Friday, July 08, 2016

From Ian:

In Africa, Lion King Bibi begins to outroar the Palestinians
Offering high-tech and security know-how in return for diplomatic support, Netanyahu was welcomed like a superpower chief
A life-size stuffed lion greets visitors to the National Palace in Addis Ababa, lying on a red carpet adorned with Stars of David. Always aware of a good frame, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not pass up on the opportunity to have his photograph taken with the lion on the sidelines of his meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Thursday morning.
A few hours later, the country’s president, Mulatu Teshome, took his Israeli guest down to the palace garden, where they gazed at real lions. Netanyahu is the first statesman to have been allowed to get so close to the animals; even US President Barack Obama wasn’t granted this honor during his recent visit.
Posing for the cameras with President Teshome, as two lions strolled in the background, Netanyahu said the occasion gives new meaning to the verse “They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions” (2 Samuel, 1:21).
In Africa, Netanyahu could be forgiven for feeling like Lion King Bibi. During his four-day tour this week to Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia — which required unprecedented security arrangements, including special forces and armored personal carriers brought from Israel on Hercules planes — he was treated like the chief of a global superpower.
Do houses matter more than Jews?‎
There was no outrage over the fact that the PA paid for the mourning tent of the family whose son ‎murdered the Israeli girl in her bedroom, nor over the visit by a Palestinian Authority official closely ‎associated with President Mahmoud Abbas to the mourning tent to pay his respects to the family of ‎the murderer. ‎
Nor did the U.S. show any outrage at the fact that the funeral procession for father of 10 Rabbi ‎Michael Mark was hit by rocks thrown by Arabs who were apparently not satisfied that the victim was already ‎dead.‎
Nor was there any outrage at the attempted rekindling of medieval European blood libels by Abbas in the ‎European Parliament, when he claimed that Israelis were poisoning Arab wells. When AP reporter Matt ‎Lee tried to get Kirby, the same State Department spokesman who threw a temper tantrum over ‎Jewish building in Judea and Samaria, to condemn Abbas' statements, Kirby ‎could not make himself utter the words. Pressed by Lee, he made himself say, "We have long ‎said what we want is for both sides to ratchet down not just the violence but the rhetoric, which can ‎inflame some of the violence. And we just don't find that sort of rhetoric helpful."
What a pitiful ‎statement. Especially given that all the inflammatory rhetoric and the ensuing terrorism ‎is coming from the PA, not from Israel. It has always been this way and the State Department is ‎perfectly aware of this. There is no moral equivalence and no "cycle of violence." It is all very one-‎sided, but by consciously making statements such as this, the State Department legitimizes the false ‎narrative of the conflict and ensures that it continues at full speed. Essentially, it tells the PA to just continue ‎its dirty business, because no matter what it does, there will be no consequences politically or, ‎even more importantly, financially. Just like the EU, the U.S. treats the PA as an unruly toddler who can do ‎no wrong and must be indulged in all its whims. That, too, is a racism of low expectations, coming from ‎the country that has recently elevated political correctness into something of a second U.S. Constitution. ‎
We know that for the U.S. administration, in particular the State Department, the building of houses ‎matters. The question that remains is this: Does the administration also believe that Jewish lives ‎matter?‎

Judea and Samaria - it's all in a name
What is in a name? What difference does it make if we refer to this land as the 'West Bank' or Judea and Samaria? The answer is everything. We lose our souls, more, we surrender our identity. We sacrifice our past, diminish the incredible connection we have with this land.
And worse, we allowed quasi-Israeli media outlets to damage our standing in the world by catering to their ghetto mentality. When someone who lives in this area writes that it is the ultra-right who use this terminology, we all lose.
I live in the land of Israel, my home, my heart. My home graces the mountains of Judea.
And when this great grandfather dies, it will be Yisrael written on his tombstone, not Harpo. His neighbors can recognize his name or call them whatever he wants, but his family must know. This is what he was born, this is how he should live.
Two of my children and all of my grandchildren have been born in this land. We will name it as it was, as it is. The larger question is not why we want to be known by our ancient and reborn name, but why others seek to take it away and more, why we let them.
Judea. Samaria. Yehudah and Shomron. Home. Ours. Forever. Our heritage, our rights, our history and our future really IS in the name.
We are Israel.

