Thursday, May 04, 2017

From Ian:

MEMRI: PA education to violence
'Abbas Tells Trump 'We Are Raising Our Youth, Our Children, Our Grandchildren On A Culture Of Peace' – But The Facts On The Ground Are That PA Is Educating Children To Violence Against Israel
During his May 3, 2017 meeting with U.S. President Trump, PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas said:"Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace." The following are excerpts from reports published by MEMRI in recent years reflecting the indoctrination of children by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah to armed resistance, jihad and martyrdom. This includes glorification of terrorists, and the promotion of the refugees' right of return to their original homes in Israel "under the banner of glory, jihad and struggle."
'Abbas Meets 14-Year-Old Who Attempted To Stab Civilians
On March 8, 2017, MEMRI reported that Mahmoud 'Abbas had met with Palestinians who carried out terrorist attacks as part of the wave of Palestinian terror that took place between October, 2015 and mid-2016, and which included many attacks carried out by teenagers. Among those he met was 14-year-old Osama Zaidat, who was shot while attempting to stab civilians in Kiryat Arba on September 20, 2016. Below is a photo of the meeting posted on 'Abbas's Facebook page:
Children March With Mock RPG Rockets, Suicide Belts In Fatah Day Parade
On January 11, 2016, MEMRI reported on PA events marking Fatah Day, the 51st anniversary of the Fatah movement's establishment in January 1, 1965, which took place that year under the impact of the 2015-2016 Palestinian terror wave. The Fatah Day events included a parade in the Deheishe refugee camp, attended by senior PA and Fatah officials, featuring children armed with mock RPG rockets and suicide belts.
Girl Scouts Participate In Fatah Ceremony In Memory Of Female Terrorist Dalal Al-Mughrabi
On March 17, 2016, MEMRI reported on a Fatah ceremony in Ramallah in memory of female terrorist Dalal Al-Mughrabi. Al-Mughrabi was deputy commander of Fatah's March 1978 Coastal Road terror attack, in which 35 Israeli civilians, among them 13 children, were killed. During the artistic part of the ceremony, a little girl named Majd Abu Rmeileh recited a poem, and a Scout troop gave a musical performance.
Congress to Trump Admin: Recognize Jerusalem as Being Part of Israel
A delegation of more than 50 members of Congress is calling on the Trump administration to reverse a longstanding policy that prohibits Americans born in Jerusalem from listing Israel as their birthplace on official documents, according to a letter sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Congress has been working for more than 15 years to reverse the policy, which former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama followed, citing the possibility that a recognition of Jerusalem as being part of Israel would interfere with the United States's ability to be an honest broker in the Middle East peace process.
With Trump just crossing his first 100 days in office, Congress is calling on him to reverse the contested policy, which was challenged in the Supreme Court in 2015 by an American family whose child was born in Jerusalem. At that time, the Obama State Department refused to comply with their request to list "Jerusalem, Israel" as the child's birthplace.
Given Trump's call to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—a move that would see the United States formally recognizing the city as Israel's capital city—Congress believes the president may nix the policy and comply with a 2002 congressional mandate on the issue.
"We write to urge you to revise the State Department's policy regarding the birthplace designation on passports and consular reports of birth abroad for American citizens born in Jerusalem," a delegation of 52 lawmakers led by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) wrote to Tillerson late Wednesday, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Free Beacon.
"Under the current policy, Americans born in Jerusalem have no country of birth listed on these documents; they are identified only as having been born in Jerusalem," the lawmakers wrote. "We ask that you change the policy to permit Jerusalem-born Americans to have ‘Israel' listed as their birthplace."

JPost Editorial: Same old Hamas
Meanwhile, the Hamas regime continues to sacrifice its people’s reconstruction from a fruitless war to the pursuit of illusory military victories over the IDF, by spending its foreign-donated funds on building more attack tunnels instead of housing – and now even instead of electricity.
The PA has escalated the conflict with its rival by cutting off funds to purchase fuel to power Gaza’s sole power station, causing shutdowns that even further victimize the population Hamas misgoverns.
