Tuesday, March 15, 2016

From Ian:

Settlements Equal Security
One of the most intriguing findings in the sweeping Pew survey of Israel released last week was a sharp rise in the proportion of Israeli Jews who said settlements are beneficial to Israeli security. As recently as 2013, the survey noted, a plurality of Israeli Jews (35 percent) accepted the global consensus that settlements harm Israel’s security. But in the new poll, an even larger plurality deemed settlements beneficial to Israel’s security – 42 percent, up from 31 percent in 2013. Only 30 percent deemed settlements detrimental, while 25 percent said they make no difference to Israeli security. This shift in public opinion reflects both a growing conviction that Israel’s security requires the Israel Defense Forces to remain in at least part of the West Bank, and a growing recognition that settlements are the anchor keeping the IDF from leaving.
Three significant events occurred between the earlier poll, conducted in March-April 2013, and the latest one, conducted from October 2014 to May 2015: the Gaza war of summer 2014, the virtual collapse of UN peacekeeping forces on the Golan Heights, and the failed Israeli-Palestinian talks led by Secretary of State John Kerry. All had a major impact on how Israelis understood their own security.
The war solidified an Israeli consensus that the unilateral pullout from Gaza was disastrous, with even opposition leader Isaac Herzog admitting that “from a security perspective, the disengagement was a mistake.” There were two reasons for this. First, despite two previous wars with Hamas since the 2005 disengagement, Israeli casualties in both were low enough that on balance, the pullout seemed to have saved soldiers’ lives. This time, military casualties were so high (66 soldiers killed) that, as I explained in detail here, keeping the IDF in Gaza would actually have cost fewer lives than leaving did. Second, while Hamas had bombarded Israel with thousands of rockets and mortars ever since the pullout, it had previously mainly targeted the south. During the 2014 war, sustained rocket fire for the first time hit the center of the country, where most Israelis live.
MEMRI: Incitement To Terrorism By Palestinian Civil Society Organizations That Receive Foreign Funding
Some Palestinian civil society organizations operating in the West Bank that receive funding from Western countries, institutions, and foundations are openly expressing support for terrorism. They express this support with ceremonies exalting terrorists, with public displays of support for attacks and their perpetrators, by lionizing terrorists, and by posting inciting content on social media.
The following are several examples of such organizations:
The Palestinian Bar Association Awards Honorary Attorney's Certificate To Muhammad Al-Halabi, Who Killed Two In Jerusalem; Encourages Participation In Stabbers' Funerals
The Palestinian Bar Association is the official body for Palestinian attorneys in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.[1] It receives regular funding from the EU, and has received aid from the EU Police Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and UN Women.[2] It also maintains cooperation ties with the International Legal Foundation (ILF).[3]
On October 10, 2015, the bar association announced that it would be posthumously awarding an honorary attorney's certificate to Muhannad Al-Halabi, who was killed after stabbing two people to death in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015 and wounding a woman and a two-year-old baby.
Increasing Signs that Hamas, Not Frustration, Is Behind the New Intifada
The latest wave of terror in Israel may not be conducted by “lone wolves,” as is commonly believed, but guided by the hidden hand of Hamas, a leader terror researcher has reported.
Shaul Bartal of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies wrote that obscuring the genesis and motivations of such attacks is a common Hamas tactic. The Iran-backed terror organization is “aware of the many advantages and the protection that deception and obscuration provides its operatives, their families and the organization’s institutions,” he wrote. “The Sunni organization uses the concept of concealment (‘taqiyyah’) which is more common in Shiite Islam, in order to make political and propaganda gains, mostly in order to change its image as a terror organization and present itself to the world as a legitimate organization.”
While Bartal acknowledged that “lone wolf” terrorists carry out their attacks “without any proven connection or direct order from the organization they belong to,” he found connections to Hamas in many cases.



Israel offers to limit IDF activity in Ramallah, Jericho; PA refuses
An Israeli offer to reduce military operations in major Palestinian cities across the West Bank with aim of bolstering the Palestinian Authority has been rejected by Ramallah, Israel Hayom learned Monday.
