Wednesday, November 15, 2017

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: Back to Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations? – Some Basic Truths
Any genuine and serious peace negotiating plan for Israel and the Palestinians should naturally be seen as a welcome alternative to the present situation of impasse in the peace process. However, the American peace plan should not be overestimated or idealized by exaggerated media hype and political manipulation.

To succeed, there is the necessity to correct many of the existing factors that are presently feeding an atmosphere of hatred, distrust, and suspicion among the political leaderships and general publics of the two sides.

First and foremost, the ongoing Palestinian diplomatic offensive against Israel is incompatible with any claim by the Palestinian leadership that it desires peace with Israel or that it intends to return to any negotiating mode.

Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership repeatedly deny both the historic rights of the Jewish people as well as the very right of Israel to exist. They cannot claim that they are willing to negotiate and live in peace with Israel, while at the same time openly denying the very right of Israel, the other party to any bona fide negotiation, to exist.

They cannot pretend to be open to reestablishing a neighborly relationship with Israel while, at the same time, deliberately discouraging any existing efforts at normalization of relations with Israelis. Their "denormalization" policy is anathema to any idea of developing good neighborliness between the two peoples for their mutual benefit.

The Palestinian-generated international BDS campaign aimed at harming and undermining Israel economically and culturally through boycotts and social propaganda is a further example of the very antithesis of any genuine intention to seek a peaceful mode of co-existence.

If Abbas and the Palestinian leadership genuinely intend to return to a negotiating mode with Israel, they cannot continuously and systematically alienate the Israeli public through incitement to terror and violence, false accusations, and hostile propaganda in violation of their Oslo Accord commitments.
Caroline Glick: Pining for fig leaves
Netanyahu said that he holds the Iranian-supported Hamas regime in Gaza responsible for any attacks against Israel emanating from its territory.

Netanyahu’s statement was notable since just last week Hamas and Fatah began implementing their power sharing arrangement in Gaza. Fatah forces, controlled by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, supposedly took responsibility for border crossings between Gaza and Israel.

By insisting that Hamas is responsible rather than Fatah, despite the agreement, Netanyahu signaled that as far as Israel is concerned, through its power- sharing deal with Fatah Hamas has succeeded in becoming the Palestinian version of Hezbollah. Just as Hezbollah pretends to be a faction in Lebanese politics, when in fact it controls all aspects of the Lebanese state, so Hamas remains in charge of all aspects of governance in Gaza while using the PA as a fig leaf.

This brings us back to Miller, Sokolsky and Malley and their pining for a reset button.

It is hard to view their positions as the basis for forging constructive US policies for the region, transformed by eight years of US appeasement of Iran at the expense of its allies and interests.

Insisting that Mohammed abandon the steps he has taken to expand the prospects of Saudi survival in favor of a policy of pretending that a stable equilibrium can be struck between Iran and Saudi Arabia (and Israel) is not a policy for restoring equilibrium.

Putting Hariri back in office in Beirut so he can continue to serve as a fig leaf for Hezbollah and Iran is not a policy for restoring equilibrium. They are both means for pretending reality away while enabling Iran to wage a continuous war against America’s allies with ever greater power and capacity.

It makes sense that Obama partisans are unhappy with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed. It makes sense that they are unhappy with Netanyahu and with Trump. All four of these leaders are impudently insisting on basing their policies on recognizing the reality Obama spent his two terms ignoring: Iran is not appeasable.
Ruthie Blum: Europe's Collusion in Palestinian Illegal Land Grab
It takes particular gall for European Union representatives to express "humanitarian" outrage at Israel for razing illegal structures in the West Bank -- while the EU is in league with Palestinian criminals who have been brazenly stealing Arab-owned land.

There has been massive "behind-the-scenes" Palestinian construction, the goal of which is "to create irreversible facts on the ground," and completely encircle Jerusalem. Once the buildings – which "do not meet even the most minimum standards required by engineers, architects and housing planners" – are erected, the apartments are sold cheaply ($25,000-$50,000), to guarantee they are purchased and populated quickly.

If there is any debt to pay here, it is not Israel's to Europe, but the other way around. Belgium and the rest of the EU should be embracing its natural ally, the democratic Jewish state, against all forces that support and perpetrate violence, while rejecting peace.



