Sunday, January 17, 2016

From Ian:

Attacker stabs Israeli woman to death in her West Bank home
An Israeli woman was stabbed and killed in an attack inside her home in the West Bank settlement of Otniel, outside of Hebron, on Sunday evening.
The attacker, whose identity was not immediately known, fled the scene of the crime.
The army said in a statement that the assailant broke into the woman’s home and stabbed her to death.
Soldiers and police officers launched a manhunt for the attacker, setting up checkpoints in the area. The attacker was believed to have fled to a nearby Arab village, specifically Khirbet Karme, located just north of Otniel, according to Israeli media.
The army instructed residents to remain in their homes as they searched for the attacker.
The name of the woman, described in her late 30s, was not given. A child was reportedly in the home at the time of the attack, according to Channel 2 news.
PMW: Fatah: Female terrorist killers are role models
Fatah's first attack against Israel which targeted Israel's National Water Carrier (Jan. 1, 1965), is seen by Fatah as the "Launch" of the Fatah movement. Fatah Central Committee member Amal Hamad took the opportunity of this year’s anniversary celebrations to honor four female terrorists, three of them murderers, as outstanding role models for Fatah.
The four female Fatah terrorists Hamad chose to honor were each unique in some way. Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus in 1978 and killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children. Ayyat Al-Akhras, at 17 years old, was the youngest female suicide bomber in history. She killed 2 people in her 2002 bombing. Wafa Idris was the first female suicide bomber who killed 1 and wounded over 100 in 2002. Fatima Barnawi placed a bomb in a movie theater in Jerusalem in 1967 in an attempt to murder movie goers, but the bomb failed to explode. She was arrested and became the first female terrorist to be incarcerated in an Israeli prison.
Amal Hamad, Fatah Central Committee member: "Dalal Mughrabi led a squad of honorable and noble fighters. She crossed all the borders and the beach with them, and reached the center of Tel Aviv. She got on a bus and massacred the enemy and caused dozens of deaths. She was the commander and the role model... There are many Martyrdom-seekers among the Fatah women. The woman was present from the first moment. She took part in the national struggle, bore arms, resisted the occupation and detonated [bombs]. Fatima Barnawi blew up a movie theater in Jerusalem. Dalal blew up a bus, and killed officers, not civilians, and not children, women or elderly. She killed officers of the Israeli occupation army (sic, they killed 37 civilians, including 12 children). Among our female fighters there were role models: Wafa Idris (i.e., first suicide bomber, killed 1) and Ayyat Al-Akhras (i.e., 17-year-old, youngest suicide bomber, killed 2)." [Official PA TV, Jan. 1, 2016]
Fatah official names 3 murderers who in total killed 40 people as female role models

Who Is Betraying the Palestinians?
If the Americans and Europeans continue meddling, the stable but still fragile Palestinian social fabric in the West Bank will tear, and at the first sign of weakness, Hamas and ISIS will rush in -- as they have long been planning -- to take over.
Every Arab regime has, at one time or another, used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an excuse to oppress its people. Our fellow Muslims have been happy to use us as a pretext: We are waging war because of the Palestinians. We refuse to fight because of the Palestinians. We cannot do what you want because of the Palestinians. At no time did they ever seriously seek to resolve the conflict -- nor did they ever want to.
The sheikhs who claimed it was forbidden for Muslims to live under the shadow of infidel European Christianity now have to watch as Muslims grovel at Europe's feet and beg the infidel Christians for a safe haven and shelter from... other Muslims.

The next step in the EU boycott of Judea and Samaria
A joint initiative proposed by Sweden, Ireland and other counties in the European Union (EU), looks to further exclude Judea and Samaria from Israel. The discussion, which will take place on Monday, seeks to limit all agreements made between the EU and Israel, by excluding Judea and Samaria from those agreements.
Should a decision to accept such a move be accepted it will follow in the direct line of thinking that took place in the earlier EU decision to label products from Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
The EU is trying to legislate a recognizable difference between these parts of Israel from others. This decision is expected to have impact on Israeli businesses that are located in Judea and Samaria, including businesses who share joint ventures with Palestinian businesses or hire Palestinian employees.
