be felt. At the front of the room were eleven huge white Magen Davids, each with the name of a murdered congregant from Tree of Life. A lighted memorial candle was placed in front of each. Large Canadian and Israeli flags were proudly displayed in the background. The theme of the night was clear: I Stand With You.

Right off the top, Jay Banerjei began the night by marking the centenary of the end of World War I with a salute to the Veterans and a singing of O Canada. Immediately it not only reminded us of the many privileges we enjoy here in Canada, but it also acknowledged the unity of the audience as proud Canadians. From there, the evening began. Pastor after pastor, rabbi and community leader came to the front to express, through speech and song, their support and solidarity with the Jewish people. Grace Life Centre Choir, under the leadership of Pastor Andrew Eastman, sang Psalms 23, 121, 137; Molly Banerjei sang “One People”, a song that epitomized the spirit of the occasion. Striking performances also included solo vocalists and musicians; Ms. Nelly Shin sang Psalms and the Filipino dance ensemble “danced their way to Jerusalem”, raising the Israeli flag.

El male rahamim was sung by Howard Kamen, Cantor at Beth Torah Congregation. Spontaneously, the entire audience stood in honour of the Jewish victims. CIJR Co-Chair Doris Epstein, in her remarks, stated that antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem but rather one that starts with Jews does not end with Jews. “Fighting all forms of antisemitism is a matter of basic human decency, human rights and, in Canada, of the rule of law. Ann Samson from Congregation BINA explained the importance of combatting antisemitism “because history has a painful way of repeating itself”.

Shai Abraham, related an anecdote by Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov which interprets  the Hebrew Bible’s “love thy neighbour as thyself” as listening to and empathizing with one another, and acknowledging to all those who were present that evening that by their participation they were true neighbors, true friends. Molly Banerjei declared that this is not just a one-time event but a beginning of an ongoing, vocal and united movement to fight antisemitism and hate of all kinds. “This is just the first step,” she said. To conclude the evening, Howard Kamen led this audience of Jews and Christians in a passionate singing of HaTikvah, followed by a huge hora dance in the middle of the church.

Returning from this moving experience made me wonder, when was the last time I had heard such joy, enthusiasm, commitment and zeal for the Jewish people and Israel? I could remember Jerusalem auditoriums filled with thousands of youth, singing in Hebrew and waving flags during my long-ago Birthright Israel trip. I could remember the annual Israel Day rallies in Montreal that I looked forward to every year when I lived there. I also remember a sweltering summer’s day in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War when we rallied for Israel at Mel Lastman’s Square.

This vigil stands alongside these other proud memories. And it is just the start of a new alliance we, and the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, shall continue to build. The fight against antisemitism, “the longest hatred”, is ongoing, and I look forward to having more to tell you in the months to come.


(Alan Herman and Doris Epstein are the

Canadian Institute for Jewish Research Toronto Co-Chairs)


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links

After Antisemitic Attacks, Are Jews Safer in the East Than the West?: Sean Savage, Algemeiner, Dec. 13, 2018—The October attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh put a renewed spotlight on antisemitism in the United States, which has seen an uptick in recent years. But deadly attacks on Jewish people and institutions are far from a new occurrence in Europe, where Jewish communities across the continent have faced threats from radical Islam and other homegrown extremist groups for years.

When Anti-Zionism Tunnels Under Your House: Bret Stephens, New York Times, Dec. 13, 2018 —In 2002, Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, was said to have given a speech noting that the creation of the state of Israel had spared his followers the trouble of hunting down Jews at “the ends of the world.”

A Painful Reminder: Yoav Limor, Israel Hayom, Dec. 11, 2018—Every few weeks, the Israeli public receives a painful reminder that the most violent, deadly and complex sector is not the Gaza Strip or Lebanon, but Judea and Samaria. It happened two months ago, when two Israelis were murdered in a terrorist attack in the Barkan industrial zone, and it happened again Monday night, in the shooting attack at the bus stop in Ofra.

The Hamas Plan to Take the West Bank: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 13, 2018—It is clear by now that Hamas is behind some of the recent terror attacks against Israelis in the West Bank. These attacks serve the interests of Hamas and its friends and sponsors, especially the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization — and Iran.




Palestinians: A March to Destroy Israel: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Apr. 2, 2018— On March 30, an attempt by tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to infiltrate the border with Israel launched a six-week campaign of mass protests…

Just in Case Anybody Forgot What Hamas’s ‘March of Return’ is Really All About: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, March 31, 2018— Just in case anybody forgot, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the pre-1967 lines in 2005.

Hamas is an Abysmal Failure: Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar, BESA, Mar. 28, 2018— When the “Islamic Resistance Movement” – or Hamas, as it is better known by its Arabic acronym – took over Gaza in 2007…

Palestinians: Why Hamas Will Not Disarm: Khaled Abu Toameh, Breaking Israel News, Mar. 27, 2018— Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is living in an illusion if he thinks that his rivals in Hamas would ever agree to lay down their weapons or cede control over the Gaza Strip.

On Topic Links

Myths and Facts: Gaza’s Deadly “Protests”: Daniel Pomerantz, Honest Reporting, Apr. 1, 2018

The Palestinian ‘March of Return’ Explains a Lot: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Mar. 30, 2018

Why Did Hamas Conduct a Wide-Scale Military Exercise in Gaza?: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Mar. 29, 2018

The Narrative: Vic Rosenthal, Jewish Press, Mar. 27, 2018



Bassam Tawil

Gatestone Institute, Apr. 2, 2018

On March 30, an attempt by tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to infiltrate the border with Israel launched a six-week campaign of mass protests — called the “March of Return” — organized by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical Palestinian groups. The groups encouraged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to head to the areas adjacent to the border with Israel. The protesters were also encouraged to try to infiltrate the border, thus putting their lives at risk.

Hamas and its allies told the protesters that the “March of Return” marked the beginning of the “liberation of all of Palestine, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.” In other words, the Palestinians were told that infiltrating the border with Israel would be the first step toward destroying Israel. Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yehya Sinwar, who joined the March 30 mass protests along the border with Israel, did not hide the real goal behind the “March of Return” — to destroy Israel and thwart US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East.

The two Hamas leaders told the protesters that the March 30 demonstrations marked the beginning of a “new phase in the Palestinians’ national struggle on the road to liberating all of Palestine, from the river to the sea.” Haniyeh and Sinwar also made it clear that the “March of Return” had another goal: to foil any attempt by the Arabs to make peace or normalize their relations with Israel.

Based on statements made by Hamas leaders, the “March of Return” campaign is not about improving the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Nor is it about finding ways to solve the “humanitarian” and “economic” crises in the Gaza Strip. Hamas and its allies did not send the protesters to the border with Israel to demand jobs and medicine. They did not encourage Palestinians to risk their lives at the border with Israel because of the lack of electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip. Instead, the organizers sent the Palestinians to the border after assuring them that this was the only way to flood Israel with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian “refugees” as part of the “right of return.” The “right of return” refers to the Palestinian demand that Israel allow Palestinian “refugees” and their descendants to move to Israel.

As Zaher Birawi, one of the organizers of the “March of Return” explained, “The right of return is sacred and a red line not to be crossed. The Palestinians will do their utmost to achieve this right.” His words, together with those of the two Hamas leaders, prove that the mass protests are aimed at forcing Israel to accept millions of Palestinian “refugees” as a first step towards turning Jews into a minority in their own country. The next step would be to kill or expel the Jews and replace Israel with an Islamic state.

Crucial here is the fact that what we witnessed along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel on March 30 was not a protest by poverty-stricken and miserable Palestinians against a blockade of any kind. If that were so, why didn’t the organizers ask Palestinians to march toward the border with Egypt? The real blockade on the Gaza Strip is being imposed by Egypt, and not Israel. In 2017, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was open altogether for less than 30 days; by contrast, the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip was open for more than 280 days during the same year.

Israel enforces a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip that is meant to prevent Iran, Hezbollah and other terror parties from smuggling weapons into the coastal enclave controlled by Hamas. At the same time, Israel has kept its border crossings with Gaza for the movement of goods and individuals. Israel permits Palestinians to enter and leave the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing. Last month, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister entered the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing, only to have his convoy targeted by a roadside bomb once inside Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israel also allows foreigners to enter the Gaza Strip through the same border crossing. They include journalists, diplomats, and hundreds of foreigners working for various international aid agencies, including the United Nations.

All this while the Rafah border crossing with Egypt remains closed. Since the beginning of this year, the Egyptians opened the border crossing intermittently only for two or three days each time. Egypt also continues to bar foreigners from entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal. Even Arabs who want to help the people of the Gaza Strip are forced to enter through the Erez border crossing because the Egyptians do not give them permission to use the Rafah terminal.

Take, for example, the Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip, Ambassador Mohammed Al Emadi. Each time he leaves and enters the Gaza Strip, he uses the Erez border crossing with Israel. The Egyptians will not allow him or any other Arab seeking to help the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to enter through the Rafah terminal.

Given this reality, the question is: Why aren’t the Palestinian protests directed against Egypt? The answer is obvious. The Palestinians know that messing with the Egyptian army will cost them a heavy price. If Israel used snipers to stop the March 30 protesters from crossing the border, the Egyptian response would undoubtedly have been much tougher. The Egyptians would have used artillery and warplanes against the Palestinian demonstrators. The Palestinians are well aware that the Egyptian army would raze the entire Gaza Strip if the Palestinians breached the border and undermined Egypt’s national security.

Besides, the “March of Return” is intended as part of the Palestinian national struggle against the “Zionist entity” — Israel — and has nothing to do with the closure of any border. It is part of the Palestinian jihad (holy war) to eliminate Israel, which they see as a “colonialist project” imposed on the Arabs by Western powers after World War II. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in a rare moment of honesty, admitted earlier this year that this is precisely how Palestinians and Arabs perceive Israel.

The organizers of the “March of Return” have made it clear that besides flooding Israel with millions of Palestinian “refugees,” the campaign has two other objectives: to foil Trump’s “deal of the century” and stop any form of Arab normalization with Israel. The Palestinians have proclaimed a wholesale rejection of Trump’s plan because they know it will not advance their goal of turning Jews into a minority in their own country. Trump’s plan, they believe, does not recognize the Palestinian “right of return,” which means that “refugees” and their descendants will not be allowed to move into Israel, turning it into an Arab-majority state. The organizers of the “March of Return” have clearly stated that this is a driving force behind the mass protests — to send a message to the Trump administration that Palestinians will not accept any deal that does not facilitate their dream of replacing Israel with an Arab Islamic state…

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





David Horovitz

Times of Israel, March 31, 2018

Just in case anybody forgot, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the pre-1967 lines in 2005. It uprooted thousands of Israeli settlers from their homes. It dismantled all military infrastructure in the Strip. It has no physical presence there. It makes no territorial claims there. Just in case anybody forgot, Hamas, an Islamist terrorist organization that avowedly seeks the destruction of Israel, seized power in Gaza in 2007 in a violent takeover from the forces of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Having attempted to terrorize Israel into capitulation with its strategic onslaught of suicide bombers in the Second Intifada, it has, since grabbing hold of Gaza, continued its efforts to terrorize Israel by firing thousands upon thousands of rockets indiscriminately across the border. Were it not for the Iron Dome rocket defense system, much of Israel would, as Hamas had hoped, have been reduced to rubble. Hamas has also been incessantly digging attack tunnels under the border — another terror avenue that Israel appears to have gradually been closing off with new technology and underground barriers.

Just in case anybody forgot, Hamas has cynically and relentlessly exploited Gazans — a large proportion of whom have supported it in elections — by storing its rockets near or even inside mosques and schools, firing rockets from residential areas, and digging tunnels from beneath homes and civilian institutions. It has subverted all materials that can be utilized for the manufacture of weaponry, necessitating a stringent Israeli security blockade whose main victims are ordinary Gazans. Organizing and encouraging mass demonstrations at the border in the so-called “March of Return” to face off against Israeli troops, while sanctimoniously and disingenuously branding the campaign non-violent, is merely the latest iteration of Hamas’s cynical use of Gazans as the human shields for its aggression.

Just in case anybody forgot, demanding a “right of return” to Israel for tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants is nothing less than a call for the destruction of Israel by demographic means. No Israeli government could accept this demand, since it would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish-majority state. Israel’s position is that Palestinian refugees and their descendants would become citizens of a Palestinian state at the culmination of the peace process, just as Jews who fled or were forced out of Middle Eastern countries by hostile governments became citizens of Israel.

Just in case anybody forgot, the late prime minister Ariel Sharon oversaw the wrenching withdrawal from Gaza out of a declared desire to set Israel’s permanent borders, and did so unilaterally because he concluded that he could not reach a negotiated agreement with the Palestinian leadership. Had Gaza remained calm, and Sharon remained healthy, it is likely he would have ordered a pullout from much of the West Bank as well — paving the path to Palestinian statehood.

The rise of Hamas to power in Gaza, three rounds of bitter conflict, and an awareness that Israel would be isolated and unable to function if Hamas were to take over in the West Bank — with every location nationwide, notably including the airport, within range of rudimentary rockets — have buried unilateralism and rendered Israelis consensually terrified at the prospect of relinquishing adjacent territory. Thus Hamas, which purports to serve the Palestinian interest, doomed the prospect of Palestinian independence for the foreseeable future.

But Hamas, of course, is not interested in Palestinian independence. Again, it strives for the elimination of Israel. So, finally, just in case anybody forgets the context for Friday’s latest escalation of violence, they need only listen to Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar setting out the ultimate goal.  As he put it in an address to Gazans at the border on Friday, “The March of Return will continue… until we remove this transient border.” The protests “mark the beginning of a new phase in the Palestinian national struggle on the road to liberation and ‘return’… Our people can’t give up one inch of the land of Palestine.”





Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar

BESA, Mar. 28, 2018

When the “Islamic Resistance Movement” – or Hamas, as it is better known by its Arabic acronym – took over Gaza in 2007, pundits theorized that once the group became responsible for drinking water, gasoline, electricity, employment, and food, it would have no choice but to become more moderate. These commentators predicted Hamas would soon prefer governing to jihad, exchange terror for state-running, develop political tools instead of tools of war, and adopt a political stance instead of one of armed conflict. They could not have been more wrong, because no Islamic terror organization abandons terror without being seen as abandoning Islam as well.

In fact, what has happened is a self-immolating process that can only occur in Islamic societies. This process is a function of the collective belief shared by Islamic leaders that it is a religious obligation to stick to their political principles – and that any deviation from total allegiance to those principles will result in their falling victim to criticism from others whose religious image is more vivid and faith-based.

Hamas wants to be considered a political organization, so it ran in the parliamentary elections in 2006, winning a majority of the seats. It is now gearing for presidential elections in which it hopes to take the seat of the president of the PA. Hamas’s problem is that it is caught between two contradictory roles. As a political organization it must adopt pragmatic patterns of behavior, including political negotiations with Israel. As a religious movement, it must adhere to the principle that forbids any deviation from the path dictated by Allah, who only allows his earthly representatives to talk to the Zionist infidels about technical issues such as transferring food, water, gasoline, electricity, and medical supplies.

From the standpoint of Hamas, it is not so bad if Gaza Muslims suffer, because that is considered “bla’a,” one of the tests Allah presents to believers in order to determine whether or not they deserve a passport to Paradise. This explains why Hamas is so ready to sacrifice hundreds and even thousands of innocent civilians in every military encounter with Israel. It also explains why the Arab world media present – often successfully – such events as victories for Hamas and defeats for Israel. The price for this kind of “victory” is paid by ordinary Gazans, whose family members are dead or wounded and who have to live with a shattered infrastructure. These people are not in the Hamas camp on this issue because they are much less extreme than those who have taken over their lives.

The religious conceptual framework prevents Hamas from giving in to the Jews or from doing anything that might be interpreted as giving in to them, including freeing prisoners or the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers who are in Hamas hands or even providing information about them. It is understood that Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul are sadly not among the living, but Hamas spokesmen continue to refuse to divulge any details about the two, including providing confirmation of their deaths.

From a religious standpoint, Hamas is mired in a dark and dismal swamp. Over the 1,400 years since the dawn of Islamic history, there have been Muslim regimes that treated strangers with respect, refrained from attacking countries more powerful than they, and cared about the economic conditions of their subjects. Hamas is light years away from this type of rule. It is not only uninterested in improving the health, education, and living standards of the people of Gaza, but it takes step after step to create a picture of suffering and want in order to squeeze donations from the international community.

Another element that might spare Gaza further armed confrontation with Israel – which would come at the expense of ordinary citizens’ lives, not those of Hamas leaders and their families, whose underground bunkers protect them – is the readiness of Hamas to conduct a prisoner exchange with Israel. Yihye Sinwar, the current Hamas leader freed in the Shalit deal, knows Israel will not free over 1,000 prisoners in exchange for corpses, but is under pressure from Hamas prisoners and their families. He is finding it almost impossible to reach a deal that results in fewer prisoners being freed than were released during his exchange. Hamas is making use of all kinds of mantras to justify its obstinate policy: “We will not cowtow to the Zionist entity on anything!” “We will not give the Zionists any free information!” “We will continue to struggle for a Palestine from the river to the sea!” No one on the Gaza street believes these mantras anymore. Nor do they put their faith in those who post them on the internet or on satellite stations.

