Wednesday, July 10, 2019

From Ian:

The Opportunity the Palestinians Choose to Miss
The Palestinian leaders' true intention is to thwart in advance any Israeli or international initiative that would put them on the road to genuinely and ideologically accepting the existence of the State of Israel, which could be interpreted as confirmation of the Jewish people's right to a state in any part of Palestine.

It is more important for PA President Mahmoud Abbas to go down in Palestinian history as one who stood firm against this eventuality rather than to take practical measures that would ease the hardships of his own people.

The recent meeting in Bahrain had a precedent: the Casablanca Conference following the Oslo Accords. There, too, politicians and businesspeople gathered from all over the world, including a few Arab countries. The Israeli delegation prepared detailed plans for economic cooperation with all the parties, the Palestinians first and foremost.

But the unofficial Palestinian representatives (there were no official ones) announced right from the start: "No cooperation with Israel." Thus, Shimon Peres' vision of the "New Middle East," the main project of that conference, died before it was born.
‘Deal of the Century’ and the choosy beggars
How did the choosy beggars respond? “Absolutely not,” they said. “We have conditions. Honorable people like ourselves will not agree to accept handouts unless our conditions are met.”

Throughout its existence, leaders of the Palestinian Authority have set standards of corruption unmatched by any crooked country, infamous junta or unelected dictatorship anywhere in the world. These “public servants” in the impoverished PA have become rich beyond words. How? By stealing from their brothers. Rejecting the assistance being offered is no skin off their back. They have everything they could want. So what if the citizens are suffering? The cries for help won’t reach their corrupt ears.

They also refuse to accept the tax revenues transferred by Israel. Why? Because of the sacred principle they uphold: to pay the people who blow up buses and stab elderly women and children. Israel deducts a small percentage of the tax monies, only the amount designated for murderers and their accomplices through the PA “pay-to-slay” policy. And what do the choosy beggars say? “All or nothing.”

This same century-old attitude has led them to where they are today. But that doesn’t matter to the head of the PA. He has already looted the funds meant for his destitute citizens, and lined his own pockets with enough for himself and his own, down to his great-great-grandchildren. He and his family are certainly not going to pay any price for peace.

“Palestinian honor is not for sale,” say the corrupt leaders. What honor are they talking about? Within a sea of poverty and deprivation, a small, filthy-rich cadre speaks eloquently about “honor” that can’t be bought. But they’re not the ones who will suffer the consequences.

However bad we may feel about what could have been and will never be – whatever sense of missed opportunity about the potential blossoming that quickly became a desolate wasteland before the first seed was ever planted – it is what it is. This offer of prosperity will never materialize because of one simple, immutable fact: Our neighbors don’t recognize our right to live here in Israel, within any borders whatsoever. As long as their desire to destroy us is stronger than a desire to improve their own lives, nothing will change – and no economic or political plan can alter that fact.

PMW: Would you name a kids’ summer camp after a murderer?
Would you name a kids’ summer camp after the perpetrators of 9/11, the New Zealand mosque shooter, or the Pittsburgh synagogue killer?

You wouldn’t, right?

But the PLO readily names kids’ summer camps after murderers of Israelis.

At least 2 PLO summer camps for Palestinian children are named after such murderers this summer. Both are held under the auspices of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs.

One was named after the PA's role model terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway in March 1978, murdering 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounding over 70:


Posted text: “’In the name of Allah we will say our words, [in the name of] the revolution and the cause, in the name of our righteous Martyrs, in the name of the prisoners of freedom’ - with this shout the girls of the [summer] camp named after Dalal Mughrabi, which is being held in the Tubas district, received the supervisory staff of the [PLO] Supreme Council [for Sport and Youth Affairs], who are visiting the district in order to monitor the running of the summer camps.”
[Facebook page of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, July 9, 2019]





Iraqi Beauty Queen’s citizenship under threat after defense of Israel
Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan has turned to Twitter to halt a drive in Baghdad to strip her of her Iraqi citizenship after she spoke in defense of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last month.