It is expected that any legislation that passes will include a statement which says that the EU is opposed to donations going to Judea and Samaria, and that the labeling of such items does not constitute a boycott, but rather it is a move that is aimed at protecting the European consumer who wishes to know the origins of the good that they purchase. (h/t Jewess)
Open Hillel welcomes the enemy into the Jewish tent
Open Hillel, however, is not satisfied with that approach to forming a Jewish identity; instead, it seeks to invite anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, anti-Zionist voices into Hillel, purportedly to bring a diversity of views into discussions about Israel and the Palestinians, but, as is obvious from the unseemly group behind the movement, to actually bring anti-Israel activism right into the otherwise “safe” space that Hillel provides Jewish students who are forming their own spiritual identities and attitudes about the Jewish state.
The idea that Hillel International has very clear guidelines about which type of groups may, and may not, appear at Hillel events was apparently too much for these anti-Israel ideologues, who are not content with flooding the rest of campuses with virulent pro-Palestinian activism that incessantly demonizes, libels, and demeans Israel and its supporters; these activists also want to force this tsunami of anti-Israel hatred, often anti-Semitic in nature, right into Hillel’s door—using the disingenuous claim that it is done in the name of academic free speech and diversity of ideas.
“Hillel’s recent aggressive attempts to police discourse about Israel place it in direct conflict with the spirit of the academy . . . [by] forcing an unnecessary and destructive choice between academic freedom and membership in the Jewish community.”
What are the “aggressive attempts” by Hillel “to police discourse about Israel”? In fact, Hillel’s guidelines are designed, not to eliminate any discussion about Israel, but only to prevent self-identified enemies of Israel to participate in Hillel events—those groups such as the virulent Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA), who lead in on-campus agitation against Israel and Jews who support it, and toxic fringe groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and Breaking the Silence, which use the cover of having Jewish members themselves to openly, and vigorously, seek to weaken and destroy the Jewish state.
Palestinian tries to stab soldiers near Nablus, is shot dead
A Palestinian man attempted to stab a soldier and was shot by IDF troops near the Samaria Regional Brigade headquarters outside Nablus in the West Bank on Sunday, the army said.
“A Palestinian assailant drew a knife and attempted to stab soldiers securing the area. The force responded and fired toward the attacker,” an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said.
No Israelis were harmed in the attempted stabbing, but the assailant died of his wounds, the army said.
3 Palestinians arrested with blades in Jerusalem
Three Palestinian youths were arrested Sunday morning close to a Jerusalem synagogue in possession of makeshift blades.
Police detained the three close to the Heichal Ya’akov synagogue in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood, and initial reports indicated they may have intended to carry out a terror attack.
However, police said the investigation was ongoing and the three may have intended to use the blades to steal cars in the area.
At the time of the arrest, the synagogue was filled with worshipers saying morning prayers.
'Ticking bomb' in Jewish section of Hevron
Arutz Sheva has received a groundbreaking video showing rampant illegal building in Hevron by Arabs, with funding from the European Union and the Arab League, which endangers the Jewish community.
An Arutz Sheva correspondent toured the region with Haim Bleicher, a resident of Hevron, in order to document the "stranglehold" going up around the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the anarchistic actions that effectively harm Arabs as well. At one spot, Arabs were viewed with cameras from the organization B'Tselem.
People from the city's Jewish community say that "again and again it's proven that Arab terror is a difficult and deep disease that cannot be fixed in isolation, partially, or quickly. Terror must be taken out from the root - we must free the city of Hevron from the talons of the terror regime and we must free the Jewish people from this nightmare.
"Delivering Hevron to the enemy was a fatal mistake, and now Netanyahu can and must make up for it and release Hevron," they added. "Sadly, the government completely forbids Jews from building in Hevron, while allowing terrorists complete freedom. We demand an immediate and complete change in the security policy and the settlement in Hevron. The enemy will not be defeated by words but rather by actions."
Rabbis demand end to digging at David's Tomb
The rabbis in charge of David's Tomb, led by Rabbis Yosef Berger and Aharon Yitzhak Stern, have appealed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to immediately step in and stop the desecration of graves near the site of King David's tomb on Mount Zion.
In their letter, the two claim that the archaeological digs that are currently being carried out on Mount Zion by the Antiquities Authority and the Greek Orthodox Church are likely to damage the area housing King David's tomb and treasures from the Temple.
