Caroline Glick: Mahmoud Abbas Should Be Barred from Entering the U.S.
The U.S. government should bar Palestinian Authority Chairman and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Mahmoud Abbas from entering the United States on Wednesday for the opening of the United Nations.
In the days that have passed since Queens, New York, native and dual U.S.-Israeli citizen Ari Fuld was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist, we have learned several things about how his murder came about.
Together, they make a compelling case to take action against Abbas when he arrives at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. (Abbas is scheduled to arrive in New York to address the UN General Assembly meeting on Thursday.)
Ari Fuld, a 45-year-old father of four, was stabbed in the back by Palestinian terrorist Khalil Jabarin last Sunday morning outside a shopping center at Gush Etzion Junction in Judea, south of Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, Palestinian journalist Bassem Tawil provided significant evidence that recent statements by Abbas may have encouraged 16-year-old Jabarin to murder Fuld – or any other Jewish person. Jabarin is from Dura, a village about a half hour south of the shopping center – a convenient site for his attack.
Tawil reported that Saturday, the day before the murder, Abbas gave a speech to the PLO’s Executive Committee in Ramallah. In his address, Abbas reportedly “repeated the old libel that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” which is on the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, the site of the Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to host a conference of world leaders and high-ranking diplomats on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week with the expressed intention of undermining U.S. President Donald Trump’s regional peace plan, Channel 10 News reported Monday.
Relations between Washington and Ramallah have been particularly strained since U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December and subsequently moved the U.S. Embassy there in May. The move outraged Palestinians, who envision east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Abbas has since refused to engage with any of Trump’s Middle East envoys, saying that the U.S. bias in favor of Israel proves it cannot act as an impartial mediator in regional peace talks.
The Trump administration has taken several other steps against the Palestinian Authority, including suspending the large U.S. contribution to the U.N. aid agency assisting Palestinian refugees and shuttering the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington.
The United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany, as well as diplomats from 40 nations and international organizations, have been invited to the conference scheduled for Wednesday, the report said.
Titled “Salvaging the Two-State Solution, Defending the International Rules-Based System,” the conference is set to take place at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York.
The crisis between Israel and Russia resulting from a Russian military aircraft being shot down over Syria last week is “calculated and artificial, unrelated to reality or the facts, because the Russians want payment,” former Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Magen told Israel Hayom in an interview.
Now a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, Magen underscored that “it doesn’t matter what Israel does. From the moment the other side wants a crisis, there’s no way of preventing one.
“The media blamed Israel on the day of crisis in a well-timed orchestrated manner, filled with anti-Semitic elements. This wasn’t random.”
According to Magen’s analysis, the Russian defense establishment never changed its stance, even after Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin visited Moscow to present Israel’s findings on the incident.
A Russian Defense Ministry statement repeating gross accusations about Israel being responsible for shooting down a Russian military plane over Syria last week is a signal that, at least outwardly, Russia is unwilling to turn over a new page and move on from the past.
The inaccurate, unfounded, and even false claims in the ministry’s findings should not come as a surprise to anyone. After announcing that Israel was at fault, the Russians have not been able to back down, not even after an Israeli Air Force delegation showed them clear proof that Israel had operated within both nations’ coordination guidelines. It goes against the Russian culture of power to publicly admit to a mistake. The Russian government will never let facts confuse its citizens’ belief that Russia is always right.
The false accusation against Israel has awakened the ghosts of anti-Semitism that always existed in Russian society and which the ruling powers have made an effort to hide these past few decades. Russian television stations permit themselves to make harsh statements about Israel and a number of speakers, including senior delegates in the Russian parliament, have demanded that military air bases in the Jewish state be bombed in retribution. Until last week’s incident, such remarks were effectively prohibited in public in Russia, because officials were certain that the person at the top – President Vladimir Putin – objected to them.
But the new situation in which a major government entity in the form of the Russian Defense Ministry talks about Israel in language reminiscent of the Cold War has unleashed anti-Semitic language in Russia in general.
Sohrab Amari: An Antidote to American Political Squalor
It’s only Monday evening, which means Americans face another full week of political and cultural squalor. For an antidote, consider Paulina Płaksej, who died Sunday, aged 93. Our former COMMENTARY colleague Daniella Greenbaum broke news of Płaksej’s death on Twitter, which alerted me (and many others) to her inspiring life and that of her family, Polish Catholics who fed, hid, and rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
Zachariasz and Bronisława Płaksej, Paulina’s parents, moved from Lviv, Ukraine, to Kałusz before the outbreak of the war. There, Zachariasz worked as an accountant at a local mine and developed warm relations with the area’s Jews. Toward the end of 1941, when the Nazis forced the Jews of Kałusz into a newly created ghetto with an eye toward their extermination, Zachariasz and his family “acted as couriers, smuggling notes in and out of the ghetto,” according to the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. Soon, assisting persecuted Jews became the family’s main business.
