Thursday, June 16, 2016

From Ian:

PMW: PA Minister of Education honors terrorist who murdered 19-year-old policewoman
The Palestinian Authority Minister of Education visited a school this week in order to “honor the souls” of three terrorist “Martyrs” who had attended the school. Among the “Martyrs” was the murderer earlier this year of 19-year-old Hadar Cohen, an Israeli policewoman.
The article in the official PA daily points out that the students in the school named their class after two of the terrorists.
The Minister of Education, Sabri Saidam, added that:
“After the announcement of the results of the high school matriculation exams, a tribute to the Martyrs' families will be held at this school as a sign of loyalty to them and to their sacrifice.”[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 12, 2016]
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that a central teaching of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education is terror glorification.

A terrorist's mother makes 'V' sign at site of attack
The parents of Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi, who murdered rabbis Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Bennett in Jerusalem's Old City last October, decided to carry out a provocation in the same spot: They recently visited the site of the attack, on Hagai Street, where the mother was photographed making a "V" sign.
It was just another effort to glorify Halabi, who was killed by Israeli security forces at the scene of the attack. He was recently honored by al-Quds University, where he studied law. During a recent event at the university, Halabi was praised by the speakers and his parents were given his diploma.
Recently, Palestinian groups began collecting money to rebuild his family's home, in the village of Surda near Ramallah, which had been demolished by the IDF as a deterrent against future attackers. After it became clear the home would not be rebuilt on the same plot, the money went toward buying a fancier place in the nearby village of Abu Qash. The place spans about 3,870 square feet and is currently undergoing renovations. Palestinian officials also named a road after Halabi and built a memorial honoring him.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Anarchy Returns to the West Bank
Hostility towards the Palestinian Authority (PA) seems to have reached unprecedented heights among refugee camp residents.
A chat with young Palestinians in any refugee camp in the West Bank will reveal a driving sense of betrayal. In these camps, the PA seems as much the enemy as Israel. They speak of the PA as a corrupt and incompetent body that is managed by "mafia leaders." Many camp activists believe it is only a matter of time before Palestinians launch an intifada against the PA.
Nablus, the largest city in the West Bank, is surrounded by a number of refugee camps that are effectively controlled by dozens of Fatah gangs that have long been terrorizing the city's wealthy clans and leading figures.
Hamas, of course, is cheering on the sidelines as it watches the PA-controlled territories going to hell.

Prime Minister Netanyahu Says What We’re All Thinking About Orlando Terrorist Attack
Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, released a statement on the Orlando terrorist attack that targeted the LGBTQ community this past weekend. His statement was posted to Facebook.
Unlike many American politicians, PM Netanyahu had no problem identifying the terrorist’s motives or speaking directly to the ideology behind them.
Text of his statement here:
In Orlando, a terrorist walks into a nightclub and murders nearly 50 human beings. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters cut down in cold blood.
They did nothing wrong. They were dancing with friends, they were enjoying music with loved ones.
Why did the terrorist murder them?
Because he was driven by a fanatical hatred.
He targeted the LGBT community because he believed they were evil.

Now, the murderer wasn’t alone.
Regimes and terrorist organizations around the world ruthlessly persecute the LGBT community.
In Syria, ISIS throws gays off rooftops.
In Iran, the regime hangs gays from cranes.
Too many people have remained silent in the face of this awful persecution.

This week’s shooting wasn’t merely an attack on the LGBT community. It was an attack on all of us, on our common values of freedom and diversity and choice.
Radical Islamist terror makes no distinction between shades of infidel.

The Mottle Wolfe Show: Bibi is not Afraid to Say It
Bibi Netanyahu again makes a moral clarification that Obama totally misses. Also Mottle speaks with Dr Sherkoh Abbas, the President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria.
ToI Podcast: After Orlando, after Sarona
This week’s podcast looks at reactions to the aftermath of deadly terror attacks in Tel Aviv and Orlando.
As some try to link the two, suggesting the shooting attacks are one and the same, the panel asks whether such comparisons are accurate, and if they are at all helpful.
Analyzing statements from US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the panel questions when an attack should be called “terrorism” and when it shouldn’t be called “Islamic fundamentalism.”
