Monday, February 25, 2019

From Ian:

Palestinians uproot trees planted in memory of slain Israeli teen
Palestinians on Sunday uprooted some 50 trees planted in the West Bank in the memory of Ori Ansbacher, who was brutally murdered in Jerusalem by a Palestinian terrorist.

The 19-year-old was attacked and murdered at the beginning of February by 29-year-old Arafat Irfayia in the woods of Ein Yael, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

The trees were planted between the West Bank settlements of Tekoa, where Ansbacher lived, and Nokdim, during which a confrontation sparked between local Palestinians and the settlers, with the Israel Defense Forces having to intervene. Shortly thereafter, the settlers noticed the Palestinians had extracted the newly planted trees.

Gush Etzion Council head Shlomo Ne'eman said in response: "The State of Israel must define this agricultural terrorism as terror for all intents and purposes,l and put an end to this phenomenon. A firm stand must be taken, for we cannot allow human lives to be harmed."

Meanwhile, as part of an initiative led by drivers from the Egged bus company, poems Ansbacher wrote will be printed and displayed on the company's vehicles.


Kushner: Trump's peace plan will focus on drawing the borders of Israel
US special envoy Jared Kushner was interviewed on Monday on Sky News in Arabic, saying that "the American peace plan is very detailed and will focus on drawing the border and resolving the core issues."

"The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been used for years to incite extremism," Kushner said, "for years resistance to the nation of Israel has united the region, but now it is changing ... We see that Iran is the greatest threat in the region."

"We want to see the Palestinians united under one leadership, the Palestinians want a non-corrupt government that cares for their own interests," Kushner added.

Kushner also claimed that the US "managed to keep a large part of the plan secret," and that they "succeeded in formulating practical and just solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian issue that will be relevant for 2019."
'I don't see why I shouldn't have to serve': Why young, Jewish Canadians are enlisting in the Israeli military
Yonah Morrison, 20, was 15 when he first stepped off a plane in Tel Aviv.

Alone in a country he'd never visited, a strange feeling washed over him: He was home.

The Canadian teen spent the next two months in Israel as part of a program that familiarizes North American Jews with the Jewish state. While on that trip, he spent a week embedded with the Israeli military.

He says that week in fatigues left such an impression on him that three years later, in the summer of 2016, after he graduated from his Toronto high school, he decided to leave Canada and enlist in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

"I always considered Israel to be my home," Morrison said. "I don't see why I shouldn't have to serve, just because I was born somewhere else."

Military service is mandatory for almost all Jewish Israelis as of age 18, with notable exceptions, one of which — that for ultra-Orthodox men — was at the centre of a bitter political fight that triggered an early election call last December.

But Jews from other nations are also allowed to enlist. They're known as lone soldiers.

At least 230 Canadians were serving in the military, according to 2017 statistics from the IDF, with periods of service usually lasting around two years. Hundreds more go over for shorter periods of service through similar programs to the one Morrison did in 2013.



JPost Editorial: Clarity needed
Between Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid agreeing to form the Blue and White Party, and other negotiations continuing until just hours before Thursday night’s deadline to submit lists for the upcoming election, a major statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew below the radar of most media.

Netanyahu gave a rebuttal to Gantz’s and Lapid’s launch of their new party, in which he assailed the centrist bloc that is likely to put up a serious fight against Likud between now and April 9. In it, he sought to frame them as dyed-in-the-wool leftists, a description that is certainly accurate about some of the list – Histadrut Labor Union leader Avi Nissenkorn and long time Meretz member MK Yael German come to mind – but not all of them.

In that address, Netanyahu said that a Gantz-Lapid led government “will establish – I want to say sooner or later, but with them it will be much sooner – a Palestinian state… [that] will be here. It will be on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. It will be next to Afula and Beersheba... A Palestinian state will endanger our existence.”

