Cheering for Illegal Settlers — as Long as They’re Not Jews
Some on the Jewish left, along with the United Nations and the international news media, have been telling us for years that illegal settlers in the “occupied territories” are the main obstacle to Middle East peace. So these groups should have rejoiced at this week’s news that a small number of settlers were evicted from their home.
What happened? Israel’s Supreme Court forced a group of settlers who had taken over an apartment in eastern Jerusalem that Israel took control of in 1967 — a place that is deemed “occupied Arab territory” by advocates for the Palestinians — to vacate the premises.
The court actually issued the eviction order back in 2013. But those die-hard settlers, no doubt backed by pro-settler money from abroad, managed to exploit the Israeli legal system and drag the proceedings out for more than four years. Finally, this past week, the settlers were compelled to leave the property that they had been illegally occupying.
So you would think Peace Now and its allies would be celebrating, right?
Instead, Peace Now issued a press release calling the eviction of the settlers “a dangerous trend that could threaten a future compromise in Jerusalem.”
But aren’t settlers the obstacle to peace? Wouldn’t their expulsion increase the chances for compromise and reconciliation?
No — because it turns out that the “settlers” were Palestinian Arabs. The rightful owners of the property are Jews. There’s the problem.
In spite of recent polls indicating that ordinary Palestinians increasingly recognize that Israel is here to stay, the rejectionist Palestinian leadership remains the most formidable obstacle to a peace agreement with the Jewish state. But running a close second place is the US State Department, where unfounded faith in Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) remains unshaken.
The State Department’s Palestinian fantasies are on display in its congressionally-mandated annual report on international terrorism released in July. Abbas’s PA “continued its counterterrorism efforts in the West Bank where Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine remained present,” according to the report. Abbas is portrayed as a benign leader with an expressed “commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and pursuit of an independent Palestinian state through peaceful means.”
The report applauds the PA for taking “significant steps during President Abbas’ tenure (2005 to date) to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.” And it asserts that “explicit calls for violence against Israelis, direct exhortations against Jews, and categorical denials by the PA of the possibility of peace with Israel are rare and the leadership does not generally tolerate it.”
So much is wrong with this incredible assessment of the PA’s 2016 activities that either the judgment or the competence of its authors must be questioned.
To begin, claiming that the PA doesn’t tolerate calls for violence requires overlooking the entire PA educational system, which exists to incite violence against Israelis. As then-Senator Hillary Clinton observed correctly in 2007, the PA’s textbooks “do not give Palestinian children an education; they give them an indoctrination…[which] profoundly poisons the[ir] minds.” When the school term ends, PA summer camps keep the children’s skills sharp.
Melanie Phillips: What red lines really mean. Israel gets it. US doesn’t
Please join me here as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network about the still under-appreciated Iranian threat, how the US State Department under Rex Tillerson is getting just about everything wrong (as usual) and the significance of the assumed Israeli strike on Syria’s chemical weaponry arsenal.
One of the most troubling aspects about “peace and justice” activism in the current era is that the very same institutions that condemn Israel so vociferously have had a difficult, if not impossible time confronting the terrible misdeeds of the Assad regime in Syria, ISIS in Iraq and Boko Haram in Nigeria with the same force with which they assail the Jewish state.
Yes, they issue condemnations, but their statements are lamentations that really do not approach in ferocity of the ugly denunciations these institutions target at Israel. In the United States, the problem is most pronounced in liberal Protestant mainline churches such as the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church USA and the United Methodist Church, denominations that have to varying degrees of intensity support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that singles Israel out for condemnation — in a transparent effort to eradicate the country by economic means — while remaining shamefully silent about the genocide of Christians in the Middle East.
We also see a tendency in institutions such as the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches and to my dismay as a Catholic, the Vatican and other parts of the Roman Catholic Church, to assail Israel while remaining silent about the problem of jihad.
The Catholic Church, which has condemned anti-Semitism in a document called Nostra Aetate in 1965, also has a difficult time dealing with the problem of Muslim anti-Semitism and anti-Christian hostility in Muslim communities and the religious sources they hold dear.