And it is not only Palestinians whom Hamas holds hostage. Human Rights Watch has condemned Hamas’s illegal detention of two Israeli citizens, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who wandered into Gaza. Hamas also holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in action in the 2014 Gaza war.
The document accepts the idea of a Palestinian state in territories occupied by Israel after the Six Day War of 1967, but dismisses the establishment of the State of Israel as “illegal,” asserting a Palestinian claim to the entire Land of Israel, and a “right of return” for fourth-generation descendants of refugees.
Hamas once again affirms its commitment to a nonstate, final solution for Israeli Jews, whether Zionists or not. Real change? No.
New Hamas policy document a PR exercise aimed at undermining PLO
Elsewhere in the document, similarly, Hamas is willing to accept a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 “lines” (not borders, because borders are fixed by two states and that would mean recognizing the State of Israel), but it retains its right to fight for every centimeter of Palestine.
Hamas comes from the same stable as the Muslim Brotherhood, but is a nationalist Palestinian movement, and it is in its relationship with the Brotherhood that the document does departs from the original Hamas charter. Here, the message that there is no connection between the two organizations is aimed at the authorities in Egypt, whose President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has been battling the Islamist group ever since overthrowing the former president, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi, in 2013.
The new document rejects past agreements and initiatives — hinting strongly at the Arab Peace Initiative but not mentioning it directly. That 2002 Saudi-led initiative offers recognition for Israel by dozens of Arab and Muslim nations in exchange for allowing the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
At the end of the day, the main change is one of tone – no expressions against Jews, far fewer quotations from the Qur’an and Hadiths [traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad], and so on, but no significant change in content.
For many Palestinians, the document constitutes proof that the organization is undergoing change and is willing to be flexible. It caused uproar within Hamas and sparked opposition from those for whom it smacked of compromise.
Israel, by contrast, regards it not merely as insignificant, but as almost ridiculous.
Hamas's New Charter: Neither new, nor a charter

Trump presses Abbas to halt payments to terrorists
President Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to do "whatever is necessary" to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians as he hosted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House.
In their first meeting, Trump pressed Abbas to do more to stop "incitement to violence" against Israelis and, according to the White House, urged him in private to halt payments to families of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli jails, a demand long pressed by Israel.
Even as Trump boldly predicted he would achieve peace where other presidents had failed, he stopped short of explicitly recommitting his administration to a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, a long-standing foundation of U.S. policy. Some Palestinians said they were disappointed by the omission.
Despite what many experts see as a long-shot bid, Trump told Abbas: "I will do whatever is necessary. ... I would love to be a mediator or an arbitrator or a facilitator, and we will get this done."
"I'm committed to working with Israel and the Palestinians to reach an agreement," Trump said. "But any agreement cannot be imposed by the United States or by any other nation. The Palestinians and Israelis must work together to reach an agreement that allows both peoples to live, worship, and thrive and prosper in peace."
PM pans Abbas for falsely telling Trump ‘Palestinians teach peace’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for telling US President Donald Trump that the Palestinians educate their children in “a culture of peace,” saying the comment was “unfortunately not true.”
In his first reaction to Wednesday’s White House sit-down between US Trump and Abbas, Netanyahu objected to the PA leader’s claim, saying the Palestinians “name their schools after mass murderers of Israelis and they pay terrorists,” while reaffirming Israel’s commitment to peace.
While Trump on Wednesday made a point of applauding Abbas for speaking out against the Islamic State terror group during his joint press conference with the Palestinian leader, the US president added that “there cannot be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate.”
PMW: Mahmoud Abbas is personally responsible for the high salaries to Terrorists
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer noted yesterday that President Trump brought up the issue of salaries to terrorists in his meeting with PA Chairman Abbas:
"The president raised concerns about the payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed acts of terror and to their families and emphasized the need to resolve this issue."

As international pressure is mounting on Mahmoud Abbas to stop payments to terrorists prisoners, it should be recognized that Mahmoud Abbas himself is personally responsible for the high salaries that terrorists receive. In 2010, Mahmoud Abbas amended the Palestinian Prisoners Law, dramatically raising salaries to terrorist prisoners. Prior to that, salaries ranged from 1000-4000 shekels a month; now they start at 1400 shekels and can reach as high as 12,000 shekels each month.
