Thursday, March 02, 2017

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: Where is the evidence that Donald Trump is an anti-Semite?
Several months ago, after his election victory, I asked for any proof that Donald Trump is – as some of his most mainstream critics were claiming – a vile homophobe. I thought it a perfectly reasonable question to ask, and the only evidence I was given in reply was one gay man in America who cried after the election. This did not satisfy my standards of evidence. But a related question now also needs asking. Where is the proof that Donald Trump is an anti-Semite?
I ask because in the last week there has been considerable, nay ecstatic, reporting of an accusation that the President of the USA is not only fuelling anti-Semitism but has installed anti-Semites at the heart of the American government and is himself a vile anti-Semite. This somewhat feverish-sounding claim has been reported in headlines around the world at venues including CNN, the Washington Post and at what remains of the Independent. Of course these sites – along with many others in the media – are all currently on the look-out for ‘fake news.’ To which an uncharitable person might say, ‘Physician heal thyself.’
All these stories rely on something calling itself the ‘Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect’ and the bold allegations about institutional anti-Semitism at the White House have been made by the Center’s director, one Steven Goldstein. He has spent his career as a Democrat party activist, with an especial interest in gay rights and if you watch his debate at CNN here one could even get the impression that Goldstein is a partisan shill rather than a legitimate bearer of the legacy of Anne Frank. In fact, looking into it, it appears that the ‘Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect’ was something of a shell organisation until Mr Goldstein and his colleague David Smith (who, like Goldstein, previously ran a gay rights group in New Jersey called ‘Garden State Equality’) took it over and decided to stand on a dead Jewish girl, the better to be able to holler over the crowd and attack a president they have their own reasons to dislike.
In politely devastating critique, Israeli negotiator skewers Kerry for dooming talks
The 2013-14 effort at Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking was doomed to fail because of the unrealistic goals set by the United States at its inception, according to a new Israeli insider account. And the inevitable collapse was expedited by grave mistakes made during the negotiations by their American sponsors, and especially by secretary of state John Kerry, veteran Israeli peace negotiator Michael Herzog writes.
In a lengthy article published this week, Herzog says Jerusalem, Ramallah and Washington all contributed to the breakdown of negotiations in April 2014. “All parties made mistakes, each exacerbating the others’ and contributing to a negative dynamic.”
But he apportions devastating blame to Kerry, who initiated and headed the talks. He writes that Kerry “definitely does not deserve the slander directed at him by some Israelis,” but nonetheless highlights Kerry’s over-confidence and lack of sensitivity, says Kerry caused confusion from the start, cites instances where Kerry misrepresented Israel’s positions to the Palestinians, and suggests the US team led by the former secretary might have deliberately misled the parties.
After insistently launching negotiations with the unattainable goal of reaching a final-status agreement in less than a year, Kerry then mismanaged the talks as they proceeded, charges Herzog, who was a member of the Israeli negotiating team headed by then-justice minister Tzipi Livni. (Herzog, brother of Labor leader Isaac and son of former president Chaim, is a retired brigadier-general who formerly headed the IDF’s strategic planning division and served as chief of staff to the defense minister; he stresses that he has never been politically affiliated.)
Kerry failed to fully understand “the psychology of the parties or the delicate nuances of their relations,” writes Herzog, who has participated in most of Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians, Syrians, and Jordanians since 1993.
“At times he appeared more eager than they were, pushed them beyond their limits, set unrealistic goals and timeframes, and shouldered some burdens better left alone or to the parties — in the belief that his own powers of personal persuasion could overcome any obstacle.”
End the UNRWA Farce
After President Obama greased the wheels for the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s settlements policy, President-elect Trump tweeted that “things will be different after January 20th.” I didn’t vote for Trump, but for the sake of restoring some sanity to America’s Middle East policies, I fervently hope he fulfills that promise.
