Sunday, July 05, 2015

From Ian:

Will Israel Save America?
America forgot the inspiration it drew from the ancient Hebrews. Yet the living presence of the Jewish people, the same people who chose God as their sovereign at Mount Sinai, provides Americans with a chance to remember, or to turn away. If America was created in the Protestant vision of an imagined biblical republic, Israel is the republic of the people of the Bible. The restoration of the Jewish people to its ancient land and language, embodied in a modern democratic state, outstanding in it is accomplishments in every field of intellectual endeavor, demanded a readiness for sacrifice and boldness of purpose like that of no other nation on earth.
As a result, Israel’s impact on America’s national consciousness has been profound. Evangelical Protestants, for example the Rev. Billy Graham, supported Israel from the outset. (Rev. Graham’s deprecating remarks about American liberal Jews were made in context of praise for Israeli Jews.) Israel’s victories in 1948 and especially 1967 galvanized evangelical Christians. It was not, as the old canard has it, that evangelical Christians thought war in the Middle East advanced the timetable for Armageddon. On the contrary, believing Christians saw the fulfillment of God’s promise to the Jews as a sign of hope that God would also fulfill his promises to them.
One does not have to view Israel’s accomplishments through a theological mirror to understand what the Jewish State tells us about statecraft. Freedom does not arise from the mere presence of democratic institutions, as we learned in Iraq, or from bursts of popular enthusiasm, as we learned in the Arab Spring, or from participation in elections, as we learned when Hamas swept the 2006 West Bank elections. It depends on the radical commitment to the premise that a higher power than human caprice is the ultimate arbiter in civic life. It requires willingness to take existential risk. That is the Jewish principle in politics, the civil content of the Sinai covenant, and the basis for the American Founding. To the extent we have forgotten this, the people who stood at Mount Sinai still are there to remind us. If we reject this reminder, we will un-choose ourselves as Americans.
Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn attacked for calling Hezbollah and Hamas 'friends'
The ultra left-wing MP made the remarks when he invited delegates from the two Islamist factions, which have been accused of carrying out grisly war crimes, to a conference hosted in the House of Commons.
He can also be heard describing the Government's classification of the groups as terrorist organisations as a "big, big historical mistake".
In the video, on the eve of a conference he organised as patron of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, the controversial MP describes it as an "honour" to welcome members of the terror group Hezbollah to parliament, adding that he had also invited Hamas militants who were blocked from attending by the Israelis.
He says: “Tomorrow evening it will be my pleasure and my honour to host an event in parliament where our friends from Hezbollah will be speaking.
"And I’ve also invited friends from Hamas to come and speak as well. Unfortunately the Israelis would not allow them to travel here.
He then adds: "The idea that [Hamas] should be labelled as a terrorist organisation by the British government is really a big, big historical mistake and I would invite the government to reconsider its position on this matter and start talking directly to Hamas and Hezbollah.”

Anti-Israel Professor Finds New Home in Lebanon
The anti-Israel professor whose appointment to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was rescinded last fall over a series of incendiary tweets written during Operation Protective Edge has found new employment.
Steven Salaita has been hired as the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut, he revealed on Twitter last Wednesday.
“Thank you, friends. I’ve really missed the classroom. I’ll do my very best to honor the legacy of Dr. Said,” he wrote in another tweet.
Said was a noted Palestinian-American academic and literary theorist, who taught at Columbia University.
The saga over Salaita's employment began last summer when he published virulently anti-Israel tweets on his personal Twitter page during the ongoing Gaza war.
One tweet branded Israel's defenders "awful human beings" while yet another suggested it would be no surprise if Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children." (h/t sophie44)

Ben-Dror Yemini: There will be no change until Muslims wake up
Nearly 40 Muslims were murdered last Friday in a mosque in Kuwait. Dozens of Egyptian soldiers were killed on Wednesday. In between, another 103 Muslims were massacred in the city of Kobani in Syria, another 50 in the village of Lego in Somalia and 28 others in Sana'a, Yemen.
We don’t know about all terror attacks in real time. In 2013, nearly 18,000 people were murdered in terror attacks, and in 2014 the number crossed 32,000. Almost all of them were Muslims. In addition, there are the victims of the wars in the Muslim world, so the estimates are that 132,000-174,000 Muslims were killed in 2014. And that's before mentioning the millions of refugees whose situation is deteriorating.
Sometimes it seems that the battle against global jihad is succeeding, but that's an illusion. The jihad has made entire countries collapse and led them to destruction. Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Libya are in the process of falling apart. Yemen is on its way. And now the jihad is trying to do to Sinai what Boko Haram did to northern Nigeria. A huge, strong and equipped army is finding it difficult to defeat a terror organization. If anyone thought there was a chance for a defeat, Wednesday's fatal attack made it clear that it's not about to happen anytime soon.