In 2014, the PA transferred responsibility for payments to prisoners from the PA to the PLO in order to hide the PA responsibility for payments from the international community. At the time, Deputy Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Ziyad Abu Ein again stressed that Abbas himself was personally responsible for the sharp rise in salaries to prisoners:
PA official rejects ‘insane’ US demand to stop paying terrorists
A senior Palestinian Authority official has rejected the “insane” US demand that it end its policy of providing social welfare payments to the families of Palestinian terrorists jailed for carrying out attacks against Israelis.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ foreign affairs adviser Nabil Shaath on Thursday told Israel Radio the Trump administration’s demand was intentionally designed to sink any potential for renewed US-led Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
He told the radio station that the Palestinian prisoners were victims of Israel’s control over the West Bank.
“It’s absurd to request that we stop paying the families of prisoners,” he said. “That would be like asking Israel to stop paying its soldiers.”
At the same time, Shaath insisted Abbas’s first meeting with US President Donald Trump on Wednesday was a positive one and a possible starting point for future talks with Israel.
According to Shaath, Trump used “language of respect and appreciation” in praising Abbas for his willingness to return to the negotiating table.
Why opening the White House doors to Mahmoud Abbas is a losing proposition for Mideast peace
Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority continues to pay monthly salaries to convicted terrorists and imprison Palestinian peace activists for meeting with Israelis. This is not a recipe for peace — 1,000 White House receptions and international peace summits will not bring us any closer to peace, if the process continues to empower the corrupt and impotent Palestinian Authority. The new Trump administration would be advised to concentrate on behind-the-scenes grass-roots diplomacy that strengthens those who truly want peace and not ineffective career diplomats.
As an Israeli who resides in Judea — or what this newspaper calls the West Bank — I interact with Palestinians daily. Contrary to popular belief, we drive on the same roads, shop at the same stores, work for the same companies and generally live in peace. Some 450,000 Israelis live alongside more than 1 million Palestinians, and neither population is going anywhere. Any peace plan based on the ethnic cleansing of almost half a million Israelis from our ancestral homeland is a fiction that is doomed to fail.
A new approach to peace must be built from the bottom up by investing in the people affected the most, those living side by side in Judea and Samaria. It should therefore be a priority of U.S. diplomacy to create safe spaces for dialogue between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Do Palestinian Arabs Want a Peaceful State Alongside Israel?
Discussion of the Arab/Israeli situation is often unilluminating because so much of it is based on groundless assumptions and stubborn fictions. Perhaps the most pervasive one today afflicting the international political class is the notion that Palestinian Arabs primarily desire a state of their own, living peacefully alongside Israel.
Some recent examples:
- December 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry: “polls of Israelis and Palestinians show there is still strong support for the two-state solution.”
- July 2016, the Middle East Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia): “the majority of people on both sides . . . express their support for the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security.”
- December 2014, then-Vice-President Joe Biden: “a two-state solution … the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, they think that it is the right way to go.”
- May 2014, then-envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk: “Consistently over the last decade, polling on both sides reveals majority support for the two-state solution.”
Go back a decade, and one can easily produce essentially identical quotations from President George W. Bush, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and so on.
However, the idea that Palestinians prioritize peace, statehood and prosperity flies in the face of reality. Consistent polling of Palestinians tells a diametrically opposite story.

Palestinians delight in warm Trump welcome, but they have causes for concern
It seems that Trump has internalized what the Israeli security establishment has been saying at every opportunity: Abbas is not part of the problem but part of the solution.
Even as they pay salaries to Palestinian security prisoners jailed in Israel, Abbas and the PA remain an important element of Israel’s security — no matter how difficult that is for the right to swallow.
But the more challenging question is whether there was actually any real content discussed, either in the private conversation between the two leaders or in the working lunch that followed with their advisers.
Abbas, for his part, indicated there wasn’t.
“So far, we didn’t talk about a mechanism, but the contacts between us and the Americans began and will continue,” he told reporters on Wednesday night, hailing the meeting as positive.
While the warmth and rapprochement between the two may be cause for concern for the Israeli government, it does not seem that Trump actually gave Abbas much to write home about.
