Monday, July 06, 2015

From Ian:

Shmuley Boteach: Will Samantha Power Be the First American UN Ambassador to Abandon Israel?
Last week, mega-philanthropist Michael Steinhardt, co-founder of Birthright Israel, which has brought 500,000 young Jews to Israel, joined with our organization The World Values Network, in a full-page New York Times ad about Ambassador Samantha Power. In the ad Mr. Steinhardt reminded the Ambassador of her commitment at her Senate confirmation hearings, “I will stand up for Israel and work tirelessly to defend it” at the United Nations.
At the AIPAC Annual Policy Conference in Washington, DC, in March, Samantha avowed, “It is a false choice to tell Israel that it has to choose between peace on the one hand, and security on the other. The United Nations would not ask any other country to make that choice, and it should not ask it of Israel.”
Ambassador Power, of course, was correct – security is the foundation of any sustainable peace framework in the Middle East. To its credit, the United States has long stood for justice and served as an essential check against overreach, anti-Semitism, and double standards by Arab and European nations at the UN.
Yet statements in April by Ambassador Power refusing to rule out supporting UN resolutions that target Israel, added to recent claims by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, have raised serious questions about the specter of betrayal by the United States and Ambassador Power during the UN General Assembly in September. Reports have emerged that France plans to put forth a resolution before the UN Security Council that will call for an immediate resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority with a hard-cap of 18 months for a final deal. Under the French proposal, if no deal is reached in 18 months, the UN would recognize the Palestinian state, effectively granting legitimacy to an organization that has consistently proven incompetent, corrupt, hostile to democratic values, and openly supportive of terrorism. While the global Jewish community has come to expect little from France, Hamdallah said that France and the U.S. are “coordinating” together on the diplomatic catastrophe. There also exists the possibility that should Israel refuse to accept a UN Security Council Resolution authorizing a timetable for the unilateral creation of a Palestinian State, economic sanctions could be levied against the Jewish State.
Khaled Abu Toameh: When Palestinians Die in Jail
Three Palestinian men were found dead in their jail cells in the West Bank and Gaza Strip this past week.
But their stories did not attract the attention of the international media or human rights organizations in the U.S. and Europe. Nor was their case brought to the attention of the United Nations or the International Criminal Court (ICC).
By contrast, the case of 17-year-old Mohamed Kasba, who was shot dead north of Jerusalem by an Israeli army officer as he attacked the officer's car with stones, received widespread coverage in the Western media.
The UN even rushed to condemn the killing of Kasba, and called for an "immediate end" to violence and for everyone to keep calm. "This reaffirms the need for a political process aiming to establish two states living beside each other safely and peacefully," said UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Maldenov.
The UN official, needless to say, made no reference to the deaths that occurred in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas jails. He did not even see a need to express concern over the deaths or call for an investigation. Like the mainstream media in the West, the UN chooses to look the other way when Palestinians torture or kill fellow Palestinians.
The reason the case of the three detainees will not interest anyone in the international community is because the men did not die in an Israeli jail. Instead, the three men died while being held in Palestinian-controlled jails.
Had the three men died in Israeli detention, their names would have most likely appeared on the front pages of most leading Western newspapers. The families of the three men would have also been busy talking to Western journalists about Israeli "atrocities" and "human rights violations."
IsraellyCool: Proof 17-Year-Old Killed By IDF Was A Terrorist
Last week, I posted about the death of 17-year-old palestinian Muhammad al-Casba, killed while attempting to murder Col. Israel Shomer. Brian later posted about the Irish Times skewed coverage of his death, which referred to him as merely a “17-year-old Palestinian protester.”
A number of Israeli sites have since posted some photos purporting to be of the young “protester”, which if correct, show what type of “protesting” he was involved in. Not to mention what kind of future he had lined up for himself.
My initial reaction when seeing such photos is “Is this really proof? After all, this is an Israeli site. Seeing these photos on a palestinian, Arab, Muslim site – now that would constitute proof.”
Now compare to the photos of the young man with the gun and the intense look of hatred in his eyes.
I think we can all agree this 17-year-old was a terrorist whose aim was to murder, and not merely a young protester trying to ruin someone’s car.

Thank you to the big-mouth Israel haters for confirming what we already suspected.



