UNESCO votes: No connection between Temple Mount and Judaism
In a 26-6 vote, UNESCO on Thursday gave its preliminary approval to a preliminary approval to a resolution that ignores Jewish ties to its most holy religious sites: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Another 24 nations abstained and two were absent all together.
Those countries who voted in support of Israel were: the United States, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany and Estonia.
The vote was taken by UNESCO’s 58-member Programme and External Relations Commission in advance of its ratification next Monday or Tuesday, by UNESCO Executive Board, made up of the same member states.
In advance of that vote, Israel’s Mission to UNESCO in Paris had given board members and international diplomats a brochure detailing the deep historical connections Judaism has to those sites, which are also holy to Christianity and Islam.
In the draft of the Executive Board resolution dated September 2016 that was shown to The Jerusalem Post, the Western Wall was mentioned twice in quotes. Otherwise it was referenced in the text by its Muslim name of the Buraq Plaza.
The text, however, does state that Jerusalem and its Old City walls is important to all three religions.
JPost Editorial: UNESCO on the Temple Mount
The sun rotates around the world. The world is flat.
There was never a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.
When people make foolish declarations with conviction they are usually motivated by a political agenda or religion or both.
The ongoing Palestinian campaign to erase Jewish ties to the holy places of Jerusalem falls under this category. Last October, the Palestinian Authority failed in its attempt to garner enough support in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for a resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and that mentions only Muslim ties to the site.
This October it will try again.
In April, UNESCO’s 58-member Executive Board met in Paris and adopted a resolution that spoke solely of Muslim ties to the Temple Mount.
The radical left gave Zionism a bill of divorce by cooperating with an Arria Formula Meeting of the United Nations Security Council on ‘Illegal Israeli Settlement” slated for Oct 14 at the United Nations, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said Thursday.
Lapid railed against far-left human rights organization B’Tselem and Peace Now, who are scheduled to speak at the forum later this month.
“They’re not even pretending that their goal is to influence the Israeli public,” Lapid said. “Instead, they decided to work with antisemitic BDS [boycott, divest and sanction] organizations to try to force Israel’s hand from the outside.”
The Yesh Atid chairman said the efforts will not succeed and Israel will not give up.
“Israel will decide its own fate. That’s why we established an independent state that is strong and secure. No one will dictate to us how to run our lives, certainly not transient organizations that are unwilling to accept the fact that Israeli society stopped listening to them,” he added.
Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend about the Palestinian effort to get the United Nations Security Council to support independence without first making peace. The Israelis want the Americans to keep their promises to prevent the UN from imposing a solution on Israel that will compromise its security and its rights. Speculation is rife that President Obama will use his last months in office to stick it to Netanyahu and Israel. But rather than reassure the Israelis, Kerry simply told Netanyahu that he and his boss are still thinking about it. He then leaked it to an anti-Netanyahu media outlet—the left-wing Haaretz—to ensure all of Israel got the message.
As it happens, the very next day, the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah Party gave Obama and Kerry plenty of food for thought. In the wake of a terrorist shooting in Jerusalem that took the lives of two Israelis, Fatah chose to honor the murderer as a “martyr” and called for a general strike and public mourning in his memory.
As Palestine Media Watch reported, Fatah’s official Facebook page praised the terrorist and spoke of his actions—which resulted in the murders of a 60-year-old woman as well as a policeman—as being permitted by the Koran. The gunman was shot dead by police before he could kill more Israelis, but that earned him the praise of the faction led by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, whom the U.S. government considers a “moderate” and a champion for peace.
The irony is that the killer was a member of the rival Hamas faction that rules Gaza. But rather than highlight the distinction between his party and the Islamists, Abbas’s Fatah is eager to show its supporters that they are just as supportive of the urge to spill Jewish blood. This latest incident is only the tip of the iceberg of Fatah support for terrorism. Abbas, who was extravagantly praised by President Obama for going to the Shimon Peres funeral last month, personally helped to incite the so-called “stabbing intifada” bloodshed by spreading blood libels about Israel harming the Temple Mount mosques and seeking to prevent shrines from being profaned by “filthy Jewish feet.”
NY Post Editorial: Why Israel fears Obama’s last days
It all has Israel’s friends nervous. That’s why 88 US senators last month wrote Obama urging him to recommit to “longstanding US policy” of blocking anti-Israel moves at the United Nations.