JPost Editorial: Ten years later
On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah terrorists attacked an IDF patrol on the Israeli side of the border and abducted two reservists. Prime minister Ehud Olmert, defense minister Amir Peretz and IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz ordered a forceful reaction, which in retrospect marked the start of the Second Lebanon War.
It is clear today that Israel’s political and military leadership committed serious strategic errors. Declarations of victory rang hollow. The inquiry committee headed by judge Eliyahu Winograd – set up just three weeks after the end of the conflict – revealed errors in preparation for, execution of, and the ending of the 2006 Lebanon campaign.
Still, the IDF has proved it can learn from its mistakes and improve, as befits the military of a healthy democracy that derives its strength from its ability for self-criticism.
And despite all the strategic mistakes made before, during and after the Second Lebanon War, the Israeli tendency for hypercriticism and self-flagellation is misguided.
The war demonstrated that Israel is a strong country. It has the spirit to fight. Its soldiers won each encounter with Hezbollah. The home front displayed great resilience, and the economy continued to thrive as up to 130 rockets and missiles a day fell on civilians in the North.
What has changed over the past decade? Clearly, Hezbollah is much stronger today than it was in 2006. It is no longer a terrorist organization, but an entity with a full-fledged army complete with a command hierarchy and fire power that outstrips most states and openly dominates Lebanon’s political leadership.
Second Lebanon War: Mistakes, lessons and the next war
All this complexity must not frighten Israel. One of the main lessons of 2006 was knowing the threat, understanding it and maximizing our military, civilian, and political ability to confront it. Intelligence plays a central role, as does studying the other side's capabilities, and mostly analyzing its intentions and preventing an unwanted war.
As of today, another war in the north looks far off. Hezbollah is busy with its own affairs, but a key condition to continued quiet is Hezbollah understanding that Israel is not afraid to fight a war. That is why the IDF is careful to preserve Israeli sovereignty over every foot of the north, unlike the situation that preceded the Second Lebanon War, and makes it clear at every opportunity the price Hezbollah and Lebanon will pay for escalation.
In many aspects, the IDF is prepared for the challenge in the north much better than it was a decade ago. The main elements -- operational plans, training, supplies, intelligence, and mainly the awareness that war could break out and wreak a heavy price -- are where they should be, and should guarantee a much better result than the one achieved in the Second Lebanon War.
Still, Israel is facing a very complicated challenge, not only because of Hezbollah's capabilities and the potential scope of damage to the homefront. The problems in the decision-making process at the upper political echelon and between the government and the military that led to the unsatisfactory result of the 2006 war have not improved significantly, and could cast a shadow over what needs to be done in a third Lebanon war.
MEMRI: Arab Columnist: We Must Purge Our Sources Of Islamic Extremism Like Post-WWII Germany Purged Its Sources Of Nazism
In his July 5, 2016 column for the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, under the headline "Uprooting Extremism," Hussein Shobokshi called on the Muslim world to do what Germany did to combat Nazism after World War II, in order to purge itself of its own sources of extremism.
Following are excerpts from his column:
"When the Nazi regime fell, and Adolf Hitler was defeated at the end of World War II... Germany decided to comprehensively, deeply, and seriously put its house in order. It examined itself in depth, objectively, and gravely, and found that the primary solution to its problem was uprooting the Nazi ideology.
"Thus began a decisive campaign to uproot the direct and indirect influence of Nazi ideology on anything related to Germany's heritage, culture, ideology, arts, and politics. They dug through the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Kant, sifting through their writings with a fine-toothed comb, for fear that they had played a part in influencing others and paving a clear path to extremism and, later, to Nazism. Moreover, they also turned to [Germany's] musical heritage, and banned performances of music by the renowned German musician and composer Wagner, to which Hitler had listened regularly. They banned his music, fearing that it would be a factor influencing people's ideology and encouraging extremism.
"Germany realized that it was facing a critical challenge that would obligate it to decide, in all seriousness, whether to be or not to be. In light of the gravity of this situation, it had to face the complex problems of Nazism unceremoniously and with an iron fist.
