November 24, 2017

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11/01 Links Pt1: Ahead of Balfour 100, UK enshrines Churchill’s headstrong case for Israel; The Terror Tunnels of Gaza

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2017/11/1101-links-pt1-ahead-of-balfour-100-uk.html

From Ian:


Bibi: ” Do Not Test the Will of the State of Israel or the Army of Israel.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara attended a memorial ceremony to honor the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fell during World War One. The ceremony is part of the events marking 100 years since the battle for Be’er Sheba. Also attending the ceremony were Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife and New Zealand Governor General Patsy Reddy and her husband.

Transcript of Bibi’s speech:
“Thank you, ANZAC soldiers and the families of the brave Aussies and Kiwis who fought here and died here.

Nearly 4,000 years ago, Abraham came to Be’er Sheba, the City of Seven Wells. Exactly 100 years ago, brave ANZAC soldiers liberated Beer Sheba for the sons and daughters of Abraham and opened the gateway for the Jewish people to reenter the stage of history. The heroism of your fallen men will never be forgotten. The brave soldiers who are buried here played a crucial role in defeating the Ottoman Empire, liberating the Holy Land, ending 400 years of Ottoman rule in one great dash.

This momentous occasion was a historic milestone in the natural kinship between our peoples. When I say natural, I don’t just mean the way we address life and each other, that easy informality, that warmth. That was evident from the moment our people met your people. I mean something deeper, because there’s a historical significance of what happened here. ANZAC soldiers went on to capture Jerusalem, Tiberius, Megiddo, then continued northward. They were actually retracing the footsteps of the heroes of the Bible. They were stepping on the verses of the Bible, and they knew it, and their clergy who spoke of this so movingly a moment ago, they knew it too.

This partnership began two years earlier, in 1915, with a great defeat. In the defeat at Gallipoli, two things were forged. One, the absolute resolve of the ANZAC forces to redeem their fallen brethren and establish this glorious victory here. And the second thing that was forged was the first meeting between ANZAC fighters and Jewish fighters, the first Jewish fighters who stood shoulder to shoulder with them in Gallipoli, the first Jewish fighting force in 2,000 years. And that continued here with the Jewish Legion that helped liberate Palestine here, in this campaign that we mark today. This was a point, a partnership that has historic significance today.

PM Netanyahu & Australian PM Turnbull at Battle of Be’er Sheba Centenary Service

PMW: PA accuses Israel of using “poisonous gas” while exploding terror tunnel

Yesterday, Israel carried out a controlled explosion to destroy an attack tunnel dug by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror group that started in the Gazan city of Khan Younis and crossed into Israeli territory.

A member of Islamic Jihad, Khaled Al-Batsh, explained [in Al-Dustour (Jordanian newspaper), Oct. 31, 2017] that the tunnel that Israel attacked “was intended for freeing prisoners from the Israeli occupation prisons.” Al-Batsh was implying that the purpose of the tunnel was to facilitate the entry of Islamic Jihad terrorists into Israel, to kidnap Israelis who would then be used as hostages to force Israel to release prisoners.

At least seven members of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror organizations, including senior terrorist commanders, were killed in the explosion of the tunnel.

Instead of condemning the digging of the terror tunnel, Mahmoud Abbas’s PA and Fatah chose to accuse Israel of using “poisonous gas” in breach of International law.

JCPA: The Terror Tunnels of Gaza

Since the end of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip – headed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are close to Iran – have been engaged in an unprecedented military buildup. The aim is to rehabilitate their military capabilities which were damaged in the war against the IDF. According to Israeli security sources, the Palestinian organizations have managed to bring their capabilities to a point well beyond what they had in 2014.

That has included manufacturing a large number of rockets, developing new weapons such as drones, building up elite units such as naval commandos, and digging new attack tunnels into Israel, which Hamas and Islamic Jihad view as a “strategic weapon.”

The tunnel-digging is a large-scale project that employs thousands of people and costs tens of millions of dollars. Hamas and Islamic Jihad receive financial and technological assistance from Iran for the project. A large portion of the financial resources also comes from tax revenues that are supposed to alleviate Gaza’s electricity, water, and employment shortages but are diverted to the tunnel project.

On October 24, 2017, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza who is also commander of its Izzadin al-Qassam military wing, boasted that the military wing can now fire in 51 minutes the same number of rockets it fired at Israel during the 51 days of Operation Protective Edge.

Sinwar also revealed that Hamas has managed to smuggle large quantities of weapons into Gaza. “The quantity of weapons we brought into the Strip in 2015-2016 is much larger than the entire quantity we brought into the Strip during the past 10 years,” he said.

As noted, Hamas and Islamic Jihad see the tunnels into Israeli territory as a “strategic weapon” that deters Israel.