Plus, Times of Israel blogger Rachael Risby Raz shares her blog “A time to mourn” about Israelis’ resolve in the face of terror, and the panel asks if, at times, the determination not to give in to terror can trivialize tragedy and blur necessary conclusions.
Orlando Massacre: Like Paris and Brussels, it could have been prevented
The attack is reminiscent of the terror attacks in Tel Aviv this past year: the New Year’s Day Dizengoff shooting, last week’s Sarona Market shooting, as well as international terror attacks, including the Brussels airport attack and the Paris shootings.
All of these attacks have commonalities. They were carried out by young marginalized Muslims who disagree with western values of self-indulgence, become religious extremists and choose to take matters into their own hands. They are ready to kill themselves for the cause. In other words: suicide. They arrive at the scene of the attacks with weapons and determination, taking inspiration from ISIS, to kill as many people as possible.
They choose symbols of Western cultures, places ISIS sees as decadent: the streets of central Tel Aviv, a music club, a football stadium in Paris and now an LGBT club. They aim to shock western culture, killing indiscriminately.
Like Paris and Brussels, and maybe even Tel Aviv, Orlando exposed the weaknesses of defense and intelligence systems. True, intelligence can’t expose every plan, especially not those carried out by individuals acting alone. The attack in Orlando shows that with improved intelligence this attack and others could have been prevented.
ISIS Celebrates Mateen, Orlando Terrorist Attack
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has released a video called “Orlando Attack” that celebrates Omar Mateen and the murder of 49 people at Pulse in Orlando, FL.
Mateen called 911 and pledged allegiance to the terrorist group before he opened fire at the popular gay club. ISIS praised the terrorist:
“One of Islamic State’s lions, set out to restore the glory of the Ummah and avenge the death of Muslims. He shook the head of kufr America, terrorized it and shed its blood. He is Omar Mateen.”
As it shows scenes from the area, ISIS promises they are here stay and expanding in the Middle East. The group also promised more attacks on America, “the evil, crusade, infidel among the worst of the unbelievers,” if the military doesn’t stop airstrikes against them in Iraq and Syria.
The video also tells the viewer that the terrorist group “has alerted the Muslims to march forth and strike the Kuffar in the lands of Kufr.”
FBI Probes California Roots of Orlando Terrorist’s Palestinian Wife
It is unclear whether Salman had her own connections to radical Islam. NBC reports that her mother was so devout that she would not eat at the home of other Muslim neighbors, lest their religious dietary standards not match up to hers. Salman also had a traditional Muslim wedding, but no marriage license reportedly exists. The Chicago Tribune notes that Salman and Mateen had both been married previously, and that neither Salman’s parents nor Mateen wanted her to drive a car:
Growing up, Salman’s parents tried to shelter their four girls.
“Noor never played in the street, and the girls were never allowed to drive,” Chahal said.
The neighbor quoted Salman’s mother as saying Mateen also kept her daughter from driving, until he recently allowed her to take a test to get her drivers’ license.

The Daily Beast reports that the family showed sympathy for the Palestinian cause against Israel:
Facebook accounts for her relatives show they are Palestinian. But they don’t appear to have been strictly religious. Salman and her sisters did not wear the hijab, according to posts, in contrast to ISIS’s requirements for women. Mateen’s ex-wife has stated that Mateen was not very religious when they were married.
While Salman’s family posted about Israel’s 2014 war in Gaza, they don’t appear otherwise political or ideological, and their social media profiles don’t indicate any sympathies with extremist groups.

The Tribune adds that Salman’s first marriage was arranged in the Palestinian territories, and that she lived in Chicago, which has a large Palestinian-American community.
Special Report Panel Trashes ‘Single Dumbest Editorial in the History of the New York Times’
The All-Star Panel on Fox News’ Special Report Wednesday tore apart an editorial from the New York Times which partially blamed the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, on Republicans.
Host Bret Baier first read a portion of it:
Hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum. They occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where people are scapegoated for political gain. Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians, who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish,’ continuing, ‘as the funerals are held for those who perished on Sunday, lawmakers who have actively championed discriminatory laws and policies and those who have quietly enabled them with votes should force themselves to read the obituaries and look at the photos.
The 49 people killed in Orlando were victims of a terrorist attack but they also need to be remembered as casualties of a society where hate has deep roots.’

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor at National Review, didn’t mince words.
