Hillel Neuer: UN rights chief compares ‘Palestinian suffering’ with Holocaust
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a former Jordanian ambassador and member of the royal family, should apologize for profoundly offensive remarks (see below) in which he compared “Palestinian suffering” with the Holocaust, and Palestinian refugee camps with Auschwitz and Buchenwald. The odious analogy was immediately endorsed by Qatar.
While he disingenuously insisted that the two cases were different, and though he made a point of predicting that he would be criticized by those acting ‘mechanically almost’, the fact remains that Mr. Hussein not only unfairly singled out Israel by dedicating the opening part of a major UN speech to the Palestinian situation but repeatedly juxtaposed the alleged suffering of Palestinians at the hands of Israelis with Jewish suffering at the hands of the Nazis.
Hussein spoke on Tuesday to open the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council. I took the floor to respond—see below.
While the high commissioner addressed the U.S. Holocaust Museum in 2015, his odious analogy — unless he fully apologizes — renders him unfit to be invited back.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for the closing of UNRWA, the United Nations’ agency dealing with Palestinian refugees, saying he had already urged the US envoy to the world body to consider pushing for it to be shuttered.
On Sunday, two days after the announcement of a tunnel that was discovered June 1 underneath a UNRWA-run school in Gaza, Netanyahu said he told US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley during her visit to Israel last week that it was time to reconsider the agency’s existence.
“Hamas uses schoolchildren as human shields. This is an enemy we have been fighting for many years and committing a double war crime: On the one hand, they deliberately attack innocent civilians, and on the other hand they also hide behind children,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister, said he instructed the Foreign Ministry’s director-general, Yuval Rotem, to file an official complaint at the UN Security Council. On Saturday, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon wrote a letter of complaint to the president of the Security Council.
IsraellyCool: UNRWA’s Terror Tunnel Condemnation Rings Hollow
Leaving aside my incredulity that UNRWA did not suspect anything beforehand – terror tunnel construction tends to make a lot of noise and it is not like UNRWA is not aware of their existence in general – the condemnation, like the tunnels themselves, rings hollow.
Look at the wording again. UNRWA is condemning the violation of their supposed neutrality – the fact the tunnels ran under their premises – and not the general existence of these terror tunnels.
This reminds me of their flacid condemnation when rockets were found on their premises. Again, the condemnation was for the “violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law” and not the existence and use of these rockets against Israeli civilians.
Why won’t UNRWA condemn Hamas for siphoning of money earmarked as aid and using it to construct these tunnels and manufacture the rockets? Surely as a so-called relief agency, they should be outraged the money is being wasted in this way.
Unless….they are not.
Douglas Murray: When did British voters start rewarding anti-Semitism?
One of the interesting things about ‘diversity’ is that it allows almost anything to happen.
Consider Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West. As I have said before, there is something strange about Bradford, because the city has managed in recent years to elect representatives of three parties. These include the Labour party (Naz Shah), the Liberal Democrat party (David Ward) and the Respect party (George Galloway). Fascinatingly all seem interested in similar themes. Why might that be?
But back to Naz Shah. In the last Parliament it was this Labour MP who plunged her party into crisis. The public exposure of her anti-Semitic, racist comments on social media led Ken Livingstone to run to her rescue and promptly self-immolate. And it was this that caused Shami Chakrabarti to ruin her reputation by whitewashing the Labour party’s anti-Semitism problem, then taking a peerage. Of course after her disgrace, Shah made a pro-forma apology, was reintroduced to the fold and got on with her other interests, such as campaigning against ‘Islamophobia’.
Being a traditionally liberal and anti-racist country, someone who had a reputation for anti-Semitic outbursts would once have been punished for their stance by the public at the ballot box. Not today. And not in Bradford. This week Naz Shah managed to actually increase her share of the vote. By 10,000 votes. It is true that at a hustings she managed to say that she thought the Jews of the Middle East had a right to exist. And it is true that for this massive concession on her part, some of her potential voters accused her of being a Jew. But this is all just a demonstration of the rich diversity that Bradford now represents – a city where a person made most famous in the last Parliament for her anti-Semitism actually increases their vote when next putting themselves in front of the public.
