Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Palestinian Bandwagon

by Jpost Editorial   Aug 28, 2018

Israel’s legendary foreign minister Abba Eban is often quoted as having said that: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” and “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” This week, yet again, some Israeli Arab MKs joined Palestinian leaders in choosing lawfare over the chance for progress.

The revelation by Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, that members of the Joint Arab List would be joining the Palestinian Authority in a petition to the UN against the recently passed Nation-State Basic Law managed to do something rare in this country’s fractured political environment – unite MKs from Left, Center and Right in condemnation.
The Hadashot News site reported that the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, is trying to advance a resolution next month that likens the legislation to apartheid.

In a message to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Danon said: “In the last two years, we have witnessed strong collaboration between the Arab MKs and the Palestinian delegation to the UN in actions whose sole aim is incitement and defaming Israel and the IDF in UN platforms.”

Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chairman MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) asked the House Committee to amend the regulations so that more severe penalties could be imposed on parliamentarians who act against Israel in the international arena.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) is quoted as describing the Arab MKs’ behavior as “treason” and called for their diplomatic passports to be revoked.

Opposition leader and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union), who vehemently condemned the law when it passed last month, nonetheless on Monday in a meeting with ambassadors from nearly a dozen countries, strongly criticized the Joint Arab List MKs. According to Hadashot News, Livni urged the ambassadors not to interfere in Israel’s internal affairs and not to “fall into the trap” set by the members of the Joint Arab List. 
Livni reportedly told the ambassadors that the Israeli Arab MKs and the Palestinian Authority “do not accept the principle that Israel is the state of the Jewish people,” adding, “It is impossible with the same breath to demand two states for two peoples and at the same time not accept that Israel is the state of the Jewish people.”

Joint List MK Aida Twouma-Sliman, who met UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo in New York last week, insists that the Nation-State Law “is an apartheid law.” However, both she and MK Ahmad Tibi, a former adviser to Yasser Arafat, denied they were involved in a move against the legislation in the UN together with the Palestinians.

The apartheid canard is particularly absurd coming from Israel Arab parliamentarians such as Twouma-Sliman – a feminist activist and former journalist who chairs a Knesset committee – and Tibi, a physician, who is a former Knesset deputy speaker.

The latest controversy follows on the heels of the demonstration in Tel Aviv on August 11 against the Nation-State Law organized by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, where Palestinian flags were raised and slogans of “With blood and spirit we will redeem Palestine,” were heard.

Such conduct strengthens the position of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there was a need for the Nation-State Law. Rather than helping their own community, the Arab leaders are harming it. And by joining the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic war on Israel, they are distancing the chances of peace.

As Edelstein put it, those MKs who cooperate with the PA against Israel “should ask themselves whether their rightful place is in the Palestinian or Israeli parliament.”

Arab citizens deserve better leadership representing them in the Knesset. They should have MKs who are concerned with promoting their rights and needs rather than devoting their time and efforts, at the Israeli taxpayers’ expense, to the Palestinian cause – which still does not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

When Palestinian Blood Isn’t Equal

A recently published report by the Action Group for Palestinians in Syria (AGPS), a human rights group, documented 3,840 cases of Palestinians who have been killed since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011 – nearly four times as many as those killed during the six years of the first intifada (December 1987-September 1993). The causes of death ranged from artillery shelling to shootings to torture in the regime’s infamous prisons across the country.

In addition to this report, the Syrian regime released for the first time a list of names that included 548 killed Palestinians. While the regime’s report did not note their causes of death, rights groups agree that those Palestinians died as a result of being tortured, starved, and deprived of adequate medical treatment.

The AGPS also said that 1,682 Palestinians are still missing, their fates unknown. According to some assessments, these Palestinians were either killed at some time during the bloody civil war or – “in the best case” – are still in prison. Therefore, at least 5,522 Palestinians have either been killed or have gone missing since 2011.

Along with those killed or missing, tens of thousands of Palestinians in Syria have lost their homes and employment. The Yarmouk refugee camp, which was home to tens of thousands, was utterly demolished over the course of the war. Before the camp was destroyed, the Assad regime laid siege to it.

Despite these horrors, not one official in the Palestinian Authority publicly condemned the Assad regime.

This is incredible. Where is the outcry from the PA, Arab and global news outlets, rights groups, Palestinian and Arab politicians? Where is their denunciation of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s war crimes against the Palestinians? Why isn’t every single Arab lawmaker in Israel excoriating the Syrian dictator?

