July 16, 2019

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11/09 Links Pt1: Who speaks for the Democrats on Israel?; Gallant: We’re ready for peace with Arab states; The PA Moves to Take over Area C with European Financial Support


From Ian:

Caroline Glick: What America chose on Tuesday
Recognizing this state of affairs, Linda Sarsour, the rising antisemitic star of the progressive grassroots movement, bemoaned the election results.

Speaking at an Internet forum sponsored by the far-Left website Intercept and the far-Left activist network Democracy Now, Sarsour said: “This was not a blue wave, this was a blue dribble. We didn’t win overwhelmingly and it doesn’t look good if we don’t get our act straight for 2020…”

Sarsour then turned to Israel.

“What Democrats do immediately when there’s politics of fear coming from the opposition is they cower. They stay away from the Palestinians, they stay away from the leftists, and they stay away from the socialists. They stay away from those of us who are actually creating the momentum and the energy that is on the ground.

“The Democratic Party doesn’t have a foreign policy platform that… works for people like me… and then the minute that positioning comes in with fear politics, we cower, right? We go, ‘Oh, AIPAC is mad at us. Oh, those folks, the pro-Israel groups are mad at us.’”

She then made a pitch for ignoring the lessons of Tuesday’s poll by saying, “If you’re not willing to go all the way progressive, you’re just not going to win against Donald Trump in 2020.”

For the past two years, and indeed, for the better part of the past twelve years, the Republican Party has been divided between moderates and conservatives while the Democrats have seen the consistent rise of radical actors at the expense of their party’s moderates. Tuesday’s election unified the Republican Party along conservative principles behind Trump and it empowered moderate Democrats at the expense of the until-now ascendant radicals.

While everything is possible, Tuesday’s results have the potential to reduce the rage in US politics. They portend well for a revitalization of bipartisan support for Israel and for Trump’s reelection prospects.

Jonathan S. Tobin: Who speaks for the Democrats on Israel?

Opponents of Israel will have something to celebrate in January.

Rashida Tlaib will become the first Palestinian-American to serve in Congress. Tlaib, who will represent a suburban district outside of Detroit with a large Arab-American population, is an avowed opponent of Israel’s existence and a supporter of the BDS movement. She will find a kindred spirit in fellow freshman Democrat Ilhan Omar, who will be first Somali-American in Congress when she takes the oath to represent Minneapolis. Omar is a fierce critic of Israel, who has called it an “evil” country that has “hypnotized the world”—a standard anti-Semitic meme—and an “apartheid regime.”

Both are allied with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a socialist who will represent Queens, N.Y. Ocasio-Cortez said she wanted to end the “occupation of Palestine,” though she didn’t seem able to say whether that meant the West Bank or, as Palestinians define the term, all of Israel.

This trio of congressional newcomers is also allied with the Women’s March, whose leaders combine anti-Zionism with a soft spot for anti-Semitic hate-monger Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam.

We can expect them to unite with other Democrats to undermine the U.S.-Israel alliance, such as the dozens who signed letters last year championed by figures such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) calling for the lifting of the blockade of the terrorist Hamas regime that rules Gaza.

Intersectional ideology, which falsely analogizes the Palestinian war on Israel’s existence with the struggle for civil rights in the United States, has become fashionable in progressive circles. But those running the Democratic caucus are still firmly in the pro-Israel camp.

House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—and the presumptive Speaker of the House next year—has been a fairly reliable friend of Israel, though not necessarily a fan of the Netanyahu government. The No. 2 Democrat in the House, current Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is an even more ardent supporter of Israel who has done his best over the years to keep left-wing members of his caucus in line with respect to the Middle East.

US Jews feel more positively towards Israel despite religious pluralism rift

Contrary to popular belief, American Jews’ feelings toward Israel have grown more positive in recent years, according to findings of a new poll conducted by the J-Street lobbying organization this week.

The poll, taken on the day of the US mid-term elections, apparently contradicts the frequent dire warnings heard from elements in the North American Jewish leadership that Diaspora Jews are becoming increasingly alienated from Israel because of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians and on matters of religious pluralism.

The survey, conducted by the GBA Strategies research organization for J-Street on a sample of 903 Jewish voters with a margin of error of 3.3%, found that 65 percent of respondents felt either very or somewhat emotionally attached to Israel, compared to 35 percent who felt not very attached or not at all attached to the Jewish state.

Asked if, compared to 5-10 years ago, they felt more positive or negative, or the same, towards Israel, 55% said they felt about the same, 26% said more positive and only 19% felt more negative.