One source of the problem is that it is simply a lot easier and safer to speak out about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians than it is to confront the violence against Christians in the rest of the Middle East.
If you fly to Israel, you can participate in a protest against the IDF at the security barrier in the morning and be eating in a nice restaurant in Tel Aviv that afternoon without having to worry about getting shot. Protesting against ISIS or the misdeeds of the Iranian government, which puts Westerners in jail, is another, rather more courageous, thing altogether.
On 28 July 2017, one of the longest judicial enquiries in the history of a French tribunal finally moved forward. Thirty-seven years after the crime, the investigating magistrates completed their enquiry into the 1980 bombing of the rue Copernic Synagogue in Paris.
The magistrates’ closure sets the calendar for a formal decision within 40 days regarding proceeding to trial. A period of 40 working days places the deadline for 23 September — one week from now.
This is the peg to engage the Justice Minister of France, Nicole Belloubet, from a personal perspective.
At 6.35pm on 3 October 1980, the bomb exploded killing 4 passers-by and wounding 40 worshippers inside the synagogue. Prime Minister Raymond Barre announced that “a bomb placed for Jews had killed four innocent Frenchmen.”
One of them, was Aliza, wife of the late Israeli filmmaker Micha Shagrir. She had come to Paris for a weekend with her girlfriend who lived in rue Lauriston abutting rue Copernic. She wished to buy some fruit at a shop facing the synagogue. I accompanied her to the corner, continuing straight ahead. Aliza turned into Copernic where, a few seconds later she met her death.
The authorities immediately blamed the extreme right, though the attack had all the features of Palestinian terrorism, backed by local extreme left support.
French authorities have thwarted a terrorist plot against gay nightclubs in Paris.
Interior Minister Gérard Collomb on Tuesday said during a hearing at the French National Assembly that authorities uncovered the plot on Aug. 22. BFM TV, a French television station, reported Collomb told lawmakers the plot targeted “Parisian nightclubs and gay establishments in particular.”
Collomb did not name the specific nightclubs that had been targeted. He told lawmakers that authorities have thwarted 12 terrorist plots in France since the beginning of the year.
“This is what Daesh wants: To divide the national community and ensure that in our country there are clashes among the French people,” said Collomb, referring to the so-called Islamic State as BFM TV reported. “This is a trap that we must not fall for.”
France has been under a state of emergency since a series of terrorist attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and other locations throughout Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, left more than 100 people dead.
Surveying some of the recent debates among Israeli intellectuals about the possibilities of a lasting peace agreement with the Palestinians, Peter Berkowitz criticizes those who, out of frustration with the political-diplomatic process, want to use the law—usually expressed in the dubious claim that international law renders any Israeli presence in the West Bank illegal—to force a resolution:
[This line of argumentation] illuminates the dangerous propensity of liberal democracies, against which Tocqueville warned 180 years ago, to transform political questions into legal ones.
The “juridification of politics”—to borrow a term from the French thinker Alexandre Kojève—erodes citizens’ civic habits by depriving them of the opportunity to resolve political controversies through democratic give-and-take. It also distorts those controversies, which are inextricably bound up with conflicting interests and perceptions, contingent events, and prudential judgments. To subject them to legal reasoning that purports to yield rational, objective, and necessary judgments is to pretend that one right answer is available for disputes that can only be managed through compromise and mutual accommodation. . . .
American efforts to ease the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should [instead] focus on making peace more valuable to Palestinians by promoting in the West Bank the protection of rights; popular rule; and industrialization, commerce, and trade. [But] the challenge is likely to remain vexing. That’s because the means available to the United States—as well as to Israel, surrounding Arab nations, Europe, and the world community—to transform Palestinian ethnic and social bonds, cultural judgments, and religious beliefs are quite limited.
The Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which convened in Ramallah on Wednesday for a meeting headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, repeated its position that categorically rejects any interim agreements with Israel – including the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders or expanded autonomy.
A statement issued following the meeting and quoted by the PA’s official Wafa news agency said that the PLO adheres to “international law, international legitimacy, the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and within the 1967 borders, and in resolving all final status issues based on the relevant decisions of the international institutions as a single source of legitimacy and within the framework of an international conference with full powers.”