Clandestine negotiations on the matter have been held over the past few weeks, following recommendations by GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who said increased IDF presence across Palestinian cities, due to the current wave of terrorism, was frustrating the Palestinians and agitating the volatile situation further.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday rejected criticism expressed by cabinet ministers over the fact they were not informed of the issue, saying, "This move didn't come to fruition, so there was no update necessary."
Abbas: I am determined to prevent violent struggle against Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has unequivocally rejected the use of violent struggle against Israel to end the Israeli "occupation," and stated that a Palestinian state would be established only by diplomatic means.
In an interview with the Kuwaiti Scoop TV channel conducted on Sunday at his office in Ramallah, Abbas said: "We are now engaging in a popular uprising that includes massive protests and demonstrations against the occupation. I am interested in starting direct negotiations with any Israeli figure – be it an Israeli MK, Ashkenazi Jew or Sephardic Jew."
"In 2000-2005 we engaged in a violent struggle. It ruined the country and we did not achieve anything; to the contrary, international public opinion sided with Israel, which enjoyed worldwide legitimacy to attack Palestinians," Abbas said.
Police say Tel Aviv ‘stabbing attempt’ false alarm
Police launched a massive manhunt in Tel Aviv after a soldier said an assailant had attempted to stab him, then called off the search hours later, saying the episode appeared to be a misunderstanding.
Police initially said a soldier had narrowly escaped being stabbed by a person in a car who called him over, but later said the soldier had seen a homeless man with a knife and gotten spooked.
Following the false alarm, dozens of police swarmed Tel Aviv to search for the perpetrator, and officials reportedly locked down schools, saying the incident was likely terror-related.
“After a situation assessment, checking security cameras and located eyewitnesses, this is not a nationalistic attack,” police spokesperson Luba Samri said. “It was apparently sparked by a homeless man who passed by the area. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.”
US Media Ignores Tel Aviv Shooter’s Plan to Attack Israeli Kindergartens
While the Washington Post chose to write about Hamas’ hacking attack, no mainstream US media outlet, including the New York Times, saw fit to report on a terrorist’s plan to massacre Israeli schoolchildren.
The Times and Washington Post reported extensively on follow-up plots after November’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Yet a heinous terrorist plot targeting Israeli kindergarten students following a New Year’s Day shooting spree apparently does not rise to the level of meriting a new story for American readers.
These types of glaring omissions are consistent with the misleading reporting associated with the initial January 1 Tel Aviv shooting attack.
In a January 5 article, the Times indicated officials remained unsure whether the shooting attack was a terrorist attack or criminal in nature.
But by January 2 — a day after the attack — a growing consensus among Israeli security officials considered the shooting a terrorist attack.
Nevertheless, a week after the shooting spree, the Post argued that “the motive for the Tel Aviv attack also remains unclear…”
The Forward Changes Reuters Headline to Cast Attackers as Victims
Although we've criticized recent Reuters headlines, the wire service came through after today's attack with an informative, straightforward title that accurately summarized the main points of the story: "Three Palestinians Attack Israelis in West Bank, Shot Dead: Army."
This same Reuters piece was picked up by The Forward, a Jewish newspaper. But apparently the original headline, in all its clarity about who attacked whom, wouldn't do.
"3 Palestinians Killed in Gun and Car-Ram Attacks in West Bank," The Forward titled its copy of the story. And just like that, the perpetrators of the attacks were recast as the targets.
The Forward's editor-in-chief Jane Eisner did not respond to emails asking why the headline was changed in a way that would certainly mislead readers.

Rocket fired from Gaza falls in open field near Sderot
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in an open area west of Sderot, the army said late Monday night.
No injuries were reported in the incident, and no organization claimed responsibility in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
According to initial reports, alarm sirens meant to warn residents of rocket attacks did not go off, suggesting the rocket detection system deployed around Gaza calculated that the rocket would land far from populated areas.
EXCLUSIVE - Jihadists Rocketing Israel As Part of Internal Power Struggle in Gaza
A barrage of rockets was fired at Israel over the weekend and another one was launched on Monday in what seems to be a power struggle between Hamas and Gaza-based Salafi jihadists.
Salafi militants allied with the Islamic State fired the rockets from Gaza in protest against Hamas’s clampdown on jihadi groups, the Gazan-based Salafi leader Abu Ayna Al-Ansari told Breitbart Jerusalem.