The survey did note however that Jewish millennials are more evenly split on their attitudes towards Israel than Jews 35 years old and upwards, but full analysis of those results has not been published yet.

Questioned specifically on how Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians has affected their attitudes, a potent issue that is often believed to have alienated US Jews from Israel, the responses were similar.

Majority of J Street-Backed Candidates in Contested Races Lose

Liberal Jewish advocacy group J Street emerged as one of the biggest backers for Democratic candidates this cycle, but a majority of the candidates in races deemed competitive fell to their Republican opponents.

J Street endorsed more candidates than ever before in 2018, putting its support behind 102 Democratic incumbents in the House and 25 Democratic incumbents in the Senate. The group boasts that it was able to distribute nearly $5 million in support of its candidates.

Though many of it’s candidates won, many of them were running in safe seats for Democrats. J Street’s support proved ineffective in races where there was a real opponent.

In Senate elections, for example, J Street endorsed 17 Democratic candidates, but only five of them—Jacky Rosen in Nevada, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, Robert Francis O’Rourke in Texas, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, and Jon Tester in Montana—were in races considered to be contested. Just two of them, Rosen and Tester, emerged victorious.

In House elections, where J Street made endorsements in 51 competitive races, just 22 were winners, giving them a 42.86 win percentage in contested races for the cycle.

Republicans made a concerted effort to combat J Street in five districts where the backed candidates were deemed especially hostile to Israel. House speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) raised over $300,000 to defeat them.

Three of those five J Street-backed candidates were defeated, including Virginia candidate Leslie Cockburn, a former journalist who wrote a book promoting the conspiracy that Israel controls American foreign policy. Also defeated was Dan Kohl, an original cofounder of J Street who ran in Wisconsin.

Yisrael Medad: Ilhan’s Ill-wind

It may be that the new Congresswoman from Minnesota is becoming a problem.
We’ve all seen this:

She is now claiming to be not only the first hijab-wearing Muslim elected to Congress but the first Congresswoman who has begun fabricating history and erasing Jews from it on her election victory evening.


By declaring
“I stand here before you tonight, as your congresswoman-elect, with many firsts behind my name…The first woman of color to represent our state in Congress…The first woman to wear a hijab…The first refugee ever elected to Congress [here at 4:33]”

“The first refugee ever elected to Congress”?

Really? The first?

As Sefi Kogan pointed out, Jews and others preceded her:
Shouldn’t Tom Lantos, who was born in Budapest, enslaved in Nazi-occupied Hungary, and, penniless and with much of his family murdered, made his way to the US on a scholarship after the war, count? Or Rudy Boschwitz, who was born in Berlin and fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1933? Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who will retire from Congress at the end of this year, is a refugee from Cuba [and whose maternal grandparents were Sephardic Jews]. Joseph Cao is a refugee from Vietnam.

Perhaps she was ill-informed? Or an aide wrote that and she was ignorant?

Or she is engaged in creating a new narrative. Perhaps a bit like another newly-elected politician, NY’s State Senator Julia Salazar.

I hope this making up facts, or not knowing them, does not continue or there’ll be an ill-wind, and not only a cold one, blowing in from Minnesota.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Israeli Voters Have Gall To Value Own Lives Over American Progressive Values (satire)

A majority of the electorate in the Jewish State continues to demonstrate unprecedented temerity by placing greater priority on their own safety and security than on the ideals that animate the left segment of the political spectrum in the United States.

Analysts note that in election after election over the last decade, Israeli voters have selected as a majority of the Knesset’s 120 members legislators who see protecting Israelis from attack as more important than politically correct terminology, religious pluralism, or myriad other issues that progressive Americans deem crucial to sustaining and nurturing an enlightened society.

For some reason, the analysts have observed, Israelis have the gall to disagree with the manifestly correct assumptions governing left-wing American sensibilities, by which Jewish survival, tradition, sovereignty, and security must take a back seat to avoiding hurting the feelings of those whom left-wing Americans believe they are protecting by assigning them permanent victim status as a function of ethnicity. The cause of this Israeli brazenness remains unknown.

“It’s more than a little shocking,” reported Brookings Institution Fellow Dick Move. “According to axiomatic notions in right-thinking – that is to say, left-thinking – schools of thought, the relative safety of American society from such horrors as the everyday threat of terrorism grants Americans a clarity of thought and moral determination that overrides whatever less enlightened, and therefore lesser, electorates might consider primary. Thus, rewarding Palestinian terrorism and intransigence becomes crucial in the eyes of the wiser, more mature American view, and only the mysterious vindictiveness of the Israeli voting public appears to account for the disparity between progressive American exhortations and the outcome of Israeli elections since the Second Intifada.”