Elliott Abrams: Terror in Sinai
Israeli analysts noted three things. First, despite the much larger Egyptian military ‎activity in Sinai, the Egyptian Army has been incapable of crushing the terrorists. Under the ‎Egypt-Israel peace treaty, Egypt must limit its military presence in Eastern Sinai. But Israel ‎has permitted the Egyptians to forget about those limits entirely. Acting freely, then, the ‎Egyptians have still not succeeded and the terrorist activities have grown. The Egyptian ‎Army has given no evidence that it knows how to combat the terrorists effectively. ‎
Second, the terrorists are getting better at it. Last year they appeared as a ragtag bunch ‎holding Kalashnikovs ("armed Bedouins," one Israeli journalist said). Now they have ‎attacked several targets in one day in a well-coordinated movement, they wear uniforms, ‎and they have more advanced equipment such as anti-tank missiles. This is the ISIS we ‎have come to know in Iraq.‎
Third, there are connections between the terrorists in Sinai and Hamas in Gaza. There are ‎accusations that Hamas has done some training of these jihadis in Sinai, has provided ‎them with funds, and has given medical treatment to wounded jihadis in Gaza hospitals.‎
Obama Trying to Make US Leftist Jews “Mainstream’
A recent meeting between National Security Council officials and the left-wing Breaking the Silence group barely made headlines but was a significant move in President Barack Obama’s agenda to justify his view that Israel is an “occupier.”
It was President Obama who succeeded in removing AIPAC as the default representative of what is called the “pro-Israel lobby” by opening the Oval Office to J Street, the left-wing group that thinks being “pro-Israel” means accommodating Hamas, expelling 600,000 Jews from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and granting statehood Palestinian Authority inside Israel’s borders.
Calling itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” and with generous funding from far-left billionaire George Soros, J Street’s launch in 2008 coincided with the campaign and election of President Obama.
Since then, Obama has shifted farther and farther to adopt the Palestinian Authority view of Israel as an occupier, and of Jews in settlements and even half of Jerusalem as “illegal” and “illegitimate.” Listening to leftist Jews telling him what he wants to hear has strengthened his belief that the “peace process” is the panacea for the Middle East.
Obama also has grabbed every opportunity to twist Judaism into his vision of a religion that can used to support his agenda, and he has plenty of support from Reform Jewish leaders to become a modern Korach, the Biblical figure who rebelled against Moses’ authority by claiming that the entire Jewish community is just as holy as he is.
Hoenlein: France is reconsidering Security Council resolution
France is having second thoughts about submitting a Mideast resolution to the UN Security Council that would lock in the parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution, Malcolm Hoenlein said on Sunday.
Hoenlein, the head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said at a briefing to The Jerusalem Post editorial staff on Sunday that he was not sure the French will go ahead with their plans to submit a resolution as they will be hesitant to submit a draft resolution if they feel the US will veto it, or if the Palestinians will not be satisfied with a “watered down” resolution the Americans might be willing to let pass.
“We’ve met with French officials and they’re telling us now that they’re essentially hesitant or reconsidering and don’t want to introduce it if it will face an American veto or if both parties don’t want it,” Hoenlein said.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was here last month and, according to Hoenlein, heard opposition from both Israel and the Palestinians.
“I think they were told by the Palestinians, and certainly by Israel, that they’re not interested in it,” he said. “And I think they’re looking for an alternative way to play a key role here.”
Israel views such a resolution as an attempt to impose a solution from the outside.
Don’t panic over Democratic Party ‘opinion elites’
So at every level we see that support for Israel in the U.S. is strong.
We also don’t know the attitudes of these Democratic opinion elites on other subjects, which might put the Israel findings in further perspective. For example, Luntz reports that almost half consider Israel a racist country; if these Democratic opinion elites are anything like those I encounter on campus, the percentage viewing the US as a racist country likely is much higher.
That doesn’t mean that Luntz is wrong in his polling, it just may be that in historical perspective Democrats are returning to their norm, while Republicans are on a trajectory to almost complete support for Israel.
As someone who has been on the front lines of fighting the BDS movement on campuses, my sense is that Israel does have a problem with liberal Democratic opinion elites. That’s the result of a generation in which elite campuses that feed opinion-influencing organizations have seen faculty activism and student propaganda activities that present a skewed portrayal of the conflict.
And that is where I depart with some of Luntz’s recommendations as related in The Times report. The problem is educational, not messaging. Not mentioning Zionism does not solve the disease. Treat the disease through a generations-long educational effort and countering the negative propaganda against Israel with positive educational experiences.
I’m not saying that Luntz’s findings should be ignored. Not at all. Take his concerns seriously. But treat this as a generational problem, not a messaging problem, for the next election.
Israel Should Stop Courting Europe, Turn to Asia
European officials and European civil society often like to think of themselves as the pinnacle of human rights and morality. In reality, Europe has become a moral vacuum and, once again, a breeding ground for casual hate, racism, and anti-Semitism. This has become clear not only through the example of sophisticated elites like former Irish President Mary Robinson, British Labor politician Jeremy Corbyn, or Daniel Bernard, the late French ambassador to the United Kingdom, but also in the increasing European obsession with stable, democratic Israel, while countries surrounding Israel degenerate into anarchy, generate millions of refugees, promote genocide, and incite and sponsor terrorism.