The PLO Executive Committee also called on the U.S. administration to immediately declare the adoption of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and to declare that “Israeli settlements” are illegal and destroy the peace process.
The PA insists that any peace agreement with Israel be based on the establishment of a Palestinian state. While the PA intends to flood Israel with so-called “Palestinian refugees” as part of an agreement, Abbas has stated several times that a future Palestinian state will be free of Jews.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Latin America is welcome and long-overdue. Indeed, it is astonishing that no Israeli prime minister before him ever paid an official visit there. As Israel is trying to counter Iran’s global reach and to crack the “automatic majority” at the United Nations, investing diplomatic efforts in Latin America is the right thing to do.
Latin America played an important role in the birth of Israel. Three of the eleven countries that constituted the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) were Latin American (Guatemala, Peru, and Uruguay). The representative of Guatemala at UNSCOP was George Garcia Granados, a pro-Zionist who had met twice with Menachem Begin in secret when the British were trying to kill him. Granados pushed hard to get UNSCOP to adopt partition and to get it approved by the General Assembly.
The President of the General Assembly at the time of the vote on partition was Oswaldo Aranha from Brazil. Like Granados, Aranha also had strong Zionist sympathies. The vote on UNSCOP’s partition proposal had been scheduled to take place on the 27th of November 1947. As the vote was approaching, however, it became clear that there was no majority for the approval of partition. More time was needed to gather support, especially among Latin American countries. Aranha came up with an idea that saved the day: November 28 was Thanksgiving, he reminded delegates, and it would be unfair to keep American workers at the UN. He therefore suggested renewing the debates and votes over the UNSCOP proposal after Thanksgiving. His proposal was accepted, and the extra 48 hours enabled the Jewish Agency to gather more support among UN delegations. During the vote, the support of Latin American countries was critical. At the General Assembly, 33 countries voted “yes,” 13 voted “no,” and 10 abstained. Of the 33 “yes” votes, 13 were from Latin America (i.e. 40%).
Despite this diplomatic support, however, relations were overshadowed by the shelter offered by Latin American governments to senior Nazi criminals such as Adolph Eichmann, Klaus Barbie, and Joseph Mengele. After Israel captured Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, the Argentinian government complained that Israel had violated diplomatic étiquette, but it did not apologize for granting Eichmann a save heaven in the first place. Other Nazis lived a happy life in Argentina and died in old age, such as Erich Priebke who died in October 2013 at age 100. Like many other Nazis, he lived a comfortable life in the Argentinian ski resort of Bariloche, where Joseph Mengele took his driving test and where Erich Priebke ran a deli. It was said to be the best in town, and customers used to call it “the Nazi deli.”
As the Trump administration weighs its policy options vis-à-vis Iran, highlighting the global danger posed by the Tehran regime is “crucial,” the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during an i24 News interview on Tuesday.
The Islamic Republic’s aggression is a top agenda item during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current trip to Latin America, Dovid Efune told “Crossroads” hosts David Shuster and Michelle Makori. And recent developments in the investigation into the 1994 AMIA attack — in which 85 people were killed in a bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that was perpetrated by Iran’s Shi’a terror proxy Hezbollah — are helping drive home the point.
“What we’ve seen over the last few weeks,” Efune said, “is a former Argentinean ambassador to Syria confirming a secret visit between the former foreign minister of Argentina, Hector Timerman, and President [Bashar] Assad in Syria, where they arranged to cover up Iranian involvement and Hezbollah’s involvement in this terrible bombing.”
This, Efune noted, was evidence of the “very, very stark way that Iran’s influence on the global scale…is all bad and the world has to stand up to it.”
Forty-four percent of American Jews do not want President Donald Trump to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the American Jewish Committee’s Survey of American Jewish Opinion published on Wednesday shows.
The survey, conducted annually, is based on telephone interviews carried out during August with a national sample of 1,000 Jews over age 18. Questions covered topics such as respondents’ political stances, their level of satisfaction with the US administration, antisemitism, US-Israel relations, Jewish identity and religious pluralism in Israel.