Hamas does everything it can to publicize the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza, but neglects to mention that the situation there is a direct result of the way it has governed over the past decade. The organization has been given billions of dollars by Qatar, by the donor states, and by international groups that do not follow up on what happens to their donations. It is also the recipient of taxes taken off salaries. What does it do with the money? Has it built schools? Hospitals? Factories? Infrastructure? None of the above…

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





Khaled Abu Toameh

Breaking Israel News, Mar. 27, 2018

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is living in an illusion if he thinks that his rivals in Hamas would ever agree to lay down their weapons or cede control over the Gaza Strip. Hamas has no intention of dismantling its military and security apparatus. It also does not have any intention of allowing Abbas’s security forces to be stationed in the Gaza Strip. This refusal is why the “reconciliation” deal that Abbas signed with Hamas in Cairo in October 2017 will never be translated into facts on the ground.

Hamas is prepared to give Abbas anything he wants in the Gaza Strip except for security control. Hamas has no problem allowing Abbas and his government to function as a “civil administration” in the Gaza Strip by providing funds and various services to government institutions there. If Abbas wants to pay salaries to civil servants in the Gaza Strip, that is fine with Hamas. If he wants to pay for fuel, water and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip, that is also fine with Hamas. Security control, however, is the last thing Hamas wants from Abbas. For Hamas, security is a red line not to be crossed.

What is behind Hamas’s fierce opposition to relinquishing security control over the Gaza Strip? Hamas wants to retain its weapons and security control of the Gaza Strip for two reasons: first, it wants the weapons so that it can continue the “armed struggle” against Israel; second, Hamas knows that the moment it hands over security control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority (PA), many of its leaders and members will either be killed or imprisoned by Abbas’s security forces.

Ahmed Bahr, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, described Abbas’s demand that Hamas dismantle its security and military apparatus as “idiotic.” In a sermon he delivered during Friday prayers at Al-Mahata Mosque in the central Gaza Strip on March 23, Bahr said that the issue of disarming Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups was “non-negotiable.” Hamas, he added, will not hand over its weapons to a Palestinian Authority government that conducts security coordination with Israel in the West Bank. “The weapons of the Palestinian resistance are legitimate weapons that will be used to restore our rights and liberate our lands,” the Hamas official said. “The armed struggle [against Israel] is a right guaranteed by international laws.”

Bahr’s statements show that Hamas still does not trust Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, mainly because of their close security ties with Israel. For Hamas, security coordination with Israel is a form of treason, and there is no way Hamas would agree to cooperate with any Palestinian party that works with the Israelis. Hamas continues to accuse the PA security forces and Israel of jointly cracking down on its members in the West Bank. In a recent statement, Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority of arresting 10 of its members there. The arrests were carried out in the West Bank cities of Tulkarem, Nablus, Kalkilya, Hebron and Ramallah, according to Hamas. Among those taken into custody was a Palestinian journalist, Osama Shahin. Hamas said that two of the detainees have gone on hunger strike to protest their “illegal” incarceration.

Hamas fears that many of its leaders and members will face the same fate if it allows Abbas’s security forces to deploy in the Gaza Strip. Those who are fortunate will only end up behind bars. Those who are less fortunate will be executed in public squares by Abbas loyalists. Hamas still has agonizing memories of the days between 1993 and 2007, when the Palestinian Authority was in control of the Gaza Strip. Then, many Hamas leaders and senior officials found themselves either in prison or under house arrest…

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



On Topic Links

Myths and Facts: Gaza’s Deadly “Protests”: Daniel Pomerantz, Honest Reporting, Apr. 1, 2018—During the Passover weekend, some 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza approached the border with Israel and carried out a variety of violent activities in what they call the “Land Day Protests” or the “March of Return.” We’ve seen quite a bit of mishandled coverage, so here are the main myths and facts so you can better understand the situation and also speak up when you see inaccurate or biased media.

The Palestinian ‘March of Return’ Explains a Lot: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Mar. 30, 2018—For some in the Palestinians’ international cheering squad, the March 30 “Land Day” demonstrations could be a long-hoped for turning point. If the massive protests planned for the Gaza border go off on Friday without violence, then the battle against Israel will, they hope, no longer be depicted as one primarily about terrorism.

Why Did Hamas Conduct a Wide-Scale Military Exercise in Gaza?: Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Mar. 29, 2018—On March 25, 2018, the Hamas movement’s military/terror wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, conducted a military exercise codenamed “The steadfast and defiant maneuvers.”

The Narrative: Vic Rosenthal, Jewish Press, Mar. 27, 2018—Maybe arguments are not important. Maybe, as Jonathan Haidt… says, logical arguments are window dressing used to justify conclusions forced upon us by deep-seated emotional motivations. Maybe those who demand that we “free Palestine” on US campuses and UK streets simply disdain the Jewish people and their state. Maybe we should just tell them to go to hell and maintain our military deterrent capability.


Time for Greenblatt to Walk Away: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2018— On Tuesday in Bethlehem, the Palestinians demonstrated the choice the Americans now face in their dealings with Fatah…

Trump’s Jerusalem Statement Shakes Up the System: Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, BESA, Jan. 31, 2018— A number of Israeli commentators have sought to reduce the significance of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel…

Moving the Palestinian Leadership from Rejectionism to Recognition: Gregg Roman, The Hill, Jan. 25, 2018— On Jan. 14, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said something hardly unprecedented for him, but for some reason managed to break through the longstanding wall of international ignorance and obeisance to his typical angry declarations…

The Trump Peace Plan for Israel Won’t Work: Gershon Hacohen, Algemeiner, Jan. 16, 2018— President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel occurred against the backdrop of his ambition to devise a comprehensive peace proposal for Israel and the Palestinians.


On Topic Links


Greenblatt: Trump Won't Force an Agreement on Israel: Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 31, 2018

Will Arabs and Muslims Never Accept Israel as the Jewish State?: Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom, Feb. 2, 2018

To Promote Middle East Peace, Cut Aid to Palestinians: Sander Gerber and Yossi Kuperwasser, The Hill, Jan. 19, 2018

Time to End the Big ‘Palestine Lie’: Daniel Greenfield, United With Israel, Feb. 1, 2018




Caroline B. Glick

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2018


On Tuesday in Bethlehem, the Palestinians demonstrated the choice the Americans now face in their dealings with Fatah – the supposedly moderate PLO faction that controls the Palestinian Authority and the PLO. President Donald Trump and his advisers can play by Fatah’s rules or they can walk away. On Tuesday a delegation of diplomats from the US Consulate in Jerusalem came to Bethlehem to participate in a meeting of the local chamber of commerce. When they arrived in the city, Fatah members attacked them. Their vehicles with diplomatic license plates were pelted with tomatoes and eggs by a mob of protesters calling out anti-American slogans.


After the Americans entered the hall where the meeting was scheduled to take place, some of the rioters barged in. They held placards condemning America and they shouted, “Americans Out!” Some of the demonstrators cursed the Palestinians present, accusing them of treason for participating in a meeting with Americans. According to the news reports, the scene became tense and violent. The American officials beat a speedy retreat. As they departed the city, the Fatah rioters continued attacking their cars, kicking them and throwing eggs at them, until they were gone.


The attack on Tuesday was a natural progression. On Saturday, Fatah members in Bethlehem-area UN camps convened to carry out a very public “people’s tribunal.” Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were tried for “racism” and “bias” against the Palestinians. The “tribunal” found them guilty and sentenced the president and vice president to death by hanging. Their bodies, the “judges” decided, were to be burned. In the event, the crowd burned effigies of Trump and Pence.


The implication of the “trial” was clear. Americans like Israelis should be killed. The burning effigies themselves were a natural consequence of PLO and Fatah chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s call last month for Trump’s “house to be destroyed.” That is, both the assault on the consular officers Tuesday and the riot on Saturday were simply Abbas’s followers carrying out his orders. He put the Americans in his crosshairs. And they are pulling the trigger – for now, with effigies and eggs.


It isn’t hard for Abbas to set his people against the Americans. Palestinians hate Americans. As a 2014 Pew Survey showed, Palestinians are more anti-American than any people on earth. Seventy-six percent of Palestinians consider the US their enemy. Pakistan came in second place with 64% of respondents saying that the US is their enemy. Palestinian anti-Americanism is notable given that the US has given more assistance to the Palestinians than any country other than Israel. Americans have spent the last 25 years pressuring Israel to make more and more concessions to the Palestinians.


In large part, anti-Americanism among Palestinians redounds to two things. First, incitement. For 25 years, the US-financed PA has used all the tools at its disposal to indoctrinate the Palestinians to hate America almost as much as they hate Israel. Second, like the Iranian regime, the Palestinians view the US and Israel as two sides of the same coin. And indeed, their hatred for the US is the mirror image of Israelis’ love for it. While the Palestinians topped the list of people who view the US as their enemy, Israel topped the list of nations that view the US as their partner. Ninety percent of Israelis view the US as their partner.


All Abbas needed to do was call for Trump’s house to be destroyed and mobs of Fatah members were only too happy to go into the streets and burn the president in effigy. Trump, for his part, seems more than willing to walk away from the whole business. Over the past week Trump threatened to cut off all US aid to the Palestinians three times. In his appearance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Davos last week, Trump made clear that he wouldn’t be overly upset if the peace process disappears. “I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace,” Trump said. The Palestinians, he continued, are “going to have to want to make peace too, or we’re going to have nothing to do with it any longer.” When asked about the implications of his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for prospects for peace, Trump turned to Netanyahu and said, “You [Israel] won one point, and you’ll give up some points later on in the negotiation, if it ever takes place. I don’t know that it ever will take place.”


Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s chief peace negotiator, seems less sanguine at the concept that the peace process is over. At a meeting in Ramat Gan this week with ambassadors from EU member states, one of the ambassadors asked Greenblatt whether Jerusalem is still a subject for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, or whether, as Trump said in Davos, the issue is settled and is in Trump’s words, “off the table.” Greenblatt reportedly answered that Trump mischaracterized the situation at Davos. Jerusalem is still a topic for negotiation between the sides, as Trump made clear in his December 6, 2017, declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Greenblatt said…

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





Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

BESA, Jan. 31, 2018


A number of Israeli commentators have sought to reduce the significance of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and even to warn of the danger inherent therein. Zvi Bar’el, for example, claimed that “Trump’s decision and the severe defeat in the UN leaves Israel with Jerusalem in hand but with nothing in the long run.” Eitan Haber warned that “the friend in the White House does not work for us” and that in time a Big Plan will be laid on the table – one whose details will be a great embarrassment to Jerusalem. One might ask why this declaration was viewed as novel, as it was preceded in April 2017 by Moscow’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, alongside East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The prevailing view is that Trump’s statement was intended to say to Israel: “You have now received a gift. Henceforth, do not foil the Big Deal.”


The Trump Declaration should be examined from a point of view that extends beyond the standard question of what Israel gained and what it will need to give in return. That conventional interpretation is trapped in a Western rational perception of the nature and logic of the strategic process. Western approaches – subjugated as they are to a production-line management model – expect strategic planning to mark a target as a desired end and to take planned steps to reach it. By that standard, Trump’s statement and its repercussions can indeed be construed as dangerous: as a seductive introduction to an enforced process whose end is predetermined, or as a reckless step towards the unknown.


But the key to Trump’s logic is in a different strategic planning model – one very close to the Russian way of thinking. After a year in office during which Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner served as his emissaries to the Middle East, President Trump apparently realized that the Israeli-Palestinian relationship has become paralyzed and deadlocked. With this understanding, he applied a Russian way of thinking that reflects his experience as a businessman. To break out of the standstill, he consciously sought to shake up the system. His object was to bring about a new occurrence in relation to which he would then calculate his next steps. That was the purpose of the Jerusalem declaration, and it was fully achieved. It was much like throwing a stone into a puddle and watching the mud rise from the bottom.


The Russian approach to strategic planning assumes that with the start of action, the system in which it operates varies and fluctuates to the point of reincarnation. The recognition of systemic change forces one to acknowledge that the plan one is embarking upon must be subjected to complete reexamination, not just to minor adjustments. There is, of course, a strategic goal that serves as a compass from the start, but one embarks upon a path without a final plan for each stage along the way towards that goal. One recognizes that this is a process, a sequence of dynamic systems, through which one will clarify not only the way to achieve the end goal but also the ability to achieve it.


A Western rational approach does not begin a journey until the ability to reach the goal is guaranteed. In this respect, Trump’s move seems irresponsible. The Russian approach, on the other hand, starts the process in full knowledge that for the time being, there is no way to assess the likelihood that the goal will be reached. In this rational format, Trump’s move takes on a different meaning. Calculated steps into the unknown can be likened to the advance of a reconnaissance force sent into battle in a threatened area in order to draw fire and thus discover the enemy’s military deployment while the rest of the force remains secured behind, waiting for the situation to become clearer.


In recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump expressed reservations in the interests of maintaining a stable footing that will allow for retreat if necessary. At the same time, he explicitly mentioned the two-state plan and emphasized that the borders of Jerusalem would be determined in negotiations. In fact, nothing new was said. It is precisely because of this that the ensuing uproar was so significant. It exposed the reality of Palestinian demands.


For those hoping for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement at almost any price, the Palestinian response led by Mahmoud Abbas, including a questioning of the US’s ability to be a fair mediator, appears to be another obstacle – possibly an insurmountable one. The logic of the two-state solution cannot explain what prevented Abbas from calculatingly accepting the declaration. He could have emphasized that it referred to West Jerusalem, which he also recognizes, as long as it is clear and agreed that East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state.


Rather, his response gave grist to those members of the Israeli leadership who are interested in extricating Israel from the format of the Clinton outline(d) for a solution to the conflict, as agreed by Prime Minister Ehud Barak and adopted by Ehud Olmert, in his last, exceedingly generous proposal to Abbas in 2007-8. Netanyahu has been fighting this outline since he took office as prime minister in 2009. Instead of Abbas’s insistence on continuing the negotiations from the place where he left off with Olmert, Netanyahu presented his willingness to negotiate without preconditions.


The difference between the Rabin outline as presented in his last speech in the Knesset in October 1995 and the Barak-Olmert outline is summed up in three essential elements: Rabin insisted on the integrity of a united Jerusalem in its broad scope, on the preservation of the Jordan Valley “in the broadest interpretation of this concept” as an eastern security border, and the insistence on a Palestinian entity “short of a state.” Barak and Olmert gave up all three of these elements and added another condition that was never agreed upon in Rabin’s concept – land swaps, or the granting of Israeli territory in return for every piece of land Israel retains in the settlement blocs. The stone thrown by Trump into the puddle shows us what is going on at the bottom. Here lies the potential strategic significance of the Trump Declaration. By shaking up the system and creating an opportunity to reexamine Palestinian claims as a whole, the declaration might help Israel escape the trap of the Clinton-Barak outline.                                                






Gregg Roman

The Hill, Jan. 25, 2018


On Jan. 14, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said something hardly unprecedented for him, but for some reason managed to break through the longstanding wall of international ignorance and obeisance to his typical angry declarations. Abbas' address to the PLO Central Council ostensibly was to introduce the question of whether the Palestinian Liberation Organization should denounce the Oslo Accords, the treaty that governs relations between Israel and the Palestinians and created the Palestinian Authority, of which he is president.


However, what was meant to be a political argument became a long-winded claim against the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, Zionism. Invoking everyone from Oliver Cromwell to Napoleon Bonaparte, Abbas' diatribe usefully shone a light on the real crux of why the conflict still rages after more than 100 years. Not once did Abbas mention the issues of land, borders, the settlements or the occupation. These are the issues that many in the West assume occupies the Palestinian leadership and are the prime motivators for the decades-long verbal and physical onslaught. However, it is clear that these issues were of little concern to Abbas. His sole target was Zionism, which he called "a colonialist enterprise."


In other words, Abbas, like Palestinian leaders before him, does not consider the lack of a Palestinian state to be the problem, but the reality and existence of a Jewish and democratic state. This is not a shock for those paying close attention to the conflict, but it appears to be a blind spot for many who have spent significant resources, energies and political capital attempting to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the Middle East Forum, these words spoken by Abbas make our case that much easier. For some time now, Daniel Pipes has been stating that this conflict will end only with the end to the over-100 years of Palestinian rejectionism of the idea of the return and reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish people's indigenous and ancestral homeland.


This is what has fed Palestinian rejectionism since the early part of the last century and has informed their consistent repudiation of the creation of a state of their own if it means sharing part of the land with a Jewish sovereign presence, even when that state would be only a tiny sliver of land as recommended by the Peel Commission in 1937. As can be seen in thousands of years of history, wars end not when one side declares victory, but when one side accepts that it no longer can reach the aims it set out for itself at the outset of the conflict. The Palestinians laid out for themselves a clear path to victory, which was, up until 1948, the prevention, and is now the elimination, of sovereignty for the Jewish people. Abbas' latest comments in 2018, are merely the latest barbs in this ongoing battle.


