Friday, September 16, 2016

From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: Why the U.N.’s Israel obsession should worry even people who don’t care about Israel
One of the striking findings here is that the supposedly more sober Security Council shares the General Assembly’s vice: When it comes to settlements and occupation, it can see no evil if Israel is not the culprit.
This provides further demonstration of the findings of my new research paper, that the supposed international norm against settlers is in practice a norm about Israel, rather than a general rule of law.
But some may be inclined to shrug off the U.N.’s particular interest in Israel, on the theory that “one has to start somewhere.” In this view, international law is deeply intertwined with politics (which is true), and the international legal system is weak and immature. Dealing with alleged Israeli wrongdoings is the first level in an eventual broader and more systematic approach. Another response is that if it is impossible to censure serious wrongdoers — say, Turkey and Morocco, whose occupied territories are now mostly populated by settlers — something is better than nothing.
But the data — which covers the past 50 years — show this is not happening. If anything, causation seems to run the other way. Turtle Bay’s focus on one country has apparently robbed it of the ability to address the world’s many situations of occupation and settlements. This shows the double role of the scapegoat: It does not just get all the blame, but it also effectively absolves others. The U.N.’s blindness to settlements around the world is actually the flip side of its focus on Israel.
International Law Expert: UN’s Obsession With Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Robs It of Ability to Deal With More Serious Problems (INTERVIEW)
The UN’s obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has robbed it of the ability to deal with other more serious problems around the world, an international legal expert told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
Dr. Eugene Kontorovich — a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law and head of the international law department at the Kohelet Policy Forum — said his research has found that the standards the UN applies to Israel regarding its policies in the West Bank are not applied to any other country.
“As I was doing research, one of the things I discovered was that even in situations which under international law clearly qualify as an occupation, the UN almost never uses the word occupation,” Kontorovich told The Algemeiner.
Speaking with The Algemeiner, Kontorovich said, “What Israel is told by the international community to do, which is to prevent its Jewish nationals from living in territories it controls, is told only to it. The important part of this research was not to show that there is a double standard and not to show that Israel is singled out — that’s a bit like saying cops stop minorities more on suspicion of illegal activities. What this shows is that what the UN is telling Israel to do is not legally required. In other words, the rule it says Israel is violating doesn’t exist. You can’t have a rule in just one situation.”
Kontorovich said that while change at the UN was a hopeless prospect, “the question is whether the American government will empower the UN by not vetoing damaging resolutions. Will America give greater strength and legitimacy to this dysfunctional institution?”
Powell’s Selective Outrage
Powell’s top aide and chief-of-staff for years was Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, a man who has embraced bizarre, anti-Semitic conspiracies with increasing volume. He has, for example, suggested that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons was really an Israeli false flag operation. He flirted (though did not endorse) with 9/11 conspiracies. His hatred and description of neoconservatives to support various partisan polemics reads like something out if Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
While the email dump shows that Powell and Wilkerson still talk like old friends, through all of Wilkerson’s antics, Powell has said nothing, seemingly endorsing Wilkerson’s rants with his own public (and private) silence. In doing so, Wilkerson’s problem with Jewish policymakers has become Powell’s.
Of course, there’s an additional irony here to Powell’s cynicism. He may have supported Wilkerson’s efforts to delegitimize critics, figuring that so long as he himself didn’t use the dog whistles, he’d maintain his luster as a senior statesman. He may simply have also simply felt that the ends justified the means. That cynicism disqualifies Powell as any arbiter of political morality.
There’s an additional irony here, of course. Russia is the chief suspect in the hacking of Powell’s account, as well as recent hacks of the Democratic National Committee, and perhaps other figures as well. But Wilkerson often was a fixture on Russia Today (RT), the Kremlin’s chief propaganda arm. His presence legitimized the conspiracies Russian President Vladimir Putin which to disseminate. The interplay of Wilkerson and RT was symbiotic. Once again, Powell at any point could have instructed Wilkerson privately or, better yet, publicly to knock it off, to stop embarrassing him, and to stop embarrassing his country. And yet, Powell was happy to allow Russian propaganda to do its trick so long as the subject of its attacks were elements of the U.S. political debate with whom Powell disagreed.
