Tuesday, May 09, 2017

From Ian:

Jerusalem is holy to Jews, not Muslims
No matter UNESCO, no matter the Islamic world, Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people.
Jerusalem is the only city in the world in which Jews have formed a majority since the 1880s. Today, Jerusalem, in addition to being home to Judaism’s greatest sanctuaries, is the seat of Israel’s government, the Knesset, the Supreme Court, the National Library and the Hebrew University. Its population is two-thirds Jewish.
It is only under unified Israeli rule since 1967 that the city as a whole has been revitalized, enjoyed stunning growth and also, at last, full freedom of religion for its mosaic of faiths ––precisely what would be threatened by its redivision, as is already obvious in the Christian exodus from Palestinian-controlled Gaza and Bethlehem.
Whatever form a final peace settlement might one day take, there is no morally just or legally sound reason inflate or fabricate Muslim claims while denying Jerusalem’s Jewish primacy and history.
The Trump Administration rightly condemned the UNESCO resolution. It should now defund UN bodies that practice this form of delegitimizing political warfare, starting with UNESCO.
Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’ s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establisment of Israel (Routledge, London, 2004).
Reuters chief slams US Ambassador for desecrating 'Nakba Day'
Newly-appointed US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is set to arrive in Israel next Monday, beginning his service in the Jewish state a week ahead of President Trump’s first visit to Israel since taking office in January.
On Tuesday, a Twitter account in Friedman’s name confirmed that he would be heading to Israel on May 15th.
“I am arriving in Israel on May 15 to represent the United States as Ambassador to Israel. I hope to work out of Jerusalem very soon!”
The post, which was retweeted by Israel’s Foreign Ministry, appears to be fraudulent and the account fake.
The faux Friedman announcement drew consternation, from at least one senior journalist, who criticized the timing of Friedman’s departure for Israel.
Luke Baker, Israel bureau chief for Reuters, expressed disapproval that Friedman would be beginning his service in the US Embassy in Israel on May 15th, coinciding with “Nakba Day”.
Palestinians Use Deception for Greater Acceptance
While the Fatah-affiliated PA likes to present itself as more moderate than Hamas, its rejection of Israel is essentially the same. "The Fatah Movement never demanded that Hamas recognize Israel," said Fatah Central Committee member and Commissioner of Treasury and Economy Muhammad Shtayyeh, on official Palestinian Authority TV last March. "To this moment, Fatah does not recognize Israel. The topic of recognition of Israel has not been raised in any of Fatah's conferences."
Abbas also didn't let truth get in the way of his breathtakingly false statement, made before Trump and the U.S. media, that the Palestinians "are the only remaining people in the world that still live under occupation." The Tibetans, Kurds, and Cypriots are just a few of the many groups who would disagree.
Trump "raised concerns about the payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed acts of terror," said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. But a senior PA official rejected the idea as "insane," claiming that PA payments to imprisoned terrorists are like salaries paid to IDF soldiers. Just days before Abbas met Trump, senior Fatah leader Rawhi Fattouh even argued that donor countries should welcome PA payments to terrorists because this practice promotes peace by keeping the Palestinian terrorists from joining "ISIS or any other extremist party."
A few weeks before the Trump-Abbas meeting, the Palestinian Information Center called Tel-Aviv a "settlement" in a tweet, implying that even Israel's commercial capital – considered well within Israel proper by international consensus – should be part of a future Palestine. Josh Block, head of The Israel Project, uncovered the tweet, which was released on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Palestinian Information Center tweet referred to the "so-called Holocaust."

Erdogan lashes ‘racist’ Israel, calls for Muslims to flood Temple Mount
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged Muslims to throng to the Temple Mount in a show of solidarity with Palestinians as he issued a string of challenges to Israel, which he called “racist and discriminatory.”
“We, as Muslims, should be visiting Al-Quds more often,” he said, referring to Jerusalem by its Arabic name.
“Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us,” he added, at the opening ceremony of the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf in Istanbul, Turkey’s Hurriyet news reported.
Erdogan said increased Muslim visits to the Jerusalem holy site “would be the greatest support to our brothers there.”