Thus, the conflict will end only when a Palestinian leader has accepted the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and ends the physical, diplomatic, economic and political war against it. The Oslo Accords and every negotiation towards peace have failed because they did not accept this central issue. While the issues of land, borders and sovereignty for the Palestinian people were never sticking points in any of the failed talks, Palestinian leaders obstinately refused basic issues such as recognition of Israel and clauses such as "end of claims" and "end of conflict."


Palestinian leaders seek to pocket Israeli concessions while keeping their claims open, making Israel a target for future wars. This was true in 2000 with the "Clinton Parameters" and the 2007 Annapolis talks. They both broke down because a Palestinian leader refused to end the conflict, regardless of the offer and terms for peace that were on the table in front of them. In other words, the conflict will not end with the creation of a Palestinian state, for the first time in history, or a removal of settlements and the presence of the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank. The Palestinians wish to pocket all of this and keep the conflict and their claims open, making all of Israel a target for their future maximalist endeavors. The focus of all Western efforts should be on ending Palestinian rejection of Israel as a Jewish democratic state…

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





Gershon Hacohen

Algemeiner, Jan. 16, 2018


President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel occurred against the backdrop of his ambition to devise a comprehensive peace proposal for Israel and the Palestinians. The pressures and threats emanating from leaders of the Arab world, as well as from EU countries, ought to raise questions about the basic assumptions that are guiding the president as he seeks what he has called “the ultimate deal.”


When he took office a year ago, Trump declared that as an experienced businessman, he would lead the sides to a deal that would be advantageous to both of them. Yet it must be asked: How is it possible to speak of this issue in terms of a deal? In the business world, the aim is to lay a legal groundwork that ensures that a signed deal will not have to be reopened for negotiation. The negotiating period is subject to challenges and surprises, but from the moment the matter is signed, it is final.


Agreements between states and peoples, however, are likely to be revisited as national interests change. Even if negotiations and agreements between states show a behavioral pattern similar to what transpires in the business world, a crucial difference remains: peoples have national aspirations that are stronger than any agreement. Those aspirations are not under the control of leaders and cannot be conceded in negotiations. They continue to arouse passions — even when their fulfillment has been deferred. A redemptive deal simply cannot be made in a conflict that is as complex and fraught with conflicting national-religious dreams as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How far, after all, can any people be expected to go in giving up its dreams?


What is involved here is a basic issue regarding the motives behind human behavior. It is reflected in a recent debate among Western intellectuals about the place and role of nationalism in the emergent global order. Alexander Yakobson (Haaretz, October 31, 2017) put the question well: “Can an ideological movement forgo a sacrosanct principle it has sworn never to forgo? Yes — if the constraints of reality are sufficiently difficult and ongoing.” My conception of human behavior is different: the constraints of reality can indeed bring even ideological leaders to a compromise, but the resulting agreement is always temporary, and awaits a strategic shift in which everything will be reconsidered.


National passions can be repressed and deferred, but they do not dissipate. A hundred years after the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish passion for lands that were under Turkish control before WWI continues to burn, and to drive President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regional policy and activity. Much the same is true for the Iranians: the golden age of the kingdom of Darius impels their current logic. Even an agreed national border does not obstruct national longings that await their hour. This is not only true in the Middle East. For millions of Germans, the cities of Breslau and Danzig — which, after WWII, became the Polish cities of Wroclaw and Gdansk — are still part of the German homeland.


The dispute here extends far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is a controversy between political realism and humanist idealism, rooted in different premises about the essential logic that drives the behavior of human society. In the basic enlightened, liberal outlook, the world can and should be in a positive moral equilibrium. This ideal situation will be achieved, so it is argued, if we just manage to remove obstacles, to work out a good deal and a satisfactory arrangement, to put reality on a course of prosperity and development. Because human beings are basically reasonable creatures, they will be able to stabilize their behavior patterns within the existing framework, under the conditions of peace. When humanity emerges from darkness into light, it will never want to return to the darkness. That, in brief, is the premise of the Enlightenment. In recent decades, has it met the test of reality?…

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




On Topic Links


Greenblatt: Trump Won't Force an Agreement on Israel: Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 31, 2018—US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt on Tuesday evening spoke at a a conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies about American efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Will Arabs and Muslims Never Accept Israel as the Jewish State?: Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom, Feb. 2, 2018—Mordechai Kedar, a distinguished specialist of the Middle East, recently published an article arguing that Israel can never win its neighbors' acceptance. This conclusion flies directly in the face of the Israel Victory Project I have proposed, which is about gaining precisely that acceptance. So, Kedar's analysis calls for a reply.

To Promote Middle East Peace, Cut Aid to Palestinians: Sander Gerber and Yossi Kuperwasser, The Hill, Jan. 19, 2018—In one of his forthright tweets, dated Jan. 2, President Trump declared: “It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing … we pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. … With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” 

Time to End the Big ‘Palestine Lie’: Daniel Greenfield, United With Israel, Feb. 1, 2018—Palestinian boss Mahmoud Abbas recently declared that Israel is “a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness.” Moses, King David and thousands of years of Jewish history would disagree. Israel and the Jews are part of the story of human civilization. Over 50 percent of the human race has a holy book that tells of the Jewish journey to Israel. That includes Mohammed’s own copy of the Koran.









Is It Really About Jerusalem?: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 19, 2017— The protests that have swept the West Bank, Gaza Strip and large parts of the Arab and Islamic world in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital show that most Arabs and Muslims still have not come to terms with Israel's right to exist.

Jerusalem Deals in Reality: Jonathan Spyer, Breaking Israel News, Dec. 18, 2017— The neighborhood where I live, on the seam line dividing Jew and Arab in Jerusalem, can be a useful place to take the temperature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinian Grinches Stealing Christmas: Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 20, 2017— It came as no surprise that the Palestinian leadership responded angrily to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the obvious reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

A Palestinian State? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Dr. Martin Sherman, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 15, 2017— In the history of international politics, there have been numerous ideas that proved both myopic and moronic.


On Topic Links


UN Defies Trump, Rejects US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital by 128-9: JNS, Dec. 20, 2017

Before Gaza Turns Into Somalia: Nadav Eyal, Ynet, Dec. 19, 2017

Palestinians: Arab Rulers are Traitors, Cowards: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 14, 2017

Abbas and Jerusalem: Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations, Dec. 14, 2017





Bassam Tawil

Gatestone Institute, Dec. 19, 2017


The protests that have swept the West Bank, Gaza Strip and large parts of the Arab and Islamic world in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital show that most Arabs and Muslims still have not come to terms with Israel's right to exist. The protests also provide further evidence that many Arabs and Muslims, including, of course, the Palestinians, continue to view the US as an enemy and "big Satan" because of its support for Israel. Trump's announcement is just another excuse for Arabs and Muslims to vent their long-standing hatred for Israel and the US.


For the Palestinians, Trump's announcement simply provided the latest opportunity to step up their violent and rhetorical attacks and threats against Israel. As such, there is nothing new about the Palestinian protests that erupted after Trump's announcement. Palestinian terrorism against Israel is one of the oldest stories in the book. The many shapes it takes, from rock-throwing to stabbings to shootings to suicide bombings and rockets, began long before Trump's announcement and will continue long after it. Hardly a day passes without an incident of violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


However, because most of the violent attacks do not injure or kill Israelis, they are ignored by the media. Clashes between stone-throwing Palestinians and Israeli soldiers are as old as the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have even become part of the norm. Shootings and car-ramming attacks? Well, they have been taking place almost every week for the past few decades.


It is disingenuous, then, to claim that Trump's announcement triggered the latest spate of Palestinian violence. At most, the announcement catalyzed the Palestinians to amplify their ongoing terror attacks against Israel. The announcement has also contributed to exposing the Palestinians' long-standing vicious hatred of the US, regardless of who is sitting in the White House — a Republican or Democratic president.


The Palestinians are on record as failing to distinguish meaningfully between Republicans and Democrats, because the US is, in any event, supposedly "controlled by the Zionist lobby." Consider what political analyst Qais Qadri said during the last US presidential race: "There is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats with regards to their hostility towards the Palestinian cause. We are weaker than the Jewish lobby to cause any changes in American policy."


Thus, the Palestinian hostility towards the US has nothing to do with Trump himself, but rather concerns general American policies, especially US support for Israel. True, many of the Palestinians who took to the streets in the past week did burn effigies of Trump, but they also torched US flags and chanted slogans accusing the US as being an enemy of the Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims. This uproar is more about hating the US and Americans than protesting a purported change in the status of Jerusalem. Otherwise, why would a Palestinian shop owner hang a sign at the entrance to his business that reads: "Dogs and Americans Not Allowed to Enter"?


Or why would Palestinians launch a campaign to demand the closure of all American institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in helping the Palestinians build a viable future Palestinian state? That is just another example of how the Palestinians are shooting themselves in the foot to satisfy their craving to demonize the US. It is worth noting that the campaign against US institutions also states that the Palestinians' real goal is to "liberate Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river." In other words, this means that the true goal of the Palestinians is to destroy Israel.


This brings us to the issue of anti-Israel incitement, which has long been an integral part of the Palestinian campaign to delegitimize and demonize Israel and Jews. This campaign, especially through the Palestinian media, began long before Trump's announcement; it gained momentum after that. It is hardly the case that Palestinians were teaching their children to accept Israel's right to exist and live with it in peace before Trump's announcement. On the contrary: for many years now, the Palestinians have been doing their utmost to indoctrinate their children and deny any Jewish attachment or history to the land.


This incitement reached its peak last week, when Palestinian Authority (PA) President delivered a speech before the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Turkey. Abbas claimed that the Jewish history of Jerusalem is false and declared that there will be "no peace in the region and in the world" without a Palestinian state and Jerusalem as its capital. Even the left-wing lobbying Jewish group, J Street, condemned Abbas's "divisive and inflammatory rhetoric."


Yet, why do Abbas's remarks come as a surprise? He is simply reiterating the official, long-standing policy of the Palestinian Authority. Where has the West been when Palestinian leaders have declared outright, decade after decade, that Israel has no right to exist and Jewish history is nothing more than lies? This week, we received yet another reminder of how Palestinians deny Jewish history. The PA's Ministry of Information released a statement in which it dismissed the existence of the Western Wall, Judaism's most sacred site. Referring to the Western Wall by its Islamic name, the ministry said: "Al-Buraq was, still is and shall be a Palestinian, Arab and Islamic site."


This Palestinian denial of Jewish history did not start after Trump's announcement. In fact, it has nothing to do with the announcement and has always been the public position of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and all Palestinian groups and leaders…

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





Jonathan Spyer

Breaking Israel News, Dec. 18, 2017


The neighborhood where I live, on the seam line dividing Jew and Arab in Jerusalem, can be a useful place to take the temperature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2015, a wave of stabbing attacks against Israelis and Jews began.  This was the result of a campaign of incitement by Islamist groups according to which the government of Israel planned to change the status quo regarding the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.


A number of the stabbers came from close by, and for a while, a police roadblock appeared on the main street.  Petrol bombs were thrown at a Jewish house in the neighborhood in February 2016, at the height of that period of unrest. In late 2014, just after the Gaza war, Palestinian youths threw stones at police in the neighborhood, after the police shot dead a man who had tried to kill a prominent Jewish activist who led a campaign to demand Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount.


Since the announcement by President Donald Trump of US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel this month, however, the neighborhood has been quiet and serene.  People are going on with their everyday lives. The difference at ground level with previous periods of tension is notable and significant. Of course, the situation in a single seam line neighborhood cannot reflect the whole picture. The occasion has not passed without injury and loss of life.  Hamas declared three ‘days of rage’ following Trump’s announcement.  2 Palestinians were killed and 98 wounded in the subsequent demonstrations.


There was rioting in Wadi Ara, inside the borders of Israel.  An Israeli security guard was stabbed and critically wounded at Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station on Sunday. And in Gaza, the rocket launching activities of small militant groups are leading to a significant rise in tension. But attendance at the Jerusalem and West Bank protests has been notably poor – a few thousand across the entire area.  This week, the demonstrations have dwindled further.


What might explain the relatively minor dimensions of the protests? First of all, President Trump’s declaration was just that – a declaration.  With no immediate practical import. But there are other important factors.  In Jerusalem, Christmas and New Year bring with them throngs of tourists.  Palestinian traders and businesses in the east of the city stand to gain from their presence.  Many do not want to help fan the flames of a situation that will lead to the tourists staying at home.


The general quiet of recent months has brought with it opportunities for engaging in commerce, education. People are keen to preserve these opportunities. This situation is fragile, of course. A single incident could transform it. But for the moment, it is holding. One should also factor in the searing experience of the Second Intifada in the 2000-4 period. This was an armed insurgency, in which 3000 Palestinians and 1000 Israelis lost their lives.  Together with the close-by examples of Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, it constitutes a stark warning of the abyss that can wait beyond a decision for revolt.


The relative quiet in Jerusalem and the West Bank is in contrast to the fury expressed further afield against Trump’s declaration. One of the salient features of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in contrast with other ethno-religious land disputes in the Middle East, is that it has an enormous symbolic significance for populations in the broader Arab and Muslim world and beyond who have no tangible and practical involvement with it. Those whose interest is in the conflict as a symbol are not, of course, held back by the pragmatic and practical considerations of those who actually live it.


There has in consequence been in recent days a wave of fury against Israel and Jewish targets far from Israel itself.  This has included attacks on synagogues in Gothenburg and Malmo in Sweden, angry demonstrations replete with anti-Semitic chanting in London, Berlin and beyond. A grim warning from Turkish President Recep Tayep Erdogan to Trump that Jerusalem is a ‘red line’ for Muslims, and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah telling a crowd (via video screen) in Beirut that the US announcement represented the ‘beginning of the end’ for Israel. The attempted suicide bombing in New York too may at least partially have been inspired by the suffering of Muslims in Gaza. At the most absurd end, even Malaysian Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said his country’s armed forces were ready to play some (unspecified) role on behalf of Muslim and Palestinian claims in Jerusalem.


What is it about this conflict that makes it raise these emotions across the globe, in a way that the far bloodier neighboring conflicts in, say, Syria, Iraq or Yemen demonstrably fail to do? One explanation might be that these other conflicts are intra-Islamic affairs, while that between Israelis and Palestinians places a largely Muslim people against a largely Jewish one.  Another possible angle could be that Israel is associated with the democratic west, and hence its actions strike historic chords that are absent elsewhere. A third reason might be the traditional attitudes of contempt toward Jews that prevail according to all polling evidence throughout the Muslim world.


In any case, the reality is clear.  The embassies of Iran and Russia throughout Europe remain almost entirely untroubled by protests, despite the role of those countries in assisting Bashar Assad to murder hundreds of thousands of his own people over the last seven years.  US embassies throughout the Islamic world and Europe have, by contrast, in recent days witnessed furious crowds protesting Trump’s announcement. And while Jerusalem and the West Bank remain largely quiet, the fury further afield is unabating.


There is a third interesting layer to all this.  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on December 11 noted that no Arab country had expelled its US ambassador or taken any active measures following the announcement.  Nor is any such action imminent or likely. In the tangible, decidedly non-symbolic world of Mid-East strategy and politics, as in the seam line neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the Trump declaration seems of secondary significance…

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








Lahav Harkov

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 20, 2017


It came as no surprise that the Palestinian leadership responded angrily to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the obvious reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. But beyond the usual “day of rage,” rockets shot at Israeli preschools and firebombs thrown at passing Israeli civilians’ cars, the Palestinian Authority decided to make like the Grinch and steal Christmas, only proving that Trump was right not to fold to the whims of the side that has a pattern of violating religious freedoms, when it comes to a city holy to three religions.


Bethlehem, thought to be Jesus’ birthplace, and Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital, turned off their Christmas lights within an hour of Trump’s announcement. In Nazareth, the town where Jesus is thought to have grown up, now the largest Arab city in Israel, the Muslim mayor scaled back Christmas celebrations in identification with the Palestinians. And ahead of US Vice President Mike Pence’s planned visit to Jerusalem this week, now postponed, Adeeb Joudeh, the Muslim man whose family has held the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for generations, announced that he wouldn’t let Pence, a devout Evangelical Christian, enter.


This tactic of protesting by denying Christians their Christmas celebrations reaffirms that Trump did the right thing in declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital, and for his administration to say last Friday that it envisions the Western Wall within Israeli Jerusalem in a final-status deal. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claims that he is a defender of Christian Arabs in areas under his control. He repeatedly said that Jerusalem is a Muslim and Christian – but not Jewish – holy city in his speech to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation last week.


But the Palestinians’ track record, even before putting a damper on Christmas this year, should leave Christians skeptical. In 1950, the Christian population of the Bethlehem area was 86%, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Today, it’s only 12%, and Christians are only 2% of the Palestinian population, even though they were more than twice that a generation ago. The situation in Gaza, controlled by the terrorist group Hamas, is even worse. When Hamas took control in 2006, there were 6,000 Christians, and as of a year ago, there were 1,100. In Israel, the Christian population has stayed mostly stable at around 2%, growing by about 5,000 in the past 20 years.