Netanyahu heads to London to celebrate Balfour and talk Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to fly to London on Wednesday evening to take part in centenary celebrations for the Balfour Declaration and talks with Prime Minister Theresa May that are expected to focus on differences the two countries have regarding the Iranian nuclear deal.

While Netanyahu applauded US President Donald Trump for decertifying the Iran deal last month and sending the issue back to congress, Britain – along with France, Germany and Russia, the other European countries that were part of the agreement – believe it should be maintained.

Netanyahu is traveling to the British capital to celebrate the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for Israel’s establishment, at a time when a poll found that fully 50% of the British public have “cold” feelings toward the Jewish state.

That is the bad news.

The good news is that this number has dropped from 62% holding cold feelings toward Israel in 2014, just after the war in Gaza.

According to a Populus poll conducted in mid-October by BICOM – the Britain Israel Communications and Research Center – and released last week, 21% of the British public have warm feelings toward Israel, 2% more than in 2014. Another 20% have neutral feelings, and 10% don’t know. Populus ran the poll in 2014 as well.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Thursday. Despite demands from the Palestinians that the British apologize for the November 2, 1917 Balfour declaration stating Britain’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, May has said that Britain will mark the centennial “with pride.”

The UN Continues its Anti-Israel Offensive

The United Nations is at it again, finding any means within its power to hurt Israel. The UN is planning to allow many millions of dollars of UN funding, meant to assist the Palestinian Authority in development work, to be used instead to help the Palestinians pursue legal action against Israel in international forums. A document entitled the “United Nations Development Framework State of Palestine 2018-2022” states that such assistance is to include training and technical advice to enable the Palestinians to “effectively access international accountability mechanisms” and “hold Israel accountable for its violations under international law.” The UN document was signed by more than a dozen UN agencies, including UNESCO, UNICEF, the UN human rights office and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It committed the UN itself to “strengthen its own advocacy on the impact of Israeli violations on Palestine’s development prospects, including through joint activities that clearly communicate the effect that the occupation and breaches of international law have on the ability of Palestine to develop economically, socially, environmentally and politically.”

This so-called “development framework” is a sham. It represents an outrageous abuse of the UN development assistance budget, estimated to be approximately $250 million annually. The Trump administration cannot allow this misuse of U.S. taxpayer funded contributions to the UN to go unchallenged. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has already pounced on what he called “yet another example of the UN’s shameful hostility towards Israel, which encourages more false attacks, accusations, and criticism of our close ally.” He added, “I will continue to press all legislative options to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to implement, facilitate, or carry out this discriminatory plan undermining Israel.”

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based monitoring group that helped expose the UN’s plan to fund a lawfare campaign against Israel, said, “There is no other example or precedent of the UN funding, training, and advising one side of a conflict to pursue legal advocacy against another side within UN bodies and other international mechanisms.”

PM said to ask Trump to allow Jonathan Pollard to immigrate to Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly asked US President Donald Trump to allow convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to immigrate to Israel.

The request, reported by Channel 2 news Tuesday, came in light of economic goodwill gestures that Israel agreed to provide the Palestinians at the White House’s behest last May. That package included, among other things, increasing the number of building permits given to Palestinians living in the Israeli-controlled Area C of the West Bank.

Looking to capitalize on the newly garnered goodwill, Netanyahu raised the issue of the former American intelligence specialist, the report said. Pollard served nearly 30 years in prison on a conviction of spying for Israel and has been prevented from moving to the Jewish state since his 2015 release.

As part of the request, Netanyahu promised the White House that if it agreed to allow Pollard to emigrate, he would continue to be subject to the same restrictions imposed by the American court upon his release, the report said.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not deny the report, but told Channel 2 that Netanyahu raises the issue of Pollard’s with to move to Israel in nearly every meeting with American officials.

Dore Gold: The Historical Significance of the Balfour Declaration

Today’s assault of the Palestinian Arabs on the Balfour Declaration is not new. It has a shameful precedent. On the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, November 2, 1943, Hajj Amin-al Husseini, the former Mufti of Jerusalem and Head of the Moslem Institute in Berlin, addressed the world from Luftwaffe Hall. There, he pledged his unqualified support to the Germans, “who have definitely solved the Jewish problem.”12

On this festive occasion, Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop and the Leader of the S.S., Heinrich Himmler, sent telegrams of support. Himmler wrote,

The National Socialist Party has inscribed on its flag ‘the extermination of world Jewry.’ Our party sympathizes with the fight of the Arabs, especially the Arabs of Palestine, against the foreign Jew. Today, on this memorial day of the Balfour Declaration, I send my greetings and wishes for success in your fight.