As Tovah Lazaroff pointed out in Sunday’s Jerusalem Post, this may be Netanyahu’s sharpest departure from his Bar-Ilan speech of nearly a decade ago in which he said, “If we get a guarantee of demilitarization, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state, we are ready to agree to a real peace agreement: a demilitarized Palestinian state side-by-side with the Jewish state.”
Netanyahu has made statements indicating he is skeptical about Palestinian statehood. For example, he agreed with a journalist’s statement in 2015 that a Palestinian state wouldn’t be established in his next term. And he has repeatedly vowed not to uproot any settlements. But he hasn’t turned around and renounced his own policy – until now.

Even in 2015, Netanyahu reaffirmed his support for a demilitarized Palestinian state, after the election, but clarified that he meant it would be diplomatically impossible in the coming years.
To the Israeli Press, Pronouncements by Generals Are Non-Political So Long as They’re Politically Correct
Over the years, some former Israeli security professionals—retired generals, heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet, and so forth—have come out strongly in favor of plans for the Jewish state to cede control of all or part of the West Bank. When they express such positions publicly, their views are inevitably feted in the Israeli and English-language press. But when Gershon Hacohen, a major-general in the IDF reserves, made the opposite case in a recent article, he received sharp criticism from the former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit. Hacohen writes:

Shavit dismisses my opinion . . . as a “political treatise” undeserving of publication by an academic research institute. He derides the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, which published the paper and where I serve as a senior research associate, as “painted since its foundation in political colors, as expected given its [large] number of skullcap-wearing associates.” Had Shavit done his due diligence, he would have quickly learned that even by the parameters of his perverse logic, the BESA Center should be painted by quite different “political colors” given that over 80 percent of its research associates are not “skullcap-wearers.”

This mindboggling stigmatization notwithstanding, this is not the first time I have been accused of subordinating professional considerations to a political agenda. . . . The formula is clear: officers who downplay the security risks of territorial withdrawals do so on “professional” grounds; those who underscore the dangers attending such withdrawals are driven by “political” considerations. . . .

In reality, it is difficult to find national decisions—in the social, economic, political, educational, and security fields, among others—that are completely value-free and made on professional grounds alone. A medical prognosis is a strictly professional matter; public health-policy decisions reflect a socioeconomic worldview and value system.
Lapid: Blue and White will seek coalition with post-Netanyahu Likud if it wins
Yair Lapid, the co-leader of the newly formed Blue and White party, has cleared some of the fog surrounding the alliance’s policies, saying that if it wins the upcoming elections it will contact Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud to form a unity government, assuming Netanyahu is no longer leading the party.

At an event Sunday night in the northern city of Karmiel, Benny Gantz’s No. 2 stressed that the party would not band together with the Arab parties to form a government or to block Netanyahu from forming his own coalition.

Lapid was denying repeated accusations by Netanyahu that Blue and White intends to cooperate with Arab-Israeli parties in its bid for leadership change.

“We didn’t speak with them, we didn’t ask them,” Lapid told a cheering crowd at the event, in a recorded speech that was aired by Israel Radio on Monday morning.

Instead, Lapid said that if his party is tasked with forming the next government, its first phone call will be to the current ruling party.


Otzma Yehudit candidate: Critics have to go back 30 years in order to attack us
A candidate for the ultranationalist Otzma Yehudit dismissed his party’s opponents on Sunday, claiming that they were focusing their criticism on the late Meir Kahane, who, while revered by him and his colleagues, was no longer relevant.

“All they have to say is ‘Rabbi Kahane, Rabbi Kahane’ because they have nothing on us,” Itamar Ben Gvir said Sunday in an interview with The Times of Israel.

The attorney activist did not deny that he was an admirer of the extremist rabbi, whose Kach party was barred from running in the 1988 elections for inciting violence. The movement was later banned from Israel entirely under anti-terrorism laws.

“I, unfortunately, was never able to meet him before he was assassinated [in 1990], but I was a student of his [works]. I think they’re carrying out a character assassination against him,” Ben Gvir said of Kahane’s modern-day critics.

