May 27, 2020

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06/01 Links: Trump Signs Six-Month Waiver to Keep US Embassy in Tel Aviv; Lebanon Officially Bans Wonder Woman After Group Complains of Israeli-Born Lead

From Ian:

Trump Signs Six-Month Waiver to Keep US Embassy in Tel Aviv
U.S. President Donald Trump has signed the six-month waiver that postpones relocating the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The move was expected, but comes as a major disappointment to Jewish and right-wing Christian voters who expected the president to keep his campaign promise to move the embassy upon entering the White House.
Despite his action, administration officials did their best to mitigate the inevitable reaction from his voter base in a statement issued with the news that he had signed the waiver despite all campaign promises to the contrary.
“President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests,” the White House said in a statement.
“While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance,” the statement continued.
“As he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when,” the White House said in its statement.
Sadly, upon the advice of career foreign service employees and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the president has put the move on the back burner as a hostage to the “ultimate deal” between Israel and regional Arab peace partners, and/or the Palestinian Authority.

Statement on the American Embassy in Israel

While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance. President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.

Eugene Kontorovich: Trump’s trouble in justifying a waiver of Jerusalem Embassy Act

News reports today suggest that President Trump will exercise his waiver authority under the Jerusalem Embassy Act for the first time, delaying an opening of the U.S. Embassy to Israel in that country’s capital for six months.
The CNN report suggests the waiver, a reversal of his campaign promises, would be motivated by concern that moving the embassy could “prejudice” a diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that Trump hopes to broker. The problem is that the the Jerusalem Embassy Act provides that State Department budgets must be severely cut unless the president issues a waiver, and the reasons for waiver are limited, essential national security considerations. The considerations mentioned by CNN’s sources (and others) are diplomatic, not security ones.
On the other hand, if the White House does issue a waiver on national security grounds, it undermines the peace process. A basic assumption of any of the conventional “two-state solution” models is that Israel’s security would be guaranteed by U.S. commitments. But if the White House is unwilling to put the embassy in Israel’s capital because of vague threats of terror, it proves that there is no chance it would actually put its forces in harm’s way if needed to come to Israel’s aid, should the Jewish state be attacked after a peace agreement. In such a case, the threats of retaliation against U.S. targets would be more vocal, salient and real.

Trump risks ire of millions of pro-Israel voters by keeping embassy in Tel Aviv

US President Donald Trump will be risking the ire of millions of his pro-Israel supporters — among them Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians — as well as that of Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson on Thursday if, as expected, he signs a waiver that would prevent the moving of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Although Trump campaigned on a pledge to complete the long-anticipated establishment of an embassy in Jerusalem, White House sources indicated Wednesday that he would renew the waiver — a move that may raise hackles among key demographics who supported the president in his 2016 campaign.
“A majority of American Orthodox Jews voted for Mr. Trump because of the expectation that he would be a more supportive president for Israel,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy for the Orthodox Union, the largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization in the US. According to Diament, Trump’s strong rhetoric — including his promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — was key to building that expectation.
“President Trump’s promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem was of critical importance to millions of Christian Zionists who ultimately supported his bid for the White House. They will be watching what the president does very closely,” warned Christians United for Israel founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee.

Israel ‘disappointed’ with Trump for not moving embassy to Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday he was “disappointed” with US President Donald Trump’s decision not to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for now, saying that despite Trump’s declared peace-making intentions, delaying the relocation “drives peace further away.”
“Israel’s consistent position is that the American embassy, like the embassies of all countries with whom we have diplomatic relations, should be in Jerusalem, our eternal capital,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement after Trump backtracked on a key promise he made on the campaign trail throughout 2016 by signing a waiver which pushes off moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for at least another six months.
“Maintaining embassies outside the capital drives peace further away by helping keep alive the Palestinian fantasy that the Jewish people and the Jewish state have no connection to Jerusalem,” the statement said.
However, Netanyahu took pains to temper the criticism of Trump and maintain the close rapport seen during Trump’s visit to Israel last month.
“Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today’s expression of President Trump’s friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future,” the statement noted.