“Both in terms of our religion and historical responsibility, Al-Quds and the fight of our Palestinian brothers for rights and justice is of great importance to us. We will keep making efforts for Quds to turn into a city of peace,” Erdogan said.
In the blistering speech, which also criticized Israeli legislation and US plans to move their embassy to Jerusalem, Erdogan also called Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians “racist and discriminatory” and said the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip “has no place in humanity.”
Seth J. Frantzman: Turkey's Erdogan stakes his claim to Jerusalem
However, Erdogan has never given up his decade-long quest to play a role in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He is passionate about the Palestinian issue and has previously attempted to broker a deal between Israel and Syria.
Nearly 10 years have passed since then, but Turkey wants to revive its role in the region. When the AKP came to power, there was much talk that they were involved in “neo-Ottomanism.” TV shows in Turkey about the Ottoman period have revived religious and nationalist feelings of wanting to lead the region once dominated from Istanbul. But the region frustrates Turkey.
Ankara has found itself out in the cold with US forces working with Kurds in Syria. It was browbeaten in the Astana talks and recently signed on to a “de-escalation” agreement but has seen its ability to support the Syrian rebels in the war-ravaged country circumscribed. It is saddled with millions of refugees. At the same time, it is drifting away from the EU without a clear destination in the Middle East.
Jerusalem affords Turkey’s leaders a destination, to renew talk of “Al-Aqsa” and the need to play a role in the Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Towards that end, Erdogan knows that US President Donald Trump is coming to Israel and heading for Saudi Arabia soon, where he will meet with a group of representatives from Islamic countries.
If Turkey can show that it is playing a role in the Palestinian issue, perhaps claiming to bring Hamas on board a peace agreement, this will position Turkey in the good graces of Trump. Turkey lost one of its key avenues to Trump when US General Michael Flynn was forced out. Erdogan will be in the US on May 16 and his advance team is in Washington trying to coax the US back into the Turkey camp, away from the Syrian Kurdish YPG. Jerusalem will be on the agenda.
After Erdogan rant, Israel questions Turkish ambassador
Last night, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon publicly rebuked Erdogan, stating: “Those who systematically violate human rights in their own country should not preach to the only true democracy in the region."
“Israel consistently protects total freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians – and will continue to do so despite the baseless slander launched against it,” Nachson said.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan warned that the comments could enflame the area and harm the security of Jerusalem residents and tourists.
According to the Turkish news agency Daily Sabah. Erdogan said, “As a Muslim community, we need to visit al-Aksa Mosque often – each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us.”
The Turkish president also took issue in particular with the pending Knesset legislation referred to as the Muezzin bill. The legislation would prevent mosques in Israel from using loudspeakers outside their buildings for prayer late at night and early in the morning.
MFA: Israel: Those Who Systematically Violate Human Rights in Their Own Country Should Not Preach to Others
Those who systematically violate human rights in their own country should not preach to the only true democracy in the region.
Those who systematically violate human rights in their own country should not preach to the only true democracy in the region.
Israel consistently protects total freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians – and will continue to do so despite the baseless slander launched against it.
In jab at Turkey, Rivlin says Jerusalem has Jewish majority since Ottoman rule
President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday rebuked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his diatribe on the “Judaization” of Jerusalem, noting that the city has had a Jewish majority for over 150 years, including under Ottoman rule.
On Monday evening, Erdogan in a speech called Israel “racist and discriminatory” said he would not allow the Knesset to outlaw the muezzin’s call to prayer (a reference to a bill that would muffle the prayer call at certain hours), and urged Muslims to visit the flashpoint Temple Mount en masse in solidarity with the Palestinians. “Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us,” he also said, at the opening ceremony of the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf in Istanbul.
Later on Monday, Erdogan discussed ways to halt the so-called “Judaization” of Jerusalem with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. At a meeting in Istanbul the Turkish leader “confirmed the necessity of unifying efforts to protect Jerusalem against attempts of Judaization,” according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
“We have heard voices which attack Israel for building Jewish life in Jerusalem,” the president said in response on Tuesday.
“I must tell these people, for the last 150 years there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem. Even under the Ottoman Empire there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem,” said Rivlin, whose family has lived in Jerusalem since 1809.