PMW: Is Belgium misleading the international community, continuing to support PA schools?
In September, Palestinian Media Watch exposed that a PA school built using money from the Belgium government was named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who led the murder of 37 civilians. Shortly after PMW’s exposure, Didier Vanderhasselt, a spokesperson for the Belgian Foreign Ministry, responded that Belgium “unequivocally condemns the glorification of terrorist attacks,” and “will not allow itself to be associated with the names of terrorists in any way.” He added that “in the meantime Belgium will put on hold any projects related to the construction or equipment of Palestinian schools.” [The Algemeiner, Oct. 7, 2017]

Following the Belgian announcement, the official PA daily reported that Belgian and PA officials would meet on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, to discuss the issue.

However, on the very same day that the meeting was scheduled for, Donia Al-Watan, an independent Palestinian news agency, reported that Eric De Muynck, a representative of the Belgian Development Cooperation Institution, participated in the inauguration of a new PA school named “Defiance 6 School.” [Donia Al-Watan, Oct. 18, 2017]

The name “Defiance 6 School” was given to the school in reference to the fact that the previous structures that housed the school were recently destroyed by Israel, since they were erected in Area C without the relevant building permits. The PA therefore built the new school to “defy” Israel.

Congressmen: U.S. Ceding Syria to Iran, Causing Rift With Israel
A large, bipartisan delegation of lawmakers warned the Trump administration on Tuesday that its regional policies are laying the groundwork for Iran to takeover Syria, according to a letter sent to the State Department that urged the administration to present Congress with a plan for combating the Islamic Republic's foothold in the war torn country.

Nearly 50 members of Congress who recently returned from a trip to the Middle East warned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Syria is falling into Iran's hands, a situation that has caused anxiety among Israeli leaders, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The two-page letter includes intelligence that Iran is using Syria to establish weapons factories that arm the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. If the United States does not take immediate action to combat Iran’s presence in Syria it is likely to establish a permanent military foothold in the country, which would endanger U.S. troops and allies such as Israel.

The letter comes as many in Congress on both sides of the aisle have begun to express concerns about what they say is the Trump administration's failure to effectively combat Iran's growing military foothold across the Middle East, including in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and elsewhere.

The situation has become so pressing that Congress is requesting the Trump administration present it with a concrete plan to combat Iran's growing military foothold in Syria, according to the latest letter.

"Should Iran be allowed to maintain a permanent military presence in Syria, it would pose a significant threat to Israel, Jordan, and United States interests," the delegation of more than 40 lawmakers wrote. "A permanent Iranian presence in Syria would connect Lebanon-based Hezbollah to Iran via Iraq and Syria. This would give Iran the ability to project power from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea."

"Any agreement or policy that allows Iran to station forces on or near Israel and Jordan's border does not serve U.S. interests," the letter stated.
Text of Letter by 43 Congressmen on Iranian Presence in Syria (PDF)


Modern antisemitism courtesy of the UN


Palestinian Authority Denies Reports of Saudi Ultimatum to Abbas to Accept US Peace Deal or Resign
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has denied reports that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was presented with an ultimatum by Saudi Arabia to accept a peace deal outlined by the Trump administration or to resign from his position.

In addition to the Saudi demand to “accept Trump’s peace plan or quit,” Abbas was also told that he and other Fatah party officials must distance themselves from Iran and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

“We completely reject the Israeli report. This is not true at all. Abbas’ meeting in Saudi Arabia was a positive one,” a Fatah spokesman, Osama Qawasmeh, told Al Jazeera.

“The Saudis expressed support for the Palestinian position, which is a two-state solution built on the June 1967 borders, in line with international law. They also expressed support for the Palestinian reconciliation. Our position and the Saudi position are aligned,” he said.

Reports of the Saudi pressure followed Abbas’s unplanned visit to Saudi Arabia last week to meet with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
New York Times Hurls an Adjective at a Palestinian Leader
The New York Times’ practice of hurling adjectives at Israeli politicians and pro-Israel Americans has been criticized here.

But sometimes the Times journalism is just bad journalism, not biased journalism. So in fairness to the Times, it’s worth noting that the newspaper has also hurled a not-exactly-favorable adjective — actually, a present participle — at the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

A front-page news article in Sunday’s Times by Peter Baker reported, “Abbas is aging.”