The Jewish population of Mandatory Palestine contributed large numbers of volunteers and committed its manpower, agriculture, manufacturing and expertise to the Allied cause. Unfortunately, this contribution was soon forgotten. When the State of Israel was born in 1948, it was invaded by a coalition of Arab armies which received their training and weapons from the main colonial powers in the Middle East at that time: Britain and France. Ironically, the rise of Israel was an anti-colonial development accelerating the demise of European colonial empires and the rise of independent states.

Our understanding of the Balfour Declaration today may be viewed as part of a political war to preserve the integrity of the historical record. In the great historical reckoning which still must take place certain historical facts need to be understood. These would include: 1) the significance of the Balfour Declaration and its standing as a commitment assured by international law; 2) The participation of the Yishuv during the Second World War on the side of the Allied Powers; 3) Great Britain’s dishonorable retreat from the obligations of the Balfour Declaration and its failure to reward its faithful ally.

During the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, our discussion has been tainted by the efforts of Israel’s enemies to misrepresent and falsify the historical facts. They try to portray modern Israel as a product of European colonialism, plain and simple, with no roots in the land and no historical rights. It is not possible to accept the myths and falsehoods of a so-called “narrative,” which supposedly can outweigh the historical facts. In simple language, modern Israel is the heir and successor to ancient Israel. The Balfour Declaration recognized this bond and in doing so showed the world “a unique act of world moral conscience.”

Ahead of Balfour 100, UK enshrines Churchill’s headstrong case for Israel

Churchill’s view of the source of that misery was evident when his son-in-law, Christopher Soames, suggested to him that British public opinion favored the Arabs and was anti-Jew.

“Nonsense,” the former prime minister replied. “I could put the case for the Jews in 10 minutes. I will never forgive the Irgun terrorists. But we should never have stopped immigration before the war.”

Later, Churchill would berate the government for the “horrible, squalid conflict with the Zionist community” it was waging in Palestine.

As a copy of the notes he prepared for a speech delivered 10 days after the State of Israel was declared highlight, Churchill strongly believed that Britain should have “enforced an equitable partition of Palestine on the morrow of our victory.”

By its delay, it had “gained nothing … but the hatred of both sides, Jew and Arab alike.”

The Labour government was to commit one final spiteful act, delaying its recognition of Israel. Churchill urged it to reconsider: the coming into being of a Jewish state, he told the House of Commons, “is an event in world history to be viewed in the perspective, not of a generation or a century, but in the perspective of a thousand, two thousand or even three thousand years.”

Three years later, at the age of 76, Churchill became prime minister for a second time. Weizmann, now the president of Israel, sent his congratulations.

From Downing Street, Churchill wrote his response: “The wonderful exertions which Israel is making in these times of difficulty are cheering to an old Zionist like me.”

Balfour Declaration: A century old and as disputed as ever

The Balfour Declaration has been in the news so much over the last year it could lead you to conclude that the British dispatch supporting Jewish resettlement in the land of Israel was announced on Twitter last November, and not in a letter to a long-gone Lord Rothschild on November 2, 1917.

In August, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in a meeting with a British foreign ministry official in Ramallah that, “Balfour became famous for his promise… to establish Israel on the land of Palestine. … I call for the current British foreign secretary to be famous for giving the Palestinians a promise called the ‘Johnson Declaration’ that recognizes a Palestinian state.”

Al-Maliki’s was only one in a series of references to the Balfour Declaration by Palestinians in the last 18 months. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told the same British official that the UK should reconsider plans to celebrate the Declaration’s 100th anniversary.

The resurgence of interest in Balfour echoes the way other contentious anniversaries are remembered and reported. A recent Associated Press article about the American Civil War was titled, “We’re still fighting, more than 150 years after Appomattox.”

To assess how political leaders are portraying Balfour, and how the media are reporting it, we reviewed dozens of articles in Israeli, British, American, Palestinian, and Arab media. What we learned should not have surprised us, but it did depress us. We found superficial reporting and knee-jerk commentary, regardless of location or political orientation. There has been little meaningful assessment of Balfour’s historical context, past impact, and future meaning by reporters, Israelis, Palestinians, and their supporters.

Gil Troy: We don’t need no Balfour declarations… or celebrations

And speaking of founding documents, did Great Britain or the United States need some Balfour-type permit? Like most countries, in the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence these nations seized the moment, emerging proudly, unilaterally, without anyone’s permission – simply asserting their national identities and resulting rights.

I am also touchy on this point because the fight against Israel remains so vicious that our enemies exploit any hesitation on our end, any sense that we are too pathetic to claim our basic rights – like all others. Jews shouldn’t be the Sally Field of Nations, waving the Balfour Declaration or the UN Partition Plan to say, as Fields said when she finally won an Oscar in 1985, “you like me… you really like me.”

Jews don’t need a Balfour green-light when authorities in Abu Dhabi won’t play Israel’s anthem – the Israeli Judo champ Tal Flicker starts singing “Hatikva” anyway, without anyone’s permission.