When a Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorist from Gaza is killed by IDF soldiers while trying to plant a roadside bomb or trying to breach the border fence, the Arab and Western worlds are apoplectic. The Arab League issues its familiar condemnation; the consistently hostile Kuwait denounces Israel at the UN and tries to convene the Security Council; Mahmoud Abbas requests international protection for the Palestinians; and all these reactions are covered round the clock by the Arab and Western press.

When Palestinians are killed by other Arabs, evidently no one cares – not in the Arab world, and not even among the Palestinians themselves, whether in the PA or Hamas. Everyone is silent. Palestinian blood in the West Bank and Gaza is far more valuable than Palestinian blood in other parts of the globe.

Palestinians who are killed by IDF fire can be used as a tool, whether by Arab countries or the Western world, to undermine and weaken Israel. Human rights groups in the West and in Israel to invest most of their energies and attention to the Palestinian issue in Israel. The equation is plain to see: When Israel or the Jews can’t be blamed for killing Arabs, it’s not interesting.

Throughout the war in Syria, Abbas’s silence on the plight of the Palestinians there has been deafening. He has never repudiated Assad or Iran for killing Palestinians.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

A Truce or not a Truce?

This posting comes from Arlene Kushner , see full article online. Will there be a truce or not, read on?

Last week we learned that Egyptian General Intelligence chief Abbas Kamel had come into Israel. We had already been hearing reports that some sort of Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal (more official than “quiet for quiet”) was close to being realized. Kamel would not have come “to advance the negotiations” in meetings with Israeli leaders unless they were expected to yield results.

This was not good news for those of us adamantly opposed to such a deal. This is for several reasons, starting with the fact that it continues to allow Hamas to be in control and that it actually rewards Hamas for terrorism.

Hamas is speaking of a “prisoner exchange” as part of a deal. They are adamant that they must secure the release of terrorists let out during the Shalit deal and then re-arrested.

This is not acceptable. But then, there is a good deal about the potential agreement that is not acceptable.

Were this a rational situation we might have expected that – with a deal that would have offered them a number of benefits possibly in the offing – Hamas would have kept the situation at the Gaza fence quiet. But this is a situation awash in contradictions and so we had “business as usual” at the fence on Friday: many thousands (according to one report, as many as 20,000, but certainly 5-10,000) gathered to riot, with tires burned, firebombs hurled, and attempts to break through the fence. And yes, incendiary balloons launched, as well. The whole violent shebang.

Lest there be any doubt about whether Hamas instigated this, there were reports of Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar out there at the fence, buoying people on and checking on the situation.

As I believe I mentioned previously, Hamas has indicated that a “ceasefire” would, in their understanding, apply only to launching of rockets, and not to the border violence at all. They refer to this violence as a “popular uprising,” which obviously it is not.

And how has Israel responded? Apparently the “negotiations” are “on hold.” But there is no indication that we have now said that this is over the top, that no deal is possible.

Defense Minister Lieberman has closed the Erez crossing at the north of Gaza – the only land crossing for the movement of people between Gaza and Israel - except for humanitarian situations. He did this, he said, “due to the violent events on the border on Friday.”

Impressive, is it not? What strength this communicates.

Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi further explained that this was a “warning” to Hamas. Says Hanegbi, “We have seen in the last week a dramatic decrease in the scale of the [rocket] attacks,” and they have to understand that it has to be even better.

"Quiet will be met with quiet. We did not initiate this battle and we have no interest in it. As long as it disappears from the view of our lives we will be happy.”

This is so painful. Shameful. He’s telling Hamas they can increase their readiness to attack as they wish, as long as we cannot see it, it’s OK with us.

What is more, the Kerem Shalom crossing, through which goods travel, has been allowed to stay open. Defense Minister Lieberman explained last week:
“It is important to emphasize that I am trying to separate the Hamas leadership from the wider Gazan public. This is a clear message to the people of Gaza, if Israelis enjoy the quiet they also will enjoy it – violence does not pay off.”

Lieberman has been sending messages encouraging the people of Gaza to revolt against Hamas. If he truly considers this a solution, I am moved to wonder if he has started smoking something.