Let’s face it: Our president has long left questions over whether he truly has Israel’s back, as he claims. US-Israeli relations were bad from the start of his administration, and grew even worse with Obama’s Iran deal.
Bibi’s re-election last year plainly rankled Obama even more.
But the president’s views on Israel are as naïve as his views on Iran. Continued concessions to the Palestinians won’t make peace any more likely, or even make them less hostile to Israel — just as Obama’s never-ending goodies for Iran haven’t tamed that regime’s aggression.
Day in and day out, Obama continues to equate Palestinian terror with Israeli political moves, like maintaining settlements in the West Bank.
His team can even blink from blasting Palestinian violence. Last weekend, the State Department condemned a terrorist’s shooting spree in Jerusalem, which claimed two Israeli lives — without noting he was Palestinian.
We don’t expect Obama to see the light this late in the game. But if he moves to grab another “legacy” item at Israel’s expense, he’ll only further set back hopes for any progress on the Israeli-Arab front.
Longstanding US policy sees all of Jerusalem, not just the post-’67 neighborhoods, as not being under Israeli sovereignty. Israel’s media glides over this; criticism of “construction in east Jerusalem” is news. The fact that the item was not even near headline status is but another as aspect of the “peace media” hiding newsworthy themes.
The US State Department’s October 5 harsh statement, claiming that “it is disheartening that while Israel and the world mourned the passing of President Shimon Peres, and [President Obama]… prepared to honor one of the great champions of peace, plans were advanced” to construct homes for Jews in the Shiloh Bloc, was almost celebrated in media circles. Many highlighted the “humiliation” of Netanyahu.
No one, however, informed Israel’s public that actually, Obama had double-crossed Israel by canceling the 2004 Bush-Sharon letter (which contradicted the Oslo Accords’ ARTICLE XI 1) which explicitly recognized the reality that “a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949” was not to be and that only “a small number of villages in Samaria” would need to be relocated even though “limitations on the growth of settlements” were included. Would Israel’s “peace media” embarrass Obama? The media is so “peace agenda” oriented that no one, at least in recent memory, has ever assigned an investigative reporter to find out how Peace Now obtains its information on upcoming construction plans in areas beyond the Green Line. We can recall the sharp slap the media elite awarded Channel 2’s Uvda program for exposing extreme left-wing activity in the disputed territories and the perhaps criminal behavior of Ezra Nawi back in January.
Control of language remains a powerful weapon for those promoting the “peace” agenda. In a recent lecture in Canada, Professor Richard Landes, a Bar-Ilan University Fellow, noted that the terms “right wing,” “left wing” or “moderate” are terms that are “just not descriptive of reality, it’s actually dysfunctional and makes it hard to understand the political realities we’re dealing with.”
Israel’s media still holds Israel’s citizens hostage to the perspective of a Peres “peace” and “new Middle East.”
Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban, a close friend and major donor of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, expressed concern that she was not doing enough to win the Jewish vote, according to a new email released by WikiLeaks.
In an email sent to senior Clinton staffer Huma Abedin in June of 2015, Saban wrote that, due to a drop in Jewish support for the U.S. president, “she needs to differentiate herself from Obama on Israel” and that this could be done without criticizing the president.
Saban advised Clinton to “speak strongly against anti-Semitism, and [the] boycott” and “reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security [and] anything else your research tells you the Jewish community is sensitive to.”
Saban also noted then-Republican primary candidate Senator Marco Rubio’s attempt to woo Jews in his home state of Florida, emailing a Clinton staffer a quote in which Rubio promised that if elected president, he would “do whatever it takes to help the people of Israel survive and prosper as a Jewish state.”
“Let’s not allow them [Republicans] to steal the Jewish vote from us,” Saban wrote.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 called the election of Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood leader a “milestone” for Egyptian democracy and offered covert police and security help, according to declassified State Department documents.
A nine-page document, once-labeled “Secret,” listed talking points for Clinton’s meeting with newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on July 14, 2012. The talking points said Morsi’s election was a key step toward popular democracy in the strategic North African state.
“We stand behind Egypt’s transition to democracy,” the heavily-redacted Clinton talking points state, adding that the only way to maintain a strong Egypt is “through a successful transition to democracy.”
The first key objective of the meeting was for Clinton to “offer our congratulations to Morsi and to the Egyptian people for this milestone in Egypt’s transition to democracy.”
Clinton then was meant to offer Morsi American technical expertise and assistance from both the U.S. government and private sector to support his economic and social programs.