Rabbi Yosef Berger told Arutz Sheva that, in the past, anyone who tried to enter the tombs of King David's family was burned or died in his prime. "In the history books about King Herod, it is written that, at the time, he and his soldiers tried to enter the tombs of King David and a heavenly fire consumed them."
'Zuckerberg, don't kill us' - Israeli NGO blasts Facebook for allowing Palestinian incitement
A right-wing Israeli NGO launched a crowdfunding initiative on Sunday soliciting donations in order to subsidize billboards to be placed near the home of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a form of protest for indulging Palestinian incitement on the popular social media tool.
In a YouTube video, the Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center criticized Zuckerberg for failing to crack down on Palestinian incitement while calling him to task for "supporting Muslims" in a previous post.
"When Palestinian terrorists called for the killing of Jews on Facebook, Facebook closed its eyes," the narrator of the video says as an image of Zuckerberg with his eyes shut is displayed.
Facebook Jail
Most Israel advocates have been temporarily banned from Facebook, so-called Facebook jail (for the Irish and Australians amongst us – Facebook gaol), at some time. Five Minutes for Israel is no exception. We don’t believe anyone has ever been given a clear explanation for the punishment and despite the link on the notice (see below) there is no real opportunity for appeal. If you think you are seeing this message by mistake, you may relieve your tension by clicking a link.
You will still not know what crime you have committed; confront your accuser or be able to make a defence. No natural justice in Facebook.
Five Minutes for Israel supports Israeli author and campaigner, Barry Shaw (also a personal friend) in his campaign for release from ‘Facebook Jail’. We hope that it may lead to a more transparent social media.
Watch: Anarchists riot to 'free Ezra Nawi'
Arab extremists and anarchists dedicated their weekly riot outside the Arab town of Bil'in to Ezra Nawi, the Israeli far-left activist in hot water after recent footage exposed how he handed Palestinians over to the Palestinian Authority for execution.
The violent protest takes place ever Friday in Bil'in, which lies east of Modiin Illit and northwest of Ramallah in Samaria.
As usual, last week's riot began with the small group of extremists - made up of local Palestinian Arabs, as well as both Israeli and foreign leftists and anarchists - marching towards Israeli soldiers in the direction of nearby Jewish communities. As the anarchists drew closer, they began hurling rocks, which soldiers responded to with teargas.
Nawi, a convicted pedophile and leader of the far-left Ta'ayush activist group, was exposed in a Channel Two report gloating over how he entrapped Palestinian land brokers who attempted to sell to Jews. In the footage Nawi can be seen boasting of how his victims were tortured before being executed.
Under PA law selling land to Jews is punishable by death.
Arab MKs back Swedish Foreign Minister against Israel
The Arab Joint List party attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a statement on Saturday, over his condemnation of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom after she called for an investigation of Israel for "executing" Arab terrorists in the act of attacking.
Netanyahu last Thursday called the statements "foolish" and "immoral," and a day earlier Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) announced that Swedish officials are no longer welcome to visit Israel.
But the Arab party, which is the third largest in the Knesset at 13 seats, claimed that Israel is trying to rally international public opinion by presenting itself as trying to defend its civilians, and arguing that it faces the threat of annihilation.
The Arab MKs further said that all those who disagree with Israel and criticize its "crimes" against the "Palestinian people" are condemned by the state as being hostile and racist. They added that Israel's defense of its right to protect itself from terror is part of a campaign to negate the legitimacy of international criticism.
North African men suspected of stoning transgender women in German city
Three young men from North Africa were arrested on Saturday in the western German city of Dortmund for stoning two transgender women.
According to a report on Friday on television station SAT1.NRW, the men attacked Yasmine und Elisa, two transgender women, near the city’s main train station.
“Within seconds we were tossed around…and they took stones from a gravel bed on the corner and threw them at us,” said Elisa.
A police car appeared at the train station as the stoning attack unfolded and arrested the men.
The German media as a general rule do not disclose the last names of victims to protect their privacy. The three men are between 16 and 18 years-old and are known to the authorities from theft and assault arrests.
Dortmund police official Kim-Ben Freigang said the suspects told the police that “such persons must be stoned.”
Bill banning child marriage fails in Pakistan after it’s deemed ‘un-Islamic’
The bill, which proposed raising the marriage age for females from 16 to 18, also called for harsher penalties for those who would arrange marriages involving children. Despite the laws in place, child marriages, particularly involving young female brides, are common in parts of the country. It's estimated that some 20 percent of girls in the country are married before they turn 18.