A lot can be written about why so many in Europe — or, for that matter, within the Obama administration and increasingly among other Democratic stalwarts — have become so hostile to Israel and its ability to defend itself against threats ranging from Hamas, to Hezbollah, to Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliates in Syria and the Sinai. Perhaps it was the end of conscription in many countries which widened the divide between those with military service and understanding, and those without. Perhaps it was the insulation that developed from having outside powers guarantee security so that individual states seldom had to. Perhaps it’s the legacy of European anti-Semitism, the most virulent kind, which can no longer be masked by European smug self-righteousness. And perhaps it’s the “old Europe, new Europe” divide once described by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Poles, Czechs, and Romanians remember what it is like to live under tyranny while time has diluted “Old Europe’s” understanding of reality.
Israel has long considered itself almost a European country; the European immigration that marked early Zionism shaped that character, even if geography and immigration from Turkey, Iran, India, and the Arab world also bestowed Israel with a Middle Eastern character. Indeed, Tel Aviv is much like Alexandria and Beirut once were, and like Istanbul still is, at least for the time being: a veritable mixing grounds of east and west.
Is Proposal to Admit 100,000 Gazans a Path to Peace or Danger for Israel?
Every terrorist attack leaves Israelis horrified and shaken, but the fact that Isaac had managed to survive such incredible ordeals, only to die at the hands of his own co-workers, was especially unnerving. That wound was reopened two years ago, when the State Department pressed Israel to release a number of imprisoned terrorists as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority (PA)—and one of Isaac’s murderers, Atiya, walked free.
The murder of Isaac Rotenberg by Gaza workers was cited this week in response to a proposal by a former U.S. State Department official that Israel should increase the number of Gazans it admits each day to 100,000, from the current level of 5,000.
The proposal was made in a recent Washington Post op-ed by David Makovsky, who until recently was a senior aide to Martin Indyk, the Obama administration’s envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The article was coauthored with former PA official Ghaith Al-Omari. The authors argued that Egypt could bring greater stability to Gaza by assuming more of a leadership role there, which among other things would enable Cairo “to ask Israel to take steps such as allowing 100,000 Gazan workers into Israel, matching the number of West Bankers already working there.” According to Makovsky, Israeli jobs for Gazans would make them less hostile to Israel and would undermine Hamas’s control of Gaza.
Makovsky and Al-Omari, who are now senior fellows at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, see their proposal as a path to a more peaceful Middle East. Israeli government officials with whom I spoke see things differently. They see the number 100,000 as arbitrary, a figure that is based neither on Israel’s security needs nor the number of available jobs.
British Protests, Violence Mark 239 Years Since Expulsion from American Colonies (satire)
As Americans celebrated the 239th anniversary of its independence with barbeques, parties and fireworks, Saturday was a day of rage in the United Kingdom as the British marked what they called the “Proper Mess,” British for ‘catastrophe‘. Peaceful protests against the United States’ independence turned violent, as clashes broke out between NATO troops and protesters demanding a “right of return” to the U.S. mainland.
Riots were held in London, Manchester and other major cities, as British citizens protested their expulsion from what they termed “Occupied Western England.” Many of the protesters consider themselves refugees, as their ancestors were British officials forcibly expelled from the colonies nearly 250 years ago.
“My parents, grandparents, and great-great-great grandparents may have lived in London, but my heart will always be in Philadelphia,” said Rupert Chesselwit, whose ancestors were expelled in 1776. “Baltimore and Charleston are as much a part of England as Birmingham and Leeds.”
Though there were injuries reported in several of the riots, violence did not reach the level of previous years. In 2011, four Britons were killed by the U.S. Coast Guard after storming across the Atlantic Ocean and trying to enter Virginia.
Taking Iran’s Anti-Semitism Seriously
Radical, theologically based hatred of Judaism, Zionism, and the state of Israel is part of the core ideological beliefs of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yet U.S. policymakers all too rarely consider Iran’s endemic anti-Semitism. In fact, it’s hardly ever discussed outside of Israel and a few Western intellectual circles. To be sure, the Iranian regime’s radical anti-Semitism is of deepest concern to Israel, but a regime driven by such violent hatred also endangers the world, especially modern, Western, democratic nations.
While the U.S. Congress has held hearings about the technical details of Iran’s nuclear programs and the impact of economic sanctions, as far as I know it has never publicly discussed the core ideology of the Iranian regime and how it affects Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Such hearings are long overdue. The radical anti-Semitism voiced by Iranian leaders is a worldview so delusional, so removed from actual realities, that those who advocate it will almost certainly not operate according to the customary norms of what constitutes reasonable behavior in international affairs. Indeed, U.S. policymakers cannot assume that Iran will value its own survival more than it does the goal of eliminating the hated Jewish enemy.