In 2007, Ben Gvir was convicted of inciting racism and supporting a terror group after holding up signs reading, “Expel the Arab enemy” and “Rabbi Kahane was right: The Arab MKs are a fifth column.”
Labor calls for ‘safe separation from Palestinians’ in new video
Labor called for a "safe separation from the Palestinians” and returning to the path of a two-state solution in a new election video released on Monday.

Labor leader Avi Gabbay, as well as Amir Peretz and former IDF General Tal Russo, were featured in the video discussing what is Zionism, comparing it to “entering an impossible fight – and winning.”

“The Likud is,” the video goes on to warn, “pushing us into accepting millions of Palestinians into our midst.”
Meretz leader: We expect support from the Arabs
Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg intends to help the Blue and White list establish a governing coalition, and pull the Center-Left list to the Left, Zandberg said Sunday on the Israel Hayom-i24NEWS weekly election broadcast.

Zandberg attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for forcing a merger between Habayit Hayehudi-National Union and the far-Right Otzma Yehudit party and stressed that the move proved Meretz must be part of the next government.

"We will recommend any candidate, right now it looks like it's Benny Gantz together with Yair Lapid, who could form a Center-Left coalition, and we will be the left in that 'Center-Left,'" Zandberg told Israel Hayom editor-in-chief Boaz Bismuth and anchor Nurit Ben.

"If he [Gantz] has a chance to form a government, we will recommend him and we will definitely aspire to be a part of that coalition," Zandberg said.
New York Times Issues Correction to Front-Page Attack on Netanyahu
The New York Times has already issued a correction to its latest front-page attack on Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“An earlier version of this article misidentified Moshe Kahlon, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. He is the finance minister, not the foreign minister,” the correction says.

If the Times is candid with its readers — a big “if” — it’ll be the first of several corrections eventually appended to the article.

The Times writes, “The pact between Mr. Netanyahu and the Kahanists set off a predictable eruption from liberal Jewish groups like J Street and Americans for Peace, as well as the Union of Reform Judaism, which normally stays out of Israeli politics.”

The correct name of the group the Times is referring to is not “Americans for Peace” but “Americans for Peace Now.”

The Times also writes, “In Israel’s chaotic parliamentary system, small parties like the ultra-Orthodox Shas can be make or break when it comes to forming a majority coalition after an election, and Mr. Netanyahu has routinely struck deals giving them outsize influence.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Study: Genghis Khan Bad, But At Least Didn’t Have Pic Of Kahane On Wall (satire)
Historians investigating the extent of slaughter and destruction under various militaristic regimes have found that although the founder of the medieval Mongol Empire caused the deaths of tens of millions of people, characterizing him as the most brutal personality of all time poses problems, among them the fact that unlike at least one Israeli politician poised to enter the Knesset, the emperor never kept a portrait of a certain controversial Rabbi in his home.

Scholars dispute the number of people who perished in Mongol massacres across Eurasia during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries under Genghis Khan and his successors, but they agree that he was no Michael ben-Ari, whose wickedness includes the heinous act of having, until recently, a picture of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane on his wall. Kahane, who advocated for financial inducements, and force if necessary, to remove Arabs from the State of Israel, was assassinated in New York in 1990. Khan, on other hand, merely conquered his way across eastern and central Asia, leveling cities, putting entire regions to the sword, and crushing opposition by killing 10-15 million people in Iran alone.

“We have to keep Genghis Khan’s ruthlessness and cruelty in perspective,” cautioned Tel Aviv University Professor of History Harta Barta, whose team is leading a study of conquerors and their atrocities. “It was more or less typical of the ancient world for wanton bloodshed to follow a successful battle, so that the vanquished population not get the wrong idea about continued resistance. Some scholars try to mitigate the Khan’s brutality by pointing to religious tolerance, cultural development, stabilizing the Silk Road, and other elements of his rule, but that shouldn’t be necessary once the observer realizes there’s nothing to mitigate. The guy wasn’t a Kahanist – what do you want from him, not to commit genocide? Be reasonable.”
EXCLUSIVE - Syrian Activist: Israel 'Too Patient' With Palestinian Authority's Terror Funding
Israel is too lenient with the Palestinians and should have cut funds to the Palestinian Authority a long time ago, Syrian opposition activist Issam Zeitoun told Breitbart News.

