The ‘Games’ Palestinian Children Play
We’re always being told that there is a significant difference between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Supposedly, the PA is “moderate” while Hamas is “extremist.” But the PA’s public endorsement this week of the Gaza kite terrorists makes it clear that there is no meaningful difference between it and Hamas at all.
Here is the text of the statement by PA Government Spokesman Yusuf Al-Mahmoud, as published in the official PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on July 22 and made available by the invaluable Palestinian Media Watch:
The occupation’s escalation, to which the Gaza Strip — which is under siege — has been witness in recent hours, constitutes part of the occupation government’s policy towards our residents and the heroic members of our people. … The occupation is striving to create equivalence in which there is a parallel between the newest and most lethal fighter jets and a children’s game such as kites used by peaceful protesters as one of the means of protest against the siege and the occupation.
Let’s take a careful look at the PA spokesman’s words, starting with the way he refers to Israel. Notice that he doesn’t say the word “Israel” at all. The Jewish state is “the occupation” or “the occupation government.” Al-Mahmoud is so consumed with hatred of Israel that he can’t even bring himself to utter its name.
Some 25 years after the Oslo accords, 25 years after the Palestinians pledged to live in peace and coexistence with Israel, 25 years after the media and peace activists insisted that the Palestinians had really changed, they still can’t even say the word “Israel.”
Now let’s consider the spokesman’s description of the recent Gaza terrorism. In recent weeks, Palestinian teenagers have launched more than 1,000 flaming kites and balloons into Israel, two weeks ago hitting a kindergarten play area. They have started more than 500 fires, which have burned more than four square miles of nature reserves and more than three square miles of natural forests, and killed thousands of animals.
If it were any other country in the world that was suffering this kind of environmental damage, “Green” activists all over the world would be up in arms. But Palestinians who damage Israel’s environment get a pass.
On a quiz show on Palestinian Authority TV, Palestinians could win $50 – $100 if they denied Israel’s existence. A reporter asked Palestinians in the streets to guess cities in “Palestine,” locate places in “Palestine,” or describe “Palestine’s” borders. For each correct answer participants won $50. The purpose of these questions was to reinforce the PA message that it does not recognize Israel in any borders.
Following are some examples, see more below:
Official PA TV host: “Where is the Negev Desert?”
Child: “I don’t know.”
Father: “Southern Palestine.” (i.e., the Negev is in southern Israel)
Host: “Let’s get the answer from Muhammad.”
Child: “Southern Palestine” (i.e., in southern Israel)
Host: “Congratulations, you’ve won $50 in cash.”
Host: “The highest peak in Palestine is the peak of Mount Meron, Galilee, or Ebal?”
Father: “Meron.” (i.e., Mt. Meron is in northern Israel)
Host: “Congratulations, you’ve won $100. The correct answer is [Mount] Meron.”
Official PA TV host: “The question: A Palestinian village named after a Roman emperor… I’ll give options: Caesarea -“
Host: “Tamra, or Qusra?”
Child: “Caesarea.” (i.e., Caesarea is in northern Israel)
Host: “Congratulations, Adnan won $50.”
Official PA TV host: “Where is Safed located in Palestine?”
Man: “It’s located in northern Palestine.” (i.e., in northern Israel)
Host: “Congratulations. It’s located in the north.”
[Official PA TV, Winner, June 2, 2018]
The “correct” answers given by Palestinians of all ages, confirm that the PA’s indoctrination of Palestinians from a young age to see all of the State of Israel as “occupied Palestine” has been successful. For two decades, Palestinian Media Watch has documented numerous examples of this PA policy to replace all of Israel with “Palestine” and deny Israel’s right to exist.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night released an English-language video on social media calling on the world to help Iranians improve their lives by standing up to “a regime that oppresses them and denies them a life of dignity, prosperity and respect.”
In the video, Netanyahu addresses the camera and tells the story of an imaginary 15-year-old girl called Fatemeh.