Recognizing that Israel is Not an Occupying Power in Gaza is Good for Everyone
Article 42 of the 1907 Hague Regulations outlines legal requirements for occupation, which include the physical existence of hostile troops in an area, so that the legitimate government is incapable of exercising effective powers of government. Conversely, military withdrawal is a prerequisite for clearly demarcating the end of occupation. As such, never since the enactment of the Hague Regulations has an occupation been recognized without a foreign army present. Although Israel fully evacuated Gaza eleven years ago and a 2015 U.N. Human Rights Council Report cited Hamas as the authority that controls Gaza and exercises “governmental-like functions,” the international community still erroneously perceives the Strip as a territory under Israel’s responsibility. The international community has drawn this legal conclusion without consideration of the fact that Israel does not meet the basic criteria of an “occupier” under international law and that, since 2005, Israel has had neither the intention nor the physical or legal capability to exercise governmental authority there. It thus fosters the incorrect, dubious argument that Israel is still legally responsible for Gaza as an occupier.
For example, the European Court of Human Rights recently ruled in two cases regarding the aftermath of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It held that the physical presence of foreign troops is a sine qua non requirement of occupation and that military occupation is inconceivable without “boots on the ground.”
This ruling also applies to Gaza. Accordingly, exercising naval or air control through a blockade does not constitute belligerent occupation. As measures of war are concerned, they do not require military presence nor the same effective control in the form of possession and exercising governmental authority required for occupation. More importantly, a blockade refers to a legal framework different from an occupation, focusing on the prohibition against threatening and using force under Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter.
Nevertheless, in November 2014, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled: “…Israel remains an occupying power in Gaza despite the 2005 disengagement. In general, this view is based on the scope and degree of control that Israel has retained over the territory of Gaza.” The ICC also contended that “the geographic proximity of the Gaza Strip to Israel potentially facilitates the ability of Israel to exercise effective control over the territory, despite the lack of a continuous military presence.”
Regrettably, these fallacious statements further nurtured the de-legitimization campaign against Israel, in particular regarding Gaza, and muddied the differentiation between Israel’s clearly incomparable status in the West Bank versus Gaza.
Grand strategy for Israel
Washington misreads Israel’s regional approach I just returned from 10 days in Washington where I encountered administration officials, think tank analysts, and Jewish community lobbyists who are profoundly misreading Israel and the changed Middle East.
Most of them think that Prime Minister Netanyahu is just playing petty politics in order to survive, without a grand plan. I tried to explain to them how wrong they were, and to articulate a coherent Israeli strategic worldview.
To begin with, I found senior Obama administration defense officials who have convinced themselves that the Israeli security establishment has come around to a benign view of the Western nuclear accord with Iran. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an outlier in his continued negativity toward the JCPOA, they told me; and he is isolated from his own military-intelligence establishment in this regard, they asserted with self-congratulatory smirks on their faces.
To prove their claim, American officials pointed to a series of anti-Netanyahu speeches given at the recent Herzliya Conference, by Ehud Barak, Bogie Ya’alon and others.
Responding to this nonsense, I explained to my American interlocutors that they were deluding themselves. With one year on the record since the deal was signed, anybody serious in Israel is certain that the deal was a mistake.
Criticism of Israeli Building Based on Palestinian Disinformation
On Wednesday, the Obama administration launched a new blistering attack on Israel. Reacting to the approval of 800 new housing units for Jews and 600 for Arab residents in the Jerusalem area, the State Department accused Israel of systematically seizing “Palestinian land.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the administration has strong doubts about Israel’s commitment to peace after the announcement of the building plan.
“If it is true, this report would be the latest step in what seems to be the systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions and legalization of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution. We oppose steps like these, which we believe are counterproductive to the cause of peace,” Kirby said, adding that the administration is “deeply concerned” about the Israeli building plans.
“These actions risk entrenching a one-state reality and raise serious questions about Israel’s long-term intentions,” he said, referring to a new report by the Quartet for Mideast Peace that criticized Israeli settlement building but also took the Palestinian Authority to task over the continuing incitement against Jews and Israel.
Apparently, Kirby based his statement on inciting and incorrect information he received from the Palestinian side because no outpost will be legalized under the new building plan and no settlement will be expanded outside existing zone plans. Furthermore, the announcement of the plan was, in fact, phase two in a long procedure that started in 2012 when a planning committee approved the proposal.
The accusation that there is “a systematic process of land seizures” is also based on false information. Most “settlement” building takes place within the existing boundaries of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank).
The plan doesn’t involve land expropriation, and the only construction plan that is scheduled to be executed outside an existing neighborhood is the building of 600 units for Arabs in Givat Hamatos near the existing Arab neighborhood Beit Safafa and the Jewish neighborhood Gilo in southern Jerusalem.
