Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Hamas continues incitement and hostilities

 As Arlene Kushner writes:-

There was yet one more action incited by Hamas, an action of serious – 
and yes, very infuriating – dimensions:

There were incendiary balloons launched into southern Israel – with 
fires ignited on farmland and fields.

You can see a short video of one of the fires here:

This vile destruction arouses very justifiable anger. There was one balloon 
carrying an explosive device, as well.

And here the situation is more serious. For after the recent war with Hamas, 
Netanyahu warned that we were entering a new time: no level of aggression 
would go unanswered. Not even incendiary balloons. Gantz – who 
was Defense Minister then and is now – said that Israel would respond 
forcefully to any act of aggression. And Bennett is on record as well 
regarding the necessity of treating incendiary balloons like rockets.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Israel Seizes Thousands of Terror-Related Items en Route to Gaza

 


In recent months, Israeli security forces intercepted thousands of packages en route to the Gaza Strip containing items that can be used for terrorism, Israeli authorities revealed Wednesday.

The equipment included drones, radios, frequency jammers and listening equipment.

The equipment was captured at the Beituniya crossing near Hebron, the only checkpoint for the transfer of mail between Israel, Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and abroad.

So much for efforts to promote "Peace"


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

“They Were Only Children”


On May 28, 2021, the front page of the New York Times published pictures of children and adolescents killed in the Gaza Strip and Israel during Operation Guardian of the Walls with the headline, "They Were Just Children." The Times listed the names of 67 children under the age of 17 who were killed, two in Israel and 65 in the Gaza Strip.
 
A few days later the Times printed a retraction, reporting that one of the pictures was of a child killed under other circumstances and not during the hostilities.
 
However, it was not the Times' only inaccuracy. An Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center examination of the list revealed that the name of one of the children belonged to a Hamas military-terrorist wing operative. He was Muhammad Sabar Ibrahim Suleiman, 16, killed on May 11, 2021, in an attack in the eastern part of Jabalia along with his father, a commander in Hamas' military-terrorist wing (the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades)
 
A video issued a few days after the end of the hostilities shows Muhammad Sabar Ibrahim Suleiman wearing an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades uniform and learning to shoot a machine gun and other weapons. The instructor next to him is also wearing an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades uniform (@DigFind Twitter account, June 1, 2021). Thus despite his young age, he had been recruited by Hamas to its military-terrorist wing.
 
Another Gazan boy, who according to the New York Times list died in  Operation Guardian of the Walls, was found to be an operative in  Hamas' military-terrorist wing. The Times' list also included the names  of eight children who were killed by terrorist organization rocket  misfire.
 
Previously, Khaled Imad Khaled al-Qanua (Abu Suheib), who was identified by the New
York Times as a 17 year-old boy, was found to be a 20 year-old terrorist operative. He
was killed on May 13, 2021, in an aerial attack on a Palestinian terrorist squad near Beit
Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. The Mujahedeen Brigades, the military-terrorist wing of the Mujahedeen Movement, whose leadership split from Fatah and are today allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and close to Iran, issued a mourning notice stating he was an organization operative and 20 years old (Mujahedeen Brigades' Telegram channel, May 13, 2021).
 
At least eight of the children whose names were on the list were killed by terrorist
organization rockets that misfired and fell inside the Gaza Strip on May 10, 2021:
Baraa al-Ghrabi, 4, from Jabalia.
Ibrahim Hassanein, 16, from Beit Hanoun.
Mustafa al-Abir, 17, from Beit Hanoun.
Hussein Hamad, 11, from Beit Hanoun.
Yazen al-Masri, 2, from Beit Hanoun.
Marwan al-Masri, 7 from Beit Hanoun.
Ibrahim al-Masri, 11, from Beit Hanoun.
Rahaf Muhammad Atallah al-Masri, 10, from Beit Hanoun.
 
Most of the remaining 55 were killed when the IDF attacked terrorist targets and the
children were either on site or nearby. Some were related to terrorist operatives who or
whose houses were the targets of IDF anti-terrorist attacks. Some were killed when two
buildings collapsed after the IDF attacked terrorist tunnels close to their foundations. Hamas used the tunnels as command centers, to store weapons and as hidden passageways for operatives to move between posts.
 