Fatemeh, Netanyahu says, has no water, electricity shortages, can’t remove her head-covering outside the home, and her school is cancelled due to air pollution.
“She stops at her favorite bakery in the Aladdin mall to eat cake yazdi but there’s a nation-wide strike,” Netanyahu continues. Firefighters cannot afford the proper equipment to extinguish fires.
“Fatemeh is completely exasperated,” the prime minister related. “‘Why is everything in my country falling apart?’ she asks.
She cannot find the answers on social media because Facebook and Twitter are banned. But she reads the newspaper and discovers what the regime has done with all the money.
“Billions wasted moving Iran’s army to Syria. Billions wasted to get nuclear weapons. Billions wasted on war in Yemen,” Netanyahu explains.
This is a tough story. But you need to hear it.
Back in 2014, Israel and its supporters claimed that William “Droopy Dog” Schabas, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to head a committee charged with investigating alleged war crimes during Operation Protective Edge, was unfit for the task due to bias. As I wrote at the time:
Schabas himself disputed the charge (backed up by the Jewish Daily Forward, which pretty much said that Schabas can’t be biased because he likes pastrami).
Schabas ended up resigning due to contacts with the PLO that do not appear to have been previously disclosed.
Turns out he has well and truly come out of the Israel hating closet since those days. He was recently photographed demonstrating against Trump’s “anti-Palestine policies.”
But it gets even worse. Note the banner he is holding was made by Friends of Al Aqsa – a pro-Hamas organization that advocates for Israel’s destruction.
The UN Human Rights Council sure knows how to pick ’em.
JPost Editorial: Dealing with Hamas
Netanyahu’s government has previously voiced strong opposition to a deal between Fatah and Hamas, because it considers the latter a terrorist organization. Why then is the government now making this a precondition for any progress in the Gaza talks?
The answer, clearly, is that the administration of US President Donald Trump is working on a comprehensive peace accord between Israel and the PA that would include Gaza. And presumably, such a peace accord would require that Hamas relinquish control of Gaza to the PA.
But Hamas, being Hamas, is not to be trusted. One of its top leaders, Fathi Hamad, spoke at a funeral in Gaza City last week about the great success of “the peaceful protests” on the Gaza border that have taken place weekly since March. “We are making history with our peaceful movement,” Hamad said. In the very next breath, he urged worshipers at the Great Omari Mosque to slaughter every Jew they can get their hands on. “O Muslims, wherever you find a Zionist Jew, you must kill him because that is an expression of your solidarity with al-Aqsa Mosque and an expression of your solidarity with your people.”
Hamas’s flying of incendiary kites, balloons, helium-filled condoms and even a “fire falcon” (booby-trapped kestrel) into southern Israel from Gaza is hardly Gandhian non-violence. It has caused immense destruction of Israel’s agriculture, wildlife and nature reserves, and has severely harmed the livelihoods of farmers in the South.
Before Israel’s government makes any deal with the devil, we can only echo the wise words of Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Yisrael Aumann in the latest issue of The Jerusalem Report: “If you want peace, you have to demonstrate a certain amount of toughness. Otherwise, you are giving an incentive to the other side to be aggressive.”
The people of Gaza have been the primary victims of Hamas’s brutal occupation of the crowded patch of land.
Peace is not going to be achieved until the regime is either removed from power or accepts the fact that the dividends of peace – such as the opening of the crossings into Gaza and free trade with Israel and the world – is their best option, and in their own interests.
The United Nations envoy for Middle East peace met Sunday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and other officials for talks on calming tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, relieving the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and reviving the long-stalled peace process.
After the meetings in Cairo, Nickolay Mladenov described the discussions on the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians as “positive.”
Mladenov has been shuttling between regional leaders in an effort to defuse a sharp escalation in violence in Gaza before it explodes into full conflict.
