March 24, 2019

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06/03 Links: Iranian blood money, Palestinian blood; The UN’s Sordid Embrace of Antisemitism; Are Medics the latest Human shields in Gaza?

From Ian:

Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Iranian blood money, Palestinian blood
A significant escalation in the situation prevailing at the Israel-Gaza border took place this week. The prattle about demonstrations and attempts by “returning” Gaza residents to infiltrate Israel was replaced by missiles and mortars on a level not seen since Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Up to the time of this writing, on Wednesday morning, there have been several wounded, but no casualties, on the Israeli side. However, it is clear to all that chance alone separates a mortarshell that digs a crater on an empty street from one that hits a home or kindergarten leaving wounded and dead in its wake.

The immediate question is why? Why is this erupting now? Is it a reaction to the direct hit the IDF carried out on an Islamic Jihad observation post of in Gaza, eliminating the three terrorists inside it? Or are there other factors behind this escalation? Another question is: Why are Hamas and Islamic Jihad working together on this after a long period of tension between the two? And why are they operating beyond the area near Gaza from which they tried to kidnap Israeli soldiers?

For years now, Israel has been acting with a large measure of freedom against Iranian presence in Syria, bombing various targets and eliminating soldiers and officers, with Iran doing almost nothing to avenge the blood of the tens of Iranians killed in these bombings or the damage to Iranian military infrastructure in Syria. The reason Iran has not reacted to Israeli strikes is its inferior military intelligence and operational ability. Israel has inflicted serrious damage on Iran’s ability to protect itself and using the new anti-aircraft systems it brought into Syria. Israel destroyed them as soon as they arrived, before they were activated and before they became operational.

Israel also proved its exceptional intelligence ability, because its attacks on Iranian forces were exactly aimed and successfully pinpointed. This caused the Iranian command to concentrate on its own defenses for fear that Israel would hit the Iranian commanders in Syria headed by Kassem Sulimani. Israel destroyed Iranian targets all over Syria, not just near the Golan Heights, and showed the Iranians and their Russian supporters just how much strength and resolve Israel has when it comes to attacking distant Iranian targets – hinting obliquely at Israel’s ability to hit them within Iran itself.

Anne Bayefsky: The UN’s Sordid Embrace of Antisemitism

The following is a speech delivered by Anne Bayefsky, Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and the President of Human Rights Voices, at the Special Forum on “Evolving Hatred: Antisemitism & BDS Today” convened by the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations, UN, May 30, 2018.

The United Nations is an institution built on the ashes of the Jewish people and the devastation wreaked by antisemitism upon all civilization.

And yet, the UN has never adopted a resolution or commissioned a report singularly devoted to exposing, denouncing, and eradicating antisemitism wherever it occurs. Just this month, the Security Council was asked and refused to issue a “firm and unequivocal rejection of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.”

Why not? The answer is painfully clear: antisemitism itself. Right here in the United Nations.

Antisemitism at the UN does more than stymie opportunities for prevention. It creates occasions for promotion. The marketing strategy has three identifiable steps.

Step one: Deny. As a matter of routine, antisemites say they aren’t antisemites.

Except they are.

Two weeks ago — in this very room — a two-day forum on the “Question of Palestine” was convened. Under UN auspices. With UN-invited speakers and UN-accredited participants.

Speakers deprecated “the idea of a chosen people” and railed against a “Jewish lobby.” The Palestinian UN representative claimed Palestinian land was “exactly like” German-occupied France and Poland.

PMW: “The fetus, a proud Martyr in his mother’s womb” – Songs on official PA radio

When Palestinians tune in to the official PA radio station, The Voice of Palestine, they hear songs encouraging them to seek Martyrdom-death and to sacrifice themselves for Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and “Palestine.” Catchy lyrics pass on the message that Palestinians are “not afraid of death,” and teach them that already in its mother’s womb, the fetus is “a proud Martyr” who has “Palestine etched on the heart”:

“Our Martyrs are convoys and our bones are mountains They don’t surrender to the lowly We aren’t deterred by imprisonment Palestine is etched on the heart of the fetus A proud Martyr in his mother’s womb And the Arab state will remain ours – Arab, Arab PalestineWe [hold] the rifles to our chests and our eyes are raised to you Our homes are trenches and our souls are the sacrifice for youO Jerusalem, you will not remain stolen.” [“The First Direction of Prayer” by Syrian singer Assala Nasri, Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine, Feb. 3, 2018]

Dershowitz on Gaza and the Golan

Renowned constitutional attorney, jurist, and political commentator Alan Dershowitz spoke to Arutz Sheva Thursday night at the Yeshivat Hesder Sderot Anniversary Gala Dinner in Manhattan about his recent trip to Israel in which he visited terror tunnels and received a flyover briefing on the Golan.