The State Department Is Tangled Up in Its Own Jerusalem Rhetoric
The US State Department has accused Israel of “undermining” peace by planning to build homes in areas in and around Jerusalem that happen to be beyond the pre-1967 armistice line. Washington considers those areas to be “illegal settlements” that ultimately need to be dismantled to make room for a Palestinian state.
Yet most of the new homes in question will be located in an all-Arab neighborhood, Beit Safafa.
So does that mean the State Department is calling for the dismantling of one of Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods? Or is Foggy Bottom simply caught in the web of its own illogical, double-standard rhetoric when it comes to Israel and the disputed territories?
Abbas urged to abandon negotiations with Israel
Taysir Kubaa, deputy head of the Palestinian National Council, on Thursday called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to abandon the path of negotiations with Israel which, he said, does not lead to success for the Palestinians.
Speaking in an interview with Hamas's Palestine newspaper, Kubaa said that the Palestinian reliance on false negotiations is wrong, since negotiations are “worthless”, as he put it, and “the only option we face is a return to national unity and enlisting our people to the forces of the struggle.”
Referring to the French peace initiative which calls for an international conference to renew peace talks, Kubaa said it was contrary to the interests of the “Palestinian people”. This initiative, he claimed, “seeks to cancel the right of return and recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and this is inconsistent with our Palestinian interests.”
His comments illustrate once again the opposition from within the ranks of the PLO to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's approach, and the major difficulties he would face in reaching an agreement with Israel.
State Dept. Approves $300M Sale to Israel of Sea Hawk Helicopters, Military Parts
The U.S. State Department has notified Congress that its Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved a proposed $300 million sale to Israel of excess SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter equipment and technical support.
Israel has been approved to receive eight (8) SH-60F Sea Hawk Helicopters via the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) Program under a separate notification. “That separate notification included only the SH-60 airframes, thus this transmittal includes all the major components and customer-unique requirements requested to supplement the EDA grant transfer,” the agency said Wednesday in a statement.
General Electric and Science and Engineering Services are to serve as principal contractors for the sale.
The Sea Hawks are to be used on board four new frigates purchased by the Jewish State for use in securing the mammoth Leviathan natural gas field beneath the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Spares and repair parts were to be sold, as well as test and commuication equipment, ferry support, publication and technical documentation.
Pollard to US court: 'Vindictive' parole conditions because I want to live in Israel
The conditions for Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard's parole from prison are arbitrary, vindictive and would not prevent him from disclosing classified information if he remembered any after 30 years, his lawyers said in a submission to a New York court Thursday.
Thursday was the deadline for Pollard's lawyers to submit their final filing to the court ahead of decisive oral arguments in the case on July 22. The lawyers are trying to persuade Judge Katherine Forrest of the US District Court in Manhattan to remove parole conditions that require him to wear an electronic GPS ankle bracelet at all times, require him to be subjected to unfettered monitoring and inspection of his computers, and prevent him from leaving his New York home before 7 a.m. or return after 7 p.m.
"The [parole] commission has a statutory burden to satisfy before it may deprive Mr. Pollard of his liberties, and it has not satisfied that burden," Pollard's lawyers Eliot Lauer and Jaquest Semmelman wrote Thursday.
The commission asked Forrest for permission to file a classified statement to the court that Pollard's lawyers would not be permitted to see. She permitted the documents to be filed but said the parole board must disclose to Pollard’s attorneys the substance of the submission.
Israel to Help Kenya Build 440-Mile Border Wall to Prevent Infiltration of Somali Terrorists
Israel will lend its counter-terrorism expertise to Kenya by helping the African country build a security wall along its border with Somalia, the UK’s The Times reported on Thursday.
Nairobi is seeking assistance from the Jewish state to construct a 440-mile barricade to prevent Somali terrorists from infiltrating the country. Israel itself is in the process of building a security fence along its southern border with Jordan — expanding the fence located alongside the Sinai peninsula — and has plans to build a massive concrete wall that extends underground, to prevent terrorists from the Gaza Strip from infiltrating the country through tunnels.
The news comes amid Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic flurry in Africa this week, which included a stop in Kenya on Tuesday.
Jordanian man attacks Israeli car, assaults driver near Kinneret
An Israeli woman was injured while driving on Route 90 when her car was struck by a stone and she was allegedly attacked by a Jordanian citizen Friday morning.
