Sunday, March 17, 2019

'Israel will destroy you and we won't do a thing to stop it'

Egyptian officials assail Hamas leaders in Gaza on Thursday night after missiles are fired at Tel Aviv during their meeting • "Even if the Israelis decide to dismantle your rule in Gaza by assassinating each and every one of you" we won't "lift a finger."

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Thursday, minutes after sirens blared across central Israel and a loud boom overhead shook the area, senior Egyptian intelligence officers became outraged during a meeting with Hamas officials in Gaza.

"Just so you know," they leveled at Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh, "if Israel decides to launch a comprehensive military operation in Gaza we won't do a thing to stop it, even if it decides to simultaneously topple Hamas and conquer the Gaza Strip."

The dramatic exchange was relayed to Israel Hayom by a senior Egyptian official who attended the meeting.

"The atmosphere at the start of the meeting was very relaxed and cordial," the Egyptian official said. "A short while before the meeting we had returned from Israel with answers. We believed Hamas would accept them and facilitate a more stable and long-term cease-fire. A few minutes later an assistant to the Egyptian delegation entered the [meeting] room with a worried look on his face and handed the Egyptian delegation leaders his cell phone.

"The smiles were immediately replaced with grim faces; the delegation heads turned to Sinwar livid and told him: 'How far do you think you will get with this double game of yours? We are sitting here to hammer out the details of a cease-fire with Israel and behind our backs, you are authorizing your people to fire missiles at Tel Aviv?'"

The tones grew even tenser, the Egyptian official continued.

"If Israel decides to launch a comprehensive military operation in Gaza, this time we won't do a thing to stop the Israeli attack, even if the Israelis decide to dismantle your rule in Gaza by assassinating each and every one of you. While [Israel] is retaking Gaza, Egypt and its allies in the region won't lift a finger to stop the Israeli response."
According to the Egyptian official, Haniyeh and Sinwar were no less surprised than the Egyptians upon hearing about the missile launch at central Israel.

"Hamas is not behind the launch," Sinwar reportedly told his Egyptian guests, adding that his organization would conduct a thorough investigation to find those responsible. Sinwar asked the Egyptian officials to contact Israeli leaders and inform them that no order had been given to fire rockets at Israel, and certainly not Tel Aviv.
The Egyptian intelligence officials were unconvinced and continued to assail Sinwar. "You are lying! The blood of Gazans who will be hurt in the Israeli response is on your hands! By your own hands you will bring about the destruction of Gaza and the fall of your regime, and you've also gambled with our own safety in Gaza by shooting at Tel Aviv while we are here!"

Sinwar responded to the allegations, glumly telling his guests: "I won't ask you to risk your lives by staying in Gaza, but before you leave we ask that you contact your Israeli counterparts and stress to them that the missile launch was not intentional and certainly wasn't planned, and that Hamas isn't seeking an escalation but to wrap up the remaining loose ends on the cease-fire understandings."

The Egyptian official added: "A short while after we left the Strip, Sinwar contacted the delegation heads and told them that Hamas operatives carrying out maintenance duties near the launch batteries placed in western Gaza, in preparation for a future clash with Israel, apparently fired the missiles mistakenly. According to Sinwar, Hamas detained one operative and promised to detain others and bring them to justice."

Hamas also acquiesced to the Egyptian demand that it cancel Friday's "March of Return" border demonstrations, which it conducts weekly, and that its so-called "March of a Million," planned for late March, either refrains from violence or is also canceled altogether.

Friday, March 15, 2019


by Barbara Sofer  March 14, 2019 

What are those starry-eyed religious newlyweds doing on the stage of the 2019 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit – Israel’s largest hi-tech gathering? Isn’t technology about cybersecurity, digital FinTech, cloud mobility?
The truth is that both Adir and Liat Grainer Siman Tov from Hod Hasharon might have attended the summit anyway. With 18,000 potential investors and investees from 187 countries at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, the summit is attractive for young Israelis who, like Adir and Liat, served in the IDF computer world and are now employed in technology.