“The important point is that when Israel was attacked, it made the point that it would not accept any attack on its soil, and it destroyed multiple Iranian missile launchers,” Dershowitz said. “I was there two days after they were destroyed, and was told by IDF people that it was now safe to go there. I flew with my grandson in a helicopter over the Golan Heights, and you could hear the rockets and you could see the puffs from the fighting that was taking place within Syria.”

Regarding his observations from Gaza, Dershowitz related: “I was under a Hamas tunnel halfway to Gaza, then I went to the fence and I saw where the ‘protesters’ were going to be gathering the next day, and Israel has to protect the citizens of Sderot, and other areas around the fences. We know that Hamas gave its terrorists Google maps of the shortest route to Jewish areas, including Jewish daycare centers and kindergartens, because this was a lynch mob; this was an attempt to lynch, kill, kidnap as many Jewish civilians as possible.

A Week of Infamy at the United Nations

When Syria ascended to the role of presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament for one month on Monday, Robert Wood, the United States ambassador to the conference, called it “one of the darkest days in the history of the Conference on Disarmament.”

The week at the U.N. did not get better.

Syria assumed the role of presidency of the conference, despite committing the war crime of deploying chemical weapons against civilians, by virtue of its place in the alphabet — it followed Switzerland. The New York Times explained that the reason for the rotating scheme was “to prevent major powers dominating the forum.”

The problem is that the U.N., according to its charter, was founded, in part, to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”

How does giving a regime that uses prohibited weapons presidency over a conference devoted to abrogating such weapons save anyone from “the scourge of war?”

As the Times subsequently pointed out, Syria only agreed to join the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, one of the treaties authored by the conference that prohibits the manufacturing, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons, AFTER the regime was found to have used sarin in a 2013 attack on a Damascus suburb that killed 1,400 people.

Even once Syria joined the treaty, investigators have documented more than 30 additional chemical weapons attacks carried out by the Syrian government.

Is toppling Hamas necessary?

The criticism over the early conclusion of the last ‎round of hostilities in the Gaza Strip, “before a ‎decisive result was achieved,” is not new and is ‎similar to the disappointment of a crowd ‎watching a boxing match that failed to end with a ‎knockout. ‎

In light of this disappointment, one must ask ‎whether there is now even a need ‎to quash Hamas’ rule because, unlike in the boxing ring, ‎the results of a military campaign must be judged in ‎a wide, strategic context.‎

Hamas leaders may have been eager to conclude the ‎fighting, but unlike in Israel, their eagerness had ‎nothing to do with a desire to resume their public’s ‎normal routine. Gaza has not seen a productive daily ‎routine in years and Hamas has done nothing to help ‎its rehabilitation. ‎

This illustrates the core difference between ‎Israel’s interests and those driving Hamas: As far ‎as Israel is concerned, the ability to resume the ‎public’s daily routine nationwide – and especially ‎in the border-adjacent communities – represents ‎victory. Hamas and Iran, for their part, seek to ‎destabilize life in Israel by any means necessary ‎and care very little about how that might affect the ‎Palestinians in Gaza.‎

Those urging the government to topple Hamas’ regime share a desire to see the IDF deal the ‎terrorist group a final blow, and warn that any ‎cease-fire will be temporary – as if anything lasts ‎forever.‎

Rocket fire from Gaza is a message, but it’s not clear who the audience is

As expected, the Saturday-Sunday rocket fire drew a response from Israel, which bombed a number of Hamas military targets in the Strip without causing any casualties.

If you’re wondering how that’s possible, it’s a technique that was developed in previous rounds of conflict. First, pilots drop a nonexplosive device on a building, which warns the occupants of an imminent airstrike and allows them to escape unharmed. Only about a minute later does a real missile destroy the building.

The IDF uses this technique to convey its own message to Hamas: Israel does not intend to escalate tensions.

But this message hasn’t made an impression on the Hamas leadership, which has its own considerations to worry about. The economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza is so dire that the people there are calling for change, even at the cost of war, but change never comes.

Last week, the Palestinian Authority promised to resume paying salaries for its staff in Gaza, but that didn’t happen.

Israel, Egypt and others constantly talk about change in the Gaza Strip, but there have been no dramatic developments.