In a separate speech at the UNHRC, she also spoke out against Iraqi human rights abuses. Idan, who now lives in California, also made waves in November 2017 when she posed for an Instagram photo with Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman at the Miss Universe beauty pageant.

Idan tweeted, “2 weeks ago Iraq denied my statements at the UN that I don’t have freedom to speak about Israel; now they’re taking my citizenship. This is inhumane. I’m speechless…”

She then posted an article she saw in the Iraqi media about the issue, explaining that it spoke of “support to Abolish the Nationality of Miss Iraq & Prevent her Entry & return into Iraq because of its Statements Concerning Israel.”




JPost Editorial: Palestinian terror liability
In a landmark ruling this week, Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Drori ruled that the Palestinian Authority is “liable” for terrorist attacks that took place during the Second Intifada, the violent Palestinian uprising against Israel between 2000 and 2005.

The unprecedented case was initiated by Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, a Tel Aviv-based NGO focused on representing victims of terrorism. Shurat HaDin was acting on behalf of the families of eight such victims. The next stage of the case will involve proving damages in 17 separate terrorist attacks, which according to Jerusalem Post legal correspondent Yonah Jeremy Bob, could total some NIS 1b. (more than $280 million).

Most of the 17 attacks occurred between 2000 and 2002, including the Park Hotel bombing on Passover night.

Although some of the terrorist attacks during the Second Intifada were claimed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Judge Drori ruled that the PA was ultimately liable, based on official PA statements inciting, taking credit for and supporting all terrorist attacks during the violent uprising. The Second Intifada ultimately claimed the lives of some 1,100 Israeli civilians, 2,000 Palestinians and 64 foreigners.
Drori noted that during the uprising, the PA not only provided logistical and financial support to terrorists, but bankrolled terrorists and their families, as well as naming streets, squares, schools and sporting events after so-called “martyrs” killed while carrying out attacks.

Shurat HaDin founder Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said the court’s historic decision showed that then-PA leader Yasser Arafat employed violence in the Second Intifada in an attempt to squeeze concessions from Israel that he had not succeeded in obtaining via the Oslo peace negotiations.

“What Arafat did not achieve through the Oslo Accords, he tried to achieve through suicide bombings and shootings,” Darshan-Leitner said. “The Palestinian cause was genocide against Jews in Israel, and for that it will now pay dearly.”

Darshan-Leitner added that the court’s ruling proved that the Second Intifada “was not a popular uprising, but a planned and deliberate war against the civilian population of Israel.”
David Singer: Trump increases Pressure on Jordan to Negotiate with Israel
President Trump seems set to increase the pressure on Jordan to negotiate with Israel on the future of the West Bank and Gazan Arabs.

This has become increasingly more likely following Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) rejecting US$6.238 billion in grants and US$12.911 in concessional loans proposed by President Trump to be expended as part of US$27.813 billion in Gaza and the West Bank.

Added to these grants and concessional loans totalling US$19.149 billion is a minimum additional US$1.275 billion per annum until Financial Year 2022 under the non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 14 February 2018 between the USA and Jordan.

The USA has also provided nearly $1.1 billion in humanitarian assistance to support Syrian refugees in Jordan (in addition to funding provided at the regional level for other refugee populations in the Kingdom). This funding does not fall under the MOU and could also be withdrawn.

This large treasure chest is likely to be offered to Jordan’s King Abdullah if he is prepared to sit down and negotiate with Israel on Trump’s as yet unpublished “deal of the century” for ending the 100 years conflict between the Arabs and Jews in relation to the territory once called “Palestine”.

The West Bank and Gaza comprise the last 5 per cent of the territory of “Palestine” where sovereignty remains unresolved—Israel being sovereign in 17per cent and Jordan being sovereign in 78 per cent.
Study: Jordanian Textbooks Have Greatly Improved in Promoting Moderate Islam, Tolerance, but Still Reject Israel
A new study has revealed that Jordanian textbooks have greatly liberalized in promoting moderate Islam and tolerance, but still reject Israel and its right to exist.

IMPACT-se, which conducted the study, stated that while the textbooks emphasized an abstract commitment to peace, “Israel is not envisaged to be part of it in any tangible manner.”