The latest outbursts have followed months of near-weekly violent border protests organized by Gaza’s Hamas rulers. Deadly clashes along the Israeli-Gazan border have seen Israeli security forces facing gunfire, grenades, Molotov cocktails, and efforts — sometimes successful — to damage or penetrate the border fence.
In addition, Palestinians have on a near daily basis launched kites and balloons carrying incendiary devices into Israeli territory, burning thousands of acres of farmland and causing millions of shekels in damage.
The Left’s attacks and criticism of the Nation-State Law is “absurd” and reflects the “depths” to which the Left has fallen, while concerns about the law articulated by the Druze are genuine and will be addressed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Speaking at the the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu launched into an unapologetic defense of the controversial law passed earlier this month that stated that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, and that “actualization of the right of national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
The significance of the words “Jewish and democratic state,” Netanyahu said, is that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people with “full equal rights for all of its citizens.”
Netanyahu said that the full civil rights of all the country’s citizens have been enshrined in a series of Knesset laws, including Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. But what has not been enshrined into law until now is the national rights of the Jewish people in its land.
“What is the meaning of national rights?” Netanyahu asked. “They define the flag, the national anthem, the language and, of course, the fact that one of the basic goals of the state is the ingathering of exiles of our people and their absorption here in the land of Israel. This is the meaning of the Zionist vision.”
Despite some Druze leaders’ vocal opposition to the controversial nation-state law, some in the community, as well as within other minorities, are voicing support for the legislation.
The nation-state law defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. The law’s provisions, including the downgrading of the Arabic language from an official language of Israel to one with a “special status,” and the assertion that only Jews have a right to self-determination, have angered Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, who view the law as discriminatory and offensive.
The Druze, a unique religious and ethnic minority among Israeli Arabs, were particularly outraged by the legislation, as most Druze men serve in the Israel Defense Forces and members of the community serve in top positions in Israeli politics and public service.
Chairman of the Druze Zionist Council for Israel Atta Farhat took to Facebook on Sunday to express his support for the law.
“No other Druze community has it better than the Druze community in Israel,” he said in a video. “I implore all of my brethren in the Druze community to avoid the trap set by the Left and back the nation-state law as it is.”
Capt. (res.) Shadi Haloul, head of the Israeli Christian Aramaic Association, who also runs a pre-military preparatory program for Jews and the Christian Arabs, said he was also in favor of the law, claiming that it actually cements the rights of minorities.
Anti-Zionists and members of the radical Left, led by and with the funding of the New Israel Fund, are using the Druze to harm Israel’s image. While there can, of course, be differences of opinion on the nation-state law, the New Israel Fund and the organizations it supports are unfortunately helping certain members of the community intensify the protests. The Left wants to return to power and these radical organizations exploit the Druze community to this end. Why have Arab lawmakers and members of the Joint Arab List remained silent? Because the Druze and their representatives who are speaking out against the nation-state law are doing their work for them.
Since the state’s founding, we have raised our children on Zionism. The silent majority of the Druze population in Israel loves this country. We have been partners with the people of Israel from the days of Moses, through the Zionist movement and the establishment of the state, and we will continue to be partners in the future.
Many of the lawmakers in the Knesset were elected by the innocent people who in 2011 protested the rising prices of cottage cheese. These protests, which soon focused on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s supposed corruption, are now leading the Druze community to protest the nation-state law.
It is truly a shame that in its lust for power, the Left is willing to destroy the Jewish state.
An Arab Israeli leader said Saturday that he had enlisted the assistance of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the battle against the recently passed nation-state law, which has been criticized as discriminatory against Israel’s Arab minority.
“We are embarking on an international effort and will turn to the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, the European Union in Brussels and the UN in New York,” said Mohammad Barakeh, a longtime leader of the left-wing Hadash party who currently heads the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel.
“This morning I met with [Abbas], who will lend assistance to promoting this issue in any arena,” he added, according to the Kan public broadcaster.
MK Juma Azbarga of the Joint (Arab) List, meanwhile, was quoted as saying the Arab Israeli lawmakers should resign from the Knesset en masse in protest of the law. His comments came as one MK announced he was stepping down over the legislation.