Netanyahu: Keeping embassies out of Jerusalem makes peace more remote

The lack of foreign embassies in Israel’s capital distances peace because it feeds the Palestinian delusion that there is no connection between the Jews and Israel to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday shortly after US President Donald Trump signed a waiver keeping the US embassy in Tel Aviv.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said that Israel’s consistent position has been that the US embassy, like all the embassies in Israel, needs to be located in Jerusalem.
The statement said that despite disappointment that that the embassy will not be moved, “Israel appreciates the friendly words of President Trump and his commitment to move the embassy to Jerusalem at a later date.”
Israeli public figures from across the political spectrum also weighed in shortly after the White House’s announcement.

Netanyahu made last-ditch effort to convince US of Israel embassy move

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to US Ambassador David Friedman on Monday in a final and apparently futile attempt to persuade US President Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Trump is expected to sign a waiver on Thursday that will keep the embassy in Tel Aviv, at least for another six months. The PMO confirmed that the conversation with Friedman took place, and that Netanyahu raised the issue with Trump during his visit here last week.
According to diplomatic officials, Netanyahu, his former National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel, and ambassador to the US Ron Dermer have raised this issue at the highest levels in Washington since Trump came into office in January.

Bennett: Delaying embassy move will bring war, not peace

President Trump’s decision to sign a waiver keeping the US Embassy in Israel at its present location in Tel Aviv will have serious repercussions for his plans to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East, Education Minister Naftali Bennett warned Thursday.
Earlier Thursday, the president extended for an additional six months a security waiver deferring implementation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, a bipartisan bill passed during the Clinton administration which requires the US Embassy in Israel be moved to the Israeli capital.
In 2016 Trump pledged to implement the law and relocate the embassy if elected. Since taking office, however, Trump has remained mum on whether he will make good on his promise.
After the decision was announced, Bennett warned that the decision would harm efforts to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as it would foster false hopes in the Arab world that the Israeli capital could potentially be divided.
“There is no peace based on the division of Jerusalem,” said Bennett.

‘Abandoning Jerusalem is not how you make America great again’

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) lamented President Donald Trump’s decision Thursday to defer relocating the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, calling the move “a huge disappointment”.
Trump had promised repeatedly during his 2016 presidential campaign to implement the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which requires the US Embassy be moved from its present location in Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital.
“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem,” Trump said at the 2016 AIPAC conference in Washington DC.
Since his election last November, however, the president has remained mum on whether he would follow through on his pledge.
On Thursday, the president signed a six-month security waiver, deferring the relocation.

Jordan’s Piece of Paper and What to Do with It

Jordan’s official Petra News agency reports:
The Ministry of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs handed the Israeli Embassy in Amman a memo to protest allowing Jewish extremists into the Al Aqsa Mosque/Haram Al Sharif under the protection of the Israeli police. The Jordanian government asked the Israeli government in the memo to immediately put an end to such acts of aggression and provocation and respect the Jordanian role in caring for Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem
Jordan’s 1994 peace treaty with Israel recognizes Jordan’s role as custodian of Muslim and Christian shrines in the city, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 war. The ministry said that such acts inflame the feelings of Muslims around the world, violate Article 9 of the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel and are not in line with Israeli’s legal obligations, as the occupying power, in accordance with international law.
The memo said that such actions harm relations between the two countries and undermine efforts to reduce tension and preserve the status quo in the Al Aqsa Mosque/ Haram Al Sharif.

Article 9?
The text:
Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

I hope the Embassy staff told the messenger just what to do with that piece of paper the memo was written on.

Island nation Vanuatu recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

The small Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Israel Hayom has learned exclusively.
The decision follows the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s passing of a pro-Palestinian resolution in October 2016 that denied Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
That resolution led to a harsh Israeli response that sought to send a strong message to the member states that did not oppose the resolution, which began to yield positive results recently. The lower chamber of the Czech parliament passed two pro-Israel resolutions, one calling on the government to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the other calling for withholding funds from UNESCO over its anti-Israel stance.
Vanuatu’s President Baldwin Lonsdale, an evangelical Christian who has a strong connection to the Jewish people and to Israel, recently made a similar move.
During a meeting with Vanuatu’s honorary consul to Israel, the issue of the UNESCO vote came up. Lonsdale said in the meeting he had been sorry to hear how the vote unfolded and his country’s lack of opposition to it.

