CAMERA Op-Ed: An Overlooked Legacy of Arab Rejectionism
It is deceptively easy to reduce the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict to a series of dates. The 50thanniversary of the June 1967 Six-Day War and the recent centennialof the Balfour Declaration occasioned considerable—if often flawed—media coverage and discussion by policymakers. Yet another—often-underreported—anniversary is perhaps more telling and highlights a long-running theme that was on full display after President Trump’s Dec. 6, 2017 speech recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: Arab rejection of any Jewish state in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland.
Nov. 29, 2017 marked the 70thanniversary of Arab states rejecting U.N. Resolution 181. The non-binding recommendation advised the partition of Mandate Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish. The Zionist leadership in Mandate Palestine accepted the resolution. Arab nations, including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, denounced it and promised bloodshed if it were passed.
Threatening to shed Jewish blood a mere two years after the end of World War II and the Holocaust was hardly a winning strategy and Resolution 181passed, with support from the United States, the Soviet Union, and others.
Yet, by promising to defy the implementation of the partition plan by force, the Arab leaders voided its very terms, which noted that any “attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution” a “threat to the peace.” This hardly dissuaded the Arab states from unsuccessfully seeking to destroy the fledgling Jewish state in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. In this conflict—and those that preceded it—a man named Amin al-Husseini assisted them.
Although Western press outlets seldom mention him today, al-Husseini should be considered one of the seminal figures of the 20thcentury.Revered as a founding “pioneer” by current-Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, al-Husseini loomed over Middle Eastern politics for decades, reshaping much of it in his image.
International development committee chairman Stephen Twigg has confirmed that he intends to raise the proposal with MPs after he receiving a letter from a British woman who was butchered and left for dead by Palestinian terrorists.
Kay Wilson sent the letter, supported by 130 campaigners, after she discovered that the Palestinian Authority is using British taxpayers’ money to pay her attackers in prison who also killed her American friend Kristine Luken.
The two murderers have received £9,000 each according to reports.
The row highlights how British aid money is being wasted on corrupt regimes supporting the Daily Express campaign to end the £13 billion international development budget and spend it on British priorities including the NHS.
More than 70,000 people have signed an Express petition
Mr Twigg told the Express: “I received Kay Wilson’s letter and I take its contents very seriously.”
He said not give a response on behalf of the committee until it had been discussed.
However, he went on: “As a committee we generally undertake two major inquiries at a time.
“However we do have other opportunities to raise issues with Department for International Development (Dfid) ministers and I will discuss with other committee members how best to do so in this case.”
In her letter, supported by 130 campaigners, Ms Wilson accuses the Dfid committee of ignoring the issue and ministers of misleading parliament about payments.
She described how she and her friend were held for 30 minutes at knifepoint then gagged and bound before being butchered with machetes.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Netanyahu (Politely) Roasts Foreign Press
Israel’s Government Press Office held its regular reception for foreign correspondents in Israel. As we know, there are way more foreign correspondents in Israel than almost anywhere else in the world (especially considering how small this country is).
The quiet fireworks are in the first 6 minutes of Bibi Netanyahu speaking:
Off the top he highlights US Ambassador Friedman for his exceptionally strong tweet following Saturday’s heinous murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a 35-year-old father of six, rabbi & Magen David Adom medic. Here’s Friedman’s tweet:
Statements from the official representative of the US Government and State Department don’t come more unequivocal than this. No calls for restraint, no “both sides”, just condemnation of evil terrorists and the people who support and send them. I didn’t notice particularly abundant coverage of just how different that tweet is from ambassadors of previous Administrations.
Immediately after this (at 2 mins) he lists three stories he directly challenges the foreign media for under covering or even ignoring. He asks for a show of hands for who covered each point. He gets a few on point 1, precisely none on point 2 and I suspect they were all nervously looking at their shoes on point 3.
1. Payments by Abbas’s Palestinian Authority direct to terrorists and their famlies.
2. Massive extra investment in Arab citizens of Israel for education, health and opportunities.
3. Did the journalists’ outlets call the Iranian Rouhani government “moderate” even as it is shooting peaceful protestors in the streets and dumping them in torture prisons?
Evelyn Gordon: The U.S. Must Show Iranians That They Can’t Have It All
Iran’s decision to spend most of its sanctions relief on guns rather than butter meant ordinary Iranians saw little improvement in their own situation. Until recently, however, the regime could mollify public anxieties by stalling for time. The money is going to keep pouring in, they’d note, and soon there will be enough for everyone.
But President Trump’s decertification of the nuclear deal in October upended this calculus. European companies became more reluctant to do business with Iran, fearing loss of access to the much more important American market. And new American sanctions on Iran became a real possibility.