Jews don’t need a Balfour validator to confront the haters at McGill University – my academic home – who kicked the only three pro-Israeli, anti-boycott students off the student council: we fight antisemites loudly, proudly, unashamedly.

Jews don’t need a Balfour thumbs-up to mock those who view Israel as a disappointment. We salute Israeli democracy’s everyday miracles without seeking anyone’s approval.

And Jews don’t need a Balfour hug to prove what Israel has proved since 1948 – that the Jews are a people, fully justified in building a state in the Jewish homeland, and impressively capable of making that state a refuge for the persecuted and an oasis of idealism, a liberal democratic stronghold in the undemocratic illiberal Middle East and a source of old-new Jewish pride to a once depressed, now liberated, people.

Decrying Balfour centenary, Abbas warns of one-state solution

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to London to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lamented the document, accusing it of setting in motion a process that led to a century of Palestinian suffering, and urging the British government to take steps to remedy it.

In an op-ed for the Guardian newspaper, Abbas reaffirmed his recognition of Israel, but warned that the Palestinian people will soon embrace a one-state solution and start demanding full equal rights of as citizens of Israel.

“The Balfour declaration is not something to be celebrated — certainly not while one of the peoples affected continues to suffer such injustice,” Abbas wrote. “The creation of a homeland for one people resulted in the dispossession and continuing persecution of another — now a deep imbalance between occupier and occupied.”

“The balance must be redressed, and Britain bears a great deal of responsibility in leading the way. Celebrations must wait for the day when everyone in this land has freedom, dignity and equality,” he said.

Having been signed, the Balfour Declaration cannot be undone, but the damage it cause “can be changed,” Abbas said. “This will require humility and courage. It will require coming to terms with the past, recognising mistakes, and taking concrete steps to correct those mistakes.”

Recognizing a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital “can go some way towards fulfilling the political rights of the Palestinian people,” he said. Britain’s Labour Party has proposed to do just that in marking the centennial.

Balfour Declaration: ‘State’ or ‘Homeland’?

Presumably if the headline of an article on the Balfour Declaration states “what it means for the Middle East today,” shouldn’t that include both Jews and Arabs? Not for The Independent, which focuses solely on portraying the Balfour Declaration as the root of all evil when it comes to Palestinian victimhood.

Bethan McKernan, no stranger to taking a one-sided approach to her reporting, may as well have reprinted Palestinian Authority talking points in her Balfour story. For her, the framing of the story is purely about alleged Palestinian suffering. Jewish rights to self-determination or any other rights are simply ignored in favor of the Palestinian narrative.

If The Independent is going to opine over the Balfour Declaration, the least it can do is to accurately describe its contents. The British pointedly did not express their support for a Jewish sovereign state, preferring to refer to the more ambigous “homeland.”

This is not being overparticular on our part. The terms are not legally or practically the same, which is why we requested a correction from The Independent for the following erroneous references to “state”:

An open letter to support the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration

This open letter to Tulip Siddiq MP is a guest post by Stephen Hoffman

Dear Tulip,

I am writing to you as I know you are an incredibly responsive MP to all your constituents. I have sent this email through We Believe in Israel’s email system, but I thought it would help if I sent it from my own email address, as I believe that is much more personal.

I am writing as one of your constituents as it is the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration on 2 November 2017. I recognise this is something you will probably know a lot about in your role in the Jewish Labour Movement and as Vice Chair of the APPG on Antisemitism.

As I am sure you know, The Balfour declaration was a response to Zionism, the national movement of the Jewish people, calling for sovereign Jewish life in the land of Israel.

The Jewish people needed the security provided by a nation homeland because of the persecution and discrimination they were suffering as a minority in other lands, including murderous antisemitic pogroms in Russia.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews survived the Holocaust because they were able to flee to Palestine. If Britain had kept to the spirit of the Balfour Declaration and not restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine in the 1930s, many more Jews would have been saved.

Inaccurate BBC Balfour Declaration claim misleads audiences

On November 1st an article titled “Battle of Beersheba charge recreated for centenary” was published on the BBC News website’s Australia and Middle East pages.

In among an otherwise reasonable account of the commemoration of that First World War battle, readers found the following two paragraphs:

“The Battle of Beersheba led to the Balfour Declaration – the first time the British government endorsed the establishment of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

While many Israelis believe it was the foundation stone of modern Israel and the salvation of the Jews, many Palestinians regard it as a betrayal.”

The Battle of Beersheba took place on October 31st 1917. The Balfour Declaration was published just two days later on November 2nd 1917. Apparently though the BBC would have its audiences believe – as the use of the words “led to” indicates – that it was the allied forces’ victory in that battle in the Negev desert which caused Lord Balfour’s letter to be written.