But the Council of Islamic Ideology, a constitutional body which gives advice to parliament on the compatibility of laws with Sharia, appeared to slap down the legislation after deeming it "un-Islamic" and "blasphemous," according to Agence France Presse. It had already handed down a similar ruling in 2014.
The council has garnered opprobrium in the past. In 2013, reports AFP, "it suggested making DNA inadmissible evidence in rape cases, instead calling for the revival of an Islamic law that makes it mandatory for a survivor to provide four witnesses to back their claims."
Girls Not Brides, an international coalition of civil society organizations working against child marriage, cited this religious body as an obstacle toward reform. A number of provinces in Pakistan have pushed for legislation cracking down on child marriages, but implementing the law is more difficult.
Clerics on the council object to minimum age requirements, arguing instead that an individual can marry once reaching puberty, which can be as early as the age of 9.
Feminists Love Islamists (h/t Michael Lumish)

US, Europe remove sanctions as Iran nuclear deal takes effect
The UN atomic watchdog said Saturday that Iran has complied with last July’s nuclear deal, and American and European officials in Vienna immediately announced that deal was officially implemented, and that nuclear sanctions on the Islamic republic had been removed.
Under authority delegated to him by US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry signed documents confirming the US government had received the report and waivers to implement the lifting of US Congressional sanctions.
“I hereby confirm that the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has fully implemented its required commitments… The US sanctions-related commitments… are now in effect,” Kerry said.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that “As Iran has fulfilled its commitments, today, multilateral and national economic and financial sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program are lifted in accordance” with the July deal.
The statements came after the International Atomic Energy Agency said that its “inspectors on the ground verified that Iran has carried out all measures required under the (July deal)… to enable Implementation Day to occur.”
Netanyahu vows to ‘monitor Iran,’ says it hasn’t abandoned quest for nukes
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement issued immediately after the announcement was made, vowed that Israel “will monitor the implementation of the deal and will notify of any violation.”
He added that Tehran “has not abandoned its aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons, and continues to act to destabilize the Middle East and spread terrorism throughout the world.”
The premier, who has been perhaps the most vocal opponent to the deal on the global stage, called on world powers and on the International Atomic Energy Agency to “closely follow activities in Iran’s nuclear installations and at other sites to ensure that it does not continue to develop nuclear weapons covertly.”
He warned that “without an appropriate response to every violation, Iran will surmise that it can continue to develop nuclear weapons, to destabilize the region and to spread terrorism.”
Israel, he said, “will do everything it takes to maintain its security and defend itself.”
Israel at the UN: Lifting sanctions on Iran greases wheels of terrorism
“Iran is continuing to strive for nuclear weapons and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s optimism must not blind the international community,” Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon said on Saturday, as world powers dropped sanctions on Iran after international monitors concluded the first phase of their landmark nuclear deal complete, marking the formal commencement of the accord.
Lifting the sanctions, Danon said is like “greasing the wheels of terrorism that Iran is funding around the world.”
“Israel will continue to monitor closely all activities of Iran, both in terms of the nuclear threat and the terror threat,” he added.
Rouhani: Only Zionists, warmongers, US extremists oppose sanctions lifting
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday hailed the nuclear deal with world powers implemented late the previous evening, as a "golden page" in the country's history, looked forward to an economic future less dependent on oil, and stressed that Israel was among the few actors on the world stage to oppose the development.
In an address to parliament Sunday morning, he said all the parties involved are satisfied with the deal "with the exception of Zionists and warmongers ... American hardliners and extremists," CNN quoted him as saying.
The Islamic Republic emerged from years of economic isolation on Saturday when world powers lifted crippling sanctions after confirming that Tehran had curbed its nuclear program as part of a deal agreed last year.
"The nuclear deal is an opportunity that we should use to develop the country, improve the welfare of the nation, and create stability and security in the region," Rouhani told the legislature as he presented a draft budget for the next fiscal year.