The scholarship on the history of anti-Semitism hasn’t yet had a significant impact on the policy discussions in Washington about Iran. Perhaps too many of our policymakers, politicians, and analysts still labor under the mistaken idea that radical anti-Semitism is merely another form of prejudice or, worse, an understandable (and hence excusable?) response to the conflict between Israel, the Arab states, and the Palestinians. In fact it is something far more dangerous, and far less compatible with a system of nuclear deterrence, which assumes that all parties place a premium on their own survival. Iran’s radical anti-Semitism is not in the slightest bit rational; it is a paranoid conspiracy theory that proposes to make sense (or rather nonsense) of the world by claiming that the powerful and evil “Jew” is the driving force in global politics. Leaders who attribute enormous evil and power to the 13 million Jews in the world and to a tiny Middle Eastern state with about eight million citizens have demonstrated that they don’t have a suitable disposition for playing nuclear chess.
Kerry Threatens to Leave Nuke Talks With No Deal
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the United States and Iran may fail to reach a final nuclear agreement despite the talks being extended past their June 30 deadline so that the sides could hash out remaining differences over the scope and scale of the Islamic Republic’s contested nuclear program.
Western observers suggested the statement from Kerry was designed to provide cover for the administration if a deal with wide-ranging concessions to Iran is struck.
Kerry told reporters in a brief press conference Sunday afternoon that he is prepared to leave town without a deal that has been viewed as the Obama administration’s biggest foreign policy priority.
“I want to be absolutely clear with everybody: We are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues,” Kerry said. “And the truth is that while I completely agree with Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif that we have never been closer, at this point, this negotiation could go either way.”
“If hard choices get made in the next couple of days and made quickly, we could get an agreement this week. But if they are not made, we will not,” Kerry said.
Critics of the administration were not impressed by Kerry’s tough stance.
Israel gears up to battle Iran deal in Congress
Israel is preparing for the next phase of its fierce opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, by lobbying US Congressmen and women to block the emerging comprehensive agreement once it is finalized and goes to lawmakers for approval. But some in Jerusalem fear it is a lost cause given the belief that the potential economic benefits from resuming business with Iran could significantly outweigh political considerations.
The US-led P5+1 world powers and Tehran are currently in the midst of negotiations to hammer out a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and remove crippling sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic. On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that the powers and Iran had drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief, advancing on one of the most contentious issues at their negotiations.
Israel reacted furiously to the development, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning on Sunday that the six world powers were dangerously caving to the Islamic Republic’s every demand.
“It seems that the nuclear talks in Iran have yielded a collapse, not a breakthrough,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “The major powers’ concessions are growing.”
US public opinion expert: Iran deal can still be stopped
If the American people vigorously oppose the Iran nuclear agreement that is expected to be signed by Tuesday in Vienna, US President Barack Obama will not be able to push it through Congress, American public opinion expert Frank Luntz told The Jerusalem Post in an interview in Israel on Sunday.
Luntz said his polls indicate that 88 percent of Americans do not believe the deal will make the world more safe, stable or secure. He said more than 80 percent of Americans believe a deal should not be signed if it is not enforceable, verifiable or accountable.
Therefore, when advocating against the nuclear deal, Luntz recommends that Israeli and American Jewish leaders use the above terminology to be most effective in persuading Americans.
To relay that message, Luntz met Sunday with Israeli leaders across the spectrum, including cabinet ministers.
Iran general: We’ll never be on good terms with US
The United States will never be viewed positively in Iran, even if a deal is signed with world powers over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, the commander of the Iranian ground forces said Sunday.
Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan declared that a rapprochement was out of the question, as the enemy is “exploiting nations and putting them in chains,” the semi-official Iranian FARS News Agency reported.
“The US might arrive at some agreements with us within the framework of the Group 5+1 [the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany], but we should never hold a positive view of the enemy,” Pourdastan said.
“Our enmity with them is over principles and rooted in the fact that we are after the truth and nations’ freedom, but they seek to exploit nations and put them in chains,” he added.
U.S. stockpiles powerful bunker-buster bombs in case Iran nuclear talks fail
As diplomats rush to reach an agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program, the U.S. military is stockpiling conventional bombs so powerful that strategists say they could cripple Tehran's most heavily fortified nuclear complexes, including one deep underground.
The bunker-busting bombs are America's most destructive munitions short of atomic weapons. At 15 tons, each is 5 tons heavier than any other bomb in the U.S. arsenal.
In development for more than a decade, the latest iteration of the MOP — massive ordnance penetrator — was successfully tested on a deeply buried target this year at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The test followed upgrades to the bomb's guidance system and electronics to stop jammers from sending it off course.
U.S. officials say the huge bombs, which have never been used in combat, are a crucial element in the White House deterrent strategy and contingency planning should diplomacy go awry and Iran seek to develop a nuclear bomb.
