Caroline Glick: Western Media Are Hamas’s Partners in the War Against Israel
On Friday, the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is inaugurating what it is calling “The March of Return.”
According to Hamas’s leadership, the “March of Return” is scheduled to run from March 30 – the eve of Passover — through May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment. According to Israeli media reports, Hamas has budgeted $10 million for the operation.
Throughout the “March of Return,” Hamas intends to send thousands of civilians to the Israeli border. Hamas is planning to set up tent camps along the border fence and then, presumably, order participants to overrun it on May 15. The Palestinians refer to May 15 as “Nakba,” or Catastrophe Day.
The first question that observers of this spectacle need to ask themselves is whether Hamas believes that it will be able to overrun Israel.
The obvious answer is, of course it doesn’t.
So this brings us to the second question.
If Hamas doesn’t expect its civilians to overrun Israel, what is it trying to accomplish by sending them into harm’s way? Why it the terror group telling Gaza residents to place themselves in front of the border fence and challenge Israeli security forces charged with defending Israel?
The answer here is also obvious. Hamas intends to provoke Israel to shoot at the Palestinian civilians it is sending to the border. It is setting its people up to die because it expects their deaths to be captured live by the cameras of the Western media, which will be on hand to watch the spectacle.
In other words, Hamas’s strategy of harming Israel by forcing its soldiers to kill Palestinians is predicated on its certainty that the Western media will act as its partner and ensure the success of its lethal propaganda stunt.
Given widespread assessments that Iran is keen to start a new round of war between Israel and its terror proxies, Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, it is possible that Hamas intends for this lethal propaganda stunt to be the initial stage of a larger war. By this assessment, Hamas is using the border operation to cultivate and escalate Western hostility against Israel ahead of a larger shooting war.
The status quo is also bad for Israel—and not just because of the anti-Israel incitement taught in UNRWA schools and Palestinians’ use of UNRWA facilities as weapons depots. By denying Palestinians the ability to assimilate into Jordan and the P.A., UNRWA effectively tells them that “returning” to Israel is their only hope of escaping refugee status. Nurturing such fantasies of mass relocation merely perpetuates the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; peace is obviously impossible if Palestinians condition it on turning Israel into a Palestinian-majority state.
Yet the status quo is even worse for millions of Palestinian “refugees,” who are forced into dead-end lives with no hope of ever integrating into the places they should be able to call home.
Admittedly, there’s no guarantee that UNRWA will implement constructive reforms; it might instead slash essential services to blackmail the world into coughing up more money. But even in this worst-case scenario, at least America will no longer be propping up UNRWA’s shameful apartheid system and its perpetuation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. If European or Arab countries want this abomination to continue, let their taxpayers fund it.
There’s also a risk that even constructive reforms could produce enough short-term pain to provoke violence. But Israelis understand that sometimes, you have to do what’s right, even if it comes with a price. That’s why, in a poll published just last week, 69 percent of Jewish Israelis said the U.S. Embassy should move to Jerusalem in May as planned, despite the fact that most believed the move would spark violence.
UNRWA reform is no less critical. And after 70 years of stasis, it’s clear nothing short of a financial crisis has any chance of bringing it about.
Melanie Phillips: Corbyn isn’t the cause of Labour’s antisemitism – he’s its product
This lie embodies the deeper calumny that the Jews falsify history to serve their own interests by oppressing and dominating another people. The “dispossession” lie thus leads directly to the deranged and paranoid conspiracy theories about the Jews with which the left is now riddled.
For this view of Israel is their default position and championing the Palestinian cause is their signature motif. And that means these British “progressives” all support Palestinians who pump out Nazi-style antisemitism, incite the mass murder of Jews and are led by a Holocaust denier, Mahmoud Abbas, who venerates the Arab Nazi ally Haj Amin al-Husseini.
Why then are these Labour “moderates” shocked when Corbyn’s friends spew out identical bigotry against the Jews? The Left thinks it embodies virtue itself and so it is impossible for it to be viciously bigoted toward Jews. But it is.
Corbyn may be an extreme ultra-leftist with the most extreme anti-Israel baggage, but he is not the cause of Labour’s antisemitism.
He is its product.
The Left embraced antisemitism when it embraced Palestinianism. And that’s without factoring in the Muslim voting bloc which is becoming ever more significant for British politics and for the Labour Party in particular, and which is infused with hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.
The antisemitism in Labour’s ranks is an existential crisis not just for the party but for the Left as a whole.