Rotem Aharoni, 23, was driving on the north-south highway just south of the Sea of Galilee when her vehicle was pelted and she crashed into a guardrail.
After she came to a halt, a man leaped from the bushes and assaulted her, apparently trying to remove her from the vehicle, police said.
A passerby’s appearance on the scene prompted the suspect to flee the scene. After a nearly two-hour manhunt, a member of a nearby security detail fired on the suspect and struck him in the leg. Police then apprehended the man, who was identified as a Jordanian citizen in his mid-20s.
Aharoni suffered minor injuries and the suspect suffered moderate to serious injuries, Magen David Adom said. Both were taken to Poriya Hospital, near Tiberias, for treatment.
Israeli authorities were investigating how the assailant crossed the border into Israel. Police later said that a preliminary investigation found that the Jordanian man was mentally unstable and threw rocks at the car in a failed attempt to make it stop and steal it.
Attack victim describes terrorist trying to drag her from car
Twenty-three-year-old Rotem Aharoni from Had Nes was driving to work when an Arab man in a grey kaftan threw a large rock at her car.
Rotem slammed on the breaks and the car struck a safety rail. The Arab then ran towards her, opened the door and tried to force her out of the vehicle, all the while yelling in Arabic.
Rotem fought back and pushed him away. Afterwards, the man ran to another vehicle that had arrived, tried to open the door, and then fled.
Another person at the scene came to assist Rotem and helped her exit the car. He also called her family and the police.
MDA first responders treated Aharoni and evacuated her to Poria Hospital in Tiberias, where doctors said that she was lightly wounded. "I want to thank everyone who helped me during the incident and called for security forces," she said.
About an hour on the run, the attacker reached the fields of Kibbutz Degania Bet. A kibbutz security official saw him and told him to stop. When the Arab continued approaching, he opened fire at the suspect's lower body.
The 16km stretch of West Bank road that has claimed the lives of 25 terror victims
Palestinian terrorists have killed 25 people in 22 years along a 16 kilometer stretch of Route 60 in the South Hebron Hills.
The last of those victims was Rabbi Michael “Miki” Mark, who was shot to death as he drove with his wife and two of his children from their home in the Othniel settlement to Jerusalem on Friday, July 1.
If the South Hebron Hills Regional Council head Yochai Damri could have spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, he would have asked him one question: “Can you promise me this won’t happen again?”
The South Hebron Hills region, which has only some 10,000 people, is one of the more isolated and barren regions of the West Bank. The bulk of it is located outside the route of the security barrier, which in any event, has yet to be built in that area.
As Israel goes after ‘terror-enabling’ Facebook, new bills may miss mark
In the aftermath of the deadly 2015 Paris terror attacks, when Facebook profile photos in the West were overwhelmingly painted red, white and blue in solidarity with France, the social media giant was quietly engaged in a gargantuan clean-up operation.
At the request of the French government, citing a law protecting human dignity, the social media network erased a staggering 32,000 posts that included a specific photo linked to the carnage.
It was the largest amount of “restricted content” by country in Facebook’s twice-yearly report on government requests for access, ahead of India — which had 14,971 posts restricted over legal requests in July-December 2015 “as alleged anti-religious and hate speech that could cause unrest and disharmony within India” — and Turkey, which had 2,078 posts removed during that same period for “a range of offenses including personal rights violations, personal privacy, and defamation of Ataturk,” the first president of modern Turkey.
“When governments believe that something on the Internet violates their laws, they may contact companies like Facebook and ask us to restrict access to that content. When we receive such a request, it is scrutinized to determine if the specified content does indeed violate local laws. If we determine that it does, then we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory,” the social media network says in its guidelines.
Furious over Facebook’s refusal to remove all of the content it requests deleted, Israel is now jumping on the bandwagon, with proposed legislation that would allow a court order to force Facebook to remove posts calling for violence.
But legal experts warn that the social media giant won’t necessary comply with these orders and with local laws and may even be turned off the Israeli market; that the legislation is “clumsy,” requiring a lengthy legal process for content removal; and that Israel already has incitement laws for online content but rarely enforces them.
Analysis: Southern border as explosive as ever
On this day two years ago, one of Israel’s longest wars erupted, and despite the fact that a cease-fire reached with Hamas has held firm, the Gazan border today remains as explosive as ever.
