July 9, 2020

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01/12 Links: Netanyahu: Every Palestinian who killed an Israeli in 2018, dead or arrested; A Warning from Robert P. George: Dems Will Turn On Israel; Chesler: Big Sister Is Watching


From Ian:

Netanyahu: Every Palestinian who killed an Israeli in 2018, dead or arrested
All the terrorists who killed Israelis in 2018 have either been killed or arrested, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday during a visit to the base of the Yamam, Israel’s elite Counterterrorism Unit.

The visit comes after the arrest on Tuesday of Assam Barghouti, accused of killing soldiers Yuval Mor-Yosef and Yosef Cohen outside Givat Assaf last month.

Barghouti’s arrest follows the killing in December of Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, the terrorist who killed Kim Levengood-Yehezkel and Ziv Hagbi in the Barkan industrial park in October, as well as the arrest of four Palestinians suspected in the shooting attack outside Ofra last month and the killing of a fifth suspect in that attack, Saleh Omar Barghouti. Seven people were wounded in the Ofra attack, including Shira Ish-ran who was 30 weeks pregnant. Her baby, whom the couple named Amiad Israel, was delivered in an emergency operation, but died three days later.

Netanyahu praised the Yamam and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for their actions in apprehending those responsible for the Ofra, Barkan and Givat Assaf attacks.

The Yamam and Shin Bet combination gives Israel “the best counterterrorism units in the world,” Netanyahu said, adding that many countries come to Israel and say, “‘bring them to us, so we can learn from them.’”

“What Israel’s citizens need to know, is that anyone who killed an Israeli citizen last year was either killed or apprehended,” Netanyahu said. “This is an unparalleled achievement in the world, and it is because of these guys, because of their daring heroism, creativity and commitment.”

All of Israel’s enemies knew that “Israel’s arm would reach them, and it reached them through the Yamam fighters and through the Shin Bet.”

Fourteen people, according to the Foreign Ministry, were killed in terrorist attacks in 2018, compared to 19 people killed in attacks in 2017. The 2018 figure was the lowest number of people killed in terrorist attacks since 2013, when seven people were killed. At the height of the Second Intifada in 2002, 457 people were killed in terrorist attacks.

A Warning from Robert P. George: Dems Will Turn On Israel

Robert P. George of Princeton offers this prediction:

You will be able to watch something as if in slow motion over the course of the next few years: the collapse of support for Israel by Democratic Party politicians who harbor ambition for national office. It will follow the pattern we saw of collapse of support for the pro-life cause by leading Democrats in the period of 1973-80 (and particularly 1973-76). One by one, major pro-life Democrats, perceiving the writing on the wall, flipped to supporting abortion and, eventually, even its public funding: Teddy Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Richard Gephart, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Joe Biden, and many others. (Something similar happened on marriage, by the way, in the period of 2000-2012, especially 2004-09, culminating in Barack Obama’s “evolution” and Hillary Clinton’s change of heart.)

Similarly, today’s leading Democrats will move from support for Israel, to merely nominal support for Israel, to neutrality, to quiet, somewhat ambiguous opposition, to something effectively indistinguishable from “Zionism is racism.” The left calls the tune, and just as the left settled in on abortion in the early 1970s and marriage redefinition in the 90s, it has now settled in on opposition to Israel–not merely the policies of its government, but its very existence as a Jewish state and homeland of the Jewish people. Do you doubt me? You can do a test of your own. Go to the center of campus at your local university and hoist a placard bearing a large blue star of David and the words “Long Live Israel!” (Notice: Please make sure your health and life insurance coverage are in good order before conducting this experiment.)

Of course, we already saw this shift taking place in the Obama Administration. The big question is whether Jewish voters will start voting Republican in response.

Paralympic Committee ‘disappointed’ by Malaysia ban on Israeli swimmers

The International Paralympic Committee expressed disappointment Saturday after Malaysia said it would not allow Israeli swimmers to attend a competition in the country that will serve as a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Malaysia is one of a number of Muslim-majority countries that has no formal diplomatic ties with Israel, with entry to the country on an Israeli passport prohibited.

The city of Kuching in the eastern Sarawak state will host hundreds of swimmers from 70 countries from July 29th to August 4th.

But on Thursday, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Kuala Lumpur would deny visas to Israeli para swimmers seeking to attend the meet.