The Israeli security cabinet last week approved cutting some NIS 502,697,000 ($138 million) from taxes owed to the PA over its payments to terrorists and their families.

Zeitoun dismissed the argument of some security officials in Israel that cutting funds to the PA would only make the situation in the West Bank more volatile.

“I wonder how anyone in Israel ever accepted that,” he said.

“Any country would do the same,” Zeitoun stated. “Israel was too patient with them [Palestinians].”

“The first thing that any state does when it is faced with terrorism is to cut the funds, to control the finances,” he added.

He went on to explain how the so-called pay-for-slay scheme incentivizes terrorists.

“Israel is paying for the people who are killing its citizens — it’s not acceptable. It’s also a motivation, it encourages Palestinians to kill more because the family will receive lifelong salary.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Zeitoun claimed that Jews have become the scapegoat for major Arab problems in the past century or so.
Arab League, EU Seek Synchrony on Regional Crises in First Summit
Arab and European states sought common ground on security threats and regional crises including Yemen, Syria and Libya on Sunday at their first joint summit held in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Officials said the summit was neither about Brexit — which British Prime Minister Theresa May was discussing with other leaders on the sidelines — nor primarily about migration, an issue that has consumed European political debate since a surge in arrivals in 2015.

“I hope that the summit manages to focus on our partnership when it comes to economic relations, when it comes to our common work, for instance, on Palestine … revitalizing the two state solution,” European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini told reporters.

“But also a common approach I hope, on the conflict on Syria, on the conflict in Yemen to try to have a full implementation of the Stockholm agreements, and common work on Libya.”
Israel: UNHRC charge of nuclear waste in the Golan is nonsense
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon dismissed as “utter nonsense” a United Nations charge that Israel had buried radioactive nuclear waste in the Golan Heights.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres included that allegation in a report his office prepared for the UN Human Rights Council’s 40th session, which is set to open in Geneva on Monday and run through March 22.

“The Syrian Arab Republic noted that Israel continued to bury nuclear waste with radioactive content in 20 different areas populated by Syrian citizens of the occupied Syrian Golan, particularly in the vicinity of Al-Sheikh Mountain [Mt.Hermon],” the report by Guterres’ office stated.

“The practice has put the lives and health of Syrians in the occupied Syrian Golan in jeopardy, and constituted a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,’ the report alleged.

Syria has made this charge against Israel for the last decade.




Only the full defeat of Hamas can ensure Israel’s security
Wars have historically ended when one side wins, and one loses. We know what a Hamas victory looks like; the terrorist group says it over and over again. It seeks the full and utter destruction of the State of Israel and massive bloodshed and annihilation for its citizens.

How can our political leaders dare strengthen such an organization by providing it with funds, gas, oil and cement? By doing so, we are building and contributing toward our own destruction.

No leadership in the history of modern warfare has acted in such a manner.

Nevertheless, we can stop this immoral, unconscionable and self-destructive policy with our ballots on April 9.

Do not listen to those who say victory over Hamas is not attainable. Similar voices said the same about ISIS, and we now see that it has been physically routed and has been defeated in every way, shape and form.

It is clear that the likes of Iran, Hezbollah and others are watching us and sensing weakness. They saw our recent capitulation and are sharpening their knives for much tougher confrontations.

Destroying Hamas is the only act that would return our deterrence and make our other enemies sit up and take notice.

Citizens can send the message that the Israel of tomorrow is no longer prepared to tolerate a genocidal organization sending its rockets and murderers onto our territory, without severe and irrevocable repercussions.

The decision on who will be victorious and who will be defeated is ours and ours alone to make. Let us choose wisely.
JCPA: Jordan Led the Effort to Take Control of Gate of Mercy
PA and Fatah representatives were surprised by the new Jordanian initiative but are cooperating with it fully. The Jordanian initiative was first presented at a meeting of the new Waqf Islamic Council on February 14, 2019, which was held on the Temple Mount.