“As long as Salafist are jailed, we are not bound by Hamas’s agreement with the Islamic State’s affiliate in Sinai,” he said.
Ansari said that the rocket attacks also come in retaliation for what he claimed were Israel’s “crimes” against Palestinians, specifically to avenge the death of Jerusalem woman Fadwa Abu Tir “who, Israel claims, tried to carry out a stabbing attack.”
“After Abu Tir was assassinated, our mujahideen announced an imminent response was coming, but Hamas troops in the area delayed it,” he said.
Los Angeles Times Corrects After Underreporting Gaza Rocket Attacks
Following communication from CAMERA's Israel office, The Los Angeles Times today corrects an article which greatly underreported ongoing rocket attacks against Israel over the last several months. As noted yesterday in our Snapshots blog, the March 13 article by Kate Shuttleworth and Rushdi Abu Alouf incorrectly reported that before the four missiles fired from Gaza last Friday, "The last missile attack from the Gaza Strip was in October 2015."
Snapshots reported: "In fact, at least twice monthly in November, in December and in January, Palestinian terrorists fired rockets at Israel."
CAMERA staff emailed and tweeted Times editors details about the multiple attacks since October.
Selective and Shoddy Reporting in Salon, By Ben Norton
Norton again employs selective omission when he writes: "Approximately 190 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have been killed since October 2015. Close to 30 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza." His egregious omission of the fact that most of the Palestinian fatalities were attackers is a gross distortion of reality. As The New York Times rightly noted:
The bloodshed — mainly stabbings but also shootings and car-ramming attacks — has killed 28 Israelis. During the same time, at least 179 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire. Most of the Palestinians have been identified by Israel as attackers, while the rest were killed in clashes with security forces.
With the use of omission, Norton depicts Israel as the aggressor in the Gaza Strip, bombing the blameless Palestinians. He writes: "In October 2015, Israel also bombed a home in southern Gaza City, killing a pregnant Palestinian woman and her two-year-old child." He ignores the fact that following yet another Gaza rocket attack on Israel's southern villages, Israel responded with an attack on a Hamas weapon making facility in which the nearby mother and child were tragically killed.
Also, in a gross misrepresentation of the Israeli strike, both the strapline and the text state that the children were killed after Israel "bombed their home." However, as was widely reported, including in this Reuters report, Israel bombed Hamas militant training camps, not the children's home. Reuters states that the children were killed by "fragments from a missile" after Israel targeted "four militant training camps belonging to Hamas." There is a substantive moral difference between targeting a family home and targeting terror training camps.
PodCast: TOI talks: The devil in the Pew and strumming a tune for an intifadaversary
On this week’s episode: A major study finds almost half of Israeli Jews support transferring or expelling Arabs; the Bibi-Obama telenovela fails to shock anyone; marking six months of a terror whatever-you-call-it, and six strings of self defense
Netanyahu names human rights activist, video prankster as spokesman
Human rights activist David Keyes is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new foreign media adviser and spokesperson, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Monday.
Keyes, known for a series of videos seeking to embarrass Iranian and Saudi officials over their human rights records, will replace Mark Regev, who has been appointed Israel’s new ambassador to London.
The statement from Netanyahu’s office said Keyes and Regev would begin their new positions “very soon.”
PMW evidence puts Antisemitic preacher in jail for 11 months
The Antisemitic preacher from the Al-Aqsa Mosque is going to jail for 11 months because of Palestinian Media Watch's documentation. Last year, PMW reported on Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi's Antisemitic statements and handed over the recordings and translations as evidence to Israeli police. Twice, PMW's reports led to Al-Mughrabi's arrest, which has now resulted in the 11-month sentence. The Jerusalem District Court convicted Al-Mughrabi "for fomenting racist and religious hatred against Jews so as to spur attacks against them," Israeli Arutz Sheva reported. [March 14, 2016]
Israeli TV Channel 1 also reported on PMW's instrumental role in the police's arrest of the Sheikh.
Al-Mughrabi has been teaching Islam twice a week at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, posting his lessons on YouTube. In these lessons, he has taught that Jews make matzah bread from children's blood, sacrifice human beings to Satan, and that Jews symbolize the Devil and worship him. But the Jews will eventually be exterminated by Muslims, the Sheikh also promised, explaining that it is Allah's wish that Muslims/Palestinians bring this about:
Palestine’s Anti-Corruption Crusader
Najat Abu Bakr has accused Palestinian Authority officials of rampant theft. Now they’re going after her.