Honest Reporting: HR’s Six-Day War: 50th Anniversary Resource Primer
In 1967 Israel did not wake up one morning and decide to go to war – she woke up one morning and found she had to defend herself.
2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the war the West terms “The Six-Day War.” The Arabs call it the “1967 War” or an-Naksah (The Setback). It has been said that for Israel this war was a question of sheer survival; for the Arabs it was one of credibility.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, offering immense clarity over what could or should have been done. It is too easy to be judgmental in retrospect. So this mini-site has tried to turn back the clock to give you a flavor of what it was like to be in Israel at the time, living with the tensions involved with a countdown to what Israel’s opponents suggested would be annihilation.
This mini-site has gathered background information from a wide variety of sources to give a deeper understanding of how circumstances developed over the weeks and months leading up to the war. The war itself has been comprehensively documented, both in books and on the internet, so this site will concentrate more on the build-up and the aftermath.
Legal Insurrection: Six-Day War Day 6 — War Ends
Today, after 132 hours of fighting between Israel and her Arab neighbors, a cease-fire went into effect with Syria.
Israel has this afternoon reportedly achieved it aims on the northern front (having captured all of the southwestern corner of Syria, including the steeply rising high ground of the Golan Heights that extends from below sea level around the Sea of Galilee to 3,000 feet around El Quneitra, in overnight and morning advances).
A “badly battered Syria” agreed to halt the fighting.
So with earlier cease-fires holding, the war is now over.
It’s left an “unrecognizably altered Middle East.”
A brilliant military campaign comes at a high cost
In four days Israel took the entire Sinai Peninsula along with the Gaza Strip from Egypt, at the same time capturing east Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) from Jordan in two days, and afterward quieting the barrage of shelling from the Golan Heights, once a Syrian redoubt.
It was a brilliant military campaign—a war of self-defense which began as a preemptive strike to fend off an Arab threat.
As noted in our prior post, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and his allies gambled poorly. Their entire strategy was predicated on Israel starting the war. But they were overconfident that their military forces would prevail and “outperform the IDF”.
By all accounts, Israel’s victory has been astonishing, not least because it was so unexpected.
But it’s also come at a very high cost. Casualty figures are just starting to be released. Although it hasn’t yet been confirmed, early reports estimate that Israel lost nearly 800 soldiers (with some 2,600 wounded).
On June 9th an article by the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Paul Adams was published in the ‘features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Six Day War: Six ways the conflict still matters“.
Like other items included in the BBC’s coverage of the 50th anniversary of that war, the main – but inaccurate – message behind Adams’ article is that the modern-day conflict has its roots in that week in June 1967.
Adams lays out six ways in which, according to him, that war “left its mark”.
His first section is titled “Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza”. Obviously that heading misleads readers by implying that the Gaza Strip is still under ‘occupation’ even though Israel withdrew entirely from the territory nearly 12 years ago.
Adopting Palestinian terminology that absolves the invading Arab countries of any responsibility for the outcome of their failed attempt to destroy the nascent Jewish state in 1948, Adams tells readers that:
“For them [the Palestinians], this [the Six Day War] was a grim sequel to the “Nakba” (Catastrophe) of 19 years earlier, when Israel gained its independence and more than 700,000 Palestinians became refugees in the fighting which surrounded it.”
Mordechai Kedar: Qatar – the end of the road?
Qatar is trying to get the US to help improve the situation. The largest American air force base in the Gulf is located in Qatar and it is from there that the attacks on ISIS are generated. Qatar also hosts the US Navy Fifth Fleet as well as the Central Command and Control of US forces in that part of the world. Qatari media stress the US concern about the siege that the Saudis have put on Qatar.
As part of its efforts to enlist US aid, Qatar has begun a counterattack: Qatar media have publicized that the U.A.E. ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba , said on US election eve: “What star could make Donald Trump the president?” This is intended to cause a rift between the US and the Gulf Emirates, but will certainly not improve Qatar’s own relations with the Emirates.