'We shouldn't have apologized, paid compensation to Turkey'
ormer Minister Gideon Saar, who has announced in recent weeks that he intends to return to political life, related this morning to the series of statements within the past day by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slamming the state of Israel and its policies.
“We made a mistake when we paid compensation and apologized for the Marmara incident,” he said in an interview with Radio 103FM.
In other interviews, Saar asserted a return to close relations with Turkey could not be expected as long as Erdogan,“an ally of Hamas and Al-Nusra Front,” remained the leader of Turkey.
His statements come as Erdogan last night met with Palestinian-Arab official Rami Hamdallah in Istanbul, where he called to “prevent the Judaization of Jerusalem” and called on as many Muslims as possible to visit the Temple Mount in order to emphasize the bond between Islam and the site.
“It is impossible to find a solution and peace in the region without finding a fair solution for the Palestinian cause first,” he had said, adding that “it is an obligation to establish a Palestinian state in the ‘67 borders - and as much pressure as possible needs to be exerted on Israel so that this will happen.”
Jerusalem mayor slams Turkey's Erdogan: Come see Israel for yourself
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat reproached Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday after the Turkish leader criticized Israel as a "racist and discriminatory" state.
"It is surprising that Erdogan, who leads a state that occupied Jerusalem for 400 years, wants to preach to us about how to manage our city," Barkat said.
"Unlike during the Turkish occupation," he continued, "Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is a flourishing, open and free city that allows freedom of religion and worship for all. In recent years, record numbers of Muslims have visited the Temple Mount and held prayers, exercising their absolute freedom of religion under Israeli sovereignty."
"The connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem dates back more than 3000 years. Jerusalem is and will remain our eternal, united capital forever. In every corner of the city, we see Jewish roots - from the time of the First and Second Temples, to the Muslim period and the Ottoman conquest," he added
Barkat also issued an invitation to Erdogan to visit Jerusalem, in order to "see for himself" how the city has prospered under the Israeli government.
"As we celebrate 50 years of reunited Jerusalem, I invite Erdogan to visit our city and to be amazed by the reality on the ground - a reality that has changed only for the better since the Turks ruled here," the mayor said.
The White House never really fully supported Israel — till Trump arrived
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat reproached Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday after the Turkish leader criticized Israel as a "racist and discriminatory" state.
"It is surprising that Erdogan, who leads a state that occupied Jerusalem for 400 years, wants to preach to us about how to manage our city," Barkat said.
"Unlike during the Turkish occupation," he continued, "Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is a flourishing, open and free city that allows freedom of religion and worship for all. In recent years, record numbers of Muslims have visited the Temple Mount and held prayers, exercising their absolute freedom of religion under Israeli sovereignty."
"The connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem dates back more than 3000 years. Jerusalem is and will remain our eternal, united capital forever. In every corner of the city, we see Jewish roots - from the time of the First and Second Temples, to the Muslim period and the Ottoman conquest," he added
Barkat also issued an invitation to Erdogan to visit Jerusalem, in order to "see for himself" how the city has prospered under the Israeli government.
"As we celebrate 50 years of reunited Jerusalem, I invite Erdogan to visit our city and to be amazed by the reality on the ground - a reality that has changed only for the better since the Turks ruled here," the mayor said.
Trump will sign the waiver
So Donald Trump is planning his first visit to Israel as president of the United States. It’s the talk of the town – almost every town, in every country.
On this trip the new president is pulling out all the stops, covering all his bases, paying tribute to the three centers of the three great monotheistic relations with stops in Rome, Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem.
Expect a few bumps, a few surprises, along the way.
Prepare yourselves.
A few days after he visits Jerusalem, President Trump will, almost certainly, sign a presidential waiver set to expire on June 1. He will sign the waiver, last signed six months ago by president Barack Obama on January 1. The waiver that effectively suspends the US law passed in 1995 that requires the US embassy to be moved to Jerusalem.
A significant plank of the Trump presidential campaign was the commitment – let’s not call it a promise – to actually move the US embassy to Jerusalem. But not right now. Right now he will put his presidential signature on the waiver because at this point in his presidency he must.