The biggest political standoff in years just ended in the West Bank and barely anyone in Washington noticed.
A parliamentarian from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ own party filed accusations of corruption against senior Palestinian Authority officials and then fled to the parliament building after the Palestinian Authority issued an arrest warrant for her. In the course of two weeks, Najat Abu Bakr’s sit-in protest sparked a political firestorm that drew crowds of Palestinians into the streets. It took weeks of tenacious negotiating, but she was finally able to secure safe passage back to her home district in Nablus last week.
Gaza trial in absentia for Palestinian intel chief who foiled attacks against Israel
Majid Faraj, the head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service, will be put on trial in Gaza after the public prosecutor of Gaza filed a lawsuit against him for foiling Palestinian terror attacks in the West Bank, according to a Palestinian news site.
The Palestinian Information Center reported Monday that Gaza's public prosecutor submitted the suit against Faraj to the Gaza Military Court.
According to a statement released by the prosecutor on Monday, Faraj is accused of "sincerely acknowledging in the media that he had thwarted the operations of Palestinian resistance in the West Bank."
IDF: Hamas Militants Fighting Alongside ISIS in Sinai
Militants from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas are fighting alongside the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula, while ISIS fighters are continuing to receive treatment in Gaza hospitals, a senior IDF official told Palestinian media.
Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, specifically cited a Salafi militant named Mahmoud Z. who has allegedly been coordinating between the two Islamist groups, as well as Ibrahim Abu Qureia, an ISIS fighter who recently received medical care in Gaza.
Mordechai added that Hamas has been seeking to exploit the Erez crossing on the Israeli border for terrorist activities, and warned that continuing those attempts would negatively impact Israel’s good-faith efforts to help with Gaza’s reconstruction.
Palestinian-American member of IS surrenders to Kurds
A Palestinian-American member of the Islamic State group gave himself up to an Iraqi Kurdish military unit in the country's north, an Iraqi Kurdish general said Monday.
The circumstances of the surrender were not fully disclosed, but it marked a rare instance in which an IS fighter voluntarily gave himself up to Kurdish forces in Iraq. In neighboring Syria, meanwhile, Syrian Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State told The Associated Press that they are seeing an increase in the number of IS members surrendering following recent territorial losses.
Maj. Gen. Feisal Helkani of the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces identified the individual as Mohammed Jamal Amin.
Helkani said the man is a Palestinian-American who has been fighting with IS in Iraq and surrendered near the town of Sinjar - retaken by Iraqi forces from IS militants late last year.
US-bound missiles found on passenger flight from Lebanon
Two US-bound missiles found on a passenger flight from Lebanon to Serbia were used for training and did not contain any explosives, the Lebanese army said Monday. Serbian investigators remain unconvinced, saying police found traces of suspected explosive materials on the cargo.
The Lebanese army said the missiles were being sent from Beirut to the American company that produced them. It said the return was in accordance “with administrative and legal measures after the training ended.”
But the Serbian public prosecutors’ office said Monday in a statement emailed to The Associated Press it was investigating findings by border police that the packages “are suspected to contain explosive materials.” It said the investigation also focused on where the missiles came from and what was their final destination.
Did Putin once again outfox Obama?
Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Monday that Russia will begin pulling out of Syria appeared to take the White House by surprise, and revived concerns that the Russian leader is outmaneuvering Barack Obama.
Just six months after he threw international relations into a tailspin by launching airstrikes in Syria, Putin on Monday declared that "the tasks put before the defense ministry have been completed over all,” adding that he had ordered that "the main part" of Russian forces in Syria would be withdrawn.
White House officials were left scrambling, with press secretary Josh Earnest punting on questions during the briefing and others trying to quickly gather information. “We have seen reports that President Putin has announced a planned withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria. We expect to learn more about this in the coming hours,” said one senior administration official on Monday afternoon.
A speedy Russian exit from Syria would confound President Obama's talking point that Putin had walked into a "quagmire" in that country's civil war that he would come to regret. Obama made the case most recently in an interview with the Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, in which Obama said Russia was "overextended" and "bleeding" in Syria.