'Former Israeli defense minister advised Trump on avoiding Obama’s mistakes'
Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon met with American officials who play central roles in President Donald Trump’s administration ahead of Trump’s election, and advised them how to avoid mistakes in the Middle East, Ya’alon told The Jerusalem Post in an interview that will be published on Friday.
Ya’alon’s recommendations that Trump appears to have implemented include holding Iran accountable for missile tests, responding to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and asking Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop funding Palestinian terrorists and their families. He said those three steps would correct some of the mistakes made by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
“Since the dawn of Zionism, the Arab position has been consistent, with no Arab leader being willing to divide the land with us,” Ya’alon said. “Abbas won’t deliver the goods. There isn’t anyone on their side who can. Trump is looking for a deal. But there is no partner for a deal.”
Reacting to Wednesday’s Trump-Abbas Washington press conference, Ya’alon said Abbas said nothing new, noting that he reiterated his commitment to two states but did not mention two peoples, because he refuses to recognize the Jewish people.
“I don’t think he can bridge the gaps, because Abbas won’t change his views,” Ya’alon said. “I think Trump needs to show goodwill at the beginning, but when the decisive time comes, he will see that it is the Palestinians who refuse to make peace, just like [US presidents George W.] Bush and [Bill] Clinton [did].”
IsraellyCool: Analyzing The Spoken And Unspoken At Today’s Trump-Abbas Press Conference
I have a number of observations on what we just saw:
  • At the very beginning of the speech, Trump refers to Abbas as having last visited 24 years ago, as he stood with “a courageous peacemaker.” Trump then makes clear he is referring to Yitzhak Rabin, in what seems to be a huge diss of Yasser Arafat!
  • I am not a body language expert, but Abbas touches his face right as Trump talks about bringing safety, stability and prosperity to BOTH peoples
  • Trump says peace also means defeating ISIS and “other terrorist groups.” He does not mention any other such groups by name, but does speak of partnering with the Palestinian security forces to defeat them, clearly referring to palestinian terrorist groups. I assume Trump knows full well from his talks with Binyamin Netanyahu that the palestinian security forces also count terrorists among their number, so perhaps there is a veiled threat here for Abbas to clean things up in this regard.
  • Trump comes out strongly against incitement to violence by the palestinian leaders. That includes Abbas.
  • When Abbas speaks about fighting terrorism, he only mentions fighting ISIS!
Trump’s new toy: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Donald Trump lacks any deep knowledge about the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its history and the great dreams that were shattered. He is unaware of the emotions creating the animosity and is ignorant about the injustices that have been caused for decades. The rivers of blood that fed the never-ending battles over the land and over honor were something he sort of heard about, in his impatient manner, in a short report.
And he doesn’t really care. His ambition is to score an impressive foreign policy achievement, a success of his own, which he will be able to put his name on in golden letters, as he likes to do. After a little over 100 days of a chaotic presidency, with record-low approval ratings, Trump is in desperate need of a victory shot.
For some reason, he marked the Middle East as his first target: He began pushing for a deal, which—in his opinion—he is the only one capable of reaching, in a bid to show the world not only who’s boss but also that the great Donald is the only one who can succeed where everyone else has failed. In the conflict, he sees elements of a real estate deal: An acre here, an acre there—and something great will suddenly develop between Israel and the Palestinians.
After a series of failures by American presidents to bring about a breakthrough and help the warring sides reach a peace agreement, Trump entered the ring like a neighing horse. In his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, he spread in all directions something that this battered region has been lacking for years: Optimism and hope. He didn’t say how he would do it, he didn’t present a plan or describe the nature of the agreement he had in mind, he didn’t say who would have to make concessions and where. All he did was throw different words into the air, such as: A successful deal, something new, peace for all children of the region, calm, commitment, an end to violence, an end to hatred, the time has come. Music to the ears of a region whose inhabitants are certain that the world has long forgotten about them.
Hamas rejects Abbas peace proposal outline to Trump
The Hamas terror group swiftly rejected statements made by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas with US President Donald Trump Wednesday, saying he had no authority to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians.
“No one has authorized Mahmoud Abbas to represent the Palestinian people and no one is obligated to any position he’s issued,” Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri wrote on Twitter.
