UK’s Labour suspends Livingstone for year over Hitler-Zionism comments
The UK Labour Party on Tuesday suspended former London mayor and senior party official Ken Livingstone for one year for comments about Hitler supporting Zionism that a disciplinary committee found “grossly detrimental” to the party.
Jewish groups, who had been calling for Livingston to be expelled, called the move “deeply disappointing” and said it would erode the fractured trust between the party and its Jewish members.
“Given that Ken Livingstone has been found guilty, we are deeply disappointed at the decision not to expel him from the Labour Party. A temporary suspension is no more than a slap on the wrist,” the Jewish Leadership Council said in a statement.
“Livingstone’s antagonistic attitude towards the Jewish community has been longstanding and has had a huge impact on Jewish people,” the group said. “This decision makes us question if the Labour Party wanted to repair its historic and long-standing relationship with the Jewish community.”
Those sentiments were echoed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews. “Relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community have reached a new all-time low,” said President Jonathan Arkush.
A bottled punishment
The Labour National Constitutional Committee (NCC) panel that heard the case should at least be congratulated for the correct ruling, but predictably, they bottled the punishment. Livingstone has brought the party into disrepute and emphatically so, but it does not end there. He has continued, unapologetically, to dig himself into a further hole and in doing so is damaging the Labour party.
In the wake of this bottled decision, I have been receiving emails from those most emboldened by it. I have been asked how much the Jewish lobby will be remunerating me by, why Jewish votes are so priceless and congratulated for “not cringing to…subhumans”.
A cursory search of Twitter and one will find similar comments with Holocaust denial and other foul racism. One supposedly Labour-supporting group posted a message on Facebook stating the decision to further suspend Livingstone was “manufactured in Tel Aviv” a comment straight out of the far-right handbook. The Labour party should be a force for good but what happened yesterday has inspired racists and antisemites. We will have to act.
This type of revisionism seeks to demean or undermine what happened to Jews and others at the hands of the Nazis. Decent people will rightly be horrified by it. Attempts by Livingstone or others to gaslight what he said must be resisted.
He said Hitler was supporting Zionism. Look up Zionist in the dictionary and you’ll find it explained as a supporter of Zionism. This claim is part of a pernicious form of anti-Jewish hatred. Antisemitism should not be treated differently to any other form of racism.
There is no choice. The leadership of the party must respond and review the decision. I call for anyone that has ever supported Labour to join, step forward and speak out in order to demand the quick change that we need.
Douglas Murray: In defence of Ken Livingstone
As the historian Paul Bogdanor showed in a scholarly article last year, Brenner imbibed his ideas from the well of Soviet propaganda. As opposed to far-right Holocaust fabrications (which either claim that it did not happen, or downplay the numbers), Soviet-inspired anti-Semites tend towards claims that the Jews were themselves involved. Brenner, who was involved in the 1980s with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), clearly helped dig this well, from which Livingstone drank deeply. In Livingstone’s own 2011 memoirs he credited Brenner’s books with having ‘helped form my view of Zionism and its history’.
On international affairs — an area in which he has mercifully never had a meaningful role — Livingstone’s views are a hodge-podge of learning from quacks. But all good quacks lean on nuggets of truth. In the case of Jews in the 1930s, it is true that a small number of Labour Zionists had meetings with Nazi officials in 1933 about helping German Jews emigrate to what was then Palestine. But these were not ‘clandestine’ meetings, as Brenner and Livingstone claim. And their aim was not to cooperate, much less find mutual interest in the creation of a Jewish state, but rather one small part of a desperate scramble to get some people and possessions out of Germany.
Brenner and Livingstone’s take is classic crackpot history. And like Livingstone’s frequent citings of Mosaddegh and the CIA in discussing the wider Middle East, it isn’t that what he’s saying didn’t in any way happen. It’s just that what happened doesn’t remotely support the conclusions he comes to.
Many observers, especially British Jews, wonder why Livingstone wants to keep raking over all this. Is it a demonstration of anti-Semitism? Or senility? Both seem possible. But it is also possible that, armed with his little learning, Livingstone has chosen his version of history, as many people do, and is sticking with it.