Erdan urges UK officials to reconsider enabling anti-Israel rally

Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan wrote letters to London Mayor Sadiq Khan and British State for Security at the Home Office Ben Wallace on Tuesday, alerting them to links between the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and Hamas, ahead of a planned anti-Israel rally.

The rally is scheduled to be held on November 4 to protest against the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, the initial legislation promising a Jewish homeland in Palestine 100 years ago. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be in London to mark the occasion and hold meetings with senior British officials.

“While this event is presumably about protesting the 1917 Balfour Declaration, it is being organized by several groups and individuals closely affiliated with Hamas, a murderous terrorist organization proscribed by the UK, EU, US and Canada,” wrote Erdan in the letters.

Notable attendees at the rally on November 4th include Ismail Patal, the founder of Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) which is an active pro-Hamas organization, and Hugh Lanning, PSC Chairman and speaker who has met with Hamas’s political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal.

The letters reference the recent adoption by the UK of a legal definition for antisemitism to be used as a working definition for protecting Jews. One of the manifestations included in the definition is “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.”

Banksy holds Balfour ‘apology party’ for Palestinians

Secretive British street artist Banksy held an event to apologize for the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration on Wednesday outside his West Bank hotel.

The typically surreal event involved 50 children hosted by an actor dressed as Queen Elizabeth II for a British-style tea party.

Their party hats were bullet-riddled helmets with British flags on them, while tattered British flags were flown.

The queen revealed a plaque carved in concrete saying “Er, Sorry,” playing on the common initials for Elizabetha Regina (Queen Elizabeth II).

The apology was etched into Israel’s security barrier.

The children were descendants of people who fled or were expelled from what is today Israel during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of state.

Tikvah Rally for Israel

From our friends at Tikvah, Students for Israel at UC Berkeley

Thursday, November 2, 2017, marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration was penned. On this day, we will defend the right of the state of Israel to exist, and the right of Jews to live in their national and historic homeland. We will counter the lies spread about Zionism and Israel, and will share the truth with our campus community.

Please join us to show your support for Jewish existence in the Land of Israel, and to stand up against the bigotry and lies that are propagated about the Jewish homeland. We will have posters, shirts, and flags for you!

Join Tikvah and other pro-Israel students on campus in solidarity, as they stand up for Israel’s right to exist with safe and secure borders.
Sproul Plaza. Thursday November 2. 11-1.

SJP “Students for Just Us In Palestine” will be there, too.

Hillel Neuer in Sweden: Rally for Israel at Raoul Wallenberg Sqaure

Poll: Most Israelis think the world is against them

More than half of Israelis (59%) think that international criticism of them stems from a basic hostility toward Israel, a poll commissioned by Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policy and Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung, and provided exclusively to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday has found.

The poll, conducted by Smith Research in advance of Mitvim’s first annual conference on Wednesday, indicates that only a third of Israelis (34%) think that international criticism is based on disagreements about Israel’s policies.

About half of Israelis (52%) think the world powers’ nuclear deal with Iran did not change the level of threat Tehran poses to Israel, while 28% think it increased the threat, and only 10% think it decreased it.

In addition, more Israelis (52%) think Russian President Vladimir Putin has a bigger influence on events in the Middle East than US President Donald Trump, while only 15% think that Trump has more influence and 21% feel that their influence is the same.

Israelis rate the US-Israel relationship at an average 6.88 out of 10, with 41% of them rating it as “good,” giving it a score of eight and up. The countries most important to Israel after the US, in descending order, are Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, France and Egypt. The public is split about evenly as to whether a weaker European Union (37%) or a stronger one (38%) is better for Israel.

The vast majority of Israelis (70%) think that regional cooperation between Israel and other Middle Eastern countries is possible, while 23% think it is not. Such cooperation would benefit Israel most in the areas of security and economics, they believe.

Amid tension over terror tunnel, PM at Beersheba ceremony: ‘Don’t test us’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a clear message on Tuesday to Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which may be planning to retaliate a day after the IDF destroyed a terrorist tunnel from Gaza: “Don’t test us.”

Speaking at the British Cemetery in Beersheba at a ceremony marking 100 years since the Battle of Beersheba, Netanyahu said, “We set out a simple policy: We seek peace with all our neighbors, but we will not tolerate any attacks on our sovereignty, on our people, on our land, whether from the air, from the sea, from the ground or below the ground.”

Netanyahu continued: “We attack those who seek to attack us. And those who contemplate that, I strongly advise you: Do not test the will of the State of Israel or the army of Israel.”

His words came amid an edginess in the south that Palestinian terrorists may retaliate for the destruction of the tunnel and the killing of a number of Islamic Jihad men inside.

At the ceremony, in the presence of visiting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and New Zealand’s Governor-General Patsy Reddy, as well as many other Australian and New Zealand dignitaries, Netanyahu said that what the Australian Light Horse Brigade accomplished in the battle of Beersheba has inspired generations of Israeli soldiers.