“We reject Abbas’s statement that all final status issues are solvable, because national rights belong to all Palestinians and no one person can relinquish them,” he added.
In his comments Wednesday, Abbas laid out the Palestinian priorities for reaching a peace deal, including on so-called final status issues such as borders and Jerusalem.
“Our strategic option is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two-state [solution], a Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel, based on the borders of 1967,” he said.
Trump’s tolerance tour First trip to Riyadh, Jerusalem and Rome
In an appeal for religious tolerance and unity against a scourge of radicalization, US President Donald Trump has chosen to travel to Riyadh, Jerusalem and Rome on his first presidential trip, senior administration officials confirmed on Thursday.
The trip, starting on May 19, will mark the beginning of a new initiative by the Trump administration to forge a coalition against religious extremism. “These are not going to be the traditional state visits like you’ve seen– these are really working visits,” one official said.
Trump will convene Arab world leaders from across the region in Riyadh alongside Saudi royal family members. He will meet for the first time with Pope Francis while in Rome.
And in Jerusalem, Trump will for the first time offer details on his vision for an Israeli-Palestinian peace. The president will “lay out some terms for what we see as a peaceful future in that region,” one official said. The White House has not yet set the exact date for Trump’s visit to Jerusalem.
“There’s a lot of alignment between President Trump and leaders of the Arab world– they see the same problems,” the official said. “We’re looking to unify people around the same objectives.”
Jerusalem doesn't need UNESCO
An educated look at how the UNESCO member states voted on the resolution reveals that Israel is actually doing quite well forging alliances and fostering international support. The result of the vote was essentially a foregone conclusion due to the automatic majority of Islamic countries and the countries forced to kowtow to them. And yet, the camp opposing and abstaining from these psychotic decisions has grown. Allow me to predict that the longer we remain steadfast in refusing to compromise on our rights, the larger the sane camp will become. Any state that doesn't join this camp will become irrelevant and grow increasingly detached from reality (like Sweden, for example).
Italy supported Israel and voted against the delusional proposal, which purports to sever Jerusalem from Israel. Every Italian person I spoke to about the decision was surprised: How can you vote otherwise? How can you vote against the truth? Israel has and is doing a great deal to show the world the truth. The Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and other bodies are investing considerable thought in the campaign with assistance from civilian organizations. And the message has been upgraded. Instead of stuttering and apologizing, Israel is speaking truthfully and clearly: The Jewish people rose in the land of Israel, which is lawfully theirs, and all the historical, legal and security-related arguments simply reinforce this bond. The quicker the countries in the region come to accept this unassailable reality, the better off they will be.
There is still room for Israel to improve its efforts in the international arena. A sizeable portion of the countries in the world are astoundingly ignorant about the Jewish state, its past and its current situation. Israeli UNESCO Ambassador Carmel Shama Hacohen's powerful speech in response to this week's decision may just have been strong enough to penetrate this wall of ignorance. But sophisticated and effective tools are required to disseminate the material to the relevant audiences. Establishing a network of Israeli cultural centers in capitals around the world could be this tool. France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and even smaller countries have operated similar centers for decades. In our interconnected global village, a network such as this would allow Israel to speak directly to the people of London, Paris or Rome without the information middlemen in the media or international organizations. If we want them to learn about Jerusalem from us, rather than from UNESCO, we will have to keep making strides in this field.
"Palestinian" Geography
Jews always knew and debated the borders of Eretz-Yisrael. The different borders.
They had to because there were religious requirements involved.
And they were the sole people who consistently throughout history had a firm geographical and topographical concept of what there homeland was. It was in their minds, their language, their texts, their religious/cultural ceremonies.
And the other people residing in the country, the Arabs who arrived as a conquering force in 638 CE and occupied the country?
Seems they had a bit of a problem.
From this article by Zachary J Foster: "Was Jerusalem Part of Palestine? The Forgotten City of Ramla, 900–1900", British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 43 (4) 2006
Despite UNESCO's bias, Jews won't abandon Israel's holy Jewish sites
The Jewish people will not abide by the ballot box stuffing of morally bankrupt regimes at UNESCO and they won’t forget when Arab were custodians of Jerusalem’s Old City, seized during the 1948 war of independence. Synagogues in the Old City were razed. Tombstones became latrines. Jews were barred from visiting holy sites. Christians took note of the mindset of the conquerors and reacted with horror at the thought that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher could become the next Palmyra.