He is wildly wrong, of course. If he had any power, his proselytisation on behalf of his theory could be dangerous. But Ken has no power, and his crazy insistence on arguing every inch of ground has instead allowed a public debate about a corner of left-wing pseudo-history that might never otherwise have had a light shone on it to allow for such mainstream debunking.
Jeremy Corbyn has expressed “deep disappointment” that Ken Livingstone has failed to apologise for the “deep hurt” he’s caused the Jewish community – and revealed his latest comments opened him up to further disciplinary action.
The Labour leader said he respected the independence of the three-person panel which yesterday decided not to expel the former London mayor, and only to suspend him for a further month.
But in a strongly-worded attack on his long-term political ally, he said Livingstone’s remarks were “grossly insensitive, and he has caused deep offence and hurt to the Jewish community”.
He said: “It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused. Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.
“Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the party’s disciplinary bodies. But Ken’s subsequent comments and actions will now be considered by the National Executive Committee after representations from party members.”
Lawmakers and members from Britain’s Labour party denounced a party decision to suspend, but not expel, former London mayor Ken Livingstone over comments he made saying Nazi leader Adolf Hitler supported Zionism, with the opposition party’s own deputy chief calling the move “incomprehensible.”
A Labour panel decided on Tuesday to suspend Livingstone for a year, calling his remarks “grossly detrimental” to the party.
The decision to not expel Livingstone was roundly condemned by the Jewish community, led by Britain’s chief rabbi, and Labour lawmakers also criticized the move, calling for the party to show zero tolerance for anti-Semitism.
Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said in a statement that he found it “incomprehensible that our elected lay members on the disciplinary panel found Ken Livingstone guilty of such serious charges and then concluded that he can remain a member of the Labour Party. ”
“I am ashamed that we have allowed Mr. Livingstone to cause such distress.”
A member of Labour’s disciplinary body who argued against expelling Ken Livingstone over his comments about Hitler and Zionism has written a series of pro-Palestinian articles, the JC can reveal.
Russell Cartwright, who was one of the panel of three Labour national constitutional committee representatives who decided the fate of Mr Livingstone, is also a member of the activist group the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy which has close links with the hard-left Momentum organisation.
Labour MP John Mann was among those to raise concerns about Mr Cartwright’s position on the NCC panel.
Mr Mann, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: “Did Russell Cartwright, editor of a 2014 Scoop.it! section on Palestine, sit on the 3 person Livingstone panel or have I the wrong person?”
Another source told the JC: “Russell Cartwright seems to have been quite obsessed with the issue of Palestine at the time he was involved with the website Scoop.it!
“It is clear he has very strong pro-Palestinian sympathies. One would think you would have to declare any interest before ruling on an issue such as Mr Livingstone’s claims about Zionism and Hitler.”
In reviewing British media reports today on the decision by the Labour Party not to permanently expel Ken Livingstone for his toxic and historically inaccurate claims alleging a “collaboration” between Hitler and Zionism, one thing stood out: There was almost nobody – either in the media or politics – who was willing defend the former London Mayor or the party’s decision to let him off with a temporary suspension. Indeed, those condemning Labour for their failure to employ a “zero tolerance towards antisemitism” included scores of Labour MPs, and even Deputy Labour Leader Tom Watson.
Note that we said “almost” nobody was willing to defend him.
Yesterday, the Guardian published this, by their long-time cartoonist Steve Bell, suggesting that all Livingstone did was mention Hitler too often.
Today the Guardian published another cartoon by Bell, characterising the Labour Party proceedings as a kangaroo court and mocking the allegations of antisemitism against Livingstone.
Bell’s sympathies are also clear in this retweet of Livingstone’s claim that he was being unfairly smeared for ‘standing up for Palestine’.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Suspended For Year Over Hitler Comments, Livingstone Complains Wrist Bruised (satire)
UK Labour figure and former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone claimed today that as a result of his token punishment for spouting antisemitism, the joint connecting his hand to his forearm now has a contusion.
Livingstone was not expelled from Labour, as some critics had demanded, but barred from running for office until this time next year, and was permitted to retain his voting privileges in the party. He had on numerous occasions likened early Zionists to Hitler, denied Hitler’s innate hate for Jews, and criticized the world’s only Jewish State for defending itself against terrorism. The wrist-slap administered by the party’s governing body left the 71-year-old with a bruise at the end of his forearm.