Perhaps if Powell had guided himself more by principle than cynical political calculations, his embarrassment might not be so great.
‘The Boys in Tehran Know Israel Has 200 Nukes Pointed at Them,’ Says Former Secretary of State Colin Powell in Leaked Email
Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell told a colleague last year that Israel has a slew of nuclear weapons pointed at Iran, according to emails released by hacking group DCLeaks and reported on by US foreign policy blog LobeLog on Wednesday.
In a March 2015 exchange between America’s former top diplomat and his current business partner, Jeffrey Leeds — about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial speech to Congress to warn against the Iran nuclear deal that was being negotiated — Powell wrote:
Negotiators can’t get what he wants. Anyway, Iranians can’t use one [a nuclear weapon] if they finally make one. The boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands. As Akmdinijad (sic) [said], “What would we do with one, polish it?” I have spoken publicly about both nK and Iran. We’ll blow up the only thing they care about—regime survival. Where, how would they even test one?
This assertion about the existence of Israeli nukes, as LobeLog‘s Eli Clifton pointed out, is significant, because Jerusalem continues to maintain a policy of “nuclear ambiguity.”
Powell, who publicly endorsed the Iran deal a few months later, during an interview on NBC‘s “Meet the Press,”

Kay Wilson: An Open Letter To The Mayor Of London
I am a British-born Jewish survivor of Palestinian terrorism. In 2010, while I was guiding Kristine Luken, my American Christian friend, we were accosted by two terrorists, held at knife point for 30 minutes, then gagged, bound and butchered. I watched my friend chopped up in front of my eyes. I myself sustained over 30 broken bones and 13 machete wounds. I survived simply because I played dead. Later, I faced my would-be murderers in court. The unrepentant Palestinian terrorists said that they murdered an American Christian because they believed her to be Jewish.
I am currently on a speaking tour in the UK, educating people about Israel and sharing my work as a peace activist. I was sickened and shocked to discover that vis-a-vis an exhibition in London, the Methodist Church views Israel’s security barrier exclusively as an obstacle to peace. Ostensibly, this is a “Christian concern,” but truthfully, it is in fact, none other than a one-sided, inaccurate and frankly appalling and dangerous distortion of truth.
I am only regretful that in December 2010, there was no security barrier where we were hiking (within the Green Line.) If there had been then my Christian friend would still be alive and I would not be disabled and in acute pain every time I breathe.
My hope is that if our Palestinian neighbors ever recognize Israel’s right to exist, the barrier will come down. I want this not just for my people Israel, who for millennia have dreamed and yearned to live in peace, I also want this for my Palestinian Christian friends.
I wish that they could live in Israel where our own Christians, a protected minority, are equal citizens with full rights. Israel’s Christians move freely and fearlessly and therefore contribute greatly to our democratic society. This of course is in contrast to Palestinian Christians who are persecuted by the murderous regime of the Islamist Palestinian Authority – that same regime that teaches its children institutionalized incitement such as ,“Jews are pigs and monkeys,” and “Jews must be slaughtered.”
The Palestinian Authority makes terrorism a profitable profession.
The PA receives around $1 billion in foreign aid every year. By underwriting the PA, international donors, including the U.S., are helping to fund blood money to terrorists like Muhammad Taraireh.
Thanks to public exposure of the “pay-to-slay” program, Congress passed legislation in 2014 requiring the U.S. to deduct from its development assistance to the PA an amount equal to the PA payment of blood money for terrorism. Then Abbas circumvented this law by transferring the responsibility for subsidizing terrorism from the PA to the PLO to create the appearance that the PA wasn’t involved. The U.S. State Department willingly bought into this fiction. Western dollars for terrorism continue to flow.
Indiana Republican Senator Dan Coates has introduced new legislation to counter this Palestinian ruse and cut U.S. aid to the Palestinians “by an amount… equivalent to the amount expended by the Palestinian Authority, the Palestine Liberation Organization and any successor or affiliated organizations, as payments for acts of terrorism.” If this legislation is passed, it will be up to the State Department to implement it.