Meanwhile, the Saudis and the Emirates have ejected Qatar from the coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen, and there are rumors that they will also remove Qatar from the Council for Cooperation in the Gulf. The Saudis could suspend Qatar’s membership in the Arab League and other organizations if this dispute continues, raising the pressure on the Emir’s al-Thani clan.
The next few days will decide Qatar’s future. There is a distinct possibility that the foreign ministers of Qatar and the Arab nations taking part in the boycott against it will meet in some neutral spot, perhaps Kuwait, Qatar will give in and new rules will be set by Arab leaders, that is by King Suleiman, to keep Qatar in line. They would include: toning down al Jazeera and perhaps even switching its managerial staff, ending the support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other terror organizations, ending cooperation with Iran and above all, listening to what the Saudi “Big Brother” says about issues, especially those having to do with financial dealings with the US. Once the conditions for Qatari surrender are agreed upon, we can expect the ministers to meet the press, publicize a declaration on the end of the intra-family dispute, shake hands before the cameras and smile – until the next crisis.
There is, however, another scenario: Qatar does not give in, the Saudis and its allies invade, their armies eject the Emir and Mufti of Qatar, and also Jamal Rian, the guiding brain behind Al Jazeera’s policies. They would then appoint a new Emir from the ruling family, one who knows how to behave, one who listens to the Saudis. No one except for Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas would oppose this solution, and the soft-spoken condemnations will not succeed in hiding the world’s joy and sighs of relief if the Saudis actually carry out that plan. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Iran has sent five planes of food to Qatar, Iran’s national carrier told AFP on Sunday, days after Gulf countries cut off air and other transport links to the emirate.
“So far five planes carrying perishable food items such as fruit and vegetables have been sent to Qatar, each carrying around 90 tons of cargo, while another plane will be sent today,” Iran Air spokesman Shahrokh Noushabadi said.
“We will continue deliveries as long as there is demand” from Qatar, Noushabadi added, without mentioning if these deliveries were exports or aid.
Three ships loaded with 350 ton of food were also set to leave an Iranian port for Qatar, the Tasnim news agency quoted a local official as saying.
The port of Dayyer is Iran’s closest port to Qatar.
In 2007, then-Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad told the US Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence Stuart Levey that Qatar provides “more support to fundamentalists than Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.”
Qatar was “willfully bad,” Fayyad said.
It is one of many reports about Qatar’s support for Hamas and other groups across the Middle East that antagonized Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates 10 years ago that are revealed in State Department cables under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
In 2010, WikiLeaks published 251,287 leaked diplomatic cables, mostly from 2003 to 2010. These include cables marked “secret” and “confidential” from embassies and consulates in the Middle East. Of them, 536 reference both Qatar and Hamas, and 70 relate to Qatar and terrorism financing. They paint a picture of high-level interest in Qatar’s role in the region.
In 2009, a cable from then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton inquired about Qatar’s relations with Iran and Iran’s interest in Gaza.
They also show that Saudi Arabia and five other Muslim countries that broke relations with Doha last week, had long-standing disputes with Qatar.
The cables reveal numerous concerns among US allies that Qatar was hosting extremists.
The last time Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited Toronto, in 2014, his mayoral counterpart was in rehab, and the president of the United States, Barack Obama, would soon criticize Israel for the death toll of its anti-terrorist invasion of Gaza.
What a difference a few years can make.
Today, Barkat, 57, has a blossoming friendship with Toronto Mayor John Tory, with whom he shares a background in the business of technology, and an ideological alliance with Donald Trump, the new U.S. president, with whom he shares a “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to terrorism.
And with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his record fourth term, Barkat said the time might soon be right for his own shot at national politics, presumably by replacing Netanyahu at the head of the Likud Party, which Barkat recently formally joined.
But not yet. “I have a lot of work still to do in the city,” he said in an interview the morning after speaking with Tory at a gala for The Jerusalem Foundation.