As of this writing, since 3 a.m. Sunday morning, there has been a lull in the rocket and mortar shell fire from Gaza. But unfortunately, at least for now, there is one thing that Israel and Gaza can agree on: this quiet is fragile, and it won’t be long before we witness another escalation.

U.S. utilizes new U.N. strategy that puts Israel on offensive

When the Trump administration demanded a UN Security Council vote on Friday that was meant to counteract a Kuwaiti resolution condemning Israel, Jerusalem saw the birth of a new diplomatic strategy that it hopes will become the norm.

Under the plan, Israel would no longer face hostile votes in the council without the US counter-punching, demanding a vote on language that calls out “the hypocrisy of the council,” Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

“This is changing the rules of the game – we are now on the offense,” Danon said.

“It’s the beginning of a new strategy and of new rules.”

The US vetoed Kuwait’s resolution, in the works for weeks, in a Friday afternoon vote – alongside abstentions from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland and Ethiopia. Israel was pleased with the extent of opposition to the measure and considers the tally a mark of progress, although Israeli officials expressed concern with France’s vote in favor.

“The final text is certainly not perfect. We would have liked it to establish clearly Hamas’s responsibility, and condemn the rocket launches against Israel,” said France’s envoy, Francois Delattre.

“But the deep consultations in recent weeks led to significant improvements.”

Are Medics the latest Human shields in Gaza?

On Friday, a young medic was killed at the Gaza border fence, allegedly while giving aid to a wounded protester.

The circumstances of the death of Razan al-Najjar are still being investigated. Was this a tragic accident, or is it a new tactic in Hamas’s arsenal?

The incident is still being investigated by the IDF.

IsraellyCool: Contradictions in Palestinian Accounts of Death of Razan Najjar

I have already mentioned the death of palestinian volunteer paramedic Razan Najjar, who the palestinians are claiming was shot by an Israeli sniper during Friday’s “March of Return” riots.

While the IDF is investigating how she died, I have a number of questions based on what the palestinians are disseminating.

Note I do not claim to know how she died, only that their version of events is not consistent and raises serious doubts as to the veracity of their claims.
In which part of the body was she shot?

The Electronic Intifada reports she was shot in the back:
Latuff goes with that too
Yet others claim she was shot in the chest.
Also see this video, which makes the same claim.

Why the contradiction?

What was she wearing at time she was shot?

The same Electronic Intifada report mentions she was wearing clothing clearly identifying her as a medic:
Likewise, the Palestinian Information Center:
And Quds News Network:

Yet this video purports to show her wearing a blue Press(!) jacket:
Likewise here she seems to be wearing blue (even underneath the vest):
And if she was wearing that Press vest – which looks bulletproof – how did a bullet penetrate it?
If you claim this is not her, why are they posting it was?

But there’s more. Red headscarf?
Or blue?

IsraellyCool: Palestinians Inciting Murder Against Innocent Young Israeli Woman

Razan Najjar, a 21-year-old volunteer paramedic, was reportedly killed at Friday’s “March of Return” riots. The IDF claims palestinian terrorists had attacked troops with gunfire and a grenade, and had returned fire in accordance with the open-fire regulations, but will be investigating her death.

The palestinians, as they usually, claim she was murdered in cold blood. And they and their supporters want blood themselves.

They have identified the supposed “killer” of Najjar, a female IDF soldier. Here are just a couple of the social media posts going around.

How they were able to identify the “sniper” amidst all the smoke is beyond me. Then again, it is clear to me they are lying.

They clearly just took her picture and some details from this IDF Facebook page post from 4 years ago.

Hamas terrorists attack mourners’ tent

Members of Hamas’ security forces attacked a mourners’ tent erected by the family of Razan al-Najjar in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Wafa news agency reported.

According to eyewitnesses, Hamas terrorists violently attacked those visiting the tent, removed Fatah announcements, and gave one of the victims a head injury, Wafa reported.

In addition, Hamas banned the mourners from using vehicle microphones to discuss the dead woman.

Al-Najjar, 21, was killed during Hamas’ violent riots on Friday and is claimed to have been a medic.

The IDF has opened an investigation into her death.

Israel Strikes Hamas Sites in Gaza After Terrorists Fire Rockets

Gaza terrorists fired rockets at Israel on Saturday drawing retaliatory Israeli air strikes on Hamas sites, the Israeli military said, a few days after the area’s most intense fighting in years.

At least four projectiles were fired from Gaza at Israel, the military said in a statement, adding that three were intercepted and one fell short.