A Saudi Arabian lobbyist in the US has called for “a collaborative alliance” between Riyadh and Jerusalem based on regional and economic interests, citing “a historic opportunity” for a new era of peace and prosperity.
Salman al-Ansari, president of the recently established Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee in Washington DC, wrote in The Hill on Tuesday that Israel is uniquely situated to assist its neighbor in its economic development in the coming years.
Israel, he noted, was “one of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced countries in the field of mining,” as well as “a world leader in the water engineering industry” — both matters of significant interest to the developing Arab Kingdom.
Israel and Saudi Arabia have no formal ties. However, it has long been rumored that the two countries have held clandestine discussions on matters of regional security, and talk of warming relations has proliferated in recent months.
Perhaps the chief incentive for such a thaw is the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers — a deal that leaves Riyadh concerned over its position in the Middle East.
Al-Ansari stressed that the two nations share security concerns, with both “facing constant threats from extremist groups that are directly supported by the totalitarian government of Iran.”
Israel and Turkey on Thursday agreed to open discussions on building a gas pipeline to pump Israeli gas to Europe, as the Israeli energy minister made the first ministerial visit since a crisis in ties.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz met his Turkish counterpart Berat Albayrak in Istanbul, the highest level official meeting since the two countries normalized ties in June after a 2010 crisis triggered by Israel’s deadly storming of a Gaza-bound aid ship.
Until the 2010 crisis, NATO member Turkey had been Israel’s key ally in the Muslim world, and the process to normalize relations was strongly backed by the United States.
Hailing his visit as the start of economic benefits of normalization, Steinitz said they agreed to start examining the feasibility of building an undersea gas pipeline to pump Israeli gas to Turkish consumers and on to Europe.
“What we decided is to establish immediately a dialogue between our two governments… in order to examine the possibility and the feasibility of such a project,” he said.
Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold on Thursday announced his surprise resignation, citing “personal reasons.”
Hebrew media reports cited senior Israeli officials saying Gold quit mainly because he was frustrated over having been relegated to deal with Africa and left out of the country’s most important foreign policy matters.
A native of Connecticut and longtime confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gold is quitting the Foreign Ministry after 16 months during which he oversaw several diplomatic achievements.
“I thank the prime minister for the trust he has placed in me and will continue to make myself available for any mission imposed on me in the future,” Gold, 63, said in a statement. “The position of director-general of the Foreign Ministry was the personal and professional peak of the many years which I have served on the diplomatic front.”
Netanyahu thanked Gold for his “great contributions” to Israel’s diplomatic standing in the world, including in Africa and the Middle East. “Dore has been with me for 25 years and I am convinced he can be recruited to any mission, at any time of need,” he said.
Rina Ariel expressed outrage in light of a publication in Yisrael Hayom according to which the Hebrew University is allowing students to volunteer at the Center for the Defense of the Individual in exchange for a scholarship.
“We are in shock. Everything that strengthens the terrorists and their families is horrible. I don’t understand the rationale of the Hebrew University,” said Rina Ariel, mother of Hallel Ariel who was killed by a terrorist. Ariel’s statement was in light of an advertisement in Yisrael Hayom which stated that Hebrew University students are allowed to volunteer at The Center for Defense of the Individual in exchange for a NIS 1,000 scholarship which is funded by foreign organizations and in exchange for academic credit.
The organization appealed to the Supreme Court against the demolition of terrorist houses. The organization describes itself as a human rights organization which “helps Palestinian residents of the occupied territories whose rights were infringed upon by the state of Israel.”
Matan Peleg, director of the Im Tirzu organization, said, “our hearts are with the destroyed families who are receiving a slap in the face from academia.”
In response, the Hebrew University released a statement saying “it is the duty of societal institutions to challenge national policy and the government.”
A Border Police officer and Israel Police officer were lightly injured when their vehicles were hit by a car as it sped through a checkpoint outside of Jerusalem, according to officials.
Police said the suspect was a car thief. Earlier, police had said they were investigating the cause of the crashes at al-Za’im junction, between Jerusalem and the Maale Adumim settlement, to determine if the incident was a terror attack.
The two officer, both in their forties, received treatment on the scene from the Magen David Adom ambulance service, before being taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, an MDA spokesperson said.
The vehicle had approached the checkpoint “quickly,” from the a-Tur neighborhood of Jerusalem, traveling against traffic, police said.