Consequently, the continued influx of money was no longer guaranteed. The billions Suleimani spent on his military adventures weren’t necessarily going to be replaced by a flood of European investment, and surging economic growth might once again be crimped by new sanctions. Ordinary Iranians were suddenly back in the pre-nuclear deal world, where the regime’s bad behavior had real economic costs.
In this sense, the media debate over whether the protests were “economic” or “political” was ludicrous. They were both because the protesters understood that their economic woes stemmed from their government’s political choices. That’s why they chanted slogans like “Forget about Palestine, forget about Gaza, think about us” and “Leave Syria alone, think about us instead.”
They also understood that those political choices were a product of the regime’s very nature, which is why they chanted slogans like “Death to the Dictator” and “Death to the Islamic Republic.” The nuclear deal was the Islamic Republic’s best shot at reconciling its desire to export Shi’ite revolution with its need to satisfy its people’s desire for a decent quality of life. If that doesn’t work, the regime clearly doesn’t have any solution to this dilemma and never will.
But if protests are ever to grow to the point that they actually threaten the regime, many more Iranians–especially the middle-class Tehranis who sat this round out–must come to understand this. And easing economic pressure on Iran would send the exact opposite message: that the world actually will let the Islamic Republic have its cake and eat it, too.
Wolff’s narrative is plainly designed to show the president in the worst possible light, largely though certainly not solely on the basis of material provided by Bannon — and indeed Wolff has said since publication that he believes the book will bring Trump down. Who knows? Maybe it will.
But on Israel, from Wolff’s own Trump-pulverizing narrative, it becomes clear that the president resisted the incautious, indeed sometimes megalomaniacal urgings of his now-ousted chief strategist from the get-go, and, thus far, has hewed to a line that has both been widely well-received by Israelis most of the way across the spectrum and reflected much of what he promised on the campaign trail.
Benjamin Netanyahu gets only three name checks in “Fire and Fury.” Netanyahu’s trusted ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, a frequent interlocutor with the administration, isn’t mentioned at all. The president’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories is dispatched in a single sentence. And yet much of “Fire and Fury” revolves around Israel- and Jewish-related issues.
Trump does not emerge enhanced from the Israel-related material. There is no evidence of deep thinking or of informed policy-making on his part. Quite the reverse. And Wolff would not have been interested in providing it if there had been. But Bannon is quoted and paraphrased liberally, and the gulf between what he sought to have the president do and what the president has actually done is plain for all to see — to Bannon’s discredit.
Winfrey has had a positive relationship with Jewish leaders and the Jewish state stretching back at least a decade. In 2007, she was honored by Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel at a dinner for his foundation, and pledged to visit the Jewish state — though the trip doesn’t appear to have happened. Upon receiving the award, Ynet News reported, Winfrey expressed sympathy for Israel’s fight against terrorism.
More recently, Winfrey has rejected an overture from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. In 2015, Winfrey wore diamonds from Israeli jeweler Lev Leviev on the cover of O, her monthly magazine. BDS activists came to the magazine’s office with a letter demanding Winfrey reject Leviev but were barred from entering.
Also, Tamar Geller, an Israeli ex-intelligence officer, once trained Winfrey’s dogs. So there’s that.
What about Oprah and The Jews? Winfrey connected a few times with Wiesel. In 2006, she selected his groundbreaking memoir, “Night,” for her book club, pushing it back onto best-seller lists decades after its publication. That year, she filmed an extended segment with Wiesel on the grounds of Auschwitz, the former concentration camp.
After ending her talk show in 2012, Winfrey spent a day with Chabad touring the Hasidic outreach group’s neighborhood in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She had a meal at a Chabad home, met with five women from the Hasidic group and visited a mikvah, or Jewish ritual bath. She told Motti Seligson, a Chabad spokesman, that she was impressed with Chabad’s emphasis on family life.
“The rubbish of the American president isn’t worth the urine of one Jerusalem child” (Abbas’ advisor)
Trump is a “rich adolescent,” “the irrelevant clown,” “a scoundrel,” “this crazy man,” “the American Shylock,” “an ignoramus,” “isn’t worth a woman’s shoe,” “stupid,” “the enemy of justice , freedom, and peace … the enemy of the world” (PA and Fatah)
“We are not bought with your dollars, and we are not bought with your aid. From the outset, you did not give us aid because of our beautiful eyes… [but] out of your interests and calculations. So stop this aid.’ (Abbas’ advisor)
“What has come from the Americans in the years that have passed. Nothing at all.” (Deputy Chairman of Fatah)
“Everyone needs to put a picture of Trump with a donkey on his head – let them burn him and hang him. We need to see [a picture of] Trump on every street and step on it…” (Senior Fatah official)
The world “stuck its tongue out at Trump [saying] ‘We are not bought with your dollars'” (Abbas’ advisor)
PA mocks countries that voted with US at the UN: “Palau, Malau, Micronesia – states that no one has heard of! … Micro-nesia, micro, small. Someone wrote: ‘I thought that was the name of an antibiotic.'” (Abbas’ advisor)
The US Justice Department announced Thursday the creation of a special task force to investigate what it called “narco-terrorism” by the powerful Lebanese organization Hezbollah, which the US, along with Israel and other countries, has classified as a terror group.