“I am in some discomfort, and this is an unbecoming situation,” charged the politician. “In my current state I am unable to offer the Nazi salute without pain.”
To Livingstone, it is clear who must bear the blame for his suffering. “The Jews who control the machinery of Labour – and who always have, along with controlling the banks, corporate media, and all of Western foreign policy for hundreds of years – don’t like when I expose them. They will have their lackeys call me an antisemite again, but that is exactly what Hitler would do, don’t you know? I mean, after he went crazy. He used to love Jews, which is, well, puzzling, but there you are.”
In 2011, Yemeni political opposition activist Tawakkol Karman won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel committee made clear that they had ulterior motives bestowing such an honor upon the Islah Party activist. As the Associated Press reported at the time:
Thorbjoern Jagland, who heads the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee, told AP that including Karman in the prize is ‘a signal that the Arab Spring cannot be successful without including the women in it.’” He also said Karman belongs to a Muslim movement with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, “which in the West is perceived as a threat to democracy.” He added that “I don’t believe that. There are many signals that, that kind of movement can be an important part of the solution.’”
At the time, some foreign policy analysts took issue with raising concerns about Karman’s Islah affiliation. In hindsight, their cheerleading for the pick seems unfortunate. Karman was subsequently silent, first with regard to Islamist atrocities beyond Yemen’s borders, such as the Taliban’s attempt to murder 14-year-old school girl Malala Yousafzai, who subsequently received the Nobel Prize for her outspoken advocacy beyond any political lens.
In the years after Karman’s prize, political protests in Yemen morphed into civil war. Increasingly, Islah—basically the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood party—shows its true agenda, partnering and seeking to legitimize al-Qaeda.
The decision to select Army Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster to replace retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as national security advisor is setting into motion a cascade of other personnel decisions that, far from draining the swamp, appear to be perpetuating it.
Trump has decided to retain Yael Lempert, a controversial NSC staffer from the Obama administration. Analyst Lee Smith reported that, according to a former official in the Clinton administration, Lempert “is considered one of the harshest critics of Israel on the foreign policy far left.”
Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who served as the NSC’s Iran director during the Obama administration, is now in charge of policy planning for Iran and the Persian Gulf at the Trump State Department. Nowrouzzadeh, whose main task at Obama’s NSC was to help broker the Iran Nuclear Deal, is a former employee of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a lobbying group widely believed to be a front group for the Islamic dictatorship in Iran.
“The people who are handling key elements of those conflicts now are the same people who handled those areas under Obama, despite the results of the last election. No wonder the results look equally awful.” — Lee Smith, Middle East analyst.
The following submission focuses on the impact of NGOs that lobby and attempt to exert influence based on ideological agendas that are detrimental or even explicitly opposed to longstanding, fundamental elements of British foreign policy.
Most significantly, a number of interested parties oppose the UK’s commitment to a two-state framework and its nurturing of economic, political and cultural ties with Israel.
In contrast to prevailing public perceptions, prominent NGOs active in this area undermine core commitments of British foreign policy. In addition, these organisations propagate factual distortions and inaccuracies, often have links to terrorist organisations and/or employ rhetoric that is infused with antisemitism, as demonstrated below.
This submission offers analysis on politicized and troubling activities of the following organisations: Amnesty International and its UK branch (AIUK), Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), The Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu) and Palestinian Return Centre (PRC). We further show that these NGOs’ activities often stand in sharp contrast to their proclaimed agendas of promoting human rights, in particular in the course of lobbying British decision makers and affecting policies regarding the Middle East. In some cases these organisations and/or their partners are funded by the British government.
NGO Monitor recommends that all NGO statements and claims submitted to decision-makers be independently verified, including before repeating NGO claims in official UK documents.makers, journalists, philanthropic organizations and the general public.
In March 2002, the Arab League met in Beirut and adopted a two-state solution proposal, based on normalization of relations with Israel in exchange for a complete Israeli withdrawal to pre-Six-Day War borders and the return of the 1948 refugees. This proposal was a non-starter, designed more as a positive image builder for Arabs and especially for the Saudis, who made up 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers, than a genuine contribution to peace in the Middle East.