“We maintain our stand on the prohibition. If they do come, it is a violation,” he was quoted as saying by the official Bergama news agency.

“If they [the International Paralympic Committee] want to withdraw Malaysia’s right to host the championship, they can do so.”

The IPC said in a statement that it was “disappointed” with Mahathir’s comments, although it would aim to “find a solution” to the issue.

Syria says Israeli airstrikes hit warehouse at Damascus airport

Syrian air defense batteries opened fire on “hostile Israel missiles” near Damascus Friday night, the official news agency SANA reported.

A military source told the news agency that “at 11:15 p.m. Israeli warplanes coming from the direction of the Galilee fired several missiles towards the vicinity of Damascus.”

The source claimed that air defenses intercepted “most” of the missiles and said a “ministry of transport warehouse at Damascus international airport” was hit. Another official told SANA traffic at the airport had not been disrupted.

An AFP correspondent in Damascus heard several loud explosions.

“Two areas hosting military positions of Iranian forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement have been targeted,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

These were near the airport and around the Kisweh area south of Damascus, the observatory said.

In an earlier report, SANA had spoken of Syrian air-defence batteries attacking “enemy targets.”

Israeli officials made no statement on Friday’s reports, but seldom comment on alleged strikes.

Outgoing IDF chief: Israel has struck ‘thousands’ of Iranian targets in Syria

The outgoing IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot on Friday said that Israel has carried out “thousands” of airstrikes against Iranian military targets in Syria in recent years.

In an interview to the New York Times ahead of his retirement next week, Eisenkot for the first time confirmed the scale of Israel’s ongoing military campaign to thwart Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

“We struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit,” he said.

Eisenkot said Israel in the last two years shifted its focus to Iran, its primary enemy, to prevent the IDF from getting bogged down in fighting secondary enemies like Hamas in Gaza.

“When you fight for many years against a weak enemy,” he said, “it also weakens you.”

At first, Eisenkot said Israeli operations in Syria operated under a “certain threshold,” referring to the IDF restricting strikes to weapons shipments bound for Iran’s Lebanon-based proxy group Hezbollah during the first few years of the civil war that broke out in 2011.

But in the years that followed, Eisenkot said Iran made a “significant change” in its Syria strategy, and began importing manpower from around the Muslim world in a bid to solidify its hold in the country.

Poll: 58% of Israelis Feel Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Harmed Their Country’s Security Interests

A majority of Israelis — 58% — believe that US President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw American troops from Syria harmed their country’s security interests, a new survey found.

However, 72% of Israelis also feel the Jewish state can defend itself “very well,” according to Israel Democracy Institute’s latest monthly Peace Index, published on Thursday.

Following Trump’s Syria pullout announcement, made via Twitter last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would “not change anything.”

“We are not prepared to accept the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria which is directed against us,” the Israeli leader emphasized. “We will act against it vigorously and continuously, including during the current period.”

“We’re standing steadfast on our red lines in Syria and everywhere else,” he added.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot called the US move a “significant event,” but noted there was “no need to overstate it.”

Netanyahu said invited to anti-Iran conference in Warsaw alongside Arab FMs

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been invited to attend a conference next month being organized by the United States and Poland aimed at rolling back Iran’s regional influence, Israeli television reported Friday.

Netanyahu has not yet decided whether to accept US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s invitation to attend the summit in Warsaw, according to Channel 10 news. Foreign ministers from Arab Gulf states that share Israel’s antipathy to Iran were also invited, among dozens of foreign ministers worldwide. Netanyahu also serves as Israel’s foreign minister.

The TV report specified that the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan, with which Israel has diplomatic relations, have been invited, along with those of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Morocco, with which it does not.

There has been a thaw in Israeli ties to these and several other countries in the region in recent years amid their shared hostility to Iran. Pompeo welcomed this development in a speech in Cairo on Thursday and called for “old rivalries” to be put aside to confront Tehran.

Netanyahu received the invitation two weeks ago, Channel 10 said, and posited that he would be likely to accept, since it would boost his election campaign for him to be seen mingling with Arab leaders — underlining his contention that, under his leadership, Israel is building ties in the region irrespective of the deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. It is not clear whether a Palestinian representative has been invited to the conference.

Israel goes to the polls on April 9, and surveys show Netanyahu on course for re-election, even though he is mired in a corruption investigation.