To make a real difference, our next president needs to understand how the United Nations’ hostility to the Jewish state is rooted in perverse institutions that have been abetted by previous U.S. administrations. The most glaring example of this is the inaptly named United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). With its $1.3 billion budget (30 percent of which comes from U.S. taxpayers), this agency actually perpetuates the refugee problem it was created to solve, while promoting Palestinian rejectionism and Jew hatred. Trump will soon have the means to drain the UNRWA swamp. If he does so, he would increase the chances of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
The United Nations created UNRWA with the noblest of intentions. By the time an armistice agreement ended the first Arab-Israeli war in 1949, roughly 700, 000 Palestinians had fled (or were driven) from the territories governed by the new state of Israel. The prevailing view at the time was that refugee problems produced by war were best solved through resettlement in the countries to which the refugees had fled. In the aftermath of World War II, 7 million ethnic Germans in Central and Eastern Europe were the victims of brutal ethnic cleansing campaigns approved by the victorious allied powers. On the Indian subcontinent another 3 million people were uprooted in the violent creation of India and Pakistan. These destitute refugees had to make do in their new host countries with virtually no outside aid. Yet, within a decade, there was no longer a refugee problem in Europe or Asia to trouble the international community.



Netanyahu says he pitched Trump on US exit from UN Human Rights Council
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this week that the Trump administration’s reported consideration of withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, in part over the body’s “obsession” with Israel, was his idea.
In recordings of a Monday Likud faction meeting that were leaked to Army Radio and aired Thursday morning, Netanyahu can be heard telling fellow party members that he suggested the diplomatic protest maneuver during his meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington in February.
“During the visit I raised the question whether the US should remain in the Human Rights Council,” the prime minister can be heard saying.
Pressed by MK Anat Berko whether it was wise for the US to leave the body given the fact that it sided with Israel in votes there, Netanyahu replied, “No, it’s better to leave. These types of organizations must be delegitimized.”
Last month, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley accused the UNCHR of “breathtaking double standards” and “outrageously biased resolutions” against Israel, during a UN press conference after her first meeting with the Security Council.
Abbas deputy: We accept 'one-state solution'
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s deputy claimed on Wednesday that the PA accepts a “one-state solution” on the condition that everyone lives equally in the state, but Israel does not accept this.
Speaking to the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper and quoted by Middle East Monitor, Mahmoud Al-Aloul said, “We do not hastily make judgements on appearances. For example, if the one-state solution is proposed with Israel’s conditions, i.e. one state and an apartheid government, then this is rejected. However, we were the first to propose a one-state solution that is a democratic state in which everyone lives.”
“The one-state solution that we have been talking about is a democratic state in which everyone lives equally, and this is acceptable. However, we know that Israel will not accept it; there is no way they will agree to it,” claimed Al-Aloul.
“They want a purely Jewish state, that is why they are demanding that we recognize the Jewish state. We proposed a one-state solution in the past and we have no problem accepting it on our terms,” he continued.
The comments come after U.S. President Donald Trump, at his meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would not commit to the two-state solution as the only way to solve the Israel-Arab conflict, saying he would back whatever solution the sides decide on.
Letter to Amb. Nikki Haley on U.N. honoring Jean Ziegler, supporter of tyrants & terrorists
Dear Ambassador Haley,
We are alarmed that as U.N Secretary-General António Guterres tomorrow opens the 2017 session of the Human Rights Council, that body will be honoring its advisory committee member Jean Ziegler—a notorious anti-American ideologue who has accused the U.S. of committing “genocide” in Cuba, supported the terrorist group Hezbollah, and is the co-founder and 2002 recipient of the Muammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize—as one of its high-level speakers, together with High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and UNDP chief Helen Clark.
Moreover, two weeks later, Mr. Eric Tistounet, Head of the Human Rights Council branch of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), will be speaking together with Mr. Ziegler at the Geneva screening of a film “Jean Ziegler: Optimism of the Will,” the publicity for which heaps praise upon Ziegler as a great “intellectual.”