When the driver saw that Border Police had set up a roadblock, he slammed his car first into a police cruiser and then into a Border Police officer’s jeep, police said.
The Israel Defense Forces and police arrested 11 Palestinians in East Jerusalem and across the West Bank during the Yom Kippur holiday, from Tuesday to Wednesday night, officials said.
Nine more Palestinians were arrested in raids on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, the army said.
The suspects were allegedly involved in an array of incidents.
These ranged from a gunfire exchange with IDF troops (in which no one was injured) to handling funds for the Hamas terror group to rock throwing, according to the police and military.
A 20-year-old Arab man who threw firebombs at border police during a riot in southeast Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood was shot dead shortly after Yom Kippur commenced on Tuesday night, as police responded to two other riots in Arab areas in the capital.
According to police, rioting broke out in Isawiya, Jebl Mukaber and Silwan less than an hour after Judaism’s holiest day began.
“Arabs living in these neighborhoods threw petrol bombs and rocks at officers who responded to a dangerous and life-threatening situation,” said Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld on Wednesday night.
“One resident in Silwan, who threw a petrol bomb at officers at close range, was injured critically and died. Police attempted to treat him for his injury, but local residents removed his body from the scene and he died a short time later.”
The dead man was identified in Arab media as Silwan resident Ali Atef Ebrahim Shoyoukhi, 20, who was released from prison earlier this year after serving a 15-month sentence.
A Palestinian man living in the north of Israel was arrested Wednesday for posting photos to social media that police say incited violence against Israelis.
In a Facebook post, the man, 25, a former resident of the West Bank who currently lives in Nazareth Illit, praised suicide attacks, police said in a statement Thursday.
Alongside images of suicide attackers, the post included a picture of the man holding an M16 rifle. The accompanying message praised suicide attackers for their actions, police said.
During his initial interrogation, the man admitted to posting the message, the police statement added.
Israeli authorities say such incitement is a main cause of a wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks over the past year.
Charges were filed against three ISIS sympathizing Arab-Israeli men accused of attempting to build a tunnel from the Arab town of Tayibe across the Green Line into the West Bank, according to the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) Thursday.
The cell were “inspired by ISIS” and acted voluntarily, according to the release. Their plan was discovered while in its infancy, the cell had only managed to dig a few meters before being discovered.
If completed, the investigation revealed that the group had intended on using the tunnel for weapons smuggling into Israel, and “prepare for judgement day.”
One of the suspects had previously been detained in Turkey when attempting to cross over into Syria and participate in the ongoing civil war. Another had planned in recent months to arrive in Syria across the sea on an improvised pedal board.
The UN secretary general’s special advisor on sport Wilfried Lemke has been lobbying on behalf of the PA soccer association ban Israeli teams from Judea and Samaria, and sent FIFA a letter advising that all Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is illegal, which includes Jewish soccer teams.
Jibril Rajoub, President of the PA soccer association, has warned the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) that if it would not suspend six Israeli teams from the liberated territories, he’d take the association to court. That’s the Court of Arbitration for Sports conflicts, not the Criminal Court in the Hague, in case you were wondering.
Jibril Rajoub, whose history of terrorism goes back to 1968, and who spent a good chunk of his life in Israeli security prisons, was renowned as one of Chairman Arafat’s cruelest enforcers, when the PLO was invited by a Labor government supported by the Arab parties in Knesset to take over Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Starting in 1994, Rajoub served as head of Arafat’s Preventive Security Force until 2003, when Arafat appointed him his national security advisor. During his tenure, Rajoub was accused of using brutal force and harrassment to quash political dissent, including the frequent use of torture. Witnesses described him as shooting adversaries in their kneecaps in broad daylight.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential pardon on Wednesday, releasing officer Osama Mansour after a Ramallah military court sentenced him to a year in prison for publishing a Facebook post that was critical of Abbas. Abbas decreed that Mansour be retired from security forces instead of serving time in prison.
A PA military court in Ramallah sentenced Osama Mansour, a PA military liaison officer, to a year in prison and suspended his military rank for criticizing PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on social media for attending the Shimon Peres funeral, Ma’an reported.
Mansour’s son said earlier that his father’s sentence was awaiting final approval from Abbas. Mansour was charged with “disobeying orders” after being detained on Oct. 1 for publishing a post on his Facebook page asking Abbas not to attend the funeral.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Wednesday it believes a small plane that crashed in East Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday was intentional, and that the FBI would lead the investigation.