Elliott Abrams: America's new ally, Iran
Human Rights Watch, not known as a right-wing group, has noted that it appears to violate ‎international agreements prohibiting the use of photos or videos of military detainees for ‎propaganda purposes. Moreover, the entry into Iranian waters (if that happened) by a boat that ‎had lost its engines is obviously "innocent passage" under international law.‎
Nevertheless, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry offered effusive praise of Iran.‎
The new relationship with Iran is at the top of his agenda. The old-think concept of "allies" is ‎out. Consider this from The Associated Press: ‎
"Since the beginning of the year, Kerry and [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif have spoken by phone at least 11 times, ‎according to the State Department. They've focused on nuclear matters, Iran's worsening rivalry ‎with Saudi Arabia and peace efforts in Syria.‎
"By contrast, America's top diplomat has talked to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir only ‎twice. He has consulted once each with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ‎Jordan's King Abdullah and the foreign ministers of Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Russia ‎and the European Union.‎"
Once upon a time, during the Clinton administration, the foreign visitor who was invited to the ‎White House most often -- 13 times -- was not Tony Blair or some other ally; it was Yasser Arafat. ‎We know what Clinton got for all that courting: nothing, and the failure of his Camp David ‎peace efforts.‎

US slaps new sanctions linked to Iran ballistic missile program
The US moved to impose sanctions linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program Sunday, less than a day after announcing the lifting of long-standing sanctions on the Iranian economy as part of the landmark nuclear deal.
The Treasury Department said it was imposing the penalties against 11 firms and individuals based in the United Arab Emirates who had helped provide secret materials to Iran to develop their ballistic missile program, against a United Nations Security Council resolution.
“Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions,” said Treasury Undersecretary Adam J. Szubin, according to a statement from the department. “We have consistently made clear that the United States will vigorously press sanctions against Iranian activities outside of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — including those related to Iran’s support for terrorism, regional destabilization, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program.”
The Treasury said it was imposing penalties against a network of six companies based in the UAE and China, as well as five Iranian individuals.
Here’s who Iran is getting back in prisoner swap
International financial sanctions against Iran are being lifted today as part of the Iran Nuclear Deal. The influx of tens of billions of funds are expected first to go to support Iranian efforts to destabilize the Middle East, including helping Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza.
Not coincidentally, a prisoner swap also is taking place today between Iran and the U.S. HuffPo News reports:
As part of the exchange, the U.S. will release seven Iranians who were being held in the country on sanctions violations. All were born in Iran, but six are dual Iranian-American citizens. The seven men all have the option to remain in the U.S.
The deal will bring home four Americans who have been imprisoned in Iran for years on trumped up charges, or in some cases no charges at all: Washington Post Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, and Nosratollah Khosrawi-Roodsari. The imprisonment of Khosrawi-Roodsari has never been previously reported.

Here is who Iran is getting back:
The Iranian state news agency listed the seven as Nader Modanlo, Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afghani, Arash Ghahreman, Tooraj Faridi, Nima Golestaneh and Ali Saboun.
In addition, Iranian state TV said 14 Iranians sought by the US would be removed from an Interpol wanted list.
Family of Jewish-American missing in Iran ‘devastated’ he’s not part of swap
Jewish-American Robert Levinson was not included in a prisoner exchange with Iran.
Iran on Saturday released five Americans it was holding in its prisons or in detention, four of them as part of a prison swap which included the release of Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post journalist detained on espionage charges since 2014. In exchange, the United States will drop charges against seven Iranians involved in sanctions violations.
Levinson, 68, of Coral Springs, Florida, has been missing for close to nine years. CNN quoted Levinson’s family as expressing happiness for the other families, but saying it was “devastated” that he was not among those released.
His family has acknowledged in recent years that Levinson, a father of seven, had been working for the CIA in a rogue operation at the time of his disappearance from Iran’s Kish Island. His mission was not authorized by top CIA brass.
Why was Jason Rezaian released? The answer tells us everything
The reasons behind Rezaian’s imprisonment have still not been fully clarified, but according to Iranian journalists with whom I’ve spoken there were two factors. The first was Rezaian’s access, particularly to the inner circle of President Hassan Rouhani. His relationships were solely about journalism, but they were viewed with suspicion by hardliners in the Iranian regime, particularly the Revolutionary Guards. They control the judiciary and are believed to have orchestrated Rezaian’s arrest.
But there was another equally important consideration—a desire to influence the negotiations over the nuclear deal. By holding Rezaian, the Revolutionary Guards and other hardline elements were exercising a functional veto. If the deal proved acceptable to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, then Rezaian would be released. If Khamenei opposed the deal, then Rezaian would stay in jail, making it difficult for the Obama administration to sell the agreement to a skeptical American public.