Pro-Corbyn JVL triggers fury with plan to give Labour members antisemitism training

The controversial, pro-Jeremy Corbyn Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) has triggered fury by asking members to help it give antisemitism training to Labour Party members.

JVL, a fringe group accused of trying to downplay Labour’s antisemitism crisis, messaged its members, saying it was “receiving a growing number of requests” for such training and, having done two “very successful exploratory” sessions, it was aiming to “expand the programme in the Autumn”.

The Jewish Labour Movement, the party’s Jewish affiliate, responded by saying JVL was “seeking every opportunity to undermine attempts to rid our party of antisemitism and to slander our Jewish community to people who perhaps know no better”.

“They are the problem,” a JLM spokesperson said, pointing out that Labour had asked JLM to build and run a programme of antisemitism training in 2016. They added: “To our knowledge this has not changed.”

The JLM spokesperson said it was “the representative body of the vast majority of Jewish members”, adding: “The leadership of the party have said they agree with us on this and we look forward to the party confirming to CLPs who want antisemitism training that they should approach JLM.”

Momentum’s Antisemitism Video

Momentum have made a little video on antisemitism. As with their last video on the subject they’ve found a friendly Jew to star in it (the last one featuring Michael Segalov).

This one features the actress Tania Shew, though they don’t say she’s an actress.

Shew makes a number of comments in the video that don’t pass the rational thinking test, here’s one:

“Addressing antisemitism in Britain must never curtail freedom of speech for Palestinians. Palestinians need to have the right to define their oppression in whatever terms they see fit. The left is one of the few spaces in Britain where Palestinians have any platform and I deplore anyone trying to take that away.”

Apparently you can’t be pro-Palestinian without being antisemitic and since that’s the case Palestinians are allowed to be antisemitic. White people she goes on to state, don’t have the same rights in her mind, they need to be sensitive about what they’re saying.

Gallant: We’re ready for peace with Arab states

Israel is ready to make peace with every Arab country, Construction Minister and former OC Southern Command Yoav Gallant told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview.

“All of the relations we have with Arab countries, every relationship that is conducted behind closed doors and not publicly, this is done by their own choice. Israel is ready for peace with every Arab country,” Gallant, who is also a member of the security cabinet, told the Post in his office in Jerusalem ahead of the paper’s annual Diplomatic Conference.

“If you look at the picture, there is no real reason for Saudi Arabia or the Gulf states to fight with Israel. We have shared interests, a shared enemy called Iran, which threatens Saudi Arabia from close with all that it has. And therefore there is no reason we should not be in the process to have peace in the region,” he said.

“Israel always stretches its hand out for peace with its neighbors… as it did after the Yom Kippur War with the Egyptians.”

While Israel has no official ties with any Arab country except for Egypt and Jordan, the relationships with Saudi Arabia and Gulf states have grown stronger in recent years due to the shared concerns about Iran’s actions and ambitions in the Middle East.

Can N. Ireland, Colombia help resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Ideas which helped solve the Northern Ireland and Colombia conflicts can help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ex-Northern Ireland prime minister Peter Robinson and ex-Irish deputy prime minister Eamon Gilmore told The Jerusalem Post in interviews on Wednesday.

Gilmore is the UN envoy to help solve the decades-old Colombia conflict.

Although both expressed optimism over the ability to resolve intractable conflicts, they were quick to clarify that every conflict is unique and requires approaches specifically tailored to that conflict.

Speaking to the Post during a visit to the Innovations in Conflict Resolution and Mediation Conference at Tel Aviv University, Robinson said that, “There are key ingredients for a successful talks process: First, there need to be leaders. Second, all of the parties to the conflict need to…genuinely want to resolve the issues” and “not just say it.”

“When you have those, any problem can be overcome,” he added.

Addressing the question of how people can overcome decades of pain and mistrust from killing on both sides, the former Northern Ireland prime minister said, “I don’t think they ever get over it. The best you can expect…is to come to terms with the issues.”

The PA Moves to Take over Area C with European Financial Support

In the 1993 Oslo Accords, the State of Israel empowered the PLO to establish a Palestinian Authority to oversee autonomous Arab governance in parts of Judea and Samaria.