Rocket alerts sounded in Israeli towns and villages near the border after dark, sending residents rushing to shelters. None of Gaza’s terror groups claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

Residents in Gaza said Israeli aircraft struck at least three sites belonging to Hamas, the Islamist group which controls the enclave.

The Israeli military confirmed in a statement it had carried out the air strikes, adding that “the Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for all events that transpire in the Gaza Strip and emanate from it.”

There were no immediate reports of casualties in any of the incidents.

Large blazes scorch kibbutz fields in apparent fresh Gaza kite attacks

Large fires broke out Sunday in fields outside towns belonging to kibbutzim near the border with the Gaza Strip, apparently as a result of a flaming kite sent from the Palestinian enclave, according to fire and rescue services.

Firefighters worked with local residents to put out the blaze in the fields of the kibbutzim: Nir Am, Or Haner and Be’eri.

As a result of the fire, the southbound lane of the Route 34 highway was closed to traffic.

On Saturday, a blaze set off by Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border devastated a nature reserve inside Israel in what officials said was the worst day of fires since demonstrators in the Strip adopted the fire kite tactics in the last few months.

IsraellyCool: Ripping Roger Waters for His Latest Gaza “March of Return” Lie

Rock’n’roll BDS-hole just can’t help himself. Nearly every word that comes out his mouth is a lie.

In this recent video to fellow Israel haters, he speaks about the “peaceful demonstrations along the border with Israel.”

Yeah, right.

Netanyahu blocks Armenian genocide debate to avoid ‘aiding Erdogan’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu on Saturday night delayed a ministerial debate of motions to officially recognize the Armenian genocide.

On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said it had advised that going ahead with the initiative could help Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s reelection campaign.

In a statement, the ministry said that Netanyahu had accepted a recommendation to postpone debating legislation on recognizing the genocide until after the June 24 Turkish elections, “because holding the debate on its original schedule might serve Erdogan in his campaign.”

Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister, asked that the topic be taken off the agenda for the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which was set to meet on Sunday to review two bills ahead of their Knesset votes.

Recognition of the Armenian genocide is deeply unpopular in Turkey. The ministry’s advice, which came amid a nadir in ties with Turkey over deadly clashes on the Gaza border, indicated that by pushing ahead with the move Israel would generate support for Erdogan on the Turkish streets.

Zoabi impeachment gains traction after High Court OKs action

Ten more lawmakers signed a petition this past week to begin impeachment proceedings against Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi, bringing the total number of signatures to 40 since the High Court of Justice declared the Impeachment Law constitutional.

To begin the impeachment process, 70 signatures are necessary on a petition to the Knesset House Committee, 10 of which must come from the opposition. If the panel, following a discussion, approves removing an MK from the Knesset, the decision can only be made final by a vote of 90 MKs – three-fourths of the Knesset – in the plenum.

Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer spearheaded the effort in April, but was thwarted by coalition infighting on matters of religion and state, which have not been resolved.

Still, Forer said Sunday that he was pleased the High Court decision was giving his initiative a tailwind.

The ruling “paves the way to reach the necessary amount of signatures to lead to MK Zoabi’s removal from the Knesset, after the things she said and actions she took. The impeachment law was legislated for these exact situations, and I believe we will successfully implement it.”

Palestinian soccer chief urges fans to burn Messi posters if he plays in Israel

The head of the Palestinian football federation called on Arab and Muslim sports fans to burn photos and T-shirts of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, if he attends a friendly match between Argentina and Israel next weekend.

Jibril Rajoub made the call after a demonstration in front of the Argentinian representative office in Ramallah, where he asked Argentina to cancel the match.

The friendly game will take place on June 9, at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, just one week before Argentina’s first match in the World Cup against Iceland, on June 16, in Moscow.

“Messi. Don’t come. Don’t whitewash the face of racism,” Rajoub said.

Israel’s football federation said Messi was expected to play at next week’s match.

Furious Jordanians protest proposed austerity measures

Angry protests rocked cities across Jordan overnight against austerity measures backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including a new income tax draft law and price hikes, hours after the government and unions failed to reach an agreement to end the standoff.

Some 3,000 people faced down a heavy security presence to gather near the prime minister’s office in Amman until the early hours of Saturday morning, waving Jordanian flags and signs reading “we will not kneel.”

Protests have gripped the country since Wednesday, when hundreds responding to a call by trade unions flooded the streets of Amman and other cities to demand the fall of the government.

Last month, the government proposed an income tax draft law, yet to be approved by parliament, aimed at raising taxes on employees by at least 5 percent and on companies by 20 to 40 percent.