Despite their incitement to hate and incentive to kill programs, Palestinians remain the perennial “victims du jour” in the minds of the misguided West and the corrupt UN. Hallel Ariel and other Israelis, the real victims, are blamed for the terrorism visited upon them.
Only in this world of moral inversion, where truth is trashed, lies are lauded and the depraved are empowered, would the Palestinian Authority have the audacity to say about Western funding of their “pay-to-slay” policy, “The world owes the Palestinians money for enabling Israel’s establishment.”
Isi Leibler: Shame on the ADL
Irrespective of one's personal opinion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's videotaped remarks on Palestinian "ethnic cleansing" of Jews from any future Palestinian state, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt's scornful public condemnation is simply beyond the pale.
On numerous occasions over the past few months, I have expressed incredulity and anger at Greenblatt's statements for determinedly tilting ADL policy away from its primary mandate of combating anti-Semitism and steering it toward partisan social action issues.
The latest example of this was his kumbaya remarks to a J Street audience when he effectively endorsed moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians, complained of our failure to recognize the legitimacy of the Palestinian narrative, questioned Israel's democratic structure, engaged in partisan electoral politics and condemned the Republican platform as "anti-Zionist" for omitting a two-state structure, and insisted that groups supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which he admittedly condemns, are "animated by a desire for justice."
Greenblatt also continues to align the ADL with the Black Lives Matter movement, despite the fact that the movement has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and genocide and called on black institutions to support BDS. He refuses to disassociate from them and continues to promote Black Lives Matter in the ADL's educational and family discussion guides in schools and elsewhere. He believes that this organization, despite its anti-Semitism, is promoting "critical civil rights issues that merit attention" and that only "a small minority of the leaders" are responsible for the anti-Semitic campaigns.
Netanyahu’s ethnic cleansing video resets narrative
Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated an obvious truth.
The demand that Jews leave Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) as part of a two-state solution is nothing less than a demand for ethnic cleansing that cannot be a basis for peace, Netanyahu: Ethnic Cleansing of Jews For Peace is Absurd:
That video, and the truth underlying it, caused a fury because it took on a core (but false) international view that Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice line (pre-1967) is illegitimate at best, illegal at worst.
This is an offshoot of what now is standard BDS propaganda that Israel is a settler colonial nation, something I discussed in my prior post, BDS is a Settler Colonial Ideology. In that narrative, the Arabs of the British Mandate for Palestine are the purest of victims, and the Jews are the purest of perpetrators. And nowhere is that false dichotomy more clear to the propagandists than beyond the 1949 armistice line, an area controlled by Jordan illegally between 1949 and 1967.
According to that narrative, Jews living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, which was ethnically cleansed by Jordan, or in Hebron, which was ethnically cleansed in 1929 Arab riots, must leave if there is to be peace, the story line goes. Of course, there was no peace prior to 1967, and many if not most Palestinians view all of Israel as occupied, but those wedded to the idea that removal of Jews from Judea and Samaria will bring peace are blind to the obvious.
The Obama administration lashed out at Netanyahu, Obama admin attacks Netanyahu for objecting to ethnic cleansing of Jews (seriously). An U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon just did so as well. So did the Anti-Defamation League, in an absurd op-ed by its CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, Sorry Bibi, the Palestinians Are Not ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Jewish Settlers.
If Netanyahu’s goal was to rock the boat on the international demand that Jews leave Judea and Samaria, he succeeded. And such a shake up may have been the plan, according to former Knesset member Einat Wilf in a television interview in Israel.
The role of foreign powers in Israel's creation
As the years between 1897 to 1948 have long faded into distant memory, a popular myth that Israel was created by global and colonial powers against the will of the region has gained traction in certain quarters.
Yet history shows that Israel was created overwhelmingly against the will of these major powers. When not opposing the creation of Israel, these powers were often indifferent to the Jewish cause or at best vaguely tolerant when it seemed inevitable.
Consider the convocation of the First Zionist Congress by Theodore Herzl in Basel, Switzerland in 1897. At the congress there was no real involvement of international powers. Before his death in 1904, Herzl met key leaders in Germany, England, Ottoman Turkey and the Vatican. While achieving some legitimacy for the movement, he failed to make any deals with them. With only 50,000 mostly religious and poor Jews in Palestine in 1900, creating a future state seemed hopeless.
