Sunday, December 17, 2017

From Ian:

Matti Friedman: The ties that bind Jerusalem
Different religions have their own holy sites in Jerusalem, the city where I've spent my entire adult life. The place I believe to be among the most important, however, is a grubby swath of garages, welding shops and furniture stores known as the Talpiot industrial zone. The zone is sacred to no one and unknown to tourists or foreign correspondents. It's a short walk from my street, so I spend a lot of time there – the industrial zone is where you can find the best hardware store, the cheapest supermarkets, my barber and stores selling balloons for birthday parties, model airplanes or anything else you could ever need.

When President Donald Trump announced on Dec. 6 that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy here, Arab leaders called for "days of rage" and a chorus of Western observers predicted an explosion. The predictions were predictable; Jerusalem is always said to be on the brink of catastrophe, and headlines are always reporting "tensions."

The city is certainly volatile, considering: the proximity of sites holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews, all under Israeli control; the fact that more than one-third of the city's residents are Palestinians, mostly Muslims, who aren't Israeli citizens and tend to see Israeli rule as illegitimate; and the city's existence in a region engulfed in a religious war. But what is truly interesting about Jerusalem is not the proximity of the brink, but the way the city's residents often refuse to play their part in the script by stepping off.

After Mr. Trump's announcement, amid warnings of "explosive" repercussions, I got e-mails from friends abroad, wondering whether I was worried, or whether I was safe. That Friday, a crowd of reporters gathered at the Old City's Damascus Gate to document the violence that was supposed to erupt. But little happened; the protesters were outnumbered by journalists, and everyone went home. There weren't spontaneous mass celebrations on the Jewish side or mass disturbances on the Arab side. The past week has been fairly normal.
PMW: Fatah calls for violence: "Strap on your weapon"
Posts on Fatah's Facebook page call for violence following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (Dec. 17, 2017)

The picture above of a hand holding an automatic weapon is part of Abbas' Fatah Movement's answer to US President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The poster calls for Palestinians to use violence:

Posted text: "Strap on your weapon over your wound, and tomorrow you will awaken to a morning of freedom #Rage_for_Jerusalem #Rage_for_Al-Aqsa_Mosque #Jerusalem_our_capital #Jerusalem_the_capital_of_Palestine
#HandsOffAlQuds"
Text on the image repeats the call to "strap on your weapon"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 14, 2017]

Other Fatah posts that appeared on Facebook called for riots and rock throwing, one example is this:
Posted text: "#Rage_for_Jerusalem #Rage_for_Al-Aqsa_Mosque #HandsOffAlQuds"
Text on image: "#Rage_for_Al-Aqsa_Mosque"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 14, 2017]

Palestinian Media Watch reported that Abbas' advisor in a televised sermon incited religious war following Trump's declaration:

Fatah called for rage in many similar posts.
US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump gave a speech formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and stating that he had instructed the State Department to begin preparations to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump concluded by stating that the US is still fully committed to the peace process in the Middle East. Following his speech, Trump signed the waiver to delay the transfer of the embassy, and apparently will continue to do so until preparations for the transfer have been completed.
Seth Frantzman: Could death of disabled activist mean new Palestinian icon?
Video of the disabled activist before his death show him with dozens of Palestinian protesters who set off on Friday toward the Israeli security fence that borders Gaza. He told an interviewer before the clashes that “this land is our land. We are not going to give up. America has to withdraw the declaration it has made.”

The IDF said that hundreds of Palestinians approached the border fence on Friday and threw stones. They were dispersed.

Photos showed Abu Thuraya being pushed on a wheelchair while advancing toward the border with the protesters, some of whom had slingshots and were throwing stones. Tear gas canisters landed around the rioters, and at some point he left his wheelchair behind, crawling through the grass. The footage, after he was shot, shows him being pushed while slumped in his wheelchair and then carried away.

Palestinians said he was shot in the head, and a Health Ministry spokesman in Gaza, Ashraf al-Kidra, claimed he was pronounced dead at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital as a result of his wounds.

On Saturday, photos showed his body carried on a stretcher through the streets after his death.

Comments on social media expressed outrage at his death.

He was “murdered” by the IDF, said social media users. He was unarmed, they pointed out, and did not pose a threat.