Pompeo ‘optimistic’ Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected in possible US deal

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that he was confident the United States and Turkey could agree on a way to protect Kurdish rebels in Syria after the American troop withdrawal.

Pompeo has spoken to Turkey’s foreign minister and says a possible agreement is a work in progress.

The top US diplomat said he was “optimistic” a way could be found to protect Syrian Kurds while allowing Turks to “defend their country from terrorists.”

“We are confident we can achieve an outcome that achieves both of those,” Pompeo told journalists in Abu Dhabi, his latest stop in a regional tour.

Turkey considers many of Syria’s Kurdish groups to be terrorists and has pledged to attack them. The threats have intensified as the US begins the withdrawal process from Syria on President Donald Trump’s orders.

On Saturday, the US military said it has started pulling equipment, but not troops, out of Syria as a first step in meeting Trump’s demand for a complete military withdrawal.

The announcement is fueling concern about how quickly the US will abandon its Kurdish allies, amid contradictory statements recently by Trump administration officials on an exit timetable.

Zarif Calls Upcoming Iran-Focused Summit in Poland a ‘Desperate Circus’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized Poland on Friday for jointly hosting a global summit with the United States focused on the Middle East, particularly Iran, calling it a “desperate anti-Iran circus.”

Earlier on Friday Washington announced that the summit would be held in Warsaw from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the meeting would focus on stability and security in the Middle East, including on the “important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”

Writing on his Twitter account, Zarif said:
“Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last U.S. anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever.”

He went on to write that “while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus.”

Iranian IRGC Official Claims Lebanese, Palestinian ‘Resistance’ Groups Can ‘End the Disgraceful Life’ of Israel

A spokesman for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) asserted on Wednesday that Lebanese and Palestinian “resistance” organizations — i.e. the Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups — were capable of destroying Israel in the event of a future war.

According to Iran’s semi-official state news agency Fars, General Ramezan Sharif told attendees at a ceremony in the northeastern city of Torbat-e Jam, “Friends and enemies admit that today Israel is in its worst conditions and the fighters in Palestine and Lebanon are at the peak of their preparedness to confront any aggression by the Zionists and end the disgraceful life of the fake and criminal regime.”

“This is a full-scale reality and it is even admitted by the fronts which support the Zionists,” he claimed.

Rand Paul becomes first GOP senator to oppose anti-BDS bills

Senator Mitch McConnell has tried hard to distract attention from the government shutdown triggered by US President Donald Trump’s quest for funding for a $5.7 billion wall with Mexico.

The majority leader’s job just got more complicated after a fellow Kentucky Republican, Senator Rand Paul, defected from a policy that McConnell has tried to use to bludgeon Democrats: passing legislation to attack Israel boycotts.

On Thursday, writing in The American Conservative, Paul said that as much as he opposed boycotting Israel, he opposed using government to limit boycotts more.

“I strongly oppose any legislation that attempts to ban boycotts or ban people who support boycotts from participating in our government or working for our government,” Paul said.

Twice this week McConnell has tried to advance a bill that would codify into law the $38 billion in defense assistance over ten years former president Barack Obama promised Israel. The bill would also create federal laws that would protect from lawsuits states that pass laws banning business with Israel boycotters. Each time, Democrats filibustered the bill. McConnell was set Friday to try a third time.

NSO founder denies its phone hacking software was used to track Khashoggi

One of the founders of the Israeli cyber-intelligence firm NSO Group on Friday denied his company’s cell phone tracking technology was used to target dissident Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the lead up to his murder last year.

“There was no use on Khashoggi, including listening, monitoring, tracking, collecting info with any product or technology of NSO,” Shalev Hulio told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily in a rare interview.

Hulio said NSO’s phone-tracking software, called Pegasus, is only used against terrorists and criminals, and has lately prevented a number of terrorist plots in Europe.

“In the last half year the company’s products have been part of thwarting several large terror attacks in Europe, both with car bombs and suicide bombers,” Hulio said.

“I can say in all modesty that thousands of people in Europe owe their lives to hundreds of our company employees from Herzliya,” he said.

Hulio added that any use of NSO products for activities other than crime and terrorism prevention results in “immediate sanctions by the company, decisively and without compromise.”

French jihadist’s DNA, fingerprints were on Brussels museum attack weapons

A Frenchman on trial for shooting dead four people at a Jewish museum in Brussels left his fingerprints and DNA on the weapons used in the terror attack, prosecutors said Friday.

Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, listened to the case unfolding against him on the second day of his trial for the cold-blooded murders in the Belgian capital on May 24, 2014.

“Little by little they are putting the puzzle together,” said lawyer Guillaume Lys of a French terror victims association which is a civil party to the trial.

Both Nemmouche and Nacer Bendrer, a fellow Frenchman aged 30 who allegedly supplied the weapons, face life in prison if convicted of charges of terrorist murder.

Reading the charge sheet, a prosecutor told the Brussels criminal court that investigators lifted Nemmouche’s fingerprints from the barrel of the pistol he used in the museum attack.

The prosecutor added they also found his DNA on a Kalashnikov rifle, the second weapon used.

Both were found in Nemmouche’s possession when he was arrested upon arriving on a bus from Brussels in the southern French port of Marseille six days after the attack, investigators say.

German city honors antisemitic cartoonist who trashed Netanyahu and Netta Barzilai

Munich is slated to present an award to the alleged antisemitic cartoonist Dieter Hanitzsch in January who was sacked last May for stoking hatred of the Jewish state in a Nazi-like way.

The Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung’s editor-in-chief Wolfgang Kach said the cartoon used “antisemitic cliches” when it showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the attire of Israeli Eurovision entrant Netta Barzilai, who won the 2018 contest. He said publishing the cartoon in the May 15, 2018, issue of the daily, was a mistake and he apologized to readers.

As a result, the country’s largest broadsheet dismissed the cartoonist last May.

A who’s who of Munich’s political and cultural elites will honor Hanitzsch in January, including Christian Ude, who served as Munich’s social democratic mayor from 1993 to 2014, and who will deliver a speech praising Hanitzsch. The 85-year-old cartoonist will be awarded the Ernst Hoferichter Prize for “combining originality with world openness and humor.” The prize amount is 5,000 euros.

The cartoon by Hanitzsch shows Netanyahu celebrating on the Eurovision song stage in Netta’s attire while holding a missile with a Star of David imposed on it. He is depicted singing with a speech bubble that says, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Felix Klein, the German federal government’s commissioner charged with combating antisemitism, told the mass-circulation Bild at the time that “here associations are revived with the intolerable cartoons of National Socialist propaganda.”

The cartoon depicts Netanyahu in military boots and behind him on the stage, the words “Eurovision song contest.” The cartoonist replaced the “v” in “Eurovision” with a Star of David.

Hanitzsch’s use of the Star of David to ridicule Israel’s self-defense measures against Hamas-engineered attempts to enter Israeli territory sparked widespread outrage on social media at the time. Critics also say that the drawing conjures the Nazi antisemitic accusation that Jews are warmongering.

IDF: Palestinian tries to stab soldiers near Hebron, is shot, critically injured

A Palestinian man tried to carry out a stabbing attack near the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday and was shot and critically injured by troops, the army said.

The Israel Defense Forces said the attacker was “neutralized” after attempting to stab soldiers at an army post near the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, and was taken to the hospital.

Channel 10 news released video footage showing the wounded attacker on the ground covered by a blanket and a knife on the sidewalk nearby. Other images showed the assailant being taken away by troops on a stretcher.

There were no other injuries.

In addition to the soldiers, the IDF said an Israeli civilian also fired at the assailant.

The army said additional troops were dispatched to the Givat Avot neighborhood, where the incident took place.

Sirens blare in southern Israel; rocket lands in open area

Sirens indicating incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip blared Saturday night in Sdot Negev and Sha’ar Hanegev in southern Israel. The Israeli military said it identified one rocket launch into Israeli territory.

The projectile landed in an open field in the Sdot Negev area, according to local authorities. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries and the army said it was further investigating.

Local residents reported hearing a series of explosions, according to the Hadashot TV report.

The launch caps another weekend of violence along the Gaza border where some 13,000 Palestinians participated on Friday in the riots along the fence, throwing rocks, firebombs and hand-grenades at Israeli troops, burning tires and trying to breach the security fence. Israeli soldiers responded with tear gas and, in some cases, live fire, the army said.

After mass riots on Gaza border, US envoy says Hamas ‘putting lives at risk’

Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, condemned Hamas Friday for its “instigation of violence” along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, after a day of intense rioting along the frontier.