Rationalizing Putin’s Syrian Victory
In review, it’s fair to say that the Syrian adventure has been a victory for Vladimir Putin. Today, Assad’s position is all but secure. His forces have begun recapturing key cities and territory from anti-Damascus rebels and is laying siege to the rebel-held city of Aleppo. Moscow has preserved its client regime in Syria, which now owes the Kremlin a great debt. The Kremlin has secured Russia’s last post-Soviet Mediterranean port at Tartus. They have ensured that the norm of using chemical weapons against civilians, having not culminated in regime change, will occur again. And they have exposed fully the canard that Russian intervention had anything to do with beating back ISIS – a fanciful notion that the West’s more useful Kremlin apologists repeated only to justify their attachment to non-interventionism – without consequence.
More dangerously, Vladimir Putin’s adventurism in Syria may have cemented the impression in the minds of some Kremlin policymakers that the Atlantic Alliance is a paper tiger that will not respond to provocation. The Russian campaign began with strikes on a CIA-provided weapons depot in Syria, which exposed to the world the existence of a covert U.S. operation aimed at arming anti-Assad rebels. In the few months since Russian intervention in Syria, Russian aircraft and ground forces have killed hundreds of U.S.-aligned fighters. Russian warplanes systematically targeted and harassed U.S. and NATO air assets and violated NATO airspace to the point at which Turkish anti-aircraft actually shot down a Russian fighter. The effect of this parameter-testing on the Kremlin’s part was to force the United States to accept the legitimacy of Russian intervention into a theater of war in which NATO was already operating. Ask the sailors of the USS Ronald Reagan how useful a “de-confliction” agreement with Russia was when two Russian bombers flew within 500 feet of that aircraft carrier just nine days after that agreement was reached.
By getting in, achieving a reasonably narrow objective, and getting out (presuming, again, those are the Kremlin’s orders), Russia has demonstrated that the West can be made to accept intervention beyond its former Soviet boundaries. What’s more, those operations can quite effective at securing Moscow’s near-term interests. It’s a relatively low risk, high yield investment strategy that Putin is likely to repeat. If that’s a victory for diplomacy, I’d hate to see defeat.
Analysis: Putin's power move in Syria puts Russia on par with US
One did not need to see the White House spokesperson squirm and stutter on Monday to understand that nobody in this world has a clue just what is going through the head of – and what is motivating the decisions made by - Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Just as he surprised the world six months ago when he decided to send his military to intervene in the Syrian civil war, he similarly amazed observers on Monday when he announced plans to gradually withdraw his forces from there.
Putin said Monday night that Russia had achieved its goals in Syria. It’s difficult to judge that statement since it’s been unclear from the start what those goals were. If the aims were limited – preventing the collapse of President Bashar Assad’s regime – then the mission was indeed accomplished.
Israel’s UN Ambassador: How Would Security Council Members React Had Iran Engraved Missiles With Threat to Annihilate Their Countries?
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations questioned members of the Security Council (UNSC) on Monday about how they would have responded had Iran engraved threats to annihilate their own countries on ballistic missiles it was about to test-launch, The Algemeiner has learned.
Danny Danon was referring to last week’s missile tests, conducted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, during which commanders revealed that the words “Israel must be wiped out” — in Hebrew — had been engraved on at least one projectile prior to firing.
“If it had been written that England, France, Japan, or any other country must be removed from the earth, would the Security Council sit silently?” Danon asked rhetorically, adding that making sure Iran suffers consequences from its behavior “is the only way to ensure that [it] does not continue to test more missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.”
Ambassador Danon calls on UNSC to take punitive measures against Iran after ballistic missile test


Iran’s Diplomacy for Dummies Lesson
When Iran first began violating United Nations resolutions about its ballistic missile tests, Obama administration critics pointed out that this was providing a first, crucial test for whether the nuclear deal with Tehran could be enforced. The lackluster response from the West supplied the answer to the question of whether Iranian violations would be dealt with in a tough manner. But the sordid spectacle of American impotence in the face of Iran’s brazen violations got worse today when America’s ambassador to the United Nations began an effort to discipline the Islamist regime over the issue. The result was an embarrassing setback delivered to Ambassador Samantha Powers by her Russian counterpart after Moscow’s representative stated clearly that his country wouldn’t permit sanctions to be imposed because Iran’s actions didn’t violate UN Security Council resolutions.