The unit will comprise specialists on money-laundering, drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime, targeting Iran ally Hezbollah’s sprawling network, whose reach extends across Africa and into Central and South America, the department said.
“The Justice Department will leave no stone unturned in order to eliminate threats to our citizens from terrorist organizations and to stem the tide of the devastating drug crisis,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The team will initiate prosecutions that will restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations as well as disrupt violent international drug trafficking operations.”
The retired head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special-operations division said on Wednesday the Obama administration squandered a chance to dismantle Hezbollah due in part to political motivations to clinch a nuclear deal with Iran.
Derek Maltz, who was in charge of a major law enforcement operation targeting Hezbollah’s trafficking of cocaine, said the United States cannot again succumb to political distractions that allow the Iranian-backed terrorist to continue its narcoterrorism campaign.
“There’s an old saying, opportunities come and go,” Maltz testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “In my personal opinion, having been the guy in charge of the special operations for ten years, we lost a gold opportunity to crush Hezbollah.”
Politico in December first reported the Obama administration’s quiet dismantling of these efforts, dubbed Project Cassandra, out of apprehension over rattling Iran as President Barack Obama pursued a landmark nuclear deal with the country. The piece, written by Politico‘s Josh Meyer, extensively quoted Maltz, who said he had “no doubt” multilateral negotiations with Iran sidelined ongoing operations against Hezbollah’s drug trafficking network.
“There is certainly an argument to be made that if tomorrow all the agencies were ordered to come together and sit in a room and put all the evidence on the table against all these bad guys, that there could be a hell of a lot of indictments,” Maltz told Politico.
Maltz echoed this sentiment on Wednesday, telling lawmakers the United States needs better interagency cooperation to confront Hezbollah’s terrorism ambitions and the transnational criminal organizations that generate tens of millions of dollars for the Iranian-backed group.
Amid concern in Jordan about the presence of pro-Iran Shi’ite forces on the Jordan-Syria border, and following the November 19, 2017 Arab League statement calling Hizbullah an organization “that supports terrorist groups in the Arab world,” Fahd Al-Fanek, a senior columnist in the Jordanian government daily Al-Rai, wrote that there is no justification for Hizbullah’s possession of weapons. The claim that Hizbullah needs these weapons to oppose Israel is groundless, he said, because this organization has not acted against Israel since the 2006 war, and also because the Shab’a Farms – which Hizbullah cites as one of the reasons for its continued hostility towards Israel – were Syrian, rather than Lebanese, territory when Israel occupied them in 1967. Al-Fanek added that, instead of fighting Israel, Hizbullah is serving Iran by dragging Lebanon into conflicts that do not concern it in Syria and elsewhere; furthermore, its military activity harms Lebanon’s security and its tourism-based economy, and undermines the country’s ability to function as a democracy.
The following are excerpts from his article:
“The secretary-general of the Lebanese Hizbullah, [Hassan Nasrallah], confirmed on several occasions that his party holds on to its weapons due to the inability of the Lebanese army to confront Israel. Lebanese President Michel ‘Aoun repeated this when he justified Hizbullah’s armed [status], and added that this armed party would no longer be justified in maintaining its arsenal once the Lebanese army attained the ability to confront Israel, a long time from now.
“This is a groundless claim, for the simple reason that no existing Arab army has the ability to defeat the Israel army. This is true of [all] Arab countries, large and small. So how can anyone expect the smallest Arab state [Lebanon] to surpass Israel militarily? In this context, let us recall the commitment of American presidents to maintain Israel’s advantage over the Arab armies, separately or together. So I wonder when the Lebanese army, by itself, can ever become an equal rival of the Israeli army…
In the wake of the Iranian regime’s harsh crackdown on nationwide protests, former Obama administration official wrote that the United States and Europe should “feel free to impose sanctions tied to human rights, terror and missiles notwithstanding” the nuclear deal upon Iran in an op-ed published Tuesday in Politico.