Palestinians say Trump embassy decision shows his commitment to peace

The Palestinian Authority on Thursday applauded a decision by US President Donald Trump not move the US embassy to Jerusalem as he had promised during his election campaign, saying it showed the US administration is serious about making peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
In response to Trump’s signing earlier of a waiver delaying any measures to relocate the embassy by up to six months, PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that it is an “important positive step” that illustrates the how the US is serious about promoting peace.
During his trip to the region last month Trump went to Saudi Arabia where he attended a summit of Arab states and Muslim leaders, as well as meetings in Israel and the West Bank with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The US president stressed his keenness to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as part of drive towards regional cooperation between moderate states.
Abbas’s office said in a statement that Trump’s embassy waiver was positive, important, and will strengthen the possibility to prepare for peace.

Abbas admits Trump yelled at him over incitement – report

According to Palestinian sources quoted by the Qatari site, however, Abbas told an executive committee meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization in recent days that his encounter with Trump was “uncomfortable.”
Abbas confirmed that the US leader expressed anger with him, accused him of inciting against Israel, and showed him videos that included one in which Abbas was recorded as saying, “We incite and the Israelis incite.”
Abbas said he then told Trump that the videos only showed selections which had been edited and taken out of context.
He said he told the US leader, “You have the CIA, ask them to analyze the film clips and you’ll discover that that they were taken out of context or fabricated with the aim of inciting against the Palestinians.”
Trump’s anger was the result of Israeli government incitement against Palestinians, Abbas claimed he told the US president, according to the sources.

PA asks UN to act against Israeli ‘Judaization’

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Monday urged the UN Security Council to take action to protect Jerusalem from Israeli attempts to “Judaize” the city, the Ma’an news agency reported.
The statement came a day after the Israeli Cabinet held its weekly meeting in the Western Wall tunnels instead of in the Knesset in order to honor Jerusalem Day, which was celebrated last week.
During the meeting, the ministers approved several projects important for Israel’s capital, including two projects intended to make the Western Wall more accessible for wheelchairs.
The PA bureau in charge of foreign affairs on Tuesday condemned Israel’s “Judaization campaign” in eastern Jerusalem, including a cable car project approved by the Cabinet at Sunday’s meeting and the planned construction of elevators and passages connecting the Western Wall to Jewish-majority neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
The PA bureau claimed that such projects threaten the Arab and Islamic heritage of the city, while aiming to marginalize Arab residents of Jerusalem.
The bureau went on to condemn the school curriculum plan pushed forward by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, saying that it aimed to impose the Israeli narrative on the younger Palestinian generation at the detriment of their Palestinian history.
Such measures by Israel, it claimed, undermine the chances of achieving a two-state solution.

European NGOs initiate ‘Jerusalem Capital of Palestine’ campaign

The “Jerusalem the Capital of Palestine” campaign was launched by the Europeans for Jerusalem Foundation to “speak up against the swift pace of Israel’s Judaization schemes and settlement activity”, according to the Palestinian Information Center.
Chairman of the Europeans for Jerusalem Foundation, Dr. Mohamed Hanun, “said the campaign comes at a time when Israel has stepped up assaults on holy sites and settlement projects in Occupied Jerusalem in an attempt to wipe out the city’s Islamic and Christian landmarks, said the PIC.
“Dr. Hanun dubbed an Israeli cabinet meeting held last week underneath the Buraq Wall a ‘dangerous escalation’ and a threat to regional peace.
“He called for serious measures to pressure Israel to cease its violations and abide by the international law and the UN resolutions.
“’Such practices represent an act of provocation to the Muslim and Christian communities in the world . . . . Israeli settlers should halt their break-ins at holy al-Aqsa Mosque,’ added Hanun.

Lebanon Officially Bans Wonder Woman After Group Complains of Israeli-Born Lead

Well, Lebanon has officially banned the movie Wonder Woman after a group called Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel (CBSI) urged the government to do so since Israeli-born Gal Gadot stars as the lead. From USA Today:
While no official reason was given for the ban, the Associated Press reports that the move follows a campaign in the country against Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, who served two years in the Israeli army. Lebanon is officially at war with Israel.
The ban is in accordance with a decades-old law that boycotts Israeli products and bars Lebanese citizens from traveling to Israel or having contacts with Israelis.