It was yet another frustrating moment for Power, who was left to vainly protest that the tests that were in clear violation of the world body’s demands, “merits a council response.” She’s right about that. But what’s been happening on both the missile front as well as the news that the International Atomic Energy Agency won’t be issuing reports about some elements of Iran’s nuclear program is that Tehran is teaching the Obama administration a very harsh lesson about diplomatic reality. It is, in essence, a diplomacy for dummies course that is being administered to the Obama foreign policy team free of charge by Tehran as it flexes its muscles in the new world created by the Iran deal.
Barack Obama's ill-advised nuclear deal with Iran has kickstarted a new arms race
Iran’s decision to test-fire two ballistic missiles emblazoned with the legend “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew is not the sort of reassuring conduct one would expect from a country that claims it wants better relations with the outside world.
Timed to coincide with US Vice President Joe Biden’s tour of the Gulf states and Israel, the missile launches will not only be seen as an unnecessarily provocative act of aggression by countries like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
They are also deeply embarrassing for the Obama administration, which is still trying to reassure its allies in the Gulf and Israel that its controversial nuclear deal with Tehran has ended Iranian attempts to build nuclear weapons – for the time being, at least.
State Dept. Struggles to Answer Questions on Iran’s Ballistic Missile Tests
State Department spokesman John Kirby struggled Monday to articulate whether the Obama administration believes Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests violated a standing U.N. Security Council resolution and did not deny that the softening on missile test restrictions in the resolution was a concession made by the United States during negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal.
Associated Press reporter Matt Lee challenged Kirby during the State Department daily press briefing on whether the Iranian missile launches violated U.N. Security Council resolution 2231, which endorsed the Iran deal as international law. He did so by first comparing the language of resolution 2231 with the older resolution 1929 that it replaced upon the passing of the nuclear accord.
“[Resolution] 1929 says ‘that Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology,’” Lee quoted to Kirby. “2231, which replaced [1929] and enshrined the Iran deal, says ‘Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology’ … You have ‘shall not’ and ‘is called upon.’ And as [Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly] Churkin said, you can’t violate a call. You can ignore it, but it’s not a violation.”
State Department Struggles to Answer Questions on Iran’s Ballistic Missile Tests


Iran denies top general called Saudi, not Israel, its enemy
Iran has dismissed as “false” reports in Arab media that quoted the commander of its powerful Revolutionary Guards as saying that Saudi Arabia was the greatest enemy of the Islamic Republic, rather than Israel.
An article published over the weekend on Egypt’s Al-Watan daily, titled “Iran: Saudi Arabia is our enemy, not Israel,” attributed the remarks to IRGC General Mohammad Ali Jafari.
“The title, content and conclusion of the article have been written based on changes to the reality, references to some unprofessional news reports and false attributions to the Iranian official,” Iran’s Interests Section in Egypt said in a statement on Sunday, according to Tehran’s semi-official Tasnim News.
Iraqi Kurdistan sees a Jewish revival, thanks to the Islamic State
In the streets of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, today, a small group of local Jews wear their kippahs proudly. It is a sight only the city’s elderly can recall having seen before, and espying this long-forgotten religious headgear has brought a few to tears.
Following the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, anti-Jewish violence forced the 2,500-year-old Iraqi Jewish community out of its ancient homeland and back to its even more ancient homeland. By the end of 1952, most of the 150,000 descendants of the Israelites exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar had emigrated to the newly founded Jewish state. Today, following persecution in the 1960-70s under the Ba’ath party, which forced Jews to carry yellow identity cards, Iraq is nearly judenrein.
But Sherzad Mamsani, 39, is now leading the charge to preserve and revive Jewish culture in his native Iraqi Kurdistan, sometimes at great personal risk.
The Mottle Wolfe Show (PodCast): Chillin’ With a Villian
Swedish Journalist Annika Hernroth-Rothstein apparently feels that living in Sweden isn’t dangerous enough for a single Jewish woman, she just returned from Iran where the Supreme Leader had invited her to cover the recent Iranian Election. Also is Trump responsible for the violence at his recent rallies? And the good news from the Jews on Israel Innovation.


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