Ben-Dror Yemini: An unreasonable ruling
It is possible, it is definitely possible, that the State of Israel should’ve allowed Lara Alqasem to enter the country from the outset. The damage that may have been done to Israel by denying her entry, as quite a few articles argued, sometimes exceeds the benefits of enforcing the law.
But with all due respect to the writers of these articles, article D(2) of the Entry Into Israel Law clearly states that: an entry permit will not be granted to someone who is not an Israeli national “if he, the organization or the body he acts on behalf of knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel.”
Alqasem headed a local chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine, the body that leads the boycott against the State of Israel, and whose heads reject the very existence of the State of Israel.
There is no argument that the government’s ministers acted in accordance with their authority. But the Supreme Court reversed the decision on Thursday because, in the opinion of the honorable justices, it is unreasonable: “Alqasem’s desire to study in Israel is in contradiction with the idea of boycotting Israel.” Excuse me?! Do these judges live in Israel? After all, Israel’s universities have both lecturers and students who support the boycott movement. And the boycott movement’s most prominent leader, Omar Barghouti, was, and perhaps still is, a student at Tel Aviv University. He’s travelling around the world and preaching for the eradication of Israel. Is his or Alqasem’s insistence to study at an Israeli university an indication of anything?
I could go on with more and more arguments mentioned in the decision, but there is not enough space to cover all of them. Because the problem with the ruling was and remains in the determination that the decision to deny Alqasem entry was unreasonable.
The range of reasonable responses is supposed to be broad. Very broad. Otherwise, the executive branch’s discretion should be revoked and transferred to the jurists. Some citizens would disapprove of the decisions made under the executive branch’s discretion. But if everything citizens—mostly if they belong to the media and academic elite—disapprove of becomes unreasonable, we could declare democracy dead. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Canadian taxpayer money may be finding its way to Hamas, a known and documented terrorist group. The Criminal Code of Canada forbids funding terrorism, as well as the facilitation of those funding terrorism.
But last Friday, Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Canada would send $50 million in the next two years to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This is in addition to the $110 million that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to UNRWA since 2016. UNRWA has been repeatedly accused of supporting extremism, promoting violence, and not checking beneficiaries against a list of known terrorists provided by the police.
The Canadian announcement made no reference to UNRWA’s alleged connections, and said the money is meant to help provide education and health services to Palestinians.
Funding UNWRA is not illegal in Canada, although given the agency’s reputation, it is a questionable use of taxpayer money. For instance, in August President Donald Trump withdrew $300 million in UNRWA funding. The US government would no longer “shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden of UNRWA’s costs,” a US State Department press release said, calling it an “irredeemably flawed operation.”
In addition to funding UNRWA, the Trudeau government gave millions of taxpayers’ dollars to Islamic Relief Canada. Some of this money is forwarded to Islamic Relief Worldwide (UK), which has been repeatedly linked to Hamas.
“I believe we are underestimating the potency and danger of the radicalizers who don’t carry knives, guns and overtly plot terrorist attacks but who pollute the minds of young Muslim men.” — Richard Walton, former head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command.
“I asked the guy who spoke to him if the de-radicalization program had worked and he said, ‘No, he’s got worse. He’s hardened. He speaks in the mind-set of the victim. He sees himself as a martyr the state tried to silence.'” — Fiyaz Mughal, head of the anti-extremist group Faith Matters.
Choudary is now considering mounting a legal challenge to the strict conditions of his release, according to the Telegraph. It reported that he has applied for legal aid funding, at taxpayer expense, to bring his action against government ministers, and arguing the parole conditions breach his human rights.
Several dozen Palestinians were injured in riots on Israel-Gaza Strip border on Friday, but it appeared a potential major escalation of violence was avoided.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said about 10,000 demonstrators massed at the border and that some threw burning tires, grenades and explosive devices at the troops across the fence.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza claimed 130 Palestinians were wounded in the disturbances.
In a tweet, the IDF said it had fired at a terror squad that had launched incendiary balloons into Israel.
Friday’s riots, however, were relatively small in size compared to other recent ones, a sign that tensions that have built up in the past few days might be easing.
On Thursday, Israel had ramped up armored forces along the Gaza border, a day after a rocket fired from the coastal enclave destroyed a home in Beersheba. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed “very strong action” if such attacks, as well border unrest, continued, and some Israeli politicians called for an extensive military operation in Gaza.
A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that Egyptian security officials had held separate meetings in the past few days with Israeli counterparts and Hamas leaders in an effort to prevent a further upsurge in violence.