Christians have been fleeing Palestinian-controlled territories, and it’s easy to understand why, in light of their systemic abuse. In 2002, terrorists affiliated with Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat raided and trashed the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, holding monks hostage in the church, leading to a standoff with the Israeli Army. One of the Palestinian leaders of the raid later said they chose the church as a combat base intentionally in order to put make Israel look bad.


In Gaza, Palestinian Christians have been murdered for their faith, including Rami Ayad, a leader of the Gaza Baptist Church and the manager of the area’s only Christian bookstore. The church has been commandeered by Hamas for combat, because it’s one of the tallest buildings in Gaza City. After all that, the Palestinian leadership still claims that they are the best choice to control Christian holy sites. Jews, of course, have long known that our holy sites in Jerusalem cannot be entrusted to the Palestinians or other Arab nations…

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




Dr. Martin Sherman

Arutz Sheva, Dec. 15, 2017


In the history of international politics, there have been numerous ideas that proved both myopic and moronic. But few—if any—have proved more so than the ill-conceived idea of foisting statehood on the Palestinian-Arabs. Compounding the folly of this fatal fiasco is the fact that it was not only completely predictable—but persistently predicted. Particularly puzzling—indeed perverse—is the fact that any prospective Palestinian state is almost certainly likely to embody the very antithesis of the values invoked for its inception by the liberal-Left Establishment.


After all, there is little reason to believe that any such state would be anything other than a misogynistic, homophobic Muslim majority tyranny and a bastion for Islamist terror groups–whose hallmarks would be gender discrimination against woman/girls; persecution of homosexuals, prosecution of political dissidents, and suppression of non-Muslim faiths. Indeed, its liberal-Left devotees have certainly never provided any remotely compelling argument why it would not be. Neither has the empirical precedent set since the ill-considered 1993 Oslo Accords began the ill-fated process of prodding the unprepared Palestinian-Arabs towards self-government.


After all, since Arafat’s triumphant return to Gaza in July 1994, despite massive financial aid, almost unanimous international endorsement, and a series of Israeli governments, whose pliant leniency towards repeated Palestinian malfeasance exceeded the bounds of reason and common sense, the Palestinian-Arabs have failed to create anything remotely resembling a sustainable, productive society. Indeed, all they have managed to produce is a corrupt keptocracy under Fatah and a tyrannical theocracy under Hamas.


Thus, after a quarter-century, notwithstanding the huge advantages it enjoyed —that, arguably far outstrip those that any other national liberation movement has had at its disposal—the Palestinian-Arab leadership has little to show for its efforts. All it has brought its people is an untenable and divided entity, with a dysfunctional polity, barely capable of holding even municipal elections; and an emaciated economy, crippled by corruption and cronyism, with a minuscule private sector and bloated public one, patently unsustainable without the largesse of its alleged “oppressor”, Israel.


Gaza, where the misguided experiment in two-statsim was first initiated back in 1994, sparking a surge of deluded optimism, has now become its gravest indictment—for both Jews and Arab alike. For Arabs in Gaza, the specter of “humanitarian disaster” hovers over the general population, awash in untreated sewage flows, with well over 90% of the water supply unfit for drinking, electrical power available for only a few hours a day, and unemployment rates soaring to anything between 40-60%. Accordingly, there should be no surprise that a recent Palestinianpoll found that only 6% of Gazans had a positive perception of prevailing conditions in the enclave, while almost 80% considered them bad or very bad.


For Jews in Israel, ever since governance of Gaza has been transferred to the Palestinian-Arabs, it has been a hotbed of terror from which numerous deadly attacks have emanated. Israel’s unilateral 2005 evacuation of the entire area, with the demolition of over a score of thriving Jewish settlements and the erasure of every vestige of prior Jewish existence—including the exhuming of graves and the removal of graveyards for fear of desecration by Palestinian-Arab hordes—did little to temper the Judeophobic fervor of the Gazans.  Significantly, the only remnant of Jewish presence left by Israel were two dozen synagogues, which were all immediately razed to the ground by frenzied Arab mobs…

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



On Topic Links


UN Defies Trump, Rejects US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital by 128-9: JNS, Dec. 20, 2017—The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday defied warnings from the United States and overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and calling on countries not to move their diplomatic missions to the city.

Before Gaza Turns Into Somalia: Nadav Eyal, Ynet, Dec. 19, 2017—The “drizzle” of missiles from the Gaza Strip at Israel’s southern communities has been going on for more than a week now. For the residents and their children, who are forced to run into bomb shelters, it doesn’t feel like a drizzle but rather like ongoing torture.

Palestinians: Arab Rulers are Traitors, Cowards: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Dec. 14, 2017—Once again, the Palestinians are disappointed with their Arab brothers. A declaration of war on the US, in the Palestinians' view, would have been the appropriate response to US President Donald Trump's December 6 announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Abbas and Jerusalem: Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations, Dec. 14, 2017—The reaction to President Trump's decision on Jerusalem has varied widely in the Arab world. For example, the Saudi reaction has been moderate. It is well described by Rob Satloff in a report on his recent visit to Riyadh, which is entitled "Mohammed bin Salman Doesn't Want to Talk About Jerusalem."







Is the Las Vegas Mass-Murderer a Terrorist?: National Review, Oct. 2, 2017 — In Las Vegas, (at least 58) people are dead, and perhaps hundreds of others have been injured, in the deadliest mass-shooting attack in American history.

The Big Middle East Lie: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 2, 2017— Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, the 37-year-old Palestinian terrorist who on September 25 murdered three Israelis at the entrance to Har Adar near Jerusalem, had a permit from the Israeli authorities to work in Israel.


Hamas Masquerade: Prof. Eyal Zisser, Israel Hayom, Oct. 1, 2017 — It took Hamas 10 years to completely ruin the Gaza Strip and prove to all that it can't and is not worthy of ruling over its inhabitants.

Interpol and the Palestinians: Where’s a Cop When You Need One?: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Oct. 2, 2017 — The good news is that Interpol apparently isn’t the international police agency that movies and television shows have led us to believe.


On Topic Links


Palestinian Leaders Unite in Praise of Deadly Terror Attack: United With Israel, Sept. 27, 2017

Don't be Fooled by Hamas and Fatah Reconciliation in Gaza: Barry Shaw, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 28, 2017

Iran and Hamas Reconnect: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Sept. 25, 2017

Abbas Says No to 'Hezbollah Model' in Gaza as Hamas Hopes to Retain Armed Wing: Jack Khoury, Ha’aretz, Sept. 30, 2017


AS WE GO TO PRESS: EDMONTON ATTACK SUSPECT CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER: A suspect has been charged in an attack in which an Edmonton officer was stabbed and four people were injured when they were hit by a rental truck fleeing police. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif faces five counts of attempted murder, five counts of dangerous driving and one weapons-related charge. Although police have said that terrorism charges are expected, none has been laid so far. Sharif, who is 30, is a Somali refugee once investigated for allegedly espousing extremism. Edmonton police…said the events of Saturday night appear to have been the work of a single person. It started when a police officer handling crowd control at a football game was hit by a speeding car that rammed through a barrier and sent him flying five metres through the air. The driver got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing the officer. A suspect was taken into custody by police hours later after a chase through downtown Edmonton in which four pedestrians were purposely hit by the driver… (National Post, Oct. 2, 2017)




Andrew C. McCarthy

National Review, Oct. 2, 2017


In Las Vegas, (at least 58) people are dead, and perhaps hundreds of others have been injured, in the deadliest mass-shooting attack in American history. Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old Nevadan believed to be the lone gunman, fired upon attendees of the Route 91 Harvest music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort across the street. He killed himself before police reached him.


As we begin to process what has happened, it is important to remember — as we have learned from too many of these incidents — that initial reports are often wrong. We must wait for investigators and responsible journalists to do their work before we can have a clear picture of what happened.


On that score, news reports this morning are already referring to this atrocity as a “terrorist attack.” And that was even before the Islamic State jihadist organization claimed responsibility for the attack, a claim that has just been reported by the Washington Examiner. ISIS offered no proof of its assertions that Paddock was a recent convert to Islam and had carried out the massacre on the terror network’s behalf. Again, we cannot assess it until the investigation unfolds.


Clearly, Paddock did terrorize a community, particularly an event attended by 22,000 people, at least hundreds of whom he put in mortal peril. Does that make him a terrorist? Let’s put the unverified ISIS claims aside. If Paddock was a lone gunman acting independently and not under the influence of any organization or ideology, the answer to the question may depend on which law we apply — the federal penal code or Nevada’s criminal law.


We’ve recently had occasion to consider federal terrorism law in connection with a discussion over whether the violent “Antifa” movement should be legally designated as a terrorist organization. Under the U.S. penal code (section 2331(5) of Title 18), a violent act meets the definition of “domestic terrorism” if the actor was seeking: (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.


Many (perhaps most) mass killings will meet this test. Plainly, shooting at a crowd is an act of intimidation. But as the word “coerce” (also in that first clause) implies, the federal terrorism statute speaks to intimidation or coercion of a civilian population toward some identifiable objective. This kind of intimidation is easy to make out when the aggressor is a jihadist, whether associated with an outfit such as ISIS or merely “inspired by” sharia-supremacist ideology (which seeks the imposition of sharia law and to force changes in American policy). Establishing such intimidation is also straightforward when a group with a radical political agenda, such as Antifa, is involved. It is more difficult, though, when we are dealing with a lone gunman…

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



THE BIG MIDDLE EAST LIE                                                               

Bassam Tawil

Gatestone Institute, Oct. 2, 2017


Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, the 37-year-old Palestinian terrorist who on September 25 murdered three Israelis at the entrance to Har Adar near Jerusalem, had a permit from the Israeli authorities to work in Israel. His family and friends say he also had a good life and was considered lucky to have been employed by Jews because he received a higher salary and was protected by Israeli labor laws. The night before Jamal set out in his murderous mission, he spent a few hours at the fitness gym in his village, located only a few miles away from Har Adar.


So, Jamal, the murderer of the three Israelis (two of the victims were Arab Israelis), was not poor. He was not unemployed. In fact, according his friends, Jamal earned much more than what a senior police officer or school teacher working for the Palestinian Authority or Hamas brings home every month. What was it, then, that drove Jamal to his murderous scheme, gunning down three young men who were supposed to be facilitating his entry into Israel? Was it because he could not provide for his children? No. Was it because his landlord was pressuring him about the rent? No: Jamal lived in a nice place of his own, complete with furniture, appliances and bedrooms that any family in the West would be proud to own.


Jamal wanted to murder Jews because he believed this was a noble deed that would earn him the status of shaheed (martyr) and hero among his family, friends and society. In Palestinian culture in particular, and Arab culture in general, murderers of Jews are glorified on a daily basis. They are touted as the lucky ones who are now in the company of Prophet Mohammed and the angels in Paradise. Male terrorists are also busy with the 72 virgins they were awarded as a prize for murdering Jews. The murderers — as Muslim clerics and leaders hammer into the heads of Palestinians — are also given access to rivers of honey and fine drinks once they set foot in their imaginary Paradise.


Jamal's friends and family are now convinced that he has been rewarded by Allah and Prophet Mohammed in Paradise for murdering three Israelis. They do not care about his children, whom he left behind, and certainly not about the families of the three Israelis he murdered. In his village and on social media, Jamal is being hailed as a hero and martyr. Not a single Palestinian has come out against the cowardly terror attack by a man who took advantage of a permit from the Israeli authorities to commit a terror attack.


The Jewish families that once employed Jamal as a cleaner had trusted him. They had opened their homes and hearts, as well as their wallets, to him. The Israeli authorities wanted to trust him and see him as a normal person who just wanted a job with a decent income to support his family. But Jamal, like many other Palestinians, betrayed the trust the Jews gave him. He chose to stab in the back the same people who had gone out of their way to help him. Sadly, this terrorist also betrayed the cause of thousands of Palestinian workers who enter Israel for work every day. These workers stand to lose the most from Jamal's terror attack and treachery. Luckily for them, the Israeli authorities are saying that the Har Adar murder will not affect Israel's policy of granting permits to Palestinians to work inside Israel, because the vast majority are not involved in violence.


The Har Adar murders ought to teach us at least one thing: that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about the economy or improving the living conditions of the Palestinians. Jamal, who had a job and freedom of movement and a lovely apartment, surely proves this point, as do the murders or attempted murders by other well-to-do terrorists such as Mohammad Atta, Osama bin Laden, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and many others. Jamal's bloody lesson, however, apparently still needs to be learned by the West, which, despite all evidence, doggedly persists in drawing an unbroken line between Palestinian terrorism and poverty.


Jamal, however, is far from the first terrorist to convey this crucial lesson: most Palestinian terrorists over the past decades were educated and had jobs. Some Palestinian suicide bombers were nurses, schoolteachers and lawyers. Some came from middle class and even wealthy families and clans. Money and education, however, did not stop them from committing atrocities against Israelis. Terrorists like Jamal are motivated by deep hatred for Jews and Israel. They have been indoctrinated and brainwashed by their leaders and Muslim religious clerics into believing that Jews are evil and need to be eliminated by all available means.


Not a single terrorist has complained of carrying out an attack because he or she were starving, had no food for the children and were unable to buy ice cream from the local grocery store. The terrorists, in fact, spell it out as it is: they openly announce that they are motivated by their indoctrinated hatred for Israel and Jews. This is what the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic propaganda machine has done to generations of Arabs and Muslims. Officials and people in the West may deny what they hear as hard as they like; but the terrorists could not be more are honest about what their murderous motives are.


What, then, about those on the West who continue to talk about the conflict as if it were about creating new jobs and paving roads and improving infrastructure for the Palestinians? This seems to be the approach endorsed in the U.S. by Donald Trump's administration. There is nothing wrong, of course, with boosting the economy and creating job opportunities. This might have a moderating effect on a few Palestinians. They will be happy to see a better economy and a drop in the unemployment rate. Such measures, however, will never change the hearts and minds of Palestinians. Palestinians will never recognize Israel's right to exist because Americans and Europeans built them an industrial park somewhere in the West Bank. Over the past 25 years, the Palestinians have received billions of dollars in aid from the international community. When they headed to the ballot boxes, they voted for Hamas because it told them it will destroy Israel. Palestinians are most likely to vote for Hamas once again if free and democratic elections were held tomorrow in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


We might remember this as Trump's Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, returns to our region to discuss ways of reviving the so-called peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The Trump administration and Jason Greenblatt seem to have bought the lie that "It's about money, stupid." No. The conflict is about an unbendable refusal to allow a Jewish Israel to exist in the Middle East. It is about the abiding interest in the Arab and Islamic world to obliterate Israel and murder Jews. It is about the ongoing, bloody Arab and Islamic incitement against Israel and Jews. Jobs are not the problem, and they are not the solution. Let us pay attention to reality for a change: Jamal and his fellow terrorists can teach us something — if only we would listen.




HAMAS MASQUERADE                                       

                                                Prof. Eyal Zisser

Israel Hayom, Oct. 1, 2017


It took Hamas 10 years to completely ruin the Gaza Strip and prove to all that it can't and is not worthy of ruling over its inhabitants. A decade after the terrorist organization forcefully seized control of the coastal enclave its government has crumbled, but more importantly, the situation for the people of Gaza has never been more desperate. Unemployment and poverty are rampant, quality of life is in sharp decline and infrastructure is collapsing. There has only been steady progress in one area – tunnel digging along the border with Israel is prospering and the group has expanded its missile arsenal.


The first place Hamas has looked for a solution is Tehran, which is looking to bring the group back into its fold after several years of severed ties. The Arab spring revolution in Egypt and Syria distanced Hamas from Iran, bringing it closer to Turkey and even Qatar. These Sunni countries have been a disappointment and their ability to help the organization has been and remains limited. Hamas can only receive unlimited weapons and money from the Iranians, even if doing so means it must sharply alter its positions. This pertains, for example, to the Sunni rebel groups in Syria, which Hamas has supported over the years but now must abandon.


At the same time Hamas is also working to improve its relations with the Palestinian Authority; more precisely it is trying to turn the PA into a human shield to perpetuate its rule over Gaza. In this context, Hamas' leaders declared an end to the "Hamas government" in Gaza, and their willingness to give the keys to Gaza to the Palestinian national unity government sitting in Ramallah. This is merely a charade, however, as Hamas is unwilling to truly relinquish its power and will not allow, for instance, the PA's security apparatus to deploy in Gaza. In this vein, it will permit the PA and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, to resolve the electricity crisis in Gaza and to try improving the economic situation there. Meanwhile, Hamas will still reserve ultimate say in Gaza and will be the only entity with weapons.


Hamas, therefore, is trying to mimic the Lebanese model. In Lebanon, the government maintains diplomatic relations with the international community and is responsible for the welfare of the population and bettering the economy; Hezbollah, meanwhile, is the driving military force without bearing governmental responsibility for the fate of Lebanon. This is a comfortable arrangement, as the Lebanese government provides protection for Hezbollah and mainly absolves it of any responsibility for the Lebanese population.