It is a delusion to imagine that purging the most demented antisemites will make the Labour Party safe again for Britain’s Jewish community. It’s not just Jeremy Corbyn who poses such a threat. It’s the party itself and the left wing culture it embodies.
The Conservative Party may be in power in Britain, but the Left controls the universities, the BBC and the artistic and cultural world. It is Britain itself that’s no longer safe for Jews.
Melanie Phillips: OPEN AND SHUT CASE
An open letter backed by more than 2,000 supporters of Jeremy Corbyn has claimed that the Jewish community’s protest against antisemitism in the Labour Party was the work of a “very powerful special interest group”, the Independent reports.
Some 2000 people turned up at Monday’s demonstration. There are around 65 million people in the UK. The Jewish community numbers about 270,000. There are an estimated 2.8 million British Muslims.
The letter says the organisers of the demonstration had mobilised its “immense strength” to “employ the full might of the BBC” in order to launch an “onslaught” against the Labour leader. It also says the organisers sought to use their “history” and ”influence” to “dictate who the rest of us can vote for or how we vote”.
So 2000 people said that those falsely accusing Jeremy Corbyn of facilitating deranged claims that the Jews were an all-powerful and malign conspiracy manipulating events to serve their own interests were an all-powerful and malign Jewish conspiracy manipulating events to serve their own interests.
I think that is what is called an own goal.
In the wake of the March 13, 2018 attempt to assassinate Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and PA General Intelligence chief Majed Faraj, there is severe tension between Fatah and Hamas. In a March 19 meeting of the Palestinian leadership, Palestinian President Mahmoud ‘Abbas accused Hamas of being behind the assassination, of inciting against the PA and of failing to implement the reconciliation, and even threatened to take measures against Hamas’s illegal coup regime in Gaza.
In a similar vein, the following day Munir Al-Jaghoub, who heads the Information Department in Fatah’s Recruitment and Organization Commission, said that Hamas must choose between Palestinian reconciliation and maintaining its illegal control of Gaza. If it chooses the latter, he said, the PA will label it a rebel organization and funding to it will be stopped. Underlining that it is impossible to accept a situation in which a particular region rebels against the legitimate rule (i.e. the PA), where the group ruling that region controls the populace by murdering and by terrorizing it, while continuing to demand funding from those against whom it rebelled, he added that rebellion has its price and only the rebels must pay.
Against this backdrop, Muwaffaq Matar, a columnist for the Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, likewise lambasted Hamas, calling it to apologize for the coup against the PA, for all the atrocities it has committed against the people of Gaza, and for attempting to instill the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood in their minds. He urged the Gazans themselves to launch a civil disobedience campaign against Hamas in order to restore the legitimate PA rule in Gaza.
Hamas and other Palestinian terror organizations have begun mobilizing the Palestinian public to participate in a series of ongoing events that will take place over the course of six weeks – starting on March 30.
Hamas has called for thousands of Gaza residents, particularly women and children, to set up tent camps as close as they can to Israel’s southern border. It is from these camps that the march towards the Israeli border fence will be launched.
While the campaign is being presented to the world as a peaceful enterprise, there is no doubt that this latest Hamas ploy is aimed at igniting a violent confrontation with Israel.
While Israel hopes and aims to avoid violence, it will take all necessary steps to prevent any violation of its sovereignty or any threat to its citizens.
Israel has the full right to defend its borders, protect its citizens, and prevent illegal infiltration into its territory. Responsibility for any clashes that may arise will lie solely with Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations who have manufactured this entire campaign.
Israel has no territorial claims on Gaza. Israel left Gaza in 2005. There is no occupation of Gaza.
Nor is there any siege on Gaza. Tons of essential goods enter Gaza from Israel on a daily basis, while Israel also continues to provide for electric power and water. Restrictions are only placed on materials used for the military build-up of Hamas and other terror groups.
Hamas launches confrontation campaign on Israel’s border
Twelve Palestinians were killed and some 1,100 were wounded by Israeli tear gas, rubber bullets and live fire in the Gaza Strip on Friday, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said, as a series of massive protests along the security fence around the Hamas-controlled enclave intensified and turned violent. Some Palestinian sources put the death toll at 10-12.
The Israel Defense Forces estimated that over 30,000 Palestinians were taking part in Hamas-encouraged “March of Return” demonstrations along the Gaza border, focused at six main protest sites where rioters threw firebombs and stones at troops, tried to bomb and breach the security fence, and burned tires.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry reported 11 Gazans were killed in the day-long violence, hours after another Gaza man was killed at the border in disputed circumstances. Some 1,100 were injured as of 7 p.m., with most of the injuries being caused by rubber bullets and tear gas. A smaller number were hit by live fire.
