Wednesday, August 30, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: PA entraps UN Sec. Gen. to meet with mother of 5 terrorists
PA then lied, claiming Guterres expressed “understanding” of prisoners’ “suffering,” vowing to “put an end to it”
UN spokesman: “All of the quotes attributed to the Secretary-General are fabricated"
The Palestinian Authority entrapped UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres into meeting with the mother of 5 Palestinian terrorists yesterday, and then lied about what happened.
According to a UN spokesman, Guterres was not scheduled to meet the families of terrorist prisoners but were surprised by the sudden request of the PA to meet with “mothers of detained children,” as reported by The Times of Israel:
“At the end of a meeting with Palestinian officials this afternoon in Ramallah, the secretary-general was informed that a group of Palestinian mothers of detained children wanted to give him a petition. Confronted with the situation, he received the group which presented him a petition.”[The Times of Israel, Aug. 29, 2017]
The PA’s official news agency WAFA presented it differently. It described Guterres’ meeting with parents of prisoners, including Latifa Abu Hmeid, mother of 5 terrorists, 1 who was killed as a “Martyr” and the other 4 who are serving between them 17 life sentences, very routinely, without any reference to it not being on the schedule:
“UN Secretary-General António Guterres met this evening [Aug. 29, 2017] in Ramallah with several families of Palestinian Martyrs (Shahids) and prisoners that are sitting in the Israeli occupation’s prisons... Present at the meeting were Latifa Abu Hmeid...” [WAFA, Aug. 29, 2017]
Moreover, the PA made an outright lie, fictitiously reporting that the UN Secretary-General responded favorably to statements about Palestinian prisoners and that he “understood” their “suffering,” to make it seem like he accepted their claims about the Palestinian terrorist prisoners.
This is what the PA claims to have told Guterres:
“The prisoners’ families demanded that the UN secretary-general act in a serious and concrete manner to save the lives of more than 6,500 Palestinian prisoners and female prisoners sitting in the Israeli occupation’s prisons from the grave violations that the [Israeli] occupation Prison Service perpetrates against them, such as medical neglect, administrative detentions, and the arrest of women, children, and parliament members.” [WAFA, Aug. 29, 2017]
'UN Chief should apologize to terror victims' families'
The Almagor Terror Victims' Association called on Israel's Foreign Ministry to delay the return of Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon to the UN, after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres "blatantly evinced disrespect" for Israel's terror victims.
On Tuesday, Guterres met with the families of terrorist murderers and placed a bouquet of flowers on arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat's grave.
Almagor CEO Meir Indor said, "The fact that the new UN Secretary General visited Arafat's grave and met with the mothers of jailed terrorists and murderers, shows blatant disrespect for the graves of the murdered victims and all Israeli society."
"Unfortunately, the UN organizations for many years have chosen to aid Palestinian terrorists, either directly or indirectly. Perhaps the time has come for us to call the UN by its real title: A terror-supporting organization."
If the claim, as spokesmen for the Secretary General said, is that Guterres did not know that these were the parents of terrorists, Indor indicated, he should meet the terror victims' families and apologize. To atone for the fact that he visited Arafat's grave, Indor suggests Guterres visit the graves of terror victims in Jerusalem.



Mordechai Kedar: Iran, operating from Syria, will destroy Europe and North America
Iran and Russia plan to destroy Western Europe, the US and Canada by means of a new wave of millions of Syrian Sunnis fleeing to the West to escape the Shiite takeover of Syria.
In my weekly column two months ago, I claimed that Iran is the real victor in the Syrian civil war. Using the war against ISIS as a smokescreen, it is taking over large swathes of Syrian territory, mainly in the scarcely populated middle and eastern parts of the country. In the more fertile and densely populated west of Syria, there are Iraqi, Afghan, and Iranian Shiite militias augmenting Lebanese Hezbollah fighters who were given carte blanche to do whatever Hassan Nasrallah decides to do there.
Assad's strength continues to increase as ISIS and the other rebel forces lose ground. The brutality of Russian involvement and the cruelty of Shiite militias overcame the anti-Assad forces, the turning point occurring when in 2015, Turkey' s Erdogan was forced by Russia to cease his aid to the rebels and ISIS. Today, although Erdogan is an unwilling ally of Russia, Alawite Assad still sees him, justifiably, as an Islamist enemy.
The Kurds of northeast Syria, treated as below third class citizens until 2011, will never agree to live under Arab mercy once again and it is reasonable to assume that should Syria remain an undivided country under Assad's rule, the Kurds will preserve relative autonomy in their region – or fight the regime for their rights.