Abbas does have reasons to be happy with this arrangement, as it means the economic pressure and sanctions he has imposed on Hamas has borne fruit. Egypt, too, is satisfied and continues to advance Palestinian reconciliation, in the hopes that such a development will empower its protégé, Mohammed Dahlan, in Gaza and perhaps the West Bank as well. Without a doubt, however, the main winner is Hamas, which will cede governmental responsibility for the economy and welfare, which it never cared for regardless, in exchange for a security blanket from the PA and perhaps Egypt. All the while it will continue ruling the Strip with an iron fist.


Hamas' game is obvious, but its decision to pursue a two-pronged course of reconciliation with the PA and Iran poses a challenge to Israel. During Operation Protective Edge, Israel allowed Hamas to remain in power in Gaza because it believed that doing so would render it deterred and restricted. Now, however, Hamas is trying to shed these restrictions and essentially erase Israel's leverage against it. Israel cannot allow this to happen.                                                           





Jonathan S. Tobin

JNS, Oct. 2, 2017


The good news is that Interpol apparently isn’t the international police agency that movies and television shows have led us to believe. The bad news is that the international community just gave another seal of approval to those who traffic in terrorism. The Palestinian Authority (PA), just as it has done at other international organizations, recently gained admittance to Interpol by an overwhelming vote of member nations.


Though the PA does autonomously govern most of the West Bank, it doesn’t exercise sovereign control over any territory. But the international community has nevertheless embraced every opportunity to grant recognition to Palestinian Arab aspirations for statehood — without first forcing them to conclude a peace with Israel that could resolve the dispute by the two peoples over one, small land.


The latest move sounds scarier than some of the others, because most of us assume that Interpol is an international police force with power to make arrests and act with impunity around the globe. Yet it turns out that this perception of Interpol is misleading. Interpol has no law enforcement agents, and arrests no one. It is merely a coordinating group that functions as an administration liaison between police departments of different countries. It does help fight international crime by making the large database that it maintains available to law enforcement agencies — but that’s about the extent of it.


One thing that members of Interpol can do is to issue so-called “red notices” about outstanding criminals; but these are not international arrest warrants. Nevertheless, this raises the possibility that the PA might copy the practice of leftist foes of Israel in various Western countries, who seek to indict Israeli officials on bogus allegations of war crimes. The US has already said it won’t recognize any red notices from the PA. And since the PA is dependent on cooperation with Israeli security agencies to defend themselves against Hamas and more radical opponents, this would be a risky strategy. If the PA does use the tactic, it would probably be directed against Palestinian political foes, rather than Israelis.


Seen in that light, the Interpol vote can be viewed as just another meaningless gesture that does nothing to advance peace — or Palestinian aspirations for actual statehood. But the decision is not entirely harmless — because the same PA that just joined Interpol actually funds terrorism. The PA pays salaries and pensions to Palestinians who commit terrorism against Israelis and others (including Americans). This program has an ascending scale of compensation, which gives greater rewards for more serious crimes involving bloodshed. The PA’s education system and official media also incite hate, and applaud acts of terror on a regular basis. Just last week, Abbas’ Fatah party lauded a deadly attack that resulted in the killing of an Israeli Border Police officer and two security guards, one of whom was an Arab Israeli. And now, the family of the slain terrorist can expect a generous pension from the PA.


Though some excuse this practice of paying terrorists as a legitimate aspect of their political culture, it is one more indication that Palestinians are still stuck fighting the same war on Zionism and Israel that they’ve been fighting for a century. And it illustrates the folly of any policy towards the Palestinians that does not start with an effort to impress upon them the necessity to accept the existence of a Jewish state. Until Israel makes it clear that its existence is conclusive and final, no peace plan, including a two-state solution, will be possible.


Unlike its predecessor, the Trump administration has made it clear that it regards the PA’s attitude toward terror as an impediment to peace. Congress might be on its way to passing the Taylor Force Act, which is named for an American veteran who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist; the bill would make future aid to the PA contingent on ending its incitement and terror funding. But with the Interpol vote, the world has once again sent the opposite message to the Palestinians about terror and ending the conflict. A group that honors and pays terrorists rather than arresting them just joined the international law enforcement establishment. Israelis, Jews and Americans that are targeted for death by Palestinians are justified in wondering: where’s a cop when you need one?



On Topic Links


Palestinian Leaders Unite in Praise of Deadly Terror Attack: United With Israel, Sept. 27, 2017 —The reactions to Tuesday morning’s terror attack that left three Israelis dead by the two largest Palestinian factions were of full endorsement and support for the terrorist’s actions.

Don't be Fooled by Hamas and Fatah Reconciliation in Gaza: Barry Shaw, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 28, 2017—Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar is ready to hand over the civil administration of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority. Don't be fooled by this gesture.

Iran and Hamas Reconnect: Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, JCPA, Sept. 25, 2017—With an eye to Syria’s postwar period, Iran is working to unite the ranks of the “resistance camp” to continue the struggle against Israel and deepen the dissension in the Arab world. Iran views Hamas, despite its independent path, as an important element of this camp that challenges not only Israel but also the main members of the “moderate” Arab camp, and hence contributes to bolstering its influence in the region.

Abbas Says No to 'Hezbollah Model' in Gaza as Hamas Hopes to Retain Armed Wing: Jack Khoury, Ha’aretz, Sept. 30, 2017—Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and senior Palestinian Authority officials issued further declarations over the weekend about their commitment to reconcile and said both sides are committed to moving the process ahead.





Sally F. Zerker: Israeli “Occupation”: The BIG LIE





The time has come to tell the world’s “liars”, boldly and forthrightly, that Israeli “occupation” is the BIG LIE of our age. We’ve all seen the propaganda effectiveness of “the big lie” many times before, and this one too is working its indecorous distortion of the truth.


The truth is that Jews cannot be occupiers of the Biblical lands, which include present-day Israel, Judea, Samaria, and some of the country of Jordan. The term occupation is meant to signify larceny, theft of others’ property, abuse of the Other, cheating, immorality, and dreadful deeds. Obviously, this is a very offensive concept. But Jews are not, and cannot be guilty of these crimes, for two reasons. One, Jews are the extant aboriginal people of this land, and two, Jews have international legal rights to this territory. These two concepts, historical and legal, require elucidation.


What defines Jewish indigenousness is the consistency of modern Jews with their ancestors of thousands of years ago. They live in a country with the same name, Israel, as that which existed in 1312 B.C.E. Today’s Israelis speak the same language that was spoken by Jews in that land more than 3000 years ago. We do not need a Rosetta stone to understand ancient Hebrew scripts because the language and letters are the same as current Hebrew. Israelis chant from the same biblical texts that their ancestors did millennia past. Their Jewish law presently is derived from that found in their Talmud which was originally oral and later written down about twenty-five hundred years ago. Their Temple, which was destroyed by invaders twice, can be archaeologically located in their original site in Jerusalem. And Jerusalem which was founded by their biblical King David, still stands as the centre of Jewish sovereignty, as it did when King David ruled the Jews.


In reality, the Jewish people established a distinct civilization in their ancient homeland approximately 3500 years ago, and the roots of that civilization are still much of the source of Jewish life in Israel right now. And, despite a series of conquests and expulsions over the centuries, (Roman, Muslim, Crusaders), Jews retained and rebuilt communities in Jerusalem, Tiberius, Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa, Caesarea, Safed and elsewhere. Years before the Zionist migrations began in the 1870s, Jews lived continuously over time throughout the land of Israel.


Anthropologist Jose Martinez-Cobo, a Special Rapporteur for the UN who studied the place and condition of indigenous peoples and nations, defined such communities as those that have continuity, with the land, with shared culture in general, such as religion, lifestyle etc., with intrinsic language, with common ancestry, and other relevant factors. By that respected definition of indigenousness, it is irrefutable that Jews are indeed the indigenous people of the land of Israel.


On the other hand, there were no Muslims in existence until almost 2000 years after Jews had already settled in Israel, because Islam was the religion that Mohammed founded. Arabs, who are the ethnic peoples out of the Arabian Peninsula, had not come to the region through their conquests until after Mohammed’s death in 632 ACE. It is important to understand that no independent Arab or Palestinian state has ever existed in this region, which came to be called Palaestina, after the Romans so renamed it in the second century. The Romans purpose for this alteration was to break the link of the Jews with their past, after they had crushed the Jewish revolt in ACE 135. Thus, when the Arabs did conquer and occupy parts of the land, they did so as occupiers of previously settled territories by Jews.


As for more recent Arab settlers, if one looks at the period when Jews began to immigrate to the region in large numbers in 1882, there were fewer than 250,000 Arabs living in the region, and the majority of these had arrived in recent decades. According to many observers and authorities, the vast majority of the Arab population in the early decades of the twentieth century were comparative newcomers, either late immigrants or descendants of persons who had immigrated into the territory in the previous seventy years.


BDS supporters, who accept the premise that the Palestinians are indigenous and oppressed by white colonialists have it backward according Barbara Kay, columnist for the National Post (Canada). “It is the (non-white) Mizrachi Jews in continuous habitation in Israel from time immemorial who were oppressed under a series of imperial regimes, up to and including the British Mandate.”


This reference to the British Mandate brings me to the second aspect of Jewish rights to the land of Israel, that of validity under international law. Israel’s legal position begins after WW1, when the Allies defeated Germany, Turkey or rather the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria. Up until then the whole Middle East and beyond was under the power of the Ottoman Empire. (The Turks are not Palestinians nor are they Arabs). With the Empire defeated, there were no nations and no borders that we recognize today in that territory.


The Allies, (Britain, France, Italy, Japan and the US), collectively assumed the title The Supreme Council, which then adopted political and judicial power. This council convened the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. In turn, it created the League of Nations which introduced the Mandate System.


In determining how to assign sovereignty to Middle East territories, which include what is now Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, the League heard from Arab delegates and Zionist Organizations presenting their respective cases. In April 1920, in San Remo, Italy, the decision was made. The Arabs were granted sovereignty over 96% of the territory, while Palestine was granted to the Jewish people worldwide, as per the recommendations of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which then became international law.


The map drawn up by the San Remo Conference on April 25, 1920, resulted in the creation of new exclusively Arab states; Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. It also drew the borders of the geographic region hitherto known as Palestine since Roman times, which was designated for the Jewish National Home to be reconstituted there, in consideration of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel.


Notice the decisive language here: it is a reconstitution, not a new entity, or the novel creation of a Jewish national home in that territory, which includes both east and west of the Jordan River. One alteration occurred in 1922, when the British acquired permission from the Mandate Authority to carve out a nation from the land of Palestine east of the Jordan River, which was named the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (later Jordan).


This San Remo Resolution was later confirmed in the Mandate for Palestine in 1922, and approved by the 52 members of the League of Nations. The acquired rights of the Jewish people to the land west of the Jordan river are preserved in the UN Charter of 1945 (article 80) and in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (article 70-lb).


All the countries we know in the Middle East stem from these Mandates. All the borders we know originate from these Mandates.. After WW2, the Mandate system was renamed Trustee Council of the General Assembly, and what they did with the territory of Palestine was divide it up into 6 pieces, some granted to the Arabs, some to the Jews. The Jewish portion was significantly smaller than those granted to the Arabs. However, the Jews accepted this partition, but the Arabs did not. Had they done so, this partition would probably have become international law.


Instead there was the War of Independence in 1948-9, when the new born state of Israel was attacked by 5+ Arab states. This war ended in an armistice which included the green lines, that is, the line around the portion of Judea and Samaria that Jordan captured, the line around Gaza that Egypt captured, and land that Syria captured on the Golan Heights. Those famous lines are treated as legal boundaries by Obama, the European Union, most ideologically leftists, certainly Palestinians and their supporters, and others. However, they have no legal status in international law. They are ceasefire lines. And moreover, they have nothing to do with 1967, except that Israel fought a defensive war then, was attacked by Egypt, Jordan and Syria, defeated those invaders, and took back the lands that they had captured in 1949.


If we call the territories bound by these lines, Palestinian territory, we are retroactively recognizing the Arab conquests by Jordan, Egypt, and Syria. By international law it is forbidden to acquire territory by aggressive war. That’s part of the UN Charter. There’s one exception to that article (52); countries are entitled to acquire territory through the exercise of a defensive war, which undoubtedly the Six-Day war was for Israel.


There is therefore absolutely no doubt on the basis of both law and history that Israel cannot be an occupier of any lands west of the Jordan River to the sea. The importance of asserting Israel’s legal rights is that this alleged “occupation” has become the symbol of justification for the Palestinian claims and violence. It is one of those big lies that have become accepted as truth through repetition and through the authoritative voices using it continuously. It is not only a lie because of what I have argued here, but also because Hamas controls the whole of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority has jurisdiction over the majority of the West Bank, estimated to be as much as 95%.


But “occupation” is a very central signal for the Palestinians’ core cultural and political position, namely the rejection of Israel. Thus, the concept and use of this term is not only a falsehood, it is an inhibiter of any chance of peace with the Palestinians, since it is identified with the Palestinians refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state in any part of the land, land that is legally within the rights of the Jews. Let’s be clear, anyone using the statement “Israeli occupation” as it relates to the land of Israel is uttering an oxymoron.


Dr. Sally F. Zerker is professor emerita, York University, Toronto, Canada.

She is an economist with expertise in the field of the International Oil Industry.


Postmortem of a Disastrous Month: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Aug. 9, 2017 — The dramatic setbacks of the past month have been somewhat destabilizing in contrast to the almost euphoric atmosphere which prevailed.

Recurring Patterns: The Temple Mount Riots: Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, Aug. 6, 2017— On July 14, two Israeli police officers were murdered in Jerusalem.

What are Trump's Next Steps to Help Forge Peace?: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 7, 2017 — Last week the world was exposed to some of the Trump administration’s internal thinking with regard to the way it views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Even Kushner Knows Negotiation Can't Solve the Palestinian Conflict: Gregg Roman, The Hill, Aug. 4, 2017— In a recently leaked off-the-record speech to a group of congressional interns, White House senior advisor Jared Kushner said that the administration is committed to working "with the parties very quietly to see if there's a solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


On Topic Links


Rejection of Peace in the Israeli-Arab Process: Stephen Hughes, Jerusalem Online, Aug. 14, 2017

The Terrible Timing of the Newest American Peace Delegation: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Aug. 13, 2017

Recognizing a Palestinian State Before a Peace Agreement with Israel Undermines the International Rule of Law: Peter Wertheim, JCPA, Aug. 7, 2017

Is China Intervening in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?: Roie Yellinek, BESA, Aug. 13, 2017





Isi Leibler

Israel Hayom, Aug. 9, 2017


The dramatic setbacks of the past month have been somewhat destabilizing in contrast to the almost euphoric atmosphere which prevailed. It is an awesome burden of responsibility to serve as a leader, obliged to make decisions that affect the future of the Jewish people, in both Israel and the Diaspora. Over these last few weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has probably been under the greatest pressure he has ever encountered. Barbaric acts of Arab terrorism and intensified incitement, problems with the Trump administration, excessive demands/blackmail from the haredim creating tensions with American Jewry, constant pressure and criticism from ministers in his own government and above all, the campaign to indict him personally on a myriad of alleged acts of corruption, have taken their toll and destabilized him.


In hindsight, the installation of metal detectors on the Temple Mount following the bloody terrorist murders there was a major blunder. Under any normal circumstances, it would have been an absolutely legitimate reaction, but having regard to the frenzied religious fanaticism endemic among Palestinians, Netanyahu should have anticipated that this would be exploited by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamists to incite hysteria. He also should have realized that this would create major domestic problems for our more moderate neighbors who face enormous pressure from their own citizens when swept by the hysteric accusation that Al-Aqsa mosque is being defiled by the Jews.


Had Netanyahu remained firm and resisted the demand to remove the detectors, Israeli public opinion would have supported him. But he considered the broader picture, recognizing that if he refused, he would risk a violent new intifada that would cost many more lives and would probably set back his emerging covert alliance with the more moderate Arab states. Any responsible Israeli leader weighing up the issues would have been obliged to act in a similar manner.


The issue was compounded by the inept way in which Netanyahu handled the Jordanian crisis. There appears to be no doubt that the security guard acted in self-defense. But Netanyahu’s parading him as a hero was a grossly inappropriate, given our delicate relationship with King Abdullah, who is under pressure from the powerful Palestinian and Muslim Brotherhood elements to sever diplomatic relations with Israel. And the government should have instituted a legal review of what happened even though it would have exonerated him. Besides, an apparently innocent bystander was accidentally killed, which probably merited at the least an apology and restitution.


To add to our discomfort, the international community reverted to its classical posture with the U.S. State Department issuing statements applying moral equivalence to both parties which seemed like a throwback to the Obama era. President Donald Trump, admittedly facing his own domestic problems, remained silent. This was certainly grounds for considerable disappointment as one would surely have anticipated this administration to deal with reality and condemn the bogus Palestinian hysteria instead of understating it and indulging in appeasement. To top it off, Netanyahu faced a barrage of demagogic criticisms of the government policies from both factions, including ministers from his coalition and even from within the Likud.