On April 30, 2013, Qatar’s foreign minister suggested the revival of the Arab Peace Initiative, introduced in 2002, and for the first time eased its demand that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders. Instead, the minister accepted the possibility of tweaking those borders with a comparable and mutually agreed “minor swap of the land.”
However, it is illuminating to examine the record of the League of Arab States’ resolutions, since the founding of the Arab League in 1945, which is hardly a model for peaceful settlement of disputes in the spirit of the United Nations. For instance, prior to the establishment of the Jewish state, the League took the following steps:
A new bill is seeking to prevent Israeli funds from reaching the hands of terrorists. According to the bill, the payments to terrorists’ families will be deducted from the amounts transferred from Israel to the Palestinian Authority.
A significant portion of the PA’s budget comes from payments made by Israel. Thus, the families of terrorists with blood on their hands currently serving time in Israeli prisons are financially supported by the PA, and indirectly, by Israel.
A summary of the Palestinian Authority’s 2016 budget reveals that last year this support amounted to over NIS 1.1 billion. A number of Knesset members with a security background, led by MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid), recently drafted a bill to cut funds to the Palestinian Authority for its support of terrorism, which was submitted to the Knesset a week ago. The bill states that as funding terrorists is a violation of the Oslo Accords, the State of Israel will deduct from the tax payments it transfers annually to the Authority the NIS 1.1 billion the PA transfers to the terrorists. According to the petitioners, Israel’s tax payments to the PA are based on the Paris Agreement—the economic annex to the Oslo Accords—and therefore the two can be linked.
“Payments made by the PA to terrorists are not only inciting but also an incentive for terrorist activities,” said Stern, “It’s a real temptation to murder Jews, and it is our duty to stop this madness immediately.” Fellow faction member, former Shin Bet chief MK Yaakov Perry, said last night, “we are witnessing an ongoing wave of terrorism, some of which is caused by incitement by the Palestinian Authority, and therefore we must promote the bill as quickly as possible.” the proposal also signed reserve Eyal Ben Reuven (Zionist Union) and coalition members such as Chairman and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Avi Dichter (himself a former head of the Shin Bet) and MK Roy Folkman (Kulanu) and Coalition Chairperson David Bitan (Likud). (h/t Gastwirt)
Amid growing Congressional concern about the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) misuse of US financial aid, a major mainstream American Jewish organization has been quietly lobbying Congress to cover the PA’s unpaid bills at a Jerusalem hospital.
JNS.org has learned that for the past several years, senior officials from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) have been pressing US officials, including members of Congress, to pay millions in unpaid bills that the PA has racked up at the Lutheran-sponsored Augusta Victoria hospital in eastern Jerusalem.
At the beginning of 2014, the hospital was more than $19 million in debt, due to “non-payment of fees for patients that are referred to the hospital by the Palestinian Authority,” according to a Lutheran World Federation press release. The statement added that the PA “pledged to pay for the treatment of these patients but it has not been able to uphold its commitments.” At the end of 2014, the PA made a payment of $263,000 and left the remaining millions unpaid.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) — the country’s largest Lutheran denomination — enlisted the AJC to ask Washington to foot the PA’s bills.
In response to the public reprimand, the Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned Faaborg-Andersen’s deputy Mark Gallagher and gave him his own dressing down. The ministry’s EU director Avivit Bar-Ilan told Gallagher the buildings in question were built illegally and that “illegal construction will be dealt with according to law,” according to a report in daily Haaretz Tuesday.
Bar-Ilan told Gallagher Israel was “perplexed by the EU’s obsessive involvement in the matter.”
“There are 32 humanitarian crises around the world, but the EU chooses to disproportionately focus only on what is done in Area C of the West Bank, which are most definitely not suffering a humanitarian crisis,” she reportedly said.
Israel maintains civil and security control of Area C, which comprises some 60 percent of the West Bank.
Following rocky negotiations between US and Israeli officials about new settlements in the West Bank, President Trump has instructed his envoy to allow building to go ahead, so long as they bear a giant “Trump” sign on the entrance.
“This might be the toughest deal ever,” commented the President “I’m not really up to speed with the complexities of the situation on the ground but I know that the Israelis can’t keep building settlements that don’t have my name on them. We’re talking about big, beautiful signs, like the biggest in the Middle East. We’re going to make settlements great again!”