There is also no need to get caught up in illusions about Egypt. Its current regime is secular, and after the very non-springlike Arab Spring era, it now appears to have a stable and strong government. But the support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has not disappeared. In a survey published two years ago, 74% of Egyptians were in favor of applying the Sharia laws not only on themselves, but also on non-Muslims.
If anyone thinks the Egyptians have suddenly become liberal, they are wrong. The wave of loathing Hamas was mainly on the part of the government and media. It's not entirely clear that the Egyptian people hold similar views. In a country where only three years ago such high rates were in favor of imposing the Sharia on non-Muslims, the distance between them and the ideology driving jihad is not that big.
David Singer: State Of Palestine and Islamic State Highlight International Double Standards
Islamic State meets all four Montevideo Convention criteria.
Yet British Prime Minister David Cameron urges Islamic State’s existence not be recognised by simply not using its self-declared name – reportedly telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
“I wish the BBC would stop calling it ‘Islamic State’ because it is not an Islamic State. What it is, is an appalling barbarous regime … it is a perversion of the religion of Islam and many Muslims listening to this programme will recoil every time they hear the words.”
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has an even whackier view:
“This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists. The Arabs call it ‘Daesh’ and I will be calling them the ‘Daesh cutthroats’.”
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reportedly used the term “death cult” 346 times since last September.
The Pope too seems reluctant to use the term “Islamic State”. President Obama uses the acronym “ISIL” to deny it is Islamic or a State.
“Palestine” – not a State – is recognised as a State.
“Islamic State” – a State – is not recognised as a State.
No wonder the world is in such a state of turmoil and confusion.
Israel losing Democrats, ‘can’t claim bipartisan US support,’ top pollster warns
Three quarters of highly educated, high income, publicly active US Democrats — the so-called “opinion elites” — believe Israel has too much influence on US foreign policy, almost half of them consider Israel to be a racist country, and fewer than half of them believe that Israel wants peace with its neighbors. These are among the findings of a new survey carried out by US political consultant Frank Luntz.
Detailing the survey results to The Times of Israel on Sunday, Luntz called the findings “a disaster” for Israel. He summed them up by saying that the Democratic opinion elites are converting to the Palestinians, and “Israel can no longer claim to have the bipartisan support of America.”
He said he “knew there was a shift” in attitudes to Israel among US Democrats “and I have been seeing it get worse” in his ongoing polls. But the new findings surprised and shocked him, nonetheless. “I didn’t expect it to become this blatant and this deep.”
A prominent US political consultant known best for his work with Republicans, Luntz is meeting with a series of high-level Israeli officials this week to discuss the survey and consult on how to grapple with the trends it exposes.
“Israel has won the hearts and minds of Republicans in America, while at the same time it is losing the Democrats,” he said. On US politics, “I’m right of center,” he added. “But the Israeli government and US Jews have to focus on repairing relations with the Democrats.”
Netanyahu: What's happening in Iran talks is a breakdown, not a breakthrough
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday expressed alarm at the emerging nuclear deal between western powers and Iran currently taking place in Vienna.
Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that "what's coming out of the nuclear talks in Vienna is not a breakthrough, it's a breakdown."
Netanyahu said that the world powers were conceding more and more with each passing day.
The emerging deal "will pave Iran's way to produce the cores of many atomic bombs and it will also flood Iran with hundreds of millions of dollars that will serve it in its aggression and its mission of terror in the region and the world," the prime minister warned.
Netanyahu claimed that the emerging deal with Iran was worse than the nuclear deal that had been signed with North Korea which led to Pyongyang obtaining an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Progress made in nuke talks, but deal not a sure thing, Kerry says
With nuclear talks in Vienna nearing Tuesday’s new deadline, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said “genuine progress” had been made in recent days, but that disagreements over key issues remained and could quash the emerging the deal.
Speaking outside the Coburg Palace in the Austrian capital, Kerry warned that the talks could still go either way.
Negotiations between world powers and Iran “are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues,” Kerry said.
“While I agree with [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif that we have never been closer, these negotiations could go either way,” he said. “We have difficult issues still to resolve.”
The Central Pillar of the Iran Deal Has a Big Flaw
If the emerging deal is “not based on trust,” as John Kerry says, then it has to be based on the credible threat of re-imposed sanctions. And that’s a huge problem.
There is a key flaw in the emerging nuclear deal with Iran that is likely to quickly turn this historic agreement into a monumental failure.