It helped that they resided on the outskirts of town. As Paulina later recounted, “we lived in seclusion and not in the center of the town, so it was very convenient for us. We were surrounded by gardens, orchards, the river was flowing nearby, and there was a slaughterhouse not far away. The Germans rarely visited this place, so our life was peaceful…” Even before the creation of the ghetto, Jewish children would stop by the Płaksej home for a bowl of hot soup and a brief respite from the cruelty of daily life under occupation.
Her father, Paulina recalled, “was a very religious person, and he believed that you should always help a man, your fellow creature, as our religion has it. The Jewish victim was not simply a Jew, but your fellow, a human being, wasn’t he?”
It has been many years since a president as sympathetic to Israel as Donald Trump has inhabited the White House. Trump is not held hostage by political correctness and is able to tell the difference between good and evil. Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, Trump does not adhere to the belief that Israel is the source of the Middle East conflict.
The U.S. Embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem, the support for Israel at the United Nations and the firm stance against the Iranian threat are just a sampling of the support and concern the Trump administration has shown for the State of Israel. This support and assistance will be even more necessary at a time when Russia and Iran are entrenching themselves in Syria, right on our northern border.
Trump’s support for Israel is not about getting the Jewish vote. Most secular, Reform and Conservative Jews in the U.S. are loyal Democrats. In the 2016 election, they supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who was expected to continue the policies of Obama, a man hostile to Israel for its supposed victimization of the Palestinians. You can no longer accuse these Jews of dual loyalty: They have relinquished their allegiance to Israel. In contrast, Orthodox Jews did vote for Trump, clearly understanding that his election was in the interests of the Jewish state.
One can safely assume Trump is very disappointed by the hostile treatment he has received from many U.S. Jews over his pro-Israel actions. The Jewish Left in the U.S. as well as in Israel is unable to recognize the good in someone who thinks differently from them. The petty politics of left-wing liberal Jews are serving to unravel historic Jewish solidarity.
US President Donald Trump urged the international community to isolate Iran on Tuesday, during a combative address before the United Nations General Assembly, in which he accused the Tehran regime of sowing “death and destruction.”
Ahead of the administration’s plans to reimpose harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic on November 5, which could also include sanctioning America’s European allies that do business with Tehran, the president denounced the Iranian regime’s bellicose activities in the region as indicating the need for a tougher posture.
“We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons,” Trump said, citing Iran’s “threatening Israel with annihilation” and chants of “death to America.”
“Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction,” he added. “We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues and we ask all nations to support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.”
‘Principled realism’ in the cause of peace: Full text of Trump’s speech to UNGA
Just as I slammed Trump’s tweet today on Iranian President Rouhani, I applaud the incredible section from his UN speech just now calling out the crimes of this murderous regime. pic.twitter.com/NnCFkFzdk0
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) September 25, 2018
Israeli officials on Tuesday praised US President Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly, while Palestinians and dovish US Jews decried the address as harmful.
In his combative address, Trump urged the international community to isolate Iran, defended his administration’s steps to leave the UN Human Rights Council and move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and rejected “globalism” in favor of “patriotism.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said it has been some time since there was a world leader who understood the Middle East as well as Trump.
“We saw an impressive speech today by US President Donald Trump at the club of hypocrites and sycophants called the ‘United Nations,’” Lieberman tweeted.
“For years there has not been a leader on the world state that understands the Middle East, deals with the Iranian threat and lays down red lines for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad,” he said, adding that he hoped world leaders “will listen and internalize” Trump’s speech.
Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a statement that “the president proves again that the US is on the right side of history.”
“While standing on the side of Israel in the struggle for stability in the Middle East, the United States leads the United Nations into a new era that ends its obsession with Israel, and pushes back against the Iranian regime,” he added.
The dovish Jewish US lobbying group J Street slammed Trump for his “bellicose and extreme rhetoric” and for advancing a “dangerous agenda” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The US will pursue a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that breaks with traditions from past diplomatic efforts, President Donald Trump told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Addressing the body for the second time, Trump defended his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a move in advancement of peace. The policy announcement in December prompted a rare rebuke of the US from General Assembly members.