Things got worse during World War I when Ottoman Turkey, after the 1915 Armenian genocide, turned its attention to the 80,000 Jews in Palestine. Ten thousand Jews (including David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi) were exiled to Egypt, and plans were made for destroying the rest of the community. This was stopped only due to the intervention of Germany and the United States, one of the few clear cases of helpful foreign intervention. The 1917 British Balfour Declaration of support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine was matched by other British promises of Arab sovereignty in the same area.
In World War II, the German Holocaust that killed six million European Jews who were expected to form the majority of the future Israeli state was a devastating blow to Jewish hopes for a country. As Chaim Weizmann wrote to David Ben-Gurion during the war, "Heretofore we were a people in search of a nation; after this is over we will be a nation in search of a people."
Palestinian Christians and the Two-State Solution
Every other year, Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem host a conference entitled “Christ at the Checkpoint,” intended to convince evangelical Christians of their moral and religious duty to oppose Israel’s existence; similar efforts are directed at mainline Protestants. Robert Nicholson, having just returned from this year’s conference, explains the situation of Palestinian Christians and what’s behind their attachment to anti-Israel rhetoric:
Palestinian Christians [are] not stupid. They may shout their bona fides from the housetops, but they do so as a self-aware minority, less than 2 percent of an overwhelmingly Muslim society. They see their population rapidly shrinking in relation to their Muslim neighbors. They see the rising popularity of Islamist movements like Hamas and disturbing levels of sympathy for Islamic State. They know that Article 4 of the Palestinian Basic Law . . . promises that the future state of Palestine will be an Islamic polity governed by the principles of shariah.
Meanwhile, they see what is happening to their Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. They know that they are different, and that when push comes to shove that difference could get them killed.
Christians inside the territories are hostages in their own society. In private conversations, many express fear of Muslims, positive feelings toward Jews and Israel, and envy of Arabs citizens living inside the Jewish state. Many even hope for the collapse of the Palestinian Authority so that the West Bank can once again be reintegrated with Israel.
'US defense aid sends regional message: Israel can defend itself'
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said Thursday that the landmark $38 billion defense package signed between the U.S. and Israel sends a message to the region that Israel can defend itself against threats.
"The aid responds to the most dangerous threats faced by Israel," Shapiro said, speaking in Hebrew. "We are looking at the region together, at the enemies, at the terrorists and at the threats, and we are deciding together how we will enable Israel to defend itself against all these threats.
"The United States' commitment is to a Jewish, democratic, strong and secure state. The deal is a message to the entire region that Israel can stand up and defend itself."
Shapiro noted that "the aid is signed in U.S. President Barack Obama's name."
Regarding the restriction that would prevent Israel from using the aid money to make purchases from the Israeli defense industry, Shapiro said, "It will allow Israel to acquire American equipment. This benefits the American industry, but it also benefits the IDF, which very much wants to purchase sophisticated American weapons systems."
EXCLUSIVE - Gaza Jihadi: Military Aid Won't Save Israel, America From The 'Wrath of Allah'
A $38 billion American military aid package won’t save Israel from the Mujahideen’s attempts to destroy the Jewish state, a boastful Gaza-based jihadi has declared.
“The Israelis feel secure thanks to their military upper hand and America’s support, but eventually, neither Obama nor Trump nor the wretched Hillary Clinton will save Israel,” Abu Aisha Alanssari said. “They don’t understand that Allah is more powerful than they are, and he promised the Mujahideen and the believers that they will be victorious. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how many billions the Zionists got and how many planes and tanks they buy with that money. Can tanks resist the wrath of Allah? Has Allah not annihilated entire nations in the past?”
He added that the Mujahideen are working to unite all Muslims so as to send a sign to the heavens that the time to realize the divine promise to annihilate the Jews has come.
“The Americans support the Zionists, the Egyptian tyrant Sisi and the enemies of Islam in Syria and Iraq, and smile when they see their plans realized,” he said. “But the last laugh will be Allah’s, who will in a heartbeat obliterate their efforts as well as themselves and those who help them fight against Muslims. The Quran says: ‘They think the day is far, but we see it up close.’ That’s the whole story.”