But on stage they are demonstrating one of the achievements of Israel’s industry: a stand-up wheelchair by a Yokne’am-Illit-based company called UpnRide. Six-and-a-half years ago, then-IDF soldier Adir was paralyzed from the chest down. Confined to a wheelchair, his dream was to stand – not sit – under the wedding canopy.
Israeli ingenuity came to the rescue. UpnRide, a robotic standing wheelchair, was designed by Amit Goffer, a mechanical engineer who also became paralyzed in an accident. He first designed ReWalk, the exoskeleton which has helped paraplegics walk. UpnRide, which works for quadriplegics, takes mobility much further.
UpnRide isn’t at the summit merely to showcase its success. It is looking for the right investors to increase the company’s forward mobility, too.
No one can question the good of UpnRide. The advantages of a standing wheelchair seem obvious – letting quadriplegics see the world at eye level, and with a single push of a button change their world by allowing them to stand and sit at will. The robotic device is able to navigate on indoor and outdoor surfaces without tipping.
Which brings us back to our beautiful young couple. Adir and Liat Siman Tov.
They met on a dating app, not surprising for two techie young people. Adir was already paralyzed. They dated for seven months, but Liat says she knew he was “the one” from their first date. She was looking for someone who was smart, interesting and religious. She wanted to be able to laugh with her husband and to feel “she was home” when they were together. “When he proposed, I said yes right away. I love him. He’s extraordinary,” she said. She was 26 and he was 27.
She knew he very much wanted to stand at the wedding; but every time she asked him how he was going to accomplish this, he changed the topic – even on the phone the day before the wedding.
He didn’t tell her that 40 days before the wedding he wrote to UpnRide and told them of his dream. They invited him to the company to see the product.
Liat was sitting in the bride’s chair, accepting blessings and praying. Around her, friends were singing quietly when she saw a group approaching her. “I looked for Adir and saw him standing taller than anyone else. My heart was beating so hard I could hardly breathe. His face is always glowing, but it was glowing more,” she said.
“My heart was beating fast, too,” Adir says.
He approached Liat, and they exchanged knowing, loving glances as he lifted the veil, and the wedding went forward.

“I could do it from above, looking down at my lovely bride, as I dreamed,” said Adir. “I couldn’t contain my happiness.”

That’s impact.

Monday, March 11, 2019

UNHRC Bashes Israel Yet Again

The UN's 47-nation Human Rights Council is planning to launch an unprecedented assault against Israel on March 18th, when the Jewish state will be singled out for an entire day—a pariah treatment meted out to no other nation—as the council presents seven separate reports alleging Israeli war crimes. 
The March 18th assault will culminate in five biased resolutions condemning Israel, the drafts of which have been obtained by UN Watch. Iran, North Korea and Syria will get only one resolution each, while there will be none on Turkey, Zimbabwe, China, Pakistan and other oppressive regimes. 
An early version of one of the reports was released at a surprise press conference on Thursday, when the UNHRC's commission of inquiry into Israel's "assault" on "civilian protests" on the Gaza border accused Israel of "crimes against humanity."
Meanwhile, the office of UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet launched a social media blitzkrieg against Israel to support the inquiry's war crimes allegations, calling into question the commissioners' independence from the notoriouly anti-Israeli Geneva-based staffers, who in 2009 orchestrated the infamous Goldstone Report.
Significantly, the new Gaza inquiry's report calls on countries around the world to "arrest persons alleged to have committed the international crimes" — in other words, Israeli soldiers and commanders — and to subject them to "individual sanctions" including "a travel ban or an assets freeze." 
The report further calls for the UN rights chief to "manage the dossiers on the alleged [Israeli] perpetrators," to be provided to national and international tribunals, "including the International Criminal Court."
IDF soldiers “intentionally shot children, they intentionally shot people with disabilities, they intentionally shot journalists,” said commissioner Sara Hossain of Bangladesh.
UN Watch, which submitted a series of detailed submissions of fact and law to the inquiry, expressed grave disappointment that these were entirely ignored by the UN, and released its initial response to the report, which gives a free pass to Hamas terrorists.