“I’m reluctant to say this, but that might be the single dumbest editorial in the history of the New York Times,” Goldberg said. “It’s like a pinata, you can hit it from any angle and get some reward.”
Douglas Murray: Most Western Gays Remain in Denial about Islam
Back in January, the U.K.’s Gay Times ran a morbidly fascinating piece. Following the latest attacks in Paris and ISIS’s throwing of gays off buildings, the magazine asked, “Is Islam itself really a threat to the gay community?” Readers may be unsurprised to hear that the next sentence read, “The answer is simple. ‘No.’”
According to the piece (written by one Thomas Ling), there is nothing in Islam that need worry gays. But what, I hear you ask, about the Islamic traditions? What about the Koran? Fortunately, Gay Times had this covered, insisting that the Koran says “nothing at all” about being gay. Phew! So everyone can flip over to the articles on diets and work-out routines?
Well, not quite. The reason given was that “the word ‘homosexual’ simply didn’t exist when it [the Koran] was written.” Okay, but what about the founder of Islam, Mohammad, and his injunction to kill people who are gay? Our intrepid reporter avoided that hadith but did note another “prophetic narration,” which says, “When a man lies with another man, the throne of heaven shakes.” (The author fails to make the obvious frippery that if you’re really lucky the earth will also move.)
Anyway, having got near the rub, Gay Times author promptly slipped into the more comfortable issue of Biblical injunctions on homosexuality. He insisted that “the ruthless and reckless applications of Sharia law by IS are not inevitable consequences of Islam.” To give the reader a boost, we are reminded of a Muslim MP who voted for same-sex marriage and told how great the work of an “anti-Islamophobia” group was before closing with some bashing of tabloids for their publishing “negative” news stories about Muslims.
Maybe it’s time to accept that Islamic State has very little to do with the teachings of Islam. Maybe we should start comparing their fighters to terrorists like Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer, motivated by skewed personal beliefs, instead of to an entire diverse religion. It’s maybe then that society can accept Islam and promote a tolerance that can be proudly looked back on by future generations of gay Muslims.
That’s a lot of “maybes.” So let me add a couple of my own. “Maybe” Gay Times and Mr. Ling are wrong. Maybe they are in fact only symptomatic of the slow learning of gay communities in the West when it comes to Islam. And maybe, just maybe, after Orlando, a few more people will realize that the patchwork-quilt paradise of societal atomization we call “diversity” is a hell of our own creation.
No, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Doesn't Like Homosexuals
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has touched the hearts of many journalists since an ISIS-inspired terror attack left 49 dead at a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad called for solidarity with "all communities who are the victims of violence and persecution in our country." CAIR-San Francisco Director Zahra Billoo vowed to "stand with the LGBT community against homophobic violence." The head of the organization's Florida chapter, Hassan Shibly, declared his "overwhelming love and support and unity" for the LGBT community.
In light of Islam's well-known prohibitions against homosexuality, it's great to hear such words in any context.
But let's not kid ourselves. CAIR was founded by members of the Sunni Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, whose hatred of homosexuals is quite explicit. Shibly himself decried homosexuality as "evil" and a "quick way to earn God's wrath" in a 2009 Facebook essay on gay marriage.
Hackers Bombard ISIS Twitter Accounts With Gay Porn
In the wake of the deadly Orlando massacre on Sunday, online hackers have bombarded ISIS Twitter accounts with links to gay porn. Many have come out in defiance of Islamist homophobia over the last few days. Some have decided to celebrate gay personhood. Less than a day after the Orlando shooting at a gay nightclub, gay pride parade organizers in Los Angeles chose to go ahead with their event as scheduled in a show of collective empowerment.
Others have opted to take the more subversive route, intentionally inflaming those that seek to impose their parochial worldview on liberal societies.
The hacker responsible for the online attack first started breaking into ISIS-sympathizing accounts a few months ago. However, WauchulaGhost (the hacker’s internet alias) took his computer war against the Islamist group to new heights after receiving word of the savage assault in Orlando. For his magnum opus, WauchulaGhost systematically replaced ISIS iconography with pro-LGBT messaging, rainbow-colored flags, and yes, links to gay pornography.