The most important thing Iran gets from a deal, we are told, is the lifting of crippling international sanctions that have been imposed over the years, many of which will be lifted fairly soon after a deal is reached. But this means that the entire success of the deal over time rests on the likelihood that the United States and its allies will quickly re-impose sanctions (known as “snap-back”) if Tehran fails to fulfill its obligations. If Iran cannot be trusted, as the Secretary of State has assured us, then it must be afraid of the consequences of breaking the deal.
But the problem with relying on snap-back sanctions to ensure Tehran’s compliance is that no one seriously believes it will happen.
Since November 2013, when the Obama administration—largely on its own—negotiated an interim deal with Iran that suspended key sanctions provisions immediately, made a commitment not to pass new sanctions during negotiations, and promised to remove sanctions once a deal was reached, U.S. proclamations about sanctions have gradually lost credibility. Tehran does not believe the Obama administration can re-impose sanctions. America’s allies do not believe Washington will even try to roll back the business stampede that the demise of sanctions will unleash. And with signals from both Tehran and European capitals that sanctions are unlikely to ever be reinstated, global business corporations don’t believe it either.
There are good reasons for Iran, the Europeans, and the global business community to doubt the viability of the snap-back mechanism. After all, it took years of patient and tenacious U.S. diplomacy to prod a reluctant international community into agreeing and then enacting the complicated sanctions regime in place since March 2007, when the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 1737. In particular, getting the United Nations Security Council’s stamp of approval for non-proliferation sanctions proved extremely difficult. Though this approach eventually bore fruit—six binding resolutions under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter were approved between July 2006 and June 2010—it also showed its limits.
The Iran Talks: An Expert's Guide
It is worth asking if Obama really believes he can eliminate the threat of a nuclear Iran, or if his goal is simply to put the issue off and leave it to his successors. In a May 19 interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, Obama sought to remove any doubts along these lines, saying, “Look, 20 years from now, I’m still going to be around, God willing. If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this. … I think it’s fair to say that in addition to our profound national-security interests, I have a personal interest in locking this down.”
In light of Obama’s policy thus far, however, it seems clear that he wants to avoid using the “stick” at all costs. In regard to Iran, he prefers the “carrot,” perhaps in hopes that he can soften the nature of the regime. But isn’t Obama’s view utopian? Isn’t he ignoring the Tehran regime’s vocal rejection of the minimal provisions on sanctions, supervision, and the technical aspects of the proposed agreement? On this, the answers the Obama administration has presented (Obama’s April 2 Rose Garden speech; Vice President Joe Biden’s April 30 remarks on CNN; Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s speech at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on June 8) have been more disturbing than reassuring. They give the sense that Obama is determined to reach an agreement at almost any price. This sense was heightened very recently, when a prominent group of diplomats and experts—including five of those most closely associated with the administration’s nuclear negotiations in recent years—issued a public letter warning that the emerging deal “may fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a ‘good agreement.’”
Against the background of recent U.S. conduct in Afghanistan and Iraq, the solution the Obama administration is hoping for on the Iran issue raises serious questions. It seems likely that Obama has crossed the “red lines” he had drawn himself, and his proposed deal will result in even more serious problems than those we face today.
Official: Permanent Iran Deal Even Worse than Interim One
Amid reports that Iran and the six world powers are getting closer to signing a permanent agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, a senior Israeli official on Saturday night issued a stern warning about the impending agreement.
“The agreement is worse than the interim agreement reached in Lausanne,” the official told Arutz Sheva, “because not only does it not undermine Iran’s existing nuclear infrastructure, it will partially remove the sanctions and allow Iran to continue to support terrorism in Israel and worldwide.”
Government officials in Jerusalem still have hopes, though they are slim, that the United States Congress, which is supposed to approve the agreement, will reject a problematic arrangement and are working intensively to persuade lawmakers in Washington to reject a bad agreement.
The official’s comments came hours after Iran and world powers said they made progress on future sanctions relief for Iran, but remained divided on issues such as lifting United Nations sanctions and the development of advanced centrifuges.
Iran deploys long-range radar system on border
A new, long-range radar system designed by Iran’s air force has been deployed in the southwest of the country to bolster Iranian air defenses, official state media reported on Saturday.
Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) air defense force, who unveiled the Ghadir phased-array radar, suggested that the system has the capacity to identify small unmanned aircraft, Reuters reported.
“Discovering and tracking micro aerial vehicles (MAV)… is one of the special qualities of the Ghadir radar system,” Esmaili was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying.
The array was placed near the city of Ahwaz in southwestern Khuzestan province, near the Iraq border and just north of the Persian Gulf.