But things did not play out that way. A key factor was Secretary of State John Kerry and other US officials who decided not to link Rezaian’s imprisonment to the nuclear negotiations. To do so, they believed, would strengthen the hardliners in Iran who opposed any deal. Instead, US officials raised Rezaian’s case on the sidelines of the negotiations, and were repeatedly reassured by their Iranian counterparts that they were doing everything they could to resolve the situation.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Olmert Miffed Not To Be On List Of Criminals Freed For Iran (satire)
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert voiced anger over his omission from the roster of criminal suspects and convicts either released or removed from an arrest list in an American deal with Iran, his attorney said today.
Olmert, scheduled to begin an eighteen-month prison sentence for corruption in several weeks, had hoped to be included in the group in order to escape the impending imprisonment. His lawyer, Annie McCabbel-Shohad, explained that his client was let down by the news, as he had expected to be rewarded for conducting a 2006 war with Iran’s proxy Hezbollah in such a way that the Shiite organization gained credibility, eroding Israeli deterrence and shoring up Iran’s influence in the region.
“Few people in the middle East have made such an important long-term contribution of this magnitude toward Iranian hegemony,” insisted McCabel-Shohad. “From failing to prosecute the Second Lebanon War to a satisfactory conclusion, to coming within a hairsbreadth of signing away Jewish sovereignty over the people’s most ancient and cherished areas, my client stands head and shoulders above many of the people Iran demanded be released or reprieved in terms of advancing Tehran’s interests and weakening those of the democratic West. This news is a blow to Mr. Olmert’s morale.”
Report: Tehran Firefighters Rescue Jews From Rubble of Collapsed Makeshift Synagogue
The Tehran fire department said it rescued 16 Jews from the rubble of a makeshift synagogue that collapsed on Friday morning, Iranian regime-aligned news agency Tasnim reported on Friday.
Firefighters Organization spokesman Jalal Maleki said units from two stations were dispatched to the scene, where fifteen men and one woman had been praying at the time of the incident. He said that all the people who had been trapped in the wreckage were evacuated unharmed, but damage was caused to three cars parked in front of the building, which is located on Shariati Avenue.
One firefighter told the media that the owner of the building had been digging under the building, which led to cracks in the structure. A Jewish witness said he warned the owner of a possible collapse and urged him to stop the excavation.
The witness said, “If the incident had occurred [Saturday], which is our praying day, there would be the possibility of fatalities due to the presence of 250 people.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: PA security forces arrest Erekat top aide for 'collaborating' with Israel
Palestinian Authority security forces in Ramallah have arrested a top aide to PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat on suspicion of collaboration with Israel, according to a report in a Palestinian online newspaper.
The aide, who worked for the PLO Negotiating Department, was arrested PA’s Preventive Security Service two weeks ago, according to the report in Donia al-Watan.
The report did not give the suspect’s name. It said that he was suspected of spying for Israel for the past 20 years.
The suspected previously worked for the PLO Executive Committee before moving to the Negotiations Affairs Department, the report said.
He is suspected of passing on information to Israel about Palestinian ideas during the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Another report claimed that the suspect was the director of Erekat’s office.
JPost Editorial: Buckling to BDS
The UCC’s one-sided divesture “debate” in 2015 was even worse, as BDS ideologues bulldozed through a proposal to use the so-called Kairos Palestine Document as the model for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Kairos is notorious for its anti-Israel bias and belittling of racist violence against Israeli Jews, not to mention its warped theology that erases the Jewish people’s history in the Land of Israel and replacement by the Palestinians as the “real” Jews.
Even though the UCC repudiated this view in 1987, most delegates agreed. The million-member UCC even rejected a call for the church to listen to Israeli perspectives and encourage cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.
The BDS campaign on college campuses has had mixed results and is finally meeting with opposition from Jewish groups. But the BDS hijacking of churches continues, with apparently only the Christian Zionist Evangelicals knowing that Israel is not to blame for all Palestinian suffering.
There are signs of hope. Last year the Episcopal Church, with some 1.8 million members, voted down a divestiture measure. The Mennonite Church USA, with some 950,000 members, voted to delay such a decision until 2017.