We urge you to speak out and condemn the U.N.’s obscene celebration of this apologist for brutal dictators and terrorists—and to try to stop it. The United States gives some $40 million to OHCHR in regular budget and voluntary funds, and yet it seems this office seeks to insult the U.S. by honoring a leading anti-American figure.
Hillel Neuer Calls Out U.N's Qaddafi Apologist, Jean Ziegler


UN urged to add IDF to list of child rights violators
A network of organizations seeking to protect children in conflict is urging UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to add 11 parties to the blacklist of countries and armed groups responsible for grave violations against youngsters, including the Israeli military.
The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict’s recommended additions released Wednesday include the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen that was taken off last year’s list by then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the Saudis and their supporters threatened to stop funding many UN programs.
The Watchlist also called for the addition of the Israel Defense Forces, which were kept off the 2015 list after lobbying by the United States and the Israeli government.
The group recommended that Guterres determine whether the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and 11 other groups should also be included.
In its report, the group’s section on Israeli offenses is approximately nine pages, most of them focused on the 2014 Gaza War, where some 2,000 Palestinians were killed in the 51-day summer conflict, at least half of them combatants, according to Israel. Palestinians dispute that figures, arguing that some 70 percent of those killed were civilians.
Seth Frantzman: Why Were the 7,000 Antisemitic Incidents Under Obama Largely Ignored?
One of the key indicators of rising antisemitism during the Obama years was the number of physical assaults. From a low of 17 in 2012 they rose to 56 in 2015. The ADL noted a “dramatic rise” in assaults that year.
So why are headlines today claiming a “pandemic” of antisemitism in the US? Abe Foxman used the word “pandemic” to describe antisemitism in the US in 2009. “This is the worst, the most intense, the most global that it’s been in most of our memories. And the effort to get the good people to stand up is not easy,” he said in a speech that year. Jonathan Greenblatt said in November of 2016 that the US was suffering extreme levels of hate. “Anti-Jewish public and political discourse in America is worse than at any point since the 1930s,” he was quoted by JTA as saying.
Looking back almost a decade puts things in perspective. Where was the media in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 to highlight thousands of incidents of antisemitism? 210 physical assaults on Jews. 3,900 threats against Jews and Jewish institutions. 2,900 incidents of vandalism. 180 incidents of antisemitism on campus. Every six days, a Jewish person in America was being attacked in 2015 and it went largely ignored. On average, there were threats every day against Jews and Jewish institutions over the last eight years and most of them did not receive headlines.
There were also incidents of vandalism every day on average. Why did 7,034 incidents of antisemitism not get major headlines for so long? Was it because of an agenda to protect the Obama administration from criticism, or due to complacency and people becoming inured to the phenomenon? The cesspool and swamp from which today’s hate crimes on Jewish cemeteries emerge is not in a vacuum and it may not be due to the toxic divisions of 2016; it may have deeper roots. That’s the elephant in the room: 7,000 incidents that were recorded — and reported by the ADL — which almost no one wants to talk about.
IsraellyCool: Mainstream Media’s Selective Outrage Over Antisemitism In US
“First wave” – this is similar to their trick of ignoring Jewish history in Israel prior to 1948 in order delegitimize Jews living in places they don’t like. The author of this piece makes absolutely no journalistic effort what so ever to set this in any kind of historical context besides a one word quote “unprecedented” from an “former law enforcement official” No numbers, no statistics, no surveys, just one opinion. I don’t doubt that there may have been an upswing in activity but without presenting more than the word “unprecedented” and details of when it’s gone on in the past, I can’t trust Ha’aretz. Why do I, unpaid, have to do the basic work of a paid journalist?