'Report on past Iran nuclear work could be ready by end of year'
The U.N. nuclear watchdog can likely issue a report on its investigation into past Iranian research suspected of being linked to nuclear weapons development by the end of the year if Iran cooperates, the agency's chief said on Saturday.
"With cooperation from Iran, I think we can issue a report by the end of the year on the assessment of the clarification of the issues related to the possible military dimensions," International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters.
Answering the IAEA's so-far unresolved questions about the possible military dimensions of past Iranian nuclear research will be a condition for easing some sanctions on Iran if Tehran and six powers succeed in agreeing on an historic nuclear accord in Vienna, diplomats close to the talks say.
Down and Out on the Temple Mount
For a thousand years it stood as the pinnacle of sanctity in Judaism, and for two thousand more as the focus of our dreams. So why can’t a Jew even mumble a prayer there?
They’ve been in that back room for a while. I’m standing by the door, trying to ascertain what’s going on by the mumblings and the gestures. I feel like a child, trying to coax my superior with an insecure smile. The policeman comes back, eyeing me up and down, holding my passport in his right hand. You’re a journalist, he says. You’re not allowed to enter.
I have already been there for almost two hours, waiting to be allowed to ascend, but the line allocated for Jews isn’t moving. The other one is, though. The tourist line is moving bodies as were it the entrance to an amusement park. I had stood in that line, swooshing past security, just a few months earlier.
Something shifted in me this past October, after learning about the assassination attempt on Rabbi Yehuda Glick, an activist who campaigns for greater Jewish access to the Temple Mount. The Mount had represented an ache in my heart, but stayed there, as elusive as a dream. Every time I visited The Western Wall, I would feel sadness and loss, knowing that I was so close, yet so far away, but somehow I had accepted the status quo and settled for this state of silent complacency. Then someone drove up on a motorcycle and tried cutting down a man who had kept the dream alive for all of us, and I knew in my heart that this could not stand.
The 37 acres of the Temple Mount constitute the most contested piece of religious property in the world. This is a place that has been holy to us Jews for thousands of years—even before creation, according to the Midrash—and it is here we find the Foundation Stone, at the heart of the Dome of the Rock, from where the whole world was created and where the rebuilding of our third Temple one day will take place. It is also the third-holiest site in Islam, where Muslims believe Muhammad’s ascension to heaven took place after his night-journey to Jerusalem. The al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock were constructed on the Temple Mount in 637 CE, after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem. The mosque faces Mecca on the far-south side of the Mount, with the Dome of the Rock standing on the site of the Holy Temple, directly over the Holiest of Holies.
In 1967, at the end of the Six-Day War, the whole city of Jerusalem was reunited under Israeli sovereignty. Israeli authorities faced the question of what to do about the Temple Mount, then under religious management of the Jordanian clerical authority known as the Waqf. According to Jewish religious law dating back to the original Temple of King Solomon, Jews are prohibited from visiting the most sacred parts of the Temple Mount, but a large portion of the area consists of later extensions that were erected under Roman rule and that hold no such limitations. The Israeli government, however, decided to put a broad-stroke policy in place, giving de facto control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf. The Chief Rabbinate echoed this decision by putting up a sign at the entrance, saying that Jews are forbidden to ascend and pray on any portion of the Temple Mount. This policy, driven through by then-Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan, has resulted not only in systematic destruction of the site by Muslim authorities trying to wash away proof of Jewish presence and history on the Temple Mount, but also in Jewish worshippers entering the area without proper rabbinic guidance, at risk of unknowingly violating religious law.
Temple Mount Activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick Talks Peace in Turkey
While Palestinian Authority Arabs have been working hard to keep Jews and others off the Temple Mount with violence and riots, a U.S.-born Israeli rabbi and Israeli Druze Likud member have just returned from a trip abroad to discuss peaceful co-existence.
Temple Mount activist and Heritage Foundation head Rabbi Yehudah Glick traveled to Turkey last week to talk about peace. Glick, who traveled to Istanbul with Likud party Druze member Mendi Safadi, met for discussions with Islamic officials and those of several other faiths.
The two men were hosted by Islamic scholar and peace activist Adnan Oktar, who has long been the quiet “matchmaker” for numerous other such meetings with other Jewish and non-Jewish officials.
Among others, Glick and Safadi met with state official Aydin Yigman, Mufti of the Beyoglu District on the European side in Istanbul. During their conversation, Yigman firmly condemned the assassination attempt that nearly cost Glick his life after a speaking engagement in Jerusalem last year.
“Any religion would condemn this attack,” the mufti stated. “It’s unacceptable.”