In the summer of 2014, the IDF and Hamas in Gaza traded fire for 50 days; Israeli cities came under near daily Hamas rocket attacks, warning sirens rang out and Iron Dome interceptors flooded the skies; IDF ground units moved into the Strip to destroy 34 cross-border tunnels; and the Israel Air Force dropped thousands of bombs at Hamas targets, which had been cynically hidden near residential buildings, hospitals and mosques.
According to IDF assessments, the conflict began because Hamas was isolated regionally, following the loss of its Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood ally. Broke financially, Hamas was at risk of losing its grip on power in Gaza, which it had seized in 2007.
Today, Hamas’s situation has not changed much. It remains largely isolated, with few regional friends. The Hamas political wing struggles to accept Shi’ite Iran’s demands of loyalty, fearing this will isolate it further from the Sunni powers. The armed wing is less concerned with sectarian politics; it needs money and weapons from Tehran.
Meanwhile, Gaza’s economy, held hostage by Hamas, continues on course for collapse.
Amnesty: Israel and Palestinians need to own up to war crimes
Two years following Operation Protective Edge, Amnesty International is disappointed with the lack of serious inquiries by both Israeli and the Palestinians, according to a report from the London-based human rights group.
The report, which came out Thursday, a day before the two-year anniversary of Protective Edge, says both sides committed war crimes, but “neither side has held anyone to account, nor conducted genuine, independent criminal investigations.”
Most notably, Amnesty International condemns Israel’s system of investigation, saying it “lacks independence and impartiality.”
The report notes that the military advocate-general is the main decision-maker for investigations, but also oversees legal advice to Israeli forces – while these two jobs should be independent of each other.
“It serves to shield perpetrators from prosecution and entrench impunity,” the report said, adding that “the investigatory system is not prompt, transparent or effective.”
IDF Blog: Global aid to Gaza is on the rise in 2016, as well as Hamas cross-border tunnel construction
As of March 2016, 1.409 billion dollars has been donated to Gaza to assist in rebuilding the Strip. Gaza has a 41% unemployment rate overall and a 60% unemployment rate among college graduates. Hamas (the radical Islamic organization governing Gaza) policy has yet to stimulate economic growth despite a rise in international funds that entered the Strip in 2016.
While aid flows into Gaza, terror activities in the Strip have continued at a consistent rate. Since the end of the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, terrorists from the Gaza Strip have fired 89 rockets. In 2016 alone, 13 of those rockets were launched from Gaza and hit Israeli territory. A sharp decline from the more than 4,500 rockets that Hamas directed at Israeli population centers in the last conflict, putting more than 70% of Israelis at risk.
In the last conflict, tens of thousands of Israelis along Israel’s southern border were also exposed to the threat of Hamas cross-border attack tunnels. The IDF discovered and destroyed 32 tunnels during the last operation. In 2016, Israel has already destroyed 2 cross-border tunnels discovered along its southern border.
According to IDF spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, “these tunnels have one purpose: to attack Israel. Hamas is intentionally building them from within populated areas, jeopardizing the civilians in those areas.”
Love and Jihad in Kindergarten
Have a good look at the two pictures below. The juxtaposition speaks a million words. The first is a picture from my daughter’s nursery school graduation in Tel Aviv today. It is a typical Israeli nursery school. In the background is a mural depicting children of various cultures. The Hebrew caption reads: “Children all around the world hold hands.” My daughter and her friends are holding traditional Arab drums called Darbuka and demonstrating how they learned to count in Arabic. We are educating our children to the core values of freedom, diversity, pluralism, love, and mutual respect.

The second picture is from a kindergarten play in Gaza. Two boys point guns at the head of a third child who kneels on the ground, his hat adorned with a blue and white Star of David. Tragically, this is a typical Palestinian elementary school. They are teaching their children to hate and to kill.
My late father taught me that every child is a precious miracle; a miracle that should be nurtured, not poisoned. So long as radical Islamists teach their children to hate and to kill, terror will continue to spread throughout the Western world.
Have a look again at the mural on the wall in my daughter’s school: you will notice iconic images of London, Paris, New York, Rome and Mumbai. For us, these are centers of culture and history. For the ISIS, Al Qaida, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Hamas and all other Jihadists, these are targets.
There Are No Shortcuts to a Victory against Hamas
So argues Efraim Inbar, who advocates that Israel continue its strategy of “mowing the grass”—i.e., fighting a long, episodic war of attrition against its terrorist enemy in Gaza:
[I]t is a mistake to believe that it is possible to root Hamas out of Gaza and destroy its capabilities once and for all. There is no one-shot solution to the military and terrorist challenge Hamas poses.