From The Guardian:
Wonder Woman has been promoted around Lebanon and was scheduled to premiere in the country until hours before the ban went into effect. Lebanon’s Grand Cinemas movie theater chain announced the ban on its Twitter feed.
Though Wonder Woman had passed the country’s normal screening procedures, the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon put pressure on the government to block the film, describing it as “the Israeli Soldier film”.

However, as The Los Angeles Times notes, three companies made the movie: one in America and two in China. So how is it an Israeli product?
But Lebanon does have “an official law on the books that encourages boycotts of products from its neighbor to the south.”

Omission and inaccuracy in BBC’s ‘Wonder Woman’ Lebanon ban report

The BBC, however, did not inform its audiences of the part played by that Lebanese BDS group in lobbying against the film. The group – founded, among others, by a Hizballah sympathiser named Samah Idriss – last year received financial sponsorship for a BDS event from Hizballah linked media organs.
Misspelling the name of the lead actress, the BBC’s article tells readers that:

However, as also noted by the Guardian, the same BDS group had also campaigned – unsuccessfully – against the screening of that film in Lebanon. Coincidentally or not, the Ministry of Economy and Trade is currently headed by a minster from a party – FPM – that is part of the March 8 Alliance that includes Hizballah.

Remembering 2001 Tel Aviv Dolphinarium attack

On this day, June 1, 2001 Said Hotari, a Hamas terrorist, walked into a Tel Aviv dance club at the Dolphinarium and blew himself up murdering 21 young Israelis and injuring 132 more in one of the most horrific attacks of the Second Intifada. Thirteen of the victims killed were aged 14-17.

PMW: Palestinian center refuses to rename center named after terrorist murderer

Following Palestinian Media Watch’s exposure last week of Norway’s and UN Women’s funding of the Palestinian women’s center named after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, both Norway and the UN condemned the center’s name. Norway has also demanded its money back.
This has not impressed the village council of Burqa, which named the center after the terrorist who led the murder of 37 in 1978. The head of the village council, Sami Daghlas, announced to the official PA news agency that they see the terrorist as a “hero” and refuse to rename the center:
“The center has no intention of caving in to the pressure and change its name, the head of village’s council, Sami Daghlas, said… He said the name Dalal Mughrabi was chosen by the villagers to commemorate a Palestinian hero (emphasis added, Ed.) who sacrificed herself for her country and therefore they have no intention to change its name regardless of the price.”
[English edition of WAFA, official PA news agency, May 30, 2017]

Danish FM said to order review of funding to Palestinian groups

Under pressure from Israel, the Danish foreign minister has reportedly ordered a review of his government’s donations to Palestinian Authority non-governmental organizations and will not approve any new funding until the probe is completed.
“We must be sure that Danish assistance contributes in a positive way to the advancement of human rights in the Palestinian territories,” Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said in a statement.
“It’s possible, that following the inquiry we’re carrying out, we will have to halt funding for some Palestinian organizations,” he said. “Until we reach conclusions, we won’t be signing on any new grants for Palestinian organizations.”
In a meeting earlier this month, Israeli and Danish diplomats said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Samuelsen to stop Denmark’s funding for Palestinian NGOs that are involved in anti-Israel incitement or promote boycotts of the Jewish state.

Ahead of visit to Israel and PA Haley says US future in UNHRC undecided

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will visit Israel from June 7-9 during which time she is expected to hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and observe UN operations in the region.
At a recent press briefing, Haley said the trip will be centered around the issue of the UN Human Rights Council.
Prior to her visit to Israel, Haley will make a stop in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 6, where she will be the first US Permanent Representative to the UN to address the Council. She also will deliver a speech at the Graduate Institute in Geneva in which she will lay out the US’s position on future involvement with the Human Rights Council.
“Going to Geneva we’ll be talking to the Human Rights Council about what we think they do well, what we think is not productive and if there is some reform that can happen out of that,” she said.