A military aircraft fired toward a group of Palestinians on Saturday flying incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the Israeli army said.
There were no reports of injuries. Palestine media outlets said the strike destroyed a motorcycle in southern Gaza.
The airstrike came as flaming balloons launched from the coastal enclave started two fires in southern Israel. Firefighters were working to extinguish the blazes, which broke out at the Be’eri and Shokeda forests.
Another fire was later sparked in the Kissufim Forest by a burning balloon flown from Gaza, the Ynet news site reported.
A spokesman for the Fire and Rescue Services said balloons launched from Gaza started a total of four fires Saturday in the south.
Military forces also fired toward a group in Gaza on Friday launching incendiary balloons at Israeli territory as thousands of Palestinians took part in clashes along the border.
Watch what happens during this @FoxNews interview & ask yourselves this: Do these look like protests to you? Calling them that isn’t fake news, it’s just fake. There are 100s of Israeli families >1 mile from where @TreyYingst is standing & it’s our duty to protect them. pic.twitter.com/F2CftH1TS6
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDFSpokesperson) October 19, 2018
The big questions remain. None of the reasons that led Hamas, an Islamist terror group that wants to destroy Israel, to launch the protests — the blockade, Palestinian Authority sanctions, rage against the Jewish state — have gone away.
First, on the immediate tactical level, will Israel allow resumption of the transfer of Qatari-bought fuel into Gaza as early as Sunday, doubling power for the Strip’s residents from four to eight hours a day? And does Israel intend to take more steps to ease the humanitarian situation according to the UN’s plans? Gazans have understood from Egyptian mediators that the relative quiet of Friday will ensure such steps are taken.
A damage to the house that was hit by a missile fired from Gaza Strip, is seen in the city of Beersheba, southern Israel, Wednesday, October 17, 2018. (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)
And next week an even bigger hurdle will emerge: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to convene the PLO’s Central Committee to make a series of major decisions, including the potential complete halt of all PA funds to the Gaza Strip. Such a move would not only have significant implications for the Strip’s economy, but for Israel’s security situation as well.
But in the same spirit of cautious optimism that has prevailed over the last 24 hours, perhaps Egyptian pressure will succeed there as well, and Abbas will refrain from taking such drastic action.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee reemphasized its support for a two-state solution on Thursday as the Trump administration nears completion of a peace proposal that might stop short of recommending the establishment of a Palestinian state.
“AIPAC remains fully supportive of direct negotiations leading to a two-state solution — a Jewish state of Israel living in peace with a demilitarized Palestinian state,” the lobby said on Twitter and attached to the tweet its talking points on the two-state outcome.
An AIPAC spokesman would not comment on the tweet. AIPAC’S Twitter feed includes reiterations of its longstanding policies alongside commentary on the news of the day. AIPAC has backed the two-state outcome since the George W. Bush administration.
The talking points sheet attached to the tweet seems to be outdated: It begins, “Israel and the United States are committed to a two-state solution,” but that is no longer the case. The Trump administration and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retreated from a commitment to a two-state outcome in early 2017.
President Donald Trump said last month that a proposal for peace between Israel and the Palestinians should be ready by January. The drafters of the plan, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, his top Middle East negotiator Jason Greenblatt and his ambassador to Israel David Friedman, have taken pains to say that the plan will not necessarily endorse Palestinian statehood.
Israel should unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank in order to lay the groundwork for a two-state solution with the Palestinians and prevent terrorist attacks like Barkan from occurring again, says former deputy national security adviser Charles Freilich in his book Israeli National Security: A New Strategy for an Era of Change.
After 70 years and countless bloody wars as well as enemies with vast rocket and missile arsenals, Israel still does not have a formal national security strategy, because “prime ministers have intentionally avoided from doing it.” And while there have been efforts to adopt such a strategy, notably the 2006 Meridor Report, it remains classified.
In his new book Freilich delves into and combines an analysis of the military, diplomatic, demographic and societal challenges that Israel faces as well as recommendations for policy changes.
He then presents a detailed proposal for a long-term Israeli national security strategy with the most important policy recommendation is for Israel to find a way to reach an agreement with Palestinians and lay the groundwork for a two state solution by Israel unilaterally withdrawing from them.
According to Freilich, Israel’s control over the West Bank was to be a buffer zone between the Jewish State and Arab armies, but instead “Israel in effect annexed it and brought terrorism closer to Israel.”
That terror struck Israel on October 7 when two citizens were shot to death by a 23 year-old Palestinian at the Barkan Industrial Zone near the West Bank city of Ariel.