JCPA: Mahmoud Abbas vs. Donald Trump
Abbas Ignores Arab Advice

Abbas is in a combative mood. On December 12, 2017, the website Alkhaleej Online reported that he had “threatened to turn the tables on everyone” and reveal the names of the Arab and European states that helped Trump make his decision on declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital.

Abbas told Egypt’s President Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah that he would fight the Trump administration to the hilt in an effort to force Trump to retract his declaration on the Jerusalem issue.

Egypt and Jordan fear that Abbas’ desire to take revenge on the administration will hamstring their relations with the United States.

That explains why no emergency summit of the Arab states was convened in Jordan. In the three-way meeting between Sisi, Abbas, and Abdullah in Cairo, heated arguments reportedly broke out, according to a report on December 12, 2017, by Alkhaleej Online.

Abbas demanded that the Arab states take strong measures against the Trump administration, but encountered a very cold shoulder.

Sisi asked him to calm down and not take political or diplomatic measures that he would likely regret and that would exacerbate the crisis between him and Trump.

The Egyptian president told the PA chairman that he should leave the door open to the administration and let Trump present him with the new peace plan he is preparing; otherwise, Abbas stands to lose all his bargaining power.

Abbas, however, stood his ground, insisting on going all-out in his fight against the administration. The leaders of Egypt and Jordan completely rebuffed this approach, and the PA chairman went to Turkey to seek backing and assistance from Turkey, Qatar, and Iran.

The strategy Abbas is pursuing is likely to totally undercut the announcement of Trump’s diplomatic plan, which is expected at the beginning of the New Year.
David Singer: OIC in Legal Fantasyland over Trump, Jerusalem and Israel
The 57 member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are living in a legal fantasyland of their own creation where non-existent principles of international law supposedly apply.

The final communique issued by the OIC following its Extraordinary Summit held in Turkey on 13 December 2017 makes their flight into legal unreality crystal-clear:
1. OIC members pledged to take joint action on the basis of international law against the statement of President Trump recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Yet international law unreservedly recognises the sovereign right of each State to designate its capital and the sovereign right of other States to decide whether to recognise that State and to locate their Embassies in such capital.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act 1995 passed overwhelmingly by the United States Congress recognized and affirmed these long-established legal principles:
“Each sovereign nation, under international law and custom, may designate its own capital…
… Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
… The United States maintains its embassy in the functioning capital of every country except in the case of our democratic friend and strategic ally, the State of Israel.”

2. The OIC condemned the illegal settlement activities by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The “occupied Palestinian territories” are in fact “disputed territories” in international law where competing Jewish and Arab claims to sovereignty remain to be resolved.
No binding legal ruling exists to substantiate the OIC’s mendacious claim.
There is however territory-specific legislation that negates this OIC claim – namely article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

3. The OIC declared President Trump’s statement to be “null and void”.
The OIC acting as judge, jury and Lord High Executioner has deigned to tell an American President he cannot act in accordance with international law.


Dismissing international law by claiming it to be “null and void” has also been adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organization - whose Charter proclaimed that two cardinal planks in international law – the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate for Palestine and all that had been based on them were:
Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: Palestinian Leader Abbas Acting ‘Like a Spoiled Child’ on Jerusalem Recognition Issue
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has acted “like a spoiled child” following the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during an appearance on i24 News on Thursday.

Asked about pressure Abbas has faced from Arab countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia to backtrack on his cancellation of a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence during Pence’s Middle East visit this week, Dovid Efune noted, “I think it’s a symptom of the great evolutions we’re seeing taking place in the region. The Palestinians have not been blessed as a result of these evolutions…there are bigger fish to fry for just about everybody.”

“I’m not sure what he thinks he’s achieving…with this attitude,” Efune told “Crossroads” program hosts David Shuster and Shayna Estulin. “And the result, I can’t see how it’s going to be helpful in any way.”
PM applauds US for ‘pushing back’ against UN moves on Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised US President Donald Trump and his administration for “pushing back” against United Nations efforts to criticize Israel.

He was apparently referring to an impending Egypt-sponsored UN Security Council resolution to undermine the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which Washington was expected to veto.