Respondents included 9% Orthodox Jews, 16% who identify with the Conservative movement, 31% Reform Jews, 2% Reconstructionists and a plurality of 39% who consider themselves “just Jewish.”
When asked about the embassy, a majority said they oppose moving it. Thirty-six percent responded that they would be in favor of this, but at a later date in conjunction with progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Only 16% believe the embassy should be moved immediately and 4% are not sure.
Among those who do not want the legation moved, 51% are Democrats and 26% are Republicans.
On the subject of American politics, the AJC survey indicated widespread dissatisfaction with Trump’s performance in office.
In March 2016, a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing rampage in Tel Aviv, killing Taylor and wounding 10 others. This act of barbarism spurred the creation of the Taylor Force Act, which would stop American economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until the PA ceases paying stipends to terrorists and their families. Because Taylor was killed by a Palestinian terrorist, the PA pays the murderer’s relatives a monthly pension equal to several times the average monthly Palestinian wage.
“I don’t intend to cease payment for families of prisoner martyrs; even if it costs me my seat, I will continue to pay them until my last day,” said PA President Mahmoud Abbas, defiantly vowing to continue funding the families of Palestinian terrorists.
Every year, the U.S gives nearly half a billion dollars to Abbas and the PA. Most of those funds, or their equivalent, are used to pay Palestinian terrorists who have murdered innocent Americans, Israelis and others.
“I think supporting this act is the least anyone can do to honor [Taylor’s] memory,” said Ronen. “It will stop incentives to terror and give Palestinians a reason to wake up in the morning and live rather than die. Taylor is the kind of person who would want to give people a reason to live.” This feeling was shared by David and by Taylor’s father.
“I am in favor of anything to stop bloodshed,” said Stuart. “I feel that rewarding people for terrorism is totally out of the realm of decency. Taylor would have been proud of the effort to pass this act and know we were behind it. That is what keeps us going.”
In Congress, there will certainly be plenty of arguments on healthcare, immigration reform and the national budget. But amidst all of the pettiness and squabbles, Congress must pass the Taylor Force Act above all else. It is our responsibility to make sure that murderers are not rewarded and that a good man who served his country, did not die in vain.
Faced with the loss of funds if the Taylor Force Act becomes law, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must clearly outlaw terrorism as an important first step to show that the PA is seriously working to fight terror, two experts wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.
Jonathan Schanzer and Grant Rumley, respectively the senior vice president and research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote that it would be correct for Congress to reject the PA’s excuses for continuing to pay stipends to families of terrorists and that United States lawmakers should continue to work towards the passage of the Taylor Force Act. Both authors say that to show how seriously the PA is taking Congress, Abbas and the PA should take the initiative to fight terror by making it illegal.
The PA has arrested terrorists and disrupted terror cells, but usually this is done under the authority of presidential decrees for “harming public security,” the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979, or Jordanian military codes.
The State Department, Schanzer and Rumley noted, determined that while the PA has outlawed acts of terror, it has no laws on the books “specifically tailored to counterterrorism.”
Hosting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday thanked Israel for promoting peace in his country, noting especially Jerusalem’s efforts to help defuse landmines.
“Israel has been a friend and ally of Colombia and lately it has been a great ally in the construction of peace in our country,” Santos said. “You have offered help to us in several areas, including, for example, something that is very humanitarian, which is the removal of anti-personnel mines.”
As a consequence of its 52-year civil war, Colombia has long been the country with the second highest number of landmines, after Afghanistan.
Santos acknowledged the dubious honor, and added, “We are in the process of correcting this shameful situation,” Santos said at the Casa de Nariño presidential palace. “We would like to strengthen the magnificent relations that we’ve enjoyed for so many years. As in every relationship, there is always room for growth. We want to cooperate much more with Israel. You have a lot of what we need, and we have a lot of what you need.”
Netanyahu’s whirlwind three-hour visit to Bogota was dominated by talk about Israel’s potential contribution to Colombia’s “post-conflict” efforts.
The decision to establish the lobby was made after Dr. Hugo Eric Flores Cervantes, a Mexican politician and founder of the Social Encounter Party, visited Samaria in July. “Trade between nations must and should be free,” Flores Cervantes had said during his visit. “I am in favor of accelerating the trade agreement between Mexico and Israel as well as accelerating the marketing of products produced in Judea and Samaria to Mexico.”