That is certainly a problem, but the main issue facing a united Syria is going to be the drastic demographic changes the country is going to face. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Balad summer camp concludes with procession extolling 'martyrs'
A summer camp for Arab-Israeli youths organized by the Arab-Israeli Balad party held its concluding ceremony this week in the Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem, with campers marching alongside the camp's children in a procession honoring the "martyrs."
Draped in Palestinian flags, the children attending the camp marched through the refugee camp chanting invectives aimed at Israel.
The march's repertoire included calls saying "with spirit and blood we will redeem you, martyr" and "with spirit and blood we will redeem you, Palestine."
At the parade's conclusion, they visited families of terrorists who were killed or wounded during terror attacks. "We pay our respects to the families of the martyrs," said one of the march's leaders.
As part of the summer camp's activities, children were divided into groups. One such group was named after former Palestinian Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat and another after Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, the eponym for the military arm of Hamas. Another group is named after Gamal Abdel Nasser, former President of Egypt who repeatedly spoke of Israel's annihilation.
"The Balad youth's 18th summer camp has concluded," wrote Joint List MK Haneen Zoabi on her Facebook page. "Balad is proud of its young men and women and hitching its activities and ideology to the spirit of struggle, vigor and force."
MEMRI: 2017 Summer Camps In The Palestinian Authority – Part I: Military Training, Glorification Of 'Martyrs' In Camps Run By Higher Council For Youth And Sports Headed By Jibril Rajoub
This summer, bodies connected to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the PLO, and Fatah, in cooperation with the PA National Security Forces (NSF), ran summer camps for Palestinian children and teens. Especially noticeable were the Pioneers of Tomorrow camps, launched by the Higher Council for Youth and Sports (HCYS), an official PLO body headed by Jibril Rajoub, who is also Fatah Central Committee secretary. The Palestinian law that defines the mission of the HCYS states that it is "the only body responsible for all activities for youth: sports, social activity, and the youth movements wherever the Palestinian people congregate." Among the goals of the HCYS, as set out in this law, are "training the youth to take responsibility for the homeland and the revolution" and "instilling the spirit of loyalty to and sacrifice for the homeland."About 30,000 campers participated in the 300 or so HCYS camps, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as in Lebanon and Syria.
It should be noted that the HCYS receives funding from the EU (through the NET-MED Youth and EuroMed projects), the UN, and various countries, including from UNICEF (through NET-MED Youth), the UN Development Programme, the government of Japan (through UNICEF), and the government of The Netherlands (through UNICEF).
In addition to the typical summer camp activities, the camps also offered activities of a military and political nature. The NSF participated in some of the activities; in some camps, the campers, both boys and girls, wore military uniforms, and even received various types of military training. The camps also provided a platform for teaching about political matters, such as the importance of the Palestinian struggle, glorifying the "martyrs," the Palestinian right of return, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque, and more.
It should be noted that PA and Fatah officials have stressed the importance of these camps. At the concluding ceremony for the camps held at the PA presidential headquarters in Ramallah, PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas stressed the role of the youth in "liberation," praised the youth's involvement in the cause of Al-Aqsa, and promised that the national Palestinian struggle would continue.
2017 Summer Camps In The Palestinian Authority – Part II: Military Training, Glorification Of 'Martyrs' At Camps Held By Fatah And National Security Forces
This past summer, Fatah held summer camps for children and youth, each lasting several days, in cooperation with various Palestinian Authority (PA) security apparatuses. Some of these camps were held in bases of the PA's National Security Forces (NSF) in the West Bank, and were military in character; they included physical training and marches, as well as training in weapons assembly and disassembly, and the campers wore military-style uniforms.
In other camps participants wore civilian clothing, but they too included activities in cooperation with the security forces, in addition to political content such as the glorification of "martyrs" like Dalal Al-Mughrabi – deputy commander of the March 11, 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 35 Israelis were killed and 71 were injured – who is often singled out for praise by Fatah and the PA, especially on the anniversary of her death.[1]
The camps also included activities about the right of return and Jerusalem. The importance accorded to these themes was apparent in the names of the camps, such as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs camp, the Al-Aqsa Guardians camp and the Al-Aqsa Pioneers camp.
Similar content also stood out at the summer camps organized by the PLO's Higher Council for Youth and Sports in cooperation with the NSF, which were discussed in Part I of this series. Last month MEMRI also published a report on summer camps organized by Hamas.