At the weekly cabinet meeting, the prime minister hailed the US for its “leadership and determination in the defense of the truth of Israel,” the “decisiveness with which they are pushing back on the efforts to use the United Nations as a stage against Israel,” and for its public support.

His statement followed a report by the Reuters news agency on Saturday that the UN Security Council was considering a draft resolution that would nullify Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital earlier this month.
UN Security Council considering resolution to annul US Jerusalem decision
The United Nations Security Council is considering a draft resolution that would nullify US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Reuters reported Saturday.

According to the report, the one-page text, seen by the news agency, was drafted by Egypt and does not specifically mention the US or Trump.

Israeli envoy to the UN Danny Danon slammed the move as another Palestinian attempt to rewrite history.

“No vote or discussion can change the clear reality — Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, now and always. We will continue to fight for the historical truth, this time, together with our allies,” Danon said.

The report came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Muslim nations would ask the United Nations for an “annulment” of Trump’s December 6 decision.

It’s highly unlikely that any resolution would pass the Security Council, where the US is one of five permanent members with a veto. US Ambassador Nikki Haley is a staunch supporter of Israel, who has made eliminating UN bias against Israel a key goal. Haley praised Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as “the just and right thing to do.”


Palestinians won’t meet with Kushner, Greenblatt or any US officials on peace
The Palestinians will not meet with any United States officials regarding the peace process in the future, in response to US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a senior diplomatic adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told The Times of Israel on Sunday.

The open-ended boycott includes Trump’s top peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, who is due here this week, as well as the US leader’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

“No one from the American administration will be met to discuss peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, because the [PA] president was very clear on that,” said Majdi al-Khalidi, referring to Abbas’s speech at the Organization of Islamic Countries on Wednesday in Istanbul.

Khalidi added that Greenblatt, who is expected to arrive in the region amid violent protests over Trump’s announcement, did not request a meeting with the Palestinians, with whom he has met on numerous occasions in the past, Khalidi said.
New York Times: Western Wall Should Be Used As ‘Leverage’
The New York Times is perfectly entitled to muse over whether US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a good idea.

The NYTimes editorial on the subject goes further however.

Since when was the Western Wall “another piece of leverage” to be conceded?

Newsflash New York Times: The Western Wall won’t “eventually be declared part of Israel.” It’s already part of Israel and is the holiest site that Jews can pray. It doesn’t only abut “some of Islam’s most sacred sites.” Whether the NY Times likes it or not, the Western Wall happens to abut the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred site.

It’s not only the White House that expects the Western Wall to be part of Israel. Is there really anyone apart from the worst extremists who believes that the Western Wall won’t remain under Israeli control whether there is an agreement or not?
Corrected: EU Chief Never Said Tel Aviv is Israeli Capital
On December 12, The Independent published the following story relating to comments made by the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini concerning the status of Jerusalem.


We checked two press conferences given by Mogherini, one of them jointly with Israeli PM Netanyahu. Despite The Independent’s sub-header claiming that the EU was “continuing to recognize Tel Aviv as the capital,” not once did Mogherini mention Tel Aviv.

And, of course, the international community, including the EU, whether it recognizes Jerusalem’s status or not, does not recognize Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital.

Following our complaints, The Independent agreed.
Funeral held in Gaza for wheelchair-bound man killed in clashes
A funeral was held Saturday in the Gaza Strip for Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, a wheelchair-bound amputee who was killed during riots along the Gaza border Friday, Palestinians said.

The Israeli army has said it fired selectively on chief instigators during “extremely violent riots” along the border on Friday, in which a second Palestinian was also reported killed.

AFP said that Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, a regular feature at protests at the border, had lost his legs in a 2008 Israeli airstrike.

The unmarried 29-year-old lived at home with his parents and had been without regular work since a 2008 incident in which he lost his legs, the agency said.

“He was injured in 2008 by an Israeli helicopter that targeted him after he brought down the Israeli flag and raised the Palestinian flag along the border,” his brother Samir told AFP after his death was confirmed on Friday. “It did not stop him from demonstrating for Jerusalem. He went alone every day to the border.”

In video footage recorded early on Friday, Abu Thurayeh could be seen carrying the Palestinian flag and waving the victory sign at Israeli soldiers across the border.