We should ensure that we learn from our mistakes. Clearly, the Palestinians are emboldened and believe that they have humiliated Israel and won a major battle. But we should not exaggerate the negative repercussions of what transpired, nor engage in masochism and allow these events to blur reality. Setting aside the status quo originating from Moshe Dayan’s blunder in 1967 when he handed control of the Temple Mount to the Wakf, whatever rage and frustration the Palestinians may express, Israel remains firmly in control.


But we must face reality. A substantial proportion of the Palestinians and, alas, as was recently demonstrated, also a highly vociferous minority of Israeli Arabs, are vicious barbarians who would slaughter us at any opportunity. They behave like savages as evidenced by the murder of the Israeli policemen at the Temple Mount and the butchering of the Salomon family at their Shabbat table in Halamish. The spontaneous street celebrations after the murders and adoring mass of 10,000 Israeli Arabs in the Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm led by the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, and other senior members of the outlawed organization, who at the funerals of their murderous kinsmen, chanted “you are the shahids of Al-Aqsa,” speak volumes. They were hailed by the PA as well as Hamas as heroes and their families were financially rewarded. The murderer of the Salomon family will receive a massive pension despite his anticipated incarceration.


Almost $345 million per annum is allocated to families of “martyrs” and those in prison—representing almost half the annual foreign aid provided to the PA. This despicable practice of paying pensions to murderers may now belatedly be dealt with by Congress.  But it must continue to be highlighted as a central policy issue and we should not equivocate because Abbas threatens to terminate cooperation with Palestinian security forces.


If one thing has been reaffirmed over the past month, it is that the Palestinian leaders and the bulk of their followers are unwilling to reach any peace agreement and are determined to fight on for their ultimate objective—the obliteration of Jewish sovereignty in the region. Besides, with the impending retirement of Abbas, there is every likelihood that chaos will prevail and the Palestinian security forces could well turn their weapons against Israel. We are strong but must be well prepared for this eventuality…

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





Manfred Gerstenfeld

BESA, Aug. 6, 2017


On July 14, two Israeli police officers were murdered in Jerusalem. They were members of the Druze community, a religious and ethnic minority. The three Muslim murderers came from the town of Umm al-Fahm in the north of Israel. They had hidden their weapons on the Temple Mount, where the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is managed by the Waqf, a Muslim religious trust, stands.  The three terrorists were killed by Israeli police. The day before the killings, one of the perpetrators published a selfie in which he stands before al-Aqsa. The photo is accompanied by the text, “Tomorrow’s smile will be more beautiful, God willing.”


Israel reacted to the murders by increasing security measures through the installation of metal detectors. The alternative would have been to wait passively until the next contingent of terrorists arrived, ready to employ the proven formula of bringing in weapons and hiding them at that place of worship. The installation of metal detectors led Palestinian preachers to call upon the worshipers to pray publicly outside the mosque on the morning of Friday, July 21. Riots followed during which three Palestinians were killed and a number wounded. On the same day, a Palestinian terrorist murdered a Jewish father, seriously injured his wife, and killed their two adult children in the village of Halamish during their Shabbat meal.


It is estimated that this terrorist’s family will receive more than $3000 per month from the Palestinian Authority for many years to come. These payments are co-financed by Western countries. In the meantime, the metal detectors have been removed. Due to the riots, Israel has opted instead to install more expensive and technologically advanced tools to detect weapons from entering the holy site in the future. Despite the removal of the detectors, Palestinian riots in Jerusalem have continued.


When we examine the reactions of the actors in this saga, it becomes possible to discern recurring patterns. In the past, the PLO-dominated Palestinian Authority was able to control riots. A typical case in point was the “al-Aqsa Intifada,” which began in late September 2000. Though presented as a spontaneous response to Ariel Sharon’s Temple Mount visit, several PLO/PA officials (including Marwan Barghouthi and Minister of Communications Imad Faloudji) were to admit that the violence had been planned well in advance by Yasser Arafat. All that was required was a handy pretext to start it.


Since then, the stature in the western world of the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas has steadily increased. In 2016, many members of the European Parliament gave Abbas a standing ovation after a speech in which he made the vile anti-Semitic accusation that an Israeli rabbi had urged Israelis to poison the water of the Palestinians. Two days later, Abbas had to admit that his libel was a complete falsehood.


In contrast to his glowing image among Europeans, Abbas is seen by most Palestinians as very weak. His Fatah movement supports the riots, partly because it fears losing even more influence if it does not. He is playing a dangerous game, however. If the riots continue, Abbas may lose control over them. If it is true that he has canceled the PA’s security collaboration with Israel, he might find himself in immediate danger. If he is without the protection of the Israeli security services, it will be much easier for Hamas sympathizers to target him.


Another recurrent pattern is the abuse of holy or protected places. During Israel’s military campaigns against Hamas, the terrorist group often hid weapons in mosques, universities, and schools. This included schools of the UN agency UNRWA. During the December 2008-January 2009 exchange, several Hamas leaders hid in a Gaza hospital because they knew Israel would not target it. Hamas also uses civilians as human shields.


Yet another recurrent pattern is the behavior of foreign governments and leaders. Many excuse and condone Palestinian terror, incitement, and violence. Others feel the need to step in with condemnations or recommendations. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for example, is a staunch supporter of Hamas, using any available opportunity to condemn Israel. This time, he said:  “By occupying the al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel has exceeded the boundaries.” France issued an anodyne statement mainly to create the illusion that it is still an important international player while it struggles with critical domestic issues. Still another recurrent pattern is the behavior of foreign media, which habitually turns aggressors into victims and vice versa. The media watch organization Honest Reporting Canada created a detailed list of many such distortions in the Canadian media alone during the first days of the riots.


In view of these recurrent patterns, a peace agreement is likely to be useless. The Palestinians may one day sign such an agreement, and indeed maintain quiet for a while – but they will ultimately resort once again to riots, violence, and murder, as they invariably have in the past. The Temple Mount riots created a perfect model for such a pattern. Commit a crime against Israel related to al-Aqsa. If Israel reacts with enhanced security measures, incite rioting by declaring the mosque to be in danger. Israel cannot undo the concessions it makes for “peace.” Those concessions are likely to include the removal of isolated West Bank settlements and an exchange of land in return for the larger settlement blocs. The Temple Mount riots provide tangible evidence that as matters stand now, a peace agreement is not a credible option.




                                                Jerusalem Post, Aug. 7, 2017


Last week the world was exposed to some of the Trump administration’s internal thinking with regard to the way it views the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A recording of a briefing Jared Kushner gave White House interns made its way to Wired Magazine, which then shared it with the world. In it, Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, gave a sober review of the last 40 years of Middle East peacemaking and the chances that a deal can be reached to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the near future.


“What do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know,” said Kushner. “I’m sure everyone that’s tried this has been unique in some ways, but again we’re trying to follow very logically. We’re thinking about what the right endstate is. And we’re trying to work with the parties very quietly to see if there’s a solution.” He continued: “There may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on,” he added. “So, we’re going to focus on it and try to come to the right conclusion in the near future.”


There were three big takeaways from Kushner’s remarks. The first was that, seven months after taking office, the Trump administration does not yet have any new ideas for how to advance the peace process. Its thinking seems to be no different than that of previous administrations: Push for negotiations between the parties, mediate between them and try to hammer out an agreement.


The second takeaway is that there seems to be a growing assessment within the White House that a deal might not even be possible. The third is just as interesting and has to do with the motivation for why Kushner and Deputy Assistant to the President Jason Greenblatt are even working on a deal to begin with. The president, Kushner revealed, had asked them. Kushner made his remarks before news broke in Israel that Ari Harow, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, had turned state’s witness and is going to provide the police with key evidence in two investigations being conducted of the prime minister.


This is relevant, since from now forward, any step Netanyahu takes will need to be looked at through the prism of the investigations of his conduct. If he breaks Left – like Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon respectively did as prime ministers under investigation – he will be perceived as doing so to save himself from indictment. If he turns further Right – as it seems he will – it will be seen as an attempt to shore up his support among right-wing voters ahead of elections. What this means is that real progress will likely not be made in the near future. The criminal cloud over Netanyahu’s head will prevent him from taking any real steps toward peace, which Kushner anyhow doesn’t appear to have much faith in the chances of achieving.


If this is the case, what can be done? Now would be a good time to invest in grassroot initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for all residents of the West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian. This could include several major undertakings: improving infrastructure like roads and electricity plans, building more industrial zones to create employment, setting up hi-tech incubators for Palestinians and Israelis and improving the import-export process for Palestinian businesses seeking to expand their reach overseas. Israel is often referred to as the Start-Up Nation. There is no reason it should not be working to share its culture of innovation with its Palestinian neighbors and help to advance them in a more positive direction.


All of these initiatives can be carried out without connection to the top-down approach needed to reach a political resolution to the conflict. They are not affected by politics or dependent on the lack of leadership in Jerusalem or Ramallah. These are measures that will create a better atmosphere for peace and will be conducive to later attempts at reaching a long-term, final-status agreement when and if the political conditions make that possible. Kushner should be applauded for his honesty. He articulated what a lot of people already believe regarding the chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.But that doesn’t mean that he or the administration should give up. Moreover, it doesn’t mean that Israelis and Palestinians should give up. A lot can still be achieved.         





Gregg Roman                                                                                  

The Hill, Aug. 4, 2017


In a recently leaked off-the-record speech to a group of congressional interns, White House senior advisor Jared Kushner said that the administration is committed to working "with the parties very quietly to see if there's a solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He followed this up with what seemed like a throw-away line that's actually very significant: "There may be no solution, but it's one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on. So we're going to focus on it and try to come to the right conclusion in the near future."


Even for those who agree with that statement, hearing a senior White House official admit that the conflict may not have a solution is remarkable, especially since president after president has made achieving peace such a priority. Still, the United States is not out of options, nor should we read Kushner's words as an indication that the White House intends to abandon hope or forgo attempts to make progress towards peace.


Admitting that the conflict may not have a solution presents an opportunity to try something different. In fact, this could present an opportunity to try something different, to fly in the face of the so-called conventional thinking that has ended in a resounding failure for the past 24 years. In order to hasten the end of this conflict and create conditions for peace, security and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians, American policy must be changed in five key areas.


First, Palestinian terror organizations like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad must be defeated. The Trump administration has made significant progress in isolating and targeting Hezbollah in Lebanon, and they should use that success as a model to cut off funding and root out the structures that support terrorism in the Palestinian territories. Second, we must use diplomacy — no small feat for this administration — to convince our allies in Turkey and Qatar to end their support for these groups. For too long, Turkey and Qatar have provided funding and, perhaps more importantly, safe haven for the leadership of Hamas. The United States must use every tool available to convince these nations that supporting terrorism, even tacitly, will be costly.


Third, the United States should use economic leverage to prop up those in the Palestinian territories who oppose terror and to punish those who support it. The Taylor Force Act aims to force the Palestinian Authority (PA) to end salaries for the families of terrorists. While this law would help end this abhorrent practice, it would do little direct harm to terrorist groups or those who support them. Instead, all economic assistance and benefits provided by the United States — through qualified industrial zones, favorable trade agreements and direct assistance should be tailored to incentivize the Palestinian Authority to get serious about coming to the table for the kind of negotiations with Israel that they have been unwilling to enter for decades.


Fourth, security cooperation between the United States and the Palestinians must be reimagined so that Washington is no longer agnostic on the question of whether the PA forces cooperate with Israel. In fact, Palestinian-Israeli security coordination is frequently halted when it is needed most, like at the beginning of the latest furor surrounding security on the Temple Mount.  The State Department's Office of the U.S. Security Coordinator should make funding and training for the PA forces conditional. If they meet targets to cooperate with Israeli forces — both security and political conditions — then we provide support, if not, like PA President Abbas announced recently, then they're on their own.


Finally, the United States should give serious consideration to the messages that reach the Palestinian people. The U.S. Board of Broadcasting Governors should adopt an anti-rejectionism platform and cease funding any media that calls for Israel's destruction, instead offering support to the minority of voices in the region that encourage cooperation and peace. Generations of Palestinian leaders have made entire careers out of rejecting Israel while perpetuating this conflict. If we are smart about how we engage in the region, the United States can make it very costly to continue this strategy.


The time for the U.S. to act as an 'honest broker' has come to an end. The time for the U.S. to act as a neutral convener — an "honest broker" — has come to an end. In order to move forward in a way that advances our interests and supports the safety and security of our closest ally in the Middle East, we must stop allowing the Palestinians to perpetuate this conflict, which is what is driving many to assume there is no hope towards its end. They must accept they have been defeated so they can come to the table with an eye toward building their society into one that can move past the seventy-year old war they're still fighting.



On Topic Links


Rejection of Peace in the Israeli-Arab Process: Stephen Hughes, Jerusalem Online, Aug. 14, 2017—There is nothing in the Islamic religion or doctrine that prohibits the placement of security features before the entrances of Mosques and related holy sites.

The Terrible Timing of the Newest American Peace Delegation: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Aug. 13, 2017—There’s no reason to envy Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and Dina Powell, US President Donald Trump’s point-people on Middle East peace who will soon be arriving in Israel and the Palestinian Authority to “restart the peace process.”

Recognizing a Palestinian State Before a Peace Agreement with Israel Undermines the International Rule of Law: Peter Wertheim, JCPA, Aug. 7, 2017—According to the Palestinian Authority, 136 (70.5 percent) of the 193 member states of the United Nations and two non-member states have officially recognized a State of Palestine.

Is China Intervening in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?: Roie Yellinek, BESA, Aug. 13, 2017—On July 18, 2017, PA President Mahmoud Abbas met for the fourth time with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China. The meeting was apparently good, judging by the declarations of continued cooperation between the sides.








Canadian Tax Dollars Shouldn't Subsidize Palestinian Terrorists: Casey Babb, National Post, Aug. 1, 2017 — On July 21, a Palestinian terrorist entered the home of a Jewish family in the West Bank settlement of Halamish and killed Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46, and son Elad, 36.

How to Sell a Suicide-Bomber Subsidy to Congress: Eli Lake, Bloomberg, Aug. 1, 2017— Husam Zomlot does not have an easy job. He is the Palestinian Liberation Organization's representative in Donald Trump's Washington.

On Terror Payments, Use Taylor Force Act to Call the Palestinians’ Bluff: Jonathan S. Tobin, JNS, Aug. 1, 2017 — The US Congress is just doing what it always does: pandering to the “Israel Lobby.”

Al Jazeera: The Terrorist Propaganda Network: John Rossomando, IPT News, Aug. 4, 2017Al Jazeera's support for terrorism goes far beyond on-air cheerleading.


On Topic Links


How Terrorists Use Foreign Aid to Fund Terror: Doug Lamborn and Elazar Stern, Washington Times, Aug. 1, 2017

Sophisticated Australian Airplane Bombing Plot a Warning To the West: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Aug. 3, 2017

Amid New US Sanctions, How Much of Iran’s Nuclear Deal Relief Funds Terrorism?: Ariel Ben Solomon, JNS, Aug. 8, 2017

India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward: Vinay Kaura, BESA, August 8, 2017





Casey Babb

National Post, Aug. 1, 2017


On July 21, a Palestinian terrorist entered the home of a Jewish family in the West Bank settlement of Halamish and killed Yosef Salomon, 70, his daughter Chaya, 46, and son Elad, 36. As a result of his attack, the assailant, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed will now be paid more than U.S.$3,120 a month by the Palestinian government.


Learning of this egregious arrangement will likely shock and sicken many of you. But for Israelis, these “pay-for-slay” stipends are nothing new. The Palestinian government has made terrorism the most lucrative job in the West Bank. If the international community continues to turn a blind eye to Palestinian terror payments and the role international aid plays in fuelling this cycle of violence, the conflict will only get worse.


For over 50 years, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been making financial payments to Palestinian terrorists, prisoners and their families. It was in 1965 when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat established the Society for the Care of the Families of Martyrs (SAMED) that these payments started, at least in any official capacity. Originally called the Palestine Mujahidin and Martyrs Fund in 1964, the fund was created to provide financial compensation for families of deceased terrorists, as well as maimed or captured terrorists. In 1965-1966, it was transferred over from Fatah to the PLO, and renamed SAMED. According to Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, within 15 years of its establishment, this fund was providing pension payments and social assistance payments to more than 20,000 Palestinian families.


Today, the PA is responsible for administering the disbursement of these funds, which are funnelled through the National Palestinian Fund (NPF). The NPF, along with the Institute for Care for the Families of Martyrs, co-ordinates these payments to prisoners, released convicts and deceased terrorists. Embedded in actual Palestinian law, financial support for prisoners and the families of martyrs is rooted in Laws No. 14 and No. 19 of 2004, and Law No. 1 of 2013. Described as “a fighting sector and an integral part of the weave of Arab Palestinian society,” these laws guarantee “the financial rights of the prisoner and his family.” They specifically state that the PA must provide prisoners with a monthly allowance throughout the entirety of their incarceration, as well as salaries and/or jobs upon their release.