MEMRI: Panelist On Jordanian TV Antisemitic Special On Rothschilds Ruling The World, Assassinating U.S. Presidents Discovered By MEMRI To Be FBI Most Wanted For Fraud
A Jordanian TV channel recently aired a program about the Rothschild family, which stated that the family was "the founder of the United States" and owned much of the world's resources, media, and banks. The show included an interview with Jordanian economic analyst Mohammed Sami Abugoush, who said that "any leader who refused to deal with the Rothschilds would be assassinated." Abugoush and TV host Rita Altaji agreed that it is Rothschild, and not President Macron, who rules France, and that "even the U.S. and the mighty British royal family do not rule Britain." She and Abugoush concurred that "the Rothschild family was responsible for the assassination of about six world leaders, in addition to many congressmen and bank owners[.] The most famous among those presidents were Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy, in addition to Garfield, Harrison, Tyler and Jackson." Abugoush further said that the Jews control the weapons, pharmaceutical, shipping, and agricultural industries, and are withholding cures for cancer and AIDS from the world in order to make a profit. The show aired on Altaghier TV on June 24, 2017.
MEMRI discovered that Mohammed Sami Abugoush is wanted by the FBI. Abugoush can be found under the "Fugitive" tab on the "Most Wanted" section of the FBI's website. According to the website, "[o]n June 6, 2005, a federal complaint was obtained for Mohammed S. Abugoush in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, after he was charged with conspiracy to commit credit card fraud after he allegedly committed more than one million dollars in credit card fraud. Abugoush was a mid-level member of a large Middle Eastern Criminal Enterprise (MECE) operating in New Jersey and elsewhere. The MECE was engaged in numerous financial fraud schemes and was linked to approximately seven million dollars in fraud. On August 9, 2010, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Abugoush after he was charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud."
The Undercurrents Fueling Terrorism
Despair and alienation are not the only reasons for terrorism - hope is also a motive. Islamic State says this is the moment to act and this opportunity must not be missed.
If we are wise and successful in sowing doubt in their minds that the time has not yet come, we may thwart the jihadists' plans.
Islam perceives Western society as decaying and declining. This perception stems first and foremost from the significant decline in birth rates in the West, which Islam views as the weakness of an ailing society.
Western countries' growing reluctance to use force and their preference for using "soft power" - diplomacy - in the belief that a positive outlook can solve any crisis, are also viewed as a weakness. The manifestation of the West's weakness is what sparks hope in terror operatives.
Western society must examine a change in its way of life so that it makes it clear to its enemies that their time to act has yet to come.
This will not change the vision of radical jihadists, but it just may prompt them to postpone their violent struggle to another time.
Guterres: Israel will be more secure if Palestinians have a state
Israel will enjoy greater security and prosperity when Palestinians are living as citizens in their own state, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday, shortly before ending his three day visit.
“These lands,” Guterres said in a speech delivered at the The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, “are the ancestral homelands of two peoples who both have an undeniable historical and religious bond to it. Both have a right to live on it as independent, free people and masters of their own fate.”
Anyone visiting Israel, he continued, will have no doubt that it has fulfilled the rights and national aspirations of the Jews. “It is now overdue that the Palestinians also fulfill their legitimate rights and national aspirations.”
Just before delivering his speech, Guterres received an IDF security briefing as he flew by helicopter to the Gaza border where he went to Kibbutz Nahal Oz, met with residents there, and was shown a Hamas terror tunnel.
He then entered the Gaza Strip. At a press conference at an UNRWA school in Beit Lahiya he said that what he saw in Gaza was “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I have seen in many years working as a humanitarian in the United Nations.”
Guterres issued an appeal for Palestinian unity, saying that the division between Ramallah and Gaza “only undermines the cause of the Palestinian people.”
He also called for a lifting of the closure around Gaza, and to “avoid the buildup of militantism that can undermine the confidence” between Isarel and the Palestinians.
Six Major Problems with UN Chief's Statements Promoting a Palestinian State
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres visited Ramallah on Tuesday, where he made public remarks about the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict and key issues related to the region.
Below, in no particular order, are six significant problems with the views and ideology expressed by the UN chief on his visit to the West Bank city.
1 – Guterres promoted the failed so-called two-state solution.
“I want to express very strongly the total commitment of the United Nations but my personal total commitment to do everything for a two-state solution to materialise,” he said. “I have said several times there is no Plan B to a two-state solution.”
The two-state solution refers to creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern sections of Jerusalem.
Guterres ignored that a central problem with finalizing any two-state solution is that the Palestinian Authority has rejected every single Israeli offer of a state. State offers were made at Camp David in 2000, Taba in 2001, the Annapolis Conference in 2007 and more offers were made in 2008. It was recently reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quietly made another such offer in 2014. In each of these cases, the PA refused generous Israeli offers of statehood and bolted negotiations without counteroffers. There is no evidence to suggest that the Palestinians would accept any future Israeli offer.
2 – Guterres wrongly assumes that there is a Palestinian partner for peace.