Four months of presidency is just not enough time to rewrite history on the hot-button issue of the US embassy in Israel.
Trump is not going back on a promise, neither is he adopting Obama’s stance on Jerusalem and the embassy. He must sign the waiver because he is now the actual president, encumbered with all the realities of the office of the most vaunted position in the world.
There are a lot of factors at play.
It’s time for the UN to go home
Perhaps occurring just a bit more frequently than an appearance of Halley’s Comet, Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum along with major Jewish organizations, Left, Right and Center, were nearly unanimous in condemning UNESCO’s recent vote denying Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.
Despite a 3,000-year Jewish connection to the city, UNESCO, ignoring both ancient and modern history, passed this antisemitic resolution on the same day the country was in the midst of celebrating the 69th birthday of modern Israel.
In response, according to The Jerusalem Post, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed the Foreign Ministry to deduct $1 million from the funds Israel annually pays to the UN. This is in addition to $8m. Israel reportedly will withhold from the UN following anti-Israel decisions both at the Security Council and the Human Rights Council.
Likud Minister Miri Regev called on the government to go a step further and oust the UN from its UNTSOrun (United Nations Truce Supervision Organization) Jerusalem compound in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.
The government was scheduled to discuss Regev’s suggestion this past Sunday.
Abbas told Trump to base peace talks on 2008 Olmert maps – report
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly showed US President Donald Trump maps drawn up as part of a former Israeli prime minister’s 2008 peace proposal, which Abbas chose not to accept at the time, during his visit to the White House last week.
Abbas told Trump that his negotiations with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, which fell apart without an agreement, should form the basis of any future peace talks, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Tuesday.
A Palestinian spokesperson told Haaretz that Abbas showed Trump documents and maps with the details of the 2008 Olmert proposal.
“At that time they discussed territorial swaps of 1.9 percent whereas Olmert suggested 6.3%. That was the end of the negotiations because Olmert left the political arena,” the spokesman said. “We told President Trump and his team that the gaps [between the Palestinians and Israelis] were not so wide and that [those documents and maps] would be a good starting point for negotiations about borders — the critical issue with implications for all the core issues of a future agreement.”
Shaked: When two-state deal goes nowhere, Trump will think out of the box
Ten days before Donald Trump was inaugurated, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked visited the Jewish settlement in Hebron.
A community of several hundred ensconced in a city of 150,000 Palestinians, Hebron’s Jewish residents are considered to be among the most radical and controversial Israeli settlers.
Shaked, 41, wearing black jeans and a loose fleece, had come to support them.
“No more excuses — in 10 days we need to keep building in Hebron!” she wrote on Facebook, referring to Trump’s swearing-in. “We need to build again, to develop Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Because this is our home. This is our right.”
Like other opponents of a Palestinian state, Shaked cheered Trump’s victory in November, viewing it as an opportunity to discard the United States’ axiomatic support for the two-state solution.
Mahmoud Abbas Is History’s Most Stubborn Real Estate Holdout
There is something peculiar about the character of the holdout—inflexible, quietly seething, and, until the opportunity presents itself, all but unaware that they are desirous of a perverse kind of fame and affirmation, as the person who will never, ever let go. Mahmoud Abbas has been living in the shadow of a dynamic figure, the father of the Palestinian national movement who danced too quickly for either the Israeli enemy or his Arab rivals to catch him. Abbas is a chain-smoker who wears the kind of baggy suits that made Nasser laugh. He earned a doctorate from Patrice Lumumba University among other tedious bureaucrats predisposed to believe in conspiracy theories. He owes his title, his power, his life, to the very actors that he directs the Palestinian people to despise—Israel and the United States.
Why is he a holdout? For all of the above reasons, and because almost as much as he hates having to live in the shadow of Yasser Arafat, he despises the United States and Israel for the same reason Michael Forbes decided he was going to screw Donald Trump—because they just won’t stop talking about how rich and successful they are.