“I want to go there,” he said, referring to the other side of the border, as a number of young men surrounding him waved Palestinian flags and others threw stones towards the troops. “This land is our land, we will not give up. America has to withdraw its decision,” he said in another video posted on social media.
Palestinian arrested outside West Bank military court with pipe bombs
A Palestinian man was arrested on Sunday while trying to enter a West Bank military court with two pipe bombs, police said.

The suspect, who was stopped by Border Police officers at the entrance to the Samaria Military Court, had a bomb strapped to his body, according to police.

Police confirmed the pipe bomb, which was destroyed by sappers, contained explosive material.

Sappers also defused a second pipe bomb, which along with a knife was found in the suspect’s coat.

Police said the entrance to the court had been closed and that the suspect, a 17-year-old resident of the Jenin refugee camp, was taken in for questioning following his arrest.

A police spokesperson praised “the vigilance of the soldiers who prevented an attack.”
Rocket fired at Israel hits Hamas official's home
A rocket fired at Israel Friday by terrorists in the Gaza Strip fell short and hit the home of a top Hamas official, Palestinian media reported.

According to reports, the projectile hit the Beit Hanoun home of Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri's brother, who is also a top operative with the terrorist group.

It was unclear from the report whether the rocket caused any injuries, or which terrorist group had fired the rocket.

In a Facebook post in Arabic, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai confirmed the details, stressing that in the Gaza Strip, terrorist organizations were first and foremost hurting the Palestinians themselves.

"This is another example of terrorist organizations launching rockets at residents of Gaza," he wrote. "Just a week ago, a classroom was destroyed at a public school in Beit Hanoun. Tonight, the home of the Masri family from Beit Hanoun sustained a severe hit as a result of a projectile fired by terrorists in Gaza. The terrorist groups in Gaza are proving unequivocally what we've been saying all along: They are destroying the Gaza residents' future with their own hands."
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinians Struggling To Keep Up With What Day Of Rage About This Time (satire)
Youths in the Palestinian-administered territories admitted uncertainty today regarding the specific offense they are meant to be resisting via violent protest, given the plethora of triggers under discussion in Arab media of late.

While international media have reported the latest Days of Rage as outgrowths of US President Donald Trump’s announcement that the country now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, local protesters appear less confident in the precision that description, as in recent months and years the list of developments used as pretexts for Palestinian outpourings of murderous riots has grown beyond the simple invocation of “Occupation” that once served the uncomplicated purpose.

Would-be rioters milled about the de facto Palestinian capital this morning attempting to arrive at a coherent, unified conception of the motive for going on a hoped-for deadly rampage against Jewish targets, meeting only mixed success. Several hundred did manage to perform their routine rock-, brick-, and firebomb-throwing at Israeli troops stationed just outside the city, but without the enthusiasm and single-minded purpose characteristic of a single-issue Day of Rage.

“I need to know what I’m trying to kill people for,” complained Ali Latdam, 20. “We always have the Occupation, but that’s kind of a general thing. Usually, when our leaders close schools, order merchants to close and go on strike, and foment unrest at a specific time and place, there’s a narrow focus for the rage. Is it still the Donald Trump thing? Did Israel put metal detectors back near Al Aqsa? Did they destroy another Hamas tunnel? Did a Palestinian get killed trying to stab somebody? Is some imprisoned terrorist in the midst of a declared hunger strike? Or is this just one of those we-need-to-get-our-people-out-into-the-street-and-distracted-by-Israel-so-they-don’t-notice-we’re-oppressing-them-and-robbing-them-blind riots? I’d like to know.”
Palestinian delegation cozies up to S. African ruling party at conference
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have sent representatives to attend and observe the 54th National Conference of South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, taking place in Johannesburg this week.

The country's ruling party will also decide on whether to downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel.

The Hamas politburo members, Muhammad Nazzal and Maher Obeid, said they want to observe the processes of democracy within the ANC and are especially interested in a debate at the conference regarding a recommendation from the ANC’s July policy conference, which proposed the downgrading of the South African embassy in Israel.

In a statement, Hamas said that following a meeting between senior Hamas and ANC leaders in 2015, the two parties have established a fraternal relationship and Hamas will join representatives of a number of other ANC partner organizations from around the world for the conference, which will elect new leadership, the Islamist organization said in a Friday press release.