“That’s what a one-state solution looks like. That’s what happens when you mingle two sides who hates the other together,” Freilich told the Post. “We have to bring Jewish Israelis back into Israel so that they aren’t walking around with threats around them.”
Farley also stressed the substantive differences on foreign policy between her platform and Gillibrand’s, no more so than on the matter of Israel.
“She has turned her back on Israel to appeal to the liberal activist coalitions,” Farley said of her opponent. “She voted for the Iran nuclear deal, she voted against approving [David] Friedman as ambassador to Israel, and she voted against the Taylor Force Act.” Passed in March 2018, and named for the former US army officer murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv two years earlier, the Taylor Force Act withholds aid to the Palestinian Authority until it ends its policy of paying salaries and other benefits to imprisoned or dead terrorists and their families.
Farley also attacked Gillibrand over her ongoing association with Linda Sarsour, the Muslim-American activist whose profile looms large in New York’s progressive circles. Gillibrand, she said, “has been a very vocal supporter” of Sarsour, who is in turn known for her uncompromising support of the boycott campaign against Israel, as well as her insistence that “Zionists” are unwelcome in the feminist and broader progressive movement.
“Last week, Sarsour said that Senator Gillibrand was one of their ‘people on the inside’ in DC,” Farley stated. Gillibrand had also “quietly taken her name off” anti-BDS legislation before the Senate — “legislation I absolutely support, would vote for, and would get passed,” Farley added.
Farley credited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for opposing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which the Trump administration withdrew from in May. “Netanyahu showed that Iran wasn’t honoring the deal,” Farley said. “I supported the president getting out of the Iran deal, which effectively allowed Iran to develop nuclear weapons in the relatively near future.” Those weapons, she said, “would be pointed at Israel, they’d be pointed at the United States, they’d be pointed at New York. That’s why getting out of the deal was a good idea and why the sanctions on Iran are a good idea.”
It’s always good to have an 85 point plan…here’s Jewish Voice for Labour’s. Note the following:
Number 2: Campaigning against IHRA definition
Number 8 expose Labour Friends of Israel
Number 26 join Labour Against the Witch hunt
Number 29 Work with Moshe M for reform of LP disciplinary process
Number 35 Open talks with Yachad etc
Number 41 Marginalise Lansman’s stance on Israel in Momentum
Number 54 Roll out training to CLPs and TUs
Number 55 Develop antisemitism workshops
Number 76 Get members to stand for BoD
Two leading academic groups called on the University of Michigan to withhold from sanctioning instructors who refused to write letters of recommendation for students who sought to study in Tel Aviv.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the American Political Science Association (APSA) weighed in on the controversy stemming from a decision by tenured U-M professor John Cheney-Lippold, as well as graduate student instructor Lucy Peterson, to deny recommendations to students in compliance with the Palestinian-led boycott campaign against Israel.
Their response comes shortly after U-M Interim Dean Elizabeth Cole chided Cheney-Lippold in private correspondence for denying an academic opportunity to a student “because of your personal views,” and then “using the student’s request as a political platform to gain an audience for your own opinions, both in the media and in the classroom.”
Cole said the professor would be barred from receiving a raise during the current academic year or taking a sabbatical until the fall of 2020, and may be subject to additional sanctions — including the initiation of dismissal proceedings — for future violations.
Yet in a letter sent to U-M president Mark Schlissel on Tuesday, the AAUP — which counts some 45,000 members, and seeks to protect academic freedom — argued that “the imposition of severe sanctions” were not “preceded by an informal inquiry conducted by a duly constituted faculty committee,” per the group’s standards.
A 20-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Kfar Katna was arrested Saturday morning in the Israeli settlement of Har Adar near Jerusalem, allegedly just before committing a terrorist attack, according to a preliminary interrogation.
Initial investigations at the scene discovered a knife, and the suspect was remanded to security officials, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv.
This would not have been the first terrorist attack in Har Adar. In September 2017 a Palestinian from the West Bank village of Beit Surik opened fire on a security checkpoint at the entrance to the settlement, killing a member of the border police and two security guards. The settlement’s security officer was also critically wounded, and the assailant was shot dead at the scene.
Recent weeks have seen a rise in terror attacks from the West Bank. Two weeks ago, a Palestinian electrician employed at the Barkan Industrial Park murdered two fellow workers, and just a few days later, a Palestinian armed with a knife stabbed a reserves soldier near Nablus, moderately wounding him. The assailant in the latter incident was arrested, but Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, who carried out the Barkan attack, remains at large.