Flores Cervantes was accompanied on his trip to Judea and Samaria by Israel-Mexico Chamber of Commerce Vice President Yossi Eldar, and met with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan. Following their meeting, it was decided to establish a lobby within the Mexican house of representatives to combat the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement by way of stronger commercial relations.
Furthermore, it was decided that the lobby, which will comprise members of the Social Encounter Party, would work to sway Mexico’s U.N. votes in favor of Israel.
“This is another welcome announcement for the settlement enterprise and part of the Samaria Regional Council’s global effort to combat delegitimization [of Israel] and the BDS movement,” Dagan said. “Don’t underestimate the importance of Latin America, which, today, is joining the enlightened nations that are fighting anti-Semitism.”
The parents of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Lieutenant Hadar Goldin — brutally murdered by Hamas during a humanitarian cease fire brokered by the United Nations and United States — are seeking help from the U.S. and United Nations in getting the terrorist organization to return their son’s remains to Israel so that he can receive a proper burial.
Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul’s body is also held captive by Hamas in Gaza.
Hadar was 23 and Oron was 20 when they were murdered by Hamas; Hadar was killed on August 1, 2014, and Oron was confirmed to be killed by July 25 that same year.
“Hadar is a victim of a cease fire instead of a war and this cease fire was brokered by John Kerry and Ban Ki Moon. Since they brokered the ceasefire, we are looking to the United States and the U.N. to bring their bodies home,” Leah Goldin told Breitbart News.
Hadar was in charge of engineering to destroy underground tunnels built by Hamas — tunnels that are used to infiltrate and attack Israel.
“What happened with the violation of the cease fire was actually an act of the Obama administration,” Leah said. “We are hoping the new administration can erase this stain and show that they can be better than the previous administration. The U.S. and UN must live with the consequences of having cease fires with terrorists.”
Egypt has presented Hamas with a proposal that would allow prisoner exchange negotiations to begin between Israel and the Gaza-based terror group, a Palestinian newspaper reported Thursday.
For years, in order for negotiations to even begin, Hamas has demanded Israel release the Palestinians who were rearrested in the summer of 2014 after being set free in the swap for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. A Hamas official recently told The Times of Israel there are 58 such Hamas prisoners being held in Israel.
Hamas has been holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul since the two were killed in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 war there. The terror group is also believed to be holding three Israeli civilians — Avraham Abera Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed and Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima — who are all believed to have entered the Gaza Strip of their own accord.
As part of the efforts to return the Israelis being held by the terror group, Israel has reportedly been having indirect contact with Hamas about possible prisoner deal talks — efforts that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted at.
According to Thursday’s report in the daily Al Quds, based on sources in Cairo, under Egypt’s formula Israel will first hand over the bodies of 39 Palestinians killed in the summer 2014 war, 19 of whom are Hamas members, in exchange for Hamas acknowledging the fate of Goldin and Shaul. Hamas has hinted that it is holding the two soldiers, whom the IDF ruled to have been killed in action, and has also implied that they could still be alive.
Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday maintained his opinion that Israeli authorities are partially to blame for a deadly 2015 Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank because they are not firm enough on preventing Jewish extremists.
Speaking to Army Radio in an interview Ya’alon said that while reports on his comments at the beginning of the week about the slaying of an Israeli couple in a drive-by shooting by a Hamas terror cell were taken out of context and manipulated, the underlying principle was valid.
The family of the victims had been outraged by his comments, saying they appeared to justify terror attacks against Israelis.
On Sunday Radio Galey Israel quoted Ya’alon speaking about the connection between the murder of three members of the Dawabshe family, who were killed in a firebomb attack by Jewish terrorists in July 2015 and the subsequent killing of Eitam and Naama Henkin in a drive-by shooting several weeks later.
“The blood of the Dawabshe family in Duma and the Henkin couple who were murdered as revenge for Duma are on our hands,” he was quoted as saying at an event in the city of Kfar Saba.