Just yesterday, the media made a highly speculative jump in order to tie these events to Trump and paint him as not caring enough about Jew hatred. Worse still, they take hearsay as fact and (despite later denials from the White House) run headlines claiming Trump spoke of conspiracy theories. Again, Ha’aretz:
Trump Reportedly Suggests Wave of anti-Semitic Incidents Could Be False Flags Perpetrated by Jews
Trump spoke to a gathering of state attorneys general from across the country that included Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Shapiro told reporters in a conference call after the meeting that Trump suggested that the attacks could reflect something other than anti-Semitism, saying that “the reverse can be true” and “someone’s doing it to make others look bad,” according to Philly.com.

A journalist asking the questions “who, what, where, when an why” might look into the background of Attorney General Josh Shapiro to figure out if he has any reason for reporting Trump in an unfavourable light (besides reporting that he’s Jewish). Especially as he is the single source for the story. A quick date limited Google search finds that “Attorney General Josh Shapiro” has been a vocal opponent of Trump, the first result of that search:
17 Attorney Generals, Including Josh Shapiro Condemn Trump Executive Orders On Immigration
HARRISBURG — Seventeen Attorney Generals across the nation, including Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro issued a joint statement on Sunday condemning the executive orders by Donald trump as ‘un-American.’
PM thanks Trump for strong stance against anti-Semitism
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed appreciation for U.S. President Donald Trump's call to fight anti-Semitism in the president's first address to Congress on Wednesday.
In a video address to a conference of the Jewish People Policy Institute on Wednesday, Netanyahu said, "Anti-Semitism certainly has not disappeared. But there is much we can do to fight back. World leaders need to unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism wherever it is found."
Netanyahu said he appreciates the fact "that in the last few weeks and days, President Trump and Vice President [Mike] Pence have taken a strong stance in condemning anti-Semitism. This is what we expect, too, from European leaders -- most of them have done it. And this is what we must demand from governments around the world because Jews around the world should not live in fear."
Natan Sharansky: Anti-Semitism of far right, anti-Israelism of radical left no different
Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky, a former refusenik who was persecuted in his native Soviet Union, expressed his deep concern about the recent wave of anti-Semitic incidents and threats in the United States.
“If ever there was a line between the anti-Semitism of the far right and the anti-Israelism of the radical left, the demonization of Jews and the demonization of their state, it no longer exists,” Sharansky said in a statement released Wednesday. “These two ugly phenomena feed on one another and both run counter to the foundations of democratic societies in Europe and America.
“It is high time that all who hold democratic values dear put their political differences aside and band together to combat these expressions of hatred and violence.”
Sharansky expressed confidence that U.S. authorities would work to find those responsible for the wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and schools since the start of 2017 and two recent cemetery desecrations and bring them to justice, “and prevent such incidents from reoccurring.”
'No reason to blame Trump for uptick in US antisemitism'
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said Thursday that connections made between politics and antisemitism are inaccurate.
Speaking at Jerusalem's Efrat College at a conference marking the World Zionist Organization's 120th anniversary and 50 years since the unification of Jerusalem, Sharansky said "you cannot make ties between a process so profound, long-term and historically significant such as the return of antisemitism, and the political expression of one politician or another.”
Israeli politicians and public figures have in the past couple of days been increasingly vocal in condemning the rise of antisemitic incidents in the US, particularly the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and five waves of bomb threats that have targeted Jewish Community Centers since January, when US President Donald Trump took office. They have all expressed faith that the new US administration will tackle the phenomenon adequately, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lauded Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence for their condemnation of the incidents.
"There is no reason to suspect Trump as someone who encourages supporters of antisemitism - on the contrary!" Sharansky said.
"There is a lot of prejudice in this world, a lot of efforts to demonize the Jews in the Jewish state," Sharansky continued, adding that "there is no difference between the antisemitism of the right and the anti-Israelism of the left."
The President’s Response To Anti-Semitic Attacks
We applaud the strong condemnations last week by President Trump and Vice President Pence of the recent spate of anti-Semitic threats and attacks across the country. Mr. Trump had come under some criticism for not speaking out sooner but his clear statement should rebut the notion that he was indifferent to the issue.
As Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has said, the recent outbreaks of anti-Semitism are “a pandemic in the making,” and he specifically cited events in Britain, France, Germany, and Scandinavia. So it seems absurd to suggest that Mr. Trump was somehow part of the problem.
In fact, one can argue that there is indeed a nexus, but it’s not what some Trump critics have in mind. The president’s close family ties to the Jewish community, the significant number of Jewish employees who have occupied key positions in his vast, far-flung enterprises, and, perhaps most important, the widespread feeling that the U.S.-Israel relationship will grow even closer over the next several years, may well have triggered the kind of envy and frustration that has all too often in our history led to demented, anti-Semitic acts.
Stand With Us: Dead Jews Matter, But So Do The Living
Last week more than 150 headstones were toppled at the Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish Cemetery in University City, Mo. Another similar act of vandalism shortly followed in Philadelphia, where police found hundreds of toppled headstones at a local Jewish cemetery, both incidents happening amidst a wave of bomb threats against dozens of Jewish community centers across the U.S. It's disgusting. It's outrageous. It's downright unacceptable. There is no doubt whatsoever that regardless of condemnation, acts must be taken immediately and without delay by the administration and law enforcement agencies to apprehend the culprits and make it abundantly clear that such un-American uncivilized and inhumane behavior cannot and will not be tolerated.
Indeed anti-Semitism is an ugly, and ancient, phenomenon. However, it does not only take the shape of graves' desecration or bomb threats, which begs the glaring question of WHERE IS THE PUBLIC OUTRAGE AND UPROAR as the Jewish people and state face it year-round?!
First, a member state of the United Nations: the Islamic Republic of Iran, calls unabashedly for the annihilation of another UN member state, the Jewish State of Israel, only because it is Jewish. And yet, it finds itself welcome at negotiating tables and at Western capitals as a legitimate partner for trade and dialogue?! Iran even goes as far as holding an annual Holocaust Cartoon (!) Competition, whose first prize stands at 50,000$! Moreover, in a recent ballistic missiles test - another breach of the nuclear agreement they signed - Iran inscribed on the missiles, in Hebrew, their promise to wipe the Jewish state off the map. And? Not a peep from the international community. Truth be told, a First Grade teacher told me once if they witnessed such bullying in their classroom perpetrated by one student towards another, the bully would go home and not return to class until they repented and changed their behavior. It seems the international community and the UN adhere to much lower standards.
It doesn't end there. During March and April of every year an international anti-Israel campaign takes place globally under the deceptive name of “Israel Apartheid Week”. Yes, you read correctly: they are talking about the only beacon of democracy in the Middle East, which has Arabs serving in the its military Arab supreme and district court justices as well as Arabic being an official language of the state. But who really cares about the facts, when Jews are involved?!
Journalists Beware: Your War On Sebastian Gorka Is Only Hurting You
Tomahawk in hand, reporters have been hunting Sebastian Gorka, a national security advisor to President Trump, for more than a week. They are scalping themselves instead.
Media attacks on Gorka are wide-ranging and, seemingly, coordinated. Some are straight-up character assassinations, such as trying to tie Gorka to anti-Semites by playing six-degrees-of-separation with Hungarian populists. Others contend that Gorka has an “extreme” view on Islam and seeks a war with its more than one billion followers—ignoring that he writes in his 2016 book Defeating Jihad: “We are not at war with Islam.” Then, there is the major media’s respectful coverage of a weird Twitter storm touched off by a self-described “terrorism expert,” who has virtually no credentials, who nevertheless contends that Gorka is “unqualified.” Finally, there are the attacks on Gorka’s 2007 dissertation for having too few footnotes, among other trifles.
All of these accusations are treated as news and amplified by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other major outlets. The aim? Bring down another Trump national security advisor, after National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and would-be National Security Council spokeswoman Monica Crowley. They want Gorka for their next scalp.