“The United States is committed to a future of peace and stability in the region, including peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Trump said. “Middle East peace, Trump argued, is “is advanced, not harmed, by acknowledging the obvious facts.”
“America’s policy of principled realism means we will not be held hostage to old dogmas, discredited ideologies,” he told the gathering, supported by ” so-called experts who have been proven wrong over the years, time and time again.”
Trump spoke only briefly on his peace effort, repeating his commitment to ending the storied conflict. He referred to Israel as “a thriving democracy in the holy land.” The president’s top Mideast diplomats are in New York this week participating in high-level meetings between the president and regional leaders.
In his remarks, Trump also mentioned the emergence of a “regional strategic alliance” around common strategic interests, noting how many countries in the Middle East supported his decision to withdraw from a nuclear deal with Iran brokered by the UN Security Council.
“The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders,” Trump said. “Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations.”
Months after the UN General Assembly voted to rebuke Donald Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the president on Tuesday warned the world to brace for more policy changes that would rile the status quo of a conflict that has been frozen for decades.
Trump’s second speech to the international body only briefly touched on Middle East peace. But what he said was telling and reflective of recent comments from members of his peace team, who are beginning to preview a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace that will buck conventional norms that have long governed the process.
The president was channeling Jared Kushner, his son-in-law leading the peace effort, who in an interview with The New York Times earlier this month said the administration was intentionally slaughtering sacred cows of the conflict in order to disrupt the discussion.
“There were too many false realities that were created — that people worship — that I think needed to be changed,” Kushner said on the anniversary of the signing of the Oslo accords.
Similarly, the president in his speech said the aim of peace “is advanced, not harmed, by acknowledging the obvious facts.”
“America’s policy of principled realism means we will not be held hostage to old dogmas, discredited ideologies, and so-called experts who have been proven wrong over the years, time and time again,” Trump told the gathering.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that former US president Barak Obama intended to force Israel into a resolution regarding settlements in 2016, Sputnik News reports on Monday.
According to Lavrov, the US sought to impose “artificial parameters and the outcome of negotiations.”
“Russia did not support this initiative,” he claimed,as it believed it would have no real impact.
Russia also didn’t wish to be seen as aiding the Obama administration in locking the upcoming Trump administration into a fixed binding position, he said.
The Russian position in December 2016, he said, was that conditions for direct negotiations between the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority need to be established.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will concentrate on the Iranian issue in his upcoming speech to the UN General Assembly. At the same time, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to deliver an especially aggressive address a few hours before.
According to the Hebrew news site Walla, Netanyahu will make his speech on Thursday before the full Assembly, and will focus on Iran, especially its nuclear ambitions, threats to annihilate Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself against such threats. The speech is not expected to concentrate heavily on the conflict with the Palestinians.
Officials in Jerusalem expect Abbas’ speech a few hours before Netanyahu’s to be quite different. They believe he will deliver an extremely aggressive address that will denounce both Netanyahu and President Donald Trump.
Abbas will also hold meetings on the sidelines of the assembly that are expected to concentrate on persuading various world leaders to oppose Trump’s recent actions on the Palestinian issue, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US embassy there, and cutting off funds to the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.
Netanyahu will also meet with Trump on the sidelines of the General Assembly, the fifth meeting between the two men and the first since Trump decided to withdraw the US from former president Obama’s nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday said Israel was the greatest threat to world peace, and responded to a fiery speech by US President Donald Trump by claiming the United States was plotting to overthrow Tehran’s regime.
“The innumerable crimes of Israel against the Palestinians would not have been possible without the political and military assistance” of the US, Rouhani charged in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
He accused Israel of “blatantly threatening others with nuclear annihilation” and said the Jewish state constitutes “the most daunting threat to regional and global peace.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi will meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week, a senior Israeli official told Reuters Monday.
According to Akhbar el-Yom, Sissi is expected to tell the Israeli leader that a two-state solution should be part of any future US peace agreement and that the plan should include the principles that were part of previous negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Channel 10 news reports.
Sissi is also likely to raise the same issues with US President Donald Trump during their expected meeting.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is predicted to use his speech to the UN Thursday to urge the international community to either save the two-state solution or take responsibility for its demise and “burial,” unnamed Palestinian sources told London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat Friday.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday that the kingdom believes a two state solution is the only path to peace and that the international community must continue to support the Palestinian refugee agency recently defunded by the Trump administration.