That is hardly news to careful readers of the Times.

A September 1, 2015, dispatch from Ramallah by Jodi Rudoren reported, “Mahmoud Abbas, the aging Palestinian president, may be paving the way for his exit from political life — or he may be trying to consolidate power by crippling all his rivals. “

A March 14, 2016, Times staff editorial described Abbas as “a weak and aging leader who has given up on peace.”

An April 17, 2017, dispatch from Jerusalem by Ian Fisher said Abbas “is aging and unpopular.”

And an October 10, 2017, report from Jerusalem by Isabel Kershner referred again to “the aging and unpopular Mr. Abbas.”
Israel and Mexico: A success story
Mexico, a key nation in the Western Hemisphere and a major player in the exclusive G-20 club, has announced that it is changing the way it has tended to vote on issues relating to Israel. In the past, Mexico would automatically vote with the Arab bloc, and its representatives stuck their hands in their air against Israel with annoying uniformity. From now on, Mexico will abstain from votes or support Israeli positions in international forums. There is no doubt that the aid we sent to Mexico after the recent earthquake helped strengthen bilateral relations. But the real reason for Mexico's about-face runs much deeper and is far more significant.

For decades, Israel has excelled at security but passed up (mostly for objective reasons) any attempt to join the big players in the international arena. We needed big patrons – especially the U.S. – to provide us with coverage and protect us against nonmilitary attacks. Little by little, and without most Israelis even noticing, an exciting process has gotten underway. In recent years, our country has turned into a superpower in many fields: economics, research, development, and more.

But even more important: Our leaders, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were able to harness our new capabilities and turn them into diplomatic power. Israel has ceased to be a passive player, lacking initiative and reliant on the kindness of others. Rather than close ourselves off in a position of diplomatic defense, we've started to look for ways to reach out to a lot of countries that never gave us a thought in the past. Building bridges with the awakening powers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America was the right move, and it is already bearing fruit.
Ben-Dror Yemini: The hypocrisy of canceling Hotovely’s Princeton
A Jewish group called Alliance of Jewish Progressives (AJP) organized a petition accusing Hotovely of “stating her opposition to a Palestinian state” and “repeatedly making racist statements.” The Hillel people panicked and canceled the speech, which was eventually delivered at the Chabad center in Princeton. Attendance was impressive, perhaps in protest of the silencing. Hillel International President Eric Fingerhut soon came to his senses and issued an apology to Hotovely.

I swear that my political opinions on the settlements are the exact opposite of Hotovely’s opinions, but I haven’t found a hint of racism in her comments. Hotovely issued a statement claiming that “there is a liberal dictatorship ruling here, which prevents American students from hearing a representative of the Israeli government … Instead of giving a young American a chance to hear a variety of opinions, a narrow mindset prevents him from doing so.”

Another attempt was made to cancel Hotovely’s speech at Columbia University, which was held as planned early last week. The Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) organization tried to prevent Hotovely’s speech at New York University, arguing that the deputy foreign minister is denying the Palestinians' right to an independent state. Hotovely, by the way, is in favor of an annexation that will lead to the bestowment of citizenship.

That’s interesting. The Kurds’ right to an independent state has supporters and opponents. Similar disputes are taking place concerning Tibet and Western Sahara, as well as Catalonia these days. Are political opinions a reason for boycotting someone?

Last spring, the same organization trying to silence Hotovely, JVP, hosted Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist who is about to be deported from the United states after entering the country deceitfully. Odeh is calling for Israel’s destruction just like the BDS leaders are denying the state’s right to exist. Has it ever crossed these activists’ mind that there’s something wrong with their rules of ethics? Don’t make them laugh. Anti-Semites have no rules of ethics, even if they’re Jewish.
Chilean presidential candidate calls Israel ‘a threat to world peace’
A candidate in Chile’s upcoming presidential election declared Israel “a threat to world peace.”

Eduardo Artes, leader of the leftist Patriotic Union party, made the comment in an interview broadcast Friday with Chile’s HispanTV. He also pledged that as president he would conduct a comprehensive review of his country’s relations with the Jewish state.