The IDF did not confirm the Hamas figures, but said it faced “violent terrorism” at the border fence. The army said the organizers of the protests were deliberately trying to place civilians in harm’s way, and cited an incident in which it said a seven-year-old girl was sent to the security fence in an apparent cynical attempt to draw Israeli fire, but was spotted by troops who realized what was happening and ensured she was not hurt.
The IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis said the IDF faced “a violent, terrorist demonstration at six points” along the fence. He said the IDF used “pinpoint fire” wherever there were attempts to breach or damage the security fence. “All the fatalities were aged 18-30, several of the fatalities were known to us, and at least two of them were members of Hamas commando forces,” he said in a late afternoon statement.
The head of Israel’s Southern Command accused terror groups Friday of trying to carry out attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians during a day of Hamas-encouraged protests along the Gaza security fence.
“We have identified attempts to carry out terror attacks using the protests as cover,” said Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir in a statement.
“We encourage civilians not to approach the fence and we are sending an official warning to Hamas, which is responsible for everything that happens in the Strip and the consequences thereof,” he added.
Channel 10 reported that IDF snipers fired at several Palestinians suspected of trying to place explosives along the fence on Friday afternoon.
Seven Palestinians were killed, and some 500 were wounded by Israeli tear gas, rubber bullets and live fire, the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry said.
The Israeli army accused the Hamas terrorist organization of sending a 7-year-old girl to the Gaza security fence during deadly protests in the coastal enclave on Friday.
According to the army, the young girl was spotted by soldiers as she approached the security fence. The troops, who were on the Israeli side, met the girl as she reached the fence, an army spokesperson said.
“When the IDF troops realized it was a girl, they picked her up and made sure that she could get back to her parents safely,” the army said. It did not say how it coordinated with girl’s parents on the Gaza side.
The army blamed Hamas for sending the child, though it provided no immediate evidence to back up the claim.
“Hamas cynically uses women and children, sending them to the fence and endangering their lives,” the army said in a statement.
Jason Greenblatt, the US envoy to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, took Hamas to task early Friday over its “hostile march” along the Gaza Strip’s border with the Jewish state.
“Hamas is encouraging a hostile march on the Israel-Gaza border,” he tweeted. “Hamas should focus on desperately needed improvements to the lives of Palestinians in Gaza instead of inciting violence against Israel that only increases hardship & undermines chances for peace.”
Earlier, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that, while Israel “has the right to defend itself,” Gazans also “have a right” to demonstrate. In a daily press briefing, she expressed hope that “the measures that [Israel chooses] to take, and to be implemented, will minimize the impact on the ability of people to cross in and out of Gaza.”
Israel has threatened to take severe measures against Palestinians who try to cause damage to the security fence along the border or force their way into Israel as part of massive “March of Return” demonstrations that are scheduled to start on Friday.
Demonstrations Friday along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip mark the beginning of the Palestinians’ return to “all of Palestine,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech at the scene.
“We are here to declare today that our people will not agree to keep the ‘right of return’ only as a slogan,” he said. Haniyeh added that the so-called “March of Return” was also aimed at sending a message to US President Donald Trump to the effect that the Palestinians will not give up their right to Jerusalem.
His comments came as several Palestinians were reported killed and hundreds were wounded by Israeli live and rubber bullet fire in border clashes as a series of massive protests kicked off along the security fence surrounding Gaza, according to Palestinian sources.
Thousands of Palestinians massed at the Gaza border to take part in the “March of Return” protests, the Israel Defense Forces said, with more expected to participate throughout the day. The army said it fired on “instigators” of protests at the border fence. An Israeli TV report said one of the Palestinians killed was suspected of trying to plant an explosive device at the fence.
The Palestinian Authority on Friday slammed the Israeli government over clashes on the Gaza border that Hamas said left at least 12 Gazans dead and over 1,000 injured, backing the protests and claiming a leading role for itself alongside the rival Hamas.
Some 30,000 Palestinians massed near the Gaza security fence Friday as part of a so-called “March of Return” meant to coincide with Land Day. The IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis said the IDF faced “a violent, terrorist demonstration at six points” along the fence. He said the IDF used “pinpoint fire” wherever there were attempts to breach or damage the security fence. “All the fatalities were aged 18-30, several of the fatalities were known to us, and at least two of them were members of Hamas commando forces,” he said in a late afternoon statement.
The Hamas terror group that rules Gaza was a key organizer of the protests, which are expected to last six weeks.
However, Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of the Fatah faction, which controls the Palestinian Authority, said on Friday that the Land Day demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza underscored the Palestinians’ support for the Palestinian Authority leadership “in face of the pressure and conspiracies concocted against our cause,” likely a reference to the rival Hamas.
Aloul, who is seen by some Palestinians as a potential successor to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said that Fatah had called on Palestinians to participate in the demonstrations.
As I posted a few days ago, the palestinians are planning a “March of Return” today – the day before Passover – which includes a huge mass mobilization towards Israel’s borders. And even though Hamas are publicly calling for it to be peaceful, the palestinians have already let down their guard to reveal that they would just love Israel to have to shoot at the marchers. Besides, we already know just how much Hamas love to use human shields.
Meanwhile, this is how the Facebook page of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party have depicted the march:
I am not sure if deliberate or not, but it is reminiscent of another scene, very appropriate to this time of year.
On Passover, we commemorate the Jewish people’s redemption from slavery in Egypt and freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses, as we marched towards our promised homeland, Canaan, later to be the land of Israel. The above picture shows the Israelites on this march, through the Red Sea.
The Fatah graphic looks like cultural appropriation to me, whether deliberate or coincidental. Although I don’t really believe anything is purely coincidental.
Elliott Abrams: Counting Votes at the UN Human Rights Council
That any democracy should vote for that mendacious resolution is unpardonable. Those who did include Belgium, Chile, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. It includes phrases and conclusions that are simply false, such as reference to Israel’s “forcible transfer of Palestinians”—something that does not exist. It calls upon Israel to “immediately end its occupation of the Occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” which is absurd. As those governments must know, there is no way safely to do that (safely for Israel, Jordan, or the Palestinians, considering the possibility that Hamas, with Iranian support, would take over). Nor should any decent country be speaking of the “occupation” of East Jerusalem, as if Israeli control of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem were some kind of scandal and crime.
The resolution is also wrong in speaking of “millions of Palestinian refugees” who “have been uprooted from their homes.” People of Palestinian background who were born in Jordan and who are Jordanian citizens (there are well over a million) are not “refugees” and indeed no one with another citizenship can now be considered a refugee. In every other context, refugees would be defined as those who had left their homes and not gained other citizenship and been resettled elsewhere. But the Council does not, of course, pause to condemn the Arab states (starting with Lebanon) that unlike Jordan have always refused to grant citizenship to Palestinians living there for decades.
Hat’s off to Australia, which has just joined the Human Rights Council for a 3-year term and stood with the United States. The Australians have stated their “principled opposition” to singling out Israel, and said that they would vote against all the resolutions brought under “Item 7.” Australia has similarly opposed one-sided resolutions in the General Assembly. It is shameful that the Aussies have not been joined by other democracies, but they deserve great credit for taking this stance the moment they joined the Human Rights Council.
What if I were to pay $3 million dollars to have your father shot in the head? That’s the question I asked Michael Lynk, the United Nations’ so-called “special rapporteur” on Israel, this past week when he presented a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, a hostile anti-Israel and anti-Jewish body. It was an uncomfortable question, but not as uncomfortable as the circumstances that brought me to ask it.
My father, Richard Lakin, was murdered in 2015 by Palestinians at age 76. He was riding a public bus home from a doctor’s appointment in Jerusalem when two terrorists boarded and began shooting and stabbing the passengers. They shot my father in the head and butchered him with a knife after he fell to the ground. He succumbed to his wounds two weeks later.
My calculations show that President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) will have rewarded his killers nearly a combined $3 million over their lifetimes, assuming an average life expectancy of 72 for the two terrorists, who were in their early 20s at the time of the attack.
The PA has a “pay-to-slay” policy and a law under which it systematically pays terrorists who murder Jews. The PA paid out nearly $350 million in 2017 for this, about 10 percent of its annual budget.
While much ado is made in the media about the “pro-Israel lobby” and American supporters of Israel, these UN-focused lobbying efforts by the PA and its “Christian” collaborators in the West have gone largely unreported.
American supporters of Israel and their various organizations are generally open about their efforts to educate people about and raise support for the Jewish state. Their lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill are well-known and well-covered.
In contrast, American “Christian” supporters of the Palestinian Authority have decided to downplay their ties with the PA and the lobbying activity that they do on its behalf.
Unfortunately for them, the Palestinian Authority has not always gotten the memo. For example, the PA’s Hanan Ashrawi trumpeted on social media her meeting with the Telos Group — an anti-Israel organization posing as “pro-Israeli, pro-Palestinian, pro-peace” — to drum up support among American Christians and advocate for the Palestinian Authority’s agenda.