Israeli ambassador to UN Danny Danon elected VP of General Assembly, win seen as a triumph for Israel

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations was elected Wednesday as vice president of the 72nd session of the U.N. General Assembly, which is considered a significant triumph by the Israeli mission to the U.N.
“Today I was elected to be the Vice President of the @UN General Assembly,” Danny Danon tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “It is an honor to represent the State of Israel in this leadership position at the @UN.”
The U.N. has had a bit of a contentious relationship with Israel, so Danon’s new position is being welcomed by the Jewish state.
“We’ve proven once again that Israel is able to serve in significant positions at the @UN & the attempts to block this progress won’t succeed,” Danon tweeted.
Danon will begin his one-year term in September with the opening of the General Assembly.

Switzerland considers war crimes complaint against Tzipi Livni

Switzerland’s attorney general’s office on Wednesday said the country is weighing whether to pursue a war crimes complaint filed against former minister Tzipi Livni over her role in the 2008-2009 Gaza war.
“[The legal] request is presently being studied,” the attorney general’s office told Swiss news site Swissinfo.
Quoting the French-language Swiss daily Les Temps, Swissinfo said that the suit was filed Monday by the pro-Palestinian Swiss organization Urgence against Livni, who served as foreign minister during the three-week long conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror group, a war known in Israel as Operation Cast Lead.
The complaint against Livni was submitted after she visited the Swiss city of Lugano on Sunday to speak at an event arranged by the Swiss-Israel Association.
Swiss NGO Trial International hailed Urgence’s decision to file the complaint, saying it would enable Swiss authorities to take legal action against Livni if she returns to the country.

IDF soldier stabbed outside West Bank settlement

An IDF soldier was stabbed on Thursday morning outside the Mevo Dotan settlement in the West Bank.
A security guard saw a Palestinian woman heading toward the community’s gate and yelled at her to stand back, according to an Israeli police spokeswoman.
She refused to listen and headed toward a group of soldiers standing by the gate, stabbing one of them.
One of the soldiers shot and disabled her.

IsraellyCool: Israeli Energy Minister Blocks Electricity Cuts To Gaza, But AP Still Paints Israel In Bad Light

Over a month ago, I posted how the PA had informed Israel it would stop paying for electricity to the Gaza Strip, all due to a power struggle with Hamas.
Electricity to Gaza has already been reduced because of this, but now Israel’s Energy Minister has indicated he does not want to allow any additional cuts.
But note how AP – who wrote the following report – still finds a way to paint Israel in a bad light (no pun intended)
Abbas, whose government pays Israel for the electricity, has stepped up financial pressure on Hamas in recent weeks by threatening to reduce its funding in hopes of forcing his rivals to cede ground.
But in a new twist, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said he would block any additional electricity cuts until further review. Steinitz argued that Israel, which supplies only 30% of Gaza’s power needs, should not be drawn into an internal Palestinian problem, a decision that also effectively shields Hamas, Israel’s enemy, against Abbas.

Further proof that Israel actually cares about the palestinians more than their own leaders. And the mainstream media couldn’t care less.

Palestinians Angered at Hamas Decision to Build Qatari Embassy on Arafat’s Landing Strip

Palestinian officials have expressed their displeasure at the decision of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip to build the home of the Qatari ambassador on the landing strip used for the plane of the late Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.
The Qatari ambassador to the Gaza Strip, Muhama Alamadi, laid the cornerstone for the new Qatari embassy, the first in Gaza under the rule of Hamas, together with Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh
At the ceremony, Haniyeh said the plan to establish the embassy “is proof that our Qatari brothers won’t give up on the Palestinian people living under siege.”
The decision aroused anger among the Palestinians. A member of the Palestinian People’s Party, Walid Awad, called the decision a Qatari “rape” of the landing strip as a symbolic plot of land for the Palestinians. “The Palestinian leadership must inform the Qataris that their step is unacceptable.”
Senior Fatah figure Muhammad Dahlan, the bitter rival of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, also criticized the decision, saying, “Hamas and Qatar are trying to defeat Arafat after his death. They will fail because Arafat is in every Palestinian house.” Dahlan attacked the absence of an official Palestinian position on of the Qatari move.