“Islamic Refugee” With Gas Pipeline Plans Arrested in New Mexico Border County
Police in a U.S. town bordering Mexico have apprehended an undocumented, Middle Eastern woman in possession of the region’s gas pipeline plans, law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch. Authorities describe the woman as an “Islamic refugee” pulled over during a traffic stop by a deputy sheriff in Luna County, New Mexico which shares a 54-mile border with Mexico. County authorities alerted the U.S. Border Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) has been deployed to the area to investigate, sources with firsthand knowledge of the probe confirm.
The gas pipeline plans in the woman’s possession include the Deming region, law enforcement sources say. Deming is a Luna County city situated about 35 miles north of the Mexican border and 60 miles west of Las Cruces. It has a population of about 15,000. Last year one local publication listed Deming No. 1 on a list of the “ten worst places” to live in New Mexico due to high unemployment, poverty, crime and a horrible public education system. The entire region is a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), according to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center due to the large amounts of methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine and marijuana smuggled through the state by Mexican traffickers. Specifically, the renowned Juárez and Sinaloa cartels operate in the area, the feds affirm in a report.
Judicial Watch has broken a number of stories in the last few years about Mexican drug traffickers smuggling Islamic terrorists into the United States through the porous southern border. Last summer high-level sources on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border offered alarming details about an operation in which cartels smuggle foreigners from countries with terrorist links into a small Texas rural town near El Paso. Classified as Special Interest Aliens (SIA) by the U.S. government, the foreigners get transported to stash areas in Acala, a rural crossroads located around 54 miles from El Paso on a state road – Highway 20. Once in the U.S., the SIAs wait for pick-up in the area’s sand hills just across Highway 20.
Pew Data, Islamic Expert: More Than 60 Million Muslims Hold Favorable Views of ISIS
In the wake of yet another bloody massacre perpetrated by Islamist terrorists, media and political elites are, like clockwork, tripping over one another to remind us that Islam as a whole should not be held responsible for the carnage. And of course that's true. Even raging Islamophobes understand that not every Muslim in the world is murderous or malicious, and most reasonable people happily acknowledge that the vast majority of the planet's 1.6 billion Muslims are peaceable people who adhere to relatively moderate interpretations of Islam. Virtually nobody disputes any of that.
But the fiction that Islamist violence has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam is both intellectually insulting and dangerously naive. We've written previously about the alarming number of Muslims worldwide who at best hold profoundly illiberal views on issues such as free speech, human rights, and the imposition of Sharia Law. A recent survey of British Muslims only underscores why serious concerns about Islam in the West shouldn't merely be waved away as ignorance and xenophobia. Are those who decry the "ignorance" aware of data like this? Do they have any idea what Sharia Law entails? Have they read this report, curated and authored by a human rights advocate who renounces many of his own landmark findings on "Islamophobia" from less than a decade ago? Back Stateside, The Federalist has published a commentary by an Islamic scholar who analyzes the deadly Orlando rampage through the prism of his religion's teachings on homosexuality.
Islamic Terrorists Are Not Motivated By Hate
Assimilate, Fight, Or Be Slaughtered
The words of Mohammad Sidique Khan, who bombed a subway in London, should ring in the ears of every politician, law enforcement official, and American citizen: “Our driving motivation doesn’t come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam—obedience to the one true God, Allah, and following the footsteps of the final prophet and messenger Muhammad… This is how our ethical stances are dictated.”
These are the ethical stances that drive true believers to shoot up a nightclub, killing dozens. These are the ethical stances that require either death or obedience, slaughter or conversion to Islam: “Repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms,” the holy text says to unbelievers. If we do this, we will be allowed to live.
In other words, assimilate or die. This is unacceptable to every liberty-loving American, and it’s why we must fight back with courage, solidarity, and strength, without appeasement or apology. We must be willing to look our enemy in the eye as a united free people and call him by the name he has given himself—the name of Islam.
Casualties of War: Global Jihadism Linked to More Than Half of War Deaths
Today, conflicts arising out of jihadism account for the majority of war casualties, whereas hostilities are increasingly concentrated in the Middle East. However, Daesh itself is no longer the biggest threat to world peace, Swedish researchers say.
More than half of the world's direct casualties of war are now harvested in conflicts linked to militant Islamism and jihadism, a new compilation from the world's leading conflict researchers at Uppsala University showed.