Guterres made his remarks today after meeting Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah. The PA would lead any talks aimed at creating a future Palestinian state. However, the PA and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, support terrorism, incite violence against Israel and routinely promote the delegitimization of the Jewish state.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a terrorist group responsible for scores of suicide bombings and deadly shooting attacks, is closely aligned with Abbas’s Fatah party and is routinely referred to as Fatah’s so-called military wing.
Only yesterday, Abbas exclaimed that he would continue official PA payments to convicted terrorists “until my dying day.” Earlier this month, it was reported that the PA’s 2017 budget for payments to terrorists and their families amounts to about half of all foreign aid the PA expects to receive this year.
Abbas’s official PA organs and media outlets routinely glorify murderous terrorists. Breitbart Jerusalem recently reported on a Fatah summer camp named after Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 Coastal Road massacre in which 38 people — including 13 children – were murdered.
3 – A Palestinian state would be at war with Israel and would not advance moderate interests.
4 – Guterres promoted the falsehood that settlements are an impediment to peace.
5 – Guterres promoted the disputed charge that settlements are “illegal under international law.”
6 – Guterres ignored rampant illegal Palestinian construction.
UN Secretary-General Appears to Reference Charlottesville ‘Neo-Nazis’ During Holocaust Memorial Visit
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres took an apparent shot at the United States during a visit to a Holocaust memorial in Israel Monday, bringing up the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, while ignoring the anti-Semitic sentiments Israel faces from its neighbors.
In his visit to the region, where he is visiting Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Guterres visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and afterward spoke briefly to the press, where he said that the site was “a tribute to the Jewish people, victims of the most hideous crime against humanity in the history of mankind.”
He also noted that the Holocaust was “not a crazy initiative of a group of paranoid Nazis but it was the combination of millennia of persecution and discrimination of the Jewish people of what we today call anti-Semitism.”
However, instead of mentioning rampant anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiments in the Palestinian territories and neighboring Muslim-majority countries, Guterres then referenced neo-Nazi protests in “a developed country.”
UN chief calls Gaza a ‘dramatic humanitarian crisis,’ urges end to blockade
UN chief Antonio Guterres called for the blockade of the Gaza Strip to be lifted Wednesday as he visited the Palestinian enclave which, he said, is enduring”one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” he had seen.
Guterres earlier visited Israeli communities near the border with Gaza.
“I am deeply moved to be in Gaza today, unfortunately to witness one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises that I’ve seen in many years working as a humanitarian in the United Nations,” Guterres said.
He later said it was “important to open the closures,” in reference to Israel and Egypt’s blockade of Gaza.
Israel says the blockade it imposed a decade ago is necessary to prevent Hamas from smuggling in weapons to Gaza or the materials need to make them. Goods heading for Gaza are first shipped to Israel for inspection and then trucked into the Palestinian territory after items considered a security risk are removed.
Egypt only allows the opening of the Gaza’s southern border occasionally.
Report: Israeli PM Netanyahu Wants Meeting With Caribbean Leaders on Sidelines of UN General Assembly
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to arrange a meeting with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders on the sidelines of next month’s UN General Assembly gathering in New York City, Caribbean News Now! reported on Monday.
According to the report, Jamaica — led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who visited Israel earlier this year — is pushing to make such a summit happen.
However, other Caribbean nations – including Belize, Suriname, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, St Lucia and Antigua — were said to be resistant to the idea, due to pro-Palestinian proclivities.
In recent years, Netanyahu has sought to expand the breadth and depth of Israel’s network of diplomatic ties around the globe. Before arriving in the US next month, Netanyahu is planning to become the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Latin America, with stops in Argentina and Mexico.
In October, Netanyahu will attend the Africa-Israel Summit in Lome, Togo.
Hamas Terror Group Issues List of Demands Ahead of UN Chief’s Arrival in Gaza
Gaza’s Islamic Hamas rulers welcomed U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the isolated territory Wednesday by demanding he work to lift the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the strip and save it from a humanitarian crisis.
In a statement issued upon Guterres’ arrival, Hamas also demanded he approve relief and development programs and pressure Israel about the Palestinian prisoners it holds.
Guterres is on his first visit to the region since taking office at the beginning of the year. His meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders are aimed at encouraging the resumption of peace talks.
Prior to arriving in Gaza, he took a helicopter tour of the Israel-Gaza border with Israeli officials, visited a tunnel Hamas dug into Israel to carry out attacks and met local residents living along the volatile front.
Guterres was accompanied by Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, and Aviv Kochavi, Israel’s deputy military chief. Danon warned Guterres that Gaza’s Hamas rulers have been exploiting international humanitarian aid to dig the tunnels aimed at harming Israel.
Canadian Groups Express Concern as UNRWA Boosts Funding to Palestinians
Jewish organizations are urging the Canadian government to hold UNRWA’s feet to the fire to ensure that a $25-million allocation to help Palestinian refugees will not end up in the hands of Hamas, a terrorist organization that controls Gaza.