“The international community must bear its responsibility to provide the support required by UNRWA in order to continue to provide services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in the fields of education, health and relief,” said the Jordanian king.
Meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the two also discussed the strategic partnership between their two countries and the royal reaffirmed his position that a future Palestinian state should have East Jerusalem as its capital.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to use his speech to the UN tomorrow to urge the international community to either save the two-state solution or take responsibility for its demise and “burial,” unnamed Palestinian sources told London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat Friday.
The sources said Abbas’s appeal for an international peace conference will be his final effort to save the peace process before he is forced to make “difficult decisions.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday accused the UN Security Council of “standing idle” to the “massacre” of Palestinians and vowed to protect Jerusalem “even if the whole world turns its back.”
“The massacres in Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, recently in Myanmar, and in Palestine as we speak have all taken place before the eyes of the United Nations Security Council,” Erdogan said in his speech to the UN General Assembly.
Though he didn’t explicitly name the United States, Erdogan decried recent aid cuts to the Palestinians by US President Donald Trump’s administration.
“Those who remain silent against the oppression of the Palestinians, who reduce the humanitarian assistance to them, are only increasing the courage of the oppressors,” Erdogan said.
“Even if the whole world turns its back, we, Turkey, will continue to be on the side of the oppressed Palestinians and will protect the historical and legal status of… Jerusalem,” he added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that he will defend Jerusalem from Israeli “invaders” and against those who carry out “state terror” against the Palestinians.
In a speech to the TURKEN foundation in New York, the Turkish leader also said he would continue his diplomatic battle with Israel and the US over the future of the Israeli capital, according to the Anadolu news agency.
“We will not abandon Jerusalem, our first qiblah [Islamic direction of prayer], to invaders and those who perform state terror on Palestinians,” he said.
Erdogan, who is in the US for the United Nations General Assembly, added that Turkey will continue its struggle against “the US and Israeli governments’ breaches of the holy city at the ‘highest-level’ in diplomacy,” the agency quoted him as saying.
According to a Hebrew media report last week, Israel and Turkey are holding back channel talks in a bid to restore the all-but-severed diplomatic relations between the two nations.
.@amnestyusa Thanks for taking a break from never once mentioning Maduro to speaking out on this. As the once iconic organization for prisoners of conscience, your advocacy on this candidate is clearly why you enjoy U.S. tax-free 501(c)(3) status. https://t.co/wABO7jDJaD
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) September 25, 2018
Donors from around the world have raised over $1 million for the family of Ari Fuld, an American-Israeli father of four who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank last week. Nearly 10,000 people have donated to the fund.
The online fundraising GoFundMe page describes Fuld as a “fallen lion” and says that all the money will go directly to the family, before adding that “Ari did so much for Israel, we would like to do something for him.”
Fuld, 45, was killed outside the Harim Mall at the Etzion Junction in the West Bank, south of Jerusalem. A resident of the nearby Efrat settlement, he managed to chase down and shoot his assailant before collapsing.
The killer was named as 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin of Yatta, a village south of Hebron. He was moderately wounded after being shot and taken to an Israeli hospital.
Israeli and Palestinian medical sources on Tuesday said the initial results of an autopsy of a Palestinian who died in Israeli military custody last week did not indicate he had been beaten to death.
Muhammed Khatib, 24, died last Tuesday after Israel Defense Forces soldiers arrested him during a raid on Bayt Rima, a village near Ramallah in the West Bank.
“The first results of the autopsy show he was hit in his chest, thigh and back, but not in a manner severe enough to have led to his death,” a Palestinian medical source said.
An Israeli medical source confirmed that the initial results of the autopsy did not indicate Khatib was beaten to death. In contrast to the Palestinian source, however, the Israeli source said the results did not show the IDF beat Khatib at all.
“The examination of his body did not reveal any signs he was hit,” the Israeli source said.
A Palestinian man was killed and at least 90 wounded in protests near the Gaza Strip border, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said Monday evening.
It said at least 10 were wounded by live fire, and that one was in critical condition.
The Israeli military said thousands of Palestinians rioted on beaches near the border in the north of the coastal enclave, while Palestinian vessels had also staged a “riot at sea” close to the maritime border.
The military said soldiers “attempted to stop the vessels from approaching by firing into the air and near the vessels in accordance with standard operating procedures.”