Israel “is typically described in the textbooks as a Zionist entity with no rights nor history,” said the study.

“The peace treaty between the two nations is mostly ignored,” it pointed out. “There is no discourse about peace and collaboration within the Israeli-Jordanian triad and no future vision toward Jordan’s close neighbor.”

One textbook reprints a verse from a poem that says of Israel, “I vow I shall sacrifice my blood, to saturate the land of the generous and will eliminate the usurper from my country, and will annihilate the remnants of the foreigners.”

Another textbook presents a dialogue between a Palestinian grandmother and granddaughter, in which the daughter says, “I wish that I will see Palestine liberated from the Zionist Occupation.”
Netanyahu, Trump Policies Succeed in West Bank, New York Times Concedes
Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump have succeeded in calming violence in the West Bank, the New York Times concedes in a news article that I thought I’d never see.

Not because it isn’t true, but because I erroneously thought the New York Times would never be honest enough to acknowledge it.

Yet there it is in the July 9 Times, under the online headline “West Bank Grows Calmer as Pocketbook Issues Take Priority Over Protests.”

A Times reporter, Isabel Kershner, interviewed Palestinians who “attribute the relative calm that now prevails to a combination of factors, including war weariness and the Israeli military’s harsh response, which resulted in too many killed, wounded or imprisoned and too few achievements.” Also, “they have largely given up on an American role in solving the conflict, seeing the Trump administration as hopelessly biased in favor of Israel.”

In addition, “The Israeli agency for Palestinian civilian affairs has issued 86,000 permits for West Bank laborers to work in Israel, the highest number ever.”
NY Times Cites Poll, Hides Palestinian Support for Violence
In the context of Kershner’s piece, which refers to a “lull in grass-roots protests” and a “relative calm” that the author attributes in part to “war weariness” on the part of the Palestinians, and which describes Palestinians who are more interested in jobs than demonstrations, the poll finding seems to be evidence of Palestinian abandoning their belief in conflict.

But a closer look at the survey itself, by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research, tells a very different story. In part, the reason a relatively small proportion of Palestinians support nonviolent protest is because a relatively large proportion support armed violence.

The poll found that
• “34% prefer waging ‘an armed struggle against the Israeli occupation.’”
• “38% think armed struggle is the most effective means” of achieving statehood.
• “38% chose armed struggle” as the most effective means of ending the occupation.
• “47% support a return to an armed intifada”

In other words, depending on how the question is worded between one third and one half of the population support violence against Israel—violence that has typically involved attacks on civilians. This is no less relevant, and perhaps more important for reader understanding of the conflict, than the finding shared by the Times about 23 percent support for nonviolent resistance.

But the Times ignored the more incriminating poll results that contextualize the finding Kershner shared and shine a light on Palestinian views in general. Why?
Palestinian journalists reject invitation to White House
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) on Wednesday called on Palestinian journalists to turn down any invitation from the US administration to visit the White House.

The appeal came in response to remarks by US presidential envoy Jason Greenblatt, who was quoted earlier this week as saying that the White House seeks to speak to “ordinary Palestinians” about its upcoming plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “Deal of the Century.”

“One idea would be potentially inviting Palestinian journalists to the White House, or maybe somewhere more neutral, and have our team make presentations directly to the Palestinian media what the plan is all about,” Greenblatt told the PA’s official newspaper, Al-Ayyam.

The Palestinian Authority has been boycotting the US Administration since President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.

In late June, the PA leadership called on Palestinians and Arabs to boycott the US-led “Prosperity to Peace” economic conference in Bahrain, where the Americans unveiled the economic portion of the long-awaited Deal of the Century.

The PJS, a group dominated by supporters of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, said in a statement that Greenblatt’s invitation “is yet another failed and desperate attempt by the US Administration to bypass the leadership of the Palestinian people, represented by the PLO and its chairman, Mahmoud Abbas.”
Cartoonist Behind Antisemitic ‘Rothschilds’ Image Has Invitation to White House Social Media Summit Revoked
A Montana-based cartoonist whose work features antisemitic and racist tropes has been disinvited from the “social media summit” being held at the White House on Thursday.