Dennis Ross, who served as a senior adviser to President Obama, in an article co-written with Richard Goldberg, the former Congressional staffer who developed many of the sanctions imposed on Iran, wrote that the nuclear deal “should not be interpreted as a blanket immunity for Iranian officials, banks and other government instrumentalities to expand their illicit activities.” They explained, “If such a person or entity is found to be connected to the Revolutionary Guard, terrorism, missile proliferation and human rights abuses, it most certainly can and should be subject to sanctions—even if sanctions for that person or entity were initially suspended by the JCPOA.”
By targeting members of the regime for non-nuclear violations, Ross and Goldberg argued, the administration “can uphold American values, defend our national security and keep our commitments to close allies.”
The authors cited the example of President Ronald Reagan, who, in the 1980s, managed to conclude an arms control agreement with the Soviet Union, even while referring to it as the “Evil Empire” and “building up America’s strategic deterrence, promoting regime change and applying economic pressure tied to the Soviet record on human rights.”
In a similar vein, Ross and Goldberg wrote that Trump could follow in Reagan’s footsteps while targeting Iran for its support of terror, human rights abuses and its continued development of ballistic missiles. In addition, they recommended that the administration work to end the sunset provisions of the nuclear deal, which would allow Iran to develop an industrial strength nuclear program when the nuclear deal expires. (Obama himself acknowledged that at the end of the deal, Iran’s breakout time—the time required for Iran to develop enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon—would be near zero.)
U.S. President Donald Trump is being urged by some top advisers not to bring back U.S. economic sanctions on Iran this week, a move by the president that would effectively end a 2015 deal to limit Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Two senior administration officials said Wednesday that Trump’s top advisers were recommending that he not reimpose sanctions on Iran, lifted under the agreement between Iran, the United States and other world powers.
But Trump, who has previously vowed to scrap the nuclear pact, is privately expressing reluctance to heed the advisers, the officials said.
The U.S. Congress requires the president to decide periodically whether to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal and issue a waiver to allow U.S sanctions on Iran to remain suspended. The next deadline is Friday.
Trump will seek to make a final decision on the sanctions during a meeting with national security aides on Thursday, the officials said, adding that if Trump did waive the sanctions, the administration would nevertheless impose new, targeted measures on Iranian businesses and individuals.
A third U.S. official said Trump was expected by some officials to renew the sanctions waivers but stressed that no final decision had been made.
Iran says it has arrested dozens on suspicion of “terrorist activities” during a recent wave of protests.
The official IRNA news agency on Wednesday carried a statement from the Intelligence Ministry saying security forces confiscated arms and explosives from “safe houses” kept by people arrested during the protest that swept the country in late December.
The demonstrations were fueled by anger at the lackluster economy and corruption. Some demonstrators called for the overthrow of the government.
Clashes broke out at some of the protests, and at least 21 people were killed. Iranian security forces arrested some 3,700 people.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused the U.S., Israel and other foreign powers of inciting violence to try and overthrow the Iranian regime.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that the regime has squashed the uprising that took place the last few weeks. The protests left 22 people dead and 3,700 arrested.
Remember, people used social media and the internet to tell the world about the protests since Iran doesn’t have a free press and the regime told state media not to report on it. To stop them, the regime shut down the internet. Yes, that helped them cut off access for the world to see the protests, but it also wrecked havoc on those who did not even participate.
The protests that began on December have come to an end after the regime arrested 3,700 people and 22 people died. From CNN:
Tehran member of parliament Mahmoud Sadeghi said Tuesday that 3,700 people had been arrested, including 40 to 68 students, in six days of protests that broke out in late December.
He added that “due to the fact that several security organizations had made the arrests, it will take some time to give an accurate count,” according to the Iranian parliament’s news agency.
Apparently Khamenei still believes that outside sources caused the protests because he told the U.S. and Britain and any other nation that supposedly wants to overthrow the regime that “you’ve failed, and you will fail in the future, too.” The man went on a tweetstorm:
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) General Yoav Mordechai, said at the Globes business conference that the Palestinian Authority is completely dependent on Israel’s economy, despite decades of financial aid intended to lay the groundwork for an independent PA economy.
“The Palestinian economy is totally dependent on the state of Israel,” said Mordechai.
Mordechai added that there has been a 50% drop in foreign assistance to the PA during the last five years.
“We see the Palestinian economy as being important to our national security. What is most important is direct security – the arrests at night, and so on.”
Mordechai also said the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) budget is currently 15 billion NIS ($4,673,920). Until five years ago, 30% of the budget depended on external aid from Western countries. However, external aid has dropped by fifty percent, since the world began to understand that the Oslo Accords had not accomplished their purpose, and the money was not providing dividends.