Despite the fact that, in practice, many of the Oslo Accords’ clauses were never activated and other elements are no longer relevant, the division of jurisdictional authority between Areas A (full Palestinian jurisdiction), B (PA civil control, Israeli security), and C (full Israeli jurisdiction), remains in force.

In 2009, Salam Fayyad, former prime minister of the PA, publicized his program for the unilateral creation of “an independent, fully autonomous Arab state on all of the territory of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as per the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

The Fayyad Plan is based on de facto annexation of Area C, with the underlying assumption that Areas A and B have already been “taken care of” by the Oslo Accords.

The implementation of this program of creeping annexation has been, and continues to be, carried out on two parallel tracks. The first involves cooperation with Israel: The PA submits requests to the relevant Israeli authorities for approval of “special priority” construction projects; generally, international funding for these projects is contingent upon a “seal of approval” from Israel.

Despite the often-repeated claims of anti-Zionist NGOs, many thousands of housing units and other building projects have been approved by the Israeli government for the Palestinian sector.

The second track, which is far more widespread, is the creation of facts on the ground, through extensive illegal construction and development, without coordination with Israel. The projects in this illegal track are planned and executed according to a very clear, systematic master plan that aims to create territorial contiguity for the future Palestinian state while disrupting the growth and contiguity of Israeli communities.

In Oman, Israeli minister calls for cooperation on variety of issues

Israel and Gulf Arab states should cooperate on aviation security and other civilian areas such as transportation, commercial aviation and tourism, Israel’s transportation and intelligence minister said Thursday after a visit to Oman.

Muscat and Jerusalem do not maintain diplomatic ties but relations between them have been growing steadily closer. In late October, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Persian Gulf state and discussed ‎peace initiatives in the Middle East with Omani ‎leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who pledged his country’s help in advancing ‎the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, stalled since 2014.

Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz was in the Omani capital Muscat this week attending a transportation conference alongside dozens of senior officials from around the world, including from Muslim countries that have no ties with Israel, such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Qatar, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen and even Iran.

‎”In my view, cooperation between Israel and the Gulf ‎states can and should be expanded, Katz said. ‎‎”Israel also has a lot to offer when it comes to ‎water desalination and irrigation, agriculture and ‎medicine.”‎

He stressed to conference-goers that “we all have ‎the obligation to explore how to improve the quality of life of ‎all the peoples in the region, among ‎other things by investing in transportation ‎infrastructure.”‎

Why Can’t Pakistan Come to Terms with the Existence of Israel?

It is a fact that many Arab states have either recognized Israel and have embassies in Tel Aviv, or deal with it fairly openly without formal ties. As it is, younger Arabs have little time or sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

Recognition is not accorded as a reward for good behavior, but as acknowledgment that a state fulfills the norms of statehood as defined by the UN. In order to engage Israel over its policies, we first have to have a diplomatic presence there. If neighboring Arab states have come to terms with the existence of Israel, why can’t we? We have no territorial disputes with it.

I have little doubt that any Pakistani government that recognizes Israel would face violent demonstrations by religious parties. It is certainly true that most Pakistanis are anti-Semitic, even though few have actually met a Jew.

But policy should not be subject to blackmail, especially when national interests are involved. Currently, Israel manufactures some of the most advanced weapons systems in the world, with India as one of its biggest customers. And it is a world leader in the optimal use of water. So clearly, we have much to learn from a state we consider our foe.

Pakistani airbase staff confirm private jet’s arrival from Israel — report

Staff at a Pakistani airbase have reportedly confirmed a report that a private jet made a secretive trip to the country straight from Tel Aviv last month — despite vociferous denials from Islamabad.

A pilot and three staffers at the Noor Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi told the Britain-based Middle East Eye news website they saw a BizJet plane, described as having flown from Tel Aviv in earlier reports, either in the air or on the tarmac.

One staffer said he saw a car pick up a delegation from the plane and bring them back several hours later.

The flights from Tel Aviv to Pakistan and back reportedly took place on October 23 and October 24, the same time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a then-secret trip to Oman, and amid a flurry of open contacts between Israeli officials and the Gulf.

The reported trip, first flagged by an editor at the Israeli daily Haaretz, set off an avalanche of speculation and reports in the Israeli and Pakistani press, leading to several official denials.

Pakistan has continued to deny that there was an Israeli plane at the base.