He also claimed that Muslims across the board, not just jihadis, are starting to realize that efforts to please, negotiate and collaborate with the “non-believing” West do not change their basic hostility toward Muslims.
Report: Israeli textbooks view peace as ultimate goal, do not incite against Palestinians
Israeli textbooks aim for peace, maintain messages of tolerance and coexistence with Palestinians and do not incite against them, according to a study released by IMPACT-se.
The report, conducted by Dr. Yael Teff-Seker from the University of Haifa, evaluates the treatment of Palestinians, Arab Israelis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Israeli textbooks.
“The Israeli curriculum meets UNESCO-derived standards of peace and tolerance in education,” Marcus Sheff, CEO of IMPACT-se, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday “In a year where there was a lot of debate and discussion in the Israeli media over the new civics book and the curriculum in general, we felt it was important to conduct this review,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of noise regarding the curricula,” he said, referring to accusations of incitement and exclusion of minorities, and the controversy surrounding the approval of the new civics text book, “but when you look at it empirically, you find that this is not the case.”
Israel’s first ambassador to NATO presents his credentials
Israel’s first ambassador to the 28-member NATO military alliance on Friday presented his credentials to its secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg as the Jewish state opened a permanent mission at the organization’s Brussels headquarters.
Israel is not a member of the 28-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization, known by its acronym NATO, but has enjoyed military cooperation with the body in a number of fields and is currently a partner of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program with seven friendly nations bordering on the waterway.
In a significant upgrading of ties, NATO announced in May it will recognize an official Israeli representative and the intergovernmental military alliance will grant Israel a permanent office at its headquarters in Brussels.
“The State of Israel attaches great importance to its relations with NATO and the opening of a permanent Israeli office at the Brussels headquarters is further proof of Israel’s international standing and its contributions to promoting regional peace and stability,” said the new ambassador, Aharon “Ronny” Leshno-Yaar on Friday.
Chilean MPs call for boycott of visiting Israeli delegation
Over a dozen pro-Palestinian members of Chile's parliament demanded Thursday that their government cancel an official visit by a delegation of Israeli MKs to the South American country.
A statement signed by 16 MPs, carried by Chilean press, said, "We protest the visit by two Israeli government representatives, who identify with the idea of an occupied Palestine and boast of belonging to the only democracy in the Middle East. Our country must cut ties of any kind with a country that violates human rights and U.N. resolutions, and not provide legitimacy to the government in Tel Aviv," the letter said.
The Palestinian Federation, the umbrella organization of the Palestinian community in Chile, later published its own statement condemning the visit and expressing support of the Chilean lawmakers' move.
The Israeli delegation, led by MKs Sharren Haskel (Likud) and Yossi Yonah (Zionist Union), held a series of meetings with Chilean government officials, including Parliament Speaker Osvaldo Andrade, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Edgardo Riveros, Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes, and a number of MPs and representatives from the local Jewish community.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Tel Aviv Olympic Bid Prospects Put Foes In Bind (satire)
Sports officials in Arab and Muslim countries hostile to Israel voiced consternation today at the possibility that the International Olympic Committee might designate Tel Aviv as the venue for the 2028 Summer Games.
IOC sources told reporters off the record yesterday that the Committee had narrowed its choices for the games down to five candidate metropolitan areas, and that Tel Aviv was still in the running. The news ratcheted up the tension in multiple Arab capitals, where competing against Israel or Israeli athletes is taboo, lest doing so grant legitimacy to the Jewish State – and therefore the prospect of having to decide between granting that legitimacy by attending the games in Tel Aviv and forcing athletes to stay home and sacrifice athletic prestige has officials in those countries on edge.
Whereas in the past the Islamic bloc of countries have successfully blocked any efforts to allow Israel into consideration, political divisions have riven the erstwhile solidarity with Palestinians that was once thought sacrosanct. Turkey and others have broken from the traditional alignment, and, with the tacit support of many Western countries, have made an Israeli venue possible where it was once considered anathema.