Like Vera Coking, Abbas has already balked at a deal twice before, once in 2008 with Ehud Olmert as the Israeli prime minister and another in 2013 managed by the Obama administration. It’s true that Abbas knows his time is just about up, and he wants his legacy carved in stone. But that legacy is not a peace deal, and it’s not even rejecting a peace deal quietly as he did when he turned down Olmert. No, this is Abbas’ moment in the spotlight—and he’s going to make the American president who wants to make the big deal beg him to sell and sign before he tells him to take a hike.
In fact, Trump has seen this movie before—twice before—and seeing it a third time is unlikely to make him the man who did “history’s biggest deal.” Rather, it will make him the real estate guy who got stuffed on the three biggest deals of his life by holdouts. Only this time, the stakes are higher than a casino parking lot or a golf resort.
US House Appropriations will strongly look into Palestinian Authority 'martyr' funding
A Palestinian Authority program that provides stipends to the families of convicted terrorists in Israel concerns Democrats as much as Republicans on Capitol Hill, one lawmaker said on Sunday.
Rep. Grace Meng, a Democrat from New York, told The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York that, as a new member of the House Appropriations Committee, she will push for an end to the program, which the PA describes as a compensation scheme for “martyrs” of the Palestinian cause.
Congressional appropriations committees are responsible for regulating federal expenditures, such as US foreign aid to organizations like the PA.
Meng signed a bipartisan letter sent to US President Donald Trump last week encouraging him to raise the issue in his meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
“I’m appreciative that [Trump] took that into consideration,” Meng said. “However, Abbas’ denial of the reality of incitement is something that we need to continue to strongly look into. And I will be doing so.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Urges Seat for Hamas Terrorists at Mideast Peace Talks
In line with British government policy, Welby and his aides did not meet Hamas officials on their brief visit to Gaza but talks should not be ruled out, Welby said.
Welby did tour the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem, home to some of Judaism’s holiest sites including the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem; the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron; and Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Welby said:
“There’s a moment, which I’m not saying is now, when it is possible for it to bring rewards. But the moment is not any moment – you can do it at exactly the wrong time and cause a complete meltdown and undermine all the resistance to extremism. And, secondly, the result [can be] the people in the middle become more disempowered, and you end up privileging those who cause the most difficulty, you reward bad behaviour by attention.”
The British government, along with the EU and the U.S., adopted a policy of not talking to Hamas after the faction won Palestinian elections in 2006 and took control of Gaza the following year.
Welby’s latest Mideast intervention follows his call earlier this week for bridges to be built between Christians and Jews to help fight the rising tide of global anti-Semitism, as Breitbart Jerusalem reported.
As for the future of Israel, he noted that, in the past decade or so, “there’s been a total breakdown of the capacity of human beings to live alongside one another. But in the Middle East, it’s happened before and it’s been put right before, and there have been new moments of hope. So that’s our prayer. And that’s what we have to take responsibility for leading.”
US Embassy in Saudi Arabia posts video editing out Israel from Trump’s trip
A video posted by the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia edited out President Donald Trump mentioning his trip to Israel, but the State Department said it was “an inadvertent mistake” and not deliberate.
The video, in which Trump’s speech last week announcing the trip was edited to cut mention of Israel, has since been removed from the embassy’s social media. Another video with the complete speech was uploaded to the embassy’s YouTube account on Monday.
A State Department official told JTA in a statement that the embassy had taken the video from the social media account of a private Saudi citizen without realizing that Israel had been edited out.
“Upon learning this, the US Embassy immediately corrected the error, took down the video, and loaded the correct version to its social media accounts,” the official said. “The Embassy expresses its regret for this inadvertent mistake.”
US Lawmakers Call on State Department to Allow Listing of Jerusalem as Part of Israel on Passports
Dozens of members of Congress have signed a letter urging Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reverse the longstanding US policy of not allowing Americans to list Jerusalem as part of Israel on the birthplace section in passports.
“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,” 52 lawmakers, led by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R.-Fla.), wrote to Tillerson this week, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“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.”
In the letter, the delegation noted a 2002 law passed by Congress that requires the State Department to record “Israel” as a Jerusalem-born citizen’s birthplace on their passport. Yet the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama did not implement the law, arguing that designating Jerusalem as part of Israel would interfere with the US being an honest broker in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
In 2015, the US Supreme Court struck down the congressional law, arguing it would interfere with the president’s power in dictating foreign policy. In this week’s letter, lawmakers said a new policy “would not contravene the Supreme Court’s decision.”