MKs to European Parliament members: recognize Hezbollah’s political wing as terror group

Ongoing global antisemitism, Iranian operations in the region, Hezbollah, the Greater Jerusalem bill and more were all discussed between delegates of the European Parliament and Knesset members from across the political spectrum on Monday.

The discussions were held as part of a visit by a delegation of eight MEPs currently in Israel, headed by MEP Fulvio Martusciello of the Christian Democratic European People’s Party, a center- right group in the European Parliament.

Among the key issues during the talks were those raised by Yesh Atid MK and former Shin Bet chief Yaakov Peri regarding hostile Iranian activity in the region, close to Israel’s borders, as well as the status of Hezbollah as perceived by the EU.

“The time has come for the European Union to recognize all branches of Hezbollah as a terror organization and not just its military [branch],” Peri told the MEPs.

The EU currently only lists Hezbollah’s paramilitary guerrilla militia as a terrorist group and not the entire organization, which includes its political wing that has 14 seats in the Lebanese Parliament and two ministers in the government.

Peri also underlined the growing Iranian presence in Syria close Israel’s border, noting that Israel has made numerous requests to the international community – which have gone unanswered – to clamp down on Tehran’s activities in the region.

‘Attack’ on a ‘Militant Tunnel’: Parroting Terrorist Propaganda

The Independent’s Bethan McKernan regularly has a hard time disguising her inherent anti-Israel bias. Her report on the Israeli destruction of a cross-border terror tunnel, however, plumbs new depths.
Let’s start with the headline:

The destruction of the tunnel took place on the Israeli side of the border, within Israeli territory and, according to the IDF, used conventional weaponry.

There was no air strike.

The Independent’s story however, claims:
While the IDF did not elaborate on how the tunnel was destroyed, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported five missiles hit the tunnel east of the town of Khan Younis, two kilometres (1.2 miles) away from the border wall.

The WAFA version of events that McKernan refers to is a virtual piece of fiction.

For example:
Reports said Israel fired five missiles at the tunnel that was being dug east of Khan Younis and which Israel claims was leading to its territory.

Medical reports in Gaza said most of those killed died after Israel fired missiles at the tunnel as rescuers were attempting to dig out those trapped inside. Some apparently died from inhaling poisonous gas reportedly fired by the Israeli air force at the tunnel.

Faith-washing: Friends of Sabeel provides cover for Terror

Friends of Sabeel prove once again that no lie is too outrageous for Israel haters
From the Friends of Sabeel (FOSNA)Facebook page

Except for 2 things.
1. The tunnel was on the Israeli side of the border.

2. The tunnel targeted a kibbutz. Was that the source of “much needed supplies”? Were the Palestinians planning on a shopping spree at the local Super Sol? Why doesn’t Sabeel read the actual words of the Palestinians, who don’t try and conceal their true motives?

Islamic Jihad: “The tunnel targeted by the occupation yesterday was to be used to abduct soldiers for the liberation of the prisoners”

Why is FOSNA providing cover for terrorists?

Islamic Jihad official: Tunnel’s purpose was to abduct soldiers for swaps

The tunnel the IDF blew up was “meant to bring about the release of Palestinian prisoners from the Israeli prisons,” Khaled al-Batash, a senior Islamic Jihad official, said Tuesday.

Essentially, according to various media reports, that means it was intended to be used for the abduction of Israeli soldiers.

Al-Batash was speaking at the funeral of three of the terrorists who were killed Monday when the tunnel, which ran from Khan Yunis into Israel, collapsed on them when it was blown up by the IDF.

Al-Batash said Islamic Jihad will dig another tunnel for the exact same purposes.

“The uprising could hurt the enemy,” he said. “We are at full capacity, waiting for the next battle.”

Seven terrorists were killed in the collapse, among them a senior commander in the al-Quds brigades, the military arm of Islamic Jihad.

Hamas releases new footage of Shalit in captivity

The military wing of the Palestinian terror group Hamas on Wednesday released previously unseen footage of Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier held captive in Gaza from 2006 to 2011.

The footage shows Shalit sitting among his uniformed captors, wearing the shirt he was eventually released in. In the next scene, he is seen calmly accepting a drink from someone dressed in civilian clothing.

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The footage was released by the terror group to mark the fourth anniversary of the deaths of two of its members who had guarded over Shalit in the so-called “shadow unit.”

They were killed in 2013, in the first-ever attack tunnel operation against Israeli soldiers.

A year after Shalit was freed, the Hamas military wing released a video dramatizing and documenting the June 25, 2006, raid into Israel during which Shalit was abducted and two other Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed.

The 45-minute propaganda film showed the planning, preparation, and kidnapping of Shalit on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border.