This might mean seeking a third and final term in the mayoralty he first won as a non-sectarian candidate in 2008, after retiring as a massively wealthy tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and star on the Israeli version of Dragon’s Den.
Early this week, CNN was accused of staging a Muslim-led anti-terror protest after the London terror attacks. Now, more footage has dropped that shows what happened on the scene before the CNN shot was taken.
A Youtube video taken by Claire Jordan shows her milling around the scene and “protest” prior to CNN lining up the protesters for their on-air shot.
There is a group of people in the area, both Muslim and non-Muslim, and some of them can be seen handing out bouquets of flowers and posters.
Jordan, narrating the video, observes, “you see more press than anyone else.”
Jordan then crosses the street and shows the Muslim women who were featured on the CNN broadcast. They are located on the opposite side of the street and “they’re taking selfies, none of them have got flowers.”
“I was there just before,” she explains, “and you see, again, this is the group of women and the little boy–they’re just getting their posters now.”
As part of the celebrations marking the 50th year of the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, the city of Los Angeles held an event led by former Foreign Ministry Director General Dr. Dore Gold.
Hosting a “Jerusalem United: Fifty Years of Freedom, Three Thousand Years of Jewish History,” a 3-D presentation at the Simon Wiesenthal Center last Tuesday, Gold drew a line between the battles politicians were currently waging over the Israeli narrative about Israel’s rights to Jerusalem and for Jerusalem. Gold provided historical and archaeological facts that supported Israel’s claims to Jerusalem, and referenced relevant points of international law.
Gold told the sold-out audience that the American Jewish community needed tools to combat the series of lies currently being spread about Jerusalem.
Gold said that there was “massive support” in the U.S. Jewish community for a united Jerusalem, but that if the peace process with the Palestinians relaunched under President Donald Trump, the issue of Jerusalem would once again be under discussion. Therefore, Gold said, it was crucial that the Jewish public in the Diaspora be aware of Israel’s international rights, which he said Israel’s enemies were consistently trying to gloss over.
Gold said that Israel’s enemies had adopted a “methodology” of attacking Israel’s identity by “delegitimizing Israel.”
Ruthie Blum: Cutting Abbas down to size
On Thursday, Bloomberg quoted a Palestinian Authority official saying that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is willing to forgo his usual preconditions for negotiations with Israel — such as a freeze on all settlement construction — in order to give the administration in Washington “a chance to deliver.”
In addition, according to the report, Mohammad Mustafa, Abbas’ senior economic adviser and former deputy prime minister said that the Palestinian leader will “tone down his campaign to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes and to rally condemnation of the Jewish state at the United Nations.”
This claim came mere days after Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestinian Football Association and Olympic committee, declared in an interview on Israel’s Channel 2 that the Western Wall in Jerusalem “must be under Israeli sovereignty, but the Temple Mount is ours.”
Rajoub proceeded to praise U.S. President Donald Trump for his “clear intentions for an ultimate deal to end the suffering of both peoples.”
Neither Mustafa nor Rajoub was telling the truth, of course. Rajoub even issued a firm denial in Arabic the day after the interview. But the relatively mild rhetoric used by each was highly significant, as it was the direct result of a tongue-lashing that Trump gave Abbas less than three weeks ago in Bethlehem, for being deceitful about his role in incitement to violence.
Arab news outlets report that 300,000 Muslims participated in prayers in and around the Al-Aqsa mosque on the second Friday of Ramadan
In his Friday sermon at Al-Aqsa, Sheikh Ikarma Sabri said the mosque’s grounds include the entirety of the Western Wall, and that the entire area belongs only to Muslims.
Claiming the Western Wall is part of the Islamic Waqf, and Jews have no connection to it, Sabri condemned the “Israeli occupation” of Al-Aqsa and attacked Israel for trying to force facts on the ground.
In his opinion, Israel is “boastfully” attempting to “convince the world” to “create” its right to Jerusalem.
Speaking about Fatah member and PA executive Jibril Rajoub’s interview with Channel 2, Sabri said Rajoub’s view that the Western Wall should remain under Israeli sovereignty is “unacceptable” and “contradicts the Islamic belief that the Western Wall belongs to Al-Aqsa mosque.”