In April 2016, the Telos Group’s Co-Founder and President Gregory Khalil quietly participated in the Atlanta Summit. Former president Carter, a notable critic of Israel, personally hosted the summit and delivered the keynote address. Jeremiah Wright, former president Obama’s controversial, anti-Israel former pastor, also spoke.
The conference participants were a veritable “who’s who” of “Christian” anti-Israel activists. They signed an Atlanta Summit document, a Palestinian Authority propaganda piece designed not only to hoodwink Western audiences with peacemaking talk, but also to serve as a blueprint to guide anti-Israel organizations in their efforts to advance the PA’s talking points and agenda.
A delegation from the Summit, including a PA official, then lobbied Obama administration officials at the White House and the State Department on behalf of the PA’s agenda, delivering a letter from Christian patriarchs addressed to president Obama.
Just a few hours after the March 19 funeral of 32-year-old father of four Adiel Kolman, hundreds of diplomats, ministers, rabbis and Jewish activists gathered at Jerusalem’s Binyenei HaUma International Convention Center for the “6th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism,” organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the conference, more than 1,000 political, cultural and religious leaders were informed about the surge of hatred of Jews in the world, and about social networks, neo-Nazis among other disturbing phenomena. About the only topic that wasn’t discussed were the murders of Kolman, as well as Sgt. Netanel Kahalani, 20, and Capt. Ziv Deus, 21, who were murdered 50 hours before Kolman in a car-ramming terror attack in Samaria.
Constant incitement to murder by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the salaries that it pays for terrorism were also not discussed. Since the fall of the Nazis, there has not been an official governing entity that provided financial incentives for murdering Jews. The long history of Mahmoud Abbas’ Holocaust denial was not mentioned either.
The ways in which Palestinians relate to Israel is too often seen in Israel as part of the national conflict. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel’s security forces distinguish between the ancient hatred of Jews by nations in Diaspora communities, and the hatred of the Arabs towards Jews in Israel.
Among the conference speakers, the only person who spoke of this was US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. “I worked for 35 years in Manhattan,” he said. “If a guest, in the middle of a party, had said that they hated Jews, he would have been immediately and forcibly escorted out of the gathering. On the other hand, if someone says, ‘70 years after the Nazis killed the Jews, Israel is doing the same thing to Palestinians,’ that’s maybe considered an extreme opinion, but is not seen as illegitimate.”
The ambassador has pinpointed the problem.
The Palestinian Authority’s decision to again include a $355 million financial reward for convicted terrorists and their families in its 2018 budget will not go unpunished, Senate minority leader Charles Schumer declared on Tuesday.
The veteran New York Democratic senator told The Algemeiner that the PA’s terror payments budget “is exactly why we passed the Taylor Force Act.”
The legislation — named in memory of a former US army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016 — was passed by the Senate as part of its omnibus appropriations bill last week and subsequently signed by President Donald Trump.
“Now the Palestinian Authority will face additional financial consequences for its abhorrent policy,” Sen. Schumer concluded.
Nearly 8 percent of the PA’s $5 billion budget for the current year will be spent on the payments. In 2017, similar funds were distributed across 21,500 so-called “martyrs families,” using a sliding scale that provides the greatest compensation for the most severe acts of terror. Many beneficiaries of the terrorism rewards receive upwards of $2,000 per month, in a territory where the average monthly salary is less than $600. According to World Bank calculations, the average Palestinian family in the West Bank faces monthly expenditures of $1,000.
The Palestinian Authority reacted with fury on Thursday to Ambassador David Friedman’s remarks that if President Mahmoud Abbas does not negotiate with the US or Israel, then Washington and Jerusalem will find someone else to work with.
Friedman, in an interview published on Thursday in Shevi’i, a magazine distributed on Fridays to synagogues across the country, was asked about Abbas calling him the “son of a dog” earlier this month.
“I am not insulted by these things, I have the skin of an elephant,” the ambassador was quoted as saying.
Friedman said that those most harmed by this type of discourse are the Palestinians themselves.
“The White House passed along a message to Mahmoud Abbas: He has to choose whether to continue using this type of rhetoric or to join hands with us for the sake of people who need electricity water, schools and health services,” he said.
A TASMANIAN senator has delivered a scathing diatribe of Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi amid a sea of differing narratives surrounding her arrest and trial.