Sources in the White House told Politico on Wednesday morning that cartoonist Ben Garrison would not be attending the summit.

Garrison caused a storm on social media over the weekend after he tweeted a picture of his invitation to the summit.

Several of Garrison’s critics pointed to a cartoon he drew in 2017 that was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League as the “blatantly antisemitic” creation of “an artist known for cartoons with right-wing, anti-government and conspiratorial themes.”

In its own commentary, Politico said that “it doesn’t take much to see why the cartoon is considered antisemitic. It shows the Rothschilds — a Jewish family — controlling George Soros, another Jew, on puppet strings, who, in return, has David Petraeus and H.R. McMaster wearing military garb, attached to puppet strings.”

Noted Politico: “Jews controlling the strings of government is a decades old antisemitic meme.”

Among the groups protesting the invite to Garrison was the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) which said in a statement that it had engaged in “an active conversation with the White House on this and are working with them on it.”


Israeli Intelligence Foiled 50 ISIS, Iranian Terror Attacks in 20 Countries
Israeli intelligence agencies have prevented dozens of Islamic State terror group and Iran-sponsored attacks in various countries around the world by providing local authorities with key information, according to a television report on Tuesday.

The Mossad intelligence agency and the Military Intelligence Directorate supplied information that thwarted 50 attacks in 20 countries over the past three years, the Channel 12 report said.

One of the countries able to foil attacks based on Israeli intelligence was Turkey, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a fierce critic of Israel, in particular regarding Palestinian issues.

The network did not name any of the other countries where attacks were stopped, or cite sources for the information.

According to the report, intelligence was transferred to Turkey even during periods when Erdogan was publicly berating Israel and when diplomatic relations between the two countries were officially severed.
IDF reports dramatic decrease in fires in southern Israel over past year
The number of hectares ravaged by fires caused by aerial incendiary devices launched from the Gaza Strip has dropped, the Israeli military announced on Wednesday.

In the past year, a total of 140 hectares have been burnt in southern Israel, a significant decrease from 3,400 hectares burnt in 2018.

According to figures released by the IDF there has also been a drop in the number of fires per day – two fires daily since the beginning of 2019, compared to nine fires per day in 2018. At the peak, there were only 10 fires per day in 2019 versus 30 fires per day last year.

It took an average of five minutes for firefighters to get to the scene in 2019 compared to an average of eight minutes in 2018.

Firefighters responded to a total of 977 fires in 2018, the majority occurring in the month of June with 623 fires, followed by May with 301 and 53 in April. A total of 190 fires broke out in southern Israel in the first half of 2019, with 124 fires in June, 63 in May and six in April.
Two terrorists behind deadly 2016 stabbing sentenced to 32, 35 years
Two Palestinian teenage terrorists involved in a deadly stabbing attack that killed off-duty soldier Tuvia Yanai Weissman and seriously wounded another Israeli man in 2016 were sentenced to 35 and 32 years in prison on Wednesday, the army said.

The third terrorist involved in the plot was sentenced late last year to 35 years in prison and ordered to pay a NIS 1.25 million ($330,000) fine.

The military prosecution requested life sentences for all three, but that was denied by the court, which noted that the terrorists were minors at the time of the attack. Prosecutors are expected to appeal the ruling and again request life sentences.

Two assailants were convicted of carrying out the deadly stabbing attack in a West Bank supermarket. The third was involved in the planning and intended to take part in the attack, but was turned away by the store’s security guard.

All three were charged with “intentionally causing death,” the equivalent of murder in Israel’s military court system, along with other, lesser offenses.
Who speaks for Gazans?
Hamas is a puppet managed by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is controlled by the Jordanian monarch and financed by Qatar with money and weapons from Iran.

And that is not the most interesting or important part of this article. Our main message: Hamas has impoverished us and enriched its leaders. Hamas oppresses, beats, tortures, and occasionally kills us. With Hamas, it seems that jihad begins at home.

We are Hamas’ biggest victims. The parades you see in support of Hamas are staged. Schoolchildren are threatened: If they don't attend, their parents will be arrested.