Barghouti threatens new hunger strike if prisoner demands not met

Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israel are “prepared to resume their hunger strike at any time if the Israel Prison Service does not meet our demands,” Marwan Barghouti, the former head of the paramilitary Tanzim who is serving five life sentences for terrorist activity, announced in a message published by Palestinian media outlets.
Bargouti’s message claimed that the prisoners’ leaders had established a monitoring committee charged with ensuring that the agreements the prisoners reached with the IPS are implemented. Although the Palestinians are claiming that the IPS “yielded” and agreed to “most” of the prisoners’ demands — which included more frequent family visits and additional cable TV channels — Barghouti has not specified what the recently concluded hunger strike actually achieved.
A poll by the Palestinian news agency Maan found last week that 70% of Palestinians believed that the 41-day hunger strike had failed.

PreOccupiedTerritory: IDF Using Covfefe On Palestinians (satire)

Human rights groups are alleging that the Israel Air Force has deployed munitions containing covfefe against Palestinian targets, a controversial substance with questionable legality under the laws of armed conflict.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights issued separate statements this week accusing Israel of covfefe use, and called on the international community to act against what they called the Jewish State’s continuing disregard for international norms.
“No other military has deployed covfefe, and with good reason,” tweeted Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth. “Israel must stop this barbaric practice.”
“Covfefe has never been proven safe to use in built-up civilian areas,” added Amnesty. “We have at least seven documented cases in the last year of Israel dropping covfefe on Gaza, and a possible eighteen further incidents. Children in Gaza City, Rafah, and several smaller locales are exhibiting signs of exposure to the substance, for which there remains no known treatment.”

KFC Aiming to Open 100 Israeli Branches in Major Comeback

The American fast food giant KFC is aiming to make a comeback in Israel by opening as many as 100 franchises there over the course of five years, after several previous failed attempts to enter the Jewish state’s restaurant market.
A team of KFC representatives has visited Israel on three separate occasions in recent months, and has already started meeting with potential franchisees, real estate agents and poultry suppliers ahead of the move, the Israeli financial news outlet Calcalist reported on Monday.
The failure of past efforts to bring KFC’s famous fried chicken to Israel were attributed to difficulty with making the brand’s signature milk-based recipe kosher. Attempts to create a kosher soy-based version of the famed chicken formula, in line with the kosher prohibition against eating milk and meat together, reportedly did not succeed in reproducing the brand’s authentic flavor.
KFC first opened in Israel at the end of the 1980s, with a single branch in Tel Aviv. From 1993-2013, the brand opened several Israeli locations after it was revived by the Clal Group and later acquired by Dor Energy in 2002. By 2009, Dor expanded the brand to 10 locations, but all KFC Israel branches were shuttered in 2013.

Al Jazeera Tweets—Then Deletes—Anti-Semitic Climate Change Cartoon

Al Jazeera English quickly deleted a Twitter post on Wednesday that featured an anti-Semitic portrayal of a Jewish man commenting on climate change.
The tweet, which was captured by numerous Twitter users before it was deleted, featured a caricature of a Jew saying that the “climate change scam is working out perfectly for our long term Talmudic plan of world domination!”
The Talmud is an ancient text on Jewish law and tradition.

A message in
Pittsburgh pine cones: ‘Kill the Jews’

“Kill the Jews!” read a message spelled out in pine cones in Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Wednesday that, according to local police Lt. Duane Fisher, the antisemitic statement appeared on the curb alongside a swastika at the corner of Overlook Drive and Arden road on Tuesday morning.
“We don’t know when the message was put out, but it was removed by 6:30 this morning when we responded,” Fisher said.
The Post-Gazette reported that the woman who found the statement was so upset by it that she took a snapshot of the hate message before rearranging the pine cones to spell out “Love.”

Danish prosecutor: Teen who plotted to bomb Jewish school mentally ill

A Danish prosecutor says she is appealing a six-year prison sentence given to a Danish teenage girl convicted of attempted terrorism, saying she should be incarcerated in a mental institution instead.
Natascha Colding-Olsen, now 17, was found guilty earlier this month of planning bomb attacks on her former school and on a Jewish school in Copenhagen, and of possessing chemicals, two years ago.
Prosecutor Lise-Lotte Nilas said Wednesday the case was “totally unusual and serious.” Earlier a medical report concluded that the girl was dangerous to others.
During her trial, Colding-Olsen, who converted to Islam in 2015, admitted the plans and making contact with people whom she thought were radical militants.
It was not clear when the appeals case would start.