Tamimi, who was arrested after slapping an Israeli soldier outside her home in the West Bank, last week accepted a plea deal that will see her serve eight months in prison.
“Those promoting her cause would have us believe that Ms Tamimi is the poor victim of Israeli brutality,” Senator David Bushby told the chamber on March 19.
“The reality is very different. For the last five years Ahed Tamimi, and, to a lesser extent, her siblings, have become notorious for their constant efforts to provoke Israeli soldiers … The typical and often repeated modus operandi is for a Tamimi child to approach Israeli soldiers and slap, hit, kick, spit at and insult them, while the Tamimi family adults wait with camera in hand for the provoked soldiers to retaliate.”
He continued: “This poster girl for Palestinian innocence called for stabbing attacks, suicide bombings and the throwing of rocks.
Mohammed al Dayya, who for many years served as former PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s personal bodyguard, was released on Thursday from Palestinian prison.
Dayya, who holds the rank of brigadier general in the Palestinian Authority’s National Security Service, was arrested late last year after posting on Facebook “derogatory” remarks against a senior aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Because of his unwavering loyalty to the former PLO leader, many Palestinians continue to refer to Dayya as Arafat’s “righteous son.”
Dayya was released after he publicly apologized to the aide, Hussein Hussein, and his family. The apology was published by the PA’s official news agency Wafa.
Addressing the aide, Dayya wrote in his apology, “I don’t accept any harm to you and your family, and I offer my apology for any abuse coming from me, whether intentionally or unintentionally, against you, your wife, and her family on social media and elsewhere. What affects you also affects me.”
Two Israeli F-35 fighter jets entered Iranian airspace over the past month, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Thursday. The act is a signal of heightened regional tensions, especially in light of recent Israeli military attacks in Syria, including against Iranian bases in the country.
Sources quoted in Al-Jarida stated that two stealth fighters flew over Syrian and Iraqi airspace to reach Iran, and even targeted locations in the Iranian cities Bandar Abbas, Esfahan and Shiraz.
The report states that the two fighter jets, among the most advanced in the world, circled at high altitude above Persian Gulf sites suspected of being associated with the Iranian nuclear program.
It also states that the two jets went undetected by radar, including by the Russian radar system located in Syria. The source refused to confirm if the operation was undertaken in coordination with the US army, which has recently conducted joint exercises with the IDF.
The source added that the seven F-35 fighters in active service in the IAF have conducted a number of missions in Syria and on the Lebanese-Syrian border. He underlined that the fighter jets can travel from Israel to Iran twice without refueling.
Israel has admitted to launching about 100 air strikes on Syria over the past five years, targeting Hezbollah terrorists, weapons convoys and infrastructure, and it is believed to be behind dozens more.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, on Wednesday cautioned the permanent members of the Security Council on the upcoming deadline regarding the Iranian nuclear deal.
“We are now at a critical juncture. It is the last chance to correct the mistakes of the past and recognize that we all must set off on a new path aimed at reining in Iran’s reckless behavior. To the permanent members of this Council I have a simple message: do not miss this opportunity. In forty-five days the clock will run out and the rules of the game will change,” he said at a meeting of the Security Council.
“You now have a choice to make. Either choose to work with the Americans and support their genuine efforts to make the Middle East a safer place – or choose Iran and enable a dangerous regime. I urge you to make the right choice,” added Danon.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has blasted the 2015 nuclear deal as “the worst deal ever negotiated”, recently decided to extend a waiver on nuclear sanctions that were imposed on Iran. He made clear, however, that it would be the last time he will do so and ordered European allies and Congress to work with him to fix “the disastrous flaws” in the 2015 deal or Washington would withdraw.
The deadline for the European signatories to the deal to fix it is May 12.
The recent revelations of the UK Labor party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s membership in private, anti-Semitic Facebook groups, together with reports of his defense of an anti-Semitic mural, led to a major protest in London on Monday and a near-unprecedented rebuke from Britain’s organized Jewish community. The latest disclosures come on the heels of numerous signs that Labor has an anti-Semitism problem, and that Corbyn, if not an anti-Semite himself, is quite tolerant of anti-Semitism in others. In response, he has offered a series of denials and non-apologies. Bret Stephens comments:
If you take Jeremy Corbyn at his word, then the leader of Britain’s Labor party is no anti-Semite. It’s just that, like the Wild West preacher who keeps accidentally wandering into Fannie Porter’s house of ill repute, Corbyn has an odd knack for stumbling into the arms of the Hebraically disinclined. . . .