Let’s explore each accusation because, collectively, they reveal how the media is on a suicide dive into an empty pool. If there were serious and genuine concerns about Gorka, that would be one thing. But when Gorka's antagonists know (and often admit) how baseless their allegations are, and yet traffic in them anyway, it tells us something new and disturbing about American journalism.
First, there is the strange allegation of anti-Semitism. Charges of anti-Semitism are like hand grenades thrown into backyard barbecues; even if they don’t go off, their arrival shocks everyone and irreversibly recasts the moment. Gorka’s foes know what they are doing when they make such shocking allegations, and they know how weak their claims are.
In Hungary, Sebastian Gorka Fought and Tried to Undermine the Anti-Semitism of the Far-Right
Last week, The Forward published a highly misleading article about Deputy Assistant to the President Dr. Sebastian Gorka, incorrectly insinuating he has had “ties” with anti-Semites in Hungary. This narrative is a complete perversion of his involvement in Hungarian politics, which was an example of the opposite: Gorka has a decades-long record as an opponent of anti-Semitism, xenophobia and anti-American sentiment in Hungary and fought to undermine elements on the political right—even going as far as helping launch a political party to push conservative voters away from anti-Semitic parties.
Significantly, Budapest-based Forward writer Lili Bayer neither provides a single anti-Jewish quote from Gorka himself, nor cites anyone who claims Gorka holds any hateful views. Instead, Bayer spends most of her article darkly pushing inflammatory quotes through attempts at guilt-by-association—even as Gorka has denied any association with the people The Forward is trying desperately to tie him to.
Indeed, writing at The Hill, European Union commissioner Tibor Navracsics—who has known Gorka for decades—defended him as “a man who has spent his life battling fascists and anti-Semites of all sorts.” Monday also saw prominent Washington voices lining up to support Gorka’s character against the smears, including Democrat Josh Block of the Israel Project, and Matt Brodsky, formerly of the Jewish Policy Center.
Gorka launched a new political party with dissidents who rejected anti-Semitism of the Jobbik Party.
Indeed, Jobbik is an anti-Semetic party in Hungary, as evidenced by the quotes provided in The Forward. Gorka, however, was never affiliated with this party. Indeed, he squarely rejected it and helped launch a political effort to undermine its appeal.
In 2007, Gorka was approached by two former members of Jobbik, who rejected the party expressly because of its retrograde, anti-Semitic extremism. They sought help with a new initiative, called the New Democratic Coalition (UDK), to create space in Hungary for a pro-Western, classical liberal political party to be a counterweight toward the anti-American and anti-Semitic Jobbik party.
The Forward knew all this, despite the way it framed the story, because it quoted one of the UDK’s leaders, Tamás Molnár, a dissident artist who helped organize anti-Communist youth into what later became the Jobbik party. He explained that “Jobbik went in a militant direction that I did not like.” The Forward also quotes him saying that “he could not imagine Gorka having anti-Semitic views.”
The bizarre campaign against Trump aide Seb Gorka
On Friday, The Forward published an article by Lili Bayer arguing that Sebastian "Seb" Gorka, the deputy assistant to President Trump and a frequent presence on television and radio, was linked to anti-Semitic right-wing extremists in Hungary. Using the logic of six degrees of separation, Bayer argued that Gorka was anti-Semitic, never mind that the 3,000-word report did not cite a single instance of Gorka's alleged anti-Semitism.
The whole piece smacks of a political hatchet job.
Eli Clifton, a former blogger with the Center for American Progress — the think tank at the heart of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, and once disavowed by the Obama White House for an alleged anti-Israel obsession — originated the fanciful accusation that Gorka was linked to Hungarian neo-Nazis. In 2012, a report in The Jerusalem Post said that, "The Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee have all termed the anti-Israeli rhetoric of... [Clifton]...to be infected with Jew-hatred and discriminatory policy positions toward Israel."