“The treaties that Chile currently maintains with the Israeli Zionist entity in military, police, economic and cultural terms must all be reviewed in a patriotic and popular government, since they clearly damage our independence,” Artes said.

“We are going to study all our relations with the Zionist entity because they are relations that generally harm world peace, not only the peace and survival of the Arab peoples, particularly the Palestinian people in the Middle East.”

Artes spoke days before Chile’s presidential, parliamentary and regional council elections, which are slated for November 19.

Artes is not expected to win enough votes to make it to the second round of voting.
Lebanese patriarch makes historic visit to Saudi Arabia
Lebanon's Christian Maronite Patriarch arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday, with his historic visit to the kingdom under even greater scrutiny amid serious political tensions between the countries.

Patriarch Beshara al-Rai heads the Maronite church, which has a presence in Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus and follows an Eastern rite of the Roman Catholic church. Maronites number about 900,000 in Lebanon, around a quarter of the population.

An official visit to Saudi Arabia by such a senior figure marks a rare act of religious openness for Riyadh, which hosts the holiest sites in Islam and bans the practice of other religions, but says it wants to open up more to the world.

During his visit, Rai is expected to meet King Salman, his son and heir-apparent, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Saad al-Hariri, who has been in Riyadh since resigning as Lebanese prime minister on Nov. 4.

Top Lebanese government officials and senior sources close to Hariri believe Saudi Arabia coerced Hariri into resigning and has put him under effective house arrest since he flew to Saudi Arabia more than a week ago.
Special report: Israel unprepared for terror, domestic drone threats
Israel is extremely unprepared to address the multiple threats presented by drones, either from cross-border terrorism or from unregulated and dangerous domestic use, the State Comptroller reported on Wednesday.

Regarding cross-border terrorism-style drone threats, Joseph Shapira said that the IDF “has not developed a complete response” and “needs to immediately carry out more preparatory work” to address the issue.

Shapira also wrote that “gaps exist in regulating drone use” domestically and that his report is highlighting those gaps “in order to improve the response to the threat and to reduce the danger” posed by that threat.

According to estimates from the Civil Aviation Authority, by the end of 2017 there will be a staggering 20,000 drones being operated domestically for a variety of business and recreational use. That number is expected to grow to many tens of thousands in only a few years. Globally, around one million drones are bought per year.

Drone use has expanded at a stunning rate as drones have become cheaper, easier to use and more widely available in local stores.

The comptroller jumped on this issue quickly, having noted that the state often lags behind in addressing developing threats stimulated by new technologies and concepts – such as its slow response to the Hamas tunnel threat.
In White House, Israeli widow laments payout to family of her husband's killer
An Israeli woman whose husband and other relatives were killed in a July terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish bemoaned this week to White House officials the expected financial reward to the family of the killer.

Michal Salomon’s husband, father-in-law and sister-in-law were brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist who broke into their home and stabbed members of the family as they ate Shabbat dinner.

She and her five children managed to escape, and shortly afterward the terrorist was shot dead by an off-duty soldier.

In a meeting with Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, Salomon “expressed dismay that the [family of the] terrorist would be receiving compensation from the Palestinian Authority for his action,” a senior White House official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.

Also in the meeting was National Security Council staffer Victoria Coates; Salomon’s father, Shlomo Dan Lando; her cousin Brian Zvi Lando; and her children — Avinoam, Reut, Amitay, Ariel, and Avishay.

Salomon’s comments came with the US Senate gearing up to vote on the Taylor Force Act, proposed legislation that would significantly cut US funding to the PA if it doesn’t discontinue the practice of paying monthly stipends to families of terrorists who kill Israelis.
IDF demolishes home of terrorist who killed 3 in Har Adar
IDF soldiers and border police entered the Palestinian village of Bayt Surik early Wednesday and blew up the home of the terrorist who shot dead three Israelis in the nearby Israeli settlement of Har Adar in September.

The military did not tear down the entire building, instead destroying only Jamal’s apartment. Often, the military carries out such demolitions with heavy engineering equipment, but in this case, the army used explosive charges to blow up the rooms.

On the morning of Tuesday, September 26, the 37-year-old Jamal approached the rear entrance of the Har Adar, a settlement that lies just beyond the Green Line in the hills northwest of Jerusalem, with a group of Palestinian laborers. When he was called to stop, he removed a stolen handgun from his shirt and opened fire at the Israeli security officers guarding the gate.