Several organizations contacted by The CJN said funds to help impoverished refugees would be money well spent, but they question whether that money will be diverted to Hamas and they called on the Government of Canada to put in place mechanisms to ensure it isn’t.
“Canadian aid should go to those in need, especially those impacted by the ongoing brutality in Syria, but it is crucial that this support actually reaches the most vulnerable. We remain troubled by links between UNRWA and Hamas, a terrorist group notorious for diverting humanitarian funds and materials for its own destructive agenda. We also have serious concerns about violations of UNWRA neutrality,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).
Fogel noted that since re-engaging with UNRWA, “Canada has put significant oversight measures in place. Initial reports indicate that this is having a positive impact, with UNRWA addressing serious problems raised by Canada, including terminating two employees linked to Hamas.”
Michael Mostyn, the CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, said, “Helping impoverished Palestinians in various Arab countries is certainly a positive, as many individuals do require assistance. However, according to a new report, UNWRA continues to facilitate anti-Semitism and the demonization of Israel. UNWRA’s highly-politicized environment actually obstructs the best possible service to the Palestinians.”
The Hezbollah problem
According to reports published in the wake of Jared Kushner's visit to the region, ‎the presidential adviser/son-in-law promised Palestinian Authority President ‎Mahmoud Abbas that the Trump administration would produce a Middle East ‎peace plan within three to four months. But it's not clear what could possibly ‎bridge the chasm between the rejectionism of Abbas and the Netanyahu ‎government's own lack of interest and/or ability to compromise in the ‎absence of a sea change in Palestinian political culture that might make peace ‎possible.‎
Yet the energy being devoted to maintain the illusion that Israeli-Palestinian peace ‎is possible is not only unrealistic. It also fails to address the real problem in the ‎region.‎
Those who were uncertain about what that might be got a reminder from The New ‎York Times this week. The Times is usually the source of coverage that reflects a ‎mindset that has focused almost exclusively on the concessions Israel should make ‎while ignoring Arab behavior. Yet the front page of The Times this past Sunday was devoted in part to a major feature on the growing strength of ‎Hezbollah and its role as Iran's "Arab enforcer."‎
The picture the article paints is a grim one. Hezbollah dominates Lebanon. It also ‎provides the shock troops for what the Times aptly terms a "war without borders" ‎in which Iran has advanced its claim for regional hegemony. It is now a major ‎obstacle to more than U.S. President Donald Trump's vain desire to broker the "ultimate deal" between ‎Israel and the Palestinians as well as the spearhead of the Iranian regime's foreign ‎policy and international terrorism.‎
France, US to Israel: UNIFIL to redouble efforts against Hezbollah
Israel received encouraging messages from France and the U.S. on Tuesday that say the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon will be required to aggressively keep Hezbollah activities in check this year.
According to a senior Foreign Ministry official, the change regarding the matter is expected to be adopted on Thursday, when UNIFIL's mandate is due to be renewed.
Since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, which concluded with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, the mandate ends every year and the council renews it automatically. This year, the U.N. Security Council will demand UNIFIL no longer turn a blind eye to Hezbollah's violations of the resolution, which include concealing weapons and the movement of troops, and denying UNIFIL's requests to monitor certain areas, believed to be weapons stockpile sites.
Israeli defense officials believe the restricted area are used by Hezbollah to store rockets and missiles with which it threatens Israel. These areas are better known in Israeli military circles as "nature reserves."
France, which holds the UNIFIL portfolio in the Security Council, said that if UNIFIL is again denied entry to certain areas, it will report it directly to the 15-member forum.
Israel asked the Security Council to expand the peacekeeping force's authority and change the way it operates, so that UNIFIL will stop ignoring the activities of the Iranian-backed Shiite terrorist group.
Lebanon rejects changes to mandate for UNIFIL peacekeeping force
Lebanon has called for a UN peacekeeping force’s mandate to be renewed without changes so that it can continue working to prevent hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah.
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil conveyed Lebanon’s position to representatives of the UN Security Council’s permanent members on Tuesday.
The peacekeeping mission known as UNIFIL is up for renewal when its mandate expires on August 31. Israel and the US are pressing for improvements to the force to combat what they say is the spread of illegal arms to Hezbollah-dominated southern Lebanon.
The UNIFIL commander in Lebanon and the Lebanese government reject the claims. Bassil said renewing the force’s mandate is paramount to the country’s security. He pointed to what he said were daily Israeli violations of UN resolutions and Lebanese sovereignty.
The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, blasted the commander of the UNIFIL peacekeepers on Friday, accusing him of turning a blind eye to weapons smuggling by Hezbollah, considered a terror group by Israel and the US.