US Ambassador David Friedman’s condolence call in the West Bank settlement of Adam on Sunday, left settler politicians wondering if a policy change had been made to allow American officials to visit Area C.
“It seems as if we are talking about a change in US policy with respect to the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria,” a spokesman for the Binyamin Regional Council said in a statement it put out after the visit.
It appears as if “they are being treated just like the rest of the country,” the spokesman said.
Efrat Council head Oded Revivi said, “It is encouraging to see Israelis treated equally by the [Trump Administration] without paying attention to where they live.”
This is “in stark contrast to the previous administration,” said Revivi, who is also the YESHA Council’s foreign envoy.
Such a visit, strengthens the Trump Administration’s “war on Palestinian terror” and disconnects it from the construction of Israeli homes and kindergartens in Judea and Samaria, Revivi said.
A US Embassy official said, “Ambassador Friedman paid a visit today to the Ovadia family in the settlement community of Adam.
Lebanon’s military police arrested a senior Lebanese military officer on suspicion of collaborating with Israel, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Monday, according to The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv.
The officer was suspected of releasing Lebanese detainees in exchange for large sums of money. Additional officers were also arrested on suspicion of membership in the officer’s cell, Hezbollah-affiliated media reported. The officer is being held in Lebanon’s Rihanyah prison.
Lebanese military intelligence first investigated the officer as part of a corruption case, according to the report. Once the investigation file was opened, it became clear that the officer, referred to by his initials “A.D.” released detainees and even deleted the names of persons wanted for interrogation because of their alleged cooperation with Israel.
It was further reported that the officer was first interrogated and then released in order to follow his movements and gather additional evidence.
Israeli security forces arrested four Palestinian journalists working for the Hamas-affiliated Al Quds TV station in Hebron overnight Monday, announced the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
The four men arrested in Ramallah were identified as Ala Rimawi, who runs the Al-Quds television station in the West Bank, and freelance journalists Mohammad Ulwan, Husni Injass and Qutaibah Hamdan.
During the joint operation, which was carried out by IDF troops from the Binyamin and Ephraim Regional Brigades together with the Shin Bet internal security agency, confiscated technical equipment, vehicles and personal computers during the raid.
The al-Quds channel, which first broadcast in October 2008 from Beirut and had channels in Ramallah and Jerusalem, was banned from operating in Israel earlier this month by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) and the Palestinian Ministry of Information both condemned the arrests and called for the United Nations to intervene in what they described as “a dangerous assault on freedom of expression, opinion and journalism.”
While Israel has one of the most advanced missile defense “shields” in the world, analysts stress that it is not fool-proof
Two rockets fired last week from the Syrian Golan Heights landed in Israel’s Sea of Galilee, or Lake Kinneret. A fierce offensive by Assad regime forces in southern Syria—backed by Russian air power and Iranian-aligned Shiite fighters on the ground—has resulted in spill-over into Israeli territory, with “code red” alert sirens now commonly heard in border communities.
The Israeli military retains a unique capacity to intercept incoming projectiles, in addition to shooting down drones and, recently, a Russian-made, Syrian-flown fighter jet. As such, it was surprising to many that two rockets penetrated so far into Israel, splashing down in a body of water frequented by tourists.
In fact, Israel has one of the most sophisticated missile defense apparatus’ in the world. The Iron Dome, the first protective “layer,” intercepts short-range projectiles including mortars and is typically deployed in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip border. The David’s Sling, which is slated to replace the American-made Patriot system, is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles with ranges up to 300 kilometers. The Arrow 3, the highest defensive tier, can intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles during the outer space portion of their flight.
While the David’s Sling and Arrow 3 are essentially new and not battle-tested, the Iron Dome is among the most well-known and successful defense systems ever created, with an interception rate of over 90 percent. It works by using radar to detect threats, with an algorithm then calculating whether an incoming projectile is on course to strike a strategic or populated area. If so, an interceptor missile is launched.