Suspected accomplices arrested in murder of Israeli man

Security forces operating in the West Bank overnight Tuesday arrested suspected accomplices in the deadly stabbing earlier this month of an Israeli man in the Arab Israeli town of Kafr Qassem, the military said.

A joint IDF and Border Police operation nabbed the suspects in the town of Qabatiya, home to the two Palestinian men indicted for the slaying of Reuven Schmerling, the IDF said in a statement Wednesday morning. The army did not say how many suspects it detained in connection with the murder.

On Sunday, Youssef Khaled Mustafa Kamil, 20, and Muhammad Ziad Abu al-Rub, 19, were indicted for premeditated murder and entering Israel illegally in a Central District court for the killing.

Schmerling’s body was discovered by police on October 4 near his coal storage unit in Kafr Qassem’s industrial zone. He had been stabbed dozens of times.

Special police unit to be established for Temple Mount

Public Defense Minister Gilad Erdan announced a plan Tuesday to establish a special police unit that will be dedicated to keeping order on Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The plan came as result of conclusions drawn following a terrorist attack on the compound in July 2017 in which two Israeli policemen were killed.

The Temple Mount Unit will be equipped with advanced technology and will gather intelligence in order to protect visitors to the holy site, the ministry said.

The unit will include approximately 200 policemen, in which 100 will be specially recruited to the police in the course of the next year.

In light of the announcement, Erdan said, that in his vision, “in two years Jerusalem will become not only the holiest city in the world but also the safest.

“With the most advanced technology, the city will become a model for cities around the world for its skilled policemen and for the technology it uses,” he said.

Following July’s attack, the Israeli government decided to install metal detectors at the entrances of several gates to Temple Mount and closed others.

PreOccupiedTerritory: We Should Totally Trust Our Haters To Maintain Access To Our Holy Sites By Yariv Oppenheimer, Peace Now (satire)

My organization has argued for years that Israel should relinquish the areas it seized in 1967, so that the Palestinians can establish sovereignty there. As for the concern that Jews will then be barred from holy sites and other important places in Jewish heritage under Palestinian control, the solution is simple: we should trust people who have pledged to destroy us that they will allow us free access to our holy sites.

Trust, after all, is one the best guarantors of adherence to an agreement. If we cannot trust a group who nurtures its youth on hate, incites murderous violence, and repeatedly denies a Jewish connection to the land, whom can we trust?

Besides, even if, for totally understandable reasons, you have to admit, the Palestinians fail to make adequate provisions for Jewish worship at the Western Wall, or even the Cave of the Patriarchs, or Joseph’s Tomb, Israel can appeal to the United Nations, which is known for its decisive action when it comes to monitoring and enforcing such agreements. Just look at Lebanon, where UN observer forces have diligently condoned an unprecedented buildup of Hezbollah men and materiel since 2006. The same UN courageously fled to Israeli-controlled territory when threatened by Islamists in Syria – you can totally rely on them!

Or look at the last time the same Jewish heritage sites were under someone else’s control: Jordan governed the West Bank and East Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, and they did a fine job of allowing access to those sites, as long as the people wanting access weren’t Jewish or Israeli. The UN also oversaw the terms of that agreement. OK, so the Arabs blew up dozens of synagogues and used Jewish tombstones to pave roads and build latrines. But this time would be totally different.

Bereaved families seek death penalty for terrorists

A group of 50 families who lost loved ones to terrorist attacks has called on Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to promote a bill sponsored by Yisrael Beytenu MK Robert Ilatov that would allow Israel to execute convicted terrorists.

“We ask that you use every means at your disposal to pass this bill as soon as possible,” the families said in a letter sent to Shaked on Tuesday.

“We have lost what was most dear to us – our children, our wives, our husbands, and our siblings. Unfortunately, these despicable murderers are currently enjoying the best prison conditions possible, which have no equal anywhere in the world.”

The families said the bill is a “necessary step that will keep other families from joining, heaven forbid, the circle of the bereft. In an uncompromising war on terrorism, there is no place for political considerations – we must strike at it with great force.”

The letter continued, “We must fight terrorism with an iron fist and not by giving [terrorists] prison conditions that don’t even exist in hotels. Terrorism must be defeated through determination and an iron fist. It’s in your hands.”

Matan Peleg, chairman of the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization, which is mentoring the bereaved families in their battle, said, “To truly stop the spirit of terrorism, we must construct a package of deterrence that every terrorist will fear. This is a historic bill that will finally put an end to terrorism.”

Iranian leader urges all Muslims to fight Israel

Iran’s top religious and political leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urged all Muslims to engage in “different methods” of fighting against Israel.

In a letter to the International Union of Resistance Scholars, a group that has convened anti-Israel gatherings in the past, Khamenei wrote that the “unforgettable responsibility” for removing Israel “rests upon the shoulders of the entire Muslim world.”