Meanwhile nine fires erupted Monday near Israeli communities in the Gaza periphery. All were caused by incendiary balloons flown over the border by Palestinians.
Firefighters managed to bring the blazes under control, including near Be’eri, Kissufim, Nir Yitzhak and Nahal Oz.
Ahed Tamimi, the PA teenager from the village of Nabi Saleh who served an eight-month prison sentence for attacking IDF soldiers, visited France in order to increase public support for the “Palestinian cause” and opposition to Israel.
In a video in which she summarizes her impressions of the visit, Tamimi says, “When I arrived in France I saw how much people loved us and supported us and how they were interested in the Palestinian cause and the liberation of Palestine. That made me very happy. “
“We want the next generation to be liberated like everyone else in the world. Palestine is the land of peace that has never experienced peace. It was important to meet with official figures so they would exert pressure on Israel.” she adds.
Speaking during her visit in France, Tamimi presented the true goal of the “Palestinian cause.”
“Our goal is not only to remove the settlement in Nabi Saleh, our goal is to remove the occupation, all of it, the large settlement, which is Israel.”
The Gaza Strip’s economy is in “free fall,” a report from the World Bank warned Tuesday, calling for urgent action by Israel and the international community to avoid “immediate collapse.”
According to the report, Gaza’s economy contracted by 6 percent in the first quarter of 2018. It said unemployment is now over 50% — and over 70% among Gaza’s youth.
The World Bank cited various factors, starting with Israel’s decade-long blockade against the territory’s Hamas rulers, for the precarious downturn. It also cited budget cuts by the rival Palestinian Authority and a reduction in international aid to the Palestinians, particularly from the United States.
“A combination of war, isolation, and internal rivalries has left Gaza in a crippling economic state and exacerbated the human distress,” said Marina Wes, the World Bank’s director for the region.
Israel says the blockade, also imposed by Egypt, is in place in order to prevent weapons and other military equipment from entering the Strip. Hamas, an Islamist terror group, seized control of Gaza from the PA in 2007.
The head of the UN agency providing aid to Palestinian refugees warned that schools and health centers may be forced to close within weeks if funding to make up for a $185 million shortfall is not found.
The UN Relief and Works Agency has raised alarms several times over the last several months that it will have to cut back services after the US cut aid to the agency.
UNRWA head Pierre Krahenbuhl said the agency had enough money in the bank to make it to mid-October.
“But it’s clear that we still need approximately $185 million to be able to ensure that all of our services, education system, health care, relief and social services and our emergency work in Syria and Gaza in particular can continue until the end of the year,” he said, according to Reuters.
On Monday, 13,000 UNRWA employees in Gaza held a one-day strike to protest pay cuts and dismissals caused by a massive financing shortfall as a result of US funding cuts.
Schools, clinics, and food distributions were halted and workers threatened a “harsher” surge in protests if the agency didn’t rescind cuts by Thursday.
The report by the Russian Defense Ministry about Syria’s downing of the Russian spy plane in Latakia last week – which blamed Israel – ignores the findings of the investigation conducted in Israel and presented by the Israel Air Force chief in Moscow. The report was intended to fabricate excuses to the Russian public about the failures of its forces deployed in Syria.
The proof that the Russian officers in the Khmeimim Air Base did not read the battle correctly is the fact that the first message they sent to the Defense Ministry in Moscow was about missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean at Syrian army targets in Latakia. Another blunder was that the Russians did not provide its Syrian allies with the electronic signals which identifies their planes as Russian.
Moreover, the Russian officers who jointly operate the Syrian air defenses failed to properly supervise the Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Russian officers were there and they can surely recognize Russian planes, but someone failed in their professional responsibility.
The Russian claim that the Israeli F-16s approached Latakia as the Russian spy plane was about to land at Khmeimim Air Base is an outright lie and the Russians were given photographic evidence to prove it. At the time of the plane’s downing, all the Israeli planes were already in Israeli airspace and the only target the Russians and the Syrians saw on their radar was the Russian plane.
Both Jerusalem and Washington warned Russia on Monday evening against its declared intention to provide the Syrian military with advanced surface-to-air missiles within two weeks, saying the move would further destabilize the region and increase already high tensions.
Israel’s high-level security cabinet was set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the latest developments involving ties with Russia, in the aftermath of last week’s downing of a Russian plane by Syrian anti-aircraft fire during an Israeli airstrike.
Russian President Vladimir Putin informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the decision to provide Syria with the S-300 system in a phone call Sunday.