The IDF carried out about 1,500 aerial attacks, and despite its efforts to avoid harming
civilians in general and children in particular, Hamas' tactic of positioning its command
centers in the heart of densely populated areas led directly to the unfortunate deaths of
more than 50 children. At least 120 non-combatants (including the children) and 111 terrorist operatives from the various organizations were killed in the IDF strikes.
 
After Operation Guardian of the Walls, Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political
bureau in the Gaza Strip, admitted that positioning the terrorist headquarters in civilian
structures was "problematic," and by implication led to civilian casualties (al-Jazeera,
June 5, 2021)


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A Humane Army - That's the IDF

 


The Palestinian men were throwing stones across

the border in Israel. The soldier fired a shot in the

air to disperse the crowd away from fence. The

crowd retreated but pushed the girl towards the

fence take a video shot from other side to publish

it in news that Israeli soldiers confronting a little girl.

But my teammate he saw the girl was scared and

instead of running back she ran towards the soldier

she was bleeding and bruised. The soldier offered

her water then called the paramedics to treat her

wounds. We are taking care of her at our local hospital.

We announced on loudspeaker later on so that the father

can come and take his girl. We are still waiting her parents

to contact us.

But remember we Israelis are bad people.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Hamas to Exploit Quiet In Race To Render Iron Dome Irrelevant

 Dr. Aaron Lerner 30 May, 2021

Our Iron Dome system does a fantastic job destroying dumb rockets by calculating their trajectories and sending interceptors to destroy them mid-air.

Iron Dome isn’t designed to intercept a guided rocket (aka missile) as its flight paths cannot be projected simply on the basis of data relating to the missile’s movement during the first seconds after launch.

Hamas knows this and can be expected to devote considerable resources to upgrade from dumb rockets to missiles.

It is a considerable technological jump but it would be a tremendous mistake to assume that the timeline for such a project is such that the military industry activity of Hamas can once again be dutifully recorded in an ever growing target bank rather than addressed. After all, Iran designs and produces missiles and nothing is preventing it from sharing its knowledge with Hamas.

 We were surprised by the range of some of the rockets Hamas built and launched in the last round. 

The consequences of a Hamas missile surprise would be profoundly more serious.

 We simply cannot afford to allow Hamas to once again exploit “quiet for quiet” to advance their military capabilities.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Such Moralizing - Are both hands tied behind our backs?

 From one of my correspondents, how true this is

"We now hear the moralizing about the need to help everyone in Gaza. (Of course, not a word about helping the Israelis whose homes were destroyed by Hamas rockets.) Once again, we hear the pompous assurances that assistance in rebuilding Gaza will be conditioned on Hamas not diverting it to build more rockets for the next war it starts.

In Israel, we've learned that assurances from the international community are worthless.

Israel  remembers the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism set up in 2014 to ensure the materials sent to rebuild the civilian infrastructure weren't diverted by Hamas, yet by some estimates, upward of 90% of the building materials transferred to Gaza went into the construction by Hamas of the 100 miles of tunnels Israel just destroyed, as well as those which remain - along with the more than 4,000 rockets Hamas fired at Israeli cities and towns, as well those destroyed by Israel, and the estimated 11,000 which remain.

 They also  remember how, under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 ending the 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) supposedly was strengthened and tasked with guaranteeing the only other military force in southern Lebanon would be the Lebanese army. Instead, under the nose of UNIFIL, Hezbollah, with the aid of Iran, increased its rocket arsenal from a few tens of thousands to an estimated 150,000, more than the combined arsenal of NATO save the United States. It's mainly installed in civilian areas, particularly homes, turning virtually all of southern Lebanon into an armed terrorist base.

Here's one simple proposal:  For every truck of humanitarian aid  Gaza receives Israel must in return receive  a truck full of Hamas weapons for destruction supervised by international observors. 

Unless this or another effective method is used to eliminate the terror infrastructure in Gaza, any effort to help Gaza will be worse than a waste, and only guarantee a far bloodier conflict a few years down the road."