Between the Oslo Accords (signed in 1993 and 1995) and 2014, the world provided the PA $16 billion.
“Think about what would have happened if this money was invested in developing infrastructure and places of employment,” Mordechai noted. “This money currently goes to a bloated public system, more than a bit of corruption, and recently, we have heard about it being used to pay the families of imprisoned and dead terrorists, despite the fact that this is not legal.”
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the umbrella organization that is internationally-recognized as the representative of the Palestinian people, will push to withdraw formal recognition of Israel and end Washington’s longstanding role as mediator of the peace process. Instead, the PLO will pursue an “international formula” for achieving statehood. The developments were outlined in a report that aims to redefine not only the parameters for future relations with Israel and the Unites States, but also change the status of the Palestinian Authority from a “transitional authority” to a “state under occupation.” The details are intended to be finalized in a follow-up meeting of the PLO mid-month.
The PA was formed as an interim governing body by the 1993 Oslo Accords—signed by then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and previous PLO chief Yasser Arafat—and was meant to be dissolved after no later than five years as part of a final peace agreement.
Two-and-a-half decades later, the PLO is now threatening to do just that, which, in its view, would release the Palestinians from political obligations stipulated in agreements with Israel.
According to PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani, Israel “didn’t commit to any of the terms,” thereby effectively absolving the PA of its responsibilities. “I believe we are late in making these decisions and implementing them,” he told The Media Line, “which has created a gap between the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will later this month visit the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, where he will present a “package of demands” that will set a new course to achieve Palestinian statehood, according to a report Thursday.
The Palestinian leader will demand the recognition of the state of Palestine along 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to a report in the London-based Pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.
Since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December, the Palestinians have said Washington can no longer play its historic and lead role in the peace process.
The Palestinians are now seeking new ways forward to establish an independent Palestinian state without the help of the Americans.
According to the report, which cites an unnamed senior Palestinian official, Abbas will present three demands to EU ministers when he travels to Brussels on January 22.
Four former senior Obama administration officials have reportedly claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to implement a two-state solution in which Jewish communities in the West Bank would be absorbed into Israel in exchange for the Palestinians receiving land in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
According to the officials, Netanyahu informed former President Barack Obama that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi would be happy to implement the deal, Haaretz reported Thursday. Yet one of the officials said that “by the time Netanyahu, [Secretary of State John] Kerry and Sisi met at the secret Aqaba summit [in January 2016], this idea was already off the table. No one talked about it in Aqaba.”
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office stated that the Haaretz report “is not accurate.”
Last December, President Donald Trump mulled a proposal to create a Palestinian state in northern Sinai that would significantly expand the territory of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported at the time.
Reports of a Palestinian state being established in the Sinai have circulated since September 2014. At the time, Sisi reportedly offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a state in the peninsula, but Abbas rejected the proposal.
JPost Editorial: India and Israel
Once upon a time India’s political leaders were hesitant to make public displays of its ties with the Jewish state.
But since the rise to power of Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, this has changed.
In July, Modi became the first Indian prime minister to make an official visit to Israel. The move was historic and marked a quarter of a century of official ties, though military and technological cooperation go back further. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will return the favor on January 14 when he leaves for a fiveday visit to India.
There are a number of reasons for the change in India’s attitude. Part of it has to do with a change in Israel’s standing in the Middle East. The Sunni-Shi’ite divide has created alliances between Israel and countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Jordan and Egypt have also realized how instrumental Israel is in fighting Iranian influence in the region.
If in the past, India’s political leaders were wary of public expressions of support for Israel for fear of arousing the rancor of Arab states or out a desire not to hurt the feelings of the country’s large Muslim population, today this is less the case.
New Delhi has also realized that its efforts for decades to curry favor with Arab states by taking anti-Israel positions in UN votes have not paid off. This was on display most recently at the end of December, when during an anti-US rally in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem, the PLO’s ambassador to Pakistan, Waleed Abu Ali, embraced Pakistani terrorist leader Hafiz Saeed whose organization – Lashkar e-Taibi – was responsible for the 2008 Mumbai massacre and is actively fighting India in the Kashmir region.
India will purchase Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel after initially canceling a $525 million missile deal with an Israeli firm last year.
According to a report in India’s Hindustan Times on Wednesday, the deal will now be implemented on a government-to-government basis rather than working directly through the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
India’s 2014 deal to purchase the anti-tank missiles from Rafael was overturned last November. At the time, Indian media reported that India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation planned to develop and produce its own anti-tank missile domestically.
The deal’s reported reactivation comes ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to India next week. Netanyahu will lead an Israeli trade delegation comprised of some 130 business leaders to negotiate defense deals.