Why The Standoff With North Korea Affects The Middle East
In one of its most serious provocations in years, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan, in the process evidencing its growing capacity to potentially strike the U.S. mainland. South Korean officials confirmed the missile traveled some 2,700 kilometers and reached an altitude of 550 kilometers over the island of Hokkaido, before crash-landing in the ocean off the Japanese coast. The projectile did not approach the American naval base located in Guam, which Pyongyang publicly designated as a military target earlier this month amid a war-of-words with U.S. President Donald Trump, who in the event threatened to unleash on the North “fire and fury the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
According to Dr. James Edward Hoare, the first-ever British representative in North Korea, the immediate chances of a major confrontation is highly unlikely. “North Korea is merely showing determination in the face of what it views as aggression on the other side,” he explained to The Media Line, “in particular, over the last few years, out of concern for the joint military exercises between South Korea and Washington.
“But [U.S. Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson and some American military people have been pulling Trump back from the harsh rhetoric and there is still a possibility to negotiate.”
Dr. Hoare, currently an Associate Fellow at the London-based Chatham House, believes that the North’s nuclear program is a “survival weapon vis-a-vis the U.S.” that also acts as a symbol of a modern powerful state. “While it does not pose a significant direct threat to the U.S., it does to Seoul and Japan. And in both places you have many American troops and civilians. Therefore, when Trump talks tough, he faces the same problem as his predecessors; namely, the cost of a conflict would be so great that it almost cannot be contemplated.”
Arab League chief condemns PM’s pledge to not evacuate settlements
Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit on Tuesday “strongly denounced” remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruling out any further evacuation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
“Abul Gheit considers this stance, which is utterly rejected, as something that cannot come from a person who seeks peace,” a statement from Gheit said.
At an event Monday celebrating 50 years of Israeli settlements in Samaria — the biblical name for the northern West Bank — Netanyahu told a crowd of thousands, “We are here to stay forever. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the land of Israel.”
“This is the inheritance of our ancestors,” he said. “This is our land.’
He also stressed the dangers Israel would face if it withdrew from the West Bank, a key demand of the Palestinians in any future peace deal.
Israel Didn’t Lose by Removing Metal Detectors at the Temple Mount
Following a terrorist attack at the Temple Mount last month, Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance to the site, then removed them after Palestinian demonstrations and riots. Critics of the decision called it a dangerous concession that rewarded violence and empowered the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. They also cited the official visit of Jordan’s king to Ramallah in the midst of the crisis as further bolstering Abbas’s standing, especially since Jordan joined in requesting the removal of the metal detectors. But Yaakov Amidror argues that Israel acted judiciously:
Israel is strong enough to deny Jordan’s requests for certain arrangements on the Temple Mount, but will its interests be better served by doing so and thereby prompting Palestinian riots that destabilize the Jordanian king’s regime? The logical answer is “no,” which is why Israel did well to grant the Jordanian request and ease pressure on its ally in the war on terror.
The real test [for Israel lies] not in placing metal detectors on the Temple Mount and plunging the area into chaos, but rather in devising a rational and thorough plan to counter the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, which is really just the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood [and the primary instigator of the violence]. For too many years, the organization, outlawed in 2015, has been allowed to do whatever it wants on the Temple Mount, and the time has come to stop it. No one in Jordan or the Palestinian Authority would shed a tear if Israel curbs the movement and undermines its appeal.
Palestinians slam Israeli decision to allow MKs on Temple Mount
The Palestinians slammed Israel’s decision to allow lawmakers to enter the Temple Mount for the first time in two years and appealed to the United Nations to protect the holy site from what they referred to as “storming” by Israeli Knesset members who were visiting there.
Speaking at a press conference with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday asked the international body to take “serious and active measures to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites from violations by the occupation and its settlers, especially in the shadow of continual incitement by the Israeli government in storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the most recent of which was the storming by Knesset members today.”
MKs Yehudah Glick (Likud) and Shuli Moalem Refaeli (Jewish Home) visited the compound earlier Tuesday in a government-approved move, marking the first time Jewish lawmakers were allowed to enter the site since October 2015, when the government barred MKs from going there as part of an attempt to reduce tensions amid a wave of terror attacks against Israelis that was linked to the flashpoint site.
Hamdallah accused Israel of “schemes to divide [the Temple Mount] in both space and time.” He called on the UN to enforce the July decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization’s World Heritage Council (UNESCO) that characterized the Al-Aqsa Mosque as being of “pure Islamic heritage,” and to “force Israel not to change the status quo” at the site.