Why Do the ‘Greens’ Hate Israel?

by Joshua S. Block   March 7, 2019
The day of March 30, 2018, marked the beginning of violent Hamas-orchestrated riots along the Israeli-Gaza border. Many thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and beautiful wildlife reserves have been destroyed because of a willful assault on nature, carried out by incendiary airborne devices launched by Palestinian terrorist organizations.

The shameful weaponization of nature is a major concern to the global green movement that advocates a progressive, socially democratic left-wing agenda informed by ecological wisdom and environmental protection.
Or, you would think so.

But while Israel’s farmlands were devoured by flames and defenseless animals suffocated in raging fires, representatives of the American Green Party traveled in November to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to deliver a letter calling for a full investigation into alleged “war crimes” committed by Israel against the Palestinians.

The letter claims that Palestinian rioters “have defended themselves mostly with rocks, burning kites, balloons and tires, homemade rockets and starkly tragic human suicide bombers” in the face of “the heavily blockaded Gaza border.”

Nowhere in the letter was the Green Party calling for an end to the Palestinian war on nature, even though the deliberate stockpiling and burning of thousands of tires on the border fence caused serious environmental damage and jeopardized the health of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.

Neither were they calling for an immediate stop to animal cruelty, even though Hamas used animals to set the fires – and with barrages of incendiary kites and balloons, caused an unprecedented destruction of their natural habitats, as well as the animals themselves.

In a world that faces continuing environmental and ecological catastrophes in the form of mass pollution, climate change, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, it is indeed absurd that the US Green Party has chosen to make the stigmatization of Israel as a priority.

Lending extra absurdity to the stigmatization policy is the fact that Israel excels in many areas championed by the international green movement – from the protection of natural resources to cutting-edge solutions for water shortages, reduced pollution and sustainable energy conservation. Then why is the Green Party so obsessed with Israel?

The Green Party promotes “the creation of one secular, democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan” – a thinly veiled call to end Israel as a Jewish state, which echoes the rallying cry of Palestinian terrorist organizations: “From river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

But that’s not enough. The Green Party also supports the virulently anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that is aimed at ending Israel’s very existence. In the name of its so-called “social justice” and “identity politics,”

Cloaked in the language of progressive idealism, far-Left antisemitism has been mainstreamed by traditional left-wing actors. That’s why this form of antisemitism is so dangerous. The Labour Party in Britain is one example. The Green Party in the US – which is prepared to endorse a form of discrimination that other democratic parties have made clear is completely unacceptable – is another.

There’s nothing “green” about the ghettoization of Israel.

Monday, February 25, 2019


Guest posting from Grandma's Army

 And to round up my trio on Latrun, Charles Smith, who joined the Senior Residence complex where I live, together with his wife Shirley, sent me the following  short story. One of many among his reminiscences from their 37 years on a moshav (agricultural settlement) overlooking Latrun.

“In 1978, after 3 years in Rehovot, our family moved to Moshav Bin Nun, an agricultural village in the beautiful area overlooking the Valley of Ayalon (where Joshua Bin Nun fought and subdued the locals a few thousand years ago), and the Latrun Monastery. Attached is a picture of the view from our farm and another of our vineyard which is relevant to the story below.

At that time, whenever any Israeli – from my barber to taxi drivers - heard that we were going to move to that spot, he/she immediately trotted out the quotation from the Bible in Hebrew:

The Sun stood still at Givon and the Moon in the Valley of Ayalon” - Joshua  [10:12].

This was, of course, in order to allow Joshua to finish off his adversaries even ‘tho it was getting dark.