One Border Police officer, Solomon Gavriyah, 20, and two private security guards — Youssef Ottman, 25, of the nearby Arab Israeli town of Abu Ghosh, and Or Arish, 25, of Har Adar — were killed in the attack. The settlement’s security coordinator, Amit Steinhart, was wounded.

Jamal was shot dead by security forces at the scene.

Already on the next day, the IDF took measurements of Jamal’s home, which is the first step taken ahead of a demolition, and a week later they presented his family members with a demolition order.
Attorney general okays seizure of private Palestinian land for outpost road
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit approved the expropriation of private Palestinian land for the building of an access road to an illegal West Bank outpost, in an unprecedented legal opinion on Wednesday.

Established without government approval in 1995, the Haresha outpost, in the Binyamin region near the settlement of Talmon, had been ordered to cease construction in 2005 following a High Court of Justice petition by the Peace Now settlement watchdog.

But following a legal decision last month made by now-retired Supreme Court justice Salim Joubran, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked asked that the state’s opinion on Haresha be updated.

Responding to a petition regarding the legality of establishing a temporary living area for the evacuees of the Amona outpost while they wait for the new Amichai settlement to be built for them, Joubran ruled that abandoned private Palestinian land could be seized for the grounds as long as the original owners are compensated.

Under the military’s jurisdiction, Joubran described settlers as a protected population that the army is expected to care for through the paving of roads, for example. The unique status of the Amona evacuees superseded the legal problems that arise from the seizure of private Palestinian land, Joubran ruled.
Palestinian reconciliation falters as Gaza crossing with Egypt stays shut
Thousands of Palestinians hoping to exit the Gaza Strip on Wednesday through the border with Egypt will have to continue to wait.

“We don’t have any information about when Rafah border will reopen again,” Nazmi Muhanna, in charge of border crossings for the Palestinian Authority, told AFP.

The Palestinian Authority retook control of Gaza’s border crossings on November 1, following an Egyptian-mediated reconciliation deal between PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and the Hamas terror group.

The day the PA retook control of Gaza’s crossings, it announced the Rafah crossing with Egypt would be permanently reopened on November 15, after years of Cairo allowing only intermittent exit through the vital passageway.

The PA is supposed to retake full civil control of the Gaza Strip by December 1, ending 10 years of Hamas rule over the enclave.

The hold-up at the border is apparently due to ongoing disagreements between the PA and Hamas over security arrangements in the Strip.
Israel offers quake help to Iran, Iraq, but immediately turned down
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday offered humanitarian assistance to the victims of the devastating earthquake that has killed hundreds in Iran and Iraq, but was immediately rebuffed.

Netanyahu told a gathering of North American Jewish leaders that Israel had offered the aid via the Red Cross, following Sunday’s magnitude 7.3 quake that killed at least 530 people in Iran and several people in Iraq, and injured thousands across the region.

“I just saw the pictures of the destruction in Iran and Iraq from this week’s earthquake. And I saw these heartbreaking images of men and women and children buried under the rubble. So I am proud to announce tonight that a few hours ago I directed that we offer the Red Cross medical assistance for the Iraqi and Iranian victims of this disaster,” Netanyahu told the Jewish Federations of North America’s annual General Assembly in Los Angeles, via videoconference.

“I’ve said many times that we have no quarrel with the people of Iran,” he added. “Our quarrel is only with the tyrannical regime that holds them hostage and threatens our destruction. But our humanity is greater than their hatred. Israel continues to be a light unto the nations and this is what I am proud of. And all of you can be proud of Israel’s morals, and Israel’s might.”

An official in Netanyahu’s office said, however, the offer was immediately rejected.