Local sources told the conversation between Glick and the mufti was “very friendly” and described the atmosphere as “cordial.” Glick’s views on peace, particularly important during Ramadan in an Islamic nation whose bond with Israel has faltered in recent years, were “well received,” the source said.
Jordan's Shameful Record
As recently as the mid-20th century, when Arabs last controlled parts of Jerusalem, they exhibited no respect for the Holy City.
In 1948, when Jordan took control of the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Old City, it divided the city for the first time in its 3,000-year history.
Under the 1949 armistice agreement with Israel, Jordan pledged to allow free access to all holy places but failed to honor that commitment.
From 1948 until the Six-Day War in 1967, the part of Jerusalem controlled by the Jordanians, again became an isolated and underdeveloped provincial town, with its religious sites the target of religious intolerance.
The Old City was rendered void of Jews. Jewish sites such as the Mount of Olives were desecrated. Jordan destroyed more than 50 synagogues, and erased all evidence of a Jewish presence. In addition, all Jews were forced out of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City adjacent to the Western Wall, an area where Jews had lived for generations.
Rioting Arabs Again Keep Visitors Off Temple Mount
Once again, rioting Arabs on Sunday (July 5) succeeded in keeping visitors off the Temple Mount. Thousands of Palestinian Authority Arabs have been allowed into the site for prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, now entering its fourth and final week.
But the obviously planned violence by Arabs whipped up during a sermon at the mosque on the site, who hurled rocks at police forces near the Mughrabi (Rambam) Bridge, made it unsafe for security to allow anyone to ascend to the Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
This means that the thousands of Jews and other local and foreign visitors, many of whom arrive from overseas, cannot ascend the Mount.
Police officials said they would delay the opening of the site to visitors until security personnel had brought rioters under control. It is also possible that such a delay will mean the opening may be delayed beyond the hours in which the site can be accessed at all, at least for this day, due to the prayer schedule taking place at the mosque.
PMW: "Zionists... want to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque" - Palestinian researcher on PA TV
Political Islam researcher Muhammad ‎Hijazi: “The vision of the ‎Zionists and the extremist settlers for the ‎holy city: They try to take over and ‎divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They want to ‎destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque while talking about the Temple of Solomon. For 20 years, Israel has been ‎digging under the foundations of the Al-‎Aqsa Mosque. They have conducted tens of ‎thousands of research projects in ‎order to find the Temple of Solomon under the ‎Al-Aqsa Mosque, but they haven’t found ‎even one remnant that verifies this. The ‎political goal is to Judaize all of the city of ‎Jerusalem and expel its Palestinian ‎residents…”‎
PA TV host: “They hope that tomorrow ‎morning the Al-Aqsa Mosque will be ‎destroyed… As you said, they are trying to ‎actually destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque..."
Member of General Secretariat of the Union of Religious Scholars in Syria, Saber Al-Fara: "Not just for 20 years. They have been trying to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque for 60 years!" ‎
‎[Official PA TV, June 4, 2015]‎
Note:‎ Mahmoud Bakr Hijazi was serving 30 ‎years in prison for attempting to blow up ‎the Nehusha Water Institute in central ‎Israel in 1965. He was released in 1971 ‎and returned to Lebanon ‎ in an ‎exchange deal with Fatah for Shmuel ‎Rozenvasser, an Israeli citizen who was ‎abducted by Fatah terrorists in 1970. ‎

Arson strongly suspected in Jerusalem forest fire
Israel Police suspect Palestinian arsonists may be responsible for a wave of fires that have burned more than a thousand dunams (247 acres) of Jerusalem forest in three separate incidents this past week.
Authorities discovered the remains of a number of Molotov cocktails at the location firefighters determined Saturday’s blaze started, according to a report in the Hebrew-language Ynet.
The incendiary weapons were found adjacent to the security fence separating the small Palestinian village of Bidu from the Israeli kibbutz of Ma’ale Hahamisha and the nearby Jerusalem suburb of Har Adar.
On Saturday, eyewitnesses reported seeing Molotov cocktails being hurled into the forested area, and nearby residents said they saw “suspicious persons” about, according to the report.
Seventeen firefighting teams and four aircraft fought for several hours on Saturday afternoon to bring the fire under control.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Palestinian Father Films Young Son Trying To Provoke Israeli Border Policewoman
Shirley Temper has some competition.
A father filming his own son trying to provoke an Israeli soldier. Can you imagine ever treating your child like this?
I’m guessing the father knows full well the Israeli border police are not going to harm his son. And even if they do, even better, because imagine the propaganda value.
Sick. Sick.Sick.