Nazzal, who is heading up the Hamas delegation, said that “the ANC’s adoption of a resolution on downgrading, or shutting down, the South African embassy in Tel Aviv will take Palestinian solidarity to a new level."
Turkey’s Erdogan says he hopes to open embassy in East Jerusalem soon
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope on Sunday that Turkey would soon be able to open an embassy to a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, as he again denounced US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as the Israeli capital.

Erdogan has sought to lead Islamic condemnation of his US counterpart’s move, calling a summit of the leaders of Muslim nations last week in Istanbul who urged the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel after it gained control of the area in the 1967 Six Day War, in a move never recognized by the international community.

“Because it is under occupation we can’t just go there and open an embassy,” Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling party in the city of Karaman.

“But, (God willing) those days are near and… we will officially open our embassy there,” he said, without giving any precise timetable.
Demonstrators outside the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv in 2013 in solidarity with protesters in Taksim Square. (photo credit: Ricky Ben David/Times of Israel staff)

Turkey currently has a general consulate in Jerusalem. Ankara has full diplomatic ties with Israel, and like most other nations, its embassy is in Tel Aviv.
Danish nationals knifed in Gabon over Trump Jerusalem recognition
Two Danish nationals were wounded Saturday in a knife attack in Gabon’s capital apparently committed in retribution for “US attacks against Muslims,” a minister said.

The two men, who were working for the National Geographic channel, were stabbed while shopping in a market popular with tourists, said defense minister Etienne Massard, adding that the attack appeared to be politically motivated.

“According to the first testimonies at the scene, the assailant, a 53-year-old Nigerien man, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (“God is Greatest”) during the attack. He was arrested on the spot,” said Massard.

The man, who has lived in Gabon for 19 years, “in his first statements said he acted in retaliation for US attacks against Muslims and America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

The two victims were sent to a hospital in the capital Libreville, one in a serious condition, government spokesman Alain-Claude Bilie By Nze told AFP.

The Danish foreign ministry confirmed two nationals had been “wounded in Gabon” without giving any further details.
Indonesia clerics urge US boycott as 80,000 protest Jerusalem recognition
Muslim clerics have called for a boycott of American products in Indonesia’s largest protest against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Wearing white robes and carrying banners reading “Indonesia unites for Palestine,” an estimated 80,000 people rallied Sunday in the capital of the world’s largest Muslim nation in the 10th straight day of protests organized by the country’s top Muslim clerical body.

Anwar Abbas, a top cleric from the Indonesian Council of Ulema, read a petition calling on Indonesians to stop buying American products until Trump revoked his move.

“Don’t rely on their products,” he said, as the crowd including men, women and children responded by waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and shouting “boycott!”

Previous anti-American protests have unsuccessfully lobbied for a boycott of US goods.
Thousands rally in Pakistan against Trump’s Jerusalem move
Thousands of Islamists rallied Sunday in two major cities in Pakistan to condemn US President Donald Trump for declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital.

Supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in Karachi and advocates of US-wanted Islamist terrorist Hafiz Saeed in Lahore dispersed peacefully after rallying Sunday for the Palestinian cause.

Protests have persisted in Pakistan and Indonesia, which also saw a large protest Sunday, since Trump’s announcement angered Muslims across the world.

The chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, Sirajul Haq, called on all Muslim nations to suspend diplomatic ties with the US until it reconsiders its Jerusalem decision.

Saeed said that Muslims the world over should put aside any differences and unite around the cause of “liberating” Jerusalem.
Berlin police ban Israeli, US flags at pro-Palestinian demonstration
Berlin police have banned American and Israeli flags at a pro-Palestinian march, after flag burning at previous recent protests prompted outrage in Germany.

Police are also trying to crack down on anti-Semitic chants by having translators accompany the Friday march and record any illegal utterances.

Jewish leaders condemned anti-Israel and anti-Jewish chants during protests in Germany last weekend against the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Berlin police said the marchers Friday were warned in Arabic and German about restrictions, including the ban on flags.

Police said the march will be filmed, adding: "We will not tolerate forbidden utterances."
Another achievement for 'Palestine'
The Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Saturday elected “the State of Palestine” as a member of its bureau, the Palestinian Authority (PA) mission to the United Nations said, according to the WAFA news agency.