Monday, May 24, 2021

Attacks on Jews Worldwide


 Mobs and thugs are rampant on streets around 
the world attacking Jews wherever they happen to be.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Western Weakness Emboldens Hamas

 The accepted narrative in Western media and governments is 

a) That the current round of violence was sparked by the potential eviction of four families of arab squatters in the Shimon Hatzaddik neighborhood of Jerusalem, renamed “Sheik Jarrah” 

b) another reason given, is the legal purchase of two large buildings in the Shiloach neighborhood of Jerusalem, 

c) the final reason peddled to Western audiences for the current uprising and missile attacks is Israel’s police “storming” the Temple Mount, which as video shows only occurred because Arabs used the holy site as a staging ground for attacks.

All of three of the above have been cleverly used by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as pretext in their current struggle against the Jewish people. 

While the leftist media around the world has repeated the above reasons, the real reason for the current round of violence is that 

a) the Biden team in the USA early on had decided to renew financial help to the flailing Palestinian Authority and at the same time called for a return to the two state solution. 

b) On top of that, the Biden administration has all but laid the groundwork for reestablishing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran on even better terms. 

c) Hamas sees all this the opportunity to topple Mahmoud Abass

The enemies of Israel in Gaza and within the country see a weak US president willing to sell out traditional US allies to the Iranian regime. As always in the Middle East when there is weakness they will take advantage.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Star Wars in Israel


 Can you really imagine sleeping through this night after night??!!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Deliberate Media Distortion

 by Richard Kemp  •  May 16, 2021

Hamas is no match for the IDF and could be quickly and much more cheaply defeated by blunt and crushing military force were it not for one thing — the Israeli need to minimise loss of civilian life. Hamas know that.

Over many years of conflict in Gaza, the majority of the world's media have enthusiastically reported the deaths of Palestinian civilians as though they were the deliberate object of Israel's callous and uncaring way of war. This blatantly false propaganda has been taken up by Hamas supporters and "useful idiots" in the West.... Human rights groups around the world have been doing the same.

The wilful ignorance combined with malice has always been breathtaking. Every commission of inquiry determined Israel's guilt before it even met for the first time.

Every debate and vote has overwhelmingly and of course falsely affirmed Israel's supposed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile Hamas's actual multiple war crimes have been brushed aside.

[T]he IDF did all they could to ensure minimum loss of civilian life by selecting targets where the lowest levels of innocents would be harmed.... As in previous conflicts in Gaza the IDF has made radio broadcasts in Arabic, sent SMS messages and even phoned civilians inside the strip to warn them of impending strikes.... Gazans have given interviews confirming this.

Many in the media, human rights groups and international bodies have rushed to characterise all civilian casualties (other than those inflicted by Hamas of course) as war crimes. But the Geneva Conventions disagree. Inflicting civilian casualties is not illegal provided a military operation is necessary for the prosecution of a war, they are not disproportionate to the planned military gain and that combatant commanders do not intentionally target civilians while doing all they can to avoid hitting them.

The media takes reports from the Gaza health ministry as authoritative and objective. That is disingenuous and they know it. The health ministry is controlled by Hamas and follows their every order.

Despite all of this, as the media unceasingly show us, the real victims in this campaign have indeed been Gaza civilians. But they usually get the cause wrong. Every one is due to Hamas's unprovoked aggression against Israel. None would have occurred without it.

If Western governments, international bodies and human rights groups are genuinely interested in avoiding suffering in Gaza, they should start now, striving to end Hamas's reign of terror rather than support it by parroting their baleful narrative.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Israeli Ambassador Answers Hostile Questions

 


Israeli Ambassador to the UK answers hostile 
questioning by Sky News journalist Adam Boulton

Thursday, May 13, 2021

“PALESTINIAN” ARABS SEE A WEAK BIDEN AND HAVE DECIDED TO ATTACK

  David Mark May 13, 2021 

The current gamble by both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to use organized violence on the streets of Israel, as well as barrages of unprecedented rocket fire on two-thirds of the Jewish State in order force the Biden administration to pressure Israel, may be backfiring.

The accepted narrative in Western media and governments is that the current round of violence was sparked by the potential eviction of four families of arab squatters in the Shimon Hatzaddik neighborhood of Jerusalem, renamed “Sheik Jarrah” when the Jordanian army expelled the indigenous Jewish population in 1948. Another reason given, is the legal purchase of two large buildings in the Shiloach neighborhood of Jerusalem, also renamed Silwan when arab rioters expelled the indigenous Jews in the late 1930s. The final reason peddled to Western audiences for the current uprising and missile attacks is Israel’s police “storming” the Temple Mount, which as videos show only occurred because arabs used the holy site as a staging ground for attacks.