Indeed, anyone concerned with the protection of educational, scientific, and cultural treasures of others, should look at Israel’s record. It may be the only country in the Middle East in recent years where the Christian population has consistently increased. The Jerusalem municipality gives out free Christmas trees to its Christian citizens each year. (If it only gave out one, that would be more than the number of Christians and Jews allowed to visit Mecca!) When different Christian sects come to blows occasionally over the administration of their holy sites, it is the Israeli police whom they call in to restore peace.
Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem is the only guarantee that holy places will be preserved for everyone.
Reality and mutual respect, not fantasy, are the first building blocks of trust and treaties. It is a toss-up as to who has done more damage with the latest UN Middle East fiasco — Arab regimes that continue to deny that the Jewish people has risen from the ashes, or dapper European diplomats who think they can still denigrate cowering Jews. Take note Berlin and Brussels. Those days are over.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Zoabi Thanks Emperor Palpatine For Supporting Anti-Israel UNESCO Declaration (satire)
MK Haneen Zoabi issued a statement of appreciation today for the diplomatic efforts of Galactic Emperor Palpatine, who instructed the Imperial ambassador to the UN’s cultural arm to vote in favor of yesterday’s resolution denying Jewish sovereignty over, and historical connection to, Jerusalem.
In her statement, the Balad Party lawmaker expressed gratitude for the staunch support the emperor has shown for the Palestinian cause over the years, and for many shared elements of ideology that Balad and the Galactic Empire have, as manifest in the UNESCO resolution that denied Jewish Jerusalem as a political and historical reality.
“His Highness has always shown sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people,” read Zoabi’s statement. “His approach to governance and politics dovetails with the Palestinian worldview, and it was only natural for us to feel an affinity for each other’s accomplishments and methods. On behalf of the entire Palestinian people I wish to give voice to our desire that the emperor make common cause with us in our righteous quest to crush the Zionist rebel scum invaders whose values we both oppose.”
Zoabi highlighted several points the two political philosophies have in common. “As His Highness appreciates the need to quell dissent through exaggerated violence, we Palestinians have come to appreciate that only force works to defeat the enemy. Similarly, as the emperor and his official Darth Vader have repeatedly demonstrated, reneging on agreements, or simply violating them, represents an approach to negotiation and governance that we Palestinians have striven to emulate at every level.”
President Rivlin: It Is Time for Nations to Move Embassies to Israel’s Capital Jerusalem
In the aftermath of the passage of a UNESCO resolution calling Israel’s presence in Jerusalem “illegal,” President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday urged the world to recognize the city as the capital of the Jewish state and to transfer their embassies there.
The president told foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel it was “absurd” that the world still refuses to acknowledge the country’s capital.
“Jerusalem has always been the center of the Jewish world. The place we have prayed towards for thousands of years. There was never any doubt, that Jerusalem would be the capital of Israel,” Rivlin told a group of foreign ambassadors who had gathered at the president’s residence for a reception to mark Israel’s Independence Day.
“We felt then that the dream of Jerusalem as the physical and spiritual capital of Israel had finally become a reality,” he added.
“It is time to put an end to the absurd. It is time to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of the State of Israel. De facto, not just de jure. It is time to move all the official embassies here. To Jerusalem,” the president said.
Rivlin also stated that foreign diplomats have been visiting Jerusalem for 70 years to participate in official meetings at the Knesset, the President’s Residence and the Prime Minister’s Office.
German president won’t meet with Breaking the Silence — report
Germany’s president will reportedly not meet with the Breaking the Silence group during his upcoming trip to Israel, but will make a point of stressing the importance of critical civil society organizations for the country’s democracy.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier is scheduled to deliver a speech Sunday evening at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem about dangers to democracy in which he will praise the controversial NGO, Spiegel Online reported.
Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a planned meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in response to the latter’s refusal to cancel a sit-down with Breaking the Silence.