The meeting was attended by senior representatives of the Jordanian Ministry of Endowments, who came especially to the Temple Mount and even took a guided tour of the Gate of Mercy compound.

Why did King Abdullah II of Jordan decide to lead the current effort to take control of the Gate of Mercy compound?

Senior Fatah sources give two explanations:
  • A demonstration of Jordanian power before the public release of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” Jordan has a special status on the Temple Mount. Abdullah’s great-grandfather, Abdullah I, was assassinated there. According to the peace agreement between Jordan’s King Hussein and Israel in 1994, Jordan is the guardian of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. King Abdullah of Jordan is afraid he might lose this status as a result of Trump’s deal. Therefore, the effort to take control of the Temple Mount is a message to the U.S. president and the Israeli government showing that Jordan will not agree to any harm being done to its status on the Temple Mount.
  • Jordan fears that Israel will take it by surprise and establish a synagogue near the Gate of Mercy as the publication of the Trump Deal draws closer to create facts on the ground. Jordan and the Palestinians seek to limit the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. Senior Fatah figures reported in recent months that there had been an increase in the activities of “settlers” going up to the Temple Mount daily. The focus on the visits of Israelis to the Temple Mount and the photographs they have taken at the site have increased Jordanian concerns.
Digging in near the Golden Gate
Meanwhile, the political leadership under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to allow Jordan, which is outraged over the arrests of the Waqf leaders, to submit a plan to refurbish the area, which will be restored to the hands of the Muslims. The only question that is still unanswered is whether or not it will become an area of prayer. Realistically, it's hard to assume that after the area is reopened and the Waqf is already active there, Israel would be able to keep Muslims from praying at the site.

We are also starting to see how deep the involvement of Fatah officials and extremists in the Jordanian gambit at the Gate of Mercy, near the Golden Gate, runs. The Jordanians are the ones who put those people on the Waqf council, both because of reports that Jordan would be losing its status on the Temple Mount as part of U.S. President Donald Trump's "deal of the century," and because of complaints those officials made to the Waqf over its acceptance of Jewish prayer on the Mount.

It appears that the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement and the Al-Aqsa Association were major actors in the latest escalation. Members of the Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement are now working with Sheikh Ikrama Sabri, who is on the new, expanded Waqf council, and who is identified with the outlawed Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement. Sabri is also an ally of Sheikh Raed Salah and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


'If they sentence us to death, we will die as heroes'
The Israel Prison Service is on high alert after the Hamas terrorist group threatened a violent response the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet's decision to withhold over $138 million from the Palestinian Authority over its payments to families of Palestinian terrorists, and the Shin Bet security agency's efforts to prevent security prisoners from ordering terrorist attacks through the use of contraband cellphones.

Around two years ago, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan ordered the IPS to take action to end the use of contraband cellular phones in prison wings holding security prisoners. The Ktziot, Ramon, and Nafha prisons complied by installing cellphone jamming technology.

Last Monday, the cabinet announced it was implementing a law passed last year that allows Israel to withhold funds used to pay stipends to Palestinian attackers and their families from taxes Israel collects on the behalf of the PA.

In response, Hamas distributed leaflets claiming that the Shin Bet had installed "strange tools in Ktziot, which put the lives of prisoners at risk. It is doing this just days after the death of [Palestinian prisoner] Fares [Baroud], whose body is still being held by Israel, as was done with the body of [Palestinian prisoner] Aziz Awisat, who died after being viciously beaten in prison. It is clear to all that the occupation government [Israel] has declared war on us through officials in the Shin Bet."
Israeli checkers foil attempt to smuggle gun, bullets from West Bank
Checkers at a West Bank crossing arrested a truck driver and his passenger on Sunday evening, after finding a gun and large amounts of ammunition hidden inside the vehicle, the Defense Ministry said.

The two men “aroused the suspicion” of a security officer at the Te’enim checkpoint between Israel and the northern West Bank, the ministry said in a statement.