Israelis Barred From Saudi Chess Tournament Demand Action From World Chess Body

Two Israeli nationals are requesting that the international chess governing body — the Fédération lnternationale des Échecs (FIDE) — guarantee nondiscrimination after they were prevented from taking part in a chess tournament in Saudi Arabia last year because of their nationality.

Israeli chess grandmaster Ilya Smirin and former spokesperson for the Israeli Chess Federation Lior Aizenberg have written to FIDE requesting financial compensation and seeking assurances that it will not allow host countries to perpetrate such discrimination against Israelis again. The two are being supported in their action by the Lawfare Project, a US-based think tank and litigation fund that fights antisemitic and anti-Israeli discrimination around the world.

Saudi Arabia denied visas to seven Israeli chess players in December 2017, preventing them from competing in the World Blitz & Rapid Championships in Riyadh.

Lawyers wrote to FIDE on behalf of the Israeli players on Oct. 1. The letter made clear that their “inability to participate in this Tournament was due to FIDE’s failure to secure entry visas to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Israeli nationals and, correspondingly, its failure to guarantee their equal treatment and to protect them against discrimination on the basis of their nationality.”

The letter cited official FIDE policies that it “rejects discriminatory treatment for national, political, racial, social or religious reasons or on account of gender,” and stipulate that FIDE-sanctioned events may, according to Article 1.2 of the FIDE Statutes, “be hosted only by Federations where free access is generally assured to representatives of all Federations.”

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly Melbourne stabbing

The Islamic State jihadist group on Friday claimed the rush-hour stabbing spree carried out by a Somali immigrant who killed one person and wounded two others in the heart of Australia’s second largest city.

Police labelled the stabbing a “terrorist event,” and said the unnamed man drove a 4×4 truck loaded with gas bottles into the bustling city center of Melbourne, ignited the vehicle in a ball of flames and then attacked passers-by with a knife.

He stabbed three people before being confronted by armed officers who eventually shot him in the chest. One victim died at the scene and the attacker died later in hospital.

Counter-terrorism police and intelligence officers are still piecing together how the incident occurred, but said the attacker was known to intelligence services.

Islamic State — which often claims responsibility for such attacks — said via its propaganda arm that the perpetrator was an “Islamic State fighter and carried out the operation.”

Moving the Australian Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem Will Advance the Peace Process

IDF Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser was interviewed by Australia’s ABC News on October 31, 2018:

Q: What difference would it make if Australia moves its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

Kuperwasser: This is going to tell the Palestinians that they have to realize that the world is moving forward and they have to adjust their position. The U.S has moved its embassy to Jerusalem, Brazil is now planning to move its embassy to Jerusalem, and Russia has admitted that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Pragmatic elements inside the Arab world are telling the Palestinians, “Listen, stop putting obstacles in the way toward cooperation with Israel.”

Australia, as a very important member of the liberal democracies, would be telling the Palestinians, “Listen, we are going to base our policy on the real situation, which is that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for ages and has been the capital of Israel for the last 70 years. And let’s move forward toward peace.”

Q: There were a lot of protests when Donald Trump said he was going to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Kuperwasser: Maybe in some Western capitals there were some protests. But in the Middle East there were no protests, with the exception of Gaza where they were already protesting so they added this as an excuse for their protest. But in my mind, most of the Arabs are ready to accept it. They know that Jerusalem is our capital. It is not something that is an obstacle on the way to peace.

On the contrary. Once people send this message to the Palestinians, that they have to accept it, this is going to remove this impediment on the way to peace. Even though the Arabs may publicly criticize it, they know that this is necessary in order to enable movement forward on the peace process.

Brazil Risks Middle East Trade With Israel Embassy Move

A proposal by Brazil’s next president to relocate its embassy in Israel, following US President Donald Trump’s lead, may set off a diplomatic storm in the Muslim world, threatening a key market for the world’s largest meat companies.

Brazil is by far the world’s largest exporter of halal meat, which complies with Muslim dietary rules. President-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to move Brazil’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, strengthening relations with Israel, has already upset Egypt and could soon stir trouble with other Islamic nations.

“The reaction will be given not only as an individual country but on behalf of the whole Muslim world,” a Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “We are expecting Brazil to act with reason and not confront the Muslim world.”

Brazil exports $16 billion annually to the Middle East and Turkey, with just 3 percent going to Israel, according to government statistics.

More than a quarter of Brazil’s exports to the region are meat. Both Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s top beef producer, and BRF SA, the No. 1 poultry exporter, have bet big on the growing demand for halal meat.