Ministers on Sunday approved a bill that would slash funds to the Palestinian Authority over salaries paid out by Ramallah to convicted terrorists and their families.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted in favor of the legislation proposed by Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern, giving the bill coalition backing.
The bill was expected be brought to a preliminary vote in the plenum on Wednesday.
The bill would see Israel cut around NIS 1 billion ($285 million) from the annual tax revenues it collects for the Palestinians and hands over to them — equivalent to the amount that Ramallah pays to terrorists and their families, a practice Israel and the international community have attempted to end.
Authored by Stern, the bill has been co-signed by Knesset members from both the coalition and opposition, including coalition chair David Bitan and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chair Avi Dichter, both of Likud.
Stern warned that the current “absurdity” prevents the sides from drawing closer in the pursuit of peace, the report said.
The United Nations is preparing to release yet another anti-Israel report, blaming Israeli settlements for a host of Palestinian grievances for everything from excessive use of force to building parks on the West Bank so as to “entrench” Israeli presence — the report coming just days after the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
The report, a copy of which has been seen by Breitbart News, was drafted by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and submitted in the name of Secretary-General António Guterres to the General Assembly’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The report says:
Israel has employed discriminatory policies and practices, use of force that has been deemed excessive, and restrictions on the freedom of movement, including the closure on Gaza, settlement expansion, destruction of property and the exploitation of natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the occupied Syrian Golan
It accuses Israel of violating international law and also “exacerbating the social and economic conditions” of Palestinians in the area.
While his visit mainly focused on economic affairs, Macron made brief remarks on policy dealing with Israeli products from the West Bank regions of Judea and Samaria.
“The French and European diplomatic position is clear and has not changed and will not change,” he said during his visit, with regards to the decision of the European Union to label Israeli products in Judea and Samaria separately from products made within Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries.
Macron had also emphasized at the time that “we are against any practice such as that of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement” against Israel.
He also expressed opposition towards unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state during an interview on French television in early May, saying that “unilateral recognition of Palestine, right now, will undermine stability” and would “have implications in the loss of the entire relationship with the state of Israel.”
Macron’s remarks contrast with the position taken by many in France’s political mainstream towards unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.
France’s Foreign Minister in the new government Jean-Yves Le Drian, may ultimately present as a more interesting case study than Macron.
“The new Foreign Minister (Jean-Yves Le Drian) was Minister of Fefense in the government of President Hollande, and we enjoyed good relations then,” Pazner noted.
A senior official in the Palestinian Authority who was successfully treated for cancer by Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center has donated tens of thousands of shekels for the building of a recovery room in its pediatric oncology department.
Identified just as M., the official, in his 40s, was diagnosed several months ago with a cancerous tumor and was referred to Rambam for further investigation and treatment.
Every year, some 1,200 Palestinian children and adults living in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza receive medical care at Rambam.
During his stay in the ward, he often encountered Palestinian patients and began to show interest in the unique needs of hospitalized children. As his condition improved, he decided to give Rambam a financial contribution to improve the conditions of the treatment of all children undergoing radiation treatment there.
Gadot’s role in the film has led several Arab countries, including Lebanon, Tunisia, and Algeria, to ban the film.
Following Lebanon’s lead, a movie theater in the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Ramallah has decided not to screen the movie.
The Berg Palestine Theater’s boycott of the film drew ridicule from the Civil Administration’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), with COGAT chief Major General Yoav Mordechai writing on Facebook that the decision suggests “weakness and fear”.
“It appears that at the Berg Palestine Theater in Ramallah they are afraid that the audience will enjoy the great movie Wonder Woman and cannot distinguish politics from an American movie.”
“Boycotting the film only shows weakness and fear. Those who are sure of themselves are not afraid of movies, even if they star Wonder Woman!”
After more than 100 years of bloodshed, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ended abruptly the other day after Lebanon and Tunisia banned the screening of the movie Wonder Woman, which features an Israeli actress in the iconic role.