Jordan condemns ‘irresponsible’ visit of Jewish MKs to Temple Mount
Jordan condemned a visit by two Jewish lawmakers to the Temple Mount on Tuesday, saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to allow a one day “trial” for Knesset members to enter the flashpoint holy site for the first time in nearly two years was “irresponsible.”
“The decision of the Israeli Prime Minister to lift the ban on visits by members of the Knesset to the Al-Aqsa Mosque is an irresponsible decision that will increase tension and lead to an escalation in this place that is holy for all Muslims around the world,” Jordanian government spokesperson Mohammad Momani said in a statement carried by Jordan’s official new outlet Petra.
MKs Yehuda Glick (Likud) and Shuli Moalem Refaeli (Jewish Home) visited the compound earlier Tuesday, marking the first Jewish lawmakers had visited the site since October 2015, when the government barred MKs from going there as part of an attempt to reduce tensions amid a wave of terror attacks against Israelis that was linked to the flash-point site.
Momani warned that the visit by the two MK could set back peace efforts just as the US is in the midst of a new push to jumpstart talks.
Palestinian charged over Petah Tikva stabbing attack
A Palestinian man was charged with attempted murder on Wednesday for allegedly carrying out a stabbing terror attack in the central city of Petah Tikva last month, the army said.
According to the indictment, on July 24, Mansour Khatib, 21, stabbed an Arab Israeli man in the neck, wounding him moderately to severely, at a shwarma stand in the city center. The terrorist then fled on foot, but was eventually stopped by a local pizzeria worker who helped subdue him by hitting him with a wooden pizza tray.
“He stabbed a civilian multiple times until he was seriously wounded, and after thinking that he’d succeeded in killing him, [Khatib] continued on to another person,” the army said in a statement.
It appeared as though his choice of victim, an Arab Israeli man, was a case of mistaken identity, according to police.
The military prosecutor charged Khatib with attempted murder and with entering Israel illegally in order to carry out a terror attack.
Illegal weapons factory discovered in Samaria
On Tuesday night, the IDF, Shabak (Israel Security Agency), and Border Police searched Judea and Samaria and found several weapons.
In the Menasheh Region's Kafr Tzur, security forces found two homemade weapons. In the Efraim Region's Kafr Abbush, they found an illegal weapons factory and M-16 rifles, and in Kafr Azzun they found M-16 rifles. Security forces also found weapons in the Etzion Region's Beit Fajjar, but did not disclose the types.
All of these towns are Arab, with no Jews living there. Security forces gathered additional findings and confiscated all of the weapons.
Also on Tuesday night, the IDF, Shabak, and Border Police arrested sixteen wanted terrorists. According to the IDF, 15 of the terrorists are suspected of "lone wolf" terror activities, disruptions, and violence against civilians and security personnel.
Watch: US envoy tours Israeli hospital treating Syrian victims
US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt toured Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat Tuesday.
Greenblatt met with administrators, health care professionals and Syrian patients who are treated at the hospital as part of Operation Good Neighbor.
Dr. Salman Zarka, the Director General of Ziv Medical Center, told Greenblatt about the hospital's treatment of Syrians injured in their country's civil war.
"We are providing medical support to the Syrian people," Dr. Zarka explained. "It's really a very unique humanitarian aid to what -maybe still - used to be our sworn enemy. The Syrian people are coming to the border. The military forces, the medical corps of the IDF provide medical support at the border and then evacuate the wounded to Ziv hospital."
"We have been doing so for more than four years. We have treated already more than 3,000 Syrian people," he added.
Who made Mahmoud Abbas the big boss? (We did)
He’s a man without a country, and yet people kowtow to his every word. He’s a Holocaust denier and yet Jewish leaders can’t do enough to please him.
Unless I’m reading it wrong…or reading all the wrong papers…when Mahmoud Abbas says jump, the world says how high.
In a perfect world he’d be public enemy number one. He is in fact a murderer and terrorist and he pays his people to kill Jews.
Who died and made him king? We did. Other than that, he is nothing.
Even knowing all that, US envoys Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner met with him the other day -- as if a low-life bum like that really deserves some kind of “summit” -- and walked away thrilled that he’s willing to stick with the “peace process,” but only if the United States and Israel meet his “conditions.”
I can’t believe I’m reading this. How does a dirty rat like that get to where he gives the orders?
Hamas Leader Says Relations With Iran ‘Fantastic,’ Vows to Liberate ‘Palestine’
Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas terror group’s recently elected political leader in Gaza, said on Monday that his organization has fully restored relations with Iran and was making preparations for the next war with Israel.
Iran is now “the largest backer financially and militarily” of Hamas, Sinwar told reporters in his first meeting with the media since assuming his new position. Together with the Iranians, Hamas is building up its military capability and preparing for “the liberation of Palestine,” he said.