Except for the 5,000 people who comprise Hamas' leadership and their children, we Gazans would love to see Israel taking over Gaza again and running it under the Civil Administration, as it did before the Oslo Accords.

We do not want the corrupt Palestinian Authority to take over Gaza again. And as much as we love Egypt and its president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, we don’t want Egyptian rule, either. We want things to return to the days before Oslo.

For those who wonder what our identity and citizenship will be: Most Gazans are educated and well-read. We know Jordan’s regime stands on shaky ground. A change in Jordan would result in an extension of Jordanian citizenship to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and then, we would have peace based on facts and reality on the ground as US President Donald Trump said when he addressed the UN in September of last year. We are willing to hold Jordanian citizenship and connect administratively to Jordan, but that will require a change of the status quo in Jordan first.

This is the truth that could set all of us free.
Hamas holds huge surprise drill simulating IDF incursion into Gaza
Amid heightened tensions between Israel and Hamas, the Gaza-based terror group launched a highly unusual training exercise Tuesday night that simulated the capture of IDF special forces operating in the territory.

Gazans reported a spike in the movement of armed personnel in the streets, including along the border with Israel, before the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in the territory announced it was a military drill.

The drill saw the sudden raising of the alert level among all security agencies throughout the Strip, a general mobilizing of reserve personnel to the security services, the deployment of roadblocks, and the closure by Hamas of all land crossings and sea ports. Fishermen were told they could not set out to sea.

It included police, intelligence units and the terror group’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Iyad al-Bozm, spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza, said on Twitter: “The Interior and National Security Ministry is currently carrying out an emergency drill to simulate dealing with a sudden security threat. It is taking place in the framework of examining the preparedness of the security forces and services.”

Palestinian commander: We will capture Gaza border towns in future war
"We will take the settlements bordering Gaza. In any future war, the enemy must expect groups behind enemy lines to enter and control those settlements," said a commander of one of the terrorist groups in Gaza to the Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper on Wednesday.

The commander added that scuba units will also play a "very important role" in an upcoming conflict.

Israel has recently completed the construction of an underwater barrier to prevent infiltration from Gazan commando scuba units.

During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, five Hamas frogmen tried to infiltrate Kibbutz Zikim. Armed with automatic weapons, fragmentation grenades and several types of explosive devices, they were engaged and killed by the IDF in a combined attack from the sea, ground and air.

In 2015, the IDF began deploying dozens of sensors as part of a new system named “Aqua Shield,” which can detect and alert the navy to suspicious underwater movement. The sensors were placed on the sea floor near both Gaza and Lebanon’s water borders with Israel.
Michael Lumish: Gazan women creating balloon bombs
Why are so many sympathetic Westerners almost entirely oblivious to what Gazans and Hamas are doing to Israel? How many thousands of acres need to be burned along the border from these balloon incendiary devices? How many more animals need to be burned alive, including those within animal preserves? People tend to think that Israel is strong... and it is strong, but it is also perpetually under siege. We are talking six or seven million Jews surrounded by about 350 million Arabs who generally do not want them there.

So, who is the underdog?


Close to 4,000 Palestinians killed in Syria's civil war
Close to 4,000 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the country’s civil war in 2019, new figures have shown.

According to figures released by the London-based Action Group for Palestinians of Syria, a total of 3987 Palestinians have been killed in Syria including 467 women and 200 children.

Over 87 percent of the victims were civilians, killed by regime bombing, sniper fire, clashes, torture, fleeing to other countries and more.

Before the war broke out, Syria was home to some 560,000 Palestinian refugees, the majority who lived in 12 Palestinian refugee camps. Since fighting began over 85,000 Palestinians have fled Syria to Europe while tens of thousands more have sought refuge in neighboring countries.

The Action Group for Palestinians of Syria said that 1,977 Palestinians were killed inside refugee camps with the Yarmouk refugee camp outside the capital Damascus having the highest casualty rate of 1,422 residents killed.
In 'victory' for Trump, France and U.K. to send more soldiers to Syria
The UK and France will send some additional troops to eastern Syria to backfill a US withdrawal that the Trump administration has been tinkering with for more than six months. According to Foreign Policy and later reported by The Guardian and The Independent, the number of troops is not very large – including only 15% more French soldiers – but it is a symbolic win for the US, which is trying to get others to shoulder the burden more.