In a tweet, Greenblatt said Hamas was “putting lives, both Israeli and Palestinian, at risk,” and added that it was making “cynical use of Gaza’s citizens” while driving the territory backward.

The Israeli army said some 13,000 Palestinians participated in riots along the fence Friday afternoon, throwing rocks, fire bombs and hand-grenades at Israeli troops, burning tires and trying to breach the security fence. Israeli soldiers responded with tear gas and, in some cases, live fire, the army said.

A Palestinian woman was shot dead by troops during the riot, the Strip’s Hamas-run health ministry said.

The air force attacked two Hamas posts in northern Gaza in response to violence, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Palestinian woman said killed as 13,000 riot at Gaza fence; IAF hits Hamas posts

A Palestinian woman was shot dead by IDF troops during a mass riot along the Gaza border with Israel on Friday, the Strip’s Hamas-run health ministry said, as the Hamas terror group threatened renewed violence over fresh quarrels with Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The air force attacked two Hamas posts in northern Gaza in response to violence, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The army said some 13,000 Palestinians participated in the riots along the fence, throwing rocks, fire bombs and hand-grenades at Israeli troops, burning tires and trying to breach the security fence. Israeli soldiers responded with tear gas and, in some cases, live fire, the army said.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry identified the dead woman as Amal Tramsi, 43, saying she was the third woman to die in months of clashes.

At least 15 other Palestinians were injured by Israeli fire during the border riots, the ministry said. One of them was reportedly a journalist, hurt when an ambulance was hit.

An Israeli soldier was lightly injured by a rock, the IDF said.

Hamas offers $1 million for identities of Israeli special ops in November raid

Palestinian terror group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, unveiled on Saturday what it said was video surveillance footage surrounding an Israeli special forces raid inside the Palestinian enclave two months ago that went awry. The Israeli undercover troops were exposed, and the ensuing firefight claimed the lives of an Israeli army officer and seven Palestinian terrorists, including a local commander from Hamas’s military wing.

The terror group also offered a $1 million reward for information that would lead to the identities of the special forces team.

The November 11 operation, details of which the Israeli military has kept largely under gag order, turned deadly when the undercover soldiers were spotted near Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. The incident prompted Hamas to vow revenge and led to the deadliest escalation between the two sides since the 2014 war. The Israeli military censor again placed a gag order on some of the claims made by Hamas on Saturday.

On Saturday, Hamas — which is sworn to Israel’s destruction — said it completed a full investigation into the Israeli raid but released few new details. According to the terror organization, the Israeli special forces team prepared for the operation for at least 10 months and entered the Gaza Strip on several occasions in the lead up to it. It said the team, made up of 15 people, some of whom participated in the operation, possessed falsified documents and posed as employees of an aid agency.

Hamas alleged that the purpose of the operation was to set up a spy network and plant communications equipment, already smuggled in through the Kerem Shalom crossing, and that the group was able to salvage valuable information from the equipment.

Phyllis Chesler: Big Sister Is Watching

The dangers of being perceived as pro-Israel in online feminist spaces

I had said that I’d been “accused” of being too “positive about Israel” (although I said nothing further about Israel) and that I’d noted a “rise in ethnic bigotry towards the Jewish people in general, and among some feminists too.”

Thus, I spent less than one minute on these two points, over and against 54 minutes of an intense, feminist conversation. It is important to note that the audience here is primarily a feminist one. However, only 27 percent of these comments were about feminist and gender issues; and 6 percent praised (or critiqued) the conversation. Some defended my right to speak, no matter what I had to say.

But the loudest, most vocal, and most vicious comments spouted blood libels about Jews and Israel. One must assume that such Judeophobic poisoned propaganda has fully infiltrated the feminist discourse. This is certainly the case when you realize who the American National Women’s Studies Association honors (Angela Davis; Jasbir Puah) and who women’s studies departments dis-invite (Ayaan Hirsi Ali).

It is heartrending but not surprising that two icons acknowledged as feminists, Alice Walker and Angela Davis, have very strong and very negative views about Israel and perhaps about those Jews who support the existence of a Jewish state without needing to immediately criticize its every imperfection.

It is also possible that nonfeminist Jew-haters and anti-Zionists have infiltrated feminist space. I have definitely seen this happen on listserv groups over and over again. No matter what the subject may be, it all becomes a forum to discuss Israel/Palestine—but only from a pro-Palestine point of view.