The measures are the latest in a series of economic reforms since Amman secured a $723-million three-year credit line from the IMF in 2016.

Amb. Dore Gold: Russia Constrains Iran
In an astounding series of statements, Russia has made it clear that it expects all foreign forces to withdraw from Syria. Alexander Lavrentiev, President Putin’s envoy to Syria, specified on May 18, 2018, that all “foreign forces” meant those forces belonging to Iran, Turkey, the United States, and Hizbullah.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov added this week that only Syrian troops should have a presence on the country’s southern border, close to Jordan and Israel. Previously, Russia had been a party to the establishment of a “de-escalation zone” in southwestern Syria along with the United States and Jordan. Now, Russian policy was becoming more ambitious. Lavrov added that a pullback of all non-Syrian forces from the de-escalation zone had to be fast.

The regime in Tehran got the message and issued a sharp rebuke of its Russian ally. The Iranians did not see their deployment in Syria as temporary. Five years ago, a leading religious figure associated with the Revolutionary Guards declared that Syria was the 35th province of Iran. Besides such ideological statements, on a practical level, Syria hosts the logistical network for Iranian resupply of its most critical Middle Eastern proxy force, Hizbullah, which has acquired significance beyond the struggle for Lebanon.

CNN recommends Tel Aviv as the top place to visit this June

1. Tel Aviv, Israel
Spring and fall are Tel Aviv’s less-expensive shoulder seasons, but there’s a reason summer is its most popular. Europeans, in particular, flock to Israel’s Mediterranean coast this time of the year.

Israel’s second most populous city of course has its fair share of historical and cultural points of interest. Tel Aviv’s White City was named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2003. This area contains over 4,000 buildings built in the Bauhaus or International Style — the most of any city in the world. Architectural tours can be taken through the Bauhaus Center.

Get cultured at the Inga Gallery of Contemporary Art. Since it opened in 2006, Inga has played an important role in promoting and nurturing Israel’s art scene.

The Bialik House was once the home to Hebrew national poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik and now serves as a museum. The house was built in 1925 by Joseph Minor, who had studied under Alexander Baerwald, and was attempting to establish a “Hebrew style” of architecture.

Tel Aviv is a great city for shopping or just perusing. Stop by Jaffa Market for high-end and vintage housewares, clothing and goods. Shuk HaCarmel Market has tasty treats, flowers, clothes and Judaica.

Beachgoers will enjoy temperatures in the range of 81 Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) to 69 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius) in June and little-to-no precipitation. Tel Aviv has many beaches from which to choose.

Millions of Brazilians hail Israel during annual Christian march

About 2 million people cheered for Israel during an annual Christian march in Brazil.

Evangelical Christians waved Israeli flags and prayed for the Jewish state during the March for Jesus held Thursday in Sao Paulo.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, Jewish officials were invited to attend the event, including Israel’s consul Dori Goren and the president of the local B’nai B’rith branch, Zelia Sliozbergas.

“Attending the march is our way to express our gratitude for the Evangelical people and the Brazilian people,” said Goren, addressing the gathering from the stage. “The people of Israel bless Brazil and the evangelical people of Brazil.”

The consul received applause for saying that he expected to see the Brazilian embassy transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem soon. He recalled the role of Brazilian diplomat Osvaldo Aranha, who presided over the United Nations vote in 1947 in favor of the resolution that partitioned the British Mandate of Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab.

Tracey Ullman’s BBC skit on Corbyn draws ire, conspiracy theories

British comedian Tracey Ullman brought her sketch comedy show Tracey Breaks the News back to BBC on Friday night, and her Jeremy Corbyn impression received decidedly mixed reviews.

In one sketch, Ullman – in impressive makeup and beard work – portrayed the Labour leader speaking to some of his supporters.

Then a man in a kippa and a black suit with a white shirt showed up, and told him he wanted Corbyn to do more about antisemitism in Labour.

“I am all over it like cream cheese on a bagel… it’s alright to say that, isn’t it?” Corbyn said in the sketch.

After the man walked away, Ullman as Corbyn told the gathered crowd: “I want you to know that I am completely on top of all this Jewish stuff. I have spoken to every single antisemite in the Labour Party and I’ve told them – in no uncertain terms – ‘tone it down a bit!’”

Later, Corbyn gets in the back of a cab, and the driver turns around.

“Jeremy Corbyn?” the driver asks. “It’s me! Ismail. From Hamas. How are you my friend?”

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