The report indicates that this is a “victory” for the US national security team, but it is a kind of Pyrrhic victory, because the US only achieves its goals by reducing its presence and influence in eastern Syria. However, this is the long-term policy of the Trump administration, which is trying to end America’s long wars in places like Afghanistan. The administration has so far not been entirely successful, since a briefing by US Special Operations Command in 2018 said that its forces were operating in 90 countries globally. That is an increase from 80 countries in 2017, the first year that US President Donald Trump was in office.

In Syria, the US initially sought a larger role in 2017 as ISIS was pushed out of Raqqa and the US laid the groundwork for an expanded diplomatic presence. For those who wanted to confront Iran, this was welcomed news, because Iran plays a major role in Syria, including construction of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bases. However the idea that the US would remain in Syria astride the Iranian “road to the sea” that goes through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon was dashed in December 2018, when Trump said the US would leave, adding that the US could “watch” Iran from Iraq.
Trump: Iran secretly enriched uranium, sanctions to increase 'substantially'
President Donald Trump accused Iran on Wednesday of secretly enriching uranium for a long time and said U.S. sanctions would be increased "substantially" soon, as the U.N. nuclear watchdog held an emergency meeting on Tehran's breach of a nuclear deal.

Washington used the session of the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation Board of Governors to accuse Iran of extortion after it inched past the deal's limit on enrichment levels, while still offering to hold talks with Tehran.

Iran says it is reacting to harsh U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Tehran since Trump pulled out of world powers' 2015 nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic last year, and says all its steps were reversible if Washington returned to the deal.

"Iran has long been secretly 'enriching,' in total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration," Trump said on Twitter.

"Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!"

While Iran was found to have had covert enrichment sites long before the nuclear accord, the deal also imposed the most intrusive nuclear supervision on Iran of any country, and there has been no serious suggestion Iran is secretly enriching now.
BP Oil Tanker Sheltering in Persian Gulf Over Fear of Iranian Attack
An oil tanker owned by British Petroleum (BP) is sheltering inside the Persian Gulf amid fears it could be seized in an act of aggression by Iran, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The theocratic regime in Tehran threatened to retaliate after the British navy seized an Iranian oil tanker entering the Mediterranean off the coast of Gibraltar last week, believed to have been carrying oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

The British Heritage, a mid-size oil tanker capable of carrying one million barrels of oil, was sailing toward the Iraqi port of Basra in the south of the country when it made an “abrupt” u-turn and retreated to the safety of the Saudi Arabian coastline on July 6, according to a source briefed on the situation.

The tanker, registered in the Isle of Man and flying under the British flag, had been chartered by Royal Dutch Shell to transport crude from Basra to northwest Europe. BP declined to comment.

“It’s a psychological game that’s being played,” Olivier Jakob, managing director of energy consultant Petromatrix GmbH, told Bloomberg. “Nobody wants to be that one whose vessel is seized in a ‘tit-for-tat’.”
Eastern Mediterranean Crisis Balloons as Turkish Drill Ships Multiply
In the early hours of July 1, a loud shudder rippled through Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus. Spooked residents might have mistaken the explosion for the opening shots of another war between the Greek Cypriots and Turkey amid sharpening tensions over drilling rights in the Eastern Mediterranean that are drawing in regional stakeholders Egypt, Israel and Greece.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu ramped these up to a new level last week with stark warnings that the Greek Cypriots “can’t take the slightest step in the Eastern Mediterranean. If they dare, they will receive the appropriate response like in the past.” Cavusoglu was alluding to Turkey’s 1974 military intervention on the island that has left it divided between the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus recognized solely by Ankara.

Upping the ante, Turkey dispatched a second drill ship, the Yavuz, which arrived yesterday off the northernmost tip of the island, the Karpas Peninsula. The area was “licensed” by the Turkish Cypriots to the state-owned Turkish Petroleum company, even though under international law they are not authorized to do so.
Israel backs Cyprus as Turkey vows to continue drilling in its waters
Israel expressed support for Cyprus on Wednesday after Turkey vowed to continue drilling activities off the island nation’s coast, which Nicosia has protested since they are bring conducted in its exclusive economic zone.