Algerian Minister of Sport and Culture Fermad Dedbahdi admitted he already suffered sleepless nights over the issue. “It’s a terrible thing to contemplate,” he confessed. “It’s bad enough to have to contrive excuses for our athletes to withdraw from specific events rather than face Israelis, but at least under most circumstances we have a chance of getting through the games without having to make such a choice. But if the IOC selects Tel Aviv, it’s not going to go down well internationally to have dozens of Olympic teams from the Muslim world suddenly developing the collective flu. Such excuses don’t hold so much water anymore.”
2 Palestinians ram truck into West Bank bus stop, one of them killed
Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously injured a woman during a car-ramming attack at a bus stop outside the Kiryat Arba settlement in the West Bank on Friday, the army said.
The driver and passenger were shot as they plowed their car into the bus stop at the Elias Junction near the settlement, the IDF said.
“Two assailants rammed a vehicle into a civilian bus stop at the Elias junction near the community of Kiryat Arba,” an army statement said. “Forces at the scene fired at the vehicle resulting in the death of one of the assailants while the other was wounded.”
The man was pronounced dead on the scene. The Palestinian woman was shot in the stomach and seriously injured. She received preliminary treatment at the scene, before being taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, the hospital said.
Driver hurt as rocks, bottles thrown at bus near Jerusalem
A bus driver was lightly injured Friday when rocks and glass bottles full of paint were thrown at his vehicle as it traveled from Jerusalem to the nearby Ma’ale Adumim settlement in the West Bank, police said.
Glass shards from a broken window hit the driver, cutting him, as he was driving down the Route 1 highway. No other injuries were reported.
Police officers began searching the area to find the perpetrators of the attack, according to a police spokesperson.
Earlier in the day on Friday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously injured a woman as they carried out a suspected car-ramming attack outside the Kirya Arba settlement near Hebron, the army said.
Jordanian man tries to stab cops at Damascus Gate, is shot dead
Border Police shot and killed a Jordanian man on Friday as he attempted to stab a female officer at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, police said.
The officer was not injured in the attack.
The man arrived at the Damascus Gate from inside the Old City and approached a group of officers with a knife drawn.
The officers, who were in the area on a “safety and security mission,” saw the man coming towards them with the blade and opened fire, police said.
Upon searching the man’s body after the attempted attack, police found three knives in his possession.
Israeli soldier slashed in face in Hebron; assailant shot, killed
An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday, according to officials.
The assailant was shot and killed by forces at the Gilbert checkpoint near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of the city, the army said.
The 19-year-old soldier had his face slashed in the attack, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.
He received treatment on the scene from both MDA paramedics and an army medical unit, before he was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for further care, according to the ambulance service.
IDF chief to Druze leaders: Israel has no ties to extremist Syria rebels
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot on Friday told leaders of the Druze community in Israel that the country is not in any kind of contact with extremist rebel groups involved in the Syrian civil war, rejecting a recent claim by a Druze member of the Knesset.
Eisenkot said there has been no change in Israel’s policy, and that the military recently relayed a message to the rebels that they should not enter the Druze enclave in Syria, on the eastern side of the Golan Heights border with Israel.
The Druze community in Israel is tied by family bonds and marriage to communities on the Syrian side of the border. The recent renewal of battles between Sunni rebels and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad has affected the Druze community there, with several incidents of firefights occurring in Hader, a Druze town on the Syrian side of the Golan.
Hundreds would die, missiles would rain everywhere in all-out war, IDF predicts
Hundreds of Israelis killed in thousands of rocket attacks — that is the army’s Home Front Command’s estimation for what to expect in the event of a future all-out war, according to figures released ahead of a nationwide preparedness drill set for next week.
Beginning next week, the Home Front Command will kick off “Standing Firm,” a preparedness drill which will include exercises to test the ability of the IDF and local governments to handle rocket attacks, terrorists infiltrating communities, electric grid failures and other emergency situations.
Next Tuesday morning, the Home Front Command will sound the rocket alert siren in cities around Israel at different times and then throughout the country at 7:05 p.m., except for the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.
According to the army, some 230,000 rockets of various sizes and warhead capacities are currently aimed toward Israel from a host of enemies.