When Lebanon revealed that it had banned the film, Israeli PM Netanyahu called for all armed forces to retreat from the West Bank immediately and end the siege on Gaza. Thousands of ultra-nationalist religious settlers then decided to donate their homes to Palestinian refugees and move to the desert, as they were horrified to learn that the entire population of Lebanon wouldn’t be able to enjoy the sight of a hot Jewish chick using her military prowess to save the world.
Once Tunisia banned the film as well, the Israeli government, Hamas, and Fatah signed a joint peace treaty which somehow erased the decades of internalized racism and xenophobia in both Israeli and Palestinian societies. Israel then made peace with all its neighbors, dismantled the IDF and replaced it with the ‘Israeli-Palestinian Army of Peace and Love.’
Lebanese leaders commented: “We’re very pleased with how well this worked out, particularly because now we can set up a high-speed train from Tel-Aviv to Beirut and hook up with some hot Israeli girls. We’ve heard they’re pretty great, and that ‘Wonder Woman’ accent is so frickin’ sexy.”
A controversial new book recently published by a Palestinian organization glorifies terrorists with aim of “inspiring” younger generations, Israel Hayom learned over the weekend.
The book, “Stories of Qalandiya’s Shahids, 1967-2017,” was published by the Qalandiya Media Center and tells the personal stories of terrorists who resided in the Jerusalem-adjacent refugee camp.
The book’s cover features a map of Israel made up of the photos of terrorists killed over the past 50 years. The Dome of the Rock and the Palestinian flag are featured in the middle of the map.
The Qalandiya Media Center’s Facebook page said that the book, launched last week is a festive ceremony, was “published following more than a year and a half of research meant to bring the shahids’ stories to light.”
Seeking to “inspire younger generations,” the center posted photos of young girls proudly holding the book on its social media pages.
At the beginning of the current Muslim fast month of Ramadan, the official PA daily reprinted an article by Rafiah District Mufti and member of the PA’s Supreme Fatwa Council Sheikh Hassan Ahmed Jaber, in which he warns readers that breaking the Ramadan fast “is one of the greatest sins.” It is so great that the fast breaker’s “blood is permitted,” and it constitutes “renouncing Islam,” he said, “quoting” Islam’s Prophet Muhammad:
“Breaking the Ramadan fast in public is one of the greatest sins, and only someone that has a heart of stone is capable of doing this, as Prophet [Muhammad] said: ‘Whoever stops fasting on Ramadan has renounced Islam.’ … The Prophet [Muhammad] said: ‘The pillars and foundations of Islam are three, and anyone that has neglected one of them – [the shedding of] his blood is permitted: The testimony that there is no God but Allah, fasting, and prayer.’ [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 30, 2017]
He called to deal strictly with anyone who breaks the fast in public:
“I request that all the PA [Security] Forces strike with an iron fist anyone that breaks the fast in public during the month of Ramadan by imposing the heaviest punishments against them, so that our society will be pure, close to Allah and obedient to Him, and will fully keep the obligation to fast.”
Palestinian Media Watch reported at the beginning of the Ramadan that the PA has called for arresting anyone who eats in public during the Ramadan fast. PMW has reported on Sheikh Hassan Ahmed Jaber’s rulings in the past.
JPost Editorial: Gaza marks unhappy anniversary – 10 years under Hamas rule
A decade after seizing Gaza, Hamas is a complete failure on all accounts. It doesn’t provide for its people and it doesn’t succeed in its sworn mission to destroy Israel.
Israel should not expect a change anytime soon. While it recently issued a revised policy document, it did not amend its charter: Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction.
What should change is the Arab world’s attitude toward Gaza. For the last 10 years, Arab states have stayed away from Gaza due to its volatility and an understanding that there is no good outcome there on the horizon.
Nevertheless, if they really care for the Palestinians and genuinely want to see a peace deal with Israel, they can start by working on changing Gaza. It’s been 10 years. We hope it’s not too late.
In a rare and scathing criticism, a Saudi Arabian newspaper has compared Hamas to Islamic State, saying that what the Gaza Strip-based terrorist group was doing in the enclave “exceeds what Islamic State does in Syria and Iraq.”