“This shows the true face of the Iranian regime,” the official said.
Analysis of the IAEA’s Eighth Iran Nuclear Deal Report: The JCPOA two years after Adoption Day
This report and its predecessors are deficient in reporting on the verification and monitoring of the JCPOA overall, including Section T, which entails additional Iranian declarations and access to Iranian military sites associated with banned nuclear weapons development activities and associated, controlled dual-use equipment. The continued inclusion in the IAEA’s reports of a statement that it is verifying and monitoring Section T is at odds with Director General Amano’s remarks to Reuters in September that the agency requires more guidance on how to implement Section T and to The Financial Times in November that it would be positive if Iran made a declaration of all its equipment under Section T. Amano also stated to The Financial Times that Section T does not entail access to sites where potential equipment covered by the provision are located, which would likely include military sites in Iran. This statement is at odds with the text of Section T which implies monitoring must take place as part of verifying Joint Commission approvals concerning Section T equipment or activities. How such monitoring would occur without access to military sites is a mystery. Although the IAEA may be verifying Section T, it is unable to know if Iran is meeting the conditions of Section T or in fact violating these conditions.

The report also does not discuss the IAEA’s visits to a number of sites under complementary access arrangements provided in Iran’s Additional Protocol (AP) to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA). The IAEA still has not pushed for access to military sites in Iran where military-related nuclear activities are alleged to have taken place. Following criticism after IAEA officials stated to the media that the agency has not visited military sites in Iran since Implementation Day to verify the absence of military-nuclear related activities and to inspect sites previously associated with such activities, the IAEA appears to have inserted a pointed comment in this report regarding its complementary accesses in Iran. It states that it has had access to the sites it “needed to visit.” The IAEA overall appears to again be making a limited interpretation of its mandate to verify the JCPOA in what must be viewed as a stunning reversal of safeguards practices applied in countries such as South Africa and Taiwan, where it has periodically revisited sites associated with past nuclear weapons work, setting aside Section T requirements. The IAEA’s stance on this issue in Iran is likely to be to the detriment of both the verification and future of the JCPOA. It may also be to the detriment of future arms control agreements and monitoring efforts involving states such as North Korea, where a permanent end to its pathways to the bomb would be sought along with ensured access to military sites. Overall, the JCPOA suffers from the general problem of having time-bound nuclear limitations on Iran’s pathways to the bomb and inadequate access to Iran’s military sites, weaknesses that should be avoided in any agreement with North Korea.

In general, the IAEA should report much more fully to member states on Iranian nuclear activities under the JCPOA. Director General Amano claimed on November 6 at a Wilson Center conference, “IAEA at 60,” that UNSCR 2231 somehow relegates the Iran nuclear issue to being subject to the IAEA’s standard confidentiality practices with regard to reporting. This claim is unfounded. Nothing in the resolution specifies reduced reporting; moreover, Iran needs to prove its adherence to this agreement and the international community writ large should have access to the fullest reporting in order to make independent assessments.
Russian Defense Ministry Uses Video Game Screenshot as ‘Proof’ of U.S. Helping ISIS
The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday accused U.S. military forces of cooperating with the Islamic State against Syrian troops, but its evidence was a screenshot from a video game.

The Facebook post included five pictures purporting to be evidence of U.S. actions, and one of them was a screenshot from the mobile phone video game "AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron," the Guardian reported. Investigators at Conflict Intelligence Team, which checks the accuracy of the Russian military's claims, pointed out the video game screenshot and also determined that the other photos were from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in 2016.

"Twitter users quickly found out that 4 out of 5 ‘drone photos’ were actually taken from videos released by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence in June 2016, showing the Iraqi Air Force bombing IS near Fallujah," Conflict Intelligence Team wrote in a post. "Another photo was taken from a mobile game ‘AC-130 Gunship Simulator: Special Ops Squadron.'"
Zimbabwe: Jewish leaders instruct community to stay indoors amid coup
Leaders of Zimbabwe's Jewish community have instructed members of the tiny community to stay indoors following the military coup, Israel's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

According to a statement released by the ministry, there are currently 170 Jews and 50 Israelis in the country: 108 of them are in the capital city of Harare and 64 in the city of Bulawayo.

They were advised by the local Jewish community council to stay indoors and as of now all appeared to be safe.

Israel's ambassador in Pretoria, South Africa, is in constant communication with the community.

Members of the Jewish community declined to discuss the situation with The Jerusalem Post, but one member of the Bulawayo community remarked that they were glad the situation had thus far been quiet and peaceful.

"Nobody really knows what's happening," he said, as the situation was still unfolding, but he expressed hope that it would continue to be peaceful.

Despite the tiny size of Bulawayo's Jewish community, they manage to get a minyan together every Friday night.




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