“If in the Second Lebanon War the record was 160 rockets in a day [fired] at the northern region, we need to expect up to 1,200 rockets in a day — it will be a completely different scenario from anything we’ve known,” Maj. Gen. (res) Yitzhak Gershon, Home Front Command chief during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, said in an Army Radio interview earlier this summer.
Fmr. Israeli Defense Minister: Iran Seeking to Open Terror Front Against Israel on Golan
Iran is determined to open up a terrorist front against Israel by strengthening Hezbollah’s fortifications on the Golan Heights, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned on Thursday.
“The dozens or so attacks perpetrated from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights against us, it was Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps forces trying to open a terror front against us,” Ya’alon said at a policy forum hosted by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Hezbollah is now armed with more than 100,000 rockets, he added. Palestinian terrorist organizations based in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, have also benefited from their relationship with Iran by “getting knowhow how to produce rockets, more accurate rockets, or even unmanned air vehicles,” he continued.
Israel has demonstrated its determination to prevent Iran from rooting its own forces or proxies in the Golan. In January 2015, an airstrike attributed to Israel killed Iranian and Hezbollah commanders who were attempting to establish terrorist infrastructure on the Syrian side of the Golan. Four months later, the Israeli Air Force struck a weapons shipment convoy on the Syria-Lebanon border. And last December, Samir Kuntar, a Hezbollah-affiliated terrorist who was imprisoned for decades for murdering an Israeli father and his four-year-old daughter in 1979, was killed after reportedly working to build up Hezbollah’s infrastructure and attack capacity on the Golan.
“We have a red line, a boundary that we will not allow to be broken,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized when visiting Moscow in June. “Iran will not be allowed, using Hezbollah, to use Syrian territory to attack us and open up another terrorist front against us in the Golan.”
Protestors plan to meet pro-Arab flotilla with one of their own
A group of sailors from the South, including some who had been expelled from Gush Katif, are a planning a flotilla in reaction to the “Women’s Flotilla” of left-wing activists to depart this week from Barcelona, Spain for Gaza.
The pro-Arab flotilla includes two boats on which hundreds of kilograms of humanitarian aid are packed. Extreme left-wing activists from Israel are expected to join the flotilla as the ships anchor in a Mediterranean port on their way to Gaza.
Avi Farchan, who was expelled from the community of Alei Sinai in Gush Katif and is organizing the alternative flotilla of southern residents, called on all boat and ship owners to join him in greeting the pro-Arab flotilla as it arrives. “If they want to talk about humanitarianism, they should sail to Syria and not Gaza. Gaza is not lacking for anything.”
“We will recommend that the leftist women take the humanitarian aid that they brought and divert it to Syria via the Lattakia port, for the good of hundreds of thousands of refugees there,” he said.
Nevertheless, the Israeli Navy is expected to stop the pro-Arab flotilla and divert the ships to the port in Ashdod. The leftist women already announced that if they are unable to anchor in Gaza, they will set off for Ashdod and unload the cargo there.
Netanyahu threatens ‘downpour’ if rocket fire does not subside
Israel will not tolerate any missiles or mortars being fired from either Syria or from Gaza and will respond with disproportionate force, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Thursday, a day after projectiles were fired at Israel from across both frontiers.
Speaking in the southern Israeli city of Netivot on Thursday evening, Netanyahu said that the country will not continue to absorb rocket fire “not from the north or from the south.”
“Anyone who thinks [of firing] a drizzle will receive a downpour,” he said during a ceremony in the Gaza border city. “The response of the past weeks speaks for itself.”
On Wednesday, a mortar shell fired from Syria struck the northern Golan Heights.
Is Abbas paving way for descent into violence by not naming a successor?
But even without Barghouti’s release, Israel could easily become an active participant in the Palestinian succession, Zohar believes.
“I don’t know if Israel is preparing itself, but if this situation breaks out and there is shooting in the streets and on the roads, then from a security point of view Israel will certainly have to intervene,” says Zohar. “I assume Israel will do everything so as not to arrive at complete control of all the area but, if there is anarchy, Israel will have to impose order.’’ In that case, he believes, some people in power might advocate annulling the Palestinian Authority and “creating a new order’’ more to the liking of advocates of West Bank annexation.