The opinion piece, published in the Okaz daily Thursday, came on the heels of last week’s dramatic announcement by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab nations that they were severing ties with Qatar over its support of terrorism.
The piece accused Hamas of using the millions of dollars donated by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as other international aid funds earmarked for humanitarian aid to Gaza’s people to build its grid of terror tunnels and to fund terrorist attacks, “as instructed by Iran.”
“Would it not be better for the Hamas movement … to hasten the end of the humanitarian disaster it has brought upon the Gaza Strip and over 2 million residents, imposing house arrest upon them and holding them in a large prison. Threatening the lives of Gaza’s residents, depriving them of water, electricity, [medical] treatment and ransacking their freedom exceeds what ISIS does in Syria and Iraq with its quick killing, as what Hamas does is a slow killing.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday stepped up his battle with foreign money funding NGOs, saying that the law passed last year dealing with the matter was not strong enough, and there was a need to beef it up to prevent all funds from foreign governments to NGOs.
Netanyahu made these comments at a meeting of coalition leaders.
The prime minister said he succeeded recently in convincing Norway to withdraw funds it had sent, an apparent reference to Norway’s decision to withdraw its funds from a Palestinian center in the West Bank named after Dalal Mughrabi, a female terrorist who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre that killed 37 people.
Netanyahu’s comments on Sunday come just two weeks after he told Likud MKs of his new policy to boycott foreign leaders who meet far-left NGOs. In April he cancelled a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel after the German diplomat insisted on going through with a meeting with the far-left NGO Breaking the Silence.
Matan Peleg, the director-general of the right wing NGO Im Tirtzu, welcomed on Sunday Netanyahu’s comments about making the NGO law more stringently.
Abdoe Khoulani, a Muslim city council member in The Hague, slammed a group of Israeli high school students visiting the Dutch parliament, calling them “future Zionist terrorists, occupiers and those who murder children.”
The 28-member student delegation was made up of 16-year-old studebts from the Hen School for Young Ambassadors. They arrived in the Netherlands last week as guests of Kees van der Staaij, a Dutch parliamentarian from the SGP party.
Abdoe Khoulani’s remarks about the students have caused a political uproar in the Netherlands, with parliament members attacking him over his comments.
Additionally, Israeli Ambassador to the Netherlands, Aviv Shir-On, sent a strong letter of protest to the Mayor of The Hague, Pauline Krikke, in which he wrote, “The 16-year-old Israelis came to Hollande in order to promote friendly relations between the countries, to meet with Dutch youth and conduct dialogue and form friendly relations.
“To call them murderers and claim they have Palestinian blood on their hands just because they are Israeli is not just a scandal, it is absolutely unacceptable. These words are nothing but anti-Israel incitement that can lead to violence that we have unfortunately seen in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Manchester and London.”
A founder of J Street and a scion of a famed Wisconsin family has announced he is running for Congress as a Democrat in a district seen as solidly Republican.
Launching his candidacy last week, Dan Kohl emphasized his role in helping to start J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East lobby.
“Seeking to reground American foreign policy in the wake of the Iraq War, Dan joined J Street as Vice President of Political Affairs in 2009, and oversaw the development of the nation’s largest pro-Israel political action committee,” said the note on his campaign website’s biography page.
Kohl is a lawyer who has worked as an executive on the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA team his uncle Herb Kohl bought in 1985 to keep it from moving out of the city. The elder Kohl, who served as a US senator from 1989 to 2013 and an heir to the Kohl’s department store chain, sold the team in 2014.
Three Los Angeles synagogue locations were temporarily closed after receiving bomb threats on Shabbat.
The threats were reported in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal on Saturday.
The affected synagogues were the University Synagogue in Brentwood, and both campuses of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple – the Erika J. Glazer Family Campus in Wilshire Center/Koreatown or the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Campus in West Los Angeles.
The synagogues were all closed around 8 a.m. on Saturday and cleared to reopen by about 12:45 p.m., Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Lopez told the Jewish Journal.