Last April, Israel Aerospace Industries inked agreements amounting to $2 billion with India, including a $1.6 billion contract to deliver a medium-range surface-to-air missile defense system and a $400 million deal for a long-range surface-to-air missile system.
The frontpage of Roznama Urdu Times, December 23, 2017, reads: “Jerusalem – protest by more than 10 million people across India.”
In recent decades, India has not seen protests by Islamic organizations, not even when Islamic countries such as neighboring Pakistan were up in flames over the controversy surrounding the cartoons and drawings of Prophet Muhammad in Europe. Even attempts by neo-communist groups like the Occupy Wall Street movement have not found support among Indians. However, on December 22, 2017, after the weekly Friday prayers, Islamic organizations in India held countrywide protests against America and Israel over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. The religious groups’ protests were coordinated by mosque leaders and held in cities from Mumbai to Kolkata and Agartala in the northeast, and from Delhi to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai in southern India.
According to a media report, the anti-America and anti-Israel protests were organized in the towns and cities of Mumbai, Pune, Malegaon, Dhule, Nasik, Latur, Nagpur, Amravati, New Delhi, Dehradun, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Mathura, Aligarh, Hardoi, Agra, Moradabad, Sultanpur, Meerut, Saharanpur, Deoband, Kanpur, Varanasi, Lucknow, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Agartala, Ahmedabad, Patan, Surat, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and others. One Urdu newspaper, Roznama Inquilab, carried a headline: “Protest against America in more than one thousand cities in the nation.” Although the protests were held across India, their concentration was mainly in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and in Delhi and its neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered that the community of Havat Gilad in Samaria be connected to Israel’s national electricity grid immediately, days after one of the residents was gunned down by Arab terrorists just a few hundred yards away from his home.
Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a 32-year-old father of six, was shot and killed by Arab terrorists near the entrance to Havat Gilad Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s attack took place just several hundred yards away from Shevach’s home – and almost exactly at the site of another deadly terror attack in 2001.
Havat Gilad, founded in 2002, is named after veteran Samaria activist Moshe Zar’s son, Gilad Zar.
Gilad Zar was murdered by terrorists in 2001, leading his father to push for the establishment of a new Jewish community on the site of the attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday praised the American envoy to Israel for having blamed the Palestinians’ alleged support of terrorism for the lack of peace in the Middle East.
“I want to congratulate Ambassador Friedman, the American ambassador to Israel, who tweeted the truth, unvarnished, straight forward,” Netanyahu told foreign journalists at a reception in Jerusalem. “He said some important things. The important thing is that [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas’s government is supporting the kind of murderers that murdered a father of six. Such people in our jails get $355 million a year, they and their families, from the Palestinian Authority. That is something that is untenable.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Friedman had taken to Twitter to condemn the deadly drive-by shooting of Rabbi Raziel Shevach the night before near his West Bank home.
“An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace,” Friedman tweeted.
The Palestinian Authority attacked comments Wednesday by the US ambassador to Israel in which he blamed it for the failure of peace efforts, after an Israeli was killed in the West Bank.
In the latest tensions between them, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry accused US ambassador David Friedman of a “prejudiced and selective attitude” toward the conflict.
It comes a month after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, angering the Palestinians.
“An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists,” Friedman said on Twitter Wednesday after a 35-year-old was killed near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
“Hamas praises the killers and PA (Palestinian Authority) laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace.”
IDF forces continue their special activity to protect roads and settlements in Judea and Samaria, out of a concern that the terror cell which has already murdered one person, Rabbi Raziel Shevach ZL from Havat Gilad, will attempt another attack in the near future, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.
The IDF, together with other security forces, continue to hunt down that terror cell. It is believed that more than one person carried out the attack, although the possibility of a one-man operation is also considered.
Meanwhile, the city of Shechem and nearby villages continue to be under a security lockdown.
The manhunt for Rabbi Shevach’s murderers is conducted by the Samaria Regional Brigade, together with special forces. Their operational activity is complemented by continued investigation and intelligence activity.
It is estimated that this is a squad and not a single operation, but this direction is not excluded.
The number of violent attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories tripled last month, from 84 in November to 249 in December, according to statistics released by the Shin Bet.
Of the 249 attacks, 219 were in the form of Molotov cocktail throwing, which the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) considers terrorism. The most serious of the attacks were two stabbings, one of which occurred outside the Jerusalem Central Bus Station when a Palestinian man stabbed a security guard in the chest, wounding him critically. In the second, a 19-year-old Palestinian man from Hebron stabbed a Border Police officer twice in the shoulder during a protest in Ramallah, wounding him moderately.