[Is] Corbyn an anti-Semite? Not necessarily. He vehemently denies it. You can never know with certainty what’s in a person’s mind or heart unless he tells it to you straight. Motives can be complex. Self-delusion plays its role.
Then again, what does that matter? Corbyn is sixty-eight and has been a member of Parliament for 35 years. He has risen to the pinnacle of British politics. Until he became leader of the Labor party nearly three years ago, he proudly and defiantly flaunted his association with people whose anti-Semitism is not remotely in doubt. You can stumble upon Fannie Porter’s house once and call it an honest mistake. Corbyn tripped into it a half-dozen times. Inadvertence long ago ceased to be an excuse.
This week, Jeremy Corbyn said he was ‘sincerely sorry’ for the pain that had been caused to the Jewish community by anti-Semitism in ‘pockets’ within the Labour Party. Alas, his apology wasn’t enough to stop protesters – including some of his party colleagues – gathering in Parliament Square on Monday to voice their concerns. Nor were Corbyn’s comments enough to dissuade some of his more loyal supporters that allegations of anti-Semitism aren’t always an MSM smear designed to keep the Tories in No 10.
So that readers can make up their own mind as to the size of those ‘pockets’, below is a list which has been compiled detailing alleged incidents on the matter:
1. Corbyn came to the defence of Sheikh Raed Salah, who revived the medieval anti-Semitic ‘blood libel’ slur that Jews cook with children’s blood. Salah was arrested by British police in 2011 when he was due to speak at an event in the House of Commons – alongside Corbyn. In 2012 Corbyn called Salah ‘a very honoured citizen’.
2. Labour Students at Oxford University Labour Club mocked the Jewish victims of the Paris kosher supermarket attack, called Auschwitz a ‘cash cow’, and used the Neo-Nazi slur ‘Zio’, according to extensive testimony from Jewish students. After months of obfuscation, including an NEC decision to not publish a party report that concluded there had been ‘some incidents’ of anti-Semitic behaviour, Labour’s NEC decided not to discipline the key perpetrators.
“That, dear viewer, is anti-Semitism. At its deadliest and most depraved. Which is how it always ends up. Which is why it can’t be tolerated. Those still in doubt need to educate themselves. Fast.” @afneil opening #bbctw pic.twitter.com/MFi7pYorkB
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) March 29, 2018
No contrition from Christine Shawcroft in her statement this morning, she says the whole anti-Semitism row has been trumped up to attack Corbyn:
“Hi everyone, in case anyone has been misled by the Press coverage, I am not a Holocaust denier and I would not support a Holocaust denier. I have been trying to support members who have been affected by all the shenanigans around Council selections, and thought this case was just another one of those. I had not seen the appalling and abhorrent post which was shared, and if I had seen it I would not have sent the supportive email. As soon as I saw it I told the member that he should have antisemitism training. It is entirely right that having made the initial mistake, I should resign as Chair of the Disputes Panel (which never meant I had to power to overturn suspensions anyway).This whole row is being stirred up to attack Jeremy, as we all know. That someone who has spent his whole life fighting racism in all its forms should find himself being accused of not doing enough to counter it, absolutely beggars belief.”
Shawcroft still sits on Labour’s NEC and disputes panel and is unapologetic. Test for Corbyn’s promise of zero tolerance…
As Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal raged yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn travelled to Milton Keynes to campaign in the ward of a Labour councillor who used to be a Nazi. Corbyn’s office have confirmed to Guido that he visited Stantonbury yesterday, the ward of Margaret Burke, who in the eighties was second-in-command of a neo-Nazi group called the November 9th Society. According to her local paper, Burke and her husband “wore Nazi-style uniforms and recruited gangs of local youths to hand out racist leaflets and daub buildings with swastikas”. She later renounced far-right politics and joined the Labour Party, who she now represents on Milton Keynes council. The Labour group leader Kevin Wilson said:
“We were aware of Margaret’s past and we questioned her at length. We had no doubt at all that her misdemeanours of 20 or 30 years ago were serious matters but I do not believe that somebody should be punished or penalised for what they did such a long time ago.”
She is photographed above with Corbyn in 2016, when the Labour leader was quoted as telling her: “Thank you very much for all the hard work you have all done”. “Pockets…”
With Jeremy Corbyn under fire for the antisemitism in his Labour Party, as well as his own conduct, I guess any Passover greeting from him was going to go over about as well as a bread loaf at a Seder table.
But he’s decided to devote his entire greeting to the topic of antisemitism, while looking about as comfortable as someone constipated from eating too much Matzah.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 30, 2018
Doctors at both Israeli and Palestinian-operated hospitals joined forces to save the life of a Filipino baby boy in Jerusalem, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.