Ya’alon on Thursday explained to Army Radio that he was in fact describing his own reaction in 2015 just after the attack, when he was defense minister, but also reiterated that Israeli authorities and settler leaders are provoking violence by not reining in Jewish extremists in the West Bank.
Rami Fahouri, a 26-year-old east Jerusalem resident, was indicted by the Jerusalem District Prosecution on Thursday over his membership in the Shabab al-Aksa terrorist organization.
The organization was outlawed in August 2011, and in November 2016 it was declared by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman as a terrorist organization.
Shabab al-Aksa is a religious organization and is seen as Hamas’s long-arm in Temple Mount. According to the indictment document, the members of the organizations were active in violent clashes with the police and visitors in the Temple Mount compound in recent years.
Fahouri is suspected of being a member in the group’s WhatsApp messaging application group, in which he and his friends were updating the members on Jews entering the Temple Mount compound.
Recently the Jerusalem District Prosecution indicted 13 other members of the organization, of which some were involved in conspiring violent activities against security forces and Temple Mount visitors.
The prosecution requested keeping Fahouri in detention until the end of his trial.
The interior minister cannot, under existing law, negate the residency of four east Jerusalem men who were elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council on a Hamas-affiliated slate, the High Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday.
But if the state wants such authority, the court said in a 6-3 split decision, the Knesset must pass a law to authorize negating residency due to “a violation of faith” to the state, even without there being any concrete security dangers.
The court gave the Knesset six months before residency would be fully restored to the four Arabs who submitted the petition.
Arabs living in east Jerusalem have the right to permanent residency, even though virtually all of them have rejected voting in Israeli elections.
The four east Jerusalem men in question are: Palestinian Authority parliament members Muhammad Abu Tir, Ahmad Atwan and Muhammad Tutach, with the PA minister for Jerusalem affairs being Khaled Abu Arafa.
Then-interior minister Ronnie Bar-On disqualified their permanent residency status in 2006 following their election on a Hamas-affiliated slate.
Bar-On disqualified them for violating faith to the State of Israel by having a political affiliation with Hamas.
IDF forces in conjunction with Shabak (Israel Security Agency) on Wednesday night carried out an operation in the Hevron-area Arab city of Yatta, confiscating money intended for the family of the terrorist who murdered Dafna Meir in January 2016.
According to authorities, Hamas provided the family with NIS 48,000 to aid the construction of a new house.
The money was confiscated.
Dafna Meir, a 38-year old nurse who worked at Be’er Sheva’s Soroka Hospital, was murdered at the entrance to her home when a terrorist stabbed her to death in front of her children. Dafna struggled with the terrorist, causing him to flee and thereby saving her children’s lives.
The IDF also shut down a Hamas-run charity operating in Hevron, which works to raise money for terrorists’ families.
“The IDF shuttered an illegal charity association belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization,” an IDF spokesperson said. “These actions are part of many activities that we carry out in order to prevent the transfer of funds that encourage terrorism.”
IDF Blog: What is a Shooting Instructor?
IsraellyCool: Israeli Navy Prepping for Hizbullah Jet Ski Invasion!
It sounds like the makings of a B-movie, but it is really happening: our navy is preparing for the most extreme scenarios in any future opening of an attack launched by Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah – and that includes a jet ski invasion!
The Navy is drilling fighting off Hezbollah naval commandos mounting a surprise attack on Israel as part of a large-scale amphibious training exercise taking place in the north this week.
Among other scenarios, the Israeli sailors faced a swarm of jet skis and small motorboats carrying Hezbollah fighters, divers and suicide bombers.
How the drill looked:
Israel has threatened the Palestinian Authority that it deduct money from taxes it collects on behalf of the PA, in order to cover the cost of supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip.
Already-limited power supplies in the coastal enclave have been further squeezed amid a spat between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority over who should pay for the power.
Israel made the threat in a July 17 letter seen by The Times of Israel. Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai told PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh Minister that due to the serious humanitarian considerations supplies must be restored one way or another.