We set up and farmed wine grapes on our 10 dunam plot some 2½ km. over the hills from the moshav houses, at the foot of Tel Gezer. In winter the old Roman road on which we accessed the vineyard was sometimes muddy and a little uncertain, especially as dark closed in. This happened frequently since work in the vineyard could only be carried out before and after the full day’s work in our professions.

One cloudy evening after a late night’s work session on the vines, I headed back to the car parked at the edge of our plot, with some trepidation, in anticipation of the drive back home across the muddy dirt roads. Although there was a bright full moon, heavy clouds were moving across, hiding it from time to time, leaving the area in almost total darkness.

On arriving at the car I was horrified to see that I had a puncture. Jacking the car up in order to change the wheel was going to be very precarious, since the jack could slip or sink into the uncertain damp soil at any moment. It was already virtually dark, and it would be impossible to reset the jack under those conditions if it should sink when the punctured wheel was removed - and before I could place the new wheel onto the car’s screws which support it.

Well, having no alternative, I got everything ready, jacked up the car and in the dark, mainly by feel, removed the nuts which hold the wheel onto the car’s screws.  Taking a deep breath, I was about to remove the wheel when, miraculously, at exactly the right instant, the clouds cleared and everything was lit up by a full moon. I quickly removed the wheel, fitted the new one and closed the screws, saved by:                                        
‘The Sun stood still at Givon and the Moon in the Valley of Ayalon’.

Needless to say I was very moved by the well-known Bible quote at that moment.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

How The BBC Proliferates Antisemitism In The UK

Hadar SELA   FEB 10, 2019 

 In a recent conversation about antisemitism in Britain, an Israeli journalist commented, “Of course you won’t see antisemitism in the British media.” That assumption – however logical it may seem – is, sadly, not correct. 

While the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism has been adopted by the British government and many other countries, the world’s biggest and most influential media organization, the BBC, still does not work according to that – or any other – accepted definition.

Viewers of BBC coverage of events following the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher supermarker terrorist attacks in Paris in saw an interview with a French-Israeli woman who expressed concern about Jews being targeted in France.

The BBC journalist promptly retorted, “Many critics, though, of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.”

Accepted definitions of antisemitism include “holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.” However, the BBC rejected the many complaints subsequently submitted, taking it upon itself to define what is and what is not antisemitism.

The BBC repeatedly fails to properly identify antisemitism in British politics, and has facilitated the amplification of antisemitic tropes such as “the Jewish lobby.” When the BBC has decided to explain antisemitism to its audiences it has more often than not promoted the Livingstone Formulation (the accusation that a person raising the issue of antisemitism is doing so in bad faith and dishonestly), stating, “Others say the Israeli government and its supporters are deliberately confusing anti-Zionism with antisemitism to avoid criticism.”

The Community Security Trust’s report on antisemitic incidents in the UK during the first half of 2018 includes a photograph showing antisemitic graffiti reading “Jews kill children,” found in the town of Leicester in May 2018. Why would such graffiti, with all of its medieval overtones, appear in 21st-century Britain? In late 2012, the BBC vigorously promoted a story claiming that the infant son of one of its own employees in the Gaza Strip had been killed in an Israeli airstrike. Four months later, a report issued by the UN stated its investigation found that the child’s death had, in fact, been caused by “a Palestinian rocket that fell short.” However, the damage caused by the BBC’s widespread promotion of an unverified story had already been done, and the following year, anti-Israel demonstrators were seen in London carrying placards bearing an image from that story with the slogan “65 years of murder.”

In 2017, the BBC’s Yolande Knell promoted a story about a baby born in the Gaza Strip who died of congenital heart disease, and claimed that Israel had not given him a permit to exit the territory.

Yet, Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said no such request had even been received from the Palestinian Authority. A similarly unverified and anonymous story was recently aired on one of the BBC’s domestic TV channels.