“All of this is the kind of situation in which you can anticipate in advance what will actually happen,” Zohar says. “Abu Mazen knows he won’t live forever but is doing nothing to prepare an orderly transition to a successor. And Israel also has to know that it needs to be ready in terms of the forces and to know what you do in a situation of anarchy.’’ If the succession does translate into anarchy and infighting, a major part of Abbas’s legacy will be that he abandoned his own people to disarray — and left them much further away from statehood.
By not doing anything, Awad says, Abbas is creating a situation where there will be chaos after him.
“All he has to do is assign a deputy leader who can assume authority after he dies,’’ says Awad. “But he does not want that. He doesn’t want to choose between the different candidates ‒ he wants the support of all of them. He won’t be there after he dies so he doesn’t really consider himself responsible for the situation.”
The Vile Antisemitism Of Manal Tamimi
Manal Tamimi is a member of the infamous Tamimi clan, of which “Shirley Temper” is part. She has been lauded as a “human rights defender” and an “iconic activist” by extreme leftists and Israel haters, who engages in “non-violent popular resistance.”
She is also very much a part of Tamimi Press, the propaganda outlet run by “Shirley’s” father Bassem Tamimi, and as such, the disinformation campaign against Israel (aided and abetted by some in the mainstream media and smaller outfits like AMZ Productions of Oregon).
Much has already been written about her support for terror against Israelis. But what is perhaps less known is that she is an out-and-out Jew hater.
Her tweets include antisemitic memes to which we are already accustomed – genocidal wishes, denial of Jewish history and identity, Nazi-era imagery, mocking of Jews, co-opting the Holocaust, and outright libels demonizing the Jewish people.
US Supreme Court to decide where Jerusalem is (satire)
Officials in Jerusalem say the city is in the midst of an existential crisis. Not because of the stabbings, bombings, shootings, the dispute over the eastern part of the city or the crazy foreigners who dress like Jesus and roam the streets. Rather, they found out that it will take a decision of the US Supreme Court to decide where in the world the city is positioned.
“We were happy just ticking along and getting things done until we found out that there was a case going before the US Supreme Court to decide whether this kid could have ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ on his passport,” one official told The Mideast Beast.
“To be honest, up until then we hadn’t ever thought about it. After all, international mail has always arrived and tourists seem to know how to get here – so we didn’t see it as a problem,” he continued.
“But this has blown our minds Apparently the US State Department doesn’t know if we’re in Israel or Palestine or Outer F#$King Mongolia. That’s pretty serious,” the official added.
Officials in the city are concerned that they will now have to wait on a decision from the top US judges later in the year to decide where they are. “It’s pretty important to us,” another official said. “We’ve had to set aside a budget in case we need to change all the local government stationery and get the phones redirected.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Renaissance Jesus Glad He Got That Skin-Whitening Treatment (satire)
Jesus Christ voiced satisfaction today that he had undergone procedures to reduce the activity of pigment-producing cells in his skin tissue in time for the Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth century.
Associates of the Prince of Peace told reporters that the Lord and Savior was pleased with his appearance in the portraits he had done by various great masters, and that his complexion had bothered him for many years before he finally worked up the courage to visit a dermatologist. After a few visits, Christ had his melanin production reduced significantly, and now fits in much better in much of Europe.
“He looks fly,” offered an admiring St. Thomas. “You talk about a guy who knows how to change with the times, that’s my man Jesus. He could pull off any look with flair and authenticity – and he has, judging from his depictions in various cultures all over the place – but this one has a specialness all its own.”
“I like the way he now has a more understated halo than before,” added James, the messiah’s half-brother. “I thought the whole medieval look was a bit crude and gaudy, and the Byzantine portraits I’d sooner forget. Talk about bling. This is a good look for him. The whole melanin-reduction treatment really brings out his eyes.
Not everyone thinks the change was necessary, but nevertheless remain supportive. “I think he was perfect just the way he was, of course,” said his mother Mary. “But whatever makes him happy. He walks around with more confidence now, and that’s what’s important.”

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