All of three of the above have been cleverly used by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority as pretext in their current struggle against the Jewish people. While the leftist media around the world has repeated the above reasons, the real reason for the current round of violence is that the Biden team early on had decided to renew financial help to the flailing Palestinian Authority and at the same time called for a return to the two state solution.

On top of that, the Biden administration has all but laid the groundwork for reestablishing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran on even better terms. The enemies of Israel in Gaza and within the country see a weak US president willing to sell out traditional US allies to the Iranian regime. When there is weakness they will take advantage.

At the end of the day, as IDF troops amass on the border of Israel and Gaza, Hamas may have underestimated the drive that Netanyahu has to make them bleed. True, the US administration is unfriendly and some would say antagonistic, but Biden can ill afford to lose Israel as an ally going forward. The US administration right now, may not like what Israel is doing, but it knows that there is still enough pro-Israel sentiment out there to cushion the Jewish state from a reversal in American support.

Of course that can change.

With younger voices beginning to actively mobilize in America against the Jewish State, now may be one of the last opportunities Israel may have to crush Hamas once and for all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

JEWS ATTACKED BY ISRAELI ARABS ACROSS ISRAEL

 by Leah Rosenberg May 11, 2021 

It’s absolutely insane what’s going on in Israel. Israeli Arabs are attacking Jews throughout the country as Hamas sends rockets from Gaza.

Anti-Israel protests have been taking place in the Israeli cities of Lod, Ramla, Natzrat, Haifa, and more. Arabs have stoned a bus on the streets of the Israeli city of Ramla. They placed burning tires on road 40 outside the city of Lod and then stone the cars that stop. They did this all as joint protest/celebration with Hamas shooting rockets at Jerusalem. These Israel Arabs do not represent all Arab Muslims, but they do represent a large public that can’t be ignored.

Arabs attacked and lit a Synagogue on fire in Ramla. They also attacked a police station in Kfar Manda. They attacked Jewish cars on the street in Lod. These examples of violence are just that: Only a few examples. There are tons of cases of Arabs throwing stones at Jewish cars up North and down South. There are tons of cases of Jews being attacked in Arab East Jerusalem. The problem is the genocidal, ideological, religious agenda to kill Jews and destroy Israel. And that exists within a large population of Israeli Arab Muslims as well, not only Hamas or Palestinian Arabs. The media slams Israel instead of condemning the constant violence and rocket attacks from the Arabs.

Too many good-hearted Jews and Israelis still believe “if only we don’t live in Judea and Samaria, then…” or “if only we don’t live in Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, then…” And then there is “if only we don’t visit the Temple Mount, then…” What about this one? “If only we don’t March through Damascus Gate.” And then this: “If only we destroy all 21 Jewish communities in Gaza and expel 10,000 Jews from their homes.” That didn’t work, and neither does anything else. The list just goes on and on. Appeasement not only doesn’t help, it is a recipe for empowering our enemies to continue to escalate the conflict!

The conflict has nothing to do with land. No matter how good we are to our neighbors, there are many of them who don’t want us here at all, no matter where we live or march. The irony is that if you ask Israeli Arab Muslim citizens if they prefer to be citizens under the Palestinian Authority, they say no way. They know life for them is much better living as Israeli citizens. Yet, they still support the destruction of Israel. Not all of them but enough that we can’t ignore it.

None of this is logical or relates to human rights. It is a religious conflict. Israel gives freedom and equality to all citizens, including Arab Muslims, yet it makes no difference.

Israel is not perfect. But it does not deserve the negative spotlight that it always gets. How much more violence and terror do we have to experience before enough Jews/Israelis wake up to the reality of our situation?

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Palestinians: Our True Goal is to Destroy Israel

The current round of violence with Hamas has one major difference from all other confrontations. Hamas sees the cancellation of the elections by the PA as a great opportunity to gain the support of the West Bank Arabs and those in Jerusalem.  Having the international media promote their message that their rocket attacks are in support of the Palestinians, Hamas is in a great position to take over from the PA.