The Israel Prison Service is reportedly exploring the possibility of limiting Palestinian security prisoners’ time in the shower, after learning that they are wasting water on purpose.
Israel is grappling with a five-year drought and the public has been asked to use the precious resource wisely, but according to religious news website Hakol Hayehudi, security prisoners are wasting hundreds of thousands of cubic feet of water on purpose to undercut Israel’s water supply.
According to the report, IPS data shows that security prisoners’ wards use up far more water than the criminal wards, whose inmates spend less time in their cells.
The discrepancy between the wards’ water use is so great, that it led theIPS to believe that Palestinian inmates leave their showers running for hours on purpose, to waste water.
An analysis of the data shows that security prisoners use about 3.5 times more water a year than the average Israeli – 250 cubic meters (8,830 cubic feet) compared to 70 cubic meters (2,472 cubic feet).
As there are currently 5,800 Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, they seem to waste an average of 750,000 cubic meters (26,486,000 cubic feet) of water a year, costing taxpayers some 5.6 million shekels ($1.5 million).
In an attempt to curb this phenomenon, the Israel Prison Service has begun plumbing work in various facilities, to separate the pipes feeding showers from those feeding sinks and lavatories. The move seeks to limit prisoner’s time in the shower without compromising their conditions overall.
Tensions are rising in the Gaza Strip after a United Nations-led support agency for Palestinian refugees was forced to cut hundreds of employees following the U.S. government’s decision to slash funding for the agency’s budget.
More than 250 jobs were eliminated last week at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, sparking a wave of protests in the Gaza Strip.
The cuts came after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to dramatically reduce funding by hundreds of millions of dollars. The move comes at a critical time for Palestinian refugees in Gaza, where political and economic sanctions have contributed to unemployment rates reaching 60%, and the area suffers power outages which can last for 18 hours a day.
The funding and job cut will worsen the situation further with a potentially huge impact on the younger generations, according to Mahmoud Hamdan, head of the Teachers’ Sector of the UNRWA Staff Union.
“There is a clear threat that if the aid stops, teaching will be stopped, and the fate of a quarter of a million Palestinian students will be unknown. They will be thrown into the streets and left homeless,” he said.
The Gaza Now Twitter account on Sunday published a statement suggesting that the terrorist organizations in Gaza are holding another Israeli soldier.
“Do the Palestinian people expect the announcement about another Zionist soldier who is being held captive by the Palestinian resistance organizations?” the tweet read.
The information in the tweet has not been confirmed by Israeli sources. In the past, Hamas has hinted that it is holding another Israeli soldier, without providing further details.
Hamas has been holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul since the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.
Avera Mengistu and another Israeli civilian, Hisham al-Sayed, who went missing in Gaza, are believed to be held by Hamas as well.
The Red Cross has in the past urged Hamas to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law and provide an update on the condition of Israeli nationals who went missing in Gaza.
Hamas has refused to comply with the request, and has also refused to allow the Red Cross to visit the missing Israelis.
I served as Israel’s chief “non-negotiator” during the P5+1 negotiations with Iran during 2013-15. I was the chief “non-negotiator” because we were not part of the P5+1, but we were very active and we know we had a very serious impact. We were trying to influence the outcome of this bad agreement, with some success. Without our intervention, the agreement would have been much worse. Almost all the positive elements in the agreement were put there due to our pressure.
Just to give one example, in the Iran nuclear deal there is a limitation that Iran will not be allowed to enrich uranium above 3.5%. In the past, Iran had already enriched uranium to 20-25%, which is already more than halfway to highly-enriched uranium that is enough for nuclear weapons. Prior to the interim agreement we asked the Americans to reduce the enrichment level. They said it was too late.
But at the last moment I spoke with the French Foreign Minister and he agreed to give the Iranians an ultimatum to reduce the enrichment level. The Iranians walked out, the Americans were furious, but one month later they returned to Vienna and signed the agreement with this restriction, which was also included in the final agreement which was signed two years later.