To compensate the Palestinians, Trump has agreed to send five, two-ton shipments of Trump Steaks to the Palestinian authority, and has promised all Palestinian high school graduates full scholarships to Trump University.
Obama was certain that he had managed to rid Syria of chemical weapons once an agreement was in place. But after what we saw in Idlib province on Tuesday, we can only hope that the agreement meant to rid Iran of nuclear weapons isn’t as clearly ineffective.
Over the years, these chemicals — used in World War I — have been banned. Sarin gas, which Assad used on his own people on Tuesday, has been banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1993. It is now 2017, and that same gas is being used by a ruthless leader on his own people, just across the border from the Jewish state. The use of gas to murder people is something that we Jews, more than anyone else, cannot tolerate, even if it is our enemies being gassed.
And what can we expect from the future? Last Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley explained that toppling Assad is no longer a top priority for the U.S. It was disappointing, admittedly. Washington believes the war against Islamic State is more important than the war against Assad. Trump believes that Assad can help in the war against global terrorism, mostly by way of Assad’s patron: Russia. But the world has just received yet another reason why Assad must go. Our world has enough means to deal with both the Islamic State terrorists and eradicating the Assad regime.
When Trump looks at the horrifying images of children’s bodies from Tuesday’s attack, his Middle East priorities should be clear. Syria first, Mr. President. When tomorrow comes, we don’t want to say everything we’ve said about Obama in reference to you too.
Recalling the Holocaust, President Reuven Rivlin said on Tuesday evening that Israel cannot remain indifferent to the gassing of Syrian civilians, and offered to help survivors of the civil war there.
“We, as a people who survived the greatest of atrocities and rose from the ashes to be a strong and secure nation, we will do all we can to continue to aid the survivors of the horrors in Syria,” the president said in a statement. “We know all too well how dangerous silence can be, and we cannot remain mute.”
Earlier on Tuesday, reports surfaced of an aerial attack with chemical weapons, apparently carried out by the Syrian regime, on the northern city of Idlib, which killed scores of civilians, among them many children.
Footage of people and children choking on what appears to be sarin gas prompted outrage across the globe. Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum condemned the attack and called on the international community to act.
“The pictures we are seeing today from Syria and the reports of the massacre of children, of civilians, with chemical weapons, is a stain on all humanity,” Rivlin said in his statement. “The international community in its entirety must come together to bring an end to this murderous madness, and ensure that such scenes will never be repeated anywhere.”
Tuesday’s chemical attack in the Idlib province of Syria is suspected to be the deadliest chemical weapon attack in Syria in years. Israeli officials believe that the attack, which claimed the lives of close to 100 civilians and wounded hundreds more in the town of Khan Sheikhon, was a sarin gas attack order by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, head of the Institute for National Security Studies think-tank and former head of Military Intelligence, speaking to Army Radio, urged direct military action by Israel to deter the Assad regime from carrying out further chemical weapons attacks, calling the strike in Idlib a “crime against humanity.”
So will this attack prompt any military action?
Israel’s security services have prepared a “situational assessment” of the attack, to see what potential risks Israel could face, but it is unlikely that Israeli citizens will be lining up to receive gas masks in the near future, as the army sees almost no chance of a chemical attack by Syria against Israel.
The Syrian military has denied responsibility, blaming the rebels and stating that it would never use chemical weapons. Israeli security officials, however, believe that the attack was likely approved by senior officials in the Assad regime, if not by Assad himself.
In a meeting of the UN body dedicated to chemical weapons disarmament, Syria condemned the use of chemical weapons – on the same day that Syria killed dozens of Syrian citizens in a horrific gas attack. At the April 4, 2017, meeting of the UN Disarmament Commission, a body of the UN General Assembly composed of all UN member states charged with the task of issuing recommendations and guidelines on disarmament issues, Syria hypocritically praised itself for being a signatory to the international treaty against chemical weapons and instead tried to shift focus to France and Israel.
In the words of the UN press release:
“The representative of Syria condemned the use of chemical weapons and all weapons of mass destruction, noting that his country was a signatory to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, and planned to free the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction. Recalling that Syria’s efforts to address the issue of chemical weapons and the question of Israel had been opposed by several countries, including France, he said that country’s delegate was in no position to make accusations since France had been the first country to provide Israel with a nuclear reactor in the 1950s, and continued to support terrorist groups in Syria.”