According to the Swedish researchers, almost all great conflicts since 2006 have been classified as jihadism, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter wrote. Daesh has been the focus of the media coverage of violent Islamism ever since the terrorists spectacular advance in Iraq and Syria a couple of years ago. Although the jihadism category is still largely dominated by the war in Syria, Daesh proper is no longer the biggest player, as a constellation of Islamic groups has been mushrooming worldwide.
Of late, Daesh has opened "subdivisions" in countries such as Libya and Lebanon. At the same time, previously independent jihadists have been joining in, the most infamous being the Nigerian Boko Haram, which last year pledged allegiance to the "caliphate" in the Middle East.
Syrian Immigrant Who Said 9/11 ‘Changed The World For Good’ Is A Homeland Security Adviser
One of the sitting members on the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s (HSAC) Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism is a 25-year-old immigrant of Syrian heritage who said that the 9/11 attacks “changed the world for good” and has consistently disparaged America, free speech and white people on social media.

Laila Alawa was one of just 15 people tapped to serve on the newly-formed HSAC Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism in 2015 — the same year she became an American citizen. Just last week, the subcommittee submitted a report to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, recommending that the DHS avoid using Muslim terminology like the words “sharia” and “jihad” when discussing terrorism.
Alawa says she immigrated into the U.S. when she was ten years old. Her family had already left Syria by the time she was born. “But I will always be Syrian. I will always be from Syria. I will always be of Syria,” she wrote in November 2015, calling the country her “homeland.”
IDF Blog: After brutal terror attack in Tel Aviv, here’s what to keep in mind
Two terrorists opened fire on a busy Tel Aviv mall, killing 4. Here’s what you need to know following the deadly terror attack.
Overwhelming celebration for the attack in West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem
- Handing out candies
- Fireworks
- Marches in Hebron
- Viral celebrations on social media
Palestinian organizations rush to “brand” the event and revive the intifada/uprising
- “First Attack of Ramadan”
- “Carlo Gustav Attack”
- “Al-Quds Intifada Continues”
- Graphics and hashtags in order to keep the momentum of the terror wave
Transition from “Knife Intifada” to “Carl Gustav Intifada”
- Icon of “intifada” is now the Carl Gustav weapon
- 65% of Palestinians in the West Bank supported the suicide bombing in Jerusalem on April 18th
- Wide-scale support for raising the level of violence from knives and stones to shootings and bombings
Knesset approves anti-terrorism law
The Knesset on Wednesday approved a new, tougher anti-terrorism law, by a vote of 57-16. Representatives of all parties except Meretz and the Joint Arab List voted in favor of the law.
The new law significantly broadens Israel's anti-terrorism capabilities and its definitions of terrorist groups and terrorist acts. The law is a compilation that merges most provisions of the previous anti-terrorism law and replaces numerous outdated defense regulations enacted by the British Mandate more than 70 years ago.
Promoted by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, the legislation hardens punitive measures for terrorist activities. The legislative procedure to introduce the new law began several years ago in the 18th Knesset, under Tzipi Livni when she was the justice minister, advanced through the 19th Knesset, and ended Wednesday night.
Among other measures, the new law imposes a penalty of up to 30 years in prison for committing a terrorist act. A leader of a terror group, directly or indirectly, will be liable to receive a life sentence, as will terrorists who are found to have used chemical, biological or radioactive weapons during terror attacks. Publicly identifying with a terrorist group will carry a three-year sentence.
The daily Palestinian terrorism you don’t hear about
When two Palestinian terrorists opened fire last week at Tel Aviv’s Sarona market and murdered four Israelis, it appeared to catch much of the country off guard. After several months of seemingly sporadic attacks, many people had begun to think that the whirlwind of Palestinian violence had largely subsided.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
The sad fact is that Palestinian terrorism is literally a daily – and sometimes even an hourly – occurrence. It is just that the media doesn’t bother to report the overwhelming majority of incidents, thereby providing the public with a distorted view of reality.
Just speak to some of the 700 brave volunteers of Hatzalah Judea and Samaria (, a superb emergency first-response organization consisting of professionally trained medics, paramedics and licensed physicians who find themselves working around the clock to assist the victims of Palestinian terrorism. The organization is independent of United Hatzalah of Israel.
According to a spokesman for the group, “there are an average of 10 to 15 reported Palestinian rock and firebomb attacks throughout Judea and Samaria on a daily basis,” or approximately one attack every two hours.