Despite assertions to the contrary by the Israeli right, the end of Hamas rule is not an easily attainable military objective. The roots of Hamas are deep in Palestinian society, particularly in Gaza. . . . Hamas simply cannot be eradicated by outsiders conquering Gaza and then politically reengineering Palestinian society. . . . Even if Hamas rule could be terminated, its civilian infrastructure would continue to exist.
The calls from the Israeli left for a “political solution” are similarly unrealistic. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Salafist groups see Israel as a theological aberration. They might reluctantly accept temporary cease-fires, but they continue to reject categorically any diplomatic course of action intended to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. . . .
Why Islamists (Occasionally) Desecrate Islamic Holy Sites
Monday's suicide bombing outside the tomb of Prophet Muhammad in Medina, Saudi Arabia, sent shock waves throughout the Islamic world. The fact a Muslim carried out this act of terror during the holy month of Ramadan has left many followers of the Islamic faith in disbelief.
Too many Muslims have fallen for the common refrain, trumpeted by Islamists, that no Muslim could carry out such an act and hence neither Islam nor Muslims can be held accountable for it in any way.
These arguments have been used every time Islamist terrorists engage in mass killings, from 9/11 in New York to the massacre in Dhaka, Bangladesh, last week. But the facts tell us a different story regarding the turbulent history of Islam and the roles played by Muslims within it.
Academics and scholars are reluctant to discuss these historical facts for fear of being accused of bigotry and racism. Thus ordinary Muslims, to say nothing of non-Muslims, do not commonly know them.
The result is a Muslim community unaware of its own often bloody history, going back centuries, when both our holy cities -- Mecca and Medina -- were attacked, ransacked and destroyed, not by the "kuffar" (non-Muslims), but by Muslim leaders.
Iran Violates the Deal. Now What?
A year ago when the president and Secretary of State John Kerry were selling the virtues of the deal to a dubious Congress and American people, they told us that sanctions would be snapped back in the event of violations. But this is highly unlikely. As deal skeptics predicted, the administration and the West are too heavily invested in the notion of détente with Iran to respond with the sort of alacrity that might impress Tehran. America’s European allies were never enthusiastic about the Iran sanctions in the first place, and the gold rush of Western businesses to Iran has created a vast constituency for continued appeasement.
Yet that should not deter Congress from taking up the issue of Iranian cheating at its earliest opportunity.
The first order of business should be to call a halt to the deal the Boeing Company has struck with Iran to sell it commercial aircraft and related goods and services. That agreement was already raising concerns on both sides of the aisle because of the possibility that companies controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the entity that runs Tehran’s terror networks would be involved with Boeing. But, given the evidence of Iranian nuclear espionage, a strong message must be sent, and that should mean Congress putting a stop to the effort to allow Boeing to get into bed with terrorists. In addition to that Congress must also make it clear that it will not allow the administration to further relax sanctions or to let foreign companies use dollars to conduct business with Iran.
Just as important, this report should signal both Donald Trump—an avowed opponent of the nuclear deal—and Hillary Clinton—who supports it but didn’t take part in the negotiations and isn’t as invested in the myth of Iranian moderation as the president—that U.S. policies toward Iran must change in January. No matter the identity of the next president, President Obama’s successor must begin the work of clawing back the West’s leverage over a rogue regime that cannot be trusted and which presents a clear and present danger to world peace.
House passes measure to stop sale of Boeing aircraft to Iran
A week before the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal, the Republican-led House approved measures aimed at blocking US companies from selling commercial passenger aircraft to Tehran.
By voice vote Thursday, lawmakers passed two amendments directed at Chicago-based Boeing, which had offered Iranian airlines three models of new aircraft to replace the country’s aging fleet. The amendment was added to a financial services spending bill.
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Illinois, the amendment’s sponsor, said the aircraft could be used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
“To give these types of planes to the Iranian regime, which still is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, is to give them a product that can be used for a military purpose,” Roskam said. The Boeing aircraft could be reconfigured to carry 100 ballistic missiles or 15,000 rocket-propelled grenades, according to Roskam.
The United States, Iran and other world powers reached the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015. The deal ended international economic sanctions against Tehran, allowing airline manufacturers to re-enter the market.

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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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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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