The NGO publishes anonymous testimonies of former combat soldiers alleging human rights violations by Israeli troops stationed in the Palestinian territories.
According to the report, Steinmeier, who has met with Breaking the Silence in his previous position as foreign minister, is expected to quote from a speech famed Israeli novelist Amos Oz gave last year at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in which he praised the organization lavishly. In his November speech, Oz compared the members of Breaking the Silence to the biblical prophets, who were often reviled for criticizing the political leaders of their time.
Israeli forces thwart stabbing attack at Tomb of Patriarchs
A Palestinian knifeman attempted to carry out a stabbing attack on Thursday near the holy site of the Tomb of Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron.
Police said that the 25-year-old assailant approached Border Police forces, and as he drew near he started running towards them screaming with a knife in hand, threatening to to stab them.
Border police shot the assailant at the scene, neutralizing the threat. He was later taken to Hadassa University Medical Center for treatment.
Police released a photograph of the knife the assailant used. Others photos from the scene showed the assailant after the attack, as he lay on the pavement.
No Israelis were injured in the incident.
'Israel nabs Palestinian terror cell responsible for West Bank shootings'
Israeli security forces recently uncovered and arrested members of a terrorist cell affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the Jenin area of the West Bank, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Thursday.
During arrest operations, security forces seized vehicles and various weapons used by the cell's members to carry out attacks targeting Israeli civilians and IDF forces in the West Bank during the month of April.
Investigations revealed that the terror operatives' activities included shooting attacks on IDF bases in the Jenin area near the Salem checkpoint, as well as plotting to carry out shooting attacks on an IDF patrol, the Shin Bet reported.
The cell was also responsible for various shooting attacks against Israeli communities in the West Bank, including the settlements of Shaked, Hermash and Shavei Shimron.
In addition, the Shin Bet said that the cell planned to conduct shooting attacks at civilians traveling in their vehicles on roads in the region.
IDF: Terrorists stashed M-16 in child’s ‘Dora the Explorer’ bed
Security forces arrested three Palestinians suspected to have been behind 10 shootings last month, and found the assault rifle used in the attacks hidden inside a child’s Dora the Explorer bed, the army revealed on Thursday.
“This cynical exploitation of hiding things in a children’s room is known to us. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last time that weapons are hidden in a child’s room or other places where they think we won’t look,” a senior IDF intelligence officer said.
The attacks took place in the first few days of April. The targets were the northern West Bank settlements of Shavei Shomron, Hermesh and Shaked, near the Palestinian cities of Jenin and Nablus, as well as Israeli vehicles traveling on the roads and the IDF’s Salem checkpoint, the Shin Bet security service said.
The attacks did not result in any injuries, but did cause damage to property.
During interrogation, the suspects also admitted to planning more attacks, the Shin Bet said.
Hidden Weapons Found inside a Children's Bed

Why is Egypt 'indifferent' to the Palestinian prisoners' hunger strike?
Maher wrote that Israeli and Egyptian prison authorities are alike in that they “harass prisoners and don’t care about prisoner rights and international law.”
But, he added, “What makes us more sorry is to know that what’s happening to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons is more merciful than the Egyptian treatment of prisoners.”
In Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, speaking in a televised speech on Tuesday, criticized Arab leaders for ignoring the strike. “Palestinian hunger strikers are only demanding their basic rights as prisoners in Israeli jails. Where are the Arab leaders and Muslim organizations to see the situation of Palestinian hunger strikers?” he said, according to Iran’s Press TV.
Meanwhile, the Arab48 website, citing the National Committee for Jordanian Detainees Affairs, reported that three Jordanian prisoners have joined the hunger strike. The three were identified as Riyad Saleh, Abdullah Abu Jaber and Rafat al-Sous. It could not immediately be determined what crimes they were imprisoned for, but each is serving a 20-year sentence, according to the committee.
There has been active support of the strike by Jordanian Facebook users with many people videotaping themselves drinking salted water, the only thing the prisoners ingest, The Jordan Times reported.
Exclusive Palestinian Gang Requires Applicants Get Shot To Death Trying To Stab Jews (Satire)
Hopeful Palestinian youths aiming to earn acceptance to one of the toughest street gangs in this contested city must undergo the most formidable initiation rite of any such group in the society: be killed by Israeli gunfire while trying to stab a Jew.