Did disillusionment with Sunnis lead to Persian ascendancy at US State Department?
The Persianist agenda is convinced that the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh in a “CIA-backed coup” in 1953 is the wellspring for Iran’s current state. There is a fundamental paternalistic view that every local actor in the region can somehow be changed if only America were to take action. The total arrogance embodied by the concept that “we need to fix this mess we created,” plays itself out in the blindness that both the Arabists and Persianists have had to the fact that they were being used by local forces.
Unfortunately for the locals, who thrived under the concept for so many decades that they were “tricking” the “dumb Americans,” the overall tragedy has played itself out in the region.
The narrative that American meddling in the Middle East brought it “blowback” in the form of Sunni Islamist terrorism like al-Qaida is only interesting insofar as al-Qaida was neutered by more extreme versions of itself. A few days ago dozens of al-Nusra Front members, the local al-Qaida branch in Syria, were blown up by a suicide bomber likely from Islamic State. In the Middle East for years it was common to blame the US for “creating al-Qaida” by supporting the mujahideen in Afghanistan. Then when IS appeared the conspiracy was “the CIA created IS.” The Americans have the strange reputation for being behind basically every group in the Middle East.
In this sense the US policy has been a success. While it has been completely unsuccessful at advancing US interests, it has been successful at convincing the entire Middle East that it is all-powerful and that, if not but for the Americans, the Middle East would be some sort of utopian paradise. The irony might not be lost on those who read Kaplan’s original work. The first American Arabists were all missionaries who sought to change the Middle East through spreading the gospel. In the end they did convert the Middle East. Just not in the way they intended.
PreOccupied Territory: We Cockroaches Are All In Favor Of This Iran Deal (satire)
You humans are right to be worked up about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but only if you insist on your anthropocentric view. We cockroaches have no problem with a nuclear Iran. Or North Korea. Or Pakistan. A nuclear holocaust is no threat to OUR genus.
Inspections or no inspections, Iran is going to cheat. The US president, for some reason, is so desperate for a deal that he’s blinded himself to reality. All for the sake of his legacy – a term that carries meaning only among humans, who, if this deal goes through, won’t be around much longer. But we roaches certainly will. So we’re perfectly willing to see this deal happen.
What I’m saying is it’s a good world. We have plenty to eat, freedom to multiply beyond belief, sewer lines in which to congregate in unimaginable numbers, and only the occasional shoe or exterminator to worry about. And we appreciate it. But we’re realists. We fully comprehend that there is a looming threat to that wonderland, in the form of a war that destroys civilization. We know full well that humanity, our current sugar daddy, can’t really be trusted to keep things going properly for very long. When – not if – Iran gets the bomb, the surrounding countries that don’t already have it will inevitably start their own nuclear weapons programs. Saudi Arabia for sure. Pakistan, India, and Israel already have it. Each country that develops atomic weapons will bring the world one step closer to a mishap or miscalculation that devolves into utter devastation for humankind and many other species.
Jerusalem Firefighters Contain Blaze Threatening Biblical Zoo — Arson Suspected
Arson is suspected to be behind a fire that erupted on Sunday in the Ein Yael Reserve near Jerusalem’s Malha neighborhood and threatened to spread towards the nearby Biblical Zoo, Israeli news site NRG reported.
The suspicion that the fire was caused by an arson attack came as the result of an initial investigation by authorities carried out close to the time the fire broke out.
Fire investigators attached to the Fire and Rescue teams in Jerusalem located the starting point of the fire, near the western slopes of the Palestinian village of Batir. According to the investigators, the fire was started at multiple points within an area very close to the residential part of the village.
Eight firefighting teams rushed to the area, and were able to contain the spread of the flames. Two firefighting planes also joined in the effort to control the fire.
Due to the fire’s proximity to an Israeli railway route, train traffic on the Jerusalem line was also halted.
In recent years, arson has been suspected as the cause of multiple fires in the Jerusalem area. Last week, Palestinian vandals ignited fires in Jerusalem with Molotov cocktails and then ambushed and stoned firefighters who arrived at the scene to extinguish the flames.
Israeli teachers indicted for supporting Islamic State
Five Arab Israelis from southern Israel, three of whom are teachers in the Israeli education system, were indicted for supporting the Islamic State, the Shin Bet security agency said Monday.
The teachers were accused of promoting the jihadist ideology in their classes, “taking advantage of their status to win over people for the sake of Daesh [IS], among students and teachers, within the school walls,” the Shin Bet said.
A fourth teacher is suspected of backing the group, but was not indicted.
Several of the suspects, most of whom hailed from the Bedouin town of Hura, also planned to travel to Syria to join the ranks of IS, according to a statement from the security agency.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett ordered the suspension of the teachers on Monday, summoned them to a hearing, and was working to revoke their licenses.