It said that the election comes only two years after the PA’s accession to the Rome Statute, which enabled it to become a member state of the ICC in 2015.

“This decision reflects the confidence of the States Parties in the State of Palestine’s ability to assume this position and responsibilities, despite of its recent membership,” said the delegation.

It also stated that all the States Parties have activated the ICC jurisdiction over the crime of aggression and accepted a definition that considers “the occupation” as a crime of aggression.

Riyad Mansour, the PA’s envoy to the UN, said that “the election of the State of Palestine as a member of the Bureau of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC was another step in consolidating the foundation of the State of Palestine in international forums.”
Austrian government refers to Israel as Jewish state for first time
The new Austrian government, headed by conservative Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz, has, for the first time, included a clear reference to Israel's Jewish character in its new platform.

The platform also states Austria's commitment to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process based on the two-state solution, with aim of meeting Israel's security needs while establishing a viable Palestinian state.

So far, Germany has been the only European nation whose government, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, has recognized Israel's Jewish character.

The new government's platform also includes explicit references recognizing Austria's culpability in the Holocaust. This, too, is a political precedent, as the government has pledged to officially commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria to the Nazi Reich, which takes place next year, and the Holocaust, as "one of the greatest tragedies in human history."
8 killed in pre-Christmas suicide bomb attack on Pakistan church
At least eight people were killed and 30 wounded when two suicide bombers attacked a church in Pakistan during a service Sunday, just over a week before Christmas, police said.

Two women were among the dead at a Methodist church in the restive southwestern city of Quetta in Balochistan province, said provincial Home Secretary Akbar Harifal.

Several of the wounded were in serious condition, police added.

Officials said police intercepted and shot one bomber outside but the second attacker managed to reach the church’s main door, where he blew himself up.

“Police were quick to react and stop the attackers from entering into the main hall,” provincial police chief Moazzam Jah told AFP.
NGO Monitor: European Parliament Event - Propaganda-Based Advocacy for Israel’s Isolation
On November 27, 2017, the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine (DPal) held a conference, “Fifty Years of Occupation and Counting: Is it time for a new EU Policy on the Middle East Peace Process?” The conference featured politicians, academics, and NGO officials advocating Israel’s isolation and calling on the European Union and other countries to increase international pressure and to impose sanctions on Israel. None of the speakers advocated for dialogue and/or negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

A number of speakers – namely Michael Lynk, Valentina Azarova, and Hugh Lovatt – joined in a concerted effort to advocate sanctions against Israel based on the pseudo-legal argument that it is an “illegal occupant.” Several speakers additionally promoted false allegations and libelous claims against Israel that went entirely unchallenged.
From Differentiation to Sanctions

Michael Lynk, current “United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,”1 presented his latest report, which “considers whether Israel’s role as an entrenched and defiant occupant of the Palestinian territory has now reached the point of illegality under international law” (p. 7). Lynk admitted in his presentation that “International Humanitarian Law, the main documents and instruments, does not provide a clear answer with respect to that” (17:28:00).

However, in support of his contention that there is reasonable legal ground to declare Israel an “illegal occupant,” Lynk, who is self-reportedly “not an international lawyer… by profession,” purports to have “come up with four main principles that we can deduce from International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law… to determine whether or not the occupant has become an illegal occupant.” He concludes that “Israel has violated in the course of its 50 years of occupying the Palestinian territory, all four of these” (17:40:02).
MP is being investigated after Pro-Israeli Jewish activists are barred from meeting where senior Palestinian 'made anti-Semetic remarks'
An MP is being investigated after Jewish activists were barred from a meeting in which a senior Palestinian made allegedly anti-Semitic remarks.

The meeting to highlight injustices faced by Palestinians was held in the Commons and hosted by the SNP MP Tommy Sheppard. It was initially advertised as an open event.

But a number of pro-Israel campaigners who had successfully applied to attend were later told it was ‘private’ and turned away – with the exception of a Jewish woman who claimed she was allowed entry because she used an Islamic-sounding name and dressed in a hijab.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has now launched an investigation into whether the arrangements for the meeting breached the MPs’ code of conduct. At the event, the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the UK, Professor Manuel Hassassian, attacked Britain’s attitude towards Israel.