Turkey’s announcement came amid tensions with the European Union, which has called on Ankara to cease its “illegal” activities.

The discovery of huge gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has sparked a dispute between EU member Cyprus and Turkey, which last month sent a second ship, the Yavuz, to search for oil and gas in the region.

“The drilling activities of our ship Yavuz are based on legal and legitimate grounds,” the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We reject the statement made by Greek Foreign Ministry and EU officials that deem our country’s activities illegal,” it added.
Yemenite Journalist: The Real 'Infidels' Are The Islamists Who Violate Allah's Laws By Killing The Other, Not The West Which Produces Achievements And Inventions
In an article titled "Who are the Infidels?", posted May 2, 2019 on the Aden-based news website yemen-24.com, which bills itself as "independent," 'Ali Al-Bukhaiti, a Yemeni journalist and politician and a former official of the Houthi movement, attacked the Islamists who claim to fight on behalf of Islam and call the West "infidel." Al-Bukhaiti asked who needs faith if the "infidels" – i.e., the West – are the ones that produce inventions and achievements whereas "faith," as the extremists understand it, produces only death and destruction. He added that progress and development have no religion, and that countries that pursue religious agendas are generally backward, whereas countries that give priority to the wellbeing of their citizens are the ones that benefit the citizens and move ahead.

The following are excerpts from his article:[1]
"I want to know who the [real] infidels are. Is it those who build their countries, improve the lives of their people and provide their citizens with wellbeing, health insurance, progressive education, good services, a developed infrastructure, and honor and respect for their humanity? Or is it those who are fighting in Taiz and other cities in Yemen, [as well as in] Libya and Syria, in defense of what they believe is the true Islam? Who are the infidels – us, or the Europeans and the developed world? And if it is heresy that produces all the human achievements and inventions and improves peoples' lives, then who needs faith? [Who needs it] if those who represent us are [Muslim Brotherhood leader in Yemen 'Abd Al-Majid] Al-Zindani; [Houthi leader 'Abd Al-Malik] Al-Houthi; [the leader of the Al-Islah Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen, Mohammed 'Abdallah 'Ali] Al-Yadumi; [Yemeni Salafi leader 'Adel Abdu Fari' Al-Dhubhani, aka] Abu Al-'Abbas, and [deputy chairman of Yemen's Southern Transitional Council, Hani] Ben Breik?

"By Allah, faith which does not develop societies is clear heresy against the Creator. Allah supports everything that is beautiful and which helps man and eases his sorrow. Faith is connected to beauty, love, tolerance and acceptance of the other, not to killing, destruction, and the booby-trapping of homes and minds. Faith is expressed through respect for the other and through good deeds in the service of society and humanity. This [kind of] faith is consistent with God's laws. Heresy is killing, destruction, and incitement against others, for these contradict all laws and all that is beautiful in life.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Jewish Archaeological Finds Only Prove Jews Already Faking Native Status In 700 BCE (satire)
Experts examining the evidence unearthed over the decades tying the Jewish people to the areas under current Israeli control note that such discoveries, rather than demonstrating ancient links between modern Jews and their homeland, instead indicate that even thousands of years ago Jews engaged in planting artifacts to fool the world into believing Jews belonged there.

Academics and field archaeologists reviewing excavations at the City of David and other sites from the Biblical and post-Biblical eras dismissed the mounting evidence for Jewish and Israelite civilization, arguing that such finds only reinforce the Palestinian claim that Jews fake their ancient attachment to the Holy Land and have been doing so for many centuries.

“To the uninitiated perhaps these ‘discoveries’ are impressive,” explained Professor Gas Leit of Bir Zeit Uiniversity. “But those of us who study the field already know to be skeptical of so-called ‘Jewish’ or ‘Israelite’ artifacts and structures, which serious scholars long ago determined are nothing but ancient fakes designed to hoodwink future archaeologists into believing Zionist propaganda.”



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