IDF Blog: “We Can’t Afford to be Indifferent” – IDF’s Medical Aid to Palestinians
A newly designated IDF reserves company will focus entirely on providing medical care and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian population. In a recent week-long exercise, these reservists worked to refine their abilities in order to provide the best possible care.
Recently, the reservists endured an intense week-long medical exercise led by Maj. (Res.) Amit Katzir. They were confronted with stressful real-time situations in order to bolster their responsiveness during times of unexpected emergency. Beyond providing urgent treatment, the reservists also practiced their readiness in providing aid after natural disasters and other extreme circumstances.
Capt. (Res.) Dr. Lev stresses that when people are wounded, attention is not placed on whether or not the person is Israeli, but on the importance of people’s common humanity. “This medical care stems from our commitment to the Jewish and modern value of human rights,” he elaborates.
The company is staffed by doctors, medics, and nurses –all trained to provide effective medical care. These medical reservists are supplied with advanced equipment that would allow them to function like a full-fledged civilian hospital staff. The emphasis is placed on both physical and psychological attention, ensuring that patients receive all the care they may need. Patients are offered an interpreter and have the option of bringing a friend for support. If additional care is needed, doctors can send their patients for further medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.
Palestinian Cleric Issam Amira at Al-Aqsa Mosque: Morsi Should Have Executed Military Commanders; Egyptian Army Would Have Occupied Half of Israel by Now


Khaled Abu Toameh: PA warns Hamas: Don't carry out terror attacks on Palestinian security forces in West Bank
Following threats made by Hamas leaders over the past few days, the Palestinian Authority on Sunday warned the group against launching terror attacks against members of the PA security forces in the West Bank.
Hamas’s threats followed the arrest of more than 120 of its members by various branches of the PA security forces in the West Bank in recent days. The PA justified the crackdown – the most severe against Hamas in recent years – by accusing the Islamist movement of working to undermine stability and stir chaos.
Gen. Adnan Dmeiri, spokesman for the PA security forces in the West Bank, warned that Hamas would face the “unimaginable” if it dared to carry out terror attacks against Palestinian security personnel.
“I hope that Hamas won’t test our patience, capabilities and love for our people,” he said.
Dmeiri added that there was no difference between the rhetoric used by Hamas and Islamic State. He accused Hamas leaders of incitement against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and PA security forces.
Fatah official calls terrorist who led killing of 37 a "hero"


Giant PA Egg Smuggling Ring Busted
The Judea and Samaria District police revealed on Monday that a covert investigation that had been ongoing for several months has busted a smuggling ring, which had been running uncertified chicken eggs from territories under Palestinian Authority (PA) control.
The smugglers would bring the eggs over the 1949 Armistice line and sell them to food retail chains and cafes selling to Israeli citizens, in a serious breach of health standards that could have been life-threatening given the high possibility for diseases in the unchecked eggs.
Members of the ring are suspected of having run the operation on a very large scale, raking in more than ten million shekels (around $2.6 million) a year.
A 43-year-old Israeli man from Modi'in was the head of the smuggling ring, and he was arrested together with 11 additional members in Ashdod, Jerusalem, Modi'in Ilit, Beit Shemesh, Nes Harim, Moshav Gefen and several Arab villages in Judea and Samaria.
In the arrests, both Israeli and foreign currency equaling tens of thousands of shekels was seized, together with thousands of the illegal eggs, which were promptly destroyed.
Haniyeh: Israel Assured Us It Won't Attack
Israel has assured Hamas that it “will not launch another war in Gaza,” according to Hamas's Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Haniyeh made the comments as he addressed Gazans in a speech for the Muslim month of Ramadan, which is marked by fasting and terror attacks.
He said Israel had delivered the message through third parties, which he did not name.
Haniyeh said there are contacts with Israel for extending the “lull” between Israel and Hamas in exchange for reconstruction of Gaza. “In the last Ramadan, the seeds were sown,” he said, “and in this Ramadan, the harvest will take place. Soon, the residents of Gaza will benefit and prosper.”
Haniyeh sounded a conciliatory note regarding Egypt, as well. Cairo has helped improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, he said, and contacts continue.
Last week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Al Arabiya that Israel is holding direct talks with Hamas. “In Israel, they want Hamas to have a state, while we have an apartheid state or self-rule,” he complained.
"Hamas is holding direct talks with Israel on different subjects – including the subject of the prisoners and the hudna [lull].”
Al-Quds Brigade builds watch tower directly across IDF structure on Gaza border
The military wing of Islamic Jihad announced Sunday that it has built a watch tower next to the border with Israel.