‘What we’re going through is war’
It is already night time, and on the narrow and twisting road leading to the junction where Malachi Rosenfeld was shot the night before, there are hundreds of people marching in a quiet prayer and protest rally.
This spot is high up, nearly 800 meters over sea level, in the eastern Samaria, and despite the fact summer is already here, there was a bone-penetratingly cold wind blowing here on Tuesday night. The road that leads to the junction starts at the Shilo settlement, crosses Shvut Rachel and the outposts Ahiya, Adi Ad and Esh Kodesh and continues down to the Allon Road in the Jordan Valley.
On both sides of the road there are rocks and fields, beyond which you can see the lights of the Palestinian villages Ein M'ghar, Jalud, Kusra and Duma, and on the other side, to the east, the lights of the communities of the Jordan Valley. Further east, the lights from the Jordanian side are clearly visible. This is an incredibly beautiful region in which nature is still primordial and its residents are still in conflict and bleeding.
The road is listed as road 5050, but the residents of the area and the local council gave it the name "Gideon Road" after Gideon Lichterman, who was murdered here in a shooting terror attack in May 2003, some 100 meters from where Rosenfeld was murdered this week. This cursed and bloody road is also the artery that connects Shilo and Highway 60 to the communities in the Jordan Valley and the eastern Binyamin Region.
Each of the area's residents has their own story to tell about this road. Moria Israel from Kokhav HaShahar told us that every time she drives down that road, and she does so every day on her way to work at the Ma'aleh Levona Ulpana, her heart is pounding with fear.
PA determined to curb Hamas resistance in West Bank
Since Thursday night, the Palestinian Authority has been conducting a massive campaign of arrests among Hamas activists in the West Bank, one of the largest such operations carried out by the PA in recent years. According to Hamas, more than 120 of its members were rounded up in less than 48 hours. PA forces raided the homes of Muslim clergymen, former prisoners and, most notably, members of Hamas’s student body, specifically at the aמ-Najah National University in Nablus.
A recent spate of terror attacks in the West Bank, as well as revelations by the Shin Bet security service concerning Hamas infrastructure in Nablus, prompted an awakening of sorts on the Palestinian side, especially at the office of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas, who has proven time and again that he won’t abide any challenge to the stability of his rule, realizes full well that murdering Jews is only the secondary goal of Hamas activists carrying out attacks. The main aim of its deadly operations is to weaken the Palestinian Authority, heighten tensions with Israel, and ultimately undermine the government in the West Bank.
Due to the confluence of Israeli and PA interests, one can safely assume that Israel provided the PA with relevant information before the arrest operation was launched.
Hamas Finally Admits: ISIS Active in Gaza
ISIS jihadists have also been driectly engaged in a sometimes violent struggle with Gaza's Hamas rulers, accusing them of not fully implementing Islamic law and demanding imprisoned Salafists be released.
But Hamas has officially denied ISIS has any presence in the territory it rules, even as it continues to arrest ISIS supporters.
But on Friday, for the first time a senior Hamas official admitted ISIS has a presence in Gaza.
In an interview with Hamas's Al Quds TV, senior spokesperson and Political Bureau official Mousa Abu Marzouk responded to a recent video message from ISIS fighters in the Syria city of Aleppo, in which the group threatened to overthrow Hamas.
"Why do they want to turn Gaza into a sea of blood, and what capabilities does this group have to threaten like this?" Marzouk retorted.
He claimed there were mere "dozens" of ISIS members in Gaza and that they "are not organized," while vowing that Hamas authorities would soon stamp them out.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Black Hole Suspected As Construction Materials Enter Gaza, Disappear (satire)
Thousands of tons of cement, ceramics, and assorted other construction materials for rebuilding the Gaza Strip have entered the territory from Israel since last summer’s war, but almost none of it has made it to homeowners for reconstruction, leading scientists to believe a specialized black hole has formed in the area.
Israel opens its border crossings daily with the Gaza Strip to allow in the materials for rebuilding the thousands of homes destroyed during the fighting, along with food, medicine, and consumer goods. However, despite the near-constant inflow of materials, nearly a year after Operation Protective Edge, precious few Gazans have been provided with the concrete, tile, and other items they require to rebuild. Instead of winding up in new houses and apartment buildings, the concrete and other items have been vanishing, a phenomenon that physicists argue can only be accounted for by the formation of a singularity, a mass of matter so dense that its gravity sucks in everything around it. In this case, the black hole only attracts new construction materials, as the piles of rubble remaining from last summer’s carnage remain untouched.