Brazil exports over $5 billion of halal meat per year, more than twice its nearest rivals, Australia and India, according to Salaam Gateway, a partnership between the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and Thomson Reuters.

Syrian passenger plane’s approach to Israeli airspace said to cause scramble

Flights at Israel’s main international airport were suspended for about 20 minutes due to air force activity Thursday.

Planes at Ben Gurion International Airport were grounded and landings called off from 6:45 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. while air force jets were scrambled to investigate an unidentified object approaching Israeli airspace in what turned out to be a false alarm, according to the Hadashot TV news outlet.

Channel 10 news later reported that a Syrian passenger plane had accidentally deviated from its course and flown towards the Israeli coast, prompting the scramble.

The Israeli military only confirmed that it had requested that the airport temporarily suspend takeoffs and landings.

An army spokesperson said it was part of “routine cooperation” between the air force and the civilian aviation authority.

“It was nothing irregular,” the spokesperson said

Politicians outraged over defacement of Ramat HaSharon Synagogue

Politicians and religious leaders strongly condemned a hate crime in Ramat Hasharon, where a pig’s head was discovered at the gate of a local Orthodox synagogue on Friday.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said he was “shocked to the bottom of [his] soul” from what he called a “despicable and reprehensible hate crime.”

He continued to explain that if such a thing had happened in any other country in the world, “we would all shout and lament.” He called on the police to arrest those responsible.

Beit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev said that concerns in the secular community about promoting religious content in the educational system [Hadata] “turned into an incitement campaign.”

Yogev said that his father, who came to Israel before the Holocaust,”would not have believed he would see such an antisemitic sight in the state of Israel.” Yogev warned that leaders in the secular Zionist camp must “examine themselves to see if they did not go too far in their efforts to uproot the Torah of Israel from the hearts of their children.”

6,000 Gaza-area teens complete ‘apolitical’ protest march to Jerusalem

Some 6,000 high school students from Israeli towns near the Gaza border reached Jerusalem on Thursday following a 100-mile march in what the teens said was an “apolitical” effort to effect change.

About 100 students began the march from Sderot, a southern Israeli town often targeted by Palestinian bombs, on Sunday, picking up supporters from southern Israel and across the country along the approximately 90-kilometer route.

They wore T-shirts reading, “Let us grow up in peace” and ended their march at the Knesset.

“Our message is that we want change. Enough of the current security situation,” Roei Rahaf of Kibbutz Mefalsim, a senior at the Shaar Hanegev regional high school, told Ynet at the start of the march. “Since we were born, we’ve been living from one war to the next. We want to grow up on the Gaza border in peace.”

The Gaza border area has seen near-constant unrest since a series of protest marches by Gazans along the border fence began in late March, punctuated by rocket attacks and the launches of incendiary balloons. Israeli leaders are said to be seeking a long-term calm with Gaza’s Hamas rulers, but are also under pressure to ensure any deal includes the return of Israelis and remains of soldiers held in the Strip.

Israel has fought three wars with Hamas-led fighters in Gaza since 2008.

Israeli Teens March For Peace

THIS is what a peace protest looks like Today over 2,000 Israeli high schoolers completed a 90 km march from the Gaza border communities to Jerusalem, in a symbolic protest for peace in southern Israael. The teens are speaking out against the apathy to the non-stop rocket fire, tunnels, arson attacks, and violence by Palestinian terrorists at the Gaza border. For many of them, their ENTIRE LIVES have been under fire. The multi-day march began with 150 students and finished today with 2,000 – chanting, singing, and holding signs for peace! We joined the students in Jerusalem to learn about their journey:

The Gaza related protest the BBC ignored

Since the BBC began reporting on the ‘Great Return March’ violent rioting over seven months ago, BBC audiences have seen the grand total of one minute and twenty seconds of coverage reflecting the point of view of residents of the Israeli communities close to the Gaza Strip-Israel border who are affected by the violence.

A two and a half minute BBC News video on a story ignored for three months

That July 12th interview with one kibbutz spokesperson related solely to the subject of the arson attacks perpetrated by the Gaza Strip rioters and did not address additional issues such as the severe air pollution caused by months of tyre burning along the border or the rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.

Rocket and mortar attacks have of course not been limited to the past seven months: they commenced in 2001 and their numbers rose following Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

This week a group of teenagers who have never known life without terrorists’ rocket and mortar attacks set off on a 90 kilometer walk to Jerusalem.