Bereaved mother on NGO Bill: Foreign governments funded my son's murder
The weekly discussions of the coalition’s controversial NGO transparency bill took an emotional turn on Wednesday, when a bereaved mother threw her support behind the initiative and accused foreign-government supported NGOs of funding terrorism.
Devora Gonen, mother of Danny Gonen, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist while on a trip near Dolev in the West Bank last July, said: “Foreign governments fund murder. The lawyers defending the terrorist who murdered my son were funded by foreign governments.
That money encourages murder.
Terrorists know they will be defended, and their families will receive money. The terrorist is still alive, and his family receives generous support, while I have the privilege of being a bereaved mother.”
MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Union) responded that while he has sympathy for Gonen’s pain, Israel receives billions in foreign aid for its security and uses it “to start wars that kill people.”
The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee meeting was called to discuss the NGO transparency bill, which would require organizations that receive more than half of their funding from foreign political entities to label themselves as such in all publications and contact with politicians and public officials.
Of the Justice Ministry’s list of 27 NGOs to which the bill would likely apply, 25 are left wing, making the proposal very controversial.
PreOccupiedtTrritory: Joint List Denounces Terrorism Law As Discriminatory Against Terrorists (satire)
Members of the Joint Arab List alliance in the Knesset condemned yesterday’s passage of a law toughening penalties for people convicted of involvement in terrorism, saying the legislation unfairly singles out terrorists for harsh treatment.
The bill passed its second and third readings on Wednesday to become law, winning a 57-16 majority in the 120-seat parliament. Among the law’s provisions is a clause that mandates thirty years of a life imprisonment sentence for murder be served before a terrorism convict is eligible for release or parole, and levies stiffer penalties than the previous law against people who abet terrorist activities or incite to terrorism. The law updated or replaced a number of statutes that had been in force since the days of the British Mandate of Palestine, before the establishment of Israel in 1948, a fact that the Arab MKs also constituted a discriminatory slap in the face to anyone who believes Israel should not have sovereignty.
“This shameful law targets only one segment of the population,” claimed MK Basel Ghattas of Balad, one of four parties in the Joint List. “It is an act of blatant discrimination against the population of terrorists living under Israeli rule, and yet another example of the way in which this racist regime undermines the values it claims to hold dear.”
Jerusalem authorizes Jewish building in Silwan
Just a few hours after the White House stated its opposition to increasing anti-missile defense aid to Israel, the Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Council approved a controversial building permit in Silwan. The three-story building is owned by Ateret Cohanim and was supposed to be discussed two weeks ago, but was removed from the agenda due to political pressures.
This issue was categorized as the 70th item on today's agenda, but the head of Local Planning and Building Council, Meir Turgeman, filling in for the mayor, decided to raise the issue at beginning of today's discussions in the presence of two members of the council, Yisrael Karlman and Yohanan Weizmann, who belong to Haredi factions. The three approved the building permit.
Laura Wharton, a member of the city council for Meretz [communist], claims that this issue was underhanded opportunism. She said, "The council's decision today was an additional scandal at the initiative of the Jerusalem Municipality, intended to cause an uproar and to express trust in the head of the extremist right wing head of the city controlling it and to advance on the ground plans that cover up all plans for peace and international law. We are talking about a political plan that doesn't abide by professional criteria."
Israel plans to build concrete wall along Gaza above and below ground
Israel’s defense establishment plans to build a concrete wall that goes tens of yards underground as well as above ground along the Gaza Strip border.
The plan, revealed on Thursday on the front page of the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot, will cost an estimated $568 million, less than previously estimated, according to the report.
A wall that stretches underground is believed necessary to combat the proliferation of attack tunnels running under the border between Gaza and Israel.
The existence of the plan to build a wall was cleared for publication in the newspaper by the military censor, Ynet reported.
On Wednesday, a senior Defense Ministry official cautioned during a news conference that Israel cannot indefinitely continue a war of attrition and that the next conflict with Hamas in Gaza will be the last.
IDF tank held by Russia since 1982 returns to Israel
An Israeli tank seized by Syria during the 1982 First Lebanon War in the battle of Sultan Yacoub, and which has been housed in a Russian museum for several decades, was returned to Israel last week, shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ended an official visit to Moscow.
The tank was flown to Israel at Netanyahu’s request following his meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin. During his visit Netanyahu formally received the Magach-3 tank on Israel’s behalf.