The LAPD used K9 units to check the buildings for bombs. No explosives were found at any of the locations.
The University Synagogue received its threat in an email, according to the report. The Wilshire Boulevard Temple received a threat via an online submission form on the synagogue’s website. All three buildings were empty when the threats were received.
A swastika was painted on the welcome sign of a Jewish summer camp in Virginia.
The graffiti was discovered at Camp Hilbert in Goochland County, Virginia late last week, the Richmond, Virginia CBS affiliate, WTVR, reported Friday.
Camp Hilbert, owned by the Weinstein JCC in Richmond, hosts children in grades k through 10 for summer camp and other programs.
Camp Director Josh Shenker told WTVR that security would be increased at the camp this summer in response to the graffiti.
He said camp officials believe it is an isolated incident, however.
The narrative of the Jewish population in pre-state Israel tends to focus on agricultural settlement or Jewish life in mixed cities, and ignores the tiny Jewish communities that put down roots in Arab cities like Jericho, Nablus, Bethlehem, and Gaza.
The story of Olga Feinberg, a Jewish doctor who lived in Jericho and served the Arab residents faithfully as the city’s only physician, could make an exciting movie. Her story took place in the distant, restive years between the 1929 riots and the events of the great Arab uprising of 1936-1939. Feinberg, a native of Nikolayev in Russia, made her way to then-Mandate Palestine in 1927 and fell in love with the City of Dates. She spent her first few days there with an Arab family, and one day she was urgently called to the bedside of a sick boy, the son of one of the town dignitaries. Thanks to her care, the boy got better, and the city elders took note of her medical training and skill. They offered her a chance to live there and work as the only doctor in permanent residence. Feinberg leased a house and a small plot of land that was being used to grow bananas and established herself in the city.
But neither the devoted treatment she gave the residents of Jericho nor her acquaintance with Arab leaders like Emir Abdullah from the other side of the Jordan River and King Fuad I of Egypt, both of whom she hosted in her home, helped her make it through the Arab uprising unscathed. In September 1938, her home was burgled and set on fire. Almost nothing of her property or the grounds she had carefully cultivated survived.
Alan Beer, a new immigrant from the United States, was murdered in 2003 in a terrorist attack on bus No. 14 near Davidka Square in Jerusalem.
His family sued Iran for financing the terrorist attack in a federal court in the United States. They successfully proved Iran’s connection to the financing of the terror attack and won the lawsuit.
When the family received part of the compensation money the court awarded them, they decided to use the funds to donate a mobile intensive care unit to the United Hatzala organization for life-saving activities dedicated in Alan’s memory.
Today, at the Davidka Square in Jerusalem, on the anniversary of the terrorist attack in which Alan was murdered, a dedication ceremony was held for the ICU which was dedicated to his memory.
Dovi Meisel, director of international activities for United Hatzalah and Beer’s nephew, said at the event: “Today, at this place, a circle has been closed. 14 years ago, Alan was killed along with 16 other people, and 100 who were wounded in the terrorist attack on bus line 14. In this place where people lost their lives, we are launching an intensive care unit that will save lives.”
The conceptual Jerusalem dress worn by Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev at the Cannes Film Festival last month is continuing to another station in Europe: the Jewish Museum in Berlin.
Regev appeared in the dress as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. The dress, designed by Israeli designer Arik Aviad Herman, features familiar elements of the Israeli capital such as the Golden Dome and the Western Wall. Photographs of the dress, which drew many reactions in Israel, reached different places in the world.
Regev received a request this month from the Jewish Museum in Berlin to lend them the dress so that they can display it in a large exhibition on Jerusalem. It is to open in December and will last until April 2019. “The exhibition will be dedicated to the holy city of Jews, Christians and Muslims,” they wrote in their request.
“We’d love to display the dress you wore at the Cannes festival. Would you agree to lend it to us? The dress is not only unique, but is also a political statement. … The Jerusalem exhibition seeks to illustrate the history and complexity of the city and to present a wide range of emotions that this city raises.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
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