Perhaps these comments are but a small example of the kind of internet “mobbing” that leads to wrecked reputations, the loss of employment, the need for police protection. In the case of professor Andrew Pessin, I referred to this as “a bee swarm.”

Here, come, read what these commenters had to say in response to a purely feminist conversation.

Democrat Gabbard, who slammed Israel for live fire use in Gaza, to run in 2020

Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who last year castigated Israel for its use of live ammunition against “unarmed protesters” at violent demonstrations on the Gaza border orchestrated by the Hamas terrorist group, has announced that she is running for president in 2020.

Gabbard said in a CNN interview slated to air Saturday night that she will be formally announcing her candidacy within the next week. The 37-year-old Iraq War veteran is the first Hindu elected to Congress and the first member born in the US territory of American Samoa.

In May 2018, Gabbard slammed Israel for its use of live ammunition against “unarmed protesters” after a particularly deadly day of violence at the Gaza border on the day the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem, in which at least 58 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 Palestinians wounded, according to figures from the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry.

Hamas later that week acknowledged that most of the dead in that escalation of violence were its members, while Islamic Jihad claimed another three. Salah Bardawil said 50 of 62 Palestinians reported killed during Gaza border riots on May 14 and 15 were Hamas members. “In the last rounds of confrontations, if 62 people were martyred, 50 of the martyrs were Hamas and 12 from the people,” Bardawil said on May 16.

The IDF spokesperson’s office said that on that day, Hamas deployed 12 separate terrorist “cells” to try to breach the border at different locations, and that all were rebuffed. Among the dead, the IDF said, were all eight members of a cell of armed Hamas operatives, who were killed in a gun battle as they sought to breach the fence in the northern Gaza Strip.

Since March 2018, Palestinians have been holding the weekly “March of Return” protests on the border, which Israel has accused Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers of using to carry out attacks on troops and attempt to breach the security fence.

A Tale of Two Restaurants: They go low, we go high.

Reem’s café and bakery is adorned with a floor to ceiling image of a confessed murderer- Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist responsible for the deaths of 2 young men in a Jerusalem bombing nearly 20 years ago. Peaceful vigils by a group of community elders opposed to the glorification of violence were violently attacked by ReemAssil’s staff and patrons.

When the physical attack failed to silence their voices, the police were repeatedly called to break up the vigils. Ultimately, Reem Assil attempted to take out restraining orders to quash the communities rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

Contrast and compare

Mannys in San Francisco is under protest by alt-left fringe groups, threatening to run him out of town.

Its not about the artwork Manny has chosen to display- glorious representations of our diverse community. Its about who Manny is- a proud and progressive queer Jew who happens to fail the litmus test of political correctness- and accepts the right of the Jewish people to self determination. Manny’s business has been vandalized with anti-Semitic imagery. His windows have been broken.

Mannys vandalized with spray painted Jewish star.

Manny’s response to the protesters harassing his customers was to invite them in to talk. They refused. The community response has also been open and loving. There have not been violent attacks against the protesters, or attempts to silence their voices. The community instead has embraced Manny, his shop and his mission. On Wednesday evenings, the day of the protests, Manny’s restaurant has been packed with patrons, celebrating in the community gathering space that Manny has created. .

Haaretz, NY Post, Turn Anti-Israel Slogan Into Journalistic Shorthand

The “apartheid” canard is a weapon. At a 2001 conference in Durbin, South Africa, which was ostensibly a United Nations-affiliated anti-racism conference, but which Holocaust survivor and Democratic congressman Tom Lantos described as “the most sickening and unabashed display of hate for Jews I have seen since the Nazi period” — even the UN’s own High Commissioner for Human Rights, who presided over the event, admitted it was marred by “horrible anti-Semitism” — radical NGOs pushed through a declaration that prescribed “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state.”

Since then, Israel’s most implacable critics have done their best to implement that policy. In the words of Benjamin Pogrund, who was an anti-apartheid journalist in South Africa and a friend of Nelson Mandela, “The idea that Israel is an apartheid state is a staple of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which has made the South African comparison practically the lingua franca of anti-Israel activism.” (Those leveling the charge, he added, are “cynical and manipulative.”)