The day after the chemical weapons attack in Syria that shocked the world, the man charged with making news from the Middle East “more comprehensive or comprehensible for the audience” took to Twitter to promote his own conjectures concerning the incident in Khan Sheikhoun.
Yes, the BBC’s Middle East Editor really is promoting the “theory” that the Assad regime slaughtered children in Idlib province because Israel has allegedly carried out strikes in Syria against Iranian/Syrian weapons shipments to the Hizballah terror organisation.
It is worth remembering that the man publicly promoting that bizarre ‘rationale’ is the gatekeeper of all ‘accurate and impartial’ BBC reporting concerning the war in Syria – as well as coverage of Israel.
There is a consensus among Israelis that this is horrific, with many demanding we take in Syrian refugees.
But I have noticed the response has been very different among the usual suspects of Israel haters and antisemites.
Electronic Intifada founder Ali Abunimah has not mentioned it at all on his Twitter feed. Instead, it has been business as usual as he bashes Israel. The same goes for fellow Israel haters like Max Blumenthal, Joe Catron, and David Sheen.
Abunimah’s co-intifadambass Rania Khalek has gone one step further, instantly arguing against the prevailing narrative that the Assad regime is responsible.
A Palestinian recruited by Hamas headquarters abroad to promote terror activity in Israel was charged at the end of March by the Samaria Military Court, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said, officially clearing for release information about the suspect on Wednesday.
Qalqilya resident 23-year-old Malak Nazar Yousseff Kazmar was arrested in a joint Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police operation on February 26 2017.
According to the Shin Bet, it became clear during his interrogation that Kazmar, who had lived in Turkish Cyprus for the last few years, had been recruited by Hamas while he was in Jordan in August of 2015 and sent to a military training camp in Syria’s Idlib province in January 2016. In the military camp Kazmar learned to shoot and underwent theoretical training on the production of explosive devices.
In January 2017, shortly before he returned to the West Bank, he met with Hamas operatives in Istanbul who instructed him to recruit additional Hamas operatives who lived in Israel.
The IDF’s elite Duvdevan Unit on Tuesday night arrested dozens of explosive-throwing Arabs who were at Dheisheh, near Beit Lechem (Bethlehem).
The Arabs in question were throwing Molotov cocktails (firebombs), as well as explosives, at the soldiers.
One of the soldiers fired a shot in the direction of a terrorist who had thrown explosives at him. According to Arab sources, the terrorist was severely injured.
IDF forces evacuated the terrorist to a Jerusalem hospital.
None of the soldiers were injured.
Two Arab inhabitants of Bethlehem were arrested last week on suspicion of throwing stones and firebombs at Rachel’s Tomb. One of them was indicted and is being held under arrest until the end of proceedings.
Police have recently been conducting a covert investigation of Arabs who on several recent occasions arrived at the fence near the Rachel’s Tomb compound and are suspected of throwing stones and firebombs at security forces operating there.
As the investigation progressed and an evidentiary infrastructure was established, two Arabs aged 18 and 21 were arrested on suspicion of planning, preparing, and throwing firebombs and stones at Rachel’s Tomb on several occasions in recent months.
The suspects were brought for questioning during which they admitted connection to the charges. They added that by their actions they intended to harm security forces and visitors to the compound. At the end of their interrogation, the suspects were arrested and brought before a court that extended their remand.
The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday announced it will be reviving the legendary Haruv Unit, assigned to the Central Command from 1966 to 1974 and dismantled as part of the IDF’s streamlining efforts at the time.
The new and improved Haruv Unit is being set up as part of the Infantry Corps’ Kfir Brigade, which is routinely deployed across Judea and Samaria.
Haruv, classified as a special forces unit, will specialize in counterterrorism and its soldiers will be trained in urban and subterranean warfare and sniping. The unit will not include anti-tank and engineering companies.
The original Haruv Unit is one of the IDF’s iconic formations. It carried out routine security missions in the Central Command, and its fighters participated in the 1967 Six-Day War, the War of Attrition between 1967 and 1970, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. As part of its routine missions in all three wars, Haruv soldiers headed reconnaissance missions and participated in ambushes, pursuits and raids, which extended into enemy territory.