In response, according to a statement by Netanyahu’s office, “The prime minister said providing advanced weapons systems to irresponsible actors will magnify dangers in the region, and that Israel will continue to defend itself and its interests.”
Concurrently US National Security Adviser John Bolton said Russia’s decision was a “major mistake” that would cause a “significant escalation” of tensions. He urged Moscow to reconsider.
Channel 10 News quoted a senior American official who noted that the system could endanger US Air Force jets operating against Islamic State in Syria.
“Bringing more anti-aircraft missiles into Syria won’t solve the Syrian army’s unprofessional and indiscriminate firing of missiles and won’t mitigate the danger to aircraft flying in the area,” the unnamed official said.
Russia made the announcement following last week’s downing of a Russian plane by Syria in a friendly fire incident that killed 15 Russia soldiers. The Russian military’s reconnaissance Ilyushin Il-20 was shot down by Syrian missile defense systems responding to an Israeli airstrike.
The IDF will continue to strike at Iranian target in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Russia announced plans to transfer to Syria an advanced anti-missile system known as the S-300.
“Israel has been very successful in the last three years in preventing Iran’s military buildup in Syria as well as its attempts to deliver lethal weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Netanyahu said.
He spoke before departing for New York where he plans to meet with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the General Assembly, for what will be their fifth, face-to-face encounter.
Russian plans with regard to the S-300, which the US also opposes, will be an important part of that conversation. Israel fears that the S-300, will make it more difficult for the IDF to execute air raids against Iranian targets.
The decision to transfer the S-300 comes after a Russian war plane was shot down in Syria on September 17, leading to the loss of 15 Russian military personnel. Russia has blamed Israel, while Israel in turn has accused Syria and Iran of downing the plane.
Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone on Monday night and agreed to continue their security coordination in Syria.
Russia’s announcement on Monday that it would be upgrading Syria’s air defenses with its formidable S-300 system within two weeks marked the latest nadir in Israel’s rapidly spiraling relationship with Moscow since the downing by Syria of a Russian spy plane off the Syrian coast last week.
In addition to supplying Syria with the S-300, Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu also said Monday that Russia would “jam satellite navigation, on-board radars and communication systems of combat aircraft attacking targets in Syria.”
But the greater threat is not the specific tactical hurdle that the system poses for the Israeli Air Force, but rather that this episode could lead to a breakdown of Israel’s relationship with Russia.
Not since the 1960s and 1970s has Israel had to contend with an antagonistic Moscow actively working against Israeli interests. Though Russia today indeed supplies weapons to many of Israel’s enemies — including S-300 batteries to Israel’s arch-nemesis Iran — the general understanding in Israel is that this isn’t personal, it’s business.
The current crisis has the potential to change that, depending on how it is handled by Israel, Russia and the United States.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday dismissed Iran’s threats of revenge after Saturday’s deadly attack at a military parade in southwestern Iran and said it was “ludicrous” for Tehran to allege US involvement.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday the attackers who killed 25 people at a military parade had been paid by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and that Iran would “severely punish” those behind the bloodshed.
The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards also accused the United States and Israel of involvement in the attack and said they should expect a devastating response.
Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that Iran’s threat did not give him any concern.
“We’ve been very clear that they shouldn’t take us on like that. And I am hopeful that cooler, wiser heads will prevail,” Mattis said.
“They’ve so far blamed at least three countries and I think one terrorist group. We’ll see how long the list goes. But it’d be good if they knew what they’re talking about before they started talking.”
A video purported to show three ISIS members on their way to Ahvaz to commit a terror attack emerged on Sunday in the wake of the attack in the southwestern Iranian city. The attack targeted a military parade of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that marked the Iran-Iraq war.
The video put out by the ISIS Amaq media shows three men in a vehicle. Two of them speak Arabic and one speaks Farsi. The video seems to have been made during the middle of the day, while the attack took place in the morning, which leaves questions about when it was made. The video further complicates the question of who carried out the attack. Initial accounts claimed the Ahwazi Democratic Popular Front had taken credit. The Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz also claimed on September 22 that any ISIS claims were not true. The Patritoic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahvaz also denied responsibility.
A statement by ISIS that accompanied the video reveals that they thought 100 Iranian forces were “killed and injured.” Some on social media have sought to compare photos that circulated of the dead perpetrators with the men in the video. But the photos are inconclusive. Two men appear similar, but one has more hair in his eyebrows than the man whose dead body was circulated on social media the day of the attack. Also the dead man wears a purple shirt whereas the men in the video wear fatigues.