The al-Quds Brigade said the watch tower, in Khuza'a in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip, is eight meters tall and was intentionally built directly across from an IDF structure 500 meters away from the border.
From the tower, as seen in the pictures the group released, IDF structures were visible, as well as an IDF jeep patrolling the border.
Abu Ahmad, a senior member of the brigades said that "the struggle in the name of the Arab people has already begun."
"The outpost is a (symbol) of Palestinian resistance that challenges the Israeli occupation on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip," Ahmad added.
Radical Sheikh Worried ISIS Will Get Stronger, Beat Hamas
Serial Islamist troublemaker Sheikh Ra'ed Salah has made a career of condemning Israel and encouraging Muslim jihad against it, but now he has found a new worry, and target – ISIS, which has threatened to unseat Hamas and take over Gaza. ISIS, said Salah, is “a roadblock in the Islamist agenda,” and he demanded that they stop threatening Hamas.
Last week, ISIS Islamists issued video messages threatening Hamas, along with Fatah and Israel. In one video, an ISIS member is seen saying that the organization will ensure that “the rule of Sharia (Islamic law) is implemented in Gaza, in spite of [Hamas]. We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza," he said, referring to ISIS advances in Syria, including the Damascus district inhabited by “Palestinian refugees.”
This not the first time that ISIS has threatened Hamas. In May, after Hamas demolished a mosque used by members of an ISIS-affiliated Salafist organization, ISIS called Hamas "worse than the Jewish and American occupiers" and gave it 72 hours to release its detained members.
In an interview with a Turkish newspaper, Salah, head of the radical Islamic Movement in Israel, sent out threats of his own. If ISIS member enter Gaza, he said, “there will be a big fight and no one knows how it will end.” Unity among Islamist factions, like Hamas and ISIS, is the only thing that will guarantee victory over Israel. There is a need for a “wise ruler,” advised by Islamic clerics, and supported by the Islamic nations.
Intense Campaign By Hamas's Military Wing To Recruit Youths For Its Summer Camps
The 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, is preparing to launch its summer camps, which offer military training to teens and young people. Registration for the camps, called "The Liberation Pioneers," is carried out by Al-Qassam Brigades activists in mosques and central locations in Gaza strip cities.
The Al-Qassam Brigades are devoting all efforts to publicize the camps and encourage Gaza youths to join them. To this end, they have launched a widespread campaign to promote the camps on social networks, on Hamas and Al-Qassam Brigades websites, at special events in public places frequented by youths, and more.
This is the third session of the Liberation Pioneers camps; the first was held after the Gaza war in he summer of 2014, as part of Hamas's efforts to provide military training to the Gaza population, specifically the youth, and prepare them for the next round of fighting with Israel. It should be mentioned that the graduation ceremony for the first session of The Liberation Pioneers was a large-scale event attended by Hamas leadership.
Hamas: Israel Sent ISIS to Destroy Us
After last Friday admitting Islamic State (ISIS) is active in Gaza after months of denial, Hamas has launched a string of criticism against the jihadist group indicating the deep-seated fears Hamas has that ISIS will realize its threats to seize Gaza.
Faiz Abu Shamala, a journalist for the official Hamas paper Palestine, on Sunday tried to harm ISIS's image by posing a series of questions.
"Why doesn't Daesh attack international naval ships on the Red Sea and the Israeli tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh?," questioned Shamala, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS. "Why does Daesh attack the Palestinian fighters and not the collaborators with Israel?"
"Why doesn't Daesh start a war front against Israel from the West Bank which could more greatly affect Israel than from the Gaza Strip? Why does Daesh spread a poster calling for Christians to leave Jerusalem but doesn't publish a similar poster against the Zionists? Why doesn't Daesh act against Israel from the Jordan border and (why) doesn't it attack the Jordanian regime even as the Jordanian air force strikes Daesh targets?"
Shamala posed an answer to his own questions with a conspiracy theory claiming that Israel is using ISIS to destroy Hamas, after being "unable" to destroy Hamas in direct warfare.
Islamic State militant was booted from Hamas
A camel-shy former Hamas militant, who was kicked out of the Gaza Strip-based group, has turned up as a member of the Islamic State group in Syria, where he has been threatening to come back and destroy his former organization.
His fighting cred is somewhat undermined by a separate video that shows him bested by a kneeling humped ungulate.
Issa a-Lakta, 23, from the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, apparently left the Strip a year and a half ago to join the jihadists, Israel Radio’s Gal Berger reported Sunday.
Last week, a-Lakta featured in an IS video, armed and in uniform, with two fighters at his side, in which he threatened that if Hamas continues in its “heresy,” IS will kill all its members in Gaza, young and old.
In the video, published last Tuesday, IS accused the Islamist Hamas of being soft in enforcing religious law in the Palestinian enclave it controls.