In one of its more memorable missions,in August 1973, Haruv was tasked with taking control of a hijacked passenger plane forced to land at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday appointed Rasha Atamny, 31, to represent the Jewish state in Ankara, Turkey, making her Israel’s first female Muslim diplomat.
Atamny, who is completing the final months of the ministry’s cadet course, will serve as the embassy’s first secretary in the influential Muslim nation.
Turkey is an important regional ally for Israel, with strong economic ties. The two countries signed a reconciliation agreement in June, 2016, ending a six-year rift.
Atamny hails from the Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiya in central Israel, located just inside the pre-1967 Green Line between Israel and the West Bank.
She is not Israel’s first female Arab diplomat. Christian-Arab Rania Jubran, the daughter of Supreme Court Justice Salim Jubran, worked for the ministry from 2006 to 2009, but left shortly before she was due to be sent to Cairo.
Israel also has several male Muslim and Christian diplomats.
Terrorist prisoner Majdi Al-Rimawi, a Palestinian terrorist serving a life sentence for participating in the planning and carrying out of the murder of Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001, has just received a BA degree in prison:
“Al-Quds Open University and the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs yesterday [March 13, 2017] celebrated the graduation of prisoners Majdi Hussein Yusuf Al-Rimawi…”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 14, 2017]
As a response to the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Israeli government decision to prohibit terrorist prisoners from studying for academic degrees, the Palestinian Al-Quds Open University started offering studies to prisoners in March 2016. [Al-Quds, March 1, 2016]
The program is based on a “memorandum of understanding with the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs and the [PA] Ministry of Education and Higher Education.” [The Al-Quds Open University Message, December 2016]
Prisoners in general and security prisoners in particular, are only allowed to conduct specific activities permitted to them by Israeli law and the rules of the Israeli Prison Service. In accordance with these, since 2011, security prisoners are no longer permitted to participate in degree courses.
Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti wants all of the 2,890 Fatah party security prisoners in Israeli jails, as well as those from other movements, to go on an indefinite hunger strike on April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.
On the surface the move by Barghouti — who is serving five life sentences for masterminding a series of deadly attacks at the start of the Second Intifada — is aimed at Israel. But the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah would do well to notice as well, as the Barghouti is likely attempting to flex his political muscles, despite an attempt by Ramallah to isolate him.
Officially, the Barghouti-led prisoners’ move is in protest of what they see as the Israel Prison Service’s failure to meet their demands regarding an improvement of conditions in the detention centers.
The strike will be Barghouti’s most significant test since he entered prison some 15 years ago.
Next year, he will celebrate his 60th birthday. During his time in prison, he has become a grandfather.
However, Hamas in Gaza is unwilling to recognize the PLO because it is part of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, and thus is not willing to recognize the new Hamas plan – hence, Khaled Mashal’s need to leak the document.
Many Israelis who are seeking any sign of Palestinian moderation will be delighted that such a document has been published. Yet, even in this new guise, Hamas is still sworn to Israel’s destruction, even without explicitly saying so. Hamas is devoted to war with Israel and therefore is opposed to any security cooperation with it. Yet all this is said in softer words than the old, blatantly anti-Semitic charter.
Khaled Mashal has already published similar positions in the past, after prominent Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and also a resident of Qatar, managed to agree with representatives of the West on the principles of “political Islam,” an understanding which was the basis for the “Arab Spring” which has been destabilizing the region in recent years.
Mashal is preparing to inherit the Palestinian leadership from Mahmoud Abbas and is willing to trade harsh wording for a softer style. However, Hamas in Gaza is unwilling to accept this new style. So even if Khaled Mashal is allowed to compete for Abbas’ position, and even if Mashal declares his willingness to implement a tahdiya in the West Bank, this will not obligate Hamas in Gaza.
In other words, in return for dismantling the PA’s security cooperation with Israel, Israel will receive Mashal’s “word,” and we all know what that is worth.
British multinational fashion retailer Topshop is under fire from palestinians and their supporters – for a crime of fashion.
It is all about this “scarf-playsuit” they are selling (update: it seems to have been removed).
They claim it is a ‘cultural appropriation’ of the checkered keffiyeh, their beloved symbol of
resistanceterror, popularized by arch terrorist Yasser Arafat.
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