In light of Mohammad bin Salman’s decision to recognize Israel’s right to exist, the rest of Saudi Arabia has announced its extreme displeasure at being forced to compromise their hatred of Jews for their hatred of Shiites.
Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, the Imam of the Saudi Grand Mosque railed, “We have arrived at an extremely unfortunate position where we are being forced to ally with Zionist pig-monkeys in order to repel the infidel Shiite dogs. We resent the fact that we must set aside our long and dearly cherished tradition of hating Jews, just so we can kill Shiite Majus more effectively.”
Another Saudi resident explained, “Everybody here knows that the Jews are our enemies, caused 9/11, and drink children’s blood, the obvious stuff. And now Mohammad bin Salman turns around and recognizes Israel? Are you kidding me? Next thing you know we’re going to allow them into the country or, God forbid, let them practice their religion. I hate Iranians as much as the next guy, but you’ve got to have some standards in life. This is like Sophie’s choice, but far worse!”
An organization that has a close relationship with Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum organized a flash mob in Israel to officially endorse the extremist Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting the Jewish state.
The flash mob was captured on video by the organization in question, Dream Defenders, and included one delegation member, activist and journalist Marc Lamont Hill, refer to the location where the video was shot, the Israeli city of Nazareth, as “Palestine.”
“We come to a land that has been stolen by greed and destroyed by hate,” stated Hill. “And we stand next to people who continue to courageously struggle and resist the occupation.”
The term “resistance” has been utilized by Palestinian groups to refer to terrorism targeting Israelis.
The Dream Defenders video, which can be viewed above, opens with one activist explaining that, “We are about to have a flash mob and specifically calling for a boycott, divestment and sanction of the state of Israel.”
Dream Defenders Co-Director Phillip Agnew, with whom Gillum has evidenced a close personal and professional relationship, leads the group in a song with the lyrics, “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it’s won.”
The video was taken during a January 2015 solidarity delegation to the Palestinian territories organized by Dream Defenders under the banner “Delegation to Palestine.”
After a German court on Tuesday slammed Kuwait Airways for its ban on Israeli passengers, it said practical issues prevented it from nixing the ban, the Lawfare Project NGO has reported.
Further, the High Court of Hesse said that even if the Israeli, whom Kuwait Airways refused to fly from Frankfurt to Bangkok in 2016, had a valid ticket, Germany only had an impact on the part of a flight within its borders, not stopovers in Kuwait or other destinations.
Despite the ruling, which the Lawfare Project had anticipated after an earlier hearing, the lawsuit itself brought criticism of Kuwait Airways from the German judiciary and the country’s political class.
The Lawfare Project uses legal methods to fight discrimination against Israelis and Jews.
The underlying basis of the case was that most Israelis are Jewish and that this meant the law amounted to an antisemitic law that violated German laws.
On September 6, the court indicated it accepted the Lawfare Project’s argument made by local German counsel Nathan Gelbart that the Kuwaiti ban “must not be applied in Germany as it contradicts important German values, including the value of friendship toward the State of Israel.”
It also said that as a general matter, the Israeli plaintiff’s contract, by purchasing a ticket, should be enforceable.
However, the NGO said the court “expressed doubts that in the event of a verdict against Kuwait Airways, the verdict would be respected…. Factually, the court said, the Israeli client would not be able to leave the first plane after it landed in Kuwait, because even the transit area of the airport is under the territorial integrity of Kuwait.
“Put simply, the court seems to have dismissed the claim because of the antisemitic reality that would prevent an Israeli leaving the plane when it stopped in Kuwait,” the Lawfare Project added.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank has long preferred snark over facts. As CAMERA has detailed, Milbank’s commentaries on Israel often omit essential context in favor of propagating conventional—and easily refutable—narratives. And his Sept. 21, 2018 column, “America’s Jews are watching Israel in horror,” offers ample proof.
In it, Milbank argued that Israel has “transformed” under its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Milbank claimed that under Netanyahu, the Jewish state has experienced: “the rise of ultranationalism tied to religious extremism, the upsurge in settler violence, the overriding of Supreme Court rulings upholding democracy and human rights, a crackdown on dissent, harassment of critics and nonprofits, confiscation of Arab villages and alliances with regimes — in Poland, Hungary and the Philippines — that foment anti-Semitism.”