If this were to happen then as Bassam Tawil writes below, this would create a whole new ball game in the attempts to make peace. 

by Bassam Tawil  •  May 11, 2021

The Palestinians are upset because Jews are being permitted to tour the Temple Mount. The Palestinians do not want to see Jews visiting their holy site; they do not want to see Jews in Jerusalem, and they do not want to see any Jew at all in the land that stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

No one is disputing the Palestinians' right to protest Israeli policies. Yet when the protests turn into large pro-Hamas demonstrations, with calls for bombing Tel Aviv and killing Jews, they expose the true deadly intention of the protesters.

When thousands of Palestinians chant "We are all Mohammed Deif" they are saying that they see themselves as terrorists ready to attack and destroy Israel. They are saying that Deif is their role model because he managed to murder many Jews and remains at large, despite Israeli attempts to apprehend or kill him.

Hamas owes its growing popularity to the anti-Israel inflammatory campaign waged in the Palestinian media, especially social media platforms, the mosques and public rhetoric of Palestinian leaders. Hamas also owes its popularity to the ongoing corruption and incompetence of the Palestinian Authority and its autocratic president, Mahmoud Abbas.

The demonstrations in favor of Hamas should also sound alarm bells with the Biden administration and serve as an accurate indicator as to Palestinian priorities. The Biden administration is talking about reviving the stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of the "two-state solution." Hamas and the thousands of Palestinians who chanted slogans in support of Hamas and Deif, however, have a different solution in mind: the annihilation of Israel and the deaths of Jews -- the more the merrier.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Attempted Lynching by Arab Mob


 The above near lynch is just another example of out of control 
arab violence spurred on by radicalized youth, foreign 
influence and a weak disorganized response by the Israeli 
security forces. Roaming gangs of arabs have been increasing
 their attacks on Jews in and around the Old City as well as
 within the Shimon Hatzaddik (Sheik Jarrah) neighborhood 
and the Shiloach (Silwan). The response over Ramadan by 
the Israeli police and security forces has focused more on 
arresting attackers instead cutting off the flow of support 
the attacks have from within “palestinian” arab society.

What Hizbollah does not Want You to See


Yoseph Haddad, an Israeli Arab who is clearly on the 
side of Israel and not on the side of terrorism, 
is quite public about his beliefs. That’s clear from 
he fact that he is showing the inside of a Hezbollah 
terror tunnel to whoever is willing to listen. He wants 
people to know what Israel has to deal with.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Slice of Persia in the Heart of Israel

 (By Mr. Afshari, a professor of history emeritus at Pace University an Iranian who visited Israel)

Israel is the last country where an Iranian raised in a Muslim family would have visited The Baha’i World Center in Haifa, Israel

I expected to find a place to feel at home, and that’s exactly what happened when I visited a Slice of Persia in the Heart of Israel  

In January 2013, I spent a day as a guest at the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa. The site is the spiritual and administrative heart of the Baha’i Faith, a religion founded in Iran with about five million adherents across the globe. The center’s grounds are bedecked with gardens and terraces. As I walked up and down the beautiful landscape, it struck me that everything about that hallowed place is Iranian. Even though I was in Israel, I felt as though I was walking in a Persian garden.

The Baha’i faith is generally described as the largest non-Muslim religious minority in Iran. The faithful espouse noble principles like the importance of unifying humanity, the harmony between science and religion, and the equality of women and men. But, as the religion was founded after Islam, the Iranian government finds the faith’s adherents’ existence intolerable. Despite facing a longstanding state-sponsored campaign of oppression by Tehran, the community has found a way to persist.

Before the international community exerted pressure on Iran in the 1980s, Baha’is were killed indiscriminately by vigilantes and often arbitrarily executed by the government. Today, that persecution has cooled to arbitrary imprisonments and arrests. Baha’is also see their economic advancement blocked, sometimes by being denied access to higher education. The continuation of this systemic and baseless campaign against the Baha’is makes me ashamed to be Iranian.

After I left the Baha’i World Centre, I kept imagining that one day—perhaps it would dawn on Iranian civil society and government officials that the institution in Haifa is a significant part of Iran’s religious[1]national heritage.  I dreamed that one day Iranians of all religious persuasions could visit and experience the enlightened and sublime feeling of fellowship offered by the institution.