“We will uproot the state of the Jews [Israel] and you [Hamas] and Fatah [in the West Bank], and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be overrun by our creeping multitudes,” a masked Islamic State member said in the recorded message addressed to the “tyrants of Hamas.”
Jordan said to foil Iran-backed terror plot
Jordanian security forces have thwarted an Iranian-backed terror plot against Saudi Arabia, local media reported Monday.
Security forces arrested a member of Bayt al-Maqdis in the Jarash region of Jordan, just north of Amman, according to the Jordanian newspaper Al-Rais. The group shares a name with an unrelated Egyptian organization. The source did not say when he was detained.
The suspect was found with 100 pounds (approx. 45 kilograms) of explosives and had plans to use them in a terrorist attack against Saudi Arabia, a source close to the case said.
He was due to appear before the state security court later Monday, accused of “possessing explosive material and planning terrorist acts”, the judicial source said.
The Bayt al-Maqdis member had both Iraqi and Norwegian citizenship, Al-Rais said.
This was the largest quantity of explosives of this caliber seized by Jordan in over ten years, according to a judicial source.
Egypt kills 63 gunmen in north Sinai — security sources
Egypt on Sunday killed 63 Islamist gunmen in the northern Sinai Peninsula, carrying out a series of airstrikes and ground operations against an Islamic State affiliate group, security sources said.
Apache helicopters and infantry attacked hideouts in villages between the towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, on the border with the Gaza Strip, according to a Reuters report.
The sources earlier gave the militant death toll as 25.
The Egyptian offensive came several days after a string of coordinated assaults on Egyptian military and police officers by the Sinai Province, a group claiming affiliation with the Islamic State.
Former National Security Advisor: ISIS Here to Stay
Developments in the Sinai desert have brought concerns of an Islamic State (ISIS) attack on Israel on Sunday, after a rocket on Friday was fired into Israel by the group along its southern borders.
Channel 20 spoke to Gen. Yaakov Amidror, former National Security Advisor and expert at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) over the issue.
"ISIS is strengthening throughout the Middle East," he said. "We see that they have managed to become more organized in the Sinai Peninsula, making the war against them longer and more difficult [...] but I don't think that this [its presence in the Sinai - ed.] has redefined their presence in the Middle East."
Amidror also noted that no one is underestimating ISIS, as Western countries have with other terror groups in the past.
"I think that people understand that ISIS is the most serious and meaningful threat," he stated. "It's expected to stay around for a long time. It will be very difficult to destroy it."
IS destroys iconic lion statue at Syria’s Palmyra museum
Islamic State group jihadists have destroyed a famous statue of a lion outside the museum in the Syrian city of Palmyra, the country’s antiquities director said Thursday.
Maamoun Abdelkarim said the statue, known as the Lion of al-Lat, was an irreplaceable piece and was apparently destroyed last week.
“IS members on Saturday destroyed the Lion of al-Lat, which is a unique piece that is three meters (10 feet) tall and weight 15 tons,” Abdelkarim told AFP. “It’s the most serious crime they have committed against Palmyra’s heritage,” he said.
The limestone statue was discovered in 1977 by a Polish archaeological mission at the temple of al-Lat, a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess, and dated back to the 1st century BC. Abdelkarim said the statue had been covered with a metal plate and sandbags to protect it from fighting “but we never imagined that IS would come to the town to destroy it.”
IS captured Palmyra, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site, from government forces on May 21, prompting international concerns about the fate of the city’s antiquities. So far, the city’s most famous sites have been left intact, though there are reports IS has mined them. Most of the pieces in the city’s museum were evacuated by antiquities staff before IS arrived, though the group has blown up several historic Muslim graves in recent weeks.
Saudi Government Torn Over Whether to Let Caitlyn Jenner Drive (satire)
Saudi officials have held a series of emergency meetings over the past month, as the government has struggled over whether former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, who was born a man but last month revealed that she identified as a woman, would be allowed to drive or appear unveiled in public if she ever visits the Kingdom.
“Allah decides who is a man and who is a woman, and Bruce Jenner cannot change the will of Allah, so he is a man and can drive whenever he wants,” Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz declared. “But on the other hand, there’s a difference between sexual identity and gender identity, and if he, I mean she, identifies as a woman, perhaps we should respect that and force her to spend her time in the Kingdom as a second-class citizen.”
The issue was further complicated when King Salman contacted officials from GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination) for advice. A GLAAD spokesman explained that Jenner was always a woman, even prior to her physical transition, because a transgender person’s gender is determined at birth, even if it is discovered later in life.
“I got to thinking, ‘What if someone appears to be a male and is allowed to drive and then later in life transitions to appear female?’ That means she was always woman, and was breaking the law when she was driving,” King Salman explained. “The only solution is to ban anyone from driving under any circumstance.”


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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