The twin-engine plane slammed into a utility pole and burst into flames on Tuesday near the headquarters of aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, killing flight student Feras Freitekh and leaving the instructor, identified as Arian Prevalla, with serious burns.
In a statement, the NTSB said its initial investigation indicated that the crash was “the result of an intentional act.”
Freitekh and Prevalla were the only people aboard the plane when it crashed at about 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) on Tuesday during flight training that originated at the Hartford-Brainard Airport, local police said.
The US military launched cruise missile strikes on Thursday to knock out three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a US Navy destroyer, US officials said.
The strikes, authorized by President Barack Obama, represent Washington’s first direct military action against suspected Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen’s conflict.
Still, the Pentagon appeared to stress the limited nature of the strikes, which were aimed at radar that enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the US Navy destroyer USS Mason since Sunday.
“These limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships, and our freedom of navigation,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said US Navy destroyer USS Nitze launched the Tomahawk cruise missiles around 4 a.m. local (0100 GMT).
“These radars were active during previous attacks and attempted attacks on ships in the Red Sea,” including the USS Mason, one of the officials said, adding the targeted radar sites were in remote areas where the risk of civilian casualties was low.
Amidst the unspeakable economic distress facing residents of Venezuela today, security experts have identified yet another major cause for concern emanating from this once prosperous, oil-rich nation: Iran is moving in, partnering with Venezuela’s prosperous drug traders and creating a foothold there, as well as in other “friendly” Latin American countries. Iran is laundering money in Latin America and presumably secretly plotting to accomplish a strategic long-term goal to penetrate the Western hemisphere.
Iran’s terrorist activities, its partnership with Venezuelan drug traffickers and the general criminal atmosphere affects the citizens of Caracas so much that people reportedly are fearful of even going to the store to wait in the endless lines for food.
In Venezuela, security analysts say, the corruption starts at the very top with President Nicolas Maduro himself, who is looking frantically for money in every crevasse to keep the nation and his presidency afloat. Reports estimate that in Venezuela one police officer dies every day and the number of homicides per capita in Caracas is the highest in the world.
National crime statistics, however, seem to be just the start: deeper and more alarming than the Venezuelan homicide toll, there appears to be an imminent threat to the entire Western hemisphere from partnerships between Venezuelan drug traffickers and terrorist networks like Hamas and Hezbollah, two groups that act a proxies for Iran.
Together, terrorism and illegal drugs represent a significant export for Venezuela. Iran and Venezuela partner together to move terrorist cells and drugs to hubs in the United States and throughout North America.
Republican lawmakers already leery of the Iran nuclear deal railed this week at new US Treasury Department guidelines indicating foreign companies will not be sanctioned for doing business with Iranian entities.
The updated guidelines, which were published last Friday, allow for business dealings inside Iran so long as the US financial system and Americans are not involved.
They also specified that transactions are permitted with blacklisted individuals and companies, including terrorists with whom US citizens are prohibited from doing business, if that person or entity maintains only a minority interest in those ventures.
Some have said the move amounts to a “loosening of sanctions,” like Eric Lorber, a senior associate at the Financial Integrity Network and an expert on economic sanctions and regulatory compliance. A Treasury Department official, however, told Bloomberg News the changes were not akin to further sanction relief.
Since the announcement was made, GOP senators have not only denounced the Treasury’s ruling but have questioned the legality of the administration’s ability to make such decisions unilaterally.
Three Iranian nationals were caught in Italy with forged Israeli passports, Channel 2 News reported Wednesday night.
Italy updated Israeli authorities on the incident and deported the three to Turkey via Serbia, according to the report.
Security officials are looking into possible connections between the three and attempts to carry out terror attacks against Israelis throughout the world.
In January two Iranians were arrested in India after attempting to board a flight using fake Israeli passports. The two were reported to be a married couple who had been living in India for the past several years and intended to use the fake passports to immigrate to the United States.
In 2014, two Iranians were arrested at an airport in Nairobi, Kenya, after attempting to enter the country using fake Israeli passports. They were sentenced under anti-terrorism laws to two years in prison and ordered to pay a large fine.
Ban Ki Moon Pressed on Hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia’s Role on UN Human Rights Council
As Saudi Arabia runs for reelection to the UN Human Rights Council, Ban Ki Moon is pressed on his legacy and the legitimacy of the UN he leaves.
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