It will likely be put on display at the Armored Corps Museum in Latrun.
An employee of a cargo company who was at Ben-Gurion Airport when the tank was lowered from the belly of a Russian cargo plane told Ynet News it was “a special and emotional sight” to see the tank return to Israel after 34 years.
The return of the tank, Netanyahu had said in Moscow, would be of some comfort to the families of three IDF soldiers who manned it and who have been missing since its capture.
Elliott Abrams: The new Palestinian city
The Associated Press reported this week on the arrival of the first families moving into Rawabi, a new city being built in the West Bank.
Rawabi is a marvel in many ways. I visited there in January, toured around, and spoke with the founder, Bashar Masri. Rawabi is about 5 miles from Ramallah and will eventually house 25,000 residents. Construction has been slowed by grudging cooperation from Israel, and even today Rawabi has not been permitted to construct an adequate access road and to connect to sufficient water supplies. But the project is an extraordinary achievement, well designed for living and shopping, with public spaces such as a beautiful open-air amphitheater.
The AP story states that Rawabi isn't just about real estate but is part of the statehood dream. Here I disagree. The "statehood dream" is in the hands of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, which are both far too incompetent and corrupt to have built Rawabi. It is successful in large part because it is a private sector project that has as little as possible to do with Palestinian politics. Rawabi is in my view more about Palestinians' desires for a normal life, in a new city where they can live well despite the political problems that surround them.
Iranian Cleric: Immoral Women Are Causing Climate Change
An Iranian cleric said in a recent speech that immoral women who don’t comply with strict Islamic dress codes are causing a local river to dry up.
“My office has received photos of women next to the dry Zayandeh-rud River pictured as if they are in Europe,” Seyyed Youssef Tabatabi-nejad told followers in a recent speech, according to ISNA NEws Agency.
“It is these sorts of acts that cause the river to dry up even further,” he said.
Tabatabi-nejad has gained a reputation for disparaging womens’ rights and even condoning violence against women who don’t follow the country’s strict dress codes, according to The Independent.
Not So Fast, Boeing and Iran
As Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies told the New York Times, despite the exception for aircraft sales in the text of the nuclear deal, much of Iran’s civilian aviation industry is run by companies linked to or run by the IRGC, which also operates the regime’s terror network. Business with the IRGC and everything related to it is still very much against U.S. law and nothing in the Iran deal supersedes that fact. As Dubowitz notes, that makes any Boeing-Iran transaction a “due-diligence nightmare” for any U.S. companies as well as the banks that will also be involved.
Given the high stakes involved, there is little doubt that the administration will be doing all it can to smooth the path for Boeing and to halt or sidetrack any annoying Treasury Department scrutiny that would highlight illegal activity.
That’s where Congress must step in. Despite the understandable desire of members of the House and Senate that will have constituents eager to have the Iran transaction bring jobs to their districts and states, the issue here isn’t employment but terror and U.S. security.
The regime’s behavior hasn’t changed a bit despite the president’s desire to welcome it into the family of nations. Their illegal missile tests and ongoing support for international terror give the lie to the White House spin machine’s myths about moderates taking over in Tehran, as did the recent election of more hardliners to ensure that the regime stays in the hands of the most extreme Islamist theocrats.
With the help of a largely tame Washington press corps, party-line loyalty from Democrats, and the help of a few foolish Republicans, Congress failed to stop the Iran nuclear deal. But by speaking up now, the legislative branch can still throw a monkey wrench into a deal that would put one of America’s most important aviation companies in bed with Iran’s terror network.
Islamic State genocide against Yazidis not abating, UN says
Islamic State jihadists are still committing genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq and Syria, United Nations rights investigators said Thursday.
“Genocide has occurred and is ongoing,” Paulo Pinheiro, head of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) for Syria, said in a statement.
“ISIS has subjected every Yazidi woman, child or man that it has captured to the most horrific of atrocities,” he added, using another acronym for the jihadist group.
The Yazidis are neither Muslims nor Arabs and follow a unique faith despised by IS.
The Kurdish-speaking minority is mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq.
In 2014, IS jihadists massacred Yazidis in Sinjar, forcing tens of thousands of them to flee, and capturing thousands of girls and women as spoils of war to be used as sex slaves.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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