That day feels very far away. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom condemned several shameful recent actions by the Iranian government against the Baha’is. Notably, in October, an Iranian court acquitted 11 people who had demolished the homes of 27 Baha’is in the small farming village of Ivel. The court found that there had been no wrongdoing, as it was illegal in the first place for Baha’is to own property.

As I empathize with my countrymen who have had their homes taken from them, I also think about all the other Baha’is of Iran. Do they feel at home in their own country, whose government has rejected them? And what of the Iranian Baha’is scattered around the world, many of whom left Iran as refugees, persecuted by their government to the point that they had to leave the country? In what way is Iran a home to them?

 Ivel lies in the northern province of Mazandaran, which also happens to be the ancestral home of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, who was born in 1817. He too was forced by the government to leave Iran. He died as a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire in Akka, then Palestine, in 1892. The gardens I visited on my trip to Israel are the result of Baha’u’llah’s long exile.  Like his followers over more than a century into the future, he could find no home in Iran.

 As I stood in the Baha’i gardens of Haifa, looking out over the Mediterranean, I felt part of something bigger than that moment in time. I was taking in something uniquely Persian—a precious piece of culture, heritage and history that should be honored and celebrated by all Iranians. And every Baha’i in Iran carries a part of this same precious culture, heritage and history. How long will the Iranian government continue to deny it to us?

Gloomy Future for Journalists Middle East

 

By MOHAMMAD AL-KASIM   May 3, 2021 

The Middle East is considered to be one of the world's most dangerous regions to cover for journalists, and freedom of the press is widely curtailed and often violated in many places.

The 2021 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) found that the media has been totally blocked or seriously impeded in 73 countries during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic when people are most desperate for information.

Journalists are subject to being arrested, attacked, banned from working, and subjected to other forms of judicial harassment by governments and their security and intelligence services only because they seek to tell the truth.

Israel, which jumped up two spots to 82, has an open and direct media and is considered one of the freest in the Middle East. But, according to the index, journalists still face aggressive treatment from government officials. Another issue facing journalists in Israel is “military censorship."

The RFS report finds that this self-censorship has resulted in little or no coverage of the reality of life in the Palestinian territories.

Ohad Hemo, a veteran reporter in Israel, covering Palestinian affairs for Israel’s Channel 12 News says he is trying to change the type of coverage Israeli reporters do of the West Bank and Gaza. He told The Media Line that in his 17 years of reporting, he has not had to curtail his coverage of Palestinians for Israeli media while reporting from Gaza and the West Bank and bring Palestinians lives to Israelis.

Hemo, says there is no dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and that perhaps his coverage "contributes to converging views and helps create a dialogue between them."

"The Israeli journalist and Palestinian workers working in Israel are the last bridge between the two peoples," he said. In addition, he says: "Working in the Palestinian territories is not easy for me; in the end, I'm Jewish and an Israeli, which makes my work there difficult."   

Palestine moved up five spots to 132, a slight improvement over last year. Meanwhile, continued tension between Israelis and Palestinians makes covering the conflict dangerous.

Veteran Palestinian journalist Faten Elwan says "I always wanted to tell the story of the people, the joy and the griefs as well. The stories about the killing and the blood, but I also wanted to tell the stories of those who have dreams. Regardless of all the pain we have here, we still have joy and dreams,"

Elwan says being a Palestinian journalist in the West Bank does not give one immunity from being attacked. Palestinian journalists are also harassed and arrested by Palestinian Authority security services when they report on issues that may be critical of the PA, she explained.

Elwan longs for her early days in journalism. Despite all the difficulties, journalists then had a lot more freedom than they do now.

"Let me say until 2006 we were the freest journalists talking about Yasser Arafat. I was insulting Yasser Arafat inside the Muqata during the Israeli invasion," she said, referring to the then-PA president and the presidential compound in Ramallah in the West Bank. 

Elwan says the turning point for Palestinian journalists came 15 years ago, at the same time that Mahmoud Abbas became PA president, when things began gradually changing. 