While a selective black hole is not yet a proven phenomenon, since gravity is not known to discriminate, physicists find it a convenient explanation for the disappearance of all the Gaza construction materials. “Something seems to be swallowing up all the building supplies, and the more supplies are brought in, the more they disappear, which is consistent with what we know of black holes,” said astrophysicist Figg Lief of Malmo University in Sweden. “The only anomaly, in terms of known black hole attributes, is that it seems to be pulling in only construction materials, and not, for example, interstellar dust, gases, stars, or planets.”
Daphne Anson: BDSers target Gloria Gaynor
The Greek crisis has all but pushed Israel out of the picture as far as many normally Israel-obsessed leftists on social media are concerned.
Meanwhile, though, American singer Gloria Gaynor, due to perform in Tel Aviv on 29 July, has received a billet-doux imploring her as a "woman of color" to cancel the gig, and Israel-haters are encouraging the like-minded to harass her on Twitter.
The missive referred to begins:
"We, the undersigned, the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon (CBSI) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) are pleased to learn that you plan to perform in Lebanon on July 31, 2015 but are deeply dismayed that, two days earlier, you are scheduled to sing in Tel Aviv. We call on you to cancel your Tel Aviv performance, as no matter what your intentions are, Israel’s regime of oppression will use your name, as the South African apartheid regime used artists’ names, to whitewash its crimes."
French Gov't Will Continue Funding Radical Gaza Flotilla NGO
The report prompted Israel's embassy in Paris to lodge a formal complaint with the French foreign ministry.
But the French government is refusing to withdraw its funding for the Platform, which is in fact a coalition of more than 40 anti-Israel NGOs, claiming that since the funds were not earmarked for use on the flotilla specifically it will continue to finance the group.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, a French embassy spokeswoman admitted that "it is true that the French government has financed and is financing the Platform of French NGOs (for Palestine)."
However, she emphasized: "we finance specific projects that are in line with our priorities, which are earmarked, so it's not a general grant to the Platform... so it's untrue to say that money could have been transferred to the flotilla."
​"We can't say that we agree to all the positions... the militancy that they do... we don't agree with everything they do, but we finance projects we agree with," she added.
'Queer and Trans' Group Boots 'Zionists' and Bashes 'White Gay Privilege'
A self-styled ‘queer and trans group’ stands accused of censorship and racism after white gay and Jewish students were booted out of the “No HeterOx” organising page which blasts the “monotony of cisheterosexism”.
According to Cherwell, the No HeterOx Facebook group has been accused of anti-Semitism and has allegedly excluded several students who disagree with its hard-left views after purging some members and setting the privacy to “closed”.
The group describes itself as “a new print publication, acting as a platform of discussion and expression for Oxford’s Queer and Trans community… All, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, are welcome to contribute.”
Honest Reporting: Sign our Letter to the NY Times
When the NY Times implied that the United Nations Human Rights Council treated all countries equally, we showed how they were factually incorrect.
Now it is your chance. Please take a moment to sign our letter to the Times’ Public Editor by clicking here. Then share the letter with your friends. The more people who join this effort, the greater impact we can have.
Thank you for joining this effort.
Death of Palestinian Stone Thrower Leads to More Headline Fails
Despite the fact that it was the Palestinian who initiated the violence and threatened the lives of IDF soldiers, the New York Times and AFP headlines both remove any context and therefore suggest that a Palestinian teenager has simply been “killed” by the IDF for no apparent reason other than, presumably, malice.
For the Irish Times, a stone-thrower is transformed into a “protester” who may in the minds of the reader be guilty of no more than peacefully marching with a placard in hand. The International Business Times conjures images of an execution carried out for a minor infringement of the law.
IsraellyCool: Irish Times Shilling For Terrorists
This was posted on Facebook this morning by the Israel in Ireland page, the official page of the Israeli Embassy in Ireland:
Meital sent us the following message: “The Irish Times shows again why it is destined to be closed down sooner or later. In the last days, 3 Israelis were murdered and many others wounded, some critically in SEVEN Jihadist Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians. The Irish Times as similar antisemites before, do not see Jews as human beings and preferred to ignore their tragic death and didn’t even bother to report on it. However, when a Palestinian threw stones on a soldier’s car (see photo attached) and almost murdered him, the soldiers retaliated and killed the terrorist. The Irish Times as a good Jihadist propaganda tool published this morning a big picture of the crying Palestinian mother and told the story about those “vicious” Jews. History will be as unkind to you as it was to your ignominious predecessors for the blood of the innocent is on your hands!”
Here’s the revolting piece of agitprop they’re referring to in the Irish Times:

Palestinian protester shot dead in West Bank
Doctors say teenager, whose father works for the intelligence service, had been shot twice
Israeli troops have killed a 17-year-old Palestinian protester amid a surge in West Bank violence, coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The Israeli military spokesman said troops, led by a senior officer, opened fire after a crowd of young Palestinians who threw rocks at an army Jeep driving between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah, killing Mohammed al-Ksbeh.