Sinwar also emphasized that the recently renewed relations with Iran are “fantastic,” and have returned to the “former era” of close ties between Hamas and the Islamic Republic.
The terror chief’s comments follow Iran’s hosting of a Hamas delegation in Tehran in August. The warming relations come as Hamas faces increasing international isolation and a dispute with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
US official blasts deal that moved Islamic State fighters from Lebanon border
A US official on Wednesday blasted a deal that led to the evacuation of hundreds of Islamic State group fighters and civilians from the Lebanon-Syria border to areas close to Iraq, saying the extremists should be killed on the battlefield.
The evacuation agreement, the first such publicized deal, had already angered many Iraqis who accused Syria and Lebanon’s Hezbollah of dumping the militants on the Iraqi border rather than eradicating them.
The top US envoy for the international coalition against IS, Brett McGurk, tweeted on Wednesday that IS “terrorists should be killed on the battlefield, not bused across #Syria to the Iraqi border without #Iraq’s consent.” McGurk added that the anti-IS coalition will help ensure that “these terrorists can never” enter Iraq.
Lebanese troops launched an attack against IS on August 18 while Syrian troops and Hezbollah fighters launched a simultaneous offensive from the Syrian side of the border. Once IS extremists were squeezed over the weekend in a small part of the border area they agreed to a ceasefire.
Lebanon has defended its stance of not totally crushing IS saying that the evacuation of IS militants from the area helped in revealing the fate of nine soldiers that the extremists kidnapped in 2014.
Jordan, Iraq Reopen Only Border Crossing
Jordan and Iraq on Wednesday reopened their only border crossing, saying security had been restored three years after the Islamic State group seized control of frontier areas.
In a joint statement, the two countries’ governments said the crossing, called Turaibil in Iraq and Al-Karameh in Jordan, was reopened after it was “secured… against attacks by criminal gangs”.
The border crossing is part of a crucial route linking the Iraqi and Jordanian capitals, and its reopening comes after Iraqi forces managed to retake most of the territory seized by IS in 2014.
The route passes through the vast desert province of Anbar, where IS maintains some of its last bastions, including the towns of Rawa, Aanah and Al-Qaim, more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of the border post.
Three Americans Denounce Iranian Court Rulings Reaffirming Their ‘Spying’ Convictions
Attorneys for three prisoners with strong U.S. ties are denouncing an Iranian appeals court ruling reaffirming their convictions on spying charges.
The three prisoners—two U.S. citizens and one U.S. permanent resident—reiterated their innocence through their lawyers and are accusing Tehran of detaining them and treating them brutally solely because they are Americans.
An Iranian appeals court informed the prisoners' families over the weekend that the charges against them had been affirmed.
All three face 10-year sentences on espionage charges. They were separately detained in the fall of 2015 after the deal aimed at rolling back Iran’s nuclear program cleared a major hurdle in Congress and the two sides were working through final details before implementation.
An attorney for Nizar Zakka, a U.S. permanent resident and Lebanese citizen who was invited to Iran to speak to an information technology conference, said Tehran is using his client and other U.S. and Western prisoners as "political pawns in international politics."
"It's wrong and inhumane," said Jason Poblete, Zakka’s attorney.
"Nizar was invited and given a visa. Nizar was kidnapped, and then Nizar was falsely accused of espionage," he said. "It appears that he was targeted for capture so that it coincided during a critical time of the [nuclear deal] negotiations."
Erdogan's Bodyguards Indicted For Role In Attack On Peaceful Protesters
A federal grand jury has indicted 19 Turkish security officials and supporters of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for their roles in attacking peaceful protesters outside of the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. on May 16.
Fifteen of the defendants are bodyguards and Turkish police officers who work for Erdogan. Four others are private citizens who support the authoritarian leader.
The violence kicked off just after Erdogan arrived at the residence during his first visit to the U.S. following President Trump’s election. A group of Erdogan’s bodyguards launched the attack, and a smaller group of private supporters joined in. The Erdogan supporters punched and kicked the protesters, who numbered between 10 and 20. Nine people were injured in the melee.
One of Erdogan’s bodyguards, first identified by The Daily Caller as Ismail Dalkiran, was seen choking a Kurdish woman and threatening to kill her. Another man, a Turkish-American citizen named Eyup Yildirim, was seen on video kicking another woman and an older Kurdish man. (RELATED: Here’s The Erdogan Henchman Who Choked A Woman Outside Turkish Embassy)
The woman, Lucy Usobyn, was rendered unconscious during the attack. She told TheDC that she suffered a minor head injury during the blitz.
POLITICAL ISLAM HAS BROUGHT DESTRUCTION AND WAR TO THE ARAB WORLD





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