During an initial search of the truck, checkers found a large number of bullets, packed in plastic bags. A police sapper who was then called to assist in the search also found a locally produced makeshift submachine gun, known as a Carlo, which had been hidden inside the side panels of the truck, the ministry said.

Both the driver and his passenger were placed under arrest and handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning. The gun and bullets were also given to the Shin Bet for study.
Border guards nab Palestinian smuggling 37 pistols from Jordan to Israel
Israeli security forces foiled an apparent plot to smuggle 37 handguns into Israel from Jordan earlier this month, in an operation that was kept under a gag order until Sunday, police said.

On February 7, Border Police officers spotted the primary suspect, a Palestinian man from the Nablus area, as he attempted to cross the border fence into northern Israel from Jordan wearing a large backpack.

The border guards, assisted by the Israel Defense Forces, arrested the man shortly after he crossed into the northern Jordan Valley and found inside his bag the 37 pistols of various types, police said.

The police arrested three other Palestinian suspects — all from the Nablus area — whom they believe were planning to pick up the suspect after he crossed the border.
Abbas urges Europeans to play greater role in peace process, recognize Palestine
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged European states on Sunday to play a greater role in mediating the peace process and recognize the “State of Palestine,” contending that the absence of such recognition was a betrayal of European values.

“Has the time not come for European states that have not yet recognized the State of Palestine to do so, especially in light of your belief in the two-state solution?” Abbas said in a short speech at a two-day summit of Arab and European leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh, an Egyptian resort city.

“You have recognized Israel, supported it since its establishment and defended its security. That is your right. But if you’ll allow me to say this: Your not recognizing the Palestinian right to self-determination in its state is a move that contradicts your values and your European principles.”

While several European countries have recognized Palestine, the majority, including France, the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy, have not done so.


Islamic Jihad touts new missile that can hit Tel Aviv and beyond
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group boasted Sunday evening that it had developed a new missile that can hit beyond Tel Aviv, threatening to turn Israeli cities into “hell.”

The Gaza-based organization made the claim in a documentary film broadcast on Iranian television, which included footage of various projectiles, other weapons and missile launches.

The missile was made with help from Iran, PIJ said. The group, which is backed by Tehran and is the second-largest terror organization in Gaza, after its Hamas rulers, said that the “first missile” it launches toward Tel Aviv will be Iranian-made.

The documentary also included a claim by PIJ that it had developed precision missiles.

“We managed to develop a missile that can reach from the Gaza Strip to Tel Aviv and Netanya,” a PIJ spokesman says in the clip, adding that its range could even extend beyond that.
Britain to blacklist Hezbollah in its entirety as a terror group
The United Kingdom on Monday moved to outlaw the Lebanese organization Hezbollah and recognize it in its entirety as a terror group, the British government said in a statement.

The powerful Iran-backed Shiite terror group is part of a new government announced recently in Lebanon. While the cabinet is headed by Saad Hariri, the Western-backed Sunni politician who has held the job since 2016, Hezbollah made significant gains at the expense of the largest Sunni party and now controls three government ministries.

Hezbollah has a decades-long history of conflict with Israel, including the bloody Second Lebanon War in 2006, and its leader Hassan Nasrallah regularly threatens to target Israel with thousands of advanced missiles that can reach all major Israeli cities.

Hezbollah’s military wing had already been banned in Britain as a terror group, but its political wing was not.

“Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilize the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party,” Home Secretary Sajid Javid said Monday. “Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.
MEMRI: Lebanese Philosopher Dr. Ali Harb: Colonialism Brought Arabs Out Of Middle Ages Into Modernity; We Need To Change How We See The World
Lebanese philosopher Dr. Ali Harb was featured in a two-part series on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that aired on February 3 and 10, 2019. He said that while colonialism had its drawbacks, it created great opportunities for the Arab world and Arab societies to join modernity and emerge out of the Middle Ages. He said that Pan-Arabism, left-wing thought, and other ideologies caused an overall decrease of freedom in Arab societies relative to the era of liberalism and enlightenment, and that the return of religion brought about the hijab, civil wars, the age of terrorism, and the return of colonialism. Dr. Harb said that the Arab world does not produce knowledge or participate in the creation of civilization and added that Arabs needs to change the way they think, see the world, and deal with their heritage and religion.