On February 14, Francis Joseph was born at the Red Crescent Hospital in East Jerusalem with a rare and serious heart defect, which required a complicated and risky open-heart surgery. The so-called “Jatene procedure,” which the Palestinian-operated hospital did not have the necessary facilities to perform, was however possible in Hadassah Hospital in the capital’s Ein Kerem neighborhood.
When Dr. Julius Golender, a pediatric cardiologist at the hospital, received an emergency call from his colleagues at the Red Crescent Hospital, Golender consulted immediately with his fellow pediatric cardiologists from Hadassah, Dr. Juma Natshe and Dr. Sagi Gavri, who together came up with a plan to save the baby’s life.
They first stabilized the newborn’s critical condition by performing a procedure known as a cardiac catheterization before moving him to Hadassah Hospital for open-heart surgery. The Jatene procedure is named for its creator, famed Brazilian cardiologist Dr. Adib Jatene, who first performed it successfully in 1975.
“I was surprised when suddenly these experts from Hadassah showed up at the Red Crescent Hospital, and in my view it was a miracle,” said Nina, the mother of the boy, who wanted to be identified by first name only.
“We did everything we could possibly do so that it would be possible to perform surgery on the newborn baby in Hadassah and fix the heart defect that he was born with, which had caused this extremely complicated medical condition,” said Gavri, soon after the catheterization.
The successful surgery took a little over five hours, according to the hospital.
Researchers have created technology that will enable our computers, text messages and phone calls to run 100 times faster through terahertz microchips.
Until now, the major challenges that stood in the way of creating the terahertz microchip were overheating and scalability. However, following three years of extensive research, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) physicist Uriel Levy and his team have shown proof of concept using flash memory technology.
“This discovery could help fill the ‘THz gap’ and create new and more powerful wireless devices that could transmit data at significantly higher speeds than currently possible,” said Levy, head of HU’s Nano-Opto Group.
“In the world of high-tech advances, this is game-changing technology,” he added.
In a paper published in the journal Laser and Photonics Review, Levy and HU emeritus professor Joseph Shappir showed proof of concept for an optic technology that integrates the speed of optic communications with the reliability and manufacturing scalability of electronics.
Optic communications includes all technologies that use light to carry information through fiber-optic cables, such as the Internet, email, text messages, phone calls, the cloud and data centers, among others. These forms of communication can be extremely fast but become unreliable in microchips and difficult to replicate in large quantities.
Scarlett Johansson is negotiating to star in Fox Searchlight’s World War II film “Jojo Rabbit,” Variety reported this week. The film is a project of Taika Waititi, a.k.a. Taika Cohen, a New Zealand Oscar nominated film director, screenwriter, actor, and comedian.
Waititi’s father is Māori of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and his mother is of Russian Jewish heritage. Waititi has used his mother’s surname, Cohen, for some of his work in film and writing.
Scarlett Johansson’s father is an architect from Copenhagen, Denmark, and her mother comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family of Polish and Belarusian descent.
The film is set during World War II and centers on a young German boy who discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. Waititi wrote the script and will produce together with Carthew Neal and Chelsea Winstanley. Production is expected to start this spring, according to Variety.
In January 2014, the Israeli company SodaStream, which makes home-carbonation products, hired Johansson as its first global brand ambassador, which began with a TV commercial during Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014. A controversy ensued, since SodaStream was based in Judea and Samaria, but Johansson did not quit the campaign before her contract ran out.
A silent film from 1924 predicting the rise of Nazism was found in a Paris flea market in 2015 after being lost for decades. Thanks to a huge fundraising campaign, it has now been restored and returned to cinemas, reports the BBC’s Bethany Bell in Vienna.
An Orthodox Jew is set upon by three taunting men.
A woman shopping at a market stall becomes outraged at the high prices. She starts pelting a passing Jewish man with fruit.
Later, huge protesting crowds gather outside the chancellor’s office. Inside, the leader consults with an adviser. “It is awful to expel the Jews,” he says. “But one must satisfy the people.”
The incidents portrayed in the Austrian film The City Without Jews (Die Stadt Ohne Juden) are eerily prophetic.
It was made nearly 20 years before the Holocaust, at a time when the Nazi party was banned in Austria, and when Adolf Hitler was in jail in Germany, working on his book Mein Kampf.
The film tells the story of a city that expels all of its Jews. They are made the scapegoats for rising prices and unemployment.
The City Without Jews 1924
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