No sooner did The Forward publish its piece than the Anti-Defamation League — now led by Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Obama administration official — demanded that Gorka disavow Hungarian hate groups. In effect, the ADL lends it name to a campaign without substance to smear a man against whom no one has found evidence of anti-Semitism.
Greenblatt's actions follow the logic of the Salem Witch Trials: Only the guilty float when thrown into a pond. In this case, if Gorka does not respond, the ADL can suggest the Trump administration ignores anti-Semitism, but if Gorka does respond even to denounce Hungarian extremism, it suggests legitimacy to the charge.
Indeed, the obsession with Gorka and all the debunked charges thrown his way should have given Greenblatt and the ADL pause.
Israeli jets, tanks strike Hamas targets in response to cross-border fire
The IDF carried out an airstrike and artillery shelling against two Hamas targets in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip following gunfire towards IDF troops, the army stated on Thursday.
IDF troops carrying out routine security activities near the security fence along the Gaza border had come under fire, and while no injuries were reported, a military tractor suffered light damage.
Moira Dror from the border community of Netiv Ha’asara told The Jerusalem Post that despite the shelling by the IDF “the outpost is still standing.” Dror, who can see the outpost from her kitchen window, said that even the antenna of the post was still there, adding “perhaps this is a warning to them.”
According to Dror, it’s been really quiet since the end of Operation Protective Edge, “we’ve been living a normal life not thinking about where and when the next rocket will come. But recently things have been heating up,” referring to a rocket that was launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on Wednesday night.
Jewish family near Hevron saved by dog who bit terrorist
An Arab terrorist infiltrated into the Mor Farm located in the Mount Hebron region, at approximately 4 PM on Wednesday, according to the IDF.
Shabtai Kushelevski saw the terrorist outside his home, and ran inside to get his gun. The terrorist followed Shabtai into the home, where his wife was nursing their young baby in a side room.
When Sayad Machmud Ali Kaysiya tried to stab Shabtai in the back, he was attacked by Sofie the family dog, allowing Shabtai time to grab his gun and shoot the terrorist dead. Two knives were subsequently found on the terrorist.
Yekutiel Ben Yakov, Director of the Israel Dog Unit (IDU), a non-profit organization that helps place protection dogs throughout Judea and Samaria said, “We continue to urge Jews to arm themselves with dogs, which have proven to be the most effective biological weapon. The proper use of dogs can save many Jewish lives.”
Al-Aqsa Brigades Demonstrate Skills, Simulate Capture of Israeli Soldiers
Footage of a graduation ceremony of the Nidal Al-Amoudi Battalion of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Gaza was posted on January 5 on YouTube. The footage shows military drills and training, including the firing of missiles and the simulation of an attack against an Israeli army post and the capture of a soldier. A commander of the battalion recently challenged the leadership of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, saying that Fatah had gone astray when it laid down its weapons. See MEMRI TV clip 5826.


WATCH: Hezbollah Threatens to Attack Israel’s Nuclear Reactor
A website published by the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah released a video clip earlier this week showing strategic sites throughout Israel that the group plans to attack, including nuclear facilities, power plants, and desalination centers.
Among the facilities mentioned was Israel’s nuclear research center in Dimona, which Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah explicitly threatened to attack earlier this month.
“I call upon the Israelis not only to evacuate the ammonia tank from Haifa, but also to dismantle [the] Dimona nuclear facility,” Nasrallah declared. “The Israeli nuclear weapon that represents a threat to the entire region, we will turn it into a threat to Israel.”
Nasrallah was referring to an ammonia tank at Haifa’s port, which he has previously threatened to bombard with rockets. Destroying the tank would “cause a disaster whose effects could exceed that of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II,” Prof. Ehud Keinan, a chemistry expert at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, warned in January.
Sissi defends anti-IS fight after Copts flee Sinai
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has defended his country’s fight against the Islamic State group, after dozens of Christian families fled the Sinai Peninsula following a string of jihadist attacks.