Milbank even charged the Israeli government with “absolving Poland of Holocaust culpability” in exchange for “good relations.” Israel has, he claimed, given a “green light to extremism,” resulting in a deterioration in American Jewish support for Israel. America’s bipartisan pro-Israel consensus, Milbank says, has been eroded by Netanyahu, who is creating an “ultranationalist apartheid state.”
The absurdity of Milbank’s claim that a “crackdown on dissent” is occurring in Israel is belied by his own sources; he cites an Israeli far-left newspaper, Ha’aretz, as a source repeatedly in his column. Ha’aretz is frequently critical of the Netanyahu government. Indeed, Israel has a free press and dissent and disagreements are expressed both openly and often.
A caption under a photo by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency described the image of silhouetted figures holding a Palestinian flag and hurling stones as a pro-Palestinian partisan might: “Palestinians throw stones in response to Israeli forces’ intervention during an anti-occupation rally near the Gaza Strips [sic] northern border in Gaza City, Gaza on September 18, 2018.”
That same day, the same photo appeared in the New York Times, with essentially the same caption: “Palestinians threw stones in response to Israeli forces’ intervention during an anti-occupation rally near the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.”
Those who made out the tiny font of a photo credit that appeared at the bottom right of photo would know the image came from Anadolu. But even such keen observers would likely view the caption as coming from the New York Times — or at least, as being accurate. Neither appear to be the case.
The source of the caption matters. Anadolu has been dubbed as “the Turkish Government’s Propaganda Machine” by Vice and “Erdoğan’s propaganda machine” by Turkish journalists sheltering in Sweden and writing for the Stockholm Freedom Center. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s president, is notoriously anti-Israel. One might expect him to spin Palestinian violence as a “response” to Israeli “intervention,” as did Anadolu and then the New York Times.
But even the “world’s worst jailer of journalists” can be right sometimes. So was it the case on Sept. 18 that Palestinians were peacefully rallying when Israeli forces “intervened”? Is it true that this was merely an “anti-occupation rally”? Is it even true that the image was taken “near the Gaza Strip.”
I have noted on a number of occasions the Onion’s decline from humorous satire site to unfunny, anti-Israel propaganda site. And the latest example of this does not even pretend to be an attempt at humor.
That’s it. Just the photo and unfunny caption, reminiscent of something out of Electronic Intifada. No attempted clever word play or satire.
The budding legal cannabis market is on the verge of a global gold rush, but Israeli companies eager to benefit could miss out.
Valued at $9.5 billion in 2017, the global cannabis market is expected to be worth some $32 billion in 2022 and $57 billion by 2027, according to a recent report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics.
Accordingly, governments and companies around the world are battling for pole position, hungry to take advantage of the booming market being driven by increasing awareness of the medical benefits of cannabis and its greater use in treating and relieving symptoms of certain diseases, as well as the legalization of recreational cannabis use by a limited number of countries and US states.
Those who stand to benefit from the expanding cannabis market are indebted to an Israeli scientist.
In 1964, organic chemist Prof. Raphael Mechoulam became the first to isolate the THC and CBD compounds in the cannabis plant, which offer great potential for the treatment of pain and inflammation. THC is also the psychoactive substance in cannabis.
Since Mechoulam’s discovery over 50 years ago, Israel has continued to be the home of innovative cannabis research and development, with the Agriculture Ministry last year investing in thirteen biochemistry and medical cannabis research projects.
Today, approximately 70 Israeli companies are sitting on a potentially lucrative, cannabis goldmine – but it is a goldmine that has continued to remain untapped as the government stalls regarding the approval of medical cannabis exports for reasons that are not clear.
The brochure portrayed it as a divers’ paradise located along the Red Sea in Sudan. It was in fact one of the Israeli intelligence agency’s most audacious operations.
The stunning tale is set to become a Hollywood film, starring Ben Kingsley, Haley Bennett and Chris Evans (Kingsley also stars in another Mossad-centric film, 2018’s “Operation Finale” about the hunt for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann).
It dates to the early 1980s, when the Arous holiday resort and its around 15 beach houses became a prized spot for divers seeking access to Red Sea coral reefs in an unspoiled location.
“The fish came to nibble on the divers’ masks,” said Daniel Limor, who led Operation Brothers for Israel’s spy agency, Mossad.
As far as tourists and Sudanese authorities knew, the resort village was owned by Europeans who employed local residents.
They were unaware that Arous was a Mossad base to secretly evacuate 7,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel from refugee camps in Sudan.
The operation played out for four years, from 1981 to 1985.
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