"It Is True That Colonialism Had Its Drawbacks, But It Opened Up Great Possibilities For Arab Societies"

Dr. Ali Harb: "The Arab world wanted to be liberated from colonialism. What was the result, 200 years later? Religion has made a barbarous comeback.
[...]
"All of us – our ideology, our clothes, and our new values – are the fruit of modernity. It is true that colonialism had its drawbacks, but it opened up great possibilities for Arab societies. It gave them the opportunity to join modernity, ever since Napoleon arrived in Egypt, and ever since the first publishers arrived at Mount Lebanon... So today, we are the fruit of the modern world. We emerged from the Middle Ages because of colonialism.


BBC world affairs editor’s holiday snaps exclude Hizballah
The first part of the item is taken up by Simpson’s old war stories. After listeners discover that he is actually in Beirut on a family holiday, Simpson moves on to describing a “shopping area” and “a pleasant little café” before closing:

Simpson: “All these years later Lebanon still seems immensely fragile. Syria and its civil war is less than 50 miles away and Syria itself, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran are all inclined to interfere here and act like bullies. But the one thing everyone tells you is that the Lebanese themselves have learned their lesson. 15 years of ferocious civil war have left a terrible scar. Better to get on with your fellow citizens of whatever religion and make money than fall out with them and risk a fresh round of destructive horror.”

Remarkably the BBC world affairs editor’s holiday snapshots from “peaceful” Lebanon include no mention whatsoever of the heavily armed, foreign funded and directed, sectarian, theocratic terrorist group that dominates the country while threatening the neighbouring one described by Simpson as being “inclined to interfere…and act like bullies”.
Report: Iran tried to infiltrate Israel’s rocket alert system
The Israeli military detected and blocked an attempt by Iran to infiltrate its missile warning system in 2017, preventing a potentially life-threatening situation in which Israeli citizens could no longer rely on the sirens that alert them to an incoming attack, a senior cyber defense official told the Bloomberg news outlet on Monday.

The Iranian effort was first spotted in 2017 and, once its target was understood, the Israel Defense Forces worked to block the cyber attack and track the hackers, Brig. Gen. (res.) Noam Sha’ar, the outgoing head of the cyber defense division of the military’s Cyber Defense Directorate, told the website.

“We dealt with them and built another barrier and another monitoring system to make sure we could stop them if they tried again,” Shaar told Bloomberg.

Israeli and Western defense officials have long warned that Iran was a world leader in cyber warfare capabilities, having invested considerable money and resources in the field.

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Islamic Republic “attacks Israel on a daily basis.”
Lawmakers Slam German President for Lauding Iran’s Islamic Revolution
German lawmakers have criticized the country’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for sending a congratulatory message to the Iranian regime on the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

“In the name of my fellow countrymen, I send you my heartiest greeting on the national holiday of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” President Steinmeier wrote in a telegram uncovered by the German newspaper Bild on Thursday. On February 11, 1979, Shi’a Islamist followers of Ayatollah Khomeini toppled the Iranian monarchy in a bloody coup, turning the country into a Sharia-run theocracy.

“Furthermore, Germany will do everything in its power to guarantee the maintenance and continued implementation of the JCPOA [nuclear deal],” German President promised his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. “The bilateral relations between countries are traditionally close,” he added, calling for an “intensive nurturing” of “dialogue between Iran and Germany, as well as European partners.”

Nikolas Löbel, a member of parliament from Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), called President’s move “totally inappropriate” and condemning him for sending the “message of congratulation to Israel’s mortal enemy.”

“I was surprised by the congratulatory [message], specially when one takes note of the fact how the country has devolved since this revolution,” said Alexander Radwan, member of parliament for the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU). “Shall we now assume that countries like Saudi Arabia and North Korea will also receive such greetings in our name?”








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