It could get worse: Israel frets ‘Islamic troika’ may take helm at UNESCO
Israel’s relationship with UNESCO is complicated, to say the least. But later this year, the organization will elect a new leadership, and officials in Jerusalem are fretting over a possible “Islamic troika” in three key jobs who would seek to further advance the UN cultural organization’s anti-Israel agenda.
Of the nine people vying to succeed Irina Bokova as director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, four hail from Arab states and one of them — a Qatar minister — is considered a frontrunner.
The leading contenders for the post of chairman of UNESCO’s General Conference hail from Saudi Arabia and Morocco, according to Israel’s ambassador to the organization, Carmel Shama-Hacohen.
And the sole candidate to head the UNESCO Executive Board is from Iran.
“Under certain circumstances an Islamic troika could be created, which would be liable to push the organization to new depths of anti-Israel politicization,” warned Shama-Hacohen.
Sweden Aligns with "Muslim countries, dictatorships and religious regimes against the only democracy in the Middle East"
"Should Israeli officials be surprised Sweden was the only European Union country to vote for an anti-Israel UNESCO resolution denying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem?
The question comes just days after UNESCO's executive committee May 2 approved a resolution calling Israel an 'occupying power' in Jerusalem and saying any Israeli efforts to assert sovereignty over the holy city are 'null and must be rescinded forthwith.' The resolution passed in a 22-10 vote.
'It was no surprise to see that Sweden once again has aligned itself with Muslim countries, dictatorships and religious regimes against the only democracy in the Middle East,' Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told JNS.org.
'Unfortunately, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has made numerous anti-Israel declarations...and Sweden under the current government has voted systematically against the state of Israel [at the United Nations].'...
'Swedish-Israeli relations are at an all-time low right now,' Magnus Norell, a Swedish adjunct scholar with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told JNS.org. 'And I don't see any signs of an immediate improvement.'
According to Norell, Sweden voted with the Arab bloc at the U.N. May 2 out of 'sheer ignorance of the historical background and context, ineptness (poor communication between the Foreign Ministry and the governing administration) and identity politics.' The government's 'pro-Palestinian attitude often leads to supporting all kinds of initiatives, as long as it's perceived as being against Israel,' he added..."
B'Tselem 'marking' IDF soldiers
A film produced by the radical left-wing organization B’Tselem is set to debut at a Tel Aviv theater Tuesday night, the latest effort by the group in its campaign to disparage and smear soldiers serving in the IDF.
The film’s release marks 10 years since the beginning of B’Tselem’s “Cameras Project”, in which the group distributed video cameras to Arab residents across Judea and Samaria, encouraging them to provoke Israeli security forces, then film their responses and release heavily redacted versions portraying officers and soldiers in a negative light.
Since the project began a decade ago, B’Tselem has adopted increasingly aggressive tactics for harassing soldiers serving in Judea and Samaria and, apparently, singling out individual soldiers even after the incidents filmed by B’Tselem provocateurs.
In an article published in Haaretz and a post promoted by B’Tselem, far-left journalist Amira Hass – who in the past has praised Arab stone-throwing attacks on Israeli civilians – provided an example of the radical left’s tracking of individual soldiers.
Students clash after 'Palestinian Nakba' event held in Haifa
Tempers flared at the University of Haifa on Monday when students held an event marking the displacement of Palestinian refugees during Israel's War of Independence, known in Arabic as the "Nakba" ("catastrophe").
The event, organized by a predominantly Arab student organization, led to counterdemonstrations by right-wing activists who held Israeli flags and tried to disrupt the event. The decision to hold the event came under criticism last week, triggering calls to prevent it. But the university ultimately said it could take place, although it placed restrictions on the leaflets organizers wanted to hand out and other forms of propaganda.
Ahead of the event on Monday, left-wing activists wore clothes saying "we are being silenced" and "end the occupation." Some of them taped their lips shut. The right-wing protesters handed out booklets that were designed to debunk the "lies in the Palestinian narrative, which the Arab students have unsuccessfully tried to entrench."