Israel Rushes Aid to Sri Lanka as Floods Displace Tens of Thousands

Israel has delivered emergency supplies to Sri Lankan authorities as they struggle to cope with the impact of floods and mudslides that have killed nearly 200 people and displaced more than 80,000 from their homes in recent days.
Daniel Carmon — Israel’s ambassador to India and Sri Lanka — delivered boxes of relief supplies to Colombo’s Foreign Ministry, including power generators that were taken immediately to afflicted areas.
Mudslides have become common during Sri Lanka’s summer monsoon season as forests across the tropical Indian Ocean island nation have been cleared for export crops such as tea and rubber. Another massive landslide a year ago killed more than 100 people in central Sri Lanka.
As many as 99 people are missing, according to Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Center, and the death toll is expected to rise as authorities try to rescue those still stranded.

Israeli Trauma Experts Take the Lead in Treating Manchester Terror Victims

Israeli trauma experts have landed in Manchester in the wake of the attack on the Ariana Grande concert to treat victims and train medical staff on the ground, Breaking Israel News reported Monday.
The terrorist organization Islamic State has officially claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing that left 22 people killed, many of them children, and injured 59 on May 22.
Rabbi Dov Benyaacov-Kurtzman, who has lived most of his life in Jerusalem and currently resides in Glasgow, where he created the UK National Emergency Response, Resilience and Treatment Programme For Stress and Trauma, rapidly mobilized teams of volunteers to assist the injured.
“We immediately erected a pop-up trauma center to deal with the city’s population who were in the aftermath of a terror attack, and by Friday morning we’d managed to open a mobile facility and gotten someone to donate a storefront in central Manchester to serve as ‘Ground Zero’ for our efforts,” Benyaacov-Kurtzman told TPS.
His efforts are supported by Prof. Yori Gidron of France’s Lille University, a native of Israel, who previously gained experience in international disaster and relief work during humanitarian catastrophes in Japan, Nepal, Haiti, and Israel.

IsraellyCool: Ex NFL Great Tiki Barber To Be Honorary Grand Marshal At NYC Israel Parade

I may not be too familar with the NFL (Aussie Rules football forever, for this ex-pat Aussie), but I do recognize a mensch.
Tiki Barber at the recent Jerusalem marathon
Former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber will be an honorary grand marshal of the Celebrate Israel Parade in Manhattan on Sunday.
Barber says in a statement Tuesday that Israel “holds a very special place” in his heart.
In 2005, Barber went to Israel as the guest of then Vice Premier Shimon Peres, whom he’d met at a New York restaurant. The NFL veteran joined efforts of the Peres Peace Center to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
The player-turned-analyst made his second visit in March. Barber was a guest of the Israel Tourism Ministry and ran in the Jerusalem Marathon.

How Guile and Guts Won Israel’s Future, And Today’s Optimism

Shortly before the Six-Day War broke out, I attended an Israeli Defense Forces demonstration of military prowess at a site outside Tel Aviv. We foreign reporters were unimpressed as young Israeli recruits scrambled clumsily over the sand dues.
That was exactly what the Israelis intended. The show of ineptitude was part of the Israeli plan to generate over-confidence among Arab forces threatening Israel’s southern and eastern borders. The Israelis even sold a highly respected New York Times military analyst on the myth that their tanks were so decrepit that they had to be hauled into battle on semi-trailers. It turns out that was the fastest way to move them — fueled, stocked with ordnance and with fresh crews — from front to front.
Egypt, Syrian and Jordan would learn the truth on June 5 when the Israeli air force launched a pre-emptive strike against Egyptian and Syrian air bases and wiped out most of their planes on the ground. The IDF thereby gained air superiority which turned Egyptian tanks in the Sinai, Jordanian armor on the west bank, and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights into shooting gallery targets for Israeli fighter-bombers.
The thing I remember best about that earlier flailing pretense of weakness was the pacifist-sounding talks I heard from a young IDF lieutenant involved in the exercise. “Wars don’t solve anything,” he said to a group of reporters with some fervor. Maybe it was premonition. He was killed in the Sinai on the first day when an Egyptian rocket-propelled-grenade hit the half-track from which he was directing fire on Egyptian infantry.

The Six-Day War: A Brief History

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