An IS affiliate waging an insurgency in the Sinai last week released a video calling for attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority.
Dozens of families have left the peninsula after seven Christians were killed in suspected jihadist attacks, including a Copt murdered in the north Sinai city of El-Arish whose house was also burned.
“(The attacks aim to) destabilize the fabric of Egypt… to give the impression that one group isn’t protected as it should be,” Sissi said in remarks broadcast on television late Tuesday.
“(The attacks make) people say that Egyptians are targeted in El-Arish and we are beginning to disunite. Some accuse the state of not helping them.”
Countries Supporting Turkish Criminals in Syria Bear Responsibility for Genocide - Armenian Bishop
Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus, accused Turkey of giving militants in Syria instructions "to target Armenian places, churches, and schools, and to target the very identity of the Armenians." Bishop Nalbandian, speaking on the Egyptian ON TV channel on January 28, said that a new genocide was taking place in Syria and that "the Arab and non-Arab countries that support the Turkish criminals in Syria bear responsibility for the new genocides." Recognizing the Armenian genocide and condemning it would "send a message to the world that genocides should never take place," he said.


Experts: Iran Advancing Nuclear Program With Help of North Korea
Iran is using its strategic ties to North Korea to advance its illicit nuclear weapons program, two experts for the Begin-Sadat Center wrote in a paper published Tuesday.
Lt. Col. (ret.) Dr. Refael Ofek and Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham wrote that if Iran “is unwilling to lose years to the freeze on its military nuclear program,” it is likely exploiting its military ties with North Korea to advance its progress to a nuclear weapon.
Nuclear and ballistic missile ties between the two nations are longstanding and ongoing, though unlike Iran, North Korea already has developed nuclear weapons. While Iran is temporarily constrained by the nuclear deal, it can contribute to the development of North Korea’s program by sharing its technology and through finance. “There is an irony in this, as it is thanks to its [Vienna Nuclear Deal]-spurred economic recovery that Iran is able to afford it,” Ofek and Shoham noted.
“This kind of strategic, military-technological collaboration is more than merely plausible. It is entirely possible, indeed likely, that such a collaboration is already underway,” they added. In return for the boost Iran given its nuclear program, North Korea is likely “ready and able to furnish a route by which Iran can clandestinely circumvent” the nuclear deal.
Iranian film hails demise of US Navy in imagined Gulf battle
In a climactic battle at sea, an Iranian commander orders his forces to open fire on a much larger US fleet, obliterating it with a barrage of rockets, some of which tear American flags from their masts.
The scenario unfolds in “Battle of the Persian Gulf II,” a new Iranian animated film more than four years in the making that imagines a devastating response to an American attack on the country’s nuclear program.
It might have seemed out of date this time last year, when a nuclear accord reached with world powers had lifted sanctions and raised hopes for a broader rapprochement between Iran and the West.
Iranian Animated Feature Film, IRGC Qods Force Commander Directs Battle against US Force
Trailers of an 88-minute animated film depicting an armed confrontation between the IRGC and the U.S. Navy have been released on the Internet. The film shows Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani giving the order to attack a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Gulf. In that scene, the U.S. flag is seen torn and carried away by the Iranian missile, as Soleimani says: "When you reach Hell, say: 'Qassem sent me'." The film, titled "The Battle of the Persian Gulf 2," is scheduled to be screened in Iranian cinemas in the spring.


Two transgender Pakistanis 'are packed into sacks and thrashed to death with STICKS' by police in Saudi Arabia
Two transgender Pakistanis were reportedly packed into sacks and thrashed to death with sticks by police in Saudi Arabia.
The pair from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, were arrested in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for cross-dressing in public.
It is a punishable offence in the kingdom for a man to imitate a woman and officers arrested 35 people in a raid on a guest house.
Police recovered women's clothing and jewellery and took those arrested into custody.
It was here that Amna, 35, and Meeno, 26, are said to have been beaten to death while under police surveillance in prison.



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