Matan Peleg, CEO of the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization, which describes its mission as "strengthening and advancing the values of Zionism in Israel," lambasted the event and said that "Israeli academia must not become a hotbed for anti-Zionist elements."
Why did Abbas exempt Gazans from paying taxes?
Palestinian Authority senior representative Hassin Alsheikh on Monday spoke about Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' decision to exempt Gazan citizens from paying taxes to Hamas.
"Our decision to exempt Gazan residents from paying tax was intended to make a point to Gaza, and not to harm the Gazan citizens," Alsheikh said. "We want to put pressure on Hamas in response to their recent decisions."
"The publication of Hamas' new charter, just when Abbas was scheduled to meet with US President Donald Trump, was intended to harm Abbas' success in the meeting."
On Saturday, Abbas signed an order exempting Gazan citizens from paying several different taxes, the revenue of which goes directly to Hamas, who uses the money for their own purposes.
Following Abbas' order, Hamas Treasurer Youssuf Al-Kieli announced that Abbas' order was illegal and therefore would not be implemented.
EXCLUSIVE - Source: Some Hamas Officials Oppose New Charter, Fear Rift With Iran
The Hamas government in Gaza is still heavily divided over the terror group’s new charter despite celebrations of the announcement of its new document in which the group appeared to have recognized a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and stated that Hamas is not a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood but a national Palestinian liberation movement.
According to a top Hamas source, a number of senior officials in the group, including Mahmoud Al-Zahar (pictured), one of Hamas’s strongmen in the Gaza Strip and some members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, boycotted the ceremony announcing the new charter that was held by video conference between Doha, the capital of Qatar, and Gaza.
Declarations were made by the outgoing leader of the movement Khaled Meshal and new leader Ismail Haniyeh that the charter was adopted by consensus within the movement, but the Hamas source revealed Al-Zahar and a number of other members of the movement were not present at the Commodore Hotel in Gaza were the video link was held. Most of the opposition to the charter is directed at its recognition of a Palestinian state along the ’67 borders.
A source in Hamas told Breitbart Jerusalem that Al-Zahar and others oppose the clause on principle, but mostly fear that the adoption of the charter will cause a rift with Iran, which has already expressed its opposition to the new charter.
Iranian Drones Now Regular Nuisance for U.S. Carrier in Persian Gulf
ABOARD THE USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH, Persian Gulf -- Visits from Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles designed for surveillance have become commonplace here, where the Bush and ships from its strike group patrol and launch airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria.
While small Iranian vessels continue to approach the carrier and harass U.S. ships elsewhere in the region, the spy drones appear more regularly, said Capt. Will Pennington, commanding officer of the Bush.
"That is a capability that the entire world is getting, and Iran is no different," he told Military.com in an interview. "These aren't small, radio-controlled drones. They're reconnaissance."
The first recent reported incident in which Iran flew a drone over a U.S. carrier came in January 2016, when an unarmed reconnaissance UAV approached the Harry S. Truman and a French carrier, the Charles DeGaulle. In that incident, a Navy MH-60 helicopter was launched to investigate, ultimately determining that the unmanned aircraft posed no threat, according to reports.
Now, Pennington said, the Bush detects nearby Iranian drones nearly every day, and crew members have a variety of methods at their disposal to thwart them -- and other episodes of Iranian harassment -- and protect the ship.
Erdogan's Crimes against Humanity
While Yazidis are still suffering from these atrocities, Turkey, evidently still no friend of non-Muslims, has attacked them yet again.
Turkish officials say they consider these groups "terrorists." The general staff of the Turkish armed forces issued a statement concerning the airstrikes, saying that "operations will continue until the terrorists have completely been eliminated."
"Denying the genocide is not only saying 'we didn't do it.' It's much, much worse.... It is declaring murderers as heroes. It is honoring the genocide's perpetrators... [and] saying to the grandchildren of genocide victims, 'Murderers of your grandfathers and grandmothers are our heroes; they did it well, God bless them. If necessary, we would do it again.'" — Istanbul Branch of the Human Rights Association, Commemoration of the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, April 24, 2017.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

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

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