I note here that head of the Shin Bet (Israeli Security) Nadav Argaman has told the Security Cabinet that a deal with Hamas would send a message that terror is rewarded. What is more, a deal that excluded Mahmoud Abbas of the PA would also strengthen Hamas in Judea and Samaria in areas where the PA is based.

“Such a move would additionally weaken the moderates and prove to the Palestinians that only the path of violence achieves results.”
But it does not seem that the Security Cabinet has taken his message to heart.

Abbas is apoplectic about the current situation; and, sure enough, he has now called for “keeping the ground aflame with popular resistance.”

The warnings of Education Minister Naftali Bennett (chair Habayit Hayehudi) for me constitute perhaps the only sane voice I’m hearing these days. He has said (emphasis added):

“Lieberman chose to give in, and this will lead to war...

"The same Lieberman who promised to bring down Hamas and eliminate [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh is now giving them rewards, at the expense of the State of Israel's security...

"Anyone who gives in to terror brings terror - and Lieberman gave in. His approach endangers the State of Israel and will bring an unavoidable conflict on the terms Hamas dictates and at a time which is convenient for them."

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Where Does the Iranian Money Go?

In the wake of Iran’s current severe economic crisis, many of the 
Iranians who took to the streets in protest are probably wondering: 
Where does all that money go?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Protecting The Persecuted

As Christians in the Middle East risk death for practicing their faith, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) is doing what it can to keep them safe.

There is perhaps no better description of the plight Christians are suffering in today’s Middle East. From Syria to Sudan, Christians are slaughtered for being the other. According to the human rights organization Open Doors, some 215 million Christians are currently facing persecution, with some suffering the worst fate: death.

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) founder, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, has seen the anguish this has caused those who flee dangerous countries firsthand. In Jordan, the organization has recently opened a clinic to treat refugees from Iraq and also provides some 100 families with food, rent and medicine.

“Like the Jewish communities across the Middle East and North Africa, there were Christian communities in these places for 2,000 years, and now they’ve been essentially wiped out,” Eckstein said.

For more on this story go to

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Where is the International Media on These Stories?

Muslim Persecution of Christians,
This is ongoing and no one is raising their voice at this problem, Only in Israel does the Christian community continue to flourish.

Egypt  Three masked gunmen recently targeted and killed Bassem Attallah, a Christian man, 27, after identifying him as a Christian by the cross tattoo on his wrist our hearts.

Separately, on New Year’s Day, which the Muslim calendar does not recognize or celebrate, two Christian brothers were gunned down in public by a masked man on a motorcycle.  \

Coptic owned stores that sell liquor have been targeted previously by those who deem alcohol haram, or forbidden by Islam. 

Almost one year to the day, on January 3, 2017, a Muslim man snuck up behind a Christian shop owner in Egypt and slit his throat for selling alcohol.

Finally, an Islamic terror attack on a Coptic church on December 29, left nine dead,

Nigeria Various attacks on Christians by Muslim Fulani herdsmen continued throughout the month of January.  “At least 16 people have been killed by gunmen in southern Nigeria after a New Year’s Day church service,” says one report. ]

According to another report, in one week alone, 55 people were killed and 200 homes torched, in the Lau local government area of Taraba state.
In yet another instance, 80 Christians were slaughtered by the Muslim herdsmen, many hacked to death by machetes
Rape of Christians in Pakistan
 “A Christian boy of only 7 years old was brutally sodomized by a Muslim rapist,” says a report

In fact, many Christian children—boys and girls—have been strangled to death during or after being raped in Pakistan over the years

Separately, a young, married Christian woman and mother of a two-year-old girl  “was brutally gang-raped by three men and then left tied in the courtyard of a Muslim man’s house until she was found by police two days later,” says a report

Kyrgyzstan:  Unknown attackers torched a church building in the Muslim-majority nation.  The small Baptist community was left “fear[ing] for its safety,” says the report:

Kenya: Muslim students beat and stabbed their Christian counterparts for refusing to convert to Islam in a Nairobi high school.  Hostilities began when Muslim students complained of discrimination.  This prompted school officials to designate separate bathrooms and sections in the library for Christians and Muslims. 

UgandaA Christian widow was poisoned by her Muslim neighbors on Christmas Day

NigeriaIn order to coerce a Christian woman, 40, and her daughter 21, to convert to Islam, local Muslims falsely accused the two of kidnapping another minor family member. 