An initial military investigation determined that the commander acted according to standing orders, believing his life was in danger, after first firing warning shots.
Palestinian doctors said the teenager had been shot twice and was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.
He was trying to kill people. He got killed.
CNN: Jerusalem’s Old City “On the Verge of Extinction”
According to CNN, the Old City of Jerusalem is “on the verge of extinction.” That the Old City is on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger is no excuse for its inclusion on CNN’s slideshow. As with many UN bodies, that status can be attributed to anti-Israel politics rather than reality.
CNN was under no obligation to buy into this outrageous nonsense, particularly as the Old City is probably the most protected heritage site in the Middle East. All religious sites are protected by law and freedom of religion. Even the most disputed of those, the Temple Mount, is under the control of the Muslim Waqf under an agreement to maintain the status quo.
In fact, the biggest threat to the heritage of the Old City is from the Palestinians themselves who have carried out unsupervised excavations on the Temple Mount, destroying many priceless antiquities in the process.
In any case, it is nobody’s “last chance to see” Jerusalem’s Old City, which is certainly not “on the verge of extinction” and CNN has no business claiming that it is.
Filmmaker Releases DVD Defending Accuracy of Exodus Story
Countering decades of academic skepticism regarding the Exodus account of Israel’s captivity and eventual liberation from slavery in Egypt, filmmaker Tim Mahoney will release the DVD for his ground-breaking 2014 documentary “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus,” on August 4.
Working closely with archaeologists and historians, Mahoney spent twelve years making “Patterns of Evidence,” a project born of the author’s own struggle with belief in the biblical narratives. Embarking on what he calls an “archaeological investigation,” Mahoney set out to answer the question: Is there any scientific evidence that the Exodus story actually happened?
Many scholars reject the Exodus account out of hand, insisting that there is no archaeological evidence for various places mentioned in the biblical travel itinerary of the Israelites as they fled Egypt for Canaan. Some extrapolate from this to reject the entire story of Israel’s origins and the Exodus narrative.
Others have suggested that some of the Exodus account may be real, but didn’t necessarily happen to Israel. Joshua Berman, for example, has put forward the thesis that Israel borrowed propaganda from Ramesses II and incorporated it into its own history.
The filmmaker claims to have uncovered evidence challenging decades of archaeological studies regarding the Israelites’ descent into Egypt and eventual slavery, their flight out of Egypt, and the conquest of the Promised Land of Canaan.
Beit She'arim tombs in Western Galilee named to UNESCO World Heritage List
An ancient Jewish town laden with tombs and sarcophagi is joining the ranks of eight other Israeli sites on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, following World Heritage Committee approval on Sunday morning.
Beit She'arim, located in the Western Galilee about 20 km. southeast of Haifa, contains a necropolis filled with a series of catacombs built as early as the 2nd century C.E. The site served as the primary burial place outside Jerusalem following the failed second Jewish revolt against the Romans and boast "a treasury of artworks and inscriptions in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew," the World Heritage Committee said.
"Beit She'arim bears unique testimony to ancient Judaism under the leadership of Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, who is credited with Jewish renewal after 135 C.E.," the committee added.
The park's nomination was filed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, through the Israel National Commission for UNESCO, in partnership with the Education Ministry and the Foreign Ministry and with the support of the Tivon local council and the Jezreel Valley Regional Council. Archeologist Dr. Zvika Gal wrote the nomination, with the assistance of Estee Ben Haim, while INPA chief archeologist Dr. Zvika Zuk has managed the Israeli nominations process for the past four years.
"This is a moving testimony from our ancestors of which there is almost no other example in the world," Zuk said. "In a visit to the Beit She'arim necropolis, you can feel the beating heart of the Jewish people."
Mayim Bialik takes her kids to Israel
Mayim Bialik’s back home in LA after the actress, neuroscientist and mommy blogger spent some vacation time in Israel with her two sons.
Bialik, first known for her TV debut in “Blossom” and more recently as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory,” has also gathered a large fan following for writing about her marriage, divorce, religious practice and child-rearing.
During her trip to Israel, the family stayed in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel, made the requisite pilgrimage to the Western Wall and spent Shabbat with cousins, according to Bialik’s Twitter feed.
They also spent time in Tel Aviv, and visited the city’s Bialik House, named for Haim Nahman Bialik, Israel’s poet laureate and the actress’s cousin, three times removed, according to Wikipedia.

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