To put the $3,120 dollar payment to al-Abed in perspective, consider that the minimum wage in the Palestinian territories is approximately US$397 a month, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). Furthermore, nearly 40 per cent of employees in the private sector earn less than the minimum wage in the Palestinian territories. The PCBS also states that, in 2016, nearly 20 per cent of West Bank employees in the private sector earned an average of US$292.


According to a new study by the Institute for Contemporary Affairs, the official 2017 PA Budget has committed to increase the salaries of imprisoned and released terrorists by 13 per cent to U.S.$154.4 million dollars. Moreover, the money allocated for the families of those “martyred” in the conflict against Zionism is set to be approximately US$192 million dollars, or about four to five per cent higher than 2016 figures. All in all, the total PA expenditures set aside in 2017 to pay terrorists and/or their families is set to be in the range of U.S.$344-$346 million. Shockingly, this figure amounts to 49.6 per cent percent of all foreign aid slated to be received by the Palestinian government in 2017.


If you’re wondering where the PLO is getting all of their money, experts such as Yigal Carmon, founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute and Yossi Kuperwasser, Project Director on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, suggest it’s coming primarily from international aid — including aid from Canada. Of particular concern is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Many, including Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, have stated that UNRWA has direct ties to the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas. While the UNRWA lost Government of Canada funding in 2010, following allegations of the organization being connected to Hamas, the Liberal Government announced in November 2016 it would restore funding to UNRWA to the tune of $25 million Canadian dollars. The United States is also a major supporter of the Palestinian Authority. It is abhorrent to think that any money from North America governments might be rewarding terrorism, yet it’s hard to conclude otherwise.


The compensation of terrorists is deeply immoral and incomprehensible in and of itself. But it is most problematic because it undermines peace. In addition to directly violating the 1995 Oslo Peace Accords, paying terrorists incentivizes terrorism, which cyclically fuels conflict, erodes Israeli support for peace talks, and further entrenches Palestinian intolerance and extremism. The international community owes it to Israelis, Palestinians, the Salomon family, and the countless other victims of Palestinian violence and terrorism to raise awareness of Palestinian policies to pay terrorists. If we don’t, only time will tell how many more will suffer.                           




Eli Lake

Bloomberg, Aug. 1, 2017


Husam Zomlot does not have an easy job. He is the Palestinian Liberation Organization's representative in Donald Trump's Washington. And despite Trump's early promise to seek the ultimate deal to bring peace to the Holy Land, his administration is focused on more pressing matters. Zomlot's biggest problem these days is a piece of legislation named for Taylor Force, a former U.S. army officer who was stabbed to death in 2016 when he was in Tel Aviv on tour with his fellow Vanderbilt University graduate students.


When Republican Senator Lindsey Graham learned that the family of the murderer would be receiving a lifetime stipend as part of a Palestinian program to pay the families of so-called martyrs and inmates in Israeli prisons, he drafted legislation to end U.S. economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority until the payments ended. The bill is now winding its way through the legislative process and, in some form, will likely end up on the president's desk. While the Trump administration has yet to take a position on it, Zomlot has had the unlucky task of defending the martyr payments to Congress.


In an interview last week, he gave me his argument for why the Palestinian Authority has budgeted more than $300 million for its next fiscal year to pay the families of terrorists and other prisoners. "This is a program that is used…for the victims of the occupation," he said. "It's a program to give the families a dignified life, they are provided for, so they and their kids can lead a different future." He said the money goes to pay for laptop computers and college tuition for children who otherwise would be facing a bleak future, and families who may have their homes razed by the Israelis as punishment for spawning a terrorist.


Zomlot says this gives no incentive for terrorism. Indeed, he assured me that some graduates of "the program" include high-ranking Palestinian security officials that have cooperated with the Israel Defense Forces. (The PLO has administered these martyr payments in some form since 1965.) What's more, he said, if the Palestinian Authority doesn't pay the families of prisoners, more radical groups likely will fill the void. All of this raises an obvious question. If the Palestinian Authority wants to give poor children laptops and college tuition, why not just do that? Why create a special allowance for only the children and families of Palestinians who kill Jews?


And here Zomlot gets to the heart of the matter. "Many of the U.S. officials and lawmakers judge us as if we are in a post-conflict scenario, as we have to behave like a social welfare state, we are not," he told me. "This is a conflict situation." Indeed it is. One needs no further proof of this than the clashes in the last two weeks over Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem after three Israeli Arabs launched a shooting spree from the compound that hosts the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. Add to this the occupation itself. Palestinians living in the West Bank accused of crimes are given Israeli military trials and almost always convicted. Many of those prisoners have committed ghoulish acts, but many have not, Zomlot said. In this respect, he believes Congress should increase the aid it doles out to the Palestinian Authority, because despite all of this, the Palestinian security forces have helped keep order in the West Bank.  


And that is true. But it's also true that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has in recent years encouraged a resistance to the occupation that is measured in Jewish blood. His Palestinian Authority honors murderers by naming streets and parks after them. When Israel released violent prisoners in 2013 as an inducement to restart peace negotiations, there were official celebrations in Gaza and the West Bank. Two of those released, the cousins Mohammed and Hosni Sawalha, were arrested as teenagers after they entered a bus and began stabbing commuters. Another releasee was Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa, who along with two other assailants posed for a picture outside of the settlement of Ariel with Frederick Steven Rosenfeld, a U.S. Marine who had emigrated to Israel. They confessed to stabbing Rosenfeld and leaving him for dead.


When these prisoners were released in 2013, Abbas personally met them and kissed them on the cheek. "We congratulate ourselves and our families for our brothers who left the darkness of the prisons for the light of the sun of freedom," Abbas said at the time. Abbas probably has to say things like this in order to survive. Palestinians have been celebrating such "martyrs" for decades. To speak honestly about Mustafa and the Sawalhas would be seen as betrayal. But Graham and his supporters are under no such constraints. They see Mustafa and the Sawalhas for what they are: murderers.     






          Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                    

JNS, Aug. 1, 2017


The US Congress is just doing what it always does: pandering to the “Israel Lobby.” That’s how the foreign policy establishment and some on the left regard the bipartisan support for the Taylor Force Act, a bill named after a non-Jewish US Army veteran who was killed in a Palestinian terror attack last year. The legislation would cut off American aid for the Palestinian Authority (PA), unless the PA stops funding terrorism. The bill passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on August 3 in a 17-4 vote, with all of the committee’s Republicans, and six of its 10 Democrats supporting the measure.


The notion that the US would halt aid to the PA merely because it doesn’t want to be morally complicit in a “pay for slay” scheme strikes some on the left as lacking sympathy for the Palestinians, as well as self-defeating — since ending the funding might lead to the collapse of the PA. Their assumption is that PA President Mahmoud Abbas means what he says when he and his Fatah Party threaten to disband their Ramallah-based government if the foreign money that keeps it afloat is cut off. This would force Israel to re-assume full control over all of the disputed territories, which most Israelis think would be a disaster.


Stopping the terror payments may also be impossible for Abbas, because doing so would contradict the basic narrative of Palestinian history — in which violence against the Jews is viewed as self-defense, and a heroic act of resistance that is deserving of praise. Asking Abbas to take such a step would be tantamount to requesting that he commit suicide. So why do it? The answer is that those demanding a halt to funding the PA are not merely venting their outrage at the Palestinians. They are also pointing the way toward the only possible path to peace.


In just the last four years, the PA has spent more than $1.1 billion on salaries for terrorists and pensions for their families. In the next fiscal year, The PA will spend half of all the foreign aid that it receives on this effort. The PA has created a set of financial incentives that not only give Palestinians a reason to commit terror, but embolden their belief that only by shedding Israeli blood, will they ensure that their families are provided with enough money to live comfortably.


Those who rationalize the continuation of the current aid to the PA point to the security cooperation that the PA offers to Israel as proof that the Jewish state has a partner for peace. But while this cooperation has value, it has two main purposes: making sure that Abbas’s Hamas rivals don’t gain a foothold in the disputed territories, and ensuring the safety of the Fatah leadership against attacks from the Islamists. Thus, when the PA threatens to halt security cooperation, as it did during the recent controversy over the Temple Mount, the biggest potential loser from such an action would be Fatah, not Israel.


That’s why the talk of a PA collapse that Abbas and his apologists continue to invoke is a bluff. Fatah’s survival depends on its ability to use foreign donations to fund its corrupt practices in the disputed territories. The Palestinian faction’s obstruction of economic development or any measures that might end the corruption that enriches its leaders has created a situation in which much of the Palestinian population in the territories depends on fake jobs that Fatah gives out in exchange for support. Thus, while it is true that ending funding for Palestinian terror would be deeply unpopular and might boost Hamas, it would also be the end of Fatah.


We also shouldn’t accept the notion that there is any moral equivalence between anger about Western donations rewarding Palestinians who slaughter Jews, and Palestinian anger about settlements. Even if you accept the dubious argument that settlements are the real obstacle to peace — if you think that building a new house in a place Palestinians think should be free of Jews is just as bad as killing people — then all you are doing is making a case that peace between two peoples with such different moral codes is clearly impossible.


That’s why it is imperative that the West force Abbas to choose between giving up power, and giving up the gruesome terror-funding scheme. Far from obstructing the chances for peace, as some on the left claim, compelling the Palestinians to reject a culture of violence is the only hope for the resolution to the conflict. No matter where your political sympathies lie, it’s time to realize that opposing the Taylor Force Act undermines any hope for peace.                            




                             John Rossomando

                                                  IPT News, Aug. 4, 2017


Al Jazeera's support for terrorism goes far beyond on-air cheerleading. Many of its employees have actively supported al-Qaida, Hamas and other terrorist groups. Concerns over the network's consistent pro-terrorist positions prompted several Gulf States to demand that Qatar shut it down in June.


Sheikh Said Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, director of Qatar's government information office, called such demands "a condescending view [that] demonstrates contempt for the intelligence and judgment of the people of the Middle East, who overwhelmingly choose to get their news from Al Jazeera rather than from their state-run broadcasters," Al-Thani wrote in Newsweek. But a week earlier, United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash detailed Al Jazeera's connections to terrorists and terror incitement in a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Al Jazeera violates a 2005 U.N. Security Council resolution that called on member states to counter "incitement of terrorist acts motivated by extremism," Gargash charged.


The network has given a platform to terrorists like Osama bin Laden, Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal and Mohammed Deif, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah and others, Gargash wrote. "These have not simply been topical interviews of the kind that other channels might run; Jazeera has presented opportunities for terrorist groups to threaten, recruit and incite without challenge or restraint," Gargash wrote.


Al Jazeera took credit for the wave of Arab Spring revolutions in early 2011. Network host Mehdi Hasan noted in a December 2011 column that Al Jazeera gave a regional voice to the irate Tunisian protesters who ousted their dictator that they would not have otherwise had. Faisal Al-Qassem, host of Al Jazeera's show "The Opposite Direction," boasted that television, not the Internet or Facebook, was responsible for the revolutions. Al Jazeera's influence during the Arab Spring and the subsequent revolutions is a factor in the effort by Qatar's Gulf neighbors to clip its wings.


Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi used his widely viewed Al Jazeera a program to incite the masses against their dictators. "We salute the [Tunisian] people, which has taught the Arab and Islamic peoples … the following lesson: Do not despair, and do not fear the tyrants, and more feeble the than a spider-web. They quickly collapse in the face of the power of steadfast and resolute peoples," Qaradawi said in a Jan. 16, 2011 Al Jazeera broadcast. "The tyrants never listen and never heed advice, until they are toppled."


He likewise called on former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down on his program later that month. "There is no staying longer, Mubarak, I advise you (to learn) the lesson of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali," Qaradawi said referencing Tunisia's toppled dictator. A month later, Qaradawi issued a fatwa calling for the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Libya still has not recovered from the toppling of Gaddafi in 2011. Qaradawi urged the overthrow of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad after demonstrations began in Syria that March, sparking the ongoing Syrian civil war.


Even before the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera acted as a platform for violent terrorists. Qaradawi's endorsement of suicide bombings aired on Al Jazeera. The network also glorified a female Palestinian suicide bomber whose 2003 attack killed 19 people at an Arab-owned restaurant in Haifa as a "martyr." It also broadcast a 2006 speech by al-Qaida leader Abdel Majid al-Zindani at a pro-Hamas conference in Yemen, even though the United States and United Nations already had designated him as a terrorist. Proceeds from the conference benefited Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and the widow of slain Hamas leader Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rantisi also attended.


"What is our duty towards this righteous jihad-fighting people, the vanguard of this nation? What is our duty? What is our obligation? " al-Zindani asked. "The Hamas government is the Palestinian people's government today. It is the jihad-fighting, steadfast, resolute government of Palestine. "I don't have it in my pocket right now, but I am making a pledge, and as you know, I keep my promises. So I'm donating 200,000 riyals. What about you? What will you donate? Go ahead."


Al Jazeera is not just another news organization like CNN, Fox News or the BBC, Qatari intelligence whistle-blower Ali al-Dahnim told Egypt's Al-Bawaba newspaper in April. Qatar's state security bureau both finances and operates Al Jazeera, he claimed. -"By and large, its [Al Jazeera] news content comes under the sway of security officials, rendering it as a mouthpiece for Qatar's security and intelligence apparatus," Al-Dahnim said on Egyptian television. "Not to mention its free publicity to hardened terrorists such as Osama bin Laden who used to use Al Jazeera as an outlet to disseminate his terror messages to the world."


Al Jazeera English likewise pushes the Qatari government's favored narratives, such as exaggerating the global importance of its emir. Its short-lived affiliate, Al Jazeera America (AJAM), aired pro-Palestinian propaganda. During the 2014 Gaza crisis, AJAM host Wajahat Ali pushed Hamas' talking points about the territory's population density without a single reference to how the terrorist group used mosques and civilian buildings to launch rockets. "I think it is simply providing one side of a story. It doesn't rise to Soviet propaganda, but it certainly is propaganda for one side," Temple University journalism professor Christopher Harper told the Investigative Project on Terrorism in 2014….

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




On Topic Links


How Terrorists Use Foreign Aid to Fund Terror: Doug Lamborn and Elazar Stern, Washington Times, Aug. 1, 2017—On July 14, three Arab citizens of Israel entered Jerusalem’s Temple Mount armed to attack. They shot and killed two Israeli police officers — Hayil Satawi, 30, and Kamil Dhanaan, 22, members of the Israeli Druze community. The terrorists were shot and killed. Their families will receive monthly reward checks from the Palestinian Authority for the rest of their lives.

Sophisticated Australian Airplane Bombing Plot a Warning To the West: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Aug. 3, 2017—Australia's arrest Saturday of four men suspected of plotting a terrorist attack on a commercial airliner signals more than a resurgent terror threat to airplanes. Because the alleged weapon involved smuggling explosives and poison gasses in a standard kitchen utensil – a meat grinder or mincer – it demonstrates, too, the rapidly increasing sophistication of these plots and the development of new means of attack.

Amid New US Sanctions, How Much of Iran’s Nuclear Deal Relief Funds Terrorism?: Ariel Ben Solomon, JNS, Aug. 8, 2017—As the Trump administration ramps up sanctions against Iran, how much of Iran’s sanctions relief from the nuclear deal of 2015 is funding the Islamic Republic’s support for sectarian conflict and terrorism across the Middle East?

India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward: Vinay Kaura, BESA, August 8, 2017 —State visits are a good indicator of the strength of bilateral relations, in terms of the hospitality bestowed on the visiting leader and the deals reached. According to these criteria, Indian PM Narendra Modi’s June visit to the US was successful.








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





                                                  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.






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.







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.                           





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.]




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.






We Must Call Out Activists’ Antisemitic Bigotry: Abraham Cooper, Algemeiner, July 6, 2017— A good litmus test for the strength of a society is how it perceives and treats its minorities.

A New Tolerance for Anti-Semitism: Alan Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, June 9, 2017 — All over the world anti-Semites are becoming mainstreamed. It is no longer disqualifying to be outed as a Jew hater.

France: Islamic Antisemitism, French Silence: Guy Millière, Jewish Press, June 12, 2017— Paris, April 4, 2017, 4:00 am. A Malian Muslim named Kobili Traore breaks into the apartment of one of his neighbors, Sarah Halimi. He knows she is a Jew.

End the False Israeli-Palestinian Parity: Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom, July 5, 2017— Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.


On Topic Links


Top ACLU Official: Israel ‘Exploiting’ Antisemitism to ‘Encourage’ Jewish Immigration: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, July 3, 2017 

The Indelible Stain of Antisemitism: The Failed Practice of “Jew-Washing”: Andrew Pessin, Times of Israel, June 24, 2017

The Suppressed Arte Antisemitism Documentary in Historic Perspective: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2017

This 400-Year-Old Jewish Library Survived Hitler and the Inquisition: Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, June 27, 2017



WE MUST CALL OUT ACTIVISTS’ ANTISEMITIC BIGOTRY                                                                

Abraham Cooper

                                        Algemeiner, July 6, 2017


A good litmus test for the strength of a society is how it perceives and treats its minorities. In the United States, there was no more effective a proponent of equal rights for all than the late Martin Luther King, Jr. King derived his moral power from a biblical vision of peace and justice, which — in the American vernacular — meant equal rights for African-Americans and all minorities.