The UMC’s divestiture decision of last week should signal a warning. The fact that it contradicts the UMC’s rejection of BDS at its 2012 General Conference indicates that the BDS virus has managed to change public opinion at a time when it has been revealed as both blatantly anti-Semitic and advocating the elimination of Israel as the Jewish state.
Stop pretending Israel divestment is ‘sustainable investing
The Methodists claim their list of countries was based on Freedom House’s annual ranking of countries from “free” to “not free,” according to political rights and civil liberties.
Freedom House categorizes 51 countries as ‘not free,’ while the Methodists selectively chose only 14 countries for divestment. Of the 14 countries slated for divestment, all of them are rated ‘not free’ by Freedom House, except for Israel. The Methodist divestment list omits both China and Russia, despite the fact that both countries receive the poorest rating by Freedom House, and both are involved in territorial disputes.
Israel is on the Methodist list for divestment, even though the country received the highest “free” rating from Freedom House, and the only “free” rating in the Middle East. The West Bank and Gaza Strip receive a “not free” rating, with most of the blame in Freedom House’s analysis placed on the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Nevertheless, on the list of specific companies selected for divestment, seven are Israeli and none are Palestinian.
So why is Israel included on the Methodist divestment list when many countries with far worse human rights ratings by Freedom House are excluded? And why is the list so arbitrary, intentionally avoiding countries like China and Russia? Because the Methodists are using a flawed sustainable investing process to disguise their support for a discriminatory campaign against Israel. The anti-Israel BDS movement has pressured the Methodist Church for years, and sadly they finally prevailed. In addition to betraying their own moral compass, the United Methodist Church has betrayed the sustainable investing field as well.
Netanyahu moves to soften controversial NGO transparency bill
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced amendments designed to soften a controversial bill affecting NGOs, which, he said, would make the legislation more like existing US laws on foreign lobbying efforts.
Netanyahu said the so-called NGO Law — or Transparency Law — would no longer require all Israeli groups that receive at least half of their budget from foreign governments to wear prominent name tags while operating in the Knesset.
However, the tweaked bill would require all nonprofit organizations to account for all of its foreign funding, not only those receiving over 50 percent of its budgets from abroad as originally proposed.
At the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu noted that similar laws already exist in other Western counties, including the US, and said the measure was “the right thing for a democracy.”
Refuse to ship to Judea, Samaria? Face the punishment
According to the proposal, service providers will be forbidden from discriminating against customers due to their place of residents. It applies to all businesses with at least 100 employees that state they serve all parts of the country.
The bill would not affect small businesses, but rather target chains and large companies. An owner who breaks the law could be sued for up to 50,000 shekels ($12,600 US), without the need to prove damages.
"This twisted reality in which hundreds of thousands of Israelis are not receiving equal service as the rest of the country's citizens, due to their place of residence, must end," said MK Mualem. "It is not right for a store in an electronics chain in Central Israel or Jerusalem to tell a customer living in Judea-Samaria that the shipping would be too much."
She continued: "It's not reasonable for a furniture factory that ships to Eilat to demand a higher price for shipping to communities in the Arava. Residents of Judea, Samaria, and the periphery are citizens with rights. We cannot discriminate against them or charge them a special rate as 'second-class citizens.'"
BBC Hardtalk host tells viewers Temple Mount is ‘the holiest of places for Muslims’
Sackur – who only minutes earlier claimed to “know Jerusalem quite well” – came out with the following inaccurate and materially misleading statement:
“Yeah, you’ve raised one particular grievance, one area of tension, which is access to the holiest of places for Muslims – they call it Haram al Sharif – it’s holy for Jews too; you call it Temple Mount…” [emphasis added]
Leaving aside the fact that there is no evidence to support Sackur’s highly dubious claim that Yitzhak Rabin embraced the idea of “shared sovereignty” of Jerusalem, it is notable that he has obviously failed to ask himself why – if it is indeed the case that four Israeli prime ministers have offered to compromise on the issue of Jerusalem – have the Palestinians not seized any of those opportunities to make a peace deal during the last two decades.