The letter, which appears in English translation on Khamenei’s official website, is addressed to the union’s chairman, Lebanese Sunni cleric Sheikh Maher Hamoud. Hamoud, who hails from Sidon in southern Lebanon, advocates an end to the Sunni-Shiite rift and a refocusing of Muslim attention on the Palestinian cause.

In Khamenei’s letter, dated October 30, the Iranian supreme leader seemed to back this view.

He assured Hamoud that “the Divine promise guarantees definite victory [for] the resistance.”

Gaza Strip: Breeding Ground for Radical Terror Groups

Hamas is doing its utmost to conceal the truth about ISIS in the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority (PA) is continuing to pretend as if Hamas is headed toward moderation as a result of the “reconciliation” accord.

Hamas presents itself as the sole and legitimate ruler of the Gaza Strip and as if it is in full control of the Gaza Strip.

If the “reconciliation” agreement is implemented, Majed Faraj, commander of the PA General Intelligence, and considered a strong candidate to succeed Abbas in the West Bank, will soon find himself working with his Gaza Strip counterpart — a convicted terrorist who serves as a “general,” named Tawfik Abu Na’im.

Hamas hands over all Gaza border crossings to the PA

Hamas handed control of the Gaza Strip’s border crossings with Egypt and Israel to the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, in a key test of the reconciliation accord it signed with Fatah last month.

Nazmi Muhanna, the Palestinian Authority’s top official for border crossings, formally received control of the Rafah crossing with Egypt from his Hamas counterpart.

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At the Erez Crossing with Israel, Hamas also began to dismantle its facilities.

Under the Egyptian-brokered deal, the Palestinian Authority is due to take full civilian control of Gaza by December 1.

The checkpoints had been due to be handed over by November 1 and were seen as a first test of the strength of the reconciliation agreement.

Iran Threatens Ballistic Missile Strikes on American Forces, Can Hit ‘All U.S. Bases’

A top Iranian military commander has threatened to launch ballistic missile attacks on U.S. forces in the region amid a public effort by the Islamic Republic to show off its advanced missile capabilities, according to U.S. officials and regional reports.

Iranian leaders disclosed that their advanced ballistic missile technology, which could be used as part of a nuclear weapons program, is sophisticated enough to strike U.S. forces up to nearly 1,300 miles, or 2,000 kilometers, away, which encompasses all U.S. bases in the region.

The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, announced on Tuesday that Iranian missiles can already “cover all U.S. bases in the region” and that Tehran has the capability to increase its missile power even further.

“Based on the policies specified by the Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei], the range of our missiles is limited to 2,000km, but we have the capability to increase the range,” IRGC Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said following an announcement by the country’s supreme leader that Iranian ballistic missile technology would be capped at this distance for the short term.

While pro-Iran activists cheered the announcement as a sign of moderation on Iran’s part, U.S officials and experts told the Washington Free Beacon that the distance cap on these missiles is effectively meaningless since the country’s current military technology is capable of striking U.S. forces, a position emphasized by Iranian military leaders.

Col. Richard Kemp: Iran ‘Will Always Hate America,’ Has Attacked U.S. ‘Time and Time Again’ Through Proxies Like Hezbollah

Retired British Army officer Col. Richard Kemp, a counter-terrorism expert and veteran of Afghanistan, joined SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about the imminent danger of a new war in the Middle East.

Kemp was involved in a creation of a recent report on the subject entitled Hezbollah’s Terror Army: How to Prevent a Third Lebanon War.

“I think President Obama made some very, very fundamental errors in his foreign policy, one of which was to seek to encourage Iran to be the greatest power in the Middle East,” said Kemp. “Essentially, he abandoned other U.S. allies in the region – including Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, and to an extent Israel – in favor of Iran.”

“The problem with Iran, of course, not only does it threaten many, many states in the region, particularly in relation to its Shia – of course, Iran is a Shia state and it really opposes most of the other states which are Sunni states,” he continued.

“I think above all we shouldn’t forget that the Iranian revolution was founded to a very large extent on anti-Americanism,” he warned. “They hate America. They always have hated America. It’s what the revolution was all about, to a large extent. They always will hate America, and we shouldn’t forget that Iran, through its proxies such as Hezbollah, which this report is about, has attacked the United States and United States forces time and time again, including in recent history.”

“They are, without a doubt, the enemies of the United States, which President Obama was doing what he could to encourage. They are the greatest threat, I believe, to world peace today. Above all, that threat comes from the prospect that they will gain nuclear weapons and become a nuclear-armed state, which was effectively enabled by the P5+1 treaty that was led, of course, by that very same President Obama,” said Kemp.

Whitewashing the Violent Symbolism of the Palestinian Keffiyeh



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