Israel Supreme Court: PA Must Pay $3.8 Million for False Imprisonment of 51 Palestinians

In a blockbuster ruling the Supreme Court on Wednesday effectively endorsed two judgments totaling close to NIS 14 million against the Palestinian Authority for falsely jailing 51 Palestinians.

In December 2017, the Jerusalem District Court issued a judgment of about NIS 900,000 in attorneys’ fees for the plaintiffs in the case, and in June, a judgment of approximately NIS 13.1m. against the PA for false imprisonment.

In the first case of its kind, an Israeli court in July 2017 ruled that 51 Palestinians who were tortured by the PA for cooperating with Israel could sue the authority for damages.

That 1,860-page ruling, based on dozens of witnesses over several years, was one of the most bizarre in years, as it involved Palestinian citizens coming before the courts of the Israeli “occupation” to get justice for their mistreatment by their own PA law enforcement.

The PA has appealed all of the District Court’s decisions to the Supreme Court and asked that the lower court’s decisions be frozen until the appeal is decided.

Justice Yosef Elron’s rejection of the PA appeal means the PA is now obligated under Israeli law to pay the 51 Palestinians without delay – though there are still questions on how the plaintiffs can realistically collect.

Three suitcases stuffed with $15m pass to Hamas in Gaza

In a scene reminiscent of a mafia movie, a vehicle with three suitcases stuffed with $15 million in cash passed through the Erez crossing on Thursday.

News of the transaction was reported by KAN News, which showed a photo of the three suitcases on the back seat of a vehicle.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories had no immediate response to the report.

The money was given to Hamas by Qatar. The chairman of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, Mohammed al-Emadi, entered Gaza with the cash. The funds could only have entered Gaza with Israel’s approval.
The funds are designated to pay civil servant salaries. The PA has halted those payments as part of strict economic sanctions, which it has imposed on the Gaza Strip in its bid to wrest control of Gaza from Hamas. The terror group has forcibly ruled Gaza since it ousted Fatah in a bloody coup in 2007.

Hamas demanded funds to pay civil servant salaries as one of the conditions that would need to be met in order to halt violent riots along the border and the launching of incendiary devices into Gaza.

Palestinians in Gaza attack Qatari envoy with stones after $15m. payment

Palestinian protesters pelted the convoy of Qatar’s ambassador to the Palestinians, Mohammed Al-Emadi, with stones Friday as he came to observe the weekly demonstrations along Gaza’s border fence with Israel, according to The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv.

Gazan media reported that those leading the attack against Al-Emadi were from the Palestinian faction of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. PFLP members had earlier refused to take part in the meeting with the Qatari ambassador and other Palestinian groups.

Friday’s incident came after Qatar, with Israeli agreement, had transferred $15 million in cash to Hamas in Gaza, funds that were used for the salaries of Palestinian civil servants in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave. The money was transferred in three suitcases in a heavily guarded vehicle, while officials made an orderly list of those who would receive salaries in the coming months.

The Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, said that there is no agreement with Israel but only understandings with intermediaries, headed by Egypt. “The siege fence has begun to collapse and it will fall,” Sinwar said. “There are no understandings or agreements with the occupation at all. We are in contact with the mediators to break the siege, and we will not pay political prices in order to obtain our rights.”

PA fumes as suitcases of ‘gangster’ Qatari cash reach Gaza in bid to ease crisis

Palestinian civil servants formed long queues in Gaza on Friday to receive Qatari-funded salaries, as part of efforts to ease tensions in and around the impoverished territory, even as the Palestinian Authority slammed the envoy who brought in the suitcases of cash as a “gangster” and a “smuggler.”

A total of $90 million is to be distributed in six monthly installments of $15 million, according to authorities, primarily to cover salaries of officials working for Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Palestinian enclave.

Some exited post offices, where the first payment was being distributed, to show off hundred-dollar bills before the cameras, after several months of sporadic salary payments in cash-strapped Gaza.

The cash was driven into the Palestinian enclave through Israel late Thursday by Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, Mohammad al-Emadi, according to a government source in Gaza.

Smuggler caught at Gaza border with coins from time of Alexander the Great

Israeli guards at the Erez Crossing on the Israel-Gaza border this week apparently foiled an attempt to smuggle out two ancient coins from the period of Alexander the Great out of the coastal enclave, Israeli officials said Friday.

During searches of a Palestinian man leaving the Strip, the coins were found in a bag of similarly silver-colored modern Israeli one-shekel coins.