Like so many others who adopt the messianic far-Left approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict whereby if only Israel did this, that or the other, then salvation would be instantly at hand, Sackur strips Palestinians of all agency or responsibility for the ongoing conflict. Hence, whilst able to admonish Barkat for his allegedly ‘unrealistic’ views on the subject of the division of the city, he is also able to ignore the fact that the “realistic, pragmatic” approach he holds up as the gold standard has been repeatedly rejected by the Palestinian side to the dispute. Likewise, that same cognitive dissonance enables Sackur to rebuke Barkat (and by extension, Israel) for the implementation of measures designed to cope with repeated waves of terrorism whilst exonerating those actually carrying out the attacks.
NBA signs with Israeli startup for customized video highlights
Who’s your favorite NBA player? Whether it’s LeBron James, Steph Curry, Omri Casspi or anyone else, you can now get customized highlight clips of your chosen basketball star thanks to a groundbreaking sports-video technology from Israel.
A multiyear partnership between the National Basketball Association and WSC Sports Technologies of Ramat Gan allows the NBA to use WSC’s AVGEN (Automatic Video Generator) and Clipro technology to generate and deliver customized in-game and post-game highlights automatically in near real-time.
This gives fans unprecedented access to the best daily, weekly and monthly moments from every team and player. The clips are featured across the NBA’s 18 international Web publishers, many NBA team sites,, and
“NBA fans around the world crave game highlights, and our unique collaboration with WSC lets us provide unlimited, high-quality video content,” said Melissa Brenner, NBA’s senior vice president for digital media. “As NBA fans’ demand for video on digital and social platforms continues to grow, WSC’s technology will give us the tools to help keep up with that demand.”
Israeli Team Develops Shoe to Stop Seniors from Falling
Yonathan Manor’s father was the inspiration for his latest invention, the B-Shoe, a shoe that promotes stability and stops wearers from falling.
A biomechanical engineer, Manor was concerned when his aging father, like millions of elderly persons worldwide, started struggling with mobility and began to fall a lot. So he decided to do something about it.
Working with physiotherapists and doctors, Manor theorized that when people age, they lose the ability to keep themselves stable and as a result are unable to make the minor adjustments needed to prevent falls.
Digging out the heel from an old sneaker for his first prototype, Manor joined with electronic engineer partners Abraham Stamper and Aharon Shapiro to develop a system that corrects an elderly person’s gait.
“We built prototypes of shoes that can save lives,” Stamper said of the design that has been six years in development. (h/t Jewess)
Being Jewish in Indonesia
I am one of a handful of Indonesian Jews. My father is from Solo, and is Javanese in every way. My mum is a Dutch Jewess. They met in the wild 60s, when partying in Singapore. They fell in love, married against the wishes of both families, and parented three children. My father was pragmatic and educated us in both Islam and Judaism. We are literate in Hebrew and Jawi. At 10, I was as comfortable reading the Kaddish as I was performing the Sholat. My sisters became Muslim, while I decided to remain a Jew. By the 1980s, the number of Jewish Indonesians had dwindled. Most had emigrated to Australia, or had intermarried and professed a new religion.
When I was young, we spent the High Holy Days in Singapore and Hong Kong. Being Jewish was being different, but we went to synagogue openly and proudly. We were always aware of the police patrol cars on Waterloo Street or Robinson Road. Still, the police never dampened the joyousness of a Purim, or the sobriety of our Kol Nidre. But things are different in Indonesia, where Israel is viewed as an aggressor and routinely singled out by Indonesian students for condemnation in mass rallies. The Synagogue in Surabaya was the centre of protest of a 1000 strong mob a few years ago – only the timely intervention of riot police saved it from desecration. I thought of poor aunty Rivka who looks after the synagogue and adjoining cemetery. It was a traumatic experience, although she was none the worse for wear the last time I called.
Keeping the faith
Being a minority of about 10 in a predominantly Muslim country of almost 250 million people is truly being a minority. My National Identity Card lists me as a Christian, since every citizen is required to profess one of six prescribed religions by law – none of which is Judaism. (h/t Think of England)
Ryan Bellerose On The Indigenous Rights Of The Jewish People
On Thursday night, our contributor Ryan Bellerose – who is currently visiting Israel doing Zionist things – spoke about the indigenous rights of the Jewish people and how they apply in the world today, as well as how they affect the struggle of indigenous people worldwide.
A crowd of around 70, as well as many others online, were thoroughly informed and entertained by Ryan, who has the gift of the gab.
Now it’s your turn.
Ryan Bellerose Speaking About Indigenous Rights to Ancestral Lands

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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