Last May, the BBC produced several reports claiming that a baby named Leila al Ghandour had died in the Gaza Strip after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli forces. Although Hamas subsequently removed her name from its casualty list – and despite BBC Watch corresponding with the BBC since June 2018 on the issue – the claim that Israel was responsible for her death still appears on the BBC News website.

When Britain’s most influential and trusted broadcaster promotes unverified stories about the deaths of children in the Gaza Strip again and again, is it really any wonder such antisemitic graffiti appears on a Leicester street? 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Amnesty International has lost its moral way

Alex Ryvchin 31 January 2019

Amnesty International has unveiled a new campaign to pressure digital tourism companies such as, Expedia, Airbnb and TripAdvisor to delist properties held by Israelis living in the West Bank, and calling on governments to pass legislation that would result in the total boycott of those living in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria .

It is just the latest attack in a long war waged by Amnesty and other once-respectable human rights organisations intent on turning public opinion against Israel and bringing about its economic and political isolation.
The origins of this lie in an infamous non-governmental organisations forum of the UN World Conference against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, in September 2001. The conference lives long in the memory for the appalling racism that marred an event convened for the very purpose of combating such conduct. Posters displayed Jewish caricatures and Nazi icons, and participants circulated copies of the anti-Semitic fabrication, Protocols of the Elders of Zion. US congressman Tom Lantos called it “the most sickening display of hate for Jews since the Nazi period”. The UN’s human rights commissioner, Mary Robinson, told the BBC “there was a horrible anti-Semitism present”.
In 2002, following an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin in response to the Passover massacre in Netanya, in which a Palestinian suicide bomber murdered 30 civilians during a celebratory feast, Amnesty accused Israel of carrying out war crimes and massacres of Palestinian civilians. The allegations, promptly reported by the BBC and other news outlets, placed the Palestinian civilian death toll at more than 500. But 52 Palestinians died, the majority of them combatants, along with 23 Israeli soldiers, in fierce urban combat.
False allegations of a massacre made by Amnesty lubricated the machinery of the political campaign against Israel, leading to street protests, campus hearings, reams of condemnations and anti-Israel resolutions across civil society and government.
In 2015, Amnesty was forced into a humiliating admission that it had lobbied the Australian government to accept murderous Lindt Cafe terrorist Man Haron Monis as a genuine refugee.
Last April, Amnesty’s secretary-general called Israel’s democratically elected government “rogue”. In 2010, the head of its Finnish branch called Israel a “scum state”. Its British campaign manager has likened Israel to Islamic State and been condemned for his attacks on Jewish parliamentarians.
Perhaps as revealing as Amnesty’s fixation on Jews living on the “wrong” side of a long-defunct armistice line has been its relative silence on the disturbing trend of rising anti-Semitism. In April 2015, Amnesty UK rejected an initiative to “campaign against anti-semitism in the UK”, as well as “lobby the UK government to tackle the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain” and “monitor anti-Semitism closely”. It was the only proposed resolution at the annual general meeting that was not adopted.
The skewed morality revealed by Amnesty’s obsession with Israel reflects a broader decline in the non-governmental sector. Whereas groups such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch once led the struggle against Soviet tyranny and actively defended the rights of political prisoners, today they serve an increasingly narrow political agenda, one aligned with anti-Western, anti-capitalist forces. Amnesty’s apparent contempt for Israel, its ho-hum attitude to anti-Semitism, and its inordinate condemnations of democracies all stem from this malaise.
Of course, the settlements are a point of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Indeed, the parties identified settlements as a final status issue in the historic Oslo Accords signed between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel in 1993. It was agreed that the questions of which settlements will be annexed to Israel and which will be dismantled or transferred to Palestinian sovereignty are to be resolved in direct negotiations in the context of a final peace agreement. But the pursuit of peace is not aided by Amnesty’s political manoeuvres and attempts to isolate Israel, which perpetuate conflict by other means.