He said: ‘They [the British] are still doing trade relations and still sympathising with the Jews as being the victims of the Holocaust.

‘Enough of this rhetoric. We have made and paid for this historic concession when we have agreed to give 78 per cent of this historic Palestine on a golden platter.’
Coco Chanel used Nazi laws against Jewish partners, said film
It has been almost 50 years since the death of famed French fashion designer Coco Chanel, and the legacy of the chic Parisian has begun to really stink. A new film which appeared on French TV earlier this year alleges that the woman behind one of the most famous fragrances of all time collaborated with the Nazis during World War II against her own Jewish partners.

The new French documentary, The No. 5 War - a reference to the famed scent Chanel No. 5 - claims that Chanel worked with Nazi occupiers of France and used their anti-Jewish laws to get rid of her Jewish associates, brothers Pierre and Paul Wertheimer.

The film will be playing at the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival this week, and director Stéphane Benhamou is slated to attend one of the screenings.

A trailer for the hour-long film called Chanel "the most celebrated woman of the day - who would stop at nothing to achieve her ends." According to the film's producers, in 1940, Chanel, "with the help of the Nazis occupying France, went to great lengths to get rid of her Jewish associates, the Wertheimer brothers." The battle between them for control of the famed perfume "involved the Parisian who’s who, Nazi spies, those in charge of aryanizing the French economy, unscrupulous businessmen, double agents and brilliant perfume designers." Chanel's virulent antisemitic sentiments and dealings with Nazis have been the subject of several books and films already.

In 2014, a French documentary titled L'Ombre d'un Doute (The Shadow of a Doubt), claimed that she had an affair with a senior Nazi official, Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage. According to the documentary, created by historian Franck Ferrand, Chanel spied for the Nazis and even had her own code name given to her by the Nazi intelligence agency.
Former Utrecht professor: Holocaust exaggerated to extract money
A professor emeritus from an esteemed university in the Netherlands whose father was a Nazi called Jews “parasites” in a televised interview.

Jan Tollenaere, a lecturer on medicinal chemistry who retired from the Utrecht University in 2001, also questioned the historical record on the Holocaust in an interview aired Thursday by the Canvas broadcaster in Belgium about children of Nazi collaborators.

Tollenaere, whose father, Raymond, was in charge of propaganda for the Belgian pro-Nazi collaborationist government of Flanders during the German occupation of Belgium in World War II, said Jews “are not a nice people, I don’t feel any warmth toward them.” They are, he added, “parasites, speculators and mean people.”

In the interview, Tollenaere described himself as an anti-Semite.

About the Holocaust, Tollenaere said: “Was it really a reality? I think there was propaganda in play to underscore the Holocaust, to exaggerate it and cynically use it, leverage it to extract money.”

A Utrecht University spokeswoman said her institution “fully and clearly distances itself” from Tollenaere, whom she described as a “former employee and nothing more.” But Tollenaere’s page on the university’s website does not make clear he is no longer active with the university or that he retired from it.

The professor emeritus title “is no honorary title and cannot be taken away, it simply means that he is a retired professor,” the spokeswoman said.
No arrests after 25 far-left thugs reportedly storm nightclub and order “Jews and wealthy people” and “Tory Rothschild scum” to be silent “for Grenfell”
A gang of 25 far-left thugs reportedly stormed a birthday party at a nightclub last night in London’s Notting Hill, declaring that there were “Jews and wealthy people inside”. The hooded gang is said to have begun by hurling bottles and eggs at people talking outside before overwhelming security. They then reportedly “threw out” the DJ and demanded that those gathered, who they allegedly referred to as “Tory Rothschild scum”, observe a one-minute silence “for Grenfell”.

The incident reportedly took place at the Maxilla Social Club, which has repeatedly held benefit evenings for the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and was a food distribution centre for survivors of the fire which killed 71 people.