Officials from the Civilian Administration’s Archaeology Unit identified them as tetradrachm, or four-drachmae, coins produced between 323 and 325 BCE, either in the last years of Alexander the Great’s reign or shortly after his death.

One was pressed in Babylon and the second in Amphipolis in northern Greece.

Both are “rare, highly prized and culturally significant,” the army said in a statement about the capture.

The coins were confiscated by the Civil Administration.

The smuggler was identified only as a Gazan resident in his 40s.

New U.S. Sanctions on Iran Omit Half of Entities Tied to Tehran’s Terror-Tied Fighting Force

The Trump administration’s new sanctions on Iran, which came into effect on Monday, omit half of key entities tied to Tehran’s army forces and hardline paramilitary group known for conducting terror operations across the globe, according to a new analysis by a top watchdog organization.

New U.S. sanctions on Iran—which have come under fierce criticism by Iran hawks in Congress and elsewhere for providing major concessions to Iran and its European business partners—have failed to cover “half of the publicly listed firms under the principal control of the regime’s security forces,” according to research conducted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank that has worked closely with the administration on national security issues.

The failure of the new sanctions to hit these key sources of funding for the hardline Iranian regime is likely to provide further grist to Iran hawks in Congress and their allies who have expressed frustration over what they say is the Trump administration’s failure to uphold its vow to fully sanction Iran and choke off the regime’s primary funding sources.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported last week that the administration has made a series of last-minute concessions to Iran and its European partners that some have warned will leave Tehran the financial resources to continue its rogue military and terrorist operations across the globe.

Chinese aviation giant says will no longer sell jetliners to Iran

A Chinese state firm on Wednesday ruled out selling passenger planes to Iran to help the Islamic republic revive fleet renewal plans, while a Russian executive suggested Moscow would be wary of putting its own programs at risk of U.S. retaliation.

The move underscores the challenges Iran faces in rekindling plans to import planes after the U.S. reimposed sanctions, though Iran Air reiterated on Wednesday it would welcome offers from suppliers not subject to restrictions on the export of U.S. plane parts.

Deals to buy 200 aircraft from aviation giants Airbus, Boeing and European turboprop maker ATR have virtually all stalled after the United States withdrew from a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers and reimposed sanctions on firms including Iran Air.

Iran’s search for other suppliers was a talking point on the sidelines of Airshow China this week, where China promoted its growing aircraft industry as it looks to break into foreign markets for planes such as its long-delayed ARJ21 regional jet.

Asked whether Iran had shown interest in buying Chinese airplanes, Zhao Yuerang, general manager of manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, said, “No, we cannot sell to Iran. Iran is off the table.”

Iranian National Convicted in Conspiracy to Smuggle Nuclear Tech to Tehran

An Iranian citizen pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal charges he sought to smuggle nuclear technology to Tehran as part of a larger conspiracy to illicitly aid the Islamic Republic’s contested nuclear program, according to the Department of Justice.

Arash Sepehri, a 38-year-old Iranian citizen, offered a guilty plea yesterday in a U.S. district count for “his role in a conspiracy to cause the export of controlled goods and technology to Iran, in violation of U.S. Department of Commerce and military controls, as well as in contravention of sanctions imposed against Iran,” according to information provided by the Trump administration, which has sought to reimpose a range of nuclear and non-nuclear sanctions on Iran.

“Sepehri pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to conspiracy to unlawfully export U.S. goods to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, and to defraud the United States,” according to the Justice Department.

As an employee and board member of Tajhiz Sanat Company, or TSS, an Iranian company, Sepehri helped organize an international scheme to ship sanctioned good to Iran via the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.

Louis Farrakhan in Tehran: The Iranians Have A Right to Chant “Death to America”

Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, delivered a press conference in Tehran on November 8, 2018. He said that the Iranian people have the right to chant “death to America” because the economic sanctions are hurting them and that it is America’s and Israel’s policies that will lead to their demise rather than the Iranian chants. In a response to people who say that he should stay in Iran rather than return to the U.S., Farrakhan said: “America is mine. America is ours… How dare you say we cannot criticize your evil and point it out to you? I am more of a patriot than most of you who bow down to evil, and I speak the truth.” During the press conference, a Press TV (Iran) reporter asked Farrakhan if he would be willing to chant “death to America” on camera. Farrakhan said that he would not, and he accused the reporter of being paid to provoke him. Press TV interrupted their live broadcast of the press conference during Farrakhan’s accusations. The excerpts in this video were from Ruptly, a part of the Russia Today network, and from IRINN TV.

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