"We started to see that our country is turning into a police state,” she said. “Every word that you say can be used against you." She says the older generation of journalists were not intimidated, but the new journalists, or the social media journalists, were attacked physically and mentally. "We are living in a dark era where journalism is concerned," said Elwan.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan and Iraq are among the most repressive Middle Eastern countries for journalism, according to the Press Freedom Index.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Truth about Israel and South African Apartheid


 Israel is being labeled by its most radical detractors as
an apartheid state. Israel Collective finds out how
South Africans feel about this accusation.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

We are all Human Beings no Matter where We Come From

 

 Full article at https://tinyurl.com/26xmpd25

In 2019, A. saved the lives of three Israelis when they were shot at by Palestinian terrorists on a highway in Judea and Samaria. Now, he is asking Israel for help: to be able to live in the Jewish state to ensure his and his family's safety. 

The Mark family was driving along a highway in the West Bank on July 1, 2016, when Palestinian terrorists opened fire on their vehicle, causing the car to crash and flip over. The father of the family, Rabbi Michael Mark, lost his life that day, and perhaps wife Chava, son Pedaya and daughter Tehila would have met the same fate were it not for the help provided by A., a Palestinian resident of a nearby Arab village, who was driving down the same road. 

 In an interview, he recalled the events of that fateful day. 

"My wife and I were driving on Highway 60, and near the Beit Hagai settlement, I heard shots all of a sudden at the vehicle right in front of us. The car flipped over and was dragged along the road.

 "I looked at my wife, I told her that I have a first aid kit in the car and that we should go help. I always have a first aid kit in my car, and this wasn't the first time I had to use it. I always try to save people's lives, but never before did I find myself in such a challenging situation.

 Soon after, A. was a wanted man in the Palestinian Authority because he dared save the lives of Jews. He received multiple death threats and was forced to flee. The Civil Administration allowed him to come to Israel to save his life, but he had to leave his pregnant wife and parents behind, as well as his job in the security field. 

 A.'s permit did not allow him to work in Israel or to get a place here. For three years, he moved around the country, trying to make ends meet by working illegally. 

 A.'s son was born in the PA after his escape. For the first two years of his life, the boy only saw his father via video calls or during hasty meetings at a Hebron checkpoint. 

Fortunately, a year and a half ago, A.'s wife and son also received temporary permits to move to Israel. 

"Every time I'm with my son, I thank God that at least this part of my life has returned to me. That is the part that gives me happiness. My family gives me a lot of strength."

A. met his wife, a nurse by profession, through matchmaking, as is customary in Muslim communities. The two only met once before their wedding and planned their future in their village. 

 A. never got to see his father again. He passed away recently without the chance to say goodbye to his son. "There was a special bond between us. I was told he wanted to see me, but I could not visit. It was too dangerous." 

 In November 2019, due to public pressure, the Interior Ministry provided A. and his wife with a temporary residence visa, which granted them all the rights of a regular Israeli citizen, except for voting. A. pays social security, he has Israeli health insurance, he even has a green passport to prove that he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. His eyes, however, reflect the fear that when their current visa expires in November 2021, Israeli authorities might decide not to renew it. 

 "I would like for us to become permanent residents here, to know that we can sleep peacefully. "I did a human act that was obvious for me to do, but I would like the state to help us now, to take care of my family like any other citizen. That is the least they could do for us."

 Two days after the attacks, Michael Mark was put to rest. A. and his wife wanted to visit the family to pay their respects. "Every night my wife and I sat and thought about what they were going through, how they were feeling. It was important for us to see them."

After receiving a permit from the IDF, the two arrived at the Mark house in Othniel. A. spoke very little Hebrew, and the Mark family did not speak Arabic. But the bond between the two families was forged immediately.

"That was my first time visiting a Jewish home. At school, we were taught that Jews had occupied [our land] and that Jews murder everything they see. But the Mark family welcomed us so nicely. They treated us with respect, as we did them.

How Palestinian Leaders Treat Their Refugees

By Khaled Abu Toameh

The Palestinian leadership, which is about to receive tens of millions of dollars from the Biden administration, has once again proven that it does not tolerate any form of criticism, even if it comes from impoverished Palestinian who fled their homes in Syria.

This leadership has also shown how it cares nothing about the problems facing its people, especially those who were forced to flee their homes in Syria after the beginning of the civil war there in 2011.