The rest of the incidents were rocket and mortar fire coming from the Gaza Strip, shootings and improvised explosive attacks.
The Shin Bet report, released this week, did not cite US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as the reason for the surge in attacks, but many Palestinians engaged in “Days of Rage” throughout December to protest the move at the behest of their leaders. The terrorist who stabbed the security guard in Jerusalem told interrogators Trump’s announcement motivated him to carry out the attack, and the Ramallah stabbing occurred during the second “Day of Rage.”
Three Arab women suspected of plotting a stabbing attack in Hevron were arrested Thursday.
Border Police officers arrested the three women Thursday afternoon at checkpoint at the entrance to the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
The three suspects were arrested for apparently planning a stabbing attack on Israeli security forces. Border Police officers found a knife concealed on the person of one of the three suspects as the group attempted to pass through the security check.
A follow-up check on the three revealed two more concealed knives – one on each suspect’s person.
Authorities arrested the three women and transferred them for questioning.
Tel Aviv, HaHagana Station: With the pending (and shockingly somewhat on-time) launch of the Jerusalem to Tel Aviv High Speed Rail line, residents of each city eagerly look forward to the chance to remember all the things about the other city that suck. The Daily Freier wandered the streets of Tel Aviv gathering answers, and then reluctantly took the bus from Savidor Station to do the same in that other city 40 miles to the East that really, really knows how to party.
“I don’t quite know what it is about Jerusalem, but it just turns you into a dork.” explained Yafo resident Danny S. “My cousin did Yeshiva there and he actually taught himself to speak poorly accented English. Like he now purposely adds “umms” and “uhs” to his sentences. He literally has a self-imposed speech impediment. And he’s from Miami.”
“Why do all the girls wear those thick black tights that look like they could stop an AK-47 round?” asked Tamar, a personal trainer from Florentin. “Are they auditioning for the next season of Fauda?”
“The worst is that Jerusalemites take it personally when we remind them how much their city sucks.” explained the Daily Freier’s very own Aaron Pomerantz. “Last year I somehow talked myself out of a date with a pretty dati girl when I told her that Jerusalem is lame.” [Editor’s Note: This may or may not have actually happened to a Daily Freier writer in real life.]
Inside the IDF – Episode 3: December 2017 (Yearender)
The Palestinian Authority’s security forces revealed on Wednesday the identities of senior Hamas operatives behind efforts to rehabilitate the group’s terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, chief among them Maher Obeid, the organization’s newly appointed military commander in the West Bank.
The terrorist cells and infrastructure built by Hamas’ military wing in Judea and Samaria were decimated by Israel during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 during the Second Intifada, targeted assassinations over the course of the previous decade and tight security cooperation between Israeli and PA security apparatuses.
However, since the mass release of terrorists within the framework of the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange in 2011, the organization has taken pains to establish a “West Bank command” to run its operations there.
Spearheading those efforts from abroad was Saleh Arouri, who was among those released and exiled within the framework of the Schalit deal. In October he was named deputy to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Initially, the person charged with rehabilitating Hamas’ terrorist capabilities in Judea and Samaria was Mazen Faqha, a West Bank native who was among those banished to Gaza after his release from Israeli prison in 2011.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday instructed the defense establishment to sanction the family of a Palestinian teenager arrested for assaulting IDF soldiers.
Ahed Tamimi, 16, was arrested on Dec. 15 after she was caught on film attacking IDF soldiers trying to quell a protest in the village of Nabi Saleh.
She was indicted before the Judea Military Court last week on two counts of assault and 10 counts of rioting, hindering security forces in the line of duty and incitement to violence.
Tamimi’s mother, Nariman, and cousin, Nur, have also been indicted for incitement.
Lieberman has ordered to revoke the entry permit to Israel from 20 of Tamimi’s relatives, over what he called the entire family’s involvement in inciting violence and terrorism.
Lieberman also signed an order preventing the girl’s father, Bassem, who has been arrested dozens of time for rioting, from leaving Israel.
Palestinian officials said that two teenage protesters were killed by Israeli soldiers on Thursday, one during a violent demonstration along the Gaza fence and the second in a clash with troops outside the city of Nablus.
The Gaza health ministry said that in addition to the teenage protester killed, three people were wounded by Israeli gunfire during violent protests along the security fence across from the central Gaza city of el-Bureij. A ministry spokesperson said the extent of their injuries were not immediately known.
The official Palestinian Wafa news outlet reported that another Palestinian teenage protester had been shot and killed by Israeli forces in the Iraq Burin refugee camp, south of Nablus. The military said it was aware of the report, but could not immediately confirm it.