Today, the struggle for that elusive level playing field extends to other issues, such as immigrant rights, and especially the LGBTQ community. In recent years, gay pride parades have become a fixture in major cities in America, and around the world. These events publicly promote and celebrate the inclusion of all people — whatever their sexual orientation — and push for maximum rights and inclusion.


In Istanbul, Turkey, 100,000 people marched in the 2014 gay pride parade. In 2017, the parade was outlawed by President Erdogan, as he continues his drive to Islamicize the once predominantly secular nation. As a result, police fired at the few dozen activists who tried to defy the ban and host a gay pride parade in Turkey. In contrast, Tel Aviv hosted a huge gay pride parade a few weeks ago involving more than 200,000 people. In the Jewish state, gays serve openly in the military and are fully welcome and accepted in all aspects of society –such as the arts, business, politics and diplomacy.


In Tehran, there aren’t any gay pride parades. Gay people who dare to openly express their sexual identity in Iran often find themselves thrown off of rooftops, hung or “disappeared” into prison. And there are many other countries, including Russia and Ukraine, where gays often fear for their lives.


So LGBTQ activists have their work cut out in the pursuit of global rights, equality and acceptance. But the LGBTQ movement has not been well-served by a recent ugly incident at the Chicago Dyke March — where three Jewish women carrying the multicolored flag of the LGBTQ movement were told to leave the march because they had sewn in a Jewish Star of David. The Jewish marchers were told that the presence of this central Jewish symbol “made people unsafe,” and that the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.” Yet these progressive bigots insisted that they were not antisemitic.


But who else except an antisemite would feel threatened by the Star of David — an age-old, peaceful symbol of a faith and a people? Who else would support an ideology that denies the legitimacy of the presence of six million Jews living in a modern Jewish state? Who else but an antisemite would hold three women in Chicago collectively accountable for the alleged misdeeds (real or imagined) of other Jews who reside thousands of miles away?


Two days after the incident, organizers of the Chicago Dyke March not only refused to apologize, but doubled down on their bigotry. They justified throwing out the three Jewish participants by declaring that “Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology.” That would be news to Israelis, whose families often hail from Morocco, India, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Libya. And it would be a real shocker to Yityish Aynaw, the first black Miss Israel, and the more than 100,000 other Ethiopian Jews who have returned to the Jewish state. This white supremacist canard also comes about 75 years too late for six million European Jews. They were isolated, dehumanized and mass murdered by the Nazis’ white, Aryan, racist and genocidal regime, who apparently were unaware of the “whiteness” of their Jewish victims.


Far from being an aberration, the wholesale demonization of Israel, Zionists and Zionism that was seen at the Dyke March follows on the heels of others such as Linda Sarsour — the Palestinian-American political activist and national co-chair of the Women’s March. Sarsour, for instance, told The Nation that there is no room in the feminist movement for those who identify with Zionism. Apparently the vision of a society based on “equality for all” isn’t something that these self-appointed gatekeepers of America’s progressive social agenda believe in.


The embrace of history’s oldest hate in the name of social justice is an abomination — and it helps explain the roaring silence when gays are executed in Iran or persecuted in Arab lands. In the final analysis, such unbridled hypocrisy diminishes and degrades the cause that claims “equality for all” as its ultimate goal. What would Martin Luther King, Jr. — a great admirer of the Jewish state — say? I believe that he would issue a warning to bigots hiding beyond their progressive slogans. As he once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”






Alan Dershowitz

Gatestone Institute, June 9, 2017


All over the world anti-Semites are becoming mainstreamed. It is no longer disqualifying to be outed as a Jew hater. This is especially so if the anti-Semite uses the cover of rabid hatred for the nation state of the Jewish people. These bigots succeed in becoming accepted – even praised – not because of their anti-Semitism, but despite it. Increasingly, they are given a pass on their Jew hatred because those who support them admire or share other aspects of what they represent. This implicit tolerance of anti-Semitism— as long as it comes from someone whose other views are acceptable – represents a dangerous new trend from both the right and left.


In the United States, the Trump election has brought hard-right anti-Semitism into public view, but the bigotry of the hard-left is far more prevalent and influential on many university campuses. Those on the left, who support left wing anti-Semites, try to downplay, ignore or deny that those they support are really anti-Semites. “They are anti-Zionist” is the excuse de jure. Those on the right do essentially the same: “they are nationalists.” Neither side would accept such transparent and hollow justifications if the shoe were on the other foot. I believe that when analyzing and exposing these dangerous trends, a single standard of criticism must be directed at each.


Generally speaking, extreme right wing anti-Semitism continues to be a problem in many parts of Europe and among a relatively small group of “alt-right” Americans. But it also exists among those who self-identify as run-of-the-mill conservatives.


Consider, for example, former presidential candidate and Reagan staffer, Pat Buchanan. The list of Buchanan’s anti-Jewish bigotry is exhaustive. Over the years he has consistently blamed Jews for wide-ranging societal and political problems. In his criticism of the Iraq War, for example, Buchanan infamously quipped: “There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East – the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.” He then singled out for rebuke only Jewish political figures and commentators such as Henry Kissinger, Charles Krauthammer and A.M. Rosenthal. He did not mention any of the vocal non-Jewish supporters of the war. Furthermore, Buchanan also said that “the Israeli lobby” would be responsible if President Obama decided to strike Iran, threatening that if it were to happen, “Netanyahu and his amen corner in Congress” would face “backlash worldwide.” Buchanan’s sordid flirtation with Nazi revisionism is also well documented.


Meanwhile, on university campuses the absurd concept of “intersectionality” – which in many cases has become a code word for anti-Semitism – is dominating discussions and actions by the hard left. The warm embrace of Palestinian American activist, Linda Sarsour – who recently delivered the commencement address at a City University of New York graduation – is a case in point. Since co-organizing the Women’s March on Washington in January, Sarsour has become a feminist icon for so called “progressives.” This is the same Linda Sarsour who has said that feminism and Zionism are incompatible, stating: “You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. There’s just no way around it.” And when speaking about two leading female anti-Islamists, Brigitte Gabriel and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who is a victim of female genital mutilation) the feminist de jure, Linda Sarsour, said: “I wish I could take away their vaginas.”


The irony is palpable. Under her own all or nothing criteria, Sarsour – who is also a staunch BDS supporter—cannot be pro-Palestinian and a feminist because the Palestinian Authority and Hamas subjugate women and treat gays far worse than Israel does. Indeed, Sarsour has emerged as a champion of the hard-left. Both New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Bernie Sanders have sought her endorsement. Moreover, Deputy DNC Chair, Keith Ellison – who himself has a sordid history with anti-Semitism stemming from his association with Louis Farrakhan who publicly boasted about his own Jew hatred– has come out in support of the bigoted Sarsour. When it comes to Ellison an old idiom comes to mind: a man is known by the company he keeps…


Increasingly, anti-Semitic discourse is also seeping into the arts and academia. Consider the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bigotry of former Pink Floyd front man, Roger Waters. A staunch supporter of the so-called BDS movement, Waters has said about the Palestinians that “parallels with what went on in the 30’s in Germany are so crushingly obvious.” He also had a pig shape balloon with a Star of David on it at one of his concerts. And when asked about his aggressive effort to recruit people to join the BDS, Waters blamed “the Jewish lobby” which he explained is “extraordinarily powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry.” In 2013 the ADL declared that “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” had “seeped into the totality” of Waters’ views.


Likewise, the market place of ideas on college campuses and within academic institutions has seen an embrace of anti-Semitism often disguised as anti-Zionism. Several years ago I identified the dangerous trend of academics crossing a red line between acceptable criticism of Israel and legitimizing Jew-hatred. This was in light of the disgraceful endorsement by a number of prominent academics of an anti-Semitic book written by Gilad Arzmon – a notorious Jew-hater who denies the Holocaust and attributed widespread economic troubles to a “Zio-punch.”…

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





Guy Millière

Jewish Press, June 12, 2017


Paris, April 4, 2017, 4:00 am. A Malian Muslim named Kobili Traore breaks into the apartment of one of his neighbors, Sarah Halimi. He knows she is a Jew. In the past, He has repeatedly uttered anti-Semitic insults at her. Halimi and her family had filed complaints and asked the police to intervene. Each time, the police respond that Traore has not committed a criminal act, and that they did not want to be accused of anti-Muslim prejudice.


That day, Traore decides to go from words to deeds. He beats Halimi violently. He tortures her. She screams. Neighbors call the police. This time the police do something — but not enough. When they arrive at Halimi’s door, they hear Traore shouting Allahu Akbar, and shaytan (“demon”). In a jarring breach of duty, they decide to run away. They walk out of the building and call for reinforcements. The reinforcements arrive more than an hour later, at 5:30 am. It is too late. Halimi had been thrown out the window by Traore a few minutes earlier. She is dead. Her body lies on the sidewalk three floors below. It is clearly an anti-Semitic murder committed by a Muslim who invoked the name of Allah.


Traore is arrested and says that the Quran commanded him to kill, but he is not thrown in jail. Instead, he is sent to a psychiatric hospital. He is still there. Almost no one in the French media talks about what happened; they still have not. The few journalists who broke the wall of silence described the killing as a “random crime” committed by a “madman”. None of them says that the murderer is a Muslim who invoked the name of Allah and that his victim was a Jew. Three days later, a rally is organized by Jewish leaders at the scene of the crime. Only Jews come. They are greeted by insults similar to those made against Halimi before her slaying. Bottles and metal objects are thrown at them from nearby buildings.


Members of Halimi’s family ask the authorities for an explanation, and demand to see the psychiatric report established at the time of Traore’s internment. They receive no reply. Joel Mergui, President of the Consistory, the institution charge of the Jewish religion in France, presses charges. Halimi’s sister places the case in the hands of a famous lawyer, Gilles-William Goldnadel, president of France-Israel. In an op-ed published in Le Figaro, Goldnadel emphasizes that “the killer has the classic profile of the usual Islamic criminal”. He adds that Traore “had no psychiatric history”. He notes that the murder occurred shortly before the French presidential election, and any mention of an antisemitic Islamic murder at that time would probably not have served the interests of Emmanuel Macron, the candidate supported by the Muslim Brotherhood in France. Goldnadel points out that a “political choice” was made by the French authorities. Now that Emmanuel Macron is president, the political choice seems to remains the same.


The murder of Sarah Halimi is not the first anti-Semitic murder Islamic committed in France in recent years. Twelve years ago, Ilan Halimi was abducted, tortured for three weeks, then savagely murdered by a gang led by an Ivorian Muslim, Youssouf Fofana. In March 2012, Mohamed Merah, a French jihadist who trained in Afghanistan, shot dead Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his two sons, Aryeh, 6, and Gabriel, 3, and Miriam Monsonego, 8, in a Jewish school courtyard in Toulouse. In January 2015, in a kosher supermarket east of Paris, Amedy Coulibaly, a man who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic state, murdered four men: Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, and François-Michel Saada.


Each time, the anti-Semitic and Islamic character of the murders was almost completely erased by the French media. Ilan Halimi’s murderers have been described as “teenagers adrift“, looking for easy money. Mohamed Merah was originally depicted as a young man frustrated at not being able to join the French army. Amedy Coulibaly was presented as a petty criminal who slipped abruptly towards “radicalization”.


The French authorities declare that they mercilessly fight anti-Semitism, but the only anti-Semitism they seem to fight or even denounce is the one emanating from the far-right. During the French presidential election campaign, the Front National and Marine Le Pen were obsessively presented as an absolute danger for French Jews and used as straw-men. Marine Le Pen is not beyond reproach, but she was the only candidate who dared to connect the dots and say that anti-Semitism is rising sharply among French Muslims and leads to murder. Evidence shows that far-right anti-Semitism in France is dying. The files of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) document that all of the anti-Semitic attacks committed in France for more than two decades came from Muslims and Islamists. The French authorities know this, but choose to hide it and look in another direction.


None of the French organizations supposedly combatting anti-Semitism talks about Muslim anti-Semitism: therefore, none of them combats it. Talking about Muslim anti-Semitism on French territory can lead one to criminal court. This is what happened recently to intellectuals such as Georges Bensoussan and Pascal Bruckner, among others. The Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) tracks all “Islamically incorrect” statements, asks for penalties and is often successful at getting them. Even organizations that pretend to fight anti-Semitism sometimes join the CCIF in fighting someone who points out Muslim anti-Semitism…

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





Daniel Pipes

Israel Hayom, July 5, 2017


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment. The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords' signing in September 1993, when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, representing his government, shook hands with Yasser Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on the White House lawn. No one found that strange or inappropriate then, but things look different nearly a quarter-century later.


As the elected head of a democratic and sovereign government, Rabin never should have consented to Arafat, the henchman of an unofficial, dictatorial, murderous organization, being given equal status with himself. Rather, he should have stayed aloof. Appearing together created a dysfunctional illusion of equivalence that over subsequent decades has became assumed, ingrained and unquestioned. This false equivalence has became even more inaccurate with time, as Israel has gone from one success to another and the Palestinian Authority has brought on a reign of ever-deeper anarchy, dependency, and repression.


It's not just that Israel stands among the world leaders in science, technology, the humanities, the arts, military power and intelligence capabilities, not just that its economy is 25 times larger than the Palestinian one; Israel is a land where the rule of law applies to all (at one point until recently, a former president and a former prime minister were simultaneously sitting in prison) and individual rights are not just promised but delivered. Meanwhile, the head of the Palestinian Authority, presently in the 12th year of his four-year term, has been unable to prevent both creeping anarchy in the West Bank and a rogue group from taking over in Gaza, half of his putative domain.


Some would defend Rabin's self-imposed humiliation by arguing that he sought to strengthen Arafat and the PLO through pomp and pageantry. If this was indeed the plan, it backfired spectacularly. Rather than use the prestige of the Oslo signing ceremony to build a constituency that accepts the Jewish state and end the Palestinians' conflict with it, Arafat exploited his heightened standing to develop new resources to reject Zionism and attack Israel. Palestinian embassies popped up worldwide to delegitimize Israel, and Palestinians killed more Israelis in the five years after the Oslo signing than in the 15 years before it. In other words, Rabin recklessly put faith in a historic and barbaric enemy changing not just tactics but goals. Israel has paid a heavy price for this error.


Rather than the prime minister, the Israeli standing with Arafat on the White House lawn should have been a mere second secretary from the Israeli Embassy in Norway. That would have delivered the necessary signal about Arafat's place in the diplomatic hierarchy. To be sure, that would have meant no Nobel Peace Prize for Rabin, but in retrospect, would it not have been better to skip celebrating so exuberantly a flawed, doomed, and destructive agreement? For good measure, the signing ceremony should have taken place in modest Oslo, not grand Washington, the hometown of the world's only superpower.


Had this precedent been set in 1993, today's false parity between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would not exist and the true imbalance of the Palestinian-Israeli relationship might be more clearly seen. If low-level diplomats, not prime ministers, negotiate with Abbas and the assorted other villains and self-styled Palestinian leaders, the world would be constantly reminded not of a sham parallel but of the vast moral and power gulf dividing the two sides.


Is it too late? Can Netanyahu or a future Israeli prime minister escape the indignity of having to meet as equals with the leader of a gangster enterprise? No, it's not too late. Netanyahu could eloquently explain that he will meet his legitimate counterparts, but he will leave it to functionaries in the Foreign Ministry to handle whoever the Palestinian Authority throws up. Imagine the benefits of such a step: Israel would gain in stature while the fetid nature of the PA would be exposed. American presidents would lose interest in the "ultimate deal." Other assorted would-be mediators and do-gooders would have a much harder time trying to revive a quarter-century of botched negotiations. I suggest Israeli prime ministers leave "peace-processing" with Palestinian hooligans to low-ranking staff.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!




On Topic Links


Top ACLU Official: Israel ‘Exploiting’ Antisemitism to ‘Encourage’ Jewish Immigration: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, July 3, 2017 —A high-level official at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has accused the Israeli government of exploiting antisemitism so as to secure greater Jewish immigration to Israel – leading one senior Jewish human rights advocate to counter that the veteran civil rights organization is actively compromising the fight against anti-Jewish prejudice.

The Indelible Stain of Antisemitism: The Failed Practice of “Jew-Washing”: Andrew Pessin, Times of Israel, June 24, 2017 —Among the many difficulties confronting Jews who are comfortable calling themselves Zionists is the phenomenon of “Jew-washing.”

The Suppressed Arte Antisemitism Documentary in Historic Perspective: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2017— The initial suppression by the public and EU-subsidized French-German Arte TV station of a documentary about European antisemitism fits well into a lengthy history of hiding information about Jew-hatred and its perpetrators in Europe.

This 400-Year-Old Jewish Library Survived Hitler and the Inquisition: Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA, June 27, 2017—Livraria Ets Haim is the world’s oldest functioning Jewish library. As such, it is no stranger to the prospect of imminent destruction. Founded in 1616 by Jews who fled Catholic persecution in Spain and Portugal, the three-room library is adjacent to Amsterdam’s majestic Portuguese Synagogue in the Dutch capital’s center.