Separately, “Pastor Simput Eagles Dafup has been arrested and whisked away to an unknown destination … for allegedly converting a Muslim girl to a Christian, in Plateau State,” says a report

Friday, August 10, 2018

Latest Palestinian Blood Libel

Allegedly murdered by Israel, "Bayan" is not a Palestinian child. No. You read that right. Actually, she lives in LA. Her name is Elle. Their propaganda stole this pic from Instagram. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Cease Fire in Gaza?

Israel and Hamas appear have, in principle, agreed to a ceasefire agreement that would include Hamas halting incendiary kites and releasing Israelis in captivity, while Israel would release its Gazan prisoners and help establish a seaport and airport.

These are the supposed condition of the ceasefire being negotiated.

But what we understand in English is NOT what is understood by Hamas.

The term “cease-fire” is a misinterpretation of the terms in Arabic that the Palestinian Arab leaders use when they when they refer to a temporary halt in fighting: hudnatahadia and hudaybiyyah, all of which mean ​​continued war after a respite for rearmament.

Hudna connotes only a tactical pause intended for rearmament in the war between Islamic forces and non-Islamic forces. The authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia (London, 1922) defines hudna as a “temporary treaty” that can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam. A hudna cannot last for more than 10 years.

• Tahadia is a temporary halt in hostile activity that can be violated at any time

• Hudaybiyyah is an understanding that there will be no fighting for 10 years named for the “treaty of Hudaybiyyah” in 628 AD.
The Islamic Encyclopedia mentions the hudaybia treaty as the “ultimate hudna.”

Hudnatahadia and hudaybiyyah – the only options on the table with Hamas – do not compare to the mu’ahada treaty of peace that Egypt signed with Israel in 1979, or the mu’ahada treaty of peace that Jordan signed with Israel in 1994.

Bottom line: hudnatahadia and hudaybiyyah do not ​connote a “cease-fire.”

(With thanks to David Bedein for these interpretations)

Arson terror from Gaza continues to devastate southern Israel

Southern Israel, especially the areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip, have been suffering since late March from "arson terror" - Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border release kites and hot-air balloons with attached incendiary material. The wind blows the kites and balloons to the Israeli side, causing fires that have destroyed thousands of acres of crops and grazing lands, forests and nature reserves, killing animals and destroying their habitat. 

The Carmia Nature Reserve. Photo courtesy  of Israel Nature and Parks Authority

From 30 March to 4 August this year, there have been 1,316 fires - an average of 20-22 a day. Over 7,400 acres have been damaged or destroyed. Much of the summer wheat crop was lost, either to the fires or due to too-early harvesting. Hundreds of chickens and turkeys suffocated to death from smoke inhalation. People with asthma and other lung diseases are also suffering from the polluted air. In Nahal Grar, dozens of beehives, each with about 70,000 bees and 30-50 kilos of honey,  were destroyed by fire. Farmers in the affected areas have filed 180 claims for compensation, valued at around 3 million USD.

The Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Services reports a large increase in the number of people seeking treatment at Hosen Centers, which offer psychological-emotional support and therapy. In centers located throughout the northern and western Negev (Eshkol, Hof Ashkelon, Shaar HaNegev, Sderot and Sdot Negev), 834 people were treated between March 21 and July 1 - a 308% increae over the period from January through March 20.

Myths Of The Middle East - II

(Cross posted from Grandma's Army)

The Koran mentions Mecca and Medina countless times. It never mentions Jerusalem, which is not surprising, since there is no historical evidence to suggest Mohammad ever visited Jerusalem. Muslims today cite a passage in the Koran from which they claim that the two temples vaguely mentioned there are in Mecca and Jerusalem.

Never mind the facts, such as that when Jordan controlled East Jerusalem, until 1967 no Arab ever thought to make it significant or endow it with any special importance, or move an Arab capital there. All they did was systematically destroy every synagogue and memorial there, using tombstones for latrines and to pave roads.

The Arab Muslims contend there never was a Jewish Temple, only the al-Aqsa mosque. Or that the land of Israel was ever the Jewish homeland. Yet, when illegally excavating an area for another mosque on the site they disposed of tons of earth containing artefacts proving, beyond doubt,  the existence of the Temple.

 Archaeology has proved that Jews have lived in Jerusalem since 3000 B.C. As recently as this year, a well preserved piece of clay with the Hebrew inscription “governor of the city” from the First Temple era (2,700 years ago), was discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority, during excavations in the Western Plaza in Jerusalem.