The Palestinian Ma’an news site quoted local residents as saying that the shots were fired during a violent demonstration that broke out in response to a checkpoint that the army had set up in the area, as part of the military’s ongoing search for the terrorists who shot and killed an Israeli man, Raziel Shevach, on Tuesday night on a nearby highway.
Wafa identified the slain protester as 16-year-old Omar Qino.
Since early this week, in many Tunisian cities and villages, including the capital Tunis, thousands of residents demonstrated in protest of price and tax increases as part of the government’s plan to carry out a series of economic reforms.
According to reports, looting incidents were recorded. During the riots, demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails trying to set fire to the famous Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba. No one was injured, reported the son of the synagogue president.
The protests continues to sizzle underneath the surface of Tunisia, even after the changes in the Tunisian government following the Arab Spring that led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The protests, especially in the southern regions, are mainly against high unemployment rates and rising fuel prices. Similar demonstrations last year led to the months of cessation of Toil production and caused a high loss in oil revenues.
The protest organizers from both union organizations and civil society called for the continuation of the demonstrations. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed called for calm, while at the same time affirming the right to demonstrate in the streets. The prime minister warned that the situation could deteriorate into violence and declared that he would not “tolerate such a situation.” Chahed promised that despite the difficulties in the economic plan, this would be a better year for Tunisians. “People have to understand that Tunisia faces many challenges, but 2018 will be the last difficult year for the Tunisians,” he said. At the same time the PM met with demnonstrators in the street accopmpanied with his bodyguards.
Iranian cleric Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, considered to be a successor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has fled Germany after having criminal complaints of crimes against humanity filed against him. Shahroudi was in Germany receiving medical treatment for a brain tumor and fled Thursday for Iran.
Critics have accused Shahroudi, the former head of Iran’s judiciary system (1999-2009), of imposing executions on 2,000 people, including adolescents.
“Germany has a choice: Does it want to be a safe-haven for terrorists and mass murderers? Alas, for Sigmar Gabriel [Germany’s foreign minister], it seems that the answer was, and is, yes. But why should principle matter if German businesses can make an extra million euros?” Dr. Michael Rubin— an Iran expert with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC– told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
Shahroudi’s presence in the city of Hannover prompted protests and widespread calls on social media for Germany’s government to arrest and prosecute the religious leader. Sharoudi is believed to have fled on an Iran Air flight that departed Hamburg for Tehran. Iranian dissidents demonstrated at the Hamburg airport, chanting that “Sharoudi is a terrorist.”
The German Kurdish community and the prominent German Green Party politician and human rights activist Volker Beck filed criminal complaints against Shahroudi. The state prosecutor in Lower Saxony launched an investigation into the allegations of widespread crimes against humanity conducted by Shahroudi in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
A mass-circulation, pro-government newspaper in Turkey has been roundly condemned by the country’s Jewish community after it accused “Jewish businessmen” of engaging in suspicious transactions on Turkish financial markets in the run-up to the abortive coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in July 2016.
In an article billed as an investigative report published by the conservative tabloid Yeni Şafak (“New Dawn”) on Tuesday, reporter Osman Özgan claimed that Turkish authorities had discovered “hundreds of suspicious transactions” before July 15, 2016 — the day the coup was launched.
“It became evident that nearly 60 businessmen had withdrawn from the market, selling all their shares on and before July 15,” Özgan wrote. “Among these names are also some Jewish businessmen and international corporations.” None of the individuals was explicitly named, and Özgan did not specify how many of them were Jews — or why the fact of their being Jewish was relevant to the authorities’ inquiries.
On its official Twitter feed, the Turkish Jewish community denounced the article as an “antisemitic provocation” and an example of “hate rhetoric.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Israel Proposes Making Jordan Custodian Of Vatican City Holy Sites As Well (satire)
Responding to recurring Arab and Western insistence that the Hashemite kingdom to its east be granted official status as guardian of this disputed city’s sacred places, the Jewish State today remarked that such half-measures would go nowhere, and instead suggested that Jordan be given special international status that would also place in its care the various religious buildings and facilities of Vatican City in Rome.
David Keyes, spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, told reporters at a press conference this morning that the idea of placing holy sites, including Jewish ones, under Jordanian control, represented a paucity of imagination. If King Abdullah and his kingdom are to be given the responsibility to oversee protection of other religions’ holy sites, Keyes argued, it makes no sense to restrict that responsibility and privilege to Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is no more Jordanian than is Rome,” he observed. “Why, then, should Jordan only be granted custodian status over Jerusalem? The Hashemites have already demonstrated the care they show for holy sites when they had control of eastern Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, and that precedent should serve to reassure all interested parties of the treatment Vatican City would get if the international community were to take a consistent position on the matter of Jerusalem.”
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