IDF troops operating in the northern West Bank village of Shuweika Saturday morning arrested a man suspected of aiding the escaped terrorist who killed two Israelis at the Barkan Industrial Zone earlier this month, Hadashot TV news reported, citing Palestinian media.
Earlier Palestinian media reported forces had surrounded a school under construction in the village, broke down its doors and called on the fugitive terrorist Ashraf Na’alowa to surrender.
Media reports also said soldiers fired tear gas canisters at Palestinians in the area, possibly in response to rioting.
The IDF confirmed it had operated in the village but would not give more details.
Troops on sweeps of the area Thursday hung posters throughout the nearby northern West Bank city of Tulkarem warning residents not to help the suspected terrorist evade capture.
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) October 20, 2018
Iran has delivered advanced GPS components to Hezbollah which will allow the terrorist group to make previously unguided rockets into precision guided-missiles, thus increasing the threat to Israel, Fox News reported Friday.
According to the media outlet, American and western intelligence services believe Iran has been increasing its shipments to Hezbollah, with one flight arriving in Beirut as recently as three days ago with the parts to convert weaponry at Iranian factories in Lebanon.
The existence of these factories was revealed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly last month. The Israeli military later released satellite images of three sites in Beirut that it said were being used by the Iran-backed terror group to hide underground precision missile production facilities.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun has said Netanyahu’s allegations are “baseless.”
Fox News tracked Iran’s Fars Air Qeshm flight number QFZ-9950, which departed Tehran International Airport on Tuesday at 9:33 a.m. before flying to an unknown destination, according to flight data. Later that same day, the Boeing 747 jet reportedly landed in Damascus before its final leg to Beirut.
Fliers blaming Jews for the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh appeared in seemingly random locations around the country last week.
“Every time some Anti-White, Anti-American, Anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it, and it’s Jews behind it,” the fliers read.
They showed an image of the judge surrounded by caricatures of Jewish senators with Stars of David drawn on their foreheads, as well as the Jewish billionaire George Soros, a frequent target of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
The fliers say they are “Brought to you by your local Stormer Book Club.”
The Anti-Defamation League has confirmed that the posters appeared on college campuses and at organizations in six states: California, Iowa, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Illinois. The organization behind them claims they put up the posters in seven additional states.
How did the fliers turn up in such a wide array of places and who put them up? JTA spoke with experts from the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, two civil rights organizations that do research on anti-Semitic and white supremacist groups.
What are Stormer Book Clubs?
Though the name implies a literature discussion group, that’s not exactly what the clubs are about. Organized by the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site founded by white supremacist Andrew Anglin, they promote spreading anti-Semitic propaganda and other bigoted messages.
Matti Friedman: A Train Ride Back to the Old Israel
Last month, the first section of a new high-speed rail line opened in Israel. When it’s fully operational a few months from now, passengers will board fire-engine-red carriages in Tel Aviv and be whisked on electrified track over the country’s longest bridge, then over its highest, and through the longest tunnel, and finally into a new station 260 feet under Jerusalem. The trip, about 35 miles, will take less than 30 minutes, making it, by a wide margin, the fastest way to get between the country’s two most important cities.
The line, more than a decade and many delays in the making, is the new Israel. Or at least what Israel would like to be: a place that can look any Western country in the eye. The Israeli train of 2018 is shiny, fast and travels in a straight line.
But progress has its victims. And here it’s the old country — a small, inefficient but compelling place that Israelis call the “good old land of Israel.”
The old Israel is represented in this case by the main casualty of the new train: the historic Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line, which has been running on and off since 1892 and isn’t likely to run much longer.
Like the old Israel, the old train is sporadically functional. It can take four times as long as the new service and twice as long as driving. It’s so impractical for most commuters that even before the appearance of its flashy rival, it was nearly empty much of the time. But the old train has a modest cult following, of which I’m a proud member, and I’d hate to see it pass from the world without proper tribute.
I’m writing these lines in the first carriage of the 10:57 a.m. from Jerusalem, winding down through the Sorek River Valley at the speed of a bicycle. In the winter months the landscape is as lush as Ireland, but now, at the end of a long summer, it’s dry olive-green and limestone under a pale blue sky.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had the audience laughing when she joked about both Jews and Iran at an event on Thursday night in New York City.
During her keynote speech at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in midtown Manhattan, Haley said, “I’m proud to be very close to the Jewish community. In fact, they gave me a nickname. Does anybody know what shiksa means?”
Haley later poked fun at the lack of free press in Iran saying, “They still think John Kerry is secretary of state.”
The annual dinner raises money for needy children in New York City. During her speech, Haley also made jibes about her Indian-American heritage, President Donald Trump and the current political climate in America.
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