We demanded complete, comprehensive dismantling of the Iranian nuclear infrastructure, like in Libya in 2003. But instead of complete dismantling, we got partial dismantling and for a limited time, only 10 years. So it’s very clear what should be fixed – complete dismantling forever. But what are the chances that Iran will agree to dismantle its nuclear facilities for good? There are three elements that will dictate the final result.
The first is economic pressure. What are the chances that the U.S. alone will be able to resume the same level of economic pressure on Iran that was so effective in 2011-12 and that led to Iranian concessions? My answer is that the U.S. alone can produce greater economic pressure than the heavy economic pressure in 2011-12. The U.S. actually doesn’t need the rest of the world in order to squeeze the Iranian economy and bring it to the verge of collapse. This is because of the power of the secondary sanctions that force international companies to choose between doing business with Iran or the U.S. I assume that in half a year or a year, the situation in Iran will be extremely grave and they will consider coming back to the negotiating table.
The second element involves the U.S. readiness to take military action against Iran if suddenly the Iranians start enriching uranium and put thousands of centrifuges back into operation. It should be crystal clear to the Iranians that if they make such sudden moves, their military infrastructure will be destroyed. No military infrastructure can be immune from air attacks and the U.S. can destroy any nuclear facility in the world, even if some of it is buried underground and even if they have very good air defense systems. Nobody is speaking about this but the Iranians understand this.
The third element involves North Korea. If President Trump’s attempt to dismantle the North Korean nuclear arsenal and facilities will succeed, the pressure on Iran and the pressure within Iran to give up these capabilities will be enormous. If, on the other hand, North Korea will be able to preserve its nuclear arsenal, then the determination within Iran will be totally different. If the U.S. fails in North Korea, the chances of pressuring Iran are going to be very slim.
Iran’s currency plunged to another record low on Sunday, dropping past 100,000 rials to the US dollar as Iranians brace for Aug. 7 when the United States is due to reimpose a first lot of sanctions on their economy.
In May the United States pulled out of a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
Washington decided to reimpose sanctions on Iran upon its withdrawal, accusing it of posing a security threat, and has told countries they must halt all imports of Iranian oil from November 4 or face US financial measures.
On Sunday, the Iranian rial plunged to 111,500 against one US dollar on the unofficial market, down from about 97,500 rials on Saturday, according to foreign exchange website Bonbast.com. Other websites said the dollar was exchanged between 108,500 and 116,000 rials.
The rial has lost about half of its value since April because of a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and heavy demand for dollars among Iranians who fear the effects of sanctions.
US President Donald Trump has called the agreement one of the worst deals ever negotiated but in a bid to salvage the accord, Iran’s European partners in the nuclear deal are preparing a package of economic measures to offset the US pullout.
Dozens of American terror victims have filed a civil lawsuit against the European Investment Bank over its financial ties with Iran.
The Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, which represents the plaintiffs, has asked a Washington district court to seize $1 billion in Iranian funds held at EIB, saying the money is used to sponsor terrorism.
The Israeli advocacy group argued that Iran has never met any previous ruling ordering it to pay damages to hundreds of terror victims and their families, saying that the money should be used to pay some of those debts.
The group has also petitioned the court to force EIB to disclose the exact nature and scope of the assets its holds for Iran.
If the motion is granted, every Iranian dollar that enters one of the Tehran government’s EIB accounts would be automatically deferred to the plaintiffs. This would make Iran’s efforts to conduct business in Europe and worldwide exceedingly difficult.
Shurat Hadin’s motion was reportedly filed against the backdrop of a dispute between the European Investment Bank’s captains and the European Union officials controlling it.
Iran’s Aggression Unveiled – Part 4: Iran seeks to destroy Israel
Since its inception in 1979, the Iranian regime has been calling time and again for Israel’s annihilation. Iran’s aggression must be stopped.
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