Hamas, a terror group that has ruled the Strip ever since it ousted the PA in a violent coup in 2007, had refused to pay for Israeli electricity, claiming the PA is responsible for funding it, even as Hamas has spent millions on its military capabilities. In May, Ramallah reduced the amount of electricity it was willing to pay for, and as a result power supplies in Gaza were reduced to four to six hours a day.
The PA, which is dominated by Hamas’s rival Fatah, has since been cutting back some NIS 15 million ($4.2 million) each month from the NIS 40 million ($11.4 million) it used to pay for Israel for electricity in Gaza, part of a series of steps meant to pressure Hamas. Israel began to reduce the supplies in mid-June to account for the shortfall.
Putting Iran to the choice of a new Trump-negotiated deal or tough sanctions to be reimposed in the immediate future would give the president and his team the opportunity to run a serious negotiation while simultaneously backing such an effort with the maximum leverage possible, leverage that was squandered during the last round of negotiations.
In addition, the president could work with Congress as it evaluates his decertification decision. One approach could be to let the president work to negotiate a new deal while providing policy guidance on the broad outlines of a good deal and while imposing strong new sanctions on Iran for its other illicit activities around the world, and providing the president with resources and the authority he needs to directly confront Iranian aggression.
This would demonstrate that Congress backs the president’s efforts and would thus provide additional leverage for his negotiations. It would also allow him to take advantage of his key strengths: aggressively policing an existing (albeit bad) deal and negotiating from a position of strength to reach a more serious deal that satisfies our core national security needs. It would also put Iran on notice that its malign activities in the region will no longer go unnoticed.
And while some have argued that the United States won’t be able to reimpose sanctions because our erstwhile allies in Europe simply won’t go along, the practical reality is that Europeans have little choice. Despite their claims to the contrary, when put to the choice of banking with Iran or banking with the United States, there really is no option. As with the last time it faced a similar Hobson’s choice, Europe will complain and complain, but ultimately will comply.
At the end of the day, the reality is this: Everyone knows the Iran deal was made when the last administration was desperately looking for a foreign policy success and so we got a deal far weaker and less enforceable than our leverage might otherwise have permitted. Given this, if the current president’s team is looking for an alternate path to the preferred course of simply tossing the deal overboard, a skilled and capable businessman like Donald Trump ought take swift, decisive action to force Iran back to the table. And he ought to do it now.
The German Federal Court of Justice will rule on whether three businessmen can face criminal penalties for selling nuclear technology to Iran, allegedly to be used to develop weapons, prior to the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
The Jerusalem Post obtained a 2016 copy of the indictment against the three German businessmen and information from a Berlin criminal court on the new legal developments.
The businessmen – Bernd Gehrad L., René L. and Ralf C. – delivered 51 highly specialized valves to Iran between 2010 and 2011. The value of the valves, including the delivery to a sanctioned Iranian company, amounted to €1 million.
According to the indictment, “Bernd and René recognized since at least 2009 that behind the buyer [of valves] Hossein T. was an organization that was banned from receiving nuclear-capable material.”
Hossein T. appears to be Hossein Tanideh, a key operative for Iran’s atomic program, who has served as the conduit for delivering highly desired German valves to Iran. The US Treasury Department sanctioned Tanideh in 2012 with a freeze of his assets because of his illicit nuclear procurement business.
The indictment said Hossein was the final recipient of the delivery of valves from a firm based in the Iranian city of Tabriz.
An imam at the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount attacked the Muslim world’s silence regarding the atrocities committed by Myanma (Burmese) authorities against the country’s Muslim minority.
“The Muslim world suffers from a lack of caliphates,” the imam said, noting that this situation allows “heretics” such as Buddhists and those who serve the cow, pig, and donkey, to act ‘arrogantly’ and authoritatively towards Muslims.
According to the imam, Muslim children “are burning” because of the failure of the Muslim world to act.
At the end of his speech, the imam promised to take revenge on heretics and the “soldiers of Satan”. This revenge, he said, will include the creation of Islamic caliphates which will follow the ways of Mohammed. It will also include the “redemption” of Jerusalem, Rome, and India, and will crush all those who came out against Islam.
The imam then prayed to Allah to expedite the reestablishment of the caliphates.
This is not the first time Al-Aqsa imams are preaching incitement.
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