Martyrs’ Blood, as the gang is known, vies for control of part of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood with other street gangs. The lawlessness of Palestinian society has invited chaos on the streets, with crime – organized or less so – an underlying threat along every street under Palestinian self-rule. Hebron, most of which is nominally under control of the Palestinian Authority, in practice suffers from clan violence under the thin veneer of law enforcement. The emergent Martyrs’ Blood group has taken a dedication to violence to an entirely new level, according to IDF sources, setting the highest bar yet for entry to its exclusive ranks.
“While we do know about the dozens of attempts to stab Jews in Hebron over the last few years, we cannot say for certain how many, or what percentage, are directly related to the initiation rites of this new gang,” explained IDF Colonel Yaad Doker. “Those who are shot to death do not respond to interrogation as other attackers do, a fact that makes gathering accurate intelligence of the gang’s numbers and effect difficult to obtain.”
What Israeli military intelligence has learned, however, is that Martyrs’ Blood is dominated by the local Qawasme clan, whose members even the violent Hamas movement has trouble restraining, according to Col. Doker. “They’re among the most rabid terrorists, even by rabid Hamas terrorist standards,” he noted. “It actually shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that it’s the Qawasme clan behind this new gang. They’re as hardcore as you can get.”
Iran Using U.S. Cash to Fund Unprecedented, Massive Military Buildup
Iran is using the billions in cash resources provided under the landmark nuclear deal to engage in an unprecedented military buildup meant to transform the Islamic Republic's fighting force into an "offensive" juggernaut, according to a largely unreported announcement by Iranian military leaders that has sparked concern among U.S. national security insiders and sources on Capitol Hill.
Iranian officials announced late last month that Iran's defense budget had increased by 145 percent under President Hassan Rouhani and that the military is moving forward with a massive restructuring effort aimed at making it "a forward moving force," according to regional reports.
Iranian leaders have stated since the Iran deal was enacted that they are using the massive amounts of cash released under the agreement to fund the purchase of new military equipment and other armaments. Iran also has pursued multi-million dollar arms deals with Russia since economic sanctions were nixed as part of the deal.
Leading members of Congress and U.S. officials working on the Iran portfolio suspect that at least a portion of the Obama administration's $1.7 billion cash payment to Iran has been used to fund and support terrorists in the Middle East.
The latest disclosure about Iran's military buildup is further fueling concerns that U.S. cash assets returned to the country—which were released with no strings attached by the Obama administration—are helping Iran pursue a more aggressive military stance against U.S. forces in the region.
Six years since bin Laden's death, al Qaeda weakened - but not finished
In an era marked by an exponential rise of jihadist group "Islamic State" (IS), not many people remember or care about Osama bin Laden, the most feared terrorist in the world a decade ago. IS has not only overshadowed bin Laden's al Qaeda in the Middle East, it is now also making huge gains in the Af-Pak region, which was previously dominated by al Qaeda.
The South Asian militant groups, including some factions of the Taliban, are moving closer to IS, which has proven its strength in the past few years by capturing vast swathes of territories in Iraq and Syria, something which al Qaeda could never manage to do in its heyday. The world now fears Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed "caliph" of the "Islamic State." Bin Laden has been largely forgotten.
On May 2, 2011, American Special Forces unilaterally raided a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad and killed bin Laden - the former head of al Qaeda - who had been hiding in the garrison town for around six years. America's most-wanted terrorist was finally dead, and the world heaved a sigh of relief.
Bin Laden's assassination was dubbed the end of an era. Though there was much pondering over Islamabad's alleged role in protecting him, the fact that the US managed to kill bin Laden, was considered a huge blow to al Qaeda. Washington claimed victory over the terrorist organization, which had caused much harm to the US for around two decades.

But the victory over what? All over the world, al Qaeda has been replaced by a deadlier organization, more lethal in its tactics, more brutal in its execution. And that organization is spreading its influence all across South Asia, including Bangladesh, which is witnessing a wave of IS attacks on secular writers and activists - both local and foreign.

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