The number of Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon is estimated at 27,000, according to statistics from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). About 87% of the Palestinian refugees displaced from Syria to Lebanon suffer from absolute poverty, according to UNRWA.

protest organized by Palestinian refugees who fled from Syria to Lebanon  sought to relay to Abbas and the Palestinian leadership: If you do not want to give us financial aid, at least help us move to other countries where we might live in dignity and earn a decent living.

Embarrassed by the protest, the PA embassy summoned its security guards and scores of Fatah activists from different parts of Lebanon to disperse the refugees.

The Palestinian officials would rather see their people continue living in devastating poverty as refugees rather than improve their living conditions and search for new opportunities in Western countries. They want millions of Palestinians to remain stuck in refugee camps so that the Palestinian leadership can continue milking the world for money.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Fixing the schisms within Israeli society

 

While Eran Schwartz was serving as a pilot in Israel Air Force, he became worried about the inner fabric of Israeli society. “I was protecting the outside fabric, but I saw we need to protect the inside too,” he tells ISRAEL21c. “I decided to focus on social change and education, which I think is the key.”

Schwartz moved to the Galilee with his wife, a French immigrant. For the last six and a half years, he has been CEO of Yigal Allon Center at Kibbutz Ginosar near the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret).The site also houses a popular tourist attraction, the 2,000-year-old Galilee fishing boat (“Jesus boat”) found in 1986.

 “When I arrived, my vision for this place was to focus on the future of the state and not the past. I had to persuade the board to completely change the orientation to one of education, mostly in the periphery, to advance leadership,” says Schwartz. “I had zero knowledge, but I had a vision. And I was lucky enough that the board followed me into this vision,” says the 38-year-old father of three.

The center runs educational programs, post-high school preparatory courses for Jews and Arabs, a program for integrating ultra-Orthodox Jews into society, and more, all with the goal of promoting equality and coexistence throughout Israel.

“We work with a huge variety of people, a microcosm of what I wish Israel looked like: soldiers, commanders, officers, police officers, Arabs and other populations that in my view are crucial to work with in order to have a strong state,” says Schwartz.

To walk in someone else’s shoes

One innovative program was created four years ago with the Jewish Agency — a seven-month residential leadership academy for boys and girls after high school, in which half the members are Muslims, Christians or Druze and half are Jews of varied backgrounds, “to set an example of mixed leadership,” says Schwartz.

Living together 24/7, along with their counselors and educators, gives members of the Allonim academy an impactful foundation before the next stage of life, which for many of them will be military or civil service.

 “At the beginning and end of the seven months you saw different people. They were both amazing girls before, but they gained the ability to understand the other –not to change her own identity but to walk in someone else’s shoes,” says Schwartz.

Each invited the other to spend a weekend in her family home, truly cementing the friendship. The Jewish friend is now in the military and the Arab one is doing civil service. They sometimes come back to Allonim together to interact with the current cohort.

“You can imagine that politically they are on opposite sides, but it doesn’t matter,” says Schwartz. “When they are leaders, and I hope they will be, they will act differently because of this experience.”

Secular and religious rapprochement

Schwartz, who has a master’s degree in Jewish studies and culture, and another in political communication, is now studying toward a master’s degree in political science focusing on democracy.

“I am secular, but I am starting a new program with a haredi [ultra-Orthodox] friend from Jerusalem to help elite haredi kids who want to join special forces units in the IDF,” says Schwartz.

“Until today they have not had that opportunity. We want to create new leadership in the haredi sector and help them participate more in Israeli society.”

The disconnect between secular and haredi Jewish Israelis is no less an issue than it is between Jewish and Arab Israelis. The corona crisis only exacerbated a mutual lack of trust due to highly publicized violations of mass gathering and social distancing rules.

“I see a breaking point in this,” says Schwartz. “We can’t build walls between ourselves. We are forced to find a way to live together despite the many obstacles.”

Yigal Allon Center, with a permanent staff of about 20, gets a third of its budget from the government, a third from program fees and a third from tourism. Of course, the latter third has suffered during the pandemic.

Schwartz is not fazed by the difficulty of his mission. “If it’s simple, it’s not interesting,” he says with a smile.

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