This incident graphically shows the consequences of incitement and conspiracy theories targeting Jews being permitted to proliferate.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, it was repeatedly claimed that the fire was a Jewish or “Zionist” conspiracy, including by Grenfell Tower volunteer coordinator Tahra Ahmed and allegedly by the leader of the pro-Hizballah “Al Quds Day” march through London, Nazim Ali, who is now subject to a private prosecution by Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The Metropolitan Police Service told the Daily Mail that its officers were called but made no arrests. Campaign Against Antisemitism is seeking clarification as to why no arrests were made. Those responsible must not escape the consequences of their actions. Britain must not tolerate this antisemitic thuggery.
Israeli ambassador rededicates two of India’s oldest synagogues
Israel’s ambassador to India Daniel Carmon rededicated two of Kolkata’s oldest synagogues on Sunday after they were recently restored.

“Remembering and preserving the glorious past of Jewish Kolkata, contributing to the fabric of the city of Kolkata in the present and looking at the future, two synagogues were rededicated today – in the most festive atmosphere of Hanukka,” Carmon wrote on Twitter.

The two synagogues are the Beth El synagogue and the Magen David synagogue.

Also present at the events was Tzvia Valdan, daughter of late Israeli president Shimon Peres.

“Moments of happiness,” tweeted Israeli diplomat in Delhi Adva Vilchinski, describing the event as “historic and exciting.”

“The synagogues are living symbol of the special relationship between #India #Jews & #Israel,” Vilchinski tweeted.
Seinfeld: My comedy career started on Kibbutz Sa'ar
Turns out, the illustrious career of comedian, actor and writer Jerry Seinfeld was born in the banana leaf fields of an Israeli kibbutz.

In a series of interviews with Hebrew media that were published over the weekend, Seinfeld discussed his connection to the Jewish state, his first visit there and his opinions on politics and the #metoo movement.

"My very first thoughts of being a comedian were in Israel when I was 15," he told Dana Weiss in an interview with Channel 2 News which was broadcast on Saturday night. Seinfeld was there working - or not working mostly - on Kibbutz Sa'ar in 1970, and "there were a couple of other kids there from New York, from Queens, and we were doing lots of comedy things you know, hanging around... I ate halva and falafel and it was really a fantastic summer."

After assuring Weiss that he was not just pandering to the Israeli audience to get them to come to his show, he reiterated: "My comedy career honestly, really began at Kibbutz Sa'ar."
Basketballer Ariel (Chris) Smith Converts To Judaism, Loves Israel
Former Knicks point guard Chris Smith has become a member of the tribe.

You can call him Ariel Smith now.

Chris Smith, the former Knicks point guard and J.R. Smith’s younger brother, is making a basketball comeback and is set to debut next week in the Israeli League for Ironi Nahariya after recently converting to Judaism. Smith became an Orthodox Jew — the strictest level.

Smith’s new Hebrew name is Ariel, and he credits ex-Knicks teammate Amar’e Stoudemire for stoking his Hebrew passions. Stoudemire, though he didn’t officially convert through Rabbi’s supervision like Smith, follows Jewish customs and said his mother told him he is a descendant of Hebrew-Israelites.

Smith grew up in Lakewood, N.J., and had Jewish friends growing up, attending his share of Bar Mitzvahs.
Ben Shapiro Explains Hanukkah


IDF Blog: These soldiers spread light all year long
The “Super Volunteer”

Meet Corporal Rafael, also known as the “super volunteer,” he gives up the weekend to volunteer for four nonprofit organizations. “This is what gives me energy for next week and puts a big smile on my face.” After a long week as an Armored Corps soldier, it would be easy for Cpl. Rafael to go home for the weekend and rest, but he’s always on the run. “When I get home from the army I grab my bag and run to volunteer,” said Cpl. Rafael.

The “LEGO Man” who puts a smile on pediatric cancer patients’ faces

Maj. Maor began playing with LEGOs at the age five and at age 30 his passion resurfaced, “I collected a lot of LEGO sets and at a certain point they took over the whole house,” he said. Maj. Maor started accumulating LEGO sets, and thanks to his friend’s suggestion, he realized that they could give him a great opportunity to help children. He volunteers with pediatric cancer patients and can’t imagine his life without them. “I know the children and what each of them likes. One day, a boy who had been undergoing chemotherapy asked the doctor to hospitalize him. When the doctor asked why, he answered ‘Because I want Maor to come and bring me a LEGO.’ That day I surprised him at his house with a LEGO set.”
Hanukkah: The Greatest Hits




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