So it is no surprise that Israel’s opening of Route 4370, a strange road that’s half highway and half territorial boundary, was used as an occasion to yet again unholster the apartheid slur. The newly opened road is essentially a pair of parallel highways, one serving Israeli citizens and the other serving residents of the Palestinian Authority, that are adjacent to each other but divided by a wall to ensure the security of Israelis who have been targeted in frequent spurts of Palestinian violence. The road and the wall are part of a complex division between two antagonists who have yet to agree on where a border between Israel and a future Palestinian state might run.

Some Palestinian officials quickly conflated citizenship and race. “This is an Israeli example of apartheid and racist separation that once existed in South Africa,” a PLO Executive Committee member insisted, never mind that the Israeli side of the road is accessible to Arab, Jewish, white, and black citizens of Israel, as well as to non-Israeli Arab residents of Jerusalem.

Israel Health Fund AMoon II Gets $600 Million in Investor Commitments

Israel-based healthcare fund aMoon II has received commitments of $600 million from investors and aims to raise up to $750 million by its close in February, according to an investor document obtained by Reuters.

This is up from an original $500 million target set by the fund, which is investing in mid- to late-stage companies in digital health, medical devices and biopharma in Israel, the United States and Europe.

Launched in 2018, aMoon II said in May it had secured a $250 million investment commitment from Credit Suisse’s asset management and private banking divisions.

The fund intends to invest $10 million to $40 million in 15 to 20 companies over the next five years.

aMoon was founded in 2016 by Marius Nacht, co-founder and chairman of Check Point Software Technologies, and Yair Schindel. Their first fund, the $200 million aMoon I, invested in 20 startups.

A third fund, aMoon Velocity, which will focus on early-stage startups, is open only to investors in aMoon II and has a fundraising target of $120 million.

Nacht is investing $360 million of his own money in the three funds, according to the document.

EU gives nearly $1 million to map, protect Jewish cemeteries

The European Union has awarded close to $1 million to a project that aims to map and survey at least 1,500 Jewish cemeteries in the continent’s east.

The European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, or ESJF, announced on Thursday its winning an EU tender affording it 800,000 euros, a sum equivalent to $922,000. Since the group’s establishment in 2015 with a German government grant, it has helped protect over 120 Jewish cemeteries in seven Central and Eastern European countries.

The mapping process, to be undertaken using state-of-the-art technology specially designed for the project, involves engineering drones surveying and photographing the sites from the air, following an in-depth historical research process of centuries–old records across many countries and languages, ESJF said.

Around the cemeteries that ESJF maps and demarcates, the organization typically sets up perimeter fences that it says dramatically reduce the risk facing the site.

Eastern and Central Europe have well over 10,000 Jewish cemeteries in various degrees of risk.

“The aim of our unique and sacred mission is to rescue and preserve Jewish cemeteries, the resting place of our forefathers,” said Rabbi Isaac Schapira, Founder and Chairman of the ESJF Board. “Today, there are many different threats to these cemeteries due to deterioration, vandalism and anti-Semitism, but also where they are threatened for financial reasons and expanding local city planning ordinances.”

A Dutch couple find forgotten Holocaust history in their countryside home

Despite its rustic charms, the dream home that Roxane van Iperen and her partner bought nearly ruined their marriage.

Van Iperen, a 42-year-old novelist, underestimated the amount of renovating needed on the countryside estate east of Amsterdam. She bought the place in 2012 with Joris Lenglet as a home for the couple and their three children.

“We almost separated by the time it was done,” she recalled in a November interview on the NPO1 television channel.

But amid “the arguing, misery and work,” as she described it, the couple made discoveries whose significance they realized only months later: During the Holocaust, their new home had been the center for one of Holland’s most daring rescue operations conducted by Jews for Jews.

Recounted in a best-selling book that van Iperen published last year, the story generated strong media interest amid a wave of introspection about the Dutch society’s checkered Holocaust-era record. In bookstores, “The High Nest” stayed for weeks on the top 10 list of locally produced nonfiction.

“Many Jews resisted, but of most of them we know very little,” said the Jewish filmmaker Willy Lindwer, who has produced several documentaries on the Holocaust in his native Netherlands. He said the “High Nest” story “shows not all Dutch Jews went like lambs to the slaughter, and that’s very important.”

But to general readers, part of the book’s appeal lies in the strong characters of the people who did the rescuing at van Iperen’s home: sisters Janny and Lien Brilleslijper and their families.

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