To quote Joseph Farah (Christian Arab/American author, journalist and editor-in-chief of the website WorldNetDaily (WND)

“Palestine has never existed – before or since – as an autonomous entity. It was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, the the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their homeland.

There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by PalestiniansPalestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc. It should be recalled that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the landmass.

So what’s the solution to the Middle East mayhem? Well…  it needs to begin with truth. Treating a 5,000 year-old birthright, backed by overwhelming historical and archaeological evidence equally with illegitimate claims wishes and wants, gives diplomacy and peacekeeping a bad name.

A Democratic Nation State Of The Jewish People

The new law does not erode a single right or protection of any minority. It actually reaffirms Israel’s commitment to minority groups.
Sara Greenberg   August 7, 2018 22:00

The current debate over Israel’s newly adopted Nation-State Law has been high on emotion and lowon facts. 

Much of what has been heard from critics preceding and following the passage of Basic Law: Israel Nation-State of the Jewish People is mistaken and misinformed. The accusations about the new law’s effects on Israeli democracy have no connection to the actual content or context of the law.
The new Basic Law was passed to fill a constitutional void. Israel, like the United Kingdom, lacks a written constitution and instead relies on a set of basic laws. Constitutions or basic laws generally have a triple-purpose: to define the identity of the country; to set rules for the separation of powers; and to protect individual rights. Israel already has basic laws to protect individual freedoms (such as Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty) and to define the various branches of government (such as Basic Law: The Knesset). Until several weeks ago, Israel lacked a basic law defining the identity and purpose of the state.

While the open, free and democratic nature of Israel was enshrined into law, there was no legal basis to ensure that Israel would also continue to be a Jewish state. During the seven-year debate surrounding the contents of the Nation-State Law, there was a broad consensus that a basic law was needed to define the identity of the country and to ensure that the judiciary could not overturn fundamental principles such as the Law of Return (which grants immigration rights to Jews) or reject the State’s use, for example, of the Hebrew calendar.

The new basic law does not, however, contradict or supersede the basic laws that protect and guarantee individual rights of all citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender.

Many critics of the new law believe that it infringes on religious freedom. They are mistaken. The law relates only to the national rights of the Jewish people and does not address religious questions or prescribe an official religion. In this sense, Israel is more liberal than the seven European countries with official state religions, including the United Kingdom, Poland and Greece.

The new law does not erode a single right or protection of any minority. It actually reaffirms Israel’s commitment to minority groups. For example, most nations, and most liberal democracies, only have one official language, the primary one spoken in the country. Israel is the only country in the world where Hebrew is the primary language, and so the Basic Law defines Hebrew as the official state language.
But the new law also, for the first time, constitutionally enshrines Arabic as a language with “special status.” It affirms that “the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect will not be harmed.” This flatly contradicts the misrepresentations of the law as changing the status of Arabic, and goes far beyond what many liberal democracies do for minority languages. Arabic will continue to appear on Israel’s road signs, currency and many other symbols of state sovereignty.

Criticism about the way the bill treats Israel’s relationship with Jews around the world is also misplaced, given that the bill enshrines into law Israel’s commitment to the Diaspora. The law explicitly mentions that “the state will act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people.”

The language chosen in the Basic Law refers to activities in the Diaspora alone simply to avoid an undemocratic situation in which a constitutional “right” would effectively bind the Israeli government to make decisions based on how they would be perceived abroad.

The government of Israel will, of course, continue to invest in promoting the Israel-Diaspora relationship from within the State of Israel as well. The current government has invested hundreds of millions of shekels in Birthright, Masa and a host of other programs that strengthen ties between Israel and the Diaspora. In fact, it was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first government that provided the initial Israeli government funding for Birthright, which has now brought more than 600,000 young Jews to Israel.

In a strong and vibrant democracy with a free and open press, it is not surprising that there is lively debate about a new basic law. Regrettably, the debate became so politicized that some of those who oppose the current bill were actually co-sponsors or supported a less balanced version of the same bill in 2011.

Amid the debate, it is important that the history and the truth behind the Nation-State Law not be lost. Each of us is responsible for listening and ensuring that our discussions are rooted in the facts. Listening to what those who oppose the bill have to say. it is hoped they too will be open to listening to those who disagree with them